Editor, Times-Union:
Recently, I challenged the abuses of agricultural subsidies, not the concept of subsidies. Many farmers need these subsidies, such as my grandfather who was a small dairy farmer. I also argued the premise that such subsidies are examples of socialist endeavors. This provoked fiery rebukes. Those who took the time and exhibited the courage to write should be commended. Welcome to the marketplace of ideas.
Two of my fiercest critics pointed out several of my alleged “errors.” For instance, since childhood I have been taught that the Bible writer Luke was a Syrian gentile physician who chronicled the life of Jesus and the acts of the apostles. Now I am told he was  one of the apostles. How could I be so ignorant? We are also told I got my numbers wrong on citing a Bible verse. I am properly chastised.
On substance I am taken to task for comments on farm subsidies although the critics seem to agree with my premise that the subsidies involve shared risk: “the government takes up the slack”. We are then told of the “huge” costs to farmers for crop insurance. What is missing in the letter is full disclosure. The writers neglect to mention that they sell this hugely expensive crop insurance to farmers. The word bias come to mind. Perhaps they can edify us further on their own interests in their next rebuke.
David C. Kolbe
Warsaw, via e-mail