What have we become?
Incivility is rampant in our land. What caused this? You must admit that part of the problem is how social media lends itself to verbal abuses. Everyone now has a platform and quite often it’s used to issue insults and shoot-from-the-hip comments about things people know really nothing about. The rancor increases when people know they can make foul comments toward one another without ever facing their foe.
I get that both sides lob word missiles at one another but it seems that things are especially unbridled on the left. Case in point: This comment that an Abbie Puglet made after the death of former President George H.W. Bush: “Him and his son are responsible for thousands of innocent lives being lost fighting wars they had no business being involved in. I can only hope his son dies a painful death in the near future.”
Wow. How black can one’s soul be to make a comment like that?
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Just like Santa, we occasionally have to go over our “naughty or nice” list and take actions against the naughty. If you’ve made obscene comments, hurled unwarranted abusive language at our staff on our Facebook page, we ban you. It’s that simple.
Two were banned last week: Misty and Joe. We frankly got tired of their posts and didn’t want to see it anymore on our page. Joe had a problem with our ban and claimed we were against free speech. Not hardly, Joe. You see, we don’t have to print every letter in print and we don’t have to share our social media platform with any and all destructive and combative demeanor. You have all the free speech you care to express … on your own turf.
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There was strong reaction – both pro and con – to the article I wrote on the Ceres City Council choosing not to participate in a state grant program to deal with the homeless. As is usually the case, many on our Facebook page only read the headline and not the story to gain an understanding of why the council took the action it did.
The state is always good at throwing money at a problem without trying to correct the source of the problem. I could argue – and I will – that it is the very liberal policies of our so-called state leaders that have contributed to the rise of homelessness in California.
The problem of homelessness is complex yet also very simple. Too many people with too little cash (because of too few jobs) chasing too few homes. But you also have to take into account that some people can’t afford rent because they don’t have jobs because they are unable to function because they have lost their grip on life due to mental illness and the abuse of drugs and alcohol. California accounted for almost half of country’s unsheltered population during 2017 and state policies that have made it so.
Democrats in California have been working overtime with regulations and taxes and, as a result, numbers of high-paying jobs are fleeing the state. According to a Dallas Business Journal article published Thursday, 1,800 companies have left California for other states, mostly Texas. According to KCRA-TV, two dozen California companies have said they are tired of the business-bashing in Sacramento, along with the high taxes – and they are now threatening to leave the state. States like Arizona are actively recruiting them.
Here’s some ideas lawmakers should consider (but won’t because they enjoy their control):
1). Rewrite or repeal the California Environmental Quality Act, or CEQA, which would help in the construction of more affordable housing, including apartments. Because CEQA requires that state and local agencies determine if there are significant environmental impacts of proposed development projects, and to avoid or mitigate those impacts, pre-development costs are driven up.
2). Quit mandating things like solar for all new homes, which can add at least $10,000 per unit.
3). Lower local fees on building which can add an additional 6 to 18 percent to the cost of a home.
4). Repeal the minimum wage hikes. The push for minimum-wage increases has resulted in a loss of jobs as well.
Business-friendlier Texas is growing by leaps and bounds while we regress. California lawmakers have also made housing more expensive and unable to keep up. High taxes are taking money from all of us for essentials like rent and food and gas for cars to deliver people to what jobs stick around.
The break-down of the family is also a key factor of homelessness. The rise of the single-parent family increases the frequency of homelessness. A poor family with two parents is much less likely to end up homeless than a one-parent family, said Stephen Eide, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research. Society has marginalized the role of faith, which strengthens morals and commitment for couples to stay together, and reaped what it sows. Many of our youth grow up without a solid family and any exposure to a faith experience, which may also explain why so many feel the need to turn to marijuana, alcohol, drug use and sex – which further breeds more single parents and homelessness.
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It probably isn’t the way Channce Condit wants his first vote as a new member of the Ceres City Council to be remembered.
All members of the council expressed a desire to not declare a shelter emergency in Ceres to be able to be eligible for state grant funds. When Councilman Bret Durossette made a motion to not adopt the emergency resolution and it was seconded by Linda Ryno, Condit was the first on the roll call and voted no, when he meant to say “aye.” Durossette followed suit and voted “no” on the motion he just made. Mike Kline halted the vote, crying, “Wait a minute,” and explaining “they should be voting yes.”
The roll call was made again with all five voting “yes.”
“I was confused by the motion so forgive me,” said Condit.
The next day I kidded Condit about his botched first vote and he suggested it was like some of those propositions that confuse people. He suggested that’s why California voters didn’t support the repeal of the unpopular massive gas tax ushered in by Gov. Brown and his merry band of tax happy Democrats; which only supports my belief that most voters only pay attention to the stilted ads on TV and fail to get into the weeds of the issues.
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In my story on the homeless program vote, Mike Kline was quoted as saying: “You don’t mind helping somebody who wants to help themselves but if they would show some compassion themselves and keep their self clean and orderly then why wouldn’t we try to assist them to get them out of their situation?” His comment did not sit well with Gwen Roberts who suggested his words and vote were not Christ like. She then quoted Proverbs 14:31 (she erroneously said Proverbs 13:14): “Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker but he who is generous to the needy honors him.” Roberts incorrectly interprets that Scripture. While the passage is mostly intends to say no one should take advantage of the poor, not necessarily cater to them, it is a word for Christians, not government institutions.
