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Letters to the Editor: Where to begin with Ammon Bundy’s insane views on exploiting the Earth?

A woman pats Ammon Bundy on the back as he holds a spatula over a grill.
Far-right anti-government activist Ammon Bundy, who is running for governor of Idaho, grills burgers at a campaign event in Boise on June 19.
(Nathan Howard / Getty Images)

To the editor: It’s hard to know where to begin after reading of Ammon Bundy’s hysterical rantings about our species’ right to decimate the planet in the name of God, guns and greed. But as a proud environmentalist, I feel compelled to at least try to point out the obvious.

Beliefs like manifest destiny and dominion are nothing but convenient yet perverse interpretations of religion to justify everything from the exploitation and destruction of the natural world to the genocide of Native American or anyone else who doesn’t fit into some bigoted worldview.

Just because a person or a group believes something does not make it true. Some believe the Earth is flat. It is not. Some believe men are superior to women. They are not. Others like Bundy believe the Earth was created for one species, especially those with lighter skin pigmentation.

This level of hubris is insane and self-destructive. The Earth’s evolutionary process manifests in a remarkable diversity of life forms. Humans are lucky enough to be one of them.

Tim Viselli, La Cañada Flintridge

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To the editor: I attended graduate school in Wyoming in the 1980s. The Sagebrush Rebellion was underway, financed by the extraction industries but made to look as if it was a grassroots movement.

A lawyer from Denver gave a speech at the campus, and I attended so I could hear what people were being told. The audience members — men who appeared to be hardscrabble cattle ranchers — were the biggest beneficiaries of the public land system. They grazed their cattle on the public lands, paying only a nominal fee.

The lawyer told us that if the land could just be yanked away from the feds, it could be parceled out and sold to the common man. He claimed everybody would have a shot at owning a little piece of the Wyoming paradise.

As we exited, I asked some ranchers if they really believed they would be allowed to buy some of the land if it came up for sale. They replied with an almost religious fervor that, yes, everyone would have a chance to purchase some of the spots that would become available.

It’s been nearly 40 years since then, and clearly, that targeted audience is just as gullible now as it was back then.

Cheryl Holt, Burbank


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