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Control freaks at it again in Sacramento

Control freak bureaucrats in Sacramento are banning the sale of natural gas heating appliances by 2030. So guess what? Bye-bye to your gas water heater in the garage and to your outdoor patio warmers. I guess they want all to use more electricity which the state doesn’t have enough of as they won’t permit the construction of new hydroelectric dams.

Nothing done in Sacramento is ever about making life more convenient or less expensive for you – quite the opposite.

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If you don’t believe the FBI is being weaponized against conservatives, consider what is going on with Mike Lindell.

The FBI seized the cell phone of the Christian businessman who built up his My Pillow business empire. All you need to know is that Lindell is a Trump supporter to explain why the FBI is going after him – approaching him in a fast-food lane of all places. These kinds of “arrests” always make for better press when done in public.

Lindell said the FBI questioned him about Tina Peters, the Mesa County, Colo., clerk who was indicted in March on charges that she helped an outsider copy “sensitive data” from the county’s elections systems in 2021. Lindell said agents questioned him about an image copied from a Mesa County voting machine that was published on his website, Frank Speech. Lindell told The Washington Post that he was not involved in the copying of Mesa County’s election management system and did not meet Peters until she attended his “cyber symposium” in South Dakota in August 2021.

Lindell is an obvious target because his multimillion-dollar pillow fortune finances films, conferences and other media questioning election integrity. Lindell suspects voting systems are rigged and has sought evidence that the machines were used to rig the 2020 election. But access to machines is tightly controlled. We should ask why it’s not transparent.

Other Trump allies have recently received subpoenas from federal investigators who are investigating  the Jan. 6, 2021 breach of the U.S. Capitol.

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I’ll say it again, district elections for a city the size of Ceres was completely unwarranted and has produced unintended consequences. I’ve noticed that certain councilmembers seem to express more interest or concern about things if something falls within their own district. I’m not saying that councilmembers’ aren’t concerned about what happens outside of the geographical boundaries of their districts. What I am saying is there is an expectation of a councilman to care more about what happens inside of their district. They are ONLY accountable to their constituents (voters) when really their constituency should include the entire city.

Councilman Bret Silveira (also vice mayor) latched on a recent complaint about the dog park, quickly noting that it’s in his district. He has also pressed hard for the completion of Ochoa Park by virtue of it being in his district. But James Casey, who represents District 1, has pushed for the completion of Lions Park in his district. So it has a feel of “your park” and “my park.”

What was wrong with the at-large system of electing councilmembers? It’s not like the constituency got too large to handle. Ceres only has 48,355 residents in an area three miles from north to south and five miles east to west. This isn’t a large city like San Jose (1.09 million residents) or Sacramento (503,482).

To me it’s all goofed up but minority groups threatened a lawsuit if the city didn’t go with district elections. The idea was that districts make it easier for minorities to get elected to office. So if we made the change just to water down the process for minorities to get elected we likely will get watered down elected officials.

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A lot of folks like me who are getting close to retiring, are very concerned to see how Biden White House policies are destroying what we have invested in stocks.

We had it good under Trump. Median household income under Trump rose from $66,657 in 2016 to $71,186 in 2020, an increase of 6.8 percent in four years. After spending trillions of dollars in federal dollars we don’t have, median household income dropped from $71,186 to $70,784 between 2020 and 2021. That comes from the U.S. Census Bureau.

And consider that the average household is spending $460 more each month to buy the same basket of goods and services (mostly gas and food) as in 2021, according to the Wall Street Journal.

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Why are most Democrat officials or candidates so hell-bent on promoting abortion? I guess to create wedges and divisions and political power.

Stacey Abrams, the Democrat who wants to be governor of Georgia, poo-pooed the idea of a fetus having a heartbeat at six weeks in the womb, saying it is a “manufactured sound designed to convince people that men have the right to take control of a woman’s body.”

According to the Medical News Today website, “The heart of an embryo starts to beat from around 5–6 weeks of pregnancy. Also, it may be possible to see the first visible sign of the embryo, known as the fetal pole, at this stage.”

Georgia recently passed a law making it harder for a woman to get an abortion in light of the U.S. Supreme Court overruling Roe v. Wade. The new law, called the Living Infants Fairness and Equality (Life) Act, or “heartbeat” bill, bans abortion if a fetal heartbeat is detected — sometimes as early as six weeks. The Georgia law includes exceptions for rape and incest, as long as a police report is filed. It also allows for later abortions when the mother’s life is at risk or a serious medical condition renders a fetus unviable.

Abrams, who claims the election was stolen in her 2018 quest to be governor after losing by 54,723 votes, believes women should be able to abort her child up to birth. That means she’s okay with a viable baby being partially expelled and having its brains sucked out to collapse the skull up to the actual moment of birth. I call that infanticide in the strongest of terms. It’s murder.

