Wanna detoxify [Feb. 16]? run five miles a day. Cheap, clean, effective. And all natural too.
David Hirsch, DALLAS, U.S.
Kudos on the article about people's gullibility when it comes to detoxing. Many years ago I asked my physician whether illnesses are due at least 90% to what we eat; he nodded approvingly. These last 30 years I have eaten very sparingly, adhering to a strict Mediterranean regimen: plenty of fruit and vegetables and one glass of red wine, no red meat but lots of beans as a substitute. With a BMI of 20, I feel very healthy. Will people ever learn that gluttony and junk food are bad?
Ettore Ulivelli, MILAN, ITALY
The article by Michael Grunwald "How to Spend the Stimulus" has certainly a lot of merits [Feb. 16]. However, if he supported President Obama he would be well advised to use different language when he talks about energy-producing countries. It is totally inappropriate to talk about "... reducing dependence on environmentally disastrous fossil fuels which increases the power of America's enemies ..." or "... increases carbon emissions and empowers foreign thugs." This is the language that was used in the previous Administration Obama would never use it and probably does not appreciate it from his fellow Americans.
Paul Teichmann, MUNICH, GERMANY
How can some countries' leaders think about protectionism in this period of economic crisis? We live in a globalized economy. We all depend on one another. Every country imports and exports goods or services. It would be a big mistake to be tempted by protectionism and it would not solve economic problems. It would rather amplify them.
Philippe LaCome, STRASBOURG, FRANCE
Greening the Future
Japan has allocated $17 billion to help Asian countries with development projects to help stimulate their economies [Jan. 26]. This seemingly altruistic gesture is typical of Japan's long-term focus. They recognize that consumers in the developed countries are not going to resume their past spending patterns any time soon, despite tax cuts and rebates. But if the economies of developing countries can be grown, then their people will eventually become the replacement consumers and will buy goods produced in Japan and other hard-hit manufacturing/exporting countries. This is why it is so important not to delay projects like DESERTEC and the Sahara Forest Project. Such projects have the capacity to provide the power, fresh water and food essential to allow developing economies to move from subsistence living. That they help Europe with green power, absorb CO2 by "greening" deserts and mitigate rising sea levels, is a bonus not to be ignored. They also generate jobs both in the recipient countries and in the developed countries who will build most of the heavy and sophisticated equipment. Sounds like a win-win situation.
John R Errey, GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, GERMANY
I read Hannah Beech's article "Democracy" with great interest and I do agree almost completely [Jan. 12]. But in my opinion the reader gets a false impression because the report is almost completely negative. As my family lived in Japan for two years, I can say that the Japanese political system has many democratic features, such as its very Occidental constitution. Of course, I can also see the grievances, but which democratic country does not have problems?
Nina Theresa Strüven, GRAFRATH, GERMANY
In "A Great Divide," Jyoti Thottam complains about the barbed-wire fence that India is erecting [Feb. 16]. She fails to acknowledge that erecting the fence has reduced the flow of illegal migrants into India. I also couldn't understand the complaint about exporting cows. Respect for religious sentiments has to be a common goal, not simply accommodation from one side to facilitate the other.
Girish Vaidya, AURANGABAD, INDIA