Sarah Besley, Urban Planning, Freeway Overpasses, Moral Panics, Confirmation Bias, Idées Fixes, and Sitcom Nazis in Hollywood

Pollyanna and her cynical, unhappy mirror self encouraging their own cognitive bias by gazing into reflections rather than the world around them
Pollyanna and her cynical mirror image encouraging their own cognitive biases by gazing only at reflections rather than seeing the actual world around them
Pollyanna, the most famous optimist in American literature, is known and celebrated as the originator and primary evangelist of “the just being glad game.” Listen, O citizens of Hollywood, as she explains it to Nancy:1

“Why, it’s a game. Father told it to me, and it’s lovely. We’ve played it always, ever since I was a little, little girl…the game was just to find something about everything to be glad about—no matter what ’twas.”2

Now, Pollyanna gets a bad rap these days, but she’s our hero, really. We haven’t the space to defend her, though, because we have to analyze a May 2014 blog post by Sarah Besley, evidently the Associate Executive Directrix of the Hollywood Property Owners Association and stuff.

Check it! Sarah Besley is scared of freeway overpasses:

In Los Feliz, even the goddamned overpasses are cute, cute, cute!
In Los Feliz, even the goddamned overpasses are cute, cute, cute!

[An overpass] may be one of the worst statements EVER to anyone who visits and certainly to anyone who lives in or around it – especially if their community has been severed in half. An overpass literally says: this community favors cars over people and I dare you to walk underneath me and emerge on the other side alive. This is the message I’ve been getting for the past couple years as I commute from Los Feliz, along Franklin Avenue, down Argyle…3

But wait! Maybe Los Felizites are scared of freeway overpasses because they don’t have any there?4 The terror of the unknown is formidable and possibly overwhelms slurbians when they come to the big town.5 Hollywoodies, living in raw urban splendor in the very heart of the city, surely just take them in stride, don’t they? The answer would appear to be yes, even on Sarah Besley’s testimony:

I’ve started noticing the unexpected number of pedestrians walking from the hills north of Franklin into downtown Hollywood with their yoga mats, shopping bags, or strollers in tow. I’m struck by the fact that people seem to walk so confidently underneath what seems to me like a very scary place.
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A Short History of Dehumanization Through Defecation

Everyone Poops, but some poopers are more privileged than others.
Everyone Poops, but some poopers are more privileged than others.
Human shit has a number of remarkable properties. First of all, every human produces shit. Secondly, every fully autonomous human handles the disposal of their own shit. In fact, properly disposing of one’s own shit is a necessary condition for being considered a fully autonomous human being. Thus it is possible to efficiently and completely dehumanize people by preventing them from dealing competently with their shit.

Polish authorities in 1947 explaining to Rudolph H&oumlaut;ss, erstwhile commandant of Auschwitz, that it's not OK to force people to live in their own shit in order to facilitate genocide
Polish authorities in 1947 explaining to Rudolph Höss, erstwhile commandant of Auschwitz, that it’s not OK to force people to live in their own shit in order to facilitate genocide
This principle was grasped early on by the National Socialist founders of the infamous complex of concentration camps known collectively as Auschwitz,1 where the subhuman (Jews, Russians, etc.) inmates were allotted only 0.2 square feet of toilet space, less than one twelfth the amount allocated for ordinary criminal prisoners. Historian Robert-Jan Van Pelt summarizes the view of historian Terrence Des Pres that design choices like this, which resulted in every surface in the camps including human flesh, being covered with shit, were “the result of a deliberate policy to destroy the last vestiges of the prisoners’ sense of self-worth. It was not enough just to kill the prisoners. They had to be totally broken first.2 As Van Pelt summarizes, “with the latrines submerged in excrement, with very little water to be had at very few points, and with mud all around, what remained was an inmate population without the means to preserve any outward sign of human dignity.”2

It’s not discussed in the article we’re citing, but it’s surely plausible that such degradation made it easier for the SS to go about their unholy work of genocide. No matter how cruel the project, the guards carrying it out were still human beings, and is it not easier to send millions of people to their deaths if they’re smeared with their own shit and therefore, at least in that one sense, not fully human? Or to move them away from their native land so that you and your totalitarian buddies can move in? This principle has been rediscovered throughout history by those who have need of such a tool.

