Gay Patriot Header Image

Who Cares About the Homeless?

Posted by V the K at 10:05 am - May 1, 2018.
Filed under: Call Me Cynical But...

Interesting article (a few months old) about how urban planners are designing cities to be uncomfortable for the homeless.  Benches that can’t be slept on. Metal studs in places where the homeless like to sleep. It’s kind of a passive-aggressive way of dealing with the homeless when no one in city government has the balls to arrest them or put them in the psych ward.

I’ve seen the article passed around in anti-social media. It attracts the requisite leftie virtue-signaling about how cruel this is to homeless people. My bet is that 99% of the people expressing indignation have done nothing, personally, to deal with homelessness. And the majority of them really don’t understand where homelessness comes from. They buy into the media-promoted sob stories about people down on their luck, or women who claim to have ended up homeless after leaving “abusive situations.” There are a few cases like that, but most of the time, it’s because of mental illness and drugs.

And some lefties get easy jobs with ‘Homeless Advocacy’ groups and get paid money to virtue signal. Like this guy:

“People need to educate, organize, and protect human rights,” Jonathan says. “When you see somebody trying to throw human rights to the floor, you need to stand up and speak up. They say they don’t want homeless people in my town, tell them, ‘Get out of here—the city’s for everyone, not just the people you want.’”

The homeless problem can not be solved by “educating and organizing.” Those are just the kind of things lefties like to do. And, of course, they want to be paid and rewarded for doing the educating and organizing. That approach won’t actually solve the problem, it isn’t meant to. It will create perpetual easy jobs for professional activists, though. And sometimes it involves marching around in front of TV cameras holding signs and shouting. Beats having a real job.

Homelessness never be totally solved because for a certain number of homeless, it is a lifestyle choice. And dealing with the rest of them would involve solutions that are very expensive and would be politically unpopular; building expensive facilities, paying their staffs, and confining people to them until they are fit to live on their own. So, they aren’t going to happen. The virtue-signaling about the homeless, however, will always be with us.

Share

49 Comments

  1. The most social justice-oriented cities in this country and elsewhere is where you find:

    1) the most homelessness
    2) the most acute inequality
    3) the most virtue signalling leftist propaganda
    4) the most protected bureaucracies gorging on the tax payer money in order to “fix”, allegedly, #1 and #2 on the “higher grounds” “moral” basis of #3

    That should tell everything to anyone with two working neurons.

    Comment by Cyril J. — May 1, 2018 @ 11:14 am - May 1, 2018

  2. And I could not stand the coast city hypocrisy about it, no more than I could stand the parisian one.

    I will always care more about my own family (or about myself, if I’m not careless enough) than about the homeless. But you’ve got to be demented to think that just because of that, I’m happy or indifferent to see increasing numbers of homeless people in, surprise, surprise, very much recognizable societal patterns.

    Hence how it comes that what I do find quite infuriating (let alone, disturbing) is that some people have managed to get themselves an attitude, a lifestyle, and entire careers to — quite literally — live off the homeless thanks to funds coming from the coercion over people’s pockets by force of the very laws that serve their keeping their own positions.

    Private property is redundant. “Public property” is an oxymoron. All legit property is private. If property isn’t private it’s stolen.

    — Gustave de Molinari

    Comment by Cyril J. — May 1, 2018 @ 11:35 am - May 1, 2018

  3. This is an interesting approach :
    https://www.npr.org/2015/12/10/459100751/utah-reduced-chronic-homelessness-by-91-percent-heres-how

    Comment by TnnsNe1 — May 1, 2018 @ 11:38 am - May 1, 2018

  4. I live near one of “The most social justice-oriented cities in this country”, and a few years ago the two independent papers did a series of articles on homelessness. Of the people they interviewed (not a statistical sampling), the majority stated they were homeless by choice. Many mentioned how easy it was to be homeless in Portland.

    In.a free society people should be allowed their choices, as long as they doesn’t impact public health/safety.and I’m not required to pay for them.

    Comment by Blair Ivey — May 1, 2018 @ 12:49 pm - May 1, 2018

  5. It’s just the way that liberals can simultaneously puff up their sense of personal virtue (when they’re not doing so by contrasting themselves with the deplorables) while outsourcing to government the dirty work of pushing the homeless and poor out of their neighborhoods. It one reason they love government so much.

    What gets entertaining is when government dares to break the compact by taking a policy which liberals profess to support and applying it in a way that impinges on the liberals’ gated communities, as is happening on Manhattan’s West Side with regards to bringing poor kids into their schools.

    Comment by civil truth — May 1, 2018 @ 2:05 pm - May 1, 2018

  6. I grew up poor, in a cold water flat and a housing project. we had homeless people around then. they were called bums. i’m 75 yrs. old and in my entire life I can’t ever recall any of the people that “want to help the poor people” ever asking the poor people what they wanted in the way of help. hell the projects were built to help the poor people. all the poor people are to the left is an excuse to confiscate the income of the working people in the name of a greater good. it is to establish the principle that the worker does not have a right to the fruits of their labor. however there is nothing good about taking money away from people that worked and earned it to give to people that didn’t work for it. especially if you can use it to buy their vote. it is not justice as the left calls it but rather tyranny and oppression.

    Comment by salg — May 1, 2018 @ 2:32 pm - May 1, 2018

  7. Oh, and by the way, I’ve been homeless for months in my younger age.

    Not by choice. By my own stupidity.

    Comment by Cyril J. — May 1, 2018 @ 3:16 pm - May 1, 2018

  8. And although, while not a genius, and they say I’m a smart guy, after having “lived” with some of those… that’s one of the things I’ve never found a very satisfying answer about / never could wrap my head around:

    why some of those homeless by choice do it? I hated that condition with all my guts, and did my best to get out of it as soon as I could. But I’ve watched them. Some we’re quite cynical about it, even.

    That, I never understood.

