Letters to the editor Weak response to Ukraine; thanks to Forkel; Convention of States

A weak response to Ukraine invasion

Russia and China have been inspired to test us. First, 39 million Afghans lost freedom and relative safety as a result of Joe Biden's decision to abandon them. Now, Ukraine's citizens are suffering the same fate.

To dissuade Russia from attacking Ukraine and neighboring NATO countries, Biden issued several strongly worded statements, sent eight fighter jets to Poland and deployed several thousand light infantry to various NATO countries. These are the best infantry in the world, but nevertheless only symbolic deterrence as infantry can not stand toe to toe with heavy Russian armor.

Russia's response to this feeble symbolism is to openly threaten nuclear war if the West intervenes. The Russian fleets are conducting war drills in the Atlantic, Pacific, Mediterranean and Black Sea. John Kerry is concerned that war in Europe will distract us from combating climate change.

Chinese news media posted instructions to social platforms about how to approach coverage on Ukraine, including a note of China’s need for Russian "support" to solve the Taiwan issue "once and for all".

We should ask the Taliban if we could have our weapons back.

Oscar Wenholm, Clark

Forkel's contributions were considerable

Noting the decision by Todd Forkel to leave his position as head of Avera St. Luke's here in Aberdeen, we wish him and his family the best in his new endeavor. It's been said the most challenging jobs in Aberdeen are being the president of Northern State University and being the person in charge of Avera. Day care workers should be on that list, too. Lots of moving parts every day.

At Avera, Todd's contribution to this area's quality of life has been evident in the products of his efforts. Dealing with all the dynamics of managing medical services takes leadership and he has it. It is also appropriate to mention Todd's service in city government. While in office, his votes contributed to decisions completing city participation in financing the new YMCA, fully funding remodeling of old Central High School and joining efforts to build the new Swisher Field. Also, Todd was helpful as Aberdeen's police and fire department unions and city leaders worked to resolve longstanding and acrimonious, adversarial disagreements.

Thanks, Todd. Your work here will be felt long after you are gone.

Mike Levsen, Aberdeen

No tinkering with the constitution

Some pollsters are like snake oil salesmen. They manipulate any question to achieve their targeted outcome.

Take, for example, the group Convention of States. Are their polls asking, “Do you support putting fiscal restraints on the federal government?" Or "limiting its power?” Who wouldn’t agree with that? But their solution is to change the constitution, pass a few amendments and — voila! They believe all those goals would be accomplished. All the corruption would magically disappear and the debt would supernaturally vanish. Sounds like pie in the sky.

But limiting the federal government is what the constitution already does. The constitution is not the problem. The problem is lawmakers who do not obey the constitution.

Do these pollsters mention that a convention would put our constitution on the chopping block to do whatever unelected delegates and high-pressure special interests desire? Convention of States has already revealed its goal to “clarify” the Second Amendment. Some Convention of States “salesmen” have advocated eliminating the Electoral College. A Convention of States board member has already written a new constitution.

We as voters have the responsibility to study the constitution and demand that our lawmakers obey it as their oath of office commands. And we must insist on no tinkering with the constitution.

Linda Schauer, State Director, Leola, Concerned Women for America of South Dakota

Schoenbeck lied to, ridiculed South Dakotans

Sen. Lee Schoenbeck, you lied to the people of South Dakota – and then proceeded to ridicule us – in your recent speech discouraging our state passing the Convention of States. Despite overwhelming support, you never even allowed the issue to be debated. With the federal budget at a $30 trillion deficit and inflation at a 40-year high, a Convention of States is exactly what is needed to rein in our current tyrannical federal government.

Let me refresh your memory by quoting your own words.

“They want to have a convention and rewrite the constitution."

A blatant falsehood. In Article V of the U.S. Constitution our founding fathers provided for a Convention of States if and when the federal government was out of control. The Convention of States isn’t rewriting the Constitution – it's simply following its guidelines.

“If you’re from South Dakota you’d have to have rocks in your head to like this," you said.

Is that your idea of mature constructive criticism?

And lastly, you actually made the perfect argument for joining the Convention of States when you said, “Blue states like Massachusetts, California and New York wouldn’t agree with things like balanced budgets and term limits.”

Is that your vision for South Dakota? To turn us into California and New York? Maybe, if you’d bothered to read some of those emails in the box from your constituents, you’d be more in touch with what we the people really want and have a right to expect from you as an elected official.

If you’re so enamored with the disastrous way the blue states are being governed, next time you’re up for re-election you should be running as a liberal Democrat rather than a conservative Republican.

Katherine Larson, Florence

This article originally appeared on Aberdeen News: Letters to the editor about Ukraine invasion, Convention of States