Politicians can be a hypocritical lot.
State Assemblyman Adam Gray issued a press release Friday that stated, in no uncertain terms, that he is for the repeal of a tax most of us didn’t know existed. Apparently about 20 years ago the state imposed a 20 percent tax on traffic tickets. It was supposedly earmarked for the general fund at a time when the state was in the red. Of course, the tax was introduced as “temporary” and later made “permanent.” Today the state is sitting on a $21 billion surplus (which should return back to the taxpayers but won’t.)
Gray said the ticket tax amounts to nearly $40 million per year “stolen” from taxpayers without explanation.
Whoa! Pull back on the reins. Stop the horse. Did a Democrat just admit that the state is “stealing” from taxpayers?
You didn’t hear Gray use that kind of terminology when he and his party supported the massive SB 1 tax hike which they billed as the “Road Repair and Accountability Act” and not as the “We’re Stealing $52 Billion from Anyone who Drives/Owns a Vehicle in California Tax Act.” But as we’ve come to learn, politicians are excellent at wordsmithing to sugarcoat tax increases.
State Attorney General Xavier Becerra is perhaps the best at deceptive language. He swindled voters into not repealing that same unpopular gas tax with a deceptively worded title. And he’s up to the same crap as his party tries to chip away at Prop. 13 this year.
I realize that I am a voice crying out in the wilderness but voters must become more educated. Democrats call more young people to vote (because many are under the spell of socialist teachers and live with their mommies and daddies) but I want people to vote only if they have educated themselves on who and what they’re voting for. Chew on this quote from John F. Kennedy himself: “The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all.”
* * * * *
I just read an editorial written by the Los Angeles Times (liberal as all get-out) chastising President Trump for his “religious freedom” initiative. In the piece they downplay the attack on Christianity. Whether or not they believe it, Christianity and Christian organizations are under attack – all of the time.
Look at San Antonio, Texas – a city taken over by liberals – which has spent $315,000 in legal fees fighting Chick-fil-A from setting up shop in the San Antonio International Airport. Why would a city spend over three-quarters of a million dollars of taxpayer money to fight a sandwich shop? Answer: Because it’s a Christian-based business that doesn’t believe in gay marriage. The City Council loathes Chick-fil-A because of its donations to what they call “anti-LGBTQ groups.” Chick-fil-A believes and supports traditional marriages only, which doesn’t make them anti-gay. Specifically the company’s foundation donated $1,653,416 to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, $6,000 to the Paul Anderson Youth Home, and $150,000 to the Salvation Army. You don’t see Republican city councils spending obscene amounts of taxpayer money to fight Starbucks, Ben & Jerry’s or ExxonMobil because they donate to Planned Parenthood, which facilitates abortions.
Don’t believe for a minute that those fighting to keep Chick-fil-A out of the airport wouldn’t fight like hell to allow unvetted foreigners from Muslim countries into the same airport.
Then-Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel conducted a similar assault on the same company in 2012 saying “Chick-fil-A values are not Chicago values.” With its high murder rate – 561 homicide occurred there in 2018 alone – I’d say Chicago needs to re-adjust their “values.”
Tell me again that Christians aren’t under assault by the left.
* * * * *
San Francisco is a beautiful city by the bay. But wow is it struggling because of its very ugly tax-and-spend leadership.
Next time you’re in San Francisco, you might want to reconsider dining out there. You’re already paying to subsidize health-care for even part-time employees. Now you may see a one percent surcharge for a Restore California program to provide funding for farmers to build healthy soil as well as “carbon farming projects such as compost application, cover crop planting, tree planting, and improved grazing management.”
I read about this on the KRON Channel 4 website. A related content story was on “Hundreds of restaurants closed in San Francisco in 2019.” Keep this stuff up and you’ll see even more restaurants close in 2020.
So why did more than 500 restaurants close in 2019? According to Ben Bleiman of the San Francisco Bar Owner’s Alliance, it’s because “the City of San Francisco makes it very hard and very expensive for small businesses with employer mandates like Healthy SF, skyrocketing payroll tax, as well as taxing things like tables and chairs.”
Everything that the Democrats touch seems to turn to manure – which coincidentally you’ll find a lot of on the sidewalks in San Francisco.
