Letters from our readers

24 December 2007

On “Report indicates White House encouraged torture tape destruction

It looks like the cat is out of the bag. Now we will see if America is living under a dictatorship and a one-party system. Thanks for this great article. When the truth gets out criminals will hide and keep a low profile. So this reporting you are doing may keep Bush and company from attacking Iran. The lies being exposed are rocking their boat.

RS

Fort White, Florida, USA

20 December 2007

On “New York Times bows to White House pressure over CIA tapes story

This is how the game is played: The New York Times pretends it’s liberal, which this about-face represents, so Americans are duped into thinking someone’s looking out for us. No one is.

CM

21 December 2007

On “Lieberman’s endorsement of McCain exposes bipartisan support for war

Lately I am hearing consistent rumblings that the surge is working and we are “winning the war”—as Lieberman & Co. maintain. Yes, the complicit media persists in the cover-up. Please continue to burst this bubble.

RM

18 December 2007

On “Australia: Socialist Party lashes out at the SEP’s election intervention

The unprincipled, reactionary criticisms of the Socialist Equality Party in the Federal elections by radical petty-bourgeois organizations such as the Socialist Party is but a compliment to the power of the intervention of the SEP. The present crisis in human culture is the crisis in the proletarian leadership. The advanced workers, united in the Fourth International, show their class the way out of the crisis. They offer a program based on international experience in the struggle of the proletariat and of all the oppressed of the world for liberation. They offer a spotless banner.

Workers—men and women—of all countries, place yourselves under the banner of the Fourth International. It is the banner of your approaching victory!

DD

Melbourne, Australia

20 December 2007

On “British students respond to ISSE showing of From Tsar to Lenin

This is a very positive report, especially emerging from the country I left in 1984. I visit periodically and return each time disheartened by the damage Thatcher, Blair and now Brown have wrought upon the social fabric, which has resulted in chronic alcoholism amongst young people, huge debts, the impossibility for many of owning a home, and the chronic insecurity most citizens face today. The responses by young viewers give much hope for the future in an era they certainly recognize resembles the pre-1914 era. But suddenly things did change in 1917. Let us hope that this documentary will soon become available on DVD for viewers in many countries to see and learn from.

TW

19 December 2007

On “Der Spiegel churns out old lies on the October Revolution

The Spiegel article is absolute nonsense. It is against all that Wilhelm and also Lenin stood for. This is just another way for Der Spiegel to catch attention. It is not the first time that this esteemed magazine has done so. The more outrageous the allegation, the higher the level of attention, the more numerous the sales of copies.

BB

Surrey, Canada

21 December 2007

On “An evening with the Cleveland Orchestra

Thanks to Alex Lantier for a fine review of the Cleveland Orchestra concert. Here in Northeast Ohio we are very proud of our magnificent Cleveland Orchestra. I also appreciate Lantier’s reports on French politics—all very thorough and informative.

The Cleveland Orchestra has a “French connection” of its own. The great French pianist, Robert Casadesus, was a close friend and colleague of George Szell, conductor of the orchestra during the 1950s and 1960s. Mozart was a specialty of both artists and Casadesus and his wife, Gaby, made several recordings of the Mozart piano concertos with Szell and the Cleveland Orchestra. When Robert Casadesus died in 1972, Cleveland’s musical community searched for a way to honor the memory of the great French pianist. At the suggestion of Grant Johannesen, who was then president of the Cleveland Institute of Music, it was decided to establish an international piano competition in the pianist’s memory. The Robert Casadesus International Piano Competition was established in 1975 with the sponsorship of the Robert Casadesus Society and The Cleveland Institute of Music. In those first years, the competition rewarded musical elegance. Special prizes were given for best performances of works of Mozart and French composers. It was always a good place to hear wonderful piano works of Debussy, Ravel, Messiaen, Poulenc, Rameau, Milhaud, Chabrier and others. In the final round it was mandatory to play a Mozart piano concerto. Madame Gaby Casadesus, the pianist’s widow, participated as a member of the competition jury.

Times change, and the Casadesus family withdrew its sponsorship in 1994, but the competition has flourished nonetheless and it is now one of the world’s major piano events, drawing talented young competitors from all over the world. The Cleveland audiences are warm and welcoming and the entire city catches competition “fever.” The Cleveland Orchestra participates in the final rounds, when the competitors perform their selected concertos. What a thrill for these young pianists to walk out on the concert stage at beautiful Severance Hall with the mighty Cleveland Orchestra supporting them! And this was all possible because of our historic “French connection” between George Szell and Robert Casadesus. Music is truly the international language.

The best book on the Cleveland Orchestra is The Cleveland Orchestra Story: Second to None, by Donald Rosenberg. The dates of the next Cleveland International Piano Competition are July 29 through August 9, 2009.

LJ

Cleveland, Ohio, USA 18 December 2007

On “Michigan: Mentally ill inmate dies after five days of abuse

I watched this on the news and was horrified. I wanted you to know how much it affected me. I felt sorry for the mother of the young man as well. I am the curator for an art exhibit called “Our Throwaway Society,” on the stigma of mental illness, at a major university in February of 2008. Hearing about this young man and being an art therapist I felt compelled to educate the public. Thank you for writing about this issue. More needs to be done. I am going to mention this young man’s case when I give my opening speech for the exhibit.

NP

18 December 2007