Tag Archive for Virginia

You guys, life in FXBG is about to get A LOT better

The VRE at Fredericksburg. Courtesy VRE.

Holy crap, you guys. This is HUGE, for FXBG and all of Virginia. As a Fredericksburger, sabbaticallish VRE commuter, and urbanist, I’ve been half-following this story.  Over the past couple of Democratic administrations in Richmond, the state has been planning to increase track capacity between DC and Richmond in order to make commuter and passenger rail faster, more reliable, and more frequent.  There are a couple of big challenges for this project.  First, most of the important track and right-of-way in Virginia are owned by freight railroads, mostly Norfolk Southern and CSX, and while they allow other trains on their tracks, they control the scheduling and the prioritization which means that passenger and commuter trains have to work around their freight trains’ schedules, and when something goes wrong with the schedule, freight trains are often prioritized, meaning that passenger and commuter rail is chronically late all around Virginia.  Second, all of the tracks and rights-of-way in Virginia (and really for most of the southeastern seaboard) funnel through Arlington and onto the “Long Bridge” across the Potomac into DC, where they connect to the Northeast Corridor.  The Long Bridge is over a hundred years old, and while it’s reportedly in good shape, it only has two tracks, which means it’s a huge bottleneck.  It’s already operating at capacity, so no one … not VRE, not Amtrak, and not the freight railroads … can add more trains, at least peak times.

Read more

Sowing Chaos in Virginia

From An Authentic and impartial narrative of the tragical scene which was witnessed in Southampton County (Virginia) on Monday the 22d of August last...

From An Authentic and impartial narrative of the tragical scene which was witnessed in Southampton County (Virginia) …

Today the Fourth Circuit in Richmond denied the Prince William County Clerk Michele McQuigg’s request that they stay their decision finding Virginia’s gay marriage ban unconstitutional.  This is obviously great and welcome news, not least because the Family Foundation of Virginia thinks it will be a disaster.  (Pretty much anything they think will be a disaster is by definition a good thing.)  Their president, Victoria Cobb, said of the decision, “It’s shocking that the 4th Circuit has introduced chaos to Virginia.”  So gay marriage advocates are the ones introducing historic chaos to Virginia?  My dear Ms. Cobb, Nat Turner would like to have a word with you.  That is all I have to say about Victoria Cobb and the Family Foundation of Virginia.

Welcoming Us Home

We did this, literally, in 2010.

We did this, literally, in 2010.

It’s been two weeks since Brian and I got married, and a little over a week and a half since we returned to Virginia from where we got married in New York. We went back north to get married because we’re both from New York, much of our family is still there, and because, well, it’s legal in New York, and not in Virginia. Our return to Fredericksburg was the subject of some comment around the time of the wedding. A heckler during the toasts made a joke about the discrimination we would face upon returning home, and I also made a comment on Facebook about becoming legally unmarried when crossing the Potomac. Read more

A Very Special Virginia Anti-Marriage Equality Argument

This shining example of traditional marriage is why the the gays can't have any.

This shining example of traditional marriage is why the the gays can’t have any.

David Cohen in Slate has brought word of what he calls “The Worst Argument Ever Made Against Gay Marriage,” made last week before the Fourth Circuit in Richmond.  The occasion was the state’s appeal of the Eastern District of Virginia’s decision in Bostic v. Schaefer that the Commonwealth’s constitutional ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional.  The attorney defending the ban, David Oakley, made a brave foray into Virginia history in order to show Virginia’s “traditional” support for opposite-gender marriages.  That’s right, the gays can’t get married in Virginia because of Pocahontas. Read more

Fxbg’s Landscape of Slave-Made Capitalism


The beating heart of Fredericksburg's capitalist emergence.

The beating heart of Fredericksburg’s capitalist emergence.

This recent post by Julia Ott, a historian of capitalism at the New School, articulates forcefully a point that can’t be repeated enough: in a very real sense, slaves were the capital that made the emergence of capitalism possible.  Or, as she puts it, “slave-capital proved indispensable to the emergence of industrial capitalism and to the ascent of the United States as a global economic power.  Indeed, the violent dispossession of racialized chattel slaves from their labor, their bodies, and their families — not the enclosure of the commons identified by Karl Marx — set capitalism in motion and sustained capital accumulation for three centuries.” Read more

Carter’s Grove is For Sale

I wonder what the air conditioning bill is?

I wonder what the air conditioning bill is like?

Does anyone want to give me $15 million?  All I found under the couch this morning was a dime.  I ask because Carter’s Grove, a plantation built on the James River just below Williamsburg in early 1750s for the descendants of Robert ‘King’ Carter, has come on the market.  I have been developing a more personal interest in historic Virginia architecture recently, as all the cuts on my fingers from noodling around in the guts of an 1839 clockmaker and silversmith’s shop can attest.  Seems like Carter’s Grove would be a nice step up from a modest artisan’s workshop and residence on Caroline Street. Read more