Thursday, September 28, 2006


I would like to say that I love mankind, but every day it becomes more and more populated by moochers, thieves, bullies, busybodies, liars, fools, and thugs. I am done. I have had it with these people, and I am done.

You have heard me rant on liars and thieves and thugs, but the latest on my list to get the boot are the moochers. It has taken me so long to work this out in my own mind because of a great theological dilemma.

First, let me preface this by saying that I know there are people who really need a helping hand sometimes and I am all for giving someone a break. I believe we must help those that are less fortunate. If you are guided in your life by principles of Christianity, you know you must be willing to help those who come to you for help. It’s a no-brainer for a Christian. “But for the grace of God, there go I.”

But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels [of compassion] from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?

If there be among you a poor man of one of thy brethren within any of thy gates in thy land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not harden thine heart, nor shut thine hand from thy poor brother: But thou shalt open thine hand wide unto him, and shalt surely lend him sufficient for his need, [in that] which he wanteth.

He that giveth unto the poor shall not lack: but he that hideth his eyes shall have many a curse.

So this has been my dilemma. Someone comes to me and asks for something, do I give it to them? Do I have one response for a friend and another for a stranger?

I have worked for years downtown Dallas. I go out on the street to walk somewhere for lunch, and everyday some street person asks me for change, or asks for a cigarette. A guy dressed in a suit on the sidewalk downtown is a sure target for these folks.

Just recently a girl in the neighborhood where I live saw me outside and came over, started a conversation, and then she asked if she could borrow a cigarette. “Sure, no problem.” Then the next day, she sees me outside and comes over again. Same thing. Third day same thing. Fourth day, I am not outside and the door bell rings, and it is her. “Can I borrow a cigarette?” “Sure, no problem,” I said. The next day, for the fifth day in a row, door bell rings, and here she is again. “Can I borrow a cigarette?” “No,” I said, “I am done.” “Please” she pleads, “I will never bother you again.” “No,” I said, ‘I am not playing anymore.”

It is a small thing. I could give her a cigarette everyday, and never miss it.

But it becomes irritating to me when someone is just taking advantage of my kindness. In this case I thought nothing of it the first day, but on the second day I was on to her. I tend to act very na├»ve at first, pretending I don’t realize they are just abusing my magnanimous persona. Shoot, I am renowned for my generosity. But I am mentally taking notes, giving them the benefit of the doubt maybe, hoping they are better people than they appear. But once the jury is in, in my mind, then I am done.

This issue and the dilemma for me is the same whether is it a cigarette or something much bigger. We have known friends who were down and out, in a bad situation, and needed a place to stay. They needed shelter. They needed food. They needed gas. They needed something.

On the one hand, I want to help. On the other I have no interest in supporting their laziness. Why should I enable them to continue is their laziness?

There are different types of moochers. There are those who constantly want to bum a cigarette or something similarly small. There are those who never want to contribute to the tab at the restaurant. We have all seen or heard of those that someone takes in to help out, but then they overstay their welcome. They won’t leave. They don’t get a job. They are deadbeats who outlive the generous hospitality of their friends and family. There are those that borrow money, but never pay it back. And there are the professionals, those with a cause to promote, who could never do it on their own, but have to rely on others to promote or develop their agenda. They seek to convince you that their cause is worthy of your free time.

But what they all have in common is that they just take and take and take. They will take anything for free. Sometimes you feel like they would take a disease if it were free. They take anything and everything. And to them it is a gift. And the good ones, they even smile and say thank you for your generosity.

I have more respect for prostitutes.

The way they usually operate is to play on your sympathy, telling you their hard luck story. They tell you how they are broke, but they need this or that. Maybe it is just $20. Or less. But they do this all the time, over and over. A little bit here from one, and little bit here from another, and a little bit more from someone else. None of the victims of the moochers know about each other. The moochers don’t want one victim to learn of the other victims generosity to them. They don’t want them sharing notes of how much they are giving to the moochers. They get something for free, and then go on about their business, smiling and laughing at what they just got a way with, laughing at the suckers who just fell for their line, and their manipulation.

I work for a living. Many times it involves long stressful hours. I don’t have much, that is for sure. But what I have I came by it honestly. The old fashioned way. I earned it. The last thing I need is freeloading moochers leeching on my wagon.

So, Notice to moochers….and you know who you are….the free ride is over. Please don’t ask me for free money, free food, free place to stay or to come work for you for free. I don’t work for free for moochers.

