Friday, August 31, 2007

.. [ day seventeen ] .. l must say, in my final analysis, only my mom doing my laundry has made my new type of laundry day easier .. ty!

As the DOC officer asked me today, "So, how are you keeping your clothes so clean, that shirt looks like it should attract dirt?"

This morning was a cool morning. Waking each morning I find that i appears my usual time clock, rained religiously for the last 30 years, is being rudely broken.

I am starting to enjoy my 5AM walk to breakfast, yikes does this mean I am starting to be assimilated? As I observe the truly homeless walking the streets choosing not to seek out these fine services, their panhandling (the profession that never has a break has brought them to a new day. Night that has now become morning, the coolness of the morning reminds me of what I enjoys so much about the night.

There is such a calm at 4:30 in the morning, in some cities the clubs have just closed, and the cities Denny's or local diner, is full with exhausted or dreamy eyed customers. The liquor in most cases worn off a quick bacon and eggs or shared omelet finish the night and the early morning day break.

In this city, the clubs have been closed for several hours, the local diners are now empty, and there is no GAY Denny's to find the clubbers who have he same general opinion of life, or for me to order my usual ice cream sunday and cup of coffee.

Walking to my destination, I pass an occasional person I know from jail, prison, or the shelter, who didn't find refuge that night. I dismiss questions of "Sir can you spare a dollar?" or "I am sorry I didn't mean to bug you." A phrase that almost made me stop and actually hand her some change. But, I never do, cause as in the past I never have.

I admire the landscape set before me of the Puget Sound, passing Marion, Madison and Spring streets and depending on the day, the view of docked bulk carriers, or Ro-Ro's parked in the middle of the sound, sound asleep, give me a moment of tranquility once achieved by my love for travel and visiting strange cities and being surrounded by unfamiliar people. Perched on these streets, like a bird looking over its nest, I have seen beautiful pictured landscapes of moons on the water, in fact a few days ago an eclipsed moon; overcasts of fog that took me into a three dimensional view life and out of my one-dimensional view of my situation. These days, I so find myself peering into the text on this screen that has become my pen and my escape. Tempted to disturb the landscape before, and of yet never acted upon, I tell myself that I should walk to the boardwalk and observe the glassy reflections that I see from afar.

A hater of the mundane I am quickly reminded that the mundane would drive me crazy, I dismiss the hike knowing the hike would begin the transformation out of my athletic figure of French fries and crispy bacon!

For today I have a mission, the much awaited re-opening of the Urban Stop is to happen. Seven years in business, I hear the friendly attendant tell another client. This place, small but quaint, had finally expanded after fiver years of anticipation, once again the tour guide proclaims, is a wash and shower facility. When I approached the building I could see that other early morning clients heard the shelter was finally reopening. Sharing "Hello's." and "How you been?" and with the usual politician demeanor I acquired in Portland, I reacted with my usual polish of my past, "Hey are you? When you get out? You staying out of trouble? Cool, that's awesome, have a good day, and stay out of trouble?" This in closing I present my smile that reminds me that I am not on of hem, but with as fast a polish, I remember, why I was walking to the facility to begin with.

Most know me by my last name, and they always tell the people they are with if any, this is the guy who is fighting DOC. I of course dismiss that, and remind them that in fact I am not fighting the DOC, but in fact I am just trying to elevate the awareness of what is happening. In the days of old, we used to call this type of understanding as "eating-your-own-dog-food." Perhaps, the next time a policy maker puts forth a "good idea" maybe they should "eat-their-own-dog-food?"

Nothing has changed. Maybe the city, maybe ... Ah who cares.

In the Urban Stop, I was generally surprised, if you wanted to, you could take a shower, and be given a pair of coveralls so that you can as well wash the clothes on your back! Not since I traveled in Europe with a backpack and several At Risk Kids who I dared to graduate from high school at my expense, did I experience such hospitality.

Avoiding the red coverall, I walked out from the shop, clean treated professionally and with a genuine carrying attitude by the staff, the same general demeanor I received by the Compass Center, the UGM, the Bread of Life, New Horizons and I thought?

What the heck?

I must say, in my final analysis, only my mom doing my laundry has made my new type of laundry day easier. Thank You



Thursday, August 30, 2007

.. [ day sixteen ] .. with all fairness & It appears the theme of the week for the DOC and me is "perception."

Within all fairness, I have to finally admit, that the CCO I spoke to on Tuesday appears to have made some effort in rectifying my homeless situation.

But where in, renting apartments or rooms, is on a first come first serve basis. With the rental now being investigated finally 12 days later - it unfortunately - apperas to have a perception that someone's which to make me homeless has succeeded, yet again. (Being in this situation since July 4, 2007, that makes it a whopping 58 days to date).

The potential landlord told DOC on Tuesday, to call her back on Thursday, to see if the place was sill available as she found other potential residents.

Bringing it all together, it has been over 30 days since I submitted the Mountlake Terrace address, which I have heard absolutely nothing; 58 days since I was forced out of a perfectly acceptable home, which is now n an area that I am restricted from visiting or living, which happens to be where all my friends live, of which we paid 45 days in a hotel waiting for some kind of answer for paper work that appears was only submitted, 10 days after it was stated, "I will fax this right now, and" and the games began. I already talked about this so I am not going to rehash, abuse. Or for that matter the $4510 in hotel costs alone.

The issue of being restricted, was brought into play after initially being found guilty then later not guilty of an alleged violation of a no contact order. But, taking it all in stride I recognize the real reason why I was taken out of the gay neighbourhood and University district. It was about power, power, power. The fact the DOC officer has kept the condition, and the DOC higher ups refuse to answer my appeal, is called capriciousness. More importantly an abuse of their power.

It appears the theme of the week for the DOC and me is "perception." Mr. Homelessness perception of the world is different than ours.

Research finds: "When inferring the causes of behavior, too much weight is accorded to personal qualities and dispositions of the actor and not enough to situational determinants of the actor's behavior. People also overestimate their own importance as both a cause and a target of the behavior of others. Finally, people often perceive relationships that do not in fact exist, because they do not have an intuitive understanding of the kinds and amount of information needed to prove a relationship." Center for the Study of Intelligence Central Intelligence Agency 1999, Chapter 11, "Biases in Perception of Cause and Effect". [emphasis self].


Here is some fascinating information!!

Also CSOM, CSOM is administered by the Center for Effective Public Policy and the American Probation and Parole Association.

Thank You, REFLEX, Politics of Dancing:

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

..[ day fifteen].. is there anything more to say?

--- 00 ---

Of course there is ....

Today was an interesting morning. I have been told in a message by my CCO, “Your are homeless you are to report every day the the DOC office!” With that command, regardless of the fact they are the ones controlling my homelessness, I went to the office as directed. That was the interesting part, for I like to get affirmations of my “perceptions.”

When I walk into the office, the first thing I am old to do by the duty officer, which is the same thing asked of me yesterday when I went to my weekly chick-in, the daily duty officer (one of my ex CCO's) tells me “empty your pockets and put your bag in the office next to mine.”

It appears they are very sensitive. Since last year I become very frustrated with CCO's putting whatever they wanted into the chrono-logs, many things that were not said, or where improper reflections of what did happen in the office with me. So I did what may people have done to police officers who are acting improperly, I started tape recording various meetings. Of course since this state has the tightest Privacy Act in the country, I was very well versed in the law that I could tape record a non-private communication with only the permission of one person. DOC highly offended, by me recording them, violated me for 90 days, saying I broke a law. I am still waiting for the DOC Regional panel to render a decision on the appeal I filed now over two months ago. I venture that they are hesitant, to relinquish the power that they have, to make a ruling that will be challenged and will ultimately lose in the courts.

After I emptied my pockets, I walked into the office and the CCO said out loud, “So you said you had a recording device in your pocket?” Quickly spanning my surroundings, I saw through my peripheral vision and directly several vultures surrounding the room in anticipation of my answer, as if I was in a show down at “OK corral”, I felt the lynch mob was waiting for my answer with baited breadth.

“Ha!” I claim, “G, I said have you heard in regards to the appeal I filed about the tape recordings.”

As in the in the movies, the crowd began to slowly disperse, and I see through my peripheral vision that the hang loose was disappointingly being removed.

How do you know when you are dealing with a predator? It is in their eyes and in their whole demeanour when they have successfully come to their preys weakest moment.

As I sit in this CCO's office, the next exchange reminds me, that I have entered a predators office. With a poster of James Dean as the only posting in his office, ironic to me considering the many trysts in out of homosexuality this icon made, this daily duty officer asks me several mundane questions that lead to a redraw.

“So your staying at the UGM?”

“Yes.” I answer.

