37 thoughts on “Seattle is Dying (60 min)

  1. sojourner

    As you know, this is also a symptom of severe economic inequality. I will bookmark this and watch it some time soon. Thanks for posting,!

  2. Sha'Tara Post author

    Thanks Sojourner. Severe economic inequality says it well and says it all. What do hopelessly desperate people do when up against an insurmountable wall? They turn to some sort of ‘fix’ whether hitting the road as refugees, getting religion or, if nothing else is available and nothing else makes any more sense, they turn to some sort of addiction. In older times (I’m not endorsing this, just sayin’) the empire would drum up some believable enemy, declare war and round up these people in the draft. However, with the current situation of mercenary volunteer ‘forces’ and the rampant drug corruption among US mercenary forces, that is no longer a viable option although ‘they’ will likely try it again, after giving Trump his coveted dictatorial powers. History must repeat itself within our patriarchal Matrix driven civilization.

  3. Sha'Tara Post author

    Correction: when I say “giving Trump his coveted dictatorial powers” I don’t mean “only” Trump. It can be anyone in the farcical figurehead position of president of ‘these (dis-) United States.

  4. jim-

    I saw this video maybe a month ago. I also learned that skid row in LA has about 65,000 homeless people living just outside one of the most prosperous business districts in the world. But nothing can be done…

  5. rawgod

    I’ve made it halfway through this video without vomitting, but I’m not sure how much more I can take. Homelessness! You say it is a symptom, a consequence, not a cause. Do you really think drugs are the cause?
    Why do you think people take drugs? Because they’re fun? Because they make users feel good? WRONG! 100% WRONG. DRUGS ARE A SYMPTOM of a society so sick that money is everything, property is everything, and not everyone is capable of living that way. And mental health is a part of that problem, a big part. But that is not a cause either. Mental health itself is just a symptom. Some people are born incapable of surviving in modern society, I will grant you that. But MOST PEOPLE WHO CANNOT SURVIVE IN SOCIETY ARE MADE TO BE UNABLE TO SURVIVE! They are driven crazy by their parents, by religion, by government, and by those who accept the rules of society and work within them, the sheeple, as you call them. The world is full of sheeple, but for every 99 sheep there is one who cannot be that way. They are abused as children, forced to believe things that do not make sense, told they have to live certain ways that are not condusive to being individuals in a group majority. They are called crazy, trash, misfits, drunks, druggies, and homeless. How would you cope if every person you meet treats you with disrespect, looks down on you, tells you to grow up and get a job, labels you as unhuman, a blight on society.
    If you conform to social rules, you get go live the life you want, at least to some degree. No one calls you names, kicks you when you’re down, refuses to let you use a toilet, starves you because you have no money. You end up on the street, a social outcast, and then you are offered an addictive drug that helps you escape from those “better-than-thou” people, those “so-righteous” people who refuse to let you be yourself. For a few hours a day you get to live in your mind, have happiness, feel human–just not the way others feel human. You get to feel like YOU! Is that so wrong?
    Move backwards from there. Go back to primary school. How many people suffer from mental health problems in Grade 1? In Grade 6? Not many! Yet the older they get, problems start showing up. But don’t look at the problems. LOOK AT THE CAUSES OF THOSE PROBLEMS. Sexual abuse! Mental abuse! Physical abuse! Those things are everywhere. BULLUES ARE NOT JUST IN THE SCHOOLYARD! Parents are bullies. Teachers are bullies. Religious authorities are bullies. Aunts and uncles are bullies. ANYONE CAN BE A BULLY! Especially if the child is sensitive, easily hurt. Not all children are born with inner strengths. Some are. Many are not. They need time to learn to protect themselves, but they never get the chance.
    I could go on, Sha’Tara, I could go on for hours. But until society helps people grow up strong and free to do what they want to do, people are going to fall by the wayside. The order of events will not be the same for all, but those symptoms your video looks at are not the only symptoms, they are social crimes. Crimes against humans. Until you address them, you will never fix homelessness, addiction, mental health, even suicide. People are to blame, and we all have to accept that blame, every fucking one of us!

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Hi rawgod. It’s too bad you didn’t see the entire film as the last third is about working solutions in helping these people. At least in controlling their addictions. There still remains the problem of gross economic inequality within the capitalist system. Here in Canada (I think you know this) there is a fairly decent “welfare” system for the legitimately poor. I could take you among Chilliwack’s rising tide of homelessness and you would not be able to find one case of homelessness due to legitimate poverty. All of it, bar none, is driven by drug addiction. The solution to that is “tough love”. These people, most of whom have rap sheets because the steal to maintain their habit, need to be institutionalized in prison-like environment to begin with. Only there can any treatment begin and have a chance of success. Watch the rest of the documentary, rawgod.

