USUAL SUSPECTS BY JASON MARK
Batman Villains Re-Imagined in 1920s Style Mugshots
Artwork by Jason Mark
The 1% wants to ban sleeping in cars - it hurts their ‘quality of life’
April 16, 2014
Across the United States, many local governments are responding to skyrocketing levels of inequality and the now decades-long crisis of homelessness among the very poor … by passing laws making it a crime to sleep in a parked car.
This happened most recently in Palo Alto, in California’s Silicon Valley, where new billionaires are seemingly minted every month – and where 92% of homeless people lack shelter of any kind. Dozens of cities have passed similar anti-homeless laws. The largest of them is Los Angeles, the longtime unofficial “homeless capital of America”, where lawyers are currently defending a similar vehicle-sleeping law before a skeptical federal appellate court. Laws against sleeping on sidewalks or in cars are called “quality of life” laws. But they certainly don’t protect the quality of life of the poor.
To be sure, people living in cars cannot be the best neighbors. Some people are able to acquire old and ugly – but still functioning – recreational vehicles with bathrooms; others do the best they can. These same cities have resisted efforts to provide more public toilet facilities, often on the grounds that this will make their city a “magnet” for homeless people from other cities. As a result, anti-homeless ordinances often spread to adjacent cities, leaving entire regions without public facilities of any kind.
Their hope, of course, is that homeless people will go elsewhere, despite the fact that the great majority of homeless people are trying to survive in the same communities in which they were last housed – and where they still maintain connections. Americans sleeping in their own cars literally have nowhere to go.
Indeed, nearly all homelessness in the US begins with a loss of income and an eviction for nonpayment of rent – a rent set entirely by market forces. The waiting lists are years long for the tiny fraction of housing with government subsidies. And rents have risen dramatically in the past two years, in part because long-time tenants must now compete with the millions of former homeowners who lost their homes in the Great Recession.
The paths from eviction to homelessness follow familiar patterns. For the completely destitute without family or friends able to help, that path leads more or less directly to the streets. For those slightly better off, unemployment and the exhaustion of meager savings – along with the good graces of family and friends – eventually leaves people with only two alternatives: a shelter cot or their old automobile.
However, in places like Los Angeles, the shelters are pretty much always full. Between 2011 and 2013, the number of unsheltered homeless people increased by 67%. In Palo Alto last year, there were 12 shelter beds for 157 homeless individuals. Homeless people in these cities do have choices: they can choose to sleep in a doorway, on a sidewalk, in a park, under a bridge or overpass, or – if they are relatively lucky – in a car. But these cities have ordinances that make all of those choices a criminal offense. The car is the best of bad options, now common enough that local bureaucrats have devised a new, if oxymoronic, term – the “vehicularly housed”.
People sleeping in cars try to find legal, nighttime parking places, where they will be less apparent and arouse the least hostility. But cities like Palo Alto and Los Angeles often forbid parking between 2am and 5am in commercial areas, where police write expensive tickets and arrest and impound the vehicles of repeat offenders. That leaves residential areas, where overnight street parking cannot, as a practical matter, be prohibited.
One finds the “vehicularly housed” in virtually every neighborhood, including my own. But the animus that drives anti-homeless laws seems to be greatest in the wealthiest cities, like Palo Alto, which has probably spawned more per-capita fortunes than any city on Earth, and in the more recently gentrified areas like Los Angeles’ Venice. These places are ruled by majorities of “liberals” who decry, with increasing fervor, the rapid rise in economic inequality. Nationally, 90% of Democrats (and 45% of Republicans) believe the government should act to reduce the rich-poor gap.
It is easy to be opposed to inequality in the abstract. So why are Los Angeles and Palo Alto spending virtually none of their budgets on efforts to provide housing for the very poor and homeless? When the most obvious evidence of inequality parks on their street, it appears, even liberals would rather just call the police. The word from the car: if you’re not going to do anything to help, please don’t make things worse.
“Their hope, of course, is that homeless people will go elsewhere…”
HOW? WITH WHAT FUNDS? FOR WHOSE BENEFIT? TO WHERE?
Our society’s approach to its most vulnerable members: I don’t want to see them suffer—so get them out of my sight!
There have been a few periods in my life when I have needed to sleep in my vehicle for several days at a time, and some of those periods have been when it would have been best for me to avoid the scrutiny of the police, shall we say, because the consequences would have been disproportionate.
I’ve gotten pretty good at finding places to sleep in my car where I am less likely to attract attention.
First of all, forget shopping center parking lots, train stations, or any place like that where they will either have regular patrols or your vehicle will be isolated. Nothing attracts a cops attention like a vehicle seemingly out of place. Assume they *will* investigate. Although Wal-Mart allows RVers to park overnight, they also generally have security or police around, and if you don’t look like an RVer, except to be hassled.
