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I would like to leave California because of things but ...

Once in a while I have just “had it.”

Maybe it’s writing news articles and commentaries non-stop since 1982. Maybe it’s because I’m going to be 58 this year and just tired of seeing and commenting on all the stupidity in the world.

Last week we teased my column on our FB page and one woman, Paulette Love Kinner, ordered me to move to another state.

I’d love to leave California – strictly because of its political leadership and its fallout. But I have too many loved ones here. But give it time.

I’ve been to close to 40 states and I can say that I could live in any of them. Colorado is beautiful. Texas is nice but hot. Nevada is fine (but it’s fast becoming liberal). Kansas is filled with good people. Missouri is very friendly. Minnesota is great in the summer but not in the winter. Tennessee is filled with God’s people but humid as all get out in August. Idaho has a great appeal but I fear Californians will ruin that state like they’ve done to Oregon and soon to be ruining Texas.

California has great weather and some amazing places to visit. But it’s fast becoming a very undesirable place to live because of the politics at play. Traffic is getting atrocious. Housing and roads are lagging behind the population and it’s become a magnet for illegal aliens with its sanctuary state stance. The homelessness is out of control (last week there was a man urinating against our building in broad daylight). Moronic laws are being signed into law every day and some insane lawmaker is always looking to ban or limit what he doesn’t like, such as sodas; while fully embracing socialism, marijuana smokers, abortion mills, illegal aliens and changing bathroom policies that worked just fine for decades without societal re-engineering.

* * * * *

As soon as you make a very valid point against liberal policies – like banning capital punishment in California – some liberal like Dave Carreon will come out and make it all about Trump. Well, if you really want to know something I did vote for Trump and hope he gets re-elected in 2020 but it’s only his policies I like. I think he’s a horrible orator, says some really stupid things, acts unbecoming of a world leader at times, repeats himself a lot and he’s full of himself. But I can look past all of it because he’s doing the right things for the country. The economy is going great. Fewer Americans are on food stamps. ISIS has been rooted out. North Korea is less of a threat. The military is being strengthened. Jobs are returning.

Yes, a wall is needed because we are getting flooded by people who want the freebies that my taxes are funding and frankly I’m tired of supporting everybody and their brother. The world is full of poverty but there’s no way we can support the world’s poor and lift them out of poverty. We need only worry about this patch of ground and those who are here. I’m sorry that other countries can’t get it together; maybe it’s time for them to change their country instead of coming here trying to change ours.

Yes, evil people who kill need to be killed themselves – and we’ll even do it more humanely than the knives, bludgeoning and gunshots they inflicted on their victims, many of which were children and cops. Shame on any politician – read that Kamala Harris – who thinks the death penalty doesn’t deter crime.

Yes, we need to bring back American jobs by quit gouging corporations of profits.

Yes, we need to protect babies in the womb.

Yes, we need to tell boys who “feel” that they are women or these young girls who think they’re males that feelings often can lead you astray and years of counseling would benefit them in their illusion. It’s time to quit hailing people like Bruce Jenner as heroes for being “brave” in cutting off their genitals when we really need to pity them and suggest they get some help.

Yeah, I know some of you (read Dave Carreon) think I’m a real turd for saying all of the above but I grew up in a different world than you did. I believe in Jesus. I believe we are better off when government gets out of our lives and our pocketbooks. I believe in letting people run their own lives and make their own choices (provided those choices don’t take innocent blood). And I believe there are two genders and they are indicated by what we’re born with.

* * * * *

I have this theory that our society – indeed votership – is regressing, in part, because of our lack of discipline of reading and giving thought to what we read.

As you may know, I enjoy studying history and I’ve pored through many newspapers of yesteryear in search of facts. What strikes me about newspapers of long ago is that they contained mostly grey pages of copy with no images. The public devoured words; they didn’t need photos (indeed photography was not as readily available as today). And when you read words it requires you to think, to analyze. 

In time our newspaper became filled with photos. Today social media is driven by images and video. Today TV will run insignificant stories because they come with “gotcha” video, such as the guy who stole a steak from Medlin’s House of Beef in Oakdale yet the video was plastered all over ABC and Fox affiliates in the Valley.

