Letters to the editor, March 7, 2020

Letters to the editor, March 7, 2020


Unions are fundamental

To the editor,

Unions, and the option for union membership, are fundamental to labor relations in the United States. Senate Bill 147 and House Bill 1266 are both an affront to this fundamental relationship. As a member of the South Dakota Education Association, I know how important union membership is. As a professional, it allows me to know that my voice is heard and respected on issues that are important to me. The same is true for my colleagues in higher education. Collective bargaining ensures that those who are directly affected have a seat at the table when their future is being discussed. Salaries are not negotiated. Collective bargaining in South Dakota ensures that political power at our universities does not tilt one way or the other, that our higher education professionals can feel free to take risks in the classroom without fear of reprisal or retribution, and ensure that our colleges and universities can attract and retain world-class faculty and research fellows. To remove collective bargaining at the University level would damage the reputation of South Dakota colleges and universities as world-class centers of learning and put the future of these institutions at risk.

Sean Bradley, Rapid City

Demonstrate on Earth Day

To the editor,

Scientists have just discovered for every one-degree centigrade rise in the Earth's average temperature melting permafrost will release the equivalent of 4-6 years worth of coal, oil, and natural gas emissions. 11,000 Climate scientists have just declared a Climate "Emergency". On a business as usual trajectory, we will raise the Earth's temperature by 4-5 degrees centigrade by 2100, creating a nightmarish Earth- Our home!

2014 - 2018 were the five hottest years on record. 2019 now replaced 2018 as the second hottest year. Climate Scientists have got together with some of the world's best statisticians and they said there is a 99.9999% chance that climate change is real and going to get worse and worse unless we act now.

The arctic ocean will be ice-free in the summers sometime before 2050. With the loss of the ice and snow, reflecting heat back to space the dark ocean waters will warm very rapidly.

Make Climate Change Signs and Banners and demonstrate on Earth day on April 22 at all the busiest intersections and streets from 1-3 pm. Do the same on September 12th, 19th, 26th, and October 3rd. Let's make the Rapid City Demonstrations the largest per capita in the world!

Metakuye Oyiasin (All my relatives)

Robert Ackerman, Rapid City

Protect the rest of us

To the editor,

Senator Castleberry voted against the texting while driving bill stating that she “was inclined to vote against any bill designed to protect me from myself”. She also stated that she became accustomed to police pulling her for doing nothing wrong. I disagree with her assumptions. I know many of the local police officers, my son being one of them, and a driver has to do something to attract their attention to get stopped. There are thousands of cars on the road and only a few officers. The law against texting while driving is not designed to protect you from yourself but to protect the rest of us from you.

John Santana, Rapid City

Marijuana is a dirty drug

To the Editor:

Marijuana is a dirty drug. “Marijuana concentrates” (aka “THC extractions”), ranging up to 80% tetrahydrocannabinol, are even dirtier.

The primary psychoactive compound in marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), has been directly linked to numerous mental and physiological health problems in users, particularly in children and youth. (Source: Smart Approaches to Marijuana, “Lessons Learned from Legalization of Marijuana in Four U.S. States and D.C., March 2018”).

The National Institute on Drug Abuse has further warned, “70% of today’s illicit drug users started with marijuana, not prescription drugs.”

The marijuana industry is comprised powerful big business enterprises, along with a thriving undercurrent of black market growers and dealers. Their goal is to maximize profits, at the expense of South Dakota citizens, by expanding their marijuana user base and promoting immoderate indulgence.

According to NBC News, “foreign cartels” are finding new profit streams by setting up “black-market marijuana” operations in states that have legalized cannabis. “Chinese, Cuban and Mexican drug rings have purchased or rented hundreds of homes and use human trafficking to bring inexperienced growers to the United States to tend them, federal and local officials say.” (Source: NBC News, May 29, 2018, “Foreign cartels embrace home-grown marijuana in pot-legal states”).

