Sunday, November 27, 2016


"The sandstone statue in Basel's Rathaus courtyard is Lucius Munatius Plancus, a Roman senator and officer of Julius Caesar when he founded the nearby city of Augusta Raurica in 44 B.C. It is the oldest Roman colony on the Rhine. The sculpture was created in 1580 by Hans Michel from Strasbourg. In the gallery are paintings from 1610 by Hans Bock. Above the left arch is a colorful tribute to when Basel joined the Swiss Federation in 1501." ~ Wikipedia

Profiles in Protest

First in a short series of profiles.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Basel Minster

"The Basel Minster (German: Basler Münster) is one of the main landmarks and tourist attractions of the Swiss city of Basel. It adds definition to the cityscape with its red sandstone architecture and coloured roof tiles, its two slim towers and the cross-shaped intersection of the main roof. The Münster is listed as a heritage site of national significance in Switzerland.

Originally a Catholic cathedral and today a Reformed Protestant church, it was built between 1019 and 1500 in Romanesque and Gothic styles. The late Romanesque building was destroyed by the 1356 Basel earthquake and rebuilt by Johannes Gmünd, who was at the same time employed for building the Freiburg Münster. This building was extended from 1421 by Ulrich von Ensingen, architect of the cathedral towers at Ulm and Strasbourg. The southern tower was completed in 1500 by Hans von Nußdorf." ~ Wikipedia

Ronald Reagan Building

"The Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, named after former United States President Ronald Reagan, is the first federal building in Washington, D.C. designed for both governmental and private sector purposes.

Each of the organizations located in the Pennsylvania Avenue building are dedicated to international trade and globalization. Organizations headquartered in this building include the U.S. Agency for International Development, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. The first private sector lease was signed with investment banking firm Quarterdeck Investment Partners, Inc. The building hosts conferences, trade shows, cultural events, and outdoor concerts. Post-9/11, security requirements for high-profile federal buildings have limited the amount of public/private access anticipated by the center's designers." ~ Wikipedia

Friday, November 25, 2016


Basel Minster
Basel, Switzerland

Conflict of Interest

"In 2013, the General Services Administration leased Washington’s historic Post Office Pavilion to the Trump Organization for $180 million. Before his inauguration on Jan. 20, the GSA must terminate the Organization’s lease. The 60-year deal presents unprecedented and intolerable conflicts of interest. Swift action by GSA is necessary to protect the integrity of the federal government contracting process."

Steven L. Schooner is a professor of government procurement law and co-director of the Government Procurement Law Program at George Washington University.

Daniel I. Gordon was President Obama's first Federal Procurement Policy administrator.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Basel Final 2016

"The 2016 UEFA Europa League Final was the final match of the 2015–16 UEFA Europa League, the 45th season of Europe's secondary club football tournament organised by UEFA, and the seventh season since it was renamed from the UEFA Cup to the UEFA Europa League. It was played at the St. Jakob-Park in Basel, Switzerland on 18 May 2016, between English team Liverpool and Spanish team and two-time defending champions Sevilla. Sevilla won the match 3–1 to become the first team to win the UEFA Cup/Europa League three times in a row; it was their record fifth title overall." ~ Wikipedia

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone, from D.C.!

And thanks, Tex, for hosting Good Fences. :-)

Wednesday, November 23, 2016


Basel Minster
Basel, Switzerland


I never would have thought our American lexicon would suddenly become filled with words like "white supremacy", "white nationalism" and "AFA". But something's been happening in the USofA these past few years and, folks, it ain't pretty!

"Anti-Fascist Action (AFA) was a militant anti-fascist organization founded in the UK in 1985, by a wide range of anti-racist and anti-fascist organisations. 
It was active in fighting far-right organisations, particularly the National Front and British National Party. It was notable in significantly reducing fascist street activity in Britain in the 1990s. AFA had what they called a 'twin-track' strategy: physical confrontation of fascists on the streets and ideological struggle against fascism in working class communities. 
Among its more notable mobilisations were violent confrontations such as the 'Battle of Waterloo' in 1992 and non-violent events such as the Unity Carnivals of the early 1990s." ~ Wikipedia

Are such organizations useful in the struggle against fascism? That's a question I've been wrestling with these past few days. Based on my observations of this past Saturday's demonstration, I tend to agree with Andrew Gilligan of the Sunday Telegraph who said that "anti-racist groups fuel the very division, polarisation and tension they are supposed to counter."

