Let’s hope that this latest rainfall and cooler weather have finally stopped the raging fires and given the brave firefighters a well deserved break. Then, to pick up the pieces of broken lives…


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56 Responses to Homeless

  1. Ben Emery says:

    Another example of how houselessness can strike anyone one of us at anytime.

    Bob I think you might like this clip, I know I did.

  2. george rebane says:

    While the episodic emotion of being left without your familiar and established habitat is captured well in Bob’s cartoon, let’s not go off the rails in equating an insured, income earning homeowner who lost his house and memorabilia with an unemployed and most likely derelict (drugs, alcohol, …) or mentally ill individual who has no house or the means to obtain/maintain one. They are quadrupeds of different hues.

  3. Ben Emery says:

    Have you ever done direct work with the homeless? If not, shut your pie hole because you don’t know what you are talking about. If yes, shame on you. It only takes one major incident that pushes most homeless people over the top. Whether it be a fire destroying their house, being fired from a job, a cheating spouse, death of spouse, death of child, being abused, soldier of an unjust war ad ordered to do unforgivable acts towards fellow human beings, ect… We all have trials and tribulations in our life and for anyone of us to flat out judge a whole segment of people based on loosely thrown around stereotypes such as you did above is irresponsible and ignorant. Please do us all a favor and stick to what you do best Physics and milking government contracts for personal gain.14

  4. Ben Emery says:

    Also George,
    Did you notice that Bob didn’t forget the critters of the forests whose home was devastated as well? Probably not since they don’t participate in commerce, they don’t really count do they.

  5. fish says:

    Nicely done Ben….all the lefty talking points folded into one post….wait what’s this….nothing about corporate malfeasance…..?

    Your slippin!

    • fish says:



    • Ben Emery says:

      Fish (if that is your real name),
      You have figure me out, I am a lefty. Yes there is a corporate twist to this fire and tragedy, we’ll begin to hear stories how the insurance companies will do everything in their power not to cover those with policies. I will wait for Bob’s cartoon on the subject before commenting any further.

      • fish says:

        At Mr. Crabbs request I will refrain from commenting on this matter.

      • fish says:

        Oh one thing….quite obviously “fish” is not my real name…after only 16 or so months “The Flabbiest Little Detective in Nevada County” puzzled out my real name….some newsman is he! If you’re curious I’m sure he’ll be happy to share it!

        See you in the funny papers!

        • Chris Peterson says:

          As a Cliff Claven side note:
          George Bernard Shaw had a completely different spelling of fish: ghoti.
          gh from enouGH
          o as in wOmen
          and ti as in emoTIon.
          He had a complete alphabet made up of a discombobulation of our linguistics, so you could could have hidden your identity one step deeper.

  6. John Dough says:

    Ben Emery, 9/27/14 9:46. What an unbelievably ignorant and childish rant! George was simply pointing out the obvious, but easy to overlook fact that there are in fact dramatically different circumstances to the homelessness caused by the recent fires depicted in the picture. I interpreted George’s post to say that while the insured homeowner’s life is thrown into disarray, and lessened by the loss of possibly irreplaceable items, his life will eventually resume. A chronic homeless person, and the animals, have no such hope of their lives being restored by the passage of a couple of years.
    Your choice to constantly attack George from your silly little soap box, reveals what a nasty, hateful little person you really are. Grow up Ben Emery. Learn some tolerance for those you do not understand or agree with. Stop being such a hater. The world has too many haters. John

  7. rlcrabb says:

    Lighten up, all of you. This is supposed to be the humor/irony blog.

    • Ben Emery says:

      I am sorry but as you know as does George I am advocate for the homeless. I left a single sentence comment and then offered you a George Carlin clip for some political humor. Also as you know I dropped the gloves off with George and his fab five a long time ago. Sorry Bob I said my piece and will leave it alone.

  8. Ben Emery says:

    John Dough,
    First off not using your real name says something about a person on blogs. Unless John Dough is your real name and then I am sorry.