      1. rawgod

        You still aren’t hearing me if you think tough love is a solution to anything. The solution is to bring up healthy children, not sheeple of the capitalist society.
        Another solution is to give people respect, those who already suffer from addictions and mental health problems.Tough love does nothing but squish them deeper into the mire of poverty and starvation.
        Do you know how many addicts are part of the capitalist culture? Way more than the number of homeless! Addicts who are respected members of communities and society, because either no one knows of their sicknesses, or they don’t care to know. They are people who were brought up with money, or talent, or love. Look at the number of addicts playing on sports teams, living secret or even not-so-secret lives of alcohol and other drugs. How many people are addicted to painkillers? To fentanyl or its derivatives? Legal addictions that are killing them in growing numbers.
        Addiction is not a personal or individual disease, it it a social epidemic. You don’t fix it by charity, by incarceration, or by treating people like dogs. You fix it by giving everyone a place in society, which does not mean making them cogs in a machine. It means purpose to life. Purpose to live. Reason to want to live.
        Although addiction is a social disease, it needs to be corrected on an individual basis. What stole the person’s purpose? WHO stole the person’s dignity? Why? How? When?
        It says in the video Seattle spends a billion dollars a year on homelessness. They don’t spend it, they throw it away! Did you see how they arrested that one person who was just walking down the street. Four cops come running out os a car, surround the man, throw him up against the wall, cuff him, and who knows what else after the video stops or they take him away. They are not treating him like a person but like a rabid dog! When ten guys surround a man in a garbage can, offering him smokes or candy bars, is that RESPECT! No, he is an animal and they treat him as such, even though they know him well enough to call him by name. That is bullshit!
        Everyone talks about the city looking like shit, with tents everywhere, and garbage and feces laying loose on the ground. Treat anyone like an animal and eventually they will devolve into one. What other tactic do they have?
        I was a druggie though never an addict. But I know how people treated me. More than half of society was piss-poor to me. I was homeless by choice, not by circumstance, but still I was homeless, sleeping wherever I could, being hassled by cops and teenage gangs. Eating out of garbage cans because I could not afford food for days on end. And why? Because I wss physicall abusrd by my father! Because all everyone wanted for me was to be a nice boy, follow orders, become a fucking millionaire by the time I was 20. I’ve seen society at its best and its worst. People think they are so high and mighty. They’re nothing but bottom-eating snakes and cockroaches. It makes me sick to think I am even remotely related to them. Yet I am totally one of them. Barf!

      2. Sha'Tara Post author

        Good rant, rawgod, but if you expect society to show respect to individuals who have respect neither for themselves nor for the society they leech from, it isn’t going to happen. As to purpose, no one and no system can ever give anyone purpose. Purpose comes from within the individual and is that which directs and gives meaning to that individual’s life 24/7. Anything that tried to insinuate itself between the individual and her/his purpose has to be utterly rejected. Purpose is sacred but only to the individual who “bothers” to have one and no one and no system can ever separate an individual from their purpose unless they allow it. I too come from a dysfunctional family of 7 children, so I have some experience in the “tough love” department. It works when accompanied by a will to change. Where there is no will, there is no way. Society is made up of individuals, not the other way around. It is pointless to blame society of our own ills, we have the intelligence to figure out how to function without relying on self-destructive tendencies. There are societies on the planet that would not for one instant tolerate the kind of degeneracy seen in the documentary. Their clean up methods would not be considered compassionate or even politically correct in this decadent and hypocritical western society, but they would be effective.

      3. rawgod

        I have to totally disagree with you on this one, but that is okay. I have lived with these people, literally, and seen them at their best and worst. Go ahead and try your methods, you’ll get a few successes, but you will do nothing for the majority. Their lives and spirits have already been crushed. Now they just exist until they die.
        Watching others is what took me away from that life, and as a social worker I tried to help them but was not allowed to do it my way. I didn’t last long, the powers that be don’t like to be told what they’re doing wrong. As long as they are making their salaries, they are happy. The front line workers are frustrated because they are not allowed to make a real difference. If they did their bosses jobs would disappear.
        You are usually the one fighting the establushed order, but on this you have always had a blind spot. You hate drugs, and what they do to people–rightly so. But you seem to think peole choose to become addicts, and that is the exact opposite of the truth. No one chooses drugs. And once they are addicted, their choice is taken away from them. Throw away your home, throw away your money and go actually live with them for awhile. And then you can talk. Until then you can never understand. You can only judge.