    Comment by Cyril J. — May 1, 2018 @ 3:29 pm - May 1, 2018

  9. * Some were quite cynical

    Comment by Cyril J. — May 1, 2018 @ 3:29 pm - May 1, 2018

  10. And dealing with the rest of them would involve solutions that are very expensive and would be politically unpopular; building expensive facilities, paying their staffs

    Well, that’s not a problem to be spendthrift with other people’s money to guarantee your cushy pension eventually…

    Enjoy the pie charts and the office clowns making excuses for those:

    https://youtu.be/fUtyW4FRn78

    Comment by Cyril J. — May 1, 2018 @ 3:51 pm - May 1, 2018

  11. @5

    The left — they absolutely love the poor.

    And indeed, their love is so intense they have to sacrifice your money to support the poor preferably in your neighborhood, not theirs.

    Comment by Cyril J. — May 1, 2018 @ 5:53 pm - May 1, 2018

  12. Born, raised, and living in Berkeley, coming from a wealthy family —

    she had everything for her.

    Everything?

    Not exactly.

    All leftists, her family disowned her and kicked her out when she came out as a conservative:

    https://youtu.be/cCAZqquurJE

    Probably the best that ever happened to her, if you ask me — although, granted, in quite an ironic and bitter way.

    Comment by Cyril J. — May 1, 2018 @ 6:00 pm - May 1, 2018

  13. That’s how demented these ideologues have become.

    Who in their sane mind can disown their own articulate daughter just because she can actually hold an argument with them?

    Btw, I’ve become the happy father of my first daughter (after 3 sons) last Sunday.

    Comment by Cyril J. — May 1, 2018 @ 6:15 pm - May 1, 2018

  14. A few decades ago, I was engaged up to my eyebrows with that subgroup among the homeless who are the male drunks who just pass out and do not get feisty. We didn’t deal with females, drug addicts or mean drunks.

    Then the highly regarded program which operated for more than 20 years was destroyed by “do-gooders” because of the level of “discrimination” in the program. So, now the group we once tended to are back in the emergency rooms, sleeping in the libraries, and filling up the drunk tanks at the lock-ups.

    There are dozens of pathologies among the homeless. Honestly, they really do need to be “quarantined” and given what ever care they will accept. Dying by inches in public is neither sanitary nor is it a cultural attribute.

    Some charitable organizations are very good at helping some people sort out their problems and work their way back into being functional in the public square. Only myopic egalitarians look at these people as being just a few paychecks and a few ounces of pampering away from being solid citizens.

    Civilizations in decline are just following the second law of thermodynamics: Things move from bad to worse. Its called entropy.

    The Vandals got a bad rap. They didn’t destroy Rome, they tried to get the Romans to get back on their feet. History is full of peoples who were so down in their own gutters of dystopian culture that it took “new blood” to kick them down the rest of the hill and build things anew.

    This not to say that all homeless are hopeless. But Hogarth’s London should give us a clue. Tanners were one of lowest of trades. That is because they used huge amounts of human crap, dog crap and urine to rub into the hides. The only thing lower than the tanner was the “pure” collectors who scrounged for fresh turds and “pure” urine. Every street corner had a piss pot put out by a local tanner. And some people saved their crap to trade for a farthing. Thus the origin of picking a farthing out of a dog’s turd. The best cure for neighborhood stench became gin by the gallon.

    We don’t have that kind of work for our quitters and losers. Instead, we all but celebrate them as a diverse asset of the culture. Just what dims the wits of the homeless is another story. But what is it that dims the wits of otherwise intelligent people who can’t figure out that a lot of these homeless are inured to homelessness, mentally diseased and not up to the challenge of normalcy in the public square?

    If anything, the socialist state should be housing these people in the state they are in and far away from functioning society. Apparently, the unicorn worshippers can not see through the macular degeneration of their ideology.

    Comment by Heliotrope — May 1, 2018 @ 6:15 pm - May 1, 2018

  15. @14 I’d tend to join your intuition.

    Having seen a variety of types of them close enough (thank God, for not too long), the homeless is indeed pretty diverse — within. Just like any other groups.

    But that peculiar subgroup which is seemingly “fine” with their hyperdependent condition is, imho, a symptom that there’s something wrong in whatever happens to be the ambient society. Be it of the fanciest french kind or freedoms-drunk american.

    Anybody who cares about them should first worry when they see the homeless multiply.

    Especially the homeless “by choice”.

    I can’t help but think that the phrase doesn’t actually capture what’s really going on with those.

    Comment by Cyril J. — May 1, 2018 @ 6:30 pm - May 1, 2018

  16. “My bet is that 99% of the people expressing indignation have done nothing, personally, to deal with homelessness.”

    Liberals deal with homeless by paying them for sex.

    “And dealing with the rest of them would involve solutions that are very expensive “

    2 homeless men in Fresno used ambulaces as free taxies over 1300 times in one year, that’s more than 2x a day each. Every DieVerse City I have been in has a similar problem if not as bad.

    Didn’t feel like searching for a better link
    http://kvpr.org/post/ambulance-abuse-super-users-fresno-county-down-178-percent-heres-why

    The Vandals got a bad rap. They didn’t destroy Rome, they tried to get the Romans to get back on their feet.

    No amount of Somali superbreeding squatmonsters can save the west.

    The West became great not because it was more populated than the rest of the world and outbred it. The West was great because of its human capital—innovation, exploration, science, philosophy; because of superior ideas, and the willingness to defend such a civilization.

    America doesn’t need more people; it needs to allow its own people to recover.

    Comment by Steve — May 1, 2018 @ 6:56 pm - May 1, 2018

  17. We gotta give the devil is due, though — California really is at the forefront — l’avant garde of innovation, in terms of “normalizing” the situation — since some of their homeless are University Professors

    San Jose State University Professor living in her car

    https://youtu.be/Y8FeXvn-8zY

    I guess that’s progress towards making homelessness a non-issue.

