Dean Clough

July 5, 2023

Portico Darwin: The Front Desk at Hotel SOPTOC


<3 Minute Read
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Phew.  Time to towel off from that shower I'm sure you needed after Monday's post

The navel gazing ends (for now) and I return to envisioning a better world, no matter how far-fetched the ideas. 

Because today, I would like to add to my thoughts about being Soft on People and Tough on Crime, as a general construct for a better society.
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I kicked this idea off a couple of weeks ago, and today I want to bring it to life and begin to answer a question I posed at the end of my first post on this subject:

Can we make sleeping outside and vagrancy crimes if we have humane and helpful places for people to get back on their feet and/or be taken care of?

I say yes, if we have Hotel SOPTOC
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Everything that follows today and in the future on this topic is predicated on one simple truth:  nothing can happen until someone is permanently housed.  You can't learn a trade, get sober, honest, or healthy if you are living in a tent, car or temporary shelter.  End of story.  That's why this fantastical concept is focused there - we must insist as a civil society that people be housed. 

In coming posts, I will describe the various hotels in the SOPTOC chain:

  • SOPTOC Back on Your Feet Lodges
  • SOPTOC Rehab Resorts
  • SOPTOC Mental Motels
  • SOPTOC Gateways
  • SOPTOC Mental Retirement Communities
  • SOPTOC Criminal Campus

My idea is centered around the federal and state governments getting extremely serious about housing, education, and giving people useful work.  Whether they want to or not, because in all cases, I am in favor of compelling people to be housed, in one way or another.  That's the Tough on Crime part.

The Soft on People part is I sincerely believe we have the resources at our disposal to end poverty and homelessness, and significantly reduce crime.  But I think we must get creative. 

However, I do see that this whole thing is going to require some reinforcements - so I'm bringing in my heavy hitters. 

It's time for Mr. Roarke and Tattoo to get involved, because yes, my ideas are a pretty big stretch, probably more appropriate coming from Fantasy Island vs. the halls of a cratered US Congress. 

That's because the first step in creating the collection of SOPTOC facilities is the elimination of the US Postal Service.


Well, you see, its time has passed.  I believe that today, the entire USPS is little more than a lower-middle class jobs program, focused largely on the delivery of mail nobody - and I mean fucking NOBODY - wants in the first place. 

OK, I know there are package deliveries and I suppose some kind of official mail function required - but think about it.  The USPS and its incredible waste of resources and real estate could go and I doubt it would be missed, except perhaps for a few grouchy and graying cranks out there.  Let important shit that must be sent physically go via FedEx or UPS - who cares?  We should be capable of moving on from an institution associated with horses and satchels vs. fiber optics and satellites.

But hold on.  While many post offices are leased, did you know that the US Postal Service still owns more than 8,400 facilities, ranging from hole-in-the-wall post offices to massive sorting centers?  Altogether, its portfolio encompasses nearly 200 million square feet of interior space and 900 million square feet of land.

I say shut the whole thing down.  But turn Post Offices in to the Front Desk for the entire Hotel SOPTOC chain, and convert the sorting centers in to Hotel SOPTOCs themselves.  In other words, Post Offices become the gateway for accessing housing, education, treatment, and rehabilitation provided by the Federal and state governments.  Any current postal service employee is automatically eligible for training and employment at the Front Desk or Hotel of their choice.

You check in (or are checked in by family, friends, or a public servant), and are then taken to the nearest and appropriate Hotel SOPTOC.

Expensive?  Yes, and maybe a little crazy, too.  But so were/are these:
  • Social Security
  • Marshall Plan
  • GI Bill
  • Interstate Highway System
  • Landing a man on the moon
  • Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI - Reagan's "Star Wars" missile defense system)

I'll close with a preview of an upcoming post, which will describe a typical SOPTOC Back on Your Feet Lodge

Here is what I have in mind.

This is a camp established during The Great Depression, and it housed unemployed people that were building the nearby facilities for what would become Muir Woods National Monument.

Hmm - imagine that.  Except imagine them instead establishing solar farms or installing electric car charging stations or building high speed rail lines.  Can we do big things any longer as a country?

And the first reader that utters the words "internment camp" or says "you just don't want to see the homeless", will be deemed Psycho Woke and sent to bed without supper.


The response to Lottery Winner - The Electrifying Conclusion was gratifying, and frankly, a relief.  I had feared I had gone too far, but judging by the response - from 5 different women, mind you - I did not.  Thank you, and here is an anonymous sampling of the feedback.

Hey, Portico - reading this made me so mad.  And so disgusted with the lows to which people will sink.  Thank heavens you are out of there.  This post was riveting and well written and it’s clear you’ve come through the ordeal with flying colors to many happy years ahead.  Hopefully with no work - trust me you’re not missing out.

Good job on today’s blog.   I love how you ended it - grateful!  As I am for knowing you and Julie.  

This might be my favorite series yet! 

Portico, I admire your courage to share so much detail about your TEECOM experience(s) and your multiple lottery winnings.  This is a great time to celebrate your Independence.

And my favorite.

I just read your blog and . . .OMFG what a TROLL Caro Kimbro is, LOL!  She looks like she definitely has some issues!

You're definitely in a much better place.

It even motivated the original retired one, the esteemed jet-setter Dallas Money, to weigh in from God knows where:

I do read your posts, I just don't reply! 

Gratitude, I tell you, gratitude.

Thank you to any one that is reading this newsletter.


Perfect!  It's a great new album and isn't its title just right for today?  Here is the jazz guitar maestro Pat Metheny and his sublime Dream Box.

About Dean Clough

Plans To Enjoy Life.