Thursday, February 23, 2017

An Inexpensive Jail Might be Part of the Answer to Homelessness

  Perhaps we need a jail just to serve the homeless and those who prey on the homeless.
  The words from Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol come to my mind as I think of this. Someone had asked Scrooge to contribute to the poor, and Scrooge replied, "Are there no prisons?" as if prisons were part of the solution to poverty, a place where the poor could go for food and shelter.
   But there is more to this jail-for-the-poor thing than that. Community leaders have been looking to free up jail space for those who are committing crimes in the area where the homeless are centered, the Rio Grande area. There just isn't enough jail space for them.
  So, how about a low-budget jail? And, I definitely mean low-budget: Few guards, etc. How much does it normally cost to incarcerate someone for a year? $31,000? I'm suggesting we should look to jail them for much less.
   I am reminded that sometimes a homeless person commits a crime just to get in jail, just to get off the street. They are just part of the crime element connected to homelessness, but other parts might warrant inexpensive jail facilities, as well.

People Hunger in Yemen While War Rages

  While civil war rages in Yemen, the people hunger. In one of the poorest countries in the Arab world, 80 percent of the people are said to be in need. That's 18.8 million people needing humanitarian aid.
   I donated a penny to help. Well, actually a little more than that, but I didn't donate much. Those who want to give can go to this link:

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The Homeless are Vulnerable, so Protect Them with a Zone

   I see how the Utah Legislature is considering making it a felony to deal drugs in the area of a homeless shelter. There's a novel approach.
   I think of school zones, and how some of our laws protect schools and children: Reduced speeds, and no alcohol outlets, for example. The thought comes to me that one objective of good government is to protect the vulnerable. We protect the children with our zoning laws. Perhaps we should do the same with our homeless.
   Yes, perhaps pass that law, saying no dealing drugs near a homeless center. And, look for other measures, as well, to protect the homeless. We speak of how the Rio Grande area here in Salt Lake City draws a bad element, a crime element that affects businesses.
   How about, instead of moving the homeless out, we clean the area up?
   I am just suggesting this as something we should consider. I saw the news item on dealing drugs near homeless shelters, and got thinking. Maybe this is a good idea, or maybe further thought would lead us to rue it. Off top, I think it a good idea. The question is, what restrictions would we have for the homeless zone? Increased penalties for everything from public urination, to breaking and entering?

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

We Find Money for Those Who Would Make a Living off Them

   We seem to be trying to buy our way out of homelessness and not spending the money on the them while we are doing it.
   Not spending it on them directly, anyway.
   Our new approach to homelessness is to bring in social workers, and let them work with the street people -- maybe change them, give them job skills, help them with their addictions, etc. Those are laudable things, certainly, but they don't come without a lot of money being spent.
   The poor? Instead of finding money for them, we find money for those who would make an industry off of them.
   If these social programs do work, I might embrace them, but at the moment, I have misgivings. I suppose, in my old age, I see a lobbyist behind every tree. With the homeless, I wonder but what the social workers came calling, suggesting their own worth, and we bought in.
    I suppose we will have to see how they do, whether they solve our homelessness while all else has failed. Perhaps my criticism is not well founded.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Suggesting They are as if Under the Same Roof is Fake News

  The suggestion that people living here illegally is like them moving into our homes uninvited? I see it as a false analogy. In the terminology of the moment, fake news.
   The undocumented workers are not moving into people's homes uninvited. That just isn't happening, in any way, shape, or form. To suggest they are is fake news.
   But, is the analogy worthy? If it is, we all live in the same house. All the home-grown villains, all the tawdry people, and all those we don't like are living in the same house with us. Somehow, that analogy doesn't stand up. It would mess my life up tremendously if the villains and tawdry people and those I don't appreciate were living under my roof. But, the actuality of it is that I go through my life quite okay with them living across town and in other places. Living under my roof and living across town do not compare. They are apples and oranges.
   Living under one's own roof with those we choose to live with is not to be compared to living across town from someone we don't want to live with. They are opposites, if anything. Someone might suggest that when the immigrants overwhelm a town, and you go to the gas station, and they are there, and you go to the store and they are there, and wherever you go, they are there -- then it is like living in the same house with them.
   Except it isn't. You can still go home to get away from them. Your home is still the one place they are not.
  Those who use this argument of immigrants invading our homes present a false analogy. It's simply fake news.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Is Illegal Immigration a Modern Thing?

   I wonder but what, through the centuries of man's existence, he could traverse from one country to the another as free as a bird. He could choose his country, and move there, with no king objecting.
  Restrictions on the freedom to live where you want appear to be a modern-day thing. Through most of history, it was pack your bags and cross into another country if you were of a desire to do so. Grant it, it was harder to move back then. Perhaps the ease of movement -- the inventions and improvements in transportation -- contributed to the rise of rules limiting immigration.
   So, even at the same time the world has moved from monarchies to democracies -- giving people greater freedom -- it has also moved from open borders to restricted ones, -- taking away a freedom. If you were to list the ways the world is freer and the ways it is less free, freedom to move from one country to another would stand out as one of the few losses of freedom.

Friday, February 17, 2017

They Reject the Newcomers, but Believe They have Good Reason

   Define the immigration problem in a number of ways, if you will. One set of people is invading another set of people. One set of people is disrespecting and trashing the laws of another set of people. One set of people is taking jobs from another set of people. One set of people from outside a country is taking advantage of the social programs paid for those living inside that country. One set of people are bringing crime upon another set of people
   Still, in each case, one set of people is rejecting the other. Those who ascribe to the definitions above use those definitions as reason for rejecting the newcomers, but, they still are rejecting them. They believe they have good cause, but it remains that they are rejecting them.