“And of course you have verification?” He states while his body language and his fingers begin tp move to the front of his chair, with a now pouncing position, he is ready for the if I garnish him the answer his eyes tell me wants.

“Yes.” I answer thinking, Wow this guy is with bated breadth wants to arrest me.

“And of course, that is in your bag?” As we moves back into his chair.

“Yes.” I answer, self assured that I will not be on this predators dinner plate.

“Well of course, you left that in your bag right? Knowing that I would want it, you just left it in you bag?” He says sounding irritated.

Wait, wasn't it was him who told me to take everything out of my pocket? Wasn't him who told me to move my bag to an adjoining office?

I am be beginning to think that maybe these DOC folks feel they have to act like a predator so that they can enhance public safety. Perhaps DOC thinks that if they make people homeless, drive them crazy with dominion, make them feel like they are trapped in their cage, that they will come to their total submission?

Perhaps they have learned too much?

Perhaps like bulldogs, who are trained to kill by placing them in a cage, the school of DOC has figured out the real way to perpetuate hysteria is to deteriorate every element of self worth that a person has?

But in all fairness, perhaps, I am totally wrong and like a polygrapher told me once, “Mr. Homelessness I do not understand why you will not sign this form, 100,000 other people have?”

My answer was and still is the same, “My name is Mister Homelessness, glad to meet you.”

This all leads to a story that outlines the self imposed affirmation I received when I was young: once while in seventh grade, walking back from the Boys Club with my best friend, he reached into his pocket and pulled out what I later found out to be a joint. As he lit it and took a deep lip pursing drag and while he held his breadth, then began to release the smoke slowly he handed it to me, as if I knew what to do with it? “What the hell is that?” I asked, starting to smell something that was quite different that my mom's pack of Kools. Seeing him begin to bend over slightly and cough he proclaimed to me:

“It's a joint, don't always be such a square, try it!”

“Nah, that's ok.” I replied, I actually thought being a square, meant I followed the rules and that was okay? "Ah c'mon, your such a sissy."

He knew that was the one word that would make me mad! I hated being called that! But, I just kept the feeling inside, after all he was my protector at school, he was bigger than me, and without him who would I have to protect me?

"Nah." I said, waiting for his smart-ass response, but instead he just looked at me, "Yeah, your a sissy that's why I kick everyone's butt for you."

Can't argue with that, can you?

Everyday that the DOC tests me for drugs, sometimes every week, I remember that day when I so proudly believed that being a square was something that meant I followed the rules. I smile each time I go into the bathroom and watch these perfectly unfamiliar men, stare at my genitalia. In my thoughts I call them 'penis watchers' and I sometimes think of the strangeness of men watching other men in bathrooms, and how far off this is not, from what in the gay world we term as "penis gazers". This is not an affectionate term! I also think I would have nightmares if I had to do that as a job.

I guess I am a square.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

.. [ day fourteen ] .. really now

Last night I got my mat slip, day number 14 it said, wow have I been doing this for 14 days?

How do you know when someone is putting things in the record that are lies:

1. The person who tells you that they went to the house so verify the address says "the house appears to be vacant".

2. The person who tells you that that the "place has a playground around it."

So to expose the lies, all you have to do is follow this logic:

1. The house is in fact a CONDO that appears to have be a very nice apartment complex that was converted into Condo's.

2. If they would have found the Condo, it took me on foot almost an hour to find it, they would have had to look into the kitchen window of the apartment that they have to run into before they get to he front door! The kitchen window shows a fully furnished apartment.

3. If they saw a play ground then they were absolutely wrong because non-exists! There is a tennis court as you drive into the complex. But, like I said earlier, this is a very nice Condo complex, and one tennis court that is part of a complex does not make it a play ground.

Next how do you know when DOC is not concerned about public safety?

1. If I truly am a level III sex offender and a danger to society, then being able walk to my home unnoticed and randomly would be paramount.

2. If I truly am a level III sex offender and a danger to society, then having a permanent place for the SPD to check on me would be paramount.

3. If I truly am a level III sex offender and a danger to society, then the list goes on ... for if they truly cared they would have left a message at the shelter instead of doing exactly what it took to leave me at the shelter.

But, you see I don't think that is what DOC wants ... what they want to do is push people to doing drugs. Push people to making themselves their own victim. Push people to feeling depressed. Push people to showing they have dominion over them. What DOC really wants is to tell people, see we are right, our perceptions of this vacuum are really true and it recidivates.

But, what DOC doesn't get ... is that I am not that person. In fact that person was a level I allegedly named 42-year-old Terapon Adhahn.

The system in Washington that designates sex levels is broken. It is capricious, and more importantly; DOC has no vision of what it is controlling.

It is plane to see, that not even an independent review of its best practices would work, because as the Chrono logs above show, people who work within the DOC have no accountability of what they enter into those logs. It is a shame, that in my case they are so focused on something more than a perceived danger. They are focused on winning!

Winning doesn't save lives in this case. Accurately determining risk does!

You know it generally takes 3 seconds for someone just to say ok your housing is approved/disapproved. Now waiting for over 2 weeks!


Crazy! O Dead or Alive is playing above me at this restaurant, "Like a Record" .... I love the disco ball!!


Monday, August 27, 2007

.. [ day thirteen ] .. todays news makes me sick -if you develop some form of feel good legislation that does exactly the thing that creates the crime

Today's newspapers have on their front page huge spreads about two subject matters: "imprisoned, unprotected", deals with sexual abuse at the SeaTac prison; and "Teacher in sex case lost jobs before Tacoma, Lessons not learned".

Both, garnishing huge front page spreads sitting here in my morning writing station emotions pass by me that evoke tiredness to all the desensitization I am forming towards hearing about all these crazy sex cases. When I read the articles I became instantly upset with the information written about. Not the issues, but the fact that many of these articles are dehumanizing about what appears to be a real issue at hand, that rape, as a form of fortunately forbidden sex, sells news papers. With rape laws being so broadly brush stroked we are finding what was once based on circumstance is now based on prosecutorial discretion.

Lets review all the news in the last few days, news about some disturbing guy from Washington, who may be back on his way to Washington, who went to California preached about his not illegal views (not old news of course for even South Park has done a similar skit for a different group). But, this guy got run out of that state and is on his way somewhere and people on the net are trying to do a GPS internet style track of his migration. Then on Friday, I can not leave out the news about the guy who in Florida has been given the death sentence, his father was a catalyst in some of the changes in law as of late. But, a role model not, since amongst other things, his own past and his youngest sons present has proven that sex laws written to broadly can possibly make a mess out of what once was a prudent restrain from overzealousness.

I have to admit, for the first time in over a year, I dug into my pocket and paid the .85 cents to buy these papers. But, what does this all have to do with the plight of my homelessness?

Well, actually a lot, for one - and this may be politically incorrect to say - but in my limited and judgmental opinion I do not see a plight in homelessness. For in my case of homelessness, I am only inconvenienced by having to walk from one shelter to another in order to shower and being bombarded by Christian values. Besides the fact I find myself surrounded by so many people who appear to have mental health issues, and apparently no place to live, I see the rest as being no different than the regular customer who in my pasted visited my cafe for a cup of coffee, an hour or two of Internet, and a warm place to sit during a bad and long Portland rainy day. From the drug addict perspective, I find very few here and in fact saw far more coming down addicts in jail. There of course is a drug addict issue, especially some who are homless, but that issue to be is completly distinctive than the occassional drug addict or alcoholic who stays at a homless shelter.

What I see do see here, are people who have serious mental health intervention issues, who have may have always been homeless and ex-cons! This sounds like a mental health crises and a penological abuse issue wedded together and packaged as a form of governmental housing plight to me.

I am strong believer in organization's like ATSA who in a 2005 was advocated about and provided sourcing about the creditability and repercussions of Residency laws:

'The Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers, as their website says, "is an international organization focused specifically on the prevention of sexual abuse through effective management of sex offenders." It lists its goals as: "Elimination of sexual victimization. The protection of our communities through responsible and ethical treatment of sex offenders. The prevention of sexual assault through effective management of sex offenders. The maintenance of high standards of professionalism and integrity within its membership." Its website, which is choke full of interesting information, is here. Check it out.' Published an Amicus Brief on the issues surrounding homelessness and sex offender's which include, ""Sex offender residency statutes increase the risk of harm to children." The main reason is that residency restrictions increase isolation, unemployment, depression, homelessness, and instability, which are risk factors for sexual offenders to re-offend. It's worth pondering: if those who treat sexual offenders are opposed to residency restrictions--if they argue that such laws put potential victims at greater risk--why would states pass these laws?

