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Gunman Opens Fire on GOP Congressmen

This is breaking. No idea yet as to the what or why of this, only that one confirmed Congressman is shot (Steve Scalise), and others “are injured”.

Police claim to have a suspect in custody. No information as to motive at this point.

The Democrat-Republican Baseball game is a fun, family oriented annual event in Washington, DC – usually held at Nat’s Stadium. President Obama usually took time out to see the game.

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Gunman fires on Alexandria park during GOP baseball practice; lawmaker Scalise among wounded

A gunman opened fire Wednesday morning on a baseball practice at a park in Alexandria involving Republican members of Congress, possibly injuring several including at least one lawmaker, Steve Scalise, the majority whip, according to police and a congressman.

Alexandria police would only confirm that a shooting had occurred and that one person was in custody.

Rep. Peter Kane (R-N.Y.), in an interview with The Washington Post, confirmed early details. King said Capitol Police confirmed the account to him.

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) told The Post that Capitol Police officers walked into the congressional gym around 7:30 a.m. Wednesday and told members about the shooting and said Scalise had been shot.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer tweeted: “Both @POTUS & @VP are aware of the developing situation in Virginia. Our thoughts and prayers are with all affected.”

Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) Tweeted that “Shooter attacked a GOP baseball practice. Rifle. 50+ shots fired. 5 hit including Steve Scalise. I am not shot.”

The 7:30 a.m. practice in the park in the 400 block of East Monroe Street was the finally before Thursday night’s scheduled game between Republicans and Democrats at Nationals Park.

Brooks told CNN that he heard a loud “bam” behind third base.

“I see a rifle, and I see a little bit of a body and then I hear another bam and I realize there’s still an active shooter. At the same time I hear Steve Scalise over at 2nd base scream — he was shot,” he said.

Brooks said he ran to the first base side and hit behind a batting cage as gunfire continued. He estimated 50 to 100 shots were fired.

He said Scalise crawled out of the outfield leaving a trail of blood, and that he was given liquids and put pressure on a chest wound.

 

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Obama To Live in DC Area After Term is Over

Well…At least he won’t have any problem finding a home, and he possibly will be the first former President since George Washington to actually live in the area.

Daughter Will Keep the Obamas in Washington

After years of speculation, President Obama confirmed on Thursday that he and his wife, Michelle, intend to remain in Washington for “a couple of years” after his term ends.

It has been decades since a president stayed in the capital after leaving office. But Mr. Obama said during a visit here that “we’re going to have to stay” in Washington until his younger daughter, Sasha, finishes school.

“Transferring someone in the middle of high school — tough,” the president said in response to a question from a woman at a restaurant here.

Sasha is on track to graduate from the exclusive Sidwell Friends School in the spring of 2019. Mr. Obama said he was unsure where the family would move after that.

 
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Posted by on March 4, 2016 in Giant Negros

 

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Remembering Rosewood

In about 1820, due to the new “Black Codes” implemented in Virginia denying gun rights to free blacks, my g-g-g-Grandfather and Uncle petitioned the Court as free black men to have the ability to carry guns. They lived in a rural area of Virginia, not far from where Virginia Tech University is located in Blacksburg, Va. They owned fairly productive land on the banks of the New River which winds and wanders for 350 miles though North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia, and is the only river I know of in America which travels north, it eventually joins the Ohio River.

The family had settled the area, then considered the “Frontier”, shortly after the Revolutionary War, along with other free black families – some of whom won their freedom by fighting on the side of the British, and less frequently the Colonial Armies. They had built a “Plantation” on a large tract of land, adjoining one of the most prosperous white settlers in the area of the time, with whom they regularly traded tools and equipment manufactured by them for other manufactured goods, and perhaps labor.

One of the biggest fears at that time by free blacks was “slave catchers” an unscrupulous and bankrupt group of individuals who would on opportunity kidnap and family member they could get their hands on to sell into slavery further South. Aside from dangers of the native wildlife (bears and Mountain Lion were common at that time), they had to keep an eye out for the slavers in the sparsely populated area. The answer quite simply was, the slavers went up the mountain…and never came down. I confirmed this family legend one year while hunting on the property and discovering the entrance to a limestone cavern, and upon going back to get a bright spotlight to look in, finding the skeletons of at least half a dozen bodies at the bottom of the shaft, one of which appears to have had the remnants of a confederate uniform. Of course, nobody knew when the slavers would sneak into the area, as their business was illegal even by the laws of the time, and they didn’t exactly report their presence to. the local sheriff.

The bothers petitioned the court for the right to (continue to) carry guns as local landowners and citizens and won. Somewhere in the family there is an old octagon barrel Kentucky style rifle which belonged to them. In my inherited collection is one 44-40 Winchester rifle going back to the 1870’s that belonged to one of their sons or grandsons. At nearly 150 years old it certainly isn’t fire-able, even if you could find black powder cartridges for it. The fact that they continued to defend the home place from nefarious scumbags is evidenced by the dead confederate, placing their activity as late as the 1860’s during or after the Civil War.

With the emergence of the Second KKK in 1900, attacks on black communities, often for flimsily manufactured reasons and lynching s accelerated until “Red Summer” in 1919. What radically changed was that the black soldiers who had fought in WWI came home, not only with military training but sometimes with their rifles. Resulting in blacks fighting back against the wholesale community attacks similar to those in Rosewood and Tulsa,  in the “race riots” in Washington, DC, Chicago, IL, and Knoxville, TN – where things were substantially less one sided. Faced with folks who would shoot back, and not easy victims… The KKK and other racist organizations…blinked. It didn’t stop the lynchings – but it was no longer safe to attack a large black community. One of the things forgotten by history is that the folks in Tulsa did set up a defense, and the center of the town was designed to be defense-able. They just didn’t have enough guns. Rosewood was a small community of only about 16 houses.

