These easements are the permanent homes for thousands of Seattle area residents whose numbers are rapidly growing.
As with many of America's cities, Seattle's government-subsidized homeless shelters are plagued by thieves, the violent mentally ill, and sexual deviants. Young and middle-aged men who are well-versed in the rough-and-tumble daily existence on the streets told us many personal stories about how they are petrified of living in the shelters or even visiting them for a shower.
Among the Seattle residents now living under the freeway overpasses, we found many who had formerly held middle-class jobs before the construction industry declined. Additionally, many suffered work-related injuries, which rendered them unable to work and were deemed ineligible for social security benefits, including Workers' Compensation. A number of them told us emphatically that they prefer to remain on the streets rather than face violence and sexual assault which they report to be prevalent in the shelters.
One female homeless veteran, who served as a Damage Control Technician in the U.S. Navy and served in San Diego and Rota, Spain, told WMR that the Veterans Administration shelters and services are available almost exclusively to male homeless vets. She also stated that Seattle's city-subsidized shelters abuse the female homeless with common sexual assault.
At the dawn of 2013, the National Alliance to End Homelessness (NAEH) and the Homelessness Research Institute (HRI) concluded that although a majority of those identified as homeless were staying in emergency shelters or "transitional housing," 38 percent of the homeless were unsheltered, living on the street or in their cars, abandoned buildings, or other places "not intended for human habitation."
In adjacent Kitsap County, church parking lots are being offered as overnight accommodations for the growing numbers of families living in cars after suffering bank home foreclosures.
More alarming than the sobering statistics is the fact that there has been no real change in the number of family households condemned to an existence on the streets. In fact, if we believe government-sponsored statistics since no others are available, the number of homeless families increased by 1.4 percent in Obama's America.
The map, produced by NAEH and HRI, illustrates 2012's rate of homelessness per 10,000 population. The national rate is 20 people out of 10,000.
In 14 states, that average is barely exceeded at a rate of 21 percent in Nebraska and Georgia but at a whopping rate of 113 percent in the District of Columbia.
In "liberal limousine"-governed Washington State, the homeless rate is an alarming 30 out of 10,000.
Home foreclosures in America are still occurring at an alarming rate with a 2 percent increase in September 2013, with a 259 percent increase in Maryland (with Baltimore alone accounting for a 381 percent increase) and a 252 percent increase in Oregon, to name just a few extreme examples. Nearly 120,000 homes were repossessed by banks in the third quarter of 2013 alone, as America's middle class moves under bridges and freeway overpasses in ever-growing numbers.
Far and beyond the stress caused by homeless shelters infested with bed bugs and broken group showers is the constant presence of U.S. Department of Homeland Security cops whose main mission appears to be to patrol downtown Seattle and chase homeless people from their sleeping bags while there is no safe alternative place to go.
The homeless we spoke to complain that they can only get between two and four hours of sleep before the DHS cops wake them up and order them to move on.
Night time in Seattle is an endless procession of silent downtrodden figures in cardboard boxes and sleeping bags eternally on the move from the police enforcers.
The use of DHS, a federal agency, to harass Seattle's homeless appears to be a gross violation of jurisdiction between federal and local government. The Seattle city council has on its books a law that states that any harassment of the homeless is considered to be a hate crime. Yet, DHS cops routinely harass the homeless, including a group that WMR provided food and water for on New Year's Eve.
Only as we were packing up our supplies did two DHS cops approach the homeless camped for the night underneath an overpass. It was the first warning by the federal agents that the homeless people who had bedded down for the night would soon be roused from their sleep and told to move on again.
DHS Police harass homeless sleeping under an overpass on New Year's Eve. One homeless man named Wayne acts as the unofficial leader of the homeless who try to buy some sleeping time before being ordered to move on.
Only in America are the homeless put into the same "threat" category as terrorists by a behemoth security agency that routinely harasses the traveling public at airports while meting out similar treatment to those who have lost everything.
