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I’m starting to think we should rename “the homeless” as “urban campers.”

It used to be that, outside of, say, Santa Monica, the homeless tended to be pathetic lunatics who belonged in asylums. But more and more I see people who appear to have rationally chosen the no-rent sidewalk lifestyle following a visit to the Walmart camping gear aisle.

Last summer, it looked like Santa Monica was doing a pretty good job of keeping their homeless under control both in terms of number and behavior, keeping them solitary and unobtrusive, while just over the city line in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Venice, next to Matt’s house in the song, urban campers were numerous and appearing to be have a grand old time partying with other urban campers. A commenter suggested that Santa Monica might impose a rule that says homeless can’t congregate together, but I can’t find anything online about that.

I actually sat next to the Santa Monica city manager at lunch last year, but I didn’t ask him about that, but instead asked him about the electric scooter swarms that had suddenly appeared in 2018. He showed me an extremely irate email from a resident that he’d just received moments before.

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  1. Steve, that’s a nasty little idea that would undercut all the Good Leftists trying to “help” these folks stop being homeless in Left-Wing enclaves.

    I like it.

    P.S. I’ve often thought about writing a story about a mischief-making criminal defense lawyer who convinces his clients that the entire reason for their “bad luck” or “bad choices” was the environment they live/grew up in, and so convinces them to move to a local rich white left-wing suburb. He physically drives them out to the left-wing places, sets them up with an apartment for a few months, and teaches them how to fight eviction, hooking them up with a local Al Sharpton-type who can scream racism if they get evicted. Eventually, the suburb gets overrun with his clients, and suddenly starts getting “tough on crime” or else the residents flee.

  2. If I were going to live on the street, I think L.A. would be a smart choice. Or maybe S.D. or S.B.×0/

    Yeah, I didn’t think that image was going to teleportate. First Google wouldn’t let go of it, then the LAT wants its subscription money. Oh well.

  3. In the UK, quite apart from the camper-van explosion on the streets of expensive cities like Bristol (a friend’s daughter lived in an old Post Office van for three years of her degree in London), “urban campers” are definitely a thing.

    Some Polish alcoholic was found dead in a tent not so far from where I live a couple of years ago. People who aren’t allowed in homeless hostels due to drug use, alcohol use or fighting tend to end up in tents.

    In one South Welsh town with major problems homeless people are being offered ‘pods’. Most of Newport’s urban campers aren’t rational types saving on rent though. I could live in one of those for three years at uni, use the uni showers and save six grand rent a year.

    “Newport Town is terrible hate taking my kids to town tents rubbish needles everywhere people got no respect”

    “Drove in to work this morning to see a guy sat outside his tent under the bridge just past the speed camera, with a needle hanging out of his arm, bold as brass for all to see.
    Newport really has a problem!”

  4. They have also rationally chosen a life of substance abuse and addiction.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    , @415 reasons
  5. Thirdtwin says:

    Neil Boortz has been calling them “Urban Outdoorsmen” for decades. Of course, with so many women out there now, “Urban Campers” is probably the more PC label.

  6. I’ve always assumed that some damn do-gooders are buying them the tents and distributing them at soup kitchens or needle exchanges or some such.

  7. @Discordiax


    You’re a funny man.

  8. BB753 says:

    In the near future, only the rich will be able to afford living decently anywhere within a 100 miles where the jobs are, because of the high cost of housing and food/gas. It will be back to the house trailers or tents for many former middle class types. Ain’t the future grand?
    Globalism: spreading poverty and diversity world-wide.

  9. I saw a story recently where some Silicon Valley homeowner set up a tent in his backyard and offered to rent it out for &700/month. He had several takers, but the city clamped down on him.

    • Replies: @Lot
  10. @R.G. Camara

    Your strategy for herding homeless citizens into bleeding-heart-blue cities will only work with the welfare-ineligible poor: single and childless citizens, citizens with children over 18 and citizens who lack custody of their under-18 kids. They qualify for a negligible amount of welfare (EBT only) for 3 months every three years.

    Try that blue-state moving plan with welfare-eligible single moms or womb-productive illegal / legal immigrants, and you will run into a situation where the pro-bono lawyers that pay-per-birth moms have access to on top of all their other free stuff (free or reduced-cost rent, free EBT food, free electricity, monthly cash assistance and up to $6,431 in refundable child tax credit cash) will keep their clients from getting evicted.

    Judges almost always side with the womb-productive in eviction cases, even when the momma spent her refundable child tax credit check ($6,431) on beach trips with her boyfriend or expensive tattoos instead of paying her boring old rent.

    This also happens with Unemployment Compensation, albeit that benefit does count as unearned income against a single-breadwinner mom’s household expenses when her pay-per-birth monthly welfare is tabulated.

    Most Americans who work full time, struggling to cover unaffordable through-the-roof rent that consumes more than half of their earned-only income, never get a drop of Unemployment Compensation to cover rent between churn jobs.

    But caseworkers hook up single moms with pro-bono lawyers—paid by taxpayers—making sure the mommas get their UC, even in the many cases where the moms were frequently absentee from work for long periods of time and did not meet the quotas.

    If you’ve pumped out some kids through the noble act of womb-productive sex, there’s no need to consult the Wal*Mart camping aisle. Uncle Sammy’s got your back six ways to Sunday along with umpteen working-families charities.

    The constant flow of unearned income from goverment that rewards womb-productive sex in single-breadwinner households, with added earned income on top in some months, is why single moms are rarely homeless. Single moms do sometimes have waiting periods before they can access their multi pay streams from Uncle Sam for womb-productive sex.

    When there is an exception, it is the focus of the so-called press, but mostly, single-breadwinner moms don’t have to worry about homelessness.

    They just work part time, keeping their earned income under the welfare programs’ limits, or they casually go from temp job to temp job, dropping the pay-per-birth welfare buffet any month when their earned income goes over the programs’ limits.

    This rigged, corrupt system supplies America’s plethora of cheapskate employers with a large pool of workers who need inadequate hours and low pay to stay qualified for their pay for sexual intercourse & reproduction from big government. That means that wages never rise for the millions of citizens who lack access to pay for sex and reproduction from goverment.

    But rent keeps rising to the moon.

    Red staters hate big government, but they, too, love to use big government’s Births Out Of Wedlock Not For Profit Industry to rig the labor market for welfare-eligible citizens / noncitizens who do not need higher pay. The Cheap Labor Lobby is huge in red states.

    As the economy keeps getting worse—with 95 million citizens of working age out of the laborforce, some 7 million new UC applicants counted as unemployed each month and the average “employed” person only working part time—the Wal*Mart camping aisle is likely to see more action in reddish Dixieland.

    Well-vacationed, above-firing, dual-earner parents—taking two household-supporting jobs out of the economy, as they take one lengthy family-friendly vacation after another, in addition to their PTO, preggie leave, days, mornings and afternoons off for the kiddos—really ought to invest some of their extra cash in camping equipment companies and Wal*Mart.

  11. Corn says:

    Needle exchanges make my blood boil. Why in the hell are we enabling and subsidizing drug use?

    Clean up or die off.

    • Replies: @Scalper
    , @Kylie
  12. Steve, I don’t find this pricking on the homeless to be at all productive or helpful. In fact, this is an issue on which the dissident/populist Right and the Wacko Left (Gabbard, Greenwald, a Bernie Sanders more faithful to his principles and less given to pandering, etc.) ought to be able to make common cause. Didn’t you once write an entire article about how Pat Buchanan was one of the few candidates to actually care about the economic fortunes as well as the job prospects of those who – you were careful to stress the element of genetic luck involved – happen to have been born with low IQs?

    In the Bay Area, the homeless problem is pretty clearly caused by NIMBYism and tech scumbaggery. Unlike the IBM or Kodak Eastman of the post-war boom years, which paid their non-tech-genius employees – their janitors, admins, etc. – a decent wage with good benefits and job security (thus creating a thriving middle class in places like Rochester, NY), Google, Apple, Faceberg, etc., pay their non-tech-genius employees next to nothing, and quite probably illegally classify them as contractors rather than employees. They also traitorously outsource much of the actual making of their products (the iphone, alleged to be one of the more sophisticated pieces of equipment ever invented, dies in like two years, and from a technical perspective, is in fact as gadgets go an unmitigated piece of shit) to overseas Asians. Everyone in the Bay Area, no matter how diligent or hardworking, is squeezed – everyone, that is, except those who managed to learn to type code into a computer all day, in an autistic stupor. If you control for the cost of living, California is the poorest state in the country.


    In fact, there is an alarmingly high and consistent correlation between the uptick in housing prices, and the growth of the homeless population. Rents have been going up in the Central Valley, for example – in exactly the proportion in which the homeless population has been increasing. This is precisely because tech scum are now commuting from the exurban playpens they’ve lately acquired in the Stockton/Modesto area. In Berkeley, where I live, there did not used to be tent cities, but in recent years, as the rents have increased, it’s like the fuckin Grapes of Wrath where I live.

    The solutions, as I see it, would be to:

    1. Pass labor laws which compel tech companies to pay their employees a decent wage (with job security, benefits, etc.) – that, or, on free speech or anti-trust grounds, break up the tech companies and regulate them as public utilities.

