FBI, Justice Department are here to protect us
Americans too young to have lived through the Nixon or Reagan administrations may not appreciate the abnormality of the current Republican Party. During the long Watergate and Iran-Contra investigations you never heard Republicans attack the FBI or the U.S. intelligence community. Similarly, Republicans at those times would have been outraged if either president had asked law enforcement or Justice Department officials to disobey their oath to protect the Constitution and instead pledge personal loyalty to the president; Republicans punished Nixon for much less than that.
We now know a foreign adversary has attacked our democratic processes, and the current Republican Party is not only interfering with attempts to prevent further attacks but actually defaming the very institutions meant to preserve our democracy. The United States is a nation of laws, not of authoritarians. Sens. Murkowski and Sullivan and Rep. Young need to more strongly denounce the dangerous tactics that their colleagues and the White House are using against our country's most important institutions.
— Randall Plant
Stand up for Alaska's resources
I moved to Alaska 22 years ago to live a life that cannot be found anywhere else, in some of the last truly pristine wilderness. Why are we trying to make Alaska like everywhere else?
Why subsidize Outside companies to build roads that will forever change the character and beauty here? Remote wilderness is unique to Alaska. It is not an undeveloped but perhaps underdeveloped resource. Tourism is a renewable industry. Unfortunately, we believe resource extraction is our only source of revenue. It is not. There is potential to develop our great state in a renewable way with hunting, fishing, and tourism. Or, we can mine it for a few years. Then what?
The road to Ambler is shortsighted. It will be an industrial road that provides great profits for foreign companies. It is funded by the state, with no public access, and decreases hunting opportunities for all Alaskans. Seems like a bad use of our state's money.
I want to pass Alaska's greatness on for generations to come. I hope Alaskans will comment not only on the Ambler road but on all issues facing Alaska. Stand up for what is important to us and the future.
— Dirk Nickisch
Americans need to get along
Even if you only listen to the news in bits and pieces, you can't help but notice that there is much divisiveness in our country. Not since the Civil War has there been so much fighting among Americans. That's odd. Our founding fathers did not include animosity in free speech. Yet somehow, there's a lot of it.
Our democracy is being assaulted by enemies both foreign AND domestic. The foreign enemies don't scare me half as much as the domestic ones. We are our own worst enemies. We seem to forget that free speech extends to people with whom we disagree. Nikita Krushchev once said, "We will get you from within. We won't have to fire a shot."
Now, you know the Russians are laughing at us. Other countries are joining the chorus of jeers as well.
No matter what, we need to remember that we are the government. Elected officials first and foremost have a duty to uphold the Constitution. Insulting and berating people conflicts with the dignity of all men and women.
We need to start getting along with each other to get us back on track. We need to do this before the U.S. falls into bits and pieces.
— Spruce Lynch
SJR 9 protects our dividend by amending constitution
Pending Senate Joint Resolution 9 contains provisions that most legislators and Alaskans should support. First, it provides a mechanism to protect the Permanent Fund dividend by constitutional amendment. Why is that important? Because our Supreme Court has ruled, absent a constitutional amendment, that the PFD can be appropriated and spent through the normal legislative process. Second, it provides for using 4.5 percent of market value of the balance of the fund averaged over the prior five years with 2 percent dedicated to paying the PFD and 2.5 percent dedicated to paying for state government.
What if 2.5 percent is not enough for the state? Then we do what other states have done by enacting progressive, broad-based taxes and/or reducing state expenditures. Surely this is more equitable than balancing the budget on the backs of the least fortunate Alaskans. The passage of SJR 9 requires a two-thirds majority in both the House and the Senate. Only then would Alaskans be able to vote to protect their PFD by amending the constitution. Encourage your legislative representatives to do the responsible thing and support SJR 9.
— William Maxey
Kantner's advice reminds us all what's worth fighting for
Seth Kantner's advice in "A trip to New York reminded me what's worth fighting for in Alaska" (ADN, Jan. 27) provides a useful waypoint for those of us overwhelmed by the chaos and disruption of the current climate.
So much seems at stake every day. He says: "Stand and stare over your land, at the sky and mountains and maybe animals out on the tundra. Listen to no voice except your own. Ask yourself nothing about whom you hate. Ask only what you love, and what sustains you. And protect that." Sage advice indeed.
— Lisa M. Moreno
The views expressed here are the writers' own and are not necessarily endorsed by the Anchorage Daily News, which welcomes a broad range of viewpoints. To submit a letter under 200 words for consideration, email firstname.lastname@example.org, 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 email@example.com.