May 27, 2008

"There was a time when residents in this liberal college city would greet homeless people by name."

The L.A. Times takes note of an attitude change in Madison, Wisconsin:
They'd stop to chat with Scanner Dan, the grizzled guy with a walkie-talkie buzzing at his hip as he asked for change. They'd offer odd jobs to a man known as Snowball, who was rumored to have been a smuggler for the Chicago mob during Prohibition.

Then two violent slayings in less than three months shook residents in the state capital, which is also home to the main campus of the University of Wisconsin.

Both victims were stabbed in their homes in the middle of the day by strangers, police said.

Though investigators have no suspects, the police focused on the city's homeless and transients, among others. Now a backlash against Madison's down-and-out population is brewing.

108 comments:

Original Mike said...

In Snowball's day, he was unique. I suspect the increase in the number of panhandlers has contributed to the change in attitude.

rhhardin said...

Conservatives get a bad name from liberals who have been mugged joining them. Right idea for the wrong reason.

PatCA said...

"Local governments nationwide are struggling with increasing numbers of homeless amid a slumping economy..."

I blame Bush!

Actually, as LAPD has found, homeless havens attract criminals: paroled rapists, drug addicts and drug dealers and assorted other criminals, because that's where the action is and they can count on "advocates" to supply an environment conducive to their lifestyle. Many homeless in LA also actually do have homes but frequent Skid Row because criminals like to be in areas where crime is tolerated.

AJ Lynch said...

I suspect global warming is making Madison's climate more like California and that means more homeless in Madison. Will alligators soon follow?

therapydoc said...

People watch too much Law and Order.

SteveR said...

Both victims were stabbed in their homes in the middle of the day by strangers, police said.

Have they really ruled out everyone but "strangers"?

Hoosier Daddy said...

""There was a time when residents in this liberal college city would greet homeless people by name.""

Well it would be nice if there was a time when slipping a dollar in their McDonald's cup would be replaced by some kind of actual help that got them off the street and become self reliant.

I think there is something seriously wrong in a country where people beg for money on the street yet we have to import millions of illegals to do work the beggers evidently can't lower themselves to do.

PatCA said...

Oh, and a movie based on the LAT writer Steve Lopez's "gruffly tender" book about his friendship with a local homeless man is coming out soon and will teach us a lesson I'll bet.

The Soloist

I love the cast and the director. I just hope it's not gruffly tender.

Trumpit said...

"Many homeless in LA also actually do have homes..."

Thank you, Pat, for the early morning chuckle. All those people on skid row actually have mansions in Beverly Hills. You can tell by 90210 zip code tattooed on their left shoulder. Btw, the median price for a home in L.A. is over 1/2 a million dollars.

PatCA said...

What's so funny, Trumpit, about people who actually have a place to live hanging out in a "homeless" high crime area? Did I say they lived in Beverly Hills?

Henry said...

...a backlash is brewing

?????

Not only a mixed metaphor, a regretably passive sentence. And what is this "backlash" anyway? To quote from the article, we have "a lot more door-locking going on when people are home" and "bars and restaurants [...] starting to walk their staff home at night."

This isn't a backlash, it's sensible behaviour. When the liberal denizens of Madison vote in Judge Roy Bean as sheriff to clear out the riff-raff, then we can talk backlash.

Michael_H said...

"There was a time when residents in this liberal college city would greet homeless people by name."

Hey, professor Barrett, how's the job search goin'?

P. Rich said...

Victims are necessary to the existence of modern liberal-progressives. Thudpucker's Law says that liberals are precluded from doing anything actually effective to help victims because the consequences would be too threatening.

Muffdiver's Corollary explains that liberals therefore must say and believe they are doing effective compassionate things, even though they are not, so they can live with Thudpucker's Law.

John K. said...

Is "Cosmo" still walking amok on State Street?

the wolf said...

So the key to being a successful homeless person is to have a catchy nickname to separate yourself from the faceless rabble.

AJ Lynch said...

Speaking of Professor Barrett, anyone see Jesse Ventura on the news last week?

Ventura seems to doubt the hijacked planes caused the WTC twoers to collapse.

MadisonMan said...

I agree with Henry's 11:34 statement. What backlash?

a freshman at the University of Wisconsin -- took an evening astronomy course this year, she didn't feel comfortable walking back to her dormitory alone.

