Letters from our readers

On “US escalates threats against Iran


The campaign to portray Iran as an imminent threat to US military power in the Mideast has taken a turn for the ridiculous. In Monday’s Financial Times a “news analysis” describes how a prototype luxury speed boat which set a record for circumnavigating Britain has gone missing and is feared to have fallen into the hands of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. Allegedly, the Iranian military wants to copy the design, create a small, fast fleet of ships loaded with Russian torpedoes, which could “swarm” and sink a warship. The article doesn’t claim that the Iranians are planning such a strategy, but just says that it’s a possibility. In fact, the military strategist cited discounts the feasibility of such an attack, saying it’s purely hypothetical, and that in any event, a military helicopter would easily defeat a swarm of speedboats.

In short, what the article proposes is that a missing boat could theoretically be used in an untested attack that almost certainly wouldn’t be effective. The Iraqi WMDs seem like a clear and present danger in comparison!


David M
Iowa, USA
6 April 2010

On “25 dead, 4 missing, in West Virginia mine explosion

Where is the united mine union in all of this? Why are they letting the miners go back into that mine? Does Massey care about anything but money?


Dorothy P
Illinois, USA
7 April 2010

On “A letter on the closure of two schools in Ypsilanti, Michigan


What a profound letter. He/she has written so clearly, so to the point; it’s a moving tribute to the students and teachers of schools everywhere. Maybe such a letter will start a revolution…at the very least, such a letter should place the writer on the school board!


I hope the parent takes this letter and sends it to his/her congress person. I know I will.


Hang in there, state of Michigan.


Robin C
Texas, USA
5 April 2010


An eloquent and moving account of the realities of education for an increasing number of working class children in the West.


5 April 2010

On “Shostakovich’s The Nose finds its way to the opera stage


Thanks for this very detailed and interesting review. I listened to The Nose on my local community radio station two weeks ago and was enthralled by the vitality of the music alone. This was a really unique blending of traditional and contemporary motifs that could only have occurred in this period. Ironically, my local community station took over the Saturday Afternoon PBS opera broadcasts after the local university-run PBS branch decided to ax it in favor of the mediocre drivel provided by Garrison Keiler. This is another gratifying example of local activism in the realm of culture in an area where sports stadiums and obscene six figure administrative salaries are more important than culture and education. There is hope yet.


Tony W
6 April 2010

On “Leaked video shows US military killing of two Iraqi journalists


Of related interest, Obama’s nominee for top Army lawyer views prosecuting whistleblowers as his #1 job: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/apr/01/new-york-times-still-pays-army-nominee/


Lloyd G
South Dakota, USA
7 April 2010