Like many of you, I saw the 9/11 events unfold from my bed. I awoke when my spouse, who wakes for the beginnings of the financial market news, rolled me out and said, “you have to see this.”

Which I did, somewhat bleary eyed and not believing.

I won’t go over what we all know occurred then, and since that time.

But I do have a, kind of, related point on our current local condition.

Lots of truly wretched things happen by chance. Volcanoes go off. Earthquakes bust apart cities, and communities, and lives. Floods, fires etc. You get the idea.

But, some wretched things happen by resolve.

When the Reich captured most of Western Europe, it did so intentionally. Because the west was not ready for such stuff, Chamberlain tried to limit the damage by capitulating to the invasion of certain “limited” areas of Slovakia. It neither appeased the invader nor solved any problems thereafter.

That situation was ultimately resolved at a great cost. And the Reich had to give back the countries it took.

The 9/11 events woke us up, sort of, to that message in our time. Another horrible thing had occurred. It was secretly planned over a long period of time. The people involved knew what they were doing, the consequences of the behavior and did it anyway. Worst, it happened here in America.

We are some ways away from resolving that situation, but we are more aware and alert to the fact that the plotting and planning happens.

Turning locally, some real mischief has also occurred for years and hidden from public view.

It is very difficult for average persons to appreciate what it means to become in debt to the tune of, say two thousand million ($2 billion) dollars. If it was paid off $1 dollar every second of every minute, hour, day, month and year until paid, it would take over 64 years.

It’s a lot of money. This was planned.

Like England before WWII, like America before 9/11, we in San Diego were not ready for this when it was being planned and implemented.

Our business community, chambers and associations were busily looking the other way. Our watchdog in the watchdog press corps was snoring peacefully in his kennel. There was really nothing to worry about.

Like England and America before, we in San Diego have lost our innocence. We no longer trust our local government as we had before. We now know different.

If not reversed in some fashion, our local government, as we knew it, is over. That government will now exist only to fill a monstrous pension hole with our community’s money. You will see city services evaporate. And, the community occupying that space during that period will fail – large and small – in every other measurable respect.

We don’t talk about this much, mostly because we always hope for the next “big happy beach party” which we see as our entitlement in this wonderful space on the earth.

It doesn’t work that way.

History, which we read little of, reminds us of it.

There are some in politics, media, and print that think we should just “stop all the fighting,” and “buck up” to paying off all the billions in what everyone now concedes to be “illegal debt.” The theory here is that it’s just too hard a fight to undo the illegal debt, and those that did this have “learned their lessons” so it won’t ever happen again.

Maybe. But, most probably not.

From my standpoint, which is only regarding the financial structure of the city, I think it important that what the Krolls’ and everyone else now concedes to be the monstrous “illegal” benefits deficit be eliminated and restructured so that the city can survive and thrive into the future.

Beyond that, for those that participated in the elaborate structuring of this massive rip-off of the public’s treasury and assets, how (why) would those players ever “learn their lesson” and be convinced to “not do this again” if the result is that the openly “illegal” benefits are allow to stand and be paid by taxpayers?

Under those capitulating circumstances, aren’t we doomed to experience more of the same again?

After all, they would have gotten away with it. They would have won.

And it would be worth billions.

Why would anything change?

PAT SHEA

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