Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Another Loon-'Tard Ready To Explode?

Closer to home than we'd like.
On the home page of his campaign website, Rep. Steve Knight of Palmdale has posted a television ad showing a veteran praising the Republican congressman for helping him get a lung transplant.

It turns out that veteran, David Brayton of Santa Clarita, has posted dozens of racist, anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim comments on Facebook.

Brayton, 64, has also promoted violence against journalists he sees as hostile to President Trump and called on citizen militias to turn their weapons on left-wing protesters.

Brayton’s Facebook pages illustrate how Trump’s incendiary rhetoric has resonated with his most radical followers. Trump, who is often praised by Brayton, has disparaged Muslims, Mexicans and blacks, equivocated when denouncing white supremacists, and encouraged violence against protesters and reporters.

Last week, Cesar Sayoc, a Trump supporter in Florida, was charged with mailing bombs to CNN and more than a dozen critics of the president.

On Monday, Brayton shared a Breitbart article on the aggressive White House reporting of CNN correspondent Jim Acosta.

“CNN should be indicted, found guilty and face a firing squad,” Brayton wrote in his Facebook post above the story.

For Knight, one of the nation’s most imperiled Republican incumbents in Tuesday’s midterm election, disclosure of Brayton’s background threatens to disrupt his attempts to steer clear of Trump’s coarse brand of racial politics. Both Knight and his Democratic challenger Katie Hill are trying to campaign as moderates in the state’s 25th Congressional District.

Matt Rexroad, Knight’s campaign strategist, said Brayton’s background was irrelevant to Knight’s decision to help him get medical care, and there was no reason to vet his social media postings before putting him in a TV commercial.

“Congressman Knight does not choose to help people based on their political views, period,” he said. “I think the timing of this is ridiculous.”

In the Knight commercial, Brayton wears a red shirt with the word “infidel” imprinted in the American flag, an apparent jab at Muslims.

In a Brayton Facebook post in May, an illustration shows two white men slipping a noose around former President Obama’s head. “You will hang by the neck until dead,” the caption says. “Take your smug ass to hell.”

Brayton’s overt bigotry on Facebook — he posted a Ku Klux Klan blood-drop-cross insignia in June 2017 — underscores the trouble that social media companies are having as they try to keep menacing bursts of hatred off their platforms.

A Facebook spokesman said the company was looking into the matter.

Brayton has used three Facebook accounts to dodge the company’s suspensions, mocking the company along the way for its ineffective policing of content.

“Notice my primary account is still banned on this fascistbook thingy,” he wrote last year under the name David B Enghazi Brayton, which he has used for many of the inflammatory postings.

In a telephone interview, Brayton, a former Air Force medic, stood by all of his posts, but denied any of them were racist or anti-Semitic. He defended his call for putting CNN personnel before a firing quad, saying the network’s subversive propaganda was tantamount to treason.

He also claimed Muslims had declared war on Western Civilization. “Islam has decided they’re going to kill everybody,” he said. “They’ve always done that.”

The Knight campaign’s TV ad with Brayton is part of the congressman’s push to be seen as a champion of fellow veterans in his district, which covers Simi Valley, Santa Clarita and part of the Antelope Valley. The spot shows Knight in a living room with Brayton and his wife.

“If it wasn’t for Steve Knight’s assistance in this thing, I guarantee you I’d be dead,” Brayton tells viewers in the 30-second ad.

Knight, an Army veteran and former Los Angeles police officer, put the commercial on his campaign’s Facebook page.

“I’m proud to have earned David Brayton’s vote, but this is who we fight for,” Knight wrote in a Sept. 18 post. “Every. Single. Day.”

One of Brayton’s angriest Facebook postings came a few weeks after the August 2017 march of neo-Nazis and white supremacists in Charlottesville, Va. Brayton wrote that “antifa” protesters against fascism were enemies of America who had given up their right to legal and constitutional protections.

“May your bodies stack up and you rest in the hell you have chose for you and yours in declaring war on Americans,” he wrote. Echoing Trump’s attacks on news organizations, he added, “You ARE the enemy of America. So is your mouthpiece the corrupt fake media.”

A few days later, he urged opponents of Muslims and “Black Supremacists” to “DO OUR DUTY AS MILITIA” in fighting antifa, saying they needed only 10% of Trump’s 63 million voters to step up.

