HPOA Precursor Organization and Former Employer of Kerry Morrison California Real Estate Association Sought to Warp, Pervert, and Destroy U.S. Constitution in 1948 to Prevent “The Threat of Occupancy by Negroes”

Kerry Morrison, late of the  California Association of REALTORS®, formerly known as the California Real Estate Association, with friend.
Kerry Morrison, late of the California Association of REALTORS®, formerly known as the California Real Estate Association, an immensely influential Twentieth Century California white supremacist group, sitting extraordinarily close to some guy whose name we don’t know.
While poking around in the bowels and hidden bits of the HPOA’s website recently, we happened to notice, in friend Kerry Morrison’s bio, the following intriguing statement: “Prior to coming to Hollywood, she spent 14 years in public policy and senior management roles at the California Association of REALTORS in Los Angeles.” Maybe it was the ALL-CAPS that caught our eye, so weirdly dystypographical and yet so clearly intentional,1 or maybe something else. In any case, we resolved to discover just for whom it was that Kerry had spent 14 years working for prior to the BID and why it seemed so important to her to include this in her biosnippet. Note, by the way, that the California Association of REALTORS® was formerly known as the California Real Estate Association.2
California real estate agents have done far, far more to shape this state for evil and for good than is commonly acknowledged.
California real estate agents have done far, far more to shape this state for evil and for good than is commonly acknowledged in popular discourse.

Kerry, as the first and sole director of the HPOA since 1996, has clearly formed and molded that organization in her own image. Thus, we thought, it might be illuminating to understand the professional crucible in which that image was forged. So we sent our faithful correspondent out onto the wild uncharted moors of scholarlandia through the portals of Google scholar, JSTOR, and UCLA. Our minds were well and truly blown by what he discovered, and perhaps yours will be too. There’s far too much material to cover in one post, so we’re going to lay it on you in increments, starting today with some background and a shocking episode from the long hot summer of 1948.
Continue reading HPOA Precursor Organization and Former Employer of Kerry Morrison California Real Estate Association Sought to Warp, Pervert, and Destroy U.S. Constitution in 1948 to Prevent “The Threat of Occupancy by Negroes”

In Rare Conflict with BID LAPD Deputy Chief Beatrice Girmala Exercises Totalitarian Veto Power over Private Real Estate Transactions in Hollywood, Insinuates that Protecting, Serving Homeless is Waste of LAPD Time

Exceedingly powerful LAPD officer Bea Girmala, pictured here with sidelong-glancing former Inglewood PD guy Steve Seyler who, we gotta admit, has nothing to do with this story, but here he is in the picture anyway.
Exceedingly powerful LAPD officer Bea Girmala, pictured here with sidelong-glancing former Inglewood PD guy Steve Seyler who, we gotta admit, has nothing to do with this story, but here he is in the picture anyway.
OK, listen up! Long-time readers1 of this blog will recall that in 2010 and 2011 the Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition, the Media District BID, some LAPD folks, and some random neighborhood residents all engaged in a “mediation process” of some type, mostly aimed at getting the food coalition to move its nightly feeding program out of the BID. The whole document is well worth reading, stunning as it is vis–à–vis its truly astonishing level of crazy, but we’re focusing on just one episode. Let us now lay out the dramatis personæ.

First we have facilitator Peter Robinson, now at Pepperdine. We don’t have much to say about him except that, according to his Pepperdine bio, he’s got an excellent sense of humor. He’d have to have, wouldn’t he?

Official LAPD photo of Deputy Chief Girmala, cop extraordinaire and interferer-by-proxy in the private real estate dealings of citizens of Hollywood.
Official LAPD photo of Deputy Chief Girmala, cop extraordinaire and interferer-by-proxy in the private real estate dealings of citizens of Hollywood.

Second, we have then Hollywood Patrol Commanding Officer (now Deputy Chief) Beatrice Girmala,2 who, although not actually present at the moment about which we write, was nevertheless in control of everything that transpired in a way in which we, free citizens of a constitutional republic, do not expect to be associated with our police. We are certainly pragmatists, though, and understand that once the police can gun us down on the streets with impunity they can a fortiori randomly interfere in our lawful business dealings as well. Read on for the real crazy!
Continue reading In Rare Conflict with BID LAPD Deputy Chief Beatrice Girmala Exercises Totalitarian Veto Power over Private Real Estate Transactions in Hollywood, Insinuates that Protecting, Serving Homeless is Waste of LAPD Time

A Bunch of New Documents: Street Characters Lawsuit, GWHFC Mediation, Greenshirt Daily Activity Reports

