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Letters to the Editor for 1/12/09

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Make peace with greetings

In the Jan. 5 edition of the Gazette, I counted seven Readers’ Hotline calls regarding a previous caller’s thoughts that “Happy Holidays” should be used instead of “Merry Christmas.”

Frankly, I don’t care which one a person uses, since judging someone solely on the basis of a term they use or don’t use is akin to judging an entire steak based on one bite.

And judging is the relevant issue here. It struck me as I read each of the seven printed calls just how judgmental the callers were in their general condemnation of “Happy.”

If, indeed, Jesus is the reason for the season, one would think Christ’s followers would more closely align themselves with his actions and words.

I feel quite certain Jesus wouldn’t say “turn your head away” if you don’t like to see Merry Christmas, or “close your eyes,” or “you need to be moving out of the United States.” And most especially he wouldn’t say “shut up… you are in my house now.”

If those comments represent the genuine beliefs by those who supposedly follow in the steps of Christ, then it’s not hard to imagine why religious observances in this country are on the wane.

Too often anymore I see where anger, distrust, ostracism, and haughtiness have replaced love, acceptance, and humility in those who claim to be adherents to Christian ideals.

I’ve always pictured Jesus as being gentle and full of unending understanding of our human frailties. Indeed, he always treated others with respect and love, even those who reviled him.

I am puzzled — and saddened — that not one of those with such adamant fervor for Christ was willing to sign his or her name to a letter but chose to lash out blindly, hiding behind a wall of hypocrisy and arrogance.

I’m sure Jesus wouldn’t be proud of such witness in his name.

Peace to all — not just a few.

Patrick Butler

Galax

County barking up the wrong tree

I am writing to comment on an article I was reading in The Gazette December 24 and 25 newspaper.

What has happened to our world? This is so ridiculous.

You cannot shut animals up all the time. A dog is gonna bark at any strange noise they hear, some vehicles are gonna be loud because its the way they are made and come on people a bird. How are you gonna shut up a bird?

Anyone that reads this please think twice before you vote for this or pass this.

All this is gonna do is make a big fuss over nothing. It’s a waste of our tax money and other people’s time when they can pass something else that is really important instead of noise ordinance.

Jessica Tate

Ararat

Breastfeeding is safest option

A recent article in The Gazette provided good information on the hazardous chemicals that can be released in plastic baby bottles and infant formula cans.

However, the article did not give information on the chemicals and ingredients that comprise the infant formula itself or the unsurpassed benefits of breastfeeding.

Infant formula contains the neurotoxins glutamic acid (MSG), aspartic acid, and Lee'cysteine as well as sugar, corn syrup, water (usually the main ingredient), whey protein concentrate (from cow’s milk) and oils (palm, soy, coconut, safflower).

Soy formulas are a particular concern due to very high levels of plantee'derived estrogens (phytoestrogens) in soy products.

The concentrations of phytoestrogens detected in babies fed soy formula were 13,000 to 22,000 times greater than the concentrations of natural estrogens. This can cause sterility as adults.

Babies were not meant to be fed a diet from cows or plants.

In the past, recalls of infant formula have been ordered because of contamination with substances such as broken glass, fragments of metal, salmonella and other bacteria.

The fungal toxin aflatoxin has been detected in some commercial formulas. Although detected levels were very low, this toxin is known to cause cancer and is not present in breast milk.

The infant formula industry is an $8 billion per year business. Huge advertising budgets are spent to convince women that it is better and more convenient to bottleee'feed their babies.

The end result is that formula has been accepted as the “runner up” to breast milk which has led to the misconception that it is a “healthy” alternative. The reality is that infant formula has proven risks to your baby’s health.

Breastfeeding benefits the baby, the mother, the family and the environment.

La Leche League is the world’s foremost authority on breastfeeding and offers free, informative meetings to pregnant or breastfeeding mothers every month.

For information on La Leche League meetings in your area or for answers to your breastfeeding questions contact accredited Leader Scottie Pritchard at (276) 655ee'4799.

Do your own research like I did. You will find that breast milk is far superior to formula in every conceivable way.

Susan Gleason

Fries

Columnist made good points

Color me grateful for Chris Brooke’s recent column, “Stupid interstates.”

All through the recent political campaigns, I listened in vain for any mention of public transportation as a way of helping ease the energy crisis.

Brooke’s ideas make great sense, and best of all they are based on observable, local information.

I live seven miles west of Independence, and the closest bus stop I know of is 30 miles away in Marion. This needs to change.

Thanks for giving us some good local ideas.

Kyle Noble

Independence