It’s Too Late Baby. Not!

“It’s too late, baby it’s too late…” Carole King was wrong. It’s not too late. Except maybe for the particular relationship she was singing about.

At a community meal for the homeless and needy, two homeless guys got into an argument. One of them said “you’re a drunk and you’ll always be a drunk.” This was said under fit of temper;  it’s not necessarily true. It’s not too late to break bad habits, if you really try to make it.

It wasn’t too late for some of the people I’ve known in the homeless community who had substance abuse problems. One such person told me he went through the 12 Steps program. He’s been working, acting more responsibly, is getting on well with family and friends and has a good attitude on life. Another example is a guy who told me that he took into account that he was the source of his problem, and, in his words, moved “forward.”  He also told me “they don’t like that.” I’m not sure to whom he was referring – Penndel Mental Health Center or some  entity  of Bucks County, PA…  It could be any institution that writes off problems as being a disease and blames everything, everybody other than the person with the problem.

I didn’t pursue an opportunity to become a drug counselor at a methadone clinic years ago for that reason. I worked part time at the out patient clinic as a “patient monitor” shortly after I started college, where my job was to check in the “clients”, send them to the nurse to get their orange juice, methadone cocktail and to their various appointments with counselors, nurses and doctors. After work, a counselor sat down at the bar next door with me and went over some materials, and talked about being a counselor. In the material he showed me, the author knocked the Christian view that we are sinners. In so many words, it said that to say that hurts our self esteem.

One of the clients at the methadone clinic told the other patient monitor and I that he believes he’ll never overcome his drug habit, and that the people running the clinics don’t really help him. He lamented that he expected his life to be a revolving door between treatment and the streets.

Bucks County and it’s Mental Health Industry writes the homeless off as it being too late baby – too late for them to become a productive member of society. Someone who works for the industry offered me needed housing if I was willing to get on disability by agreeing to be labeled as someone who was so messed up mentally that I could no longer work. As I told the mental health hustler, that would be fraud.

For sure, I had problems, but it was not too late to be restored to normalcy. My anxiety and depression were largely as result of the gap between being what God wants me to be and my own sinful nature. The local Salvation Army shoved me off to the Penndel Mental Health Center, which made me worse!  The Paxil prescribed made my hands shake and made my anxiety worse. Not realizing the severity of the withdrawal symptoms, I stopped taking the drug immediately and ended up in ER! I did some research and found that very dark chocolate has the same calming, soothing ingredient found in Paxil but without the horrible side effects, and offered other benefits such as an anti-inflammation.

By contrast to the nattering nabobs of negativism, Christian faith helped me, as it has others, overcome our character flaws. This is why, in 1970, as found in his book Competent to Counsel, pastor and counselor Jay E Adams started challenging the church’s relegating it’s mission of changing people to secular, unbiblical psychology.

http://www.nouthetic.org/about-ins/our-faculty/8-about-ins/6-jay-adams-biography

But they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. – Isaiah 40:31

The Light of The World

My last blog was a satire about the utilitarian attitude in Bucks County, PA about the homeless. For those of you in Doylestown, as defined on literarydevices.net, satire “is a technique employed by writers to expose and criticize foolishness and corruption of an individual or society by using humor, irony, exaggeration or ridicule. It intends to improve humanity by criticizing its follies and foibles… In addition, he (the satirist)  hopes that those he criticizes will improve their characters by overcoming their weaknesses.”

http://literarydevices.net/satire/

As illustrated in an article in The Federalist, Christians can influence people and society for the better.

http://thefederalist.com/2016/09/20/what-todays-christians-can-learn-from-antiquity-about-living-in-a-pagan-world/

The premise Christians need to operate from is found in Luke 10: 27: “He answered, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'”

People, including the homeless, have intrinsic value. They are made in the image of God. As such, they are to be accepted unconditionally, respected, and shown love and caring.

The Book of James warns against showing favoritism to those “beautiful people.”

“My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don’t show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, ‘Here’s a good seat for you,’ but say to the poor man ‘You stand there’ or “Sit by the floor by my feet,’ have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?” – James 2: 1-4

Just as when there was a smallpox and measles plague during the early church, when the pagans ran away from the infected people and Christians stayed and helped the sick, at their own peril, today, instead of keeping the homeless at a distance, Christians associate with and minister to the homeless.

