Please Save Me From Small Minded Thinking

People with ongoing limited thinking are really painful for me to listen too. I find it hard to imagine there is still so much backwards thinking going on. This one really pushed some buttons for me. In a conversation I was part of, there was discussion about obituaries’ in small town newspaper.

The talk turned then turned to marriages in the paper. Here we go…. A comment was made about now that gay people are allowed to be legally married, a large number of Texas license plates are being seen in two small border towns towns since legislation was recently passed in the state allowing gay marriages.

One person stated they are surprised by the number of him/him and her/her marriages that are showing up in the paper.

This was followed by a comment with agreement on how wrong it is for those people to be allowed to be legally married. Of course I had to ask why it is wrong to allow two people that love each other and want to be a married couple to be legally married?

Why of course, I was told, the bible says it is wrong was the reply. It’s right there in Leviticus. This was followed by agreement of most present with a fairly close quote of the actual verse.

Wow, one line in the whole of the bible that doesn’t need apply any more as it is a part of the old testament and the old covenant? Not to mention of asked to quote to or three other verses from other parts of the bible, they would struggle. But they know this one well.

Well, I was told, two county clerks quit their jobs over this. It conflicts with their religion, was said in a tone that it was a horrible thing they had to quit their jobs because of gay people wanting to be legally married. Following was a quiet murmuring of agreement. After all it conflicted with their religion(?).

The book of Leviticus has over two-hundred laws in it, some of which we all break weekly without even thinking about it. We violate or break several of the laws in Leviticus every day, by eating pork, catfish, lobster, shrimp, clams, and oysters. Drinking strong alcohol by young people also is a no no. Not sacrificing the proper animals in response to named events are deal breakers in Leviticus.

Besides the fact that these laws were created and followed by a wandering desert people whose lives have little in common with todays’ world, some of these laws are founded on fact. Eating infected under cooked pork, and eating seafood without scales can kill you. Alcohol destroys more than brain cells so it is not good for younger people. On the other hand no one sacrifices animals any more, along with many other of the two-hundred plus laws we choose not to follow in Leviticus.

These prohibitions are what comes to mind immediately. Obviously, for some people, these laws are ignored, except for the one line law about men/men and woman/woman relationships. Unless the law fits their lifestyle, that is different.

These laws seem to be in fact, not important when in held in comparison to wanting to publicly acknowledge ones status as a married person. Everything written in Leviticus apparently else pales in comparison to gay marriage.

Why do we continue to be asleep. Are we happy being short sighted creatures?  Why do we not judge ourselves as quickly as we judge others? In these situations selective ignorance applies. These people have brain viruses and are a danger to a healthy, rational society.

Less than 100 years ago, women and children had no real rights, and were mostly confined to kitchen and bedrooms. Children were little more than animals, and held less rights than their mothers did. A woman’s opinion mattered little. A child better not be heard having an opinion.

Inter-racial marriage was banned. Being in an inter-racial marriage may have gotten you killed. Alcohol was illegal for a time. Cocaine, opium, and heroin were not illegal, and sold over the counter. Smoking was thought to be healthy. Drinking or otherwise ingesting radioactive substances was seen as a healthy life choice.

Theatres had balconies, and only white people were allowed downstairs. Cafes were white only in the main parts of any city. Water Fountains and Bathrooms were segregated by color. The government knew what was best. People of color rode in the back of the bus.

One of the small towns being discussed where the county clerks quit, less than fifty years ago proudly displayed a sign at each end of its city limits, “If you are Black, don’t let the sun set on you in this town”.

The above paragraphs are but a few examples of where we were one-hundred years ago. Today no-one would question the insanity of what was the law of the land. It was wrong then and it is wrong now.

The thing is, the minds of these people and those that think like them will never be changed, short of some life altering experience. All that can be done is wait for them to die off and hope the next generation will be less archaic in their thinking. In the meantime, let me help you with that log in your eye.