I say that because I believe members of the AFA were largely responsible for the violence that broke out. To be sure, no encounter would have occurred if two members of the NPI had not decided to insert themselves and their hateful views into the demonstration. On the other hand, I believe it was members of the AFA who provoked and finally directly contributed to the fracas.

What do you think?

Tuesday, November 22, 2016


Basel Minster
Basel, Switzerland

White Nationalists

As I noted in an earlier post, protesters at the Ronald Reagan Building were there mostly to demonstrate against the "white nationalists" who were meeting inside. While I've long had an idea who those people are, I came away from this past Saturday better understanding the subtle differences among them. While I find all their views odious and unacceptable, here's some of what I learned:

"White nationalism is an ideology that advocates a racial definition of national identity. Proponents of the ideology identify with and are attached to the concept of a white nation. It ranges from a preference for one's specific white ethnic group, to feelings of superiority, including calls for national citizenship to be reserved for white people.

White separatism and white supremacy are subgroups of white nationalism. Separatists seek a white-only state, while supremacists add ideas from social Darwinism and Nazism to their ideology. Both subgroups generally avoid the term supremacy because it has negative connotations.

Critics have argued that ideas such as white pride and white nationalism exist [solely] to provide a sanitized public face for white supremacy, and that most white nationalist groups promote racial violence." ~ Wikipedia

Add my name to that list of "critics". 

Monday, November 21, 2016


Basel Minster
Basel, Switzerland

Camera Crews

As I said in yesterday's post, I arrived at the Ronald Reagan Building at about the same time as the reporters and camera crews from various media outlets were arriving and setting up their equipment. The fellow shown here in the coat and tie was kind of like a one-man band in that he was shooting video and interviewing protestors. Others were there solely to shoot video. 

Sunday, November 20, 2016


Basel, Switzerland


Having read about the National Policy Institute (an alt-right, white nationalist think tank) luncheon in the Ronald Reagan Building and that a demonstration was being organized to protest it, I hopped aboard the Metro and headed downtown. I wanted to experience firsthand what the mood was like among people around places like the Department of Justice, the Capitol, the FBI as well as, of course, the Trump Hotel and Ronald Reagan Building. I arrived at the latter just when the police arrived and the organizers were laying out the ground rules for the protest.

Security was handled by the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Protective Service in coordination with the D.C. police.

The Federal Protective Service police were going over their notes before the protest.

Saturday, November 19, 2016


Basel is divided into two by the Rhine. To pass from one side to the other, many people cross using one of these reaction ferries.

"A reaction ferry is a cable ferry that uses the reaction of the current of a river against a fixed tether to propel the vessel across the river. Such ferries operate faster and more effectively in rivers with strong currents." ~ Wikipedia


Friday, November 18, 2016


It's my understanding that a number of once distinguished (i.e. wealthy) citizens of Basel are interred here in the confines of the cloister at Basel Minster.

Tavern Art

Thursday, November 17, 2016

More Views

With just a little imagination. . .

I don't think it's hard to imagine the religious who once walked these passageways.

Basel Minster
Basel, Switzerland

Maintenance & Repair

Now that the Charles Mercer has been taken out of service for the year, it's time for it's annual maintenance and repair. These fellows looked like they were doing a great job.

Some interesting tidbits of information I picked up about the boat over at the Friends of the Historic Great Falls Tavern site: 

"The Charles F. Mercer includes superstructure features typical of the double-decked packet boats that plied the C&O during 19th and early 20th centuries. These features include an enclosed cabin and deckhouses running substantially the length of the boat with an additional topside, day deck built into the cabin roof and, in turn, covered by a single continuous, canvas canopy.

For purposes of longevity and maintenance, the Mercer is built on a painted aluminum hull with wooden rails and a fully cedar super-structure. The Mercer is 57' at water line with a beam of 13'."

Wednesday, November 16, 2016


Looking back at the entrance to the cloister.

Basel Minster
Basel, Switzerland

Superman Revealed

When I saw Superman pick up this phone, I "called" him out and said that he must be Superman. He insisted he was only pretending. 

Sure! But we know the truth. :-)

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Sunday, November 13, 2016


Basel Minster
Basel, Switzerland

Mixed Media

Bugs appear to be attracted to the bright colors of paint, much to the consternation of this artist. I suggested to her that she should therefore refer to her art as "mixed media". :-)