What Kerry Voted for

In the Sept. 9 Ad Watch feature, Howard Kurtz wrote this about a John Kerry advertisement criticizing President Bush's handling of the Iraq war. "The problem with this claim is that Kerry voted to give Bush the authority to go to war." The problem with that statement is that Kerry voted to give Bush the authority to go to war only after other steps were taken and other means of resolution exhausted. As Kerry has said over and over, he believes that the president failed to take those steps and failed to exhaust other means of resolution.

Evidently, some sections of the Joint Resolution to Authorize the Use of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq have been all but forgotten.

-- Dale C. Van Demark


Murder, Not 'Executions'

Your reporters' choice of words can greatly influence the reader's perception of a report. A Sept. 1 article by Karl Vick refers to the killing of 12 defenseless Nepalese hostages as "executions." Execution implies that a sentence of a legitimate court was "executed." I hope that this was not what the author believed to have happened. Substitute the word "murder" and the true nature of this brutal act can begin to be recognized.

-- Larry Danewitz


An 'F' in Fighter Names

Mark Schlabach's Sept. 1 Sports article on Navy free safety Josh Smith mentioned that midshipman Smith had flown in an "F-14 Tomahawk." Tomahawk is the name of a cruise missile. The Navy's F-14 aircraft carrier-based jet is nicknamed Tomcat.

-- Dave Morris


That's Record Enough

Harold Meyerson [op-ed, Sept. 1] says that President Bush doesn't have much of a record in Iraq "since the fall of Saddam Hussein."

Beyond his three Super Bowl victories, Joe Gibbs doesn't have much of a record to speak of in pro football. Looking back, it appears that the Roosevelt-Truman administration didn't have all that much of a record to speak of after the defeat of Germany and Japan.

Meyerson has produced the most awkward "what have you done for me lately" paragraph ever seen in your newspaper -- but he doesn't have all that much of a record to speak of since then.

-- Michael Sultan


Language Malfunction

As a practitioner of bondage, discipline and sadomasochistic practices for 25 years, I am perplexed by the phrase "S&M-clad," which is how Frank Ahrens chose to describe Janet Jackson's dancers in the infamous MTV-produced Super Bowl halftime show [Business, Sept. 4]. "S&M" is not a style of dress but the acceptance of a set of sexual fetish activities as "normal" and "healthy" when performed appropriately.

Would dancers acceptable to fundamentalist Christians have been called "missionary-clad"?

-- David Phillips


Maybe This Program Works

An Aug. 22 Metro article reported on a study showing that the reduction in unwed births in the District is attributable to demographic changes in the District's population, not to a program the city runs to reduce births to unwed mothers.

The study contends that the decline in such births is primarily attributable to the fact that the population of young black women in the District has become more educated, and a chart with the article shows that the percentage of young black women who are high school dropouts declined from 32 percent to 24 percent.

But isn't pregnancy one of the reasons girls drop out of high school? Isn't it possible that the city's program is, in fact, successful at reducing these births because fewer high school girls are having children, so fewer of them are dropping out?

-- Michael Bocian