A little more information

The two main activities in my life: Helping the hungry in the late hours of the night and helping guitar players sound better one amp at a time.

I always try to remember that in order to do good one has to take action and actually do something.

I was born and raised in Los Angeles. I have watched the city and Southern California change for well over half a century.

I can be found on facebook at www.facebook.com/mylesr or on twitter at www.twitter.com/myles111us or on my own Guitar Amplifier Blueprinting website at www.mylesrose.com

Los Angeles Architectural History

Los Angeles Architectural History
1935 Art Deco at some of its finest: No. 168 - Griffith Observatory- (click on the photo for information)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Burbank Water and Power - Fail?



December 28 2011 I received my utility bill from Burbank Water and Power.

I was somewhat shocked that nobody had called me or visited me from BWP earlier in the month.  I would have thought that with the hourly metering they have in their system it would have triggered some sort of alarm.

Clearly there must be a geyser at my house or some sort of major event where water would be noticed flowing down the street in a river.

My average yearly consumption went from 45 gallons per day to over 545 gallons per day.  My usage for the year went from 1,466 gallons to 18,011 gallons.

I called them.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Dinner and a show - typical Friday night?



I copied this review from Yelp.  I wanted to post links in the review but felt the Yelp folks might not approve of links.  The band was terrific and I talked to a lot of technical people and guitarists through the evening about guitar amplifiers so I felt providing links was anything other than contra-indicated.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Yahoo Customer Service



I have noticed that Yahoo has had more problems in the last six months that all the problems I have had with them over ten years.  Their service used to be top notch.  Not so anymore. 

I am currently having an issue with them which I will be tracking.

More below.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Aspen Pittman / Groove Tubes - The Legacy Continues

How many times has somebody said to you, "just let it go?"  How many times have you heard the saying that goes something like, evil can only succeed when good men do nothing?

I don't hold onto things. It is more that I take action when I am reminded of certain things which brought to my attention.  Sometimes past subjects are brought back to my attention.

I find it impossible to turn away from certain parts of what I see in my own life.  The homeless.  People taking advantage of others.  Bullies.  Hurt animals in the street.  People who cheat hard working musicians out of their money.  People taking the credit for the work of others.  I am sure you get the picture.



A great amp tech and guitar player is in this shot.  He was one of many folks taken advantage of by the man in the self portrait above who is Aspen Pittman.

More below...

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011 at Union Rescue Mission




The photos in this album were taken on November 19, 2011 at Union Rescue Mission in Downtown Los Angeles. This was the 120th Thanksgiving event by Union Rescue Mission.

Hundreds of volunteers served in excess of 3,000 meals.  It took a lot of help to feed thousands on this special day.  Many of my friends helped directly and I mentioned all of you that I knew about on my blog post which has been active since 2010 at http://la-economy.blogspot.com/2010/11/help-me-provide-thanksgiving-meals-at.htmlOnce again, thank you all very much.

The even was more than just a great meal. There were hot showers, free hygiene supplies, fresh socks, live entertainment and more.

More below.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A few hours at 65 Amps


These photos are the raw files.  No cropping, enhancing, editing etc.  Typically I at least tend to look over the shots and perhaps crop a bit or color correct.  Not so this time as I used a small camera rather than my cellphone camera.

More below...

Monday, October 31, 2011

Occupy L.A.

* Other than this shot

These photos and videos are the raw files.  No cropping, enhancing, editing etc*.  Typically I at least tend to look over the shots and perhaps crop a bit or color correct.  Not so this time as I used a small camera rather than my cellphone camera.

More below...

Thursday, October 27, 2011

One diverse week in October 2011 in pictures

One week this month.  Diverse to say the least.  I had friends in from out of town.  Ludo Pierson from http://www.pierson-amps.com/ stayed over for a few days and made some of his killer steak tartare.  There was cheese, wine and some pretty darn diverse things going on all week.

Mostly my cell shots but there were a few from somebody that knew what they were doing with a camera, and in the kitchen.  Slideshow below of some parts of the week.

Dan Boul over at http://www.65amps.com/ on his weekly noon webcast.  This week was The Producer, the newest model from the folks at 65 Amps.  Rather than explain this new model take a look at the videos as Dan records each webcast (Wednesdays at noon PST generally).  Ignore the 1-26-2011 date on the most recent video as it looks as if the "0" got dropped from 10-26-2011. 

Below:  Some more of the week in a slideshow



Tuesday, October 25, 2011

And the stupidity continues



In middle September of this year I wrote a piece on the Tea Party debates held in Florida.  It was a pathetic showing on the part of most of the participants.  If this is the best America has to offer you might as well trade in your coins of gold for bullets of lead as the revolution is coming.


After seeing the story below I felt that a post that will follow some of the headlines which lead up to the next election was indicated.  The Rick Perry piece below is the first of what may be many as this post is updated in the future.

More below.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Streets of Los Angeles


IMG_1076a, originally uploaded by myles111us.

Two years ago. September 2009.

Things have not gotten any better and in fact the number of homeless seeking help at http://www.urm.org/ increased 50% in the last year alone. The donations to Union Rescue Mission have decreased 50% over the last year.

