Union Democrat staff

Right to dissent

To the editor:

This is in response to Jackie Davis' Aug. 26 letter.

You have posed the question to Citizens for Responsible Growth, asking "Who died and left you in charge?" I would say to you that many have died and left us all in charge. That includes you, me and all who would live under our Constitution. As well as those who have given their lives for the freedom to dissent and make their views known.

I would not dissuade you from making your views known, but I would call upon you to know the facts before unloading and embarrassing yourself.

"Citizens" are not in any way "hidden from view." Just look at The UD back page every so many weeks, you will find a full-page statement of what they are doing, what their aims are, as well as their purpose.

More than 7,000 signatures were gathered to defeat the massive Mountain Springs Project. People in this community responded, as they are concerned about the quality of life here, and they quickly recognize that "big box" development by greed and avarice of the developers of shopping centers, is not the answer. Yet the powers that be, deny nothing to "money."

Who is to stand up for the present reliable and successful local companies, if we have no voice?

If you are unhappy and want the big city atmosphere, I suggest that you venture back down to Modesto and see what rampant growth and greed brings you. Modesto was, at one time, a lovely "little town."

Constance Dresbach

Cedar Ridge

Ask for facts

To the editor:

"Fearful people do stupid things" read a bumper sticker on the truck in front of me. Rang true for me. Dumb things I've done in my life have often been rooted in fear.

Our nation's leaders have tried to enact universal health care in some form since Teddy Roosevelt, including every president since FDR except Reagan. So, why don't we have it? Each time the private insurance companies have rallied to push our fear button so we can't see clearly, and Congress has caved.

How many people know:

Private health insurance companies spend $1.4 million per day lobbying members of Congress. (Any wonder Congress is balking at reform?)

There are six health care lobbyists per member of Congress.

This means our premiums pay not just for our health care, stock dividends and CEO bonuses, but for lobbying and advertising to keep things the way they are. (Any wonder competition from a government option worries the companies and Congress?)

Wendell Potter, retired CEO of CIGNA HealthCare, testified that CIGNA employees received bonuses for finding ways to maximize company profits by paying fewer medical bills, including using "rescission" - a technicality to cancel coverage of someone diagnosed with an expensive disease.

Do we really want someone whose primary focus is profits to be deciding what health care procedures we may receive? Currently they deny one-third of all requested procedures.

Let health care reform be based on facts, not fears.

Congressman George Radanovich's town hall meeting on health care is 2 p.m. Sept. 18 at the Bianchi Community Center, 110 S. Second Ave., Oakdale.

Attend and ask for the facts.

Ellen Beck



To the editor:

The House and Senate need to take some responsibility. This isn't as easy as some say. All these questions can't be blamed only on George W. Bush. Obama and McCain were both in the Senate at the time. The equation isn't that easy.

Linda Bernal