Elias makes a great proposal on re-doing the real estate “limited partnership” dodge over property tax revaluations, since the Prop. 13 enabling legislation, but it should be extended, and to other kinds of commerce, including out-of-state Internet sales. Of course, it really *would* diminish turnover to some extent, surely in a good way. In a similar vein, there has long been the idea of a per-transaction surcharge on stock sales – sponsored I think by Rep. Charles Rangel for quite a while – and this should especially be applied to the gross over-leverages of derivatives … including any secondary “vehicles” of real estate sales and ownership.
Unfortunately, the Chicago School of Economics has sold everyone on the ideas of British Liberal Free Trade, which the Revolution was fought against – not just “taxation without representation” – such that the general belief is that capitalism is the same as free trade and private ownership, and “protectionism” is just a bad word. (Actually, it was defined by Gauss, in the 19th century, to mean “the productive power of labor per capita” – take that, Marxist wanabis!)
R. Brian Huthcings
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To the Editor,
Your article of November 20 regarding “VA Protection Not Considered By Democrats” is lacking in some very important details. Had the Veterans Park Conservancy not secured this property with the VA the Bush administration fully intended to allow commercial development that would eliminate this open space and require parking for 500 to 750 vehicles in an already traffic clogged intersection. None of this development would be of use or value to wounded veterans. Instead this property, presently occupied by a large colony of gophers, will be turned into a beautiful park where Veterans can come to heal and to relax. For this we can all thank Senator Diane Feinstein, Senator Barbara Boxer, Congressman Henry Waxman and many other elected officials who care and understand what we are trying to do for our Veterans. To learn more please go to
Harry Macy, Korean War Veteran
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Regarding Sasha Stone’s review of the movie “Milk”, I would like to comment that the same country that produces people who like to shoot at people at random also allows them to easily buy guns.
The powerful and well-financed gun lobbies in America rule, and public apathy is tragic. We live in a giant shooting gallery.
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This is my comment or response to the Nov 27 – Dec 3 Vol 10 issue 25 on “Planning Board Okays Senior Housing Project”
I have seen the original plans and architectural renderings of this project a few years ago. I have to say that it will be a huge improvement to the area visually as well as economically for the City and all the businesses in the area. The two properties that are currently on the site are old and in need of repair, two- multi (4) unit properties. I am sure the property owners that are living directly in the area will not be upset to see them gone. With the underground parking planned for the new property it should give the homeowners on Montana Avenue more parking, less noise, and very respectable and quite neighbors. The property values for homeowners adjacent to the new facility should benefit from it, a better neighborhood for all.
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Regarding Steve Stajich’s “Fun Tax” column:
I’m somewhat skeptical of this tax myself, however this article seems to pin family fun as being intrinsically tied to amusement parks. What about things like family camping trips or other activities? Are we dependent on corporate icons, roller coasters and $4 churros to have a good time?
Santa Monica Resident
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I understand your readers’ feelings because I have been involved in several bizarre encounters with the Santa Monica police.
I was standing in front of the main post office when a cop appearing to be completely out of control jumped out and screamed, demanding to know where I had come from. When I asked why, he seemed out of control and threatened to arrest me. I was so astonished by his bizarre behavior that I asked why again. This sent the cop into paroxysms of fury screaming “because I am asking.” I told him and moved on. Normally I would have resisted without some explanations but, at that time, I was in the process of getting high defense security clearances at the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory and any altercation with police could have been detrimental to my success.
On a farmers’ market day, I saw a man and a woman in black shorts and shirts rummaging in the trunk of a car while a crowd was gathering at the scene. When I asked what was going on the man turned around and I saw the [police] name plate. He was extremely agitated and began screaming incomprehensibly about thieves and stolen goods. I do not like to deal with such maniacs so I turned around to leave with the man screaming, “I hope this makes your day.”
I sent an account of the incident to the police with a suggestion that such unstable personalities might do better in animal control activities. I was asked to come to the police department where I was met with threats of high penalties for filing false reports about the police. My offer to confront the cop and request to bring in the owner of the car were rejected. Similarly, inquiries regarding further procedures in the affair were rejected as police matter. How can a public agency funded by taxpayers have secret administrative activities?
After these, and several minor interactions, I have come think that these incidents are planned performances by the best, uniformed comedy team that I have ever encountered in travels in dozens of countries. Taxpayers distracted by such astonishing antics are diverted from demanding detailed accounting for the allocated expenditures for police, together with a clear proof that police performance is worth taxpayers’ money.
Andrew Wortman, Ph.D.
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FATHER’S OFFICE IS OFFENSIVE
It was a lovely Sunday afternoon as I strolled over to Father’s Office on Montana Avenue with my friend from West Hollywood. I have been praising their hamburgers for years and I finally got her to make the drive to my part of town for lunch at this landmark restaurant. What a nice surprise to walk in and see that it was not very crowded and that there were a few vacant tables. My friend has Celiac Disease, which means that she cannot eat anything containing gluten. Because of the seriousness of this disease the gluten containing food cannot even touch the food that is to be consumed. We both ordered the burgers and my friend requested that the bun be left off her burger. The person taking our order, who we found out was the manager, REFUSED to serve the burger without the bun. We explained the implication of possibly getting stomach cancer if gluten is consumed. She continued to refuse to serve the burger without the bun pointing to the bottom of the menu which states that “no substitutions or alterations” can be made. Under the circumstances I feel that Father’s Office should have been compliant and sensitive to this customer and just LEAVE OFF THE BUN!!!!!
By the way Rosti’s on Montana Avenue, just across from Father’s Office, has a wonderful lunch menu.