Hiya y'all..... once again, if you're reading this, email me and tell me what ya think.... and pass it along, share it, etc..... and I'll wrote more, not fewer.
Recently some well intended persons posted a short story on the 'San Jose Jungle' on facebook.
I'm certain that the person that wrote it wasn't overly delusional. I'm sure that the person that created the story had (or has) the usual level of brain cells that are required to operate a computer (and these days, that's not really alot).
I'm almost certain beyond any shadow of a doubt that the person that created the story probably spent no more than an hour or so in the actual jungle, or for that matter in any of the other areas where the people in question inhabit on a day to day basis.
So.... Upon reading this FB story, I replied, stating that once you got to know a large number of these people that make up the populous of the jungle, you wouldn't feel so sorry for them. Once you went out and actually saw what alot of the people do with their time, and their welfare checks, that just maybe you'd take a slightly different view of the problem.
How can I say this. I am part of the homeless community in San Jose. Do I reside in the 'Jungle'.... Oh, hell no.... there are enough videos of the place to let anyone know what the place is like.... Imagine spending your evenings in the city dump.... Though the dump is probably a far sight cleaner than the jungle. Do I know these people that reside there. Yes. Do I see them on a daily (hourly) basis. Yes. Do I converse and socialize with them. No, but then I don't socialize with anyone. I'd rather sit out the middle of the Mojave desert and not deal with humans at all, if I had my way (and I'm not certain I'm not moving back to the desert soon).
So, my reply to the FB story was, a large percentage of these people that are living in these dumps are not the 'Woody Guthrie's of today, they're not the dust bowl escapees of the 21st century. Alot of them are people that spend their time being stoned or drunk, or both, and when they're not they're pursuing the funds to be stoned or drunk or both. They're thieves, they're beggars, they welfare frauds.
How can I say this ? I live in this area. I see them constantly. They don't hide the fact they're drug addicts, at least they don't hide it from other homeless persons. Someone in a nice suite walks up to one of them, and they instantly turn on the 'we're down on our luck, and trying to raise money to get to Oregon where a job awaits them' story. Amazingly, no matter how much money these beggars and thieves raise, they're still here, they're still stoned, and they're still content with what they're doing.... Sponging off society and contributing nothing.
So, after my reply to the FB story, I had a number of people suggest that I was some right wing extremist. That I was out of touch with the suffering in San Jose. That I must be out there tossing small children and pets onto the open bon fires of the jungle.
First accusation: Right wing ? You have to be kidding. I'd still vote for George McGovern (if he were still alive and running for office). Anyone that calls me right wing is so out of touch, that I don't think they're going to find daylight anytime soon, given a road map and a seeing eye dog. Right wing indeed.
Secondly: Out of touch with the suffering here. Come live my life for a day.... then try it for a few years worth of days. You can bed down on the same slab on concrete that I'm on, theres room for two, or three there. Eat what I eat. One meal a day. That's what I can afford, because I won't go and stick my hand out, welfare wasn't meant for people that can hustle a living, It was meant for the mothers and their children that needed assistance to eat. I'll go hustle a living, and live as best I can. Out of touch with the suffering. Say that to my face, and I'll spit in your eye.
Finally: Tossing children and pets on the bonfire. I give back, do you ? One of the ways I give back... I collect my pennies, nickles, and dimes in a plastic bottle. It adds up, not real quick, but it adds up. There are more than a few persons that have been recipients of these bottles. One woman I know with a young daughter. One guy I know that never asks for a thing, but gets by. I've even taken my bottle of coins, and left it on the donation basket at a local churchs book store. Do I give back: YES. Figuring the penny, nickle, and dime collection per week probably constitutes a good 5 to 10% of my income, hell yes I give back.... Wonder if the flamers on FB contribute as much.... Don't blame them if they don't, but don't accuse me of not caring, not until you know what your'e talking about.
One of the questions that came up from one of the FB flamers was, 'why are you homeless'. That's easy. I was once an engineer in the analytical instrument business (molecular analyzers). The cut backs of the early 2000's saw my job go elsewhere, so I moved on to lower paying jobs, but jobs that kept a roof over my head, and food in my mouth. Then as age will do to some, critical parts of me stopped working quite as well. My vision is not what it once was. My hands don't work anywhere near as well as what they used to. The American business system being what it is, tends to say 'thanks but no thanks' to those that served a purpose for alot of years, but can no longer do the same. Sure, I'm homeless but I manage. I'm homeless but I don't sit and beg, I don't steal, and I don't earn my daily bread off the back of someone else. I stand in different places and play soothing quiet easy listening music on a musical instrument, I toss a hat on the ground, and if people want to put something in it, then thats fine, but I NEVER EVER ask for money from people.
So.... Yeah, I know what I'm talking about. I see it first hand, up close and personal. I see what a good percentage of the people living in filth in the modern day 'Hoover-villes' are doing with their money, how much they're trying, how much they're contributing.
You want to call me 'right wing' or 'out of touch'.... Fine, go right ahead. There was a term that I used to blanch at, being fairly left of moderate, but these FB flamers seem to fit the name. Bleeding heart liberals. They are completely out of touch with the problems of society. They'll readily tell you that everyone that isn't trying to be a functioning member of society is just misunderstood. They'll be the first to tell us that welfare recipients shouldn't be drug tested.
I'm a conservative ???? Like hell I am. I just happen to be able to see what's going on, by being there in the middle of it, not telling others how terrible society is for letting these people down, by skipping through the jungle once every few years.
You want to find out what life is like as a member of the homeless community. Follow me around for a day or so. Clothing, shelter, and food not included, and leave your rose colored glasses at home.