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California Democrats engaged in extreme election interference

Democrats in Sacramento and Washington appear to be more obsessed with taking down a president than about the business of governing and tending to serious issues like immigration. (Having said that, we’d all be better off if the state Legislature and Congress only worked part-time).

Democrats make a lot of charges of election tampering while engaging in full-scale election interference in California. Our governor and state AG still insists on violating the Constitution by denying Trump a place on the March primary ballot in California. Seems a silly waste of their time given how there’s no way Trump gets elected in California with 43 percent registered as Democrats and 23.57 percent as Republicans.

But since a federal judge ruled that Democrats’ attempt to keep Trump off the ballot unless he supplies his tax returns is unconstitutional as hell, they pledge to keep up the fight. Any grade school student studying the Constitution and its amendments know what the qualifications running for president are and requiring one’s tax returns to be made public in order to become a candidate is not one of them.

I’m with Senate Republican Leader Shannon Grove. She said not only did Newsom sign an unconstitutional SB 27, but he should end the appeals and quit wasting taxpayer dollars on violating our Constitution. The rest of the country is watching this and laughing.

Just another reason to recall Gov. Newsom.

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Can we please have a part-time Legislature like they have in Texas? It would limit the damage they continue to wreak on California. Theirs is the opposite of the Midas Touch; everything they touch turns to crap. And in the case of homelessness in San Francisco, literally.

We’re talking AB 378 now. As you know the Democrats are in bed with unions. They are controlled by unions. They sponsored AB 378, which the Democrats glad handedly passed.  AB 378 is a power grab for unions to obtain the private information of childcare providers with the ultimate goal of unionizing them, which would make childcare even more expensive and difficult to find.

This comes at a time when families in California already have a hard time paying for child care because both parents must work to support the California tax burden. For example, the average family in Sacramento is almost paying as much in childcare fees as they spend on rent every month. The average cost of full-time care for an infant at a Sacramento County licensed childcare center is $1,187 per month. The median rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Sacramento is $1,475 per month.

Not only does this bill do the bidding for unions, it violates the privacy rights of childcare providers by giving powerful unions access to personal information such as their home addresses and cell phone numbers.

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Lots are talking about Greta Thunberg, the angry little Swedish girl with Asperger’s and OCD who condemned all of us who she accused of ignoring science and being too slow in an approach to tackle climate change and who suggests we’re all killing the planet.

I watched the 16-year-old and felt disturbed that children can be programmed to believe in the hogwash of manmade climate change. It reminded me of one of those cheesy movies where a small girl shames the silly adults to change the course of the world. But this was no movie with a violin soundtrack. This child is going to die from fear before she reaches the full natural course of her life.

But honestly, after hearing her scathing, scowling “How dare you…” speech where she accuses the world of stealing her dreams and her childhood, I thought it more appropriate on behalf of the children being aborted. They are the ones who were cheated out of their dreams and their childhood. Abortion – that’s the real crime against humanity. The planet is taking care of itself just fine despite what the progressives want you to believe.

Little Greta was right about one thing – she is one of the lucky ones. She wasn’t one of those aborted before they had a chance to breathe in all that contaminated air that Greta preaches will kill us.

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I totally felt for Ceres businessman Dave Stiles when he spoke out against the City Council approving a laboratory to test cannabis products. But his was a case of too much too little late. Stiles was nowhere to be found when the council was asked to consider developer agreements for a medicinal cannabis manufacturer and two dispensaries. Instead he chose to show up to fight a cannabis testing facility that makes sure product is safe and is of a specific strength. 

I am no fan of marijuana. You all know that. I didn’t vote for Prop. 64. I think that marijuana is not doing most people any favors. There’s ample of evidence that it impairs drivers like alcohol, it lowers sexual inhibitions, and it takes away some people’s ambition. Plus, untold numbers of people are killed nationwide in pot sales gone bad. But Pandora’s Box has been opened and recreational marijuana is accepted today. I get that Stiles was thinking that adding one more testing facility will just increase the flow of product, but I surely don’t want people dying or tripping out from bad products that hasn’t been tested. And I know Mr. Stiles doesn’t want that either.

Attitudes are changing about pot but I felt for Mr. Stiles as he took a position I have long held but have since relinquished. Like it or not, marijuana is here to stay. This isn’t 1950 with the posters about marijuana being the “devil’s harvest” and “the weed that kills.”

