Tag Archives: The Homeless Blogger

The poop on the stoop

The shelter boots us out at 5:45 a.m. daily.  You must take all your belongings with you and cannot come back until 2:30.

Until February 2013, my custom on non-work days was to go to Dunkin’ Donuts to pray, drink coffee and use the bathroom, until the library would open at 10:00 and I could go online.  Then the temp agency closed down, and I could no longer afford Dunkin’ Donuts coffee, and so began going to McDonald’s instead.

Some days I would arrive at Dunkin’ Donuts before opening.  One such morning, I arrived to find a large, neat pile of human feces on the doorstep.  It was clearly no accident.  Who had left it there, and why, had no bearing on the fact that it was there now.

When staff arrived we opened the door and stepped inside very carefully to avoid any contact between the door and the stool, or our feet and the stool.  However, I knew that if nothing were done about it, eventually, inevitably, customers who could not take the time to be as observant and careful would step in it and begin tracking it through the store.
Continue reading The poop on the stoop

Where trees thrive, people thrive

This thinking goes back to 1973.

I was a senior in high school, running an errand in the family car.  I must have been listening to WKSU.  This 5- or 15-minute segment came on.  A female spokesperson for the ACLU said that, under the compulsory school attendance law, a minor can only be in one of two places: a school, or a penal facility.  In her view there was no real difference.

I was an honors student and deeply convicted that education is the answer to poverty.  Thus her remarks left me incensed.  More than that, whereas I’ve never been a conservative, it seemed to me that the ACLU and other, like-minded movements were bent on destroying all order in society.  The family unit was under attack.  Marriage was under attack.  The schools were under attack.  Change for its own sake, which seemed to be what these people were after, isn’t good.  Nothing can be built on a foundation of chaos.  A child needs to root oneself in earth that will be in the same place today as tomorrow.  A tree can’t grow in quicksand.

Continue reading Where trees thrive, people thrive

All stressed up and nowhere to “go”

Monday 09/30/13

Yesterday, as usual, after church Vladimir and I went to the McDonald’s at Baltimore and Light Streets, to drink coffee and study. Time came when both of us needed to use the bathroom. The floor outside was flooded, and a sign on the door said, “Out of order. Sorry. 😦 ”

It remains out of service today.
Continue reading All stressed up and nowhere to “go”

What the New Testament means to me

This exchange occurred at Messiah Truth:

MT 3

The New Testament equips me to love All.

On the one hand, one who diligently lives as Jesus taught eventually reaches a point where loving All is not merely a possibility, but a responsibility. I am at that point now.

On the other hand, loving All of necessity entails loving situations, events and people one might much more easily abhor.

1 Corinthians 12 applies to the need to love one’s whole self.  We are acquainted with an individual who finds one feature of himself, or rather of his story, so abhorrent that he preoccupies himself with it, until the self-hatred becomes unbearable; at which point he lashes out.  I wrote “A short route to agony” with that person specifically in mind.

In 1978, I applied through the United Methodist Church Board of Global Ministries to become a missionary to Japan; I would teach English at a Japanese Christian high school.  As part of this process, they required me to read William Stringfellow’s An Ethic for Christians and Other Aliens in a Strange Land.  I hated it.  For the most part, it was a typical 1970’s radical screed, blaming America for every single problem that exists in the world.  One point stuck with me, however.  Stringfellow opines that the Kingdom never does or will manifest in any permanent or worldwide basis; the Kingdom instead appears here and there, now and then, in a community that honors the gifts of its each and every member.

1 Corinthians 12 applies equally here.  I belong to “A real church in a real ’hood.”  We are diligent and intentional about being that sort of community.  Now, I have learning opportunities here: even though I am homeless myself, it is easy for me to look down on “the critters and the crazies” whom I meet at McDonald’s.  Birur nitzotzot relates: evangelism entails facilitating each person’s discovery of his or her own way to shine.

In the Parable of the Great Dinner, the master directs his servant:

“‘Go out at once into the streets and lanes of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame.’ 22And the slave said, ‘Sir, what you ordered has been done, and there is still room.” 23Then the master said to the slave, ‘Go out into the roads and lanes, and compel people to come in, so that my house may be filled.'”

In the Kingdom, there are no outcasts.  Everyone has a place at the table.

(Originally posted 2014-09-24.)

Becoming William Tell

This begins with an e-mail exchange between follower Vikkilyn and myself, back in May.

Wednesday, 05/21/14:  Me:  Recent events[1] suggest it’s time for me to get more serious about “becoming” William Tell.  There are some emotional obstacles there, so it’s going to take some work, and seeing this, it’s easy for me to grasp why William Tell hasn’t “happened” yet.  I’ll get through it.

Tuesday, 05/27/14: Vikkilyn:  Not sure what you mean by “becoming” William Tell?  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Tell  What part of William Tell do you want to be?  (I realize that is your “stage name” but you must have picked it for some reason, after all you have written a lot about the power in a name.)

This post includes many footnotes. To get to any footnote, click on the link in the body of the text. When you’re done reading the footnote, ALT+LEFT will return you to your original place in the text.

Continue reading Becoming William Tell

Grief and sublimation

R.I.P. Brian Williard, a.k.a. funnyphilosopher.

Homey died yesterday.  Earlier in the week, he had consumed too much alcohol in too little time, and stopped breathing.  Help did not arrive in time.

