- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 2, 2002

D.C. statehood stand-off

I applaud The Washington Times for publishing the April 29 Op-Ed piece "Implicit statehood" by Timothy D. Cooper, Charles Wesley Harris and Mark David Richards. It is encouraging that an editorial page with a conservative bent would feature a thought-provoking, practical argument in favor of D.C. voting rights.

It is a misconception that only Democrats care about the disenfranchisement of the 572,000 Americans living in the District. In 1976, the platforms of both of the major political parties included giving Washington equal representation in Congress. In 1978, the D.C. Voting Rights Amendment passed both congressional houses with much Republican support. (It later failed to be ratified by the needed three-quarters of the states.)

Loyal Republicans such as Richard M. Nixon, Bob Dole, Newt Gingrich, William Rehnquist and Strom Thurmond have spoken in favor of D.C. voting rights. Opposing taxation without representation is not partisan it's patriotic.



Yet three more gadflies come forward with another contrivance for D.C. statehood, even though the experiment in so-called "home rule" has proved its hopeless infeasibility many times over ("Implicit statehood," April 29). Home rule has produced a shower of charlatans, corruption and incomparable incompetence in every administration but the first.

Now some want to elevate this morass to statehood?

Constitutionally, the District of Columbia is a federal city, and so it should remain. It belongs to all the people of the United States, and it is most properly governed by the nation's Congress, as was envisioned in our Constitution. Comparing Washington to other national capitals is fallacious; the United States is unique in the world, as is our Constitution.

Home rule administrations often have become the objects of notoriety and ridicule, and with the effetes and power-hungry radicals seeking to legislate drugs, sodomy and shame, the nation's capital could become a spectacle of ignominy. Those who profess to care about the District should eschew further embarrassment.

Congress should reassume control of Washington. That would affirm that Washington is our national seat of government, not a game for the whimsy of residents too parochial and incompetent to speak for the national interest. That's the tacit agreement they made when they came to live here.



A problem deserving of attention

I was heartened to see a fellow conservative, Kerri Houston, write in support of families who are coping with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a problem previously overlooked or worse, disparaged by our community ("Something to get hyper about," Op-Ed, April 26). There are good reasons why conservatives should support recognition and treatment of this very serious condition.

The conservative movement believes in personal accountability and parental responsibility for the well-being of children. Parents who have children with ADHD should be allowed to make informed choices and seek treatment for this disorder without risking ridicule or suspicion.

The causes of ADHD may not be fully known, but its consequences are clearly visible in the substandard academic performance and social behavior of the sufferers. Existing therapies, including medication, help children with ADHD lead fulfilling lives and develop into self-reliant adults who can contribute to society. Should we deny them treatment because of misinformation and leave them to a life of government dependency?


Senior fellow

Centre for New Black Leadership


A few bad men

The flap over the falsification of resumes by D.C. Fire Chief Ronnie Few and his three cronies would be laughable if it weren't so sad ("Adieu, Chief Few," Editorials, May 1). Only a decade or so ago, such acts would have resulted in the immediate firing of the individuals involved. Obviously, the moral and ethical climate in the D.C. government has fallen on hard times, as the four individuals involved in the resume fiasco are still on the job and getting paid.

When Chief Few was selected for his position a couple of years ago, he came to the job under a dark cloud from Georgia where he was being investigated for several "improprieties." Didn't the D.C. government think that investigation might have some merit? As we see, Chief Few apparently is not fit to serve in his well-paid position. He lied on his resume, and emergency services response times have fallen noticeably under his watch and that of his "qualified" cohorts.

Wake up, Washington. Fire these four and get on with selecting honest, qualified people to run the D.C. Fire Department.



Editorial jabberwocky

The Washington Times' April 25 editorial about the National Education Association (NEA) is reminiscent of Lewis Carroll's "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" ("NEA: lawbreaker"). Just after the charges are read in the trial of the Knave of Hearts, the King declares to the jury, "Consider your verdict." The Rabbit replies, "Not yet, not yet! There's a great deal to come before that!"

The Times declares that the Landmark Legal Foundation has "irrefutably demonstrated" that the NEA failed to properly report its expenses and activities. In fact, Landmark has made a "request for an investigation."

This cavalier disregard for the legal process seems "curiouser and curiouser" when juxtaposed against the righteous indignation about the NEA's "violations." Landmark repeatedly accused the NEA of failing to report its political activities. We are confident that the Labor Department will find no wrongdoing on our part because we consistently and scrupulously comply with all reporting and disclosure requirements. We go much further than that in sharing information with our members about our activities.

Let's call this what it really is: an effort to muzzle teachers' advocacy for reducing class size, enhancing teacher quality, and promoting public education as the means to make opportunity available to every child.



National Education Association


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