Letters to the Editor, Feb. 16, 2020

Letters to the Editor, Feb. 16, 2020


Immunizations must be required

To the editor,

As a retired pediatrician I have empathy with Representative Qualm on feeling the parent has the right to refuse immunization for their child.

Unfortunately the great success of our immunization program preventing killing diseases such as hard measles, whooping cough, diphtheria, polio and others is only possible if herd immunity of about 90% immunized is reached. Newborns, young babies, children without or with poor immune systems and many cancer victims will die of forgotten diseases if herd immunity is not maintained. With out herd immunity the awful diseases of the past will again rear their ugly head and kill thousands.

This has happened in Europe where 72 children died in 2018 from measles, a disease that had seemed to be eliminated. Therefore only medical exemptions can be allowed if the immunization program is to work.

If anyone wants to research this further discuss this with the experts on immunization in the South Dakota Department of Health. I have found they are always up to date and rigorous in protecting the children and adults of South Dakota.


Willis Sutliff MD, Rapid City retired pediatrician

Dissatisfied with Disanto's replacement

To the editor,

I have been bothered by some actions of our Governor and the recently appointed Senator Jessica Castleberry. Our former Republican Senator Lynne DiSanto, was elected by her constituents because of her conservative position on state issues.

I am seeing our Governor's true colors as she appoints yet another liberal to be her ringer in killing bills to protect our children and to push this social agenda of transgenders and big pharma. She certainly didn’t appoint someone who would uphold the conservative values Lynne's constituents have voted for. Apparently the Governor needed the new Senator to vote for bills that would support her liberal agenda. I am looking forward to a true Republican candidate to challenge Castleberry in District 35 on the ballot in June.

Vera Cline, Rapid City

Dishonoring the Medal of Freedom

To the editor,

The Presidential Medal of Freedom was reestablished by President John F. Kennedy in 1963, and is the Nation's highest civilian honor (it was initially established in 1945 by Harry Truman to honor people who performed notably during WWII). It is now awarded to "individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the security or national interests of America, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors". It has been awarded over 500 times since 1963, the latest recipient being Rush Limbaugh. Among his "notable" endeavors, Limbaugh joined Mr. Trump in spreading the Obama "birther" libel, and he popularized the tune "Barack the Magic Negro" for his millions of listeners.

Limbaugh has been insatiably cruel to others in innumerable ways, from calling Michael J. Fox a phony over his Parkinsons, comparing a 12-year-old Chelsea Clinton to a dog, telling an African American woman to call back when she takes the bones out of her nose, naming children on government assisted lunches "wanton waifs", implying that gay men are Pedophiles, women "semen receptacles" and documented immigrants as "lazy". It is beyond me how this man could possibly join the truly notable recipients of the Medal of Freedom.

Mary Richards, Spearfish

Dumbing down students with communism

To the editor,

Dumbing down students by communism is most influential at the university level, it has also influenced primary and secondary school education. Its influence has undermined children's intellectual development and maturity, making them more susceptible to leftist influences in college.

It has caused generations of students to have less and less knowledge and less ability to reason and engage in critical thinking. This has gone on for over a hundred years. In addition to instilling atheism and communist ideology in students, primary and secondary education in the United States engages in psychological manipulation that destroys students traditional beliefs and morals.

Whether democratic politics can be pursued in a manner that is truly beneficial to all depends not only on the level of their knowledge and understanding. If voters are not well-versed in history, political and economic systems, and social issues, they will have difficulty electing officials who will base their platforms on the long-term and fundamental interests of the country and society. This puts the country in a dangerous situation. Unlike the rebellious student leaders in the 1960's who could speak eloquently, today's young people who participated in street protests and were interviewed by television news lacked basic common sense.

Rick Lewis, Spearfish

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