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There’s so many clueless armchair QBs in social media

There are so many armchair quarterbacks out there. They’re always quick to spew opinion without getting fact. It’s as if their rush to rove their enlightened punditry is to prove how smart they are. Quite often it shows how little they do know.

Take my recent story on the city building two roundabouts – one for Pine/Central/Industrial and the other at Morgan Road and Aristocrat Drive.

Penny Williamson commented on our Facebook page that roundabouts aren’t safe. Actually studies have shown they are much safer tahn regular intersections. For one thing they prevent T-bone side crashes.

Kathy Smith commented that the $1.6 million spent on the projects would be better spent on teachers and to feed homeless. Actually this is funded from the federal government to reduce air pollution and cannot be spent on teachers or the homeless. Smith goes on that “parents don’t know how to drive now on Morgan Road and you want to add a roundabout – accident waiting to happen.” Actually roundabouts are designed to make traffic flow smoother and safer.

Rick Buckner spouted off a real doozy: “Can we see an itemized bid please? And what other bids were placed and passed on. Just curious what materials and labor reach such an astronomical price. It is our tax money. We deserve to at least know how it’s being spent. But I doubt they would be so bold to show us how they waste our money.  Good ol politics.” He later added: “I’m sure some of it’s going straight into a few pockets.” Yeah, Rick, into the pockets of the workers and the construction company. That’s an offensive remark.

Well, Ricky, did you ever log into the city website and take a look at the council agenda online and see the staff report that outlines the specs on the project? I didn’t think so. Come to think of it, I bet Rick has never been to a council meeting or know where they are held.

Terrie Makela Quinn Perales came up with another head-shaker when she spouted: “Are you kidding me? Stupidity at its finest they just ripped them out....when do the ceres people get a vote on how they spend our money? Bafooms (sic).”

The way it works, Mrs. Perales, is you elect five people to make decisions for you. You can have your say at meetings but you don’t vote on how the money is spent. Nothing would EVER get done if that were the case. Heck, we can’t even get half the country to support one national leader.

I’m not sure what David Golling may have been smoking when he wrote: “That money could have been used for the fire departments we only have 3 operational there use to be 8. City council needs to be kicked out of office.” I can’t ever remember a time when Ceres had eight fire stations.

Ruben Alberto said he would do it for half the cost. Dang, and he could have told us he was going to start up a construction company and bid on the project for half of what the lowest bid was. Oh that’s right, he didn’t have a company.

Finally, Renee Zumstein Gaskill told all the complainers to “attend the council meetings. One council member position is up for re-election. I highly recommend attending. It’s amazing what u learn.”

Well actually there were two seats open and only one candidate for one of the seats.

Travis Faulk tried to slight me when he suggested “I wish we had some real journalist to look into who is getting the contracts and if they donate to the politicians.” Travis, are you aware that every campaign season we publish information on who is giving how much to each candidate? I doubt if you subscribe to our paper though.

People love to bellyache without doing so much as to even vote. The way they shoot from the hip with uninformed opinion is rather disheartening.

If you think $1.6 million is expensive for two roundabouts, you might want to think about which party in Sacramento has caused everything to be expensive in California. An updated 2016 Reason Foundation study shows California spent about $420,000 per mile in 2013 compared with the national average spending of about $160,000 per mile in the same year. Blame it on the highest cost of doing business, mostly because of regulatory policies enacted by the Democrat-led state Capitol. All of the aforementioned bellyachers might want to think about electing John Cox for governor to shake up Sacramento. 

* * * * *

Ok, I just saw on social media this Fox News headline: “California city Oks jail time for defying plastic straw ban.” I haven’t clicked on it yet. Let me guess first … San Francisco or Oakland or Berkeley?

Okay, now let me go click on it. Click.

Oh darn, I was off. It’s Santa Barbara, another liberal city on the coast. You don’t typically see this kind of radical environmentalism coming from the Valley where common sense reigns.

Meanwhile, SF has unanimously banned plastic straws. Supervisor Katy Tang said “San Francisco has been a pioneer of environmental change …” Well that’s true but they’re also a pioneer of becoming the most dictatorial, freedom-denying, controlling city in the state.

