Letters to the editor for Nov. 11, 2011

Union Democrat staff

The Hope and

Change Party

To the Editor:

It seems like the protesters have it wrong and aren't blaming the right people. I hate just calling them protesters, I think they should get a specific agenda, so we have some kind of handle to pin on them, like the "Tea Party" has. Maybe we can call them, "Hope and Change," protesters.

They wanted and still do want some hope and change, but even with the Democrats controlling the White House and both branches of Congress for the first two years, it was business as usual, continuing the Bush policy with few exceptions. The Hope and Change promise became "Spend and Blame."

The protesters are blaming big business, banks, rich people, and everyone but themselves. If big business is breaking the law, throw them in jail. But the fact is that all the bailouts, loopholes, and the exceptions are things that were granted to them from the Government, and in return the elected officials are guaranteed a big enough war chest to make their re-election a sure thing. Also, big business is owned generally by the share holders, and that is the people, retirement funds etc. If the protesters really want hope and change, they should start by making term limits on congressmen, eliminate perks from Lobbyists, and tell Washington to stop spending more money than they bring in, a more business friendly environment so business can be profitable. And I don't mean Government jobs, even though many are necessary, like Police and Fire, they just require more tax money.

Big business is not your enemy, Washington is. Lets begin Hope and Change, by Changing the Powers that created this mess, then maybe we can have some Hope.

James Schlotthauer

Sonora

Government Funding

To the Editor:

Mr. Maxwell writes (Nov. 7) like an intelligent individual so it's hard to criticize him with his conclusion that "government" had nothing to do with the "creation" of computers etc. Sir, on the contrary. The sheer volume of documentation and explanations of the institutional role of government funding for basic research, public investment (government) in our wonderful universities and think tanks, military spending on the abilities of those results applied to war making etc., training of the thousands of engineers, chemists, metallurgists, mathematicians, theoretical physicists etc., and in addition, providing the incentives of pools of public monies to urge the "private sector" to invest in the "ideas" of the "futuristic" (in the beginning) without which we might not have nourished the rapid birth, growth and computer industry we have today.

Public monies played a huge role. Without "Fannie and Freddie" the housing market wouldn't have had the extraordinary expansion it has experienced with the subsequent spreading of homeownership to more Americans than any time in history. And, without F&F, banks, financial houses, wholesale and retail mortgage lenders wouldn't have had the ability to move huge investments in the housing markets off their books and onto a government guaranteed program. Our housing market would have been much, much smaller than it is. It's not the abuses by F&F that have given it such a bad name, but the management of those two entities over the past 10 years that have blackened their eyes. Just as the mismanagement of our largest banks and other financial systems, the destruction of regulatory "firewall" legislation like Glass/Steagall which was destroyed in 1999 led to our current deepening financial disaster.

Bert Canepa

Groveland

Columbia Elementary

School Scandal

To the Editor:

With the inevitable lawsuit filed against the Columbia Union School District over the school's sex scandal, the honorable thing for Superintendent John Pendley to do is resign, and for the school district's board of directors to be replaced. Their actions, or in-actions, have exposed the district to litigation that could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

School officials conducted a sham "in-house" investigation of the matter, hid records from the public, violated the public's trust, stonewalled The Union Democrat's investigation, then issued heavily censored and incomplete records to the newspaper.

John Pendley was instrumental in hiring his unqualified son, Brennan Pendley, and could have fired him. Instead, Brennan was given another job at another school. At John Pendley's request, Columbia School counselor Tina Cruz and teacher Pam Kubasek shifted the blame on Jane Doe in letters to the court in defense of Brennan Pendley. Teacher Daniel Doane did the same. Instead of firing or asking for the resignation of John Pendley, the board circled their wagons around him in a reckless effort at damage control. Directors manipulated its consent agenda to avoid public comment when they voted to lower district standards for after-school aides. An unsigned letter was issued to parents, spinning the facts to justify the board's and school officials' actions. Directors declined to answer public questions about this scandal at a board meeting. President Laura Phelan has been especially defiant. She publicly railed against the newspaper for maligning the district with false and misleading information and accused district watchdog Paul Girard of presenting "erroneous" information. Yet she didn't provide a shred of evidence to back her claims. Thanks Union Democrat for your diligent coverage.

Robert Dorroh

Sonora

11853337
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