Begging is a job
Seems like most people believe that homeless people are also unemployed people. I don't agree. Many homeless people go to work every and their job is to stand at busy intersections across American holding signs to convince a few well-meaning Samaritans to give them money.
I was recently waiting for my wife in a grocery store parking lot and decided to conduct my own informal survey pertaining to the homeless guy holding a "Disabled Vet" sign. In the 20 minutes while I waited, 47 cars exited the parking lot, 3 stopped and gave the guy money and one person on foot gave him money.
I don't know how much money he was given but my guess is between $8 and $12, which if you run the numbers is far more than minimum wage - and tax free.
We need to try a different approach on reducing homelessness. Providing free shelter and meals hasn't reduced the numbers, and may have contributed to the increase. As citizens, let's all agree to not give money to homeless people holding signs.
I imagine the busy intersections will be free of the homeless once they realize their sign-holding jobs doesn't pay well. And without the tax-free money from holding signs, a few of the homeless might find real jobs and develop enough pride to move from their tents to apartments and homes. Perhaps tough love will break the cycle for at least a few.
A local immigrant hero
We have a quiet hero living in Colorado Springs. He is Dr. Vinh Chung, author of " Where the Wind Leads" practices in our community. His book shares a lesson that all Americans, immigrants and refugees, can learn what it really is to be an American citizen.
Dr. Chung came to Fort Smith, Ark., in 1979 as a four-year-old refugee from Vietnam after spending six days at sea. He explains that, through the grace of God, he and 92 other refugees were saved by the World Vision organization.
The refugees faced certain death at sea as did so many other Vietnamese boat people at the end of the Vietnam War.
His journey is amazing and a life story in which all Americans can learn what happens with great family values and hard work.
To quote Dr. Chung: "I've come to believe that being an American involves much more than birthplace, legal status or ancestry, it involves a set of shared values and beliefs about opportunity, prosperity, and fairness. Generations of refugees and immigrants who came to this country understood and shared those values and beliefs, and by doing so some of them became more American than many who were born here".
Today's society has many immigrants that do not want to become "American," but want to change America to fit them. When our ancestors came they built an America based on the principles mentioned above. To be an American means you speak English, work to become a legal resident, and live with the principle as stated by Dr. Chung.
All the money earned from Dr. Chung's book will benefit World Vision, a world relief organization that works to help the poor and oppressed out of poverty.
To quote Dr. Chung, again: "We all have been blessed - every one of us - and we all are expected to give back." He is doing this through his book.
Today's immigrants who have chosen to come to America need to understand that this is a land of opportunity. If they want to be here they need to adapt to the American way, but they can always keep their "roots" as Dr. Chung illustrates so well in his book.
I hope millions of Americans read this outstanding book and share its eye-opening vision.
Pass food security act
I have been a volunteer for Bread for the World and Lutheran Advocacy for many years. Two years ago, we accomplished something historic in the fight against hunger. Now we need to stay the course.
On July 20, 2016, the Global Food Security Act was signed into law, after it had been passed by the Republican-led Congress with overwhelming support. As a result, hundreds of thousands of subsistence farmers in the developing world can feed their families and communities, equipped with better seeds, tools and techniques.
More children are living free from the devastating effects of stunting caused by malnutrition. Moreover, our country benefits from improved diplomatic and trade relations with target countries and greater stability in volatile regions.
As a member of Bread for the World, I am proud to have helped make this happen. The Global Food Security Act was introduced in previous sessions of Congress, but like thousands of other bills, it had gone nowhere - until we personally urged our representatives and senators to support it. I applaud Senator's Bennett and Gardner, for supporting it.
Today, the need for sustained U.S. leadership in the fight against hunger is more important than ever.
However, the current legislation expires Sept. 30, so we have only a few months to pass the Global Food Security Reauthorization Act (S. 2269) (H.5129) to ensure this life giving work continues. I hope you will join me in calling on our Senators and Congressman Lamborn to pass the Global Food Security Reauthorization Act.
Pot yes, toll lane no
I wish the Gazette would spend as much time, effort, and editorial space complaining about a possible toll lane addition to I-25 (which Colorado voters did not vote for) as they expend complaining about legalized pot (which Colorado voters did vote for).