You mean why would state or government agencies provide the very triggers that make people oppressed?
Then say they are protecting there people? As one Senator in this state said, "it makes people feel better?" Well, with all due respects, if this state has created feel good legislation that not only persecutes but prosecutes people who are accused of sex crimes, and these "solutions" make people "feel good?" then aren't you in fact perpetuating the very same triggers that make people prone to commit the crimes?

Isn't this a form of the same same logic used when this state adopted the "constructive possession laws"? Which hold you accountable for everything and anything that could be in your possession without you knowing? Transferring the logic in this case to if you develop some form of feel good legislation that does exactly the thing that created crime, you should not as well be held accountable?

I have seen homelessness in Brazil, India, Shanghai, Korea, Thailand, Colombia, Mexico, and throughout Europe. Although, I did not go there as a tourist or as a humanitarian. I went there on business, lived in 5 star hotels and turned my usual blind eye to who lived in the squalors below my lavishly decorated and services windows.

But, what I did see was true homelessness. Homelessness not propagated by a governmental organizations attempting to gain power over its ward, or people who chose drugs over paying their landlord, or dealer, or people who distrusted their "payee" and went homeless in defiance. Or what I think more disturbing people who post Regan's dismantle of the social mental health system where lost or put into prisons, perhaps the people I am seeing here today are the fallout of these very same governmental programs? But in these many third world countries I am starting to visit the idea that quite possibly maybe I saw something in many ways more humanitarian?

What I saw was a way of life. A life that wasn't self perpetuating for it was a born right. A right in many countries inescapable. People have often asked me of all the countries I have been to which one was the most memorable? I immediately answer with the same Country; India. Then I immediately explain why: 'I think I admire the people the most, for I saw something I will never forget. I saw a true classless society built into a caste system.'

I know that may not make sense, but let me explain my point. In a classless society, Marxist theory, everyone is the same, and in India there was no question the poor knew their position in life, knowing very they could not move easily from it, I saw what I think was peace, A peace you never see in the average American. I not only saw this in many people living in cardboard boxes next to brand new American corporation buildings, which I often looked out from onto the people, but I saw this in the Corporate people who shuttled me around, who were of the other caste group. I saw their maids and house keepers happy with their ability to serve their employers. (Something I remembered dearly when my own grandmother used to come home from work wearing the maid uniform she wore working for a local doctor).

I was extremely saddened by the homeless kids running around pretending they didn't have tongues, trying to gain sympathy from me so that I would give them a dollar or two (this being 1999 I only had to pay chauffeur's $3 a day to drive me around all day). Although these young eyes always moved me to sympathy, I never gave them a cent, taking the advice of a fellow traveler in Brazil, that kids who beg like this often take money back to their boss's who protect them. Instead, I smiled at them spoke English to them, recognizing they most likely knew English, and got them to laugh by teasing them by making a joke about myself, "What you think I can't tell you don't have a tongue, and I am a stupid American?" Which of course would elicit a response, a response that they shouldn't have given me if they didn't know English. Then I'd tell them, "See your a smart guy/girl take that to your books, and you will not have to beg from a crazy American like me." With a smile, that let them know I knew their game, but wouldn't tell.

Even though, I knew Brazil was not India, I knew that if children where doing this then there had to be an adult encouraging the activity. In fact this was confirmed by the driver when I asked him why so many kids do this, his reply 'Because, most Americans give them a $2 to $3, that is the same amount as you pay me for a days work."

One of the reasons I love this cafe I am at is that often I can hear some of the music I love. For example, as I am writing this entry I have just been taken back 25 years to 1982, the first concert I have went to post Born Again Christian and my Coming-out! The song "London Calling" by the Clash. The song of my rebellious coming-out youth.


Sunday, August 26, 2007

.. [ day eleven ] .. 'Garfield. The big soft chair!' a short story

taken from working title '13 days' ...

In the front of our apartment was a park the size of a football field where all the neighborhood kids hung out, played baseball, football, and staged our communal Easter egg hunts. It was here where I heard my first dirty joke, my cousin “Sister”, informed me that penis's did more than piss. I don't remember the joke exactly, something about belly buttons and Gomer Pyle, “'My Gomer that isn't my belly button? - 'That ain't my finger either!'” I was flush with redness, when I understood what she meant. This same grassy nole was where I was taught how girls ran differently than boys. “Girls run with their arms bent and swaying side to side. Guys – 'like you' – run with their arms bent, at 90 degree angles, swinging straight up and down! Stop running like a 'SISSY'!” Being the youngest of four boys. This name would stick all through out my adolescent years.

This same grassy area served as the buffer between a string of mirrored units which we shared the duplex with a family named the Bracamonte's. Our neighbors most notable and distinguishing features were they had a cousin named “Boy”, and son which I shared his same birthday. Although, my mother was friendly with them, it would be my siblings, who would maintain a long lasting friendship as the years transpired. Our families crossed similar social program paths, we both moved into the projects around the same time, we both moved to the South side of Phoenix, as part of a new housing project that built homes for low-income families in existing well established neighborhoods.

I don't know the history of gentrification, but the newness of the homes into the older well established neighborhoods created more of a distinguisher amongst the pecking order found in neighborhood kids. Our family being 5 deep, instantly brought a impact amongst the street basketball, field baseball, and two-man blacktop football games that further defined the neighborhood order.

My brothers, all ended up going to South Mountain High school, with the Bracamante's family, and over the years I became very fond of sharing my birthday party with Nick, he being very attractive and courteous at that; it was always disheartening, when instead of sharing a cake together, he would just call me on our birthdays.
The Bracamonte's, where also a Hispanic family, but of a Nuclear type. I always sensed an at odds, between my mother and this family. Although, I think it was more based on my mothers protectiveness in keeping us close to her side. My mother a women of short stature, around 5 foot 3, but of huge presence. Although, her stature was synonymous to the Hispanic-maid-type “Carmen Miranda” her maid qualities where more predisposed to being an excellent and frugal cook, the neighborhood mom and bequeathing us with a line of athletic genetics. Giving birth to each of us she always returned to her pre-pregnancy weight and kepping her attractive look, so much so, that when in grade school and middle school male teachers often would ask "Is your mom single?" With disgust most of the time and sometimes shame, I awlays knew what was the right answer, "NO!"

The Bracamonte's had three sons (used to make me thing of the tv show, My three Sons) and a daughter (used to remind me it wasn't the tv show) a year younger than myself. I used to believe, that since our units where single leveled, we lived in the “upper-class projects. It would be my best friend Ricky who would inform me that “the projects” were after all “The-Projects!”

A few days after my first lesson of boys and girls anatomies. My mom dropped me a challenge: “Mike, do you think you are good enough to handle kindergarten?” Kindergarten wasn't a new concept to me. I knew from my brothers that it involved school, and that meant I would be able to get dressed each day and go with them, instead of off to some nursery somewhere. I thought, hey, “School? That could be fun. I would be able to get up each day and leave like my brothers.

But what about this 'good enough' part of her question? Is she implying – I am bad? I mean does good enough imply, that you have to be bad sometimes? Or is 'good enough' mean just better than good? Obviously, If good was part of the question, then I am always good.” So I answered, “Yeah.”

“Mijo, you have to listen and do what the teacher tells you, Ok. Everyone is expecting that you to be 5, so you have to act older, OK?” My siblings being six, eight and ten at the time, it would be several years that my status as the youngest would be challenged, by my sister Raquel. Having a latch key childhood, I became an expert negotiator, always dodging the wrath of the older siblings dominance when ever my mother left the home. I was an early adopter of a concept called Risk Management learning how to make the rotary dial of the phone spin with a level of efficiency that shocked my brothers. I feared no one and they quickly learned, that there youngest sibling was a bonafide, 'cry baby'! Yes I admit it, I had a clear understanding of their power once my mother left the room, and if they crossed that line I made damn sure they got back on the other side.

Growing up was difficult with my brothers, they often starred at me with looks of anger and frustration, and i soon learned that this feeling of uncomfortable, these glares of hate, disgust and resentment was my first lesson of life; Lesson one: If you find yourself hated for insisting on being treated fairly, then you must learn, not to let other peoples problems be yours.

Once my sister was born, my mother took in a boarder from Mexico who spoke no English, and our home was filled with a young lady in her early 20's who showered my sister with affection and coddled to her every need. She soon became her “Nina”, when she was baptized, and not too long after she arrived from Mexico, she moved out of our home after marrying an American citizen. My sisters, Nina, was very loyal to my sister, and especially loyal to my family, and this dedication gave me my first realization that Mexican culture and American culture have are two distinctly different. I often wondered if this was due to our cultural bases? One inborn and driven to protect at all costs, the other based constitutionally on religion freedom from government.

