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July 4, 2010

We Hold These Truths

Dear Independent Thinkers:

The American character — stubbornly contrarian, insistent on the rights of individuals, emphatic that government must be ruled by and answerable to the people and not the other way around, and, yes, independent — was etched in stone by a declaration that was approved by the Continental Congress on this day in 1776. This declaration described the character, philosophy, and aspirations of Americans at the time of the Revolution; it shaped what we became today. The Declaration of Independence was written by Thomas Jefferson, with minor amendments by John Adams and Benjamin Franklin; further changes were made by the Congress before it was adopted. It begins with a one-paragraph introduction and a one-paragraph preamble:


“The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen United States of America:

“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.”

As we are fond of saying on the Internet, read the whole thing:

Gary Imhoff


Clyde Howard,

As I stated before, Gabe Klein of the DC Department of Transportation is a royal dummy. He continues to believe that the Federal City is not what it is in the Federal Statues of Law. The ban on overhead wires passed by Congress in 1880 does apply to portions of the trolley route at issue. Since this dummy does not know the difference between the Federal City and the Territory of the District of Columbia, he needs to be educated by learning the history of the city when it was developed. H Street, NE, is within the boundary of the Federal City where the Federal Law banning overhead wires applies. Benning Road is outside the boundary of the Federal City. In case the dummy doesn’t know, Florida Avenue (Boundary Avenue) is the boundary between the Federal City and the Territory of the District of Columbia.

Further, since when can the city council overturn a Federal Law passed by Congress and enacted by Congress? Do you think that Congress will stand idly by and allow our corps of idiots to overrule the laws that they have passed? Is this the kind of representation we voted to the council, that will be the laughing joke of the century. Somebody is smoking a dream weed.


George Parker Is a Stain on the Credibility of the Washington Teachers’ Union
Candi Peterson,

The rules of electing officers within the Washington Teachers’ Union (WTU) are recorded in a nineteen-page document known as the Constitution and By-laws, which are the governing documents of our union. Nowhere, not once in any of the pages, is the word “cheating” mentioned. The stubborn refusal by WTU President George Parker to hold a triennial election by the revised June 2010 date, as approved by AFT national president Randi Weingarten, is an abuse of power and is tantamount to cheating. What this proves is that Parker is a stain on the credibility of our union. First Barbara Bullock, now George Parker.

On numerous occasions, Claudette Carson, WTU Elections Chairperson, requested union membership lists among other documents from Parker so her committee could proceed with its job to conduct our general election. Parker in turn has refused to cooperate and turn over the documents. A lawsuit filed last week due to election and salary tampering has not persuaded Parker to do the right thing either. Certainly Parker’s failure to hold elections gives him the unjust advantage of remaining in office beyond his term. Some assert that Parker’s tricks and tactics are a way for him to garner more votes with a new crop of teachers scheduled to begin in the fall. It also gives him extra time to collect the much needed nominating petitions he failed to submit by the April 30 timeline. One thing many agree upon is that Parker’s actions rob teachers of their constitutional right to vote for a union president and a slate of officers.

Perhaps the worst of Parker’s antics is the way he illegally appointed four new executive board members, without having a quorum, within the last two weeks of his June term as president: Monica Jones-Martinez, William Rope, Jacqueline Hines, and Carynne Conover. Then there were illegal motions by Parker and company to reduce WTU’s General Vice President’s Nathan Saunders salary to zero without due process while Parker continues to earn a hefty salary of $150,000 plus perks, and finally a revocation of Saunders’ leave of absence, which would render him (Saunders) unable to continue to his bid for union president. Teachers and school personnel deserve better. We deserve an executive board with some spine. We deserve a union where cheats like Parker cannot prosper.


Calendar of Candidate Forums
T.J. Sutcliffe,

Replying to Harold Foster’s E-mail regarding a citywide schedule for candidate forums [themail, June 30], Defeat Poverty DC seems to be keeping a pretty comprehensive calendar at: Thanks to them for putting it together.


Watha T. Daniel/Shaw Library
George Williams,

The Watha T. Daniel/Shaw Interim Library, located at 945 Rhode Island Avenue, NW, will close Tuesday, July 13, at 5:30 p.m. to move to the new library which is scheduled to open on Monday, August 2. The new Watha T. Daniel/Shaw Neighborhood Library will be located at 1630 7th Street, NW, across from the Shaw Metro station. The nearest libraries are Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial Library, 901 G Street, NW, and Northwest One, 155 L Street, NW. Library users can return or renew books at any DC Public Library.

During the transition, books from the interim library and new books will be moved into the new library, catalogued, and shelved; new computers, including Macs for teens, will be installed and tested; copiers and other equipment will be moved to the new location; and furniture and carpeting will be installed.

The new three-story library is approximately 22,000 square feet and will feature separate reading areas for adults, teens, and children; a children’s program room; space for 80,000 books, DVD’s, CD’s, and other library materials; 32 public access computers with free Wi-Fi Internet access; comfortable seating for two hundred customers; a large program room for up to one hundred people; two twelve-person conference rooms; and a vending area.



Volunteers on Call for Callbox Repainting, July 10
Robin Diener,

It’s been seven years since volunteers from the Dupont Circle Citizens Association revitalized the twenty-two police and fire callboxes in and around Dupont Circle, and won the Mayor’s Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation. It’s now time to spruce up this amazing project. Take the virtual tour at We will meet at 9:30 a.m. on July 10 for coffee, instructions, and assignments. The boxes will have been prepped for painting; all necessary equipment will be provided. Children accompanied by adults are welcome. Fun for all. Dress for splatters. RSVP to or


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