Re: LA your RIGHTS on the street & with police in

Liberty (
Sun, 24 May 1998 15:56:41 -0400


I know you probably will not like my reply to you, but I have the right
to reply to any post submitted to the list, or sent to me privately, so
long as the post is sent in the same way it was received.

At 02:10 PM 24/05/1998 -0400, Graeme Bacque wrote:

>I'm sure that is in fact the desire of the overwhelming majority of people
>but unfortunately existing social policies deliberately place insurmountable 
>roadblocks in the path of this objective, then compounds this crime by
>even minimal support to the victims, and even by persecuting them for this 
>situation which they didn't create and is beyond their control.

I do not disagree with you at all, Graeme.  There are a LOT of roadblocks
created by the system preventing people from becoming self-sufficient. I 
view the state as acting very much in their own interests in keeping people
dependent on a system that is wholly inadequate to meet people's needs.  If 
the unions did not have as much influence as they have in the present system 
of service delivery, the state would be able to fullfil more of its mandate 
to assist people, but unfortunately, the unions (who have as their *number
one* objective, to protect the jobs of its members) have a stranglehold
in maintaining their own "market" of people that need the service, so they 
can maintain their position in that same "marketplace".  In other words,
the unions feel free to whine and complain about the number of people that
are in the breadlines, living on the street, etc., so long as it is not
any of *their* members that have to do so, particularly their leadership.
In other words, a subsistence income is okay for you Graeme, but not for
the Sid Ryans, the Gord Wilsons, the Leah Casselmans of this world ...
will any of these people give YOU a job, Graeme?  Why don't you ask them?

I think the only way people who oppose state abuses, like involuntary
psychiatric treatment, can prevent it from happening to them, is to get
themselves free of state-sponsored support.  I pay privately for most of
my health care, for that specific reason, and yes, I do not feel this is
fair for those that cannot do this.  But, the old saying that "he who pays 
the piper calls the tune" applies quite well, in this arena, unfortunately.  

This is not my favoured position to be taken by the state, but people who 
ask for more state intervention in their own lives, and then turn around to 
tell the state to leave them alone, are always going to be less successful 
in achieving much needed social reform, even though most of what is being 
asked for (by those wanting positive reforms), is perfectly legitimate. 

>Unfortunately, for the greedmongers, peoples' right to stay alive must 
>supercede business' 'right' to continue 'raking it in' in the totally 
>blythe, irresponsible manner that they are.

I think this is an area you and I are just going to have to agree to
disagree.  I do not feel that asking for more state intervention in our
lives is going 
to somehow translate to more freedom for folks like ourselves.

>Social activists are trying to compensate in a small way through efforts 
>such as this survival guide but this is only a band-aid - the whole system 
>is ass-rotten and a whole new vision must be pursued if we are to survive.

Social activists need to try harder to achieve a vision that would enable
people to escape this tangled social safety net, as soon as possible, as
the safety net would only serve to trap people. One way to do this is for 
these organizations to refuse any form of ongoing government funding, 
including charitable status, and ply their trade in the marketplace by
selling their "services" to governments as a business, and accept 
competition by similar firms seeking to do the same thing.  Continued
contracts would be contingent upon their own successes in helping their
constituents become financially self-sufficient.

I do not apologize at all for my ardently expressed libertarian ideas.  It
is one thing to criticize the state for their actions or inactions to serve
the very vulnerable in our community, but can these same critics do better?
I am saying, give them a chance to "prove themselves".  Give them the
opportunity to help people get off welfare, better their lives, and be
judged on this basis ... or, are they afraid they might fail too?  If so,
why do they expect the government to do any better?

>Earlier this year, when Wal-Mart in Mississauga (Ontario) advertised 170
>entry-level jobs, nearly six thousand people showed up on the first day to
>apply. A couple of years back when GM's van plant in Oshawa, Ontario
>announced they would be accepting applications more than 20,000 people
>showed up to fill out an application which wasn't going to result in
>immediate employment, but just *might* result in it at some point in the

I am aware of this type of thing happening.  Our firm does not even have to
publicly advertise its positions, and we still get hundreds of resumes
from job-seekers all over.  I think some of this imbalance is due to the
fact that people are not taught how to properly market themselves.  I get
resumes from people who don't even investigate our firm, who don't even
remotely have the qualifications, etc.  Occasionally, I may have a client
who is hiring, and yes - I have referred certain resumes on, and have got
some of these people jobs, but I know this is not enough.  This is the
role of the government, to help people be better prepared for the labour
market, which is rapidly changing, fluctuating, the landscape we had twenty
years ago is no longer applicable to the landscape we have today, etc.  It 
is rapidly changing to an economy where people need to have more skills, 
more diverse interests, etc. in order to maintain one's place.  Even our 
firm has to keep shifting markets to maintain a position, to keep up with 
what the clients require of us ... not easy, but it is an ever-growing 
reality that people sometimes have to hold on to several part-time jobs, 
keep themselves involved in upgrading/training and learn more about the 
labour market, in order to succeed.