Consider giving the folks at URM a hand. Follow the link - http://www.urm.org/ where you can help.

Union Rescue Mission in Los Angeles is the largest in Los Angeles. Los Angeles has the highest homeless population in the nation.


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Entertainment for the troops


96, originally uploaded by myles111us.

Unlike the movie Apocalypse Now, some of us did not have helicopters land at our base which had Playboy Playmates jump out and dance around on a huge stage.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Downtown Los Angeles - a few hours in photos

Today I spent the afternoon downtown.  As I typically do, I took a few photos with my cellphone.

One reason I was in the area of skid row on this particular day and time was  to count people. Not for some survey or study.  I count people so I can try to wrap my head around what this economy is doing to so many people in our nation.  If the government tells you things are getting better they are not telling the truth, by an even wider margin than one can begin to imagine.

This was the first Friday of a new calendar quarter. I count the people in the same area on the same day (as long as it is not raining which can impact the count) in the same afternoon to early evening time frame.

In 2010 for the last quarter start there were 216 people. In 2011 there were 491. Things are not getting better.

More families, children, young people than ever before.

If you wish to help, and you CAN help in many ways, please go to www.urm.org for more information.



More photos if you select the "read more" link

Monday, October 3, 2011

7th Annual L.A. Ampshow

Mike Franceschini - Tone Wizzard

On October 1st and 2nd the seventh annual Los Angeles Ampshow was held in Van Nuys.  There are details on past shows at www.ampshow.com for folks that want to learn more about the history of the show.

There is a small slide show below of many aspects of the show from my own perspective.  Some camera shots, some cell shots and in every case all snapshots with my typical style that incorporates lack of regard to composition or exposure.  Just get the shot and move on.

There are many photos and the collection of shots will be growing over the week starting 10/3 as more shots are uploaded.



Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The latest customer service failure - Metro L.A?

I have a disabled TAP card on the Los Angeles Metro system.  My third card expired on 8/31/2011.  On 8/4/2011 I went directly to the Los Angeles Metro headquarters in downtown Los Angeles to renew my card.

I kept waiting for my card to arrive.  As of yesterday it had still not arrived.

I went on to the L.A. Metro website and followed directions for help.  As a side note, they had an option for online chat help but it was down.  This should have been my first tip off.

I wrote up my issue on their web form and was contacted by customer relations.


The following dialog has made me feel as if Los Angeles Metro is now giving ATT a run for the money?  Perhaps they are going to drag customer service down to a low level?

Calling all food trucks

This piece started as a call to Los Angeles food trucks to stop by the L.A. Ampshow the weekend of 10/1 - 10/2.  Since I have some of my own favorite food trucks I thought I'd turn this piece into an ongoing post and list some of my personal favorite trucks.




This weekend is the 7th Annual Los Angeles Ampshow.  It has been held in the same location since the first show seven years ago.

There are not a lot of options for food other than the hotel.  The food there is nice but after many years folks are looking for a few more options.

I am posting this blog so I can send the link to some of my food truck favorite folks in the hope they will come to the show.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Republican Tea Party Debate

Last night I recorded the debate.  I have reviewed the debate.  I will now boil it down for folks using my political expertise and keen powers of observation and insight.


The woman on the left did not answer a single question.  All she would do is go on and on and on about a vaccine that she said was forced onto 12 year old girls.

Click on 'read more' to read more

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Piles of money - heaps of need


This is one of my shots that I have in my collection which I took downtown in Los Angeles.  This is the Gas Company Building. 

This is the area of Los Angeles where there is so much financial wealth in the companies, buildings and many of the individuals in the buildings mere minutes away from areas with the highest number of highest need individuals in any single city in the United States of America.

The Southern California Gas Company provides good service from my own experience.  They make a lot of money but in my mind it might not be out of line as some banks and other corporations.

Everytime I look at this building my eyes move to the top of the building which reminds me of a classic hull form or wing cross section.  If it were a boat the points are east and west in direction.

If one stands on 5th Street in Downtown Los Angeles and follows the direction of the right point in this photo as a reference you will be walking east.

Walk for about ten minutes.  It is an easy walk.  It is even slightly down hill.

Glance back over your shoulder at the building as you walk.  The taller building you see next to this one?  That is the U.S. Bank Building.  Those folks have a lot of money as well, perhaps even more than the Gas Company.

As you walk do you notice a change?  Look at the cars, the people, the buildings.  You are walking from one of the most wealthy areas in Los Angeles to one of the most poor areas of Los Angeles, Skid Row.

In ten minutes the landscape will change and the mood will change. 

A minute can make a difference.  In celestial navigation being off one minute in your calculations will put you off your destination by one mile at the equator.  In a fraction of a minute a tragic accident can occur ... or be avoided.  In less than a minute a life can change.

In less than a minute to can feed a family of five people by helping the folks at Union Rescue Mission where $10 will feed five people.  It takes seconds to donate from your cell phone.  To donate $10 to Union Rescue Mission, text the letters URM to 85944. You will receive a confirmation text message. Reply with the word YES to complete the transaction.

If you want to learn more about Union Rescue Mission, the largest establishment helping the homeless in Los Angeles, which is the city with the largest homeless population in the nation you can read more at http://www.urm.org/ and learn many other ways you can help and learn other methods in which to donate.



Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Tea Party Experiment



I thought I would combine two of my activities into a little study.  Maybe I would learn something substantial or maybe the results or data would not tell me much in a scientific way.  Either way I would probably learn something.

I have written about my thoughts toward our ineffective government.  I have written about the homeless situation.

I had been taking notice of how vocal members of the Tea Party seemed to be.   Was this true compassion for the people of our nation or was this just talk?  Perhaps little more than climbing on a band wagon of some sort?  Perhaps a desire to be a part of something ... anything?

I decided to reach out to a number of them directly.  I would use twitter and look at #teaparty and #tcot.

I asked each of them to take a few moments and help the homeless in our country.  They could pass along the word, pass along a link, feed five folks for $10 via a quick cell phone text or go to places like http://www.urm.org/ where they could learn more or help in many ways.

I have not seen a single re-tweet.  I have not seen a single mention.  I have not had a single reply. 

Perhaps as time passes this will change.

 I can only look at this in one way.  Not a single #teaparty member that I contacted lifted a finger to help the homeless.  Ineffective?  Only tuned into their own agenda whatever that might be?  Perhaps I am drawing an improper conclusion?

I will let others draw their own conclusion but I will continue to send out requests for help to these folks and continue my study.  If there is anything to report or mention I will update this post.

If you are one of the people who have received a post from me on twitter which sent you to this link and if you have helped in some way, please let me know.  I would love to post your twitter ID here or website, name, or whatever you wish.  Prove me wrong.  You can pass the URM link, donate to URM via the above link or the homeless shelter in your own area or if you are in a real hurry but wish to help you can do this: 

To donate $10 to Union Rescue Mission, text the letters URM to 85944. You will receive a confirmation text message. Reply with the word YES to complete the transaction.  Takes less than 30 seconds and will feed a family of five.  Feel free to leave a comment on this post telling me I was wrong .... at least in your case.

To be fair it has only been a few days since I reached out to Tea Party folks.  Perhaps I will have to eat my words as they prove me wrong.  I would not mind at all if I had to eat my words as that would mean that some homeless people would also have something to eat as well, perhaps even have a place to sleep for a few nights rather than on the street.

Side note?  When I sent the same request to Democrats and Republicans there were responses, re-tweets, mentions, questions, donations, friend contact adds and information was passed along.

Thanks to the folks below that are proving me wrong by passing the word.  Hopefully the list will continue to grow.

8/10/11

@hughhewitt - thank you for the RT.  You are the first,  @Jackson902, @marinemajor, @mahilena, @foundersweb, @dansden, @TheRiverWanders, @seriousfun830

8/18/11

@GrowlGirl

Sunday, August 7, 2011

S&P Downgrade?



Finally some slight credibility from somebody in our country.  S&P steps up to the plate and states in their own way that the Emperor has no clothes.

Last night on the news there were stories of argument and blame in Washington that ranged from who is at fault to stories faulting the S&P for not using accurate figures when they made their call.

I said slight credibility above because I feel the downgrade from AAA to AA+ was a step in an accurate direction but not accurate.  This nation deserves a much lower credit rating.  The reason we should have any credit rating at all would be based on goods already in inventories and the spirit of the American people, NOT on the leadership, performance or action in Washington in America.

For those who want to argue the point let me ask you this.  If you were looking at a business or corporation to invest in yourself would you pick one who had a track record of such bad performance which continues to decline?  A company with a board of directors who put all effort into their personal agenda rather than in the company?  A company where nobody could or would work together in concert for the good of the company?

Next week we will probably hear many stories on why the move by the S&P should be challenged. 

The S&P pointed out that it is dark.  The folks in Washington are now starting to argue how this was calculated based on the time of dawn and dusk.

To you assholes in Washington, open your eyes.  It is dark.  It matters little if the hour is late and the sun went down or if you are stuck in a closet and cannot find the door.  Bottom line, it is dark and the reason does not matter anymore.

8/9/11 update - US Closer to Junk Bond Status Than Triple-A: http://t.co/HrQ6jtg

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Something uplifting for a moment


I thought I'd take a moment and write this quick little blog post with a photo from yesterday from Dr. Tim Wilkin, Michael Burks manager.

Michael Burks (Iron Man) is playing one of his two new Empire amps from the folks over at http://www.65amps.com/

If you don't know who Michael is, check out the Michael Burks website at http://www.michaelburks.com/

Pretty amazing player and pretty amazing fellow.


Michael Burks - fast hands

Monday, August 1, 2011

Invest in Gold?

Personally, I think investing in gold is not the best idea.


I think the price has gone too high due to panic and uncertainty in our government.




Personally, if you want to invest in metal you may want to consider an investment in another heavy metal - lead.

Support Our Troops


Members of Provincial Reconstruction Team Zabul conduct a key leader engagement with village elders in Arghandab, Afghanistan, July 30, 2011. PRT Zabul's mission is to conduct civil-military operations in Zabul Province to extend the reach and legitimacy of the Government of Afghanistan. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Grovert Fuentes-Contreras)

This photo can be looked at in very different ways. If one is in support of America's actions or against our actions.

I strongly support our troops. That does not mean I support our government.  These are two very different things.

