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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments


The licensing Nazis are working overtime in Kentucky:

On May 7, Kentucky’s office of attorney general sent a letter to newspaper advice columnist John Rosemond. The letter ordered him to sign a consent decree that he would stop practicing psychology without a license in their state, and stop calling himself a psychologist in Kentucky as well, since he was not licensed by the state’s Board of Examiners of Psychology.

The kicker is that Kentucky claims that writing an advice column that appears in a newspaper in the state—in the specific case of their complaint, the Lexington Herald-Leader, though it appears in others as well—is not an act of freedom of the press, but rather practicing psychology without the required license.

As it happens, I share Kentucky's low opinion of advice columnists, as well as pop psychologists who offer advice on the radio to people they've never met, let alone examined. Even when I was in high school, I thought people like Dear Abby and Ann Landers did far more harm than good. And Dr. Laura and Dr. Joy? Yeech.

But, hello, First Amendment. People have the right to offer opinions, whether they're right or wrong, and the people they're aimed at have the ability to (and should have the sense to) not pay any attention to those opinions. We're standing in our back yards, talking to each other over the fence. You tell me about another neighbor who is harassing you. "Sue the bastard!" I say. Somebody gonna take me to court for practicing law without a license?