>So please spare us the rhetoric about people not desiring self-sufficiency 
>since you are insulting our intelligence by spreading it. In any event, 
>people have the incontrovertible right to ensure their own survival whether 
>or not they have achieved the capitalist version of 'self-sufficiency.'

I am not insulting anybody's intelligence.  It is too bad if you feel this
way, but I am citing what the reality of the marketplace is.  Neither you,
me or anybody else on this list, has any control over the reality of the
marketplace, nor will all the demonstrations, civil disobedience, boycotts,
and related actions, of the world, change this reality.  No government, ANY
government (even the furthest left of governments we have in Canada, like 
the NDP in BC) will ever raise welfare rates or increase social spending to
people in need.  I am citing the reality that people either have to learn
to live in subsistence (which is all ANY government of ANY political stripe
is going to offer anybody that does not work) and live with the stupid
rules and regulations they might introduce for those receiving this
or find a way to move themselves off this subsistence into a lifestyle
where they will have many more choices, more opportunities and a far better
opinion of themselves.  

I will tell you one thing, Graeme.  I lived through the effects of being
homeless, being incarcerated in psychiatric facilities, being abused by
my father (who is still at large, like it or not), being abused by the
state, being on welfare, being on state-sponsored disability, and I know
what it is like to live in hard times.  I have experienced what it is like
to go for several days without food, to be evicted from one's home, and 
what it is like to be forcibly put in a psych facility for one's opinions 
of the world around them ... and not ONE, not a single one of the f'in 
social activist organizations that existed at the time gave a tinker's damn
about me, yet they continued to demonstrate and shout state officials down
every chance they had, which did not contribute one iota to MY bottom line.  
At the same time, these people continued to collect very good salaries, 
paid for by the unions and/or by the very state they supposedly militated
against ... 

And, nobody ... NOBODY but the business folks in my community, ever offered 
to help me, and all THEY did was offer me an opportunity, not give me
money, just gave me an opportunity to pick myself off my feet and find my
way back.  
I went back to school and got my business degree, over and above objections 
I had at the time from the state disability program I was on, that wanted me 
to stay at home and rot my brains away ... and taking the risk, I did lose
a lot.  But, we still have the courts in this land, which I used quite well 
and fought for my own rights to not only to continue to barely exist, but 
to further my own objectives to do more than barely subsist.

I did not have a father to mentor me through my business plans.  I did not
have a pile of money at the age of sixteen years old, nor did I have a lot
of friends, particularly after some of them began to be concerned about me
"sponging" off of them after I was kicked out of my father's house.  I had
to make it or break it, and make it ... I did.  I started out as disk jockey
operating out of a makeshift office in the corner of a rented room. In many
ways, Graeme, you have to put your faith and trust in God, or whoever else 
you see as your higher power, and ask for the strength to personally
to go on ... and today, I am happily married, blessed with a beautiful son,
with a highly successful business and a better life that I could have only
dreamed of when I was 16.

Not that I don't have any problems ... I continue to have nightmares of
my past, sometimes that come back to haunt me at 3:00 a.m. when there is
nobody around to rescue me.  I have severe health problems, some of which
arose as a result of my years of living in poverty and having to fight
for every inch of my life, but Graeme, I am glad to be ALIVE!!!  It took
me until my mid to late 30's just to realize what kind of person I really
am, and what potential that I have as a person.  You too, Graeme, have a
lot of potential as a human being.  You write well, you articulate your
ideas in a clear fashion ... I am suggesting you can be much more than you
give yourself an opportunity to be ... 

I am not yelling at you, Graeme, I been there ... and yes, because I been
there, that is WHY I hold many of the views that I hold today.  If I relied
on the welfare state and the so-called advocates at the time, I would be
dead today ... and I owe my life to my own higher power.  Who do YOU owe
your life to, Graeme?


Liberty (Lillian)