Originally published at Notes from the bunker…. You can comment here or there.
Here is something I don’t understand. If the .fedgov is suing Arizona over their new law against illegal aliens under the argument that enforcement of borders is the federal governments domain, then aren’t all those other things that law enforcement cover for the feds also as equally exclusive to the feds? What I mean is, if the feds say that the Arizona cops should not be enforcing immigration law then couldn’t you say that they shouldn’t be enforcing federal gun laws either? Or any other law that is federal? If that’s the case, AZ should shrug and say they wont enforce immigration law or any other federal law…see what happens then..
For better or worse, theres a fairly substantial amount of homeless people in this town. Homeless, transients, bums, whatever….what it amounts to is a large group of unwashed, smelly people who are, 9 times out of 10, soaked in alcohol and their own urine. I lost my compassion for the majority of these people a long time ago. I know that the proper and correct attitude is to believe that every human being is a special and unique precious snowflake just as deserving of our love and compassion as any other special snowflake…but the simple fact is that, like it or not, some human beings are more valuable and more worthy than other human beings. If you disagree ask yourself which one you would give one of your kidneys to…your son or daughter or some homeless guy that drinks whiskey for breakfast. (Someone will, Im sure, say that theyd do both since their kid is one of those homeless wretches.)
You see that 9 outta ten number I threw around back there? In the summertime here in Montana theres a small influx of what might be termed ‘functional transients’ or even ‘recreational homeless’. These are people who, for whatever reason, have their poop in a group – they stay sober, travel smartly, make the most of their gear, and if you gave them a half hour to clean up could pass themselves off as productive humans. For lack of a better term, theyre sort of 21st century hippies but without the tie-dye pattern VW minibus. Theyre usually young, in their twenties, and seem to have decent gear and do a good job of keeping themselves fairly clean. They don’t pass out drunk on sidewalks, splayed out in puddles of their own urine, or seem to get in too much trouble. They just travel, for whatever reason, and move from town to town.
Every so often I get the urge to study these critters. They are, after all, living what we might term a post-apocalyptic lifestyle. They live off of scavenged and begged food, sleep wherever they can set up a camp, travel on foot ( or bike for the smart ones), live out of their gear, and face the weather and seasons with whatever they have. They say that the only thing to survive a nuclear war will be cockroaches , but I think the ‘functional’ homeless will probably be there too. Theyre already used to living that kind of existence…its just another day for them.
I noticed the other day that the drunken homeless tend to use a lot of military surplus gear…BDU pants, field jackets, ALICE packs, sleeping bags, etc. The functional homeless seem to use more commercial gear…not necessarily high-speed-low-drag stuff, but good commercial packs, hats, pants, etc. I suppose in some ways they aren’t much different than the American college kids that grab a backpack and decide to bum around Europe for a summer.
One major difference between these people and the post-apocalyptic archetype is that right now these folks derive a good bit of their existence from the generosity of others. Once things get weird in a major way that degree of charity and benevolence will come to a screeching halt as folks stop giving away resources theyre going to need for themselves.
Still, its interesting to note how these people survive (although not necessarily thrive) without the gear that we think of as being absolutely necessary…guys wrapped up in wool blankets and blue polytarps versus you or I wrapped up in Holofill and GoreTex, that sort of thing. They live a refugee lifestyle and while it doesn’t look too comfortable or glamourous it does seem to work in its most basic requirement – it keeps them from dying (usually).
To go off on a tangent for a moment, yes I know that not all homeless people are alcohol-soaked, lice-ridden, greasy-haired wretches of humanity. I fully realize there are folks living out of their cars who get up every day, shower and shave in the local gym, go to work or look for a job, and struggle along as best they can in a bad situation. Bully for them. I’ll be the first one to give ‘em five bucks if they ask for it. When I say ‘homeless’ I am specifically referring to the useless sacks of flesh that have given up trying to better themselves or their situation and exist as nothing more than social detritus that accost pedestrians for change, urinate in peoples doorways and look like they brushed their teeth with a hammer.