      4. Sha'Tara Post author

        Re-reading your comment, and quoting in part: “But you seem to think peole choose to become addicts, and that is the exact opposite of the truth. No one chooses drugs. And once they are addicted, their choice is taken away from them.”
        Oh yes, how well I know what drugs do to people, first in my own family, and as a result of doing ‘street ministry’ in Vancouver when I was still in the Church. I don’t understand how anyone can say that people don’t choose to use drugs. Of course they do or they would not be addicted. No one forcibly makes them ingest the stuff or shoot up, they choose to start somewhere, to try it. Unlike most of my siblings I chose NOT TO. It’s a question of self respect, of self discipline, certainly a question of observation: did I want to end up like, say, my brother “K” or brother “B” or sister “F”? Did I want to talk and act like those toked up and beer-ed up “environmentalists” after our monthly meetings or AGM’s when it all became party time? I had to make a choice, time after time after time. I used awareness, self-respect and determination to just stay away. Therefore all bullshit aside, yes, it is a choice and to make the proper choice, i.e., to not indulge, is totally doable for anyone. Addictions aren’t diseases, they are choices, but political correctness and of course massive profits from drugs, legal or not, has driven away self discipline in favour of some made-up pathology. I’ll say it again, bull shit! It’s not in anyone’s genes or DNA to be an addict. It’s in the mind and that means choice. Of course, given enough rope and dope, the addict will become incapable of self-correction and at that point s/he needs serious and practical intervention. Society has enough burdens, it doesn’t need the added one of destructive and criminal behaviour from individuals who have made themselves lower than any animal I’ve ever seen. That’s my rant, rawgod.

      5. rawgod

        That choice was taken away from most of them long before they ever heard of drugs. Pills are medicine, that is what we are taught as youngsters. Got a headache, take an aspirin. What is an aspirin if not a drug?
        Got a toothache? Take a painkiller. What is a painkiller if not a drug?
        Got an upset tummy? Take a gravol. What is a gravol if not a drug?
        Be realistic, S’T, children are taught drugs are good.
        So when they have a hole in their heart, because their father raped them, what do they do? Take a pill? It’s always worked in the past. But they can’t get a pill from mommy, she doesn’t believe daddy would do that to his own son or daughter. So you find a pill from someone else. You want to feel better, and this is what you have been taught. Take a pill!
        It is NOT A CHOICE. It is a learned behaviour. A drug is a drug, it’s medicine, it makes you better. You think a drug pusher tells a kid their drug is a drug. No! It’s like a special candy. A pill to take the pain away. If you think anything else you are deluding yourself.
        How old were you when you chose not to do “drugs”? You obviously already knew something about them from what you said above. Most kids don’t know that, not the first time. Or even the second! It worked the first time, made them feel better for awhile. Before they know it they are addicted, and that is too late.
        I don’t want to give up on you Sha’Tara, but you have a blind spot that you refuse to look at. Drugs are a symptom, not a cause. Until you see that you are useless in this arena. You profess compassion, but it is not a way of life. You dispense it to those you see as worthy. All living beings are worthy, not just some. It is time you begin to realize that.
        Yes, I am trying to make you angry. I want you so angry at me that you cannot see straight. You won’t look at that blind spot because I ask you to, so maybe I can force you to look at it. Out of compassion for you, and out of compassion for all those you judge unworthy.
        Because you were able to choose not to do street drugs does not make you superior to those who did not get the chance to make a choice. It makes you human. Those other people, they are human too. And I am sick of them being treated like trash. I was one more pill away from being one of them. I was on the streets of Vancouver. I might have been one of your projects, but for one more pill.
        But instead we are friends, and friends have to be honest with friends or what is the use of being friends?. Open your arms a little wider, open your heart a little more lovingly, and open your mind so it has no more boxes around it. Look to see reality, not your form of it. That is what I ask of you, what I challenge you to do. See reality! Without preconditions…