This stance comes from a woman who was pro-life until at the age of 30 she changed her position as she entered politics. She is now 48.

Sick stuff.

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It’s really sad that code enforcement has become such a big issue in Ceres. It seems that there is a vast segment who just have little or no standards when it comes to how they present their own properties. One concerned resident who is bothered by the blight and willful disregard for city codes wrote me last week and said: “There are some good people in Ceres. But not enough people want to voice their concerns for change. Or figure the council person they voted on will fix their issues of concern.”

The same gentleman’s main area of concern is noise coming from his neighbors and those pushing bike-driven carts hawking ice creams and other food without a permit and the lack of will on the city’s part to crack down. He notes that vendors are unlicensed; have caused motorists to stop at a corner, blocking traffic, to transact a sale; that carts and bikes don’t have lights on at night.

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Nothing chaps my hide during election season than to see patently dishonest TV commercials.

I was watching Survivor on my streaming service and saw an attack ad relating to California’s 3rd Congressional District race. Democrat Kermit Jones was attacking Republican Kevin Kiley for his stance on abortion, saying Kiley was only trying to make a name for himself in the process. Hello, Kermit? Standing up for the curtailment of abortion is hardly going to make one’s self popular with the women vote but it sure takes political courage in liberal California. Kiley also is doing the right and moral thing.

As you know, redistricting is pushing Ceres out of Josh Harder’s 5th Congressional District and into the 13th Congressional District. Voters will be deciding their next congressman in Democrat Adam Gray or Republican John Duarte.

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According to Kiley, the state of California is delaying the release of student test scores from last spring until after the election “to hide the damage they caused.” He appears to be spot-on.

California students resumed assessment testing last year but the state Education Department has departed from tradition by withholding the test results until after Nov. 8, presumably because it will show students regressing in test scores after Newsom’s disastrous shut down of classrooms during the pandemic and force them into that failed distance learning where millions of kids fell through the cracks and developed all kinds of anxieties. The state wants to keep all voters in the dark.

Just another shameful aspect to the “leadership” of California.

The state refused a request by EdSource to release the scores, prompting Lance Christensen, a candidate for State Superintendent for Instruction, to say: “The fact that the department is not willing to publish now suggests that scores will be lower and the current state superintendent (Tony Thurmond) does not want to be held accountable for the results.”

The state refused to release the test score results to EdSource despite an Aug. 5 letter to districts, county offices of education and charter schools telling them the results were “not embargoed” and they “are encouraged to use their results for local planning, including public meetings with their local governing board.”

So they feel it okay to release to districts but not to the media. That is a sure cinch it’s designed to protect a failed state policy.

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Gov. Newsom has always been a hypocrite so why stop now? While he shut us all down and told us not to go out in public, Newsom was enjoying unencumbered diners at posh restaurants without a mask.

We all know Newsom also disregarded the state travel ban in Montana when he showed up there earlier this year. Now the governor, who sought punitive action against those evil (tongue in cheek) Republicans in Texas by forbidding state travel to that great state, shows up for a speech in Austin, the state capital. He felt it so important to disregard his own travel ban so he could put down the lawmakers of that state, saying they dominate with illusion and that the GOP is crushing Democrats.

Hardly, Gavey. Your party is getting crushed because of insane policies that you and other left-wing socialists are implementing. On his recent Insult the Governors Tour, he said Gov. Greg Abbot and other Republican governors are “as dumb as they want to (be)” regarding climate change (the official religion of the Democrat Party).

Maybe Newsom is the dumb one. His left-wing attacks on Abbot are likely to strengthen his standing with conservatives who don’t think he’s been conservative enough. If Newsom attacks him, assume that he’s a threat to everything the California führer wants to push, including unbridled illegal immigration.

If voters in California defy logic and re-elect him, I’ll be counting the days until his departure four years later and it will give me some great material for my column.

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In a phone interview with the Turlock Irrigation District board candidates, David J. Yonan asked a question of me: “How long have you been at the Courier?” He said that as long as he could remember I’ve always been writing for the Courier. 

I completely forgot that Sept. was my 35th anniversary at the Courier. I started here on Sept. 12, 1987 – back when Reagan was president!

Things have definitely changed about my job.

We used to use the past-up method of laying out the paper before it went entirely computer.

There was no social media back then trying to take over our jobs. For example, with the advent of cell phone cameras, car crashes are often photographed and uploaded to social media sites within minutes before we can even reach them.

Organizations that used to openly deal with the press is now operating more controlled now. Back then we could call any school administrator and they would freely speak to us but now everything is filtered and packaged.

We used to be invited to far more events than now; now we are expected to find out about them through social media.

But the service we offer goes much deeper than social media and clickbait ever would want to.

This column is the opinion of Jeff Benziger, and does not necessarily represent the opinion of The Ceres Courier or 209 Multimedia Corporation. 

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