On Track

“Freedom is just another word, for nothing left to lose…”  -Janis Joplin

What is freedom? Nothing left to lose? Strange concept. So if there is nothing left to lose, then you are just going for broke? Nothing matters but the choice?  As the song continues, the only thing that matters is feeling good when Bobby plays the blues? How existential! For those of you in Doylestown: Existentialism

  1. a philosophical theory or approach that emphasizes the existence of the individual person as a free and responsible agent determining their own development through acts of the will.

As humans, we have a free will and have choices. But the key to true satisfaction is making the right choices.

But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap  leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.” -Romans 6:22

Singing the blues with Bobby McGee may be fun and somewhat therapeutic, but there’s more to life than that.

A train runs best when it stays on the track. If Engine number nine runs off the track, people ask if they can get their money back.

Likewise, when we follow the right path in life, we run best. Abusing drugs and alcohol, constantly being angry at people where you blow up, seek revenge, harbor resentment, are anxious and depressed are ways we get off the track and become dysfunctional.

Take the world of drug abusers, dopers. Please!  Lives are ruined. People overdose. People steal. A reformed druggie said that there is no honor among drug abusers – people lie, are cutthroat. There is alienation, no love between people.

I read in Narcotics Anonymous a testimony from a former drug abuser that a druggie cares for nobody but him or herself. Getting high is the only goal. Druggies will steal from their own family for drug money.

Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.[a]  This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.[b]  All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Matthew 22:36-40

A few years back, I did not engage in drug or alcohol abuse, but I got off the tracks and headed down a siding towards a dead end where the tracks went to the edge of a steep cliff. Years before I walked away from God, and decided I would be the engineer. I was headed for disaster, engaging in destructive, ungodly behavior. I kept going, full speed ahead, in reckless abandonment. Just before I was about to plunge over the cliff, I came to a screeching stop, as though God had put on the brakes by remote control.

Being sovereign, God created situations and brought people into my life that brought me closer to him. I gradually released control of the train to God. The Prodigal Son returned home.

After I returned to God, I ended up keeping company with the homeless in Bucks County, PA.  I became part of this community, after a time becoming homeless myself for a season, living in my car with Sandi, who had cancer. About three years ago, I took her to the ER, where she was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer that had spread to the liver and the brain. It was a rough three years having to deal with her illness, and her attitude, and my attitude. Early on, I had a puppy love for her. But as Sandi used to say, “the fizzle” fades away.

Over the years, after going through trials, we became committed to one another. Sandi was brought back to church and the fellowship of the saints until she got chronically too tired to go out. I took the Word home to her, where we spent most of our time together. I was tempted to bail out a few times, but I couldn’t do it. God put in my heart the compassion to stand by Sandi, sacrifice and take care of her. We both got closer to God and to each other.

Sandi went home to the Lord on December 4, 2017. I miss her, grieve my loss, but she belongs to God. The Lord gave her to me for a time. She’s told me “Jesus is in my heart.” As one of the hosts at a shared meal told me, God has things for me to do. I need to move forward. There will be a memorial service for Sandi at the shared meal at First UMC Bristol, 201 Mulberry St on Saturday, February 3, at 1 p.m.

With God at the control, I’ve been blessed by submitting to Him.

As a friend recently said, there is always some trial that comes up. But God gets us through the storms in life, and is with His children in the midst of them.  My friend asked me how do we know Jesus is in us. I’ve gone through situations where God has given me the grace to do the right thing. I don’t get everything I want when I want it, but I’m learning to wait on God and trust Him that He has my back and has my best interests in mind. Although my train sometimes wobbles from side to side, I wobble but I don’t fall down, I don’t come off the track. God won’t let me!

I still associate with the homeless in Bucks County. I strive to get closer to God so I can better serve people in this situation. One thing on my heart is the book on homelessness, that focuses on Bucks County, that I’ve been working on. I have written a draft that I’ve been editing which I plan to send to a publisher I have lined up. In the book, I strive to, as the 60s saying goes, “tell it like it is.”

As Christian author and pastor Max Lucado wrote, as Christians, we need to do what pleases God. We should reflect God.

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

Let Freedom Ring

Stand Down 2015, recently held in Levittown, PA, was a remembrance of what veterans fight for:  freedom.  Freedom isn’t free, and we must fight for it.  It’s not just a fight using weapons, but with words.  I’m living in a country where I can still express my uncensored views.  I tend to be outspoken.

