Carrying the ball
Monday was like A Tale of Two Cities: the best of times, the worst of times (Kick In The Teeth – Aug. 7). The best of times was the magnificent game that the Canadian women’s soccer team played against the U.S. Regardless of the outcome, they made us proud to be Canadians.
Now, the worst of times. To have the fate of the game decided on a delay of game without a yellow card is ridiculous. In critical hockey games, the referee will let the players play and avoid making questionable calls that might affect the balance of the game.
This was such a bad call, it raises the question of what motivated it.
Andrew Zsolt, Toronto
Re FIFA Looks Into Canada’s Comments After Soccer Loss To U.S. (Aug. 7): Much as I appreciate that Canadian captain Christine Sinclair “felt cheated,” because frankly I think any Canadian who watched that game felt the same way, there is a time and a place for such remarks – and it is not when and where she made them. Outbursts in a public setting rarely achieve their aim.
That said, let’s hope FIFA takes provocation into account.
Maddy Saunders, Vancouver
The Canada-U.S. game reminds me of an anecdote. It appears that the angels in Heaven wanted some recreation, and thus challenged Hell to a soccer match. The devils quickly agreed. The angels, upon reflection said, “You know that you will lose, because we have the best players in Heaven.”
The devils replied, “No way, don’t forget that we are hosting all soccer officials here!”
Bohdan Shulakewych, Toronto
Syrian PM’s past
Riad Hijab, Syria’s prime minister, has defected and, according to his statement, has “joined the ranks of the freedom and dignity revolution” (Syria Loses Its Prime Minister To Rebel Cause – Aug. 7).
Until a few days ago, he was not only a leader in Bashar al-Assad’s government but a high-ranking member of the Baath Party. No doubt the West will praise his strong and brave support of democracy and his association with the regime will be forgiven, if not forgotten.
If I may paraphrase Joey Smallwood, no one becomes prime minister of Syria by teaching Sunday school.
Brian Caines, Ottawa
The decision by Health Canada to turn down many of the funding requests made by the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network on the basis that the activities in question involve “advocacy purposes” is bizarre.
The network has a long, distinguished record related to preventing HIV infection and protecting the rights of those infected. Some forms of “advocacy” are intrinsic to those activities, as indeed they are to health promotion as a whole.
Health Canada should reconsider its decision forthwith.
Ted Schrecker, principal scientist, Institute of Population Health, University of Ottawa
Re Religion’s Fair Game If It Motivates Politics (July 31): From our earliest days, the Christian and Missionary Alliance has helped the poor and marginalized. Toronto mayor William Howland, an early Alliance leader, dedicated himself to building hospitals, residences and other organizations. It was his love for the people of Toronto and the spirit of giving and helping that so characterized the city that it became known as “Toronto the Good” – not for prudishness but for kindness and love of those less fortunate. The same determination drives the Alliance today.
From coast to coast, our churches work with marginalized people. Our church in Viking, Alta., and its work in helping develop an eco-village is an example of the many churches adding value to their communities.
Evangelical people come from all walks of life; the diversity of opinion on items such as those mentioned by Mr. Martin – the free market, science and environmentalism – is not only welcomed but embraced.
Yes, religion is “fair game” in the public discourse, but there is a responsibility to ensure that arguments are not based on phantom fears but are rooted in facts.
David Hearn, president, Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada
It is hard to know which is more discouraging: the never-ending shooting massacres in America, or the likelihood that some shooting victims experience long-term financial hardship due to inadequate health-care insurance (Having No Health Insurance Is A Game Of Russian Roulette – Life, Aug. 7).
Terry Parsonage, Winnipeg
Science often seems to advance more slowly than we’d like (For Better Cures, Let’s Do Science Differently – Aug. 6). Upon identification of the Higgs boson, the triumphant physicists involved humbly noted we may now explain 4 per cent of the universe. If we also assume that at least some of what we think we already know is incorrect, it is surely no surprise that most new drugs fail. The answer is not to fail faster but to learn (a lot) more.
Jim Woodgett, research director, Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute, Toronto
Re Would You Shop At American Tire? (Aug. 8): So many of our retailers are already U.S.-based, that I probably would. It’s not as if stores sell much in the way of made-in-Canada goods. It’s pretty much a question of which U.S.-based chain will sell me made-in-China stuff, not because I don’t want Canadian goods, but because the Chinese stuff is what’s on the shelves.
Michael Patrick, Kingston, Ont.
The truly interesting thing about the Rona controversy is that Lowe’s has investment bankers foolish enough to launch a takeover bid of a high-profile (if not strategically important) company just as Quebec enters an election. Who are these bankers? I have a bridge in Montreal I would like to sell them!
John Coo, Ottawa
Fuss about flesh
Eric Reguly (Beach Volleyball Brings Rousing Levity to the Olympics – Aug. 4) describes beach volleyball as a titillating bit of levity in a world of serious sport.
I have to admit that, like Mr. Reguly, I ogled a little, but I soon started to see in the preciseness of set shots and spikes, in the split-second planning during rallies, a sport as subtle and complex as basketball, tennis, even shot put.
If we’d given any of these Olympians just “a day or three” to practise one another’s sport and then compete, we’d be seeing 10-pound shots landing on judges’ toes, and beach volleyballs bouncing off the Queen’s grandsons’ scalps.
The fuss about flesh? The original Olympians competed naked so that they could perform, unencumbered, sports that take years to perfect.
Paul Hamann, Kitchener, Ont.