Union Democrat staff

History on Republicans' side

To the Editor,

Jim Hassay's Oct. 17 letters tell the "Republican Fascists to get their facts straight," and that "right wing activists are the problem." Eagles can't fly with only left wings! One rarely hears Liberals described according to their proclivities as Communists (who are historically the only ones to use the term Fascists).

The absurdity of blind allegiance to beliefs formed by mass propagation becomes apparent when these beliefs are exposed to the light of reasoning and history!

Republicans this year have been charged with a "war on women;" and yet, the liberals have had a war against babies for 40 years with 60 million not seeing the light of day, and yet, those born have laws against harming them!

The Democratic Party "championing" blacks is another myth! Study the "Compromise of 1877" when the Democrats gave Republicans the Presidency in exchange for the Federal Troops removed from the Southern states; and then proceeded to remove Blacks and Republicans from elected offices and instituted economic slavery for another hundred years; denying blacks the benefit of scores of bills passed by Washington.

Third, this is the party that removed the Ten Commandments, prayer and any vestige of Christianity from public schools and venues in the past 50 years. Half of the delegates at the DNC wanted to remove God from the Democratic Platform. The first two things that are taken from any captive nation are their guns and their god, the Democrats are also working hard on guns.

There is truth in the world, but people would rather believe the lies.

Veritas, a quocunque dicitur, a Deo est. "Truth, by whomsoever pronounced, is from God."

Barry F. Wilson


Paul Ryan

and Ayn Rand

To the Editor,

In their debate both Biden and Ryan claimed they are guided by their Catholic faith. But Paul Ryan instructs his staffers to study Ayn Rand, who to him embodies the essence of Republicanism today.

Google Ayn Rand and you are in for a revelation! The philosophy she called "objectivism," parallels that of Friedrich Nietzsche: some individuals are by nature so superior that they should not be constrained by the rules governing ordinary folk. Her books, which glorify railroad and steel magnates, reveal the origins of the newly deified "job creators," as well as the despised ordinary workers. Her common folk, consistently portrayed as plebeian parasites, bring to mind Romney's 47 percent.

Rand, avowed Atheist, gives both atheists and objective thinking a bad name. She embodies the antithesis of the teachings of a Jesus dedicated to the sick and poor, or to the many Catholic priests and nuns devoted to the service of others. No eye of a needle should limit the power or wealth for Rand's superhuman heroes, her Ubermenenschen. She expressly opposed charity and compassion and equated Jesus with communism.

Seen in this light, "Let them die!" seems not just an aberration of crazed Republicans in a Tea Party style Romney rally, but the putrid core of a philosophy infecting the Republican Party.

No decent Catholic could embrace Rand's views. Nor would any normal Protestant, Jew, Muslim, or Atheist buy into such perverse thinking, or such a malevolent world view.

Yet this is the self-proclaimed core philosophy of a vice-presidential candidate, considered by his party as its "intellectual" leader. Paul Ryan was selected by Governor Romney, not just as a running mate, but as a potential President of the United States.

Paolo Maffei


Republican economies

To the Editor,

In the parallel universe of Republicans, the overarching problem - other than abortion, gays and the supposed loss of our religious freedom - is the Federal debt. The stimulus failed! Forget the auto industry. Keynesian economics is discredited!

When his new, untried theory became the New Deal, Keynes, understandably, thought, "I hope this works." Worried, FDR pulled back spending. Unemployment promptly resurged. The stimulus program was resumed. The Tuolumne County Veterans Hall, Columbia Airport and the road into Yosemite were all CCC projects of that deficit spending era.

Mainstream economists know the time to address the deficits is during prosperity. In recession, government must help, by spending. Remember! Clinton generated a surplus! Republicans pursued two wars on the credit card, reduced taxes to the wealthy and gifted Part D as welfare to the drug companies.

Republicans claim World War II saved the economy. Economists point out that if Hitler had never existed and the U.S. had simply built stuff and dumped it in the ocean, that too could have stimulated the economy. Today, we should be fixing deteriorated roads and failing bridges. Republicans invariably favor war as economic stimulus - and populist politics. They fervently oppose rebuilding the U.S. infrastructure.

After World War II, government spending and the GI Bill transitioned the country to an economic Golden Age. Unionized, well-paid workers bought the cornucopia of new goods. Mortgage rates were reasonable, inflation manageable. Other than the McCarthy madness, Republicans governed with Democrats as adults, while Fed Chairman Martin managed the money responsibly.

Today's Tea Party Republicans bear little resemblance to Republicans of that era. Now, Paul Ryan, "intellectual" leader of the GOP, follows the philosophy of Ayn Rand: The wealthy are "job creators." The rest of us are the 47 percent, the worthless masses, moochers "who don't pay taxes."

Gilbert Hofacker


A plea for civility

To the Editor,

The race for Tuolumne Utilities District board has taken on an "us" vs. "them" mentality that serves no other purpose than to divide our community.

