Pandora's Trunk

I am totally offended by Tom Toles's July 15 cartoon, which depicted a panda mother putting her cub in the trunk of a car. Our panda mother at the National Zoo is working diligently to nurture this tiny, sightless, furless, vulnerable cub. She is sacrificing food and sleep to give it her full attention and trying desperately not to crush it with her huge body. And Toles has the callousness to compare her to the derelict human mother who put her children in the trunk of her car [front page, July 12]. I am upset that your editor would allow this cartoon to be printed, particularly in the spot formerly occupied by Herblock. It is an insult to animal mothers everywhere and also to the majority of devoted human mothers.

-- Genevie H. Urban


Who Broke the Truce?

The July 16 news story by Scott Wilson, "Israeli Strikes Kill 7 in Hamas as 5-Month Truce Comes to End," reported correctly that even though "Hamas had pledged to adhere to the truce," its military wing "has fired more than 100 mortar shells and rockets into Israel and Jewish settlements in Gaza in recent days, one of which killed a 22-year-old Israeli woman [on July 14]." How do these facts support the conclusion, expressed in your headline and in the article's lead paragraph, that it was Israel's reaction to the attacks that "effectively marked the end of a five-month truce"? Is it your newspaper's view that indiscriminate shelling and killing of Israeli civilians constitutes a "truce," but responding to the perpetrators of these murderous acts somehow disturbs the peace?

-- Arye Ephrath


How Not to Protect Sources

I found Edward Cody's July 18 front-page article regarding a riot by Chinese garment workers interesting. The account underscores the difficulties that Chinese authorities and China's people are having as they transform their economy. But I scratched my head as Cody referred to his anonymous source solely as a worker named Liu, apparently a common Chinese surname, only to then describe Liu as a "pudgy 28-year-old with an image of his former girlfriend tattooed on his arm." Let's hope that at the Xizhou plant there are lots of slightly overweight 28-year-olds named Liu with tattoos of former girlfriends; otherwise this Liu may be spending some time explaining his deeds to unsympathetic inquisitors.

-- Edward Miracco


Misjudging a Judge

In his profile of Judge Janice Rogers Brown [news story, July 2], recently confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, Marc Kaufman notes that while Brown spent her childhood in the segregated South, she recently lived in a "gated community" in the Sierra Nevadas. Is he implying that she is not heeding the lessons of her early experiences? None of The Post's other profiles of Supreme Court candidates mentioned where they lived.

-- James Callan


Kenya's Brave Women

I was struck by the July 9 front-page story about the women of Umoja, the all-female village in Kenya. The women of Umoja are brave and resourceful to speak up, act on their convictions and form their own happy village in the face of human rights violations. I wish I knew how to say in Swahili: "You go, girls!"

-- Caren Madsen

Silver Spring

Faux Paw

Call the Guinness book of records! On July 14 your Metro in Brief column reported that a "small calico cat, black with gray stripes," took a leap of about 50 feet into the Patuxent River and survived -- hungry but unharmed. A calico cat has patches of various colors. A striped, or "tabby," cat has, well, stripes. As much fun as that would be, you can't have both.

-- Andrea Rouda


Smells Like the Wrong Writer

Although I enjoyed learning about Paul Anka's new CD, in which he covers 14 songs, I was struck that reviewer Matt Schudel ["Smells Like Geezer Spirit," Style, July 13] said he had heard only three of them previously. According to Schudel, Anka covers songs by Nirvana, R.E.M., Eric Clapton, Van Halen and Michael Jackson, among others. The Post may want to reconsider who reviews this type of music, and let self-proclaimed "jazz geeks" review jazz.

-- David Biderman