This was in my email today. I’ve seen it many times before and am quite positive it originated in one of those pre-email inter-office faxes that used to drive our bosses over the edge, especially when the fax machine was out of paper, the back-up supplies were nowhere to be found and we would all be standing around with heads hung hoping he wouldn’t notice the Clinton cartoon still in the tray.

How any of those old jokes have found their way into today’s technology is beyond me. I’m sure it involves people with too much time on their hands, dusty crates in the attic and a broom.

So today, when reading this cutesy… well here have a read for yourself: 

close-but-no-cigar

 And when was this written do you think? The tasks described in the e-joke look like a full days work to me. That token $50 would barely pay for a meal and a bath. So again the phrase which dominates my thoughts is close but no cigar.

But the sentiment is alive and well and living in the Republican Party, nurtured by Mother Sarah and repeated by her horde: All the homeless are on the street by choice – they can each go home and stop being a bother any time they want.

Bollox. The homeless have evolved in and because of our culture. We did this with our promises of prosperity and entitlements and a social security system that would be there for us all if we just contributed evey week while we worked… So first we cause people to become homeless, then we ignore them, then we ridicule them, then we blame them for being homeless.

It all rather smells of the bully who first knocks you to the ground, then places a foot over your face and then scolds you for daring to say it hurts.

We show the world how smart we are by producing televisions and computers, video games and fast cars and let everyone think that just by owning a credit card we can all have it all. Then reality sets in and some of us struggle more than the rest and rather than try to work out how to make good on the promises made by western democracy, we find it easier to walk on the other side of the street.

The reasons for being homeless are as many and as varied as their numbers:

*Sudden illness which wipes out savings and incurs insurmountable debt.
*Sudden loss of a partner whose income we depended upon for basic survival.
*An unfortunate accident rendering us immobile and dependent upon a broken social security system which can’t support us.
*Having the company for whom you worked twenty years suddenly close it’s doors, taking your medical insurance and pension with it
*Losing your job at age 45 and discovering no one wants to hire a 45 year old
* Mental incapacity
*Physical incapacity
*Old age

 There are more. Stacks more. But my point is, not eveyone who sleeps in a cardboard shelter wants’ to be there. And the Republican chant of just go get a job doesn’t even come close to offering a solution.

The very banking system George W. Bush and now President Obama and Prime Minister Rudd have sought to bail out of financial ruin have a huge hand in the growing number of homeless in our two nations. Homes and jobs have been retched from people who had been taking care of themselves. Medical costs are another amongst the culprits as people try desperately to pay for outrageously over-priced surgeries, therapies and medications which can only be paid for by second mortgages and exorbitant bank loans.

Are there blodgers amongst them? Of course there are. But the Republicans would rather abandon the mother of three who lost her husband to cancer and her home to his medical bills, than dream of paying one cent to someone else who might be undeserving, and I just think that’s bass-ackwards.

It’s also less than humane.

For Sarah and her Republican cohorts to hold the homeless up to an unrealistic standard is simply preposterous.

Want the homeless to stand up and take care of themselves?

Easy. Take your boots off their faces.

 

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