The Private Public Library

Over the past two years, there has been a pattern of harassment against the homeless at the public library in  Levittown, PA.  Children who incessantly scream and run around the library like savages are given a pass, but the homeless are kicked out for frivolous reasons or at least harassed.

I have filed an online complaint with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

Below is a listing of facts in the case I am building up against Pat, the director at the Levittown branch of the Bucks County Free Library:

  • Pat confronted a homeless woman who was reading. She told her she needed to do something in the library.
  • I was talking quietly to a homeless man, not making a fraction of the noise the children and other special privileged characters make when Pat burst out of an office and exclaimed “this conversation is getting heated; you have to do something!” Shortly after that, he was kicked out for a week for nodding off at the library. Last night the guy was kicked out again. I suspect that was because that Pat didn’t agree with his point of view. I have to talk with him about this.
  • A couple of weeks ago, as I was talking quietly and briefly with some homeless people, after I had stopped talking for about 30 seconds, Pat told me I have to keep the noise down. I believe she didn’t like my criticism about how the county deals with the homeless, about a political view and a politician who holds the view she holds.
  • A homeless man was served a paper from someone in the Bucks County Free Library system that informed him he was banned from the library for a week. Details are forthcoming.
  • When I was on my cell phone in the designated cell phone area, on hold, I uttered two words: “Come on” and Pat told me I was talking too loud in the library.
  • This past Saturday, Pat confronted a  homeless woman while she was doing the giant puzzle the library put out for people to work. The homeless woman had just gotten back from the funeral for the homeless man who died in a camper fire when the librarian said she had a complaint that the woman was lying on the floor of the ladies room making cigarettes. . The homeless woman had been in the library between 9 and about 11:00 a.m. before she caught the bus for the funeral.

The homeless woman was summarily judged, without question and was told if she did it again, she’d be kicked out of the library. There was no evidence – just someone’s word, most likely someone who decided to make something up to drive the homeless out of the library. Or Pat may have just lied. On one occasion, Pat ordered the security guard to cut the locks on bicycles that she believed were abandoned. Pat told an advocate that she had made an announcement that the locks would be cut to warn those bikers who just parked legally while visiting the library

A credible source who was there when she allegedly made the announcement said he was in hearing range of the PA system and that no announcement was made. Pat lied about this and most likely lied about the woman in the restroom.

  • Three incidents where the homeless were harassed for using the library Wi-Fi as per the rules, Pat approached them and said they shouldn’t be doing that but then backed off after they explained what they were doing.
  • Pat tried to keep out a man with a legal service dog, although anyone could plainly see it was a service dog. The man whipped out some papers and Pat backed off.

Pat has constantly harassed the homeless and has abridged free speech.

She and her hobophobic comrades simply don’t like the homeless and act as if the library is their own property. It’s a public library and the same rules should apply to everyone. The charge that Pat is harassing the homeless in order to get them out comes from two sources as well as from my own observations.

  • The community relations and development director from the Levittown Salvation Army Community center told me “people who don’t want the homeless in the library”.
  • At a meeting at the library, a friend overheard someone ask what is going to be done about peoples’ questions  that “the homeless are making the library their hangout.” The response: “Pat is taking care of that.”

Pat acts as if the library is her personal club and discriminates against anyone who doesn’t match her narrow-minded view of who qualifies to be a member. This is judgmental and discriminatory. This, along with the double standard, must stop!

T-Rex is Back!

Tyrannosaurus Rex is back, running around Levittown, PA, bullying anyone who does something he doesn’t like, or just for sport. The root of his first name translates “tyrant.”  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tyrannosaurus

Lately, T-Rex has been temporarily contained in cages but, once free, in some public places he has been docile, on pain of not being fed. At a community meal, I almost accidentally sat down across from him. When I noticed him, he elicited a menacing warning, a look that could kill, and I kept away.

The most recent episode occurred at the Veteran’s Memorial in Levittown. When I arrived, just missing the Christmas party there, T-Rex had a smirk on his face. Initially I took this as a friendly greeting but then realized that he was drunk. And disorderly. Yet he orders me, a veteran, to leave the memorial because he doesn’t like my blogs.

