Words to stop one cold: ‘Fleeing a domestic thing and times up in the shelter’

They came by way of the brilliant (and funny!) friend-of-the-Café Jason, j son of j, et.al.  His email (reproduced with his permission) said:

Rainin and 50.   Got a new tenant coming. Mom and 3 kids. Today. Fleeing a domestic thing and times up in the shelter. 2 r infants.
Having asked for clarification, he’d meant that they were ‘new tenants’ of the park where he and his fellow homeless street-homies live, but not in his tent.  Survive.  But don’t thrive, of course, even as j son of j values the simplicity of the stripped-down life a la Walden Pond in some respects.  He’s noted the essential camaraderie in the park (even when some has gone awry to his detriment), heard stories from his neighbors, including their addictive self-medication to stave off the results of various illnesses and infirmities, both physical and mental, including PTSDs galore, rampant anxieties, etc.  He’s not some journalist interviewing the homeless for a story, but he is one of them, offering suggestions, asking questions… when he deems it appropriate.

But let this sink in: Mom and 3 kids. Today. Fleeing a domestic thing and times up in the shelter. 2 r infants. 

How does read this, hear this, know this…without raging at any and all of the parts of it?  First, that there are so many millions of needlessly homeless in Amerika, second, that many of them are children and infants, and third: times up in the shelter?

Jason hadn’t said, but earlier he’d mentioned the Salvation Army shelter, with either 2 weeks or 2 months allowed before one has to vacate the premises.  He’s also said that shelterees had to be out of the building at 6:00 a.m., no matter how cold or rainy the day is.  Is that part of the Protestant work ethic: get out and get a job?  Be a useful cog in the machine?

Now fancy that this was on Dec. 29, when the food banks would be empty, the free holiday dinners had already been held just before the holiday…hard enough for all of the homeless, but where is this mum to find nappies, medicines or even health care for her children?  Or warm clothes, blankets, or even bathrooms to wash them up? It just beggars the imagination, doesn’t it?

Yes, we’ve heard that some more ‘enlightened’ cities are using citizen volunteer help to ‘count the homeless’, no small task when so many are living in cars, couch-surfing here and there, hiding.hiding.hiding from whatever real or imagined threats they’re facing.  Can this mum get a WIC card or food stamps without a permanent address?  Oh, I do hope so, say a prayer for that, at any rate.

How many homeless camps have been raided and shut down by police since the ObamaVilles of the post-2008 Great Immiseration? (We dare not call it a Depression; the economists have defined that only too well by now.)  One doubts that there are actual numerical records, but many, many, of course.  And it’s always a ‘Safety Issue’, isn’t it, not that it’s Bad for Bidness having those wack-job Rabble on the streets wreaking chaos and noise and dust and filth, oh no.  How many get sent to jail for vagrancy?  How many feeding the homeless on the street are warned not to, under penalty of The Law?

Irony alert: While seeking photos of homeless camps in Olympia, I stumbled upon this Nov. 2016 news from ‘enlightened’ Seattle: ‘Using convicts to clear homeless camps: Seattle human-rights panel raises questions’, seattletimes.com  (my italics)

But can we call rampant homeless and poverty a direct result of capitalism?  Or even an intended result, as some claim?  Yes, we can, at least if we’re honest with ourselves.  And militarism, of course: this year’s budget i over One Trillion Dollars, a Red-Blue Team Effort!

In this New Gilded Age, for instance, three of the wealthiest (in money, at least) USian multi-billionaires Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and [friend of the CIA] Jeff Bezos—collectively hold more wealth than the bottom 50% of the domestic population, “a total of 160 million people or 63 million American households.” Roughly a fifth of Americans “have zero or negative net worth,” according to new report by Forbes.  Nah, they won’t help, they’d likely think: ‘Are there no Park Benches?  Are there no Shopping carts? Are there no workhouses?  Why don’t they get a job? ’ (I admit I’m agnostic on Buffet in my ignorance of his alleged past noblesse oblige ‘contributions’.)

I’ll leave them alone for this diary, hard as it is, (save to say that loads of the homeless are likely sick on accounta his love for GMO foods and their related poison big Ag products) and instead jump to Patrick Martin, Dec. 29 at wsws.org:

“As the [Christmas week] cold wave set in, city after city across the United States has reported record annual death tolls among the homeless. Memorial services were held in several hundred cities on December 21—the shortest day and longest night of the year—to mark these tragic events.

The cities involved include many that might not be thought of as centers of homelessness and premature death—Charlotte, North Carolina, with 28 deaths, triple the previous high; Nashville, Tennessee, with 118 deaths; Denver, Colorado, with 232 deaths.

These grim totals were dwarfed by the figure from Los Angeles, a staggering 805 deaths among the homeless, up from 719 in 2016. The city is the center of US homelessness, and particularly of those living on the streets rather than in shelters or doubled-up with relatives and friends.

By one estimate, documented in a three-minute clip posted on Instagram on Christmas Day, there are 20,000 people living on the streets in downtown LA’s Skid Row alone. The UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty visited this area as part of his recent tour of high-poverty areas in the United States, and cited it as part of his report, which concluded that for many millions of people, “The American Dream is the American Illusion.”