"If no one else was available, she'd call me or my wife and we'd drive her back," the former mayor said. "It doesn't matter that it's only a few blocks. It only matters that she's safe."


Is the mayor's daughter a functioning adult? Why would someone take an evening course if they have no way to get from point A to point B afterwards? Whatever happened to good old-fashioned planning!

Hoosier Daddy said...

Is the mayor's daughter a functioning adult? Why would someone take an evening course if they have no way to get from point A to point B afterwards? Whatever happened to good old-fashioned planning!

That's not what I read. Looks like she can walk just fine but is obviously fearful doing so.

It certainly is sad when old fashioned planning entails not being able to take college courses in the evening for fear of being raped or murdered.

Michael_H said...

"a freshman at the University of Wisconsin -- took an evening astronomy course this year, she didn't feel comfortable walking back to her dormitory alone."

"If no one else was available, she'd call me or my wife and we'd drive her back," the former mayor said. "It doesn't matter that it's only a few blocks. It only matters that she's safe."

Poor kid. She can't even call for a cab because, you know, Carleton Armstrong might be driving it.

MadisonMan said...

Looks like she can walk just fine but is obviously fearful doing so.

Fear can run your life if you let it. That is not how I would want to live.

Methadras said...

I used to remember a guy like that out here in the East County of San Diego, in a city called El Cajon. His name was Radio Joe. Sweet guy who used to walk around with a radio on his shoulder and all he wanted was D-Size cells to power it. Never asked for anything beyond that. I have no idea what happened to him.

Moose said...

Ann Arbor had our famous homeless like Shaky Jake.

The key to them being tolerated (or even lionized) was their relative scarcity.

When they started proliferating and becoming abusive, then people sorta stopped being amused by them.

I'm having trouble figuring out why that's such a hard thing to understand.

It seems that college towns like their homeless to give them some sort of "gritty appeal". Plus dropping money in their cups is a so much more immediately gratifying experience than mailing checks to "Doctors without Borders".

Original Mike said...

I have two words for the "former mayor": Second Amendment.

former law student said...

Stabbers are more likely to be psychopaths than transients. I'd look for someone who works as a handyman or janitor, who lives with his mother, a former mental patient.

peter hoh said...

Becoming a homeless guy in a college town was so going to be my retirement plan. Now I'll have to come up with something else.

Cedarford said...

The era of romanticizing bums started in the 60s. For a time, certain cities trumpeted how "homeless friendly" they were. And, in Reagan's time, Hollywood celebrities took up their cause.

Slowly, the trend reversed as cities and people realized much of the homeless population was criminal, or voluntary parasites that didn't want to work but to remain in their drug and alcohol use.

Celebs stopped inviting The Homeless to Malibu. San Fran began rousting them off the streets. Rudy cracked down on the "Squeegee People" and evicted them from public places. College towns started to realize aggressive panhandling - and the cussing guy smelling of years-old piss dozing one off in the library wasn't a benefit to students or residents.

PatCA said...

MadisonMan,
There's healthy fear and there's paranoia. Women who think fearlessness, based on nothing except their attitude, will protect them, are stupid.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

"Stabbers are more likely to be psychopaths than transients"

A lot of homeless are not transient. They are permanent fixtures. There is one guy, gal and their dog that are everlastingly positioned on a strategic corner with a sign that they need money, ran out of gas. They have been out of gas for several years now.

Bob said...

People like their homeless as long as they are seemingly benign. Once they become aggressive or they percieve them to be a threat then the welcome mat gets rolled back. No one should be surprised when a locality, which is friendly or welcoming to the homeless, would see a rise in its homeless population over time.

Original Mike said...

They have been out of gas for several years now.

I know how they feel.

Roger J. said...

No one, to my knowledge, really knows how many homeless there are. But we have certainly consstructed their "narratives." There is the "homeless vet"--at least thats the sign these bums scribble on their begging poster, and, of course, the bleeding hearts project their version of events on these neer-do-well "victim" of "the man." Thus, are they fit into someone's larger narrative. Then there are the people who genuinely need help and who might have been institutionalized. To their misfortune, our penchant for doing nice does us in: we let people who need to be institutionalized, or at least placed in a more supervised settings, run loose--it was, of course, for their own good. And then we have those who are "homeless" and make a living panhandling. these folks have residences, are not addicts, and simply find it easier to make a living pan-handling. All three types were documented on that bastion of conservatism, NPR several years back. So when speaking of "the homeless" let's be sure just who we are talking about.

