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Text of the District of Columbia Organic Act of 1871
|| 1/30/2009 || 5:23 pm || Comments Off on Text of the District of Columbia Organic Act of 1871 || ||

The District of Columbia Organic Act of 1871 aka “An Act to provide a Government for the District of Columbia (41st Congress, 3d Sess., ch. 62, 16 Stat. 419, enacted 1871-02-21) is an Act of Congress, which revoked the individual charters of the City of Washington, the City of Georgetown, and the County of Washington and created a new city government for the entire District of Columbia. The legislation effectively merged what had been separate municipalities within the federal territory into a single entity. It is for this reason that the city, while legally named the District of Columbia, is still commonly known as Washington, D.C. However, this act was abolished in 1874, and while the name did not change, the territorial Governor was replaced with a three-member Board of Commissioners appointed by the President. This system existed until 1974 when the District of Columbia Home Rule Act allowed for District residents to elect their own mayor.

Below is the text of the bill:

Continue reading the bill:

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Text of the District of Columbia Organic Act of 1801
|| 1/29/2009 || 5:12 pm || Comments Off on Text of the District of Columbia Organic Act of 1801 || ||

The District of Columbia Organic Act of 1801 (officially An Act Concerning the District of Columbia) (6th Congress, 2nd Sess., ch. 15, 2 Stat. 103, enacted 1801-02-27) is an Act of Congress, which incorporated the District of Columbia and divided the territory into two counties: Washington County to the east of the Potomac River and Alexandria County to the west. The charters of the independent cities of Georgetown and Alexandria were left in place and no change was made to their status. The laws of both Maryland and Virginia continued to remain in force within the District.

Below is the text of the bill:

Continue reading the bill:

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Indirectly mentioned in today’s Washington Post
|| 1/28/2009 || 5:03 pm || Comments Off on Indirectly mentioned in today’s Washington Post || ||

Hoyer Says He Will Soon Bring Bill to House Floor

By Mary Beth Sheridan
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, January 28, 2009; Page B03

House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer vowed yesterday to hold a vote “in the very near future” on legislation that would give the District a full voting seat in Congress.

“As majority leader, I tell you I intend to bring that bill to the floor,” Hoyer (D-Md.) told the House Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. He criticized Washington’s status, saying the city is “the only capital in the free world whose citizens do not have a voting member of their parliament.”

The hearing marked the first step in the bill’s path through Congress. It drew an overflow crowd to the wood-paneled room, including the measure’s sponsor, Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) and numerous activists — one in a purple colonial-style coat and a tricorn hat.

These photos were taken in 2006 in the same room where representatives were discussing the same unconstitutional bill.

Its sad that while times have changed, my colonial status has not…

Related Colonist Entries:

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YouTube Video featuring the 6pm News Coverage Mashup of the 2009 DC House Voting Rights Act
|| 1/27/2009 || 10:55 pm || Comments Off on YouTube Video featuring the 6pm News Coverage Mashup of the 2009 DC House Voting Rights Act || ||

Today was the first hearing for the District of Columbia House Voting Rights Act of 2009. Although I feel this bill is flagrantly unconstitutional, I attended the hearing……

This video features three clips I recorded and the 6pm coverage of three Washington, DC news organizations. The video starts out with my friend Chris on the microphone outside of the Rayburn building, then cuts to the ABC7 coverage, then cuts to the line waiting to get into the hearing, then cuts to the DC Fox5 coverage, then cuts to my footage inside of the hearing room, which features DC Mayor Adrian Fenty, and finally concludes with NBC4’s coverage.

In each of the clips you can spot me in the footage wearing my colonist outfit, which was worn to highlight the fact that DC residents are actually colonists who are forced to live under the tyranny of 535 unelected members of congress and suffer taxation without representation.

Related Colonist Entries:

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Experimenting with infrequent blogging
|| 1/22/2009 || 4:31 pm || Comments Off on Experimenting with infrequent blogging || ||

At the beginning of January I decided that I was going to take a break from blogging daily to see the traffic that my archives receive. I got bored of this experiment and decided to add a bunch of entries that covered the middle of the month up until the inauguration. However, the experiment did prove that each day I receive hundreds of visitors to my blog’s archives and very few daily visitors to my blog’s front page.

When I released the contents of my website last year I was not expecting this to happen. Rather I expected my archives to be read as much as my fresh content, but through these experiments I’ve found that I was completely wrong in my assumption. Now I feel compelled to simply write for the archives through back dating blog entries instead of trying to write for the present. I see myself not maintaining a “Daily Render” but an “infrequent render” simply because I don’t have to worry about doing timely entries anymore. This discovery is somewhat liberating.

Below are the stats from January 1st to January 21st, 2009:

You can see that even without any new entries, this website still received 9,000 pageviews by 6,500 viewers. A different test would be to see what the total would be if I were blogging everyday. I have a feeling that it wouldn’t change very much….



