Don’t Count Me Out!

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Following on the heels of The Clean Slate Act, which offers the possibility those with criminal records of having their records sealed, and The First Step Act, which gives non-violent offenders an alternative to jail time to get in a rehab program and clean up their act is a prison reform act that would expunge criminal records is gaining steam in order to help reduce Pennsylvania’s prison population.    http://levittownnow.com/2019/06/10/series-of-criminal-justice-reforms-gaining-steam-in-pa/ 

People who really mess up should be given the option, the opportunity to get straight. The ball is in their court, and they have to want to work on improving themselves. Just because someone goes to jail, you shouldn’t count them out for life. 

Some do write people off once they mess up. Years ago, when I worked in a Pennsylvania State park, a law enforcement official told me that once you go to jail and enter the system, you are a career criminal. I disagreed. I pointed out the famous short story writer O. Henry, was sentenced to jail for five years for embezzlement from a bank. He was released after three years for good behavior. While in prison, he wrote short stories to support his young daughter. 

O. Henry got straight and stayed straight.

The state ranger argued “he (O Henry) was being punished.”  Unable to convince me of his view, he stated that the state of Pennsylvania believes what he said. That the government says something is right does not convince me. The government is populated by fallible human beings. They are not the final authority. https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0377958/bio 

In America, we have the right to redress grievances, and if something is wrong, it may be changed. This is what is happening with prison reform. A call to follow up on Christian prison ministries, to mentor those when they get out is argued in a Salvation Army blog: https://www.salvationarmy.org/nhqblog/news/2014-06-20-the-revolving-door?fbclid=IwAR12yk-bu1SucA_FeE2muTk0eQKWrzPfZ9ZEKuvGmzFrtWWOB1mHkqhyX8g

With their freedom, prisoners who are let out need to act responsibly and work hard to keep straight. To that end, Conquering Life Prison and Recovery Ministries (CLPRM) was created.   http://www.clprm.org/ 

 Through Biblical counsel and working with each other in community, problem people get redeemed. We are all broken people, and Jesus can make us whole. He is the answer to all our issues. 

A Prescription To Abate Homelessness

I am perplexed when I read of homeless advocates who believe big government programs will help the homeless. Like the opioid crisis, government programs to resolve the homeless problem only makes it worse. 

The key to getting out of the poverty that leads to homelessness is to take advantage of opportunities to educate yourself and improve yourself in other ways. Read. Apply yourself. Work hard at whatever you do. 

These are the kind of things John Philip Sousa IV, great grandson of the great March King, discusses in Ben Carson Rx For America 

Dr. Carson entered the political arena after his keynote address at the 2013 National Prayer Breakfast, where he diagnosed the big government, socialistic agenda of then President Barry Obummer. By the way, after this legitimate criticism, the Skinny Socialist had the IRS audit Carson, to no avail. 

The doc is a great example where, by showing initiative, reading, hard work and applying himself, people can get out of poverty. Dr. Carson and his wife Candy started initiatives, using their own resources, to help poor people improve themselves. They offer them a hand up, not the hand out of the welfare state, where you become wards of the state, with limited choices in a caste system.  

In Bucks County, PA, the homeless population continues to increase.  I contacted a county commissioner a few years back to propose the idea to use county land to create an official homeless community, which the homeless help build and manage. The proposal fell on deaf ears. The commissioner’s reply was that the homeless would be made too comfortable if this were to happen and they wouldn’t apply for government assisted housing. And there would be complications, such as mental health and drug abuse issues.  

In the commissioner’s words: “I also do not think that is helpful to the homeless. It just creates more space for them to avoid going to Housing Link and getting the referral, they need, to start getting sober/clean, on medication, in therapy, signed up for assistance or some type of work, and a solid roof over their head.” 

