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Today’s topics: Higgs boson, Oda out, dirty dancing … and more (AP Photo/CERN)
Today’s topics: Higgs boson, Oda out, dirty dancing … and more (AP Photo/CERN)

What readers think

July 6: Invisible particles, and other letters to the editor Add to ...

Boson buddies

Physicists believe a subatomic particle may explain the system of the universe, although it is invisible (The Heart Of The Matter – July 5). Proving the invisible particle’s existence is impossible, for it is based on quantum theory and probable statistics interpreting experimental results of an atom smasher. And as Aristotle wrote, a reality of thoughts does not prove existence.

Nevertheless, the hypothetic particle is used to investigate a creation of the universe by an hypothetic massive explosion of the Big Bang billions of years ago. This hypothesis is invented for a mathematic space-time singularity, but the only mathematic inference is a breakdown of relativity theory.

So physics can believe only in realities of thoughts of both the subatomic particle and Big Bang origin, but cannot prove their existence. And physics becomes a religion contradicting Genesis of the Scriptures.

John Schroeder, Waterloo, Ont.


All hail the Higgs boson particle! At last, the genuine article. It seems Aristotle was close but got it backward: It’s not the Unmoved Mover; it’s the Moving Unmover.

James Spence, Southampton, Ont.


Readers might like to know that the “boson” was named after accomplished Indian physicist Satyendra Nath Bose. It is not pronounced “boatswain,” or even as the usual shortening of this to “bo’s’n.” It is pronounced as written – boson, rhymes with photon, proton, electron.

Bruce Parsons, Portugal Cove, Nfld.


The layman’s explanation offered for the Higgs boson, which invokes Margaret Thatcher accumulating a massive following of supporters, is clearly dated. As she retreats into history, she is more apt to be likened to dark matter.

Roy Culpeper, Ottawa



I take some exception to John Ibbitson’s column (Minimalist Shuffle Shows Harper Has His Team In Place – online, July 5) in which he says that, in regards to balancing the budget, “No one doubts Jim Flaherty’s ability to handle that task.” Do I count? Because year after year of deficits has left me with some reservations.

Graeme Esau, Ottawa


The political pundits in Ottawa should admit that Mr. Harper can outfox them all. Without so much as blinking an eye, he got rid of the competent but spendthrift Bev Oda, whose main crime was making the Conservatives look bad. But he kept the remainder of the team intact.

And, why not? Except for opposition demand for a cabinet minister’s head on a platter every time one happens to step on a banana peel, he ignores them and allows his team to deliver some long-overdue sea changes in our laws that will benefit all Canadians. It’s so refreshing to have a prime minister who is not easily spooked.

Jim McDonald, Dundas, Ont.


Bev Oda will long be remembered for her lavish spending, but she also leaves behind a deeply troubling legacy of changes to Canada’s foreign aid. During her tenure, aid has been first frozen and then cut. Funding has been redirected to Canada’s trading partners. And tied aid, supposedly a thing of the past, has been reincarnated in the form of helping Canadian corporations meet their overseas corporate social responsibility commitments.

This diversion of Canada’s foreign aid to serve narrow commercial and political self-interest has hurt Canada’s reputation and betrayed the generosity of the Canadian people.

Chitra Ramaswami, Calgary


Revolution televised

Jennifer Jeffs states that Canadians should embrace the leader of Mexico’s Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), Enrique Pena Nieto, because it is not the authoritarian party that ruled Mexico for 70 years (Canada Should Embrace Mexico’s New Leader Now – July 4). Unfortunately, there is increasing evidence that the PRI’s practices have not changed as much as Ms. Jeffs suggests. Election officials are now recounting the votes cast in more than half the polling stations in the country. On Tuesday, thousands of people cleared the shelves of the grocery store chain, Soriana, using prepaid gift cards that they claimed had been supplied by the PRI in exchange for votes. And, as Ms. Jeffs notes, there have also been allegations that Mexico’s largest television network, Televisa, sold favourable coverage to Mr. Pena Nieto.

Ms. Jeffs claims that Mexicans voted for a continuation of the drug war; however, most commentators in Mexico would argue that the vote against the National Action Party was also a vote against a war that has claimed more than 50,000 lives in the past six years. It is unclear what Mr. Pena Nieto’s approach to the drug war will be; but rather than embracing him uncritically, Canadians would do well to encourage respect for human rights and democratic practice in a country where these have frequently been abused.

Lisa Mills, Ottawa


One man’s terrorist

So Syrian-Canadians are openly working toward the violent overthrow of a foreign government from Canadian soil and The Globe gives them a glowing review (Syrians In Ontario Give Rebels Reinforcements From Afar – July 2).

If they were supporting an uprising by Islamist militias in any other country in the region, they’d be blacklisted as “terrorists.” But if it’s a secular Arab regime opposed to Israel and the West, then apparently one can freely support those who’ve reportedly planted IEDs, detonated car bombs and threatened mass revenge against Syrian Alawites and Christians. (I suppose waging guerrilla war in Iran would be okay.)

Perhaps our government should draw up a list of which resistance/terrorist groups are acceptable for Canadians to support and which ones are not, although I suspect I just did it for them.

Jan Burton, Toronto


Israel and the UCC

Will the United Church of Canada also call for a boycott of Chinese goods, in addition to a boycott of goods from Israeli settlements (The UCC And Israel – letters, July 5)? After all, China annexed Tibet, and there have been human-rights violations by the Chinese toward Tibet. The very things they accuse Israel of.

Ben Greisman, Toronto


In criticizing the church’s proposed boycott, letter-writer Jessica Pollock gives as her reason that Israel is the “Jewish homeland.” My ancestral homeland 3,000 years ago may well have been Israel, Peru or Timbuktu, but that does not give me the right to displace or dominate those who have been living there for centuries and know no other home.

John Dirlik, Pointe Claire, Que.


Dirty dancing

Re Ottawa Brings Down Curtain On Foreign Strippers (July 5):

I was at first puzzled by the remark that “dancing is a legal profession.” As far as I know, most lawyers keep their clothes on (that Manitoba judge notwithstanding), but I guess anyone who has seen their fancy footwork in the courtroom would no doubt agree that dancing is a legal profession.

Allan Shipley, Toronto

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