Ann Althouse said...

1. Re fear of walking home at night: The 2 murders happened to people who were at home and during the day.

2. It seems wrong to call panhandlers and street people homeless. They might have a place to stay. They make $10 an hour when they panhandle in "Peace Park" here I just read the other day. And some people with jobs don't have homes. There are different problems that shouldn't be confused.

3. Re Second Amendment: Do you know it's illegal to carry pepper spray here?

Trooper York said...

Move back to Brooklyn where it's safe. And your next door neighbor has an arsenal, just in case you want to borrow a shotgun.

Pogo said...

I'm all for helping people improve their lives," said Mohs, 71, a retired real estate lawyer who has owned property downtown for 50 years. "But that's not what we're dealing with here. It's aggressive panhandling, aggressive touching, scary behavior from people on drugs or mentally ill."

Well said.
But homeless activists will surely defend their right to engage in aggressive panhandling, aggressive touching, and scary behaviors.

LA TImes story summary:
Homelessness is all fun and games until someone's daughter gets killed.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

"They make $10 an hour when they panhandle in "Peace Park" here I just read the other day"

And of course they are declaring their income and paying taxes on it. ;-)

Seriously. This makes me mad when I have to pay my quarterly taxes and pony up for my health insurance. You know all these so called 'homeless' are collecting tax free benefits (Medicaide, SSI, Welfare, food stamps etc) If you add it all up they are probably making more money... NET...than many blue collar workers who pay house payments, car insurance, house insurance, buy groceries and all the other fees, fines and taxes that come with being a legal worker.

" Re Second Amendment: Do you know it's illegal to carry pepper spray here?"

Then how about just carry some Avon perfume and spritz the attacker. That should do it. That stuff is lethal and legal too, I think.

Trooper York said...

I bet Pallidan can hook you up.

AJ Lynch said...

On what grounds, is pepper spray illegal Ann?

Trooper York said...

Can you carry one of those big ass pepper mills to bash the homeless over the head and then grind the pepper into their face? That could work.

Rick Lee said...

Here in Charleston, WV we have ONE homeless celebrity. He's truly a special case.

I used to have a group of these guys that hung out in the alley behind my office. If I was sitting on the toilet I could listen to their conversations through the window. Lemme tell ya it was very educational. They would trade information on what sort of sob stories were working in the panhandling trade these days.

Pogo said...

Funny ther LA Times didn't point to their own efforts to undo the damage of homelss advocates: The Reclamation of Skid Row" by Heather Mac Donald

"Before Smith’s Safer City Initiative began in September 2006, Skid Row’s 50 blocks had reached a level of depravity that stunned even longtime observers. Encampments composed of tents and cardboard boxes covered practically every inch of sidewalk. Their 1,500 or so occupants, stretched out in lawn chairs or sprawled on the pavement, injected heroin and smoked crack and marijuana in plain view, day and night. Feces, urine, and drug-resistant bacteria coated the ground. Even drug addicts were amazed at the scene.

The human chaos hid entrenched criminal networks.

A pitiless law of the jungle ruled social relations.

Nonviolent crime also metastasized on Skid Row, fed by government welfare.

This lawlessness hurt Skid Row’s law-abiding residents the most.

By now, public and private entities have spent $350 million on homeless housing downtown without quieting the activists.

Four mornings a week, Safer City squads blanket Skid Row’s most intractable blocks. Much of their effort targets quality-of-life issues—discouraging public drinking and littering, stopping sales of counterfeit merchandise, nabbing illegal dumpers. “The key to SCI is perception,” Smith says. “Do people feel comfortable coming down here? We talk to the homeless and ask them what still needs to be done.”

Original Mike said...

Ann asked: 3. Re Second Amendment: Do you know it's illegal to carry pepper spray here?

I didn't, actually. Sheesh!

I am assuming (though in point of fact I don't know) that carrying a hand gun is illegal in Madison. Hence, my suggestion to our "former mayor" that he reconsider the virtues of the 2nd Amendment if he's concerned about his daughter.

Hoosier Daddy said...

3. Re Second Amendment: Do you know it's illegal to carry pepper spray here?

That's reassuring since there are so many documented cases of assaults being initiated with the victim being blinded by pepper spray.

I went to school at Indiana University Northwest which is located in that bastion of crime known as Gary Indiana. Believe me, more than a few students including yours truly exercised our 2nd Amendment rights when going to class particularly if it was a night class.

