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I’ll meet shrinkflation by simply not buying product

I don’t know about you but I’m feeling taken advantage of by the manufacturing community which thinks we are all being fooled by the downsizing of product while the prices rise.

The modern term is “shrinkflation.” They are even doing it to candy bars.

Take the bag of Lays Baked potato chips I normally bought with more regularity at Subway. I say “normally bought” because I’m learning my lesson. They want to charge $1.85 for a bag of chips that has been shrinking in quantity while my price goes up. The bag I bought the Wednesday before Thanksgiving looked like it occupied the bottom fourth of the bag, a meager amount of product for the cost. So I’ll stop buying Lay’s Baked.

Some bottles of wine are getting smaller too. Don’t think I haven’t noticed.

There comes a point when the cost isn’t worth paying if you don’t deliver the quantity you once did.

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Finally I read a nationally syndicated columnist who has expressed views which I have espoused in my column for years. Froma Harrop wrote a column that appeared in our sister paper, The Turlock Journal, last week, titled, “Please drop the first-elected whatever.”

She explained how unnecessary it is to point out that Karen Bass is to be the first female mayor of Los Angeles in an era where women have already run Chicago, Phoenix, Fort Worth, Charlotte, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington, D.C., and Boston. She too is repulsed by the media’s (should I say Left’s) obsession with the racial/gender/sexual identities of politicians.

That may sound hypocritical of me since a recent headline I wrote pointed out that Ceres has its first-ever non-white majority City Council. But it truly is a first and it’s remarkable if you knew Ceres history like I do and have seen virtually nothing but white men dominating for decades since the city was incorporated over 100 years ago.

Harrop goes on, making the point that I have made when Latinos suggest that a councilmember does not represent them unless they are of the same race – which is racist in itself. Harrop said that it’s unfortunate how the Left uses the word “disproportional” to reflect the idea that members of elected bodies should be chosen to reflect their identities’ percentage of the population. She bristled when The Boston Globe opined that the U.S. Senate is the “least representative of America’s racial diversity with 83% of its members identifying as white, 3% as black, and 7% as Latino.” I can totally agree with her when she says that “fairness means simply adding up the votes of whoever was running” and that voters are not focusing on the candidates’ DNA.

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On Sunday, Nov. 20 I was listening to the “Behind the Badge” radio program on KFIV, the talk radio station in Modesto. Part of the discussion turned to the tragedies of folks dying on the roads when they cross paths with an automobile. One such incident happened on McHenry Avenue at Union Avenue when a bicyclist started darting across moving traffic and became an instant traffic fatality. The emcee mentioned how his heart goes out to the victims and their families but also the drivers who won’t ever be able to forget the horrible feeling of running down a living breathing human being.

I’ve often thought about that myself.

Then two nights later, Tuesday, I was rolling down a major thoroughfare and nearly watched a homeless person get killed in the road.

The car to my left, a suped up Mustang, was a bit ahead of me and I was in the center lane. Unbeknownst to both us drivers, a homeless person wrapped in a blanket was partially standing in the Mustang’s left lane. The homeless dude was near the plastic delineators waiting to make a break across the opposing lanes.

My heart nearly stopped as I watched an impending disaster between a human and a Mustang.

The driver caught what I caught at the last second and made an incredible swerve into my lane ahead of me. He started fishtailing and dragging a cloud of smoke out of the road behind him. The Mustang wiggled several gyrations before it finally evened out. My car was filled with the smell of his burning rubber as I was stunned at what had happened.

My fear turned to anger that another bombed-out-of-their-mind homeless person nearly cost his life and the psyche of two drivers who were about to be involved.

There are several kinds of homeless but I’m focusing on the ones, who by their own devices, decided to fry their brain cells with all kinds of drugs, or pickled their minds on Jack Daniels. They are the ones screaming to some phantom individual on the street who isn’t tormenting them. They are the ones pooping on the sidewalks, or leaving their clothing on the sidewalk because they were so bombed they are incapable of collecting their things. They are the ones tweaking out and walking out in front of cars.

This is happening more and more with the homeless, who some of them don’t have the common sense to use a crosswalk at a traffic signal. Why we feel this is okay, to let these homeless people to be exposed to all kinds of dangers like this rather than mandating them to the care of a shelter, is beyond me. We are enabling the druggies to take over our streets and lower our quality of life. 

This needs to stop. Laws need to change. We should not be allowing these folks to abuse themselves this way.

* * * * *

This is certainly not news to any of us who live in California. named California the second hardest state to own a property - scoring 18.3 out of 100 on the index. Due to low homeowner-ship rates per the population, California also has the worst odds of owning a home at just -120. Whilst this is still a 54.60 perecent probability, its doesn’t compare to West Virginia, the state with the greatest odds of owning a home (-350).

In case you’re wondering Hawaii has the distinction of being the state were the odds are that you’ll never own a home. New York is right behind California. 

* * * * *

Where did this concept of equity come from? Most of us were raised with the knowledge that to prosper in life one has to make sacrifices and work hard. So where did we come up with this idea that all people should be equal in terms of how they live their level of lifestyle? Doesn’t work, effort and ingenuity come out to play as to how much you’ll acquire in life or how successful in life we’ll be? But in today’s culture, somehow, we are being groomed to believe that none should go without – even if no one puts forth any effort.

Let’s say that a man, because of his own efforts, buys beef for the barbecue grill, and then he works hard to barbecue it. The smell wafting through the neighborhood catches the attention of a homeless person who, by whatever choices he made in life, has no home, no money and no food. Is that person entitled to enjoy the spoils of the other one who works hard? Now of course the one who has the meat on the barbecue can share his meal with the less fortunate, and we call that charity. It is good to be charitable and to help out our fellow man. But to have the systems in our government take from one person through taxes to support the other one who won’t work or won’t work as hard is not an American concept.

A lot of young adults today are not aware of the fact that the colonies were set up as a socialist utopia where all enjoyed the fruits of labor. However, it came to pass that some realized they could enjoy food that they did not labor to produce. That caused resentment and it did not instill any motivation for those who worked hard. They found people were productive when they were forced to fend for themselves.

What we have today is a system of rewarding people who don’t work hard. Now, of course we know there are situations where people cannot support themselves because of their disabilities, physical or mental. But what do we do with those who chose to destroy their brains and their entire constitution with drugs and alcohol? It’s time for a little tough love.

We cannot continue to allow people to live on the streets, on the sidewalks or in parks or under bridges and shout at passing motorists like they’re completely bombed out of their mind. We must start a program to get these folks off the streets and into facilities where they can receive some kind of restoration. Just providing housing isn’t enough. They must be productive members of society, not takers.

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On a personal note, on Monday my daughter gave birth to a beautiful baby son Karter, who likely will be my last grandchild. The grandchildren have been coming for 10 years now from two of my children.

I was in awe again at the miracle of life, to hold a helpless baby that just entered the world by means of an astonishing process.

Sadly our culture has devalued the human baby to that lower than that of animals. Mahatma Gandhi once said, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”

Can you imagine how, then, he would have judged a nation how it treats unborn babies?

This column is the opinion of Jeff Benziger, and does not necessarily represent the opinion of The Ceres Courier or 209 Multimedia Corporation.  How do you feel about this? Let Jeff know at