Letters to the editor (4/20/12)

April 19, 2012 

By choosing to be positive, Dems counter conservatives

Last Saturday in Wasilla the Conservative Patriots Group had a rally and voiced their fears of gay rights, Sharia law, not enough drug testing and liberal enemies. They also support taking away women's reproductive rights, destroying unions, public funding for religious schools, more restrictive voter ID laws, trickle-down economics, less gun control, fighting an invasion of illegal immigrants and keeping a close eye on those pesky Girl Scouts.

At the same time, the Mat-Su Democrats were caucusing nearby on a platform that supports equality and opportunity for all Alaskans, women's rights, separation of church and state, the right of workers to organize, affordable health care for all, quality public education, a living wage, organized labor, individual rights over corporate rights, fair share taxation, sustainable economic growth through wise, responsible development and elimination of wasteful spending.

As Democrats, we choose to move forward positively with President Obama rather than live under a cloud of fear, hatred and misinformation. We invite other progressive-minded Alaskans to take a stand and join us.

-- Dan Heynen


Enriching big oil companies won't ensure Alaska benefits

Our governor and some of the legislators are determined to give billions of dollars that belong to the citizens of Alaska to the big oil companies that are now enjoying the most profits in the history of the oil industry. It certainly doesn't take a genius to see that he is looking out for the oil companies instead of Alaska. There are no guarantees that more oil will come through the line. If it did, the oil companies would reap the benefits. Not Alaska.

Besides, what's the rush to get the oil out? If we have a surplus of money, let's help our people in rural areas pay the exorbitant prices for oil to heat their homes. At least that would be caring for Alaskans.

-- Claude Maney


Assembly: Stay out of review

The Anchorage Assembly has lost all credibility while it dithers over the April 3 election. An outside review is needed to restore faith in our voting system.

There are only two questions to answer: What went wrong, and what changes, including personnel, need to be made?

The Assembly should stay out of it, allowing the reviewer to set or modify the scope of the review as he or she identifies problems. Otherwise, the Assembly will continue to be part of the problem, not the solution.

-- Alan Powers


Absolute stances have downsides

Richard Stengel, managing editor of Time magazine, wrote recently: "The idea of bipartisanship has become, well, quaint.

Some would say naïve." And so it is.

However, there is a real downside to absolute positions.

During much of our history, we humans were used to the illusions of absolutes, to which we could turn for spiritual and emotional security, even if they were false.

Alan Watts explains the downside: "Reasonable -- that is, human -- men will always be capable of compromise, but men who have dehumanized themselves by becoming the blind worshipers of an ideal (absolutes) are fanatics whose devotion to abstractions (illusions) makes them the enemies of life."

-- Eugene Reynolds,


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