At one church community meal, one of the homeless guys at my table said he appreciates the trouble the church went through to prepare a good meal for the, as the church calls their guests “friends without walls.” The guests also expressed that he likes the way the church treats them, makes them feel at home.  Some of the guests said that this is one of their favorite places for community meals.

Man does not live by bread alone. Besides feeding the friends without walls, churches bring them the light of the gospel, both in word and deed. They’ve sat down with the homeless, got to know them and have counseled. In one case, one of the hosts sat down and talked  with a guy with serious drug abuse problem one on one. I ran into the guy when I was visiting a friend with a drinking problem who was at the same facility. The last time I saw him, he told me he realized the gravity of his problem and that he has seriously stay with the treatment program.

The Book of James admonishes Christians not to be just hearers of the Word but doers. It’s just not a matter going to church. We are to reflect God’s love.

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.” – Matthew 5:14

To Serve Man

Bucks County government gave no reason why the Stand Down, an event held each year behind the library in Levittown, PA for homeless and needy veterans will no longer be held there. In an interview with informant R.I. Diculous, I found out why.

The lead of an article on levittownnow.com about Stand Down reads “The site of homeless veterans is one that deals a blow to local pride and a sense of civility.”  http://levittownnow.com/2013/09/06/stand-down-2013-starts-tomorrow-in-levittown/

That’s it! Stand Down hurts the pride of people running Bucks County, PA. We can’t have that! Not Bucks County, with its meticulously manicured suburban lawns, soccer moms and their SUVs, and other surface glitter! And we can’t have homeless in Bucks County. Why, Diculous said, “the kids of soccer moms are always screaming in the public library in Levittown because they are afraid the homeless people will get them! That’s more scary than the boogeyman!”

A plan is in place for next year. All local homeless, not just homeless veterans, will be lured into the “Emergency Assembly Area” outside the Levittown public library, where they will be offered a trip to Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

Bucks County government has teamed up with Disney to find a way to better serve the homeless and to serve man, by stopping the alligators from eating tourists at The Seven Seas Lagoon in Orlando.

From the emergency assembly area, where the homeless with gather, Advocates for The Homeless and Those in Need (AHTN) will send a bus to pick them up 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. The alligators have eaten and are full.”

Local Bucks County environmentalists protested against the Homeless for Alligators program. They said the homeless could serve Bucks County better by participating in the Keep Bucks County Green, Soylent Green initiative. In this program, the homeless will be allowed to camp, virtually in pristine woods, as they are carried along conveyor belts, past the rotating knives, in extreme comfort, where their mangled flesh is ground into wafers, just like in the movie. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soylent_Green

Either plan, said Diculous, will help protect the environment. By eliminating people, the biggest polluter of the planet, Bucks County can remain pristine. Pennsylvania Governor Wolf, aka “The Big Bad Wolf”,  banned new drilling for gas and oil on state park and forest lands in Pennsylvania.  PA State Representative Tina Davis, aka the Bimbo of Bucks County, in a newsletter praised The Big Bad Wolf for the ban on drilling. She admitted that the drilling helps the economy and creates a lot of employment, but touts that protecting the environment trumps that – it’s more important and worthy to be praised.

Indeed, Big Bad Wolf’s plan will blow many houses down, making more people homeless. This is why we need to find a way to handle the homeless problem. We can serve man in this matter with either the Orlando Solution or the Keep Bucks County Green initiative.

“It’s a win win for Bucks County”, Diculous said, beamishly.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/To_Serve_Man_%28The_Twilight_Zone%29

They Are Weak But…

In a conversation at our table at a recent community meal for the homeless and needy, we talked about a guy who came to an earlier meal drunk and disorderly and was consequently banned from the bus temporarily. Someone remarked that we have to realize that people have weaknesses.

For sure, we all have weaknesses. It’s just a matter of what kind and to what degree.

We need to reach out to help people who become slaves to alcohol or other substances, to food, material things, romantic relationships and so on. Throughout history, humans have worshipped false gods, idols. A woman said of her then boyfriend that he thinks he can find the answer to problems in the bottle.

Today, drug abuse has become an epidemic! In lower Bucks County, PA, I know more than a dozen people who have a drug problem. And a few who abuse alcohol.

Why? “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” -2nd Corinthians 4:4

I remember an interview years ago with a minister who reached out to gangs and troubled youths  to try to resolve problems. The interviewer asked him what he would do before he could help them change – if a group of thugs closed in on him in an alley. “Then I would put on my P.F. Flyers and run,” he quipped.

