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A Window Onto an American Nightmare

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Posted By: StormCnter, 5/25/2020 2:24:21 PM

Zach Hickson arrived in San Francisco to stay three years ago, at twenty-seven, because nowhere in America seemed more appealing at the time. The city was mild and fragrant. The streets on clear days had a liquid energy, and seemed to offer opportunities that he hadn’t had before. “It was a place where I could do what I wanted to do,” he told me recently. He began to call the city home. Hickson was brilliant. He was brought up in a military family, on the gritty south side of Houston, with an I.Q. higher than both of his parents’. He struggled to fit in, got in some fights.

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Reply 1 - Posted by: poliposter 5/25/2020 2:50:22 PM (No. 421728)
Why is this only reported when a Republican is in the White House? Why do the politics of the left never get blamed? Further, the article has no suggestions on how to alleviate the problem. I have to infer that the cure for failed leftist policies, is more leftist policies. Things were improving before the left shut down the economy in order to destroy someone who was successfully rebuilding it.
22 people like this.

Reply 2 - Posted by: Highlander 5/25/2020 3:00:24 PM (No. 421739)
An article about a bum on dope in San Francisco. I read just to the point where I realized the nature of the subject. I will avoid The New Yorker in the future.
40 people like this.

Reply 3 - Posted by: NorthernDog 5/25/2020 3:06:35 PM (No. 421744)
Seems like he made a lot of bad choices. Spent considerable time drifting across the country with no steady job. Then started taking drugs. Chose to live in a city with an exorbitant cost of living. If he had stayed in gritty Houston and worked full time for an oil company would life be better? My guess is yes.
47 people like this.

Reply 4 - Posted by: JackBurton 5/25/2020 3:08:53 PM (No. 421746)
My practice of reading the articles posted here varies. Sometimes I only read the article. Sometimes only the comments. I loaded both and went to the comments first. Thanks for pointing out the subject matter and tone, guys. Saved myself a lot of time.
27 people like this.

Reply 5 - Posted by: MindMadeUp 5/25/2020 3:09:24 PM (No. 421748)
He's from a "military family", but he left it, so his IQ must have been greater than that of his parents, since military people are so dumb, or something. Typical leftist condescending assumptions with no evidence other than their own arrogant sense of omniscience.
37 people like this.

Reply 6 - Posted by: bgarrett 5/25/2020 3:13:25 PM (No. 421751)
" The city was mild and fragrant. The streets on clear days had a liquid energy," I hear the streets are still 'fragrant' and 'liquid'. hahaha
59 people like this.

Reply 7 - Posted by: earlybird 5/25/2020 3:29:53 PM (No. 421760)
Just more typical New Yorker rubbish. Hasn’t been a decent magazine in many decades… PS.. While trying to make political hay he over looks overlooks anything factual. A fair number of the homeless in California have no interest in “beds”. They come here for the temperate climate. Very agreeable for their lifestyle as opposed to other parts of the country. I read the other day that 15,000 hotel rooms leased to take them in during the COVID-19 crisis have gone unoccupied. Going indoors means loss of too many freedoms plus the community” that many find on the street. And they are not all addicted to booze or drugs. When Santa Barbara did a homeless study some years ago, it came out to about 1/3 addicted, 1/3 mentally ill, and 1/3 bad luck. There was hope for that latter 1/3 as they had no desire to remain homeless….
17 people like this.

Reply 8 - Posted by: DVC 5/25/2020 3:44:47 PM (No. 421764)
I read up until this loser decided to start taking heroin. No point reading after that, he sealed his fate to a 99% certainty, and while there are subtle variations in these stories, they are pretty much all the same, and uninteresting the 10th one you hear. Life is all about choices, and usually you don't get a really bad outcome from just one bad choice, although some will get you dead real quickly, a pretty bad outcome. Most folks like this loser, insist on taking the wrong fork in the road, every single time that they get a chance/choice which might lead to a life with good or at least better outcomes. My sympathy box ran out long ago for folks who are where they are because they CHOSE to be where they are. It's called freedom, and it includes the freedom to be a useless, worthless druggy living under a bridge somewhere - if you choose it. He chose it.
31 people like this.

