Shot From the Hip

Charles Krauthammer is a great columnist, but a poor student of mythology. In his piece on ethnic separation in the former Yugoslavia [op-ed, Sept. 17], he states that American multiculturalism came through long evolution and was not born like full-grown Athena out of the head of Zeus. Athena was born out of Zeus's hip, not his head.

-- Joseph Lucas

Off Target

Your editorial "Al Gore's Health Plan" [Sept. 13] commits an error that has become commonplace in today's news media. But even widespread usage cannot make this error correct or acceptable. You wrote:

"Mr. Gore's tax breaks are targeted at people earning less than $100,000."

The people are targeted, not the tax breaks. The tax breaks are aimed at, in this vernacular, or perhaps simply intended for. Or to put it another way, one does not use a target to hit something else.

As an aside, your reference to the income leaves one dangling: $100,000 what? A day? Month? Year?

-- Jim Evans

Docked in Dumfries

On the front page [Sept. 17], there was a spiffy photo of Becky Holmes and Messina Cumberland observing the effects of Hurricane Floyd, while "standing on a `dock' in Dumfries."

Unless Holmes and Cumberland have developed the ability to walk on water, this cannot be.

As any sailor knows, a "dock" is a body of water, suitable for berthing.

These people are standing on a pier.

-- Joseph R. Trocino

Let the Pencil Be

I just read the comments of Neil Shawer in Free for All asking that you cancel The Red Pencil [Sept. 18]. I am appalled. How anyone could fail to appreciate this tiny jewel is utterly beyond me, and I had to be sure that you got at least one contrary opinion. This quotidian morsel is one of the few reliable pleasures in your often infuriating newspaper. I would suggest that Shawer just not read it except that I understand the compulsion to read and revile.

The intellectually insecure already have too much influence; leave The Red Pencil exactly where it is.

-- Dennis F. Kern

Camps in Poland

In the Free for All Sept. 18, Jozef A. Topolski wrote: "For the record: There were no `Polish' concentration camps. I trust this was poor sentence structure and not historical revisionism."

Either Topolski is not knowledgeable about post World War II events in Poland, or he is attempting to foster historical revisionism on your readership. To wit: There very definitely were concentration camps established and manned by the Polish state security forces in Poland following World War II. These camps were primarily used to incarcerate Polish citizens of German heritage.

Two contemporary works describe these events in great detail: "A Terrible Revenge" by Alfred-Maurice de Zayas (St. Martins Press, 1993); and "An Eye for An Eye" by John Sack (Basic Books, 1993). I know firsthand of these events because my wife had three cousins who died in these camps.

-- Gregory W. Mason

Who Was That?

Regarding Jim Hoagland's op-ed column "Tyrants of Jakarta" [Sept. 19]:

Is the ordinary reader supposed to know the person whose uncaptioned photograph appears in this column? He certainly is not Kofi Annan (see the U.N. symbol on the microphone).

-- Corazon M. Siddayao

Right Plane, Wrong War

In describing a recent air show accident [Nation in Brief, Sept. 13], the L-19 was referred to as a "World War II vintage plane." Oops, wrong war.

The venerable L-19 Bird Dog (later redesignated as O-1) is actually of Korean War vintage. It was first delivered to the Army in December 1950 and entered combat in the Korean War in February 1951. The L-19/O-1 later saw combat in the Vietnam War.

-- James V. Mengenhauser

Farewell, Haussner's Cheese Pie

In response to the article "Baltimore's Entree to a Bygone World; Haussner's Restaurant Filled a Hungry Longing" by Stephen Hunter [Style, Sept. 22], I must say that it was totally inappropriate and distastefully written. Attacks on the art, founders, waitresses and the neighborhood -- to what end?

I have enjoyed dining there with family and friends for more than 30 years and will miss the establishment! I never had a complaint about the food, and Haussner's has the best cheese pie I've ever encountered.

-- Evan Wagner