Civil Liberties

Snooze and You Lose

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John Kass in the Chicago Tribune brings us the story of Sam Hardison, the window cleaner charged with "sleeping dangerously" on the Chicago subway:

"I looked the officer right in the eye and said, 'You've got to be kidding. I have to go to court on this?' And he said, 'Yes, you do,'" Hardison, a West Sider, told us the other day about his June 5 ticket on the Red Line….

"And the other officer said, 'If you don't be quiet, we will take you to jail right now. We'll arrest you,'" Hardison said. "I let them write their citations. I felt that it was not right, but what can I do?"

Apparently City Hall is hard up and looking to extract cash from innocent bystanders. Fines are a good way to do it because, as Kass says, most people who receive a fine just grumble and pay it. Not Hardison, who instead went to a hearing to dispute the charge. 

The City dropped the case today, but Hardison complains that he lost a day's wages to attend the hearing. And his friends have another theory as to why he, of all the other comatose subway riders, was picked up:

"Absolutely, absolutely, if you look at him, you might think he was homeless, a black guy with a pretty scraggily beard," Dahl said. "If it was me, a short Jewish guy, sleeping on the train, they are not going to write me a ticket."

Which would suggest that either City Hall is demanding money from homeless people or it's spending money to kick them off the subway.

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  1. I used to like that city, too, and would visit it at least every other year.
    Hey “Windy City,” blow it out your ass. Bunch of fucktards.
    I hope the Cubbie curse lasts until the moon turns to blood, or whatever the hell that god book says.
    I hope Chicago jazz clubs are replaced by fern bars.
    I hope Mike Royko rises from the dead to take a shit on y’all.

  2. Part of the “Make The City Beautiful Because We’re Kissing The IOC’s Ass” campaign.

    If the cops need to write tickets for public sleeping, they can get it all done in one location – City Hall.

  3. Jesus, Jamie, chill.

    And you’d be able to tell if he was homeless, he would stink up the entire car. I’ve never even seen an officer anywhere near the El (it’s not called a “subway”, dammit).

  4. Please come back, Jamie. Me and ChicagoTom and VM and Mr Steven Crane and highnumber will show you a good time.

  5. No, Jaime’s right. Fuck Chicago. And fuck the Smashing Pumpkins, right in Billy’s ear. Gotta go, I have a goose to force feed.

  6. Jesus, Jamie, chill.

    Ditto, except for the part about the cubs.

  7. people are always shitting on other people’s cities.

    Country mouse should have stayed in the country.

    http://216.36.206.143/Country_Mouse/storybook/storybook.htm

  8. If the city was writing tickets/fines to get money, wouldn’t they be going after the non-homeless population?

  9. And Royko was great! That’d be awesome! URKOBOLD would be so pleased!

    But I do take exception to this line:
    “I hope the Cubbie curse lasts…”

    It’s not a curse. They traditionally suck. It’s that simple.

  10. Please come back, Jamie. Me and ChicagoTom and VM and Mr Steven Crane and highnumber will show you a good time.

    You get Royko’s smelly body out of the grave, and I might come back.
    Until then, I’m boycotting that hell-hole and the nanny-state beasties who run it. Next thing you know, they’ll legislate the Billy Goat out of business.
    My brother lives in Peoria. Is there a river I can piss in that leads to Chicago?

  11. Chicago sounds like it’s gone down hill since I graduated from law school. Pity. They have good pizza and blues bars up there.

    I blame Daley.

  12. Sorry Jamie, the nanny-state beasties won’t let us dig up corpses for the amusement of tourists or I would totally do it.

  13. “My brother lives in Peoria. Is there a river I can piss in that leads to Chicago?”

    nah – we rigged it so the river flows backwards… take that, downstaters!!!

  14. VM:
    Goddamn, I got a chuckle out of that!
    Actually, I’ll be in Chicago in August. Just in time to enjoy the stifling humidity and watch the Cubs drop three straight.

  15. Don’t blame me; I didn’t vote for Daley… Come to think of it, that might explain why my garbage doesn’t get picked up any more.

  16. I voted for Daley 700,000 times last election. So it’s my fault.

  17. No need to crap on one of the best franchises in sports!!!

    If you really want to get to the core of the issue, it is king Daley and his merry band of corrupt functionaries. The man is fascist. Not in, “I can not stand my political opponent” fascist, but in “the Great City of Chicago must be glorified even if it destroys all personal liberties and individuality” type of fascist. Therefore, the Great king sees himself entirely justified in imposing (or supporting) any type of preposterous law or rule to further that end. Whether it be his incessant worship of bicycles or his maddening hunger in turning every single human activity into a fineable/taxable event.

    As you can tell I don’t much care for the guy.

    Regards,
    TDL

  18. TDL,

    What? Did someone insult the Atlanta Braves?

    Chicago had taxes on so many crazy things when I lived there, like on canned soda and live theater. Not to mention parking. Like parking wasn’t ungodly expensive enough without Chicago getting its thirty pieces of silver.

