A Geek With Guns

Chronicling the depravities of the State.

Archive for the ‘War on the Homeless’ tag

Los Angeles Teaching Homeless People To Not Be Homeless By Stealing Their Homes

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Governments hate the homeless. Some people find this surprising but only because they don’t understand the nature of the State. The State exists on and for plunder. Every law it creates is created to further its plundering. That being the case, people who have nothing to take are effectively worthless to the State. Because rounding them up and killing them wouldn’t go over well with the general populace local municipalities have opted for another solution to their homeless “problem.” They try to make the lives of homeless individuals so miserable that they go elsewhere and becomes another municipality’s problem.

Los Angeles may be sinking to a new low in this endevour though. Recently city officials have begun teaching the homeless a lesson about being homeless by taking their homes:

Escalating their battle to stamp out an unprecedented spread of street encampments, city officials have begun seizing tiny houses from homeless people living on freeway overpasses in South Los Angeles.

Three of the gaily painted wooden houses, which come with solar-powered lights and American flags, were confiscated earlier this month and seven more are planned for impound Thursday, a Bureau of Sanitation spokeswoman said.

As is always the case in these situations, city officials are citing their own bureaucratic nonsense. These thefts are being perpetrated under the guise of sanitation. City officials also, as it always the case, claimed to be offering a better solution without offering any other solution:

Mayor Eric Garcetti’s spokeswoman, Connie Llanos, said he is committed to getting homeless people into permanent and not makeshift housing.

“Unfortunately, these structures can be hazardous to the individuals living in them and to the community at large,” Llanos said in a statement on the mayor’s behalf.

“When the city took the houses, they didn’t offer housing, they straight kicked them out,” Summers said.

What Mr. Garcetti means by permanent housing is getting the homeless out of the city so they’re no longer his problem. Maybe the homeless population of Los Angeles should consider seizing some of the government’s buildings. They’re technically unowned (since the State, being a criminal organization that has acquired everything in its possession through theft, cannot legitimately own property) and would provide permanent housing.

Written by Christopher Burg

February 26th, 2016 at 10:00 am

A Good Use of Religious Freedom Laws

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When you heard the phrase “religious freedom laws” your mind probably jumps to thoughts of business owners discriminating against patrons based on their sexual orientation. That has been the primary motivation of the politicians who passed these laws and the angle being covered by the press. But these laws can also be used for good. Let’s take the state’s war against the homeless as an example. One woman has cited a religious freedom law in response to the state trying to stop her from feeding the homeless:

Joan Cheever of San Antonio has been serving meals to the city’s homeless for 10 years. But last week, police officers handed her a ticket with a potential fine of $2,000. Despite having a food permit for the food truck she cooks out of, which she calls the Chow Train, she was cited for transporting and serving it from a different vehicle.

But that hasn’t stopped her from continuing to hand out three-course meals to the homeless. On Friday, she went back to Maverick Park with 50 supporters to hand out food, and this time she wasn’t ticketed. Cheever has argued that she has a right to feed the homeless under Texas’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act because she considers it exercising her religious beliefs.

Christianity teaches compassion for the poor and afflicted so it’s not extent to claim feeding the homeless is a protected act under religious freedom laws. Now the question becomes whether the state will find and act that goes against its interest a lawful act of religious freedom.

Written by Christopher Burg

April 21st, 2015 at 11:00 am

Without Police Who Would Harass the Homeless

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Can you imagine a world without heavily armed goons with no accountability? Without the men and women in uniform we wouldn’t have no-knock drug raids leaving trails of dead family pets in their wake. And we all know that the police are a critical component of most city’s attempt to “fix” their homeless problem by making the lives of homeless people so miserable they migrate elsewhere. Proving once again that police are not held accountable and you can beat the charges but you can’t beat the ride a homeless man got to enjoy a night in jail because he had the audacity to charge his phone in a park electrical outlet:

SARASOTA – A homeless man spent the night in jail Sunday after police arrested him for charging his cellphone in a public picnic shelter at Gillespie Park.

Darren Kersey, 28, was charged with theft of utilities after Sarasota Police Sgt. Anthony Frangioni spotted him charging his phone at about 9:20 p.m. Sunday. Unable to come up with the $500 bail for the misdemeanor, Kersey had no choice but to stay in jail.

In his arrest report, Frangioni wrote that he told Kersey that the “theft of city utilities will not be tolerated during this bad economy.” Frangioni also told Kersey that he should charge his phone at local shelters, according to the report.

But Monday morning Circuit Judge Charles Williams threw the case out, saying Frangioni lacked the legal justification to make the arrest.

Some would point to the fact that the charges were dismissed as an example of the system working. But the system still allowed a police officer to kidnap a man and hold him in a cage without any consequences. That is a major issue with our “justice” system. The officer, in my seldom humble opinion, should be fired immediately at the very least and realistically charged with kidnapping and unlawful detainment or whatever crimes you and I would be charged with for this kind of behavior.

But he won’t because he wears a magical liability shield and the person he wronged was homeless and therefore somebody hated by the state.

