Compassion

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Compassion is a beautiful thing.

Just as humans are naturally self-interested, we are also (no matter what those who hate all humans say) capable of great compassion.  In those terms, btw, Americans are probably the most generous people in the world.  Not just in terms of the money that flows in to any victims of disasters, but if you have any minor contretemps in public, people rush in to help.

I remember a very minor thing: the kids had Irish caps for the winter, growing up.  Mostly because I had one, and they liked it, and it was the only way to keep it safe.  Robert “lost” his one day at the grocery store (turned out he hadn’t. He’d “lost” it in our car. But never mind.)  Before we left there, the clerks had bought him a cap to console him, and given him pennies for the horsey ride.  (He was like… 3.)  Just because this little kid was crying inconsolably.  (But not loudly, mind.)

When Dan was briefly unemployed about 20 years ago, neighbors kept dropping big cardboard boxes of canned and boxed food on our front porch, like once a month. We don’t know who. It just happened, because the kids had told someone at the school.  (It was welcome, though at the time our money worries weren’t food-related. We still had the larder of the apocalypse.  But just knowing people cared helped. It also amused me, because in our small hippie-dippy mountain town, half of what we got was gourmet/organic.)

We, ourselves, send out money/help to people we know about once a month (not the last year, because for various reasons we’ve been so tight, we squeak.  This too shall pass. But we normally do that en lieu of say a vacation once a year.)  It’s no hardship.  We know it will come around.  And besides it feels good to help people. I think humans are wired that way.  You get a little mood-boost.

Note all these cases are individuals helping individuals.

In fact, in all but cases of disaster or famine (and notice those haven’t really happened anywhere in the world in the last 10 years or so) we help individuals. Which means it’s not deductible, but we also know exactly where our money is going.  And if we make a mistake and help those who don’t benefit by it, we regroup and move on.

These days I’m not even sure about big, organized charities.  I used to give reflexively to the Red Cross because they helped US back in Portugal when we were in need.  But the things I’ve heard recently… yeah, no.

So, what is this in the name of: homeless.

Oleg Volk, probably the best photographer working today (and the only one who makes me look good. I have a face that looks like a cross between a pumpkin and a potato in most photographs.  You know how the camera adds ten pounds? imagine me strapped with cameras all over.) visited the Denver area and was shocked at all the AGGRESSIVE homeless.

I confess we hadn’t noticed.  We rarely go downtown and when we do it’s usually for specific events/things where we park and take short routes to the museum/restaurant/whatever.

Also, honestly, we saw this happen in Colorado Springs while we lived close to downtown, and also I grew up in a large Atlantic port city, which means “being pursued on the street by a crazy man calling you names” was so “normal” for a young woman as to make it into song lyrics as an example of an annoying thing.  I carry a knife.  I don’t behave like a victim. My eye edits out homeless.

Yes I know, I’m an evil nasty person.  Which was the conclusion someone had on a thread on Facebook, when I said we don’t have a lack of affordable housing, we have a lack of mental health services authorized to commit those who won’t stay on treatment and are dangerous to themselves and others.

In fact, this seems to be the general leftist view, now that homeless exist again — of course they didn’t, under Obama. All those homeless populations were just illusions of your lying, capitalist eyes — that if you’re not willing to throw a lot of money at the problem, then you’re evil, heartless and “authoritarian.” (That last one is a complete confusion.)

Before you jump on me on the “price of housing” yes, I know it’s a problem in many places in the country, mostly deep blue areas.  (And Denver is one of those.)

Most millennials I know did some time “homeless” and many of them what I’d call “real homeless.”

But the post I was commenting on, referred to what I call “deep homeless.”  Chronic homelessness, with aggressive behavior towards businesses and passersby.

There are roughly three categories of “homeless.”  They are conflated by the government for the purpose of getting more tax money to throw at it, but they are really QUITE different, and the solutions to them are not only not uniform, but “throw money at it” hurts the “deep homeless.”

The first level of homeless I doubt there’s anyone who hasn’t hit it at some point.  We did 26 years ago when we moved to Colorado.  We returned the keys to our rental in South Carolina. Had all our belongings transported and stored in Denver. Stayed in a hotel in Colorado Springs (the old Drury Inn) for two weeks, while we tried to find a place to rent.  It wasn’t easy because everyone in MCI had just moved from DC to the Springs and there was a shortage of housing units.  (Which is how we ended up downtown at the corner of Cache la Poudre and Weber, in a student apartment.  And loved it.)

We were “homeless.”  Our mail went to “general mail” at the downtown zipcode, and we had to ask for it.  And, stuck in a hotel room with a toddler, I was pulling my hair out in great handfuls.  Particularly when the kid got sick.

Did we need help?  Well, no.  We needed time (since Dan started his job immediately) which we didn’t really have, to look for a place to rent.  We were tight has hell.  A lot of the stuff in the refinishing mysteries, about having to live on pancakes was from there.  But we weren’t homeless-homeless.  We were just between homes, and tight, which is not unusual for a young couple who just had a difficult (emergency Cesarean) delivery while on COBRA.

Then there’s the second category of homeless, those that could probably benefit from a little help: some money to stay in a hotel, maybe. Some help finding work. Maybe a few meals.

These are the people used to portray homeless in every book and movie and tv show, btw.  People who are basically decent, middle class, temporarily embarrassed.

As I said almost every millennial I know has done time like this.  Usually a lost job, and a move to try to find work lands them in this.  Some were homeless for six months to a year.

And then there are places like California, or NYC where the building restrictions and regulations make it impossible to find housing that anyone making less than six figures can afford, even with roommates.  I hear of medical residents hot-bunking with six people in a 300sq foot apartment.  And a friend brought up silicon valley.  I know I have a couple of friends there, making good money and living in their cars and showering at the Y.  I know this because when I offer signed books they explain they just want ebooks, because space.

Do those people need help?  Hell yeah.  In the case of CA and NYC they need thorazine applied to their “elected” (SO MUCH FRAUD.) officials until they get over their “green” and elitist obsessions.  I’m honestly surprised there aren’t people with yellow vests on the streets.

The others, in other parts of the country?  They might need help finding jobs/making accommodations with student loans.  They might need nearby friends who can invite them to dinner. Government is not the solution. Throwing money at homelessness is not the solution.  Mostly because you get more of what you pay for, and trying to help the people in this category will GROW (massively) the number of people in deep homelessness in your city.  Because they are people very adept at exploiting charity and benevolence and they’ll move where there’s more “benefits.”  The big problem with downtown in the Springs was a combination of the Marian House giving “no questions asked” generous help and the city laws going very lax on homelessness.  To the point of giving them places to shoot up in the city park.

The problem is that no government is equipped to distinguish between “homeless for six months to a year while they find their feet” and “deep homeless.”

The “deep homeless.”  This falls under “dirty and menacing, and chronic.”

The problem there is not that we aren’t throwing money at it, but that we make it WAY too easy to live like that.

It has turned our downtowns into places that normal human beings avoid (no amount of cheery banners on light poles or festivals makes up for having someone who is high as a kite rush at you saying they’re going to kill you.) It has — at least in the Springs it did — destroyed small businesses. Downtowns are becoming just restaurants, only at night, and even then they need some kind of security at the door. It has turned libraries into homeless shelters, to the point legitimate patrons are afraid to go in, and more importantly to take their children in.

And when people who don’t like being menaced and threatened move to suburbs, we get called heartless and “racists.”  (For the record, 90% of the homeless I see are white. As much as you can tell what they are.)

Again, the problem is that we give these people TOO MUCH.  I saw the problem grow in the downtown are in Colorado Springs, and to the extent that I did all my business there on foot, I HEARD their conversations.

These people don’t want to clean up. They don’t want jobs. Most of them have mental health or addiction problems. I heard young people (though they didn’t look it, because meth is a hell of a drug) talk about how they could go home but the parents would require them to go clean and they wanted to be “free.”  And they were.  Free to get free meals everywhere, free to shoot up on the streets. Free to wander into local businesses being menacing and evil.

The problem is that most middle class people — particularly those not coming in contact with these people — and just about all do-gooders in government look at that last sentence and see the homeless as the victims, and the businesses as “fat cats” who should “be afflicted” because they’re “comfortable.”

Most of the businesses who get in trouble with this are small businesses: cafes, restaurants, used bookstores.  They can’t afford to have a burly person with great people skills at the door to turn away the invaders who come in and scare away their customers.  Most of the owners aren’t rich. They’re barely making it. Add this stress and fewer customers… and they go under. And become people in distress themselves.

The deep homeless? They don’t care. If one place turns harsh, they bus to the next place where the pickings are good.  And the more services you offer to “help” the homeless the more this category of people will descend on your city and kill business and make it unsafe for tax payers.

Note, I’m not …. uncaring.  These people are in legitimate distress.  It’s a distress they’re not even aware of.  Most of them are mentally ill and addicted, and those who weren’t when they “dropped out” of society to live “free” have since become so.  Why? Because they have no structure to their days.  Nothing is required of them.  The left treats them as pets who are given leftovers and asked for nothing in return.

This is not good for humans. Humans need some kind of social structure. They need to be required to do something for their keep, even if it’s just “take a shower and don’t menace people.”  Though “Stop doing drugs” also helps.

The problem is that for people to change at that level requires motivation.  We have amazing psychiatric drugs, but they require people to take them regularly which — duh — mentally ill people are NOT good at.

What is the solution?  I am deeply, deeply suspicious of involuntary commitment, mostly because it was used in so many “socialist” (aka communist) countries to confine anyone who opposed the regime. (If you don’t like our lovely utopia, you’re mentally ill, comrade.)

That said, there must be a point at which “unsafe to self and others” kicks in.

There is no point giving the deep homeless money or housing. They’ll end up where they were in days or weeks, and leave a trashed place in their wake.  They are often covalent to what I call “the permanent semi-criminal population” i.e. assault, theft, that sort of thing are kind of in the spectrum.

