Snake Oil Sales

The incessant mantra that drug and alcohol abuse is a disease and not a character flaw continues to be spewed out by state and private agencies. The nudge, as a friend calls him, keeps coming on TV, hawking The Addiction Network, insisting that “drug addiction is a disease.”

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.”

Right on!

The folks who promote substance abuse as a disease even have a name for it: “Substance Abuse Disorder.” Hummmm… This is SAD. Someone must have made this name up at a party.

I agree that substance abuse is sad. Lives are ruined, people die, people steal, people loose jobs, relationships are ruined. No argument from me about this.

But my argument is where drug and alcohol problems come from. Presupposing these problems are a result of a disease, I ask “is the disease airborne? Is it in the water?”…  Oh, proponents of this theory argue that genetics and the environment are the culprits, like cancer or shingles.

To say substance abuse is a disease absolves the abuser from responsibility. As is the case with other bad behavior, making excuses for people doesn’t resolve the problem.

The disease theory also reduces humans to machines. We are not! We have a will.

Do not be like the horse or the mule,
    which have no understanding
but must be controlled by bit and bridle
    or they will not come to you. –Psalm 32:9

The notion that substance abuse is a disease lends itself to treatment by behaviorists such as B.F. Skinner, who control behavior by creating conditioned responses – known as operant conditioning – by the patient. This is akin to Pavlov’s Dogs. In an experiment, Ivan Pavlov repeatedly rang a bell when he gave dogs a steak. After doing this for some time, Pavlov would just ring the bell, sans the steak, and the dogs salivated. This is the technique the disciples of Skinner use to govern human behavior.

Note on the 1904 advertisement for treatment how  patients’ rights  are not respected.  “This remedy can be given with or without the permission of the patient.”  Success is guaranteed, or you get $500 back. Sure sounds like a snake oil salesman!

The inordinate number of recovery houses in lower Bucks County, PA are there just to benefit professional and government agencies. Consequently, druggies and drunks are set lose on the streets, like Frankenstein after they leave the flop house and terrorize the community. Since the recovery houses were dumped on lower Bucks County, crime has skyrocketed.

Yet, the authorities will not provide timely, adequate housing for other people, who because of job loss or non community threatening circumstances, have become homeless. The clean homeless people are not a threat to the community, the substance abusers are. It’s all about money.

Unlike the efforts of the state and private snake oil salesmen, the 12 Step Program, which came out of Alcoholics Anonymous and started out as six steps, has been successful in treating substance abuse. There have been various adaptations of the program, but the basic program has the right stuff to help people.

“Addiction” is not a disease but a result of our sinful nature. Recovery starts in the 12 Step Program:

  1. We admitted we were powerless over our addictions and compulsive behaviors, that our lives had become unmanageable. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.

For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. Romans 7:18

This is a good start.

Faith in Action

In my last blog, I addressed the smiling faces that say they help the homeless but really don’t.  Today’s blog is about the people who genuinely help the homeless.

At last night’s community meal for the homeless and needy, a friend who has been having a battle with the bottle told me that he got into a program at a local church to help him overcome his problem.  The community meals are more than just bread, by which alone they don’t live. Other churches in Bucks County, PA are helping people become whole, fulfilling their mission to minister to them and point them to God, which helps them tap into the power to restore them to His image.

Substance abuse programs are just part of helping others. The concern shown to others, especially the homeless, making them feel accepted, the kind word, the right thing said – good examples that reflect Jesus, all contribute to helping people.

Making people whole is not a formula; results are not usually instant. It’s not like a science project, where kids make a volcano out of paper machete, dump in some baking soda and add vinegar and red die and voila! You have lava gushing out.  Usually, when we try to help people, it just plants a seed, which later may sprout.

The homeless are just like other people, who have various problems to different degrees. The friend who recently told me he’s getting treatment is not homeless. People become homeless for different reasons. Substance abuse is just one of many reasons.

It should be no surprise that, with our exploding drug problem, that many of the homeless are refugees from the inordinate number of recovery houses in the lower Bucks County. It’s like the thrill up on the hill that Fats Domino sang about, where “people come from miles around…” The druggies end up in Levittown and vicinity and blend into the homeless population.

One drug addict in particular I believe bypassed the recovery house. He’s now in a place that will help him, far away from Levittown, where a relative told me he is doing well in recovery and even has a job. His relative told me that his family wondered if he’d ever get straight, and asked him to try to turn him around.

It was at a community meal where one of the hosts ministered to the man – one on one for much of the meal. The guy was distraught, mumbling about needing to get treatment. Sometime thereafter, I ran into him when I visited another friend at a local short term treatment center. He appeared to understand the seriousness of his problem and told me he plans to “get with the program”, which he did.

