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From USNWR:

West Coast Crisis Leads to Rise in US Homeless Population

The latest count of homelessness nationwide shows the population has increased for the first time in seven years, due mostly to a surging homeless crisis along the West Coast. Dec. 6, 2017, at 3:32 a.m.

Screenshot 2017-12-06 00.56.00 In Los Angeles, the economy is booming with all sorts skyscrapers going up near the old skid row downtown near the Staples Center. Presumably, panhandling is paying well, but not so well as to afford rents, which are very high in LA now.

Many of the swelling mob of the homeless have gotten pushed out of their old skid row turf to the Toy District in DTLA, which hosts hundreds of tents.

A big change is that the homeless now often own a lot of stuff, like tents and air mattresses. Camping out in LA’s climate doesn’t sound that bad, as long as you can hang on to your comfortable camping gear. But how do they do that?

What I haven’t seen addressed is: how they keep the other bums from stealing their property? Do they pack it all up when they leave each day and trundle it with them? Do they now have high tech locks or alarms? Do they have a buddy system to always have somebody on guard? Have they gotten some kind of Hobo Code of Honor going?

 
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  1. Nobody messes with their stuff. They are armed, with guns they found lying under park benches.

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  2. Thomas says:

    From a lot of what I’ve seen in several West Coast cities (specifically LA, SF and Seattle), a lot of these camps look more or less semi-permanent (at least until they get rousted by the police). I assume they often have a couple of people left to watch over stuff and make sure it doesn’t all go walking off while the others panhandle or do whatever it is they do with their days (these are bums after all: finding someone with nothing to do with their day probably isn’t that hard, a lot of the tent cities I’ve seen seem to always have at least a few sleeping off hangovers or whatever late into the afternoon). As long as you aren’t leaving small, easily carried off, high-value items around (e.g., drugs, guns, cash), I assume there isn’t a big incentive to stealing a lot of it. What is someone going to do, throw your used tent and mattress over their shoulder and trundle off? And do what? Set up their own camp a block or two away? Sell it to a pawn shop? Just looking on Amazon, a cheap air mattress and tent can be had for less than $50 new these days. I assume if someone is a habitual thief in one of these camps, they’re going to get found out and probably beaten up or worse, eventually.

    There have been a few cases of police raiding homeless camps and finding caches of guns, but I don’t think it’s terribly common (and in most cases, it’s probably usually tied to drugs).

    https://www.inquisitr.com/2593276/homeless-man-possessed-vintage-but-working-wwii-era-machine-guns-among-other-weapons/

    http://q13fox.com/2017/04/27/a-homeless-tent-no-seattle-police-seize-cache-of-weapons-at-suspected-drug-selling-site/

    http://koin.com/2016/01/26/police-find-5-rifles-at-nw-portland-homeless-camp/

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  3. At some point of gathering stuff and taking up semi-permanent space, do they cease to qualify as homeless?

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    • Replies: @Maj. Kong
    This is how slums start to form.

    Third World people...produce Third World living patterns...
    , @ThreeCranes
    After seven years on the same square of sidewalk they adverse possess it.

    Then, as downtown property owners they're on their way to becoming landlords, deal swingers and eventually who knows? maybe even the presidency.
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  4. Maj. Kong says:
    @The Alarmist
    At some point of gathering stuff and taking up semi-permanent space, do they cease to qualify as homeless?

    This is how slums start to form.

    Third World people…produce Third World living patterns…

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    • Replies: @The Alarmist
    Let's just say that the Brasil-model (no, not Gisele Bundchen) of "walled-compounds and private security for me, favellas for thee" works just fine for our criminal-elite.
    , @SF
    In the Sacramento area, I get the impression that most homeless are non-Hispanic white.
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  5. @Maj. Kong
    This is how slums start to form.

    Third World people...produce Third World living patterns...

    Let’s just say that the Brasil-model (no, not Gisele Bundchen) of “walled-compounds and private security for me, favellas for thee” works just fine for our criminal-elite.

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  6. A lot of these camps are run by preachers who function as a strongman. They enforce rules, such as no stealing or illegal activity. Preachers have access to charity from the community and other churches, synagogues, or whatever, and rule violators are punished by losing free stuff that is constantly coming in. The amount of donations they get is astounding. I know one preacher who says he “owns” the stuff and is lending it to the homeless, to encourage them to follow the rules. Being kicked out of the community is the ultimate, because the community provides protection.

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  7. Hunsdon says:

    So, more or less like “They Live,” then?

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  8. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    I don’t know about LA but in Manhattan, I sometimes see shopping carts that homeless used chained to street signs, fences, etc. like you would do with a bike. Guess they don’t want someone walking off with the property they walked off with.

    Also, some of the people that seem homeless also aren’t. There are a number who seem that way but are just poor, but not destitute. Third world people without skills and an education who are relatives of immigrants seem to be prone to this. There was an article about a few of these at one point. I remember one was an elderly Chinese grandmother who could speak no English, other than numbers and some simple phrases, who spends her days going around NYC filling a shopping cart with cans and bottles and cashing them in for the redemption, to get a little extra $ for her family.

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  9. anon says: • Disclaimer

    Organized crime affiliations maybe? Local organization at a minimum.

    LATimes had a recent story about the finding of an underground bunker with 1000 bikes when clearing out the Santa Ana River Trail homeless encampment.

    Here’s a bike ride-through of the place. Couple people had generators and appears there’s a bicycle chop shop at 5:46 mark. Certainly ain’t like the old days of the hobo sleeping on a park bench.

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    • Replies: @Looker

    Here’s a bike ride-through of the place. Couple people had generators and appears there’s a bicycle chop shop at 5:46 mark. Certainly ain’t like the old days of the hobo sleeping on a park bench.
     
    I don't usually cruise around Santa Ana, but was there the other day for a business meeting. I was sitting in my car in a parking lot, waiting for somebody, and noticed this beautiful blonde girl, looked like a classic swedish beauty. Young, strong jawline, honeydew skin, in excellent shape, except she was pregnant. She was wearing a backpack, and staring into her iPhone, then she dropped the backpack in front of me, highly agitated. A minute later, a young handsome swedey-looking guy, presumably the father, arrived on a mountain bike, with a tiny trailer, packed with his crap, connected to the back. He seemed non-plussed while she yelled at him a bit. Then she left her backpack, and just walked away down the street, staring at her iPhone. The guy stayed there about 20 minutes, talking on his phone, presumably to her. Then she came back for the backpack, and they walked off together. As good looking as they both were, they were still a little rough, and obviously homeless. Best looking homeless couple I've ever seen, tho. I heard them speaking, and it was clear they were american.

    I was near a river bed, so I would presume I was somewhere near a massive homeless encampment that I was unaware of, till I saw that video you linked to.

    Anyway, I think for younger people, homelessness is shifting to a life choice, rather than having the rug pulled out from under them. Lots of hippy-types taking to it, as it appears by the mindful camping sites in that vid. Those are mostly white people who know what they're doing.

    Also, it's interesting those encampments were as far as I could tell, chock full of white people. Not any mexicans that I could see, and no blacks. Certainly no asians. Apparently they're redlining themselves. Could it be that when young hippy white folks are left to their own devices, they self-segregate?

    It's an interesting aspect to this new era of "mindful homelessness."

    Steve needs to figure that out. He's my one of my go-to sources when I outsource my brainwork.

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  10. SEAN C says:

    From what i can sense with smell is they protect their stuff by marking it with piss.

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  11. Svigor says:

    A big change is that the homeless now often own a lot of stuff, like tents and air mattresses. Camping out in LA’s climate doesn’t sound that bad, as long as you can hang on to your comfortable camping gear. But how do they do that?

    What I haven’t seen addressed is: how they keep the other bums from stealing their property? Do they pack it all up when they leave each day and trundle it with them? Do they now have high tech locks or alarms? Do they have a buddy system to always have somebody on guard? Have they gotten some kind of Hobo Code of Honor going?

    Backpacking equipment has really been revolutionized over the last fifty years or so (with the obvious focus being on ultralight materials and designs). You can put it all into a backpack. These days, ultralight backpackers consider 30 lbs base weight to be hilariously over-weight. E.g.:

    G**gle search: ultralight backpacking gear everything you need under lbs

    From the first page of results:

    5 lbs…
    9 lbs…
    2.4 lbs (extreme!)…
    12.2 lbs…
    10 lbs…
    20 lbs…
    14 lbs…
    10.4 lbs…

    It’s not hard to put your backpack into a shopping cart.

    On the other hand, the big ticket items, sleeping gear and shelter, can be pretty expensive. But as you say, surviving in LA is easy. You don’t need a badass winter sleeping bag, or a badass 4-season tent.

    Maybe outdoor companies are sponsoring the homeless to test their gear? Charity + research all in one. :D

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  12. Ah, in the vein of “crops rotting in the field” showing up whenever someone wants to push an amnesty, “homeless crisis” stories show up when there’s a Republican president.

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  13. Articles about the homeless appearing in national media? A Republican must be in the White House.

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  14. When our sons were younger we would take them into Chicago to work as volunteers serving meals to the “homeless and poor” on holidays. Pacific Garden Mission and the Chicago Christian Industrial League were a couple of places where we helped. We wanted them to see that not everyone lived like they did. Not that we were wealthy or anything but we had/have a fairly comfortable standard of living. We wanted them to appreciate the many blessings they sometimes took for granted.

    Once during the drive home our youngest son asked, “I thought those people were poor. How come almost all of them had cell phones?” We tried to explain that poor in the US was a lot different from poor in the rest of the world and that not all of the people who were served were really indigent, many of them just came for a free meal.

    After this son graduated high school and was having trouble deciding on next steps, we invited him to become independent. He and some friends got an apartment in the city and he got a job at Whole Foods in the South Loop. He would tell us about the large number of folks who shopped at this store with their SNAP Link cards. And he would refer to his soup kitchen experiences and “poor” people with cell phones.

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    • Replies: @A1
    Where I am from the social agencies provide the cell phones as a method of keeping track of them.
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  15. Anon7 says:

    Los Angeles is the only place in the country with secure storage facilities for homeless people:

    In the early morning hours, a crowd of people gathers outside of a nondescript building in Los Angeles’ Skid Row neighborhood. They’re all homeless and all looking to find shelter, not for themselves but for their personal possessions, which they keep in everything from plastic bags to shopping carts to suitcases as they wait in the crowd.

    They’ve come to The Bin. Operated by the L.A. homeless assistance organization Chrysalis, it’s one of only two storage facilities in Los Angeles where the city’s homeless population can store their property free of charge, whether its a single day or several weeks.

    http://curious.kcrw.com/2016/02/storage-facility-for-homeless

    I saw this in the latest season of Michael Connelly’s LA detective Bosch, which is a great series, btw.

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    • Replies: @Clyde

    I saw this in the latest season of Michael Connelly’s LA detective Bosch, which is a great series, btw.
     
    Indeed it is and non-politically correct. Only on Amazon Prime but torrents have it. When next season 4 of Bosch comes up I will buy back into Amazon Prime which I let lapse three weeks ago. Next Bosch should be Jan2018 but lets see.
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  16. Funny, I just read Harlan Ellison’s short story “Soft Monkey,” which includes some ruminations of the homeless protagonist about her stuff. A shopping cart is handy, for example, and if all your time is spent worrying about the contents of the cart, it’s not surprising if you accumulate a choice inventory.

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  17. black sea says:

    Some homeless people work. They are “in-between” homes in a sense.

    A friend of mine did occasional charity work in a homeless shelter. There were people who went off to work in the morning, and were saving up to get an apartment.

    Recently, I watched a documentary about Seattle’s pricey housing market. There were people living in a tent city, some of whom worked but were planning to relocate to a cheaper locale, etc. It would be interesting to know what percentage of the homeless at least intermittently work.

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    • Replies: @enemy of earth
    Agreed. When the church we attended in Chicago ran a homeless shelter I often worked the overnight shift. The majority of our male population were illegal Polish migrants. Most of them had regular jobs and we were often asked by many to make sure they were up by 5 AM because they had to get to work. Many of them chose to live "on the street" because they were sending every dollar they could earn back to family in Poland and didn't want to "waste" money on living quarters.
    , @JeremiahJohnbalaya
    I have some first-hand, and a lot of second-hand experience with working at a homeless shelter. A family member volunteered for 30+ years at what was considered one of the most highly regarded homeless shelters in the (mid) South. It was in a liberal sweet spot and was notorious for attracting homeless from all up and down the East Coast.

