In Defense of Property Owners

There is a largely undomesticated segment of society that lives in the stained shadows of poverty, ignorance, crime and mayhem.  These miscreants exist in a world of chaos and filth and care nothing about their home, the quality of the neighborhood or the welfare of their neighbors.  These are the schemers, the scammers, criminals, professional failures, reprobates, repeat-offenders and general agitators; the bottom-feeding under-belly of the rest of a civilized society.

Liberals will tell us that putting these people into “nicer-housing” will make them nicer people.  It won’t.  What it will do is result in that nicer housing being trashed.  This is why slums and crappy housing exist, not necessarily because property-owners want it that way, but because providing anything better is rewarded with destruction.  Why keep replacing doors and walls that have been punched through with holes when these vermin will simply re-punch the same doors and walls over and over again?  Better to let their domain fit their temperament.

Even scum-bags need a place to live, and so some property owners provide exactly the standard of housing these uncivilized people create on their own by the life-styles they choose to live, and by the decisions they choose to make.  Ironically, this cohort is by in large representative of domestic, passed-down generational failure generally unique to those born here and rare in those who risked it all to come here.

Just as fathers are treated terribly in family court, property owners are likewise seen as the “bad-guys” in the legal system.  There is little if any accountability placed on tenants and the presumption of favorable treatment and outcomes is always pointed in their direction while the property owner is generally perceived as evil.

I took a large financial gamble by purchasing a two-family home in a tough neighborhood because I saw the faint signs of revitalization.  After evicting both tenants for months-long non-payment, the clean-up effort was so bad it began by using gas-masks and snow-shovels to remove the filth and debris from the floors.  One tenant had buried her dog in the middle of the back yard in a grave so shallow the lawn mower dug it up.  After waiting months to drag the one tenant into court, the judge asked her if she wanted free legal help in having her case reviewed.  I was paying my lawyer by the hour while this scum-bucket-tenant was being spoon-fed free legal advice by a judge that had no concerns at all with my rights, my losses, and my bad investment.

 After thousands of dollars in remediation and months of lost-rental income, I finally got two really good tenants, only to have them regularly frightened by the constant street noise, the fighting late at night the loud-unlicensed motorcycles, the illegal fireworks and on and on.  The police and the city were no help, except by reminding me to pay my taxes on time.

These two great tenants had to sleep at night because they had jobs.  The street-trash partying all night had no such obligations and had nary a care about the welfare of the very neighbors that actually worked and paid taxes so these same lazy welfare-rats can milk the system and annoy everyone around them.

After 4-years of trying my best and hoping for the revitalization of this neighborhood, it became clear it wasn’t going to happen and I recently sold the building to investors from Boston.  My former tenants just reached out to me, asking if I had anything they might rent because the new owners raised their rents by 40%.

Here is my prediction.  My former great long-term tenants will be forced to move and the Boston investors, managing from afar, will make the mistake of renting to scum-bags and the cycle of destruction will begin again, the investors will sell and walk away and the street and neighborhood will continue its downward decline.  This is what happens when liberal policies paint the world as they wish it were, rather than how it actually is.  This fantasy happens when out-of-touch policy makers live in their privileged and completely segregated world that floats above the rest of the wretched humanity they pretend to try and save while privately abhorring.

The City of Binghamton has a dual-system of tolerance regarding law-and-order; one set very high for poor neighborhoods, and the other set low for the wealthy and privileged.  This emboldens and encourages the very behaviors that are the least desirable and insures that positive changes will not come.  Say what you will about “gentrification”, but without it, the undomesticated amongst us make our communities unsafe, undesirable and a bad investment.


No Shades of Black

We don’t measure darkness, stillness, cold or silence.  These conditions represent the absence of something, namely light, speed, heat and sound.  There are no shades of black; it is the absence of color.  There are many ways to see, but blind is blind.  Scientists define a total lack of heat as “absolute zero.”  It is important to accept that there are “absolutes” in our lives and the presence of evil is one of those realities.  Evil is to goodness what darkness is to light, its absence.

