90 year old veteran arrested twice for feeding homeless

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cphite
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Re: 90 year old veteran arrested twice for feeding homeless

Postby cphite » Tue Nov 18, 2014 9:59 pm UTC

cphite wrote:
Second, the reason he was cited was not simply that he was "giving food to the homeless" - it was that he was breaking the law by doing it in a public park, which creates public safety and sanitation issues.


Yes, we're all aware that he broke the law by feeding the homeless in a zone clearly marked 'NO FEEDING THE HOMELESS'. The contention is that this law is stupid, and that any public safety and sanitation hazard such an activity creates can easily be addressed *without* making it illegal to feed hungry people wherever you damn well find them.


Okay, then by all means please explain in detail your easy way of addressing the problem of sanitation and safety for dozens of people "wherever you damn well find them"; including how you plan to pay for it. After all, it's easy, right? Surely you'll have no problem putting a detailed plan into a paragraph or two...

cphite wrote:
One fact that is notably absent from most of the reporting is that the City of Fort Lauderdale has actually offered his charity a place with proper facilities in which to feed people - and he and his group refuse to respond to the offer. But I guess "90 Year Old Veteran Refuses to Use Free Facilties, Insists on Using Park Instead" wouldn't be nearly as gripping a headline.


You do realize he broke the law on purpose, right? Because he thinks it's a stupid law. This is how you get stupid laws changed: By challenging them.


Yeah, I realize that... I also realize that there are actually valid reasons for not wanting people to set up food distribution centers in public parks. There are the obvious issues that arise from dozens of people eating and drinking without adequate restroom facilities. There are the public health concerns of people distributing food that may or may not be prepared properly according to standard health regulations. There is often violence and theft that occurs due to the influx of people looking for limited resources, including sleeping areas. These laws don't just get passed arbitrarily by evil tycoons sitting around in smoke-filled chambers, cackling over cigars and scotch; they get passed because local business owners and home owners and apartment residents grow weary of being mugged, robbed, and/or assaulted; and of seeing people shit in public.

This is one of the reasons cities build homeless shelters and soup kitchens; because it allows them to actually accommodate people in a safe and healthy manner. There is always more that can be done, obviously. But it makes far more sense to do it in a way that's actually responsible.

This guy could feed more people, in a manner that is safer and more hygienic for both the people he is feeding and the surrounding community, by working with the local government; but he refuses to even consider it. At some point, one is forced to wonder if attracting attention hasn't become the main focus of his activities.

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Re: 90 year old veteran arrested twice for feeding homeless

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Nov 18, 2014 10:09 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:
KrytenKoro wrote:Oh, no no no no, I know that's a thing that happens. What I'm laughing at is the insinuation that, because I suggested that there are methods more reliable than "he's probably a liar and deserves to be poor", that I want people to go around maiming their children -- especially as if the "I think they're lying" one doesn't have its own version of that abuse.
I beg your pardon; I misunderstood.
Tyndmyr wrote:I'm not angry about it. I've never argued in favor of anger. I've merely argued in favor of not giving them money.

I am not spreading nonsensical stories. Truth is not nonsense, and you've entirely overlooked the exposure rate point I brought up.
You're in favor of no one giving them money, or just you not giving them money? Because if you're in favor of no one giving them money -- that's what I have a problem with. That's what I mean about getting 'bent out of shape' over it. The idea that you'd go around telling people 'Don't give these people money, they're lying!' -- that's pretty much just because you're angry about the idea that someone out there might actually lie about why they need the money.

The truth is nonsense when the truth isn't relevant. It's not relevant to me that they're lying; it's relevant to you. Don't act like you're bearing the torch of truth to people when all you're really doing is railing against your particular pet-peeve -- that people sometimes lie about why they need money.

It's fine to have a pet-peeve, but don't pretend that it's something anyone besides you should care about.


I'm in favor of anyone who wishes to not give someone money...not giving them money. I don't see why that's strange. Give to the causes that seem worthy, do not give to those that do not. And yes, people who are lying, well...that is an entirely reasonable cause to exercise caution, or decide not to give.

I dare say that people lying about the cause for money is a major source of concern to many people. Framing it as only my issue, or as only an excuse to not pay ignores that people have quite obviously set up systems that cost MORE simply to screen out fraud. People frigging hate feeling cheated. This is a really widespread feeling.

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Re: 90 year old veteran arrested twice for feeding homeless

Postby KrytenKoro » Tue Nov 18, 2014 10:25 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:And yes, people who are lying, well...that is an entirely reasonable cause to exercise caution, or decide not to give.

