Good Reasons To Support Sit-Lie

Homeless along Ala Moana Boulevard in Kakaako last Friday ANTHONY CONSILLIO PHOTO

Homeless along Ala Moana Boulevard in Kakaako last Friday

I’ll be sitting down Thanksgiving evening to a dinner with my wife and six friends, and I know I’m expected to feel a sense of guilt about homeless adults and children who, at best, will eat at Institute for Human Services, River of Life Mission or Salvation Army’s mass meal.

I do feel for the truly indigent, the handicapped through no abuse of drugs and alcohol, and all the children.

That said, I will not waste compassion on those who come here to escape the Mainland winter, locals who prefer the sidewalk and park life to work, or the street people either doing drugs or too lazy to take any job.

Sorry, that’s how it is with me — and I suspect with many of you.

That’s why you should support our new sit-lie ordinance, even if it discomforts you a bit or stings your civil liberties conscience.

I initially had a problem with it. Criminalizing homelessness is waste-time. Courts are unlikely to OK that, and homeless cannot pay fines.

Then I thought it through. It’s not being homeless that’s against our new law. It’s about no one having a special right to occupy and obstruct sidewalks, parks and beaches. Even labor pickets must keep moving and cannot erect sidewalk structures.

Nobody’s going to be arrested for being homeless, unkempt or walking down a sidewalk, through a park or sitting on a park bench. But I’d hope the city will apply sit-lie to those “artists” who occupy Waikiki sidewalks every night.

Confiscating the occupiers’ belongings may seem harsh, but it’s a reasonable defense. You give an inch and suddenly you have an encampment of 50 tents or a dozen silver-painted “performers.”

We’re feeding the hungry through Hawaii Foodbank and other help agencies. We have plenty of shelter space available for the needy. We should have a tent sanctuary somewhere.

We cannot support every unemployed Mainlander who comes here in winter. We can’t support all those young men who hang around Waikiki panhandling for marijuana.

We can support the men, women and children made homeless or hungry by temporary circumstances beyond their control. And we do.

But not even they can camp on public sidewalks, parks and beaches.

So in the end I find our new law to be society’s reasonable response to a public health and access threat.

Therefore, I’ll dine Thursday without guilt.

It’s highly unlikely — in fact, zero chance — that there will be any sidewalk or park raids this Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday.

Monday, no more sit-lie. And we should support that.

I worry for the future of small retail stores, and here’s why: I wanted a pair of New Balance 928 Rollbar walking shoes. Price at shops I checked here: About $150 plus the 4.5 percent excise tax. Price at Online Shoes: $107, no tax and free, two-day shipping.

There are several idiot ideas that come from of our 535 voting members of Congress, not all the brightest lights in the communities that voted for them. One would be Rep. Steve Cohen, a Tennessee Democrat, who wants a moat built around the White House to keep intruders out. A moat about 6 feet wide that he says would be “attractive and effective.”

Sure, and maybe toss in a few alligators!