The Homeless Versus The Government

Homelessness in the United States started before The Great Depression, but it became much more common by 1929, the official start of The Great Depression.

During President Herbert Hoover’s reign, shanty towns, known as Hoovervilles, built by the homeless in his name mushroomed. Soon there were hundreds of them across the US in the 1930s, as the progressive policies continued under President FDR. Clustered close to soup kitchens, Hoovervilles were a collection of tents and small shacks on empty land.

Hoovervilles were not officially recognized by the authorities, and people were booted from private land. But as the homeless problem started getting out of hand, authorities looked the other way out of necessity.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hooverville

In Bucks County, PA, the homeless problem was officially recognized in the late 80s.

As the homeless problem in Bucks rose to near epidemic proportions authorities sometimes looked the other way when people camped out on private and public land. But in the past year, they started clamping down on unofficial camping.  The latest major raid was at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Levittown, PA.   http://levittownnow.com/2016/04/30/county-officials-begin-to-clear-homeless-camps/

Part of the problem is the homeless themselves. Sometimes they create problems. For instance, there was a homeless encampment outside a Walmart, where a property owner let the homeless use electrical outlets just to charge their cell phones. But some of them abused the privilege. Some of them even ripped off copper tubing, most likely the druggies in the group. Consequently, they were booted.

The homeless are a microcosm of society, where some of them reflect the bad behavior of today’s society. As such, individuals in the homeless community should at least be given a chance.

Many of the homeless in Bucks County work and are decent people who play by the rules and many of them work, but don’t have enough money for a place or just can’t find one. The only time they break them, is when they have nowhere else to go and camp on private and public land. Public land, by the way, belongs to all of us.

My appeals to use public or vacant property in Bucks County, which is sufficient to accommodate the homeless, fell on deaf ears. When I proposed to a county commissioner an idea to use county land to set up official encampments, in the tradition of the homestead act of 1862, http://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?flash=true&doc=31 where the homeless would build and maintain the encampment, she poo-pooed it and said that this would jeopardize their chances of getting into government assisted housing, which takes between one to two years to get into.

Back in the Great Depression, some men who lived in Hoovervilles who had construction skills built their houses out of stone.  Given some land, today’s homeless can do the same thing. One homeless friend excitedly told me his idea to build a wooden shelter that would house a few tents, with a  the wood burning stove in the middle and a vent for the stove. This never materialized, as the heat was on the homeless in the woods where he wanted to build it.

During the depression, the government set up shelters for the homeless, but they soon got filled up, especially in California, where they were hard to find. The Joads, the characters in John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, illustrated this. The Joads briefly settled in a Hooverville (not quite a Holiday Inn) in California. The government shelters in Bucks County, PA likewise can’t keep up with the flow of the homeless, in large part to the explosion of recovery houses, some 100 of them in Levittown.

The economic causes of homelessness in modern America started in the late 19th century. Progressivism started as a spark in the late 1890s, when federal expenditures increased. Between Presidents Woodrow Wilson and FDR, the Republicans were progressives and the Democrats were conservatives. During that time, congress had more say that did the Presidents. The Republican party laid the intellectual groundwork for the growth of government in the 20th century.

The Republicans passed the Baton to the Democrats, and except when we had a reprieve with Truman and Kennedy, the Democrats have carried the progressive torch, burning the whole country.

The homeless are the canary in the mine. For those of you in Doylestown, this means that, as a canary is an advance warning for methane or carbon in a coal mine because the canary would die before the levels of the poisonous gases are hazardous to humans, homelessness is an early indicator of an unhealthy economy.

As I’ve said in a previous blog, a nation’s prosperity and its morality are intricately linked.

One of the obstacles for creating more shelter for the homeless is hobophobia. Even though the homeless are just a reflection of today’s society, the bad behavior of some homeless members prompts some people to think twice before helping them. The efforts concerned people who want to create more shelter for the homeless are stonewalled by the Bucks County government, fueled by intolerant, judgmental people.

“Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people He has chosen as His own inheritance.” Psalm 33:12

For further reading (quite lengthy) http://object.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/serials/files/cato-journal/1996/11/cj16n2-2.pdf

And of course, the Bible.

Das Boot

In the movie, Das Boot, to avoid an encounter with a destroyer, a German U-boat had to dive dive dive, so far they were beyond the submarine’s rated limit. Like the homeless in Bucks County, PA, they were under great pressure, so much so that the sub’s chief engineer freaked out and had to be restrained.

