Dads for Denim

The Potomac mother who chooses not to buy $200 jeans for her daughters needs to get a life [letters, Aug. 20]. First of all, if she doesn't want to read a fun article about high-end denim jeans, she should skip the Style section. High-end denim is what they write about in Style -- duh!

Denim has become a huge fashion statement across the globe, as all fashion-conscious people are aware. Our family just returned from Europe, and in every city designer denim was the rage for the younger generation. I understand that not everyone can afford premium denim, but if you can, why not let your kids enjoy it?

To Potomac mom: Teaching your kids values is not just about learning the value of the dollar. How about teaching them to respect others' personal choices and to keep nasty letters to the editor in the hard drive?

-- Tom Ein

Potomac

I Come to Pump, Her, Up!

As a female weightlifter, I am compelled to defend Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and her impressive bench-press abilities, even though Samson Habte's letter questioning them [Free for All, Aug. 20] was quite possibly facetious. Many people incorrectly believe that women cannot significantly increase their strength without taking steroids or developing a very masculine body. From my personal experience with weightlifting, I know that all any woman needs to become as strong as Rice are the right workout regimen and proper nutrition, as well as dedication and determination. Rice certainly possesses those last two characteristics, and thus it is easy for me to believe that she is able to bench-press 145 pounds 45 times. Instead of confirmation of these numbers, perhaps the State Department should release some of Rice's exercise tips in the hopes that they might help "deflated" men such as Habte accomplish their own strength goals.

-- Claire Christian

Arlington

Gold, Not Gray

On Jan. 25 The Post published an op-ed column by former secretaries of state Henry A. Kissinger and George P. Shultz. The message was: Stay the course in Iraq. On Aug. 12 The Post published an op-ed by Kissinger alone. Again, the message was: Stay the course in Iraq.

The average reader would assume that Mr. Shultz and Mr. Kissinger were wearing the hats of wise national elders. But both represent companies that have an interest in what happens in Iraq. Mr. Shultz was president of Bechtel Group Inc. and is on its board of directors. Mr. Kissinger's company does not publicly identify his clients, but it is safe to say the views in both opinion pieces did not go against the interests of those clients.

-- Raymond A. Orr

Westport, Conn.

What Happened to Bridge?

I see that you have no regard for the wishes of your customers. Otherwise you would publish the bridge column on Saturday. Please admit the error of your ways and publish the bridge column on Saturday.

-- Robert Von Moss

Gaithersburg

You Dropped the Ball

As a college football enthusiast, I read your 2005 college football preview. To my surprise, it was incomplete.

Your writers failed to mention two of the more successful regional college football programs from last season: James Madison University, the 2004 Division I-AA national champions, and the College of William and Mary, a Division I-AA national semifinalist in 2004. Both James Madison and William and Mary have true student-athletes performing at the highest levels on the gridiron, and they deserved, if nothing else, a mention in your preview.

-- Buzz Hawley

Fairfax

A Downer for Kids

A whole city of kids is just heading back or about to head back to school, where they can reconnect with friends, restart key dodge-ball rivalries and spend recess catching up on the latest moves by the Nationals. Kids will be learning new things about China and frog digestion and how to express themselves in poetry.

With all this, your paper leads off a pre-Labor Day weekend KidsPost article with the tired cliche, "Some of you may be unhappy to be back at school."

Only if you tell us to be!

When I read that, I put down KidsPost, turned to the Sports section and said to my son, "Let's see how John Patterson did last night." Now there is some kid-friendly content.

-- Jamie Woodwell

Washington