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Youth crimes may be on rise due to lockdowns

Is there a correlation to all of these teenagers stealing cars for joy rides in Ceres related to the continued lockdown? Is being told to stay home and away from school the reason why there has been a surge of carjackings committed by young people?

You have to admit it’s plausible.

Young people are bored and looking for thrills.

Last month Washington D.C. girls aged 13 and 15 attempted to steal the car of a 66-year-old Uber Eats driver named Mohammad Anwar. The victim was Tasered and when he tried to regain control of his car after the two girls pulled him out and they jumped in, the car rolled over on top of him after hitting a curb. Anwar came to the U.S. for a better life in 2014 but senseless killed when two conscience-deficient teens decided to take what wasn’t theirs. Now they have murder and carjacking charges.

In the first five weeks of 2021, D.C. experienced 46 carjackings compared to only eight during the same time period in 2020. Minneapolis saw a 537 percent spike in carjackings in October and November over the same period in 2019.

Criminologists believe government shutdown of life as we know it – the shutdown of schools and jobs and youth centers included– is a contributing factor.

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The rescue of the underclass continues in Sacramento. The reason Democrats want to rescue is because they want the votes and let’s face it, there’s more poor people than rich people.

I am not rich but I am blessed. I don’t think lifting up the poor at the expense of the successful is an American concept nor is it fair. It also guts a person’s desire to become wealthy. 

Take for example the landlord, who is successful because they have taken risk or built up enough capital to own a complex which is the rented out to people who haven’t been as successful. The Democrats always want to punish the landlord.

Assemblyman Mike Gipson, D-Los Angeles, has put forth Assembly Bill 1199 which would impose an annual excise tax – more aptly a “privilege tax” – upon owners with 10 or more multifamily or single-family rental properties for the “privilege” of being a landlord. The tax rate would be based on the gross receipts of the rental income, an amount yet undefined. The bill would also set up a costly, statewide mandated Homes for Families Fund which will then be used for rental assistance, homelessness, affordable housing, and housing counseling.

If you’re a renter you might think that’s just great, that the Democrats are kissing your butt. But let me ask you this: if you owned that apartment complex that you are now renting, how fond would you be of being required to pay an extra tax just for the privilege of being successful enough to be a landlord? Can’t relate? Well how would you feel if the state decided to add an extra tax onto your rent – for the privilege of living in it – so the state could give free housing to people who can’t afford rents?

You just gotta love the title of this bill. (Remember Democrats always sugarcoat their punitive measures). Gipson calls it the “Homes for Families and Corporate Monopoly Transparency Excise Tax.” It should be called the “Discouraging Landlords from Owning & Renting Property Act.”

The California Apartment Association and other groups are livid over this proposal as should people who believe in fairness.

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Perhaps the most dangerous woman to the health of California’s business climate is the socialist Los Angeles Democrat Lena Gonzalez who is working overtime to destroy successful businesses.

Despite California’s onerous, confusing, and always-changing wage and hour laws, her AB 1003 proposes to criminalize small employers, managers, and supervisors who in good faith make a mistake in the application of the law, that even the Labor Commissioner and the courts disagree with on how to interpret.

Her AB 1074 imposes an onerous and stringent process for specific employers to return employees to the workforce for specified industries, including hotels and restaurants that have been disproportionally impacted by this pandemic, which will delay rehiring and employers’ ability to re-open after being forced to close or reduce operations due to COVID-19.

She is also trying to significantly expand Cal/OSHA authority by allowing it to multiply penalties potentially by 10 times or 100 times against employers, and shut down facilities that it has not even physically inspected. Finally, creates multiple new presumptions of retaliation that are duplicative of existing protections and will generate litigation.

* * * * *

This falls under the “are you kidding?” category. A high school in Portland was renamed from Woodrow Wilson to Ida B. Wells-Barnett, a co-founder of the NAACP. They want to make the evergreen tree its mascot but the Portland Public Schools Board of Education postponed the vote last week because Director Michelle DePass (who is black) suggested the tree might remind someone of early 20th century lynchings.

Naming Committee member Martin Osborne suggested that the evergreen is a symbolize of life, not death.

The Left has lost its mind. Trees are now racist.

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