Union Democrat staff

Makes me sick

To the editor:

Re: Letter from Wally George (Sept. 14):

I participated in another war where we occupied a country. The result: 58,000 of my classmates dead, another 250,000 maimed for life. What is never mentioned is the 3 million Vietnamese, Laotian, Cambodian and assorted other Asians that died - a lot of whom were totally innocent and non-combatants.

Wally, you say "we must set aside worries of civilian casualties." That sentence makes me sick. When our robot airplanes, piloted 10,000 miles away by some second lieutenant in a van near Las Vegas, takes out some guy we suspect might be an enemy and just accidentally wipes out a hundred innocents at a wedding party, how in the name of God can that have anything to do with America?

Have we become Murder, Incorporated? I say, let Afghanistan be Afghanistan; leave them alone! Get out now; they'll soon fall back to their seventh century tribal feuding; Taliban will kill Al Qaida and vice versa.

Take the money and fund your dental plan. Or 1,000 school upgrades.

They can't hurt us. Leave them alone. Get us out of foreign wars; the founding fathers warned against them. Let's fix America first. And if you call me treasonous, you're just wrong. I do act against my country's present military objectives and I will not keep it to myself.

Michael Crich


Golden rule

To the editor:

Do those of us who have "enough," think we have a right to the world's best health care - that we've "earned" it? At the same time, do we rationalize that we are a compassionate nation? A Christian nation?

I am embarrassed by our denial. All major world religions espouse the "golden rule," to treat others as we would have them treat us, and to care for the people on the margins.

Health care should be a right, not a privilege, especially in the richest country on earth. There should be no discussion on whether or not to adopt affordable health care for everyone, only the best way to achieve it.

We keep saying that we have the "finest health care" in the world. Untrue. In terms of results, almost all advanced countries have better national health statistics than the U.S. does. Financially, we force 700,000 Americans into bankruptcy each year because of medical bills. In France, Britain, Japan and Germany the number is zero. These countries spend 4 to 6 percent on administration; U.S. health insurance companies have the highest administrative costs in the world - roughly 20 percent.

There is too much mean-spiritedness in the current debate which serves only to line a few people's pockets. And if we're really so worried about how to pay for real reform, we would find a way. We seem to find plenty of money for war.

Peggy Kingman


Yosemite fire

To the editor:

I am very miffed at the fire that burned out of control in Yosemite.

Common sense, you would think, would tell us not to start a fire when conditions are so ripe for disaster. Some things we can control. Some things we cannot. Why on earth would the National Park Service start a "controlled" burn when California hills and mountains are tinder boxes looking for a reason to go up in flames.

On top of that, "real" fires cost millions and millions of taxpayers dollars. Money the state does not need to spend on "controlled" burns that blow out.

Who will ultimately end up paying for this fiasco? The taxpayer will. Can common sense ever make a comeback? I hope and pray it can.

Dan Lillis


Roundabout solution

To the editor:

Although relieved to learn that the county and state are improving the dangerous Pedro Y intersection, I am disappointed that the decision was made to install a relatively inefficient and dangerous traffic light.

Instead, I was hoping to see a safer and far more efficient roundabout used at the intersection. Although rare in the United States, roundabouts are increasingly common in other countries and can achieve remarkable improvements over traditional traffic lights. For example, roundabouts can dramatically improve safety, reduce fuel consumption and decrease average wait times for drivers. They are also far cheaper to maintain than traffic lights.

Because of its heavy left-turn traffic flow, I think the Pedro Y would have been an ideal location to introduce Tuolumne County to the many benefits of modern roundabouts.

Brian Greene


Courage, grace

To the editor:

I am so impressed by the way Mike Striklin handled himself with the mama bear just trying to protect her baby in his encounter.

He was smart and humble, and that is what we must be in an encounter with nature. He preserved his life and the life of the mom and baby bear he encountered. He should be proud and honored.

We are in their "playground" and should never forget that. So many people think it is their "right" to be there and do whatever they wish, but we are lucky to share this planet with nature's creatures and Mike is to be applauded for his ability to acknowledge that honor. Good for you. And good for the animals who share your space.

Thank you, Mike, for your courage and grace "under fire."

Kathleen Shecter


Illiterate citizens

To the editor:

We wonder why our young people are strung out on drugs and without purpose. There are several reasons, but here are the three most central to this curse:

1. What Bill Bennett described as "desiccation of the rich drama and conflicts of history in our textbooks." "Today our texts are more intent on political correctness. The dramatic and realistic story of America is mostly absent in the study or American history," he said. Higher education so-called experts, who have rewritten history for our children, have robbed them of its purpose - that each generation has the responsibility to protect blood-bought liberty we all have enjoyed.

2. The Federal Bureau of Education with its 51 sub-bureaus and the billions of dollars it costs to support this monstrosity. Not a dollar educates our children. Education, according to the Constitution, should be left to the states.

3. The humanist agenda described in the Jan.-Feb. 1983 issue of the Humanist Magazine. John Dunphy wrote: "The battle must be waged in the public school classroom by teachers who see their role as proselytizers of the new religion of humanity," wrote John Dunphy in that issue. "The rotting corpse of Christianity, together with all its adjacent evils, will be replaced with a humanistic world of love." They have fulfilled their vision while we have slept. With their new math and whole word reading, they have produced 90 million illiterate citizens who vote socialistic.

Jan Higgins


One big disaster

To the editor:

Medicare only pays your doctors 60 percent. Medi-Cal pays nothing. Many of our doctors are not taking Medicare patients now and most of them refuse Medi-Cal. Try to find a doctor when you just have Medi-Cal. Now Obama is decreasing payments on Medicare.

This government can't even run Medicare/Medi-Cal. How do you honestly expect it run a full health care plan? It can't. This would be one big disaster. I worked in insurance at hospitals and doctors' offices, so I know.

Be very careful of what Obama is telling you. If you can, read the bill, as our senators and the rest can't be bothered.

Yes, all of the legal citizens need insurance, but believe me this is not the way to go. I am so proud of the American people who went to the town hall meetings. They asked good questions, but they got no answers as the senators, etc., don't have a clue about what they are talking about.

I just heard on the news that there will be no Social Security increases for two years. Think about that also.

Patricia DuFur



To the editor:

On Tuesday, Sept. 8, our school children could have had the opportunity to gather together and listen to President Obama's speech. Unfortunately many of our schools chose not to make the necessary accommodations.

I consider this unpatriotic and cowardly. The White House sent out advanced copies of the speech in order to calm wild-eyed fears that he would some how brainwash children, when in fact there was nothing political in the speech.

I understand that not everyone supports President Obama, but what happened to respect for the office of the president? I am fortunate enough to have the Internet and was able to show the speech to my children. However, many are not as fortunate and their children had no other options.

No matter the reasons it robbed children of the opportunity to experience the patriotism that comes when large groups gather to be inspired by the President of the United States. What about the kids who really needed that encouragement? I hope those involved in this decision take time to rethink it.

It's not too late. The president's speech was inspirational and encouraging, nothing more.

Deanna Yeakle