Talk about tough critics!

I missed the Christmas party because I was visiting a friend who is getting treatment for alcohol addiction. He was vacated from the same neighborhood where T-Rex used to live. In his case, he finally came to his senses after being convinced by a Bucks County Ranger to get the help he needs.

At the memorial, the inebriated T-Rex started closing in on what he thought would be his prey, uttering inane grunts and groans. It sounded like he was saying that this grunting and groaning was the content of my blogs. An ex Marine got between us, trying to keep him at bay. I didn’t want to fight — just to be left alone. But I don’t like bullies and I was tempted to knock him out! I guarantee you, he won’t find overpowering me as easy a task as when he attacked mentally and physically weak prey.

People at the memorial also tried to convince him to stop his irrational rage — that I am not the enemy.

Not only was T-Rex bullying me, he was hurting his fellow homeless who visit the memorial. He was one of the ones who had gotten everybody banned from the memorial after the authorities came because some individuals were drunk and disorderly. It took some persuading the authorities to convince them to let thing go back to the way they were.

The woods by the library have been cleared of overnight campers, but the “all clear” sign is not out. In fact, the rangers are aggressively patrolling the woods for campers camping in a no camp zone. It was the mainly druggie homeless who triggered the raids on the homeless. Warrants for people also precipitated the raids.

A ranger asked me that if I see a certain individual who has a warrant against him to ask him to turn himself in. It will go easier for him, the ranger said, if he turns himself in than when they catch him.

Places for the homeless to go keep shrinking. Caring people have been trying to create shelter for the homeless but have been hitting roadblocks. Part of the problem is a result of hobophobia. For those of you in Doylestown, “hobophobia” means, according to the Urban Dictionary “The extreme and utter fear of hobos, or the homeless. This is usually caused by the lack of exposure to the homeless throughout the world. A dose of homelessness is an easy cure to hobophobia”

Whether T-Rex realizes it or not (he probably doesn’t), he is contributing to hobophobia.

Most people don’t know the homeless like I do. Bystanders witness a rucus among a group of people they perceive as being homeless. Not knowing the people in the group, or any homeless people for that manner, they tend to judge all homeless by the actions of certain members of the group.

There are people scattered out there who genuinely want to help the homeless find shelter. They have had some success in piecemeal fashion.

A guy who works for Bucks County who used to be a fixture at the Levittown Public Library — maybe my dangerous blogs scared him away (holy the pen is mightier than the sword, Batman) — told me he doesn’t buy the “housing first” stragedy. He said that people need to get themselves straight before they move into housing.

Assuming someone needing shelter needs help with serious problems, this would be a good strategy. But many homeless simply need a place to stay; they are not all addicts or nutcases. But as concerns the public perception of the homeless, the homeless need to get their act together, and hold problem people accountable for their behavior.

Homeless people at the memorial when T-Rex started acting up handled the problem the right way. But if the problem people don’t want to shape up, throw the bums out!

In Jurassic Park, a scientist argued that dinosaurs can’t co-exist with people. In the case of T-Rex, I think he may be right.

They’re Coming to Take Me Away!

Recently, a homeless person told me she is offended at the idea that all homeless people have mental problems. I suspect one reason for that is the stereotype people have of homeless people, an element of Hobophobia. (The extreme and utter fear of hobos, or the homeless. This is usually caused by the lack of exposure to the homeless throughout the world. A dose of homelessness is an easy cure to Hobophobia.)  Another reason is business, public funding, especially for Penndel Mental Health Center, Penndel, PA whose snake oil salesmen canvas more aggressively than Jehovah’s Witnesses.

One particular snake oil salesman from Bucks County, PA, who has been known to show up at tent cities and is almost a fixture at the public library in Levittown, PA, offered me housing if I would submit to being labeled a mental patient — that I was so messed up that I could never work.

This, as I told the man, would be fraud. This is also economic protectionism, by giving an institution an unfair advantage.