* * * * *
Speaking of more destruction by Democrats, consider this: The Oakland City Council now wants to make it illegal for a landlord to conduct criminal background checks on prospective tenants. Now if I was a landlord I would want to protect my investment and would want to rent to a person who pays his bills and doesn’t sell drugs or deal in gangs or any other illegal activities. But lo and behold, Democrats always strive to protect people from the consequences of bad behavior.
A recent survey showed that 73 percent of Oakland’s homeless encampment residents have criminal records.
I get that some people who have turned their lives around outside of jail and prison will find it hard to rent but that’s kind of the price you pay for living stupidly. It seems to me the more you try to make it easy for those who go the way of the criminal, the more will go the way of the criminal. Look the theft increases because the state upped the threshold of what constitutes a felony.
* * * * *
San Francisco County Supervisor Shamann Walton wants the city to come up with a plan to provide reparations to African-Americans in San Francisco. He claims that the descendants of those who were slaves who over 156 years ago need to be paid “reparations,” as if any of them were treated as slaved themselves.
It’s too bad I can’t prove that my great-grandfather Alfonse Benziger had been harassed and cursed when he came to New York from Switzerland in 1870, otherwise I might state the case that today’s taxpayers should be forced to pay me for past injustices to him. Of course I’m being as silly as Walton for a point. Nor am I making light of the horrible cases of slavery but if ever there was justified reparation it’s when President Reagan sought payment of $20,000 to each Japanese-American who was forced to leave their homes and live in internment camps during World War II. It was for the people who endured the suffering and inconvenience themselves, not to their descendants 160 years later.
In his pandering move to blacks for their support, Walton said, “There are things that we need to do that are going to change some of the systems that are in place that continue to keep black folks in poverty.”
He’s being less than honest. What’s keeping blacks impoverished are a lot of things that have nothing to do with racism. How about the rate of fatherlessness in the black community? CNN’s Don Lemon took heat for saying 72 percent of black births are out of wedlock and concluding that “studies show that lack of a male role model is an express train right to prison and the cycle continues.”
You also cannot discount the fact that many who find themselves in poverty were not serious about their schooling.
Lemon was eviscerated for what he said, which brings me to something a friend of mine shared on social media:
“It is better to be divided by truth than united in sin.
“It is better to speak the truth that hurts than falsehoods that comfort.
“It is better to be hated for telling the truth than liked for telling a lie.
“It is better to stand alone with truth than to be wrong with the multitude.
“Speaking truth will not win you a popularity contest. Jesus spoke the truth and they crucified him.”
* * * * *
I believe that the vast majority of Americans understand fairness and obeying laws for the greater good. Outside of traffic jams, just look at how well traffic flows when people obey the law. Of course there are always the jerks on the road – like the one who got ticketed in front of the Salida CHP office last week for doing 110 mph. So they don’t grasp why Joe Biden types do back-flips for those who break the law. Last week Biden said ICE should not deport illegal aliens who have been nabbed driving drunk and threatening the agency with punishment if they do. This guy is either off his rocker or just pandering to the Latino community.
ICE agents enforce laws enacted by Congress so to punish them for enforcing the law is the ultimate insanity from an insane politician!
Joe said he doesn’t count drunken driving as a felony but it is in many states and should be in all states. DUI drivers can and do kill innocent people all the time. About 29 people die in DUI crashes in the USA every single day. I haven’t forgot the DUI suspect who ran into the back of another car on southbound Highway 99 in Ceres and killed someone and then ran and fought the good Samaritans who caught up with him.
After the former veep issued his jaw-dropping statement, Tom Homen, former director of ICE, responded that Biden “has lost his mind” and reiterated that there is no prerequisite to commit a felony before ICE can deport illegals. Homen said Biden has changed his tune because when he was vice president under Obama, Homen deported over one million illegal aliens, of which 100,000 were DUI convictions.
“We didn’t hear a peep from him back when he was vice president on this issue,” said Homen.
To put pressure on the “sanctuary city” policies enacted by Democrats in New York City, last week ICE publicized a list of illegal alien fugitives who were asked to be detained but released. ICE asked for detainers on 7,000 criminals in New York City and was granted a paltry 10. Those released have arrests for assault in the first, second and third degrees, attempted robbery, criminal possession of a weapon, gang assaults and other violent offenses. This policy is putting ordinary citizens in jeopardy. One of those released was Reeaz Khan, 21, an illegal alien from Guyana who raped and killed a 92-year-old Latino Queens resident Maria Fuentes after he was released from jail.
