Great Commentary on the Homeless Situation in SF

Starchild, you wrote: "aggression by the homeless...urinating on the street..."

I disagree: urinating on Govt streets does not constitute the initiation of aggression against an innocent person or his property.

Marc, In your response to Starchild, I'm not clear what points of his does (3) takes issue with?

Warm regards, Michael


  Perhaps it is not outright aggression, but it can create a sort of tragedy of the commons when done as thoughtlessly as it sometimes is by people on the street.

Love & Liberty,
                               ((( starchild )))

How many homeless folks do you think are sleeping on the street because the car they were using got impounded? For that matter, sleeping in your car is actually illegal in this town, for all our city's compassion.
While it was before my time, some of you may remember mayor Jordan's opposition to Food not Bombs, even while providing a range of social services. The message from city hall was clear, "Charity is to be given on our terms, and private citizens should keep out of it. Now pay your taxes, stay out of our way, and let City government take care of the homeless!"
I'm not the biggest fan of Willie Brown, but to his credit, he did reverse this policy. However, Food not Bombs is more recently facing legal trouble for the crime of feeding the homeless in Orlando, FL.

Lastly, I'd like to respond to Marc's point, that:

Finally, I want to make a comment with respect to strategy. I don't
see how the SFLP can gain significant support by emphasizing just
the progressive-friendly aspects of our ideology. Progressives don't
need us here: they have plenty of the real thing and don't have to
bother with our concerns about coercive redistribution. SF continues
to have an undercurrent of poorly represented and poorly articulated
conservative thinking. This issue provides an opportunity for us to
tap into that.

Most people I know in this town, regardless of their unexamined politics, can be called truly progressive at heart. However, I think there is very little true "progressivism" in city politics. I resent how the word has been coopted by those who would look to the government to do everything from preserving Victorian houses, to warding off the evils of chain stores, to keeping people from parking overnight in Golden Gate Park, or building anything that someone may find offensive to their personal aesthetic sensibilities. I continue to describe myself as progressive, despite disagreeing with >75% of the Guardian's editorials, because I won't let Chris Daly have that word.
We are the progressives! Let's take that word back!


  You raise some excellent points, some of which are echoed in the last message I just posted before reading yours. I would hesitate to say that we are progressives, much as I would hesitate to say that we are liberals, but the meanings of both words have changed over time. The word "progressive" originally meant in favor of progress, which typically meant being in favor of development, scientific advances, etc.

  I recall reading an old SF newspaper clip from the 19th century which I think I've mentioned here before, which was reporting on an initiative by "progressive" elements in the business community to raise money to extend Polk street northward to the bay (at that time, such improvements were not necessarily government projects!). Today of course, self-identified progressives are more likely to be found opposing such development even by government, let alone when undertaken purely by non-government interests.

  Nevertheless, the heyday of the "progressive movement" in the early 20th century was mostly an era of government expansion, in the area of personal as well as economic liberties. Anti-prostitution laws, alcohol prohibition, and the racist eugenics movement were all considered progressive.

Love & Liberty,
                                   ((( starchild )))


I agree with you, though this behavior is unconscionable it's not aggression. Consequently it's not within the purview of libertarian law.

Warm regards, Michael

I suppose at the heart of the question is just what is considered to be "progress". Some aspects of libertarianism, such as a strict adherence to the constitution and property rights might be considered "old fashioned" and thus conservative.
On the other hand, many issues championed by the "progressive" movement, such as height limits, historical preservation ordinances, and the opposition to globalization, complete with an opposition to chain stores and local hiring initiatives, are inherently not progressive.
While it's not exactly a local issue, in my native Sonoma county, there was a recent (failed) ballot initiative to ban all GMO crops from the county. Proponents' arguments often pointed out some truly abusive uses of genetic modification, such as Monsanto's Round-Up resistant crops, which allows indiscriminate use of the herbicide. However, I would counter that a technology is not inherently good or evil, although it may be used for either. I do feel safe in saying that ludites are, by definition, not progressives, regardless of common usage.

I think Marc said it best: