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Sunday, 26 June 2016


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So if you call the poor hungry fellow "thief" have you already convicted him?

If all you say is factual, I would assume the DA and/or Judge would dismiss the case and getting involved is a sometimes I do and sometimes I don't kind of thing. I live in Mexico and saw the local police roughing up somebody while they were arresting them. I stepped up, and in spanish, said tht they didn't need to be so forceful. Assuming I was a foreigner, because I look and talk like one they arrested me for interfering with law enforcement. I finally convinced them I was also a Naturalized Mexican citizen and I got released in the morning......as in spending the night in a Mexican jail for attempting to good samaritan gesture. In this case of "ambiguity" a few cans to feed his family who wondered where he was would be a travesty and a gross mis-understanding, but if he snuck up and "stole" a few cans to trade for drugs.....well that would be sad. Did I see an Anthony Bourdain thing on a heroin issue in your NY neck of the woods ?

FYI:You like 'm both, right. Now you get both, sort of.


Not a long time ago a similar case came to an end in EU when Italian Supreme Court exonerated from guilt a homeless men accused of stealing $6 worth of food from a store ... he was initially sentenced to six months in jail and a €100 fine, but as court noted ...Stealing small quantities of food to satisfy a vital need for food did not constitute a crime ...


I confess that I'm befuddled by your logic. Assuming the story has no nefarious twists (a distinct possibility I'm sure) then putting aside your charitable instincts and NOT stepping forewarned on the assumption that he'll get "two hots and a cot" regardless of his legal status is hardly noble on your part. By all means get involved or not as you see fit. Free choice and all that. But if you had the instinct to begin with.. well hey.. charity and nobility mean different things to different people.

There's something very sad about the thought processes behind this story. (Not yours, Mike.) The whole premise is an inversion of priorities. The reason we have organizations that deliver food to hungry people is that it's usually a more efficient distribution system than requiring each charitably inclined person to run around locating a recipient. But what could be more direct than what this fellow did, and more in line with the ostensible purpose for which the food was being collected? Crazy, just crazy.

I assume he was arrested for bypassing 'The System'.
Food is collected actively or passively by volunteers, the army of grey or painted haired Ladies from town. Giving meaning to their lives or for filling higher religious purpose. They distribute it evenly, equally, justly. 'This week 3 eggs for Jessica with her 4 kids, she did get 4 last week.''extra oatmeal cookies for Heather, her lil one has his Bday this week'.....
So don't ever try to bypass 'The System'.

It seems that the blame for this injustice first goes to the organization collecting food for the poor if they called the cops on the unfortunate man involved. That surely disqualifies them from being called a "charity."
Secondly, practically every police car in America has the slogan "to protect and serve" on it - which only applies to well-off people who are not members of some minority - which includes the poor - but the poor are rapidly growing in numbers so they will soon no longer be a minority.

Fear not. People appeal to judges all the time, and chip in with letters, advice and pleas.

Fear not, unless you've thrown in the towel and decided that we've gone the way of Soviet Russia.

Mike wrote, "But I had a vague insight that if I got involved, I might end up in jail too."

A chilling effect describes a situation in which rights, such as free speech, are threatened by the possible negative results of exercising these rights. The effect is to silence criticism and freedom of expression, even in cases where criticism is perfectly valid.


That is one reason I stay out of the USA, although I was born in Chicago. I do spend summers on Van Isle, BC (a great place for photographers BTW) and can see Washington State, across the Juan de Fuca, but that is the closest I venture to my home country. Your story helps explain why.


I don't know more than what you described but it is a very sad commentary that they even arrested the guy. We need to come up with a different name other than "Justice System". It seems that justice is a very small part of the system these days.

@ David Zivic: Greenfield, MA "The Sad Reason Anthony Bourdain Was Filming in My Hometown: America's heroin epidemic—and what lies beneath it"

When I hear such stories the first thing that pops in my head is the last spoken dialogue in the movie The Bridge Over the River Kwai. Let's see....oh yes; "madness.....madness"

@ Rube - I hear you; I'm looking to move back north as soon as it is feasible.

Recently I went over to my local golf course to work on my putting. When I went to the practice putting green I noticed a young gentleman chipping onto the green. I pointed out the "No Chipping on this green" sign that was 6 feet from him. He looked at the sign, thought for a moment, and said "it says no chipping on the green not no chipping onto the green." A lawyer maybe?

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