State Rep. Torments Homeless People

Hawaii State. Rep. Tom Brower, a Democrat (believe it or not), has decided that he hates homeless people so much that he’s going to wander the streets with a sledgehammer and destroy things to make their lives much more difficult. The word “asshole” comes to mind.

Noting that he’s “disgusted” with homeless people, Brower  told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser about his own personal brand of “justice”: “If I see shopping carts that I can’t identify, I will destroy them so they can’t be pushed on the streets.” Brower has waged this campaign for two weeks, estimating that he’s smashed about 30 shopping carts in the process.

Here’s a video of him being an asshole:

Because that’s what Jesus would do. And that’s what homeless need. Jesus, what a fuckhead.

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  • Those things are expensive. I hope some stores sue the bastard.

  • doublereed

    Hawaii???? That’s about as blue as it comes. Hell, they’ve had single payer for how long? Won’t Hawaiians just kick him out of office immediately?

  • And what a disgrace and embarrasment to the Democratic Party. Why can’t he just go back to being a tax-and-spend big-gummint job-creating liberal — instead of making Tom Ford look sober?

  • I don’t get it—did he say he was doing this because of Jesus?

  • Of course Set, remember how in the Bible Jesus turned over the shopping carts of the homeless in the Jerusalem temple?

  • lldayo

    tommy, I thought he smashed them with a large, wooden T?

  • “I want to do something practical”

    Okay! Are you going to be building homeless shelters? Are you going to be expanding housing benefits for the poorest? Are you going to try and fight predatory housing practices, unemployment and try and control healthcare costs?

    “Nope! Gonna Hit Shopping Trolleys With A Sledge Hammer! If homeless people can’t push their stuff in shopping trolleys then they will decide to get houses to keep their things in it.”

  • Chiroptera

    Wait, don’t these clowns piss on the poor out of the comfort of their legislative or editorial offices because it’s an easy way to score political points with the rabid TeaIdiot base?

    If you go out of your way to do physical work to screw over the homeless, that kind of defeats the purpose.

  • David C Brayton

    This guy seems to be lacking empathy.

    I went to law school with a guy that was the same way. We were in San Diego and walked by a homeless (and almost certainly mentally ill) guy with a dog. My colleague was disgusted by the fact that he had a dog but couldn’t even take care of himself.

    I told my colleague I saw the situation differently, that if I had a dog I loved and cared for, I would be homeless before I let that dog go without a meal. That dog was by far the most precious thing in the world to that man. It was another creature, probably the only one in this entire world, that loved him and cared for him.

    The homeless people with the only things they own in this world in those carts….I could never do something so heartless.

  • Pah! Typical Big Government Democrat! Real American Conservatives would let the Invisible Free Hand of the Market destroy their tattered belongings!

    tommykey “Of course Set, remember how in the Bible Jesus turned over the shopping carts of the homeless in the Jerusalem temple?”

    No. That was in the alley beside the temple. Then He called the cops and had them arrested for vagrancy and littering.*


    * Right after that, Jesus went and kicked some prostitutes right in the cooch. True story.

  • Alverant

    Why hasn’t he been arrested for destruction of private property? Being without a home doesn’t mean you’re without rights as well.

  • John Pieret

    I think that should read:

    Jesus: “What a fuckhead!”

  • jnorris

    I am sure Hawaii State. Rep. Tom “The Hammer” Brower never considered that just because a person is homeless doesn’t mean he doesn’t own a gun. Does Hawaii have a Stand Your Ground law?

  • Al Dente

    I can see a large, angry homeless guy taking Brower’s hammer away from him and feeding it to him. Does Congressional insurance cover major dental work?

  • countryboy

    The man obviously went off the trolly. It’s just a short step from smashing a homeless persons cart to smashing a homeless person. That will very likely happen unless he’s stopped.

  • Doug Little

    Jesus Christ what did the shopping carts ever do to him?

  • Doug Little

    What David said @9.

  • Why hasn’t he been arrested for destruction of private property? Being without a home doesn’t mean you’re without rights as well.

    He’s apparently smashing the wheels on abandoned shopping carts so that they can’t be used by the homeless, and he hasn’t (yet) taken one from someone who’s using it.