For sure, I’ve had problems with anxiety, depression, pent up anger, etc., but I’m no lost cause. I’ve taken this to God and have had help from my Christian brothers and sisters. One place I’ve found help, as I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, is the peer-to-peer 12 steps program held Tuesday nights in Levittown and Saturday nights in Newtown.  http://www.12stepjourney.com/ 

If you need help to work out problems, I’d highly recommend this program.  It’s free and all that is needed is your time and attention.

What is wrong with the mentally ill? The term “mentally ill” has become part of the way we talk about people with major problems. Some experts, however, don’t think this is an accurate term. They don’t think that people with mental problems should be labeled as being ill.  For them, “illness”, such as the flu, is caused by a virus. They ask what is the source that causes mental illness.

Is mental illness an implant from a space invader?  Hummmmm…

Some experts think that addictions are a disease. In a sense, they are right. Some people may have genes that cause them to crave more of something, such as alcohol. Problems can result from giving in to urges such as these.

The problem is controlling your addictions. This is where a program such as 12 Steps can help.

The first step is to admit you have a problem. A recovering addict recently told me that the inability to overcome an addiction is a result of weak mindedness. He also said that the only way to have the strength to overcome the problem is to have God intervene.

Mental problems stem from sin. Sometimes we have mental problems because of our actions; other times it’s just a result of original sin. In either case, God can help.

We all have flaws. Consider the “T” in the Calvinists’ TULIP:

T – Total Depravity

“Humanity is stained by sin in every aspect: heart, emotions, will, mind and body. This means people cannot independently choose God. God must intervene to save people.”

Sin has affected people in different ways and degrees. Many people with problems with are not taken away on the disoriented express, although, as I mentioned, some mental institutions will lure people into their roles who don’t need their services.

As I’ve mentioned before, psychiatrist and psychotherapist Carl Jung related a story where, when “an intelligent layman” visited an insane asylum with him, the layperson remarked that the people he saw were like everyday people, only with problems that were greatly magnified.

People have problems when their thoughts and actions are not in sync with God’s precepts.

Some people have trouble handling problems on their own, but they don’t necessarily need to be institutionalized. Pastor and Counselor Jay Adams found that most people in nuthouses don’t need to be there.  http://www.nouthetic.org/about-ins/our-faculty/8-about-ins/6-jay-adams-biography 

Overcoming problems such as addictions can be a lengthy process. It often requires lifetime maintenance, the same way I need to apply medication to my feet to fight fungus for the rest of my life.  Accepting Christ as Savior is a good start, but being molded more like Him is a lifelong process, known as sanctification.

Being human, we still will mess up, but God will help us get on the right path again, if we submit to his will.

What’s important to help people with problems, including addictions, if finding the right place — where they have the best opportunity to recovery.

I started to fall into the same trap as those who stereotype the homeless, by not distinguishing the quality of different recovery houses in Levittown. Like the homeless, they are not all bad.

Some neighbors near the Levittown recovery houses have complained about problems from the houses, such as the clients running around the neighborhood raising a ruckus. Some of them have become a virtual Lord of the Flies.

I recently met someone who runs a recovery house who pointed out that he runs an orderly house, where there are rules and borders. Unlike some institutions, it’s not just a business but a mission. The guy told me the neighbors don’t even know it’s a recovery house.

We need to find the best ways to help people using the free market concept. A good example of this is school choice, where the parents, not bureaucrats, choose the school. Contrary to the public school teacher’s union’s spin, school choice does not aim to put public education out of business.

According to a pro school choice website, public schools improved in areas where parents had a choice where they can send their kids.

The county government should just accommodate  institutions  where people get help, not run them. Like parents of school children, people should have a choice.

The homeless are not all mental cases. One size does not fit all.

It should not be “all aboard” the disoriented express for the homeless. They and people who genuinely care about them should have some say about what train they ride. I for one prefer the train that’s bound for glory.

One of the things we learn in the 12 Step Journey program is that a power greater than ourselves can restore us to sanity (step 2).

