Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Does anyone remember Live Aid?

Plastic mouse ears and million dollar advertising campaigns, is that what Orlando is all about? 

Down here in the state of the sun like most large metropolitan areas we have a large population of homeless people. We also have a group of volunteers called  Food Not Bombs their mission is clear and simple - end local hunger by simply feeding those who need to be fed. Simple right? not in Orlando where 3 members of the group were arrested for feeding meals to the homeless in a local park.
The problem is simple - The city of Orlando has an ordinance that states that mass feedings can only be held twice a year and a permit must be obtained for more than 25 people fed. Food not bombs handed out over 100 meals, that means more than 100 people were able to eat that day but 3 volunteers got to spend the night in jail for their dedication to their cause.

I understand both sides with the issue of the homeless in parks especially when children are present, at times the homeless can be a nuisance to the public by panhandling and loitering but don't they also have a human right to eat? Is it our social obligation to feed someone that is hungry?
I am not a man who can applaud my merits in life by ignoring those that are less fortunate around me, I can't sit in a restaurant and watch someone outside feed on rubbish. As a home owner and business owner I have dealt with the constant parade of the homeless and like someone here today said "The homeless are like stray cats, once you feed them they never go away."
The local residents of the park used for the feeding do have a valid point, home values in America are plummeting enough already without the swarms of homeless men and women gathering at the end of your driveway, but closing your curtains and calling the police still does not solve the problem of hunger in America, nor does the constant battle of homeless shelters. Ultimately when a homeless shelter is constructed local home or business owners protest as to the closeness of said shelter to ones property.

The issue may never be solved especially down here where we have thousands of millionaires and millions of tourists spending their money in our parks, Florida wants the white washed glossy brochure image that the rest of the world sees but that is not what is behind the curtain. What we don't need are regular people trying to help those less fortunate that most of us being hand cuffed and arrested.
We have too many real criminals in this world, we have an alleged rapist heading the IMF, we have Mexican drug dealers at the border beheading tourists, we have former senators allegedly guilty of campaign fraud to cover up an affair, we have real life pirates off the coast of Somalia not the Disney pirates, the ones who actually will kill you. Savvy...
But what we should not have are volunteers being called criminals for feeding people, time to turn this boat around because I think we are heading in the wrong direction.

Oh yes Live Aid does anyone remember the point of that wee gathering?

The Daily Mail reports on this issue, take a look

Every man, woman and child deserves a meal


  1. They'll be arresting boy scouts for helping old ladies cross the road next.

  2. Arrested for feeding the needy........very sad.

  3. And here we have 20 million or so illegal immigrants getting government aid and yet we could spend that money on our citizens who are homeless. Sheesh.

  4. Man, I thought this post was going to be about music. Fooled again! Some "experts" feel that Queen's performance at Live Aid was the greatest large-scale rock show ever. How do you measure something like that?!

  5. i don't know what the answer is, but arresting people who are feeding the hungry is not part of that answer...

    in the winter in my medium sized midwestern town, when temperaures drop below freezing, an extra effort is made by churches to provide a warm place, with food. one of the few things that makes me feel a teeny bit better about organized religion.

    providing food via a mobile truck? choosing a different church every day? there has to be a way to do this...

  6. Eryl - Would not surprise me

  7. Oilfield - like I said the ship is heading in the wrong direction!!!

  8. UB aka King of Gotham City - Yes, the Queen performance was one of the best ever, but don't forget that the great Phil Collins played in the UK then flew over to the US same day to perform the US Live Aid. Awesomeness...radical....tubular and other assorted 80's lingo.
    P.S. Freddie Mercury R.I.P

  9. Daisy - Organized religion aka the richest scam ever pulled on the world....
    It bothers me that the area of Orlando around Lake Eola is home to such wealth and let's not forget the plastic castles of the theme parks which I have on many an occasion been subject to their ways and means. The blight of the homeless and the hungry seems to bother the locals, it does seem appropriate for the group to find another spot...easier said than done I guess.

  10. Couldn't there be a designated area of the park where the Food not Bomb guys could do their work without being hassled by the cops or any other less well informed individuals. Or would this solution be to simplistic? Unfortunately we live in a time where people don't give a flying fuck about anything or anyone else anymore, there was a story on the news here tonight where a guy died in a hospital corridor and lay there for hours while various doctors and nurses stepped over him while going about their business....

  11. Ryan - you might have a point saying that the idea is to simplistic. End of days?

  12. I'm familiar with Florida in general having grown up in West Palm Beach. I've been to Orlando several times, and forgive me if you live there but I pretty much think it's the asshole of the universe. It doesn't surprise me that they have legislation like this to make it more sanitized and "kid friendly." The people who made the law should be beaten to death by a giant cartoon mouse.

  13. i saw that report on the news, sugar! as a former exec. dir. of a shelter for homeless women, i've seen the effects of hunger and what it can reduce the human spirit to. 20 years ago, no one gave much thought to the saying, "we're all a paycheck away from the street." *sigh* xoxoxo

  14. Send me your mailing address mate and I'll get the book sent out, you'll find my email address on right sidebar of my blog cheers.

  15. I feel very humble in my comfortable home with my comfortable family and comfortable job. I cannot comprehend how it must feel to be without. There are so many selfless and gracious people out there willing to altruistically support others and yet those with power can only think of the dollar. How sad the world is...what is their solution? Round up the homeless and place them in camps???

  16. Jen - Coming soon to a city near you, the all new "Homeless Zoo" including war vets....
    Would not surprise me

  17. Good for those volunteers. I'd rather spend the night in jail for doing something charitable than be honored for doing something legal, but immoral. It's ironic that people who might applaud Mother Teresa would not welcome her kind of generosity in their own country. I'm guessing that's because charity is easier to support in the abstract, when you don't have to get your own hands dirty, or see the people who benefit from it on your own doorstep.

    There's a franchise here in the U.K. called 'Pret a Manger'. They serve sandwiches which are made fresh daily; any that are not eaten are immediately given to the homeless. Restaurants throw out so much perfectly good food. It's a shame they can't work out a way to get that food to the homeless safely and legally.