    Two, there is much history between George and myself that you are not aware of.

    Three, my original comment was –
    “Another example of how houselessness can strike anyone one of us at anytime.” Where does George’s comment address what I wrote?. My statement is a plea for social compassion since anyone of us can have a life altering experience at anytime. In fact, his comment contradicts my plea by using the same old stereotypes that imply that some homeless people are not worthy of compassion because of (drugs, alcohol…) or being mentally ill.

    As I stated in “Two” George and I have a history, those who have seen this history unfold on the blogophsere understand he indeed was addressing my comment while inserting numerous other instances of my defense of the homeless into it. Therefore my so called rant was neither ignorant or childish. It was firmly based in a history of a very contentious online relationship.

    • Todd Juvinall says:

      Hey Ben Emery, travel up to Weed California where 150 homes went up in smoke and help out those people. Some say atarted by a “homeless” fellow.

  9. Ben Emery says:

    I heard that the weed fire might have been started by a homeless person but haven’t heard it confirmed yet. If it was started someone who is homeless/ houseless it goes to show how important it is we as a community and society reach out to help. Not only as trying to help out others but also because it might actually come back to help or save ourselves from future tragedies such as wildfires. Actually we have been helping from afar those in Weed among other fire stricken places.

  10. John Dough says:

    Ben, I am very well aware of the “history” between George and yourself. It is very obvious to anyone who reads his blog. I have to say that the record of that “history”, reveals George to be a much more tolerant person than you. You exhibit a lot of passion but very little tolerance for those who do not agree with you. Just my opinion based on what I have read from the both of you. I still do not believe that George’s post was written in the context that you received it.
    As someone who has also been involved with the homeless over the years, I would like to offer a concept for your consideration. There are, in my experience, two separate and distinct types of homeless. The first type is people you describe in your 9:46 post, with real, life altering circumstances that have caused them to become homeless. Job loss, illness, death of a spouse, etc. These people deserve our unbridled compassion and assistance to get back on their feet, and back into the normal life that they are used to living as soon as possible. It is easy to be caring and giving to these people. They are just like most people, one or more tragic events away from living on the street. The second type of homeless that I have encountered are those that for whatever reason, chose to live a lifestyle of minimal obligations and responsibilities. These are generally the ones who cause problems and give the first type of homeless a bad name, and make people reluctant to help. Certainly this is a simplified version of a very complex issue, but if you would consider what I have said, it may help you understand why it is not hard for some to be unwilling to be compassionate to those who have made a conscious decision to live in a tent in the bush because it is easier on many levels than the traditional lifestyle. I believe if you focus more energy on the first type of homeless you will find more help and less resistance from the community at large. John.

  11. Ben Emery says:

    Then you know very well how George moderates his blog where anyone who expresses a different opinion than George and his five steady followers (fab five) are subjected to relentless personal attacks not attacking the opinions on the issues. George doesn’t get into the mud to often and when he does his language seems much more polite but in reality is just as sharp as those of us blue collar working stiffs.

    I would say if you subtract George and the fab five I am very polite to those whom I disagree with.

    Where you seem to have gotten lost in the forest with my response to George is those type II group of homeless you described also have threshold experiences that put them over the top and they take a long time or never recover from because they become lost. I will guarantee you there will be a few people from the fire season of 2014 who will still be homeless in 2016 because this event was their threshold experience that put them over the top.

    Until we actually engage those who find themselves down on their luck and hear their story how can we decide whether they fit into the type I or type II group you laid out? For our eternal soul how can we ever go wrong being compassionate towards others?

    • fish says:

      I would say if you subtract George and the fab five I am very polite to those whom I disagree with.

      I would say that if you subtract “He who shall not be named”, Steve, you Ben and a couple more halfwits who frequently the local blogs this statement would apply equally to me. Even Steve and JoeK get their say and have made their points at Rebanes in the face an unreceptive audience. Far less concern trolling from them….much less annoying!

