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SF doesn’t think a thief should be called a thief

Boy, there are some people in leadership in California who try their darnedest to soften the concept that actions have consequences – especially when it comes to breaking the law – now by applying new terminology.

For thousands of years, people who steal have been called a thief. But lo and behold, the enlightened ones on the far left San Francisco Board of Supervisors, think that’s too harsh. They now think that society needs to be more tolerant of criminals by getting rid of words like “offender.”  No more referring to “convicted felons,” so we’ll call them “justice-involved person.”

The board is off-the-rail bananas.

I wonder if they’ll eliminate the term “victim” for those who have been ripped off, shot or killed. Maybe they’d prefer to call someone who just had his house broken into and big screen TV removed from the wall as an “acquisition deprived dweller.” Perhaps they’ll call someone shot during a robbery an “mechanically health comprised citizen.” Maybe a person shot in the head with brains leaking onto the sidewalk could be said to be “prematurely conscious-deprived.” 

So now in SF if you’re coming back from prison you’re not an ex-con, you’re a “formerly incarcerated person,” or a “justice-involved” person or just a “returning resident.” If you’re hooked on drugs, you’re an addict. But not in the city by the Bay – you are now officially a “person with a history of substance use.”

In what will go down in the annals of Bay Area lunacy, Supervisor Matt Hanley said: “We don’t want people to be forever labeled for the worst things that they have done. We want them ultimately to become contributing citizens, and referring to them as felons is like a scarlet letter that they can never get away from.”

Why shouldn’t we label people who can’t be trusted until they’ve proved they aren’t what they have been are? Don’t people often say “once a child molester, always a child molester”? And if rapists, robbers, thieves, embezzlers, murderers and arsonist truly want to get rid of the label applied to them, straighten up and fly right. Don’t continue to be a burden on your fellow man.

Apparently the folks on the board have never read the novel 1984. Or maybe that’s where they learned the art of doublespeak.

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Now that school has started, the bellyaching has commenced over the new roundabout at Central and Pine streets.

A few in social media complained last week about it, saying how roundabouts don’t work and how they are causing traffic backups. No, traffic backups are occurring because too much traffic is trying to flow through a narrow channel at the same moment in time. The answer to this problem is either be patient – or don’t be like 95 percent of all parents who leave home as late as possible hoping for a carefree ride to the student drop-off zone. Learn to work the system.

Lots of people pop off with comments and know nothing of what they are talking about instead of finding the facts. (Maybe they should read the Courier first to get an education on Ceres issues because we published stories about the new roundabouts in July, September and November of 2018.

Take the comment of Ryan Schaffer who pronounced the roundabout as the “biggest waste of money have used for ANYTHING else.” He suggested as a better use as painting the water tower. Well, no, those roundabouts were funded by federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) dollars since roundabouts reduce emissions. How? Because normally cars do not have to come to a complete stop in a roundabout and waste extra fuel from accelerate from a complete stop. CMAQ funds, contrary to what Ryan suggested, can never be used to paint a water tower.

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Retired U.S. Senator Harry Reid – hardly a conservative – warned Democratic nominees running on “Medicare-for-all” platforms that the strategy would be a pathway to disaster. Reid said: “I think going for taking people’s private health insurance away as part of our health care plan is a stone-cold political loser for us.”

Maybe that’s why Kamala Harris has deceptively “changed” her tune. Beware of politicians who promise one thing before the election and then flip after election. (I’m thinking of Gavin boy who said he supported the death penalty, and got elected only to enact a moratorium on all executions. I’m also thinking of Obama’s “if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.”)

It’s strange how you don’t hear Josh Harder talking much about Medicare for All which he supported in the last election.Maybe he read Harry Reid’s memo. Or maybe he’s just too busy organizing the busloads of Bay Area ballot harvesters.

In 2020, do not trust to hand over your ballot to any stranger! Prevent voter fraud by putting a stamp on it and mailing it in, or better yet, hand it in at the polls.

* * * * *

Let me get this straight.

A bunch of citizens wanted to host an assemblage to promote the time-tested Judeo-Christian values of marriage between a man and a woman because all they see in our society is a push for unwavering support of unnatural relations between a man and a man and a woman with a woman and they being called all kinds of villainous names? And we even have our own congressman and Modesto Progressive Democrats siding with the unnatural state of things?

The so-called Modesto Nonviolent Collective sent out a press release before Saturday’s Modesto march, saying how the people on the right – mostly those of the Christian faith – would be met with a non-violent counter protest all while they are verbally bashing them.

In a press release, Max Reed called the National State Pride Coalition a “white supremacist” organization whose stated mission is to terrorize and plan ‘war activities’ against queer and trans people.

The release tried to somehow link a march for straight unions with the recent alleged hate crime against the local Sikh Temple just outside of Hughson. A priest was punched through a broken window while telling the priest, “Go back to your country!” Totally unrelated to the Straight Pride event but Max wants us all to think Stanislaus County is a hot bed of racism and “homophobia.”

Apparently Reed wanted the Modesto City Council on Aug. 13 to “declare that hate is not welcome here, but instead they passed an ordinance against all protesters, with an emphasis on antifascist protesters in particular.” He was mum about the violent Antifa movement though.

Reed ridiculously offered that his group would be taking steps to “protect people targeted by the caravan of hate that is coming to town.” He cited St. Paul’s Church and Haven Women’s Center offering “safe spaces” and counseling on August 24. Oh the unbearable trauma of people expressing their rights to free expression and the need for crying rooms.

