Someone tell Jesus to stop kissing people

One bright summer day in the late 80s, teenage-me was faced with a dilemma: how best to get home. I stood there, at the top of the hill leading to the swimming pool, weighing my options. There were a fair amount of trees along the hill, but not so many that I couldn’t safely navigate. Besides, if things got hairy, I could simply apply the brakes on my bicycle and slow myself down. There was another route (one that didn’t involve hills or trees) I could have taken to leave the pool, but this one was shorter. Which made it the better choice, of course (at least to my then-teenage mind). As I hopped on my bicycle and began the downhill journey, I began to question if I was being wise or foolish (definitely foolish). Shortly after beginning my descent, I realized I was going faster than I wanted. No problem I thought. Bike brakes, remember? Of course to function properly, bike brakes need brake pads that are not worn. Mine were very, very worn. Panic set in. My speed was increasing, and I couldn’t think of a way to stop that didn’t involve some pain and suffering. My panic diminished when I saw a ditch at the base of the hill. A ditch with a bridge spanning it. If I could make it to the bridge safely, I’d be in the clear. So I aimed for the bridge. Unfortunately, I missed and my bike (with me still on it) careened into the ditch. When my bike fell, I fell with it. As my bike skidded across the concrete ditch, so did my body. I still have the scars on the left side of my body from that accident. I remember that the experience was painful.

Despite what I had just experienced, I was able to pick myself up and drag myself home. I don’t recall the look on the faces of my parents, but I imagine it was that panicked look most parents get when they learn that their child has been injured. Let me be clear though: those injuries…the pain I was in…the suffering I experienced? It was all minor. No limbs were lost. There was no significant blood loss. I had no life-threatening injuries. Nonetheless, it still qualifies as an experience involving pain and suffering. According to the late, not-so-great Catholic icon Mother Theresa, experiences such as mine-while awful-are ultimately a good thing:

One day I met a lady who was dying of cancer in a most terrible condition. And I told her, I say, “You know, this terrible pain is only the kiss of Jesus — a sign that you have come so close to Jesus on the cross that he can kiss you.” And she joined her hands together and said, “Mother Teresa, please tell Jesus to stop kissing me.”

The message is clear: pain and suffering are the path to Jesus. Uh-huh. At the time of my accident, I was still a believer (it took nearly a decade before I came to recognize the error of my ways and rejected religious nonsense). Nevertheless, I think my teenage-self would have preferred to avoid that kiss, thank you very much.

The idea that human suffering should be passively accepted or held up as a glorious part of the human experience (and thus, nothing we should try to alleviate) is a repulsive idea to me. I don’t like pain. I’d venture to say that the majority of people living on this planet don’t like pain. If it can be avoided, we humans often do. Because pain hurts. As for suffering, who the hell wants to be deprived of food, air, water, or shelter? Who wants to lead a solitary life with no interaction with other human beings? Who wants to be subjected to malnutrition, starvation, or disease? While the odd human here or there might say they like to suffer, I think it’s safe to say that the overwhelming majority of human beings don’t like to suffer. Sadly, the Catholic Church-that self-proclaimed bastion of morality that claims to have the best interests of humanity at heart-continues to disagree:

Jesus Sahagun, from Valladolid, has been charged with several offences including gender violence and causing injury and mistreatment.

The events began in 2012 when the girl’s parents asked for Sahaguns help because they believed Satan had possessed their daughter.

She was then subject to 13 exorcisms, in which she was repeatedly tied up and had crucifixes held over her head.

The girl’s aunts and uncles complained to police after the teenager tried to commit suicide.

In a statement in court, the girl’s parents said the Priest was aware their daughter was suffering from anorexia but that he told them the exorcisms would not interfere with her treatment.

In an interview with El Mundo newspaper in 2014, Sahagun said the exorcisms were necessary because the girl was “possessed by the devil.”

“The young woman’s suicide attempt was not a result of the exorcisms practiced on her,” he said.

Sahagun also defended exorcisms as “a religious practice maintained as part of the Church’s tradition, as a right available to all the faithful.”

While the causes of anorexia nervosa are not known, I think it’s reasonable to reject any supernatural hypothesis, bc hey, there’s no evidence for the existence of any supernatural beings (whether godlike or demonic). Before one more exorcism is performed, the Catholic Church should be made to prove the existence of their particular flavor of deity, as well as the existence of demons. They should also have to prove that demons can and do possess humans, and how they know this to be true. Finally, they ought to be required to demonstrate the efficacy of exorcisms. Until they do so, they should be forbidden from engaging in exorcisms, on penalty of prosecution. They should not get a free pass to engage in practices that contribute to human suffering simply because they are a religious organization.