Wherever the homeless in Bucks County go, they are under pressure. The biggest pressure is a place to lay their head at night.  Evictions are a way of life for the homeless. Even in my case, where I found a motel that gives weekly discounts that will allow my cancer stricken friend and I a place to survive for a time, we got evicted!

My friend fell when walking past the office at the Neshaminy Inn in Trevose one Monday. About 1 ½ hours before our paid week ended, we were told we had to move. Immediately! I told the Inn I couldn’t do that, with nowhere to go and high heat and humidity, and said the police would have to pull us out, and they wouldn’t like that kind of publicity. We were given a week, reluctantly.

A pastor and a social worker called the Neshaminy Inn to ask them to at least give us time until we find a place to stay, but like a prevailing mentality in Bucks, they didn’t care. What’s more, they acted like they were concerned for our welfare. To quote Pat Paulsen “Bull feathers!”

To quote from the official eviction letter from the Neshaminy Inn’s owner, Matthew Etzrodt:

“We are concerned for *** safety and believe she would be better relocating to a different location. We are not a healthcare facility and are unable to provide a safe environment for her. We feel the alcohol consumption combined with the drugs she is taking pose an immediate risk.”  

This is a lie and a gross distortion. She doesn’t take drugs, even prescription. Just seizure medicine. My friend even stopped taking sleeping pills weeks before this incident. And when she did, this, as is the case with the seizure medicine, it was never taken anywhere near the time she consumed alcohol. And she only drank in the room and quietly slept. She fell because it was hot and humid and she didn’t use her head.

Two officials on different occasions said that the living conditions and my help were suitable for my friend’s welfare. The only time the Neshaminy Inn was put out at all was when they called me when she fell.

Das Boot has become a trend in Bucks County, PA. For some people, the only solution to solve problems that occur where people stay is to boot them out! It’s like The Gong Show, where if the host doesn’t like the way people are performing, they get gonged off the stage. Booting people in Bucks is often just a matter of personal preference, as is the campaign to boot all homeless people from the public library in Levittown just because people don’t like them.

It’s sometimes arbitrary and even vindictive, as was the case with the queen in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. Off with their head!

Lewis Carroll’s story could easily be set in Bucks County, with all the mad hatters and queens.

At a meeting the press covered at the Veteran’s Memorial in Levittown, where homeless advocates, the homeless, veterans and a Bucks County official met the day when the homeless were evicted from the government complex in Levittown, one advocate said “I understand what their (the county) concerns are, but I really don’t think their dealing with it the right way.,” and added “I called the phone number on the signs and there is no more room in the shelters.”

Instead of booting people from their “homes” when there’s a problem, people need to reason together and work out a solution to the problem other than das boot.

This applies to other problems as well. Shooting cops because you don’t think what a cop did was right is the wrong way to go about it. Dr. Martin Luther King preached and did the right thing through peaceful protest and well thought out persuasive arguments. The homeless problem in Bucks County PA is much like racial problems MLK resolved.

I feel like the chief engineer in Das Boot who freaked out under pressure and had to be restrained. The only thing that’s calming me down (a bit) is my faith in God and counsel and help from my Christian brothers and sisters.

The homeless are under pressure. It’s good that Christians have been reaching out to help. Besides helping with physical needs, the friends without walls, as one church that hosts community meals refers to the homeless, are loved by them unconditionally. For those of you in Doylestown, this means to care for people without expecting anything in return.

“We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.” -2nd Corinthians 5:20.

The answer, my friend, isn’t blowing in the wind, the bottle, or the pill you took today. It’s faith in God. Mine is really being tested right now.

Gimmee Shelter

Oh, a storm is threatening
My very life today
If I don’t get some shelter
Oh yeah, I’m gonna fade away

War, children, it’s just a shot away
It’s just a shot away
War, children, it’s just a shot away
It’s just a shot away

-Lyrics from the Rolling Stone’s Gimmee Shelter

Today in places such as Bucks County, PA, people are saying “Gimmee shelter!”

Life for the homeless in Bucks County is stormy. There seems to be a war against the homeless. Despite the county having more vacant property than homeless people, nobody’s been able to put the two together.

Even if you have some money, it’s hard to get housing in lower Bucks County. It’s completely impossible if you have hardly two pennies to rub together.

Unofficial places for the homeless to go is steadily shrinking. In some cases, certain problem individuals have caused their places to be raided. In some cases, the good people could have done more to keep the problem people out. But this can be difficult, as the Bucks establishment subscribes to the one-size-fits all mentality, so in many cases even if problem people are reported, everyone is punished.

