It's perversely ironic for rancher Cliven Bundy to excoriate poor people for collecting government subsidies while ripping off the federal government of a million dollars in grazing fees. But, even if he were to pay up, Bundy and his fellow ranchers would still be living on government welfare. Livestock grazing is subsidized by federal agencies on 270 million acres of public land in 11 Western states to the tune of nearly $300 million annually. Monthly grazing fees per cow and calf on private range land average $11.90, but corresponding fees on federal lands are set at a paltry $1.35. Even so, grazing subsidies are dwarfed by other government subsidies and the medical, environmental and other external costs imposed on society by animal agriculture. These extra costs have been estimated at $414 billion annually, or $3,600 per household. Each of us can make our $3,600 annual contribution to the common good by replacing animal products in our diet with the rich variety of grain, nut and soy-based meat and dairy alternatives in our neighborhood supermarket.
Thanks to your columnist, David Cook, for suggesting Tennessee adopt the guillotine as the means of executing those who are due that penalty under the law. Death surely would be certain, instantaneous and painless -- and, in my opinion, as humane as such a circumstance warrants. It would eliminate the problems associated with the other execution methods Mr. Cook mentioned. As to his outrageous satire and his insult of Sicillians, I wish he had exercised more restraint. But his suggestion of the guillotine as the instrument for executing persons who typically were without mercy for their victims is well made. I wholeheartedly endorse it and urge our legislators to seriously consider it as well.
You used to have the best daily paper in the state, maybe the nation. I've had occasion over a long life span to read all the newspapers of our four major cities. I'm sure I speak for many subscribers. Recently you printed a front page-picture and an inside page article of a prostitute's death. Other than family, who would have an interest? May I speak on homosexuality? Given time, why will this not reduce the human race to a third rate? If not, why not? Children they are permitted to adopt must be so mixed up -- no mommy and made fun of among their peers.
DOROTHY ROBERTS, Fairfield Glade, Tenn.