If there ever was a resource that serves the collective interest it is water. One of the aspects I've most loved about Tuolumne County has been the belief that "small town civility" was still alive in our community.

Unfortunately, as in many campaigns, the loudest voices are not always the most reasonable or civil. I encourage all voters to weigh the board candidates on the issues.

There is more than one issue in this race. Water supply for TUD is a problem. Any candidate that tells you otherwise is either misinformed or committing a gross oversimplification of the facts. Meeting state and federal regulations, while maintaining infrastructure that is up to 150-years-old is a problem. I'm not sure how rolling back rates and cutting staff addresses that challenge.

You may think your water bill is too high and that is fine; however, don't confuse the amount of your last bill with the true monthly cost of water service. TUD bills water and sewer together and they bill every two months. So at a minimum, your monthly water bill is half the amount listed on your last statement. This may seem obvious, but it is a common misconception.

So when you see a paid political ad begin with, "Do you feel like you are being waterboarded by your waterboard" please ask yourself if that is the type of candidate you want representing you. Civility is the first step toward effective and meaningful public discourse.

Art Hewitt


Ringen for TUD

To the Editor,

Wow! It sure is coming down to Election Day.

My first comments are to Mr. Retherford: In your campaign to install your puppets to the Tuolumne Utilities District Board of Directors, you vocalize that the current board doesn't deserve to be re-elected.

Who are you to make this judgment call when you haven't taken the time to see how much has been achieved since you resigned?

And "thank you" for doing so.

Ron Ringen has been present on repair jobs, taken pictures of failing systems, and documented facts on the improvements needed for future water needs. Mr. Retherford's actions remind me of a child throwing a temper tantrum and casting aspersions elsewhere to make himself look good. It's not working. It's public knowledge while as director, Retherford voted for issues that helped cause the problems T.U.D. is faced with now.

My second comment is to McHugh: T.U.D. can't keep patching worn out water lines. You've seen the poor condition of water lines in Brentwood, yet you call it a "quaint" water system. Someday you might wake up and realize you really don't want the water you drink to be coming out of these pipes.

Frankly, I'm tired of all of us customers throwing good money after bad. We deserve better.

To close, I need to comment on the actions of Kent Johnson and Michael Sarno at the Tuolumne County Business Council forum last week where T.U.D. candidates introduced themselves and presented what they will bring to the directors position.

The verbal rudeness and confrontation to other candidates by these two is totally unacceptable.

Those actions alone should eliminate them from consideration for any elected position. I have confidence Tuolumne County voters are smart enough to read between the lines. The fastest and loudest speakers are not always the correct choice.

Gail Ringen


Voters should

take note

To the Editor,

Voters wanting to be informed about the upcoming presidential election can certainly benefit from Joseph E. Stiglitz's new book: The Price of Inequality: How Today's Divided Society Endangers our Future.

A Nobel Prize winner in economics, Stiglitz addresses our current plight by analyzing its causes and consequences. Reinforced by his outstanding background and supported by extensive research, he explains how and why this situation has come to be. Moreover, he also provides thorough and specific plans for resolving our problems, and turning them into a much more promising future for us all.

The essence of Stiglitz's work is based on the fact that 1 percent of the population controls 40 percent of the nation's wealth, but - despite some rare exceptions - these oligarchs (let's call them) either fail to understand or recognize that truly successful societies depend, for their "greatness," how the other 99 percent live.

He points out that economics and politics are necessarily bound together, and how that relationship has led us to become the most unequal advanced industrial nation on the planet; but he also illustrates how the 1 percent has not led us to this condition without enormous support from our elected representatives and the American public - both voters and, of course, those "citizens" who fail to vote.

We know by now that money has corrupted our system, and that the only way to change that fact is by being informed, and therefore voting accordingly.

The information and insights that Stiglitz presents ought to help us realize that this election has the potential to be perhaps the most significant in our history, and that we have an extraordinary opportunity to help create a truly democratic republic - one that we can believe and take pride in; rather than simply take for granted as being "exceptional."

David Fristad

Crystal Falls

Vote for Measure H

To the Editor,

Please support Summerville High School by voting Yes on Measure H.

It will increase student access to technology; make health and safety improvements; modernize outdated facilities and systems. It will not increase the tax rate property owners

Linda DuTemple


Support Measure H

To the Editor,

We normally don't support higher taxes and bond measures, but Measure H deserves our support and yours too. Not only does it make sense for our students, but it makes sense for us, the taxpayers. Measure H will not increase the tax rate that voters are currently paying. We feel it will be properly managed with the community oversight committee and will be of great benefit to our students, which in turn benefits our community, now and in the future. Even if you don't have children in high school, Measure H is a benefit to our community and future generations of Summerville students and citizens.

Please vote yes on Measure H.

John Feriani