* * * * *

There is a great ugliness happening across our land – especially here in the 10th Congressional District.

You need to know what is going on behind the scenes.

The Democrats are so rabid to take out Jeff Denham from Congress that they stoop to some pretty low behavior. All you need to know is that they see Denham as the Donald Trump they loathe and despise so much.

I have known Josh Whitfield since he was a kid. In fact he lived right behind my house and went to school with my kids. He happened to be at a John McCain rally in Stockton I was attending when I introduced Josh – who had just been injured fighting in the armed forced in the Middle East – to Dean Andal, who was then on the Board of Equalization. When Andal learned of Whitfield’s bravery, he took Josh back to meet Senator McCain. They spoke for 20 to 30 minutes back stage before the rally. Josh’s political aspirations were fueled in that visit.

Today Josh is Denham’s campaign manager.

Last week somebody trespassed onto Josh’s property and slashed the tires on his car and ripped down his American flag and slashed it. His front porch was vandalized and Denham campaign signs in his yard trashed and marked with nasty words. It was no doubt an attack because of his politics.

How sad that the left should not be violating the sanctity or sovereignty of people’s homes to make political statements of hate.

Their destruction of his home’s flag says a whole lot more about them than words can describe.

* * * * *

Then contrast that with what the Democrats did on Tuesday, Aug. 7.

Remember what I wrote last week about Lisa Battista, vice president of the Modesto Progressive Club, who was going to show up and harass Denham for what she called failing to stand up to Trump’s “hate-driven” immigration policy? She did just that and dished out her own hate outside the Red Event Center on Eighth Street in Modesto. Battista and her band of Spanish-language sign wielders screamed “You’re garbage” and “Shame on your Mexican wife.”

Josh could not have said it better on his Facebook response: “This is absolutely repugnant. Sonia Denham’s nationality should not be a question in this campaign and it’s proof positive of the hypocrisy of the left and our opponents on the issue of tolerance. The fact is Josh Harder has closely allied himself with these groups bent on disruption and protest. Protests are fine, but the rhetoric that keeps coming from these angry leftist groups are fueling the fires of hate and an escalating pattern of violence and intimidation against the Denham campaign in this election. As someone who’s own home has been targeted twice in the last week, I would hope we can all agree to work together to check rhetoric like this. I would hope Ms. Battista apologizes to the congressman’s wife on behalf of her group and that Josh Harder denounces this sort of nonsense now and in the future from his supporters. We must, absolutely must, return reason and civility back to our discourse.”

Battista, a Bay Area transplant and lawyer, a so-called Resister (people who hate Trump so bad their eyeballs are ready to pop) and a member of the Stanislaus County Democratic Central Committee, isn’t really sorry for that kind of behavior. On Whitfield’s FB post she replied: “One protester is saying ‘Shame on your Mexican wife.’ That is not a racial slur. There has been no violence or intimidation. If Jeff Denham can’t handle his constituents exercising their constitutional right to peaceably assemble and speak out against his failings, he should step down.”

In all fairness she did later suggest that she didn’t like the remark about Denham’s wife BUT she said she understands “her outrage about Denham and his wife supporting the most racist, xenophobic administration in American history and its indefensible efforts to harm immigrants.”

Surely, as a lawyer, Battista knows the value of laws and that laws are no good unless they are enforced – especially immigration law.

Things to know about Battista. She ran for Congress as a Democrat and quit the race in September 2017. She immediately became enamored with T.J. Cox, the carpetbagger, who later abandoned that race to go for what he thinks is easier pickings against Republican David Valadao of Hanford. Now Battista brands Harder as the political messiah.

The Democrats are unraveling. They feel the loss of power. They’re in a panic. They’re getting frantic.

* * * * *

So having read what you just read, here is some food for thought about another local vicious attack. Surjit Singh Malhi was attacked outside of Keyes while he was putting up a Denham sign. Local media outlets have suggested this was a hate crime since the culprits sprayed a white nationalist symbol on Malhi’s truck and wrote “Go back to ur country.”

