Union Democrat staff

Why commemorate Sept. 11 tragedy?

To the Editor,

On 9/11/01, about 3,000 civilians were killed.

The U.S. proved it had inadequate domestic military defense.

The airlines proved their cock pit doors were inadequate.

The New York fire department proved their radios were inadequate.

All intelligence agencies proved they were out to lunch.

Congressional intelligence committees proved they were out to lunch.

President Bush and Congress started planning two useless expensive wars.

The Federal Reserve Bank started releasing cheap money to jump start the economy and assisting in the largest financial bubble in the history of capitalism.

Homeland Security was created and now is considered overkill.

New York City has 5,000 police on a anti-terrorist detail it cannot afford.

Useless red and yellow alerts startled the population into useless anxiety.

9/11 is no day to commemorate or memorialize, the nightmare should be forgotten and used to kick start realistic military and intelligence rethinking "out-of-the box" and reassess what motivates men seeking revenge against our country.

Dennis Schneider

Angels Camp

Why anti-GOP cartoons?

To the Editor,

Question to the Union Democrat - I love humor as much as the next guy, and political humor is fair game.

My question is why does the U.D. put in their editorial 9 out of 10 times, insults of Romney, Tea Party and anti-conservative cartoons?

Are you that biased, is your Editor controlling what is published or are you just plain stupid and trying to decrease your subscription numbers?

If you check all of the surveys online, it shows that 55 percent to 60 percent of this area are conservative, but you still continue to follow your liberal agenda. I can understand if you do not publish this, but I can always make up hundreds of flyers and post them in key locations.

James Schlotthauer


Transportation suggestions

To the Editor,

This letter is in response to the article "High-speed rail challenges remain" in the July 11 Union Democrat.

If the California State Legislature is serious about passenger car services, I have the following suggestion:

Postpone the high-speed 60 mile stretch between Merced and Fresno where there is currently Amtrak service.

Connect Bakersfield to Los Angeles where there is currently no rail service.

To get from Sacramento to Los Angeles via Amtrak, one has to take rail to Bakersfield then transfer to a bus. This is obscene.

I question how many of my state's legislators who voted "Yes" on the bond have ever taken this trip. They should be made to do so and then vote again. This time to postpone Modesto-Fresno and give priority to the vital Bakersfield-Los Angeles link in California's long term bullet train plans.

Try traveling by passenger rail from Modesto to San Diego. It is truly a time-consuming obstacle course.

Bill Baum


Working wages for working families

To the Editor,

For many decades the Save Mart stores have been active members in our community.

Not only providing us with food and friendly, helpful staff, Save Mart could always be counted on to help countless school and community programs. Save Mart has also been a good employer for our children, paying workers decent wages sufficient to support a family. Now management is saying that in order to remain competitive with big box stores, they must reduce costs, including employee wages and benefits. This is in contrast to Wal-Mart where employees struggle to earn enough to provide for their families even while Wal-Mart earns record profits. This is especially bewildering since the total earnings of the six children of Wal-Mart's founder in one year is the same amount as the total income of the bottom one-third of American wage-earners in one year.

That seems outrageous to me and beyond my imagination.

Where are the trickle down benefits?

I respect those individuals who have achieved financial success, but this enormous disparity seems excessive to me. Why must Wal-Mart's profit margin be so great as to give these six individuals as much income as the combined income of the bottom third of American wage-earners while its employees struggle to support their families?

Workers deserve to earn a decent income sufficient to support a family. Furthermore, the wealthy should not pay a lower tax rate than the average worker. Being rich does not entitle a person to pay half the tax rate of middle class wage earners.

Ellen Beck