I dare say that people lying about the cause for money is a major source of concern to many people. Framing it as only my issue, or as only an excuse to not pay ignores that people have quite obviously set up systems that cost MORE simply to screen out fraud. People frigging hate feeling cheated. This is a really widespread feeling.

The problem is that it is a very, very fringe case which gets spun by those with the power to help into a blanket belief that "they're just going to buy alcohol". Parents tell their children to avoid the poor, "they will just mug you to get money for drugs."

If that rubric was applied only where it was valid, well, it would still be virulently anti-Christian (probably anti-most religions), but still workably libertarian or rational.

But it's not, in any way. It is a pervasive, abusive stereotype that is easily and happilly absorbed by those in power, giving them an excuse to ignore the pleas of those without. "Why should I give to the beggar in front of me? Don't you know I once saw one driving a car?"

I mean, even the supposed evidence for these scams is really poorly presented -- a beggar driving a somewhat nice car? Obviously they must have a house, a steady job, and absolutely no need for any support! It's certainly not possible that any of a range of calamities could have left them bereft of sustenance but not made "get rid of the car, the main thing needed to get a non-poverty job and also usable as shelter" the smart choice! Even when they are lying, it's presented as something that "all beggars are doing" -- (ANECDOTE) I remember a news story from a few years back where they breathlessly reported the "new trend" of well-to-do kids pretending to be beggars for shits and giggles, based on exactly one kid from a middle class house begging for money instead of getting a job. Hell, even King of the Hill had an episode portraying teen beggars as "posers" -- cause, yknow, it's not like young beggars have historically been in just, tremendously abusive situations that power structures traditionally ignore.

"They're lying or will just buy drugs", if known to be true, could arguably be a valid reason to donate. But, as it's used in the real world, the way it's actually applied, it's practically equivalent to "blacks are stupid", "Mexicans are lazy", "women are incompetent and belong in the home", etc.
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Re: 90 year old veteran arrested twice for feeding homeless

Postby The Great Hippo » Tue Nov 18, 2014 10:46 pm UTC

cphite wrote:Okay, then by all means please explain in detail your easy way of addressing the problem of sanitation and safety for dozens of people "wherever you damn well find them"; including how you plan to pay for it. After all, it's easy, right? Surely you'll have no problem putting a detailed plan into a paragraph or two...
I can do it in less than a paragraph: 'You are not allowed to provide unsafe food to others', 'You must provide for sanitation yourself (port-a-potties, trashcans) for any events you run', and 'Any trash or refuse left over is your responsibility to clean up'. I'm willing to bet that these are already ordinances in Fort Lauderdale, by the way.

As for how I plan to pay for it -- that's the responsibility of the people providing the food.
cphite wrote:Yeah, I realize that... I also realize that there are actually valid reasons for not wanting people to set up food distribution centers in public parks. There are the obvious issues that arise from dozens of people eating and drinking without adequate restroom facilities. There are the public health concerns of people distributing food that may or may not be prepared properly according to standard health regulations. There is often violence and theft that occurs due to the influx of people looking for limited resources, including sleeping areas. These laws don't just get passed arbitrarily by evil tycoons sitting around in smoke-filled chambers, cackling over cigars and scotch; they get passed because local business owners and home owners and apartment residents grow weary of being mugged, robbed, and/or assaulted; and of seeing people shit in public.

This is one of the reasons cities build homeless shelters and soup kitchens; because it allows them to actually accommodate people in a safe and healthy manner. There is always more that can be done, obviously. But it makes far more sense to do it in a way that's actually responsible.

This guy could feed more people, in a manner that is safer and more hygienic for both the people he is feeding and the surrounding community, by working with the local government; but he refuses to even consider it. At some point, one is forced to wonder if attracting attention hasn't become the main focus of his activities.
Is it your contention, then, that by feeding the homeless, I encourage them to mug people, assault people, and shit in public? You are aware that homeless people are statistically less likely to commit crimes against people or property than people who live in homes, right?

As for how this guy could feed more people: You know that he probably feeds people in other environments, too, right? He's not fighting for his right to feed people exclusively in parks; he's fighting to expand his rights so he can also feed people in parks.

Regardless, your argument against his actions also bars me from having a family reunion barbecue in the park: After all, I have a perfectly safe and hygienic kitchen back at home. Why am I endangering my family this way?

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Re: 90 year old veteran arrested twice for feeding homeless

Postby jseah » Wed Nov 19, 2014 5:35 am UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:You're in favor of no one giving them money, or just you not giving them money?

I don't care if other people give money or not. But other people care if I (and other people) give money or not. I don't like that part.

Put in another way, I'm in favour of people not being expected to give money. Not even in the form of a social expectation to do so.

Whether people give money or not should be irrelevant to anyone other than the beggar and the giver.
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Re: 90 year old veteran arrested twice for feeding homeless

Postby The Great Hippo » Wed Nov 19, 2014 7:16 am UTC

jseah wrote:I don't care if other people give money or not. But other people care if I (and other people) give money or not. I don't like that part.

Put in another way, I'm in favour of people not being expected to give money. Not even in the form of a social expectation to do so.

Whether people give money or not should be irrelevant to anyone other than the beggar and the giver.
I agree; my issue is that in our race to 'justify' why we don't give money, we imply that those who do give money are wasting that money. Or that no one should give money to beggars who lie. The whole narrative of the rich/professional beggar seems geared toward that; creating a narrative space where giving money is a sucker's game.

If you don't want to give money, I'd much rather you just not give money -- and stop trying to convince everyone that you're right to do so. Especially since your reasons really just boil down to 'I don't like giving certain types of strangers money'.

That isn't the sort of preference you really need to justify to anyone.

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Re: 90 year old veteran arrested twice for feeding homeless

Postby sardia » Wed Nov 19, 2014 3:14 pm UTC

jseah wrote:
The Great Hippo wrote:You're in favor of no one giving them money, or just you not giving them money?

I don't care if other people give money or not. But other people care if I (and other people) give money or not. I don't like that part.

Put in another way, I'm in favour of people not being expected to give money. Not even in the form of a social expectation to do so.

Whether people give money or not should be irrelevant to anyone other than the beggar and the giver.

Is this a guide for begging or are taxes different ?

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Re: 90 year old veteran arrested twice for feeding homeless

Postby jseah » Wed Nov 19, 2014 4:13 pm UTC

sardia wrote:Is this a guide for begging or are taxes different ?

I do recall mentioning taxes somewhere up thread? But I was mainly targeting this at the social expectation and consequences we impose on each other for whether someone gives or does not give to a beggar, for whatever reason.

I also recall someone writing that they'd think less of me if I imposed conditions on giving a dollar or two to a beggar.

setzer777 wrote:Why do you say that? EMTP could be 100% on the choice side and still think you're a shitty human being if you put X conditions on giving money to beggars. Holding the subjective belief that certain actions indicate poor moral character does not restrict the choices of others.

^to expand on my reply to the quote, choice is not the only dimension to what we do. I do have a "choice" to take a knife and go out and murder someone, but there are heavy consequences for that. Said choice might as well not exist.
And while social criticism is less severe a consequence, the same principle applies in lesser force.
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Re: 90 year old veteran arrested twice for feeding homeless

Postby cphite » Wed Nov 19, 2014 4:27 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:
cphite wrote:Okay, then by all means please explain in detail your easy way of addressing the problem of sanitation and safety for dozens of people "wherever you damn well find them"; including how you plan to pay for it. After all, it's easy, right? Surely you'll have no problem putting a detailed plan into a paragraph or two...


I can do it in less than a paragraph: 'You are not allowed to provide unsafe food to others', 'You must provide for sanitation yourself (port-a-potties, trashcans) for any events you run', and 'Any trash or refuse left over is your responsibility to clean up'. I'm willing to bet that these are already ordinances in Fort Lauderdale, by the way.

As for how I plan to pay for it -- that's the responsibility of the people providing the food.


Sorry, but simply passing laws that say "people need to do X" is not even remotely the same thing has providing a plan. How to you make sure the food is safe? Restaurants have health inspections and have to provide proof that they are up to code - are you proposing the same thing for random events in parks? If so, how are you paying for this? Who is going to do it? When?

Do you know how port-a-potties work? Who is paying for them? How are they getting to and from the event? When are they getting to and from the event? Who's going to deal with the dead grass, potential spillover of waste or chemicals? Who is paying for that?

Who is enforcing the cleanup of trash? How? Who is dealing with the trash that isn't cleaned up? Who is paying for that?

You don't have a plan... you have a wish list.

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Re: 90 year old veteran arrested twice for feeding homeless

Postby The Great Hippo » Wed Nov 19, 2014 8:23 pm UTC

cphite wrote:Sorry, but simply passing laws that say "people need to do X" is not even remotely the same thing has providing a plan. How to you make sure the food is safe? Restaurants have health inspections and have to provide proof that they are up to code - are you proposing the same thing for random events in parks? If so, how are you paying for this? Who is going to do it? When?
The people providing the food.
cphite wrote:Do you know how port-a-potties work? Who is paying for them? How are they getting to and from the event? When are they getting to and from the event? Who's going to deal with the dead grass, potential spillover of waste or chemicals? Who is paying for that?
The people providing the food.
cphite wrote:Who is enforcing the cleanup of trash? How? Who is dealing with the trash that isn't cleaned up? Who is paying for that?
The people providing the food.
cphite wrote:You don't have a plan... you have a wish list.
No: You have a problem with homeless people.

