The Tea Partition

George is on vacation this week, but he’s forwarded me two things so far. The first was an incoherent babble of alt-med commentary, which I assume he wrote after his 8th beer on the beach, where he ranted to his polite but bored family and friends. The second is this gem from the Maine Re-Founders/Tea Party. My first thought was, if we’re ‘re-founding’, should Maine even exist?

The following is a list of ridiculous, HILAAAAARIOUS quotes that make little sense beyond their us vs them paranoia. Then, we will delve into the vaguely racist advice the Tea Party organizer gives at the end. Disclaimer: I don’t know what this says about the Tea Party as a collective, just this chapter and its organizers. We’ll find out more, when DC Skeptics goes into the depths of hell and infiltrates the mass of paranoid ignorance that is the Tea Party USA on Saturday.

Donations needed to keep Google Liberal ads off of site, as well as offset expenses, expand Bandwidth and storage capacity.

But first and fore most, deny evil Google money! These people must have missed that Google ads are driven by site traffic, and would be completely in line with supply and demand. It’s not like they’d find an ACLU ad forced upon their site. Does Google have a political ideology? I think it’s ideology is Do No Harm, and make money.

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

Even food has a political ideology to this guy!

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 notables, good and evil, local and visiting, may be spotted.

One Bolognese to Rule them All and in the Darkness Bind Them. Ah the old duality argument. This only works in High Fantasy and the Atlantic Theater of WWII. This is good and that is bad, always. Give me a break!

And the best, for last:

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 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.

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 8th Streets, not farther out than 8th (e.g. 9th, 10th 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.

Good for this guy for spreading awareness on the cultural sensitivities of immigrants. But, to me, the rest of the advice reads a bit bigoted. For the people who don’t know DC, the areas he warns about are more African-American neighborhoods than they are dangerous.

His reasoning is so odd. I’ve known more people in Tenleytown, near American University, that have been mugged or molested, than I do who have been accosted elsewhere. My friend just had his apartment raided by a thief in Van Ness. Yet these are the very places this guy recommends as so much safer that you shouldn’t go elsewhere. Period. The author pretty lazily equates white and public areas with safe, and black areas with bad. I live in Columbia Heights and it’s pretty safe, if you’re not in a gang or dealing drugs. I have friends who live in extreme NE and get along fine with their neighbors. Most of those areas are pretty family-oriented, they’re just poor and non-white.

So, little warning bells go off for this guy, but besides being a bit crazy pushing a divided house, no red flags. We’ll see on Saturday. There will be pictures.

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