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So many people fall upon hard times. We all feel bad for those who fall upon hard times due to circumstances beyond their control. I do, anyway. As a recovering alcoholic, I understand hard times.

Our economy has leant itself nicely to the downfall of many. Homes have been lost due to jobs having been lost. Companies have folded due to the importation of foreign goods en masse, as well as greed from the top and overall mismanagement. Many companies don’t know how to manage operations in hard times. Rather, they can only cope with good times when business just happens without challenge or serious hardship. Too often, those companies will fold rather than reassess their management strategy, and those closings can toss entire communities into a well of endless misery.

Sadly, many people turn to the streets for help. This is a problem for me. This country has services available. Pride is no reason not to avail oneself of those services. There’s more pride in feeding your family than there is in giving up.

Very often I think that we actually have too many such services. They tend to take the will to survive away, generating a system oriented culture that breeds entitlement and a REAL lack of pride. It’s important for people to actually pick themselves up, dust themselves off and move on. Sitting idle until the next check comes in from the government is not healthy, emotionally or societally. Someone, afterall, has to pay for all of these services.

Certain, perhaps many, people think that we don’t do enough to help those in need. The feeling that the supply should be endless is pervasive among the liberal wings of our society. I’ve always found it very odd, though, that those very same people are the ones that seem most willing to personally snub someone who is in lesser financial comfort. The hypocracy of the liberals is really quite abhorrent. The want more and more provisions made for the very people that they seem to so strongly care about, yet when it comes to putting their money where their mouths are, they cringe as though hit by the smell of a ten-day dead body. For those people I can only offer my deepest disgust. I cannot offer my respect.

Narcissism plays a huge role in how the liberals act. Outwardly they want to be the nice guys, the societal heroes. Inwardly their noveau riche hatred of those oppressed is indeed indicative of their true selves. The famous are the most classic examples of this ilk. I truly wonder how much Bono has actually extracted from his wallet. Putting on a concert, with all expenses paid out of the gate of course, costs him nothing. Putting on a big show with Obama costs him nothing. But, he keeps his name in lights. Michael Jackson was another one, along with Elizabeth Taylor, Susan Sarrandon, Tim Robbins, Sting, Bob Geldoff, Oprah. The list goes on ad infinitum. Assholes, every one. Narcissistic hypocrites.

We now also have myriad street beggars. This sect is yet another phenomenon. Using their I-Phones and Laptops, they sit on the sidewalk and harass people for money. They claim they can’t feed themselves, their families or their pets. In fact, a common new ploy is to secure a pet to aid in the sympathy factor. Interestingly if you actually offer them a bite to eat, they turn it down. They’re already well fed via the Salvation Army or any one of a host of other free meal establishments. They want money. Cold, hard drug and booze cash. Yet, they have the I-Phone and the Laptop. I don’t have these things, and I work full time.

Sitting across from my shop right now is the apparent ring leader of all the street beggars here in Burlington, Vermont. A red-haired, slovenly bum who is, today anyway, holding a sign that says she’s pregneant and that anything will help. She’s not doing a damned thing to help herself, though. She’s leaning back against her rock and reading the newspaper. We have day labor organizations here. She could, at this very second, be doing a days work and earning the money she alleges to need for her “new family”. UhUh. Sitting there, ass sticking to the sidewalk and probably scaring 20% of the people away from going into the shop she’s actually in front of. This is legal. She cannot be moved, as it’s her constitutional right in Burlington to be there. It’s also her constitutional right to work for a change.

A week or so ago, a fellow approached me as though I were a magnet, looking for a cigarette. And it’s true, the second I’m seen lighting a cigarette in public I am a target; a major target. This guy actually pulled a pair of scissors out of his pocket as he asked for the cigarette. Shocked, I gave him one. Next time, the scissors go straight up his ass, with probably a  little more force than actually necessary. I’ve since seen that same fellow LYING ON THE FLOOR at Borders Books, not just reading a magazine but destroying it in the process. People had to step over or around him, and he could not have cared less. HE WAS ENTITLED to be there. Perhaps it was a spasm, but I kicked him. He said nothing, because the glare he was getting off of me was enough to freeze fire. He actually gathered the gumption to roll somewhat out of the way, which then sent forth an odor that I’d have really rather not experienced .. but at least he got out of everyone’s way. Borders, of course, had to toss the magazine and take the hit.

So, hard times? Sure, it happens and we all get it. But DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!! In speaking with my dearest friend yesterday, he said “it’s fundamentally wrong to give these people anything”. He’s right. Times are only as hard as you let them become.


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