Skin Color and Sports, Looking Back, Living Forward

I watched the movie, 42 today. I remember being a kid and watching Jackie Robinson playing ball. I was too young to know the story behind Jackie Robinson playing ball. All I knew was he was a quiet serious player, and he was darned good.

Jackie Robinson took care of business on the filed. I never heard, or understood the word professional at that age. I never heard the word racism either. All I knew by the time I was old enough to watch baseball was Jackie Robinson was one heck of a palyer, and he seldom spoke.

Growing up in rural Minnesota, I did not know much about baseball and race. In 1962 I knew we had a hot hitter on the Twins roster, named Tony Oliva. Tony Oliva struck fear when he moved to the major league on the Twins roster. Tony Oliva was one of the best batters in the league coming into the league.

Until the end of his first season he was a hot batter. By the end of his first season, Tony Oliva could not get within four feet of home plate. Pitchers would throw the ball at him. I thought as an ignorant to how the world works kid, there was a battle between Tony Oliva, and the Pitchers over who own the plate and the batters box.

When the Civil Rights movement started to make national news, I never made the connection between Civil Rights, Jackie Robinson, and Tony Oliva. I always believed Jackie Robinson was the consummate professional, and Tony Oliva was pressured away from the plate because he was too powerful a batter.

Today, after the movie 42, it becomes clear what the real issues were. Jackie Robinson was a professional, because he had to be. Tony Oliva shied away from the plate not because the pitchers of the day did not want him to hit off of them. They both were the way they were because of the people who did not believe they belonged on a professional baseball field with white players.

Sometimes we forget we are a little planet, with no place to move to. Every generation repeats some of the wrongs previous generations lived under. I know the day is coming when skin color and sexual preference will no longer be an important. I hope we do not lose ground as we walk down the road to get there.

It is up to you now. It is your responsibility to ensure that the path to equality is not lost. The cost has been to high for you and your generation to forget how it used to be, and not strive to make it better. Make yourself proud. When you see a wrong, do what you can to right it. Don’t settle for good enough. Remember too, hate and ignorance do not have boundaries.

Target and My Personal Information

I received an email apology from Target today. This is my reply:

Hello Gregg Steinhafel,

I do not remember ever using a credit or debit card at Target? I certainly did not provide this email address. Since I do not remember doing this, either I have not, or it has been a few months since I did use any plastic as a Target customer. I do not give out this email address.

Why are you hoarding my personal information?

Michael

I am sure Target’s email to me is sincere. What bothers me is why does Target have my information on file in the first place?  Does being a customer give a company the right to collect and hoard my personal information?

Scary Happenings on Your Internet and Electronics

A snippet from a reply from one of my Senators asking about the NSA…

“As you may know, under one of the programs, the NSA has for seven years collected on a daily basis information related to Americans’ telephone calls.  This information includes the telephone numbers called, along with the date, time, and duration of calls.  The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) – a special federal court created in 1978 to review the government’s applications for surveillance orders – has allowed the collection of this metadata under Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act.  Section 215 amended the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) of 1978 to allow the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to apply to the FISC for an order to collect a broad array of business records and other tangible things relevant to an authorized investigation.  Previously, the authority was limited to the collection of only records from certain businesses, such as hotels and car rental agencies, and the FBI had to provide facts tying the records to a specific person.”

A Russian group of programmers are planning to sell commercially a root kit that will capture and forward anyones banking information, if they can get the software on their computer. You can be the first in your neighborhood to have this software for about ~ $2,500.00 US.

Some companies who offered encrypted email are shutting down due to fear of government scrutiny. They don’t want to take the hit for illegal activity being tied to their product. They ‘claim’ a concern for their customers, and perhaps a little fear of government scrutiny around themselves too?

The Tor network bust of a few weeks ago that netted a hundred plus people receiving and transmitting child porn, upset large numbers of people who deal in things less than legal. It also upset people who were led to believe tor was the utlimate internet privacy tool.

The infamous Pirate Bay frustrated because some governments have blocked them, have created their own browser so individuals may bypass government restrictions and get on with what they want to do, rather than what is permissible.

