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.
Diamond Bar, Calif., U.S.
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., U.S.
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., U.S.
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.
Lake Forest, Calif., U.S.
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.
New Lenox, Ill., U.S.
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., U.S.
But Enough About Me. What Do You Think of Me?
After reading the Dec. 6 issue, I am finally writing about the off-putting self-obsession in Joel Stein's columns ["You Can't Spell TIME Without 'I' and 'Me'!" Dec. 6]. By comparing himself to Facebook and Freud, Stein outdid himself. I find it more desirable to pore through a Facebook page full of mundane updates than to read his annoying column.
If this really is a game and Stein has won, the rest of us have lost. Our society and culture, as well as intellectual discourse, are poorer because of it.
New York City
All Joel Stein bashers out there should rather acknowledge that in today's narcissistic media culture, mindless blogs abound. At least Stein distracts us from all the nuisance tweets with columns that while certainly self-centered never fail to entertain.
New York City
What's Changed in China?
Karl Taro Greenfeld's excellent article about information and transparency in China points out that the government's response to the 2008 Sichuan earthquake used many of the same obfuscating tactics that were seen with SARS in 2003 ["China: Too Little Information," Dec. 6]. It is worth pointing out one difference: the propaganda response. While SARS was brushed under the carpet, the Communist Party has used subsequent disasters as evidence of a new caring, compassionate government. The quality of information released around these events may not have improved, but in terms of quantity, the change has been remarkable.