Sure, it could have been a bunch of ignoramus racist goons. But what if Mr. Malhi was roughed up because of his Republican politics and the attack was only made to look like a racist assault to cover up Resistance actions? Think about it.

* * * * *

It looks like the fears of council members over district elections have come to pass. City Council members predicted there could be little or no interest in one seat while others are clustered up with candidates.

Latino groups demanded the change from at-large to district elections to enhance the ability of minorities to attain office. Guess what? No Latinos ran. Much ado about nothing for sure.

I don’t want to hear any more complaining about Ceres being underrepresented by minorities. There’s a reason for that – they don’t get involved.

* * * * *

Probably like you, I was one of those who could not figure out why a Stanislaus County sheriff’s deputy, a trained law enforcement professional, would run his car at 89 mph into a tire shop and not only kill him and his passenger but destroy the patrol vehicle in a fireball. I’m talking about Deputy Jason Garner, 41, and passenger CSO Raschel Johnson, 42, who died in the May 2017 crash at Modesto Auto Wreckers near Crows Landing Road and Seventh Street. The speed and recklessness was unusual given that Garner and Johnson were not rolling Code 3.

The CHP’s official inquest into the crash leaves me suspicious and greatly puzzled. The official CHP report says Garner was not at fault because he “suffered a health-related condition that rendered him incapable of cognitively controlling a motor vehicle.”

Huh? Was the CHP pressured to say that for legal reasons?

The questionable findings suggest Garner was medically diagnosed with anxiety. He also state that an autopsy suggests he had an enlarged heart. But if Garner had an enlarged heart, why wasn’t it diagnosed by a doctor before his death? And if Garner suffered from anxiety and the department knew that, why was he still on patrol? The last thing we want is a deputy having anxiety problems while doing a high-stress job like protecting the public. Remember the Chris Melton case? He was the Ceres Police officer who responded to the shooting of Sgt. Howard Stevenson and Officer Sam Ryno in January 2005. Melton was later giving the department problems and was fired. He sued and got his job back. Then a 2014 jury found him guilty of kicking suspect Daniel Reagan in the groin on April 13, 2013. He was released from the department.

Debra Bush wondered publicly if the Garner was showing off in the car before the crash. Emerson Drake said “How can anyone in their right minds believe this finding? I’m sorry they died but what a load of crap.”

There’s rumbling about why CSO Johnson was riding around with the deputy. Lots of unanswered questions that won’t ever be answered.

* * * * *

The smoke in our Valley has been terrible but doesn’t hold a candle to those whose homes are being destroyed. So sad to see the historic Dardanelle Resort burn up. Gary Cooper actually shot a movie there.

The sad thing is policy of our leaders has created this tinderbox. Gov. Brown and other wackos blame it on their oppressive theory of man-made global warming (or I suppose they call it climate change because it’s also cold at times).

This was a posting by a seasoned firefighter Ron Sherer: “I been fighting fires for 45 years, and it’s not the weather that is changing. It’s the way we manage the forest … Our problem is 100 years ago we started putting fires out. Mother Nature is a smart lady. She burned the land, and kept the floor clean. When a fire came by it didn’t have the heat they have now, so it didn’t kill or nuke the land. Now we have so much litter on the ground it makes heat, the heat gets in the tops of the trees, the wind spreads it with spot fires. 45 years ago spot fires still happened, but not as many. Now today spots will, a lot of the time, spot 2 miles ahead of the fire. You can’t fight that. We have to clean our land, get rid of the brush, selecting and cutting the trees so they have space to grow and not to burn. Put the cattle back, and the sheep back, so they can range and clear the grasses. Take the fences down so they can range and not be blocked in, they will move on their own; they did for years. I have lived in Modoc all my life, and I’ve seen these changes in fire and life. I know when we logged we did some things wrong, but the way we are doing it now is wrong. We need to get back to the middle, because if we don’t Mother Nature will do it, and sometimes when you cross her she can be a b----.”

How do you feel about this? Let Jeff know at