The homeless in lower Bucks often end up at the Bucks County Homeless Shelter in Levittown, where they may have to wait for months to get in, thanks largely to the Feds which has imposed an inordinate number of recovery houses on the lower Bucks community – some 100 of them. Instead of moving on up, the druggies continue their bad habits and end up in the so-called emergency shelter. The shelter is also a revolving door for drunks and other miscreants.

Consequently, relatively normal people are put at risk. One problem is theft. Also crazies disturbing them. Just last night some psycho was keeping people up well past midnight. The staff did nothing to stop this, yet a rogue ranger, Tom Booze, who volunteers at the shelter, is on a witch hunt, doing criminal checks, possibly illegally, and harasses the homeless at the shelter. One resident told me that when he walked past the rogue ranger, he noticed he had pulled up a birth certificate on the shelter’s computer screen.

In one case, Booze put his hands on one of the shelter residents for no reason, evidently to provoke him so he could call the police. He also accused a resident of being drunk without using a breathalyzer or a swab test.

This place is not a shelter from the storm. In fact, it is the storm!

The Bucks County Homeless Shelter is becoming a Lord of The Flieshttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lord_of_the_Flies

A formerly homeless guy I met about 2 ½ years ago has become responsible, self sufficient. He has a job and can pay his own bills. He is getting his act together. There were some caring people who have helped him help himself.

We need to give all the homeless an opportunity to help themselves. Some succeed, some don’t. One size does not fit all. The homeless need a hand up, not a hand out.

The key to helping the homeless is caring people in the community, not the government. Unlike people who voluntarily come out to help the homeless with their physical and spiritual needs, the government isn’t very personable. The homeless, at least here in Bucks County, are written off as lost causes and treated as a commodity. For example, Alan Johnson, who works for the county, told me he doesn’t believe in housing first and added that people have to get straight first. He presupposes that they all need mental health services in order to get housing. In fact, he offered housing to me and others if we are willing to be labeled that we are so messed up that we cannot be a productive member of society.

Very few people in the homeless community need to be put away. The county health industry doesn’t really help people. I can think of two people who go to the community meals who need to be tucked away somewhere. Druggies and chronic drunks also need to be sequestered the way people in insane asylums centers are.  Their habits are a form of insanity. The 12 Steps program helps restore sanity.Step Two- Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.  http://www.12stepjourney.com/

Contrast the way caring people reach out to the homeless to the government’s modus operandi. First of all, private parties show unconditional love. Yesterday at the afternoon community meal, the guys at my table said they really appreciate the trouble that church goes to prepare good meals, and that they particularly appreciate the way the hosts treat them. Yesterday one of the hosts asked the guests what God did for them. One chirped that he got his job back. The host also talked about forgiveness, to which I noticed some guests were very attentive.

Awhile back, a host ministered, one on one to a guy who was nearly at the end of his rope with his drug problem. The guy ended up in a faith based short term drug treatment program. When I talked with him while visiting someone else at the treatment center, he told me he realizes the gravity of his problem and that he’s determined to take the program seriously.

These caring people are examples of the way we should care for people who need a hand up. Oh, did I say these were church people? The church needs to take back the mission that she relegated to the secular world, especially to a machine like government.

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.”

-Proverbs 31:8

Come Out of The Dark

Someone once told me that when I wear my black poncho, I look like Darth Vader. Jokingly, I said that I crossed over to the dark side. Instead of helping the homeless, I lead the authorities to the homeless campsites in the woods, leading a wrecking crew to destroy the camps, as the Galactic Empire did with the AT-AT walkers, the four-legged transport and combat vehicles that resemble dinosaurs to stamp out the Rebel Alliance in two of the Star Wars movies.

Actually, the authorities in Bucks County, PA sent a backhoe to clear out homeless camps in the woods behind the Bucks County Technical School and across from The Bucks County Homeless Shelter back in April. It was a complete blitzkrieg; the county also forced the homeless from their camps at the nearby Veterans Memorial and by the District Court Building.

But I, or a guy who was falsely accused, did not rat them out. The woods were cleared out mainly because of complaints about drug use in the woods. Hypodermic needles were found. At least one druggie who overdosed had to be pulled out of the woods and taken to the ER. As far as the memorial and district court area, there were complaints about the homeless who camped there. Many of the problems were caused by druggies, some who had joined the local population and some who had come from some of the numerous recovery houses in the area. Some people who used the memorial sometimes kept their tents up during the day and on occasion their were drunken brawls and the police were called.