Amen to that.  But I tracked down the figures in the cities he’d named, and found that they came from the ‘Homeless Persons’ Memorial Vigil on Dec. 21, 2017.’

Here’s Denver.  Here’s Nashville (an all-time high). Well, here’s the list, or part of it; 100 cities had registered to hold vigils.

“Last year, NPR’s Pam Fessler attended a Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day event in Washington, D.C., organized by advocate Robert Warren, who lived on the streets twice in his life. Pam reported:

‘At the start of the memorial service, Warren, the organizer, noted that winter can be an especially difficult time for those living outside. ” ‘We know that there’s going to be folks sleeping out there in the cold, dying and getting sick, and it doesn’t have to be that way,’ Warren says. “Warren and others are pushing for more funds to provide housing for the homeless, although in cities like Washington, where rents are soaring, it’s hard to keep up with the demand. “No one really knows how many homeless individuals die each year, but about 2,700 were expected to be commemorated this year at similar events across the country this week. The homeless memorials have been held for more than 25 years. Each year, organizers say they hope it’s the last.”

But srsly, at the bottom of the page: Copyright 2017 NPR.

Jezum crow, what capitalist malarkey; as Jason had noted on the boards here earlier, even the servers in the free food lines have to do their virtue signaling like ‘Say, I’m working for the homeless commission, but it’s a tough row to hoe’ or whatever.  Not likely, as the Lords of Capital will still be running the show, no matter Red or Blue.

Do the vigils help?  Will Rev. William Barber and friends’ Moral Movement/ Poor People’s Campaign help?  (On Twitter; full of ‘hope’)  Will he/they indict the triple evils of capitalism, militarism, and racism as have MLK and many of the black prophetic gospel movement?  And will that help?  Stay tuned…

In the spirit of there but for the grace of the gods: many of us live with the wolf constantly at the door…and we’re one lost paycheck away, one uninsured major medical bill for ourselves or loved ones, foreclosures, we might well…be they.

But Happy New Year…for those who can manage it.

32 responses to “Words to stop one cold: ‘Fleeing a domestic thing and times up in the shelter’

  1. i’m about to shut down for the night, but i wanted to say that tonight’s full la luna bella supermoon rose over madden peak in the la platas a couple hours ago. she’s closest to the earth this year (at perigee), and is the largest we’ll see in 2018. she’s being called ‘a wolf moon’ by some indigenous tribes.

    may jason and friends be able to see her. i know we all wish him the best possible existence, and i’ll email him this diary soonish in hopes that he may have the wherewith all to update us.

    i have a date w/ mr. wd to watch polanski’s version of the scottish play he’d scored thru inter-liberry loan. i wish the oligarchs here would suffer such ‘out, damned spot!’ guilt thus insanity. insane/amoral, perhaps, but not…guilty, methinks.

  2. livin the dream

    well, w.d. pulled the trigger a bit quick on this post cuz the mother w/3 kids has gone AWOL. My fault. i thought it was a done deal.

    Now the story is that she is “fleeing a domestic situation”, but what does that mean?

    does it matter?
    “but the midwives say the children are not in the fault…” prince hal in 2 henry 4, referring to the children of prostitutes.

    the moralism, the puritanical bullshit, the faux concern over drugs around kids, sexual “deviance”, etc., etc., it’s all there. boy have I developed a new appreciation for some old Lou Reed songs. “I am much happier this way” (I think this is the boyfriend/ex speaking, same guy from Caroline Says, 1 & 2.)

    and in our society it’s all grounds for the unspeakably cruel act of casually ripping families apart. instead of making it possible for families to be together. like the Taliban does in the women’s prisons in Afghanistan.

    and why cruel? every decipicogram of social life in the US is geared toward extracting profit from the populace. If one can’t wrack up debt, hold down a job, be subjected to valuable medical experimentation due to lifestyle diseases & enviro toxicity, etc., a person is just another piece of the endless piles of trash this country produces. the “social welfare” on offer has one goal only: getting a “sick” person back on the capitalist treadmill. if the “sick” person’s goals don’t coincide with that objective, prison is one option.

    there is no profit to be extracted from providing women & their filthy sniveling brats places to be safe from abusers. tossing the surplus population into the river like a Pharaoh of old supposedly did is not an option b/c we the mightily evolved virtue warriors of some 4500 years later have developed “foster care.” and juvie. and hospitals.

    for some. just enough to say that “help is out there.” if one’s goal is to be a capitalist hamster working on developing any one of the 5 major chronic illnesses that 30 million USaians have. yes, help is there. maybe.

    for the rest, life has a large element of trying to make hazy & dim the sunlight of truth: you are just another piece of garbage.

    anyway, if there is any update to this all too common scene, i’ll let you know. for a variety of reasons, I don’t want a single parent family camping next door. esp. not one running from some psycho. but, if they have no other options, what to do? treat them as the state does?

    • Not that it’ll get you anywhere but you’re on my honor roll, j.

      [I apologize in afterthought-advance for using this to purge a story, but to my credit, I’d like to think I’m not the central character, at least].

