LETTERS

Friday, August 30, 2013: Fireworks, celiac disease and Syria

Posted Aug. 29, 2013, at 12:37 p.m.

Driving me batty

I sympathize with all those who have been affected by the legalizing of “loud incendiary devices” and would love to share a quiet glass of wine with people who have been. That is, if we can find a place where a bunch of “patriots” are not loudly reenacting the battle of Fort McHenry in Baltimore Harbor in 1812 all the way into August.

My very large dog has caused at least $600 worth of damage to my camp, including demolishing my Jimmy Buffett margarita maker, when he tried to escape the noise by trying to make a “cave” under the kitchen sink.

The damage occurred on a weeknight in late July when I was out for the evening and foolishly assumed that the fireworks were over for the season, as in previous years. When fireworks were illegal, there was a nice balance — an unwritten “detente” tolerated by most and kept to a reasonable level by the fact that they were illegal.

Now, thanks to the governor, it is not only legal, it is a right to annoy folks, traumatize dogs and to dry out wet fireworks with a torch. A friend and University of Maine biology professor has told me that the percussive shock waves of fireworks have a very harmful effect on the already dismal romantic opportunities of bats. Bat “spring break” occurs in early July.

When the Greens get wind of this, we might see some action. The furbish lousewort is a good example. This plant was instrumental in the demise of the multi-million dollar Dickey-Lincoln dam project in the 1970s. So there is still hope.

Nathan White

Ashland

Correcting wheat

Dr. Michael Noonan’s Aug. 15 BDN column is rampant with misinformation. Celiac disease is a genetic disease. Someone must have certain genetic factors or they will never develop celiac disease. As parents with celiac disease pass that gene to younger generations, the disease will grow. All autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, diabetes and autism have also increased in frequency during this time.

There are numerous theories as to why celiac disease has increased, including introducing gluten at the wrong time, increased caesarean births, decreased breast feeding, shortened bread fermentation, excessive use of antibiotics and antacids, changes in the gut microbiome and increased vital wheat gluten in the food supply.

Today’s wheat has the same genetic components as its ancient ancestors that were consumed by humans more than 8,000 years ago. Crossbreeding does not develop “new” proteins as Noonan states but only combines existing proteins in different amounts or combinations. A recent study by Dr. Don Kasarda, at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, determined that the gluten content of wheat has not increased as far back as 1920.

The glycemic index of a food is not a good indication of its nutritional value and varies depending on what other foods it is served with, temperature of the food and food ripeness. Grains provide more, and different, fiber in the American diet than do fruits and vegetables. Diets without whole grains are deficit in numerous vitamins and minerals.

Judi Adams, MS, RD, president, Wheat Foods Council

Ridgway, Colo.

Intervention dangerous mistake

Do we know that the Syrian government is responsible for gas attacks against Syrian people? Remember “weapons of mass destruction” where evidence was fabricated to justify what the U.S. government wanted to do?

But, even if the Assad regime did release the gas, military intervention will only escalate the violence in the country — more suffering and more death. When the nonviolent opposition to Assad turned to armed resistance, the death count shot up astronomically. Almost always, increasing violence doesn’t resolve a conflict; it simply accelerates it.

If we want to end the conflict in Syria and enable Syrians to live together in peace, we need to cut off weapons and ammunition supplies from all sources, use nonviolent methods to challenge the conflicts and start negotiations to bring the sides together.

I hope all Maine people will speak out against U.S. military intervention and in support of nonviolent conflict resolution.

Larry Dansinger

Monroe

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