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Old Nov 12, 2012, 01:53 PM   #26
kavika411
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Asinine. And people say Romney was out of touch with reality. I help prepare and serve breakfast at a shelter on the first Thursday of every month. Depending on weather conditions (which strongly impact attendance at this shelter), we usually serve 150 to 175 plates. Do you know where the food comes from? Donations. Do you know what we serve? Sliced donated ham. Canned donated fruit. Donated bread. Donated whatever-donated-food-we-can-possibly-get-our-hands-on.

And what's with this fast food BS? Do you think homeless shelters are serving McDonald's double-cheeseburgers, fries and chocolate shakes?

More ivory tower idiocy. More arm-chair quarterbacking from people that don't even regularly deal hands-on in preparing donated food for the destitute.

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Old Nov 12, 2012, 02:07 PM   #27
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The Red Cross and other aid organizations like FEMA have long said that donations of food, clothing and other small in-kind items force them to divert crucial resources away from relief efforts and toward sorting and cleaning donations.

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics...o-canned-food/
I hope this helps clear things up.
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Old Nov 12, 2012, 02:12 PM   #28
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I hope this helps clear things up.
It doesn't. Are we talking about Red Cross and FEMA disaster relief (the topic of your article), or are we talking - as was in the OP - about homeless shelters which exist 365 days a year (and not just in times of crisis)?
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Old Nov 12, 2012, 02:13 PM   #29
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Asinine. And people say Romney was out of touch with reality. I help prepare and serve breakfast at a shelter on the first Thursday of every month. Depending on weather conditions (which strongly impact attendance at this shelter), we usually serve 150 to 175 plates. Do you know where the food comes from? Donations. Do you know what we serve? Sliced donated ham. Canned donated fruit. Donated bread. Donated whatever-donated-food-we-can-possibly-get-our-hands-on.
One thing to keep in mind is you probably try to serve a "square" meal, so meat, starch/carbohydrate, vegetable, fruit, diary in some combination. For anyone, eating just starch/carbohydrates and heavy salt could lead to additional health problems, but this seems like a place for "soft" rules rather than an outright ban.

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...And what's with this fast food BS? Do you think homeless shelters are serving McDonald's double-cheeseburgers, fries and chocolate shakes?
Exactly, I know we've served ice cream at times (when we had a good stock of it) and we did make a ton of hamburger "steaks" with gravy for some meals when we didn't have buns, but the majority of meals are pretty simple.

When we plan for meals, we always try to make them colorful and our customers appreciate that.

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...More ivory tower idiocy. More arm-chair quarterbacking from people that don't even regularly deal hands-on in preparing donated food for the destitute.
I agree. Asking the department to try to ensure food balance is far more important than protecting the homeless for salt consumption and it's generally unnecessary for people who are food insecure—someone eating a bag of potato chips because that's all they can afford for the day is in more trouble than someone who eats a can of Campbell's soup, even though both are high in salt.

Bloomberg has made a major mistake, removing donations from people who need it and harming the credibility of his food rules for the rest of the city.
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Old Nov 12, 2012, 02:17 PM   #30
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It's a misguided solution. Giving a can of this or that doesn't adequately meet one's nutritional needs. And if forces the organization to make distributional decisions that aren't optimal.

Bloomberg is following the Red Cross model: don't give us food, clothes, or blankets. Give us money and we'll be better able to decide what our needs are and how to address them.

It makes sense to me.
Like so many big government advocates, you fail to see the difference between government and private institutions whether they be charities or corporations. Here it is, boiled down as simply as possible:

Private Companies make requests. Your involvement in such transactions is 100% voluntary and of your own free volition.

Governments make demands. Your involvement is required and involuntary. They use coercion and force, subverting free will.

If I don't like the way the Red Cross operates, I can take my donation elsewhere. If I don't like the way government operates, tough luck. Democracy is only valuable when personal property and liberty are protected by a constitution or set of governing laws which can not be abridged or voted out of effect by a majority.

The idea of a coercive government outlawing the act of private charity should scare everyone. Think of it this way... you all distrust corporations and monopolies... think of it as a monopoly on charity, or a monopoly on societal welfare. Bloomberg isn't just offering his own form of (ahem, forcible) charity, he's outlawing all other forms at the same time!
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Old Nov 12, 2012, 02:17 PM   #31
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BTW, calories are essential for life. A food higher in calories simply means you have to eat less of that food to reach your daily need for calories.