Like a bear protecting her cub, or a dog protecting her litter, trusting no one, not even her owners. While the other more sophisticated and developed; the distinction between these two cultures gave me my first taste of clash. In one hand the raw animalness of an outsider, who loved my sister to what appeared to be an extreme degree of protection where my mother gave unquestioned trust. While the other with the insistence that an “outsider” must be kept an arms distance away.

Being born the same year that the “Berlin Wall” was built; President Kennedy tried to open the doors of Latin America; Social upheaval in America was focused on civil rights; and the Hispanic culture would soon be engrossed with migrant worker rights, and their ensuing riots, led by Caesar Chavez, I find it curious that many of my instincts towards family and who we can trust, was built around an extended family member, who was brought into the home to help my mother. Growing up in an era where television shows like 'Hazel', 'Ozzie and Harriet', 'Andy Griffith Show ', and 'the Bachelor Father's reruns , my concept of family was never confined to my primary baby sitter as a child. The television, and the 'white picket fence families' they portrayed where strong influences in my perception of who I was and added to my conscious that the Hispanic extended family is nothing more than an extension of an idea once preached by a former White House First Lady, “it takes a village to raise a child”. Boy did I have a village.

Being the youngest, I was the most sensitive, to my brothers athleticism and dominance. In Hispanic culture they called it Machismo; where sports take a higher priority over education and religion is the central theme to an idea that our mothers are the core of our existence. Catholicism, strong in our culture elevates Mother Mary to her rightful core of a family unit. Where discussions of sexuality, are limited to virility, and ideas of masturbation and homosexuality, are taboo. My mother was a liberal thinker in one manner a staunch conservative in others.

Our family in many ways was not the typical Hispanic latchkey type, my mother was a staunch believer that our past would not be our future. She attempted to remove us from the many Hispanic constraints that surrounded us, by emphasis education, over anything else. She refused to teach us our native tongue; telling us that Hispanic workers are often prejudiced because of the accent and the language barrier. Her concept of success included a important grasp of the English language, and the need to overcome any deficiencies through education. Being a single mother, with 4 young boys, she reluctantly chose government housing as a temporary solution to reach independence, through the ownership of her own home. She augmented the need to receive help with taking a full-time job, and refusing welfare and other government subsidies to survive. To her it wasn't about qualifying, it was about, empowerment; Lesson two: “You don't need to take, if you can work.”

{ page 1-4 }

Saturday, August 25, 2007

.. [ day ten ] .. is there really this much to say?

Walking to my after 4:45AM wake up call cafe, where I create my mornings day BLOG, I had to poke at the people who are now my neighbors.

Fellow street/homeless people.

Many still bundled next to store windows, or next to their grocery cart, I can not but help wonder what their lives where before we became neighbors? Many give me the appearance that they are either drunk or coming down from high.

But, not all.

Some appear to be homeless. I couldn't help but notice two events.

1: Walking near my destination I noticed a person walking their older Labrador retriever? When I looked, and made eye contact with the dog, smiling as I always do, I couldn't help but notice his sad eyes. My smile quickly faded to sadness, and questions of why is this dog so sad? Sometimes looking at dogs I feel they can tell me a story. I have a dog who lives at my mothers in Arizona, away from the crazy life in and out of jail fighting DOC I have here, and often I would look at him and feel he could tell me through facial expressions, something. Sometimes I expected him to talk back, but was always self assured I was still sane, when he did not!

2: I have gained a small belly! This is horrifying! I have traveled the world, literally, and in none of the third world countries I have visited have any of the homeless had bellies!!!!!! Give me the skinny - stop feeding me! No wonder they only want money!


Friday, August 24, 2007

..[ night ten ].. simply exhausting research

Today, I ended up at the Western District Federal Court, doing exhausting legal research on the 1983 I have against the DOC of Washington and the Seattle Police Department. The law suite is a disappointment in social responsibility. It is about the capriciousness of how currently Washington sate creates their sex level registration levels. Although, that isn't the entire issue, a piece of it is the thrust of my argument, and in my case the abuse of that administrative task.

The other issue has much to do with does a probationer (sex offender or not) lose their Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination, due to their probationer status? Once again, this is not an entirely new subject matter, but what is new is the manner in which the DOC of Washington forces sex offenders and non-sex offender's to sign a modified Miranda waiver that does take all immunity away from offenders, or be incarcerated. The Federal government has ruled in many cases that when a government makes a person, as a condition of probation and under compulsion take a polygraph, then he/she must be given immunity (see United States v. Antelope, 395 F.3d 1128, 1137 (9th Cir. 2005)).

Through the Offender Accountability Act (OAA) the Washington courts through State v. Riles, 135 Wn.2d 326, 342-43, 957 P.2d 655 (1998), has construed that outside of treatment that any offender can be submitted to a polygraph exam. Although, there have been recent states such as the 1st circuit, United States v. York, 357 F.3d 14, 24 (1st Cir. 2004) (citations omitted) (quoting Minnesota v. Murphy, 465 U.S. 420, 426 (1984)), that concurs with the Antelope decision, as part of a treatment condition, none to my knowledge, have allowed the polygraph to be elevated beyond this limited scope. Nor has any of them allowed for a waiver to be signed that removes all immunity guaranteed by Murphy, id., and both are at the heart of my complaint with the conditions imposed by the Washingtons' DOC CCO's who state give them the authority through the OAA. I had a polygrapher once tell me, "Why will you not sign this waiver, 100,000 other people before you have signed it!"

Sending sheep to slauther, I guess it took one bad sheep to stop and say, "WTF?"

I believe this legally is improper and the only precedence for it comes from this state. It is what I call the Bill-Gates Syndrome (BGS). Commit an act that is in the gray but legally constrained, until someone complains, then fight legally until you have lost a little of what you gained. In legal terms it is called getting fruits from the poisonous tree and in evidence gathering has a whole doctrine devoted to it. (The doctrine is an extension of the exclusionary rule, which, subject to some exceptions, prevents evidence obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment from being admitted in a criminal trial. Like the exclusionary rule, the fruit-of-the-poisonous-tree doctrine is intended to deter police from using illegal means to obtain evidence.)

In the after been incarcerated and in the community arena I just call it abusive and disheartening to see our government act in such a predatory manner.

Now that the many parties to my complaint have been asked by that court to answer to my complaint, I felt it important to review all the Federal rules to continue my legal battle. I did get one answer from the Seattle Police Department (SPD) and it appears they are attempting to remove themselves from the liability that the DOC has created. But, after reading the Federal Rules of Court Procedure (FRCP) I was left exhausted. Do I really want to learn this?

It was productive and the librarian gave me good information and direction. I have often been in that library, but for the first time stood on the balcony, which is on the top floor of the building. 19 floor up.

WOW - what a view, and how so very far up. Looking down it was scaaaary.


.. [ day nine] .. random thoughts of a homeless sex offender

... should I order a BLT or bacon and eggs with pancakes? ...

... boy its cold, maybe I should not take my jacket to the cleaners? ...

... nah that would not be very Armanian of me ...

... 'crispy bacon please', I like friendly waiters, 'can you make sure they use tomatoes that are not too ripe? Thanks.' ...

... hm, I really have to stop eating at the shelter, I am starting to gain a little too much weight ...

... before I was an alleged sex offender I used to love this cafe, now as an alleged sex offender I still like this cafe ...

... that was a strange posting by ZMAN, he is passionate, appears to be a computer nerd like me, and seems to have a strong drive. Wonder if he is a SO himself? 'Does it matter?' NAH. ...

... today I need to do my weekly homeless sex offender registration at the court house ...

... you know speaking of that last thought, really does it matter? I mean, it sure seems like a silly thing, lets keep a short leash on these sex offenders, lets let them know we are following them where ever they go , what ever they do ...

... extensive research on recidivism among the general criminal population has identified a set of factors that are consistently associated with subsequent criminal behavior. These factors include being young, having an unstable employment history, abusing alcohol and drugs, holding pro-criminal attitudes, and associating with other criminals (Gendreau, Little, and Goggin, 1996) ...

... the identification of dynamic factors that are associated with reduced recidivism holds particular promise in effectively managing sex offenders because the strengthening of these factors can be encouraged through various supervision and treatment strategies ...

... in general, the recidivists were described as having more chaotic, antisocial lifestyles compared to the non-recidivists (Hanson and Harris, 1998) ...

Hold the thoughts here --> I get it ... OK DOC ... I see your ploy make me homeless, make me appear to be not together, not able to have a job, make me look like I can not even provide for a home <-- don't worry I got your number, and for the other sex offenders at the shelter with me ... I keep telling them, 'see what they are doing ... YOUR OK ... don't let them do this to you!' ... OK - OK - maybe these weren't so random thoughts ... but my BLT is here - time to eat :) ... Peace. (... totally random thought ... I just did a spell check and got 100% no errs!! ... a first ... now that is totally random! LOL ...)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

..[ night nine ].. Armani anyone?