In May 2017, Brayton wrote, “Kill them all” above a photo of a demonstration of Muslim extremists. He also posted a remark that he attributed to a Union Army leader: “If I had my choice I would kill every reporter in the world, but I am sure we would be getting reports from Hell before breakfast.”

In one of his frequent posts against Trump’s political adversaries, Brayton posted a doctored photo last year showing men leading Hillary Clinton up a gallows staircase for a hanging.

Racist remarks are rampant on Brayton’s Facebook pages. “I think the KKK hates blacks cuz they’re jealous of them since blacks have killed more blacks than the KKK could in 100 years,” he wrote.

“That’s absolutely true,” Brayton said in the interview.

Brayton also wrote: “I know why black kids in liberal run cities hate and murder in huge numbers. They realized they were conceived as a paycheck.”

In another post, he quotes Adolf Hitler saying, “If my party had a voice in this country we might find less violent ways of expressing ourselves.” Brayton asked, “Sound familiar?”

In September 2017, Brayton wrote, “Perhaps all Jews on television should wear the ‘sign’ in this last photo … just to make sure the audience knows … wink wink.” The photo showed a yellow Star of David inscribed with the German word “Jude” — the badge that Nazis forced Jews to wear during World War II.

Rants against Islam are a major theme of Brayton’s Facebook pages. He once shared a photo of a Koran in flames. The profile picture for his account under the name David Heisenberg Brayton is an image of a man pointing two machine guns in the air. “Hear me Islam,” the caption says. “I will slaughter you with your own knife.”

From October 2016 to May 2018, Brayton complained about 11 Facebook suspensions, ranging from a week to 30 days. On May 23, he wrote on his newest account that he’d been banned for the 12th time in 23 months.

When his main account was suspended, Brayton would post from his two other accounts. From those, he sometimes tagged his main Facebook page and posted screenshots of the notification that his account was temporarily blocked.
I.A.N.A. Murdering Police Thug, but I think it would be an excellent idea for the Santa Clarita Sheriff's Station to perform a welfare check at iNternet Tough Guy Brayton's house to be sure he's not building bombs or stockpiling weapons, & is indeed no more than an iNternet Tough Guy. Then 5150 him anyway; he's annoying & stupid.

WWII Hallowe'en Blimp

SUN 31 OCT 1943
Submarine Rasher (SS-269) sinks Japanese oiler Koryu Maru, 00°25'N, 119°45'E.

U.S. airship K 94, en route from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to San Juan, Puerto Rico, catches fire and crashes 35 miles north of Cape Borinquen, Puerto Rico.
Aircraft (VC 9) from escort carrier Card (CVE-11) sink German submarine U-584 about 580 miles north of Flores Island, Azores, 49°14'N, 31°55'W. Other VC 9 aircraft attack U-91 at the same rendezvous point, but she escapes unharmed.

Destroyer Borie (DD-215) damages German submarine U-256 north of the Azores.

Yellow & Orange & ...

In general, & in the news.
We're pro. (Like the texture.) Had we teeth ...
Bonus triple play!


Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Burning Shit For Fun & Profit

I finally find meaning in a random, meaningless universe, & this sick fuck decides he wants to be King Asshole.

Middle-Class Sheep, Nation Of Rubes

Making America Great Again, by eliminating the middle-class. The American future will be slaves, robots, & those who own them, as prophecy foretells.

Whopping 62 percent of jobs don't support middle-class life after accounting for cost of living

Who's worse, the parasite bosses who leech from the people who do the work, or the fucking chump employees who willingly open their veins for the bosses every day? Nihilism is the answer, to all the idiot questions. Hell, we needn't even make anything new (let alone "better") from the rubble; tearing everything down is more than sufficient.


Death To Squealers, Rats, Informants & Finks! (Hey, It's A Start.)

Justice done!
 Kevin Cullen /
Freddy Geas, suspected killer of Whitey Bulger, didn't like informants  —  When private investigator Ted McDonough heard that Freddy Geas was suspected by authorities of taking part in the murder of James “Whitey” Bulger, he knew immediately why Geas might have done it.


SAT 30 OCT 1943
Moscow Conference ends. Groundwork is laid for conference of President Roosevelt, Prime Minister Churchill and Premier Stalin at Teheran, Iran. Other agreements include the decision that China should join the alliance as the fourth major power and that a postwar organization to keep peace should be established. The latter will be the future United Nations.

