Library board elitist

In three decades of uniformed service at 24 assignments, I've never experienced a more elitist, discriminatory policy than the Rapid City Library Board's.

It takes one day to become a South Dakota resident and 30 days for an enhanced concealed carry permit, yet the library requires six months of residence before letting us check out materials from our public library because of our address?

Among the unworthy are residents living in a shelter, campground, or temporary locations. New residents may purchase nonresident privileges, but is that reasonable?

How dare residents down on their luck or trying to minimize expenses check out materials to further their education, learn financial management, or otherwise better themselves. Likewise, someone living in a campground is considered less a resident than the board's preferred variety. Apparently, many airmen and their families don't meet the board's standard to fully use our public library. Lesser residents cannot even check out electronic media.

When asked, the board provided no rationale for this ridiculous policy. Our public library should serve the entire community, not a preferred subset. If you agree, please contact the board.

Col. (Ret.) Gary McCollum

Box Elder

Removing Trump a start

They tell us to pray for the Kurdish people. I've prayed for the Kurds. I've prayed for the children at the border. I've prayed for the senseless gun slaughter. Well, enough. God didn't create these problems. We did, and it's our responsibility to solve them.

We elected a president who has no clue or care about international alliances and who our real friends are. We give in to our fears about invading illegals who fill jobs we don't want and are accused of carrying diseases only existing in government laboratories. We believe that our personal right to own military style weapons is more important than a civilian's right to not be mowed down on our streets.

Our situation is our own fault. We listen to those who try to divide us with hate, not logic. We put up with illegal behavior in exchange for a few judges who think like we do. So it's not up to God, it's up to us. Getting rid of Trump will not solve all of our problems. But it's a start.

Nancy Cherry

Rapid City

Impeachment is partial remedy

I support impeachment because it is a step in the direction of less executive power, privilege and unilateralism. As a Libertarian, I assert that federal power, generally, and executive power, especially, are the core sources of our eroded liberty.

We have been on a decades-long, maybe century long, trajectory of increasing federal and executive power. The anti-federalists were right; our Constitution has proved insufficient in securing our "unalienable rights." Although I am dubious that significant additional actions will be taken by our federal government to limit its own power, any action, even if by partisan progressives, that has the effect of limiting the exercise of power within the government is laudable.

Just as progressives have championed engorged federal and executive power and now stand aghast at what it has wrought, anti-progressives (the Trump administration is not conservative) should be thinking about the inevitable demographic shift in our country towards socialism and the reach it could have without constitutionally enforced limits on unilateral power. The will of a plurality of voters is not a suitable standard for right.

Mark Fiegen

Hill City

Whiners go to Valley Forge

In this day and age, with half the people wanting to destroy the presidency and defy the Constitution, all you whiners need to go to Valley Forge, walk its grounds and see what those soldiers gave up for you.

Next, go to Independence Hall and see what the original signers crafted in the heat of the summer, sacrificing their own lives and fortunes to give us our wonderful Constitution, a document written by praying men. Look what we are doing to it now.

Jim Seward


Killing eventually seems sanguinary

For some time now, the distaste I have for the GOP issuing a pass on all of Trump's duplicity has left me wondering just what in God’s name is wrong with Republicans? Well, thanks to a letter to the editor in the newspaper, I can sort of see that what they do is just acceptable politics to them but more importantly, I see that I also am guilty of a similar philosophical sin as well.

Yeah, when it comes to abortion, our dissimulation that it's a "woman's right to choose because it's her body" must be just as disgusting to all right-to-lifers. I completely understand that male skin in the abortion issue is physically abstract, but morally our voice must be given. I've been labeled liberal and rightly so, but to remain silent on the choice issue makes me no better than the Sgt. Shultz Republicans that I assume will eventually come to their senses as well.

To quote a John Prine song, "Jesus don't like killin’ no matter what the reasons for." The next line is "and your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore" (Vietnam protest). Jesus or no Jesus, killing eventually seems sanguinary.

Dave Freytag

Rapid City

The good news

There’s some good news and there’s some bad news. The bad news is the world ends in 10 years. The good news is, if we vote the Democrats into office they will save us. And according to them, the fix is quite easy; just quit using oil products. Hallelujah, no more plastic straws, no more plastic water bottles, no bothersome cell phones, no televisions and certainly no more of those noisy jets flying overhead. Your car will simply run off the wind and/or solar. Oops, guess not, modern day cars are 50 percent plastic, so scratch that idea.

Trains, ships, trucks and tractors will all run on wind or solar as long as we keep the plastics out. But what the heck, a plastic John Deere probably wouldn’t be worth much anyway, but we can still farm with horses like we used to. Just won’t be able to feed the world anymore.

