A challenge to George Christie, Part II
Predictably, your response to our challenge was a lengthy dissertation or, to quote Shakespeare, “much ado about nothing” on why you won’t take a lie detector test. The net result is the same. You have declined to take the test. This is not a challenge from Sonny Barger. This is from the Dago, SoCal, Ventura and SFV charters in California and the Nomads in Washington. We are hereby offering you double the original $2,000, to $4,000 in cash or cashier’s check or money order, which you can donate to any charitable cause or keep for your family. We simply challenge you to take a three-part polygraph test administered by reputable third parties who are professionals in this specialized field. You don’t even have to pass it. Just take it. Any reasonable person would conclude that, if you are telling the truth in your book and on the History Channel, you will gladly accept the challenge and the money. Here is your chance to extinguish all reasonable doubt, of which there is an abundance. What could be easier? You can reply publicly in your blog as you did before, or privately to firstname.lastname@example.org.
WIlliam Gunner Wolf
Homeless or vagrant?
Our Ventura city leaders have been trying to deal with the “homeless problem” for many years now with compassion and sympathy. It is hard to argue with that approach to considering someone else’s problems.
Many of us feel deep pity for those on the fringe of society that are less fortunate than ourselves. Oftentimes while stopped at a traffic light, many of us reach out and give a dollar or two, because it just makes us feel good to think we are really helping someone.
But how would you feel if instead of food or shelter, that dollar were used pay for drugs, alcohol, weapons or prostitution, and ultimately perpetuate the vicious cycle?
What “sympathy donors” are unknowingly or blindly doing is giving our sympathy and sometimes our money, to a subgroup of the homeless population that lacks respect for the laws which you and I live by, and has repeatedly chosen the path of a criminal lifestyle.
Putting aside the debate on the reasons for the homeless issue in our community, I hope that we Venturans can all agree that crime is bad for our city, our economy, our neighborhoods and our children.
In a recent conversation with Ventura Police Chief Ken Corney, he shared an estimate that approximately 25 percent of the calls in which the police department responds to are to deal with criminal activity perpetrated by criminal vagrants.
But it’s not just the police department responding to these calls. More often than not, the Fire Department and other first responders must head to these calls as well. This is an incredibly unsustainable drain on our vital city services, services that are already stretched thin and close to the breaking point.
What is worse and even far more shocking than the 25 percent figure, is that these crimes are largely being committed by a subset of the homeless population, defined as “chronically homeless.” According to the Ventura County 2015 Homeless Count and Subpopulation Survey, there are only 134 chronically homeless individuals in the City of Ventura.
These criminal vagrants make up just 0.1 percent of Ventura’s population, but they are taking at least 25 percent of the emergency services, and so much more away from the rest of us, the 99.9 percent.
Now how would you feel if our City Council supported a sales tax increase that could be used to pay for these criminal vagrants to be housed in “wet house” public housing at our expense? Wet houses have no restrictions on drug or alcohol use, enabling the vagrants/transients to continue to lead a criminal lifestyle.
Wet houses sound a lot like rolling down the window at a stoplight and handing a vagrant a couple of dollars so we can feel good about it. We are not holding them and, more importantly, ourselves, accountable, when they spend it on something that will ultimately perpetuate the harm they are doing to themselves, to others and to our community.
What does quality of life mean to you? Visit QOL-Ventura.org to help improve the quality of life for all the citizens of Ventura and ensure that our city leadership cares equally about all of its residents, including the 99.9 percent who are not vagrants.
Jeremy B. Heidrick
Give Jill Stein a chance
Most people supporting Hillary Clinton for president are doing so not because they like her but because they’re scared to death of Donald Trump.
What a choice: crazy, unstable Trump, or militarist, corporatist Hillary. Either one is a bleak prospect that will help create a non-future for young people. If voters will support Jill Stein of the Green Party, at least temporarily, and spread the word, they can return to Hillary if Jill doesn’t get high enough in the polls. But if she gets up to 15 percent she’ll be allowed in the debates, and that will change everything. Why not give Jill a chance? The corporate media and big money won’t help. Change has to come from the people. To those who say third parties can’t win, consider how the Republican Party got started, as a small abolitionist party. Jill could really take off, just like Bernie did. He proved the grassroots and small donations can do amazing things.