The point is that when people engage in destructive, anti-social behavior, the only recourse is to restrain that behavior. Actions have consequences, and when other people are offended or hurt by someone’s behavior, justice demands that they answer for their actions.

But offenders need to have an opportunity to help themselves and work on resolving their problems, overcoming their weaknesses. A victim of someone with a weakness told me that if he were ever going to file a complaint, he would insist to the authorities that the offender be offered treatment in lieu of a fine or other punishment.

I once had a difference of opinion with a law enforcement ranger at a Pennsylvania State Park where I worked about crime. The ranger’s take was that once someone got into the criminal system, he automatically became a career criminal. That someone who enters the criminal system is a hopeless case, trapped in a pattern of sin and criminality was a prevailing view held in the prison system more than 150 years ago, and to some extent today. To counter that view, I cited the case of the short story writer known as O. Henry, who was sentenced to five years in jail for embezzlement. In jail, O. Henry spent his time doing constructive things, including writing. He was released after three years for good behavior and then continued to be a productive, law abiding member of society.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O._Henry

“He was being punished!”, the ranger snapped. He then Augustly said that my view doesn’t agree with the state of Pennsylvania. That didn’t convince me. I don’t subscribe to the view that just because the state decrees something, like King Ozymandias, it doesn’t mean it’s so. The state is not infallible. It is not God!  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ozymandias

I believe that people can be restored, their weaknesses overcome. The Bible abounds with examples of people God strengthened, made right. You should read it sometime. The problem with our culture today is that we took God out of the picture.

People can change. But they have to be willing to work on their weaknesses. We should at least offer help. As Lord Alfred Hayes used to say on World Federation Wrestling when he promoted an aftershave that women like men to wear, “the rest is up to you.”

No matter how far you’ve fallen, God can restore you.

“And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you.” -Joel 2:25

Of Perfume and Flies

“As dead flies give perfume a bad smell, so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor.”

-Ecclesiastes 10:1

When someone in the homeless community acts foolishly, it taints the rest of the group. It’s very disruptive when a fool comes to a community meal for the homeless and needy drunk and disorderly, or goes around trying to snatch everything up for him or herself, with no concern about other needy people in the group.

It’s incumbent on the civil, wise guests at the meal to shoo the fly, so it doesn’t bother you or me, so I can eat in peace you see. (My apologies to T Brigham Bishop, who is credited with writing the song Shoo Fly, Don’t Bother Me). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoo_Fly,_Don%27t_Bother_Me

I have a problem with the “don’t snitch” mentality, where when you witness something wrong that affects everyone, you’re not supposed to take any action or even say something. This fosters a Lord of The Flies culture. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lord_of_the_Flies

The right thing, however, was done about the fly that recently caused a stink at a community meal in Bucks County, PA. He was banned from taking the Advocates for The Homeless and Those in Need (AHTN) bus for two weeks. I would have not let him off so easily, but at least something was done. One community meals host has a zero tolerance for drunks. If you come to the meal drunk, you may not come back again, ever!

On another occasion, AHTN and the hosts at a community meal did the right thing. Queen Nora, a guest, was attempting her trick where she purposely misses the AHTN bus so that she can bum a ride from someone who drove to the meal. The host asked me and others as we were walking out the door to tell the bus driver that someone is in the ladie’s room and to wait for her. As I approached the bus, an AHTN aid approached and said she was coming for the stray. When I opened the door to the building, her highness approached, and I announced “here comes the queen.”

The aid approached her, and with a hint of sarcasm remarked something to the effect that she was glad the queen could make it and that she found her. The queen stuck her nose up in the air (figuratively) and let the aid know that she wasn’t ready until then and that the bus had to wait for her.

It stinks when the sweet fellowship of friends who get together at the community meals is disrupted.  

The community meals is an institution that many homeless and needy treasure. It’s a place where friends get together to edify one another, talk about their faith and other things, just about anything except of sealing wax, cabbages and kings or why the sea is boiling hot and whether pigs have wings.

At the early afternoon meal on Saturday, someone played a Marvin Gaye song and we talked about the music.

At many of the meals, the hosts interact with the guests and build relationships with them. They accept them unconditionally and are available to address their concerns. This is something that is really needed today, especially in Bucks County.

