Friday, May 22, 2009


"The person next to you at times could be homeless and little do you know that they are. So when people see homeless, I wish society would try to help ... I wish society would be more gentle with words sometimes."

Losing Homes And Ending Childhoods:
Recession's Impact On Kids

Today I saw this story about 11-year old Tristen Clarke (above), a Harry Potter lookalike, who quietly broke down, trying to hide his tears. He is so stressed. He is thinking about life and death. In his mind his childhood is over.

His grades have dropped - he'll have to repeat 5th grade. His self esteem is falling. And he is often afraid. "I try to save food," Tristen said. "If we're going to run out of food I'll only eat a little of it and save it for later," Tristen said.

This is the saddest thing I've ever heard. I've been praying all night for these children, and a few that go to our school as well who are single mothers. I've been worried for months about all these families losing their homes. Where do they go, especially if they have school-age children? Where do they live? Last week our local news showed a family with 6 young children sleeping on a mattress outside their own home, on the curb area. The children were shivering under one blanket. The father and mother stayed up all night to protect their little ones.

The bank had foreclosed on them after a man they met at church took their life savings, promising he would modify their mortgage. Obviously a predatory con man who knew he would find innocent prey at a church. This father paid his mortgage on time to this man for over a year, but the con man never paid the bank. The bank even locked them out of their yard, so they were forced to sleep on the other side of the sidewalk. The 14-year-old son was fighting back tears. He had to go to school that morning, but hadn't had any sleep. Imagine the humiliation at that age, just as a boy is trying to have it all together in high school. The father was on his way to work at a restaurant. The family had always paid their bills on time, and lived in the small house for several years. God Bless these families.


Losing Homes And Ending Childhoods
CBS Reports: Economic Meltdown Leaves Homeless Children To Grow Up Fast
by Byron Pitts

Meet 11-year old Tristen Clarke, and his mother Rhonda. If you want to understand what it means to be a homeless child in this recession, walk a day in Tristen's size 7 sneakers.

"How is life for you?" asked CBS News correspondent Byron Pitts.

"Pretty bad," Tristen said. "Everything has gone down the drain. We don't have enough money to pay, we can't afford food."

At schools teachers describe Tristen as a sweet boy: smart and innocent.

"I feel lucky about my life because right now I'm not really on the street or in a cardboard box," Tristen said.

Instead, he and his mom live in the El Dorado Motel on a busy street in a tough neighborhood in Salinas, Calif. There are 22 other homeless families here.

They landed here after she lost her job in January as a job coach for people with disabilities. That means a cramped space, no car and no health insurance. There's just a bed for her, an air mattress for him, and a plastic bowl for Tristen's turtle. Last week Rhonda's $90 weekly unemployment check stopped.

"I try to save food," Tristen said.

"What do you mean?" Pitts asked.

"If we're going to run out of food I'll only eat a little of it and save it for later," Tristen said.

His grades have dropped - he'll have to repeat 5th grade. His self esteem is falling. And he is often afraid.

"I thought I was going to lose everything yesterday," Tristen said. "I thought we were going to lose everything."

"That scare you because that's a possibility?" Pitts asked.

"Yeah," Tristen said.

"Because you've lost things before?" Pitts asked.

"Yeah, I have," Tristen said.

Behind his Harry Potter face is a child in crisis. With his mother's permission, Pitts and Tristen kept talking.

"Find the words for me," Pitts said.

"Life and death," Tristen said.

"You think about life and death?" Pitts asked. "Why do you think about things like that?"

"Because I gave up," said Tristen, crying.

For the homeless children at the El Dorado Motel, life is often bleak. But there are a few bright spots. Like many school districts across the country, Salinas has a homeless children's advocate. Cheryl Camany helps identify homeless children and provides resources and free supplies.

As for Tristen Clarke, he says he has one real friend - 8-year-old Gus Hernandez, Jr. They're neighbors. Gus is also homeless.