Steve Seyler, thinking deep thoughts about deep shit and who ultimately ends up in it
Steve Seyler, thinking deep thoughts about deep shit and who ultimately ends up in it

Which brings us back around to Steve Seyler, bully boy bossman of the BID security patrols and Reinhard Heydrich of the HPOA’s campaign to ethnically cleanse Hollywood of its homeless untermenschen.
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Smarmy BID Patrol Officer Baxter Performs Now-Illegal Creepy Cop Trick Live on Camera

What if you entered a building intending to steal something and you stole it and then someone died because it wasn't there and that person would have invented a way to prevent any baby anywhere in the world from dying ever??  You'd be responsible for all those deaths!!  How does that make you feel, you miserable little creep?? Bzzzztttt!!!!
What if you shoplifted but it was really felony burglary and then someone died because of what you done and that person would have invented a way to prevent an asteroid from hitting the earth and killing EVERYONE?!? You’d be responsible for genocide under the FELONY MURDER LAW!! You know you’re not supposed to commit genocide, don’t you, you maniac?!
Look and listen here as a smarmy, self-satisfied little BID Patrol guy whose name seems to be Baxter interrogates his victim, who evidently stole a bottle of Justin Timberlake™ perfume of some sort. (NOTE: We made the video private at the request of the subject. The transcript is accurate, and you can obtain a copy from Kerry Morrison under the CPRA like we did if you want one)

In the video (complete transcription after the break), Baxter, in his smarmy cop interrogation tone of voice, gets the man to admit that he entered the store intending to shoplift. This used to be a favorite creepy cop trick for inflating minor charges beyond all reasonable proportion. Once on a time California Penal Code §459 could be used to charge such an act as burglary instead of mere theft. Security minions such as Baxter, not content with merely protecting the interests of their employers, would routinely use this nasty little loophole to overcharge people. Why? That’s just what they do, these icky little lawboys. It’s how they keep score in their psychotic little game.

Of course, as with all such nonsense, it ends up being the people of California who pay the price. Not just the petty criminals who get overcharged into oblivion, whose lives get ruined by undeservedly severe criminal records and the horrific collateral consequences that ensue, but also the taxpayers who have to support prisons full of nonviolent people, support courts and jails and probation offices and all the apparatus necessary to track and control the people dumped into the justice system by creepy private security henchmen who are so pleased with their delusory cleverness that they film themselves in the act so they can laugh about it later with all their cop buddies…

Well, as will sometimes happen, the people of California got wise to this nonsense and fed up with it as well and, in 2014, passed Proposition 47 which, among other things, added the following language to the penal code:
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So-Called “Donation Stations” in Hollywood and Aktion Arbeitsscheu Reich: A Curious Instance of Convergent Evolution

It's hard to tell the cactus from the euphorbia, isn't it?  Just like it's hard to tell the BID patrol from the gestapo.  Hint: one is an armed gang of thugs, brutally enforcing the racist policies of their masters against the most helpless members of society and the other is a bunch of Nazis.
Convergent evolution: It’s hard to tell the cactus from the euphorbia, isn’t it?8 Just like it’s hard to tell the BID patrol from the Gestapo. Hint: one is an armed gang of thugs, brutally enforcing the racist policies of their masters against the most helpless members of society. The other is a Nazi organization.
Convergent evolution occurs in biological species when two types of organism occupy similar niches, are subject to similar selection pressures, have to solve the same sorts of problems in order to succeed in the tasks that their environments set for them,1 and so on. Thus when two organisms have evolved similar survival tactics, it’s reasonable to draw the conclusion that they’re trying to solve similar problems in the world, that they play a similar role in the grand scheme of being.2
It's also hard to tell the HPOA device from the Nazi one.  Read on for details!
More convergent evolution: It’s also hard to tell the HPOA device from the Nazi one, for about the same reason. Hint: One is a vicious tool of oppression used by quasi-privatized gangs of thugs as an essential tool in their politico-corporate masters’ program of social cleansing. The other is a milk-can with a swastika painted on it. Read on for details!

And it’s an undeniable fact that Kerry Morrison and the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance are, against the express will of Jesus Christ, obsessed with discouraging people from giving money to panhandlers directly. Just the briefest glance at any of their newsletters will convince you of this. In particular, see page 7 of the Summer 2014 issue, in which Kerry Morrison asks herself and, by extension, you, the reader, if she should give money to panhandlers (SPOILER: no!). Kerry gives no real reasons at all here or anywhere, so far as we can see.
Clip from the Summer 2014 HPOA Newsletter explaining how to use machines to thwart the will of Jesus.
Clip from the Summer 2014 HPOA Newsletter explaining how to use technology to thwart the will of Jesus.

