Too Soon Old Too Late Smart

” Vee grow too soon oldt, und too late shmart.” (we grow too soon old and too late smart)   -old German saying

Like beat poet Allen Ginsberg, I see the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness. People’s lives are being destroyed by drugs, alcohol, and other destructive behavior. In Bucks County, PA, Steps to Recovery in Levittown, PA will host a ceremony in remembrance of those who lost their lives to overdoses. It will be held on August 30th, International Overdose Awareness Day.

Seeing all this destructive, deadly behavior, I have to quote Astro, the dog on the old Jetson’s cartoon: “Rumtins rong rear Reorge!” (Something’s wrong here, George). I also quote Bob Dylan: “Something is happening here, and you don’t know what it is. Do you? Mr. Jones.”

Back in the 50’s, as depicted in Allen Ginsberg’s poem Howl, there was the beat generation, people who ruined their lives with drugs and other destructive behavior but they were on the fringe of society. Today, this behavior has become more mainstream. In fact, drug use and other erratic behavior is an epidemic!

People I know personally in Bucks County have and are still engaging in destructive behavior. Some have a chronic problem with booze and some with drugs. One guy, who almost died four times after abusing alcohol, landed back in the hospital again. Soon after got to a nursing home, he escaped! Somehow, he ended up in another hospital. He just wants to keep abusing alcohol and smoking. As a friend said, they are his god.  “As a dog returns to its vomit, so fools repeat their folly.” -Proverbs 26:11

Chronic drug and alcohol abuse are examples of besetting sin, a sin that has a strong hold on you and you just can’t seem to shake. “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit” -Ephesians 5:18

One friend licked his substance abuse problems. He went through a 12 Step Program and went to and stuck with God. He now has a good job and acts responsibly and gets along well with others.

Although I don’t know anything about Steps to Recovery in Levittown, I was glad when I looked on their website and saw that they include the 12 Step Program in their treatment program.

Even with good rehab programs, people with big problems have to do their part. Resolving these problems is not just a matter of following steps. If you make a paper maché volcano and shake baking soda into the center then pour vinegar and red food coloring, then it will become effervescent and simulate a real volcano. Human behavior is not so predictable; doesn’t work that way. Sometimes you just have to walk away from people you are trying to help and let God take care of them.

Sometimes people just have to learn the hard way. I did. Although I can have a glass of wine and walk away and don’t do dope, I’ve engaged in destructive behavior in other ways. After I lost my job, my house, my wife, was alienated from relatives and suffered other problems, I finally started coming around.

Likewise, a guy I knew from the community meals for the homeless and those in need in Bucks County finally came around. His cousin told me his Aunt (the guy’s mom) asked him to help his cousin straighten out. It was to no avail. At one of the meals, a host ministered to the guy. Sometime after that, when I was visiting a friend with an alcohol problem in a local short-term inpatient treatment center, I ran into him. He realized the seriousness of his problem and said he was determined to get with the program. He transferred to another place and the last I heard his recovery was going well and that he had a little job.

Back in the 50’s, if you were a drunk or a doper you were an oddball. In the 50s people went to church and took their faith seriously. They read Christian authors such as CS Lewis as well as the Bible. Families prayed together and stayed together. Hearts and minds are the root of one’s character. You are what you think and where your heart is!

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” -2nd Corinthians 10:5

I Saw The Best Minds…

The shrinks and the mental health hustlers are whining that they don’t have enough money to treat what they call “substance abuse disorder”, which is psychobabble for choosing destructive, stupid behavior. Why do you think they call it dope?

When you are hooked on something, nothing matters except self-satisfaction, whether getting high on drugs, drunk on booze, or even smoking cigarettes. On an episode of Twin Peaks, a guy managed to walk away from the edge of a nuclear blast. He wondered through the New Mexico desert with an unlit cigarette. He asked the first people he came across “got a light? Got a light?” Over and over again.

Without more money, Jennifer Smith, Pennsylvania’s acting secretary for the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, said druggies will be desperate to support their habit and will end up with a criminal record! I thought that using and possessing drugs was criminal! The drug trade has nothing to do with customers doing dope does it? Maybe this substance disorder is contagious, picked up from exposure from passing drug dealers in public areas.

What’s more, Secretary Smith added, is that this “disorder” creates homelessness. So, according to those on the front lines of the opioid war, if we fork over more money to the official state drug rehab industry, we can prevent homelessness!

Unless you’ve been living on Mars and don’t have satellite transmission, you’ll know that people from all walks of life are doing dope. As Bob Dylan sang “everybody must get stoned!”

How prophetic was beat poet Allen Ginsberg with the opening to his poem Howl: “I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked, dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of the night.

Back in 1955, when the beat poet wrote Howl, freaky people like Ginsberg were on the fringe of society. The Beat Generation sought meaning from life in an industrialize society but concluded that “society sucked.” Today, this view that because life has no meaning, anything goes and it’s cool to escape this though sex, drugs and rock and roll was celebrated at Woodstock and is becoming the new normal –more mainstream.