I have written more on the subject of our troops and veterans -
http://la-economy.blogspot.com/search/label/military

For me, this photo took me back to my days in the military when young children dressed in local attire, while I was dressed to kill, would look up at you with eyes that questioned why this was happening to them.

I had no answer then and I have no answer now.

The shot above was taken by a cool fellow and friend, Grovert Fuentes-Contreras.  He has taken a lot of terrific shots and I keep an eye out for his work.  Side note .... just because you carry a camera and are in the Air Force it does not keep you out of harm's way.  All it means is that you have one more piece of gear to carry and one more job to do.





The slide show below - from the jungle to the desert over five decades

America - a brief history

Many Americans have lost all faith in our government whether Democrat, Republican, Tea Party, Independent or whatever. 

People such as John Boehner have shown no leadership and there have been many pieces published which point to the facts. 

Some of my own thoughts on the economy can be viewed from the link - http://la-economy.blogspot.com/search/label/economy

The video at the bottom of this piece shows many of the points which are of concern to Americans.  In the end, the video turns out to be a political statement.  I overlooked the political aspect of the video and just let some other aspects of the video stand on their own. 
 




Sunday, July 31, 2011

Friday, July 29, 2011

Last night I slept with a roof over my head


IMG_0678, originally uploaded by myles111us.

Be thankful today if last night you had a roof over your head as you slept.

Check out http://urm.org/ to learn how you can help or if you want to learn more and be informed with real facts.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Shame on our government



Disclaimer:  This piece is intended as satire.  I believe that all human beings have value.  I also believe that our government in Washington is very ineffective and their recent actions in regard to the debt ceiling are petty, childish and irresponsible at best.  If you are a Democrat, Republican, Independent, Tea Party or any form of the current government in Washington all I have to say to most of you is shame on the lot of you.


My intention here is to voice my level of concern in regard to the recent actions of our elected officials.  If I offend anybody in this piece in regard to harvesting them for body parts I apologize.  That is not my intention as those who know me can attest.  I do not apologize for my expression that I feel our government is ineffective, harmful, not to be trusted.  

If anybody has their own thoughts on how to help our government feel free to leave your idea as a comment.  Please feel free to pass this link along to others.

I have an ongoing post at http://la-economy.blogspot.com/2011/05/financial-repression-coming-to-america.html which is continually updated with one news items after another in regard to the worthless job our elected officials in Washington are doing. 

One shot in the dark after another.  One stupid idea after another.

I have suggested a few of my own ideas and some of these are in the post referenced from the above link. 

At one point, The Speaker of The House even referenced my blog piece in his own blog.  Perhaps one man in the street was being listened to?  Seems that was not the case.

Today 7/28/11, there was a news item:   The final kill shot to the trashed housing market? Mortgage tax break eyed to help cut debt - http://t.co/PPVUA4O

I thought, it looks as the folks in Washington are grasping at anything as long as does not raise taxes on record setting profit level corporations or those in the highest tax bracket.  The last part of the American Dream being taken away by those in Washington.  Shame on all of you no matter what your political party.  This country has never been closer to collapse in the entire history of America.  America has also never been closer to revolution in her history.

I realized why some of my ideas were being ignored after looking at their latest thought to attack the problem of the economy from the above story.  It was obvious!

My prior ideas were not thoughtless.  My ideas were not insensitive.  My ideas lacked bad taste and poor judgement. 

My ideas lacked a basic foundation in key elements such as taking away something that people had already paid for such as Social Security or put more Americans in harms way at extreme cost to the American people even though we have the technology to wage war remotely.

My ideas did not have factors that made no sense.  I proposed a higher tax rate on corporations which are posting higher than ever profits as they lay off more workers.

Our government seems to miss the math that less workers mean less money paid into the tax base and fewer jobs equal fewer workers taking home a paycheck.

For my ideas to work I need to follow a few guidelines, very important guidelines.

1.  Lack of thought.
2.  Lack of responsibility.
3.  Lack of common sense.
4.  Need to be insensitive.
5.  Need to be unfair.
6.  Need to single out the wealthy from what is left of the middle class or blue collar work force.
7.  A requirement to make people upset at even the basic concept of the idea.
8.  A need to single out a group of people and target them.
9.  A requirement to be able to state that some issue was solved and be able to come up with statistics as proof.
10.  A simple and basic stupid idea where even the concept of the idea has no redeeming social value.

In short, the idea or concept needed to be stupid enough, offensive enough and thoughtless enough that no matter what the education level, background, position in the community or respect that an individual may have held in the past the basic proposal or thought of the idea alone carried enough negative value that they would be thought of as a fool.  This was the only way I would be able to match the tone level with our current government and communicate with them on their current level. 

After moments of thought I had a plan that would raise revenue, mostly from the wealthy AND solve a social issue.

There have been news stories about the laws in Arizona concerning illegal aliens.  My plan addresses that issue.

Tax the wealthy?  My plan addresses that issue.  The most wealthy can participate in the program and those with less wealth will automatically be excluded from the program.  Before you say that is illegal let me state that I am aware of no law that says that a person in a low income bracket cannot legally purchase a Bentley Turbo R or Ferrari.