"Me and him share the same life," Tristen said. "He understands me and I understand him."

They also share the same risk. Even a simple game of soccer can be dangerous ... when the ball rolls right into traffic. For their safety, the boys were ordered back to their rooms by the motel owner.

Anger and frustration brews in Gus every day. He lives with both parents and 4-year-old brother. They owned a house until Gus Sr. lost his job as a mortgage loan processor. The bank foreclosed on their home.

"My life is dumb," said Gus Jr. "We have to live in a motel, have to be in at a certain time. Can't play anywhere, and most of my friends are there."

"That must be hard?" asked Pitts.

"Today was a worse day, tomorrow may be better," Gus said.

"That makes you an optimist?" asked Pitts.

"Yeah," Gus said.

Later, Pitts went to talk to Tristen.

"What do you want Americans to know about you, what it means to be a child and homeless in America?" Pitts asked.

"We need people to help," Tristen said.

Where you can offer help if you're able, or receive help if you need it:

Family Promise of Sacramento
Mustard Seed School
The National Center on Family Homelessness
National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth

This weekend we are joining Imagine L.A. for a fundraiser with Steve Lopez, the author of "The Soloist." Imagine L.A. "Where no child sleeps on the street."



  1. In a society where athletes are paid millions of dollars for playing a game, where trailer trash celebrities throw lavish parties, where people spend countless hundreds of millions of dollars a year in narcissistic pursuit of a false image of beauty, and billions of dollars are handed to Corporate fat cats for screwing up, in this America for Tristen Clarke and all the other children like to go through this isn't just tragic.
    It's obscene.

  2. You're right Frank. We have our values all wrong. This kind of capitalism is so corrupt, it rewards criminals. Hard work goes unrewarded. Deep thinking goes unrewarded. Gifted artists struggle to make a living.

    If you can find tax loopholes and cut costs it doesn't matter how many people you screw. As long as the GDP and the gambling index (stock market) goes up, that's all that matters. If we are perceived as being even slightly "socialsitic" in the good way - by helping people to the basic right of health care and food, the Repugs equate it to Stalinist communism (which was actually closer to a Fascistic dictatorship.)

    The current corporatist Republicans such as Cheney-Rumsfeld-Gingrich-Limbaugh-are the exact opposite of Christian or moral.

    In Germany, though the economy is failing, the government makes sure the people can survive by paying their wages during a downturn. That way the people can live and not commit suicide and ride the hard times out. That way the whole society is better, safer, and more secure. Their general level of happiness is higher because they know they won't die from unemployment.

    We should measure our GDP not by the amount of toxic waste we can produce and consumer goods we can force people to think they need, but by our happiness as a nation.

    Are we happy? Are we caring for "the least among us?"

    If we are not taking care of those less fortunate, we have failed.

  3. Happy Memorial Day!

  4. Lydia I think I prefer long as you have lots of good content and news I think a forum would be superior to a blog that way everyone could focus on and interact in the topics that interest them the most..........course there would be alot less activity than having one narrowly focused blog but so what.

  5. Hey Frank,here's a tip.First pull the tampon out of your butt then realize,if you dont want athletes to make millions dont buy tickets,dont watch TV.If you dont want people with circle K feet to make millions,dont buy their CD's.Other then that you really sound like a guy that sits down to pee,dont make it any worse on yourself.Man up you wuss.

    Hoo Haa!!!

  6. Looks like Crusty the Loser pulled out his stupid Frank Slade sock puppet AGAIN!

  7. Wow, this so called Colonel Slade has got to be one of the most pathetic sock puppets I've ever seen.
    Rusty, is this all you got?

  8. from wiki about Scent of a WomanU.S. Army officer Lieutenant Colonel Frank Slade (Al Pacino), a cantankerous middle-aged man who lives with his niece and her family, and who is now blind, alcoholic, eccentric, and impossible to get along with.

    blind, alcoholic, eccentric, and impossible to get along with .... about sums up crusty's on line personality just fine.

