When a warm heart meets a cold manipulator

  • Article by: Christine Flowers , Philadelphia Daily News
  • Updated: December 8, 2012 - 1:23 PM

Another uplifting parable about Good Samaritans and grateful sinners becomes a cheap joke for the Internet age.

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bebebigaloDec. 8, 12 1:40 PM

This is why you do not hand money to those people standing with signs asking for money. Shortly after 5pm they head for a vehicle in the nearest parking lot and head back to their hole with their free, un-taxed, money. They make upwards of 40k a year standing there.

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buckhunterDec. 8, 12 1:43 PM

Noticed another piece of info on this story of the shoeless man -- he is,as you said, getting a free gov't paid apartment, food stamps,and monthly payments from the State of N.Y. I recall a Mpls. officer once following a "homeless woman" who was panhandling --- to her nice home and getting into her newer car. There are way way too many of these scams going on and so many of liberals will not admit to it !! They find the one exception and dwell on it forever! Usually the one exception has a background of drug abuse or mental illness.

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luzhishenDec. 8, 12 2:13 PM

The guy could be a manipulator - or just mentally ill. You have to be a real threat to others or to yourself to be institutionalized. The author seems to think this guy is identical to the one who smashed her cell phone...maybe not.

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faustusDec. 8, 12 2:57 PM

Anyone who thinks there is not tremendous need "out there" these days has been living in bubble of their own creation. There are grifters and manipulators in every stratum of society and on every economic level. Do the Bernie Madoffs and Ken Lays of the world mean that most of the wildly successful, wealthy business people are simply crooks and manipulators? I would bet that the statistics/ratios are pretty similar of the number of crooks, liars and manipulators in the corporate world and those who are among the indigent-poor and working-poor who are on some kind of government assistance. "Buckhunter" - you need to take off the "world-in-black-and-white" glasses. You don't need to put on the "rose-colored" glasses of a "leftie liberal," but just need to see the world for what it is: not every successful person got there honestly, and not everyone who needs help is simply a bum looking for an easy handout. The media tends to highlight those rare instances of the person who is dressed in rags and begging who then walk to a decent car and drive to their middle-class house. Most of those people begging actually shuffle off under some bridge for the night. It is intellectually dishonest to extrapolate those instances into "everyone on public assistance of any kind is a bum/drug addict looking for a free ride." If they have a mental illness or addiction, all the more reason that "we" - collectively as a society - should help them. I think the worst thing you can do for someone panhandling is to give them money. If you want to walk them to a restaurant and buy them a meal - that's fine, but even I'm reluctant to do that. The best thing is to support charitable organizations that help them - and to have a better attitude about government programs that help those in need.

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frozentigerDec. 8, 12 3:01 PM

Ms. Flowers totally missed the point of her catechism class, like most do. Regardless of the manipulation, over and over again, to be Christ-like is to shrug that off over and over again. I mean giving a guy a pair of shoes that he sells or a panhandler some coins that turn into a newer car is just like getting beaten and hung on a cross, isn't it?

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chemnpDec. 8, 12 3:38 PM

i can't imagine such small-minded pettiness from a lawyer! if you're always looking for people that are ripping you off, you'll always find them and they will consume your life. and really, how many people actually give homeless people money?

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orpheus90Dec. 8, 12 4:06 PM

luzhishen writes: The guy could be a manipulator - or just mentally ill ... I'm inclined to agree with the latter. Let's just say anyone voluntarily wandering around barefoot in Times Square in the dead of winter isn't exactly getting mental health awards. What's sad is that the man would potentially sacrifice his feet to sell the boots for a little cash. And if the poor guy doesn't understand how he could lose his feet to frostbite, infection and injury, his comprehension of much else should be in question as well.

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rjr2205Dec. 8, 12 4:10 PM

Very well stated by faustus! I am a Vietnam vet who supports the USO, Disabled Ammerican Vets, VFW, and the American Legion. These organizations are legit and help many deserving vets and likely some less deserving! It is an easy copout for many to point out the scammers and use them as as justification to help no one!! It also allows for the cheapshots at President Obama because he desires to help those in need!!

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erikj3Dec. 8, 12 4:43 PM

I guess because there are a few bad apples out there I shouldn't donate any money at all to charity. I mean, after all, that person eating food that I provided may have at one point stolen something or hit his kid, so why bother?

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johndontDec. 8, 12 5:09 PM

I don't have the nerve to do this, but I have always wanted to stand at a busy intersection holding a coffee can and a sign that says

Got me a house in MPLS

Sure would like one in Edina

Please Help, God Bless

I bet I would get a lot of $$$ and a lot of laughs from passing cars (for a couple days anyway)

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