Readers Respond to the January Issue
I did not need to read the details of how two dogs and a hunter corner and kill a wild pig [“A Plague of Pigs”]. And the fact that people are permitted to shoot any animal from a helicopter turns my stomach.
Let Them Eat Pork
What’s to be done with the millions of wild pigs ruining farmers’ fields [“A Plague of Pigs”]? Give pork to poor people who cannot afford to buy meat. The pigs can be butchered into portions and taken to food banks. We have a similar program in Virginia called Hunters for the Hungry. White-tailed deer shot for sport are donated, butchered, packaged and distributed at a very low cost. Good wildlife management means more meat for dinner. Please pass the pork chops.
One of the main reasons for the relatively rapid expansion of the hog population in Texas is that 300 million pounds of shelled corn are distributed annually across most of the state to enhance hunting opportunities, primarily for deer. This high-energy food supply plays a large part in supplementing the diet of wild hogs, contributing to increasing growth rates, bolstering reproduction and otherwise ensuring a healthy hog population. Florida, where I live and work as a wildlife biologist, has the second- or third-highest wild hog population in the nation, but baiting with corn is less widespread and this is reflected in lower rates of pig reproduction. Baiting has become more common in some states in the past few decades, and when wild hogs are also present, land managers—and others—will have to deal with the voracious creatures.
The New South
In my kind of town [“Hallowed Ground”], Ernest B. Furgurson touches on the pain and suffering of the slaves brought against their will to this country. He also remarks that things have “changed.” But in some regions of the South, Confederate sympathies are still apparent. Several Southern states observe a Confederate Memorial Day celebration glossing over the role slavery played in secession; in Texas a few years ago, some suggested the state secede again, and more recently a Southern politician said he did not recall the era of segregation as being “that bad.” Let us not forget that the secession of states from the Union and the formation of the Confederacy was indeed about states’ rights and, from the antebellum South’s perspective, that included the right to allow one human being to own another.
Camillus, New York
I disagree with historian Robert Dallek’s statement that we should not want to “inhibit” presidential executive power “to too great an extent” [From the Editor, “Powers That Be”]. The great erosion of Congressional power commenced more than a century ago. Since then the increase in presidential powers and government secrecy has grown far beyond what many citizens consider acceptable, especially when it comes to wars that have not been formally declared by Congress. Witness, among many others, the wars in Korea and Vietnam, the invasions of Grenada and Panama, and the ongoing conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. The power vested in Congress to declare war (Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution) should be revived at the earliest opportunity.
Jose Gonzalez Jauregui
Regarding the story about Edward Steichen’s iconic photograph of John Pierpont Morgan [Indelible Images, “Cutthroat Capitalist”], for which I was interviewed, I would like to clarify my views about the man and the photograph. Steichen’s image reinforces long-standing popular myths about Morgan as a ruthless capitalist pirate, especially given that the glinting arm of a chair grasped in the banker’s left hand looks like a dagger. Although I greatly admire the portrait, I do not endorse the “cutthroat capitalist” myth, as any reader of my book, Morgan, American Financier, will see.
New York, New York