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

Looking at the Pepsodent toothpaste I got from Stand Down, I was reminded of a parody of the Pepsodent ad:

“You wonder where the yellow went

When you brush your teeth with Pepsodent”

The parody:

“You  wonder where your father went

When he speaks against the government.”

Our founders took into account that people are not perfect and that leaders do things that need to be challenged.  This is why we have the first amendment.  They realized that we cannot create a utopia, on earth.   The Greek translation of “Utopia” means that there is no such place.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utopia

Although we can never achieve a utopia, we don’t have to accept a dystopia.  Frankly, unlike our society in the 50’s and early 60’s, our society is dysfunctional.  But, through our actions, much of it driven by people exercising their right of free speech, we can improve ourselves and society.  We can do better.

As a result of skillful people persuading others,  America overcame the dysfunctional New Raw Deal scheme of FDR.    Writers argued how free market capitalism fosters a healthy economy.  Churches, which during the Depression era failed to positively influence society, started spreading the truth about how to live right, and people listened.  As a result, the economy grew while crime shrank.

The New Raw Deal didn’t exist in a vacuum.  Starting about 1920, elitist kooks influenced society.   But after WWII people became influenced by counter influences and  wised up and traditional values were restored to our nation.  And we prospered.  The weekly magazine Human Events is founded by Frank Hanighen and Felix Morley with a significant contribution from ex-New Dealer Henry Regnery. Ronald Reagan later says that the magazine “helped me stop being a liberal Democrat.”

Homelessness is the canary in the coal mine to indicate a healthy economy.

I’m convinced the private sector can be the biggest help to resolve the homelessness problem.  I am homeless and just received a call from someone associated with   The Way Home,  a private organization whose mission is to help people find homes.  I had met this person through one of the community meals for the homeless and those in need.

St. Mary Hospital, Langhorne, PA is working hard to help my friend and I with a place to stay and to get the care my friend with lung cancer needs.

One way we can help the homeless is to persuade hobophobic people that the homeless are not monsters — that they all are not thieves, aggressive panhandlers, drunks, druggies, muggers, etc.  This is a basic element of my blogs.  Another is Gimmee Shelter for the Homeless, a nascent non profit to create homes for the homeless,  for which I am the publicist.  http://www.timespub.com/2015/04/30/working-for-a-place-to-stay/

We are moving forward with the non- profit.  We’re on a quest to acquire property to develop for the homeless.  We plan to recruit people with different talents to help.

Freedom Rocks

In a recent blog, I compared the plight of the Okies, who had to leave their homes because their farms closed, and the homeless today, as I particularized in the homeless in lower Bucks County, PA.  The economic root cause for this problem in both cases is similar:  The overreaching, social engineering government.  Before and after the depression, allowing the free market, cutting taxes, and letting a free people take responsibility and initiative fostered a healthy economy that was good for all Americans.

It was not WWII that brought us out of the depression, nor the latent policies of FDR, but big tax cuts, fostering entrepreneurship, free trade, and an individual work ethic and other mores that is the foundation of a free people.

Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon had it right when he slashed taxes in 1920  that reduced the top individual tax rate from 73 to 25 percent.  And as a result the economy flourished.  But after the progressives imposed on us gross tax hikes, the economy petered out, which resulted in poverty and rampant homelessness.

The New Deal brought ruin to the nation, and we are repeating this mistake as our country has become an Obama nation.

In a tax and budget bulletin from the Cato Institute, Chris Edwards concludes (and it is worth quoting in full):

“New Deal interventions were not only bad for the

economy, but favored fat cats over average families. Most

farm subsidies went to major land owners, not small-time

farmers. Required reductions in farm acreage devastated

poor sharecroppers. Efforts to keep farm prices high led to

the destruction of food while millions of families went

hungry. Compulsory unionism led to discrimination

against blacks because it gave monopoly power to union

bosses who often didn’t want them hired. NIRA cartels

prevented entrepreneurs from cutting prices for consumers.

Roosevelt’s strategies of handouts, federal jobs,

subsidized loans, demonizing businesses, and public works

projects in swing states worked well politically. But

economically, Roosevelt and his “brains trust” had no idea

what they were doing. They attempted one failed

intervention after another. The Great Depression was a

disaster, and sadly an avoidable one.”

