90 year old veteran arrested twice for feeding homeless

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BeerBottle
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90 year old veteran arrested twice for feeding homeless

Postby BeerBottle » Wed Nov 12, 2014 1:31 pm UTC

A senior citizen and a couple of clergymen in Florida face up to two months in jail for feeding the homeless.

A group of volunteers with nonprofit charity Love Thy Neighbor in Broward County face up to a $500 fine and 60 days in jail because they were feeding the homeless Sunday in Fort Lauderdale, the New Times reports.

World War II veteran Arnold Abbott, founder of the interfaith organization, and members of a local church were confronted by Fort Lauderdale police officers because they had reportedly been in violation of new laws against food sharing — laws ironically enacted on Halloween, a night reserved for sharing candy.

Trays of hot food intended to be distributed to the lines of homeless people on the street were instead thrown directly into the trash by the officers, who ordered Abbott to “drop that plate right now.” In total, four police cruisers and a half-dozen uniformed cops arrived at the scene.

Abbott and two clergymen were subsequently issued citations and are due to appear in court.

The new law comes on the heels of an announcement from the city in January about restrictions on camping, panhandling, food sharing and other “life sustaining” activities.


http://www.nydailynews.com/news/nationa ... -1.1998953

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/nationa ... -1.2002790

"Life sustaining activities" now illegal. Arrested for giving food to a poor person. Congratulations everyone on the civilization we have built.

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Re: 90 year old veteran arrested twice for feeding homeless

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Nov 12, 2014 2:07 pm UTC

Two words;

"Jury nullification".

No seriously, learn those words. Teach everyone that it exists.

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Re: 90 year old veteran arrested twice for feeding homeless

Postby Djehutynakht » Wed Nov 12, 2014 2:53 pm UTC

It has to be a violation of human rights to make it illegal to feed people.

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Re: 90 year old veteran arrested twice for feeding homeless

Postby sardia » Wed Nov 12, 2014 3:56 pm UTC

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/1 ... e-homeless

I looked up the context behind it and there are two goals here. One is assholish, the other is for good reason. The good one is to push the homeless to be fed in areas of social services to get them on their feet. Unregulated feeding results in the homeless spending more time begging instead of getting longterm help.
The assholish reason is to not scare tourists or economic development. This case falls under the assholish category.

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Re: 90 year old veteran arrested twice for feeding homeless

Postby setzer777 » Wed Nov 12, 2014 6:05 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Two words;

"Jury nullification".

No seriously, learn those words. Teach everyone that it exists.


Comment I saw on Gawker's coverage:

"No jury trial here. Per the Florida Constitution you don't have a right to a jury trial if the maximum sentence is less than 6 months imprisonment."
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Re: 90 year old veteran arrested twice for feeding homeless

Postby Thesh » Wed Nov 12, 2014 6:11 pm UTC

The local court will find them guilty, the appeals process will determine whether the law is constitutional. I don't know if it is constitutional or not, but it's certainly fucked up.
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Re: 90 year old veteran arrested twice for feeding homeless

Postby sardia » Wed Nov 12, 2014 7:35 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:The local court will find them guilty, the appeals process will determine whether the law is constitutional. I don't know if it is constitutional or not, but it's certainly fucked up.

There are clear public interests against feeding the homeless here. So no it's not. They don't want the homeless in their economic backyard. Will this solve the problem? Of course not. But it's in no way unconstitutional.

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Re: 90 year old veteran arrested twice for feeding homeless

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Nov 12, 2014 7:40 pm UTC

Just declare eating to be artistic expression or something, first amendment protection.

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Re: 90 year old veteran arrested twice for feeding homeless

Postby Isaac Hill » Wed Nov 12, 2014 11:17 pm UTC

sardia wrote:(article)

I looked up the context behind it and there are two goals here. One is assholish, the other is for good reason. The good one is to push the homeless to be fed in areas of social services to get them on their feet. Unregulated feeding results in the homeless spending more time begging instead of getting longterm help.
The assholish reason is to not scare tourists or economic development. This case falls under the assholish category.
The article also says some cities ban giving out food if the servers don't have a food handling license. That also makes sense. You wouldn't want undertrained people giving out bad food and giving food poisoning to dozens of people with little to no access to health care.

My problem isn't so much that the cities are banning unregulated food distribution. It's that the cities are doing it by arresting the donors instead of putting them in touch with established Soup Kitchens where they could help through the proper channels. If the point is to use food to draw the homeless to other social services, why not have these guys distribute food near those social services instead of stopping them completely?
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Re: 90 year old veteran arrested twice for feeding homeless

Postby sardia » Wed Nov 12, 2014 11:59 pm UTC

Isaac Hill wrote:]The article also says some cities ban giving out food if the servers don't have a food handling license. That also makes sense. You wouldn't want undertrained people giving out bad food and giving food poisoning to dozens of people with little to no access to health care.

My problem isn't so much that the cities are banning unregulated food distribution. It's that the cities are doing it by arresting the donors instead of putting them in touch with established Soup Kitchens where they could help through the proper channels. If the point is to use food to draw the homeless to other social services, why not have these guys distribute food near those social services instead of stopping them completely?