My grief surprised me, given that, when my mother died in 2011, I never grieved at all.   However, that occurred in special circumstances.  (Link)

Continue reading Grief and sublimation

Bill O’Reilly: The truth about white privilege

At the risk of copyright violation, I’m reproducing the whole text; from here.

Published August 26, 2014 | O’Reilly Factor | Bill O’Reilly

By Bill O’Reilly

Last night on The Factor, Megyn Kelly and I debated the concept of white privilege whereby some believe that if you are Caucasian you have inherent advantages in America.

Talking Points does not, does not believe in white privilege. However, there is no question that African-Americans have a much harder time succeeding in our society. Even whites do. But the primary reason is not skin color. It’s education and not only book learning. Here are the facts.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for black Americans is 11.4 percent. It’s just over five percent for whites, 4.5 percent for Asians. So, do we have Asian privilege in America? Because the truth is, that Asian American households earn far more money than anyone else. The median income for Asians, close to $69,000 a year; it’s 57,000 for whites’ $33,000 for black — so the question becomes why? And the answer is found in stable homes and in emphasis on education; 88 percent of Asian Americans graduate from high school compared to 86 for whites and just 69 percent for blacks. That means 31 percent of African-Americans have little chance to succeed in the free marketplace because they are uneducated. They are high school dropouts.

Asian Americans also tend to keep their families intact. Just 13 percent of Asian children live in single parent homes compared to a whopping 55 percent for blacks and 21 percent for whites. So, there you go. That is why Asian Americans, who often have to overcome a language barrier, are succeeding far more than African-Americans and even more than white Americans. Their families are intact and education is paramount.

American children must learn not only academics but also civil behavior, right from wrong, as well as how to speak properly and how to act respectfully in public. If African-American children do not learn those things, they will likely fail as adults. They will be poor. They will be angry, and they often will be looking to blame someone else.

One caveat, the Asian American experience historically has not been nearly as tough as the African-American experience. Slavery is unique and it has harmed black Americans to a degree that is still being felt today, but in order to succeed in our competitive society, every American has to overcome the obstacles they face. And here is where the African-American leadership in America is failing.

Instead of preaching a cultural revolution, the leadership provides excuses for failure. The race hustlers blame white privilege, an unfair society, a terrible country. So the message is, it’s not your fault if you abandon your children, if you become a substance abuser, if you are a criminal. No, it’s not your fault; it’s society’s fault.

That is the big lie that is keeping some African-Americans from reaching their full potential. Until personal responsibility and a cultural change takes place. Millions of African-Americans will struggle. And their anger, some of it justified will seethe. The federal government cannot fix this problem. Only a powerful message of responsibility can turn things around. And that’s “The Memo”.

It comes down to this.

I ask anyone the same question I ask myself every day:

What will you do
today
to improve your lot
today?

On the other hand, many people are incapable of responsibility, for reason that they lack any understanding of cause and effect.  I will discuss this more in a subsequent post, How municipalities in St. Louis County, Mo., profit from poverty, currently scheduled for release November 29.

FOOTNOTE, 2014-10-24:  Remark from my diary:  “Responsibility presumes ownership of power. But ownership of power is impossible without a grasp of cause and effect.”

(Originally posted 2014-09-13.)

Podcast – First episode

This may be a temporary post.  I had meant to release a ~5 minute episode of the podcast Tuesday, 10/01/19, and every two weeks thereafter.  Problems rose with the first episode, so that it may ultimately be discarded, but I figured to share it here as long as it’s available. Continue reading Podcast – First episode

Keep the focus on you

(Originally published 09/15/12 at Trojan Horse Productions.  Reblogged 06/25/14.)

Teddy is an old man. He wears a rosary around his neck, and never fails to “testify” in chapel. “I talk to the Father, Son and Holy Ghost every day,” he says. Every time there’s an altar call, he runs right up there to get born-again — again. Five times a week, he’ll do that.

He got barred out a year ago for selling someone oxycontin.

Friday night 09/07/12, he came back. He insists to everyone that he’s never been here before, and said he wants to get into the program.

Aside from those things, he hasn’t changed at all. Still all the same empty religious talk.

Sunday night he said he changed his mind about the program. They require you to sign over all your benefits, and he’s not willing to do that. That tells me you don’t want to get well.

I get bad feelings every time I see him.

———— ♦ ————

Sitting outside waiting to be let in, Wednesday 08/29/12 Fallon and a couple other guys I don’t like too much got into reminiscing about how this shelter used to be, years ago, before the renovation. This upset me.

Continue reading Keep the focus on you

Practical advantages of being a nice guy

(Originally posted 07/28/12 at Trojan Horse Productions.  Reblogged  05/14/14.) 

It’s been a long time since I last considered this; maybe because, for some months, there haven’t been that many jerks among us at the shelter. Whether the “spirit” I breathe out has anything to do with that, I don’t know.[1] But I was in the shower 07/01/12 and overheard that they’d run out of wash cloths, and that brought this to mind.

Just being a nice guy earns me concrete, practical rewards.

A number of mainstream people help me financially who definitely would not help a jerk.

If we’re in the smoke pit and I need to bum one, I’m far more likely to get one than would a jerk.

Last summer, there was a shortage of wash cloths, for reason that people were stealing them. At first, if you weren’t one of the first 40 to shower, you wouldn’t get one. Then it became 30. Then 20. Several guys, it turns out, actually donated wash cloths. I donated 15. They all disappeared.[2]

Some guys come to the clothes window and every day, it’s:
Continue reading Practical advantages of being a nice guy