    Brilliant.

    Comment by Cyril J. — May 1, 2018 @ 7:03 pm - May 1, 2018

  18. You’ll know that SHTF when Bernie Sanders has become homeless.

    Until then, we should be okay.

    Comment by Cyril J. — May 1, 2018 @ 7:12 pm - May 1, 2018

  19. Cyril J. (#13, para 3). Congratulations!

    Comment by TheQuietMan — May 1, 2018 @ 7:24 pm - May 1, 2018

  20. @19

    Thanks! I strive to keep my life interesting.

    And I sure wasn’t disappointed of the news 9 months ago. 😀

    Comment by Cyril J. — May 1, 2018 @ 7:29 pm - May 1, 2018

  21. (Joking aside, at my age, this is one of the few countries my mental health could cope with that sort of responsibility, to be honest. Thank God for that.)

    Comment by Cyril J. — May 1, 2018 @ 7:40 pm - May 1, 2018

  22. How much of a role does choice play in addiction and mental illness?

    Comment by Frank — May 1, 2018 @ 8:36 pm - May 1, 2018

  23. @22.. mental illness, not much choice. Addiction, doing drugs for the first time is a choice. One does not become addicted to heroine after one use. Removing the personal responsibility of addiction from the addict removes one of the important tools of recovery.

    Comment by TnnsNe1 — May 2, 2018 @ 7:23 am - May 2, 2018

  24. I know a few liberals (here in Massachusetts) who would gladly house any homeless, since they care so much about them.

    Just kidding.

    Comment by Julie the Jarhead — May 2, 2018 @ 8:37 am - May 2, 2018

  25. @ 24, ha ha, good one Julie. The moonbats in Massachusetts wouldn’t go anywhere near them.

    Comment by James — May 2, 2018 @ 9:38 am - May 2, 2018

  26. Congrats to you, Cyril on your sweet, little bundle of joy! Sounds like she already has you wrapped around her tiny finger! <3!

    Comment by runningrn — May 3, 2018 @ 3:25 am - May 3, 2018

  27. Heliotrope, I love the cut of your jib!

    Comment by runningrn — May 3, 2018 @ 3:26 am - May 3, 2018

  28. @23. I dunno. Not all drugs. Painkillers, for instance, aren’t so cut and dry.

    Comment by Frank — May 3, 2018 @ 7:46 am - May 3, 2018

  29. Here’s one on Michael Jackson, the ultimate virtue signaled. MJ used to throw water balloons at the homeless.

    https://youtu.be/Ufp006AHlgs

    Comment by Pawfurbehr — May 3, 2018 @ 12:42 pm - May 3, 2018

  30. Hi V the K,
    “There are a few cases like that, but most of the time, it’s because of mental illness and drugs. Homelessness never be totally solved because for a certain number of homeless, it is a lifestyle choice. And dealing with the rest of them would involve solutions that are very expensive and would be politically unpopular; … So, they aren’t going to happen.”

    I have two thoughts on your claims here.

    First. You dislike “virtue signalling” and dislike the solution which is to throw money at the problem. What other options would you explore? Its a fact of life and there is nothing we can do? And you appear conflicted as to who to count as those “deserving” of our help in these circumstances and who are “undeserving.”

    Second: In the comments section, things are more nuanced. It is possible to recognize that mental illness is not a “lifestyle choice,” that though some choose homelessness, many more would rather not be homeless. That a key reason for homelessness is not that people choose it but that life circumstances can push you there when you don’t have many resources to begin with to avoid it; that leaving it can be hard for some–the “chronic homeless.” An adjunct professor does not make that much, and without a decent wage, is not going to afford rents in SJ. Is she waiting for her boat to come in with the possibility of a better paying job? Maybe.

    One of the implications of this is that poorer folks need access to affordable housing if they are to stay where they and their families live. But we have had an ongoing underfunding of affordable housing increases from Reagan’s presidency onwards (both Dem and Rep); this has a real role to play here.

    And as for addiction–yep, there is choice there, but the opioid crisis shows us that good people can get into difficulties with prescription medications without wanting or being aware that it was an addictive path.

    Comment by Cas — May 3, 2018 @ 4:58 pm - May 3, 2018

  31. In response to Cas:

    Yes, homelessness causes two “cost” burdens on society: $$$$ costs and costs to the general cultural climate.

    The efforts to solve the problems created by homelessness are, therefore, twofold: $$$$ spent to “house” and to “treat” the homeless and the cost to the general culture of “permitting” the homeless to degrade the public square.

    “Chronic homelessness” vs. “circumstantial homelessness” is likely a worthy distinction, but only the tip of the iceberg. Homelessness is a response to other pathologies which are not under control.

    Ergo, “homelessness” is a complicated problem and is not particularly amenable to “solutions” imposed upon it.

    Throwing money willy-nilly at homelessness is like trying to fill up Lake Erie with quarters. And the objectives are nearly the same: futile.

    The Salvation Army is sensible about homelessness. They give the person or family 30 days and then they have to move on. Even the church soup kitchens realize that they can do little more than feed the person.

    In our psychobabble triggered society of whiners about social justice “we” are supposed to do “something” for the homeless. That is how socialists wire themselves to “think.”

    The more pragmatic people see homelessness as a drain on resources and a public nuisance. I sat with my family sat at a window table in a restaurant and a homeless critter pulled out his willie and peed on the window. Nothing in my soul was stirred to run out onto the sidewalk and give that feral soul aid and comfort.

    Saint Franklin of Roosevelt interned the Japanese and did it on the cheap. We have regional regional jails that are nearly B&B’s for the homeless who get out of hand. What we don’t have is a coordinated plan.

    On a practical basis (as opposed to a utopian ideal) the homeless could be rounded up and then triaged and then sent to a variety of publicly funded “treatment” centers. That said, no one should have it in mind that miracles will occur.

