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Wiener wants total control over your speed

It’s apparent that Scott Wiener doesn’t trust you to live your life

It’s time to grab the torches and pitchforks and head to Sacramento – not to burn it down in a physical sense. Instead the voters need to burn lawmakers like Scott Wiener at the stake at the ballot box.

The San Francisco Democrat – what else? –wants to put you in a complete bubble wrap because he thinks you’ll all too stupid to trust yourselves behind the wheel.

Wiener – the guy who wanted to make it legal for adults to have sex with minors provided there wasn’t more than 10 years’ age difference – has now  introduced SB 961 that would force car makers to install devices to prevent drivers from speeding more than 10 miles over the speed limit.

We should have figured this one was coming. He thinks too many people die by being shot – and they do because of criminals who disobey gun laws – but he’s justifying his harebrained idea because, and I quote, “We drive so damn fast.”

Most of us do not “drive so damn fast” because we value or lives, Scotty.

This is another “there ought to be a law” idea that has gone way too far. You mess with our cars and you mess with America.

Wiener points to the more than 4,000 Californians who died in car crashes in 2022, up 22 percent from 2019. I could state the case that most of those deaths weren’t due to driver stupidity, which you cannot legislate. But that’s my point – we have laws against drunken driving, speeding or using a cell phone while driving and yet people still do all of the above.

A natural consequence for living on the planet is taking risks and dying. We all die and no law by Wiener will stop that. Every time we get in a car or take a plane or go boating or walking down the sidewalk, we risk dying.

I’m convinced that Sacramento is trying to justify its existence by tightening the thumbscrews of our liberty. Just look at how many laws have been passed that deprive us from doing things we all did in our younger days that were risky yet we did them. Riding in the back of a pickup was great fun in the summer time. You wouldn’t dare do that today unless you’re a “laws were meant to be broken” kind of person.

A group calling themselves Walk San Francisco loves Wiener’s idea and states on their website: “Nothing is more important to reducing the likelihood and severity of a crash than bringing down speeds. We have a speeding epidemic here and nationwide, and every possible street design and enforcement technology solution is needed to address this.”

If we have a speeding epidemic in California it’s because people have no fear of consequences of getting caught, especially in light of the progressive cities defunding police.

We also did away with driver’s training classes in public schools. When I attended Oakdale High School in the mid to late 1970s, we all were shown the blood and gore film of accident victims – nothing was blurred out – intended to scare us not to drive like idiots seen on the highways and byways today. Sure, we have the “Every 15 Minutes” program these days and that may work for some but a minority will still get drunk and behind the wheel. If you don’t believe we just read the Courier’s Crime Digest every week.

GJEL accident attorney’s website opines: “It is widely accepted that individuals who choose to drive without proper training and experience are more likely to get into an accident than those who have undergone adequate preparation. In California, it is generally agreed upon that teenagers and senior citizens should receive additional driver training and testing before they can receive their license.”

Wiener takes the wrong approach. “There is no reason why people should be driving 20, 30, 40 miles over the speed limit,” Wiener said. Sounds a lot like his efforts to take guns from people because a small fraction who possess guns misuse them. The Democrats trying to take your guns away, now want to put a governor on your car to CONTROL your speed.

There could be a myriad of emergency reasons why people should not have a governor on their engine and have the ability to drive 20, 30 or 40 miles over the speed limit. Let’s say you’re coming down the Grapevine and the big-rig behind you has lost its brakes and is barreling down on your back bumper and you can’t switch lanes. Wiener’s bill becomes a killer because you’ve got the peddle to the floor and it won’t go any faster.

Imagine you’re traveling across the Mojave and your passenger is suffering a heart attack and it’s miles from any ambulance so you have to floor it to the ER. Wiener doesn’t want your car going too fast so your patient may just die in the car.

What if a group of thugs is chasing you in a fast car and you’ve got one of those speed neutered Wiener mobiles? 

I’ve a better idea for a law: Limit the state Legislature to meet for three months out of the year and require that state representatives have other employment. That way we limit the interference with our lives.

* * * * *

Do state lawmakers ever quit pandering to the minority communities?

Let’s talk about this reparations legislation that was put forth last Wednesday by black lawmakers.

Assemblywoman Lori Wilson said California needs a “comprehensive approach to dismantling the legacy of slavery and systemic racism.”

Dismantling the legacy of slavery? Slavery happened, we’ve learn and moved on. If you’re really obsessed about the practice of slavery in America – which was abolished in 1865 – you might want to focus on the present sex slavery linked to the millions of illegals pouring across the border due to the Biden administration. It’s no secret that children and women are being pimped by traffickers. Where’s the outrage there, Mrs. Wilson? Or is it because you feel you must bring home the bacon to your voting base with reparations strategies? Are you ignoring the wanton border jumping because it benefits your party at the expense of all Californians?

Systemic racism is a myth. There are no laws on the books that deny black people the rights of Californians.

Democrats have lost on the insane proposal to force taxpayer money from people who were never slaves to give to those who were never slaves. Even Newsom has pushed that one away as he seeks to portray himself as a moderate as he eyes the White House but they are coming up with crafty ways around it.

