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i'm currently on daily blogging sabbatical, but i'll be back very soon.

DC Colonist Cartoon: “Court Declares State Voters Tax Exempt in D.C.” – Washington Evening Star, March 13, 1940
|| 8/10/2011 || 2:07 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

dc colonist pg65 3 13 1940 DC Colonist Cartoon: “Court Declares State Voters Tax Exempt in D.C.” – Washington Evening Star, March 13, 1940

Source: Page 65 of “Our National Capital and its un-Americanized Americans” by Theodore Noyes



DC Colonist Cartoon: “Keep Out of U.S. Elections” – Washington Star, November 5, 1940
|| 7/4/2011 || 1:25 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

dc colonist pg53 11 5 1940 DC Colonist Cartoon: “Keep Out of U.S. Elections” – Washington Star, November 5, 1940

This cartoon shows the DC Colonist trying to enter the voting booth, but is told by Uncle Sam to go to the tax or selective service booths. The cartoon implies that the while District residents pay taxes & go to war for America, they are not permitted the sacred right to vote in U.S. elections. Thus DC residents fight & die in American wars and pay taxes to the Federal government, but at the same time, have no say who makes the decisions regarding taxation, war, and peace.

Source: Page 53 of “Our National Capital and its un-Americanized Americans” by Theodore Noyes



DC Colonist Cartoon: “Disenfranchisement” – Washington Star, November 4th, 1930
|| 5/20/2011 || 11:06 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

dc colonist pg46 11 4 1930 DC Colonist Cartoon: “Disenfranchisement – Washington Star, November 4th, 1930

Source: Page 46 of “Our National Capital and its un-Americanized Americans” by Theodore Noyes



Subcommittee on Health Care, District of Columbia, Census and the National Archives: Hearing on the District of Columbia’s Fiscal Year 2012 Budget: “Ensuring Fiscal Sustainability”
|| 5/12/2011 || 10:21 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

Today I went to Capitol Hill to attend “the District of Columbia’s Fiscal Year 2012 Budget: Ensuring Fiscal Sustainability” hearing dressed in colonial attire. You can see me in the screen shot from the start of the 2nd Panel:

2012 Ensuring Fiscal Sustainability Subcommittee on Health Care, District of Columbia, Census and the National Archives: Hearing on the District of Columbias Fiscal Year 2012 Budget: Ensuring Fiscal Sustainability


Mayor Gray, Chairman Brown to testify to Oversight Hearing on D.C. Budget

WASHINGTON- The House Committee on Oversight and Government D.C. subcommittee will host the top two at-large elected officials in the District on Thursday at 8:45 a.m. Mayor Vincent Gray and Council Chairman Kwame Brown will testify at a hearing on the District’s Fiscal Year 2012 budget.

The subcommittee’s chairman, Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-SC., has called the hearing to examine the fiscal sustainability of D.C. spending. In 1995 the District of Columbia Financial Responsibility and Management Assistance Act established a five member “Control Board” to oversee financial matters. The Control Board was disbanded in 2001 when District had achieved four consecutive balanced budgets and met other criteria. There are seven separate “triggers” which would automatically revive the Control Board.

In addition to the two elected officials, D.C. Chief Financial Officer Natwar Gandhi will testify on a separate panel. Full witness list and hearing information can be found below. Testimony will be posted as it becomes available at http://oversight.house.gov/

WHAT: The District of Columbia’s Fiscal Year 2012 Budget: Ensuring Fiscal Sustainability

WHO: Subcommittee on Health Care, DC, Census, and the National Archives, Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-SC.

WHEN/WHERE: 8:45 a.m. on Thursday May 12th in 2154 Rayburn House Office Building

Witnesses:

Panel I

• The Honorable Vincent Gray, Mayor, District of Columbia

• The Honorable Kwame Brown, Chairman, DC City Council

Panel II

• Dr. Natwar Gandhi,Chief Financial Officer, District of Columbia

• Mr. Jim Dinegar, CEO, DC Board of Trade

• Mr. Matt Fabian, Managing Director, Municipal Market Advisors

• Dr. Alice M. Rivlin, the Brookings Institution; former Chair of the Control Board

antonette russell hearing colonist 5 12 2011 Subcommittee on Health Care, District of Columbia, Census and the National Archives: Hearing on the District of Columbias Fiscal Year 2012 Budget: Ensuring Fiscal Sustainability

Below are three YouTube videos of the hearing followed by photographs I took at the end of first panel.

