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Washington, DC is becoming "A Clockwork Orange"

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UPDATE: I realized on the plane back from Chicago that I forgot to mention a number of other crimes that happened in the past few months near my relatively 'safe' neighborhood (well, safe in DC terms). A month ago, our friend John had his house burglarized. Two weeks ago, my friend David had his home alarm go off, the alarm company contacted him and asked if he wanted them to call the police, he said "well, yeah," so they did. The cops never showed up. Nice - a burglar alarm goes off at your house, the cops are called, and they never show up. Then Joe was jogging the other day near Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's house, where there is 24-hour security, and he sees a guy who tells him he got mugged the night before right by Rummy's house. He asks Joe if that's normal for this neighborhood, and Joe says, well, it's getting that way. Then there was the guy murdered on 18th street, the strip with all the bars and restaurants, just a month or so ago. And the gay bashing several months back on 18th street, where the fast-food pizza owner refused to even call the cops while the gay guy lay nearly unconscious on the floor in the middle of the line so people were now stepping over him, and where the cops eventually threatened the gay victim for trying to get the video of the attack from the store owner because the cops refused to get it. I'm sure I'm forgetting a few recent attacks involving friends and contacts in our neighborhood, but you get the picture. Oh yeah, one more. A couple months ago, about a block away, a neighbor is walking his extremely large, black poodle (one of the large imposing kinds, not the small yippy kinds), and several guys jump out of a van and pull a gun on him. Fortunately the dog lunged for the gun and the guys fled. But we're talking people who don't care if you have a large dog with you, they still attack you. They don't care if you're 6 foot 5 (read below), they still attack you. Get the picture of our sweet little Washington?

If you never saw the movie "A Clockwork Orange," it's about... well... I don't even remember what it's about, I saw it so long ago. All I remember from the movie was an incredibly graphic and violent scene of some thugs breaking into a woman's home. The rest was so violent and nasty, it still sticks in my head some 30+ years later.

That is what Washington, DC is now becoming, a city of gratuitous and graphic violence. I'm serious, the city is dangerous folks. Visit or live here at your own peril.

I say this as someone who is rather an expert on DC crime. I got mugged a few years back, quite violently in front of my own apartment (8 o'clock at night, fully lit area, right by a 7-11 where all the cops hang out, on a really busy street) - none of that stopped two kids from jumping me from behind and trying to strangle me to death. They didn't want my money, they just wanted to stop me from breathing. And for a while, they did.

Well, long story short, the cops were not very obliging to me when I reported the crime - hell, I handed them one of the accomplices, who was still at the scene, and they let him go - so I launched an Internet campaign against the DC police and the mayor, and it caused quite a bit of hell. So, I know a lot about DC crime.

These kind of senseless crimes - and I mean senseless in the sense that the crimes are only about violence, they're not about robbery or vengeance or anything else, just pure violence - have been building over the past several years. But over the past year or so, it's built to a crescendo of violence. A New York Times reporter is attacked and murdered simply walking near his home - why? Who knows. A friend of my friend Cate is brutally murdered while walking his dog, they don't even take his wallet - why? Who knows. A series of women are attacked, violently, just a block from house and it gets so bad that the police email the neighborhood to warn us - the woman are simply being beaten up on the street. Just a month ago, a friend of mine who is 6 foot 5 inches tall - yeah, he's THAT big - and 24 years old, gets jumped by 3 or 4 guys who seemingly just wanted to beat the crap out of him, no attempted robberty, nothing. And all of these happened in "nice" neighborhoods where yuppies pay lots and lots of money for new condos.

And oh yeah, we recently had a series of attacks on the National Mall, a place where nobody ever gets attacked.

Then we have this past weekend. A British aspiring politico is walking his girlfriend home in Georgetown - quite possibly the most expensive and ritziest part of DC - and several guys walk up to them, slit the boyfriend's throat (he dies) and then drag the girlfriend to the alley to rape her. (To the cops' credit, they think they caught the guys who did this.)

This is Georgetown, folks. It's like getting murdered and raped in Beverly Hills. As much as the cops and the politicians try to tell you that "shit happens" in big cities, it doesn't happen on a regular basis in the "good" neighborhoods, and it sure doesn't happen on a regular basis where I grew up. We've even had several shootings and murders in my neighborhood in DC and the surrounding neighborhoods, and they're pretty damn nice, well, compared to the neighborhoods next door.

Washington, DC, for all of its economic improvement over the past several years, is still a terribly dangerous city, and increasingly so over the past few years. The Chief of Police has no clue what to do about the problem, and honestly, he's loathe to admit there even is a problem, or even tell the truth when he does "admit" it. He prefer to talks about the level of poverty and all the "LA gangs" that have infiltrated DC - as if DC is the first city in America to suffer from gangs and poverty. Our Mayor has no interest in anything other than baseball. And our city council talks a good talk, but when push comes to shove, they do nothing to ameliorate the problem. They're afraid of the chief of police, and seemingly of their own power.

It's a conspiracy of incompetence, or at best, indifference.

Before you go plopping down half a million dollars to live in some new condo in a neighborhood that was a ghetto just a year ago (and still really is), you might want to take a hard look through the newspapers. Even the best neighborhoods in DC are now seeing random rapes and murders, and our politicians are telling us this is quite "normal" for any big city (it hadn't been "normal" in my neighborhood for the past ten years or so that I recall). And the neighborhoods all the young well-off kids are moving in to make my neighborhood (which is nice, but still edgy), look like Bel Air.

DC has become "A Clockwork Orange." The rumors of it being crime-ridden are well deserved.

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