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Spend, spend, spend to the magic words

Legislators know the magic words to keep passing their pork spending bills. The magic words are “equity” and “inclusion” and “disadvantaged communities.”

It’s sport in Sacramento to see how much money they can squeeze out for ANY area of spending as long as it’s to level the playing field, in other words, catering to the permanent underclass.

Assemblywoman Wendy Carrillo, one of the big liberals in Sacramento, is giving away $330 million of your tax money to the film studios, you guessed it, under the guise of leveling the playing field.

In his “Don’t Recall Me” campaign tour, Governor Gavin Newsom signed SB 144 into law last week to supply more money to the California’s Television and Film Tax Credit to allow Hollywood to build more sound stages to meet production needs, retain and bring jobs back to the state and – watch for it – institutionalize incentives for productions that meet below-the-line and/or above-the-line equity efforts. 

Carrillo said her SB 144 is “historic legislation that ties the expanded TV & Film Tax Credit in the California state budget to equity workforce plans and incentives to be more reflective of the people of the state.” 

I have an idea that doesn’t burden taxpayers: Let Hollywood use their own money to produce the kind of films people actually want to see because most of the films are crap and that’s why they’re losing money.

Carrillo’s press release cites a McKinsey and Company study claiming that “Hollywood’s lack of diversity is costing it $10 billion a year in revenue.” She also said that the Center for Scholars and Storytellers researchers estimate that large-budget films – those totaling $159 million or more – incur a significant loss in opening weekend box-office revenues when there is little racial, cultural or other diversity among cast and crew. 

Oh really? That flies in the face of a MarketWatch article written by Roberto Pedace, an economics professor at Scripps College in Claremont, who states the opposite: that in an analysis of more than 800 films sampled between 2005 and 2012 that “a film cast’s racial diversity negatively affects international box-office performance.” The study showed that adding just one nonwhite lead actor led to a 40% decrease in international revenue.

The LA legislators presented a large gift to Hollywood backers at the expense of all of us who don’t watch movies anymore because they are mostly horrible and filled with leftist propaganda.

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It should concern all Americans how the federal government plays favorites by prosecuting some and not others.

Rep. Lauren Boebert and 10 other members of Congress sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland demanding an explanation for the apparent inconsistent application of the law with respect to rioters across the country. The congresswoman noted that “Reports are circulating that the Biden regime has held January 6 rioters in solitary confinement, while at the same time, they are letting BLM rioters who attacked federal buildings off with just a few hours of community service. This is not an equal standard of justice. I condemn all forms of political violence, and all political violence must be prosecuted fairly.”

Specifically she notes that the Department of Justice is using aggressive tactics to prosecute the January 6 riot, but it has not for the BLM riots during 2020 where one federal officer was killed and over 700 federal and local officers were injured. Furthermore, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) reported, “since the start of the unrest there has been 81 federal firearms license burglaries of an estimated loss of 1,116 firearms; 876 reported arsons; 76 explosive incidents; and 46ATF arrests[.]"

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When you don’t punish thievery, it will increase. It’s a pretty simple concept.

I blame Democrats and all of you deceived folks who voted for Prop. 47 in 2014 which lowered the sentences for shoplifting crimes among other things.

Two men were recorded leaving a TJ Maxx in Granada Hills brazenly leaving with their arms full of stolen items. Los Angeles Police Sgt. Jerretta Sandoz told CBS: “They didn’t even run out, they walked out and so, that’s sending a message that we, the criminals, are winning.”

Employees and even security guards are being told it’s not worth it to physically stop people who are walking out with inventory. They rely on insurance to make up the loss. And you know who pays for that in the end – customers.

This only emboldens criminals to do more, like break into your house.

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Contrast that with another Los Angeles robbery recorded on video surveillance that had a different outcome.

Last week a young man is standing in a parking lot near Melrose and Vista with two women when a car backs up and out comes two thug passengers who walk over and pull a gun. The male victim pulls out his gun and starts shooting. They flee. The two parolees, Nicholas Brown, 22, and Markeil Hayes, 28, were later captured with gunshot wounds to their legs.

It’s very important to be armed, folks.

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Birds of a feather flock together. VP Harris, perhaps the most unpopular woman in Washington politics aside from Nancy Pelosi, will be campaigning for unpopular Newsom to avert the recall.

A new poll should give Newsom plenty to worry about. Emerson College and Nexstar Media’s Inside California Politics released a poll last week that shows the recall having 43 percent support and 48 percent opposition at 48 percent and 9 percent undecided. That’s much tighter than a previous poll that was at 38 and 42 percent, respectively.

If he does survive, he is badly wounded for re-election. The same poll has 58 percent saying California need a new governor.

