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Rw005g

Rw005g
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Veni, Vidi, Vici is better than Veni, Vidi, Vixi. Vici is always better than Vixi.

MY RECENT POSTS

MARCH 23, 2012 12:03PM

America's Cities Wage War on the Homeless

Rate: 32 Flag

 

Last year, I wrote a story about the 19th century Poor Laws in Britain. These laws did many things to hurt the poor, such as mandate workhouses, remove the poor from the countryside and prohibit secular and sectarian granting of alms and charity for the destitute.

 http://www.open.salon.com/blog/rw005g/2011/02/03/britains_war_on_poverty_through_corn_laws_and_food

The intent behind these laws was twofold. First, the Establishment wanted to prevent the poor from reproducing and the felt that by making conditions harsh, they could thereby limit their numbers. Second, and related to the first, were the over-riding political concerns of the Establishment. Aristocrats in Britain were horrified by the excesses seen in Europe during the French Revolution and the class warfare and social upheaval experienced in that nation and throughout the continent from 1789-1815. The British Aristocracy was determined to control and "manage" the poor by all means necessary, lest they become too numerous, too potent and too radicalized to control. 

Their solution, in the form of the Poor Laws, would have a monumental impact on the British Isles. It would depopulate the countryside and force people out of agriculture and into the hands of heavy industry. It would also have grave repurcussions in Ireland, which was then directly ruled by the British crown. When a disease called the "blight" impacted Ireland's potato crops, the Irish peasantry found itself with little to eat. The Poor Laws, which made private and public charity illegal, caused a massive famine and hundreds of thousands of Irish died as a result, with millions immigrating to the United States and South America. 

The carnage of the famine would have wide-ranging consequences and would serve to embolden the left in Britain for decades to come. 

The American Elite is similarly oppressive toward the poor and dispossessed in our country. They also seem to have a great fear of large groups of people camping out in parks and receiving free food handouts, especially since the potent Occupy Wall Street protests of a few months back.

As such, we can see these new "Poor Laws" in their proper light. They are not just a blatant attack on the poor, but also, perhaps, a subtle pre-emptive attack on future OWS protests in our nations largest cities? 

Perhaps they are the first wave of new laws to come, pretexturally justified on the basis of salt and caloric intake, safety and dignity, but in reality passed for reasons altogether different and wholly political, social and economic in nature?

Read these three articles and enjoy. 

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This, about New York City...

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Bloomberg Strikes Again: NYCBans Food Donations To The Homeless

Has The Mayor Totally Eaten Away At The Public's Desire To Do Good?

March 19, 2012 8:33 PM

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s food police have struck again!

Outlawed are food donations to homeless shelters because the city can’t assess their salt, fat and fiber content, reports CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer.

Glenn Richter arrived at a West Side synagogue on Monday to collect surplus bagels — fresh nutritious bagels — to donate to the poor. However, under a new edict from Bloomberg’s food police he can no longer donate the food to city homeless shelters.

It’s the “no bagels for you” edict.

“I can’t give you something that’s a supplement to the food you already have? Sorry that’s wrong,” Richter said.

Richter has been collecting food from places like the Ohav Zedek synagogue and bringing it to homeless shelters for more than 20 years, but recently his donation, including a “cholent” or carrot stew, was turned away because the Bloomberg administration wants to monitor the salt, fat and fiber eaten by the homeless.

Richter said he was stunned. He said his family has eaten the same food forever and flourished.

“My father lived to 97; my grandfather lived to 97, and they all enjoyed it and somehow we’re being told that this is no good and I think there is a degree of management that becomes micromanagement and when you cross that line simply what you’re doing is wrong,” Richter said.

 

But Mayor Bloomberg, a salt-aholic himself, was unapologetic.

“For the things that we run because of all sorts of safety reasons, we just have a policy it is my understanding of not taking donations,” Bloomberg said.

Told that his administration recently enacted the policy, the mayor was Grinch-like.

“If they did in the past they shouldn’t have done it and we shouldn’t have accepted it,” Bloomberg said.

Richter said that over the years he’s delivered more than two tons of food to the homeless. He said Mayor Bloomberg is eating away at his ability to do good.

The ban on food donations was made by an inter-agency task force that includes the departments of Health and Homeless Services.

 http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2012/03/19/bloomberg-strikes-again-nyc-bans-food-donations-to-the-homeless/

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 This, about Philadelphia...

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City To Ban Street-Corner Feedings of Homeless

March 14, 2012 11:30 PM

By Mike Dunn and Walt Hunter

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter has announced a ban on the feeding of large numbers of homeless and hungry people at sites on and near the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

Mayor Nutter is imposing the ban on all outdoor feedings of large numbers of people on city parkland, including Love Park and the Ben Franklin Parkway, where it is not uncommon for outreach groups to offer free food.

Nutter says the feedings lack both sanitary conditions and dignity.

“Providing to those who are hungry must not be about opening the car trunk, handing out a bunch of sandwiches, and then driving off into the dark and rainy night,” Nutter said.

