Tell Me Something Good

In sending Rabbi Meir Kahane to his rest with the label "demagogue" {editorial, Nov. 7}, you overlooked two outstanding contributions he made to the welfare of Jews around the world.

Kahane was among the first to perceive the threat to Soviet Jews and to demand their freedom. And before and during the Holocaust, he was among the first to recognize the guilt by apathy and even by involvement of the Western democracies, including the United States.

To condemn a man by focusing on his imperfections not only does him an injustice but exposes his detractors as unforgiving and mean-spirited.

-- Eugene Husik Cohabitating?

In describing the mortality rate among parents of child heroes {Style Plus, Nov. 9}, Joel Achenbach mentioned that "Nancy, that awful little girl created by Ernie Bushmiller, mysteriously lives with her Aunt Fritzi."

Make that lived.

Since Jerry Scott took over the strip several years ago, Aunt Fritzi has not been seen. For all we know, Nancy could be living with Sluggo now.

Incidentally, the strip began in the 1920s with the title "Fritzi Ritz." Nancy was added later as a minor character and eventually took over the spotlight. -- Jeremy Korr Straying From FactJust report the facts.

Jerry Knight's article "Innkeeper George McGovern Files for Reorganization" {Business, Nov. 7} was more like gossip than news. McGovern's recent financial problems should be listed like all the other failed businesses. He should have the same right to the dignity of privacy as the average citizen. His failed inn did not affect hundreds of workers as did the failure of the National Bank of Washington.

Knight's comment that "the innkeeper himself couldn't be reached for comment yesterday, but then election days have never been the best of times for George McGovern" also was petty and unworthy of a column in your Business section.

Keep your editorial comments on the editorial pages. -- Diane Pericles Poff Ike in Action

Richard Cohen wrote that Dwight Eisenhower was an "indifferent, lethargic" president when it came to civil rights, who "never accommodated himself to the Supreme Court's 1954 decision that school segregation was unconstitutional" {op-ed, Nov. 6}.

I suppose it was Millard Fillmore who sent federal troops to Little Rock, Ark., in September of 1957 to enforce desegregation of the schools? -- Hal Gordon From Acorn to Oak

John Taladay's "Doublespeak on Abortion" {letters, Nov. 10} was itself an example of doublespeak. Taladay decried the phrase "aborting the fetus" and said "words cannot conceal the reality of being ... a baby is a baby."

But the reality of being is that a fetus is not a baby, any more than a fertilized egg is a chicken or an acorn is an oak tree. A fertilized egg or a fetus is a potential baby just as an acorn is a potential oak tree. In both, a lot of things have to happen before that potential is realized.

-- Robert Heppe Your Sexism Is Showing

Your front-page headline "Sexual Activity of Teenage U.S. Girls Rose in 1980s" {Nov. 9} failed to reflect that the article cited studies indicating that sexual activity of teenage males also rose. That showed a gender bias: female sexual activity is still considered less acceptable and more titillating -- and thus more newsworthy -- than that of males.

The headline also showed society's tendency to focus on teenage females having sex, while ignoring the males with whom they have it.

Many states have (and others are considering) legislation requiring female teenagers to contact their parents before obtaining abortions, while little attention is given to ensuring that males also recognize a responsibility to prevent unplanned pregnancies.

Your headline attested to the sexist perceptions of your editors and perpetuated stereotypical attitudes about women and sex. -- Stefanie Raker Character on the Hill

Thumbs down to you. You didn't have the guts to include Sen. Jesse Helms's victory photo along with others in your Nov. 8 Election section. (Democratic national chairman Ronald Brown's photo appeared twice, and he wasn't elected to anything on Nov. 6.)

Do you really want to know why so many people, including the press, detest Helms? It has nothing to do with racism, and everything to do with moral character. Helms is the only one left on Capitol Hill with the courage to take responsible leadership on moral issues affecting the core of our society. North Carolina had the wisdom to support his leadership.

Can we expect future election results to be given balanced treatment by your paper? -- Mildred Gerstner