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Readers write: Letters to the editor, Aug. 20, 2014

Alaska Dispatch News
Chris Engelsma photo

Poetic crash landing

In honor of Bad Poetry Day (Monday) and National Aviation Day (Tuesday):

Alaska pilots are bush. 
They fly by the seat of their tush. 
But the weather gets crazy. 
And they surely aren’t lazy. 
So they walk when they’re in a real rush.

— Val Van Brocklin
Anchorage

Climate change coverage

Kudos to the ADN for keeping the issue of global warming front and center by reporting on both the scientific findings and on the disastrous effects in erratic and violent weather patterns worldwide and within our state in particular that climate change has brought. Today comes the report of scientists at the University of Innsbruck in Austria that quantifies human responsibility in the rate of warming — 25 percent. The warming of earth is a well-documented fact. Can we all at least agree that we are adding to the carbon in the atmosphere and the acidification of the oceans by the way we use energy?

Both those who urged us to vote yes and those who urged us to vote no advocate a “drill, baby, drill” mentality that will only add fuel to the fire. I voted for neither.

— Janet B. Jones
Anchorage

Reflecting on rights

As I was leaving my polling place this morning, having cast my ballot, I thanked the cheerful volunteers “woman-ing” the polls. Walking out to my car, I began to think of more and more things for which I felt grateful, particularly as a woman: that I can vote; that I can do so without anyone trying to dissuade me through violence; that I can own and drive a car; that I can have a job and keep my earnings in checking and savings accounts to which only I have access; that I can inherit property, own a home, decide whom I will marry — or even decide not to marry at all. The list could go on and on. Millions, perhaps billions of people long dead or living now never were or ever will be as privileged as I. 

Election Day was a good day for each of us to be thankful for our rights and freedoms as American citizens.

— Wendy Withrow
Anchorage

More money equals more speech; speak up, people

I hope we all learned at least one thing from this primary election — we need to get big money out of politics. About $15 million was spent on the oil tax referendum, almost all from the oil industry, and about $15 million was spent on the U.S. Senate race, most from major corporations or individuals who made their fortunes through the tax advantages provided by owning corporations. This wasn’t freedom of speech; it was freedom to propagandize. You don’t have a functional democracy when more money equals more speech.

We must address this bizarre, anti-democratic notion, espoused by the ex-corporate lawyers now sitting as judges across America, that our state and federal constitutions intended for artificial persons, such as corporations, unions, etc., can possess the same constitutional rights as individual human beings. Artificial persons are property; they are bought and sold. They are not people. People have a conscience and recognize their responsibility to each other and their communities. Corporations have one responsibility, to make a profit for their owners. People have rights; property should have whatever privileges people decide make sense. 

Please join We The People Alaska (www.wethepeoplealaska.org) in asking the candidates in your House and Senate districts to sign the Alaska Constitution Pledge. Let them know their position on this fundamental principle of democracy will weigh heavily on your voting decision in the November election.

— Gershon Cohen
We The People Alaska
Haines

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, email 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.