Claims

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 I’m sitting outdoors on an old five gallon bucket when the thought forcibly struck me that the folks claiming to be ending homelessness are not being honest. To say that you have a plan that will have every single person put into a house is to say that you intend to overturn Capitalism. Because, as long as any one single person, or a group of folks, has the right to dispossess any other person from their home, there will continue to be homelessness. If you want to try to end Capitalism, then fine, say so, and go ahead and try. But don’t claim to be doing something that is simply impossible, it makes you look like a fool, at best, and a cynical liar, at worst. The groups of folks that make these ridiculously bold statements rarely, if ever, contain one single person in them that has even been homeless, so how can they claim to be experts, anyway? By handing out donated supplies that they have coerced people into giving? That only makes them experts on distributing survival supplies, not on homelessness. Anyone that has actually been homeless knows the futility of the situation, the utter foolishness of trying to force people into a mold that some folks can never fit into.

 

 There are people out there that would never sleep under a roof voluntarily, so how do you factor them into some kind of plan for the homeless? The mentally challenged people that the government has turned loose into this world, disposing of them like trash, are just one segment of the homeless population that no plan’s contingencies can adequately cover. There are just too many different stories out there, far too many separate lives that will not conform to “normality”. And it would be nothing short of abject cruelty to force that upon them. Even the very best plan that folks have come up with to help homeless folks is, at best, a stopgap measure; it can only help those that want to be helped. Plans to help house any particular segment of the homeless population also fall into this category. They can help house those that truly want to be helped, and folks that need this kind of help usually go on to fit back into society anyway. More concern and aid needs to be lavished upon the lonely ones that don’t fit in, the ones that are not covered by standard assistance plans.

 

 I’m not saying that it’s wrong to help homeless folks at all, let me make that clear. To deny them aid would be straightforward murder, plain and simple. Governmental agencies whose sole focus is on denying any assistance are aiding and abetting this ongoing slaughter. They are employees of all the citizens of this land, and that means they should be inclusive, not exclusive, toward folks that are seeking help. The very government that has made them homeless by allowing the seizure of their property through foreclosure or evicting them from rental property is then denying them basic fundamental benefits to allow them to survive. Over-stringent regulations at shelters are working against them, too. the folks that fail at normal tests need more help, not less. This is something that could change, if you want to ease the burden of homelessness. Curtailing and revoking laws that try to sweep the problem under the rug is another way to ease that burden.

 

 My main gripe is with assistance groups that have “sponsors” and bloated staffs, however. They set themselves up in nice cushy offices, and the main thrust of what they do is to raise money. I have found that only a miniscule amount of this cash flow rarely trickles down to those who need it, indeed, these people are acting in the role of pimps for the poor. Prostituting the homeless in this fashion is reprehensible and should be legislated against. I want to call for those groups that really truly help the poor and homeless (usually associated with churches) to take back their right to exist as non-profit organizations from those who abuse their tax-exempt status. These abusers habitually divert monies that could be properly used for the poor and homeless to line their own pockets with bloated salaries for administrators, advertising costs paid to friends of theirs in that business, and bowing to the outside pressures of sponsors. Take back your status. Stop the blatant commercial advertising of the homeless as a means to raise funds.

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On Being Poor

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I never set out to be a spokesman or advocate for the poor and homeless; in fact, originally, I didn’t want anything to do with them whatsoever. I was one of those people that would cuss out a poor person that was only begging for change in front of a run-down convenience store, really let them have it up and down, rather than give them a single blessed penny. Call it God, or Karma, or whatever you want, I was simply driven to graduate from the School of Hard Knocks with a full doctorate in Applied Science. I grew from being the kind of utter jerk that no one would even want to talk to, to being an eager empath, with love for everybody on this old blue ball. I’ve been down so long, I have not only forgotten which way is up, I don’t even want to go there, ever again.

Poverty is that amazing of a teacher. It has taught me the astonishing beauty of the quiet solitary morning, the trembling living peace to be found in a sun-drenched wayward brook, the fantastic colors in a palest orange to the deepest maroon-red sunset spent sitting alone, watching it, and most of all, the real serene love you get in return for helping, truly helping someone that so desperately needs it. This path has led through soft drugs and hard drinking, high and low, hospitals and lavatories, to the hardest kind of work you can imagine, helping the poorest people to change their paths, while struggling in the sharpest fashion to retain mine. It’s been a purely wild ride, but I really can‘t recommend it for anyone else, unless you want to revolutionarily change the entire world.

Why would anyone ever want to be a poor person? I can only answer that in faith-based terms because that‘s my sole motivation in all this. I have been struggling to really, truly follow my Savior, regardless of the physical cost to myself, for the past couple of years. Not in the way so many churches talk about following Him, but the way Jesus, himself, said to, in His own words. Owning as little as possible, so I don’t have to worry too much about losing it. Loving God so much that I hate myself and everyone I’m related to. Carrying the cross of my experiences, so that I might show anyone that asks how deeply God loves the poor. Most of all, simply seeing and loving God in everyone I meet, as much as I possibly can.

I also want to be poor to show folks just how pointedly ignorant it is to want to be rich; that piling up money only leads to piling up more money, not to any sort of happiness. It’s something you can’t buy, or even rent, that happiness, and everyone alive knows this in their heart of hearts. Also, that amassing money leads to the abject fear of losing it, a terrifying thought. That terror is something really worth losing, of liberating yourself from, it’s a paralyzing fear named greed. It’s the thing that got Adam into all the trouble in the world. People in sprawling suburbs all over this vast land, living in eternal fear of being violently robbed, trying to turn their little plastic homes over into stony fortresses, to protect something that they really don’t need, is incredibly sad to me.