    2. Impose tariffs on all of these sinister gadgets that are making people depressed and stupid, causing unprecedentedly high rates of mental illness and suicide among teenagers, and contributing to the decline of the West’s rich, humanistic, intellectual tradition, without which we are so many grimly efficient Asiastics – or probably just lazy, irredeemable dumbasses. If Apple were forced to manufacture its products in the U.S., it would add only $100 to the price of each phone. That we are willing to sell out our countrymen for cheap Chinese shit that we don’t need and that actively makes our lives worse, is to our eternal discredit.

    3. Build the Wall, and impose a moratorium on legal immigration as well – particularly the HB-1 visa program. “The Scramble for America” clogs our freeways and jacks up housing prices and gives jobs that ought to go to American workers, to the international peasantry.

    4. Build huge affordable housing apartment towers, as near as possible to the enclaves in which our (almost invariably liberal) plutocrats dwell. Use eminent domain, if necessary – where’s Jeff Sessions when you need him? All that beautiful open space right over the Golden Gate Bridge, on the Marin Headlands? You could probably cram several hundred thousand people onto that particular tract of real estate, reducing commute times and traffic and the environmental degradation caused by all of these things, and lowering housing prices considerably. Where the moneyed denizens of Pac Heights see (from their penthouse balconies) a verdant swath of pristine land, I see a solution to the homeless problem. Ditto all that unsullied Arcadian California wilderness off the 280. Were it my call to make, I’d recommend going full-bore Pinochet on such people and dropping them out of helicopters, but as it stands we can likely achieve the desired outcome through the employment of more-peaceable measures.

    5. Affordable housing laws and rent caps, because why not?

    In any event, picking on the homeless is not a good look. These people are nibbled at by rodents and feral cats while they sleep. I’ve seen it. It is a national disgrace, like child labor was a disgrace. Like unsafe conditions in coal mines were a disgrace. Like the Depression and then the Great Recession of 2008 – both caused by international finance – were a disgrace.

    When conditions were better in this country, there were fewer homeless people. It’s not like they all just up and decided one day to wallow in feces and used heroin needles.

    What happen to all your vaunted concern about affordable family formation?

  13. Corn says:

    I think the growth of the homeless population is certainly disturbing , a lot of good hard working people fall into dire straights in our globalist economy.

    That being said…….

    Though it’s not often said out loud in polite society, lest it sound like “let them eat cake”, many homeless don’t really want help. Even the noxiously liberal Bill Maher admitted that on Politically Incorrect almost twenty years ago.

    Another example: Years ago I was acquainted with a woman whose boyfriend had a homeless father. Her boyfriend once said something to the effect, “Well, if it gets too cold or you can’t find anything to eat there is always the shelter”. She later dumped this guy, mostly because he seemed lethargic and unambitious himself.

    There truly does seem to be a certain percentage of the homeless who view themselves as the hunter-gathererers of the industrialized world. No luxuries, but no bills either.

  14. bomag says:


    I think it was the Warren court that struck down a vagrancy law, with WO Douglas citing a poem from Walt Whitman glorifying the hobo; Douglas saying something like “THIS is who we are”.

  15. Anon[131] • Disclaimer says:

    Considering the cost of rent in San Francisco it seems perfectly reasonable.

  16. Realist says:

    But more and more I see people who appear to have rationally chosen the no-rent sidewalk lifestyle following a visit to the Walmart camping gear aisle.

    I see nothing rational about living on the street.

  17. @Discordiax

    Not all homeless are ne’er-do-wells. Especially in SF, where the rent is astronomical.

    • Replies: @PSR
  18. The city should stack up eight foot lengths of four foot diameter concrete culvert pipe at the far edge of town. Being cylindrical, they’ll nest like cells in a honeycomb, naturally stable. With a ladder or two, the homeless can crawl into either end and sleep in relative security, merely having to seal off both ends by hanging a blanket or tarp. Talk about cheap and affordable! And durable, since they can’t burn it down with their cooking fires.

    A veritable beehive of industry it’ll be.

  19. anonymous[751] • Disclaimer says:

    As a previously homeless person with a higher IQ than you, Steve: go fuck yourself

    You still live in some mentally ill boomer castle in the sky built by your mediocre college econ degree.

    “Hurrrr, durrrrr, according to my retarded boomer understanding of America if you’re capable of working you’ll have a secure job and a 3 million dollar house in my “working class” neighborhood. The free market! Huuurrrrrr, durrrrrr.”

  20. Any word on how much Trump’s tariffs are affecting urban campers?

  21. Logan says:

    Tents of the type in the photo are available for $30 to $60 at Walmart and elsewhere.

    You can come up with that much pretty quick panhandling.

    • Replies: @Logan
    , @Discordiax
  22. Polymath says:

    Just got back from SF. It’s always been the best place to be homeless because of good weather, natural beauty, municipal tolerance, and high rents. But the public pooping problem is horrible.

    I’m for providing excellent and well-maintained and well-monitored public toilets and water fountains, and zero cash aid, and no penalties for sleeping in public or loitering, and extreme penalties for drug offenses and any kind of harassment of people on the street (extreme as in mandatory year in jail for a second offense).

    • Replies: @bomag
  23. Mass immigration and monetary extremism are combining to massively increase the cost of housing in many European Christian nations.

    The answer to mass immigration increasing the cost of housing is to immediately implement a mass deportation contingency plan that would remove between 30 and 60 million foreigners and their spawn from the United States.

    The answer to monetary extremism increasing the cost of housing is to immediately raise the federal funds rate to 20 percent. The Federal Reserve Bank raised the federal funds rate to 20 percent in 1981 and the United States of America must do it again. Call it another instance of baby boomer nostalgia.

    The asset bubble in real estate — commercial and residential — was partly caused by cheap money and low or zero interest rates by the privately-controlled Federal Reserve Bank. The student loan debt bomb that is about to detonate in the middle of politics in the USA is another instance of the Federal Reserve Bank inflating an asset bubble. My modest proposal for that is a student loan debt jubilee combined with paying back every penny ever paid in student loans with 6 percent interest returned to the borrowers.

    Cheap rent and cheap land and cheap homes and AFFORDABLE FAMILY FORMATION must once again be the birthright of all European Christian Americans.

    God Bless The USA And To Hell With The Money-Grubbing Globalizers And Plutocrats And Bankers!

  24. Pat Shuff says:

    At the same time, according to the Puget Sound Business Journal, the Seattle metro area spends more than $1 billion fighting homelessness every year. That’s nearly $100,000 for every homeless man, woman, and child in King County

    the third one is the homeless industrial complex. Anytime there’s a billion dollars a year in spending, that means that people are making a tremendous amount of money.

    The homeless industrial complex.

    • Replies: @Pericles
  25. Until a few years ago “our” homeless traveled fairly light, typically just a big backpack. Their numbers have exploded (if we’re permitted to know the truth about that – dueling motivations at play – I expect our increase will rival San Francisco’s), and now their movements stop traffic as they try to corral several bungee’d shopping carts and assorted pieces of furniture and materials for their shanties. The word “transient” was verboten some time ago as dehumanizing, but now it would also be imprecise.

    Something changed. I wish someone was interested in asking what that was. I honestly have no clue. We are a boomtown, and it is clearly a problem of affluence, but that still doesn’t get at it.

  26. A more upscale way to save on rent is to live in an RV.

    Skid Road: How California’s army of homeless has turned the state’s richest boulevards into RV parks as exorbitant rents force families and full-time workers to live on four wheels
    California has seen a proliferation in RV and vehicle living in some of the state’s most expensive areas and cities, such as Palo Alto, in recent years
    The rise of mobile homes lining streets has been fueled by excessive rents and house prices, though numbers are hard to pin down
    RV dwellers include families priced out of neighborhoods who want to keep their children in the same school districts and full-time, salaried workers
    Sleeping in vehicles remains illegal in many places across California, which is attempting to financially support more services for the homeless and displaced
    The Golden State is home to about 12 percent of the US population and a disproportionate amount of the nation’s homeless at 22 percent
    The situation has become so dire that grassroots organizations and non-profits such as SafeParkingLA have sprung up to identify and set up safe parking areas
    The growing problem has sparked a cottage industry of RV and vehicle ‘landlords’ who rent out everything from bunks in camper vans to box trucks

  27. Anonymous[340] • Disclaimer says:

    Latin American style favelas to go with a Latin American style income distribution.

    • Agree: Digital Samizdat
    • Replies: @1661er
  28. Pat Shuff says:

    At the same time, according to the Puget Sound Business Journal, the Seattle metro area spends more than $1 billion fighting homelessness every year. That’s nearly $100,000 for every homeless man, woman, and child in King County

    the third one is the homeless industrial complex. Anytime there’s a billion dollars a year in spending, that means that people are making a tremendous amount of money.

    The homeless industrial complex.

  29. @R.G. Camara

    Rich white left-wing suburbs don’t have apartments. Funny how that works.

    • LOL: Peter Johnson
    • Replies: @Alfa158
    , @Forbes
  30. Clyde says:

    I’ve always assumed that some damn do-gooders are buying them the tents and distributing them at soup kitchens or needle exchanges or some such.

    Same here. The reason you see four identical tents in the first photo is some NGO-charity is handing them out. My guess at least. It would be amusing if REI was distributing sleeping bags and tents to the West Coast urban homeless. REI is an ultra lib company, always going on about global warming etc. So are they making the homeless (we’re just camping out) problem worse where their customers live and own houses?

