24
Jan
08

109.Durham and Marietta, love our pets better than our homeless vets.

dog_park.gif 

Dear friends:

I was reading about my friend Oldtimers battle in the city of Marietta, GA and having been there as well, and remember well the town. Currently, the cities of Marietta, GA and Durham, NC among others are now enforcing pogroms against the homeless. For those that do not know what a Pogrom is: A massacre or persecution instigated by the government or by the ruling class against a minority group. These two cities are leading fights to persecute the homeless by trying to get the homeless out of their jurisdictions. These two cities, like numerous other cities in the United States get millions of dollars to assist their community.

As my friend SLO Homeless points out, the U.S. Government requires now that municipalities that are receiving these funds have to fill out a ten year plan as mandated by congress on what they are doing with the funding to end homelessness in their communities. So far the fear of the Ten Year Plan has many municipalities rushing to push the homeless out of their communities. The fact that one can publicly see what is occurring and NO AGENCY other than nonprofit and religious organizations that are understaffed and underfunded are trying to assist the homeless and stem this persecution leaves one wondering, where is our morality as a nation?

One thing in common with these cities is their love of dogs. It is amazing to me that these cities can set aside over four acres of land each just to amuse their dogs and puppies. Four acres of land is enough land to build a 200 room hotel on. Why could not these city and county leaders do something like that to assist sheltering the homeless? Instead as the city of Durham, NC parks and recreation web site says…

Check out what every dog’s been barking about!

Dog owners represent a large (and growing!) segment of the community. And while regular leash walks provide a level of exercise that promotes good dog health, access to open space for off-leash play and socialization is equally important. The Durham Dog Parks are multifunctional facilities designed to offer a safe and controlled environment for dogs and their owners.

And in the city of Marietta, GA there is Sweat Mountain Dog Park. Another great place for taking your dog.

In the meantime, after taking care of the counties animals, these two fine cities are then rousting and rounding up the homeless for another day of harassment. I love these lines from Durham Parks…Growing Segment of the community …Good Dog Healtha safe and controlled environment for dogs and their owners. Just how is it, that they cannot do that for their poor? Providing good health and safety is too hard to provide to the GROWING SEGMENT of the poor and the homeless? How is it that money is spent for such luxuries as excrement bags, maintenance for mowing and picking up unattended dog turds, water (and these places scream also about current drought levels of their reservoirs), and even protection since law enforcement patrols the dog parks as well. It is amazing that there are benches for animals? Oh I guess that is for the pet owners. Remember these cities have ordinances against laying down on public benches as well. Your dog though is allowed to sleep on the benches. This is utterly ridiculous that pets are treated in this manner while we will let a homeless veteran rot in the streets and provide zero health care.

These misguided municipalities are saying “We love animals” and “If you are homeless move on”. We have the SPCA in all cities that take in stray dogs and try to have them adopted so they may go play in a park. Whereas, the homeless get harassed, illegally detained and arrested for being in or near the park. It seems these cities have bestowed citizenship rights for an animal to enjoy life and liberty, while revoking any right of its homeless citizens to the same.

The fact that these two issues can be compared in a single article is  a definitely sad indictment of the affairs of these two cities. Unfortunately, you can find the same issues in every state of this country. Cities are cattle driving the homeless out of their jurisdictions to avoid dealing with the issue of homelessness in the ten year plans. In the meantime, these same municipalities are accepting federal money to deal with this specific issue. Why is not someone yelling stop, this is not what the money we gave you is for?

During World War II, there was a coined saying “Dogs and Soldiers Keep off the Grass”. Well the dogs have somehow made it past the homeless veterans of this nation since we are giving dogs grass now to play and pee on and the homeless vet is not allowed even near it. It seems that when it comes to the general welfare and compassion towards our less fortunate homeless veterans, we pay lip service to it while allowing our officials to stab them in the back. It will only stop if people are willing to do something about it. That includes going to a mayors office, or commissioners meetings and raising the issues and getting the media involved.

We tend to rely on the advocates of this issue to sound the alarm. Unfortunately if one looks in the employment section of the newspapers you do not see ads or categories for “Advocate”. Advocating is an individual organizing a group to represent a cause. Unfortunately we have to have advocates for homeless veterans and general homelessness, since those that are paid to protect these individuals at the city, state and federal levels are doing a terrible job and not ever heard from. This being the case, it has allowed lowly and cowardly mayors and commissioners to be able to deal with the problem as they see fit. Unfortunately, the way their pogroms are carried out, is to commit crimes against humanity and to violate individual rights that do not suit their tastes.

I am ashamed that as in the case of the Durham, NC homeless veteran that was hit and killed by a bus that there was not outcry from our veterans organizations. The fact that Durham, NC is using the death of a homeless veteran as the rallying cause for “safety” four years after the event is heretical at best. That these veterans organizations will not step up to the plate and assist their homeless brother veterans in these crises leave me more than stunned. Actually I am saddened and repulsed by these groups apathy. The American Legion and VFW you should be out their fighting these issues for these homeless veterans. The fact that these groups remain silent, speaks volumes of their current state of affairs, leadership, and lack thereof.

Personally I think it is shameful to us as a nation that we can build camps all over the world and rush aid to assist other nations in disasters while we ourselves leave our own poor and homeless fighting for their own survival. Every time I see a commercial for foreign aid, I wonder why we are not more proactive with domestic aid.

These are our communities, only we can stop these things from happening. Is this what you elected these officials for and to do in your name?

Wanderingvet

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2 Responses to “109.Durham and Marietta, love our pets better than our homeless vets.”


  1. 1 An American
    January 24, 2008 at 4:55 pm

    I agree wholeheartedly with you on the fact that the ones who have been given the job of providing services for our veterans have failed miserably. It has become apparent to me through reading your information on the VA that the VA system is broke.. and noone seems to make anyone acountable for their poor job performance in assisting our veteran population. There are in fact some really admirable homeless advocate organizations scattered throughout this country of ours…and I applaud you for your efforts in being one of these advocates. Most commissioners and other local officials have little real knowledge about the plight of the homeless within their communities. Advocacy about this group can only improve insight and policy for the homeless
    .
    I disagree with you on the fact that we treat our pets better than we do our veterans….I think we do a poor job of being good citizens with both groups. Millions of unwanted pets are euthanized yearly due to the fact that people are irresponsible about pet ownership. We also fail our veterans by lacking the consciousness to demand that better treatment is deserved for all those who served this country. I think we miss the mark of compassion with both groups.

    “Until he extends the circle of his compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace. – The Philosophy of Civilization.”
    Albert Schweitzer

  2. January 25, 2008 at 1:35 pm

    Sadly I have to report the first death as a result of this heartless eviction during subfreezing weather. The physical part of the evictions took place yesterday, it hit 19 last nigh, and a homeless friend was found this morning.

    Dominic, one of our homeless friends was found huddled against a wall of a local business this morning, frozen to death. I had written the Mayor and Council that it would happen. The local news showed video of the police cutting up tents and the Atlanta Jounal has an article saying the tents, sleeping bags, coats and other belonging left behind when the police suddenly showed up were put into garbage trucks and hauled to the dump.

    Take 300 homeless men, women and children and send them marching down the track or hiding in the woods with all their possession, tents, etc. taken from them and there will likely be good people found all the coming year in various hiding places.

    http://oldtimer.wordpress.com for the death notice.

    Thanks, Wandering Vet for your mention.

    Jim


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