Your article "Warren Buffett Is on a Radical Track" was one of the most enlightening and uplifting during this period of depressing economic news [Jan. 23]. He embodies the philosophy that no matter how one becomes wealthy, one's duty is to pay back to society. Rana Foroohar has portrayed him as a man with no ego but with many innovative ideas to get America going again.
Anil Bhatia, SINGAPORE
If all investors had the same approach to their investments as Buffett has, the U.S. would recover in record time.
Tore Solbakken, FORDE, NORWAY
Showing a U.S. colleague around Düsseldorf, I was surprised when he turned to me and asked, "But where are all the poor people?" I told him we don't believe poor people must live poorly. Buffett's vision is alive and well in Germany, where we subscribe to social capitalism.
Charles Greene, MEERBUSCH, GERMANY
Buffett attributes his wealth mostly to luck. How dangerous a precedent he is setting. He made critical decisions in his life that led him to where he is now end of story. The most important decision was to get off his behind and work, something that the majority of social-welfare recipients have no desire to do.
Barbara Lai, PERTH, AUSTRALIA
Hope for the Philippines
Those were excellent answers by Philippine President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III in your 10 Questions, which is always fun to read [Jan. 23]. His answers were not only to the point, but they are also a fresh departure from the usual political rhetoric that has plagued the Philippines throughout its history. They show that with common sense, some pragmatism and focused action, there is hope for the millions in this 114-year-old democracy who have been suffering generation after generation.
Raul H. Dado, MACAU
I'd like to believe in Aquino's stand in today's Philippine political scene, but I find it hard to do so. I was just there for a short visit and saw nothing changed. Unless the current administration takes action (not words), the haves will remain having, while the have-nots remain wanting.
Rose Moir, SYDNEY
The article mentioned that one of Aquino's 2010 campaign slogans was "If there is no corruption, there is no poverty." Unfortunately, corruption is endemic in the Philippines. The country has been governed by the wealthy families from Magellan's era of the 1500s until now, and these oligarchs suit themselves. Foreign investors, exhausted by the bribery schemes, go elsewhere. It is sad, as Filipinos are courteous and hospitable people, and the Philippine archipelago is abundant in natural resources.
Jack Andres Barretto, MIAMI, AUSTRALIA
In Fareed Zakaria's piece "The Real Threat in the Middle East" [Jan. 23], the subhead states that "Islamic political parties don't endanger democracy." But they don't seem to do much to encourage it either. In Egypt, the name of the most successful political party thus far, the Muslim Brotherhood, says it all. Until women are given equal opportunities in education and the workplace, the economic future is bleak and democracy is a sham.
Reg Simmonds, WINCHESTER, ENGLAND
Lip service to democracy shouldn't be taken at face value. It remains to be seen whether the Islamist parties in the Middle East will uphold democratic values or turn back and embrace their totalitarian ideology that sees every opponent as an enemy.
Sala Abrahim, SYDNEY
How can Zakaria say that "none of these [Islamist] parties have abrogated civil liberties" when the Egyptian parties have just been elected and the Tunisians are still taking steps to form a government. The test will be how they reconcile their Islamist values, which are discriminatory against women, other religions and democratic values as we know them.
Ben Levitas, CAPE TOWN
Bryan Walsh's "The End of Winter" is a typical example of surreptitious climate alarmism [Jan. 23]. Most of the confusing, conflicting and often meaningless climate events mentioned could just as easily be used with a little rearrangement and reinterpretation to discredit the quasi religion of anthropogenic climate change.
Bill Martin, VALENTINE, AUSTRALIA
Re "Making French Bread" [Jan. 23]: Of course the French are good at complex math. By the time they can count to 100, they have learned to name 99 quatre-vingt dix-neuf (4 x 20 + 10 + 9). It works fine in theory, but can you imagine the confusion writing down any number spoken to you in French when 99 is given to you as 420109? That's why in Belgium the people who speak French just say nonante-neuf.
Hugo Lijnen, LUMMEN, BELGIUM