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Roger L. Simon

Gypsy Encampments of the Hollywood Freeway

March 19th, 2013 - 12:05 am

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.)

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Is it not safe to say that, historically, the Left's promises of Utopia have produced Dystopia ?

"Utopia is not under the slightest obligation to produce results: its sole function is to allow its devotees to condemn what exists in the name of what does not."

~Jean-François Revel...Last Exit to Utopia

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Actually, the people who have been hurt worst of all are those of modest means who attempt to pay their own way, who refuse to allow government benefits to shape their lives, who look to the father and grandparents for help before demanding the rest of us be their child's father, who did not borrow more than they could afford, who did not then get in line to get special forgiveness for their extravagance (note that bailout programs favored those who didn't pay rather than those who attempted to keep up with their bills), who did not receive special set-asides based on race as they struggled to put themselves through community college or gain a contract, who did not get a special set-aside from the SBA when they wanted to expand their small business or make payroll.

The healthy dependent classes -- ie. welfare recipents and all quote single moms living off the rest of us, almost universally with baby daddy sharing the household, have experienced absolutely no negative effects from the recession. Self-inflicted wounds aside, the people who are suffering most are those from the unstable yet independent working class who refuse to live off others. And yes there are many African Americans among them. But not all or most.

Homeless people are almost overwhelmingly that way because of substance abuse or untreated mental illness or both, no matter what the activists say. Add in illegal status as a complicating factor but one that most throttles the job chances of the endangered American workers discussed above.

It is 2013. Take a look at who is bagging groceries and who is using food stamps while diddling their smartphones through forty dollar nail wraps. 20 years in social sevices and Atlanta politics, where the amount of money redistributed racially is mind-boggling and never-ending, left me cynical. The Mercedes and Lexuses there are far more likely to be driven by the race activist with the no-show school administration job than by the guy who owns a small construction company that can't meet the city's mafioso affirmative action standards. We all know it. Perhaps if Republicans would find their spines and pull their own paws out of the racial/ethnic spoils honeypot (Rubio, anyone?) more often, the productive classes (poor, middle, and upper classes) could feel as if someone was representing them.

There are only two kinds of people: those who try (whether they succeed or not) to be productive and independent, and those who exploit one ghost, memory, or scapegoat after another in their quest to line their pockets or avoid responsibility for their own lives.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"but that budget could feed and house a lot of homeless, possibly all of them, for some time."

And then when that money is gone, they're back to starving on the streets where they started...or you have to confiscate more money to keep feeding them.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (37)
All Comments   (37)
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".... our president who seems bent on preventing the future..."

He sets.
He shoots.
He SCORES!
Nothing but net.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
In politically correct language, they should be called Bushvilles. Historically, Hoovervilles were called that after FDR had already been President for over 8 years. All public poverty is automatically the responsibility of the last Republican President. However, if you have any common sense these communities would be properly called Obamavilles.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
This nation began to consolidate and centralize it economies in the late 50s and continues through the current times. As a result, it also began to consolidated and centralize much of the nation’s population which also continues through the current times. The result lends itself to economic and social collapse of those consolidated and centralized societies. They become a magnet to economic and social corruption and cancer as evidenced for a long time now.

A lot of Americans love to proclaim that we don’t exist within a traditional class system controlled by those who achieve the majority wealth holdings in our society. Nothing could be further from the truth as evidenced by the popular theory of a ‘trickle-down’ economy and the historical wealth disparity gap. As this gap widens, it produces less income for the middle working class and increases the poverty classes. When this problem arises, one thing is for certain! The majority wealth holders do NOT want to be a part of the economic social safety net. They want to government via the majority tax revenues paid by the middle working classes to provide for that safety net – a double indemnity damage to the working middle class taxpayer. A recent report stated that on average, the nation’s major corporations pay only 17% in taxes on their record making profits today. Likewise, the majority of ‘individual’ wealth holders use tax loopholes to shield large amounts of wealth ‘away’ from the statutory tax rate while the working middle class and the working poor have little to no substantial exemptions to shield their measly incomes.