Generate revenue?  You bet.

Here is the plan in all it's simplicity.

First we can create more jobs by adding numbers to our internal home defense forces.  They are not paid a salary.  They are commission based and paid on actual head count of people collected.  To use an old phrase from the sixties and my day in the military; body count.

Second, we round up all illegal or undocumented aliens using our new defense force. 

Before anybody goes of the deep end and panics due to worry about housing, feeding and caring for those rounded up let me put your mind at rest.  All detainees will be taken to the geographically closest hospital where they will be given 24 hours to prove they are a U.S. Citizen.  If proof cannot be shown there is no deportation or added expense.  They are terminated within the 24 hour period and all their organs are collected.

Third, the collected organs are put on eBay for sale.  The sale mechanism already exists!  No need for additional government expense or the creation of yet another agency of ineffective and worthless people who collect a salary for accomplishing little more than making the lives of millions worse each day. 

If you need a kidney you can have a kidney.... if you have the dollars.  Money would flow in from all over the globe!  We could get money back into the USA that went to China.  People that live in countries where jobs were lost to outsourcing would be a new revenue stream as well. 

OK.  It seems as if I covered all the aspects of stupidity while being insensitive at the same time. 

I was offensive as well yet address a number of problems while focusing on the wealthy to raise the money and dividing the wealthy from the remainder of the population. 

To our government, all parties.  You are an embarrassment for most Americans.  You act like school children as you argue and posture while you come up with one stupid idea after another. 

It matters little at this time whether our current President was handed a problem that took decades to develop.  It matters little at this time that previous administrations raised the debt ceiling multiple times during their administration.  It does matter to me that some people in our government are avoiding these facts to push their own agenda in spite of further damage to the economy.

To our government:  The American People are disgusted with the lot of you.

By the way, if you do go along with my idea I propose that before the illegal aliens are taken we first move upon our nation's Capitol and start the collection right there.

Joe Lieberman Says U.S. Should Cut Social Security To Pay For Fighting ‘The Islamist Extremists’ http://t.co/ftV8omo - move Lieberman to the front of the list for deportation from America.  I paid into Social Security based on promises our government made over my entire working career.



9/23/11 Update - seems as if they are at it again - Senate rejects House funding bill; shutdown looms http://t.co/1Xylav34



Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Photographs or Original Art?

What do you have hung on your walls at home?

Do you prefer photographs, original art, bare walls or?

We have all heard phrases such as "you are what you eat", "dress for success" and many similar phrases.  Some say some of us are defined by the car we drive.

What can be learned by what we hang on our walls?



There are some surprising pieces of information that can be discovered by observing what somebody wears, what they eat, what they drive or what they hang on their walls.  Especially if one reads between the lines.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Helping the Homeless on Twitter

I would just like to take a moment to thank the folks below.  There are many more that I cannot begin to count to list or mention for their support in helping the homeless, thank you.

There is no quick fix.  We can continue to pass the word with facts rather than just try to present the problem in a flattering light or hide the issue with smoke and mirrors.  http://vimeo.com/25203421 

These are some of the people who have passed along some of my more recent writing commentary on the subject of the homeless.

Some of the various pieces I have written on the homeless can be viewed from following this link:
http://la-economy.blogspot.com/search/label/homeless

I will be adding to this list and from time to time have links to stories that one can pass along via social media tools.

Ex-Homeless Speak Out To Change Perceptions - http://t.co/wDJ0D4s



Please click on "read more" to continue....

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The real deal directly from Andy Bales



This blog piece will be an ongoing and continually updated post.  Much of the content of this piece will come directly from Rev. Andy Bales, the CEO of Union Rescue Mission ( http://www.urm.org/ )  which is the largest mission in the United States.  At times there may be posts to news items which spotlight Rev. Andy Bales.

Andy Bales has his own official blog which can be found in one area of the URM website.  His blog link is http://www.urmblog.org/category/rev-andys-blog/  My blog here will be a bit less official, something that may point to some areas on a different level than Andy's blog.

I will start out by saying that Andy Bales just might be the most impressive human being I have ever met.  I will just leave it at that.  If you want to know more about the man ask around, look on the URM website, look him up on google, find him on countless news stories or look on many of my other blog pieces.

Los Angeles has the highest homeless population in the United States.

Please click on "read more" for the latest.

Los Angeles Times - shame on you?


Shame on you Los Angeles Times newspaper.

On July 14, 2011 you published a story Homeless rate drops 9% in L.A., 3% in L.A. County

I am shocked at the obvious lack of fact checking.  Forget real journalism fact checking, your offices are less than a five minute walk from the heart of skid row.  Did you even look out a window? 
 
Nobody at the Los Angeles Times found this story full of nonsense and fabrication devoid of fact? 
 
You people are not blind.  What do you see each day when you go to lunch?  Was Steve Lopez in your office aware that this nonsese was being published? 
 
Did you check with ANY of the missions?  If you would have asked any of them you would have learned, with facts to back their information, that they are providing more services than ever before.
 
You should be embarrassed. 
 
Perhaps the purpose of the Los Angeles Times should be where people can turn to look for shoes that are on sale?  Maybe read about car accidents or news with hard facts.  In these cases where you do nothing more than pass along "facts" that you have not verified, "facts" that go against what everybody in your office building see in front of their own eyes, you have no credibility in my eyes.
 