+ MORE



DC Colonist Cartoon: “Election Day” – Washington Star, November 4th, 1924
|| 2/13/2011 || 11:16 am || + Render A Comment || ||

dc colonist washington star DC Colonist Cartoon: Election Day   Washington Star, November 4th, 1924

Source: Page 179 of “Our National Capital and its un-Americanized Americans” by Theodore Noyes



Feature in today’s Weekend Pass Section of the Washington Post’s Express Newspaper: “Geo-Beautiful”
|| 10/28/2010 || 6:08 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

weekend pass geo beautiful Feature in todays Weekend Pass Section of the Washington Posts Express Newspaper: Geo Beautiful

click to view the full page

Earlier this afternoon I got a call from a friend informing me that one of my maps was published in today’s Washington Post Express Newspaper. Judging by the advertisement that shows up on the full page spread, I think someone at the Express has a sense of humor.



YouTube Video Showing Where George Washington Grew Hemp at Mount Vernon
|| 7/4/2010 || 12:01 pm || + Render A Comment || ||


[ Watch On YouTube ]

In May I had the opportunity to participate in first annual Hemp History Week. From printing up an old newspaper article showing how hemp was used in the Civil War to taking a field trip to George Washington’s farms in Mount Vernon, Virginia, I had a great time learning about America’s historical use of hemp.

In the video above, I make a cameo at the beginning and later in the video the editor included a map of Mount Vernon from the Library of Congress that I submitted for inclusion in the video. The map nicely corresponds to the map shown during the interview at Mount Vernon.

When we arrived at Mount Vernon, the staff had prepared copies of a statement concerning George Washington’s cultivation of hemp at Mount Vernon. Below is a transcription of the document:



Hemp Production and Use at Mount Vernon

Throughout his lifetime, George Washington cultivated hemp at Mount Vernon for industrial uses. The fibers from hemp held excellent properties for the making of rope and sail canvas, which was a major industry in the age of sailing ships. In addition, hemp fibers could be spun into thread for clothing or, as indicated in Mount Vernon records, for use in repairing the large seine fishing nets that Washington used in his fishing operation along the Potomac.

At one point in the 1760′s Washington considered whether hemp would be a more lucrative cash crop than tobacco but determined that wheat would be a better alternative. During the period when he was considering hemp, he wrote to his agents in England in the hope of determining the costs involved in production and shipping.

In September 1765 he wrote:

“In order thereto you woud do me a singular favour in advising of the general price one might expect for good Hemp in your Port watered and prepared according to Act of Parliament, with an estimate of the freight, and all other incident charges pr. Tonn that I may form some idea of the profits resulting from the growth.” (Fitzpatrick, The Writings of George Washington v. 2, September 20, 1765, George Washington to Robert Cary & Company, p. 430-431)

The Act of Parliament that Washington mentions in his letter to Robery Cary & Company, was enacted to promote hemp production in the American Colonies. In 1767, he did sell some of his Mount Vernon-grown hemp, gaining an income from the bounty that Parliament had laid on the crop.

Hemp Background and History:
“Hemp, Cannabis sativa, a plant originally from central Asia, was cultivated with, and sometimes in place of flax, because its stem fibers are similar to those of flax. Hemp seeds, like those of flax, can be used to extract an oil used in paints, varnishes, and soaps. By the seventeenth century, Russia, Latvia, and other countries around the Baltic Sea were major producers of hemp, and it was from this area that Britain obtained its supply, a situation which left the English vulnerable during periods of military hostilities. Hemp made into rope was vital to navies worldwide. Hemp was also used to make a coarse linen cloth as well as sacking, and other rough materials.” (Colonial American Fiber Crops, Charles Leach, from The National Colonial Farm research Report No. 20. the Accokeek Foundation, Inc. p. 3-4)

Although George Washington’s initial interest in hemp was to determine if it could be a viable cash crop, he proceeded to cultivate it just to meet the needs of his own plantation. Hemp was used at Mount Vernon for rope, thread for sewing sacks, canvas, and for repairing the seine nets used at the fisheries.

Washington’s diaries and farm reports indicate that hemp was cultivated at all his 5 farms, (Mansion House, River Farm, Dogue Run Farm, Muddy Hole Farm, & Union Farm.) In February 1794, Washington wrote to his farm manager, William Pearce, “…I am very glad to hear that the Gardener has saved so much of the St. Foin seed, and that of the India Hemp… Let the ground be well prepared and the See (St. Foin) be sown in April. The Hemp may be sown anywhere. (Fitzpatrick, The Writings of George Washington, v. 33, George Washington to William Pearce, February 24, 1794, p. 279.)