They’re coming to take me away ho ho he he ha ha
to the funny farm where life is beautiful all the time, and I’ll be happy to see those nice young men in their clean white coats
and they’re coming to take me away ha ha

You thought it was joke and so you laughed, you laughed when I had said that losing you would make me flip my lid, right? You know you laughed, I heard you laugh, you laughed, you laughed and laughed and then you left, but now you know I’m utterly mad…”

They’re coming to take me away. Not!

http://www.metrolyrics.com/theyre-coming-to-take-me-away-lyrics-lard.html

The Lord of The Flies

The Lord of the Flies is a story of the conflicting values in society.

  • A civilized society that lives by rules and with relative peace and harmony.
  • Savagery, where there is a struggle for power and where people just follow their natural, animal instincts.

It’s a conflict between rational and irrational emotional reactions and between morality and immorality.

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

The environment does not control our thinking.  The boys who were marooned on an island that was a paradise.  It was their unchecked human character flaws that drove them to cruelty and even a murder — feral behavior.

Being homeless does not cause people to become feral, like some cats that live in the woods near the library in Levittown, PA.   It’s unchecked human depravity that does this.  The difference between the feral humans and feral cats is that when humans are not held in check by the restraints of civilization, they act not out of survival but out of ego and meanness.

In the Lord of the Flies, the marooned boys irrationally mistake a downed pilot for a beast.  Jack, the irrational, serve serving, self proclaimed leader of the group, leaves a pig’s head as a sacrifice for the beast.

Simon muses over the pig’s head, swarming with flies, and creates an icon for what’s happening on the island.  He tells the other boys that the beast was their own creation and that the beast is what’s inside them all.

When Simon tried to tell Jack’s tribe that the beast is merely a human corpse, the boys, in a frenzied dance, killed him!

In the homeless community in lower Bucks County, PA, people who are thrown into a challenging situation like the marooned boys have formed competing tribes.

There are people like Ralph in the Lord of the Flies story, who try to look at the situation realistically and do what’s best for the group.  There are also people like Jack, who seek power and attack others who are trying to figure out how best to deal with the situation.  When others listened to him, the society became dysfunctional.

The homeless are marooned, out in their cars, in tents in the woods, and on pavements by buildings.  What’s needed is a Ralph to work with others to figure out how to best deal with the situation, and to give everyone a chance to hold the conch to have their say in the group.

Homelessness is a problem.  It’s will not be resolved by people marginalizing the homeless, writing them off, and treating them like lepers. And escaping through drugs and alcohol or by venting anger and feeling sorry for oneself, known as PMS (poor me syndrome) is equally counterproductive.

By accepting the homeless unconditionally and holding them to the same standards as the rest of the society, and of course by not voting for progressives, they can be rescued.

To Serve Man

There are two basic attitudes one can take when helping people such as the homeless and needy.

  • Become detached and help people so you can show people how caring you are and for your own self aggrandizement.  You don’t really care and robotically serve people the way Jeff Dunham’s Walter would be a Walmart Greeter: “Welcome to Walmart; get your sh** and get out!”  Of course, you would be more subtle.
  • Out of compassion, you genuinely care for people and make sacrifices to help the needy.  Like Christ, you show agape love — love which expects nothing in return.  Develop relationships with the people you serve and focus on what’s best for them.

In one episode of The Twilight Zone, To Serve Man, a Kanamit lands on earth and promises hope and change. The nine foot plus giant says he’s going to serve humanity by ending hunger by transforming deserts into booming fields, end energy shortages, and stop war.  There is no need for the military.  This virtual Santa Claus came to earth just to serve man.

Earthlings are initially skeptical of the nine foot plus Santa Claus,  but soon, like Captain Hook and the Crocodile,  they are taken in.  Only, instead of a welcome grin, the Kanamit looks and talks stoically, robotically like some of the hosts on MSNBC.

The government found a book, written in code, left by the Kanamit.  After a decoder cracks the book’s title, To Serve Man, society believes the Kanamits are there to help them.  People then line up to book flights to the alien planet, which they are told is a paradise.

As the head decoder is waiting to board the spaceship bound for Paradise, his assistant, who decoded more than the title of the book, frantically runs towards her boss yelling “TO SERVE MAN IS A COOKBOOK!”  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/To_Serve_Man_(The_Twilight_Zone

Some people serve the needy the way the Kanamits do — for their own desires.

