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Comparison of Jan. 6 to 9/11 is just insane

Democrats have drawn the parallel but it’s ridiculous: There is no comparison between what happened at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 and what happened on Sept. 11, 2001 or at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.

Pearl Harbor casualties were 2,403.

Sept. 11 terrorist attack casualties were 2,977 deaths and 25,000 injuries.

The Capitol “insurrection” saw five deaths, including one right-wing white female demonstrator shot by a cop. Don’t get me wrong, storming the doors of the Capitol was wrong and so was the actions inside. But there is no equating what happened there to foreign attackers.

This question has always nagged at me: Isn’t the U.S. Capitol a place where Americans have always traditionally known as a place they CAN walk into?

When I was a kid I freely toured the U.S. Capitol in 1975 and 1977. When my wife and I booked a trip to D.C. ahead of time our flight happened to fall a week and a half after Sept. 11, 2001. Everything in D.C. was closed down, including the Capitol. It’s been closed since. I thought the U.S. Capitol was where all Americans can visit to see their representatives in action?

Breach the capitol would have been a foreign concept to Thomas Jefferson.

You cannot blame it on Trump, who only encouraged peaceful protests. The so-called insurrection came about because patriotic citizens were – and still are – concerned about the integrity of our elections. They are angered that voter rolls are not purged of dead people, that we’re being forced to vote by mail, that ballot harvesting is allowed despite its vulnerability to fraud and shenanigans, that a person can vote without showing ID and the media’s role in foment anger in their consistent deceptive reporting about their president for the last four years.

The media and Democrats want to play up Jan. 6th as though it was as historically important as Islamic terrorists flying planes into buildings, or kamikaze pilots bombing our Pacific fleet. It is, as Donald Trump said, political theater – just as 2-1/2 years of political theater over the phony Trump-Russian collusion. That’s because it can be used to ratchet down on those lawless conservatives.

All while they called the burning of U.S. cities in 2020 as “peaceful demonstrations.”

The American people collectively are not that stupid.

Axios recently conducted a survey of 2,515 adults and the results should alarm all of us. The question was: “Do you accept Joe Biden as having legitimately won the 2020 presidential election?” Sixteen percent said no while 26 percent were unsure. That’s a total of 42 percent who have no faith in our present system of voting and that’s a red flag that something’s wrong with the system.

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Ceres resident Gene Yeakley seemed to get under the skin of Vice Mayor Bret Silveira during the Jan. 10 Ceres City Council meeting.

An irritated Yeakley continued to press the council about why muni code violations are sliding by – and about why he never got an answer since October about why police are not enforcing code violations.

Silveira pointblank told Yeakley that police officers will not enforce code violation issues relating to street vendors and other matters, which is why the city has a code enforcement unit.

“It’s not a criminal offense and our law enforcement officers have enough to do that they’re not going to enforce street vendor issues unless it’s an emergency,” Silveira told Yeakley. “Our code enforcement (officers) are going to help with that. We may come up with a different plan to help with that but as of right now we’re not going to have our law enforcement officers handle code enforcement issues unless it becomes an emergency.”

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The demographics and growth of Ceres have changed so little that a consultant said last week that there’s really no need to change the districts following the 2020 Census.

I’m not alone in the belief that Ceres really is so small in geographical and population that it really makes no sense to even have districts. Things were working just fine until all the cities were ordered to have districts to appease minority groups who seem to think they’ll have a better time getting elected to office. The only minority serving on the Ceres City Council is Mayor Javier Lopez, who is not elected by district but at-large.

Ceres could have saved money and time had they followed Bret Silveira’s motion to keep the four districts as they are. 

Linda Ryno suggested that she doesn’t like the way the districts were originally drawn and wants them changed. She said the public needs to weigh in. But keep in mind that these districts were drawn in 2015 with little to no public input – let’s face it, drawing districts is a mental exercise that has a lot of rules attached – and nobody has since complained about how they were drawn.

Really, are the interests of someone on the east side really any different than somebody living on the west side? Ceres isn’t San Jose or Fresno or Sacramento. Ceres is a small city, only 3.3 miles at its longest height and 4 miles at its widest width and now the population is 49,464! The only thing districts really do is keep away sue-happy minority advocate groups.

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I rarely agree with Gov. Newsom on anything but his decision to not release Sirhan Sirhan, Robert Kennedy’s assassin, from prison was something I applaud.

But I can’t help but think Newsom took the hardline stance because Sirhan killed one of his so-called idols, the heir apparent to the Kennedy dynasty.

Senator Kennedy was murdered on the eve of the California primary in June 1968. Sirhan has been incarcerated for nearly 53 years since he exacted the political assassination. Yet Newsom routinely releases murderers who do less time.

Last year the governor allowed the release of David Weidert, a killer who served four decades in prison for the murder of a developmentally disabled Clovis man who was buried alive. Weidert was supposed to serve a life sentence for killing Michael Morganti, 20, of Fresno in 1980 to cover up a $500 burglary. In 2020 Newsom blocked the killer’s parole saying Weidert posed an unreasonable danger to society if released from prison. Newsom had a change of heart 12 months later in the midst of a recall threat.

Sirhan will stay in prison yet Weidert is a free man?  Because Newsom thinks Sirhan is a threat to society and Weidert is not? I can’t imagine that Sirhan would do anything but lay low if released.

Strangely, the Kennedy children were split over the parole decision. RFK Jr. and Douglas Kennedy, ever the liberals, wanted Sirhan freed. His sister didn’t.

Sirhan has denied in recent years to having ever killed Kennedy despite a ton of witnesses in the crowded kitchen at the Ambassador Hotel. It’s a game he plays. He knows he killed Kennedy but he may also be demented. During the times when Sirhan, a Palestinian, did acknowledge shooting Kennedy, he said he did so because of the senator’s support for Israel.

So the message Newsom seems to be sending is: Kill a Kennedy and stay in jail. Kill a developmentally disabled Clovis man and get set free.

Now Newsom has to decide if he agrees with the Parole Board that Ronald Ray Anderson, 60, should be set free. Anderson was one of four suspects convicted in the brutal murders of a Modesto couple in 1979. Anderson was found suitable for parole on Dec. 28.

Philip Ranzo was the son of Marie Kathryn Rhodes Ranzo who worked as a nurse’s aide at the Memorial Hospital Ceres at the time and who attended St. Jude’s Catholic Church in Ceres.

On June 26, 1979, both Phillip and Kathryn Ranzo had been hogtied. Phillip was found dead in his garage, beaten over the head with a blunt instrument at least six times and stabbed in the neck. Kathryn Ranzo, a Turlock High grad of 1967, had been sexually assaulted, her head bashed in with an axe and her throat slashed. There were signs she had been tortured with multiple cuts to her eyes and face. It doesn’t get any more heinous or gruesome as this. Why the crime? So they could ransack the house of cash, jewelry and a gun. The murders orphaned their 10-year-old child, Mark, who happened to have spent that night at his grandparents’ house.

Anderson was involved as the get-away driver.

If there was any real justice in California, Anderson and his three partners in crime, Marty Jackson (aka Marty Spears), Jeffrey Maria and Darren Lee should all be cold in the graveyard – but a different one from where they placed the Ranzos.

The hypocrisy of our governor is amazing.

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