      Thanks for the decipicogram of Berlin. I am reminded of a girl— shit… woman, who I met at a party the night/morning that accompanied my decision to make this town my dwelling place. On a roof at dawn with a 360 degree lookout, the first time I thought maybe the teevee tower was actually attractive (monument you see on every Berlin t-shirt or postcard). Perceptual context, I guess. I had followed her up the ladder and after a few moments of silence she said, referring to the view, “It’s beautiful, isn’t it?” “Yes, it is.” I was hooked on Berlin. Of course that was July. I’d run into her at couple of underground dives. She’d mostly dance alone, for the sound & movement, maybe the solitude, and maybe, like me, because it was a place you could stay for all hours, either if you had nowhere to go, or to get away from where you did.

      Once, when visiting a friend who stayed in the same squat, she’d just finished what sounded like an emotionally taxing conversation, and by explanation I didn’t require told me it was her little girl, who was complaining about the circumstances where she was living. This was the first I’d heard that she had a daughter, and the context made clear she had extremely limited access to her. She explained how difficult it was to tell her that she completely understood her grievances, there wasn’t shit she could do about it. With compassion and tact, that is.

      So, it was still in my early days when the aforementioned friend told me of her suicide. I’m not one of those haters of suiciders, who indeed exist, though they’d deny being haters. I wholeheartedly, in fact, support suicide. Nevertheless, for me the aftershock is always ominous no matter how removed I am. I also firmly believe we should give what others won’t in order to present alternatives. Not the amateur psycho hotline variety, “Oh, things are never that bad, you just gotta endure,” bullshit, but a space to be, breathe, eat, sleep— fuck, whatever.

    • Not that it’ll get you anywhere but you’re on my honor roll, j.

      [I apologize in afterthought-advance for using this to purge a story, but to my credit, I’d like to think I’m not the central character, at least].

      Thanks for the decipicogram of Berlin. I am reminded of a girl— shit… woman, who I met at a party the night/morning that accompanied my decision to make this town my dwelling place. On a roof at dawn with a 360 degree lookout, the first time I thought maybe the teevee tower was actually attractive (monument you see on every Berlin t-shirt or postcard). Perceptual context, I guess. I had followed her up the ladder and after a few moments of silence she said, referring to the view, “It’s beautiful, isn’t it?” “Yes, it is.” I was hooked on Berlin. Of course that was July. I’d run into her at couple of underground dives. She’d mostly dance alone, for the sound & movement, maybe the solitude, and maybe, like me, because it was a place you could stay for all hours, either if you had nowhere to go, or to get away from where you did.

      Once, when visiting a friend who stayed in the same squat, she’d just finished what sounded like an emotionally taxing conversation, and by explanation I didn’t require told me it was her little girl, who was complaining about the circumstances where she was living. This was the first I’d heard that she had a daughter, and the context made clear she had extremely limited access to her. She explained how difficult it was to tell her that she completely understood her grievances, there wasn’t shit she could do about it. With compassion and tact, that is.

      So, it was still in my early days when the aforementioned friend told me of her suicide. I’m not one of those haters of suiciders, who indeed exist, though they’d deny being haters. I wholeheartedly, in fact, support suicide. Nevertheless, for me the aftershock is always ominous no matter how removed I am. I also firmly believe we should give what others won’t in order to present alternatives. Not the amateur psycho hotline variety, “Oh, things are never that bad, you just gotta endure,” bullshit, but a space to be, breathe, eat, sleep— fuck, whatever.

      • keep dope alive!

        oh yeah, big fan of suicide here too. and abortion. abort ’em all.

        anyway, previous empires were probably not as vexed about what to do w/the superfluous children of slaves, most of the populace, that comes with the “prosperity” of empire. send their asses to gladiator school or the salt mines & be done with it.

        the machine, industrialization, all that, has rendered a major portion of the population completely irrelevant, useless and worthless. and it’s only getting worse, much worse. i’m sure the 1st thing the next gen of autobots will be taught is oven settings for quick refuse disposal after the vermin has had a nice shower in a FEMA labor camp.

    • do you mean that the mum w/ three kids never showed up at all? or that she left soon w/ ‘no forwarding address’, livin the dream? i’d thought you’d initially meant that she’d moved in, and obviously that would have taken a group effort to move her things, secure them some sort of shelter, and whatnot.

      the lyrics are:
      “And I am the Water Boy, the real game’s not over here
      But my heart is overflowin’ anyway
      I’m just a tired man, no words to say
      But since she lost her daughter
      It’s her eyes that fill with water
      And I am much happier this way”

      i’ll have to bow to your familiarity w/ the caroline songs that it’s the boyfriend. but yep to splitting families apart: one of the features of the incarcerated ‘illegal’ families from the global south as well now.

      as to homeless as trash: that what the sickest part of the seattle convicts used to clear out the trash. but oh, now they’re paying private firms $80/hr. per ‘worker’ to separate the wheat from the chaff ahead of…well, you know.

      remember when ‘helping the homeless’ was chi-chi a decade or more ago? and chrystia freeland told us how noble it was that hedge-funders would vie to be the most virtuous w/ their ‘help’? and it was her version of fitzgerald’s ‘the rich are not like you and me’? but then, it catapulted her to the top job at canuckistan’s ‘foreign affairs’ dept, didn’t it?

      and what is a ‘decipicogram’, please? i didn’t even find it bingling.

