CLOSED A SEX OFFENDER CAMP
After three years of county officials and local police ignoring complaints, Miami New Times reported on the squalid conditions experienced by scores of sex offenders who, due to city and county residency restrictions, had no place to live but in a filthy tent city with no bathrooms or running water, near train tracks outside Hialeah. Two weeks later, Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust workers, city officials and police officers visited the site and subsequently announced they’d close the camp, which one called a “sanitation and security nightmare,” Miami New Times reports, and work to find housing for the more than 300 sex offenders who had registered it as their domicile—one of a few places available to them after a 2005 ordinance banned sex offenders from living with 2,500 feet of schools, day cares, churches, etc.
Closing the camp was not only seen as a long-overdue act of mercy for the individuals who lived there, but as a long-overdue measure to protect businesses in the neighborhood, which had for years complained that the squatters and the mess they created were having a stifling effect on their businesses.
STARTED REHABILITATING ABUSERS
For many years, the alternative newsmedia has extensively covered survivors of domestic violence, and the difficulties many face breaking the cycle and recovering from the abuse. There’s certainly ample justification for punishing aggressors—but perhaps there’s room for treatment, too. East Bay Express profiled Men Creating Peace, a nonprofit in Oakland, California that offers a 52-week, three-phase program for domestic violence offenders and men struggling with anger issues. It also offers the program in a local prison. EBE reports that, to participate, each man must agree with two statements: “I have been abusive to myself and others” and “I am willing to stop my abuse to myself and others.”
In the program, men identify different forms of violence, work on reconnecting with themselves and becoming more skilled at intimacy and communication, addressing co-dependency, unhealthy relationships and creating strategies for the future.
TAKE ’EM ALL DOWN
Well, ‘take one down’ would be more accurate. As citizens from across North Carolina called for Confederate monuments to be removed from public spaces, one group in Durham literally took matters into their own hands. In August, protesters there tore down a Confederate monument in response to the violence in Charlottesville. Indy Week noted that North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper condemned the action, but not the result, saying there was “a better way” to effect their desires. Cooper later called for the removal of all such monuments and urged the state historical commission to relocate three monuments on state capitol grounds. The commission demurred until April.
APOCALYPSE, HERE WE COME!
After the year that we’ve had, it’s really not too surprising that there’s a growing movement of “preppers,” aka survivalists, preparing for the coming apocalypse. Planet Jackson Hole climbed down in the bunker of one such individual, who estimates that, for his family of four, he’s dumped a cool half-million dollars into a hole in the ground. And by ‘hole,’ we mean a state-of-the-art survival unit complete with a three-month supply of water, a massive generator and a top-notch septic system.
Even more fascinating than the preppers’ strategies for surviving the collapse of society, nuclear war, a meteorite, plague, etc., even more entrancing than the variety of ways in which they believe humankind will meet its doom in the very near future, is a little-known movement called American Redoubt. American Redoubt was started by James Wesley, Rawles (PJH notes, “Yes, that comma is there on purpose. Sir Rawles is a stylish guy.”), a former U.S. Army Intelligence officer, who penned an essay urging conservative Christians and Jews to create their own survivalist areas or, as he put it, “a conscious retrenchment into safe haven states.” Rawles suggested Montana, Idaho and Wyoming as well as adjacent areas in Oregon and Washington and urged his fellow conservatives to relocate to these places to “create a safe zone for conservatives who shared the same moral framework,” PJH writes.