“There is no bad guy in this,” Sgt. Joseph Corrigan propitiated of an unforgiving crackdown targeting do-gooders with the nerve to voluntarily feed people in need — part of wider law enforcement action to quash the act of feeding houseless people throughout Atlanta — to the Associated Press.
There is no bad guy in this.
Activists and advocates for homeless people everywhere in the United States opine ever-tightening legal strictures regarding ‘sharing food’ in public — how feeding houseless people is classified under the law.
According to Georgia State University Police Sgt. Corrigan, a chaplain and head of the department’s homeless outreach, and a plethora of detractors, giving people food serves an acute need, but does little if anything to solve the twin crises of hunger and shelterlessness in the long term — even exacerbating such issues as left-behind refuse, communicable disease, lack of sanitation and restrooms, and more, if allowed to continue.
Indeed, as the AP reports, “About 40 cities nationwide had active laws to restrict food sharing as of November 2014, and a few dozen more had attempted such restrictions, according to the National Coalition for the Homeless. Interim Director Megan Hustings said she doesn’t have updated numbers but that she’s heard about more cities considering such regulations.”
However, The Nation painted a more appropriately dismal if albeit embarrassing picture on the status of feeding houseless people — nearly three years ago, in February 2015 — reporting,
“According to a survey of more than 180 cities by the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty, anti-homeless laws pervade urban spaces nationwide. Roughly a third of cities barred public ‘camping,’ for example, up 60 percent since 2011. Restrictions range from prohibiting sitting on sidewalks to imposing steep fees or regulations that effectively criminalize actions of charity groups, often using antiseptic ‘quality of life’ terms (a tent pitched under a bridge becomes an unauthorized ‘camp’). Palo Alto has banned sleeping in parked cars. Mobile has imposed zero-tolerance on ‘aggressive panhandling,’ which could involve just ‘request[ing] a donation from a person standing in line…no matter how mildly the request was made.’ Last year, ThinkProgress reported, Fort Lauderdale authorized police to bust people who ‘store possessions’ on public property — suggesting that homeless people don’t deserve to have what little they carry with them, let alone ‘quality of life.’”
Notably, it isn’t as if these cities have implemented far-reaching and successful programs to replace the lost assistance of do-gooders.
In essence, critics of public charitable food-giving adhere to two problematic mainstays of thought: that people must ‘pull themselves up by the bootstraps’; but, failing that, ‘teaching them to fish’ — pointing them in the direction of assistance and having them enroll, for example, in return for food — rather than simply ‘giving them fish,’ is the only valid means of assisting the neediest of individuals.
Our way or no way, they seem to suggest. There is no bad guy in this.
“We don’t want anybody to stop feeding people. We just want it done in a way that’s connected to social services providers,” George Chidi, social impact director for nonprofit community development organization, Central Atlanta Progress, averred to the Associated Press, “and not on the street corner because we can’t make sure those connections are being made in these street corner feedings.”
Thus, Atlanta joins a shamefully lengthening list of cities choosing to declare a de facto war not only against the condition of being homeless, but against anyone willing to offer the stopgap assistance of an immediate meal.
Case in point, volunteer Adele MacLean with Food Not Bombs — who takes issue with the whole of Chidi’s position — landed a citation and court summons from another University of Georgia law enforcement officer on November 19, after the awareness and advocacy group refused to cease feeding houseless people in a downtown park when threats to obtain a permit were ignored. Although the offense was ultimately tossed by a judge, she feels the incident and the fallacious premise of her supposed transgression symptomatic of the crackdown on homelessness, telling the AP,
“Food is a human right, and you don’t force people to do what you want them to do by withholding food.”
Atlanta and other cities added to obstacles between houseless people and those who would provide them nourishment, predicating any immediate assistance on their entrée into the impoverishment assistance complex — while simultaneously frustrating activists and advocates with a deluge of impossible red tape making the act of sharing food a laborious chore for those attempting to work within its confines.
Indeed, shady tactics apparently land within the purview of enforcing the law.
According to the AP, attorneys for MacLean say police have gone so far as to disseminate a “misleading pamphlet” emblazoned with the city seal and a statement indicating a permit is required to feed homeless people in public — but it isn’t true. A previously unenforced county law exists, notes Reason — which only saw enforcement beginning around Thanksgiving — but none does explicitly for the City of Atlanta.