Reply 9 - Posted by: greggojo 5/25/2020 3:48:10 PM (No. 421767)
What a typical, pointless, NY'er article. Of course, the author managed to slam Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump, but somehow, didn't mention that San Francisco has been under Democrat control for decades. Also, even the most non-critical reader should be thinking, why in the world the people interviewed intentionally move to, and continue to live in, a city where they cannot afford even the most basic shelter? Constants in the liberal mind include that individual responsibility isn't a possibility, nor is responsibility for one's own poor choices, especially repeated bad choices.
26 people like this.

Reply 10 - Posted by: mythman 5/25/2020 3:57:08 PM (No. 421773)
As the article says: "San Francisco spends more per capita on homelessness solutions than nearly any other U.S. city—three hundred and thirty million dollars a year. That sum reflects an eighty-five-per-cent increase from 2005 to 2015, when homelessness rose by thirteen per cent. It’s puzzling that so much funding did so little. But the puzzle also makes San Francisco, a city that has tried some obvious things, a great place to think through more focused solutions". Liberals cannot understand elementary behavioral psychology - that if you give positive reinforcement to a behavior, i.e. reward it, you will get more of that behavior. In other words, enable them and pay them, and they will come.
21 people like this.

Reply 11 - Posted by: Johnny of Marin 5/25/2020 3:59:57 PM (No. 421775)
I saw two incomplete, vaguely connected stories, both with no conclusions.
11 people like this.

Reply 12 - Posted by: Bluefindad 5/25/2020 4:06:35 PM (No. 421780)
I read the whole article and felt completely numb. The author spent many paragraphs describing Hickson's journey so far and then switched to a different person, with no hope, no direction and no lesson to be learned from a wayward moral compass. It's a complete waste of column space.
15 people like this.

Reply 13 - Posted by: JHHolliday 5/25/2020 4:11:24 PM (No. 421782)
I got to the part where he blames the homeless problem on Reagan. Reagan? RR has been out of office for thirty years. Why didn't Clinton or Hussein Obama fix it? It's always a problem with Dem run cities. It isn't a problem in my city. Pitch a tent or defecate one of our sidewalks and you will promptly get thirty days in jail if not worse. Hard to get that daily fix in the city lockup and going cold turkey might actually help them. I am not without empathy for the handful we have here. I tend to give them a buck or two. Most live in a Christian shelter but aren't allowed to use alcohol or drugs. I suspect that whittles down the number willing to stay there and other similar shelters that have rules. Some just seem to prefer living on the street with no rules.
12 people like this.

Reply 14 - Posted by: AjaxOfTheRockies 5/25/2020 4:25:24 PM (No. 421793)
I regard this as an essay on bad choices... "he himself had started drinking heavily after his friend’s death. “I was, like, ‘Hit me,’ ” he recalled saying." My father died when I was seventeen. By end of college, I'd been to funerals for three grandparents, an Aunt, her husband, my father, a friend's sister, another friend's brother, a best friend, a nephew. Death happens; that's a huge part of this existence and it's going to happen close to you. Wallowing in your grief to the point of destroying your own life is a choice. "(whiney voice) I'm SOOOO SAD! My Friend died...I'm going to drink myself into a stupor and then everyone will know how much I'm grieving" "Hickson said. “Then I’m, like, Fuck it, I’m getting high, because I can’t stand watching this.” pussy. "Everybody else, the paycheck people, might leave if they can, headed for somewhere—Detroit? Atlanta?—that’s a few years behind in the cycle." And this illustrates the left can't think beyond their collectivist notions. Detroit?!? Already a hell-hole. If they could think outside their tiny box, one might come up with one of the millions of other, lesser-known, towns that cover this land of opportunity. SanFran has average $3500/mo apartments?! good grief! ONE bedroom?! The house I grew up in - Kansas town of 300,000 - sold a few years back. It was Four bedroom with finished basement on corner lot with another one-bedroom (rather small) house behind it, which Mom used to rent out. Selling price was $65,000 There is opportunity, just not in the only places leftists, like the writer of this sad tale, can think of; NYC Chicago, Seattle, LA, SF. I would also say Houston, Dallas and even Denver. One doesn't HAVE to live in a metropolis to find gainful employment, friends and a good life. - a -
24 people like this.

