By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
High taxes protested
A seven-hour Tea Party protest staged in front of the Stanislaus County offices in downtown Modesto Thursday drew a crowd decrying high taxes, the government take-over of private business, excessive federal and state spending practices and the erosion of individual liberties.

Ed Krigbaum, a Ceres resident who published a conservative-themed book, "Relentless: The Socialist Attack on American Freedom," spoke throughout the day. In his book Krigbaum states the case for how government has been hijacked by officials with socialist ideology.

"Socialism is a religion and they've been indoctrinated in it," said Krigabum. "They don't believe in God because socialism almost by definition is an atheist system."

Krigbaum said "the American people, in general, don't understand the difference between freedom, democracy, socialism, communism, fascism, and then I hear Barack Obama get on the news day after day say, 'I'm not a socialist.' But he is a socialist. He defines socialism in every aspect of his life and he's been a socialist from practically the day he was born, which is why a lot of us can't understand how a guy like that can get elected in this country."

At various times, the microphone was open to anyone wanting to vent their political views. Bob Carson of Ceres took the microphone and commented that government is drifting into socialism because non-Christians are winning office.

"I'm against everything liberal," said Carson after he stepped down. "I came because ... this country was founded on the principles of the Bible and they have done everything they can with the humanist manifesto. These politicians - I don't care if they're Democrat, Republican or Independent ... if they haven't been born again, they're corrupt and they will sell out."

Carson decried the Korean War and war in Iraq and Afghanistan as U.N. wars that he said were illegal.

Others voiced frustration about Congress and President Obama passing the recent health-care reform system despite the majority of Americans opposing it.

Another tax day protest was held at the Modesto Junior College.

In critiquing the Modesto tea party, Modesto conservative radio talk show host Dave Diamond later said "We don't protest well."

Manteca resident David Morse listened to speakers as he held a sign that read, "Bitterly Clinging to My $." It was a reference to candidate Barack Obama's controversial campaign remark about conservatives being "bitter" people who "cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them..." Morse, who was laid off in November as a cable TV construction supervisor, blamed Senate Democrats as the architects for the meltdown in the housing market because Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac loan programs forced loans to people who couldn't afford them.

"I'm here because of out-of-control government spending," said Morse. "Both the federal government and the state; the federal government refusal to cut spending. Their only solution to everything is to raise taxes."

A Guyana immigrant who legally changed his name to Patriot Bob came out with a sign to protest the government taking more rights from Americans.

"I'm here to defend my rights as an American. I'm against freedom being taken away because I lived through it where I came from."

In explaining socialism, Krigbaum took a shot at Ceres city leaders for the odd-even watering rationing system. "I guess I'm so dumb I don't know how to water my own lawn and when to water it and what time of day to water it," said Krigbaum. "That's a silly little thing ... I resent all these little intrusions into my life. I think I can take care of my own life and I can't then that's my problem. As long as I don't kill somebody or steal something then stay out of my life."