Southern Center for Human Rights attorney Gerry Weber, representing MacLean, explained restaurants, food trucks, and festival vendors may indeed require permits from the city — people voluntarily sharing food in public without charge, not so much.
Food Not Bombs was forced to challenge a similarly callous ordinance in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, arguing before the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in August such crackdowns on feeding houseless people infringe on the group’s constitutional right to free speech, since members share food “as an expression of their political message that hunger and poverty can be ended if society’s resources are redirected from the military and war.”
A decision in the matter has yet to be rendered.
In the interim, charity workers advocating for homeless people in cities across this putatively Great (or, perhaps, Getting There) nation will have to contend with an ambivalent public, ludicrous restrictions, and an eagerly authoritarian body of law enforcement in order to give hungry people food in a public setting.
“I salute genuinely the good will and good nature of all these people,” Sgt. Corrigan insisted to the Associated Press.
“There is no bad guy in this.”
Image: Public domain.
The Esoteric Meaning Behind Neo’s Interrogation Scene in The Matrix
More than 20 years old now, The Matrix is recognized by fans across the world as being one of the most brilliant films in history, most notably for its deeper meaning and esoteric philosophy.
One scene that is particularly intriguing, considering the social climate of today, is Neo’s interrogation by the Agents of the Matrix.
Now, before we dig into the potential hidden meaning here, as I perceive it, and how Neo found himself in this uncomfortable position to begin with, let’s first establish some key points in relation to the overall story line that will help us to appreciate the implications behind this scene a little bit more.
What Does The Character Neo Represent in the Matrix?
Neo in ancient Greek (νέος) means new/young one. This is an important piece of the puzzle to help us understand what the directors of the film are trying to communicate to us. With that said, when we assess Neo’s character in the first film, we find that he is a solitary individual that keeps to himself and is struggling to find deeper meaning in this world by constantly searching the internet.
What Does The Character Morpheus Represent in the Matrix?
Morpheus in Greek mythology is a messenger of the gods. He appears to humans through dreams with the intention of delivering divine Knowledge and Truth. In the Greek mythos, he can appear in almost any form in people’s dreams, which could be because anyone, regardless of race, gender, or outward appearance, can be a messenger of enlightenment and Truth.
The First Matrix Film is About The Beginning of the Journey to Awakening
With the understanding of the deeper meaning behind what Neo and Morpheus’ characters represent in the film, we can now appreciate the intro scene of Neo sleeping (whilst searching for Morpheus) through a different lens of perception and awareness.
You see, Neo sleeping whilst searching online for Morpheus represents the early stages of the Truth seekers journey — “asleep” but still searching for deeper meaning in life — and hoping to find that meaning by seeking out a “messenger” of higher Knowledge and Truth.
Truth is Terrorism in the Empire of Lies
Through his incessant efforts, Neo begins to get closer and closer to finding the elusive Morpheus. This, however, also attracts the unwanted attention of the Agents in the Matrix, which represent the enforcers of the shadow government of this system. Their job is to ensure that no one exposes what the Matrix really is, and how it turns unsuspecting every day human beings into useful resources that it can use and exploit.
The Agents proceed to apprehend Neo and interrogate him, where they make it very clear that they’ve been spying on him and keeping meticulous records of his activities, both online and offline, for quite some time now. As we all know very well today, all around the world intelligence agencies are doing exactly that — tracking what we view online and keeping meticulous records on many of our movements.
The agents, however, do not see Neo as being a major threat to the Matrix system, as he is still in the early stages of his awakening and does not know enough to be a major threat. Instead, they offer him a deal where they will be willing to “wipe the slate clean” on his illegal activities online, if Neo will simply help them track down the man they call Morpheus, who they claim is “a known terrorist” that is “considered by many authorities to be the most dangerous man alive”.
This represents that the single greatest threat to this manipulative system — which is overwhelmingly ruled by deception and exploitation — is any messenger of higher Knowledge and Truth that can potentially awaken those who are still “asleep” to what the proverbial Matrix really is. In fact, one could argue this sort of power struggle has been going on for thousands of years, and is possibly why Socrates was accused of “corrupting the youth” by the ruling class more than 2,000 years ago and subsequently sentenced to death; or why Fred Hampton was assassinated by government authorities in 1969; or, in more recent history, why civilians that were peacefully protesting against Wall Street and the bankers for their part in destroying the world economy in 2008, were targeted by the FBI and even labelled as potential “domestic terrorists“.
