The screaming has commenced.
The left is livid over recent Supreme Court decisions.
The first deals with what the left calls the “Muslim travel ban” and the right calls the “we’d better get better at vetting immigrants who want to slit our collective throats.” Specifically, the court determined that the 2017 travel restrictions for Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Somalia, Venezuela and Yemen are constitutional.
I hail the decision. We have enough domestic terrorists in defective students who think shooting classmates is an answer; we don’t need radicalized persons who put pressure cooker bombs along marathon routes, shoot up nightclubs or fly planes into buildings or run their cars into bicyclists and runners.
T.J. Cox, the Democrat carpetbagger running for another congressional seat in our Valley, said “It’s clear that this Administration has no sympathy for anyone who’s brown, black or a Muslim.” Keep in mind that we have a very generous immigration policy whereby we allow a million – one million, mind you – immigrants into our country each year. Cox is a race-baiter who enjoys confusing the issue for political malcontents. Trump doesn’t hate people of color, but he is against radicals killing Americans as they have done too many times in our recent history. Cox goes on his diatribe to say “What’s worse is a complicit Congress with no spine to stand up to hateful rhetoric and policies meant to demean and degrade immigrants.” Since when is a desire to protect and put Americans first by better screening methods demeaning to immigrants?
Indeed, there is no constitutional right of anyone to immigrate to the U.S.
Heads were exploding all over the left over the Janus case decision. The court ruled that non-union public sector workers have a right to not pay dues to unions, which typically support the Democrat Party. Most Americans agree with the court. In 2014, a Gallup Poll found that 82 percent of Americans agreed that “no American should be required to join any private organization, like a labor union, against his will.”
The left is screaming it’s a horrible decision while the right is hailing it is a victory for Americans. The biggest losers are the teacher unions that will no longer automatically receive a significant chunk of revenue from those unwilling to financially support a union. The American Federation of Teachers in 2017-18 donated $6.5 million to the Democrats and liberal groups and zero dollars to Republicans. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) donated $5 million to the Democrats. The National Education Association gave $2.3 million, of which 95 percent went to Democrats. Then there is the American Federation of Government Employees which gave $1.8 million mostly to Democrats.
Paul Shearon, secretary-treasurer of the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, bitterly said it was a “about silencing workers’ voices” and called the justices’ decision was a “slap in the face to public employees and their families.” Not exactly, more like a slap in the face of the unions.
Jeanne Allen, founder and CEO of the Center for Education Reform, had a different take, saying “No citizen of the United States can be compelled to support speech that he or she does not believe in or endorse, and by upholding that constitutional protection, the court has affirmed a critical principle of freedom.”
She went on to say it was good news for “thousands of educators who have long been exploited by the teachers unions, and for families whose educational opportunities have been compromised by their political activity.”
Here in California, Assembly Republican Leader Brian Dahle said “Unions have had a monopoly on California politics for far too long. Today’s decision will stop unions from taking money away from hardworking people, without their consent, to push a political agenda that has made California unaffordable.
“Now, instead of pushing to serve union bosses, the Legislature can concentrate on fighting California’s highest-in-the-nation poverty rate.”
Amen to that.
The third court decision came last Wednesday when the highest court struck down California’s Reproductive Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care, and Transparency (FACT) Act. It is a 2015 law passed by California Democrats which required pro-life crisis pregnancy centers to inform clients about free or low-cost abortions. The court said it is a violation of free speech for the state to demand that those fighting to preserve life point women in the direction of baby killers or be shut down.
Denise Harle, legal counsel for Christian non-profit Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) said, “It is unjust for the government to force anyone to speak a message they disagree with – and to punish them if they don’t.”
* * * * *
Years ago, the Oakdale Leader realized that many political candidates were trying to get out their campaign messages through letter writing campaigns while avoiding buying ads. The Leader felt a bit used and announced it would charge to run letters. That put a kibosh on letter writing for a time.
From June 20 to June 29, nine days, I received 16 letters from the Josh Harder camp (all of them from outside of Ceres) so I guess we have the same problem as did the Leader. In response, we will be very selective about letters we publish from both sides. We will selectively print a representative sampling of letters on a more balanced scale.
* * * * *
Last week’s City Council meeting heard more of the same from Len Shepherd and Gene Yeakley, regular attendees at council meetings who make their feelings known about the sloven conditions in Ceres. Shepherd started out complaining about the “insane, stupid drivers” in the area, citing three times where he was cut off by other motorists.
“What’s the matter with people anymore?” asked Shepherd. “Look around you at all the stuff you see in Ceres, Modesto, Turlock, wherever … it’s all the same. People are sloths and they don’t care. Their houses are ratty looking, they don’t keep their yards up.”
