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President Barack Obama greets a cheering crowd as he arrives at a campaign event at the Fifth Third Arena on the University of Cincinnati campus, Sunday, Nov. 4. (Carolyn Kaster/AP)
President Barack Obama greets a cheering crowd as he arrives at a campaign event at the Fifth Third Arena on the University of Cincinnati campus, Sunday, Nov. 4. (Carolyn Kaster/AP)

What readers think

Nov. 5: A disaster named Obama, and other letters to the editor Add to ...

Four more years?

Re The Path Toward Robust Recovery (editorial, Nov. 3): You’ve obviously quaffed the Kool-Aid! Unqualified when anointed, the stimulus a feeding frenzy for his pals, and congenitally incapable of building consensus, President Barack Obama has been a disaster. He’s clueless on energy. He has directly harmed Canada because of the Keystone pipeline delays. The prospect of four more years could send this expat back to Canada.

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Henry Weissenberger, Ellicott City, MD

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Margaret Wente and the voter she cites in her column (Why Obama Doesn’t Deserve To Win – Focus, Nov. 3) both manage to discuss President Obama’s record as if Republican representatives and senators had nothing to do with U.S. governance over the past four years. On the specific example of Obamacare, Ms. Wente ignores the fact that it was precisely because President Obama hoped for a bipartisan approach to health care that he acceded to Republican insistence on continued private sector involvement and included numerous provisions to make it more attractive to them, resulting in the bloated piece of legislation for which Ms. Wente now blames the President.

It is a sign of selective amnesia or cognitive dissonance that Americans can now support a party which was largely responsible for the mess the U.S. was in when Mr. Obama took office and a candidate who would return the country to the policies which created the mess in the first place.

Mike Hutton, Ottawa

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While I agree with Ms. Wente that President Obama has been a huge disappointment, I cannot understand how she would consider Mitt Romney a credible alternative. As a life-long Democrat, I was prepared to hold my nose and vote for John McCain in 2008, because of Mr. Obama’s lack of experience. But I couldn’t vote for anyone who’d select Sarah Palin as his running mate.

Mr. Romney is an even worse choice. With his pandering to the religious right and the terrifying Tea Party, as well as his egregious flip-flopping, and his positions on the rights of women and gays, Mr. Romney would be a disaster.

Sheila Dropkin, Toronto

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Ms. Wente doesn’t give enough credit to Canadians by saying that we only look at the Affordable Health Care Act as reason enough to vote for Mr. Obama. As laudable as that is, most Canadians know that Mr. Obama has accomplished much more: The Lilly Ledbetter Act for equal pay for women; doubling Pell Grant funding to help students access college; supporting same-sex marriage and the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell; doubling fuel efficiency standards for cars; bringing an end to two wars; and endorsing regulations against Wall Street greed.

Hugh Heibein, Kitchener, Ont.

Defending Argo

Jian Ghomeshi’s criticism of Argo is unfair (Argo Is Crowd-Pleasing, Entertaining – And Racist – Arts, Nov. 3). The film makes several references to U.S. support for, and protection of, the Shah and his murderous regime, thereby providing a justification for the anti-American rage which precipitated the crisis. Contrary to Mr. Ghomeshi’s assertion that the film features no positive Iranian subjects, the maid at the Canadian embassy, Sahar, risks her life to save the Americans by sheltering them and lying to Iranian police.

Joe Killoran, Toronto

Frankensolution

The Pembina Institute’s Matt Horne (Frankenomission – letter, Nov. 2) laments that climate change wasn’t mentioned in your article explaining the birth of Hurricane Sandy. But he himself commits a Frankenomission by failing to trace those causes of climate change back to their root.

In my lifetime, the world population has multiplied nearly four times. Since 1950, the population of the U.S. has doubled from 151 million to 315 million, while that of Canada has more than doubled from nearly 14 million to 33 million. Obviously, such exponential madness can’t go on forever.

The cause and effect equation is clear: more people equals more human activity, which equals more carbon dioxide, global warming and all that comes with it. Perhaps it’s time for us to face the fact that if we truly want to do something about carbon dioxide and rising oceans, we should pay more attention to birth control.

Les Morrison, Burlington, Ont.

Bacon diet

While I commend Graham Brown for the obvious effort it took to lose weight (Book Inspired Big Change In Diet – Life & Arts, Nov. 1), I’m concerned about his promotion of a weight-loss plan that involves cutting out carbohydrates and eating unlimited bacon (enjoyable as that sounds).

Research is increasingly clear that losing and gaining large amounts of weight (yo-yo dieting) is hard on the body. This is a common result when people cut out a food group for a short period of time. Physical inactivity and the high cholesterol resulting from a high-fat, high-bacon diet are also crucial factors in premature death.

I would encourage everyone to take a walk, cut back on bacon and eat a balanced diet to lose weight, live longer and enjoy doing it.

Daniella Moss, RN certified diabetes educator, Toronto

Nurse-run clinics

Re primary care reform (The Front Door Needs A Remodel – Oct. 31): I recently visited a nurse-run drop-in clinic in Comox, B.C., that’s available to those who need a variety of health and community care. The clinic, which is always available to help street people, was funded more than 14 years ago by a grant from the Registered Nurses’ Association of B.C., and I understand it’s the only nurse-run clinic in Canada.

I taught community health nursing for more than 30 years. Nurse-run clinics are not a new idea, and my file cabinets are filled to the brim with research about their value. Why aren’t they running all across Canada? Let’s get on with it.

M. Ruth Elliott, Edmonton

Justice, not charity

Food banks were initially developed to provide emergency food to people in need, but they’ve been institutionalized in communities across the country as a result of inequality (Food-Bank Usage Soars – Oct. 30). Although food bank services are absolutely essential, we need to move from food charity to social justice.

All Canadians should have the resources they need to feed themselves and their families. By taking food banks for granted – assuming poverty can be “managed” through donations – we allow the government to abdicate responsibility for redressing income inequality and ensuring a life of dignity for Canadians.

We must continue to care for one another, but we shouldn’t allow charity to take the place of justice – or let our politicians off the hook.

Kathe Rogers, Toronto

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