U.S. aircraft sink Japanese transport Ujigawa Maru off Rabaul, near Kieta, Bougainville, Solomons, 06°20'S, 155°45'E.

USAAF B-24 attacks Japanese destroyer Satsuki 20 miles south of Mussau, 04°40'S, 149°20'E.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Indeterminate Corsairs

FRI 29 OCT 1943
Submarine Seawolf (SS-197) sinks Japanese merchant cargo ship Wuhu Maru off Swatow, 22°28'N, 116°10'E.

Navy or USMC F4Us damage small Japanese cargo vessel No.16 Kiku Maru near Tonolei, 06°47'S, 155°53'E.

Jade Helm II: Army Invades Texas!

Hundreds of Active-Duty Troops Already
Headed to Texas Border, Officials Say

"Screw Your Optics, I'm Going In."

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Christ On A Crutch!

I don’t know how to describe this exactly. It may be the most insulting thing anyone in the Trump administration or campaign has done to Jewish Americans. Mike Pence invited “Rabbi” Loren Jacobs to give the invocation at his Michigan campaign stop today. Jacobs is actually a Christian who leads a group who calls themselves Messianic Jews. He spent eight years with the group Jews for Jesus. In his blessing, he actually says he’s not Jewish: “God of Abraham … God and Father of my Lord and Savior Yeshua, Jesus the Messiah.” For Messianic Jews, Yeshua = Jesus.

Ich Bin Ein Republikan!

 Avery Anapol / The Hill:
World War II: Who won it, Nazis?

Tweeting Past The Graveyard

The Noize

Hospital President Who Looked Pittsburgh Mass Shooter in the Eyes: ‘He Listens to the Noise’

Or actually feels it.[Headline from Mediaite.]

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Aleutian Grounding

THU 28 OCT 1943
District patrol craft YP-88 sinks after running aground off Cape Amchitka, Aleutians.

Submarine Flying Fish (SS-229) sinks Japanese fleet oiler Koryu Maru, 12°54'N, 134°06'E.

Aircraft (VC 1) from escort carrier Block Island (CVE-21) sink German submarine U-220 east of Newfoundland, 48°53'N, 33°30'W. U-256 is attacked at the same time, but escapes unharmed (see 31 October 1943).

Today In "Christ, What An Asshole"

The Obvious Missed By Eastern Elitist On Cletus Safari To Whitest Iowa

 Julie Zauzmer / Washington Post:
In the wake of the Pittsburgh attack, Rep. Steve King's Iowa supporters brush aside concern about his white nationalist views  —  REMSEN, Iowa — As the polka band played and the volunteers started serving the bratwurst, word slowly rippled through the annual Oktoberfest in this remote Iowa farm town …
To this disinterested observer the facts in the first sentence alone should have indicated this expedition to nowhere was irrelevant & idiotic.

Let's review: Remote Iowa farm town celebrating Oktoberfest w/ polka & bratwurst, & the typist is surprised that white nationalism isn't their number one worry? Farm subsidies Cracker welfare from the Trump-Occupied Dep't. of Agriculture is probably foremost in their minds.

By the way, what'll you bet that most of the ancestors of these fly-over fools emigrated here in the 19th century? Yet still w/ the Oktoberfest & the polka? This is America, not Bavaria! Will these fucking people ever assimilate?

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Kiwis Attack!

WED 27 OCT 1943
U.S. and New Zealand troops land on Mono and Stirling Islands in the Treasury Island Group, Solomons; pre-invasion bombardment and covering for the landings are provided by U.S. naval vessels and aircraft. TG 39.3 (Captain Andrew G. Shepard) (two light cruisers and Destroyer Squadron 23) and aircraft from South Pacific Air Force provide cover for the landings. During Japanese retaliatory air strikes, destroyer Cony (DD-508) is damaged by horizontal and dive bombers 15 miles north of Mono, Treasury Islands, 07°23'S, 155°27'E. Tank landing ships LST-399 and LST-485 are damaged by mortar fire, 07°25'S, 155°34'E.

Submarine Flying Fish (SS-229) sinks Japanese transport Nanman Maru, 12°02'N, 134°28'E.

