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I’ve been catching up with what people are opining and philosophizing about in the press:

• Lorena Gonzalez, secretary-treasurer and CEO of the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council, did a Q&A with the Union-Tribune. Most of if has to do with the battles unions across the country are undertaking to preserve their hard-won pensions and benefits. She’s got no qualms about identifying instigators and culprits, and they’re not union workers.

Nonunion management:

The abuses in the pension system by and far have come from unrepresented, nonunion, managerial administrators. We should be asking them how they are going to solve the pension crisis.

And finance leaders:

Wall Street and bankers caused this recession, yet they want to point at the union and nonunion workers and have them fighting for the few cents that are left.

And CEOs:

What is out of balance is that the average CEO makes 300 times what the average worker makes. The average CEO can work for one day and make what the average worker makes over 52 weeks.

• On Gov. Jerry Brown’s Facebook page, Andres Meza (who like many there, can’t resist telling the governor what they think, even if means leaving non sequiturs on a note about a budget discussion), tells the governor,

You need to do something to stop the confiscation of cars from the undocumented immigrants. … The police are doing this with the excuse to catch drunk drivers. You know that nobody does nothing to protect us. Unfortunately we have no voice.

Confiscating cars is apparently a profitable undertaking for cities, California Watch reported last year.

Vehicles are predominantly taken from minority motorists — often illegal immigrants. … Sobriety checkpoints frequently screen traffic within, or near, Hispanic neighborhoods. Cities where Hispanics represent a majority of the population are seizing cars at three times the rate of cities with small minority populations.

In the North County Times, they’re endorsing a policy that seems to remedy the problem:

The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department that gives those caught driving without a license the chance to have their vehicles driven away by a licensed driver shortly after the stop is reasonable and humane — and we urge other cities and police departments to adopt it, too.

• Okay, now I see what’s happening. Last week I linked to an opinion piece by Ruben Barrales, president and CEO of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, who wrote that Tijuana and San Diego are safe for tourists and business.

Now I see a similar piece in the Wall Street Journal co-authored by Janet Napolitano, the secretary of Homeland Security. Her opening line gives away that it’s all part of an orchestrated campaign to make people feel better about living or vacation near, or crossing, the shared border with Mexico.

Over the last few weeks, mayors, sheriffs, business leaders and citizens have joined together with a simple but powerful message: America’s Southwest border communities are open for business.

For what it’s worth, Oliver North — you remember him — has also noticed the image-improvement campaign and says it’s hooey.

In a relevant story in the Union-Tribune, Elizabeth Aguilera explains how the American lust for drugs brings the crime north with them.

Tremendous U.S. drug use is the fuel that drives the trafficking trade — and with it the murders of more than 35,000 Mexicans since 2007, authorities and researchers said. These experts agree the cycle of crime and violence will continue as long as high consumption persists.

“Why are we trying to stop the drugs from crossing to the United States?” Former Mexican President Vicente Fox rhetorically asked an audience on the USD campus on Thursday. He said stopping the narcotraffickers and their violence is largely up Americans:

Wouldn’t it be easier for the U.S. government, for President (Barack) Obama to give instructions to U.S. enforcement agencies and tell them stop drugs from moving freely within the United States? … The United States is sending a few dollars to Mexico for the Merida agreement and some instructions, “Please Mexicans hold the drugs down there, we don’t want it here in the United States.” How many lives are we going to be sacrificing?

Items quoted here may be lightly edited for spelling, grammar, or style (such as using proper capitalization, removing extra exclamation marks, or fixing obvious typos). Send comments you’d like to have included here to Grant Barrett, engagement editor for or (619) 550-5666 or @grantbarrett on Twitter.

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