Union Democrat staff

Terrorist flu?

To the editor:

Besides the fact that Mexican officials waited too long to respond to their end of this flu problem, doesn't it seem just the slightest bit suspicious that this strain of virus is described as a combination of swine, avian (bird), and human?

How do three distinctly unique forms of debilitating virus join together, naturally? I don't necessarily consider myself as a conspiracist, but this sure does wreak of a terrorist design.

Wouldn't you have to wonder if this virus wasn't a sophisticated, intentional construction? Released in a geographically heavy-traffic location, which has relatively easy, low-security risk access? Knowing that in a matter of just a few months, there would be a potentiality of spreading internationally, with astounding speed, distance and impact?

What a great way to inflict fear and suffering to the "infidel." And; who's to say there's not another source inside the United States, releasing a separate batch of the virus? Leaves ya thinkin', huh?

Regardless of the true source of this nasty killer; I'll be praying for the victims and their families, as well as those medical, scientific and administrative individuals responsible for the wake being left behind and the recovery needed in the future.

Wally George


Vote 'No' on 1E

To the editor:

I am responding to the statewide Proposition 1E. I have been involved in the statewide mental health movement for over 10 years.

In 2004, Californians voted to reverse decades of severe underfunding for the state's public mental health system when they overwhelmingly supported Proposition 63, The Mental Health Services Act (MHSA). Under this landmark initiative, California has been successful in reaching many more people in need here in Calaveras County and expanding community care by stabilizing the need to live independently, attending school, successfully contribute to their communities.

By diverting $460 million in MHSA funds, this May 2009 ballot measure threatens to turn away tens of thousands of people, from children to older adults in need, from mental health services, forcing them into more costly hospital stays, homelessness, jails and prisons.

In Calaveras County, the governor's proposal would mean a loss of services to older adults with serious mental illnesses. Calaveras County has a large population of retired people who need these services now.

Voters must acknowledge the important benefits afforded from the MHSA to California families and reject any notion of very harmful diversion of mental health funds.

The Calaveras County Mental Health Advisory Board voted unanimously to oppose 1E. The Calaveras County Board of Supervisors has placed this issue on their agenda for May 5. If this proposition passes, it would set a precedent and open the door to continue to raid the MHSA in the future. Don't let this happen!

Please vote "NO" on Proposition 1E on May 19.

George Fry

Calaveras County Mental

Health Advisory Board Member

Angels Camp

Memorial Day thanks

To the editor:

The United States lost 292,131 servicemen in battle during WWII. During the Normandy Invasion alone, 1,465 were killed and another 3,184 wounded. It took only three days to secure Tarawa, but during those three days 990 Marines and 687 sailors were killed.

The battle for Iwo Jima lasted 37 days. It cost the United States 18,189 casualties. Of those, 6,821 were killed. During the three-year Korean "Conflict," 33,241 servicemen were killed. Another 47,424 were lost in Viet Nam.

Staggering statistics by today's standards. They were gone for the duration, no phones, no e-mail. Communications with home was sporadic at best. Living conditions were deplorable. The sacrifices and hardships endured by those who served before us are unimaginable.

Every life lost in war is a tragedy. It isn't a question of whether one is for, or against war, or a particular war. It is a matter of respect, honor and appreciation. If you have a parent, grandparent, great-grandparent or friend who has served, or is serving, in the military, shake their hand, or give them a hug and say thanks.

To all of you who have served, or are now serving, I wish you fair winds and following seas. Thank you.

Ed Martin, LCDR USN/ret.