No one is safe when the BID Patrol is out rounding up street characters to satisfy Kerry Morrison's warped sense of propriety.  Even if you think Barney ought not just to be arrested but ought to be shot on sight, it's important to remember that if Barney's rights aren't respected, no one is respected.  If Barney's not safe from the depredations of the BID Patrol and their allies, the LAPD, then no one is safe.
No one is safe when the BID Patrol is out rounding up street characters to satisfy Kerry Morrison’s warped sense of propriety. Even if you think Barney ought not just to be arrested but ought to be shot on sight, it’s important to remember that if Barney’s rights aren’t respected, no one’s are respected. If Barney’s not safe from the depredations of the BID Patrol and their allies, the LAPD, then no one is safe. IF BARNEY AIN’T FREE, AIN’T NOBODY FREE!
Tonight I’m announcing the availability of three new sets of documents. First and least interesting we have a random selection of UPS Media District Greenshirt daily activity reports. You can find them either in our static storage or else via our local UPS page. I didn’t see anything particularly interesting here, but you’ve probably noticed that my colleagues can spin 600+ words of gold easily out of what seems to the casual onlooker to be nothing but straw, so maybe that’ll happen someday.

Next, and much, much more interesting, we have some records produced by the Media District between 2009 and 2011 when they were involved in some kind of mediation process with the Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition. Again, these are available via via static storage or through a local page. And finally, read below the fold for the real kicker.
Continue reading A Bunch of New Documents: Street Characters Lawsuit, GWHFC Mediation, Greenshirt Daily Activity Reports

Federal Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California Shows Up BIDs for the Mewling and Puking Liars they Are

The brave, the stalwart, the wise federal judge Michael W. Fitzgerald of the United States District Court for the Central District of California, kicking ass and taking names.
The brave, the stalwart, the wise federal judge Michael W. Fitzgerald of the United States District Court for the Central District of California, kicking ass and taking names.
Note that formerly Ukrainian first amendment maven and all-round mensch Eugene Volokh has already explained this better than we’re ever going to, so you may want to hop over to there for background. TL;DR is that the city of Inglewood sued Inglewood resident Joseph Teixeira in federal court, claiming that Teixeira’s reuse of their city-produced videos of city council meetings to create weaponized mockery of, among others, Inglewood mayor James Butts violated their copyright in said videos.

Well, Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California (that’s federalese for “Los Angeles”) not only dismissed Inglewood’s case, he terminated it with extreme prejudice. You can read the order here if you wish, and it’s smoking hot. The salient bit for this blog is, according to Volokh, that:

The court held that, under California law (see, e.g., County of Santa Clara v. Superior Court (Cal. Ct. App. 2009)), cities can’t claim copyright in public records. And while the city claims that this provision is trumped by federal copyright law, the court rejected that argument — federal law treats local governments as political subdivisions of the state, and a state has the power to control what its subdivisions do (including which federal rights they claim).

Now, I can hear you all murmuring and wondering out there in internetlandia, saying “sure, Kohlhaas, we hear you, but what does this got to do with the BIDs??!” Well, friends, we’re glad you asked!
Continue reading Federal Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California Shows Up BIDs for the Mewling and Puking Liars they Are

The School on 103rd Street

The School on 103rd Street by Roland S. Jefferson is a fine political conspiracy novel as well as a stunning roman des riverains about early 1970s Los Angeles
The School on 103rd Street by Roland S. Jefferson is a fine political conspiracy novel as well as a stunning roman des riverains1 planted firmly in early 1970s Black Los Angeles
Today’s book is The School on 103rd Street, by Los Angeles author and psychiatrist Roland S. Jefferson. It seems reasonable to review it here for two reasons. First because it so vividly evokes the peculiar time and place of early 1970s Los Angeles, a spatiotemporal locality that’s dear to my heart and second because its subject matter, racial politics in Los Angeles (including a vast conspiracy the nature of which I can’t really reveal without spoiling the plot, which is something I’m not willing to do) aligns closely with the focus of this blog.

