While my time in Anchorage was mostly amazing, I was this morning reminded of a very painful memory, courtesy of the city government. A few years ago I got caught doing 140 mph on the Glenn, through the midnight sun. One hundred hours of community service — no problem.
Then something terrible happened. One of the projects to which I was forced to contribute was the destruction of a homeless camp. The camp was like a small village, complete with a “library” and “bicycle shop” (lots of books and bike parts stored in old pipes, protected by plastic bags). Children’s toys, families’ entire livelihoods. … For two days I was forced to throw it all in the trash. There were eviction notices posted on the trees around the camp. I wanted to vomit. Only government people could somehow think that was OK. Only government types could be so heartless. If there is a hell, I’ll see you there.
These people were “homeless,” but they worked to make a home. The mothers and children, incidentally, were given the best spot in their community, under a nice, dry tree. Can we ever end homelessness? Or would it be smarter to end government? Perhaps the latter begets the former?
— Ian Benjamin Tyrrel