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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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Ruled by money

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Your editorial When Money Runs Politics (Dec. 8) gets the disastrous outcome for democracy right: When 50 individuals contribute 15 per cent of the political donations, it's clear that the donor class is the ruling class.

Lest readers lament that the prototypical, representative republic-of-the-people-by-the-people has been hijacked recently by the donor class, they should pay close attention to the country's history.

In America, rule by money is history developing as planned.

The present state of oligarchic play is James Madison's vision of America from its beginning. In 1787, the father of its Constitution and fourth president boldly declared that the source code of the Senate in the Constitution "ought to be so constituted as to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority."

The only surprise in this news story of America becoming a plutocracy is how easy the collusion between the Senate and the electorate was in getting Madison's political mission on behalf of the oligarchs accomplished.

Tony D'Andrea, Toronto

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The need to give

Re Dissecting Your Excuses For Not Giving To Charity (Report on Business, Dec. 6): The only thing disappointing about this article is that it wasn't on the front page. As a board member of a small charity, it is sometimes heartbreaking exerting so much effort to raise a few dollars when the needs of the marginalized of my city are so great.

It sounds so naive and impractical at this point in our consumerist, debt-burdened society, but an elder taught me that the way to wisdom and freedom around money is give away the first 10 per cent, save the second 10 per cent and live on the rest. You can change the percentages, but the order is correct, I think.

John Buttars, Guelph, Ont.

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Sorry, can't attend

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Re Jarred By Jerusalem (letters, Dec. 8): In the context of Donald Trump's recent decision to formally recognize Israel's claim to Jerusalem as its capital, a letter writer states that "when someone invites us to supper, we do not tell the host in which room to serve the meal."

What, however, if some of the rooms in the host's house are illegally occupied? Would it not be better to politely decline the invitation?

Adam Plackett, Toronto

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Down-under jet logic

Re Ottawa Scraps Plan To Buy Boeing Jets, Turns To Australian Military Instead (Dec. 7): So here we go again. The Liberals continuously find new ways to screw up defence procurement. This issue echoes Jean Chrétien and the replacements for Sea King helicopters. His cancellation, for crass political reasons, delayed the replacement procurement for 20 plus years. Canada's navy had to keep flying 50-year-old choppers in dangerous environments. (I always felt cabinet ministers should've been required to fly 500 kilometres out over the ocean in a Sea King before being sworn in. I bet the navy would've had new copters way sooner.)

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Justin Trudeau followed suit with another foolish and cynical campaign promise to cancel the F-35, while maintaining there would be an "open" competition for a replacement fighter. Then Boeing Super Hornets were going to fill a real or imagined "capability gap" in the interim, but after the ongoing Boeing/Bombardier fracas blew up, to get out of the corner he had painted himself into, it looks like he reached out to a used warplane website.

These aircraft are nearly as old as our existing CF-18 fleet, and likely will be very expensive – refurbishing, updating, etc.

The right decision would have been to proceed with the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program (in which Canadian industry has already made significant investments). This ongoing bumbling will delay things by years.

John Megarry, Collingwood, Ont.

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Trump's backing

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Re Trump Throws Weight Behind Moore (Dec. 5): Shocked, surprised? No. The headline should have read: Groper in Chief Supports Alleged Child Molester.

The shock is that the Governor of Alabama, a woman, while acknowledging Roy Moore's alleged crime, says she will vote for him, and the majority of the GOP will back him. Is this what the women of America want?

Nirmala Shear, Oakville, Ont.

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Gambling in B.C.

Re How B.C. Became A Gangster's Paradise (Dec. 8): B.C. casino operators played a key role in identifying and tracking the actions of individuals recently charged by the RCMP.

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The information given to B.C.'s Attorney-General came from reports generated through the anti-money laundering (AML) procedures in casinos.

A customer entering a Canadian casino with a large amount of cash isn't anonymous. Identification must be provided before foreign exchange transactions of $3,000 or more, or cash transactions of $10,000 or more.

The individual's personal information is shared with FINTRAC, Canada's AML regulator, which investigates, and shares the information with law enforcement, which determines if charges are warranted.

As well as casinos, provincial lottery corporations, regulators, and law enforcement each play vital parts and have the obligation to report and investigate suspicious activities, and charge and ban customers if necessary.

In the case of the incidents in the lower mainland, British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) and the casinos prohibited the players from continuing their activity more than two years ago. Additionally, they took the information on the individuals directly to law enforcement.

Canada's gaming operators work diligently with regulatory and law enforcement partners to ensure suspicious activities are reported. The additional measures being initiated in B.C. will enhance this process.

Paul Burns, interim president, Canadian Gaming Association

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Conformity has its up side

Re How Standing Out Can Help You Get Ahead (Report on Business, Dec. 6): In my view, the advice to stand out is likely ill advice for most. As an industrial organizational psychologist, I often find that individuals are most successful in a career when they have work that aligns with core aspects of their personality.

Those who have a history of always trying to do things differently typically have a non-conformist personality that makes it easy for them to challenge status-quo thinking and practices.

Some of these personality types can be innovative trendsetters. However, many have difficulty fitting into organizational life and often end up working for themselves, often as consultants, with varying degrees of success.

There is always room for creativity, but there is nothing wrong with being a thoughtful, efficient, and thorough conformist. Many CEOs and presidents are of this ilk.

Larry Stefan, president, Stefan, Fraser & Associates, Vancouver

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