I’ll move on to the serious matters below, but first, check this description of protagonists Elwin Carter and Sable having an evening out in 1973:

The Cyrano building at 13578 Mindanao Way under construction in 1967.
They had dinner at Cyrano’s in Marina Del Rey and then went to the Name of the Game on Century Boulevard for some dancing. At midnight they went down to the Lighthouse to hear Gabor Zabo, and, on the way home, they dropped by Shelly’s Mann Hole and caught the last set by Gerald Wilson. Carter had taken the Ferrari, and, although Sable offered no resistance, she didn’t encourage him. From Shelly’s they headed down Highland toward Wilshire…3

Now, I don’t just read novels for Los Angeles geography porn, but I’m always happy to find it, especially when it has restaurants! Cyrano was a “fine dining” or “continental” sort of place, opened early on in Marina Del Rey. Given the character of the Marina in 1973, at the time Elwin and Sable had dinner there the joint was probably full of cocaine, swinging-in-the-worst-sense, disgusting 1970s facial hair, and gelatinous sleaze coating every surface.

Advertisement from the Los Angeles Times, December 14, 1969, announcing the grand opening of Cyrano.
Advertisement from the Los Angeles Times, December 14, 1969, announcing the grand opening of Cyrano.

The Name of the Game was a dance place in Inglewood at Century and Crenshaw. Here’s how the Los Angeles Sentinel described it on September 2, 1971:

It’s called The Name of The Game, and to many, many persons it’s the name of the place they find attractive and a lively cynosure for a truly good evening of pleasure. Located at 3000 W. Century boulevard, it has music by Dave Holden, and dancing space for frisky feet or those who just love to move and groove. There’s no cover charge, either. The Name of the Game also affords daily luncheon specials, and daily half-price cocktails. So what could be better for the jaded tastes than a visit to The Name of the Game?
4

Unfortunately I can’t find a picture of the place. Note also that there was a sensational killing there in 1973. I don’t have space to go into it, but it was well covered in the Sentinel, starting here.11

Next they head off to the Lighthouse, a famous and still-active jazz club in Hermosa Beach which I’d discuss more if I gave even a fraction of a shit about either jazz or Hermosa Beach. Finally, “on the way home,” they head to Shelley’s Manne Hole which, coincidentally, played an important role in my last recommendation, so I won’t belabor it here. However, these two live in Baldwin Hills, meaning that the Manne Hole, at 1608 N. Cahuenga Blvd., is in no sense but the sense that this night should never end on the way home from Hermosa Beach. Ah, youth!

Now, despite my breathless temporogeographical musings, this novel is much more than a travelogue. It’s an immensely important document about the state of racial politics in Los Angeles eight years after the Watts Rebellion, with more than a little relevance for the present day (as well as being a bitchin’ thriller). Read on for details!
Continue reading The School on 103rd Street

Yet Another Reason Kerry Morrison’s So Ooshly-Gooshly about the Commish, Bill Bratton

If only we were as clever as Randall Munroe we'd-a put something funny here...
Bill Bratton, AKA “the Commish,” seated with unindicted and evidently unhappy co-conspirator and co-author Zach Tumin in 2012, about 8 months before the world didn’t end that December
Long-time readers of this blog will be familiar with the HPOA’s crazed vendetta against street characters and, by extension, the very foundations of American government. If they could destroy the former by destroying the latter we have no doubt that they’d not only do it, they’d also destroy the latter just on the off chance it’d give the former a bad day. We’ve published evidence for this, but anyone who listens to any of their blather for any amount of time will hear their rage expressed in quite certain terms.
Imagine what would happen if lady street characters on Hollywood Boulevard started walking around naked like they do in Manhattan.  Heads wouldn't just roll, they'd explode.  What we need is a little free-the-nipple in Hollywood like they got at Venice Beach
Imagine what would happen if lady street characters on Hollywood Boulevard started walking around naked like they do in Manhattan. Heads wouldn’t just roll, they’d explode. What we need is a little free-the-nipple in Hollywood like they got at Venice Beach

And they don’t just conspire with LA locals like the city attorney, their conspiracies reach across the very continent to Manhattan, because that’s how bad street characters are, friends, they’re a transcontinental destructive force. Anyway, BID buddy Bill Bratton, affectionately known to Kerry Morrison and zillions of other fans as “the Commish,” is all in a lather over the desnudas of Times Square, who are evidently topless women in body paint (NSFW) who pose for tips with tourists. He’s frothing at the mouth. He was actually quoted in the frickin’ New York Times begging, nay, pleading for a chance to violate his oath of office:
Continue reading Yet Another Reason Kerry Morrison’s So Ooshly-Gooshly about the Commish, Bill Bratton