The host who ministered to the man was glad to hear that he was getting his life together – getting straight. He didn’t set off a volcano; he just planted a seed – which sprouted and is growing.

The homeless themselves help one another. Rather than believing malicious gossip, some of the homeless comfort and encourage one another and help each other with mutual concerns. At, what else, a community meal, a homeless guy told others at our table that he needs a job. A guy at our table pointed to two guys who work at a place that is hiring, and that one of them is a foreman. I don’t know if he followed up on the lead, but it was an opportunity he learned about at the meal.

People of faith who attend the meals minister to each other. They encourage one another to realize that God has solutions to problems. Pastor and Christian counselor Jay E Adams boldly stated “I don’t care what problem you face; it has no power to defeat the cross of Christ.”
Jay E. Adams, How to Overcome Evil

The church is an alternative to government intervention. As I’ve said in previous blogs, secular psychology, for example, Penndel Mental Health, doesn’t work.

It’s good that churches in Bucks County and some Christians in general have been reaching out to genuinely help the homeless. This may be a shock, especially to you in Doylestown, but the government and psychobabble doesn’t resolve problems. Nor does treating the homeless like pests who are clandestinely, constructively pushed out, help the homeless.

Here’s the skinny on the church’s role in helping people:

And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

-Galatians 6:9

Smiling Faces

Smiling faces sometimes pretend to be your friend.
Smiling faces show no traces of the evil that lurks within…

Smiling faces, Smiling Faces, Sometimes they don’t tell the truth.

-lyrics from Smiling Faces by The Undisputed Truth*MCxUNPQrfxuYVRMknRTsACzkVGuwmDphS 

Throughout the homeless community in Bucks County, PA, one encounters people who say they want to help the homeless. Not all these smiling faces tell the truth or have the best interests of the homeless at heart.

One of the most incessant is the Bucks County Mental Health Hustlers, a name I give to the people trying to Shanghai the homeless in order to secure public funds to bring them aboard their ship of fools. The destination the homeless find themselves is often the Penndel Mental Health Center. These hustlers, as seems to be the conventional wisdom in Bucks County, assume all homeless people have mental problems. Not true.

On one occasion, one of the hustlers said he’d help me get housing if I would be willing to label myself as being so messed up mentally that I could not work anymore. This is not only fraud, but it would keep me from finding work. It is a stigma.

The Bucks County establishment writes off the homeless as hopeless – unproductive members of society who should be put out to pasture and may as well stay in The Land of The Lotus Eaters.

“In Greek mythology the lotus-eaters  were a race of people living on an island dominated by lotus plants. The lotus fruits and flowers were the primary food of the island and were narcotic, causing the people to sleep in peaceful apathy.” -Wikipedia. In Homer’s epic poem The Odyssey, Odysseus and his men land there. Odysseus has to drag his guys away from The Land of The Lotus eaters in order to continue on their journey.

Likewise, Penndel Mental Health Center dopes up their clients to put them into a land of peaceful apathy. In some cases their patients become hostile, irritable. At the community meals for the homeless and needy I’ve gone to for almost three years, I’ve noticed that people who have gone to the mental health clinic seem not to be whole but those who have decided to follow Jesus seem to be renewed, refreshed. Instead of getting better, the nut clinic patrons seem to get worse.

Another smiling face that pretends to be your friend is the alleged Advocates for the Homeless and Those in Need (AHTN). At a community meal at the Redeemer Lutheran Church in Penndel, a homeless man came to the meal drunk and verbally assaulted and physically threatened another guest who was just sitting at the table having a civil conversation with others.

The drunk threatened to jump over the table and beat me up because he didn’t like the expression on my face, as I was aghast at his behavior. When a woman told him that he was disturbing her meal, he said he didn’t care and cursed at her.

Three men from Redeemer had to restrain the drunk, who told one of them not to touch him. In time, the drunk was escorted to the opposite end of the large room, out of hearing distance. Accompanying the perpetrator out of hearing distance were two members of AHTN.

The police came, and asked the victim to leave immediately. He was banned from the bus, but the perpetrator was not.

The next time the victim came to the meal at Redeemer Lutheran he was told he wasn’t allowed there because – and he had to drag this information out of them – he was saying bad things about the homeless. What? Banning someone from the meal for allegedly saying bad things about the homeless? I was with the victim the whole time, and he did not badmouth the homeless at all!

This is getting curiouser and curiouser, Alice!

I believe that someone from AHTN not only perpetuated lies about the victim that a formerly homeless woman made up, as she did about me and others, but may have even created more false witness in order to demonize the victim. The woman’s false witness fostered a Lynch mob mentality in the homeless community, much like the lies about our new President created a national Lynch mob mentality.