I swear this country is going insane. Calories (aka life giving energy) are now somehow labeled as bad or harmful for homeless people without the means to earn, catch, or grow their own food. We're actually FORBIDDING private citizens from providing homeless people with food. Won't any liberal or Democrat stand up against this insanity?
I should have known that the moment I'd almost agree with you would say something unhinged. You've heard of the phrase 'empty calories' before, right? I'm assuming you also have heard of the obesity epidemic in America? Are you aware that lower income families and neighborhoods are more likely to be obese? Why, you might ask, are people with less money to buy food more likely to have weight problems? In large part it is because the food most available to them (in terms of budget and physical accessibility) is food high on empty calories and low on nutrition. Yes Virginia, too many calories is a very bad thing.


I can see both sides of the fence here. I would have liked to see a study that showed the general healthiness of donated food though (to see if the ban was actually addressing a problem). I'd also be interested to know if the ban has negatively impacted the ability of shelters to do there jobs.
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Old Nov 12, 2012, 02:20 PM   #32
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Do you think that home shelters have storage facilities for random food donations?
The one I work at once a month (see Post No. 26) sure does. What about the one you work at? Does it have storage facilities for random food donations?
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Old Nov 12, 2012, 02:21 PM   #33
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That remains to be seen. As a matter of fact they do not have to disclose all the ingredients (i.e. you can hide all sorts of dirt under the label "natural flavors") and there is enough evidence that preservatives, hormones and flavor enhancers such as glutamate are in fact addictive and/or can change hormone patterns in your digestion, i.e. actually turn off the hormones that create the perception of being sated while increasing the production of hormones that drive appetite. Most of this isn't being properly disclosed to the public at all. They also are not required to properly disclose the carcinogenic nature of some of the ingredients and given their history in tobacco, I wouldn't be surprised if they are suppressing evidence that demonstrates it.
Innocent until proven guilty.

If anybody is at fault here, it's the government.
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Old Nov 12, 2012, 02:23 PM   #34
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If I don't like the way government operates, tough luck.
If I want to give you a can of baked beans, then that's what you're going to get!

If that's your philosophy, then run with it.



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The one I work at once a month (see Post No. 26) sure does. What about the one you work at? Does it have storage facilities for random food donations?
I don't work at one.

Now feel free to gloat over the fact that you do.

It will make you feel better.
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Old Nov 12, 2012, 02:31 PM   #35
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I should have known that the moment I'd almost agree with you would say something unhinged. You've heard of the phrase 'empty calories' before, right? I'm assuming you also have heard of the obesity epidemic in America? Are you aware that lower income families and neighborhoods are more likely to be obese? Why, you might ask, are people with less money to buy food more likely to have weight problems? In large part it is because the food most available to them (in terms of budget and physical accessibility) is food high on empty calories and low on nutrition. Yes Virginia, too many calories is a very bad thing.

I can see both sides of the fence here. I would have liked to see a study that showed the general healthiness of donated food though (to see if the ban was actually addressing a problem). I'd also be interested to know if the ban has negatively impacted the ability of shelters to do there jobs.
Unhinged? Here's why your argument is dead wrong:

#1) In this situation, the homeless are not required to eat exclusively what any given charitable person has given. If I bring ham, you're not forced to eat only ham. If I bring snickers bars, you're not forced only to each chocolate. In fact, you're not forced to eat any of it... but that's besides the point. The people who run the shelter dole out the goods as they see fit. Sometimes they can offer balanced meals with what they've been given, other times they can't.

#2) Foodies and health nuts like to proclaim how McDonalds and snack companies make foods that have 'empty calories'. Besides being factually incorrect on a normal day, when it's used to keep real good food out of the hands of homeless people it's quite evil. Quick hypothetical question, if you were dying of hunger and I offered you your choice of a Snickers bar every day, or an entire head of lettuce every day, what would you choose? The lettuce is far more 'healthy' according to your worldview... but is it? Which one is going to provide you with more necessary calories and nutrients to sustain you for the longest period of time. I'd venture a guess that the person surviving on candy bars would last a heck of a lot longer than the person eating lettuce.

Yes, we're all aware of obesity, and we're all aware that too many calories can be bad.... so I guess, is that your opinion? Is it your suggestion that the primary problem homeless people need solved in this day and age... that they're eating too many calories in a given day? THIS is what needs to be worked on? THE major problem with today's homeless is that too many people are donating too many foods, foods with too many calories? If so it might be time for me to rest my case earlier about America going insane. Sheesh.
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Old Nov 12, 2012, 02:45 PM   #36
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Unhinged? Here's why your argument is dead wrong:

#1) In this situation, the homeless are not required to eat exclusively what any given charitable person has given. If I bring ham, you're not forced to eat only ham. If I bring snickers bars, you're not forced only to each chocolate. In fact, you're not forced to eat any of it... but that's besides the point. The people who run the shelter dole out the goods as they see fit. Sometimes they can offer balanced meals with what they've been given, other times they can't.

