Union Democrat staff

Disheartening decision

To the editor:

President Obama's decision to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan was disheartening. I had voted for him in part because of his stated intention to end the war quickly. Unquestionably, the situation in the Afghan-Pakistan region is perilous. Afghanistan, with an army of doubtful capacity, is pressed by a determined Taliban. Pakistan, its government impaired by instability, possesses nuclear weapons.

But the situation in our own country, needless to say, is also deeply troubling: thousands of people out of work, education at all levels deteriorating, necessary public services curtailed, families bankrupted by medical costs.

Obama said the Afghan surge would cost $30 billion - That's $1 million per soldier. Think how many schools and health clinics those dollars could build, here and/or in Afghanistan. Then there will be the inevitable troop casualties, including mental health breakdowns and suicides, from a relentless war now in its eighth year.

Our leaders seem unable to learn from Vietnam, or the Russian experience in Afghanistan. Furthermore, no president wants to be seen as weak, risking chances for re-election. All this adds up to a state-of-affairs that, by my lights, is sad, sad, sad.

Richard E. Peterson


Global warming

To the editor:

The current global warming crisis started at the end of the last ice age. Man did not cause it. As sea levels began to rise, people like Noah moved to higher ground, and that trend will probably continue regardless of anything we can do that is cost effective.

Man-made pollution can be controlled, and this is where we should put most of our effort. Those efforts must be based on sound science, not the bias of experts and ignorant elected know-it-alls.

America has been carrying Europe on its back since World War II, so beware of Europeans bearing gifts: Nobel Peace Prizes and more European-run green business, jobs and government-run programs that we end up paying for.

America is doing pretty good at reducing our own greenhouse gases and pollution. We don't "owe" history or the rest of the world. We don't even have the money to bail ourselves out of debt.

Daniel Strader



To the editor:

Wednesday morning most of our schools were on two-hour delay because of hazardous roads. So why was that Clovis school bus trying to get down curvy, narrow and icy Big Hill Road at 9:30 a.m.?

Perhaps the smartest person in the Clovis group was that little girl who refused to get on the rescue bus and went down the mountain with the Highway Patrol.

Lew McClellan


Pet lovers

To the editor:

We adopted both of our dogs from the Humane Society. My second dog was given a coupon for a free bag of food from Dusty's Den. We went to redeem the coupon and were met by the most enthusiastic pet lovers we have ever met.

Deborah had us bring in our new little dog, Gonzo, so she could meet him. She gave us advice on the care of our dog and a free bag of dog food. We patronize Dusty's Den because they support the Humane Society and the pet community.

Keep up the good work. Your generosity will always be appreciated.

Jim and Debbie Wilson

Long Barn

Backs Humane Society

To the editor:

When I adopted a pet from the Humane Society, I was given a coupon for a small bag of expensive Breeder's Choice dog food from Dusty's Den. I then started buying Breeder's Choice food there.

Had Breeder's Choice allowed redemption anywhere but Dusty's, I might have become a customer of another feed supplier instead. The Humane Society did the right thing in realizing this was unfair and acted accordingly. The shelter director explained this in his letter on Nov 24, but still the attacks on the nonprofit shelter continue.

Here are the facts: Shelter animals are not going hungry, however, Dusty's Den no longer has its coupon for 5 pounds of free Breeder's Choice food included in the pet adoption packet. That means no new customers referred by the Humane Society to Dusty's or Breeder's Choice.

Melanie Westheimer