      6. Sha'Tara Post author

        I’m not sure how I should respond, or whether I am expected to. I see nothing in your comment to make me get angry… at anything. I’m still, however, waiting for you to tell us what your solution was back when that no one would listen to. I don’t think you believe that simply “showing respect” to a homeless addict is going to fix both, her/his problem, and society’s burden. I propose serious intervention (tough love) because I know that anything less is just relocating the problem. While on the subject of respect, it has been said, and quite correctly, that respect isn’t due anyone, it’s earned. If you meet a hungry bear while unarmed, you can show the bear all the respect you want, he’s still going to kill you to eat. An addict ‘kills’ everything s/he touches because the only thing that matters is that hunger. So what does ‘showing respect’ entail then? Some words? Or would you take the addict into your home and proceed with the personal detox program? I’ve done that… got robbed blind and the addict, with the money, got worse, of course. Can you trust an addict who promises s/he will be good? That’s a dumb question, isn’t it.
        It may well be that ‘drugs’ – be they legal or not – are a disease, as Phil wrote. But that isn’t true, is it, unless we approach the subject through our emotions. Misuse of drugs creates diseases. Addiction is not a disease, it’s simply a deadly form of self indulgence. In modern society when sin is a joke; self discipline and self control for losers, or as you put it, for people who think they are superior to the rest (!) where does that leave the sheeple? Braying for more feel good. I know you can see society falling apart and going to hell in a hand basket, but can you see that not taking personal responsibility for one’s life is the major cause of this debacle? Can you see that homelessness through addiction is the brown spot on that one apple in the box and if it isn’t removed from the box, the healthy apples aren’t going to fix the rotten one. We all know that it is the rotten apple that will “take out” the entire box. Why should it be any different for us?
        In closing, back to respect: what good does it do to express respect to someone who has no respect, either for him-herself or for the society s/he depends on for the fix? Ever heard of casting pearls before swine? What is the point of offering something precious to someone who is incapable of understanding its value? The recipient will feel mocked and will be more likely to attack the one offering the respect. And even if in a moment of clarity the addict did accept the proffered respect, it would be to gain enough credibility in the moment to get her/his hand on some dollars for the next hit. That’s the reality that I am up close and personally familiar with. I don’t know what other reality you would have me look for. I’m not about to divest myself and go do drugs on the street just to discover that I was right in the first place.
        Well, friend, that’s it. I recognize the problem faced by addicts. I know they need serious intervention and when that is done properly, the results are quite amazing. Watch the documentary to the end, rawgod, it might surprise you. Thanks for the friendship!

      7. rawgod

        Listen to yourself, S’T, you don’t have an ounce of respect in you for people with an addiction, or even just a habit. You think they don’t know that. You hate druggies! I knew that from one of the first conversations we ever had. Nothing has changed.
        Yeah, I know all about self-responsibility. Maybe 10% of the people in this world see it. Less than 5% know what it really means to be self-responsible. Yet you expect everyone of them to be able to act self-responsibly when they have no idea what that is. Dream on.
        You were active on the streets of Vancouver. How many people did you watch come down off heroin. How many did you help get through the DTs? How did you stop them from hurting themselves? From hurting others? If you have done that even once, you know how to respect them. How to care about them. They exprrience pains that would kill others. And they live to do it again. And again. Not because they want to feel the pain, but because they truly want to stop being addicted. But they have to learn the strength to beat that addiction, and for most it cannot be done in one event. As long as the drug is stronger than them, they cannot stop. That is what addiction is.
        Treating someone with respect is just the first step. You say they have to earn your respect? You have to earn theirs too. And they know a lot more about respect than you do. They know when someone does not respect them. You close your eyes at inappropriate times. You wrinkle your nose when they shit themselves. You go home and eat nutritious meals while they starve. You drink wine while they drink their own piss. That is not respect! That is hatred.

      8. Sha'Tara Post author

        Quote: “You wrinkle your nose when they shit themselves. You go home and eat nutritious meals while they starve. You drink wine while they drink their own piss. That is not respect! That is hatred.”
        Those are your words, your emotions talking, rawgod. You don’t know me, you don’t know where I’ve been and what I’ve seen and done. I think it’s fair to say that you’re the one who is not listening. Based on this conversation I’m beginning to think that I know more about addiction and the problems of addicts than you do. I’m also beginning to see that you are using me as a sounding board for old problems your harbour that have never been cleanly excised. You come across as angry, but also afraid. Are you afraid your old world is going to claim you back? Unfinished business? Next life waiting…? I think this conversation is about you, not so much about generic addictions and peripheral problems. Why do you come across as if you resent that I’ve never ‘suffered’ addictions? Why do you feel that I feel superior because of that? I’m not better than anyone else but neither am I going to devolve myself to the level of non-life I’ve rubbed shoulders with. Have you ever had to go and pick up someone who, in a drunken stupor, fell down a flight of stairs? Have you ever ridden in a paddy wagon with a handcuffed, bleeding individual so incoherent he had no idea what was going on? Have you ever sat and listened to a cop explain what it’s like to break up drug deal fights, arrest and bring in the perpetrators… week after week only to see things keep on deteriorating all around? The addicts become desensitized to their “folly” and those who have to deal with that “folly” also become desensitized. It becomes a hopeless treadmill… unless some hard thinking and hard action happens. Not the namby-pamby, hand holding, ‘Jesus loves you’ stuff, but real, courageous action, i.e., societal intervention. Detox. When necessary, get them on a life-long program of non-addictive drug to counter the addiction.
        Watch the rest of the video, rawgod. Listen to some addicts tell it like it is. Without serious intervention, they were dead. With intervention, they are reunited with family, grandchildren, etc. That’s a solution that seems to work and that’s what needs to be focused on. That’s why I reblogged the documentary. Somebody is doing something that works.

