Union Democrat staff

Welfare reform

To the editor,

Re: "Abysmal Abuse" (Tony Pedroncelli letter, April 28).

Welfare was reformed under the Clinton administration, which was more than eight years ago. Under the reform it was mandated that all parents receiving aid had to work at least 32 hours a week. If they do not meet these hours, they are sanctioned and they do not receive their portion of aid.

There are those who don't have to work, like those who are disabled or those who take care of disabled dependents. I can guarantee that those who are receiving aid are not getting it for free.

I think the people you should be angry with are those deadbeat parents who turn their back on their children once the romance is over. More than half of those who receive aid are single parents who do not receive child support. And if they do, it is taken by the state to repay the aid.

Also, you can't have any assets, not even life insurance. Which, I am sure that if people did have these things they wouldn't be asking for help. There is a designated amount of money for each person, and regardless of their expenses their aid will not increase.

When a parent gets a job, benefits will decrease. I could go on and on about all the restrictions and rules that are part of our welfare system. It's not as loose as you think.

Obviously, you have never needed welfare. I would gladly trade places with you. You can have my "free money," and I will take your comfort and security.

Jessica Cardenas


Blame to spread

To the editor:

Re: Tim King's letter about the recall (May 11).

My comments were in response to Michael Hermann's. That was his issue, not mine. If you knew he was mistaken, why didn't you write in to correct him? Could that be because the loss of Distinguished School status has been part of your propaganda, and you didn't mind having that illusion out there? Apparently he believes it, right along with others you have misled. It also appears you have come to believe much of it yourself.

There are allegations that the math teacher got caught turning in another person's work as part of his teacher training and, despite your best efforts to look the other way, the school board couldn't.

The Spanish teacher made a decision that was his to make. Every year, teachers have to make that same decision. In this day and age, what teacher is 100 percent assured of his job status?

Perhaps your room is in decline because the lion's share of the bond money got spent on other parts of your campus. The board delegated specific building aspects to others because its members have more pressing concerns than to worry about shower heads. Our showers are the same as yours, yet we're happy.

You seem so bent on dumping 100 percent of all blame on the heads of these five people. Look around you, Mr. King. No school is perfect and the blame for the shortcomings in yours can be spread around beyond these board members. Who are you going to blame when these scapegoats are gone?

Francine Lettmann

La Grange

Terrorist crackdown

To the editor:

Finally, an administration in Washington which understands the real terrorist threat in this country.

The Obama Department of Homeland Security has recently issued an emergency assessment entitled "Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment." The key finding sent to all law enforcement is that, "rightwing extremists may be gaining new recruits by playing on their fears about several emergent issues."

The report states "rightwing extremism in the United States can be broadly divided into those groups, movements and adherents that are primarily hate-oriented ... and those that are mainly anti-government, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely."

Pointing to those who are opposed to abortion and same-sex marriage, the report envisions what it calls the most dangerous domestic terrorism threat in the United States as these pro-life groups, those opposed to immigration, and returning veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Also added - gun owners and prophecy-believing Christians.

Who could disagree? Think of the money we are wasting for roadblocks to capture drunk drivers - the last one netted one drunk driver while costing thousands of dollars. Rather we should be setting up roadblocks to find these terrorists - we could net thousands of arrests. At least half the people in this county fall into at least one of those groups. Think of the cars driving around with fish symbols and NRA and armed forces stickers. Start pulling them in for questioning. Clean up this county.

Jim Webster


Don't be scared

To the editor:

The swine flu is going around our state, country and world. Many people are scared, but you don't have to be scared if you are smart about staying healthy. First, if you are sick, stay home. Second, wash your hands daily or use hand sanitizer. Third, never share food if you are sick. Finally, cough into a tissue or your sleeve.

Keeping our community safe is everyone's responsibility.

Also, a special thank-you to the Tuolumne County Health Van (BOB) for educating the students on proper health and hygiene.

Karen Jaco's third-grade class

Soulsbyville School