“And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, ‘Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?’ He said to him, ‘What is written in the Law? How do you read it?’ And he answered, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself. And he said to him, ‘You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.’ But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, ‘And who is my neighbor?'” …

-Luke 10: 25-37

Fractured Homeless Tales

In my last blog, I compared the way the homeless are portrayed in Bucks County, PA to the Fractured Fairy Tales shown on the old Bullwinkle and Rocky show. The fractured fairy tales are a humorous distortion of traditional fairly tales. Likewise, distortions of the character of the homeless is laughable.

“Don’t talk about us; talk with us.” -slogan a group of homeless folks created.

Awhile back, the crew producing the “AHTN Public Service Announcement Video Shoot” at the Veteran’s Memorial in Levittown didn’t want the homeless around when they were shooting. That morning, a member of “The Memorial Mob”, told me that the county officer from the nearby municipal building told them that the county commissioners were coming and implied that the homeless should not go to the memorial. Later that day I saw a stand for AHTN set up near the entrance to the memorial. That’s when I learned about the video shoot.

The homeless came to the memorial anyway.

I learned that there was pizza, but not for the homeless on this day when there were no community meals. They kept the pizza at another location, away from the homeless.

As the crew that was working on the video about the homeless  walked by the homeless, they completely ignored them, as if they were mannequins.

Evidently, talking with the homeless to get first hand information about them, as John Steinbeck did when he visited migrant camps to do research for his novel The Grapes of Wrath, was something they didn’t need to do. They’d rather talk about the homeless than talk with them.

It’s no wonder there are stereotypes about the homeless and resulting hobophobia, the irrational fear of the homeless.

On other occasions, authorities wanted to shoo the homeless from the memorial. A Bucks County official told homeless people who were properly using the memorial that some people who wanted to visit the memorial were afraid to go when the homeless people are there.

“The Memorial Mob” is a name a guy who used to hang around the memorial to ironically gave to himself and others who frequented the memorial.

Hobophobia is a big reason that much needed shelter for the homeless doesn’t happen. Besides the inadequate portrayal of the homeless in the AHTN video, there are some homeless individuals who contribute to a misunderstanding about the homeless. On occasion, people, who happen to be homeless, are drunk and disorderly at the memorial as well as at community meals.

Most of the homeless who visit the memorial and who go to the community meals are civil. One size does not fit all. There are drunks and druggies in all populations.

Druggies from local recovery houses show up at the memorial, sometimes high and sometimes damage property and generally cause problems. Refugees from recovery houses end up joining the ranks of the homeless.

On one occasion, someone from a recovery house took an American flag out of the ground and placed it on his bicycle. A homeless guy called the local authority, who made the jerk place the flag back where he got it and kicked him out of the memorial. This is the way it should be.

Another stereotype is that homeless people are mentally disturbed. Certainly, just being homeless can get people down, but I would not make a blanket statement that the homeless are mentally disturbed! They don’t need the men in white coats (or men in black) to take them away. There are, however, the county mental health hustlers who chase after the homeless in an attempt to Shanghai them so they can use public funds to pay for their services.

The problem with some of the homeless is simply that the exhibit bad behavior. It’s a matter of character. About 2 1/2 years ago I went off the deep end. The problem was that I was thinking and doing the wrong things, sinful things. I did things I knew were wrong and continued ungodly behavior and fell down what pastor and Christian counselor Dr. Jay Adams calls a downward spiral. It’s like going through a black hole. Scientists say that an object travels at incredible speeds when going through a black hole, but it feels like you aren’t moving. At some point people become calloused and ignore what is right and wrong and just have to crash sometimes to come to their senses. That was the case with me.

Another stereotype about the homeless is that they won’t work. The work “bum” and “hobo” denotes someone who doesn’t work, and probably is a drunk. The word “hobo” originated during the Great Depression. As I illustrated on a previous blog, the case with hobos was not that they didn’t want to work, but they could not find work, a situation created by the progressive government. They even hitched rides on freight trains and went hundreds of miles to find work.

Today, many homeless people work, wherever and whenever they can find work. They just don’t have enough for a place to stay or have trouble finding a place, especially in the tough housing market in Bucks County.

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged.  For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?”

-Matthew 7: 1-3

When Good Men and (Wo)men Do Nothing

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing,” said Irish statesman Edmund Burke, who took a stand against the British during the revolutionary war and was against the French Revolution. He was also outspoken about other matters.

