Monday, May 26, 2008

Large group feeding

Sounds like something right out of a biology textbook, and something vaguely distasteful at that: this species can be found descending on their prey in large group feedings...

What it is is a bill passed by some of the infamously compassionate conservatives that we have in abundance here in Florida to starve homeless people stop charitable groups from handing out free food to homeless people in the hopes that they'll disappear from local parks.

Among other provisions is this one:
Not more than two (2) Large Group Feeding Permits shall be issued to the same person, group, or organization for large group feedings for the same park in the GDPD in a twelve (12) consecutive month period.

Hmmm, looks like an opportunity for a somewhat sideways application of method 193. Overloading of administrative systems here. At one meal per day, 12 months = 366 days [for leap year, and makes the math easier] and each group can get two permits, so we'll only need 183 groups [plus a few more for backups] to apply for permits. This isn't an unreasonable burden, twice a year your group has to cater an informal picnic in a park.

Fortunately, there is a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of this odious measure scheduled to go to trial in June. Cool. Meanwhile...

Go. Feed.

Homeless on the web [via]:
Homeless Liberation Front
street roots


Unknown said...

Damn! That pisses me off! Double Damn!

Anonymous said...

I seem to remember a story from my youth about a Rabbi who fed a lot of hungry people who had come to hear him speak. I've noticed that a lot of homeless feeding programs are called "Loaves and Fishes" in memory of that event.

Too bad there are no Christians in this country.

hipparchia said...

bryan, i remember a story like that too. maybe it was just a fairy tale, but it made a big enough impression on me that years later i did some volunteer work at our local 'loaves and fishes'.

definitely not enough christians in this country, not of the kind you're talking about anyway, but from reading his blog i'd have said that nick^^ is one.

hipparchia said...

nick, yeah me too. back when i lived closer to downtown, the dog and i used to get up early on sunday mornings, drive to mcdonalds, buy a bagful of $1 sausage biscuits, and then hand them out to the people sleeping on benches in the park.

several years ago they took out the regular-style park benches, the kind you can lie flat on if you're not too tall or too wide, and put in the kind that have lots of armrests, so you can't lie down on them comfortably.

the dog thought this was terrific, since he got to eat any leftovers [didn't happen often].

BadTux said...

Hmm... incorporation as a non-profit in the State of Florida requires:

1 Designated Service agent
1 Incorporator
1 check for $87.50.

There are other requirements if you intend to solicit donations from the public or register as an IRS tax-exempt organization, but for our purposes the above is sufficient.

Orlando is of course using the "public safety" argument. "We need to assure that the food being handed out is being distributed under sanitary conditions!". As vs. the homeless digging through dumpsters for crusts and scraps, which of course is perfectly sanitary (sarcasm intended). They claim that they want the homeless to line up at soup kitchens for their food, not be fed in parks, but then they deny permits for soup kitchens near where the homeless gather because "this area is not zoned for restaurants". What they *really* want is for the homeless to die, already. Indeed, they'd line up the homeless and march them into gas chambers if Adolph Hitler hadn't given such a bad name to gas chambers (bummer, that). Because of course the homeless are untermenschen, other, cockroaches, not really human, unlike the fine upstanding Christian ubermenschen who run Orlando. And since they're not really human, exterminating them would be no more murder than exterminating cockroaches, right? Right?! Alrighty, then!

-- Badtux the Disgusted Penguin

Steve Bates said...

I thought no place was crueler to the homeless than Houston, but perhaps I was wrong. When Houston hosts a big event... a Republican convention, a Super Bowl, etc. ... police are sent around to major homeless gathering places under freeways downtown, and the homeless are dispersed. Where do they go? Who knows. There are shelters downtown, but they have limited capacity. The capacity of today's economy to generate homelessness, on the other hand, seems unlimited.

Here's the interesting thing: some of those people have alarm clocks near their sleeping bags. Yep... some employed people are homeless, just as in the "good" old days of Ronnie Reagan.

Isn't it great that our leaders are such devout practicing "Christians"?

BadTux said...

But hey, if they die of starvation, that's "natural causes", right? I mean, what can be more natural than starving to death, hmm?

- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

hipparchia said...

plus, i hear that endorphins kick in at the end in cases of starvation, so we're doing them a favor by letting get high!

as for the food safety thing, and the restauant thing, i'm thinking the thing to do is buy pallets of mre's and go around in the middle of the night leaving cases of them in homeless camps. negates the protest value both of large gatherings in parks and of filing all that paperwork, but it would feed people. i had a few of them [mre's] after the last hurricane, some of them aren't bad.

hipparchia said...

steve, i remembered sorta kinda reading somewhere that 25% of homeless people are employed. i went a-googling, didn't find that number, but found one study that estimates 13% are employed nationally, and another that estimates that in rural virginia, nearly 40 of the homeless are employed.

the local newspaper here pays homeless people to stand on street corners hawking papers. i undersand that they even provide transportation.