http://www.businessinsider.com/15-charts-about-wealth-and-inequality-in-america-2010-4#the-gap-between-the-top-1-and-everyone-else-hasnt-been-this-bad-since-the-roaring-twenties-1 (redirect takes a minute)

The nation nor any developed nation has nor ever had an economy for which would provide 100% unemployment! That means a substantial part of the population’s able bodied workforce has no sustainable means of income to survive adequately on. This ripples through the entire able bodied workforce from time to time meaning an even larger portion of the population never gets into a position of saving for a future a rainy day or retirement adequately. They eventually join the rest of the population trying to survive on credit available until exhausted and thus the circular catch-22. Again, who shoulders the majority of the government tax revenues to provide a safety net for this class of the population. The working class! Here’s why it is so! The corporate world gets government subsidies at or near what they pay into federal taxes while the working class taxes paid, has to support the government social safety net for millions of Americans unemployed and or infirmed unable to work and pay taxes . You can see the historical unemployment data below from 1920 through 2010. The statutory tax rates use to be more equitable for dealing with this problem but corporate special interest groups and lobbyists have succeeded over the past few decades in leveraging not only lower tax rates, but a multitude of favorable tax exemptions and technical loopholes in addition.


http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0104719.html

Today, the majority corporate and individual wealth holders have abandoned ‘duty’ to a national society and become consumed with individualistic corruption and greed. All too many today, look down with disdain upon those less economically fortunate and disadvantaged by the ‘systems’ stacked against the middle working class and poor and poverty classes. For certain, the wealthy elite don’t wish to see the lowly classes littering the roadsides with their tramp hollows – especially alongside the roads they travel.

This kind of problem should not be a political partisan one to deal with! It is a real problem of any society and needs to be dealt with in reality and equality by those with the means – that trickle-down system so many are so proud of. Is that not a part of national pride and patriotism?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I don't know about any of you, but I felt the last election was a kick in the teeth, a slug in the throat, and a good upper-cut.
I had invested emotionally waaay too much in getting barry out. I felt drained. Slowly I am coming back. The Churchill quote helps.
I hope it is not too late by 016.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
That makes 2 of us. Very well expressed, M Jagger. (And please give my best to K Richards.)
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
That makes three of us.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Actually Obama's America is a real film noir. The cast of characters are straight from the 1930's- Axelrod with his hair parting,mustache and suits from that era- Denis McDonald- put a Stetson on him and there's the gang spirit.Obama thinks that he is the decider who takes away people's rights/assets/even lives without restraint- in Obama's America Gypsy homeless people are props for agitation/unrest/chaos. If Obama cared for these jobless,homeless,some mentally ill people - it would be easy to reduce the salaries of Obama Czars/aides/spending accounts/flying around with his teleprompter to give the Horror Show Sequester Series and say simply- for my fellow Americans- I show the way and give a damn.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Cultural despair paved the way for fascism and Nazism. I hate to see it here. For a critique of the over use of the world "totalitarian" see http://clarespark.com/2012/10/15/orwell-power-and-the-totalitarian-state/. It is relevant to cultural despair. We cannot save ourselves without rational political participation and understanding of how we process the past.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It is time, Ladies and Gentlemen, to face the fact that we are unable to save the country. It is time to focus on saving ourselves.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Do you not have kids or something? We have to make sure that there is a future for our families here. We can't afford the luxury of despair. We have to be tougher than this. Our grandparents got through the depression and WWII. I fought in Afghanistan. I'm going to make sure that my family can provide for themselves.

1. Teach your kids to defend themselves. Martial arts, firearms, etc.
2. Teach your kids a trade. Let them know that student loans are the kiss of death. Teach them about the barter economy.
3. Teach your kids to budget.

The gun ban just flopped in the Senate. The House actually had the guts for the sequester. Admittedly, it's a minor cut in projected growth, but it's a start. We still live in a country where blue collar skills will earn a living. The unemployment problem is largely a white-collar problem. Many of the trades are still screaming for people.

Obamacare is our biggest obstacle to progress, but when people are suffering enough under leftist policies, and other people's money runs out, the system will collapse. People that are self-sufficient will be the ones to survive.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I won't accept that it is too late.