      • keep dope alive!

        never showed up & no one has heard from her.

        on another storm front, I just found out we had a few new members added to our larger camp, that is, not my immediate neighbors. one of ’em comes walking by & says a few weeks ago he & 25 others were “camping” (living) at a lot of some size behind the local VFW (on Martin’s Way in Olympia, if you care to goog it) and he woke up to a bulldozer parked just outside his tent with orders *from the VFW* to vacate within 20 minutes or the dozer bulls. now turns out that this lot is being converted to a condo or whatever. also turns out that what the VFW did is totally illegal. also turns out no one gives a shit.

        now all I know about any of these scenarios is what I am being told. was there something else going on at the VFW? maybe. and so what? trash an issue? ah yes, garbage. it is not trash that’s the problem, but the aesthetics of trash. b/c if you are not manufacturing fuck tons of garbage, daily if possible, you are not a good American. but as long as you put it out of sight, don’t be troubled by silly things like object permanence…don’t get me wrong. the trash is depressing & disgusting. but it’s just a crumb in the national/global shit pie, and it’s just an excuse.
        —–
        what is a decipicogram? since I don’t even know what a gram is….all that gram to ounce conversion I’ve been doing…short term memory issues…where was I again? how many grams in an eighth? oh yeah, metric system. looks like someone else is a product of the Murkan schools! there is no such thing as a decipicogram, but I suppose it would be a picogram (fuck you spellczeck!) divided by ten, deci=1/10th. oh wait…maybe it’s picagram? aw screw it. you get the point.

        • ‘never showed up’. well at least no one had ceded their tent to her family, but how very odd bodkins. an academic study on encampments had mentioned camp quixote in oly…

          but all i could find on the vfw site was a pdf and a facebook page, no dice for me. save for oct. 2017:

          “Officers responded to the encampment, located behind the Veterans of Foreign Wars building at 2902 Martin Way E., at about 3 p.m. Oct. 4. A 911 caller reported that a woman was in her tent, bleeding profusely from her head. The woman was taken to the hospital.”

          but: you’d been asking about love songs some months ago. i don’t particularly like this song, but after i’d found it, i will say that mr. wd bookmarked it and plays it a lot. i mean, they’re makin’ love to des’ree. what a voice, what a delivery. who wouldn’t love her?

          sleep well if you can; dream well, or at least…instructively. (i’m dreamin’ like a banshee llately, but can’t decipher them…so weird, so strange, few touchstones.

        • Certain penchant for Americentrism have not escaped my core consciousness. To wit: I believe I observed the advent of the cheeky hyperinflation of the price of pot back in the mid-eighties (I’ll ignore the concurrent explosion in quality consistency for the purposes of the picotribe;). Dude-man used to would sell me a half-bag, which was a half-ounce, for 17.50, precisely half the price of my occasional purchase of a bag (an ounce, a lid, whatever) for 35 bucks. Never in my all of two years buying weed did anyone mention a smaller sale version unless it was via units of money (nickle bag, dime bag) or joints, which were one dollar.

          Around the time that the sale of 2 and even 3! dollar joints had increased in frequency (again, the quality meaning a pinner’d get you so high you’d be takin’ back shit you didn’t even steal), a neat little gouging trick took place: suddenly quarter ounces were the standard buy for the user. Grams were coming right up the rear, which is ironic because it was shortly thereafter that US schools discontinued the previously established program of slowly integrating the metric system, which included the ostensible intention of phasing out standard merik-ments.

          Anyway, just try and tell your dealer you wanna buy a bag. She’d probably tell you she doesn’t sell cups anyway.

          • ‘…get you so high you’d be takin’ back shit you didn’t even steal’, lol. gotta love the dickens outta that line. we’re fortunate in that in CO we can grow our own (under lock and key, of course), and cannabis grows pretty well here. we’re also permitted to ‘gift’ an ounce to a person…so we do. in late summer we have so much (as seen here) that i use it as a filler in flower vases, gorgeous, and a yummy scent to boot.

            finding clones (although only those with an MMJ card can buy them) and seeds that one is sure is either good for sleep or (more key to us now) high in CBDs for all the medicinal goodies for so many conditions is hard, as the science of it’s all in its infancy. plus the fact that online everyone Knows What’s So, although not really, conflicting opinions galore, in other words.

        • slow brain here once again, keep ope alive, but i hadn’t meant in the OP that i/we wanted updates on Chimera Mum, but on life for you in the encampment. does the park have a name, or the encampment have a name, as in the academic study: ‘camp dignity’, etc.?

          and to davidly: the first video in the OP i’d meant to have used (instead of a repeat of the same one) was gary jules’ ‘mad world’ w/ images of homeless folks. but the original always meant suicide to me. ‘i think it’s kinda sad…the dreams i had of dying are the best i ever had’. such pathos, such an image of ‘the societal outlier, ‘misfit’ resonated w/ me a hella lot, and always flashes me back to middle school and even later. IOW: it still makes my eyes fill w/ tears.