Not all homeless people have these problems. Even if they do, like the rest of us, they can address these needs after they get housing. Ben Carson advocates housing first. This is one of the topics I explore in There Are Homeless in Bucks County; A Journey with the Homeless.  Available: https://www.amazon.com/There-Are-Homeless-Buck-County/dp/172865209X/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_1?keywords=there+are+homeless+in+bucks+county&qid=1555953133&s=gateway&sr=8-1-fkmrnull 

Bucks County should follow the example of Pedro Opeka, who encouraged impoverished people in Madagascar to build good communities from a dump, where once he taught them, they became educated and also built their own community. They didn’t build their city on rock and roll but by motivation and hard work. 

A formerly homeless guy in Bucks County told me he spoke with a businessman who had planned to create housing for the homeless. When the establishment found out the project was for the homeless, it was nixed! I’ve heard from other sources that, although there is more property in Bucks County than homeless people, when caring people tried to make plans to use it for the homeless, they got shut down faster than The Little Old Lady from Pasadena shuts down anyone who races her.  https://youtu.be/CKE__FoHdE0 

Dignity Village, where the homeless helped build and also managed the village where formerly homeless folks came, works:  https://dignityvillage.org/ 

Individual initiative and responsibility, not big government programs,  is the best way to fight homelessness. 

Well There You Go Again!

In an attempt to help resolve the opioid epidemic, Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick wants to soak the taxpayer to fund programs that don’t work.  

One of the places Fitzpatrick wants to dump taxpayer money is the centers for disease control. http://levittownnow.com/2019/05/29/bill-introduced-by-congressman-would-create-25-billion-opioid-epidemic-response-fund/  

Calling drug abuse a disease does not help in this matter.  Calling drug addiction a disease is a marketing tool used by snake oil salesmen. Critics of the disease theory, as reported on Wikipedia, say the disease theory, which is applied to drug and alcohol abuse “exists only to benefit the professionals’ and governmental agencies responsible for providing recovery services, and the disease model has not offered a solution for those attempting to stop abusive alcohol and drug use.”    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disease_theory_of_alcoholism             

Drug addiction is a morally bad choice. Faith-based initiatives, by getting to the root of the problem of addiction, sin, will help solve the drug epidemic, which is basically a symptom of the spiritual bankruptcy in our country today. 

Awhile back, President Trump said taxpayer money will only go to those organizations that fight the drug epidemic that have initiatives that work. The Riverfront Coalition in New Jersey is one such organization that received funding. A friend of mine, a woman of faith, and a youth leader at the City of Refuge Fellowship Church, is part of The Riverfront Coalition, which works with the youth to help prevent them from going down the wrong path, doing things such as drug and alcohol addiction. https://www.insidernj.com/press-release/congressman-macarthur-riverfront-coalition-local-officials-advocates-praise-federal-grant-south-jersey-combat-opioid-crisis/ 

Another organization to which I connected is Conquering Life Prison and Recovery Ministries (CLPRM) in Bucks County, PA. Since I’ve been attending their conquering addiction ministry, coffeehouses, and other events, many of which is a de facto network of CLPRM, I’ve seen how this faith-based organization helps people conquer the voluntary slavery of addiction. Through Jesus and Biblical counsel, they are redeemed.  http://www.clprm.org/ 

Throwing taxpayer money down the rathole will not resolve the opioid crisis. Using resources, money judiciously with programs that work will. Money thrown down the rathole can be better used with organizations such as CLPRM.  Problems such as addictions should not be a government function. As was the case when President Grover Cleveland vetoed a government bailout to save Texas farms after a drought, we don’t need the government to resolve the drug epidemic. Cleveland instead encouraged his fellow Americans to help each other out. And they did, shelling out much more than congress demanded from taxpayers.  

“Government is not a solution to our problem, government is the problem. Government does not solve problems; it subsidizes them. Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. If it stops moving, subsidize it. The problem is not that people are taxed too little, the problem is that government spends too much.”  -Ronald Reagan 

Fighting the drug epidemic should be a case of neighbor helping neighbor, where caring Christians share one another’s burdens and gently restore people with problems, which is not a disease in this case but rooted in sin. People can be redeemed!  

Who Can Best Help The Homeless?

