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FairfaxOpinionLetter: 'Gadfly' reference is a mark of honor

Letter: ‘Gadfly’ reference is a mark of honor

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Editor: Initially, when I saw myself, a former chair of the McLean Citizens Association’s Budget and Taxation (B&T) Committee, described in your article [“Libraries Spend Big Bucks to Attract Authors,” Jan. 26] as a “gadfly,” I was taken aback.

The article quoted me in regard to the my criticism of the extravagant spending of taxpayer funds to promote books of wealthy authors by the Fairfax County library system.

However, upon further research, I learned that a gadfly is a person who interferes with the status quo of a society or community by posing novel, potentially upsetting questions, usually directed at authorities. The term is originally associated with the ancient Greek philosopher Socrates in his defense, when on trial for his life.

Thank you for raising my name to the level of Socrates.


William Denk, Great Falls

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