  3. Not that it’ll get you anywhere but you’re on my honor roll, j.

    [I apologize in afterthought-advance for using this to purge a story, but to my credit, I’d like to think I’m not the central character, at least].

    Thanks for the decipicogram of Berlin. I am reminded of a girl— shit… woman, who I met at a party the night/morning that accompanied my decision to make this town my dwelling place. On a roof at dawn with a 360 degree lookout, the first time I thought maybe the teevee tower was actually attractive (monument you see on every Berlin t-shirt or postcard). Perceptual context, I guess. I had followed her up the ladder and after a few moments of silence she said, referring to the view, “It’s beautiful, isn’t it?” “Yes, it is.” I was hooked on Berlin. Of course that was July. I’d run into her at couple of underground dives. She’d mostly dance alone, for the sound & movement, maybe the solitude, and maybe, like me, because it was a place you could stay for all hours, either if you had nowhere to go, or to get away from where you did.

    Once, when visiting a friend who stayed in the same squat, she’d just finished what sounded like an emotionally taxing conversation, and by explanation I didn’t require told me it was her little girl, who was complaining about the circumstances where she was living. This was the first I’d heard that she had a daughter, and the context made clear she had extremely limited access to her. She explained how difficult it was to tell her that she completely understood her grievances, there wasn’t shit she could do about it. With compassion and tact, that is.

    So, it was still in my early days when the aforementioned friend told me of her suicide. I’m not one of those haters of suiciders, who indeed exist, though they’d deny being haters. I wholeheartedly, in fact, support suicide. Nevertheless, for me the aftershock is always ominous no matter how removed I am. I also firmly believe we should give what others won’t in order to present alternatives. Not the amateur psycho hotline variety, “Oh, things are never that bad, you just gotta endure,” bullshit, but a space to be, breathe, eat, sleep— fuck, whatever.

  4. From the dashboard I could see it in the trash, tried to copy & paste it, but each one gets sent straight to the garbage.

    • sorry it got et; i had a bit of trouble restoring it, and kept wondering why. it’s possible, though, that the word ‘fuck’ triggered it. at a couple different times i was trying to find ways to blockade huge batched of racist porn from landing in the comments, and the WP happiness dude aid i could only block one word at a time in the ‘list’, not a phrase, as i’d been trying.

      but maybe i’m wrong, and it was some other sort of wordpress weirdness.

      on edit: i checked fuck isn’t on the list, but many gaggable words are…

  5. let’s check in on the uber-wealthy and those great philanthropic organizations as related to this issue, okay?

    @gatesfoundation 8 Dec 2017
    ICYMI: @melindagates on the role contraceptives play in helping low-income countries transition to high-income ones: @Marketplace http://gates.ly/2BkadT3

  6. yep; the ‘faux-lanthropic’ foundations aren’t known as the non-profit industrial complex for nuttin’. (wrong kind of green)

    now bezos: i just couldn’t resist cuz: chicken wings, lol. rumor has it he’s set to buy target corporations too.

  7. to give keep ope alive! and davidly: ‘‘Jeff Sessions to crack down on legalized marijuana’

    (i’ll put up a separate diary about it.) think it’ll be a vote-loser for Herr Drumpf?

  8. Kudos to you wendye for picking up on Jason’s email, and to him for giving permission to forum-ize his thoughts. Just considering that being homeless deprives one of so much makes me ashamed of my complaints about not yet being computer-enabled.

    It is particularly egregious that after I read your effectively factual compendium of current facts that would shame any Scrooge this time of year I was on a hunt to bring here supporting current messages from my usual haunts, but could not find any. Generalities, sure, aplenty, but nothing that shone a light on a particular tragedy or stark case of deprivation and want, such as the poor lady with infant children described in the piece – and yet they must be out there, statistics don’t lie.

    We saw when Occupy was disassembled, a national effort to bulldoze the camps – something like that has been going on now in every town but on a smaller, more secretive scale. It is not being done to help the poor, who we know will be with us more and more as the ecomomy worsens, but it is to keep us from thinking of them except as anonymous items of charity, this or that food kitchen, this or that uninhabitable shelter – or send them back to family more likely, where still hearts exist to take them in even though on the edge of homelessness themselves.

    It’s a lot like the global warming situation – when those compassionate families see themselves reaching the end of their resources and becoming homeless themselves, a new surge into the streets begins that cannot be hidden but becomes a fact.

    I do hope those who are already suffering do not lose heart in the face of such adversity as the winter is bringing upon them. They, outside the system, are the pure in heart, blessed in spirit, seekers of righteousness, reviled and persecuted, stripped of material possessions, better than any of us so-called Christians who still cling to our ‘new’ things thinking we cannot survive without them.

    We truly discuss empty things when we ignore their plight. Blessed are they. A poor people’s march on Washington cannot come too soon.

    Let it come!

