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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Egypt: A Glorious Revolution?


Modern history is a history of anti-statist revolutions every few hundred years. When they happen the leftovers or theocrats etc try to co-opt them and the State kills off the revolutionaries, temporarily lowers taxes and ends the raping of the peasants' kids etc, and then starts exploiting them more and more again until the next revolt.

Constitutionalism was supposed to protect against these slides to tyranny. We should return to our Bill of Rights and Egypt should have one.

Peasants' Revolt
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Richard II meets the rebels in a painting from Froissart's Chronicles.


The end: Wat Tyler killed by Walworth while Richard II watches / Richard addresses the crowd
The Peasants' Revolt, Wat Tyler's Rebellion, or the Great Rising of 1381 was one of a number of popular revolts in late medieval Europe and is a major event in the history of England. Tyler's Rebellion was not only the most extreme and widespread insurrection in English history but also the best-documented popular rebellion ever to have occurred during medieval times. The names of some of its leaders, John Ball, Wat Tyler and Jack Straw, are still familiar in popular culture, although little is known of them.

The revolt later came to be seen as a mark of the beginning of the end of serfdom in medieval England, although the revolt itself was a failure. It increased awareness in the upper classes of the need for the reform of feudalism in England and the appalling misery felt by the lower classes as a result of their enforced near-slavery.

The poll tax

The revolt was precipitated by King Richard II's heavy-handed attempts to enforce the third medieval poll tax, first levied in 1377 supposedly to finance military campaigns overseas.[1] The third poll tax was not levied at a flat rate (as in 1377) nor according to schedule[2] (as in 1379); instead, it allowed some of the poor to pay a reduced rate, while others who were equally poor had to pay the full tax, prompting calls of injustice. The tax was set at three groats (equivalent to 12 pence or one shilling), compared with the 1377 rate of one groat (four pence). The youth of King Richard II (aged only 14) was another reason for the uprising: a group of unpopular men dominated his government. These included John of Gaunt (the acting regent), Simon Sudbury (Lord Chancellor and Archbishop of Canterbury, who was the figurehead to what many then saw as a corrupt Church) and Sir Robert Hales (the Lord Treasurer, responsible for the poll tax). Many saw them as corrupt officials, trying to exploit the weakness of the King.[citation needed]


Labour shortage

The Black Death that ravaged England in 1348 to 1350 had greatly reduced the labour force, and, consequently, the surviving labourers could demand higher wages and fewer hours of work. Some asked for their freedom. They often got what they asked for: the lords of the manors were desperate for people to farm their land and tend their animals. Then, in 1351, King Edward III summoned parliament to pass the Statute of Labourers. The statute attempted to curb the demands for better terms of employment by pegging wages to pre-plague levels and restricting the mobility of labour; however, the probable effect was that labourers employed by lords were effectively exempted, while labourers working for other employers, both artisans and more substantial peasants, were liable to be fined or held in the stocks. The enforcement of the new law angered the peasants greatly and formed another reason for the revolt.
[edit]How the revolt was triggered

Incidents in the Essex villages of Fobbing [3] and Brentwood triggered the uprising. On 30 May 1381, John[4] or Thomas[5] Bampton[6] attempted to collect the poll tax from villagers at Fobbing. The villagers, led by Thomas Baker, a local landowner, told Bampton that they would give him nothing, and he was forced to leave the village empty-handed. Robert Belknap (Chief Justice of the Court of Common Pleas) was sent to investigate the incident and to punish the offenders. On 2 June, he was attacked at Brentwood. By this time, the violent discontent had spread, and the counties of Essex and Kent were in full revolt. Soon people moved on London in an armed uprising.[7]

First protests

In June 1381, Kentish rebels formed behind Wat Tyler and marched on London to join the Essex contingent. When the Kentish rebels arrived at Blackheath on June 12, the renegade Lollard priest, John Ball, preached a sermon including the famous question that has echoed down the centuries: "When Adam delved and Eve span, who was then the gentleman?"[8] The following day, the rebels, encouraged by the sermon, crossed London Bridge into the heart of the city. Meanwhile the "Men of Essex" had gathered with Jack Straw at Great Baddow and had marched on London, arriving at Stepney. Instead of a full-scale riot, there were only systematic attacks on certain properties, many of them associated with John of Gaunt and/or the Hospitaller Order. On June 14, the rebels are reputed to have been met by the young king himself, and, led by Richard of Wallingford, to have presented him with a series of demands, including the dismissal of some of his more unpopular ministers and the effective abolition of serfdom. One of the more intriguing demands of the peasants was "that there should be no law within the realm save the law of Winchester". This may refer to the statutes of the Charter of Winchester (1251), though it is sometimes considered to be a reference to the more equitable days of King Alfred the Great, when Winchester was the capital of England.


Storming the Tower of London

At the same time, a group of rebels stormed the Tower of London and summarily executed those hiding there, including the Lord Chancellor (Simon of Sudbury, the Archbishop of Canterbury, who was particularly associated with the poll tax), and the Lord Treasurer (Robert de Hales, the Grand Prior of the Knights Hospitallers of England). The Savoy Palace of the king's uncle John of Gaunt was one of the London buildings destroyed by the rioters.

Smithfield



Richard II watches Wat Tyler's death and addresses the peasants in the background: taken from the Gruuthuse manuscript of Froissart's Chroniques (c. 1475).

At Smithfield on the following day, further negotiations with the king were arranged, but, on this occasion, the meeting did not go according to plan. Wat Tyler rode ahead to talk to the king and his party. Tyler, it is alleged by the king's chroniclers, behaved most belligerently and dismounted his horse and called for a drink most rudely. In the ensuing dispute, Tyler (supposedly) drew his dagger, and William Walworth, the Lord Mayor of London, drew his sword and attacked Tyler, mortally wounding him in the neck; Sir John Cavendish, one of the King's knights, drew his sword and ran it through Tyler's stomach, killing him almost instantly. Seeing him surrounded by the King's entourage, the rebel army was in uproar, but King Richard, seizing the opportunity, rode forth and shouted, "You shall have no captain but me,"[9] a statement left deliberately ambiguous to defuse the situation. He promised the rebels that all was well, that Tyler had been knighted, and that their demands would be met—they were to march to St John's Fields, where Wat Tyler would meet them. This they duly did, but the king broke his promise. The nobles quickly re-established their control with the help of a hastily organised militia of 7000, and most of the other leaders were pursued, captured and executed, including John Ball and Jack Straw, who was beheaded. Following the collapse of the revolt, the king's concessions were quickly revoked. Those involved hastened to dissociate themselves in the months that followed.
[edit]The Peasants' Revolt outside London

Although the most significant events took place in the capital, there were violent encounters throughout England, particularly in East Anglia.
Norfolk
Main article: Battle of North Walsham
The revolt broke out in 14 June and quickly spread across the county. It was suppressed by the Bishop of Norwich, Henry le Despenser at the Battle of North Walsham on 25th or 26th June, when the local leader of the revolt, Geoffrey Litster, was captured and executed.[10]

Conclusion

Despite its modern name, participation in the Peasants' Revolt was not confined to serfs or even to the lower classes. The peasants received help from members of the noble classes—one example being William Tonge, a substantial alderman, who opened the London city gate through which the masses streamed on the night of June 12.[11]
Although the Revolt did not succeed in its stated aims, it did succeed in showing the nobles that the peasants were dissatisfied and that they were capable of wreaking havoc. In the longer term, the Revolt helped to form a radical tradition in British politics (a development explained by Christopher Hampton, see further reading). After the revolt, the term poll tax was no longer used, although English governments continued to collect broadly similar taxes until the 17th century. The Community Charge, introduced 600 years after the Peasants' Revolt, was popularly known as the poll tax (particularly by its opponents).
[edit]Literary mention



Illustration from title page to William Morris's A Dream of John Ball (1888)

Geoffrey Chaucer mentions Jack Straw, one of the leaders of the revolt, in his satiric The Nun's Priest's Tale in The Canterbury Tales.

Froissart's Chronicles devotes 20 pages to the revolt.

The revolt is featured prominently in the climax of Anya Seton's historical novel, Katherine (1954). The main character, Katherine Swynford, survives the destruction of Savoy Palace.
John Gower, a friend of Geoffrey Chaucer, saw the peasants as unjustified in their cause. In his Vox Clamantis, he sees the peasant action as the work of the Anti-Christ and a sign of evil prevailing over virtue, writing, "...according to their foolish ideas there would be no lords, but only kings and peasants."

William Morris described the revolt in A Dream of John Ball (1888).
Singer-songwriter Frank Turner wrote "Sons of Liberty" on his album Poetry of the Deed about the revolt.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Tweet me baby

I don't know how many of you use Twitter.

I started using it more because my part time job blocked the word "Tea Party" on their computer in the wake of my (and my Tea Party co-conspirator Andrew Ian Dodge's) blogging conspiracy last year (the high point of my recent life which is why I can't shut up about it).

If you open an email or web page at my office with "Tea Party" in the subject line or web address the computer shuts down and must be re-booted.

It's their computer (fascist scum sucking sows) so I can't complain (may they rot in hell). To be fair (foul wretches, I curse you and your spawn) they also blocked youtube, facebook, and craigslist (though only for our city -- the morons left it so you can look at craigslist for towns only 40 miles away) and other things everyone in the office enjoyed. But "Tea Party" is the only verboten phrase which one cannot teach to the slaves on penalty of execution (of any running programs and your unsaved work). [My speculation is actually that the censorship is based on white "liberal" guilt -- some of the white people who own my company and especially the company it contracts to are dumb and cowardly enough to think my blogged Guide to DC for Visiting Tea Partiers actually IS racist, and they thought if my largely African American co-workers could read it they would get all riled up and act like animals. And of course my African American co-workers, most of whom I am friends with, have read it, and have told me very explicitly that I can say whatever I damn well please and that our company is crazy.

They can't block google, since that is needed for work. And so they cannot block Blogger or blogspots which are part of google (though opening up my own blog "Tea Party -- One Lump or Two?" will lead to execution).

And they also forgot to block Twitter.

I am enjoying the hash tags on Twitter used by people in anti-statist movements to make it easy to search out their tweets: #Tea Party, #Red Eye, # tcot, and so forth. I have initiated a new one and plan to use it daily, #libertarianfun, for comical, ironic and sarcastic news and commentary of interest to libertarians or just intrinsically fun for the whole family, even the slow pro-regressive cousin or the old maiden Leftover Maddow-watching Aunt.

Egyptian revolution

Liberty-movement people: we have our own news source for Egypt. Cairo native and libertarian blogger ("Rantings of a Sandmonkey" blog) is tweeting and calling in tweets to a Jordanian friend:

Sandmonkey
my aunt lives next to presidential palace, she says she's hearing repeated gun battles #Jan25 #Egypt

Friday, January 28, 2011

So you are coming to CPAC (or the RLC convention)?

Herein a visitors' guide. I will be updating it. Please post any issues you want addressed or researched.


Metro (subway):

CPAC 2012 (the Conservative Political Action Convention) and the near-timed Republican Liberty Caucus national convention are both in great DC metro neighborhoods (Woodley Park for CPAC, Ballston-Arlington for RLC) that are virtually on top of the metro and within walking distance of restaurants, gyms, bookstores and hotels and B&Bs.

However, I am revising my infamous Guide because our metro system continues to display all the problems of any centrally planned government system. Labor Day weekend the National Transportation Safety Board ordered 5 Red line metro stops closed for safety repairs. This summer a gang rumble of 70 people in the metro system left several people hospitalized. And at the Beck 8/28 event the Foggy Bottom metro stop broke down entirely under hundreds of thousands of visitors. So though I have left my supposedly controversial guidelines below, I am amending them and now advocating that tourists avoid the metro when possible. Take the Circulator bus, walk (it's greener!), or use a cab -- if possible. If you must use the subway, then subscribe to the Metro system's daily internet alert of which piece is currently breaking down at: https://textalert.ema.dc.gov/index.php?CCheck=1. Basically the Metro, like most "public" property, fits the legal concept of an "attractive nuisance," like an unfenced swimming pool a toddler could fall into: it looks nice and shiny and futuristic, but it is fecklessly managed by people who do not make a profit by pleasing the consumer.

So this is mainly a list of cheap, good, free, bad, and safe or unsafe, and delightful, things. I am also reproducing hotel information from the Tea Party Patriots group, with my own additional notes.



Cheap

Silver Diner
3200 Wilson Bouelvard
Arlington, VA
and other locations see: www.silverdiner.com
[Clarendon metro stop, Blue and Orange line)

Pete's Diner
212 2nd Street SE
Washington, DC
(Good reasonably priced food on Capitol Hill; eat with the Congresscritters' staffers; across a side street from the Library of Congress)
[Capitol South metro, Blue and Orange Line]

Tandoori Time
1140 19th Street NW
Washington DC
Lunch buffet all you can eat (Indian) $7.99 plus tax
(downtown business distict)
[Dupont Circle metro, Red Line]

Pasha Bistro
1523 17th Street NW
Washington DC
tasty hamburgers and middle eastern food; free wifi; indoor & outdoor seating
(Dupont Circle, gay area)
[Dupont Circle metro, Red line]

CVS is the DC area drugstore chain and most carry simple hardwares and basic groceries (milk, bread, canned soup, TV dinners)

Trader Joe's
1101 25th Street NW
(25th and L)
Washington DC 20037
Competitively priced food and wine, underground parking garage free to customers, free sample counter in back cooking up a different treat every day
[Foggy Bottom metro, Blue and Orange line]

Some critics of the original 8/28 Guide wanted their favorite cheap eats listed. I think people can find a McDonald's on their own, but if you know of anything particularly interesting feel free to list it in the comments!



Good

Libertarianish Virginia economics professor Tyler Cowen extensively explores and reviews restaurants, especially Northern Virginia Asian fare, at http://tylercowensethnicdiningguide.com/

Both CPAC and RLC happen in urban hotels that are surrounded by restaurants that are good, but not great, that depend on the captive hotel guest market. Most are NOT destination dining for people who actually live in DC and NoVa.

Adding my own "bests"

Lebanese Taverna
2611 Connecticut Avenue NW
Washington DC 20008
$$ The best of the Woodly Park restaurants, just across the street from CPAC.

Ardeo/Bardeo
3411 Connecticut Avenue NW
Washington DC 20008
$$$$ One of DC's best restaurants. Be warned: crony capitalists and lobbyists like Vernon Jordan and former Clinton regime toadies abound. Just  7 blocks north of CPAC.

Lavandeau
3403 Connecticut Avenue NW
Washington DC 20008
$$$$ French and very tasty. Also just 7 blocks north of CPAC.

Westend Bistro
1190 22nd Street NW
Washington DC 20037
www.westendbistrodc.com/
DC outpost of Manhattan restauraunteur Eric Ripert. Slightly pricey but the complicated market salad or the spaghetti bolognese can be enjoyed for under $20. Nancy Pelosi, Alan Greenspan, Andrea Mitchell, Clint Eastwood, and other celebutants, good and evil, local and visiting, may be spotted.
[Dupont Circle metro, Red line, or Foggy Bottom metro, Blue and Orange lines] $$$$

Willow
4301 North Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA
http://www.willowva.com/
Happy hour prices much cheaper than many DC area restaurants. $5 glasses of very good wines and $5 appetizer plates. The quality of the food is similar to posh downtown DC see-and-be-seen places that cost 2-3 times as much. Outdoor and indoor seating.
[Ballston metro, Blue and Orange line] $$
This is very convenient to the RLC convention.