When the victim and I discussed why he was not allowed on the bus but the attacker was, with another member of AHTN, she said that this was a decision from the top and added that AHTN should feed the homeless. Yep. That’s the crux of the matter. AHTN didn’t hold the homeless guy accountable because the homeless keep them in business. Instead of handling the Lynch mob the way Marshall Matt Dillon would, they kowtowed to the mob’s mentality, not wanting to alienate them and risk losing them as clients.

The victim filed a lawsuit against the two members of AHTN who secretly met with members of Redeemer Lutheran, against Redeemer and a member of Redeemer individually. The perpetrator, who was in jail for other matters conveniently was not brought to the hearing. Consequently, Justice Daniel J Finello Jr entered a default judgment against the homeless man but dismissed the charges against the rest of the defendants, proclaiming that there was not sufficient information even to decide if there is a prima facie case! Defined by the Wex Legal Dictionary “prima facie” is defined “sufficient to establish a fact or raise a presumption unless disproved or rebutted;” e.g., prima facie evidence.

The homeless man was judged without being given the chance to defend himself, but the smiling faces from AHTN and Redeemer Lutheran Church were let off the hook. At least temporarily. The plaintiff is appealing the case. AHTN and Redeemer are not true friends of the homeless – their handshake is just a snake. Et Tu District Court 7-01-7? Just like the homeless, the court is just a number.

The plaintiff is reaching out to the homeless guy whose rights were violated. He’s offering to help him resolve the violation of his rights and even to help him file an in forma pauperis, which will allow him to challenge this sham without charge.

Would the Advocates for the Homeless and Those in Need advocate justice on the homeless man’s behalf? No! They just hung him out to dry so they could be let off the hook.

Smiling faces! AHTN and the rest of the establishment think of the homeless as miscreants who don’t need to be held accountable for their behavior. This hurts the whole homeless community; it sends a message that the homeless don’t have to be held to the same standards as everybody else. Of course, aided and abetted by Justice Finello Jr, AHTN and Redeemer too are held to a different standard.

Look behind the smiling mask and see who your real friends are!

It’s not about right or wrong, but about who has the power to wiggle out of being held accountable. For the establishment, the homeless have no intrinsic value, but only what they can get out of them.

Smooth words may hide a wicked heart, just as a pretty glaze covers a clay pot. People may cover their hatred with pleasant words, but they’re deceiving you. They pretend to be kind, but don’t believe them. Their hearts are full of many evils.”  -Proverbs 26:23-25

Something’s Happening Here!

“There’s something happening here
What it is ain’t exactly clear
There’s a man with a gun over there
Telling me I got to beware

I think it’s time we stop, children, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down”

-Lyrics from Buffalo Springfield’s  For What It’s Worth

Something is happening here. What it is is abundantly clear, but the why is puzzling.

In lower Bucks County, PA, it seems like local municipalities are competing for drug overdoses. The Levittown-Fairless Hills Rescue squad reports that’s since January 1, 2017, there were 15 overdoses in Levittown, with two deaths.  As of January 17, Falls Township had 16 overdoses since the new year.  No fatal overdoses were reported for Falls in the article on

Update: Woops, after rereading the article I  realized that five people have died of overdoses in Falls Township, only half way through January. This puts Falls Township ahead of the report from the Levittown-Fairless Hills ambulance squad’s for both drug overdoses as well as overdose deaths.

Nationwide, 29,000 Americans died from opioid overdose or unintended drug poisoning in 2014, surpassing car wrecks as the leading cause of “accidental” deaths. In high school, during the Viet Nam era, my drivers education teacher told us that deaths from car accidents exceeded deaths in the war, and added “you don’t see people burning their drivers licenses.”

Why do people do drugs? Evidently, there’s a void in their lives. Alcohol abuse has a similar root of the problem. The girlfriend of a drunk, whom I’m told now is back in treatment, said that he thinks he can find the answers to problems in the bottle.

No, drug abuse is not a disease, like the flu. Instead, it is a character flaw, which we all have. It’s a matter of kind and degree. As I told a Christian brother, I don’t have a substance abuse problem but I’ve made up for it in other ways.

A few years ago I overheard a conversation in the men’s room in the Levittown library. A guy said that drugs are getting more and more lethal. Another guy remarked that drug users don’t care; all they care about it getting high, that they don’t think about what they are doing to themselves.

As Neil Young sang, “but every junkie’s just a settin’ sun.”

As we see the number go up, we also see more recovery houses and treatment centers. There are in the neighborhood (not Mr. Rogers) of 100 recovery houses just in Levittown, PA. People come from all over the country to go through the revolving door. Many of these refugees become part of the local homeless population, and some of them also go through the revolving door at the alleged emergency shelter, where there is a months long waiting list to get in.