Sitting here outside St. James Cathedral, I just happen to see a man that reminded me of a customer of Heaven. K named him "Armani", and his name fit his choice of clothes.

He was always sharply dressed with Armani suits, cowboy hat and boots. After coming to the store for several months, almost everyday, he approached me and asked if I wanted to buy a $1000 Armani jacket for $200.

Looking at the label , it in fact was an Armani jacket. I was like dude, why are you selling me that so cheap? Are you tired of wearing it or something?

"No I am homeless and I wanted to get something to eat." Shocked, I didn't pry anymore. "Well I tell him," seeing that the jacket was obviously brand new since it still had the labels attached to it I told him, "I am sorry but you l can give you a coffee and a sandwich, but I am not into labels, OK?"

He was a steady customer and when he came to buy a sandwich and a coffee he was always very entertaining to talk to, one day he even brought a series of girls to do a photo shoot. (Now that was a story in itself!)

Always smartly dressed, very tall and handsome, I admired his willingness to stay looking clean and respectful, never guessing him to be homeless.

Speaking of suit jackets. I should probably take mine to the cleaners.


..[ day eight ] offender residence laws in Ohio and elsewhere around the country are driven by fear, not facts.

DAY 8??????

I had to share this blog from Sentencing Law and Policy A Member of the Law Professor Blogs Network, June 7, 2007, Advocacy against sex offender residency restrictions in particular this quote:

"Of particular note, and worthy of a full read, is this amicus brief filed in the Ohio Supreme Court in a case challenging the application of Ohio's residency restriction. Here is part of the brief's argument summary:

Research has shown that sex offenders with stable housing and social support are much less likely to commit new sex offenses compared to those offenders who lack stability. Residence restrictions deprive sex offenders of stable housing and social support, and thus significantly increase the risk of recidivism. In addition, sex offenders who become homeless, or fail to provide accurate addresses as a result of these restrictions, will be more difficult to supervise and monitor in the community, thereby increasing the risk to children. Recent studies have concluded that sex offender residence statutes create a false sense of security that may leave children more vulnerable to sexual abuse.

Equally troubling is the lack of evidence that these laws actually protect children. To the contrary, those states that have studied the issue carefully have found no relationship between sex offense recidivism and the proximity of sex offenders' residences to schools or other places where children congregate.

In reality, sex offender residence laws in Ohio and elsewhere around the country are driven by fear, not facts. Despite widespread belief that sex offender recidivism rates are high, recent studies have shown that such recidivism is the exception, rather than the rule, particularly if the offender has received treatment. In cases where recidivism did occur, residence restrictions had no impact. Instead, efforts to enforce sex offender residence laws drain valuable law enforcement resources."


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

..[ day seven ]..DOC in their zeal to protect the community are putting the community at risk by abusing the generosity of homeless shelters...

Last night became my seventh night staying at the UGM homeless shelter, but only after extreme panic and much anxiety where I thought I had exhausted all my shelter options. After attending 5:30 mass at St. James, I rushed to the library to make some phone calls to the crises center to see if I could make reservations at the “Operation Nightwatch Emergency Shelter” (Operation Nightwatch Emergency Shelter) program since earlier I had learned that the UGM was full. Being a level III sex offender, as a sex offender I am required to check into a homeless shelter each night, or be out of compliance, thus incarcerated.

Calling the Crises line, the operator was both friendly and helpful, he both listened to my plight, that if I did not find a solution I would be incarcerated, and he immediately gave me the DESC number so that I could secure a ONES referral. (A required document in order to be accepted by the ONE shelter.)

I next called DESC, who's attitude was quite disconcerting. Or possibly just desensitized? I ye again explaining the situation, “I am a level III sex offender who has a requirement that I have to say at a shelter or I will be violated for noncompliance. Usually, I stay at the UGM, but forgot to call in time this morning and the shelter is now full. I was told I need to call you guys and get a voucher so that I can go tot he ONE shelter. I think I believe at 9 tonight? How do I go about doing this?”

“Well your too late, all the vouchers are gone. In order to get one you have to be here in the early morning. We only have a limited supply, and they run out fast.”

“Oh okay.” I reply, “But, I understand, but am a little confused, because the DOC officer I talked today told me that I should call you, or go by the ONE shelter by 9pm to register, if I have no place to go? I am stuck, if I do not find a place to stay, I will be violated and then incarcerated for non-compliance, and basically it isn't that I am not trying, I was at a meeting this morning seeking housing and the meeting lasted longer than I thought and I didn't call in time, is there anything I can do?”

“No.”, after what felt like a dead phone, I said “Thanks.”, to a nonassuring “Good luck.”
Basically desperate with an eminent violation and jail, I being now frustrated walked towards the escalator at the library. While gliding down my brightly yellow surroundings, I get lost in my thoughts, “WOW isn't this great, not only has DOC continually refused to approve my addresses, but now they have just accomplished their goal; finding a way to incarcerate me.”
Walking rejectingly out of the library I begin walking aimlessly towards first avenue reviewing exhaustively reviewing the many efforts I have made juggling the DOC and thier constant attempts to incarcerate, instead of what I feel is more important, helping to stabilizing my life. (They don't have to do it, but they surely shouldn't be hindering it.)

Emotionally feeling a revolving door of incarceration, I can not separate the fact that my belief that DOC is abusing the power the courts have given them by refusing to be very cooperative in approving an address then as the only alternative forcing me into a shelter. Now yet again being faced with another violation due to a logistical err that is more in DOC control than my own. (I was violated previously when I became homeless in 2006 when I provided them with a UGM slip that the person behind the counter didn't sign one of the lines. The DOC hearing board, although seeing it was the same hand writing, state to me that I was begin violated due to the fact she was not a hand writing expert and there was no signature.)

Without realizing it, lost in my defeat walking aimlessly, I find myself within a block of the UGM. Desperate and maybe not so defeated, I walk through the UGM front door walking to the counter and pleaing with the attendant to accept me.

Recognizing me he asks for my name and I can tell from his body language, that he has dealt with my type of desperation before. He looks through his list then tells me, “Well I don't know what you are stressing about, we have you here on the list and your mat has already been reserved, see is that your name?” pointing the clipboard to me I can see that in fact my name is on the list with many people behind me.

Walking into the chapel and then to the attended inside he hands me the very important get out of jail card, I for the first time was glad to have. My name has never looked so beautiful in print before.

Sitting during what felt like an eternal sermon, I looked around and saw a sea of men, some I recognized from jail others from prison. I started thinking; I wondered how many other of these guys are in my very same situation? How many here are really homeless? How many are here because they are made to be here, as some form of DOC punishment? How may are sex offenders just like me? How many have the same sign-in sheet I do? How many are paranoid that if they do not get it their piece of paper signed, they too will be violated?

So fast can this little white slip of paper be turned into a little red card that says, “Go straight to jail, do not pass go, do not collect $200!”

Something is stirring my heart, and I have not quit yet grasped how to explain it.

After the prayer meeting a person I met at Monroe's violators camp comes sits next to be and chats. After a few words I realize and see the same clues that I have been feeling. He is as well a level III sex offender, his address too has been denied and he must stay at the shelter till one gets approved. I ask him, “So where are you trying to stay?, “at my mothers”, he tells me.

To me it seem ludicrous that there should ever be much of a problem to return to your mothers? “So, how long are they saying it will take to get your address approved?” Well, “They told me, when I called them from her house today, that 'I couldn't stay there!', and that it would take anywhere from seven to ten days to get approved?”

I reply, “Yeah, I have been waiting for that very same illustrious approval, but every time I go to see my CCO at my regularly scheduled meeting, she is mysteriously, 'out in the field'?”

Sound familiar?

When dinner is over, I do a last minute inventory of my surroundings and my mind is abuzz. What is going on here? Over the last week I have seen quite a few of these log sheets in peoples hands and I begin to formulate a conclusion of my week, but it is not until a bed night conversation with someone laying next to me and his freind do I begin to feel some resolve towards my adventure.

“You know,” the guy laying next to me starts to proselytize, “I come here a few times each week, not because I have to, but because I have a job that requires me to work at 4:30 am, and I don't want to have to wake up at 3:30AM everyday to get here on time. So I rather be inconvenienced than pay for a hotel a few nights a week. You know there are jobs where people here can work, but instead it is like if they are institutionalized, and they can't leave the shelter, it is easier to stay on the streets, come here get a few hots and a mat to sleep on. It now has become a way of life. I have seen people here for years and their still here. It is like the system is fostering their need to be homeless.”

