Street Stories

Weblog of Seattle minister to the homeless Rick Reynolds, Operation Nightwatch

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Location: Seattle, Washington, United States

Caring for human beings seems like the best use of my time, homeless or not.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Shame on you, Seattle Times

"While he was writing the first word, the middle, dotting his i's, crossing his t's, and punching his period, he knew he was concocting a sentence that was saturated with infamy and reeking with falsehood." from Mark Twain's short story "Journalism in Tennessee"

I can't remember reading anything in a local paper more distressing than this week's Seattle Times editorial "Tent City: pointless" printed on June 12, 2008.

Too bad I'm not a subscriber; I got nothin' to cancel.

The Seattle Times is wrong on many fronts:

1. Tent City saves lives.

2. There isn't enough emergency shelter in the area.

3. Twenty six hundred homeless people outside at night does constitute a public crisis.

4. The problem is growing, exacerbated by a worsening economy, a gap between entry level wages and housing costs in the area, and a Mayor who wants to spend public money moving problems around instead of solving the problems.

5. Offering people shelter is a Hobbsian choice -- shelters are institutions that must restrict personal freedom in favor of routinization: you are kicked out at 6:30 am no matter what your work and sleep schedule is.

6. No one's personal survival strategy is pointless.

BOO and HISS -- Really missed the mark, Seattle Times Editors.

And I am no big fan of Tent City. But what alternatives can you suggest?



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