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Smithsonian African-American Museum Opens

The National Museum of African American Culture and History has opened. Love the idea, but really am no fan of the building architecture, which is both decidedly visually unexciting, and unlike the Native American Museum seems to have no visual cultural clues as to it’s function.

National Museum of African American History and Culture; (NMAAHC) construction site - Conststution Avenue and 14 th Street image taken on Conststution site October 23, 2015.

 

Smithsonian’s National African-American Museum opens at last

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture was over a century in the making. In 1915, black Civil War veterans collected funds they later put toward creating a museum on the National Mall that would celebrate African-American achievement. In 1929, President Calvin Coolidge signed Public Resolution 107, establishing a commission to plan its construction, but the project went nowhere. It took a renewed effort by lawmakers and African-American leaders beginning in the 1960s, and then decades of planning and proposals, before President George W. Bush signed legislation in 2003 authorizing the museum, which is set to open September 24, steps from the Washington Monument.

“It’s one of those sites and projects that comes about only once in a generation,” says the lead designer of the building, David Adjaye. “It’s always magical to complete a project, but to complete this one on the National Mall, it’s very profound. It’s very humbling.”

Construction on the exterior of the building, a glass structure wrapped in a three-tiered bronze-colored scrim that’s meant to recall a motif in African sculpture (it looks like boxes stacked on a figure’s head), was completed in 2015. Curators are now filling the galleries with artifacts from a collection of some 34,000 items spanning centuries or longer. Museum Director Lonnie Bunch says the exhaustive preparation and organizing is “really almost like planning a military exercise.”

Larger artifacts already in place include a 1944 training plane used by the black military pilots known as the Tuskegee Airmen; a once-segregated railway car and a guard tower from the Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola, both of which the museum lowered in place with cranes before constructing the roof; a 19th-century slave cabin from South Carolina; and Chuck Berry’s red Cadillac.

“When I walk through, I feel the weight of my ancestors,” Bunch says. “I feel an amazing sense of joy that we are close to giving to America, giving to the world, a gift. A gift of understanding who we are as a people in ways that we haven’t before.”

The museum’s nine floors contain three history galleries covering slavery through present day, including the #BlackLivesMatter movement; a theater named for donor Oprah Winfrey; culture galleries featuring African-American icons of music, theater, film and television; and a Contemplative Court, where visitors can reflect on what they’ve seen.

Adjaye has said “there’s triumph and there’s also incredible tragedy” in the history of the African-American experience. Bunch agrees: “You cannot tell stories of celebration and resistance without understanding the trials and travails.”

 
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Posted by on June 2, 2016 in Black History

 

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Takoma Cop Attacks Black Girl for Riding a Bike

This Out-of-Control Cop stops, and then attacks a 15 year old girl for the crime of riding a bike through a Mall Parking lot. Tases her after she is down, and then charges her wit assault!

White cop brutally beats black teen for riding bike — then charges her with assault

A Tacoma, Washington family is suing over the brutal beating in 2014 of then-15-year-old Monique Tillman, who a Tacoma Police officer pulled off her bicycle, choked and then shocked with a Taser.

The Free Thought Project reported Saturday on the attack, which was recorded by security cameras.

Monique Tillman and her brother were bicycling home on May 24, 2014 when they cut through the parking lot of the Tacoma Mall. Officer Jared Williams, a uniformed white officer of the Tacoma Police Department, was working mall security that day. He pursued the two teenagers — who are black — and informed them that they were trespassing on mall property.

When the girl tried to explain that she and her brother live nearby and routinely cut through the parking lot, Williams became enraged and attacked the girl.

The officer jerked the girl off her bike and began choking her, slamming her against a car and slinging her around like rag doll. He then shocked her with a Taser.

“He was choking me, grabbed me by my hair and tried to slam my face into the concrete. The next thing I know, I’m on the ground being tased,” the girl said.

Williams arrested the teen and charged her with resisting arrest and assault on an officer. The charges were dismissed by the court.

Now, the family is filing suit this week against Williams, the mall’s parent company and the security firm that Williams was working for.

