Letters to the editor | VailDaily.com

Letters to the editor

Peter Bergh

Being frankly quite bemused by the flap over the issue of torture stirred up by those on the left and all the limousine liberals who apparently have never even heard of a terrorist that they didn’t like, I wish to point out that if you do not play by the rules you should not expect to be protected by the rules.In a so-called “civilized” society, is torture ever justified? You bet it is if there is the high probability that by employing degrees of torture to suspected terrorists it means saving the lives of perhaps tens of thousands of innocent people.Daily headlines attest to the fact that the furry-faced-rag-headed-whackos who are willing to vaporize themselves and all around them, torture and behead innocent men, women and children are not playing by the rules of the Geneva Convention. When apprehended alive, these cowards and their cohorts deserve no protection from cruel and unusual punishment (at least as defined by laws in the United States), and should be incarcerated in one of the many countries around the world whose government knows how to extract valuable and critical information from individuals who are reluctant to divulge what they know if it means substantially reducing the likelihood of having a nuclear device detonated one day in downtown New York, Chicago, Denver or Los Angeles. The modern world is still a very dangerous jungle, even more so than a thousand years ago, for the degrees of harm that can now be inflicted on the civilized world by a relatively few individuals practicing their evil arts outside of the law are far greater than ever before. Therefore employing extreme measures such as torture to counter extreme threats such as posed by WMD is most certainly justified.Peter BerghEdwardsPlenty of rodentsI read with interest the anonymous note in Tipsline the other day about the poor rodents being gassed by those evil folks out at Eagle Ranch. Obviously this caller has never taken a walk along the Golf Course or in the fields and open space of Eagle Ranch. Otherwise they would have known better. There are not only many rodents here – voles, mice and ground squirrels – there are thousands and even tens of thousands. Last summer you could see literally hundreds of ground squirrels running across the cart path as you approached.The rodent population in Eagle Ranch is flourishing, even with gassing. So are their avian predators. The other day as I sat working at my desk a feather came drifting down onto the porch roof. Then another, a couple more and then a small blizzard of feathers were floating past the window. Our adoptive kestrel was busy ripping apart one of the finches that frequent our feeders. This afternoon our declawed cat had a vole within minutes of being let out.I was musing on the Tipsline note while walking down the 12th fairway when one of the redtail hawks swept over the rise and landed in the cottonwood in front of me. This bird, who wasn’t there according to the Tipsline pundit, had a ground squirrel in its grasp. I’ve seen this supposedly “non-existent” scene work itself out daily. I’ve seen both bald and golden eagles here through the winter. But I guess I must have been hallucinating. Maybe the hundreds of elk and deer who happily bed down in the native grass of my back yard’s “perfect lawn” are just as imaginary as all the raptors and owls. My porch roof is littered with owl pellets and the bits and pieces of assorted rodent dinners. Then there are the weasels who give the non-existent voles a run for their money all winter under the snow of my back yard. We do lack some predators here in Eagle Ranch. I haven’t seen many coyotes lately. As such, we humans sometimes need to take up that role or the rodent population will explode as it did last summer. So the Tipsline note inspired me. I headed out back with a shovel and a box full of smoke bombs. There will still be plenty of ground squirrels this summer running through the brown and uncut native bunchgrass of my “perfect” back yard. Bill Heicher is correct. There is more wildlife out here now then there was when it was a working ranch. I know that because I knew this property before it was developed. We kept horses out here for years. If you think gassing takes a toll on the burrowing rodents, you should try flood irrigation. It really works.I also decided that Tipsline does provide a valuable community service. It lets people spout their ignorance to the whole world while remaining immune from embarrassment. If the caller wants, I’d be more than happy to take them out on a little nature walk through the real Eagle Ranch. We don’t have any prairie dogs though.Ken NeubeckerEagleVail, Colorado

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