Laying there, I recognize that although he may be abusing the homeless shelter himself, his freinds response strikes my interest, “Yeah, it is like people are mentally incarcerating themselves.”

Laying there I instantly want to turn on my computer and begin this entry.

There is no question in my mind that the DOC in failing to approve my addresses on purpose. There is no question in my mind that this is being done as a form of punishment. There is no question in my mind that being made to go to a homeless shelter has had absolutely no affect in my resolve to expose the abuses DOC implements without court or administrative oversight.

But, it was only until overhearing this conversation did I understand how to put it inot words. I have come to the conclusion that the DOC is using homeless shelters, along with the refusal to approve addresses for sex offender in particular level III sex offenders, as a way to mentally incarcerate and hold dominion over its offenders. It is as well a tool that the DOC uses to punish sex offenders further, many of whom do have homes an/or places to live, in order to mentally incarcerate them. They do this by being totally and completely insensitive to the plight of homelessness themselves, and they do this with total disregard to the good works and Christian values these programs attempt to instill to the homeless in Seattle. DOC has no business in instilling GOD or the fear of GOD into its offenders, by forcing them into homless shelters where GOD is pressed as their only solution.

In short people who donate money and any tax dollars being used and given to there homeless shelters are contributing to the DOC abuse of power which where given to them by the courts when giving them the authority to approve addresses of sex offenders, in particular level III sex offenders. And in this zeal, the DOC is propagating community protection problems in the community by using homeless shelters, to not only mentally incarcerate offenders in the community, but as well push religous values down their throat. In fact many offenders who I see in their who are forced and this false pretense can not in any help keep their minds open to relying on God as a solution.

There is no question in my mind, hat homeless shelters, who have reached out to accept these offenders, are doing so because they have great compassion to help people, and I commend them for their Christian compassion, and I hold them great gratitude for efforts. But, I reserve my opinion that by doing so that they may be in fact be connecting-the-dots for liability to someones future reoffending and are allowing the DOC to abuse its power in not properly addressing the necessary responsibility they have in making someone homeless by capriciously disapproving addresses and giving them absolutely no alternative but to flood homless shelters with these sex offenders.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

.. [ day six ] .. You always know when you have been somewhere too long ... you become part of the gossip!

Last night it became increasingly evident that I am no longer just a person in the swarm of the night at the UGM homeless shelter. It appears I have been noticed by one of the residences homeless regulars, and that person dislikes I sit there and write on my BLOG. So he complained and I was put into another room where the King County wireless network doesn't reach.

You always know when you have been somewhere too long ... you become part of the gossip!

I got an email from a person in Bellevue that is considering allowing me to live at her condo. I guess, other than the $800 she is asking for rent per month, I have a concern she is a women. Not that it matters to me on what sex she is but with a conviction of rape is it risky? Irregardless of my innocence or guilt, when you have been convicted of a rape crime, even ROC III on a boy the word "rape" has a huge prejudicial affect on people? When the legislature in '82, or thereabouts, removed the concept of of statutory rape, which it concluded people became too complacent about and it became difficult for prosecutors to get convictions, the change to a just rape with various degrees of that crime, helped eliminate the concept that consent could be used as an inferred defense.

I recently read a very controversial article by David Tuller, that describes the difference in society rules as it pertains to men and female relationships. There is no question that the perceptions of how men deal with relationships is completely different than that of how me do. But, you can not question that the majority of our domestic violence and rape laws are written from the perspective once attributed as being part of a "weaker sex".

In 2002 a Harvard Associate Professor, Kenji Yoshino, writes about the impact of legislation as it relates to Gays in general. It is important to note that the distinction found in Tuller's piece, and not to dissimilar than the conclusion found in Yoshino, piece. In his introduction, Yoshino states, "So it is with great trepidation but greater conviction that I come to do so. For the past few years, I have been working on issues relating to sexual minorities. That work has persuaded me that gays (by which I mean both lesbians and gay men) can proffer a new perspective on the relationship between assimilation and discrimination. I believe that the gay context demonstrates in a particularly trenchant manner that assimilation can be an effect of discrimination as well as an evasion of it."(Covering, Kenji Yoshino, Associate Professor, Yale Law School, The Yale Law Journal [Vol. 111: 769, 770, 2002]).

Both are a must read, if you have any care of civil rights as they concern homosexual men and the law as it is written today.


Monday, August 20, 2007

.. [ night six ] ..

Tonight testimonials where pretty good. I went to Mass earlier. That is always a very pleasurable experience.

.. [ day five ] .. cold and rainy

"... until you run into a tree you never know how much it hurts ..."

Today it was shower day, and a rainy day. Which meant the homeless shelter, where allows the homeless to take showers was packed. An hour for a 5 minute hot douche and a shave.

I thought it was going to be summer........ now its cold and rainy!

This morning I sat and found quit a bit of interesting research. But, I am going to hold off and write about it when I find a cafe that is warmer! I am sitting here in this grocery store in Belltown and freezing my garnishes off!

I need to go find some warmness.

The picture to the right is the Urban Stop. A very cool place for the homeless. Heck they are remodeling the showers (cost .50) and the laundry mat . It is so nice that I think travelers would find it nicer than any Hostel I every seen!!!

Although construction is not to be completed until late August. I had to take a picture of the construction as it brought back fun memories of when I was 12-16 helping, Dennis a single guy in his mid 30's, build Wascomat laundry mats. He taught me how to have table manners and eat at fancy restaurants, he took me to Disneyland and Great America several times, showed me how to be a vendor at several Dry cleaning conventions, where he talked to millionaires investors who financed many of his Wascomat laundromats, and he took me to quit a few other places throughout the US all on his dime. He was never a father role model to me, because I looked nothing like him, he was a balding beer belly chain smoking short white guy. I at that age was small for my age, a whopping 90 pounds as a freshman and all of 5 foot one inches. Even though he paid me pennies, discounting the clothes of course he made sure I had when we went on trips, he still paid me pennies and the only justification for his cheap labor was that I was a kid and he was teaching me more than anyone would.

That was his same reasoning when on occasion he would throw me into dryers to show off to the customers. He was a big kid trapped in a balding body and he taught me how to make a shell building with dirt floors into a cool laundromat business!!! He was an inspiration to a poor Mexican, and I am forever grateful for the great things he taught me. In looking inside the Urban Cafe and the construction, I quickly went back to my childhood. Thank God I don't fit into a dryer anymore!

It is funny, although he was straight, and my mom for sure thought he was gay, it wasn't until my mom started making assumptions that I started feeling uncomfortable taking such long trips with him. It took me until I was around 16 to get over how she made me feel about something that never existed to begin with. Even up to 3 years ago, she brought it up assuming he molested me. I had to yell at her, "MOM that is ridiculous, I can not believe you after 30 something years still believe that!!!!"

I do have o admit the first night she made those accusations when I went over to spend the weekend a his house as was the routine, I made him take me home at 2:30 AM, paranoid that he was going to try to do something in my sleep!

When he came to my high school graduation and hen several years later gave me money so that I could travel Europe when I was par of the US World Gymnastrada team in 1982, I was embarrassed to ever tell him what my mom said.


Sunday, August 19, 2007

..[ night four - NO- five ]..

This is so confusing. Since I always blog about the night before, I was reviewing my blogs and thought 'jeez I should speed this up and write on the actual night?' So today being the fifth night I have been homeless, and I am going to forget about writing what happened last night for the most part instead to only say the UGM folks seem to all know who I am, and besides last night was not very eventful. The concrete is somehow getting softer and I worked on the letter for Arthur and it appears he was temporarily kicked out of the shelter? Shelter politics? That make me shutter.

During the days I have been working on cleaning up the blogs, since I am not the best writer, I should probably just keep them short, and since today is a weekend, things are quiet, quiet is good.

Come-on Interstate transfer.

But, I did find a fascinating article today dealing with the Franklin Apartments. DOC, in denying my request to move to the Franklin, told my therapist that it was denied due to the fact there where safety issues. But, it appears there has been safety issues for two years, as says this article I found, "From Prison to Pit Sex offenders welcome, but Corrections Dept. protests conditions at Belltown apartments" June 8, 2005 by Cydney Gillis Staff Writer citing, DOC wanting to reduce the number of sex offenders in the building. But, to date there are several SO who within the last several months just recently got approval to live there. It is obvious that many still live there, and it appears opportune, that the reduction has finally begun with me?

Transparent - so transparent.


..[ day three ]..If the theory is wrong, then so will be the practise..

