Another GOP Legacy

Ah, statistics. Bob Dole's Aug. 6 op-ed column correctly told us that a higher percentage of Republicans than Democrats voted for both the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. This "little-remembered fact," he believes, established a civil rights heritage.

What he didn't tell us is that the Democrats who voted against these laws were southern segregationists. Nor did he tell us that, once the laws took effect and southern blacks began to vote in large numbers and hold public office, those southern segregationists bolted the Democratic Party.

The 1964-65 legislation was inspired by the black-led southern civil rights movement, introduced by liberal Democratic presidents and, yes, passed by a bipartisan Congress. Those who opposed it quickly ceased to be Democrats. They knew where they were welcome.

-- Paul Gaston


The Post at Bedtime

I was pleased to read that The Post dropped its plan to co-sponsor the Freedom Walk with the Defense Department [Style, Aug. 16]. It is one thing for The Post's reporters to be "embedded" with the troops in Iraq and yet another for its reporters to be "in bed" with the Bush administration's attempt to tie the Sept. 11 tragedy to the war in Iraq.

-- Charles Pool


Already Flexible

Stephen Milne wrote [Free for All, Aug. 13]: " 'Deja vu' is commonly used in associating what one is currently doing or feeling with something that one has experienced in the past; this is incorrect. The correct meaning of deja vu is the illusion of having previously experienced something actually being encountered for the first time."

The French dictionary Petit Larousse 2005 gives two definitions for "deja vu," the colloquial and the technical:

1. Familiar or colloquial: that which is commonplace, banal, unoriginal.

2. Psychology: the intense impression of having already experienced a current situation which occurred in the past, with the same intensity of feeling.

-- Corazon M. Siddayao


Believe in Conjunctions

Did Salman Rushdie, in his Aug. 7 op-ed column, really imply that Jews are nonbelievers while Hindus and Christians are not, as letter writer Leo Young asked regarding the phrase "Christian, Hindu, non-believing or Jewish cultures"? To say "A, B, C or D" does not imply that C and D are equivalent, only that they are distinct options.

Rushdie would have precluded any misinterpretation had he used "and" instead of "or."

-- Jack Hogan


No Salvation in Review

J. Freedom du Lac disappointed me with his review of Neil Diamond's concert [Style, Aug. 12].

For starters, at 71 I am not a "chick," and I would hardly call Diamond a "spangly crooner." He is a showman with a great voice that has stood the test of time, with a packed MCI Center as proof.

The "flock of mature women" notwithstanding, I was amazed to see so many younger women and men. Please do not group Diamond at 64 with Sam Donaldson in "doppleganger territory" -- and what is a "doppelganger" anyway?

We screamed, we danced, we waved our arms and we came away with such a wonderful feeling of exhilaration. Next time, have the concert covered by someone with an appreciation for Neil Diamond's abilities and universal appeal.

-- Joan McNoldy


Ms. Arnold? Not Likely

Al Kamen [In the Loop, Aug. 8] wrote that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice can "bench-press 145 pounds 45 times." Gym rats know that means two 45-pound plates and two five-pound plates on a standard 45-pound bar -- 45 times!

This cannot be accurate. On behalf of all men momentarily deflated by the inaccurate item, I demand confirmation from the State Department.

-- Samson Habte