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Posted on March 29 at 6:09 p.m.
Vets like the rest suffer from "help" in the form of heavily salted, high-fat foods and cramming them into crowded shelters..If the Asian swine flu developes it could bring a disastrous 2012-2013 flu epidemic.next year that will hit the homeless vets and non vets equally.
Please consider logging into http://www.causes.com/causes/660057-t...
I have quite a lot of background working with the Federal agencies and Lois is quite a good Congressperson, as they go, so maybe there will be a model which will be useful in other locales...obviously, vets are better off not getting sick in the shelters than being in line at the VA for treatment of flu, pneumonia, etc.
On Capps Announces Funds to Support Homeless Veterans
Posted on March 29 at 6:04 p.m.
eof Bard Maybe Ken will do more good writing for a broader audience. He is quite aloof from the local political batlegrounds where his voice would carry some weight, so maybe if his successor is someone who feels that they can be more outspoken.
"Art means nothing if it simply decorates the dinner table of the power which holds it hostage." —Adrienne Rich
Personally, I think some changing of the guard might open up some innovation. I notice that the status quo "advocates" are oblivious to the health risks that are caused by serving homeless people heavily salted, high-fat foods and cramming them into crowded pens (warming centers, shelters, jails,PFPs, etc). There is a new swine flu threat emerging in Asia which, if it developes could bring a disastrous 2012-2013 flu epidemic.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gz8KGg1rkGk I hope people will help me develope http://www.causes.com/causes/660057-t... substantially modeling on http://internationalmedicalcorps.org/...
Ken was well accepted and could present a persuasive argument but for those of us who must combat incessant attempts to silence our voices, more confrontational approaches are the only ones which are paid attention to. But with "Teach Cough Hygiene Everywhere" I might be able to adopt a more "Williams-like", irenic approach to advocacy, perhaps getting some traction with the entrenched status quo of "concerned" citizens who, to date, prefer to stanch any independent advocacy.
If you prefer to prevent rather than treat disease amongst the homeless, friend me at http://www.facebook.com/geoffery.bard
On Longtime Homeless Advocate Retires
Posted on March 19 at 9:16 p.m.
Psalm 111:99 He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name.KJV, also ASV.
Mark's title is "Rector". ------Update on the Labyrinth Held Hostage
It seems that the entire corpus of Anglican officialdom has no interest in addressing the situation.
I've called the cops on aggressive Labyrinth Occupiers twice in the past two weeks. The officers were compassionate but firm however Trinity now attacks me for that principled action on my part.
I bear this abuse at the hands of religious autocrats with the strength of faith I derive from contemplation of the Stations of the Cross, the suffering of Jesus.
I stand humbly in the shoes of John Wesley, Spinoza and "such persons as wore long hair [who]should be excommunicated" in the War of the Whiskers.
They avoid the underlying issue: their half-baked illegal lodging harms the reputation of the homeless. Everyone but Mark, his aides, and three vagrants detest the ruination of the Labyrinth. Most homeless people agree with me and are disgusted by what has happened at TEC.
My job now is to shift the blame for this mess from the hapless homeless to the responsible party: Mark and his staff.
The Labyrinth is a meditation resource for the whole community, now ruined by nasty itinerants who refuse to get up in the morning and who refuse to simply sleep on the grass. They selfishly blockade the Labyrinth, Mark encourages their sense of entitlement, discommunes me and ignores my emails. How uncool is that?
Conscience has cost me many such friends as I may have had in the "liberal" faith community, Oh well. They aren't such great friends then, after all. Deitrich Bonhoeffer and Niemoller probably experienced the same sense of betrayal, albeit in more extreme circumstances.
Tommorow I will be having lunch with an ordained minister who is probably friends with both myself and Rector Asman. Perhaps there will be a brokered peace on this issue.
However I expect stonewalling on all sides and a protracted war of position in which I will be forced to the Right due to ineptitude on the Left.
I am not the least bit apologetic for my anger, it is appropriate. Jesus got angry at times. He also conducted a paramilitary operation at the Temple to drive from it those who desecrated,
I will continue to use nonviolent resistance against the tyrannies being inflicted on this community by the ruling elite of Trinity Episcopal Church.
