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A Donald Trump impersonator attends a practice round prior to the 2018 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club on June 13, 2018 in Southampton, New York.

Rob Carr/Getty Images

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Vodka-needed reality TV

Re Trump Halts South Korea War Games In Surprise Concession To Kim Jong-un (June 13): Donald Trump’s much awaited new reality TV series Talking to Tyrants launched yesterday to great critical acclaim, especially by its star, Donald Trump. The first episode featured Kim “The Little Rocket Man” Jong-un and Donald “Fire and Fury” Trump. Set on the beautiful resort island of Sentosa, it offered much smiling, handshaking, shoulder grasping and chit chat, and culminated in an agreement to do more of the same over the next several years.

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“It was heartwarming,” gushed a critic. (Soon-to-be released sequel: Dishonest, Weak, Back-Stabbing Jong-un.)

The next episode will feature Ayatollah Ali “Death to America” Khamenei and Donald “The Great Dealmaker” Trump, and will be set in a Persian tent in the scenic Maranjab Desert a few hours from Tehran. It will highlight the symbolical torching of “The Worst Deal Ever,” and the celebration of a new deal to negotiate a new deal to negotiate … a new deal.

“It will be a thrilling tear-jerker,” gushed a critic, “with lots of tissues required!”

The grand finale episode will feature the shirtless Vladimir “The Puppet Master” Putin and Donald “I Am Not a Colluder (My Son Is)” Trump, and will be held in Mr. Trump’s new resort and golden tower on the beautiful Crimean Peninsula. Expect shirtless horse rides, manly handshakes and masculine grins. The theme of the celebration: Russia’s ascendancy over the U.S. as the world’s leading political power.

“This episode is for the knuckle-dragging man,” groaned a critic, “with lots of vodka required!”

Harry Sutherland, North Vancouver

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Why does President Donald Trump go out of his way to put a lid on North Korea’s nuclear state with Hollywood-style pomp and ceremony, and hasten like a kid with ants in his pants to end a multilateral agreement to curtail Iran’s nuclear ambitions? It couldn’t be because North Korea has “great beaches” with lots of room for resorts? It must be because making the world a safer place has geographical limits.

Bill Bousada, Carleton Place, Ont.

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Maybe Canada needs to develop its own nuclear arsenal? Shoot a few rockets off? Get a little respect? (I am joking. Sort of.)

Pierre Mihok, Markham, Ont.

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Have the American people noticed yet that they have a fake President?

Michel A. Boisvert, St-Bruno, Que.

Trudeau, Trump, trade

Re Canada Rallies U.S. Allies To Battle Trump On Trade (June 13): Trudeau cabinet minister Amarjeet Sohi, part of the effort to seek a trade deal with the Americans, warns them that “We should be removing barriers, not creating barriers.” Right. We can’t even manage to do that between provinces, so pardon me if I’m not holding my breath at trying to pull it off between countries.

Olivia Mason, Calgary

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As an American who was born and raised in Canada, I understand a little about your country. So, I feel compelled to observe that Canada is reacting to President Donald Trump’s now-infamous communication style with characteristically Canadian “thin skin.” Compared to his predecessors, it certainly is true that Mr. Trump often behaves in a way that is unpresidential! This is not news. Canada protests too much.

Face it. Most Americans know very little about Canada. If asked, most would identify the U.K. as America’s closest ally and the E.U. as its largest trading partner. Most Americans seldom think of Canada, sorry. This probably is good. If they did, they would realize Canadians spend a lot of time smugly looking over “the fence” observing America and criticizing what they see. Is this what “good neighbours” and “best friends” do?

Canada, worry about keeping access to the U.S. market and toughen up.

Steven Burtch, Westtown, Pa.

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I would hand Justin Trudeau a knife and turn my back without fear. Likewise “our” President? Absolutely not! Just want your Prime Minister to know how most Americans feel about him.

Barbara J. Gilbertson, Eagan, Minn.

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Justin Trudeau received a well-deserved dressing down from Donald Trump this past weekend. What we saw was Mr. Trump lashing out from what for him must be sheer frustration with Canada’s approach to NAFTA negotiations.

The Trudeau NAFTA strategy was doomed from the outset. The Trudeau team led off seeking protection of the dairy system; environmental standards; gender rights; Indigenous rights, etc. This list ignored Mr. Trump’s hot button: He wants to “Make America Great Again” by restoring industry and jobs to the American Midwest, currently a rust belt that houses the voting bloc that put him in office. (By the way, making central Canada great again wouldn’t be such a bad idea.)

Mr. Trudeau has wasted almost a year pressing Mr. Trump on issues he has little interest in. Pursuing “progressive” issues and lobbying congressmen, state politicians, bureaucrats and Mr. Trump’s family hasn’t worked. Mr. Trudeau failed to take the measure of the man who took on 16 key opponents in the presidential primaries and beat them all.

A far better course of action would have been for Mr. Trudeau to recognize he was holding deuces against Mr. Trump and engage him on how working together they could fix the rust belt and other mutual problems in their respective countries. Instead, he chose to pursue his progressive ideals and align himself with Mexico, another country holding deuces against Mr. Trump, and ended up with competing tariffs and a potential trade war. Mr. Trudeau got what he deserved.

Allan S. Blott, Toronto

You’re welcome, FIFA

With the 2018 World Cup, which kicks off today in Russia, here we are again at the outset of the quadrennial orgy of patriotic fervour for the game of soccer/futbol/football. In a game where 0-0 is considered a rout, some suggestions for opening up and/or improving the game:

1) Get rid of offsides. It seems to be the equivalent of a moving blue line that runs the length of the field. Imagine whistling down a breakaway in hockey because there wasn’t a defender between the player and the goalie. It would change the dynamics and strategy for the game and eliminate those plays that are too close to call;

2) There is only one person in the world who knows when the game is over, that being the referee. In every other sport that is timed, everybody knows as the clock winds down when the game is almost over. Why isn’t a timekeeper employed to stop the clock at times called for in the rules of the game, so that the game ends when the clock strikes 90?

3) A soccer field is three times the area of a hockey rink, yet a game is officiated by one referee and two linesmen, whereas hockey is guided by two referees and two linesmen. A soccer referee must be the most fit person in the world, running for 90 minutes and with the eyes of an eagle to catch everything happening on the field of play. I would think two referees would be called for, each covering half the field.

You’re welcome, FIFA.

No charge.

Arne Suutari, Onaping Falls, Ont.

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