Simply put, Truth is terrorism in the empire of lies.
Neo, still being somewhat naïve and unbegun in his journey, rejects the Agent’s offer and demands he get a phone call because “I know my rights!”
To this, Agent Smith retorts, “tell me Mr. Anderson, what good is a phone call if you’re unable to speak?”, which results in Neo’s mouth warping in the most eerie of ways.
This scene represents a lesson that all genuine Truth seekers eventually come to learn — this system is not concerned with human rights nor is it concerned with upholding authentic justice. Instead, it inculcates these beliefs and misperceptions into our minds from a very young age, because it serves to help legitimize its unnecessary existence in the eyes of the unsuspecting public and indoctrinate us as to why we think we need it. But in reality, our government guaranteed “rights” can be taken away from us in the blink of an eye.
In relation to current events, for example, many thousands of people worldwide have been arrested for violating curfew orders; In one Indian state, civilians were told they must take selfies every hour and send it to the authorities to prove that they are staying indoors; in South Africa, some have been fined for not wearing masks while driving their cars; In Boston in the United States, people have even been told that they will be fined if they walk “the wrong direction” down the street; Homeless people in France have reportedly been fined for not staying indoors; Some people have been arrested for attending funerals of loved ones because it violated lockdown orders; Others (including doctors and scientists) have had their right to freedom of speech censored online; In Australia, a pregnant woman was actually arrested in her home for facebook posts that encouraged protesting against the lockdown; According to the International Labor Organization, tens of millions are being pushed into unemployment; and travel all around the world has been severely restricted by these authorities who have taken it upon themselves to be the rulers of this planet by dictating what the rest of us can and cannot do. Whether you agree with these policies or not, these things cannot logically be called “rights” since they are so very easily violated and taken away from us.
There are many other examples that demonstrate how our government given “rights” are more of a comforting illusion than an actual reality, such as the CIA’s secretive Black Site torture programs, which have been done in cooperation with other intelligence agencies and authorities throughout the world. In these programs, people have been kidnapped — without any legal criminal charge or trial — and then taken to undisclosed secret locations where many of them are tortured for many months on end, in ways that are considered to be in violation of international law and basic human rights. The CIA, of course, simply claims they are suspected terrorists. In 2014, however, a Senate Intelligence Committee Report found that at least 26 of the people that were kidnapped and tortured were actually “wrongfully detained”.
Wake Up Neo — You Are the One
Fortunately, Neo manages to escape this unthinkable situation without any serious injury or harm. Soon after, he is contacted by Morpheus, where he is told that he was very lucky that the Agents underestimated his great potential and spared him, because if the Agents had known the great secret that Morpheus knows, then Neo would probably be dead.
Confused by the obvious strangeness of everything taking place, Neo asks Morpheus what the hell is going on, and what exactly is he talking about?? Without hesitation, Morpheus replies to him, “You are the one Neo — You see, you may have spent the last few years looking for me, but I have spent my entire life looking for you.”
This is perhaps the most important lesson the new Truth seeker must eventually come to learn — We are the ones we have been waiting for to change this corrupt world my friends; and we must stop looking for heroes and human leaders to absolve us of this very serious responsibility. Instead, we must all take on the role of Morpheus — which is to awaken as many Neo’s (new minds) as we possibly can, whilst also taking on the role that represents the journey of Neo, by challenging ourselves to become the best version of who we authentically are.
By doing this, we will help to awaken and unleash the unique creative forces of each individual’s problem solving imagination; and we will also find unity in our shared struggle against the injustices, and corruption, of this inhumane system which invariably exploits us all.
If not us, then who? And if not now, then when?
All my work is open source and I encourage it to be reproduced. I only ask that you give me credit, and include links to follow me — as listed in the EXACT FORMAT above — in an effort to help me build a formidable following of people truly intent on learning and creating positive change. If you are not willing to do that, you are NOT permitted to use my work.
This Clever & Controversial Artwork Will Help You Think Deeper About Society
True artists are what I view as the antithesis of entertainers…
You see, an entertainer is concerned with popular opinion and giving the public what it wants to see. They intoxicate us with mindless amusements to help us escape reality and the everyday stresses of life. But artists, on the other hand, they give us what we need to see; by challenging us to to think deeper about the nature of reality, and the society in which we live, and they do this through the transcendent language of art.
