Is the Hobby Lobby case about contraceptives?

Despite what we have heard in the media, it is not. Hobby Lobby’s health insurance plan offered to employees has long covered many contraceptives. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as interpreted by the Department of Health and Human Services, requires all health insurance offered by business to include twenty drugs under the rubric of contraception. Four of these drugs are really abortifacients, drugs designed to prevent conception and, if unsuccessful, to induce abortion. In other words, if life begins at conception, as Hobby Lobby believes, then these drugs, after conception, can destroy embryos, which all of us were very early in our life. Hobby Lobby explains its position quite clearly on its own website.

So why have the media not made this clear?

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They say what? Licensure (of landscape architects) protects your community!

Protection of the public from harm is the pretense of the argument made by most occupation groups that seek to install or expand their special legal privileges under restrictive occupational regulations. “Licensure protects your community” is specifically the claim of the licensed landscape architects who are represented by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA).

Is this “claim” a part of ASLA’s marketing efforts to the consuming public? No, it’s a part of their marketing effort to convince state legislators that the only way to protect communities is to license landscape architects and prevent, via the force of licensing laws, non-licensed practitioners from performing the scope of landscape work reserved to the defined practice of landscape architecture.

Are we to believe that general laws, codes and ordinances combined with plan review and inspection by our communities are ineffective processes for the protection of our landscapes? Should we believe that without licensure of landscape architects our communities and its citizens are rendered unsafe? No, we should not.

However; we should believe that licensure is definitely a protection measure – but not for the public. Continue reading

Voter ID: Part 3 – response to Kander

Voter ID is currently a hot topic again, inspiring empty political attacks from the President and the Vice-President. We have posted two earlier articles, here and here. Given continuing controversy and new attacks, we have decided to post a third article with a different tilt and some new information. Recently, in an article for the Columbia Daily Tribune, Jason Kander (D), the Missouri Secretary of State, attacks proposals regarding voter ID in the Missouri Legislature. The proposals involve a constitutional amendment, which if approved by the electorate, would require an approved photo ID in order to vote. Kander’s rhetorical skills are good, but his substance is weak. He misstates the goal of the proposals, says that the remedy does not fit the non-existent ailment, cites suspect statistics, and finally questions the motives of the proponents of electoral reform.  Continue reading