With the rise of the Fourth KKK, or the Fourth Reich under Trump, and his like minded cohort of fools in the Reich Wing Clown Bus, at least to my belief, it is time for the black communities, and individuals to arm up again. We need to take the attitude of the Jews, “Never Forget”. Now this doesn’t mean going to to the store and buying a little Glock popgun pistol. The only reason any US Army soldiers carry a pistol, is to have a little something when their rifle runs out of ammo. They know full well that a guy and his “9” will last about a NY millisecond against someone armed with an AK, or AR-15 variant rifle… Or even a modern shotgun.

Sometimes the only way to get peace is out of the barrel of a gun. White people are not your enemy, but those deluded racist fools following the neo-fascist right, who happen to be white, are. We seem to be barreling down the road to a parallel with Nazi Germany, where a virulent minority can grab control of an entire nation. I don’t know about you – but I ain’t going in that cattle car peacefully in this here New American Reich.

Rosewood…After the Massacre

Remembering Rosewood: The racist lie that set off the destruction of a black Florida community

Four black schoolchildren raced home along a dirt road in Archer, Florida, in 1944, kicking up a dust cloud wake as they ran. They were under strict orders from their mother to run – not lollygag or walk or jog, but run – directly home after hitting the road’s curve.

The littlest, six-year-old Lizzie Robinson (now Jenkins), led the pack with a brother on each side and her sister behind carrying her books.

“And I would be [running], my feet barely touching the ground,” Jenkins, now 77, said at her home in Archer.

Despite strict adherence to their mother’s orders, the siblings weren’t told why they should race home. To the children, it was one of several mysterious dictates issued during childhood in the Jim Crow south.

As Jenkins tells it, the children didn’t know why Amos ’n’ Andy was often interrupted by revving engines and calls from her father to “Go upstairs now!”, or why aunt Mahulda Carrier, a schoolteacher, fled to the bedroom each time a car drove down their rural road.

Explanations for demands to hide came later, when Jenkins’s mother, Theresa Brown Robinson, whispered to her daughter the story of violence that befell the settlement of Rosewood in 1923.

The town was 37 miles south-east of Archer on the main road to the Gulf. Carrier worked there as the schoolteacher, while living with her husband Aaron Carrier. On New Year’s Day 1923, a white woman told her husband “a nigger” assaulted her, a false claim that precipitated a week of mob violence that wiped the prosperous black hamlet off the map, and led to the near lynching of Aaron Carrier.

Jenkins now believes that all of it – the running, calls to go upstairs, her aunt fleeing to the bedroom – was a reaction to a message her parents received loud and clear: don’t talk about Rosewood, ever, to anyone.

But after Jim Crow laws lifted, and lynch mob justice was no longer a mortal threat, survivors did begin to talk. So egregious were the stories of rape, murder, looting, arson and neglect by elected officials, that Florida investigated the claims in a 1993 report.

That led to a law that eventually compensated then elderly victims $150,000 each, and created a scholarship fund. The law, which provided $2.1m total for the survivors, improbably made Florida one of the only states to create a reparations program for the survivors of racialized violence, placing it among federal programs that provided payments to Holocaust survivors and interned Japanese Americans.

News of Florida’s reparations program ran nationwide when it was passed in 1994, on the front page of the Wall Street Journal among others. Hollywood picked up the tale. Don Cheadle starred in a 1997 film about the pogrom. Several books were written about Rosewood.

Though the legislation was never called such, the program now represents one of just a handful of reparations cases in the United States, as calls to compensate victims of racialized violence have grown louder in the last two years.

2015 brought renewed calls to compensate victims of race-related violence from college students, theologians and criminal justice advocates. The city of Chicago started a $5.5m reparations fund for the more than 100 victims tortured at the hands of police commander Jon Burge.

Last month, students at Georgetown University demanded that the administration set aside an endowment to recruit black professors equal to the profit from an 1838 slave sale that paid off university debt. The 272 slaves were sold for $400 each, the equivalent of about $2.7m today. One day after protests began, students successfully renamed a residence hall named after Thomas Mulledy, the university president who oversaw the sale (it was renamed Freedom Hall).

At least one progressive Christian theologian is pushing Protestants to reckon their own history with slavery with reparations. In 2014, Atlantic writer Ta-Nehisi Coates breathed fresh life into the debate in his widely lauded article The Case for Reparations .

Rosewood burning

Where Rosewood once stood is now little more than a rural scrubland along state road 24, a lonely highway in central Florida bordered by swamp, slash pine and palmetto. A placard on the side of the road describes the horror visited upon the hamlet.

But in 1923, the settlement was a small and prosperous predominantly black town, with its own baseball team, a masonic temple and a few hundred residents. It was just three miles from the predominantly white town of Sumner, and 48 miles from Gainesville.

On New Year’s Day 1923, white Sumner resident Fannie Taylor was bruised and beaten when her husband returned home. The Taylors were white, and the residents of Sumner were in near universal agreement that Fannie’s assailant was black.

A crowd swelled in Sumner to find the “fugitive”, some from as far away as Gainesville, where the same day the Klu Klux Klan held a high-profile parade. Over the next seven days gangs of hundreds delivered lynch mob justice to the once-affluent town of Rosewood.

“I blame the deputy sheriff,” Robie Mortin, a Rosewood survivor, told the Seminole Tribune in 1999. “Because that lady never dropped a name as to who did what to her. Just said a negro, black man. But when the sheriff came along with his posse and everything, he put a name to the person: Jesse Hunter.”

Mortin died in 2010 at age 94 in Riviera Beach, Florida. She was believed to be one of the last survivors of the New Year’s riots in 1923. After years of silence she became one of the most vocal. Though Florida completed an investigation into the events that took place in Rosewood, some narratives remain disputed.

“They didn’t find Jesse Hunter, but noticed that here’s a bunch of niggers living better than us white folks. That disturbed these people,” Mortin said. Her uncle, Sam Carter, is believed to have taken the man who beat Taylor, a fellow Mason, to safety in Gulf Hammock, a few miles away. When Carter returned he was tortured, shot and lynched by the mob looking for Taylor’s assailant.