    • John Dough says:

      Sorry to disappoint you Ben. There are literally DOZENS of able bodied men living in tents in the bush by choice. That is not a cause for compassion from anyone in my opinion. They are there because they chose that lifestyle. Many of these people are funding their lifestyle by panhandling, shoplifting and burglary. These homeless by choice are tainting the picture of the true homeless, and causing people to have bias against those we should be helping. You are hurting the truly homeless by refusing to make the distinction and separation of homeless by misfortune and homeless by choice.

      • Ben Emery says:

        Right back at you. I was one of those people who chose to live in a tents, tree houses, caves, and powerless and waterless shacks for about decade. I worked two or three jobs and never in my life pan handled or applied for government assistance. We were called woodsies in CO, we were called surfers in Hawaii, and only in so called liberal California we were called vagrants/ bums.

        I will leave it with this, you came to George Rebane’s defense with a comment “George was simply pointing out the obvious,” and yet my comment was just as simple but George had to go out of his way to contradict what my simple truth was conveying.

        Hmmm… it sounds like you also have an agenda to fill. Have a great day.

        • John Dough says:

          Ben, if you were able to live in the bush for a decade with no adverse impacts on society, or the owners of the land you were living on, hopefully your definition of this includes such basic issues as not trespassing on anyone’s land without written permission to do so, not building illegal and potentially disastrous fires, hauling all of your personal trash and debris to an approved disposal site, and paying the fees associated, and not creating any toxic health and sanitation issues by not using any toilet facilities except those you received permission for. If you did all of these things Ben, you have my undying respect, because in Nevada County, the homeless living in the bush break all of these rules in addition to stealing everything within walking distance that is not bolted down. Personal experience talking to you here Ben. If you dealt with the homeless on this level, vs simply ladling soup into a bowl for them, you would understand the issue on a different level. Not that your work is not genuine and needed, but what I describe is why there is push back against homeless, and most people do not see it.

          • Ben Emery says:

            I never left a single piece of trash behind, never left a structure in place, I never trespassed on private property, I actually would go around and break down and clean up other abandoned sites all over in CO. In HI I had permission of the property owner as I did in CA. I tried to live the lowest impact on the planet I could in my everyday life so while I saved money so I could travel and meet new people and learn new cultures. My daily low impact lifestyle offset my pollution from my air travel.

            I have done much more than just ladle soup for the homeless at levels it appears you cannot comprehend by the way you write and the way you have ignored/ accepted the labeling of drug addict and panhandlers. There are plenty of drug addicts and panhandlers that aren’t homeless. The way I address the homeless is as an equal or a brother or sister.

  12. rlcrabb says:

    This is another fine psychological example of how a seemingly innocent cartoon can turn into a totally unrelated ideological slugfest. Must be getting close to election day.

    • fish says:

      Ironically RL Ben and I are in near lockstep when it comes to foreign policy. It’s only every other thing that sets us at each others throats politically. Since I am a non-voter I do him the courtesy of not canceling out his vote each election cycle.

      • Ben Emery says:


        I bet you and I agree on a whole lot more if you would stop looking for things to disagree on. Such as- war on drugs, subsides for large industry, torture, civil liberties, ect…

        • fish says:

          But Ben it’s the disagreements that are so much more interesting. If I wanted that I could have joined “jeffys furious affirmation society”….no thanks!

          You posted something once at Rebanes that always puzzled me….a Nader quote that said, in essence.

          “Capitalism will never fail because Socialism will always rescue it”

          Why would socialism bail out a system that it considers so egregiously flawed?

          • Ben Emery says:

            Because everyday people will suffer if it does not act.

          • Ben Emery says:

            oops it should have read
            “Why would socialism bail out a system that it considers so egregiously flawed?”