  19. Ahh, the Use of Force is strong with this one…

  20. Like parking wasn’t ungodly expensive enough without Chicago getting its thirty pieces of silver.

    If you can think of a better way to pay for all of Daley’s wrought iron fencing, I’d like to hear it…

  21. “Absolutely, absolutely, if you look at him, you might think he was homeless, a black guy with a pretty scraggily beard,” Dahl said. “If it was me, a short Jewish guy, sleeping on the train, they are not going to write me a ticket.”

    It sounds like City Hall needs to consult its Stereotype Handbook and find out who actually has the money it’s after: the Jews, or the homeless black guys? Duh.

    Meanwhile, my heart goes out to all the long-suffering people of Chicago.

  22. Jamie – cool.

    But if you want humidity, head to the east coast!

    Or the swamps of downstate.

    Where you coming in from? Lemme guess. Montana? 🙂

    Well spake, Stevo (as usual)

  23. In Toronto a month ago, there was an Amber Alert or something like that, because a bunch of people called the police saying they saw a crazed homeless guy dragging a girl into the park.

    Of course, after doing an extensive emergency search, they found out that a father with a beard was just taking his kid for a walk in the park and nothing criminal or suspicious happened.

    I don’t know what is more disturbing… that a bunch of people thought the guy must be a “homeless kidnapper” because he had a beard… Or that not one of these “concerned citizens” who were convinced they were witnessing a kidnapping bothered to help the kid.

  24. All you people up there in City Hall,
    you’re fucking it up for the people in the streets….

  25. WTF is “sleeping dangerously” other than perhaps a cheesy B-Movie?

  26. jason,
    So what? Did he slander an individual? No. Did he cause the price of Wild Oats stock to drop? No. So what, pray tell, is your point other than he acted like a quasi-douche by tooting his horn anonymously?

  27. WTF is “sleeping dangerously”

    Dollars to doughnuts he had his legs stretched into the aisle. I freakin’ HATE that.

  28. “According to a Whole Foods statement, Mackey said, “I posted on Yahoo! under a pseudonym because I had fun doing it. Many people post on bulletin boards using pseudonyms.”

    He added, “Sometimes I simply played ‘devil’s advocate’ for the sheer fun of arguing.””

    he had to use the handle “Rahodeb” cuz “Jean Bart” was already taken.

    [keed keed]

  29. “cheesy B-Movie”

    MMmmmmmm….

    Starring: Shannon Tweed, Shannon Whirry, & Shannon Doherty….

    Couldn’t think of any more Shannon’s that made careers off of Skinemax.

    TDL

  30. On yea….

    Cubbies are going all the way!!!

  31. Laws against everything and arbitrary enforcement.

  32. DC got the street people (or subway people) off the subways by not allowing people to urinate in the subway, not on the platforms, not on the tracks, not on the stairs, and not in the restrooms, because they made them ‘for employees only.’

  33. It sounds like City Hall needs to consult its Stereotype Handbook and find out who actually has the money it’s after: the Jews, or the homeless black guys? Duh.

    Their stereotype handbook is smarter than yours. Wacky-bearded black guy asleep on a bus stands a 0% chance of being Rip Van Winkler, attorney at law.

  34. Heh. The Cubs comment reminds me of an old joke (1991 version):

    Norman Schwarzkopf is walking in the Iraqi desert, and comes across an old lamp in the sand.
    He dusts it off, and a genie appears.

    “For freeing me, I will grant you any wish you desire.” sez the genie.

    Gen Schwarzkopf pulls out a map of the middle east and spreads it out on the sand. He gestures to it and says “I would like you to bring peace to the middle east.”

    The genie shrugs his shoulders and says “Sorry, boss. We genies have been working on that for thousands of years, and we have come to the realization that it cannot be accomplished. Please, name another wish.”

    Schwarzkopf says “In that case, I have always wanted to see the Cubs win the World Series.”

    The genie ponders this for a moment, then says “Let’s take another look at that map.”

    Jess

  35. VM said…

    But if you want humidity, head to the east coast! Or the swamps of downstate.

    As a humidity-loving Southern Illinoisan expatriate now living on the east coast, I would second VM’s suggestion to all those seeking humidity.

  36. I don’t know what is more disturbing… that a bunch of people thought the guy must be a “homeless kidnapper” because he had a beard… Or that not one of these “concerned citizens” who were convinced they were witnessing a kidnapping bothered to help the kid.

    Since I suspect that this is simply a manifestation of the current Reign of Fear and Paranoia gripping the good ole US of A, I’ll go with the former.

    Here is how I see it happening:

    They saw something that wasn’t exactly what they were used to and expecting. So it was suspicious and their duty was to do something. Then they start thinking…

    Going to help the kid means a confrontation, which they don’t want and aren’t any good at. And besides that nice Officer Bob who came to the school assembly told us to leave the law enforcement to the professionals.

    In anycase, what would they do to help the kid?

    Approach them? “Excuse me sir, could I have a word with the young lady? You see, I’m worried that you might be kidnapping her.” Probably won’t get them hurt, but it is not going to go well.