    They come in two types: 1) incapable of living a normal life due to mental or substance abuse issues, and 2) perfectly happy panhandling to get what they wanted. There was no phenomenon of even small numbers of people who tried and couldn't get off the streets.

    , @YetAnotherAnon
    In the UK housing is so expensive in many cities that people are taking to living in vans. I know a London art student who does that - she moves it around and has a rota of places she parks up in. Different sort of people though, you have to tax and insure your vehicle and not be drunk in charge of it.

    In Bristol there's quite a community living on the streets in vehicles.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-bristol-41830135

    https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/4562498/bristol-residents-vandwellers-gardens-toilets-easton/
    , @Corn
    Agreed. My employer was short handed a couple years ago and hired a temp for a few weeks. This fellow was a good worker but rather itinerant. He had no full time job, just kept getting short term stints from LaborReady and a couple other staffing agencies. Worked daily but just never at the same place a long time. He told me one day one agent had found him a job working the concession stands at the Indiana state fair. (We live in Illinois). So this fellow claimed he hopped a bus to Indianapolis, stayed at the “mens’ shelter” for the duration of the fair.

    I don’t know if anyone has ever kept track of such things but I’m curious to know how many homeless shelter residents are “idle poor”, how many work regularly or semi regularly and how many actually have a home but use a shelter as cheap lodging or a hostel when working/traveling far from home.
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  18. @black sea
    Some homeless people work. They are "in-between" homes in a sense.

    A friend of mine did occasional charity work in a homeless shelter. There were people who went off to work in the morning, and were saving up to get an apartment.

    Recently, I watched a documentary about Seattle's pricey housing market. There were people living in a tent city, some of whom worked but were planning to relocate to a cheaper locale, etc. It would be interesting to know what percentage of the homeless at least intermittently work.

    Agreed. When the church we attended in Chicago ran a homeless shelter I often worked the overnight shift. The majority of our male population were illegal Polish migrants. Most of them had regular jobs and we were often asked by many to make sure they were up by 5 AM because they had to get to work. Many of them chose to live “on the street” because they were sending every dollar they could earn back to family in Poland and didn’t want to “waste” money on living quarters.

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  19. AaronB says:

    All that stuff is cheap and easy to get there’s little point in stealing anything. There’s an abundance of leftover junk in modern society.

    They’re not capitalists, and they’re obviously not strivers, so they’re probably less materialistic.

    The economy increasingly is about expending tremendous effort to even have a middle class life style. Gone are the days when you could have a comfortable middle class life by working reasonably but not too much, with a certain amount of stability.

    The ranks of the homeless are probably swelled by people who, for whatever reason, can’t or won’t work as hard as the modern economy demands.

    They just don’t want to live that ridiculous striver lifestyle.

    There’s also an explosion of people living in vans and old RVs, I see this first hand on the streets of New York. The few times I have caught a glimpse of the inhabitants they were young, good looking, perfectly normal white people.

    I wonder if a hobo culture of wandering will come into existence similar to the German wandevogel or the Hindu sanyyasis.

    How incredible would that be! But will our capitalist masters ever permit large numbers of people to escape the net? After all, they need consumers.

    I have often day dreamed wistfully about leaving it all behind, cut all ties, and wander the land, like a Hindu Saddhu.

    Is there anyone who seriously hasn’t?

    It would be a return to normal historically. The idea that everyone must be gainfully occupied making money and accumulating stuff only became normal under capitalism, and was at least partly a trick played on us by our capitalist masters.

    This would all fit in with my thesis that the West is in a pre-spiritual phase after the will to power has died a natural death, which always happens after empire.

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    • Replies: @The Alarmist
    Check out #VanLife on you favourite social media site. YouTube has quite a few videos on the subject of living in your camper or van on American streets. Common theme, though, is precisely that the authorities hassle these folks at every turn. No rest for the weary.
    , @27 year old

    There’s also an explosion of people living in vans and old RVs, I see this first hand on the streets of New York. The few times I have caught a glimpse of the inhabitants they were young, good looking, perfectly normal white people.

    I wonder if a hobo culture of wandering will come into existence similar to the German wandevogel or the Hindu sanyyasis.

    How incredible would that be! But will our capitalist masters ever permit large numbers of people to escape the net? After all, they need consumers.
     
    Large numbers of people don't want to escape the net and even among those who want to, most lack the balls to go through with it (myself included). It would be cool but it ain't gonna happen.

    The capitalist response has been to monetize "van life" and exploit the people who want to leave the net but do not. They use the dream of living in a van not being a consumer to sell consumer crap.

    The "van lifers" themselves even have some total cynics among them who are explicitly living that way in order to generate income from Internet marketing. No shit.
    , @Reg Cæsar

    This would all fit in with my thesis that the West is in a pre-spiritual phase after the will to power has died a natural death, which always happens after empire.
     
    Sounds like you've been reading Pitirim Sorokin.
    , @YetAnotherAnon
    " leaving it all behind, cut all ties, and wander the land, like a Hindu Saddhu"

    Kipling wrote about one in The Miracle Of Purun Bhagat.
    , @Corn
    “It would be a return to normal historically. The idea that everyone must be gainfully occupied making money and accumulating stuff only became normal under capitalism, and was at least partly a trick played on us by our capitalist masters.”
    Before the rise of capitalism and industry most Westerners were small farmers, busting their a$$ with horse, plow and ax to make a living. Hard, honest work, but not terribly romantic. Being a happy hobo isn’t really the historical norm.
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  20. bartok says:

    Tents and mattress are cheap, unwieldy and dirty, not worth the trouble to steal. Compare them to bicycles, drugs and smartphones.

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  21. @The Alarmist
    At some point of gathering stuff and taking up semi-permanent space, do they cease to qualify as homeless?

    After seven years on the same square of sidewalk they adverse possess it.

    Then, as downtown property owners they’re on their way to becoming landlords, deal swingers and eventually who knows? maybe even the presidency.

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    • Replies: @The Alarmist
    Only the privately owned sidewalks ... adverse possession does not operate against the sovereign.
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  22. Lots of them are getting disability checks, but they blow the money quickly and then have nothing left for the rest of the month.

    the few that I knew were always “looking for work” but mostly they had figured out how to live without working very much. It was pathetic, and they would occasionally admit it, but their stubbornness was unending. These were men, unmarried and childless. Unfortunately, it’s really hard to care about such people.

    Recently, an old friend who spent years drifting in and out of homelessness, passed away in his early 60′s. That’s actually not bad considering he never really did anything worth while or made a good decision his entire life.

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  23. @black sea
    Some homeless people work. They are "in-between" homes in a sense.

    A friend of mine did occasional charity work in a homeless shelter. There were people who went off to work in the morning, and were saving up to get an apartment.

    Recently, I watched a documentary about Seattle's pricey housing market. There were people living in a tent city, some of whom worked but were planning to relocate to a cheaper locale, etc. It would be interesting to know what percentage of the homeless at least intermittently work.

    I have some first-hand, and a lot of second-hand experience with working at a homeless shelter. A family member volunteered for 30+ years at what was considered one of the most highly regarded homeless shelters in the (mid) South. It was in a liberal sweet spot and was notorious for attracting homeless from all up and down the East Coast.

    They come in two types: 1) incapable of living a normal life due to mental or substance abuse issues, and 2) perfectly happy panhandling to get what they wanted. There was no phenomenon of even small numbers of people who tried and couldn’t get off the streets.

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    • Agree: Triumph104
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  24. SF says:
    @Maj. Kong
    This is how slums start to form.

    Third World people...produce Third World living patterns...

    In the Sacramento area, I get the impression that most homeless are non-Hispanic white.

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    • Replies: @jJay
    My observation is that non-Hispanic whites make up the vast majority of the 'homeless' throughout California.

    Ventura, where the fires are raging, is bounded by two river beds. There have been homeless encampments there for as long as I know (since the mid 1980's), boom or bust. It seems to be a lifestyle preference for some of my cousins. They don't panhandle. I suppose they get food ABT cards and other government handouts though. There's always a line of men at the methadone clinic on Thompson Blvd in the early morning, but not a long one.

    I am in Oxnard now, just down breeze of Ventura. The smoke is unreal.
    , @Anonymous
    Your impression is correct but the ones who can put a sentence together are likely to be recent intra-state immigrants from the Bay--of course, joining our established homeless of long standing, i.e. early '00s refugee bums from Flyoverland to the east. Since nobody left in the CA Valley has political clout it's becoming the "Idiocracy" garbage avalanche
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  25. The problem here is not unlike the immigration problem–and much of our modern problems foisted on us by the left.

    It’s this idea that a people, a community, a nation are *not allowed* to determine who gets to live with them and what the community norms are.

    In the old days there were bums and mentally ill, but if you acted too weird they’d toss you in the looney bin, and if you were messing up the main drag they’d give you the bums rush over to the other side of the tracks.

    I’m all for people having freedom. But that includes the freedom of normal people to live their lives according to their own norms. If you don’t want to live by the norms that normal people want for their normal community … go be free somewhere else.

    What we need now is lots of *separation*. Mainly so that the normal natives of the nations of the West can live normal lives.

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    • Replies: @MBlanc46
    You must have missed the fact that there has been a war on normal for more than fifty years.
    , @Anonymous
    "Normal is an illusion. What is normal for the spider is chaos for the fly."
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  26. @AaronB
    All that stuff is cheap and easy to get there's little point in stealing anything. There's an abundance of leftover junk in modern society.

    They're not capitalists, and they're obviously not strivers, so they're probably less materialistic.

    The economy increasingly is about expending tremendous effort to even have a middle class life style. Gone are the days when you could have a comfortable middle class life by working reasonably but not too much, with a certain amount of stability.

    The ranks of the homeless are probably swelled by people who, for whatever reason, can't or won't work as hard as the modern economy demands.

    They just don't want to live that ridiculous striver lifestyle.

    There's also an explosion of people living in vans and old RVs, I see this first hand on the streets of New York. The few times I have caught a glimpse of the inhabitants they were young, good looking, perfectly normal white people.

    I wonder if a hobo culture of wandering will come into existence similar to the German wandevogel or the Hindu sanyyasis.

    How incredible would that be! But will our capitalist masters ever permit large numbers of people to escape the net? After all, they need consumers.

    I have often day dreamed wistfully about leaving it all behind, cut all ties, and wander the land, like a Hindu Saddhu.

    Is there anyone who seriously hasn't?

    It would be a return to normal historically. The idea that everyone must be gainfully occupied making money and accumulating stuff only became normal under capitalism, and was at least partly a trick played on us by our capitalist masters.

    This would all fit in with my thesis that the West is in a pre-spiritual phase after the will to power has died a natural death, which always happens after empire.

    Check out #VanLife on you favourite social media site. YouTube has quite a few videos on the subject of living in your camper or van on American streets. Common theme, though, is precisely that the authorities hassle these folks at every turn. No rest for the weary.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AaronB
    Ha! Why am I not surprised?

    They need people in the system, they can't let people escape.

    In the past spiritual people had a sort of alliance with powerful people, because if you were happy and content and worked at agriculture you were good for the system.

    But not anymore, they need to stoke our desires to the maximum and make us as materialistic as they can, to feed the system.

    I also think materialistic people have a visceral dislike for people who have escaped the system, they envy the freedom but know they could never have it themselves and are slaves to their passions.
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  27. @ThreeCranes
    After seven years on the same square of sidewalk they adverse possess it.

    Then, as downtown property owners they're on their way to becoming landlords, deal swingers and eventually who knows? maybe even the presidency.

    Only the privately owned sidewalks … adverse possession does not operate against the sovereign.