These foreign cartels are specifically targeting states that have already legalized marijuana “in an attempt to shroud their operations in our legal environment here and then take the marijuana outside of the state,” according to Mike Hartman, executive director of the Colorado Department of Revenue, which regulates and licenses the cannabis industry.

Sheriff Bill Elder, El Paso County Sheriff's Office in Colorado, affirmed these trends, “While California and Washington have mainly seen organized criminals from China buying homes and converting them into grow houses, Colorado has largely been grappling with Cuban and Mexican-led cartels…. They have found that it's easier to grow and process marijuana in Colorado, ship it throughout the United States, than it is to bring it from Mexico or Cuba."

South Dakotans should reject the two November ballot initiatives that would open up our state to big money marijuana syndicates and the inevitable coat-tail expansion of black-market operations.

Bernie Hendricks, Registered Pharmacist, Brookings, SD

Pharmacist Hotline – South Dakota

Hoping it is true

To the editor,

I sure hope the news I read comes true. It said (in brief) that some sort of peace agreement would be signed in Afghanistan between the Taliban and the USA to end the long-running war there.

This war has cost many brave American lives and many American tax dollars and has run for many years. Some of the U.S. troops now there at war were not even born when the war started.

Let's end this endless and pointless war now and bring our brave troops and our tax money home to defend America.

David Nickel, Spearfish

Ween yourselves from psychobabble

To the editor,

In response to certain regular liberal contributors to the Editor: Y'all need to wean yourselves from the psycho-babble from MSDNC and CNN. They have apparently succeeded in poisoning your thought processes. It must drive you to distraction that we are in a ruby-red state and are going to stay that way for many years to come. What's stopping you from moving to the left coast, where you would be with your fellow minions and all the nasty liberalism that you could consume? Please go away and leave us right-thinking folks to the truth.

Gary Hall, Rapid City

Why take a chance?

To the editor,

I understand the NPS is accepting public comments about returning fireworks to Mount Rushmore. I hope others will also respond on the NPS website.

The roof of the White House could be used to stage a unique and extremely patriotic fireworks display. So could 100 other statues and monuments around the country. So why have fireworks at a monument in the middle of a forest?

Granted fireworks off the heads of Mount Rushmore will be spectacular briefly for the casual viewer, but what a true spectacle it is going to be with trees burning around the mountain, fire trucks struggling to get to the mountain while thousands of tourists are attempting to escape. It’s going to happen sooner or later as they persist in this expensive notion.

Why are they willing to take a chance on the lives of people, the environment and the stability of the carvings? Why will they sacrifice water sources and protected resources to engage in a fireworks display that is similar to shows across the country on the same night? Is the commercialization of the mountain really worth the huge cost to National Park Service personnel plus the cost of the fireworks?

Robin Borglum Kennedy, Corpus Christi, Tex.

Done with Dusty

To the editor,

The American cattle rancher is desperately asking for help. But our federal government continues to fail us and silently watches us bleed out.

Cattlemen across the country are at great risk of shutting down our ranching operations because out of touch politicians, like Dusty Johnson, favor the Major Packing houses instead of the American rancher.

Two of the four Major Packers are foreign owned. Dusty Johnson collects campaign contributions from the National Cattle Business Association (NCBA) who listen to the meat packers sitting on their board, rather than the hardworking, struggling cattle rancher.

By not passing mCOOL or forcing the same regulations on the Major Packers, Dusty has decided we no longer need the American Rancher, thus working to eliminate the American cattle ranch. The price of cattle dropped dramatically, but the price of beef never changed. The Packers are raking in huge profits while the rancher suffers.

Dusty has failed us.

On June 2, I will be supporting Liz Marty May for Congress who is a trusted cattle rancher and, unlike Dusty, will fight for and be the voice of American cattlemen, and allow Americans to eat safe and USA raised meat!

Judd Schomp, Martin, SD

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