Roberts conveniently forgets other Scriptures that suggest not all the poor are worthy of care. There is 2 Thessalonians 3:10: “ …The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.” And Proverbs 20:4 offers this truism: “Sluggards do not plow in season; so at harvest time they look but find nothing.” There’s also this passage for all the young folks who opt to not look for work so they can smoke dope all day, play video games at their parent’s home, bum around and begging from others because they think they are better than the rest of us who work for our money: Proverbs 12:11: “Those who work their land will have abundant food, but those who chase fantasies have no sense.”
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Voter fraud may not have been a factor in Josh Harder being elected as our congressman but a practice called ballot harvesting did it.
Not many people know about ballot harvesting because it’s new, made legal by all those same California Democrats who’ve made a mess of our once golden state. Ballot harvesting is rife for the potential for fraud. It’s a practice used by special-interest groups and both political parties that is seen as either a service to voters like shut-ins that boosts turnout or a nefarious activity that subjects voters to intimidation and makes elections vulnerable to fraud.
Groups who do the harvesting rely on data showing which voters requested absentee ballots but have not turned them in or profiles of voters, like whether they traditionally vote or not. They are often paid to go door-to-door and offer to “help” with the voting process and to collect and turn in ballots for the voters – often dozens or hundreds at a time. Some operations place ballot-collection boxes in high-concentration voter areas, such as college campuses, and offer to take the ballots to election offices when the boxes are full. The system can be manipulated in many ways. Consider that anyone could offer to turn in someone’s ballot for them, or collect them at a central location, but conveniently fail to turn in those ballots if they suspect the voter supports the opposing party.
It’s also possible that voters could be encouraged to hand over a ballot cast for Candidate X by offering goodies like cigarettes, which is illegal.
Several states like Arizona and North Carolina limit ballot harvesting by restricting who can turn in another person’s ballot to a family member or caretaker. Arizona enacted the law in 2016 after a video surfaced showing a volunteer dropping off hundreds of ballots at a polling place. It was also in Arizona that an advocacy group had staff pretend to be from the county’s election office when they collected ballots.
Democrat-controlled California did the opposite of Arizona – which should tell you something – by making ballot harvesting legal. Democrats aren’t concerned about shenanigans because they benefit from them.
If someone has to be “harassed” to get them to turn in their ballot they probably are not a quality voter, and by that I mean having the initiative to even study the candidates and measures to make an intelligent choice. If they have to be badgered to turn over a ballot to a stranger I worry about their overall sense of citizenship.
If you want to see one ballot harvester at work, google “Ballot harvesting video KSFO.”
If you want fair elections totally void of fraud, let’s do this:
• Vote on Election Day only, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.;
• All voters must present an ID proving they are registered to vote and American citizens;
• No same-day registration;
• No early voting;
• No absentee ballots, except for very specific reasons such as active military;
• No provisional ballots. All discrepancies must be resolved before voter leaves the polling place;
• Voter rolls close two weeks before Election Day;
• Purge voter rolls every 10 years, with the census to ensure voters aren’t dead or moved. Re-register voters every 10 years.
Ah, but you say Democrats will never support this and they control the state. You’re right. In fact, California Republican assemblyman Matthew Harper tried to get a ban on ballot harvesting and it died in committee. Harper is concerned that groups like labor unions might collect unsealed ballots or intimidate voters into voting a certain way.
The only thing is we can bypass Sacramento with an initiative process.
I would never trust my ballot with a stranger and you shouldn’t either.
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It’s funny how state politics works its way into the fabric of all state governmental agencies, Caltrans included. Apparently they just released two “Climate Change Vulnerability Assessments as part of an effort to understand how and where climate change may impact the State Highway System.”
A press release issued Monday claims the “assessments evaluate risks, including extreme temperatures, increased precipitation, storm surge, wildfire risk and sea level rise.”
In a Democrats’ mind, the planet is both burning up and freezing at the same time, wet and dry and the sea levels are rising even though they aren’t. The Chicken Little narrative bears out in this statement from Caltrans Director Laurie Berman: “Climate change is an immediate and escalating threat to California and its transportation system, and Caltrans is being proactive.”
Immediate and escalating? So wait. We have lots of people saying California has these massive wildfires because the state is not managing its forests well and Democrats are holding back on logging efforts that would thin out the forests, not because of climate change. The beach in San Francisco is in the exact spot it was 100 years ago and photos bear that out so what’s that crap about rising sea levels?
Where’s this increased precipitation Caltrans is so fearful of? Wasn’t last winter kind of puny?
Storms are surging? They are? I’m 57 and have been in the Valley since 1966 and I don’t see us having any more storms than we had when I was a kid.
Who’s fooling who here?
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Have you read the George Orwell novel 1984? I have. It’s coming folks.
Berkeley scientists are developing an artificial intelligence tool to combat what they term “hate speech” on social media. Researchers aim to have “major social media platforms” one day utilizing the technology to detect “hate speech” and eliminate it, and the users who spread it, from their networks.
Can you see where that goes? One researcher warned that: “Unless real restraint is exercised, free speech could be compromised by overzealous and self-appointed censors.”
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Merry Christmas to one and all! May your homes be filled with merriment, plenty, laughter and health! Don’t let the holiday hustle and bustle cause you to forget why we celebrate Christmas.
How do you feel about this? Let Jeff know at firstname.lastname@example.org