  9. Is this how you people treat a
    decorated vet? I've been around,
    you know.If I was twenty years
    younger I'd take a blow torch
    to this place.You call yourselves
    Baird men,you're Baird bums.

  10. And Frank Frey still needs to
    pull the tampon out of his ass.
    Man up Frank,stop reading Cosmo.
    If you're scared,just say you're

  11. Who is this phony Clif? How dare
    this coward post a military
    picture on his post.Shame on

  12. Who,or what is Mike? What the
    hell is that cloud of smoke
    picture.Do you three have
    any shame at all?

  13. HLydia...

    I'm sorry to stir things up again but these mean people suck. Its not debating. Its body slamming with venom and seething hate. How can we be spiritual...loving...caring...and have a heart enough to give back to the full circle? Some of these naysayers need to still FIND GOD....AND their souls. Jesus,Mary...Save Souls...

  14. And I want to know how you knew about, "entertaining angels"? Peace be with you my friends...And I will love you till the end...

  15. The pieve of human sludge that is Rusty has stooped just about as low as he can go I dont think this piece of slag can be any MORE pathetic.........on Memorial Day weekend, a day for honoring and remembering soldiers and veterans this piece of slime slithers in here impersonating a soldier even after he was outed by Clif using this Imbecilic "Col Frank Slade" sock puppet 6 months ago with the sole purpose of sliming and attacking two veterans who actually DID SERVE and several other bloggers who dont agree with him politically...........a REAL class act huh?

    Then when we examine things further we see the repug politicians this piece of human slag supports DONT SUPPORT THE TROOPS OR VETS AT ALL,,,,,,,,,,,,,because IF they did, they wouldnt be denying them proper amounts of water, safe water that wouldnt electrocute them, body armour to keeo them safe, adaquaye health care when they return, they wouldnt be saying the troops dont deserve 3 1/2% pay raises or tuition benefits or that those are "unneccessary" and the deplorable conditions the vets in Walter Reed were forced to endure while friends and cronnys of the Bush/Cheney criminal syndicate were getting Billion dollar no bid contracts which they took then compromied the health and safety of our soldiers with cheap shoddy work to make a few more bucks because they are greedy thugs.

    No Crusty/Col Slade its really pretty clear who and what you atr and who and what your masters are that you front for and what they stand for.

  16. One more thing Crusty its as transparent as can be what your about............Lydia mentioned shutting down the comments and in YOU slither with the slimy attacks hoping you can convince her to do just that..............somthing YOU and your slimball troll brigade has been TRYING to achieve for 4 years now...............that would be "Mission Accomplished" for you inbred Coulter Troll rejects Eh Loser?

  17. You have to be pretty low on Memorial Day Weekend a day soldiers and vets are supposed to be honored to come in here impersonating a soldier just to slime and attack two other vets who dont agree with you politically............but then you were ALSO the piece of shit who wished a veteran (Clif) dead on Veterans Day a day for honoring vets and implied his service to his country fighting wars did count because he didnt agree with YOUR treasonous political beliefs and that he didnt deserve benefits or retirement for his service and he was entitled to support for injuries receiced during those called those vet benefits public dole said he was sponging of of society and you shouldnt have to supportt him you told him to get of the dole and get a much for YOU and your party supporting the troops Crusty...........your the party of "No", the party of treason and torture and the party that doesnt give a rats ass about our troops and vets.............welcome to irrelevenve little troll you've earned it.

  18. It's that time of year again.

    2 years ago I introduced myself to Lydia and the rest of you through a particular post. I will post it again with tragically updated numbers.

    On Memorial Day, people frequently will say "Thank You" to those who gave their lives for our freedom, and certainly I give my thanks to those who perished in the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, World Wars 1 & 2, and so on ...

    For those who have died in this Iraqi war, thank you doesn't seem to quite fit. Instead, all I can say is "I'm sorry."

