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State and AG Bonta continue their war on the unborn

California’s war on the fetus continues.

State Attorney General Rob Bonta (a clone of former AG Xavier Becerra) could be taking on the state’s serious problems with crime but instead goes after the Modesto Pregnancy Center. The faith-based center helps pregnant women “in a state of crisis to understand and work through the alternatives” to abortion. The center points out that many women who choose abortions deal with grief and trauma.

The center also provides sex education to middle schools and high schools in the county with the goal of decreasing unplanned pregnancies and reducing the number of sexually transmitted diseases in Stanislaus County.

Bonta allegedly acted on complaints from one or more Modesto parents that the center’s curriculum somehow breaks state law. He demands the center prove they are following the law or he’ll sue.

The California Healthy Youth Act requires all sex education in public schools to be “scientifically accurate and may not promote religious doctrine.”

Bonta didn’t offer specifics on what he is alleging the center to be doing but did say: “Access to unbiased and comprehensive sexual education for students is not just a matter of choice; it is a fundamental necessity that builds a foundation of success for our children.”

In other words, Bonta should say, “I don’t want to hear that your group is interjecting any sense of morality, especially from you Christians who don’t want women killing their babies. God forbid if we make abortion rare like Bill Clinton stated it should be in the 1990s.”

It seems to me that when you are talking about procreation, you need to talk about moral issues. Women are deciding between taking a life or letting a child live. I know people like Bonta would prefer to cleanse our entire society of Christians and their influence.

California state government is filled by a godless, faithless bunch of people who do a damned good job of maligning Christianity as they promote deviant lifestyles that run counter to moral-based faiths.

Last week Bonta heralded the news that the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California dismissed a second amendment complaint challenging the constitutionality of Senate Bill 107, also referred to as California’s Transgender Sanctuary State Law. It was authored by that moral reprobate Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), that provides legal protections for families who come to California to obtain “gender-affirming care.”

Bonta said “no one should ever be marginalized for seeking the care they need.” 

Notice the unique use of the word “care.” I didn’t realize lopping off the body parts of confused people counts as “care.” And yes he means children because he stated: “The court’s decision is a major win for transgender children and their families in California and across the U.S. amidst a growing assault on LGBTQ+ rights nationwide.”

One thing you’ll never see from Bonta is a quote like this: “no person of faith should ever be marginalized or silenced for attempting to keep women from using abortion as birth control.”

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California has thrown $20 billion in the past five years on the homeless problem, including funneling money toward supporting shelters and subsidizing rent. Yet, homelessness grew 6 percent in 2023 from the year prior, to more than 180,000 people, according to federal “point in time” count. Since 2013, homelessness has grown in California by 53 percent.

Last week the California State Auditor’s Office found that a state council (the California Interagency Council on Homelessness) designed to oversee the implementation of homelessness programs has not tracked spending or the outcomes of those programs. The audit report suggests that the lack of data means policymakers will likely be unable to understand outcomes in the face of these massive costs to taxpayers. The audit recommends a type of “scorecard” to track the success of programs.

Does the phrase “the blind leading the blind” ring here?

As a side note, I don’t know anyone who thinks voter passage of Prop. 1 last month of an initiative to issue $6.4 billion in bonds will actually put a dent in the homeless problem. Borrowing against future generations is usually never a good idea.

* * * * *

One woman cancelled her subscription to the Courier last week because of an editorial cartoon we ran.

The cartoon was of the Democratic-run media portrayed as a donkey examining Trump with a magnifying glass and declaring, “I see loads of evidence!” while the next frame shows the same donkey looking at Biden with a bag reading “10% for the Big Guy,” as it proclaims, “I see no evidence.”

We have audio recordings of Hunter Biden making financial dealings with the Chinese. We have a paper trail showing money going in and shell companies operated by the Bidens. But like Slick Willie – a visitor to Epstein Island and serial sexual predator even as governor and president – nothing seems to stick to the corrupt Biden family.

Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden both got free passes when they were caught with classified information in their possession. But when Trump does it, we make sure we make a spectacle out of him in an Election year. Don’t think people aren’t noticing the double standards.

If the reader is sensitive about the truth, it’s probably time that she quit tuning into the truth deniers at MSNBC. But if it’s liberal slant she wants on editorial pages and in articles, she always has the Modesto Bee to read.

* * * * *

It’s an election year, folks, a perfect time to change the direction of our country and state.

If you’re not paying attention to what’s going on, you might not see how California continues to get worse in most every respect. But most Californians believe the state is heading in the wrong direction. Homelessness is rampant, theft is unbridled, businesses are closing, there isn’t enough housing anyone can afford, taxes are high, gasoline is breaking the family bank, our roads are in bad shape and education is underperforming. Need I go on? Insurance is skyrocketing or being cancelled and illegal immigrants are draining the state taxpayers for free healthcare. Yet Democrats have a stranglehold on policy and people keep empowering them. Why?

Merced County is now talking about closing fire stations amid looming budget shortfalls and lingering inadequate firefighting staffing levels. 

The two stations facing potential elimination include Merced County Station 85 on McKee Road in northeast Merced, and Station 96 in Livingston.

Merced County has 19 fire stations and an agreement with Cal Fire. 

The county has until Nov. 1 to comply with a state minimum requirement of two personnel on duty per station, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Merced is the only one of 58 counties in California, with Cal Fire stations falling below that threshold. The county, which has three stations of one person on duty, has historically relied on paid-call firefighters and mutual aid to help fill the void, though retaining volunteers is a challenge.