We all have a dark side. Christians are sinners saved by grace.

People destroy their lives by abusing drugs and alcohol and cause social problems. I went to the dark side after I turned from my faith and got messed up without the help of drugs or alcohol. As I told a Christian brother and sister recently, I did other bad things to make up for having problems via drugs and alcohol.

There are people I’d like to stamp out like a bug. People who cause problems in the homeless community, people who are judgemental about the homeless, thieves, liars, people who have slighted me, given me a raw deal, obnoxious drunks. Although it’s right to call out bad behavior and tell someone they are offending or hurting you, it is not up to me to judge. That’s God’s job.

I have to go to God and his Word to clean up my dark side. That’s a life long maintenance project.

In his Word, God teaches us to be more like Jesus. For example, the story of Jonah and the whale:

A long time ago, a man named Jonah found the people of Nineveh too much to take. When God told Jonah to go to this wicked town to minister to them, he blew God off and walked the other way.

As the story goes, Jonah gets aboard a ship and out of nowhere comes a storm. Jonah told the crew that his running away from the Lord caused this. They jettisoned him and Jonah got swallowed by a whale.

Time out!

Inside the whale, Jonah got to think about his attitude and his disobedience to God. He repented and asked God to guide him. Jonah returned to Nineveh and the town repented and turned to God and from their evil ways.

Jonah, however, didn’t like God’s compassion for the wicked city.

Jonah had written off Nineveh as a lost cause and wanted them destroyed. God didn’t.

Like a sibling who couldn’t wait to see his brother or sister punished, Jonah sat waiting to see God open a can of whoopass on Nineveh.

God made a vine grow over Jonah to protect him from the hot sun but then he brought a worm to chew the vine, leaving him exposed to the blazing hot sun. Jonah grew faint and wanted to die. He was angry at God.

God gave Jonah the message similar to the opening of the science fiction series The Outer Limits:  “There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission. If we wish to make it louder, we will bring up the volume. If we wish to make it softer, we will tune it to a whisper. We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical. We can roll the image; make it flutter. We can change the focus to a soft blur or sharpen it to crystal clarity. For the next hour, sit quietly and we will control all that you see and hear. We repeat: there is nothing wrong with your television set. You are about to participate in a great adventure. You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind to the outer limits.”

God showed Jonah that He was in control.

He compared this demonstration  to the people of Nineveh and told Jonah: “You have been concerned about the vine, though you did not tend it of make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. But Nineveh has more than 920,000 people who cannot tell their right hand from their left, and many cattle as well. Should I not be concerned about that great city?”

At a center for drug and alcohol abuse where I visited a friend, a counselor told the visitors that we have to set rules and borders for our loved ones with problems, but we should never condemn them.  I’ve been setting rules and borders for a cancer patient I care for and try not to condemn her. Occasionally, when she does outrageous, destructive things, I slip and start to dismiss her. I’ve prayed to God for more patience with her.

God can take us out of our dark side.

“He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.” -Psalm 40:2

We’ve Done It Before and We Can Do It Again!

In my last blog, I pleaded for America to hit the restore button.  Unless you are from Doylestown, PA, you know that I used that phrase figuratively. Cultures, like people, are not restored overnight, but gradually over time by saying and doing the right things.

Facebook has been a great avenue to advocate change – a campaign to restore our conservative, Christian values. For some time, I’ve seen lots of Christian and conservative photos with words and Christian links on Facebook. It’s good to know that good folks are exercising their 1st amendment rights.

People’s beliefs have won people over through persuasive outlets.

I grew up during the cold war, when even in cartoons, communism was laughed at.   The characters Boris Badenov and Natasha Fatale, who answered to Fearless Leader and to Mr. Big, a distant, godlike character who made cameo appearances on the Bullwinkle and Rocky cartoon show, mocked the Soviet Union.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boris_Badenov

Another anti-communist message I like is a parody of the Pepsodent ad I heard.

The original ad:

You wonder where the yellow went

When you brush your teeth with Pepsodent

The parody:

You wonder where your father went

When he speaks against the government

Nobody has come to take me away, at least not for speaking against the government (maybe men in white coats). There are people out there who don’t like what I’m saying, and it’s good my blog site is secure.