NSA and Internet

NSA and others are logging your electronic life

Some Internet Service Providers have agreed to email you, or flash you a screen a message if they detect you downloading copyrighted information illegally. “In case you are not aware”, is the reason given. To determine if you are downloading copyrighted information all your internet usage will need to be monitored.

Certain Televisions can spy on you per one newsworthy article on a techie website. The software running the television is very vulnerable to being hacked over the net. If there happens to be a camera or microphone attached to the television, well, you may be streaming media (your personal life) to people you do not know. Imagine seeing yourself in a compromising situation that took place in your front room in a youtube video?

An East Coast couple had a visit by several men in suits and badges after some rather innocent web searching by family members after the Boston Bombing. It appears one can look up anything on the web, however they can’t do it in conjunction with other sensitive topics. Sort of like the ‘three strike’ rule in baseball. Too much curiosity wakes the cat.

Besides the obvious, “What’s next, are we going to have cameras and microphones in our living room spying on us?” Do we already? At least the Internet is already taking action. One of the things I love about technology is changes happen fast. No need to be reactive when you can be proactive.

Here is what a little casual browsing turned up today:

Mozilla corporation is working on an ad blocking browser. If I understand correctly is it is blocking advertising streamed with secure web pages, because of the security issue it opens up. The issue stems from insecure content being delivered on a secure connection. Lots of opportunity for bad things to happen.

Advertisers are in an uproar, claiming their web site material will now be ‘stolen’. Hmmm, how do you steal information posted freely on the web? Some websites are threatening to go subscription only.

I say, good luck making a living with that business model. If the ads didn’t dance across the page, or block all access to content, I don’t think we would be at this point.

Since there is legislation either in the works or passed making the sender of copyrighted materials a felony offense, Usenet has gone to encrypted postings. At least by those that have a clue.

Operating systems on a flash drive or CD are gaining even more attention. If you cannot trust your computer has not been compromised – an unprotected Windows XP machine lasts less than 20 minutes on the net before being taken over – systems on a removable cd or flash drive are the way to go. They are read only, and cannot unless you allow it store any information. This means there can be no root kit, virus, or malware cookie sending your bank account information home to Daddy.

Encrypted phone calls will make a splash on the scene soon, if you haven’t heard about it already. Encrypted messaging is already here for those that want it. Each of us will have to decide how badly we want to talk with someone. Enough to match their encryption methods, or not talk at all over electronic medium?

Electronic security has always been a game of catch up. No matter how fast any Government, service provider, or other group is, they will never be ahead of the curve when it comes to halting illegal activities on the internet. No matter how quick they are, the internet as a whole is quicker.

Some people are resorting to triple encryption, just because they can. An email message, text message, or document is processed through three different encryption programs. In other words they are encrypting a document that that was created, encrypted, encrypted again, and finally encrypted a third time using different encryption techniques. Lot of work to say get a carton of milk on the way home from work.

Other people are sending out texts and emails containing trigger words, and I can guess you know what those are. Emails that have no purpose other than to trigger the NSA’s software into action, especially if they are sent with light encryption

Which brings me to my main point. Is the internet in jeopardy of shutting down? Unless you are comfortable with every key stroke being logged, worrying about your bank accounts and your very private information being sent to another computer, having your browsing habits logged and analyzed, your friends and family watched,it may be.

Is the internet going to end up as a nameless, faceless place, where the only web traffic is encrypted, and the only web sites still up, talk about gardening, and cooking and other acceptable topics while the NSA studies each word in an article?

Will all your web travels and searches be logged and monitored? How about the privacy of your own computer, laptop or tablet? Will it keep your private matters private, or will it contain a backdoor where all your actions can and will be monitored?

These are real questions and real concerns. Let your officials know how you feel about all of this. Apathy and nameless fear got us this far. If left unchecked, the world of computers and the internet, may go the way of the home phone, boom box, and so many other things we thought would be around forever.