    Read More
    • Troll: Autochthon
    • Replies: @Autochthon
    My keen, piercing intellect greed with you, but my large, manly fingers labelled you a troll.
    , @ThreeCranes
    I knew that (having formerly been a surveyor) but it didn't make for a crazy post.
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  28. Spud Boy says:

    I knew it was only a matter of time before the media, who ignored the homeless problem for eight years, suddenly discovered its existence. Of course, it will be spun as a new phenomenon, blamed on Trump and the policies of those nasty Republicans. They’ll probably give them a catchy name like the “Trump homeless” or some such thing.

    Read More
    • Replies: @jack ryan
    CA is a Democrat state.

    Malibu CA is an elitist Lib Democrat fabulously expensive. The welcome to Malibu CA proudly declares that Malibu is a

    "Sanctuary City"

    But realities in Malibu was that some church giving free meals to the homeless was forced to stop doing this.

    The Alternative Media has done a good job of ending the Mainstream Media's ability to blame selfish Republicans for things like homelessness.
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  29. Clyde says:
    @Anon7
    Los Angeles is the only place in the country with secure storage facilities for homeless people:

    In the early morning hours, a crowd of people gathers outside of a nondescript building in Los Angeles’ Skid Row neighborhood. They’re all homeless and all looking to find shelter, not for themselves but for their personal possessions, which they keep in everything from plastic bags to shopping carts to suitcases as they wait in the crowd.

    They’ve come to The Bin. Operated by the L.A. homeless assistance organization Chrysalis, it’s one of only two storage facilities in Los Angeles where the city’s homeless population can store their property free of charge, whether its a single day or several weeks.

    http://curious.kcrw.com/2016/02/storage-facility-for-homeless
     
    I saw this in the latest season of Michael Connelly's LA detective Bosch, which is a great series, btw.

    I saw this in the latest season of Michael Connelly’s LA detective Bosch, which is a great series, btw.

    Indeed it is and non-politically correct. Only on Amazon Prime but torrents have it. When next season 4 of Bosch comes up I will buy back into Amazon Prime which I let lapse three weeks ago. Next Bosch should be Jan2018 but lets see.

    Read More
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  30. Maybe they’re not homeless at all but rather successful Hollywood directors looking to do “research” on the homeless problem for their first serious film. Ants In Your Pants of 1939 just wasn’t fulfilling enough.

    Read More
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  31. A1 says:
    @enemy of earth
    When our sons were younger we would take them into Chicago to work as volunteers serving meals to the "homeless and poor" on holidays. Pacific Garden Mission and the Chicago Christian Industrial League were a couple of places where we helped. We wanted them to see that not everyone lived like they did. Not that we were wealthy or anything but we had/have a fairly comfortable standard of living. We wanted them to appreciate the many blessings they sometimes took for granted.

    Once during the drive home our youngest son asked, "I thought those people were poor. How come almost all of them had cell phones?" We tried to explain that poor in the US was a lot different from poor in the rest of the world and that not all of the people who were served were really indigent, many of them just came for a free meal.

    After this son graduated high school and was having trouble deciding on next steps, we invited him to become independent. He and some friends got an apartment in the city and he got a job at Whole Foods in the South Loop. He would tell us about the large number of folks who shopped at this store with their SNAP Link cards. And he would refer to his soup kitchen experiences and "poor" people with cell phones.

    Where I am from the social agencies provide the cell phones as a method of keeping track of them.

    Read More
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  32. anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    In some spots they know each other and look out for outsiders who might steal their stuff. That’s why they don’t like shelters, too many strangers who will steal whatever meagre possessions they have. Going through the Wilson or Lawrence underpasses in Chicago where they had tent encampments I noticed a uniformity of tents, leading me to think they were getting them from some charity who had purchased them in lots.
    The homeless fall into three categories here: substance users, mentally ill, paroled convicts with no job or place to go. There’s overlap of course. In places with warm weather ‘living rough’, as they used to call it, is easier and draws more of the hobo type. Hawaii has had issues with too many of them being there. Lots of the homeless actually have jobs but don’t make enough to rent anything local. One homeless guy I’m acquainted with has a part time job at a chain grocery store and told me others also worked there. The store keeps them on part time so as to avoid the issue of benefits. He’s got a system of sleeping in the back of a building with the owner’s permission, a rolling suitcase and a place to clean up. He avoids most other homeless. The homeless population in all the cities seems to just keep growing by the day. What’s going on?

    Read More
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  33. black sea says:

    Homeless by choice, I suspect she won’t be homeless for life:

    The best comment on the video has to be, “how the hell does a dude who’s been homeless for many many years get a Beverly hills hair stylist girlfriend”

    Maybe they fall into the category of “playing at being homeless.”

    Read More
    • Replies: @AaronB
    Orwell took a year off to be homeless, back when it was way tougher.

    Buddhists are supposed to "to go into the homeless" life.

    Hindus ate supposed to give up wife and home and spend their last years in holy wandering, and many did, and still do.

    No need to be trapped by the categories of capitalism and our materialistic civilization.

    I would love to try it one day, but it would be fake in my case as I have access to money, like with Orwell. But I wonder....

    , @Barnard
    Between places that serve free meals and food pantries and other places that give out free food, a person like this could probably eat pretty well for free or very close to it. If you can sleep in a tent in a relatively warm climate, it probably isn't that tough of a life. The worst part for the average person would be the boredom.
    , @aadd
    I think the unspoken common denominator of these girls is bipolar disorder. That's what gets them kicked out of wherever they used to live. A couple of "episodes" will get their butts kicked outside. They can hold their shit together for a few minutes to do an interview, but left on their own, they're likely quite a piece of work.

    I mean, just think of how much of an asshole you'd have to be to wind up a pretty, young, homeless girl.

    All people tend to want to help cute girls in distress, so if you're cute ass winds up sitting on the street, chances are you're a significant force to be reckoned with in real time. You're probably not as "cheery" and "laid back" as these videos seem to suggest.

    Speaking of cute homeless girls...

    OMG! That Star Wars girl is Homeless!!

    https://youtu.be/vczisdyN4e0?t=3m12s
    , @Reg Cæsar
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvRUblJ_hqM
    , @27 year old

    “how the hell does a dude who’s been homeless for many many years get a Beverly hills hair stylist girlfriend”
     
    Why is this a surprise? Same way he got girls before choosing to be homeless. He talked to them and they liked him. A man who is living his chosen life and content/happy with it, a man who is happy with who he is and where he's at can always get girls.

    If you think about it being voluntarily homeless is a pretty alpha move already. Then successfully living the lifestyle for years would develop a lot of confidence.
    , @whorefinder
    As the list of incarcerated felons with multiple female admirers shows, money is not the only way to impress/attract women, and if it happens to be your only way, you're in trouble.
    , @Yngvar
    Hobo Humpin Slobo Babe
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2up7su7CeMU
    , @bored identity
    Although Obamanomics wasn't officially Voodoo oriented, bored identity believes that the last decade was a thriving period for any vibrant Ha Tu! Ha Tu! Ziggity Bing Bam Boom! voter:


    https://youtu.be/BLgJWaDYPc8



    Also, before proverbial Affordable Millennial Homelesness Act was all but technically enacted, the environment used to be comfortably discouraging to wannabee-hobos:


    https://youtu.be/pYaJ7p8RrzM?t=1m49s
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  34. AaronB says:
    @black sea
    Homeless by choice, I suspect she won't be homeless for life:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWxVwTVU15Q

    The best comment on the video has to be, "how the hell does a dude who's been homeless for many many years get a Beverly hills hair stylist girlfriend"

    Maybe they fall into the category of "playing at being homeless."

    Orwell took a year off to be homeless, back when it was way tougher.

    Buddhists are supposed to “to go into the homeless” life.

    Hindus ate supposed to give up wife and home and spend their last years in holy wandering, and many did, and still do.

    No need to be trapped by the categories of capitalism and our materialistic civilization.

    I would love to try it one day, but it would be fake in my case as I have access to money, like with Orwell. But I wonder….

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous

    Orwell took a year off to be homeless, back when it was way tougher.
     
    That's where he caught the TB that killed him.
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  35. Shopping carts are the greatest invention if you are “homeless.” In the suburbs you rarely if ever see carts off store property. In the city the supermarkets have signage noting that it is illegal to remove carts from the store’s property. Those signs and the signs that say “No Littering” must be in hieroglyphics. My wife and I volunteer one day a week at an inner city Soup Kitchen where the homeless are fed two substantial meals everyday but Sunday. I will say that Americans, whatever our perceived faults, are generous people.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    In the city the supermarkets have signage noting that it is illegal to remove carts from the store’s property.
     
    Signage? Around here they have radio locks on the wheels. When you reach the perimeter of the lot, the cart stops.

    I suppose you could lift it, but if you're that strong, you'd have a job somewhere.
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  36. Barnard says:
    @black sea
    Homeless by choice, I suspect she won't be homeless for life:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWxVwTVU15Q

    The best comment on the video has to be, "how the hell does a dude who's been homeless for many many years get a Beverly hills hair stylist girlfriend"

    Maybe they fall into the category of "playing at being homeless."

    Between places that serve free meals and food pantries and other places that give out free food, a person like this could probably eat pretty well for free or very close to it. If you can sleep in a tent in a relatively warm climate, it probably isn’t that tough of a life. The worst part for the average person would be the boredom.

    Read More
    • Replies: @International Jew

    The worst part for the average person would be the boredom.
     
    No, I think the worst part would be your "neighbors".
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  37. whorefinder says: • Website

    Hey don’t forget that the Occupy Wallstreet crowd was largely a bunch of organized homeless druggies and mental cases. They just didn’t report on one another, but they were raping, stealing, and selling drugs.

    It’s like any refugee village—-the strongest take what they want, but nobody tells on them. Because if they do the cops might force them all to move.

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  38. Sparkon says:

    Of course, there’s absolutely no chance at all that the increasing homelessness problem in the United States is at least partially caused by greedy landlords, because you know, only a leftist would say something like that.

    After all, people have the right to be as greedy as they want, but homeless people shouldn’t have too much stuff, if for no other reason than there simply aren’t enough shopping carts to go around. Happily, there are enough dogs to go around, so the homeless people can have one, or more, even a whole pack.

    Therefore, the increasing homelessness problem must be caused by increasing numbers of lazy, shiftless people, rather than skyrocketing rents. Is that how it works?

    ‘Noteworthy too that the skyrocketing rents were preceded by those skyrocketing energy costs promised by Obama himself in his war on coal, no doubt because that’s what poor people really were hoping for all along: the ol’ one-two punch in the wallet, and all.

    So what do you think: are there more lazy people in this world, or greedy ones?

    Read More
    • Replies: @anonymous
    Exotic building codes, compliance fees, fines, insurance, utilities, maintenance, and high property taxes are not manifestations of greed on the part of landlords. Even assuming tenants aren't tearing up the place and there are no bank payments the cost is substantial. I'm sure if it was you you'd to all the work yourself and your time isn't worth anything.

    Clamoring for "free" stuff and then complaining when a business is forced to pass those costs on to you in order to remain solvent requires an amazing degree of hypocrisy.
    , @Buffalo Joe
    Spark, not going to answer your question, but there is help for rent and utilities for people in need. The "homeless" I see weekly at the soup kitchen where I volunteer are mostly substance addicted or mentally challenged. The majority also have a place to stay, if they choose.
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  39. Looker says:
    @anon
    Organized crime affiliations maybe? Local organization at a minimum.

    LATimes had a recent story about the finding of an underground bunker with 1000 bikes when clearing out the Santa Ana River Trail homeless encampment.

    Here's a bike ride-through of the place. Couple people had generators and appears there's a bicycle chop shop at 5:46 mark. Certainly ain't like the old days of the hobo sleeping on a park bench.

    Here’s a bike ride-through of the place. Couple people had generators and appears there’s a bicycle chop shop at 5:46 mark. Certainly ain’t like the old days of the hobo sleeping on a park bench.

    I don’t usually cruise around Santa Ana, but was there the other day for a business meeting. I was sitting in my car in a parking lot, waiting for somebody, and noticed this beautiful blonde girl, looked like a classic swedish beauty. Young, strong jawline, honeydew skin, in excellent shape, except she was pregnant. She was wearing a backpack, and staring into her iPhone, then she dropped the backpack in front of me, highly agitated. A minute later, a young handsome swedey-looking guy, presumably the father, arrived on a mountain bike, with a tiny trailer, packed with his crap, connected to the back. He seemed non-plussed while she yelled at him a bit. Then she left her backpack, and just walked away down the street, staring at her iPhone. The guy stayed there about 20 minutes, talking on his phone, presumably to her. Then she came back for the backpack, and they walked off together. As good looking as they both were, they were still a little rough, and obviously homeless. Best looking homeless couple I’ve ever seen, tho. I heard them speaking, and it was clear they were american.