Submarine Shad (SS-235) and Grayback (SS-208) sink Japanese merchant cargo ship Fuji Maru, 28°20'N, 128°05'E, and damage cargo vessel Kamo Maru. Transport Oryoko Maru is hit by a dud torpedo.

Jamaican Bandstand

MAGA Chickens Come Home To Roost

A sadly accurate prediction, as excerpted by Political Wire:
Rick Wilson: “Cesar Sayoc isn’t just some loner gone wrong. He isn’t merely a one-in-a-million Unabomber with a cabin in the woods, a crazed manifesto, and too much black powder. Sayoc is the future. Donald Trump’s famously loyal base has been radicalized, and while only the tiniest fraction will resort to political violence, neither the president nor the hollow shell of the GOP will do anything to stop it.”

“This is a president with obvious mental and moral deficits who will say and do anything to retain power. He’s backed by a runaway ‘conservative’ media feeding his rabid base a daily dose of conspiratorial lunacy. There is no mechanism to stop Trump’s division, radicalization, and calls to arms against his enemies.”

“America was lucky this week; none of the weapons exploded, and the FBI and state law enforcement moved with amazing speed to apprehend the bomber. We might not always be so lucky, particularly if this president continues to give what future Sayocs see as their marching orders.”
Turns out this nation of murderous scum wasn't so lucky this wk., was it? What happens tomorrow morning?

Today (& Tomorrow) In Murder Nation

Friday, October 26, 2018

Oh. My.

As seen on the windows of the (alleged) MAGABomber's white van.
Bears his copyright, not currently on his website. .gif source.
A T-shirt version has been in our hard drive since 26 March 2017. No idea why, nagonna look.

More Pacific Air War

TUE 26 OCT 1943
PBY damages Japanese destroyer Satsuki 15 miles east of Teop harbor, 05°34'S, 155°06'E.

USAAF B-25s sink Japanese transport Yamatogawa Maru at Hai'ou, Hainan Island, 20°05'N, 11 ° [sic] 25'E.*

USAAF P-38s damage auxiliary submarine chaser Cha 20, transporting troops and cargo, five miles off Buka.

USAAF aircraft bomb Japanese shipping off Kiungshan, 20°05'N, 110°05'E, sinking transport Yamatogawa Maru*, army cargo vessels No. 3 Shinwa Maru and Hokuzan Maru, and merchant cargo ship Hachiman Maru.

*Effin' Air Force weasels have some effin' nerve claiming credit for the Yamatogawa Maru twice. And not on Hainan, but in northern Niger.

Today In "Both Sides Do It"

Right wing/fake news sites jump on lurid harassment claims. Watch out men, there's a ball-buster on the loose!
Better vote Republican!
 Tina Moore / New York Post:
NYPD boss accused of stuffing her panties in co-worker's mouth  —  A ball-busting female boss at a Brooklyn precinct is under investigation for allegedly stuffing a pair of her panties into a male colleague's mouth, police sources told The Post on Monday.  —  Sgt. Ann Marie Guerra …
Lovely way you have of turning a phrase, Tina Moore. Is "ball-buster" in the Murdoch style guide?

Mad Bomber Music

Madman having some fun.
Pyrodex® (US$24.95/lb.) ✔.
P.V.C. pipe ✔.
Batteries ✔.
Digital alarm clock ✔.
Wires ✔.
O.K. then.

False Flag Friday

A fucking loser-ass Trump 'tard. Case closed.

Friday Freak-Out

Heard it on the KXLU radiator.
Might've sounded better there, too.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

No Shit, Sherlock?

 Justin Fox / Bloomberg:
Housing Is Tanking in the Northeast.  Guess Why.  —  Losing big deductions for state and local property taxes is having the expected effect.  —  Sales of new single-family houses were down 13.2 percent in September from a year earlier, the Census Bureau reported Wednesday.
I will be the happiest girlhumanoid in the whole U.S.A. when the whole economic shithouse goes up in flames, a bit more than a decade after the last great flame-out, & the blame is directly attributed to Trump, the Republican Congress & their bullshit tax bill.

Anecdata: Nothing's moving locally, either.

$150,000+ off Mt. Washington hilltop home | $120,000 chop for Echo Park 4-on-a-lot | $50,000 price cut on Highland Park 5-bedroom

Prices on more than 70 condos, apartments and other Eastside properties dropped during the past week Read More »
Bear in mind the above reductions are from the poor(er), east-of-Western-Ave. part of town.

