Down to Oroville this morning. Once again, I got the time wrong for an appointment and had a couple hours to kill.
Walking around downtown Oroville, more shops are shuttered. Seems that about half of the businesses in this beautiful downtown are closed. Quite a few more than the last time I walked down here. Too bad really. Oroville has a quaint downtown that dates from the late 1800's. It is the sort of place where the Intelligentsia would love to sit and have a cup of coffee. Which I did.
Then off to Oroville's new Riverbend park. Again, another great place for the area's increasing Homeless population to wile away a few hours. Lots of people hanging out after having spent the night sleeping in their cars. You can tell by the pillows, blankets and sleeping bags visible in the rear seats of the autos. The park boasts an item that is harder and harder to find in our cities: a public bathroom. For a homeless person, the chance to potty and wash up in peace-- is a gift.
I sit here at the Public Library which is open for six hours today. I got here in time to wait in line for the place to open. Half the Folks had alcohol on their breath, as I waited with twenty other Folks for (again) one of the last places where you can be in Public for free. All the Computers are quickly snatched up. Looking around I see a few folks checking out Job Sites.
I guess we always have to have a place for Simon and Garfunkel's "Ragged" people to go. But in this recession, the Ragged folks are more numerous...with many of us having fears we will join their ranks.
So what is Obama expected to do tonight? Put a cap on Public Spending for Medicare, Medicaid and Food Stamps. All the while, the biggest Piggy in the Public Trough (The Department of Defense) doesn't get a hit to their budget.
Nope. We have wars to wage. Meanwhile, the war on poverty is being lost. Look around: the evidence is all around us. How long must we put up with these misplaced priorities?
The Gateway Update: My hard drive is toast. Hopefully, the computer will be fixed by tomorrow.