If you're left scratching your head over the continued antics of murderer Mark Mesiti, you're not alone.
On Oct. 17 he admitted to 49 counts, including murder. Eleven days later he decides he's innocent and wants a new trial.
But Mesiti is no dummy and is only playing the court system like a fiddle. He is trying to run out the clock because he doesn't want to go to state prison. At this point, why are we wasting court time and money on this guy?
* * * * *
The city of Ceres' Draft General Plan contains some interesting information about the change in the ethnic makeup of Ceres between 2000 and 2015. This information was repeated from the American Community Survey of the U.S. Census Bureau.
In 2000, 38 percent of Ceres' population was Latino and 62 percent was non-Latino. Contrast that with 61 percent Latino and 39 percent non-Latino in 2015.
In 2000, 64 percent of households spoke only English; now that number is 44 percent. Roughly four in 10 Ceres households speak both English and another language. I find that a bit troubling that: 48 percent of Ceres households speak only Spanish! So essentially, half of Ceres cannot communicate with the other half. Ask yourself if that may play into some of the problems in the community.
* * * * *
Much has changed since Theodore Roosevelt was president but considering that he was a progressive brand of Republican, it's interesting that he advocated immigrants learning the English language. On Feb. 1, 1916 TR said: "Let us say to the immigrant not that we hope he will learn English, but that he has got to learn it. Let the immigrant who does not learn it go back. He has got to consider the interest of the United States or he should not stay here. He must be made to see that his opportunities in this country depend upon his knowing English and observing American standards." And just before his death in 1919, Roosevelt said this of the immigrant: "If he tries to keep segregated with men of his own origin and separated from the rest of America, then he isn't doing his part as an American."
Imagine any politician of recent times - before Trump - saying that and surviving politically. George W. Bush did suggest that all immigrants should learn English but he didn't go as far as sending them back.
I thoroughly get what Roosevelt was saying 100 years ago. I believe that to be united people we must speak the same common language. Even Jesus believed in assimilation when he spoke the words "render unto Caesar what is Caesar's," meaning one should adapt to the laws, customs and practices of the nation the immigrant resides in.
That thought occurred to me as I was sitting at the red light at Fowler and Mitchell roads. I glanced over at the shopping center on the corner and noticed the laundromat with two signs - one in English and one in Spanish. The word "laundry" was followed by "lavendaria." We are doing a great disservice to those who came across southern border to live in America when we embrace the language of the country they left. It is also, I believe, an insult to the intelligence of immigrants. What do I mean? We seem to be signaling that if we use English words that immigrants can't figure out life here. I mean, there is little difference between "laundry" and "lavenderia"; between "bank" and "banco"; between "clinic" and "clinica."
When I was a kid growing up in California in the 1970s we most certainly knew that "dinero" meant money and that "alto" meant stop. Why then do banks find it necessary to have ATMs communicate in Spanish? Because we live in a politically correct world that doesn't want to offend anyone, real or perceived?
One picks up a new language by being immersed in a society that uses it. If signs and conversation are in the non-native language, can there ever be an immersion in English to the point that it is learned?
* * * * *
Our far-left-leaning state Attorney General Xavier Becerra has rushed to cram his pro-abortion views down our throats.
A state Superior Court in Riverside County ruled that the state's so-called FACT Act violates the constitutional rights of three pro-life, faith-based clinics as it forces them to refer pregnant moms to abortion services provided elsewhere. Those faith-based clinics feel the law is unconscionable because it forced religious organizations to send women to places which are more than happy to terminate their babies, an act they consider immoral.
Becerra said: "Information is power, and all women should have access to the information they need when making personal healthcare decisions."
As if women have never heard of an abortion because it's never discussed in society. Bunk.
The state shouldn't have the power to punish anyone for being pro-life. But your state Attorney General is an enemy of the church and thinks people of faith should cowtow to the state's pro-abortion legislation. Think about that when you see the name of Xavier Becerra on any future ballot.