Written by Christopher Burg

January 15th, 2015 at 10:30 am

Arnold Abbott Arrested Again for Feeding the Homeless

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The government of Fort Lauderdale, Florida really hates homeless people. In fact it hates them so much that it recently passed a law aimed at preventing people from feeding the homeless. Arnold Abbott and a few of his friends decided to keep feeding them in spite of the law and were actually arrested by, what I imagine are, the biggest assholes to ever become police officers (seriously, if you’re a police officer and you’re arresting people for feeding the homeless then you are part of the problem). The city cited Mr. Abbott and he decided to give them a rightly deserved middle finger by continuing on his mission to make the lives of homeless individuals slightly better. Needless to say he was arrested again:

Arnold Abbott, the 90-year-old advocate for the homeless who was issued a citation earlier this week for feeding the homeless without adhering to new rules that would require him to obtain a permit and provide portable toilets, was cited again Wednesday night for the same reason.

This is an example of civil disobedience done right. An erroneous law was passed because a city government believes that the best way to deal with the homeless is to make their lives more miserable so they mosey on to the next city. To demonstrate how shitty the law is people have decided to publicly disobey it, which requires the police and city government to either demonstrates the fact that they’re raging asshole or back down.

The people of Fort Lauderdale would be right if they decided to arrest and detain both the members of the city government and the police for their attempts at restricting voluntary association.

Man Arrested for Feeding the Homeless

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The Fort Lauderdale police weren’t kidding when they said that they would arrest a man for feeding the homeless. Arnold Abbott, a 90 year-old man, and two of his cohorts are now facing two months in jail and a $500 fine because they had the audacity to feed those in need:

A 90-year-old man and two Christian ministers face up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine after they were arrested for feeding the homeless in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Arnold Abbott, 90, was the first to be charged under a new city ordinance which virtually outlaws sharing food with the homeless in public. He says he was told to “Drop that plate immediately!” by an officer, as though he were holding a weapon.

“These are the poorest of the poor, they have nothing; they don’t have a roof over their heads. How do you turn them away?” Abbott said to the local KHON2 station.

Abbott has fed the homeless for over 20 years and heads Love Thy Neighbor, Inc. In 1999, he successfully sued the city when they tried to stop him feeding the homeless on the beach.

These are the people who should be celebrated as heroes in this country. In spite of the law they refused to back down from doing what is right. They are also proof that the phrase “law-abiding citizen” is a bunch of bullshit because the law and morality are not the same thing. If there is a site taking donations for their legal defense fund I would very much appreciate being told about it because these are the kind of people I want to support.

Written by Christopher Burg

November 5th, 2014 at 10:00 am

Feed the Homeless, Go to Jail

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Fort Lauderdale decided that it wasn’t fighting hard enough in the war against the decided to change its strategy a bit by making it a jailable offense for many groups to feed homeless individuals:

The city of Fort Lauderdale last week passed an ordinance that effectively outlaws several humanitarian groups from feeding the homeless in public with a penalty of up to 60 days in jail. The law kicked in Friday, setting up a potential showdown between those groups and police.

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Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler said that is exactly what his city will do.

“Just because of media attention we don’t stop enforcing the law,” said Seiler. “We enforce the laws here in Fort Lauderdale.”

“So it’s fair to say if they break the law this weekend they will be arrested?” asked Norman.

“If they break the law and it’s observed by one of our law enforcement officers they are subject to arrest,” Seiler said.

On the upside one of the people who has been feeding the homeless, Micah Harris, said that he will continue to feed the homeless in spite of the damn law. It’s nice to know that there are people out there willing to give the state a gigantic middle finger. I only wish there were more.

Written by Christopher Burg

November 4th, 2014 at 10:30 am

Hawaii is Working to Solve Its Homeless Problem

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Without government who would harass the homeless? In the state’s never ending war against those who don’t have homes the areas of the United States that remain warm all year around are at a major disadvantage. First there is no harsh winter to cause the homeless enough discomfort to convince them to go elsewhere. Second they’re usually tourist hotbeds and having homeless people in tourist hotbed just makes your city look tacky. Hawaii is especially hard hit because it’s war all year, a tourist hotbed, and there’s really nowhere for the homeless to go. But that hasn’t stopped the Honolulu City Council from trying to chase the homeless off:

HONOLULU (AP) — The Honolulu City Council approved several measures Wednesday aimed at moving homeless people out of tourist hotspots in Hawaii, including one that bans sitting and lying down on sidewalks in the popular Waikiki area.

But a separate push to prevent homeless people from resting on sidewalks throughout the rest of the island failed.

The council has been under pressure from the tourism industry to act, with hotel representatives saying visitors complain often about safety and human waste.

You have to hand it to government, when the politically connected talk the government listens! It also goes to show how government solve problems. With all of the money being stolen by the Honolulu City Council you would think it would try building homeless shelters or operating programs to help homeless people get back on their feet. But that’s not the case. Instead the government passes laws that make being homeless a crime, effectively telling all homeless people to “Get a home!”

