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Readers write: Letters to the editor, Aug. 1

Alaska Dispatch News
LETTERS: Readers sound off about Medicare, illegal immigrants, Sarah Palin, cartoons and Shannyn Moore. And, naturally, oil taxes.
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More cuts is last thing Medicare needs

This week marks the 49th anniversary of Medicare’s creation.

Medicare has enabled medical care for millions of Americans over 65 as well as disabled individuals. But allies of the corporate insurance industry — such as Rep. Paul Ryan, former vice-presidential candidate — want to eliminate this program and leave privatized medical care for future generations.

More privatization and more cuts are the last thing Medicare, or any part of our health care system, needs.

I want Rep. Don Young to know that the only real way to fix our national health care struggles is through a Medicare-for-all, single-payer system such as that proposed in Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., Expanded and Improved Medicare For All Act (H.R. 676).

A Medicare-for-all system would replace the private, for-profit insurance industry and ensure every one of the 50 million currently uninsured Americans have access to health care while dramatically cutting costs.

That’s something every lawmaker should agree with, even in this divided Congress.

— Warren Jones
Anchorage

It is the nature of nations to shift with changing cultural populations

Remember when Italians and the Irish and the Germans and the Swedes were not welcome in our country? Now it’s the so-many Hispanics — but are we wrong to not welcome them? As well as all the South-North Pacific Islanders Anchorage now embraces?

It is the nature of nations to shift and so we — “us Americans” — are changing. And that’s OK. In not so many years, if we haven’t expanded our cultural understanding to accept everyone, we’ll be behind.

— Steven Williams
Anchorage

Jesus likes law-abiders just as much

The snootiness of Elise Patkotak’s July 30 column, “Selective Christianity shuns children at the border,” raises a question:

Has it ever occurred to Ms. Patkotak that Jesus might also show compassion for hard-working American citizens who live with the reasonable expectation that their just and humane immigration laws will be respected and obeyed?

— August Cisar
Seward

Missing the editorial cartoons

Where are the political cartoons that should be on the ‘Opinion’ page? Those ‘toons’, that most any halfway decent newspaper in this country features, have been a part of this newspaper for the 60 plus years that I have read it. They can say a lot with just one image and a caption or two. We want them back.

— Tom Snyder
Anchorage

Christians do good works locally

Oh, Elise,  ADN, July 30 “Selective Christianity,” your hatred for Christians oozes out of every pore.  Christians support the Food Bank, the Blood Bank, Bean’s Cafe, Brother Francis Shelter,  Clare House, Habitat for Humanity, Samaritan’s Purse, St. Francis House, and the list goes on and on.

How about we let some of those illegal kids come unto you to feed clothe, house, and educate.  How many do you want?, oh, unless you have selective charity.

— Kathryn Centoni 
Anchorage

Palin needs to offer an incentive

Hey Sarah,

Throw in a few ShamWows and maybe we’ll talk.

— Martin Becker
Fairbanks

Keep bickering out of print

While the recent purchase of the Daily News by Alaska Dispatch has brought many great new additions, I am surprised by the quality of certain opinion pieces being published. If I wanted to see two people bicker back and forth, I would simply read the comment section of the ADN online. But no, this type of quality journalism is now available to read published alongside world news.

Whatever Moore and Medred have against each other — let them hash it out in private.

— Christi Meyn
Anchorage

Put Moore with the funnies

A lot of hoopla about Shannyn Moore’s insulting column on our governor. Some time ago I quit taking her opinions or so-called “facts” seriously. Shannyn Moore is a joke and her opinion pieces should be printed with the comics section of the ADN where they belong.

— Bob Lewis
Wasilla

Alaska spirit alive in Valley

I accidentally put diesel fuel into my motorcycle about a week or so ago at the fuel station. A nice gentleman not only informed me about what I had done, but stopped and helped drain my gas tank and made sure I was up and running. Now that’s real Alaska spirit alive and well in the Valley.

— Bruce Devore
Wasilla

Attack ad money is dirty

I was somewhat on the fence, so to speak, about the Yes or No vote on Ballot Measure 1. So I’ve been listening very closely to what is being said on both sides.

There have been some very convincing ads saying to vote NO on Ballot Measure 1, but then when they reel off the list of who had actually paid for these ads … it was: British Petroleum, ConocoPhillips, Exxon … I have decided to vote YES.