That’s just like the left to go overboard when they get pushback on their ever-pressing liberal agenda to buck people of faith. Reed offered plenty of name-calling too, saying “homophobia, misogyny, and white supremacy are not welcome in Modesto.”

* * * * *

No doubt about it, we have the most insane state Legislature in the United States. That’s obvious when you see how they treat police like criminals.

Pass a law saying police can only use deadly force when necessary? Does Sacramento think police go around shooting people because they have other options? Can we agree that most people killed by cops are generally disobeying direct orders or doing something stupid, such as reaching into a waistband or driving a car toward police or reaching for a weapon? Sure, there are rotten cops and they must be ferreted out and brought to justice. But the media promotes a narrative that persons of color are only shot because of color while completely ignoring the actions that led to the shooting, such as in the Michael Brown case in Ferguson. Being black or Hispanic is not a pass to do as you wish while escaping the consequences.

The internet is replete with video of stupid drivers who REFUSE to follow orders at a traffic stop and end up getting dragged out of their car and Tasered.  It’s all quite unnecessary.

California Democrats have a soft spot for dangerous criminals. From lowering the penalty for raping an unconscious person to supporting a program that allows violent mentally ill offenders to hang onto their guns, radicals in the Legislature are putting Californians at risk. To make matters worse, people who rape and kill and other heinous crimes as kids get out of prison earlier rather than face the electric chair.

They have now crossed the line by prohibiting prosecutors from charging 14- and 15-year-olds as adults, no matter how heinous the crimes. The action of Democrats have ticked off prosecutors and police and caused even more pain for victims’ families.

Example #1: Keymontae Lindsey unloaded a handgun into a car full of his high school peers, killing J.J. Clavo. Lindsey was 15 at the time, so he’ll be released from prison at age 23. Clavo was sentenced to life in the grave.

Example #2: A Contra Costa County prosecutor was so disturbed by the justice system’s treatment of the family of 20-year-old murder victim Allie Sweitzer that he felt compelled to apologize that they were denied justice. Sweitzer’s killer, Vincent Lising-Campos received just a seven-year sentence because of his age. Sacramento Bee columnist Marcos Bretón summed it up best: “Regardless of the age of the killer, a sentence of a few years is a slap in the face to the people left devastated by their actions. [The Democrats behind this new policy] obviously didn’t care about that.”

This is what you get when you vote for Democrats – soft on crime, hard on police.

* * * * *

I recall over 10-15 years ago when the Ceres City Council was asked by Sharon Burch and other residents of Colony Park Estates to enact rent control. Fortunately, the council was entirely Republican and realized that such rent controls are bad policy so they rejected the idea.

It comes as no surprise that Jeff Collins of the Orange County Register exposed the reality of Democrat’s rent control scheme of AB 1482: landlords are being forced to preemptively increase rents out of fear local or state tenant protection laws could pass, forever trapping them at below-market rates.

Republicans have warned about the dangers of rent control for years. Collins’ article offers real-world examples of what happens when the government tries to dictate real estate prices (just as they do the price of labor). Apartment owner Lynn Swain, who had previously rented units well below market rates, was quoted as saying: “We usually don’t raise rents until one becomes vacant. Then we raise it to market value. But now we have no choice but to raise the rent. That’s unfortunate for the renters.”

An apartment manager in Glendale has begun imposing strict leases on her tenants in anticipation of new limits on replacing tenants. She said: “We needed as restrictive a lease as you can get — no pets, no subleasing — because if you have just-cause evictions (and) you have a lot of causes, you have reasons.”

Republicans warned of the backlash from rent control, Democrats didn’t listen and now renters are paying the price.

* * * * *

Ever addicted to your tax dollars, state Democrats tried – but thankfully failed – to weaken Prop. 13’s taxpayer protections by lowering the voter approval threshold for local tax increases from a two-thirds majority to 55 percent. ACA 1 fell eight votes short of the 54 needed to advance the measure to the state Senate.

Assemblyman Kevin Kiley, R-Rocklin, called the vote on ACA 1 to be a win for state taxpayers. Assemblyman Tom Lackey, R-Palmdale, said “the fight isn’t over. The middle class is being driven out of our state because of the high cost of living. I’ll continue to oppose legislation like ACA 1 that will make the affordability crisis even worse.”

No wonder so many in our area are packing it up for Idaho and other states.

* * * * *

Democratic state Attorney General Becerra seems only concerned about one constituency: he works overtime to protect and shield lawbreakers at the border. They are, after all, future Democrat voters. The Trump obstructionist doesn’t give one rip about the hardworking schmucks who pay his salary.

When the Trump administration decided to expedite the removal of foreign invaders who ignore our border laws, Becerra rushed to their defense. The truth is, he wants illegal immigrants to come in and stay while posturing that Trump is being partisan in enforcing existing laws passed by past Congresses. What kind of prosecutor defends any sort of lawbreaking? Why is he concerned that lawbreakers should “fear persecution”? It’s not persecution; it’s prosecution. Shouldn’t lawbreakers fear prosecution? Shouldn’t a bank robber fear the FBI knocking down his door? Isn’t the natural consequence of lawbreaking to face punishment? Why pass laws if state officials are going to pick and choose which ones should be ignored? Didn’t Becerra swear to uphold our laws? And if he chooses to ignore laws, should he not be recalled? The answer to all those questions is yes.

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