Should we make homelessness against the law and simply throw all homeless people into prison so that we don’t have to deal with them? Incredibly, this is actually starting to happen in dozens of major cities all across the United States. It may be difficult to believe, but in many large urban areas today, if you are found guilty of “public camping” you can be taken directly to jail. In some cities, activities such as “blocking a walkway” or creating any sort of “temporary structure for human habitation” are also considered to be serious crimes. And there are some communities that have even made it illegal to feed the homeless without an official permit. Unfortunately, as the U.S. economy continues to slow down the number of homeless people will continue to grow, and so this is a crisis that is only going to grow in size and scope.
Of course the goal of many of these laws is to get the homeless to go somewhere else. But as these laws start to multiply all across the nation, pretty soon there won’t be too many places left where it is actually legal to be homeless.
One city that is being highly criticized for passing extremely draconian laws is Houston. In that city it is actually illegal for the homeless to use any sort of material to shield themselves from the wind, the rain and the cold…
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner is taking a similar approach—his anti-encampment ordinance makes it illegal to use “fabric, metal, cardboard, or other materials as a tent or temporary structure for human habitation.” This ensures that the Houstonian homeless are vulnerable not just to the elements, but also to the constant threat of the police. Officials cite one of the most common justifications for crackdowns on the homeless: neighborhood safety (a more socially acceptable way of talking about the not-in-my-backyard mentality).
With all of the other problems that we are facing as a nation, it stuns me that there are politicians that would spend their time dreaming up such sick and twisted laws.
According to one news report, the homeless in Houston are now officially banned from doing all of the following things…
1. They can’t block a sidewalk, stand in a roadway median or block a building doorway. (AKA they can’t panhandle).
2. They also can’t do any of these things — blocking walkways — under state law that already existed.
3. They can’t sleep in tents, boxes or any other makeshift shelter on public property.
4. They also can’t have heating devices.
5. They can’t carry around belongings that take up space more than three feet long, three feet wide, three feet tall.
6. People can’t spontaneously feed more than five homeless people without a permit.
If I was a homeless person in Houston, I would definitely be looking to get out of there.
But where are they going to go?
Things are almost as bad in Dallas. In fact, it is being reported that the police in Dallas “issued over 11,000 citations for sleeping in public from January 2012 to November 2015.”
When you break that number down, it comes to 323 citations per month.
Of course some people have tried to challenge these types of laws in court, but most of the challenges have been unsuccessful. For example, just check out what recently happened in Denver…
Three people who were contesting Denver’s urban-camping ban were found guilty on Wednesday, April 5, at the Lindsey-Flanigan courthouse. The defendants — Jerry Burton, Randy Russell and Terese Howard — were determined to have unlawfully camped on November 28, 2016, and to have interfered with police operations at one location. All three were sentenced with court-ordered probation for one year and between twenty and forty hours of community service.
The case challenged Denver’s unauthorized-camping ordinance, which has been divisive ever since Denver City Council approved it in 2012.
Since the courts are generally upholding these laws, this has just emboldened more communities to adopt anti-homelessness ordinances. According to one report, dozens of major cities have now passed such laws…
City-wide bans on public camping (PDF) have increased by 69 percent throughout the United States. What used to be seen as an annoyance is now prohibited, forcing fines or jail time on those who certainly can’t afford it. The only nationwide nonprofit devoted to studying this, the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, has been tracking these changes since 2006. Their findings? There are a scary number of laws passed that ironically make it costly to be homeless.
For example, in 33 of the 100 U.S. cities they studied, it’s illegal to publicly camp. In 18, it’s illegal to sleep in public. Panhandling is illegal in 27 cities.
In 39 cities, it’s illegal to live in vehicles.
As I have warned repeatedly, we are seeing hearts grow cold all around us. Instead of doing everything that they can to try to help those in need, communities are trying to make them go some place else, and those that try to feed and help the homeless are being harshly penalized.
Sadly, all of this comes at a time when homelessness is on the rise all over America. In a previous article I pointed out that in New York City the number of homeless people recently hit a brand new all-time high, and things have gotten so bad in Los Angeles that the L.A. City Council has formally requested that Governor Jerry Brown declare a state of emergency.