Today, in Bucks County, PA, evil is creeping into the homeless community. T-Rex, a star in Jurassic Park has made an appearance at the community meals  for homeless and needy people once again.  Every once in awhile, a certain homeless man becomes a transformer. Instead of transforming into a yellow camaro, after he imbibes alcohol, he becomes Tyrannosaurus Rex, the tyrant king.

Last night at a community meal, he went on a rampage, roaring first at one person, then others. When some of the other guests said something to the out-of-control dinosaur about his behavior, he reared up and roared at them. T-Rex was also belligerent with the hosts when they asked the beast to leave. It was only after someone picked up his cell phone to call the police that he bolted out the door.

Outside, he continued his beastly behavior. Before the police arrived to confront T-Rex, someone let him get into her car, and aided and abetted his escape, whisking him away. The partners in crime who helped T-Rex escape were guilty of something he confronted the first person about last night. At a community meal on Friday, between the two of them, they walked off with eight take home boxes while other people were still eating. I guess they can get protection by helping the beast.

The Advocates for the Homeless and Those in Need (AHTN) habitually ignore bad behavior. Awhile back, after T-Rex went after another guest, a representative from AHTN twisted what happened and blamed the victim! It was only after the victim and I pressed the issue and after T-Rex approached me at another meal and screamed obscenities at me (because he didn’t like me calling out his bad behavior on my blog) when I was sitting at a table with AHTN members and some of the hosts that he got banned from the bus for a time. After the time out, a member of AHTN told me that the guy started behaving himself civilly at meals.

But  this didn’t last. Evidently, he didn’t learn his lesson.

Some of the hosts, as well as AHTN sometimes does nothing about bad behavior. The bad behavior of Birdman and Queen Nora, whom I mentioned in previous blogs, is not only not met with no resistance by some hosts, but they accommodate them!

Birdman is the one who, while people are finishing their meal, goes from table to table with large bags and sometimes large jugs to snatch up all he can. On one occasion, a woman, who was very thirsty after coming out of the heat, was pouring lemonade into her glass. Birdman grabbed for the pitcher, and she shooed the predator away. He then went off crying to a host, who then confronted the woman. She told her when she was done to give the pitcher to him, saying nothing to Birdman about his rudeness.

At the same church, Queen Nora, who thinks she’s at a restaurant and can choose the cuisine, got a special meal.

This is the same church that was connected with that sham of a homeless video AHTN spewed out awhile back.

The video didn’t seriously address the plight of the homeless or give a realistic view of them. It was trite. It showed children doing homework in a van. And there was the saccharine scene where a homeless man offered a sandwich to a man playing soccer with his son. The video made about as much sense as the Fractured Fairy Tales on the old Bullwinkle and Rocky cartoons.  http://www.tv.com/shows/fractured-fairy-tales/

Doing nothing about bad behavior enables it. It not only creates problems for society, as is the case when T-Rex disrupted a community meal, which is a social center where people in need edify one another, but doesn’t help the perpetrator.

Alcohol and other substance abuse is not only found in the homeless community but in the community at large. An increasing number of churches in lower Bucks County are offering AA and other programs to offer help for substance abuse and other bad behavior.

I’m a big fan of the 12 steps program. It works. But the first step is to admit you have a problem and that you need help, ultimately from God, to overcome it. You don’t solve problems by making excuses for people and giving them a free pass.

To overcome problems, people don’t need medication and psychobabble; they need Jesus. Offering Jesus to the homeless and the needy, and by being a good example, is something good people can do to prevent evil from triumphing.

“For because he himself has suffered  when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.” –Hebrews 2:18

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

In my last blog, I lamented the Philadelphia Stand Down, the annual event for Veterans, being scrapped at the location for next year by government in Bucks County, PA. Today I will explain why this event is so cherished.

Volunteers, not the government, make the program great.

The volunteers at Stand Down on Saturday (I just went one day) were welcoming, helpful, friendly, and efficient. Registration went smoothly and the people setting me up were amicable.

It was one stop shopping as I went to the medical, the dental, and eye clinics. At the medical station, I told Christine about a sporadic, but chronic cough I’ve been experiencing. She said she’d set up an appointment and call me Monday. This morning, she called to tell me she had set up an appointment at the clinic in Horsham, PA.

This is the third year I attended the Philadelphia Stand Down, and for the third year, I got acupuncture.