Substance abuse not only destroys the user, but also society. Crime has gone up in neighborhoods that are infested with recovery houses. There’s also a mushrooming homeless population in lower Bucks County because of drug problems.

I personally know and know of drug abusers in Lower Bucks County. Some of them have overcome their problem.

Happiness is a warm gun. I didn’t know what this lyric on The Beatles’ white album meant until one of the “clients” at the methadone center where I worked told me. It’s about shooting up dope.

The people of whom I learned overcame their substance abuse problem found their “happiness” elsewhere. In God. Christianity isn’t an instant cure, a quick fix, although being saved casts a burden off your shoulder, as it did to Christian in John Bunyan’s The Pilgrims Progress. You won’t live a life of ease in your yellow submarine. It’s not a life of instant gratification, but it’s a good life. And God continues a work in you that he started as you are sanctified, putting off bad habits and putting on Godly ways, as you become more like Christ.

People try to find satisfaction, happiness in life. Robin Williams had fame and fortune, but there was a hidden, deep sadness. Outside of God, we are nothing. With God, even though we are a speck in the grandeur of the universe, God gives us value.

There was a painting in the Philadelphia Museum of Art – Dutch Landscape With A Waterfall – where humans in the picture seemed dwarfed by the hugeness of creation. Unlike the trend in the Renaissance, they were not the center of the universe. Yet as depicted in this 17th century work of art, influenced by the Reformation, we have value.

Message in a Lord Byron poem:

When, for a moment, like a drop of rain,
He sinks into thy depths with bubbling groan—
Without a grave, unknelled, uncoffined, and unknown.

We are not like a drop of rain sinking into a bottomless ocean!

Substance abuse is not a disease but a besetting sin, a bad habit that leads to death. This doesn’t have to be the case.

This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”

Deuteronomy 30:19-20

Birmingham and Levittown

In his letter from the Birmingham Jail, Martin Luther King Jr urged leaders of the white “moderate”, lukewarm churches to stand for justice against the oppression of blacks in the Jim Crow south. This is the case with the homeless in Bucks County, PA, where some churches, instead of standing up for the homeless, go along with the Bucks County establishment and view the homeless as second class citizens. In both cases, churches have taken the stance to go along in order to get along.

The church needs to stand on Biblical principles and influence the culture – be the salt in society.

In Bucks County, as was the case with blacks during the Jim Crow south, which by the way was under the influence of Democrats, the rights of the homeless are not respected. At the Levittown public library, there’s been a campaign to constructively remove the homeless from the library. Instead of standing up for the disadvantaged, as the Salvation Army did back in the day, the Salvation Army Levittown Community Center tacitly endorses this attitude. When the center’s public relations gal, The Countess of Carlisle butted into a conversation I was having with another volunteer about the harassment of the homeless, she Augustly stated that some people who visit the library don’t like the homeless being there and that the librarian is right for obliging her fellow elitists.

I disagreed. Consequently, the countess used her position to block an offer I had to write for the Salvation Army.

Between a member of The Advocates for The Homeless and Those in Need (AHTN) and the Redeemer Lutheran Church in Penndel, PA, an injustice was committed when a guest came to the church’s community meal drunk. He verbally assaulted and physically threatened another guest and anyone who seemed to have a problem with his behavior, cursing up a storm. He was restrained by a few men in the church.

The police were called. Two members of AHTN walked with the attacker to the other end of the large room. When the police came, they told the victim to leave, at the host’s request. The next time the victim came to the meal, he was told he had to leave. The host reluctantly said it was because he was saying bad things about the homeless.

There was false witness going around about the victim, that he ratted out homeless campsites and was a pervert, a sexual predator. I don’t know what any member from AHTN told the host when they walked out of hearing range of the victim, but it’s bizarre that the victim, who showed total restraint under attack, was banned from the church. I believe that AHTN repeated lies about the victim and maybe embellished the false witness, making up more lies. The attacker must have heard what was said.

Interestingly, the authorities did not bring the drunk and disorderly attacker to the district court where the victim filed a lawsuit against Redeemer Lutheran Church and members of AHTN. He may have shed the light of truth on what was said to cause Redeemer to ban the victim from the meals. The court entered a default judgment against him but dismissed the case against Redeemer and AHTN.

AHTN protected the perpetrator out of self interest. They view the homeless as miscreants whom they don’t hold accountable, which keeps their non profit in business.