To meet that per-station personnel requirement, county officials are looking to consolidate firefighters at certain stations, while eliminating other stations entirely.

Rural hospitals are either closing or considering closing.

One in five hospitals is now at risk of closing, according to the California Hospital Association. 

California State Assembly Speaker Robert Rivas has established a new Select Committee on Distressed Hospitals. Local Assemblyman Juan Alanis was appointed as a member.

Alanis said: “With safety-net hospitals shutting down and others at risk, especially in rural California, it’s clear we must take action immediately. Hospital closures will have even more dramatic impacts on income insecure regions and low-income communities across the state. This committee must move to support these essential hospitals, which provide vital care to Californians on Medi-Cal and Medicaid in particular.”

Apparently “California’s rural health-care system is faltering, due to the fallout of the pandemic, a vastly unhealthy population, and the imbalances in the way a rich state focuses its public health resources” reported the Washington Post.

Then 106-bed Madera Community Hospital closed last year.

The Post wrote in November: “The eastern valleys and Sierra foothills, less populous and generally more conservative in their politics, have often been neglected by liberals from the coastal West.”

The honesty is refreshing.

* * * * *

Presidential candidate Robert Kennedy Jr. has made issue about the health of Americans, saying chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease – not getting a lot of attention – is bankrupting taxpayers. RFK Jr. noted that in the early 1960s, only 4 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) went to healthcare and today it’s 20 percent. That $4.3 trillion is more than the $1.23 trillion spent for defense.

Even more shocking is that when JFK was in the White House, six percent of children had chronic diseases and today that number is a staggering 60 percent.

Obesity is a serious health concern in the United States, affecting more than one in six children and putting their long-term health and quality of life at risk.

Instead of individuals managing their own health through diet and activity, they turn to the overburdened emergency rooms.

Each person and each parent needs to examine what they need to do to remain healthy and build immune systems to turn this epidemic around. That means modifying diet, cutting out sugar and getting active. People would be happier, live longer and our costs will go down.

* * * * *

Congratulations, Gov. Newsom! Your quest to paying fast-food workers far more than they’re worth is causing a loss of more jobs. Good going!

Here come the self-serve kiosks and layoffs. Coming soon are machines to cook the burgers.

I personally resent having to order on a kiosk screen, many of which are bigger than my torso and require wild movements of my pointer finger. I want to interact with a human being like we all should be! But the politicians have messed with the free market and now there will be hell to pay.

I’ve already curtailed my purchases at fast-food eateries and if keeps up will be brown bagging it.

* * * * *

I see a lot of misinformation and rushes to judgment reflected on social media. Such as was the case last week when a bunch of folks chimed in about the Ceres Planning Commission rejecting a site plan to move a shaved ice business kiosk in the La Sequoia Market.

Judging by the hip shots taken at the city, I’m fairly certain nobody read my story, just the headline.

The owner, Violet Saveh, submitted a problematic design that would’ve presented a number of traffic conflicts inside the parking lot. Not one commissioner liked it as she drew it.

One social media user feigned ignorance by suggesting that the commission was a bunch of paid anti-business bureaucrats when in fact members are Ceres residents who are appointed to evaluate projects on their merit.

Years ago, the owner of the shaved ice business was told by then Mayor Chris Vierra that if she wanted to expand her business perhaps she should rent a storefront (like Supermom’s Frozen Yogurt) instead of a shack in the middle of a parking lot with two busy schools nearby. The commission and council told her no drive-thru lane and no drive-up window because of traffic concerns backing up onto Central Avenue. But some citizens have since reported seeing her transacting business through a drive-up window.

As is often the case, people often comment without getting the facts first. Social media makes everybody an armchair expert after reading a headline. If more people attended these meetings and listened to the discussions they would have an intelligent understanding of the process used in deciding whether or not to approve site plans and conditional use permits.

* * * * *

You should have heard Congressman John Duarte dispensing some common sense at the recent Ceres Chamber breakfast.

He spoke about how insane it is to be spending billions on high-speed rail when I-5 needs widening and so do many sections of Highway 99.

If hydrogen power engines are developed and the track ever finished, who is going to ride this 220 mph train from Merced to Bakersfield? First of all, you’d have to drive to Merced or take the ACE train if it ever comes here, hop on the high-speed rail, bullet down to Bakersfield and then if LA is your destination, how will you get there, on a diesel-powered Amtrak bus?

What will the ticket prices be?

Right now I can drive to LA in under five hours on a tank of gas.

* * * * *

The death of O.J. Simpson gave conservative broadcaster Michael Knowles an opportunity to share a fairly accurate summation of the state of racial unrest in our country. It’s actually brilliant, packaged in a 60-second YouTube shorts video that goes like this:

“O.J. Simpson has died at the age of 76. O.J., of course, was best known for being the only player to rush for 2,000 yards in a 14-game season. That is what he was best known for until he murdered his wife and her friend and then was let off the hook in a criminal case but found liable for the murders in a civil case, a discrepancy that only occurred because racial tensions had been running high after LAPD officers had been acquitted after beating up a drunk driving wife-beating career criminal named Rodney King following a high-speed chase that reached 117 mph, after which race riots broke out in LA killing 63 people and injuring nearly 2,400 other people before the National Guard, the Army and the Marines had to be called in to restore order. Coverage of the trial got Norm MacDonald and Jim Downey booked off of Saturday Night Live and the trial gave us the term “n-word.” Our nation is still today grappling with its ultimate injustice.”

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