"People don't necessarily want statistical analysis. They want security for their children -- real or imagined." (Rep. Jim Clements co-chairman of the Legislature's Sex Offender Management Joint Task Force, "Sex offender ban debated by task force Panel considers residential limits, 'protection zones'. Tuesday, September 27, 2005, Seattle Post-Intelligencer).

Research irrelevant? Legislation through fear? Your kidding right? Perhaps, I am being unfair?

My journey to homelessness began well before any task-force debated with ad-homonym arguments about the benefits and results of sex offenders legislation and schools. The statistics are plain, there exists very little correlation between a sex offender living next to a school and their propensity to commit a crime. (see ..[ day two ]..Re-arrest Less Likely for Sex Offenders ). But who cares, right?

If government was Corporate America policies made under crises, or the perception of crises, would most probably fail the most lenient of post implementation feasibility studies. Being, in and out of Washington since 1996 working as a consultant for Corporate America, it wasn't until I became within the criminal justice system, and recognize that Washington has built an infrastructure of processes that allows itself to operate immediately under crises, perceived or not. It only take an hour of watching TVW, and you immediately see state government at work.

But there sill exists a question of the impact of reactive government, which has a "best-practice" of first developing legislation, then through some form of post legislation feasibility studies, determine whether the polices have meet the ends of the gaol. Thus, allowing for minimal use of impact studies in making well informed decisions along with the much necessary vigorous and responsible governmental debate?

There is no question that Corporations, such as Microsoft, which can and react on a dime, the much reaching human impact on failed policy is not within a policy makers discretion, for failings in governmental policy has a greater effect on its people than that of a private Corporation for profit.

When looking at public policy, of which I have have some limited experience, working as a city counsel appointed business liaison for a Gay and Lesbian Task Force on gentrification in Portland, Oregon, when I came into the criminal system in 2004, I was a wide-opened trusting individual that relied on the scales of justice to be levied evenly. Reviewing a recent article by Adam Platt a senior editor at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine on some public policy issues, I found the following blog quote appropriate, "A proactive government would look to fix things long before they become a threat to the public health and safety. A reactive government would at the very least attempt to fix things when the writing was on the wall. A 'do nothing' government will take whatever advice is needed to further their point of view." (quote from Adam Platt is a senior editor at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine blog stevemarsh August 06, 2007 at 05:43 PM).

While in jail dealing with the many violations that resulted in a Civil Action Law suite against the DOC of Washington, I had a once brief discussion with a visiting social worker. In our discussion we talked at length about the impacts of governmental policies well after the "feel good" of legislation has occurred. I think blogger stevemarsh has perhaps identified a litmus test of sorts.

"If the theory is wrong, then so will be the practise." (unknown).


Saturday, August 18, 2007

..[ night three ].. I am here because DOC is refusing to approve my housing.

Night three is pretty mundane. Some guy who played a decent guitar, like I am the expert, so I meditated.

Towards the latter part of the night a worker who saw me here for the last few days and started asking me questions. I told him the important stuff: I am here because DOC is refusing to approve my housing.

He told me and showed me all the things he had tucked away in his travel bag as a homeless advocate. He was a long distance athlete who ran over 1500 miles for a fund raiser. Quit impressive. He wanted me to help him with a small letter to spread the word to people who might be interested in helping him raise funds for a mammoth run to raise homeless awareness.

"Arthur C. McNeil, homeless runner and activist is requesting your participation. Mr. McNeal once a prisoner to his own addiction for crack cocaine, and now a brother of Christ, in 1992 was successful in helping raise money for homeless centers from Windsor, Canada to Galveston, Texas. The 1,500 mile bike and run gained national attention and his dedication to helping the homeless since then has been unwavering. His arduous discipline in running and with God's strength has helped him overcome transgressions and has brought him great satisfaction in helping his fellow Christian brothers and sisters.

Fifteen years after his first run, McNeil is interested in developing both the ability to help Christian organization who provide financial support for homeless families and their children, and is seeking to develop a run to do meet those ends. His current goal is work with organizations who have their goal to end homelessness.

Currently, working with the homeless in Seattle, Washington at the Union Gospel Mission(UGM) and by his own testimonials and volunteer work, he continues to work with helping people living on the streets. His ministry has been to help thousands of people and to give direction on how to beat their own addictions, and would like to see if your organization an or seeks a way he can lend his unique experiences and ability to pound-the-streets to raise money or raise awareness by speaking to your organization about my experiences."

Hm, lots of work yet needs to be done but after a long day, sleep is high priority. After all, homelessness is hard work.


..[ day two ]..Re-arrest Less Likely for Sex Offenders

Today I was given a potential apartment that I could move into by my therapist R. Unfortunately once going there and talking to the management, the manager determined that since my last CCO was over all the SO in that complex, that he would thought it would be risky to the program for him to submit me to the DOC. And that in all likelihood they would automatically not approve me, and more importantly he thought that with all the issues I have raised, it would be best not to bring the controversy to the complex, since DOC is prone to be vindictive.

I can understand the church groups concern. With over 7 level III sex offenders in the complex of 20 or so units, my insistence in being portrayed properly and fairly to the community may in fact be premature to a program that is trying to provide a place for sex offenders to live peacefully.

I give he program, the New Creation Ministry, and their House of Mercy some credit. In my over 1000 emails sent using Craigslist to find housing, I would have to say I received maybe less than a dozen responses, even though many have said, we really appreciate your honesty and candor.

It is clear, integrity means nothing when you are a SO, a murder-yes, drug addict-yes, a bank robber-yes, a ex-con-YES, but not them SO!

I am curious, how is it that this state, the state that pioneered the SO database, and has spent millions on it, after 17 years of funding, that this much needed tool has done nothing to affect SO recidivism rates or solve crimes. It is a fact that nothing has changed over the period of SO registration that has lowered reoffending rates of SO over the already the lowest rate amongst felons.

In an article titles, "Re-arrest Less Likely for Sex Offenders; November 16, 2003 THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Sex offenders are less likely to be rearrested after their release from prison than other criminals, a government study finds. The study found 5.3 percent of sex offenders were arrested for another sex crime after their release. [...] Still, the numbers appeared to dispute the popular notion that sex offenders are incorrigible. Even among child molesters, [...] only 3.3 percent of those released in 1994 were arrested again for a crime against a child. (Taken from Overview of the articles about Recidivism, IPCE).

Although, I have only just today found this link sourcing articles that appear in their database, I am curious, as to who or what direction these folks are coming from, and or how they play with the ATSA (Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers) organization that I so find creditable. In first glance, it appears they are just a research group, cataloguing etc., and even controversial opinions are important in understanding what is smoke and what is fire.

In general, if they haven't already, I think penologists who are dealing the SO should read, Before Conflict: Preventing Aggressive Behavior by John D. Byrnes. Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press. (BF 575 A3 B97 2002) was never read, or they would be rethinking their approach.

I am tired, today I had the unique experience of using my first Homeless shower, finally finding a place to do my laundry (closed till late August) and yes a place I can write these BLOGS, the U.S. Courthouses cafe has "free wireless- YeeeeS!"


Friday, August 17, 2007

..[ night two ]..Ofelia getting banned from Heaven

Tonight was a fascinating night of testimonies from at the DOC UGM revival, a group of what appears to be Mennonites, or more appropriately Amish, sung songs and spoke about the word of God. Goggling the term, I wiki learned that my use of the word Mennonites is pre-Amish, and being that I would be more considered a heathen than a religious historian, I will stop the reciting of 15 seconds of Wiki research.

During the songs I sat and closed my eyes and meditated. In my trance I kept migrating to my cafe in Portland, and for some strange reason beyond me, I started thinking about all the colorful people who came into the cafe. Like a hooker named “Ofelia”[1].

Kevin who was one of my first employees and at 19 possessed the unique ability of being able to size-up all of our customers, naming many with names that matched characters of books. Ofelia being one of these characters I never understood the appropriateness of the name until doing a yahoo search well after the name became common place. (This of course being before the ability to google or Wiki).

Ofelia was a hooker-crack head, who somehow developed a cli·en·tele amongst the predominately gay neighborhood to support her habit. She was in her mid-twenty's and wore sometimes scanty and usually wildly colored outfits. Her overall demeanor gave us the impression that she came from a wealthy family, but in my embarrassment to ask in fear of opening Pandora's box, we never learned where she lived, slept, her background or her real name. As it turned out, since we didn't have a black-list, other employees had banned her repeatedly from the cafe before I did, and apparently she knew that she could always just return on Kevin's shift.

I guess with a cafe named “Heaven” you should be hard pressed to mess with the cheat-codes of karma.

