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No one person or group has the right to use the Canadian national anthem to make any statement, on any cause, as Remigio Pereira, a member of The Tenors, chose to do. This is unacceptable and no apology can make this action forgivable (The Tenors Apologize For Altered O Canada Lyrics At MLB All-Star Game – online, July 13).
Sally Talbot, Toronto
The qualifier for pulling a juvenile prank is that it be carried out by juveniles. Not so for The Tenors, one of whom hit a sour note with his politically charged rendition of O Canada (substituting "We're all brothers and sisters, all lives matter to the great" for "With glowing hearts we see thee rise, the True North strong and free"). Too bad these singers couldn't just … sing.
Marty Cutler, Toronto
'All lives matter'
Re All Lives Matter Is Never A Thoughtful Response (July 13): I agree that former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani was wrong to say that stating black lives matter is inherently racist.
However, it can never be wrong to say that all lives matter. The problem does not lie in the statement; the problem is that there are always those who, through ignorance, fear or both, choose not to accept the truth of that simple statement.
This failure to acknowledge that all lives matter is the greatest tragedy of human history. It lies at the root of war, poverty, racism and any form of social injustice anyone could name.
All means all. Everybody. No exceptions. Black lives matter because all lives matter.
Steve Soloman, Toronto
Would Rudy Giuliani have thought, in the Germany of 1938, that #JewishLivesMatter was inherently racist?
Peter Ferguson, Kimberley, Ont.
Not just China
Re Will China Become A Partner Or Pariah? (July 13): China, whose claims in the South China Sea have been rejected by the Permanent Court of Arbitration, is not the only government to let national security considerations trump everything else.
The current uneasiness about Russian intentions in eastern Europe stems from the broken agreement not to station NATO forces east of the old east/west German border, and Russian concern about the prospect of Ukraine being drawn into the European Union. The NATO deployment to the Baltic states, in which Canada is participating, is the latest manifestation of a dialogue between the concept of national sovereignty and calculus of national defence. Who can predict where that will end?
China has set out to extend its defence perimeter to the island chain which includes Taiwan, the Senkaku/Diaoyudao/Diaoyutai Islands disputed with Japan, and the South China Sea, and does not like the American Navy treating the area as high seas – any more than Canada liked the thought of U.S. warships treating the Northwest Passage as such.
Granted, Chinese diplomacy has been clumsy, and the interests of its neighbours are not to be treated lightly. But China's national security focus is not unique.
Nicholas Tracy, associate, Gregg Centre for the Study of War and Society; Kingston
While your editorial The Law And The South China Sea (July 13) correctly interprets "international law," it doesn't speak to the factors underlying China's (and Russia's) recent moves on the world stage. It was not lost on either country that the U.S.-led coalition did not win the "war" in Iraq, despite spending billions of dollars.
After the downturn of 2008-2009, it became clear to the Chinese and the Russians that the coalition could not afford another major deployment.
Hello, South China Sea.
Chris Marriott, Chelsea, Que.
It is, of course, naughty of China to claim aegis over the South China Sea, but not unprecedented behaviour.
A little under 200 years ago, James Monroe claimed similar rights over the Americas, North, Central and South, for the new country of which he was president, the United States. I guess that was okay since the world has lived with it for so long.
Alan White, Ottawa
Re Obama Implores Americans To Bridge Bitter Racial Divide (July 13): At this troubled time, it is fitting to consider a line from one of the poems of Yves Bonnefoy (France's Pre-Eminent Postwar Poet – Obituaries, July 13).
As Bonnefoy wrote, "The work of mending in this world never ends."
Paulette Pelletier-Kelly, Toronto
In light of all of the division and conflict lately, here's my perspective as a person who plays music.
Music-making transcends division, division of all kinds. Guess what skill, more than any other, it takes to play music with other people?
Listening. Musicians have honed their listening skills to a level most people can't even conceive. And that's what more people need to learn how to do. That skill alone leads to empathy, understanding, and who knows, maybe solutions.
Unfortunately, not enough people play music, and therefore have no idea how to listen, I mean really listen … to anything. Especially another's pain.
Mark Eisenman, Toronto
As a millennial …
Re As The Boomers Fade, Canada's Hopes Rise (July 13): Lawrence Martin muses about the apparent contrast between the young (as represented by the Trudeau Liberals) and the old (represented by the Harper Conservatives).
Recent articles have pointed out that social media outlets (including Facebook), which serve as the main source of political news for many millennials, display news items which suit the political views of individual users. This is related to the algorithms used by these channels to provide a unique user experience, tailored to one's preferences, but it also has the unhappy consequence of creating virtual echo chambers rather than a marketplace of different ideas and perspectives.
I have witnessed the fruits of this phenomenon: On social media, you find the most vile, vitriolic comments directed at fellow citizens, simply for expressing different views or opinions. Such comments are levelled at conservatives at least as often as they are at liberals (if not more).
As a millennial, I fear we are becoming steadily more polarized and less able (or willing) to engage in respectful dialogue with those we disagree with, rather than becoming more enlightened and truly open-minded as Mr. Martin hopes.
Johan Lee, Toronto
Speaking of slogans
Re Clement Announces Leadership Bid (July 13): I can see it now. Tony Clement's campaign slogan: A chicken in every pot and two gazebos in every riding.
Lydia Vale, Toronto