Go figure. Fifty-eight percent say we need a new governor yet only 48 percent support the recall. That’s some screwy logic.

Voters give him poor grades for handling drought and wildfires. And if they were asked I’m sure they wouldn’t like how he released thousands of felons from jail in the name of COVID safety, or how he said he was for the death penalty but then enacted a moratorium a year later.

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“Clueless in Sacramento” would be an appropriate title for a movie on Gov. Newsom.

You probably didn’t hear this in the mainstream media but Newsom wants to throw $12 BILLION at the homeless problem but LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva – he supports the recall – was livid that apparently Newsom was inviting the world’s homeless to come on over to Cali when he said: “It’s about getting people off the streets, out of incidents of crisis, and meeting people where they are and to the extent that people want to come here for new beginnings and all income levels, that’s part of the California dream. We have a responsibility to accommodate and enliven and inspire, and California’s dream is still alive and well.”

Newsom added. “I’m proud of people from around the world looking at California again for opportunity, and that, again, that should not just be for certain people. All people should aspire to that California dream regardless of their income level and regarding their lot in life.”

Villanueva told the Washington Examiner: “Those comments blew us away, we are trying to keep our heads above water, and he goes and says that? When he invites the rest of the nation’s homeless to California, that is the death wish.”

Newsom can throw trillions of dollars at the problem and it won’t go away until you get a handle on the flow of drugs which are hooking some and burning out their brains. There is no talk of dismantling CEQA which is jacking up housing costs and creating housing shortages, nor is there a willingness for border security from whence the drugs are flowing steadily from Mexico.

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Ya’ll should be glad you don’t live in Modesto which elected as their mayor a woman who ran for Congress as a liberal Democrat. She is now mayor of Modesto, of course, and has started her nonsensical quest to reform police. Her solution is to end so-called problems with police and the criminal public is to talk, and talk and talk. She formed this group called Forward Together that is mostly comprised of minority group members.  She wants everyone to feel “safe and respected.”

I’ve never felt unsafe from police in Modesto, I suppose, because I don’t go around breaking laws. I’m also not here living illegally in the United States.

Mayor Zwahlen told the group last week: “Creating and strengthening this trust requires that we all come together with an open mind to talk about what’s working and what’s not.”

I just wish she would be honest. If she wants to talk about what’s not working, how about telling all the trouble-makers to pull the h*ll over and comply when police pull them over. If you’ll remember the Oakdale kid who didn’t pull over for in Modesto and led police on a chase before he tried ramming a deputy at the intersection of Finch and McClure not far from Ceres and got shot to death. He’d be alive today if he had just pulled over and didn’t try any funny business.

But as you know, police are often made to be the villains when some idiot does something to get himself shot over. Am I saying there are no bad cops? No, that’s not what I’m saying. Bad cops need to be identified and prosecuted as criminals.

“Division does nothing to further our city’s interests,” she said. Interesting since that’s all her party is engaged in – division. Now she’s giving a platform to segments of the population with concerns I feel are unwarranted while the rest of us who don’t fear police because we’re not doing bad things are just shaking our heads and seeing another pandering politician.

Interim Modesto Police Chief Brandon Gillespie, who happens to be white, has to play along and tells the group that the community has to determine “what we want our Police Department in this city to be like.”

What we want our police to be like? Um, simple, enforce the law and do it fairly and if that means having to shoot people who are trying to run over police or run into open fields with guns, or mentally ill homeless people who pose a threat to life, so be it.

I just about lost it when I read that 16 Modesto officers are participating in the “Race and Cultural Relations Coaching Series” in which officers are lectured about “the impact of slavery on policing.” Call me a simpleton but slaves were freed in 1865 and what that has to do with policing today 165 years later has me a baffled.

It’s easy for minorities to make claims that police only give them the breeze is because they are all racist – not because they look suspicious about something. We saw that here in Ceres when on May 10 Sonya Ruiz suggested that police mishandled a call about her son who allegedly assaulted his parents. At that same meeting Speaking entirely in Spanish, Michael Tedoso told the council: “I am sure that if it would have been a white boy they would not have put him in the cop car or in Juvenile Hall because they would have talked nice because he was white.” 

At that meeting Ceres Mayor Javier Lopez said we can all talk about this issue and can come up with a solution. But he didn't mention that the real solution is: parents, maintain control of your kids; feel like a part of the community by learning English, the language spoken here; take responsibility for what you and your kids do; and lastly, quit playing the victim and blame police for enforcing the law.

 This column is the opinion of Jeff Benziger, and does not necessarily represent the opinion of The Ceres Courier or 209 Multimedia Corporation. How do you feel about this? Let Jeff know at