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A conservative view on where we are headed

Anyone who routinely reads my column knows I’m concerned about the direction of our society.

In particular I’m concerned with how liberals are indoctrinating our youth. The indoctrination is often obvious, particularly with how young people are being told there are no two ways about their “we’re not going to have a planet in 10 to 15 years” climate change push – despite the fact that the doomsday dates set by Al Gore and others keep getting delayed when the dire predictions don’t materialize.

Our youth are sadly being sold a fake bill of goods that gender is something negotiable which flies in the face of human biology.

It’s obvious to me that God ordered the propagation of the human race to solely hinge on a man being with woman. I realize that kind of traditional thinking causes the Left to bristle and declare I’m one of these knuckle-dragging, backwoods, brainless believers in what the Good Book says. Don’t get me wrong – I aim to treat all with respect and I won’t interfere with the way anyone practices their life – but don’t bludgeon me with shaming tactics since I choose to not jump on the LGBTQIA (they keep adding letters) bandwagon. Chief among their supremely dishonest tactics is to call anyone who disagrees as “hateful” or one who engages in “hate speech.”

Those insults were hurled recently in Turlock, a community plagued with the crappiest streets in the county and the place where almost a kid per weekend either kills himself or others in alcohol-related crashes. You’d think that the community would have a discussion about those things but the pressing matter that consumed hours of the Nov. 12 Turlock City Council meeting was the matter of flying the rainbow flag on city flagpoles. You’ve got to be kidding.

Turlock is a college town so you’ll find a large pool of young minds fallen under the spell that Trump and his supporters are the Devil incarnate, racist, homophobic and hateful –you name it. As such, they’d rate their special-interest flag representing unbridled sexual liberty much higher than the flag of the greatest nation on earth. Can you imagine in 1950 someone coming to the Turlock City Council and asking if the local government would be okay flying a flag that was only created to represent what people do in the bedroom? Mouths would have dropped.

Fortunately the majority on the Turlock City Council said no. Mayor Amy Bublak said government should let people remain free but not endorse lifestyles. You’d think that being a married Christian woman, Councilwoman Nicole Larson would have bristled at the request. But she wanted the city to fly the rainbow flag because she doesn’t “feel threatened or that my religious beliefs will be under attack if I see another group that has had historical, factual marginalization, factual discrimination…”

Others disagreed. Kenneth McVay said “flying a flag honoring homosexual behavior and bisexual behavior and the practice of surgically altering the sex of people” would be tantamount to “poking a finger in the eyes of the majority of Christians, Muslims, Jews and other religions and even secular people who live in this community.”

Let’s talk about why Left won’t accept the American flag as the ultimate unifying symbol to represent all freedom-loving Americans. I believe they have a fundamental disrespect for the country as founded. They see America as corrupt, illegitimately founded since it was nothing but white men – some who owned slaves – who crafted the Constitution. So the new generation – led by cultural icons like Turlock’s own Colin Kaepernick – condemns the country because the Founding Fathers were engaged in what at the time was the legal and institutionally accepted practice. Never mind that those horrible days of slavery have been corrected; they’d prefer to throw the baby out with the bath water.

One LGBTQIA advocate in Turlock suggested the rainbow flag would be symbolic of a city that supports all residents and stands against hate. But if you were to flip that around, the left would absolutely freak out if a church group asked the city for permission to fly the Christian flag fly (yes, there is a Christian flag.) It would take less than a nano-second for the LGBTQIA community to push back against that and their argument – in addition to saying the Bible is “hateful” – would be that government should refrain from endorsing religion. If government shouldn’t endorse religion, why should it endorse sexual preferences?

Gladys Williams suggested that Americans are “still fighting over the same issues of equity.” Given the litany of laws barring discrimination in hiring, housing, jobs and other aspects of life, that’s an outright falsehood.

Michelle Park claims she requested Turlock to fly the rainbow flag last August – right after the so-called overblown Straight Pride March occurred in Modesto with a fizzle. She claimed that Christians and the right-wing speaking in favor of hetero relationships was a “terror attack” against her community. It’s an invention of the left to claim that somebody demonstrating for traditionally held values is attacking anyone. And going back to my theoretical notion of somebody proposing to allow a Christian flag to be flown from a city flagpole and the Left’s assured fight, would that be classified as a “terror attack” on the right?