Responsible journalism is NOT just passing along anything that you read.  Let me repeat that for you folks:  Responsible journalism is NOT just passing along anything that you read.  
 
As far as the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority who came up with these figures, this is one agency or organization that did not do any sort of job of any value.  At best their report was a disservice to the homeless and organizations trying to get funding to help the homeless.  You want to save money in our budget?  Eliminate this agency and request a refund for anything that was paid to them for this report.
 
Perhaps this was all sort of some big media plan for the government to show people that things are getting better? 
 
Thing are not getting better.  They have gotten worse.  Much worse. 

For those who want to read the Times story here is the link:
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2011/06/homeless-rate-drops-los-angeles-county.html

It will be interesting to see if the above story and link remains online.  It is an obvious piece of nonsense on so many levels.

I did a little fact checking myself.  I used my own eyes.  I counted individuals over the last two years.  I talked to the people at Union Rescue Mission ( http://www.urm.org/ ) which is the largest mission in the country. 

I used to like aspects of the Los Angeles Times.  I am friends with some of their staff.  I hope that this reporting did not happen on their watch and hope that an editorial will be published by some of those who are journalists with more integrity.
 
For those that want to read something with facts that can be verified here is one of many links:
http://la-economy.blogspot.com/2011/05/take-5-and-help-homeless.html

I have a piece that I wrote after I wrote this piece, something of a companion piece.  After I published this post I talked to Andy Bales at Union Rescue Mission.  I wrote the companion post which can be seen at:
http://la-economy.blogspot.com/2011/06/real-deal-directly-from-andy-bales.html

Today (6/16/11) I received a few direct messages from the Los Angeles Times City Desk.  Here is their dialogue and my own:

LATimescitydesk Myles, we were just reporting what was contained in a report by the LA County Homeless Services Authority -- and we reported the skepticism.

LATimescitydesk Not sure why you keep beating up on us. You should contact the LA Homeless Services Authority if you're upset by their findings.

LATimescitydesk I have no fight with you. I just tweeted our report about the report.

My comments back to The Times:

myles111us If you just pass along bad info when the evidence is right outside your window what can I think about that sort of thing?

myles111us I would think somebody like Steve Lopez would have had a comment on what is obviously a report that is nonsense.

myles111us If you have something I can post that shows the accurate picture I will be happy to do so.

myles111us There are some great folks over at The Times and I would love to be able to support you folks rather than come down on you.

myles111us Hopefully there will be a follow up story by The Times and if there is please send me a link.

myles111us The last thing we need is some agency that writes false reports based on a lazy count or taking shortcuts on a critical subject.

myles111us I somehow missed the skepticism you said you mentioned. So did the folks on skid row that work at the missions as a side note.

Good journalism is more than just passing along the stories of others. You folks are a short walk from the heart of skid row.

myles111us I cannot see why you did not contact the organization who wrote the report and questioned their facts.

LATimescitydesk You should send a msg to Alexandra Zavis, who covers homelessness for us, and tell her your thoughts. alexandra.zavis@latimes.com

LATimescitydesk She's a very thoughtful reporter, cares deeply about the subject and has written some fine pieces.

myles111us I will contact her. If she has a twitter account I can send her the link to my two blog pieces or perhaps you can send her the links.

myles111us The links are http://t.co/XSeqQmi and http://t.co/nEKNjS6 I would be happy to take a walk with her sometime in the area.

LATimescitydesk Story, by the way, quotes Andy Bales at URM expressing his doubt about the numbers.

LATimescitydesk Alex wrote the piece in question. Not sure if she has a Twitter account. But I'm sure she'll respond to an email. Take care, Myles.

myles111us Andy Bales gave me the impression that many of the facts he presented were not in the piece.

myles111us I see no mention of Andy Bales in the piece at http://t.co/XSeqQmi (I found some of Andy Bales commentary in a second piece by the times).

myles111us In any case, please pass along my links to Alex

myles111us Nita - no fight with you. The subject is sensitive and heartbreaking and passing along misleading information does not help.

myles111us I look forward to stories from you folks and pass them along on a regular basis as a side note.

myles111us The homeless issue is just something I take seriously just as I take reporting about the economy, employment and justice.

myles111us Hopefully in the future we can work together in concert to make changes for the better and report both sides of a story.

myles111us Thank you for your time - Myles S. Rose

I was told there was an update to the first story.   My original issue was with the original story which had the title:  Homeless rate drops 9% in L.A., 3% in L.A. County which I found impossible to believe from personal observation.


The second piece can be found at:
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-0615-homeless-count-20110615,0,5810860.story

This update sheds a better light on the subject.

Perhaps with the help of the Los Angeles Times resources can be coordinated to make progress at a faster rate.  The problem is getting larger at a faster rate each month.

I am glad I wrote this piece.  It has introduced me to some additional folks at the Los Angeles Times.  This opened a dialogue between a number of people that have enough of the right stuff that could make steps forward for the benefit of many.
 
