Friday, July 23, 2010

Secrecy Sucks

Spooky, Snoopy Spies Run Amuck

Since 9/11, a collection of secret intelligence groups called the United States Intelligence Community (IC) has become a monstrous, overlapping hodge-podge of spooks with some 850,000 people having top secret clearances, according to the Washington Post. The clandestine tangle of CIA spooks and related “national security” groups like military intelligence, civilian contractors and mercenaries has grown so much that its actual cost, or size, is unknowable and out-of-control according to the Post’s series of articles. The mainstream media icon is publishing Top Secret America after a two year investigation of the huge US intelligence complex. The expose paints a troubling picture of turf wars in a disconnected spy network that can’t “connect the dots”. It is especially disturbing because the Post is an establishment and neo-liberal oriented paper. It is usually supportive of a rather hawkish foreign policy and expenditures for the military industrial complex. The articles reveal a vast and unmanageable assortment of spooky, snoopy spies.

According to their websites the United States Intelligence Community (IC) is a cooperative federation of 16 separate US government agencies that work separately and together to conduct intelligence activities they consider necessary for the conduct of foreign relations and the protection of the national security of the United States.Member organizations of the IC include military intelligence, civilian intelligence and analysis offices in federal executive departments. The IC is headed by the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) who is said to be subject to the authority, direction and control of the President and is responsible for overseeing and directing national security by serving as the head of the sixteen-member IC.

The DNI website says the Washington Post’s series of articles “do not reflect the Intelligence Community we know. We accept that we operate in an environment that limits the amount of information we can share. However, the fact is, the men and women of the Intelligence Community have improved our operations, thwarted attacks, and are achieving untold successes every day.” Actually, the fact is, spooky infighting at enormous expense.

Obama’s first intelligence chief was Admiral Dennis Blair who had friction with the White House and turf fights with CIA Director Leon Panetta. According to media reports, one of Blair’s senior aides said they were frustrated with a lack of guidance from the White House and likened their situation to an invisible dog fence. The aide and Blair joked with each other that they never knew where the no-go lines were “until we got zapped.”

I don’t know much about spooks thwarting attacks, or their turf fights, but I did stand in a line of anti-war protestors and got zapped for it by the spooks in 2004. Dick Cheney came to my hometown of Columbia, South Carolina in 2004 to a fund-raiser for the Bush-Cheney re-election campaign at the home of an insurance company bigwig. Along with about 30 other peace activists I stood in a line across the street from the event holding a hand painted sign proclaiming “Dick Cheney is a War Criminal.” Local police on duty at the event who knew me were friendly, but I was photographed and asked to identify myself by a grim-faced spook with Cheney’s entourage.

About three months later my wife and I were waiting to board a flight at the Columbia airport when one of the security officers who was my friend told me he was required to meticulously search through my baggage. I asked him why and he said, “You are on the search list”.

Retired Air Force General James Clapper has been nominated by Obama to be the fourth chief spook since the DNI was established. Pledging to increase trust with Congress, Clapper told the Senate Intelligence Committee he would be candid with lawmakers, if confirmed as the next director of national intelligence.

Senators at Clapper's confirmation hearing voiced skepticism about the ability of the next overseer of the nation's 16 spy agencies to manage the sprawling intelligence community which the last three directors struggled with, mainly because of turf fights between the National Security Council and the CIA.

Clapper insisted he would be able to exercise the necessary authority using the powers the DNI already has, rather than "going through the trauma," of another reorganization and “would not agree to take the position if I was going to be a titular figure or hood ornament."

During his confirmation hearing he also said his 46 years' experience working in the intelligence field makes him uniquely qualified for the job.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California praised Clapper after the hearing. Feinstein is the committee chairwoman and said she thought Clapper would be "a strong DNI...whose will was going to prevail." She also said Clapper's friendship with CIA Director Leon Panetta meant clashes between the two were less likely. I reckon we should clap for Clapper, a spook for 46 years who learned how to lie with a straight face a long time ago.

Democracy dies when government lies. Secrecy sucks. How many of us are on the lists of suspects with so many spooks and spies running amuck?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Tom and I talk about peace a lot.  We have great admiration for the peacemakers of the world.   One of  our favorite Congresspersons ever is Dennis Kucinich, America's most courageous politician.  I like him for his brave stand on many issues--ending the war in Iraq, protecting the environment,  being aggressive in pursuing renewable energy technology, and fighting for workers' rights.