That’s how things ought to be. Pity that’s not the way things are. They get to continue engaging in exorcisms and other actions that, rather than ameliorating human suffering, exacerbate it. Actions like installing a watering system to keep homeless people from sleeping in cathedral doorways:

The cathedral, at Geary and Gough, is the home church of the Archbishop. There are four tall side doors, with sheltered alcoves, that attract homeless people at night.

“They actually have signs in there that say, ‘No Trespassing,’” said a homeless man named Robert.

But there are no signs warning the homeless about what happens in these doorways, at various times, all through the night. Water pours from a hole in the ceiling, about 30 feet above, drenching the alcove and anyone in it.

The shower ran for about 75 seconds, every 30 to 60 minutes while we were there, starting before sunset, simultaneously in all four doorways. KCBS witnessed it soak homeless people, and their belongings.

“We’re going to be wet there all night, so hypothermia, cold, all that other stuff could set in. Keeping the church clean, but it could make people sick,” Robert said.

The water doesn’t really clean the area. There are syringes, cigarette butts, soggy clothing and cardboard. There is no drainage system. The water pools on the steps and sidewalks.

A neighbor who witnessed the drenching told KCBS, “I was just shocked, one because it’s inhumane to treat people that way. The second thing is that we are in this terrible drought.

Yes, that is an inhumane way to treat other humans (and hey, what about those alleged teachings of Jesus that Catholics claim to follow) but if you put on your Think Like Mother Theresa Hat, it makes sense. Homeless people being drenched in water? Facing hypothermia? Kicked out of one of the few areas that provides some shelter? Yeah, that’s suffering, but what are you complaining about? You just got kissed by god!

Someone tell Jesus to stop kissing people
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Kill the gays: have an 'AIDS-free Christmas'

A pastor in Arizona is calling for the mass extermination of gay people.  In a Sunday sermon titled “AIDS-the judgement of God”, Pastor Steve Anderson said that if humanity wants an “AIDS-free Christmas” they should follow God’s biblical command to kill gay people.

Aside from the fact that this asshole advocates people being killed and thinks this would be a good thing (I guess all those icky gays don’t have families that love them), Mr. Anderson doesn’t appear to understand that heterosexual people also have AIDS:

Heterosexuals and injection drug users also continue to be affected by HIV.

Since the epidemic began, almost 89,683 persons with an AIDS diagnosis, infected through heterosexual sex, have died, included an estimated 3,516 in 20113.

New HIV infections among women are primarily attributed to heterosexual contact (84% in 2010) or injection drug use (16% in 2010). Women accounted for 20% of estimated new HIV infections in 2010 and 23% of those living with HIV infection in 20111, 2. The 9,500 new infections among women in 2010 reflect a significant 21% decrease from the 12,000 new infections that occurred among this group in 20082.

Injection drug users represented 8% of new HIV infections in 2010 and 15% of those living with HIV in 20111, 2.

Since the epidemic began, nearly 184,673 injection drug users with an AIDS diagnosis have died, including an estimated 3,723 in 2011

Kill the gays: have an 'AIDS-free Christmas'

Kill the gays: have an ‘AIDS-free Christmas’

A pastor in Arizona is calling for the mass extermination of gay people.  In a Sunday sermon titled “AIDS-the judgement of God”, Pastor Steve Anderson said that if humanity wants an “AIDS-free Christmas” they should follow God’s biblical command to kill gay people.

Aside from the fact that this asshole advocates people being killed and thinks this would be a good thing (I guess all those icky gays don’t have families that love them), Mr. Anderson doesn’t appear to understand that heterosexual people also have AIDS:

Heterosexuals and injection drug users also continue to be affected by HIV.

Since the epidemic began, almost 89,683 persons with an AIDS diagnosis, infected through heterosexual sex, have died, included an estimated 3,516 in 20113.

New HIV infections among women are primarily attributed to heterosexual contact (84% in 2010) or injection drug use (16% in 2010). Women accounted for 20% of estimated new HIV infections in 2010 and 23% of those living with HIV infection in 20111, 2. The 9,500 new infections among women in 2010 reflect a significant 21% decrease from the 12,000 new infections that occurred among this group in 20082.