I have, however, been punished for expressing a view someone didn’t like. The Countess of Carlisle at the Salvation Army Community Center in Levittown PA and I had a different view of the homeless. I said that the harassment of the homeless at the public library in Levittown has to stop. The countess Augustly said that people who visit the library don’t like the homeless being there and that the librarian has unquestionable rule. I disagreed.

A woman from Salvation Army regional headquarters had offered me a job opportunity. I submitted a trial article to the Salvation Army via the countess. I didn’t hear anything for months, until  I ran into the woman who offered me the job  at the Levittown Community Center. She asked me if I was still interested in the job. As per standard operating procedures, I had to ask Captain Casper Milquetoast, the community center boss. As was the case before, he sent me to the countess who said “I don’t have time for that.” The job never materialized.

Another political joke I like is one told by President Ronald Reagan:

An American told a Russian “I have free speech in my country. I can stand at the top of the steps of the White House and shout ‘to H with the President of the United States’ and nothing will happen to me.”

The Russian said that the same is true in his country. “I can stand at the top of the steps of the Kremlin and shout ‘to H with the President of the United States’ and nothing will happen to me either.”

Skillful, passionate people have persuaded their fellow Americans of the bankruptcy and destructiveness of progressive policies such as The New Raw Deal. For example, the weekly magazine Human Events  founded by Frank Hanighen and Felix Morley with a significant contribution from ex-New Dealer Henry Regnery was very influential.  Ronald Reagan said that the magazine “helped me stop being a liberal Democrat.”  

People going to church and seriously reading their Bibles and Christian books such as by C.S. Lewis was also a winning salvo in the culture war.

In a video, Dr. James Dobson, head of Focus on the Family, said that true liberals are in the minority, but they have money and power. Progressives propaganda has been infiltrating our public schools, the media, and other venues.

Today, however, we have more unfiltered sources of communication, such as Facebook, private blogs, and the Internet in general. This is a plus for Christian conservatives.

A member of The Advocates for The Homeless and Those in need (AHTN) asked me to blog for AHTN. Evidently, the management didn’t approve me. I think they know me well enough to know that I don’t just go along to get along. I try to tell it like it is, even if I risk slings and arrows.

“Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth each one of you with his neighbor, for we are members of one another.” – Ephesians 4:25.

In other words, tell it like it is, man!

Hit the Restore Button

“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”  -Excerpt from Abraham Lincoln’s  Gettysburg Address.

Now, more than a century after President Lincoln called for equality among citizens, Shrillery-Killery Clinton, after the FBI found that she committed gross wrongdoing with that email fiasco, and while others have been convicted for much less, she was let off the hook.

Women don’t lie about rape, said Clinton, except when women accuse the former Wicked Witch of The West Wing’s meal ticket, Slick Willy Clinton of rape. Not only did Shrillery-Killery summarily dismiss the women’s allegations, she belittled the women, calling one of them “trailer trash.”

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2014/10/23/the-war-on-women-juanita-broaddrick-and-bill-clinton/

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1157708/posts

In Bucks County, PA, this double standard exists, where the soccer moms bring their boisterous brats to the public library in Levittown, who scream and carry on like wild animals, disturbing people who are trying to use the library for its designated use. Yet the homeless, whom the elites think of as “trailer trash”, although they are living in tents, in cars, on walkways, wherever they can scrounge out a place to stay, are held to a different standard than the soccer moms with out of control kids in toe.

Pat, the head librarian is tolerant of the behavior of the moms and undisciplined kids and other special privileged characters, but she confronts homeless people for talking more than a whisper and has kicked out homeless people for making a fraction of the noise of the boisterous brats. On some occasions she’s confronted the homeless over phantom problems.

Not surprisingly, Pat is a fan of Shrillery-Killery Clinton. She once conspicuously faced the covers of two copies of Shrillery-Killery’s book out on the book shelves.

Just as the soccer moms are permissive with their kids, The Advocates for the Homeless and Those in Need (AHTN) are permissive with individuals in the homeless community who create problems. People who ride the AHTN bus to community meals said that discipline on the bus is lacking. Two different black women said they’ve heard racial slurs. And there have been other problems. When I used to take the AHTN bus, I never heard an ethnic slur. Other bad behavior was rare.

In my nearly 2 ½ years hanging with the homeless in Bucks County, I haven’t witnessed or heard of any racial problems. There were some problems between people, but none of them had anything to do with race.

