Monday, December 15, 2014

A Homeless Bill of Rights?

On my Facebook feed from the Libertarian Party a fellow posted notice about a friend starting one of those petitions asking to have a Homeless Bill of Rights created. I had to comment I likely wouldn't sign it because I'm skeptical of what those "rights" might be.

I've posted about this once here before and was supportive of Richard Salzman's objection to the Arcata City Council ordinance making panhandling illegal. As I wrote at the time, we all have a human right to ask for help, which is what panhandling should be considered. We also have a human right to refuse another person that help.

And that's the conundrum here. Will their bill of rights end up being more along the line of forcing others to put up with them? If so, to what extent?

I pointed that out to the fellow and also brought up, perhaps slightly off topic, so- called gay and lesbian rights. LGBT folks shouldn't be arrested for homosexual behavior. They should also be able to live their lives as they choose in all other ways. I don't believe they have a "right" to force businesses to serve them, which is what those rights have evolved into as of late.

Is that where this homeless bill of rights is heading? 

Ironically, the fellow replied that he pretty much agreed with me. To quote his reply, " The ACLU agreed to helped my homeless friend fight a town anti homeless laws only if their argument was that the government had a responsibility to care for the homeless.".

So homeless rights become a government entitlement? Those are exactly the kind of "rights" I'm opposed to.


At 8:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

. I don't believe they have a "right" to force businesses to serve them, which is what those rights have evolved into as of late.

How would lgbt "force" businesses to serve them? More specifically, how would businesses enforce their "right" (as you imply) to NOT serve them? Direct confrontation because of attire, company, stated policy posted on doors?
"We reserve the right to not serve lgbts." WOW! What gives them the "right" to even ask what sexual orientation any person/customer has?

Would that also apply to on-line businesses or just on-street businesses?

Afraid yo're swimming in some deep shit with this one, Fred.

And, BTW, your automatic insinuation that a right is the same as an entitlement is a common tactic of those who would deny people of their "rights", i.e: right to vote chief up there.
Yeah, let's bring back the era of Jim Crow where a PUBLIC business has a right to refuse service to anyone they choose. The least they can do is provide separate doors and counters don't you think?

At 8:44 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

There have been a few lawsuits lately where businesses have been sued for refusing to serve LGBT. One being a bakery that wouldn't bake a cake for a gay wedding. Another a photographer who refused to photograph a gay wedding. There was a third one recently the details of which escape me. The businesses all lost, although at least one might have just closed its doors rather than fight it.

And that's bullshit. People have a right to discriminate for, or against, whomever they choose. I call it it Freedom of Association. You have no right to force me to do business with you.

Yes, any business should have the right to serve whomever they choose, although 99.9% of businesses are happy to serve anybody.

Getting back to the homeless, saying homeless have a right to have a place to sleep, I might agree with. But the way things go nowadays that might include my front yard. I don't consider homeless to have a right to sleep in my front yard.

At 9:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Using your examples of the bakery and photographer then it is perfectly OK to refuse to cater to black or hispanic weddings too if the business owner so chooses. Gee, and you can't see why they lost? As I stated, welcome back Jim Crow. If you run a public business and not a private, exclusive club (there are problems there too), then the public is who should be served, not just selected members.

I hardly think any law or Bill of Rights would allow the homeless to sleep on your property, Fred. But it might mean that a municipality, or better yet, all municipalities, provide some place for them to be. If such a Bill of Rights applied to all then the problem of homelessness could very start to find real solutions rather than the concept of just kicking them down the road from one place to another as seems to be the current preferred popular route. Homelessness isn't going to go away. It may in fact get worse. There is something profoundly dysfunctional within a nation as wealthy and moral as America prides itself to be. Perhaps it's more bankrupt then we dare to admit.

At 10:02 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

I don't care why someone doesn't want to cater to someone else. That's their choice, and they'll likely lose other business because of it.

You go to businesses because for one reason or another you favor them. You don't go to other businesses for one reason or another, as well. Businesses should have the same right of preference should they choose to exercise it.

At 11:09 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

Here's at least some of what was proposed in California by Tom Ammiano as part of his Homeless Bill of Rights:

--Sleeping in public spaces such as sidewalks and parks
-- 24/7 access to bathrooms, showers, water and clean syringes.
-- Car camping on city streets without restrictions
-- "Life sustaining activities" such as urinating and collecting recycling trash
-- Welfare cash payments
-- Meditating or praying in public
-- Panhandling
-- Payment for possessions seized in a roust
-- Right to refuse the offer of a homeless shelter
-- Right to a lawyer in most encounters with the law

Some I might not have a problem with. Others I most certainly do.

Car camping on city streets without restrictions? Probably sounds worse than it is, but I can still imagine what it might be like if bums decide they want to stay for a while in front of my house.

24/7 access to bathrooms, showers and such? Sounds like an entitlement to me, if only because someone would have to provide them.

Sleeping in public spaces such as sidewalks and parks? Not quite on my front yard but close enough if a number of them decide to sleep on the sidewalk next to my house.

Then there's "payments for possessions seized in a roust". I'm sympathetic but at the same time realize we'll likely end up paying for all the garbage we saw cleaned up during the last roust down on the bay. They'd eventually get savvy and claim that was their property that was thrown in the dumpsters and hauled off.

That's the sort of stuff I'm worried about, and it's already been seriously proposed by a state legislator.

At 1:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fukem, there trash and fellons, letum starve.

At 1:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So... Fred, if a business owner wants to refuse service to retirees, do you think he should have that right? I don't care on what grounds the business owner is making the exception... religious grounds, economic grounds, etc.

At 1:59 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

"Fred, if a business owner wants to refuse service to retirees, do you think he should have that right?"

Yep. You have the human right to do business and associate with whomever you want. Again, the vast majority of businesses wouldn't think of doing that, but if the owner feels that way, it's HIS BUSINESS.

At 2:00 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

I might reiterate that you as a customer have the right to not do business with those that discriminate. That's your right and I have no problem with it.

At 11:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Spot on Fred


Post a Comment

<< Home