Category Archives: Local politics

Three-post series on panhandling

(Originally published 12/07/13.)

Concerning Baltimore City’s recent ordinance about panhandling, Dan Rodricks complained that the ordinance didn’t address “the underlying issues;” but then, he didn’t, either. So I thought I would, here. These posts pertain:

(1) I stay at the best shelter on the East Coast;
(2) Obstacles to my prosperity;
(3) Baby steps.

talk show host, on air talent, talk radio, the homeless blogger

The new panhandling controversy in Baltimore

(Originally posted 10/25/2013.)

City considers crackdown on panhandling

Baltimore has another fit of panhandler anxiety

For years, I had the mantra: “Most panhandlers aren’t homeless, and most homeless people don’t panhandle.”

Now I have many acquaintances who do one or the other.

Given recent instability in my support system, I myself may soon become one who does both.

My experience is much informed by what I’ve seen at the McDonald’s I frequent at Baltimore and Light Streets, where some people seem to panhandle outside all day long.
Continue reading The new panhandling controversy in Baltimore

Housing the homeless ain’t that easy

For a long time, I have balked at seeking transitional housing, mainly for two reasons:  (1) There must be a thousand buildings in Baltimore City serving that function, each with its own application process, eligibility criteria and rules — not to mention desirability.  There’s no way to find “the right place” without going to each one in person. (2) I have heard too many credible horror stories of negligent house managers and conflicts with residents who abuse substances, abuse the property, and abuse each other.

Fortunately, the case manager at the clinic appears to have equipped me with the very short list of highest-rated outfits.

Last week’s City Paper cover story sets forth a microcosm of what is, in fact, the big picture:

A new program for the city’s homeless leaves them struggling amid a chaotic system of care

Continue reading Housing the homeless ain’t that easy

No humane death penalty, and other news

Bookmarks:
There’s no humane way to carry out the death penalty.The focal issue for the midterm electionsU.S. “torture” isn’t new.Misleading headline

Continue reading No humane death penalty, and other news

A gun control hypocrite, and other news

Bookmarks:
A gun control hypocrite  •  “Enhanced interrogation”  •  Bail reform measure moves forward  •  Cleaning up McDonald’s  •  Fallen heroes of the Reagan Revolution  •  Early detection of Alzheimer’s  •  Suave coconut body wash

Continue reading A gun control hypocrite, and other news

The Kimberly Leto murder; and other news

Bookmarks:
The Kimberly Leto murder
Controversial books
Governor candidate Mizeur’s crime plan

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The Kimberly Leto murder

February 3 – Police arrest two teenagers in killing of Highlandtown woman
February 4 – Woman’s death in burglary leaves Southeast Baltimore reeling

Random comments:
(1) We must get past the twin scandals of race and class.
(2) My greatest concern is to find out where these two young men “come from.”
(3) Had she had a gun, could that have saved her?
(4) Gorham-Ramos, at age 14, has a daughter?
(5) What was the sentence from the August 19 crime?  N.B., police identified Gorham-Ramos through fingerprints.
(6) Was Gorham-Ramos’ involvement with the August 19 crime sufficient basis to bring him in for questioning concerning the January 31 crime?
(7) I know from my own time in jail why, if at all possible, children should not be incarcerated with adults.
(8) Pinkney appears to have a mental illness, and was off his medications.  The treatment-resistant patient is always problematic.
(9) Does this neighborhood deserve a greater police presence than, say, Barclay?  Actually, during my time there, the police presence was pretty darn high; its visibility heightened by the inexplicable consistent police use of white unmarked cars and white officers.

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Controversial books

These have been on display in the main hall at EP, and I get to browse them while waiting for a computer. I have not read either one.

American Apartheid: Segregation and the Making of the Underclass (Harvard University Press, 1998)

“This powerful and disturbing book clearly links persistent poverty among blacks in the United States to the unparalleled degree of deliberate segregation they experience in American cities.”

Not to short-sell the book, this is wholly consistent with the politically correct proposition I questioned in “My Homeless Self.” I wonder how the authors account for that portion of the underclass which are white, and how they got there.

Erasing Racism: The Survival of the American Nation

This was originally published in 2002. Author Molefi Kete Asante (born Arthur Lee Smith Jr. on August 14, 1942) has an impressive page at Wikipedia and appears to be a leader in all things Afro-centric.

He demands reparations.

This fits squarely within the definition of ideology I set forth in “The Gospel vs. George F. Will.” As I said there, it says, “‘We’ cannot be happy unless ‘they’ change their ways.”

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Mizeur’s crime plan calls for shift from ‘mass incarceration’ to prevention in Maryland

I have no desire to ally myself with anything liberal; and my first, personal, gut response to Heather Mizeur is to dislike her. And most critically, I have no idea what she means by “prevention.” Aside from all that, I find her proposals exciting.

  1. Incarceration — From what I saw in my own time in jail, in general incarceration accomplishes nothing, and does so only at a tremendous financial cost to the taxpayers.  My estimate is that as many of 60% of those in prison have no good reason to be there.  Be aware:  these are not nice people.  But there’s no need for them to be incarcerated.  And without having the exact figures, my guess is that my own 40 days in jail may have cost the taxpayers $10,000.
  2. Juvenile detention — I am without an opinion as to her plan.  The one individual whose advice I look forward to on this question is the Hon. Martin P. Welch, who may or may not publicly opine.
  3. Backgrounds — Click the link to see my previous remarks on this subject.
  4. Gun laws — OK, maybe she’s tossed a bone to the anti-gun lobby.  The proposal seems reasonable enough to me.  I hope to hear pro-gun folks’ opinions.