Also, somebody should explain to Ms. Thunberg her sailboat is around 90 percent synthetics, so next time she comes over to lecture us, she needs something more along the lines of the Mayflower, otherwise she will be contributing to the atmospheric CO2 level which is already a whopping 0.038%.

Don Kopp

Rapid City

The end of times

I read a letter about how end-timers are a threat to the world. Quite the contrary to whoever believes this. The inevitable will soon happen, and the fun-and-games will be over for many innocent people. We as adults need to teach these children whether young or old the truth and to love the truth.

I recently fell into another trap created by a spirit of evil. The hospital I recently visited said I had a thrombosis around my rectum, and because I have no insurance and Medicaid turned me down again I had to cancel. $5,000 is a lot to come up with for a simple surgery.

I believe in people and the healing hand of God, and all that is written from the creator. Many people get turned aside for ridiculous situations, and some are true turnings or are they? We have to remember that our brilliance and college degrees are an ethical requirement to help those who need help, especially when it comes to our health and understanding of the blessings, not people who don't want to listen. There's only one reason we were created, and that is to follow that reason which is difficult at times.

To all who will probably write me nasty letters about being a leech or freeloader, far from the truth. I just happen to have failed and won't deny anything. Just remember the next time something happens to a loved one or a person you should have helped, ask yourself why. It’s the reason.

Brian J. Smith

Hot Springs

Well done on Syria

Well done Donald. There were no Kurdish troops landing at Normandy. There were, however, British, Canadian, French and American. There were no Japanese or Italian forces either. There were no Kurdish ships in the flotilla. And neither were there any Kurdish air force planes. We were the Arsenal of Democracy in June 1944. Without America, Europe would have become one great concentration (murder camp) once Hitler had slaughtered all the Jews in Europe. Some of us have keen memories.

Jack Sayles


How low would be too low?

As Trump's statements and actions became wackier by the day, a friend and I were having a discussion about a subject probably being kicked around at social gatherings throughout the USA now: What could Trump do or say that would be so disgusting, repugnant and/or treasonous that it would convince Republican senators to do their patriotic duty and remove him from the office he constantly disgraces?

We came up with some interesting scenarios, none of which are printable in the Journal, but it boiled down to this: My friend thought that all Republican senators couldn't be cowardly enough to support unending corruption, evil and incompetence at the highest levels of government just to please their naïve constituents and save their jobs. He felt that Trump would someday go too far even for them. I disagreed. "Nothing he could do or say would cost him a vote amongst that crowd," I said. Did I win the argument? I certainly hope not, but I'm afraid I did.

Terry Painter

Rapid City

Republican alienation

We are daughters who grew up in Republican families. Our concerns began when the Republican Party stopped following the rule of law, and their oath of office to uphold the Constitution. It started in February 2016. Additional concerns are:

• The continued inappropriate words and behavior by the president

• Ignoring the common practice of sharing tax returns

• Leaders who disregard the truth

• The Senate ignoring House bills

• Secret conversations with autocratic leaders, taking their word over career professionals

• Betrayal of American allies

• Disregard for science

• Ignoring the checks and balances

• Circumventing the vetting and confirmation process of government appointees

• Loathsome, inappropriate responses to horrific acts

• Withholding designated funds to a country until political investigations are guaranteed

• Risking American troops without consulting the military

• Eliminating primaries and not securing the election process

This list continues to grow. Our core reason for writing this is “what can we say to our children about the part we played during these times.” We are speaking for our future and that of future generations. We want to help create a story of which we will be proud.

Three sisters and a lifelong childhood friend who grew up in Spearfish:

Linda Mead, Spearfish

Martha Mead Svatos, Lake Andes

Patty Mead Long, Missouri Valley, Iowa

Pam Young Baum, Spearfish

McGovern ahead of his time

Oct. 21 marked the seventh anniversary of the passing of 1972 losing Democratic Party presidential candidate South Dakota Sen. George McGovern, who was ahead of his time in his race against Republican President Richard Nixon. McGovern's platform included ending the Vietnam War. It also called for spending the billions wasted on the war to rebuild America, along with saving lives by bringing the troops home. McGovern was too proud to emphasize his military experience as a decorated World War II bomber pilot. Nixon attempted to portray him as soft on national defense.

Fast forward to today and consider the expenditure of $2 trillion over time between our Afghanistan and Iraq wars, along with the loss of several thousand American military and civilian citizens. Thousands more suffer day to day with permanent physical injuries. Was it worth spending the dollars and lives? What we have gotten in return?

Larry Penner

Great Neck, N.Y.

Trump breaks the law

The president of the United States is a criminal. He bribed the new Ukraine president to investigate his political rival in order to help his own 2020 campaign. That’s a shakedown. How many people are sitting in jail today for the same type of crime? Trump also tried to award the G7 Summit to his own financially struggling resort, which is absolutely a violation of the emoluments clause of the Constitution.