I could never defend, however, my opposition to pot while failing to make a similar protest over alcohol, which destroyed lots of members of my own family. Still, I feel that, like tobacco, filling one’s lungs with a burning plant is harmful and I resent when I have to smell it out in public. Secondhand marijuana smoke contains many of the same cancer-causing substances and toxic chemicals as secondhand tobacco smoke. Some of the known carcinogens or toxins present in marijuana smoke include: acetaldehyde, ammonia arsenic, benzene, cadmium, chromium, formaldehyde, hydrogen cyanide, isoprene, lead, mercury, nickel, and quinolone.

Users of marijuana need to think how career opportunities could be affected. A family member who wanted to become a police officer in Texas was disqualified because he honestly answered a question about past marijuana use.

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Shirley Rogers can be sweet when she wants to be but she can also be gruff. She admitted that she likes to stir things up and she enjoys our head-butting on social media.

She claimed to be upset that I said in a prior column that people who don’t put their cans away out of public view on non-collection days are lazy. (She publicly stated that she doesn’t put her can away.)

Shirley, you might not know, is a Conditista (a term I coined for fans of Channce Condit who disregard any criticism of him). Shirley disliked like my column last week criticizing Condit for suddenly having a change of mind about serving on the City Council nine months into a four-year term and now wanting a different office. I suggested Conditistas owe me an apology because they’ve blasted me for pointing out that Condit has all this time postured himself politically on the City Council level while having eyes on higher office. Shirley suggested that she would apologize when I apologize for calling front-yard garbage can dwellers “lazy.” She then suggested that I “use that word ‘lazy’ real often and I find it offensive coming from a guy who the most you ever lifted was a pencil.”

I informed Shirley that I physically built half of my prior home pretty much singlehandedly. I suppose she missed my stories about running a half marathon, building my own brick patio and hiking to the top of Half Dome seven times, yet in her mind I’m the “lazy” one.

There is another Conditista, Martha L. Griffith, who said she wouldn’t apologize, asking “Why wouldn’t Channce Condit run for a different position?” She then asked, “Why is it that people get nasty when someone wants to better our lives?”

I don’t think I or others are being “nasty” when pointing out that Condit isn’t finished in year one of his first term and saying, “Shucks, I want to move on already.” I mean, Condit was all gung ho to require all managers to live in Ceres but less gung ho about fulfilling his obligation to a four-year term. Griffith urges people to “let Channce get the job done right and make life better than it is.”

Why would they when his first job is incomplete?

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There are so many restaurants in San Francisco – about 4,415 of them – that it would take you about four years to eat at all of them for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day.

But the political climate in SF and California is causing lots to go out of business.

Stacy Jed, president of the Golden Gate Restaurant Association, said that historically there’s been an equal number of restaurants opening and closing every year in San Francisco. Not anymore. Now there’s more closings than openings. The Golden Gate Restaurant Association looked at numbers from Yelp and found that in 2019 325 restaurants in San Francisco closed while 298 opened. Even more closures are anticipated for 2019 despite a strong Trump economy.

The reasons are varied. Delivery service options are changing. But in this liberal city by the Bay, there is an average of 22 permits a business owner must file and pay for, said Jed. The cost of labor and healthcare has made it very hard for restaurants to survive.

The minimum-wage hikes approved by Democrats are killing restauranteurs.  Over the past five years, minimum-wage has gone up $1 every year. When an employer adds in benefits, that comes out to roughly an additional $1.30. For Jed, who has 90 employees in her Bluestem Brasserie that has translated to an additional $30,000 a month increase to her bottom line for labor. So each year, when you tack on an additional $30,000 in cost, “if you’re not bringing in more income, you’re at a net zero gain,” she said.

And tell me why minimum-wage is a good thing? To give low-skilled laborers more money at the expense of their own jobs?

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We are still settling into our office move. In the move a little book popped up that made me smile. It is a self-published book written in 2011 by Ceres’ own Shirley Davis on her life’s journey. She inscribed it to me, “Jeff, Hope you enjoy my journey. Shirley Davis.”  “My Life in Alaska” recounts her life, which started in 1929 in Des Moines, Iowa, where she lived until she left home in 1950.

Shirley lost her battle to cancer on April 23, 2012 over seven years but it seems like yesterday that I watched her dedicate her grove of presidential trees in Smyrna Park. Her death came nine months after the death of my wife to leukemia. I visited her husband, Del Davis, several times after his loss. I suppose the grief and loneliness of the man were too much to take. He departed on Feb. 20, 2014.

I look back on both fondly, as some of the really good people who make Ceres a great town.

I have another book given to me by Shirley Rogers. I’m reading “Seeds in the Wind,” a biography written by her husband, Russell “Bud” Rogers, who lived in Ceres. He died in May 2016 at the age of 83.  Thanks for the books, Shirley.

Everyone should write a book about their lives.

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