Len said he was raised to be responsible and now lives in an age when people “all want something for nothing.” I can relate.
Yeakley complained about a Ceres towing business violating the sign ordinance. Some are attached to city sign posts. He wanted to know why the business wasn’t being cited and why the city wasn’t citing people for placing household items and trash in the gutters and for wasting water. He also complained about cars parked on lawns or filling up cul-de-sacs not parked parallel to the curb.
The council members themselves have the same concerns. That’s why they are adding a new code enforcement officer starting Jan. 1. That is very welcome news!
* * * * *
May Rico, director of Haven Women’s Center of Stanislaus showed up at the Ceres City Council meeting trying to strongly pressure the council away from its intent to pass a resolution opposing SB 54, which I call “The State Has the Audacity to Harbor Illegal Aliens from Federal Officials Act,” but labeled by Democrats who passed it as the “California Values Act” (talk about a misnomer since the values of most Californians is to obey the law and the majority of those polled stepping up deportations). Rico suggested that the council standing up against the state’s illegal action would adversely affect the 46 percent Latino base she serves. She didn’t have the numbers of illegal aliens served, saying “it’s not a safe question to ask” if someone is here illegally and only “makes people afraid and say you won’t help them” or makes “them feel like they’re taking something they don’t have a right to, as if only citizens only deserve to feel safe.”
I’ve said many times that actions have consequences, including law breaking. One has to always look over one’s shoulder when one has broken the law, including taking something unlawfully – including residency where you aren’t allowed.
Rico noted: “And lately it can make people fear we’ll report them or have them arrested or take their children from them. It doesn’t matter that we … couldn’t do many of those things, what matters is the fear itself. That’s real and that keeps them hiding in situations where they are being hurt or exploited or terrorized because the demon they know is better than the demon they don’t.”
So because someone has a fear the rest of us are not supposed to stand up for principles like the rule of law?
The last thing I want to see is any woman hurt or exploited by men. But for Rico to say that if the City Council – a governmental body that swore an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the state and United States – opposes an illegal state action that defies national immigration policy and threats our national sovereignty that it will make women not seek refuge from an abusive husband, she’s running one right out of the leftists’ propaganda guide. And that is to use emotion over reason.
Many Californians like me vigorously oppose SB 54. It’s only right for Ceres to weigh in on the matter as has the city councils of Ripon, Escondido, Beaumont , Costa Mesa, Murrieta, Lake Elsinore, Aliso Viejo, Fountain Valley, Laguna Niguel, Dana Point, Yorba Linda, Huntington Beach, Simi Valley, Los Alamitos, Temecula, Twentynine Palms, Newport Beach, Orange and San Juan Capistrano. So has the Orange County and San Diego County boards of supervisors.
It’s like Santa Clarita City Councilman Bob Kellar said: “ … I am a retired police officer and I have seen the results of trying to pacify (criminals), fail to continue to uphold the law. All you’re doing is creating a bigger and bigger problem. Crime has gone up substantially in the state of California, and it’s time that we start rethinking some of these decisions and protect American citizens.”
Rico got it wrong by suggesting a council resolution would “say they don’t care about their immigrant communities.” Here’s the deal, Mrs. Rico, I suspect that what the council doesn’t care for are non-citizens illegally crossing the border to live in their city. I suspect that they support the rule of law.
It’s unfortunate that Rico weighed in on a politically volatile issue at the risk offending potential donations to her organization.
* * * * *
This is not Ceres related but there is a Ceres link.
It’s too bad the late former FBI agent Richard Tosaw, who operated the Bureau of Missing Heirs on Lawrence Street in Ceres, isn’t still living. He spent a considerable amount of time trying to crack the 1972 D.B Cooper airline hijacking case. The story broke last week that a team of cold-case investigators believe they’ve decoded a 1972 letter by D.B. Cooper to the Portland Oregonian – and that it contains a confession from Robert Rackstraw, long suspected of being the infamous skyjacker. So far the theory isn’t proof.
The fictitious Cooper had hijacked a Seattle-bound flight and later parachuted out of a plane with $200,000. Some of that money turned up on the banks of the Columbia River, adding to speculation that Cooper had dragged by his parachute into the current and drowned. Tosaw thought so, anyway. If Rackstraw was really the hijacker and indeed wrote the letter, then “Cooper” survived, as he wrote: “I am not dead but really alive and just back from the Bahamas, so your silly troopers up there can stop looking for me. That is just how dumb this government is. I like your articles about me but you can stop them now. D.B. Cooper is not real.”
Rick Sherwood, a former member of the Army Security Agency said Rackstraw assigned certain numbers to letters in his message and that he thusly decoded “through good ole Unk” to mean “by skyjacking a jet plane” and that “And please tell the lackey cops” was decoded to mean “I am 1st LT Robert Rackstraw.”