Family reunions have barbecues in public parks. Businesses hire catering services to give out food to their employees (sometimes, in public parks!). Groups feed large-scale protesters. I hand a sandwich to my friend. All of these events occur without significant complaint, because there are already a host of laws and ordinances to ensure that whoever's running these events must subscribe to regulations regarding sanitation -- and if they don't, penalties can be applied to them.

And I bet you don't have a problem with any of these events. But suddenly, if I hire a catering service to feed homeless people? Or if I hand a sandwich to a homeless person? You flip over a desk and start shrieking like a banshee monkey about the collapse of modern civilization as we know it. Because you seem to think that homeless people are incapable of eating food without mugging everyone, shitting everywhere, and presumably setting the whole goddamn place on fire.

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Re: 90 year old veteran arrested twice for feeding homeless

Postby Heisenberg » Wed Nov 19, 2014 9:17 pm UTC

cphite wrote:I also realize that there are actually valid reasons for not wanting people to set up food distribution centers in public parks.

Your concerns seem to be primarily about public health. What would you consider to be more of a threat to public health: Plates of uninspected lasagna or dead bodies? There is absolutely a public health concern here, but this man is trying to mitigate that concern by providing these people with what they need to survive the cold winter nights.
cphite wrote:This guy could feed more people, in a manner that is safer and more hygienic for both the people he is feeding and the surrounding community, by working with the local government; but he refuses to even consider it. At some point, one is forced to wonder if attracting attention hasn't become the main focus of his activities.

You're assuming that the local homeless services are (a) properly sized (b) properly staffed, and (c) properly funded. Even if this were the case, homeless services do not serve the entire homeless population. Many people are refused food and shelter for a variety of reasons. So this man chose to spend his time, effort, and money to feed those people. I don't understand why you feel the need to stick your nose in his business.

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Re: 90 year old veteran arrested twice for feeding homeless

Postby The Great Hippo » Wed Nov 19, 2014 11:08 pm UTC

I'm being an asshole. cphite, I apologize.

But the issues you're bringing up -- sanitation and hygiene for mass-feeding -- is something we've dealt with for centuries. We feed protesters for free; businesses provide lunches for free; families feed their loved ones for free. We do this in public spaces -- on beaches and in parks -- and so long as we're responsible about it, no one seems to mind.

But when we do it for homeless people, it's suddenly a problem? Why? Because we don't want homeless people in public spaces -- where they have impact on things like the city image, tourism, and business. Instead, we want to encourage them to go to homeless shelters -- which are in low-income sectors of the city -- because those are places where they're less likely to be seen and less likely to have any real impact.

I don't think the people making these laws are cigar-smoking mustache-twirling Snidely Whiplashes; I think they're business-owners and government officials who are working to succeed in a struggling economy -- and see homeless people as, in some ways, an intractable problem (and in some ways, they might be right). But their solution -- to try and keep the homeless out of spaces where they don't want them -- is terrible, and needs to stop.

I recognize that sanitation issues are serious, but like I said before -- the Venn diagram of 'People Who Want To Feed Hungry People' and 'People Who Don't Give A Fuck About Sanitation' is two circles on opposite sides of the room. Instead of deciding no one is allowed to feed anyone in a park ever, why not actually stop and look to see if feeding people in the park was actually creating serious problems?

Let me put this to you another way: If we were to do a little research, and find that homeless feeding programs that fed the homeless in parks throughout Fort Lauderdale have a solid track record regarding sanitation and food health, would you agree that this law is, at the very least, trying to address something that isn't actually a problem?

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Re: 90 year old veteran arrested twice for feeding homeless

Postby addams » Thu Nov 20, 2014 12:56 am UTC

The man that was arrested may have done this to gain attention for the plight of homeless people.

Hippo;
All of the points you made are good ones.
I have seen it with my own eyes.

I did not know what I was seeing, at first.
I got involved with making lunches and delivering them to people.

The guy that was the Leader on the Project had permission to give food in One Area and One Area Only.
At first I thought it was Great.
I did not know about the restrictions.

The restrictions were imposed by the Police.
If he broke the restrictions, he would face arrest and the people he was serving would have one less meal.

Each day we walked into a lovely area,
where men and women were waiting for him.

