This is a long post. One may want to avail oneself of a navigation resource here.
I don’t write about easy things.
At this writing, a more immediate question is how I’ve stayed homeless, which has prompted no small amount of anger and depression in recent weeks. The short answer appears to be that I’ve stayed homeless the same way I became homeless.
“How I became homeless” is a long post that may be difficult to read at one sitting. The links here below can help. Clicking on any link here will take you to that part of the post; you can ALT-LEFT and ALT-RIGHT to return here, or back.
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The pigeons. Years ago, when I had an office job downtown, I’d wait for the bus every afternoon on the south side of Baltimore Street one or two blocks east of Charles. Often, someone tossed down several handfuls of torn-up bread for the birds to eat, and I’d have time to watch them.
For the most part, the pigeons acted just as you’d expect: eating together, share and share alike. But I noticed one individual whose conduct was quite different. This guy never picked up any food from the ground. He never seemed to notice any food on the ground. Instead, he’d notice what someone else was eating, and go over and take it away from that person. Time and time again, he did this.
Put this fellow down on top of a pile of food, and he’d starve to death, because he’d never pick up any for himself. Put another pigeon with him, and he’d be OK — taking away what the other one picks up to eat.
How much closer can you get to the way some people act; who will not do anything for themselves, but only take away what someone else has worked for? Can there be a gene for this?
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When I lived in Barclay, I maintained a bird feeder in the back yard — different locations, but always visible from the kitchen window. Two species used to visit the feeder in flocks: sparrows and starlings. There might be fifty sparrows or fifty starlings there at a time.
“In 2012, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid alone represented 44 percent of spending; all entitlement programs were 63 percent. But it’s hard to control entitlement programs because their constituencies are so large.”
It makes sense to me that, as Samuelson proposes, we should discard the term “entitlements” as naming portions of the federal budget that are untouchable. No program should be sacrosanct.
Continue reading * Entitlement(s): Attitude and policy
I normally only publish on Mondays (comments on the news), Wednesdays (recycling old posts) and Saturdays (substantial new pieces). A couple things happened this morning that seem to me urgent enough to warrant an off-schedule post.
I’d invite e-mail subscribers to hold on to their e-mail copy of this post, and will explain why.
… can make a hard situation easy, or make an easy situation hard.
To enter the shelter, you walk across this parking lot to an iron gate, and then down these steps to the “smoke pit,” an 8 x 20′ area with benches where we sit until they call us in, in groups of six, to register for this night. One does this every day.