Assemblyman Corey Jackson, D-San Diego, wants voters to amend the state Constitution to allow the state to channel our tax money at “increasing the life expectancy of, improving educational outcomes for, or lifting out of poverty specific groups based on race, color, ethnicity, national origin, or marginalized genders, sexes, or sexual orientations.” Sounds like a wealth distribution scheme that is racist in itself like affirmative action. Isn’t life expectancy up to each individual’s lifestyle? Can’t a person lift themselves out of poverty by working hard and saving? Can’t any student improve educational outcomes by bearing down and studying hard? More government programs surely are not needed for these goals.

We have moved so far away from Martin Luther King’s vision of a color blind society that it’s troubling.

We live in a land where the opportunity is ripe for anyone to pursue their dreams provided they bust their butt doing it. So quit looking to the Democrats playing Santa Claus.

* * * * *

What is the purpose of zoning? No, serious question. Well it’s so that a town can develop in a way that certain uses don’t conflict with one another. You don’t put a house inside a shopping center, for obvious reasons, same as why you don’t build a major factory in a downtown shopping area.

Hold that thought as I delve into some recent comments from the public in regards to the issue of garage sales. The Ceres City Council opened a discussion about having a communitywide yard sale and Planning’s Christopher Hoem explaining that a Saturday-Sunday garage or yard sale is considered two sales – and two is the limit within a 12-month period.

Some were taken aback by the statement. Shirley Rogers read our article and posted: “Congratulations to the city council for completely confusing people on yard sales. Since when did a two day yard sale count as 2 yard sales?”

That opened the flood gates.

A defiant Nick Maynard posted: “If I want to have a yard sale on my property I will, and without a permit. I pay thousands of dollars in property and sales taxes to Stanislaus County. They can fine me if they want, I won’t pay it. We need to start standing up to the government. They work for us, not the other way around.”

Sherry Bertolotti hit the nail on the head, however, when she stated: “What if you had a neighbor that wanted to have a yard sale every day and eventually it looked like a junk yard? I’m guessing that is why you have to get a permit.”

True, and this goes back to the issue of zoning. Cities have long regulated yard sales because without limits, your neighbor could turn his yard into Fred Sanford’s junkyard.

In April 2013 then Police Chief Art deWerk explained wrote a column in the Courier about why permits are needed in the city of Ceres: “There are several reasons that yard sales are regulated. Included in the reasons is the fact that there is almost always an impact on the neighborhood where the yard sale is taking place. The common problems are traffic, parking issues, noise, and general neighborhood disruption. It is also the case that some people try to bootleg what should otherwise be a regular business. Regular businesses are subject to zoning restrictions, they have to comply with the appropriate business permitting and rules and they are required by the state and city to collect taxes. To allow some people to skirt the requirements is not fair to established business owners who comply with the rules and regulations. It is in effect allowing some people to operate with an unfair business advantage. The city is also interested in yard sales to the extent that they sometimes feature the sales of stolen property or other items that are prohibited.”

His column also noted that it’s also illegal to tack up sale signs, except for one you can place on your premises for the sale. DeWerk noted: “Not only is it illegal to affix signs on telephone poles, traffic sign posts, on streets and sidewalks, but it costs the city money to remove those numerous yard sale signs after each weekend throughout the spring, summer and fall. These signs, especially after they have been up for several days, take on the appearance of trash. They frequently become detached from their posts, ending up on the streets as unsightly litter. Technically, persons who post signs illegally are subject to citations and fines.”

No man is an island and for the benefit of community and others, we do have limits placed on us by government. Private property rights have limits as well.

* * * * *

Walgreen’s has decided to close stores throughout Boston because of the losses to thieves. It’s not profitable because of the rampant crime.

So do you know what Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley who wouldn’t know how to run a business if it came with instructions. She apparently too stupid to understand that products going out the door in the hands of thieves – because of no consequences of being caught and prosecuted – means it’s not worth staying open. Stores don’t exist to give away free products; after all, that’s the government’s job.

No, Pressley says Walgreen’s is closing its doors because of racism: “These closures are no arbitrary and they are not innocent. They are life threatening acts of racial and economic discrimination. Shame on you, Walgreen’s. Walgreen’s is a multi-billion dollar corporation that needs to put their money where their mouth is and stop divesting from black and brown communities.”

No, it’s Mrs. Pressley who should put her money where her mouth is. Shame on her for not taking her entire congressional salary of $174,000 to buy products to give away in her store to she can invest in her voter basis.

What shameful pandering.

* * * * *

Gary M. Condit hadn’t been seated for more than an hour at his very first meeting of the Ceres Planning Commission on Jan. 16 when he voted “nay” on a self-storage facility for Mitchell Road.

I hadn’t heard “nay” since his two brothers cast all their nay votes while they served on the Ceres City Council. You might remember Channce served two years and Couper served only eight months before resigning out of the blue.

Condit later explained that he voted no because he wanted a traffic impact study. The proposed facility was exempt from environemental  studies because it was an in-fill project. It was also explained by Bob Kachel – he has decades of planning experience – that the traffic impacts were already considered when the land was zoned Highway Commercial (HC). A Conditional Use Permit was considered so the city could have control over the layout and architectural designs, not because the city could legally deny the project since it meets zoning requirements. 

City staff also explained that a self-storage was on the lower spectrum of traffic generation. Thus, the land used as a self-storage facility will produce less vehicle trips than let’s say a fast-food joint or retail store or gas station.

Just because one does not like a self-storage does not mean one can deny it since the proposal was consistent with the purpose and intent of the “HC, Highway Commercial” land use designation of the Ceres General Plan. If two others had sided with Condit, the city could be sued by the property owner denied his right to develop.

 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