Homeless has become the dirty word of this century

When growing up, I used to hear my parents refer to those who were either incapable or too lazy to work as “bums” or”tramps”. Those terms have been replaced now with a more fitting term “homeless”. In my 3 years of research, I have come across at least a thousand pictures of what the media considers as “homeless persons”.

These pictures are usually some drunk who is so wasted he can not stand up, so he is sitting on the sidewalk or against a building, dressed in old clothes with a hooded sweatshirt on and maybe a grocery cart beside him with his belongings in it. You have seen this kind of picture also. This is the image the media wants you to remember because its their definition of “homeless”.

The non-profit service providers have bought into this media definition, as well as our society at large. This definition is a lie, conjured up to keep the homeless oppressed and hopeless. I was homeless for 3 years, and I associated with other homeless people, and yes, I know some that resemble that media definition but they are about 2% of the total homeless population. Let me try to describe the other 98% of homeless people, who are nothing like the media concept.

There is a former software engineer with a university degree, a former bridge builder who is a avid reader and wears nice vests, keep his beard trimmed like an English duke and like to play chess. There is a woman that lives in her almost new van who keeps her clothes clean and sorted, if you saw her walking downtown you would never guess she is homeless. I know an alcoholic that showers each morning, has a locker full of nice clothes, he never begged with a cardboard sign, instead, he takes odd jobs for cash and has worked everyday for the last ten years.

I know another homeless man who drives a limo and never drinks, he works 6 days a week and sleeps in his old Volvo. You would NEVER guess he is homeless if you are his client! I can go on and on describing the homeless people I lived around, none of whom resemble that image the news media wants you to remember.

Something that all of these homeless people had in common is that they were ashamed to call themselves “homeless” because they also had bought into the concept that the media portrays. It was just impossible to bet these people to ban together to form any political human rights group, because the media had already done its severe damage, meaning they are a “controlled group”.

The Homeless have few, if any Rights

Now that the media has controlled the homeless, they want to make sure that homeless people will never get any type of political standing, so their human rights are void. You can not even register to vote if you do not give an address ( a residence). When I tried to get some help from a non-profit service provider, they asked my residence, I told them I live at the Cal Train station, then the interviewer stared at me and told me “we can’t help you”. What part of “homeless” do they not understand?

If you try to get medical care, they want your residence, so the homeless people have to either lie and give some bogus address, or use a postal box rental service to get some actual address.

While hundreds of cities are making the homeless criminals, more are joining this group, as our economy does not recover.

There are families with children living in vans or old station wagons. There are couples living in small Toyotas or Hondas. Some older retired people live in Motor homes, not by choice but necessity . The homeless community is not one education level, not one racial type, not one political type, and not any particular age group. If you think those street beggars on street corners are all homeless, think again, some of them have a nice apartment, but make more money begging than working for $10.00 an hour.

If you think that all the homeless are mentally ill, or drug users, wrong again. If you assume we all got some kind of problem, or can not fit into society, wrong again. You can not classify the homeless into some particular group because we will not fit into your wrong concept. Perhaps you need to be re-educated to understand the term “homeless” ? Please stop buying into the media concept.

Palo Alto city employees get secret raises

According to the City of Palo Alto, city employees are so valuable that they can only be retained and encouraged to work if they are given bonuses and raises for showing up and doing the work that they were supposed to do. And no one can know who got a raise and who didn’t because the city says, ‘that’s private,’  even though these are public employees who are essentially hired for life like tenured professors and who only leave when they’re carried out feet first or when it’s time to cash in their platinum pensions.

Valuable and irreplaceable?

It’s claimed by city employees, that they are so valuable and irreplaceable that they must be paid more and more every year as well as fatter and richer benefits, otherwise they may leave to work elsewhere.   WHERE ?    Detroit.  Bakersfield.  Modesto.

It is argued by Jim Keene, City Manager, that we can only retain these highly prized city workers  if we pay them as much or more than neighboring cities.  Menlo Park grants a raise.  So Palo Alto must raise.

Why, for once, can’t we LEAD and show the world what city employees are really worth.   Let’s cut their pay, benefits and retirement now.   Who cares what Menlo Park or Mountain View are paying.   Let’s get off the greedy pay treadmill designed by the same people who are rewarded by it.   If Palo Alto cuts.  Then maybe Mountain cuts, then Menlo Park.

Public serpents

Who knows where a good idea might go.  Maybe even San Francisco could save a few bucks.   Let’s  see what happens when we cut city pay and benefits.  No one in the private sector would pay these people half what they get now.  Besides, City drones are not going anywhere.  And if they do, they will be replaced for less, because there are plenty of skilled workers, finance and administrative people who are out of work and would be glad to take a Palo Alto job for  1/2 what the public serpents get.

The whining at city hall is so loud that 211 city managers and “professionals” got across the board  4.5 % raises applied retroactively to July which meant a big bonus check just before  Christmas.  And those who ‘met expectations’ were eligible for an additional 1.5 %  pay raise in January.   Those who worked above expectations could get 2.5 % and those rated exceptional will get 3 %.  All told, 59 % of managers and professionals got raises in 2014 and are eligible again for raises in 2015.  Service Employee Union members also got raises, some as large as 14.3 %.

According to City Manager Jim Keene, if you ‘met expectations or better,’  in other words, if you showed up, you’re worth more.  Nonsense.

There ought to be a law against city land grabbing

What if you owned 4 1/2 acres in Palo Alto and you wanted to sell it, is there anything wrong with selling your own property?  Yes. It turns out, some property can’t be sold unless local politicians say it’s OK.

For example, according to Palo Alto City Council and Santa Clara County Supervisors, Joe Simitian and David Cortese, they know what to do with your property and your money, better than you do.

In the case of Palo Alto’s last mobile home park, Buena Vista, the City of Palo Alto will not let the owner, Joe Jisser, sell his own property because years of inside deals, mismanagement, favoritism, a high tech boom, gigantic wealth creation and poor planning have created a low income housing shortage.

Too bad we’re not more like Detroit. But who wants to live in Detroit?

‘There ought to be a law’

Would you like to live on the Champ de Elysee in Paris or maybe a little spot on the beach in Bermuda? Why not a two bedroom in the Tech capital of the world, Palo Alto? These are all nice spots, but alas, rents are high.

So according to Supervisors SImitian and Cortese, someone else should pay for you to live wherever you want. As Joe Simitian is fond of saying, ‘there ought to be a law.’

And it turns out there is a law that’s legally extorting money and property from the ‘Palo Alto mobile home park owner,’ Joe Jisser. Even though he has already offered residents between $ 31,000 – 56,000 for their mobile homes and also offered to pay residents 100 % of the difference between their rent at Beuena Vista and their next home for a year, according to Palo Alto City Council and Joe Simitian, that’s not enough.

According to ‘law,’ the Palo Alto City Council has to think about it and see if they can find a way to be even more generous with Joe Jisser’s money and land.

Simitian and Cortese put your money and land where their mouth is

Here’s a better idea. Why don’t Palo Alto City Council members and Supervisors Joe Simitian and Dave Cortese donate their own homes to low income people? Why should these politicians live in nice houses when there are so many needy people in Santa Clara County? Will Joe Simitian and Dave Cortese lead by example and donate their property?

Will they respect the property rights of Joe Jisser and let him sell his own land? Or will they put other people’s money, where their mouth is?