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Replacing a friend of farmers with a Bay Area yuppie

Congratulations, Congressional District 10. You replaced a known and proven friend of agriculture, who has been consistent in his defense of our water, who has significant committee assignments and has “brought home the bacon” with a Bay area liberal who hasn’t spent much time here recently other than trying to elect himself to one of the highest offices in the land. Harder ever held office and his only voting record is not voting in 17 out of the last 20 elections. You elected a man who is renting an apartment in Turlock because his whole career has been tied to the Bay Area. You elected a man who said he endorsed taxpayer-funded late-term abortions and then denied saying it after the cell phone recording of him saying that very thing was made public. You elected a man who was not endorsed by the Farm Bureau, but a man pushed by the Sierra Club, too.

It’s obvious that Harder adequately scared seniors about that evil Republican and appealed to the college aged who want everything for free while disregarding how to pay for all that “free-ness.” It’s also obvious they want their taxes to go up because they rejected the congressman who helped deliver tax cuts.

District 10 you chose very poorly.

The rest of us are waiting to see how bad it gets in California with nothing but tax-and-spend Democrats sweeping every state office. It’s making the thought of leaving this liberal bastion very appealing.

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If you want to understand the young people who rallied for Harder by going door to door, go to YouTube and search for “Neil Cavuto vs college student,” or “Students want top earners to pay their tuition.” This was the type of young person who rallied for Harder. 

In the video this less than stellar thinking college girl named Keely Mullen talks about the need for free college, a $15 per hour minimum wage and wiping out all college debt. When TV host Cavuto asks how we should pay for it, Mullen suggests soaking – to a greater extent they already are – “the one percent … who are hording the wealth and really sort of causing a catastrophe that students are facing.” She is certain the one percent can pay for this “absolutely.” She kids herself and the Fox audience to say that if she became successful and made over $250,000 a year she wouldn’t mind paying 90 percent in taxes. Cavuto breaks her bubble by telling this uninformed near-child that if you took all the income of the top one percent of Americans (about a trillion dollars) it would only fund Medicare going for three years. Her deer-in-the-headlights look is met with her dismissive statement “I don’t believe that.”

There are a lot of people just like her believing in the fantasy that the rich in America can support the rest of us. It’s delusional thinking devoid of reality and the fact that she would dismiss it by refusing to believe fact really scares the hell out of me. Our country is slowly being taken over by ill-informed people who have bought into the lie that government can or should take care of everybody.

That, in a nutshell, is who elected Josh Harder to Congress.

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There was some unusual politics in our neighboring city to the south, Turlock.

Mayor Gary Soiseth was given the boot. In fact, he was last place out of three candidates. The victor was Councilwoman Amy Bublak. Second highest vote-getter was Brad Bates who once ran for the 278th state Assembly race.

The Sunday after the election, Bates was picked up for DUI. In December he had been arrested for DUI in Southern California.

Why did Soiseth lose? Was it because he publicly announced months before that he is gay? Because he had been accused of bullying members of city staff? Was it his leadership style? Was it merely because he was a Republican? The world may never know.

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What possesses a man to plead guilty of a crime of molesting/annoying a minor after the trial gets underway? Only Tracy Bull, the former Ceres Dolphins coach, knows because we are told there was no plea deal with the district attorney’s office. Something doesn’t quite add up. Perhaps something else was going to pop up? Maybe he just wanted to waste court and juror time?

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Did anyone else think it rather odd that Stanislaus State and MJC closed its campuses on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday last week – and all this week – on account of the smoke from fires burning northeast of Chico? I also know that UC Davis – because my son works there – also closed its campus for the same reason. While college students and employees were excused from classes, I don’t believe any businesses here in Stanislaus County closed because of the smoke. Schools in Ceres, Hughson and Modesto were closer to the fires than the Turlock campus, yet they all remained open. Granted, some of the high school PE classes were moved indoors but kids weren’t denied a chance to learn indoors like the college kids could have.

Maybe CSUS thought the college kids couldn’t handle the slight smell of smoke? The cynical part of me wonders why the state-run schools were all too eager to pass along more days off with pay to its employees. Maybe because their funding is not tied to ADA (average daily attendance). Like I said, no businesses were closed locally. Two different worlds, two different mindsets, I suppose.

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For all its detractions, its homelessness, its poverty, its unemployment, its being made to feel like the stepchild of California, you must admit that it’s nice living in a Stanislaus County which rarely falls victim to natural disasters.

You don’t hear of wildfires sweeping through Ceres, of earthquakes ripping open Modesto stores and hurricanes battering Hughson. We have had an occasional tornado or two touch down in areas like Oakdale, Ceres, Turlock and Waterford but damage was hardly noteworthy. In January 1997 we had the swollen Tuolumne River flood low-lying areas in south Modesto but it was rare and limited – nothing like what has been experienced along the Mississippi River during its floods. Dams today on the Stanislaus prevent Knights Ferry from being flooded like it was in 1955. Our Valley, which would otherwise act as a large bowl to hold water, was last inundated with copious amounts of water in 1862 precisely because of a lack of flood control which the Sierra Club rails against day.