#2) Foodies and health nuts like to proclaim how McDonalds and snack companies make foods that have 'empty calories'. Besides being factually incorrect on a normal day, when it's used to keep real good food out of the hands of homeless people it's quite evil. Quick hypothetical question, if you were dying of hunger and I offered you your choice of a Snickers bar every day, or an entire head of lettuce every day, what would you choose? The lettuce is far more 'healthy' according to your worldview... but is it? Which one is going to provide you with more necessary calories and nutrients to sustain you for the longest period of time. I'd venture a guess that the person surviving on candy bars would last a heck of a lot longer than the person eating lettuce.

Yes, we're all aware of obesity, and we're all aware that too many calories can be bad.... so I guess, is that your opinion? Is it your suggestion that the primary problem homeless people need solved in this day and age... that they're eating too many calories in a given day? THIS is what needs to be worked on? THE major problem with today's homeless is that too many people are donating too many foods, foods with too many calories? If so it might be time for me to rest my case earlier about America going insane. Sheesh.
Nice post full of straw men.

You said my argument was 'dead wrong' yet the only thing I 'argued' for was wanting to see legit studies done to see how this ban impacts the overall food quality at shelters as well as the shelters' ability to operate. Oh, no, I want facts, quick somebody stop me!
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Old Nov 12, 2012, 02:47 PM   #37
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I don't work at one.

Now feel free to gloat over the fact that you do.

It will make you feel better.
No gloating here. Your earlier rhetorical question implied you had knowledge, so I asked. Maybe that was unintentional on your part.
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Old Nov 12, 2012, 02:52 PM   #38
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Nice post full of straw men.

You said my argument was 'dead wrong' yet the only thing I 'argued' for was wanting to see legit studies done to see how this ban impacts the overall food quality at shelters as well as the shelters' ability to operate. Oh, no, I want facts, quick somebody stop me!
I'll grant you some of that. I responded the way I did because you called my comment 'unhinged' for simply pointing out that just because something is 'high calorie' that it doesn't make it bad for you. In fact, calories are an essential component of life and of eating. I'm sorry, but these are facts and fly in the face of the assumptions Bloomberg and others are working under. What's good for a kid in middle school eating 3-4 meals a day isn't necessarily what's good for a 50 year old war vet eating 1 meal a day living on the streets. Who would have thought?

Bottom line, these are all side issue here... the real story is that Bloomberg and the NY government apparently saw fit to OUTLAW private food charity. We can have all the discussions you want about calories and McDonalds, but this is an asinine move, most people know it, and everything else is just noise.
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Old Nov 12, 2012, 03:01 PM   #39
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The one I work at once a month (see Post No. 26) sure does. What about the one you work at? Does it have storage facilities for random food donations?
Ours has cold and dry storage, but some do not and thus only accept canned or packaged donations.

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...Quick hypothetical question, if you were dying of hunger and I offered you your choice of a Snickers bar every day, or an entire head of lettuce every day, what would you choose? The lettuce is far more 'healthy' according to your worldview... but is it? Which one is going to provide you with more necessary calories and nutrients to sustain you for the longest period of time. I'd venture a guess that the person surviving on candy bars would last a heck of a lot longer than the person eating lettuce.
Sometimes an argument really is colored by its hypotheticals.

Well, sure because lettuce is basically fiber and water, while a Snickers bar has peanuts, butter, salt, sugar, etc. However, a sustained diet on Snickers bar is a quick road to diabetes and scurvy, which is why humans, unlike Koalas, need a balanced diet.

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...Yes, we're all aware of obesity, and we're all aware that too many calories can be bad.... so I guess, is that your opinion? Is it your suggestion that the primary problem homeless people need solved in this day and age... that they're eating too many calories in a given day? THIS is what needs to be worked on? THE major problem with today's homeless is that too many people are donating too many foods, foods with too many calories? If so it might be time for me to rest my case earlier about America going insane. Sheesh.
Calories are a measurement of energy, but the human body isn't an engine that can be filled with gas, instead we need a mixture of minerals, vitamins, proteins, etc. in order to be healthy. This is true whether you're homeless, stuck in the wilderness, or the drive-thru.

So, a food that's high in calories, but low in protein won't sustain someone very well and someone, as mentioned before, who never gets Vitamin C will end up with scurvy regardless of the caloric value of their food.