And it was a commuter college which meant night classes were par for the course as most of us had jobs and not a trust fund to get us through.

knoxwhirled said...

It certainly is sad when old fashioned planning entails not being able to take college courses in the evening for fear of being raped or murdered.

Time for a Concealed Carry permit! If the campus women's groups were worth a &%^$# they'd get the ladies to start packin

Ann Althouse said...

I'm seeing some sprays advertised as legal in Wisconsin, but there is a law outlawing Mace and some sprays.

And there is a Wisconsin law against carrying a concealed guy, so that's out.

Ann Althouse said...

I mean concealed gun.

If you can conceal a guy on your person....

Trooper York said...

"And there is a Wisconsin law against carrying a concealed guy, so that's out"

What cross-trainers are illegal in Madison? I thought it was very liberal there. Bigots.

Hoosier Daddy said...

And yes it was against school policy to carry a gun on school property even if you had a permit and was licensed.

Needless to say we disobeyed, questioned authority and exercised our right of dissent.

It was so liberating.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I mean concealed gun.

If you can conceal a guy on your person....


I'm sure Titus can enlighten us on the particulars.

Trooper York said...

Plus, what if you had a midget
bodyguard. A real mean midget bodyguard. You shouldn't be a sizeist. Some of those little dudes are real tough. They can bite you in the ankle and hang on like a bulldog.

Ann Althouse said...

And here's a blog post by the former mayor, Paul Soglin:

Fortunately, the Wisconsin Assembly barely mustered the votes necessary to sustain Governor Doyle's Veto of the Conceal and Carry bill. From The Capital Times:

Assembly Fails to Override Gov's Veto on Concealed Weapons Bill
By Anita Weier
The state Assembly failed today to override Gov. Jim Doyle's veto of bill that would have allowed Wisconsin residents to carry a concealed weapon with a permit in most cases.

The vote was 64-34, two short of the two-thirds majority required. The Senate approved the override Thursday on 23-10 vote.

Two Democrats who had voted for the bill when it originally passed changed their votes. They were Rep. John Steinbrink of Pleasant Prairie and Rep. Terry Van Akkeren of Sheboygan.

Steinbrink issued a written statement saying he had heard from a large number of constituents on both sides of the issue.

From a city where we average about 3 homicides a year for the last twenty years, a big thank you to the Assembly Democrats who voted "no," especially to the two who switched after hearing from their constituents, the Senators who voted "no," and the tireless effort on the part of the Governor and his staff (Go Shawn!) who worked to sustain the veto.

Another special thank you is in order to all of the professional law enforcement officials, hunters and gun owners who joined with health care workers and professionals raising their voices with pleas for sanity.

Original Mike said...

So which is it, Paul? Is Madison safe, or not?

Moose said...

"...a concealed guy..."

Is that like a Trunk Monkey?

Trooper York said...

Is that a guy in your pocket or are you just happy to be taking Constitutional Law 101?

former law student said...

I wonder if the Supremacy Clause means letter carriers in Wisconsin can still carry dog spray to deter attackers. A cousin of mine was attacked by a dog and laid up for several weeks. He quit that job because of it.

Just get a squirt gun and load it with Louisiana Hot Sauce.

froggyprager said...

I am not sure that most people connect the murders and their feelings about the homeless in Madison. This is not Berkley. I think most folks tolerate the homeless and are occasionally annoyed by them but the cozy relationship has been gone for years for most folks.

I know that police have arrested and questioned many homeless because of the murders but I think that the citizens would not have cared if this occurred without any murders.

This type of article may actually add fuel this connection and make more people think that the homeless may have actually be murderers and criminals. I am sure that many parents of UW students will see the article. Thanks LA Times.

Is there crime here? yes. Should a person, especially a female, walk home at night alone downtown. Not here and not in any city. Maybe the crimes have reminded people of that. This has little to do with our homeless population.

Pogo said...

This has little to do with our homeless population.
So you've solved the murders then?

Michael_H said...

Your neighborhood Cabela's will happily sell you either of these handy defense items.

Jogger Fogger - $14.99.
This pepper spray self-defense device fits comfortably in your hand with a stretch band to hold it in place while you run. It can also be worn on a belt and carried by mail carriers, delivery personnel, meter readers, bicyclists or anyone out for a stroll. It's one of the most versatile self-defense units on the market. Fog spray pattern. 1.9 oz.