We tend to think of the homeless as bearded old men with drinking problems, but the truth is that many of the homeless are children.
In fact, the number of homeless children in the United States has risen by about 60 percent since the end of the last recession.
If this is how we are going to treat some of the most vulnerable members of our society while things are still relatively stable, how are we going to be treating one another when the economy completely collapses?
Does it not seem as though events are starting to accelerate significantly? Since I warned that something “had shifted” and that things had “suddenly become more serious“, we have seen the worst mass shooting in U.S. history in Orlando, we have seen the massacre of five police officers in Dallas, we have seen the horrifying terror rampage in Nice, and now we have seen the brutal murder of three police officers in Baton Rouge. On Sunday morning, the peace and quiet in Baton Rouge were shattered when “dozens of shots” erupted less than one mile from police headquarters. By the end of it, 29-year-old Gavin Eugene Long had killed three officers and seriously wounded three others. It was a crime fueled by pure hatred, and Long specifically waited for his 29th birthday to launch the attack…
The shooter who killed three law enforcement officers and wounded three others in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on Sunday was a Missouri man who launched a deadly rampage on his 29th birthday, police sources said.
Gavin Long, who was born on July 17, 1987, was the man who gunned down officers before he was killed in a gunbattle with other officers responding to the shootings.
Two Baton Rouge police officers — ages 41 and 49 — died, said Police Chief Carl Dabadie. The gunman also killed a 45-year-old sheriff’s deputy and critically wounded a 41-year-old deputy who is “fighting for his life,” said East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff Sid Gautreaux.
So what motivated Long to commit this horrible crime?
A Youtube account operated by Gavin Eugene Long and discovered by The Daily Caller reveals key insight into what might have motivated the 29-year-old black man who killed three Baton Rouge police officers Sunday morning.
Videos on Long’s account show that he was a former Nation of Islam member. He also ranted against “crackers” and made references to Alton Sterling, the black man killed by police in Baton Rouge on July 5.
Did Long actually believe that gunning down innocent police officers would honor the memory of Alton Sterling?
Sadly, it appears that there are a lot of other people out there that feel the exact same way that Long did. In fact, there were a number of people that were openly celebrating the shooting of police officers in Baton Rouge on Twitter and calling for more cops to be killed.
Police in Baton Rouge were on high alert earlier this week after a gang – including boys aged just 12 and 13 – were arrested as they tried to steal handguns as part of a ‘substantial, credible threat’ to harm police officers in Baton Rouge.
Authorities discovered the alleged plot while responding to a burglary at a pawn shop early on June 9.
They arrested one suspect – Antonio Thomas, 17 – at the scene with a handgun and a BB gun.
During questioning, Thomas said that he and three other suspects stole the firearms and ‘were going to get bullets to shoot police,’ authorities said.
And another police officer was shot on Sunday in Milwaukee while he was just sitting in his squad car…
A Milwaukee police officer was shot in a “vicious” attack early Sunday as he sat in his squad car while colleagues investigated a domestic disturbance call, an official said.
The suspected shooter, identified by police as a 20-year-old West Allis man with two felonies on his record, was found dead in a nearby yard, they said.
The incident began as a response to a domestic disturbance call near South 17th Street and West Morgan Avenue at about 2 a.m. During that investigation, someone fired shots into the squad car, striking an officer “multiple” times,” Asst. Police Chief William Jessup said in a morning press conference.
Can you imagine the stress that many police officers and their families are feeling these days?
Could you imagine leaving home each day realizing that there is a huge target painted on your chest and that you might not make it home that night to see your family?
I am sure that a lot of law enforcement officers are having some very serious family discussions these days. And I am sure that a lot of them are actually considering leaving law enforcement altogether. All it takes is a single bullet to change your life forever, and right now there are way too many people out there that want to harm anyone in a police uniform.
What feelings must resonate within the patrolman who is responding to a call of domestic violence or simple larceny? Am I the next target? Is this really a routine call for service or is it an ambush?
No longer can the patrolman simply worry about the reported crime itself but rather he or she must approach these events as though they are potentially walking into the next Dallas or Baton Rouge.
And that is no way to function as a police officer. The stress, strain, and uncertainty would be unbearable.
And it isn’t just police officers that need to be concerned about the rising violence.
