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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau plans to go on a listening tour to meet so-called ordinary Canadians. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau plans to go on a listening tour to meet so-called ordinary Canadians. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)

WHAT READERS THINK

Jan. 11: The 99 per cent. Plus other letters to the editor Add to ...

Letters to the Editor should be exclusive to The Globe and Mail. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. Try to keep letters to fewer than 150 words. Letters may be edited for length and clarity. To submit a letter by e-mail, click here: letters@globeandmail.com

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The 99 per cent

Re Justin Trudeau And The 99 Per Cent (Jan. 10): Margaret Wente is pretty much on the money. The sad thing is that “people stuck on the ground” do resent the “pointy-heads from Harvard and Yale.”

But they fail to recognize that many of these people, particularly those in the field of economics, are merely apologists for the wealthy who compensate them well for validating their agenda.

The apologists take the heat; the wealthy, where the real power resides, do not. Hence the rise of wealthy, neo-Liberal politicians running on a populist agenda who will not make life better for the already disaffected.

Dennis Casaccio, Clementsport, N.S.

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If Margaret Wente believes that southern Ontarians who can afford an annual winter holiday in a sunny locale, a $40,000 truck and eating breakfast out every day are the representatives of some mythical “real Canada,” then the Prime Minister is not the only one who is out of touch.

Braden Cannon, Edmonton

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I’m confused eh? How is the Prime Minister going to listen to us, unless we pay the $1,500 access fee? Or is that being waived as part of the sesquicentennial celebrations?

Nigel Smith, Toronto

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Disrespect breeds …

Re Meryl Streep Raises The Bar For Celebrity Political Statements, But To What End? (Jan. 9): Meryl Streep is first and foremost a highly accomplished artist, an extremely talented and literate member of the American acting community.

She is not just a celebrity.

The issues she raised, and the sentiments that she so eloquently and courageously expressed, need to be said, again and again and again.

That said, one hopes that the American – not just the foreign – press, as well as other influential figures inside and outside Hollywood, will heed her words.

Mark W. Finnan, Peterborough, Ont.

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Trump’s feud

Re Trump’s Feud With U.S. Intelligence Makes Us All Less Safe (Jan. 9): Former national security analyst Stephanie Carvin’s reaction to president-elect Donald Trump’s temerity in daring to question the U.S. intelligence establishment is surprising, given its history of subterfuge and deliberate attempts to mislead politicians or to alter intelligence information to conform with what their bosses wanted to hear.

The current director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, gave testimony in March, 2013, to the U.S. Congress about the extent of intelligence collection on U.S. citizens that was later found to be false. (And by the way, Mr. Clapper – a Donald Rumsfeld pick – was a key official involved in determining if there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.)

Let’s face it, the U.S. intelligence establishment lies in the deepest depths of the “swamp.” It forms a critical part of the massive structures that keep the military-industrial complex flourishing and in my view it will go to any extent, legal or otherwise, to prevent a president Trump from seeking a rapprochement with Russia.

James Bissett, former diplomat, Ottawa

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Cold comforts

Re Russia Wanted Payback, Not Trump (Jan. 10): It appears that president-elect Donald Trump now accepts that the Russian government did organize computer hacking in the United States during the electoral campaign – but he doesn’t think it made any difference to the outcome of the election.

After all, he was responsible for more false news than the Russians were …

Allan Moscovitch, Ottawa

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So Russia was out to hurt Hillary, not to help Donald. This recalls the adage that the enemy of my enemy is my friend. And the prospect of Donald and Vladimir as friends … well, there’s less comfort in that than in the minus 30 C wind chill at Portage and Main.

Hanna Braun, Winnipeg

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There’s a new world order in play. China and Russia are flexing their muscles around the world, while U.S. influence has diminished with Barack Obama’s weak foreign policies.

Donald Trump is now faced with two aggressors. In the vein of “Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer,” it looks like Mr. Trump has selected Russia as the one to get closer to.

Patrick Haussler, Ottawa

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What’s alarming

Re Alarming, Indeed (editorial, Jan. 9): What’s alarming is not China limiting the amount of foreign currency its citizens can convert, but editorials like yours.

The Vancouver housing market was already slowing down before the foreign-buyers tax was implemented. China wanting to turn inward? Big deal! Everyone else is turning inward, too. Just look at Britain with its Brexit and the United States under Donald Trump. France, Germany and Italy are on the cusp of turning inward, too, in the next election.

The United States, under Mr. Trump, now dictates to its free-market companies and citizens to build and use American, or face the consequences? Where is the editorial alarm at the sinister actions of the United States?

You like to smugly point out China, but the U.S. is resorting to the same type of actions. This is how the Champion of Democracy and the free-market economy conducts itself. Is that not worse?

Alarming, indeed!

Kelvin York, Edmonton

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Haystacks, hammers

Re We Need To Talk About Bulk Data (editorial, Jan. 10): You quote an official in MI5, the British spy agency, explaining the need for bulk data collection and retention: “Without the haystack, one cannot find the needle.”

This brings to mind another old saying: “To the man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”

Reg Whitaker, Victoria

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You ask: “Is the mass collection of data about our personal lives, up to and including medical data, by CSIS, an acceptable price for stopping a terrorist attack?”

Yes, absolutely yes. Terrorists will stop at nothing to kill us. Data mining is a small price to pay to prevent the carnage they want to inflict.

Sharon Nguyen, Vancouver

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Keep the shootouts

Re Kill The Shootouts (letters, Jan. 9): Keep the shootouts!

The shootout is pure hockey: forward versus goalie; no referee or goon to mar its beauty.

Surely a shootout is a better and fairer way to decide a close game than a referee making a questionable call/non-call or a deflection off a skate or body.

It also reflects the coach and general manager’s ability to select scorers.

Mac Walker, Edmonton

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