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Californians are reaping the disasters they choose

The June 7 primary election may have brought some disappointment to some of you.

First, can you imagine the disappointment of losing after spending months of raising money, organizing a campaign, attending events, speaking before groups, riding in parades, shaking hands, walking precincts? It’s got to be very hard to accept – especially if you end up coming in last place. 

The outcome was a mixed bag for me. I relished in the outcome of some races but was disgusted with others. As much as I didn’t want to see it, I was prepared for the voters’ sad choice for governor. After all, if they didn’t “throw the bum out” when they had a chance in September they surely weren’t going to abandon him in June.

As it is, the gubernatorial race is headed to a Nov. 8 David versus Goliath showdown. Newsom will face off with Brian Dahle (pronounced Dollay) and it probably will be a bloodbath. Dahle is a rancher from up north and represents a rural part of the state that hasn’t ever sent a governor to Sacramento. Few people even know what he looks like.

In the biblical account of David versus Goliath, everyone knew that David was going to be slaughtered by the warrior giant. David, a scrawny sheepherder, was taking on a physical giant. What enabled David to slay Goliath was not David’s might and skill but in God’s power through him. 1 Samuel 17:48-50 makes that clear: “The Lord helped David defeat Goliath without a sword or armor.”

Now I’m not saying God will give Dahle the power to drop the governor with one blow to the head. He could but I think God has the habit of giving people collectively what they want – especially when they have snubbed Him; and let’s face it, California lawmakers routinely snub God. He lets people make their bed and lie in it; unfortunately many of us don’t want to be in that bed.

Not all of what ails California is due to our lawmakers, who, in my opinion, are a godless lot of morally bankrupt individuals. But many of our problems are a direct result of their policies which often run counter to Christian Judeo values. And regardless of what you may think about God, He is a reality to be reckoned with. Many historical figures who tested God’s patience throughout history – I think of Mussolini, Hitler, Saddam Hussein – got what they deserved in the end. God is quick to be compassionate when one humbles one’s self but California hasn’t humbled itself in quite a while.

Remember those “pray for rain” signs that began appearing in 2015 after years of drought? Do you remember what happened as a result? It rained and the signs were put away. A Feb. 24, 2017 article in the Turlock Journal read: “Five years of drought followed by a historic wet and stormy winter has wreaked havoc on rivers, roads and forests throughout the region and state, but in Turlock no place has been hit harder than Pedretti Park.” Two paragraphs later Turlock Parks, Recreation and Public Facilities Manager Allison VanGuilder was quoted as saying: “We begged and prayed for rain — and we got it. We should have been more specific: not all at once and not with the wind.”

Let’s just talk about a few issues which are unpleasing to God. Our governor, sorry to say, believes women have the right to terminate the lives of their babies. And since 97 percent of biologists agree that life begins at conception, that means there is a separate life other than the mother and makes abortion murder and you know what God feels about those who shed innocent blood.

When it was leaked that the Supreme Court is poised to reverse Roe v. Wade and allow states to decide for themselves how to treat abortion, Newsom said he would “fight like hell” to allow the practice to continue.

Our state Legislature has unethically wielded their tax collecting powers in a cruel manner. Our lawmakers are sitting on a $100 billion budget surplus which means the state has taken too much of our money and won’t give it back. That borders on criminal.

Our state continuing looks for ways to foist thieves and murderers on an innocent population out of the interests of social justice. Newsom now wants to close three MORE prisons in the next three years, one of them being Deuel Vocational Institution near Tracy. So when those unemployed ex-cons come to settle in your neighborhood and find that their skills are not going to keep up with the massive inflation we have all suffered under, guess whose stuff they will be stealing? Or guess whose kids they will be selling drugs to for their profit?

I could go on, noting that God detests lying lips so when Newsom ran for governor claiming to be for the death penalty yet declaring a moratorium after elected that was only a lie just to score votes in the Valley.

The plethora of “rainbow” legislation streaming out of Sacramento that blur the lines of gender are also appalling. If you’ll remember Genesis 1:27: “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he reacted them; male and female he created them.”

Male and female. No others.

You get what I’m saying? Whether we’re talking drought or fires or not enough power or food or gas, California seems to be suffering some kind of wrath. It would not be a stretch to conclude that the blessings have been withheld from the Almighty.

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Two candidates with Ceres connections ended up losing last week.

Chad Condit lost his second bid for elective office. As an independent, Condit unsuccessfully ran for Congress in 2012. One wonders if Condit’s chances to succeed in his state Assembly bid would have fared better as a Republican since he presented a fairly conservative stance on the issues. Was he too conservative for Democrat voters?

Chad has been unable to bedazzle voters nor replicate the folksy charm that his dad employed on his rise from councilman to congressman. I think voters also questioned where Condit has been for the past decade and now all of a sudden interested in serving as a new district was carved.

