Union Democrat staff

Thanks from Jupiter

To the editor:

Thanks to the heroic efforts of many agencies, including the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, Cal Fire, Tuolumne County Fire, Tuolumne County Sheriff's Department, and the Office of Emergency Services, we are still here!

They truly did an outstanding job of fighting the Knight Fire before it reached any structures on Mt. Knight or traveled to the Jupiter area. The fire came dangerously close, within about 30 feet , of a couple of cabins, but was stopped.

A special thanks goes to Supervisor Teri Murrison for her Web site reporting each day of the progress of the fire to all of us who have Internet access in the Mt. Knight-Jupiter area. She isn't even our supervisor.

We really appreciated it. It was very informative. On a more personal note, thank you all who offered up your homes and prayers to Tony and me when we were evacuated. Your support overwhelmed us.

Tony and Carole Reyes


Just wondering

To the editor:

I'm just wondering what would have happened if Mr. Obama's birth certificate would have been given the same amount of attention and scrutiny as did all those "hanging chads" in Florida.

Where's Al Gore when you need him? I'm also wondering why Nancy Pelosi, in a down- turned economy, feels that she needs three new jets at her disposal at the cost of $65 million each when she could support California's economy by flying Southwest Airline instead. Bring your own peanuts and soda Nancy!

I'm wondering why our legislators don't feel they need to take subject competency tests or have their salaries based on merit pay when they want all teachers to do so. Mr. Obama, there are only 50 states in the union!

I'm wondering if Barbara Boxer ever figured out that being called "ma'am" by Brigadier General Michael Walsh really was a complement. He earned his stars and respect a long time before you did, Barb!!

I'm wondering if there are any more ridiculous restrictions that the city and county can place on Jeb's Waffles and Ribs to keep it from opening. Love the roof color, Jeb! I'm also wondering if Citizens for Responsible Growth will ever give Lowe's a chance to be built here. But then, we'd sure miss that scenic ride to Riverbank and Modesto along with that cheap gas we can get in Oakdale!

I don't know about anyone else, but I'm just wondering.

Barb Birks


You got what you wanted

To the editor:

Don't whine. You got what you wanted. What you had in mind probably was not closing public pools, shutting the county hospital's doors, closing the library on Fridays and furloughing public employees - but you got what you asked for: a smaller government.

The tax cuts of the Bush years were not simply intended to enrich the already rich. They were, quite stealthily, intended to starve the government of money. To reduce, for example, the oversight of the financial markets (Bush fired two thirds of the SEC's enforcement staff). Remember the exhortations: Government is bad, it's tax-and-spend, it's wasteful. The best government employees, they said, who know the ins and outs of regulations, should be in private business, where they could be more productive. Guess where they are now? Exactly there.

Our tax money now goes to private industry. In theory, it will create new jobs. Eh??

The Department of Defense now hires contractors to supervise its contractors. We don't supervise anymore, we just pay. Government is now, thanks to the purposeful acts of Republicans, in the hands of business, and no Obama can turn that around quickly.

Remember who praised the merging of government and business? Benito Mussolini, Italy's dictator and Hitler's buddy. In fact, that was his definition of fascism, and he thought it was a great idea. If that is better than democracy, please tell me about it.

Democracy not only needs a government, it is government - by the people, you and me. A good man is in the White House, but this country needs your efforts more than ever. Yet you keep electing Republicans. I don't get it.

Klaus Kraemer


Wonderful theater

To the editor:

I was privileged to see the musical performance of "Smoky Joe's Cafe" Saturday night. What a fabulous and entertaining show. The "quartet" of singers were delightful both in their great harmonies and their comic characterizations. I have seen this show in years past, but this one tops them all.

Thank you Sierra Repertory Theatre for such wonderful theater. It is truly a wonderful town to live in.

Jack O'Shea