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The 3rd World Nation State of Los Angeles, California : 37 Minutes in Urban Democrat Hell

This is Skid Row in downtown Los Angeles on Christmas Day 2017 .

This is hard to take.

This is Very hard to take.

This is the reality of the streets now, today, in Los Angeles.

This man takes a long tour of the streets.

This man knows how bad it is.

This man knows why that is.

This man knows the bottomless funding scam that surrounds “homelessness.”

Homeless street services stall as encampments continue to grow In contrast to in many other cities, three-quarters of L.A.’s 34,000 homeless people live outdoors — on sidewalks and in canyons, riverbeds and alleys. Homeless vehicles and encampments jumped 25%, to 14,412 countywide in January, the last official count.

How should L.A. County homelessness funds be spent? The spending plan, covering the first three years of the 10-year duration of the quarter-cent sales tax, lists dollar amounts requested for 21 strategies approved by the board to receive Measure H funds. It is a revision of requests from county agencies that initially totaled more than $613 million by the third year, nearly twice the available funds.

Homeless street services stall as encampments continue to grow Funding for one strategy — camp cleanups or sweeps — expanded to $13 million. But spending on services for people living in the streets — mobile showers, housing navigation centers, storage facilities and homeless parking lots — lagged behind.

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  • orcadrvr January 3, 2018, 12:09 PM

    On top of my feelings of revulsion for the obvious squalor that is depicted in this video, I can only wonder why none of the numerous local TV stations in LA, or for that matter, the LA Times, felt that this was worthy of coverage at any time in the last 10 years or so.
    This has been a more or less constant state of affairs for at least that long. For some reason, none of the local media felt that this was worthy of coverage.
    Perhaps they did not want to engage in any sort of coverage that could be construed as a rebuke to the liberal local, state, and federal politicians who run California.

  • ghostsniper January 3, 2018, 2:11 PM

    Is it legal to set up a tent on the sidewalk?

  • pbird January 3, 2018, 3:08 PM

    Not here.

  • jwm January 3, 2018, 3:56 PM

    This is life in So Cal. And skid row is what it has always been, just more crowded, now. I’m on the east end of Los Angeles/North Orange counties, some 20 miles away from downtown. The real story is out here in the riverbeds, those huge, mostly concrete lined channels that cut across the urban sprawl. All the riverbeds have bike paths, and all the bike paths have camps. The camp along the Santa Ana dwarfs skid row. The Los Angeles, and San Gabriel channels are full, too. Every place a street crosses a river has a camp. Orange county recently opened a bike path along a five mile stretch of the Coyote Creek channel, not far from my house. It begins where a long storm drain cuts kitty-corner across Beach Boulevard, and Imperial Highway, two major thoroughfares. We used to play down there- catch guppies in the creek, shoot BB guns, and later, sneak our first cigarettes and such.
    Orange County had a full-sized trash truck, two big stake-beds, and a van with a crew of 21 people (I counted) cleaning out the camp that ran under Imperial Highway. They were winching up *tons* of accumulated shit from under there. I sat on my bike and watched as some ghetto class negro slithered out of this filth pile, with two very nice new BMX bicycles- one in each hand. He headed west on Imperial, and the cops there ignored him. There are camps along the mile-long railroad easement, just blocks from where I sit right now. It didn’t used to be like this. Heartbreaking.


  • Richard Kreul January 3, 2018, 3:57 PM

    I used to cruise these streets in the 1960’s with no problems. Not so much now. Left CA 1972. Good choice I think.

  • jwm January 3, 2018, 5:25 PM

    And I’ll continue. I ride with the “outlaw” bicycle clubs here in the Southland. I get down here several times a year. I have been out on the New Year charity rides, “Sock the Homeless”, where we ride out into the parks and camps downtown and give out socks, caps, gloves, and food. The organizers of the event warn the well-meaning to stay away from skid row. Skid row is the bottom of the bottom of the barrel. Think about it. You could be homeless in another place in LA, and have access to possible day labor. You would have much better pickings dumpster diving, and there would be the possibility of even standing at an intersection with a begging sign. No. Such. Resource. Here. No one to panhandle from. No one to even steal from. And the beggars of skid row have their gangs, and street bosses as well. The last time I did “Sock the Homeless” some of the well-meaning did not take the warning to avoid the Row seriously. They were mobbed, and stripped of everything they had. They were lucky to get away with their bikes. Those Italians don’t know how lucky they were.


