* “Chaos Overwhelms the Poor”

Yahoo! Voices has released my latest piece:

Chaos Overwhelms the Poor
10/18/2013
“Personal failings” and “an environment that is not conducive to success” so interact that many poor folk come into a state of self-generated, self-perpetuating crisis.  Personal failings can be outgrown, however, and untoward circumstances transcended.

For the moment, this is my definitive expression on the subject.

on air talent, radio talk show, talk show host, the homeless blogger

* Jacob’s ladder 09/28/13

Prayer for myself often takes the form of imagining myself climbing up a ladder out of a pit, the pit being my current circumstances of poverty and homelessness.  Getting out at the top represents a return to the normal life of the American mainstream.  I didn’t start with a ladder in there, but I decided to add one to symbolize the various structures and tools that others have made available to me — and eliminate the possibility of clawing at loose earth.

Here begins a list of “rungs” on the ladder that I’ve become aware I need to “overcome.”  Each one takes effort, exertion, to get over. I will update this list from time to time as I learn of others.

 1. Fear of the unknown.  See From my diary: Learning to pray.
 2. Jealousy of others who seem to be prospering more quickly than I am.  Details here.
 3. Times of despair.  I guess, from time to time, they’ll happen.  Details here.
 4. Incidents of utter selfishness.  Details here.
 5. Moments of unusual hardship and sacrifice. Details here.
 6. Cut loose the losers. Details here.
 7. Smoking.  See posts tagged “Smoking”.

She discovered the opiate receptor

Candace B. Pert, neuroscientist who discovered opiate receptor, dies at 67

The significance of this discovery is not to be underestimated.

I would have supposed it occurred much earlier.  To put things in context, 1973 is the year I graduated high school.  So maybe that’s about right.

This opened the door to study of the whole world of receptors, with many important developments.  Discovery of the serotonin receptors was key to invention of the medicines now most widely prescribed, and most successful, for treatment of depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder.  Discovery of the insulin receptors has wholly changed research into diabetes.

At least from its Amazon page, Everything You Need to Know to Feel Go(o)d seems to deserve attention.

Andy Kessler, Round 1: How to do things backwards

A reader just brought to my attention a recent “controversial article” by Andy Kessler that appeared in the July 8, 2013 Wall Street Journal, suggesting that I might respond to it here.

We’ll see.  Thus there may be a “Round 2.”

One response to Kessler’s editorial: “Andy Kessler, Former Hedge Fund Manager, Says Shelter Volunteers Cause Homelessness”

The big obstacle is that the original is available online only to WSJ subscribers.

Quoting from my e-mail reply to the reader:

Thanks for the lead.  I’ll see what I can do with this. 
 
The most direct help would be if you could use your subscription to get us electronic copies of the text.
 
I could submit comments to [reporting on the article, e.g. at HuffPost] — I did that at NYTimes and got some blog views behind it.  I am wary, however, of responding on my blog to anything other than the original, since responses to the original may misrepresent it.
 
WSJ sort of cooks its own goose as to credibility, handling its site that way:  it comes off as, “Us rich folk can just discuss these things amongst ourselves, thank you very much; we don’t need any dissenting opinions.”
 
I do have a October 17, 2012 post noting a different very rich man who’s taken a far better approach.

 

If you’re not familiar with the October 17, 2012 post, I commend it to your attention now.

 

* Jacob’s ladder 08/14/13

Prayer for myself often takes the form of imagining myself climbing up a ladder out of a pit, the pit being my current circumstances of poverty and homelessness.  Getting out at the top represents a return to the normal life of the American mainstream.  I didn’t start with a ladder in there, but I decided to add one to symbolize the various structures and tools that others have made available to me — and eliminate the possibility of clawing at loose earth.

Here begins a list of “rungs” on the ladder that I’ve become aware I need to “overcome.”  Each one takes effort, exertion, to get over. I will update this list from time to time as I learn of others.

 1. Fear of the unknown.  See From my diary: Learning to pray.
 2. Jealousy of others who seem to be prospering more quickly than I am.  Details here.
 3. Times of despair.  I guess, from time to time, they’ll happen.  Details here.
 4. Incidents of utter selfishness.  Details here.
 5. Moments of unusual hardship and sacrifice. Details here.
 6. Cut loose the losers. Continue reading

Question for “Light”

Below appears a question I intend to submit to “Light.”  It provides a snapshot of this moment in my evolving cosmology.  “Light” may or may not answer.  I invite responses from you who read this blog.

Please critique the following POV.  Please be patient; it’s long.

For some time, I have been pondering God as the All.  If this is so, then God’s own being must comprehend (include) Darkness and evil as well as goodness and Light (Isaiah 45:7).

