Letters to the editor, April 23, 2021
No land grabs
I attended the recent 30x30 Land Grab presentation at the Elks Theater. Margaret Byfield representing (Liberty Matters) gave an excellent presentation on Presidential Executive Order 14008 (climate change) which proposes that 30% of America's lands be acquired by the Federal Government and returned back to nature.
Ms. Byfield stated that the Order has no constitutional or statutory authority. Byfield's guidance was to become informed, adopt local resolutions, educate others, ask others to join the fight and get your representatives in DC to stand against this Order. Even if they are successful, that will not stop future unconstitutional actions. A Federal Government operating outside their constitutional authority has been happening for over 200 years. Now it has citizens defending themselves from a land grab. We are fighting the symptoms and not the disease. Article 5 of the Constitution provides us the ability to write amendments to the constitution without Congressional approval.
Fix the disease, by demanding that your state representative in Pierre support a "Convention of States" (COS). There are currently 15 of the required 34 states onboard for holding such a convention but South Dakota is not one of them. One of the three goals of this proposed convention is to amend the constitution to "limit the power and jurisdiction of the Federal Government."
Go to Conventionofstates.com and find out more as well as sign the petition. Support candidates for state legislature that want a (COS). Attend COS town halls that explain the process. We the people must stand up and act.
Mike Weller, Rapid City
Time for Medicaid expansion
Medicare Expansion for South Dakota | Now is the time to beef up Medicaid in South Dakota in order that, finally, every adult and child gets health coverage. The expansion of Medicaid has been offered by The Affordable Care Act (ACA) since 2014. It’s high time to move on this offer.
Amending the SD Constitution to enable Medicaid Expansion in SD would extend health care coverage to 42,500 South Dakotan childless, non-disabled adults regardless of their income. The federal government is offering $301.8 million to be matched by $20.8 million from the state to expand its Medicaid program. It seems prudent that this cake get frosted ahead of the Biden American Jobs Plan (AJP) proposal of $400 billion (over eight years) that will, itself, be managed via Medicaid’s federal-state partnership. The Biden AJP intends to support long-term care for the elderly and people with disabilities. Taken together, Medicaid Expansion and Biden’s AJP are important commitments to our growing aging population. Thirty-eight states have implemented Medicaid Expansion since 2014. It’s time for South Dakota to do likewise.
The ballot petition for amending the state constitution needs lots of signatures in order for Medicaid Expansion to get on the 2022 ballot.
David Wegner, Sioux Falls
Tilting at windmills
Perhaps Governor Noem should have read the following release from the White House before writing a 3 page letter to support an executive order against federally mandated vaccine passports. Am I missing something?
The government is not now, nor will we be supporting a system that requires Americans to carry a credential. There will be no federal vaccinations database and no federal mandate requiring everyone to obtain a single vaccination credential," White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said at a recent press briefing.
Jim Schuster, Narbeth, PA
Just about had enough
Between Governor Noem's heartless comments about refugees being unwelcome in South Dakota and the article about The Faith HS Rodeo Club having a "Slave Branding" Pancake Supper fundraiser I have just about had it with South Dakota. I was born here and have lived her the majority of my life and have never been more embarrassed to admit that than I am today. It's only a dog whistle if only a sub-group can hear it. This is blatant ugliness. I saw a video of two South Dakotans being told to "go back to their reservation" at a local Rapid City restaurant in January by an entitled woman who clearly needs to learn the true history of South Dakota. I can't demand you to find compassion in your heart but I can demand you stop acting like we are all of like mind in South Dakota. I am tired of people assuming I am like you when I tell them where I live.
Katherine Brown, Black Hawk
Facts were ignored
In response to editor Kent Bush's letter on "white privilige", and systemic racism in police departments around the US, I am shocked he has ignored the facts and undisputable data regarding police shootings. They are readily available on the FBI data base website at fbi.gov.
Here are some FACTS:1) Lightning is more likely to kill a black man in the US than a police officer. Look it up!2) FBI UCR data for 2018 shows out of 686,665 police officers in the US, 25 unarmed whites and 14 unarmed blacks were shot and killed by police, that's one black for every 49,047 police officers.3) In 2018 there were 14,123 homicide victims, and blacks comprised 55% of the violent offenders.4) Young inner city black males commit the overwhelming amount of violent crimes. Poverty and single parent homes also contribute greatly to violent crime. So what do the top high crime cities have in common? Indianapolis, Albuquerque, Stockton, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Kansas City, Memphis, Chicago, Baltimore, Detroit, and St Louis have all been run by the Democratic Party for decades, hiring police officers, running the courts, etc. So who is responsible for systemic racism? The party of the KKK!
Ed Manzano, Rapid City
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-Journal Editorial Board