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Careless & idiotic drivers not exclusive to Ceres

Careless and idiotic drivers are everywhere, not only in Ceres.

I routinely see in social media complaining about speeding and red light running in Ceres but it’s not an exclusively Ceres problem. I see them everywhere.

Red light runners and those who gun their engine through yellow lights are a public danger. It’s too bad all drivers aren’t honorable and unwilling to break the law or risk life and limb just to save seconds or a few minutes.

There are also tens of thousands of drivers behind the wheel out there who don’t have valid licenses or the insurance to drive.

This is just symptomatic of the “me first” or “me only” mindset. So many don’t care about the lives of others and willing to risk a prison sentence and years of grief for causing a fatal crash. But they’re betting there is no officer around to cite them for their infraction, just as they have no fear of being pulled over for their darker-than-night window tinting because the few officers we do employ have bigger fish to fry.

It’s making for more dangerous roads.

California has seen one of the biggest rises in car crash fatalities, according to a new study by experienced personal injury attorney John Foy. His study analyzed the rate of car crash fatalities from 2012 to 2021 to find the overall percentage increase in deaths.

California saw an overall increase of 28.96% in car crash fatalities over 10 years. In 2012, people died in car crashes at a rate of 12.26 per 100,000 licensed drivers, the 13th lowest in the U.S. in 2012. But in 2021, the rate is now 15.80 per 100,000 licensed drivers.

I have always tried to live by – but not always successfully – the Golden Rule: “Do to others the way you want them to do to you.” We should also employ this driver version of the Golden Rule: “Drive like my child is on the road and who could be killed as a result of my bad driving practices.”

Everybody, just slow down and we’ll all get to work or home safely.

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Restaurants are struggling as minimum-wage and other factors have jacked up the prices charged to the point that customers are walking away. (Earlier this year I pointed out how I gave up Jamba Juice when the cost of my smoothies jumped from $9 to $11 overnight). But now the Ceres City Council is helping to undercut established restaurants by allowing more out-of-town mobile food vendors to compete against them – apparently to appease the Latino appetite because let’s face it, we’re not talking about a variety of food trucks coming in selling Chinese or Italian food, we’re talking 10 more taco trucks.

Ceres is already having a hard time cleaning up blight but more food trucks and trailers in parking lots won’t exactly improve the aesthetics.

If I owned a restaurant in Ceres and invested my time and money to build up my establishment while the council allows out-of-towners to roll into town and take away my business, I wouldn’t be too happy. Especially since there is a plethora of taco trucks just a quick drive over to Crows Landing Road or in Keyes.

* * * * *

Speaking of how costly fast-food is becoming, just wait until Newsom’s $20-per-hour for fast-food workers kicks in on April 1. Only an April fool could have signed AB 1228 but Newsom did.

So fast-food workers can make $20 an hour but bussing tables at Ma’s Diner only makes $16 as of Jan. 1.

Not only will that hurt fast-food by pricing folks out of the Big Mac or a BK Whopper experience, but it’ll be harder for family-run restaurants to hire workers since they’ll be headed to fill out the job applications at Carl’s Jr. to make more.

Newsom’s ridiculous law also establishes the Fast Food Council, which can set an hourly minimum-wage for fast-food employees and institute health, safety and employment standards for fast-food restaurants. More government, more regulation, increased burdens and unfairness to employers and higher costs of food.

You gotta love this insane governor we have.

* * * * *

Isn’t it odd that Nashville Police has continued to put a tight seal preventing information being released to the public regarding the March slaying of kids and adults at a Christian school? I’m talking about shooter Audrey Elizabeth Hale’s “manifesto” before she went on his shooting rampage at Covenant School. Releasing the whole document would be in keeping with the release of manifestos like the Unabomber and would give us some insight as to the mind of another deranged killer. But this one was transgender, the new protected class of the Left, so efforts have been made to quash the release.

But lo and behold, parts of the manifesto were leaked out last week and Nashville Police officials aren’t happy and placed seven employees on administrative leave for their role. I think these employees might deserve an award from the ACLU, don’t you? Isn’t access to public information part of civil liberty?

You can bet that the manifesto would have been released had the white shooter declared war on black or brown people. But the deranged Hale was targeting white people – particularly well-off white people. And, of course, releasing such information would probably upset the transgender community.

Hale, who was a 28-year-old biological man but confused to be a woman and generally detached from reality, was seething with hatred. Part of Hale’s leaked writing said: “Those crackers, going to private fancy schools with those fancy kwakis [sic] and sports backpacks. W/thier (sic) daddies mustangs and convertibles. F - - - you little s - - - -. I wish to shoot you weak a-- d—- w/your mop yellow hair.”

He also wrote: “Can’t believe I’m doing this, but I’m ready. God let my wrath take over my anxiety…I hope I have a high death count.”

Imagine calling on God to assist in the murder of children at a school that instills Christian values.

