Introducing Sarah Palin
Although I am not a republican and do not agree with Senator John McCain's war policy on Iraq my son was killed there I respect Sarah Palin for her decision to keep her Down-syndrome baby [Sept. 15]. I am the father of a 28-year-old Down-syndrome daughter, whom I've cared for almost single-handedly since the death of her mother 16 years ago. My daughter has been a source of joy and hope in the midst of family setbacks. Even if Palin does not win the election, she at least has put a new face on Down syndrome. I thank her for that.
Joseph P. Nolan,
Waterbury, Conn., U.S.
TIME's great photo of governor Palin on this week's cover should scare the Democrats. You see a strong, intelligent, attractive and determined mien and an ideal partner for McCain, one who will help bring this country back to the position of strength it has occupied in the world.
As many others do, I believe Bristol Palin's pregnancy is a family matter. Yet Governor Palin decided to accept McCain's offer to be his running mate knowing her daughter's pregnancy would become fodder for the press. Who thinks it's O.K. to put a 17-year-old girl yes, she's still a girl, even if pregnant through this?
Christopher B. Romeo,
Knoxville, Tenn., U.S.
Palin would not acknowledge a need for "education" prior to ascending to the second highest office in the land. Her smirking, contemptuous dismissal of community service at the Republican National Convention; a litany of falsehoods including the claim to have said "no thanks" to the Ketchikan "bridge to nowhere" and discrepancies in her assertions on the investigation into abuse of power during her tenure as governor; her campaign's unprecedented demand for "deference" from a free press before answering questions all paint a portrait of a woman who believes she has it all figured out.
Vienna, Va., U.S.
If McCain thinks that, merely because Governor Palin is a woman, I will support their ticket, he must think all women are stupid and uninformed. I was very offended by her derogatory remarks about Senator Obama's community work in Chicago. Many people and churches devote a lot of time and energy, do a lot of good work, and make changes for the betterment of their communities and for those less fortunate than Governor Palin. Her snark and cynicism proves that the GOP's talk of values is a meaningless farce. Extremist and opportunist, her beliefs are out of step with the American mainstream.
Natalia Medina Coggins,
Albequerque, N.M., U.S.
Have we turned into a nation of docile sheep? After eight years of hardships and sacrifices from this dismal economy, horrendous gas prices, and double wars in Iraq and Afghanistan why would we want more of the same misery from "McPalin"? Palin is so extreme in her views that she may as well be a mullah in a dress. Her utter lack of political nous and international knowledge is shameful. This country will be the world's laughing stock if this sort of Republican ticket makes it to the Oval Office. McCain picking Palin is a big insult to the electorate and to intelligent women everywhere. The first criterion to gauge a candidate's readiness for the presidency is his judgment. And McCain has failed this test pretty badly. No matter how the GOP spinmeisters pad Palin's alarmingly thin record of public service, the majority of the American people are, hopefully, smart enough to see through their tactics.
Pinole, Calif., U.S.
As someone who supports legitimate artists and is a collector of original art albeit on a modest level I am offended how British "Bad Boy" artist, Damien Hirst [Sept. 15] is dominating the art world. He is merely another charlatan who found a gimmick and capitalized on it, suckering in those wannabes who are more interested in bragging rights than promoting a fresh, honest talent in the art world or insightful, subversive ideas in the public arena. Dead animals preserved in formaldehyde and a diamond encrusted skull is this even legal? Spin paintings done by studio assistants give me a break; kids have amused themselves for decades creating identical masterpieces at fairs and school fundraisers. My fantasy: that no one bids.
Susan H. Warren,
Swarthmore, Pa., U.S.
An Unacceptable Price
The picture of two Afghan children wounded by a U.S. air strike that accompanied the article "Collateral Tragedies" [Sept. 15] literally took my breath away like a kick to the chest. I wonder if those in favor of our military actions could look into these children's eyes and explain to them why America is right to do this to them and their families. All the arguments in the world will never justify the fear and pain reflected in those children's faces.
Hunter, N.Y., U.S.