[ExI] A Small Request

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Fri Feb 8 08:27:08 UTC 2008

Olga writes

> I don't know if you live in a sizeable metropolitan area, Spike ... but if 
> you've seen (e.g., in San Francisco, in Seattle, etc.) the number of poor 
> souls wandering around, homeless, sick, cold and hungry (not to mention, 
> completely out of their minds), well ... it just does not seem like a good 
> thing.

Indeed, it does not seem like a good thing. But it also does not seem
like a good thing to accost a citizen (with your gun and your badge)
and require that citizen---"for your own good"---to come along 
quietly so that your "problem" may be treated.

Now it's one thing to accost the citizen if he or she is doing something
offensive, even if by just being an eyesore. At least the citizen has a
chance to know that he's been offensive some way, or that he has
inconvenienced or is inconveniencing someone, and that by a simple
change in overt behavior, that affront may be fixed.  It's quite another
to forcibly remove the citizen from going about his business because
the citizen is deemed by certain psychiatrists (of legally/philosophically
dubious credentials) of being incapable of successfully attending to his
own needs.  (On this account, I would have no problem with the
"authorities" merely trying to persuade a citizen that he or she would
be better off in captivity.)

It wasn't so long ago that in a more socialized country, dissidents were
routinely judged to be suffering from certain mental problems and
hustled off to insane asylums. 


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