Union Democrat staff

Effective approach

To the editor:

The dictators in Venezuela, Cuba, Iran and North Korea hold onto power by casting the United States as the devil. Their subjects are repeatedly told that martial law and suspension of rights is necessary to deal with this "enemy."

President Obama's speeches are not directed to the dictators, but to the people. His tone and frank assessment of past relationships and deeds makes it more difficult for the dictators to sell the "devil" characterization.

Both Hugo Chavez and Ahmadinejad are having greater difficulty suppressing the democratic desires of their people since President Obama took office. Our traditional friends in these regions have not lost respect for the U.S., but in fact appreciate this more effective foreign policy approach.

Raymond Harvey

Angels Camp

No health care

To the editor:

A short time ago, I watched on TV the Tea Party held in Washington.

One of the things that was most impressive to watch was the ethnic diversity of the partygoers. The were principally white people of every age, shape and size.

One of the partygoers had a sign that read, "No to Health Care." Finally someone with a simple solution to the problem. Think about it - no health care. It would be fair to all, we would save tons of money. It's true some of us, if not most of us, may check out early. But isn't saving the insurance premiums and future tax savings for Medicare and the Medicare drug problem worth it? And the best part is "read my lips, no new taxes." As an added benefit, weeding out the old, meek and weak would directly strengthen our national economy. Natural selection at work.

However, before we take this option and deny a public option to health care we should go to our local mental health care provider and have our heads examined. For those of us lucky enough to have health insurance, we would only have to pray they do not declare our insanity a pre-existing condition.

Which of course it is.

Don Stowell


Extreme views

To the editor:

I read an Oct. 5 letter dealing with socialism and fascism ("Can be both," Jay Bunten) and concluded that your newspaper should restrain from printing extreme points of view against the president for many reasons:

Do you really think Mr. Obama's administration has plans to shut down Fox News? Do you think that comparing Mr. Adolf Hitler with Mr. Obama is appropriate? Don't you think the Secret Service is dealing with enough assassination plots without creating additional propaganda against Mr. Obama? Do we want more hysteria like October 2008, when the Internet was loaded with news about Mr. Obama being a Muslim and potential terrorist?

Dennis Schneider

Angels Camp

Exciting journey

To the editor:

Thank you for my recent trip to Italy and the beautiful village of San Gimignano. I just finished reading the story of Megan Haggerty's trip (Union Democrat, Oct. 7) and felt as though she had taken me along for this exciting journey.

Thank you for the well written and colorful accounting of a beautiful day in the Italian countryside. Megan is a gifted writer and I thoroughly enjoyed my "vacation to Italy" (vicariously of course).

Christy Tracy