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The Ceres City Council doesn’t believe in free choice

Linda Ryno, Bret Silveira and James Casey each had a chance to stand up for freedom in this, the People’s Republic of California, last week but shirked.

Couper Condit had the support of Mayor Javier Lopez in trying to get a discussion going on giving city employees the option to forego a COVID jab as a requirement of work. The other three weren’t even open to the idea. I’m disappointed that Casey – a veteran who fought in Vietnam – wasn’t a champion for free choice.

Push will come to shove. Governments are firing employees, professional nurses, firefighters and police officers for not taking the jab. Locally nurses are protesting, many saying they already had COVID and are immune so why get the shot? Wings of hospitals are closing because of these staffing shortages created by this tyrannical policy.

Mayor Javier Lopez said he “will always continue to support anybody who wants to get vaccinated but I will never support a mandate, regardless if it’s the federal government putting this on us.”

More cities need to push back but unfortunately Ceres won’t be one of them.

Mandating what must be injected into a person’s body to be allowed the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness, has no place in a free society.

Nothing makes sense about government officials’ approach to COVID. Florida allows choice but not California. Now our governor – I told you he would be emboldened after surviving the recall – wants school kids aged 12-17 to get the jab or not be able to go to school. Are private schools are the answer?

Despite being out and about, some of us haven’t gotten COVID because we have good immune systems. We’re also waiting to see if those of you who did will develop complications. Besides, the shot is no guarantee that COVID won’t affect you. In fact, Costco makes you wear a mask even if you’ve had a shot! It seems like the media fails to promote other ways to fight COVID, like getting your share of the sun. Our bodies make Vitamin D from sunlight which boosts our immune system. One study found that high levels of Vitamin D lowers your risk for severe COVID-19 infection, especially if you’re black. While Vitamin D doesn’t guarantee risk of infection, not getting enough D may lead to or worsen heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, blood clots, certain kinds of cancer and pneumonia, which in turn raises the risk for severe COVID infections. Research shows that obesity and diabetes are linked to low levels of vitamin D, and higher death rates or severe COVID-19 symptoms.

So spend some time outside – and get healthy.

* * * * *

If you’re able to dismiss his vulgarities, the late comedian George Carlin was a funny guy and very perceptive. He died in 2008 before COVID, of course, but last week I caught one of his routines apropos to our current situation:

“It’s just one more way of reducing your liberty and reminding you they can f*** with you any time they want as long as you put up with it. Which, of course, means any time they want. That’s what Americans do now – they’re always willing to trade away a little of their freedom in exchange for the feeling, the illusion of security. What we have now is a completely neurotic population obsessed with security and safety, and crime and drugs and cleanliness and hygiene and germs.

“Where did this sudden fear of germs come from in this country? Have you noticed this? The media constantly running stories about all the latest infections, salmonella, E. coli, Hantavirus, bird flu, and Americans panic easily so now everybody’s running around scrubbing this and spraying that and overcooking their food and repeatedly washing their hands trying to avoid all contact with germs. It’s ridiculous and it goes in ridiculous lengths.

“What do you think you have an immune system for? It’s for killing germs but it needs germs to practice on. If you kill all the germs around you and lead a completely sterile life, then when germs do come along you’re not going to be prepared. And never mind ordinary germs. What are you going to do when some super virus comes along and turns your vital organs to liquid s***?”

George has a point, doesn’t he?

* * * * *

I have trouble understanding the insanity that afflicts some on the left side of the political spectrum.

On Tuesday, Sept. 28 a bunch of kooks protested Foster Farms in Livingston, trying to shut down the facility. The group, Direct Action Everywhere, used a U-Haul vehicle to illegally block the company’s entrance. Eleven were arrested for trespassing and resisting arrest.

Said spokeswoman Samantha Eachus: “Peaceful activists are putting their bodies on the line to stop the slaughter here today, to ask Governor Newsom to pass a moratorium on the expansion of factory farms and slaughter houses.”

Susana Chavez, a liberal kook from San Leandro – go back to the Bay Area and dye your hair purple – said the goal was to end “the killing of millions of chickens.” Alexandra Paul, a former Baywatch actress – the babes not known for their intellectual brilliance – stole one chicken from a truck. One dude, Trevor Bellaccomo, 33, who resembles a chicken with his tattooed neck, facial adornments and yellow dyed Mohawk, used a PA system to chant, “One struggle, one fight.”

Keep fighting, Trevor, while the rest of us continue eating chicken – and beef for that matter. Chicken is one of the lower chain animals God put on earth to sustain humanity and I’m sorry you don’t believe in the concept of God or that He put man above animals. Even wild animals feed off of birds. Anyone who has watched videos of how nature works – like when the big cats take down a deer with its teeth wrapped around the throat – knows that the cycle of life and death can be brutal. Animals are not to be abuse, for sure, but the vegan crowd is misguided if they think it’s out of order to eat chicken, beef or fish.

* * * * *

I don’t know of anyone who believes Biden is doing a good job. To the contrary, folks are getting very scared of the direction he is taking the country.