Because that's not what the city is trying to do. They aren't trying to help the homeless, they're trying to avoid any damage to their economic/tourism sector by brushing the dirt under the rug. OTHER cities regulate feeding of the homeless, this city just wants to avoid looking bad to their moneyed class.

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Re: 90 year old veteran arrested twice for feeding homeless

Postby EMTP » Thu Nov 13, 2014 3:12 am UTC

sardia wrote:http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/10/22/357846415/more-cities-are-making-it-illegal-to-hand-out-food-to-the-homeless

I looked up the context behind it and there are two goals here. One is assholish, the other is for good reason. The good one is to push the homeless to be fed in areas of social services to get them on their feet. Unregulated feeding results in the homeless spending more time begging instead of getting longterm help.
The assholish reason is to not scare tourists or economic development. This case falls under the assholish category.


Wow, that just raises a bunch of questions for me:

1. Is that actually a motive here, or is it the more common one of not wanting to provide services to homeless people so your area does not attract homeless people?
2. Is there any evidence funneling people to "areas of social services" improves their outcomes? I would more suspect that, like sentencing people to AA meetings, it wastes time and money and worsens the experience for those actively seeking help.
3. If this improves outcomes, do the benefits compare to the harms of more hunger?

Aggressive panhandling can be irritating. On the other hand, the vast majority of Americans describe themselves as Christians, and so presumably would agree to the propositions that "The poor will always be with us" (Mark 14: 7) and should ostensibly be supportive of the biblical solution to panhandling.
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Re: 90 year old veteran arrested twice for feeding homeless

Postby mathmannix » Thu Nov 13, 2014 2:40 pm UTC

EMTP wrote:Aggressive panhandling can be irritating. On the other hand, the vast majority of Americans describe themselves as Christians, and so presumably would agree to the propositions that "The poor will always be with us" (Mark 14: 7) and should ostensibly be supportive of the biblical solution to panhandling.


As a Christian, I want to help the people that need help. But, my cynical (or as they put it, "realistic") co-workers have convinced me to be smarter about it. And when you read stories like this one, it's hard not to become cynical.

Every day, I pass people begging in the train station. Usually the same people over and over again. But, the other day a man came up to me when I was eating lunch, and asked for a dollar or two to help him buy a sandwich at Subway. I said, "Sure, but I'm not going to just give you money. Let me buy you a sandwich." He said, of course, and we walked over to Subway, but then he couldn't decide on which sandwich, and said he would come back up to me when he made up his mind. My co-workers and I were still eating lunch at the same table twenty minutes later, and he never came back. I want to believe the best in people, but sometimes I guess you have to be practical about it. But there are organizations that help, like soup kitchens, and I personally try to help out whenever there's a food pantry drive or the grocery store is selling pre-bagged collections of food.

So, I understand why there are laws like this one. Not just to clean up the streets for tourism, although that's probably one of the reasons. But to make sure that only those that really need help are getting the help, and others aren't just helping themselves.
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Re: 90 year old veteran arrested twice for feeding homeless

Postby setzer777 » Thu Nov 13, 2014 2:49 pm UTC

mathmannix wrote:So, I understand why there are laws like this one. Not just to clean up the streets for tourism, although that's probably one of the reasons. But to make sure that only those that really need help are getting the help, and others aren't just helping themselves.


I don't think anyone is driving their Mercedes around to food lines for a snack.
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Re: 90 year old veteran arrested twice for feeding homeless

Postby CorruptUser » Thu Nov 13, 2014 2:53 pm UTC

If you are afraid of that, then giving food instead should be encouraged. If every beggar got a sandwich instead of a dollar, you wouldn't see the hustlers.

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Re: 90 year old veteran arrested twice for feeding homeless

Postby natraj » Thu Nov 13, 2014 2:54 pm UTC

naaah, having been both homeless and having worked for many years in advocacy & service providing for displaced folks i... okay, probably don't have the energy right now to fully explain on how many levels this is an obnoxious line of thinking, but.

the "good reason" is also incredibly paternalistic and also just plain wrongsighted. it has this incredibly naive view that all these people out on the streets wouldn't be out on the streets if they'd just take advantage of the services that are out there, like if we just forced people to go to these places (with all the extra services) for food they would get back on their feet and not be outside panhandling anymore. but realistically, a) the services available aren't actually currently available in ways/quantities that would cover everyone's needs and b) there are a large swath of people who for numerous reasons aren't going to go to traditional places like that anyway (by way of one example, when i was homeless as a teenager lots of my friends would definitely not have done so, because being minor youths there are all kinds of laws about dealing with them that make it a giant hassle to go get harassed about being sent into foster care/being sent back to the probably abusive/neglectful house you ran away from when all you want to do is eat a meal.)

also jegus i can assure you mathmannix the majority of homeless people out there don't secretly have benzes waiting around the corner. i loathe when people bring up these ridiculous fringe cases it's like the "welfare queen" thing.
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Re: 90 year old veteran arrested twice for feeding homeless

Postby KrytenKoro » Thu Nov 13, 2014 3:10 pm UTC

mathmannix wrote:
EMTP wrote:Aggressive panhandling can be irritating. On the other hand, the vast majority of Americans describe themselves as Christians, and so presumably would agree to the propositions that "The poor will always be with us" (Mark 14: 7) and should ostensibly be supportive of the biblical solution to panhandling.


