Archive for the ‘intimidation’ Tag

08-03-2013   2 comments

I decided to write a few things about the never ending homeless issue not just in this country but around the world.  I’ll offer no personal opinions either way and let you figure it out on your own.  Most of the available data on the homeless is published by organizations created just to supplying them with food and shelter.  They seem a bit slanted to me but you can decide for yourselves. Let’s start with this:

  • A fifth of all homeless people have committed a crime to get off the streets.
  • A survey also finds that 28% of homeless women have taken an ‘unwanted sexual partner’ in order to find shelter.
  • One in five of those surveyed said they had committed ‘an imprisonable offense with the express purpose of receiving a custodial sentence as a means of solving their housing problems.
  • Unwanted sex has become a way out of homelessness for many. One in seven men and 28% of women had spent a night – or longer – with an unwanted sexual partner to "accommodate themselves".
  • Others have ventured into prostitution, with almost a fifth of women taking up "sex work" because this offered an opportunity to spend the night off the streets.

Do you feel more like opening your heart’s and your wallets to save these poor wretches?  If not keep reading.

  • While it is a common belief that people who end up being homeless do so because of their lack of interest in keeping a steady job, the truth is that many homeless people were actually working at the time they lost their homes.
  • A lack of affordable housing has been a primary reason for homelessness for the last two decades. This is especially true in large cities, where the cost of rent has increased to the point where people making minimum wage are no longer able to afford rent, especially if living on their own.
  • There are an estimated 5 million homeless in the United States, of which about 56 percent have some sort of shelter, such as a car or the ability to pay for a motel room, at least part of the time. Of the total number of homeless, 66 percent are single white males. Women, families and teenagers follow close behind. There is an equal number of whites and African American homeless but only a small percentage of Hispanics (11 percent) and Native Americans (8 percent) without a roof over their heads.
  • A high percentage (up to 25 percent) of people living on the streets suffer from some type of mental illness, with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia being the most common. Public-funded health benefits designed to help those with mental illness are in short supply, and many people who are not deemed a danger to others are left on the streets because there is no enough space for them in state clinics.
  • One common myth regarding homeless people is that they have been living in the streets forever. The truth is that a large percentage of homeless people are without a roof only temporarily.

I can only ask the questions I want answers to.  Who was responsible for the closing of mental facilities across the country?  Who decided to dump thousands of mentally ill people onto the streets?  Who is responsible for the continuing lobbying in Washington for tax money that is to be used to help them?  How much of each dollar of that tax money actually trickles it’s way down to the homeless.  It can’t be much since they all seem to be panhandling with a vengeance.

My last little tidbit is the story about one Gary Thompson.  Read it and weep. I’m not sure who is more stupid, Thompson or the morons who are slowly making him a millionaire.

He’s in a wheelchair, and gets his money by making you feel sorry for him. Gary Thompson, says he rakes in 60,000 to 100,000 dollars a year begging. He is in a wheelchair, because he has difficulty walking, but his speech isn’t slurred and his arms are fully functioning. Thompson is not the man he makes himself out to be.

"I appreciate you guys busting me," Thompson says as he laughs. "Yeah, I’m really good at it, really good. I clear about 100,000 dollars a year doing this." Thompson goes on to tell us, "I am normal, it just helps to be mentally handicapped." Thompson is banking on the fact you’ll feel sorry for him, enough to give him your hard-earned money.

Thompson has now been exposed, but he doesn’t seem worried, or remorseful. He was caught him on camera trying his act again, after he was arrested, right outside police headquarters. It doesn’t look like he’s going to stop this anytime soon: "Hey I love y’all!" Thompson says, looking right into the camera. "Keep paying me! I’ll see you on the street!"

On another note, Thompson used to be a millionaire. His mother sued Honda in 1993 after he was injured in a motorcycle accident. He got 2.4 million dollars, money he says he blew.

Remember all this information and also remember my cynical position the next time your approached and guilted or intimidated into giving them your money.

07-17-2013   2 comments

If you read this blog then you know I’m not a proponent of organized religion.  I’m trying to keep from going into a major rant on religion because I’ve done it too may times before.  You also know that I love to read and love to roam around the Internet to keep up with  things as best I can. 

As I was doing that yesterday I discovered a few sites offering letters written to God by children of all ages.  The letters were  for the most part typical of young kids writing to almost anyone like Santa, the President, their Parents, and others.  In the corner of one page I noticed a link to access a letter from God.

This intrigued me so I decided to check it out.  It was a long and boring essay from God knows who that was made available for parents to use.  You filled in a number of blanks with the kids information which then merged with the document and printed out a completed letter specifically to that child from God.  I thought to myself, “Who would do something like this to their child”.  Scaring the hell out of a young kid with tales of a wrathful God demanding prayers makes me very uncomfortable.  I wonder how many of the world’s Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Christian, and Buddhist children were given similar letters or stories passed down through generations.  I’m all for a good and wholesome religious message to kids but frightening them with tall tales is more than a little scary.

I was raised Catholic and part of my childhood education into religion was being told many things that disturbed me then and still do.  I have issues with any religion that insists they are the only path to follow and will do almost anything to insure their flock stays loyal.  Propagandizing kids has been done for generations and look where we’ve ended up.  Some of the worst wars and mass killings throughout history were done in the name of religion, not your God but their God.

I continued looking around and found the following letter.  It’s a multi-level guilt trip for your children that is intended to force them to pray.  I guess most of the worlds largest religions use the same playbook for maintaining control.  One of the most effective things is convincing the kids by any means necessary not to think for themselves but to obey the dictates of their church.

Here’s the letter.  Would you send this to your children?

* * *

As you got up this morning, I watched you and hoped you would talk to me, even if it was just a few words, asking my opinion or thanking me for something good that happened in your life yesterday – but I noticed you were too busy trying to find the right outfit to put on and wear to work.

I waited again. When you ran around the house getting ready I knew there would be a few minutes for you to stop and say hello, but you were too busy. At one point you had to wait fifteen minutes with nothing to do except sit in a chair. Then I saw you spring to your feet. I thought you wanted to talk to me but you ran to the phone and called a friend to get the latest gossip.

I watched as you went to work and I waited patiently all day long. With all your activities I guess you were too busy to say anything to me. I noticed that before lunch you looked around, maybe you felt embarrassed to talk to me, that is why you didn’t bow your head.

You glanced three or four tables over and you noticed some of your friends talking to me briefly before they ate, but you didn’t. That’s okay. There is still more time left, and I have hope that you will talk to me…yet you went home and it seems as if you had lots of things to do. After a few of them were done you turned on the TV,

I don’t know if you like TV or not, just about anything goes there and you spent a lot of time each day in front of it, not thinking about anything – just enjoying the show. I waited patiently again as you watched the TV and ate your meal… but again you didn’t talk to me.

Bedtime – I guess you felt too tired. After you said goodnight to your family you plopped into bed and fell asleep in no time.

That’s okay because you may not realize that I am always there for you. I’ve got patience more than you will ever know. I even want to teach you how to be patient with others as well. I love you so much that I wait everyday for a nod, prayer or thought or a thankful part of your heart. It is hard to have a one-sided conversation.

Well you are getting up again and once again I will wait with nothing but love for you hoping that today you will give me some time.
Have a nice day!
Your friend,

P.S. Do you have enough time to send this to another person?

* * *

I have many other things to say on this subject but I’ll save them for another time. 

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