….and yet the question I have for so many politicians, Christians, business, the wealthy, the homeless, voters is:
What is City Council so afraid of being revealed during the court proceedings scheduled to start Monday – four short days from today – that they were about to send in their armed officers, a police force referred to by Justice Kathleen Ker as “a place that time forgot“, to clear the park and avoid having to face a judge on Monday?
Now I do not claim that moving into the parking lot and erecting a 8ft high wooden fence is anything but…….Dumb. But anyone who knows Barry Shantz does not expect strategic thinking. Demands, shouting, aggression, a nobody else matters attitude, disruptive behaviour and provocation – that is what you expect.
As to whoever put up the wooden fence…..with friends like that who needs enemies?
Looking at the walls on television, the homeless ensconced behind the walls and the police outside the walls preparing to attack…….my mind conjured up visions of little boys playing Cowboys [more properly Cavalry] and Indians.
Faced with these new developments the city should have remembered the advice Napoleon gave his Marshals: “the enemy is making a false move, why should we interrupt him?”
The intelligent thing for the city to do was……nothing. Go to court Monday, point to the behaviour that built a walled fort in a public parking lot and say that is why we need the court to order Jubilee Park vacated by these hooligans.
Instead the City seized the excuse and the cover provided by the actions of the homeless with their wall to strike quickly and render the question of court on Monday moot.
Given the lack of reason demonstrated by both sides it is lucky that DJ Larkin from Pivot Legal Society secured a court order. Thereby denying both sides the opportunity to do something incredibly stupid; stupid being an ability both sides have demonstrated having and being willing to use.
Apparently the four days until court on Monday was to long for either side to go without an Act of Stupidity.
Speaking of stupid is as stupid does, watching City Council’s behaviour over the years council has made it abundantly clear that when it comes to dealing with homelessness they like to consume several extra bowls of stupid before dealing with the issue.
The attempt to commit an Act of Stupidity Thursday afternoon is well within councils normal operating procedures. Or perhaps council didn’t want to set a precedent by going to court as though the homeless actually had rights.
Still, one wonders if City Council’s panicky attempt to avoid court by striking to force the homeless out of Jubilee on Thursday was a desperate attempt to avoid the need to appear in court, face a lawyer acting on behalf of the homeless and have………What? come out.
Sigh. If they had just left it be, but NO, city council felt compelled to overreact and focus attention on the homeless hiding behind their walls as the police build their barricades……and those images flash around the world making the City of Abbotsford appear even more ridiculous.
You know this level of weapons grade stupidity is the behaviour one expects from Americans.
Just how low have we sunk, and when did we lose touch with what it was to be Canadian?
From James’s ‘That’s So Life’ Files:
At the end of the shift Monday I took the elevator down to the garage to collect my car and head home only to find my car, that had been running perfectly when I arrived, did not want to take me home. Because it was a stick shift I was able to coax it home.
Arriving home I got out of the car, popped the hood and found to my surprise:
It certainly explained the behaviour of the car. Although how the oil cap that was on my car at the time I arrived at work was no longer on my car when I finished work 8 hours later is currently a mystery I would very much like to have solved.
I checked to make sure there was still oil in the engine and there was enough that there was no need, or room, to add more.
Feeling relieved that I had not been running the engine without oil I headed into my place, collected a camera and returned to the car to take photos of what had happened, the problem I needed to address to get my car running again. My plan was to return inside, download the pictures, use the internet to get feedback on the pictures and find transportation to secure a used oil cap from a used parts dealer to replace the missing cap and become mobile again.
All the while keeping my fingers crossed that all I need to do is replace the missing cap to become mobile once more.
I sit down at the computer, download the photographs, started my preferred web browser and………….no Internet.
Not unusual, but when nothing restored access to the internet I got up and checked the television to find that all of my [basic] television channels were “not authorized”.
I turned off the television and sat there waiting for the meteorite to crash down and put me out of my misery, hoping the universe was through playing cat to my mouse.
Wondering if the Universe had realized its error all those decades ago and was resetting to give me the life I had ordered; because this certainly was not the life I had ordered.
When it became clear that the Universe had no intention to either stop with the cat and mouse, or to correct its mistake, reset and give me the life I had ordered – that insidious little black thought crawled out of its containment and whispered about how I did not have to suffer this shit and that, although the car’s none running condition to cement bridge supports out of play, there was that great carving knife I had just found in a Thrift store Monday which would go through flesh like a hot knife through butter……..
………..and decided the wisest course of action was to let it go, go to bed and have a long sleep; dealing with things in a calm, rested manner tomorrow [Tuesday].
Arising Tuesday afternoon I set out for the Library, finding out bus fares were now $2.25. Arriving at the Library I signed onto a computer and made my way to the Shaw website and set up a chat. Shaw wanted payment by credit card because it is immediate cash in their pockets, I will spare you the grizzly details but Shaw was reasonable about getting paid by transfer from my bank account.
Leaving me to exit the Library, return home and make the agreed payment to Shaw.
Then sit down and write about how my day went because I still need to set up transportation to replace the oil cap and contact the shelter to let them know I am currently not mobile and until I can get a new oil cap I cannot get to work to cover any extra shifts.
Not to overlooked the fact writing it down is a way of dealing with, putting it in perspective and letting it go.
It occurs to me that Shaw’s warning system [threatening system] is by automated phone calls. With my phone number currently out of service any call by Shaw’s automated phone system would have gotten the automated message that my phone was out of service to which it would have regurgitated its threats of “pay or else” never recognizing that it was making its threats into thin air.
