Letters to the editor, February 10, 2021
Biden won honestly
Those who believe Biden Stole the election probably haven’t considered the following evidence.
Former President Trump had the lowest average overall approval rating throughout his term of any president since Gallup began approval polling. Second lowest was Jimmie Carter who also lost his re-election bid. Trump is the only president whose first term Gallup overall approval rating never exceeded 50 percent. Gallup’s polling showed that a Trump win was very unlikely.
FiveThirtyEight group collected and analyzed state by state pre-election polling data from most known sources and correctly predicted the winner of every state except Florida. Pollsters use different methods from those who conduct elections. The fact that polling predicted the winner of every state but one is strong evidence Biden’s win is valid because fraud would produce a different result.
Large scale voting fraud would be difficult to accomplish, and if it occurred, the large scale would make it easy to detect and prove. Sixty court judges dismissed Trump’s challenges due to lack of evidence of fraud.
Elections are as much a popularity contest as an evaluation of policies or performance. There has probably never been a president as strongly liked and disliked as Trump. Perhaps Trump’s supporters don’t accept Biden’s win because they don’t realize how unpopular Trump actually is.
Michael Trier, Custer
Influenza and social contact restrictions
Dr. Anthony Fauci was on the news last night proclaiming the substantial reduction of influenza cases in the 2020-21 season as a testament to measures restricting social contacts that were taken to prevent COVID-19.
I believe that Dr. Fauci is missing an obvious point: At least 200,000,000 Americans were immunized against influenza this year, almost two-thirds of the U.S. population. That’s a substantial boost to population (or herd) immunity and certainly has played a larger role than social distancing in reducing the impact of influenza in 2020-21. Typically, fewer than 40% or 50% of the total U.S. population takes advantage of the influenza vaccine
While it is likely that measures taken to reduce social contact and thereby prevent transmission of COVID-19 did flatten the epidemic curve a bit, on the whole, the U.S. is averaging about 14.3 deaths from COVID-19 per 10,000 in the general population (individual range among states is 3 to 25, median 13.6). This number is similar in all states, whether states had restrictive or not so restrictive policies regarding social contacts.
Similar numbers and trends prevail in Western Europe. Strikingly, since the beginning of the “Influenza Season” on the 1st of October, Western European countries, although generally much more restrictive than the U.S., have seen case numbers increase by a factor 2 times that seen in the U.S.
Rodney Michael, MD, Rapid City
Conservative basics revisited
Edmund Burke (1729-1797) was an Anglo-Irish statesman and philosopher. Burke is regarded by most political historians in the English-speaking world as the father of modern British Conservative. Winston Churchill quoted him often, Russell Kirk’s “The Conservative Mind”, in 1953 used Burke as a starting point to conservative principles adopted by the modern American conservative movement.
I’m doing as Winston Churchill might have in revisiting Burke’s quotes, although my selection might differ slightly. Although Burke observed the tyranny of free government’s at times he also said the following:
“Crimes lead into one another — they who are forgers are capable of being in incindiaries.”
The use of this quote could be leavened against the common criminal who’s severity of criminality escalates through time. But it is equally applicable to white collar criminals or of a once impeached president, not convicted and facing a second impeachment trial in the U.S. Senate after an incendiary incitement to insurrection on January 6th.
In welcoming those involved in past highly unethical or even criminal behavior into one’s political party and then not restricting them highly while in office, Edmund Burke’s warnings are not heeded, back to conservative basics is needed perhaps.
Erwin Curry, Missoula MT
Take a look at home rule
I would urge Rapid Citians to look into the home rule idea that the mayor is backing. Do you know that he’s already spent $30,000 tax dollars on it with no vote to explore the idea? This is your money. He will spend more of it to push this through. Home rule would set up a City manager position and cut the council down to 5 members. Say goodbye to anyone at city hall representing you and your family.
What are you and your family struggling to pay for while your tax dollars are being wasted by one man? Please go to peoplesrule.org for more information. Don’t take my word for it. Do your own homework and get involved. Help us force the mayor to work for the people. Not the other way around.
James Burow, Rapid City
Brainwashed with communism
Yuri Bezmenov, a KGB agent who defected to the West in 1970 said there is four stages to becoming a Communist nation. The first stage, lasting for about 15 to 20 years, the time needed to raise a generation, is to brainwash the public with communist ideology. Manipulation of the media and academia is required for this purpose. The second stage throwing society into chaos, and it usually takes 2 to 5 years. During this stage the economy, foreign relations and defense systems are changed. The third stage instigates a crisis that leads to a civil war, revolution or foreign invasion. This is the stage when the leftist "usefull idiots" are no longer needed. They are going to be eliminated, exiled or imprisoned. The fourth stage "normalization" the populace begins to accept and assimilate communism. This stage can take up to 20 years to complete. Support for Socialism and Marxism among young people in America increases steadily. Marxism is being pumped into the soft heads of at least three generations of American students, without being challenged by the basic values of Americanism. Just look at the news media and our schools what there being taught.
Rick Lewis, Spearfish
The Masked Truth
As Governor Noem boasts of her anti-mask and super-spreader event inviting handling of the pandemic being vindicated by having the Nation’s best unemployment rate (3%), she conveniently avoids talking about health statistics that would actually dispute that statement. South Dakota is 2nd in the Nation for all-time Covid cases and 6th for all-time Covid deaths per capita (just 10% less than New York state), and the Nation’s leader in nursing home deaths per capita. Many states with low unemployment (Vermont-3.1, Utah-3.6%, Minnesota-4.4%, New Hampshire-4%, Nebraska-3%) have had significantly higher public-health oriented masking (58-75%) as of August 2020 when the Midwest surged) than in South Dakota (33%) and significant lower rates of death per capita (29-112/100,000 vs South Dakota’s current 202/100,000). Having an extraordinarily isolated state with substantial proportions of people who work outdoors, and without most of the overcrowded housing situations of urban centers across the country, our state should have been one of the leaders in infection prevention and in limiting Covid deaths. Instead, based on an arrogant, self-serving, and ultimately deadly, politically-motivated agenda, Governor Noem has helped us achieve one of the worst and helped promote division in our communities pitting self-centeredness against community unity.
Doug Lehmann, Rapid City