Monthly Archives: April 2014

The Homeless Philosopher’s lifestyle saves taxpayers a bundle

By Max R. Weller

I’ve done a post like this once before, but it’s time to update the savings based on my residency here in Boulder, CO for over 6 years now.

Below is a listing of all of the government benefits to which I’ve been legally entitled, but have never applied for:

Food stamps (using a ballpark figure of $150 per month for 72 months): $10,800 

Colorado AND (the monthly benefit has varied, but I’ll use $150 per month for 72 months): $10800

Colorado Medicaid and/or CICP (not including the $50,000 cost of hip replacement surgery, but figuring about $200 per month to treat my other physical problems): $14,400

Section 8 housing voucher (let’s say $400 per month for 48 months, because I might have been on a waiting list for 2 years): $19,200

SSI disability (takes a long time to get approved but back pay is given, so I’ll figure $650 for 72 months): $46,800

Total savings to taxpayers — $102,000

It should also be noted that I patronize only one private nonprofit, Boulder Shelter for the Homeless, for my morning shower and to maintain a small locker; I’ve not stayed overnight there during the past 4 winter sheltering seasons. I’ve not visited Bridge House in over 5 years. I’ve never been an overnight guest at an emergency warming center operated by Boulder Outreach for Homeless Overflow in a network of local churches and a synagogue. Nor have I been a client at any time of any of the numerous Free Giveaway venues in our fair city.

In order to gain funds to buy life’s necessities — food, clothing, toiletries, camping gear, bus fare, an occasional night in a motel room, etc. — I began begging on the corner of N. Broadway & U.S. 36 in the Summer of 2010. I’ve also accepted help of various kinds from friends. All of this is strictly voluntary, of course, on the part of goodhearted people who have become acquainted with me.

Strangely enough, there are those who begrudge my use of a public access computer at either Boulder Public Library or CU’s Norlin Library; fact is, those computers would have been there all along if I’d chosen to remain in Missouri back in early 2008 and never come near them.

I consider my quality of life superior to that of most other homeless people I’ve observed over the years in Boulder, CO. Being clean and sober is a part of that, naturally, but mostly it’s due to my ongoing refusal to become a slave of the social services industry (comprised of both government agencies and private charities).

This begs the question: What good is being done by spending all of the $$$ to support homeless single adults like me? Jiminy Christmas, they’re building a 31-unit Housing First project at 1175 Lee Hill for an initial cost of over $6 million! You don’t qualify as a HF client unless you’re an alcoholic/drug addict with a dual diagnosis of mental illness. But, what about the rest of the hundreds of homeless single adults in Boulder?

I’d be happy if the knuckleheads gave me a CHEAP survival shelter like this one, along with a place I could legally put it . . .

Bottom line: I see social workers, bureaucrats, substance abuse and mental health counselors, and many other do-gooders employed in the social services industry as an army of PARASITES sucking the taxpayers’ blood. The homeless folks like me can get along fine without ’em!

Bedbug

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‘Feds: Four men diverted Colombian cash to Colorado marijuana businesses’

By Max R. Weller

Read the story from the Denver Post. Quoting from it below:

The largest federal raids ever of Colorado’s medical-marijuana industry culminated Monday in the indictment of four people on accusations they funneled and laundered hundreds of thousands of dollars from Colombia to buy a Denver warehouse.

The allegations in the case, detailed for the first time Monday, paint a picture of international money transfers, a marijuana dispensary owner on the lam, high-dollar cultivation facilities, and a car trunk full of cash. If convicted, the defendants could be sentenced to decades in prison.

“This is a money-laundering case,” Jeffrey Dorschner, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office in Colorado, said after a court hearing Monday.

Named in the indictment are brothers Luis and Gerardo Uribe, 28 and 33, respectively; attorney David Furtado, 48; and Colombian citizen Hector Diaz, 49. Both Uribes and Furtado were among the owners of the more than a dozen medical-marijuana businesses that Drug Enforcement Administration and Internal Revenue Service investigators raided last November in the biggest federal sweep ever against the state’s legal marijuana industry.