My demand is simply to restore the Labyrinth as a site of contemplative practice not as a space for experimental Bolshevism. Even if I am abandoned by my so-called friends in the progressive faith community, I will be perfectly happy if I can at least serve God in this manner, and restore for God's sake, the respect due the Labyrinth.
On Trinity Episcopal Church Origins
Posted on March 19 at 7 p.m.
It is encouraging that there are people with enough civic sense to comment here. I agree there is no hard data correlating mortality and morbidity with cigarette abuse, but anecdotally there is currently a homeless man in town with a very seriously advanced case of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease which is so bad that he probably needs to be housing in an indiviudal unit to keep his roommates from being driven nuts and kept up all night. And it is distressing to everyone, including the suffering patient, to have one of our fellow humans retching and gasping as a result of severe deterioration of bronchial tissue. It is really just horrible to contemplate. That is what the victims of Saddam Hussein endured, albeit in a more acute manner.
I watched a friend go down with emphysema. He was a tough old coot, but the couging spasms were so bad he'd black out in his apartment and come to later...and I met a Santa Barbara homeowner who has been in the hospital three times the last four months with cigarrette-induced COPD/emphysema.
And don't forget that the press covered the last Homeless Death of 2010, a man who lived in a camper and expired of advanced emphysema. Although that may not be as bad as someone shivering in a door way or under a rock or on the beach, let's face it, in one's final hour it is appropriate to be surrounded by people with some iota of compassion and concern for their fellow human. Not, alone in a cold vehicle.
Sarah House should have taken that man in. Well, don't get me started...
But it seems ludicrous for Casa Esperanza to allow smoking on its premises when there is clear and convincing scientific evidence that the smoking is creating serious pathologies which are painful and expensive to treat. We all age and die, but one can be fit and functional until their last hour and contribute to the community, or one can be a miserable crumpled basket case who is wracked with pain and misery and requires the efforts of two or three caretakers.
IMHO, there are plenty of homeless people who may or may not be quite ready to hold down a forty hour position in this economy, which has been ravaged by bureacracy from the Democrats and job exportation by the Republicans...but many homeless can and do care for themselves AND others, and don't necessarily impose impacts particularly worse than people who own and operate extravagant residential properties... we should support them, and I stand on my maimn point that the homeless service providers use cigarettes as "(1) a cheap tranquilizer to avoid having to actually deal with issues and create a decent, respectful environment and (2) as a means to a bribery economy..."
On Homeless Death Debrief
Posted on March 16 at 12:08 a.m.
Revised and sent to DPH:O: Dr LennonFROM: Geof BardCC: Prystowski, et al (DWW); Barbosa; BOS; SBCity Council;St Bridgett's
RE: Homeless deaths - Open Letter
What the report doesn't state is that many of these "homeless deaths" occurred as a direct result of cigarette smoking which is encouraged at the homeless shelters as (1) a cheap tranquilizer to avoid having to actually deal with issues and create a decent, respectful environment and (2) as a means to a bribery economy where inmates can be manipulated with promise of cigarette privileges. Homelessness intervenors compete for popularity among the homeless and as a result sponsor rather than criticize unhealthy behaviours.
Another source of "iatrogenic" pathology is the failure of infectious individuals to cover their mouths properly when coughing, often issuing dense, wet clouds of pathogenic viral and bacterial vectors of disease. Homeless shelters and warming centers are thus inevitably the cause of greater net morbidity than they prevent.
Shelter staff and volunteers have an uncanny lack of concern with this. I have met personnel who have acquired pneumonia and other infections at these sites.If anyone rocks the boat, they encounter shunning from the intervenors and subtle encouragement of thug responses from individuals who insist on their "right" to pollute the air.
Cohorting masses of homeless people in one large room under one roof is a surefire way of ensuring that what comes around goes around. What is needed is smaller decentralized shelters and warming centers.
The root cause of homelessness is economics: the growth of population and the contraction of homebuilding due primarily to restrictive zoning and regulatory red tape. Nevertheless, homelessness professionals exaggerate the incidence of morbidity in order to attract inflated funding levels. This hyperbole which is routinely practiced has the unforseen consequence of frightening citizens to the point that they become reluctant to interact with or rent to formerly homeless, thus assuring that the homelessness profession will self-perpetrate.
Thus, we have met the enemy, and it is us. Intervenors are killing with kindness the unhoused by encouraging unhealthy behaviours.