Park claimed that “hate speech and violence were thrown” at her group before and during the summer march. The beauty of our Constitution is that all speech is protected – including the speech you don’t like. Besides, I don’t recall one report of violence and had there been, the law protects from acts of violence.

For Parks to suggest that the Turlock council not jumping on her request until November has “created a platform for hate” is purely dishonest, a feeble attempt to shame others because they disagree.

The vast majority of Americans are straight but since they love liberty they’ve adopt a live-and-let-live attitude. That does not mean they can’t recoil when they see the foot-stomping fits from the LGBTQIA every time somebody opposes their radical agenda.

* * * * *

I was having lunch with my mom when she said Route 66 aloud after reading a sign. I told her my dad had lived in Kingman, Ariz., just blocks from the old Route 66.

The guy in the next booth spun around to say he overheard me and told me that, what a coincidence, he was moving to Kingman to get out of California. He said it was the state’s political leadership causing him to leave. The exchange between us for the next five minutes touched on all his reasons – heavy traffic on 99 and every Bay Area highway, homeless everywhere, high taxes, exorbitant high gas prices, a business unfriendly state, the higher costs of everything because of the minimum wage hikes, the invasion of illegal aliens, dealing with the aftermath of leftist social policies and the housing shortage.

This brings me to responses to my last column where I brought up my desire to leave California for Idaho to escape the Democrat policies. One rude dude suggested that I shouldn’t let the door hit me “in the a**.” Andy Constantinou (who dislikes me probably as much as City Manager Toby Wells) asked when he could expect a new editor?

Those types of comments on social media prove just how oblivious liberals are to what the rest of us can plainly see.

While lots of good people are fleeing California, the Bay Area continues to receive an influx of wealthy liberals while the Valley receives caravans of unskilled, undereducated and impoverished immigrants. No one can dispute there is not enough housing to go around; California is about 2 million units shy. Rents and home prices are climbing because there isn’t enough housing. The reason there isn’t enough affordable housing is because environmental regulations, taxes and fees make it difficult if not impossible to build affordable units. Lay the blame solely at the Democrats’ feet. They have controlled California since Schwarzenegger – who wasn’t a conservative at all – left office in 2011.

It is puzzling why Constantinou – a Democrat and licensed real estate appraiser –stated that I am wrong about why rents are skyrocketing. He stated “Real estate prices and rents react mostly due to supply and demand. It’s a basic economic principle.” To which I responded: “yeah so not enough housing stock = high rents. Duh.”

Yes, higher prices come from higher demand but he conveniently ignores that the higher demand is due to the housing stock being too low.

He also states that people are leaving California “due to finances, not regulations.” Are not living costs affected by policies? Of course they are. State policies and taxes are what make the price of gas last week was an average of $3.99 per gallon compared to $2.53 in New Mexico and $2.80 in Colorado. Also factor in the higher prices brought on by the Democrats’ insistence with artificially inflating market wages with their minimum-wage sham. Let’s also talk about how jobs are being lost because of California’s high taxes and regulatory policies.

Constantinou seems okay with the pain inflicted by Sacramento, for he writes: “700k left, 500k moved into California, net loss of 200k. Silicon Valley and other skyrocketing markets see the biggest exodus/influx. We get more higher educated and lose unskilled people.”

Lose unskilled people? What? The Central Valley is densely populated with unskilled illegal immigrants who are protected from deportation. Take a drive down Highway 99, look at the abject poverty abound and tell me again about the loss of the unskilled and uneducated! 

On our Facebook page, those who have already left California chimed in. Sadie Sophia said she and her husband were born in Modesto and raised in Ceres and left in April and stated “the cost of living was the least of our problems although it was a problem. My hometown of Ceres has never been the same.”

Casey Leigh Gaede said she left with her husband two years ago for Tennessee: “We are both fourth generation in our families to grow up in Ceres and used to be so proud to be from that small town! Once we had our son we knew we couldn’t raise him there and had to get out to give him a better life. The cost of living in California was the least of our worries. We left because of gangs, drugs, cartels, ILLEGAL immigrants flooding across the border and bums living on the streets. It is not a safe place anymore! Of course California policies gave us an extra push to move to a conservative state but overall it was to give our child a better life! People need to wake up and see what is happening to that state!”