Meanwhile, as we circle the toilet ...

Two-Ocean Navy Fail

MON 25 OCT 1943
Submarine Tullibee (SS-284) attacks Japanese transport Teisho Maru (ex-German Havenstein), escorted by auxiliary minesweeper No.11 Misago Maru 12 miles off Oshima, 26°05'N, 121°03'E. Although Tullibee claims damage to the larger vessel, Teisho Maru survives unscathed. No.11 Misago Maru carries out counterattacks but with equal lack of success.

Destroyers Parrott (DD-218) and Paul Jones (DD-230) attack German submarine U-488, but the U-boat escapes destruction.

Dumb Jock Dep't.

Christ on a crutch, Caitlyn, could you have been a bigger chump?
Caitlyn Jenner: I thought Trump would help the LGBTQ community. I was wrong.
Following Trump’s election as president, I saw fertile ground for change within the Republican Party on LGBTQ issues. Trump was the first Republican presidential candidate to claim to support this valuable, vulnerable community, and I was encouraged by the applause he received when he said at the Republican National Convention in July 2016 that he would stand up for the LGBTQ community. Poll after poll showed that Americans’ views on LGBTQ issues were changing for the better — and that this groundswell extended even to the voter base of the Republican Party. I was optimistic that this was how I could leverage my privilege for change.
Perhaps Jenner didn't notice the context ("Perhaps". Ha ha. Dumb jock, as noted.) of Trump's "standing up" in 2016: Muzzy bashing. (From the Daily Beast link above. She linked to it!)
“As president, I will do everything in my power to protect LGBTQ citizens from the violence and oppression of a hateful foreign ideology,” Trump said to applause.
Nothing about the hateful home-grown religion of these United Snakes there, & all the delegates heard & applauded was "dirty rag-heads".

The lesson here is that optimism is self-delusion. Get hip to this kindly tip:

Where's The Outrage?

There is no sin worse than hypocrisy, hypocrites!

None Dare Call It Treason Thurs.

The dotard Trump won't listen to anybody, national security be damned.
 New York Times:
When Trump Phones Friends, the Chinese Listen and Learn  —  WASHINGTON — When President Trump calls old friends on one of his iPhones to gossip, gripe or solicit their latest take on how he is doing, American intelligence reports indicate that Chinese spies are often listening …
Wonder if the Chinese or the Russkies have audio of Ol' Lumpy saying certain words about certain people, in a Tricky Dick Nixon stylee. That'd be funny.

One way or another, I'd like to see somebody hanging.Don't make me no never mind where, from a light standard to the awning of a gasoline station.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Down, Down, Down, Down, Down!

Der Schaden Freudes Itself

 Fred Imbert / CNBC:
Dow tumbles 500 points, erases gains for the year as October swoon continues  —  Stocks fell sharply in volatile trading on Wednesday as losses in tech and AT&T shares outweighed a post-earnings bounce in Boeing.  —  The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 450 points as United Technologies and Caterpillar lagged.
 Matt Phillips / New York Times:
Slumping Stock Market Enters Negative Territory for the Year   Stocks dropped for the sixth consecutive session, wiping out this year's gains.  —  The stock market stumbled yet again on Wednesday, as the benchmark Standard & Poor's 500-stock index shed more than 3 percent despite solid earnings reports …
 Bloomberg:   Stock Rout Erases 2018 Gains for S&P, Dow Indexes: Markets Wrap
Not that I care; my portfolio is unaffected. Mostly an excuse to rub it in & play D.J., including embedding this extended jag-offery version of a song that seems to apply to every contemporary situation.

Air War In The Pacific

SUN 24 OCT 1943
Japanese army cargo ship Kazan Maru sinks as the result of damage inflicted by Silversides (SS-236) the previous day; attempt by Japanese submarine chaser Ch 24 to scuttle the immobilized Johore Maru fails. Silversides herself later finishes off Johore Maru.

USMC land-based aircraft sink Japanese destroyer Mochizuki 90 miles south-southwest of Rabaul, 05°42'S, 151°40'E.

PBYs sink Japanese destroyer Mochizuki and damages destroyer Uzuki south of Jacquinot Bay, 05°35'N, 151°35'E.

USAAF B-24 sinks Japanese cargo vessel Nagaragawa Maru off Manokwari.

