Winston Churchill Wrote themail
Dear Churchillian Scholars:
This is a short issue, and it's all my fault, since I asked you to write
about the times that Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton helped you with a problem with the DC
government. Next time, let's get back to basics and let other people know what's going on
in our own neighborhoods.
Lee Perkins, firstname.lastname@example.org,
identified the author of the quotation from Slattery's People as Winston
Churchill. Sam Smith wrote: 'Democracy is the worst form of government, with the
exception of all others.' Winston Churchill. Rich Mintz, email@example.com, wrote: It sounds
a lot like the quip universally attributed to Winston Churchill, 'It has been said that
democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.'
Randall Bovbjerg, firstname.lastname@example.org, quoted
it the same as Mintz, although he added, with respect to the exact wording, There
are lots of versions. It's always Sir Winnie. Bob Summersgill, email@example.com, wrote: Winston
Churchill said 'Democracy is a very bad form of government. Unfortunately all the others
are so much worse.' It was not a Hollywood script writer. Your quote was slightly
different. The difference might be due to memory or a Hollywood writer attempting to
improve on the original. Derek Sarley, firstname.lastname@example.org,
wrote: Generally this quote is attributed to Winston Churchill: 'Many forms of
Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one
pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is
the worst form of Government except all those others that have been tried from time to
time.' email@example.com, who may or may not be
our highly regarded Steph quotations are my middle name Faul at a different
E-mail address, contributed not only a variant of the Churchill quote, but also the
following gems: A monarchy is a merchantman which sails well, but will sometimes
strike on a rock, and go to the bottom; a republic is a raft which will never sink, but
then your feet are always in the water. Fisher Ames. Democracy is the
theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard.
H. L. Mencken. Democracy: The substitution of election by the incompetent
many for appointment by the corrupt few. George Bernard Shaw. The
reason there are two senators for each state is so that one can be the designated driver.
In my uninformed opinion, the first version of the Churchill quotation,
cited by Sam Smith and others, is the most polished and pithiest, and therefore the least
likely to be the original. The last version, cited by Derek Sarley, is a bit wordier and
has more context than any of the others, so it strikes me as the most authentic. Does
anyone know the exact source so that we can check it out?
I will heed Gregory Diaz' admonition to be brief. I called Delegate
Norton's office once for help regarding Lovejoy school. The staff person with
responsibility for this issue never returned the call. End of story.
Congresswoman Norton and Constituent Services
David S. Reed, firstname.lastname@example.org
Gary Imhoff referred to the procedure that [Congresswoman Norton's]
office has created to discourage citizen inquiries. (themail, 18 March 2001) I don't
think this is a fair characterization. When I asked Norton's office for help with a
Federal agency, I was presented with the procedure Imhoff referred to, a form for me to
sign that granted Norton's office the right to disclose my identity and my complaint. I
was surprised and a little annoyed, but I don't think the form has evil intent. It
implements a principle of the Privacy Act of 1974, that the government should generally
not disclose information from its files on individuals, except for the purpose stated when
the information was collected. Norton's office is not legally bound by the Privacy Act; it
applies only to the Executive Branch. (I haven't researched whether the House of
Representatives has imposed similar requirements on itself.) Moreover, one could argue
that disclosing a citizen's complaint to the affected agency is a routine use
of the complaint under the Privacy Act, and does not need any explicit authorization from
the citizen. But I can see the possibility that a citizen might assume Norton's office
will take up his issue with an agency without disclosing his identity, and the form
Norton's office is using prevents that misunderstanding. Since the form has a very
plausible justification, I don't think it is fair to characterize it as an effort to
discourage citizen inquiries.
More about Health Care/DC General, and Halfway
Richard Layman, Northeast DC, email@example.com
Friday's Philadelphia Inquirer had an interesting article about
how emergency rooms are becoming the main form of health services to people, primarily
because they find it hard to get access to a doctor when they are sick, especially if the
illness isn't catastrophic. The article mentioned that hospitals can either try to fight
this trend, or go with the flow. It sounds like the hospital mentioned that goes
with the flow is Sinai Hospital in Baltimore. Perhaps it is a model we can learn
from in developing a health care services delivery model for the District. Here is the
URL: http://inq.philly.com/content/inquirer/2001/03/16/front_page/ER16.htm. The article
will be online for free probably only until Thursday.
