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Letters

12/19/2012

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‘Awareness and engagement’
The shooting tragedy that occurred in Newtown, Conn., is horrifying on so many levels. Please keep the Sandy Hook Elementary School’s families in your thoughts and prayers.  

Following the initial reports of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings, the Pasadena police day watch commander immediately increased police checks on public and private school campuses in a proactive effort to increase our presence. Police officers assigned to the Safe Schools Teams and Field Operations conducted extra patrols in and around the schools. The Pasadena Police Department is not aware of any direct threats to our schools and will continue to check with our federal partners to ensure that we have the best intelligence possible.
The Pasadena Police Department strives to ensure public safety and a high quality of life for all who live in, work in, or visit our great community. However, protecting against the “lone-wolf, non-state actor,” is extremely difficult. Our greatest defense against this elusive threat is awareness and engagement.

Community members are reminded that if they see something suspicious, immediately report the information to the Police Department at 911 or (626)744-4241. The Pasadena Police Department and its law enforcement partners will continue to serve our community with dedication, passion and courage. Together with our community, I believe we can make a difference. On behalf of the Pasadena Police Department, we extend our deepest condolences to the Sandy Hook Elementary School families.
 
 ~  PHILLIP L. SANCHEZ, CHIEF OF POLICE, PASADENA

Flag of peace
Dr. John Grula is correct. I cannot contest the numbers of casualties or dates of historical events in his guest opinion piece (“Why I don’t wave the American flag,” Nov.22).

The American flag he chooses not to wave is the federal flag of war. Once upon a time, with the same design but reversed colors, there was also a federal flag of peace, and this was rather common knowledge. I am not certain what “true democracy” is, but it is not mentioned in the Constitution, and Benjamin Franklin said we had a republic, “if you can keep it.”

Not all Jim Crow was Southern, as often touted. Sometimes it had Northern backing with a Southern face. John Perkins (author of  “Confessions of An Economic Hitman”) and Gen. Smedley Butler’s “The War Racket” tell part of the story of coup d’etats to overthrow democratically elected leaders, but, as far as I know, not the fuller roles of international banking, England, the Dulles Brothers and especially the Persians and their oil.

To learn about expanding empire, one can go to touchstone events like the Spanish American War or earlier adventures further back into the 19th century and the decadence of men and their fraternal affiliations, often absent from history and public discussion.

Going back 60 years, it is a glaring omission that the United States, since joining the United Nations in 1945, has not had a Secretary of War and that our military has essentially been a bully for the United Nations. Major Arch E. Roberts’ book “Victory Denied” could clarify this for anyone interested in overseas conflicts from Korea until the 1960s.

Now it seems the same bully force is also used to bring countries under some form of central banking. The face may be American, but not the principles or “hidden persuaders,” as historian A. Ralph Epperson calls them. Dr. Grula makes a strong case for not flying the federal flag of war that flies in the name of the United Nations, but not the United States of America.

~ TERRY WILSON, LOS ANGELES

Crystallized euphoria’
The press and every “liberal” and “progressive” commentator has been proclaiming that the passage of Proposition 30 in California means the Proposition 13 anti-tax revolution is over. “Liberal” and “progressive” writers have even been beating their chests, proclaiming Californians are ready and willing to pay for expanded benefits for public employee unions and the expansion of the public sector. I would submit that these folks are smoking crystallized euphoria.

Sadly, most people who voted for Proposition 30 didn’t read it. Personally, I can’t even recount the number of arguments I got into with people about the fact that Proposition 30 included a quarter-cent sales tax increase and that the money was not earmarked for schools. Once again, the slogan “Do it for the children” had been used to bamboozle people and fill government coffers with funds which may or may not be used on the kids.

A couple days after the proposition was passed, some voters walked up to me and were somewhat annoyed that I was correct — indeed, Proposition 30 does include a regressive sales tax increase that doesn’t fund schools.
That’s why guys like Thomas Jefferson wanted to fund public education, so voters could inform themselves on issues.

I assume the folks I drink coffee with in the morning are a relatively accurate, if informal, cross-section of the California voter. We have advanced-degree science types, artists, liberals, conservatives and almost everything else except for a moderate. Average them all and you have the California voter.

I can tell the pundits this:
1. Most voters prior to the election were not aware of Proposition 30’s sales tax component.
2. Most voters thought Proposition 30 was a “soak the rich” measure.
3. Most voters thought Proposition 30 earmarked the money it raises for schools and schools only.

In other words, when misled, voters this time voted to raise taxes. What this means is that in the main, the voters didn’t vote to raise their taxes; they voted to raise the other guy’s taxes, and they did so for a specific purpose.
So, as that quarter-cent sales tax is implemented, what happens? A lot of voters, who thought only the rich would be taxed, will be upset. They will feel betrayed, lied to even. Imagine.

Then let’s imagine the state government behaves as it always does and misapplies the money (the reason for the Proposition 13 tax revolt). What happens then? Aside from feelings of betrayal, there will be anger. Anger is a peculiar thing. It is the easiest, cheapest way to organize people — make them angry, keep them angry and they will stick on the campaign trail for or against something far longer than idealism will fuel them.

Imagine the governor and Legislature behaving as they always do. This will mean a new anti-tax, anti-government movement that will make Howard Jarvis look like Tiny Tim compared to the Rolling Stones — smart rebellion on steroids.

The voters are already awakening to the fact that the commercials and so on snookered them and didn’t tell them the whole story. “Liberals” and “progressives” should be a lot less quick to giddily proclaim the end of Proposition 13 and the resurrection of an electorate willing to return to tax and spend. If I were among the people in Sacramento, I would tread very carefully.

~ STEVE LAMB, ALTADENA

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Comments

Steve: On the 11/6 ballot, State Measure 30 states in the first line: " Increases... sales taxes by 1/4 cent for four years." Just because your coffee buddies don't read what is right under their noses when they vote does not mean anyone was duped.

posted by Voter on 12/21/12 @ 06:59 p.m.

Police Chief Sanchez:

I know one way to get more police officers patrolling our neighborhoods: GET THEM OUT OF THE SKY!

Just think of the boost to public safety that could be made if the millions spent on buzzing helicopters over routine traffic stops were instead spent on furthering community policing efforts, efforts that time and again have proven to be the most effective at actually preventing crime.

Maybe *now* you will deliver that promised public review of the police department's non-existent helicopter policy?

posted by grecodan on 12/22/12 @ 01:44 p.m.

Police Chief Sanchez,

I must second the comments by grecodan. Most Pasadena residents would love to see an increase in community policing, especially an increase in boots on the ground (or on bike, THAT would save money and shrink your carbon footprint). Divert money from the helicopter program; put it into policing from the ground up, like Chief Bratton did in NYC. It changed that city profoundly.

I urge you do a cost benefit analysis, examine the cost to the community as well as the monetary cost. Ask citizens to make comments on your findings. Design a policy which meets the needs of our community.

Sincerely,
CGKohel
Pasadena resident, parent & concerned citizen

posted by cgkohel on 12/22/12 @ 08:14 p.m.
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