And they won’t get better just by having money and benes thrown at them. In fact, being treated like pets turns them into a sort of animal, undisciplined, demanding and completely remorseless.

Feral humans are like that.

Also as some of the newer “designer” drugs hit, these populations are often outright dangerous to random strangers.

So… what is the solution?  Well, for one I think that we need serious vagrancy laws.  And then we need private people to weigh in and find the difference between the two kinds of homeless and help those who can be helped.

Rehabilitation? Mental health help?

They have to WANT it. And the only way to want make them want it is to make their current way of life UNCOMFORTABLE.

Contrary to what people abroad think, our homeless are not a symptom of the failure of capitalism, but of its success.  Even in a harsh climate like Colorado, there is enough free shelter, enough free meals to keep people going without their doing anything to deserve it.

But the flip side of that, because there really ain’t any such thing as a free lunch is that those people are making the whole economy less healthy and life in general less pleasant in the affected areas.

And throwing more of the region’s wealth at them will only attract more of them.

It’s time to try civilization. It’s time to try treating them as human beings who can exert some measure of self-control or be hospitalized until they can.

Because the alternative is to let the aggressive and addicted destroy the rest of society.

 

 

 

 

 

 

264 responses to “Compassion

  1. I feel sorry for folks suffering hyper-compassion; that is worse than no compassion.

  2. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    Years ago, there was a Made-For-TV movie about a “homeless family”.

    The major problem was that after the Father lost his job and his house, a close relative of his offered a place for them to live but the idiot turned him down. The idiot preferred to have his family live on the streets rather than “accept help” from the relative.

    Moron. 😡

    Of course, this (at that time) was how Liberals wanted us to see the homeless problem. IE Regular people “down on their luck”.

    The makers didn’t even see the stupidity of a man “turning down help” while expecting the viewers to “have compassion” for him and his family.

    And we had the idiot’s wife who “stayed on the street along with her children” with her moron of a husband. 😡

    • I have to think those poor kids would have a good case for child abuse against their idiot parents. I do think homelessness is mostly a result of mental illness, but I’ll admit that the idea of it being caused by a stupidity so severe it might as well be mental illness hadn’t really occurred to me.

      I also wonder if the movie makers were expecting the viewers to want to fund a government program to help this poor family, because obviously the guy who wouldn’t accept help from relatives would be glad to get it from bureaucrats. Of course, that trope goes back at least to Steinbeck: the Joad family was too proud to “take charity,” but living in government subsidized housing, well, that was just dandy.

      • “stupidity so severe it might as well be mental illness ” pretty much describes every made-for-tv movie about any social issue that I have ever managed see even 15 minutes of.

        Can anyone think of any exceptions? Just curious.

    • That does rather depend on the relative. Should I have a terrible downturn, I would accept help from almost anyone in the family. There is at least one exception, however. You might think me a fool for that, but at least I would not be a damn fool with that [REDACTED].

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        I understand not wanting to live with “That Relative” but IIRC nothing in that movie said that he had Good Reasons to not accept that help.

        Note, I hated having to return to my parents home to live after I lost jobs but it was better than “living on the street”.

    • It still how they see the homeless problem.

  3. In fact, in all but cases of disaster or famine (and notice those haven’t really happened anywhere in the world in the last 10 years or so)…

    Government manufactured famine IS … such as Venezuela and North Korea.

    There have been a number of disasters this year. The people of Fayetteville and along the Lumber River in North Carolina dealt with record floods after the rains this year. Paradise California went up in smoke. The news outlets haven’t dwelt on the stories quite as they have in the past. Probably too busy complaining about President Trump.

    • I seem to recall a number of weather related disasters having occurred across the globe, perhaps more than 10 years ago, but I think more recently. When one of those happens on or near a coast the US always sends a carrier strike group for which we generally get ridiculed by ignorant leftists. Can’t seem to locate the article, but there is a beautiful response to that attitude out there somewhere from a naval officer. He mentions a shopping list of resources that those floating cities can and will supply freely to anyone in need of aid from such disasters. Our carriers can provide food, fresh water, medical supplies and treatment, air transport, electrical power, and personnel trained to deal with crisis situations. At this point snarky leftists usually slink away.

      • Sorry, I wasn’t clear. My not in the last ten years referred to famines. Beyond the systemic famine of communist countries, of course.

        • The systemic famines of communist countries are progress. They represent the eventual end result of communist policies, proven effective every time tried!

        • Not just communist countries. I forget the actual time period, but for the past few decades I think all of the famines that have occurred in the world have been due to governments, not natural causes. Mostly by governments either refusing outside food aid for their own political reasons, or from government bureaucrats stealing the aid for personal gain.

          • Malthus was a fool, he failed to consider the exponential advances we’ve made in the technology of food production or the truth that as conditions improve and a population becomes more wealthy they self correct their birth rates.
            Certainly in the period since WWII there has never been a time when the Earth’s food supply was insufficient to feed everyone. Famines both natural and politically induced will always occur, but the people will always have the compassion to contribute to the hungry. Where people have starved it’s always been a matter of transportation of the food from those donating to those in need, and in most cases that has been due to evil greedy folks acting for some motivation counter to the good of those needful.

            • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

              I remember hearing that Malthus’s original article did contain “ways that this won’t happen”.

              On the other hand, his so-called followers ignored those comments.

            • The Dirty Little Secret is that people can’t afford larger families. The capital investment to raise a child to maturity has gone through the roof in the last 150 years. In 1869, a child could be put into the workforce at 13 – a 7th grade education was enough to make his way in the world. In 1944, 18 was old enough – a high school education was adequate for adult life. Today? Not so much. You need post-HS education or vocational training. I could make a very good case to raise the voting age back to 21, purely on the grounds that nobody under that is truly independent.

              • Only if you start by accepting all the premises of the public school system.

                While we are at it let’s accept all of Communism’s premises while defending Capitalism. Oh wait, that’s what most Conservatives do….

              • William H. Stoddard

                I think that you can still make your way in the world with an eighth grade education. You just can’t count on getting one, not even with four years of college.

                • We might have a thread-winner here. 🙂 And I agree with you. The regional JuCos* offer at least half of their classes as remedial. Because the public schools are so abysmal. And now are trying to hire their own graduates (“grow their own.”) Shudder.

                  • *JuCo = community or junior college, two year institutions.

                  • Because of the fact that I took something called “Media Production” (which involved lots of study and writing and counted as an English credit) in my Senior year of high school instead of something that SAID “English” in the course title I got shoved into a semester of “Freshman Composition,” which was their version of Bonehead English with lots of essay writing. I wondered how most of my classmates had managed to get out of Junior High, never mind High School. That was in the fall of 197. From many that I’ve met and read about since then, I very much fear that things have not improved.

                    • No, things have not gotten better, at least in state funded schools (private schools can usually maintain higher standards). There are a lot of reasons, many of them political, but there is also one I don’t see discussed much.

                      The pernicious doctrine that ‘Learning should be fun!’.

                      *spit*

                      Now, quite often HAVING learned is fun. It broadens one’s reach and strengthens one’s grasp. But actually learning, especially the basics? That’s often tiresome and annoying. And because generations of Ed majors have been indoctrinated into ‘learning should be fun!’ (as well as lots of other drivel) we have had generations of teachers who wanted to take shortcuts.

                      At base, that’s what see-say (or ‘whole language instruction’ or whatever he latest rebranding is) is about. You drill children on a minimum number of word-symbols, don’t get into the difficult stuff of phonics, and BANG! they’re reading, the FUN part! Except they are reading English as an ideographic language instead of an alphabetical one. Which means that as soon as they run out of things they can read with the vocabulary they have, progress slows like a fly stuck in treacle.

                      One of my favorite Kipling stories is ‘Regulus’, from THE COMPLETE STALKY AND CO (or A DIVERSITY OF CREATURES). It shows King, one of the use masters, generally an unpleasant and ill tempered man, and an enemy of The Three, and illustrates why The Head tolerates him; he is an absolute gem of a Classics (latin) Master, able to hammer a little of the glory of the Latin language into his resentful students so that Kipling would later say he was indebted to the original of King and after a time came to love Horace for the rest of his life.

                      We need more teachers like King and a hell of a lot fewer like Miss Snowflake who cannot deal with boys fidgeting and so drugs them….and who thinks learning should be FUN instead of learning should be accomplished.

                    • I have written about “learning should be fun”. I’ll write about it again. It’s a ridiculous (or as my younger son used to pronounce it Reedonkulous) lie that was propagated by incompetent teachers. And it needs to DIE.

                    • I found that the key to my academic success was to learn to enjoy doing what was necessary. Yes, I learned to trick myself into finding learning fun.


                      It’s still work, but whistling* does help make it less tedious.

                      *Or so I’m advised; having never learned to whistle more than a single off-key note I am unable to personally testify to the psychological benefits of the practice except as metaphive.

                    • Once upon a time such teachers were heroes.


                      Charles W. Kingsfield Jr.: “You come in here with a skull full of mush; you leave thinking like a lawyer.”

                    • Actually, Lady Hoyt, like so many things the Progressive Left has adopted and then run into the ground, it had a point…once.

                      Read Mencken on the subject of what he called the ‘Dirt Pedagogy’ of his day. There was some need to shake things up, if only because human systems, left in place for long enough (say, 3.5 seconds) begin to calcify, and the then model of schooling had calcified significantly.

                      The ‘Learning should be fun!’ idea started closer to ‘learning need not be wholly tiresome’. It was later incorporated into a lot of the experimental schools from the late 19th and early 20th century and the results (as interpreted by Educators rather than Statisticians) looked really, REALLY good.

                      Trouble being, they were self-selecting samples. Parents who sent their kids to an ‘experimental’ school were highly likely to emphasize learning and school progress and therefore the kids did well.

                      The same thing can be said of Home Schooling, BTW. Not that it takes much to do better than the Drone Factories that the Public School System maintains (badly).