Now there is an interesting mental image: the human race suddenly dies off. As more and more accounts fall into arrears threatening phone calls are made by automated systems to other automated systems, services are cut off by automated systems setting off more calls made by automated systems to automated systems………and on and on…..and should any alien species pass this way they would find a planet full of automated systems threatening each other in a rising cacophony of……….what may be a fitting epitaph for our current society.
There is a science fiction short story in there as the aliens struggle to understand why the dead alien race built all these automated systems to threaten each other and a few other obvious discrepancies of our society. Only you write it in such a manner that it is not revealed that this is an alien race visiting a human lifeless Planet Earth until the last paragraph.
Which still leaves me with the need to deal with the missing oil cap; a situation that demonstrates the pitfalls of poverty that sit there waiting to dump you into, or back into, homelessness.
It is far harder to move from homeless to housed – and stay housed – in this society, economy, point in time than the general public would think it is. Not because the homeless want to be homeless but because of the barriers to becoming housed and all the things that can happen that become barriers to staying housed.
There is no ‘Right location’; I would even be leery of suggesting that a ‘best location’ exists.
There are good locations and bad locations; locations that have good points and bad points, strengths and weaknesses, advantages and drawbacks.
But a ‘Right location’ for Abbotsford Community Services proposed first stage housing does not exist, and to pursue the ‘Right location’ is to chase a mirage.
The only actual existence the ‘Right location’ has is in the context of the ‘Right location’ being a location anywhere Not In My Back Yard.
“I am not against [insert name of project under discussion] it is just this is not the ‘Right location’ for __________, sounds so much more politically correct and so much less egocentric than NIMBY.
It has been repeatedly stated that Abbotsford has a critical need for the proposed housing and that those who oppose the ACS proposal are not against this type of housing in the ‘Right location’ – said ‘Right location’ being in somebody else’s back yard.
Which is why no doubt it has not been stated where this mythical ‘Right location’ is. Given the people in the stated ‘Right location’ would find (and support) that the proposed location behind ACS was the ‘Right location’
The truth is that if you choose any location in Abbotsford for the proposed housing, I can give you ten solid reasons that the location is not the ‘Right location’.
Abbotsford has a critical need for first stage housing – assuming the city and citizens want to pursue an approach to reducing the number of homeless on the streets that has been demonstrated to be effective.
An assumption I freely admit has a high probability of being wrong given the reaction by city council and citizens to the ACS proposal.
A reaction which provides no evidence of any desire to stop chasing the homeless around Abbotsford until……………what??….the homeless fall down a rabbit hole and join Alice in Wonderland?
An outcome which, sadly, is no more insane than council’s chasing of the homeless around Abbotsford year after year after year after year…………in the hope that this time something different will occur and the homeless will……….disappear?.
The most recent steps on the path to this wickedness began about six days ago when City employees, as part of the city’s ongoing war on the homeless, stopped by a local homeless camp. The city truck brought along to cart off any belongings the homeless failed to rescue, contained plunder from prior stops at other homeless camps.
I was working on the words to speak, once again, about the utter pointlessness of trying to cleanse the city of the homeless when the city has failed [or been successful in denying] to provide a viable housing alternative to camping for the homeless, when the city employees and truck returned the next day.
And the next day, and the next day, and the next day………….
After being driven from spot to spot around Abbotsford like nuisance animals [think the rabbits at the University of Victoria] several Canadian citizens who unfortunately have found themselves members of Abbotsford’s homeless community, had come together at a common location.. Being together provided the ability to have someone to guard their belongings and prevent the city hitting the camp when no one was there to rescue belongings.
The location also provided access to people who would help maximize the belongings rescued from the city and has a sanctuary nearby to which any belongings rescued could be taken.
Hence the need for the city to return day after day after day after day………….
I decided not to write anything until revelation of the city’s next tactic, once frustration with the failure of the homeless to disappear drove the city to escalate to a new level.
Today [Tuesday June 4, 2013] the city’s frustration reached the exploding point .
I have, and have had, differences with the decisions of Abbotsford’s mayor and council and the consequences the decisions have had, the burdens they imposed, on Abbotsford’s taxpayers.
Even so I would never have expected, would never have anticipated, Abbotsford’s mayor and council sinking so low.
The City did not sow the earth with salt. Instead the city sowed this patch of earth with a covering of chicken waste – AKA chicken shit.
What is the next step? Capturing the homeless and having the Abbotsford Police Department transport and release them in some non-Abbotsford locality?
And when the homeless find their way home, and Abbotsford is their home, will council decide to follow the University of Victoria’s example and cull them?
I am not sure that either option would necessarily be worse than the contempt, the depraved indifference, of using chicken shit as a weapon, a chemical weapon I suppose, against the homeless?
I know the spring of 2004 was nearly a decade ago but did nobody remember the need for a cull of 1.3 million birds on 42 infected properties.
Speaking of culls, why did nobody reconsider the use of chicken shit as a weapon in light of the 27.5% death rate in China’s current outbreak of bird flu? A flu transmitted to China’s citizens from China’s chickens?
I wonder how Fraser Health’s local Health Protection Office and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency will view Abbotsford’s deployment of their chicken shit weapon?
Of more concern is the consequences of the city ignoring the fact that this noxious material was spread across [on] a major thoroughfare used by the homeless. As a consequence this material has been being tracked throughout Abbotsford since it was spread.
Given the ethical bankruptcy of this action and the callous disregard of negative health consequences the bylaw officers, bylaw manager and city manager have achieved a level of incompetence that demands their replacement.
With the need for a by-election to fill Simon Gibson’s council spot, it will not cost any more to replace the members of council responsible for this twisted action.
You ignore reality and keep acting without though for a long enough period of time and simple mathematical probabilities mean it is only a matter of time until you do something truly asinine.