Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Individual Freedom in a Democratic Society

In a democratic society, the individual is allowed to naturally exist, to seek employment, collect food and seek education without restrictions that contradict Human Rights standards.

Worker’s Liberty to be free of cultural domination by an employer...

In a democratic society, the individual is free to live voluntarily without a government. See the "Mountain Man" of North America [link] and the "Freegan" [freegan.info].
Currently, as the following article shows, it is forbidden to be without a Federal social-security card, without which you are forbidden to gain lawful employment, participate in social programs, receive aid, conduct personal motorized transportation, or receive accredited education.
"Vallejo man trying to discover his past, Says he can't recall where he's from, authorities can't help"
2013-12-22 by Irma Widjojo from "Vallejo Times-Herald" [http://www.timesheraldonline.com/news/ci_24776039/vallejo-man-trying-find-his-past]:
Vincent Bordeaux, 51, said he doesn't remember anything, or very little, of his past life. He is desperate to find his birth certificate to get a Social Security card so he can get a job. Vincent associates with plates at the Christian Help Center thrift shop where he volunteers because he has a memory from his past about plates. (Chris Riley/Times-Herald)

He says his name is Vincent Bordeaux. He says he's 51.
Problem is, he has no proof of either claim.
Bordeaux, or whoever he is, has been volunteering and living at the Christian Help Center, Vallejo's only homeless shelter, since May, 2011. Anything before that, he says, is all a blur.
Now, without a Social Security number or identity card, Bordeaux said he's "living in a no man's zone."
Without a Social Security number, Bordeaux is unable to get a proper job. He said he's been to the Social Security office five times, only to be told each time that he needs a copy of his birth certificate to apply for the card.
The only issue is he says he doesn't remember where he was born, and Internet searches have not been successful.
"His name might not even be Vincent Bordeaux," said Jeff Podemski, Christian Help Center's assistant director.
However, Bordeaux insists that the name is in fact his.
"I remember my uncle saying 'Vincent Bordeaux, you get out!'" he said in an interview.
Despite all the uncertainties, Podemski is sure of one thing.
"I really believe that he's telling the truth," Podemski said. "I don't think he's making it up.
"I don't think it's a hoax."
A bespectacled man who speaks with a Southern twang, Bordeaux said he remembers that he has been chronically homeless since 2001 in New Jersey, and has had no form of identification for a long time.
However, even though he says he doesn't remember a lot of things from his past, Bordeaux does remember a lot of dates, especially pertaining to family members' births and deaths; brand names typically from the East Coast; and various things about his passion: vintage Chevrolets.
He said his parents died when he was very young, and his uncle by marriage was the one who raised him, until he moved out in the early 1980s in North Carolina. But he said he does not remember specific addresses.
"I go online to look at the streets in North Carolina to jog my memory," Bordeaux said.
He said he came to California in 2011 on a promise of a job in San Francisco. He was given bus fare to Vallejo, where he met a man who offered him a place to stay at his apartment on Sutter Street.
"He was a nice man," Bordeaux said ruefully.
In his memory, that first decision in this city was the beginning of his past-less existence.
At the apartment, Bordeaux recalls being offered a cup of coffee. And that was the last moment he remembers until five days later when he woke up under the State Route 37 overpass, he said.
Though he said he was not physically injured, he woke up confused and not remembering most of his past.
"I should have just poured the coffee down the toilet," Bordeaux said.
After wandering Vallejo's streets for three days, someone in the downtown area referred him to the Christian Help Center.
However, because of his bizarre story, he was reported to and taken by police, but was never arrested or processed for any crime, he said. Vallejo police confirmed that there have been no criminal charges against anyone with his name by the department for the past few years.
Bordeaux said he was fingerprinted twice but police couldn't find a match in the department's system.
Since then, he's been volunteering as the center's thrift store night security guard, as well as the male's transitional home manager.
Podemski said Bordeaux has been helpful at the center.
"He's very honest ... he's very diligent and detail oriented," Podemski said.
Podemski said Bordeaux has not been able to consult with a therapist or specialist because of a lack of health care coverage. But he's witnessed Bordeaux's determination to discover his past.
"He's been trying very hard to get his Social Security (number); he wants to get out," Podemski said.
Although strange, Bordeaux's story is apparently not unheard of.
Todd Matthews of the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System, or NamUs, said he hears of similar cases two to three times a year.
NamUs operates under the U.S. Department of Justice.
"They are not extremely common, but it happens," Matthews said.
The organization will work with individuals trying to find their identities, through DNA matches or fingerprints, he said. A person's DNA can be matched from the system's database.
However, the case will have to be verified, usually via local enforcement, Matthews said. Since no crime has taken place in Bordeaux's case, it could slow things a little, but Matthew said the organization is willing to consult with him to discuss his next steps.
There have been a few similar cases in the U.S. reported in the media, and not all have happy endings, Matthews added. The story of Benjaman Kyle, a man found in Georgia in 2004, was widely publicized, yet the man remains unidentified.
In the meantime, Bordeaux said he's going to keep searching for possible family members to get hold of his birth certificate.
"I want to get a legitimate job like everyone else," Bordeaux said. "It's frustrating, I'm at my wit's end. (The officials) don't have a clue what it feels like not having a Social Security card."
Bordeaux says he has no tattoos nor piercings, and has always worn a watch on his left wrist. He's about 5-foot, 5 1/2-inches tall, and weighs 160 pounds.
He also has a part in a movie "The Changing Season" by The Lord's Fellowship Assembly of God, which will be screened at the Empress Theatre at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., today.
For the past two years, the Christian Help Center has been Bordeaux's family. Even though he said he's happy and will miss everyone if he discovers his past, Bordeaux cannot wait to find out about himself.
"I just want it all get cleared up," he said.
Those who might recognize Bordeaux, can contact him at the center at (707) 553-8192.

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