    I was near a river bed, so I would presume I was somewhere near a massive homeless encampment that I was unaware of, till I saw that video you linked to.

    Anyway, I think for younger people, homelessness is shifting to a life choice, rather than having the rug pulled out from under them. Lots of hippy-types taking to it, as it appears by the mindful camping sites in that vid. Those are mostly white people who know what they’re doing.

    Also, it’s interesting those encampments were as far as I could tell, chock full of white people. Not any mexicans that I could see, and no blacks. Certainly no asians. Apparently they’re redlining themselves. Could it be that when young hippy white folks are left to their own devices, they self-segregate?

    It’s an interesting aspect to this new era of “mindful homelessness.”

    Steve needs to figure that out. He’s my one of my go-to sources when I outsource my brainwork.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Triumph104
    There are white people panhandling in Southeast Asia. Thailand is restricting entry into the country, particularly by land, by sometimes requesting that a foreigner have the equivalent of several hundred dollars in cash on them as proof they will be able to support themselves during their stay.

    Back in 2010 while looking for a fugitive, police shot Angel Mendez and his then-girlfriend Jennifer Garcia. The homeless couple was living in a shack on a friend's property and shot 15 times resulting in Angel having his lower leg amputated. Jennifer, of course, was pregnant. They married and won a $4 million judgement for damages in 2013, but the ruling was overturned by the US Supreme Court earlier this year.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-court-police/u-s-top-court-sides-with-police-over-shooting-of-homeless-couple-idUSKBN18Q1SX

    https://youtu.be/zswJdYGf8No?t=43
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  40. @AaronB
    All that stuff is cheap and easy to get there's little point in stealing anything. There's an abundance of leftover junk in modern society.

    They're not capitalists, and they're obviously not strivers, so they're probably less materialistic.

    The economy increasingly is about expending tremendous effort to even have a middle class life style. Gone are the days when you could have a comfortable middle class life by working reasonably but not too much, with a certain amount of stability.

    The ranks of the homeless are probably swelled by people who, for whatever reason, can't or won't work as hard as the modern economy demands.

    They just don't want to live that ridiculous striver lifestyle.

    There's also an explosion of people living in vans and old RVs, I see this first hand on the streets of New York. The few times I have caught a glimpse of the inhabitants they were young, good looking, perfectly normal white people.

    I wonder if a hobo culture of wandering will come into existence similar to the German wandevogel or the Hindu sanyyasis.

    How incredible would that be! But will our capitalist masters ever permit large numbers of people to escape the net? After all, they need consumers.

    I have often day dreamed wistfully about leaving it all behind, cut all ties, and wander the land, like a Hindu Saddhu.

    Is there anyone who seriously hasn't?

    It would be a return to normal historically. The idea that everyone must be gainfully occupied making money and accumulating stuff only became normal under capitalism, and was at least partly a trick played on us by our capitalist masters.

    This would all fit in with my thesis that the West is in a pre-spiritual phase after the will to power has died a natural death, which always happens after empire.

    There’s also an explosion of people living in vans and old RVs, I see this first hand on the streets of New York. The few times I have caught a glimpse of the inhabitants they were young, good looking, perfectly normal white people.

    I wonder if a hobo culture of wandering will come into existence similar to the German wandevogel or the Hindu sanyyasis.

    How incredible would that be! But will our capitalist masters ever permit large numbers of people to escape the net? After all, they need consumers.

    Large numbers of people don’t want to escape the net and even among those who want to, most lack the balls to go through with it (myself included). It would be cool but it ain’t gonna happen.

    The capitalist response has been to monetize “van life” and exploit the people who want to leave the net but do not. They use the dream of living in a van not being a consumer to sell consumer crap.

    The “van lifers” themselves even have some total cynics among them who are explicitly living that way in order to generate income from Internet marketing. No shit.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AaronB
    I don't think the majority ever wanted to escape the net, but there was always a substantial minority that wanted to and did, and that always undermined the prevailing materialism that is the norm in any society.

    And that's not nothing. There used to monasteries everywhere, and wandering ascetics!

    We're the first society ever to provide no escape from materialism to those who want it, but that's changing of necessity.

    You're of course right, capitalism will monetize van life, just as it monetized Buddhism - as a dream you could spend money on.

    But the economy may for the first time in a long while make a return to a less material life possible, despite the most ardent wishes of our capitalist masters and their need for consumers.

    In other words, the system is collapsing of itself, and the ability of capitalism to stymie this possibility of escape from the net may simply no longer be as unlimited as it was in the past.
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  41. aadd says:
    @black sea
    Homeless by choice, I suspect she won't be homeless for life:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWxVwTVU15Q

    The best comment on the video has to be, "how the hell does a dude who's been homeless for many many years get a Beverly hills hair stylist girlfriend"

    Maybe they fall into the category of "playing at being homeless."

    I think the unspoken common denominator of these girls is bipolar disorder. That’s what gets them kicked out of wherever they used to live. A couple of “episodes” will get their butts kicked outside. They can hold their shit together for a few minutes to do an interview, but left on their own, they’re likely quite a piece of work.

    I mean, just think of how much of an asshole you’d have to be to wind up a pretty, young, homeless girl.

    All people tend to want to help cute girls in distress, so if you’re cute ass winds up sitting on the street, chances are you’re a significant force to be reckoned with in real time. You’re probably not as “cheery” and “laid back” as these videos seem to suggest.

    Speaking of cute homeless girls…

    OMG! That Star Wars girl is Homeless!!

    Read More
    • Replies: @Clyde
    OMG You are right. That's the current years Star Wars girl.
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  42. @AaronB
    All that stuff is cheap and easy to get there's little point in stealing anything. There's an abundance of leftover junk in modern society.

    They're not capitalists, and they're obviously not strivers, so they're probably less materialistic.

    The economy increasingly is about expending tremendous effort to even have a middle class life style. Gone are the days when you could have a comfortable middle class life by working reasonably but not too much, with a certain amount of stability.

    The ranks of the homeless are probably swelled by people who, for whatever reason, can't or won't work as hard as the modern economy demands.

    They just don't want to live that ridiculous striver lifestyle.

    There's also an explosion of people living in vans and old RVs, I see this first hand on the streets of New York. The few times I have caught a glimpse of the inhabitants they were young, good looking, perfectly normal white people.

    I wonder if a hobo culture of wandering will come into existence similar to the German wandevogel or the Hindu sanyyasis.

    How incredible would that be! But will our capitalist masters ever permit large numbers of people to escape the net? After all, they need consumers.

    I have often day dreamed wistfully about leaving it all behind, cut all ties, and wander the land, like a Hindu Saddhu.

    Is there anyone who seriously hasn't?

    It would be a return to normal historically. The idea that everyone must be gainfully occupied making money and accumulating stuff only became normal under capitalism, and was at least partly a trick played on us by our capitalist masters.

    This would all fit in with my thesis that the West is in a pre-spiritual phase after the will to power has died a natural death, which always happens after empire.

    This would all fit in with my thesis that the West is in a pre-spiritual phase after the will to power has died a natural death, which always happens after empire.

    Sounds like you’ve been reading Pitirim Sorokin.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AaronB
    I've heard of him, but have not read him. I probably should though.

    It's just basic spirituality, though, and basic cyclical theory, although modern Anglo-Saxon empiricism cannot be expected to be familiar with such profundites.
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  43. @Buffalo Joe
    Shopping carts are the greatest invention if you are "homeless." In the suburbs you rarely if ever see carts off store property. In the city the supermarkets have signage noting that it is illegal to remove carts from the store's property. Those signs and the signs that say "No Littering" must be in hieroglyphics. My wife and I volunteer one day a week at an inner city Soup Kitchen where the homeless are fed two substantial meals everyday but Sunday. I will say that Americans, whatever our perceived faults, are generous people.

    In the city the supermarkets have signage noting that it is illegal to remove carts from the store’s property.

    Signage? Around here they have radio locks on the wheels. When you reach the perimeter of the lot, the cart stops.

    I suppose you could lift it, but if you’re that strong, you’d have a job somewhere.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    Reg, Wow, for real. There is a supermarket in the city where you can't actually exit the store with the carts. The doorway has pipe barriers that are too narrow for a cart. Also the only store around hereI know of with armed security.
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  44. @black sea
    Homeless by choice, I suspect she won't be homeless for life:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWxVwTVU15Q

    The best comment on the video has to be, "how the hell does a dude who's been homeless for many many years get a Beverly hills hair stylist girlfriend"

    Maybe they fall into the category of "playing at being homeless."

    Read More
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  45. @Reg Cæsar

    In the city the supermarkets have signage noting that it is illegal to remove carts from the store’s property.
     
    Signage? Around here they have radio locks on the wheels. When you reach the perimeter of the lot, the cart stops.

    I suppose you could lift it, but if you're that strong, you'd have a job somewhere.

    Reg, Wow, for real. There is a supermarket in the city where you can’t actually exit the store with the carts. The doorway has pipe barriers that are too narrow for a cart. Also the only store around hereI know of with armed security.

    Read More
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  46. @black sea
    Homeless by choice, I suspect she won't be homeless for life:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWxVwTVU15Q

    The best comment on the video has to be, "how the hell does a dude who's been homeless for many many years get a Beverly hills hair stylist girlfriend"

    Maybe they fall into the category of "playing at being homeless."

    “how the hell does a dude who’s been homeless for many many years get a Beverly hills hair stylist girlfriend”

    Why is this a surprise? Same way he got girls before choosing to be homeless. He talked to them and they liked him. A man who is living his chosen life and content/happy with it, a man who is happy with who he is and where he’s at can always get girls.

    If you think about it being voluntarily homeless is a pretty alpha move already. Then successfully living the lifestyle for years would develop a lot of confidence.

    Read More
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  47. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    If we could get rid of the illegals among them, we could relieve a significant portion of our homeless burden. If illegals can’t function here, they’re never be able to do it. These are the no brains, no skills, no English, don’t want to work crowd. Send them home.

    Read More
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  48. AaronB says:
    @27 year old

    There’s also an explosion of people living in vans and old RVs, I see this first hand on the streets of New York. The few times I have caught a glimpse of the inhabitants they were young, good looking, perfectly normal white people.

    I wonder if a hobo culture of wandering will come into existence similar to the German wandevogel or the Hindu sanyyasis.

    How incredible would that be! But will our capitalist masters ever permit large numbers of people to escape the net? After all, they need consumers.
     
    Large numbers of people don't want to escape the net and even among those who want to, most lack the balls to go through with it (myself included). It would be cool but it ain't gonna happen.

    The capitalist response has been to monetize "van life" and exploit the people who want to leave the net but do not. They use the dream of living in a van not being a consumer to sell consumer crap.

    The "van lifers" themselves even have some total cynics among them who are explicitly living that way in order to generate income from Internet marketing. No shit.

    I don’t think the majority ever wanted to escape the net, but there was always a substantial minority that wanted to and did, and that always undermined the prevailing materialism that is the norm in any society.

    And that’s not nothing. There used to monasteries everywhere, and wandering ascetics!

    We’re the first society ever to provide no escape from materialism to those who want it, but that’s changing of necessity.

    You’re of course right, capitalism will monetize van life, just as it monetized Buddhism – as a dream you could spend money on.

    But the economy may for the first time in a long while make a return to a less material life possible, despite the most ardent wishes of our capitalist masters and their need for consumers.

    In other words, the system is collapsing of itself, and the ability of capitalism to stymie this possibility of escape from the net may simply no longer be as unlimited as it was in the past.

    Read More
    • Replies: @27 year old
    One thing that's interesting and I'm not sure how it will play out: Minimalism and anti-consumerism are SWPL, it's a higher income thing.

    It kinda seems like only the people who have the traits that would let them do OK under capitalist/consumer rat race are interested in leaving it.

