Union Democrat staff

Cats should not

be abandoned

To the Editor:

I take exception to one of the concepts in the article about abandoned cats in the April 11 paper. Like most people, I don't like to see any animal mistreated. People who abandon animals are not civilized or compassionate. Stray animals should be picked up, spayed or neutered, and put up for adoption, but not turned loose to fend for themselves. Any organization that does that should be condemned.

Any cat that is allowed to run loose can, and many do, prey on wild birds. I have seen birds, with most of their feathers torn off, and tortured to death by a house cat. I hate to admit, it was our cat. A recent article by the National Audubon Society tells of the devastating effect free roaming cats have on bird populations. In most areas dogs must be on leash, and not allowed to run loose, when off of their owner's property. I think that should apply to cats also - if you have a house cat, keep it in the house! Or, at least on your own property.

There are several cats running loose in our neighborhood, often roaming on our property, which are being fed by some of our neighbors. We love birds, and don't want to see them hunted and killed by cats! And, we don't want to have to trap them and take them to the pound!

Jerry Fueslein


U.S. not established as Christian nation

To the Editor:

Robert Dorroh's excellent letter of April 17 sets out the historical facts that demonstrate that the United States was not established as a Christian nation. I would just add that another provision of the Constitution is further proof. Article VI states that: "No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States."

This provision is highly significant, since it was a complete break with the past. Thus, Great Britain, for example, had a religious test for office that made it impossible for Roman Catholics or others who did not conform to the state religion to hold public office. The ban on religious tests and the First Amendment's prohibition of any law respecting the establishment of religion were unprecedented and reflect the Founding Fathers' intent to avoid the entanglement of state and religion that had long embroiled Europe in civil strife, war, and suffering.

Steve Ralston

Mi-Wuk Village

In support of

Merita Callaway

To the Editor:

I became acquainted with Supervisor Merita Callaway when she was appointed to the Board of Directors Joint Powers Authority to the Area Agency on Aging.

She has been dedicated to the agency and the seniors that it represents. These were not always good times. However, she was always there to support and advice. She comes to the monthly meetings well-informed on the issues to be discussed.

If there is discussion on new services to be implemented, her first question is when will this be offered to Calaveras County?

I do not live in Calaveras County. However, I do support Supervisor Callaway.

Marge Warner


Wal-Mart threatens decent-paying jobs

To the Editor:

The recent retort by Ray Anderson concerning two other letter writers is warming up. Sounds like a nerve was struck with Anderson comparing their views with the actions of a pigeon. First, let us all agree that no converts to opposite political or social agendas are going to happen. What these writers (and me included) believe, they believe passionately; no quarter given. If these barbs seem familiar, one has only to look at our dysfunctional Congress, where few are willing to work out compromises to achieve results and insults and hubris abound. Facts are the first victims. One's views of the social, economic, and political landscape cannot be ascribed as either "right" or "wrong." One can not ridicule the other guy's view without holding up for scrutiny his own.

That said, I take sides with those in this county or across the nation that see Wal-Mart expansions as a threat to decent paying jobs competing against low wages paid by Wal-Mart. Anderson seems to believe the so-called 15 percent grocery savings comes out of Wal-Mart's better business acumen when it is a fact that Wal-Mart pays wages that keep a low wage earner in or next to the poverty line. Wouldn't it be better for society to have citizens earning living wages that would enable them to choose where they spend their money and perhaps not depend on food stamps or other social programs? If Safeway, Save-Mart and others are trying to stay competitive and still provide decent wages, it only takes a behemoth chain store undercutting costs at the expense of wages to bring down wages collectively to stay in business. It is a race to the bottom, with the Walton family content with making a few billion more.

Wayne Kirkbride

Twain Harte