The Legend of `Dollar Bill'
While stories on how presidential candidates raise money are desirable, your use of the nickname "Dollar Bill" Bradley in the third sentence of a story about his fund-raising is both misleading and unjustified ["The Grandmother Behind Bradley's Money Machine," front page, May 22]. The reader gets the clear impression that the nickname is a mocking reference to Bill Bradley's fund-raising abilities. In fact, the nickname is 30 years old and refers to the hefty size of Bradley's first contract to play basketball with the New York Knicks. The story should have explained that.
Also, I am concerned with the use of the word "grandmother" to refer to Bradley fund-raiser Betty Sapoch in the story's headline. If she were a sixtyish male fund-raiser (of whom there are many), would you use the term grandfather?
As far as I could tell from the story, no connection is made between her abilities as a fund-raiser and the fact that she happens to have grandchildren.
-- Thomas M. Giusto
Poor Choice of Words
The headline "No Excuse for Not Retiring Rich" on the front page of the May 16 Business section is arrogant and tasteless. Even in this era of great national prosperity, millions of families in our country, through no fault of their own, struggle to make ends meet at the end of every month and may never retire rich.
Although one can hardly object to the article's endorsement of savings, the headline, beyond which many will never read, leaves the reader with a bad taste.
-- Philippe W. Newton
Wailing No More
Twice in recent reporting on the Israeli elections I've noticed a reference to the "Wailing Wall." Since 1967, when Jerusalem was reclaimed from Jordan, it has been known as the Western Wall. The wall in ancient times surrounded the holy temple and is all that remains. When under Jordanian rule, Jews were not permitted to pray there.
The term "Wailing Wall" is outdated because there is no longer anything to cry about, as Jerusalem is reunified.
-- Janet Didinsky
Lend an Ear
Borrowing a line from Shakespeare, Steve Francis, in "Shakespeare in Debt" [op-ed, May 18] mistakenly has Polonius lending advice to Hamlet. Francis writes: "Shakespeare may be hot these days, but the advice Polonius gave to Hamlet -- `neither a borrower nor a lender be' -- certainly is not."
The fatherly advice was actually given by Polonius to his son, Laertes.
-- Brandon L. DuBois
Joan Beats Noah
Tom Shales is a clever writer with unique insights -- which may not be shared by his reading public. After watching half of "Noah's Ark" and all of "Joan of Arc," I think Shales's reviews [Style, May 2 and May 15] were switched at birth -- he championed the wrong ark! Noah did not give us a new spin on an old story; it was corny, whereas "Joan of Arc" gave fine, understated performances.
Kind of like Noah's Farce vs. the Arc de Triumph.
-- Amy Warner
In his excellent May 2 op-ed column, David Broder inadvertently repeats the drug warriors' propaganda. He writes, "It long has been known that drug abuse is the major factor in swelling our prison and jail population almost to 2 million." There is a great difference between drug use and drug abuse.
Somewhere between 250,000 and 500,000 (or more) of those drug "abuse" prisoners were arrested for marijuana possession. As stated in the Institute of Medicine's report on medical use of marijuana, marijuana's potential for abuse is doubtful or at most slight. Marijuana's addictive powers are, for most people, nonexistent, therefore no treatment is necessary.
It's the War on Drugs that is filling our prisons and costing us all billions and much of the Bill of Rights.
Nevertheless, drug addiction often requires treatment, and America regards drug addiction as a serious problem. For that reason funding for "treatment on demand" should be commensurate with our level of concern. May I suggest $17 billion per year? That sum is the official budget for the War on Drugs.
-- Gerald Sutliff
Take Off for Bad Spelling
Regarding the May 21 installment of "The Century in The Post," there seems to be some confusion about the correct spelling of Amelia Earhart's married name. Is it Putnam or Putman?
Is it possible that she successfully flew around the world in 1937 and that, because of this mix-up in spelling, we have been looking for the wrong person ever since? [Editor's note: It's Putnam.]
-- Al Friebe