“My grandma didn’t know what my uncle Sammy had done to anybody to cause him to be lynched like that,” Mortin told the Tribune. “They took his fingers and his ears, and they just cut souvenirs away from him. That was the type of people they were.”

Carter is believed to be the first of eight documented deaths associated with the riots that would worsen over the next three days.

The settlement itself was wiped off the map. Several buildings were set on fire just a few days after New Year’s, and the mob wiped out the remainder of the town a few days later, torching 12 houses one by one. At the time, the Gainesvile Sun reported a crowd of up to 150 people watched the dozen homes and a church set ablaze. Even the dogs were burned.

“The burning of the houses was carried out deliberately and although the crowd was present all the time, no one could be found who would say he saw the houses fired,” a Sun report said, describing the scene.

At least two white men died, including CP “Poly” Wilkerson of Sumner and Henry Andrews of Otter Creek, when they attempted to storm a house Rosewood residents had barricaded themselves in.

A state report on the violence identifies murdered black Rosewood residents as Sam Carter, matriarch Sarah Carrier, James Carrier, Sylvester Carrier and Lexie Gordon. Mingo Williams, a black man who lived nearby, was also killed by the mob.

Aaron Carrier, Mahulda’s husband and Jenkins’s uncle, was nearly killed when he was dragged behind a truck and tortured on the first night of the riots. At death’s door, Carrier was spirited away by the Levy county sheriff, Bob Walker, she said, and placed in jail in Bronson as a favor to the lawman.

Mahulda was captured later the same night by the mob, Jenkins said, and tortured before Walker eventually found her.

“They got Gussie, that was my aunt’s name, they tied a rope around her neck, however they didn’t drag her, they put her in the car and took her to Sumner. Don’t know if you know – a southern tradition is to build a fire … and to stand around the fire and drink liquor and talk trash,” Jenkins said.

“So they had her there, like she was the [accused], and they were the jury, and they were trying to force her into admitting a lie. ‘Where was your husband last night?’ ‘He was at home in bed with me.’ They asked her that so many times so she got indignant with them … And they said, ‘She’s a bold bitch – let’s rape the bitch.’ And they did. Gang style.”

Another Rosewood resident, James Carrier, was shot over the fresh graves of his brother and mother after several men captured and interrogated him. He was first told to dig his own grave, but couldn’t because two strokes had paralyzed one arm. The men left his body splayed over the graves of his family members.

But despite widespread coverage of the incident – the governor was even notified via telegram – the state did nothing.

Not for one month, when it appears a feeble attempt to indict locals was made by a grand jury, after all the residents of Rosewood had long fled into the nearby swamps and settlements of central Florida.

The oral history of Rosewood was a secret, passed through several families with each recipient sworn to silence, as black Americans endured decades of terror in Florida. When Jenkins was six her parents would have had fresh memories of lynchings.

From 1877 to 1950, the county where the Robinsons lived, Alachua, had among the largest sheer volume of lynchings of any community in the nation, according to the Equal Justice Initiative. Per capita, Florida lynched more people than any other state. And counties surrounding Alachua were not friendlier.

Hernando, Citrus, Lafayette and Taylor counties had some of the highest per capita rates of lynchings in the country. By volume, nearby Marion and Polk counties had among the most in the US.

Legislation, reparations and state reckons with ugly past

The story only came to light in 1982, after a reporter at the then St Petersburg Times exposed the forgotten riot. The reporter, Gary Moore, had traveled to Cedar Key, 10 miles south-west of Rosewood on the coast, to explore a Sunday feature on the rural Gulf town.

“Like the public at large, I personally had never heard of Rosewood,” Moore wrote in a synopsis of research published in the 1993 report that was submitted to the Florida Board of Regents. “I held dim assumptions that any such incident would long ago have been thoroughly researched and publicized by historians, sociologists, anthropologists, advocacy organizations, or others.”

That it wasn’t, Moore blamed on “psychological denial” and “blindness”.

“There were many things thought better left unquestioned,” Moore reasoned.

By 1993, before the report was issued, Moore’s story had made a wide impact, becoming a 60 Minutes documentary and earning follow-ups by other news outlets. Moore, however, recounted in detail his struggle for academic and political acceptance of the narrative, and said even 11 years after his story appeared many attempted to deny the massacre occurred.

One of Moore’s sources, Arnett Doctor, would later devote much of his life to lobbying for Rosewood reparations. Doctor, a descendant of survivors, spent untold hours eliciting detailed narratives of the event from survivors. He is often cited as the“driving force” behind the reparations bill, as the man who brought his findings to high-powered attorneys at Holland & Knight, who helped lobby the legislature for reparations.

Doctor died at the age of 72 in March 2015, in Spring Hill, Florida, a few hours south of Rosewood.

“We deliberately avoided anything but compensation for the losses they incurred,” said Martha Barnett, an attorney at Holland & Knight who helped lobby the Florida legislature on behalf of the survivors of Rosewood. Barnett said the term “reparations” can’t be found in the law passed in Florida.

Instead, attorneys focused on private property rights. She said she and other attorneys needed “to make it something legislators could find palatable in the deep south some 20-some years ago”.

Barnett said the then Democratic governor, Lawton Chiles, promised his support from the beginning. By April 1994, the House passed a bill to compensate victims of the attack with a 71-40 vote. Four days later, on 9 April 1994, the Senate passed a matching bill with a vote of 26-14, to cries of “Praise the lord!” from those Rosewood descendants present.

“It’s time for us to send an example, a shining example, that we’re going to do what’s right – for once,” Democratic senator Matthew Meadows said at the time. Chiles diedless than four years after signing the bill.

Now, near Rosewood, Rebel flags are common. Businesses bear the name, and some locals would be as happy to again forget the incident.

Information on the pogrom is notably muted in some local historical societies.

“What it takes to make someone whole, what it takes to repair the past, is probably different for every person, and some things are more effective than others,” said Barnett.