    Typhoid Mary Mallon was locked up to prevent her from infecting the public. “Million Dollar Murray” Barr, was a homeless alcoholic man in Reno, Nevada. Two local police officers tracked chronic inebriates for six months and found that just one of them ran up a bill of a hundred thousand dollars at a single hospital.

    The actual cost of homelessness “realities” are little understood by the general public. The emotion-based Progressives are forever seeing everything possibly and probably positive while overlooking the highly negative facts.

    Someone needs to explain to me what society “gains” by drug addicts and drunks cluttering up local landscape. Yes, I understand that they are people. I also understand that they are somewhere on the ladder of being confirmed losers.

    αἰτιολογία = “etiology” which is the study of the causes, origins, or reasons behind the way that things are, or the way they function. Hippocrates started his “holistic” examination with etiology.

    Until “society” orients itself toward the “etiology” of homelessness, drug addiction, etc. there can be no “progress” in dealing with these people. But, God help us, that means making a judgement and taking the bull by the tail and facing the situation. Enter Ken Kesey and his “druggie’s view” of “curing” the the pathology-driven mind.

    In short, the “triage” mentioned above is the process of dividing the group of homeless into “can’t be saved” from the “can be saved with immediate intervention” and the “walking wounded.”

    San Franciso has chosen to litter its streets and public places with a diverse group of broken humanity which the public is called upon to “tolerate.” Maybe, San Francisco could sell tickets to their freak show and earn some revenue. Obviously the Progressives don’t know how to run a rodeo and separate the bystanders from the bulls and the bucking broncos.

    This is the core conceit of socialism. First you systemize everything and then you shrug and walk away when the flywheel that propels the system breaks loose and tears up the neighborhood. That is when the lunatics really do run the asylum.

    Comment by Heliotrope — May 4, 2018 @ 11:52 am - May 4, 2018

  32. “the opioid crisis shows us that good people can get into difficulties with prescription medications without wanting or being aware that it was an addictive path.”

    Every single opiate based pain medicine I have taken over the last 15 years has included a warning message.

    The Progressives in Maine are now calling drug addiction “substance abuse disorder”.

    Comment by TnnsNe1 — May 4, 2018 @ 2:31 pm - May 4, 2018

  33. TnnsNe1 @ #32:

    Clearly everyone who is a victim of “substance abuse disorder” needs to be assigned a government orderly.

    If the disorder is not abated, then the pay of the orderly needs to be raised. Somehow, wonderful ideas are forever being underfunded.

    I wonder if drugs were legalized if the incidence of “substance abuse disorder” would go up or down. Clearly, it would go way down, because …. unicorns.

    Comment by Heliotrope — May 4, 2018 @ 5:11 pm - May 4, 2018

  34. @32

    Is someone who recovering in the hospital with orders for pain relief reading a label the same as someone walking the street pain-free reading labels of whatever drug/substance is in front of them?

    What opioid crisis was Trump talking about? What did he mean by fewer prescriptions? Could it be because they’re dangerous and overprescribed to a population that doesn’t quite understand their power?

    Comment by Frank — May 4, 2018 @ 5:33 pm - May 4, 2018

  35. Comment by Frank — May 6, 2018 @ 2:06 am - May 6, 2018

  36. What did he mean by fewer prescriptions? Could it be because they’re dangerous and overprescribed to a population that doesn’t quite understand their power?

    What I think people are getting at that is often left out of the equation: personal responsibility. Outside a care facility where someone is in charge of your basic needs, you the individual are essentially responsible for your needs and what you put in your body. Unfortunately, we live in an instant gratification, microwave-ready society whose desires often conflict with that unwritten mandate. [“The problem with instant gratification is that it takes too long!”]

    The practical implication is that people expect conditions such as pain to be relieved completely and quickly as possible. Short of delivery devices such as a morphine pump, that’s often not possible. Pain relief is often a matter of trial and error. Yet the patient often looks to their care provider with the air of “Just make it [pain] go away!” So that places the medical provider in a bind. Telling a patient to take one tablet, wait two hours and then take another if necessary becomes an example of someone who is not “focused on my needs” and someone who doesn’t care about their patients. Yes, there are prescribing abuses, but pain management is a dicey business. Simply reducing the ability of providers to prescribe isn’t the answer. In this year’s legislative session in Colorado, there was a bill introduced to limit opioid prescriptions to a 10-day supply. To someone in metropolitan Denver or Colorado Springs, that’s probably not much of an issue. But move out into the rural areas where someone might live 60 miles from the nearest pharmacy (bearing in mind that drugs highest up on the DEA schedule must be distributed in person and therefore can’t usually be ordered via mail) and that can present a problem.

    It blows my mind that someone would move from prescription drugs delivered via tablet form to shooting illegally obtained heroin intravenously because of an addiction. In my view there’s a failure there on several levels, not just on the part of pharmaceutical companies or healthcare providers. Until we examine what those failures are, we will not solve the problem.

    Comment by RSG — May 6, 2018 @ 3:46 am - May 6, 2018

  37. @36. I find little to disagree with your comments. But, as you say, it can be “dicey.” My original comment had to do with how impractical viewing these issues through a black and white prism is.

    There are plenty of larger conversations not being had in the public sphere. They can only be had in an environment where the majority begin demanding them.

    Comment by Frank — May 6, 2018 @ 6:38 am - May 6, 2018

  38. Frank @ #32:

    What opioid crisis was Trump talking about? What did he mean by fewer prescriptions? Could it be because they’re dangerous and overprescribed to a population that doesn’t quite understand their power?

    Trump is aware that there is an opiod crisis in which the users are getting pain killers created by the pharmaceutical houses and available in the controlled prescription system. That means that in the computer age, when a tiny hamlet is getting city sized amounts of a given pain killer, someone is not paying attention to what is likely going on.

