American Girl selling “homeless girl” doll for $95

What could be a better way for your child to learn that the homeless are just like real people than to buy her a “less fortunate” playmate for her other American Girl doll(s)?

How about spending some time with — and money for — someone who is actually homeless?

American GirlThe latest addition to the American Girl line of how-do-you-justify-it-ly expensive dolls is Gwen Thompson. Ms. Thompson

and her mother Janine fell on hard times when her father lost his job; they later lost the house as they were unable to keep up payments. Soon after, Gwen’s father left them and they became homeless the fall before the start of the book’s events. Initially, Gwen’s mother has them live in their car until the winter comes; she then takes them to Sunrise House, a place for homeless women and children. Sunrise House helps them get on their feet and eventually get a new apartment.

Despite this happy ending Ms. Thompson does have a touch of Voltaire’s Candide about her:

Gwen likes to swim. However, she is not a strong swimmer and is sent to work with the 8-9 year olds. She becomes the swim coach’s assistant on the swim team in the second book so that she can participate and learn to swim better. In [the book] Chrissa Stands Strong this makes her the object of cyberbullying.

Poor Gwen should just be grateful she wasn’t made the token cripple as well. Just think how much American Girl could charge for a wheel chair?

I can't compete with reality.

I can't compete with reality.

Even ironistas must do their research. The answer to the above question is $30. Heather, who brought this to my attention and rocks big time, adds  “A set of crutches (with a leg cast and other accessories) is only $26.  You don’t have a daughter….you don’t know!”

Well she was an American girl
Raised on promises
She couldn’t help thinking that there
Was a little more to life
Somewhere else

Business people should sit on benches so homeless people can’t

That is the tactic being espoused by Esther Viti who heads a group that donates benches for a merchants’ association in La Jolla, CA.

Ms. Viti sent an e-mail to 45 other activists last week asking them to sit in three-hour shifts, no bathroom breaks allowed. “After all, you MUST OCCUPY THAT BENCH continually for three hours to prevent that homeless person from sitting on that bench,” the e-mail said.

So far no one has taken her up on her request.

Hey, here’s a whacky idea: What if you took all that time and money and used it to actually help people who are homeless? Maybe that would reduce the number of people who are endangering your benches? Just a thought.

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Orlando police nab criminal mastermind for giving to the poor

The Orlando PD — at the instigation of the city council — seems to have found a connection between crime and hungry homeless people. Apparently if you feed them they will turn to crime! Why else did the PD bust Eric Montanez of the charity group Food Not Bombs? Mr. Martinez crime: feeding large groups of destitute people in the city center without a permit.

Under Orlando law (which is being challenged in court by anyone with half a brain) lets charities feed more than 25 people at a time within two miles of Orlando city hall only if they have a special permit. They can get two permits a year.

Because if you feed the homeless, the terrorists win.

Best part of the story are the technical details on Operation What Wouldn’t Jesus Do: Montanez was filmed by undercover officers on Wednesday as he served “30 unidentified persons food from a large pot utilizing a ladle,” according to an arrest affidavit. Police collected a vial of the stew Montanez was serving as evidence.

I wonder how much it has cost the City of Orlando to crack down on this threat to society?

Can I still poison the pigeons?

The city of Orlando, Fla., has passed a law banning the feeding of homeless people downtown. “The measure, approved Monday, prevents serving large groups in parks and other public property within two miles of City Hall without a permit.” No word yet on what happens if you throw breadcrumbs on the ground and they get eaten by humans instead of pigeons. The usual suspects are about where you’d expect on the new law: ACLU & people who feed people without getting paid, against. Biz owners including those who feed people for pay, for. While none of the homeless are actually quoted in the story, I’m pretty sure I know where they stand. It’s in Orlando so … is there anyway we can blame this on Disney?
I’m with the two city councilors who voted against the measure:

Two of the city’s five commissioners voted against the ordinance — including Robert Stuart, the head of a homeless shelter.

Stuart said the city was moving to “criminalize goodhearted people.”

“We’re putting a Band-Aid on a critical problem,” said commissioner Sam Ings, the other opposing vote.