Will The Bird No Longer Be The Word?

In my last blog I argued that homelessness does not define your character. There are characters who frequent the homeless and those in need meals who are showing their character. As Winston Churchill said “I no longer listen to what people say, I just watch what they do. Behavior never lies.” 

These characters, for the most part, are not homeless. I didn’t mention more recent behavior by these “needy” people in my blog. At the shared meal Friday night, hosts had to stand in front of the kitchen to keep a small mob from bum rushing the kitchen. These characters just thought they could run into the kitchen to raid it, like the mob that stormed the Bastille, which was the official start of the French Revolution. 

Speaking of French ideas, take the Noble Savage. The Noble Savage is a relativistic philosophy championed by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, where all restraints of civilization or any authority are removed and the self becomes the center of the universe. There are no borders. The characters at the meals are vying for the Jean-Jacques Rousseau award for 2019. 

The next day, at the early afternoon shared meal, a woman, for whom I have yet to coin a nickname, started screaming at a host who simply asked her to get a clean plate when she gets seconds. Evidently, she didn’t think she should play by the rules. I’ve observed her tone of voice often being hostile. She also makes herself a victim. On one occasion, as she grabbed the coffee from a guy who was sitting next to her, asked if he would mind if she could have it, as she started drinking it. Birdman on a small scale.  

Update: I now have a nickname for this woman, a new entry for the Noble Savage award for 2019: “The Wicked Witch Of The West”. She talks a lot like this bad witch in the Wizard of Oz. Maybe I could stifle her by pouring water on her! I can imagine asking one of the hosts at a shared meal for water. I’ll tell the host I need it to tone down the Wicked Witch Of The West.

I also recently learned why there were police cars after the meal. Evidently The Wicked Witch was not allowed on the bus and nobody would drive her so the police drove her to a stop where the homeless bus dropped people off.

Birdman has some stiff competition for the Noble Savage award for 2019!  Birdman is a character who’s been flocking to the meals.  People at meals are getting the word about this infamous bird, who, like a wild animal, comes to the meals armed with pitchers and large bag and goes from table to table trying to swipe whatever he can – food, drinks and other items that are supposed to be for the people at each table and tables where food and drink are set out for all the quests. At one meal, he took the top off the coffee pot and was about to drain the coffee into his container when he was caught. 

Some of us are thinking of playing The Bird is the Word, when Birdman enters a community meal. 

https://youtu.be/9Gc4QTqslN4 

One guest thought he must have descended from a hawk, with the way he quickly, out of nowhere, appears and grabs his prey. To use Navy terminology, I would say he’s a sh**bird. 

At the last meal he raided he started to take eating utensils from the table in front of him, until someone at the table yelled at him and told him the utensils were someone else’s. In spite of being yelled at, he returned to the table, on the prowl for things he could take. People at the table had to keep looking over their shoulder to watch Birdman like the hawk he is. 

When I said something to someone at the table when I walked by right after Birdman tried to take the utensils, a guy at the table snapped “he’s an a-hole” and added that the bird was banned from two of the community meals permanently. 

A few meals ago, Birdman was about to snatch the salt and pepper shakers, but the host stopped him. 

If you sit down at a community meal, you have to set a watch to make sure that Birdman doesn’t take any of your stuff, including food that’s on your table whenever you get up to get a beverage, some food, or go to the restroom. 

Birdman is the quintessential noble savage.  But so are others; his title maybe overthrown!

Most of the folks who go to the community meals, both homeless and those needy with homes, act civilized and show self-restraint. 

Birdman, et al, is a reflection, an example of our rich heritage being turned upside down in an attempt to be replaced by the utopian new world order, which is destroying our society. 

https://wigtunes.wordpress.com/tag/francis-schaeffer/ 

Homelessness and Character

Homelessness does not define your character.  Sometime after I started hanging out with the homeless in Bucks County, PA, early spring, 2014, I heard and read comments of what the homeless are about.  

One comment was that they are in the survival mode – that they just savagely grab things the way a wild animal does. This, interestingly, came from a Salvation Army official at the Levittown, PA community center! You would think that someone associated with an organization that has been reaching out to people who are impoverished materially and spiritually would have a sober view of the homeless.  This same official was OK with the idea that, as was the case a few years back, that the homeless should be constructively kicked out of the library just because some people don’t like them there. 

When I challenged the Salvation Army person’s argument, she then went on to say that they are dirty and raggedy and eat in the library. When I asked her if she ever visited the library and saw the homeless people there, she silently got huffy and dismissed the debate. And as far as them eating in the library, if there are rules against eating in the library, enforce the rules as to the individual offender. Violating a rule has nothing to do with being homeless! 

Awhile back, I read a melodramatic article where a reporter painted a picture of homeless people at a shared meal for the homeless and needy savagely scrounging for food. It gave the impression that all homeless people are that way. Well, it’s only a handful of people who do this, and the perpetrators are mostly those who are not homeless!  There has been an effort to curb the actions of these savages, who could ruin the meals for those civilized people who socialize with each other and are fed physically and spiritually. 

Another stereotype of the homeless is that they have mental problems. Again, there is just a handful of people who could use a ride on The Disoriented Express. There’s one, whom I call Janis Joplin, who sings and talks to herself and is basically anti-social, treating others as if they are mannequins, for whom she does not cotton to moving out of the way, and doesn’t practice other social civilities.  

One thing I know for sure is that many of the homeless in Bucks County are smoking fiends. And some of them are rude; some of these smokers stand right in front of the doors puffing away! Many places have buffer zones. We should not need buffer zones for smokers; they should have enough consideration and good character to keep their distance on their own. Just because they want to ruin their health and burn a hole in their pocket, we should not have to be subjected to that stinky second hand smoke. Years ago, a woman told me that when she was about to enter a building with her daughter, who suffered from asthma, past a gang of smokers who gathered just outside the door, huffing and puffing away, her daughter suffered an asthma attack as the result of the concentrated smoke! 

A friend of mine said he doesn’t give people any money if he sees that they smoke.  Smoking is not a necessity and, by fiat, you enable bad habits if you give smokers money. 

Clash of the barbarians 

At one shared meal, guests started forming lines from opposite directions. As Gomez Adams approached from the opposite direction, walking with his cane, he plowed into Piglet, almost knocking her down. It was poetic justice, as at an earlier meal at another place, as Piglet was pulling her cart, she plowed into someone’s walker that was sticking out a little between the rows of tables, with enough space for people to walk by but not enough room for the cart. Piglet almost knocked the cart over! 

In an earlier blog, I announced a contest for Noble Savage of 2019.  Lately, Birdman, the frontrunner, hasn’t been to the meals. Maybe he’s smug that he is a shoe in for the Noble Savage award. Birdman’s most savage act is that he creeps around the tables where they are eating, and snatches up their food!  On one occasion, this predator tried to take the salt and peppers and on another tried to snatch up metal tableware. Birdman’s been banned from a few meals, and there are watchful eyes on him at others. 

Who the homeless really are is addressed in There Are Homeless In Bucks County; A Journey with the Homeless, by Yours Truly.   Among the issues I tackle is the one that homeless people allegedly need mental health help, offered freely by the mental health hustlers. 

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

Don’t Count Me Out!

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

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

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

O. Henry got straight and stayed straight.

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

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

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

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

A Prescription To Abate Homelessness

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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