Where does state security and individual privacy divide? Should everyone be investigated around the clock because they might be something they are not advertising? Where is the line on personal privacy? Will it extend from the search for possible terrorist activity to tax fraud, income tax evasion, searching for any and all illegal activity?

In the mean time, maybe there is no need to worry about backing up your documents, perhaps the NSA already has a copies you can download under the, “Freedom of Information Act”? Write your representatives, and let them know how you feel about his. If you don’t tell them what you think, big business and the government will.

Martin & Zimmerman Who’s Standing Where?

I am still confused about how I feel with the Zimmerman, Martin Stand Your Ground ruling. I did not attend the hearing, and I need to trust the jury did the right thing, and made the right decision. Unfortunately, from what I understand of the events that took place and the bias of the law itself, the ruling does not sit well with me.

In my understanding:

Martin is walking down the street Zimmerman is in a vehicle driving down the street.

Zimmerman gets out of his vehicle and approaches Martin who stands his ground, literally.

Martin is shot by Zimmerman.

It does not seem to be any more clear than this. Everything that happened after Zimmerman got out of his vehicle does not matter to me. If Zimmerman never got out of his vehicle, there would not have been a shooting.

As for the Stand Your Ground defense. It seems to me that it was Martin who used his legal right to stand his ground against an aggressor, not the other way around. Zimmerman could have driven away.

If I was a young man of Martins age, I would not have ran. I would have stayed put as is my right. I feel if Zimmerman didn’t think he had the backup protection of pulling out his gun, and using it, he could have left his gun locked up in his vehicle.

Perhaps Zimmerman felt empowered by the thought of having his gun on his person if he decided he needed it. Martin felt empowered by his martial arts knowledge and previous fights.

Martin depended on his youth and his ability. It wasn’t Martin’s first rodeo, or at least I do not think it was. He was, I read taking, martial arts classes. Usually people who do, have a need to. A young man by himself is a target. Martin was young, he was strong, and I feel, he felt he could take care of himself if he needed to.

Here it is the way I see it. Martin is walking along, Zimmerman stops his vehicle, gets out and approaches Martin. Obviously it isn’t to ask directions or share a joke. Martin being a young man thinks if worse comes to worse, he will get his ass kicked, but he doubts it. At any rate he isn’t going to take any crap from this guy. He has every right to be where he is. Martin is shot, and dies.

Yet Zimmerman is allowed to use the Stand your Ground Defense. It sounds like Martin was expected to use the cower and run away defense because Martin was not in the courtroom to say He was Standing His Ground and reinforcing his right to be there on that street, whether he had family, friends, or business around there. He was free to go and do what he wanted, and walk down that street was what he wanted.

I know if it were me, instead of Martin, I too would have stood there. So would you if you feel that strongly about personal rights, and personal freedom. I would only get beat up once. I would live with myself every day thereafter for the rest of my life.

In my opinion, or it appears to me, Zimmerman, the older Man approached a much younger, stronger man and created a conflict that got out of hand, and Zimmerman panicked.

Instead of halting the provocation at any time before the conflict turned physical, Zimmerman perhaps steeled himself with the idea that he was in charge. Of course the fight was one sided. Here is a young strong man fighting with a older out of shape man, who is spending as much time trying to get his gun out of his pocket, as he is in trying to defend himself.

I didn’t watch the trial daily, and I may be wrong in what I think are the facts. What I think I do know however is, one man left his vehicle and approached another man when he should have stayed in his vehicle or driven away.

Who had the right to claim they were Standing Their Ground?

Paula Dean and the Diversity Myth

The whole world seems to be looking at Paula Dean. Paula Dean’s problem is she was taken to task for what she said in private. The world is full of Paula Dean’s. They are made up of people of every race and color. In Paula’s case, someone wanted to punish her for their own reasons, and Paula Dean allowed herself to be vulnerable using her private language.

Too many of us have two separate vocabularies. One language we use when we are around people we feel safe with, and a second language we use when we are in public and strangers can overhear us. An example is attending a minority viewpoint political rally. You know the one some of us would like to attend but won’t because we know deep down it’s wrong?

