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Blaming carbon monoxide for crash is pure hogwash

Do the attorneys who filed a lawsuit against Ford Motor Company on behalf of the families of the late Deputy Jason Garner and CSO Raschel Johnson really expect us to believe the  May 13, 2017 crash happened because of carbon monoxide leakage? Carbon monoxide causes people to jam the gas pedal all the way to the floor?

The official inquiry into crash ruled out carbon monoxide overpowering the driver!

It’s so typical of an attorney to go for the deep pockets of a major corporation. It’s funny how they aren’t suing Stanislaus County.

There are so many unanswered questions and rumors in this very bizarre case. 

Gee, if I had been driving that Ford Police Interceptor Utility Vehicle and I smelled an exhaust leak I would have taken right back to the shop to report it.

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I feel like John the Baptist, crying in the wilderness with few listening.

California keeps electing people who:

• Bow at political correctness;

• Serve themselves and their party;

• Raise taxes as though our pockets are deep and endless;

• Passing ridiculous bills that we foot the bill for;

• Abandon common sense at the doorstep of the Capitol.

Blame it on the voters who, when asked on the street by Jay Leno and others, can’t name the countries that border the United States, name our vice president, and the language spoken in Portugal. We have a lazy pathetic citizenry that allows this nonsense to continue.

Lock the doors on the State Capitol and bring in the straitjackets. They have lost their minds, folks.

There is a new bill to keep troublemakers in elementary or middle school class instead of kicking them out. So if this bill passes – and you know it will because Democrats are the majority party and this is their bill – your children will have their instructional time disrupted by punks who weren’t instructed on how to act appropriately around others. There will be no consequences for bad behavior so that when they grow up and brandish guns in the park and end up being killed by a cop we can blame the cop instead of the kid and his parents.

I can tell you firsthand how that disrupted by fourth grade experience at Fair Oaks Elementary School in Oakdale. I didn’t learn a thing that year because the inmates (troublemakers) overpowered the warden (the teacher). As a good kid, it was miserable to endure. By the end of the year the bad apples nearly ruined the whole barrel.

Democrats in Sacramento now think it is fine to allow children with disrespectful behavior to interrupt an entire class. What about the other 29 or so students whose feelings (mental, emotional and possibly physical) are being hurt, discounted or marginalized?

In essense, it’s the same way they treat illegal aliens. There are no consequences for breaking the law, they get to stay put and the rest of us have to pay for it.

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What purpose could there be in exempting feminine products and diapers from the sales tax? Gov. Newsom is proposing what products get a free pass as far as taxes go.

Never assume a Democrat lowering taxes is about making life easier on families. If it were, he wouldn’t have milked millions out of us in the whopping gas tax or the wasteful millions thrown at high-speed rail which he and his party supported. No, think more like this is trying to buy the female vote.

It also shines a great big spotlight on their real intentions for the environment. We all know – if we’re honest – that taxes hinder sales activity (except on gas because it is a must buy.) Thus, eliminating a tax on a product can only help increase the sale of said product. Removing taxes on diapers means parents have less incentive to go with cloth diapers. Newsom’s idea will only result in more poopy diapers filling our landfills.

So remember, Sacramento legislators passed a stupid law about drinking straws citing some notion that there was an island of garbage floating in the Pacific while the same time they want to flood our waste stream with disposable diapers. Brilliant, absolutely brilliant.

Remember, like the bears, the more Dems can keep you eating out of their hand – rather than fend for yourself – the more you will depend on them. They relish that dependency because it means you will vote for them over and over and over and your taxes will climb higher and higher and higher and the regulations will strangulate business and jobs.

* * * * *

I have a real problem with the Dieringer School District teachers near Seattle being asked to bless the Muslim students during Ramadan. Specifically the teachers were instructed to accommodate Muslim students by wishing them “Ramadan Mubarak” (Happy Ramadan) or “Ramadan Kareem” (Have a generous Ramadan). They also were told not to test students because some may be fasting for the holidays of Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha and may not be in top form.

Talk about a double standard. A school district would never order teachers to “welcome” Catholic students during Easter with “He is risen! Hallelujah!” In the 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, students were allowed to sing Christmas carols like “Away in a Manger” in school programs but not today. Now it’s an endless cycle of multicultural gobbledygook songs that couldn’t be farther from the reason holiday focus. It’s almost as if educators are deliberately saying, “To hell with you Christians but let’s be tolerant and loving of the Muslim community.” This is what your schools look like when liberals hijack the education system.

I’ll remind you that my son Bret was actually told in a UC Davis classroom by the teacher that “If you’re Christian you probably don’t belong in this class or this school.”

Feel the love?

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Jeffrey Lewis, president of Legacy Health Endowment, wrote an opinion piece in our sister paper, The Turlock Journal, in which he made some statements about homelessness. Lewis stated: “…no one wants to be homeless, cold or sick.”

Stop. I absolutely think some people acclimate to the homeless lifestyle and do not want to work their way out of it.

Lewis states that “many” homeless lost jobs during the great Recession. Okay, well the economy is going like gangbusters and we keep hearing from the Democrats how there is a work shortage in the fields. (At least that’s what they cite as reason for ignoring immigration law). So why aren’t all these homeless people rushing out to do anything, including picking fruit or harvesting vegetables? Maybe it’s easier to get up at 11 a.m., and have food and tents given to you under the Ninth Street Bridge?

