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Archived Observation

This afternoon, Janet and I decided to walk from our house to Andronico's, a great supermarket about 2 miles away. On the way, we decided to walk through a neighborhood called the Upper Haight.

The Upper Haight, also called the Haight-Ashbury district, is the home to all of the stoner 16 year olds who have decided to run away from their trust-fund granting parents for the weekend, as well as some hippies who don't realise that the sixties ended 30 years ago. Thrown into this mix of losers are a smattering of pot and acid dealers, some leftist activists, a hell of a lot of tourists, and some legitimately homeless individuals.

This afternoon, the activists decided that they wanted to protest the city's Make Some Change policies. You see, most neighborhood leaders have realized that giving money to the homeless doesn't help the situation, and that the best way to help the homeless is to give the money to the shelters and large organizations that help the homeless. Over the last few months, the city has made up signs asking people not to give money to beggars on the street, and most of stores around the city have placed them prominently in their windows. So, to protest the policy, the activists came to the Upper Haight with buckets of pennies. Then they decided to walk up and down the street, throwing the pennies on the sidewalk.

Imagine the image, five or six homeless men on their hands and knees, scrambling for ten cents worth of pennies. Did this really empower the homeless, or just humiliate them?

Posted in Observations.

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