When President Obama visited Seattle in November 2013 to raise large sums of cash from deep-pocketed donors for Washington state's "limousine liberal" Democratic elites who are best exemplified by the likes of Governor Jay Inslee and Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, the DHS cops and Seattle police were out in force to ensure the homeless simply made themselves invisible during the presidential visit. After all, no one in the Obama White House or in Washington state's Democratic administration or King County wanted Obama or the national press to see the large amount of homelessness in the Emerald City.
As is the case with most limousine liberals, Seattle's governing clique have created a homeless services infrastructure. The infrastructure, which includes the Downtown Emergency Service Center (DESC) and a group called SHARE/WHEEL, have regimented the homeless population by issuing them identification cards for DESC that ensures them a bed crawling with bedbugs and inoperative nine-person showers where sexual deviants prey on the unsuspecting new arrivals.
Organizations like SHARE/WHEEL have been mired in controversies, including turning a number of tent cities where homeless families, including children, have been forced to live.
In one tent city, SHARE/WHEEL's de facto chief, Scott Morrow, was accused of helping to harbor a child rapist at one such homeless tent city called Nickelsville, billed by the Democratic Party establishment as an "eco-village."
People like Morrow are accused by Seattle's homeless population of turning services for the homeless into a cash cow for themselves in an environment where the city has outsourced social services to those who wish to personally profit from the misery experienced by others.
Based on what we were told by Seattle's homeless residents, Morrow and his colleagues have turned the city's tent cities into "meritocracy" social experiments.
Residents are expected to earn "brownie points" called "community credits" by participating in security patrols or cleanup crews. If residents fail to earn the necessary number of community credits they can be temporarily banished from the tent cities. The punishment is called being "barred." If a homeless person racks up enough temporary "bars" they can be permanently barred from the tent city. These homeless "kibbutzes" are hailed as innovative solutions for homelessness by Seattle's limousine liberals. Homeless residents of the city told WMR that the tent cities are more like internment camps.
President Obama visited Seattle this past November and engaged in a navel-gazing exercise with Washington State's Democratic leadership on how his economic recovery and Affordable Care Act was working to improve the lives of Americans. His words were meaningless to Seattle's thousands of homeless who are routinely turned away from health care facilities, despite having been issued health cards for services which they report do not exist and are not honored by any health care facility.
In fact, the homeless do even have access to restrooms unless they are paying customers at local restaurants. WMR discovered the two items that the homeless most appreciated were bottled water and moist sani-wipes to clean their hands.
Every homeless person we spoke to related to us how the system they are mired in does not allow for them to elevate themselves up from homelessness to employment and, hopefully, a home they can call their own.
Once branded homeless, these unfortunates among us are offered minimum wage jobs that do not cover even basic necessities like rent and food as they compete with countless others among the shrinking middle class for such jobs.
Employers realize that there is such a glut of homeless people they can merely fire and hire homeless people from sub-standard jobs that fail to pay a living wage -- if they hire them at all.
Seattle's homeless received a hot meal of chicken stew. The city's shelters normally run out of food and available bedding. Many of the shelters are avoided by the homeless because of incessant violence and theft of personal belongings. The city maintains that it passed an ordinance making feeding the homeless illegal because food is wasted in a "disorderly" distribution process. In fact, the services out sourced by the city ensures that there is not enough food to feed the homeless while certain officials in charge of homeless services line their own pockets with taxpayer's money and charitable donations.
America in 2014 is a far cry from the words written by poet Emma Lazarus and inscribed on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty:
"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
To read these words in person and before boarding the ferry to Liberty Island in New York harbor, one must be checked out by the same ilk of DHS cops who are in charge of harassing some of the homeless Lazarus describes in her poem.
America might become a fascist state?
There's no "might" about it. America already is a fascist state regardless of what "limousine liberals" like MS-NBC's Lawrence O'Donnell declare.
O'Donnell and his fellow think tank-trained pundits believe that National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden was delusional when he recently stated that a child born today will never experience the notion of privacy in his or her life.
For the homeless residents of Seattle, there is no privacy or even a semblance of human dignity afforded by the police state in Washington state implemented by a group of Democratic politicians who the likes of O'Donnell has orgasmic reactions over.