Two days before the impending move and Lavon Johnson had yet to pack.
But the Iraq war veteran didn’t seem too worried as he sat at the piano he’d rescued from the trash two blocks away. He began to play Beethoven’s “Für Elise” along San Vicente Boulevard near Brentwood. His American flag — held up on one side by a hanger attached to his tent — waved in the breeze.
Johnson planned to be the last one out of the Veterans Row encampment, where he has lived for about a year. His way of ensuring that the nearly two dozen unhoused veterans remaining made it out safe before a scheduled cleanup on Monday.
“It never takes me long to get ready,” the 35-year-old said with a quick smile.
The encampment, adjacent to the historic Veterans Affairs campus in West Los Angeles, has become a focal point for homelessness in the city, with mayoral candidates making visits regularly over the last year. The last census of homeless people in Los Angeles County found roughly 3,900 homeless veterans among the county’s total of 66,000 people without housing.
Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough, who visited the encampment in October, said last week that the about 40 veterans from Veterans Row would be housed by November.
Wait, wait, Barack Obama promised, in 2010 to end veterans homelessness by 2016. Surely, he kept his promises. Don't forget, this is the man who closed Guantanamo Bay.
He didn't do that either.
(And for more on how the US tortures, see Barry Grey's WSWS report.)
He didn't do much of anything but, damn, didn't he get rich?
Jimmy Carter was president. He worked with Habitat for Humanity in providing homes.
Barack left the White House in January of 2017. And?
He signed a multi-million dollar book deal. He has no experience in entertainment but, hell, NETFLIX is wasting millions on him.
All that money coming in. Greed, greed, greedy.
I'm not a Jimmy Carter groupie. But Jimmy used his post-presidency years to do something for people. Barack is just using them to get richer and richer. Greedy little bitch, isn't he?
Doesn't he owe to the veterans to keep his promise?
Why the hell is he not working on providing affordable homes for veterans.
He took a lot of bows and got a lot of praise for pretending to care about veterans and for promising (again, 2010) that he would end veterans homelessness by 2016. He didn't. And now it's 2021 and the homelessness continues.
He needs to keep his promise. It's very telling that I have to say that here because a weak and insipid corporate media won't say it themselves. It's very telling.
All those millions. Supposedly, 70 million.
For doing nothing. He's a lazy little bitch, let's be honest. He 'worked' with a ghost writer for the autobiography (as he had for the previous books). And he's got no idea what he's doing with the NETFLIX deal. But he's whoring out the office of president -- doing his version of half-and-halfs and hand jobs and whatever else you'll pay for.
And his greed knows no bounds. And veterans remain homeless.
We shouldn't have anyone homeless in the US. Veteran, non-veteran, we shouldn't have any homeless. But Barack's promise was to the veterans.
Empty words. That's all it was, that's all it ever was.
And America fell for it. Yeah, some of you woke up near the end. But you fell for it none-the-less.
I had so much more respect for Juan Gonzalez when he called out candidate Barack for his Barack-aloney. Then, of course, Juan fell in line. That was so disappointing. And it was disappointing watching so many lie and whore and excuse. It was disappointing that Vincent Warren thought, as the head of the Center for Constitutional Law, that he could have a visit to the Oval Office that was hidden and off the record. So much for openess. So much for sunlight.
And CCR refused to hold Barack accountable. Who knows what Barack and Vinnie discussed? We don't know, do we? That is the point. A whole hell of a lot of whoring went down. We used to promote CCR all the time. Then came Vinnie. Now I only note it if a friend with CCR asks. And I have no respect for Vinnie and feel the smartest thing the organization could do would be to ditch him as executive-director.
If you whored for Barack, I don't trust you. We need Truth and Reconciliation in the US. The Norman Solomons thinks they can just pretend like we don't remember their lying and whoring. Lying. And whoring. No, it's not that easy. You need to own what you did.
It resulted in real damage and it resulted in a lack of accountability.
That is why veterans are homeless. You coddled the person who was the President of the United States and he got to make promises and lie through his teeth. And the world ended up a lot worse and, as Jimmy Dore and many others note, Barack paved the way for Donald Trump. I'd expand on that, I'd say it was Barack and the Cult of St, Barack.
I'll believe in accountability among the press when someone in charge of a weekly newsmagazine isn't on the phone with me, as happened tonight, whining about the homeless veterans and when I bring up Barack's promise, still insisting that Barack can't be called out.
What a load of s**t.
If you doubt it, grasp that Margaret Kimberley's basically alone in calling out Barack's proposed presidential library:
The soon to be constructed Barack Obama Presidential Center poses a great danger to the surrounding Black neighborhoods on the South Shore of Chicago. In fact, thanks to this $500 million, 19-acre homage to the 44th president, there may not be any Black people living there much longer.
Families are already facing rent increases and homes that were once moderately priced are now unaffordable to Black working people. These market manipulations are integral to the gentrification model of urban development. The end result is always a displaced and dispersed Black population.
This crisis is but the latest Obama slap in the face to the people who loved him the most. His 2008 presidential campaign stump speeches were replete with the worst stereotypes about Black men. Who can forget his not very funny jokes about the imagined Cousin Pookie who wouldn’t get off the couch to vote. Obama avoided any mentions of Black people and their unique status with canned lines about rising tides lifting all the boats.
Of course the intent was to disappear Black people as a group and therefore make himself more palatable to white people. In his maiden speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention he declared, “There is no white America. There is no Black America.” He showed his hand early on and no one should have been surprised when he disappeared the needs of the Democratic Party’s most reliable voting block in order to gain political advantage.
Construction of the enormous facility will not be the first time that Black people lost homes and money because of Obama. The Peoples Policy Project reported how federal inaction during the housing bubble collapse was especially damaging to this group. The Obama administration did not take the steps necessary to end foreclosures, in fact his Home Affordable Mortgage Program (HAMP) accelerated foreclosures by aiding the banks more than homeowners. The crooks who enabled the crash got away and struggling workers got the shaft.
He's raised $500 million to build a monument to his own ego but he's done nothing to keep his promise to veterans. How very telling.
And how very telling that the bulk of the media will continue to look the other way.
In Iraq, the election count is still not final. October 10th, they held an election. Still waiting on the official and final results. All this time later. US press still can't find Nouri al-Maliki.
Yet KURDISTAN 24 reports:
The US press has its head buried in the sand and don't have a clue what's going on.
The following sites updated: