Just as Hearst fomented lies to the American people in order to garner support for a war with Spain and as journalists essentially published articles written by government staff in support of the war with Iraq, so too does the Palo Alto Weekly foment baseless arguments fanning the flames of hate and prejudices in order to seek an Unconstitutional ordinance taking away the right of some citizens to freely enjoy the public roads as all other citizens do.
Mr. Thorwaldson claims that he is not advocating driving specific residents out of Palo Alto, yet what Mr. Thorwaldson is asking the City to do, would do just that. A person, whether by choice or other circumstance, (lost job due to the economy), finds him or herself without a cabin that has a foundation, yet he or she has a vehicle to sleep in. Should he or she sleep on the sidewalk, or should he or she sleep in his or her vehicle?
The person has a vehicle. It is 50 degrees in January and it is raining. The person has a choice, he or she can sleep in his or her vehicle or sleep outside exposed to the elements. Mr. Thorwaldson and those who support his position want to pass an ordinance that would force people to sleep out in the elements rather in their vehicles. Mr. Thorwaldson’s ordinance would force people out into the cold and rain or risk having the authorities seize their vehicles and property should they seek refuge inside their vehicles.
The result of Mr. Thorwaldson’s ordinance would result in the Unconstitutional seizure of citizens’ vehicles simply because they lack the financial resources to avoid doing so. Mr. Thorwaldson wants to outlaw citizens because they are poor.
Mr. Thorwaldson claims that the rational for outlawing the existence some residents is that it is a quality of life issue. Others also argue that it is a health and safety issue. That is an interesting position, for the only difference in many of the vehicles that Mr. Thorwaldson and those like him are referring to and Abraham Lincoln’s log cabin is that the vehicles, (cabins), that Mr. Thorwaldson wants to outlaw have wheels whereas Lincoln’s cabin did not. In fact, many of the vehicles that Mr. Thorwaldson refers to have many more amenities than Lincoln’s log cabin.
Is sleeping on the ground out in the rain a better quality of life than sleeping warm and dry in one’s mobile cabin? Mr. Thorwaldson is correct in that the issue is about quality of life, the ordinance that Mr. Thorwaldson would like to see enacted would lower the quality of life and actually have a greater likely hood of causing health problems by forcing residents out of their abodes and into the elements.
Quality of life isn’t just about material possessions, quality of life also has to do with a person’s character and integrity and whether or not that person’s character possesses compassion and understanding coupled with wisdom and logic. Anyone who would rather force fellow human beings out into the elements rather than allow them to take refuge in their own abode has diminished their own quality of life.
Anyone who would rather force fellow human beings out of their own abode into abodes paid for with money out of your wallet, (socialism), lacks economic wisdom and logic. Why spend money on housing people in abodes when it is unnecessary to do so.
In actuality, Mr. Thorwaldson’s proposed ordinance would force citizens to pay for the housing of other citizens through the criminal justice industry, (jail), or the poverty industry, (shelter), simply because he doesn’t want to look at the citizens that his proposed ordinance would effect.
Mr. Thorwaldson’s ordinance has everything to do with physical appearance and very little to do with content of character, yet if Mr. Thorwaldson’s ordinance targeted people because of the color of their skin, black, or people’s religious nationality, Jewish, I have to believe that Mr. Thorwaldson would be summarily rebuked by the community.
Any person who gives money to help economically challenged people in other nations, “Whole Foods’ Feed 100 Program” yet turns around and oppresses economically challenged people in their own community contradicts the integrity of their value to be compassionate to their fellow human being.
If Lincoln were alive today and Mr. Thorwaldson and those like him were to have their way, they would outlaw the existence of one of America’s greatest Presidents. Yet perhaps Mr. Thorwaldson and those who view life from the same perspective would want to outlaw the 16th President of the United States of America just as the Southern Confederacy would have done, for Mr. Thorwaldson’s ordinance isn’t about judging people’s character but it is about judging and penalizing people based upon their physical appearance.
When Mr. Thorwaldson brings up the fact that the City has been looking at the issue of people sleeping in their vehicles as far back as two decades, Mr. Thorwaldson essentially acknowledges that the issue is not a problem, for if it truly were a problem about health and safety the City would have taken action a long time ago. There are already laws against disturbing the peace and littering and those laws are enforced upon all citizens whether they happen to be sleeping in a small metal box or a large wooden one.
In the end it is quite clear that the City cannot pass an ordinance against sitting in one’s vehicle on a public street, because then all citizens would be in violation of the ordinance.
The City cannot pass an ordinance about what kinds of belongings people can place in their vehicles, for again, all citizens would be in violation of the ordinance for there is nothing inside the vehicles of those who sleep in them that is not common to what all citizens bring home from various stores and while going camping or skiing or vacationing themselves.
At the core of any ordinance that the City would enact would be whether or not a person closed his or her eyes. A citizen can sit in his/her car at 3:00 in morning or 3:00 in the afternoon, but as soon as that citizen closes his or her eyes, that citizen would be in violation of any proposed “vehicle-sleeping” ordinance. Since it is not unlawful to park one’s vehicle on the public street and sit in one’s vehicle on a public street, the ordinance would actually prohibit sleeping.
Mr. Thorwaldson claims that he doesn’t intend to drive economically challenged residents out of Palo Alto, yet it is quite clear what his proposed ordinance would accomplish should it ever be enacted, it would deny people sleep and then take away their vehicles and property for attempting to do so simply because they sleep in a mobile dwelling as apposed to a dwelling that has a fixed foundation.
Just as Prop 8 denied equal protection of the law to a small minority of California Citizens according to Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown, any municipality that would pass an ordinance that would deny people sleep under the threat of having their property seized for doing so is a violation of their right to equal protection of the law and blatantly contrary to the rights secured to all citizens by the United States and California Constitutions.
On its face Mr. Thorwaldson’s ordinance would deny American Citizens freedom. Mr. Thorwaldson wants to deny some American Citizens the freedom to exist in society simply because they do not possess the financial resources and material possessions that would be required to avoid violating Mr. Thorwaldson’s ordinance.
“Law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual.”
Fortunately the majority of Americans do not believe as Mr. Thorwaldson does. Unfortunately, a small minority of Americans enacts the laws, which affect all Americans.
“Injustice fights with two weapons, force and fraud.. A common form of injustice is chicanery, that is, an over-subtle, in fact a fraudulent construction of the law.”
Cicero – On Moral Duties
If it were not for their parents, or some kind of support system, 20,000,000 adults between that ages of 18 to 34 would be living in their cars due to the current economic recession.
Palo Alto needs to separate, prioritize issues to protect neighborhoods from intrusions, old vans and clutter, or worse
August 10, 2010
To the Honorable City Council of Palo Alto, City Manager Jim Keene and City Attorney Gary Baum,
My vehicle, license plate “1lmr274,“ has been tagged with another tow warning. I do not have a problem with the placing of the 72 hour notice for violating Municipal Code 10.36.30, however the warning also states that I am violating California Vehicle Codes 22523(a) and 22523(b) which means that my vehicle is subject to immediate tow without any further warning. As I have previously informed you, my vehicle is not abandoned.
Since my vehicle is not abandoned, your seizure of my vehicle would be a violation of the law and Constitution. Please inform the Police Department to not cite me for violating California Vehicle Codes 22523(a) and 22523(b). Officer “03840” informed me that my vehicle was reported as being abandoned. Whoever made the report with the police department made a false report.
I will be in the Police Department tomorrow or the next day seeking a copy of the report in order to find out who made the false police report.
Should the police department cite me in the future for violating California Vehicle Codes 22523(a) and 22523(b) I will consider it not just an Unconstitutional threat to seize my vehicle, but the actual seizure of my vehicle since I would not be able to leave my vehicle unattended for five minutes without the possibility of the police department seizing it and as such I would essentially be confined to to my vehicle indefinitely in order to ensure that the police department would not impound my vehicle.
P.O. Box 1681
Palo Alto, Ca 94302
Response to alleged phone call to PA police by editor Jay Thorwaldson Editor Palo Alto Weekly
August 10, 2010
Hi all —
FYI, I did not call in any parked vehicle. I don’t even know where it was parked. I don’t mind the (somewhat immature) name calling, but for someone who professes to value the truth it would be nice if more of it were showing in the posts, not surmises/beliefs/speculations.
Palo Alto Weekly
August 11, 2010 (Aram James)
I think you can skip Judge Judy– the court of pubic opinion already has Jay’s number. Remember his unsupported attacks on those in the community who opposed Tasers? As my dad often said about folks like Jay …”some people prefer not to be disturbed by the facts.” Jay suffers from a serious case of this syndrome.
Originally Published on: Aug 10, 2010 @ 12:06