                      The obdurate idiocy of holding on to the Open Classroom and Self-Guided Learning ideas long after it had been proven that they didn’t transfer well to schools that took everybody, and teachers who weren’t fired up with experimental zeal….THAT’S all on the Progressive Left as a whole.

                    • I know with languages it doesn’t work at all. The basics MUST be memorized. Now by the second or third year you can have some fun (and should. Songs and poems greatly help, particularly silly ones.) BUT you need the basis.
                      As for homeschooling, in our case it was just really expensive. The one year we did it, with one kid, it cost us 11k. Mostly because he got online courses for the things I couldn’t teach. And books on things that interested him.
                      We’d still have continued it, if he’d wanted, but he found a dual high school/college program, and went thataway.
                      Time investment was mostly answering questions and looking for “I want to learn Greek” courses on line.

                • I agree that the kids aren’t getting properly educated. However, the skill level needed to prosper has gone up considerably. Unskilled labor isn’t enough.

                  • People WILL conflate skills with talent. There are skilled trades where a 2-year paid apprenticeship will get you very nearly into a 6 figure income. On the other hand, a friend’s boyfriend has flunked out of the UBEW (electricians) at least 3 times. He’s not stupid, he’s just dumb. Millwrights make outrageous bank, mostly working on those conveyors in airports (union job, tool and travel, the whole padded nine yards). Cat I knew died under the age of 60 with 2 ‘Vettes, 2 Harleys, and 3 trucks, working only half the year. He was an asshole, and my OGF was no-billed by the grand jury.

                • ^THIS. I had what I considered to be a good education up through eighth grade, and then a better one through high school (which was private). At the very least, I didn’t need a single remedial class, and tested out of more than half of the freshman requirements.

                  Then I read what Dr. Pournelle had learned by the time he got out of eighth grade… Fortunately, ignorance is correctable, with time. (Although I still don’t have a decent grasp of Latin – cannot conjugate a verb for the life of me some thirty-five years later.)

                  • When you feel ignorant just smile (grimly) and consider you are undoubtedly more knowledgeable about our American legacy than most of the nation.

                    Not that this is much of an achievement. Sadly, I do not believe there’s a link to the test itself.

                    Happy President’s Day! Americans Fail Basic Citizenship Test in Every State But One
                    According to a new survey released on the eve of President’s Day by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, only 4 in 10 Americans could pass a basic citizenship exam. The majority of people surveyed failed the test in every state but one — Vermont!

                    [SNIP]

                    Only a third (32 percent) could correctly identify three of the original 13 states from a multiple choice list. Only 56 percent could identify America’s opponents during World War II. Only 29 percent knew that Benjamin Franklin was famous for being a diplomat (37 percent incorrectly said he invented the lightbulb). Only 71 percent could identify Thomas Jefferson as the author of the Declaration of Independence.

                    Although the vast majority of Americans (70 percent) knew the Cold War was fought over communism, 17 percent said the Great Depression caused it, while 6 percent said America fought the Cold War over slavery, which had been abolished nearly 100 years before the beginning of the Cold War.

                    Tragically, most Americans could not say why the colonists fought the British in the American Revolution. A full 42 percent said they fought “because of the financial crisis,” while 11 percent said Americans fought “to help native Indians to get freedom,” 7 percent said they fought “to free African slaves,” and 17 percent frankly admitted they were “unsure.” Only 23 percent rightly identified one cause of the Revolution — “Because the British Army stayed in their houses.”

                    Only 15 percent of Americans in the survey rightly identified the year the U.S. Constitution was written (64 percent said it was written in 1776), and only 25 percent knew how many amendments it has. A quarter (25 percent) did not know that freedom of speech is guaranteed in the First Amendment, and 57 percent did not know that Woodrow Wilson was president during World War I.

                    [SNIP]

                    • Well, depending on how it was phrased, I might have answered the Cold War question as those in the six percent. We weren’t going to be slaves, no way, no how. (The attitude of the majority at that time. Now, I’m not so sure.)

                    • About twice a day? Better some days. Even with this nasty cold, I remembered 27.

                      Don’t ask me which is which, though. Except for the “big change” ones, of course.

                    • What you’re looking at isn’t a bunch of dumb Americans, you’re looking at the near-total failure of the State daycare/educational system. Which is so universal, and so bad, I refuse to believe it’s simply by accident…

                  • I was calculating yesterday that it has been 24/25 years since I began Latin instruction. Only two years of it, and I took it mostly because I wanted to learn the history and mythology for the D&D games my brothers and uncles and I were playing. I still remember the “O, s, t, mus, tis, oont” sing-song my teacher taught us for the first set of verb conjugations, but not really any of the others.

              • It isn’t that children–or adults– lack the education levels of yesteryear, although that’s part of it. And it isn’t that tech has advanced so far that people need lots of schooling to do a job. It’s that there are so many regulations and laws and such put into place to keep people from working a job. You don’t see any 12-14 year olds with lawnmowing jobs, lemonade stands, or paper routes anymore. They’re not allowed to. When I was teenager, my hometown had just passed an ordinance “encouraging” businesses not to hire sixteen year olds, unless they were still in school. Ostensibly to discourage kids from dropping out before completing high school, but all it really did was keep the dropouts from being able to get jobs.

                Every regulation that keeps people from being able to trade hairdressing for childcare, or that requires so many hours of licensing and training before operating either type of business, keeps people from being able to make a living. Every minimum wage increase or requirement for health insurance and other benefits that raises the costs of services, raises the cost of living. Couples would be able to afford the cost of daycare if they didn’t have to pay for the salary and health benefits of a minimum required number of workers at a daycare. Which requirements are also the reason why a daycare can’t hire teen-agers to assist and get some work hours in, either.

                Although, education has absolutely gone downhill. Agreed. That does not mean people aren’t prepared for life by a high school education. If you don’t know how to figure things out for yourself by then, you never will.

                And also, I was fully independent well below the age of 21, thank you. In fact, I turned 21 about two weeks after 9/11, while living in a foreign country and earning a salary that allowed me to live in an off-base apartment and buy a car.

                • THIS THIS THIS THIS THIS THIS.

                • If you don’t know how to figure things out for yourself by then, you never will.

                  I do believe that in most public education settings by the time you have reached High School you will have been well trained to avoid figuring things out for yourself.  Independent and original thought is discouraged, as it might lead to the spread of bad think.  As for learning, it is only the Odd that gets that far and still retains a sense of curiosity and a desire for knowledge beyond that necessary to punch their qualifications card and go. 

                • Granted, the Federal government is a humongous creator of restrictive regulations. However, the States and local governments are just as bad. And one of the worst things about local governments is far too many of the regulations enacted are done so to either screw over someone, or to unfairly favor someone. Those are the cases where I’d fully endorse bringing back legal dueling.

          • Forget the past few decades. That’s how it’s been for the entire twentieth century.

          • Meh, name one not in a leftoid area. They all lean far left or kleptocratic with a gov’t that doles our stuff to the populace, after confiscating it from them,

          • I seem to recall a historian who put forth the proposition that since the late 18th century there had been NO famines that were not the consequence of government meddling. Often well meaning meddling, as in the case of at least one famine in India caused by a native panic reaction to the government beginning to stockpile supplies in anticipation of a mediocre harvest.

        • Numbers, with a Handy Chart:

          https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2013/05/13/famine-mortality

          Note that the European chunk is mostly the Holodomor, and the East Asian chunk is mostly the Great Leap Backwards. I sense a theme…

      • Personally, I think that’s an awesome use for a carrier strike group. It’s like mother nature giving a free training exercise to the US Navy/Marines, and it helps a snoz-load of people. Leftists don’t like it because they don’t like funding military anything, and they REALLY don’t like that the military gets some good publicity out of the deal.

      • Leftists, ignorant or otherwise, don’t like the military and like to argue that they are not good for anything other than to kill people and break things. I suspect it particularly irks them when they are pushed into a corner where they might have to admit that not only does the military do something other than that, but that they do it very well.

        • You need a military that’s good at killing people and breaking things first. That they also have people good at building things, healing people, and getting rid of bad guys (even if it’s a couple of their own bad apples) is a bonus.

          • scott2harrison

            Part of the “Killing people and breaking things” is the ability to more large volumes of supplies from where they are stockpiled to where they are needed quickly and where they are needed tends to be very hard to get to. This is a VERY useful ability for disaster relief. After all, combat ops can be looked at as one particular type of disaster.

            • Good logistics is the most essential component of fighting a successful war It is impossible to fight one successfully without accounting for how to get things to those who are fighting and to keep supplies moving/. This skill-set naturally is useful for non-war purposes as well.

              • Logistics was a prime motivator for the Roman road building fixation. And a need to move large numbers of soldiers great distances without them needing to forage for food during Napoleon’s day led to the development of food preservation through canning.
                In a somewhat related manner great strides in the medical treatment of severe trauma have been made out of just about every major war in the last two centuries.

              • Doggone it. Now I have to go through Sun Tsu’s stuff and see if I can find the part about logistics. You’d think after I’d worked in the field for two decades that I’d have all that memorized by now.

              • I have heard that fighting a natural disaster is essentially the same as war – except that you aren’t being shot at (nearly as much).

                • There’s a couple of ways in which the skills we as military folks have translate directly. Specifically, I am thinking of damage assessment. One of the key components in a “re-bombing recommendation” is “How soon would they be able to get *facility* back into service?” Very hand skill to have when doing disaster damage recovery, too.

                  And just coincidentally, one that is a subcomponent specialty of my rate. Not one I have, mind. But one I could get. As is another, linked subspecialty that is useful: imagery interpretation.

                  In fact, I distinctly recall, during the tsunami relief efforts seven or eight years ago, a great deal of tasking the Global Hawk UAV to get disaster reports and imagery for the teams running the relief efforts.

                  • I would say that things like obstacle clearing (a chunk of concrete in the road from an earthquake is just as much in the way as an intentional vehicle barrier).

