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Letters from our readers

13 December 2012

On “The ‘fiscal cliff’ and the dismantling of Medicare

Good article, Kate. As you mention, the point is not whether it is reasonable for wealthy retirees to pay higher premiums for Medicare coverage, but that the entitlement aspect of the program itself (one might even say, the ideology that humans beings, no matter who, have the right to affordable health care) is being attacked, however covertly. A slippery slope indeed.

Adam C
New York, USA
10 December 2012

On “Obama administration to allow further US media consolidation

That the FCC under a Democratic Party Administration would try to slip this through without so much as public hearings is disgraceful. We have little enough quality news coverage. We are inundated with the local turkey reports, and the perils of Kate’s pregnancy and other Disney-like diversions. Most of what passes for news is propaganda slanted with semantics. We are very close to having only one source controlling all news coverage!

Eleanor F
Massachusetts, USA
9 December 2012

On “Croatian war criminals released after appeal by Western military chiefs

This piercing and concise article cuts through a whole web of deceptions about the Yugoslav conflicts of the 1990s and presents it all in a manner that’s easy to follow. Major media are either nationalistically one-sided, or else they peddle the Western liberal propaganda about “humanitarian” motives of “international community” in the Balkans.

As someone from the region and reading avidly on these issues, I can attest that this level of analysis is not to be found anywhere else. No doubt, this is because it is based on rich historical experience and scientific method of Marxism. This perspective is bound to find its way to all who are seriously committed to finding out the truth about the world we live in, as well as the answer to the same old question: What is to be done?

Keep up the great work.

Mirko L
11 December 2012

On “Jazz musician Dave Brubeck dies at 91

While none of the later lineups would capture the “special qualities of the classic quartet”, Brubeck had a habit and talent for assembling the best people around him and standing back to let their talent show through. I was lucky enough to see him in the mid-1990s in Salt Lake City at a very small venue. It was my first jazz concert, and really my belated introduction to Brubeck at all beyond the standards.

I was impressed by not only his talent, but the way the group worked together. There were no “stars”, there was an ensemble—each appreciating the abilities and camaraderie of the others, and no one more so than Brubeck, who swayed along with the solos of the other musicians, and introduced them all with a genuine warmth.

Since that concert I have eagerly gotten to know more of his work, and while there’s a lot of complexity to the compositions, I would not say that Brubeck’s own playing was ever “academic” and certainly not “stiff”! There are intricacies and demands made on the listener to open up—which, as sales show, millions of people were willing to do.

Brubeck himself had confidence in the abilities of the listening public and scoffed (gently) at those who said the time signatures were too complex for people to understand. He was proven correct time and again (if you will).

Washington, USA
10 December 2012

On “Letters on the British royal pregnancy

I first noticed something was amiss back in 1997: the insane amount of TV coverage that was given to the death of Princess Di—I mean, it went on for months—when, about six months earlier the death of Carl Sagan was simply a one-night evening news item.

Greg S
New Hampshire, USA
8 December 2012

On “Nirvana’s Nevermind re-issued by Sony/Universal: Assessing an American pop icon

As a long time fan of Nirvana, I thoroughly enjoyed your recent article. The music of Cobain and Nirvana played an enormous part in my youth as it still does for many people today. The article provided an analysis of the deep connection many have with the work of Nirvana and the social roots of this connection.

The cultural importance of all music and its emotional and psychological importance for all sections of society are all too often ignored.

Cobain, alongside other members of “the 27 club” are examples of our youth who are victims of capitalist society.

As your article so astutely comments, “For someone alive to the filthiness of this spectacle, without a clear conception of what was occurring or any hope that it might change, the urge to run and ‘escape’ must have been overwhelming.”

I believe this “urge to run and escape” is also expressed sharply in the use of substances such as alcohol, cannabis, amphetamines and opiates throughout society and in many cases is a product of the same lack of “hope”.

Thank you for your continued broad range of articles and reviews. The WSWS continues to provide readers like myself with an education, understanding and hope for the future that I could otherwise never receive.

Melbourne, Australia
8 December 2012

On “Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln and the historical drama of the Civil War

I’m pleased to see that WSWS has continued to post Tom Mackaman’s excellent review of the film Lincoln as a featured article.

Just a couple weeks ago I attended a lecture at my local public library here in Arizona on the subject of the American Civil War.

One of the first questions posed to the professor by a member of the audience was “have you seen the movie Lincoln yet?”

Clearly, there’s lots of interest out there in Abraham Lincoln. All the more important to expose the anti-historical attacks on his reputation by the likes of pseudo-historians Thomas DiLorenzo and Bill O’Reilly, who offer little but junk history.

We own a debt to Mr. Mackaman for his series of fine historical essays on this, the sesquicentennial of the Civil War.

Randy R
Arizona, USA
7 December 2012