 

The city’s leading homeless advocate, Project Home’s Sister Mary Scullion, voiced tentative support for the mayor’s announcement. She said the mayor is “between a rock and a hard place” on the issue of outdoor feedings.

“I really want to thank the mayor for this courageous … this is not an easy position. But I do think it’s a great opportunity,” Scullion said.

Among the groups unhappy with the mayor’s announcement is Brian Jenkins of Chosen 300 Ministries, a homeless outreach group that does both indoor and outdoor feedings.

“The fact that city of Philadelphia is saying now that the homeless don’t have the right to eat on the Ben Franklin Parkway or eat around Center City is a clear violation of civil rights,” Jenkins explained. “It says that people that have … can eat in a certain place. But people that have not, can’t.”

Nutter’s aides will work with the homeless groups to encourage more indoor feedings.

In the meantime, the groups will be allowed to offer food on the north apron of City Hall, provided they register with the city.

The ban on parkland feedings takes effect in 30 days. Groups that violate the outdoor feeding ban would face two warnings and then a nominal $150 fine.

Nutter says large family gatherings in the park are not affected by the ban.

 http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2012/03/14/nutter-announces-ban-on-outdoor-feeding-of-homeless/

------------------------

Third Article: From Infowars. 

(note: the Las Vegas ordinance mentioned is a few years old and was probably aimed at preventing the homeless from interfering with the city's tourism industry; many laws in Nevada are intentionally designed with the aim of furthering the state's powerful gaming and hotel lobby. As such, the Vegas example wouldn't apply to the OWS pretext I mention throughout this article. On the other hand, the pretextural justifications and rhetoric used by Las Vegas and its municipal ordinances will no doubt be examined by other municipalities throughout the nation as they engage in similar actions, albeit for other purposes). 

------------------------------

 

Feeding The Homeless BANNED In Major Cities All Over America

 The Economic Collapse
Thursday, March 22, 2012

 What would you do if you came across someone on the street that had not had anything to eat for several days?  Would you give that person some food?  Well, the next time you get that impulse you might want to check if it is still legal to feed the homeless where you live.

Sadly, feeding the homeless has been banned in major cities all over America.  Other cities that have not banned it outright have put so many requirements on those that want to feed the homeless (acquiring expensive permits, taking food preparation courses, etc.) that feeding the homeless has become “out of reach” for most average people.  Some cities are doing these things because they are concerned about the “health risks” of the food being distributed by ordinary “do-gooders”.  Other cities are passing these laws because they do not want homeless people congregating in city centers where they know that they will be fed.  But at a time when poverty and government dependence are soaring to unprecedented levels, is it really a good idea to ban people from helping those that are hurting?

This is just another example that shows that our country is being taken over by control freaks.  There seems to be this idea out there that it is the job of the government to take care of everyone and that nobody else should even try.

But do we really want to have a nation where you have to get the permission of the government before you do good to your fellow man?

It isn’t as if the government has “rescued” these homeless people.  Homeless shelters all over the nation are turning people away each night because they have no more room.  There are many homeless people that are lucky just to make it through each night alive during the winter.

Sometimes a well-timed sandwich or a cup of warm soup can make a world of difference for a homeless person.  But many U.S. cities have decided that feeding the homeless is such a threat that they had better devote law enforcement resources to making sure that it doesn’t happen.

This is so twisted.  In America today, you need a “permit” to do almost anything.  We are supposed to be a land of liberty and freedom, but these days government bureaucrats have turned our rights into “privileges” that they can revoke at any time.

The following are some of the major U.S. cities that have attempted to ban feeding the homeless….

 

Philadelphia

Mayor Nutter recently banned feeding homeless people in many parts of Philadelphia where homeless people are known to congregate….

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter has announced a ban on the feeding of large numbers of homeless and hungry people at sites on and near the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

Mayor Nutter is imposing the ban on all outdoor feedings of large numbers of people on city parkland, including Love Park and the Ben Franklin Parkway, where it is not uncommon for outreach groups to offer free food.

Nutter says the feedings lack both sanitary conditions and dignity

Orlando

Last June, a group of activists down in Orlando, Florida were arrested by police for feeding the homeless in defiance of a city ordinance….

Over the past week, twelve members of food activist group Food Not Bombs have been arrested in Orlando for giving free food to groups of homeless people in a downtown park. They were acting in defiance of a controversial city ordinance that mandates permits for groups distributing food to large groups in parks within two miles of City Hall. Each group is allowed only two permits per park per year; Food Not Bombs has already exceeded their limit. They set up their meatless buffet in Lake Eola knowing that they would likely be arrested as a result.

Houston

Down in Houston, a group of Christians was recently banned from distributing food to the homeless, and they were told that they probably would not be granted a permit to do so in the future even if they applied for one….

Bobby and Amanda Herring spent more than a year providing food to homeless people in downtown Houston every day. They fed them, left behind no trash and doled out warm meals peacefully without a single crime being committed, Bobby Herring said.

