June 6, 2014 12:05 PM EDT

What You Said About …

China’s Ace

Re “The Meaning of Li Na” [May 26]: I think it is academic, and indeed rather irrelevant, to ask whether Li Na plays for herself or her country, or whether she should give due credit or “express gratitude” to her country after each win. Already she has won two Grand Slam singles titles. She is much adulated in China and has millions of Chinese followers, far more than any other Chinese sportsperson. The way she moves in tennis courts, her ground strokes and backhands, her grimaces and moues when she misses a ball are very much an expression or assertion of her individuality or personality. Neither the country nor the Communist Party can take that from her.


The state can no more manufacture a Li Na than an alchemist can convert baser metals to gold. Where is the wisdom and humanity in erasing the individual? To crush the unique is not worthy of praise.

Michael Driver, ICHIHARA, JAPAN

Turning Right

Re “Inside Job” [May 26]: When I showed your Marine Le Pen story to several of my French colleagues the day after the E.U. elections and asked them for their opinion on the National Front (FN) winning the most votes, they were surprised because they found out from me and hadn’t followed the news themselves. One said the French government hadn’t started a get-out-the-vote campaign till a week or so before the elections. With such a laissez-faire attitude and dismal voter turnout, it’s no wonder the FN can march ahead.

Alan Benson, BERLIN

I am a European with all my heart, but the current E.U. administration has to go. Its ignorant decisions, its disregard for what the people want and its overpaid representatives have done more damage to the idea of Europe than Le Pen can do in a lifetime.


The E.U.’s founding fathers were full of good intentions; their aim was to avoid another major conflict on our continent. However, full integration and a creation of the United States of Europe is not possible as Europe is made up of different nations with their specific territories, languages and flags—a synecdoche for their specific histories. And that is just the reason why the far-right parties will not be able to set up a homogeneous force in the new European Parliament: they are too diverse, so are their agendas.

Christophe Gasztych, STE.-CROIX-EN-PLAINE, FRANCE

Doth Protest Too Much

Re “The Battle for Thailand” [May 26]: The last thing Thailand needs is a friend like the U.S., a country that has no idea of foreign cultures or needs. Tell the people of Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya that they need a friend like the U.S., and listen to what they think of that idea. It is time the U.S. stopped interfering in the running of other countries.

James Howard, THE HAGUE

We in Bangkok are just sick of the annoyingly endless protests on the streets that sometimes turn violent. Our economy has gone to shambles, so has democracy, yet the group of rich who mastermind the event seem least concerned, conveniently ignoring the right of rule by majority. Yingluck Shinawatra is ousted, apparently unconstitutionally to many Thais. Her supporters will not sit idly and do nothing. The eventuality is obvious.

Titan Monn, BANGKOK

Life and Death

Re “Fatally Flawed” [May 26]: Hand-wringing over unacceptable execution methods is a primitive defense mechanism people use to protect their consciences from an even more unacceptable fact: a human is being killed.

Brendan Kelly, DUBLIN

When will the U.S. finally step out of barbarity and join the civilized nations by suppressing the death penalty?

André L. Mechelynck, COURCELLES, BELGIUM

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