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It’s time for average Americans to push back

It’s time for the average American to push back on the lunacy foisted upon us by the Left.

More and more they are creeping in at the local level.

This is a story of a local resident within the 209 who was flying the Thin Blue Line flag in honor of fallen law enforcement officers and generally as a show of support for police. Most Americans understand the value of law and order and that we need officers to keep the peace and keep evil in check. The flag has been perverted by the Left to be a racist symbol – despite the fact that it represents officers of all ethnicities. A neighbor of the Thin Blue Flag flyer nailed a note to his the door that read: “Your neighbors kindly & respectfully ask you to take your very problematic & offensive flag down. I have attached some articles to explain why the flag is wrong & insanely offensive. If you have more questions don’t hesitate to contact me at (209) 371-****.”

Have you noticed how people on the Left want to shut people down when they disagree? A resident has a right to fly their flag despite their uptight neighbor finding it offensive. They want to infringe upon your rights to place a Thin Blue Line flag or an American flag on your house, or place a Trump 2020 sign in your yard. (The Trump sign is guaranteed to be ripped down and you will be a target).

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Speaking of support for Trump, let’s talk about these pollsters who say that Biden has a 12-point lead over Trump. Despite pollsters oversampling Democrats, there is a great silent majority in this country who will vote for Trump quietly and in force – especially since the two candidates have taken their positions. Trump is obviously the law and order president; Biden the let-them-burn-our-cities-down candidate. Most decent Americans are appalled at how liberal mayors sit by idly and let radical socialists destroy their cities, burn police cars, courthouses and police headquarters, take over city blocks, rip down statues, block freeway traffic – and they know a President Biden will only give into their demands.

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More evidence of the Left trying to shut down Trump supporters: Take note that a varsity baseball coach and social studies teacher named Justin Kucera was fired by the Walled Lake school district in Michigan because he stated on social media that he pointed out that “Trump is our president.” Kucera said his statement – cost him his job – was intended to unify, rather than divide: “I know a lot of people are just rooting for Trump to fail, and I don’t think that anybody should do that. Agree with him or not, you should want the president to do well. I apologized that [my tweet] brought so much negative attention, but I’m not sorry for what I said.”

Those who know Kucera say he never preached about politics in his class or on the field. But lo and behold other teachers who expressed anti-Trump opinions have been allowed to stay in place. They include Nicole Estes, a Keith Elementary School kindergarten teacher who called Trump a “sociopath” and a “narcissist” on Facebook in 2016.

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The latest case of someone going wacko on those who didn’t wear a mask in public happened in San Diego last Thursday.

Ash O’Brien and her husband were enjoying lunch in a picnic area of a dog park in San Diego – socially distanced away from everybody else –when an unhinged older woman came along and hatefully observed they weren’t wearing a mask (it’s kind of hard to eat with a mask on). The nut case (no doubt a card carrying liberal) came back with a can of mace and sprayed them in the face while an bystander video recorded the whole episode.

We live in wacky times, folks.

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Also on Thursday in Milwaukee Bernell Trammell, a 60-year-old black man who was outspoken for his religious views and support of Trump, was shot and killed. This occurred in the lunch hour outside of his office of the eXpressions Journal, a political and spiritual publication with an office at 915 E. Wright Street. Apparently days before a young man engaged in an altercation with Trammel who was carrying a Trump 2020 sign.

I didn’t see incessant media coverage of this unjust death as we did in the George Floyd case. No doubt because the victim was pro-Trump and one who called for people to repent of their sinful ways – we know those are two classes of people for whom the mainstream media has the greatest contempt no matter that he was black.

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These are interesting times at the local level as well.

City races in recent years have been a snoozer. It’s gotten more interesting this year in the race for mayor and two council seats.

In years past there have been dark horses candidates come out of nowhere and ended up going nowhere. Those types of candidates are rarely involved in the community, never having served on any city panel nor belong to any Ceres groups, and rarely with an agenda or talk specifics but claim their sole desire is to just give back to the community. They were not ready for the prime time and didn’t seem prepared. Names that come to mind over the decades – Mike Soffa, Clifford Elms, Greg Adams, Jerry Sheffield, Mike Rego, Kevin Johnson (Kevin spent gobs of money) in the 1990s and Gene Yeakley recently. All were defeated soundly.

There are a lot of new political novices cropping up this year taking on incumbents.

We also have another of the Condits – Ceres’ most political family besides the Berryhills – running for office. Grandfather Gary A. Condit started out his political climb by running for City Council in 1972. In 2012 Gary’s son Chad Condit tried surfing the Condit name right into the halls of Congress, as an independent, but he received roughly half the votes as did Democrat astronaut Jose Hernandez who lost the primary election to Jeff Denham. Of course, you know Channce Condit was elected in an uncontested Ceres City Council race in 2018 and before the midway mark of his term decided he wants a different job – to be on the Board of Supervisors. Now, Channce’s brother Couper Condit is trying to take Mike Kline’s council seat. Which poses this question: Are Ceres voters willing to have two brothers from the Condit dynasty occupy two-fifths of the Ceres City Council should Channce Condit lose his supervisorial race to Tom Hallinan, and Couper Condit defeat Kline? Will voters have a mistrust of Couper Condit seeing how the trend in the Condit family has been to be political ladder climbers? Only voters in District 4 will have a say in answering this one. The rest are cut of the process because of council redistricting, thanks to the liberals who run California and Latinos who threatened to sue cities who don’t go to district elections.