That ended two weeks ago when the city shut down their “Feed a Friend” effort for lack of a permit. And city officials say the couple most likely will not be able to obtain one.

“We don’t really know what they want, we just think that they don’t want us down there feeding people,” said Bobby Herring, a Christian rapper who goes by the stage name Tre9.

Dallas

Dallas has also adopted a law which greatly restricts the ability of individuals and ministries to feed the homeless….

A Dallas-area ministry is suing the city over a food ordinance that restricts the group from giving meals to the homeless.

Courts dismissed Dallas’ request for a summary judgment last week, saying the case, brought up by pastor Don Hart (in video above) may indeed be a violation of free exercise of religion, as protected by the Texas Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the blog Religion Clause reported.

In the court filing, the ministry leaders argue that their Christian faith requires them to share meals with the homeless (Jesus did!) and that the requirement that even churches and charities provide toilets, sinks, trained staff and consent of the city keeps them from doing so.

Las Vegas

A few years ago, Las Vegas became the first major U.S. city to specifically pass a law banning the feeding of homeless people….

Las Vegas, whose homeless population has doubled in the past decade to about 12,000 people in and around the city, joins several other cities across the country that have adopted or considered ordinances limiting the distribution of charitable meals in parks. Most have restricted the time and place of such handouts, hoping to discourage homeless people from congregating and, in the view of officials, ruining efforts to beautify downtowns and neighborhoods.

But the Las Vegas ordinance is believed to be the first to explicitly make it an offense to feed “the indigent.”

That law has since been blocked by a federal judge, and since then many U.S. cities have been very careful not to mention “the indigent” or “the homeless” by name in the laws they pass that are intended to ban feeding the homeless.

New York City

New York City has banned all food donations to government-run homeless shelters because the bureaucrats there are concerned that the donated food will not be “nutritious” enough.

Yes, this is really true.

The following is from a recent Fox News article….

The Bloomberg administration is now taking the term “food police” to new depths, blocking food donations to all government-run facilities that serve the city’s homeless.

In conjunction with a mayoral task force and the Health Department, the Department of Homeless Services recently started enforcing new nutritional rules for food served at city shelters. Since DHS can’t assess the nutritional content of donated food, shelters have to turn away good Samaritans.

Can you believe that?

The bureaucrats are officially out of control.


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So who is declaring war on the poor? Not those fine folks with plenty of cash, a warm place to live, bonus checks, a new car, a swimming pool, ad infinitum is it?
Certainly not them. As far as they're concerned, they're the greatest friend the working man has ever had, after Jesus Christ.
In his satirical piece, A Modest Proposal, Jonathan Swift suggested that the Irish could alleviate both starvation and overpopulation by eating their own children. I believe he was protesting the heartlessness of British Law.
Nobody is “waging war on the homeless”. NYC and Philadelphia are well aware that as the weather gets nicer the occupy fanatics are sure to rear their ugly heads again. No group should be permitted to occupy community parkland; we saw what happened this past fall and it’s not a pretty site. These laws are simply creative ways to give the city more power to prevent this type of behavior and save community parkland. But why am I telling you something you already know?

“They also seem to have a great fear of large groups of people camping out in parks and receiving free food handouts, especially since the potent Occupy Wall Street protests of a few months back.”
Different issues in both places, though I don't know what's ultimately behind either of them.

In Philly, I assume the Mayor's office is primarily worried about park usage but, if that's the case, they need to provide convenient alternative sites, as in convenient for the homeless.

In New York, this utterly smacks of someone going overboard on a liability issue. It's the only thing I can think of, because this doesn't look like a Republican move - people in the GOP don't think in terms of adding bureaucracy and this is so Nanny State it's unbelievable.
Malthus lives!
Social Darwinism disguised as public health. Exponential irony.
If you don't feed the poor they will die-off and that will cure the unemployment problem, as well as satisfying a eugenic idea of eliminating bad breeding.
I can't wait to see the legal challenge to these laws. They are a nice fit with the popular conservative concept of treating the poor as if they're stay cats whose "sloth" shouldn't be encouraged.
The best way to knock these down is to make the fools defend them to the public.
I'd start by calling all such outdoor feeding "picnics," and watch the Malthusian morons try to ban picnics or confront the right to freedom of association. Or perhaps a robed Jesus handing out food made from loaves and fishes gets arrested.
It seems these laws are more based on semantics than a defensible legal position.

It would be unbelievable if the unbelievable wasn't so believable.
Sal different pretexts in different political climates, but the moves both took place so close in time to eachother, it seems like its coming from a playbook from the National Conference of Mayors or something. They are giving it different pretextural justification, gauged for different political environments. But the results are the same.

We need to keep an eye out for similar such moves in other cities across the country.