Bloomberg's a fool for putting such a policy in place. Instead, he should have instituted some guidance on nutrition and, as LethalWolfe suggested, created research to evaluate the benefits and drawbacks of such a ruling.
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Old Nov 12, 2012, 03:03 PM   #40
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I'm trying to find a source for this news item that isn't FOX Nation or various right-wing blogs, but I've had little luck so far.

Having said that -- if I ran a homeless shelter or any form of charity I'd definitely prefer money donations, not because of any health nut issues but simply because it's so much easier to organize and control than having people bring weird random food that needs to pass some modicum of basic examination (check expiration dates etc).
I also don't understand why that would be so hard to accept -- are people suspicious of the organization not using the money for charity, so they only want to give them items they've purchased themselves, or are they looking to offload expired food?

Anyway – as someone living in a Scandinavian so-called "nanny state", I can't help but chuckle when I read about some of these laws and bans implemented in the US (particularly in NYC and Cali) that our supposedly overzealous governments would never dream up. A ban on large sodas, really? Meddling on that level is a tad too strong for our governments, you want 1960's East Germany for that.
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Old Nov 12, 2012, 03:06 PM   #41
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I'll grant you some of that. I responded the way I did because you called my comment 'unhinged' for simply pointing out that just because something is 'high calorie' that it doesn't make it bad for you.
You said that calories in and of themselves are being labeled as bad or harmful (which isn't the case) while also seeming intentionally obtuse to the difference between caloric content and nutritional value. Neither of those are rational positions hence my calling those statements unhinged. There is enough substance to the issue at hand to warrant a worthwhile discussion so I just don't see the reason to muddy the waters with hyperbolic rhetoric.
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Old Nov 12, 2012, 03:13 PM   #42
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I'm trying to find a source for this news item that isn't FOX Nation or various right-wing blogs, but I've had little luck so far.
Yeah, the original source is the New York Post, however the local CBS affiliate also covered the story in March.
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Old Nov 12, 2012, 03:21 PM   #43
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Like so many big government advocates, you fail to see the difference between government and private institutions whether they be charities or corporations.

:

The idea of a coercive government outlawing the act of private charity should scare everyone. Think of it this way... you all distrust corporations and monopolies... think of it as a monopoly on charity, or a monopoly on societal welfare. Bloomberg isn't just offering his own form of (ahem, forcible) charity, he's outlawing all other forms at the same time!
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I'll grant you some of that. I responded the way I did because you called my comment 'unhinged' for simply pointing out that just because something is 'high calorie' that it doesn't make it bad for you. In fact, calories are an essential component of life and of eating. I'm sorry, but these are facts and fly in the face of the assumptions Bloomberg and others are working under. What's good for a kid in middle school eating 3-4 meals a day isn't necessarily what's good for a 50 year old war vet eating 1 meal a day living on the streets. Who would have thought?

Bottom line, these are all side issue here... the real story is that Bloomberg and the NY government apparently saw fit to OUTLAW private food charity. We can have all the discussions you want about calories and McDonalds, but this is an asinine move, most people know it, and everything else is just noise.
According to the original source, this administrative rule (he is the mayor) applied to city run shelters, not private shelters.

Quote:
March 18, 2012

So much for serving the homeless.

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.

(etc.)
http://nation.foxnews.com/michael-bl...ters-too-salty

Do you have a source that says there is a law mandating what food can be served at private shelters?
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Old Nov 12, 2012, 03:22 PM   #44
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I think many of us can agree that it's indeed unfair that this decision affects the people who need it the most. An outright ban while the city makes it determination on the nutrition benefits is at best counterproductive. But let's try not to turn this into another self-aggrandizing moment that you love so much. We get it.

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The one I work at once a month (see Post No. 26) sure does. What about the one you work at? Does it have storage facilities for random food donations?
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I volunteered the other day at the Ronald McDonald house; do you have even the slightest idea what some of these "corporate boardrooms" do for their employees and for the underprivileged?
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I can name things more than a year out, and I can name volunteer work (but who can't), but I can't name one significant thing I have changed in my behavior in the past twelve months to contribute to environmental protection.
It's funny that you mention ivory tower, yet you take the most smug attitude towards your "service".
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Old Nov 12, 2012, 03:29 PM   #45
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It's funny that you mention ivory tower, yet you take the most smug attitude towards your "service".
You may want to look up the definition of "ivory tower." But regardless, it's very sweet of you to stalk me.
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Old Nov 12, 2012, 03:42 PM   #46
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You said that calories in and of themselves are being labeled as bad or harmful
It often seems that way.

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while also seeming intentionally obtuse to the difference between caloric content and nutritional value
Not my intention, but rather to suggest that too much value is being put on calories and 'fatty foods' alone.