    That doesn’t make him much less of an asshole. I can understand not wanting abandoned shopping carts and other trash piling up, but the idea is to deliberately hamper the homeless in their activity of being homeless. And because it involves the intimation of violence, bonus points.

    Frankly, I’m just flabbergasted.

  • He’s demonstrating that the really important issue isn’t that there are homeless people. The issue is that evidence of homelessness is visible in the form of stray shopping carts.

    Kind of like a lot of government problems: It’s not that there’s wrongdoing in the world, it’s that investigators bring attention to wrongdoing. It’s only cheating if you get caught, therefore investigators are responsible for all the cheating in the world.

  • uzza

    He’s stopped doing it. Here’s his nonpology

    “I’m not trying to attack the homeless, I’m trying to attack the issue of cleanliness, but some people interpreted as an attack on the homeless.”

  • I wonder what would happen if I were to wander his streets with a sledgehammer. Then I wonder what would happen if I were to start destroying things, the ownership of which is not immediately determined. The second bit certainly is illegal.

  • scienceavenger

    He hates these carts! Stay away from the carts!

    Seriously, many if not most homeless people suffer from mental illness. What’s the guy going to do next, start swiping crutches from the lazy bastards leaning on them?

  • Being without a home doesn’t mean you’re without rights as well.

    It does now. Hell, there’s plenty of people WITH homes who are losing their rights. Trayvon Martin had a fixed address when he was gunned down.

  • I’m trying to attack the issue of cleanliness…

    By smashing up a cart full of stuff and making an even bigger mess?

    …but some people interpreted as an attack on the homeless.

    …just because he happened to be smashing up stuff that belonged to homeless people. Lemme guess…that was all just a coincidence, right?

  • I can see a large, angry homeless guy taking Brower’s hammer away from him and feeding it to him.

    I can’t. That kind of homeless person isn’t likely to be out looking for a fight with someone with money — he’s likely to be in a shelter, or some other place where homeless people congregate, robbing and bullying other homeless people. He’d be no more inclined to get in Bower’s way than Bower would be to get in his.

  • daved

    One news story I found said that Bower was only smashing carts with no store identification on them; the others he’d return to the store. Not that that justifies him, but it does remove one objection some people have made.

    On David @9’s point, I happened across a list of now-famous people who were homeless at some point, many of them living out of their cars or trucks. This included William Shatner, who (post-Star Trek) was broke, and said he was doing low-paying theater gigs and living out of his pickup truck. His companion was his dog.

  • alanuk

    And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.

    That’s the Jesus angle dealt with.

    In the UK, shopping trolleys cost about £100 each. Also, supermarkets are fined if their trolleys are found littering the neighbourhood. Two good reasons for making sure that they are returned.

  • Synfandel

    Raging Bee (#3), did you mean Rob Ford?

  • I meant Toronto’s crack-head mayor, whatever his name is.

  • uzza

    He also said this:

    The point that I was trying to make has been made. Now that the issue of shopping carts is on our minds, the question is, Are we going to move forward and try to solve it or just let it become status quo?”

    The issue is shopping carts? WTF?! If that’s the case, let’s make sure everyone has their own shopping cart, with a carport to park it in, attached to their house.

    It bothers me that this guy is a Democrat. I would have hoped that the Party would censure him somehow, tho I’m not sure if the Democrats still represent Progressive values.

  • steve84

    As the marriage equality proceedings in Hawaii have shown, Republicans don’t have a monopoly on insanity there.

  • raven

    Well shoot. My comment keeps not showing up. One more try.

    Fla. congressman charged with cocaine possession – news .y ahoo. com/fla-congressman-charged- cocaine-possession- 2206069…‎

    2 days ago – Henry “Trey” Radel has been charged with cocaine possession after what a … In a statement expressing regret, the 37-year-old Republican …

    This guy is famous for voting to drug test all food stamp recipients.

  • CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain

    @Doug Little #16:

    Jesus Christ what did the shopping carts ever do to him?

    “And the Lord was with Judah; and he drave out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron.”

    -Judges 1:19

  • howardhershey

    Never considered that the solution to homelessness was to destroy shopping carts that are not where they should be. How exactly does he think that will work? Does he recycle them into apartments or rooms? Sell the scrap to fund mental health care? Perhaps he can find a personal use for the few loose screws he finds; replacing the ones missing in his head?