Didn’t I tell you so, years ago? Because no bank would make a business loan to any marijuana entrepreneur, of course the money had to come from other sources — and what better opportunity for those involved in the illegal drug trade to “launder” their cash, than in so-called “legal” marijuana operations? And this case is just the tip of the iceberg, believe me.

Hector Diaz (U.S. Attorney’s Office)

Maybe one of these days I’ll have an old barn (or a cave) to call home, a place where I might rest during the day without being disturbed by anyone:

One can always dream . . .

Mississippi Billy sneaked out to the corner of N. Broadway & U.S. 36 to panhandle yesterday, during the noon hour, but I let him be until about 2PM. I had a book to read, anyway, as I sat on the wall in front of the Mexican restaurant nearby. When I finally strolled out there, I asked him two questions:

1) “You didn’t walk past me on the sidewalk, so how did you get out here?” He lied and said that a friend had dropped him off there; what he really did, I’ve concluded, is slip behind me through the commercial district.

2) “You’ve been here an hour-and-a-half now; how much money have you made?” He admitted it was only a dollar.

I could have broken my trekking pole off in his rear end — the last thing we need is another pickled idjit like Drunk Brian, sitting there all day long for nothing. Billy could tell I was pissed off, so he left the corner pronto. Between 2 and 4:30PM I made $29, about average, but the important thing was to keep the po’ white Mississippi trash from leaving bad vibes there. I don’t mind sharing the spot with those who profit by it, but Billy sitting on his milk crate (which he carries around Boulder with him) for less than $1 per hour is wasting my time and costing me money.

BTW, Billy gets food stamps and also frequents the numerous Free Giveaway venues in our fair city, and has probably applied for Social Security disability due to his leg being ravaged by the flesh-eating bacteria, so why does he need help from kindhearted passersby, too? I don’t seek any assistance from either the government or private nonprofits, except Boulder Shelter for the Homeless for my morning shower and to maintain a small locker.

Like most transients who drift into Boulder, Mississippi Billy just wants to grab everything he can for himself.

Not on my watch.

Enjoy this clip from one of the great Hollywood movies, “Inherit the Wind” starring Spencer Tracy.

That’s all for now . . .

Max’s Journal 4/27/2014

By Max R. Weller

Boulder Public Library has more than its share of controversy, and this has been the case for many years. See Notable events in Boulder Library history from the Daily Camera archives. Excerpt below:

2001 — Library director Marcalee Gralapp ignites a national controversy when she turns down employees’ requests to hang a large flag at the library’s Arapahoe Avenue entrance after 9/11.

“We have people of every faith and culture walking into this building, and we want everybody to feel welcome,” Gralapp told the Camera at the time.

Things get even crazier in November, when the library’s art gallery displays “Hung Out to Dry,” an exhibit featuring colorful ceramic penises hanging from knitted cozies clothes-pinned to a cord strung between a wall and a column. The work is part of an “Art Triumphs Over Domestic Violence” display that includes pieces of art created by former abuse victims or their relatives.

In mid-November, local resident Bob Rowan, calling himself “El Dildo Bandito,” steals the work, which is confiscated from his home by Boulder police the next day. Rowan eventually pleads no contest to second-degree criminal tampering, a misdemeanor, and receives a one-month deferred sentence.

Photo and caption below from the Facebook page of This is Boulder Colorado:

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The deserving poor…smoking pot next to the library. I’m not sure how anyone who can’t afford food or a home finds the money to buy drugs. Maybe if the city stopped giving them a free lunch they’d use their money to buy food instead of drugs? Just a thought.

My post this morning from the Facebook group I Remember When . . . Lexington, MO is copied below:

I wish I knew more about Lexington, MO’s history in re the lives of ordinary working class folks (for example, immigrant coal miners) and the African slaves; the latter group created the wealth which enabled the many fine antebellum homes to be built in my hometown, but they toiled and died in obscurity. Are there any descendants of local slaves living in Lexington, MO today? Lafayette County is noteworthy for having more slaves in 1860 than any other county in the state; 6,374 slaves “owned” by 909 slaveholders, according to this source: http://www.missouri-history.itgo.com/slave.html

What other online resources are available which tell the story we’ve seldom heard? Don’t misunderstand, I don’t hold white people alive today accountable for the evil of slavery 150 and more years ago — but I certainly think it’s incumbent on us to examine the history of slavery in Lexington, MO with total candor. I find my own ignorance of the subject appalling, having lived in the old hometown for the first 47 years of my life.

