- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 6, 2004

All the new best friends of disparate delineations are united in their purpose to save a gritty corridor of Southeast Washington from the pristine makeover of Major League Baseball.

There are lots of friends of friends rallying to stop the building of the proposed ballpark, starting with the Friends of the Earth, if not the Friends of Cleveland Ray, the camera-toting city inspector who has come to be the Richard Avedon of his time.

The appeal extends to the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless and Wider Opportunities for Women, the D.C. Library Renaissance Project and a slew of other groups with exhausting titles and oddly distinct agendas.

Their fuss serves as so much background noise to the elementary principle of property rights, the real fight ahead.

The onus is on Mayor Anthony A. Williams to sell his vision to the 27 property owners who hold the various deeds to the 20 acres awaiting the cranes and bulldozers.

The friends of the friends are inclined to save a whale or a child before a baseball team that could have been sentenced to Pulaski, or wherever the proposed site was in Northern Virginia.

The mayor is up against the fantasy of the friends of the friends who envision a government that cures all social ills, including world hunger.

Anyone with a vaguely worthy cause is seemingly linking it to the finances of the ballpark, as if tax dollars not diverted to the ballpark just might prevent the murder of another gang member.

This is a twisted piece of logic that merely appeals to the mentally infected and the death-wish crowd ready to turn its foreign policy over to the corrupt nincompoops of the United Nations.

The mayor capitulated before the wealthy owners of baseball, because he had no other choice. Can a baseball team reinvent the Anacostia River waterfront, as those in the mayor’s office insist? Maybe. Maybe not. Check back in five or six years. Is the real estate boom surrounding the playpen in Tony Cheng’s neighborhood applicable to the bright ideas in play on Half and N streets in Southeast? We’ll see.

The mayor did what he had to do to secure a baseball team, no small accomplishment given the game’s 33-year absence and the huffing and puffing of Peter Angelos. The mayor’s next civic feat is to make nice with those whose dreams impede his plans.

Otherwise, the friends of the friends are entitled to object to the $440million ballpark and another invasion of yuppies. The objection is mean-spirited, if the unquestioned, unassailable beauty of diversity applies to yuppies.

A lawyer with the New Black Panther Party is concerned the stadium is apt to turn the neighborhood into the “next Georgetown.” The mayor and the Council members can only hope that fear comes to be.

Hard as it is to accept, a yuppie means considerably more to a city’s coffers than a functionally illiterate car jockey.

Not that there is anything wrong with being a functionally illiterate car jockey.

The hard-working car jockey standing guard in snow, sleet or rain is the unsettling symbol of a public school system that surrendered its mission long before Williams was swept into office.

The mealy-mouthed blood donors fault Williams for not fixing an institution that values and protects the incompetent.

It seems not having a ballpark somehow would result in the improvement of the public schools, although the system still would be burdened with the same incompetent souls dispensing their questionable lesson plans to the future car jockeys of the city.

The ballpark is all about priorities, apparently.

The local chapter of the Men with Receding Hairlines Seeking Acceptance and Hot Chicks Society probably should consider demonstrating on the steps of the John A. Wilson Building.

To be honest, the mayor is not doing enough to stop the harmful effects of male-pattern baldness.

Here is our city leader looking to build a ballpark with public funds. Yet he turns a deaf ear to follicular-challenged men with serious self-esteem issues.

The mayor is heartless.

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