The Won Institute, which gave the free messages and acupuncture treatments at the Philadelphia Stand Down, gives a big discount for veterans at their clinic in Glenside, PA. http://www.woninstitute.edu/index.php?page=acupuncture-clinic

There was genuine appreciation and respect for veterans. I remember at least one volunteer saying “thank you for your service.” The overall attitude showed that we vets were welcomed there and that volunteers showed their appreciation by all their hard work and effort and their time.

Helping those in need is best done by caring individuals. There are people out there who genuinely care about others, and show this by their actions.

The volunteers at Stand Down reflect the tradition of President Grover Cleveland, who believed in limited government. When farmers in many counties in Texas suffered drought in 1887, congress appropriated $10,000 for farmers to buy seed grain. President Cleveland vetoed the expenditure, saying that bailouts are unconstitutional. He instead encouraged his fellow Americans to help each other out. And they did, shelling out much more than congress demanded from taxpayers. Cleveland stated:

“I can find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution, and I do not believe that the power and duty of the general government ought to be extended to the relief of individual suffering which is in no manner properly related to the public service or benefit. A prevalent tendency to disregard the limited mission of this power and duty should, I think, be steadfastly resisted, to the end that the lesson should be constantly enforced that, though the people support the government, the government should not support the people. The friendliness and charity of our countrymen can always be relied upon to relieve their fellow-citizens in misfortune. This has been repeatedly and quite lately demonstrated. Federal aid in such cases encourages the expectation of paternal care on the part of the government and weakens the sturdiness of our national character, while it prevents the indulgence among our people of that kindly sentiment and conduct which strengthens the bonds of a common brotherhood.”

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

We should follow the example of not depending on the government but helping each other. Stand Down exemplifies this tradition.

1 John 3:17 But if someone who is supposed to be a Christian has money enough to live well, and sees a brother in need, and won’t help him–how can God’s love be within him ? 1 John 3:18 Little children, let us stop just saying we love people; let us really love them, and show it by our actions. 1 John 3:19 Then we will know for sure, by our actions, that we are on God’s side, and our consciences will be clear, even when we stand before the Lord.

There You Go Again!

When an opponent of Ronald Reagan repeated a nonsensical statement, Reagan would reply “There you go again!” Likewise, to the government of Bucks County, PA I say “There you go again!”

This weekend marked the last Stand Down, an event for homeless and needy veterans, which has been held on county administered land behind the public library in Levittown, PA.

Bucks County “won’t be inviting Stand Down, an annual effort to provide needed services and support to ‘positively change the lives of the areas homeless veterans and their families,’ to return to the old Bucks County-owned Thiokol property near the Levittown Library in Bristol Township for 2017” said a county spokesman and Stand Down organizers, as reported in LevittownNow.com.

“The reason for the move was not immediately made clear to Stand Down organizers,” the article continues. Really?

http://levittownnow.com/2016/09/10/program-helps-veterans-need-kicks-off-last-year-current-site/

The answer is really “because we said so.” As per the attitude towards the homeless in general in Bucks County, anyone whose status in life doesn’t match the vision of a perfect suburban soccer mom society shakes up the establishment’s bourgeois world.

The Bucks County establishment doesn’t want the homeless in the Levittown public library or at the nearby veteran’s memorial, both open to the public, simply because they are homeless, even when they are following the rules.

So why should homeless and needy veterans be any different? There they go again!

This year, Stand Down was not publicized. Maybe this is a way to constructively push away something people don’t like.

Surprisingly, when I commented about the lack of publicity on the Delaware Valley Vietnam Veterans Facebook page, I was met with hostility. People were very defensive and snapped that I shouldn’t say anything on their page about the matter but take it up with the Stand Down organizers. They practically took my head off! The organization removed my post. When I asked why and challenged their reasoning, I was told I had insulted their organization and was disrespectful.

Dr. Ben Carson was right on target when he said that today, with political correctness, people are afraid to express an opinion for fear someone may not just debate an issue, but try to destroy them. This is not American. This is not why veterans wore a uniform.  This evidently is the case with the Delaware Valley Vietnam Veterans. One of them tried to spin what they did and said they were just maintaining their page. As comedian Pat Paulsen used to say, “bull feathers!”

I am not going to just sit down and shut up! I plan to continue, on my own venue, to spout off my grassroots big mouth.