Serving others is a mission, not a job.  It is not about politics or your ego.  Unfortunately, it has become that way in some instances.

Even the Salvation Army has become self serving.  The social services director, part of the hired help,  at the Army’s Community Center in Levittown, PA  has a judgmental, unloving, unChristian attitude towards the homeless and needy.  At the community meals, she talks to them like they are rudderless criminals — like they are children.  She tells them not to run around the building and actual has told them they need to behave themselves!  These are adults!

If it were up to me, this street thug, this member of a spurious aristocracy, who is known to bully volunteers,  would have been dismissed long ago.  Instead, the last time I came to volunteer in the food pantry she left word with the staff that I wasn’t allowed to volunteer in the food pantry.  This is the first time I heard this.

Likewise, the Advocates for the Homeless and Those in Need (AHTN) is self serving.  The most recent example of this attitude is that, instead of judging what is right, they seemed to side with a drunk who verbally assaulted and physically threatened one of the guests at a community meal.  One of the two drivers said he wouldn’t let the victim on the bus.  Leading up to that is that some gossip on a power trip has been spreading false witness about the guy, who is trying to learn more about the homeless and try to help resolve the problem.

The gossip spread like wildfire, so instead of like the Henry Fonda character in 12 Angry Men, who was the one hold out who went against the other jurors because he wanted to find the truth (and later won the rest of the jurors over), for expediency AHTN sides with the gossipers.  This is what John Stuart Mill called “Tyranny of the Majority”.    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/12_Angry_Men_(1957_film)

I suspect the motivation for spreading lies about the man is the ego of the person doing it.  This person wants to be top dog, or queen bee, and by putting others down, it makes this person look good.  It’s a gangster mentality.

Homelessness is a struggle, so instead of fighting one another to see who can be the top gangster, people in the homeless community need to care for and respect one another, and focus on ways to overcome the problem.  It begins with everyone involved developing the right attitude, including myself. It’s not about ego; it’s about serving one another.

The organization that we just launched is trying to acquire property and have the homeless play a large part to develop and maintain it in order to become self sufficient.  But first, all the Bovine Scatology has to stop!  We need understanding, civil discussion, and sometimes tough love in order to be able to work together.  We are in this together.

We should be on the same team!  This is the only way we shall overcome!

 

 

  

This is How To Do It

It was an act of Americans helping their fellow Americans at Stand Down 2015 in Levittown where volunteers graciously offered their services to help those in need.  Many  people, who normally couldn’t afford it,  got free medical and dental check ups, eye exams, had their feet checked, got a haircut/beard trim, got help finding a place to live, had acupuncture done — to name a few things the volunteers gave the needy. All one stop shopping at Stand Down.

PA State Representative Tina Davis, who spoke at the closing ceremony, trumpeted  “you need the government, you need me”, and in a cursory manner, added, as an afterthought “you need volunteers,” to stop homelessness.

Like Admiral Wrongway Peachfuzz, the cartoon character in the Bullwinkle and Rocky Show, Representative Davis has it backwards. http://bullwinkle.toonzone.net/peachfuzz.htm

To quote Ronald Reagan, “the government can’t solve problems; government is the problem”.

The government was a large contributor to the homeless problem. As I wrote in my blog Fight Homelessness; Don’t Vote for Progressives, homelessness is overwhelmingly higher in states under liberal rule, in blue states, than in more conservative, red states. Tina Davis is a liberal.

For volunteers, helping those in need is a work of the heart, and not just a business. For most of them it’s not about self aggrandizement, as is more often the case with politicians. When Representative Davis made her entrance for the closing ceremony, she approached some volunteers I was standing next to and quickly pointed out, like a little kid who just can’t wait to tell his parents something special, “my husband donated the wood chips” and added that people complained about the smell.

I had to bite my tongue. This was not the right venue to employ my wit and wax satirical with a politician. I saved it for this blog:  Of course the wood chips would smell. It was sent by the husband of a politician, and like the politician, it’s full of manure.

