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Opinion: Letters to the Editor

U.S. needs to protect less fortunate people

To the Editor:

Some people claim we avoided a recession and are in a recovery phase. It's good to be optimistic, but also realistic.

True, some sections of the economy show signs of improvement, but the whole picture doesn't look that good. The last report is that we lost 54,000 jobs in August and with some 100,000 troops coming back from Iraq, they will also be looking for jobs. Though some of these jobs have been replaced, most of these people will end up on the unemployment list that is already costing us billions.

We need to balance the budget, but we cannot do it by stopping our spending. If we cut down on our public spending, we are cutting down on services and are putting more people out of jobs. It's politically popular to talk about tax cuts, but tax cuts won't do anything for the 10 percent of the people who do not have jobs because they are not paying any taxes, anyway.

The people who are making the big bucks are going to have to pay more taxes to get the country on a paying basis. By putting higher taxes on those excessive individual incomes, people would be encouraged to put some of that excessive income back into their businesses, thereby creating more jobs.

Tax cuts for businesses are good because businesses create jobs. With our present tax system, we are creating a class of multimillionaires and billionaires at the expense of the general public, which is being reduced to slaves of the big shots with all the money.

The United States is a land of opportunity, but we need a counterbalance to protect the less fortunate.

John Zilverberg, Highmore

Herseth Sandlin past evident in the record

To the Editor:

People should understand what Rep. Herseth Sandlin voted for and against since 2008. I can think of three major bills she voted on that were important bills.

She voted for the hate crime bill. If you can remember, this bill allows all the sexual orientations to sue you and put you in jail, if you say anything about them. In the Senate the bill was not going to pass on the bill by itself. So, the majority leader added it to the defense authorization bill that had to be passed. This bill is completely against the First Amendment and your right to free speech.

She voted against the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy for the military.

These two bills were along party line votes with House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi leading the charge.

The third bill she voted against. The way the game is played in Washington, I would think that the House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi would tell her she could vote against the health care bill if it was going to pass to make her look good back home and she would be re-elected to keep a Democrat in office and maybe keep her, Pelosi, in power. I wouldn't put a thing like this past them in Washington. However, there is a discharge petition going around the House now that needs 217 signatures to have a re-vote on the health care bill. Rep. Herseth Sandlin has said she will not vote again against the health care bill. What does that mean now? Maybe what I was thinking is correct.

A vote for Herseth Sandlin is a vote for the same things,: no First Amendment rights, basically no Bill of Rights.

You need to see what the bills are and how she voted.

Donald R. Hoffman, Delmont

Noem's wilderness stance disappoints

To the Editor:

I was very disappointed by Kristi Noem's announcement that she opposes Sen. Johnson's prairie grassland wilderness bill. More disappointing is the uninformed reasoning behind her decision.

This wilderness designation is hardly the "federal land grab" she asserts, as the Buffalo Gap National Grassland is already public land managed by the U.S. Forest Service.

She also states the legislation would compromise control of fires, prairie dogs and noxious weeds in the area, when language in the bill clearly includes provisions for their control.

She goes on to claim the bill could eliminate livestock grazing on the lands, when in fact the Wilderness Act explicitly states that grazing shall continue in the wilderness. Indeed, of all management designations for federal lands, wilderness provides the strongest legal assurance to ranchers for continuing their grazing operations.

Several weeks ago, we requested a meeting with Ms. Noem to provide information about wilderness and share with her the support this legislation has received from over 50 local organizations including hunters, the Oglala, Rosebud, Cheyenne River, Standing Rock and Lower Brule Sioux tribes, conservationists and others. Unfortunately, we received no response.

I hope Ms. Noem reconsiders, and bases her decision on factual, accurate information this time around.

Cheryl Warren, S.D. Wild Grassland Coalition, Custer

Get involved, attend October convention

To the Editor:

Thanks again for your great newspaper. Nothing compares with a South Dakota morning, a hot cup of coffee and the Mitchell Daily Republic with local news we can't get anywhere else. Here's my letter:

Why get involved? When we don't actively care, things deteriorate. Tools don't work well if we don't take care of them.

About 800 totally innocent South Dakotans lost their lives last year. 800 mothers and families grieve that loss. We can help prevent that loss by getting involved with a fabulous non-profit, non-partisan, non-denominational, single issue organization -- a great tool: SD Right to Life. There is a convention Oct. 9, right here in Mitchell. It will feature national speakers and local supporters of the right to life: Honorable Noel Hamiel and PUC Dusty Johnson. Get involved and help maintain that tool.

Valerie Johnson, Mitchell

Appreciate coverage of fair's anniversary

To the Editor:

I am compelled to write after the very interesting Sept. 2 edition of The Daily Republic, regarding the South Dakota State Fair and its 125th anniversary. I have many fond memories of the State Fair.

We used to ride the Northwestern train from Vilas to go to Huron to stay with relatives and attend the fair. After I married Marvin, we would be up very early doing chores, frying chicken and making pie. We'd try to be at the fair by noon to spread a blanket on the ground, where friends and relatives would gather for dinner. We often stayed for the grandstand performances, bundled in coats and blankets.

Marvin and two of his friends decided to take a registered purebred hog to the State Fair Open Class. The friend had a stock rack on his pickup. They loaded the hog and away they went.

On the highway near Forestburg, the hog decided to jump out of the stock rack onto the highway. While the friends corralled the hog, Marv returned home to get a neighbor and stock truck to take the hog on to the fair. The hog was not injured.

The men came home with a purple ribbon and Mr. Hog was sold on the market at the fair.

The Corn Palace Festival was always our anniversary celebration. Mitchell is our town and the Daily Republic our paper.

Betty Gehring, Howard