    Follow them around waiting to see something actionable? Waste of time, and besides, he might call the cops on them.

    Just tackle the guy? That’s dangerous if he is a baddie, and worse if he isn’t.

    But they simply must do something.

    So they call the cops.

    Nothing new here, it’s just that we are living in the Crazy Years.

  37. Chicago must be a really terrible place, no wonder nobody lives there.

  38. Back to the subject, yeah, it’s really hard to figure out why a city would not want a bunch of people sleeping on their subway. That’s a tough one, it really is.

  39. As a Sox fan, I gotta say, I hope the Cubs never win either…

  40. “the cubs are in the 104th year of their rebuilding program”

    well, *somebody* had to pull out that old one.

    as fascist as san francisco is, you can still nod off on a bart ride without fear of official harassment. after a long and liquid-infused lunch at slanted door, i managed to do that myself and ended up in pittsburg.

  41. If the rest of you people were servile bootlickers whose knee jerk response to this backed up the authorities, the world would be a better place. And more caring too, you rabid individualists.

  42. As a humidity-loving Southern Illinoisan expatriate now living on the east coast, I would second VM’s suggestion to all those seeking humidity.

    Wow, you must have loved the last three days. The rest of us are grateful we can finally breathe outside again today 🙂

    after a long and liquid-infused lunch at slanted door, i managed to do that myself and ended up in pittsburg.

    When I lived in San Francisco, I bet I was the only person on record who willingly took BART out to Concord (the last stop at the time) just for the hell of it.

  43. a short walk from the concord station will get you to swagat, a hole-in-the-wall purveyor of the finest dosas this side of india. so you’re not as crazy as you make yourself out to be.

    surprisingly for a city dedicated to homeless “rights,” bart is really quite clean, safe, and hassle-free. i don’t see uniformed goons, nor have i ever been harassed by the hygiene-and-sanity-challenged.

  44. Back to the subject, yeah, it’s really hard to figure out why a city would not want a bunch of people sleeping on their subway. That’s a tough one, it really is.

    Sleeping?

    Or sleeping dangerously? *dramatic chord!*

    In a world where a World Series is always next year’s dream … where force-fed geese roam the streets, unable to find anyone to eat them … the wind is blowing through the Windy City. The wind … of despair.

    But the winds are about to change …

    With Richard Gere (“I will get this story!”)
    And Albert Brooks (“OBJECTION, Your Honor!”)

    Samuel L. Jackson IS

    SLEEPING DANGEROUSLY

  45. Chicago must be a really terrible place, no wonder nobody lives there.

    Right, and Calcutta must be a really great place, since so many people live there.

    (I know I’m supposed to call it Kolkata now, but screw that.)

  46. Paul – ah, yes.

    As a Cubbies fan, if it’s not St Louis, it’s not a rival…

    [ducks]

    yay, Ellie!

  47. surprisingly for a city dedicated to homeless “rights,” bart is really quite clean, safe, and hassle-free. i don’t see uniformed goons, nor have i ever been harassed by the hygiene-and-sanity-challenged.

    San Francisco sure has the smelliest bums I’ve ever encountered. They seem to infest about a quarter of all busses. There’s probably some psychological reason why they don’t hang out on BART. It’s almost exclusively the shirt and tie set; the bums probably prefer hanging out with the random rabble of The City. Plus BART doesn’t go anywhere a homeless person would want to go when they’re done.

  48. I’m going to reserve judgement on this whole “sleeping dangerously” silliness (note that the phrase was invented by the writer of the article, not by some “authority” figure), until some other writer without an axe to grind or a sarcasm quota to fill comes along and fills out the story with facts.

  49. “I’m going to reserve judgement on this whole “sleeping dangerously” silliness (note that the phrase was invented by the writer of the article, not by some “authority” figure), until some other writer without an axe to grind or a sarcasm quota to fill comes along and fills out the story with facts.”

    Rhywun, we do not appreciate a thoughtful reading of muckraking journalism here on H&R. Please drop your pretense of even handedness and post something snarky and spontaneous.

  50. Back to the subject, yeah, it’s really hard to figure out why a city would not want a bunch of people sleeping on their subway. That’s a tough one, it really is.

    Yeah, if I had a dime for every time I fell asleep on the el, I’d probably have a few $$$ more. It’s a good thing my stop is two away from the end of the line. Coming home from a late night on the town, they have to roust the 7 or 8 people in every car, and make them get off while the train does its turn around. We get back on and make sure to stay awake until it hits our stops. About 3:00 AM this is routine.

  51. These guys are braver than I am.

    NO WAY could I sleep in Chicago public transit!

    The problem may be that the CTA guys saw him cutting some Z’s and assumed that he had a concealed weapon.

  52. Please drop your pretense of even handedness and post something snarky and spontaneous.

    Well… I used to think I did snark pretty well until I showed up here. Holy crap.

    I too have fallen asleep on New York’s N train at 4 am more times than I can remember. Even a few times around 7 pm after work. I see it all the time. That’s why I’m suspicious of this story.

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