* * * * *
Sheriff Adam Christianson is hardly politically correct. That was evident when he had some interesting things to say when he appeared on Kevin Fox's KFIV radio show Thursday afternoon. He had many things to say about marijuana, in particular about how marijuana has a dark criminal association. The sheriff is 100 percent against recreational marijuana use and thinks it is absolute foolishness to think the black market will disappear when it becomes legal for people to grow their own marijuana plants. He believes that while a great many people will comply with the laws and regulations and fees associated with legally growing pot under California law, he feels that many won't and will continue to grow illegally, which will cause political pressure to mount on the Sheriff's Department and other police agencies dealing with those who are breaking the law.
It seemed Christianson was holding back in commenting about the Board of Supervisors' recent decision to approve marijuana businesses in the county. However he notes that marijuana is still considered a Schedule 1 drug by the feds and its use can result in unforeseen legal ramifications. The use of marijuana could, for example, result in someone losing their concealed weapons permit (depending, of course, on the level of marijuana use and or possession.) Also while it may be legal to use or possess marijuana in, let's say Tuolumne County, you can be busted for it if used in Yosemite National Park because it is a federal park that doesn't recognize the California vote.
Many people have a problem with reconciling the conflict of the state and federal laws. An example was when Ceres resident Don Donaldson found fault with the City Council for allowing a marijuana dispensary on Angie Avenue even though Uncle Sam has made it illegal.
But for the record, the sheriff finds no cause to oppose medical marijuana use for patients suffering from serious medical conditions and illnesses.
* * * * *
Christianson also weighed in on kneeling football players. He grew up in a military family where country and flag are held in high esteem. The sheriff condemned the personal protests of football players during the National Anthem. I have to agree. If you think there is a problem with police brutality - yes, there has been flagrant violations and the system flushes out the bad apples - then lodge your protests elsewhere; but the National Anthem and our flag should not bear the brunt of your displeasure. It makes the overpaid players look ungrateful for being in the greatest nation on earth; where they enjoy freedoms and opportunities of which they apparently are not appreciative.
Sheriff Christianson noted that if Colin Kaepernick ever comes back to Stanislaus County to hold the Camp Taylor fundraiser, he can provide his own security rather than expect deputies to do so. Right on!
* * * * *
Apparently there was a flap on Twitter where a Ceres High administrator wasn't having any of the dialogue in a string from Eric Sondheimer, an LA Times reporter. Sondheimer tweeted about a Dorsey High team in Los Angeles kneeling during the National Anthem. The comments "boo" resulted in one male student from CHS to reply, "First Amendment right freedom of speech being exercised! They are protesting current African-American injustices!" To which the CHS staff member replied, "No. They really aren't." The students then went on the attack - like good little liberals - threatening to report the comments to Dr. Siegel. One student wrote: "Sorry to see our public education system doesn't support its students constitutional right to protest. Especially in such a diverse area." Imagine that - a member of the entitlement generation feeling they are entitled to support from someone who does not share their political views.
The fact is, many educators do support these senseless protests and anti-American sentiments. That's why we have kids tweeting stuff like: "Why stand for something that doesn't benefit or protect you! (There should be a question mark there.) There is no justice for all."
The Dorsey High School players are copycats of what they see the "grown up" players doing. Protesting on the field is perhaps the dumbest place to stage a protest. Just ask the NFL, which has suffered because most patriotic Americans are fed up and happen to agree America is worth honoring.
* * * * *
Were you aware that over the weekend there was yet another protest in the People's Republic of San Francisco over what KCBS radio termed the Trump-Pence "regime"? Trump has been president since Jan. 20 and there are still some diehard lefties seeking to have him removed from office because they disagree with his policies. Most normal people have stopped this futile exercise but the Bay Area is replete with the senselessly silly disconnected from reality.
I knew several people who, while they greatly disliked Obama, prayed for him because he was our president. I don't see that kind of display on the left. To the contrary I've seen a number of people - including Hollywood celebrities - call for his assassination. It's rather telling of the darkened hearts in our polarized nation.
* * * * *
Another shooting? When I was a kid this stuff didn't happen. Of course, we didn't have cable news networks going overload covering such tragedies. Do you think maybe these crazy gunmen want to gain notoriety at the end of their sad, loser lives?
Do you have any feedback about this column? Let Jeff know by emailing him at email@example.com. He will read it, promise.