Japanese destroyer Satsuki is damaged by grounding off Utano Island, 05°31'S, 149°14'E (see 26 and 30 October 1943).


Let The Killing Commence!

Who cares who started it? We'll finish it!

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Air Raid Off Naples

SAT 23 OCT 1943
Submarine Silversides (SS-236) sinks Japanese fleet tanker Tennan Maru and army cargo ships Johore Maru and Kazan Maru, 02°30'N, 144°45'E (see 24 October 1943).

USAAF B-24 damages Japanese cargo vessel No.1 Kinpo Maru off Greenwich Island, 01°01'N, 154°08'E.

U.S. aircraft sink Japanese transport Kyowa Maru northwest of Buka Island, Solomons.

German planes raid shipping off Naples, Italy; U.S. freighter James Iredell is hit by three bombs that set alight the ship's gasoline cargo. Although the ship is abandoned and the fire burns for 64 hours until it is ultimately put out, there are no casualties among the 44-man merchant crew, the 28-man Armed Guard or the 28 passengers.

Breaking Glass In Bakersfield

So sick & so tired of these two-faced bastards & corporate tools. They're coming for the "globalists", Senator, & no amount of hemming & hawing will save you.


Always on top of the news here at WEB OF EVIL (& ENNUI):

Two Words Tuesday

Pork Belly!

Monday, October 22, 2018

Little Slum I (Still) Live In

Imagine my surprise to find a picture of the legally-found-to-be-a-slum in which I live in the Times this a.m. Now imagine my joy when I realize that not only should this force the rent-seeking parasites to fix everything wrong w/ my apt., I may get a few thousand bones from it as well. (I've already called the pro bono law firm in question; several tries have only resulted in a busy signal. Hope that indicates every tenant of the prick mother-fucker landlords is calling, seeking redress.)

(Were this a current photo, you'd see the mini-van w/ a Denver Boot on it in which some low-life is living about where the two-tone model in the pic is. And the piggies think they can profit in this 'hood? Location, location, location, morons.)
Koreatown apartment owner agrees to pay $2.5 million in settlement of tenants' discrimination lawsuit
This is one of the five Koreatown apartment buildings cited in a 2016 lawsuit filed on behalf of 15 tenants who alleged that Latinos and residents with mental disabilities were pressured to move out so the owners could charge higher rents. (Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)
A real estate investment firm has agreed to pay $2.5 million to settle a federal lawsuit alleging that it pressured Latino and mentally disabled tenants to leave its rent-controlled Koreatown buildings so it could raise the rents.

While denying they had done anything wrong, the Century City investment firm Optimus Properties LLC and several affiliated companies agreed to abide by fair housing laws to make physical repairs to the tenants’ apartments and to ensure that property managers and onsite managers receive fair-housing training.

In a novel form of relief worked out over days of negotiations, they agreed to reserve the next seven vacancies in its buildings for tenants receiving rent subsidies under the federal Section 8 program.

Optimus also agreed to accept late rent payments from three disabled tenants who had received multiple eviction notices for delaying payment up to five days until they received their Social Security checks.

In a joint statement released Friday after U.S. District Court Judge Stephen V. Wilson signed an order dismissing the case, the tenants’ attorneys said the defendants had made “important commitments to ensure fair housing policies and practices are in place for its Koreatown apartment buildings.”

Thomas H. Citron, lead counsel for the defendants, said, “My clients are looking forward to continuing their commitment to fair housing practices, while implementing new policies to provide superior protections for residents.”
Cornelia Martinez, with some neighborhood children. She and her partner, Freddy Velasquez, have lived in their one-bedroom apartment since 1999 with their two daughters. She says she was pressured to leave after the defendants purchased the building, according to a declaration.
Cornelia Martinez, with some neighborhood children. She and her partner, Freddy Velasquez, have lived in their one-bedroom apartment since 1999 with their two daughters. She says she was pressured to leave after the defendants purchased the building, according to a declaration. (Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)
Terms of the settlement prohibited either party from discussing the case further.

The settlement will provide about $52,000 each to 13 tenants. About $208,000 will go to Strategic Actions for a Just Economy and Step Up on Second, two agencies that advocated for the tenants and provided supportive services to some.

The remainder, about $173,000 in litigation costs and $1,442,000 in attorneys’ fees, will go to four law firms that worked on the case.

