March 19, 2013

OBAMAVILLES: Gypsy Encampments of the Hollywood Freeway:

On our way to downtown Los Angeles Saturday night for the annual Churchill Dinner of the Claremont Institute at the venerable Biltmore Hotel, my wife Sheryl and I took the Hollywood Freeway, a route we had taken uncountable times before.

Only something was different. Small encampments of homeless had been set up on the edge of the freeway. We were used to them under freeway bridges, but these were more elaborate, makeshift tents and blankets positioned on slopes along the freeway, so that, we speculated, they were in full view of the constant passing traffic. That way the violence frequently visited on the homeless by themselves and by others would at least partly be discouraged.

I was reminded of Victor Hanson’s poignant descriptions of the California Central Valley and also of when I lived in Southern Spain and would see impoverished gypsy encampments along the roads to Grenada and Seville. But that was decades ago and that part of Spain, Andalucia, was desperately poor then, struggling to play catch up with the rest of Europe. It did — for a while anyway.

The Hollywood Freeway was not so simple. This was a parade of the haves and have-nots, Mercedes and Lexuses, streaming past the tattered homeless: Obama’s America.

How’s that hopey-changey stuff workin’ out for ya?

Related: Victor Davis Hanson: Five Days of Hope And Despair. A report from 21st century California.