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Mr. Frank West of Moneta refers to Billy Hackworth's recent editorial as "ranting and drivel" which means to drool, slaver and foolish. After re-reading Mr. Hackworth's editorial, I fail to see the connection. Mr. Hackworth is letting the taxpayer of Bedford County know where a lot of their tax dollars are going. What's foolish about that?

Does Mr. West have a "ranting and drivel" problem? Or does he know something about Sheriff Brown the county citizens need to know? You be the judge.

Billy Burnette

Bedford

About the numbers

So sad for Rick Howell.

The poor soul seems to believe so many of us don't understand mortality rates. I realize that much of his beloved media like to keep hammering at numbers like "4,000 troops dead in Iraq," as if he really believes that of a 150,000 or so troops per year we have in Iraq less than 4,000 would have died if we weren't in Iraq. Keep in mind that the number of deaths reported includes those of all causes, accidents and illnesses, not just battle deaths.

Rick, dear lad, of the barely over 300,000,000 Americans in our current population about 2,500,000 didn't survive last year and slightly more won't see 2009. It just happens that a little more than that number will be born. If the 150,000 in Iraq each year suffered the same mortality rate as any 150,000 sample at home they would be dying at about 1,250 per year which, in five years would have amounted to over 6,200 deaths. Even if it sounds insensitive to say this one could argue that being in Iraq was safer than being at home.

Would you like to point out that our young men in the services are at their healthiest age? It turns out that our mortality rates, by age, take a big jump at about the age of 16 when we begin letting our kids have control of three or four thousand pounds of really lethal weapons. That rate stays well above the national average until after our mid-20s.

Oh, and by the way, in spite of what liberals wish to call it this is our war, not Bush's war. Those of us who have worked in that part of the world well before the '90s knew that there were a huge number of people in the middle east truly believing they were commanded by God/Allah to eliminate us.

Bob Terry

Bedford