Union Democrat staff

Statesmen wanted

To the editor:

This is in response to Supervisor Liz Bass's March 1 letter, "Wal-Mart backer."

I am not writing this letter to oppose or endorse Wal-Mart. I am writing to remind Supervisor Bass that she was elected to be a public servant and a spokesperson for the people.

Upon reading her letter, I was disappointed on how she went on and on regarding her support of a particular business. I find her letter to be inappropriate for an elected official who is supposed to equally support and represent all county residents and businesses.

I would implore all the supervisors to be statesmen, not politicians. They are expected to be professional and impartial. We, the voters and taxpayers, are tired of politicians pushing their own opinions and ignoring their constituents.

I would like to clarify: I have no problem with Wal-Mart, just with a locally elected official endorsing it. In Supervisor Bass's letter, she closed with "I say let us agree to disagree, and move on."

I will end this letter by saying. "Let the people vote impartial statesmen into office and let the opinionated politicians move on."

Brice Canaday



To the editor:

If stupidity means repeating the same mistakes but expecting different results, Americans must like stupid. Our government, democratic in theory, dictates according to wealth. Laws average citizens must follow don't apply to all when elected officials work for corporate America and not the people.

A nation divided and ignorant, unwilling to question and willing to settle, feeds the greed without transparency in how America's checkbook is spent. Egregious public servants escape accountability. This contributes to how a homeless, uneducated, uninsured and unemployed populace thrives. More people watch TV reality shows instead of watching reality.

We allow working-poor taxes to save mega-wealthy Wall Street. Imagine if our taxes were given back to us to benefit our lives. One corporate hand-out would help nationwide. My paycheck bailed out Wall Street, and I didn't even get a stinking T-shirt.

Where were the Tea Parties? Not protesting Bush doling out taxes to Halliburton and friends for 8 years.

But put a pit bull with lipstick onstage, whose husband is a secessionist, and teacups boil. Demagogues are wolves in grandmother caps, so people vote against their better interest, robbed of trust in plain sight to reward corporate thieves. Pharmaceutical, insurance, corporate law and corrupt judges; foreign import, American export; credit card companies, the Federal Reserve, banks and the massive Military Industrial Complex - all who succeed off the backs of blood, sweat and tears.

Congress is exempt from most laws, members retire with full health insurance, don't pay into Social Security and receive annual cost-of-living raises. If they worked for minimum wage without benefits, would pursuit of happiness be a privilege.

M. Cristina Long


Jobs, not promises

To the editor:

Sorry I won't be able to attend the Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors' meeting on the proposed SPI subdivision in Standard. But perhaps one or more of the supervisors may read this in passing.

Anyone who thinks for one minute that SPI will break ground on even one lot of this proposed subdivision is completely out of touch. Just look at its record on real estate development. They sell pre-approved projects and, on a very rare occasion, will they actually develop a project to completion.

Don't take my word for it, have the company show you its track record. They lay off a few hundred local workers and you want to open up your arms so they can make some more cash on their way out of town.

Let's see just how serious they are. Require them to do what developers in Santa Cruz County have to do: deposit the funds for the low income part of the project in an interest bearing escrow account prior to final approval.

Now let them build any type of home they want without clustering some shacks in the back, and the county can spend the money in escrow on more viable low income projects or smaller individual re-hab projects.

Remember, you need a job to buy a house. Standard needs 400 homes like a fish needs a bicycle. Standard needs 400 jobs. Put the mill workers, the truck drivers, the timber fallers and all the other displaced local residents back to work and just maybe we'll someday need those 400 houses in Standard.

Ed Rodriguez


Elitist liberals

To the editor:

I tried to make it obvious that my letter of Feb. 16 was a parody, but apparently I failed. I'd like to clarify several points:

First, I have no idea if Trader Joe's is coming to Sonora or not. The basis of the letter was the realization that many of the people who so yearn for TJ's to come to Sonora are the same people who vehemently oppose the Wal-Mart expansion.

Personally, I've been driving my Toyota to TJ's since 1989. I've been shopping our local Wal-Mart since 1992. I like having a variety of shopping choices to take advantage of.

Second, the "yuk" remark was a satire of elitist liberals whom I've repeated heard make much less kind comments about the patrons of Wal-Mart. Personally, I like hanging out at Wal-Mart with my kind of people - regular working folks shopping on a tight budget.

Numerous replies to my letter seem to have made two things clear: People have strong preferences about where they shop, and they don't like having other people's tastes and values imposed on them - which was the intended point of my letter.

One final point: Retailing is a super competitive business: There's always the inconvenience of some idiot trying to undercut your prices and improve on your service. Just when you've finished scaling your efficiencies to build a nationwide chain (Safeway, K-Mart), some small town yokels (Wal-Mart) try to knock you off. Then the evolutionary process repeats itself (Winco, TJ's, Aldi's). There's no winning this game, unless you're a consumer.

Scot Turner