As a Christian, I want to help the people that need help. But, my cynical (or as they put it, "realistic") co-workers have convinced me to be smarter about it. And when you read stories like this one, it's hard not to become cynical.

"As a Christian", it's not your place to judge that someone is undeserving of charity because you're envious of their Mercedes Benz. That's for God, and God alone, and he said "give them the damn moneys anyway."

I'm sorry, but that mindset is exactly the kind of thing that the passage in Luke was saying is misanthropic and a source of suffering.

The very closest you could get to this mindset is if you knew the money was 100% going to be spent on something that destroyed the person's life further, and you took time out of your day to make sure they got the help they need. Your coworkers are shits, and if they claim to be Christian, then they're AntiChrists (biblical meaning).

(Disclaimer: Is a Christian. Managed to absorb the copious bits about how you're not supposed to come through it with a profit.)

(Disclaimer the second: Not trying to say that you, personally, are evil. Just that the mindset you're mentioning is specifically rebuked just a ton of times through the New Testament, and is associated with a lot of the major corruptions in the Church.)

My co-workers and I were still eating lunch at the same table twenty minutes later, and he never came back.

It is way more likely that he just managed to find free(r) food elsewhere, couldn't get back there in twenty minutes(!), or got harassed by the cops, than that he was running some devious scam.
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Re: 90 year old veteran arrested twice for feeding homeless

Postby natraj » Thu Nov 13, 2014 3:19 pm UTC

also, i'm not sure why it's anyone else's business on earth if the people getting food at these kinds of food distributions are Really Poor Enough for the food. like, seriously, it's food. i have on and off for over a decade served food with food not bombs and we do not require any sort of Proof Of Poverty and will happily share our food with anyone who comes. same thing when i worked in my church's soup kitchen, if you are hungry and show up for a free food we'll give you a free food happily and don't require you to be Suitably Abject. pretty much the only condition required for deciding "does this person really deserve our free meals" is, "did they show up? do they want to eat it?"
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Re: 90 year old veteran arrested twice for feeding homeless

Postby Chen » Thu Nov 13, 2014 4:35 pm UTC

KrytenKoro wrote:It is way more likely that he just managed to find free(r) food elsewhere, couldn't get back there in twenty minutes(!), or got harassed by the cops, than that he was running some devious scam.


Probably not a scam, but possibly wanting the money for something other than food that would be taken less well by people (drugs and alcohol being common). I suspect the number of people who will give you money if you ask for it for food compared to the number that will if you ask for it for alcohol is hugely different.

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Re: 90 year old veteran arrested twice for feeding homeless

Postby natraj » Thu Nov 13, 2014 4:39 pm UTC

Chen wrote: I suspect the number of people who will give you money if you ask for it for food compared to the number that will if you ask for it for alcohol is hugely different.


that is true, but not in the way that you think. when i was homeless, my spanging partner and i would get significantly more money from people if we said we needed money for drugs and booze than if we said we were hungry and needed money to eat.

funny part is, we were hungry and needed money to eat. but saying that, people assume we're lying, because we're homeless, so obviously we must be abusing some kind of substance. saying we needed money for drugs and booze people would be amused and/or be like "hey at least you're being honest here's some cash!", except actually we were just lying and wanted money for food/getting warmer clothes/finding a safe place to sleep/etc.

admittedly once in a while he'd buy cigarettes but for the most part we were just spending money on food etc.
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Re: 90 year old veteran arrested twice for feeding homeless

Postby KrytenKoro » Thu Nov 13, 2014 5:11 pm UTC

What natraj said, and also: honestly? If someone is being forced to beg others for money, and is living without a home, then they deserve a gotdamn drink.

It makes no sense to be demanding that they teetotal when people with houses don't have to. If you're worried they're using the money to buy meth or something, that's different, but they're still in a shitty enough situation I would feel uncomfortable begrudging them small pleasures.

For a christian, what the homeless do with the money given to them is literally between them and God. It is not given to us to judge whether they'd be better without it, unless God specifically makes us aware of a clear and present danger.
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Re: 90 year old veteran arrested twice for feeding homeless

Postby sardia » Thu Nov 13, 2014 5:34 pm UTC

What people deserve and need are different things. Money spent giving out food could be better spent giving them a place to stay. Once they have food and shelter you can attack the deeper problem. Are they runaways from a troubled home? Substance abuse? Money problems? Mental or physical problems?

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Re: 90 year old veteran arrested twice for feeding homeless

Postby natraj » Thu Nov 13, 2014 5:57 pm UTC

KrytenKoro wrote:What natraj said, and also: honestly? If someone is being forced to beg others for money, and is living without a home, then they deserve a gotdamn drink.