    Rural West Virginia, rural New Hampshire and Orlando are three places where prescription opioids are showing up among irresponsible people who are seeking them for a fix. The first link in the chain is discover the local source and crush it.

    The second question about over-prescription is “yes.” OxyContin employs an extended release of oxycodone. Oxycodone is an end of life pain killer used to “transition” without pain. In other words, it kills the pain of a dying patient and likely aids in killing the patient as well.

    OxyContin is highly addictive and deadly when mixed with alcohol. It is prescribed too often to people who are not monitored. The CDC reports about 1,000 people go to the emergency room every day because of opioids, and about 52 people die per day due to an opioid overdose.

    OxyContin abuse is often linked with co-occurring disorders such as anxiety, depression, psychosis etc. These disorders can be pre-existing or the result of abusing the drug. Nonetheless, withdrawal from the drug does not address the co-existing disorder. Getting “off” the drug is complicated, takes steady treatment, takes time and the effective supervision is expensive.

    When the abuser does not intentionally “participate” in his efforts to get clean, “rehabilitation” is almost impossible.

    When people “accidentally” blow themselves apart cooking meth, they have calculated the income from the demand of the product to be worth the risk of an explosion.

    I fail to understand how people reach that level of insanity without knowing they are going to crash and burn, they just don’t know when.

    I am not sure what monkey is being put on Trump’s back by asking what Trump is talking about. From my perspective, Trump is talking about approaching the opioid crisis seriously.

    I suppose there are “people of the unicorn” out there who believe that the opioid crisis can be “cured” by a magic pill or by coexisting harmoniously in a hand-holding circles of jerks. And for them Trump is far too crude, rude and self-absorbed to have much more than a boogers-eye-view of reality.

    The old mental institutions locked people up and kept them from harming themselves and others. Often, they drugged them. The treatment centers of today have a doctor to patient ratio that is extremely costly. The insurance industry is almost completely absent from the market in covering drug abuse and coexisting disorders.

    The truth is grim. There are areas where youngish people are essentially down and out and have turned to opioids in overwhelming numbers. No drug addict ever “fixed” his problems with drugs.

    No matter what, some sort of “society” is required to take the addict into its care and “contain” the addict with whatever “care” will be accepted and can be provided. Progressives are already so stuck on the “optimal” that they dare not permit the fundamental practice of containment. Progressives are really stuck on stupid. Progressive “know” that everything and anything is doable if the taxpayers are just taxed and programs are staffed and the money is spent.

    Finally, the people of the opioid population very much understand the power of opioids. They are rotting away looking at people rotting away all around them. Just like some of the “native Americans” sitting on their reservations stewing themselves in alcohol. Just like the MS-13 critters who know their brotherhood will skin them alive if they stray. Just like those who have unprotected sex in an HIV- AIDS rich environment.

    Comment by Heliotrope — May 6, 2018 @ 10:16 am - May 6, 2018

  39. It is an interesting conversation in which the “personal responsibility for your actions” view clashes with the view that “bad things happen to otherwise good people.” Wouldn’t the truth be BOTH–there are both types of situations involved in opioid addiction? And if that is something that accords with your intuition, then how can the “containment” strategy (and otherwise doing nothing) with its resonance of epidemic be THE answer?

    Heliotrope says: “This is the core conceit of socialism. First you systemize everything and then you shrug and walk away when the flywheel that propels the system breaks loose and tears up the neighborhood. That is when the lunatics really do run the asylum.”

    So, granted, Heliotrope’s neighbourhood, on the surface is not torn up-though one wonders if what is central to a “neighbourhood” are people and their relationships. But how is “containment” (and otherwise doing nothing) anything other than “shrugging and walking away” as well? Might that also “tear up a neighbourhood” or two in its own way?

    Heliotrope speaks of “etiology.” OK–causes matter–so what are the causes? Human frailty and akrasia for sure; but also social-economic realities. Why did Oxycontin become a drug of choice? It was a profitable drug. People were told that you couldn’t get addicted to it, something many MDs believed a bit too willingly, pushed by aggressive marketing. It did the job–sort of; even better when it was crushed for the instant high; and there were plenty of people to prescribe it in and out of “pill mills”–also for profit at doses that were medically dangerous. I don’t think it helped that warning labels told people not to crush the pills otherwise they would get an instant large dose. Now that it is harder to get the full high from oxycodone, users are turning to other more pliant drugs for their high. But, this still leaves a large number of addicted regular normal users of oxycodone as well. The sad thing is that we went through this before in the 60s and 70s with Percodan. Purdue released Oxycontin in 1996 and didn’t reformulate it into a more tamper proof formulation until 2010, even though they knew it was being abused much earlier than this.

    I can accept that there is a critique to be made of “do-gooder progressives” that Heliotrope and others make BUT, and it is a but–there is a valid critique of the capitalist market system here, which in its current corporate state, often puts profit before social responsibility (tobacco companies anyone?).

    Comment by Cas — May 6, 2018 @ 9:33 pm - May 6, 2018

  40. There Cas goes again!!!! Reframing what was said in order to gain the supposed advantage:

    But how is “containment” (and otherwise doing nothing) anything other than “shrugging and walking away” as well? Might that also “tear up a neighbourhood” or two in its own way?

    Never once did I imply that we (society) contain the addicted and walk away.

    Parents are losing their children and their own financial stability in the process of trying to fight the hell of addiction. I am not promoting what shape and form “containment” takes. But any sentient person who deals with addiction knows that the very vast majority of addicts are incapable of kicking the habit on their own.

    San Francisco is inundated with addicts dying by the inch in wide open public. How do Progressives, in particular, tolerate such diversity ????????

    I say that, if for no other reason, we must clean the streets of these festering piles of disease as a matter of public health. The Nazi form of socialist would do retro-active abortion on them with gas furnaces. A Judeo Christian world would at least treat them like lepers. A first world nation would try its best to tackle the challenges of attempting to help these crippled souls back into “properly” functioning humans.