    Poor people have tons and tons and tons of Chinese crap.

    Rich people post on the reddit for minimalism about how happy it makes them that their $2900 a month condo has only 12 items in it.

    At some level, the system can't afford to lose too many of these people, because shit still needs to get done.
    , @Seth Largo
    You guys go hang out in the LA and SF tent cities for a few weeks and report back on how many Gandalfs and Ghandis you find.
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  49. AaronB says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    This would all fit in with my thesis that the West is in a pre-spiritual phase after the will to power has died a natural death, which always happens after empire.
     
    Sounds like you've been reading Pitirim Sorokin.

    I’ve heard of him, but have not read him. I probably should though.

    It’s just basic spirituality, though, and basic cyclical theory, although modern Anglo-Saxon empiricism cannot be expected to be familiar with such profundites.

    Read More
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  50. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    I wonder how many young whites who are homeless grew used to it because they were members of the Occupy movement in various cities, and who have simply kept the habit up. Once you learn how to survive that way, some people won’t quit. Insidiously, Occupy encouraged young whites how to be homeless, lazy, non-strivers, and may have deliberately tried to spread drug addiction among its members as a way of keeping them on the streets to bulk out the Occupy movement.

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  51. Homeless encampments present opportunities to observe and test social and organizational theories, crime and punishment being obvious examples. What type of equilibrium or stasis, however tenuous, is achieved and what reinforcement or dissuasion methods are used? In the USA, there are doubtless many variations on encampment rules and roles due to geography and demographics, where it is easier ceteris paribus to be homeless in warmer Los Angeles than in colder New York, and in Europe in warmer Rome than in colder Edinburgh.

    The demographics may provide some insight regarding crime and punishment administration. Residents from higher or lower trust cultures would act and react differently to crime or honor slights. Someone swiping a sleeping bag may get an ass-kicking, while another person appropriating some more tradeable asset like a bicycle or a phone might get banned or crawl away with a broken leg or more serious injury.

    Viewing breakdown and rough abbreviated reestablishment of some social norms is apparent to the average person circulating around any large metropolitan area. Media presentation of that experience seems limited to tear-jerking photos of women and children. Social norms are violated in many spheres of life even if better disguised when hush money or an agenda is involved.

    Read More
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  52. whorefinder says: • Website
    @black sea
    Homeless by choice, I suspect she won't be homeless for life:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWxVwTVU15Q

    The best comment on the video has to be, "how the hell does a dude who's been homeless for many many years get a Beverly hills hair stylist girlfriend"

    Maybe they fall into the category of "playing at being homeless."

    As the list of incarcerated felons with multiple female admirers shows, money is not the only way to impress/attract women, and if it happens to be your only way, you’re in trouble.

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  53. flayotters says: • Website

    There are no poor people in the USA.
    The “homeless” have stuff because they are NOT poor.

    Read More
    • Replies: @International Jew
    In his A Bend in the River V.S. Naipaul describes, memorably, the garbage next to the huts of Congolese villagers: mostly nothing but dust and ashes.

    Lots of good iStevey themes in that novel, by the way.

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  54. Homeless people do have guns among their troves on occasion.

    My exterminator has bullet holes in the storefront window from a gunfight between homeless guys.

    Read More
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  55. jJay says:
    @SF
    In the Sacramento area, I get the impression that most homeless are non-Hispanic white.

    My observation is that non-Hispanic whites make up the vast majority of the ‘homeless’ throughout California.

    Ventura, where the fires are raging, is bounded by two river beds. There have been homeless encampments there for as long as I know (since the mid 1980′s), boom or bust. It seems to be a lifestyle preference for some of my cousins. They don’t panhandle. I suppose they get food ABT cards and other government handouts though. There’s always a line of men at the methadone clinic on Thompson Blvd in the early morning, but not a long one.

    I am in Oxnard now, just down breeze of Ventura. The smoke is unreal.

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  56. @AaronB
    I don't think the majority ever wanted to escape the net, but there was always a substantial minority that wanted to and did, and that always undermined the prevailing materialism that is the norm in any society.

    And that's not nothing. There used to monasteries everywhere, and wandering ascetics!

    We're the first society ever to provide no escape from materialism to those who want it, but that's changing of necessity.

    You're of course right, capitalism will monetize van life, just as it monetized Buddhism - as a dream you could spend money on.

    But the economy may for the first time in a long while make a return to a less material life possible, despite the most ardent wishes of our capitalist masters and their need for consumers.

    In other words, the system is collapsing of itself, and the ability of capitalism to stymie this possibility of escape from the net may simply no longer be as unlimited as it was in the past.

    One thing that’s interesting and I’m not sure how it will play out: Minimalism and anti-consumerism are SWPL, it’s a higher income thing.

    It kinda seems like only the people who have the traits that would let them do OK under capitalist/consumer rat race are interested in leaving it.

    Poor people have tons and tons and tons of Chinese crap.

    Rich people post on the reddit for minimalism about how happy it makes them that their $2900 a month condo has only 12 items in it.

    At some level, the system can’t afford to lose too many of these people, because shit still needs to get done.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AaronB
    That's s very good point.

    Partly minimalism is obviously fake, but it's very real too.

    Only if you've had reasonable amounts of money can you see that's it's empty. It's like that with a lot of things - girls, for instance.

    I think 70% of saints came from the nobility. St Francis of Assisi was a rich merchants son.

    It's also why a nation first has to be powerful and wealthy before it can become decadent.

    But you're very right that the system can't lose too many of these people. I think I read somewhere that if Americans consumed 30% less, the economy would simply collapse.

    But if the system is collapsing then it just won't have the power to do anything about it - if robots will steal our jobs, then the whole system has to dramatically shift gears.

    And if the system just can't deliver even a minimally satisfying life to these people it depends on then it will collapse.

    You can't have a system that caters entirely to an insane one percent that is willing to sacrifice all pleasure and happiness to a mad pursuit of wealth and power, with the prize even then reserved only for the craziest among them.
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  57. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    Good story. Here’s mine:

    My son, age 14, went with a church group to “help” the native Americans at a reservation in northern Arizona. Mostly, he did clean-up and some building projects … mostly clean-up, as I recall. At one point, my son was clearing out a lot filled with garbage and old tires as four or five young “indians” sat on a wall, watching him work. Then, one of them asked my son why he was working so hard.

    Good question, he thought. The light bulb went on in his head.

    Not only did he reject the lazy natives who won’t help themselves, but he also gave up on the church that encouraged this sort of behavior rather than confront it.

    A Republican was born that day. And, an atheist.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    Anonymous, Religion, unfortunately, sours many people on God.
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  58. Whenever I pick my way through the filthy and dangerous encampment on the lawns of the San Francisco Civic Center, surrounded as it is by magnificent neoclassical structures like the opera, the library and city hall, and the bronze statues of heros of old, my thought is that the civilization that put up those structures is not the same one that tolerates today’s disorder.

    San Francisco looks the other way at people who befoul the parks, while imposing ever more fanatic recycling and garbage-sorting requirements on homeowners: just one more aspect of anarcho-tyranny.

    Read More
    • Replies: @dwb
    I live in San Francisco, and ride Muni to work each day on the central troncon. It's really quite depressing what you describe - here we are in this beautiful place, with relics all around of a civilisation that is disappearing. And not because there are visigoths at the gate, but because we have lost the ability and the will to defend it.

    I used to read futuristic, dystopian novels (e.g. HG Wells). In "The Time Machine" the protagonist sees the ruins of prior civilisation and has no idea exactly how the world ended as it did.

    Seeing the neoclassical buildings and edifices put up in the late Victorian era surrounded by bums and beclouded with the odour of urine, we see the first steps.
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  59. MBlanc46 says:
    @AnotherDad
    The problem here is not unlike the immigration problem--and much of our modern problems foisted on us by the left.

    It's this idea that a people, a community, a nation are *not allowed* to determine who gets to live with them and what the community norms are.

    In the old days there were bums and mentally ill, but if you acted too weird they'd toss you in the looney bin, and if you were messing up the main drag they'd give you the bums rush over to the other side of the tracks.

    I'm all for people having freedom. But that includes the freedom of normal people to live their lives according to their own norms. If you don't want to live by the norms that normal people want for their normal community ... go be free somewhere else.

    What we need now is lots of *separation*. Mainly so that the normal natives of the nations of the West can live normal lives.

    You must have missed the fact that there has been a war on normal for more than fifty years.

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  60. The “young, cool, and homeless by choice” meme in this thread . . . I don’t know. It’s a phenomenon, to be sure, but it certainly can’t explain half the residents of these tent cities, can it?

    I drove by the Santa Ana River tent city numerous times. The one right across from Angels Stadium. Most of those people did not look young, cool, and homeless by choice.

    Read More
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  61. @flayotters
    There are no poor people in the USA.
    The "homeless" have stuff because they are NOT poor.

    In his A Bend in the River V.S. Naipaul describes, memorably, the garbage next to the huts of Congolese villagers: mostly nothing but dust and ashes.

    Lots of good iStevey themes in that novel, by the way.

    Read More
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  62. @black sea
    Some homeless people work. They are "in-between" homes in a sense.

    A friend of mine did occasional charity work in a homeless shelter. There were people who went off to work in the morning, and were saving up to get an apartment.

    Recently, I watched a documentary about Seattle's pricey housing market. There were people living in a tent city, some of whom worked but were planning to relocate to a cheaper locale, etc. It would be interesting to know what percentage of the homeless at least intermittently work.

    In the UK housing is so expensive in many cities that people are taking to living in vans. I know a London art student who does that – she moves it around and has a rota of places she parks up in. Different sort of people though, you have to tax and insure your vehicle and not be drunk in charge of it.

    In Bristol there’s quite a community living on the streets in vehicles.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-bristol-41830135

    https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/4562498/bristol-residents-vandwellers-gardens-toilets-easton/

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  63. @AaronB
    I don't think the majority ever wanted to escape the net, but there was always a substantial minority that wanted to and did, and that always undermined the prevailing materialism that is the norm in any society.

    And that's not nothing. There used to monasteries everywhere, and wandering ascetics!

    We're the first society ever to provide no escape from materialism to those who want it, but that's changing of necessity.

    You're of course right, capitalism will monetize van life, just as it monetized Buddhism - as a dream you could spend money on.

    But the economy may for the first time in a long while make a return to a less material life possible, despite the most ardent wishes of our capitalist masters and their need for consumers.

    In other words, the system is collapsing of itself, and the ability of capitalism to stymie this possibility of escape from the net may simply no longer be as unlimited as it was in the past.

    You guys go hang out in the LA and SF tent cities for a few weeks and report back on how many Gandalfs and Ghandis you find.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AaronB
    We have tons of homeless here in New York, I don't have to go that far.

    And I'm very curious about them, honestly, some of them look like perfectly ordinary, even refined white people. I see lots of books in their camps.

    I'm dying to talk to them and find out all about it.

    When I used to smoke I'd always share my cigarettes with them if they'd ask, and they always seemed really cool and friendly about it.

    I really do wonder....
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  64. @Barnard
    Between places that serve free meals and food pantries and other places that give out free food, a person like this could probably eat pretty well for free or very close to it. If you can sleep in a tent in a relatively warm climate, it probably isn't that tough of a life. The worst part for the average person would be the boredom.

    The worst part for the average person would be the boredom.

    No, I think the worst part would be your “neighbors”.

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  65. AaronB says:
    @27 year old
    One thing that's interesting and I'm not sure how it will play out: Minimalism and anti-consumerism are SWPL, it's a higher income thing.

    It kinda seems like only the people who have the traits that would let them do OK under capitalist/consumer rat race are interested in leaving it.

    Poor people have tons and tons and tons of Chinese crap.

    Rich people post on the reddit for minimalism about how happy it makes them that their $2900 a month condo has only 12 items in it.

    At some level, the system can't afford to lose too many of these people, because shit still needs to get done.

    That’s s very good point.

    Partly minimalism is obviously fake, but it’s very real too.

    Only if you’ve had reasonable amounts of money can you see that’s it’s empty. It’s like that with a lot of things – girls, for instance.

    I think 70% of saints came from the nobility. St Francis of Assisi was a rich merchants son.