    The homeless plus their drug problems scare me. Many or most have fried their brains so severely they are no good for any kind of work or socialization.

  31. Neal Boortz (ret.) of Atlanta always referred to them as “urban outdoorsmen”. Pretty accurate either way.

  32. Spud Boy says:

    National parks in CA charge something like $30/night to camp, so why do these folks get to camp for free?

  33. Logan says:

    I should note that these aren’t really very good tents, but you wouldn’t want to spend a few hundred dollars on a much better North Face or Marmot tent for a couple of reasons.

    1. It would tend to walk away.

    2. Tents constantly exposed to the UV in sunlight don’t last long.

    So you’d spend $50 and replace it a couple times a year.

    • Replies: @Grace Jones
  34. It seems safe to say that almost all career criminals are homeless, by the conventional definition. According to agencies that deal with the homeless, you’re homeless if you camp outdoors but also if you just don’t have a place that’s primarily yours. You’re considered homeless if you bounce around among family and friends.

    So how is a career criminal going to live any other way? He’s not going to pass the credit check that landlords require, and he’s certainly not going to be a homeowner.

    • Replies: @stillCARealist
  35. Rusty says:

    That camping gear was purchased FOR them, not BY them.

    You know, “Here’s your months supply of drug needles. Do you have a place to live? We can provide you with a tent so you can shoot-up in private.”

  36. @James Braxton

    They have rationally opted for a viable answer to being in this clown world.

    • Replies: @El Dato
    , @Olorin
  37. Alfa158 says:

    Our rich left-wing city has one small strip of apartments along one of the main thoroughfares. They were built decades ago, and I have never seen any of the few single family homes left inside that multiple residence zone torn down and replaced by an apartment building, so I suspect the City has quietly let potential developers know they would never get a building permit.
    The storm cloud on the horizon is that California has a one party political system and the State government is in the hands of people who are bugf**k crazy SJWs. There is presently a bill in the legislature that will allow the State to strip the cities of their zoning powers and mandate the elimination of R-1 zoning so that the homeless and the continuous tidal wave of immigrants will have enough cheap housing. You should hear the howls of protest already rising up from the wealthy left-wing cities.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    , @1661er
    , @anonymous
  38. Portland, Oregon has become a major urban campground, with hundreds (if not thousands) of tents pitched all over the city. Across the Columbia in Vancouver, Washington it’s mostly squatters living on the side streets in run-down motor homes. The police, naturally, do nothing.

  39. anonymous[739] • Disclaimer says:

    There are precedents for this:

    The freight railroad hopping “Hobos” of (when was their heyday, the Depression?)

    Also squaters in Amsterdam The Netherlands and some parts of abandoned Detroit. We’re talking healthy humans trying to live for free amidst the Walking Dead.

    I’ve stumbled on a heroin addict sub culture here in Chicago – the addicts are more functional than one might originally think.

    They live for free in the street camping, or in common rooms or under construction sites and they get their relatives to pay for monthly health club memberships for say $100 a month – thus they have a place to shower, change clothes.

    The (flaming queer) pop band “The Village People” used to sing about a similar subculture:

    “It’s fun to stay at the Y-M-C-A where you can hang out with all the Boys.”

    So many very non traditional sub cultures manage to survive, even have a good time in our dysfunctional, after Christian Civilization has pretty much left US cities.

    Could you and I live this way? We might have to as The Powers that Be are getting us fired from our jobs, our businesses taken down, Paypal, Facebook, Google, Twitter accounts de-platformed, the first cases of Mastercard accounts closed and Chase Bank doing the things international bankers are hated pretty much everywhere in world history.

    Whom the Gods would destroy, they would first make mad. But certain clearly mad people like the Village People seem to be both mad and have a good time.

    • Replies: @Olorin
  40. CJ says:

    I’ve always assumed that some damn do-gooders are buying them the tents and distributing them at soup kitchens or needle exchanges or some such.

    That is at least partly true here in Vancouver, Canada. They are regularly given clothing that they discard; walking in the areas they frequent you see coats, boots, socks, et cetera left on the sidewalk.. Now that the weather is getting warmer and dryer, their numbers are increasing. The situation is quite parallel to that described in Seattle is Dying. There is more than sufficient hostel space, but these people are virtually all drug addicts who refuse to follow the rules of the hostels. I say virtually all because if you were to actually survey 200 of them you would probably find one person who is not actually using drugs but has serious mental illness.

    How many are mentally ill? I’d say roughly 30 to 40 percent have some kind of chemical brain imbalance, which is of course exacerbated by drug use. The drugs? Fentanyl and carfentanil have driven out most of the other drugs because they are so cheap and easy to process and use, but there is still considerable methamphetamine consumption. What I don’t see much of is heavy drinking; thirty years ago you would see indigents drinking from a bottle (perhaps in a paper bag, sometimes cooking wine from corner stores) but you hardly ever see that now. In Canada alcohol is a lot more expensive than fentanyl, so that could be a factor.

    This problem is getting worse in all the Pacific Northwest cities (Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco and also smaller centers) and politicians and bureaucrats seem determined to do nothing to counter it. This summer will be the worst ever; count on it.

  41. @YetAnotherAnon

    How much has this increased since the EU started making it freely possible for all the outside workers to come in and take all your low-level jobs?

    I suspect the homelessness in my city in CA is increasing because of all the media hype it gets. The word is out! If you find yourself tending towards the itinerant lifestyle, liberal CA cities are the place to be.

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
  42. Anonymous[329] • Disclaimer says:

    Gentrifiers vs Tentrifiers.

    Easy for Gentrifiers to push people out of apartments. But what about nomadic types who move around like the 49ers mining for gold? The New Gold Rush is panhandling from the urban rich than panning for gold in streams.

    Besides, urban rich like to fancy themselves as pro-sanctuary types who even welcome illegals(as lumpen serf force). But this opens a way for the native nomads. Well, at least Richard Florida can appreciate them for their ‘creativity’. It sure is creative residence to be so mobile. People are turning ‘Arab’, and it’s like the Wild West is back.

  43. @International Jew

    That perfectly describes my criminal/homeless neighbor’s son. Nobody wants to live with this kid because he’s such a thief to support his drug habit. And the justice system won’t keep him locked up until he kills someone. So… homelessness and crime are his gig.

    You should see him. You’d cry. His dad is now way past the crying stage.

  44. Anne Lid says:

    I have a Hungarian friend who is an expert on camping in London parks, due to his addiction to alcohol and gambling. He has a sleeping bag with a plastic cover in case it rains, but he can make a sleeping place out of boxes, too. A great number of people took him in for periods, gave him money, let him shower, beg him to seek treatment (he scoffs at it, even though his own brother got sober after a stint in a medical facility). A pastor offered to pay for him to stay at a hostel. He did not want to, he wanted just the money. It is truly impossible to help someone who does not want to be helped.
    After having intimately known a few alcoholics, it is clear that many hold down a job and get sloshed in their free time. He went to his driving job topped up and so lost it, or appeared haphazardly and they got rid of him. Also, many have wits enough to pay for rent first and waste the leftover funds, but he spent rent money too. Even so, he manages to beg enough and sometimes he wins, but he never uses it to even his many debts, he keeps gambling until he loses it. A few times I convinced him to send me some money for safekeeping, but when he asked I gave it back and he gambled it right away. We all have tried to help him and got burned and he has not improved a jot.

    I also know an elderly woman who does not seem to have any addictions other then cigarettes, she sells crafts she produced (pretty good ones, too). She should be a good candidate for public housing, but she has a dog that she would not give up, so they both sleep outside.

  45. El Dato says:
    @Daniel Chieh

    Living in the tent?

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
  46. @James Braxton

    I haven’t been commenting enough to agree, but yes, this is the right answer. The people living on the street in San Francisco are on all on drugs. The reason they have tents is because misguided liberals read stuff about how homelessness is caused by rising rents and respond by giving tents and blankets to drug addicts. The reason they are in the city to begin with is because the entire apparatus of government (lack of law enforcement, generous outreach with no strings, needle “exchange”) is set up to enable people to be i.v. drug addicts on the street.

  47. San Francisco used to be a vacation visit of choice for me and my wife. Now the city reeks of urine and dogs walk gingerly to avoid piles of man shit. The city spends a reported $300 million a year on their homeless and just passed a Proposition, pushed by Marc Benioff of SalesForce, to tax corporate profits and add another $300 million to the homeless kitty. What insanity. Homelessness in California is not a problem, it is an industry, where lots of libs make a nice living observing these people, but not really looking to solve the problem. A question: In many cities you see castings afixed to the storm water drain grates that warn against putting anything in but rain run-off, but San Francisco can hose urine and feces off the sidewalks and into the storm drains. Has to be a violation. Weekly homeless stories at SF Gate (San Fran Chronicle) or Berkeleyside web site. Unbelieveable.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    , @Pericles
  48. Jack D says:

    It looked to me as if most of the tents in the picture were identical, which would support that thesis.

  49. Forbes says:

    Which explains the Obama administration lawsuit against Westchester County, NY to zone and build so-called affordable housing (read: apartments) in many of its towns. The Obama administration was attempting to overturn/overrule/reneg an earlier HUD agreement with Westchester.