Dumping money on a problem doesn’t automatically fix it. More and more money to fight the drug war but the problem appears to be getting worse.  Albert Einstein is said to define insanity as doing something over and over again and expecting a different result.

Drug and alcohol abuse can lead to homelessness, but that’s not the only cause. The economy, driven by progressive social engineering, particularly during FDR’s New Raw Deal, wrought massive homelessness. Decent, working men were heavily taxed and businesses were heavily taxed and regulated. Consequently, men became hobos who hopped trains to look for food and work. Government overreach, for example paying the large farm conglomerates to burn crops to increase prices, favored the fat cats at the expense of the average person, the middle class.

The Great Depression was not just an economic depression; it was a moral depression. Leading up to the depression was a world of gangsters and corrupt politicians.

The opioid epidemic is not just about people doing dope; it’s a moral issue, a result of people looking for meaning in life by trying to escape reality, rather than to deal with it.

Rather than making druggies victims and saying they have a disease, besides just saying “no” to drugs, they should get involved in a 12-step program, which addresses the spiritual/moral part of the problem. Medical doctors and nurses can deal with the medical end of the problem.

Historically, the 12-step program has been very successful. I know of one homeless person in Bucks County, PA who went through a 12-step program as has really gotten his act together.

He brought them out of darkness, the utter darkness, and broke away their chains.”
-Psalm 107:14

I Saw the Best Minds

In the mid 50s, the insanity of drugs, sexual perversion, rioting, pagan religion started out as a fringe movement, a trickle, as illustrated in Beat poet Allen Ginsberg’s run on sentence poem Howl. So was an overreaching, oppressive government. By the 50’s, the progressivism of the late 20s, 30s, and early 40’s had waned.

Ginsberg’s insanity has become much more mainstream today than it was in the mid 50’s, a time when people went to church and took their faith seriously, and society and families, the bedrock of society, were more stable than they are today.

Unlike the decadent pop singers of today who visit the BO White House, and, like Mohammed and the Mountain, sometimes the White House comes to them, popular artists didn’t suck up to the decadence back in the 50’s. Maybe a little naive and fanciful — Life Would be a Dream; Sha-Boom Sha-Boom… but they were basically clean.

In an interview, Mary Travers, of the Peter Paul and Mary early 60’s folk singers group said that she doesn’t identify with the Beatniks, which Ginsberg was. She described them as jobless, nihilistic, dirty bums. The only thing Mary said she had in common with them is that she’s a rebel, speaking out against things she wants changed.

Allen Ginsberg protested against the war on drugs, saw capitalism as a destructive force, and championed homosexuality. In Howl and in his other writings, Ginsberg used profane language. Early on, most publishers would not publish him.

In 1957, a bookstore manager was arrested for selling and a publisher for publishing Howl.

Although Ginsberg wrote that he saw the best minds of his generation destroyed by madness, vividly depicting the decadence, he reveled in it. This is what the modern gansta’ rappers do – revel in depravity.

Today in Bucks County, PA I see the best minds of my generation, and especially the younger generation, destroyed by madness, as exemplified in rampant drug abuse.

A year or two ago, I kept company with a very bright, formerly successful, homeless woman who was destroyed by madness. For years, she’d alternate between acting responsibility, doing constructive things and acting irresponsibly through drunkenness and bizarre behavior, stealing, putting people down, habitual use of obscenities, and trashing out her campsite. We would independently read and then discuss books together, talk about art and generally engage in intelligent conversation. Then she turned to her dark side with no sign of coming back.

On one occasion, I saw her with another drunk, talking stupid.

I see today people thinking stupid. Even back in the 70’s, left wing nuts like Gus Hall and Angela Davis got scant votes. They were not taken seriously. But politicians such as Barry Obama and the Clintons, who are about as bad, have become mainstream. I can’t believe so many people have been taken in by their welcome grin!

Just as booze makes us act stupid, so does ideology.

What do we do when we see the best minds of our generation destroyed by madness?

Offer an alternative

In the 70s, evangelist Francis Schaeffer said that freedom is being misused in this country and that one of two things will happen. Either we will have a police state, where the government will control people from the outside, or we’ll have a Reformed Christian revival where people will be changed to act right from the inside.

To do this, Christians need to preach the true gospel, and, as taught in the Book of James, practice what we preach.

Our culture today is much like that of ancient Rome. In the time of Nero, Rome was decadent and oppressive. Christians were oppressed and were being slaughtered. Today in America, we’re not at that point. Yet. Maybe if  America burns, like Nero, Barry Obama and Hillary Clinton can play fiddles. Like dueling banjos, they could do dueling fiddles. Recently Hillary Clinton proposed a national dance party.

In the Book of Peter, Christians were encouraged to keep the faith and be holy in the face of oppression and seeming hopelessness. It worked out for good. After the Roman empire fell, the Christians took over. They banned abortion and homosexuality. Women, who used to be treated like ornaments, were more respected in the Christian culture. They married pagan men and converted them.