People read less. They delve less into the issues, which makes them susceptible to what the talking heads spew forth and there is evidence that a non-profit Democratic stealth operative group named the Democracy Integrity Project is feeding false narratives to a national media too eager to report them to take down the president.

I’ve long held that people are mostly becoming headline readers. They don’t want to take the time to read or they won’t pay to gain access to online content.

It’s sad. The less people read newspapers and rely on TV media the less people are educated and make intelligent decisions.

* * * * *

There is research by Dr. Robert Epstein of the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology which concludes that Google algorithms influenced the outcome of the 2018 midterm elections by manipulating the order of searches, pushing the links to content that was biased against conservative candidates. Epstein says that people tend to believe the top search results as the truth, which particularly can sway the undecided voter.

Buyer be aware. Be very aware.

* * * * *

Ever get the gnawing suspicion that some reports of crimes made by some – especially young people – are made up? I do, especially in light of the recent revelation that the Modesto girl who accused a Ceres man of trying to grab her and abduct her near Standiford Elementary School on Tokay Avenue admitted the whole thing was a lie. We don’t know why she lied to police but she did. Unfortunately this damaged the life and reputation of the accused, Sandeep Singh, and casts aspersions on future claims. It’s my opinion the 14-year-old girl needs to be charged since falsely reporting crimes is a crime in itself.

False reporting of crimes has happened in Ceres as well. Earlier this year we were made aware of one report whereby a woman stated she was robbed at Punjab Plaza and identified the guy. Turns out charges were dropped by the DA because she made up the story.

Having said that, I cast a wary eye to the recent report of a Dutcher Middle School seventh grade girl who said some guy on a bike peddled up to her, brandished a knife and used racist language against her. If I were a betting man I’d say if it did happen then the suspect was bombed out of his mind on drugs or is just another one of those homeless guys with severe mental issues. Still, such behavior cannot be tolerated; he’s a threat.

I’m not saying it didn’t happen, but the media is all too quick to focus on the “racist” component of the story while not considering that we’re likely dealing with a nut job rather than a racist fomenting hate on the streets of Turlock. Who does that to a child other than someone who belongs in a mental ward?

* * * * *

There are some who are not happy that Walmart is going to build a new Supercenter at Service and Mitchell roads and abandon the present Hatch Road store. But there are a lot who are eager to see the new Mitchell Ranch Shopping Center start construction. It’s not just a Supercenter; new businesses – particularly eateries – will come to the center as well. I can see an Applebee’s or an In-N-Out Burger there. I’d really love to see Cracker Barrel come but they’ve already told the city of Ceres “thanks but no thanks.” That’s too bad because that would be a definite draw since the nearest Cracker Barrel is in Sacramento.

If you want to know why it’s taken so long, the project was held up by outside interests which propped up this bogus grassroots groups that called themselves Citizens for Ceres when it should have been more aptly called the “Save Mart Trying to Stave Off Competition With Big Bucks While Passing This Off As a Grassroots Movement.” But the latest delays are coming from Caltrans, the state agency that can’t move very fast because it’s a large bureaucracy. Caltrans is required to sign off on two temporary signals on Mitchell Road near Highway 99 – signals to help manage traffic expected from the new project. And it’s taking its sweet time.

After that, the ball is entirely in Walmart’s court. Groundbreaking and construction, baby.

* * * * *

The arrogance of state officials is at a zenith.

There’s pompous Gov. Newsom. Then there’s Xavier Becerra, the attorney general who would be more fitting to service as a Mexico official because he prefers to represent illegal immigrants from there than look out for the lawful residents of California. Now there’s another pompous jerk in Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, the one who sent an in-your-face letter to our Vice President Mike Pence. Pence reached out to Rendon in an attempt to ease tensions between the White House and Sacramento. Rendon fired back a rather reprehensible reply. He gloats that more Democrats took over GOP seats in the state house and blamed Trump when it was about two things: The unrelenting false media narratives about Trump and Russian collusion and the fact that Democrats are up to shenanigans when it comes to ballot harvesting.

* * * * *

Fresno’s City Council crumpled like a beer can under foot when it backed away from an ordinance that would allow police to cite motorists who give money to beggars at intersections. Apparently there was an outcry that made the council cower.

Years ago Ceres had banned panhandling at intersections out of the interest of personal safety of beggars and the motoring public. (Except they allow firefighters to “Fill the Boot” for charity which holds up traffic once a year).

