Union Democrat staff

Socialism and fascism

To the editor:

Donald (Stowell, letters Sept. 21), let me tell you why it can be both. Germany was a Socialist country before Hitler came on the scene, and was one of the first countries to enact universal health care. Nazi is short for the German word "Nationalsozialismus," and it was used to refer to German citizens who belonged to the National Socialist Germans Workers Party of Germany. Hitler was the party's leader before becoming chancellor in 1933. Then he quickly established a fascist authoritative single party.

Since your right-wing friends were protesting government-run health care, clearly a socialist act, and the authoritarian behavior of our government in ramming this and other issues through; putting a Hitler-like mustache on our president seems to be a reasonable analogy.

Given the current state of our government, we appear to be moving rapidly in some yet-to-be-defined direction. Our government currently owns or controls a large segment of our financial sector, two auto manufacturers, all of the new student loans, a very large segment of our mortgage loans, a large media company and most of the education sector. It is also attempting to take over the energy and health care business. Allegedly there are additional plans to eliminate the dissenting voice of the opposition by closing down media outlets like Fox News and talk radio. These are clearly fascist acts, similar to the Patriot Act under President Bush.

There you have it; both socialism and fascism in the same government. Much like WWII Germany under Hitler, hence the analogy between Obama and Hitler.

Jay Bunten


Privatize prisons

To the editor:

Why do folks fear the release of non-violent state inmates?

Blame lousy legislators and fear-mongering news. America, the most incarcerated nation, has a national problem. Why does California have the highest statistical recidivism in the world?

Once paroled, inmates are forced to return to the region where they came from (where they already have criminal influences and friends). Parole officers are not independent lawmen, but part and parcel of the Department of Corrections.

Worse still, parolees are re-arrested for incredibly petty and even ridiculous reasons. It gets worse when considering government's inability to deal with the CDC's all powerful union.

Shift all state corrections and prisons to the private sector, eviscerate the sleazy, bloated CDC, institute real remediation policies and watch the loot return to Sacramento. Big Arnold tried and failed - terminate him, too.

Dave Maloney


Roads in need

To the editor:

This county has a great reputation for helping its citizens in crisis. I have been to more than a few spaghetti feeds and barbecues. It makes me proud to think that so many people help others in need.

On the other hand, I think it's high time we pay more attention to our tourist friends. This county has no rest stops either up the hill or down the hill. Why not make Jamestown's restrooms a tourist stop? Why should businesses up the hill be burdened with people who desperately need a restroom? Have you ever been in Diamond Jims during a snow storm?

Also, many businesses and tourists complain we have insufficient signs for towns, trails and attractions.

Lastly, but probably the most important for tourists and residents, is the poor road system in the county. The lack of any shoulders on state highways and county roads makes it dangerous for pedestrians and bike riders, as well as stalled cars. Traffic lights at O'Byrnes Ferry and Rawhide roads are a real life saver and we are finally getting the light at Parrotts Ferry.

But there are many more dangerous areas. The priority for the state and county should be safety, but I see all sorts of work and moneys being spent with safety getting the short shrift.

Our law enforcement people do an outstanding job protecting us, but they need to speak up on the dangers they encounter on our roads. We need to plan and prioritize the road improvements better, so our citizens and tourists have a safe and enjoyable time in our great county.

Roger P. Hanlon


Third party wanted

To the editor:

Can one trust the judgment of American voters? Probably not.

Fact One: American approval rate for Congress runs between 20 to 30 percent.

Fact Two: American approval rate for their Congressional representative runs 60 to 70 percent.

These facts bring into question the judgment of American voters, and has created a dysfunctional Congress.

Americans consistently vote for the incumbent, and are often faced with two poor choices, a Democrat or a Republican. It is time for a strong third national party. California is in desperate need for a third party.

Dennis Schneider

Angels Camp