Fix this problem

To the editor:

I strongly believe that the difficulty many of us have in getting and paying for health care is a major problem in our lives.

Congressman George Radanovich, R-Mariposa, you have turned your back on us with your recent vote against fixing health care. The House bill may be flawed, but it is a start. We need to begin now.

Congressman, you have one more chance to do your job and fix this problem. Please help us, young and old, and vote to pass reform.

Charles Wright

La Grange

Spin doctoring

To the editor:

Your Nov. 5 editorial cartoon of Obama with the egg on his face was a hoot. (Get it? The eggs made him look like an owl)

But the really funny thing was that the cartoon was about how the recent midterm elections supposedly made the President (and the rest of the Democrats) look in terms of political weakness and such.

A day or two before that, I saw two video clips of Ari Fleischer (G. W. Bush's press secretary). The first was of Fleischer on one of the TV networks panel of experts expounding on how, indeed, the recent elections were a sign of political tide turning against the President, etc. The second video was of Fleischer back in 2001, at a Bush press briefing on the midterm elections at that time.

Guess what tune he was singing then? Yep, typical political wisdom that midterm election results can't be generalized. It was a real hoot to see the spin doctoring going on right before my eyes.

Donn Hohengarten


Risk management

To the editor:

In response to Myron "they make this stuff up" Ebell: There's a sliding scale of risk management that I learned about when I became a parent. I use it to decide how much to worry about what my child is doing at any given moment. There are two sides to the scale: First, look at how likely it is that something bad will happen. Second, think about how bad it would be if that thing were to occur.

For example, imagine that your child is climbing a tree and is about six feet off the ground. Is he likely to fall? Not really; he's a pretty good climber. If he does, will it result in a trip to the emergency room? Probably not. No worries.

Now let's apply the sliding scale to climate change caused by human activity. Is it likely to happen? According to most scientific organizations, it's already happening. The dissenting view is really a very small minority. How bad will it be if it continues? Bad, really bad.

According to the U.S. Global Change Research Program, composed of government agencies such as NASA, the Department of Interior, Department of Defense, Smithsonian Institution and the National Science Foundation, this is what we risk in the Southwestern U.S.: Water supplies becoming increasingly scarce; increases in drought, wildfires and invasive species; increased frequency of flooding; increasing risks to tourism, recreation and agriculture.

That's enough on both sides of the scale for me; it's time to get that boy out of the tree!

Greg Falken


Needed care

To the editor:

We can be hopeful that the House of Representatives' vote Saturday in favor of health care reform will lead to success in the United States Senate.

My patients without health insurance, or with pre-existing conditions or high deductibles may now eventually get their needed care. The AARP (American Association of Retired People) and AAFP (American Academy of Family Physicians) endorsed this plan, since it will bring needed care to millions of patients, including thousands in Tuolumne County.

It will also shift care more towards prevention, saving money and preventing suffering in the long run. Most physicians see the need and embrace this new direction as well. We can thank all who help this sea change in care occur.

Kenneth Renwick, MD