This may be nothing

But it may be something
I wonder if they would have fined Jesus with those loaves and fishes.
Johnny Fever: you are correct. I am also wondering if this is aimed at the protesters. Of course, it will hurt the homeless as well. But perhaps OWS is the main target?
The Quaker School where I was an admin in the '90s, situated on the Ben Franklin Parkway (Philadelphia's cornucopia of dozens of cultural institutions) in downtown Philadelphia, will almost certainly encourage, if not instruct its students to defy the mayor's plan (and Mr. Nutter's otherwise a fairly decent fellow).

r.
The Quaker School where I was an admin in the '90s, situated on the Ben Franklin Parkway (Philadelphia's cornucopia of dozens of cultural institutions) in downtown Philadelphia, will almost certainly encourage, if not instruct its students to defy the mayor's plan (and Mr. Nutter's otherwise a fairly decent fellow).

r.
The Quaker School where I was an admin in the '90s, situated on the Ben Franklin Parkway (Philadelphia's cornucopia of dozens of cultural institutions) in downtown Philadelphia, will almost certainly encourage, if not instruct its students to defy the mayor's plan (and Mr. Nutter's otherwise a fairly decent fellow).

r.
The Quaker School where I was an admin in the '90s, situated on the Ben Franklin Parkway (Philadelphia's cornucopia of dozens of cultural institutions) in downtown Philadelphia, will almost certainly encourage, if not instruct its students to defy the mayor's plan (and Mr. Nutter's otherwise a fairly decent fellow).

r.
Sal: with NYC, it could be that Bloomberg, a moderate corporatist, is looking for a liberal rationale to justify a move aimed at curtailing food donations to the homeless. This is needed, because NYC is liberal and he needs to persuade the population. Once this law is established, it will be used against large-scale protesters and the food-donations that are 100% crucial for the maintenance and sustenance of such a movement.
http://www.infowars.com/feeding-the-homeless-banned-in-major-cities-all-over-america/

I just found this on infowars. Looks like I'm not the only one who noticed this. Las Vegas, Houston, Orlando and Dallas have all passed similar ordinances within the past few months.

Very, very odd...
Yes the OWS is the main target and it will not hurt homeless people one iota. There are plenty of Government and charitable institutions ready, willing, and able to feed the homeless. Perhaps these institutions are not located where the homeless want them to be, but if I was homeless, I would choose to eat in the park versus a soup kitchen as well.

The ironic thing about providing for the homeless is that the more one provides the more homelessness one encourages.
Johnny Fever: I don't think it is humanly possible to encourage homelessness. Nobody in their right mind wants to be homeless. Do you really think people say to themselves, "Gee, maybe I should be homeless...I can get free sandwiches in the park..." ??????
Ditto, Rw.

Encouraging homelessness? WTF?
And I think this is aimed at BOTH radicalism and the homeless.

We can't forget that the homeless and unemployed played a large role during the OWS protests.

As homelessness increases, they become a major resevoir of political action upon the streets. Their mobilization is highly important.

The Establishment wants to curtail this.

This is an infringement upon their rights.

Plus, even if they aren't being political (I guess we don't want the homeless to be political anymore---you need a home and a salary to have the Bill of Rights apply to you), they still have a right to a sandwich or food wherever and whenever they want it, provided they don't steal it.

If they buy it, or if somebody gives it to them, should make no difference.

Basically, this is tyranny of the seller. Because only food that is directly SOLD will be permitted. But donated food will be made illegal.

That is wrong. It represents the tyranny of one form of economic transaction over another.
If it's happening in several cities at once, it's about OWS.
Sal: I agree. Now that winter is gone and spring has arrived, things are going to pick up.

I hear they are planning big things for May Day (May 1st) and the political conventions, as well as the economic summit meetings that are planned.

This will be a "hot" spring and summer, so to speak.

None of the anger died down from the winter. If anything, it just hibernated and is waiting to be unfurled...
But in passing these laws to fight radicalism, they run the risk of hurting the poor.

That's what happened with the "Poor Laws" in Britain during the 19th century. They were aimed at stopping Jacobinism, but inadvertently (but beneficially from the eyes of the elite) hurt the poor, caused a famine and massive migration from Ireland. Fewer poor meant less agitation, less protest and less mouths to feed (and shoot)
First of all, plenty of people make the decision to live a life in the streets. But let’s not take what I meant out of context.

City A – Homeless get served steak and lobster by top chefs and are free to pitch a tent in any park they like.

City B – Outside of the local soup kitchen they get nothing. Tents and other make-shift forms of shelter are promptly removed.

Which city would you rather be homeless?
Johnny: I know of no city that serves its homeless steak and lobster. Your question poses what in logic (I took logic in college and am an attorney) we refer to as a "false dichotomy." As such, it is logically fallacious.

The reality is, more often than not, the second choice for 99.9% of the homeless.

Perhaps in other places they have more or less shelters, or perhaps the cops turn a blind eye to tents under a highway overpass.