On one occasion, the Levittown librarian ordered the locks of bikes parked legally in the bike rack in the library cut because some homeless people had abandoned their bikes there. All the locks were cut, including those who had their bikes parked there during their stay at the library. Christine, one of the AHTN members who talked with the hosts at Redeemer Lutheran Church, met with the librarian. She reported to the homeless that Pat, the librarian, made an announcement for those with bikes parked there to come out so they wouldn’t have their locks cut. I learned from a reliable source that Pat never made an announcement, as the guy who told me was in the library the whole time.

In his letter, Dr King wrote of being in the middle of two different forces in the black community. One is complacent and just goes along with the status quo. The other force is bitter and hateful and breeds violence. These black nationalist groups are the forerunners of today’s militant groups, such as Black Lives Matter. Dr. King writes “It is made up of people who have lost faith in America, who have absolutely repudiated Christianity, and who have concluded that the white man is an incurable devil.”

Some hold the same view in the homeless community. A homeless and a formerly homeless guy told me that because the homeless are oppressed and because of their situation, they have a reason to act like savages. I disagree.

MLK explained in his letter that the purpose of non violent protest is to call attention to injustice and bring people to the negotiating table. This is what a true advocate for the homeless did in Portland, Oregon. Consequently, Dignity Village, a community of tiny houses where some formerly homeless have administrative positions, was created.

What Bucks County needs is to call more attention to the homeless problem, and instead of pushing the homeless away, like the Democrats did the American Indian, respect the rights of the homeless and don’t quash even private efforts to house the homeless just because of a few bad apples. This is discrimination.

Some churches in Bucks County have been gracious to the homeless, feeding them, providing clothes, accepting, listening to and mentoring them. They need to do more of it!

We shall overcome!

Dr. King’s letter is lengthy, but, to borrow a phrase from a high school English teacher, it’s worth its weight in gold:

Where Will All The Homeless Go?

In my last blog, I questioned an online article about a homeless guy because it focused too much attention on the guy who committed the crime being homeless.  The report was about people who took someone in so he could be out of the cold, but, like a mad dog, he turned on them. Of course, the incident is about shelter for the homeless, and this raises the question of finding places for the homeless.

I heard on the news the other day that the homeless problem is a big political problem in New York City. Awhile back, I read that there are so many homeless in that city that you couldn’t squeeze them into Yankee Stadium.

Not every homeless person is like that monster who repaid the people who took him in with outlandish demands and a vicious attack, threatening the dog and others and damaging property.

Although it was driven by compassion, taking the homeless kid in was a bad idea. Doing this is risky, as the people who took him in found out. Although all homeless people aren’t bad, you are taking a chance taking in a stranger this day in age. It’s not the Eisenhower 50’s, where, even in places like Harlem, people didn’t need to lock their doors. Taking in a homeless stranger is like reaching into a jar of M&Ms where, say, 50 percent of the candy is poison and the bad pieces don’t have the skull & cross bone marking.

The question is where will all the homeless go?

In Bucks County, PA, places for the homeless to go is shrinking. Some manage to find places, but it’s tough, and there are lots of them wandering around like milkweeds. In some cases, the homeless create problems and end up being evicted from areas. But in Bucks County, there’s a one-size-fits-all approach, and all homeless are judged by the action of individual members of the group, such as the guy in the recent news story where the people were taken in by the monster’s welcome, pity me grin, and were themselves taken.

Key to helping the homeless is to learn which of the M&Ms are safe and which are toxic. Get to know the homeless in your area. I have.

A group of homeless people created a slogan: “Don’t talk about us; talk with us.”

The Bucks County officer before the present one stationed in the municipal building in Levittown who kept an eye on the homeless who hung out at the nearby veteran’s memorial got to know them. He knew who was OK and who was trouble. His doing this may have been the reason he was transferred.

A new officer replaced him. When I first met him, I introduced myself and told him we have to break him in. He was taken aback and explained that nobody needs to break him in – that he was a fully trained… I explained I didn’t mean this literally. The officer told me he was going to enforce the law. I said I was with him 100 percent but that my only concern was that the rules be enforced even handedly, where individual offenders are confronted.

The government hacks in the WIC office, which faces towards the memorial, didn’t see it this way. Consequently, they put pressure on the new guy to push the homeless out of the memorial. He tried to convince us to stay away from the memorial during business hours, but we held our ground. The officer said that some people are afraid to come to the memorial with the homeless there. That’s their problem!

A short while back, a homeless woman with COPD stopped in the WIC office during business hours to warm up and use the restroom. She was chased from the public place, lucky to have them reluctantly let her use the bathroom!

On one particular occasion, the authorities did it right. A homeless man called to report an idiot from a local recovery house who plucked an American flag from the ground at the memorial, and placed in on his bike. The municipal building based officer came out, made the druggie put the flag back where he got it and kicked him out of the memorial.