The area was adjacent to a wild life preserve,
along a deserted rail road track.

We walked on the old tracks to get in to the area.
Those people came from Town to the Preserve to get lunch.

The Police did not want them in town.
They came got lunch and went back.

The man and I talked as we walked.
After a while, I began to see what we were doing as immoral.

We offered so little.
The need was so great.

Yes. A lunch is better than no lunch.

For the amount of effort we were putting in,
I wanted More of a Result.

Anything I suggested, he had considered.
The Police said, "No."
Or; The People said, "No."

What a mess.
I never did get it figured out, I had to go.

I know It was too little.
The need was so great.

There has got to be a better way!
Those are Human Beings, not feral animals!
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Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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Re: 90 year old veteran arrested twice for feeding homeless

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Nov 20, 2014 4:22 pm UTC

KrytenKoro wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:And yes, people who are lying, well...that is an entirely reasonable cause to exercise caution, or decide not to give.

I dare say that people lying about the cause for money is a major source of concern to many people. Framing it as only my issue, or as only an excuse to not pay ignores that people have quite obviously set up systems that cost MORE simply to screen out fraud. People frigging hate feeling cheated. This is a really widespread feeling.

The problem is that it is a very, very fringe case which gets spun by those with the power to help into a blanket belief that "they're just going to buy alcohol". Parents tell their children to avoid the poor, "they will just mug you to get money for drugs."

If that rubric was applied only where it was valid, well, it would still be virulently anti-Christian (probably anti-most religions), but still workably libertarian or rational.

But it's not, in any way. It is a pervasive, abusive stereotype that is easily and happilly absorbed by those in power, giving them an excuse to ignore the pleas of those without. "Why should I give to the beggar in front of me? Don't you know I once saw one driving a car?"


Being atheist, the "anti-Christian" element of my morals doesn't bother me in the slightest.

And doing the opposite of stupidity is not wise. Just because someone has overrepresented something in one direction does not mean you should overrepresent it in the other. Strive for truth, not an equal mixture of lies.

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Re: 90 year old veteran arrested twice for feeding homeless

Postby cphite » Thu Nov 20, 2014 7:01 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:
cphite wrote:I also realize that there are actually valid reasons for not wanting people to set up food distribution centers in public parks.


Your concerns seem to be primarily about public health. What would you consider to be more of a threat to public health: Plates of uninspected lasagna or dead bodies? There is absolutely a public health concern here, but this man is trying to mitigate that concern by providing these people with what they need to survive the cold winter nights.


Which he would be able to do even better by utilizing the free shelters offered to him on multiple occasions by the city. If your concern is helping these people survive the cold winter nights, which would you consider more ideal: A secure, heated building with adequate water, restroom facilities, and sleeping quarters; or a public park with none of those things?

cphite wrote:
This guy could feed more people, in a manner that is safer and more hygienic for both the people he is feeding and the surrounding community, by working with the local government; but he refuses to even consider it. At some point, one is forced to wonder if attracting attention hasn't become the main focus of his activities.


You're assuming that the local homeless services are (a) properly sized (b) properly staffed, and (c) properly funded. Even if this were the case, homeless services do not serve the entire homeless population. Many people are refused food and shelter for a variety of reasons. So this man chose to spend his time, effort, and money to feed those people.


I'm not assuming that at all... but there are still better ways to address an additional need that would be legal, and also safer for everyone involved.

I don't understand why you feel the need to stick your nose in his business.


Why are you sticking your nose into it?

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Re: 90 year old veteran arrested twice for feeding homeless

Postby The Great Hippo » Thu Nov 20, 2014 7:17 pm UTC

cphite wrote:Which he would be able to do even better by utilizing the free shelters offered to him on multiple occasions by the city. If your concern is helping these people survive the cold winter nights, which would you consider more ideal: A secure, heated building with adequate water, restroom facilities, and sleeping quarters; or a public park with none of those things?
You do realize he can both feed people in free shelters and in the park, right? Doing one does not somehow exclude him from doing the other. In fact, while he's feeding homeless in the park, he can tell them all about the shelter he's got over in that other neighborhood -- where there's heat, chairs, and better food.
cphite wrote:I'm not assuming that at all... but there are still better ways to address an additional need that would be legal, and also safer for everyone involved.
Can you even cite an instance of a homeless person getting sick from eating food provided by a credible feed-the-homeless organization?

I mean, maybe it happens -- but I am skeptical that you know enough about free-food programs to determine what type of risks we're dealing with and how credible those risks are. Which hey, is fine -- neither do I. But you know who probably does know? The people who actually take the time to run free-food programs.