— L.L. Raymond
Homer

Vote no on 1

I’ve lived in Alaska for 21 years, working in construction and oil and gas for 16 years. It astonishes me how much the oil and gas industry supports the Alaskan economy and I am thankful we have such an industry. What amazes me, however, is how little Alaskans working outside the oil and gas sector realize this or understand the dynamics connecting dollars to other support services.

The cost to produce oil and gas in the Arctic environment is so great that companies have to make exceptional profits to even have a chance to fund future exploration. It is no wonder oil companies look to lower-cost markets such as North Dakota, Texas, Oklahoma and California. But we only read the big quarterly earnings they make and think they make too much, don’t we? 

After years of debate and study, the decision was made for oil tax reform; it was put in effect and it is now working. I have just witnessed the busiest construction season I have ever seen in 16 years. 

By repealing oil tax reform, Alaska would be taking two steps back. I am voting NO on Ballot Measure 1 on Aug. 19.

— David Chaput
Anchorage

Sullivan could use civics class

All through my school years we had elections for class officials. There was a course called Civics and it described and defined the ethics surrounding elections.

This morning I received a flier that was two sides full of the most disgusting diatribe against Mead Treadwell and in fine almost illegible print, approval of the message by Dan Sullivan. It violated every single thing I ever learned about fair elections. Well while I have been undecided about this particular race, I want to thank Mr. Sullivan for eliminating him from my voting choices.

Guess I’m old school.

— Pat Wendt
Soldotna

Give MAPA a fair chance

I will vote NO on Ballot Measure 1, for two reasons.

First, the new oil tax structure sure seems to be helping my business — new oil industry clients are putting us to work.

Second, even if there is any uncertainty, the new tax structure has only been in place for a few months — we need to give it a fair test.  “All we are saying, is give it a chance.”

— Stephen T. (Steve) Grabacki
President, FISHEYE Consulting
Anchorage

Don’t neglect right to vote

In 1968, I was a 20-year-old corporal serving with the U.S. Marines in Vietnam. Those readers who made the effort to learn history know that 1968 was a pivotal year in American history: Dr. King and Sen. Kennedy were assassinated; there were riots in the ghettos of major cities; the Democratic National Convention was a fiasco …

Being 20, I was not yet old enough to vote, as were many of my fellow Marines. Some of those young Marines were killed, never having had the chance to say whether they wanted to be there or not. Yet, they gave their lives so that today we can choose whether to vote. Or not vote. Personally, I vote for those guys. I do not know one combat veteran who does not vote. “For those who fought for it, freedom has a meaning the protected will never know.” 

Think about those who made the ultimate sacrifice when election day arrives. It is your one chance to register a complaint or support. Don’t vote? Don’t whine. At least, not to me.

— Joseph Culver
Anchorage

No need to ‘wait and see’

Ballot Measure 1, if approved by voters, would repeal SB 21, which is built on the idea of pumping more oil, not making Alaskans more money. Watch the ads a little closer — the actors are telling us to “give it time” and “wait and see.” It’s more like give the oil companies time to empty the wells at rock bottom prices, and see them take the money and run.

The oil companies keep saying they need “fiscal certainty” in order to stay in our state. The day any of us are promised fiscal certainty at the gas pump is the day we talk about fiscal certainty at the oil well. 

The multimillion-dollar ad campaign against Ballot Measure 1, funded solely by Exxon, BP and ConocoPhillips, is built on lies and deception. The truth is.

There won’t be more money in the Permanent Fund. Our PFDs will be much smaller under the new regime. SB 21 got rid of the windfall profit tax. When the price of oil is high, the oil companies get the windfall and we get a pittance. 

There won’t be more state revenue. The state’s own analysis says we would’ve lost over $8 billion in the last 7 years if SB 21 had been in place.

There won’t be more jobs for Alaskans. Over 50 percent of the workers on the Slope are Outsiders. They don’t buy homes or pay property taxes in Alaska. Alaska Hire is a broken promise.

I’m voting YES on Ballot Measure 1.

— Patrice Parker
Anchorage

The views expressed here are the writers' own and are not necessarily endorsed by Alaska Dispatch News, which welcomes a broad range of viewpoints. To submit a letter for consideration, e-mail letters@adn.com, or click here to submit via any web browser. Submitting a letter constitutes granting permission for it to be edited for clarity, accuracy and brevity.