Posted on March 15 at 8:39 p.m.
She was a real dynamo. Not many people get as much done in their lives nor do they remain committed to the public good in such a wonderfully sustained manner. She was inspiring in her staying power and her political savy. It is a shame that we don't have more leaders of her caliber.
On Selma Rubin: 1915-2012
Posted on March 15 at 8:02 p.m.
I used to walk the labyrinth as a form of walking meditation and found it very soothing to the soul, very calming, a truly wonderful way to get in touch with that gentle inner peace which we all have.
Then one day Hobo Paul, a Urantia buff, decided that he would flop his sleeping bag down and demand silence and solitude for himself, everyone else be damned. I took the county's homeless ADMH outreach worker to him, he got housing, and I got the xxxx end of the stick.
Now the labyrinth and its lawn have become a latrine and, in punishment for blowing the whistle, I may be the first person in history of TEC to be discommunioned, Petitioning the bishop, I am not expecting to be given the time of day.
Episcopalians supported slavery and never evangelized the American West until the Pullman cars could get there. Things are not much different now; they are obsessed with a few showpiece projects, but when it comes to being real, forget about it.
Readers should know that Mark is also the COB at Casa Esperanza, and organization which is not at all popular with homeless people themselves. If people like Mark would only listen and open their minds to real people who are not wealthy donors or highly influential A-listers, things would be different, but the snobs at TEC are more concerned with posturing as compassionate than actualizing it. And Mark, you see, is far too busy and important to be in touch with the realities on the ground.
One of the issues they sweep under the rug is the use of cigarette privileges to bribe the homeless and the failure to teach them proper cough etiquette. In the long run, the shelters will cause more mortality and morbidity than they prevent.
Thus it comes as no surprise that they are committing this moral atrocity in which they demonize whistleblowers. It really makes the Holy Father, His Eminence Pope Benedict look like a Berkeley radical in comparison, and all of the pomp and glitter at Canterbury doesn't change any of this one whit.
The basic crime which Anglicans don't tolerate is that they can't stand it when anyone is actually a real person - they only want ikons, the image of a homeless person being "helped" to plaster all over fundraising letters. But all of the real complaints about the dehumanizing treatment they receive by the bullies staffing the shelters fall on deaf ears, as does the demand for basic humane sanitation at "Camp Trinity".
The Holy Bible states that all believers are a royal priesthood. The worst reactionaries of the the Episcopalian denomination just don't get that. They think the ordained are a master race lording it over mere mortals who, without the priests, have no access to grace.
Despite his left-liberal showpieces, Mark is probably the most retrograde and reactionary priest I have ever encountered in that he believes himself to be above criticism and to be especially annointed in ways that the "little people" don't understand.
Posted on March 15 at 6:53 p.m.
What they don't tell you is that many of these "homeless deaths" occurred as a direct and proximate result of cigarette smoking which is encouraged at the homeless shelters basically as (1) a cheap tranquilizer to avoid having to actually deal with issues and create a decent, respectful environment and (2) as a means to a sort of bribery economy where inmates can be manipulated with promise of a cigarette. Homelessness professionals and amateur intervenors compete for popularity among the homeless and as a result sponser rather than criticize cigarette smoking behaviours.
Another source of pathology is the failure of infectious individuals to cover their mouths properly when coughing, often issuing dense, wet clouds of pathogenic viral and bacterial vectors of disease.
Shelter staff and volunteers have an uncanny lack of concern with this, even though I have met personnel who have acquired pneumonia and other infections at these sites.
A major obstacle is the exaggeration of the supposed behavioural maladaptation of homeless. Eager to attract funding, various "professionals" paint a picture of homeless people as simply inept and dysfunctional people suffering from mysterious "mental illness". In many cases, however, the psychopathology of homeless persons is no better nor worse than that of the general population. The root cause of homelessness is economics: the growth of population and the contraction of homebuilding due primarily to restrictive zoning and regulatory red tape.
Thus, we have met the enemy, and it is us. Intervenors are killing with kindness the unhoused by encouraging unhealthy behaviours. Last but not least, the unrestricted provision of high fat content foods, like piles of donuts and pastries, is only more grist for the mill. The meals would be better served by a focus on spartan regiments of say rice and simple home cooked whole wheat breads, with smoking prohibited at all homeless services locations.
