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Feedback: Letters to the editor and articles on Cosmopolis
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The Cosmopolis core team consists of editor-in-chief Louis Gerber, a specialist of international relations and a licentiate of the Graduate Institute of International Relations in Geneva, Heinrich Speich, an assistant of medieval history at the University of Fribourg as well as of Jean-Michel Reisser aka Beethoven, a jazz concert organizer, jazz CD producer, road manager and the godson of the late and great Ray Brown. All three writers can (initially) only be reached by email: feedback[at]

There is no Cosmopolis office since the magazine is completely decentralized and our editor-in-chief is in fact an editor-at-large traveling around the world. If you should get an email from someone else, consider it spam, a hoax and/or a fraud.

Please note that newer feedback is only included in the articles they refer to.

On August 24, 2006, Dulce Torrero sent us the following feedback on the Mexican presidential election (a Mexican living in Europe)

I have not followed the elections closely, but from what I know my opinion is the following (please forgive the length of my comments, but it IS a touchy subject):

  • Obrador's popularity seems to come from the fact that he's promising many socialist reforms, but I am not sure where the cash for it will come from. Yes, there is a lot of money in the country but it is concentrated in a few hands, or spread out all over the place (e.g. the tax system is far from perfect). From my perspective, this needs to be re-organized before the cash can start flowing down to the poorest people in the form of social benefits.  In order to do it the government administration and business development at a national level has to be changed. This type of job is better done by technocrats who can push reforms rather than just make people happy by handing them a few pesos. In other words: jobs need to be created, not money handed out for free. And this is why the PAN party is also very popular, especially with the middle class population: intellectuals who can see and understand the discrepancy and are crying out loud for radical change at the roots.

  • the elections must be clean because:

    • the last presidential election was also a very close call between PRI and PAN. And already then the electoral legal system in Mexico had been changed to avoid corruption. 

    • After this reform, international electoral observers were invited with more eagerness than ever before, and there were no major discrepancies reported. This has been the case again now and the election process is only getting better. 

    • I am living proof of electoral reform as a small case in the crowd, but with big impact for myself: applications for an electoral card can only be done in Mexico, which I did in October last year. The card can only be picked-up by the applicant at the exact same place where it was requested. There is absolutely no option to obtain it anywhere else, or for anyone else to collect it for you: fingerprints, photographs, proof of domicile, etc. etc. are taken care of during the application process. Even Embassies abroad are not authorized to do it, there are no lawyers authorized to issue power of attorney for it, etc. etc. Speaking to the town's and regional electoral committee representatives does not help at all.  I could not stay in Mexico long enough to wait for the arrival of my card (they are produced in only a couple of places in the country), but was told that I had 12 months to pick-it-up. I went back the last week of May and first week of June this year and found a surprise: the card could not be handed to me because all uncollected cards had been locked-up in a vault and would remain there during the last few weeks of political campaigning.  All of this is new and set up in order to avoid other people taking possession of somebody else's voting rights.  And it is a huge step away from corruption.  I am sure there are probably still a few holes here and there, but it gives people confidence and hope for the future.  I still don't have the card and feel sad I could not vote, but I will willingly go through the process again until I obtain it next time around.

    • a "tsunami" wave has been growing in Mexico during the past 10 years: people were sick and tired of the authoritarian and corrupt regime they had been under for about 70 years. They began to slowly wake-up and push for change into anything else, as long as the situation changed: thus the victory of second strongest political party 6 years ago.  I think this time people have learned that there is even more political choice and the wave is just as strong but taking different directions.  I find this very positive, even if poor people cannot view if from an intellectual/business perspective. After all, running a country is like running a business... and change can only help you grow. The more alternatives, the better, you just need to understand each of them in order to choose the most advantageous. Mexico is slowly learning.