 
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Posted by on May 14, 2016 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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Why DC’s Metro Subway System Is Failing

One of the central destructive beliefs of right wingers is that the Government is evil. That and that somehow you can tax cut your way out of debt. That is about as stupid as saying I am jobless, so I don’t need my computer and the Internet. When Republicans control the House, which appropriates all the monies to run the Government – bad things happen. Having an inborn and irrational hatred of DC, that means that cuts and services to the region tend to go to hell in a handbasket.

One of the original designs for the DC Metro included Red Cars

The METRO Subway system is the second largest in the United States behind that of New York City. It carries 800,000 Passengers a day. 53% of those riders are Federal employees, and as such, the system is crucial to the day to day operation of the Federal Government, which actually “leases” all the Federal Grounds, including that of the White House, Capitol, Mall, and Federal Buildings in lieu of paying Taxes for city maintenance of roads, sewer, water, and City Services (Police/Fire). There is no Federal Fire and Rescue, although there are about 25,000 Federal “Police” of different types in the City – making the City have the highest number of Police per capita in the US…And perhaps the world. There are 28 separate police departments in DC, only 4 of which belong to the city.

 

  • DC Metropolitan PD (MPD)
  • US Marshals (DOJ)
  • DC Dept of Corrections
  • DC Public Library Police
  • DC Housing Authority Police
  • Metro Transit Police
  • Washington National Cathedral Police (one of my personal favorites)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Was…
  • DC Protective Services (another interesting agency http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dis…)
  • US Capitol Police
  • US Secret Service – Uniformed Division
  • Supreme Court Police
  • US Park Police
  • Bureau of Engraving and Printing Police
  • US Mint Police
  • Smithsonian Police
  • US State Dept Diplomatic Security Service
  • NCIS
  • Army Criminal Investigative Command
  • USAF Office of Special Investigation
  • US Coast Guard Investigative Service
  • US Postal Inspectors
  • FBI Police
  • Federal Protective Service (DHS)
  • Government Printing Office (GPO) Police
  • ATF
  • Federal Bureau of Prisons
  • DEA
  • Military Police

When there is a Republican majority in the House, there is a constant effort to submarine this system of payments, which includes payments to the METRO System to provide services supporting Federal Agencies. A number of the Subway stops on the METRO are where they are, specifically to serve clusters of Federal Buildings. which doesn’t get into all the special services provided to support Inaugurations, the Capitol security and Homeland.

There has been a Republican majority in the House since 2010

This doesn’t let systemic mismanagement at Metro off the hook – but is part (a BIG part) of the problem.

Congress to D.C.: We won’t ‘bail out’ Metro

House lawmakers made it clear that Congress won’t be cutting big checks to help the struggling transit agency.

Congress won’t be cutting big checks anytime soon to help D.C.’s troubled Metro system cover its operating costs, House lawmakers warned Wednesday.

A number of the 45 year old 1000 Series Cars are still running awaiting replacement

“I tell you: I am not going to bail you out,” shouted Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.), chairman of a House Oversight transportation panel, during a hearing about the sometimes life-threatening safety and maintenance woes that forced a daylong shutdown of Metro’s rail system last month. He ripped into Metro officials, saying they had millions of dollars in funding on-hand but didn’t spend it as needed.

Virginia Democratic Rep. Gerry Connolly fired back at Mica for trying to pin Metro’s financial burden on D.C., Maryland and Virginia, which help pay for the system’s operations. He noted the system’s benefit to the federal government.

“He says he doesn’t want a burden on his people,” Connolly said. “Well, I don’t want a burden on mine.”

At the hearing, Metro Board Chairman Jack Evans pleaded with lawmakers to boost their contribution to the beleaguered system’s operations account, which lacks a steady funding stream despite sprawling over three jurisdictions. Evans says the feds should contribute $300 million annually for operational needs.

The new 7000 Series cars feature better seating, more handholds for standing passengers, easily replaceable flooring, and a number of electronic features, Deploying them to replace the 50 year old original cars has been held up by budgeting.

