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Almost Arrested at Goodwill Industries ( My Very Own Little Occupy Thing :-) )

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View Ratings | Rate It Headlined to None 11/13/11

Our Throw Away Society by Theresa Paulfranz

                          Part One : Trouble

  It is anything but easy to be a book-smart and life-stupid savant. I do not get along in this world. My father was the same way and a famous inventor, but if you know anything about that kind of thing you know that that is very often a curse. Einstein's son was a crazy person. My father's brains were also a curse to him because it was GE that owned his mental expertise since he worked for them. It was they that made the millions he thought how to make. He was barely more than a poor man. He was self-taught and did not have a college education so they did not pay him very well. The guys who had college educations who worked with my father in the research and development labs at GE made better money. It made no difference that Dad was full of good ideas. 

  I have been a writer for for a bit. I love to write.   One of the reasons I can write and talk to the world and can afford to do it for no pay is that I meet my needs in unusual ways. One of those ways is dumpster jumping. You could also call me a recycling expert and an "Urban Ore Technician". One of my dumpster jumping friends calls it that. 

   But today it did not work very well. Today, 10/5/2011, I was almost arrested at a Goodwill dumpster in Farmville, Virginia.  The way I feel is that stuff in dumpsters which is thrown out should be accessible for others to take. I know needy people and I give to them on a regular basis. And often I give them Goodwill dumpster stuff and often they thank me profusely. And my entire house is full of Goodwill stuff I bought for a few dollars in the store as well as got out of the dumpster behind it. But no more, for I am now forbidden to visit the store under threat of being arrested for trespassing. 

  Goodwill says ... "if you climb in the dumpster and get hurt you could sue us." I could engineer a trip and fall in your store and sue you. If I were the kind of person looking to sue others for false reasons I would probably be set for money already and not need to jump in your dumpster. I am poor partly because I am an honest person, so what are you talking about? I have been jumping in dumpsters for years and have yet to get hurt.

  Furthermore a bit of thought about the matter should indicate to a thinking person that all of creation belongs to God and that we humans as earth citizens are not greater than she ( Earth , or Gaia ). All her resources are God's first, hers second and ours third. And the human race and its constituents all share in the right to enjoy and share in the goods things of earth. A thinking person should realize that we do not live in an ideal society and that injustice is rampant.  Therefore we all have the obligation to share anything that is unused by one with another. To throw something in a dumpster and then deny another the right to claim and use it is criminal. It is morally criminal wether it is legally criminal or not.  

  The excuse that I might sue is not a greater consideration than the waste of large amounts of things given to Goodwill to be shared with the poor. Anybody can sue anybody any time and folks do it all the time. Every time you do a favor for someone it can theoretically turn into a dangerous situation for various reasons. That does not keep people from doing good things. 

  I have taken homeless people in from the street and shared my house with them only to have them steal from me. It is risky to be generous to others but you can not stop living and being nice just because someone might abuse you. And good things should not be in the dumpster in the first place.

  How did this all start? I did today what I often do ... I had to go to town for something, and I visited Goodwill while i was at it. I bent over and looked in the dumpster and found what I usually find behind Goodwill, and that is tons of good things like bags and bags of perfectly OK clothing and other similar things. Many times I fill my car with the wonderful dumpster stuff. But now it will go unused and wasted. Goodwill will call the police on you if you go in their dumpster. And now that I have raised a fuss about that the dumpster will probably get locked. 

  We the citizenry give to Goodwill on good faith that the stuff  will be sold to the poor or dealt with in some other useful way. Unwanted stuff could be given to nearby churches for the very poor instead of thrown in the dumpster. But this trust has been violated. If Goodwill thinks there is no big profit to make well then the stuff is useless to them and in the dumpster it goes.

                            Part Two: Not Just Me in Trouble

  In the same shopping center as Goodwill is another store called "Restore". It was started by the Jimmy Carter people, the Habitat for Humanity people. They are in a similar thrift store business but they do not sell clothes. The lady there told me that she knew a guy who took clothes and gave them to the poor.  I have a camper now half full of clothes that Goodwill threw out over the last few months and I am going to call that guy that Restore mentioned to take this stuff and give it away to the poor. And I advise others to find a better way to give old clothes away rather than to give them to Goodwill because there really is not that much good will at Goodwill Industries. A goodly amount of those clothes will be simply thrown in the dumpster. That is my experience.

                          Part Three: Conclusion

  As this current culture goes further and further into free fall, and an enormous cultural vacuum is created, many of us will find it necessary to find a new way and a need to listen to our hearts. Each one alone in our private lives and all together we will forge a new way to go and a new culture will soon be born. The process is already begun. Just turn on your TV. All of a sudden it is no longer the propaganda machine saying profoundly repetitive stuff. Suddenly the boob tube is interesting because now the uproar and the rebellion is so loud it can no longer be suppressed. 

  Well I did my part and raised a fuss at Goodwill and its scandalous corporate waste. I was treated pretty gruffly but that kind of thing is familiar to me and I just think it funny and sad. I have yet to end up behind bars for doing these kinds of things, and I have been doing them for many of the decades of my sixty six years in this earth-body. I think that shows that cops are generally pretty good guys. Though if I go back to Goodwill now  I will spend thirty days in jail for trespassing. How ridiculous is that? I took items out of the garbage and recycled them so they would not end up in a landfill. I am supposed to feel I am a criminal for doing that? And I gave some of the stuff to homeless people. A real criminal. :-)

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I am a hippy that never dropped out. I have held on to impossible idealism and will not give up. I think the human race is a ticking time bomb and we are at the last tick. So what is the good of slow careful pragmatism that allows time for it all to (more...)

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I would like to share this article I wrote with ot... by Theresa Paulfranz on Tuesday, Nov 15, 2011 at 10:24:17 AM