I had to walk away from this politician because I just couldn’t handle her B.S.  As I headed towards the tent, she told the audience what good she has been doing for the homeless and how much she cared.  No longer able to contain myself, I did the trick where you cough while saying “bull sh**”. Another homeless vet from my tent who was unfamiliar with Tina Davis said “she’s an idiot”. He said she had read from a script robotically and seemed to stumble over the words. I guess she forgot her teleprompter.

One example of liberals contributing to the homeless problem is Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf’s bill to stop businesses from harvesting material for products from state lands. In an email she sent me, Tina Davis praised the Big Bad Wolf plan to hold up production. She wrote that she knows that businesses mining on public land helps the economy and creates jobs, but saving the environment trumps jobs, spinning this into a noble cause.

Davis and Wolf may as well go door to door and hand out pink slips and throw people out of their houses, adding to the homeless population.

In the tradition of President Grover Cleveland, who nixed a government bailout for Texas farmers who suffered drought, we can count on Americans helping other Americans in need.

The volunteers, who ran the show at Stand Down, were gracious just for donating their time but also showed a genuine concern about people and showed an interest in helping them. Mike Fitzpatrick thanked the vets for their service and promised he’d work on solving vet’s problems. So did a representative from the VA.

Private charity has worked in the past and can work today. Milton Hershey built schools and gave a place to live for poor people as well as provided jobs for the community.  Mr. Hershey’s efforts provided a step up and fostered people bettering themselves.  The people associated at his school helped people help themselves.  They showed patience with problem students, practiced tough love and encouraged them to do better.  Here’s an example of a particular student:  http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2012/06/essential_lesson_at_milton_her.html

It’s volunteers like the ones at Stand Down who are best able to help the homeless get through their ordeal, comforting them in the meantime. The last day, as we were waiting at our tents to leave Stand Down, chaplains drove around, going tent to tent, asking the vets if their spiritual needs were met and encouraged them to find a church.

The volunteers I met up with at Stand Down were from St. Mary Hospital, where my homeless friend is a patient.  They, and the doctors, nurses, and other staff on my friend’s floor have been very kind and gracious towards us, showing genuine compassion and going the extra mile and making us feel at home.

This is the kind of spirit we need to instill in more Americans.  By the actions of concerned people, this vet appreciates being appreciated.  I’m a Vietnam Vet who served in combat, who, as speakers pointed out at the  Stand Down closing ceremony, was not exactly treated with open arms when we returned home.

As was the case with the Milton Hershey school, the folks running the Stand Down help participants  get out of their ruts.  They encouraged us to press on, and turn the “it’s impossible” into “a dare”.

What is a stand down?

When my hands started shaking violently one night as I was handing up ammo through the gun chain on our tin can (destroyer, for you ground pounders) when I was in Nam, the petty officer in charge ordered me to stand down near the end of our dusk raid at “Dragon’s Mouth”.  After standing down a few minutes, I was OK and went about my duties.   We all need a time to stand down before we get back in the game.

Stand Down is a step in the right direction.

Thank you volunteers for doing the Stand Down and to the government entities who  accommodated them.

What’s so Great about The Great Society?

Jeff and I, Homeless Dog, via the WABAC machine, are entering the United States during the mid-60’s, during LBJ’s The Great Society.

“What’s so great about the great society, Ms. Dog?”

That’s a good question, Jeff.  We’re about to find the opposite.  Let’s explore.

Riding on the coattails of The Great Society was The War on Poverty.  Since The Great Depression, the economy had a net improvement, and it was a prosperous time for everybody.  The poor were moving up and we didn’t have the homeless problem we had during the depression.

During the Eisenhower 50’s, when Jackie Robinson could play in the major leagues,  blacks were moving on up economically.

About 1960, some of them moved into predominantly white suburbs into the middle class, in places such as Upper Merion Township, PA, a suburb of Philadelphia.  Some people  just were not used to people coming into their schools and neighborhoods  who looked different, and with whom they associated urban crime.  Some white kids would poke fun at the black kids, but teachers and parents would tell them not to and explain why.