The photo I showed on my recent Facebook page with people carrying clipboards at a homeless camp in Bucks County, PA was not of officials serving eviction notices to make room for homes for illegal aliens. This was pure satire. 

The photo was from a January 30, 2013 article on Phillyburbs.com of a visit from Penndel Mental Health Center and from the Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission. Each organization represents two different paradigms of how to help the homeless:  

    • Penndel Mental Health uses legal dope and psychobabble, cognitive behavioral therapy and virtually puts them out to pasture. They want to fund their program by hook or crook. 
  • Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission counsels them with the Bible and gives them a mission. 

https://www.sott.net/article/257456-More-homeless-camps-discovered-in-Bucks-County-Pennsylvania 

Homeless in Philly_1

A mantra in Bucks County is that homeless people need mental health treatment. Here’s a parody that illustrates this: 

Don’t Think Freely (parody of Buck Owen’s Act Naturally) 

Well, they’re going to put me in the nuthouse 

They want to make a monkey out of me 

They’re going to put me in the nuthouse 

And all they have to do 

Is round up me 

  

Well, they are going have to chase me real far 

They’re going to hunt me and they can’t really tell 

If I really need to be in the nuthouse 

They expect me to play the part for them real well 

  

I hope you’ll come and see me in the nuthouse 

Maybe you can slip me a file in some cake 

I hope you’ll come and see me in the nuthouse 

Where I’m all doped up and can’t think freely 

  

They want to put me in the nuthouse 

That’s because they don’t think I am OK 

Well the only reason that I’m in the nuthouse 

Is that I’m homeless in Bucks County PA 

  

Well, they are going have to chase me real far 

They’re going to hunt me and they can’t really tell 

If I really need to be in the nuthouse 

They expect me to play the part for them real well 

  

I’ll be a homeless collection in the nuthouse 

From the state they want to collect their precious bounty 

I’ll be a monkey caged there in the nuthouse 

Where I’m all doped up and can’t think freely 

  

Well the only reason that I’m in the nuthouse 

Is that  I’m homeless in Bucks County PA 

The only reason that I’m in the nuthouse 

Is  that I’m homeless in Bucks County PA 

  

Dupe-dupe a looney Dupe-dup a looney Dupe-dupe a looney… 

They’re coming to take me away ah-hah he-he ah-hah ah-hah he-he ah-hah he-he… 

 

There Are Homeless in Bucks County; A Journey with The Homeless illustrates the silent battle between worldly, secular psychology and Christianity over how to help the homeless. Available: https://www.amazon.com/There-Are-Homeless-Buck-County/dp/172865209X/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_1?keywords=there+are+homeless+in+bucks+county&qid=1555953133&s=gateway&sr=8-1-fkmrnull 

Update: The photo was from the January 30, 2013 edition of Phillyburbs.com, not June 30, 2013. You may have wondered why people are wearing coats in June. Perhaps Penndel Mental Health Center representatives gave them some legal dope samples and they wore coats in June?

Who Should We Serve?

In a recent interview with the Minister of Silly Walks, R.I. Diculous in Bucks County, PA, I learned the reason for the bogus assertion that the homeless population is shrinking. Mr. Big wants to make room for more illegal aliens, and Bucks doesn’t have the nerve to tell their fearless leader the truth. 

During the BO administration (former President Barry Obummer), a public service TV spot to publicize this move for hope and change in Bucks County was developed.  Accompanying the video, a special adaptation of Hank Williams’ song Move It On Over will play. 

“The homeless sneak in about half past ten 

Pretty soon we won’t let them in 

So move it on over, move it on over 

Move it on over homeless dog because the immigrants are moving in 

We won’t let you homeless in to the woods no more 

Your innovative ways won’t work no more 

So get it on over, move it on over 

Scoot it on over, move it on over 

Move it on over because we fat cats are moving someone else in 

The dumpster here is very small 

But they say it’s better than no home at all 

So ease it on over, move it on over 

Drag your junk over, move it on over 

Move over old homeless dog because our cash cows are moving in 

We told them not to lay around 

Now you let us let dirty deals go down 

So move it on over, drag your junk over 

Move it on over, our cash cows are moving in” 

“The advantage of having illegals moving into Bucks County land is that, not being American citizens, we are not responsible for their welfare.  We are not afraid that they could sue us if they get hurt because we are not obligated to protect them,” Diculous said. 