Need is the crux of this matter. How much I really need, at a bare minimum, to basically survive, is what I aim for. You would be tangibly surprised at how very little it takes, if you aren’t desperately trying to keep up with those demoniac Joneses living down the street. I spent more than a year totally without electricity, the way our ancestors did in this country, until the invasive city, here, decided to stop me by making me homeless for a few months. It was unhealthy and unsafe, they said, but since then, living legally, I’ve caught three colds, this last winter, that I never did, all that time before. And I have to say that you have not yet begun to read the bible, until you have read it by the warm light of a flickering oil lamp. It’s the way most people have read it, going back to the time it was written. It’s a pure, pristine, solitary kind of thing. A thing worth doing.

I have taken up trying to help the poor, not attempting to end poverty, or even slow it’s timeless progress, but just trying to help others that need it. You can never, ever, end poverty as long as anyone on this tired aging planet has something that other folks just don’t have. But you still have to help, it’s in almost every belief system on this yearning aching globe. And it feels startlingly good to do it, better than any other thing you can possibly go out and do. Maybe not as exciting as a roller coaster ride, but it does have it’s ups and downs. Not as thrilling as a wild car chase on tv, but it’s so much more vibrantly real than that. Not as mind-numbing as being drunk, but it deadens you to infernal greed, when you’re just trying to scrape by. But most of all, it’s the right thing to be doing on your path, this I promise you.

That’s what I have found out, in sixty years of learning the hard way, that doing the right thing in this guilty old life is essentially all that matters. My incessant hope in writing this is that you can discover these truths by a slightly less terrible route than that which I took, so you have far more time to enjoy the pure kind of life that God wants you to live.

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Take me home

Take me home, O Lord, take me home,
For I am weary and tired of this place,
Tired of hurting, yet a bit more I’ll take,
To bring me closer to Your face.

Tired of the lives snuffed out too young,
Tired of the lives wasted for nothing,
Tired of the lives gone on too long,
Tired of the agony of life itself.

For we know what is good, yet do evil,
Know what is right, yet do wrong,
Know what is love, yet we hate,
Know Your love, yet turn away.

If only, if only, if only, if only,
Life was slower, easier, nicer,
Not struggling, not striving,
Not stifling, not stress filled.

A bit more and I’ll find out the answers,
A year or so and I’ll get to know why,
For I am weary and tired of this place,
Take me home, O Lord, take me home.

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Jesus, the Anarchist Revolutionary

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Consider this:
During the most important, the most crucial years of his life, Jesus was entirely homeless. At no point in the gospels do they record that He, Himself, ever possessed any money at all, Judas carried the money they collected. He had no job, as such, except saving our souls, a pretty big project. On the run from an oppressive government that sought to kill Him from before He was born, even, He kept on the move from safe house to safe house, like an escaped slave, throughout His entire ministry. He had to hide out in Syria, of all places, as a refugee, of all things to be, when things got too hot for Him in Israel. When they finally captured Him, the religious elite and the government’s minions deliberately killed Him in the most excruciating and most humiliating way that they had at their disposal.

This man, our Lord, who only protested against His government in peaceful ways, was such a threat to His entire nation that the search to destroy Him went straight on through two occupying administrations. The only directly overt thing he ever, on record, said was to call king Herod “that fox”, which was pretty strong language to use, back then. His single violent revolutionary action ever was against His people doing wrong in His church. This, and His other protest meetings, outraged the leadership of His church so much that they plotted, ordained, and acted in illegal ways even, to cause His sacrificial death. They subverted the more violent of His followers to sell out his leader, hoping to initiate the downfall of His holy cause. They even posted guards over His dead body to keep away His followers.

Despite all this, they failed; He arose. Both the church and the government of His day were toppled, eventually; His followers maintained their faith in Him, even to their own horrible deaths. Since then, the world has done it’s utmost to completely destroy every last trace of His revolution. Dumbing down the faith, using unjust laws, money, war, terror, and anything else they could come up with, they have tried to drown the revolt that He started, throughout all the centuries since then. Yet, the revolution still continues. Christians dying all over the world for their belief. Helping the poor and homeless in all situations and adverse weathers. Comforting those that are ill, even at the risk of their lives. Visiting the beaten down in jails whenever they are allowed. Assisting all those in the most desperate of needs at all times.

It continues. Join us. The working conditions are horrible, He promised us that, but the retirement benefits are bountifully great and last forever.

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Moonshine

The moon shines just as brightly,
As when I was a kid,
As when I was growing up,
As when I grew into adulthood,
As it does now that I am old.
So much has changed that I knew,
So much water under the bridge,
So many people gone forever,
So few left.
And yet,
And yet,
And yet,
And yet,
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Butterfly’s Cusp

God’s favored sweet child,
Now blessed and free,
Released from the pain
Of love gone all wrong.

Soaring on ethereal wings,
Touching on your flowers,
Caressing their heads,
Loving their beauty.

Love all around you,
All deep and all wide.
Fear not for this,
Your joy will abound.

Soar free.

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Big Birds

Great gulls wheeling silently down to the dump of this city,
Crying in full-throated anger as they climb their way out,
Poisoning the very air they breathe with all of their waste,
Soaring on wings of acute, pointed, lustrous magnificence.

Wafting along, pushing their paths through the firmament,
Red-billed, and Sooty, and Blue-backed, beautifully soaring,
Resolutely striving for altitude, gaining ground foot by foot,
Or drifting to land on the smooth places where they rest.

Lining up in the early morning, warming up in the sun’s heat,
Filled with nervous tension, wheeling across infinite skies,
Turning and twisting, snaking slowly among the wispy clouds,
Rolling up to the gate, dropping off the tired passengers.

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