Letters to the editor, June 17, 2022
Staying in the past
So the K-5 Science textbooks haven't been updated for the last 13 years? Maybe our college graduate professionals leave Rapid City because they don't want their children taught science from an outdated curriculum, since they themselves are expected to stay aware of current thinking in their professional fields? (Presumably, my primary physician receives regular updates on advances in medicine via journal articles and continuing education courses.)
I hope the opponents of new textbooks are getting good analog reception on their 13" black and white TVs, though I suspect that replacement vacuum tubes are getting difficult to find.
Hank Lord, Rapid City
Senator's selective outrage
I was intrigued by Sen. Castleberry's outrage regarding Biden's approach to the baby formula shortage. I would be interested to get her opinion on President Trump's first budget proposal in 2016, when Republicans held a majority in both the house and senate. When they wanted to cut $1.2 billion for Title 1 schools over 10 years, affecting 1.9 million low and middle income children.
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To let the Child Tax Credit and EITC expire, which would have resulted in a $159 billion loss to families that need it, pushing 6.7 million children deeper into poverty, when we are 4th in child poverty among developed countries. When it comes to hungry children, SNAP was also on the chopping block to the tune of $125 billion. A program that feeds almost 1/4 of American children. The baby formula shortage is tragic and President Biden should've been more proactive. But to be outraged over a baby formula shortage, but indifferent as safety net programs for children are attempted to be stripped away is cognitive dissonance at its best. I look forward to seeing how Sen. Castleberry assists the 1 in 7 food insecure children in South Dakota in next year's legislative session.
Seth Malott, Rapid City
The “Right” To Abortion and The Right to Bear Arms
The country is in mourning over the shooting of 19 grade school children and 2 teachers at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. We all feel disgust for the shooter who perpetrated that outrage. Stemming from that incident, many people now demand greater control of gun sales and ownership (even gun confiscation) to prevent such incidents. The newspaper USA Today places the death toll from mass shootings at over 1,350 people from 2006 through 2017. The numbers are difficult to determine with real certainty, but the total death toll from mass shootings from 2006 to date is probably between 1,500 and 1,800. Whatever the number, it’s that many too high.
However, in substantial contradiction of very vocal concern for school children, many of those who demand greater gun control to prevent mass shootings are also demanding continuation of a national “right” to abortion and are threatening violent protest if the current U.S. Supreme Court rules against their position.
By the CDC’s count, upwards of 6.6 million abortions were performed in the United States between 2010 and 2019, quite literally killing that number of fetuses, a high proportion of which, with today’s neonatal care practices, would have been viable had they been delivered. The mourning for the numbers of fetuses murdered, viable or otherwise, where it exists, is effectively suppressed and/or ridiculed by those demanding more gun control legislation and abortion “rights.”
The “right” to abortion was manufactured out of words and phrases (none of which contain the word abortion) in the constitution and out of guessed intentions of the founding fathers who wrote our constitution. The right to keep and bear arms is clearly spelled out in the Bill of Rights, in the second of the first ten amendments to our constitution.
Guess which “right” appears to be in greatest peril.
Rodney Michael, Rapid City
Legal abortions protect women
Not long ago only doctors’ offices had pregnancy test kits.
Frequently, young ladies at our community clinic were ambivalent when they arrived having missed periods. “Birth control?" “Yes, but…” She forgot a couple of pills. The condom broke. It wasn’t her fertile time of month. It wasn’t exactly her preference to have sex just then with that guy, and no, she’s not telling the police. “Do you want to have a baby?” “Well, I don’t know… this is a bad time.” “Here’s the result. You’re pregnant!” Stunned. Eyebrows up. “Really? I’m pregnant?” Then usually, a small smile slowly appeared. “Wow”. Repeated in new light, “Do you want to have a baby?” More often than not, a startled look. “Yes, I guess I do!” A happy visit… “You can have your prenatal care here if you prefer…”
Sometimes when I announced the diagnosis, there was no smile. Her face fell. “Do you want to have a baby?” A startled look. A sentence I heard from repeatedly from different patients, the same almost to the word, the tone, the cadence, the sadness, the finality… “I can’t have a baby.” Can I help? Would anything make this work? Have you thought of delivering and placing the baby for adoption? A look eloquently communicating “how clueless are you?” Again.. “I can’t have a baby.” And almost none of them did. A clinic down the street offered compassionate, safe abortion care. All my patients could find them. No medical or mental health complications came to my attention when they returned. My patients convinced me if they couldn’t have a baby, then anti-abortion laws, police, courts or jails wouldn’t make them carry pregnancies to term, regardless if they delayed or complicated the abortion. Safe, legal abortion protects women and the children they choose to bear.
Peter Hasby, Rapid City
Pollinators are important
I don't have a large number of flower beds but I do have a large bed of prairie roses, an apple tree and a half a dozen mature lilac bushes. I have noticed a distressing trend this year.
While my lilacs were blooming, I noticed the complete absence of any bees or other native pollinators. Likewise when my apple tree bloomed. When my roses started to bloom, I did notice a few bumblebees but no honeybees or other wild bees. I'm home most of the day and able to spend time observing. I've never seen such a dearth of bees as I've observed this year.
Since early May I have seen only one honeybee on my property. The point I wish to make is all pollinators are extremely important to the health of any flowering plants and the overall ecosystem. So, if you use pesticides, herbicides, or other chemicals on your property, please use them judiciously and as minimally as possible.
We need our bees.
Fred Dicken, Rapid City
What are Evangelicals thinking?
One of the sickest enigmas in today's politics is the evangelical loyalty to one of the most evil men on the planet, a man who grew up in the lap of luxury and has spent his entire life lying, cheating, kissing foreign enemy dictators' posteriors and pompously tooting his own horn, a man who hates democracy and spits on our constitution.
Can anyone imagine Jesus voting for this guy? Bible thumpers would be hard pressed to find justification for their actions in that book!
Terry Painter, Rapid City