Many of the survivors invested the money they received into their homes. Willie Evans, 87 when he received the $150,000 payment in 1995, put a new roof , windows and doors on his home. Mortin considered traveling to Greece. Jenkins’s mother, who received $3,333.33 from the fund, placed ledgers on the graves of her sister, three brothers and parents.

“The thing that mattered most to [survivors] was that the state of Florida said, ‘We had an obligation to you as our citizens, we failed to live up to it then, we are going to live up to it today, and we are sorry,’” Barnett said.

For Doctor, whose own identity seemed wrapped up in the Rosewood story (the license plate on his truck read “ROSEWOOD” ), even the unique success of the legislation was not enough. He dreamed of rebuilding the town.

“The last leg of the [healing process] is the redevelopment and revitalization of a township called Rosewood,” Doctor told the Tampa Bay Times in 2004 , as the plaque along State Road 24 was dedicated by then governor Jeb Bush. “If we could get $2bn, $3bn of that we could effect some major changes in Levy County.”

 

 

 

 
 

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From Chocolate City to Latte Wasteland

Gentrification… A curse word to some, a blessing to others. This is pretty much going on all across the country in the big cities. The problem being that the improved retail, educational, business, and living accommodations are not equally distributed, with the previous residents being forced out, priced out, or legislated out.

From Chocolate City to Latte City: Being black in the new D.C.

It made news a few years back when we learned that Chocolate City, as majority-black Washington had long been known, wasn’t so chocolate anymore.

And the news today? Not only is the city’s African American population shrinking — almost half of the District’s 650,000 residents are white — but it’s getting harder to be black in the nation’s capital.

The city that had long been a beacon for the nation’s African American population — where slavery was outlawed nine months before the Emancipation Proclamation was signed, where segregated public schools were the first in the nation to be integrated after Brown v. Board of Education — has gone through more than just a huge demographic shift.

It is a change in the attitude of the city, the culture, the way we view and treat one another.

This week, Jason Goolsby, a student at the University of the District of Columbia, stopped at a bank on Capitol Hill with a couple of friends. The 18-year-old was pondering whether to withdraw money from the ATM when he held the door open for a mom with a stroller, then left after deciding not to get cash.

The woman called 911 to report a possible robbery and told the dispatcher that “we just left but we felt like if we had taken money out we might’ve gotten robbed,” according to a transcript of the call.

But didn’t she do the same thing: go to the ATM, then leave?

And how about those shopkeepers in Georgetown who — as my colleague, Terrence McCoy, discovered — alert one another about “suspicious shoppers” on an app they share.

Is it a coincidence that about 90 percent of the photos they took and posted of shoppers they thought to be “suspicious” were black?

This in Georgetown, which was nearly 40 percent black back in the 1800s. Now, the African American population in that part of the city is about 3 percent. It’s so white, folks have a hard time figuring out what black people are doing when they go there. Um, shopping?

In the new Latte City, it’s hard to shop while black. Or decide not to get cash at the ATM while black. Or how about staying in your home town while black?

The disappearance of affordable housing is making it increasingly difficult for the poor, who are overwhelmingly African American, to remain in the District.

Now developers want to turn a complex of low-income, rent-controlled housing in Congress Heights into one of those insta-villages — you know, the gleaming new condos, a chain restaurant with $12 salads, a fitness studio, a CVS, an (organic) dry cleaner — that seem to pop up, out of nowhere.

And, yes, that part of town — Southeast Washington — has been starving for investment and development. But it will come at the expense of the residents who have been rooted there for decades. They’ve put up with landlords who have neglected the property so horribly in an effort to drive the old-timers out.

Abandoned, trash-filled apartments, lack of working toilets, vermin. The owners of the properties are just letting the apartments rot, waiting for folks who didn’t take a payout to leave.

Across town, at a rent-controlled apartment building on Kalorama Road in Northwest Washington, we see a renter success story. A new owner bought the building, but there was no move to demolish it and build something hotter. Instead the mostly white tenants — many elderly and fixed-income types — banded together to form a tenants organization, used the laws put in place to protect them and secured their controlled rent.

Even when the economics are similar, the results are totally different, depending on your skin color.…More…

 
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Posted by on October 19, 2015 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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Taxation Without Representation

The City of Washington, DC was set up in a Congressional Act in 1787. The city is limited to space of no more than 10 square miles.Until “Home Rule”, the City was ruled by the Federal Government, under the auspices of Congress. Until 1961, citizens in the City could not vote for election of the President or local Officials. In 1973, Congress passed the District of Columbia Home Rule Act, ceding some of its power over the city to a new, directly elected city council and mayor. Walter Washington became the first elected mayor of Washington, D.C.

Congress still maintains the power to approve any law passed by the City council and Mayor. This was demonstrated most recently when the council approved a bill legalizing Marijuana, and the Republican led Congressional Committee nixed the Law.

Unique among cities with a high percentage of African Americans, Washington has had a significant black population since the city’s creation. As a result, Washington became both a center of African American culture and a center of civil rights movement. Since the city government was run by the federal government, black and white school teachers were paid at an equal scale as workers for the federal government. It was not until the administration of President Woodrow Wilson, a southern Democrat who had numerous southerners in his cabinet, that federal offices and workplaces were segregated, starting in 1913.This situation persisted for decades: the city was racially segregated in certain facilities until the 1950s.

DC Statehood is still a hot local issue. Republicans oppose such for much the same reason the slaveholding South demanded the compromise that all future states added to the Union be balanced between slave and free – due to a large black population, the City leans Democrat. Meaning statehood would likely add two more Democrat Senators to the Senate, and 1 -2 Democrat Congressmen.

Key Bridge – From Rosslyn, Virginia into the Georgetown section of Washington, DC.