Rackstraw is now 74 and living in Southern California. He was previously investigated and cleared by authorities of being Cooper, but he remains the most likely suspect. The FBI closed the case in 2016 and doesn’t appear to take the code theory seriously. Rackstraw’s attorney said his client enjoyed “letting people think he is D.B Cooper” but said he wasn’t the hijacker.
In 2016 writer Thomas Colbert filed a federal lawsuit to compel the FBI and Department of Justice to reopen the Cooper case files under the Freedom of Information Act. He alleged that the FBI suspended its active investigation of the case “…in order to undermine the theory that Rackstraw is D.B. Cooper, so as to prevent embarrassment for the Bureau’s failure to develop evidence sufficient to prosecute him for the crime.”
Mr. Tosaw left Stanislaus County and died in Oregon in 2009. He’s buried in Iowa. I remember talking to him like it was yesterday.
* * * * *
Politics can be a very strange business with people doing and saying things crafted for advantage. And yes, even our president has flip-flopped a lot and contradicted himself. Remember how I told you Democrat congressional candidate TJ Cox stated himself that he was “stunned” that Ivanka Trump raised $3.1 million for Republicans in one event in Fresno? His latest appeal for funds to campaign against District 21 incumbent Rep. David Valadao seems to be whistling an oddly different tune. He claims national Republicans called out the president’s daughter because they were running short of cash. Cox’s email stated: “Look: we don’t have Ivanka Trump in our corner, but we do have HUGE momentum coming out of the primary – and that scares Republicans.”
Another Cox email smacked of desperation when it read “We still need to raise $2,341 if we are going to meet our end-of-quarter fundraising goal. That’s a lot.” That’s peanuts, not a lot so it sounds like Cox is in trouble. Not that Ceres cares because it’s far out of our district but it’s an indication of growing trouble for Democrats.
TJ Cox seems to be forgetting that on June 3 he was skunked 62.8 percent to 37.2 percent. Sounds like he has a GOP butt-whipping coming.
* * * * *
If Democrats don’t like something they try to force you not to like it by taxing the crap out of you. It’s funny they scream about reproductive choice while being against every other choice, whether it comes to what kind of gun I can own, what fast food I can eat, what I could smoke, what I could drink, etc.
Liberal voters in Berkeley, San Francisco, Oakland and Albany voted resoundingly in recent years to adopt sugary drink taxes. In response AB 1838 was passed by the state Assembly on Thursday to prevent communities from adopting any new local sugary drink taxes for the next 12 years. Gov. Brown will sign it.
Get this: The American Heart Association is balking, saying it “undermines the ability of California residents and local elected officials to make decisions on behalf of their own communities.”
Excuse me? It’s about restoring people’s right to decide for themselves what they will drink without government laying its hand on the tax scale. What about my decision to drink sodas? Since when does my neighbor have a right to tell me that I should pay extra money (tax) on my soda because he thinks it’s bad for my health? He doesn’t! The Assembly shouldn’t have to pass such a protective bill because it’s not right for liberals to tax things out of existence that they don’t like.
This propaganda piece from the American Heart Association has the audacity to state: “Research has affirmed the importance of allowing residents and their local elected officials to make these kinds of choices. A recent evaluation showed that sales of taxed sugary drinks in Berkeley dropped by 9.6 percent in the first year of the tax while sales of bottled water increased by 15.5 percent.”
Ahem, what? Adding an extra tax on sodas is by design trying to take away the choice of the individual consumer!!!
Understand that the Democrats didn’t vote for the bill because they opt for less taxes and more freedom but because they wanted to head off a statewide initiative and because they listened to their union bosses. Gov. Brown also expressed concern that the proposed initiative would have placed restrictions on the ability of state regulatory agencies to create new charges, saying ‘This would be an abomination.”
* * * * *
How will you vote on the repeal of SB 1, the whopping gas tax shoved down our throats last year? I’m thinking this one will pass.
* * * * *
As long as I have lived I’ve heard people complain about the time change. Well, now we get to vote on it. I’m thinking this one is going to pass, also.
The ballot measure would overturn a 1949 voter-approved initiative called the Daylight Savings Time Act, which established Standard Pacific Time in California.
Assemblyman Kansen Chu, D-San Jose, who authored Assembly Bill 807, called the practice of changing clocks twice a year, in the fall and the spring, “outdated.” His argument is that changing the time by an hour can negatively impact the health of some, increase chances for heart attacks, workplace injuries and traffic accidents.
Do you have any feedback about this column? Let Jeff know by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He will read it, promise.