We can increase light, motion, temperature and sound infinitely while their absences are by definition finite or “absolute.”  The absence of light can’t be made any darker. There is no state of stillness beyond motionless, absolute zero is as cold as it can get and silence can’t be made any quieter.  The bible tells us “But the path of the just is like the shining sun, that shines ever brighter unto the perfect day.” Proverbs 4:18.

Darkness is conquered by light just as goodness conquers evil.

God’s heaven is a state of total goodness and the lack of all evil.  Here on earth, we cannot create a heavenly state we can only strive towards goodness by rejecting evil.

Nature and Divinity abhor a vacuum and when goodness by way of Godliness decreases and when we reject God from our lives, evil moves in to fill that spiritual vacuum.  Just as the path towards darkness increases gradually as the sun sets, evil falls upon us as our souls give into the worldly and the wicked.  Just as the warmth of summer yields to fall and then winter’s cold, mankind in a spiritual vacuum tests the unworldly frigidity of absolute failing, absolute tragedy and absolute anguish.

While the angst, suffering and heartbreak we see today all around us overwhelms the feint of heart and the spiritually suffering, there is a solution.  The absolute Goodness of God overcomes evil but only when we embrace the former and reject the later through the grace of the Lord.  He tells us, “Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” Matthew 13:43.

The senseless killings we see day after day correspond with the mental and spiritual illness we see increasing in our world.  The objects people use to murder and snuff out life are distracting representations keeping us from examining the harder, less obvious problems of mental illness, the corruption of the human soul and the degradation of the value of life.  When we ignore or at best, fail to cultivate our own commitments to righteousness we see the proliferation of evil that fills the vacuum of our own making.

The Lord God possesses all goodness.  Striving to follow Him is the pathway to pushing evil back into the absolute pit of its own birth and to bury its presence in our lives through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.



NOTE: I wrote this article in 2003 just before my dad passed away

The youngest of eight boys and a sister, my father’s biggest fear as a 17-year-old was that the war which had called all of his brother’s would end before he could enlist.

He just made it.

My father was a strong and decisive man, self-made in the tradition of the American hard work ethos, rising from a laundryman in a hospital to a policeman in our little town.  From walking the beat, then patrolman, finally detective, he persevered through bad bosses and good times.

He raised our family and demonstrated a strong faith.  He sang at the top of his voice regardless of whether he was in the church choir or sitting in our family pew dating to 4-generations.  He showed me the power of absolute values and uncompromising principles.

He listened to talk radio before it was popular, late at night the crackling faint and fluctuating AM-radio voices sounding so far away, making it feel so special.  He took me to a small church in the country on some Sunday nights so he could sing real loud and enjoy the company of the minister, his dear friend.

Dad showed me that crying was OK as a man and he leaned on me as a boy when I thought I couldn’t do things,  but I could, even if I didn’t realize it at the time.  He introduced me to death as his mother and then older brothers fell one by one.  I knew it was all a dress rehearsal.

He loved my mother harder than he should have.  He hadn’t considered his own vulnerability, it wouldn’t have been right.  That would undermine the commitment, the uncontested, no restrictions love that he thought transcended all.  He was wrong sometimes.  The divorce nearly killed him.  His only chance was to wade back in quickly.

No good deed shall go unpunished and indeed it did not.  Five children, all pre-teens and a 2nd wife with shoulders built to carry a chip.  He did the difficult with no thanks and suffered at the hand of her having it both ways because he relished the task of being needed.

We all assailed him as adults with various and wide ranging admonitions, requests, presents, favors, accusations, automobiles and accolades.  He was accused of high crimes and misdemeanors and the saving of lives.  Some disliked him because he stood for something and was unashamed in defining it.

He was born late enough to have science save him from the heart disease that took his father and brothers, only to live long enough to be sentenced to death without parole in the cell of a nursing home, a prisoner lost in his own mind.  The Law of Unintended Consequences.

I speak of him as if he were dead because the disease insures that he is, forced to observe it all from his frail body with a capacity just functional enough to feel the terror of the reality every once in a while.  Where is God in all of this?  Why the loss of dignity to such a good soldier?

The only reason I’m not embittered by my father’s dilemma is the knowledge that if he were healthy and guiding me today, he would tell me not to be.  He would look me straight in the eye and tell me that God had nothing to do with this.  It’s because of his faith and example that I believe him.