Burning Man and a Mom’s Street Justice – Capitol Punishment in Washington, DC

(Washington, DC 10/4)
Today, around 4:30 ET, a man set himself on fire on the Capitol Mall.  The video, Man in Flames, reports that the man poured gasoline on himself, saluted in the direction of the Capitol, and set himself on fire.

Joggers stopped and put the flames out with their shirts.

Before being evacuated by medics, the burned man thanked the joggers for their help.

As the Capitol Hill Car Chase video shows, yesterday, Margaret Carey of Stamford, CT, crashed into barriers near the White House.  After officers aimed their guns at her, she suddenly drove off toward the Capitol Building, pulled over when she arrived, exited her car, and was promptly shot by police.  She had no weapon.  Her one year old daughter was in the care with her the entire time. Police in her hometown found papers that she’d been prescribed risperidone, an anti-manic/anti-psychotic medication, that Carey was taking for sudden onset of postpartum depression.

The Capitol itself was locked down, as a bitter debate over the government shutdown was interrupted by echoes of shots, officers with guns and an urgent order to “shelter in place.” Washington Post, Oct 3

Could it be that the delusional and manic behavior of some in Congress is summoning those on the fringes to Washington to act out their distorted visions?

There is an interesting contrast in the events concerning the burning man and those of the dead mother. When passers by saw the man on fire, they knew what to do immediately. They put the fire out and sought help for the man. The man on fire behaved with extraordinary composure after the fire was put out. He thanked the joggers for their help.

In the car chase incident yesterday, the first reaction of the police was to draw their weapons.  This may seem odd to the rest of the country.  But,  some of us who live in the area hear stories about friends turning into the wrong building only to be approached by heavily armed security guards, weapons drawn.  That seems to be the first reaction – assume the worst.  It may or may not be justified.   However, in the car chase incident, the driver tried to end things peacefully.  Ms. Carey stopped on her own, exited the vehicle with no signs of a weapon, and was dropped, immediately.

The lesson is simple.  If you’re going to lose it in DC, make sure the first responders are citizens, not police.  It’s a matter of life and death.


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Michael Collins

DC area

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  • Notice how none of the news reports draw any parallel between the burning man and the famous Vietnamese buddhist monk who immolated himself in 1963?

    Or the famous Tunisian man whose self-immolation set off the Arab Spring revolution?

    Not for nothing, but self-immolation seems like an anecdotal indicator for future loss of authoritarian legitimacy and control.

    They’ll play up the crazy angle, but only for the same reason they never mentioned the precedents.

  • The lesson is simple. If you’re going to lose it in DC, make sure the first responders are citizens, not police. It’s a matter of life and death. –

    Sadly this seems to be the new normal all across Amerika. We read about daily accounts of the same action in different cities across the nation. It was pointed out on another site that new officers that have served in the military do not have any other training were as before most had at least an AA from a JC. I meet many officers yrs ago that had a BS or more in education. Is their anyone that might more on this?


  • Our overseers have become mad dogs. Either we’ll acknowledge our mistake and dispense the prescription for mad dogs, or more and more of us will end up like Margaret Carey, Oscar Grant, Sean Bell, Victoria Snelgrove, and Jean Charles de Menenzes. And the assholes will continue to make up whatever lies about us they want after we can no longer speak for ourselves.

    • Oscar Grant III – Unarmed, on rapid transit platform in Oakland – shot in back by police.

      Sean Bell – Unarmed New Yorker leavingi a night club after attending a wedding; 50 bullets fired into him in a “contagious shooting” – cops involved fired or forced to retire. No prosecutions.

      Victoria Snelgrove = killed with rubber bullet projectile used for crowd control after Red Sox victory.

      Jean Charles de Menenzes – Shot in London subway in case of mistaken identity; police assumed he was suspect as he ran to catch train, dropped him with extreme prejudice.

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