            -Because everyday people will unduly suffer if it does not act.-

            I will add, the predatory form of capitalism we find ourselves in today understands this fully. This is why big industry will take such huge risks. I believe we need to remove the security of limited liability from those who sit atop large institutions/ industry. In a 24 month period BP killed over two dozen people with their negligence and nobody went to jail, this is not justice in any way shape of form.

          • fish says:

            So your argument is that we must sustain a flawed system that leftist social theorists say must fail eventually because “people will unduly suffer if it doesn’t act”.

            I find your argument circular….if this is how it must be so people don’t suffer unduly then how can you criticize it? The predatory capitalist system is in ascendence. Enabled and maintained by progressive politicians and social policies. I don’t recall any of this coming to pass in what little leftist political literature I’ve read?

          • Ben Emery says:

            I wouldn’t argue that at all. The truth of the matter is I am as much a libertarian as I am a progressive, that is why the Green Party is a perfect fit. Libertarianism with a social conscience is the Green Party platform.

            It has little to do with progressive policies and everything to do with inability to regulate outside money coming into the political system that has been hijacked by a corporatist Supreme Court starting in the 1970’s ( http://billmoyers.com/content/the-powell-memo-a-call-to-arms-for-corporations/ )making law from the bench that says corporations have the guaranteed free speech rights as an actual human being, ludicrous. These are not progressive ideals this are antithesis to progressive ideals.

        • fish says:

          Libertarianism with a social conscience is the Green Party platform.

          Not the Green Party platform that they show on their website….it’s mostly coercion wrapped in noble rhetoric and almost entirely “libertarian” free!

          I don’t care if you are a Green but you ought to be familiar at least with that which you espouse! Read the position on “Families and Children”, that’s straight out of the socialist playbook….again nothing even slightly libertarian about it. Nor in the sections on Social and Distributive justice.

          • Todd Juvinall says:

            According to the Green Party, you are no better or worse than a slug and both have equal rights under the Constitution. However, the slug has the addition of the ESA.

          • Greg Goodknight says:

            I like Ed Clark’s definition… libertarianism is low tax liberalism. My (late) first wife (a Sierra College adjunct math professor when she passed) and I met Ed Clark (the 1984 Libertarian Candidate) and Ron Paul (the ’88 Candidate) at Dr. Timothy Leary’s house in 1988, a fun day.

            That is very definitely NOT Green Party, which is high tax coercive Utopian through and through.

    • Ben Emery says:

      All I did was comment a simple truth that any one of us can be stricken with a life altering event at anytime. Then I left you with a comedy routine that you might like. Go figure.

  13. george rebane says:

    Thank you JohnD.

  14. John Dough says:

    Ben it appears that maybe we don’t have anything to disagree on here. Possibly the single most valuable thing you could do for the homeless in Nevada County is to teach them the positive traits that you practiced. “Don’t trash anyone’s property, and don’t be a thief.” These traits would go a long ways towards promoting acceptance of those who choose the lifestyle of living in the bush with no sanitation facilities.
    I’m not clear about your comment on labeling panhandlers and drug addicts? You either are, or you aren’t. I believe the data on Nevada County homeless indicates that the vast majority of homeless here are both. The data also suggests that if we focus on solving the drug problem, the homeless problem will disappear.

  15. Robert love joy says:

    A heart felt drawing by Crabbie turns political. Not surprising since someone somewhere in some place once said all things are political.
    One can only speculate how many wedding pictures, baseball cards, and old Mad Magazines were lost in this tragedy. Sad for all involved.
    The major difference between those that lost their homes due to a natural disaster and those that sleep under the bridge or in their unregistered vehicles down by the River is obvious. Those that lost everything due to a forest fire had all their trash burned up. Those that live in the camps bring all their trash in and expect society to clean it up.

  16. Robert love joy says:

    If a fire broke out in a homeless camp and everything was lost, would that make the homeless the new homeless? Would they be counted twice.? How can the homeless lose something they do not have? Many things to ponder. I am still stuck on the lost of old Mad Magizines or a possible Louisville Slugger, Hank Aaron edition. I remember well when baseball bats were made of wood and the perfect size and weight for busting trespassers’ heads. Those were the day my friends. Those were the days.