With that said, I decided to collect some of the most thought provoking artwork from around the internet and offered my own little commentary on them…
Some people are hungry for food — Some people are just hungry for attention/Artist credit: Sergio Ingravalle
We are all so blinded by our ignorance and rage, that while we blame each other for our mutual struggles like fools, we’re ultimately getting screwed by the same elitists/Artist Credit: Lubomir Arsov
Despite what they might say, most people don’t actually want to see a reflection of reality — and therefore the Truth — Most people just want to see a narrow minded illusion that comforts their sensitive ego and impulsive feelings/Artist credit: Angel Boligán Corbo
“Just because you do not take an interest in politics does not mean politics won’t take an interest in you.” — Attributed to Pericles/Artist credit: Mana Neyestani
Is Facebook really fighting fake news or are they engaging in authoritarianism and censorship?/Artist credit: Luis Quiles
In a society as toxic as ours — where a climate of hatred, ignorance and fear insidiously infects the bulk of the population — In order to safeguard our health and wellbeing, we must stay connected to whatever it is that gives us an authentic sense of peace/Artist credit: Paweł Kuczyński (Online Store)
In spite of overwhelming historical evidence proving powerful people have engaged in child sex abuse, and it occurs in the shadows of every element and class of society, many of us pretend not to see, which is a shameful betrayal of our children/Artist credit: Lubomir Arsov
“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible make violent revolution inevitable.” — Attributed to John F. Kennedy/Artist credit: Mana Neyestani
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All my work is open source and I encourage it to be reproduced. I only ask that you give me credit, and include my social media profiles — as listed in the EXACT FORMAT above — in an effort to help me build a formidable following of people truly intent on learning and creating positive change. If you are not willing to do that, you are NOT permitted to use my work.
Pregnant Elephant Dies After Eating Pineapple Stuffed With Firecrackers
(TMU) – In southern India, a pregnant elephant died a slow and painful death after eating a firecracker-filled pineapple when she wandered into a village near the Kerala’s Silent Valley Forest looking for food.
According to a spokesperson for the Kerala Forest Department, farmers use fruit stuffed with firecrackers at the edge of their fields in efforts to save their crops from wild boars, and the elephant found and ate the pineapple filled with the explosives, suffering deadly injuries as a result.
The pineapple exploded in her mouth as she bit down on it, injuring her tongue and mouth, and breaking both her upper and lower jaw, leaving her in unimaginable pain, and unable to eat or drink.
Wildlife official Mohan Krishnan, in a touching post on social media, said that the mum-to-be was later found dying in a nearby river.
Article 51-A (g) of the Indian Constitution says that it shall be duty of every citizen of India to have compassion for living creatures. The pregnant elephant in pic was killed in human- wildlife conflict.Action has already been initiated. But where lies our duty? N humanity?? pic.twitter.com/V1ufNt3HfN
— Kerala Forest Department (@ForestKerala) June 3, 2020
He wrote: “She trusted everyone. When the pineapple she ate exploded, she must have been shocked not thinking about herself, but about the child she was going to give birth to in 18 to 20 months.
“She didn’t harm a single human being even when she ran in searing pain in the streets of the village. She didn’t crush a single home.
“When we saw her she was standing in the river, with her head dipped in the water. She had a sixth sense that she was going to die.”
To try and get the injured elephant out of the water and safely to treatment, two captive elephants were brought in, but she didn’t budge. She stayed in the water, where she eventually died. An autopsy revealed that she was about two months pregnant. Her body was transported back into the forest where was cremated.
A Kerala Forest Department spokesperson told Sky News: “It seems this elephant was very unfortunate and unlucky. In my 20 years of service I have heard of three such cases in the past with elephants. It is very sad and we are all very sad about it.”
The official Kerala Forest Department Twitter page wrote: “Article 51-A (g) of the Indian Constitution says that it shall be duty of every citizen of India to have compassion for living creatures.’’
“The pregnant elephant… was killed in human-wildlife conflict. Action has already been initiated. But where lies our duty?”
It is unlikely that this was a deliberate attack on the elephant, although a team from the Kerala Forest Department is investigating and questioning people involved about the incident and a Change.org petition, calling for justice for the elephant, has already reached over 1 million signatures.
Millions of people across the world have been shocked and saddened by the horrific death of the elephant and her unborn baby, with many creating and sharing their art as a tribute to an innocent mother and child. Gentle giants that will never roam the forest again.
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