But nobody gets lobster and steak. And nobody voluntarily makes that choice and says "hey, lets be homeless. It will be swell."
So the question, properly posed is: "since 99.9% of the homeless face a situation like that which corresponds to the second option" why are there nonetheless high rates of homelessness in American cities?

Clearly, its not an amenable, nor desirable way of living. Nobody voluntarily chooses homelessness. Yet it happens.

Now, if somebody is forced to become homeless out of economic duress, that's not what I mean by choice. Being forced onto the streets because one has no other option isn't really a free choice---(one could squat in one's house and fight the police with a sword when they come to arrest you---but this isn't really a choice).
Looks to me to be preemptive strikes against future OWS issues, too.

Lezlie
I think you need a refund on that logic class.

City A –kind to the homeless
City B – not kind to the homeless

Do you now understand my point?

“Why are there nonetheless high rates of homelessness in American cities?”

There aren’t high rates of homelessness in American cities compared to South America, Europe, Asia, pretty much everywhere else. Society will always consist of the haves and the have-nots. We are all blessed for largely being a country of the haves.

“Nobody voluntarily chooses homelessness.”
So homeless people aren’t abusing drugs and alcohol?
Johnny Fever: Again, your positing a false-dichotomy. I think my logic class was good, but it seems you need a refresher. Here is the definition, since it seems you don't quite understand what I mean.

Here is the entry from wikipedia, but I am sure that posited from other websites would be equally availing.

False dilemma
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

A false dilemma (also called false dichotomy, the either-or fallacy, fallacy of false choice, black-and-white thinking, or the fallacy of exhaustive hypotheses) is a type of logical fallacy that involves a situation in which only two alternatives are considered, when in fact there are additional options (sometimes shades of grey between the extremes). For example, "It wasn't medicine that cured Ms. X, so it must have been a miracle."

False dilemma can arise intentionally, when fallacy is used in an attempt to force a choice (such as, in some contexts, the assertion that "if you are not with us, you are against us"). But the fallacy can also arise simply by accidental omission of additional options rather than by deliberate deception (e.g., "I thought we were friends, but all my friends were at my apartment last night and you weren't there").[citation needed]

In the community of philosophers and scholars, many believe that "unless a distinction can be made rigorous and precise it isn't really a distinction."[1] An exception is analytic philosopher John Searle, who called it an incorrect assumption which produces false dichotomies.[2] Searle insists that "it is a condition of the adequacy of a precise theory of an indeterminate phenomenon that it should precisely characterize that phenomenon as indeterminate; and a distinction is no less a distinction for allowing for a family of related, marginal, diverging cases."[2] Similarly, when two options are presented, they are often, though not always, two extreme points on some spectrum of possibilities; this can lend credence to the larger argument by giving the impression that the options are mutually exclusive, even though they need not be.[citation needed] Furthermore, the options in false dichotomies are typically presented as being collectively exhaustive, in which case the fallacy can be overcome, or at least weakened, by considering other possibilities, or perhaps by considering a whole spectrum of possibilities, as in fuzzy logic.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_dilemma
Now, regarding a comparison of US and foreign homeless rates, here is a peer-review scholarly article. US rates are higher than European rates. The only exception seems to be the jolly old United Kingdom. However, the authors believe and discuss the fact that US rates are probably much higher, and that Americans are under-reporting in polls, due to cultural issues.

http://www.ethanjevans.com/Site/Blog/Entries/2008/12/15_Sun_setting_in_Germany_files/Public%20attitudes%20%26%20Causes%202007.pdf
Further, Asia is too broad of a term. You need to specify. Do you mean South Asia, Central Asia, the Middle East or East Asia?

For South America, I would have to say that it can't really be compared to the United States, because most of the countries there are not considered "developed" in the same way Western European or East Asian nations are. Indeed, poverty there is much worse, for example, in Brazil.

But I don't know how we would compare "homelessness" per se. For example, in India and Brazil, there are large slums where people live in tent cities and shacks constructed of aluminum, cardboard boxes, fiberboard and the like. In America, we would call them homeless and evict them with force. In these nations, their presence is tolerated.

So, perhaps we should decide on what we mean, exactly, by homelessness, if we are going to engage in major cross-cultural comparisons?

In terms of developed nations analysis, in terms of Western European, North American and East Asian analysis, homelessness pretty much means the same thing. And here, the United States tends to have the highest rate.

There is the fact that the UK has the higher rate in the study mentioned above. But the authors discuss that and say it has to do with reporting error and cultural issues.
I'm no scholar and make no pretense so I'll speak my mind as an ordinary good person who is both repulsed and angered. The 19th century Aristocracy and our own Elite are nothing but a bunch of well heeled dirty barbarians.

What kind of person wants homeless people to have less access to food? An animal.

I was not surprised by the conditions in factories in China and how the rich trash knew about them. Decent people were horrified so they had to pretend they were too. I was not surprised by the recent news about Hilfiger, the Gap and Kohl's. Once again they had to pretend they were horrified like decent people.