      9. rawgod

        I don’t know you, I never tried to say I did. I just asked questions. You tell me what you read in my words? Those words are not about me, though some arecabout things I have seen and done. Your video is worthless to me. You want to believe it will work for the millions of homeless people in North America? Go for it. When you come back I will listen to your successes, and your failures. I know what I know. I have watched people try your methods. I have seen what I have seen. I have felt a million feelings. I have NEVER felt what you feel. I NEVER want to feel what you feel.

      10. Sha'Tara Post author

        I found the link, now I just need to find the time to read through, and study the points made. Thanks!

      11. rawgod

        The main point I wanted you to see, he saw that 100% of those he met came from broken or abusive homes. Even I did not go that high in my estimate. The number doesn’t matter, though. Social problems in the early years make people vulnerable to those who prey on them. Drug pushers, prostitution runners (who use drugs to hold people enslaved until they are useless to them), criminals, what have you. Society fails these people.
        The drugs are only a symptom, not a cause. That is what I want you to see and understand. Sure, not everyone falls by the wayside, a lot find the inner strength to avoid the pitfalls. But the ones who don’t, they have been destoyed. They need to build their strengths from the bottom up. You cannot force or guilt people into doing that. But you can do it by treating them like they matter…

      12. Sha'Tara Post author

        First of all, that guy’s stats don’t hold to my observations, and remember I come from a family of addicts and addiction. My old man was an alcoholic – and pedophile. All my brothers and sister went through the “thing” of alcohol and drugs. All but one, I think, needed psych ward time and/or rehab. Our family was no more dysfunctional than most. I was probably the one who was the most targeted for abuse and I’m the one who never got drunk or ever did any drugs, so that’s first hand… no, he’s got it wrong.
        What we are talking about here is two things: prevention and intervention. I was focusing on the serious, in your face, problem requiring equally serious intervention. Drug use is growing along with homelessness. The usual problem is that all the money addicts get if on their own goes to feed the habit. The only way to push that the other way is to exact control over the situation through forced intervention, since addicts are not going to do it voluntarily. They have no control over their perceived need. Again, personal experience and that should come first in understanding a situation.
        As to prevention, that’s real easy. First, ban and get rid of all addictive substances (Hah, sure, remember prohibition?) Then fix the economy so everybody is financially equal… hum, sure. Then make sure that no dysfunctional families exist in the land; that everybody is happy, satisfied, fulfilled. That’s easy too, just take the Brave New World prescription. Bokanovskify all of society and have only one drug: soma. Until then we’re stuck with the (non?) problem.

      13. rawgod

        Stop looking it at as problem. It is only a problem to those who aren’t homeless. It IS a disease, a SPIRITUAL DISEASE. The homeless, the druggies, the addicts who have homes, they all suffer spiritually. And I do not mean religiously, that only aggravates the issue. Their dignity has been taken from them. THEY NEED IT BACK!!!
        That is my experience. My father was addicted to cruelty, that was his drug of choice. Nine brothers and sisters had problems. Maybe they didn’t all turn to alcohol, which was the drug of choice in those days, but they turned to something. We aren’t much different, S’T, but we come from different viewpoints, as usual. Spiritual healing is my method, and that starts with respect. Yours is force. I cannot respect that.

      14. Sha'Tara Post author

        I had to chew on this one for a bit, looking at several angles. I came up with this, that Earthians, at least here in the West, tend to bandy words about without analyzing their actual meaning. You call addiction a “disease” but by definition it cannot be a disease. It is volitionally entered in at some point in a person’s life. No disease is ever sought after. It is a result of some attack and failure of one’s immune system and no disease, unlike addictions, is ever nurtured in order to get enjoyment from it. Anyone with a recognizable disease does all s/he can to get rid of it. There is no pleasure in harboring a disease. That puts addiction outside the definition of disease. Addicts support and enjoy their addictions until their will power has been taken over by the feelings engendered by their addiction. They seek it out, they don’t want a cure. Modern ‘morality’ doesn’t believe in self-control and rampant drug addiction is to a large extent the result of this permissiveness, along with many other ills of this decadent society. Other common words I’ve tackled in the past are ‘sin’ and ‘accident.’ Sin, like addiction, is all about volition and will power.
        I have to confess that I still do not know what you mean by spiritual disease. Can lack of self control that eventually destroy one’s will power be classed as a spiritual disease? What IS a spiritual disease?
        Just askin’…

