Union Democrat staff

Bad idea

To the editor:

Quite simply, someone should be fired.

As I sit writing this, with my head banging, nose running, and a chest that feels like it has a boulder on it, many thoughts go through my mind.

I wonder why anyone, in the height of fire season, during one of the hottest months of summer, with fires burning throughout the state, and virtually zero humidity, zero moisture content in our forests, could possibly think: "Gee, now would be a good time to start a fire. Let's not wait until our firefighting resources are not stretched so thinly, or until it's cooler, or until we get an early fall rain."

Was the person (or persons) who authorized this, just sitting around one day and said: "Hey. We need to do something administrative, like, you know, to make it look like we are doing our jobs instead of just sitting around. And besides, with all the budgetary problems going on, we need to spend some money so we can ask for a bigger allocation next year. So what if people would like to have windows open and fresh air at night between the fires that have already been burning? We are government employees. We can do what we want. We know what's best. So what if we have a history of so many uncontrolled controlled burns? We know what's best. We are the government."

Sean Lemay

Mi-Wuk Village

Afraid of change?

To the editor:

I find the vocal opposition to the health care bill disappointing. It seems that people are so afraid of change that they will endure a situation that everyone knows is a mess.

What is it that people fear so much? Is it having government bureaucrats involved with their health care decisions? Right now, insurance company bureaucrats make decisions about our health care all the time, and, they make their decisions based on their company's profits, instead of public health considerations.

Are people afraid of having the supposedly inefficient government involved in health care? In fact, the government already runs several health insurance programs, including Medicare and the VA. While neither program is perfect, I don't hear that participants in those programs are clamoring to switch to private health insurance.

Are people worried about the added cost of the government administering health care programs? I have private insurance and the costs for my coverage are going up almost 10 percent this year, reducing my salary commensurately.

Every time I pay a medical bill, part of that bill represents the costs of medical care for the uninsured. When everyone is insured, true preventative care is possible, and preventing illness is much cheaper than curing it.

We have made certain social programs universal, including education and public safety. Health is really a more basic right than either of those. What are we afraid of? If we are mostly afraid of change, the time is now to give up that fear and have the courage to fix this broken system.

Please contact your representatives and tell them that you are not afraid of change and support health care reform.

Carol Woods


Save billions

To the editor:

Howard Owen Orr, Mother Lode's Most Wanted is arrested for growing six marijuana plants?

Obviously we can save ourselves a lot of money by eliminating some law enforcement positions if this guy rates as the "most wanted."

Marijuana should be a legal crop that is taxed for the benefit of all. We would save billions by this simple, harmless change in our absurd drug laws.

William Bergmann