Jaleo
480 7th Street NW
Washington DC
http://www.jaleo.com/
Really near the Mall and monuments and close to a variety of metro stops. Tapas/Spanish. There is also a Jaleo in Bethesda, Maryland's restaurant row (should you be driving by Tingles Matthews' in neighboring Chevy Chase.)
[Chinatown metro, Red line] $$$

Hank's Oyster Bar
1624 Q Street NW
Washington DC 20009
Small menu which changes daily, the best food, bar, no desserts. Lovingly named by the owner/chef after her fisherman father. She also provides an additional Hank's in Alexandria, VA and CommonWealth (a British pub influenced restaurant) (best white bean soup I ever had) in the less safe Columbia Heights neighborhood (http://www.metroweekly.com/feature/?ak=4955). The Washington Post's Jonathon Capehart, who is imported (like Eugene Robinson and other black guests) to provide a rubber stamp of "urban" flavor on the all-white (-hosted) MSNBC (usually with the ultra-nordic Mika Brezinski and uber-suburban WASP Joe Scarborough on "Morning Joe") hangs here.
[Dupont Circle, gay area, Red line metro] $$$

Duplex Diner
2004 18th Street NW
Washington, DC 20009
The nicest gay hang out, mainly somewhat beautiful people. Some lesbians and straights allowed. The latest martini combined with pricey comfort food like mom used to make for her best little boy (pigs in blankets and tater tots are appetizers). This is at the foot of the hill of 18th street leading up into the dicier Adams Morgan, which is sprinkled with muggers and aggressive pan handlers. When I lived 3 blocks away and could walk home I ate and drank there every other night. http://www.metroweekly.com/feature/?ak=895
[Dupont Circle, gay area, Red line metro] $$$

Cantler's
458 Forest Beach Road
Annapolis, Maryland 21401
http://www.cantlers.com/
Should you stay in Annapolis, 45 minutes east of DC, besides going to a lecture at St. John's College or strolling through the 18th century architecture "downtown," you might want to eat Chesapeake Bay seafood on the water. I can't say Cantler's food is great (but it is good), since it is often breaded and fried into being standard sea food. But you can sit on the large dock looking at the water, either in the shade or sun, while you eat. Most pleasant. Use your GPS or mapquest because it is way down at the end of the road in a suburb east of Annapolis at the end of many twists and turns. Gravel parking lot, rustic decor. Moderately priced for the area. Sunshine, beer, seafood might be just the thing post-March.





Hotels

These hotels participated (with discounts) in the 9/12 FreedomWorks/Tea Party Patriots march. Of course CPAC is in a hotel and adjacent to another, as is RLC. So you may not need to use these.

Consider patronizing them. Here is what a Tea Party Patriots activist produced earlier this year:

The Beacon - ask for Patricia de Leon, Director of Sales
1615 Rhode Island Ave, NW, Tel-202-296-2100
Ask for the Tax Day Tea Party Rate
Sept-10th- check out on the 13th $129.00 per night.
Free newspaper daily; 15% off dining in the Beacon Bar/Grill.

The Melrose - ask for David Manalang, Director of Sales
On Penn Avenue; Tel-202-775-8589
September 10th and 11th @ 139.00 per night.
Ask for the Tea Party March on DC rate

Capitol Skyline - 10 I Street SW @ South Capitol Street; Tel-202-488-7500 Ask for Christopher Brenner. September 9-13th- check out. 200 Rooms @ 139.00 Ask for the
FreedomWorks rate; US Capitol just 5 blocks away. Free Internet, shuttle to Metro, sites.

Homewood Suites - Hilton Hotel
Ask for Timothy Starks, Tel-202-265-8000
Rate is under Freedom Works
September 9-14, (20) rooms @ 165.00

Four Points Sheraton - ask for Ayesha Arora-Sharma
601 Pennsylvania Avenue
Tel-202-289-7600
Ask for the Freedom Works rate
September 9-13, rate is $165.00
I have 35 rooms each night for this rate.

Four Points Sheraton - ask for Ayesha Arora-Sharma
601 Pennsylvania Avenue
Tel-202-289-7600
Ask for the Freedom Works rate
September 9-13, rate is $165.00
I have 35 rooms each night for this rate.

Holiday Inn - Georgetown
2101 Wisconsin Avenue
Tel-202-338-4600
Ask for the Group Manager
The group is under Tea Party

50 rooms @ $139.00.

Churchill Hotel, 1914 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington, DC; Tel-202-797-2000
Group is under Tea Party Rate is /was $195.00
Not sure if they care enough to help, always worth trying.

Hyatt Regency - On Capitol Hill, TPP HOST hotel
Tel-202-737-1234, ask for Rachel McCarty or George Yin.
This is where the Poster Party/Mingle happens 9/11, all day and night. $169.00 rate
(same rate for 4 to a room) ask for the National Taxpayer Protest Room Block

Liaison - An Affina hotel, right across street from Hyatt.
$169.00 rate, ask for the National Taxpayer Protest Room Block
This hotel may have more double beds than the Hyatt.
Tel-202-638-1616 ask for Kate Jersey. I have 50 rooms at this rate.

The Westin Grand - Washington DC, 2350 M Street
Tel-202-955-4403 ask for Freedomworks rate-$189.00
Ask for Stephanie Warren September 10th & 11th, 30 rooms each night.

HOTELS LOCATED OUTSIDE DC

Hyatt Regency Crystal City
Tel-202-955-4403 ask for Freedomworks rate-$189.00
2799 Jefferson Davis Hwy, Arlington, VA; Tel-703-418-1234
Ask for John Puglisi I have 25 rooms for Sept 9th and 12th
50 rooms for the 11th and 12th. All the same rate at $99.00 per night.
Ask for the National Taxpayers Protest 2010

Radisson - 2020 Jefferson Hwy Arlington, VA; Tel-703-920-8600
Ask for Shetal Bhalja-she will 100% work w/us.
Ask for the Freedom Works-Tea Party on-the-Mall rate.
$89.00-for a King $99.00 for two beds.
I have 30 rooms for September 10-12 (Friday and Saturday)

Washington Suites - 100 S. Reynolds Street, Alexandria, VA 22304
Tel-703-370-9600; Ask for the Group Manager; Ask for the Tax Payer March on DC
rate, $99.00 from September 8-13th. Continental breakfast each morning is included.
This is a suite hotel so every room has a kitchenette. I have 15 rooms for this rate.

Westin, pets allowed, doggie bed provided.
400 Courthouse Square, Alexandria, VA; Tel-703-253-8603 ask for Yasemin,
Ask for the Tax Payer March 2010; she will work with you too, 100%. I have 100 rooms the rate is now $159.00 September 10th and 11th I have 100 rooms.

Hampton Suites, Alexandria
Ask for April Washington, Tel-703-329-1400
Ask for the Tax Protestors rate, $109.00
Breakfast Included
You are the heart and soul of the Tea Party Movement. Thank you for promoting the causes of fiscal responsibility, constitutionally limited government, and free markets with us!



Now let me add to her guidance the following:


Bedbugs: the same big government we are protesting has led to an epidemic of bedbugs, as hotels, including the most luxurious hotels, "go green," and stop using bleach, hot water, and phosphate detergents on the sheets used by the massage therapists Al Gore tries to molest (allegedly!). Please check the websites of any hotel you intend to patronize, and if it promotes itself as a green hotel DO NOT STAY THERE! (Or call and ask: are you green? do you use bleach? do you wash in hot water?) One luxury hotel in downtown DC recently had a guest in its most expensive suite eaten alive, and had to comp her room and send her to the spa for free for a day of skin treatments.


Please also avail yourself of all the discount websites like Priceline.com etc. The DC metro area (including neighboring cities like Annapolis) is awash in hotel and motels, and you can probably find a suite with a kitchen and parking and a free breakfast for under $70 a night. I think the (Annapolis) Marriott Residence Inn is great and it is right off Route 50, a straight shot, 30 minute drive into DC. It could well be worth staying 30-45 minutes outside of DC, especially in Annapolis or some other town that will have its own interesting sites to see, which may well be safer at night and have free parking and lower prices.




Free

One can get free wifi access in many parts of DC: any Starbucks (and often any restaurant adjacent to Starbucks); most Barnes & Noble bookstores (which usually contain a Starbucks); Caribou Coffee (another chain, though it restricts your access to "adult" sites including some FaceBook functions); Illy's (at New Hampshire Avenue and M Streets NW), which also has the best coffee; and as I learned recently, Burger King. (You must try Illy's coffee, which you can also buy at groceries or on-line to make at home.)


DC residents have also urged me to tell you to go see National Zoo, which is indeed "free" in that your taxes already paid for it. I should have thought it was too obvious to require a Guide, but they seem to think you tea partiers are as slow as a federal bureaucrat. It is great. Avoid the tapirs; they spray a mist of urine to mark their territory, which can include your jacket. Rock Creek Park and the Smithsonian are nice too, should you be a federal employee who has become a tea partier and needs marching orders about what one can visit. The National Zoo is a four block walk north of CPAC.
(3001 Connecticut Avenue NW)
[Cleveland Park, Red Line Metro stops at Cleveland Park and Woodley Park]


Dumpster diving for peasants: DC is now, on average, the wealthiest place in America. The Imperial City of the Statist Malignancy (Big Government). A decadent urban parasite economy like Rome the year of its fall. Several of its suburban counties have the highest incomes in the United States (i.e. Tingles Matthews' and Eugene Robinson's lily white hoods) afloat on your tax dollars, while you drown with your mortgage under water. Most of NW DC is the same. The politicians, bureaucrats, lobbyists and campaign strategists who live here, from Bob Shrum to Hillary Rosen to the Elmendorfs, live among people who constantly throw away their 2 year old Mitchell Gold ottomans and Pottery Barn armoires and replace them with even posher oriental rugs and imported French antiques. Paid for with YOUR tax dollars.


So come in a Scott Brown truck or Mama Grizzly station wagon. (And there is no shame in that, these people have already spat at you all year calling you a racist hick, so why would you care what they think?) You don't even have to go to the dump. Just drive through the alleys in between the streets in Kalorama or Adams Morgan, particularly between 18th and 24th Streets NW. Gently used lamps, TVs, rugs, chairs, book cases, end tables, all yours for the taking, sitting beside the recycling and trash cans. And it is environmentally conscious to do so!





