Every so often, when discussing dismantling the 'social safety-net,' someone will claim there is no way that private charity could take care of everyone who would need it. Beyond the fact this is an assertion without evidence, especially in light of how well private charity did prior to the advent of the modern welfare state, this is an argument made from a stacked deck. That is: of course private charity can't do what government does. It's not allowed to.
In Phoenix, AZ, Dana Crow-Smith was with a group handing out free water in the 112 degree heat. According to her, and reaffirmed in a letter sent by the civil liberties organization representing her, she was approached by a Neighborhood Preservation Inspector and instructed to stop or face a citation.
First off, what the heck is a Neighborhood Preservation Inspector, and why are they telling people what they can do with bottled water they purchased?
Second, I have no doubt that, according to the letter of the law, the city official was correct. I'm certain the group (probably from a Church, based on the linked report) hadn't even considered they'd need a permit to engage in charity. Alas, they obviously don't read this blog, or they'd know the Police State will brook no competition. If you offer a service that the All Beneficent Government sees as lessening its control on the populace, you will be permitted, fined, and inspected out of existence, if the State has anything to do with it.
The people of Phoenix need to stand with their fellow citizen and demand an apology and a clarification in whatever permitting ordinance would cover giving away bottled water. Simple acts of charity like this should be encouraged by society, not punished. If the Inspector did overstep his or her bounds, they should be disciplined, and made to apologize individually as well.
The Growth of the Police State is most easily addressed at home. If we don't do it in our own cities, how can we expect the States or the Federal Government to stop it there?