Posted: 17 Sep 2014 11:22 PM PDT
Remember those outrageously expensive red light camera tickets?
Remember the red light camera vendors who were out lobbying local politicians to use their third-party services to process tickets using a minor safety issue as a revenue enhancement scam – with most “red light” tickets be issued for right-hand turns without stopping. Additionally creating a real hazard of a rear-end collision when someone jams on the brakes to avoid a ticket.
Well it is about to get worse, much worse …
Under the guise of implementing a simplified non-criminal “good neighbor” ordinance policy, the Los Angeles City Council is about to screw all of the residents and visitors to the City of Los Angeles with a municipal scam designed to generate millions in revenue – revenue that will fund the underfunded public employee union pension funds and result in significant money being available for raises.
Here are some excerpts from the City Council Agenda …
It should be noted that vendors associated with processing and collection activities often are dis-incentivized to act fairly and use low-cost marginal personnel who are overworked and unlikely to offer any real form of customer assistance or relief. It should also be noted that many municipal red-light camera tickets were signed by sworn officers who committed perjury as they did not witness the actual act.
The SCAM explained …
For current violations, the City must actually act in accordance with law and the recipient of a violation notice forced to appear in court. This comes at a significant cost to the city in terms of time, effort, and money. A sworn officer needs to present evidence and the city needs to prove their case.
Now, with the simplified procedure the City need no longer prove its case – the burden of seeking a judicial review has been shifted to the alleged ordinance violator who must take time and/or pay for an attorney to contest the matter. The City is calculating that the fine will be cheaper than lost wages and attorney costs for the majority of those cited.
Since, the devil is in the details, what type of things are now subject to a $250 fine for the first offense, $500 for the second offense, and $1,000 for the third offense?
Attachment A-1 ACE PILOT PROGRAM - LOS ANGELES POLICE DEPARTMENT -- SCHEDULE OF VIOLATIONS
Some of these offenses are extremely subjective and are likely to be influenced by the mood of the code enforcement officer. There is a good reason why the city wants to shift the burden of challenge and proof to a citizen – much like you a guilty until you prove yourself innocent instead of the rule of law that states a person is “innocent until proven guilty” by the state.
I have omitted Attachment A-2, ACE PILOT PROGRAM - ANIMAL SERVICES -- SCHEDULE OF VIOLATIONS -- LOS ANGELES MUNICIPAL CODE (Law enforcement has discretion to cite as misdemeanor or under ACE) that describes the offenses relating to animals and that is similarly extensive.
As you can see, the city has criminalized most of your daily living and depending on the whim (or financial incentive) of the code enforcement officer, we are about to be royally screwed.
BOHICA – Bend Over Here It Comes Again: Look at how the program is being sold in the media …
Bottom line …
Rather than act as representatives for their constituents, City Council members apparently are acting on behalf of the special interests (unions, vendors, etc) who contribute campaign funding, media attention, and voter support to their personal campaigns. It is in the best interests of Council members to insure that revenue flows into the city’s coffers to pay-off the public employee unions that supported their campaigns.
Los Angeles is about to become a city like Tijuana, Mexico, with the potential for small cash bribes to overlook small offenses being the rule rather than the exception. Considering the number of illegal aliens in Los Angeles that do not obey the law, do not provide identification, and simply throw away notices of violations – this legislation will affect the law-abiding public in a disproportionate manner.
Keep your eyes open and demand that you are kissed before you are screwed.
Posted: 16 Sep 2014 02:28 PM PDT
Dr. Saleh Saleh, as he was colloquially known, could be found roaming the halls of UCLA Hospital at odd hours – consulting on difficult cases with his own wide-ranging style of multi-disciplinary inquiry. Something I experienced first hand as we tried to save my mother using some of UCLA’s top physicians in their respective fields.
Unlike other specialists, Dr. Saleh Saleh did not believe in one-size fits all and conventional wisdom. He was unafraid to let his mind wander far and wide in seeking solutions to life’s major problems.
I had known of his reputation long before my mother was hospitalized, as my sister and her co-workers at UCLA Hospital used to speak of him in reverent tones when he saved another life by unraveling mysteries that remained opaque to other clinicians.
I had gotten into a pissing match with the Chief of Surgery over an issue regarding my mother’s treatment – something I backed with medical literature, but the doctor remained unwilling to order. I told him that I was going to approach Dr. Saleh Saleh and would he abide by his decision. His respect for Dr. Saleh Saleh was evident as he agreed without further discussion, and questioned how I managed to find the hospital’s top troubleshooter. Not so surprising considering my sister’s experience and that my mother’s primary care physician and world-class gerontologist, Dr.James Davis, Jr, was one of the recipients of the clinical teaching awards honoring Dr. Saleh Saleh.
I returned to the hospital the next morning at 7:30 a.m. when I ran into the Chief who was just arriving. We went to the chart area together and he noted that Dr. Saleh Saleh had “dropped by” at 3:20 a.m. and wrote notes agreeing with my request. We tried the new protocol, and unfortunately it did not work. Dr. Saleh Saleh dropped by to follow-up and suggested options – one of which led to an additional two months with my mother and a peaceful death. Having dealt with a large number of doctors, many arrogant assholes, it was readily apparent that this was an exceptional man as well as a doctor.
Here is the UCLA announcement …
Bottom line …
I find it ironic that Dr. Saleh Saleh was born in Iraq, died on 9/11, and will be buried close to where both of my parents are buried. His life and teaching have inspired a number of outstanding clinicians who are not afraid to step outside their individual specialties and consider alternative drugs and protocols. I will remember him fondly every time I visit my parent’s graves.