Which San Jose?

The Aug. 1 front-page story "Internet Auctions Bring a Big Shift to Once-Quirky Flea Markets" mentioned the San Jose Flea Market but failed to say where San Jose is. There are at least 16 San Joses in the United States, and your writer probably meant California, but I should not have to guess. This is not the first time I have seen your paper list towns without cities. Please clean up your editing.

-- Abraham Yalom

Silver Spring

Dionne's Fiscal Farce

E.J. Dionne Jr.'s July 19 op-ed column praising the wonders of government spending certainly gave me a good laugh. Dionne, who never met a government program he didn't like, says more people should know that these programs do some good. And, he adds, all for the meager sum of $400 billion. (Well, he doesn't actually say $400 billion -- he calls it 3.8 percent of gross domestic product -- but I'm sure that was just an oversight and not an attempt to deceive readers.) Indeed, Dionne notes that "government programs reduce both the extent and the depth of poverty." Amazing! Of course, it does make you wonder that if the federal government can do all that good with $400 billion, imagine what private citizens could accomplish if the money were simply left with them.

-- Eric Winig

Montgomery Village

Paramilitaries, Not Insurgents

In an Aug. 1 editorial on Colombia, The Post seems to confuse the issue by labeling paramilitaries as "insurgents." The paramilitaries, whatever else they are up to, are not trying to overthrow the government of Colombia. The insurgency in Colombia is led by a guerrilla group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia (FARC); its stated aim is to overthrow the present government and establish a socialist republic. The paramilitaries are informal allies of the government and the army in the war against the FARC.

-- Alfred R. Barr


Codicil on Calicoes

I am compelled to contribute my comments to the continuing, colorful calico cat conversation [Free for All, July 30]. What is missing from the discussion is the fact of the tricolor gene combination that makes a calico cat almost always female. The genetic mystery that produces a male calico is still a rarity in the feline world. So rare, in fact, that the sighting of a male calico would prove more newsworthy than, say, a female orange tabby, whose probability no longer fits into the once-in-a-blue-moon category.

-- Sharon Fried


An Expert Error

How ironic that in an article about proofreading job applications ["When Every Word Counts," Business, July 24], the quoted "expert" Lane Goddard (who co-wrote "a paperback guide to grammar, proofreading and punctuation principles") uses the plural "they're" to refer back to the singular "someone" in the quote, "Do not pick someone just because they're your friend."

-- Elizabeth Weathers

Camp Springs

We Do Not Eavesdrop

Christopher Lee ["New Law Requires Workers to Learn About Constitution," news story, July 20] was clever but wrong when he wrote that I said that eavesdropping was standard procedure at the Office of Personnel Management. I told him that it was standard procedure to have a person from the communications office be present during media interviews involving OPM employees. Post editors should understand that I am not "eavesdropping" if I tell a reporter that I am going to be present during an interview. Further, I was not "casting a watchful eye" at employees as they spoke. The OPM employee whom Lee quoted most extensively is my friend, and she had no problems with my presence whatsoever.

-- Eldon Girdner


The writer is a special assistant in the communications office at the Office of Personnel Management.