Incensed is the best word to describe my reaction to the 26 percent pay raise to $220,000 a year for New Mexico Lottery CEO David Barden (“Lottery chief gets 26 percent salary hike,” July 19). This $46,000 annual increase comes at the expense of college scholarships for New Mexico students.

When I retired from the U.S. Air Force after 24 years, my basic pay was $69,804 (a matter of public record). I commanded an organization of 2,200 people in four locations across the nation with an annual budget approaching $200 million. Where is the CEO’s and the lottery board’s sense of balance between executive compensation and their mission?

Have we descended so far that the only way to retain leadership is through money? Where is the sense of service to the nation, to the state, and most importantly, to worthy college students in New Mexico?

Gary D. Payton

colonel, USAF-retired

Santa Fe

Shotgun marriage

A shotgun marriage occurred in 2016 between Donald Trump and the Republican Party. The party has made valiant efforts to keep the bond in place. The recent events by the bridegroom show a complete disregard for the Constitution of the United States and disrespect for the citizens of the United States. The party needs to divorce the bigot and find a different candidate for 2020 who respects the Constitution and the rule of law. Congress still has the right to override a veto.

John. B. Ramsay

Los Alamos

Antidote is love

There is a saying: “Whom the gods wish to destroy, they soon make mad.” The public spectacle of the president descending into the dark unholy of megalomania is a madness of power. It is a perversion of the teachings of Jesus, a manifestation of the anti-Christ. When anyone, much less a national leader, justifies attacks on those who disagree with them as virtue, lashing out with vitriolic rage, hate, fear and shame, they cross the threshold of rationality into pathological insanity.

It is impossible to minimize the contagious danger of this disease of the soul. I, therefore, encourage all to quarantine this disease through the antidote of love, forgiveness and anchoring oneself in the truth that “I am another yourself.”

Richard Welker

Santa Fe

Thanks for stroll

I would like to thank Tourism Santa Fe and all others involved with the July 17 wine stroll on Canyon Road. We participated in this event with our adult children and we all had a wonderful time. I truly hope that the negative response of one person does not prevent this event from occurring on an annual basis. Thanks for all the hard work it takes to sponsor these types of community activities.

Kris Glenn

Santa Fe

Resistant herbicides

A story in The New Mexican accuses anti-GMO activists of being scientifically illiterate, and states that almost 90 percent of scientists consider genetically modified foods to be safe (“Many people mistaken on science fact, fiction,” July 23). Yet chemist Jordan Wilkerson of Harvard University in “Science in the News” explains how Roundup Ready crops like corn and soybeans (where over 90 percent of the U.S. harvest is bio-engineered) have created a new generation of “Roundup resistant” superweeds, requiring farmers to use more old-fashioned herbicides than ever. These chemicals, like 2,4-D and dicamba, have been associated with diseases like non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

According to a Union of Concerned Scientist study based on Department of Agriculture data, farmers now use 386 million more pounds of these toxins annually than before Monsanto started pushing GMOs. The answer is not more monoculture with crops genetically altered to resist ever more potent poisons. The answer is sustainable, organic agriculture.

Dori Jones

master gardener

Santa Fe