Senate farm bill deserves support

South Dakota needs a farm bill, not more politics. Because of that, I want to thank Senators Mike Rounds and John Thune for their votes on the bipartisan Senate bill.

But the bill passed in the House does not reflect the bipartisan tradition Congress has always taken with the farm bill, and instead plays politics with important legislation, putting South Dakota farmers at risk to make food assistance more difficult to obtain for struggling families, while it does not properly fund programs people would be required to take part in to be eligible for food assistance.

The Senate bill protects food assistance while funding programs that help people get back on their feet and off SNAP. I urge Senators Mike Rounds and John Thune to continue to fight for the bipartisan nature of the farm bill and to protect farmers and struggling families from the destructive House bill supported by Rep. Kristi Noem.

David Paul

Spearfish

Diverse sources reduce our bias

Child psychologists have been telling us for many years that every human being develops their first bias not later than age 5. We then spend the rest of our lives adding more, deleting some and modifying others. Some folks elevate a minor dislike to prejudice/extreme prejudice, while others elevate those to bigotry and hatred.

Bias or prejudice may explain why one judge hands down a very severe sentence while another judge hands down a powder-puff sentence for the same crime. It may also explain why the U.S. Supreme Court, at times, makes a ruling that appears to have nothing to do with the U.S. Constitution. Prejudice, bigotry or even hatred may explain why some pundits and mainstream media rarely, if ever, report anything positive about the Trump Administration's accomplishments, just as those emotions toward the opposing political party and the current administration may explain why the politicians in Washington, D.C., accomplish so very little.

My experience has been it is best to obtain information from several different sources, which should increase the chances of getting a more honest and accurate idea of what has happened or what is going on.

David Hall

Box Elder

Let states set gun-control laws

I am an advocate of rescinding the right to bear arms at the federal level. Our forefathers could not have foreseen the use of guns to end the lives of over 70,000 humans each year in the USA.

I would suggest that the right to bear arms should be left to the states, or even to large cities. Thus, local control would be determined by the voters of local and/or state governing entities. Those states wishing to limit or allow sales and ownership of certain types of weapons could have the right to enact such laws.

Citizens would then have the option to live in a state that best matched their own wishes. Such a system would increase individual rights to choose to live under the rule of law.

Jim Miller

Rapid City

Article overlooked sex trafficking

A recent front-page article detailed preparations for rally week around the Black Hills by police, the Department of Transportation, etc. I was surprised to see an absence of information about the law enforcement’s preparations to address sex trafficking during the rally.

Sex trafficking is a significant problem and a tragedy for individuals and families who are victimized by it. According to the Mayo Clinic, “trafficking does not require movement across borders and does not only involve victims brought into the United States from other countries. While that does occur, the majority of sex trafficking victims in the U.S., both adult and child, are U.S. citizens.” The average age of a trafficked individual is 12-14. Most often, the at-risk person is poor, of color, LGBTQ, or already the victim of abuse or neglect.

I urge the Journal to do a thoughtful and comprehensive article on this issue, with special emphasis on missing and exploited Native women and children. It ought to include interviews with social service agencies and the FBI already addressing this issue. I urge area police to increase their efforts to educate law enforcement personnel. This tragedy needs to see daylight, and comprehensive solutions can only be developed with public awareness and action.

Carol Hayse

Nemo

Defense attorney a real inspiration

Defense attorneys. How much do we actually hear about criminal defense attorneys? I always read about U.S. attorneys and Pennington County state's attorneys. We have several criminal defense attorneys that have such passion for their clients.

I know a few that done pro bono work for people who need justice and do not have the means to retain lawyers. I know and work with my sister, Shiloh MacNally. She is so compassionate toward her clients. She provides so much support for those in need. She gets into a case and spends so many hours a week that she just becomes simply exhausted. She fought breast cancer and still worked full time. She had another cancer after and worked during that as well. Many people and other attorney always, and I quote, say "You’re the hardest working attorney I know."

I love that she went after her dream in her late 30's to become a criminal defense attorney. This was right after losing her husband to a brain aneurysm. She had three kids and still did very well in law school. I really hope that I am every bit of a person she is. She has made great strides to reach her dreams.

Shannon Larsen

Rapid City

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