Dec 26

More Than a Dozen US Cities Destroy Homeless Camps Days Before Christmas

More Than a Dozen US Cities Destroy Homeless Camps Days Before Christmas:

On any given night in the United States, there are an estimated 578,000 people who are sleeping without a roof over their head.

 Instead of embracing the spirit of the season and being a little more giving and compassionate than normal, 15 American cities are trying to sweep their homeless members of the community out of public view, NPR reported.Throughout the month of December, Portland, Maine has been rapidly tearing down homeless encampments. Earlier this year, the city cut funding for both shelters and expenses to provide those who couldn’t get into shelters with motel rooms.

In Seattle, Washington, the mayor declared a “war on homelessness,” and has lived up to it. There are two “legal” homeless encampments in the city, which house up to 100 people. All others have been torn down by police. Law enforcement destroyed 80 encampments in 2012, 131 in 2013, 351 in 2014, and 527 as of November 2015, the Seattle Times reported. Continue reading »

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Apr 03

Concentrations of homeless people are nothing new in America, but recent BBC and Los Angeles Times reports depict a rising trend of shanty slums, such as a “city” of newly homeless people living in tents near the Ontario airport in Los Angeles.

If you recall your Steinbeck, the residents of the 20c Hoovervilles were largely tenant farmers thrown off their farms by the owners, who in turn tried mechanized farming to bring down costs and break even. These displaced farmers migrated West where they became agricultural day laborers and settled into shanty camps.

The California tent slum depicted in the BBC report is quite different, because they are not migrant workers, so much as locals who have lost their homes. It is hard to tell if the newly dispossessed are all the victims of the subprime market. More likely, the tent slum population is a mix of new and old homelessness — perhaps with a few migrant workers in the mix.

I do not know if there is a technical point at which a tent city becomes a slum — a boundary of some sort that gets crossed in terms of population density or length of time in existence or total acreage. But the Los Angeles Times reports that the police are handing out wrist bands to make sure that only locals take up residence in the tent camp by the airport. Non locals have to get out. Passing out armbands to make sure only locals get into the camp has to be crossing a boundary of some kind. And it is not a good one to cross.

Whatever the actual demographics, the images and the stories are heartbreaking. If ever there was a reason to let go of market orthodoxy, and to re-embrace the American spirit of making things better by the most pragmatic means possible — this is it. Make it work better, period. No ideology; no grand theories about freedom from government; just come together to help people before we lose a generation to this mounting economic tragedy.

March 30, 2010
By Jeffrey Feldman

Source: Information Clearinghouse

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Aug 23

More on Blackwater (now XE):
CIA hired Blackwater mercenaries to try to hit al-Qaeda
“Incestuous” relationships between Blackwater and the US government
Blackwater got a new $22.2 million deal from the State Department
Paul Craig Roberts: Americans: Serfs Ruled by Oligarchs

1 of 3:

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Aug 10

Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during President Reagan’s first term. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. He has held numerous academic appointments, including the William E. Simon Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University, and Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

Paul Craig Roberts

Tent cities springing up all over America are filling with the homeless unemployed from the worst economy since the 1930s. While Americans live in tents, the Obama government has embarked on a $1 billion crash program to build a mega-embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan, to rival the one the Bush government build in Baghdad, Iraq.

Hard times have now afflicted Americans for so long that even the extension of unemployment benefits from 6 months to 18 months for 24 high unemployment states, and to 46 – 72 weeks in other states, is beginning to run out. By Christmas 1.5 million Americans will have exhausted unemployment benefits while unemployment rolls continue to rise.

Amidst this worsening economic crisis, the House of Representatives just passed a $636 billion “defense” bill.

Who is the United States defending against? Americans have no enemies except those that the US government goes out of its way to create by bombing and invading countries that comprise no threat whatsoever to the US and by encircling others–Russia for example–with threatening military bases.

America’s wars are contrived affairs to serve the money laundering machine: from the taxpayers and money borrowed from foreign creditors to the armaments industry to the political contributions that ensure $636 billion “defense” bills.

President George W. Bush gave us wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that are entirely based on lies and misrepresentations. But Obama has done Bush one better. Obama has started a war in Pakistan with no explanation whatsoever.

If the armaments industry and the neoconservative brownshirts have their way, the US will also be at war with Iran, Russia, Sudan and North Korea.

Meanwhile, America continues to be overrun, as it has been for decades, not by armed foreign enemies but by illegal immigrants across America’s porous and undefended borders.

It is more proof of the Orwellian time in which we live that $636 billion appropriated for wars of aggression is called a “defense bill.”

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