    Progressives closed our mental institutions and dumped a world of “fragile” people out on their own. Most of the mental hospitals closed in the 70’s had a history going back to being called Lunatic Asylums.

    We have had almost a half century mentally troubled and drug addicted people swelling the ranks of the homeless. The problems and pathologies are out in the open for all to see. Dystopia arrives failure by failure.

    Progressives fight their hardest against the concept of “institutionalization.” For whatever reason they worship a woman’s choice to kill a life in the womb, but they step around the homeless and addicted. If Progressives were consistent, they would do what all committed communists do and murder these people.

    As a classical liberal, I far prefer to confront the problems which the mentally ill and addicted can not confront for themselves.

    And, as a classical liberal, I loathe how the Progressives willing use the police power of the state for silencing their opposition while opening the borders to useful idiots and restoring voting rights to felons and registering the dead to vote in as many precincts as possible. But giving the homeless and the addicted some “goodies” to vote as instructed is an abomination.

    Comment by Heliotrope — May 6, 2018 @ 10:42 pm - May 6, 2018

  41. “Never once did I imply that we (society) contain the addicted and walk away.”

    Hi Heliotrope,
    Interesting claim. So, my take away from these comments below, is that I respectfully disagree with your claim. What I do pick up on is that you are deeply ambivalent about the issue, and your ambivalence comes shining through–it is interesting to see these different parts of your thinking try to reconcile themselves here. I would find it helpful–if you would like me to avoid “reframing” your comments– if you could focus your comments a bit so that I can follow the thread of your thinking more clearly. That way, I would be less likely to draw inferences you do not intend.

    “They didn’t destroy Rome, they tried to get the Romans to get back on their feet. History is full of peoples who were so down in their own gutters of dystopian culture that it took “new blood” to kick them down the rest of the hill and build things anew.”

    And

    “No matter what, some sort of “society” is required to take the addict into its care and “contain” the addict with whatever “care” will be accepted and can be provided. Progressives are already so stuck on the “optimal” that they dare not permit the fundamental practice of containment.”

    And,

    “Saint Franklin of Roosevelt interned the Japanese and did it on the cheap. We have regional regional jails that are nearly B&B’s for the homeless who get out of hand. What we don’t have is a coordinated plan.

    On a practical basis (as opposed to a utopian ideal) the homeless could be rounded up and then triaged and then sent to a variety of publicly funded “treatment” centers. That said, no one should have it in mind that miracles will occur.

    Typhoid Mary Mallon was locked up to prevent her from infecting the public….

    The actual cost of homelessness “realities” are little understood by the general public. …

    Someone needs to explain to me what society “gains” by drug addicts and drunks cluttering up local landscape. Yes, I understand that they are people. I also understand that they are somewhere on the ladder of being confirmed losers.”

    Cheers
    Cas

    Comment by Cas — May 9, 2018 @ 1:23 am - May 9, 2018

  42. End of the road, Cas. We in the United States, where you don’t reside, have to face the public health and public safety facts of homelessness.

    There is a vast variety of pathologies underlying homelessness and exacerbated by being homeless.

    You want to chit-chat and conduct a discussion on your terms about what “could” be done. I don’t. I am not an expert in the field and chit-chatting with another non-expert in the field is a colossal experiment in mutual nose picking.

    The Progressives own this homelessness problem fair and square. The Progressives are the very last people I would turn to for unscrambling the eggs they broke and whisked around.

    Progressives love them a seething pot of “victims” which they can manipulate. Progressives have no heart for standards, accountability or responsibility. Hence our huge underclass on the welfare gravy train.

    Progressives are so wrapped up in ideological idiocy that they dare not cede any of their pet “causes” to the logic of common sense.

    Call it “containment” or “institutionalization” or “Pleasant Valley Desert Compound” it is all the same. Society, “we the people,” must sweep these problems off the streets and from under the bridges and we must “house” them and “sort” them out and then we must attempt to “treat” them. It is the Christian thing to do. No guarantees. Pathologies have not been reduced to being erased by a pill and some kindness.

    The individuals in distress are real. They made choices that got themselves there. Often they clouded their ability to think by addictions.

    I favor a prison dedicated entirely to MS-13. I favor intercepting the illegal aliens who cross the border and impounding them in concentration camps while the wheels of justice grind slowly but thoroughly.

    I favor institutionalizing the homeless. Society has a vested interest in sorting these people out and directing concerted efforts at bettering their chances of gaining normalcy.

    In 1962, Anthony Burgess wrote A Clockwork Orange which posed these themes: Is it the “right” of a person to be “bad” and is it “worse” for the state to try to make him “good?” May the state forcibly alter a person’s free will to be “bad” and “fix” him according the state definition of “better?” Can the state act “violently” against and individual in order to protect society?

    Progressives do not ever get beyond the bullshit of applying their moral relativism to each and every single critter caught up in the conundrums which Burgess postulated. If the individual has total sovereignty over the society, what is the good of having society at all?

    Dystopia arrives by a series of societal failures. There is no earthy benefit to society or the posterity of encampment after encampment of human failures.

    “Through me the way into the suffering city,
    Through me the way into eternal pain,
    Through me the way that runs among the lost.”
    ― Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy

    Except, it is not a comedy. Godless though one may be, when did moral relativists ever lead the lost to greener pastures?

    Progressives have no principles. They battle for power for the sake of controlling others without regard to principle. Oh, Progressives are up to their eyebrows in concepts: •Diversity and inclusivity •Equal opportunity •Fair playing-field •Social and economic justice •Civil liberty •Full employment •Freedom of choice •The greater/public good •Data-based policymaking •Reform •Sustainability •Social safety net •Internationalism •Multilateral peacekeeping •Transparency •Fair trade •Human rights •Cooperation •Reaching full potential •Anti-poverty •Globalism ……

    Everything for Progressives is the probable, possible in the “relative when.” Until then, the “positive now” is not good enough and must be deconstructed, reconstructed and subjected to conceptual analysis, evaluation and prepared to adapt to systemization, equalization and intellectual constipation.