                    Oh, definitely, recon both aerial and ground. SF insertion teams with attached medics. Recovery teams for downed pilots. All with extremely valuable skills for dealing with natural disaster.

                    Or quickly setting up rough but perfectly usable landing pads / airstrips (the only people other than the military that might have the equipment, materials, and people for that tasking are the big oil companies).

        • I’ve said more than once that the two main purposes of military discipline are to get people/things where they need to be, when they need to be there, and conditioned to obey a command of cease fire while hyped on death and adrenaline.

        • Unfortunately, about the time you finish explaining to them what the military can do in a disaster, they decide that they know better than the military what the best resources to send are. Which is how we ended up sending the Comfort to Puerto Rico instead of several Army medical companies that could be air-lifted to sites scattered around the island (which would have been better for getting medical services to the people there and, coincidentally, also fit the funding model for disaster management better).

      • Yeah. Lefties forget that one of the things the Military does is rescue and aid operations for areas hit by natural disasters. They like to forget. It gets in the way of imagining that soldiers are nothing but monstrous baby killers that are also easily manipulated and used peons.

      • Article, hell, I was in the carrier group that responded to the Christmas Tsunami.

        After we finished being a helo ER group that also provided food and clean water, we also provided economic relief with a port visit. (and they actually organized those via “we need to hit all the places that can handle our influx.” Hey, after 8 months, NOBODY would complain about a shore leave as long as there were humans and land.)

    • I meant the famines. Obviously disasters happen.

      • No problem. But your lack of clarity did allow the point that certain forms of government don’t really help the people.

        That reminds me I need to read Comrade Don Camillo again. 😉

  4. this seems to be the general leftist view

    Leftism seeks out “flaws” in society the way leukocytes seek out bacteria, because it perceives such flaws as a basis for critique of society as is — and justification for making over society as they would have it. The basic truth that all societies are flawed is anathema to them, as that would indict their Utopia as a false option.

    Their criticisms amp up our societal compassion, making it a social equivalent to auto-immune disorder, with comparable consequences. With luck and in a generally healthy society it provokes a social eczema but when our social health is degraded it can develop the equivalent of lupus or even AIDS.

    Leftism is an opportunistic invasive virus and we’ve not been keeping up our vaccinations. Schools need to once again teach our nation’s history honestly, and artists, authors, playwrights, actors, directors, and producers need to remind our nation of the truths of our credo. I strongly suspect that one major reason for the success of Hamilton was its exaltation of America’s fundamental values — an exaltation which inspired Lin Manuel-Miranda and his fellow creators to produce a work of brilliance.

    • To be fair, an autoimmune disease (immune system attacking healthy parts of the body) and AIDS (a virus disabling the immune system) are diametric opposites, even though their are both malfunctions of the immune system.

    • Been quoted here before, but it is always worth remembering:  

      Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.

      Ronald Reagan
      40th president of US (1911 – 2004) 

      • The Jethro Tull song, Broadsword, kind of illustrates the way I feel about where this country is going, and the Reagan quote just reinforces that.

        “I see a dark sail on the horizon
        set under a black cloud that hides the sun.
        Bring me my broadsword and clear understanding.
        Bring me my cross of gold as a talisman.”

        • Bring me my broadsword and clear understanding.
          Bring me my cross of gold as a talisman.”

          Those are beautiful lines.

      • I was walking through Kai Tak airport in Hong Kong back in ’87 when I passed the (Red) Chinese national airline boarding gate. A flight was loading, and the passengers were lined up for what seemed an *intimate* physical search by security personnel. I remember saying to myself, “Man, am I glad I live in a free society where we don’t have to put up with that BS.”

        Look at us now . . .

        • There is a corner at the Macau Gran Prix races where crashing the wrong way at, got you arrested by the reds, who then fined the daylights out of you and who ever they could get money from. Now of course the Reds use Macau for money to pay for their communism, but as it is turned over to them now, it is by fee and taxes, not fines.

      • Reagan: Last stand for freedom

  5. It has long amazed me that any far north area has a “homeless” issue. I’d figured if I were truly sans housing and had no realistic hope of fairly quickly (re)acquiring such, I’d be heading south to warmer (if not truly warm) climes before (the next) Winter hit. But then I’ve not had to figure out how to game the system(s) either.

    And, long ago, I had a friend or at least acquaintance who figured it would be reasonable to establish a sort of safehouse for those who wished to get high… and that they could do so there and be safe (and others from them..) until they came down. Neither of us realized it at the time, but he had just “invented” the opium den.

    • You wouldn’t think it, but a fair number of homeless are rather migratory in their lifestyles, in many ways similar to what we in the South refer to as snowbirds. They head south in the winter and back north in the summer for maximum advantage for their preferred open air existence.
      We’ve had a few periods where the over night temps have dropped below freezing here in northern Alabama. Each and every time shelters and churches have opened their doors to anyone wanting refuge from the cold. And every time the media will find some poor wretch who’s refusing the offer because the charities always put conditions on their offers. Of course those conditions basically come down to no drugs, no heavy drinking, and no fighting, how unreasonable of them.

      • When I was in college in Atlanta, the police always warned us in November about the migrating free-loaders and mentally ill who would be passing through.

        No drugs, and no pest, and I fear in a number of cases the “pets” are a cover for the drugs.

        • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

          Somebody was talking about a “homeless person” with a dog asking for money to feed his dog but got very upset when somebody donated some dog food. 😆

          • There have been reports locally of people who, like the beggar king Peachum of Brecht and Weill’s Three Penny Opera, are running beggars in the area.  It is said that the bosses are not at all nice to those who do not bring back sufficient funds.

        • Local talk-radio host has a bit of clarity to offer: there are the “homeless”, those who want a home and are trying to get back to having one – and “street people”, those who have made the choice to live on the street. One is not like the other.

          • Given their usual preferred method of financing their existence, another word for “street person” is “bum.”

      • its not ‘no heavy drinking’ at most shelters, its no drinking at all.

        • I’m aware, it’s the simplest rule to set, but they only crack down on open or obvious inebriation most shelters and don’t watch all that closely for an occasional sip or such.

          • a lot of them will want you to use a breathalyzer if you even appear to have had a drink, or at least they did 20-some years ago

        • Drinking alcohol is contraindicated in cold weather. Besides the judgment issues, it dilates your capillaries. It makes your extremities warmer at the expense of your losing heat.

          Also who wants to argue about what level of drinking is “heavy” with a drunk?

          • Attempting to argue with a drunk is a fool’s errand  The drunk has an excuse, he is drunk and not in his right mind.  What is the excuse of the sober party?

            Daddy’s mother used to tell the tale of a party goer at some function for whom they had had to call a cab.  He kept insisting it was entirely unnecessary.  He was still claiming he was fit to drive as he was, ‘Cone stole cober,’ as they poured him into his cab.

            The Spouse, while working third shift at a hotel, once had to clear three drunks out of the pool area after hours.  Two of them helpfully encouraged the third not to put up with this and defend his rights.  The third drunk suddenly punched The Spouse.  The Spouse instinctively kicked, and kicked hard.  Nothing happened.  The man just swayed a bit, but was so drunk that he was oblivious for the moment.  Fortunately at that point the other two decided it was time to collect their friend and go back to their room.  (The Spouse was not fired.  The next morning the property manager came in and on being informed of the incident noted that if it had been him they might still be out there fighting.)

      • It is certainly not a large city area here, but we have a homeless shelter in an old Catholic school. Granted a large portion have cars, but there are quite a few borderline terminal homeless in the area. Several of the places here cry for employees too. I mean it ain’t great here for jobs, but the shipyard, and the fire safety folks are always moaning about getting people.

      • People think that the hobo “lifestyle” was a thing of the 30s, and yet, you see it everywhere.

    • It’s been pointed out that Portland and Seattle both spend about $100k per year _per homeless person_ — a sum that would buy each and every one a nice house and provide a generous monthly stipend, were it not disappearing into stacks of bureaucracy.

      And of course, anything you’re willing to pay handsomely for, you get more of…

      • …were it not disappearing into stacks of bureaucracy

        Raises one eyebrow archly and asks: What would happen to all those bureaucratic paper pushers if we were to eliminate the programs that keep them employed and off the streets?

        • That’s a good question, which I too have pondered, and concluded that the bureaucracy’s real function is to keep useless people off the streets.

          • Never forget, the number one priority of any bureaucracy is to perpetuate and grow that bureaucracy. Any possible good it might do is secondary at best.

  6. …when I said we don’t have a lack of affordable housing, we have a lack of mental health services authorized to commit those who won’t stay on treatment and are dangerous to themselves and others.

    Which is mostly true.  Because of ‘compassionate’ government interference affordable housing in places like San Francisco and New York City is a disappearing commodity.  

    What was done in the name of compassion to reform our mental health system hasn’t done much better.  

    Like many things the government does in the name of compassion both have been counter-productive.

    • It’s amazing how entitled people in SF and NYC are about rent control – and how they deny any connection between “there aren’t enough rental units” and “landlords can’t raise rents with the market demand, or evict tenants”.

      A few years ago my wife and I were visiting San Francisco. One morning we were talking to a woman at the next table. She was retired, had lived in San Francisco for the last 30+ years, and was really happy that her rent controlled apartment only cost her ~$800/month, while a new tenant would be paying 4-5 times as much. But she saw no connection between her guaranteed-below-market rate rents and the sometimes slow maintenance she complained about, or the lack of reasonably priced new units.

      In SF, if they build new rental units at all, builders go as upmarket as they can – not just because the immediate return on investment is higher, but because if someone stays more than a short time that will be the base that all future rent-control rate increases will be calculated from.

  7. And here is a measure of your genuine progress, dear Humanity: It now takes an entire government being astonishingly stupid to cause a famine. Previously, mere weather could do that. Now? Ah, what transport can accomplish. A surplus here, a shift to there.. maybe not great comfort, but there is life going on.

  8. Stephen W. Houghton

    There was a time when New York exported the homeless to Florida via bus.

