After reading your cover story "The Lady Walks Free Again" and Wang Dan's essay "A Lady Called Hope," I think the release of Burma's Aung San Suu Kyi poses a powerful comparison to the situation of China's Liu Xiaobo [Nov. 29]. Both show that democracy won't be given by dictators but will come through relentless struggle by the people.
Song Xiaowen, PINGZHEN CITY, TAIWAN
Suu Kyi is resilient. Despite two decades of house arrest, she emerged triumphant and defiant, stronger than ever. Let us wish the Lady well, and may she continue to hold the bright torch of freedom to lead her people out of the darkness of their despotic nation.
Zi Zenn, SYDNEY
Suu Kyi's release is cause for celebration for all who advocate human rights and democracy. But let's not forget that Burma still has more than 2,000 political prisoners. The release of Suu Kyi should not be interpreted as a sign that democratic reform is close for the people of Burma.
Bidyut Kumar Chatterjee, FARIDABAD, INDIA
To Do or Not to Do
Considering that I'm 28, male and college-educated, I suppose it's time to tie the knot with my live-in girlfriend of nearly two years [Marriage: What's It Good For? Nov. 29]. While I can't speak for the rest of my generation, for me, the rings, titles and expensive reception just aren't all that important. Certainly, there is nothing wrong with a public declaration followed by a good party. But while our jobs are in flux and budgets tight, we are in no rush to say I do. We tell each other that every day in our continued love and commitment.
David Boersma, HOLLAND, MICH., U.S.
An eight-page story, a note from the editor and a comprehensive survey on the current role of marriage in society and not a single mention of the many gay and lesbian Americans who cannot marry, no matter how much they may wish to? Ironically, they are probably the ones who most value the institution of marriage precisely because they are unjustly denied its legal and social protections.
Mike Silverman, LAWRENCE, KANS., U.S.
How can the word race not appear anywhere in your article? Despite the jarring statistic that 72% of black births occur outside marriage (compared with 29% among whites), there is no discussion of differences of marriage views among races or any mention of any correlation, or not, among the views of racial and socioeconomic groups. This is poor journalism.
Bob Marquis, EDMOND, OKLA., U.S.
I appreciate the good sense Fareed Zakaria presents in "The Last Chance," but I can't understand how one can discuss the U.S. deficit and not mention military expenditure [Nov. 29]. Is the military budget sacrosanct?
William Shepard, CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND
Regarding Americans' lack of will to tackle the deficit, you write, "For more than a generation, we have squared this dishonest circle by borrowing vast amounts of money." We had a surplus in 2000. Kindly stop disappearing the Clinton surpluses.
Dan Gallagher, LANCASTER, PA., U.S.
The Merits of Inaction
The panning of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 sounds strangely hollow itself [Nov. 29]. I like that David Yates treats the story as a series and that the slow forest scenes mirror the book's. For this movie lover, the fact that the filmmakers trusted the viewers to appreciate the book material is welcome indeed.
Janet Vass Sarjeant, CHARLOTTE, N.C., U.S.
The seventh book is about the aimlessness and vulnerability of Harry, Ron and Hermione, and the review knocks the film for capturing that so perfectly? Richard Corliss states that Hermione "must be mother to [Harry and Ron]." Yet just because Hermione is smart and capable does not mean she plays a mother role. Many movies are centered on a male character but are not reproached for having a dad figure.
Andrea Steig, SEATTLE