* * * * *
Some in California are calling for changes to the admissions policy in the U.C. system. Recently the San Diego Union-Tribune reported that of the 39,000 students who attend U.C. San Diego, more than 5,000 are from China, with another 1,800 students from other countries.
Why are we educating students from a fairly hostile communist country in which there are many cases of China students and researchers who have spied on and steal important inventions and other trade secret information from America? These spots are robbing Americans of a seat in class. California is replete with impoverished people who could benefit from being admitted but can’t because of the lopsided number of foreign students.
It could be an example of follow the money since students from China pay three times the tuition as California students.
* * * * *
For decades I rarely drank beer. It’s because once with friends early in my life I drank four beers and spent the night heaving at the porcelain throne. That single bad experience, my wife’s disapproval of drinking and not wanting to set a bad example for the kids kept me from drinking anything at all.
Around 2010 I stumbling upon a fitness book called “Body for Life.” It was mostly ways to keep trim and chiseled. One quote in the book stuck with me for years: “You can’t drink alcohol and have a hot body.” At that time in my life I was fit as a fiddle, running three times a week and working out with weights. I weighed about 165.
My wife of 30 years passed away in 2013 to leukemia. In time my attitude toward drinking relaxed and I tried all kinds of beer, usually every other night to eventually a beer every evening day. Eventually all my fitted button-up shirts stopped fitting me. When I stepped on the scales last month I hit my highest weight ever – 185 pounds. I told myself it had to end. I suspected it was the beer so I did an experiment (still in progress.) Beer is full of calories and alcohol turns to sugar which doesn’t work well with my metabolism. And we all know that metabolism slows down with age while at the same time we tend to be less physically active.
On Jan. 1 I changed habits and have lost six pounds. My shirts are fitting again – and I am not out of breath up a flight of stairs.
So as I walk away from beer consumption, I’m alarmed at this trend of seeing craft beer place after craft beer place opening up. An estimated 160 million Americans are either obese or overweight and beer isn’t going to help. Don’t get me wrong; I wish I could drink beer without consequences but, for me, my health, my mind and body suffer.
Ironically while marijuana is mainstreamed into our culture, craft breweries are popping up everywhere. Even theaters are serving beer while you watch a movie at the theater as you sit your ever-widening butt in a recliner chair. Afterward just stroll right outside and smoke your dooby. No thanks on that, too. Last week another tap room was approved for Ceres, the town which was founded with a temperance clause in the 1870's.
Now Blaker Brewery in Ceres is offering beer yoga – that’s right, doing yoga as one gulps down a flight of different beers. It’s a great marketing effort but rather kind of counter-intuitive that, as you’re trying to improve the body, you’re downing a liquid that is working against your body. Beer is heavy and a belly full of liquid makes yoga harder. Alcohol also adversely affects breathing and – let’s face it – yoga uses a lot of breathing techniques. Alcohol can also break down the immune system in the lungs. Loyola University researchers have concluded that alcohol consumption lowers nitric oxide levels, and nitric oxide is the key to fighting infection in the lungs. Never mind the fact that research says greater alcohol consumption leads to increased risk for lung and other cancers.
I suspect lots of people just like beer yoga because it gives them a further excuse to drink in a fun, social setting. It may be fun but don’t complain when you find out later your joints don’t like the extra weight you’ve put on because of it.
Sometimes I hate being the responsible adult in the room.
* * * * *
I was happy to see CNN have to shell out millions to Covington High School student Nick Sandmann for its sloppy coverage of the fiasco on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial when they accused the white student of being the aggressor against a Native American man pounding his drum. Sandmann was targeted because he was white and wore a MAGA cap. Video evidence showed it was a group of foul-mouthed Black Hebrew Israelite idiots who called the minors such things as “racists,” “bigots,” “white crackers,” “faggots” and “incest kids,” “dirty bastards,” and “future school shooters.”
* * * * *
Speaking of biased journalists, did you hear that George Step-On-All-Of-Us signaled to producers to stop broadcasting Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow’s thoughts on the impeachment trial by making a throat-slashing move? Apparently the former Clinton aide who pretends to be a TV journalist doesn’t want Trump’s defense broadcast.
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 email@example.com