Prone Pioneers

sit. Don't lie. I mean, lie all you want to, especially if you're
sitting in office, but don't sit or lie on a San Francisco sidewalk
between 7AM and 11PM, should Proposition L pass this week. Repeated
offenders could be fined up to $500 or jailed for 30 days.

sit. Don't lie. I mean, lie all you want to, especially if you're
sitting in office, but don't sit or lie on a San Francisco sidewalk
between 7AM and 11PM, should Proposition L pass this week. Repeated
offenders could be fined up to $500 or jailed for 30 days.

the land, new laws are being introduced to criminalize our most
vulnerable and destitute. In Santa Cruz, one can now be arrested for
sleeping outdoors, including "in, on or under any parked vehicle,"
between 11PM and 8:30AM. Venice Beach is also banning sleeping in parked

our most desperate for being desperate is not only cruel, it's also a
self defeating proposition. The homeless can't pay their fines, and if
you jail them, it's only a waste of tax money. Take Boulder, which has a
law prohibiting camping outside overnight. Like all of our other
municipalities, Boulder doesn't have nearly enough beds in its shelters.
In the last four years, Boulder has handed out over 1,600 tickets to
its homeless. Hundreds have been arrested when they can't pay up. After a
night or two in jail, they end up on the streets again. The idea, I
think, is to chase these people from Boulder altogether. They can become
someone else's problem.

this depression becomes more undeniable, as more homes are foreclosed,
more jobs evaporate, more businesses shut down, as our homeless
population explodes, you can count on seeing more laws passed against
helpless people sitting, camping or maybe just coughing on the sidewalk.
Each city and town will try to dump its economic casualties onto the
next. The homeless of Manhattan can trek over to Newark. Those in Newark
can shuffle to Manhattan... While we're at it, we should pass laws
against curling up in a dumpster or being frozen to death outside.

already lead the world in incarceration rate. More than one percent of
American adults are jailed. With many more to be locked up, expect more
prisons to be privatized. Lowest bidders will get the contracts.
Privately run means more efficiency, means trimming costs. Just pack
them in and, instead of sloppy joe, just feed them soy burgers or
whatever. There's a growth industry for all you investors out there.

Sign displayed by some bongo banging guy in Boulder: "Sleep is an Involuntary Action. Which is NOT ILLEGAL."
Yet sleeping on the sidewalk, even when you have nowhere else to sleep,
is already illegal in many American places. During too late late
capitalism, just about any street activity is illicit or a nuisance.
Don't beg. Don't peddle. Don't busk. Don't even loiter. Just walk
straight in to that big box store, why don't you, and be a good

from a Bart station in San Francisco, I saw two men tap dancing quite
magnificently to a rapt crowd of tourists. Dollar bills filled their
donation bag. Everyone was having a good time until an unsmiling,
shades-wearing cop appeared. Show's over. Edward Jackson,
one of the dancers, knew his nemesis, "Why do you always do this to me,
Bob?" Hearing no answer, Ed continued, "Don't you have anything better
to do than stopping a black man from making an honest living?" Still no
answer. "Why don't you go down to the Tenderloin and arrest all those
crack smoking junkies?! How am I going to pay my rent if you don't let
me make an honest living? What do you want me to do, go mug somebody?!"

transplant from Detroit, Ed later told me that he had been dancing in
downtown San Francisco for more than a decade, and that he made several
more times than his wife, with her straight job in a retail store.
Unlike most of us, Ed can't be fired, but he can certainly be thwarted
by a policeman.

If we can't make a dime on the street, will Big Brother
leave us alone if we just putz putz around in our own backyard? Not so
fast. In Michigan, House Bill 6458, introduced by two Democrats, Gabe
Leland and Mike Huckleberry, will prohibit farming in any city with a
population of 900,000 or more. Why didn't they name Detroit outright,
since it's the only one that qualifies? And what's going on here,

farming is about the only positive development in Detroit right now. If
more Americans planted their own vegetables and raise their own
chickens, ducks and rabbits, etc, even in the cities, they wouldn't have
to rely on the toxic factory farms, but Detroit is the only American
city without a supermarket chain, so access to food, even crappy stuff,
is already limited. With factories gone, jobs gone, can't a person plant
an odd cabbage without being branded a criminal?!

seems to be a pattern here. In Chicago, school cafeterias are banned
from using vegetables grown on school ground, by the children
themselves. Big Brother is even messing with the Amish. Dan Allgyer, of
Kinzers, PA, has been harassed by our Food and Drug Administration for
supposedly selling unpasteurized milk, a charge he denies. Even if he
was, I'd rather drink milk from any Amish farm than the diseased product
on supermarket shelves.

all of our interlocking systems unravel in the years ahead, each of us
will have to become more self-sufficient and resourceful. Each
community, each neighborhood, will finally be introduced to itself. For
better or worse, you will be welcomed home. You will be home, at last.
As we stagger forward, don't scorn the ones who are currently scraping
by on the fringe, the day-laborers, odd job men, buskers, the peddlers
pushing carts, even the homeless, for they are the point men, the
pioneers of our time.

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