If you are a moocher, please quit. Quit being a moocher. A moocher is a liar, a thief and a moocher is a thug, in my book. There is no difference. Try being real, a real friend and a real person, a real person of integrity and character. Start acting like a grown person, a person who can walk with his or her head held up high. Shame on you moochers. You are fools.

I have tried my best to be your friend. But your constant mooching has proven you do not want to be a friend. If you are mooching off of me, you are not my friend. It’s time you showed me you do want to be a friend.

He that begetteth a fool [doeth it] to his sorrow: and the father of a fool hath no joy.

Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of thy words.

Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.


Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Two Great Stories

Many years ago, Al Capone virtually owned Chicago. Capone wasn't famous for anything heroic. He was notorious for enmeshing the windy city in everything from bootlegged booze and prostitution to murder.

Capone had a lawyer nicknamed "Easy Eddie." He was his lawyer for a good reason. Eddie was very good! In fact, Eddie's skill at legal maneuvering kept Big Al out of jail for a long time.

To show his appreciation, Capone paid him very well. Not only was the money big, but also, Eddie got special dividends. For instance, he and his family occupied a fenced-in mansion with live-in help and all of the conveniences of the day. The estate was so large that it filled an entire Chicago City block.

Eddie lived the high life of the Chicago mob and gave little consideration to the atrocity that went on around him. Eddie did have one soft spot, however. He had a son that he loved dearly.

Eddie saw to it that his young son had clothes, cars, and a good education. Nothing was withheld. Price was no object. And, despite his involvement with organized crime, Eddie even tried to teach him right from wrong. Eddie wanted his son to be a better man than he was. Yet, with all his wealth and influence, there were two things he could not give his son; he could not pass on a good name or a good example.

One day, Easy Eddie reached a difficult decision. Easy Eddie wanted to rectify wrongs he had done. He decided he would go to the authorities and tell the truth about Al "Scarface" Capone, clean up his tarnished name, and offer his son some semblance of integrity.

To do this, he would have to testify against The Mob, and he knew that the cost would be great. So, he testified.

Within the year, Easy Eddie's life ended in a blaze of gunfire on a lonely Chicago Street. But in his eyes, he had given his son the greatest gift he had to offer, at the greatest price he could ever pay. Police removed from his pockets a rosary, a crucifix, a religious medallion, and a poem clipped from a magazine.

The poem read:
The clock of life is wound but once, And no man has the power To tell just when the hands will stop At late or early hour. Now is the only time you own. Live, love, toil with a will.
Place no faith in time. For the clock may soon be still.

World War II produced many heroes. One such man was Lieutenant Commander Butch O'Hare. He was a fighter pilot assigned to the aircraft carrier Lexington in the South Pacific. One day his entire squadron was sent on a mission.

After he was airborne, he looked at his fuel gauge and realized that someone had forgotten to top off his fuel tank He would not have enough fuel to complete his mission and get back to his ship. His flight leader told him to return to the carrier. Reluctantly, he dropped out of formation and headed back to the fleet.

As he was returning to the mother ship he saw something that turned his blood cold: a squadron of Japanese aircraft were speeding their way toward the American fleet. The American fighters were gone on a sortie, and the fleet was all but defenseless. He could not reach his squadron and bring them back in time to save thefleet. Nor could he warn the fleet of the approaching danger. There was only one thing to do. He must somehow divert them from the fleet. Laying aside all thoughts of personal safety, he dove into the formation of Japanese planes. Wing-mounted 50 caliber's blazed as he charged in, attacking one surprised enemy plane and then another. Butch wove in and out of the now broken formation and fired at as many planes as possible until all his ammunition was finally spent. Undaunted, he continued the assault. He dove at the planes, trying to clip a wing or tail in hopes of damaging as many enemy planes as possible and rendering them unfit to fly. Finally, the exasperated Japanese squadron took off in another direction.

Deeply relieved, Butch O'Hare and his tattered fighter limped back to the carrier. Upon arrival, he reported in and related the event surrounding his return. The film from the gun-camera mounted on his plane told the tale. It showed the extent of Butch's daring attempt to protect his fleet. He had, in fact, destroyed five enemy aircraft. This took place on February 20, 1942, and for that action Butch became the Navy's first Ace of W.W. II, and the first Naval Aviator to win the Congressional Medal of Honor. A year later Butch was killed in aerial combat at the age of 29. His home town would not allow the memory of this WW II hero to fade, and today, O'Hare Airport in Chicago is named in tribute to the courage of this great man.

So, the next time you find yourself at O'Hare International, give some thought to visiting Butch's memorial displaying his statue and his Medal of Honor. It is located between Terminals 1 and 2.


Butch O'Hare was "Easy Eddie's" son.