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Oct. 14: Trump – all circuses, no bread. Plus other letters to the editor

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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All circuses, no bread

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Re Admit It, You're Going To Miss The Donald (Oct. 13): On the day Clifford Orwin's eulogy for Donald Trump's presidential aspirations appeared, Rasmussen Report's daily tracking put Mr. Trump two points ahead of Hillary Clinton. This is in the wake of the video where Mr. Trump brags about his sexual assaults, as well as revelations of accusations of sexual assault by several women.

The problem revealed by Mr. Trump's candidacy goes well beyond the candidate himself. He has exposed deeply entrenched misogyny and racism in a large swath of the American electorate, along with a disinterest in facts.

This is a issue that will remain after Mr. Trump has disappeared from the political stage, and sets the scene for more subtle and less outrageous demagogues.

Nicholas Hudson, Vancouver

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Suppose that the U.S. election had been about Hillary Clinton, as Clifford Orwin seems to think it "should have been." Would it then have been about rights and opportunities for women, minorities and the disabled – all prominently supporting and supported by Ms. Clinton? Would it have been about maintaining rules-based international alliances for mutual economic and military security – as she did as secretary of state? Would it have been about climate change and the steps needed to prevent and mitigate the damage it wrecks – an issue on which she campaigns with Al Gore throughout Florida?

Would it have been about whether billionaires should pay taxes proportionate to their incomes, and whether public officials should be transparent about their financial transactions, including trust arrangements (as she has been and he has not)?

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Or would it have been about her X chromosomes, her marriage partner, her pant suits?

Perhaps this was, indeed, the election that Prof. Orwin seems to think it "should have been."

James Russell, Ottawa

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Clifford Orwin perfectly captures Juvenal's quip that the masses love "bread and circuses," but as Donald Trump's former employees, investors and business partners can attest, with The Donald it is all circuses, no bread.

Michael D. Levin, Toronto

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Ban asbestos. Now

Re What Happened To The Promised Ban? (editorial, Oct. 13): In the late 1950s and early 1960s, my father worked at the Johns-Manville plant in Port Union, Ont., putting himself through engineering school. He made cement pipe that contained asbestos.

He went on to a career working with First Nations to build roads, bridges, schools and water-treatment plants on reserve. He retired from the federal public service in 2003 after 35 years. In the spring of 2004, he was diagnosed with mesothelioma. By November of that year, he was dead.

I'll spare your readers the details of what transpired in those months, but suffice it to say no one deserves to die that way.

The asbestos industry has known for decades about its dangers, they already knew when my father was working with it, but kept it quiet. Its deadly effects have long since been made public. It's time for the federal government to ban the use of asbestos in Canada. Period.

Ross Holden, Whitby, Ont.

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It ain't 'literature'

Re 'Greatest Living Poet' Bob Dylan Wins Nobel Literature Prize (online, Oct. 13): I've loved Dylan ever since I was a kid and heard him sing Blowin' in the Wind in Boston in the sixties, where he was introduced by Joan Baez, who said the scrawny kid had talent. But the Nobel in literature!

Dylan – great, rambling catchy folk songs, some good poetry of protest and poetic rock, but not "literature" – unless after a 100 years, the Nobel committee is changing what literature is. Is the committee going for coverage and trying to be "in" and cutting edge?

I love Dylan but he ain't no Solzhenitsyn or Hemingway or Yeats or Camus and Sartre or O'Neill or any of the great Nobel laureates whose prose or poetry gives us a sustained vision or a literate look inside the soul of humanity.

That said, congrats are due Dylan for breaking yet another boundary (first singer-songwriter to win the award). Next up for the Nobel in literature, the Beatles and hip hop singers?

James Dubro, Toronto

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All cancer patients

Re Cutting Through The Numbers On Health-Care Funding: André Picard rightly points out that Ottawa should ensure a semblance of a national, equitable health-care system where Canadians receive similar care, regardless of where they live or their ability to pay. But access to cancer treatment is not the same across Canada, especially when it comes to cancer meds taken at home.

In the Western provinces, patients can access cancer treatments taken at home without an additional financial burden. But in Ontario and Atlantic Canada, patients face administrative hurdles, out-of-pocket costs and delays in life-saving treatment.

Our vision is for all patients to be able to receive their prescriptions for cancer medications taken at home rapidly and at no cost, the same way that it's done for patients prescribed IV therapies.

As our elected officials renegotiate the health accord, we hope they will focus on patients first and work toward levelling up the system to ensure high-quality treatment for all cancer patients, regardless of age, income, or province of residence.

Robert Bick, CanCertainty Coalition; Markham, Ont.

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Courting diversity

Re Why Atlantic Canada Should Get Its Judge (editorial, Oct. 12): Responsiveness to regional differences can be seen as having value in appointments to the Supreme Court. But Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, which are far from homogeneous, routinely wait a decade or more between their "turns" for such representation. Northern Ontario and the Territories, all quite socially distinct, have no such turn at all.

Aboriginal peoples have waited since the court was founded to be represented on it, even though they have unique and important legal and cultural values to add to its jurisprudence, as well as many exceptionally important cases before it.

A reasonable solution exists.

An assured vacancy after this one arises just two years from now when the Chief Justice, an appointee from British Columbia, must resign. By fortunate coincidence, an eminently qualified aboriginal jurist, Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, resides in that province.

Why not, then, prefill the 2018 B.C. vacancy to remedy the most compelling and longest-standing representational gap on the court, while making a firm commitment to appoint a judge from the Atlantic provinces in 2018?

Doug Ewart, Toronto

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Piers of the realm

Re Bridge Across Thames Hits Troubled Water (Oct. 12): Paul Waldie writes that the British Transport Minister says the government remains "supportive of the bridge." At last: a use for the peers in the House of Lords.

Jim Penistan, Lyndhurst, Ont.

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