Mock the Turtle

The Washington City Paper is the most hit-or-miss rag in the city. Every now and then, the paper comes through with an insightful article detailing Washington's problems or Washington's unique history. Their story on the history of the Jumbo Slice is a personal favorite. Of course, the paper also has a reputation for their agenda-driven hit pieces that attack city government or city residents for no reason. Sometimes the paper is asinine to the point of absurdity.

I admit that yesterday's edition of the City Paper falls into the agenda-driven hit piece category. But there's nothing better than reading an agenda hit piece when you share the same agenda. So, props to the City Paper for absolutely tearing apart College Park and The University of Maryland.

In fact, the first section of this article is so sublime in its disdain for Maryland students that I felt all tingly inside while reading. Here are two glorious sample paragraphs:

"I don’t want to deal with the faggots,” says Mark, a 19-year-old freshman, on a recent Saturday night. He’s on his way to R.J. Bentley’s Filling Station, the Cornerstone’s neighbor and chief rival. The Cornerstone just has too many guidos, he says. “They spike their hair in this onion bloom.”

"Five junior women, Bentley’s regulars, offer detailed support for the contention: The Cornerstone is very Greek, plays “black-girl music,” and is filled with kids from New York and New Jersey who wear heels and gel up their hair. At Bentley’s, though, the dress is more casual. It plays “white-girl music” (the girls themselves are white), and it hosts a big contingent from Baltimore prep schools. If that’s not reason enough, three of the girls say they got their faces licked by random guys at the Cornerstone. “I was fingered!” says another of the girls, seemingly astonished by the recollection. “Yeah, I wasn’t happy about it,” she adds."

It's good to know that Maryland's rivalry with Duke has extended beyond basketball and into the realm of sexual assault. When the Maryland lacrosse team is accused of raping a stripper, will the students throw a celebratory riot?

Speaking of riots:

“I don’t know why they do it.” [Major Cathy] Atwell was shocked when she heard undergraduates saying it was the riots that inspired them to come to Maryland. An alum herself and a 28-year veteran of the university’s force, the major now sometimes roots for Maryland teams to lose.

It has been noted by University of Maryland apologists that the average GPA for incoming freshman at the University of Maryland is 3.9. Is that on an eight point scale? In my high school experience, the people getting straight-As were not the same people looking for an excuse to tip over cars and set trash cans on fire.

I know it's college and boys will be boys and girls will be girls. I'm sure there are even a few Georgetown students who have been fingerbanged at The Tombs. But this article presents the University of Maryland students as something different. They're presented as homphobic and racist little assholes looking to destory property and start fights. They're monsters. And, I must say, my personal experience with these Terrapin morons has done nothing to prove that theory wrong.

In 1912, a fire almost destroyed the entire campus. I still have my hopes up for an encore.


Virginia is for Morons

Ok, Senator George Allen (R-VA) is a racist and quite possibly ashamed of his Jewish roots. His challenger, James Webb, wrote some ridiculous things about women in his Navy days and has admitted by non-denial that he used to drop the word "nigger" while living in Virginia. He also called the Naval Academy a "horny woman's dream." Nice.

I consider myself a bit of a political junkie. For some unknown reason, I decided to major in this bullshit for college. And if I'm sick and tired of this crap, I can only imagine how John Q. Voter feels. Seriously, no one cares. Anyone who didn't know that George Allen was a racist hasn't been paying attention. A noose by a Confederate flag in his Richmond office? Yikes. (Incidentally, if anyone believes that the Confederate flag is a symbol of Southern heritage and not racism, I would love to pick a fight with you.)

And one has to love a commonwealth where the Democrat was, at one point, just as bad. Honestly, how can Webb say that he never used the word "nigger" as an epithet? How else can one use that word? As a descriptive adjective? I have a feeling that if black people heard Jim Webb dropping n-bombs in the 1960s that they would not be ok with it.

This madness has to stop. Allen, Webb, and their respective dirt-diggers are demeaning the entire political process. Considering the state of electoral politics in this country, that's really saying something.


