Union Democrat staff

Right to know

To the editor:

I would like to respond to Marcia Watts and her Dec. 22 letter regarding your front page coverage on Peter Linhart, "Sadness and Regret." Let me get a clear picture here: She is sad and regretful that the newspaper would print a story about a man who molested a family member on more than one occasion, and she thinks it "only affected a few people?" She doesn't think that this is news that "affects" or "is of interest to the majority of readers?"

You, Ms. Watts are badly mistaken. What Mr. Linhart did is a crime. It is a crime that will stay with that child and her family for the rest of their lives. It is a crime that the public does indeed have a right to know about. It is a concern for every parent and child that Mr. Linhart may have been in contact with in the past and certainly in the future.

His crime making front page news is not "provocative reading." It is absolutely "need-to-know" news. It is news that every parent and child should be aware of in a community where Mr. Linhart may return to in three years.

It saddens me that someone could be so naive as to put her personal relationship with an admitted sex offender over the welfare of the victim and the community.

Lori Carver, former Sonora resident

Tampa, Fla.

Glass house

To the editor:

There's an old saying, "People that live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones."

Mr. Obama chided Afghanistan leaders about their "government riddled with corruption," stating that the American people have sacrificed far too much to allow this to continue. It's interesting that Mr. Obama can recognize this, yet supports and even encourages the corruption in his own administration and Congress.

The Democrats have just demonstrated one of the largest forms of corruption by cutting back-door deals or, as Harry Reid puts it, "compromises" in order to pass their universal health care plan. This plan will cost the American people far too much, ruin one of the greatest health care systems in the world, and place an extremely large burden on our elderly. What's worse is that this bill still excludes millions of Americans from coverage.

People opposed to this bill are not against health care reform - far from it. But we want to see responsible reform that benefits all Americans.

The polls now show that 61 percent of the American people are against this bill. Deals like those enjoyed by Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska (who gained massive benefits for his state, including a commitment for the federal government to pick up the full tab for Medicaid expansion) and Sen. Christopher Dodd of Connecticut (who is facing a difficult 2010 re-election and won $100 million for construction), along with Reid and Pelosi's deals reek of corruption and back-door Chicago politics at taxpayers'expense. So Mr. Obama, before you pick up the next stone to throw, try chucking it your own way.

The American people deserve better.

Barb Birks


Brilliant strategies

To the editor:

Yup, I'm a liberal. And while I wish I could witness a skilled progressive president make mincemeat of the right-wing corporate sellouts who occupy almost all of the Republican and too much of the Democratic legislature. I know better.

It may be wishful thinking, but I think I see a far greater strategy being employed by Obama than simply compromising away all the lofty and progressive goals to which my ilk aspires. I'm still thinking that Obama is a true visionary progressive who is embarked on a path to make sweeping change - much more dramatic than this feeble first step in health care reform we are witnessing.

One year ago this man stepped into the office and inherited an economy plunging toward a second Republican great depression, two wars, an impending climate catastrophe and a broken health care system. And on every front he continues to implement brilliant strategies. And, many times, the best strategy requires dancing with/befriending enemies to waltz them in a more positive direction. The more powerful those enemies (read financial giants, Iranian dictators, Christian right wing extremists etc.), the harder it is for many to watch as he shows them appropriate measures of respect and decorum.

His willingness to draw fire from his base and seem to give too much ground to the enemy will likely lead to long-term wins for those who attack him for seeming to "sell out."

Patience. if you have it, you can't lose it. If you don't have it, you die.

Bob Wetzel