How Are These Unlivable “Living Conditions” Allowed To Persist?

Continued to be appalled at the unlivable “living conditions” of the homeless in the Capital. 


Makeshift tents line up and down under the train tracks to Union Station. 


Spikes overhead make this an extra frightening looking arrangement. 


People walking by and to/from work–after a while, is there a mixture of acceptance and indifference?


It’s freezing outside and this is NO WAY for any human being to have to live. 


Can we put partisan politics aside for any period of time to deal with the very harsh problems facing real people?  😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Roosters or Homelessness?

So I had to drive into downtown Washington D.C. 


Along the way, I saw this colorful artistic rooster. 


I appreciate this quick pick-me-up from this. 


Yet, all around the streets were homeless people. 


One was literally collapsed on a narrow island between the opposing lanes of traffic.


Some horrible-looking food, rags of clothes, and two bottles of liquor lay next to him and one of his arm hang almost into the moving traffic. 


This was just one of many that I saw in abject poverty and desperation. 


So I really feel conflicted looking at this colorful rooster. 


What good is it when the people are homeless, sick, and starving? 😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Monument To The Homeless

I really had to take a second look at this. 


From a distance, it looked like another homeless person sleeping on the bench in Washington., D.C. 


But as I got closer, I realized this was a statue of a homeless person.


And the only thing real about it was the empty cup of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee next to it. 


Honestly, I am not sure what the point of this statue is. 


There are enough REAL homeless people to remind us of their serious plight and the critical need to help them. 


The money that went into creating this monument would’ve been far better spent on helping these real people in need. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Trends In Homelessness

So the plight of the homeless in Washington, DC and other large cities like NY and LA is despicable. 


This photo is taken not far from the Capitol building in DC. 


The homeless are not living in tents in the dead of Winter. 


As the people pass by, under this particular overpass were no less than 4 tents. 


While millionaires and billionaires splurge on themselves, so many people continue to go without adequate food, shelter, clothing, plumbing, healthcare, education, and jobs in America. 


When G-d looks down and see the unsympathetic wealthy next to the downtrodden poor–and many of the wealthy act like insatiable pigs, while the poor go hungry and cold–shall the L-rd that judges all the earth not do justly?  


Yes, there should be incentives for people to work hard and contribute, but when the wealth is skewed so that more than 50% of all the wealth is owned by just the top 1% of people and the top 1% own more than the bottom 90% of the population–we have a system that is not just broken, but grossly unjust and inhumane. 


Corruption is alive and well, and who is there among our leaders to stand up and say and do what is right by G-d children? 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Some Reflections From The Procedure

So I had a little procedure this week. 


I hate going to the hospital–who doesn’t?


But I figured better to take care of something before it gets worse. 


I think of it like taking the car into the mechanic for a tuneup every once in a while. 


This analogy stuck with me years ago, when the orthopedist told me I needed to get a hip replacement and started to describe it as having a flat tire that needed to be repaired. 


Leading up the the procedure, someone sent me this funny cartoon:

This really hit a nerve too because even the best medicine these days reminds me of the truly horrible medicine not so long ago.  


Ah, have some liquor, bite on this piece of wood, and now we’ll saw your leg off!


I remember my father never even liked to go to the doctor, and he had total faith that G-d was his doctor–I think he actually managed to avoid the doctor for literally something like 30-years.


He also used to joke that many doctors were butchers, and he didn’t want to get caught under their knife. 


So that’s certainly some apprehension going in to this. 


The other thing that was interesting-sad that I saw this week when I went for an MRI was someone taking a homeless person into the radiology center for a scan. 


But when the lady asked for insurance the person didn’t have any, so the lady asks for “proof of homelessness.”


I was flabbergasted at this as the guy was obviously homeless and literally was wearing tattered clothes.


They wouldn’t do the scan until the person escorting him would come back with this proof.  


I felt so bad for him and thought to myself is this what the healthcare system and care for the poverty-striken in this country has come to? 


While I am so truly grateful for the miraculous care that I received this week, I am equally saddened at the care that others don’t get that need it, and pray that we as a “caring society” will do better. 


Anyway, I want to express my gratitude to the doctor, the hospital, my wonderful family who stood by me, and most of all to G-d for seeing me through the procedure this week and for watching over me always. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Nimbyism By All

So I learned a new word this week:


Nimby, which stands for:


Not 

I

M

Back

Yard


It refers to people who object to and don’t want something unpleasant or dangerous in their neighborhood. 


Prisons

Homeless Shelters

Garbage Dumps

Radioactive Waste Sites

Oil and Gas Pipelines

Noisy Railroads

Polluting Factories

Adult Entertainment

etc. 


Yes, society as a whole apparently wants or needs these things, but the individuals just want to see it someplace (anyplace) else. 


People want the benefits, but don’t want the costs and risks associated with these things near them. 


The problem is when everyone feels this way then you are left either choosing somewhere despite the nimbyism protests or you have to locate them in remote places that are not always functional, fair or efficient for society. 


Perhaps this is where incentives or compensation comes in for people to get in order to “put up” with the placement of things in their backyard that they rather not have there. 


Is that what it means that nimbyism aside, “everyone has their price”?


(Source Photo: here with attribution to creative2/usa)