The 2016 lawsuit was filed on behalf of 15 tenants in five buildings by the pro bono law firm Public Counsel and the nonprofit law firm Public Advocates Inc.

In addition to Optimus, the lawsuit named five affiliated limited liability companies that are the registered owners of the buildings; Roxbury Ventures LLC, described as Optimus' property management company; and Jerome Mickelson, currently listed on Optimus' website as its executive vice president.

The settlement covers four buildings. In the nearly two years since the case was filed, three of the tenants dropped out, two of the buildings were sold and an additional tenant in a sixth building was added.
Hilda Deras has lived on South Magnolia Avenue since 1977. Like other tenants, she complained of receiving excessive rent hikes and numerous notices to enter her apartment and for eviction. "I don't drive and I have access to the buses, the stores and laundromat,” she says.
Hilda Deras has lived on South Magnolia Avenue since 1977. Like other tenants, she complained of receiving excessive rent hikes and numerous notices to enter her apartment and for eviction. "I don't drive and I have access to the buses, the stores and laundromat,” she says. (Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)
The lawsuit alleged Optimus violated state and federal anti-discrimination and fair housing laws by pushing out “undesirable” tenants to facilitate rapid resale.

It characterized what the firm’s website referred to as its “Koreatown strategy” as “a complex scheme in the rapidly gentrifying Koreatown neighborhood of Los Angeles, to purchase buildings, displace the existing tenants, renovate vacated units, market the renovated units at much higher rents to young, childless, English-speaking professionals, and ‘flip’ … the buildings at a massive profit.”

At the time Optimus purchased them, it said, the buildings were occupied by significant numbers of Spanish-speaking Latino tenants, families with children, and people with mental disabilities.

In declarations filed with the court, tenants described receiving dozens of notices including requests to enter their apartments, complaints about their children and three-day notices to pay or vacate.

Some of the tenants alleged they received notices of rent increases exceeding the limit in rent-controlled buildings. Others received rent increases without the required prior approval of the Los Angeles Housing and Community Investment Department.

Records compiled for the case showed that tenant Demetrius Allen, who has physical and mental disabilities, received 43 notices in the nearly 18 months between the time a defendant firm’s purchased his building and the lawsuit was filed in November 2016.
Demetrius Allen, a former homeless tenant who has physical and mental disabilities, received 43 notices from a defendant’s firm in an 18-month span.
Demetrius Allen, a former homeless tenant who has physical and mental disabilities, received 43 notices from a defendant’s firm in an 18-month span. (Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)
They included five utility cutoffs for renovations of other apartments, six pest control treatments, two showings of his apartment, 13 eviction warnings and one notice that his Section 8 subsidy would no longer be accepted.

Allen, 47, who routinely paid his rent on the fifth of the month but never missed, said the flood of notices, which he called his “weekday anxieties,” stopped after the lawsuit was filed.

In the settlement, Optimus agreed to accept his rent checks on the fifth of the month and to allow him to keep a service dog.

Pedro Ramos, who lives with his wife and two children in a studio apartment he has rented since 1997, said in his declaration that his original contract allowed him to pay rent up to the fifth of the month.

Pedro Ramos, who works in the garment industry, has lived in a studio apartment on South Normandie Avenue for more than 20 years, during which his rent has grown from $350 a month to $655.87. He and his wife have raised four children there.
Pedro Ramos, who works in the garment industry, has lived in a studio apartment on South Normandie Avenue for more than 20 years, during which his rent has grown from $350 a month to $655.87. He and his wife have raised four children there. (Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)
Polonia Hernandez, left, has lived in her South Kenmore Avenue apartment since 1994. Carmen Castro, right, with son Charlie. Since 2011, Castro and her husband have raised a family in the Magnolia Avenue studio apartment, at times also shared by her father.
Records filed with his declaration showed that in August 2016, Optimus’ management company notified him of a 5% increase to $652.25 and a warning that late fees would be charged after the first. Ramos said he asked for repairs to be made before he paid, but the manager never came to inspect his apartment. Instead an eviction case was filed in Superior Court.

After Public Counsel answered the case on Ramos’ behalf, it was dismissed.

Additional support for the case came in declarations and a video made by four tenants who were neither Latino nor disabled and not party to the lawsuit.