“We don’t need no stinkin’ protection”, said A. Wetback, who recently crossed the Rio Grande and worked his way into Bucks County. 

Environmentalists adamantly say we should protect illegals.  “The Eagle is our national emblem and should be protected at all costs, especially a sick one, an ill eagle”, said Don Quixote, a local environmentalist. 

For those of you in Doylestown, this is a made up story, a satire. 

In Bucks County, there is more vacant land than homeless Americans. 

“Children from other places take priority over children from our own country?” head of HUD Ben Carson recently challenged Democrats. “They don’t seem to want to answer that question. We have millions of American citizens who have been waiting an average of 2 1/2 years to get housing assistance,” said Dr. Carson, who backs enforcing an existing law that allows only U.S. residents to receive housing benefits.  https://www.lifenews.com/2019/05/24/ben-carson-democrats-are-hypocrites-they-say-they-support-children-but-defend-late-term-abortions/?fbclid=IwAR0DKl13x2kJxI5AM_mXAwsPs4laFc3KSapvixAN-UkXDYjxBxVKe_pst50 

Public officials need to remember that they are in their positions to serve we the people, Americans.  There are too many Americans living right here in Bucks County who need a home.  They do not need a big government program, a babysitting service, or a mental health (legal drug clinic) to help the homeless.  Authorities in Bucks have known about the homeless problem since the late 80’s. In fact, in January, 1988, Bucks County Commissioner Andrew L Warren told the Pennridge Chamber of Commerce that there is a homeless problem in Bucks County, and that “Bucks County government in the 1980’s and 90’s is where we are going to begin to have to find more solutions for issues like this.” 

Speaking of the mental health hustlers and the homeless, here’s a parody a wrote awhile back, before at least some of the mental health hustling programs in Bucks were defunded:  

It’s Public Funding Time (parody of Fats Domino’s Finger Popping Time) 

It’s public (doy-dee doy-dee) funding time 

It is pub lic…funding ty-ime 

I feel so good 

I’m on the public dime 

Hey now hey now hey now hey now 

Here comes Allen here comes Keith 

Allen’s visiting all the homeless sites on his beat 

It’s public (doy-dee doy-dee) funding time 

It is pub lic…funding ty-ime 

I feel so good (dee-doy doy dee-doink) 

I’m on the public dime 

Hey now hey now hey now hey now… 

It seems to be what’s happening to HOST is similar to President Trump cutting the fat and crap from the EPA. Accomplishing the goal of being good stewards of our natural resources can be done less expensively. Likewise, by cutting the programs for mental health removes lots of unwanted fat from a bloated bureaucracy. Penndel Mental Health, for instance, just pumps patients with legal dope and psychobabble: “language that is used by people who talk about mental and emotional problems and that is seen as silly or meaningless: psychological jargon.” – Merriam-Webster 

Addendum to the parody:  

The hustling program was put on a leash 

But that doesn’t stop all the bogus outreach 

Get public funding 

On our dime 

I don’t feel too good 

It doesn’t make the homeless fine 

Hey now hey now hey now hey now 

Here comes new folks a target for the hustler Chris 

They’re an opportunity he doesn’t want to miss 

It’s public (doy-dee doy-dee) funding time 

It is pub lic…funding ty-ime 

I feel so good (dee-doy doy dee-doink) 

I’m on the public dime 

Hey now hey now hey now hey now…  

The homeless population in Bucks County continues to grow. It’s grown since a book about the local homeless was published in November, 2018.  https://www.amazon.com/There-Are-Homeless-Buck-County/dp/172865209X/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_1?keywords=there+are+homeless+in+bucks+county&qid=1555953133&s=gateway&sr=8-1-fkmrnull 

It’s No Fun Being Homeless And Green!