We truly should count our blessings and remember our fellow Californians who sadly lost everything up north. This Thanksgiving, some in Santa Rosa are still without their homes destroyed from the 2017 fires. They’ll be gathering around a turkey dinner in a travel trailer as their homes continue to be rebuilt. Thousands in Paradise will be thankful they lived to tell about the great fire of this month.

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It’s becoming an all-too-common complaint at council meetings. Ceres residents are tired of how many in Ceres are taking little pride in their city.

Lee Brandt got up at last week’s City Council meeting to explain how he just returned from a nearly two-month, 8,000-mile cross-country trip and he said he was not happy to return to Ceres. Brandt said he came home to the inconsiderate blast of music from a neighbor’s house and had to call police twice.

“I really don’t want to call Ceres my home anymore because I would not let my home to be as cluttered and dirty as Ceres is,” said Brandt, who added that most states aren’t as trashy as California and Ceres. He mentioned all the graffiti and trash and said city staff cannot do all the clean-up alone.

Following last week’s council meeting, former council candidate Gene Yeakley suggested that people could be made to care if it hit their pocketbook, i.e., citations and fines. But even then, that requires city staff time and due process – as well as political will to upset large numbers of residents.

Dave Pratt said his veterans’ group picks up freeway trash once a month but that it immediately starts being trashed again.

Let’s face it. You can’t make classless people classy and there are a lot of classless people living here in the Valley.

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Also at the Nov. 13 meeting, Yeakley congratulated Linda Ryno and Channce Condit for winning council seats. He uttered a perplexing statement that while he predicts Condit will be an asset on the council he said “finally those in the City Council and those in the audience will get a chance to finally see Channce Condit at a City Council meeting.”

True, Condit has rarely attended a City Council meeting but that’s all about to change now.

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I’m convinced that people just like to bellyache. The comments about my story on the roundabouts under construction on Central Avenue and on Morgan Road generated so many comments, some of them negative. Apparently lots of people realize that roundabouts are safer than four-way intersections but there are those who a). don’t know how to use them when they are the simplest thing in the world to navigate; b). think they’re unsafe when they’re not; c). call them ridiculous when in fact they expedite the movement of cars.

Apparently many think that having a roundabout near a school is dangerous for students but Modesto has roundabouts near Enochs High School that work quite well and have been safe. For one thing, the pedestrian crosswalk is set back farther away from the circle for visibility reasons.

Let’s face it. This area is growing with more people and congestion will only continue to worsen if roundabouts are not a part of our circulation system. So quit your bellyaching.

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The Tuolumne River Trust is no friend of local farmers – the people who feed you and I.

That is painfully obvious in the donation appeal fundraiser I received on Sunday. The Trust wants us to lose 40 percent of the water stored in Don Pedro, New Melones and McClure reservoirs – storage intended to give farmers what they need to grow crops. Apparently the Trust thinks it’s more important to flush the water for salmon habitat so they can get gobbled up by the big-mouth bass in the Delta. That is an insane proposal.

I wouldn’t give a dime to this environmental group, which wrote that: “our representatives should represent YOU. The State Water Resources Control Board was scheduled to vote on the Bay Delta Water Quality Control Plan in November, but due to pressure from water management agencies that are colluding with the Trump administration, the Tuolumne River’s fate will hang in the balance until the Water Board meets again in December. These water management agencies are entrusted with managing YOUR water resources, yet they are lobbying the Water Board on behalf of a few powerful urban and agricultural interests.”

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The liberals in San Francisco continue to overtax businesses to the point that they are leaving for friendlier states like Texas.

Word is the McKesson Corporation, the pharmaceutical giant, may be fixing to get out of San Francisco and head to Dallas.

McKesson has 75,000-plus employees and had $198 billion in annual revenue last fiscal year. While McKesson is denying a move, an official in Irving hinted McKesson was considering an expansion of its already “major commitment” to Irving. McKesson’s $157 million regional headquarters opened in 2016 in Dallas. The state of Texas provided $9.75 million in subsidies to encourage McKesson’s decision.

McKesson is embracing from a new so-called “homeless tax” in Measure C passed on Nov. 6. That’s a liberal for you – create policies that create homelessness, then milk the corporations of millions to clean up the mess to corporations, so they will leave town (or the state) and cause loss of jobs and more homelessness. You can’t make up this brand of idiocy.

Measure C imposes a gross receipts tax on San Francisco-based companies which have $50 million or more in annual revenue. With $198 billion in fiscal 2017, McKesson is San Francisco’s highest-grossing company. Measure C is expected to steal $300 million a year from corporations, to be spent on homelessness.

Besides the high taxes and heavy regulations, companies are finding it difficult to attract and retain workers because of the high cost of housing.

Over 1,700 companies have left California since 2008. Toyota moved its U.S. headquarters from Torrance to Plano, Texas. Energy giant Occidental Petroleum moved its headquarters from Los Angeles to Houston. Nestle USA food conglomerate moved its headquarters from Glendale to Rosslyn, Va.

How do you feel about this? Let Jeff know at