    Many localities in the County do have apartments, while some have little or no vacant land available for such development, or zoned for such. For a rich, white, left-wing suburban county, it was curious that it was a Republican County Executive that defended the county against the federal intrusion.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
  50. @YetAnotherAnon

    Wow. That is very different from our Newport.

    This is where Emma Lazarus spent her summers:

    • Replies: @Almost Missouri
  51. @Buffalo Joe

    San Francisco used to be a vacation visit of choice for me and my wife. Now the city reeks of urine and dogs walk gingerly to avoid piles of man shit.


  52. @Alfa158

    The storm cloud on the horizon is that California has a one party political system and the State government is in the hands of people who are bugf**k crazy SJWs

    How long can this last, though? SJW = white.

    How does that party stay white at the top? It’s like candy corn.

  53. Tur says:

    I’m not married, and lately I’ve been thinking, if I ditched my lifestyle, and went Urban Camping for just one year, I’d rapidly save enough that I could buy a luxury Volvo SUV, with all the bells and whistles, cash in full, and insurance for it for a year. Even if I operated out of a small camper, I could make some serious bank. Just sell the camper after a year. None of my friends would even realize I did it, unless I told them. I could Uber everywhere, and use Turo for weekend trips. If you get a smaller van-sized camper, you can park in residential areas without the police hassling you.

    I’m still thinking about it…

  54. Altai says:

    They’re modern Hoovervilles, likewise the denizens of the Hoovervilles had the trappings and expectations of certain comforts having been thrown into homelessness by systematic economic failure, not through their inability to hold down a job due to substance abuse problems or particular behavioural problems.

    Of course, leave those people in those conditions without hope for long enough and they too would become something of a down and out. I’ve met plenty of perfect intelligent homeless people.

  55. @anonymous

    751, Interesting that you flaunt your high IQ in the same sentence as being formerly homeless.

  56. @R.G. Camara

    In Washington D.C. the value of housing vouchers has increased to the point, that former homeless persons now can afford apartments in upscale (and very liberal) apartment complexes. What happened afterwards is probably not a huge surprise for readers of this site. I quote the first lines from the article:

    “The SWAT team, the overdose, the complaints of pot smoke in the air and feces in the stairwell — it would be hard to pinpoint a moment when things took a turn for the worse at Sedgwick Gardens, a stately apartment building in Northwest Washington.”

  57. Tur says:
    @Buffalo Joe

    751, Interesting that you flaunt your high IQ in the same sentence as being formerly homeless.

    Besides that, he neglected to explain why his troops were defeated at Waterloo.

    Conclusion: What we refer to as “I.Q.” is trumped by what we call “crazy.”

  58. @Tur

    Tur, article on homeless at SF today. Interview with a guy, construction worker, who lives with his wife in a small camper. Have been doing it for a year. I noticed a cord leading to the trailer. Tapping power from a lightpost? No rent, no sewage tax, stolen electric, water from a public source, no property tax or garbage fees. You shoot too low, you can drive a Masseratti Suv in a year. Camper does not have to be road worthy, no inspection or registration needed. SF seems to enforce few laws so plan your security. Visit a food bank for groceries, some on campus and soup kitchen for your lunches.Check back in a year.

    • Replies: @Lot
    , @Tur
    , @YetAnotherAnon
  59. This probably isn’t news to most of your readers, but John Fund wrote Rush Limbaugh’s first book.

  60. Altai says:

    Perhaps such encampments should be renamed Reaganvilles or Friedmanvilles.

  61. Lot says:
    @Hapalong Cassidy

    That’s what garages are for. But you can get well over $700 for a prime Palo Alto garage.

  62. @stillCARealist

    “How much has this increased since the EU started making it freely possible for all the outside workers to come in and take all your low-level jobs?”

    Loads more of it.

    Some of them have even taken the dosser/alcoholic jobs – the guy who died in a tent thirty miles north was Polish.

    And the addicts are also many because of what’s called ‘County Lines’ dealing – e.g. black gangs in London, Pakistani gangs in Birmingham coming out to smaller towns for a few days, staying in cheap motels of ‘cuckooing’ in some addict’s house and recruiting street dealers from the local druggie population. Gone are the days when people would head off to the big city to score or get ripped off – now the big city comes to town.

    Then there’s the Albanians, who pretty much run coke import and wholesale distribution in the UK these days. In fact a big retail operation in Newport was Albanian wholesalers –> local Welsh/???? mixed family running retail.

  63. Lot says:
    @Buffalo Joe

    Joe, this was far more common about 10 years ago in California. Eventually it became too common and even liberal cities cracked down.

    It is one thing to poop on sidewalks and shoot up in a Starbucks bathroom. But take up all the prime street parking? That goes too far.

    There are a few warehouse districts where it is still tolerated around here, and they are lined with dozens of campers.

    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    , @Marty
  64. @Forbes

    Pretty good indication that you’re dealing with fake-left, not real-left.

  65. @Tur

    The Free Solo guy lived in a van for years until he got famous and his hot girlfriend talked him into buying a house.

    • Replies: @Tur
    , @Charles Pewitt
  66. @El Dato

    nepenthe: a living death for a world where life is no longer worth living

  67. @Lot

    Lot, my friend I direct you to and the continuing saga of campers and RVs on the street. Whole streets and a marina totally taken over by campers and RVs. Now, in 2019 . Also see today’s for their coverage of campers and RVs. California cities seem to enforce few , if any quality of life crimes. Crimes? 30,000 car break ins in SF and seven arrests. For a full plate of agita inducing stories visit SFGate and Berkeleyside weekly.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  68. Ibound1 says:

    The US 1965 was simply too perfect! Affordable housing! Good jobs! Corvette Stingray! The Beach Boys. (My in laws bought a house in the Bay Area for 35K in 1965). It had to be wrecked. Humanity cannot stand that much prosperity and happiness. It was too good for too many people. We didn’t have enough poor non-English speaking Muslim freaks from the Horn of Africa and the sub-Continent lecturing us and of course we didn’t have enough super billionaires. Not enough McMansions and cheap gardeners either! But we do have IPhones now, cameras everywhere, GPS devices in every car. So the government can literally track your movements 24 hours a day if they wish. So we do have that going for us.

    • LOL: BB753
    • Replies: @BB753
  69. Scalper says:

    Without needle exchange the taxpayer will pay way more in hospital fees and coroner/remains disposal services with the resulting AIDS/hepatitis epidemy you gonna get with all those junkies slamming with dirty needles, you dimwit. But hey, let ’em die and feed ’em to the pigs amirite? What a nasty piece of work you are.

  70. Tur says:
    @Buffalo Joe

    Buff, a low-key van conversion is the way to go, for flexibility sake. In Los Angeles county, you can legally park a van on residential streets. Anything larger invites the police to cite you. I own and manage properties in different areas, so being able to camp out in front of any of my rentals is a big plus.

    I figure if I go to urban camping for one year, that would pay for a couple of full kitchen upgrades, and a bathroom. Or again, a nice new car.

    When I raise my rents, my tenants can’t yell at me. I’d just say, “lookit me! I’m living out front in a van, goddamn you! Yeah, I’m really greedy! You live in an apartment! Must be NICE!!”

  71. @Buffalo Joe

    In the UK your van has to have tax, an MOT (roadworthiness certificate) and insurance for at least one driver. But a van is still a lot cheaper. Rent in Bristol for a single room with shared kitchen/bathroom is about £6,000 pa, and you can get a tatty but legal van with bed, sink, toilet and stove for £3,000.

    Most van dwellers are reasonably “together” and not hopeless addicts, though they may be alternative types. You have to be a bit organised to keep the thing taxed, maintained and insured.

  72. @HammerJack

    Los Angeles – yes, good choice! But, South Dakota or San Bernardino – yikes!

  73. OT; For those who think evidence will eventually prevail…

    Orwell, Would that thou wert alive in this hour!

  74. Tur says:

    The Free Solo guy lived in a van for years until he got famous and his hot girlfriend talked him into buying a house.

    His girlfriend isn’t hot, to me. She’s just young. She won’t age well at all, and in a decade, he’ll curse the day she tricked him into buying a house, which needlessly undermines him practicing his occupation. That house isn’t for him, it’s for her. Unless you’re flipping it, or have excess money to burn, buying a house in your twenties is ridiculous. It’s like taking on a second business.

    Women are outrageously expensive in every way to young men on the move.


    • Disagree: Desiderius
    • Replies: @Desiderius
  75. Dave2 says:

    Yup, the biggest mistake most of these homeless people made was being born without a womb. You can’t find a rental in the most impoverished backwaters of the USA for less than $800 a month because that’s what Section 8 pays to house single mothers. Getting paid to breed is a sweet deal, and when your womb dries up, pimp out your daughters, convince a judge that they’re unfit mothers, and take custody of their kids for even more government cash.

    A single mother with two children would need a husband who earns $60,000 a year to match what the government gives her for free. To avoid competing with single mothers for housing, you need to either buy a place that’s too dilapidated to qualify for Section 8, or move to the Philippines.

  76. @Tur

    If you have a van with no windows at the back or sides, insulated kitted out internally but externally looking like say a builders van, you effectively have a ‘stealth van’ and can park even in the seaside car parks where signs say ‘No Overnight Camping’. Just keep the noise to a minimum at night (no parties), no light leakage and you’re good. Only drawback with the stealth van is that views are of the van walls, not whichever lovely place you’re parked.