Injection drug users represented 8% of new HIV infections in 2010 and 15% of those living with HIV in 20111, 2.

Since the epidemic began, nearly 184,673 injection drug users with an AIDS diagnosis have died, including an estimated 3,723 in 2011

Kill the gays: have an ‘AIDS-free Christmas’

Darren Wilson gets to do what?!

Remember this guy?

That’s officer Darren Wilson. Back on August 9, he killed this guy:

That’s Michael Brown for those that have been living under a rock.  Why did Wilson kill Brown?  We may never know (racism).  We know it wasn’t because of stolen cigars (it was a racially motivated killing).  We’ve heard that it’s because Brown got into a struggle with Wilson (not sure what the scuffle was about, but I’m sure racism on the part of Wilson played a role).  Of course we also know that Brown ran away from Wilson and that Brown was unarmed and presented NO threat to the officer (being a large black man does not make someone a threat, but when you’re a racist shitstain, that doesn’t matter). We know that Officer Wilson chose to shoot Brown at least 6 times (because that’s what racist people do when empowered by and thinking they’re above the law). We know he did not file a police report (why would he? He shot a black kid, and black lives don’t matter, bc racism). We know that he has been on paid leave since the day of the shooting (because shooting and killing a civilian is a perfectly good reason to get a paid vacation. Don’t know how to tie that into racism, but I’m sure there’s a way).  We know that he has not been arrested for the execution of Michael Brown (well duh, bc people don’t care that a racist cop killed a black kid. Why arrest him if they don’t care).

Now we know one more thing:  if he is not indicted, he’ll be able to return to work immediately.

Yes, according to the police chief, if Wilson is cleared, he can return to work:

The Ferguson police officer who fatally shot Michael Brown will be “immediately” returned to active duty if he is not indicted, Chief Tom Jackson told Yahoo News on Friday.

Officer Darren Wilson has been on paid leave since the controversial shooting in early August.

He would come back to a “not yet determined assignment,” the chief writes in an email.

If the grand jury charges Wilson, Jackson said the officer would “most likely” be terminated “if it is a felony.”

Why the hell would you even say that?

Tensions in Ferguson (and around the country) are already high. The police should be working on repairing the damage to the community and building relationships with the citizens of Ferguson. This statement is yet another slap in the face to Brown’s family and friends, as well as all the people who have been protesting. It’s tactless and insulting. It should not have been made, no matter how truthful it is.

And if Wilson chooses to return, I can only imagine what kind of uproar that would cause.  I fear that would inflame tensions past the breaking point. I’m almost certain he’s not going to get indicted (did I mention that black lives don’t matter in the US?), so he’s already going to get away with killing an innocent civilian. To add to that travesty of justice by allowing him to return to the police force…I can’t even…

Darren Wilson gets to do what?!

If you can't control your temper, you shouldn't be allowed to own a gun

Indiana man shoots and kills 13-year-old neighbor for laughing at him

This story is exactly why I think psychological profiling ought to be mandatory for would-be gun owners. There are far too many people who react with anger during times of emotional distress.  When you add a gun to the mix, it becomes a lethal combination.  People who cannot manage their anger such that they don’t reach for their firearm when they become enraged should not be allowed to possess a gun. I’m sympathetic to the guy being robbed. I’d be angry too.  But to then take that anger out on someone by fucking shooting and killing them?  The fuck is wrong with this person?!

According to the Gary Post-Tribune, police have not released the shooter’s name, but said that he shot Kobe Jones, 13, nine times. The boy was pronounced dead at the scene at 6:31 p.m. on Friday by the Lake County Coroner’s office.

Gary Police Lt. Thomas Pawlak told the Post-Tribune that the gunman’s home was broken into and robbed some time on Friday afternoon. The man arrived home around 5:00 p.m. and discovered the robbery and flew into a rage.

As he was having a noisy tantrum in his back yard, a crowd of neighborhood residents gathered. Jones made the mistake of laughing at his neighbor’s histrionics, which drove the man to even greater heights of rage.

He produced a gun and shot Jones nine times, killing him. The shooter and his girlfriend fled the scene in a car, but returned at around 7:00 p.m. and surrendered to police.

He shot an innocent teenager 9 times.  Because he laughed at him.  I just can’t even process that.