I'm not surprised they want to squeeze more work out of people in the US for less and make working conditions worse. These people can put on airs with their fancy suits and fine words but they are still repugnant animals. I'm not at all fooled by their pretense nor will I pretend I am.

They want to pretend they are like decent people so they crow about their charitable contributions, blah blah blah as they hork down fine food and luxuries like swine. They want to tell me it's okay for me to be like them. How dare they tell me I should be a selfish animal too? I am nothing like them.

People who support such cruelty sicken me. If my adult children said the things I hear people say about the down-trodden I would tell them to get out of my sight. I raised my children to be decent human beings and you can't buy your way into being a person of quality.

I'd rather eat stale bread in the street with a kind homeless person than choke down free steak and lobster with scum. These repulsive people are breeding and it's disgusting. They are the ones we need to stop feeding.

You're a gentleman and I apologize for my emotional rant on your blog. But the more I read about these barbarians crushing others, the more sickened I am. May God help my sweet granddaughter, she'll grow up surrounded by animals. I just want to cry for her.
Blue: I like emotional rants. Its what makes us human and makes me remember that we are all still alive.

When we stop feeling and stop getting mad, its game over for freedom and democracy.
Makes my skin crawl. The people who proposed and passed these laws know that they're doing it to prevent OWS actions (they will be effective only in their dreams), and they don't care who they hurt in the process.
Of course, this just means that Leftist groups need to raise money and purchase strategic HQs in key locations for food and equipment distribution (logistics) purposes and send protest teams into the field equipped for said purposes.
It's a war of ideology and has been since Aristotle posited the nature of reality with people in a cave staring at their shadows from the fire. Maybe longer.

This is clearly aimed at the OWS and other Occupy Actions soon to be gaining more and more prominence now that the OWS initials are etched on everyone's dialogue monitors.

This being an election year, and with greater and greater efforts aimed at creating ever larger disparity of income and greater concentration of wealth into the hands of the wealthy, it's obvious that this is aimed at the goodwill generated by OWS people taking the time to do the one thing those cities really don't do -- give the homeless and out of luck some food and hope.

I think the grounds can be made to determine if these new laws are constitutionally enforceable. In the end, though, free food handouts can be called, as Paul J. O'Rourke said, picnics in support of OWS and if that's not good enough, place a large penny jar near the entrance that everyone gets a penny from. With their penny, they "buy" a "ticket" to the picnic and get to eat. When everyone has paid their penny, take the penny jar back to the entrance and start handing out pennies to new "customers" so they can buy their penny ticket to eat. Repeat as required.

Also, it's been scientifically proven that we are all one race. In Creationist terms we are all brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers, sons and daughters. In short, according to the Bible, as we are all descended from Adam and Eve, then we are all family. Open up the picnic, call it a Large Family Gathering and voila, exempted from the ordinance.

If you wish to go evolutionary (which I know all the "good" little Republican followers think is of the Satan) and follow science, it's logically and biologically conclusive that we are all related to a primordial set of forebears, thus, science proves we are all family as well.

RW, you being a lawyer, you should be able to present a premise and an argument that holds these up to scrutiny, yeah? Worth it? Of course, while the law is the law, making a persuasive argument is really what it's all about in the end.

I support all honest Occupy Actions.

--r--

Just idea spinning here.
Neither of these stories spoke about the alternatives they have put in place to feed poor people. We know they can't ensure they have a warm dry place to sleep I doubt they will have enough soup kitchens to make up for the food they have now deemed not good enough. These stories made me ill. There is definitely something wrong with this nation. I'm older than you probably but I can remember when they threatened farmers who were donating surplus crops to food co-ops and soup kitchens with fines. They demanded they burn their surplus goods. This isn't the country my father risked his life for, that I know.
Many of the cities mentioned above, like Dallas and Las Vegas, have had these laws on the books for over 5 years, since right before the recession hit.

NYC and Philadelphia passed these laws within weeks of eachother, which is odd, especially considering the planned protests aimed to begin on May 1st (May Day) for OWS.
Great piece. Hopefully people reading this have the same reaction I do - an irresistible impulse to go out and break the law by feeding as many homeless people as I can find. Some laws are meant to be ignored.
Torrito, Dr. Bramhall: Its all reminiscent of the 19th century British Poor Laws. They want to oppress the poor, and control them. They think that cruel treatment will force the homeless to go away.

It wont. But it will certainly radicalize them.
Personally, I am going to write a letter to my state legislator to make sure similar such laws do not get passed in my state. And if they do, that they be changed.

During this recession, the homeless need all the help they can get.
Newsflash:

-The recession ended about two years ago
-A letter won't make sure of anything
-These laws have nothing to do with the poor and everything to do with OWS (remember you agreed when I stated such)
At least the homeless derive nourishment from being fed.
Feeding knowledge to the stupid just results in more Fever comments.
Fever: some of them may. On the other hand, many of these laws predate OWS.

So its more complex than we think.
People don't treat you well because of who you are, they treat you well because of who they are. These laws say everything about what kind of people those lawmakers and their supporters.