      15. rawgod

        First things first. I don’t have one in front of me, but the American Psychiatric Association, in agreement with other such associations around the world, classifies addiction a disease in their Diagnostic and Statistical Manual(s) of Mental Disorders. For some people it actually is a physical thing, their DNA has genes that cause addictions to various chemicals, including nicotine, alcohol, caffeine, cocaine, amphetamines, opioids, etc. But often, these addictions are mental diseases, with many people having both pnysical and mental diseases. Several diseases are not caused by chemicals from outside the body, but by interior chemicals like endorphins. Endorphins are produced inside the body, so they become physical. Some things that produce such endorphins are sex, happiness, pleasure, and religion–some are just produced by drugs. But no matter what, in the eyes and understanding of professionals, they are diseases. Not for all, no, but for most. Cocaine and heroin are especially vile examples of this, do the drug once and you are addicted whether you enjoy the experience or not.
        So we have two states covered, the physical, and the mental. I know you happen to equate mental processes with the spirit, as you have told me many times. I have reasons for separating them, addictions being a rather minor one. Doctors are not prone to looking at spiritual matters in relation to health. They do not technically believe in spirits, though those who are religious do believe in souls. A totally different state, in my manner of thinking.
        While I see spirit as the most important state of living beings, I know not everyone does. No matter. Spirit in the more abstract meaning is that which connects one living being to another on a spiritual level. Imagine, if you can, an immaterial liquid that fills your body up at birth. It exists between the building blocks of matter, the stuff your physical body is made of. The immaterial liquid is then what makes up your spirit.
        Disease might not be the very best word to use when it comes to problems of the spirit, though that is the easiest way to think of them for me, spiritual damage might be a better one, at least at the start. Something happens as a baby or a child grows. Love is withheld, or does not occur at all. Meanness is encountered. Life is made unsafe. Happiness on a personal level is unavailable. These are not all the causes of spiritual damage, there are many many more. I am sure you know some from your own early life, or even your young adult life. They can occur anytime, of course, but generally the older you get the better your defences grow. As a baby you have no defences. As a child you have very few. And the younger you are, or the more you encounter such experiences, the greater the damage to your spirit. Such damage needs to be repaired, but it seldom is, at least not fully repaired. That is for another time.
        The longer the damage lasts, the more severe the damage is, the greater the chance the damage will turn into disease. The worse the disease, the harder it is to fix, or cure. It affects the whole life of an unfortunate being. They lose their trust of other beings, especially those who hurt them. A lack of love leaves damaged children with less ability to love, or with a greater need to be loved to the point they take what they see as love anywhere they can get it. Safety is often a byproduct of love, but many will give the former up in search of the latter. Girls especially seem to be susceptible to this a bit more than boys, though boys show it in different ways. More girls end up as prostitutes than boys, this is a big reason why.
        Whatever, spiritual diseases weaken people, or dogs, or cats or horses. Animals who associate with humans are very vulnerable to spiritual diseases. People associate with people. That affects everyone’s mental health, which in turn affects their physical health.
        For people, this increases their vulnerability to anything which increases pleasure, and drugs are an easy way to do that.
        No matter how anyone spins it, addiction is very seldom a choice. Continuing an addiction might be, but that is the meaning of addiction. It takes away choice. When you look at addicts, whether homeless or not, (and more are not homeless than are), you are not seeing well people, you are seeing diseased people, broken people, people with damaged spirits.
        Healing the spirit is the best way to save an addict from themselves. Giving them tough love does NOT heal their spirits. Kindness, respect, and compassion do. As well as the realization that most are not ready to be healed. They will tell you they are, and they will even mean it, until the next time their body cries out for a fix. If they do not have the spiritual strength–a connection to others–they do not have the strength to overcome their addiction. You can reason with people all you want, when they are sober and not in need, everything makes sense. But once the addiction comes knocking, it’s all out the window. Addiction does not know reason, or even common sense. Addiction knows a fix works, and the sooner the better. You want to heal an addict, work on their spirit, not on their emotion or brain.
        Give them real love. Give them real acceptance. Give them real respect. But don’t expect to give them your reality. That is how they got hurt in the first place…