Jill has an inspiring vision. She wants to restore the middle class, protect our environment and have justice for all. Voters need to embrace leaders who will help heal this troubled world. It’s time to give up on corporate politicians who represent the wealthy and support grassroots efforts instead. We can be brave for now and support Jill, remembering the words often attributed to Goethe: “Are you in earnest, seize this very minute, boldness has genius, magic, and power in it…”
My Homeless Life
Outrage is the voice given to injustice. You can quote me because no one will silence me. I should have written five and a half years ago when I first became homeless, but I kept thinking my circumstances were temporary. I did not know the blatant exploitation that would insidiously become my everyday experience.
In your V.C. Reporter (Letters, 8/8/16) “Homeless Oxnard” stated: “There should be no person alive that must be homeless unless that is their choice.” Words of wisdom we should all learn to “walk the walk,” not merely “talk the talk.” But here in Ventura County, the authentically homeless do not survive and thrive in the land of Oz, mainly because courage, conscience (integrity) and compassion (humanity) are elusive if not entirely nonexistent. I am not “hidden in plain sight.” . . . I am not hidden at all. You look at me but cannot see. You say you are listening, but you do not hear. You attempt to touch me without respecting my boundaries. You judge me without comprehending my journey. You are those in positions of power and privilege who are not genuinely concerned or affected by the plight of the homeless. Instead, you utilize valuable resources to advocate for the plight of the homeless . . . as far away from you as possible.
My story of becoming homeless is most likely one you have never even considered. If John Grisham read my “script,” he would surely title it Impunity. The difference is that my story is nonfiction. It is based not only on human trafficking but white-collar human trafficking. It is an account of the purposeful exploitation of a human being by persons whose very paycheck relies on keeping their target alive while pathetically attempting to transform them into a victim versus a survivor. It is based on abuse, violation, manipulation, deception and each and every form of exploitation imaginable, even those you could never even imagine. Any first-year law student would identify this as prolific profiling, discrimination, harassment, abuse, violation and bullying. Most homeless, the authentic homeless, have no car (or an old one at best) and do not have the financial resources to obtain any attorney, let alone a civil rights attorney. So, these professional human traffickers on a payroll not only continue but escalate “the hurt.” (John Walsh) Their specific brand of ignorance and inhumanity only fuels their belief of Impunity.
Haven’t you ever questioned how a disabled Social Security recipient or a homeless person could ever afford to stay the maximum 28 days at a local motel at a projected cost of nearly $1,800-2,000? Haven’t you ever wondered how they do this for months on end and why they didn’t just rent a room or an apartment? Haven’t you ever wondered how they can afford to eat $8 deli sandwiches, order takeout or have their peeps round them up at night for a car ride back to wherever they call “home”? Haven’t you ever noticed their cardboard signs seeking food or work only to discover what they see is $$$? Haven’t you ever seen their newest iPhones or iPads or the very latest in technology? (My $10 Go Phone was even stolen by one of these imposters.) Haven’t you ever noticed the drama, deceit and duplicity that follow the un-homeless wherever they go? Are you selectively blind and choose what you see and how you compartmentalize to ease your subconscious while you look in the mirror? Would you even recognize truth if it kicked you in your face? History proves the answer.
So now listen and learn what it feels like to be trafficked on a daily basis. But to do so, you must remove your head buried in the sand. If I can survive five and a half years of homelessness, certainly you can lift up your head to get your own personalized reality check. Have you ever wondered what transpires in those daily changing, overnight “winter shelters”? It is simpler than you can imagine. It’s more exploitation by the un-homeless (aka peeps on a payroll) who eat all the free food they can eat, who sleep on cots or pads and watch an occasional movie! It’s the male peeps in one section and the female peeps (the un-homeless) sleeping right along with the authentically homeless, exploiting, triangulating, deceiving and really “working it.” It’s a sick and twisted “game” shared by the affected churches, synagogues, sponsors, volunteers to continue this cycle of homelessness. Would it even shock you to know that I was in ICU for four days then carted off to one of these community shelters? This insidious diversion only to end when spring arrives. From the outside it mistakenly appears altruistic but from the inside it deals a death by a thousand cuts because the authentic homeless quickly learn that there truly is no safe place, whether on the street or inside a covered structure. So now perhaps you won’t wonder why I would rather be dead than return to yet again another peep and predator slumber party. Cowards and cannibals.