Safety and Mores


DC's population includes refugees from every country, as the families of embassy staffs of third world countries tend to stay in DC whenever a revolution in their homeland means that anyone in their family would be in danger if they went back. Most taxi drivers and many waiters/waitresses (especially in local coffee shops like the delightful Bread and Chocolate chain) are immigrants, frequently from east Africa or Arab countries. As a rule, African immigrants do not like for you to assume they are African Americans and especially do not like for you to guess they are from a neighboring country (e.g. Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia) with whom they may have political or military tensions. It's rare to meet anyone who gets really offended, but you can still be aware of the issue. (By the way this advice, about not treating the international residents of DC as if they were zoo specimens is not about race, as the mendacious Rachel Maddow suggested when she scuriously smeared me and this blog in August as a cowardly way of attacking Glenn Beck and the Tea Party movement. Should you end up in a fancier bar or restaurant with a server who may be either a Kiwi or an Aussie, s/he may not be happy to once more respond to guesses about whether s/he is from New Zealand or Australia. Use tact and judgement, or when drinking simply prohibit your curiosity from being verbalized.)

Many parts of DC are safe beyond the areas I will list here, but why chance it if you don't know where you are?

If you are on the subway stay on the Red line between Union Station and Shady Grove, Maryland. If you are on the Blue or Orange line do not go past Eastern Market (Capitol Hill) toward the Potomac Avenue stop and beyond; stay in NW DC and points in Virginia. Do not use the Green line or the Yellow line. These rules are even more important at night. There is of course nothing wrong with many other areas; but you don't know where you are, so you should not explore them.

If on foot or in a cab or bus, stay in Bethesda, Arlington (preferably north Arlington), Crystal City, Falls Church, Annandale, or Alexandria, or in DC only in northwest DC west (i.e. larger street numbers) of 14th or 16th streets, or if on Capitol Hill only in SE Capitol Hill (zip 20003) between 1st and 10th Streets, not farther out than 10th (e.g. 15th, 16th etc). (Or stay on the Mall and at the various monuments.) Again there are many other lovely places, from the Catholic University of America to Silver Spring, Maryland. But you don't know where you are so you cannot go, especially at night, unless you take me with you.

To see how my recommendations totally line up with crime statistics for DC, despite the libels of the Leni Reifenstahls at MSNBC, see: http://spotcrime.com/dc/washington.

Curiously, Washington City Paper editor Michael Madden joined the Leftover lemmings in suggesting that my 8/28 Guide was racist for suggesting that all metro stops were not created equal. But last week his paper admitted the same thing about schools: http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/housingcomplex/2010/08/26/school-house-rock-is-michelle-rhee-becoming-a-force-in-d-c-real-estate/

In addition local neighborhood yahoo groups and new sources are heavy on drive by daytime shootings (aimed at funeral processions) and evening rapes and beatings of visiting French au pairs at exactly the 13th and U area with the famous Ben's Chili Bowl that the Madcow smeared me about. Don't go. At night. Alone. If you are a tourist.




Delightful


A sometimes delightful aspect of DC is our abundance of think tanks, public lectures and book signings. Most of these are by statists trying to control your life, but a few are by groups that are the intellectual vanguard of the tea party movement. Many groups like the Brookings Institute, the American Enterprise Institute, or the Hudson Institute, have lunch lectures and give attendees who pre-register on their websites a free sandwish or buffet lunch (and many have streaming video on the internet of their lectures, sometimes also archived).


The most relevant of these for tea partiers, in DC at any rate, is the CATO Institute, named after the American Revolutionary pamphleteer who wrote Cato's Letters. CATO is located near Chinatown, Logan Circle, and the downtown K Street corridor:


CATO Institute
1000 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington DC 20005
http://www.cato.org/events/calendar.html.

CATO events during CPAC and RLC are:

February 8, 2011
Inflated: How Money and Debt Built the American Dream
Noon
Cato Book Forum
Featuring the author Christopher Whalen, Institutional Risk Analytics; with comments by Dean Baker, Center for Economic and Policy Research; and Alex Pollock, American Enterprise Institute; moderated by Mark Calabria, Cato Institute.


February 10, 2011
Restoring Limited Constitutional Government Starts with Congress
Noon
Cato Capitol Hill Briefing
2168 Rayburn House Office Building
Featuring Rep. Scott Garrett (R-NJ), Founder and Chairman, Congressional Constitution Caucus; and Roger Pilon, Vice President for Legal Affairs, and Director, Center for Constitutional Studies, Cato Institute; moderated by Brandon Arnold, Director of Government Affairs, Cato Institute.



February 15, 2011
Is Dodd-Frank Constitutional?
Noon
Cato Policy Forum
Featuring Mark Calabria, Director of Financial Regulatory Studies, Cato Institute; Hon. C. Boyden Gray, Former White House Counsel; Timothy R. McTaggart, Partner, Pepper Hamilton LLP, and former Delaware State Bank Commissioner; moderated by Ilya Shapiro, Senior Fellow in Constitutional Studies, Cato Institute.