    It’s also why a nation first has to be powerful and wealthy before it can become decadent.

    But you’re very right that the system can’t lose too many of these people. I think I read somewhere that if Americans consumed 30% less, the economy would simply collapse.

    But if the system is collapsing then it just won’t have the power to do anything about it – if robots will steal our jobs, then the whole system has to dramatically shift gears.

    And if the system just can’t deliver even a minimally satisfying life to these people it depends on then it will collapse.

    You can’t have a system that caters entirely to an insane one percent that is willing to sacrifice all pleasure and happiness to a mad pursuit of wealth and power, with the prize even then reserved only for the craziest among them.

    Read More
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  66. AaronB says:
    @The Alarmist
    Check out #VanLife on you favourite social media site. YouTube has quite a few videos on the subject of living in your camper or van on American streets. Common theme, though, is precisely that the authorities hassle these folks at every turn. No rest for the weary.

    Ha! Why am I not surprised?

    They need people in the system, they can’t let people escape.

    In the past spiritual people had a sort of alliance with powerful people, because if you were happy and content and worked at agriculture you were good for the system.

    But not anymore, they need to stoke our desires to the maximum and make us as materialistic as they can, to feed the system.

    I also think materialistic people have a visceral dislike for people who have escaped the system, they envy the freedom but know they could never have it themselves and are slaves to their passions.

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  67. @AaronB
    All that stuff is cheap and easy to get there's little point in stealing anything. There's an abundance of leftover junk in modern society.

    They're not capitalists, and they're obviously not strivers, so they're probably less materialistic.

    The economy increasingly is about expending tremendous effort to even have a middle class life style. Gone are the days when you could have a comfortable middle class life by working reasonably but not too much, with a certain amount of stability.

    The ranks of the homeless are probably swelled by people who, for whatever reason, can't or won't work as hard as the modern economy demands.

    They just don't want to live that ridiculous striver lifestyle.

    There's also an explosion of people living in vans and old RVs, I see this first hand on the streets of New York. The few times I have caught a glimpse of the inhabitants they were young, good looking, perfectly normal white people.

    I wonder if a hobo culture of wandering will come into existence similar to the German wandevogel or the Hindu sanyyasis.

    How incredible would that be! But will our capitalist masters ever permit large numbers of people to escape the net? After all, they need consumers.

    I have often day dreamed wistfully about leaving it all behind, cut all ties, and wander the land, like a Hindu Saddhu.

    Is there anyone who seriously hasn't?

    It would be a return to normal historically. The idea that everyone must be gainfully occupied making money and accumulating stuff only became normal under capitalism, and was at least partly a trick played on us by our capitalist masters.

    This would all fit in with my thesis that the West is in a pre-spiritual phase after the will to power has died a natural death, which always happens after empire.

    ” leaving it all behind, cut all ties, and wander the land, like a Hindu Saddhu”

    Kipling wrote about one in The Miracle Of Purun Bhagat.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AaronB
    I love Kipling, he's one of my favourite writers.

    His book Kim is entirely about the wonders of a wandering life.

    The Jungle Book is another dream of escaping modern civilization.

    Thanks for bringing him up.
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  68. AaronB says:
    @Seth Largo
    You guys go hang out in the LA and SF tent cities for a few weeks and report back on how many Gandalfs and Ghandis you find.

    We have tons of homeless here in New York, I don’t have to go that far.

    And I’m very curious about them, honestly, some of them look like perfectly ordinary, even refined white people. I see lots of books in their camps.

    I’m dying to talk to them and find out all about it.

    When I used to smoke I’d always share my cigarettes with them if they’d ask, and they always seemed really cool and friendly about it.

    I really do wonder….

    Read More
    • Replies: @athEIst
    I’m dying to talk to them and find out all about it.

    Please do.
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  69. Why Is Human Food Bad for Bears?

    By eating human food, bears can lose their preference for natural food sources and their fear of humans. Over time, these bears may begin approaching people in search of food. They can become aggressive, unpredictable, and dangerous. Bears looking for human food and garbage can damage property and injure people. These bears pose a risk to public safety and are often euthanized as a result. Studies have also shown that bears that lose their fear of people have a shorter life expectancy than bears that feed on natural foods and are afraid of people. As bears become comfortable around humans, they are more likely to be in areas where humans are. These bears are at risk of being euthanized to protect people, getting hit by a car, and becoming an easy target for poachers.

    https://www.nps.gov/subjects/bears/storingfood.htm

    Read More
    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    George, you are confusing me. Are there homeless bears? Is it still ok for bears to shit in the woods? But not on the street?
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  70. Yngvar says:
    @black sea
    Homeless by choice, I suspect she won't be homeless for life:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWxVwTVU15Q

    The best comment on the video has to be, "how the hell does a dude who's been homeless for many many years get a Beverly hills hair stylist girlfriend"

    Maybe they fall into the category of "playing at being homeless."

    Hobo Humpin Slobo Babe

    Read More
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  71. AaronB says:
    @YetAnotherAnon
    " leaving it all behind, cut all ties, and wander the land, like a Hindu Saddhu"

    Kipling wrote about one in The Miracle Of Purun Bhagat.

    I love Kipling, he’s one of my favourite writers.

    His book Kim is entirely about the wonders of a wandering life.

    The Jungle Book is another dream of escaping modern civilization.

    Thanks for bringing him up.

    Read More
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  72. @Looker

    Here’s a bike ride-through of the place. Couple people had generators and appears there’s a bicycle chop shop at 5:46 mark. Certainly ain’t like the old days of the hobo sleeping on a park bench.
     
    I don't usually cruise around Santa Ana, but was there the other day for a business meeting. I was sitting in my car in a parking lot, waiting for somebody, and noticed this beautiful blonde girl, looked like a classic swedish beauty. Young, strong jawline, honeydew skin, in excellent shape, except she was pregnant. She was wearing a backpack, and staring into her iPhone, then she dropped the backpack in front of me, highly agitated. A minute later, a young handsome swedey-looking guy, presumably the father, arrived on a mountain bike, with a tiny trailer, packed with his crap, connected to the back. He seemed non-plussed while she yelled at him a bit. Then she left her backpack, and just walked away down the street, staring at her iPhone. The guy stayed there about 20 minutes, talking on his phone, presumably to her. Then she came back for the backpack, and they walked off together. As good looking as they both were, they were still a little rough, and obviously homeless. Best looking homeless couple I've ever seen, tho. I heard them speaking, and it was clear they were american.

    I was near a river bed, so I would presume I was somewhere near a massive homeless encampment that I was unaware of, till I saw that video you linked to.

    Anyway, I think for younger people, homelessness is shifting to a life choice, rather than having the rug pulled out from under them. Lots of hippy-types taking to it, as it appears by the mindful camping sites in that vid. Those are mostly white people who know what they're doing.

    Also, it's interesting those encampments were as far as I could tell, chock full of white people. Not any mexicans that I could see, and no blacks. Certainly no asians. Apparently they're redlining themselves. Could it be that when young hippy white folks are left to their own devices, they self-segregate?

    It's an interesting aspect to this new era of "mindful homelessness."

    Steve needs to figure that out. He's my one of my go-to sources when I outsource my brainwork.

    There are white people panhandling in Southeast Asia. Thailand is restricting entry into the country, particularly by land, by sometimes requesting that a foreigner have the equivalent of several hundred dollars in cash on them as proof they will be able to support themselves during their stay.

    Back in 2010 while looking for a fugitive, police shot Angel Mendez and his then-girlfriend Jennifer Garcia. The homeless couple was living in a shack on a friend’s property and shot 15 times resulting in Angel having his lower leg amputated. Jennifer, of course, was pregnant. They married and won a $4 million judgement for damages in 2013, but the ruling was overturned by the US Supreme Court earlier this year.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-court-police/u-s-top-court-sides-with-police-over-shooting-of-homeless-couple-idUSKBN18Q1SX

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  73. dwb says:
    @International Jew
    Whenever I pick my way through the filthy and dangerous encampment on the lawns of the San Francisco Civic Center, surrounded as it is by magnificent neoclassical structures like the opera, the library and city hall, and the bronze statues of heros of old, my thought is that the civilization that put up those structures is not the same one that tolerates today's disorder.

    San Francisco looks the other way at people who befoul the parks, while imposing ever more fanatic recycling and garbage-sorting requirements on homeowners: just one more aspect of anarcho-tyranny.

    I live in San Francisco, and ride Muni to work each day on the central troncon. It’s really quite depressing what you describe – here we are in this beautiful place, with relics all around of a civilisation that is disappearing. And not because there are visigoths at the gate, but because we have lost the ability and the will to defend it.

    I used to read futuristic, dystopian novels (e.g. HG Wells). In “The Time Machine” the protagonist sees the ruins of prior civilisation and has no idea exactly how the world ended as it did.

    Seeing the neoclassical buildings and edifices put up in the late Victorian era surrounded by bums and beclouded with the odour of urine, we see the first steps.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    dwb, San Francisco and Sacramento spend hundreds of millions of dollars yearly on the "homeless." Why should they leave?
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  74. @black sea
    Homeless by choice, I suspect she won't be homeless for life:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWxVwTVU15Q

    The best comment on the video has to be, "how the hell does a dude who's been homeless for many many years get a Beverly hills hair stylist girlfriend"

    Maybe they fall into the category of "playing at being homeless."

    Although Obamanomics wasn’t officially Voodoo oriented, bored identity believes that the last decade was a thriving period for any vibrant Ha Tu! Ha Tu! Ziggity Bing Bam Boom! voter:

    Also, before proverbial Affordable Millennial Homelesness Act was all but technically enacted, the environment used to be comfortably discouraging to wannabee-hobos:

    Read More
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  75. Daniel H says:

    Hepatitis is raging in these homeless encampments in CA. If you are a bum, living on the streets, stake out your own place, far from other bums. Head towards Malibu or the hills and find an inconspicuous plot of woods. You DON’T want to catch hepatitis, even is you are a bum.

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  76. anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Sparkon
    Of course, there's absolutely no chance at all that the increasing homelessness problem in the United States is at least partially caused by greedy landlords, because you know, only a leftist would say something like that.

    After all, people have the right to be as greedy as they want, but homeless people shouldn't have too much stuff, if for no other reason than there simply aren't enough shopping carts to go around. Happily, there are enough dogs to go around, so the homeless people can have one, or more, even a whole pack.

    Therefore, the increasing homelessness problem must be caused by increasing numbers of lazy, shiftless people, rather than skyrocketing rents. Is that how it works?

    'Noteworthy too that the skyrocketing rents were preceded by those skyrocketing energy costs promised by Obama himself in his war on coal, no doubt because that's what poor people really were hoping for all along: the ol' one-two punch in the wallet, and all.

    So what do you think: are there more lazy people in this world, or greedy ones?

    Exotic building codes, compliance fees, fines, insurance, utilities, maintenance, and high property taxes are not manifestations of greed on the part of landlords. Even assuming tenants aren’t tearing up the place and there are no bank payments the cost is substantial. I’m sure if it was you you’d to all the work yourself and your time isn’t worth anything.

    Clamoring for “free” stuff and then complaining when a business is forced to pass those costs on to you in order to remain solvent requires an amazing degree of hypocrisy.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sparkon

    Clamoring for “free” stuff and then complaining when a business is forced to pass those costs on to you in order to remain solvent requires an amazing degree of hypocrisy.
     
    What are you talking about? I wasn't clamoring for any free stuff. You just made that up out of thin air to accompany your sob story, which requires an amazing degree of dishonesty.

    Woe be to any tenant who would sign a lease with you.
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  77. Corn says:
    @AaronB
    All that stuff is cheap and easy to get there's little point in stealing anything. There's an abundance of leftover junk in modern society.

    They're not capitalists, and they're obviously not strivers, so they're probably less materialistic.

    The economy increasingly is about expending tremendous effort to even have a middle class life style. Gone are the days when you could have a comfortable middle class life by working reasonably but not too much, with a certain amount of stability.

    The ranks of the homeless are probably swelled by people who, for whatever reason, can't or won't work as hard as the modern economy demands.

    They just don't want to live that ridiculous striver lifestyle.