John Oliver: Why Washington, D.C., Should Be the 51st State

It sucks to live in Washington, D.C.—or so says John Oliver, the surprisingly nimble political satirist and host of HBO’s Last Week Tonight. Yes, if you thought Sen. Marco Rubio making The Hill’s ultra-silly list of the “50 Most Beautiful People” on Capitol Hill was bad, well, that’s just the tip of the iceberg for D.C. residents.

“There is one U.S. territory that suffers a lack of representation in D.C., and that is D.C. itself,” Oliver announced on Last Week.

District of Columbia license plates say “taxation without representation” for a reason. If you’re a resident of D.C., you’re forced to shell out for federal taxes and can fight in wars, yet no member of Congress is there to fight on your behalf, even though D.C.’s population eclipses that of states like Vermont and Wyoming, and its GDP is higher than 16 other states.

Oliver noted that when the Dalai Lama came to visit D.C. some years back “…he wondered why ‘a small pocket’ of people living in the world’s ‘champion of democracy’ lacked full voting rights,” calling the practice, “Quite strange”—and Tibet isn’t exactly a bastion of democracy.

The District of Columbia does have Eleanor Holmes Norton, who acts as delegate to the U.S. Congress representing D.C., but “she basically has pretend power,” Oliver said, since she votes by committee, can’t vote on the House floor, can’t vote on tax reform, and can’t vote on whether the country should go to war.

There’s strange historical precedent here, including a clause in the U.S. Constitution granting Congress the power to “exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever” over the district. Residents in D.C. couldn’t even vote in presidential elections until 1964, and it took a constitutional amendment to grant them that right. Also, D.C. residents weren’t allowed to elect a mayor and City Council until July 17, 1966—when they were granted “Home Rule”—but it was still required that all legislation, including the city’s budget, be subject to congressional approval.

So for over two decades, Norton has introduced a series of bills trying to grant D.C. statehood or a vote in Congress—to no avail.

“Over the years, Congress has repeatedly stepped in when D.C. is about to do anything they disapprove of,” said Oliver.

Last November, 70 percent of D.C. voters approved Initiative 71 to legalize marijuana, but then congressional Republicans stepped in and enacted a rider preventing them from allocating funds to pass the law—which, Oliver said, doesn’t square with the Republican ethos of “limited government” and “states’ rights.”

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), a member of the House Oversight Committee, tried to justify stomping all over D.C.’s rights with the following explainer: “Well, Washington, D.C., is not a state. Washington, D.C., has a lot to offer, but…free rein on marijuana use? I just don’t buy that. I just don’t think that’s the way they should operate. So, states’ rights? Yes. But Washington, D.C., is not a state.”

But that isn’t even the half of it.

“The award for the most depressingly cynical thing that has ever been said about D.C. actually goes to our current president, who in 2011 avoided a government shutdown by striking a deal with John Boehner that included prohibiting D.C. from spending its own money on abortions for low-income women, saying, ‘John, I will give you D.C. abortion. I am not happy about it,’” Oliver said.

It seems that it’s been the GOP congressmen who, time and again, have sought to limit D.C.’s voting power or fought its right to statehood. Back in 2009, a bill to give D.C. a vote was introduced in the Senate, and the Senate did, according to Oliver, “the most dickish thing imaginable” by passing it with an itty-bitty addition: an amendment that would repeal all of D.C.’s gun control laws, including its ban on semi-automatic weapons; remove criminal penalties for possession of unregistered firearms; and alter its ability to enact future gun control legislation.

“As a result of that amendment, the bill was dropped, and D.C. hasn’t been close to getting a vote since,” said Oliver.

 
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Posted by on August 3, 2015 in The New Jim Crow

 

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Former DC Mayor Marion Barry Dead

Controversial DC Mayor Marion Barry has passed away…

To a lot of the residents of the DC area, Barry represented both some of the best of the area, and some of the worst.

 
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Posted by on November 23, 2014 in Giant Negros

 

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Not Just Crazy Tea Baggers — Man Sets Himself On Fire on Mall – Woman Shot After Crashing Car

Just when you thought things couldn’t get any crazier in DC.  First we get the government shut down by right wing terrorist whackjobs, masquerading as American legislators…

Then a woman shot to death after attempting to crash her car into the White House, and later the Capitol Building

Federal agents trying to stop the black Infiniti speeding between the White House and the U.S. Capitol fired seven shots at an unarmed driver with a toddler in the car as it rushed away from them, an uncommon tactic that occurred during a highly unusual chase.

A total of at least 17 shots were fired at two locations Thursday afternoon by two law enforcement agencies — the U.S. Capitol Police and the U.S. Secret Service. The final shots, near the Hart Senate Office Building, killed 34-year-old Miriam Carey of Connecticut, who police said had tried to ram through a security barrier at the White House, knocked over a uniformed Secret Service agent, hit cruisers and breached the outer security perimeter of the Capitol grounds.

And then this… A guy (with help) setting himself on fire on the National Mall.

Joggers and passerby try and extinguish flames with their shirts…

This one is somewhat reminiscent of Buddhist Monks during the Vietnam War, setting themselves afire to protest the War. To this point there doesn’t appear to be any political cause, nor have police found a motive. Unfortunately neither of the deceased appear to be from the band of terrorists holding Congress hostage. It seems that sometime after Raygun’s guns for drugs deal, treason became an un-prosecutable crime in this town for anyone above the level of first lieutenant….

Were it not so, the tarred and feathered remains of a certain Senator from Texas and his crew would be decorating the lampposts along Constitution Avenue about now.

Man sets himself on fire at National Mall, one witness says his accomplice filmed the entire ordeal: report

A man was in critical condition Friday night after he poured gasoline on his body and lit himself on fire on the National Mall.

Flames and smoke from the self-immolating man near 7th Street and Jefferson Drive, SW, were visible from the Capitol, where some staffers watched the scene from west facing windows, just a day after a car chase that ended with the shooting death of a woman just outside the Hart Senate Office Building.

The incident happened at about 4:30 p.m. on Friday in between the Air and Space Museum and the National Gallery. Passing joggers rushed to the man’s aid, several ripping off their shirts to help beat out the flames that burned 80% of his body, ABC reports.