    • what an exquisite comment, juliania. and yes, how easy it is to proverbially curse our lives because we have no shoes…until we meet a fellow sibling who has no feet. but i do think that suffering is the reason the poor have always given more to charitable efforts than the comfortable, forget the wealthy and uber-wealthy.

      your beatitudes are indeed fitting. and how right you are that things will be getting worse, including w/ climate change diasporas, further erosion of the social safety net, including CHIP, the childrens health care program…and more. i was just reading facts on how many homeless are attacked and even murdered. from the National Health Care for the Homeless Council:

      “A 2014 survey of homeless populations in five major cities found that 49 percent of respondents nationwide said they had been the victim of an attack. Of those victims 30 percent reported being attacked within the past month and 73 percent reported being attacked within the past year.”

      from wsws: “The latest of these is the Bloomberg Billionaires Index published on Friday, which showed that the fortunes of the world’s wealthiest 500 billionaires rose 23 percent over the past year, making them $1 trillion richer than at the end of 2016. The combined wealth of this group reached $5.3 trillion. The gain of $1 trillion was four times last year’s increase.

      Bloomberg found that the world’s richest 500 people as a group added an average of $2.7 billion to their fortunes every day in 2017. This means that, on average, each of these individuals added $5,400,000 every day, or $225,000 every hour—roughly equivalent to the combined income of five working-class households in the US over the course of a year.

      The rapid expansion of the wealth of the financial oligarchy accompanies growing indicators of social misery at the other pole of society, exemplified in the report this month by the Centers for Disease Control that life expectancy in the US fell for the second year in a row.”

      when is that people say ‘enough! basta!’? at fdl, i remember doing a report that revolutions came at the time that providing food for one’s family reached an impossible point; i guess think The Breadwives, but w/ the huge increase in housing costs. medical costs… but as JFK had noted in 1962: “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” i think that the bern’s sort of revolution won’t cut it. bless your heart, juliania; this has all depressed the livin’ hell outta me.

  9. Anyone know of a website that focuses on faux community services nonprofits for the homeless, or those facing it?

    I’m bleakly curious to know how many purported Community Homeless/Poverty Services Non-Profits are headed by (and littered with) Rotarians; who also run numerous Rotacare Clinics[1], at least in the California Bay Area. One such Silicon Valley Community Services™ President is a Rotarian (along with at least one other VIP there), and A Board member of a local Chamber of Commerce at the same time, in addition to being a Silicon Valley Financial Advisor, and, of course, a church member of a CHURCH™ premised around Property Owning Male Elders. I’m sure his predominant interest is in ultimately getting rid of any local resident who is threatened with falling through the cracks and thereby tarnishing The Community’s Meritocratic Property Owning Male Reputation. (I’m making a well informed guess that said community’s homeless figures are only low on large behalf of daily Cop Sweeps.) I discovered the aforementioned Community Service Center™ knowing a teacher ‘residing there’ who – though working full time – has ugly odds of becoming homeless when their current lease expires soon. This, after living in the rental since the nineties. I’m so glad I checked out this center before referring them to it.

    Sorry to post and run (and sorry for any typos given my encroaching panic), but I’m now urgently faced with my own potential of being homeless within the year – in the close by Silicon Valley community I’ve been futilely ‘burrowing’ in (insect that I am) – as my landlord is likely going to be forced to sell the rental I live in due to his health concerns. He’s the only ‘landlord’ I’ve ever had who treated me as an equal human being from the jump (he inherited the place). He will do whatever he can to keep me from being homelessness with cancer. But there are many hideous realities he can’t fix, as he played no part in causing them. He cried when he broke the news to me. Bless him , the world could use so many of his ilk.

    Hugs to you Jason, and all in despair caused by evil.

    [1] According to someone I know and trust, their experience at a Rotacare Clinics™ was stunningly demeaning and inhumane.

    • more when i can read more closely, diane, but for now, how good it is to see you here. i’d actually been concerned enough by your long absence that i’d emailed you at the address you sign in w/ to check whether your health had deteriorated further. but as you’ve mentioned ‘homeless with cancer’, oh, my stars. and bless your landlord, indeed.

      conditions for homeless in san jose are abysmal, one of the great ironies, but not unexpected, is it? i’ll do a little bingling when i have time, but it’s likely i won’t scare up much that you haven’t already. one friend of the café actually found a room in a house in mississippi in trade for next to nothing, maybe…companionship to the owner. you might at least check craigs list for your area.

    • reply, part II:
      Silicon Valley Has a Homelessness Crisis’;
      If you’re not part of the tech boom, good luck finding affordable housing, thenation.com, march 2017

      “More than 10,000 homeless people were stranded across San Jose and Santa Clara Counties last year on any given night, including hundreds of families with children. And that number doesn’t include the “hidden homeless,” the countless people without their own shelter who “double up” at friends’ houses. Sprawling homeless encampments dot the Bay, and the crisis is so endemic in some communities, activists have begun establishing homeless trailer camps in church parking lots.