The Republican National Convention is next week, and it could be a big, fat, juicy target for Islamic terrorists, police haters, or anyone else that is out to make some sort of huge statement. There are going to be thousands of people protecting the convention, but there are still concerns that something unexpected may happen…
The sunny celebration butts uncomfortably against a massive security operation that shows the other side of Cleveland’s big moment. City and U.S. officials are preparing for the worst, aware that tensions over race relations and police use of force, as well as reaction to Trump’s polarizing campaign, could result in violence on the streets.
Clevelanders are also aware of the backdrop for their convention: the mass shooting in Orlando that killed 50 people in June, the sniper attack that killed five Dallas police this month, and the truck assault that killed 84 this week in Nice.
Let us hope and pray for safety in Cleveland, and let us hope and pray that tensions ease in major cities all over the nation.
A dark and distressing time has descended upon the civilized world, and virtually everywhere you look anger and frustration are rising to very dangerous levels.
We were warned that this might be a “summer of chaos”, and so far that has definitely been the case. Let us hope that things start to cool off before events start to spiral completely out of control.
This is what a nation looks like when it starts melting down from within. A series of very disturbing incidents of police brutality against young black males has caused a firestorm to erupt all across the country. You would have thought that the massacre of police in Dallas would have caused everyone to step back and reflect on what is really causing this cycle of violence, but instead the nationwide protests have gotten even bigger and more intense. Over the weekend, protesters attacked police with rocks, bricks, bottles, fireworks, chunks of concrete, Molotov cocktails and rebar from a construction site. In return, police fired pepper spray, smoke bombs and tear gas at protesters. As I write this, more than 200 protesters have been arrested over the weekend so far, and authorities are bracing for what the coming night will bring.
On Saturday night, there was horrible violence against police in St. Paul, Minnesota. That is where my father was originally from, and I remember visiting my grandmother in St. Paul many times. Back in those days, I never would have imagined that someday we would see this kind of violence against law enforcement officers in the city…
At least five officers were injured by protesters — one hit with a glass bottle and another by fireworks, according to St. Paul police. One was hit on the head with a large piece of concrete, possibly dropped from a bridge, according to police.
Another officer had been hit in the head with a rock, though it is unclear the extent of the injuries. Police say a Molotov cocktail was thrown at officers.
Law enforcement used crowd-control measures, including smoke and fired marking rounds similar to paintball rounds, said police spokesman Steve Linders.
According to another report, protesters “were dropping 10lb concrete blocks on officers’ heads, throwing bricks at their heads and genitals, and lobbing Molotov cocktails.”
-In Baton Rouge, a police officer “had several of his teeth knocked out” after being hit by a projectile thrown by protesters. But it could have been a lot worse. According to the Daily Mail, law enforcement authorities confiscated “three rifles, three shotguns and two pistols” from the rioters.
-In Phoenix, protesters launched rocks and projectiles at police and many of them reportedly shouted “We should shoot you!”
-In San Antonio, someone fired “multiple gunshots” at the San Antonio Police headquarters building on Saturday night…
Multiple gunshots were fired at the San Antonio Police headquarters building Saturday night, and police are seeking a suspect who was seen running from the area, SAPD Chief William McManus said.
The shots were fired just before 10 p.m. Saturday. There were no reports of injuries, but bullet marks were found on the exterior wall of the building, McManus said. Shell casings were discovered in a nearby alley.
The mainstream media would have us believe that the shooter in Dallas was a lone nut that acted alone, and that his behavior was not part of a larger trend. But they completely ignored another mass shooting motivated by hate that occurred just hours before the shootings in Dallas…
Hours before a black Army veteran shot 12 officers at a Black Lives Matter protest in Dallas, another former Army soldier was accused of shooting indiscriminately at passing cars and police on a Tennessee highway.
And like the Dallas sniper, Lakeem Keon Scott said he was motivated to act in response to police violence against African-Americans, authorities said Friday.
One woman died and three others, including a police officer, were wounded Thursday morning in the Tennessee rampage, one of several spasms of violence across the country this week amid boiling tensions over policing and race.
And the incident in Dallas could have turned out to be far worse. According to authorities in Dallas, Micah Johnson was found to have had bomb making materials in his home and “was planning a larger attack”…
The gunman who killed five cops in Dallas was planning a larger attack but launched his assault early because the protest was too good an opportunity to miss, a police source said.
