Union Democrat staff

Where to begin?

To the Editor:

Where to begin in responding to Ms. Beck's letter.

It is not within the scope of Obama's Constitutional authority to: a) extend unemployment insurance, that is a State responsibility, b) "rebuilding the middle class" is a function of the private sector and an expanding economy, c) businesses are moving off shore due to excessive regulation and lower wages, not tax breaks, d) it was government regulations at Fannie/Freddie and bad loans escalating the housing market that led to economic collapse, not lack or regulation, e) Government doesn't "innovate" anything and had nothing to do with the creation of autos, phones, computers etc., those all were private enterprise. Finally, "wind and solar," humans have been using "wind" since the 7th century … so it is not "new" technology and solar doesn't work at night … never will.

CB Maxwell


Save wilderness;

not the cabins

To the Editor:

Once again the character and integrity of our wilderness areas are threatened. The Stanislaus National Forest is considering a plan to correct the illegal maintenance and occupation of the Yellowhammer Camp in the Emigrant Wilderness. Unfortunately pressure has begun to force the Forest Service to back down from its plan to correct the wrong and allow the cabins to naturally deteriorate.

The Yellowhammer Camp should fade away as directed by the people of the United States through the Wilderness Act of 1964. Forest Service and elected officials are entrusted to enforce wilderness regulations, and protect the wilderness character of the Emigrant Wilderness, by allowing these non-conforming structures, as defined by the Wilderness Act, to deteriorate. They should not play politics, but follow the law as they have been directed by the Federal District Court regarding the dams in the Emigrant Wilderness, also built by Leighton, and deemed not above the law and direction in the Wilderness Act. Clearly our public and elected officials should make better time of our taxpayers' dollars by educating themselves on the Wilderness Act, and therefore act consistent with the law that provides protection of these wild places we all love without regard to their own personal prejudices.

Anyone can educate themselves by going to www.Wilderness.net or take a class through Columbia Community College held at the beautiful Forest Service's Baker Station located on Highway 108. We owe it to future generations to save our Wilderness.

Marilyn Meyer


The reality of

climate change

To the Editor:

The recent letters in this paper regarding climate change with cherry-picked references would be humorous if it weren't so serious. I believe our National Academy of Sciences is the best reference on climate issues and this is what they say:

As stated by Sherwood Boehlert, former Republican congressman and chair of the House Committee on Science, in a 2010 Washington Post op ed, "… the prestigious and nonpartisan National Academy concluded that 'a strong body of evidence shows that climate change is occurring, is largely caused by human activities and poses significant risks for a broad range of human and natural systems.' Our Nation's most authoritative and respected scientific body couldn't make it any clearer or more conclusive."

If you went to 100 physicians about a health problem and 97 of them diagnosed a serious illness that you needed to deal with and the other three said that everything was OK, who would you believe? Well that is about the percentage of climate scientists around the world whose work and opinion supports the conclusions of the National Academy of Sciences.

This all reminds me of the 30 years it took U.S. society to widely accept that smoking causes lung cancer after compelling evidence was available in the early 1950s. It wasn't until the government required a cancer warning on cigarette packages in the 1980s that most smokers believed it rather than the disinformation from industry-sponsored research and various "experts" that confused the issue for way too long.

For people who need to believe a certain way there will always be minority opinions to give them comfort.

Thomas Beck