Admittedly she gives what seem like reasons at first glance, e.g. she asserts that the homeless will spend the money on alcohol and then get arrested by the BID patrol for drinking it in public, but there’s no explanatory force here. Kerry’s the Executive Directrix of the HPOA and thus the big boss of the BID patrol. She is a woman under authority, with soldiers under her; and she says to this one, ‘Go!’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come!’ and he comes.3 If she doesn’t want people getting arrested for drinking in public, all she’s gotta do is tell her gunmen to stop arresting them. There’s no need to propagandize against giving money to the poor if the goal is merely to arrest fewer people.

And it doesn’t stop with propaganda, either. There are actual machines involved. See, e.g., page 5 of the Summer 2014 HPOA Newsletter, in which Kerry promotes machines that people can put money into instead of handing it personally to panhandlers. This, says she, is “a positive option for passersby to contribute change to help people.” These machines cost $2500 a pop and they’re looking at getting 12 of them. That comes to $30,000 altogether, which is actually about 2% of the HPOA’s annual security budget. There’s some serious purpose at work or the HPOA wouldn’t be willing to spend such an outrageous amount of money,7 but we’ll be damned if we can see what it is. Fortunately, we have an analytic tool that will let us understand everything and then explain it to you!
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BID Patrol Bosses at Andrews International Include Hollywood Amongst “L.A.’s most disadvantaged neighborhoods,” Lie About a Bunch of Other Stuff Too

Aerial view of one of " L.A.'s most disadvantaged neighborhoods."  Look at the grinding poverty, the misery of the natives, the hunger, the violence, the crime.
Aerial view of one of ” L.A.’s most disadvantaged neighborhoods.” Look at the grinding poverty, the misery of the natives, the hunger, the violence, the crime. Just imagine the seething hell it would be without the unappreciated efforts of a bunch of tricycle-riding cop-wannabe inchoate-Daniel-Pantaleo BID patrol officers.
Did you even know that “Since 2007, as part of a public-private partnership focused on community safety and quality of life solutions,” the super-powered security wallahs at Andrews International have operated something called “a Community Assisted Problem Solving (CAPS) program in some of L.A.’s most disadvantaged neighborhoods”?1 Did you even know that?? Well, it’s evidently true, because on December 23, 2014, their PR flacks spewed forth a press release announcing it to the world.

This momentous announcement was accompanied by a subpage with the same title, which comes with a heavily illustrated PDF with the same text. It’s not at all clear just what the heck they’re blathering on about, which is why we’re going to explain it all to you after the break!
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Somebody at HPOA Is at Least as Good at Public Relations as Heinrich Himmler

Odilo Globocnik, a guy who was very proud of his work and prone to boast about it in public although not, so far as we know, in poetry.  Globus, as his SS buddies called him, had to be told by his boss Heinrich Himmler to shush up because his antics were interfering with the mission.
Odilo Globocnik, “the vilest individual in the vilest organization ever known,”1 master architect of mass murder and a guy who was very proud of his work, enough so to boast about it in public although not, so far as we know, in poetry. Globus, as his SS buddies called him, had to be told by his boss Heinrich Himmler to shush up because his antics were interfering with the mission.
Odilo Globocnik first came to the attention of SS bossman Heinrich Himmler because of his relentless antisemitism and his willingness to murder the Jews of Vienna on a freelance basis even before such practices were sanctioned by German law. Consequently, in 1939 Himmler promoted Globocnik and moved him to occupied Poland. In 1941 Himmler directed Globocnik to oversee one of the most enormous instances of genocide in the history of the world: Aktion Reinhardt.

This was a big step up for Globus, as Odilo was affectionately known to his buddies in the Schutzstaffel, “the vilest organization ever known.”1 In localized modern terms, it’s like being moved from the suburban backwater of Inglewood to the big-time bright-lights-big-city cosmopolis of Hollywood! Globus took to his new surroundings like Samson to the Philistines, and, by late 1943 when he wound up operations, more than 2,000,000 Jews were dead. The organizational aspects of this accomplishment were overwhelmingly intricate, so Globus felt understandably proud of his masterful work and wanted to crow about it.