It makes no sense to be demanding that they teetotal when people with houses don't have to. If you're worried they're using the money to buy meth or something, that's different, but they're still in a shitty enough situation I would feel uncomfortable begrudging them small pleasures.


yeah, this is a whole different conversation that i usually don't even bother getting into with the type of people who feel like homeless/poor people need to meet some arbitrary standards of Trying Hard Enough before they're allowed to eat, but, man.

i didn't drink/do drugs when i was homeless (but i had my own indulgences that kept things bearable! spending half the day in libraries playing online roleplaying games mostly >.>) but, like, when you are homeless or really poor, life sucks a lot! in so many ways! and if you have decided for yourself that at this moment what you need is a drink more than a sandwich because that is what is making life bearable to live, i also don't believe you need to justify that to anyone in order to be Properly Needy. i mean, the conversation about where the line is between use and abuse and what to do to help people who actually are chemically dependent and want to leave that behind is a different conversation that often doesn't happen; usually the conversation that is happening is, if you're poor you shouldn't be spending money on X because Y is more important.

and i fully agree that there are plenty of people who need help to fight various addictions, but i disagree strongly that all poor people are required to only purchase things that are absolutely necessary for the physical survival of their bodies. because things that you do to keep your own mental health in balance and make life not constantly just grinding misery is also A Necessity.

buuut i think that's like a 201 level conversation when we're still here at the fundamentals of "well jeez why are you feeding these people without making them also get a house."
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Re: 90 year old veteran arrested twice for feeding homeless

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Nov 13, 2014 7:19 pm UTC

KrytenKoro wrote:What natraj said, and also: honestly? If someone is being forced to beg others for money, and is living without a home, then they deserve a gotdamn drink.

It makes no sense to be demanding that they teetotal when people with houses don't have to. If you're worried they're using the money to buy meth or something, that's different, but they're still in a shitty enough situation I would feel uncomfortable begrudging them small pleasures.

For a christian, what the homeless do with the money given to them is literally between them and God. It is not given to us to judge whether they'd be better without it, unless God specifically makes us aware of a clear and present danger.


I suspect the issue is not merely that they are not teetolers, but with the perceived deception of asking for a necessity, and instead using it to pursue something perceived as...not a necessity. With a side order of concern for substance abuse. Not wanting to enable abuse is...reasonable.

And, unfortunately, deception from people asking for money is apparently common. There's a dude that sits on a corner not far from my office. Does so every day during the afternoon rush. Gets picked up and dropped off by a very nice car. He's done this for many years. The signs vary(but commonly contain "god bless" or a similar vaguely religious statement). Essentially, unless the weather is terrible, he's out there for a couple hours every day. Begging's effectively his profession at this point. I don't much like that.

Yeah, there's no doubt plenty of legit people in trouble who are invisible, but this dude gets passed by many thousands of cars every day. The exposure rate here is ludicrous. THIS is why people are concerned about it...because we see it constantly.

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Re: 90 year old veteran arrested twice for feeding homeless

Postby The Great Hippo » Thu Nov 13, 2014 7:22 pm UTC

sardia wrote:I looked up the context behind it and there are two goals here. One is assholish, the other is for good reason. The good one is to push the homeless to be fed in areas of social services to get them on their feet. Unregulated feeding results in the homeless spending more time begging instead of getting longterm help.
People aren't bears. Whatever your feelings regarding the autonomy of other organisms, humans are autonomous; they shouldn't be treated like dogs in need of behavior training. If someone is hungry, it is good, kind, and right to offer them food; full stop.
Isaac Hill wrote:The article also says some cities ban giving out food if the servers don't have a food handling license. That also makes sense. You wouldn't want undertrained people giving out bad food and giving food poisoning to dozens of people with little to no access to health care.
In general I think food offered to the homeless should be placed under the same requirements as food offered to anyone else; that being said, I suspect there is a tendency to be 'over-rigorous' in our examination of food services offered for free (as a way of badgering these organizations).

Basically, the Venn diagram of people who want to feed others for free -- and people who don't give a fuck about food hygiene -- is two circles on opposite sides of the room.
EMTP wrote:1. Is that actually a motive here, or is it the more common one of not wanting to provide services to homeless people so your area does not attract homeless people?
2. Is there any evidence funneling people to "areas of social services" improves their outcomes? I would more suspect that, like sentencing people to AA meetings, it wastes time and money and worsens the experience for those actively seeking help.
Yeah -- I have a strong suspicion that 'funneling people to "areas of social services"' is code word for 'funneling people to areas where they are less visible'. These social services will likely be in low-income parts of the city; funny how that works, isn't it? By forcing the people feeding the homeless to go where we want the homeless to stay -- rather than where the homeless are -- we get to control where the homeless go (and ultimately stay).
mathmannix wrote:As a Christian, I want to help the people that need help. But, my cynical (or as they put it, "realistic") co-workers have convinced me to be smarter about it. And when you read stories like this one, it's hard not to become cynical.