If you can't control your temper, you shouldn't be allowed to own a gun

If you can’t control your temper, you shouldn’t be allowed to own a gun

Indiana man shoots and kills 13-year-old neighbor for laughing at him

This story is exactly why I think psychological profiling ought to be mandatory for would-be gun owners. There are far too many people who react with anger during times of emotional distress.  When you add a gun to the mix, it becomes a lethal combination.  People who cannot manage their anger such that they don’t reach for their firearm when they become enraged should not be allowed to possess a gun. I’m sympathetic to the guy being robbed. I’d be angry too.  But to then take that anger out on someone by fucking shooting and killing them?  The fuck is wrong with this person?!

According to the Gary Post-Tribune, police have not released the shooter’s name, but said that he shot Kobe Jones, 13, nine times. The boy was pronounced dead at the scene at 6:31 p.m. on Friday by the Lake County Coroner’s office.

Gary Police Lt. Thomas Pawlak told the Post-Tribune that the gunman’s home was broken into and robbed some time on Friday afternoon. The man arrived home around 5:00 p.m. and discovered the robbery and flew into a rage.

As he was having a noisy tantrum in his back yard, a crowd of neighborhood residents gathered. Jones made the mistake of laughing at his neighbor’s histrionics, which drove the man to even greater heights of rage.

He produced a gun and shot Jones nine times, killing him. The shooter and his girlfriend fled the scene in a car, but returned at around 7:00 p.m. and surrendered to police.

He shot an innocent teenager 9 times.  Because he laughed at him.  I just can’t even process that.

If you can’t control your temper, you shouldn’t be allowed to own a gun

It’s YOUR fault he killed himself

Rep. Don Young, a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives, was invited to speak to students at a Wasilla, Alaska high school yesterday. After one hour, Wasilla Principal Amy Spargo abruptly ended the meeting.

Just five days before, Wasilla High School students lost a classmate to suicide. But the 81-year old Congressman who has served since 1973 saw fit to blame his audience for their classmate’s death.

A teacher, Carla Swick, asked Rep. Young to tell students what his office is doing to combat Alaska’s high rates of suicide and domestic violence. Alaska Dispatch News reports “Young started talking about suicide, mentioning the role played by alcohol and depression, several witnesses said.”

This was an insensitive, asshole move on the part of Young. His comments do not show him to be compassionate on the subject of suicide. But then I’ve found that politicians on the Right are empathy deficient, so this is no surprise. I do wonder why he was invited to speak in the first place though.

But then, witnesses say, Young said suicide shows a lack of support from friends and family.

That comment stunned students and staff still mourning the loss of a student who died Thursday, staffers say.

“When I heard ‘a lack of support from family’ and I heard ‘a lack of support from friends,’ I felt the oxygen go out of the room, but I gasped as well,” Spargo said. “It just isn’t true in these situations. It’s just such a hurtful thing to say.”

Both Spargo and Swick say a friend of the victim, moved by emotion, shouted at Young, “He had friends. He had support.”

“The kid said, ‘It’s depression — you know, a mental illness,’ ” Spargo recalled. As she remembers, Young replied, “ ‘Well, what, do you just go to the doctor and get diagnosed with suicide?’ ”

“We really spend a lot of time at our school talking about how we treat each other,” Principal Spargo said. “We just don’t talk to people that way.”

Spurge also says Rep. Young chastised her for the student who shouted at him. “That boy needs to learn some respect,” she says she was told.

Oh, poor Rep. Young. He got yelled at. He shouldn’t say such disrespectful, ignorant shit in the first place if he doesn’t want to be criticized. Of course, like many politicians, Young views himself as an authority figure, and those should never be questioned. A lot of politicians (and Americans in general) are authoritarian minded, and don’t handle criticism. Too fucking bad. You get to speak your mind and other people get to criticize you for it. You’re not off-limits from criticism just because you hold public office. In fact, bc of the power you wield, you have made yourself open to a great deal more criticism than the average citizen of this country. If you can’t deal with that, you should step down.

Wasilla junior Zachary Grier “was excited to see Young in person,” ADN reports, after watching his debate with his Democratic opponent, Forrest Dunbar, “and reading media coverage of the event, which included Dunbar’s contention that Young told him not to touch him and saying, ‘The last guy who touched me ended up on the ground dead,’ after the younger man brushed his arm.”

Grier asked Rep. Young about same-sex marriage. “I asked why is it so bad in your eyes?” Grier said.

As Spargo described it, Young answered, “You can’t have marriage with two men. What do you get with two bulls?”

