TYSON CHICKEN QUESTION

Duane Sheets: ‘So anything that feels pain we shouldn’t eat? There are whackos who think plants feel pain. Why don’t all the humans just die and leave the planet alone?’

☞ That would be one extreme. The opposite extreme would be to say torturing animals is completely acceptable. Is there perhaps a sensible, moral middle ground?

PLACES, EVERYONE

Dan Albro: ‘I always liked “Lizard Lick, NC.”

BOSE HEADPHONES (again)

Joshua Stevens: ‘I fly over 100,000 miles per year and I swear by Bose. I’ve been one of the first to invest in their noise-canceling headphones about four years ago. The sound is both quiet and excellent. Their customer service is also outstanding. Twice I’ve had an issue involving the foam around the ear pieces coming unglued, each time I returned to the local Bose store and they simply exchanged the phones for a brand new pair!

‘Recently, I invested another $350 in my other ultimate travel gadget, the Nomad Jukebox 3 MP3 player from Creative Labs. It features a 40GB hard drive that will hold over 15,000 songs! (Memory chip based MP3 players are so passé.) I am now 75% through the process of ripping the 750 CDs in my collection into MP3 format (2-3 minutes per CD with a Pentium 4 and a 48x CD-ROM drive). The Nomad 3 is the exact same size as a portable CD Player Walkman, weighing in at 11 ounces and has rechargeable batteries good for 22 hours of play time. It also fits perfectly in the Bose headphone case. More importantly, when I finish my CD-ripping project, I will have a perfect digital copy of my entire music collection on my hard drive. Upon completion, I plan to sell the original CDs (probably to the local used CD store) for $3-4 each. This should raise $2,500… more than enough to pay for the Bose headphones, the MP3 player and my Pentium 4 computer! If I had invested my $350 in risky stocks 4 years ago it might be worth only $100 today.’ [Well, maybe, but selling CD’s once you’ve copied them and kept the copies is illegal.]

ATTACK IRAQ?

Michael Axelrod: ‘For a carefully reasoned case for invading Iraq, see The Threatening Storm by Kenneth Pollack. After considering a number of options, the author reluctantly concludes that the least dangerous course of action is to invade Iraq without further delay. Pollack was a CIA analyst specializing in Iraq. He explains why ‘containment’ won’t work. Adlai E. Stevenson III presents more or less the standard left-of-center case for not invading Iraq. Some of his assertions are just flat-out wrong, such as: ‘Even top officials at the Central Intelligence Agency have acknowledged that Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction are only a threat if Iraq is attacked.’ Pollack discusses this very point at length, and in depth. It’s a very dangerous assumption.’

MOLLY ON BEATING TAXES

She writes (in part): ‘What is it with rich people that 60 percent of a $100 million is not enough? What kind of sickness is that? You make $100 million on stock options, do you honestly think you earned it? Did you work 10,000 times harder than a guy who gets $10,000 a year for digging ditches? Even a thousand times harder? A hundred? Ten? It is no secret that the ultimate goal of the conservative movement in this country is to get rid of the IRS and the progressive income tax entirely. The right-wing foundations have been talking about it for years. It is genuinely difficult to understand the level of greed and venality that would make someone think everyone else should pay taxes on what they make, but that he doesn’t have to . . . ‘

☞ It is a grand time to be rich and powerful in America.

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