STOP digging any more mass graves and clear up the old ones.  Any form of publicity will be harmful.  AND STOP WRITING POETRY, FOR CHRIST'S SAKE!!!
STOP digging any more mass graves and clear up the old ones. Any form of publicity will be harmful. AND STOP WRITING POETRY, FOR CHRIST’S SAKE!!!
However, Heinrich Himmler, Reichsführer of the SS and Globocnik’s boss, had begun to notice that the rest of the world, and even a significant number of German citizens, weren’t too happy about the systematic deportation and gassing of human beings on this scale. As historian Bettina Stangneth has it:

The Nazis might have kept telling themselves that the extermination of the Jews was the only means for their survival, but they lacked sufficient faith in this view to share it with the rest of the world. The Nazi police state was born of the fear that not even its own population would understand its campaign of murder. Himmler guessed early on that this “glorious chapter of our history” could never be written, and he prevented Odilo Globocnik from sinking a memorial plaque into the earth for the heroes of Operation Reinhard…In summer 1942 [Himmler] ordered his commanders to find a way to avoid digging any more mass graves and to clear up the old ones. Any form of publicity would be harmful.2

Meanwhile, back on the home front, on December 11, 2014, the Joint Security Committee of the Hollywood Entertainment District BID and the Sunset-Vine BID held its monthly meeting.
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BID Patrollies Mischarge Obviously Innocent Man, Display Habitual Arrogant Unprofessionalism, Disregard for Law, Decency

A man restrained in BID Patrol car and riding along with two BID Patrollies.  He's clearly mentally ill.  They're putatively trained professionals.  So why are they the ones being delusional?
A man restrained in BID Patrol car and riding along with two BID Patrollies. He’s clearly mentally ill. They’re putatively trained professionals. Why are they being delusional?
Look here to see a man restrained in a BID patrol car after having been arrested for trespassing. But on the way to the station it turns into something else entirely.


Man: You let me go or you die.

BID employee: Why would I die?

Man: You let me go or I’ll get hurt.

BID employee: How are you gonna hurt us?

Man: [Unintelligible] … but you will let me go, it’s not valid.

BID employee: Well we can’t let you go, that would be you, uh, trying to subvert the legal process…by your…

Man (interrupting): Whaddaya mean you can’t let me go? OK [Unintelligible]

BID employee: We’re required by law to deliver you to the Los Angeles Police Department.

Man: For what?

BID employee: We, we tried to keep you out of that business. You kept disrupting the business…

Man: [Unintelligible] Why did you fucking put me in this car, you punks? What if I kick you in your head right now? What if I kick you right in your head, you little punk? What if I kick you right in your head? You let me out of this car, now. And you don’t bring me to jail or I will kick you somewhere.

BID employee: OK, we’ll take you to the office and get you out there.

Man: You better…you better not put me in no jail cell, punk.

BID employee: OK, we won’t…we won’t.

Man: I didn’t say nothing wrong to you or him. I’m arguing with him. I argued with that last one in the store. I did nothing illegal or wrong.

BID employee: OK.

Man: Now you’re fucking harassing me. Don’t you fucking take me to jail in this car. If you harass me at all I won’t forgive you. I never will. You’re gonna pay. You’re gonna pay with your life. Cause I’m gonna kill you with a knife. [Lengthy unintelligible part]

BID employee: You know, when you whisper, I can’t hear you. My hearing’s bad.

Man: [Continuing to be unintelligible]

BID employee: You’re gonna find me and burn me up? Is that what you said?

Man: [Continuing to be unintelligible]

BID employee: Ah, you realize you’re making terrorist threats, right?

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Kerry Morrison’s Cogent Argument Against Legal Street Vending Supports Outlawing Hollywood Real Estate Super-Villians CIM Group, Employer of HPOA President Monica Yamada

As we’ve previously discussed at great length, the palefaced economic elites of Los Angeles are all abuzz at the possibility that the City Council might legalize street vending of various kinds, an activity whose practitioners are, for the most part, not that palefaced. As part of their abuzzitude, the palefaces have produced reams of frantic pearl-clutching hysteria regarding the threats posed to truth, justice, the American way, etc. that would, they say, certainly ensue as a result of such legalization.

These white-privilege rage-rants, while mostly grounded in delusion and mental illness, occasionally contain valid and useful arguments. It can sometimes happen, as Albert Einstein said, that “a blind pig has found an acorn.”1 A letter by Kerry Morrison, Executive Directrix of the HPOA, to Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, is an example of this. Kerry argues that, amongst other reasons, street vending should not be legalized, at least not in Hollywood, because it “raises numerous questions that must be taken into consideration. For example, how will taxes and permits be enforced, especially given that this is a cash-only business?2

Typical cash-only business in Los Angeles, beloved of the human residents but hated by the HPOA because of the difficulty of enforcing "taxes and permits."  This one's owned by an extraordinarily wealthy former mayor of Los Angeles, who evidently didn't get the memo about how his business practices are RUINING EVERYTHING!!
Typical cash-only business in Los Angeles, beloved of the human residents but hated by the HPOA because of the difficulty of enforcing “taxes and permits.” This one’s owned by an extraordinarily wealthy former mayor of Los Angeles, who evidently didn’t get the memo about how his business practices are RUINING EVERYTHING!!