To the Bucks County establishment, the homeless are a problem, just like crabgrass on their well manicured  lawns. To them, the homeless do not have intrinsic value, created in the image of God. This utilitarian view should be taken to its logical conclusion: Dispose of the homeless and turn them into green wafers as the society did in the movie Soylent Green. This way we’d rid the county of crabgrass and would keep Bucks County Green!

The homeless are people!

So God created man in his own image,
    in the image of God he created him;
    male and female he created them.”

-Genesis 1:27

The Content of Character

A young man, whom people invited into their home to get him out of the cold, turned their home into a horror movie, threatening the dog with a knife and smashing windows, as reported on   After showing the guy kindness, and hospitality, this is how he shows his appreciation. They cast their pearls before swine!

What struck me was the lead of the story. In fact the first three words read: “A homeless man…” was the perpetrator. Highlighting the ungrateful guest, whom police say may have going through drug withdraw or just having “a mental health episode” as being homeless was unnecessary. There is a lot of prejudice against the homeless in places like Bucks County, PA, and this is an unfair typecasting of the homeless, which fosters stereotypes and hobophobia, the irrational fear and distain of the homeless.

Unless you’ve been living on Mars, you should realize that we have a drug abuse epidemic, especially here in Bucks County.

Not all druggies, or people who are prone to “mental health episodes”, whatever that means, are not homeless. Some of the residents of the recovery houses join the homeless population, where most of the members do not have these issues. Their issue is being homeless. Unfortunately, people lump them together simply because they are somewhat grouped in the same area.

The news is choked with stories of drug abusers and criminal activity, as well as mental problems. The homeless are simply a microcosm of society.

A 19 year old druggie who was living in an apartment with his girlfriend pawned her laptop and expensive watch. He also stole a Playstation 4 from his parent’s house, which he also pawned. All this was to support his drug habit.

A 59 year-old man, not homeless, fell into a “rapid descent into a major mental health problem” after coming home at four in the morning and he attacked his girlfriend with a knife.

So you don’t have to be homeless to steal, fall into a rapid descent into a mental health problem and become violent and break windows.

In my nearly three years hanging out with the homeless in lower Bucks County, PA, I’ve found only a small percentage of them who engage in bizarre behavior, enough to say they have mental problems. We all have problems, it’s just a matter of and degree. Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Carl Jung related a story about visiting a mental asylum with “an intelligent layman”, who remarked that the inmates there were like everyday people, only that their problems were greatly magnified.

There is one nut among the few, who goes to the community meals for the homeless, I’ve nicknamed “Janis Joplin”. She doesn’t like anyone walking behind her; they have to keep a safe distance. At one particular dinner, after the Advocates for The Homeless and Those in Need (AHTN) had dropped off one load of people and they were finishing up, and as the hosts were rolling around the desert carts table to table, the second AHTN bus came.

People starting filing into the meal. Janis had just finished her meal, and asked the hosts, who were wheeling cupcakes a distance away to “give me my cupcake.” Nobody responded. She repeated the request, then shouted “does anyone speak English?” Still no response, as the hosts continued delivering the deserts table to table. “Give me my cupcake and I’ll go. Give me my cupcake!”, she beseeched, as she shook her open hand in front of her, emphatically.

Another nut, Queen Nora, was being served at the table at a community meal when she asked “do you have anything with beef?”, as if she were at a restaurant. Shortly thereafter, she walked over to a table where a cake sat, which the hosts would bring to each table. She started carrying the whole cake off herself! The hosts had to graciously as possible get the cake and put it back on the table.

Some of the homeless talk about Shakespeare. This was the topic of conversation one evening at the Veterans Memorial near the Levittown public library. In the library, many of the homeless read books and use the resources to look for jobs. One in particular worked doggedly and found a job. She went from living in her car, to the shelter, and then into an apartment.

At tonight’s community meal, a guy who had a job pending because he needed to update his ID, now has two jobs. Soon he may have a place. Several months back, another homeless friend got regular work, got his act together, found a place to live, and is self sufficient.

The woman I had mentioned in an earlier blog, who had given the hand warmers I gave her quite some time ago to another homeless person, has continued to work regularly, but she’s waiting for someone in housing to help her secure a place.

People are homeless for different reasons, and some deal with being homeless different ways. Some think the answer is in the bottle, and others do drugs. Many of the druggies are refugees from the local recovery houses, where there are an inordinate amount – some 100 just in Levittown, PA!

Others don’t, as Curly from The Three Stooges says, become a victim of soy cum stances, but apply themselves. Many of the homeless work sporadically and some find permanent work. Some of them read and educate themselves.  One guy not only could intelligently discuss Shakespeare, but he knows horticulture and landscaping.