I’m also fascinated by stories like this one: http://www.kshs.org/p/slave-shackle/10381 Robert McFarland was a very brave man, and of course he was on the right side of history. No doubt, there were others of his mindset living in Lafayette County at the time; how can we discover their stories, which so richly deserve to be told today?

Lafayette County (MO) Courthouse column bearing the scar of misdirected cannonball

This coming Friday, all lockers at Boulder Shelter for the Homeless must be cleaned by out by 8AM for fumigation — which the vermin scoff at. I don’t have much, so it won’t be a problem stashing it somewhere until Saturday night at 8PM, when we can each get a new locker. It comes in handy for storing a spare change of clothes and my coffee jar with cash.

Tonight at my campsite: Beef corn dogs and coleslaw.

Max’s Journal 4/26/2014

By Max R. Weller

CU’s Norlin Library in Boulder, CO opens at 7:30AM both today and tomorrow, rather than the usual weekend time of 10, so here I be.

Thanks to all of the very generous passersby at the corner of N. Broadway & U.S. 36 yesterday afternoon; between 1 and 4PM, I made $47 plus a $10 gift card to Target. I’ve also been getting food and other useful items, which I generally share with other homeless people who may not buy their own stuff as I do. I’m humbled that people care so much about the Homeless Philosopher.

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Day before yesterday at that spot, Mississippi Billy (see previous post) sat there from about 3PM until after 6, then complained to me as he was leaving the neighborhood that people didn’t give him anything. Folks, I appreciate your discretion — Billy will spend every spare cent he has on rotgut vodka and marijuana. And, of course, the local nonprofits provide him with food, clothing, shelter in wintertime, etc.

Read ‘Are You Empowering or Enabling?’ from Psychology Today online. Like the dysfunctional family coping with an addict, it seems to me that Boulder’s homeless shelter/services industry does NOT operate in the long-term best interests of its clients. And, the corrupting influence of millions of $$$ from both public and private sources is a root cause: More Homeless People = More Money.

I’m still waiting on results from January’s “census” (MDHI Point-in-Time Reports) of the homeless population to be released; I always pay particular attention to Boulder County as a whole, then to the City of Boulder in comparison with the City of Longmont.

This is the first year since I’ve lived in Boulder that there hasn’t been a Spring/Summer encampment of broken-down RVs and pickup campers parked on Front Range Drive behind Boulder Shelter for the Homeless at 4869 N. Broadway. The transient RVers would linger there for months, partying all night and causing other problems in the neighborhood. Want to know why they’re not tolerated there this year? The parking space is needed for workers building the Housing First complex for street alcoholics/drug addicts with a dual diagnosis of mental illness at 1175 Lee Hill, right next door. “From the frying pan into the fire” goes the old saying.

Mark my words — the powers-that-be at both BSH and Boulder Housing Partners will rue the day they ever conceived of opening their own Wet House. Consider Karluk Manor in Anchorage, AK as the “model” Housing First project . . .

Rain is in the forecast, but I shall persevere underneath my tarp overnight. Ain’t no bedbugs or lunatics to disturb my rest outdoors.

Coyote finds tasty snack on south Boulder trail, and more

By Max R. Weller

Read the gripping account in the Daily Camera of the tragedy which befell another yapping little ankle-biter, Woman reports pet dog snatched by coyote on south Boulder trail. Quoting from it below:

A coyote attacked and ran off with a woman’s dog after she let if off-leash on the Bear Canyon Trail on Thursday, according to a report being investigated by Boulder open space rangers.

The owner — who declined to give her name — said she was hiking the trail with her dog Maddie, an 8-pound coton de Tulear, around noon Thursday when she let the dog off-leash to get a drink at a nearby creek.

The owner said she was about 200 yards away when she saw the coyote next to Maddie. At first she thought it was a large dog she had seen on the path earlier.

“I thought it was playing with her,” she said.

But the owner said the coyote then picked up her dog and ran off.

