Letters to the editor (7/10/12)

Police our shield from danger

They stand between us and the harsh reality of crime on the streets that most people rarely experience. Anchorage police officers and Alaska State Troopers see it and live with it daily because it's their job. We pay them to protect us.

Until you are faced with life-threatening danger, and a law enforcement officer stands between you and that danger, don't pretend to know what they should, or shouldn't do to protect you from harm or death.

-- Bob Lewis


Laws apply equally to church

While a practicing Catholic, I disagree with Mary Ann Green that the Affordable Care Act forces the Catholic Church to support "choices" it "does not believe" appropriate (Letters, June 30).

Whenever any church acts in the secular world, it must obey the same civil (and criminal rules) as everyone else.

If conduct merits moral disapproval, the answer is to change the conduct and make better Catholics through evangelization, not whine about the law.

My bet is that church employees already include persons who are divorced, use contraceptives or are in personal relationships that, while legal, the church deems inappropriate. Paychecks certainly support these "choices" without the church seeking to generate political controversy.

-- Marc June


Supreme Court ruling opens up a wide range of taxing options

Although Congress may not compel us to buy broccoli, it may tax us if we don't -- at least according to the Supreme Court's holding on the individual mandate to buy health insurance contained in "Obamacare." Congress now has the power to tax any definable subgroup. The possibilities are many, and they are all bad.

Take that pesky Second Amendment. Congress can simply tax your guns at $1,000 per. You would have to list them all on your tax return (recall they nailed Al Capone on tax evasion alone) and you could not bring suit against the tax until you had paid it.

Need troops for another "kinetic military action?" Tax civilians. Tax radio talk show hosts. On the flip side, tax union members and Democrats.

You cannot -- as the court has tried to do -- slap two pieces of bread on a penalty and call it a tax sandwich. It is what it is -- unconstitutional as a penalty and dangerous as a tax.

-- Pam Siegfried


Old health-care ways failed us

If you listen to the likes of Paul Jenkins, John Boehner, and our own governor, the decision by the SCOTUS on Obamacare was all bad. They all want to repeal the entire law and regress backward to a completely market-driven health care system that we have had at least 75 years to prove doesn't work.

The antiquated way they want to go back to rations millions of people to be without care, bankrupts thousands, would continue to have corporate insurance bureaucrats denying claims, dropping people when they get sick and boosting corporate profits and CEO salaries at the expense of everyone's health. Insurance companies don't care about our health.

Obamacare is a long way from perfect, but lets fix it and make it better so that it works for everyone. Repealing it is not in the best interests of the nation's physical and economic health. Change is hard, but holding on to what has failed us out of fear and narrow-mindedness is worse.

-- Paul Jackson


Some other rights to consider

Under the battle-cry of protecting their religious rights and liberties, the Catholic bishops and their allies are up in arms against the Obama administration's policy on contraceptive coverage. These religiously-affiliated hospitals, charities and universities in question are major institutions in the public arena which accept taxpayer dollars from the government, serve the public and hire from the public. (Note that we are not talking individual houses of worship here who are allowed -- and should be allowed -- to impose their religious beliefs on their (hopefully) voluntary membership.)

So, I ask, what about the religious rights and liberties of the patients, clients, students and employees of these religiously-affiliated hospitals, charities and universities?

-- William M. Cox