    There's also an explosion of people living in vans and old RVs, I see this first hand on the streets of New York. The few times I have caught a glimpse of the inhabitants they were young, good looking, perfectly normal white people.

    I wonder if a hobo culture of wandering will come into existence similar to the German wandevogel or the Hindu sanyyasis.

    How incredible would that be! But will our capitalist masters ever permit large numbers of people to escape the net? After all, they need consumers.

    I have often day dreamed wistfully about leaving it all behind, cut all ties, and wander the land, like a Hindu Saddhu.

    Is there anyone who seriously hasn't?

    It would be a return to normal historically. The idea that everyone must be gainfully occupied making money and accumulating stuff only became normal under capitalism, and was at least partly a trick played on us by our capitalist masters.

    This would all fit in with my thesis that the West is in a pre-spiritual phase after the will to power has died a natural death, which always happens after empire.

    “It would be a return to normal historically. The idea that everyone must be gainfully occupied making money and accumulating stuff only became normal under capitalism, and was at least partly a trick played on us by our capitalist masters.”
    Before the rise of capitalism and industry most Westerners were small farmers, busting their a$$ with horse, plow and ax to make a living. Hard, honest work, but not terribly romantic. Being a happy hobo isn’t really the historical norm.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AaronB
    My friend, I am sorry to say you are buying into capitalist propaganda - studies show pre-modern peasants had about six months vacation when you count all the saints days, feasts, festivals, holidays, and times you couldn't work due to weather.

    People used to go to the village taverns in midday for a few hours.

    All these habits had to be ruthlessly broken before modern society could get going.

    A good book on the early modern period can shatter some myths.

    But I agree most people were not wandering holy men and did not live in monasteries or in caves as hermits - but a substantial minority did, and that had an effect on society.

    Today, rich men need you to be a consumer - Facebook can't have you go live in a monastery, so they'll try to stoke your desires up to fever pitch and make you think you would never be happy in those terrible old times.

    In the past, rich men wanted you to be content with your lot - because you wouldn't revolt against them.

    Today, it benefits rich men if you are unhappy and restless and they try and make you so, because you'll work harder and spend more.

    There will always be men who can't be happy, and turn to money and power to fill that hole, and there will always be men who just don't care that much about those things and can be happy.

    Society needs to meet the needs of both types of men if it won't collapse, and modern society increasingly caters to one type of man only.

    When this happens, collapse is not very far behind.
    , @Dave from Oz
    "Before the rise of capitalism and industry most Westerners were small farmers, busting their a$$ with horse, plow and ax to make a living."

    A horse? They rented a team of oxen off the landlord.
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  78. Buck says:

    Affluenza, drugs and student debt would be my guess as to why so many young whites ‘choose’ to be homeless. Wanting to live in cities but unable to afford to live in cities is a corollary. Also, the availability of social services and panhandling keeps them in urban environments. Rural areas are very easy to get by on very little but there is no anonymity in small places.

    The drugs on the West Coast are out of control. Most whites leave the drugs behind after college but many go deeper into the scene. You can’t even keep a crappy job if you really do drugs. I’ve known a few but they are the exception. Eventually the scene catches you out.

    The anti-materialism thing is a justification because admitting you made hundreds of poor decisions is difficult. Many of those decisions involve getting into massive student loan debt. If you want to live minimalist, it’s pretty easily outside of urban areas. Land is relatively cheap in most of the country. Rural Americans are willing to help anyone willing to help themselves.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob

    You can’t even keep a crappy job if you really do drugs.
     
    You cannot get a US security clearance if you do drugs. And there are many many jobs that require one.
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  79. Corn says:
    @black sea
    Some homeless people work. They are "in-between" homes in a sense.

    A friend of mine did occasional charity work in a homeless shelter. There were people who went off to work in the morning, and were saving up to get an apartment.

    Recently, I watched a documentary about Seattle's pricey housing market. There were people living in a tent city, some of whom worked but were planning to relocate to a cheaper locale, etc. It would be interesting to know what percentage of the homeless at least intermittently work.

    Agreed. My employer was short handed a couple years ago and hired a temp for a few weeks. This fellow was a good worker but rather itinerant. He had no full time job, just kept getting short term stints from LaborReady and a couple other staffing agencies. Worked daily but just never at the same place a long time. He told me one day one agent had found him a job working the concession stands at the Indiana state fair. (We live in Illinois). So this fellow claimed he hopped a bus to Indianapolis, stayed at the “mens’ shelter” for the duration of the fair.

    I don’t know if anyone has ever kept track of such things but I’m curious to know how many homeless shelter residents are “idle poor”, how many work regularly or semi regularly and how many actually have a home but use a shelter as cheap lodging or a hostel when working/traveling far from home.

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  80. @The Alarmist
    Only the privately owned sidewalks ... adverse possession does not operate against the sovereign.

    My keen, piercing intellect greed with you, but my large, manly fingers labelled you a troll.

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  81. Camlost says:

    I don’t think I saw a single black or Hispanic homeless person in Key West when I spent a week there in 2015.

    It was mostly young, able-bodied whites. Quite a few cute young white women who’d look like college honeys if they’d get rid of the hippie dreads and shave. And the whites there don’t even bother the millions of free range chickens they could easily catch and cook (former Cuban cock fighting stock) and that are legally protected since they were turned loose after Florida cracked down on the Cuban practice.

    I befriended a homeless guy who commonly hung out right in the little square behind all of the drag show bars near the timeshare I rented. He said he had spent many years managing restaurants and was happily married with 2 small kinds once but had gotten into some legal trouble and then just got tired of it all.

    One night I’m walking down Duval street along with the guy, I’m holding a giant big gulp of vodka/red bull along with both a joint and Cuban cigar hanging off my lips and 3 cop cars come screaming up to the curb. I assume I will either get arrested, forced to get rid of my stuff, or yelled at by the cops – at the very least. Of course they go after HIM thinking that he was harrassing me, but I insist that I know him from the sunglasses shot where he worked part time (I even knew his full name) and so the cops get in their car and leave – and the whole time I never stopped puffing on the the joint and never had to pour out my liquor.

    But there didn’t seem to be much panhandling in Key West. I assume most of the young whites held occasional jobs like my homeless friend and had some spending money, but didn’t want to blow it on housing and utilities when that could be spent on drugs.

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  82. AaronB says:
    @Corn
    “It would be a return to normal historically. The idea that everyone must be gainfully occupied making money and accumulating stuff only became normal under capitalism, and was at least partly a trick played on us by our capitalist masters.”
    Before the rise of capitalism and industry most Westerners were small farmers, busting their a$$ with horse, plow and ax to make a living. Hard, honest work, but not terribly romantic. Being a happy hobo isn’t really the historical norm.

    My friend, I am sorry to say you are buying into capitalist propaganda – studies show pre-modern peasants had about six months vacation when you count all the saints days, feasts, festivals, holidays, and times you couldn’t work due to weather.

    People used to go to the village taverns in midday for a few hours.

    All these habits had to be ruthlessly broken before modern society could get going.

    A good book on the early modern period can shatter some myths.

    But I agree most people were not wandering holy men and did not live in monasteries or in caves as hermits – but a substantial minority did, and that had an effect on society.

    Today, rich men need you to be a consumer – Facebook can’t have you go live in a monastery, so they’ll try to stoke your desires up to fever pitch and make you think you would never be happy in those terrible old times.

    In the past, rich men wanted you to be content with your lot – because you wouldn’t revolt against them.

    Today, it benefits rich men if you are unhappy and restless and they try and make you so, because you’ll work harder and spend more.

    There will always be men who can’t be happy, and turn to money and power to fill that hole, and there will always be men who just don’t care that much about those things and can be happy.

    Society needs to meet the needs of both types of men if it won’t collapse, and modern society increasingly caters to one type of man only.

    When this happens, collapse is not very far behind.

    Read More
    • Agree: Triumph104
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  83. Sparkon says:
    @anonymous
    Exotic building codes, compliance fees, fines, insurance, utilities, maintenance, and high property taxes are not manifestations of greed on the part of landlords. Even assuming tenants aren't tearing up the place and there are no bank payments the cost is substantial. I'm sure if it was you you'd to all the work yourself and your time isn't worth anything.

    Clamoring for "free" stuff and then complaining when a business is forced to pass those costs on to you in order to remain solvent requires an amazing degree of hypocrisy.

    Clamoring for “free” stuff and then complaining when a business is forced to pass those costs on to you in order to remain solvent requires an amazing degree of hypocrisy.

    What are you talking about? I wasn’t clamoring for any free stuff. You just made that up out of thin air to accompany your sob story, which requires an amazing degree of dishonesty.

    Woe be to any tenant who would sign a lease with you.

    Read More
    • Replies: @anonymous
    Sure you are. You want someone to give you stuff below cost. If you don't get it it's because of those greedy so and so's. You have no recognition of actual cost because you've never had to deal with it. You just complain vociferously when that cost gets passed to you even though people like you make apartments expensive.

    I don't have any open units if that's what you're asking.
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  84. Clyde says:
    @aadd
    I think the unspoken common denominator of these girls is bipolar disorder. That's what gets them kicked out of wherever they used to live. A couple of "episodes" will get their butts kicked outside. They can hold their shit together for a few minutes to do an interview, but left on their own, they're likely quite a piece of work.

    I mean, just think of how much of an asshole you'd have to be to wind up a pretty, young, homeless girl.

    All people tend to want to help cute girls in distress, so if you're cute ass winds up sitting on the street, chances are you're a significant force to be reckoned with in real time. You're probably not as "cheery" and "laid back" as these videos seem to suggest.

    Speaking of cute homeless girls...

    OMG! That Star Wars girl is Homeless!!

    https://youtu.be/vczisdyN4e0?t=3m12s

    OMG You are right. That’s the current years Star Wars girl.

    Read More
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  85. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @AaronB
    Orwell took a year off to be homeless, back when it was way tougher.

    Buddhists are supposed to "to go into the homeless" life.

    Hindus ate supposed to give up wife and home and spend their last years in holy wandering, and many did, and still do.

    No need to be trapped by the categories of capitalism and our materialistic civilization.

    I would love to try it one day, but it would be fake in my case as I have access to money, like with Orwell. But I wonder....

    Orwell took a year off to be homeless, back when it was way tougher.

    That’s where he caught the TB that killed him.

    Read More
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  86. @Sparkon
    Of course, there's absolutely no chance at all that the increasing homelessness problem in the United States is at least partially caused by greedy landlords, because you know, only a leftist would say something like that.

    After all, people have the right to be as greedy as they want, but homeless people shouldn't have too much stuff, if for no other reason than there simply aren't enough shopping carts to go around. Happily, there are enough dogs to go around, so the homeless people can have one, or more, even a whole pack.

    Therefore, the increasing homelessness problem must be caused by increasing numbers of lazy, shiftless people, rather than skyrocketing rents. Is that how it works?

    'Noteworthy too that the skyrocketing rents were preceded by those skyrocketing energy costs promised by Obama himself in his war on coal, no doubt because that's what poor people really were hoping for all along: the ol' one-two punch in the wallet, and all.

    So what do you think: are there more lazy people in this world, or greedy ones?

    Spark, not going to answer your question, but there is help for rent and utilities for people in need. The “homeless” I see weekly at the soup kitchen where I volunteer are mostly substance addicted or mentally challenged. The majority also have a place to stay, if they choose.

    Read More
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  87. @Anonymous
    Good story. Here's mine:

    My son, age 14, went with a church group to "help" the native Americans at a reservation in northern Arizona. Mostly, he did clean-up and some building projects ... mostly clean-up, as I recall. At one point, my son was clearing out a lot filled with garbage and old tires as four or five young "indians" sat on a wall, watching him work. Then, one of them asked my son why he was working so hard.

    Good question, he thought. The light bulb went on in his head.

    Not only did he reject the lazy natives who won't help themselves, but he also gave up on the church that encouraged this sort of behavior rather than confront it.

    A Republican was born that day. And, an atheist.

    Anonymous, Religion, unfortunately, sours many people on God.

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  88. @George Taylor
    Why Is Human Food Bad for Bears?

