The most pressing question for residents of our fair city is how do we get rid of the sorts of people we don’t like? Finding an answer to this question is urgent due to the very large number of people we find objectionable: young men of color, gender, sexual, and romantic minorities (GSRMs), and especially the homeless.

As much as we dislike people who look and love other than we do, our most righteous fury is reserved for those who—outrageously—find themselves living on the street. We therefore owe the Santa Barbara View our gratitude for hosting a debate on what to do with these filthy individuals who remind us, unfairly and distressingly, of the grave inequality in our society. Those who have recently taken to existing on State Street are particularly galling, given that the point of going to State Street is to forget about all that.

So something has to be done. But what?

Doctor Loretta Redd, PhD (she has a PhD, everyone), asks us to see the homeless population as a band of stray animals. One should not necessarily feed the strays, but rather support the shelters that are equipped to care for them. The analogy is apt: “It is time to face the harm we are doing by giving money to those unable to use it wisely,”, writes Redd (who has a PhD), making the obvious but often-overlooked point that a house or apartment is a precondition of rationality. She suggests that instead of feeding these anthropomorphized seagulls, we

follow the Atlanta model, and install “giving meters” on sidewalks, or on private property if owners are willing, where the money could be collected and transferred to programs of transitional housing or intensive professional service to assist those addicted to substances.

An interesting proposal, but not one that is to the liking of Dr. Redd’s sparring partner in this online debate. Sharon Byrne (who does not, apparently, have a PhD), argues that shelters like Casa Esperanza have existed for a number of years and continue to pay their employees, proof of their profound corruption. Moreover,

For all the money that has been spent, is still being spent, and what it’s being spent on …

How well is the city really tackling this issue?

Could it be done better?

These are, of course, rhetorical questions, since we know that truly helping other people is tree-hugger bullshit:

[Some suggest that we] stop Wall St Greed, and end the disparity between rich and poor to solve homelessness. Sure, we’ll get right on that. No one’s solved it in decades, but let Santa Barbara lead the charge!

And in any case, Sharon Byrne has done extensive research and discovered that “the bench occupiers [on State Street] aren’t homeless.” (She has not released the data supporting this claim, presumably because she plans on publishing her findings and is afraid of academic plagiarism. Understandable.)

What, then, is Byrne’s suggestion? How are we do deal with this plague of undesirables? She, unfortunately, has no answers, but recognizes that this question is of existential import:

Whose city is it, anyway???

If homeless youths are allowed to remain in Santa Barbara, Sharon Byrne is gone. Much as in the pitiful case of a woman driven out of town by terrorists, it is perfectly clear who we would rather have living in our city.