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homelessness | human & civil rights

of markets and Death (addressed to the employed and housed, particularly)

Blatant ironies of this society make the neutral person even seem evil. While some take great excess, and others live humbly, still some suffer and may even die this winter.
I feel very thankful that I won't likely die this winter. The weather out there is really cold, and snow and wet conjoined with this make it much more stressful and tiring to the body. One doesn't really even notice the whole of the natural cycle if one goes inside each night. I was raised in a city, in a house and didn't give it much thought until learning about nature that animals are outside all the time, so are many without houses, so were some indigenous peoples, except they could make their own structures anywhere. They didn't get asked to move along by cops, and they didn't have neighborhood watches shining flashlights hassling them and calling the cops. Overall the indigenous folks were more survival oriented and saw less of a divide between inside and outside. A house wasn't something you bought for 500000 dollars it was something you could build, yourself, with a family, or with friends anywhere. Yes, neighboring tribes attacked each other and there was toughness etc... like people always argue when someone brings up indigenous life; my point is they were ALLOWED to survive.

This society has LAWS PROHIBITING SURVIVAL to anyone without land, property, or money. How long can these laws remain on the books unquestioned by all the people who cared enough to vote but not enough to take someone into their own home to keep them from freezing to death?

Thanks to people like the Blackrose and such who give away clothing and blankets, thanks to the shelters that are open. Still, these things are far apart from each other for people who can only walk from place to place or bicycle even in this weather. If you get wet how long does it take to dry? Is any laundromat open anyway? Does everyone have enough change to dry their clothes, and new clothes to change into?

Disregarding laws prohibiting survival, if one can stay totally hidden and has a tent or tarp or both, and a warm sleeping bag, even with these useful pieces of equipment it is really cold.
My point is this: if you've never been houseless, its harder than you ever imagined. If you have been, maybe you know this, especially this season of this year. Now, the government loaned some people money to build stupid looking towers off of a sketch by some wish-they-were Piet Mondriaan, and these stupid towers are largely empty. So isn't time the government step in and force those towers to be opened to houseless people?
There are plenty of empty buildings, and there are plenty of people with buildings that have empty rooms (housies, we call these people). What is lacking is generosity and trust.
IF YOU HAVE SPACE IN YOUR HOUSE, THINK NOW, DO YOU HAVE ANY MORE RIGHT TO THE SAFETY OF A HOUSE THAN ANY HOUSELESS PERSON?
CAN YOU TRUST THEM AND INVITE A GUEST FOR WINTER?
EVEN IF YOU CAN'T TRUST THEM, MAYBE THEY DESERVE TO SURVIVE AND NEED YOUR HELP.
NO CIVILIZED CULTURE COULD PUT THE VALUE OF EMPTY SPACE ABOVE HUMAN LIFE.
NO CIVILIZED CULTURE WOULD JAIL SOMEBODY FOR TRYING TO SURVIVE!

Looking at the prices of rent, the fact of people asking for background checks, credit ratings, and the huge surplus of empty buildings, lots, and then the number of people living under bridges I am filled with disbelief, with anger, with sadness.

Plenty of people tell me "those people have made a decision...", "take out a student loan and pay it back with a highly skilled profession...", "society needs contributing members...", "homeless people are alcoholics or druggies..." and you know what? THAT'S ALL HORSESHIT! THE LEAST USEFUL MEMBERS OF SOCIETY ARE IN POLITICS OR BUSINESS EITHER ACTIVELY DESTROYING THE ENVIRONMENT OR STEALING AND EARNING WEALTH IN TOTAL AMBIVALENCE. SHAME ON THEM! The people under the bridges, the people pushing shopping carts (except for the cops and greedy consumers) did nothing to deserve this FUCK LIBERAL LIES ABOUT KARMA!
All people are where they are in part because of decisions they have made, and that doesn't mean that they deserve what they get, and I don't think very many people have chosen to freeze to death. SO FUCKIN' BOUJIES SHARE YOUR HOUSES. REALTORS ESPECIALLY. IF YOU OWN A BUSINESS CONSIDER LEAVING IT OPEN AND STAYING THERE ALL NIGHT. TAKE DONATIONS IF YOU MUST. Make hot cocoa and have skits or jams or tell stories whatever it takes why not try to have fun and help some people?

Hard work is a sorry excuse for watching other people suffer, and I'm tired of it and tired of people saying your knees aren't supposed to hurt when you're 26. If we all work together survival is easy; it's a simple fact of doing tasks for our LIVELIHOOD based on that. MONEY is a highly confusing factor. It causes many people to do a lot of stupid useless and destructive things. Then, those people who are working so hard (and some of them are) call others lazy for refusing work on principle or due to injury or having a felony on their record or not wanting to pay taxes or wanting to work only 10 hours a week instead of forty.

