“Sign of the Times”

imagesThe other day I was at Lowe’s putting my purchases into the back of my van when I was approached by a man of approximately my own age who walked over and asked me for some money. Now he didn’t simply ask or tell me to “help a brother out,” “I’m out of work,” I’m a Vet,” or “I need to get a bite to eat,” no he came up and flat out asked me for a couple of dollars, no explanation, just “can you spare a couple of bucks?”

Without hesitation  I lied and told him I had no money. He looked at me suspiciously and glanced at the bags in the back of the van. I knew he was probably thinking, “Yeah then how’d you buy that stuff?” so I quickly said, “Sorry but I paid with a credit card.” Actually that wasn’t a lie, I had paid with a credit card. Without so much as a word he walked away and approached another car that had just pulled into the parking lot. Hey, I’ve been known to give money to street people once in a while, this just wasn’t one of those time. I watched as the two woman who exited the car listened to him a moment then reached into their purses and gave him money. I wondered what story he had told them, must have been a good one.

downloadHave you noticed the growing number of these people on the streets? Now don’t take that the wrong way, I don’t mean “these people” in a derogatory manner. I simply mean people who are out there every day asking for money. They’re everywhere, freeway off ramps seem to be very popular, sometimes there’s more than one person on a ramp. You get off the freeway in some areas and are greeted by, “Will work for food.” “Unemployed Vet” “Homeless” “Hungry” and a host of others signs. My all time favorite which I saw several years ago read, “Why lie – I need a beer.” See, there are some honest homeless people out there. I once read about a driver who carried his own sign and would hold it up to the window whenever he saw one of these vagabonds by the side of the road. It simply said “GET A JOB!”

Today’s economic woes has these unfortunates out in droves. They are everywhere and there are some who are truly needy, who have lost their job, homes or are victims of some other crisis, but there are also some who are  are so busy getting free hand-outs that they don’t need to work or even want to. I remember a special three or four part report the Los Angeles Times did several years ago about the growing number of people asking for money on the streets. I was shocked to learn that some of these loafers made quite a good living out of it. There was one older gentleman in West LA I believe, who they focused on in one of the reports. It seems he spent six to eight hours a day working a busy intersection asking for handouts, then around 4:30 he’d walk several blocks away to where he had his Mercedes stashed and drove off to his home. Another days work complete. This con man sometimes made $400- $500 a day! Can you believe that?

sign_p6jpg-480x384-300x240Now I don’t recall this bums circumstance, but I know he wasn’t homeless or out of work, in fact if I remember correctly he was retired and was just supplementing his pension. So if it worked for him, how many others are out there working this scam. You know he’s not the only one. Yeah, it is these few swindlers who cast a shadow of doubt on the plight of  the truly homeless, jobless, ailing Vets and others who are barely making it from day to day and have families to feed and care for? We no longer have to look to foreign countries to find poor and starving children. It’s happening right here in the good old USA! People are freakin’ starving and dying in the streets. it may not be as bad as some third world nations, but it’s bad enough.

I can’t understand what the hell has happened to America. I know this is not the America envisioned by our forefathers. Something has to change and soon! Perhaps the mega bucks we are spending on space travel, foreign aid and the maintenance of our war machine and would be better spent here at home taking care of our own. How in God’s name can our nation be out there helping others when we can’t even help ourselves? Is this what our presidents of the last twenty years signed on for? Is this the legacy Obama wants to leave behind? I don’t think so, but the political machine has grown to big and is spiraling out of control. Politicians no longer represent all of the people, but only a chosen few. They have no concept of what bipartisanship really means.  Our leaders long for a bipartisan relationship with other countries but can’t even attain it within our own country. go figure.

I’m sorry Barack, but the concept of the “Obama Nation” has failed! It is certainly not your fault alone. The blame is shared by members of Congress. It’s really a shame Mr. president, but the “Obama Nation is an Abomination.”

Just Saying,

JS

 

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