The "Decade from Hell" [Dec. 7]? What about the successful rovers on Mars? All the exoplanets we've begun to find? What about the progress made on gay rights and for women in business? What about the advances made toward curing so many forms of cancer? Our imagination and hard work ultimately trumped our greed and self-interest.
Katharine Osborne, HONOLULU
There were tragedies and missteps in the decade, but before you pass judgment, ask the Chinese in Nanking and the Jews of Poland and Russia what they thought of the 1930s, the residents of Hiroshima and Nagasaki of the 1940s, the U.S. soldiers in the Hanoi Hilton of the 1960s and the list goes on.
Philip Katz, ROCKVILLE CENTRE, N.Y., U.S.
I was saddened that Serwer saw the world's strongest military as the U.S. trump card (at least it was mentioned first). Part of me understands, but I want to believe that having a globally admired leader, being the home of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and raking in Nobel Prizes would mean more. Will violence ever cease to be the ultimate argument?
Claes Molin, GOTHENBURG, SWEDEN
Your essay "Overexposed" about the British attitude to sex was interesting, but I cringed at the phrase, "Britain boasts the highest rate of teen pregnancies in Western Europe" [Dec. 7]. It "boasts"?
Suzanne Comberousse, PARIS
Your article "The Mammogram Melee" suggests that it's important to weigh the risks of screening against the benefits, but you never tell us what these risks are [Dec. 7]. Is there evidence that the mammograms may be causing some tumors or damaging tissues? I've been screened fairly regularly for the last 20 years, and now I'm starting to worry that I was doing the wrong thing.
Karin Judkins, TURIN, ITALY
Here's a riddle: If a woman is denied a mammogram at age 40 and dies at 45 of breast cancer, how much money does her insurance company save?
Christine Hummel, ST. ANN, MO., U.S.