One problem, that started several months ago after a then homeless person spread false witness about someone who lives in a house and goes to the meals (which is for people in this category also) created mass hostility and threats of violence and even minor violence. When a disorderly homeless person threatened the person who lives in a house at a community meal, AHTN, led by one AHTN representative who twisted what happened, the victim, who did nothing to provoke the homeless person, got blamed. AHTN banned him from the bus. When he returned to the Redeemer Lutheran Church in Penndel, PA, the host said he was also not welcomed there.

Nobody bothered to check out the complaints from the homeless – there was no discussion – but AHTN and Redeemer Lutheran Church summarily sided with the homeless. AHTN’s decision was a matter of expedience, not of right and wrong or holding the individual homeless accountable for their behavior. This is a double standard.

The double standard is not what our country’s framers had in mind; it’s not constitutional.

Today we are in a cultural civil war. One side, the one I’m on, is fighting for equal treatment under the law, free speech, the right to liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and other principles guaranteed by the constitution.

Progressives, like Barry Obama and The Clintons, are not the friend of the homeless or others who are not on the list of their special privileged characters. Liberals play favorites. In previous blogs, I have illustrated how progressives, from the early 20th century, have created homelessness and other problems and have favored the fat cats. In the past we’ve experienced economic and a moral depressions in our country and have been falling down that rabbit hole again since the 60s.

It’s time to hit the restore button and refresh our true American values!

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” –2nd Chronicles 7:14

Once I Built a Railroad

“Once I built a railroad, I made it run
Made it race against time
Once I built a railroad, now it’s done
Brother, can you spare a dime”

–Popular song during The Great Depression

The song was written in 1930, a year after the stock market crashed and ushered in the depression.

The stock market crashed is an oversimplified explanation of  the cause of the Great Depression. It’s not like a train crash. Instead, it was the result of progressive government overreach that started with President Herbert Hoover, whose claim to fame is the Hooverville developments – shanty towns built by homeless people, most of whom were out of work because of wrong headed government policy.

President FDR, who lied about reversing Hoover’s policies, became more of a progressive than Hoover. He was Hoover on steroids! Enter President Harry Truman, who took more of a free market approach than did Hoover or Roosevelt, and our country prospered.

During the depression, there was great immorality and hate. We became a police state, not a whole lot different than Nazi Germany and The Soviet Union, but on a smaller scale. For example, a business owner was arrested for charging customers 35 cents for an item instead of the government mandated 40 cents. Government storm troopers regularly went into businesses to keep them in line with the government.

As a result of government policies, “normal” people became hobos, today called homeless. They hopped freight trains and camped out. Railroad cops went after them, much like the authorities go after today’s homeless. The cops sometimes beat the hobos, who had become poor because Uncle Sam confiscated a lot of money, which was used to build the railroad.

What created the monster that wreaked havoc on our nation back then? This is not a rhetorical question. The monster was a product of an immoral, godless nation. This was also the case in Germany at the time.

In the late 19th and early 20th century, a toxic movement known as modernism crept into our society. Modernism rejects God and moral absolutes. Modernism also rejects realism. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modernism

Transforming society, from commerce to philosophy was the goal of modernism. It was reflected in literature. Take Virginia Woolf. Please! She was one of the foremost modernists of the 20th century, an upper class elitist whose first novel was published in 1915. In college, I was required to read her To the Lighthouse, published in 1927. It is an incoherent rant, mainly against men. The novel spewed out a nihilistic view of life.

Modernism started polluting the church.  In 1929 Princeton Theological Seminary, after years of sound, Biblical teaching,  “was reorganized under modernist influences.” http://www.wts.edu/about/history.html

Almost immediately after the seminary went the way of the modernist world, Westminster Theological Seminary was established in Philadelphia, PA (actually right outside the Philly border), whose goal is to adhere to the fidelity of scripture.

In time, our nation was blessed with more of a true, Christian influence. The Great Depression was officially over in 1941, and gradually life in our country got better. It was a more peaceful time. Families stayed and prayed together. As was the case in the 19th century, most churches taught the truth of God. People went to these churches and read the Bible and Christian authors such as C.S. Lewis.

Christianity had the upper hand on our society by the 1950s. But, alas, the Blue Meanies don’t completely go away. Between 1955-1956, Beat poet Allen Ginsberg wrote his nihilistic poem Howl, which is essentially an extremely long run on sentence. Howl became the hippies national anthem.

I, like Allen Ginsberg, have seen the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness.

