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Will the Minutemen work as busbuys, gardeners or nannies? Of course not. Undocumented aliens contribute more to our economy than the sum of benefits they get from local governments. The problem of undocumented aliens is a difficult one and cannot be solved by waving the American flag and espousing jingoistic slogans. The day undocumented men and women don't work in the U.S. is the day that American business grinds to a halt. RICHARD R. REBHUN Los Angeles
Alex Perry's Letter From Bombay, "Could You Please Make Me a Shade Lighter?" [Dec. 5], reported that the desire for a lighter skin color is a national obsession in India. But Indians are not the only people who view fair skin as an ideal. It is no secret that many throughout the world feel the same way. Indeed, most of mankind does. Some of us as children were exposed to fairy tales like Snow White, in which the wicked queen asks, "Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?" NIZAM VIRMANI Rolling Meadows, Ill.
Your article "How GM Can Fix Itself" did a fine job of enumerating the problems created by General Motors' management [Dec. 5]. But it didn't address why advisers say hourly workers should take cuts in pay and benefits when the automaker frequently touts the quality of its products. If the workers are putting cars together so well, they should not be the ones to suffer in a restructuring. SANDY McLENDON Marietta, Ga.
I lived in Flint, Mich., for 27 years and worked for GM. The company's problem is simple: arrogance of the worst kind. Its management will not listen to others. GM cars are poorly designed. Corporate officials and the outdated, unionized workforce can't get along. The result is a company with two antagonistic groups--an unhappy union and an overbearing management. LOU RIFE Nashville, Tenn.
The Book vs. the Movie
As an avid Harry Potter fan, I take issue with Richard Corliss's view that the movie version of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is better than the book [Dec. 5]. As beautiful as the movie is, it sorely lacks the true magic of the book. Corliss noted that the film is better because it "telescopes the book's first 100 pages into a thrilling 20 minutes." But without the detail of those 100 pages, the start of the movie is disjointed and no doubt confusing to those who haven't read the book. The film falls flat. As for the idea that the book is perhaps overlong, if a book is good, it can never be too long. JENNY TURCO Pleasant Prairie, Wis.
I don't see how Corliss could pick the movie version of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire over the book. Although I really liked the movie--it was fast and action-packed--none of the film adaptations of J.K. Rowling's books, this one included, have been able to fully capture the essence of Harry. The movie versions cannot put us inside Harry's head the way Rowling so deftly does. MARIANNE L. ADAMS Diamond Bar, Calif.
Remembering Hugh Sidey