Off leash, and 200 yards from its owner? Continuing excerpt:

The area where the incident happened does require dogs to be leashed.

The owner said she lives in Denver but used to hike the trail in the past, and she was in town for a class and wanted to spend some time with Maddie before she went away on a trip.

Well, at least this clueless dog owner wasn’t referred to in the story as her pet’s guardian.

Canis latrans

Here’s a piece of ART which would be great on the grounds of Boulder Public Library at 1001 Arapahoe:

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Many a homeless man thinks he’s a satyr, but the truth is he only smells like a goat.

More thoughts on Bridge House’s plans for south Boulder:

FYI, “Ready-to-Work” provides only 20 hours of work per week at a wage of $8 per hour.

NOBODY can start saving funds towards moving into a place of their own at such slave wages.

And, shouldn’t the goal be to get these clients into scattered-site homes? The concept of housing projects for the poor and disadvantaged was totally discredited 50 years ago — but here in Boulder, CO it seems to be making a comeback with Walnut Place, 1175 Lee Hill, and several others.

Why segregate these individuals from the rest of society in projects if they’re truly ready to rejoin the mainstream?

I’ll give you my educated guess as to why: MORE POOR PEOPLE DEPENDENT ON THE SOCIAL SERVICES SYSTEM = MORE MONEY, and it’s an illusion that they will ever become independent when it’s money which drives policy in re homelessness. 

That’s all for now, folks . . .

Another BIG serving of Bridge House baloney, and more

By Max R. Weller

Bridge House eyes south Boulder building to help transition workers out of homelessness in the Daily Camera. Quoting from it below:

Ready-to-Work has a number of contracts with the city doing clean-up and repairs, as well as contracts with private business owners. Ready-to-Work also staffs Bridge House’s new commercial kitchen on east Arapahoe Avenue.

So far, 30 people have graduated and gone on to jobs and apartments in the private sector, McDevitt said — an 80 percent success rate.

McDevitt said the program would allow people to live at the facility for up to two years, though the typical stay would be closer to a year. Residents would pay rent and board, but at a very low rate so they could save money.

McDevitt said Bridge House is still doing all its due diligence, including talking to neighbors and securing financing. The purchase and renovation is estimated at $3.5 million. Bridge House is seeking a variety of city, county and state affordable housing grants and loans to fund the project.

My comments follow:

80% success rate? It’s funny math — if someone “graduates” from Ready-to-Work and holds a full-time job for a week before being fired or quitting, that’s defined as success; likewise, if someone gets into an apartment and lasts a month before being evicted or leaving on their own, that’s also defined as success.

I know many of these people. Isabel McDevitt’s claims do NOT ring true with me.

BTW, one of the current Ready-to-Work clients in the Transition Program at Boulder Shelter for the Homeless strolls over to my spot in the neighborhood to smoke dope before he enters the shelter around 5PM; almost no BSH client is ever tested for marijuana or other drugs, just alcohol.

Cue the haters . . . I’m just telling it like it is!

What’s next from the local homeless shelter/services industry? Maybe this — Amsterdam Has a Deal for Alcoholics: Work Paid in Beer from the New York Times

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Some Boulder residents just say no to big, red ‘Yes!’ also in the DC. It’s well worth the time to read a few of the online comments which follow this story. Here’s my favorite from “How_Do_It_Do”:

What kind of self centered a$$ thinks this is art? F em. Once they install this the transients will be the second most offensive part of going to the library.

A nighttime view of the ’Yes!’

A nighttime view of the ‘Yes!’ (courtesy rendering)

Continued good weather is forecast until the weekend, and I’ll enjoy it by reading a Scott Turow novel at my spot in front of the Mexican restaurant in the 4900 block of N. Broadway. It’s an older one, “Presumed Innocent” published in 1987, but good stories are timeless.

I may take the day off as far as playing humble beggar on the corner of U.S. 36, because I’m having one of my infrequent bouts of swelling in the lower right leg. Anyway, passersby have been so generous and my needs are so modest that I now have $225 in my coffee jar savings, kept in my small locker at BSH.

On the political front:

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Joe Isuzu declares the Affordable Care Act a success!

Tonight at my campsite: meatball sandwiches.