    By eating human food, bears can lose their preference for natural food sources and their fear of humans. Over time, these bears may begin approaching people in search of food. They can become aggressive, unpredictable, and dangerous. Bears looking for human food and garbage can damage property and injure people. These bears pose a risk to public safety and are often euthanized as a result. Studies have also shown that bears that lose their fear of people have a shorter life expectancy than bears that feed on natural foods and are afraid of people. As bears become comfortable around humans, they are more likely to be in areas where humans are. These bears are at risk of being euthanized to protect people, getting hit by a car, and becoming an easy target for poachers.

    https://www.nps.gov/subjects/bears/storingfood.htm

    George, you are confusing me. Are there homeless bears? Is it still ok for bears to shit in the woods? But not on the street?

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  89. @dwb
    I live in San Francisco, and ride Muni to work each day on the central troncon. It's really quite depressing what you describe - here we are in this beautiful place, with relics all around of a civilisation that is disappearing. And not because there are visigoths at the gate, but because we have lost the ability and the will to defend it.

    I used to read futuristic, dystopian novels (e.g. HG Wells). In "The Time Machine" the protagonist sees the ruins of prior civilisation and has no idea exactly how the world ended as it did.

    Seeing the neoclassical buildings and edifices put up in the late Victorian era surrounded by bums and beclouded with the odour of urine, we see the first steps.

    dwb, San Francisco and Sacramento spend hundreds of millions of dollars yearly on the “homeless.” Why should they leave?

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  90. Years ago the farms around here in WNY, and there are still lots of working farms, hired pickers and farm hands who stayed in little on-site cabins/shacks. The workers were paid and fed and sheltered but this was deemed abusive and now I don’t see the farm shacks when we drive through the country.

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  91. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @AnotherDad
    The problem here is not unlike the immigration problem--and much of our modern problems foisted on us by the left.

    It's this idea that a people, a community, a nation are *not allowed* to determine who gets to live with them and what the community norms are.

    In the old days there were bums and mentally ill, but if you acted too weird they'd toss you in the looney bin, and if you were messing up the main drag they'd give you the bums rush over to the other side of the tracks.

    I'm all for people having freedom. But that includes the freedom of normal people to live their lives according to their own norms. If you don't want to live by the norms that normal people want for their normal community ... go be free somewhere else.

    What we need now is lots of *separation*. Mainly so that the normal natives of the nations of the West can live normal lives.

    “Normal is an illusion. What is normal for the spider is chaos for the fly.”

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  92. anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Sparkon

    Clamoring for “free” stuff and then complaining when a business is forced to pass those costs on to you in order to remain solvent requires an amazing degree of hypocrisy.
     
    What are you talking about? I wasn't clamoring for any free stuff. You just made that up out of thin air to accompany your sob story, which requires an amazing degree of dishonesty.

    Woe be to any tenant who would sign a lease with you.

    Sure you are. You want someone to give you stuff below cost. If you don’t get it it’s because of those greedy so and so’s. You have no recognition of actual cost because you’ve never had to deal with it. You just complain vociferously when that cost gets passed to you even though people like you make apartments expensive.

    I don’t have any open units if that’s what you’re asking.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sparkon
    Yes, landlord is the perfect gig for a greedy guy like you, who wants his tenants to assume all his expenses, but share in none of his profits.

    You have no recognition of actual cost because you’ve never had to deal with it. You just complain vociferously when that cost gets passed to you even though people like you make apartments expensive.
     
    You don't know what you're talking about, but that won't stop you. How do you know what I've dealt with in my life?

    You don't.


    I don’t have any open units if that’s what you’re asking.
     
    You seem to specialize in misunderstanding plain English, while attempting to mischaracterize what was said. I'd say you are a devious manipulator who attempts to put words in people's mouths, so there is little merit for me to attempt any further conversation with you.

    'Bye.

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  93. athEIst says:
    @AaronB
    We have tons of homeless here in New York, I don't have to go that far.

    And I'm very curious about them, honestly, some of them look like perfectly ordinary, even refined white people. I see lots of books in their camps.

    I'm dying to talk to them and find out all about it.

    When I used to smoke I'd always share my cigarettes with them if they'd ask, and they always seemed really cool and friendly about it.

    I really do wonder....

    I’m dying to talk to them and find out all about it.

    Please do.

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  94. Mr. Anon says:

    Right on cue: A Republican is in office, so homelessness is now once again a national crisis.

    https://www.usnews.com/news/us/articles/2017-12-06/us-homeless-count-rises-pushed-by-crisis-on-the-west-coast

    If Hillary had won, these stories would not be gaining such wide coverage.

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  95. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @SF
    In the Sacramento area, I get the impression that most homeless are non-Hispanic white.

    Your impression is correct but the ones who can put a sentence together are likely to be recent intra-state immigrants from the Bay–of course, joining our established homeless of long standing, i.e. early ’00s refugee bums from Flyoverland to the east. Since nobody left in the CA Valley has political clout it’s becoming the “Idiocracy” garbage avalanche

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  96. @The Alarmist
    Only the privately owned sidewalks ... adverse possession does not operate against the sovereign.

    I knew that (having formerly been a surveyor) but it didn’t make for a crazy post.

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    • Replies: @The Alarmist
    I only became a lawyer very late in life to give a respectable veneer to the fact that I had evolved into a killjoy ;)
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  97. @Buck
    Affluenza, drugs and student debt would be my guess as to why so many young whites 'choose' to be homeless. Wanting to live in cities but unable to afford to live in cities is a corollary. Also, the availability of social services and panhandling keeps them in urban environments. Rural areas are very easy to get by on very little but there is no anonymity in small places.

    The drugs on the West Coast are out of control. Most whites leave the drugs behind after college but many go deeper into the scene. You can't even keep a crappy job if you really do drugs. I've known a few but they are the exception. Eventually the scene catches you out.

    The anti-materialism thing is a justification because admitting you made hundreds of poor decisions is difficult. Many of those decisions involve getting into massive student loan debt. If you want to live minimalist, it's pretty easily outside of urban areas. Land is relatively cheap in most of the country. Rural Americans are willing to help anyone willing to help themselves.

    You can’t even keep a crappy job if you really do drugs.

    You cannot get a US security clearance if you do drugs. And there are many many jobs that require one.

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  98. Sparkon says:
    @anonymous
    Sure you are. You want someone to give you stuff below cost. If you don't get it it's because of those greedy so and so's. You have no recognition of actual cost because you've never had to deal with it. You just complain vociferously when that cost gets passed to you even though people like you make apartments expensive.

    I don't have any open units if that's what you're asking.

    Yes, landlord is the perfect gig for a greedy guy like you, who wants his tenants to assume all his expenses, but share in none of his profits.

    You have no recognition of actual cost because you’ve never had to deal with it. You just complain vociferously when that cost gets passed to you even though people like you make apartments expensive.

    You don’t know what you’re talking about, but that won’t stop you. How do you know what I’ve dealt with in my life?

    You don’t.

    I don’t have any open units if that’s what you’re asking.

    You seem to specialize in misunderstanding plain English, while attempting to mischaracterize what was said. I’d say you are a devious manipulator who attempts to put words in people’s mouths, so there is little merit for me to attempt any further conversation with you.

    ‘Bye.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    I love it when people like you think I owe you something. Why are you entitled to a share of my profits?

    I could care less about what you have had to deal with in your life. It contributes nothing to your argument. You dont seem to understand that companies cannot provide services below cost and stay in business.

    I understand you seem to have an axe to grind and a serious entitlement complex.
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  99. Bay Area underground cartoonist Ace Backwords has been living in the woods behind the Berkley campus for years and writes an interesting blog on the homeless life dealing with these kinds of issues.

    Read More
    • Replies: @jack ryan
    Ace Backwards was and apparently still is great. I loved his Zine "Twisted Image".
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  100. jack ryan says: • Website
    @Spud Boy
    I knew it was only a matter of time before the media, who ignored the homeless problem for eight years, suddenly discovered its existence. Of course, it will be spun as a new phenomenon, blamed on Trump and the policies of those nasty Republicans. They'll probably give them a catchy name like the "Trump homeless" or some such thing.

    CA is a Democrat state.

    Malibu CA is an elitist Lib Democrat fabulously expensive. The welcome to Malibu CA proudly declares that Malibu is a

    “Sanctuary City”

    But realities in Malibu was that some church giving free meals to the homeless was forced to stop doing this.

    The Alternative Media has done a good job of ending the Mainstream Media’s ability to blame selfish Republicans for things like homelessness.

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  101. jack ryan says: • Website
    @anonymous-antiskynetist
    Bay Area underground cartoonist Ace Backwords has been living in the woods behind the Berkley campus for years and writes an interesting blog on the homeless life dealing with these kinds of issues.

    Ace Backwards was and apparently still is great. I loved his Zine “Twisted Image”.

    Read More
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  102. ChrisM says:

    My take on the Santa Ana River situation.

    Ten years ago, I lived in Orange. At least once a week I would ride the Santa Ana River Bike Trail down to Huntington Beach. It’s a lovely trail that is completely separated from the highway the entire stretch – from Green River in Corona all the way to the beach.

    I would access the trail near the Angel’s stadium. It’s about 15 miles. The only homeless people on the trail back then were on the last mile. That stretch is next to a wastewater treatment plant, so there was a strip behind the plants and next to the chain link fence. They would set up a tent back there and remain mostly invisible as there are no homes nearby.

    It was a good spot because free showers, toilets, and drinking water are about a mile down the trail at the beach. However, the closer to the beach you get the more people are using it in a recreational capacity, particularly on the weekends.

    While this last mile did feature homeless people, it was certainly not a ‘tent city’ with densely placed tents. It was a guy here, another guy 100 feet downriver, etc. The pictures I’ve seen in The Register are completely different from what it used to be like. That stretch near the Duck’s Arena is out-of-control and needs to be cleaned out. Why they chose that spot is beyond me, as it is visible from Katella (a high-traffic boulevard) and it is next to a popular shopping center, the Stadium Promenade. Travel down the river less than a mile and you have some nice dirt stretches behind bushes and next to the stadium parking lot fence, completely invisible to traffic. Homeless people tend to want to be invisible, so that choice for a tent city is particularly bad.

    I don’t recall ever seeing police on bicycles patrolling the trail. I suppose they have mounted patrols now.

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  103. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Sparkon
    Yes, landlord is the perfect gig for a greedy guy like you, who wants his tenants to assume all his expenses, but share in none of his profits.

    You have no recognition of actual cost because you’ve never had to deal with it. You just complain vociferously when that cost gets passed to you even though people like you make apartments expensive.
     
    You don't know what you're talking about, but that won't stop you. How do you know what I've dealt with in my life?

    You don't.


    I don’t have any open units if that’s what you’re asking.
     
    You seem to specialize in misunderstanding plain English, while attempting to mischaracterize what was said. I'd say you are a devious manipulator who attempts to put words in people's mouths, so there is little merit for me to attempt any further conversation with you.

    'Bye.

    I love it when people like you think I owe you something. Why are you entitled to a share of my profits?

    I could care less about what you have had to deal with in your life. It contributes nothing to your argument. You dont seem to understand that companies cannot provide services below cost and stay in business.

    I understand you seem to have an axe to grind and a serious entitlement complex.

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  104. @6 “A lot of these camps are run by preachers who function as a strongman. They enforce rules, such as no stealing or illegal activity. ”

    To put it another way: these people secure their persons and their property the same way that all groups of people everywhere have done. By forming a government.

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  105. @Corn
    “It would be a return to normal historically. The idea that everyone must be gainfully occupied making money and accumulating stuff only became normal under capitalism, and was at least partly a trick played on us by our capitalist masters.”
    Before the rise of capitalism and industry most Westerners were small farmers, busting their a$$ with horse, plow and ax to make a living. Hard, honest work, but not terribly romantic. Being a happy hobo isn’t really the historical norm.

    “Before the rise of capitalism and industry most Westerners were small farmers, busting their a$$ with horse, plow and ax to make a living.”

    A horse? They rented a team of oxen off the landlord.

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  106. @ThreeCranes
    I knew that (having formerly been a surveyor) but it didn't make for a crazy post.

    I only became a lawyer very late in life to give a respectable veneer to the fact that I had evolved into a killjoy ;)

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