I’m thinking that if this space on Bucks County land was for an event for illegal aliens or Muslim refugees, the recipients would be more welcomed than the veterans. And planes with banners would fly overhead weeks ahead to advertise. White Toyota pickup trucks would drive through neighborhoods with loudspeakers to announce the event.

Not “welcoming” Stand Down back reflects the liberal attitude of the elites, like President BO and Shrillery-Killery Clinton who don’t believe they have to explain themselves and be held accountable. They say “what does it matter” and make up the rules as they go along. They also make things up to get us off their backs.

Public land, by the way, belongs to we the people. We just lend authority to the government to administer the land. We are the ultimate landlords.

“The righteous care about justice for the poor,
but the wicked have no such concern. ” -Proverbs 29:7

The Beat Goes On

The government continues its war on drugs. The latest: Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick issued a survey to find out what role the government should have in the opioid epidemic. In Bucks County, PA last year, 117 died from overdosing on dope, as reported in Levittownnow.com.  http://levittownnow.com/2016/09/08/congressmans-office-issues-survey-to-get-feedback-on-governments-role-in-opioid-epidemic/

The government’s war on drugs has been as pathetic as the war in Vietnam, with policies as lame as President LBJ’s handling of the Vietnam “war.”

The beat goes on. Drums keep pounding a dysfunctional rhythm to the brain. La Dee La T Dee, La Dee La Dee Dah…

For sure, drug abuse is sad, and people are hurting, but we are going about it fighting the wrong way. They certainly need help.

“This bill acknowledges that drug abuse is a disease, and cannot be solved by arrests alone,” the article reports. I agree the problem cannot be solved by arrests alone, but it is not exactly a disease.

“The disease model of addiction describes an addiction as a disease with biological, neurological, genetic, and environmental sources of origin.[1] The traditional medical model of disease requires only that an abnormal condition be present that causes discomfort, dysfunction, or distress to the individual afflicted. The contemporary medical model attributes addiction, in part, to changes in the brain‘s mesolimbic pathway.[2] The medical model also takes into consideration that such disease may be the result of other biological, psychological or sociological entities despite an incomplete understanding of the mechanisms of these entities.”-Wikipedia

Wikipedia also discusses the problem with calling “addiction” a disease:  “Critics of the disease model, particularly those who subscribe to the life-process model of addiction argue that labeling people as addicts keeps them from developing self-control and stigmatizes them.”

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

I couldn’t have said it better myself. A disease, such as bronchitis can be treated with medication and by stopping smoking. It also can be prevented by not inhaling tobacco smoke, dust, or other pollutants.

When I was in the Navy, a guy was being silly and asked me “why do they call it dope?” I told him it was because guys like him did it. He didn’t, but I just wanted to be a wise guy.

Seriously, doing dope is a dumb thing to do. As former first lady Nancy Reagan said “Just say no.” (to drugs).

Mrs. Reagan’s remedy may sound over simplistic, but that’s the bottom line. Certainly, people with a substance abuse problem need understanding and counseling and need to get to the root of the problem. But when you start with the premise “addiction is a disease”, as that dink in blue scrubs and stethoscope who comes on the TV to hawk a drug abuse treatment center Augustly states, by calling the problem a disease, you are absolving the person with a substance problem of responsibility.

We all do dumb things, myself included. But you have to deal with problems the right way.

The 12 Steps Program which is used in programs for people with problems, works! The first step is to admit that you have a problem, which is a result of a character flaw, and that you need a higher power to better manage your life. That higher power is God.

The 12 Steps Program grew out of Alcoholics Anonymous. Back in 1949, more than 90 percent of alcohol rehabilitation treatment centers used the principles of the 12 Steps Program. More than 30 percent of AA’s referrals came from these centers.

A business executive back in 1931 was treated by psychiatrist Carl Jung for a year. He stopped abusing alcohol, but soon after he finished treatment with Dr. Jung, he went back on the bottle.  When the executive returned to the doc for treatment, Dr. Jung said he could not help him and that his problem was hopeless, except, he may find hope by experiencing a spiritual conversion with a religious group. This what the 12 Steps Program is.

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

I’m a great believer in the 12 Steps Program. It’s helped me deal with problems other than substance abuse. It’s not instant, like the faith healing of Reverend Ernest “I’ve got your condition in my vision”  Angley. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernest_Angley

It takes time to heal, but, if you submit yourself to the program and God, doing things His way, you will be delivered from the slavery of sin.

“You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.” – Romans 6:18