“I’m not aware of any signage or any articulation of any causes,” said Lt. Pamela Smith of the U.S. Park Police, which has teamed up with the D.C. police department.

Tommy Hess, a tourist visiting his brother, said he was on the Mall, “milling around, because everything is closed due to the shutdown.”

“I never expected to see anything like that,” Hess said. “It’s crazy.”

Katy Scheflen, a furloughed civil rights attorney in the Justice Department, said she stopped because she saw “a guy with a tripod set up.”

Scheflen said another man, who she thought the tripod with a camera was filming, then took a red can of gasoline, poured it over his head.

“At that point we didn’t know what was going, maybe it was some sort of stage protest,” Scheflen said. “And then he set himself on fire and went up in flames,” she said. “Whoosh.”

The man, who has yet to be identified, died later of his injuries.

 
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Posted by on October 5, 2013 in Domestic terrorism

 

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Bill Cosby and Ben’s Chili Bowl

Most major cities have a business or meeting place that becomes an “institution”. In Washington, DC that institution is Ben’s Chili Bowl. Philly and Cheese Steak. Boston and Clam Chowder…You are not a Washingtonian until you have consumed at least one of Ben’s famous chili half-smokes. Ben’s clientele crosses all color and ethnic lines, political lines, and economic status. Used to be two places in DC where the rich and powerful rubbed shoulders with the common folks – the old RFK Stadium during a Redskins game and Ben’s. The Redskins have moved to new, more egalitarian digs…But Ben’s continues…

Ben’s turned 55 year old this week, and some big names, including President Obama, Rev Jesse Jackson, and Bill Cosby turned out to grab a bite and celebrate.

 
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Posted by on August 25, 2013 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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Jaws on the Potomac!

Just when you thought all the sharks had moved to tony Law Offices or cushy Lobbyist quarters on K street!

Seen 1 shark …You’ve pretty much seen them all. Turns out during the 1920’s there was a “bathing beach” located at the Tidal Basin, complete with sand down to the river. This is a collection of the “bathing beauties” attire one might have run into at that time.

From the Ghosts of DC Blog

This is not a joke. A long time ago, there was a perceived oncoming epidemic of invading sharks, hell-bent on destroying humans and their boats.

I found this article in the Washington Post from July 26th, 1911 — by the way, two days earlier, Hiram Bingham had announced the discovery of Machu Pichu. This shark story is fantastic.

Alexandria, Va., July 22.–Savage sharks, which have attempted to climb on board small boats and drag occupants into the water, have created widespread excitement among the rivermen of this city, and are responsible for the organization of the “society for the suppression of man-eating fish,” of which Capt. Henry Simmons is president.

According to Capt. Simmons, who had an encounter with one of the fish, the sharks are desperate, hardened, and totally without fear of human beings. They are not even scared of motorboats, he declares.

“Something must be done,” said Capt. Simmons last night, “before it is too late. Positive measures must be resorted to if these sharks are to be shown where they get off. We cannot afford to have our leading citizens attacked. As soon as I learn the best way of killing a shark, I shall lead a party that will exterminate them; yes, suh, exterminate them.”

Capt. Simmons’ adventure occurred about 30 miles below here, last Wednesday. He was moving along in his gasoline boat, when, in the distance beheld a man in a batteau [sic], who seemed to be earnestly punching something. As Capt. Simmons drew nearer, his horrified eyes discerned a giant shark–a creature between 15 and 20 feet long–which was determinedly trying to climb into the small craft.

While he hurried to the batteau man’s assistance, the fish made a vicious leap, and almost got over the gunwale. The man punched the shark on the nose, and it fell into the water.

This is the way Capt. Simmons tells the rest of it:

“I was astonished. Throwing on the high speed clutch of my boat, I hurried toward the man who stood panting as he nursed the bruised place where his hand had come in contact with the shark’s face.

“Hurry,” he yelled, or you may be too late. This shark is trying to find something. I don’t know what it is, but I won’t give it to him.

“I picked up a chunk of iron and cautiously went alongside. As I did, the enraged shark came to the surface, and, with gleaming eyes, again rushed toward the batteau. His mouth was open, and I could see his interior works as he lashed himself against the side of the batteau. Just as he poised himself for a spring, I struck. I hit him fairly behind the ears, and, with a roar, he disappeared under the water and made away, leaving a trail of foam behind him.”

Returning to Alexandria, the captain spread the news, and, within a short time, plans were arranged for a shark hunt. Several other residents claim to have seen these creatures in the river. The “society for the suppression of man-eating fish” was formed late yesterday afternoon, and comprises the leading fishermen of this community.

OK – So that was fun (although a real article) establishing that a long time ago, sharks actually roamed the river up to near Washington DC. 30 miles south would have been about the Occoquan Bay. Of course the river was a lot bigger then, before much of it was drained to supply drinking and potable water to the region. If you are familiar with Georgetown. you will notice the canal is about 20-30′ higher than the surface of the river at 33rd st NW. That is because until about the Civil War, what is K St., where Wisconsin ends would have been under 10-20 ft of water. Several rivers/creeks were covered over as well. Here is a high res PDF showing where those rivers that were  covered over are in relationship to the modern DC. Goose/Tiber Creek still run under the streets today. The washington Monument sits at the edge of what was the river in 1792.

One of the earliest Maps of the (then) planned city of Washington, DC. You will notice that “Goose Creek” AKA Tiber Creek and James Creek are gone. That is because they were buried by city developers. Goose/Tiber still runs under Constitution Ave. which was the Washington City Canal.

In 1790, reportedly as 13′ shark was caught from the docks in Georgetown. which brings us to my latest story, SHARKS in the Potomac!

2 Sharks Caught at Mouth of Potomac River

Fishermen have caught two bull sharks at the mouth of the Potomac River in Maryland about 200 yards from a spot where people had been swimming.