Linking The Washington Post to Pornography*

Has anyone else noticed the ad banners on The Washington Post website? Some are for The Economist, some are for ING Bank, and some are for an online dating service. Nothing weird about that. Plenty of websites have dating service advertisements. This one promises young Washington women who are single and available.

I'm loathe to write about this since it makes me look like a bit of a perv, but a scoop is a scoop. I know for a fact that the women advertised on these ad banners are not from Washington. Recently I've noticed that when I'm reading the latest stories about 14-year-olds being shot dead, I have porn stars staring back at me. I don't find it offensive or anything. I'm no Bible-thumper. I just find it, well, weird. And if you're a lonely Washington bachelor turning to online dating**, deceptive.

Let's take a look at Sandy2568 here. She's kind of cute! The ad claims she's a 22-year-old from Washington. This banner seems to be the most common one on the Post website. It didn't take me long to realize that this woman was no Sandy. She was a Luna. As in Luna Lane. (Please note that this is the safest (for work) link I could find with a picture of her. No nudity or anything like that. Despite my efforts, this link is wildly nsfw.) Judging from her picture and her, um, body of work that I'm familiar with, I am 100% confident that Sandy and Luna are one and the same.

Later, I found this banner. Let's all give Maggeee7231 a big Washington "hello!" She's another 22-year-old from Washington and could definitely be called a looker.

When I noticed this picture I knew immediately that she was a porn star. Why? Because it's one of those porn stars who also happened to be very, very famous. Famous enough to have a Bloodhound Gang song named after her. Truly the apex of pornographic fame. I am 75% sure that Maggeee is actually none other than Chasey Lain (again, no nudity, but nsfw). I admit that this one is a little less obvious than the Sandy-Luna connection, but if you put a gun to my head I would say that Maggeee and Chasey are one and the same (the green eyes are a giveaway).

Unfortunately, Mate 1's website is of little help. It's only accessible to members (just like DC late Night Shots!) and I am not paying them for the sake of a blog post. It should be noted that the website features zero porn stars (that I recognize anyways). It also should be noted that women can join Mate 1 for free!!!

Does this seem strange to anyone else? The Washington Post is posting advertisements that are patently false. I mean, everyone knows dating ads tend to be full of shit, but shouldn't the Post go above and beyond what other websites use as advertisements? These ads are a glancing blow at the paper's credibility. They shouldn't be taking money from a company that uses stock photos of adult film stars to turn a profit.

* I apologize for the layout of this post. I am computer illiterate and had to deal with Microsoft Paint to get the banners published on to Blogspot. I know it's unsightly but it's the best I could do.
**I do not qualify for this category thank you very much.

Crime Bill Not Working

Although I didn't vote for Fenty, I was quite impressed that he had the sense to vote against the crime bill that was rushed through the DC Council. It was pretty clear to anyone who cared more about crime prevention than pandering to one's constituents that this bill, which lowered the youth curfew to 10pm and installed security cameras in parts of the District, would not prevent crime.

Today's Post features this heartwarming headline: "Three Juveniles Found Slain in D.C. Over 24 Hours."

Before I get into crime bill specifics, let me just add that these murders are totally unacceptable. I suppose all murders are. But I'm no dummy. I understand that crime is inevitable in a big city. What I can't comprehend is why Washington is totally unable to protect its own children. When three minors are killed in a 24 hour period, it means the city is sick. It has a cancer that is eating away at its own future.

Here's the rundown on one of the juvenile victims (with an adult victim thrown in to boot):

The first of the three young people to be killed was also the youngest. Police said 14-year-old Andre Pee was gunned down Sunday night about 11 p.m., on a dead-end block of 13th Place SE that is notorious for drug dealing and gunfire. A 15-year-old was slain on the same block last New Year's Eve.

Andre's body was found in the courtyard of an apartment complex. As part of the same incident, police said, 32-year-old Curtis Watkins, 32, was shot to death inside a squat brick building nearby. Police said Andre and Watkins each were shot once in the back.