      16. Sha'Tara Post author

        That is a priceless comment, rawgod. If that’s how it is, and I have no reason not to take your word for it, it means that everybody, bar none, is a victim of someone, or something, on this world. The situation you describe above is essentially what I have found in my own study of what I came to call ‘Stack Worlds’ – if you were reading my blog posts on ‘The Antierra Manifesto’ you’d know what I mean and I can’t explain it here – too complex. Your description of addiction and spiritual disease means that no one is immune so that all we have, ever had, ever will have, is the sick ministering to the sick by some pretending not to be sick. The blind lead the blind and they keep ever and anon falling in the proverbial ditch. Actually that is a pretty accurate description of conditions extant here. In that case, my “other side” analysis of Earth is that it is all beyond any cure and only a complete change of nature can turn things around. As the Earthian clock turns past midnight nothing happens, despite the expectations of total disaster or alien/divine intervention. The clock just keeps on ticking and it’s another pointless, meaningless cycle, except of course for that one individual who ‘gets it’ and breaks the cycle within herself. But then that person/creature becomes an alien and nothing, absolutely nothing, can ever make sense again until death puts an end to the body.
        From your description – which now makes total sense – everybody here is both, an addict and a victim, even those we jokingly call the ‘masters of the universe’ – the old money and new money billionaires. They are victims of their lusts while the poor and the planet are their victims. Predator and prey; the food chain in which everyone is prey in an endless cycle. Nothing can be done, nothing will be done. The healers are just as sick as the patients and any attempt at healing only causes more disease.
        I always knew this but I didn’t want to believe it. Now I do. I can let go of any latent hope and expectation and live my life. So I thank you, sincerely and honestly for that needed slap on he side of the head to get the thinking straightened out.

      17. rawgod

        Took me long enough to find the right club, lol. I knew what I was trying to say, I just needed to say it with a cricket bat instead of a baseball bat or a golf club. But communication at this level is always difficult. Hope I didn’t leave any bruises…

        However, I do not agree there is no cure. Yes, everyone is diseased, even me, but I refuse to let that hamper me. Like any addict, the first thing one needs to do is admit one is an addict, or victim, or disease carrier, or Thyphoid Mary. Once you admit you are a spiritually damaged being, healing can start. You don’t even need outside help. Knowing you are diseased gets you looking inside yourself, to see why you are damaged, how you became damaged. Looking inside yourself can reveal a lot of things, especially that there is a person or consciousness inside you that needs rescuing. And the closest rescuer is YOU!

        By the wsy, I read everything you write, except the “Manifesto.” I don’t like starting something that I cannot complete. I don’t know if Manifesto is completed yet or not, but I don’t have the whole piece in front of me. Once you put the final page, including epilogue if there is one, I will not start it. And if it is book one of a serial series, I won’t start it till the whole series is not complete. No offence, but I just don’t operate that way…

      18. Sha'Tara Post author

        As to the Manifesto, I can send it to you as an attachment, either plain text or MS Word 2002 version. I can also copy one in Open Office if that’s what you use. That’s just an offer. There was to be a part II but I’ve given up on that. I felt that what I had to say through this novel was said.

      19. rawgod

        Famous last words, should you find a publisher. Single nover stories don’t seem to exist anymore. But hold onto that offer for now. I would prefer you hide it online, but we shall see.

      20. Sha'Tara Post author

        Whatever I write becomes public domain – and if someone say, took a MS of ‘mine’ and published it, at least is would be published, something I’ll never do. I think that instead of going on with this theme I would simply write another story, likely from a completely different angle. I like telling stories but when a story is done, it is done. I’ve never managed to complete a sequel.

      21. rawgod

        Jack L. Chalker wrote Midnight at the Well of Souls as a complete novel. It needed no sequl, it was complete as is. But his publisher insisted, and the series ended (I think) with 7 or 8 books after “Midnight.” They were good, but nothing close to his first. Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy started as a single book, and ended as a four-book trilogy. Douglas Adams did that I think to separate the last three books from the first. Dune by Frank Hebert was the same. It needed no sequels but it got them. Publishers are powerful people, and serials have been in vogue for decades, even though they seldom improve on the first book. Yup, better not to publush at all. I don’t.

  6. Regis Auffray

    A powerful eye-opener. Sad to see the “Emerald City” becoming the “Charcoal Slum” as it dies. This documentary does point out some hopeful (possible) solutions. Thank you for sharing this, Sha’Tara.

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Thank you for commenting, and for watching to the end, picking up on the clearly shown success of some attempted solution to addiction related to homelessness and the rising crime rate.

      1. Sha'Tara Post author

        I’m curious, since we are dialoguing… what was your particular way to deal with this condition?