The silence of South Dakota voters and our federal representatives is deafening. I never thought that I’d see so many Americans turn their backs on the Constitution, debasing all those who have given their lives to defend it, those who continue to risk their lives to defend it, and shrug at the rest of us who prefer democracy to dictatorship.

Shame on South Dakota voters who support the current administration, and shame on Sen. John Thune, Sen. Mike Rounds and Rep. Dusty Johnson, who all swore to defend the Constitution, for their silence and their daily acquiescence to the literal destruction of the United States of America. Are there any Republicans with any character left?

Ellen Fedell

Rapid City

Bad driving with logo

If you are driving a car with logos on it, do not be an idiot. I will not use your company. Also, fog lights are not running lights; be smarter than the switch.

Ken Kundel

Rapid City

Borglum wears party blinders

Representative Borglum, in her Oct. 18 opinion piece, states of the president that "Mr. Trump’s rough edges can shock our quiet sensibilities." Yet she totally defends Trump's presidency. So "rough edges" like admitting he grabs women in their private parts (and having 25 women accuse him of sexual misconduct), being barred in New York from running any charity (“little more than a checkbook to serve Mr. Trump’s business and political interests,” said the Attorney general), and using the office of president to enrich himself — these are all OK for Borglum.

So long as Trump is "delivering on all his campaign promises" perhaps like "draining the swamp" and "I'm not gonna have time to play golf," everything is OK, eh? Never mind the emoluments clause of the Constitution, or swapping out our foreign diplomats for his own attorney, or suddenly throwing a military ally (the Kurds) to death and destruction.

I truly do not understand how people can look at this presidency and think things are going in the right direction. Borglum needs to take her party blinders off.

Jeff Jacobsen

Rapid City

On Rounds’ speech

These are perilous times for our republic. In remarks to the Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce on Oct. 8, Sen. Rounds began by saying the House should simply pass bills and not do the impeachment inquiry. Actually, the House has passed nearly 400 important bills this year. Very few of them were taken up by the Senate. Evidently, the Senate is busy filling judgeships. Mitch McConnell wouldn’t fill Obama’s picks — he waited until he got a Republican president. So much for Sen. Rounds’ belief in bipartisan cooperation.

Rounds went on to remark about the Tax Reform Act of December 2017. He didn’t share specific insights as to how that legislation worked out. Turns out, it simply gave rich people lots more money while expanding our nation’s debt by $1.5 trillion.

Rounds said Republicans and Dems should find common ground. That’s laughable. Since the Tea Party rebellion of 2010, any Republican who tries to compromise gets primaried. He/she is seen as jeopardizing conservative control of government.

Finally, the chamber deserved to hear insightful explanations of the constitutional designations/requirements regarding checks and balances. Sen. Rounds didn’t do this. Citizens need to understand these rules that are readily available from internet searches. It turns out that the House had a clear responsibility to proceed with impeachment according to known facts and Constitutional rules. Speaker Nancy Pelosi is doing an amazing job in leading our country through the complexities that we hope will preserve our marvelous Constitution and republic.

Dave Wegner

Sioux Falls

Oil addiction’s cure

South Dakota’s big vision leaders created a very profitable perfect solution curing our 100% oil addiction. In 1985, big vision leaders legislated the state’s best business plan ever by extracting a one cent/gallon sales tax from state oil pipelines. We dedicated those dollars to incentivize investors to build our billion-gallon competing ethanol industry that has already lowered our gasoline prices up to a dollar/gallon. Skeptics please visit South Dakota: You will observe a bustling growing wealthy economy going from a self-described “buffalo commons” to be a No. 1 rated state attracting new businesses.

If driving a standard auto, you also will be able to access a growing number of E85 blender pumps too. And legally purchase 94 octane premium blends E30-40 that are significantly lower cost and proven to have more power and be much safer.

Importantly, big vision leaders this session will big time increase all auto owners’ preferred access to these premium 94 octane blends E30-40, which will halve our gasoline market share within 10 years. Because new pipeline tax dollars will also more than adequately fund advertising, informing auto owners these high octane blends are their legal, safest more power, best value purchase: Most importantly, they can nearly eliminate tailpipe exhaust content identical to cigarette smoke’s most poisonous content that nationally, annually continues to maim or kill millions of especially our smallest children before and early after birth. A holocaust like lead octane caused for oil’s profits for 20 years.

Orrie Swayze


Dusty Johnson's Syria vote

I for one usually vote Republican. Next election, the Republican Party needs a Dust Buster. I for one will vote against him. Sounds like he doesn't have a problem getting American soldiers killed in a war that’s been going on for 200 years, that we have no business being involved in.

Raymond Ruggiero


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