Have you ever considered why the authentically homeless only go to a “religious” 30-day or 60-day shelter one time before they quickly learn it is just an extended version of the overnight shelter? First, the word of God after breakfast, leave for eight hours, and return to be exploited by your new and numerous “roomies.” No television except supervised movies, no news or newspapers and “med” checks and relinquishment as if all were drug addicts and alcoholics. Where children even babies were allowed, the mothers actively not only exploited me but used their children to effectuate the exploitation. A real two-fer for peeps and predators. One is given the option to return after being “out” for 30 days. Seriously? If I want to be in prison, it will only be because I committed a crime, not because it was a conscious choice.
And have you heard about N(ONE) STOP? It is a group of “services” under one roof seemingly designed for miscommunication between each individual entity. So why not waste the time of someone without a car and send them on numerous wild-goose chases instead of investigating whether or not the agency actually exists or whether it can assist the homeless in an efficient and ethical way. Except for all the free pastries (they don’t get donations of anything nutritious), why would anyone keep returning? This is not rocket science or neurosurgery. Give the authentically homeless a safe and secure place to sleep and some valuable nutrition and watch homelessness dwindle then vanish from Ventura County. The question remains: Will you choose to be a solution to the reality of being homeless or will you continue to bury your head in the sand and do nothing? New York City has a slogan: “If you see something, say something.” This is my “something.”
Speaking of safe and secure paces for the homeless to sleep on the street, there are few. I existed out of my old car for three-plus years only to have it not so mysteriously and permanently die. But the bad news: It would cost $2,000 to repair and replace the engine. If I had $2,000 I would not be homeless. Hello. So this manipulating mechanic was more than happy to take it off my hands. How convenient for him to repair it for no cost to his sister who would use it to attend college. So, without a car, I was left to the opportunistic Craig’s list and a few local newspapers. I ended up renting a room for several months from a man not the legal owner of the house not his claimed identity. Score another one for the expanding professional human traffickers. Now for almost a year I have slept on a non-forgiving wooden bench just outside a large parking lot. But I am fortunate because after numerous major surgeries, I can wake up with only God versus a never-ending building of human traffickers. I have a sleeping bag. Most mornings I am crippled up in such extreme pain, I am unable to walk. But I know that if I could sleep at night I would rest in peace . . . or so I hope.
So, now you have a taste and hopefully a reality check into the professionals on a payroll way of human trafficking. This is not your backstreet, evasive form of inhumanity. This is selective, purposeful, visible and blatant misuse of power and privilege with their secret promises of impunity/immunity. Who would ever trust the word and integrity of a homeless human being? No one here in Ventura County. No one I know.
“No worries.” “No lie lives forever.” The Bible states you shall reap what you sow. I’m hoping to see that become a reality especially for those female vultures who are not capable of living five and a half days on the street or in a car, let alone five and a half years. And the misogynistic males couldn’t survive a day without devaluing a human’s life, most especially the very life of a woman. Must be a testosterone overload on their much-inflated egos and much-deflated brains.
Now the question remains for your city and county of Ventura. Do you genuinely strive to eradicate homelessness? If so, you will have to acquire some authentic courage, a conscience and compassion . . . enough to actually do the right thing . . . enough to say “NO” to any form of human trafficking … enough to walk away from inequity and injustice. Always remember my voice and outrage. I have been robbed, ravaged and raped of my humanity, my dignity, my sanity and my inherent right to all the liberties of those who are not homeless. It has been too much, for too long, by the many for me to even remember what it feels like to be a human being.
Can you see me now? Can you hear my outrage? Can you feel my suffering? More importantly, I must ask, will you change and conquer the sheer inhumanity and brutality experienced by those truly homeless? Will you embrace equity in all living beings? Will you listen and learn? We are all connected.
(Les(s) lie(s) for me)