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The cartoon versions of the real-life public figures in “Washington’s Worst Career Moves” (4/8) are interesting. As time goes by, your paper continues to take potshots at those who strive to make a living the American way. (However, the story makes some strong points.) It may be true that the public figures in the article make have made questionable career moves, but it is a choice that each of them made. At the end of the day, the only person each one has to look in the mirror at is himself; each will have to face the ramifications of his decision.
What is so funny about a police officer, let alone a former police chief, venturing into one of America’s favorite pastimes, capitalizing on a serious issue, as Charles A. Moose has done? People have done this for years. However, the wrangling prior to publication of Moose’s book constituted an infringement of his right to free speech and expression, under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. I believe Moose is right when he spoke at a past news conference about how “our children don’t deserve this….” In a charismatic way, Moose projected the concerns of the citizens of the metropolitan Washington area.
However, many critics have stated that his book was short on the evidentiary facts and elements that occurred during the hunt for the cold-blooded snipers. Moose told his story his own way. He owns the story, because he brought to the public a positive image of our public servants. The arrogance and lackluster compassion projected by our current chief of police does little for the citizens he was sworn to protect. We need more police officials like Moose.
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In regard to D.C. Councilmember Jim Graham of Ward 1: That ward is a tough ward, but it is changing courtesy of gentrification. I’ve seen some of Graham’s interviews on the news and can appreciate his strong interest in improving the quality of life in the District of Columbia. This is where Harold Brazil fell short. As a former resident of Ward 1, I do see a difference with Graham at the table. Ward 1, like the other wards, is high-maintenance and requires vigilance and constant oversight. On the other hand, Mayor Anthony A. Williams has made some inroads improving the real-estate landscape at a heavy price, alienating his constituents. The gentrification problem is obvious; it is reflected in the anger and disappointment of those who voted Williams into office and others who were forced out of apartment living. Greed is a terrible thing to have, and obnoxious real-estate moguls are saturated with it. However, they will one day have to swallow their own bitter pills of overbuilding, overcharging, and lack of consideration for those who will hold the purse strings to continue to pay for the tiny condos and thrown-together housing at outrageous prices.
What have we learned from Williams, on the positive side? I can’t say much, as I look around in various neighborhoods that have been bulldozed to death with gentrification and empty promises. Williams’ “clean-hands” theory doesn’t cut the mustard. He should have stepped up to the plate and directed more funding into fair and reasonable housing. Besides his new array of bow ties, which I find interesting, I can’t say much. Whether he will be successful when he is no longer mayor remains to be seen. Another term in office? You make the call.
Part of business is making decisions that could be good, bad, or indifferent. There are ramifications and repercussions from any decision that is not properly researched and analyzed. What we can gain from this story is an insight about making decisions—how they can affect our careers, our lives, and our future. Your decision will be your decision. You make your bed and you lie in it.
In closing, the “Five men. Five promising futures. Five #@*+ups” is another story that requires a follow-up story. I would like to see a compelling story about how these gentlemen got from Point A to Point Z in the first place. Now that’s interesting journalism.