Thank you for your excellent reporting on President Bush's decision to freeze funding for the United Nations Population Fund in China ("Illegal siblings project," Feb. 2). I was disappointed in the British Parliament's failure to eliminate its funding for the UNFPA. The Tories are showing their mettle to be sadly lacking in their half-hearted will to oppose funding for a regime that forces women to abort their children. Why is it that the depth of conviction runs deeper for Tony Blair and his comrades, who favor the forcible butchery of unborn babies, than in the Tories? Our British friends include accessories to murder on the one hand and cowards unwilling to condemn murder on the other. It is hard to decide which is more repugnant: a party of executioners or a party of "boneless wonders." - Hugh Henry, Dahlonega, Ga.
Neither help nor money
Mindy Belz's cover story is a great exposé, but I'm wondering why the United Nations Population Fund needs our $34 million (or any other money) to promote family planning in a nation that slaughtered 85.5 million unborn babies and sterilized 45 million women in a mere 10 years. It seems to me that China doesn't need UNPF's help or our money. - Richard Armerding, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
To highlight a key difference between WORLD and your journalistic competition, one only need compare WORLD's Feb. 2 story on Enron's Sherron Watkins, "Reluctant hero," and Time's Jan. 18 "Person of the Week" profile. The former took the time to look into Mrs. Watkins's Christian beliefs that made her tick and the agony she has been through. The latter admitted that they "didn't know much about her" but went on to cynically identify Mrs. Watkins as "a sorority girl," "high up enough, or grumpy enough" to send only her boss a memo, "circumspect," and implied that her memo was nothing more than some sort of "CYA letter." What a difference a worldview makes. - Charles Sapp, Hampton, Va.
The real hero
I enjoy Bob Jones's reporting, but he missed the mark with "Reluctant hero." The real hero appears to be Enron treasurer Jeff McMahon, who suffered a transfer as a result of speaking up. - David W. Palmer, Auburn, Ohio
Regarding American filmmaker Robert Altman's comments concerning our current government (Quotables, Feb. 2): He is within his rights to debate President Bush's ability to speak or run a major-league sports club. However, when Mr. Altman degrades the flying of our national colors, he should return his Golden Globe and his share of the profits from his movies. Given the millions of flags flown over the past six months, maybe the public would rather he stay in London. We would surely not miss him, either. - K. Jones, Daytona, Fla.
Regarding Marvin Olasky's Feb. 2 column, "Fighting back": If the New York attorney general can try to stop crisis pregnancy centers from discussing abortion (and other forms of "birth control") because they do not have a medical license, will he also try to stop teachers and counselors from teaching sex education and dispensing condoms in our schools? - Priscilla Bauman, Ledyard, Conn.
Bill, not Greg
I would suggest that Kate Michelman of the National Abortion Rights Action League must be targeting Iowa for the 2002 campaign, not because Republican Greg Ganske is a threat to Democratic Senator Tom Harkin, but because of the young, conservative challenger Mr. Ganske will face in the Republican primary, Bill Salier (Flash Traffic, Feb. 2). - Arlene J. Friedrich, Elma, Iowa
Add this to the hypothetical quandaries a future archeologist from Mars may ponder among the fossilized remains of today's greeting card shops ("Fossilized remains," Feb. 2): Why were the categories of Sympathy/Condolences and Weddings/Anniversaries placed so close to each other? - Peter Kushkowski, Haddam, Conn.
Krieg Barrie's Martian cartoon illustrating Andree Seu's wonderful "Fossilized remains" deserves an A+. - Nancy Bowman, New Canaan, Conn.
Free or not?
Democratic Sens. Leahy and Lieberman recently declared themselves opposed to appointing a special prosecutor to investigate the Enron affair. The fact that they themselves could end up a target of a special prosecutor makes this akin to having the foxes control who gets to investigate the chicken coop. It also shows me why all proposed campaign-finance reforms will make things worse ("Death sentence," Feb. 2). The foxes will always protect themselves, no matter what the campaign-finance laws are. Having the power to regulate the rest of us in the way we can associate and contribute in political activities will just give them more power. Are we a free people, with freedom of speech and politics, or not? We must defend our constitutional rights to participate in politics, or we will lose them. As for Enron, we need a special prosecutor to dig out the foxes who have had their paws in the coop-now that would be real reform. - Steve Breitenbach, Libertyville, Ill.
Tip of the iceberg
The Enron debacle (or one just like it) was inevitable given the last decade's atmosphere of intense moral relativism ("Enwrong," Jan. 26). Many American media ignored, downplayed, excused, and even applauded the lawlessness of our previous administration. This public acceptance of such aberrations gave the green light to the Enron executives to do exactly what they did. Didn't they know that their card house was bound to collapse? They should have, but an ounce of arrogance will neutralize a ton of intelligence. The investing public now fears, and with good reason, that Enron may only be the tip of the iceberg. - Allen Brooks, Sheridan, Wyo.
As always, Andre Seu's column was touching and true ("True convenience," Jan. 19). To me, the illustration of the baby with inconvenient across his head said it all. We could easily change the picture to an elderly person with the same title. The Bible says that our faith will be demonstrated by how we treat orphans and widows, yet in this regard I'm afraid that we Christians are no different from unbelievers. We like our lives to be conveniently comfortable, yet sadly we miss the true blessings that inconvenience brings. - Kathy Mohler, Stockton, Calif.
Government we deserve
Mr. Belz's assessment is on target, and unfortunately nothing new (unless such diversionary and frivolous spending in the midst of a major American war is new-perhaps so) ("Capitol Hill cynics," Jan. 12). Even so, the problem is a continuing lesson for us all in failure to understand the human condition, and the truth that power corrupts. The failure to regard the singular example of George Washington, who understood the necessity of stepping down after his second term, is lost on today's crop of politicians, and unfortunately voters as well; we get what we ask for. - Peter F. Kendrick, Stuttgart, Germany
Time for WORLD
I am a full-time emergency physician, married 26 years, mother of four, grandmother of four, and our family also runs a guest farm in Door County, Wis. Your magazine is the only one I read cover to cover. You offer interesting, important news coverage in a compassionate, comprehensive way. The longer I have my subscription, the more I realize how misled I was by secular media in their worldview. - Deborah Reisen, Fish Creek, Wis.
Small part, big story
I have read with avid interest your articles about Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings ("Powerful Rings," Jan. 12). Several years ago I tried to read the trilogy. I read about half of the first book and decided it was very boring. Then, late last summer, I started hearing about the movie. Without too much work, I talked my dad into taking me to see it. It was awesome! I laughed and cheered and cried and vowed to read the books. I did, in two weeks, and I loved the depiction of the fight against a darkness that seems all powerful, yet more powerful than all the darkness is the power of light. I cannot imagine how I once could have thought these books boring. Now I am urging all my friends to read them. They helped me see life in a different way, as a small tale in a vast story, yet immensely important to the Author. - Rebecca Klinefelter, 17, West Salem, Ohio
3M's Maplewood plant is located in Minnesota (Jan. 19, p. 30). - The Editors
While I agree with the substance of Joel Belz's column, it is wrong to use the word fundamentalist to describe a legalist ("Fiscal fundamentalists," Feb. 2). To use fundamentalist as a pejorative is uncharitable to many brothers. - Keith Richardson, Clarion, Pa.