I imagine if we can read the complete ramblings we’d find out that Hale targeted a Christian institution since Christianity is largely not accepting of homosexuality and altering genders.

Hale also may have been set off by Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee’s March 2 signing of a new law that prohibits gender-affirming healthcare for children who identify as transgender or nonbinary.

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Some journalists at the national level are patently dishonest. The Drudge Report is good at misleading clickbait. This was on their main page on Thursday: “TRUMP THUG LIFE. MAGA CUBANS CHEER CALL FOR MASS DEPORTATIONS.”

I clicked on it and it led to an article written by the Miami Herald’s Tess Riski. The first paragraph reads: “Speaking in a city where three-fourths of residents are foreign-born, former President Donald Trump on Wednesday night promised to deport a massive amount of immigrants on the first day in office should he be reelected.”

Why the tie-in to the fact that the city where Trump spoke being mostly foreign born when Trump was referencing those who did not take the legal route to being in the U.S.? Trump hasn’t railed against legal immigration, rather endorsed merit-based immigration. In other words, preference should be given to those wanting to be here who have some skill to offer, not the world’s impoverished seeking public assistance. 

Buried in the fifth paragraph is this honest assessment: “The enthusiasm isn’t entirely surprising in South Florida, where Trump remains highly popular with Hispanic voters. Several residents at the rally told the Herald that their families migrated to the U.S. legally from Cuba, emphasizing that they oppose illegal immigration specifically.”

There you go. Stop with race baiting.

* * * * *

Two months ago Gov. Newsom and the state Legislature decided to further strip local school boards of local control. Newsom signed AB 1078 which control to the state to prevent local school districts from banning books, curriculum or instruction material deemed as inclusive or diverse. In other words, morally corrupt materials and smutty books stay.

One of those who pushed to rob school boards from determining what they want and don’t want their students subjected, was Tony Thurmond, our appalling state Superintendent of Schools. Thurmond was thrashed at a Chino Valley school board meeting after he showed up in protest a policy that requires administrators to inform parents if their child identifies as transgender at school. Thurmond was asked to leave after he wouldn’t shut up and went beyond his time limit. About 85 others were waiting to speak behind him – mostly irate parents opposing him.

Chino School Board President Sonja Shaw said Democrat Thurmond “is a danger to our students. He continues to push things that pervert children, and he continues to push out parents and bring in policies that create division between families.” I agree.

Parents in the San Ramon Valley Unified School District in February protested the graphic novel, “Gender Queer: a Memoir” from being in the school library. Even though the author said it’s not for kids, Thurmond must think that kind of material belongs in the hands of public school kids.

But if you ask Thurmond, Shaw represents “a small group of extremists” who “ban books related to civil rights for communities of color and the LGBTQ+ community, to force school districts to ‘out’ LGBTQ+ students, and to restrict inclusive curriculum.”

Let’s cut past Thurmond’s load of manure. What school boards across California has been doing is eliminating sexually graphic and inappropriate books and materials, ending the indoctrination of kids to seek genital mutilation because one might not feel masculine or feminine and pushing kids outside of societal norms.

The same folks who think Gender Queer is okay for kids surely won’t mind if we bring back Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mocking Bird” or Mark Twain’s “Tom Sawyer” into the classroom.

Think again.

* * * * *

Our children will be living in a world where they won’t know truth from reality. Because of AI they will be subjected to photos that look real that never existed.

I was fooled for a moment when somebody posted what I thought was an antique photo of men circa 1890 posing with a prized kill of a hideous Big Foot type creature. It looked real and I began to wonder how those gents killed that thing and what it was. I thought it was a photographic hoax from over a century ago.

Then I was reminded, oh, this is computer generated nonsense.

The age is here where truth won’t be believed because of all the lies being told, both in words and in photos.

It’s concerning because there is absolute truths in our world, some with eternal consequences. No wonder biological males think they can be females.

* * * * *

I’ve been disappointed in Congressman John Duarte.

He voted against an amendment to HR 4664 which would have denied the FBI the funds to build a new massive headquarters outside of D.C. in Greenbelt, Md. Duarte was one of 70 Republicans who decided the FBI should have a new palace, siding with 203 Democrats and against 145 members of his own party.

With such GOP support, the FBI surely won’t clean up the corruption at the top. As Rick Manning of Americans for Limited Government put it: “The same House GOP which set up the Judiciary Committee to investigate the weaponization of government just voted to give the face of the weaponization a new dream castle.”

Oh, this building is costing taxpayers $4 BILLION!


* * * * *

One of Biden’s biggest failures as president is failing to protect our Southern Border. Since taking office, the U.S. has recorded 1.5 million illegal alien “got-aways” at the border and 23,000 since Oct. 1 alone.

As if these weren’t scary statistics, consider that “terrorist watch list” encounters at the border went from zero in 2019 to 169 in fiscal year 2023. Lots of folks think another terrorist attack is coming as a result of this sloppy enforcement.

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