On April 18, 2002, Alon Weinberg sent us the following feedback on Israel and Palestine: check the page Ariel Sharon.
On February 3, 2002, Sami Aldeeb, doctor of laws, a Christian of Palestinian origin, sent us the following letter
: A wall or Justice around Jerusalem?. Check the page Ariel Sharon.  
On February 9, 2001, Curtis Martin sent us the following comment on the James Brown articles in Cosmopolis No. 11:
In the article on James Brown in your ish # 11 (James Brow) you state that JB was convicted of the attempted murder of his wife. He was in prison for threatening people in an office rental property of his, and then trying to evade the cops in a cross-state chase. Still not cool, but also not murder. Otherwise--very cool article.
Cosmopolis: In 1988, Brown was accused by his wife of assault and battery. After a year of legal and personal troubles, he led the police on an interstate car chase after allegedly threatening people with a handgun. The episode ended in a six-year prison sentence; he was paroled after serving two years.
On January 20, 2001, Linda J. Marshall sent us the following comment in response to Ernest Melby on Bush (see comments of January 14 and 15)
"Bush is hated because he is a hypocrite. Thousands of people are in prison in the U.S. for nonviolent drug use, but Bush brushes off his own cocaine habit as being youthful. He's a military hawk, but was grounded as a National Guard pilot for refusing to be tested for drug use. He then transferred to Alabama where he was AWOL for one year. And he says he's a Christian, but he executes people then he makes fun of them after they're dead.  Everything about him is hypocritical. He doesn't even seem to like his own children, trotting off to play golf in Florida with Jeb while his own daughter was lying in a hospital room after having an emergency appendectomy that same day. He never outgrew being a selfish, rich frat boy and that doesn't play well with those of us who work for a living."
On January 15, 2001, Ernest Melby sent us the following comment
"Why do the left wing liberals hate Bush and make fun of him? If a Democrat said or did the same things he would be praised. If being conservative is resistant to change, the liberals are the most conservative of all."
On January 14, 2001, John Chuckman sent us the following visual comment on the election of George W. Bush as America's new president:

On August 31, 2000, Gene Kelly sent us the following comment on the Brad Mehldau article in Cosmopolis No. 4:
"Hi. just a comment on your Brad Mehldau Trio web page. A few corrections to bring to your attention: First of all, Brad never attended Berklee College (in Boston) as you say in the opening paragraph. He only was a participant in their High School Band Jazz Competition hosted at Berklee College of Music (he won an award there given to him by the festival's adjudicators). [...]. Otherwise, this is pretty good information. Good luck."
On April 13, 2000, Michael Borop sent us the following comment on Cosmopolis:
"I really like the selection of articles at Cosmopolis. They range from the history of China and the elections in Spain to the latest Cézanne exhibition and Enrique Iglesias' latest CD! I especially like the political articles because they provide a refreshing, in-depth look at the issues of the day."
On March 7, 2000, Marianna Ranalli sent us the following feedback on the concert of Ivo Pogorelich, Cosmopolis, English edition No. 4. She saw the artist in Geneva a few days after his concert in Zurich reviewed by Cosmopolis. The program was the same:
"[...] je considère Pogorelich l'un des pianistes les plus brilliants de sa génération. Effectivement, au niveau technique, il l'a confirmé à l'occasion du concert de vendredi soir. Au niveau interprétation, j'ai trouvé certains morceaux un peu trop lents, p. ex. toute la deuxième partie de la sonate no. 3. Parfois, on a l'impression qu'il suit le fil de ses pensées, en pénalisant la cohérence de ce qu'il joue. Seule exception, la marche funèbre qui, à mon goût, était presque une Radetzy Marsch (trop rapide!!!). Le touché exceptionnel et une technique des cinq doigts très brilliante rendent les sonorités très rondes ou très cristallines, selon les cas, mais toujours fort agréables..."
On September 28, 1999, Pascal Bulliard, The Graduate Institute of International Studies, Geneva, sent us the following comment on Cosmopolis (German edition):
"I regularily read Cosmopolis. I like its diversity, the often new approach to the subjects as well as the easily readible presentation. Besides that, Cosmopolis has become my regular German lesson since I don't often have the time to use my German anymore. I wish a long life to Cosmopolis."

Deutsch Politik Geschichte Kunst Film Musik Lebensart Reisen
English Politics History Art Film Music Lifestyle Travel
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© Copyright  Louis Gerber  All rights reserved.