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority has received congressional appropriations for capital projects since 2008, in addition to grant money from the Federal Transit Administration for upgrades, but typically gets no funding for running the system aside from fare revenues and its state and local government support.

Mica said Metro’s unliquidated balance as of mid-March was $783 million. WMATA officials couldn’t immediately verify that number.

Local lawmakers have generally trod carefully when talking about Congress’ role in boosting WMATA’s accounts, saying the agency should demonstrate a better safety record and command of its finances before getting more money from them. Maryland Sen. Barbara Mikulski, the top Democrat on the Appropriations Committee, has been key to securing $150 million annually since 2008 for capital projects at Metro, but the money can’t be used for operating expenses.

“When you do the math, your United States Senate and the taxpayers of America have provided over $1 billion for Metro,” Mikulski said Wednesday at a meeting with Metro general manager Paul Wiedefeld before the House hearing. “So we not only want to know if we’ll be getting our money’s worth, but we really do care about the constituents and the riders — about what is going on.”

Evans said Metro’s high operating costs are in part due to its size — it’s the second-largest transit system in the United States. If Congress doesn’t increase its commitment to Metro, he said, “next time something happens, I’m blaming it on you guys.”

Referring to Mica’s complaint about nearly $800 million of unspent money, Wiedefeld said Metro can be under contract to receive major purchases — such as new buses or rail cars — and the cash doesn’t immediately flow out if, for example, it’s still waiting to receive the products. So the money has been obligated for specific projects.

“I just would urge you quickly to help dispel this myth of, you’re sitting on a lot of capital and you don’t know what to do with it,” Connolly said.

 

 

 

 

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Things Not Looking Good for DC!

Last night less than an inch of snow paralyzed the Washington DC Metro area…

Now DC not really being a Northern City, my rule is to stay home (if possible) through the early parts of the first 2 snows, while Darwin eliminates a) the folks who have never driven on snow, and b) the morons in mega SUVs who haven’t learned yet that 4 wheel drive won’t stop you on ice – by allowing such folks to either crash into each other, innocent victims, or inanimate immovable objects. With such self-eliminated from those trying to get from place a to b – the roads become much safer. Don’t even think about going to the grocery store as ever ounce of milk and bread will be bought as folks stock up for 6 months even for a 3″ snowfall.

Inch of Snow Grinds D.C. to a Halt

After just an inch of snow Wednesday night, Washington, D.C., traffic was plunged into traffic chaos by a small storm system. Wednesday’s untreated roads led to icy conditions, with more than 100 area accidents and drivers at a standstill for nine hours. Even President Obama’s motorcade slid on the roads, making his evening commute stretch to nearly 90 minutes. A second, far larger storm may drop up to two feet of snow in the coming days, forecasters say.

Mayor Muriel Bowser tweeted Thursday: “Last night the District failed to deploy the necessary resources in response to the snow – for that I am sorry.”

Seeing as how Meteorologists are forecasting a full-on Blizzard this weekend, ranging from 24″-36″ of snow…

This is not encouraging. Parts of the Bus System was even out this AM – and the Subway will be out for a day or two as they clean the ice off the above ground track should the snow be as bad as expected.

After “Snowpocalypse” of 2010 when 2 separate storms each dumped 15-18 inches a day apart, and I was without electricity, heat, or water for 5 days – BTx3 bought a “Snow Emergency” kit, including Generator, gas camping stove, water storage, Indoor propane heater, and propane camping lights. Being an outdoor sportsman, I also have the sort of clothing suitable to subzero temps and camping equipment. The Generator is only short term use, as it is a portable and is loud as heck. It can run the microwave and toaster oven – but not the refrigerator.  I also have a Computer UPS system – although when the power goes out – usually the Internet dies as well.

Bunker Up!

 

 

 
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Posted by on January 21, 2016 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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Twerking Attack at DC Gas Station – Women Attack Man

This one is indeed strange…I think the guy was right to be suspicious about what was going on.

Victim of twerking attack at DC gas station speaks out

Two women are accused of sexually abusing a man inside a gas station, and police say they have made one arrest. Surveillance video captured the women “twerking” and touching the man— and that victim is now speaking out to FOX 5.

