Retro Skins

Courtland Milloy's whining about the name of the Washington Redskins is becoming tiresome. In his latest tirade [Metro, Dec. 2], Milloy suggested that the Redskins' adoption of a new spear helmet, which does not contain the traditional Indian head logo, was somehow intended to mollify complaints about the name.

As any Redskins fan knows, the spear helmets (Milloy erroneously refers to them as "arrowheads") are modeled on those the team wore in the 1960s and are being used at home games this season to celebrate the franchise's 70th anniversary. And Milloy fails to mention that the Indian head logo helmets are still being used at away games, a fact that counters his assertion.

But Milloy's biggest failing is purporting to speak for Native Americans.

He claims that American Indians want the name changed because they "want respect on their own terms." A recent Sports Illustrated poll found that 75 percent of Native Americans surveyed support retention of the Redskins name.

-- Joseph Daly

Details Be Damned

On Dec. 8 your paper published a hatchet job on poor, benighted Douglas J. Feith, undersecretary of defense for policy. Feith's principal failure, according to your news story, is his overly persnickety attention to detail. The hatchet job continued the next day, when Al Kamen [Federal Page, Dec. 9] recited even more outrageous and hilarious examples of Feith's small-mindedness -- including how he would like his name signed and advice that staff should forward correspondence in draft so that he might be able to more efficiently edit the drafts and even insist on correct grammar!

Oh, such arrogance -- meriting your paper's ridicule. Such attention to detail does not infect your paper, because on Dec. 9, in the Corrections on Page A2, was a little box saying that the story on Sunday included a photograph of another person, although it was captioned "Pentagon policy chief Douglas J. Feith."

-- John E. Bright

Thoughtless Doesn't Count

In her Dec. 8 column ["A Gift That Keeps on Giving," Business], Michelle Singletary advocates "regifting" -- the practice of giving to another a gift she has received and for which she has no use or liking. She passes on the gift as her own selection and is thanked. The thanks for the gift ought to go to the person who spent his or her money for it and not Singletary. She could dispose of such items in other ways. Her way is crass.

-- Jude M. Howard

Country Club Concerns

Anne Applebaum implies that there are more important things for women to do than to gain admission to a golf club [op-ed, Dec. 10]. This isn't about a game; it is about a group of men who believe women are not worthy of membership. It is important to me that our daughters do not internalize the message that for some reason men feel that their presence will devalue the club.

I remember when we wanted female anchors on the news and we were told "there are more important things." Now our daughters have another option in their lives, and when they hear the voices of authority, theirs is among them.

Applebaum implies that because I care about this exclusion, I somehow don't care about the women being raped in Iraq or other atrocities being imposed on women throughout the world. This is not an either/or, but another indignation women must address. But, hey, women can multi-task quite well.

-- Renee Rosenblum-Lowden

Creative Spelling

Doesn't anyone there know baseball?

On Dec. 7 you published my letter pointing out errors in your Dec. 3 obituary for Oriole pitcher Dave McNally [Free for All]. For brevity, I had decided to forgo mentioning that you also misspelled the last name of Reds pitcher Tony Cloninger as "Cloniger."

Then you edited my letter to make the same mistake!

-- Rita Ann Reimer

Doesn't Rhyme With Flop

Your Dec. 2 editorial in defense of the "suddenly embattled acronym" GOP would have been amusing if not for a critical flaw: GOP is not an acronym.

An acronym is an abbreviation that spells, and is used as, a pronounceable word: NATO, scuba, UNESCO. Otherwise, it's just an abbreviation: CIA, FBI, UCLA -- and GOP.

-- Thomas W. Lippman