Veteran Micah Johnson went on the rampage with an AR-15 assault rifle and handgun on Thursday night, but left explosive material at home.
A law enforcement source told WFAA that Johnson was ‘planning something bigger’ but cut preparations short because he knew scores of police officers would man the Black Lives Matter protest.
At times like this, we desperately need strong leaders to step forward and calm everyone down. Unfortunately, the great leaders of the past are long gone, and they have been replaced by politicians that are trying to figure out how they can best use this unrest for their own political advantage.
Instead of hating one another, we need to start loving one another. Without love, our nation is going to die.
I wish that everyone in the country could be made to understand this, but unfortunately most Americans have chosen a different path, and now we will suffer the consequences.
Today is a day to mourn and pray for America. In Dallas, Texas last night, a hate-filled gunman ruthlessly started gunning down police officers. A total of 12 officers were shot, and five of them are now dead. If we do not learn to love one another, there is no hope for us as a nation. Unfortunately, the love of most people has grown cold, and today messages of hate and division from people on all sides of the debate are being posted all over social media. The massacre in Dallas represented the deadliest day for law enforcement officers in the United States since 9/11, and this is the kind of civil unrest that I have been repeatedly warning is coming to America. I have warned about this in my books, on radio and on television. But of course I am best known for my articles, and the following are just a handful where I warned about what we would soon see…
Johnson, from Mesquite, Texas, a 20 minute drive from Dallas, reportedly told law enforcement that he was a veteran, and claimed to have acted alone, countering initial reports that as many as four gunmen were involved in the massacre.
‘The suspect said he was upset about Black Lives Matter. He said he was upset about the recent police shootings of black suspects. He said he was upset at white people. The suspect stated he wanted to kill white people, especially white officers,’ Dallas Police Chief David Brown revealed at a 7:30am press conference.
Around 11pm on Thursday, cops cornered Johnson at El Centro College and attempted to negotiate, but four hours later the talks failed and a robot was brought in to detonate a bomb and kill the suspect. This was after shots had rung out at a previously peaceful protest in downtown Dallas with demonstrators screaming and running for their lives as cops dropped dead one by one.
What is truly frightening is that it looks like he was potentially planning even more violence in the future. When police searched his home, they found bomb-making materials, rifles, ammunition, and a personal journal of combat tactics.
This attack in Dallas comes on the heels of two separate incidents in which young black men were gunned down by white police officers. The following comes from TruNews…
The Dallas shooting happened as otherwise largely peaceful protests unfolded around the United States after the police shooting of Philando Castile, a 32-year-old black man, on Wednesday during a traffic stop near St. Paul, Minnesota.
The day earlier, police in Baton Rouge shot dead another black man, Alton Sterling, 37, while responding to a call alleging he had threatened someone with a gun.
Racial tensions have soared to frightening levels in this country, and what is needed right now are calls for love and healing.
But instead, many continue to stoke the flames of hatred and division. Here is just one example…
In an interview with BBC Radio 4 in London, Rev Jackson commented on the shooting of unarmed black men by police and the revenge attack in Dallas: ‘It’s a kind of anti-black mood, antisemitism, anti-Muslim bashing, immigrant bashing, female bashing, a kind of mean spirited division in the country.’
Rev Jackson considered what was causing the divisive mood in America.
He said: ‘Threats to deport 15 million immigrants…threats to build a wall between Mexico who we share 2,000 miles of a border, there’s a permissiveness towards black people [which] is readily apparent and we have been used as scape goats for deeper and deeper economic and cultural fears.’
And as I mentioned above, social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter are being absolutely flooded with hate-filled messages toward police officers, white people, black people and those that would seek to bring Americans together in peace and love.
It is a very disgusting thing to see, but this is where we are at as a nation.
Authorities in Tennessee say a man who opened fire on a highway in Tennessee targeted police officers and others because he was troubled by incidents involving black people and law enforcement officers.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation says in a news release that initial conversations with the suspect, identified as Lakeem Keon Scott revealed he was troubled by incidents across the U.S. The FBI says the suspect is black; the shooting victims are all white.