On halfway houses, I was trying to stir debate. And we do need to see data
about where the incarcerated live before imprisonment, to get a sense of the justice in
siting such facilities. Frankly, I'd rather not have halfway houses in my community, but
we do have people from our community released to such facilities and we ought to figure
out how to do it right to reduce recidivism. I have talked to some people in the Blair
Shelter (because they do car washing to raise money) and they seem to have a well thought
out program that has at least three stages (different places/placements) that seems to
break the cycle for many. I know a lot of criminals come from out of the area (I live in
North Capitol Hill/H Street), but a bunch don't. (Many people in adjoining PSAs say
criminals come from my PSA to theirs.)
I really like the idea of what they do in Boston, having probation
officers touring regularly with police officers, because parole is granted with certain
conditions that if broken require reincarceration. Parole officers can deal with this
quickly, police officers can't. This type of program is just now starting in the District.
Apparently it is already having some success. Some interesting articles online about these
issues are accessible through the Manhattan Institute website (note: for the record I am a
registered Democrat) which you can get to via http://www.cityjournal.org.
Richard Urban, Washington DC Director, Free Teens, firstname.lastname@example.org
Marie Collins is right. We have to look a lot deeper to repair what ails
DC Public Schools, and in fact, our communities in general. We have a city that has an 80
percent out of wedlock birth rate. Twenty-two percent of high school girls in the District
report having been pregnant one or more times Numerous studies, and common sense, tells us
that children who grow up without the benefit of the love and attention of both parents,
or sometimes even one parent, do not do as well in school, and are prone to many other
problems as well. Let's begin discussing more about how to solve this causal problem, and
how to promote marriage as an essential institution for the stability of our City.
Response to Question on Philly Resolution
Shaun Snyder, email@example.com
Kimberly Larson asks who Representative Ray Browne is, the man who urged
the Philadelphia City Council to pass a resolution supporting voting rights for DC (or
statehood, I can't remember which). U.S. Representative Ray Brown is the US Rep. for the
District of Columbia. But don't forget Paul Strauss and Florence Pendelton, the two United
States Senators from the District of Columbia. These positions have absolutely nothing to
do with the real United States Congress. They are a creation of DC law and are no more a
member of Congress than is Rodney Dangerfield. The idea was to create the position of US
Rep and Senators for two reasons: to lobby for statehood for DC and to have people ready
to serve in case the state of New Columbia came into existence. I believe these positions
cause more harm than any good they might do. I can't tell you how many people I've
encountered who think we have representation in the Senate with our shadow
senators, similar to Eleanor Holmes Norton in the House. Eleanor is a Delegate to
Congress, an actual member of Congress, albeit without a vote. I think we should abolish
these shadow offices. Besides, if we are going to have a shadow Congressional delegation,
why not a shadow governor and shadow state legislature?
Wasting Metros Money
Paul Michael Brown, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Diaz recently lamented the demise of brevity here, so I'll be
succinct: If you think it's a waste of money to require Metrorail to rename the airport
station in honor of Ronald Reagan, you should also oppose spending Metrobus money to
engage in license plate sloganeering. Both courses of action are conceptually identical.
I initially agreed with those who were outraged by the move by the City
Council to overturn the 1994 referendum on Term Limits, and even wrote a letter to members
of the City Council expressing my opposition. (Perversely, I am not for term limits; I
think they are undemocratic. I was just uncomfortable overturning a referendum.)
However, responses to my letter from several City Council members, and a
phone call from Linda Cropp, persuaded me that the City Council is right and brave
to consider the Consecutive Term Limitation Amendment Act of 2001. As
Chairman Cropp pointed out, the Council would have to be suicidal to consider such a
measure if there were not great support for it within the electorate. And indeed, those of
us who don't like term limits should have the right to have them reconsidered. An
alternative approach, to have another referendum, is far less appropriate. How many
referenda should be allowed on a measure? And how many referenda are necessary to express
the will of the voters? Two out of three? Three out of five? At least with a Council
action, voters have an option: They can vote against the Council members if they disagree
with the Council's decision.