Pretend you are going to one. Make it whatever cause you personally would not feel comfortable going to because of what the rally members stand for. The rhetoric you will hear is public rhetoric. Words strung together to show the world they are really good people who’s beliefs are not quite main stream.

What is heard publicly is not the language and raw expression used among the inner circle of the trusted ones. That other language is course, and demeaning in every respect. If these splinter groups thought they could do it, you would hear what they really think, but it won’t happen in public.

One people, one race

We make the world go ’round because we are one people trying to enjoy our individual lives.

Some time ago, I was asked by a little boy as his parents looked on in horror, “…if I was a, ‘real white man’. The little boy said he had never seen one close up before and did was not sure if I was a ‘real white man’, or not. His parents were of course were beyond embarrassed. It was obvious they used two sets of language, their private language, and their public language. The little boy of course, was not old enough to know the difference, and crossed a line his parents would have rather avoided.

While the rest of the world is blasting away at Paula Dean because her private language has been made public, take the time to look a little closer to home. Do you use or do you allow people in your life to speak two languages? A private language and a public language?

Paula Dean is an old semi racist woman who was found out. That is what she was raised to believe, and that is how she will probably die. Her time on earth is limited, and she and those like her will fade away over the next years. You and your friends on the other hand are young. Every day influencing and reinforcing your inner circle of friends and family with language and thought each and every day.

We must drop our behind closed door language and start speaking with respect to those not like us publicly and privately. Whether they are different because of their skin color, sexual, religious, or personal beliefs, they are us. We are a floating little blue marble in a huge ocean of nothingness. Yet we continue to think there are other choices than getting along without accepting each other.

Differences between people is good for us. We get bored with ourselves. We can’t compare ourselves to ourselves, we need someone else. Other people help make life fun, and interesting. Of course we have to be fun and interesting ourselves and we can’t be fun until we drop the pretense of being a different better.

Anyone who has a public and private set of words they use is really a pretty boring person. They are a one trick pony and can not see past their own nose. Their conversation is rarely spontaneous and very controlled. They can’t fool anyone for long about who they really are. Don’t be one of those boring people.

Caterpillar Stands Tall, bad news BSA

This is the best news I have read in some time! I am glad Caterpillar inc has taken a public stand. Until Boy Scouts of America changes their thinking they will be operating without any financial help from one company which is not afraid to take a stand.

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Caterpillar Inc. is no longer giving money to the Boy Scouts because the organization discriminates against homosexuals, a spokeswoman for the Illinois-based heavy equipment manufacturer confirmed Thursday.

Thanks David Mercer, Associated Press, for getting this story out!

I can hardly wait for other companies to follow in these footsteps. It is well past the time we grow up. It is time the Boy Scouts of America and other discriminating organizations like them grow up too.

As a former Boy Scout myself, I find this otherwise excellent organization  lacking and concerned about issues that are not theirs to be concerned about. Does anyone really believe that until now, every  young man that joined Boy Scouts of America and prospered in the organization was a  ‘Straight’ All American Boy? We do live in the real world.

Every one has at least one family member or friend who is Gay. I am tired of seeing people who are different being treated as someone less than, when it makes no difference except between the ears of the person doing the perceiving what that difference is.

Homophobia is a baseless phobia based in fear. BSA and other groups should grow up and understand most differences between people are not contagious. Unless that is, this feared behavior is already present in the person doing the perceiving, hidden away from the reality of their everyday life.

Good call Cat!

Caterpillar no longer supports Boy Scouts of America

Caterpillar takes a social stand

Perception of Public Safety

I read you can no longer find a pressure cooker in the Boston area for sale. If this is not a case of over reaction, there has yet to be one. Modifying one of the old phrases from the NRA (I think), ‘Pressure cookers don’t kill people, people kill people.’

People who over react to situations need to realize that living is a risk. There is no legislating any of us are going to wake up tomorrow. There is no protecting ourselves from someone else is willing to risk everything to harm us.