Many people think he is a wack job because this plucky little man is gutsy enough and honorable enough to create and fight for idealistic legislation so visionary that it seems beyond hopeless to dream that it could ever become law.  He doesn't seem to care about what it does to his reputation as long as he stays true to himself and his ideals, does what he thinks is best for his country, and gets the opportunity to raise the public consciousness about the issues. He is also the most liberal member of Congress, another reason why I like him of course, and why many do not!
The primary piece of legislation he is known for, the one that I most admire, is his Bill H.R. 808 to establish a cabinet-level Department of Peace.  He originally introduced it in 2001, and then in every session of Congress thereafter.

Most people don't realize that his is not the first such legislation.  The idea of a Department of Peace was first written about by Benjamin Rush, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, and in 1935 the first Department of Peace bill was introduced, followed by some 85 others over the years since.

One of the basic provisions of his bill is the creation of a Peace Academy, modeled after the military academies except the 4 year course of study is in peace education, after which graduates will be required to serve 5 years in public service in programs dedicated to domestic or international nonviolent conflict resolution; and it also provides grants for peace studies departments in  colleges and universities throughout the United States.

There is a lot more to the bill, much of it having to do with reducing violence here at home and international peacebuilding.  Read about it on the The Peace Alliance  website and just imagine if it became law what a different world this would be. 

David Cook is also a peace maker.  He teaches a course in Peace Studies.  His story is below.  I wish there were more like him. Maybe there will be soon. We need them.  

Thursday, July 15, 2010


 In middle school, high school, and college classrooms, I teach that nonviolence, peace, and justice are not utopian dreams but real and practical ways in which humans can affect the world around them.

by David Jackson Cook
From Yes Magazine
July 10, 2010
Earlier this year, I walked into the university classroom where I teach a course in Peace Studies. Seated in a circle around the room were seniors just shy of graduating. They would soon become doctors, social workers, teachers, community organizers, executives, and leaders.
To open our semester together, I wrote a simple, three-word question on the board.
What is peace?
Silence. Stumped by this tiny question, no one spoke. They did not have an answer, and I would later discover why: It was the first time in their life a teacher had asked them to define peace.
Each year in the United States, millions of students graduate from high school and college, their diplomas certifying years spent studying the principles of science, mathematics, literature, and writing. These are the subjects we value as a society, and therefore we insist that our young people develop knowledge in these areas. Imagine if we graduated seniors who couldn’t read, or do simple math, or write basic paragraphs. Outrageous, right?
Yet these very same students will graduate without ever once studying conflict resolution. During their entire academic career, they will never be required to take a course on making peace, building community, or forgiving an enemy. The principles of violence and nonviolence will not be analyzed, the philosophy of Dr. King will not be discussed, and satyagraha—the practice of nonviolent resistance, which Gandhi called the most powerful force in the universe—will remain ignored.
We are neglecting to teach our students the most fundamental and urgent lesson: how to make peace in the world around them. And by forgetting to do so, we are promoting violence. As my friend and fellow peace educator Colman McCarthy once said, “If we don’t teach our children peace, someone else will teach them violence.’’
So each day, in the classrooms where I teach middle school, high school, and college students, I work to counter the violence, spark the conscience, and liberate the thinking mind. I teach peace.