And overall, we have seen a 44 percent increase in the number of law enforcement officers shot and killed so far in 2015…
The number of police officers shot and killed in the USA is 44% higher than at this time last year following the Dallas ambush Thursday night that left five officers dead, according to data from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.
From now on, it is going to take a lot of courage to be a police officer in America.
Personally, I couldn’t imagine going to work every day knowing that you are a potential target wherever you go.
As I discussed the other day, all the way from the top down the United States has become a lawless nation. We have already seen explosions of anger and frustration all over the country, and the chaos and the violence are going to get a lot worse. We are going to see more crime, more riots, more looting and more shootings.
Ultimately, we are going to see major cities in America burn, and there will be declarations of martial law in an attempt to restore order.
I have been warning that these things are coming for a long time, and now they are starting to happen right in front of our eyes.
So is there any hope for us?
Please feel free to share what you think by posting a comment below…
What in the world is going on in the heartland of America? Spring has barely even begun and we are seeing communities all over America being ripped to shreds by gigantic tornadoes. A lot of meteorologists claimed that the nightmarish tornado season of 2011 was an “anomaly”, but 2012 is shaping up to be just as bad or even worse. These tornado outbreaks just seem to keep getting more frequent and more powerful. For example, several “supercell” tornadoes ripped across the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area on Tuesday. People all over America were absolutely horrified as they watched footage of these tornadoes toss around tractor trailers as if they were toy trucks. Personally, I have never seen a tractor trailer tossed 100 feet into the sky before. This is not normal. CBS 11 meteorologist Larry Mowry told his viewers that one of these torandoes was “as serious of a tornado we’ve seen in years“. So why is this happening? Why is the heartland of America being ripped to shreds by gigantic tornadoes that are becoming more frequent and more powerful?
Up to this point in 2012, at least 57 people have been killed by tornadoes across the country. Thousands more have been injured and countless homes have been reduced to splinters. In fact, there have been a couple of small towns that have been essentially wiped off the map by giant tornadoes.
What we are witnessing is not normal. Prior to the horrific tornadoes that we saw on Tuesday, there had been 326 tornadoes in the United States so far in 2012. That is about twice as many as usual for this time of the year.
Overall, the United States only sees about 1,200 tornadoes for the entire year usually. The busiest time of the year for tornadoes is still a way off, and we are on pace for a truly historic year.
But it is not just the number of tornadoes that is the problem. Many of these tornadoes are immensely powerful. The following is how the local CBS affiliate described the damage done by the recent tornadoes in Texas….
Multiple tornadoes threw tractor-trailers in the air, ripped the roof off an elementary school, leveled houses and shut down airline traffic out of Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport as one of the worst storms in years hit North Texas Tuesday.
Baseball-sized hail punched holes through car roofs, and a Red Cross spokeswoman warned the breadth of the destruction may not be cleared until well into Wednesday. The mayors of Arlington and Lancaster declared a state of disaster following the storm strike.
There were even reports of massive “debris balls” in Dallas, Ellis, Johnson and Tarrant counties. These tornadoes picked up huge amounts of debris into the air that were just carried along by the storms. That must have been an absolutely horrifying sight to behold.
A lot of jaw-dropping footage from these tornadoes has already been posted on the Internet. For example, the following video shows tractor trailers being tossed about like rag dolls….
Have you ever seen anything like that before in your life?
I know that I haven’t.
Look, one bad year can be dismissed as a coincidence.
But two historically bad years in a row?
Many would call that a trend.
Last year, America experienced one of the worst tornado seasons of all time. Many Americans will never, ever forget the devastation caused by the tornadoes of 2011.
For example, National Geographic reported that a gigantic F5 tornado that ripped through the Tuscaloosa, Alabama area had winds of up to 260 miles an hour. If you drive through Tuscaloosa today you can see that they are still trying to recover.
And Joplin, Missouri may never be the same again after what happened to that city last year. The gigantic tornado that ripped through Joplin was called by some the deadliest single tornado in more than 60 years.
That mammoth tornado ripped a path of destruction through Joplin that was more than a mile wide and more than 6 miles long. You can see some amazing before and after photographs of Joplin right here.
But people don’t think about what happened to Joplin much anymore because there have been so many other horrific disasters since then.