Couper Condit was cut lose by the city team in January when he was denied another term on the Ceres Planning Commission and was replaced by Bret Silveira. The mayor and some council members were troubled over Couper’s voting record, in particular, rejecting projects without giving proponents an explanation.

Couper was also involved in a flap over the Ceres General Plan update process in December 2018 when he obstinately  pressed for an unorthodox call for the plan to declare its priority be for the city to achieve a ratio of 1.3 officers per thousand residents. City staff explained that while public safety has always been a high priority, staffing is a budgetary function and not appropriate in a planning document. Also, then City Manager Toby Wells cautioned that raising the public safety staffing ratio from 0.8 officers per thousand to 1.3 would make “everything else go away” in the city operation, i.e., no parks, no recreation, no planning, no economic development, no streets, no maintenance shop, no street sweeping, no street tree maintenance, etc.

During the same discussion, fellow Commissioner Bob Kachel agreed that “the commission doesn’t have any authority to set budget priorities.” Yet, Couper Condit cast the lone vote against the General Plan update.

One month later, Councilman Channce Condit mimicked his brother’s request with a nearly identical outcome – rejection. Channce Condit too voted against the General Plan update – presumably because he didn’t get his way. So much for the city’s motto, “Ceres Together We Achieve.”

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The Adam Gray for Assembly Facebook page caught flak for a social media post praising the fact that a majority of students in the UC system are Latino. Gray (or his campaign staff) wrote: “For the first time in history, Latino students make up the largest ethnic or racial group of Californians admitted to the University of California for the upcoming school year. I am proud to represent the most diverse University of California campus in all of California. UC Merced is fulfilling the promise of making the world-renowned UC education accessible for students in the San Joaquin Valley.”

Mickey Garcia felt the comments were racist (against non-Latinos). Mike Turn asked if Calfornia needs an affirmative action law on the ballot in November. Suzanne Jones Rathbun wrote that she will “never ever vote for a Democrat. They have gone too far left. Calif is left enough.” Dar Ribeiro said he looks “forward to a day where the word race will be eliminated from all human interactions.” Joe Aron said it “must be all that white privilege.”

Others liked Gray’s post. Abel Garcia said he “worked hard for my education as well as continuing my education goals!!!! I’m a diesel mechanic that earn my degree from Merced college so I can afford a Bachelor’s degree. I’m thrilled to hear this news.”

I think the point of the overwhelming majority of negative comments is that they are tired of politicians making an issue of race. People tend to resent quotas and politicians’ efforts to promote one race or another in the admissions process.

Democrats talk a good game about diversity. Diversity, however, calls for a diverse population – not one that occupies half being one particular race.

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Life surely isn’t normal these days. Life has been closed down and people are bored. You can sense it during the Ceres Planning Commission meeting’s comment section. When Chairwoman Laurie Smith went around and asked if any members had anything to comment, Bob Kachel laughed and said, “There’s absolutely nothing to report – nothing whatsoever.” Smith said she had nothing to report other than her granddaughter turning three on Saturday.

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Water is the lifeblood of California agriculture. Stop the water and you kill off farms.

Who are the enemies of water storage projects in California? Plainly, the Democrats.

Don’t believe me? 

Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA), recently offered two amendments to construct water storage projects in California during the U.S. House Appropriations Committee markup of the 2021 Energy and Water Appropriations bill. Democrats defeated his two amendments. One would have provided federal funds for the Shasta Dam and Reservoir Enlargement Project and would have removed “no funds” riders related to raising the Shasta Dam. The other would have stricken language in the appropriations bill that would prohibit the Interior Department from obligating funds to water storage projects it recommended until it had sent additional recommendations on water recycling and desalination to Congress.

“Despite a previous agreement to support all of these approaches, House Democrats have gone back on their word and have put roadblocks in place to stop federal funding for California water storage projects,” said Rep. Calvert. “Their obstruction impacts regular California water ratepayers and ignores the pressing need for more storage.”

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Does anyone else see what I see?

A recent report of coronavirus in our county noted that the increase in positive cases is largely spread out among people 50 years and younger, while those being hospitalized are mostly 51 years and older. So apparently lots of people aged 0-50 with COVID-19 don’t even require hospitalization and they aren’t dying; while the ones with COVID-19 who need a hospital are those who are older and most likely retired. So why are we shutting down restaurants and schools and other businesses and just asking the older citizens to stay home since they are more at risk?

And you know, I don’t ever remember a news articles that would read: “The death toll is rising because of the flu and adult ICU beds are being filled.”

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