My original opposition was based on the idea that a referendum is
sacrosanct. But should it be? I mean, can't the voters change their minds? Making a
referendum inviolate is like well term limits. And I'm against them.
Puppets on the Block
Sue Bell, email@example.com
In honor of National Library Week, the Friends of the Tenley-Friendship
Library present The Kids on the Block. Life-sized puppets with and without disabilities
helping us celebrate our differences. A free program for children, ages 5-9. Tuesday,
April 3 at 3:30 p.m. At the Tenley-Friendship Library Children's Room, 4450 Wisconsin
Avenue, NW, 282-3094. Tenley Metro Stop.
Support a DCPS elementary school while you score great deals on live
theater, restaurants, mountain retreat get-a-ways, athletic events, arts and crafts items,
sports memorabilia and much more. Mark your calendars for Saturday March 31, 7 p.m., and
join us for the Asian Odyssey to support Ben W. Murch Elementary School. Admission tickets
to the auction are $20 at the door and $15 in advance. Beer, wine, soft drinks and hors
d'oeuvres included. Held in the lovely and convenient IntelSat atrium (3400 International
Drive NW, off Van Ness, between Connecticut and Reno). Auction revenues support academic
programs and fund teaching assistants for Murch school. For more information call Amy
Schmidt at 686-0659.
Washingtons Best Folk for WoodyStock 2001
Tim Cline, firstname.lastname@example.org
WoodyStock 2001 will be Sunday, March 25, doors open 7 p.m. (get there
early, we expect a full house), at The Metro Café, 1522 14th St., NW, corner of 14th and
Church Streets (Between P & Q). Some of DC's best-loved folk performers are getting
together to celebrate the life and work of seminal artist and environmentalist Woody
Guthrie and it's all for a good cause. Multi WAMMIE award winner, Rachel Cross will
perform and M.C. the evening, benefiting the population environmental organization ZPG.
The show, which Rachel describes as the unprecedented folk event of the
season, will feature live performances by Mary Byrd Brown, Andrew McKnight, Michelle
Swan, Steve Key, Mary Sue Twohy, Cletus Kennelly and Garth Ross.
The evening will be recorded and released as a live CD. Admission is a
suggested $10 donation. Food will be provided. And it's a cash bar. WoodyStock 2001 is
made possible by a grant from the Arkay Foundation.
Clean Up DC Bike Ride
Alexander M. Padro, PadroANC2C@aol.com
The Washington Area Bicyclist Association, Keep Washington, DC Beautiful,
Inc., and the District of Columbia Clean City Coordinator are sponsoring the Second Annual
Clean Up DC Bike Ride on Saturday, March 24. Join Mayor Anthony Williams on this 15-mile
ride, which begins and ends at Catholic University of America in Northeast (METRO: Red
Line Brookland/CUA Station). This free event includes parking, coffee, juice and bagels at
registration; mechanical assistance before and throughout the tour; directions and route
markings; and rest stops with food and beverages.
The route will take riders past McMillan Reservoir, the National
Arboretum, and Ft. Lincoln Park. Several park cleanups will be taking place, and riders
will have the option of stopping and participating in the cleanups. (If you plan to help
with cleanups, please bring work gloves.) One of the stops will be the kickoff event for
the Great American Cleanup: Spring Cleaning in Washington, DC, at Jemal's Gateway, North
Capitol Street and P Street, NE, at 9:30 a.m. This two-month long effort will include
neighborhood cleanups throughout the city, as part of the national Keep America Beautiful
campaign. Other local activities during the next eight weeks will include a public
awareness campaign, poster contest, and a roller blade cleanup event.
