"I regard the basic human value that underlies my own beliefs as tolerance, based on humility. I have no right to coerce someone else, because…
DC- "That mythical person is providing a service many of us are willing to pay for - easing of our conscience - making some of us feel better about ourselves by giving them money."
Or, they're dishonestly using, for their own personal gain, the sympathy generated by the very real plights of others less fortunate than themselves. And, I don't see why his "mythical" existence would be doubted. When you can make that kind of money, and if you don't have a conscience, why not spend one or two days a week supplementing your income? You can have a job and be a part time beggar, too.
"What business is it of mine to then complain that so many of my brothers and sisters are also feeling better about themselves by contributing that the 'scammer' earns enough to afford an apartment, or get drunk, or feed his/her addictions..."
Well, if you really want to help a person, and that's the reason for giving them money to feel better about yourself, then you certainly wouldn't want to harm them by feeding the addiction that likely led to their unfortunate circumstance in the first place. If you want to help, give them food, a coat, a blanket, a room in your house. If you want to assuage some sort of guilt with money, use a charity.
"Are people suggesting instead that the free market should be regulated..."
I'm certainly not. I don't even think there should be any begging laws. But I also think lying beggars are assholes and drunk beggars aren't interested in the help people think they're giving to them.
Some of them really aren't homeless. I have a friend that's a cop. She said one of the regular panhandlers at the end of the JI Connector actually has an apartment in North Charleston. He readily admitted this to her and also said he makes between $200 and $300 each day he goes begging.
I'm sure there are plenty of homeless that do actually need help, but you're better off giving them food than money. If you want to know why, take a walk to the homeless camp behind the BiLo on Skylark Dr. You'll see hundreds of empty beer cans and liquor bottles. You'd think they'd at least recycle the aluminum to get some cash, but why bother when people are handing it to them.
Becoming such a nuisance that Oswald's neighbors had to call the cops on him makes him an asshole. Shooting the cops that responded makes him a murderer. Doing so through a closed door, not even having the guts to face them makes him a COWARD. Doesn't really matter that he went through some tough times; everyone does. I know people that have had truly horrific childhoods. They haven't killed anyone and left a bunch of fatherless children heartbroken.
Let's not make excuses for Oswald or lament that he won't be remembered as a "good person" that "spent a lot of his time exposing the truth about our government and corrupt law enforcement." OJ Simspon was a hell of a football player, but that's not what he's famous for these days, is it? The fact is, the world became a darker place when Joe Matuskovic died, but it got a little brighter when Oswald died, too.
I wonder, Dedra, did you know Oswald owned an AK-47? Apparently, you knew he was unstable. Did it ever occur to you that maybe something like this could happen?
Here's what I noticed in the story's third picture: The bald guy on the left is wearing a pair of Nike Air Force 1's. They retail for $95.00. The guy in the blue shorts has on a pair of Air Jordan XIII's. Those go for $170.00. Now maybe they bought them used at Goodwill, and if so, good for them for being thrifty. Or maybe, despite making only minimum wage, they just don't understand the value of a dollar and have their financial priorities completely screwed up. When you shut down a busy roadway to protest low wages while wearing sneakers that most people sitting in your traffic jam would never think of buying, you just might be the worst face possible for the labor movement.
I was thinking he looks like John C. Calhoun.
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