Every day, I pass people begging in the train station. Usually the same people over and over again. But, the other day a man came up to me when I was eating lunch, and asked for a dollar or two to help him buy a sandwich at Subway. I said, "Sure, but I'm not going to just give you money. Let me buy you a sandwich." He said, of course, and we walked over to Subway, but then he couldn't decide on which sandwich, and said he would come back up to me when he made up his mind. My co-workers and I were still eating lunch at the same table twenty minutes later, and he never came back. I want to believe the best in people, but sometimes I guess you have to be practical about it. But there are organizations that help, like soup kitchens, and I personally try to help out whenever there's a food pantry drive or the grocery store is selling pre-bagged collections of food.

So, I understand why there are laws like this one. Not just to clean up the streets for tourism, although that's probably one of the reasons. But to make sure that only those that really need help are getting the help, and others aren't just helping themselves.
As a Christian, which strikes you as more important: You not getting scammed out of five dollars, or me getting to eat for the night?

Yes: When I ask you for money, I might be lying about what I want to use it for. So what? Are you really so terrified about giving people money under 'false pretenses' that you're going to demand a receipt with every dollar you hand out? Does that really strike you as the Christian thing to do? Oh God; you might have given five dollars to a secret millionaire posing as a homeless person! How will you ever live down the crushing shame?!

If someone asks you for money, then clearly they need it for some reason. Whatever that reason is, it's not your business: Either give them what they're asking for... or don't.

I will never understand people's obsession with 'Not Being Scammed'. Seriously, who cares? It's a couple of frigging dollars -- either you're okay with giving it up to someone or you're not.
Tyndmyr wrote:Yeah, there's no doubt plenty of legit people in trouble who are invisible, but this dude gets passed by many thousands of cars every day. The exposure rate here is ludicrous. THIS is why people are concerned about it...because we see it constantly.
See above: Yes, people might be running scams. But I'd rather risk being fooled into giving a rich man a dollar than let a poor man go hungry, so the point is irrelevant.
sardia wrote:What people deserve and need are different things. Money spent giving out food could be better spent giving them a place to stay. Once they have food and shelter you can attack the deeper problem. Are they runaways from a troubled home? Substance abuse? Money problems? Mental or physical problems?
These sound like serious problems!

Maybe rather than trying to solve these problems for others, you should ask them what help you can offer. And if their response is 'Well, what would help me right now is a sandwich', then maybe you should just give them a frigging sandwich.

Just a thought.

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Re: 90 year old veteran arrested twice for feeding homeless

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Nov 13, 2014 7:33 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:
sardia wrote:I looked up the context behind it and there are two goals here. One is assholish, the other is for good reason. The good one is to push the homeless to be fed in areas of social services to get them on their feet. Unregulated feeding results in the homeless spending more time begging instead of getting longterm help.
People aren't bears. Whatever your feelings regarding the autonomy of other organisms, humans are autonomous; they shouldn't be treated like dogs in need of behavior training. If someone is hungry, it is good, kind, and right to offer them food; full stop.


While I have no trouble with the fellow giving food to the homeless(his decision, free country, right?), your assumption of a special autonomy for humans seems odd. Training works on people. This is not really a surprise...good, kind, right...feh. What does the data say works?

Yeah -- I have a strong suspicion that 'funneling people to "areas of social services"' is code word for 'funneling people to areas where they are less visible'. These social services will likely be in low-income parts of the city; funny how that works, isn't it? By forcing the people feeding the homeless to go where we want the homeless to stay -- rather than where the homeless are -- we get to control where the homeless go (and ultimately stay).


This is likely the actual motivation, yes. Out of sight, out of mind. However, we should evaluate policy based on merits or lack thereof, not imputed motivations. You can discredit anyone and anything using such a tactic.

As a Christian, which strikes you as more important: You not getting scammed out of five dollars, or me getting to eat for the night?


I am not a Christian. But yes, the former is often more important. Depends on the probabilities of each occuring. Maybe it's a scam. Maybe I simply would rather spend the money on beer. If you're exposed to pandhandlers frequently, you develop a certain cynicism because you cannot donate to all of them. Anyone that sounds professional at it...nope. I've given people money before, only to see them promptly use the exact same "I only need $20" shtick on the next person, pretty much done with that.

Yes: When I ask you for money, I might be lying about what I want to use it for. So what? Are you really so terrified about giving people money under 'false pretenses' that you're going to demand a receipt with every dollar you hand out? Does that really strike you as the Christian thing to do? Oh God; you might have given five dollars to a secret millionaire posing as a homeless person! How will you ever live down the crushing shame?!


I am amused at the standards people apparently hold up for Christians. Why? Why is it any more right or wrong for a Christian vs anyone else?

I will never understand people's obsession with 'Not Being Scammed'. Seriously, who cares? It's a couple of frigging dollars -- either you're okay with giving it up to someone or you're not.


Nonsense. I will often look at items in a store that cost only a couple of dollars, be okay with buying one, but not others. Not all transactions of the same price are identical.

