Cool Enough

“The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.” –Anatole France

And now it’s forbidding us to stay warm too? Or else we go to jail? We’re all heart. Wonder if Pensacola even heats their damn jails. Maybe all our homeless neighbors need to wear dog and cat costumes, so they’ll be considered cute enough to have rights.

But wait — this just occurred to me. Maybe … we just don’t see the big plan, so we are all upset over nothing. Perhaps that’s why those in power are still pushing fossil fuels — they just want to help, by warming the climate enough so homeless folks won’t NEED all those unsightly ratty blankets or cardboard boxes to keep them warm. I bet that’s it. What a brilliant solution — and I must admit I never would have thought of it. All this time, when we thought the rich and corporate elites were totally greedy, selfish and heartless, they’ve only been thinking of us. Now, don’t we all feel ashamed of bad-mouthing such warm, fuzzy, compassionate fat-cat bastards??


Florida Ordinance Makes it Illegal for Cold Homeless People to Cover Up With Blankets
Posted by: John Prager * February 11, 2014
A controversial ordinance passed in Pensacola, Florida over the summer is currently making life a lot harder for those who do not have a home of their own in which to sleep. The “camping” ordinance presents homeless people with a difficult choice: obey the law or freeze to death.
The ordinance prohibits sleeping in public underneath blankets or newspaper or inside a shelter one constructs in order to find relief from the oppressive cold.
Noting how this ordinance has negatively impacted the homeless population of the city, especially in the wake of the polar vortex that paralyzed much of the nation. Last month, locals asked city council to consider a repeal of the parts of the ordinance that cause undue hardship for those living rough.
As Opposing Views reports, Jeremy Bosso was among those who stood up for the city’s homeless population:
“Good evening, City Council,” said Bosso in his appeal. “I just wanted to bring to your attention, WEAR ABC News posted a sort of public service announcement, if you will, just reminding people with this cute little meme on their Facebook page. It’s a cute little dog, and it says, ‘If it’s too cold for you, it’s too cold for them. Please bring your pets inside. Please share to get out this message.’ I would just like to say that I fully agree with this, that if it’s too cold for you, it’s too cold for your pets. But I would also like to ask that the City Council extend that same courtesy to our fellow human beings. The temperatures have reached the teens recently. It’s expected to be a hard freeze tonight. And because of that, I’d like to ask the Council to respectfully reconsider the “camping” ordinance that I believe several other people have mentioned, that does prohibit sleeping with a blanket, a sleeping bag. I think we should extend that courtesy to our fellow humans. I mean, we do it for the animals, and I think we should respect life at all stages.”
The ordinance has been highly criticized in the past. In May, councilwoman Sherri Myers said of the camping ordinance, “They could be peacefully sitting there, peacefully standing. Under this ordinance they would be guilty of ‘aggressive’ panhandling. It says it right here in this ordinance. I believe that is a violation of the United States Constitution, the right to assemble, the right of freedom of association. I don’t believe that section of this ordinance is going to withstand Constitutional scrutiny.”
At this point, it’s uncertain if the powers-that-be will act to defend the homeless against the intolerable conditions they have helped create, but as it stands Pensacola’s homeless face a difficult choice every day: freeze to death or go to jail.


About l. l. frederick

I'm pretty ordinary, so I find any number of things in the world interesting, among them: books, music, flowers, food, social justice, politics and (sometimes!) people. As for my writing, I've decided that I can be subtle and tasteful when our only problems are esthetic ones. Or when I'm dead, whichever comes first. In the meantime, read at your own risk.
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8 Responses to Cool Enough

  1. Well, Linda….I am sure that you know what I think about all of this! As I always say, “we are some real shits, we are!” We will dress Fifi in the latest dog get-up and strut Fifi around the damn neighborhood and those poor homeless human souls had better not be in the vicinity because Fifi, like me, has got delicate sensibilities and we don’t want to have to view the great unwashed masses, oh no indeed. That just don’t sit well with us. Out of sight, out of mind, don’t you know.

    Yes, we’re always inventing new ways to make misery more miserable and yet, I bet that those who voted for this ordinance wouldn’t keep their pets out in these frigid winters. But it is certainly okay for ‘humans’ to just stand somewhere and turn into an icicle. What kind of sick shit could even think up an ordinance that would deny the most down-and-out people in society, a blanket? I mean, I wouldn’t want to know, but what the hell? Seriously?

    • Shelby, I am too often at a loss when it comes to understanding people. Silly me, I expect SOME! evidence now and again that we have functioning brains, and even a little humanity, and give a shit about one another. But sometimes, I do wonder.

      And it’s not as if no one knew this bullshit ordinance would cause extra suffering — that was its whole purpose, to “encourage” the homeless to leave their fair city, to get them to move on and become somebody else’s problem. Homeless crisis? What crisis? Not here — we’ve taken care of it already. No wonder people like to believe there’s a hell — too damned many of us have earned a good solid spot in one.

      Thanks for your comment, and for listening to me rant, one more time. – Linda

  2. Jeff Nguyen says:

    I live in Florida, this does not surprise me.

  3. Linda,
    Maximum security prisoners near Lake Superior have it better than homeless people when it comes to facing the elements. “What you do for the least among you…” comes to mind. Perhaps taking the $billions scheduled for nuclear weapons “improvements” could be redirected to reduce homelessness.

    • Jerry, Except for euthanizing them after a time, I’m not sure residents of our animal shelters aren’t provided better accommodations than too many homeless humans. Wish I thought we really might use even a smidgen of our insane military budget to help people rather than harm them. It seems perfectly reasonable to me. – Linda

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