Enlightened killing: Robb Walsh's article "Shooting Bambi's Mom" [November 6] is one of the finest articles I've read about ethical hunting and the place of regulated sport hunting in environmental and wildlife conservation.
As a lifelong "fair chase" sport hunter, I am constantly outraged by anti-hunting idiots on one side and the crude, redneck "eight-pointer" crowd on the other.
Mr. Walsh does an admirable job debunking anti-hunting myths and reminding us that Bambi was an anti-hunting propaganda film. And he narrates a pleasant, low-stress hunt that was fun for him and his friend, Chef, and produced some great gourmet venison.
Last, I commend Mr. Walsh for the humane hunting method he used. Neck-shooting a deer at close range with the hypervelocity 220 Swift is as "instant" as death gets.
Unions, stay out: It has been my experience, after working for Wal-Mart for three years at three different stores in two states, that the Wal-Mart employees who are most vocal about "abusive" policies are almost exclusively employees who are not doing their jobs and are trying to throw up a smoke screen to divert attention from their lack of performance ["Behind the Happy Face," by Michael Serazio, October 30].
Any problem I have ever had has been resolved in-store and without the use of a mediator. There has never been any intimidation.
Union organization at Wal-Mart would accomplish very little, all of it counterproductive. The price of merchandise would go up because of increased labor costs; inefficient and/or bad workers would be more difficult to get rid of, resulting in shoddy service; and the inevitable gridlock between union officials and executives would result in a loss of productivity. And taking into consideration just how much the U.S. economy depends on Wal-Mart, there's no telling how adverse the effects would be on the marketplace in general.
Finally, it's pretty low for organized labor to be slandering Wal-Mart when it has such a bad record regarding corruption and scandal. Hypocrites!
To the union agitators, leave us alone. Stop trying to intimidate and harass us. We don't need you to speak for us. We don't want to pay you to intercede when we can do it ourselves. There's a reason you've never gotten a foothold in the company, and it's because we don't want or need you. So back off!
Pity Them Not
Coddling convicts? Quite frankly, I don't really care that TDCJ inmates are upset about the food they're getting ["Lite Sentences," by Scott Nowell, October 23]. Actually, it's a double-edged sword -- the food should at least be edible but they should count their lucky stars that they get more than just bread and water.
Ms. Luna's complaint that inmates are treated inhumanely is absurd. Lest she forget, they are criminals. Did they treat their victims humanely? Are some of the victims even in a position to complain about food? The fact that the inmates have a bed to sleep in, food to eat, computers to use and books to read seems very humane and more than a lot of law-abiding citizens in this world have access to. I am not a direct crime victim, but the fact that my tax dollars are clothing, feeding and sheltering criminals makes me an indirect victim. These people chose to commit crimes. Better choices might have landed them better lives.
Officers shouldn't have to eat the same food as inmates. After all, they didn't commit crimes. That would be saying they're equal to the inmates, and that's an insult.
If the Texas legislature really wants to cut costs, why not start with death row? Stop leaving inmates there for 20 years. In the 1800s executions were carried out within a few days for offenses as simple as horse stealing. Maybe we should take some lessons from our forefathers.
X Marks the Spot
Salvia guide: The main key to taking salvia correctly is to identify that a reverse tolerance is a property of the herb ["Stoner Science," by Margaret Downing, October 30]. Beginners often find it difficult to reach the potent effects; increased use will lead to faster and better experiences.
It was unclear from the article which X you consumed. A 5X is recommended for beginners, although if you find that lacking, increasing the potency can compensate for the reverse-tolerance effect.
Salvia is not a party drug, but it is quite well suited for those who seek deeper experiences.
Anti-abortion arguments: There are four bad ways people argue for abortion ["Go, Baby, Go," by Michael Serazio, October 2]. The letters in response to the abortion displays illustrate them well. First, they attack the pro-lifer with names and accusations of murderous hate, being uncaring and being intolerant. Second, they "relativize" the view, pretending we just told them our favorite flavor of ice cream and not a view on civil rights. Who would ever tell the NAACP, "That's true for you but not for me"? Third, they assume what they want to prove, that safe abortion doesn't kill, that the unborn is a part of the woman's body and not a living human. Fourth, they appeal to hard cases to show that abortion is okay in every instance.
Only one question is relevant: What is the unborn? This is the debate. If the unborn is an individual living human being, she can't be killed when inconvenient, unwanted, too expensive, diseased or the father is hated. Only four differences between the unborn and newborn exist: size or appearance, level of development or abilities, location and degree of dependency. Which of these disqualifies anyone from personhood? U.S. courts stated in the past that American Indians and African-Americans were not persons. The British courts once stated that women weren't either. The Nazis said that Jews were not. Why do some lessons take so long to learn? When will all humans be considered people deserving of respect and protection? This is the goal of the pro-life movement. And this is why there is only one question.
Good chef, bad staff: I couldn't agree more with Paul Galvani's pan of Vizio Italian restaurant ["Houston Vice," October 30]. And vice it is: a young, talented chef hiding behind a clueless and profligate management that demands little more of its staff than just showing up.
My several dining experiences at Vizio left me paraphrasing Pirandello: Six Kids in Search of an Adult. There were missing menu items, suspect wines by the glass, waiters unaware of basic Italian ordering sequence (primi, secondi, etc.). After an hour, my dinner companion simply laughed.
She surmised that Vizio is really an undercover Fertitta operation, diabolically market-testing some really bad dinner theater where customers get the lead roles.
Name withheld by request
Theft precautions: One for the good guys [Racket, by John Nova Lomax, October 30]. It's nice to hear a happy ending. I've had several recurring dreams of waking up and finding my practice room stripped. I know it's just gear, but it takes a lot of work to accumulate. I keep saying that I'm going to ID and log all my gear. This article is just one more reason to do that. Thanks.
Don't tolerate molesters: Regarding R. Kelly ["O.J. All Over Again," by Craig D. Lindsey, October 23], not all black audiences are protective or supportive of African-American stars who break the law.
There are certain laws you can break and still keep your status in the media. But when you rape, murder and have sex with teens or children, that's way beyond getting caught shoplifting. I feel it's really sad when stars, regardless of ethnicity, can commit rape and murder and fans still buy their music, tickets, etc. When I found out about R. Kelly and the tape, I felt so sick.
It's not like people didn't see this coming -- remember Aaliyah? Whenever I hear his music, whether old or new, I turn it off. The female fan you mentioned who was glad R. Kelly didn't get all spiritual should hope he never gets around her niece or little sister. Maybe if he and Kobe Bryant had "copped out" to Jesus, they wouldn't be caught up in the shady dramas they are in now. R. Kelly's music will never be played in my house. It's a sad day when someone can take away the innocence of a teen or child and people start singing "Stand By Your Man."
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