Bad

This Guide was attacked and smeared by the all-white (-hosted) MSNBC network by that silly girl on the Rachel Maddow Show and her funny uncle on Chris Matthew's "Deballed," as well as by The Huffington Post and various minor agitprop websites (where paid Leni Reifenstahl wannabees write whatever George Soros, the Podesta brothers, General Electric, etc., tell them to say). None of them called me first, or even read my blog carefully, claiming I was a bumpkin who lived in deepest, whitest Maine. I suspect all of the "news" they purvey is equally accurate. Consequently I am listing the home addresses of The Washington Pest's Eugene Robinson and of DeBalled's Chris Matthews, in the two lily white suburbs where they reside, as tourist attractions. Drive down their streets and enjoy viewing the lovely multi-million dollar homes. But since they are technically not government officials, please do not protest.

Nancy Pelosi's condo
Washington Harbour
3030 K Street NW
Washington DC 20007
(30th and K Streets NW)
http://www.zillow.com/homes/3030-K-Street-NW-DC_rb/

Harry Reid's condo
Ritz-Carlton
1155 23rd Street NW
Washington DC 20037
http://www.zillow.com/homes/1155-23rd-nw-dc_rb/
(23rd and M Streets NW)

Bob Bauer/Anita Dunn
4413 Stanford Street
Chevy Chase, MD 20815

Tom Daschle's house
2830 Foxhall Road NW
Washington DC 20007

(Feel free to protest!)


Now as to the two local "gents" from the all-white(-hosted) MSNBC network who didn't call me, didn't read my blog with any care, just smeared me by name as a racist on national TV because they were both such big girls that that was easier than attacking Glenn Beck (like the Madcow, they just weren't man enough). They both live in the most lily white neighborhoods in DC! Obviously they don't like black people.




Eugene Robinson
5302 18th Street North
Arlington VA 22205
http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/5302-18th-St-N-Arlington-VA-22205/12067887_zpid/


Mr. Robinson's lives in a home assessed for just over $1 million, in a zip code that is 2% black (83% white) http://www.citymelt.com/zip/Virginia/22205-VA/Demographics.html. My friend Janet, an expert on East Africa, terrorism and arms control, observed that Mr. Robinson, his wife Avis, and their two sons may BE the 2% of the population who are African American in this zip code. Mr. and Mrs. Robinson run an admirable charity that raises scholarship funds to send minority students who manage to survive the DC schools to college. Of course by then it is too late, with most of these kids life chances destroyed by Robinson's "liberal" politics and his media cover ups and smears on behalf of the Democrat Party, which sells black kids to educrat unions for campaign dollars in our ongoing modern day slave trade. But his guilt is thereby assuaged.




Chris Matthews
9 East Kirke Circle
Chevy Chase, MD 20815
http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/9-E-Kirke-St-Chevy-Chase-MD-20815/37168234_zpid/


Tingles, aka Spittles, Matthews, host of the all-white MSNBC's evening smear show DeBalled, lives in a house worth over $2 million, twice the value of the average residential property in ritzy Chevy Chase, where many political and media elites (from Anita Dunn to Nina Easton, George Will, and Charles Krauthammer, etc.) live. Chevy Chase is 3.7% African American and 89% white (http://www.city-data.com/zips/20815.html). The average African American owned property is worth only 87% of that of the white Chevy Chase resident. Need one say more about Chris Matthews and his obvious racism?




Other points of interest


Center for American Progress
1333 I Street NW
10th floor
Washington DC 20005
One of the main anti-tea party groups, funded by the Podesta brothers and George Soros, and providing employment in exile for Obama Czar Van Jones.


Media Matters
455 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Suite 600
Washington DC 20001
Funded by much the same people as the Center for American Regress, Tedium Tatters is the sponsor of a smear site aimed at attacking tea parties.




Anthony Podesta
2438 Belmont Road NW
Washington DC 20008
A lobbyist for BP and a major funder of anti-tea party groups.


Andrea Mitchell and Alan Greenspan
2710 Chain Bridge Road
Washington DC 20016
http://www.zillow.com/homes/2710-chain-bridge-dc-20016_rb/#/homes/for_sale/Kent-Washington-DC/121744_rid/38.925688,-77.096465,38.925062,-77.097811_rect/18_zm/1_rs/1_fr/
Another MSNBC host.


Chuck Todd
3723 Vernon Street
Arlington, VA 22207
Another MSNBC politico.


Postcript

I have no connection to any official group and my views are not paid for by General Electric, George Soros, John Podesta, ad nauseum.

CPAC2012/Can't we all get along?/I have a spare room key and I am a good kisser

A reader on a Libertarian board on LinkedIn queried me about why I am wasting his time posting information on the treyf and impure hoi polloi among the Tea Parties and CPAC (proving that it is not only pro-regressives and Leftovers who can get all snotty and pretentious).

And my answer to him was (edited slightly for this posting):

V----- you might want to read about this development over the past several years.

You can find videos from last year in the archives of my Tea Party blog "Tea Party -- One Lump or Two?"

The Libertarian Party has had a booth in the exhibition booth at CPAC for years.

Now the Campaign for Liberty and Young Americans for Liberty do as well, and Ron Paul and his posse (Gary Johnson, Judge Napolitano, Tom Woods and other small-l libertarians) and thousands of their college age groupies attend as well.