You also have to wonder if there is some element of Condit fatigue, a feeling that one family wields too much power. Two are sitting on the board of supervisors and one recently flaked out of his Ceres City Council seat after eight months on the job.

The top vote-getter in the 22nd Assembly race, Juan Alanis, benefited from maintaining a higher profile – he ran for sheriff four years ago – and his law enforcement background certainly appealed to conservatives.

The common criticism of Condit is that he had been absent from public view for a decade and that he didn’t establish any record.

The same can be said of Jeff McKay, who lost his bid to run for the 4th state Senate District. McKay, who has been busy running businesses while serving on a Modesto school board seat, came in fifth place out of eight. I don’t think he had the name recognition. When former Congressman George Radanovich entered the race after McKay, I suspected McKay would be a casualty. Radanovich took 17.3 percent of the vote and Republican McKay was at 15.3 percent.

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I am flummoxed at the apathy exhibited by Californians. Time and time again we hear Democrat politicians talk about how Republicans want to suppress the vote. While that is not anywhere the truth, the people are doing quite well in suppressing their own votes.

Only 17.6 percent of registered voters in California fulfilled their civic duty to vote last week! Seventeen percent actually give a rip and 83 percent of you didn’t care. No wonder we get the type of idiot politicians we get! This is pathetic, people!

The apathy was worse in Stanislaus County, where shamefully only 16.68 percent of registered voters cast ballots! Essentially eight gave up their rights for two to decide! And honestly, how many voters actually did their homework on the candidates and where they stand?

Those in the mountain communities had a higher turnout. Alpine County, for example, was at 56.6 percent. Those communities are more conservative than the rest of the state. Compare that to San Joaquin County at 5.5 percent and Imperial at 4.5 percent.

While the losing politicians will be pondering for a long time why they failed to connect with the voters, consider that the average person just doesn’t care – God knows studying the issues that matter are less important than watching who is twerking on TikTok.

It’s such a dangerous place for a citizenry to be.

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Beverly Porovich of the Persephone Guild contacted me recently and wanted me to inquire about an alleged time capsule placed during the construction of Mae Hensley Junior High School that she believed was to be opened in 50 years from April 1972. That time has come and passed.

Beverly wasn’t sure but thinks the capsule was placed in the top of the front block wall that bears the school name. Typically time capsules are placed in the ground not in walls.

On March 25 I inquired with Ceres Unified School District and while they said they would look into it, I have not heard back. I can only assume nobody knows because, frankly, most of the folks in charge have either passed away or left town.

I found a copy of the Courier on the dedication event which mentions that items were placed in a “cornerstone” that “are not expected to be exposed again to the public view until some unknown time in the distant future when the unused school is torn down.”

There is a big difference between a “cornerstone” in the building and a time capsule elsewhere; also a big difference between opening in 50 years and open when Mae Hensley is reduced to rubble.

So does anyone in the community have an answer to this question?

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You have to wonder about how Ceres residents have come to accept the way things look around town.

Let me give you an example: for over a month a large refrigerator has sat on the sidewalk on Ridlon Lane near Sweet Gum Drive. How is this allowed to happen? What kind of person foists their garbage onto the public because they’re too lazy to dispose of it themselves? Why didn’t code enforcement officers notice the sidewalk obstruction or remove it?

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Of course you know what the Democrats in the House are doing with these Jan. 6 circus hearings, don’t you? They are petrified that Donald Trump will take over the White House in 2024 that they are taking great pains to portray him as the one who caused a handful of zealots to breach the interior of the Capitol.

How could the committee of seven Democrats and two Republicans (who of whom loathes Trump) blame Trump when he called on his supporters to “peaceably” protest? It defies human logic. As Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) said: “this committee is trying to prosecute Donald Trump for crimes that he did not commit. And last night proved that they don’t have any evidence that shows anything that’s different than that … They want to throw Donald Trump in jail. If they can’t get that done, they want to prevent his name from appearing on the ballot. They want to continue to use this committee process as a way to attack their political opponents.” 

Meanwhile, I don’t see any House committees being formed to look into the massive inflationary pressures that are killing Americans’ ability to make ends meet.

On Friday we learned that inflation rose to 8.6 percent in May – the highest in 40 years! Gas is up, food prices are up, housing costs are up and interest rates have gone up!

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Something is inherently wrong with the system of funding government when cities are struggling to provide services while the state is sitting on a $100 billion budget surplus.

Modesto is talking about placing a one percent sales tax increase on the November ballot to raise $39 million per years to supplement the general fund.

This column is the opinion of Jeff Benziger, and does not necessarily represent the opinion of The Ceres Courier or 209 Multimedia Corporation. How do you feel about this? Let Jeff know at