36 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 4-11-19

  1. I don’t know why, but that header photo was the first of my Flickr photos to get over 200 views (I know, by social media standards that’s nothing). It’s an interesting concept, turtles so eager to get sun that they are actually climbing on top of each other. But turtles jump off that log as soon as they see a person, and so I rarely have the luxury of taking my time to compose a photo there, and that is anything but a technically perfect photo. Most are looking away and the photo is slightly out of focus.

    Anyway, I had 150 views of that photo before I had my first follower or had joined my first group, so it is a popular one. And since it’s funny, I’ll take it.

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  2. I was anonymous. It is hard to remember all you have to do to comment on here. I think I need to go to my blog and change the email that it is linked to. That account no longer exists.
    Morning, Chas.

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  3. Only one more entity to pay — the IRS, which will be done tomorrow. Whew. Paid the homeowners’ insurance last night. A whole lotta money flew out the door in the past few months, but I finally can see the light at the end of the tunnel (unless that’s a train carrying more car and house repairs).

    I’m getting a refund from the state, thankfully, which I see (after checking the status online) is currently being processed after being e-filed on the 9th — meaning that could hit my bank account via direct deposit in a week or so.

    I’m off today to interview the director of our local homeless mission (Christian run). I’m not sure if there is a story out of this or if it will be part of something bigger, with some other interviews, but I’m curious to get his take on the city’s approach of building housing as the primary means of solving the problem. No one has a softer heart than he does for the homeless, but is the city’s approach going to “work”?

    Our local encampment — all around the historic post office overlooking the harbor — has never looked larger, messier and just overall worse from my point of view. It really is shocking when you drive by, tents and garbage covering the sidewalks and portions of the street for most of a 3-block area now. Inhabitants, many of them young guys, have been seen (and photographed) openly doing drugs. Some have bikes that they ride through town. One guy even had a surf board sitting out near his tent a year or two ago.

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  4. That is sad, DJ, not just for the those who have to look and go around those blocks, but for those left to live in such squalor and continue on in such sad lives.

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  5. That it is, kathaleena. Many theories floating around as to what has caused the situation to balloon nationwide in recent years. Part of it locally, according to police, is a proposition we voters passed a few years back that cut many of the lesser offenders (drugs mostly) loose from the jails. The thinking was that treatment was what they needed but, again, that relies on the individuals being willing to at least cooperate to receive that treatment on the outside.

    Apparently the police showed up at the local encampment this morning possibly to make a few arrests. There is a definite criminal element among the encampment crowd (guns have been found in some encampments); they’re often people who run the streets selling drugs and stealing, and that is what causes the most consternation in communities. No, they don’t ‘want help,’ they’re living a lawless lifestyle and it works for them, for now.

    The law says the tents must come down at 6 a.m. but … that’s not enforceable for many reasons. LAPD already has reached the end of its OT allowances due to having to provide extra policing for the homeless near the city’s temporary shelters that are going up (part of the appeal for communities is that extra patrolling comes with these shelters). And until LA has a comparable number of beds to house these people, they are free to sleep and live on the streets, thanks to a number of lawsuits that have been filed on behalf of the homeless.

    People who are homeless due strictly to financial setbacks are typically eager to get out of their situation and often can find housing and help with the social workers who conduct regular outreach efforts.

    This was posted on the political thread a week or more ago, but it’s been making the rounds and prompting some of the more recent discussion on how to maybe better approach all of this.

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  6. Since Christmas has a lot of carols people love and post here, I think I’ll post hymns concerning the Death and Resurrection, since those are much more important to a Christian than the birth of Christ. If he hadn’t died in our place there would be no remission of sin. If he hadn’t raised form the dead there would be no hope of eternal life for us.

    The first is from a poem attributed to Ber­nard of Clair­vaux and translated by Paul Ger­hardt. This is performed by Fernando Ortega.

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  7. DJ, we incorporated that Seattle Dying into school this morning for the eleven and twelve year olds. We have discussed the drug problem and the homeless problem many times. That gave a face to it. Many thoughtful comments from them about it. Thanks.

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  8. An important part of a young man’s training should be a a trip down to skid row. That’s the inevitable end to drugs.

    A guy from U.S. Carolina came and took my Lunar maps and paraphernalia. He seemed glad to get it and I was glad to see him take. it. We talked about it quite a while. She hinted that he would like me to come down and give a lecture about it.
    I don’t know about that. Going anywhere is a major project for me now.
    As I said before, this was rescued from the burn center. There may not be anything like this anywhere else.

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  9. DJ – Last night you mentioned the pastor who was telling you of his delight in Christmas. That reminded me of my former pastor at my former church. He loved Christmastime, especially the lights. He would drive around some nights to look at the lights people had on their homes, and he likened it to Jesus being the Light of the world.

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  10. There was something a friend shared on Facebook a few days ago that had me pondering. It was about what “true love” is.

    It asked how one would respond to this scenario: If you came home and found a letter (or email) from the love of your life (for this, we will assume the couple is engaged but not married yet) telling you that he/she was very sorry, but he/she had found his/her true love in someone else. They were very happy with each other, and were going off to be married.

    Then the post said that if you could be happy for them, then you truly loved that person, but if you felt angry or hurt, then your love was merely selfish.

    I get the point of it, but it seems that it is asking a lot of a person. ISTM that it is natural to feel angry or hurt at a thing like that, and the being happy for the person would come later.