Super Magnum Bear Spray With Chest Holster - $59.99
Feel more secure and capable of defending yourself. The Magnum PD is a 13.4-oz. canister of potent pepper spray that will deter any assailant. 35-ft. Fog spray pattern. Highest amount of spray volume. Chest holster included.

I take one with me when I go trail hiking in the northwoods - bear country. And meth country, too.

I'm not keen on being assaulted by man or beast, so I don't give much worry about whether Gov. Doyle's desire to render me defenseless.

Michael_H said...

/ I don't worry about Gov. Doyle's desire to render me defenseless.

Sorry.

Revenant said...

I think there is something seriously wrong in a country where people beg for money on the street yet we have to import millions of illegals to do work the beggers evidently can't lower themselves to do.

Nobody panhandles because they actually need money for food or shelter. Every panhandler you see is either crazy, on drugs, or a con artist. Or some combination of those three things, of course.

None of which are traits I want in an employee.

Martin Gale said...

3. Re Second Amendment: Do you know it's illegal to carry pepper spray here?

But a light vinaigrette spray is not only allowed, it's recommended. (College towns defy caricature.)

The Drill SGT said...

Time for a Concealed Carry permit! If the campus women's groups were worth a &%^$# they'd get the ladies to start packin

Unfortunately women's groups are politically aligned against their self-interest on this one.

If a 120 lb 70 y/o woman is confronted by a 200 lb 20y/o man, her only equalizer is going to be Smith & Wesson

doing a karate yell likely won't impress him

chaz said...

If you're talking about Wis. Stat. § 941.26(4)(L), it is illegal for a convicted felon to possess "any device or container that contains a combination of oleoresin of capsicum and inert ingredients but does not contain any other gas or substance that will cause bodily discomfort." I don't see anywhere in the Wisconsin Statutes that makes it illegal for anyone else to carry it. As far as USE, it is illegal to use other than in self-defense.

Chet said...

I can't believe the LA Times thinks that Madison, Wisconson is the same as Berkeley, California.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Nobody panhandles because they actually need money for food or shelter. Every panhandler you see is either crazy, on drugs, or a con artist. Or some combination of those three things, of course.

None of which are traits I want in an employee.


I agree. Its just that you tell the Save the Homeless crowd that kind of stuff and you get spit on. The liberal mindset is that no one would willingly live on the street if they didn't have to whereas I say they don't if they got a job which means they prefer panhandling over working.

Ignacio said...

no one here has yet mentioned young panhandlers -- which is what we mostly see here in portland, oregon. downtown streetcorners where you can get a lot of money (like outside either broadway entrance to nordstrom's) are controlled by the streetgangs (known as "families") who may look like they're runaways in blue mohawks but are often in their mid-20s and run by an ex-con in his 30s.

if you just show up in town and panhandle on the wrong corner you'll get your ass seriously kicked. and prison-style discipline against anyone who talks to the police is strictly enforced.

the homeless advocates are a powerful lobby. if you live "on the street" in portland you can eat meals at 3 or 4 places downtown, free, no questions asked, prepared by excellent chefs.

most sleep in squats run by the families, occasionally in a shelter if the weather is particularly or there's too much "drama" going on in the squat.

the internet offers guides to the best places in most cities for free food, best accomodations, best dope.

if you drop out of college and begin living in a squat are you homeless?

in portland, incidentally, crimes such as gay-bashing (the gangs look for "fags" as easy targets at night) or muggings near ATMs rarely get in the newspaper. ask why.

the "kids" in mohawks add to the "colorful" atmosphere downtown in pioneer square. by the way, male or female, you have to earn your mohawk by beating someone up.

such shelters as outside/in offer free acupuncture std treatment and massage. every single "youth" down here seeks to outdo the other in their tale of sexual abuse. every single one claims he or she was raped and beaten as a child. are any of these stories true?

the older street people are disliked by and often subject to pile-on violence by the street-kid gangs.

knoxwhirled said...

the "kids" in mohawks add to the "colorful" atmosphere downtown in pioneer square.

I saw a "City Confidential" on Portland recently. There were lots of people taking inordinate pride in its diversity...

Michael_H said...

I think owning a spray container of hornet and wasp spray is legal, as is its use.

A case of Champion Spray-On-Wasp-Bee-Killer can be purchased for about $53. The cans have a 20 foot range.

since many panhandlers look waspish, what's the harm in carrying?