Although the counter culture pointed out some valid problems, its remedy is worse than the disease.

Today, the counter culture has permeated our country. In fact, now it is run by 60’s radicals, one who is the president and one who is running for president, to name two. I heard at least one praising FDR and wanting to be just like him.

We need to take our country back! No matter what your present state, even if you are homeless, find a Bible preaching church, and check what is preached by studying the Bible yourself. Go to Bible studies. Pray. If we all did this, we’d have a better society!

“Trouble pursues the sinner, but the righteous are rewarded with good things.”

-Proverbs 13:21

The 411 on Homelessness

On a warm humid night recently, I woke up about 2 a.m. Unable to get back to sleep, I took a walk to 7-11 to get some milk. On route, I saw someone sleeping on the sidewalk by Dunkin Donuts, which was closed. It looked like the person was sleeping on top of blankets or pads. It was too warm to be undercover. The zonked out person didn’t even stir as I passed by.

If I would have witnessed this about 2 ½ years ago, before I started associating with the homeless in lower Bucks County, PA, I would have had a different reaction. Back then I would have just thought I saw a bum, perhaps sleeping off a drunk.

This may have been the case. Maybe not. Now I have a better understanding of homelessness than I did before. People are homeless for different reasons. One size does not fit all.

On that recent warm humid night, the thought that the sidewalk sleeper was sleeping off a drunk didn’t even enter my mind. I was just seeing someone who didn’t have a dwelling to lay his head.

The economy is one reason people become homeless. Many people simply lose jobs.

“Ah yes, seems we’ve been here before”, to quote W.C. Fields. Homelessness ran rampant during The Great Depression. Progressive rule caused and prolonged the depression. President Herbert Hoover was a progresssive and the depression started on his watch. Shanty towns, built by homeless people, were called Hoovervilles in his honor. FDR compounded and extended the depression with his New Raw Deal.

http://object.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/pubs/pdf/tbb-0508-25.pdf

We pulled out of the depression after WWII, not because of the war but because we started implementing free market capitalism. Our society also became more moral, returning to the Christian faith.

But starting in the 60’s, progressivism reared it’s ugly head again. We also became less moral, turning away from God.

So here we are in 2016, where we have continued on a downward spiral and have become an Obama Nation.

The homeless community is just a reflection of today’s society, some of whose members have the same issues as other communities. In some cases, people’s irresponsible actions caused them to be homeless. Recently, a formerly homeless man said he acknowledged that his actions caused him to be homeless.  He then started out on a new foot, looked to God, and moved upwards.

People can change — if they are receptive to allowing people to help them help themselves. I’ve been trying to help a homeless woman who has cancer. She continues to smoke, consumes too much caffeine, which dehydrates her, and drinks too much alcohol, which kills her liver, especially on an empty stomach. Rather than limiting caffeine and alcohol (a little red wine with a meal is beneficial) and eating more, she does the opposite. She doesn’t want to end up in a nursing home, but she is putting herself there by her irresponsible behavior.

I’m a great believer in personal responsibility.

Progressivism absolves people of responsibility, as does much of modern psychology. I heard someone associated with the Salvation Army, who is in the mental health industry, say about a child molester, “it’s not his fault.” Wrong! It’s sin.

A healthy economy and morality go hand in hand. An immoral society cannot prosper.  A Christian cannot be a progressive, someone who is on the road, the wrong one, to socialism. Expressio Unius Est Exclusio Alterius, a Latin term that means “the expression of one thing is the exclusion of the other”, like fire and water, applies here.

“Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.”

2nd Chronicles 7:14

Who’ll Stop The Insane?

“Drug overdose has surged to become the leading cause of accidental death in the United States”, wrote congressman Mike Fitzpatrick in a recent op-ed to LevittownNow.com.

The drug epidemic is not something law enforcement can just “arrest its way out of”, said Bucks Co. Assistant District Attorney Matt Weintraub, adding that we need a plan that “reduces the supply and demand, while helping those in the throes of addiction,” the congressman referenced in his op-ed.

I agree. But how do we go about it?

Lately we’ve been bombarded with ads for drug abuse treatment. There’s one in particular that’s been coming on constantly, where a bearded guy with a stethoscope and scrubs tells us how grave the drug abuse problem is and Augustly states “It is a disease,” and offers services, which, he ads, may be covered by your insurance.

Another ad for drug abuse treatment mentions “it’s not a 12 step program.”

Both of these sources are wrong.

What is addiction and how do we solve it?

