I teared up. Via.
Wouldn't it be great to be homeless? Think about it. Seriously think about it. No bills to pay. No property taxes. You get to change your location all the time, so if you bore easily, you're going to be somewhere else tomorrow anyway. Oh, and think of not having to worry about vacuuming or doing laundry. The great outdoors is now your home.
While you're enjoying the outdoor life, you can can be singing that old standard by Gus Kahn and Walter Donaldson:
Nothing could be finer than to be in Carolina in the morning,
Gone are the hard decisions like where are we going to spend our next vacation, or if we should buy a hybrid or a gas car when we trade in the SUV. Ah, and to never have to worry again about, "Should we go for Chinese tonight, or Italian?" If you're a homeless dumpster diver, the world of eating is your oyster. The stale, the spoiled and the rancid are at your fingertips. God, what a wonderful life, huh?
Dream it, just don't live it if you're in North or South Carolina. Seems voter registration isn't the only thing the Carolinas have on their mind today. HuffPo, in a story on homeless in North and South Carolina draws attention to how little some cities and locals think about the plight of their desperate neighbors.
Love Wins Ministries, a Raleigh, N.C. church, has handed out sausage biscuits and coffee to the city's homeless for the last six years. But on Saturday, Raleigh police reportedly told members that they'd face arrest under a city ordinance that bans the distribution of food in any of the city's parks without a permit, according to WTVD.
"When I asked the officer why, he said that he was not going to debate me. 'I am just telling you what is. Now you pass out that food, you will go to jail,'" member Hugh Hollowell said, according to the church's website.
Six years this ministry has been handing out food. Now, suddenly the police stop them. It seems these are compassionate people who are trying to help, but like feeding the pigeons in the park, it's a bad idea. They'll just keep coming back and hover around you until you feed them more peanuts of torn slices of stale bread. And with them come diseases -- after all, pigeons are called rats with wings
So it's understandable that the Tar Heels are cracking down on human rats -- the homeless. Don't dare feed them or they'll flourish and multiply.
Well, that's North Carolina. The Tar Heels are struggling with an identity crisis. The can be forgiven for their "Don't feed the animals" policy. They've got bigger fish to fry. Voter suppression. But certainly things are different with their Siamese twin in South Carolina.
They are. Governor Nikki Haley and her band of angels show more compassion.
In South Carolina, the city of Columbia council members recently voted unanimously to criminalize homelessness, giving homeless the option to either relocate or face being arrested.
Oopsy. Seems they've now criminalized being homeless. Boy, the competition between North and South Carolina is heating up. I hear Governor Haley is stepping up legislation for public beheadings if you're found guilty of a second violation of homelessness. I'm not kidding (well only half so). Nothing like shame, guilt and a spectacle to deter homelessness.
What's wrong with these two states, when you're arrested in one for helping the destitute and jailed for being destitute in the other?
If I had Aladdin's lamp for only a day,
I'd make a wish and here's what I'd say:
Nothing could be finer than to be in Carolina in the morning.
Maybe that last line should be nothing could be finer than to be out of Carolina in the morning. Whatcha think?
I think we often take what we have for granted. That sometimes means we don't aspire for better but settle instead. Other times we accept graciously what we have but know that our privilege to so much must be shared with those not so fortunate. Knowing we can do better should be our goal. And helping others along the way is not shameful. It's joy. In Yiddish, it's called "NACHAS" -- pleasurable pride. It's a balance worth keeping in mind. So take just under two minutes to reflect while watching this split screen view of life. Being kind and generous isn't a flaw, it's a virtue. Maybe our congress can learn that someday. Flex your vote and they will. But until then, we must have hope and compassion.
I dare you to keep from tearing up watching this video. It's not the performance, but the humanity, the spirit and the inspiration. It would be easy to make a political statement out of this, but I won't. Rather I prefer to share this strictly as human interest, compassion and the fact that something so simple as giving a moment of your time can make someone else's life more tolerable. To the Greenberg family, to Anna and to the great Bette Midler...You all are the wind beneath my wings.
As a footnote, a few hours after this call, Anna Greenberg received one more. This one was from God. She was taken from this life by cancer at 29 years of age.
What a wonderful gesture. I'm sure spending time with their families is just what they need.
The holidays have been rough for the Newtown Police Department, which is why officers from across Connecticut joining forces, so that not a single Newtown officer has to work on Christmas Day. The plan has been kept on the down low for the past few days, since the various police departments are making the effort not for the press but as a gesture of solidarity with their fellow officers. After whispers of the touching gesture from local law enforcement emerged on Twitter over the weekend, however, the Newtown Police Department confirmed the news in an interview with The Atlantic Wire on Monday. "They've been actually non-stop with their aid. It's pretty amazing," said Newtown police spokesperson Sergeant Steve Santucci said of his fellow Connecticut officers. "And tomorrow, they'll be at our assistance so that Newtown [officers] can be home with their families."
But wait there's more. One of the only perks about working on Christmas Day is overtime and holiday pay. Just as they're not doing it for the press, though, many of the officers filling in at Newtown aren't interested in the money, so they're reportedly donating their paychecks to Newtown and Sandy Hill Elementary School charities. At least, those ones that are even accepting payment are. Santucci said that he knew some of the officers were volunteering their time on Tuesday but wasn't able to say who was making donations or how much money would be raised, since the Christmas Day pay would be coming from officers' hometown departments.
You go girls!!!
DES MOINES, Iowa - A group of Roman Catholic nuns are embarking on a two-week bus tour to advocate against Republican federal budget proposals that they say hurts low income and vulnerable populations.
The Nuns of the Bus tour is headed towards Ames, its first stop. The tour will directly target the current House Republican budget, authored by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. They will stop by nine states -- Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland and Wisconsin -- before they are scheduled to finish in Washington July 2.
The nuns will visit Catholic-sponsored social service agencies and the offices of Republican members of Congress, including Rep. Steve King's office in Ames, House Speaker John Boehner's office in Chester, Ohio, and Rep. Eric Cantor's office in Richmond, Va.
The tour was organized by Network, a Washington-based Catholic social justice group criticized in a recent Vatican report that said some organizations led by nuns have focused too much on economic injustice while failing to promote the church's teachings on abortion and same-sex marriage. The Vatican asked U.S. bishops to look at Network's ties to another group of nuns it is reorganizing because of what the church calls "serious doctrinal problems."
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