Without going through the obvious facts of flu deaths each year, death from automobile accidents, falling off ladders, chairs, or down the stairs, there are so many ways to die each day it is mind boggling that so many of us make it through to the next day.

Where I grew up as a kid, we used to hunt and fish a lot. Hunting and fishing was a way of life. It put food on the table and stretched the family budget beyond the paychecks ability alone. People lived on fish and game. We also had some funny laws around hunting and fishing. Of course there were very creating ways around those laws. They were illegal, but the need to eat outweighed the legality for some people.

One law I found the funniest was hunting season for game birds. Generally one hunted game birds in the same areas others hunted deer. The only difference was the weapon used and the time of the year. First it was bird season, followed by a few weeks of no hunting, then came deer season.

During the bird hunting season, those that could not wait used illegal hard to detect methods to take deer. Some used their deer hunting rifles, and others used more creative approaches. Deer season did not apply to these people at all. They did what they wanted.

The Department of Fish and Game was sensitive during this two week no hunting period to any gun shots coming from the woods. People who were needing to eat, found creative way to take game boards with out a gun. They did what they wanted.

In the spring in the lakes and rivers, game fish schooled up to spawn. Fishing was illegal during this period, or it was illegal to fish for certain species of fish. For example, you could fish in the shallows of an area where the Bass were spawning for Northern Pike, but you could not fish for Bass because the season was not open yet. I have never seen species selective artificial lures, or live bait.

Snagging hooks were banned at all fishing waters. Yet most of the fisherman had at least one treble hook that would pass for a snagging hook in their tackle boxes. If you talked long enough or new each other well enough one learned of other ways to take fish other than legal methods.

If someone is determined, search the net for methods, or creative enough to come up with something new on their own, there are multiple ways to do almost anything. Self bans on pressure cookers in the Boston area, and probably most of America, does not make our streets safer. Each of us is still as likely to be killed each day by explosion as we were some months ago.

Legislating any activity or item does not ensure our safety. If someone wants to do something bad enough, they will find a way. Which brings me to my previous article on slingshots. Much to my surprise I discovered I was a law breaker as a kid growing up. On occasion I had my slingshot with me within city limits of a city where they were banned.

Today, I doubt there are any slingshots being carried by kids in that city. If kids are serious enough, they are carrying something more vicious than slingshots. Kids are probably carrying stolen guns hidden in their baggy clothes. If they do not have access to a gun, or can not afford one, and feel the need to protect themselves, they carry something else. Knives, baseball bats, or other hand weapons.

In a hurry or leaving?

We depend on each other for our safety

Look at the man in the picture. What is inside the black camera shoulder bag? How about the packages? Is that really an eye glass case in his top pocket? Is the bulge around his waste really belly fat? Why are his jeans and shirt a little baggy?

Do you know why people have their keys on the end of a lanyard? Maybe we should think about banning keys. Some do it because they see others do it. Others do it, because they have a perfectly legal, very serious weapon in their possession.

Does that dog owner have a pit bull because they love the breed, for personal protection, or is it a barely contained attack dog?

What about the person with that walking stick. Is there more to that walking sick or cane than meets the eye? It could be a gun, saber, or other weapon depending on the owners creativity and ability to disguise.

How about the driver of that car. Were they trying to hit you, or just not paying attention for an instant? We can only legislate individual safety so far. The rest is risk we have to accept as part of normal life.

Charity Has Limits

Homeless Horror is Human Being after all

From a distance of about 25 feet between two vehicles it was hard to decide whether her hair was a really bad dye job, or a really crappy wig. Her clothes were earth colored. And she looked scary like a very good Halloween Costume, only it wasn’t. A hesitant little girls voice emanated from where she stood. It was hard to believe it was her voice.

Mister… Mister, can you spare some change? I hate it when this happens. I feel like there is a neon sign above me, announcing to the world this guy is a sucker. Hit ’em up, he is good for some change. I am usually selective about who I give money too, but it always feels like every panhandler in the area closes in on me.

