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Letters: Nov. 28, 2005

5 minute read

How to Save a Life

Our profiles of heroic people whose energy and passion are making a difference in the fight against the world’s most dangerous diseases garnered enthusiastic praise. But readers were also aware of the need to do more to save the lives of poor people at risk from preventable illnesses

Your report on the courageous efforts of common citizens around the world to fight appalling diseases in the poorest countries [Nov. 7] should be required reading for all. I especially recommend it to members of Congress. Instead of funding pork-barrel projects, why not finance completion of the malaria vaccine? As a health-care worker, I was astonished to read how far development of the vaccine has progressed. We have a golden opportunity to eliminate the disease.

JANET CRAIN Lake Wales, Fla.

Thank you for selecting Paul Farmer, “America’s most celebrated doctor for the poor,” as one of TIME’s Global Health heroes. He possesses not only the selfless ambition to fight medical inequality in our world but also the ingenuity and talent to create and apply practical solutions to health problems. People often talk about medical problems in terms of finding breakthrough cures and medications. Your report has given me a greater appreciation of the distinctly different challenge of making medical solutions available to those who otherwise could not obtain them.

EDWARD CHAN Evanston, Ill.

Unless accompanied by birth control, efforts to fight the world’s most dangerous diseases will result in disastrous global population growth, environmental degradation and famine.

HERSHEY JULIEN Palo Alto, Calif.

As the gift-giving season approaches, TIME’s report challenges us to make a tradition of contributing life-sustaining resources to those whose suffering knows no holiday. If the merely comfortable of the world pooled their modest gifts, they could make a difference that no individual hero or celebrity could ever achieve. Let us all be heroes.

DENISE COULING South Lyon, Mich.

You chose as one of your heroes theologian and physician Peter Okaalet, who works in Africa with pastors and their congregations to redefine their response to the AIDS epidemic. Okaalet exemplifies the most important weapon in our war on poverty and disease: education. He teaches people to let go of the holier-than-thou attitude of condemning others, and he helps them recognize that preventive medicine takes us one step closer to the dream of solving the developing world’s problems.


As an inner-city 24-year-old who is tired of seeing the adulation of selfish and materialistic athletes and musicians, I am grateful that TIME has underscored the real qualities that make a person a hero. Displaying love and empathy for the victims of severe misfortune, those caring people put the true value of the human spirit in the limelight. Your issue on Global Health and altruistic heroes forced me to ask, What kind of man am I if I do not help make this world better?

JESUS GARCIA JR. Lynwood, Calif.

Your articles were a wonderful testimonial to people who are solving health problems in the developing world. As you quoted Winston Churchill, we truly do “make a life by what we give.” Thank you, TIME, for opening the eyes and expanding the hearts of all of us.

(THE REV.) HOLLIE TAPLEY Statesboro, Ga.

Second-Term Blues

“A Time To Regroup” might be interpreted as implying that George W. Bush’s problems are just the usual stuff all Presidents face during their second term [Nov. 7]. But this situation is not merely ordinary second-term burnout. All the horrible moves Bush made during his first term–invading Iraq, appointing cronies to top positions, insisting on secrecy, manipulating the media, backing a flawed oil-based energy program and embracing an irresponsible fiscal policy–are perfectly evident to all. Bush made his bed during his first four years, and now he has to lie in it.

BOB KROPFLI Golden, Colo.

The Democrats and liberals desperately want to discredit the Bush Administration. So all causes, including Iraq, are exploitable for that purpose. But to conclude that most people no longer trust the President is wrong. Americans twice chose to elect Bush.


Scooter’s Fate

The indictment of Vice President Dick Cheney’s aide Scooter Libby for perjury and obstruction of justice [Nov. 7] was the first breach in the protective wall of lies and deception that has allowed the Administration to drag us into the senseless, totally unjustified war in Iraq. Now that the wall has been broken in one place, the truth will come flooding through. In a democracy, citizens are guilty of the sins of their leaders because voters chose them. We cannot pretend we are blameless. We elected them, and we are just as guilty as they are. But now we have a chance to start over again by ousting those who so badly misused the power we gave them.

(THE REV.) BILL MCGINNIS Alexandria, Va.

Libby’s indictment points to the arrogant and ruthless behavior of the people the President values as loyal public servants. It makes little difference whether Libby is found guilty. He is emblematic of a culture of deceit. Americans deserve better.

WILLIAM MCCALLAN Temple City, Calif.

Perpetual Politicking

The column by Joe Klein, “The Perils of the Permanent Campaign,” exposed the core problem of our government [Nov. 7]. For the Bush White House and most of Congress, the only goal is to beat the other guy. The ideal of principled leadership, so important to the founders of this country, is dead. Our leaders constantly worry what the Founding Fathers intended about abortion and gun ownership but have lost sight of the need for moral leadership.


Thank you, Joe Klein, for so eloquently expressing my frustration with elected officials who don’t know how to stop politicking and start governing. Is it naive to think they can learn?


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