Google FINALLY updates the imagery of Washington, DC and now you can kinda see the message on my rooftop
|| 1/21/2009 || 4:30 pm || Comments Off on Google FINALLY updates the imagery of Washington, DC and now you can kinda see the message on my rooftop || ||

Back in July of 2007 I found that Google was censoring the imagery of downtown Washington, DC. This discovery lead to an article that was featured on the front page of the Metro section of the Washington Post. In the time since, Google has not updated the imagery, even after the release of Street View for Washington, DC.

The other day they finally decided to update the imagery of Washington, DC. I believe they did this because there were millions of people coming to Washington for the inauguration and they would have been showing them outdated imagery on their maps. Now that the imagery has been updated, you can almost see the message on my rooftop that I installed in the summer of 2006. Since the imagery has a somewhat low spatial resolution, its slightly difficult to make out the words “No War,” and it kinda looks like “No W@R.” Below is the photograph that appeared on the front page of the Style Section of the Washington Post in March of 2007 which shows me standing next to the now-visible rooftop sign.


“The mapmaker on his Washington roof with a message that he hopes will someday be reflected in both government aerial photography and the art he creates from that imagery.” (Photo by Michael Williamson — The Washington Post)


YouTube Video of my bicycle ride through I-395’s 3rd Street Tunnel after Barack Obama’s Inauguration
|| 1/20/2009 || 1:29 pm || Comments Off on YouTube Video of my bicycle ride through I-395’s 3rd Street Tunnel after Barack Obama’s Inauguration || ||

Before Barack Obama’s inauguration ceremonies had finished, I decided to leave the National Mall so I could avoid the large crowds. After I picked up my bicycle near 3rd & Independence Ave SW, I decided to ride in the direction that seemed to have the least amount of people. After about 5 minutes of navigating the streets, I rode up to the 3rd Street tunnel, which had been closed off to vehicular traffic to allow people to enter the National Mall from the south side. Since bicyclists are normally not allowed on this stretch of highway, I decided to get out my camera and film my ride under the National Mall. This video starts as I go into the tunnel and finishes when I exit the tunnel.



YouTube video of Former president George Bush booed at the Inauguration of Barack Obama
|| || 12:00 pm || Comments Off on YouTube video of Former president George Bush booed at the Inauguration of Barack Obama || ||

I noticed that whenever former president George Bush was shown on the jumbotrons people would boo. I decided to start recording around the time I expected he’d be announced, and the video above captures the crowd’s reaction.

Below is another YouTube video that my friend gave me that shows people singing Na Na Hey Hey, Kiss Him Goodbye near the Washington Monument:

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How I made it inside of the Silver ticket area at the 2009 Inauguration
|| || 11:45 am || Comments Off on How I made it inside of the Silver ticket area at the 2009 Inauguration || ||

The night before the inauguration, when I was having a good time at the DC Manifest Hope Gallery, an old college friend of mine said, “Do you have tickets for the inauguration tomorrow?” I responded, “No, I wasn’t able to get any.” She opens up her purse and pulls out a Silver ticket and hands it to me and says, “Now you do.” It definitely made my night! A couple hours later I rode my bike over to my friend’s apartment near 21st & E street and went to sleep…

I started the morning off by eating cereal for breakfast and layering myself with clothes because I didn’t want to be cold at the inauguration and I knew I wasn’t able to bring a backpack with me to store extra layers. I ended up wearing three pairs of socks, three pairs of pants, a scarf, a stocking cap, a t-shirt, sweater, fleece jacket, and another fleece-lined jacket. At around 8:00am I hopped on my bicycle and started riding down toward the National Mall.

I was expecting the entire National Mall to have a security perimeter that stretched from the Lincoln Memorial to the U.S. Capitol, however as I rode my bike by Constitutional Gardens, I discovered that there was no security checkpoints, so I kept riding my bike east toward the Capitol by way of the south side of the Washington Monument. My plan was to enter the Silver ticket area from the south side (red circled above) because I figured there would be less people there since the bridges had been closed.

As I made my way on to Independence Ave at 15th street, I could see that the police were having people walk on the sidewalks west, away from the Capitol from the L’Enfant Metro station toward 15th street. As I rode east I had the police tell me multiple times to ride my bicycle on the sidewalk, and I responded “Officer, I cannot walk this bike against the flow of people without causing extra traffic.” They understood, but every 150 feet or so I’d have to repeat myself to another set of police officers.

Eventually, I hit the corner of 3rd & Independence Ave. SE and seeing that there was a huge line at the intersection, I decided to dismount my bicycle and queue up in the line. I locked my bicycle on 3rd street about half a block south of the intersection and started by nearly 3 hour wait…..