It must be noted that industrial hemp, Cannabis sativa, — the kind that Washington grew– is not the same strain of the plant as Cannabis sativa indica which is used as a drug (marijuana). Cannabis sativa (industrial use hemp) contains less than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and therefore has no physical or psychological effects. Cannabis sativa indica grown for marijuana can contain 6% to 20% THC.

Therefore, there is no truth to the statement that George Washington was growing marijuana. His hemp crop was strictly the industrial strain needed for the production of rope, thread, canvas, and other industrial applications.



52 cents in change // 52 centavos en cambio
|| 6/26/2010 || 3:03 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

52 cent change 52 cents in change // 52 centavos en cambio

Following up on yesterday’s design, this iteration includes Puerto Rico’s State quarter alongside the District of Columbia’s quarter with two pennies to represent 52 cents in change. As the most populous American territory, I believe the United States would benefit from allowing Puerto Rico to join the union, if, of course, Puerto Rico chooses to join. Historically speaking, most states have joined the union in tandem with one other state to ensure a balance of power.

Click on either image to download the larger PDF version

52 cent cambio 52 cents in change // 52 centavos en cambio


51 cents in change
|| 6/25/2010 || 3:04 pm || 1 Comment Rendered || ||

51 cents change 51 cents in change

Using the old line “save your coins, I want change,” I came up with this overtly simple visual response. It contains two quarters and one penny, which represents 51 cents. By using the State quarter of the District of Columbia, I am implying that #change will happen when the District of Columbia becomes America’s 51st state. You gotta be optimistic :-)


Also see the companion version: 52 cents in change / 52 centavos de dólar en el cambio



Photos from Emancipation Day 2010 by Elvert Barnes
|| 4/17/2010 || 8:33 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

Below are some photos taken of me yesterday by Elvert Barnes as I read my Emancipation Day poem:

emancipation day 2010 2 Photos from Emancipation Day 2010 by Elvert Barnes

+ MORE



TO MAKE A STATE OF DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA – The New York Times, December 14, 1902
|| 3/30/2010 || 1:14 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

TO MAKE A STATE OF DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA


Mass Meeting of Residents Indorses the Scheme.


Argument For And Against Admission to the Union– The President and New Mexico’s Delegation


Special to The New York Times.

WASHINGTON, Dec. 13- A little byplay for the advocates of statehood and their opponents is promised before the contest in the Senate is entirely over. Senator Gallinger, who has espoused the side of Senator Quay and the admission of the three Territories that are demanding to become States, has, as Chairman of the District Committee, introduced a resolution to amend the Constitution and make a State out of the District of Columbia.

The idea has taken with many of the people of Washington, and meetings are being held to discuss the prospect seriously. Last night a mass meeting was held at Brightwood, one of the largest suburbs of the city, and the Gallinger resolution was unanimously indorsed, but with a suggestion that there be a limitation on the suffrage.

The meeting was attended by many of the prominent and wealthy citizens of the District. Pressure is being brought to bear on Senator Gallinger to offer an amendment to the Statehood bill looking to the admission of the District as a State.

So far as population goes, Washington and the District have a good claim to admission. Delaware, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming all rank below the District in population. In point of intelligence and prosperity, so long as the Government stays here, there will be little doubt on that score.

The presence of a large negro vote and dubious jurisdiction involved in being the neutral ceded ground on which the Federal city is placed have been the chief difficulties in the way of giving the district any political status. The courts have uniformly held that the district in its political character is unlike any other principality on earth, and more nearly resembles the Bishopric of Durham than anything else.

Delegate Rodey of New Mexico led a large delegation of his constituents to the White House to-day to urge on the President the claims of the three Territories to admission into the Union.

The New Mexicans came away not entirely satisfied with the President’s manner in receiving their arguments. He was cordial and treated his callers with all possible consideration, but he did not promise he would help them to pass the Statehood bill. This was what they wanted and anything less than this seemed inhospitable.

Senator Beveridge also had a talk with the President about the bill, and when he came away from the White House said he could not make any comment on what the President had said to him, but he was more than ever confident of the defeat of the Tri-State bill. Beveridge says that Senator Quay has claimed too many votes and cannot muster a majority.


