Anatomically Insensitive

I believe your photo editor and headline writers are not collaborating. The first thing I noticed about the June 30 paper was the headline in the middle of the front page, declaring: "Serbian Opposition Raises Its Fist."

Well, according to the photo, a more apt headline would have been, "Serbian Opposition Raises Its Stump." The man has no fist to raise. I don't care if the other guy is raising his fist. Of all the body parts to mention, a fist just wasn't the best one.

I hope this was a mistake and not the action of a very sick puppy working for your paper.

-- Claire Morris

Back to the Books

While reading Stacey Pamela Patton's July 3 op-ed piece, "A Flag That Offends Me," I couldn't help wondering just what this young woman's major is.

I certainly hope that it isn't history, because she seems to advocate the dismissal of past incidents that may raise uncomfortable questions today. Many Germans are, no doubt, uncomfortable with discussing their nation's past flirtation with Naziism. Should they simply ignore it, instead?

I also hope Patton is not majoring in political science, because she appears to have a rather poor grasp of the First Amendment's purpose. The fact that another's political speech, whether literal or symbolic, offends you does not give you the right to censor it.

Fortunately, Patton will be going into her junior year at NYU this fall. She still has time to take some of the introductory courses she appears to have missed.

-- Jeffrey Gunn

America Invaded

The June 28 installment of The Century in The Post calls the attack on Pearl Harbor "the only major attack on American soil during World War II." Whoever wrote that may get an argument from the thousands of U.S. troops who fought and defeated the Japanese army after it invaded and occupied the Alaskan islands of Attu and Kiska.

-- Ronald C. Semone

Bird Brains

With due respect to and admiration for Ogden Nash, I must protest the crediting to him of a couplet about the pelican at the beginning of Angus Phillips's July 4 Outdoors column.

Attribute the pelican reference instead to Dixon Lanier Merritt (1879-1972), a newspaper editor in Lebanon, Tenn.

After more than five decades, my memory is not infallible, but I do recall his delighting a Tennessee Press Association convention audience by reciting his limerick, which went something like this (with the phonetic spelling in the printed version):

A wonderful bird is the pelican,

His bill can hold more than his belican.

He can pack in his beak

All he'll eat in a week,

And I'm damned if I see how the helican.

-- Austin Adkinson

Macho Cho

I strongly protest Frank Cho's comic strip, "Liberty Meadows," which has been running a series on neutering the Wiener Dog.

All of us who work and volunteer in animal shelters are disgusted and dismayed by Cho's attempts to amuse rather than educate the public about the necessity of spaying and neutering household pets. He has disgracefully tapped into that unique male problem (ego, fear) regarding the neutering of male animals.

Day after day, shelter workers must destroy throwaway kittens, puppies, cats and dogs. These doomed animals are the product of pets whose owners have not had them neutered. Cho has given these careless pet owners a great boost with his egocentric view.

-- Lynne T. Sluger