Last night the shared meals for the homeless and those in need in Bucks County, PA was packed. There were more than 100 guests. The homeless/needy population in Bucks is growing. Bucks County has a solution to the problem: A Soylent Green plant, where the homeless are churned into green wafers, may open soon at the spot behind the Levittown Library where Stand Down, the three-day program to help homeless and needy veterans, held on unused land was held.  

When Stand Down was banned on public land in Bucks County, authorities were tight lipped about this ban on veterans. I uncovered the Green initiative after grilling The Minister of Silly Walks in Bucks County, R.I. Diculous. 

The plan:  Create a Soylent Green Plant/Homeless Funhouse at the site of the annual Stand Down. This is why Stand Down will no longer be held at the site; there’s a bigger and better plan to usher Bucks County into a Brave New World.  http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/soylent-green-1973 

The Soylent Green Plant/Homeless Funhouse: At the old Stand Down site, homeless people will be lured into the funhouse, where they will be carried along conveyor belts, past a diorama of pristine forests, a homeless paradise, then through the rotating knives, where the homeless will be churned into green Soylent Green wafers. Just before they get to the rotating knives, a giant neon sign will flash “THANK YOU FOR HELPING TO KEEP BUCKS COUNTY GREEN.” 

Disclaimer: The Soylent Green Plant disguised as a Homeless Funhouse is a made up story, in the tradition of Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal, a satire to criticize the heartless, utilitarian attitude towards the poor. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Modest_Proposal 

People should not be made into Soylent Green. We should be just a shocked at the attitude towards the homeless in places like Bucks County as was Detective Thorn (Charlton Heston) in Soylent Green: “SOYLENT GREEN IS PEOPLE!” In the Levittown public library, which I criticized for harassing the homeless, the homeless who come there have been treated more fairly.  

In There Are Homeless in Bucks County; A Journey With the Homeless I explore the problem, based on first-hand knowledge of the local homeless. I critique both the establishment’s and the homelessness part in the problem and explore options. Available: https://www.amazon.com/There-Are-Homeless-Buck-County/dp/172865209X/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_1?keywords=there%20are%20homeless%20in%20bucks%20county&qid=1555953133&s=gateway&sr=8-1-fkmrnull&fbclid=IwAR0Lio69gDSNACg9uQPyv4SRwV2vu6fhARMz5-pzwMs_LEJe6GXwcSwwWTA 

We All Have Baggage

There Are Homeless in Bucks County; A Journey with The Homeless, a self-evident title and an exploration of the homeless, which focuses on Bucks County, PA, has made its journey from publication to the local authors section of the Bristol Branch of the Bucks County Free Library system (Grundy). There are two copies, placed alongside one another at Grundy. I found them there on Saturday.  

People who are homeless have been visiting Grundy. The book is about them and reflects the realism about society as does John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath.  

The interlibrary electronic catalogue in Bucks shows that there are two copies available, in display, in Bristol.  

There Are Homeless in Bucks County puts the reader in the shoes of the homeless – you walk along with them, as me as your guide, on the journey. You see how they live and experience the good and the bad as you walk with them.  The book looks soberly at the individual homeless and at the establishment, telling it like it is. 

About five years ago I started hanging out with the homeless, including going to the shared meals for the homeless and those in need. Early on I found they are really no different than me. 

“We all have baggage”, a formerly homeless guy told me a few years back. I know I do. I’m struggling to show a good, Godly, constructive, gracious anger towards wrongdoers. I’m almost finished reading David Powlison’s book Good & Angry, to learn how to attack the problem constructively. Reading is one thing, but doing is another.  

But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.  Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.
James 1:22-24 

Accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior is just that. Christ not only saves you, but continues to work in you throughout your life in a process called progressive sanctification.  My girlfriend, who was sitting next to me at the shared meal, where I lambasted Birdman for stealing something from someone who was sitting next to me, said I took my confrontation too far. I was right to say something about Birdman’s predatorial, intrusive behavior, which creates a negative atmosphere at the meal, but got carried away. I need to have God work on me in that matter. 

