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Letters to the editor (5/26/12)

Writer 'refudiates' swiften is not a word in dictionary

I too questioned the use of "swiften" in Sunday's article on the GOP. I must, however, "refudiate" (thank you, Sarah Palin!) the claim that the ADN coined a new word. Merriam-Webster's online Premium Unabridged Dictionary lists "swiften" as an intransitive verb. I hope this helps ease Erin Meade's "appallation" a bit!

-- Margaret Phillips

Anchorage

Happiness pursuit tied to recognition of full potential

Congratulations to the 1,500 participants in the 30th anniversary Golden Nugget Triathlon. 2012 also marks the 40-year anniversary of the Title IX legislation guaranteeing equal opportunity for girls in sports.

Studies show girls who play sports are more likely to complete college and avoid drugs or become pregnant.

Playing sports doesn't makes one girl better than another but being able to pursue one's passion and experience the payoffs of hard work build character and self-confidence, which in turn lead to greater success.

In other words, a relationship exists, among all people, between the uninhibited pursuit of happiness and the recognition of one's full potential.

If this is the case, what message are we sending boys and girls, who happen to be gay, when our state's constitution specifically denies them equal opportunity in life? What damaging effects does it have on their self-confidence when over 50 percent of the Anchorage voters don't recognize the gay community's struggle against discrimination? My comments are not a condemnation of anyone's beliefs but simply a plea to broaden perspective.

-- Asher Harley

Anchorage

Citizens must care about well-managed elections

The botched election involves more than a shortage of ballots. Many people tell how they were turned away from the polls.

Additionally, there has been a problem with the security of the AccuVote machines. Other jurisdictions found them unreliable and stopped using them.

Australia refused to use them. The people who have asked for the hand recount have put up their own money. These people care about election integrity. Being able to vote with the assurance that your vote counts plays the most important role in our democracy.

All citizens must care about their constitutional rights, not just give lip service.

If one fails to protect their rights, they will lose their rights.

"I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power." (Thomas Jefferson)

-- Barbara Gazaway

Anchorage