Union Democrat staff

The last day to submit letters relating to the June 3 primary will be Wednesday, May 28.

Rhetoric won't

save water

To the Editor:

I have these comments on the remarks that Representative Tom McClintock made to Congress concerning the "pulse flows" that aid salmon migration. Regardless of his dislike for them, the restrictions on lawn watering has very little, if anything to do with the water used for pulse flows, except in his inflammatory rhetoric.

There never has been, nor will there ever be, enough water to irrigate every acre that could be profitably farmed. This is simply reality. We must also accept that, having dammed the rivers, we are responsible for managing water flows to maintain the natural systems that benefit people. Rep. McClintock's contempt for the value of salmon and for the people who care for them is notable. Rather than ranting about "credibility" and "moral authority," he should consider the ethics of trying to satisfy the insatiable greed of the Westlands Water District while advocating a disregard for the future of salmon runs that have blessed us for thousands of years.

Rep. McClintock asserts that without dams "there wouldn't be any fish." For millennia, salmon were thriving in free flowing rivers, but dams have caused declines in salmon populations throughout the West. Rep. McClintock has got it backwards.

Enough of his flimflam, we are not rubes at a carnival. Vote wisely in the June primary.

John Watson


Looking back on

the 'what ifs'

To the Editor:

I'm not one to look back and dwell on what ifs as doing so can cause loss of focus on today, however, asking what if may lead to better appreciation of today if done in the proper context. Considering the current turmoil, divisiveness, and abundance of complaining going on these days it's probably a good time to consider some what ifs.

What if the Declaration of Independence hadn't been adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776? What if Washington hadn't risked crossing the Delaware with very weary troops to attack and defeat the Hessians at Trenton? What if the Union Army hadn't defeated the Confederates at Gettysburg during the first three days of July 1863? What if the German Army defeated the Allies at Normandy on the 6th of June in 1944? What if Hitler's scientists beat ours in developing the atomic bomb? What if American intelligence hadn't broken Japanese codes which helped win the Battle of Midway thereby changing the course of the war in the Pacific?

A small sampling of pivotal dates indeed, but enough for we who have studied our history to realize how lucky we are to live as Americans. We appreciate and feel humbled by the sacrifice of those who came before us. We know if any aforementioned what if took place current reality could be very different, maybe unrecognizable.

Sadly there's too many ill-informed people permeating our country today who know little, if anything, about Normandy, Gettysburg, or Midway. They're clueless as to how close we've been to the edge and thus have little appreciation for living in the greatest country on earth. It's probably wishful thinking but maybe one day they will become enlightened by looking back at certain moments in history and asking, what if?

Mark J. Joyia