Maybe we should ask them what they think about this law. Oh, hey, look! They already told us by intentionally breaking this law.
cphite wrote:Why are you sticking your nose into it?
How is Heisenberg sticking their nose into this? This man wants to feed that man; that man wants to be fed by this man. You're the one insisting that we shouldn't allow it to happen unless it's under monitored, state-controlled conditions.

What particular set of knowledge are you bringing to this equation? What do you know about using public spaces to feed the hungry? I'm betting the guy who broke this law knows a lot more about it than you -- and apparently, he disagrees with you.

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Re: 90 year old veteran arrested twice for feeding homeless

Postby cphite » Thu Nov 20, 2014 10:11 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:Maybe we should ask them what they think about this law. Oh, hey, look! They already told us by intentionally breaking this law.


Well, golly... I guess you've pretty much rendered our legal system invalid... We can break any law we want on the basis that we don't agree with it, as evidenced by the fact that we broke it.

cphite wrote:Why are you sticking your nose into it?


How is Heisenberg sticking their nose into this?


He asked me why I was... As far as I am aware, posting is open to anyone who creates an account, provided we follow the forum rules. I am not aware of any clause stating that only people who agree with Heisenberg may post.

This man wants to feed that man; that man wants to be fed by this man. You're the one insisting that we shouldn't allow it to happen unless it's under monitored, state-controlled conditions.


I never said anything about monitored, state-controlled conditions; I said not in a public park in clear violation of the law. There is a lot more wiggle room between the two than what you seem to think.

What particular set of knowledge are you bringing to this equation? What do you know about using public spaces to feed the hungry?


What particular knowledge do you bring? Basically what you're implying is that you get to express whatever opinion you want - as does Heisenberg or anyone you agree with - but anyone who has a different option has to provide some kind of background check and/or justify their even having an opinion?

To answer your question, I've volunteered to help homeless people find work and a place to stay. I don't claim to be an expert based on that, but I base my opinions on what I've learned, both from the people we helped, and the other people who volunteered. One of the things I learned about is that a lot of homeless tend to distrust the "official" social services out there, for various reasons. The problem is that when these folks start to rely on fly-by-night operations that may or may not exist in the long term, suddenly they find themselves in an even worse position than they're already in.

This is also part of the reason social services try to discourage panhandling... because it's incredibly unreliable. Someone may have a lot of luck for a while, and then it suddenly dries up and then they're in real trouble - even relative to being homeless. The idea is to get them to use the social services that are available, because it's a lot less likely that those are going to suddenly go away and leave them truly desperate.

A lot of people think it's because they might buy booze, or drugs or whatever; but that's actually less common than gets implied. The real issue is that they start depending on something that isn't dependable. And even on the street, there are degrees of how bad things are.

This is in addition to the health and sanitation issues, the safety issues, and so forth.

I'm betting the guy who broke this law knows a lot more about it than you -- and apparently, he disagrees with you.


Well, hey... if he can keep getting away with it, then great for him. And if nobody gets hurt, even better. I'm really not against this guy helping people. My entry into the discussion was based on annoyance over people implying that "feeding people" in and of itself was the reason for his run-ins with the law; and to point out that there are actually legitimate reasons (whether you personally agree with them or not) why cities all across the country tend to adopt these sorts of policies.

Tyndmyr
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Re: 90 year old veteran arrested twice for feeding homeless

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Nov 20, 2014 10:25 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:
cphite wrote:Why are you sticking your nose into it?
How is Heisenberg sticking their nose into this? This man wants to feed that man; that man wants to be fed by this man. You're the one insisting that we shouldn't allow it to happen unless it's under monitored, state-controlled conditions.

What particular set of knowledge are you bringing to this equation? What do you know about using public spaces to feed the hungry? I'm betting the guy who broke this law knows a lot more about it than you -- and apparently, he disagrees with you.


This is really what it comes down to. Better ways to feed the homeless probably do exist. If someone else solved the problem in a much better way, then cheers for them. But this does not appear to have happened. So, what difference does knowing a better way do if it's not executed? The need appeared to have been there, and the homeless folks no doubt believed themselves the better for getting food under these circumstances than not. The fellow giving the food was not being injured. The giving of food isn't something inherently reprehensible.

If you cannot hand someone a sammich in a public place, how public is that place anyway? The whole concept of public areas is predicated on a fairly reasonable ability for the public to use them.

cphite wrote:To answer your question, I've volunteered to help homeless people find work and a place to stay. I don't claim to be an expert based on that, but I base my opinions on what I've learned, both from the people we helped, and the other people who volunteered. One of the things I learned about is that a lot of homeless tend to distrust the "official" social services out there, for various reasons. The problem is that when these folks start to rely on fly-by-night operations that may or may not exist in the long term, suddenly they find themselves in an even worse position than they're already in.


