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Why criticize Democrats he asks? Here’s why

Some gentleman called our office on Wednesday and queried our office staffer why I only write bad things about Democrats. He was talking about my opinion column. I wish I had taken the call because I would have explained to him that there is plenty of bad streaming out of the Democrat establishment in Sacramento and D.C.

If he wants to ask why I have opinions I’ll turn right around and ask him why he has opinions about things.

Anyone may write a letter to the editor to counter my opinion column but my experience is they don’t and would rather fire post potshots at me, calling me names intended to wound, not debate. Most people won’t intelligently articulate their positions. In this era of keyboard warriors, few people are willing to sit down and pour out their thoughts.

When I was in my 20s, I used to be a Democrat because my grandparents were Democrats. They always sung the praises of FDR and always voted Democrat. The older and more informed I became – and certainly as the Democrat Party has grown more progressively radical – I realized Republicans are the ones for the hard-working Americans.

Democrats are quick to tax, restrict guns and other freedoms, spend taxpayers’ money like a drunken sailor in port, go lenient on criminals, cater to the lazy and embrace death practices like abortion. 

We all know that California already has the most restrictive gun laws around but Sacramento continues the push to threaten gun ownership. Take for instance their own law which the Democrats in Sacramento passed and signed into law by Newsom (the guy who believes in letting criminals out of jail before their sentence is up), which requires gun dealers to block firearms sales to anyone they have «reasonable cause to believe is at substantial risk.”

You can see the abuses that might occur there.

But the regulation to create a good conduct code for gun dealers allows anyone who suffers harm from violation to sue. There it is! This law is about allowing victims of gun violence to sue gun dealers based on what the buyer of said gun decides to do with it.

The National Rifle Association is spot on that this is the Democrats’ attempt to “frustrate law-abiding gun owners” and drive gun dealers “out of business with frivolous litigation and the anti-gun lobby’s way of looking for a deep pocket.

How is the gun dealer supposed to know when someone looking to buy a gun is planning to enact carnage on innocent people? A lot of murderers look perfectly normal, take Scott Peterson for example.

Patrick Purdy seemed your normal Vietnam veteran when he got his hands on his weaponry which he later used to kill students at Cleveland School in Stockton on Jan. 17, 1989.

I could go on and on. 

You can’t see evil intent, if that were the case, John Lennon wouldn’t have signed an autograph for his future killer Mark David Chapman; he would have ran to police.

If you listen to the answer given by gun control advocate Tanya Schardt you will roll your eyes. She said: “It’s not asking someone to be psychic,” she added, but to take reasonable precautions in the same way that an automobile dealer could be liable for selling to a customer who is clearly drunk, for instance.”

Can you imagine someone walking onto a car lot intoxicated to buy a car? Her analogy is ridiculous since anyone who buys a car – while sober, I might add – can get behind the wheel drunk anytime thereafter.

While signing the bill, Gov. Newsom said: “Nearly every industry is held liable when their products cause harm or injury. All except one – the gun industry.” He said with the new law, “gun makers will finally be held to account for their role in this crisis.”

Wait, hold on. Where is the legislation to hold knife dealers liable when some twisted sicko uses it to stab and kill someone in a robbery? Where is the bill that allows us to sue a car marker if some hate-filled demon drives an SUV into a Christmas parade crowd?

 * * * * *

Food prices will rise and product shortages are in store for California thanks to your governor and state Legislature messing up a good thing.

Owner-operator trucking companies move about 70 percent of the goods out of California ports and AB 5 (passed in 2019) will wreak havoc on the industry and send some under and force others to leave the state.

The law passed and was signed Gov. Nuisance in 2019 but a court injunction kept it from being enacted due to a lawsuit. The U.S. Supreme Court on June 30, denied a petition from the California Trucking Association to hear the case.

Workers who fail to pass a three-part test will no longer be classified as independent contractors and must be treated as employees, entitling them to benefits from their employers. The bill was intended by Democrats to force companies like Uber, Lyft and DoorDash to treat independent contractors as employees and force them to give benefits. Problem is that it applies to independent truckers. Drivers who don’t want to be employees or incur the costs of obtaining operating authority will leave the market, said CEO Matt Schrap of the Harbor Trucking Association, in Long Beach. He estimates that switching from the owner-operator arrangement might cost drivers up to $20,000 per year in registration fees and insurance premiums.

Schrap said: “The frustration with the total lack of regard by the state of California for a business model that has provided thousands of men and women an opportunity to build and grow a business is now blatantly obvious.

“Unfortunately, it didn’t matter how many independent drivers stood up and expressed concerns during the legislative process for AB5 in 2019. They were basically ignored and essentially told by the governor and the legislature what was best for them and their families.”

State leaders just don’t give a darn.

* * * * *

Talk about an entitled generation.

There was a 3.3-magnitude earthquake on Thursday that rattled Southern California. The noontime quake hit 20 miles north of Rancho Cucamonga. Los Angeles didn’t feel it but Victorville, Corona and San Bernardino did.