    • Replies: @Tur
  77. George says:

    “the homeless tended to be pathetic lunatics who belonged in asylums. ”

    Once upon a time, Single Room Occupancy hotels were legal and even sort of encouraged. Today SROs are only permitted to be operated by universities. Actual dormitories with rows of beds are basically not permitted. We Work might be renting something similar to an SRO.

    The people in the tents might actually have incomes and even regular jobs. The problem is their income won’t pay the rent at legal rentals. While Uber is tolerated something like urban jitneys, mini buses operated by private operators, are not permitted, making commuting much more expensive.

    If the US is going to incorporate the Third world then third world arrangements like dormitory housing and jitneys might be needed.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  78. kihowi says:

    person with a higher IQ than you, Steve

    Fantasies of being a secret genius who just got a rough deal. Severely overestimating your ability to read others.

    Huuurrrrrr, durrrrrr

    Prone to angry outbursts. Lack of emotional self-restraint.

    Yeah I wonder why you ended up on the street.

  79. PSR says:
    @Tyrone Slothrop

    If you think all those people are there because they have no other choice you’re kidding yourself. Hell you can make $15 an hour or more in many towns working at McDonalds or Wendys. No, you might not be able to stay in San Francisco or Vancouver or L.A. at $15 an hour but how many of us can?

  80. PSR says:

    And the first step for people on the streets who don’t want to be on the streets is get out of one of the most expensive cities in the U.S.

  81. @Buffalo Joe

    Hey, like the saying goes…
    Any guy who brags he’s part of the mafia, isn’t.

  82. Anonymous[352] • Disclaimer says:

    “but muh IQ”

  83. “I’m starting to think we should rename “the homeless” as “urban campers.””

    And we can nationalise Urban Outfitters to feed and clothe them.

  84. @Buffalo Joe

    The irony is that Steve is living rent-free in High IQ Guy’s head.

  85. Bleuteaux says:


    Obama’s “relocate the blacks” policy continues to pay off. A mentally ill black guy draws a medical response in broad daylight in downtown Appleton, Wisconsin, and when the firefighters and ambulance show up to deal with him he pulls out a gun, shoots four of them and murders a married father of three white male.

    He should have been shot dead by the first cop to arrive. Note that the ONLY source on the guy’s race is a video of his arrest. The media are refusing to name him or post pictures of him.

    Northeastern Wisconsin is simply unrecognizable. Everything Steve says about Dubuque is true of all of those towns in and around Green Bay, Oshkosh, etc. Well done, Barack. A firefighter gets slaughtered in broad daylight in fucking midday downtown Appleton.

    • Replies: @CCZ
  86. J.Ross says: • Website

    How bad would San Francisco’s homeless problem be if San Francisco had any housing affordable to a Starbucks barista?
    Compare Portland and Seattle formally requesting the honor of the company of every heroin addict on the west coast, at the same time that they tell their police to kick rocks.

  87. @Logan

    The tents being cheap is also a factor for the do-gooding busybodies in question.

  88. @Tyrone Slothrop

    He’s not pricking on the campers, he’s pricking on the policymakers.

  89. CCZ says:

    How about a [former] golf course becoming a tent village?

    Elite Marin County has acquired San Geronimo Golf Course for “a public park” and is seeking “public input.” Some comments say low income housing would be “humane” but a tent village might be even more humane and also return the land to the era of “Indigenous People” before the “colonizers” (or were they “gentrifiers”?) arrived. Although the name “Geronimo” might be “problematic.”

    • Replies: @danand
  90. @Desiderius

    That Free Solo mountain climber guy is doing pull ups in his van to keep himself ready to climb.

    Pull ups are an excellent exercise for regular size people to strengthen your upper body and your core muscles.

    The Free Solo guy was shifting his weight back and keeping his legs bent up to work his core muscles and back muscles.

    There is something balanced and natural and spiritual in using your own body weight to strengthen your muscles.

    Free Solo guy slept in his van in the driveway of his new house for two weeks because there was no furniture in his new house and because he was used to the van. His beautiful lady friend may have had ways of enticing him into the house.

    Free Solo guy is a vegetarian and he must eat eggs and milk and cheese for protein to keep his muscles prepared to climb. Maybe not, who knows?

    I stopped with climbing trees when I was a kid, I ain’t gonna free climb granite rock up a cliff. God Bless him!

  91. Olorin says:
    @Daniel Chieh

    The Industrial Revolution and its consequences have been a disaster for the human race.

    Consider two subspecies of humans:

    –Those whose ancestors have lived in urban hives for up to 10,000 years, and

    –Those whose ancestors lived a village or rural or frontier or sea life in that time. Or lived in cities but sought challenge and growth in the wilder spaces/frontiers.

    The normatized notion that everyone on earth must be forced to want to live in (((NYC))) or (((Levit)))town (never mind Bombay or Peking) is one of the most vicious ever excogitated.

    It certainly accounts for much of the mental/emotional stress that countless humans feel.

    I’d agree with you that “urban camping” is a completely rational response. At least in some of these cases.

    If some or many of said campers use chemicals to level out their emotions or ease boredom or numb physical pain, seems to me the Establishment’s only real complaint is that they aren’t profiting via Big Pharma. Or that these behaviors will cost them money.

    (Bearing in mind of course that a lot of the addiction was seeded by Sacklerismo/Big Pharma/the Establishment to begin with. It’s like GloboChow selling obesogenic foods with one hand…and diet products with the other…while holding the customer in contempt.)

    Multiculturalism has always been the weapon of rootless cosmopolitan hive dwellers against the rest of humanity who can never be happy living in the conditions most profitable to their overlords. The RCHDs have the power to cull any rebellion, or breed it out of existence. After of course propagandizing against it with the full force of human technology and language.

    Compared to that, living in a little tent seems remarkably humane and reasoned, however shabby.

    Besides, from the RCHDs’ ubercaste’s perspective, once you figure out how to domesticate humans sufficiently, there’s always more where the suicides came from.

    Look at President Kushner’s magnificent new immigration policy. Not “close the borders and lift up Americans already here,” but “hand out little flags for everyone to wave as the high-paid jobs are given to foreigners.”

    In other words, replacing American pioneer stock–including that of urban campers–with foreigners well adapted to the urban hive and its demands for obedience in return for shekels. And not a goddamn word about what frontiers to offer the sons and daughters of that older stock.

    Of course President Kushner would starve if he ever had to use his noodle arms and toothpick wrists to open a #10 can of stew with a P-38. Even if, say, the love of my life got him started and showed him how.

    Our elite caste cares only about replicating themselves and their hives–with as little labor done by or inconvenience to themselves as possible. I have buddies in the trades who regularly laugh together over stories about the hive dwelling elites who don’t even know how to clear a minor clog from the trap in their kitchen sink…but somehow consider themselves more civilized than the guy who does, and hold him in contempt and scorn.

    This is the exact same attitude these tradesmen encounter among the Section Ape dwellers they must interact with when servicing their landlords’ rentals. There’s a lesson there.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @obwandiyag
  92. Good Morning, America, my name is Warren Wilhelm- uh, Bill de Blasio, and I’m running for president.

    Why, you ask? Frankly, it gets boring not doing anything all day. They said being Mayor of New York City would be hard, but like I told my buddy Cheech in high school, math isn’t hard if you don’t do your homework and never study.

    People in the City only know me from murdering Punxutawney Phil or if they get a glimpse of my SUV cortège flying through lower Manhattan on the way to my early morning gym session in Park Slope at 1030 am. Sometimes they see me on the View or that comedy-news show hosted by a Bushman. Or setting up a podium in Trump Tower to blabber about the Green New Deal in front of the escalator, so that signs saying ‘Worst Mayor Ever’ and ‘Trump 2020’ circuit my head the entire time.

    What these people do not understand is that I am immune to embarrassment. One thing I learned when I was a Sandinista in college is that you don’t have to do accomplish anything as a Revolutionary, you just say you did. You see more homeless people, I see people so desperate to live in Bill de Blasio’s New York they’re willing to sleep on the sidewalk. Stay strong, kid, Broadway is right around the corner! I think they have decent benches at Broadway & 50th, actually, but you better hustle it’s first-come first-served.

    I’ve enjoyed serving the people of New York, even if they don’t appreciate me the way I fantasize that people outside of NY do. 0bama and I have a lot in common that way. That and we’re both married to stunningly beautiful black women. And Chirlane is gorgeous, let me be clear. She does not look like a reanimated zombie Haitian voodoo priestess at all. Donald Trump said she looks like a skeleton wrapped in electrical tape, I don’t think that was fair, either.

    Anyway, I’m smarter than you think. I’m not running to win, you dummy. I’m running to raise money. Money for SKDKnickerbocker and Berlin Rosen, specifically. When I say, ‘there’s plenty of money in America, it’s just in the wrong hands,’ this is what I mean. It should in my consultants’ hands. And mine eventually, those bastards better not stiff me on the back end. I’m looking at you, too, Teacher’s Union, I hooked your insane lesbian cult up but good.

