I have belatedly read your article “Step Down” (2/20) with interest and amusement. Few things are more entertaining than irreverently roasting others, exceeding logical limits, second-guessing, and so forth.

For 18 months I have been putting together a “virtual foundation” to draw national attention to D.C.’s plight. Americans everywhere should help restore pride in our nation’s capital and turn it into a lasting symbol of what America stands for. It surely should not misrepresent our democratic system—such as claiming inalienable rights to incompetent city government, or to governance by blaming others.

It is as if D.C. were an inbred family of faith healers, caught with a dying relative they have been keeping barely alive by themselves. Busybodies (read: Congress) have finally intervened and taken the ailing member to the nearest fire station (read: control board)—not the best hospital (out of deference to the family). Local volunteers are performing emergency life-saving measures while still trying to determine the full extent of the ailments (which seem to afflict other family members as well) and begin allergy-free treatment for long-term cure.

Meanwhile, the family members (including the City Paper?) and the busybodies are dancing around the gurney sneering that: they already knew the patient was sick; the right first aid should have cured him instantly; too much is being spent for redundant tests, clean sheets, and blood plasma; if asked, they could have told those rude, insensitive paramedics why he’s sick and what they’d like cured first; and they don’t want expensive outsiders to cure him and then stay on.

This parody would be much funnier if it were Saddam Hussein on the gurney, but I think it’s George Washington, and I want him treated by specialists—not by the family members that made him sick—no matter how long it takes or how much it costs.

NARPAC’s web site is now full of (unnecessary?) “authoritative” documents on what’s wrong with D.C., and we are turning to the tougher real-world problems of what needs to be done, by whom and to whom, and for how long. Sadly, I found no illumination in those articles, only careless assertions about wasted time and money, unused authorities, unplucked fruit, bad paint jobs, and so forth. They seem more like political demagoguery than constructive journalism. Serious efforts to eliminate cultural dysfunctionality are under way and deserve your recognition.

But the “patient” is still very sick after years of maltreatment, if not rape, by his own “family.” The real challenge now is to find additional lasting, meaningful, effective solutions that can work here—and in other ailing American metropolitan areas—without killing the patients and alienating their kin.

What are the City Paper’s five best remedies for earning the right to home rule in the central city of our national capital metro area? Americans everywhere would like to know.

P.S. The National Association to Restore Pride in America’s Capital (NARPAC) has a web site at www.narpac.org.



Chevy Chase, Md.

via the Internet