You'd rather they have no help at all than have trust in an unofficial operation? Yeah. The oldster may not have handed out sammiches forever. Sure. But how does getting food now make the homeless worse off than...not? Either they hunt for other sources now or at some point in the future(if they still need it). Taking care of the problem even temporarily has value.

cphite wrote:This is also part of the reason social services try to discourage panhandling... because it's incredibly unreliable. Someone may have a lot of luck for a while, and then it suddenly dries up and then they're in real trouble - even relative to being homeless. The idea is to get them to use the social services that are available, because it's a lot less likely that those are going to suddenly go away and leave them truly desperate.


These aren't heavy investment strategies. I'm having difficulty seeing how that makes you WORSE off. I'm not a fan of panhandling, sure, but...the only real issue from their perspective is that it may stop working. I have difficulty imagining that the homeless people have a lot in the way of long term security regardless, it doesn't seem like there's a vast loss here. Banning it merely means that you lose it up front.

Or more likely, that it still happens, but enforcement efforts make it even less predictable. Hell, look at this situation. If the guy gets arrested, and thus, has to suddenly and unexpectedly stop feeding these folks, well, predictability decreases for them. Justifying decreasing predictability on the grounds of increasing predictability is a bit sketchy, don't you think?

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Re: 90 year old veteran arrested twice for feeding homeless

Postby Nordic Einar » Thu Nov 20, 2014 11:57 pm UTC

cphite wrote:
Heisenberg wrote:
cphite wrote:I also realize that there are actually valid reasons for not wanting people to set up food distribution centers in public parks.


Your concerns seem to be primarily about public health. What would you consider to be more of a threat to public health: Plates of uninspected lasagna or dead bodies? There is absolutely a public health concern here, but this man is trying to mitigate that concern by providing these people with what they need to survive the cold winter nights.


Which he would be able to do even better by utilizing the free shelters offered to him on multiple occasions by the city. If your concern is helping these people survive the cold winter nights, which would you consider more ideal: A secure, heated building with adequate water, restroom facilities, and sleeping quarters; or a public park with none of those things?


Homelessness shelters are very, very frequently none of those things. You state, in your next post, that you've volunteered to serve the homeless in your area, and you even recognized that the homeless often don't utilize available services.

Given that homelessness shelters are almost invariably in poor repair, understaffed, and dangerous AND you appear to understand that a large population of the homeless are not utilizing those services anyway (like, say, the ones staying at the park rather than at the shelter...?) how is it that you've come to the conclusion that we should discontinue homeless outreach services in the places at risk populations are at, exactly?

I've tried very hard to stay out of this thread but the level of disconnect between the idea of how things work and the reality of how they work in relation to folks who are homeless is just unbearable.

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addams
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Re: 90 year old veteran arrested twice for feeding homeless

Postby addams » Fri Nov 21, 2014 12:33 am UTC

Nordic Einar wrote:
Homelessness shelters are very, very frequently none of those things. You state, in your next post, that you've volunteered to serve the homeless in your area, and you even recognized that the homeless often don't utilize available services.

Given that homelessness shelters are almost invariably in poor repair, understaffed, and dangerous AND you appear to understand that a large population of the homeless are not utilizing those services anyway (like, say, the ones staying at the park rather than at the shelter...?) how is it that you've come to the conclusion that we should discontinue homeless outreach services in the places at risk populations are at, exactly?

I've tried very hard to stay out of this thread but the level of disconnect between the idea of how things work and the reality of how they work in relation to folks who are homeless is just unbearable.

Your voice sounds like the voice of experience.
Please do step in. Please explain.

I know for a fact, Homeless Shelters can be frightening and dangerous places.
You try to explain it.

The cries of 'Government Can't Do Anything' will drown you out.
I'll listen, anyway.

People that have never bothered to do more than watch TV, just, don't know.
I understand why you would stay out of this conversation. Please don't.

Men and Women in the US will choose to go into the bitter cold, hungry and tired
before submitting themselves to the kinds of abuse that is common in Charity Run Shelters.

There are a few honorable men and women working for the US armed forces.
With adequate supervision, they could make it safe for everyone in a shelter.

The most effective way to do that is not to be found on the ground in Afghanistan.
You seem to know a thing or two.

You tell us.
Tell us the Truth.