    That is where you stand, Cas. Nowhere.

    Comment by Heliotrope — May 9, 2018 @ 11:05 am - May 9, 2018

  43. “I favor institutionalizing the homeless.” Doesn’t that require more government?

    “when did moral relativists ever lead the lost to greener pastures?” Civil rights, marriage equality.

    Comment by Frank — May 9, 2018 @ 11:30 am - May 9, 2018

  44. @ #43 Frank:

    “I favor institutionalizing the homeless.” Doesn’t that require more government?

    I don’t know. Perhaps it could be accomplished by shifting priorities within the current size of government and government spending.

    Furthermore, “more government” is neither anathema nor salvation. Perhaps I misunderstand your words, but no limited government type (like me) would “limit government” by some sort of math formulation.

    “when did moral relativists ever lead the lost to greener pastures?” Civil rights, marriage equality.

    Do you understand what is meant by moral relativism? It certainly does not apply to core “civil rights.”

    However, gay marriage is nothing less than moral relativism run amok and I defy you explain how being gay gives one a special civil right such as same sex marriage.

    Statistically, gay marriage is such a minuscule aspect of societal governance that its importance to the protection of the posterity is invisible.

    Comment by Heliotrope — May 9, 2018 @ 3:23 pm - May 9, 2018

  45. @44 Marriage equality encourages the homosexual populations to participate in traditional family values (monogamy and raising children). Anti-discrimination laws also protect them as a people from being fired or beaten for being homosexual. There is not one formula settled on as far as the proportion, but most people accept that homosexuals are represented somewhere in the range of 5 – 10% of a population.

    “Do you understand what is meant by moral relativism? It certainly does not apply to core “civil rights.”” One might say it means saying slaves are 3/5ths a person and then saying they’re a full person. Another might say that it’s following some Biblical edicts while ignoring others. Yet another might say that one who doesn’t use Biblical edicts (or the Koran or some other old religious document) is a moral relativist because they lack any “time-tested” and “principled” foundation, therefore their beliefs are “fluid, evolutionary, and morally relativist.” One might also say that there isn’t one of these documents that has consistently produced a moral society since its origins. One might also hide behind the convenience of the times they’re actually living in to draw a clear line between black and white. Which is to say: everyone is a moral relativist. Everyone from the whiny snowflake with five genders who feels triggered to the man in his Sunday best who sometimes goes home after church to masturbate to porn.

    Comment by Frank — May 9, 2018 @ 7:49 pm - May 9, 2018

  46. Frank @ #45:

    The purest of reasoning that is bolstered with facts will not create morality. One can be perfect in one’s reasoning and have a university of facts and remain amoral and even be immoral. One may be an atheist and a nihilist, but being such forces the person to be a moral relativist, if the person pretends to care about morals at all.

    To be moral, one must accept morality as a higher power. That means an obedience to morality. Moral relativism operates away from morality and provides an excuse or reason not to be moral.

    There can be no disagreements concerning morality if absolute morality does not exists. Being self-aware and indignant is not morality.

    Pious value statements do not create morality. Value statements and virtue signaling are temporary efforts to make oneself praiseworthy. They do not substitute for morality.

    Moral relativism denies morality. Denying absolute morality places the denier in the position of being an absolutist. Political correctness is not a moral imperative; it is an absolutist power play.

    For example, Planned Parenthood says abortion is good and pro-life says abortion is bad; morally, abortion can not be good and bad at the same time. There is no “slippery slope” between good and bad. There is only hypocrisy.

    Moral relativism is a form of excuse making for those who want the comfort of being amoral or even immoral.

    Hypocrisy in morality is wrong. Immoral. A sin. Choose your comfort word.

    You write:

    Marriage equality encourages the homosexual populations to participate in traditional family values (monogamy and raising children).

    Morality does not “encourage.” It states an absolute. Traditional family values are a reflection of morality. Nothing prevents homosexuals from being monogamous and raising children according to traditional family values. Nothing prevents homosexuals from being moral individuals. It is not a matter of choice. Only moral relativism opens the flood gates to making choices concerning morality.

    You are dead wrong about the 3/5ths of a person and slavery, but most people do not understand why that dog whistle is fake. So you are not alone. Read up on the 3/5ths Compromise and you may begin to understand the political solution to break a deadlock. The actual point is that slavery is immoral, but in 1787 there was a great deal of slavery throughout the world and the moral crusade to end it was in its infancy. Do NOT venture into Central Africa today if you are queasy about morality.

    I sincerely hope this helps you understand that making choices about morality is moral relativism. Hypocrisy is posturing about being moral while doing the opposite. Practicing moral relativism is the game played by the amoral or the immoral and it is nihilistic.

    One more thing: “Civil Rights” are an invention of moral relativism. “We are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights” (Jefferson) which are absolute rights and therefore moral. Legislatures use their temporal power to make these absolute rights plain in the law and thereby inform the people. Political “rights” are not absolutely moral. We had the political right to slavery. It was a “civil right.”

    Comment by Heliotrope — May 10, 2018 @ 10:56 am - May 10, 2018

  47. Hi Frank and Heliotrope,
    I am enjoying your too and fro.
    My only comments–to Heliotrope–you move pretty easily between morality and ethical conduct. Your choice, but for me the “higher power” you refer to, sounds suspiciously like an appeal to God, and Command ethics i.e., “To be moral, one must accept morality as a higher power. That means an obedience to morality. Moral relativism operates away from morality and provides an excuse or reason not to be moral.”