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Re: 90 year old veteran arrested twice for feeding homeless

Postby LaserGuy » Thu Nov 13, 2014 7:52 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:I am amused at the standards people apparently hold up for Christians. Why? Why is it any more right or wrong for a Christian vs anyone else?


Because it's supposed to be a central part of their belief system. Jesus, in particular, was very preoccupied with what people did with their money and how they treated the poor. Given that Christians are supposed to live by his example, it stands to reason that they should also care about these things. In fact, there's a parable in the Bible which pretty much says outright that if you think you're a Christian but aren't helping those in need, you aren't getting into Heaven. See below:

Spoiler:
34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

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Re: 90 year old veteran arrested twice for feeding homeless

Postby The Great Hippo » Thu Nov 13, 2014 7:54 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:While I have no trouble with the fellow giving food to the homeless(his decision, free country, right?), your assumption of a special autonomy for humans seems odd. Training works on people. This is not really a surprise...good, kind, right...feh. What does the data say works?
I suspect the data will say 'When you treat people like animals, they behave appropriately'.
Tyndmyr wrote:I am not a Christian. But yes, the former is often more important. Depends on the probabilities of each occuring. Maybe it's a scam. Maybe I simply would rather spend the money on beer. If you're exposed to pandhandlers frequently, you develop a certain cynicism because you cannot donate to all of them. Anyone that sounds professional at it...nope. I've given people money before, only to see them promptly use the exact same "I only need $20" shtick on the next person, pretty much done with that.
Why is it very important to you that this person only get twenty dollars from one person? Because they're lying? Why is that important?
Tyndmyr wrote:I am amused at the standards people apparently hold up for Christians. Why? Why is it any more right or wrong for a Christian vs anyone else?
The only standards I ask Christians to abide by are the standards they themselves have set. That, and the standard of being a reasonable, moral human being.
Tyndmyr wrote:Nonsense. I will often look at items in a store that cost only a couple of dollars, be okay with buying one, but not others. Not all transactions of the same price are identical.
People -- and their current welfare -- are not items in a store. Helping them is not a transaction.

Not, at least, a transaction you can quantify.

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Re: 90 year old veteran arrested twice for feeding homeless

Postby CorruptUser » Thu Nov 13, 2014 8:06 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:I am amused at the standards people apparently hold up for Christians. Why? Why is it any more right or wrong for a Christian vs anyone else?


Because when you bleat on about Christian values, when you claim only Christians have morality, when you say that the US is a Christian country, you don't get to get away with being blatantly unchristian.

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Re: 90 year old veteran arrested twice for feeding homeless

Postby KrytenKoro » Thu Nov 13, 2014 8:33 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:I suspect the issue is not merely that they are not teetolers, but with the perceived deception of asking for a necessity, and instead using it to pursue something perceived as...not a necessity. With a side order of concern for substance abuse. Not wanting to enable abuse is...reasonable.

Not wanting to enable abuse is, arguably, reasonable.

That is neither the practical effects nor the usual reason for not donating. "If I give you money, you will only use it to endanger yourself" is a fringe case, full stop.

And, unfortunately, deception from people asking for money is apparently common. There's a dude that sits on a corner not far from my office. Does so every day during the afternoon rush. Gets picked up and dropped off by a very nice car. He's done this for many years. The signs vary(but commonly contain "god bless" or a similar vaguely religious statement). Essentially, unless the weather is terrible, he's out there for a couple hours every day. Begging's effectively his profession at this point. I don't much like that.

...you are not the person I would have expected blatant anecdotal evidence and confirmation bias from, I'll say that.
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Re: 90 year old veteran arrested twice for feeding homeless

Postby KrytenKoro » Thu Nov 13, 2014 8:44 pm UTC

KrytenKoro wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:I suspect the issue is not merely that they are not teetolers, but with the perceived deception of asking for a necessity, and instead using it to pursue something perceived as...not a necessity. With a side order of concern for substance abuse. Not wanting to enable abuse is...reasonable.

Not wanting to enable abuse is, arguably, reasonable.

That is neither the practical effects nor the usual reason for not donating. "If I give you money, you will only use it to endanger yourself" is a fringe case, full stop.

And, unfortunately, deception from people asking for money is apparently common. There's a dude that sits on a corner not far from my office. Does so every day during the afternoon rush. Gets picked up and dropped off by a very nice car. He's done this for many years. The signs vary(but commonly contain "god bless" or a similar vaguely religious statement). Essentially, unless the weather is terrible, he's out there for a couple hours every day. Begging's effectively his profession at this point. I don't much like that.

...you are not the person I would have expected blatant anecdotal evidence and confirmation bias from, I'll say that.



I am amused at the standards people apparently hold up for Christians. Why? Why is it any more right or wrong for a Christian vs anyone else?


Gonna raise my hand here -- as the one who started the "that's a terrible mindset for a self-proclaimed Christian to follow" train, I'm a Christian. Believe in it fully, and all that, no matter what people on this forum try to tell me. This is not "oh those stupid Christians, they be hypocritical", this is "that is AntiChristianity you are practicing, and in a different age there'd be some polite men in robes up from Spain to have words with you." Stamping on and ignoring the downtrodden goes hand in hand with nearly every bit of corruption and era of shame in the faith's past.