There is an eye-opening video on YouTube titled “The Crystal Meth Epidemic Plaguing Fresno.” Viewed over five million times, the video states the case that most on the streets of Fresno – you might as well interchange the name Fresno for any town in the Valley – are meth and heroin addicts. People wonder why so many people are on drugs in the Valley when the Mexican drug traffickers – allowed because of lax border security – have an open pipeline into our country. Dr. Marc Lasher, medical director of the Fresno Free Medical Clinic, pointblank states: “…our government doesn’t have the (meatballs) to stand up to the cartels to control the industry.”

You might add that the cartels are allowed to flourish by Democrat state officials like Gavin Newsom and Xavier Becerra who resist Trump’s efforts to secure the border between the U.S. and Mexico.

Meth is cheap and according to Robert Pennal, a retired commander of the Fresno Meth Task Force, Mexican cartels are running meth across the border by diluting crystals in water and storing it in external fuel tanks. Diesel fuel, which separates from the water, is added to mask the drug and then recovery labs separate the ingredients and sell the crystals.

California voters chose poorly – as they often do – to pass Prop. 47 and make things far worse with drugs. It decriminalized most small-time drug use. Prop. 47 may have helped with jail overcrowding but now there is no fear of being caught with smaller amounts of the drug.

Watch the video. It’s eye opening and is only 19 minutes long.

* * * * *

The growth rate of California slowed in 2018, the slowest in our history. The overall growth rate slipped to 0.47 percent last year from 0.78 percent in 2017, the slowest since 1900.

Lots of reasons for this but among them are Democrats driving people out making things too expensive. About 5 million people moved here from other states from 2007 to 2016, while about 6 million left California, said the American Community Survey. In 2015, California saw a net gain of 177,000 immigrants moving here and 105,000 residents leaving. The exodus from Liberalville increased between July 2017 and July 2018 when out-migration surged to 160,000.

* * * * *

Did you hear that Rep. Nita Lowey, Democrat of New York, wants to spend $50 million to research gun violence? Specifically it would go to support “firearm injury and mortality prevention research.”

I can save us all a lot of money and direct her to the Bible which indicates that the heart of mankind is desperately wicked and that evil has abounded on Earth from Day One. We can reduce violence of any means or tool if we get back to the basics – proper training for life. Proverbs 22:6: “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Do you suppose all those thugs are being trained up properly? Me neither.

Instead Democrats would prefer to spend millions to come up with zero solutions and have no effect on fun violence because we haven’t solved the problem of the depraved heart. Violence, whether by gun, knife, ligature, poison or brick, is truly a spiritual problem and government won’t be able to address it. Faith will.

* * * * *

This is funny. I’m sure you’ve noticed the rose garden on Smyrna Park at the corner of Moffet and Fowler Road. There is a sign for the Doyle Cummings Rose Garden. Over the years people have asked me who Doyle Cummings and many assumed it was a memorial garden and that he was dead.

Recently I placed a photo of a 1971 Courier clipping on Facebook asking if anyone knew about Doyle’s fate. “Wasn’t he killed?” asked DeAnna Marie Reynolds. Noel Thornton and Lynn Thompson were sure he was dead. Jim Cummings set the record straight. His dad is Doyle Cummings and he’s alive! It seems Doyle was on the Planning Commission and it was his idea to add a rose garden when Smyrna Park was being created. Cummings and friends planted the roses. “Thank you for bringing it up, he’ll get a kick out of it,” wrote Jim. On Monday Doyle Cummings himself wrote that he was inspired to create a rose garden after visiting Buchart Gardens in British Columbia when their roses were blooming. He also visits it every time he comes to Ceres.

As Walter Cronkite used to say, “And that’s the way it is.”

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I’m no fan of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) which tends to rush to liberal causes. It is no surprise that they are attacking a Tennessee state bill that seeks to clamp down on ballot harvesting.

What’s been happening is that partisan groups are hustling people register to vote – something they didn’t have the initiative to do on their own. The idea is to stuff the ballot box in wholesale fashion by getting them to vote for their candidates. In Tennessee there was a problem when ballot harvesters were in such a hurry to get the numbers in shortly before the election that the forms were incomplete and causing problems for election officials.

The bill has generated protests because of a provision that would allow the assessment of a civil penalty against groups that turn in incomplete voter registration forms. The bill also prohibits people and organizations from conducting voter registration drives by using quotas.

Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett said the bill requires training for people who get paid to ballot harvest and they must turn in voter registration within 10 days of receiving them. It also places civil penalties in place if they turn in 100 deficient forms.

Of course, minority groups are squawking loudly, saying it’s all about voter suppression. No it isn’t. Any eligible person is able to sign up to become a voter on their own and it’s easy.

I think ballot harvesting prostitutes the whole election process. Think about it: You pay people to get people to register to vote when they lack the drive on their own and then you only target groups known to support your party? They’re only getting them to vote because they’ll vote for their candidate.

Plus, ballot harvesters collect ballots and there is zero assurance those ballots won’t be opened, or, in some cases, conveniently not submitted to the elections department if the harvester believes those votes could be for the other side. Let’s say a Democrat ballot harvester goes to a roster of church goers, gets them to vote, collects their ballots with a pledge to turn them in, and, because he knows they tend to vote conservative, takes them to a burn pit instead. The voter gets screwed. Don’t think it hasn’t happened.

I would never trust anyone to turn my ballot in.

Opponents of the bill say the state has a record amount of apathetic voters. I say ballot harvesting does not make them any more caring about elections.

Besides, who wants a lazy, apathetic low information voter – who had to be coaxed into registering to vote –filling in the ovals when they have no idea what they’re doing? Sloppy voting practices mean electing sloppy politicians and passing sloppy ballot measures.

This column is the opinion of Jeff Benziger, and does not necessarily represent the opinion of The Ceres Courier or Morris Newspaper Corp. of CA. How do you feel about this? Let Jeff know at