As an aside, this argument can also be used against iconic Los Angeles restaurants The Pantry, Nick’s Cafe, and Philippe’s. Will the HPOA soon be asking the City Council to shut down these landmark establishments?

In any case, Kerry also lists a bunch of other undesirable consequences that, in her view, are likely to ensue from the legalization of street vending. These are not all illegal, e.g. the horrifying prospect of the potential placing of trash into appropriate public receptacles, but they’re all, says Kerry, “not something we are requesting in Hollywood.” We will refer to these en masse as “Kerry Morrison’s cogent argument.”

In our previous post on this subject we mentioned that the city of Los Angeles has had some problems with the enforcement of “taxes and permits” regarding CIM Group, a real-estate investment conspiracy run by rich white people. There we discussed the whole John Noguez scandal and hinted at the difficulty of enforcing building permit terms and conditions against CIM. Subsequently we decided to do some further research on the subject, the fruits of which are the subject of today’s post.
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Walking Around with Fante and Bukowski

walking.around.with.fante.and.bukowski.coverWalking Around with Fante and Bukowski is a new collection of essays by Patricio Maya, published by Grady Miller Books. If you’re interested in the literature and culture of Los Angeles you will certainly find something in here that will interest you. Although there’s not much in here that aligns explicitly with the subject matter of MK.org, there is plenty of relevant background material for the student of abusive political power in Los Angeles.

In the title essay, Maya recounts a journey he took following Arturo Bandini’s epic journey to Long Beach in search of Vera Rifkin. One of Maya’s themes here is what he calls “the tenuous dimension between books and reality”:

You walk downtown or on Wilshire, half stoned, asking yourself if here was where Nathanael West ate, if there was where William Saroyan brawled, if Bandini slept here, if Bukowski drank there. It is a kind of derangement. But there are worse ways to spend time when you are 19 years old.

Of course, if the BIDs had had their way it would have been where Nathanael West was arrested, where William Saroyan was arrested, and where Bandini was arrested. That’s the last I’ll say about that, read on.
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Kerry Morrison: Hollywood Businesses too Feeble to Survive Free Market Without Municipally Enforced Draconian Anticompetitive Pinko Racist Regulatory Capture

Street vendor in Manhattan destroying the prosperity of the city, laying waste to the comfort and privilege of rich white people, and generally ruining EVERYTHING!!
Street vendor in Manhattan destroying the prosperity of the city, laying waste to the comfort and privilege of rich white people, and generally ruining EVERYTHING! And now the city of Los Angeles intends to forcibly convert Hollywood into a cultural and economic wasteland like New York City by allowing such miscreants to operate with impunity on our streets. “Not on our watch,” say BIDs.
Street food is one of the signature pleasures of the great cosmopolitan cities of the world. Practically alone amongst its peers, though, Los Angeles forbids vending on its public rights of way. This is because there are really no bounds to the willingness of the economic elites of this city to prohibit anything that normal human beings enjoy if by doing so they can stick a dagger in the neck of the poor. They will certainly destroy the village in order to save it.
Hollywood BIDs destroying the city of Los Angeles in order to save it from its own misguided sense of sanity
Representative of the Hollywood BIDs metaphorically destroying the city of Los Angeles in order to save it from perceived (albeit delusionally) unintended consequences of an all-too-rare outburst of sanity with regard to its street-vending policy.

Case in point: the City Council recently began to discuss legalizing street vending in Los Angeles. Sane people everywhere rejoice at this attempt to allow civilization to flourish and also bring an estimated half-billion dollars worth of economic activity out of the shadows and onto the bottom line. There’s a hot dog in the public manger, though.

The BIDs and their minions have leapt into coordinated action! They are in a cyclonic tizzy, explaining fast and loud how the unintended consequences of the sane and harmless choice to legalize street vending will ruin everything. It will e.g. impoverish small businesses, encourage crime, cause the unauthorized commercial use of public trash cans, cause the unauthorized non-use of public trash cans, provide increased funding to criminal street gangs, encourage armed robbery, cause diseases, and even more stuff too weird to list here. Think we’re exaggerating? Read on!
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