Off the freeway and approaching the Biltmore, Sheryl and I saw the new Broad Art Museum under construction. Designed by architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro and only a block or so from Frank Gehry’s now-landmark Disney Hall, it is an avant garde structure with an “estimated” 130 million dollar cost.   I’m not gainsaying Eli Broad’s devotion to the arts in L.A., but that budget could feed and house a lot of homeless, possibly all of them, for some time.

Or could it?  I don’t think we have any way of knowing.  The future is a complex thing.  Men like Broad should be applauded for building it, even if in a way that might seem too refined for perilous economic times.

The real problem is our president who seems bent on preventing the future, whether by restricting energy development or unleashing nanny-state bureaucrats whose jobs and power depend on the erection of barriers.

Optimism for the future is the necessary motor for human progress.  When you look out at the Hollywood Freeway and see gypsy homeless encampments, it’s hard not to be pessimistic.  But that pessimism is the very thing that creates poverty and despair.  The mindset of Barack Obama must be overcome.

ADDENDUM:  My bleak mood lifted somewhat when we arrived at the Churchill Dinner — and not just because there was an open bar. I was among friends. Bill Bennett spoke and glasses of brandy were passed around to toast the great, late prime minister.  As many will recall,  one of Barack Obama’s first actions in office was to send the bust of Sir Winston in the Oval Office back to England.  We’ll know good times have returned, when it comes back again.  As the man himself said, “Never give in–never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”

(Thumbnail on PJM homepage assembled from multiple Shutterstock.com images.)