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Politics of division always rearing its ugly head at ugly times

POSTED October 4, 2017 9:19 a.m.
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We grieve with our nation at the incomprehensible Sunday evening act that took the lives of 59 persons and wounded 527 in Las Vegas.

As one who has been to the Vegas Strip a number of times, it's hard to believe such tragedies can occur. Understanding eludes our grasp.

I wrote the following in August 2015 about mass murder that has become all too familiar in our society:

"What makes a person commit such heinous acts? Prescription medications? Mental illness? Anger? An evil heart? To be sure, there are no clear-cut answers for what happens in the human brain.

"Surely we can agree that people - typically men - get frustrated, fed up, feeling like they don't matter, depressed, feeling hopeless and some can become so futile and dark in their soul that they do things that shock society.

"Ninety percent of all violent offenders are male - and are 80 percent of the victims. There is something about being male that makes the difference and we could theorize all day about those reasons. We should be concentrating on ways to stem future crimes committed by men.

"Sociologists Randolph Roth and criminologist James Alan Fox suggest that most mass killers have violent episodes after feeling they were denied something thought to be rightfully theirs - such as a job, a promotion at work, a relationship or access to a home. They suggest that perhaps white men, more than any race, tend to act out more if they are denied their ‘right' to things; a sense of entitlement if you will."

* * * * *

There are extremists on both sides of the political spectrum, to be sure. But why does it seem like a stream of venomous harshness emanates from the left?

Want proof of media bias against conservatives? Look no farther than now-fired CBS executive Hayley Geftman-Gold, who tastelessly commented on the Las Vegas massacre by saying: "If they wouldn't do anything when children were murdered I have no hope that Repugs [sic] will ever do the right thing. I'm actually not even sympathetic bc [sic] country music fans often are Republican gun toters [sic]."

CBS had no choice but fire her because she was caught spilling her venom and for the network to defend her would further destroy their credibility with Americans. But rest assured, the entire national media is filled with such people.

I agree with Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin who slammed those who politicized the tragedy with calls for gun control. He said "You can't regulate evil."

When a mad man runs a car into a crowd, the left doesn't cry for car control. When a lunatic uses fertilizer to create a bomb, there is no cry for fertilizer control. When knives or icepicks are used to kill, there is no rush for knife and icepick bans. Why then the call from the left to control guns every time some evil person uses them?

* * * * *

Frank Johnson is up to his old politics of division.
Recall that in 2014, Johnson - a NAACP leader from Modesto - was throwing out the race card when the Ceres City Council retracted city support of the NAACP /Ceres Police Stop Gap Health Services clinic, a pet project of then Police Chief Art deWerk. The council became concerned about liability and disavowed itself of the nursing program. Johnson cried racism, even confronting City Attorney Michael Lyions - only looking after the city's best interests. Johnson suggested to the council that the city attorney was a racist. Lyions admitted getting angry in a private meeting with Johnson because Johnson threatened to "come to this body and have me fired from my position as city attorney. And did I take offense to that simply because I didn't agree with the program? Yes I did."

Now Johnson is on a tirade in Turlock where Mayor Gary Soiseth and Councilwoman Amy Bublak have been squabbling about committee assignments, with Bublak saying the mayor is skipping her over for committee assignment nominations because she is a woman - a charge he flatly denies. Johnson - remember he does not live in Turlock - has gotten involved, calling the mayor a bully and suggesting what he calls a disturbing trend in Turlock. Soiseth agreed to meet with Johnson, but Johnson told the Turlock Journal that he's not optimistic about the outcome of a meeting because "it's evident that fear and intimidation are a method of the mayor." Strong words, dude.

Beware of people who are all too free rushing to controversy with cries of racism.

"You will know a tree by its fruit." Matthew 7:16-17.

* * * * *

Readers may remember that last November I mentioned taping another segment for the TV show, "Pawn Stars" on the History Channel. Pawn Stars is in its 14th season.
I have received word from ITV Studios in New York that my episode is to air on Monday, Oct. 23. No word on the air time yet.

You may remember that I appeared in a Season 10 episode in which I tried to sell Rick Harrison a rare letter signed by President Kennedy. He lowballed me and I left with my item in hand. Holding onto it and selling it in another venue netted me $2,150 more than Harrison offered.

This time Harrison tried to lasso Buffalo Bill from my fingers. Stay tuned to find out how that went.

* * * * *

The world seems to be getting nuttier each day.
MSN headline: "Italian woman ‘marries herself.'" It was a story about this so-called sologamy practice, you know, where people "marry themselves."

It got me thinking: If she were to meet a man and want to get serious, does that mean she's cheating on herself? Will she have to get a divorce first?

Sologamy is pure silliness. Of course a person can't marry themselves. If you want to remain single, stay single but you can't legally marry yourself. But somebody is getting rich trying to make people the center of attention. That's what seems to be driving the world this days - self.

* * * * *

It's funny what you see on the road when you look for it. Maybe the young lady who was northbound on Mitchell Road at Hatch Road on Monday evening had front tinted windows - yes, they are illegal - because she doesn't want anyone to see her spending time on her cell phone. I could barely make it out.

Moments later I saw a car with Oregon plates and a faded bumper sticker reading: "The climate is changing faster than we are." I wish I could have asked her why she was driving a Rav 4 versus an electric car. There's a lot of people like her, who preach environmentalism without changing their own practice.

* * * * *

It's official. California Democrats have completely gone off the rails. Assemblyman Phil Ting - I don't even need to confirm he's a Democrat, I just know - wants to ban sales of cars with a gas engine by 2040. That's 23 years away; it'll be here before you know it.

Until you bring down the cost of electric cars - batteries and modules run in the thousands and sometimes tens of thousands - then you'd better not mess with the car market, California Dingycrats. I have no problem driving a car that is clean - indeed I park my Nissan in clean air vehicle parking stalls because I pass smog - but let's not get ahead of ourselves. Let's let the market should drive this. Sacramento is getting bad.

* * * * *

Our ever partisan State Attorney General Xavier Becerra has ripped U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos - he hates conservatives and especially anyone associated with Trump - for what he calls "continuing to roll back important protections for student borrowers."

Hit the pause button for a second.

Becerra is upset that an Obama policy of loan forgiveness has been deep sixed by DeVos. Of course, students favored it - they borrowed money and didn't want to pay it back.

The Obama rules expanded the process for forgiving federal loan debt in cases where for-profit colleges had so-called defrauded students. DeVos suspended those rules because they created a "muddled process that's unfair to students and schools, and puts taxpayers on the hook for significant costs."

It's akin to borrowing money for a car and then wanting to reneg on paying the loan if the car dies a premature death.

Becerra accused DeVos of "cozying up with loan servicers and for-profit colleges. Educational institutions should exist to serve students. Ask yourself you he cozies up to.


Do you have any feedback about this column? Let Jeff know by emailing him at jeffb@cerescourier.com.
He will read it, promise.

 

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