Isn't this terrible? It's an area known for drugs and murder and, still, two more unnecessary deaths. Why didn't Washington put one of their newfangled security cameras in this block? Oh? You don't say? They did?

Police knew of no motive or suspects in the killings, which were discovered when someone called to report hearing five gunshots in the Congress Park public housing complex. A police surveillance camera on the block did not capture the crime, investigators said.

Well, what do you know? Security cameras continue to be useless as both a deterrent and as a means to apprehend dangerous criminals. Anyone who sees a camera in their neighborhood and feels safer is neck-deep in denial.

And then there's this delightful little tidbit:

The shootings took place past the 10 p.m. curfew.

Wow. You mean to tell me that minors willing to kill two people are also willing to break curfew? Does their lawlessness know no bounds? Murder at 9:59pm would at least be understandable, but after 10pm when they should be in watching "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip"? Unfathomable.

I can't wait to see what kind of bullshit legislation the Council comes up with next. I'm sure that they'll give themselves big pats on the back for a job well done. Meanwhile, within our city limits, children continue to kill each other.

(By the way, I didn't mention the other two murder victims since the Post was pretty scarce with details. But please keep the families of all four victims in your prayers.)


Rusty is Always Right

I have not been shy in discussing my opposition to the $611,000,000.00 money pit located off of South Capitol Street by the Anacostia. The money could be put to much better use. The city has its share of problems and "not having an awesome baseball stadium" is pretty far down on the list.

Proponents of The Money Pit say that the $611,000,000.00 is an investment into a revitalized Anacostia waterfront. It will do for Southeast what Camden Yards did for the Inner Harbor! As much as I enjoy living in FantasyLand, it turns out that this revitalization just won't happen.

The D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission yesterday abandoned a plan to build condominiums, shops and parking garages next to the new Nationals baseball stadium in Southeast Washington, dealing a major setback to Mayor Anthony A. Williams's hope that the project would spark renewal of the Anacostia River waterfront.

So, now it looks like we'll have a stadium out in the middle-of-nowhere. Sounds kind of like RFK!

Certainly the most hilarious consequence of this deal falling through is that we won't be able to build parking lots or garages for the stadium. It's a good thing a lot of people don't commute into the city!

When will people admit that this stadium deal was a horrible mistake? Seriously.


Wildly Unacceptable Negligence

Earlier this morning, Michael C. Hamlin pleaded guilty to the second-degree murder of The New York Times journalist David E. Rosenbaum. Hamlin and his cousin/accomplice, Percey Jordan, hit Rosenbaum on the back of the head with a lead pipe while he was walking on Gramercy Street, NW innocently listening to his iPod.

I'm glad that the MPD caught the guys who did this. The crime was particularly unsettling for me since the area around Gramercy Street is one of my stomping grounds. I'm always walking around there with my iPod at full volume. Of course, and as usual, Washington's response to this savage beating was just as unsettling as the crime itself.

First and foremost, these two murderers had mugged an ex-police officer in November, 2005. They stole a cell phone. That cell phone was used to call the perpetrators' relatives. The Metro Police Department failed to investigate that incredibly solid lead. The same thing happened with Alan Senitt's murderers (just with credit cards instead of cell phones). MPD will simply ignore solid evidence until someone turns up dead. Why even have a police force?

This one failure of Washington's civil services is horribly unacceptable. Naturally, there were plenty of other failures in the Rosenbaum case that were truly shocking.

The blow to Rosenbaum's head would prove fatal. But he was still semi-conscious when an emergency medical crew arrived, and the succession of mistakes that followed in treating him -- at the scene, in the ambulance and at the hospital -- sparked a public outcry and a withering critique by the D.C. inspector general.

There's the set-up. Now let's get to the mistakes!

While never stating outright that Rosenbaum would have lived if not for the failures of the emergency medical system, the report identifies one missed opportunity after another in his care, including an assumption by medics that Rosenbaum was drunk rather than suffering from a severe head injury.

"When you assume you make an ass dead person out of you and me."