Whether the laws are enacted to crush OWS, or the homeless, the point is the people supporting them are out to dominate others. That's why even those who aren't rich support them, they hope to become powerful instead of powerless.

I live in Idaho and a percentage of the population is proudly ruthless and selfish, as if behaving like an animal is a badge of honor. I have a non-stop opportunity to observe them up close. It's exhausting (and often revolting) trying to have intelligent debates with them. After 10 years I couldn't take it anymore and I avoid them. Now, if they corner me, I give them my opinion of them and they stay away from me. I'm blessed to have found good people to socialize with but they are the minority here.

In Idaho, what I've experienced writing letters to these types of lawmakers is they're indifferent. You have to speak with them on the phone or you get an incorrect response. Their aides are often stupid and as you can see from Rick Lucke's recent post about the response to a letter of his, astonishingly rude. Read it, you'll be shocked. Sadly, I wasn't.

http://open.salon.com/blog/rick_lucke/2012/03/16/a_pretender_in_idahos_senate
well, the rich have all sorts of ideas about what folks should or should not be doing...doesn't mean anyone has to give a shit.
Bourgeois!










More like a war on common sense.
What's the matter, you dissentious rogues
That, rubbing the poor itch of your opinion
Make yourselves scabs?
-Coriolanus


To war then.
Since you're attracting your share of off-level comments, I couldn't help but add my own.

Seems like every day, life in America grows more and more like a "lost act" from "Thre Penny Opera". Not Good.
Damn! God is going to wipe us off the face of the earth and I will not even hesitate to go. There is no excuse for municipal stupidity of worrying about the fat and salt content of food for those who can't get any.

The Occupy movement is better served by converting to a flash mob approach. show up, toss the food out and run.
There is a basic misconception here. Recent federal laws make it illegal to congregate to protest the obvious totalitarian direction that the country is moving in. And there is no doubt the Homeland Security people have coordinated police action to brutally enforce the disbanding of OWS gatherings and, of course, the Obama policies to reward the housing swindlers and punish those who are losing their homes is all part and parcel of the same situation. Recent laws throughout the world and in the US to invade private e-mail and survey any possible objection on social internet sites to government restrictive and international military policies is all part of a greater plan.
In recent years it is obvious the general public has lost interest in politics per se and is now entertained into almost total inaction by various electronic gadgets, games, celebrity news and the most ghastly and idiotic TV programs. Supplementary efforts to fire huge sections of the working public and diminish incomes in all sorts of ways to make the basics of health and education and general sustenance difficult and impossible also is part of the effort.
It's a very clever way to awaken the public to how horrible government can become if nobody cares. When enough people starve or die of inadequate health care or get thoroughly furious at the idiotic and brutal performance of officialdom there is bound to come about a new American revolution and the rich will be hung from every lamp post and the mayors and governors likewise will be beheaded and tossed into the sewers and sensible people will be put in charge and the nation will become healthy again. It's all a terrific effort on the part of the elite to awaken the country and afterwards they will receive eternal gratitude for patriotically sacrificing themselves for the good of the country.
What ever happened to what comes around goes around? I hope folks realize this before they themselves have to face similar situations. Thanks for the call to help.
Jan Sand: violence is the worst possible tactic in a Democracy.

Non-Violent protest and resistance, of the kind we saw from Thoreau, Gandhi and Martin Luther King are the best kind. When the state oppresses non-violent protestors, and uses violence against them, the state position loses legitimacy and the protestors gain the moral high ground.

When the protestors use illegal methods and violence, they do grave dis-service to their cause. They come to be seen as illegitimate criminals by the Great Silent Majority. They play into the hands of the Oligarchs. This is what Oppressors have always wanted.

Britain always wanted the Congress party to get violent. Gandhi enraged them by being peaceful. Mind you, non-violence does not mean passivity. Far from it. We must be relentless in our opposition to these laws. But we must not be violent. Violence is never the answer within a democracy. Never.

The moral and ethical high ground is of the utmost importance.

90% of the battle is one through righteousness and legality. This is my absolute, fundamental belief.

This doesn't mean surrender. Far from it. But I refuse to give these bastards the instruments to discredit justice and righteousness. I will play their game and beat them at it.
And as an attorney, I am in an odd position. I must support the primacy and legitimacy of the law. I cannot attack them in the way that you can.

But I can defend people charged with a violation and I can ask for judges and legislators to nullify and over-rule them.

But I can never, ever, ask for people to break the law. Professionally and ethically, I am not allowed to do this.

That said, I can plead with a judge to invalidate a law and declare it unconstitutional. But if he disagrees with me, I am bound to accept his decision. I can appeal it. I can even write letters to a Congressman asking him to pass a bill to change the law. I can run for office pledging to change the law. But I cannot, according to the rules of attorney ethics, declare a law illegitimate or encourage its violation.

Just so you know.
First I would like to say your post on the Poor Laws should be required reading to anybody who thinks that slavery was the gravest social injustice being perpetrated in the eighteenth century.