This newspaper article was transcribed from a scan of the original newspaper article. The document was obtained from the New York Times archives and is in the public domain. It is being republished here in order to continue my advocacy for full representation for the American citizens of the District of Columbia.



Comments by Thomas Tredwell at the New York Ratifying Convention on July 2nd, 1788
|| 3/22/2010 || 5:33 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

Even before the Constitution was ratified astute American citizens knew there were problems with giving Congress tyrannical power over District residents….


“The plan of the federal city, sir, departs from every principle of freedom, as far as the distance of the two polar stars from each other; for, subjecting the inhabitants of that district to the exclusive legislation of Congress, in whose appointment they have no share or vote, is laying a foundation on which may be erected as complete a tyranny as can be found in the Eastern world. Nor do I see how this evil can possibly be prevented, without razing the foundation of this happy place, where men are to live, without labor, upon the fruit of the labors of others; this political hive, where all the drones in the society are to be collected to feed on the honey of the land. How dangerous this city may be, and what its operation on the general liberties of this country, time alone must discover; but I pray God, it may not prove to this western world what the city of Rome, enjoying a similar constitution, did to the eastern.”

[ source ]



“Representation, Reforestation” Was Selected For The DC Urban Forest Project
|| 3/4/2010 || 2:48 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

I’m looking forward to finding out where my “tree” will be “planted” in downtown DC. I should know sometime next month!

urban forest project representation reforestation “Representation, Reforestation” Was Selected For The DC Urban Forest Project

From the AIGA DC Website: AIGA DC would like to thank the Washington DC community for contributing over 400 submissions to be judged for The Urban Forest Project Washington DC. We are excited to share with you the 100 artists whose artwork was selected to be exhibited this spring on street banners. In addition to the professional artists, the work of AIGA DC’s mentoring teams and the Corcoran College of Art and Designs students* will be included.

Please look for additional information regarding the exhibition date, online gallery and reception in a couple of months. In the meantime visit ufp-dc.com to see where the banners will be exhibited.


WINNING PROFESSIONAL DESIGNERS AND ARTISTS
Sandy Adams
Antonio Alcala
Milagros Arrisueno
Julia Ames
Ioana Balasa
Sarah Hitchcock Becker
Ed Bisese
Nancy Bratton
Jessica Blair Buchanan
Bryan Byczek
Craig Cahoon
Sarah Chamberlain
Danielle
Dominique Chirinciuc
Ryan Clennan
Ryan Cooley
Adriana Cordero
Cecilia Cortes-Earle
MIchael Crossett
Daniel Delli-Colli
Tara Detchemendy
Alex Diaz
Eileen Doughty
Ilfigenija Dupras
Alessandra Marie Echeverri
Lauren Emeritz
Jo Fleming
Liani Foster
Lara Fredrickson
Rachel Freedman
Doug Fuller
Alia Faith
Nathan Gomez
Francheska Guerrero
Nicole Hamam
Robin Harris
Rania Hassan
Sean Hennessy
Richard Lee Heffner
Allen Hopper
Marcie Wolf Hubbard
Alicia Jager
Ann Kerns
Minki Kim
Ethel Kessler
Phyllis Klein
Galen Lawson
Marni Lawson
Sara Lin
Patti Look
Betsy Martin
Jessica Menk
Jamie Mitchell
Kudirat B. Momoh
Phil Napala
Catherine Nichols
Phil Napala
Katie O’Brien
Julian Oh
Nicole Parente-Lopez
Michelle Thomas
Hillary Reilly
Elizabeth Renomeron
Jessica Reynolds
Karen Rose
Kerri Sarembock
Erika Satlof
Monica Servaites
Shikha Savdas
Nikolas Schiller
Alex Schultz
Carolyn Sewell
Lindsey Smith
Marri Stanback
Greg Stein
Randall Stoltzfus
Rachel Stone
Hermano Talastas
Shelby Tanase
Angela Terry
Julee Dickerson Thompson
George Travez
Joe Velasquez
Sarah Joy Verville
John Wehmann
Jessica Witmer

AIGA DC MENTORING TEAMS
William Jones + Erin Green
Dezae Precia + Nicole Hamam
Demetria Williams + Jane deBruijn

