Category Archives: Squalor

Choosing chaos

The problem isn’t that the system’s white.
The problem is that it’s a system at all.

I first meant to title this, “Choosing disorder,” but settled on using a word that’s a bit more edgy, and consistent with my past vocabulary.

There are interesting relationships among some words. Continue reading Choosing chaos

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Out of reach

From my diary:

Thursday  2014-06-19.  13:30.  In a recent column, Dan Rodricks mentioned Manna House, which I’d never heard of before.  At McD this morning, Roy was talking to somebody and mentioned having been at Manna House last night — “with the critters and the crazies.”  I was quite surprised to hear him talk like that, since in my book, he’s “a critter and a crazy.”  The people who frequent that place must be really bad off.  I would recall [a former therapist, whose principal practice was in addictions]‘s saying, when I asked many years ago about the mentally ill among the homeless, that “they’re so sick they can’t be treated.”  Part of my heart reaches out to them; can it be that I might sink so low as to become able to see the world as they see it?  What does the Gospel look like to a hopeless schizophrenic?

Continue reading Out of reach

Courage to walk unarmed

A Nation of Cowards

Jeffrey Snyder suggests that carrying a handgun is both a right and a duty of every law-abiding citizen.

This is hard for me to relate to; as, for all practical purposes, no such people exist in my world.

Gun lovers’ slogans include, “When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.” Forget laws; in my world, only outlaws have guns now.

I have no impulse to join them.
Continue reading Courage to walk unarmed

My cup runneth over

Friday, May 16, 2014. There were a number of events at McD this morning that normally would have distracted me, and did not.  This suggests that presence is becoming habitual — as is focus on my goals.  But there may be more involved.

Roy and Jimmy sat in a booth near me, and Roy was complaining that the clothes they give him at the clothes window at the shelter aren’t always the right size.  He also, to my amazement, complained about the food.  I answered him silently, “If you were focused on advancing your own situation, you wouldn’t be concerned about those things.”

In the past, it has been a powerful distraction to me (scandal, offense) that so many men around me have no interest in improving their lives.
Continue reading My cup runneth over

Chaos overwhelms the poor

Some weeks ago, I stood in line awaiting check-in at the shelter. This place charges $3 a night. I was holding my money in my hand, and someone playfully tugged at it. I snapped. I said, “You don’t value your life much, do you?”

Minutes later, I explained this to someone else. I said, “Don’t take a man’s last dollar.” “Why not?” he asked. I said, ” ‘Cause that’s the one he’ll die for. That’s the one he’ll kill for.”

Don’t take my last dollar. That’s the one I’ll kill for.

I’ve been on hard times since 2004. If I lose, or am robbed or cheated, of $20 or $50, that’s a pretty significant amount. But it doesn’t hurt all that much if I have more, and know more is coming. However, if I lose, or someone robs or cheats me of my last $1 — that’s the one that really hurts. That’s the one I’ll kill for.

These memories came to me as I reflected on Maggie Fox’s 08/29/2013 article, “Poor people aren’t stupid; bad decisions are from being overwhelmed, study finds.”
Continue reading Chaos overwhelms the poor

Two Men Use Girl As Human Shield — Until Her Father Guns Them Down

Bookmarks:
Two Men Use Girl As Human Shield — Until Her Father Guns Them Down
Less incarceration could lead to less crimeFour Pinocchios for yet another Democrat ‘Mediscare’ adWhy women love bad boysSomeone’s been sleeping in my bed.Child immigration crisisPray for the honeybees

Continue reading Two Men Use Girl As Human Shield — Until Her Father Guns Them Down

Treatment resistant

A ‘village’ of mentors keeps Trayvon Martin’s friend, Rachel Jeantel, on track

Tom Joyner: “Did it work? The short answer to that is no.”

At first glance, the story of Jeantel and her “village” seemed to me to epitomize the principle I set forth in “Don’t come uninvited.”

Continue reading Treatment resistant

This guy is a career criminal, and other news

(Originally published 06/15/13 at Trojan Horse Productions.  Reblogged 06/18/14.)

3 Years Is Just Desserts for Man Who Refused to Pay Dinner Bill

No comment. Read the story.

Fatherhood programs teach men to be dads

This is a good thing. Many young men are eager to step up to the plate and, in these circumstances, overcome the disadvantages of their own background.

Give ’em a chance.

With exposure to babies, rodent dads’ brains, like moms’, become wired for nurture

We mammals aren’t reptiles.