“Addiction is a repetitive, pleasure-seeking behavior that is habitual in spite of moral or physical reasons (i.e., harm) that should rationally preclude its practice and that displaces spiritual obligations,” writes Franklin E Payne Jr., MD, Associate Professor of Family Medicine at the Medical College of Georgia. Dr. Payne rejects the conventional wisdom that addictions are strictly medical but are moral and spiritual. Drug and other substance abusers cannot be helped, the professor says, unless the problem is viewed from that perspective.

http://www.bmei.org/jbem/volume7/num4/payne_addiction_as_besetting_sin.php

The root of the problem is sin, not disease.

Although there is a physical dependency, the mental drive for pleasure or comfort far exceeds the physical drive, according to Dr. Payne, who adds that such compulsive behavior should be labeled “besetting sin” rather than as an “addiction.”

Besetting sin is to doggedly continue to  pursue bad, sinful habits, taking things to extremes, becoming enslaved by sin.

“As a dog returns to his own vomit,
So a fool repeats his folly. “

.-Proverbs 26:11

All “addictions” have this common root.

The only way to overcome these problems is through biblical principles.  A businessman whose business was destroyed because of alcohol abuse went to psychiatrist and psychotherapist  Carl Jung for treatment. Shortly after a year long treatment with Dr. Jung,  he returned to his drinking. When he went back for treatment, Dr. Jung told the man that his case was nearly hopeless and the only hope was for a spiritual conversion with a religious group.

The 12 Steps Journey Program, a free, walk in program which is held at two different churches, two different nights in Bucks County, PA, operates on the principle that Dr. Jung recommended to the drunk who returned to his vomit.

The first step in the 12 steps program: “We admitted we were powerless over the effects of our separation from GOD-that our lives had become unmanageable.”

The 12 Steps Journey Program addresses a host of problems that have a common cause: alcohol and drug abuse, anxiety, depression, anger, etc.

http://www.12stepjourney.com/

Today many churches are offering treatment programs to help troubled people overcome besetting sins. This is a step in the right direction to tackle the drug epidemic and other problems that are rooted in sin.

To help drunks overcome their problem, before Alcoholics Anonymous, Dr. Franklin Nathaniel Daniel Buchman, a minister, started a movement called “A First Century Christian Fellowship”, later called “The Oxford Group”.  It’s philosophy to treat the problem:

  • All people are sinners
  • All sinners can be changed
  • Confession is a prerequisite to change
  • The change can access God directly
  • Miracles are again possible
  • The change must change others

This philosophy applies to other human behavioral problems.

There is help for those who seek it.

“For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted

-Hebrews 4:15.

See You Later Alligator!

The government of Bucks County PA and Disneyworld  have partnered up to find a solution to the alligator problem at the Disney resort in Florida.

Bucks County will offer the homeless a free trip to the Disney resort. The Advocates for the Homeless and Those in Need (AHTN) will run two buses daily from various locations in lower Bucks County and take the homeless to the Amtrak station in Philadelphia, where they will ride Amtrak, free, to Orlando. Once in Orlando, the homeless will be picked up in a special bus named To Serve Man and taken to the Disney resort.

At Disney, they will be given a meal – a picnic at The Seven Seas Lagoon. To allay any fears, signs warning about  alligators will be taken down. The only signs posted at the time will be “Reserved for The Homeless.” Once the alligators chop down on homeless sitting on the edge of the lagoon, Disney will flash notifications all over the park: “Seven Seas Lagoon is now open.  it’s safe there now; they have eaten and are full.”

Critics have said that transportation costs to take the  Bucks County homeless to Florida would be too high. It would be much cheaper, they say, to offer these free vacation packages to patrons of the Orlando Gay Nightclub because it is much closer. But this, say sources, would not be politically correct.

R.I. Diculous, public information officer for Bucks County Government, explained “Gays are a more valuable commodity than are homeless people, especially to politicians and limousine liberals. Diculous added that getting rid of the homeless is a public service. We want less homeless — we don’t want them at all – but we want more Gays. Homo Promo is a big industry!,” Diculous concluded.

Disneyworld views feeding Gays to the alligators as silly and insensitive. “We could still use them at our resort,” Disney said. “Gays could greet visitors and perform one of the greatest acts of all time: Homo Promo.” In light of that tragic event, Disney sees this as good public relations.

For those of you in Doylestown, PA, this is a made up story – a satire. Oxford Dictionaries explains satire as “the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.”