Ofelia was always well dressed and colorful. One of my favorite past times used to be looking at Mannequins in display windows. I often thought she would have been a great window dresser, you would surely never forget her windows. Besides being a hooker, she did manage to maintain the unfortunate, quickly degenerating look she had. The Mary Poppins quality about her, she had an effectual smile and had a demeanor about her when she was sober. Which up to this day was all I saw. Now recognizing why Kevin named her, "under the influence" she displayed a different behavior. One day while chatting with Kevin about her past, keeping in mind of course that "men don't gossip they chat", Kevin informed me, “Your joking right? You didn't see it, she is not only a hooker, but she was a 'crack-head', God Mike, sometimes your an idiot.”

Arriving early one weekend, from Seattle, for my weekend shift I began preparing some of the food menu we were beginning to develop. Blending a batch of our favorite Mexican Hummus, named after the wetback that was making it, Kevin in his usual manner whenever I arrived, was sitting outside the cafe taking his every hourly 15 minute cigarette break. The common small trail of customers during his shift began to accumulate. I noticed after a few minutes after my attempting to ignore the group, he cigarette- martini-break, appeared to have no influence over him. The customers, instead of appearing to be aggravated, began to filter into the cafe and starting setting up there laptops and begin working. I was impressed, it appears Kevin had trained them as well. He being a "rock-star" with the best trained ear of up-and-coming music, he was loved by most all our customers and it was impressive to see his regulars respond.

I being irritated, by this apparent aloofness, put on the black apron that signified a barista was in the house and began helping his customers. Beside, I knew it drove him crazy. In looking over his tip jar which he one day provided, a Bemis Sharps Containers, it appeared it had been busy for it was stuffed. Damn – him.

In my rush to help his customers, I could see that he was preoccupied with Ofelia outside, and his occasional glances inside appeared we was not satisfied with my impatience. “Remember customer service is always first in the service industry” mimicking the slogan ingrained into me as a teenage bagger at the local grocery in Phoenix where we were as well forbidden from taking tips.

Kevin, apparently now done with his cigarette, glided back behind the counter with his usual smile and what are you doing look.

"Kevin!”, I say looking at him when he finally gets behind the counter. “Oh you know you love it ... this song sucks, didn't you hear it skipping?" pushes me to the side to get at the Fischerspooner CD which was playing a skipping version of *#@¥¿. I guess in the end maybe he was right, I really didn't mind his laziness he was funny and as far as I could tell at least partially honest.

Our cafe was around 900 square feet on the ground floor, and 200 square feet of computer kiosks upstairs. I had a designer from Germany, K (Rocketworks Design Studio) who is an exceptional Urban designer who was commissioned to make one of most unique space age flying saucer chandeliers, a sleek concrete and scaled metal counters and mechanical lights that gave the Cafe a one of a kind high-end designer feel. His design gave Heaven and the two-single paneled bayed windows, which where twenty five feet tall, and the lower profiled but similarly windowed entrance, a unique Urban feel. Concrete, mixed with steel and natural wood, was European in origin and stark contrast to the typical Starbucks organic feel. The mauve and early 1900's architecture of the building, added to the charm of the cafe's, now stark but dynamic art gallery feel. With the Portland Street Car passing directly in front of it every 10 minutes, the up and urban town of Portland and its surrounding high-scaled hotels, gladly sent all their travelers to the only Internet cafe of its type in town. With a latte, customers where able to listen to some electronica, coffee and surf the Internet and every once in a while watch the entertainment of the area. Due to its art shows, it quickly became a highly controversial Graffiti Art gallery with often risky art shows, of only local artists.

Like Ofelia, Heaven was no exception.

Ofelia, during the slow hours, was often the discussion amongst fellow employees, with constant debate of whether she was homeless, whether she was raised from a wealthy family found drugs, instead of God ,and now was hitting rock bottom. As it turned out in the Summer of 2003, two years after opening, we at least got some of our questions answered.

During the rush of customers that I had helped, I didn't realize that the cafe had become full, Heaven had a huge WiFi customers base that began as soon as we opened the cafe in 2001. Being a computer nerd we adopted 802.3 networking as a novel approach of getting cheap bandwidth from the telecom hotel, across the street. It was a novel idea that gave us up to 11mB of bandwidth on the fly! As is it turned this very crowded day would get some human bandwidth to hoot!

“By the way,” Kevin tells me as we puts in a Peaches CD, “Man, Ofelia is 'spun-out' and I was trying to keep her outside, but she was telling me and reciting passages from the 'Pan's Labyrinth,' - she's amazing!” Instinctively, peering out the huge class panes, I can see she is still smoking and 'snap' like a photograph my mind, I know I am going to remember this day.

Finishing her cigarette I watch her begin to walk into the store and as she stands in the middle of the sea of open laptops nerds, hipsters and hotel types she stands as if she is waiting for her audience to recognize she is on the stage. Shakespearean like, in her short summer dress, her blond long hair pulled up into a seductive hair bonnet, she begins a rant of yelling by semi-squatting in a grand plie and begins, “look-looook” pointing under her dress, “look – look!” as I run from behind the counter, noticing through my peripheral vision, that she indeed has captured her audience, she continues before I can arrive, “in my p#$#, look in my p#$#, from there came my babies, came my babies in my p#$#” continuing to point and squat, looking at everyone, who are now all starring at her in mild horror, some with shock, others with sorrowful but refrained facial expressions, “look- look!!” as she tries to hold everyone's attention.

“Ofilia – Ofelia,” I command, “That's enough, no more, time to go home, stand up Ofelia, are you Ok. Ofelia?” In my voice I used to use when a child has been acting bad and for the hundredth and final-time-voice, I grab her arm trying to straighten her from the squat, hoping i will stop the now parakeeting words. “It's time for you to go home Ofelia, no-more.”
“Ofelia, do you have babies? Ofelia, are you Ok? Do you want to talk to someone?”

“Babies, from my p#$#”, don't touch me, leave me alone!” pulling her arm away from my loose grasp.

“Ofelia, it is time to go!” As glares and all eyes are posted on the spectacle, I see that the needs resolving fast. “Ofelia, it is time for you to go, I am sorry, but it is time.”

“No!, my babies!” as she begins here demonstration again.

'My god I can' believe this - am I in a movie?'

“Ofelia, No – it's time for you to go, or I am going to call the cops!”

“No I am not going – No you can't make me – No!”

“I am calling the cops.” As I reach to grab my cell phone and begin to dial 911, she rushes out of the cafe yelling, “I hate you- I hate you – my babies!”

Damn this is messed up!

Looking around and I can see most of the customers are back in their laptops. A few glance at me, making quick eye contact and then as if unaffected, return to their conversations. As I walk back to the counter, I make eye contact with a few, smile like a politician at a few others and then one appears he wants to talk to me.

Damn, where is that Bashas' play book? Searching through my memory database I remember nothing compared to what just happened. Except for maybe the one time I received a request from a male customer one Sunday morning who whispered into my ear, “hey you know where the condoms are?” At the time a 'born-again', and just turning 16, I had no clue what this guy what the guy was asking for. Turning to the female cashier, who I always enjoyed joking with, I asked, 'Hey, where are the condoms?', after the squirm and the funny looking faces from the both of them did I realize, 'condoms' are in fact 'CONDOMS'. Nope I analyze, that wasn't so embarrassing.

“Crazy experiences happen in 'Heaven' wouldn't you say?” Maybe Bashas' did prepare me!

“Well, I want to complement you, actually.” He continues, “Every time I come in here I see you interact with various customers, and I am always impressed with how you handle them all, you talk to them as if your like their fathers or their clearly not problems where other restaurants would automatically throw theme our, your stern but not, I could never do it, how do you have so much patience?”

Looking at the guy, I can not place him.

“Well, you know this is Heaven!” I quip! 'Humor – yeah – humor can get you through anything.' I say walking away, satisfied that I answered the only way I knew how.

“That's it Kevin, no more – she is banned!”

“Whatever!” he retorts, “You let all the crazy street people in here all the time, why not Ofelia, this isn't Starbucks! I left you a dollar in the tip jar. It's past 7.” Smiling as he walks out the door.

'Damn that Kevin!'

“Sir, do you want to eat diner, or are you here for 'sleep only'?”

Waking back up from my trance, and the end of Ofelia's demise, that didn't end that night but only after several months later, when she was found having stolen a valuable painting of 'Denice the Menace' I had commissioned and an employee of the Barnes & Nobles Coffee shop took it away from her bringing it back safely home the next day.

He told me that he could be a witness if I wanted to press charges? "Nah, I told him, it takes a village to help someone, even someone like Ofelia.


[1] In "Pan's Labyrinth" the young girl, Ofelia, must race to against the time of an hourglass to retrieve a dagger from a child-eating monster.