They described hearing onsite managers say they had direction from Mickelson to clear out Mexicans and families to make the apartments more attractive to hipsters. All four said their buildings were mostly occupied by Latino families when they first rented them but most tenants are now single people.

Deepika Sharma, the lead attorney for the plaintiffs, said the tenants stuck with it over two years because they wanted to make a difference for other people as well as themselves.

“We didn’t just do this for their own benefit, but to make a point in this city of Los Angeles,” she said.
Michael Prudhomme has lived in his apartment since 2008. He has a federal rent subsidy and receives in-home services from the California Department of Social Services for physical and mental disabilities.
Michael Prudhomme has lived in his apartment since 2008. He has a federal rent subsidy and receives in-home services from the California Department of Social Services for physical and mental disabilities. (Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)
Let me also note that I am disturbed, not mentally disabled (And if you aren't disturbed by what's going on, you're crazy!) & that the slumlords have pulled the same "late rent" crap w/ me, whose gubmint money arrives the third of the month, even though the City of Los Angeles has a three-day grace period for rent, doubtless from the days when banks were closed weekends & there were no A.T.M.s.

This couldn't have come at a better time for this reporter, as I was feeling quite diminished* by the death of high school classmate Paul Allen a wk. ago. Financially diminished, that is. Paul (his ass't., really) had contacted me through a couple of yrs. ago, but I never replied, partly because I was afraid admitting that I was a loser driven mad by a society of idiots, living in a slum on nut case benefits & a federal housing subsidy would be de facto putting my hand out.

Paul was obviously the most successful member of our class (Bill Gates was two classes behind us.) & I'll go out on a limb & say that I'm pretty obviously the biggest loser therein, w/ the possible exception of our classmate who died in a boating accident the summer between eighth & ninth grades (checking out early may be the ultimate victory) & any others who may have died since w/o my knowledge. Embarrassing for all involved, I figured. And the most I really wanted was free services (All of them!) from Spectrum, of which he was allegedly a large/the largest stockholder. Oh well. More abandonment.

And speaking of outliving losers, I hit the big 65 last mo. (Who'd a thunk it? Speaking of abandonment, thanks for all the well-wishing & congratulations, jerks!) & was advised to expect a two-mo. pension check on or about 1 Nov. because I procrastinated (as w/ P. Allen's ass't.; what if he knew he was illin' again & was looking for people who could use some money & I blew it by waiting?) w/ the paperwork; well, got the mail today & (as I'd been secretly hoping, 'though w/ absolutely no reason to do so) apparently the paperwork went through quickly enough for a month's money to arrive. WOOOOOO!!

I now have enough disposable income to purchase a side-arm/"equalizer", should I decide to administer frontier justice to a certain bunch of parasites in Century City. (After all, they've been found liable in a court of law. ZERO-TOLERANCE, BABY!!) It's Glocktober at Turner's Outdoorsman! Or I could pick up a S&W 9mm for a mere US$379.98, & still afford more ammo than I'll need.

Print & Pixel Compare & Contrast: Above stolen verbatim from Times website. I believe the text is the same (tl;dr) but the print edition has only three photos, in color, those of Cornelia Martinez, Hilda Deras & Michael Prudhomme.

Irksome Quibbles:
  • Why was I never contacted about the lawsuit? (Although the parasite landlords sent a letter begging tenants not to sign onto any legal action should they be solicited.) Perhaps it was assumed from my surname that I wouldn't be an immediate target. Previously in the Times on the subject. I used to see Mr. Rivera at Step Up on Second; he now lives in my bldg., having moved in two yrs. later than I. Missing me & the constant busy signal does make me a bit nervous about using Public Counsel.
  • If the damn mail had come earlier, I could have deposited the checks (Two in one day! The second for US$8.56 from my mother's estate, which does not forgive her in the least for dying & abandoning me. You neither, male parental unit.)
    & started ordering crap on the iNternet immediately. (Did get a six-pack of Under Armour Charged Cotton® 2.0 socks at Marshall's, & ate at Fatburger. Greasier than ever!)
  • Withholding taken from pension check. Will have to file a goddamn fucking tax return next yr.
    I hate everything!!

*180° Wrong Dep't.: The death of any man, woman or child does not diminish us, it betters us: More oxygen,
more space, less competition. It's births that diminish us; each one results in another oxygen-sucking drug on
the oversaturated market of undifferentiated humanoid tissue.