Thank you for your heart-wrenching and graphic report of the devastation in Pakistan [Through Hell and High Water, Sept. 20]. Ordinary Pakistanis deserve just as much safety, security and happiness as anyone in the world. I hope the rulers of Pakistan will invest their resources in restoring the faith of the people who call Pakistan their home, rather than focusing on their neighbor or supporting destruction in the name of religion.
Shailja Chaturvedi, SYDNEY
In the wake of a natural calamity anywhere on the planet, it becomes a collective responsibility of humankind to come together and face the disaster. Unfortunately in the case of Pakistan, the world community has so far failed to rise to the challenge. Despite repeated U.N. appeals, only a fraction of the monetary aid that is required for relocation and relief work has been collected.
Rajinder K. Sudan, LAMBERI, INDIA
Omar Waraich clearly highlights the issues that Pakistan is plagued with. Pakistan faces a lack of credible leadership and a callous attitude from the top toward the suffering of the people. This is a country on the edge: Will it descend into anarchy or military rule, or will the upholders of democracy be able to maintain the democratic nature of the country?
Nandini Ravishankar, MUMBAI
Hit the Road, Joe
I would like to thank Joe Klein for his journey across America [Road Trip, Sept. 20]. I am an accountant, a single mom trying to raise my son in these difficult economic times. My clients include people dealing with unemployment, foreclosure and bankruptcy, and I see up close the anger and fear that is dividing our country. We need to get our politicians to understand that the consequences of what they do are tangible and real to us. The cost of war, health care reform, Wall Street reform and Main Street failures comes out of our pockets today and our children's tomorrow.
Sharon Gregg, ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., U.S.
It amazes me that during times of emergency like the one 33 Chilean miners are facing right now [Trapped, Sept. 20], men can share and be considerate of their fellow human beings. In a bad situation, we would give anything to be in a better place; possessions don't matter, only kindness does. It's good to note that positive human behavior can emerge during crises, and it is only a matter of applying these qualities given normal, less difficult situations.
Catherine Batac Walder, FINCHAMPSTEAD, ENGLAND
Initiative, resourcefulness and courage are built into the minds of Chilean miners, accustomed to working in harsh and dangerous conditions. The 17 days that they lived in total isolation, not knowing if they would ever be rescued, are the best proof that they know what they are doing. Military and space experts who believe they know better would learn more by listening to them.
Antonio Reynaldos, LEIDEN, THE NETHERLANDS
Zachary Karabell has hit the nail square on [Volume Control, Sept. 20]. He says exactly what I have concluded after watching the stock market jiggle every time someone lifts an eyebrow. I am 83, and there are things I need (house painted and reshingled) and things I want (a new camera, one of those BlackBerry things, bushels of spring bulbs to plant), and if the stock market would settle down, I'd be ready to go. It would help the economy to have me loosen my purse strings, and it would help me enjoy my remaining years more fully. I'm convinced that those investors are manufacturing crises in order to buy and sell to line their own pockets. Believe in the American people, for goodness' sake. They have the energy and smarts to keep the country moving.
Evelyn Stevens, LANSING, N.Y., U.S.
Aussie Labor Shortage
In The World [Sept. 20], Time mentions the role of two independents in restoring the Australian Labor Party to power. What wasn't mentioned, however, was that the final two independents represent electorates that are largely conservative. As a constituent in one of those electorates, I am amazed at our representative's failure to represent. I would suggest that Labor not get too settled in the halls of power just yet.
Grant Hopper, TAMWORTH, AUSTRALIA
Atlantic City's Big Gamble
In August, upon seeing posters in Atlantic City, my 13-year-old daughter screamed, "Wow! The Jonas Brothers are performing here. This must be the coolest city ever!" But after reading your Postcard [Sept. 20], I understood why the slot machines were not as busy as I had expected. The tourist inside me was genuinely excited at the city's glamour, glitz and glitter. But now I sadly realize that all that glitters is not gold.
Joel Indrupati, MANAMA, BAHRAIN
The Adoption Option
Re "And Baby Makes Four?" [Sept. 20]: So Joel Stein's wife doesn't wish to bear another baby because of the admittedly complicated physical issues (and a few vanity concerns), and he wants another child. Ever hear of adoption? Cassandra, this solves your physical concerns, and Joel, you'll still have a kid that may grow up to fulfill your dream of curing cancer. Try it, you'll like it!
Pat Luftman, EMMAUS, PA., U.S.