Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Please drop the governator a veto request. SB731. I take it personally

Please drop the governator a letter to the following address opposing SB731 ASAP:
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
State Capitol Building
Sacramento, CA 95814

Although an e-mail won't carry as much weight you can e-mail asking he veto SB731: http://gov.ca.gov/interact I think the subject would be 'OTHER'

The bill is currently in "enrollment" or being proof read and will then go to the governors desk to be signed into law.

I take SB731 personally. If what SB731 will require of people looking to touch others for income was in place, in 1986, when opportunity knocked, you would NOT know me. I would not have been able to afford the costs required to enter the work. In 1986, I needed a mere 100 hours of training to start "rubbing" for money. The human body has not changed enough that any more than that is justified as a requirement to do a massage, legally, for money. It would be hypocritical for me to support such requirements.

Most bills intentions appear to be good on the surface, which SB731 does. SB731 renders obsolete short, relatively inexpensive entry programs that are acceptable in many communities around the state. Obscene local regulations governing massage should be dealt with at the local level and not dealt with by a board in Sacramento. SB731 benefits schools and other segments of the industry and does not serve you the receiver nor me the giver of the work, as much as what the bill suggests. The bill opening follows. The bold sections are my comments.


Comment: It is so small a number that it is truly amazing they have gotten this far. The Amta, a 501(c)6 political machine and sponsors of this bill, are to be commended for their success due to their relentless non stop drive to impose their agenda on the people of CA. Of course, proponents spending nearly a half million dollars to do it also helps a lot.

SECTION 1. It is the intent of this act to create a voluntary certification for the massage therapy profession that will enable consumers to easily identify credible certified massage therapists;

Comment: The bill is a foot in the door for permanent licensing. No state that started with a tiered system or voluntary program remains. The certification does not do anything more than show someone has completed a program approved by the board being created. The credibility of the work of a practitioner can only be determined by a receiver.

assure that certified massage therapists have completed sufficient training at approved schools; phase in increased education and training standards consistent with other states;

Comment: 39 wrongs (licensed states requiring anywhere from 500-1000 hours of training) do not make a right.

"If fifty million people say a foolish thing, it's still a foolish thing."
Bertrand Russell

assure that massage therapy can no longer be used as a subterfuge to violate subdivision (a) or (b) of Section 647 of the Penal Code;

Comment: The Penal Code reads as follows...

647. Every person who commits any of the following acts is guilty of disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor: (a) Who solicits anyone to engage in or who engages in lewd or dissolute conduct...

(b) Who solicits or who agrees to engage in or who engages in any act of prostitution. A person agrees to engage in an act of prostitution....
http://tinyurl.com/6fugcn to read the whole thing...

Comment: The prostitution/massage connection has been a long standing wedge issue for the trade. It is myth that imposing a minimum requirement of ANY number of hours will break that connection. I give the benefit of a doubt that people know there is more to touch than sex and violence and can tell the difference between sexual and nonsexual touch. There are more than enough laws to penalize those providing unsolicited sexual touch/massage or violently striking people. Criminalizing anyone willing to lay hands, for income, without sex and violence involved, because of not jumping through expensive hoops is the real crime.

and to provide a self-funded nonprofit oversight body to approve certification and education requirements for massage therapists.

Trickle down economics.. The more it costs me to stay in business, the more it is going to cost those receiving the work. I know of no board that has ever reduced the financial burden of a practitioner or reduce the costs for anyone wanting to enter this work. The suggested nonprofit organization will mandate anyone wanting to enter the realm of touch for income to enrich the coffers of for profit schools and other industry segments.

To see a copy of SB731, go to: : http://tinyurl.com/5qp833

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Politics Lite for CA: Battling a genetic disorder

Comparitively speaking to the big picture politics ie the presidential race, the politics of massage is small beans to those who are NOT into the giving and receiving of touch. The mainstream is oblivious to the battles being fought over who can touch them, for income, and how much, for that privilege, it will cost.

It is politics lite because a position on the issue is a no brainer. One would think because the solution is so obvious there would be no problem getting there. As luck would have it, it is not easy because the problem is genetics. Check out this Scientific American piece.

If I had known my problem was genetic, I would have made an effort to get the problem under control sooner. Voting, taking sides, stating and holding a position in the political arena or, for that matter, any other arena, has always been easy for me. People know where I stand.

There are very few arenas I take very seriously even in the big picture of politics. I will normally argue my position but when push comes to shove, I will surrender and do what I was going to do anyway. My real hackles are rarely raised but when they are, welllll, those that knew The Rub or have witnessed some of my anti-Amta/licensing ravings have a pretty good idea. Sorry folks, it's in the genes.

Of course, the opposite side of this genetic disorder coin is the not voting, not taking sides and not taking and holding a position. That seems to be the condition prevalent in our trade. With this post, I am asking you to fight your genetic disorder and take a position supporting the licensing of touch in CA.

Carl Brown, on the bodywork_politics list wrote in response to my calling for the licensing of touch, "My first impression was you went over to the dark side. Then I noticed that you said "licensing of touch". I presume that it would not require the massage licensing requirements that have nothing to do with consumer protection and is irrelevant to many forms of touch based therapy."

That's right, Carl... I ask you and all those touching people in California to take a look at some preliminary thoughts at http://massage.meetup.com/307/about/ and consider joining... The $10 fee is to start a fund to hire a lobbyist to serve the interests of providers and receivers of touch. If there is enough interest a nonprofit could be established.

Jennifer, another poster to the politics list wrote, "I have always felt that licensing of clinically applied touch was necessary... now more estoteric or metaphysical touch that has nothing to do with anything physically clinical (but that would be more energetic or spiritual) is another story... but anything that falls into a realm of clinical physical touch does, IMHO, need to be licensed."

Unfortunately that is not going to happen. There is only one solution for the most powerful and monied organization fighting for licensing. Everybody providing touch is lumped together no matter what their intent. It's time for a change. It really is time for us doing the work to have a union of sorts to protect us from unnecessary governance and expensive and insulting requirements to practice.

Answer: $397,254.30 Stay tuned for the question