Two epidemics hit, taking out a lot of the pagan population. Those who survived ran away. Christians stayed, and at their own peril, helped the sick.

This is how to restore a Christian consensus.

Today I am encouraged by the plethora of Christian posts on Facebook. Likewise how the churches are reaching out to the homeless in lower Bucks County, PA. They not only feed them and give them clothing, but, as man does not live by bread alone, minister the gospel to them. Like the early Christians, they graciously help them with their emotional and spiritual needs as well as their physical needs.

‘Behold, I will bring to it health and healing, and I will heal them; and I will reveal to them an abundance of peace and truth. I will restore the fortunes of Judah and the fortunes of Israel and will rebuild them as they were at first. I will cleanse them from all their iniquity by which they have sinned against Me, and I will pardon all their iniquities by which they have sinned against Me and by which they have transgressed against Me.

It will be to Me a name of joy, praise and glory before all the nations of the earth which will hear of all the good that I do for them, and they will fear and tremble because of all the good and all the peace that I make for it.’ “Thus says the LORD, ‘Yet again there will be heard in this place, of which you say, “It is a waste, without man and without beast,” that is, in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem that are desolate, without man and without inhabitant and without beast, the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the voice of those who say, “Give thanks to the LORD of hosts, For the LORD is good, For His lovingkindness is everlasting”; and of those who bring a thank offering into the house of the LORD.

For I will restore the fortunes of the land as they were at first,’ says the LORD. “Thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘There will again be in this place which is waste, without man or beast, and in all its cities, a habitation of shepherds who rest their flocks. ‘In the cities of the hill country, in the cities of the lowland, in the cities of the Negev, in the land of Benjamin, in the environs of Jerusalem and in the cities of Judah, the flocks will again pass under the hands of the one who numbers them,’ says the LORD.”

Jeremiah 33:6-13

Once I Built a Railroad

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

–Popular song during The Great Depression

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Modernism started polluting the church.  In 1929 Princeton Theological Seminary, after years of sound, Biblical teaching,  “was reorganized under modernist influences.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Proverbs 13:21

Howl Do We Get Here?

“I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked, dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of the night…”

— Allen Ginsberg

Where has this line of thinking found in Ginsberg’s classic beat poem Howl, written in 1955, taken us today?  Beat poets such as Allen Ginsberg, and the beat generation, were searching, pushing the envelope for meaning.  These non conformists raged against materialism and exposed the dark side of the human condition, while escaping through drugs and sexual experimentation.  They challenged tradition.

In a PBS documentary on the singing group Peter, Paul and Mary, Mary was asked if she could relate to the Beatniks.  “No,”  she said.  Mary had a problem that they don’t bathe or work, etc.  The only thing in common she had with them is that she was a rebel, challenging established traditions.

Some ideas of the Beat movement were incorporated into the hippie culture and counterculture movements in the 60’s.   In fact, Allen Ginsberg’s writings became an integral part of the early 60’s hippie culture.   This mushroomed into a purple haze at Woodstock in 1969, which was the epitome of the idea of The Noble Savage, where the restraints of civilized society were severedThis literary stock character, who first appeared in the 17th century, symbolized humanity’s innate goodness — that people are basically good by their own nature.

Although the counter culture addressed some legitimate problems, such as materialism and racism, said evangelist Francis Schaeffer, their so called solutions put them a step lower than the society they challenged.  They seemed to throw out some good things; they threw out the baby with the bath water, when they took a bath.

In the early 70’s, drugs entered the quiet suburbs and soon began to run rampant.  So did the materialism and the racism the beatniks and their successors protested against.  Racism is now in a different form, with those who were made whole during the civil rights movement now made victims. As Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas said, when people are not held accountable for their behavior, they become animals.

Divorce became common as did the breakdown of the family.  Today’s sitcoms portray family life as a joke.

Homeless people are much the same as others in today’s society.  People may have a physical house, but is it a home?  It takes more than a house to make a home.

The homeless don’t have all the distractions, the bells and whistles that others have.  Although living in a primitive state, they don’t have to act like savages, which is not noble.  Like the characters in John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath, many of them have drawn close to help one another.

Being homeless is tough, and some homeless people escape through drugs or alcohol, which does not resolve their problem.  Contrary to the philosophy of the Noble Savage, people do not have an innate goodness.  As the Edward G Robinson character said in the 1973 movie Soylent Green, “people have always been rotten.”

The Biblical idea that people are innately deprave is key to the first step in the 12 Step Journey program, which taps into the scriptural source of the original 12 step program started by AA to help people overcome their addictions and better manage their lives.

This 12 step program will help restore people to sanity, so they aren’t destroyed by madness.

Homeless people need to have their physical needs, as well as their spiritual, social needs met.  In lower Bucks County, PA, shelter is the biggest need amongst the homeless.  For the longest time, our country has been helping other countries meet their needs as a result of Christian charity.  But there are many needs for our fellow American’s right here at home.

If you wish to practice Christian charity, please go to our crowdfunding site  You have the option to wait and skip the ad.