Union Democrat staff

Tweaking rules

To the editor:

We are wondering why the board of supes are concerning themselves with relaxing the big-box rules, when it is the city of Sonora that flies in the face of any restriction on that rule. The greatest example is that of approving the expansion of the Wal-Mart facility. Then again, there is the Lowe's debacle.

By relaxing the county's rule over big-box development in unincorporated areas, there will be little effect, as the developers will simply go to the "City Fathers" downtown and get their whole basket filled.

The "tweaking" of rules seems to be a form of finding the easiest way to appear to be doing your job, when in reality you are bowing - as always - to the developer.

It has often been said, "it's the squeaky wheel that gets the grease." But you must remember that it is also the first to be replaced.

James M. & Constance R. Dresbach

Cedar Ridge

Samaritans thanked

To the editor:

I wanted to share a quick story about my recent visit to your delightful town. I had Sunday breakfast at the Frog and Fiddle, where I accidentally left my purse with money, credit cards, cell phone, etc. When I got back to Clovis (a two-hour drive) without realizing it was missing, I had voice mails from my son in Texas and my mother in Massachusetts telling me they had received calls from the restaurant staff trying to locate me to tell me they had my purse. They found those phone numbers from my cell phone directory.

Since the restaurant was closing, they delivered my purse to the Sonora Police Department and left me a voice mail letting me know where it was. The Police Department helped me arrange to have everything shipped home safely and quickly.

I want to thank Niki and Dave at the Frog and Fiddle and Carol at Sonora PD for helping solve my dilemma. Thanks one and all for the help, and for a fun Celtic Faire weekend. We'll be back.

An Brunelle


Pride of county

To the editor:

What a pleasant surprise a few Sundays ago, when we turned on the "Hour of Power" at 7 a.m., Channel 40 and heard beautiful piano music.

Robert Schuller introduced piano player and composer, John Rosasco. He plays every Sunday at the Crystal Cathedral in Anaheim on the "Hour of Power."

John Rosasco is the son of long-time resident, Agnes Rosasco. I know Agnes must be really proud as well as Summerville High School, Tuolumne and all of Tuolumne County.

Herman Eaton


Core values

To the editor:

In response to Bob Wetzel's letter ("Compromise Urged," March 12): Like many liberals what Mr. Wetzel urges is not compromise, but capitulation of core values, under the premise that earnest disagreement is synonymous with non-thinking.

Sadly, this is typical of the liberal mind-set. Agree with them or risk being labeled moronic and defeated. Correspondingly, which party has shown greater intelligence? Democrats authorizing trillion dollar expenditures, massive unearned corporate bonuses, pork and no immediate means of repayment.

Which party promotes abortion, thwarting second amendment rights and blatant appeasement of our enemies?

Which party has resisted those things? Which is sounder in judgment by the measure of history? Compromise as to methods, certainly, Mr. Wetzel. But concession of core values is where real stupidity is found.

The latter is a thing history has proven, time and again, to extraordinarily detrimental to our nation. But then color me utterly stupid for believing steadfastly in Constitutional governance, over liberal promises of nirvana-bliss through "compromise" of core values.

Mark Villase

Twain Harte

What have we lost?

To the editor:

The war in Iraq has now lasted for six years (2003-2009), about the same as WW ll (1939-1945).

The costs - the losses - from wars, needless to say, are staggering. The financial cost, alone, of the Iraq war has been estimated at $2 trillion.

The human loss in Iraq is tragic, almost beyond understanding. Consider some of the numbers: 4,259 American military killed, over 60,000 wounded, physically or psychologically; 450 active duty suicides. Iraqi civilians: estimates ranging up to 1 million dead, 300,000 widows in Baghdad, 4.7 million uprooted from their homes; 2 million gone into exile, 25,000 children enrolled in Jordanian schools.

What have we achieved from all this, from a war that America started? What have we gained? And what have we lost?

Dick Peterson


Weapons to Mexico

To the editor:

On March 18, California Senator Dianne Feinstein stated on national TV news that 90 percent of the weapons being used in the current conflict involving the drug cartel in Mexico are being shipped illegally from the United States.

Unfortunately for Dianne, about one week prior to her statement a report on Fox News covering the conflict between the Mexican government and the drug cartel's war stated that the Mexican government is spending about $6 billion per year on military arms, while the drug cartel spends about $10 billion. It also stated that the vast majority of the arms being used by the drug cartel are purchased from China and shipped to Mexico through Venezuela.

Now does anyone really believe that approximately $8 billion worth of AK-47s, or like weapons are shipped illegally to Mexico from the United States annually? I seriously doubt that $8 billion dollars' worth of those kind of guns are even sold in the United States on the private markets in a decade!

So the question becomes: Is Senator Feinstein badly misinformed? Or is she lying and using the Mexican drug war as ammunition to further justify her attack on the U.S. Constitution's second amendment?

Tommy Wells


Investigation asked

To the editor:

It has been well documented that the Bush-Cheney administration took considerable license with executive power and, indeed, there should be an investigation of this latest allegation and the full truth should be known.

This whole thing sounds like a bad spy novel, but who would of thought we were capable of the atrocities that happened at Abu Ghraib? No doubt this will be yet another black mark on our integrity as a leader among nations, but any leader needs to be brave enough to, first, face the truth and from there will find the right path to follow.

Myrna Doering


Dumb and dumber

To the editor:

In his last year as president, Bush was absent. I think in his mind he was bass fishing on his lake in Crawford.

The economic recession started with Bush. He did little to stop it, and now it has spread worldwide.

In the last two years, the Democrats have controlled both the house and senate. They did little to enact any legislation to help this recession either.

In November the people spoke. We elected Mr. Obama, a Democrat. He ran his platform on fiscal responsibility claiming he would take a scalpel to the federal budget. Obama also promised to stop all wasteful earmarks.

Well guess what, he lied: Under his leadership the Democrats passed the $787 billion stimulus package.

Now they have passed a second spending bill of $410 billion.

This is the first time in history that discretionary spending has surpassed the $1 trillion mark. The legislation includes 122 duplicate programs that are also funded by the $787 billion "stimulus" package already signed.

There was a chance Obama could have vetoed this last bloated spending bill. He wimped out and catered to Pelosi and Reid.

This bill has 8,500 earmarks. Republicans are responsible for some of them, and the Democrats writing the majority of requests.

We are in a deep recession so some stimulus money is necessary. At this rate though we will have to raise taxes across the board to pay for these spending packages.

There is no such thing as a free lunch. Bush was dumb, and Obama appears to be dumber.

William Guenza

Cedar Ridge

Transit link

To the editor:

I just found out that we have a link to Calaveras County Transit that can be taken several times a day from Columbia College to Angels Camp. You then arrive in Angels Camp and get on a transit bus to Lodi. From Lodi you can link up with Greyhound or Amtrak and go where ever you want.

Why hasn't this been more publicized? It is a big help for people that don't drive and want to get to the Bay Area or the Valley.

Barbara McClelland