RW you read Info wars who would have guessed? Next you will be posting about the Bohemian Grove. I can’t wait.

I don’t know what to say to this. It is exactly why I can’t throw my support behind people like Bloomberg and the rest of his, to quote your new friend Alex Jones, New World Order coconspirators. We share the same theological disposition and even the same goals; global socialism, but I can never endorse their methods or their assumptions of their own entitlements. It would be better to decide things through one apocalyptic war where at least the poor will have a fighting chance.
Excuse me nineteenth century. I am being rushed to do something
I do not delight in violence as many innocents will suffer but the OWS movement is being destroyed by legally approved violence and it is inevitable that as this continues either peaceful objection to totalitarianism will fail or there will arise a counterviolence of such proportions that some real change will be accomplished. At the moment it seems police violence is winning and it is time that the police are recognized for the suppressive force they are. If not, all will be lost.
Incidentally it must be noted that all legal structures have been totally corrupted by moneyed manipulations and the media outside of a few exceptions is now merely a propaganda apparatus. Whatever freedoms still exist through the internet and personal communication devices is rapidly being disintegrated by vast surveillance mechanisms and legal oppositions to even visiting forbidden areas to discover what anti-governmental views are being voiced.

The executive, legislative, and judicial sectors of government are overwhelmingly controlled by money and it is obvious that the current president has openly violated Constitutional legalities and suffers no retribution.

The formal structure of government by the people has been completely shattered and there is no effective recourse but to operate outside formal structures, whatever that demands.
"As you have done to the least of these, so also have you done unto me."

These selfish, heartless bastards in high places better hope to hell (literally) there's no Judgment Day.
Tom Cordle: We should arrest them and put them on a reality tv show, inflicting upon them, that which they have inflicted upon the masses for the past 30 years.
Even if some might not want to attach ulterior motives to these actions, that only transforms the effects to uintended wrongs. They need to be fixed either way. And while I can see a situation where the poor might be offered things with inappropriate levels of salt, etc., it defies credibility that the decision would not be left to the recipient. If they want to say “Thanks, I'll hold out for the low salt option,” let them. A decision not to offer it is just not the same as a decision by them not to take something rather than nothing. Anyway, some good observations and interesting data.
I don't think this will deter any OWS activities. It will cause the homeless to rise up. I don't think they realize what they are doing, these privileged people who consider themselves to be pious. Such an injustice. How can they call themselves followers of Christ?
So glad to find this piece RW.
My oh my.
Between your writing and the comment lines I can think of nothing to add.
The frightening thing here is that there are real and dangerous long-term efforts that have been underway since the turn of the 20th century to increase the numbers of poor - the financial crisis brought about by Wall Street, very conveniently preceded by what most simply see as a debacle, but what I see as a concerted effort to increase the wealth gap.

1. Utterly destroying small community businesses with very large corporate competition, competition which was absolutely and undeniably, completely unfair competition which was allowed by the very government that was supposed to prevent such outright devastation through the laws that were developed after the Great Depression.
2. The massive volumes of VERY BAD real estate loans pushed fervently by the banks to bolster the market and to get people into virtually unsustainable property loans, people with stars in their eyes following their dreams without thinking of the long-term consequences, creating the proverbial “shooting fish in a barrel” scenario.
3. The collapse of Wall Street brought about by the corporate CEOs while those CEOs are paid handsomely for literally killing the corporations upon which people in corporate America rely.
4. The banks are obtaining ownership of unimaginable volumes of property, removing from the common people, property ownership, the very symbol of the American Dream and what early Europe used to control the masses (no property, no vote) as people default on those piss-poor loans.
5. The massive efforts for those same banks to not only “recoup their losses,” but to turn their losses into profits by renting those same homes to the very same people who had their dreams of ownership literally pulled out from under their feet.
6. Unions are crumbling across the country, either through lack of support or more sinisterly, corruption.
7. Now the financial attacks on higher education; California, a one-time bastion of free/inexpensive education with one of the most reliable, accessible education systems in the country is beginning to exclude access to their universities due to budget cuts. This is an issue in all states and not only with higher education, but within the primary education systems as well; the result of which is a continuation of historical efforts by the aristocracy of the world to keep the commoners uneducated and controlled.

Soon, the war on the homeless will include far more people than in any of the previous decades since the Great Depression; curiously enough, yet another era in which the common folks were beginning to decrease that wealth gap.
I guess eating has become one of those nasty "entitlement" programs we keep hearing about. I listened to a discussion on the radio about how N. Korea and other dictatorships deliberately keep the majority of the population at subsistence levels because when you are scrambling on how to feed yourself and your family each day, you aren't worried about much of anything else. More and more people are hanging over that giant meat grinder called "Poverty" and they are clinging by their fingertips. More and more people are falling in and becoming nothing more than pink slime in the minds of those who are able to make a difference but don't. You have painted the picture all too clearly...