No More Front-Page Fluff

From the Oct. 21 front page: "But the surreal silence in the Roosevelt Room each morning belies the nervous discussion racing elsewhere around the West Wing.

"Out of the hushed hallway encounters and one-on-one conversations, several scenarios have begun to emerge if [Karl] Rove or vice presidential chief of staff I. Lewis Libby is indicted and forced out." Please quit the "dark and stormy night" stuff and report the news. The news worth reading in this piece doesn't begin until halfway through the article.

-- John Corrigan


The Really Onerous Choice

Richard Cohen [op-ed, Oct. 20] proposes that abortion be regulated by the states. He writes: "The prospect of some women traveling long distances to secure an abortion does not cheer me -- I'm pro-choice, I repeat -- but it would relieve us all from having to defend a Supreme Court decision whose reasoning has not held up."

The philosophical burden that Cohen bears on this matter must be onerous, indeed, if it can be compared to the struggle that might be faced by poor women, especially those in rural areas, whose "choice" is to scrape together the means to travel (perhaps overnight) in the face of hostility from their spouses or families, or to be forced to bear an unwanted child.

"Choice" is not really choice at all if it depends on access to means. If Cohen finds his philosophical travails to be equivalent, perhaps he should look for a less oppressive line of work.

-- Keira Ballantyne


Don't Blame the Dogs

Two columnists supported Prince George's County's ban on pit bulls [Metro, Oct. 26], but with misleading and inaccurate information.

Courtland Milloy [Metro, Oct. 12] said a county task force found 70 percent of the pit bulls picked up by animal management were "good dogs." He didn't mention the finding that many dangerous dogs of other breeds were being overlooked. Milloy and Tim Maloney [Close to Home, Oct. 2] claim that the breed is inherently vicious and temperamental, but the American Kennel Club and American Veterinary Medical Association disagree. Maloney said pit bulls bite with a force of "almost 2,000 pounds per square inch," which more accurately describes a crocodile.

Persecuting responsible owners and putting good dogs to sleep is a waste of time and money that could be better spent investigating those who abuse their dogs and create vicious monsters.

-- Joel Wermiel


Protecting Our Kids

Marc Fisher's position [Metro, Oct. 20] is clearly that it is just fine to send home a middle school reading list with such titles as "Sex" by Madonna and "The New Joy of Gay Sex." Middle school! He, like many Post columnists, is so out of touch it is scary. Maybe you could find someone with some common sense to replace him.

While banning books is rife with issues, can Fisher seriously argue that all books are fair game for all students? We are just parents trying to raise our kids in a culture that throws too much at them too quickly. What's next -- "Dick and Jane Do the Nasty" in elementary school?

-- Jay M. Weinstein


To Jimmy Carter's Credit

Many of the recent editorials and columns praising departing Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan mention his predecessor, Paul Volcker, and note Volcker's success in combating inflation while serving under President Ronald Reagan. In the interest of avoiding a small step down the path of revisionist history, it should be noted that Volcker was appointed as chairman of the Fed by an individual -- President Jimmy Carter -- who has seldom been given the credit he deserves for having made such an excellent choice.

-- J.B. Yowell


Sweetie, a pit bull, was rescued from New Orleans.