Union Democrat staff

County needs to protect its water

To the Editor:

"Water is for fighting, whiskey is for drinking." Regarding the article in The Union Democrat on the Tuolumne County water plan, Supervisors Rodefer and Hanvelt are complimented for their position on the water plan. Future generations will count on our retained water rights, man's most critical resource. Energy storage and capturing flood runoff with several more dams will provide irrigation of our chaparral foothills and store water through droughts. More dams will promote economic growth. We must grow faster than our debt to survive.

Let us not give away our clean water rights to a multitude of agencies diluting our authority. Environmental terrorists will rob our water for bait and flushing of the bay sewer. Half a million cubic feet of water per second is now wasted under the Golden Gate each winter. Man's needs must be first!

Oliver H. Maxwell


Vietnam veteran is proud of Obama

To the Editor:

I was drafted and spent '68-'69 in Vietnam, Tet Offensive, etc. and my reply to "Praying for a broken nation": America is being sabotaged by the rotten little chicken hawk cowards like Rush Limbaugh, George Will, John Doolittle, Ronald Reagan, Sylvester Stallone, George Bush, Dick Cheney, Grover Norquist, etc.

I am proud of our president. In the name of smaller government and reduced spending the Tea Party conservatives are cutting veterans' programs and benefits while a "bleeding heart" liberal will feel guilty for sending people off to war and will spend everything needed to help vets!

Jim Smith


Health care has always been flawed

To the Editor:

I just finished reading a book written by local author, Shelly Muniz, "Eagle Feathers and Angel Wings, Micah's Story," a heartbreaking and terrifying story about the theft of a young boy's life by leukemia and our broken health care system, run by those in the insurance industry, who would deny a mortally ill 13-year-old boy, eager to live, the chance at a life saving, doctor prescribed medical procedure, because it wasn't profitable for them. It's brutal reading about his innocence and hope, dashed by bureaucratic foot dragging and the final denial of coverage, all of which robbed him of precious time, and hastened his demise.

I sobbed, reading of his last moments, written by his mother. Her soul splitting cry is my own; it is every mother's dreaded fear, the loss of a child. We pray, like the ancient Jews of biblical times that the angel of death will pass over our doorstep. We paint the gates of our lives with the blood, sweat, and tears of our responsibly lived lives, with the good we have done, and hope in that quid-pro-quo entreaty of god, that our child will be spared. What then, when it is our child who sickens? What solace can be found when we know there is no mercy from the insurance companies who can, like gods, determine whether our children will live or die? This has been the reality faced by countless families, who like the Muniz/Chase family, lost a child or other family member and their home, too. As flawed as Obamacare may be, let's not forget how broken our healthcare system has been before Obama took a run at it, and the real human cost of that failure.

Meryl Soto