However, no one wants to face up to these realities, and it is far easier to blame the messenger than to consider the simple matter of health maintenance and prevention of illness. I sincerely hope that Dr. Lennon, Dr. Prystowski and the directors of Casa Esperanza (Mike Foley and Mark Asman) take these points to heart rather than defensively circling the wagons and suppressing public comment.
Posted on March 15 at 5:58 p.m.
Something on the order of fifteen people are lodged on church grounds without supervision and the church campus has become littered with trash, garbage, human and canine and human excrement. After clearing the church grounds of several empty bottles of hard liquor and assorted refuse, I asked parish Rector Mark Asman to install portable toilet and a handwashing station but he refused to provide any sanitary or other services to the people. The church locks up its dumpsters, which consequently attract piles of rubbish.
I was confirmed at Trinity Episcopal and as a parishioner I am shocked that Mark Asman and the administration have run the church into the ground with their half-baked provision of camping privileges without any supervision or support. There have been multiple incidents of solid human waste depositions on the campus and still the Rector and his functionaries refuses to act. A big welcome mat, but no toilet, no soap, no sinks. Every tree in the place reeks, of one thing or another.
Most of the "homeless people" I have talked to are as fed up and disgusted as the parishioners but no one in the congregation dares to speak out for fear of excommunication...it is like we are in the Middle Ages and subject to the unbridled dictates clerical tyranny. The homeless suffer, the parishioners suffer, and the Rector simply pursues his ego-driven agenda to put his name in the history books, recklessly disregarding the suffering his actions are causing.
TEC is held hostage to a one-man dictatorship which, like that of Hugo Chavez in Venezuala, is driven by a distorted conception of compassion for the poor but is only creating a climate of polarization, suspicion and mistrust. The labyrinth was built and permitted to be a mecca for the spiritually minded, for tourists and residents alike, but now the place has become a slice of life from Dante's Inferno and there are no signs that Asman will repent of his misdeeds any time soon.
As a parisioner, or a former parishioner, I have filed a complaint with the bishop, who writes very well informed books, but, given the top-down centralism of the Anglican Communion, I don't expect any action until hell freezes over. If anyone knows where I can find a good canon lawyer who will work pro bono, please have them contact me as there is no way there is otherwise going to be any movement on this issue barring Divine Intervention.
Posted on September 20 at 4:48 p.m.
As an advocate on this issue, I would caution that nothing hereinabove in Ms. Walker's article should be construed to suggest that advocates for the homeless in any way constitute a monolithic bloc in support of the Obama healthcare overhaul. In particular, the mandate is highly problematic; I for one was appalled that the Democratic Party leadership would be down for the mandate when it would predictably lead to a huge "libertarian" themed backlash. And it turned out that I was right.
I have interviewed score of homeless persons and a common theme amongst them all is a fundamental libertarian streak, an individualism which many may value more than the accoutrement of comprehensive health care services. And many have a core religiosity under which they trust in a spiritual source of health rather than high-frequency screenings, which many find intrusive.
As it is, our society over-medicates and often applies high technologies such as radionuclide-based treatments, speculative psycho-active biochemical interventions, invasive surgery, etc. It is well documented that racial and gender based prejudices and ideologies permeate the status quo of the conventional medical establishment.
Thus, the above article should not be taken to suggest that persons impacted by the homeless crisis in the U.S.A. constitute some sort of bloc in support of the Obama administration in general or in support of the highly problematic legalities of the health care overhaul. Homeless persons tend to reject socialism and lean toward a more anarchic vision and in large part are more interested in being left alone, unbothered by intrusive health "care".
That said, there is an urgent need to bring the uninsured cohort into MediCal, one way or another. If the overhaul does that, the County will probably save money and we won't witness the human tragedy of untreated medical and psychological pathology in the many homeless persons who are in desperate need of increased medical attention and treatment alternatives. But please don't think that the homeless, if they were ever systematically registered to vote, would be knee jerk social democrats; to the contrary, many would have voted for John McCain last time, and, going forward, would be a potential source of Republican votes in both national and local elections. And the very mention of socialized medicine would arouse amongst them a certain hue and cry more appropriately associated with the very Tea Party itself.
On Pre-Obama Care Plan To Aid Homeless