I’m all in favor of helping the downtrodden but there’s ways to do it other than hand dollars over – in the middle of the road – to the emaciated guy who’ll head straight to the Liquor Locker to buy his bottle. Cut a check to the Modesto Gospel Mission or United Samaritans. Don’t hand it to the drug addict hanging outside the Carl’s Jr. who will refuse a contribution of a burger while stating he prefers cash.

* * * * *

Lots of folks are probably unaware of the new Real ID that will be required if you want to fly on a plane in 2020.

Congress passed the Real ID act in 2005 that requires states to follow federal security standards when issuing driver’s licenses or ID cards. The 9/11 hijackers easily obtained fraudulent driver’s licenses. Congress wanted states to verify that a license applicant is in the country legally, and that the states use biometrics to ensure authenticity of the individual seeking a license.

Meanwhile states like California have been doling out licenses to ILLEGAL aliens.

On October 1, 2020, Californians who don’t have a passport or military ID will need a ‘Real ID’ to fly domestically or enter certain buildings.

To apply for a Real ID, California residents need to provide one identity document, such as certified U.S. birth certificate or U.S. passport; one document with Social Security number, such as Social Security card, W-2 form with full SSN; one document showing residency, such as a home utility bill that lists your name and physical address.

Starting April 2019, you will need to provide two different proofs of residency. People who have already been issued their Real ID will not have to show another form of residency until their driver’s license or ID card is up for renewal, according to DMV officials.

State Senator Cathleen Galgiani is hosting an event discussing Real ID. While she doesn’t represent Ceres, I’m sure all are welcome. The event is 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, March 28 at the downtown Modesto Library, 1500 I Street, Modesto.

* * * * *

Had an interesting email exchange from a Jay Wallace who called me a “racist at heart.” He told me how “horrible” it is living in the Valley and that I “have no idea what that is like because of your white skin.” He then said “Until you walk in someone’s shoes, you shouldn’t judge folks.” I replied that I knew all about being judged unfairly because he had just done it to me.

He apologized but then sent a link to a story of a white Pittsburgh cop on trial for shooting an unarmed black man as his proof of racism. Ha! I read the story and learned that the dead man was riding around in a tax which had been involved in a drive-by and the back window was shot out. When Officer Michael Rosfeld pulled the car over, two occupants fled and one appeared to be holding out a gun. The officer fatally shot 17-year-old Antwon Rose III. Rose apparently wasn’t the one doing the shooting, instead he was driving the car around while his buddy shot.

My reply to Wallace: “I guess it’s kind of stupid to be riding around with a thug who was doing a drive-by and then refusing to follow officer commands once the taxi was pulled over. The only reason the media played this up because it was ‘white cop’ and ‘black man.’ Color had nothing to do with this shooting. When an officer pulls you over, especially after shooting up a neighborhood, you comply. You don’t run and give reason to be fired upon. The same d----d thing happened in Ceres last year.”

* * * * * has published a study that uncovers the best small cities for business in America for 2019 and none of them are in California. That should tell you something. The ranking features often-overlooked cities with modest populations, as they can be small-business havens. Ranked in order from one to 10 are: Fargo, N.D.; Billings, Montana; Columbus, Ind.; Bismarck, N.D.; Rochester, Minn.; La Crosse, Wisc.; Midland, Texas; Lake Charles, La.; Elkhart-Goshen, Ind.; and Appleton, Wisc.

* * * * *

Well, well, well. Looks like there’s a few people who owe me an apology for saying I was wrong about the alleged Trump-Russia collusion. The Mueller report is out and officially there was no collusion.

I got blasted by a lot of liberals for saying I didn’t believe this was a legitimate charge or legitimate investigation. It was a Deep State plot to take down the president. I expect all of them to write letters – which I will gladly publish – to express their apologies that they jumped the gun and convicted the man before they had any evidence.

I don’t expect the Democrats to end their attempts to remove the man from office merely because they don’t like him or his policies. Personally I think they are pushing so far that they just may do their party in. I think the American people are getting tired of the endless witchhunts.

There is an election next year. Let’s wait and see if the voters like the direction our country is going or if they want more failed socialism.As for now the Beto O’Rourke and Kamala Harris types are looking very extreme.

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