Written by Christopher Burg

September 12th, 2014 at 10:30 am

The Next Front in the State’s War Against the Homeless

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That state has been waging an ongoing war against the homeless for decades. The reasons for this are obvious, the homeless don’t have anything for the state to steal so the state would rather the homeless be wiped out. Fortunately for the homeless genocide is frowned upon but that doesn’t mean they’re safe. Most major cities have made the acts of being homeless and aiding the homeless crimes. The next front in the state’s war is criminalizing sleeping in vehicles:

The ban on sleeping in your car or truck is a downright trend with the number of laws criminalizing the action exploding by 119 percent since 2011 — a growth rate higher than any other anti-homeless law.

Sleeping in your car is illegal even in progressive cities such as Minneapolis. In Palo Alto, where rent is two and half times the national average and there are only 15 shelter beds to accommodate a homeless population estimated at 150 people, the city has made sleeping in “one’s own private vehicle a crime punishable by a $1,000 fine or up to six months in jail,” the report’s authors wrote.

What I took away from this article is that being homeless is a crime and you don’t own your car. Of course nobody is allowed to own any property in this country. We are only allowed to possess certain items for limited periods of time. The second you fail to pay property taxes on your home you lose it. If a cop has decided that there may have been unpatentable drugs in your car they get to take it under civil forfeiture laws. Owning a firearm is a privilege that will be taken from you the second you commit a felony, which almost all of us commit daily. And now many cities won’t let you sleep in your car without threatening to take your money (and probably your car) and tossing you in a cage because some people who sleep in their car are homeless and the state wants to make the lives of the homeless miserable.

Written by Christopher Burg

August 8th, 2014 at 10:00 am

Activism Fail

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Readers of my blog know that I have a major problem with the way homeless individuals are treated in our society. Various stores and apartment complexes in the United Kingdom have been busy installing spikes designed specially to prevent homeless individuals from sleeping on their property. Libertarians will point out that private property owners have a right to do such things and as a libertarian I concur. But as a decent human being I will also point out that doing so violates the don’t be a dick principle. Therefore it didn’t surprise me when activists decided to vandalize the spikes. However the vandals failed miserably:

They were all carrying buckets, which I soon found out were full of concrete. Tipping the containers all over the spikes, the stuff inside landed with a messy thud on the ledge. The activists then tried to spread the concrete out with some wooden slats, but it looked a little thick and wasn’t really budging.

When they dashed down a side street, I caught up and asked one what exactly they were doing. They explained that they were trying to drown the spikes in concrete, rendering the ledge non-spikey. “These [spikes] are in places where people are trying to find a cosy, less wet place to put their head down,” one said. “These are places that the underclass rely on. We give [Tesco] our money and this is how they treat us.”

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After our chat they prepared themselves for a second round. This time they poured concrete mix directly out of a bag, then mixed it with the water al fresco. This mostly resulted in a powdery mess and a load of concrete-y water running down the pavement.

The lesson from this story is if you’re going to do activism don’t fuck it up. Have a plan and understand the elements that plan relies on. For example, if you’re planning to cover anti-homeless spikes with concrete understand how to work with concrete. Doing so will help you understand that concrete hardens over time, which means mixing it before you’re onsite is risky unless you don’t have far to travel. Likewise dumping concrete mix on a ledge and pouring water over it will simply cause the mix to wash away. What you really need to do is bring concrete mix, water, and a container to combine the two in to the site you’re going to be working at.

Take some damn pride in your work. If you believe something is worth doing then learn how to do it well. Otherwise people are just going to laugh at you.

Written by Christopher Burg

June 13th, 2014 at 11:00 am

After Getting the Super Bowl Minneapolis Begins Cracking Down on the Homeless

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Minneapolis “won” (in other words bought) the “prestigious” award of hosting the 2018 Super Bowl. With only four years until the big game Minneapolis is scrambling to finish up its new stadium and to rid the city of, shall we say, undesirables. Stage one of creating the facade that Minneapolis doesn’t have a homeless problem has already begun:

As part of a campaign called “Give Real Change,” billboards have popped up along Hennepin Avenue urging people to instead give money to the organization, which aims to end homelessness.

Steve Cramer, president and CEO of the Minneapolis Downtown Council, said the effort is designed to help panhandlers, not hurt them.

“Everyone agrees, five bucks on the street is just going to perpetuate a life circumstance that is not conducive to long-term health,” he said. “That five dollars would be better invested in longer-term solutions to deal with the root cause of someone’s homelessness.”

When a city official talks about helping the homeless what he really means is making their lives so miserable that they go somewhere else. Part of this involves regulations that prevent people from assisting the homeless (for example, feeding them). Another part involves centralizing as much homeless assistance as possible under one easily controlled roof. Once resources are centralized it’s a trivial matter to distribute them in such a way as to maximize homeless misery.

We must also remember that this campaign is only stage one. Stage two will probably involve making it illegal to give money to panhandlers, stage three will likely involve a crackdown on anybody attempting to feed the homeless (again, to protect the homeless from food of questionable nutrition!), and stage four will probably involve rounding up all of the homeless people and driving them to the border of North Dakota a week before the Super Bowl begins.

But sometimes you have to make a few miserable lives more miserable if you want everybody coming into town for the big game to see how problem-free your town is!

Written by Christopher Burg

June 5th, 2014 at 10:30 am