Why We Think it is Fitting to Compare BIDs to Nazis

An essential book for understanding what it felt like to be a Nazi before everyone hated the Nazis.  Click on image for detailed information.
An essential book for understanding what it felt like to be a Nazi before everyone hated the Nazis. Click on image for detailed information.
This blog has two essential purposes: first, to publish public records obtained from the three Hollywood area BIDs we cover and their collaborators and second, to needle employees and supporters of those BIDs. Neither educating nor convincing anyone of anything are huge priorities of ours, and even the public revelation of our two purposes cuts against the grain somewhat. However, it’s recently come to our attention that some of our readers who, so to speak, come upon our work innocently, not involved with the BIDs but just having a general interest in the political life of Los Angeles, may consider our constant comparisons of BIDs with Nazis to be glib, puerile, shallow, offensive, trivializing, and/or so on. Some of the objections expressed have come to seem, after much consideration, to have merit and to deserve a serious response.
The Olympic Games were held in Berlin in 1936, three years after the Nazis came to power.  Adolf Hitler, still seen by the world as a plausible member of the international community, led the opening ceremony.
The Olympic Games were held in Berlin in 1936, three years after the Nazis came to power (and, coincidentally, four years after they were held in Los Angeles for the first time). Adolf Hitler, still seen by the world as a plausible member of the international community, led the opening ceremony.

To understand our position, it’s essential to imagine what it felt like to inhabit the Third Reich as a non-Jew in the early 1930s, before Nazism was a universal symbol of pure and essential evil. Germany wasn’t yet an international outcast, and non-Jewish Germans, for the most part, didn’t feel like a nation of demons. In many ways they were not. Concentration camps, now considered primarily sites of genocide, were opened by the Nazis in March 1933 immediately after their accession to power. At first they were used for holding political prisoners and criminals and people were actually released from them on occasion. There’s also no particular reason to think that the Nazi government had any concrete plans to exterminate Jews from the earth when they took power in 1933.
Continue reading Why We Think it is Fitting to Compare BIDs to Nazis

John Tronson in Van Nuys: Money doesn’t talk, it swears1

John Tronson at the Joint Security Committee meeting on April 9, 2015, giving a performative demonstration via mouth-closure that he’s not, at the moment the picture was taken, lying.
The city of Los Angeles has been holding public hearings to gather input on possible frameworks for legalizing street vending. Yesterday we began discussing the June 11 meeting in Van Nuys by considering Kerry Morrison’s statement. Today we move on to John Tronson. You can listen to his statement here or after the break, where a transcription is also available. Audio of the entire meeting is available here. We’re just going to look at John’s statement one piece at a time.

Good evening. My name is John Tronson. I’m a member of the Hollywood Entertainment District, which is a property-owner based business improvement district in Hollywood.

All these people start off by saying something true. It’s meant to lull your suspicions. Don’t let it.

Some people think that because they pay taxes with their own money, the taxes they pay are still their own money after they’re paid. If they start taking this idea too seriously they’re likely to wake up one morning to find a bunch of people wearing this badge while knocking down their door with a battering ram.

We spend three and a half million dollars a year of our own money to clean the streets of Hollywood, to trim the trees, to provide additional public safety and paint out graffiti.

The way a property-based BID works is this: If the majority of the property owners in a district agree, the city adds an extra assessment to their property tax, keeps some part of the money raised for administrative overhead, and distributes the rest back to the BID to spend on specific kinds of services in the district. There are two important points to remember. First, a BID can be established over the objection of individual property owners. Only a majority need approve. Second, once a BID is established, the assessment is no longer voluntary. It is compulsory. Non-payment is punishable by the full range of state action2 up to and including violent confiscation of property. In other words, this assessment, once paid, is a tax. After all, income tax might be considered voluntary in this same sense. The Sixteenth Amendment to the Constitution was put in place by elected representatives, so in a way, the people to be taxed consented to the taxation. But now that it’s in place, income tax is no longer voluntary, just as BID assessments are no longer voluntary. This is consistent with the standard definition:

Al Capone, yet another guy who confused "taxes" with "his own money" and had to have the distinction explained to him in a fairly forceful manner.
Al Capone, yet another guy who confused “taxes” with “his own money” and had to have the distinction explained to him in a fairly forceful manner.