  7. Phil Huston

    Drugs are a disease. So is poor mental health. So is lack of opportunity. Bad judgement, no direction. There are between 4 and 8 thousand homeless children in Dallas. Children. I will stand with Trump on need to stop the migration to a perceived land of milk and honey when we can’t educate, feed or house the poor, for whatever reason, in our own back yard. It’s not all down to drugs. If it were, that would be an easy fix. It’s a question of more for less, and less for more.
    As well there are people who make a career of milking the system. How to get everything you need without working a day in your life. Now, if the people who needed help were that savvy, eh?

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Hi Phil… and quoting you, in part, “It’s not all down to drugs. If it were, that would be an easy fix.” Are you positively sure that dealing with drug addiction is an easy fix? Care to elaborate on that?
      Further to that, and your comment, there are similar problems up here in Canada, but no one NEEDS to be a legitimately homeless poor. We have a welfare safety net and many cities and towns (maybe all, I don’t know) have subsidized low income housing. Smart people manage on government ‘dole’ if they spend ONLY on necessities and don’t drive cars, or indulge in movie theaters, casinos, etc., etc. It’s doable. As for the mentally unbalanced… admittedly there isn’t enough assistance or special housing for them but of those who are not self-medicating, doing drugs and homeless, there aren’t as many as some believe. Yes, there is a massive discrepancy between rich and poor and that needs to be addressed but as long as banks rule the world that isn’t going to happen. It’s up to people to bring about change, and from what I observe on a daily basis, don’t hold your breath waiting for that to happen. For most it’s business as usual and still very much party time in Americanada.

  8. Hyperion

    I did watch the video all the way through. I think in our debate here, we miss some key points and make some key points. That is good enough to say this post had an effect. It was very sad to watch as I lived on the Puget Sound near Tacoma when assigned to the 9th Infantry at Fort Lewis. The problems were there left over from the 70’s hippie movement which was really a drug movement. Thenit became a major drug gang movement. Still, it wasn’t out of control. I remember visiting Seattle and enjoying it’s quaintness. From my many travels, I can say it is my opinion that those tent camps full of garbage and desease is the normal human condition. This is what we are at our base level. This living in filth and disarray is what we choose because in every country on every continent, people are living this way and the root causes are very simple to observe but improbable to mount an attempt to change. The great migrations of the 21st century are bringing poverty to the masses in stunning numbers across the world. Not every filthy camp is related to drugs, it is simple lack of infrastructure and people in survival mode are too desperate to organize effectively because they have little or no resources. But back to Seattle, we also see root causes and solutions but the mindset of those with resources and infrastructure are too blinded by the bureaucracy to effect a solution. The two most devastated cities, Los Angeles and Seattle, are west cost cities, left wing liberal Cafe socialism is rampant in government and among the people and with that comes the penalty for a narcissistic pursuit of individual over everything. Where is the brotherly love where the community cleans the street and administers to the needy, where is the liberal idealogy of inclusiveness in Seattle? It’s because of the belief that government owns and fixes everything and the people merely wait for government to do it. In parts of Alaska, you can be any political party and any social level but if you don’t have heat in the winter, you die. It’s not uncommon to find frozen bodies one block from a bar. Heat makes life possible and in the outer regions, no one waits for the government to deliver heat. They work for it whether it is heating oil or firewood. There was a study that found a high percentage of homeless are military veterans. That’s another debate. Veterans have benefits but the homeless drug addicted vets don’t seek those benefits for many reasons. Seattles problem isn’t a government problem, it’s a government responsibility. If all those angry citizens were screaming for the legal right to help the government solve the problem, they would make a lot of headway. But they are not doing anything but making demands from a paralyzed and inept government to take meaningful and lasting actions. Not gonna happen. Seattle will die and become another putrid innercity no man’s land of crime and horror populated by the disaffected and lost souls. And Vancouver is not far away. A visit to Aleppo in Syria would do a lot to educate the masses to what life is really like when governments and the people collapse because of the desire of a single man to hold onto power for pride sake and nothing more.

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      To briefly reply to your comment, which really is a “nothing to add” sort of comment, which is appreciated on this blog, all I can say is, what you point to is basically what brought down the Soviet Union. The government was all things to everyone, hence it was nothing to anyone – except the the military, the drug dealers and the rich, however they became ‘the rich.’ It’s happening all over Western Europe and the Americas now. The Soviet disease moved west where the pickings were very easy.

      1. Hyperion

        Absolutely. I see it everywhere and I have a few friends that lived under the old Soviet Regime and they are astounded at how blind the west is to what is happening. Scary stuff and it is heart breaking to watch happen.

  9. Sha'Tara Post author

    Hence why, of necessity, I practice detachment. LA and Seattle ate the tip of the iceberg and America is the Titanic flaunting its ‘unsinkability’


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