TELECOM Digest Editor noted in response to Monty Solomon:
> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: This could be retitled 'Our Crumbling
> Infrastructure', and it is an excellent example of how things which
> were built in our nation's past no longer can be maintained without a
> lot of expense (which we do not have) and hassle.
I don't agree with the above summary.
I would call it "stupid homeless public policy".
The subway system of any city is no place for homeless people to be
in. Many people have been killed due to exposure to the elements, hit
by train, contact with high power supplies, or other accidents.
Many fires have been set, causing tremendous property damage and
inconvenience and health risk to thousands of working people.
The problem is that social activists (or "zealots" or "troublemakers"
have filed and won lawsuits that (1) allow mentally challenged people
to live and die on the streets instead of being protected in an
institution and (2) force transportation carriers to allow such people
to remain in the infrastructure.
In recent years, rules have been tightened, which has improved things.
But as shown here (and in other cities), it remains a problem.
There was one lawsuit filed by the "advocates" where they sought to
close a state facility. The families of the residents did not agree;
they recognized the care requirements were tough and there was no
other alternative (in contrast to the claims of the "advocates").
The lifespan of someone living on the streets is only a few years.
I'm not sure the family members are terribly hurt by this, but there's
nothing the family can do, thanks to the "advocates".
Today we have a number of mental institutions standing abandoned.
They should be rehabilitated and reopened, and those who are ill
placed there for their own protection as well as the protection of
[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: I have to agree in large part with Lisa
on this. While it is true -- I agree to a large extent with the
'advocates' on this -- that mental institutions have been used in the
past as places of punishment, even here in the USA, for people who are
a bit 'different', nothing more or less, still, there *are* people who
are better off in such places.
In 1851, when much of the northwest side of the City of Chicago was
rural farmland, one farmer, Mr. Harold Dunning, granted 500 acres of
his land to Cook County to build an asylum, to care for and protect
persons who were, in the parlance of the day, 'crazy' or 'insane'
people. Mr. Dunning's wife was 'that way'; he loved her and wanted to
protect her from the world. Thus, the 'Dunning Insane Asylum' came
into being. Located on the northwest corner of Irving Park Road and
Oak Park Avenue, the place mushroomed into a complex of over a hundred
buildings by about 1890. Sometime around 1900, society began to feel
that 'insane asylum' was a generally deregatory phrase, and the
complex had a name change to Chicago State Hospital, a name it held
until about 1975. Throughout the USA, most of the 'insane asylums' had
their names changed to 'state hospitals' about the same 1900-1910 time
frame. Most of them were as overcrowded as jails and prisons are
The 'advocates' that Lisa decries, were hard at work for the first
half of the 20th century clearing out those places of people who
*really* did not belong there. One memorable case at Chicago State was
an 85 year old lady who had been institutionalized at Chicago State
for *over sixty years* since she could not speak English and no one on
the staff knew what kind of language she was speaking. Her 'crime' was
that as a young lady in her 20's she had been at a tavern, had too
much to drink, and got rowdy when she was ejected from the
bar. Speaking a strange language, police assumed she was
'hallucinating' and 'speaking in tongues'. Off to the asylum she was
taken. Finally, 60 years later, a high school student doing volunteer
work at Chicago State (I guess you would call him a teenage
'advocate') stopped what he as doing and _listened to her_ and
understood her language. (He and his parents had come from that
country.) A couple days later she was dismissed, after several staff
members **who had not even been born** when Chicago Police had brought
her to the asylum for 'hallucinating and speaking in tongues' got out
the very old dusty records from Dunning Asylum and read them
completely. She was one of the lucky ones; less fortunate inmates from
a time when little was known or understood about mental illness stayed
there for years and years, and when they died there, they were buried
in the pauper cemetery on the grounds of Chicago State/Dunning Asylum.
Lisa, the 'advocates' were not all bad people with agendas contrary to
the best interests of society. Most of them meant well. Until 1961,
when Illinois became the first state in the USA to completely decodify
consensual sexual activity between adults (and even for a few years
after that, until the court forced police to stop the practice), persons
who were percieved to be or in fact were homosexual in Chicago were taken
off to the asylum, and kept there until such time as they were found
to be 'permanently and fully recovered' from their 'illness', i.e.
homosexuality. Things were just a lot different in those days. Granted,
the 'advocates' overreacted a lot, and granted there have been many
very good advances in our understanding and treatment of mental illness
than in the past. But the 'advocates' did not intend that people who
were 'that way' should choose many times to be homeless or refuse to
take their medications. That was just an unfortunate side effect. Yeah
I know, the 'advocates' should have probably tried harder.
Today, the remains of the Chicago State Hospital consist of *one*
building, at 4200 North Oak Park Avenue; the Dunning Mental Health
Center, which is a locked ward for people who really, seriously need
protection, and/or to have society protected from them; people who,
even the 'advocates' agree *must* live in isolated, secure homes. Cook
County sold off the 500 acres on the other side of Oak Park Avenue to
developers who built a shopping center, Dunning Mall. In the process
of developing Dunning Mall a few years ago, work had to be suspended
for about a month when workmen digging for a parking lot uncovered
several dozen unmarked graves. After checking their records, Cook
County found that 130 years ago, it had been a pauper cemetery as part
of the Dunning Insane Asylum. The entire area was dug up, all the
bodies buried there were re-interred somewhere else and the developers
were permitted to get on with their work building the new shopping
mall. Lisa, I agree with you that the 'advocates' were/are sometimes
fuzzy-minded liberals who are not very realistic. But it is not fair
to blame *them* because some people prefer to be homeless or refuse
to take medication prescribed for them. PAT]
Date: 25 Jan 2005 12:52:16 -0800
Subject: Re: Norvergence W-2
X-Telecom-Digest: Volume 24, Issue 36, Message 5 of 16
> What do we do if we haven't received our W-2's from Norvergence?
Further, it is critical that you save your paycheck stubs showing your
deductions (all workers should do this, not just those of a troubled
You may need such stubs to document that federal, state, and social
security taxes were withheld from your pay.
You need to hold these for a long time because down the road Social
Security may not have your earnings record and that would reduce your
[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Lisa, are you one of those people still
laboring under the delusion that Social Security is still going to be
around and financially healthy when these younger guys start retiring
in 2050 and 2060? Bush, in a rare moment of honesty, has already
started breaking the news to us: Make your own plans for the future.