    • One of the municipalities here in Silicon Valley uses their homeless aid budget to aid them by buying them bus tickets to a municipality out of the area (though still in the same County, just barely). Said location’s population is Not Amused.

    • And now they accuse Florida of stealing New York residents.

      • Rich/well-to-do folks are smart enough to see ways to keep their earnings by leaving high-tax-rate states. Is bummer for deBlasio and Cuomo.

      • It’s a fair cop — after all, in New York the citizens are property of the State and should only move elsewhere if NY permits it.

        Clearly, the powers that be in NY have been too indulgent of their citizens.

  9. Something tells me there is going to be a solution for the homeless based on principles derived from the Copybook Headings.
    My money is on something like Bubonic Plague, though something similar to the Spanish Flu outbreak of 1918 is in the running as well.
    And then there are reports of Typhus breaking out in multiple places. It, like Bubonic, is spread by fleas carried on rats which thrive in unsanitary conditions such as we see in most vagrant and homeless camps.
    I have every expectation that the oh so compassionate left will as usual turn absolutely ruthless when their own health and wellbeing are on the line and demand that draconian measures be taken to eliminate the health risks generated by an infected homeless population.
    I guess we shall see before very much longer.

    • I do wonder.. some Old affliction (for which we know a/the treatment even if it is not as trivial as “Take this 3X daily for 2 weeks”) [QUARANTINE signs, anyone?] or some New Disease that will be a Real Scare?

      • TB. It will be resistant TB, (which first appeared at the public hospital and Atlanta) because people only take a partial dose of the antibiotics and then quit/forget/sell them for cash and get street drugs.

      • The lid seems to be staying on the Congo Ebola outbreak – for now. If that should break out of West Africa . . .

    • Los Angeles is curing its homeless problem with communicable diseases. When you have 50,000 people just taking dumps in the street, you have no sanitation, and it will very quickly take hold.

      • Amsel, Matthew

        And it won’t stay confined to that population. Dense areas like LA, SF, and others will get very bad, very fast once it starts.

        • Typhus seems to be a serious problem in LA right now. Folks working at City Hall have become infected, likely from flea bites. They are seriously considering removing all the carpets in the building as part of the effort to control the fleas that transmit the disease.

          • My fear is because both Typhus and plague are both transmitted by fleas, are that pets will be targeted too. Definitely the feral populations.

            Willamette Valley, is horrible with fleas. Trust me anyone with an allergic pet, or if you or anyone you know is allergic to their bites, you know how bad they can be. Now there is effective treatments to keep pets & home flea free.

            But for the homeless, flea treatments, aren’t typically part of the free pet services. Free rabies. Food maybe. But not flea treatments.

            • It’s also a serious attack vector for a terror attack using biological weapons/ All you need are a couple of terrorists to come in with highly infectious agents (or be infected themselves) and unleash it in one or more of the urban homeless areas and watch it spread like wildfire./ Imagine if they got hold of something as lethal as smallpox?

              • Yes. That has occurred to me.

              • No kidding.

                “If you need long-term protection, you may need to get booster vaccinations regularly. To stay protected from smallpox, you should get booster vaccinations every 3 years.” https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd/smallpox/index.html, 15 Feb 2019.

                Oh, isn’t that nice. So all of us who were vaccinated as kids may not be immune anymore.

                “Experts in virology say the vaccinia vaccine causes a fatal complication in about 1 of every 1 million persons who receive it. That means that if the entire American population were to be vaccinated, 300 people would be expected to die of complications from the vaccine. Another 3,000 or so might develop painful sores and severe scars, while 600 others would likely have residual brain damage from encephalitis Inflammation of the brain. — a potentially fatal brain inflammation. ” http://www.iaff.org/ET/Smallpox/What_is_the_history_of_smallpox_vaccination.htm

                Contrary to the anti-vaxxers, those are very acceptable odds. Especially since Smallpox had a 30% death rate; frequent scarring, sometimes very extensive, and sometimes blindness.

                “because of concern that variola virus might be used as an agent of bioterrorism, the U.S. government has stockpiled enough smallpox vaccine to vaccinate everyone who would need it if a smallpox outbreak were to occur.”
                “If there is a smallpox outbreak, public health officials will say who else should get the vaccine. ”

                That sounds like government doublespeak for, you’re going to get the virus, and we’re not going to do any thing to help you.

                • Not quite. If you dig into how they finally eradicated smallpox, the policy shifted from mass vaccination to flooding outbreak areas. Get a report, vaccinate everybody who came into contact with the infected person, and everybody who came into contact with THEM.

                • Your “acceptable rates” can go piss up a rope, then grab the wet end.

                  My husband was one put in medical because of that vaccine– and now on the vague notion that someone might threaten us, you want to have all of my kids take that risk, too?

                  We signed up for the risk, as a military threat, after it was “eradicated” in nature.

                  YOU think that’s worth risking? Fine, you go get the vaccine, again. And leave innocents whose only risk is “gosh maybe someone will make it a bio-weapon” the hell alone.

                  • We should have eradicated it in truth, instead of keeping a sample around.

                    • Eh, this I can argue both ways, because SOMEONE would’ve had enough tech and few enough morals to spread it… but it’s a close call.

                  • I did get the vaccine again, twice. When I joined the military, and then again about 10 years after that because they weren’t sure what the Iraqis were using.

                    And I had my kids vaccinated also. Had to have a special request to get them too.

                    Sure, what are the odds they’ll ever be exposed to Smallpox, now? Million to one? Chance of death from the vaccine is a million to one also, 0.0001%. Chance of severe scarring from the vaccine is 0.001%. Chance of brain damage from the vaccine is 0.0002%.

                    I’ll pee on your rope. It’s a nasty world out there, and while Smallpox may be extinct in the wild, there are nations still holding onto the virus. Vaccination is a cheap and safe insurance. Hell, better odds than being killed in a car accident. Now if your Hubs is one of the few who are especially susceptible to a bad reaction to the vaccine, then yes, it makes sense to not risk your kids for it.

                    And don’t forget, it evolved from a rodent pox some time within the past 50 to 70,000 years. There’s no guarantee that a duplicate mutation won’t happen again.

                    • Sure, what are the odds they’ll ever be exposed to Smallpox, now? Million to one?

                      That would mean that there are more than eight exposures in New York City alone.

                      It’s insanely smaller than one in a million.

                      And don’t forget, it evolved from a rodent pox some time within the past 50 to 70,000 years. There’s no guarantee that a duplicate mutation won’t happen again.

                      There’s an even smaller chance it will show up in a form the vaccine will work against.

              • In which case, quarantine = nobody coming into the city – those who can, work remotely from home, the rest go on FEMA or move. City transitions to Detroit.

            • I thought I had left a post here about how this is concern because people seeking to do intentional harm (the “T word”) could use something nasty, something with the virulence of smallpox, and kill lots of people. It seems to hav vanished off into the ether.

          • And Los Angeles Magazine is complaining that the typhus outbreak is being blamed on the homeless.
            Yes, there is an endemic version on Southern California, but until 2018 Southern California wasn’t producing over half the number of typhus cases that the entire nation sees in a typical year.
            https://www.lamag.com/citythinkblog/typhus-los-angeles-homeless/

        • Denver isn’t dense. But the homeless encampments are.

          • Politicians are denser than neutronium.

          • I saw, on a thread on Facebook, someone decrying the notion (that had been reported), that Denver had decriminalized public urination and defecation. That it wasn’t that Denver had decriminalized these things, merely reduced the sentence in order to prevent the formerly stronger sentence from being considered in deportation hearings for undocumented persons.

            I told her that didn’t make it better, and in many cases probably made it worse, as now you wouldn’t be able to permanently get rid of people who clearly didn’t care about the public health issues they were contributing to.

            I haven’t checked back, but I’d be very surprised if she didn’t call me a racist, and went off to tell her friends all the terrible things right-wingers say. Because, you know, being concerned with public hygiene is such an authoritarian, right-wing thing.

              • Overall, the Progressives seem to have a poor grasp of Cause & Effect, often mistaking the latter for the former and routinely confusing correlation for causation.

            • IIRC one of the unintended consequences on the West Coast (and probably elsewhere) of getting rid of free plastic grocery bags was the increase in human waste left in the streets. Some of the homeless had done their thing in the bags, then disposed of the results in the garbage. Without that option…

      • Also some of the new drugs are lethal on very few uses.

    • There is. But it’s going to take a lot of other people too.

    • scott2harrison

      Most vagrant and homeless camps are overrun with meth addicts. The decent homeless will not go near them. One mistake that our hostess makes in her post is missing the decent homeless that are not drug addicts, do not panhandle and don’t threaten anyone. This is a natural mistake as you can see these behaviors, but just because you do not see them in a particular person at a particular time says noting about other times. I work at a number of free meals of the type that Sarah does not like (for fully justifiable reasons) and about 10% of the guests cause 95% of the problems. If someone was willing to segregate that 10%, most of the homeless problems would go away and many of the remainder could be solved with a few porta-potties.

      • I did not miss the decent homeless. They’re the non-threatening, living in car (or in some cases literally on the street) ones, trying to find jobs, etc.
        They’re not the ones who destroy communities, though.

        • scott2harrison

          Agreed about the destroying communities, however some of them are long-term homeless with no prospects of getting off the street. Sometimes due to mental issues, sometimes due to legal issues (I have known a couple that child support keeps on the street as no job that they can do will let them pay it), sometimes other things.

          • Yeah, the child support thing sucks right now.
            The mental health, even if they’re decent lumps them in with “mental health and addiction” even if they aren’t threatening.
            The thing is THERE ARE SERVICES and I’m sure they’re pushed towards it, so it takes effort to stay on the streets, in many ways.
            Sorry, but they are surrounded by services.

          • And the child support problem seems to have arisen with the rise of women in the work force dropping the individual income so that a man can no longer be the sole breadwinner in the family while the woman stays home to raise the children (or in rarer cases, vice versa.)