Dismantling the Violence

At the most basic level, to teach peace is to teach that violence does not have to happen.
For too long in the West, we have acted as if violence is inevitable, a natural part of the human condition that sticks to us like the skin on our back. Nonviolence is written off as an afterthought—viewed, at best, as do-nothing-passivity and, at worst, as a long-haired fantasy of Woodstock. Responding to violence with violence is seen as the only practical solution, and the result is greater violence.
But this is changing.
Hundreds of colleges and universities across the globe now offer degrees in Peace Studies, with some universities reporting enrollment size doubling in the past few years. At the heart of each program is the declaration that nonviolence, peace, and justice are not utopian dreams but real and practical ways in which humans can live and affect the world around them. Violence and its dynamics are examined alongside the history, philosophy, and principles of nonviolence. The treasure chest of stories is opened, and like some reverse-Pandora’s Box, the ideals of peace-making are unleashed onto classrooms as students study the examples of Cesar Chavez and Vandana Shiva, Dorothy Day and Daniel Berrigan, Gandhi and Gene Sharp.
From a broader perspective, this academic trend towards peace-making is part of the widespread awakening—what David Korten calls “The Great Turning”—happening in response to the problems of our time.
Those problems are many.
The United States leads the First World in the following categories: prison population, drug use, child hunger, poverty, illiteracy, teen pregnancies, firearms death, obesity, diabetes, recorded rapes, use of antidepressants, income disparity, military spending, production of hazardous waste, and the poor quality of its schools (Paul Hawken, who published this list in Blessed Unrest, also points out that the U.S. is the only country in the world besides Iraq with metal detectors in its schools).
For the peace educator, this list is no surprise. Violence spreads like a virus. Contagious by nature, it follows a spiritual law that says that violence plus violence only equals more violence. Violence can never lead to peace, and the more we respond with violence, the more violence we create.
So teaching peace means dismantling this list. One great crowbar comes simply through asking questions.

To Teach Peace is to Teach Gandhi

“Could nonviolence have stopped Hitler and the Nazis?” I ask middle school students in my U.S. history course. Having already examined the philosophy of Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., the students create imaginary European nations whose mission is to develop nonviolent strategies to stop invading Nazis. After they present their plans, I tell them about the citizens of Denmark—so many of them teenagers barely older than my students—who monkeywrenched the entire Nazi plan through nonviolent noncooperation.
During our year together, these 12-year olds have surveyed the landscape of U.S. history. But where most history courses ignore the deep tradition of American nonviolence, my curriculum examines Jeremiah Evarts as well as Andrew Jackson, AJ Muste as well as Harry Truman, Henry David Thoreau as well as Teddy Roosevelt. My course features nonviolence alongside every story of violence. Students develop a long exposure to the people in our history who have resisted violence by following their conscience.
“Which is stronger: love or hate?” I ask high school students in my Democracy Studies course. We’ve already finished the biography of Gandhi, discussing at length the ideas behind satyagraha. Gandhi is the Thomas Edison of nonviolence—he switched on our understanding of this universal force more than anyone prior, and to study and teach peace is to study and teach Gandhi.
Gandhi was skilled at civil disobedience, but he was even better at promoting practical solutions. Gandhi resisted injustice by creating alternatives, what he called “constructive programmes.” His favorite was the spinning wheel, which allowed Indians to forgo British cloth while actively spinning their own.
With a nod to Gandhi’s idea, I ask my students to create their own constructive programmes. Find a problem in the world around you, I tell them, and then create its solution. Further freeing them from traditional academia, I liberate the grade book and allow them to assign themselves a grade. They dive in, and create some powerful actions.
  • One student handed out copies of Gene Sharp’s revolutionary (and in some countries, illegal) 198 Methods of Nonviolent Action to people on the streets.
  • One student created dialogue between two opposing groups—the mayor and some frustrated citizens.
  • One student served vegetarian pizza to the homeless community in town.
  • One student planted a garden.
  • One student began providing food and clean water to migrant workers crossing the brutal desert. She was arrested for her work.
  • One student began collecting long-distance phone cards for U.S. troops overseas.
  • One student forgave her enemy.
  • One student began to pray and meditate regularly.
Schools do not have to create a formal Peace Studies course. Just like writing or note-taking, it is an academic skill that can be infused into almost any current course.
But when schools do formalize a Peace Studies program, the door opens wider. At the university where I teach Peace Studies, students read a biography of Gandhi and then Michael Nagler’s formative The Search for a Nonviolent Future. We spend many days wrestling over the practice of forgiveness before measuring the effect inner peace has on external circumstances. Understanding the practice of war-making consumes several weeks, as we examine the media’s role in promoting war, the reasons why war gives us meaning (in the words of Chris Hedges), and also a presentation from local U.S. Army colonels.
Peace Studies does not shirk away from opposing viewpoints. It does not practice partisanship. The study of peace is radical in that all are welcome, for peace is about more than politics. I can teach for months without ever speaking about George Bush and Barack Obama or red and blue states. Peace Studies gets underneath the surface, going deeper into what it means to be human.
And that’s why so many students cram into my classroom to take these courses. Not because of me, but because they are so hungry to study peace.