  • Doug January 3, 2018, 5:39 PM

    The solution? Soylent green. “Hey man, dinner kinda tastes like the way Miguel used to smell. Freaky, man.”

  • Julie January 3, 2018, 5:46 PM

    JWM, thanks for your observations. Watching the video I wondered about that; what’s the point of living in such an utterly hopeless area when literally almost anywhere else would have better opportunities, even just for panhandling and foraging?

    At OC today Bob was writing about how impossible it is to truly understand the mindset of people of centuries past, or of Islamic terrorists or of pedophiles. Add to that the mindset of people who would choose to live in those conditions.

    Poverty I understand. Even living in a tent in a small group someplace and scraping by, I can comprehend. Living like the people in Skid Row, though, is incomprehensible.

  • Casey Klahn January 3, 2018, 5:53 PM

    This is the winter of our discount tent.

    When I worked in Seattle, at the REI store, I was passing by the viaduct and noticed one encampment where the hobo has erected a Moss tent. That was, at the time, the most expensive, Rolls Royce tent one could own. Or, steal. Nobody was cold there that night.

    One beautiful summer afternoon, one of the bums who wasn’t engaged in dying under the store’s receiving ramp, stopped in the open double doorway of our gregariously yuppified establishment, and stood glowering at the largess. He yelled at the top of his lungs “you people think you’re special! I LIVE outdoors!”

    It isn’t Freddie the Freeloader. It’s a serious lifestyle and not for the weak of heart.

  • John A. Fleming January 4, 2018, 12:02 AM

    A number of semi-related comments and comparisons.

    I have seen up close the tented sidewalks of Ellay, and the Latin American shantytowns, which I think are representative of the world over in non-northern climes. There’s a distinctive difference to the modern encampments in the USA. Living in a tent on a sidewalk/park/trail is psychologically a temporary condition. “I’m just down on my luck, and I’ll bounce back.” Living in a plywood/pallet/tarpaper/plastic tarp shanty is a sign of dismal acceptance. “I’m here for an unknown duration, this is my lot in life, and have to make the best of it.”

    And yet, as far as I could tell, the families living in the shanties did not exhibit furtive shame. The kids played barefoot in the grimy streets, but somebody picked up after the dogs (altho I reckon the kids had parasites), and there was a human waste arrangement (honey buckets dumped daily down a sewer manhole). The kids went to school in the morning dressed in clean clothes (sometimes school uniforms) with washed faces. The moms did their best to make a home of it. There was a shantytown ward boss who represented the families and negotiated with the popos and other officials. Every morning you could see him dining al fresco with the inhabitants. The shanties all had electricity, and many had a satellite dish. Nobody was dressed in rags.

    Eighty years ago in the Depression, the hoovervilles in the cities (if the old pics are to be believed) were like the LatAm shantytowns of today. There’s lots of pics of the Okies with their families living in canvas wall tents out in the fields. Two years ago during the late unlamented obamage I saw the LatAm shanties starting to go up in Ellay (another rainbow cultural diversity makes us stronger import I reckon), but TPTB tore them down before they reached critical mass. We’ll let you live in a camping tent and crap in the street, but no shanties.

    That Ellay sales tax increase earmarked for homeless relief is a g-d*’ed obscene fraud. Every dime is being pissed away or stolen or spent on progressive feel-goods. Like the SilVal technorati and their molly-fueled highfalutin rutting orgies in San Francisco and Atherton, TPTB down in Ellay have orgiastic tax spending binges. The SMOD can’t come soon enough.

    And finally, in a golden-vision soft-focus alt-life of mine, I and my wife would be living in a roomy 12ft by 18ft canvas wall tent on our own land. We’d have a separate hard-walled workshop and home office, with attached privy and bath. But my home would be our tent. With a front porch with a fly and rollup sidewalls for rain and wind. That way I’d be living with and in and in sync with the world rhythms and beauties, instead of cowering and isolated behind siding and stucco and drywall and roofing tiles. I could do that. Simple gifts. Ah well, the wife will never go for it.

  • ghostsniper January 4, 2018, 4:47 AM

    “Every dime is being pissed away….”
    In every one of these things I investigated there was 27 levels of “management” clawing at their fair share of the booty so that by the time it reached the intended goal there was nothing left.