Very simply put, the Bible has absolutely no time for people who pose "barriers" on the poor being allowed to beg -- in fact, both old and new testaments place pretty solid protections on the rights of beggars and the responsibilities of society toward them, and tell anyone who comes up with the chestnut "but oh god what if the money that I'm never gonna see again and will never affect me in any way goes to the wrong person!!1!" that they can, quite literally, go burn in a fire.

BULLSHIT that the threat of some middle class peon "scamming" for a few dollars is anywhere near the level of scams and abuse that we happily allow every little corporation to pull on us and the world 24/7. Yeah, you should tell the individual scammer that they should be ashamed, but it is completely freaking ludicrous to act as if that's a reason not to donate at all.
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Re: 90 year old veteran arrested twice for feeding homeless

Postby setzer777 » Thu Nov 13, 2014 9:32 pm UTC

Wait, do you have any evidence that inquisitors went after people with money for being uncharitable? I don't think that was a standard target for them. And of course they too were one of the most despicable and shameful parts of Christianity.
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Re: 90 year old veteran arrested twice for feeding homeless

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Nov 13, 2014 10:13 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:While I have no trouble with the fellow giving food to the homeless(his decision, free country, right?), your assumption of a special autonomy for humans seems odd. Training works on people. This is not really a surprise...good, kind, right...feh. What does the data say works?
I suspect the data will say 'When you treat people like animals, they behave appropriately'.


What's so different between humans and animals? What, animals are trainable but humans are not? What, then, is education?

Tyndmyr wrote:I am not a Christian. But yes, the former is often more important. Depends on the probabilities of each occuring. Maybe it's a scam. Maybe I simply would rather spend the money on beer. If you're exposed to pandhandlers frequently, you develop a certain cynicism because you cannot donate to all of them. Anyone that sounds professional at it...nope. I've given people money before, only to see them promptly use the exact same "I only need $20" shtick on the next person, pretty much done with that.
Why is it very important to you that this person only get twenty dollars from one person? Because they're lying? Why is that important?


Lying is important. Maybe his actual needs are greater than the $20. Maybe the purpose for the need is greater. The point is, it's my decision to donate or not, and feeding you false information is an attempt to alter the decision making process. I do not, as a rule, appreciate being lied to.

Tyndmyr wrote:I am amused at the standards people apparently hold up for Christians. Why? Why is it any more right or wrong for a Christian vs anyone else?
The only standards I ask Christians to abide by are the standards they themselves have set. That, and the standard of being a reasonable, moral human being.
Tyndmyr wrote:Nonsense. I will often look at items in a store that cost only a couple of dollars, be okay with buying one, but not others. Not all transactions of the same price are identical.
People -- and their current welfare -- are not items in a store. Helping them is not a transaction.

Not, at least, a transaction you can quantify.


Why is charity inherently unquantifiable?

KrytenKoro wrote:
And, unfortunately, deception from people asking for money is apparently common. There's a dude that sits on a corner not far from my office. Does so every day during the afternoon rush. Gets picked up and dropped off by a very nice car. He's done this for many years. The signs vary(but commonly contain "god bless" or a similar vaguely religious statement). Essentially, unless the weather is terrible, he's out there for a couple hours every day. Begging's effectively his profession at this point. I don't much like that.

...you are not the person I would have expected blatant anecdotal evidence and confirmation bias from, I'll say that.


The point to this story is not that it is an anecdote...it is in the visibility. Perhaps he is rare or not, I cannot say...but that single person has a ludicrous exposure level. No doubt anyone who begs enough for it to be a profession has a similarly large exposure level. On the flip side, many homeless are, for all intents and purposes, invisible. They may not beg much or at all. The person who asks only for what he needs is likely to ask much less frequently than the person who wants as much as possible.

Thus, the exposure of people to frauds may be high even if the actual incidence rate of fraudsters is low.

KrytenKoro wrote:Gonna raise my hand here -- as the one who started the "that's a terrible mindset for a self-proclaimed Christian to follow" train, I'm a Christian. Believe in it fully, and all that, no matter what people on this forum try to tell me. This is not "oh those stupid Christians, they be hypocritical", this is "that is AntiChristianity you are practicing, and in a different age there'd be some polite men in robes up from Spain to have words with you." Stamping on and ignoring the downtrodden goes hand in hand with nearly every bit of corruption and era of shame in the faith's past.

Very simply put, the Bible has absolutely no time for people who pose "barriers" on the poor being allowed to beg -- in fact, both old and new testaments place pretty solid protections on the rights of beggars and the responsibilities of society toward them, and tell anyone who comes up with the chestnut "but oh god what if the money that I'm never gonna see again and will never affect me in any way goes to the wrong person!!1!" that they can, quite literally, go burn in a fire.

BULLSHIT that the threat of some middle class peon "scamming" for a few dollars is anywhere near the level of scams and abuse that we happily allow every little corporation to pull on us and the world 24/7. Yeah, you should tell the individual scammer that they should be ashamed, but it is completely freaking ludicrous to act as if that's a reason not to donate at all.


