Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Moorish Americans Claim Abandoned Properties

Fascinating situation. How do these nut cases convince one another that what they dream up is true??? Parents in nearby Navarre had a son killed, regretfully, by police because he claimed Sovereign Citizenship, and printed his own money. It would be funny, if the consequences were not so tragic. He’s dead and his parents are grieving. It’s not like the police LIKE shooting people; they have to live with the consequences, too. There are no winners when people try to claim these non-legal rights.

This is an AOL Original article by Graham Wood

Squatter Lamont Butler Puts Faith-Based Claim on Lavish Mansion

An interesting phenomenon has been popping up around the country: Squatters attempting to claim ownership of vacant or foreclosed homes because, they say, their religion gives them the right. That’s what 28-year-old Lamont Butler argued as he attempted to take over a gaudy $6 million home (pictured above and in the photo gallery at bottom) that, The Washington Post reported, was vacant and up for sale in Bethesda, Md. Butler (pictured below) said that he claimed the home as a Moorish American national and member of the Moorish Science Temple of America, a religious group founded in the early 20th century.

Some who say they follow its precepts preach that African-Americans lived in America before European settlement and so don’t need to abide by U.S. laws, such as those pertaining to property ownership. By this rationale, Butler claimed ownership of the Bethesda mansion.

“If only a palace will do,” the home’s listing says, “this is your home.” It’s a 35,000-square-foot juggernaut of a house with 12 bedrooms and 17 bathrooms, imported marble floors and limestone terraces. The home that once played host to political bigwigs such as Bill and Hillary Clinton, now was rightfully his, Butler said. According to the Post, Butler went to Maryland’s Department of Assessments and Taxation with a historic map and documents referencing peace treaties, then asked that tax records on the home be updated to reflect his ownership. The department refused to do so without a deed showing a transfer of ownership.

After that, Butler allegedly entered the empty home on two occasions. Neighbors alerted the home’s owner when they saw cars parked out front. When police arrived at the house after complaints, they found “No Trespassing” signs hanging in the windows, a stereo on full blast and food in the refrigerator. Butler sent emails to real estate agent Jordan Fainberg, who represents the home’s listing, stating: “Even though there was no false arrest made … by the Public Servant Trustee Police Enforcers for the private foreign corporate-for-profit entity styled as Montgomery County Police Department, and conversations ended on peaceable terms, I, as well as others, will be coming to the land property estate this week.”

Butler was eventually arrested, the Post said, and along with the case of breaking-and-entering against him in Bethesda, he’d already been charged elsewhere with identity theft and concealing a dangerous weapon. Authorities say that his claim on the Bethesda mansion holds no weight. But this very odd case is no isolated incident. People calling themselves Moorish Americans have been attempting to take over properties all over the country. “I can promise you that every state has had their challenges with these guys,” Carol Foglesong, a land records official in Orange County, Fla., told the Post. States including Virginia and Maryland are even passing laws to impose stricter penalties against those who attempt such property takeovers.

Earlier this month in Memphis, Tenn., a woman claiming to be a Moorish American was arrested after allegedly breaking into and squatting in a $3.1 million mansion, Memphis TV station WHBQ reported. In that incident, a SWAT team stormed the home to remove Tabitha Gentry and her teenage daughter. Gentry claimed that her status as a Moorish American national meant that the government could not control her.

March 20, 2013 Posted by | Crime, Cultural, Financial Issues, Lies, Living Conditions | , , , | Leave a comment

Reports of Sexual Assault Increasing in India: Warning Issued

Another Woman Who Should Have Known She Was in the Wrong Place? She’s in her hotel room – near the Taj Mahal . . . is this another case of being in the wrong place in India? You’re not safe in your own hotel room? The manager of the hotel comes to your room to wake you for a wake-up call???

20 March 2013

Tourist balcony jump: Hotel manager and guard in court

A hotel manager and guard accused of sexually harassing a British tourist who jumped from a hotel balcony to escape have appeared in court in Agra.

A lawyer acting for hotel manager Sachin Chauhan said his client denied the charge and he had been trying to wake the woman up because she had asked for an early morning call.

The 31-year-old British woman was injured after jumping on Tuesday.

The Briton has been giving her statement at the court.

Initial reports suggested the woman told police she asked for a wake-up call at 04:00 local time and was offered a massage by the hotel owner when he knocked on her door.

She said the man would not leave so she locked the door and jumped from her balcony to the level below, injuring her leg, before fleeing the hotel.

On Tuesday, a spokesman for the British High Commission in India said UK consular officials in Delhi had spoken to the woman and local police.

The Foreign Office recently updated its advice for women visiting India, saying they should use caution and avoid travelling alone on public transport, or in taxis or auto-rickshaws, especially at night.

It added that reported cases of sexual assault against women and young girls were increasing and recent sexual attacks against female visitors in tourist areas and cities showed that foreign women were also at risk.

Police arrested six people following an alleged gang rape of a Swiss tourist in Madhya Pradesh state last week.

The woman was attacked with her husband as they camped in woodland near a village in Datia district.

The arrests came as India’s politicians prepared to debate a new law against rape, following the outcry over the fatal assault on a female Delhi student last year.

March 20, 2013 Posted by | Crime, Cross Cultural, Cultural, ExPat Life, India, Living Conditions, Travel | Leave a comment

Mobile Museum of Art

We were so efficient at the Mobile Botanical Garden that we had plenty of time to hit the nearby Mobile Museum of Art. Actually, we loved the whole park area; there is the Botanical Garden, the Museum of Art, also walking paths, a huge water . . . something, it might be a river or a large lake with a dam in it, I don’t know what it is, but it is a large amount of water. There are athletic fields and even some offices, not large office buildings but some smaller outlying kinds of state or county offices. It’s a nice park, it has a nice feeling, a lot going on.

It doesn’t hurt that it is one of the prettiest days of the year, not hot, not humid, and no mosquitos!





I love it that not all the art is inside the building. There is statuary outside, along the walking path, and this huge made-from-found-objects butterfly at the entrance. It is wonderful. As you enter the museum, looking through miles of glass out through trees at the water, you immediately think “what a place for an event!” thinking wedding, reception, small chamber group performance, etc. Truly beautiful spaces; I would show you but they have a really strict policy about photographing inside the building, so I didn’t.

They have some surprising pieces, surprisingly good for a small museum. They have some very odd pieces, par for the course in a small museum. They have an amazing art glass collection, beautifully displayed in a room with gorgeous natural light that allows each piece to shine. They had an exquisite visiting exhibit based on a Vietnamese classic, with intricate, ethereal pieces.

Too much to take in on one visit! I think our favorite piece in the exhibit were some gorgeous silvery angel wings on a wall near the gallery entrance on the top floor. When you get closer to the exhibit, you see it really, REALLY is silvery – it is silver spoons! The bowls of the spoons form the outer part of the feathers, hundreds of spoons, and the base of the spoon the lower part. It is whimsical and surprising, and made me whoop a little (trying to be respectful in a museum 🙂 ) with delight. We are eager to go back and to take our little grandson, as he gains in ability to focus his attention 🙂


Driving Directions From I-65
From I-65, take the Springhill Avenue Exit (Exit 5) and head west on Springhill Avenue. Go approximately 1 1/2 miles and turn left on John D. New Street (traffic signal). Take an immediate right onto Museum Drive. The Museum is the first building on the right.

Screen shot 2013-03-19 at 2.05.03 PM

March 20, 2013 Posted by | Adventure, Arts & Handicrafts, Beauty, Building, Community, Cultural, Customer Service, Education, Exercise, Living Conditions, Road Trips | , , , , , , | Leave a comment