Tax: A compulsory contribution to the support of government, levied on persons, property, income, commodities, transactions, etc., now at fixed rates, mostly proportional to the amount on which the contribution is levied.3

Now, everyone who pays taxes has, at one point or another, thought of that money as still their own. But really, it’s not. Try telling a cop not to give you a ticket because you pay their salary with your “own money.” Try telling a professor at UCLA they have to give your kid an A+ because it’s your “own money” that supports them. It’s a losing argument. Taxes, once paid, belong to the public, not to the people who paid them. BID assessments are taxes. BID assessments are public money. Now, as to John’s statement about what they do with that public money, it’s true as far as it goes. That’s not all they spend the money on, but they do spend it on that. We won’t argue. Onward!
Continue reading John Tronson in Van Nuys: Money doesn’t talk, it swears1

Kerry Morrison in Van Nuys: Where the home in the valley meets the damp dirty prison / Where the executioner’s face is always well hidden1

Tailgunner Kerry Morrison giving a performative demonstration of effective methods for keeping public meetings respectful, civil, and orderly.
As you probably know, the city of Los Angeles has been holding public hearings to gather input on possible frameworks for legalizing street vending. We’ve written before about the May 28 meeting in Boyle heights: once, twice, and thrice. Now, at last, we take up the June 11 meeting in Van Nuys. We’re starting things off with our old friend, Ms. Kerry Morrison. You can listen to her statement here or read a transcription after the break. We’ve also written about Kerry’s description of the meetings at the Joint Security Committee in July:

there were a series of four hearings that the chief administrative office staff held on the… the sidewalk vending ordinance. … It’s just this kind of amorphous set of hearings, which were completely dysfunctional, disrespectful, and almost, um, resembled a circus.

In the same meeting, Kerry explained that she wasn’t putting up with this, not for a second, and told everyone what she’d done about it:

So actually, Carol Schatz and I wrote a letter to Herb Wesson, the president of the city council after that meeting saying this is, this is really not being, you know, well-handled, there’s no security, it’s intimidating to people, there are people who did not want to testify. So the subsequent two hearings were, um, maybe a little bit more well-behaved.

As Ronald Reagan said in 1970, "If it takes a bloodbath to silence the demonstrators let's get it over with."   The lyrics are cruder than Kerry Morrison's,  but the tune's the same.1
As Ronald Reagan said in 1970, “If it takes a bloodbath to silence the demonstrators let’s get it over with.”
The lyrics are cruder than Kerry Morrison’s, but the tune’s the same.2

Well, we put our fearless correspondent on the case and he went out and got us a copy of this letter. As is usual with Kerry when she’s writing in this genre, outraged-with-veneer-of-politesse-and-diplomacy white supremacism, the letter manages to combine utterly competent, even stylish, syntax with semantics that wouldn’t have been out of place in a 1970-era Ronald Reagan psychotic fever dream about students running wild in the streets of Berkeley. Read on for details and more!
Continue reading Kerry Morrison in Van Nuys: Where the home in the valley meets the damp dirty prison / Where the executioner’s face is always well hidden1

Off the Emery Wheel

off.the.emery.wheel.1The other day I got the urge to read a little more about Thurgood Marshall. The Los Angeles Public Library’s catalog led me to a book by badass civil rights lawyer Jack Greenberg (read it, it’s fabulous: Crusaders in the Courts, although it’s not the book I’m recommending). That led me to look for other books by Greenberg, and thus appeared before me a book called Off the Emery Wheel which, as you can see, was published in 1935 by an outfit in Hollywood called the Cloister Press. Clearly this was a different Jack Greenberg, but nevertheless I thought it’d be interesting to take a look.
off.the.emery.wheel.4
The LAPL’s only copy is noncirculating, and, while a trip to the big library downtown is always nice even though it’s not plausible anymore to combine it with a visit to Grand Central Market since the goddamned-hipster-douchebag apocalypse and its associated fourteen dollar “revisionings” of the Egg McMuffin and suchlike nonsense, I didn’t really have time. However, I’ve been spending a lot of time in the stacks at UCLA, working on a historical project which you’ll read about here at some point, I’m sure (and which is at least somewhat related to the Hollywood BIDs, unlike this piece) so I thought I’d check their catalog. Well, Lo! And behold, they own a copy, which I promptly ordered up out of storage.
off.the.emery.wheel.2
And what a pleasant little volume to hold this turned out to be!

Inscription in UCLA's copy of Off the Emery Wheel
Inscription in UCLA’s copy of Off the Emery Wheel
I mean, the poetry is abominable (which is why I’m not reproducing any here), but the book itself is an object of desire. And it’s inscribed by the author as well! And note the tidy little logo of the Cloister Press! A little more poking around and I was blessed to lay my hands on a promotional bookmark from the press, which shows that it was formerly located at 1608 Cahuenga Boulevard.
The Manne-Hole at 1608 Cahuenga Boulevard as it looked in its prime
I already knew about some of the storied history of this building, formerly home to Shelly Manne‘s Manne-hole, the subject of a sidewalk historical marker, but not that there’d been an artsy literary press in there.
Continue reading Off the Emery Wheel