“I Understand What Making Peace Is All About’’

A few years ago, a student of mine who delved as deeply into understanding peace as anyone I’ve ever taught was participating in a march for reproductive rights in Washington. Thousands were there, including the counter-protestors shouting from the barricaded sidewalk. One man in particular caught her attention.
“Bitch! Bitch! Bitch!’’ he shouted, staring right at her.
Breathing deeply, she put down her sign (it read: “Equal Rights for All”) and walked over to him, smiling softly. She put her arms around him and hugged. Then she walked back, picked up her sign and kept marching.
The story does not end here. Months later, at another march, she spotted him again. Again, she was marching, he was shouting. But their eyes locked, and in that moment, all the animosity melted away. He stopped shouting. He softened. He may have even smiled.
“It was in that moment that I understood what making peace was all about,’’ she later told me.
And that is why I teach peace.

David Cook wrote this article for YES! Magazine, a national, nonprofit media organization that fuses powerful ideas with practical actions. He lives with his wife and two small children in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where he teaches courses on Peace Studies, Democracy Studies, and American Studies. He received his masters degree in Peace and Justice Studies from Prescott College, and his work has been featured in The Sun, Geez and He can be reached at

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Killing For Fun; Military Madness

Successful professionals enjoy their work. The Obama administration has picked a successful and happy warrior in Marine Corps Gen. James N. Mattis to head the US Central Command.
The command includes all US forces in Afghanistan, Iraq, the entire Middle East and Central Asia. Mattis has gloated that it is “fun to shoot some people” and “have a plan to kill everybody you meet”.

Killing is the key to success
in military actions. Killing enough insurgents by invading and occupying US forces enables the winners to subdue and subjugate the survivors. The real winners in the Middle East are the US based corporations who seek to exploit the resources of energy and mineral rich countries like Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran. Also the corporate war profiteers of the defense industry are making out like bandits. They furnish the killing tools, the hired mercenaries and other wasteful and expensive materials, equipment and supplies for our never-ending wars-on-terror.

Mattis has a strong resume in the military killing business. He was a lieutenant colonel in the US invasion of Iraq in 1991, directed the Marines in the 2003 invasion of Iraq, headed the US assault on the Iraqi city of Fallujah in 2004 and helped design the siege that destroyed the city and killed thousands of Iraqi civilians. Mattis also commanded the initial troops that went into Afghanistan in 2001.

Describing his feelings about the people in Afghanistan, General
Mattis said, “… It’s a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them. Actually it's quite fun to fight them, you know. It's a hell of a hoot. It's fun to shoot some people. I'll be right up there with you. I like brawling.”

Author Thomas Ricks wrote that Mattis told his troops to, “Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.”

During Operation Desert Storm in Iraq, Mattis reportedly told hi
s troops, “It’s the mission of every Marine in the battalion to send one dead Iraqi home to Mama.”Perhaps World War II Army General George S. Patton, Jr. is a role model for Mattis in his glorification of military madness and the joy of killing. Patton said "Magnificent! Compared to war all other forms of human endeavor shrink to insignificance. God help me, I do love it so!", and “No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country, He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country.” Patton also said, “America loves a winner, and will not tolerate a loser, this is why America has never, and will never, lose a war.” Of course that was before our ill-fated military ventures in Korea, Vietnam and Afghanistan.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates called Mattis “one of our military’s outstanding combat leaders and strategic thinkers, bringing an essential mix of experience, judgment and perspective to this important post.” Asked about Mattis’s bloodthirsty rhetoric, Gates brushed off an official rebuke against Mattis saying it was five years ago.

In Afghanistan, US and NATO forces casualties continue to escalate. The number of Americans killed so far this month is at least 23 with 14 killed last week. In June, 102 occupation troops were killed including 60 Americans. 1,149 American soldiers have been killed in the war in Afghanistan, and countless numbers of Afghan civilians have died. We don’t do body counts of “the enemy” because, as former Defense Secretary Rumsfeld said, “death has a tendency to encourage a depressing view of war.”

