I was interested in Jack Lessenberry's column "After voting, what?" (Aug. 4). He had some good notions of why people don't believe in the political process to fix problems, but I think he missed the most critical one:
The fact of the matter is that corporations run the country. They run the country in three ways: By funding the politicians, by their armies of lobbyists, and by control of the media.
The difference between the Democrats and the Republicans is that the Republicans openly welcome this state of affairs. The Democrats are somewhat embarrassed by this state of affairs.
Under these conditions, the political process can only achieve marginal improvements. —Warner Mach, Westland
Rich get richer
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Jack Lessenberry's article, "After voting, what?" U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders had it just right when he said, "While the middle class disappears and poverty increases, the wealthiest people in our country are not only doing extremely well, they are using their wealth and political power to protect and expand their very privileged status at the expense of everyone else."
According to Financial Times of July 30, 2010, "Dubbed median wage stagnation by economists, the annual incomes of the bottom 90 percent of U.S. families have been essentially flat since 1973 having risen by only 10 percent in real terms over the past 37 years. That means most Americans have been treading water for more than a generation. Over the same period the incomes of the top 1 percent have tripled. In 1973, chief executives were on average paid 26 times the median income. Now the multiple is above 300."
So, yes, we could use a few "socialists" to fix this problem! —Pradeep Srivastava, Detroit
Re: Michael Jackman's review of books about the early hardcore scene in Detroit ("Teenage wasteland," July 28), I think he was right about the book Why Be Something That You're Not. The book accurately reflects the years 1979-1982, but is very weak on discussing what was happening from 1983 to 1985. There was a lot more going on in that period than the book discussed. Out-of-town bands were still coming to Detroit. We had the Asylum, Uncooperative, hall shows, house party shows, etc. What really happened was that most of the original crew just checked out of the scene and weren't really around to see what was happening between late '83 and '85. To me, it was a big mistake for author Tony Rettman to say this was a history of hardcore from 1979 to 1985. Other than that, it was a very enjoyable book. Great to see you give the books some coverage. —Joe Piccoli, Aurora, Colo.
Errata: Due to a printing problem in the Aug. 4 issue, some copies of the paper obscure a few words in the article "The world of Nii," about the Detroit Institute of Arts' Through African Eyes exhibit. The full paragraph should have read:
"As global attention focused on Africa during the recent World Cup tournament, one timeless truth seemed to reassert itself: While Europeans warily viewed the 'Dark Continent' from afar for centuries with a mixture of fear, fascination and derision, Africans — typified by Nii's initial perception of America at LAX — have been looking at the rest of the world the same way. That, in essence, is the message of Through African Eyes."
And in response to a reader who chided us for not offering a pronunciation guide for curator Nii Quarcoopome, it is Knee (as in the joint) KWAR-co-pohm.
Send letters (250 words or less, please) to 733 St. Antoine, Detroit, MI 48226; faxes to 313-961-6598; e-mail to email@example.com. Please include your telephone number. We reserve the right to edit for length, clarity and libel.