One person took to Twitter to say: “These earthquakes gotta stop.”

It’s okay. Roll your eyes.

Apparently a small quake of 2.9 magnitude rolled water in Don Pedro Reservoir. The epicenter was seven miles northeast of the lake in the vicinity of Kelly Grade and Marshes Flat Road.

Let’s hope that’s the end of seismic activity at Don Pedro.

It would take a pretty major quake to compromise the earthen-filled dam holding back the waters of the Tuolumne River at Don Pedro. If that lake were to gush forth, Ceres and Modesto would be flooded significantly. It’s not likely to ever happen though.

* * * * *

Do you remember how everyone who didn’t get vaccinated was treated like a diseased anti-patriotic, fellow-man-hating leper? Remember those who lost their jobs because they wouldn’t take a jab?

Well now comes concession from White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci that vaccines do not protect “overly well” against infection. He made the statement on July 12 on “Your World.”

The 81-year-old doc recently became infected with COVID after multiple shots and claimed the shots he received saved him from “severe disease leading to hospitalization and death.”

I also had COVID (likely the Delta variant) eight months ago and had mild symptoms despite not being vaccinated. I believe I got it from my son who the next day reported a long period of rough flu-like symptoms. He was 35 at the time and I was 60.

Nobody knows our body better than our self which leads me to believe we should all decide – without punitive actions – if our immune systems are strong enough to choose not to be vaccinated.

Most everyone has had COVID by now.

I don’t think a vaccination would have spared me of the short-term loss of smell and taste. Now I have an altered sense of smell and taste. Food isn’t as tasty as it once was. I suffer from strange smells. I can go through a week at a time when what I breathe in smells like the stale cigarette smoke of a Nevada casino; two weeks later and my nose thinks I’m breathing tailpipe exhaust from a parking garage. At other times I smell the sour odor of a kitchen trash can. Yeah, fun stuff, I know.

* * * * *

On June 29 I met with two individuals – who shall remain nameless – and the name came up of Shirley Rogers, a longtime resident of Ceres. Somehow the talk turned to her brother, Hells Angels’ Oakland chapter founder Sonny Barger. One of the men I was meeting with noted that Barger was dying of cancer.

Little did I know that Barger had passed away on the same day in Livermore. I learned of his death as I was traveling up Highway 99 two days later and saw a bedsheet stretched on the chain-link cage on an overpass in the Elk Grove area. It said, “RIP Sonny.”

I instinctively knew Sonny Barger had passed. He was 83.

Sonny Barger was born in Modesto and died in Livermore but the span of his life carried more controversy than probably anyone else alive. His real name was Ralph “Sonny” Barger, who helped build Highway 99 in the Dust Bowl era.

* * * * *

The Newsom Administration is moving closer towards a permanent expansion of the state’s failed early prison release program by further slashing prison sentences for violent, felons who haven’t been rehabilitated.

Every Californian should be infuriated by this.

CalMatters reported that the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation quietly submitted the permanent regulations to the Office of Administrative Law late last month. The pending regulations will triple the amount of time some inmates are able to earn off their sentences and result in violent felons being released after serving less than half of their time.

You would think that the recent gang shootout just blocks from the State Capitol would serve as a wakeup call for Newsom and Democrats to end the kid glove treatment of dangerous thugs.

In April, Republican lawmakers sent a letter to Governor Newsom urging him to direct the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to withdraw the dangerous early release regulations and allow the emergency pandemic rules to expire. Despite repeated requests, not a single Democrat lawmaker signed the letter opposing this early release expansion.

Their letter highlighted the case of Smiley Martin, who was released from prison in February after serving less than half a 10-year sentence for brutally assaulting his girlfriend. Barely a month out on the streets, Martin was arrested as a suspect in the Sacramento gang shootout that left six people dead.

Brilliant folks up there under the dome.

* * * * *

The emails that pour into a newsroom are certainly enlightening as to the direction of our culture.

I have always bristled at moves that dividing Americans into ethnic tribes. An example is a Latino claiming he has no representation on a City Council just because those elected or appointed don’t have the same tone of skin color. Or a Fresno magazine that celebrates only the graduates who are black. We are supposed to be a melting pot which doesn’t place great emphasis on skin color but instead on character.

So I was taken aback by an email I received from the Hispanic Access Foundation based in Washington, D.C. It was calling attention to the Latino Conservation Week designed to get “the Latino community outdoors and participating in activities to protect our natural resources” through 150 organized programs and activities.

After stating that “Latinos are passionate about the outdoors and hold a strong belief that we have a moral obligation to be good stewards,” Jessica Godinez of the Foundation said the purpose of the special week is to help “break down barriers for Latino communities to access public lands and waters …”

I am puzzled because what are the barriers to access public lands that Latinos face that every other ethnicity doesn’t face?  It couldn’t be the cost of gas because we all pay the same price. Besides, have you seen the number of Latinos flocking to places like Knights Ferry or the McHenry Recreation Access Park?

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