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Greed and Insanity on the "Streets": The Psychopaths Are Everywhere

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In my state of Arizona, tens of thousands of people are homeless. Their numbers are growing after all of the home foreclosures and job losses. I suspect that there are many times more families who are now living with their grown children, with their parents, or with siblings or friends and are not counted as being homeless even though they have no home of their own and may be sleeping on a couch or floor in someone's basement.

Once upon a time, I found myself on the streets of Denver, Colorado. Out of work, out of luck, out of money and out of my apartment, I was homeless.

My first breakfast in that new-to-me world was black coffee and three stale donuts. Lunch was two boiled hot-dogs and some coffee at the Holy Ghost Church. Dinner at "Jesus Saves" was some not completely cooked beans and ditto for the rice. The corn was cooked. The coffee was hot.

The people on the street were a varied lot comprised of a handful of general types with many being a mixture of several:

- The "losers," hurt and victimized--those who had lost jobs, wives, girlfriends, homes, not always through their own negligence.

- The vets--the Viet Nam veterans who had seen too much, done too much and hadn't yet adjusted to "the world."

- The ex-cons--the belligerent and suspicious tough guys who had yet to find work.

- The schizophrenics--some just talked to themselves. Others were paranoid and dangerous who could be trusted to be ready to "defend" themselves with any available weapon when there was no threat. Cleared out of the mental hospitals, they were on the streets, often without their "meds."

- The "illegals" / undocumented--the Mexican nationals who worked day labor jobs for the rip-off companies who profited heavily and paid them $5.00 an hour.

- The psychopaths / sociopaths who set the tone of the street were at the top of the heap--the pushy first ones to get the day labor jobs, the ones who cut into any line, the ones who insisted that they had done no wrong in any advantage which they seized, who were most likely to be the ones to take your gym bag and all of its precious contents if you fell asleep on a park bench. Additionally, they were the ones who volunteered at the Denver Rescue Mission, aka, "Jesus Saves" for a real bed to sleep in and "cooked" the meals or who stole from you while you showered. Not having a friend to watch your stuff could cost you your stuff or an occasional shower. It was your choice to take the chance; they weren't at fault. They were just doing what psychopaths do, exercising their God-given rights to be greedy thieves and steal from you.

But, the street people weren't the only ones participating in the action on the street. There were the local police. Some of them apparently made extra money by seizing drivers' licenses and other I.D. to sell. Being homeless made many folks into easy targets.

Others drove the vans to pick up the drunks and take them to the drunk-tank, relieving them of whatever cash they had.

The guards at the shelter were fair and honest. I appreciated them.

There were other good people participating in the street peoples' lives. The Catholic Workers at the Soup Kitchen were the best of the good who treated us as valuable human beings and fed us nutritious and delicious--and they were delicious--dinners. Soup didn't come out of a can.

Ayn Rand, with her religion of greed, would not have respected the Catholic Workers. But, she would have loved the psychopaths.

It is my impression that the psychopaths on the street were like the psychopathic Wall Street bankers who control far too much wealth and power.

Do the Tea Partiers support these wealthy in a perverted Christianity where greed is good? Do they think that their unbridled greed will get them cuts in line ahead of the poor to be awarded the very best accommodations Heaven can offer?

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Jon Larsen is a retired educational psychologist and carpenter/contractor who lives in a small town in southern Arizona. He enjoys nature and being an amateur primatologist, playing tennis,golf and writing. He volunteers at the Food Bank, the (more...)
 
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He experienced living on the street and learn... by JON LARSEN on Thursday, Jan 20, 2011 at 8:43:40 PM
The loud mouths on TV think they can spew out hatr... by Odyseus_97 on Thursday, Jan 20, 2011 at 10:10:10 PM
in the White House. And now, even in the ACLU, whi... by Daniel Geery on Friday, Jan 21, 2011 at 3:17:29 PM
Alternet: click here... by Daniel Geery on Friday, Jan 21, 2011 at 3:25:03 PM
I work with the homeless and disposessed. To compa... by Miriam Callaghan on Saturday, Jan 22, 2011 at 10:59:15 PM