Crime and Punishment

Crime and Punishment,
          ... or the Dignity of a Home

There are those who
                    would say,
          that I am soft on crime.
          But nothing could be
                    further from the truth.

I … I am very tough
                    on crime.

I though, just may have
          a different definition
          of what crime is
                    than you do.

You see, the worst
          crime there is
          – the one that affects
                    90% of this planet.
          – 5.5 billion people –
     is the crime
          of Poverty.

The official numbers
          from the 2010 census say that
          the poverty rate
          in the United States
          is 15.7 percent
          47.8 million people
We all know though that California
          leads the nation.
So the percentages here could be double.

And that doesn’t take into account
          those who are uncountable.
     – the hundreds of thousands
          dare I say millions
          of Americans
          living on the streets.

1 out of every 3
     homeless persons
          in this country



Many in wheelchairs
          and without limbs.

They are the Ron Kovic’s
          of this world
     – all but forgotten.

As a Gulf War Era veteran,
          – a Seabee –
          – a grunt –
I can feel their pain
     and I want to help them.

I want to help everyone
          who is suffering from
                    the Crime of Poverty.

And the rich – want to stay rich.
And the police and the bureaucrats
          want to keep their benefits
                    and I understand that.
And it is convenient
          to lock up 2 million Americans,
          – perhaps though,
                    it’s just the wrong 2 million.

But I am not talking about
          bringing anyone down.
On the contrary,
          I am talking about bringing
               everyone else up
                    to the same level.

But it must start
          from the bottom up.

And I am not talking about handout
          (like bailouts)
I’m talking about hand-ups
– of giving everyone
          the same opportunities
          no matter
     their race, identity, gender
          or economical status.

Every one of us
     are human beings first
          and deserve
The Dignity of a Home.

Housing is a Human Right.

And the Shame –
          the God Awful Shame
          the weakest link in our greatness
Is that there are more
          empty housing units
                    in America
                    in California
                    in Venice
     than there are homeless.

That – that is not a crime
          – Oh no!
That is the Deadly Sin of Greed.

And that is what I want
          to put an end to.

To stop the foreclosures
          and put people in homes
       – and keep them there.

And the banks are not going to like that,
          but all I can say is that the rich
          … well, the rich
                     are doing
                         just fine.