Think how many rooms could be heated with the power it takes to light up a damn christmas tree. Capitalism REALLY IS EXCESS. Why do we not take the good part of it, all the buildings are already here, and all the fucking fields and fields of corn and wheat and soybeans even though they are contaminated with pesticides. There is not a shortage of things to survive on. The shortage is generosity and compassion.
So there. LIBERALS, REPUBLICANS, folks of all BULLSHIT IDEOLOGY IT'S TIME TO DO SOME SHIT TOGETHER, UNDER THE RADAR, MAKE IT HAPPEN, LOCAL, FUNCTIONAL, SUSTAINABLE, WORKING, and WITHOUT THE GOVERNMENT.

AND IF I EVER HAVE MY OWN HOUSE YOU CAN ALL COME OVER AND I WON'T ASK YOU TO LOOK FOR WORK OR LISTEN TO SERMONS OR DO ANYTHING EXCEPT CONTRIBUTE SOMETHING TOWARDS SOMEBODY'S SURVIVAL AND JOY, AND SOMETHING TOWARDS YOUR OWN.

The mythology and stigma of homelessness is why 23.Dec.2008 18:27

a not so radical radical

The reason we don't help the homeless is we were taught to fear them as being mentally ill or alcoholic. It has been found that most people don't help because the mythology that there is something wrong with someone who is homeless is too strong. I'm not even saying mental illness or alcoholism are indications of inferiority either. Both are diseases, not moral failings and just because someone is mentally ill doesn't mean they are going to do something destructive and alcoholism isn't about evil; it is about a biological addiction.

Back to my point. The interesting thing that I've found is that the homeless people I used to speak to in my old community were more often than not Vietnam Vets. We are so quick to send people to war, which is outside the range of normal human experience, but we do nothing to deal with the trauma suffered by those pushed into dealing with that which is beyond our comprehension. The truth is that trauma and war should be discussed. We don't because we want to protect our psyches from the reality of our own mortality. The homeless to evince our own mortality. This is why there is no compassion. It makes us uncomfortable because it lays bare what could be our fate. Our tools, our homes can be taken away. We cling to what we have, claim it evinces our superiority or intelligence, when we fear at our core, but never admit, that it is just by chance we have what we have. The early settlers of the US were Calvinists. This means they believed that material wealth in this life was a sign of God's approval. I read this in a sociology text. Calvinism was passed down. This is why someone will snicker at some bum freezing to death rather than assist him. I think the core reason we don't give, is that no matter how much we have, there is still part of us that is insecure that we will lose it.

I learned a different ethic from my circle of friends. This was, by giving you show that there is enough to go around. Someday when you need help, your generosity will be returned. Someone pointed out to me, that many successful people are coincidentally generous. This goes against the current of everything we are taught.

It reminds me of the Tao, "Value things and you will teach people to steal." How much grief do we spend worrying about being stolen from or taken advantage of? I really hope that we find the courage to let go of our Calvinist protestant ethic burned into us time we were born and acculturated through the schools and live in a better way. If you are paranoid that someone is going to rob you, how can you actually look and see how they are feeling?

I am so glad that I'm old enough to have lived in a different subculture on the tailwinds of the eighties. The only advantage of being of the GenX era. Now, the culture is greed is more justified than it ever was on the basis that it fuels our society which needs consumption to thrive. What a load of crap!

The message a homeless vet has to tell is always one how expendable human life is in our society, the reality of our own mortality, and the human potential for cruelty and absurdity.

I'm am not a yellow ribbon magnet owner either. This isn't real support of the troops. This is using the disenfranchised veteran as a political weapon. The message the ribbon says is, "Don't be an evil hippie and criticize the war and undermine those who fight it (and above all, those who ordered the war and stand to gain the most from it!"

The truth is the war itself is the problem. Dumping praise upon soldiers when we don't even understand what they are doing and neither do the soldiers is bullshit anyway. The soldier will be forgotten anyway. Today, they say "support our war heroes," then the next when the soldiers come home and describe the crazy crap they were ordered to do, we will try to or be encouraged to forget about them, the same way the Vietnam Vets were forgotten. The truth is that the Hawk machine, back during the gulf war, created the yellow ribbon insanity in an effort to scapegoat the hippies who expressed anger at the Vietnam Veterans returning home for the conditions the Vietnam Veterans were subject to. No spitting hippie was ever responsible for the abject conditions of these veterans. Veterans historically, always have been used and screwed over. The people who fight wars have historically have been the poor. The veterans of WWI had to camp out at the Capitol of the US to get the veterans benefits they needed.