This video was taken while I was waiting in line at the intersection of 3rd & Independence Ave. Every once in awhile the officers would tell people to wave the ticket in the air to ensure that they were at the right entrance. Independence Ave was being used as a secure street to shuttle VIPs to the U.S. Capitol, so it had to remain open. What resulted was that people would have to wait at the corner and every few minutes the police would let people cross the street. This caused a tremendous bottleneck that only got worse as the day went on.

After finally crossing the street thousands of us were penned into a somewhat small area where we were to wait and slowly make our way to the screening area. For thousands of people this is as far as they got. I, however, was able to make it in.

Shortly after we crossed the street and started to get pushed together in our makeshift holding area, I recognized an old friend of mine was nearby. I met him at an anti-war demonstration in January of 2007, nearly exactly two years prior. He drove this antique bus that said “ARREST BUSH” on it and he travelled around the country raising awareness for the war crimes committed by the Bush administration. I had last seen him at the demonstration outside the White House the month prior, but I didn’t introduce myself to him (he’s actually in the videos throwing shoes). He was pushing a wheelchair that contained a friend of his and in front of him was another gentleman pushing someone else in a wheelchair.

According to the map on the tickets there were at least 4 different entrances for disabled ticket holders (see map above), yet there were no signs indicating where they were to go and with thousands of people massed together I saw there was going to be some issues. The first problem arose when there was a small surge where everyone had the opportunity to take about two steps forward. This resulted in a woman next to the wheelchair having her foot rolled over. Instead of being polite about the pain she had accidentally received, she made a scene. The poor gal was clearly mentally distraught by being confined together with so many people. The people around were attempted to deescalate the issue by trying to tell the gal that it was a mistake and there was no ill will toward her. Yet she continued to complain and complain.

I decided to step in and offer my services to my friend and the gentleman in front of him. I said, “Hey let me try to clear a way so that you guys can get to entrance for the disabled.” Easier said then done. When I first tried to ask people to move they responded by “Sorry we are packed in here too tight.” And for the next two hours we waited for the line to move forward and it only moved about 5 feet.

In that time I got to know some of the people around me a little better. I learned that the African American gentleman in the wheelchair ahead of my friend was a former Tuskegee Airman and his son was helping him that day. Every once in awhile, they’d let me stand on side of the wheelchair and look above the crowd to see if there was any progress happening ahead of us. Each time I had to report back that there was no movement.

After the swearing in ceremonies started people began to realize that they were probably not going to be able to make inside of the secure area and started to get rather feisty. It was also around this time that both of the disabled men needed to use the bathroom. Unlike the rest of the able-bodied men & women standing in the crowd who could walk over to the fence and urinate, they needed special help to relieve themselves.

It was at this time I spotted a lone police officer struggling to make his way through the crowd. When he was about 15 feet from us, I yelled “Officer, I need your assistance. I have two disabled men here that need help.” The officer struggles through the crowd and makes his way over to us. He asked what help he could offer and I reiterated my previous plan of making a path to help the wheelchairs make their way through the crowd.

He consented and started to blow his whistle and I made my way to the front of the two wheelchairs and started politely tapping people on the shoulders asking them to step to the side to help the wheelchairs pass through. With the police officer holding up the tail end, and I working the front, we started to make progress. Then something special happened.

We started to encounter other disabled men & women also waiting in line and we politely asked them to join the caravan. Some people were rather pissed that the disabled people were receiving special treatment, including the gal who had her foot rolled over, and grumbled at my polite requests to step aside. However, we continued moving this way through the crowd until we reached the gates where the police officer allowed us to pass through.

As a member of the caravan, I was able to make it through the gate and when I turned around to wait for my friends who helped me at the beginning, I counted the number of people who I had assisted. In total, there were over 20 disabled people and over 50 of their friends & relatives. It made me quite proud to see that my good faith effort rewarded so many others.

A moment later, when I was about 25 feet from the gate, I turned around saw that a bunch of people were also breaching the gate!

When we made it to the security checkpoint I was asked to lift up my jacket to show I was not wearing any bombs or had any hidden weapons. I was not asked to show my coveted Silver ticket.

From there I walked with my new friends toward the reflecting pool and watched the swearing in from a large Jumbotron…..



Geoeye satellite image showing where I was located at the 2009 Inauguration of Barack Obama
|| || 11:09 am || Comments Off on Geoeye satellite image showing where I was located at the 2009 Inauguration of Barack Obama || ||

At around 11:19AM on January 20th, 2009, GeoEye‘s newest satellite, GeoEye-1, took this picture of the inauguration of president Barack Obama in Washington, DC. Since it was taken before the start of the swearing-in ceremonies, you can see that crowds were still making their way into the viewing areas. In the next hour after this satellite image was taken, I was able to make my way to the ticketed viewing area, but only after a lot of hard work! I will write about how I made it in, while thousands of others did not, in an upcoming entry.





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Nikolas Schiller is a second-class American citizen living in America's last colony, Washington, DC. This blog is my on-line repository of what I have created or found on-line since May of 2004. If you have any questions or comments, please contact:

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