Your station in life does not define you. Don’t judge someone by their housing status but by the content of their character!

Put On The New!

Can you teach an old dog new tricks? A particular to which this question applies is the case of T-Rex, who just waved his preliminary hearing to simple assault and harassment. T-Rex is not really a dinosaur, but a fictional name to protect the innocence of a man whose been in the Bucks County, PA jail since a little before Thanksgiving.

Today he waved his preliminary hearing and will be formally arraigned in a month. At the district court today, the victim told a court officer that he’d like the perpetrator, who has a problem with alcohol, to get into an inpatient alcohol rehab program in lieu of a fine or other punishment.

The idea is to resolve the problem of the man habitually coming to community meals for the homeless and needy drunk and verbally and in the latest case that got him jailed, physically assaulting others. It would be a waste of a man’s life to go through a revolving door between jail and freedom. Although the guy is homeless, he has worked while homeless at various jobs. T-Rex has some good warehouse skills, such as a certain forklift license. Also, unlike some people in the homeless and needy community, he is not a user who mooches from others.

Now that T-Rex has had a time out, confined to jail, he’s had time to think about what he did, and, realizing there are consequences for his actions, he may realize the seriousness of his situation. As a host at one of the churches where T-Rex raised a ruckus said, he’ll have the opportunity to think about his sin.

People can change and overcome problems, with help, if they really want to. Putting people away and throwing away the key is not the answer. At least not before giving them the opportunity to get straight.

In my circle of friends and acquaintances in lower Bucks County, I’ve found some people with substance abuse problems who have overcome the problem and are almost like new!

The first step, like that security monitor on the ad where some thugs just broke into a bank and just reports it, is to acknowledge you have a problem. And that you need help.

Drug and alcohol abuse is not a disease but a character flaw, and to overcome substance abuse problems you must first recognize that fact. The root of this is sin.

I know people who have successfully completed a 12 step program. The program is a good framework to plug in the right stuff. One such program with the right stuff, which uses the steps, is Celebrate Recovery:

Historically, Alcoholics Anonymous has been very successful in helping people overcome their problem with alcohol. Today, programs, such as Celebrate Recovery, combines all substance abuse problems with healing other hurts, bad habits and hang ups, as they all have a common root.

It’s a new year. I don’t like clichés like “New Year’s Resolutions”, but it is a new year and time “to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”   -Ephesians 4:22-24

Public Land Grab?

When I get an alarm from the League of Conservation Voters, I treat their messages as if they were coming from Wrongway Peachfuzz, the cartoon character on The Bullwinkle and Rocky Show who would do everything in reverse.

The latest from LCV is a lament that the House of Representatives is doing a “MASSIVE public lands giveaway!” Like Captain Peachfuzz, they have the opposite premise I have. They believe land in the United States belongs to the federal government, and they believe they can manage the land better than the private sector in regards to protecting the environment and being fiscally responsible.

“Increasing federal control over America’s lands is misguided for both economic and environmental reasons,” said Chris Edwards, director of tax policy studies at the Cato Institute.  I agree.

The federal government has acquired too much land over the years. It does not justify grabbing all the land for national purposes, such as for military bases. One problem with much federal land is that it is turned into wilderness areas – in other words, abandoned.

Grazing, mining, lumbering, agriculture and other non invasive, productive use of the land conflicts with the Draconian “leave it alone” policy of much federal land, where, instead of serving everyday people, the government kowtows to the pseudo environmentalists.

If a homeless person were to set up camp in one of these sacred lands, he/she would probably be removed and arrested. Maybe, with the Brave New World being ushered in, they could be churned into Soylent Green wafers to help keep our planet Green.

The New Jersey Pine Barrens, under state administration, has a plan where the traditions of blueberry and cranberry growing, timber harvesting, recreation and other activities that produce revenue while conserving the land are in place.

Years ago I went on expeditions in the Jersey Pine Barrens with a group, which had its own bulletin board on the Internet. One of the environmentalist wackos, pseudo environmentalists, in the group posted that the Pine Barrens should “not be invaded by an army” of blueberry and cranberry growers and loggers. This is how LCV, which is backed by Democrats, think.

In a discussion another member of the group and I had with a self professed “tree hugger”, we explained that responsible tree harvesting emulates nature. Instead of letting natural forest fires thin out the forest, which occurred before humans moved into the land, lumberers cut the trees and weed the woods like a garden. This way, the loggers and the state get revenue, and we don’t get the pollution from fires and decrease the danger to homes and other property, and people. The tree hugger said “it’s not natural.”