            I like women having a choice; but between this, and the abortion business, doesn’t it seem like someone deliberately pushed this to destroy traditional American society, not to mention crashing the existing American population?

      • Sixth Column definition of a Hobo/Drifter VS vagrant/spindle-thrift, both are homeless in the traditional sense. Only one is societies leach.

      • I was somewhat surprised to find that there was an old-school ‘hobo jungle’ just a mile or so from my place. I had often wondered why I was smelling woodsmoke in mid-summer. Houses in my neighborhood run from about 300k and way up from there. I live in a cheap apartment, in a small area originally designed for the maids to live. Houston’s funny that way.

    • “I have every expectation that the oh so compassionate left will as usual turn absolutely ruthless when their own health and wellbeing are on the line and demand that draconian measures be taken to eliminate the health risks generated by an infected homeless population.”

      Not unless they can figure out a way to milk it for votes.

    • Know why Los Angeles periodically sprays the big city parks with malathion?

      A: to kill fleas on the squirrels, because they’ve been found to carry bubonic plague.

      Probably the only reason it hasn’t taken off is the more-or-less ubiquitous flea control practiced, albeit as a side effect, by so many people routinely bug-treating suburban lawns, and the fact that there are enough feral cats in L.A. to keep the rats somewhat under control.

      • Colorado also has bubonic plague. Endemic.

        • Did not know about LA. But knew about Colorado. Bubonic plague is endemic in all the mountainous areas from Rockies to the Pacific, from northern Canada to the Mexican border & points south. Regardless of the terrain & environment. Be it Rain Forest, Glacier, or Desert … At that I am probably selling the endemic short. It might be endemic the entire west coast, west of the Rockies, regardless of mountainous area or not. Not an expert, so hedging my comments. There are cases every year. Something that scouting provides warnings about due to campers using structures that have had heavy rodent & raccoon visitations (dust). Don’t know that scouts or staff have experienced problems; but other campers in similar situations have. Guess plague is a huge problem when it goes aerial, which it hasn’t in recent history.

          • Not, thank God, the pneumonic version (i.e. airborne). Arid prairie areas also tend to harbor anthrax, but almost exclusively of the ‘wool carder’s disease’ variety. And yes, the study of epidemiology is a hobby of mine.

            • No. Not the pneumonic version. But, wrong person, or enough people get it, my understanding it can turn into the pneumonic version … that’s scary.

              Yes. There are a lot of dust borne diseases in the west to worry about.

          • The dust issue in much of the Southwest is the Hantavirus, which can be caught if you inhale the dust from dried droppings or urine of an infected rodent (though one kind of mouse is responsible for most of the spread if I recall correctly.)

        • Arizona gets plague cases as well; but it tends to be the Northeastern part of the state in the area of the Navajo reservation.

    • Likely, especially as it seems that the global herd immunity is dropping, and supposedly Madagascar has had a polio reappearance. From someone being infected from their tradition of dancing with their dead.

      • Polio is endemic in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and in parts of Africa. I vaguely recall reading that there are about 55,000 cases per year.

        https://ourworldindata.org/polio

        • I fully expect it to crop up in Europe again now.

        • Part of that is dumb blankers in the UN combing their population control efforts with the disease control efforts– and then being caught lying, and MAKING PUBLIC how they did it, which meant any idiot with a population control issue can steal “hey combine this vaccine with pregnancy hormones in this pattern and cause miscarriage”. (Not reversible, so was not approved.)

          And every time they FAIL, it still causes massive death. Folks just start looking out for things like the lockjaw combination drug being issued in seven shots instead of two or three, targeting reproductive aged women rather than anybody with a pulse, and then check it.(Sorry, can’t remember the proper terms right now.)

    • I am surprised San Fran has not had a Cholera outbreak.

      From https://www.cdc.gov/cholera/general/index.html

      The cholera bacterium is usually found in water or food sources that have been contaminated by feces (poop) from a person infected with cholera. Cholera is most likely to be found and spread in places with inadequate water treatment, poor sanitation, and inadequate hygiene.

      Sounds like Frisco to me. A New Definition Of the San Francisco treat coming soon.

      • I have been thinking that it is only a matter of time before we do see a Cholera outbreak in such a location.

  10. Government is not the solution. Throwing money at homelessness is not the solution.

    Government does is not in the business of solving social problems, it is in the business of farming them — and we can always be confident of bumper crops.

    • If the government actually grew bumpers, or even anything other than problems and itself (BIRM), I’d be Rather Impressed. Instead, I am Rather Depressed.

      Perhaps we do need another program… one that encouragesdemands/requires bureaucrats to play golf (or websurf, or.. anything non-interfering) 130+ hours per week. That assumes they get to eat & sleep ~40 hrs/wk.

  11. William H. Stoddard

    A friend of C’s and mine used to work in San Diego’s shiny new downtown main library, until she got a job in another state. Part of her job that she hated was going about the building after closing collecting used hypodermic syringes in the restrooms. Apparently they didn’t have custodial or security staff to do that job.

    There was a reason I never visited that library when I lived in San Diego. . . .

  12. A lot of the inability to find affordable housing in places like New York City, directly stem from the very “rent control” laws that were supposed to help. Why would anyone build apartments when they are just going to be limited in the amount they can charge. So, a vast majority of new construction goes to “Luxury Apartments” that aren’t under rent control. While existing apartment buildings degrade because the owners aren’t making enough profit to warrant putting time, money, and effort into upkeep. Eventually, those affordable apartments become unlivable, further reducing the number of affordable apartments. In spite of this, Leftist city governments love them some rent control because it “polls well” and makes it seem like they are “doing something” about the problem (and most Americans are completely ignorant of economics, and the damage that rent control does.)

    • I know. Portugal also had rent control when I was growing up. AND people could leave their rental to their kids and grandkids.
      Yeah.

    • The worst run ones in NYC are the ones run by the City itself.

    • I find it interesting that two of the most popular Socialist panaceas, Rent Control and Minimum Wage Laws, produce an effect exactly opposite the one they are claimed to solve.

      Rent Control laws are great for those already living in rental property who don’t want to move (and don’t worry about poor maintenance). But no rational investor wants to build new apartments when they know they won’t get a good return on their investmetn, so they’re absolutely horrible for anyone who doesn’t already have an apartment, or who needs to move.

      Minimum Wage laws set a floor on wages, so ensures that anyone whose labor does not produce an increase in the bottom line sufficient to cover that, the employer’s overhead, and at least a small profit just won’t be hired. I’ve lost the link, but I saw a story recently that pointed out that every substantial increase in the Minimum Wage since ~1970 produced at least a slight dip in employment – and the larger the increase, the larger the dip.

  13. Just a side issue to start with…
    “I’m honestly surprised there aren’t people with yellow vests on the streets.”

    Would we necessarily know if there were?

    • Somewhere, there’s an enterprising fellow with a whole truckload of yellow vests wondering where he can sell them.

      • I have one; got it to wear when walking my dog early and late; but I have no problems where I live.

        • I have several, for safety at night.
          Hadn’t thought about other potential uses.
          You can get them at Dollar Tree out here.
          Guess I’ll get a few more.

      • In the free states we don’t need no steenkeeng vests.

        What would happen would be a bunch of citizens lawfully carrying the firearms of their choice, with energetic discussions between the Stoner and Kalashnikov fans while the levergun guys look down on everyone else…

    • yes, we would. there are and have been more than enough alternative news vectors these days

  14. “And when people who don’t like being menaced and threatened move to suburbs, we get called heartless and “racists.”

    Yes, you get accused of ‘White Flight’, and then when you move back in, you’re accused of ‘gentrifying’ the area.

    Sort of like if you fail to include the correct mix of marginalized people in your fiction, you’re a racist/sexist/___ophobe; but then when you do, you’re guilty of cultural appropriation.

    And the useful idiots who adhere to this new religion are deaf to the cognitive dissonance.

    • I have a reply to this but WP is not accepting new submissions from me at the moment.

      • Hmmmm … it seems WP is merely rejecting a specific post, one correlating the rise of contemporary populist movements with the Eighties’ psych theory about double-bind scenarios inducing psychotic behaviour.

        • Back when I took the typical array of college psychology courses in the early Eighties theory held that such double-bind scenarios induced psychosis (I gather the science has moved to organic sources since then.) It might be interesting to revive that theory as contributory factor in the rise of populist movements as the TEA Party, Brexit, Trumpery and France’s yellow vestiges.

        • I wonder what specific word or phrase is triggering WP?

          Back when I took the typical array of college psychology courses in the early Eighties theory held that such double-bind scenarios induced psychosis (I gather the science has moved to organic sources since then.)

        • Such populist movements would include the TEA Party, Brexit, Trumpery and France’s yellow vestiges.

          • WP Delenda Est.

            And its site sowed with salt, then nuked from orbit.

            • That last might be overkill. I have no idea what might be in the vicinity of the WP site, and if it might be something I don’t want getting radiation poisoning.

              (Of course, after I wrote that I had to fill out my information with WP “helping” me at every step. So while it might be overkill, it also might not).

            • So far as I know, we have no nukes in orbit, but there are 400 Minuteman III missiles in the ground, and then there are the Trident subs…

    • Back when I took the typical array of college psychology courses in the early Eighties theory held that such double-bind scenarios induced psychosis (I gather the science has moved to organic sources since then.) It might be interesting to revive that theory as contributory factor in the rise of populist movements as the TEA Party, Brexit, Trumpery and France’s yellow vestiges.

    • And the useful idiots who adhere to this new religion are deaf to the cognitive dissonance.

      It’s a bonus. If you are privileged, you see, you deserve to be faced with no-win scenarios like everybody else. They have said that explicitly.

      And of course there’s the whole thing about if you can get somebody to assent to trying to satisfy your contradictory demands, you’ve got them.

      • “And of course there’s the whole thing about if you can get somebody to assent to trying to satisfy your contradictory demands, you’ve got them.”