Blacks soon blended into suburbia and were accepted.  After all, they wanted the same things — a place where they can safely live, worship and work.  The vast number of blacks moving into the suburbs were self-sufficient, church goers, who played by the rules and worked hard and were responsible.

Although poverty was diminishing by the mid-60’s, LBJ believed big government, progressive meddling was needed to fight poverty and create a great society.

The result was the opposite.  There was more poverty and crime and the family unit broke down.

Like any liberal, the stated goal is not what the underlying agenda is about.  Blacks and others who needed help were pawns in LBJ’s political game.

Here’s  what President Johnson thought about blacks:

“I’ll have those niggers voting Democratic for the next 200 years.” Lyndon Baines Johnson about the Great Society plan.

Lyndon Johnson remarking on civil rights in 1957:

“These Negroes, they’re getting pretty uppity these days and that’s a problem for us since they’ve got something now they never had before, the political pull to back up their uppityness. Now we’ve got to do something about this, we’ve got to give them a little something, just enough to quiet them down, not enough to make a difference. For if we don’t move at all, then their allies will line up against us and there’ll be no way of stopping them, we’ll lose the filibuster and there’ll be no way of putting a brake on all sorts of wild legislation. It’ll be Reconstruction all over again.”

Reconstruction gave equal rights to blacks in the south. Here’s a primer on reconstruction:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reconstruction_Era

The outcome of LBJ’s policies are criticized on a blog in freerepublic.com:

“As bad as his failure in Vietnam proved to be, the results of his Great Society Programs were far more insidious, deadly and injurious to our Nation’s psyche. The mammoth social welfare entitlement programs that streamed out of Washington did more damage to the fabric of our society than any number of Vietnams could have done. The irony is, that the segment of our society that it meant to help, was the one that was most grievously harmed. Of all those who fell victim to the welfare mentality, none suffered more than the black communities.

In the fifties, although blacks were still struggling for equal oppertunities and were on the low end of the economic ladder, the black family was for the most part strong and stable. Two parent families were the rule, not the exception. They attended church together, had strong moral values, and did not comprise a majority of the prison population. Compare that to the present state of the black community after 40 years of Liberal Socialism. Our prisons are disproportionably black, unwed mothers and single parent families are the rule, black youths without a strong male role model other than rap stars and basketball players, roam the streets and are drawn into a culture of drugs and crime.”

The blog goes on to delineate how LBJ’s scheme hurt the country, especially blacks — the legacy of the alleged great society.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1483206/posts

“I don’t see what’s so great about The Great Society”, Ms. Dog.

It’s not.  And since The Great Society another class of people were hurt  — the homeless.  The homeless problem is getting to be as bad as it was during The Great Depression.  The homeless are the canaries in the mine, who will tell miners if there’s enough air to live.  Likewise,  the homeless population is an indicator of a healthy economy.

The word is the bird.

“And the word on the street, Ms. Dog, is that Gimmee Shelter for the Homeless is interested in a building for sale on New Falls Road in Levittown, PA near the shelter with a waiting list and the library.”

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

The Homeless and Public Libraries

Throughout the country, in places such as Levittown, PA., the public library is a place where the homeless can go to get out of the cold and rain, find their friends, use the resources to find jobs, educate themselves, and meet with representatives from various organizations.

In Levittown, like the rest of the country, there have been conflicts between the homeless and the library.  As is often the case, a few bad apples can make the whole barrel look bad by some people’s estimation. In a blog on housethehomeless.org, blogger Pat Hartman relates a problems and solutions with homeless patrons in libraries across the country.

http://www.housethehomeless.org/homelessness-and-public-libraries/

In Gloucester, MA, library employees said they had a problem with 10 to 15 percent of the homeless who frequented the library.  Police were called to the library 2-3 times a day and there were occasional ambulances.

Local churches took turns opening up their buildings to give the homeless a place to go during the day.  It’s believed this alleviated some of the problems at the library.