  17. Ben Emery says:

    Didn’t bother reading through the thread any more because we were going in circles. I thought George’s comment was out of line, period. We are all creatures of God and deserve to be treated with compassion when we are down on our luck until we prove otherwise. Although not Christian I am a follower of the truths Jesus Christ and many other religion inspiring figures have preached over the thousands of years. I believe in everyone until they give me reason not to, which has to be pretty damn bad for me to turn away. Some the best people I have every met walking this planet are the poorest financially while some of the most despicable people are the most successful financially. Neither one is set in stone and every subgroup has their good points and bad points but generally the poor do not have the ability to affect others the way the wealthy do. For this reason I hold the wealthy to higher standard of responsibility, with privilege comes responsibility.

    John Dough,
    Thanks for the thoughtful dialogue other than your original sentence. If you truly have followed my blog comments over the years you would have noticed the pattern of being polite to all people except those whom I feel are bullies, which is George and his fab five, then I get down in the mud with them and generally don’t like myself afterwards. That is why I have signed off on those blogs. Have a great day and please continue to help the homeless in any positive capacity you can.

  18. Robert love joy says:

    Ben, what is wrong with torture. I am tortured every single time I read your posts and the more you yap the more I feel the drip, drip, drip of a long slow Chinese water torture from your spittle.

    • Ben Emery says:

      Robert Love Joy(another name that doesn’t seem real),
      You are making a joke about torture, what is your problem? Are you proud that the US embraces torture as a legitimate tactic? If the answer is yes, then how as a society and nation can we get upset when other groups torture or chop the heads off of fellow human beings? It is all immoral, shameful, and embarrassment to the human race no matter who is doing it.

      You fit right into the maturity level of George and the fab five. Lacking a self censor on the difference between joking funny and joking sick. Grow up!

    • Ben Emery says:

      Oh believe me I am tired of having to be the grown up trying to teach morality lessons to a bunch of retired adolescents who seem to believe the suffering of others is something to joke about or hang around their necks as complete judgement of their character in life as a whole. I am slowly weaning myself off the blogosphere and soon you won’t have to read my yapping any longer.

      • Chris Peterson says:

        No, you won’t. People like us see it as a moral obligation to keep those of a morally repugnant attitude from holding sway over the narration of the issues. It’s in your DNA, and bless you for it.
        And though I watch neither anymore, it’s like the difference between MSNBC and FOX; one highlights the positive message of liberalism, the other lies to disprove it’s value.
        It’s as if people only suffer because they fail to understand some great conservative truth. I am a straight-out atheist, yet lay claim to the same admiration for the words of characters like Christ. One of my favorite lines, though no longer used by many Christians, is the one: “There, but for the grace of God, go I.” But as Ghandi said, “I love your Christ, but your Christians are nothing like him.”
        Hang in there Ben, and know that you can never silence your morality; if it’s a true conviction, it’s not possible.

        • fish says:

          And though I watch neither anymore, it’s like the difference between MSNBC and FOX; one highlights the positive message of liberalism, the other lies to disprove it’s value.

          Slow golf clap…….

  19. Ben Emery says:

    Thanks Chris,
    Even I look at some of my comments and think they are to preachy, and then I reread the comment that stirred me to write the comment in the first place and then I hit “Post Comment” without hesitation.

    Lots of the stuff I object to we would scold our children if they did it at school or with their peers but for some reason men and maybe some women in the 50’s, 60′ s, and some in their 70’s haven’t learned or they unlearned these lessons of morality and common decency. I think Bob does a good job at being somewhat tactful with his humor and I give him lots of slack because a political cartoonist job is to point out the absurdities of our politics and culture/ society. I have never been the topic of one of his cartoons so maybe I haven’t quite felt the sting so I am more forgiving than those who have felt it. I actually have a pretty good sense of humor, especially when making fun of myself, so hopefully I wouldn’t take it to personal or serious.