Witnesses say Young then said something about a lot of “bullshazzle” or some word resembling the more familiar obscenity.

Point the first–you can have a marriage between two men. It’s a thing. It’s been happening for over a decade in the United States, and has yet to cause the downfall of civilization.

Point the second–same-sex marriage isn’t just for gay men. Lesbians are also getting married. Like so many homophobes, he doesn’t give any consideration to women. They’re just not that important to him. Homophobia and sexism FTW (where’s the third social ill? Don’t they come in threes).

Point the third–What’s with the comparison of human beings to animals? I’m a conscious agent…a human being with rights. One of those rights is the right to enter into relationships with others as I see fit. Another of those rights is equal protection under the law.  I’m a full citizen of this country and I should have the right to marry another consenting adult if I choose.  Your religious views should have no influence on my decision to get married. Nor should your views influence others’ marriages. Likewise, as an atheist, my non-belief should have no effect on your marriage (and doesn’t).

(via The New Civil Rights Movement)

It’s YOUR fault he killed himself

It's YOUR fault he killed himself

Rep. Don Young, a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives, was invited to speak to students at a Wasilla, Alaska high school yesterday. After one hour, Wasilla Principal Amy Spargo abruptly ended the meeting.

Just five days before, Wasilla High School students lost a classmate to suicide. But the 81-year old Congressman who has served since 1973 saw fit to blame his audience for their classmate’s death.

A teacher, Carla Swick, asked Rep. Young to tell students what his office is doing to combat Alaska’s high rates of suicide and domestic violence. Alaska Dispatch News reports “Young started talking about suicide, mentioning the role played by alcohol and depression, several witnesses said.”

This was an insensitive, asshole move on the part of Young. His comments do not show him to be compassionate on the subject of suicide. But then I’ve found that politicians on the Right are empathy deficient, so this is no surprise. I do wonder why he was invited to speak in the first place though.

But then, witnesses say, Young said suicide shows a lack of support from friends and family.

That comment stunned students and staff still mourning the loss of a student who died Thursday, staffers say.

“When I heard ‘a lack of support from family’ and I heard ‘a lack of support from friends,’ I felt the oxygen go out of the room, but I gasped as well,” Spargo said. “It just isn’t true in these situations. It’s just such a hurtful thing to say.”

Both Spargo and Swick say a friend of the victim, moved by emotion, shouted at Young, “He had friends. He had support.”

“The kid said, ‘It’s depression — you know, a mental illness,’ ” Spargo recalled. As she remembers, Young replied, “ ‘Well, what, do you just go to the doctor and get diagnosed with suicide?’ ”

“We really spend a lot of time at our school talking about how we treat each other,” Principal Spargo said. “We just don’t talk to people that way.”

Spurge also says Rep. Young chastised her for the student who shouted at him. “That boy needs to learn some respect,” she says she was told.

Oh, poor Rep. Young. He got yelled at. He shouldn’t say such disrespectful, ignorant shit in the first place if he doesn’t want to be criticized. Of course, like many politicians, Young views himself as an authority figure, and those should never be questioned. A lot of politicians (and Americans in general) are authoritarian minded, and don’t handle criticism. Too fucking bad. You get to speak your mind and other people get to criticize you for it. You’re not off-limits from criticism just because you hold public office. In fact, bc of the power you wield, you have made yourself open to a great deal more criticism than the average citizen of this country. If you can’t deal with that, you should step down.

Wasilla junior Zachary Grier “was excited to see Young in person,” ADN reports, after watching his debate with his Democratic opponent, Forrest Dunbar, “and reading media coverage of the event, which included Dunbar’s contention that Young told him not to touch him and saying, ‘The last guy who touched me ended up on the ground dead,’ after the younger man brushed his arm.”

Grier asked Rep. Young about same-sex marriage. “I asked why is it so bad in your eyes?” Grier said.

As Spargo described it, Young answered, “You can’t have marriage with two men. What do you get with two bulls?”

Witnesses say Young then said something about a lot of “bullshazzle” or some word resembling the more familiar obscenity.

Point the first–you can have a marriage between two men. It’s a thing. It’s been happening for over a decade in the United States, and has yet to cause the downfall of civilization.

Point the second–same-sex marriage isn’t just for gay men. Lesbians are also getting married. Like so many homophobes, he doesn’t give any consideration to women. They’re just not that important to him. Homophobia and sexism FTW (where’s the third social ill? Don’t they come in threes).

