Letters from our readers

On “Homeless crisis grows in San Diego

Excellent article. As a homeless guy over the years I know what those in the ruling establishment mean by “ending homelessness.” And it’s never anything good.

By the way, I’ve attended the Homeless Connect mentioned in the article for a couple of years now. They do a great job (I got some clothes & sneakers) and it’s one of the few places—if any—you can go that isn’t religious affiliated to get a free haircut downtown.

Outside in the civic center mall, while I was arranging the stuff I had got, a cop came up to me and sternly warned me not to leave a mess behind. I take the cops not being happy about this event as a very good sign of its worthiness.

Thanks for keeping me informed about the homeless in San Diego!

5 March 2013

On “The stock market bonanza

We have quantitative easing in the UK. This scheme was to pump “money” into the banks in order that they could loan it out to customers and stimulate the economy. What did they do? Ignored the rules and used it to rebuild their battered balance sheets. They still award themselves bonuses even though they rigged rates, cheated small businesses and laundered Mexican drug gangs’ money.

6 March 2013

On “Van Cliburn, US pianist who achieved fame at Moscow competition, dead at 78

I remember when this happened. The Stalinists may have had their own reasons for awarding him the first prize, but Van Cliburn certainly deserved to win. Through his piano playing, he made a deep connection with the audience. The Russians loved him, calling out “Vanya, Vanya!” affectionately.

Part of Van Cliburn’s legacy is an amateur competition—the “International Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs” held every four years in Fort Worth, Texas, which celebrates music making as a “vital part of daily life,” according to its web site.

Past winners and finalists include doctors, lawyers, engineers, journalists, computer programmers, accountants, businessmen, homemakers, and many others who have spoken about the significance of music in their lives, and how musical training has helped them succeed in their chosen careers.

Even before the economic crisis hit in 2008, many young music students were making painful decisions not to pursue music as a career, abandoning their piano, putting away their horn or violin, in order to follow what they hoped would be a more lucrative career path. Now, things are much worse as music programs are being completely eliminated in many schools, and we are not building tomorrow’s audience for classical music.

I believe the Van Cliburn amateur competition provides a great inspiration for young people to find ways to continue with their music, even if they feel compelled to follow an alternate career path.

Lesley J
Ohio, USA
7 March 2013

On “German trade unions march in step with German army

“The unions are making it clear that they are not only willing to control and police workers in the factories. ...”

Over and above what is stated in the article, I suspect that the unions will be prepared as well to assist the dragooning of recently furloughed young workers into Germany’s military forces as an alternative to falling into the clutches of the Hartz IV welfare measures.

Texas, USA
7 March 2013