 

Read the full text: http://crsdesignsinc.com/blog/the-government-and-the-great-depression-cato-institute/ 

 

The liberal lie that big government intervention helps the little guy –everyday people — is largely responsible for today’s homeless problem.  At one of the community meals for the homeless and those in need, a kool-aid drinker (popular at Jonestown, Guyana in the 70’s) said that the Republicans are responsible for the homeless problem in Bucks County and added that they take food out of the mouths of children.  Holy disconnect from reality, Batman!  http://history1900s.about.com/od/1970s/p/jonestown.htm

We need to learn from past mistakes, namely progressivism as championed by social engineers such as FDR.  Speaking of engineers, all those hobos who hopped freight trains and camped out at the railroads, and were harassed and even worse, is one of the fruits (Grapes of Wrath) of gross government intervention.

It’s “individual achievement and personal responsibility”, as Rush Limbaugh says, that creates a great nation.

The Veteran’s Memorial is a celebration of our freedom to make choices that not only improves our lot, but can help all American’s pursue the rights of liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

We at Gimmee Shelter for the Homeless, a nascent non profit, was to created to give the homeless a chance to improve their lot and pursue their dreams.

http://www.timespub.com/2015/04/30/working-for-a-place-to-stay/#more-45529

Why Can’t the Homeless Find a Home?

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“I’m a lonely frog

I ain’t got a home

I’m a lonely frog

I ain’t got a home

I Ain’t got a madder

I Ain’t got a fadder

I’m just a lonely frog

I ain’t got a home

Whoo-ewe-ewe-ewe-ewe-ewe whoo-ewe

Whoo-ewe-ewe-ewe-ewe-ewe whoo-ewe

Whoo-ewe-ewe-ewe-ewe-ewe WHOO-ewe

Whoo-ewe-ewe-ewe-ewe-ewe whoo-ewe…”

–Clarence “Frogman” Thomas

Recently, someone at Denny’s restaurant in Langhorne mentioned that there are more vacant buildings and property in Bucks County, Pennsylvania than there are homeless people.  I’ve heard many times puzzled people question why the vacant properties in Bucks County can’t be used to house the homeless.

The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind.

I repeat, the answer is blowin’ in the wind.

In Frogman’s humorous lyrics  about a lonely frog, a lonely  boy and a lonely girl, we hear, individually, in the voice of all three, about the search for something.  The boy wants a girl, the girl wants a boy, but the frog is looking for a home.  In real life, frogs have a higher success rate than do homeless humans.  So do illegal aliens.  Those who broke into this country have  more rights than the homeless in this country.  They are not allowed to “squat” on land in their own country.  The only crime the homeless committed is they do not have a home, yet they are considered trespassers on “public” land.

Through the grapevine, I hear words like “liability” and “insurance” as reasons why we can’t develop land for the homeless.  On Bucks County land, I’m told, that if someone “squatting” on land under Bucks County jurisdiction, and is attacked or hurt, he or she can sue the county.

Beam me up Scotty, there is no form of intelligent life in Bucks County!

To quote Charles Dickens, “the law is an ass!”

Part of the root of the problem of homeless people finding homes is the stereotype people have of them.   I learned from a reliable source that people in Bucks County don’t like the homeless people coming to the library because they are dirty, sloppy, stink,  and use the library like a picnic area.  This is not the case.  In one instance, as I related in an earlier blog, when I was talking with a Bucks County official outside the library, a homeless guy on his way to the library joked around with us on his way to the library.  When I told the official the guy was homeless, he remarked “I thought he was a counselor.”

Remember the old pop song Signs?  In the song, the artist talks about “tucking his hair up under his hat” before he interviews for a job.  “You look like a fine young man; I think you’ll do,” the potential employer remarks.

Then the young man removes his hat, exposes his long hair and remarks “imagine that, me working for you!”

Recently, a county “cop” harassed some homeless people who were peacefully, respectfully hanging out at the Veteran’s Memorial outside the Levittown public library.  Included in this harassment blitz screen was a volunteer from the Advocates for the Homeless and Those in Need (AHTN) who was cutting a homeless man’s hair to make him more respectable/employable.  This busy body, evidently under the influence from the busy body women from the WIC office next to the memorial, said something to the effect that some Veteran’s department will only allow them short visits, say 15 minutes, to the memorial.  His statement is dubious.  Evidently, the WIC women don’t like the people who visit the memorial and think it’s their own personal property, and think they have to right to invite whom they wish.

The Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial commemorates those who sacrificed their lives for our freedom.  And here a tyrant/bully hassles people who are trying to enjoy their freedom by visiting the memorial.

Like the frog in Mr. Thomas’ song, the homeless need a home.  Let’s help them:  (you can skip the ads after a few seconds)

http://www.gofundme.com/lq6sfc