The Democrats are trying to scuttle a far-reaching invasion of your financial privacy in the new $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill. The bill would require ALL banks and credit unions in the country report every time you withdraw or transfer $600 or more. They want the IRS knowing all about your spending and cash handling? Why? Because they don’t trust us. They think we’re all tax cheats. Talk about a massive invasion of privacy and trouncing on our Fourth Amendment rights! If Josh Harder supports this he absolutely does have to go.

Democrat Rep. Tulsi Gabbard says it’s wrong how her party tries to usher in all sorts of sneaky bills into a large bill. They should be broken up into specific bills so their merits – or lack thereof – can be debated, not snuck in.

* * * * *

The city has got to do something about blight.

The citizens are upset about it. Candidate James Casey heard about it and pledged to look into matters.

If you’ll remember when the council voted to approve the 2021-22 fiscal year budget, it decided to not add a new code enforcement officer to save $101,774. More code enforcement officers are obviously desperately needed.

Last week I wanted to see the appearance of El Camino Avenue between Service Road and Pine Street I could hardly believe the massive amount of crap everywhere. This is the first stretch of Ceres you get to see coming into the city on Highway 99 from the south.

The same day I saw Caltrans cleaning debris from the ice plant at Fourth and El Camino near the freeway. I got back on the freeway to see what things looked like from downtown to Hatch Road and the debris left by the vagabonds was atrocious. Apparently Caltrans didn’t see fit to clear it out.

Until the city gets a handle on blight, I don’t see how any economic development activities could attract any new business. Ceres looks like it doesn’t care and that sends a signal to companies who might be interested in coming here.

* * * * *

Social media can be a frustrating experience. When you read posts on Facebook you question how well are schools are teaching the fundamentals of writing. Spelling and grammar is often atrocious. It seems people don’t care to check spellings or use the proper punctuation.

I’m going to cite an example where someone posted this to the Stanislaus News FB page: “There was just a swerm of unmarked trucks and suvs on the corner of corson and mc henary anybody know whats going on.” It should have read: “There was a swarm of unmarked police vehicles on the corner of Corson and McHenry avenues. Does anybody know what’s going on?”

The poor spelling and grammar resulted in ridicule when another person wrote: “I think I just had a stroke trying to read this.” Another wrote: “Spectrum on it’s (sic) way.” A woman chimed in: “It’s the vocabulary police. SMH.”

This isn’t the only instance when somebody points out the grammatical deficiencies of a poster and gets called names in return. It’s an automatic rush to defend the slaughters of grammar.

I know I’ve made mistakes in spelling and grammar over the years but I write thousands of articles each year under deadline. But when you see every other word slaughtered or abused in a single string you wonder why we aren’t pointing out more errors that people make. If not, how will they learn to use “its” when “it’s,” or “its’ ” is needed, or how to use “there,” “their” and “they’re”? Or “effect” or “affect”?

Why not hold a higher standard for the use of our language on social media?

* * * * *

If I was in law enforcement, particularly a Border Patrol agent, I would be outraged by how the Democrats took a small snippet of video and used it for their political purposes.

Border Patrol agents are in charge of enforcing immigration law – even the ones on horses. Joe Biden is to blame for the border mess because he signaled for refugees to head to the border because he’d let them in. These recent refugees happen to be from Haiti and are black. So what did the Democrats do? Make the agents the villains as they enforced laws Congress passed. They accused the agents on horseback of “whipping” the blacks as in the days of slavery. Any non-thinker would go along with that narrative.

The National Border Patrol Council shared a post by a member of the Border Patrol Horse Patrol in response to the latest false narrative peddled by the press and Democrats.

“See what’s in my hands? Those are split reins; not whips, they are six feet long. They are split for when we go into the brush. If we go through thick brush and a tree branch gets caught, it will just slip right through. The reins are connected to the bit. The bit is in their mouth and the last thing we want to do is hurt our partners by tearing up their mouths. 

“You have seen the video of the agent spinning the rein when illegals get close to the horse. It’s to create distance between the horse and the person on the ground. Our horses easily weigh 1,200 pounds, they can step on someone and break a bone or kill a small child of a person gets to close. We also spin them if someone attempts to grab the reins because the last thing you want is someone who doesn’t know a thing about horses, to have control of the horse you are on. If an illegal attempts to gain control of our reins it is considered deadly. The horse can freak out, jump up and roll with you on them. Us as riders can be killed if a horse lands on us. Hope this helps those who have never seen a horse or split reins before… we will continue to support our brothers and sisters in Del Río.”

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The radical Left doesn’t even have a modicum of respect for even Democrats who tend to side with them.

Over the weekend U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Arizona, condemned activists favoring illegal immigration for following her into the bathroom while they harangued on her while she did her business.

One was a confirmed illegal immigrant who crashed her appearance at Arizona State University, mind you. More specifically, the woman – who was part of Living United for Change in Arizona, or LUCHA – said she was brought into the country illegally. The activist can be heard telling Sinema about a grandfather who was deported back to Mexico where he died. Deportation should be a consequence of violating U.S. immigration law, regardless of age. 

Apparently some progressives have lost any sense of appropriateness. This is what academia has fostered in our country: that the ends justify the means.

I disagree with Josh Harder on most every political issue but I would never follow him into a restroom and aim my protests or my camera at him while he aims.

Maybe our schools and universities need to begin teaching common courtesy and manners because apparently it’s a rare commodity. 

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