Union Democrat staff

Abortion semantics

To the editor:

The abortion issue is holding the health care bill hostage. As a Catholic with 11 children, I do not believe in abortion. But, I understand that abortion is legal and has been for years. As a Christian, I believe what Christ said when confronted about the politics and morality of his day: "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's."

To follow these words of Jesus' means that we are stuck with the status quo, the laws that are in place. The main purpose of the health care bill is appreciation of life and health care for all. Now, because of politics and the morality of the abortion issue, the greater good of the health care bill is being challenged.

The semantics involved in this issue deserve attention. Everyone has the freedom to choose between good and evil. But by God's rule, we have the right to choose good, and we do not have the right to choose evil without sin.

As a result, no one has the right under God to choose abortion, but they have the legal, political freedom to choose that evil over the good because it is the law. We hope the person making that choice will choose the morally good.

As a practicing Catholic, I don't want money for the health care bill to go into abortions. Nor do I want people to participate in abortion who are against it. But most of all, I do not want to see the health care bill fail.

Abortion is a moral issue and remains hard to legislate for or against. Life is sacred for all. What do you think? Contact your representatives and senators.

Tom Besmer


Internet hackers

To the editor:

I am writing this letter as a concerned aunt. I have six nieces and nephews whom I don't see very often, so when I get pictures of them I like to show them off. I have Internet profiles such as MySpace and Facebook where I like put these pictures to show to family and friends.

It makes me sick when people think it's OK to hack into these profiles and steal the pictures of kids so that they can find out where they're from. This puts them at risk for stalking, kidnapping or sometimes worse. Those that steal the pictures of innocent children should be stuck with a higher punishment, not just registration as a sex offender and pedophile.

So be careful about what pictures you put on the Internet. You never know who might end up with the pictures of your children, grandchildren or nieces and nephews.

Rebecca Harden


A mouthful

To the editor:

In his Nov. 19 column ("America needs a bigger stick in a defiant world"), Victor Davis Hanson said a mouthful.

I suggest that those who need to (you know who you are), take it in, chew it up, swallow, and digest it.

It's one way to know that the truth nourishes you more than what you are otherwise being fed.

Pat Loring


War in Afghanistan

To the editor:

We learned recently that after much deliberation, President Obama plans to "finish the job" in Afghanistan. I am most distressed to hear this and think it's a huge mistake. It seems that the military brass and the right wing have won another one, and this is a big one.

Those who read history will know that:

• In Afghanistan most of the people owe their allegiance more to tribes rather than their country.

• The country is twice as large as California and much of the terrain is like the Sierra. Experts say a military victory is impossible.

• The leaders are ineffective and corrupt and can't be trusted.

• The Russians failed in their mission after many lives and much of their treasure were lost.

• We are losing sight of the lessons we learned in Korea and Vietnam.

• It has been estimated that it costs taxpayers over $1 million each year for one soldier in the field.

• The cost in lives and mutilated bodies in this war is incalculable.

I think more weight should have been given to Vice President Biden's advice - pull troops back to the borders and have them used in an advisory capacity. I fear our president is giving too much weight to the advice of the military brass. It's true they know how to fight a war, but the question is whether we should be in one.

Most Americans want our troops home. The "experts" on the news say we are there for perhaps another 10 years. This is a nightmare. I fear for our country.

Gene Patterson


Sue for damages

To the editor:

I find the situation with the Big Oak Flat-Groveland School District entertaining.

Living out of state, but owning a home in Twain Harte, I keep abreast of the Ryan Dutton situation. He should sue the former members of the school board for everything they have or will earn in their lifetime. The former members did their hardest to insult and injure Mr. Dutton's status as a highly qualified educator.

Mr. Dutton, getting a "so sorry" letter from a former board member shows how the former members will turn on themselves. They are managing damage control right now, and know Mr. Dutton will prevail. Sue for damages and get the "rock" as one former said, the rock his house is built on.

Mari Brabbin should be named Grabbin' Brabbin if she is indeed lining her pockets. Imagine the monies that could trickle down to the teachers if what is said is proven true. I recall the words of Jeannie C. Riley's "Harper Valley PTA." Being a retired teacher, administrator, director and school board member, I wish the best for Mr. Dutton and hope the school district will turn over every leaf in the Brabbin case. Follow the money.

Kim L. Chesley

Las Vegas