Reply 15 - Posted by: spacer 5/25/2020 4:50:47 PM (No. 421807)
The short version of this saga, as Mercury Morris pointed out is, this is your brain on drugs.
10 people like this.

Reply 16 - Posted by: RuckusTom 5/25/2020 5:36:07 PM (No. 421823)
"The city was mild and fragrant." I had to stop reading at that point from laughing so much. "Fragrant"? From the human feces? Ha !!!
14 people like this.

Reply 17 - Posted by: udanja99 5/25/2020 6:19:48 PM (No. 421849)
It’s not an American nightmare. It’s a leftist nightmare. Every large city with major problems is and has been run by demonrats for decades.
12 people like this.

Reply 18 - Posted by: MickTurn 5/25/2020 6:28:17 PM (No. 421856)
I visited SFran in 2009...It was an Ant Farm with cesspool written ALL over it!
7 people like this.

Reply 19 - Posted by: zephyrgirl 5/25/2020 7:46:16 PM (No. 421917)
Drug use is a choice, and a bad one. Whatever your problems, drugs just make them worse.
6 people like this.

Reply 20 - Posted by: HPmatt 5/25/2020 7:48:31 PM (No. 421921)
I grew up on ‘gritty south side of Houston. Loved working summers w Union Laborers from Lyons Avenue, Moonman, Junior, Diamond Spike....taught me a lot about life and choices you make. Never did heroin, always thought SFO was a ripoff.
7 people like this.

Reply 21 - Posted by: kono 5/25/2020 7:52:24 PM (No. 421922)
Skilled wordsmiths can use poetic language to make hell sound heavenly, and the 'fragrant' city with the 'liquid energy' of the streets is a laughably tragic way to refer to a place with well-earned reputation for poop on the sidewalks and urine-soaked walls and gutters. Nothing funny at all, though, about a doctrine that asserts people have the right to do whatever they want with their lives and expect other people to pay for it. (It's one thing to wish we could do that, but another thing to believe we should have the right to do it.)
9 people like this.

Reply 22 - Posted by: Lawsy0 5/25/2020 8:15:15 PM (No. 421934)
I tried hard to make it all the way through this sad saga, even after Hickson was judged to have a higher IQ than either parent. Since I am already angry and bitter from this useless lockdown, I can't cry for Argentina or any other place too far away.
4 people like this.

Reply 23 - Posted by: Truth Czar 5/25/2020 9:15:36 PM (No. 421963)
What a crap article. Farmer's beard? What the he!! is that?
6 people like this.

Reply 24 - Posted by: NotaBene 5/25/2020 9:31:47 PM (No. 421971)
Give them money and they will come.
3 people like this.

Reply 25 - Posted by: ColonialAmerican1623 5/26/2020 3:04:22 AM (No. 422043)
Every day you wake up and make choices. Some good, some bad, some downright stupid. Most of us don't have time to sit around and whine. We don't have the privilege of 'going off to find ourselves' We have got to bring back the draft and make boys into men.
1 person likes this.

Reply 26 - Posted by: Strike3 5/26/2020 4:24:43 AM (No. 422062)
Notice how the language makes this problem acceptable and inevitable. "In need" instead of "unproductive," "unhoused" instead of "homeless," like "undocumented citizen" instead of "illegal alien." See how that works? If the tent spaces on the sidewalks went away and the drugs and easy access to handouts went away, the problem would go away. As the facts contained in #10 post indicate, when the homeless population rises 13% over ten years but the amount of money thrown at it rises 85% somebody is making money from the situation. Could it be the city government itself, since they are so tolerant of the problem? So an apartment is $3500. Get a couple of working roommates and share one. That's how most of us started out in life. That or a bunk in some military installation. There is only one conclusion to the many sympathy-drawing stories like this. Feed the squirrels and you get more squirrels.
1 person likes this.

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