Week of March 30

Letters to the editor

Trump’s revised travel ban is founded on discrimination

Sir: A March 16 letter proclaimed U.S. President Donald Trump’s travel ban – rebranded ‘controlled’ immigration – is ‘pragmatic and not ‘xenophobic.’

But Trump’s revised ban has also been blocked by federal courts, which note that bans based on religion are wrong.

The courts are correct. The Geneva Convention makes it clear that states are required to accept refugees fleeing war.

The letter also offered unsourced statistics about the number of deaths caused by ISIL.

The Global Terrorism Index is the most comprehensive global terrorism dataset. The data is collected by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism, a Department of the Homeland Security Centre.

The 2016 GTI report says terrorism is a highly concentrated form of violence, mostly committed in a small number of countries (Iraq, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Pakistan, Syria) by a small number of groups. (ISIL, Boko Haram, al-Qaeda and Taliban)

* Some 93% of terror attacks occur in countries with high levels of state-sponsored political terror, torture and imprisonment without trial. Only 0.5% of terrorist attacks occur in countries not suffering from state-sponsored conflict or political terror. Fifty percent of all plots with an ‘ISIL connection’ have been conducted by lone-wolf actors with ‘no direct connection to ISIL.’

* In OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries, terrorism is most likely to occur where poor socio-economic factors leave few job opportunities for youth born and living there, not from incoming refugees.

Turkey and France are the most affected. Like the attackers in Nice, Paris, San Bernadino and Orlando, the recent attacker in Britain was born there.

The data shows the vast majority of terrorist attacks occur in non-OECD countries, and attacks in OECD countries are primarily by nationals, not by refugees.

Armed conflict and war results in far more deaths, as well as the wholesale destruction of economies, globally, than does terrorism.

Clearly Trump banning people from entry has less to do with ‘control’ than it does with discrimination.

Stanton Earle

Sarnia

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Ditch the grass and enjoy your naturalized yard

Sir: There are many reasons not to have a lawn.

Yes, lawns are green and provide some nutrition for insects and grubs, although lawn pesticides aren’t good for them.

We’ve been taught that grass is good by the lawn industry and the media. One fertilizer company’s advertising was so successful in the 1950s that we still see the same commercial today, which shows that if we have a great lawn we’ll also have a great house, a perfect family and perfect steak on the barbecue. We all bought into it.

Lawn care is a multi-billion business that supports fertilizer companies, equipment companies and others. But grass is an allergen to many people, and keeping it cut produces noise pollution, gasoline engine emissions, and the the danger of running over an electric lawnmower cord. Don’t laugh, it happens.

Lawn pesticides kill insects and can harm birds, bees and butterflies that pollinate our flowers, vegetables and other flora.

Turning a lawn into a naturalized area with native plants will save you water, time and money that you can spend with your family, while supporting wildlife and pollinators.

If you don’t have time to do it yourself, hire a gardening service to naturalize your yard. It’s a lot cheaper in the long run.

Linda MacGregor

Sarnia

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Turn signal needed at busy school intersection

Sir: I think there should be a left turn signal at Michigan Avenue and Indian Road.

It is a really busy intersection, especially before and after school, and there is always a lot of traffic trying to turn left.

It is not uncommon to have to wait 10 to 15 minutes while trying to get into the turning lane, and another couple lights more to turn onto Indian Road.

A left turn signal at that intersection would definitely be safer for drivers and pedestrians. Picking up or dropping off kids at school would also go a lot faster, and it would make everyone happier.

The city wouldn’t need to use it all the time, just at the start and end of a school day.

Mark Bridge

Northern Collegiate

Sarnia