The man, who has asked not to be identified, said he was getting gas at the Shell station in the 1700 block of New York Avenue NE on October 7 around 4 p.m. when he was attacked. The video shows the women coming over to the man, and then they are seen twerking and groping him. The man said the suspects also flashed him while he pumped gas and followed him as he called police.

“You don’t know who these people are. I was afraid of my safety. Like I said, I thought they were either transvestites, or women, or men dressed like women,” the victim said.

According to the victim, he asked the cashier for help, and the man behind the counter told him, “What do you want me to do?”

The victim said there were men outside of the gas station who he believed to be pimps, and he was concerned about what would happen to him if he acted in self-defense.

“And then, when I had the idea that they were women, I thought they would have a pimp who was pushing them to be prostitutes who could have been outside with one of the gentlemen that were out there watching and witnessing, could have been with guns to come and shoot me. I did not want to be shot that day,” the victim said.

The victim said he is a teacher and does not want to show his face because of the backlash he has received on social media for filing a complaint.

Police arrested 22-year-old Ayanna Marie Knight of Las Vegas on Tuesday. She is facing a third-degree sex abuse charge. The other suspect has not been caught.

 
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Posted by on November 11, 2015 in Great American Rip-Off

 

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Louis Farrakhan – Republicans are “Whores”

20th Anniversary of the Million Man March. Nowhere near as big a crowd but the Rev spooled up and got it going. And, disappointingly….Takes a shot at Jewish people.

Nation of Islam leader compares GOP presidential field to ‘whore’ prostituting for money at ‘Justice or Else’ rally in D.C.

Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan Saturday compared the Republican presidential field to a “whore” who was prostituting herself for money.

At his “Justice or Else” rally, organized in Washington, D.C. to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the Million Man March, the controversial speaker also called America “hypocritical” for challenging human rights issues abroad, and said Jews “have no forgiveness in them.”

But Farrakhan saved his sharpest barbs for Republicans seeking the White House.

“They are like the pretty girl showing her wares for someone to buy her,” Farrakhan said in a speech on the steps of the U.S. Capitol.

“Who wants to be a whore? You think people who put their money behind you don’t expect something from you?”

Farrakhan, 82, addressed the “Black Lives Matter” movement that grew from the deaths of unarmed men and women at the hands of police, and said communities victimized by police brutality had had enough.

“This thing has reached the point of explosion,” Farrakhan said. “Even people of color at high places can’t take it no more. It’s like a volcanic explosion that’s coming now.”

Farrakhan chided blacks for being too tolerant and too forgiving of their abusers.

“Find me a Jew who forgives Hitler,” Farrakhan said. “And they say they’re the children of God, and they don’t have no forgiveness in them.”

Thousands of sign-waving, banner-carrying, bus-riding demonstrators, many of whom rallied 20 years before, came from every corner of the country to reunite and launch new initiatives.

“We just want to be treated equally,” Edna Nixon, 36, a psychology student from East New York, said as she rode a bus from Brooklyn to Washington, D.C.

Nixon said she participated in recent “Black Lives Matter” protests, and said she came to Washington D.C. to demand justice.

“Being from East New York, all we do is fight for justice,” Nixon said. “It’s not about me, it’s about us. We’re all in this together.”

William Fleming Jr., 61, said he was at the 1964 March on Washington and the 1995 Million Man March.

“We’ve come a long way,” Fleming said. “I’ve seen a lot of change. From Martin Luther King’s dream to now. We have Obama as President. Growth has come a long way from the struggles that our leaders died fighting for.”

June Busacco, 52, a Brooklyn resident, said the activism must continue after the rally.

“I’m going to show my photos to the guys who hang out on the corner,” Busacco said. “If you can reach 10 people and those 10 reach another 10, then we’ve changed something. You have to pass that torch along to the young ones. Take that change and move forward.”

