What kind of a human being would earn a living by making burlesque out of human suffering?

I was appalled and revolted at the total lack of consideration shown by Oliphant in his cartoon in Drawing Board Aug. 29, not to mention the lack of judgment by Post editors who permitted its inclusion.

Entitled "Checklist," the cartoon shows two pilots checking out the "Hell for Leather Airlines" plane before departure. They are quoted: "Two things that stick out the side." "Check." "Two little pedal things." "Check." "Do you see three sets of wheels?" "Check." Etc. Etc.

Does Oliphant have no sympathy for those who suffered terrible losses in that Northwest Airlines crash? Does he have no compassion for the families of the pilots, who are also suffering? What purpose does a cartoon of this type serve? It certainly doesn't amuse. Nor does it prove anything.

I well remember one of Oliphant's cartoons at the time of the Vietnam War: refugees fleeing from a bombed-out village, "comic" little carts overturned, pointed hats flying in all directions, frightened children running. We had enough actual photographs at the time; we didn't need a caricature of the Vietnamese.

One of the greatest cartoonists of all time, Clifford Berryman of the Washington Star, was able for many years to get across his message without causing grief to anyone. I was hoping age would soften Oliphant's viewpoint. Apparently not.

Virginia Angel

'Crito,' Not 'Credo'

There is an error in the story on Scott Turow {Style, Aug. 30}. At one point Turow complains that "Nobody reads or understands Plato's credo anymore."

Since Plato did not have a "credo," what Turow must have meant was that nobody reads Plato's "Crito" anymore. In this short and simple dialogue, Socrates, who has been unjustly convicted and sentenced to death for impiety and corrupting the young, is given the opportunity to escape from prison by his old friend Crito. In an imaginary dialogue with the "Laws" of Athens, Socrates explains that he cannot flee, for to do so would be to break the law. Especially if read in conjunction with the "Apology," which recounts Socrates' trial, and the "Pheado," which recounts his death, the "Crito" will have a powerful effect on anyone who picks it up.

George Klosko

And the Victims?

I read The Post's editorial on capital punishment {"Death Day," Aug. 28} about the then-impending "grisly" executions of four convicted murderers. One of the condemned was granted an indefinite stay after the other three were executed.

The editorial mentioned each killer by name and strongly objected to his sentence. Fine. Now, how about devoting an editorial to those murderers' many innocent victims?

Scott M. Wallace


I wonder if you are deliberately trying to make the "Quote-Acrostic" more difficult. First, you seem to have coined a compound word "fellowpresidents" much as the Germans or Afrikaners coin compound words. That was not so difficult, but the use of "forward" for "gridiron position" really threw me. There are "forwards" in basketball ("hoopster position") and a "forward pass" in football, but I must confess that I have never heard of a "forward" position in football.

George E. Sauer

Pro-Choice Is More Newsworthy?

Judging from the letters of Bruce Morgan and Robert Laskin, I wasn't the only reader surprised by the lack of coverage of the National Rally for Life. Ten thousand peaceful demonstrators garnered one inch of Metro space.

So imagine my surprise in opening the front section Aug. 27 only to find Eleanor Smeal, former NOW leader and radical feminist, in a photo accompanying a 12-inch story on 100 (count them, 100) demonstrators protesting the Vatican's "right to life" stand and other theological doctrines. Smeal and her other cronies specifically decried the "pro-life" position.

I think most readers could draw several conclusions from The Post's editorial decisions behind the placement and treatment of these two stories.

Feminist, pro-choice demonstrators are more newsworthy than pro-life demonstrators.

Anti-Catholic and anti-organized religion stories deserve a higher priority on the editorial agenda.

Don't expect coverage of peaceful Saturday demonstrations by The Post.

Expect editorials throughout The Post in the form of unsigned opinions and preferential treatment to news stories of concern to the news staff and editors.

Nelson Patterson

Too Many E's On Aug. 29, an article in the Style section alluded to "attendees" at a meeting; a few days earlier, a headline referred to an "escapee" from a local jail.

As a constant "readee" of your fine paper, I protest.

Alan McConnell