    So screw you, suckers. I’m gonna take my sweet-ass time drinking cappuccino in Park Slope tomorrow mid-morning while you’re slaving at you job like a schmuck. You think I give a shit about the street people? I’ll be in business class jetting off to Iowa or New Hampshire while you’re stuck in a subway breathing in bum nut-sack. So send me $50 when you get my fundraising email you donkey. I can’t get it all from filthy Borough Park landlords who stink of whitefish. Now piss off, I’m gonna go smoke a doobie and take a nap.

    I’m Bill de Blasio, and I approved this message

  93. Daniel H says:

    A modest solution to urban homelessness: The Ford Transit Connect. One can remove the front passenger seat and make a very comfortable sleeping platform. Enough privacy. One can drive to one’s job, then retreat to a quite neighborhood at night and sleep soundly. Used, these can be had for between 5,000-10,000.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
  94. Pericles says:
    @Pat Shuff

    That’s nearly $100,000 for every homeless man, woman, and child in King County

    Those case workers don’t come cheap, you know.

  95. JMcG says:
    @Ghost of Bull Moose

    That, sir, was perfect. Thanks for a sorely needed laugh!

  96. Olorin says:

    Best comment in the thread imo.

    My favorite of those 20th century US Depression hoboes was a man named Loren Eiseley. Born to an insane deaf mother and maladapted father, he grew up mostly alone on the Nebraska prairie.

    He was bright and hard working and went on to become one of the most perceptive anthropologists and naturalists of his time…before the University of Pennsylvania swallowed the Bolshie Bait hook, line, and fishing boat and he stepped down from leadership (Provost) there in the 1960s. I highly recommend his autobio, All the Strange Hours.

    He was transitioned from his peripatetic existence to a more settled one by Penn’s arguably most feral faculty member of all time, Frank Speck.

    I had occasion to know a good number of latter-day hoboes through railfan circles in the Midwest and CA. Some of them were remarkably intelligent and civilized. Some were people you didn’t turn your back on for even a moment.

    Not one of them would throw a fit if their internet connection was slow, or the barista didn’t put enough foam on their caramel vanilla pumpkin spice quad decaf soy macchiato. Some had reproduced. Others not.

  97. Pericles says:
    @Buffalo Joe

    Take the opportunity to give Diane Feinstein a present.

  98. Olorin says:
    @Ghost of Bull Moose

    Actually, you killed the relatively unknown Staten Island Chuck.

    Not the famous Punxatawney Phil.

    Jesus christ, you even inflate your marmoticide to impress the audience.

    [Otherwise, bravo, Ghost.]

  99. Anonymous[375] • Disclaimer says:

    Before “homeless” became the primary term in the 60s, people used the terms tramps, bums, vagrants, hobos, etc. All these terms referred to basically a permanent or semi-permanent camp like existence, so “urban campers” is not a bad term. “Hobo” referred to people who were basically always on the move looking for work, camping out in an area for some while they did odd jobs there. “Tramps” and “vagrants” were also people who were always on the move and camping out in places along the way, except unlike hobos, they didn’t seek work but tried to get by with other means. “Bums” were people who camped out and never sought work.

    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    , @anon
  100. Jack D says:
    @Tyrone Slothrop

    the iphone, alleged to be one of the more sophisticated pieces of equipment ever invented, dies in like two years,

    This is not a bug, it’s a feature (from Apple’s POV). Recently, when they were forced (it’s a long saga) to offer battery replacements for older iPhones at a reasonable price, their sales (and their stock price) went down. They won’t make that mistake again.

    A modern corporation is like a shark – it has to keep swimming forward. If it stands still, it dies. Western Electric used to make phones that could literally last a lifetime. You don’t get to a trillion $ market cap by selling each of your customers one phone every five decades. One every 2 years sounds about right.

  101. Jack D says:
    @Ghost of Bull Moose

    And Chirlane is gorgeous, let me be clear.

    Chirlane was a confirmed lesbian before she met Bill. It’s not every man who can get a lesbian to bat for the other team.

  102. Kylie says:

    Do you feel the same way about Narcan?

    • Replies: @Corn
  103. Marty says:

    You better take a look at Lake Merced Blvd. across from SF State. Just in the last 6 months or so almost all the parking taken up by class A RV’s. Spillover even into the Lowell High parking lot. Completely out of control. Gonna be interesting when the PGA comes to Harding next year. All those campers getting free views of the action.

  104. J.Ross says: • Website

    You can try saving it (sometimes this requires fiddling with how the page is displayed) and then upload it to (or similar hosts) and then paste the shorter url here. Postimg doesn’t require an account and works near-instantly.

  105. @Discordiax

    We’re really going to begrudge someone in that situation in life, a free tent? I don’t mind that at all, but it would be better for them and for us to find a better, more permanent solution.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
    , @Reg Cæsar
  106. The article linked in the tweet says LA stats will come out at the end of May. I’ve been living in North Hollywood for just under 2 years and it seems to me that the campers have increased here in the valley. I also notice many long term illegally parked vehicles around the park near me and in the neighborhood that are obviously residential vehicles.

    You don’t have to go to Haiti to find a sh**hole.

    The article also mentions that the Governor is allocating a bunch of millions of the working folks’ confiscated dollars for “emergency” shelters. How is a decades long problem an “emergency”? “Emergency” implies that there is some normal state of affairs that will be returned to after the “emergency” is over. How will that happen exactly?

  107. J.Ross says: • Website
    @Jack D

    But it is wierdly common for ambitious Democratic politicians to have marriages of convenience.

  108. J.Ross says: • Website

    Begrudge. Did the free tent come with a free modern hooked-up porcelain or stainless steel toilet? Begrudge!

  109. In Denver’s recent municipal election, on the ballot was the “Right to Survive” Initiative known as proposition 300. It would have overturned existing laws that prevented camping in outdoor public places.

    The vast majority of Denver voters were against allowing the homeless to camp in there park system, it was voted down by over 82%! Hopefully this will send a message to the politicos that even in a solidly blue town you can go to far. This last election did offer an interested dichotomy, while the homelessness enabling law was very soundly defeated, an additional initiative to decriminalize magic mushrooms was passed. So as it stands if you want to get high in Denver, you’d better have a home to do it in, but you can do it, lol.

  110. @J.Ross

    But it is wierdly common for ambitious Democratic politicians to have marriages of convenience.

    But not of color. DeBlasio was one of the first.

    Back in the ’90s, I remember some conservative commentator noting that the only interracial marriages he knew of in Washington were Republicans– Phil Gramm’s and Clarence Thomas’s.

    Of course, there was Strom Thurmond’s zoophilic alliance, but that wasn’t a marriage. Or even public.

  111. @RadicalCenter

    …it would be better for them and for us to find a better, more permanent solution.

    Like a job?

  112. bomag says:

    I’m for providing excellent and well-maintained and well-monitored public toilets and water fountains, and zero cash aid, and no penalties for sleeping in public or loitering, and extreme penalties for drug offenses and any kind of harassment of people on the street (extreme as in mandatory year in jail for a second offense).

    It’s been tried. Even in Scandinavian countries with their Scandinavian riff-raff it is problematic.

    This class of people have a penchant for destroying nice things. Penalties figure little into their decisions; jail just becomes another place to stay.

  113. fish says:

    Most of Newport’s urban campers aren’t rational types saving on rent though. I could live in one of those for three years at uni, use the uni showers and save six grand rent a year.

    How do you think I got through my last two years of college……in a pod……except it had wheels and was made in the 70’s by Volkswagen!

    Reno and Vegas both acceptable fall back cities with Universities and fairly low cost food. Reno runs cold though.

  114. anonymous[751] • Disclaimer says:
    @Buffalo Joe

    yes, that was literally the point.

    Steve blogs from some made up universe where IQ=income. But that’s not the real world we actually live in.

  115. @Tur


    Does your daddy know that you read Sailer?

  116. People who have a “homeless” shelter available but choose instead to live in a tent pitched in the street are not homeless: they are vagrants, or hobos, or bums; but no more homeless than Bedouins who live in the desert, in tents.

    Also, high rents are a poor explanation for “homelessness”: if rents in some place are higher than a person can pay, he need only move to where rents are lower and within his means. That’s what a normal person does; he doesn’t instead pitch a tent in the street, shoot smack, and crap on the sidewalk.

  117. @Buffalo Joe

    I didn’t find the articles you referred to, but learned that the average tax liability in one Zip Code is almost as high as the average income in another:

    So much for equality!

    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
  118. @Tyrone Slothrop

    I don’t recall the details, but a year or two ago, a proposal to build housing in a marshy area near Redwood City was shot down by environmentalists. The green fanatics are part of the problem.

    I believe Sen. Feinstein has long been interested in building a second bay bridge, just south of the existing Bay Bridge. They should build that as the north edge of a new 8-lane South Bay Ring Road and build new housing on the marshy expanses between it and the existing shoreline. The enviros would never allow that, though.

    • Replies: @1661er
    , @obwandiyag
  119. Corn says:

    You get Narcan once, if you OD again you’ve done used your Get Out of Jail Free card

    • Agree: Kylie, Redneck farmer
  120. Anonymous[375] • Disclaimer says:

    No one on earth is descended from people who have lived in cities for 10,000 years. Cities are demographic sinks. Pretty much everyone is descended from the 90%+ of populations throughout history who were peasant farmers.