    How you get that claim–I have no idea–what does it even mean? As far as I can tell-if I don’t subscribe to what you think is moral, I am not moral–your view, your judgement (and the judgement of God) is absolute! You KNOW what absolute morality is. How so? That is an awful lot of authority you are wielding there, big guy. I don’t buy it, given what you said: “There can be no disagreements concerning morality if absolute morality does not exists.” I would appreciate understanding what you mean by that claim–on the face of it it appears incomplete at best. Two or more “absolutist” moral frameworks can duke it out. Even a few relative frameworks (care anyone) can get into the mix as well.

    In any case, care to dip your toe into passing a moral judgement on Purdue for their actions in pursuit of profit–an outstanding member, if ever there was one, of the capitalist mindset…?

    Comment by Cas — May 10, 2018 @ 7:38 pm - May 10, 2018

  48. @46 You have written quite a bit, and I unfortunately do not have the time to sit down and give it proper consideration and response. I only have a high school education and I have never understood theology and philosophy, and while I would love to, I am realistic and past attempts did not bear fruit. I am realist, as well, I don’t expect to in the near future. It’s all just too over my head.

    Perhaps it’s best to focus on examples and go from there. You brought up abortion. We can both say it’s bad. Those who say it’s bad, believe that it’s bad in all situations, or it’s bad only when it’s not a lesser of two evils in the case of a mother’s life. In the former, you are not a moral relativist. In the latter, if you believe it, perhaps you can make an argument that you’d still not be a moral relativist (and, frankly, I’d probably buy/accept it). I also accept that on this front that I would be a moral relativist.

    While I think abortion is wrong, I also accept the law to reflect a woman’s assertion of control over her own body to possibly the detriment of an unborn life. I do this, because if I were a woman, I can’t say that I wouldn’t have one. I’d like to think I wouldn’t, but I could never say for sure. And because I am a person of limited financial means, I would hope the laws and cost would make it accessible and affordable if I ever needed one and chose to have one.

    Now, I also qualify my beliefs. I do believe there should be parameters administered in regards to legality (such as in regards to late-term abortions). But, I also understand that, according to some, that’s superfluous, because if I’m willing to accept the termination of an unborn life, what do all of these regulations really matter? And, for that, I am a moral relativist. I’d accept the assertion that I’m a moral relativist. And that I base my beliefs on “feelings.”

    But, if we take euthanasia, for example, I also don’t believe there is black and white. And I am a moral relativist on this issue, as well, as my beliefs are also based on “feelings.” And, I also believe in parameters (medical conditions, age, etc). I believe in quality of life and that if someone is elderly, in pain, suffering, and are mentally “sound”, for example, I believe in their self-determined will to end their life after careful consideration and consultation with medical officers and family, friends, therapy, etc.

    I also accept the assertion that my beliefs are fluid and can change over time. I accept that my beliefs lack a consistency and adherence to a higher power. I accept that I have formulated my personal beliefs based on how I was raised, life experience, relationships with people, and careful deliberation. I accept my moral relativism.

    And I accept those who believe my beliefs contributes to this world’s path on a road to ruin. But, what I have lived through has informed my beliefs and I can’t in good conscience believe otherwise.

    It’s often a struggle that I can’t have a meeting of minds with others on what I consider to be “sensible”, but that’s life, I guess. I imagine you may feel the same way.

    @47 Thank you.

    Comment by Frank — May 10, 2018 @ 8:27 pm - May 10, 2018

  49. Frank,

    I take your points about the “knotty” problems which life and society throw our way.

    Abortion is among the knottiest of societal problems and I doubt that there is a workable solution which will satisfy everyone out there.

    The “lesser of two evils” standard frequently crops up in knotty problems. St. Augustine wrestled brilliantly with the basics such as telling a lie or going to war. That is where philosophy is most useful, because the reasoning has been laid out and centuries of other minds have worked on addressing the reasoning.

    However, morality is of little use if it has to be explained and argued out over and over again. The “Golden Rule” is to do unto others as you would have others do unto you. Not complicated. But also useless if “loopholes” are assumed.

    The moral relativist is dedicated to trying to be clever with morality and playing “what if” games. Moral people do not look for a “loophole.” Moral people who commit an immoral act throw themselves on the mercy of society and plead their case. They don’t deny the moral.

    I am 76 and a retired educator. I taught ethics among other disciplines. Every group I have ever faced gets this same introduction: “If you have to take a course in ethics to be ethical, then ethics is useless.” My point is that the least educated and most modestly skilled person can be and may be the most ethical person imaginable. And the most educated and most skilled mind may be the most immoral person imaginable. Morality stems from a moral code which is understandable and achievable by all who wish to obey it.

    Permit me to clear up a point about slavery in America. In 1787 the Constitutional Convention was hung up on how to count slaves in the population of each state. Slave states would gain immense power in the House of Representatives if slaves were counted or be insignificant if slaves were not counted. The compromise arrived at letting the slave states count 60% of their slaves in figuring how many representatives they would have in the House. The 3/5ths of a person is sloganeering which came later. Slaves were “chattel” which means property. Indentured servants were also “temporary” chattel and there were lots of indentured servants in the various states. All of them were counted. No Indians were counted. That was then. Slavery was immoral in 1787 and it is immoral today where it exists. Realistically, it sometimes takes good men and women a long time (centuries) to come together and do what is moral. We are not angels. Especially, when we know better but do nothing.

    In John 8 of the New Testament, Jesus tells the accusers that the one of them who is without sin should cast the first stone at the accused adulteress. The accusers fade away. Jesus tells the woman to go and sin no more.

    That is the point of morality. Let the pure among us carry out the law and let the person punished or accused take the lesson and become pure.

    Morality “tales” come in all forms from all cultures. But their lessons are immutable. We are animals who can think and reason and learn from remorse. We don’t need more morals than already exist. We need to strive toward the perfection of morality. And, realistically, as good as we may become, we can always become better. That is best achieved by doing less and less evil.

    Comment by Heliotrope — May 10, 2018 @ 9:58 pm - May 10, 2018

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.