- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The city that keeps re-electing Marion Barry, maintains a broken-down public-school system and spends gobs of taxpayer money on one ill-fated construction project after another is clamoring to have a seat in the House of Representatives.

This is a city that considers gentrification to be a bad word, eventually wants to place a camera in the home of every resident and drafts parking signs that require a Ph.D. in Latin to decipher.

This also is a city that is always enacting new laws to save lives. It has so many laws, rules and regulations that no one ever should die in this city. The D.C. Council is bound to pass a measure that bans dying one of these days. The grieving family members of the deceased will be assessed a fine for the temerity of the person who passed away.

Does a city this inept, this dense and this comically absurd really need voting representation in Congress? It would be nice if the city merely was able to get the small details right.

I do not know whether Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton has any sway with the Department of Public Works, but it would be greatly appreciated if the sanitation engineers were able to remove the trash from my premises on a weekly basis.

Now I know Mrs. Norton has more important things on her agenda than the work habits of the city’s sanitation engineers, but silly me, I am not as sophisticated and enlightened as Mrs. Norton.

The Democrat wants her vote in Congress, and I want my trash to be picked up on a weekly basis, so we are going to have to agree to disagree on what is most important to the city.

I also am philosophically opposed to being fined if the grass in the public space in front of my place is a millimeter higher than the law allows. Yes, there is a law in place that deals with this vexing issue. And, yes, this law saves lives, because a person is more apt to lose his footing in the dense growth. And if a person loses his footing in the dense growth, the person could trip over the curb and fall into the street, where he could be run over by an automobile whose driver has an IPod in one ear and a cell phone in the other.

So the public-space growth law saves an untold number of lives each year — as do the speed cameras, red-light cameras, crime-prevention cameras, bank cameras, convenience-store cameras and office-building cameras.

Funny. Of all the annoyances of living in the city — and the list is almost infinite — the taxation-without-representation issue is not one of them. There is so much lead and icky stuff in our water that some of us glow in the dark.

We also lead the nation in car jockeys — the entrepreneurs who stand guard by your automobile, so that it does not magically start up on its own and leave you stranded while you are attending an important function. They provide this service for a small fee, of course.

We have the mumbling bag ladies, the spare-change brigade and a high incidence of weak bladders. One of the principal pastimes of city dwellers is irrigating the sides of brick walls. Studies show this activity even beats out vomiting in Adams Morgan on a Friday or Saturday night.

Now I know that just because a city has the IQ of a rodent and the omnipresent Norwegian rat is the city’s mascot, that is no reason not to have a representative with voting rights in Congress.

All kinds of dummies vote in elections, and all kinds of dummies hold political office. That is the American way.

But having another tax-happy social engineer in Congress is just not on my list of priorities. Sorry.

Trash pickup? There we go. Now we can talk.

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