Union Democrat staff

Exception taken

To the editor:

I respectfully object to your choice of USC professor Susan Estritch as a guest columnist, especially characterizing her as a "Democratic activist."

Her column in the Feb. 23 Union Democrat was harshly critical of President Obama's efforts to pass a health care reform bill. Estritch is a commentator for Fox News, a shill for the Republican Party, the same as MSNBC's commentary tilts to the left.

Describing her as a Fox News commentator-Democratic activist is an oxymoron. Labeling her a Democratic activist is as misleading as calling Colin Powell a "Republican activist," though many consider him a RINO (a Republican in Name Only).

I applaud you for featuring conservative Debra Saunders' column. She is an excellent writer and keen political observer who presents her views in a sophisticated and even-handed manner.

I suggest that you feature a true liberal columnist, such as Joe Klein or Cynthia Tucker, to represent Democratic activists - not a Fox news commentator.

You have featured Mark Shields as a liberal columnist, but his commentary is weak and ineffectual.

Robert Dorroh


Editor's note: Susan Estrich was the national campaign manager for Democratic presidential candidate Michael Dukakis in 1988. Estrich supported Hillary Clinton for president in 2008 and wrote a book supporting her candidacy.

Income boost

To the editor:

In response to the letter from Bill and Dorothy Machin, March 2.

You know not all persons have a trade? Some work at minimal jobs to support themselves or perhaps to add to an income from a spouse or perhaps a senior living on Social Security needs a little income boost.

And Wal-Mart does have some benefits.

I'm assuming you do shop locally in Groveland at the mom and pop stores? Or do you?

Dorothy Grundmeier


Climate change

To the editor:

In reply to Joan Kern's March 2 letter claiming "Climategate" and arguing that e-mails exposed last November have proven the skeptics correct and that climate-change claims are a hoax, I offer the following rebuttal.

In December 2009, the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming heard testimony from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Director Jane Lubchenco on the "State of Climate Science." The main points emphasized by Lubchenco over the flap of some e-mails and the so-called disparity of facts and opinions were that, yes, some scientists may have conducted themselves in a manner that was self-serving, even unscrupulous, but that scientists worldwide have overwhelmingly provided years of careful research and provided ample evidence to support the fact that climate change is being adversely affected beyond natural events that have always taken place on the planet.

She points out that it would be incredible to believe that the other scientific organizations worldwide, with their combined thousands of scientists, would conspire to distort the facts. How can one dispute the growing acidic oceans stretched beyond their abilities to absorb CO2? How can one not see the evidence of retreating glaciers and polar ice caps?

The letter writer makes the claim that temperatures have declined since 1998. Nothing could be more false. Again, the consensus from distinguished organizations besides NOAA show a rise in overall temperatures over the last century.

There is no evidence of federal, or even worldwide organizations, conspiring to hoodwink the world's population. The distortions are coming from the climate-change deniers, who jump at any opportunity to vilify the proven science.

Wayne Kirkbride

Twain Harte

Box town

To the editor:

I would like to comment on Bill and Dorothy Brodersons' Feb. 17 letter about the Wal-Mart Supercenter.

I agree wholeheartedly with everything they stated in that letter. I just wish people were more vocal about Lowe's coming up here.

The Sonora City Council gave it the green light (whereas Home Depot got declined) to get tax revenue and provide "jobs." Just as with Wal-Mart, I seriously doubt any tradesman, contractor or retailer will ever work for either Lowe's or Wal-Mart, as the common wage is minimum and typical living situations are rentals.

What the city has allowed is a center that will put more than one-third the like-minded home improvement/retail stores in this county out of business. Sales tax will balance out.

I hope Tuolumne County is ready to be another freeway box town. I guess there is a sucker born every minute.

Guy Perea

Twain Harte

Diligent work

To the editor:

After all the hype and arguments concerning the installation of a fourth water filter at the Angels Camp water treatment plant, the residents of the city can rest assured that some of the council members have worked diligently to resolve the problem by delving into the facts and figures which have caused the problem.

Mayor Jack Lynch, an engineering graduate of MIT, using his expertise and knowledge of water and wastewater operations in the past, with the help of newly elected Councilman Rick Downey, were able to keep the expense of a fourth water filter from being arbitrarily forced on us.

Carol Woolf and others who were supposed to be monitoring the water usage while trying to keep water rates from escalating were, as Councilman Turco said, "accepting garbage as fact." These operators had no regard or interest for the rate payers.

Council members Jack Boeding and Elaine Morris rejected the suggestion by Mayor Lynch that an auditor be hired to have the operations at the treatment facility inspected. Boeding and Morris also asked Mayor Lynch if his was a "no confidence" vote of the facility staff.

After this fiasco, I don't have any confidence in the staff members who accepted the faulty figures and convinced Mr. Joseph Spanos of the State Health Department to threaten the $1.5 million project and a $250-a-day-fine on the ratepayers.

In the past, many of the issues that were for the betterment of this city were met with a nay vote by the same council members. Angels Camp residents, take note of this at the next election.

Abe Perry


Flim-flam man

To the editor:

A sucker is born every minute, and flim-flam man Obama is doing a masterful job of maliciously exploiting those writers who are pleading for others to help them by supporting Obama Care.

We do need an overhaul of the health care system. As a cancer patient who depends on Medicare for my survival, I certainly have a vested interest in what the political proctologists in Washington are trying to do to us.

Obama Care is not about health care and helping those in need. It is about politics, power, and Obama's narcissistic needs. In his own words, it has gone from health care reform to health insurance reform to just pass anything I can call health care reform.

Read the bill. It is a cruel hoax. Much of it does not even become effective until 2018. You will pay now for services you will never receive. In the meantime, you will continue to pay for services for illegals while you get nothing.

As a health care provider with considerable knowledge of the system, I know that the only way to provide quality universal health care is to develop a new, ground-up, single-payer type system.

Duplicating the failed systems of the U.K. and Canada is not progress. Bottom line is that Obama Care will increase costs and reduce services. At best, it will only replace one dysfunctional system with a worse one. But, the real crime that Obama Care will commit against the American people is that it will slam the door on any hope for a viable, affordable, universal health care system in our and our children's lifetime.

Morris Gaede