* * * * *

I’m wholeheartedly in favor of efforts to make Ceres look better. The City Council indicated it wants to pursue a beautification committee. It may help but I remain skeptical.

How is a committee going to get some residents care how their properties appear? Some people just don’t care and that’s obvious given how half of Ceres seems to think storing their garbage cans in full street view seven days a week is their idea of Extreme Makeover. You’d think that owners – not renters – would want to keep their homes and yards in the best possible condition because it’s the single greatest investment of their life. There’s nothing worse than caring about how your property lives next door to Ma & Pa Kettle who have let things get out of hand with weeds, dead lawns, chipped or dull paint, broken windows and junk piles outside.

It’s like Brandy Meyer said at the last council meeting: sometimes you see things so much you don’t see them anymore. Everyone needs to put on a fresh pair of eyes and look at their houses as if they are getting ready to sell. For top dollar, what would you need to change about the curb appeal of your house?

* * * * *

That most liberal group besides the ACLU and the Democrat Party, the California Teachers Association, couldn’t wait to politicize the tragic shooting in Saugus last Thursday. By that afternoon we received a CTA press release about the shooting (and I told myself, “Ah, here it is – look for the CTA’s call for more gun control.”) And there it was in the last paragraph: “We owe it to our students and our educators to make our schools and communities safe and welcome spaces, and we will do everything we can to make that happen. We call on all federal and state lawmakers to take quick action to put an end to these tragic shootings by passing meaningful and sensible gun reform.”

Read that part again about passing laws to “put an end to these tragic shootings,” as if more laws will guarantee an end to the violence inflicted by humanity. Apparently all the gun laws since the days of Robert Kennedy’s assassination haven’t done anything in cities like Chicago.

All Americans want these tragic shootings to end but to hell with the call for gun control as the “answer.” It will never bee an answer. Instead, why isn’t the CTA concerned about approaching violence from a mental health and cultural issue? What values are not being taught? Why is human life so valueless to some kids? What is going so horribly wrong inside the brains of some school kids – mostly males – that they want to inflict so much pain and carnage? That’s the root of the problem, not guns.

I guarantee you that had the Saugus student used a knife, the CTA would not have suggested “meaningful and sensible knife reform.” If a car had been used to mow down students, there’s no way they’d call for Congress to pass a background check on car buyers. Indeed, while the CTA calls for yet more stringent gun laws, it is most accommodating of all the illegal aliens in our country whose backgrounds have never been vetted.

Liberals refuse to understand that all the laws in the world will not guarantee safer campuses. We live in a fallen world with depraved evil and disturbed souls. Not even an outright ban on guns – which is unconstitutional nor would citizens give them up – would work. If prisoners in jail can get drugs, how much easier do you think street thugs will maintain access to guns when the law-abiding citizen surrenders his or hers?

* * * * *

A press release for Rep. Josh Harder’s office sent out last week contained a headline which was very telling.

As you know, Harder voted with his party to begin these silly impeachment hearings which appear to be totally baseless. No crimes or misdemeanors have been demonstrated. Half the country views the hearings as a political show, just another of the never-ending series of attempts to remove someone from office they despise. As such, many see the Democrats so impeachment obsessed they have abandoned pressing issues.

Harder’s press release was titled, “SWAMP RATS: Harder Continues Nutria Fight as Washington Focuses on Impeachment.”

Harder is trying to change law to make it easier to eradicate the nutria rodent that can cause floods by destroying irrigation canals and levees. What is funny is the real swamp rats are the Democrats and their bureaucrats in the Beltway who undermine the will of the people who elected Trump. The voters should be focused on removing them.

I see this as Harder’s attempt to stave off criticism that the impeachment has interrupted the people’s business. So Harder – who called for impeachment hearings – is making overtures to say “See, see, I’m busy doing my job.”

If given the chance of remove which is more harmful to the country – nutria or the Democrat – I’d chose the Democrat.

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