Demoralization is the first step in the intentional process described in that (too often linked) video from ex KGB guy and defector Yuri Bezmenov.

Demoralization plows the ground for the next stages: destabilization, crisis, and "normalization" into the new socialist state.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I agree. However, the trip back is not going to be much fun, and it is likely to get ugly.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
'Tis an oft-told tale'

John Brunner's 'Shockwave Rider' may be the best version.
The refugees from the collapse of California move East into
the desert and are quarantined there by the government;
Problem solved. >:)

Every crisis is an opportunity to get rich. Offer the many
soon-to-be jobless, homeless, hopeless a safe haven in
return for their government compensation.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Exactly my point. Simon and Hanson's real-time comments are almost indistinguishable from dystopian science fiction of the late '60s early '70s. But they're real. And while today's reality becomes a dystopian nightmare, today's SF writers are diddling with zombies and tribbles and whining about black and female writers. Can anyone say "Nero?" How about "fiddles?"

SF LITERALLY has an SF convention called "Diversacon." How much stupider can artists get than that? That used to be a ha-ha joke, never happen. Now it's staring us in the face. Why not rename the SFWA the Diversa-Glee Writers of America or the Literary Suicide Cult of America?

We need a group of new writers to warn us against the dangers of SF writers. We're so far into The Onion territory here it makes my head spin. It's like being lectured about justice by monkeys or dragging Winston Smith's lifeless body to the Ministry of Love and asking for advice.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
In January of this year the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops at their annual meeting could not or would not issue a statement on the economy. Why? As the recession grinds on and grinds so many of us down one answer is that the Bishops Conference does not want to alienate Obama Catholics. Here in the Archdiocese of Detroit that is a significant number and the pulpits have also been silent. So we "pray for unity and love..." You go to Mass for many reasons and one main one, but there is also the hope of some acknowledgement, some recognition, something like consolation. But that apparently is perceived as "politics." It difficult not to see things as hopeless under this economically illiterate and pitiless occupant of the White House.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"...the Bishops Conference does not want to alienate Obama Catholics."

What is that quotation...All it takes for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing ?

I would think that "Obama Catholics" is an oxymoron, just as putative Catholics Crazy Joe Biden and Queen Bee Pelosi are walking contradictions when it comes to tenets of their "faith".
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"It difficult not to see things as hopeless under this economically illiterate and pitiless occupant of the White House."

Apparently, at least half of the population of the USA who voted him in the second time is also economically illiterate; they are also historically illiterate and morally bankrupt. They don't care if the country crumbles, so long as they are OK or come out on top.
The driving belief of the left was summed up by Milton quite nicely:
"Better to reign in Hell than to serve in Heaven".
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The nations economics and strategies are 'directred' by the Fed Reserve, and a host of partisan and non partisan external advisors to include global foriegn advisors. Every president elected in our history thus far, have been human beings, with limits of experiences and academic expertise. Thats why they all have a multitude of advisors around them and available to them.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It is the oligarchy, hubritic to the max. The Middle Class has been starved of Disposable Income since 1974, relative to the Top 3 [three] % and the bottom 20%. The latter will always be taken care of and their disposable income has risen in real terms and outstripped the Middle Class who have gone down. The Folks on Top have refused to let the 'trickle' part of 'trickle-down' operate. Instead of increasing middle salaries, commissions and wages, they further line their pockets and Cayman/Cretan/Thai accounts. What you are seeing along the freeways are excess poor created by the Obama econiomic brain trust which has the Dow going over-the-top [TARP] and Joe Lunchbucket defaulting on his mortgage. Hamilton's Federal Republic is run by blind swine, red and blue.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All to many partisan politicial junkies would have us believe that the nations citizen don;t make any effort to succeed economically. Far from the facts! Small business makes up the largest economic sector and the largest employment numbers but.... Why?

States with highest busniess failure rates:

http://money.cnn.com/2011/05/19/smallbusiness/small_business_state_failure_rates/index.htm

Startup business failure rate:

http://smallbiztrends.com/2008/04/startup-failure-rates.html
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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