      “Since rising housing costs, declining health, and a growing income gap show no sign of abating, the charity efforts doled out by Silicon Valley corporate philanthropists—such as the $18.5 million initiative by Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan—seem absurdly inadequate. The paltriness is underscored by various tech impresarios’ less publicized “quality of life” initiatives, like a successful campaign to ban local homeless encampments.”

      http://homelessinthesiliconvalley.org/

  10. the poor and homeless really are interchangeable parts, aren’t they? useless eaters unless they can be commodified (i just deleted the list as too bitter).

    a hard, hard read: ‘America’s poor and homeless freeze in winter storm’, Kate Randall, wsws
    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/01/05/snow-j05.html

    best to all babylonians in FL, NC, etc. (thd, cynical seeker, bruce, forgive me if i’ve forgotten others’ locations on the east coast.)

    off topic for this thread, but holy crow, i’d forgotten how brilliant and incisive tarzie is. so sad that he seems to have flamed out…at least for now.

    • Oops, I should have elaborated on my first sentence, I was not requesting Homelessness Resources, in the area I’ve lived in for decades, and have been fully aware – for at least a decade – that there are truly none. (I don’t have a brain tumor, at least not one that affects my moral logic)

      I was asking if anyone was aware of a website dedicated to exposing Fake Community Homelessness Resources, particularly Rotarian/Chamber of Commerce Related, which desperate people might end up snagged up in, being punished for not sticking their tongue up Adam Smith’s ass.

      As to the email you sent to my fake email address – my apologies – a huge fault on my part, for relying on the possibility you might have recollected my commentary at OhTarzie, as to the fact that I don’t do email and have used a false email address to comment online for over a decade, for survival reasons.

      As to OhTarzie’s incisiveness, one can be honest and deadly at the same time. He has never spoken to the homelessness in his own back yard, and across the nation, as a consequence of the technocracy most suffer under (he has acknowledged he’s a CODER, in case you missed it); he touted Facebook as an answer.

      Lastly, a human shouldn’t need to quote the archives of the The Nation, and wsws journalists – who oddly never end up homeless – to validate that they and their loved ones are about to live in horror ….

      • ah, i’d gotten that you were asking if any of us knew of such a site critiquing such, but then you got to this: “…my encroaching panic’, followed by: “but I’m now urgently faced with my own potential of being homeless within the year”…so i hunted a bit. the homeless in silicon valley link has some resources, esp. for women and chirren.

        as far as having seen you at tarzie’s saying you don’t do email, no, but then i wasn’t as frequent a visitor as many of you were. and no, i didn’t know he’d never written about homelessness, although i remember him praising roasty (iirc) for ending his blogging life and heading to facebook (ptui) to organize for rent control. i’ve no idea what a CODER is, though. but he seems to be an a dark place of his choosing for now.

        i agree w/ you utterly on the comfortable status of chen and other nation authors, and am always blown away that a person gets ‘three free hits’ there before the joint is behind a paywall, just like the WaPo and ny slimes. i do like stephen cohen there, though.

        now wsws journalists seem to live by site donations, and are doing actual journalism around the globe, especially doing interviews with the afflicted, and i do wish i had a few amerikan dollars to throw in their kitty, but…not for the nonce.

        i appreciate the apology, diane, but a few other café commenters use bogus addresses to sign in, and i just got mail back ‘addressee unknown’ to a recently infrequent commenter i’d emailed this a.m. so…not unusual.

        best to you, though; these tough times are about to get worse for most of us.

  11. thank you all for the kind words & thoughts. never go full homeless if you can help it. the difference b/n $5 & $0 dollars is pretty small really, but if a person has any kind of regular access to $5, I mean like on a daily basis, it’s a different world. you can buy a bus ticket. a coffee. buy some smokes, maybe some weed. buy batteries for light. I got here in late summer, really nice drought going, and absence of light is 1st thing to accommodate oneself to. and we all have flashlights & such. what do they do in the days before flashlights? why they sat around the campfire & spat tobacco on each other for entertainment till bedtime. when it wasn’t raining.

    anyway, people & their stories. I had a long talk yesterday, partly about Star Wars & all that but this guy has cerebral palsy & has been homeless on & off his adult life. can’t find a job though he’s clearly capable of a lot of things, gets less than $800/month. barely pays to keep the wheelchair in shape.

    one brotha from anotha motha told me that fairly recently during a brief stint (3 weeks) of being homeless *on the streets of downtown Olympia,* i.e., not in the woods or shelter or elsewhere, 3 times he was awakened at 3 a.m. by the same peace officer’s friendly boot to the face. the cop was the referee for this stretch of life’s sidewalk and he just gave the 2 minute warning, and fired the starting gun, get thee up & get the fuck out. the guy telling me this story made clear to me that he was NOT sleeping in front of a store at 3 a.m., not blocking any access, egress, etc. right. cuz if he’d been sleeping in front of the barber shop or Safeway’s doorway, the boot to the chin would be much deserved.

    it is important to note that strictly speaking, some things are being done by this country’s social services. I just met two women, single moms, getting off the meth, or well off the needle, who are back with their kids & in some kind of supported/assistive thing. now one of these has some kind of “family support,” and one doesn’t. if this kind of stuff never happened at all, why, one might begin to think our society doesn’t care. and we know from all the hectoring & moralizing & punishing, we care a lot.