I understand from Ambrose Worrall that an energy that may be called the life force, or qi, permeates the universe.  In the past I have supposed this to be Light.  Now I question that.
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* Me, me, me.

This has been a very heavy day, and there’s a lot here.  For the moment, at least, I will not try to organize this.

Darkness at times appears to serve Light; destruction, to serve creation.

It is a rude awakening for me to have to revisit the world of infantile self-centeredness, apparently to have to re-learn correctly this time (at age 57!) some things I didn’t learn correctly on the first go-round.

A world where it is correct for me to want things only for “Me, me, me!”
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* Jacob’s ladder 06/26/13

Prayer for myself often takes the form of imagining myself climbing up a ladder out of a pit, the pit being my current circumstances of poverty and homelessness.  Getting out at the top represents a return to the normal life of the American mainstream.  I didn’t start with a ladder in there, but I decided to add one to symbolize the various structures and tools that others have made available to me — and eliminate the possibility of clawing at loose earth.

Here begins a list of “rungs” on the ladder that I’ve become aware I need to “overcome.”  Each one takes effort, exertion, to get over. I will update this list from time to time as I learn of others.

 1. Fear of the unknown.  See From my diary: Learning to pray.
 2. Jealousy of others who seem to be prospering more quickly than I am.  Details here.
 3. Times of despair.  I guess, from time to time, they’ll happen.  Details here.
 4. Incidents of utter selfishness.  Details here.

 5.

Moments of unusual hardship and sacrifice. Wednesday 06/26/13 I met my principal patron, hoping to pick up the second half of my allowance for the week. He could only give me 2/3 of the amount. With two minutes left on my phone, and no more cash expected till next week, I e-mailed a supporter in Texas and invited an early birthday present in the form of his putting minutes on my phone. I had to buy a soda at a corner store to get change for bus fare “home.” At the shelter, having my last smokes before going in, I began to figure.

Certainly I could not buy more than one more pack of smokes — to last four days. For certain, I will wind up using the nicotine gum Pastor worked so hard to help me get last fall. I would have to give up sodas. I might have to give up coffee in the afternoons. I might have to give up coffee in the mornings — and sit outside from 6 am to 10 am with nothing to drink and no access to a bathroom. I might have to stay one night at a different shelter. I might have to walk rather than take the bus to church Sunday.

Enigmatically, when I got inside and sat down on my bunk, I felt cheerful.  The last thing in the world I want is to be on the bus stop Sunday and find myself without bus fare to church.  This minimal amount of self-management, of stewardship, of planning what sacrifices I must make, gave me a degree of power and control over my lot.

on air talent, talk show host, radio talk show, the homeless blogger

To redeem it, you have to go there.

To redeem it, you have to go there.

This is a thread at the Messiah Truth Discussion Forum, where my username is Proteus.

The thread is closed, and I respect the moderators’ reasons for doing so.  But the questions are still so intensely present to me, that I’ve decided to re-open the discussion — here — and invite others’ participation. IOW, your participation. We can do this via Comments. Here, I am the moderator.

If you visit that thread, be forewarned that I catch all kinds of hostility there.

Midway through the thread, UriYosef linked me to this article, which I found highly informative; I’m posting the link now to save you time:

Kelipot and Sitra Achra

* A simple lesson

My normal day runs as follows.  After breakfast at the mission, at 5:45 I head for McDonald’s, where I drink coffee ($1.06) and do my prayer routines.  Around 9:15, I head for the library, stopping at a convenience store en route to buy smokes ($2.75) and a soda ($1.69).  From 10:00 to 2:00 I’m online at the library.  When my time’s up, I go to the Wi-Fi café, write in my diary and have another cup of coffee ($1.00).  Then it’s back to the mission, where I have to pay admission ($3.00).

Sunday mornings, I am normally left with bus fare to church ($1.60) and pennies.  I meet my patrons at church and obtain an allowance for the next week.

Without rehearsing the arithmetic now, as of bedtime last night I had enough cash to cover McDonald’s, the afternoon coffee, rent for tonight, and bus fare for tomorrow.  I have about $3 left on my debit card, and could use that to buy smokes.  I would have to go without a soda today completely.  Things are already looking skinny for next week, as I know one of my patrons will be out of town tomorrow, and I need to pick up a prescription ($2.50).

When I got to the convenience store, the EFT system was down, so I could not use my card.  The clerk offered to let me take a pack of smokes today and pay tomorrow.  I took it.  As I walked away, it occurred to me that I could probably stop in at Fresh & Greens and buy a soda there using my debit card.
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