 
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Posted by on October 10, 2015 in BlackLivesMatter, Giant Negros

 

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Washington Supreme Court Rules Charter Schools Unconstitutional

About time someone figured this one out. Charter Schools should be answerable to the same rules and measuring stick as Public Schools. People my age have little belief that the purpose of the Charters is in any way to improve the education of black children.

Segregation Academies (Also called Charter Schools) were set up throughout the South to avoid integration by white parents. In the case of Prince Edward Schools in Virginia, the Public School System was shut down for 4 years, denying education to black students, while one of these Academies was set up.

 

State Supreme Court: Charter schools are unconstitutional

After nearly a year of deliberation, the state Supreme Court ruled 6-3 late Friday afternoon that charter schools are unconstitutional, creating chaos for hundreds of families whose children have already started classes.

The ruling — believed to be one of the first of its kind in the country — overturns the law voters narrowly approved in 2012 allowing publicly funded, but privately operated, schools.

Eight new charter schools are opening in Washington this fall, in addition to one that opened in Seattle last year…

In the ruling, Chief Justice Barbara Madsen wrote that charter schools aren’t “common schools” because they’re governed by appointed rather than elected boards.

Therefore, “money that is dedicated to common schools is unconstitutionally diverted to charter schools,” Madsen wrote.

Justice Mary E. Fairhurst agreed with the majority that charter schools aren’t common schools, but argued in a partial dissenting opinion that the state “can constitutionally support charter schools through the general fund.”

She was joined by Justices Steven C. González and Sheryl Gordon McCloud.

The ruling is a victory for the coalition that filed the suit in July 2013, asking a judge to declare the law unconstitutional for “improperly diverting public-school funds to private organizations that are not subject to local voter control.”

The Washington Education Association was joined by the League of Women Voters of Washington, El Centro de la Raza, the Washington Association of School Administrators and several individual plaintiffs.

“The Supreme Court has affirmed what we’ve said all along — charter schools steal money from our existing classrooms, and voters have no say in how these charter schools spend taxpayer funding,” said Kim Mead, president of the Washington Education Association.

“To tell you the truth, I cried. It’s been a long hard fight,” said Melissa Westbrook, an education blogger who chaired the campaign opposing the charter-school law in 2012.

Joshua Halsey, executive director of the state charter-school commission, criticized the court’s timing.

“The court had this case in front of them since last October and waiting until students were attending public charter schools to issue their ruling is unconscionable,” Halsey said. “We are most concerned about the almost 1,000 students and families attending charter schools and making sure they understand what this ruling means regarding their public-school educational options.”

The state Attorney General’s Office said attorneys are reviewing the decision, but had no comment Friday.

David Postman, communications director for Gov. Jay Inslee, said the governor’s office is reviewing the court’s decision and will consult with the Attorney General’s Office.

“But until we have a thorough analysis, we can’t say what that means for schools operating today,” Postman said.

Under the 2012 law, up to 40 new charter schools could have opened in Washington over a five-year period.

In December 2013, King County Superior Court Judge Jean Rietschel struck down the part of the law that would have made charter schools eligible for state construction money, but essentially cleared the way for the state commission and the Spokane school district to authorize new schools. Spokane is the only school district with such authority.

All sides expected the case to reach the Supreme Court, which heard oral arguments last October.

Washington State Charter School Commission Chair Steve Sundquist said that commissioners anticipated a range of possible outcomes affecting funding, but didn’t draw up a plan to deal with a complete reversal.

“We were not expecting a ruling as deeply disappointing as this one,” Sundquist said.

He said the commission’s lawyer in the Attorney General’s Office will be meeting Saturday morning with other attorneys to discuss options.

The attorney for the plaintiffs, Paul Lawrence, doesn’t think there’s much more legal work to do on the issue. But he acknowledged that much has to be sorted out regarding the nine charter schools that are already up and running.

“The bottom line is that the initiative is unconstitutional so the charter schools that were authorized under the charter-school initiative can’t be publicly funded,” Lawrence said. “If there’s any avenue, it’s going to be through some act of the Legislature.”

 

 
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Posted by on September 10, 2015 in The New Jim Crow, The Post-Racial Life

 

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