John “Willy” Dean caught the 8-foot, male sharks weighing about 220 pounds each in nets on Tuesday near Point Lookout State Park where the Potomac meets Chesapeake Bay. The catch comes three years after Dean captured the first bull shark recorded in the Potomac in 37 years.

The first shark had drowned while caught in the net. The second was alive and thrashing when hauled on board by Dean and three other fishermen.

A National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration fact sheet says bull sharks live off the Atlantic coast and are common in lagoons, bays and river mouths. They can be found where fresh water meets salt water.

 
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Posted by on August 25, 2013 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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Another Kwame – Another Fraud

Kwame Brown – Orange Jumpsuit Politician of the Week Award

Small Government is corrupt government. One of the reasons conservatives so love that small government is the opportunity it provides for corruption.

Washington, DC’s city government has a long history and culture of corruption.  Many of the black contractors in the region won’t even consider making sales calls on the DC Government because of internal corruption.

From former Mayor Marion Berry to the current Kwame, this corruption has reached into the highest levels of the DC Government, forming a virtual boat anchor around the necks of the citizenry and the city’s ability to provide services.

The amazing part is that the stakes in the corruption, unlike other big cities – are so small. I’m not real sure this is the type of case Federal prosecutors ought to be chasing, though – as there seems to me to be a lot bigger fish to fry than some moron lying about his income on a loan application. Going after Kwame on this is a bit…

Overboard.

Speaking of boat anchors – Borrowing $50k for a 38′ boat? Obviously he was maxxed out on his Mercedes payment (Kwame had a reputation for driving expensive cars). If he had to borrow $50k for that size boat – he couldn’t afford it anyway. Boats in that size come with 300-600 gallon gas tanks – meaning a fill up for half a tank, which is where most prudent boaters fill – is $750 – $1,500. That doesn’t count $2-3000 a year in slip fees, $1,500 in winterization costs, and normal repairs and maintenance…

It had to be a used boat, because the last time I went to the Annapolis Boar Show, you couldn’t buy the steering wheel on a quality boat in that class for $50k. And I have known guys who spent that much on the electronics package and fishing gear on their boats.

And with the mortgage industry fraud and theft by bank of depositor funds though overdraft and other manipulated fees…

I’m not sure Kwame’s crime rises above theft of stolen money from a thief who stole the money in the first place.

Not to excuse Kwame – But…

I Don’t understand why these prosecutors aren’t putting the real thieves in jail.

D.C. Council Chairman Kwame Brown resigns after he is charged with bank fraud

D.C. Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown resigned from his seat Wednesday night, hours after he was charged with bank fraud, plunging the city government into a leadership crisis.

“Because of the great respect that I have for the institution that is the Council of the District of Columbia, I have chosen the only honorable course in submitting my resignation at this time,” Brown wrote in a letter to the council secretary. “I simply will not hold this body, and its important work hostage to the resolution of my personal indiscretions.”

Earlier in the day, prosecutors filed a three-page charging document in the District’s federal court accusing Brown (D) of falsifying records in applications to obtain a home loan and to buy a $50,000 powerboat. Brown inflated his income by “tens of thousands of dollars” in the two-year scheme that started in August 2005, federal prosecutors wrote.

Brown, dogged for months by an investigation into his personal finances and his 2008 campaign for a council seat, is scheduled to attend a plea hearing Friday before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon. Bank fraud carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison, but under federal sentencing guidelines, Brown will face far less potential punishment.

The disclosure of the charges set off a frenzy of activity at the District’s John A. Wilson Building, including a hastily scheduled closed-door council meeting in Brown’s office.

Brown, 41, submitted his resignation quietly, in a letter delivered privately. He refused to address a platoon of reporters as he left his council offices about 4 p.m.

A politician who speaks of himself in the third person, has compared himself to President John F. Kennedy and has a love affair with expensive cars, Brown flashed a large grin as he shoved his way through the scrum and tried to ignore reporters’ shouted questions.

“I will have a comment tomorrow,” said Brown, who as recently as last week said that he was not “worried one bit” about an intensifying federal probe into his finances and a previous city campaign.

The charges against Brown came in a “criminal information,” a document that can be filed only with the defendant’s consent and which signals that a plea deal has been reached. Officials familiar with the case said that prosecutors and Brown’s attorney have been discussing the plea deal for weeks.

“Thank you,” he told reporters as he tried to get to his car. “No comment as of now. I appreciate you for waiting in this hallway all this time. I don’t have a comment.”

On Wednesday night, well after Brown had left the Wilson Building, city workers removed his nameplate from his office door, leaving only the word “Chairman” near Room 504…

Brown is the second council member this year to be charged with a federal crime. Last month, former council member Harry Thomas Jr. (D) was sentenced to 38 months in prison after pleading guilty to stealing more than $350,000 from city taxpayers.

 
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Posted by on June 7, 2012 in Orange Jumsuit Politicians

 

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Eric Sheptock, Homeless Advocate for the Homeless

Meet Eric Sheptock, who lives on the streets in Washington, DC, and is a homeless advocate using the power of the Internet to get the message about the homeless out…

D.C’s ‘homeless homeless’ advocate

Eric Sheptock has 4,548 Facebook friends, 839 Twitter followers, two blogs and an e-mail account with 1,600 unread messages.

What he doesn’t have is a place to live.

“I am a homeless homeless advocate,” he often tells people. That’s the line that hooks them, the one that gives Sheptock – an unemployed former crack addict who hasn’t had a permanent address in 15 years – his clout on the issue of homelessness. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 25, 2010 in General

 

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Did the Earth Move For You?

Geez – BTx3 was jolted awake by an earthquake this morning  at 5 AM. This stuff may be old hat to you Californians – but in this part of the country it’s fairly rare. Only lasted a few seconds, but it sounded like a 747 was landing on top of the house. with things vibrating and shaking. Reports this morning say that it was 3.6 magnitude, centered just northeast of where I live across the border in Maryland. No damage, except to a few nerves…

Shaken not stirred… Indeed!