    Those urban campers aren’t camping because they refuse to live in the city. They are living in the city. If they didn’t want to live in cities, they’d be camping in more rural areas. There are such places out in the country where such people live in tents, sheds, shacks, etc. They’re urban campers because they refuse to live in shelters, and because the next step of housing above shelters, the studio apartment, is too expensive. There used to be a whole category of various urban housing between the shelter and studio apartment.

  121. I don’t think you have to theorize about high housing prices or NIMBLY or shrinking middle class jobs.

    People will engage in different lives: some will work hard and be diligent to gain maximum security and others will do less and be satisfied with worse conditions. Some will do the absolute minimum to survive. And of course overlay vastly different abilities on top of this spectrum.

    If you don’t have vagrancy laws, some people will live as hoboes, some will be drifters, some will sleep in the park. During bad economic times there may be more living like that, some doing so completely outside of their control, but there will always be a significant population that will live like that if permitted. Sort of like the people who buy an Iphone and a unlimited data plan but don’t put enough of their disposable income aside to accumulate a $ 5,000 emergency fund.

    • Replies: @obwandiyag
    , @danand
  122. Anonymous[375] • Disclaimer says:

    Once upon a time, Single Room Occupancy hotels were legal and even sort of encouraged. Today SROs are only permitted to be operated by universities. Actual dormitories with rows of beds are basically not permitted. We Work might be renting something similar to an SRO.

    Yes, there used to be a large segment of various forms of housing in American cities between the homeless shelter and the studio apartment:

    At the very bottom of the market, as little as a nickel a night (about $1.60 in today’s terms) rented a few square feet of floor “flophouse” (a cavernous room space in a with walls, a ceiling, and with luck, heat). One step up, costing perhaps a dime a night ($3.20), were dormitories. Here a man could rent a cot with bedding in a large open room. Typically, he would also be provided with a locker for his personal belongings and a place to bathe and shave. Physical conditions in these dormitories superficially resembled those in today’s municipal shelters. There were, however, important differences. Because dormitories were privately owned businesses, operators could exclude disruptive individuals who did not conform to the rules governing behavior—in striking contrast with current shelters that have “few rules and almost none that [are] enforced,” in the words of the New York Times. These private dormitories had to attract willing customers in order to make a profit. If any establishment became known as dirty or unsafe, it would rapidly lose clients and be forced to improve. Thus, the quality of the shelter had to be the highest that could be provided for its price, or the establishment would go out of business. Again, this is in sharp contrast with today’s shelter system, in which quality is enforced only by a series of cumbersome and restrictive court suits. (For those who would not conform to the rules in the private dormitories or who could not come up with even 25 cents a week, there was also a “Municipal Lodging House, “which along with an annex on an East River pier, housed about 2,100 men each night in January 1915.)

    What the dormitories did not provide was privacy. This was available for slightly more in “cage” hotels costing between 15 and 25 cents a night ($4.80 to $8.00 today). These facilities were large rooms subdivided by partial walls into cubicles that provided each man with his own space. Those with more resources (25 cents or more a night, or $8.00 and up today) could rent rooms in lodging houses. These equivalents to today’s Single Room Occupancy hotels (SROs) provided private rooms with varying amenities, depending on the price paid. As an alternative, those who were willing to give up independence in favor of meals had the option of renting rooms in boarding houses. Here rent might be $3.00 to $5.00 a week. The importance of these forms of housing can be seen in the 1893 survey, which indicated that 11.5 percent of the residents of New York’s slums were either boarders or lodgers.

    Those who were ready to rent apartments could also find dwellings within their earning capacity. Remember that a man earning at the tenth percentile of the wage distribution of slum residents had an income of $5.30 a week. These earnings compare with a median rent of $1.40 a week for one-room and $1.85 a week for two-room apartments in these same neighborhoods.

    Single men had a strong order of preference among these various alternatives: They preferred lodging and boarding houses to cages, cages to dormitories, dormitories to flops, and flops to the city’s shelters. Men could act on these preferences by moving as their incomes increased.

    • Replies: @obwandiyag
  123. @Olorin

    A culture without bass is a culture without bottom.

  124. J.Ross says: • Website
    @Buffalo Joe

    Jorn Barger was an important early developer and contributor to the internet and at one point he was homeless. Ted Kaczynski would probably have been considered effectively homeless in his cabin years. IQ is a better predictor of income than any other single factor up to a point, but very high IQ people are noted for not wanting a room straight out of an Ikea catalog.

  125. @Anonymous

    Anon, I grew up in Buffalo off of Bailey Avenue, a decent business street surronded by residential, mostly doubles, streets. We saw few bums, but my Dad always found some change or a buck for a down and out vet. Seemed to know when some one had served.

  126. @Jack D

    Jack, Designated hitter.

  127. 1661er says:

    Limpieza social goes with a Latin American style income distribution.

  128. @Reg Cæsar

    Reg, Google…”James Janisses, homeless in San Francisco” or “17% actually same story, in San Francisco Chronicle, which is SF Gate. SF Gate changes stories frequently. Berkeleyside stories are up forever. Or google 30000 car break ins in San Francisco

  129. 1661er says:

    Federal lands are not subject to state planning controls.

    It seems to me that Trump has a lot of discretion to use his control of federal lands to set home refugees camps on federal lands around those SJW controlled sanctuary cities/counties. Put a few thousands refugees in Moffet Field, right across street from Googleplex and let them free roaming during the day. The right-thinking rich living in Berkeley Hills sure would welcome a few hundred refugees being settled on the ground of Berkeley National Lab right next to their home. Gavin Newsome’s in-laws in Ross/Kentfield sure would welcome a few hundred thousands of asylum seekers being settled in GGNAR/Marin headland.(There are still army bunkers left over from WWII. If they were good enough for US GIs, surely they are good enough for refugees. Who are those Marin residents to deny them shelters?) San Francisco liberals surely would welcome 10,000 refugees/asylum seekers in Presidio, right?

    Do it and see how fast those place change their tune.

  130. @Reg Cæsar

    Hey, welcoming the wretched refuse to (your neighbors’) golden door is hard work. The lady needed somewhere to chillax in style.

  131. 1661er says:
    @Hark hark the snark

    Imaging if we have the blue area to build housing on by 2020. How much fewer homeless/camper would be on the streets.

    Trump should had repealed CWA/ESA/CAA and federally preempt California CEQA and make this a reality. The modern day Arkies/Orkies would had voted Nancy Pelosi out and make the whole state of California vote more like Central Valley.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
    , @Anonymous
    , @HammerJack
  132. Tur says:

    If you have a van with no windows at the back or sides, insulated kitted out internally but externally looking like say a builders van, you effectively have a ‘stealth van’ and can park even in the seaside car parks where signs say ‘No Overnight Camping’. Just keep the noise to a minimum at night (no parties), no light leakage and you’re good. Only drawback with the stealth van is that views are of the van walls, not whichever lovely place you’re parked.

    Exactly. I found out the police can’t ticket vans when some homeless people in a van decided to park on our street, and I reported them. It had 5-8 bikes strapped to it’s roof, and had the bikes out on the sidewalk on and off during the day. I assumed it was a portable meth head chop shop for stolen bikes. In our neighborhood, they really stood out. They were very stupid. The cops wound up convincing them to go elsewhere even though they didn’t have much leverage.

    In any case, the cops initially said they couldn’t ticket them, or make them move because vans didn’t fall under the RV moniker, and they weren’t visibly sleeping in it. Vans were thought of as equal to cars. I thought at the time, should I ever decide to be tactically homeless, I’ll know not to buy an RV. Better to get a secret tricked-out extended cab van. Tons more flexibility from day-to-day. If you’re working your ass off, and just need a place to sleep and keep you essential stuff, it’s good enough.

  133. J.Ross says: • Website

    Okay, excrement on the sidewalks was one thing, but using comic sans in an activist pamphlet is true degeneracy.

  134. @Logan

    A decent fiberglass-reinforced tarp that fully covers the tent would help that problem, plus work better in the rain.

  135. anonymous[312] • Disclaimer says:

    There is a good reason for the states to strip local municipalities of their zoning power, and it gots nuthin’ to do with good government.

    Politicians in State and county governments, at least where I live (New York State) have always been envious of the graft (whether in the form of tickets to fund-raising events, outright bribes, jobs for the kids etc.) that local government guys such as Towns and Villages were able to extract from developers.
    Because of that, the State and counties began to tighten their regulatory and environmental reviews (within their limited jurisdiction), of development projects in an effort to get in on the action.

    This just changes who will get the baksheesh, the state/county, or the town.

  136. Any decent self respecting city would sweep the streets with flamethrowers randomly. The vagrant problem would vanish. All the other flammable litter would vanish too.

  137. First they closed down the mental institutions. That was the left. Then they closed the halfway houses. That was the right.

    And now the goddam rent’s too goddam high you goddam imbeciles. That’s our rich owners.

    But you say of course that this is all the fault of the victims.

    You pathetic sheep. You just believe whatever cheap propaganda you’re spoonfed, don’t ya? Too lazy to think for yourselves.

  138. @Anonymous

    Yes, you are right. At one time the rent’s weren’t too high. But then our rentier owners figured out one more way to squeeze us. Hence–Hoovervilles. Or probably, more appropriately in the current dispensation, Reaganvilles. Cartervilles if you like. But that’s around when the bipartisan eviction started occurring.