    in this Pharaoh’s pyramid/Tower of Babel thing we are building of the world in the modern economy, the unfinished work, the uncapped pyramid of this funereal pie in the sky fantasy, appears differently depending on where on the pyramid, what floor or level, one is laboring away on. the sun gets brighter & more smiley blue the higher one gets, why, we’ve almost touched the stars, haven’t we? and the groans of the overpopulating slaves get more distant. I suspect those at the top don’t even know the pyramid rests on the earth. the further down they are, the people below begin to more & more resemble bugs & threatening aliens, xenomorphs with their hideous bodies, prolific breeders & great feeders, leeches in need of bleeding. not really men, more like snails with their homes on their backs. can’t extract rents from them, they can’t rack up a bunch of debt, not any more anyway, so what’s that 65 year old barely mobile stroke victim good for? providing us a helpful model of patient perseverance in taking 1 hour to walk 4 blocks to get from the warming center to the evening meal?

    anyway, the suspicion round here is that all the little camps hither & yon are being closed down, people forced either out entirely or into more centralized locations so that in the summer, it’ll be easier to kick everyone out of the city. and/or into a FEMA camp.

    ok, well, on the good news front, it’s 50 & not raining here & the owls are still out. and one can always comfort oneself with these cheery thoughts from the bard: the worst is not yet, while it remains to be said, ‘this is the worst.’
    cheers and clang clang clang went the trolleys! chins don’t keep themselves up or frowns unupside down themselves. it’s time to smile again.

    • oh, my, j in oly; all of this is so heart-wrenching, thank you for being willing to bring it. your tower of babel/Pharoah’s pyramid paragraph should be required reading; and what fine writing it is. maybe even recorded as a chant…to play in loops for plutocratic miscreants while they’re sleeping at night. i’d almost said ‘in prison’, but they really don’t go there, do they? save for the martha stewart sort….

      that you can find some brave words even after quoting the bard…is quite a testament to your strong spirit. ‘the difference between $5 and $0’, though, what a sobering and heart-piercing ‘strange arithmetic’. i know almost no one here has any money to speak of, but if anyone can spare a fiver or two, i could tell them how to get it to you.

      i’m soooo glad the owls are out! this is the capitalist pyramid your friend met while sleeping on the sidewalk, being kicked in the face w/ a jackboot.

    • “the uncapped pyramid of this funereal pie in the sky fantasy”

  12. juliania2, your words speak for me also, and in a yet more minimally inconvenienced situation the last five days of temporarily losing e-mail access because of a change at my ISP that was easy enough to deal with once I understood the situation. Compared to being homeless, even for “only” five days, that’s a fairly trivial predicament. And I still had web access to learn a bit about the theology of Gregory of Nyassa, among other things.

    But wendye, you very chillingly lay out just how coldblooded and calculated these policies are. And although the events of 2008 started on George Bush the Younger’s watch, Obama’s actions in *not* prioritizing a “bailout” of the working class and the poor very much made him a participant in a not-so-pleasant way.

    I hope that Jason and the community of which he is a part can offer something a bit better: a time for reflection and solidarity. Thoreau and Walden Pond bring to mind a question he asked when his friends wanted to know why he was in jail (for nonpayment of a tax, as I recall): Why are you not here in jail also? Again, warmest thanks to Jason for sharing, and for Cafe Babylon as a community.

    • your hopes for jason and his fellow homeless are aspirationally relevant, and as for your question about not being in jail, this may contain part of the answer: timing, even if rumors:

      “anyway, the suspicion round here is that all the little camps hither & yon are being closed down, people forced either out entirely or into more centralized locations so that in the summer, it’ll be easier to kick everyone out of the city. and/or into a FEMA camp.”

      san diego is reporting 9000 homeless now, according to one site i read. (wsws?, i’ve forgotten now, sorry) i’m sure you won’t be surprised to learn that many centrist websites are still touting obomba over ‘the bern’. and i just read a APA & torture condemnation piece at counterpunch noting that it’s dubya and our president in tweet who approve of torture’. oh, yes, obomba simply re-defined it. and that math was in the bloody NYT!

  13. yes, 9000 in Sandy Ego, 1000 in downtown alone. Hep A is chic, really au courant. don’t even start w/your diabetes & all that. TB, snort. it’s legionnaire’s or other exotic diseases or you’re just an epidemiological benchwarmer. wake me when your buboes need lancing.

    anyway, what does the finch say?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lieder_eines_fahrenden_Gesellen#II_–_“Ging_heut’_Morgen_über’s_Feld”_(“I_Went_This_Morning_over_the_Field”)

    I know we have an owl around & have just heard rumor that we have two eagles in the ‘hood. “what’s up w/all the trash?” a friend of mine asked when I sent him a photo of my tent. indeed, what’s up w/all the trash. how many eagles & raccoons & blue jays & deer are living in your neighborhood, asshole? shall we begin discussing carbon footprints, Mr. Prius?

    “I got new ideas. Everything seems far away…” Dylan

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