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  11. i spent 2 hours with the mission director this morning — we’d talked at length before, maybe 2-3 years ago. Before retiring, he patrolled skid row in downtown as an LAPD cop and now manages the Christian mission on the waterfront that’s been around for 100 years (our pastor preaches there monthly, as do two dozen other pastors from churches around the region). It was a good visit, we spent much of our time in the alley encampment behind the mission where the city was conducting one of its regular cleanups. He stopped and chatted with folks, knew most of them by name, many had been in the mission’s program but had fallen away — they’re always welcome back if they can show they’re serious, he told me. I’m not sure I have an immediate use for the material, but I will put it to use in the course of our coverage which will increase in the next few months as the city’s temporary shelters come online. Always good to get out in the field, too, especially now from our cubbies. 🙂

    He’s a really sweet guy. “I’ve been working with the homeless since 1976,” he said. “I was a cop on skid row for 10 years, that’s where I feel in love with them. But I see the problems that come with them (for communities).”

    Saw an online LAPD note after that saying several arrests were made this morning at the other encampment that’s in my hometown. After an investigation, they descended this morning and arrested 8 folks on drug use and sales charges.

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  12. DJ – Do you get World magazine? They have had a series, over a period of time, on homelessness in various California cities, including LA. The articles have all been very good, looking at various aspects of homelessness, and the different solutions that are promoted or tried by different groups or city governments.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Peter–thanks for posting the hymn. I have been craving that hymn. It exasperates me to not hear it during our Lenten services. We always seem to do the same old, same old and it is not the same old from other churches I have been in.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Peter, I love O Sacred Head. Post away – I usually post a few hymns during the Good Friday/Easter season here, on my blog (which I have not had time for lately) and on FB.

    I would just point out that if Christ had not been incarnated and been born, he could not have died and risen again. Neither event is more important than the other. They all had to happen for our salvation to take place. This is not a case of Christmas vs. Easter.

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  15. I saw that tweeted by her earlier and wanted to read it. One of her close friends was one of our interns a few years ago, so I always notice her pieces

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  16. On why the homeless population is burgeoning, there is a very simple, obvious answer – the ridiculous cost of housing. It is bad across the continent, but the West Coast is even worse. There are trailer parked illegally in spaces around Vancouver, British Columbia that are inhabited by people who are working good jobs but cannot find a place to live. When rent and housing prices goes through the roof, even a good job may not be enough to pay for housing, if housing is even available. Vancouver is attempting to deal with one contributing factor – that of Asian investors buying up housing, thus raising the prices. Toronto still needs to come to grips with the problem, as housing just keeps going up in price. Municipalities are double-minded when it comes to housing prices, because more valuable properties means more tax value.

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  17. Cost of housing is certainly part of it, but the answer to the rise in homelessness is hardly simple, I’d say. Again, it always depends on which group of homeless one is addressing.

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  18. There is a group which, because they either refuse to or cannot obey the rules of society, will always be homeless But a housing market that forces people with well paying jobs to fill the spaces that those who have only subsistence earning would normally fill, so that those on subsistence must resort to housing normally filled by those who require social support, and so on down through the levels of society, is going to contribute to the homelessness of every group, with the most impact being felt on the bottom layer. Those who in a slow housing market only have tenous housing will be completely unable to find housing in a hot market.

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  19. According to the story on Seattle enough things are in place for people who want housing, to get housing. And they willingly accept the help. The challenge is to find them and get them help before they become victims and then addicted. According to the feet on the ground, almost everybody there is there because of drugs. And in my experience with drugs, people lose the ability to keep a job and therefore the ability to pay the rent, or they prefer the money go to drugs so live off of friends until friends are done and then they hit the streets. The question becomes: do we let people just live off of the public resources, with no respect of the public.

    A lot of it is mental health as well. People, like my daughter, end up on the streets where unscrupulous people get them addicted so they can take further advantage of them.

    Leaving people on the streets where others can and will take advantage of them is not helpful. Which is why we have so many organizations trying to help. Again, do we let those who refuse help, trash everything.

    As to the housing issue, it is possible to move but a lot of people won’t. Friends, family, etc are a bigger draw then a job that will pay the rent in a smaller community. There are many jobs available, but people have been told they can do entry level jobs for fifteen dollars an hour, but that is not what the employers can afford, so they close. And the employees won’t go for a lower paying job in a less expensive area

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  20. The people with good paying jobs in Vancouver who cannot find a place to live often have moved out there for the job. It was the same in Alberta during the oil boom – there were more jobs than there were houses. Then, when construction started to catch up with the jobs, the oil prices suddenly tanked, leaving people with mortgages for new homes and without jobs.

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  21. I literally could no longer afford to rent an apartment anywhere in our region. Last time I rented I paid maybe $800-$900 for a one-bedroom and that felt exorbitant to me.

    The LA Times ran a story yesterday on the town I grew up in (not far from where Hussle was killed, by the way). They’re building the new Rams stadium there — great news, except now rents are shooting way up.

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  22. Well, of course. People have always moved to the city for a better job. And that can work if housing is available. But often, it is not. A lot of people from around here are going to “blow this crazy joint” and move to where the big bucks are. But often, as they start having children, they realize there is a lot to be said for knowing your neighbor, and they move back. The jobs are available. The housing is available. People have to stop believing the lie that they “need” fifteen or twenty an hour. They actually need to live where they can afford to live.

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  23. Kevin – I took the test tonight as I wasn’t near a computer the last two nights. I think I did okay, maybe 35 to 40 correct out of 50. I thought of a few answers too late, so I don’t think they’ll accept “mada” for Madagascar. Oh, well.

    How about the current champion and his $110,000+ total the other day? The guy is good. A little smug, but low key.

    Liked by 1 person

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