An ambulance was dispatched from across town, even though others were available much closer to the scene of the attack, investigators found. The crew of that ambulance chose to bring Rosenbaum to Howard University Hospital, rather than an closer emergency room, because one of the emergency medical technicians had personal business to tend to near Howard.

Next time you're in an ambulance, remember that the EMTs would much rather attend to their personal business than actually save your life. Priorities, people. Sure their job, which comes out of our taxes, is to save our lives. No matter. I seriously hope that those EMTs got fired. What selfish assholes.

At the hospital, medical staff also failed to realize that Rosenbaum was gravely injured, and left him without treatment for an extended period. Rosenbaum died two days later.

Next time you're in a hospital emergency room, remember that the people taking care of you may be grossly incompetent. Seriously, if I end up with a fractured skull, my last conscious breath will be dedicated to whispering "Take me to Sibley." After that all I can do is hope that the EMTs have personal business to take care of on Loughboro Road.


DC Accident Awareness

The Blue/Orange Line between Rosslyn and Foggy Bottom just got a whole lot scarier!

The Metro had their annual disaster drill yesterday and it went off with many hitches. 120 volunteers were stuck underground for four hours as the Metro couldn't "rescue" a train under the Potomac in a timely manner. And it's not like they didn't know the "explosion" was coming. They planned their own scenario and still fucked it up. That's quite the accomplishment.

Since these 120 volunteers with nothing better to do kind of knew what they were in for, they handled the explosion and long wait in the dark with calmness. These volunteers made the rather astute observation that real-life passengers dealing with an unexpected explosion in an underwater tunnel might not handle themselves that well. Um, duh.

I'll remember this next time I take a trip to Dulles or National. I don't really like spending time in underwater tunnels. This drill could have assured me that everything would be alright. Now I know that if, something terrible happens when I'm under the Potomac, there's a good chance that I'm screwed. Death by claustrophobic drowning, death by third rail, and/or death by being trampled by scared shitless passengers...those sound like shitty ways to die.

Of course Metro officials claim that if something were to go wrong for real, then everything would be OK. Color me skeptical!



So you have a murder in Prince William County. Thankfully, the people of Prince William can sleep safe and sound knowing that authorities had detained the alleged murderer, a Mr. Christopher T. Broady. The courts can now dispense some Virginia justice and everyone can give themselves a nice pat on the back for a job well done.

Or you could just release him by accident. Whatever works.

Prince William officials decided to take the latter route. There was quite the little mix-up between prison officials and prosecutors who had arraigned Broady in two different courts. Now Broady's as free as a bird and no one has any clue where he could be.

"He could be anywhere. He could be in Arizona, Mexico, South America," Prince William Commonwealth's Attorney Paul B. Ebert (D) said.

Ebert chose faraway places. Let me change the quote around to make it scarier (and probably more accurate):

He could be anywhere. He could be in Georgetown, Prince George's County, underneath your bed.

I wonder what Jail Superintendent Charles Land has to say for himself:

"I think of course this is again an unfortunate case," Land said. "We are crowded, but I feel we run a safe agency, and I think the community is safe.

You think the community is safe? You just released a murderer into Northern Virginia! That's like the least safe thing a jail superintendent can do. I can't believe this guy has the nerve to say that everything is hunky-dorey.

By the way, Charles Land is running the same prison that held a guy in jail for an extra two months for the crime of being Hispanic. I hate Virginia.

Anyways if you see this guy, there's a $1,000 reward for any information that leads to his arrest. I have no idea why the reward is so low. Probably because he didn't kill a white guy.



If you live in Washington or Maryland, you better vote today. Nothing steams my cabbage more than people who don't vote. Even if your votes are wrong ("wrong" being in disagreement with me), your participation is still what makes the government tick. Hurray democracy!

Since I'm a DC resident with such an inflated ego that I think you should vote for the same candidates as me, let me give you my personal endorsements:

Mayor: Marie Johns
I've written about this a lot. I've made peace with Fenty's inevitable victory.

By the way, I think Fenty was a great council member. I just don't see how that translates into becoming a great mayor.