    I'm sorry it came to this. I'm sorry that the president didn't value your life enough to keep you alive. I'm sorry you aren't still here to help keep us safe from our nation's true enemies. I'm sorry that those in charge treasured their pride, money, greed, and political ambitions too much that you were considered expendable. I'm sorry that lies and deceit was all it took to have you killed. I'm sorry I didn't fight hard enough or effectively enough to keep you home.

    To the 4300 (and unfortunately still growing) service men and women who have died for a reason other than our freedom -- we miss you, we love you, may you rest in peace.

  19. THANK YOU MCH..................FINALLY someone (besides me) that exposes the Right Wing lie that soldiers in Iraq are somehow fighting for our Freedom.............our freedom was NEVER at stake here this was a war of choice based on lies that has put our military in Harms way where thousands have been killed and i believe hundreds of thousands permanently injured.

    I support and respect our troops I have many friends that have done tours over there some of which have dies for this treasonous Neo Con cause that had NOTHING whatsoever to do with freedom..........Iraq didnt have ANY intercontinental balistic missiles nuke or conventional capable of hitting us, they didnt have a navy or airforce that could do us ANY harm, their military was in shambles from the first Gulf war and they possessed no WMD despite the treasonous Neo Cons best attempts to lie and misrepresent this fact to justify going to war for no good or valid reason other than to enrich the oil and contractor cronny friends of Bush and Cheney.

    Well said MCH I couldnt agree more with your post!

  20. Memorial Day 2009

    No what the policy wonks may say from whatever political philosophy they operate, it really is all about the guys around you. They're what the fighting and if necessary the dying was and is all about.
    You can talk all you want to about "containment" or oil or whatever else. In the end, it doesn't really mean anything. Because all you know is that he was from Nebraska and he was your friend. They were all friends of ours.

  21. Memorial Day is coming to a close here in Florida.
    One final thought.
    It is only the giving that makes us who we are. It is through what we give to the world that the world remembers us.
    For all the hate spewers that have appeared here let me ask you this. Is this how you want to be remembered?

  22. God Bless you Frank. This really touched me.

    We put our flag out on Memorial Day and I said a prayer for our troops, both living and gone.

    This has a been a weekend of serving others. I'll put up a post about our visits with the Homeless people and the advice we got about looking them each in the eye and not making people feel invisible.

    Most men you see living on the street are Veterans.

    Most homeless families are single mothers with children; they are hidden and "invisible" -- sleeping temporarily on friends' couches, moving from shelter to shelter.

  23. I need someone to write a blog about the new Supreme Court Justice

    And has anyone heard this leaking information on Bush's secret religious views? Apparently, Bush was really launching a Holy War when he forced the illegal invasion of Iraq. There was a reason Rumsfield wrote Scripture in his private memos to Bush. Bush was an end-times millenialist, one of those "Christians" who believed God had chosen him to start a holy war.

    This stuff is actually coming out now.

  24. That doesnt surprise me about Bush Lydia i've heard things like that for 7 years now...............I think you should post more on this.

    What type of post are you looking for on Sotomayer, an opinion/analysis piece or like a biography?

  25. Mike - anything you like, something really pertinent. I haven't had time and am gearing up to transform this entire website.

    Things always take longer than one thinks.

    And as Robert Benchley said, "Any great writing or art requires an upheaval of the soul."

  26. I'll try to work on something later tonight................i'll be busy for the next few hours though.

  27. Hey Lydia, I sent you an e-mail

  28. Thanks Mike, I'll try to post it soon.

    It's Open House night at our school and the "In and Out Burgers" truck is there!!

  29. Hey did anyone hear the rumor that Lynn Cheney admitted her father was out on the road stumping for torture because he was afraid of being prosecuted, just as I thought?

  30. Thats what I though as well..............ever hear of a self fullfilling prophecy though.

    At least I HOPE thats the way it works out.

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