Excellent. Then I shall happily argue on behalf of fraud in charity being a real, reasonable concern.

Yeah, small scams are much smaller in scope than large ones...but not every person has the ability to materially impact large ones. Hell, they may not even know of them. But the small ones we run into, sure, we can impact those. Regardless of if this is scambaiting or merely avoiding questionable donation opportunities,

I do donate to various charitable causes, of course. I feel no particular compulsion to donate to everyone who wants money, though. Choosing not to donate in a given circumstance is wildly different from arguing against charity entirely. I do not think anyone is arguing for the latter.

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Re: 90 year old veteran arrested twice for feeding homeless

Postby setzer777 » Thu Nov 13, 2014 10:31 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:This is not really a surprise...good, kind, right...feh. What does the data say works?


The concept of "what works" only has meaning in relation to a certain end goal. TGH is asserting that "goodness, kindness, and rightness" should itself be an end goal.

I don't know if he's arguing this particularly with regards to those visibly in need in front of us, though that would not be unusual. Most people experience greater moral revulsion towards those who allow children to die of neglect on their proverbial doorstep than those who allow children to die of neglect in a different country (even with perfect awareness of those foreign kids' needs and disposable income to help them).
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Re: 90 year old veteran arrested twice for feeding homeless

Postby The Great Hippo » Thu Nov 13, 2014 10:34 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:What's so different between humans and animals? What, animals are trainable but humans are not? What, then, is education?
If you think education can be described as the process by which we train our children, I sincerely hope you never participate in the education system.

(Unless, perhaps, you'd like to say 'the process by which we train our children to be greater than ourselves')
Tyndmyr wrote:Lying is important. Maybe his actual needs are greater than the $20. Maybe the purpose for the need is greater. The point is, it's my decision to donate or not, and feeding you false information is an attempt to alter the decision making process. I do not, as a rule, appreciate being lied to.
But how is whether or not someone lied to you relevant to whether or not you give them twenty dollars? Do you only want to give twenty dollars to people who don't lie to you?
Tyndmyr wrote:Why is charity inherently unquantifiable?
Because you have no means by which to measure the personal benefit I acquire from giving a beggar twenty dollars.

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Re: 90 year old veteran arrested twice for feeding homeless

Postby setzer777 » Thu Nov 13, 2014 10:38 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:Because you have no means by which to measure the personal benefit I acquire from giving a beggar twenty dollars.


I don't quite understand this. Couldn't the same be said of frivolous entertainment that doesn't have resale value?
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Re: 90 year old veteran arrested twice for feeding homeless

Postby The Great Hippo » Thu Nov 13, 2014 10:41 pm UTC

setzer777 wrote:I don't quite understand this. Couldn't the same be said of frivolous entertainment that doesn't have resale value?
Yes -- and economics really can't quantify those transactions, either. Beyond saying 'For some reason, this person keeps dumping money into that hole and lighting it on fire'.

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Re: 90 year old veteran arrested twice for feeding homeless

Postby KrytenKoro » Thu Nov 13, 2014 11:54 pm UTC

setzer777 wrote:Wait, do you have any evidence that inquisitors went after people with money for being uncharitable? I don't think that was a standard target for them. And of course they too were one of the most despicable and shameful parts of Christianity.

it was supposed to be a bit of illustrative hyperbole, not literally "im right because the inquisition agrees with me"
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Re: 90 year old veteran arrested twice for feeding homeless

Postby sardia » Fri Nov 14, 2014 12:54 am UTC

Is the goal here to make yourselves feel better (that you helped the less fortunate) or to tackle homelessness? I'm seeing a lot of pushback in this thread against proven strategies that end homlessness permanently. Is altruism so strong that people will refuse to accept sound tactics just to feel good?

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Re: 90 year old veteran arrested twice for feeding homeless

Postby natraj » Fri Nov 14, 2014 1:34 am UTC

i'm sorry, what? i haven't seen any pushback against proven strategies that end homelessness permanently. i haven't seen any "proven strategies that end homelessness permanently". i've seen some nonsense claims about how people will totally just elect to keep being homeless if you give them food because it's clearly so much fun that everyone would do it if they knew there was free sandwiches involved, but. anyone who claims at all to be able to end homelessness permanently is more of a huckster than these Rich Homeless People that keep getting brought up.
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Re: 90 year old veteran arrested twice for feeding homeless

Postby CorruptUser » Fri Nov 14, 2014 1:47 am UTC

natraj wrote:i'm sorry, what? i haven't seen any pushback against proven strategies that end homelessness permanently. i haven't seen any "proven strategies that end homelessness permanently". i've seen some nonsense claims about how people will totally just elect to keep being homeless if you give them food because it's clearly so much fun that everyone would do it if they knew there was free sandwiches involved, but. anyone who claims at all to be able to end homelessness permanently is more of a huckster than these Rich Homeless People that keep getting brought up.


No, they could be a Godwin's, advocating the final solution to the homeless problem. Which is what Godwin's did do.


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