The truth is putting a yellow magnet on your car is of no consequence. How many of those dorks in SUV's are going to listen to stories of someone seeing their best friend decapitated? Those creeps will shy away and go back to the WalMart they came from. Also, PTSD, which mimics mental illness in some distant respects, is another important reason Vets are disrespected- and the irony is that the only cure is getting together and discussing and grieving the trauma in front of those who won't judge and can listen. In fact, peer to peer discussion of trauma as a means of healing was discovered through the Vietnam Veterans who got together and spoke. This helped other trauma survivors discover a way to heal their own plight as well.

The core idea that I'm trying to express is that we all share mortality, vulnerability to the elements and that we became a social species and successful because we used to work together to overcome these things. We didn't worship the Market God, and make sacrifices of our friends to appease this god. We just cared. I praise the primitivists and others who recognize that there is another way. Dislodging the brainwashing of this culture, even internally is so crucial. Pity that we are going to be surrounded by people who are going to learn that they were used and being lied to the hard way- no one faces this kind of truth without experiencing pain and grief.

I find that the things we value the most, success, money, competition, are intrinsically empty. This is why the rich flaunt what they have, and don't give. In each rich person I've known there is an emptiness and a need to justify what they have. Some alleviate for finding a charity case to give it to, as if to atone. When I think of the wealth I've had in my life, it has always been in the form of friends and the knowledge they shared which helped me survive.

Don't YOU Worry About MY BackGround! 24.Dec.2008 14:51

DamosA nekrotical@yahoo.com

"Looking at the prices of rent, the fact of people asking for background checks, credit ratings, and the huge surplus of empty buildings, lots, and then the number of people living under bridges I am filled with disbelief, with anger, with sadness."


I knoe EXACTLY how you feel on this! Let me just say that it's not just with housing, but with(actually, MORE-SO) with trying to abtain employment. I've been out of work since June this year. I havn't yet been able to find work because employers are goddamned stingy, shifty, & down-right dis-honest about whether they even NEED workers or had positions open! Go on CraigsList right now, look up the job section. ALL of those ads all want the same thing: MUST HAVE CAR, NO FELONIES/MISDEMEANORS.

Now i can perfectly appreciate employers not wanting to hire some scetchy criminal who's going to rob 'em blind. But i've been either been denied work or lost jobs several times in the past 3 fucking years b/c employers decided in wasn't "bondable" due to a 13 yr old peny-anny, non-violent, non-drug/theft, non-person to person "felony" i recieved after being entrapped by police waay the fuck back in Columbus,GA!
Most employers seem to be far more concerned about your background than your skills & compatancy. When you spend monthes looking for work, attending interview after interview, it can be a real trial having to explain the same bull-shit misdemeanor conviction over & over again. This situation is made all the worst when BULLSHIT BACKGROUND/CREDIT-CHECK such as INFOMART & SENTRYLINK so grossly fuck up the information they report on you! Between these two companies, i've recieved atleast three incorrect reports (that i know of) in the past three years & i know it's contributed to my having such a hard time finding work.
Empolyers have the nerve to place ads on CraigsList & elsewhere insisting that they need people ASAP, but you won't get any further than a 5 minute interview until that report comes back in some weeks later. And once an employer sees that report & sees something they don't like, THAT'S IT FOR YOU! Even if the report is fucked up b/c they didn't even get your name right, they don't want to fucking hear it!
Employers are too fucking cheap to just hire 3 or 4 people full time, they're rather bring on a load of TEMPORARY workers instead. This is usually done under the false pretense that what's being offered is a "temp.-to-hire" position. But 7-8 monthes later you're still there, still a temp. Then all of a sudden, there's no more work & you're let go without somuch as a days' fucking notice!
You go through THAT bullshit acouple of times & one day you find yourself applying for a job you maybe OVER-qualified for, if anything. But THEY won't hire you b/c you don't have a 'stable work history"
WHAT THE FUCK?!?!?!?!

Oregon's unemployment doesn't at all have to be as high as it is. As the author of this article mentioned that buildings sit empty while people sleep on the street, so to are there PLENTY OF JOBS OUT THERE... but there's a vast pool of idled workers out there who aren't criminals, aren't junkies, aren't theives, & are perfectly capible if not over-qualified to work! But what's keeping soo many abled-bodied people from the jobs i KNOW are out there? Stengy, shadey employers who get all pissy over an 11 yr old pissant misdemeanor!