Our economic crisis is directly tied to the cost of the war. It
costs $1 million per year to maintain a single soldier in Afghanistan. The 2010 Pentagon budget is $693 billion, which surpasses all other discretionary spending programs combined--while our deficit soars. We desperately need money to create green jobs, rebuild our crumbling infrastructure and improve education.President Obama replaced General McChrystal with General Petraeus as commanding general of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan. McChrystal had made derogatory remarks about Obama and his administration’s conduct of the war. Petraeus was head of the Central Command and will be replaced by Mattis. Obama said, “War is bigger than any one man or woman, whether a private, a general or president.”

The war in Afghanistan is a big loser. Rearranging deck chairs to include one more “fun to kill” military madman will not keep it from sinking like the Titanic. Only ending the war will save Obama.

A recent ABC / Washington Post poll found that people felt the war was not worth fighting by a 53 to 44 margin. An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll had 62% of the American people saying the country was going in the wrong direction and Obama’s approval rating at 45% with 48% disapproval.
President Obama was the most successful politician in the US who seemed to enjoy being elected to the highest office in the land. Fulfilling his promise of peace, hope and change is a winner. However his failure to conclude killing for fun military madness will make him a loser in 2012 and doom his party in November.

Sunday, July 11, 2010


We now have Tivo.  Our kids, Jeff and Jeny,  gave it to us for Christmas.  They are trying hard to drag us into the 21st Century.

We are surrounded by Blackberrys, Iphones, Ipods, GPSs, Laptops. We know something about the Internet, Facebook, E-Mail, Google, Instant Messaging, Twitter, My Space, Skype, Blogger, YouTube, Firefox, and Tivo. Some of those we have and some not.  Some that we have we know how to use some of and some, none of. I tweet, but I don’t text.  I have an ipod, but not an iphone. I browse, but I don't Skype.

As for the Tivo, ours is actually DVR, the Time Warner equivalent; but it doesn’t matter, we still haven’t gotten the hang of it yet.  A couple of times I have set it to record two programs simultaneously that I wanted to watch later. I didn’t know you couldn’t really do that.  In the middle of one of Tom’s ball games, the TV switched over to one of my programs and started to record the Emmy-nominated

number Fear from So You Think You Can Dance. There was great consternation until I could come in from the other room and figure out how to cancel one recording or the other so Tom could get back to his game.  Lesson learned.

Tom and I are caught in a kind of a time warp, especially when it concerns television. While he likes all current news programs and my guilty pleasures include reality talent shows, such as  
American Idol, and  So You Think You Can Dance, the shows we both really like to watch together are the old ones--Casablanca,  
The Wizard of Oz, Oklahoma, My Fair Lady, A Place in the Sun, Grapes of Wrath, To Kill a Mockingbird and so many others on
Turner Classic Movies.

And of course we love Opie, Aunt Bee, Gomer, Barney Fife, Thelma Lou, Otis, Andy and all the rest on the Andy Griffin Show. 

So we have found a use for the Tivo that we both can enjoy.  While our kids are tivoing Survivor, Big Brother, The Amazing Race, How I Met Your Mother, Tom and I are tivoing reruns of Lawrence Welk.

Thursday, July 8, 2010


I am so proud of our Food Not Bomb folk.  They have just started Homeless Helping Homeless, have organized two service projects with more in the works, and have gotten wonderful positive publicity. We are all working to change the stereotype people have of the  homeless.  This organization is going to do so much to open peoples' eyes to the humanity of us all and to help people understand that the homeless feel part of the community and want to contribute to it. Here is the lovely article from The State that was printed July 5th:
Homeless Help Themselves

New group works to improve image of city's street-dwellers


 John Holmes knows the look Columbia's homeless people get on the street.  
He is one of them.
John Holmes and area homeless and formerly homeless have formed the group Homeless Helping Homeless.