Point the third–What’s with the comparison of human beings to animals? I’m a conscious agent…a human being with rights. One of those rights is the right to enter into relationships with others as I see fit. Another of those rights is equal protection under the law.  I’m a full citizen of this country and I should have the right to marry another consenting adult if I choose.  Your religious views should have no influence on my decision to get married. Nor should your views influence others’ marriages. Likewise, as an atheist, my non-belief should have no effect on your marriage (and doesn’t).

(via The New Civil Rights Movement)

It's YOUR fault he killed himself

Dear asshole, let me explain to you the power of words

Over at Pharyngula PZ has a post up about one of the GamerGate shitspigots.  This guy has created a totally insipid, reality challenged cartoon of the differences between a feminist and a feminazi.  You can head over there and see the idiocy for yourself, but what I wanted to focus on is this little gem.

Actually I’m not antisemitic. I love kikes just as much as I love niggers and faggots. Awww have I offended your little SJW feels with my awful words? Suck it up, shithead. ACTIONS are what count in the real world. Words don’t mean a fucking thing. Being offended doesn’t mean a fucking thing either.
I support equal rights for EVERYBODY from every walk of life but I hate word policing and social justice warriors with all my heart.
Get on my level, you hypersensitive little cunt!

(the following is my response over at Pharyngula, which I think is worth repeating)

These little fucknuggets kill me.
They get so mad and frustrated that people dare to criticize them for using gendered or racial slurs so they tell us that these words don’t mean a thing and don’t have any power. Yet they’ve just gotten emotional over the use of words to criticize them.
Then there’s the problem of trying to minimize the power of words when there’s ample evidence that they very much affect us–and not just in one direction (offense).

Words have the power to engage us and draw us in. How many people have read a really fantastic book by a writer that draws you into the world, or gets you engaged in a character such that you actually care about what happens to that character?
That’s the power of words.

How many atheists engage in debates with theists, hoping to sway them (or the other way around)? Debates use words (wow I feel silly saying that). Those words, when strung together properly and with a strong enough argument, can be enough to sway opinions. Words can change minds.
That’s the power of words.

How many people have worked up the courage to ask someone on a date, only to be rejected for whatever reason? Sure some people bounce back and take rejection well. Others get bummed out. They get melancholy. They get morose. Due to words.
That’s the power of words.

Conversely, how many people have worked up the courage to ask someone on a date, and found that person has accepted? Remember that joy? Remember that happiness? Remember those butterflies? You got those all from words that were spoken.
That’s the power of words.

What about grandparents who hear from their child that they’re going to be grandparents?

The college student who finds they haven’t been accepted to medical school?

The lesbian couple who learn that their state legalized same-sex marriage, so they can get married after years of wanting to do so?

Four little words–“Will You Marry me”–can have such power over people. It can cause people to squeem* in joy or recoil in horror. Words did that.

The feeling in your gut…the sorrow…the anger…the frustration you feel when you hear the words “You’re fired”?
All of that, and so much more…that’s the power of words. Words touch us. They affect our moods. They have the power to uplift up us or tear us down to the deepest, darkest doldrums. They have the power to take us on flights of fantasy that we’ve never dreamed of or stir unspeakable rage inside us. They have the power to bring our darkest fears to light and to showcase our greatest triumphs.

To deny the power of words is to deny reality.

But then we are talking about anti-feminists. and dealing with reality is not their strong suit.

Dear asshole, let me explain to you the power of words

In Hawaii, the tourist industry is more important than homelessness

Just as it is across the United States, homelessness is a problem in Hawaii:

In the 2014 “State of Homelessness in America” report, Hawaii ranked highest among the 50 states for homeless people per capita. A recent state-sponsored tally found there were more than 4,700 homeless on Oahu, with at least 2,200 on neighboring islands — figures that most advocates agree underreport the true total. With Honolulu’s business interests and residents frustrated by Oahu’s growing homeless population, the city has introduced three laws aimed at clearing city streets and parks.

“Clearing the streets and parks”? That sounds like a euphemism for “get rid of homeless people”, which is an attitude shared by Tampa, FL and Columbia, SC.  These cities each share the same attitude, and it’s one of apathy and callousness aimed at the homeless.

Continue reading “In Hawaii, the tourist industry is more important than homelessness”

In Hawaii, the tourist industry is more important than homelessness