Here's a link: http://www.restockit.com/Champion-Spray-on-Wasp-Bee--Hornet-Killer--(5108CHASE)---ON-SALE-TODAY!.html?source=froogle

titusisbackintown said...

Good evening fellow republicans and lovers of the Bush Doctrine and haters of everything democrat, liberal, academic, environmental and anything else not republican.

My mother told me about those two girls in Madison. Very sad and very odd.

Let's talk about happy things. Like me.

How was your weekend fellow patriots?

Mine was fun, fabulous, fierce and amazing.

I was on Fire Island over the weekend and the competition is going to be challenging and at times depressing. The girls have put the hours in at the gym and they are ready to work the runway.
They are in full plumage (is that the word when the peacock spreads its wings)?

I went to a fabulous cookout at someone's fabulous home with a fabulous pool and fabulous food where there were some amazing dishes being passed and I am not talking about the macaroni salad. Oh stop me I am on fire. Pleeeease someone call the police.

I saw Calvin Klein-she is looking old.

Friday I read Good and Evil.
Saturday I did a really hot guy originally from Guatemala. Sunday I went to a cookout and all day I was at the beach. Monday was another beach day and a lovely dinner at one of the only restaurants on the island. The rare clumbers were a huge hit of course. I have got my work cut out for me this summer. I see the competition is going to be cut throat and bringing their best game to the arena. I feel somewhat confident but have a tinge of uncertainty and insecurity. My world is so difficult at times. We can't just go to any cook out and where some lousy outfit and have a bad body. We have to be on. Clothes and body have to be impeccable.

Wish me luck!

Revenant said...

Its just that you tell the Save the Homeless crowd that kind of stuff and you get spit on.

Actually, I know a member of the "Save the Homeless" crowd and she's the one who told me to never ever give money to panhandlers, for the reasons I cited.

So maybe it varies.

titusisbackintown said...

wear not where.

Also, Monday I did a repeat from the NYC.

I really don't want to do repeats when I am on a weekend getaway.

Especially repeats from NYC.

She's cute and all but she doesn't know how to give a good blowjob. I was like let's find someone else who can blow us together while we makeout. She was reluctant at first because she wanted to be "alone together" but eventually she gave in and we did locate a good cocksucker. Generally and thankfully, on Fire Island you don't need to look far to find a competent cocksucker.

Trooper York said...

I think woman should always carry a can of Easy-off oven cleaner. Or is that too sexist?

titusisbackintown said...

Men, I got the memo and have our marching orders for this summer's sytles:

Shirts-vintage Penquin-athletic fit of course; Ben Sherman; Diesel has made a nice resurgence after many years in the dark; plain white tankeys (a staple); John Varvatos; Prada; Mui Mui. Avoid bright colors.

Pants-sporty Penquin bottoms-great for the gym, beach or even out; Prada Sport-can't go wrong; D&G;

Jewelry-large white watches, Channel wrist band; Prince Albert

Jeans-True Religion; Paper Denim Cloth; Levis 501; Diesel.

Shoes-think sporty white. Prada, Gucci; Puma; Steve Madden; Aldo.

Music-AIR; Groove Armada, Madonna (new one of course); Bright Eyes; Serge Gainsburg; Kruder and Dorfmeister; Miles Davis; old Yaz-they are on tour this summer-Alison Moyet rules; Beethoven; Shostokovich; George Michael; Peggy Lee; Joy Division; Puccini

DJ-Peter Rauhofer

Destinations: Ptown; Fire Island; Oqunquit, Maine

Now get busy.

titusisbackintown said...

As George Bush our amazing leader said after 9/11 get shopping!!!

titusisbackintown said...

Oh and abs are the new biceps.

Palladian said...

"the older street people are disliked by and often subject to pile-on violence by the street-kid gangs."

"There was nothing I hated more than to see a filthy old drunkie, a-howling away at the filthy songs of his fathers and going blurp blurp in between as if it were a filthy old orchestra in his stinking rotten guts. I could never stand to see anyone like that, especially when they were old like this one was."

Palladian said...

I almost wish civilization would collapse just to see what would happen to parasites like titus in the ensuing chaos.

Clumber steak, anyone?

titussbackintown said...

You need a big hug Palady Malady.

I can take you shopping and we can find you a couple of cute little numbers to cheer you up.

PatCA said...

Pogo,
That City Journal article tells the truth. I am downtown pretty often, and it's bad. These are not homeless people; these are people that look like zombies from 28 Days Later. The advocates are fighting the newer residents, too, because the (mostly liberal) artists and yuppies down there realize their lives are in danger from these guys.

Yes, there are many handicapped people and poor people down there in HUD housing who are victimized too, all because of advocates whose ideas were discredited decades ago.

titussbackintown said...

Also, the Prince Albert's should not be clunky overbearing hoops like in the past.

This year the Prince Albert is all about understatement, taste and subtlety.

titussbackintown said...

Palady Malady's drag personae is one of anguish, pain and regret. I am picturing her come out, center stage right, with a steak on her head, perhaps a caste or some contraption where she has something wrapped around her head with a large thermomater sticking out of her ass. Her dress is something from the set of Gone With the Wind.

Her performance consists of her complaining and bitching about everyone and everything.

I anticipate this could be a huge success.

titussbackintown said...

thermometer

titussbackintown said...

themometer

Trooper York said...

Margo Channing: Fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy night!
(All About Eve, 1950)

titussbackintown said...

I am thinking of a cross country tour:

Lypsinka
Scabalo Feces
Evian Waters
The Lady Bunny

And introducing our new talent...Palady Malady.

Jennifer said...

I lived just on the other side of the river from downtown Portland, down the street from a church that operated a soup kitchen. Some of these comments are helping me understand why there were SO many older homeless people hanging out in my 'hood when all the younger kids were downtown.

I always thought of the older guys as security. Who's going to break into a house or a car when there are always a good couple of witnesses around? My Dad thought I was a nut and was convinced they would break into my house or car, but they never did. They did, however, whip up every box of recyclables I ever set out on the sidewalk. Like, immediately. It was a symbiotic relationship.

Palladian said...

Where's Titus? I'm thinking third person in on the lower left.

Freeman Hunt said...

I like cities where the panhandlers actually do something to earn the money (play music, dance, whatever).

The worst are the panhandlers in DC. I had a panhandler there grab me by the wrist and say, "Give me some money, bitch!" Excuse me, are you panhandling or are you mugging me...

Before the flood, the panhandlers in New Orleans were just depressing. They'd sit outside Hannah's and whenever they got any money, they'd head straight into the casino.

vbspurs said...

Did anyone watch a documentary by Josh Pais about his Seventh Street cityblock?

From Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, to chronicler of one East Village street's gentrification. Gotta love it.

Anyway, one of the main characters was a beautiful homeless guy, who tragically lost his entire family to murder, and lost his mental bearings (but not in the flailing, schizo kind despite being drunk a lot).

He was such a sweet lost soul, and I used to know a lot of guys like that, in Brazil.

At the end of the doc, it says he is presumed dead as the cops cleared the street in the Giuliani era.

I love the idea of "Scanner Dan"s. They are the closest things to the tradition of village idiots left in this crazy asphalt jungle world.

Cheers,
Victoria

Ignacio said...

one of the gangs of street-kids who panhandle in downtown portland is run by an older ex-con who calls himself satan.

i'm not kidding on this.

vbspurs said...

Portland, Oregon? That's the runaway capital of the USA no?

Sad, Ignacio.

titussbackintown said...

I forgot to mention Buffalo Jeans low rise.

titussbackintown said...

Buffalo Jeans allows our Red State friends to participate in summer fashions as you can pick them up at Macys.

Richard said...

Giving your homeless folks pet names is like treating them as ... pets. I read the piece with this sick feeling in my gut. The homeless people, I'm thinking, were being PLAYED with. For fun. For entertainment. And to think that people who ignore the homeless are the ones who get the bad name. Heh.

vbspurs said...

Giving your homeless folks pet names is like treating them as ... pets.

What! That's outrageous! And so PC! And well, so outrageous! Did I say that already?

Anyway, haven't you ever heard of Boston's "Chili Man"?

Whether self-appropriated or given to him as a gesture of affection, he's a frequent radio show guest star, and has his own MySpace.

"Couple Beers, No Beers... Chili"

Male
47 years old
Kentucky, Alabama
United States


Cheers,
Victoria

Revenant said...

The homeless people, I'm thinking, were being PLAYED with. For fun. For entertainment.

Yeah, I kind of thought that too. How do you think of a person fondly, and talk to them, and have a nickname for them... and let them sleep in the street? How does that work, exactly?

