Letters to the Editor

Readers write: Letters to the editor, December 6, 2016

US voters should look to the past to prepare for the future

Those voting for President-elect Donald Trump forgot to compare his ideas for America with what took place during earlier administrations. Many of the voters weren't old enough to remember the Cuban Missile Crisis during the Kennedy era. Those old enough to remember that crisis also remember the building of shelters to protect them from radiation.

Though the U.S. economy seems to be gaining steam, these voters have forgotten or don't remember the high inflation and interest rates of the Carter Administration period — a period when money market certificates were paying the hefty interest rates of 20 percent or higher. The Trump Administration is also beginning to look like Carter's Administration by those to be nominated to fill cabinet and advisory positions; novices in the field these nominees are expected to direct.

There are those in the banking industry claiming Donald Trump's Administration has parallels to those of the Ronald Reagan's Administration — huge tax cuts for industry and the well-to-do and huge spending on the military and military industries with the idea that increased activities would also benefit the everyday American: trickle-down economics. Reagan's trickle-down economics did nothing more than enrich the companies involved with the military and took the national debt to levels of great heights. Reagan's financial adviser warned him he was taking things in the wrong direction and the president shrugged this warning aside. The George W. Bush Administration further added to the national debt by going to war in the Middle East with false evidence, a war where the United States had no business.

Though the U.S. economic situation looks rosy at the moment, the president-elect's stance on trade, immigration and taxes seems to be leading us into isolation. The Trans-Pacific Partnership was to have benefited Alaska in many ways; countries purchasing U.S. goods were to lower or eliminate tariffs on imported goods. Alaska seafood industries will be a big loser if this potential trade agreement is scrapped.

The world classifies North Korea and its maniac leader as isolated. The United States could soon join that category with our president-elect spouting false claims without reliable evidence. Further, the U.S. should prepare for possible World War III with a president-elect who seems to think he's on a reality TV show.

— Douglas Panilo

To our commander in chief

When you send a representative from America to attend Castro's funeral as I know you will, please send a delegation to honor all of the thousands of people he has killed.

— Rolf L. Bilet

A fond farewell to Artique Ltd.

"In 1971 Apollo 14 landed on the moon, the last episode of the 'Ed Sullivan Show aired,' the 26th Amendment to the Constitution lowered the voting age to 18 and Artique Ltd. art gallery opened in Anchorage." For 41 years, through recessions, national disasters and tragedies, and seven presidencies Artique has demonstrated that "Art Matters" in our community. On Dec. 15, 2016, Artique will close its doors for the last time.

To Tennys Owens and the team at Artique, thanks for fostering an appreciation of the arts in our community, and for your leadership in the local arts community. You have enriched our lives and our community, adding an element of beauty and grace. I will miss that bright beacon of art that has shined for 41 years on G Street, illuminating downtown Anchorage.

— Darrel Hess

Let’s not fall prey to snake oil again

Webster's dictionary: "Snake oil:

1. A worthless preparation fraudulently peddled as a cure for many ills.

2. Speech or writing intended to deceive; humbug."

Familiar? Grandiose promises based on lies, fabrication and wild imaginations, all unfettered and unfiltered, guaranteeing nothing. Unreturnable.

No rain check. No warnings issued, no alerts proffered. An FDA black label warning should read: "**Warning**. Consumption may result in serious threat to one's democracy, as well as personal health and well-being. Deleterious effects known and yet to be determined too numerous to list."

Caveat Emptor.

Peddled by a charlatan, this supremely confident and charming and charismatic snake oil hustler, answerable to no one. Indeed, skilled in answer avoidance and tactical diversions, and unable to recognize truth, fact and science. Purveyor of shameless humbug. Moral, ethical? Sold. He closed the deal, his bigliest ever.

Caveat emptor.

For the afflicted, the universal snake oil antidote: oddly enough, the same qualities requisite for a vital democracy — a quality education for all, societal respect, compassion, and tolerance, truthfulness, honesty, and the embrace of our shared humanity.

Snake oiled. Never again.

— Peter Mjos

One-university plan undermines progress

The University of Alaska Board of Regents holds Alaska's future in its hands. Unfortunately they now appear to be on a strategic pathway to degrade Alaska's three-campus system into a one-university scheme intended to reinforce the unstable northern campus. Decades of progress for local access to a contemporary higher education, so strongly supported by population demand and public stakeholders, will be undone.

Why aren't regents publicly considering major system alternatives and comparative costs? Major change in Alaska is not accomplished in this manner. The obvious lack of UA system understanding by a majority of the regents is not an excuse for insecure, pass-through policy direction. An incompetent planning process reflects very poorly on both management and policy oversight of the public's university.

— Bob Baldwin

Traffic cameras needed

I propose that our fair city is long overdue for intersection cameras that monitor red-light running and that automatically send tickets. I only commute about 3 miles but every day I see vehicles gunning it to cross an intersection late when they could just as well, and safely, have braked to a stop.

We all value our Alaska sense of independence but that doesn't include the right to injure or kill another because of our impatience or bad planning.

— Rick Garner

Trump needs to get a thicker skin

Up until now, I have thought of the election of Trump as a pretty normal swing between our major governing parties. There is good and bad with each. I am now starting to be a little more concerned about our new leader's level of maturity. A president needs to have a thick skin, and like a duck let a lot of unfriendly water roll off his back. If a late-night comic can rattle a president, we may be in for a rough ride over the next four years if he does not grow up fast.

— Nick Cassara

Past do-nothing sessions unacceptable

I'd like to thank the state Legislature for putting us in the midst of a recession. Their inability to craft a fiscal plan has left the state of Alaska with the highest unemployment rate in the nation. While the rest of the nation under President Obama just recorded the lowest rate in eight years at 4.6 percent, Alaska's has climbed to 6.8 percent.

I sincerely hope that the new coalition in the Alaska House will have the courage to work with the Senate and Gov. Walker to develop a fiscal plan for the future.
As citizens of Alaska we must let our legislators know that the do-nothing sessions of the past are unacceptable.

Let's make Alaska great again.

— Michael Henrich

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 under 200 words for consideration, email letters@alaskadispatch.com, or click here to submit via any web browser. Submitting a letter to the editor constitutes granting permission for it to be edited for clarity, accuracy and brevity. Send longer works of opinion to commentary@alaskadispatch.com.