To Buy Or Not To Buy

Re: Richard Milan’s letter, “Money University,” August 5.

Absolutely true but for one thing: the power elite isn’t immolating the young to maintain the lifestyle of the middle-aged. They are immolating the young to maintain the lifestyle of the middle-aged who are employed either directly or indirectly by local, county, state, and federal governments. The unions are stronger, wealthier, and more powerful than ever before; they just busted out the private sector (as Tony Soprano might say) and took over the public sector. The public sector can’t be busted out, since the government doesn’t make money from selling goods or services to customers who can choose to buy or not buy. The government unions are funded by spiraling taxation, guaranteed by police power (i.e., pay your taxes or go to prison). Call it the Cloward-Piven Strategy, National Socialism, International Socialism, Fascism, the Bilderberger Method, call it whatever you like. It’s working.

  • Anonymous
  • via facsimile

Class A Potholes

Mayor Sanders is spending up to $400,000 for a pothole survey (“Under the Radar,” “Bumpy Ride,” August 5)? Wait a minute. Last I heard he had taken out a loan for infrastructure maintenance including filling potholes. Although this is totally irresponsible, tantamount to a long-term loan to meet payroll, I still want to know what he did with that money.

As my wife pointed out, you could fill a lot of potholes for 400 grand, even at San Diego city costs. Does this bunch at city hall really think we are dumb enough to OK a sales tax increase?

  • Bill Bradshaw
  • via email

It Broke My Heart

Re: “City Lights,” “Checkpoint Moolah” (August 5)

I was at the DMV a few months ago and witnessed the saga of one of the victims of the Escondido Police. The young man in front of me was visiting from out of state and had been driving through the area the night before. He had chosen to be a Good Samaritan and offered to be the designated driver for a few folks who had indulged at a party he attended. Being a good citizen, and knowing that his vehicle was registered and insured, and that he had not had a drop of liquor to drink, he approached the checkpoint without apprehension.

Obviously, he passed the DWI screening, but he had neglected to have the most current copy of his insurance in his glove box so the policeman told him that he was confiscating his vehicle. The young man’s world collapsed around him as he futilely pleaded that insurance was definitely in force, to which the officer heartlessly said, “This vehicle is mine.” The young man was suddenly out of a vehicle late at night and hundreds of miles from home.

I was in line with the young man for a few hours and helped him reach his insurance company, who confirmed that insurance was in force but that there had been a bureaucratic breakdown at their end and the active coverage data had not been properly sent to the DMV. The DMV then insisted that only a live fax of the data would do, as they admitted that their fax lines were often tied up.

He is a start-up entrepreneur who is building electric-powered bicycles that are styled like choppers. This catastrophic disruption not only forced him to miss a televised interview scheduled in L.A. that morning, but the $1000+ being demanded by the combined weight of the Escondido police, the towing company, and the DMV (to confirm what was already true) exceeded his liquid resources, and limited acceptable forms of payment almost made him leave the DMV emptyhanded, further condemning him to additional storage charges and missed business opportunities. The woman behind the DMV counter was sympathetic, as she confirmed the insurance was in force, but she would not accept a credit card, the only resource the young man had left.

The starkness of this injustice compelled me, a complete stranger, to pay the DMV bill so that he could have a prayer of getting back on the road and bring this nightmare to an end. Apparently, he was able to get back to the impound lot minutes before it closed.

I realize that all governmental entities are under pressure to maximize their revenue as millions of Americans are also forced to make hard economic choices in this contracted economy, but it is hard to see how these Draconian measures serve the overall public good. Further, these punitive assaults could easily push people on the economic brink over the edge. Then we taxpayers could pay many times Escondido’s bounty in unemployment or other public assistance that are then required.

  • Name Withheld
  • via email

Just Check For The D

I agree that the DUI checkpoints are just a coverup to get revenue for the city, and I’m talking about the City of San Diego (“City Lights,” “Checkpoint Moolah,” August 5). Cops should check for DUI and nothing else! If they title the event “DUI Checkpoint,” then why are they asking for all the other personal information like insurance, registration, and driver’s license? That’s a bunch of BS! It’s a scam to make money. If police only checked for DUI, they wouldn’t have near as much revenue as they are getting now while checking insurances, registrations, etc. Poor people don’t have a chance in this city.

  • Alberta
  • via email

Maps! Maps! Please!

This concerns your “Death Alley” story in the August 5 Reader. These historical stories you publish are very, very interesting, but they’d be a lot better if you supplied some maps, for Pete’s sake.

I’ve gotten out AAA club maps from San Diego County, I’ve gotten out a Thomas Guide of San Diego County, and I see I also need a map of Riverside County, or maybe a state map trying to figure out where all these places are. Warner’s Ranch, Temecula, Little Temecula Ranch, Aguanga, Agua Caliente, Deadman’s Hole, Buena Vista Casa...for Pete’s sake! Where in the world are all these places? Why can’t the guy that writes this story draw a little map to help us understand it? Maybe in relation to the San Diego Presidio or San Diego Old Town and a few other things. It’s interesting, but I’ve spent a couple hours just digging up maps trying to figure out where all these places are.

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