  139. You people are all sissies. You all judge based on your “feeleens, nothing more than feeleens.”

    Proven fact. Give homeless people an apartment–save money for the municipality. Period.

    Homeless living in the streets are expensive. In rooms, they cost less. Period.

    But this is, of course, counterintuitive. Homeless people must be punished, everybody knows that. Because that is what your sissy little feeleens tell you.

  140. @Olorin

    You are so much smarter than these IQ obsessed idiots on here. Your only moderately complex argument is more than 3 pay-levels above their station. They will never be able to comprehend it.

  141. @scrivener3

    You know nothing about anything.

  142. @anonymous

    It’s not hard to have a higher IQ than these amoebae in the other comments to your succinct and well-taken points. An endoskeleton is probably enough.

  143. Anonymous[706] • Disclaimer says:

    That’s an exhibit at the ACoE’s Bay Model museum in Sausalito (where tentrifiers are scarce on the ground). The guy who wanted to dam up the bays was a Broadway musical producer.

    • Replies: @1661er
  144. @Olorin

    Tell these things to the pro-gentrification idiots on the other thread. They love yuppies.

  145. Anonymous[706] • Disclaimer says:

    It’s been tried, but I don’t think you can really write a Santa Monica real estate blurb without using the words “nightmare neighbor:”

  146. 1661er says:

    In some regard, the Sausalito Houe boats are not that different from camper vans. Of course, once those old hippies got theirs, they pulled up the ladder behind them.

    Japanese were able to build in Tokyo Bay without any of the environmental doom and gloom and created enough new land to house all the homeless in Bay Area.

    • Replies: @nebulafox
    , @JMcG
  147. @obwandiyag

    My suggestion was nothing like a ludicrous fill-in-the-Bay proposal. Have you ever walked around Shoreline park in Mountain View and seen how vast the unnavigable mudflats and marshes on the edge of the bay are? Some of that wasteland could be used for housing, Look at a map—there is a flat little cove next to Facebook grounds. That could be filled-in and used for housing.

    The road traffic in the Bay Area is horrible; 280 runs down the middle of the peninsula; 101 runs on the east edge of the peninsula next to the bay. A 3rd thruway is needed to handle South Bay traffic, such as a “ring road” a half-mile to a mile east of 101 in the shallow waters of the bay that would wrap around north of Alviso and run a few miles west of 880 in the shallow waters and mud flats of the East bay.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    , @danand
  148. @Hark hark the snark

    Most of Chicago’s best amenities are built on landfill in Lake Michigan, but the first Mayor Daley banned more landfill, although somebody said that got lifted recently.

    In the Bay Area I’d be worried about landfill shaking in an earthquake, like the landfill Marina district in 1989. But landfill would be good for parks and a freeway if the overpasses could be engineered not to come down during an earthquake.

  149. anon[335] • Disclaimer says:

    Yes, I was just thinking, “bum” was the old fashioned word. “Homelesss” is the modern word. “Urban Campers” is the post-modern word. And coming full circle “bum” is the word we will once again use when wars or economic collapse finally brings an end to this clown world.

  150. nebulafox says:

    Singapore, too, makes heavy use of reclaimed land.

    There’s an occasion wistful joke among young Singaporeans who are dealing with ridiculous rent prices about straight up buying Johor from Malaysia, since the local sultan is very pro-Singapore, but there’s no way that’s gonna happen, on a whole number of levels. Ethnic balance and social integration of the locals is as much of an obstacle as the practical cost of buildimg new train lines.

    • Replies: @1661er
  151. nebulafox says:
    @Jack D

    Oh, you’d be surprised. A lot of lesbians get the urge to have a man occasionally. Sometimes a dildo just doesn’t cut it, and unlike straight women, they can be remarkably not picky about the guy they take.

    The interesting thing is that they remain attracted to women on a romantic and emotional level: it is a purely physical affair. It’s like bisexual men, but in reverse: the same sex is the default rather than the exoticism.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
  152. @Steve Sailer

    They can’t be. There is nothing more naive than faith in engineers.

  153. @Steve Sailer

    There are fish in there. Plants. Bird nesting and roosting and feeding. Your soulless ilk are the worst.

  154. @HammerJack

    I read an article a few months back about how what would have been otherwise middle or even working class people were living in vans. And that L.A. had certain areas for them to park in, and sleep at night. Really all you need is a gym membership for showering facilities and there you go.

    Chris Farley was really prescient.

  155. danand says:
    @Hark hark the snark


    I like your plan, especially your ring road for 880. Throw in a couple more East/West routes out to the Livermore valley (and beyond). As for the areas surrounding Shoreline park, your on the money there too, finish filling that waste of space in: start from at least Foster City (itself built on landfill) and work towards the South. I’ve waded in those marshes; mosquitoe infested useless muck.

    Have you ever walked around Shoreline park in Mountain View and seen how vast the unnavigable mudflats and marshes on the edge of the bay are? Some of that wasteland could be used for housing, Look at a map—there is a flat little cove next to Facebook grounds. That could be filled-in and used for housing.

    The road traffic in the Bay Area is horrible; 280 runs down the middle of the peninsula; 101 runs on the east edge of the peninsula next to the bay. A 3rd thruway is needed to handle South Bay traffic, such as a “ring road” a half-mile to a mile east of 101 in the shallow waters of the bay that would wrap around north of Alviso and run a few miles west of 880 in the shallow waters and mud flats of the East bay.

  156. danand says:


    I agree with most of your post, most specifically:

    “but there will always be a significant population that will live like that if permitted.”

  157. danand says:


    I would imagine it’ll end up more similar to Palo Alto’s approach to park management; which btw is fine by me.

  158. @J.Ross

    But it is wierdly common for ambitious Democratic politicians to have marriages of convenience.

    It is, but I can’t quite put my finger on exactly why. I guess the fiercly heterosexual Booker is the latest in a long line.

  159. JMcG says:

    That boat looks much like the nose section of a Betty bomber from the Second World War.

  160. BB753 says:

    What’s the point of being rich if the poor have an excellent standard of living? It just spoils the experience of being rich. Also, wealth is relative: the rich saw rising wages and rising standards of living as an existential threat to their station in life. In a way, they were right.

  161. Whitney says:

    I have no idea what’s going to happen in the future but just to be on the safe side I’ve got a tent and camp stove and I can load up my car for urban camping because apparently you can just do it anywhere. Really cuts down on the bills

  162. Anon[152] • Disclaimer says:

    Californi’, folks.

  163. @nebulafox

    They’d be pickier if they could, which would also change that old default right on up.

  164. @Steve Sailer

    Presumably the latest engineering methods mitigate earthquake risk.

    Use google maps and google earth to see where Facebook hq is located, near Dumbarton bridge right next to the bay. They’re planning a 1500 apt complex next to it giving employees walking distance to work.

  165. 1661er says:
    @Steve Sailer

    The hull of the whaling vessel Niantic, an artifact of the 1849 California Gold Rush, lay almost beneath the Transamerica Pyramid, and the location is marked by a historical plaque outside the building

    Most of the skyscrapers in the photo were build on top of Gold Rush-era landfills. Transamerica Pyramid were famously build on top of the infamous Gold Rush era ship that was a Hotel/Restaurant/Brothel/shop/etc. after its crew abandoned the ship to join the Gold Rush. They survived 1989 just fine.

    There were proposals to build proper mondern waterfront condo in Marina district. But that would had block the view from Nob/Russian Hill. So NIMBYs killed the project and people died as a result.

  166. 1661er says:

    Even as Singaporeans complains about the crime rate in JB*, they still buying lots properties there and retire there in pretty large number. As bad as the traffic on the causeway, it still beat the ferry ride to/from Bintan.

    *LKW famous stated in 1997 that Johor “notorious for shootings, muggings and carjackings.” “It did not make any sense for a person who claims to be fearful for his life to go to a place like Johore.”

    • Replies: @nebulafox
  167. nebulafox says:

    More would if the MRT link ever completes someday.

    I lived in JB for several months last year. On the whole, I found the danger reputation highly overrated: I’m as visibly ang moh as it gets and I never had any trouble, even walking around drunk at night. (And I lived in an apartment building that was filled with Russian mobsters and PRC prostitutes!) As long as you take the usual common sense precautions that you take in Southeast Asian countries that aren’t named Singapore, you should be fine. The worst thing I ever dealt with was a couple of local Indian louts giving my girlfriend unwanted attention.

    It’s possible that things were way worse back in the 1990s. I’ve heard that the local government made an effort to clean things up around 2007 or so when it became clear that Singaporean tourist money might start declining if people were too scared to come. But it’s also possible that Singaporeans are an extremely sheltered lot and quite vulnerable to sensationalism about crime.

  168. @Ghost of Bull Moose

    One of the best long posts I’ve ever read here. Also one of the few long posts I’ve ever read here, but I’m not picking nits just now.

  169. @1661er

    Imaging if we have the blue area to build housing on by 2020. How much fewer homeless/camper would be on the streets.

    The delta will probably be approximately nil. And nationwide? We could build 20 million new houses and apartments, and our fearless leaders will just import 50 million more third world immigrants to live in them. Sort of like what’s just happened these past few decades.

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