There was a real need in her voice, something I couldn’t quite know for sure, but it was there all the same. I heard a real need in her little girl voice. Sounding as if she really needed money, and was not out panhandling for her next fix.

As I stepped closer I looked at her as if I was looking at her for the first time. What I thought I was looking at was something else. This was a woman who was destroyed by whatever life she had led. I imagined alcohol in massive quantities. I had never seen anyone still breathing look so bad.

Begging is all that’s left

This woman could have been in a horror movie without additional make up. It was a terrible thought that went through my head as I walked closer. I thought, ‘…this woman could never prostitute herself. No man would ever have sex with her. Begging is all she has left. She is so ugly scary looking’.

Her facial skin looked like it was made out of cracked clay. A trip to the beauty salon that was stopped after the facial was applied. The yellow stuff cracked apart as it dried out. It was a sickly shade of yellow. As I walked closer, I could see her hair was real, dyed and thin, looking like it would break off if touched.

Not only was the skin on her face yellow, her hands were also yellow, as were the whites of her eyes. It wasn’t skin die from some job she had once upon a time. Even her pupils were a darker shade of yellow, only a little darker than the rest of her.

I thought her clothes were layered as some homeless people are want to do. From a few feet away I could see what I thought was layered clothing was distended stomach. My God this is was the most jaundiced person I had ever seen who was still walking. For that matter, I never have seen anyone look that bad even in the hospital.

“Can you spare some money? I need a little money.” That jarred me back to reality. It wasn’t a monster, it was a real person, a woman, probably younger than I am. She is real sick, maybe a few days from dying I though. She stepped back slightly, standing in between two packed vehicles.

Horror Film doesn’t pay for actors

If there was ever a horror movie where the main character did not know it was a movie, this was it. We were less than two feet apart, and it took all I could do to not show emotion on my face. She was hideous looking. In that instant, if she had grown claws and fangs, and launched herself at my throat I would not have been surprised. In fact I was prepared for it…too much Walking Dead.

At a loss for words

I could only imagine the hellish life this woman had lived. It took a lot to remind myself she was a human being. I wanted to say, “Get away from me, you look more like something from a horror show than a person!”

Instead I mumbled something about helping her out, and took out my wallet. I gave her some cash, and mumbled again that this money should get her going. My God she was a wreck. It took a lot not ask what the hell she had down to herself, and how many days did she have left before she fell over. I wanted to stare, I wanted to look away, and I wanted to ask.

I fail the screen test

What I heard instead in that trembling child’s voice was, “God bless you”. I could not get my brain and my voice working. Here before me stood this walking nightmare, and maybe that is being generous, giving to me God’s blessing. The best I managed was mumbling, “Thank you.” This was six days ago.

I see in my minds eye, people getting scared and walking, even running away, dragging their children to safety. More people scared than people willing to spare some change. I would like to think otherwise, but we have our limits, and she passed those limits with ease.

Back in the Day

In earlier times, she would have been killed for looking so hideous. Probably killed for being a witch like the young woman, Kepari Leniata in Papua, New Guinea a few weeks back. No one who would want her around. She would have been chased, kicked, and had garbage and fecal matter thrown at her. Today, few are going to help her. She would be a problem at any homeless shelter. No hospital spends money on homeless dying people if they do not have to.

I was thinking about her blessing of me today. Her blessing prompted me to write this out. I gave her some money I did not need, and she gave me something which is beyond value. Whether it was was a practiced phrase of a long time panhandler, or genuine, I will never know. I choose to think it was genuine.

My Prayer for her

Homeless get Bus to Heaven

Dead and Homeless Bussed to Heaven?

These last few days I wonder if I should have done more. We both knew in the moment there was nothing more I could do for her. She is on the last lap of her final race. She runs this lap alone. I offer up what for me passes for prayer – I pray her end is easy and peaceful. She wakes in a better place with people who love her surrounding her. May God bless her.