Ward 3: Sam Brooks
Not just because of his dimples either. He's worked under two of the city's finest council members (Graham and Fenty) and has campaigned on a constituent service platform. Most everyone else is campaigning on fixing DC's schools which is a ridiculously tall order. Come on people, be pragmatic. Promising to single-handedly fix DC's schools is a promise that is broken every election cycle.

Mary Cheh is the favorite here. Everyone seems to like her so I can't be to upset, but her decision to continue teaching law at GW while representing me on the Council...that really rubs me the wrong way. It's not like council members are underpaid. They make about $100,000 a year. I'm sorry, but you can't have it both ways. The more I type about this the angrier I get. People, do not vote for Mary Cheh!

If it matters, my secondary choices are Goulet (no chance to win but he told the Washington Post that most Ward 3 candidates should be running for school board, which made me el oh el) and Strauss (because someone working for him left a comment on this blog).

Council Chair: Kathy Patterson
This is the toughest race for me. Patterson is from Ward 3 and has much more experience handling Council matters. I like Gray and all, but, come on, you've only been on the Council for two years. I do, however, predict a Gray victory.

Council At-Large: Phil Mendelson
Mendelson has benefited from an endorsement from Washington City Paper's Loose Lips that just tears into his opponent. I am actually afraid to vote for Bolden now. Apparently, he will single-handedly destroy this city. Not in the good way (like kicking out all the interns), but in the bad way (anti-gay rights, in the pocket of lobbyists, etc.).

House Delegate: Who Cares
I refuse to waste any effort on this since it's a meaningless figurehead position that only serves to get embarrassed on "The Colbert Report." I have no problem with Eleanor Holmes Norton serving as this meaningless figurehead.

Should you care about who I'm voting for? No. Vote your conscience and yada, yada, yada. If all my candidates win and this city goes even further down the shitter, please don't hesitate to call me part of the problem.

Oh, and if you're from Maryland, please vote for Lichtman. He was a professor of mine at AU and, despite his foibles, he is a good guy. More importantly, his candidacy would be effing hilarious.


Taxi Hell

I spent Friday night at a house party on 17th and U. Good times. There was a dude playing records who called me a "fag" for requesting Justin Timberlake. That's always exciting.

Despite my sexuality being called into question (and I did request some JT, so I probably deserved it), the party really was delightful. So delightful that I decided to stay until after 3am when the Metro closes its gates. So, the only reasonable way to get home was via taxi. Luckily 17th and U was a block from a pretty busy strip of bars and stores. Hailing a cab shouldn't have been a problem. After standing outside for 20 minutes, I realized that I was mistaken.

What was so frustrating about my experience wasn't that I couldn't catch a cab. It was past 3am, so there were a lot of cabs that were already full. My problem was that I caught four cabs, and none of them would drive me to my intended destination in Friendship Heights. When I gave them my cross street, they told me they wouldn't drive me that far. One guy told me he would only drive me that far for $35. (Seriously.)

Well, legally, you have to you jackasses. The law is pretty clear. Once you guys stop you have to drive us to our intended destination. Shame on the DC Taxi Commission website for not having more details on this law, but I know it exists because it's on the back of every seat in a licensed cab. Regardless, a four mile drive seems more than reasonable. I understand that after the Metro closes you want to stay as close to the weekend hotspots as possible. That maximizes profit. But once you stop you don't have a choice. Drive me to my house. End of discussion.

So I was inconvenienced and lost 20 minutes of sleep due to some cabbies' lawlessness. But I have a friend who was MAJORLY inconvenienced by a DC cabbie. She was drinking at DC9, a bar near the 9:30 Club. She took a cab to get to her place in Forest Hills. Instead she ended up by the Twinbrook Metro stop so her cabbie could pick someone else up. She only got home after breaking into tears. So, DC cabbies...when they're not ignoring the likes of me, they're abducting my friends. That's some creepy shit for a girl who happens to be by herself. Can you imagine getting into a cab and then having the driver take you to fucking Twinbrook? DC cab drivers shouldn't be so damned rapey.

