Union Democrat staff

Tragedy ahead for farmlands

To the Editor:

The desolation of Central Valley farmlands from San Luis Obispo to the U.S. Highway 5 corridor to CA J-59 (Merced) all the way into Tuolumne County is just the tip of the tragedy. I have seen some breathtaking desert landscapes, but what I witnessed recently was a dry, arid barely describes it, landscape. I saw the death of once fertile soil, thousands of thousands of acres which once provided a livelihood for thousands of families. A devastation caused by eco-zealots who placed smelt fish over the needs of the agricultural industry, leaving thousands of acres of "blighted areas." Yet, though we struggle through another year of (natural) drought, Mr. Brown is determined to suck water (we don't have) and pipe it to Southern California. The Bay Delta Conservation Plan is falsely named. The United Nations Agenda 21 is alive and thriving in California. Mission Accomplished! Phase I is ready for such enterprises as a bullet train we don't need or want, but it is the centerpiece of Governor Brown's legacy. Sustainable Communities is part of the next phase. The governor's budget proposes $100 million dollars3 to include:

Selected projects will prioritize disadvantaged communities and will reduce GHG emissions by increasing transit ridership, active transportation (walking/biking), affordable housing near transit stations, preservation of agricultural land, and local planning that promotes infill development and reduces the number of vehicle miles traveled.

What does that matter to us? In order to accomplish the goals for Sustainable Communities appointed committees will have the power to declare "blighted areas" suitable only for the development of Sustainable Communities. Eminent Domain is ugly enough, but creating "blight" for the purpose of claiming the land is downright treacherous!

While we continue trying to preserve our diminishing water, money markets keep trying to siphon it for non-essential needs.

Grace M. Alvarez

Twain Harte

American dream is not a guarantee

To the Editor:

Re: American dream no longer exists (Jan. 17, 2014)

Perhaps you are misunderstanding the "American dream?" Your letter has it meaning - a "guaranteed" full-time high paid job; acquisition of wealth; home ownership; health care, etc.

After affirming that all legitimate human rights are God-given, our Declaration declares that "among these [rights] are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." Since we need the freedom to pursue and apply those rights and if the dream really means anything it is simply - "the freedom to choose exactly how we will undertake anything we wish to do in this life, provided that in doing so we respect the rights of all others to do the same thing."

The dream is not limited to "material success" - nor does it mean "getting rich." It is the freedom to try to live as we ourselves choose to live in all dimensions of life: material, spiritual, vocational and educational. As long as we are law-abiding and we are as concerned with the welfare and happiness of others as our own, we have every right to live exactly as we please.

That is the dream - inspired by the Declaration, and protected by the Constitution.

The central premise of the dream is equal opportunity - not equal entitlements, guarantees or outcomes.

Positive early life choices dramatically enhance dream quest opportunities: finishing high school; full-time employment; getting married and staying married - but not before 21; no children outside of marriage; no abuse of alcohol and drugs. Getting married - staying married provides children the incredible leg up that only a home that includes a father can provide.

By the way, if the voting public continues to elect people that disregard the Constitution, do not believe in capitalism, etc. - kiss the dream goodbye.

Ray Anderson


Obamacare nightmare

To the Editor:

Remember back in 2010 when Republicans were warning the American people about the pitfalls of Obamacare? Republicans were telling us that we would lose our health insurance plans and would not be able to keep our doctors under Obamacare?" The news media and the Democrats accused the Republicans of being alarmists, liars and racists. Over 30 times Obama claimed that "If you like your health insurance plans and your doctors you could keep them." Obama lied and the Democrats who knew what Obama said was a lie said nothing. We have lost our health insurance policies and doctors. Shame on you Obama for lying to us.

Obamacare will be a nightmare for America. I did read quite a bit of Obamacare when it was on the Internet, my Congressman gave me the link. In Obamacare the HHS Secretary will be in control of healthcare and will appoint a panel of bureaucrats, not doctors, to determine who receives health care and who does not. Health care will be determined by your age. If you are a smoker, a heavy drinker or obese, you will be denied health care due to the fact that your health problems were caused by your unhealthy choices. Seniors will not be able to have knee or hip replacements, and pacemakers will be denied.

I could go on and on but I think I have made my point. I do not want government in control of my health care, and those who do, go to England and live under their health care system for a couple of years. England has a two-tiered healthcare system, a private one for the Royal family and the wealthy, and a public one for the masses. Who do you think receives the better healthcare? Germany also has a two tiered healthcare system.

I do not want to live in an Obamacare nightmare. I hope Obamacare will implode on itself.

Irene Zamzow