The key to handling problems with particular homeless people is to hold individuals accountable for their behavior.  In a library in Petaluma, CA, the librarian said “most of the homeless library users are well-behaved and considerate, even helping clean up the surrounding landscape “

There had been fighting and drunkenness at the Petaluma library but it stopped.

The librarian said:

“I can ban an individual from the library if it is determined that person is disturbing others. We have very clear policies that make soliciting, begging, dressing inappropriately — as in bare feet, bare chests, disturbing outfits — and excessive problems with body odor or decorum unacceptable. But you have to use that power with good judgment. A person’s excessive use of cologne or perfume can be as unpleasant as someone who has not showered in a week.”

In other words, apply the same standards to the homeless that you do for anyone else who visits the library.

At the Levittown, PA library, most of the homeless visitors are well-behaved and use the library to meet people from various organizations and agencies, read, use the computers to look for jobs and to educate themselves, and to pass information between homeless and non homeless friends.  Of course, some of them just play games.

As was the case at the Petaluma library, there has been fighting and drunkenness at the Levittown public library.  In reaction to this, the head librarian removed the bus shelter, where the homeless waited for the bus to go to community meals and other places and two benches.  As has been the tacit policy all along, the librarian has been doing what she can to create an atmosphere to make the homeless uncomfortable, to make them feel unwelcome at the library.  The homeless are held to a higher standard at the Levittown library and much less tolerance shown to them than the rest of the patrons.

This attitude towards the homeless in unproductive.  The homeless need someone who doesn’t write them off but respects them and encourages them to better themselves.  Nevertheless, the homeless need not use this as an excuse to misbehave.  Wrong should not be returned for wrong.

Romans 12:17-21 New International Version (NIV)

17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”

21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

You cannot control other’s behavior but you can control your own.  Years ago, when I told a counselor that I was troubled by a jerk who was in a position of authority, who was really out of line, he told me that there are jerks out there and you just have to continue on around them; don’t let them get in your way.

Press on, homeless, there are some of us who accept you and genuinely want to help you.

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

When the Government Fears the People

“When government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.” –Origin uncertain

Today the security guard from the municipal building in the government building complex in Levittown, PA unknowingly let something out of the bag when he stopped by the Veteran’s Memorial by the library to talk with some homeless people.

There had been some problems there, but everyone then was respecting the place and not causing problems. The guard, however, told the regular visitors that they shouldn’t hang out there all day, and that there was the possibility of just ripping out the benches if problems continued.

Part of the guard’s reasoning for telling the homeless to not hang out at the memorial too long during business hours was that the Bucks County Commissioners may stop by. I reminded him that the memorial doesn’t belong to the commissioners but to we the people, and that any authority (there’s some question about who can call the shots) is just entrusted to keep order at the memorial, and not be fuss budgets and not create arbitrary rules, as if it’s their own property. The role of the authorities, I told the guy, would come into play if people threw garbage or scattered their goods all over the memorial or other such abuses occurred.

One homeless guy was rousted out of the memorial by homeless regulars because he wouldn’t clean up his mess.

If you pierce the veil it’s apparent that the commissioners just don’t want to see homeless people. The head librarian at the Levittown branch of the Bucks County library system certainly knows who the homeless are, and has been harassing them at the library, and tacitly works in concert with the county to try to keep the homeless out.

Another thing that the security guard let loose is the idea that the head librarian, Jihad Jane, is reaching outside of her jurisdiction to the memorial. The guard said that anyone who gets banned from the library automatically gets banned from the memorial.

The memorial the homeless visit is dedicated to those who sacrificed for our freedom and to equality for all in America, including the homeless.

The civil rights battle was won, for blacks. Now it’s time for the homeless to have their civil rights restored as citizens of the United States.

The homeless, in places such as Bucks County, PA, in 2015, are discriminated against just as blacks were in the south before civil rights.  Homeless, Levittown, PA, 2015.  Blacks, Selma Alabama, 1949.

We should be not concerned about offending people such as the Bucks County Commissioners if they see homeless people peaceably assembling at the Veteran’s Memorial, and respecting it. It’s about time the government in Bucks County fears offending the people, such as myself, with their rancid prejudice against the homeless.

We shall overcome!