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Letters, week of July 16

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God, slavery and homeopathy

Sir: This letter is in response to not one, but two letters published in your July 9th issue. Both letters reveal absolutely breath-taking examples of convoluted logic which, for better or worse, I could not leave unrebutted. I shall address each in turn.

The first is Merial Loosemore’s ludicrous claim that “reading the Bible correctly will not reveal God condoned slavery, then or now.”

The Bible is replete with plainly worded examples of how totally cool God is with slavery: from the rules on separating a slave from his family (it’s fine), to the recommended value of a slave (30 silver shekels), to how hard you can acceptably beat a slave with a stick (as long as you don’t kill them, you’re golden). And that’s just in Exodus.

Loosemore’s “correct” way to read the Bible must involve some hefty mental gymnastics and semantic sleight-of-hand to suggest that God was anything but a big fan of slavery.

As for the second letter, Michele Dionne made a no-doubt sincere endorsement of the efficacy of a homeopathic remedy in treating her chronic bronchitis. While I am glad she has experienced relief, I feel it is my public duty to point out that any effect produced by homeopathic remedies is entirely imaginary.

Homeopathy is based on the idea of treating illness with things that would make a healthy person sick. The ingredients are diluted in water or alcohol over and over again until it’s mathematically impossible that a single molecule of the reagent remains. This dilution is intended to, ridiculously, make the remedy more potent. They also bang the dilution on a table, ’cause that makes it work better, too. I wish I were making this up, but, I assure you I am not.

In short, homeopathy has been demonstrated by actual science in study after study to be completely ineffectual in treating any condition, illness or disease. It is not medicine in any way; it is a straight-up, old-time snake-oil fraud. Please do not be fooled.


Dave Mitchell

Bright’s Grove


Terrorist Omar Khadr is beating the system

Sir: A well-written opinion piece in the Sarnia Observer of May 2 had the headline: Omar Khadr has beaten the system.

The writer, Gregory Scharf, noted that Khadr, who is referred to as a “child soldier,” was 15 years and 10 months old.

Scharf said his father had just turned 16 when he joined the Royal Canadian Air Force, was shot down, almost killed, interrogated by the Gestapo and held captive until the end of the war. He never considered himself a victim or a “child soldier.”

Scharf noted Khadr has not shown any remorse, and asked what makes people think Khadr will magically become a model Canadian.

Scharf said that, thanks to some misguided Canadians, Khadr has beaten the system.

He is claiming $20 million from the Canadian government. For what? Does this lawsuit mean his participation in terrorist activities and murdering the father of two children somehow entitles him to compensation?

Justin Trudeau and Tom Mulcair have not ruled out special compensation for this convicted terrorist. Would they personally, or their parties, be willing to put up the funds? Aren’t the victims of Khadr’s crime the ones deserving compensation?

I wonder who is paying for his lawyer. Hopefully, not the taxpayers. Perhaps defence lawyer Dennis Edney, who has criticized Ottawa for letting a Canadian ”boy” be tortured in Guantanamo prison, has offered his services free of charge for all the publicity it provides. Or, maybe, he’ll be entitled to a cut of the $20 million Khadr is claiming.

It is unfortunate that he was returned to Canada where the taxpayer is paying for his keep. The fact he was born in Canada does not make him a “Canadian” in anything other than birthplace.

Khadr obviously considers himself somewhat of a celebrity. A newspaper photo showed him with his lawyer, thumbs in his pockets; with an “I have beaten the system” grin on his face.

The wife and children of the man he murdered and our deserving veterans are the ones to whom compensation should be paid. Not to a murderer/terrorist, aka “child soldier.”

Bernice Rade



How about a Free Hug?

Sir: Have you hugged anyone lately? When did you have a hug that lasted more than 10 seconds?

It has been proven that hugging can create such an energy bond that the participants instantaneously feel an improved state.

The logical explanation of this phenomenon is that a person with high levels of oxytocin in their system is more likely to be happier, therefore flood you with positive emotions through hugging.

The many benefits of hugging include upbeat moods, lowered heart rates/blood pressure, reduced levels of cortisol (stress hormone), increased levels of oxytocin (bonding hormone), boosts the immune system, builds self- esteem and more.

Plus it is portable and it doesn’t cost a cent!

The Free Hugs Movement was created by Australian Juan Mann. He first offered Free Hugs on the June 30, 2004 in Sydney’s Pitt Street Mall.

It began as a simple way to pick himself up and pull himself out of depression. But it put a smile on the face of everyone who passed by, plus those who stopped to share a Free Hug.

It grew to be a weekly event until, in January 2005, Free Hugs was banned.

A petition was started lobbying the City of Sydney to lift the ban and allow everyone in the city to share in this awesome inspirational movement. After collecting 10,000 signatures and presenting them to the council, Juan Mann and his friends were once again allowed to share their Free Hugs, and continue to do so.

In September 2006, a video was uploaded to YouTube sharing this simple story.

Between then and now, people all over the world have joined the movement by gathering in busy locations and holding up Free Hug signs.

Free Hugs have hit Sarnia on multiple occasions, so if you see people holding up FREE HUG signs, pop over and give them a hug. It will do your body and your mind some good.

Michele Dionne









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