*Not listed are the selected Corcoran Art + Design students

THE JURORS
Sam Shelton, Kinetik
Jim Darling, Useful Studios
Rachel Dickerson, DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities
Monica Lear, Urban Forestry Administration, DDOT
Linda Harper, Director of Cultural Tourism DC


ABOUT THIS PROJECT
This spring, The Urban Forest Project, a global public arts and environmental initiative, will plant 100 street banners designed by local designers and students in the downtown Washington DC. Each banner will use the form of, or metaphor for, a tree to make powerful visual statements about the environment. Together they’ll create a forest of thoughtful images in the heart of the nation’s capitol. Once the banners come down from the light poles, the artwork will be repurposed into tote bags for purchase. Proceeds from the sales of the tote bags will go to non-profit environmental efforts that will aid Washington DC in being a cleaner, greener and more sustainable city.

This project, conceived by Worldstudio, is being presented in Washington, DC by the District Department of Transportation (DDOT), in collaboration with the Corcoran College of Art and Design, AIGA DC and Downtown DC Business Improvement District. Seed funding for the project was provided through a grant from the USDA Forest Service with corporate sponsorship being sought to support implementation.

+Visit the DC Urban Forest Project Website



Second Class Citizen: A Shirt of Shame
|| 1/20/2010 || 12:10 pm || 2 Comments Rendered || ||

spreadshirt second class citizen Second Class Citizen: A Shirt of Shame

About a week ago I designed, ordered, and printed this t-shirt from www.SpreadShirt.com. The shirt features the text “SECOND CLASS CITIZEN” printed upside-down in metallic gold. The idea behind this design is that the wearer must bow their head down in shame in order to properly read the upside-down text. Residents of the District of Columbia, like myself, the intended wearer, are denied representation in Congress and are thus second-class citizens. That is pretty screwed up.


After creating the shirt, I realized that it reminded me of a similar design a friend of mine made that uses the flag of the District of Columbia: Upset The Setup.



My Urban Forest Project Submission: “Representation, Reforestation”
|| 1/15/2010 || 11:15 am || 1 Comment Rendered || ||

urban forest project My Urban Forest Project Submission: Representation, Reforestation
From the District of Columbia Commission on the Arts & Humanities website:


This spring, The Urban Forest Project will plant 100 street banners by local designers and students in downtown Washington, DC. Each banner will use the form of, or metaphor for a tree, to make a powerful visual statement about the environment. Together they’ll create a forest of thoughtful images in the heart of the nation’s capitol. This project is being brought to Washington, DC as a platform to engage the public in the City’s environmental efforts.

A model of sustainability: The banners will be hung on city light poles in downtown Washington, DC during the spring of 2010 in celebration of Arbor and Earth Days. They will then be recycled into unique one-of-a-kind totebags designed exclusively for the project. Proceeds from the sales of the totebags will go to non-profit environmental efforts that help make Washington, DC a clean, green and sustainable city.

The brief is simple: Begin with the form, idea or a characteristic of a tree and use it to interpret and explore an issue around the environment that you feel is pressing, or an idea you find entertaining or intriguing. The only constraint is that the banner should not advertise a brand or product, nor endorse a particular political party. That’s it.

A short history: The Urban Forest Project was first executed in New York City’s Times Square in the fall of 2006. To learn more visit The Urban Forest Project website: http://www.ufp-global.com

Brought to you by: This project, conceived by Worldstudio, is being presented in Washington, DC in collaboration with: the District Department of Transportation (DDOT), DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, AIGA DC and Corcoran College of Art and Design.


:: rendered at 10,000 x 6,000 pixels ::
urban forest project representation reforestation My Urban Forest Project Submission: Representation, Reforestation

Programs Used: Bryce 5.5 to render the tree and Photoshop 7.0 for the layout
Font Used: Monaco


My Urban Forest Project Statement:
Citizens are like trees. The longer we live in a location the deeper our roots within the community grow. Unless, of course, you happen live in the District of Columbia. Here roots of civic pride are prevented from growing deep into the soil of democracy through the denial of representation in Congress. The lone tree at the center of this design is the State Tree of the District of Columbia, the Scarlet Oak, Quercus coccinea Inaequalis. Extending behind this solitary tree of liberty is a reminder that Reforestation, the act of replanting, or repopulating a terrain, is needed for Representation in this urban environment. 535 species is far too few species for the health & sustainability of America’s magnificent forests.


I had a Lorax submit my design last week and hopefully I’ll find out in the next few months if my tree was selected for this project.





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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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