Assume that anyone who encounters you in the early morning will notify the police. The time just after dawn is the most dangerous, because there will be light enough to see into your vehicle, but you are likely to be too exhausted to note this fact and totally unconscious until the cops start banging on your window.
Try to find a place where you can park your vehicle among others like it. I have found, as a pickup driver, that industrial parks can be useful, because there are often other company light trucks parked overnight and people don’t usually show up to work until 8am-ish. On weekends, this works even better, because the office might be closed from Friday evening till Monday morning, or at least from Saturday evening til Monday morning.
I once found a great place outside of Nashville, TN that was an abandoned home site up a hill, with a paved driveway that led up into the trees where you couldn’t be seen from the road. I slept pretty well that night, at least as far as a 6’ 1” tall person can sleep in a vehicle with the interior completely filled except for the driver’s seat with their possessions.
Avoid using the same site two nights in a row, if you can help it, especially if people come by and see you in the morning. If you must remain in the same area, use your days to scout for other potential sites to sleep safely.
this is really, really important and i hope everyone reads it.
didi-is-spiffy asked: My professor asked the class "what do you call a species that takes over the space of another species" and I said European Settlers outloud when I was actually trying to think it lol oops
bitch be grateful
"Pepperoni!?? Can’t you see I’m a vegetarian?"
Those who say the Black Widow’s fighting style is just movie bullshit can see the above. ^ Shit is terrifyingly real.
I think I’m in love.
She’s so tiny.
But she could kill me.
I will reblog this flying head scissors every time it comes on my dash because it’s so fucking awesome.
That majestic flip
The more democratic a group or campaign is, the more effective it is, as all people involved can have an input and feel a part of the project.
Although often basic, this information is essential for the smooth-running of an organisation and sticking to these simple guidelines can make the difference between a long lasting successful group and a failure.
Below find tips on many aspects of organising, from facilitating meetings and financing your group, to structure and making decisions.
- How to start a group
- Basic principles of revolutionary organisation
- Coming up with a strategy and set of principles
- Decision making and organisational form
- Financing a group
- Handling difficult behaviour in meetings
- How to organise and facilitate meetings effectively
- Successful delegation guide
- Taking meeting minutes guide
- Building a solidarity network guide
- Federations and networks guide
I didn’t read all of these so I don’t know how useful they all are, but there’s a shortage of good practical documents like these. Maybe they’ll help someone.
here we go again…..
basically a little while ago i created a list of helpful websites that i wanted to share and it got quite popular and a lot of people asked me to make another list with more!! your wish is my command!!! here is another list of more helpful websites!!! you can find part one HERE and i hope you enjoy this one as much as the first!!
help for school
- concentration playlist
- geography help
- advice on how to study
- download free books
- tips for a productive study break
- study tips
- earn a cute picture of a kitten for writing
- how to get motivated to study
- download free books
- pull an all nighter & do well on your exam
- how to write an essay
- masterpost of educational websites
- study techniques
- time management & motivating yourself tips
- thinking & memorising tips
- research & reading tips
- google citations
- social media citation guide
- college advice (2)
- tips to help you focus
- zen writer
- photoshop help
- trouble sleeping?
- tips for waking up
- quick & easy snack recipes
- easy microwave mug recipe
- yoga poses for menstrual cramps
- 99 life hacks
- need a random number?
- how to make a gif
- font recogniser
- hq pictures for all celebrities
- tattoo information
- list of full musicals on youtube
- budgeting advice
- blog dedicated to finding movies
- 'the end' game
- sites to download free audio books
- cubefield game
- akinator, the web genie
- pandemic game
- folds game
- masterpost of movie masterposts (basically lots of movies)
tumblr/general internet help
- shortens urls
- check the safety of any website
- missing e
- x kit extension
- tumblr saviour
- updates tab for your blog
- html help
- simple themes
- blog backgrounds
- my very simple theme
- blog dedicated to trading urls
mental health help/info
- helpful links (anxiety, depression, self harm, etc)
- radical self love project
- recovery resources
- having a bad day?
- panic & anxiety masterpost
- how to help a friend with anxiety
- depression information
- relaxation playlist
- guided relaxation
- stress relievers
- self injury recovery masterpost
makeup, hair, fashion
● Which Foods Help Fight Heartburn?
● Tips for the Best Night’s Sleep
● 15 Life Hacks every college student should know
● 15 Helpful Inventions for New Parents
● 10 Habits to Help You Live Longer
● Best Life Hacks for Saving Money
● Life-Saving Life Hacks
● 15 Life Hacks To Help Start Your Day
● 10 Foods that Can Help You Lose Weight
● Foods to Help You Sleep
● Essential Life Hacks for Your Car
● Simple Tips for Better Sleep
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