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Defining the Decade

I found the special TimeFrames issue enjoyable and refreshing [Dec. 6]. Yet why is it that we find criminal or tragic stories more newsworthy than heroic achievements? I think the perseverance of 33 miners and those who rescued them was the most riveting, unforgettable, empowering story in my life of more than four decades. Surely that deserved at least a short article.

Kumar Sivaraman, DIAMOND BAR, CALIF.

What an excellent job of briefly characterizing 2000 through 2010. However, the issue refers to the first "decade" of the century. But you are a year late! Or perhaps TIME has redefined a decade to be 11 years.

Thomas R. Spacek, HOLLAND, PA.

Y2K That Wasn't

Re "Was It Really So Bad?" [Dec. 6]: As someone who led a team of computer programmers through two years of long hours working to fix the Y2K problem, I have to object to Michael Elliott's reference to "billions ... burned fixing nonexistent problems." The IT teams across the globe did an astounding job fixing problems. And most of us spent New Year's Eve of 1999 at the office, holding our breath in case we had missed something.

Joanne Tyree, NEW LENOX, ILL.

Katrina's Other Victims

For the people of the Mississippi Gulf Coast, Katrina was not a man-made disaster but a natural one, which we are still working hard and diligently to overcome.

Robert P. Krebs, PASCAGOULA, MISS.

What Popular Vote?

I am surprised at David Von Drehle's statement that because Bush may have won anyway, the Bush-Gore decision "did not alter the path of history" ["2000: A Nation Divided," Dec. 6]. Gore may also have won. And if he had taken office, it is highly unlikely we would have invaded Iraq on false pretenses, and 5,000 American troops and 100,000 or more Iraqis would still be alive.

John P. Donnelly, RESTON, VA.

Thank you for this sentence: "We now have a government of the feckless, by the crooked, for the connected." That perfectly describes the past 10 years of Washington.

Steve Warnsby, LAKE FOREST, CALIF.

An Evolving Opinion

I applaud Joe Klein's honest admission that he was wrong to support former President George W. Bush's push to partly privatize Social Security ["My Continuing Education," Dec. 6]. I do take issue with the characterization of Social Security as "a safety net when the bottom falls out." It is not an emergency measure to manage unexpected problems; it's part of a mature society's taking care of its elders and part of our basic budget.

Will Wilkinson, ASHLAND, ORE.

It's a rare and courageous thing for a man to correct himself.

Steven R. Linton, MURRAY, UTAH

But Enough About Me. What Do You Think of Me?

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