 
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Posted by on July 16, 2010 in Nawwwwww!

 

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Slavery, Today… In Washington, DC

If you belive slavery ended with the Emancipation Proclamation and 13th Amendment in the United States…

You are wrong.

Slavery exists today in the United States… Right in the shadow of the Capital Dome.

Foreign Diplomats are protected from prosecution, under Diplomatic Immunity protocols. Occasionally, this has resulted in severe abuses of American laws.

Embassy Row is Located on Massachusetts Avenue In DC, and is the location of over a dozen foreign Embassies located either directly on Mass Ave or the adjacent side streets (above).

Trafficking Report: No Mention of Diplomats in D.C. with Slaves?

In Washington on Monday morning, June 14, Hillary Clinton unveiled the State Department’s 10th annualreport on modern-day slavery, which evaluates the efforts of every nation to combat the crime. For the first time, State ranked the antislavery efforts of the U.S. alongside those of 174 other countries. The U.S. rated itself as being in full compliance with the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA). But the report appears to have ignored a new congressional mandate to identify specific cases of countries whose diplomats allegedly harbored slaves within a few miles of Clinton’s remarks – even though it indicates that such cases exist.

The congressional mandate was prompted in part by the abuses of a Tanzanian diplomat named Alan Mzengi, who was minister of consular affairs at his country’s embassy in Washington. In a January 2008 ruling, a U.S. district court judge found that Mzengi and his wife forced a 20-year-old woman named Zipora Mazengo into domestic slavery in their six-bedroom Bethesda, Md., home. In her April 2007 lawsuit against the couple, Mazengo, by then 27, said that as soon as she arrived from Tanzania in June 2000, the diplomat confiscated her passport and her employment contract. For the next four years, Mazengo said, the Mzengis forced her to perform domestic work 112 hours per week for no pay. At night she shared a room with the Mzengis’ infant, one of three children under her responsibility. (See a summary of the 2009 Trafficking in Persons Report.)

She claimed that the diplomat taunted her, his wife beat her, and both forbade her from leaving the home unaccompanied – even when her sister was dying in Tanzania. Mazengo’s ingrown toenails festered to the point where she could no longer wear shoes, yet the Mzengis denied her medical treatment for two years and forced her to shovel snow barefoot. When they finally allowed her emergency surgery, they ignored her doctor’s orders and put her back to work the same day. Finally, in August 2004, Mazengo escaped with help from a customer of the Mzengis’ side business, a catering service. (See South Africa’s struggle to address a new slave trade.)

Mzengi’s abuses outraged the late Congressman Tom Lantos, a California Democrat who himself was a survivor of forced labor as a young man. In 2007 he demanded that the Tanzanian diplomat “be kicked out of the country” by the State Department. Shortly thereafter, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) faulted State’s insufficient response to some 42 domestic workers who between 2000 and 2008 had accused foreign diplomats of abuse on U.S. soil. The number of unknown cases, the GAO found, was likely much higher. The 1961 Vienna Convention shields diplomats and their families from many types of prosecution by their host countries, and some diplomats have used that status to intimidate their servants into silence about abuses. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 15, 2010 in News

 

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A Steetcar Desired – Streetcars to Return to DC

A great idea, which never should have been ditched – there is work afoot to put a new Streetcar Line in Washington DC!

As a little tyke I rode one of these from a parking area in Georgetown over to the 7th Street shopping area with my mom to the Department Stores before they built the big Suburban Malls (which wasn’t that long ago!).

For years after they closed the line, the Trolleys still ran as an amusement at the old Trolley yard near Glen Echo.

Georgetown never fully tore up the old trolley tracks (hell – they still got bricks in the street from George Washington’s time!).The old has become new – and this is a far more energy efficient (and cleaner for the environment) system than taxis or buses!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Streetcars Return to DC“, posted with vodpod

 
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Posted by on May 14, 2010 in News, The Post-Racial Life

 

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Black Conservative Apoplexy – Crime Rates Fall

Stock in trade of the black conservative lexicon is the inferiority of the black community…

Black conservatices like Walter Williams lauded te initial publication of this (largely fictional) work by Jared Taylor of the New Century Foundation.

Lighter People are Brighter People

The FBI is reporting significantly falling crime rates in virtually all major metropolitan areas – despite an economy in the toilet, and unemployment reaching 30% in urban areas. Bucking the trend has been that crime is rising in small towns, which likely reflects the rural and suburban dynamic of the current heroin epidemic. Of course, because the vast majority of the new generation of heroin addicts are  middle class suburban and rural  white kids – don’t expect conservatives to jump up and down using terms like “epidemic”, or promoting special criminalization.

If you are light, alright. Brown - stick around. Black - get back!

D.C. homicides hit lowest level since ’64

The year is drawing to a close with homicides in the District at a 45-year low, reflecting a national trend that law enforcement officials are attributing to multipronged crime-prevention strategies that include advances in communication and coordination.

With just two days left in the year, according to preliminary numbers from the police department, the District has had 138 homicides compared with 184 at the same time last year, setting up the city to record the lowest number of homicides since 1964, when 132 were reported killed. Metropolitan Police Department officials attribute the decline to a “perfect storm” of crime-fighting strategies, including a new culture of communication within the police department…

The result this year has been a drop in violent crime and property crime. The sharpest drop was in homicides, at 25 percent, followed by a 16 percent decline in sexual assaults and a 10 percent decrease in car thefts.

The department has also reported a 75 percent homicide closure rate so far this year and put a lid on violence in the Trinidad neighborhood, ending a spasm of killing in the Northeast Washington neighborhood that grabbed national headlines last year.

Now, I haven’t listed even some of the most egregious examples of Uncle Tomming by black conservatives. There just isn’t room. ..

I can’t wait for the first book by a black conservative, actually lauding an improvement (ANY improvement) in the black community – or making a valid comparison with the greater community as a whole!

I won’t hold my breath, though.

 
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Posted by on January 7, 2010 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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