Union Democrat staff

Occupy Wall Street

To the Editor,

Re: Occupy Wall Street Being one of the few remaining "Occupiers" of Sonora that the reader might have observed on Saturday mornings at Courthouse Square, I have been often asked, "What are you all about?"

Since we have no formal creed, and none of us has been authorized to speak for the rest, I would like to offer the following quotation as a succinct explanation of the gist of our various notions. It appears on page 261 of E.J. Dionne Jr.'s new book, "Our divided political heart."

"Populist anger against Wall Street, whether in 1935 or 2011, arose not from envy or jealousy but from a belief in the public obligations imposed by a republican conception of citizenship. Sometimes in inchoate ways and sometimes explicitly, the Occupy Wall Street protesters were speaking from this grand republican tradition. ...the Jeffersonian, Jacksonian, and Populist arguments for greater economic equality rest, finally, on republican ideas: that citizens in a free republic need a degree of economic security, independence, and self-sufficiency to carry out their civic duties and to participate fully in self-government. Plutocracy is antithetical to both democracy and republicanism. Our Founders were sensitive to this in a way that recent Supreme Court decisions were not."

If you agree with the above, you might consider joining us once-in-awhile on Saturday mornings, for smiles, laughter, and often stimulating conversation.

David Fristad


Suggestions on political change

To the Editor,

Assuming that the current political climate and campaigns are undermining the health of American society, the following proposals are hereby submitted:

1. Campaigns shall be publicly funded. Donations shall go into a Public Campaign Fund.

2. Nominees shall be selected in a political convention held the week before Labor Day. Primary campaigns shall be abolished.

3. Potential candidates for the Presidency shall present no more than five position papers of not less than 3000 words no more than 4000 the week before the convention.

4. After Labor Day and before the November election the candidates shall participate in four public debates. Each debate shall focus on only one topic.

5. The Electoral College shall be abolished and the winner of the election shall be determined by direct popular vote.

6. The newly elected President shall serve for only one term of six years duration; US Senators shall serve for a maximum of three terms and members of the House of Representatives for a maximum of six terms; Supreme Court Justices shall serve a maximum of eighteen years.

Daniel Connell


Colo. shooting and 2nd Amendment

To the Editor,

With regards to the recent Aurora shooting: Theaters can enhance their security by installing silent alarms on the screening rooms' outside exits that feed back to a monitored panel. Especially during showings when employees are unlikely to be performing duties that include passing through those doors such an alarm could quickly alert theater security personnel and could even be transmitted to local law enforcement. And this wouldn't in my humble opinion interfere one iota with viewers' experience.

Under certain situations, a medical provider is required to notify the Department of Motor Vehicles that a patient needs to have their driving privilege temporarily or permanently suspended.

Psychiatrists should also be required to notify the Department of Justice/Federal Bureau of Investigation, etc., about patients showing likely homicidal or suicidal intentions, that they would be excluded from lawful firearm purchases until cleared.

Sure, this breaches patient-doctor confidentiality but the empirical evidence is mounting that in the interest of greater public safety such change is warranted. This precaution wouldn't impact law abiders at-large one iota in my humble opinion.

I know I'm not alone in seeing the above as common-sense solutions to real problems. Instead of blindly slashing away at our Second Amendment right, let's be honest and address those real problems.

Karl Merrill