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Feeling like the world is terminal with stupid
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Glen Beck was talking Wednesday morning about feeling like our country is terminally ill with "stupid" coursing through its veins.

I'm afraid I would agree.

As one example, he noted how some are worried about giving dog vaccinations for fear of dog autism, as if dogs would be impacted by failure to speak.

Beck went on to focus on Al Gore's suspect claims about rising ocean levels and played audio of an exchange Gore had with a 50-year commercial crabber on the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia. Tangier Island Mayor James Eskridge point-blank told Gore that he hasn't notice any rise in the sea level on the island; in fact, said the level is the same as it was the crab house was built in 1970. However, he noted that the island is eroding from sea action, as we in California know our coast lines tend to do.

Despite claims that ocean waters are rising in Florida, I've said this before about the coast of California - that I am not seeing the beaches I frequented as a kid doing a disappearing act.

The Gore conversation with Eskridge went on to why the island coastline of Tangier Island is eroding. The crabber replied wave action, duh. Has wave action increased, asked Gore? No, the crabber replied. "This erosion has been going on since Captain John Smith discovered the island and named it," said Eskridge. For reference, John Smith explored Virginia in 1607-08.

Gore was dismissive of the mayor when he said "it won't necessarily do you any good for me to tell you the scientists did say the sea level is rising in the Chesapeake Bay."

Just accept what Gore says, folks, or you're an ignoramus, an environmental neanderthal.

Here's a little common sense: Coast lines have eroded since the beginning of earth! It's what happens what water slams against rock year after year, decade after decade, century after century! It breaks down into sand! Ice and heat break down the rocks of Yosemite! It's called nature!

Beck notes satellite measurements have shown the sea level has "risen the thinness of a dime." According to GRACE satellite results, world average sea level rise is about 1 millimeter per year, or about 0.04 of an inch. Take 100 dimes, stack them on top of each other, and that's how much sea level should rise in the next 100 years. Four inches - if the trend continues and we all know that earth is continual flux of change, just as our human bodies or society as a whole.

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Speaking of weather, I'd bet people are looking at our triple-digit temps of late as proof of global warming. Ceres resident Len Shepherd - who I find has a great deal of common sense - got up at the July 10 City Council meeting to provide historical perspective.

"Anybody here alive in 1963?" Shepherd asked the council. "In Fresno in 1963 10 days straight it never got below a 100 and they're talking in school about an ice age. It's nothing. It's just going to get hot because it's the Central Valley of California. Welcome to Mother Nature."

By the way, I saw a website that suggested that "the hottest weather temperature ever officially recorded in the city of Modesto is 113 degrees, which occurred on July 23, 2006."

Guess again. I read of a handwritten account of 114 degrees in Ceres in the 1910s.

* * * * *

Shepherd noted that the threat of $1,000 fines for possession of illegal fireworks did not put a dent in the problem on July 4. I agree. It was terrible.

A family member who is close to a small town fire department in our county suggests that not even firefighters are abiding by the law. I hear the same about police officers.

That's disappointing to hear.

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I'm shaking my head about an Oregon school changing its name because of its so-called negative racial connotation. The Lynch View Elementary School was named after a local family, the Lynches, who donated land for a school. Apparently some minorities had a "growing concern about the word's racial connotations."

"There were an increasing amount of questions and some complaints from families of color around the name," said Centennial Superintendent Paul Coakley. He admitted there is no connection between the Lynch family and the practice associated with the term, he said, but it's still been "a disruption for some students."

A disruption? What kind of disruption? Are school kids wringing their hands and thinking, "Oh my goodness, I'm gonna be lynched because I go to Lynch View school. Lions and tigers and bears, oh my."

Educators should be instilling some real life, common-sense lessons rather than push this silly politically correct narrative. You would never hear this discourse in our school today: "Students, I hear some of your politically sensitive parents all of a sudden have a problem with the name of this school. Let's think logically about this rather than be reactive. Students, the Lynch family donated this land a century ago so our school could be built. Wasn't that nice of them? No children, the Lynch family was a good family who did nobody any harm. Let's think intelligently about this because we want you to be reasoned adults one day. It would be silly of us to remove their name merely because it's the same word that means wrongly hanging someone from a tree. It sure would be silly and immature on our part not to be able to differentiate the two, students. What a dishonor it would be doing to their benevolence by removing the Lynch name. Oh and there's a lesson, too. Benevolence means the quality of being well meaning, kindness, unlike the vicious act of murder by hanging. And, by the way, students, removing statues of historical figures we find offensive is akin to Nazi book burning. Remember kids, those who fail to learn the lessons of our history are doomed to repeat it. True, while we may not like aspects of their lives, they were historical figures and attempting to erase their memory only makes us ignorant people."