        Yep. Pure, low-end psychological manipulation. The tool of abusers and any number of other psychopathologies.

      • “If you are privileged, you see, you deserve to be faced with no-win scenarios like everybody else. They have said that explicitly.”
        Not all the scenarios are no-win; as Sarah said, some people just don’t WANT what most folks would consider “winning.”
        At some point, someone will cut the Gordian Knot. The consequences won’t be pretty, but they will eventually be better.

  15. A big part of the homeless problem came when it became all but impossible to involuntarily commit anybody to mental institutions.

    When I was in Riverside, CA, last Christmas, my brother told me that the police had basically given their men orders to ignore all misdemeanor-level crime. And they were crawling with homeless.

    • Yes, I know about that. Most of you don’t know that this was because psychiatrists had decided we were doing what Russia did and putting away people who were “dissenters” because capitalism made people insane.
      Some day…

      • Yes. There were abuses. Not just dissenters. But always felt it would have been better to prosecute the abusers & those complicate with the abusers (doctors/judges that recommended/signed the forced abused commitment) but Noooo.

        It’s like, one innocent person convicted & imprisoned, despite our system of “better to let the guilty go free, than convict an innocent”; Lets let everyone out … oh, uh, wait, you mean that’s NOT happening?

        • Complicate VS c-word (comply, but that isn’t 100% either) that means “went along with”. Darn if I can find the correct word spelling.

        • BobtheRegisterredFool

          Innocence is a cultural construct. Objections to imprisoning the ‘innocent’ can only be motivated by racial hatred. 🙂

          More seriously, there is a conflict between what the left is pushing with criminal justice ‘reform’, and what the left is pushing with socialized medicine. If society is obligated to care for the junkies, than decades of imprisonment for drug offenses is not necessarily a worse standard of care than our current free range experiment. Okay, if we started with the Russian prison system, and encouraged it to model itself on Bergen-Belsen, we would get a worse standard of care. But maybe not so bad a public health problem.

    • Tale of two cities. Eugene & Springfield, Oregon. For most of the stretch along I-5, in the southern area of the Willamette Valley, they are separated by the N/S run of I-5. Springfield to the East, Eugene to the West. Small sections on the south where they actually meet. Both are in Lane County. Both are in Oregon. (Stay with me getting there).

      Eugene has a HORRIBLE homeless problem, year round. Library, University zone, bike paths, most parks (smaller suburbs ones well outside the core not on bike paths excluded), downtown, are all but no go zones unless you really, really, must.

      Springfield. Does not have a problem. Homeless exist. But definitely not seen or heard. They pass through. They don’t stay, or if they do, it is on the extreme forested edges. University environment is the only area not duplicated in Springfield, everything else there is an equivalent. Yet, there are no problems with homeless.

      Gee. Hmm. Wonder what the difference is? No. University is not the problem.

      Our specific area sees homeless go through. They don’t stay. But then we don’t call the city police. We call the county. For all that we are in the urban growth boundary. For now (& last 55+ years that the city has been gunning for the properties involved, that I know of personally) we are still county, not city.

  16. Hvae not read the article yet, but I bought a new outside-critter water bowl today to replace one that looked a lot like the one in the illustration! And that rusted through in less than 5 months. Chinese “stainless steel” wasn’t.

  17. “So… what is the solution?”

    They are feeding the bears. When you feed the bears, more bears come. And they get pushy. That’s why all parks in bear country have signs that say “DO NOT FEED THE BEARS! EVER!!!” Everyone knows the solution to bears is stop feeding them. They go away on their own.

    Therefore government regulations and free handouts are the problem, not the actual homeless. As usual.

    The solution is a TAX! CUT!

    I’m not talking about some Laugher Curve reduction in rates that maximizes tax receipts through economic growth. I’m not talking about a 10-15% trimming of the fat here, or clearing out the dead wood, new broom etc.

    No, I am talking about a true DECIMATION of government in the Roman sense of the word, where the budget is cut so hard that one in ten government workers are removed from the payroll. (Peacefully of course. This is a family-fiendly site here.)

    An -annual- decimation. That continues for ten years. A thing like that might actually have a hope of working.

    But because that’s the right solution, which can be accomplished with a minimum of muss and fuss, and which will benefit society as a whole and the homeless in particular… it will never happen.

    The actual solution being carried out in California right now is: Typhus!

    This is the disease that is spread by flea shit. Not rat shit, and not flea bites. Flea shit. In other words a microscopic contagion that springs up wherever rats and their fleas congregate. It can drift on the wind, because flea shit is really small. It can be tracked in on shoes and stay in carpeting for a very long time, possibly years. Its almost a perfect biological weapon.

    Why this is a solution is that it is transmitted fastest to the people in closest proximity, the homeless. It makes life hard for them, and they naturally move away from anything that makes life hard. A serious typhus outbreak could probably clear all the homeless out of SF and LA at one go.

    The second fastest transmission will be to those who interact the most with the homeless. That would be cops, firemen, nurses and other government workers. Apparently one of the city halls in SoCal is infested with typhus so badly that they are going to remove all the carpeting in the whole building.

    When unionized public employees finally figure out that every time they deal with a homeless dude they catch typhus, that’s when something will be done. Probably something stupid at first, like free showers and free delousing [call Yngvi!]. But eventually they will stop feeding the bears. LA and SF will become homeless-unfriendly.

    • Free showers and delousing? Haven’t I heard that before?

    • “free delousing” they can’t do that, it would mean bringing back DDT.
      That would never Happen.

      • How soon until Louse Rights Activists started protesting and legal action?

      • No no, this is government we’re talking about. For sure they’re going to offer free delousing. And they’ll use the Approved Treatment which will be vegan, biodegradable, ecofriendly and lemon scented. And useless. But the kickbacks will be awesome.

        So the free delousing will be a failure, and the lower level government workers who actually WORK with the homeless will get sicker and sicker.

        Then those sharp-end workers will begin bending the system, so that every interaction with city government involves a strip search, bath with fire hose, and some nightstick massage. And the free food will magically start being re-directed out of town, to the rural areas. Too far to walk.

        Then the bears will leave.

        Hamilton Ontario is a great example. You -always- see off-ramp beggars in Toronto. Every highway off-ramp has one. You -never- see them in Hamilton. Because the Hamilton cops arrest every single one, and stick him/her/it on a bus to Toronto. There are a ton of skid-row bums in Hamilton. Downtown is soft-shell central. But there are very few beggars on the highways.

        Because in Hamilton the government doesn’t feed the bears.

        • See my comment Springfield VS Eugene. Springfield doesn’t even need buses. They just give them a choice, move it, or jail. Homeless just shuffle off by themselves over the freeway … Springfield doesn’t feed the bears either.

        • > the lower level government workers who actually WORK with the homeless will get sicker and sicker.

          No problem, that’s a perfect time to PRIVATIZE! That’s when the city pays more for a single-source service vendor than it used to cost to do it themselves, except the members of the city government are stockholders, so they get a modest bump in their incomes.

      • Rachel Carson probably killed more people than Norman Borlaug saved. And that makes me sad.

        • Wait until they get done with the Roundup show trial. Flour is about to get a lot more expensive. And corn, and beans, and cotton, and…

        • Beyond death, there is something worse.

          Like a veteran who cannot bear to shoot the symbol of his country which has nested next to the house he bought with his life savings…who his shoved out, because the EPA says that he and his wife cannot live under the tree where they live.

          Because he would not shoot them.

          IIRC, they were sent to old folks homes.

          Separate ones.

          To their death.

          There is a reason my Godfather, who was too young for WWI and too old for WWII, was still a hero in my mind.

  18. You see a similar problem with all welfares. There are some people who want to turn the safety net into a hammock.

    I’m starting to become sadly convinced that it’s going to take some very harsh measures to get things straightened out. Essentially, anyone on welfare more than a certain length of time will be stripped of adult authorities (including the vote) and assigned to a guardian…who will have the legal authority to administer discipline at whim.

    • Danny Hamilton

      That is how Slavery started in the US. Indentured Servants who had finished their contracts were such a problem to the society that the people had all new Indentured Servants turned into Slaves.

  19. “when I said we don’t have a lack of affordable housing, we have a lack of mental health services authorized to commit those who won’t stay on treatment and are dangerous to themselves and others.”

    I am _SO_ stealing that line. But I’ll give you the credit for it.

    • And we have growing numbers of people who suffer psychosis after finding out that they are one of the ones who react badly to the new pot strains.

      Superweeds: they’re not just a problem for farmers anymore.

      • yes. Even in the past a lot of people went psychotic from drug use. Apparently particularly acid. Again, consider reading My Brother Ron if you haven’t.

        • Some of these new synthetic THC analogs are spectacularly dangerous.

          • A friend’s son was a lifelong stoner, but mostly getting by until he got a bad batch of “synthetic THC.” Whatever it was, it burned out a bunch of things in his brain. He’ll never be able to live on his own again.

            • Yep, that’s what I’m talking about. Cannabis over-use seems to allow some people to sort of coast along, they can manage a solo lifestyle. Food, clothing, welfare check, even a girlfriend and a dog.

              Synthetic THC, after a few doses they often need help going to the bathroom. Same effect as a tire iron to the head.

            • Familiar with CBD oil?

              That’s rich in the stuff in pot that makes it not (purple prose here) eat your brain.

              Get stuff with max THC? Has the minimum of what counters that in pot, naturally.

        • The brother of one of the captains I flew with experimented with something while in college in South Dakota. Literally fried his brain. He’d be OK for a while, and then off the deep end he’d go, and no warning. It was a good thing the captian’s sons were strong farm-kids, because “Uncle Bob” could flip from genial to destructive in an eye-blink, and then back. I suspect he got into pot laced with something (mid 1980s), but no one knew which something it had been.

          • Probably just “more than the old normal THC.”

            Seriously, I don’t know any drug control guys who don’t like CBD, the stuff they based that epilepsy drug off of.

            But most foam at the mouth about modern special breed pot.