You will be safe enough.
We can't get you.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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The Great Hippo
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Re: 90 year old veteran arrested twice for feeding homeless

Postby The Great Hippo » Fri Nov 21, 2014 12:36 am UTC

cphite wrote:Well, golly... I guess you've pretty much rendered our legal system invalid... We can break any law we want on the basis that we don't agree with it, as evidenced by the fact that we broke it.
If I make a law tomorrow that pilots need to be clean-shaven in order to avoid aerial crashes, is it your contention that pilots should obey this law? Or should we go ask pilots (who are professionals when it comes to not-crashing-planes) what they think of this law, and whether or not it will increase relative safety?

Let me put this another way: Do you think it is literally impossible for this law to be a bad law?
cphite wrote:He asked me why I was... As far as I am aware, posting is open to anyone who creates an account, provided we follow the forum rules. I am not aware of any clause stating that only people who agree with Heisenberg may post.
I don't think you understand what Heisenberg meant by 'sticking your nose' into this. It has nothing to do with you posting on this forum.
cphite wrote:I never said anything about monitored, state-controlled conditions; I said not in a public park in clear violation of the law. There is a lot more wiggle room between the two than what you seem to think.
Alright; so you think homeless people should only be fed in 'state-sanctioned' facilities, then. Either way, my point still stands.
cphite wrote:What particular knowledge do you bring? Basically what you're implying is that you get to express whatever opinion you want - as does Heisenberg or anyone you agree with - but anyone who has a different option has to provide some kind of background check and/or justify their even having an opinion?
My opinion is we should trust the opinions of the experts -- IE, organizations who feed the homeless -- and the homeless themselves. Your opinion is we should disregard the experts and pay attention to the people who don't want the homeless people eating in the park.

I don't need to bring any knowledge to the table, because my position is, quite literally, 'Let's ask the experts'. You, as a non-expert, are questioning the opinions of the experts. The burden is on you to prove them wrong.
cphite wrote:Well, hey... if he can keep getting away with it, then great for him. And if nobody gets hurt, even better. I'm really not against this guy helping people. My entry into the discussion was based on annoyance over people implying that "feeding people" in and of itself was the reason for his run-ins with the law; and to point out that there are actually legitimate reasons (whether you personally agree with them or not) why cities all across the country tend to adopt these sorts of policies.
Feeding people was in of itself the reason for his run-in with the law. If he didn't feed anyone, he wouldn't have been arrested.

Or do you mean your problem is that he thinks the law is stupid, and is contesting it? Because yes, that is true. He's breaking the law specifically to highlight how stupid it is and to show people how so many cities are creating stupid laws -- that neither homeless people nor the organizations helping them want to see go into effect.

But by all means, continue arguing passionately on the issue; I'm sure you know what's best for homeless people. At the very least, you certainly know better than the homeless people themselves -- or the organizations working with them.

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addams
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Re: 90 year old veteran arrested twice for feeding homeless

Postby addams » Fri Nov 21, 2014 2:32 am UTC

Some of those Organizations Suck!
And; The people working for them suck more.

No! Not all!
There are good people trying.
That is all they are allowed to do.

For anyone that gives a half a shit,
Go!

Go on down to the Homeless Shelter nearest to where you are.
Present as a human being. What would they offer you?

Don't go in all snotty.
Go in humble.

Let them tell you what you Must do.
I've done it.

Thank the fucking Gods I did not have to stay!

Why? Why did I do it?
Curious. Enquiring mind and all.

Stupid Story:
Spoiler:
I had a friend, one time.
It's True! I had a friend.

He was such a character.
He was a wealthy man.

He would go into town and mow his mother's lawn.
One time I saw him in town, he looked like Hell.

He was wearing a pair of dirty and stained brown polyester pants.
He had on a tee shirt that was thread bare at the neck.

He had on an old Penalton Wool shirt that was torn and buttoned Wrong.
His eyes were red and his nose was running. It was a mild allergic reaction to the Grass.

He was about half drunk and he was on his way somewhere.
Of course, I asked. "Where ya' going?"

He said, "Out to dinner. Do you want to come?"
I would not go anywhere with him looking like that.

He had developed a little habit. The Ding-Dong.
He was going to the Homeless Shelter and Soup Kitchen.

He would do his Mom's yard work, because he liked that stuff.
Then he would go to the Shelter and eat and socialize.

He would laugh and talk to all the people down there.
When he left, he left one or two hundred dollars in the donation Jar.

It was one of his hobbies.
We talked about his little habit.

What a funny guy.
We were very close friends.

I loved him more, after I learned about his habit.
"The poor will always be with us."

Those people did not know him from any other half drunk, ill kept loser.
That's the way he wanted it. He wanted to know. Now; You go find out.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.


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