Last year the slightly libertarian-leaning (they have some way to go on foreign policy) gay group GOProud had a booth for the first time, and this year they are a sponsoring organization. They have an advisory board with some well known libertarianish conservatives (Grover Norquist, Andrew Breitbart, Tammy Bruce, Margaret Hoover).

Last year some anti-gay conservatives from Young Americans for Freedom demanded (from the podium) that GOProud and gays be thrown out. The small-l LIBERTARIANS (heterosexuals by the way) in the audience, led by Jeff Frazee from Young Americans for Liberty, shouted him down (see my videos).

This year many social conservative groups like the Family Research Council are pulling out of CPAC and demanding that it rename itself the Libertarian Political Action Committee, because it is allowing gays to run about without their leashes. I am very sad about this because from their president Tony Perkins on down to the staff at their booth, the Family Research people, male and female, are hot blonds who look like they are the product of some pro-family action from Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. (I also agree with them on a limited number of social topics, from the evil of partial birth abortion to the fascist tendencies of the so-called gay rights lobbies.)

One curious historical note about this turn of events is that the modern libertarian movement formed in part because pro-pot legalization, pro-gay rights, anti-Vietnam War libertarians, Randians, etc were tossed out of Young American for Freedom in the 1960s, taunted and smeared as "lazy fairies" (i.e. "laissez faire" -- which raises the question of whether these early YAFfers went on to become writers or associate producers for Keith Olberman or Ed Schultz?)

Now it seems that the anti-libertarians are the ones being tossed out, or rather, running off the playground in a hissy fit looking for their nanny to kiss their boo-boo.

Anyway I will be at CPAC. And I am single and available.

Grover Norquist, Libertarian(ish) Machiavelli

POLITICO: Heritage changes CPAC explanation - Ben Smith - Heritage changes CPAC explanation

Ben do you realize that none of you reporters who are covering this have asked the obvious question: who benefits?

I hate to state the obvious since I favor Grover Norquist' goals, which everyone from Spittles Matthews on "DeBalled" to you kids at Politico, to the Family Research Council people are oblivious to. Grover boosts GOProud's board by being the first heterosexual man to join it (which makes it easier for Breitbart and other heterosexuals, especially heterosexual men, to join).

GOProud attends CPAC, which irritates and drives out groups that are rivals of Grover's Americans for Tax Reform, and have a different view for the GOP than does his strictly limited government, fiscally focused group. Grover and his allies (FreedomWorks, Tea Party Caucus etc) rake in all the chips.

I think Politico needs to hire me. I will do a column called "Pointing Out the Obvious."

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Company That Brought Us ‘Lives Touched’ Set to Drop Over 1,000 Employees

Company That Brought Us ‘Lives Touched’ Set to Drop Over 1,000 Employees


Company That Brought Us ‘Lives Touched’ Set to Drop Over 1,000 Employees


De-Stimulating
This past summer, we covered a strange new metric popping up in job reports being provided by the Department of Energy; not jobs created or jobs saved, but rather – lives touched.
…(a) GAO report shows that the phrase ‘jobs created’ or ‘jobs saved’ is no longer the term of choice. They have decided to go with – wait for it – ‘lives touched’.
So what exactly defines a touched life?
A spokesperson from the CH2M Hill Plateau Remediation Company explains:
“Lives Touched” is a figure that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) uses to track the amount of people who have been positively affected by the Recovery Act funds. This total would include people who have been provided full time employment (i.e. saved and created jobs) through the Recovery Act and people who at some point have supported a projectfunded by the Recovery Act.
CH2M was prominently posting the number of lives touched by the stimulus on their website, but transitioned away from that shortly after our report in the Daily Caller.
The positive and negative effect of this company on stimulus results is significant. The CH2M Hill Plateau Remediation Company was listed as having been awarded four of the top ten contracts from stimulus funds; contracts worth over $1.2 billion as of July 30th.
The question is, what will they be bragging about now?
According to a report from KEPR, layoffs are on the way due to the end of stimulusfunding.
Action News spoke with CH2M Hill and the company is planning to make 1,350 layoffs by next September.
Contractors like CH2M Hill were hoping to avoid the drastic cuts that would come from losing close $2 billion in federal money.
To be fair, using the ‘lives touched’ metric does indeed work in reverse according to this report. The pain of the layoffs will be felt throughout the community.
Besides losing jobs, the layoffs could have a bigger effect on the entire Tri-Cities. “There will be an impact unfortunately on the community as far as hospitality and service industry,” said (Kayla) Pratt, “but the sky isn’t falling.”
Oddly enough, despite the layoffs being announced on the 20th, a newsletter produced by the company on the 21st doesn’t mention the word job.
Not. Once.
It would seem that CH2M has gone from proudly proclaiming the incalculable number of ‘lives touched’, to trying to sweep this loss of jobs under the rug.
All is not gloomy for CH2M however. They’ve been assigned to cleanup duty at the Knoll’s Atomic Power Lab in upstate New York. Ironically, this new project may have never come about without help from – you guessed it -the stimulus.
In September, the Knolls site saw what the EPA called ‘an uncontrolled spread of radioactive material’, and a DOE report revealed that:
“The company was pushing to finish work three months earlier than first planned — by September 2011 rather than December 2011 — in order to receive an extra $32 million in federal stimulus funding awarded for the cleanup in April 2009.”
The stimulus truly is touching lives.
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