-the end-

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Take 5! - Not talking about Dave Brubeck

Take five minutes to help.  You can feed five people in less than a minute.  You can help by donating time, resources, volunteering, helping with financial donations (tax deductible) and you can help by spreading the word via social networking applications such as twitter, facebook, email, google buzz, etc.  There are many ways you can help.  You can learn more from my friends at Union Rescue Mission at http://www.urm.org/

Take 5 ... as in feed five .... in less than a minute for $10.

I am going to try something during the month of June.  I am going to try to raise a few dollars for the folks over at Union Rescue Mission.  They are the oldest and largest mission in Los Angeles.  Maybe the largest in the nation.

You can donate $10 to Union Rescue Mission right from your cell phone in seconds.  

Text the letters URM to 85944. You will receive a confirmation text message. Reply with the word YES to complete the transaction.  

You will feed 5 people for $10 in less than 30 seconds. Your donation is tax deductible.

I am asking folks that read this to please pass on the link to this blog post.  I am asking folks on twitter to re-tweet this when they see the post on twitter.  Share via facebook, email, forums or anywhere possible.

Hopefully we can all work together and use social media to spread the word and raise a few dollars for the folks at http://www.urm.org/  You can learn much more about what Union Rescue Mission does by clicking on the link.  There is a lot of material on their website.  You can also donate in other ways including PayPal.  (As a side note, I made the first PayPal donation when the system was initiated which was fun on many levels).

I will be updating this post with a running count of the views of the post to see how well the word is spreading.



Many people think they know what the face of homelessness looks like.  Many picture a scene like that above. 

In many cases you can not be farther from the truth.  Click on "read more" for the bigger picture.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Financial Repression Coming to America




Before anybody gets the wrong idea, and even though it is not anybodies business, I will state that I am registered as a Democrat. But ... just as I have lost faith in our system of justice in this country I have also lost faith in our current administration.

As a side note I find it deplorable that some members of our government as pushing the debt debates until the 11th hour to upset the public, worry the public and use the fear of the American public to drive votes away from the current administration and to them in the next election.  Many Americans do not realize that the debt ceiling has been increased many times during past administrations.  Reagan raised the debt ceiling 17 times.  Bush Jr. raised the debt ceiling 7 times. This is nothing new but this is being used to put fear into the heart of the American public.  Again, to many of our elected officials; shame of you.  What little respect I had for many of you has turned to distain and disgust.

Side note to folks that look at statistics of another sort;  Debt increase by presidents: Reagan 186%, Bush II 72% Bush 54% Clinton 41% Obama 23%. Source CBO.

You can continue to read this post, the long version that is updated on a continual basis, each story from each link more depressing than the last.  Or, since our government is making no sense, on 7/28/11 I was driven to write a new post that might fit more into the way our government is currently working.  That post can be read at http://bit.ly/rfnKZg  Can you be as ineffective as our government?  That is the question and topic of the post.

I agree with some of the basic core values of each of the political parties in our country.  My thoughts on big government versus smaller government, abortion, gun rights, taxes, defense, freedom and how freedom is defined, etc., may cross political boundaries. 

In my own case I just observe things on a daily basis and see things getting worse rather than better for the average American trying to live day by day.  High taxes and big dollar portfolios are not as applicable to most of the population.  Gas prices, food prices, basic living necessities, medical attention and a roof over our head is what is important and critical to the vast majority of the population in this country.

I understand that it took many years for the country to get to the current position.  I have written pieces on how America has outsourced jobs, cannot compete for many reasons, how our lack of creative classes in our schools has taken away aspects of creative thinking in art, music, and vocational classes.  I have listened to the point of view that it will take many years to dig out of the current situation.  But, what I cannot wrap my head around is how difficult for me to find some basic examples of how things have gotten better.

Things continue to decline.  What has gotten better?  Where is any improvement?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Homeless in Los Angeles

Homelessness has many facets.  There are homeless people all over the United States and the world.  My   observations tend to focus around the area of Los Angeles as that is where I live but the story is the same for all homeless.  As a point of interest, Los Angeles is the homeless capitol of the United States.

Story from the Los Angeles Times which talks a bit about a film:
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/entertainmentnewsbuzz/2011/10/on-location-skid-row-lost-angels.html


 

It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words.  Just below is a little slide show.  There are some very graphic images here so I will caution you in advance.   The reason I am posting this slide show is to try to show more people that Skid Row is a dangerous place that is not a great place for many but is especially traumatic for young children.  The day to day images are not easily forgotten, especially by young children.

Take a look at some of the images in this slide show.  Would you want your children to be in this environment?



Many folks think that they understand what the homeless situation is all about.  They feel that most folks are either involved with drugs, alcohol or just have no desire to work.  This type of thinking is far removed from what is reality.  There are folks who have lost their home and job due to the economy.  There is domestic violence.  There are many other reasons.  There are countless stories of the people who add to the homeless population count.  Please click on "more" below to continue.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Union Rescue Mission April Update from Andy Bales

Most of my friends know how I feel about Union Rescue Mission and their staff. 

If you are a new reader of my blog just scan most of the right hand side of the page and you will get the idea. 

By the way, if you are scanning the side of the page you will see a way you can text $10 in a few seconds to http://www.urm.org/ which will feed five people a complete and healthy meal.  Maybe take a few seconds out of your day to text a few meals?  If you follow the link in this paragraph you can learn much more about Union Rescue Mission.