  • spamamander, internet amphibian

    @ 9

    That is why even if I’m kind of doubtful about the usefulness of giving money directly to homeless people (I think in general working with charities will reach more people) I will often buy a small bag of dog food for those with a dog. That may be their only source of love and companionship.

  • grumpyoldfart

    Doesn’t that clown know that supermarkets have cars with trailers that go out looking for shopping carts. They put them on the trailer and take them back to the store. Any abandoned carts the clown finds would have been picked up an hour or two later anyway.

  • The douchenozzle’s webpage went bye-bye.

  • lorn

    man down the street made a living recovering shopping carts for grocery stores. He got something like $10 a trolly when he returned them. He also made a bit of money cleaning and repairing them. I helped him out with a few tools when his wandered off. Talking to him I learned a few things that might bear on this situation.

    1) My guy explained that the grocery retailer retained ownership even when the carts were hauled off. This was the basis for his legal right to recover them acting as an agent for the grocer. He explained that local and county boundaries didn’t effect this ownership.

    2) Many of those grocery carts are prices north of $1000. They are highly engineered for durability, welded, and often heavily chromed. The $1000 price is important in that in most jurisdictions theft of anything over $1000 is a felony.

    I wonder if Rep. Tom Brower knows there is a good case to be made, subject to local laws, that he is destroying private property worth more than $1000. Sounds like he is breaking some laws. In addition to being a douche.

  • @ lorn:

    Sounds like it might be worth dropping a dime to the congressman’s local copshop, the state police and the Hawaiian AG. Not that they’re liable to go after him–unless he’s in the wrong tribe–but it might be fun to watch them spin this, particularly if the supermarkets decided to press charges of vandalism/wanton destruction.

    BTW, fellow bloggonians, I see that the FL congresshypocritter is pushing the “Rob Ford Defense”:

    “Radel was charged Tuesday and will be arraigned Wednesday. He faces a maximum of 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.

    In a statement, he said problems with alcohol led to an “extremely irresponsible choice” and said he will seek treatment.”

    Twice in one week a sitting politician uses the, “I was ‘faced” gambit. I tried that ONCE, judge took away my driver’s license for a year.

  • uncephalized

    I’m not surprised some asshole is doing this. Honolulu has a major homeless problem especially in and around the parks downtown and near Waikiki. Some nights whole tent cities spring up along the curbs and margins. Of course that means there’s some set of socioeconomic issues that need fixing to make sure that people down on their luck can still find a place to live, and that we’re not taking care of our mentally ill, but the assholes would rather focus on the shopping carts. Because the slight inconvenience of having to look at evidence of homelessness is way more important than alleviating the suffering of the homeless…

  • jnorris

    I stand corrected for insinuating the Hawaii asshole was attacking homeless people. He was just destroying private property that he deemed abandoned.

    I see empty shopping carts next to bus stops regularly. That does not mean they are abandoned by the grocery stores. I wish one of the stores could ID its cart from his video and press charges.

  • An asshole? Hardly. As a college friend once said of someone he disliked: “X isn’t an asshole; the asshole is a necessary, integral part of the human body. X is a hemorrhoid.”

  • Wylann

    Alverant @ 11:

    Why hasn’t he been arrested for destruction of private property? Being without a home doesn’t mean you’re without rights as well.

    I’d like to see that.

    Cop: “You’re under arrest for destruction of private property. ”

    Asshole hemorrhoid: “Those vagrants don’t own those carts! ”

    Cop: “Then who does? ”

    Asshole hemorrhoid: “The grocery store!”

    Cop: Ok, you’re still under arrest for destruction of private property, and I’ll let the stores know so they can sue you too.

    Of course, it would probably be hard to find a cop that would be willing to do that.

    Uzza @ 30:

    It could like a lot of the progressive republicans in KS (yes, there are some). They run on the republican ticket, because they can count on a bunch of idiots that will vote for them just because they have the right letter next to their name on the ballot. This guy acts like a republican rightwinger, but he might run on the D ticket, counting on how uninformed the voting public is (and I suspect it’s not quite equal, but close).