    Far better to just hand the dood a fiver to act as a bandage for your inflicted soul than to throw it down that ever hungry commercialized cesspool.

  • Snakepit Kansas January 4, 2018, 5:02 AM

    Mr. Fleming,
    Your description of the shantytowns in Latin America sound identical to all the ones I have seen in the Philippines. The people take care to be clean, have (illegally) tapped into electricity and have some semblance of order and decency.

  • Gordon January 4, 2018, 6:11 AM

    27 layers of management. . . .

    Oh, yeah. I live in north Minneapolis, which is the skid row of our city. It’s not as bad as LA or SD or Seattle, but trust me, the city council is working hard to make it that way. But honestly, a lower level of living in LA beats freezing to death in Minneapolis. And here, we don’t tolerate the camps. They will be cleared. Now, given time, the ever-more-lefty city leaders will change that, but for now, no shit-borne hepatitis outbreaks.

    But the “organizations” here. There is a ton of white guilt money sloshing around. There’s a couple of newspapers that get by on ads from Wells Fargo et al for diversity coordinators. There are many groups that just pass money around to other groups. It’s a giant, genial scam, at least until some “community leader” doesn’t get his share and kicks up a fuss.

    I see it, I understand how it works, and I could play it. I can be Native American when I want to. That would get me in the door, and I could reach my hand into the pot and take a share. I can come up with some stupid program, or I could get hired into someone else’s who needs that Native cred to go with the Black, Hmong and Mexican cred. One just has to not notice, or not care about the utter hypocrisy of it all. I don’t do it because I couldn’t face myself if I did.

  • Bram January 4, 2018, 6:54 AM

    I went to school in LA for a couple years in the 90’s – then promptly left.

    Back then Santa Monica was know as skid-row-by-the-sea. Some residents would complain about the parks overrun with bums but the City Council refused to do anything about it. In LA proper, Richard Riordan (probably the last Republican Mayor of LA ever) was less tolerant of the bums.

    If you are going to a lazy, worthless, homeless drunk – why not do it somewhere with a near-perfect Mediterranean climate?

  • John A. Fleming January 4, 2018, 9:53 AM

    Homelessness is almost hopelessly insoluble. It will always be there. If it’s subsidized, there’s more of it. The only thing I can think of to do is protect public health and make sure there are plenty of kibos on the street corners, and keep ’em clean and replace them often. There will always be crazies that drop a deuce on the floor and spray everywhere. Next to the kibos should be hand washing stations. They would have to be atom-bomb proof or the crazies will wreck ’em in a week. Shower and laundry facilities would be good, but the crazies would go berserker, it’d be a public safety disaster.

  • ghostsniper January 4, 2018, 2:11 PM

    “….it’d be a public safety disaster.”

    There ya go.
    Why should YOUR problem be MY problem?
    I have my own problems to deal with.

    If a person “claims” a portion of private property for their exclusive use they will be beaten or killed, or the authorities called and they will be instantly evicted. The same should be true for the public (gov’t) property. Regardless of reason you don’t have the right to anything but your own. If you don’t own it don’t touch it. This used to be taught to children when they were young.

  • jwm January 4, 2018, 7:35 PM

    Despite last year’s rain it has been dry as death here since last Spring. The riverbeds are nearly dry, just a stream in the middle of the concrete channel. The Santa Ana River, home to So Cal’s largest encampment, empties into the Orange County beaches, providing the boundary between Well-to-do Newport Beach, and well-to-do Huntington Beach, Surf City USA. The San Gabriel empties out between Seal Beach, and Long Beach. The Los Angeles riverbed goes between Long Beach and San Pedro. Just what do you suppose the denizens of these camps use for a toilet? It’s been piling up for months, just waiting for the first big rain. Surf’s up.


  • Sixty Ville January 5, 2018, 12:39 PM

    The only way to get anything seriously done about the homeless problem at the local level is to open city and county and state office buildings as year-round nighttime sleeping places for the homeless. ALL buildings, every single one of them, no exceptions, from the Capitol building all the way down. That way the homeless will be sheltered from the weather, will have safe water and bathroom facilities nearby, and can make use of the vending machines in the employee break rooms. Don’t have to let them into offices, but the corridors would be more than adequate compared to the streets.

    Now watch the political class get off its respective fat behinds and do something for real about the problem.