Friday, April 29, 2011

To our troops out there - stay safe

Remember, no matter what the job or branch of the military, all active duty personnel generally have somebody at home who miss them and worry about them. All of our troops are in danger in various forms whether on the street searching house to house, in the ocean off the coast of Japan washing down the deck of an aircraft carrier for radiation, moving cargo or explosives to be deployed to other areas or sitting silently under the ocean as the world situation grows in volatility. 

Our troops deserve respect and the highest level of support when they come home that this country has to offer regardless of cost. God knows this country spends enough money on things that mean so much less.

To the men and women holding positions at the highest levels in our government:  Stop bickering and fix your priorities at least in this one area - Support our troops whether they are on their way to serve, are in service or are back at home.


Afghan children approach a U.S Forces convoy to ask for spent brass, pens and water in the Alingar district of Laghman province, Afghanistan, July 13, 2011. The convoy includes members of the Laghman Provincial Reconstruction team, en route to check on a school construction site and talk with Alingar leaders. U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ryan Crane

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Veteran Treatment


The Wall.  These folks are from my generation.  The names of two close friends which I served with have their names on this wall.  There are others who I knew or crossed paths with whose names are on the wall.

Many movies have been made on the treatment of our Veterans.  Born on the Fourth of July, Forrest Gump has V.A. Hospital segments.  The list goes on.

Since my era of military service and my time spent in a wheelchair for a number of years there have been additional places on the globe where our military have been deployed.  With each new conflict the technology advances and our troops are expected to know more and perform at a higher level of proficiency for longer periods of time.  When those who come home finally do come home their treatment has not advanced since the days I was in the military.  Not advanced?  Medically perhaps but treatment as a human being who has sacrificed so much for their country. 

I have a very good friend who wrote me today about his treatment by his local V.A. facility.  I will copy and paste his writing here and copy and paste my own response:

I just sent this to FOX 24 News

At the the V.A. Hospital in Dublin Georgia they treat you like you are bothering them ,they are very rude and disrespectful.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

10 Doomsday Trends America Can't Survive

This is one person's point of view.

doomsday-trends-america-marketwatch: Personal Finance News from Yahoo! Finance
by Paul Farrell Tuesday, April 19, 2011

There are a number of points in this piece that echo things I have written over the last few years.

The original piece can be viewed from the link above.  The piece is also below in it's entirety. 


Commentary: We are past the point of no return, thanks to Super Rich

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. (MarketWatch) — Doomsday Capitalism? Capitalism is killing America? Yes, that's the message in my tenth book. "Doomsday Capitalism, 10 Self-Destructive Trends." But you'll never see it in print. No one, even book publishers want to read this truth: Capitalism is destroying America.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Nuclear power: U.S. increases nuclear power through uprating - latimes.com



The U.S. nuclear industry is turning up the power on old reactors, spurring quiet debate over the safety of pushing aging equipment beyond its original specifications.

The little-publicized practice, known as uprating, has expanded the country's nuclear capacity without the financial risks, public anxiety and political obstacles that have halted the construction of new plants for the last 15 years.

The power boosts come from more potent fuel rods in the reactor core and, sometimes, more highly enriched uranium. As a result, the nuclear reactions generate more heat, which boils more water into steam to drive the turbines that make electricity.

The entire story is as the link at the top of this post.

6/19/11 Update - Not only in Japan. Rising water is rising water no matter where it comes from.
http://nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/International/18-Jun-2011/US-orders-news-blackout-over-crippled-Nebraska-Nuclear-Plant-report





Friday, April 8, 2011

America - downsizing, outsourcing?



My last post was about an upcoming traffic problem as the President comes to Los Angeles to campaign for the next election. 

My post was about the expected traffic but once the post went live on my facebook page there were all sorts of political comments.  I added many of the comments into the blog piece.

Things are tough in America.  The democrats blame the republicans and visa versa.  People comment that Obama has done little or nothing in two and a half years.  I suppose these folks expect magic.  What else could fix decades of decline in America overnight?  Nothing short of magic.

I try to lead a simple life and try to look at problems in simple ways.  This includes complex problems.

The issue with our economy is very complex but I try to break it down into a few simple issues.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Guess Who's Coming to Town (to Screw Up Our Traffic!)?

Guess Who's Coming to Town (to Screw Up Our Traffic!)?: LAist

The other day I posted the link above on my facebook page.  I was concerned with the traffic and tried to stay out of the politics.


Here are a few of the comments and dialogue from my facebook wall.

My first comment which I posted with the link:  Remember his last L.A. visit? Stopped folks for HOURS and gas was half the cost that it is today. The traffic, the delays, the idiot folks that planned this and after utter chaos finally used a helicopter at the end of the debocle.

I added:  If his idiot staff does not use a helicopter (plenty of places to land on a movie lot) and asks for ANY street closures in a city which already has record breaking traffic issues, I will start my own campaign against the man in the next election. If he repeats his mistakes it means he either does not learn from past mistakes, does not care how he impacts millions of people or has no control over his staff in how they plan these things.

Then the other comments started coming in ....