  20. analytical-engine-mechanic

    And now, for some extrra-special bonus fun, take some, most or all of the above, and add one further once-again-now-popular ingredient…

    “guaranteed minimum income.”

    Because the special trait of this idea seems to be, it’s just like a wage but one you don’t have to do anything but breathe to “earn.”

    So, no welfare restrictions, no unemployment “I’m looking for work, really” test. not even food stamps/SNAP etc. “list of stuff you can buy” — just $$$.

    Free, actual, freely-spendable money. On drugs at the corner just as easily as on a place to live (for ex.). No begging, scamming, stealing required. Just sign.

    In this context, it sounds like taking the last half-working brake out of service on an almost-runaway train.

    • Charles Murray was the original proponent of the idea, but his concept was that you impose a fairly high flat rate income tax, then dole out a sum to EVERY citizen. But that stipend would be IT…Welfares, Social Security, unemployment all get eliminated.

      The Left just wants it as another way to loot the Payer Class to buy Welfare Class votes.

  21. On the plus side, I’ve just discovered my dream job. Doorman/bouncer at a used book shop. I could be burly if I put (back) on another 20 pounds or so. And it would make any future tattoos deductible!

  22. Totally off topic, but had to share this:

    Narf!
    I want those bartenders here!

  23. Christopher M. Chupik

    In my hometown right now there’s a big kerfuffle about the crime rate spiking in the vicinity of a “safe injection site” downtown. Many people seem very surprised by this entirely unpredictable turn of events.

  24. “if you have any minor contretemps in public, people rush in to help.”

    FYI: Israelis make Americans look like pikers in that respect. I saw a runaway shopping cart in Jaffa get an entire block’s worth of shop owners involved in its recovery.

  25. My housing situation is a pretty close microcosm of the whole “experience” of the Bay Area. I moved into a two bedroom apartment with a woman that…well, at the time, she was just “eccentric”…in early 2000. She had the rental history, I had enough to make half of the deposit. Total rent was $825 a month, in a fairly “okay” part of Richmond (there was a school across the street as well). I was paying $425 because I had the master bedroom, probably the best decision that I made.

    And, as the woman I lived with started her slow and steady decent into being a crazy cat lady (minus the cats), I had to endure her issues, the simple fact that she had moved into the living room and took it over because I had a full time job (and tried for a college degree for three years), she was on long-term SSI disability, and nobody would call her out on it. Or, more accurately, call her out and make her do anything about it.

    At the very least, she paid her share of the rent on time, always paid her bills, never brought home rough trade, and at least bathed every once in a while. And, I lived close enough to work to take BART in and back in an hour.

    At a point, about 2008 or so, I decided I wanted out and I discovered that I was stuck betwix and between-made too much for a single bedroom Below Market Rate unit, not enough to afford a non-BMR unit anywhere that was remotely safe. And, the BMR was calculated on your gross pay, not your net pay (and, dear GOD-the rents were still somewhere around 2/3rds of a paycheck net on that).

    Then, in 2016, the landlord started to do a lot of renovations, some of them long overdue (new windows and quite a bit of new concrete). And, in May, just before BayCon that year, we got a letter on our door-sixty days notice to move out for “major renovations” and the end of our lease. The Crazy Roommate filed appeals and managed to get us about 90 days, and I tried to find a new place…but, to get a new place would triple our rents, which she couldn’t afford and for her to get rid of most of her comfort crap, which she wouldn’t do.

    So, late September, I packed the last things in my apartment, got a storage unit up in Santa Rosa, and moved in with my Parents. Which is pretty good, with the exception of the TeeVee right out of the corner of my eye and the Parents watch CNN on a regular basis.

    Oh, and my commute for work became 90 minutes to two hours either way. Requiring me to wake up at 4 am in the morning.

    I look around every once in a while for units closer, but even a one bedroom in “reasonable” (hour commute) distance is starting out at $1500/month anywhere that I’d want to live (i.e. reasonably safe, close to a BART station with a parking lot or a BART station itself). And, it’s the Bay Area…which I am coming to despise the more I look at it from the outside, like a small pug dog with delusions of being a Great Dane.

    Once upon a time, I loved the Bay Area. I still do, at times. But, it is trying to become what it isn’t, a major metropolitan area, and that is going to kill it.

    • You ever considered just evacuating California?

      • Family is here, and my current career is tied to being close to SF. I have been revising my resume and putting it out to potential jobs that would get me out of the area. Denver is an early choice, as well as a few other places. My biggest problem is that for some reason, all of my job skills seem to bounce around the algorithms as involving front-counter help. I can do it, it just does not make me happy.

        • Learn welding. Not kidding.

          You’ll make over $100K a year if you can braze cast iron or tig weld aluminum and stainless steel. If I was a young man and had it to do all over again, that’s what I would do. Good place for an Odd, no corporate structure to grind you up. Instant gratification, and people NEED your skillz. Meaning you can jack them up to fix that thing they broke.

          A good business is pulling broken studs out of things. There’s several guys around here in Southern Ontario farm country that make a decent living pulling snapped fasteners out of tractor wheels and engine blocks. You could do that in California farm country too, zero commute. They have BIG honkin’ tractors down there.

          If you are a female, any large corporation will diversity-hire a female welder in a New York minute. That’s an Iron Rice Bowl (TM) if there ever was one. If you are a female welder that can actually weld shit, you will make money like a doctor. And yes, skinny little girls can weld.

          • “And yes, skinny little girls can weld.”
            I had a female friend down on the Gulf Coast, probably 4’8″ tall. Her specialty was doing welding repairs between the hulls of the big freighters.
            Never lacked for work.

  26. Much late C4C before reading.

  27. I heard young people (though they didn’t look it, because meth is a hell of a drug) talk about how they could go home but the parents would require them to go clean and they wanted to be “free.” And they were. Free to get free meals everywhere, free to shoot up on the streets. Free to wander into local businesses being menacing and evil.

    Those news stories about people being banned from feeding the homeless?

    Imagine someone set up one of these sites riiiight next door.

    Took a house and started putting out violent grifter feeders.

    We passed on two houses back in the Seattle area because they were close to a church charity.

    ….one had more hardware on everything than I’ve seen outside of a bank, and the other mentioned they’d had multiple folks set up house in their shop, besides tools walking.

    • The Marian house in downtown Colorado Springs gets all sorts of complaints, but the priest in our former church was explaining each of these violent grifters was “Christ”. And I’m going “You know, the temple notwithstanding there are NO reports of His menacing with intent.”

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        Well Sarah, even when He did “menace with intent”, we know that they deserved being “menaced with intent”. 😉

    • Oh, and the Methodist church near our house back when started doing a free feeding day on Sundays and the crime in our area skyrocketed.

  28. A friend had a fairly nice BBQ restaurant until a local church group put a “mission” across the street. It went from “older but reasonably nice neighborhood” to “inner city” within months, and his customers decided they could eat somewhere where they weren’t buttonholed by street people in his parking lot.

    He saw the writing on the wall and closed the place down before he went into debt.

  29. It is the difference between doing something and looking like you are doing something. When your boss says “Look busy, my boss is coming”, you can be sure actual productivity will plummet. It is easier to offer a dollar to the guy at the offramp, than to offer yourself. You also cannot save someone who does not want to be saved.

    A while back, I got to know a homeless guy who hung out at a local Safeway. I learned he was a vet, and around my age. I contacted the local VA hospital, and learned they had a homeless program. I got him approved, put him in my car and drove him to their facility. Weeks later, just before Christmas, I saw him again outside the same Safeway. It inspired a poem that starts:
    “I met death, on Christmas Eve.
    He sat with a man, homeless by choice…”
    It ends: “The essence of tragedy,
    to see the horror of man
    choosing death as a partner.”

    I did the right thing. His choice killed him. He was offered life. He chose death. We can’t save people, but we are here for a purpose. The danger is in helping people stay homeless.

    Regarding the bay area housing crisis, it is also a very self imposed famine. There are multiple strands, first, the environmental religion that rules the region. The California environmental quality act sees “growth inducing” as an adverse impact. So a way to mitigate a development is to reduce the # of units to reduce the “impact”. Related is the Damocrat party that wants to limit “sprawl” and so build dense housing, not new subdivisions. New single family homes are out 50 miles out from the jobs, since “open space” is one of the essentials of the environmental religion.

    Second, prop 13 that limited property taxes. Cities in the bay area see housing as costing more than it brings in in taxes, so everyone wants Intel and facebook, but not housing for their employees. So we end up with the “Jobs-Housing” imbalance. But San Jose which has the land to build housing thinks it has built enough, so wants to keep land for jobs, not housing.

    Third, limiting the supply of land has driven up the cost of land. Urban planners have much to answer for. They love PDs (planned developments) that take much time to approve, and offer the chance to get “bribes” from developers to permit construction. A local city has a book mobile “donated” by a developer to get their project approved. These costs get passed on to the cost of housing, as do the “affordable housing fees”. We end up with housing for the rich and the very poor, with nothing for the middle class.

    • My understanding of Prop 13 is that it prevented increasing property taxes on EXISTING housing:

      The proposition decreased property taxes by assessing values at their 1976 value and restricted annual increases of assessed value of real property to an inflation factor, not to exceed 2 percent per year. It also prohibited reassessment of a new base year value except in cases of (a) change in ownership, or (b) completion of new construction.
      Wikipedia

      This would seem to make NEW housing more desirable for a community by a) increasing the housing stock and b)increasing the stock of higher basis housing.

      Which is not to refute your analysis; I can think of at least two reasons your premise would hold true: 1. California liberals are blind to basic economic principles 2. California liberals deliberately misrepresented the effects of Prop 13 in an effort to pressure voters to repeal it.

      Okay, also: 3. Both of the above.

  30. The people running California cities “knew” that housing did not pay enough in taxes to support police, fire etc. so they did not want to provide housing. It has been a very real impact on how much housing has been built since the passage of prop 13.