I understand people who keep their emotional distance (I'm one of them myself). But getting friendly with a person who needs help and then not helping them is kind of twisted, don't you think?

hdhouse said...

Well, now that Mr. Bush and his cronies are leaving office and the republicans are doomed to a general defeat, all the ills mentioned in this thread will just go away in a few months.

tra la la.

Kirk Parker said...

Ann,

Yes, but we also have the hope that someday the common-law right of self-defense will be recognized in Wisconsin, just like it is in most of the rest of the United States.

Original Mike,

It's ostensibly legal to openly carry a handgun in Madison.

The Wisconsin Constitution Article I, Section 25 states: "The people have the right to keep and bear arms for security, defense, hunting, recreation or any other lawful purpose." The WI Supreme Court has ruled that there must be a way for ordinary citizens to exercise this right, so if concealed carry is prohibited then open carry must be permissible. Doesn't mean that various cities and police departments aren't doing their best to evade this ruling, of course.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Well, now that Mr. Bush and his cronies are leaving office and the republicans are doomed to a general defeat, all the ills mentioned in this thread will just go away in a few months.

Of course they would. There is never a homeless problem when Democrats are running the show. Everyone was working, chicken in every pot, intern in every office.

Good times hd, good times.

Ralph said...

Titus, there's a young (under 40) guy at our Y with a silver ring through his scrotum. Is it considered tasteful and subtle if his dick hides most of it?

titustheresnoplacelikehome said...

Sorry Ralph in order to be an authentic Prince Albert it has to be right through the hole of the piss slit.

There should never be any jewelry attached to the sack.

Cockrings of all kinds are completely out also-unless your cock is so big that your Channel wristband can double as a cockring. Than by all means wear it.

There is a bar in Amsterdam called Cockring. I had sex in the bar in some mysterious upstairs room with some hot italian man that didn't speak any English. It was really hot.

Otherwise, it is a weak and not very courageous to go all the way and have it pierced through the piss hole.

I think a good name of a gay bar would be Piss Slit. "Piss Slit this is Scott how can I help you today"?

Why are you looking at someone's sack in the gym?

That's disgusting.

titustheresnoplacelikehome said...

There should never be any hair on the sack either.

By all means shave the sack.

Who wants to lick hairy balls?

Am I right girls?

Ralph said...

Don't things get sticky without hair, or am I just damper than other men?
Dr. Drew Pinsky said people with genital piercings/tattoos were almost always molested as children.

MadisonMan said...

Dr. Drew Pinsky

There are surgeries to correct that.

former law student said...

getting friendly with a person who needs help and then not helping them is kind of twisted

When I was a Boy Scout I would help little old ladies across the street -- whether they wanted to go or not.

Isn't acknowledging someone's humanity enough? Must you impose your view of how he should live on him? Consider feral cats: People put food out for them; they do not try to make them house cats.

titustheresnoplacelikehome said...

Your balls won't get sticky if you shave them Ralph.

Now get the Gillette out and shave that sack.

I am telling you no one is going to be wanting to shave hairy balls.

While you are at it do a nice clipping of the public region. It will accentuate your length and gerth of your hog.

titustheresnoplacelikehome said...

I meant no one is going to want to lick hairy balls. Yuck, who wants a mouth full of hair. Especially ball hair.

Revenant said...

Isn't acknowledging someone's humanity enough? Must you impose your view of how he should live on him?

And here I thought the notion that the homeless were just people with "a different view of how to live" went out in the 70s.

Letting a (for example) schizophrenic drunk sleep who self-medicates with alcohol, pot and cocaine sleep on the sidewalk doesn't suddenly become "acknowledging their humanity" or "not imposing your views" just because you learn the guy's name. I can understand people who keep their emotional distance from the homeless, because it is painful to get involved in what is often an unsolvable problem (you can't be crazy AND a drunk AND free to do as you please AND safe and healthy). But people who are like "oh, hi there Barry the Funny Crazy Homeless guy, how's life in the panhandling biz?" are just creepy too me, because they have (or pretend to have) an emotional connection without showing any of the human concern I would expect a person with a GENUINE emotional connection to have.

former law student said...

I can understand people who keep their emotional distance from the homeless,

I don't. The choice is not between avoiding eye contact and inviting a homeless guy home to live with you. The homeless guy is unlikely to be one Big Mac or hot shower away from reentering society. Most homeless guys have burned every bridge, used up every friendship, dragged down every family member. Pick one (at most two) worthy cause and support it.