What principal gives that kind of speech today? If they did, they'd be hounded out of a job by the PC pixie dust sprinkling crowd.

Recently, the University of Oregon hung new signs on a dormitory long named after a former professor who had closeted ties to the KKK. It is now called Unthank Hall, in honor of the school's first black architecture graduate.

I think a more fitting name would be Unthink Hall. What is up with this cleansing of history to our liking? The KKK is reprehensible for sure. Does that negate any good a person may have done in his philanthropic endeavors?

While attending Oakdale High School I knew a Lynch family. Last I heard they weren't changing their name. It's a shame to think if that if one had been worthy of a statue that our society would be so immature as to disparage their name.

And oh my goodness, since we're in the ridiculous habit of changing names of schools for those who can't think logically, why don't the name-changing police go after the Butts Road Primary School in Virginia, Governor Dummer Academy in Byfield, Mass., Worthington Hooker School in New Haven, Conn., Pansy Kidd Middle School in Poteau, Okla., Coon School in Ionia, Mich., Gayman Elementary School in Doylestown, Pennsylvania and Climax-Shelly School in Climax, Minn. Since we're immature, we might as well change the name of Colon High School and the town of Colon, Mich.

Weed, California had better change its name too, but I suppose mind-altering drugs are totally fine with the PC.

This is what happens when we dummy down in our education system.

For those who grew up in the 1960s and 1970s, it's really hard to stomach.

* * * * *

More wisdom from Len Shepherd. He supports the renewing of the library tax, Measure S in November. He aptly notes that people need to read more and start their children at an early age.

Boy, do we need to get kids out of video games and into books.

* * * * *

My article last week, "Merchants ponder how to get locals shopping locally," prompted a person to post on our Facebook page how she goes shopping in Turlock and Modesto because of the lower sales tax rate. It's true that Ceres has the highest tax rate in Stanislaus County because of Measure H. (Oakdale has the same rate.) Ceres charges 8.375 percent while Modesto and Turlock charge 7.875 percent.

While this should be a lesson that higher taxes do have consequences - they drive business elsewhere - the difference here is negligible. For example, let's say you spend $125 at Target, $30 at Staples and $250 at Old Navy, all in Turlock. Your taxes on $405 in Turlock comes to $31.89. The tax on the same purchase in Ceres comes to $33.91 - a difference of $2.02. The drive from Hatch Road in Ceres to those Turlock stores is about 10.5 miles one way. That's 20-22 miles of driving round trip. If your car gets 25 miles per gallon, that's about $3.45 in gas. So what are you saving by driving the extra 20-30 minutes?

And something else to think about: by shopping in Turlock you are throwing your tax dollars to fund Turlock Police and fire.

So if that same $405 was spent in Ceres, the city would get $4.05, plus $2.025 for Measure H.

See my point?

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The definition of rob is "to take something away from by force" or to "steal from," "to take personal property from by violence or threat."

If one is in the habit of continuously giving something to someone and then stops giving it, is that "robbing" someone?

I think you know where I'm going with this.

In recent local newspaper coverage of Democrats protesting Congressman Denham's vote to repeal and replace Obamacare, a staff reporter wrote: "It was estimated by California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones that the Republican bill would rob 24 million Americans of health care coverage, including many in Denham's District 10."

It's not "robbing." It would be, however, the end of a government freebie.

* * * * *

I want to issue a public apology to CHS student Gary M. Condit for last week's column questioning his motives of pushing for a crosswalk on Fifth Street adjacent to Ceres High School. In sharing my "sneaking suspicion" that this was about a future council run, I didn't consider how my words might cast aspersions on his character (by suggesting his motives were less than pure.) I personally don't know Gary but he seems like an exceptional young man.

I still hold to the belief that crosswalks make pedestrians less safe - the evidence is there - but I do give Gary kudos for exhibiting leadership on his campus.

Do you have any feedback about this column? Let Jeff know by emailing him at He will read it, promise.