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The NHL logo is seen on a goal at a Nashville Predators practice rink on Sept. 17, 2012. The NHL locked out its players at midnight Saturday, the fourth shutdown for the NHL since 1992. (Mark Humphrey/AP)
The NHL logo is seen on a goal at a Nashville Predators practice rink on Sept. 17, 2012. The NHL locked out its players at midnight Saturday, the fourth shutdown for the NHL since 1992. (Mark Humphrey/AP)

What readers think

Sept. 18: Empty-ice wannabes, and other letters to the editor Add to ...

Empty-ice wannabes

NHL owners and governors would have us believe that hockey is a major North American professional sport on par with major league baseball and the NFL (Delaying The Game – Sept. 17). So determined are they to achieve parity, they inadvisedly expanded the NHL to 30 teams, about a third of which are struggling financially.

NHL players think they should be paid salaries equivalent to those received by Major League Baseball and National Football League players. Most of the money in baseball and football comes from advertising; hockey’s North American TV audience is a tiny fraction of the numbers garnered by MLB and the NFL.

What we have is a bunch of owner/governor/player wannabes who can’t seem to grasp reality. Pro sports is a numbers game, and for the NHL, the numbers just ain’t there. No amount of wishing, hoping and looking the other way is going to change that.

Of course, if the game were less of a goon show, perhaps its popularity might expand, but that’s another story.

Greg Longphee, Victoria

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It’s not all doom and gloom. Just think, if this goes on past Christmas, the Leafs could be tied for first place in January.

Murray Pratt, Tsawwassen, B.C.

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Where we started

The fight I signed up for as a student, and try to live today, is for equality (Plastic Women, Cardboard Men – Sept. 15). From that perspective, the revolution that ends with one sex claiming to be in charge and naming the other as less capable leaves us pretty much where we started.

Brendon James, Guelph, Ont.

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Margaret Wente, writing about Hanna Rosin’s book, The End of Men, says “Patriarchy is dead. The new world order is matriarchy.” Perhaps. But the last time I looked at the world, patriarchy still had a pretty strong foothold – even if men are temporarily not faring so well in our tiny part of the world.

George Anderson, Mahone Bay, N.S.

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Scruples, conscience

In 1969, I was drafted into the U.S. Army (Don’t Deport War Resister Kimberly Rivera – Sept. 17). I didn’t have the courage to stand up and resist. As a result, I was trained as an infantry soldier and sent to Vietnam. My most vivid memories are of the children. As a father and grandfather, my military experience haunts me to this day.

It’s easy to go along with the crowd, to do as you are told. It takes massive courage to stand up to the wrongs of the world. Kimberly Rivera, by moving to Canada, showed that she has that courage.

The Canadian government should not only allow her to stay, she and her family should be congratulated for following their moral compass. Canada would have been my home – if I had the courage.

Arnold Stieber, Grass Lake, Mich.

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Kimberly Rivera became a conscientious objector while serving in Iraq, after witnessing the reality of this war. She even refused to carry a loaded weapon in a war zone. Her objections spring from religious convictions.

On the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812, we are reminded of a significant development that took place during that conflict: Canada’s recognition of the right of conscientious objection.

Canada has a long tradition of welcoming conscientious objectors. John Graves Simcoe’s enactment of the Militia Act of 1793 recognized “scruples of conscience.” This tradition of respect for conscientious objection to war has become a part of Canada’s identity and international reputation.

The UN Commission on Human Rights recognizes that “persons performing military service should not be excluded from the right to have conscientious objection to military service” and that “persons performing military service may develop conscientious objection.”

Canada should recognize the rights of Kimberly Rivera and her family.

Ruth Pincoe, Ginny Walsh, co-chairs, Toronto Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)

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Insert title here

Re The Rob Ford Show Is Great TV, If Entirely Implausible (Sept. 15): If Elizabeth Renzetti is still looking for a catchy name for the new TV show based on the antics of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, I have a suggestion: “Welcome to Our Nightmayor.” (I don’t think Alice Cooper will mind).

Sharon Scanlan, Toronto

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The debt we owe

Re Tories Plan War of 1812 Monument On Parliament Hill (Sept. 11): My grandfather, severely wounded at the Battle of Loos in 1915, spent a year in hospital but survived the War to End All Wars. He had a happy life and successful career, but never spoke of the war. Two rules guided his life: never borrow (except for a mortgage), always help those less fortunate.

What would he think of money being spent on an 1812 memorial for Parliament Hill? He’d have said: “Don’t spend money you don’t have and, if you spend it anyway, spend it on the living rather than the dead.”

Stephen Harper would honour our past warriors more by spending money on today’s Canadian soldiers and their families, and paying for war memorials when our financial house is in order.

Barbara Amsden, Toronto

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Try the library

Reading the article regarding research that does not involve the computer (Step Away From The Computer Screen – Sept. 15), I was impressed that Oscar phoned his grandmother in the U.K. for one answer and had his mother drive him to various post offices.

I was surprised, however, that he and his mother didn’t just head directly to the library. There might be some leg work involved, but with a good catalogue and a helpful librarian, I would venture to guess that most answers can be found within its four walls. We forget the incredible societal value of libraries at our peril.

Mary J. Thomson, Chelsea, Que.

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Sound, off

I couldn’t have expressed it better: I long ago stopped watching tennis when grunters are performing (Still Grunting? Stop That Racket – Sept. 17). If we all opt out, the money will stop flowing, and the powers that be will have to penalize these miscreants. It totally ruins one of the finest sports.

Philip Jardim, Elora, Ont.

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That gerbil hearing can be improved by the use of human stem-cell implants (Stem Cells Restore Hearing In Gerbils – Sept. 13) is a step forward in science – and a positive sign for all spouses of selective-hearing-impaired men.

However, one could question the University of Sheffield researchers as to the protocols they used to determine results. After all, if my spouse knows not when I have heard her, how do gerbils know?

Bill Knott, Portage la Prairie

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