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There is enough substance to the issue at hand to warrant a worthwhile discussion so I just don't see the reason to muddy the waters with hyperbolic rhetoric.
Here, I agree with you 100%. My own fault, I took the bait, and played a role in the muddying of the waters. Hard to resist sometimes - but never worth it.
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Old Nov 12, 2012, 04:06 PM   #47
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No gloating here. Your earlier rhetorical question implied you had knowledge, so I asked. Maybe that was unintentional on your part.
Your food bank may have storage space for accumulations of donated foods and the organizational wherewithal to make good use of them.

If New York's shelters likewise have the storage capacity, the management and the capability to use these donations effectively, then I'd disagree with Bloomberg's stance.

But I find it hard to believe that if all of those conditions were true, that Bloomberg would capriciously decide to stop using this resource.
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Old Nov 12, 2012, 04:16 PM   #48
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According to the original source, this administrative rule (he is the mayor) applied to city run shelters, not private shelters.
If it is just for city run shelters then that does change the complexion of the ban.

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Here, I agree with you 100%. My own fault, I took the bait, and played a role in the muddying of the waters. Hard to resist sometimes - but never worth it.
Agreed. Being snarky on the internet is like getting hammered on Friday night. Lots of fun until the hangover creeps in and you swear you'll never drink that much again... until the following Friday when you convince yourself that the hangover last week wasn't so bad, lol.

I'm typically a proponent of people doing what they want as long as it doesn't impact others (the whole, right to swing your fist ends at the tip of my nose deal) but in our modern society we are more dependent and connected to each other so it can be easy to draw a line showing Person A directly, or indirectly, impacting Person B (even if that line is with regards to private health insurance and premiums). It's certainly a sticky situation and one that I think will move further away from black and white and deeper into a gray area. I mean, on one hand I don't think there should be a public or private entity dictating how people lead their lives but on the other hand what happens when the choices a minority of people make have an detrimental impact on the population as a whole?
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Old Nov 12, 2012, 04:49 PM   #49
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Agreed. Being snarky on the internet is like getting hammered on Friday night. Lots of fun until the hangover creeps in and you swear you'll never drink that much again... until the following Friday when you convince yourself that the hangover last week wasn't so bad, lol.

I'm typically a proponent of people doing what they want as long as it doesn't impact others (the whole, right to swing your fist ends at the tip of my nose deal) but in our modern society we are more dependent and connected to each other so it can be easy to draw a line showing Person A directly, or indirectly, impacting Person B (even if that line is with regards to private health insurance and premiums). It's certainly a sticky situation and one that I think will move further away from black and white and deeper into a gray area. I mean, on one hand I don't think there should be a public or private entity dictating how people lead their lives but on the other hand what happens when the choices a minority of people make have an detrimental impact on the population as a whole?
I think not wanting to harm or coerce others is an incredibly valuable (and increasingly rare) quality in a person.

I guess where we might differ is that you seem to see us on an inevitable path towards authoritarianism, and have a desire to mold this authoritarianism to match your own personal value structure, whereas I seek to end it lock, stock, and barrel. You might seek the controlled growth of government, while I seek its dismantling and return to a severely limited government which provides it's citizenry only with a national defense, basic infrastructure, and an assurance of justice especially for attacks against liberty, private property, and basic human freedom. The way I see the world, the more gray areas you have, the less easy it becomes for otherwise intelligent people to determine right from wrong, and for society to move towards prosperity and freedom instead of willfully away from it.

As for the affect of people on each other, at least with private institutions like insurance (when not over regulated by gov't) you can buy insurance which matches your lifestyle. In a pure free market, there'd be drastically different life/health insurance rates for the obese than the healthy.

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Old Nov 12, 2012, 04:55 PM   #50
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Your food bank may have storage space for accumulations of donated foods and the organizational wherewithal to make good use of them.

If New York's shelters likewise have the storage capacity, the management and the capability to use these donations effectively, then I'd disagree with Bloomberg's stance.

But I find it hard to believe that if all of those conditions were true, that Bloomberg would capriciously decide to stop using this resource.
I generally agree with you. Here's what I really don't get - it's as if Bloomberg is assuming that the average person who planned to make a food donation to a homeless shelter will, upon learning they don't take food donations any more, will suddenly whip out the checkbook and give the equivalent in money. It's absurd.

My guess is that Bloomberg was overreacting to (1) Romney's fake food drive, and (2) the Red Cross/FEMA request for funds as opposed to food. The problem is that he is not only now swatting a fly with a sledgehammer, but the fly has flown away and he's swatting at other things entirely.

Last edited by kavika411; Nov 12, 2012 at 05:02 PM.
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