I know we could have made a bigger deal over this and we should have taken down their cab numbers to file reports with the Taxi Commission and blah, blah, blah. But it was late. All I wanted was to fall asleep. It's not like I carry a pen and pad on me in case a cab driver decides to be a douchebag. But after my experience early Saturday morning, that might not be such a bad idea.

By the way, when I finally got a cab, my driver was very nice. And I think he undercharged me. Awesome. Was it worth the 20 minute wait? No.


All Sorts of Bad News

1. First and foremost, "The Reliable Source" is reporting that the sale of Sign of the Whale has fallen through. The new buyers are dedicating to preserving the M Street bar and keeping its clientele. The clientele that consists of the absolute worst of AU and GW students. Everytime I walk by that place (and Madhatter) on a Friday night, I quietly pray for a fire.

I was really looking forward to drinking in the Irish pub that was supposed to take the Whale's place. It would have been a generic and unauthentic drinking experience, but it would have been an intangibly better experience that what the current batch of 19th and M bars have to offer.

Incidentally, Sign of the Whale is being purchased by the group that owns Rhino Bar. All sorts of mixed feelings there. Rhino can have its moments, but it's hard to take a bar seriously when it supports The Boston Red Sox, the Philadelphia Eagles, two Big Ten rivals (Ohio State and Penn State), and a Big East team (Syracuse). Pick a geographic location and stick with it you wishy-washy bastards.

2. Since I've been living in Washington, there have been some pretty serious concerns regarding the drinking water. I have family around these parts who went as far to perform a mineral analysis of their kids when it turned out they had been drinking elevated levels of lead. Just another part of Washington's "charm."

I think I'm going to be doing a mineral analysis myself after finding out that our drinking water is creating lady parts on male fish.

Caveats galore here. The fish are always exposed to water and don't have very strong immune systems. The pollutants that are doing this to the fish probably aren't giving me a set of ovaries. But, the creation of intersex fish? That's some genuinely creepy stuff. Just the word "intersex" gives me the chills.

3. This has been covered by other blogs (notably Cyber Agatha and Goldenfiddle) already, but allow me to pay my respects to the now defunct Vividblurry. It was the first blog I had ever read and I loved it until its dying breath. If it weren't for Toby, I wouldn't be blogging. So, haters, instead of spewing vinegar towards me in my comments, shoot him an e-mail and let him know that he created an unreadable and humorless monster.


My Vote Reconsidered

I was prepared to vote for Marie Johns on September 12. She was the only candidate among the Big 4 that passed my smell test. Cropp went excessively negative and I have some blood lust for the Council Chair who presided over the stadium debacle. I want her head on an electoral stake. Orange is against gay rights and that automatically disqualifies him from receiving my vote. Fenty seems like a great Councilmember but I'm not convinced he'll be a great mayor. How often do "constituent services" come up in an executive position? And the whispers about his intelligence worry me. So does his inability to get the endorsement of even one fellow Council member. I don't get the feeling that Fenty plays nice with others.

I know I'm not really voting for Johns as much as I'm voting against everyone else. I'm not happy with it either. But DC is throwing is throwing these politically homogeneous candidates at me, the common voter, and it's really no fun doing anything above and beyond rudimentary research on the issues and candidates. I'm a terrible voter. Sorry.

So, hurray for Johns. The Washington Post's decision to endorse Fenty didn't faze me in the least. I know Fenty is going to win. Whatever. The Post endorsed Mary Cheh for Christ's sake, so I get the feeling that the Post editorial board consists of a bunch of front-runners. What got to me was The Washington Times's decision to endorse Johns.

I honestly don't think I can bring myself to vote for someone that's supported by Sun Myung Moon or his evil Republican minions. If the Moonie Times endorsed Kerry in 2004, I probably would have voted for Nader. I mean, this is the paper that employed Jen Waters. Everything they do and say is wrong.

Thankfully, their reasoning is pretty shoddy. Johns got the endorsement in part because her "faith is a light that guides her." Fenty and Cropp are godless! Perhaps they would have had a better shot at the endorsement if they accepted a certain white-collar criminal as their Messiah.