My girlfriend, a Christian, was like my Sandi in the book, who would call me out, gently admonish me when I was wrong. This is one reason we may have a future together. 

There Are Homeless in Bucks County is available online:  https://www.amazon.com/There-Are-Homeless-Buck-County/dp/172865209X/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_1?keywords=there+are+homeless+in+bucks+county&qid=1555953133&s=gateway&sr=8-1-fkmrnull 

I just saw a mental health hustler doing some business with some new people who have been attending the shared meals. I talk about the hustlers in the book.

Everybody Get Together

“Any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee” — John Donne 

The bell tolls in lower Bucks County, PA for a homeless man who recently passed after being hit by two cars on New Falls road in Levittown, PA. The homeless community has been mourning since, and have made a point to get together more often with one another. 

One of the places the homeless in Bucks County meet is at the shared meals for the homeless and those in need, where they can nourish the body and get together to edify one another.  

Except for a few problem people, who by the way are not homeless, the meals have been a peaceful place for friends to gather.  Reflecting on the man’s passing, I think of how we, especially those of us who are in a similar situation, should value the people around us, and not bicker over things but treasure each other’s company. And we should not allow the problem people to disrupt our peace.  

Shakespeare writes of making the most of our time here on earth, treasuring what we have, as we are just sojourners: 

That time of year thou mayst in me behold (Sonnet 73) 

William Shakespeare, 1564 – 1616  

“That time of year thou mayst in me behold  

When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang  

Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,  

Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.

In me thou see’st the twilight of such day 

As after sunset fadeth in the west;  

Which by and by black night doth take away,  

Death’s second self, that seals up all in rest.  

In me thou see’st the glowing of such fire,  

That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,  

As the deathbed whereon it must expire,  

Consumed with that which it was nourished by.  

  This thou perceiv’st, which makes thy love more strong,  

   To love that well which thou must leave ere long.” 

Competent To Counsel?

A letter from the Department of Veterans Affairs I just got reminded me that psychobabble is alive and well today in our secular society. I was let in on a research program I may qualify for: “The role of Effort Discounting in the Link Between Insomnia and Depression.”  What?  “The study is looking for people who are currently experience low mood and or sleep problems”, the letter reads.  I thought that when you are depressed you sleep a lot.  The explanation: 
    • We are looking at how sleep and mood impact the ways in which we pursue rewards in our lives 
    • Participants experiencing significant sleep problems may receive 6 weeks of cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia, a well-established treatment for sleep disturbance. Cognitive behavioral therapy seems to be the crème De La crème for secular psychology. With this therapy, the client starts with an idea, implements it, evaluates the behavioral outcomes, then if needed, makes a new plan, Stan. As one of Sir Arthur’s men says in Monty Python and The Holy Grail, “it’s only a model!” https://youtu.be/dduI-F_ZnQs 
  • Participants will be asked to wear a device on your wrist that tracks your sleep for 7 nights, answer some questions about mood, sleep, and motivation, and participate in some computer games.  
Sounds like another government boondoggle!  When I was on a downward spiral, about to lose my house in Levittown, PA, the local Salvation Army palmed me off to Penndel Mental Health Center, where I was given legal dope and fed psychobabble. A therapist employed cognitive behavioral therapy. I was on my own, with no direction home. It didn’t help. The Bible based 12 Steps Program did help, and did other such counsel and reading.   I discuss this in my book “There Are Homeless in Bucks County; A Journey with The Homeless”, available on Amazon.com:  https://www.amazon.com/There-Are-Homeless-Buck-County/dp/172865209X/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_1?keywords=there+are+homeless+in+bucks+county&qid=1555953133&s=gateway&sr=8-1-fkmrnull  I also argue that Biblical counsel helps people struggling with the voluntary slavery of drug addiction in the book I am finishing up.  “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness…”  -2 Timothy 3:16