    • rlcrabb says:

      Give me time, Ben. I’ll probably get around to “doing” you sooner or later. I promise not to call you fat. LOL.

    • Chris Peterson says:

      “Never wrestle with pigs. You’ll both get dirty, and the pig likes it.”
      -George Bernard Shaw
      It’s increasingly difficult these days to have a good, clean conversation on the issues.
      One thing I’ve come to believe though, is that our political makeup is closer to 60-40 than the 50-50 representation in the media. We always have to the opposing viewpoint, but it doesn’t have to be presented as an equal voice. If someone speaks in opposition to legislation, let them be recognized as being in a 20% minority on that issue. Only money, gerrymandering, and voter suppression is giving equal weight to the minority on the myriad of issues that polls show up to 80% of citizens want, and ad hominem attacks and distorted or fabricated statistics are the only defense of their position. It’s the reason why republicans haven’t won an honest Presidential election since 1992, won’t in 2016, and possibly may never again. I would personally welcome a counter to the democratic machine, but the more our demographics change, the more conservatives dig in their heels in their impossible effort to turn back the clock.
      Ah well. (Sorry about the long post, Bob.)

  20. Ben Emery says:

    Other than the blogoshere I am pretty boring. I get along with almost everybody and am an extremely polite and rational protester. Make a few remarks on a blog and I am off to the races though. It is funny how being online not face to face makes us so much more aggressive. I think it has more to do with having the ability to find sources to back up our opinions at our fingertips instantly that gives us that hubris. Also the learned behavior of being polite to people when we are talking is absent because I don’t have to look into their eyes and face.

    Next pay day I will be buying your book. I am in between treatments right now so hopefully our budget has something left over in it this month.

    • rlcrabb says:

      No hurry, Ben. I have plenty books. As for the boxing ring we call the blogosphere, it’s much easier to get mouthy when you are out of reach of your opponents fist. Even more so when you don’t use your own name. Like those Mexican wrestlers.

  21. fish says:

    I am El Pesce! Fear my wrath!

  22. Robert love joy says:

    Man was destined to suffer. Some more graciously than others. Just like the person who is one paycheck from being fired and homeless. Did they not put themselves in that position by choices they made? Like the alcoholic who consumed alcohol and then hopped in his car. Yes he did not mean to kill that little girl and one could argue that he was so drunk he could not possibly be held responsible for his actions. He did not mean to have his family leave him or end up on the streets. He made not even feel responsible for all the carnage he caused, but he sure as darn well is held accountable. The sum total of the choices we make put us exactly in the position we are now, be it good, bad, or indifferent.

    That is the difference people such as Ben fail to understand, the difference between having your home burned down and a lifestyle of choices causing one to be homeless. The adults in the room know after your twenties, there are no victims anymore just volunteers to remain victims.

    • Chris Peterson says:

      8.8 million jobs lost in the recession and over 1.5 million homes lost to foreclosure. That’s a lot of irresponsible drunks killing little girls, to use your analogy.
      And the unemployment rate for American citizens of color has remained twice as high as whites for decades, but I’m sure that you have an analogy or generalization which explains that, too.

      Before the recession, medical costs resulting from injury or disease, even with the best insurance, was the cause of most foreclosures.

      And you claim that Ben, and those of us like him, are the ones who fail to understand?

    • Ben Emery says:

      Robert Love Joy,
      You are clueless to the big picture and nothing I can type here is going to open your eyes. Everything is connected like a web and you are stuck in linear thinking. Linear thinking has its time and place but trying to explain the human condition is the wrong time and place for such thinking.

      • fish says:

        Was wondering when another “oblivious to the Big Picture” declaration was coming…..

        For a guy so in tune to the “big picture” I’m surprised you haven’t capitalized on it!?

        Knowledge is power and all that…..

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