Madonna and Sean
My heart goes out to Madonna (PEOPLE, Dec. 14). I truly believe she gave that marriage her best shot. No one should ever have to try as hard to make a marriage work as she did. Madonna obviously loves Sean very much. It's a shame that all Sean has to offer Madonna is public embarrassment and humiliation.
Caron Arntson
Manassas, Va.

You know, PEOPLE, you really burn me. Why don't you just leave the Penns alone? I bet if the paparazzi had learned their lesson and not taken pictures and if the doubters had kept their mouths shut and given support, this marriage would have lasted. The marriage never had a chance because no one ever gave it one.
Giselle E. Gutierrez
Hacienda Heights, Calif.

Charlotte Fedders
Hooray for Charlotte Fedders. She has found out that she is okay and it's about time. My palms were sweaty and my heart raced as I read her story, which was mine two years ago. I'm glad we are both out of that sisterhood [of battered wives]. Like her, I love my messy kitchen, my mountain of clothes and my peace of mind. But most of all I thank God for my new husband, who is everything the first one was not.
Name Withheld
St. Amant, La.

I feel compelled to tell you that there are many houses full of fear out here.... Hooray for [Mrs. Fedders]. Leaving her husband took more courage than I have been able to summon. Like drugs, this type of abuse knows no class distinction.
Anonymous
Grand Rapids, Mich.

Kids Without Homes
I grew up in an upper-class neighborhood in Texas where the kids would complain because they didn't get that Kawasaki 750 or that new Trans Am for Christmas. Any child who can read ought to read this article. Some of us have a lot to be thankful for.
Lori Brooks
Derry, N.H.

Why did these parents have children if they were dependent on welfare? Get rid of this rotten welfare system, and these people won't be so eager to have children that they will have to support.
Linda Russo
New York City

I love my country and genuinely believe in this form of government, but I wonder how we dare point a finger at Mikhail Gorbachev and the Soviet people and cry "human rights" when such abhorrent conditions exist right here in the United States. Come on, America, we can and must do better than this.
Cathy Fuelling
Zionsville, Ind.

Every Christmas these heart-wrenching stories pour out of the press, and it breaks my heart every time. However, one thing never changes—my anger toward these lazy, selfish parents who have more and more children they don't care for or support. I work my tail off to take care of my children, and they go to school every day. Until the attitude of the poor changes, they won't get out. I know, I've been there myself.
T. King
Louisville, Ky.

Jean and Joseph Gump
I agree with Jean and Joe Gump that nuclear disarmament is a must, but the way to end the arms race is not by vandalism. Just how effective can they be in protesting nuclear warfare while sitting in a prison cell for six years? Ending the nuclear race must be done by ways other than hammering missile-silo covers and spray-painting slogans. Surely they can think of something else.
Cathy D. Keefe
Falls Church, Va.

My parents too are involved in peace activism, and I think it's the greatest gift parents can give their children. Growing up with the constant fear of nuclear war is one thing, but only when hopelessness sets in does the fear become immobilizing. Thanks to my parents, I can see that there is actually hope and that nuclear war is not inevitable. So, thank you, PEOPLE, thank you, Jean and Joseph Gump, and most of all, thank you, Mom and Pa.
Emily Norman
Pittsburgh

Congressman Norman Mineta
My father, a nisei, was interned in Manzanar with his parents, brothers and sisters at the same time as Congressman Mineta. He volunteered for the U.S. Army while still a "resident" in the camp. Years later, when he had his own family, my father would never speak of his camp experiences to me when I asked—all I ever knew about the entire affair was what little my Caucasian mother could tell me. After reading "Wounds of War," I understand his silence. Thank you, Congressman Mineta, Susan Schindehette and PEOPLE, for telling a story that has been left hidden as only a bitter memory for so many years.
Pam Peterson
St. Ann, Mo.

Picks & Pans
What's this? A rather complimentary article on Barry Manilow a few weeks ago and now a good review of his latest album? From PEOPLE? What happened? You folks run out of salt?
Katherine Hubbell
San Pedro, Calif.