Holmes, 54, is trying to change that perception through a new group called Homeless Helping Homeless.
He and a handful of other homeless men and women started meeting in May at the old Fox Theater on Main Street. Since then, they have sponsored two service projects, and Holmes has made a presentation to Columbia City Council about their needs.
“Our overall goal,” Holmes said, “is to present ourselves as responsible, respectable members of this community.”
On a recent Saturday, Holmes and 24 other homeless people gathered on the 1600 block of Main Street to pick up trash. They roamed an alley with rakes and shovels, scooping up mounds of cardboard, foam cups, beer bottles and cigarette boxes.
Sweat poured down Holmes’ face as he and three other men climbed over a barbed-wire fence to clear trash surrounding the air-conditioning system of Sidney Park Christian Methodist Church. The men filled three bags with garbage and tossed them over the fence so they could be loaded into a pickup truck on loan from City Center Partnership.
The nook is a hiding spot for homeless people looking for a safe place to sleep, said Holmes, who said he once was assaulted while trying to sleep in the open.
“With limited shelters and places to sleep, we try to find secure places,” he said.
More than 1,000 homeless people live in Richland and Lexington counties, according to a 2009 count. Of those, Holmes estimates about 25 percent are willing and capable of working. They have either fallen on hard times in the bad economy or past mistakes are hindering job searches.
“Some of us want to be employable,” he said.
Troy Pierce, 50, was limited in the amount of heavy lifting he could perform because of a heart condition that forced him to lose his job. But the burley man slung a pouch of medicine over his shoulder and did what he could.
“I want to work, but seeing as how I can’t work, I can’t pay rent,” Pierce said. “I can’t pay rent, so here I am. I don’t do drugs or drink myself to death. I used to drive my car through here and think the same things y’all say. Then I walked a mile in their shoes.”
Pierce said he is waiting to qualify for public housing and disability payments. Until then, he will be homeless, and he plans to be involved in the new group.
“It may be a month, or it may be a year,” he said. “Until then, I’ll be here.”
Christy Lane, 25, who lives in a tent with her husband, said she joined the group to prove that not everyone living on the streets is an addict or mentally ill.
“We’re not bad,” Lane said. “We’re trying to live.”
They lost their home after her husband was laid off. She was a college student. Now, their two children live with grandparents while they search for jobs and a permanent home.
“As my husband says, ‘It’s not always about you,’” Lane said. “I believe there is a way to make it better. I’m not looking for anything back. I want to help.”
After two hours of work, volunteers from agencies who regularly support the homeless fed the group bologna sandwiches, fruit cups and cookies. Those volunteers did not help with the trash pickup, saying they only attended to show support for a group of homeless people trying to help themselves.
“I’m trying to be supportive,” said Jean Denman, a downtown resident who helped secure shovels and rakes for the cleaning project. “I’m not part of anything, but I’m supporting from the sidelines.”
Homeless Helping Homeless got its start after a similar organization in Charlotte brought members to Columbia for a Finlay Park rally. Holmes said he saw a flier for the event, and it was a time when he felt especially down about his situation.
“I was asking God to deliver me and show me what to do,” Holmes said. “And 48 hours later a pamphlet dropped in my lap.”
Now, he is pouring energy into the group.
People who are involved in homeless issues are becoming used to seeing Holmes at meetings and other events.
Larry Arney, executive director of the Midlands Housing Alliance, which is building a new shelter on Main Street, said he has run into Holmes at a neighborhood meeting and while giving a presentation at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship on Woodrow Street.
“Right there on the third pew was John Holmes,” Arney said. “I asked if he wanted to say anything, and later I joked that I’m kind of tired of being the warm-up act for John Holmes. He speaks so effectively.”
Holmes, a Navy veteran, moved to South Carolina five years ago to find work. But he was addicted to crack, and that led to life on the streets, he said.
“I don’t do anything now except smoke cigarettes,” he said.
He said he has filled out nearly two dozen job applications for hotel and restaurant work, but no one has hired him.
Holmes leads the group’s regular meetings, where about 20 people show up.
To be on the leadership team, a member must be a registered voter, attend 12 meetings and adopt a project.
The group’s first project was to help a West Columbia church set up a large tent for a revival. Four members of the group ended up getting temporary jobs that paid $12 per hour from that gig, Holmes said.
Kevin White, 54, serves as the group’s co-director with Holmes.
He became homeless after being released from the Lexington County Detention Center, and his wife refused to allow him back into their home. He already had a felony charge from 1980 that also makes it hard to find work.
White said he has been searching for a job and working to save his marriage. During the cleanup, his wife joined the group’s effort and stood by White’s side while eating sandwiches.
He hopes Homeless Helping Homeless reverses the stigma associated with people who live on the streets.
“We still have goals in our lives,” he said. “We’re still trying hard. I’m being blessed in taking a positive attitude that homelessness is something that can be overcome.”