Registration for the ride will take place from 7:30 to 9:00 a.m. on
Saturday, March 24th. Bikers will assemble in front of Hannan Hall (Physics Department,
Catholic University of America). Registration is free. All participants will be required
to sign a liability waiver. Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. For more
information, or to volunteer to help with the event, contact the Washington Area Bicyclist
Association at 628-2500 or email@example.com or visit http://www.waba.org.
Social worker currently employed as a supervisor at Child Welfare agency
seeking to change jobs. I have five years experience as a social worker and I hold a
master's degree in social work. If have information of an opening please E-mail me at meliss_X@prodigy.net. Thanks in advance for your
CLASSIFIEDS FOR SALE
Honda Accord DX, light blue (1994), excellent condition, great engine,
great CD/stereo. 93,000 miles, asking $5,500. Call 462-1063 or respond by E-mail.
There's some great commercial space available right here in Adams Morgan.
Affinity Lab, on 18th Street right above The Diner, is accepting applications from people
in the area who need a little room and a little help to start their businesses. Young
entrepreneurs who do media, political, and community work are already in the Lab. The
space has furniture, high-speed Internet, phone, conference room, kitchen and even a disco
ball built into the price, and services are available to help a business get off the
We're not an incubator! One monthly fee and no equity required. Call
518-6181 or go to http://www.affinitylab.com for
John Whiteside, Logan Circle, firstname.lastname@example.org
My neighbors and I would like to put decorative iron fencing along the
front of our properties, and between our front yards. At the moment one house in our row
of four has a fence; we'd like to get together and find someone to do the other three.
Anyone have a recommendation for someone to do this who's reasonably priced and reliable
(we're tired of people not showing up to give us a quote, etc.)?
CLASSIFIEDS CITY PAPER PREVIEW
Dave Nuttycombe, email@example.com
From washingtoncitypaper.com's LOOSE LIPS column, appearing this Friday:
WATCHING OUT FOR NUMERO UNO: Deairich R. (Dee) Hunter and LL are laughing over
breakfast at Timothy Dean's, that swank new place on K Street in the St. Regis Hotel that
is owned by a young African-American of the same name. Head of the DC-Citizens Advocacy
Project, Hunter is at times amused, baffled, and downright peeved about the D.C. Council's
move to overturn the term-limits law approved by voters in 1994. More than 80,000 citizens
voted in favor of the measure to limit all elected officials to two consecutive terms in
the same post.
Hunter and his allies are now pondering their next step, should the council persist. He
wants to launch a massive voter-education effort, replete with mass mailings and telephone
banks. Others want either to recall certain councilmembers or to target them for defeat in
Not unlike the protesters at D.C. General who are battling to keep their jobs,
councilmembers are motivated by a desire to hold on to their $90,000 per year part-time
Read the entire Loose Lips column here: http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/lips/lips.html
From washingtoncitypaper.com's CITY LIGHTS page, here are a few early
warnings for upcoming events:
WEDNESDAY: Douglass Institute of Government founder Asa Gordon discusses whether or not
African-Americans willingly served the Confederacy during the Civil War, at 7 p.m. at Oxon
Hill Library, 6200 Oxon Hill Road, Oxon Hill. Free.
THURSDAY: Michael Jackson, the "Beer Hunter," discusses The Great Beers of
the United Kingdom and Ireland, with a sampling of the potables discussed. At 7:30
p.m. at the National Geographic Society's Grosvenor Auditorium, 1600 M St. NW. $30.
More details and more critics' picks are available online at http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/pix/pix.html
themail@dcwatch is an E-mail discussion forum that is published every
Wednesday and Sunday. To subscribe, to change E-mail addresses, or to switch between HTML
and plain text versions of themail, use the subscription form at http://www.dcwatch.com/themail/subscribe.htm.
To unsubscribe, send an E-mail message to firstname.lastname@example.org
with unsubscribe in the subject line. Archives of past messages are available
All postings should also be submitted to email@example.com, and should be about life,
government, or politics in the District of Columbia in one way or another. All postings
must be signed in order to be printed, and messages should be reasonably short one
or two brief paragraphs would be ideal so that as many messages as possible can be
put into each mailing.