Years ago a forester from the Pennsylvania Forest Service explained the three basic ways of managing the forest.

  • Cut and get out: A practice popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Loggers would go in and just cut Willy-nilly and just leave the slash – leave the forest a mess. This not only jeopardized regrowth, but fostered major forest fires.
  • Leave it alone: Just let the forest stand. No logging or camping. In most instances, recreational vehicles, fishing, and other recreational activities, even hiking is prohibited! This practice also creates an environment for catastrophic wildfires.
  • Wisely Manage: A compromise of cut and get out and leave it alone, responsible logging, where a plan with rules are drawn up with a state foresters, hiking, biking, picnicking, swimming, and limited motorized vehicles, such as ATVs is permitted. With this practice, the forest is conserved and the risk of catastrophic wildfires is lowered.

The massive, widespread wildfires that have occurred over the last several decades, when the leave it alone, wilderness policy was put in place by federal land managers, underwritten by the environmentalist wackos, was a result of abandoning, not managing the forest. The Dems blamed some of the major wildfires on dry weather. As a professor of forestry from Texas A & M testified in congress years ago, if you don’t have fuel, you don’t have forest fires getting out of hand. The professor stated that either our forests will be properly managed by scientifically thinning out the woods, or we will continue to have catastrophic fires – more of them and much larger! We would create the ball of fire that Johnny Cash sang about.

Abandoning land is an irresponsible use of our land on the part of the feds.

Part of the homeless problem is that when massive amounts of land are just wasted when they are designated as wilderness areas, there is less land for homes. Livable areas are crammed into smaller and smaller areas, like sardines, as the feds grab more land, legislating under the influence of environmentalist whackos. And as supply shrinks, and demand increases, prices go up, making homes less affordable, exacerbating homelessness.

Public land giveaway? Seems to me that the land that belongs to we the people has already been given away to the special interests.  The House just wants to give us some of the confiscated lands back!

Genesis 2:15 “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and keep it.”

Every Thought Captive

Another shooting! This time at the airport in Florida.

Why is this always happening?

Being controlled to murder earthlings by an alien force can certainly be ruled out. But actions begin as a thought: hatred, malice and envy – evil thoughts. We all have evil thoughts; nobody is perfect. But when we entertain these thoughts and hold them captive, we end up acting on them.

“The tongue utters only what is already in the heart (Matthew 12:34). Acts of sin besides what the tongue commits proceed from the same evil heart (Matthew 15:17-20). Matthew 7:16-18 confirms the impossibility of changing an evil heart, as it can never produce good fruit. God must completely replace it with a wholly different nature for it to produce good fruit! Before being changed, it can produce only evil fruit.”  -Matthew 15:17-20

Cops: Mental Health Crisis Led To Fatal Birthday Stabbing reads the headlines of an article on about a man who came home at four in the morning  and attacked his girlfriend with a knife. Although the police state that this sudden attack was a “rapid descent into a major mental health problem,” weeks before, the attacker’s parents saw there was a problem with this “peaceful, well respected and generous” man.

What fuels evil acts such as mass shootings?

Since the Garden of Eden, humans were tempted.  Satan, in the form of a snake, tempted Adam and Eve, telling them that if they eat the forbidden fruit they would be like God, knowing good and evil and will gain wisdom. The crafty snake also told our first parents that God didn’t mean it when he said they will die if they disobey Him. Since then, people have been following the father of lies.

Lies have been circulating before and after the election of Donald Trump. One common, persistent lie is that Mr. Trump is a racist. Not only is this false witness, not based on any evidence, but is counterproductive and harmful to the black community. Professor of Economics at George Mason University Walter E Williams expounds on this thought:

Just as Dr. Williams urges people to stop tolerating and making excuses for the despicable and destructive behavior of individual blacks, some people have put a lid on bad behavior of homeless individuals who exhibit outlandish behavior at the community meals, particularly coming to the meals drunk, verbally and physically threatening other guests as well as actually attacking people! One such person in now in the Bucks County jail.

As a result of holding people accountable for their behavior, the community meals have been peaceful. People not only eat in peace, but have a wonderful time meeting with friends and edifying one another.

To stop bad behavior, you must understand and act on the root cause. It’s sin. All the King’s Horses and All The King’s Men in government can’t put Humpty Dumpty back together again. We hear the incessant mantra that “drug addiction” is a disease and not a character flaw, weakness. Operating under this premise has exacerbated the epidemic of overdoses, many fatal. Of course, as is the case with liberals, results don’t matter, just as long as people praise their intentions and they get their money!

“Come, let us return to the Lord; for he has torn us, that he may heal us; he has struck us down, and he will bind us up.”  -Hosea 6:1