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opinion Mitchell, 57301
Mitchell South Dakota 120 South Lawler 57301

Think before we jump to new laws

To the Editor:

In reference to the letter on animal cruelty by Jan Johnson:

I do not believe in animal cruelty, but there are a lot of things to think about and define rather than just making animal cruelty a felony.

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Who would define animal cruelty? Do you realize that if you hit a deer and left it with a broken leg, you could be charged with a felony?

If your dog needed a C-section, would this be animal cruelty? Could you be charged with a felony if you accidently broke your cat's leg by shutting the door on it? Your word against whose?

Our tourism is 80 percent hunting and fishing. Could our hunters be charged with a felony for shooting a pheasant?

Our famers need to dehorn and brand their cattle -- a felony?

Our state is an agricultural state. Most everything we do is based on the animal industry. We purchase livestock and pet food, veterinary services and supplies, farm equipment, building supplies, etc.

The steak you are planning to grill for dinner came from a butchered cow-- animal cruelty? Think about it.

Do you realize that you could be charged with animal cruelty on any of the above situations? If you were found guilty, you could never vote again or carry a gun, and you would have to register as a felon for the rest of your life.

We need to think about the repercussions before we jump into any new laws, especially if they are based on tear-jerking emotions.

Linda Van Den Hoek, Corsica

Keep Congress focused on task

To the Editor:

First I'd like to say that I believe that Rep. Herseth Sandlin was wrong in voting no to the recently passed House version of health-care reform. Although flawed, it still contained a public option, which this country dearly needs to protect all of the uninsured Americans, including myself. As I was a victim of layoffs and my wife only works part time and is not eligible for her employer's health-care plan, we are left without an option we can afford. A strong public option is our only hope.

Now to address the flaws in the House version of the bill: It contains a compromise amendment inserted by conservatives in the House called the "Stupak Amendment." The "Stupak Amendment" makes insurance coverage for abortion virtually unavailable for millions of women purchasing insurance plans through the newly created health-insurance exchange, even if they're using their own money to buy coverage.

Conservatives shouldn't be hijacking health care to legislate on reproductive rights. We need to focus on health care and the millions of Americans who need real reform and leave abortion where it ought to be -- a private decision between a woman and her doctor.

The amendment would be a major shift in U.S. policy. It doesn't just extend the status quo, which says no federal funds can cover abortion. It would make insurance coverage for abortion virtually unavailable for millions of women in the new health-insurance exchange, even if they're using their own money for coverage. It's discriminatory and just plain wrong.

Health-care reform will expand access to quality, affordable health care for millions of women. It is absolutely crucial we pass real reform this year. But outlawing coverage for a legal, medical procedure hurts women. And it can't be in the bill.

We as American citizens must make Congress accountable for its actions and keep them focused on the task at hand: to reform health care in this country. It is a fact that a majority of Americans support reform with a strong public option.

Please contact our senators and representative and tell them they need to listen and respond to the wishes of the American people

Lloyd L. Bunch, Mitchell

Make Jesus the reason for season

To the Editor:

As another Christmas comes upon us, wouldn't it be a blessing if we all made Jesus the reason for the season? I have renewed hope this year as I read many letters in this paper that point to Christianity and Bible verses.

Virginia Muirhead's Nov. 14 letter criticized Sandie Rice for not knowing her Bible. She then quoted the Bible's "give to Caesar" and argued that meant we should take of the poor and provide health care for all via the government. Did Jesus then command Caesar to take care of the poor, so the rest did not have to?

I wonder if Virginia ever read Chapter 3 of 2 Thessalonians, where Paul said those who do not work should not eat. And if we turn to Exodus 20:17 ("Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor's"), did Jesus ever say the poor should covet their neighbor's money through Caesar's authority?

Obama's redistribution policies are not based on true Christianity, but instead Marxism. Sandie Rice is the one who is on the side of truth. Kip Speckles (Nov. 28) also seems to agree with that assessment, and he provided a wonderful quote from Psalms 33:12.

The poor who accept Jesus shall inherit the earth. The poor who reject Jesus and follow the secular progressives, who say they should covet thy neighbor's property through the power of the government, need God's truth as much as the rich who refuse the working poor and the sick.

And I have one more Bible verse, especially for Robert Benson: Proverbs 27:17, "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another."

Let us make Jesus the reason for the seasons. Pick up a Bible and let the sharpening commence. That is something we all need, including our president.

Steven L. Sibson, Mitchell

Americans: Take back our country

To the Editor:

President Obama and his left-wing bureaucrats already know they will never be re-elected because of their whimsical spending of the resources of the citizens of this great country to the point where it will be difficult for anyone elected in the future to reverse the damage done by this administration. Obama and most of the Democrats are trying to weaken our Constitution, which will leave our country in shambles.

Taxpayers have yet to discover how the Obama administration is changing our lifestyle through drastically increasing taxes and implementing intimidating laws and regulations which future generations won't easily be able to recover from. If this direction continues, it will morally and financially ruin our country as we know it today.

According to recent polls, many electors who voted for the Obama administration are already regretting it, and this will be reflected in our next election. They now recognize it was a trap they were ensnared in by the slick tongue of a trained orator.

May God help us survive what lies in store for America in the final days of our left-wing incumbents who are gleefully planning more trainwrecks before their terms run out.

President Obama's speech on the evening of Dec. 1 was nothing more than a losing strategy to win our nation's war on terrorism. Woe to us if terrorist nations are bold enough to attack us with nuclear ambitions. Let's take back our country and vote against those who would destroy our way of life.

Milton Schrader, Alexandria

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