+ I’m excavating my way through Ron Chernow’s bulging, semi-woke (by the standards of the Texas Schoolbook Commission) biography of George Washington. I say, “semi-woke,” because while it discreetly admits that Washington was a patrician dandy of no exceptional military or administrative genius, who abused his troops, committed war crimes, bought his first election to public office with booze, and held 100s of slaves, often treating them cruelly in response to his own ineptitudes as a gentleman planter, it is quick to balance any evidence of fault in the character of the founding father with a statement to the effect that “while this may sound extreme to our ears, it was fairly typical for the time.” Which is, of course, exactly the point.
+ While Chernow’s text is rather elliptical on these decisive episodes in Washington’s life (there’s little risk of it being pulled from libraries in most of the states, at this point), the book is generously foot-noted with primary sources, many of them in Washington’s own hand (he was a prolific self-promoter of his own exalted life), which fill-in the more tenebrous aspects of his character.
+ The first member of the Washington clan to step foot in Virginia was John, who came ashore in the Tidewater area in 1676. George’s great-grandfather wasn’t much of a farmer (after all, he only owned three slaves and some Irish “servants”), but he did amass thousands of acres of land along the Potomac and received a military commission to kill Indians in Maryland, where he earned a reputation for treachery and slaughter. In one notorious incident, Washington murdered five Indian leaders who had come to negotiate a treaty, then claimed their land. He was known by the Potomac tribes as Conotocarious, “destroyer of villages, devourer of homes.”
+ It turns out George Washington could have easily run a CIA black site or the Gitmo torture camp. As an officer of the VA Regiment in the French & Indian wars, he proved a sadistic disciplinarian inflicting as many as 1500 lashes a day for relatively minor offenses: “drinking in and informed another officer he “was determined to hang two or three at a time as an example to the others. (ie., his soldiers).” He kept his condemned prisoners in iron chains in total darkness. In a letter to Robert Dimwiddie, the Lt Governor of VA, with whom he would later clash in the revolutionary war, Washington wrote coldly: Your honor will, I hope, excuse my hanging instead of shooting them. It conveyed much more terror to others and was for example’s sake we did it.”
+”To live in Virginia without slaves is morally impossible.”
– Rev. Peter Fontaine, 1757
+ Though they can’t be blamed for its pompous and derivative neo-classical design, seven master black carpenters built most of the plantation house at Mount Vernon. They were all enslaved by Washington. The overseer of the construction, Humphrey Knight, wrote Washington, assuring the young land baron that he wasn’t light with the whip when he spotted a loose board or crooked plank: “As to the carpenters, I have minded ’em all I posably could and has whipt ’em when I could see a fault.”
+ Martha Washington kept her own sister, Ann Dandridge, as a slave. Ann was the daughter of Martha’s father John Dandridge and a young, enslaved woman, who was half-black, half-Cherokee. Ann lived as a slave at Mount Vernon until 1802, after first George, then Martha died.
+ In reading about Washington, I’ve become increasingly distracted by Peggy Shippen, wife of Benedict Arnold. Washington was so entranced by her even after evidence of her complicity in Benedict’s treason came to light he refused to believe it. Shippen was reportedly the highest paid British spy of the Revolutionary period. Aaron Burr was almost certainly right in charging that Shippen was not only central to the conspiracy but enticed Arnold into becoming a British agent and surrendering West Point. This image of Shippen, whose coif would have shamed Madame Pompadour, gives you some idea of what charged the erotic fantasies of the nation’s first president, who called himself “a votary to love.” He remained in the thrall of a similar “Georgian era” English beauty, Sally Fairfax who fled the nearby Belvoir plantation at the start of the Revolution for Bath, England, for most of his life…
Sounds like a very interesting book.
"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
Friday, February 18, 2022. Joe Biden continues to persecute Julian Assange, Iraq's still in a political stalemate, Iraqi children are targeted, Iraq's LGBTQ community continues to flee the country for safety and much more.
Starting with Joe Biden's ongoing persecution of Julian Assange. Is it cofusing to some? Julian is being persecuted for telling the truth. The US President is going after Julian for telling the truth.
Apparently, Jo ewishes Julian were more like his son Hunter -- a non-stop liar. A lair who who lies about everything, his money, how he leeched it, whether or not he's the father of a child -- In fact, that last one? The woman who had to go to court to get him to admit the baby was his and to get him to pay child support? As Ruth notes in "Hunter's baby mama testifies before the grand jury,"Lunden Roberts testified before a grand jury this week in the ongoing criminal probe of Hunter.
We all know how Hillary and a whorish media tried to dupe the American pbulic in 2-16 insisting she wasn't part of a criminal investigation -- cirminal investigations are all the FBI does. By the same token, grtand juries do not do civil cases. This is an ongoing criminal investigation into Hunter Biden's activites.
Cracik whore Hunter, apparetnly laying off drugs at present (though rumors have him partying this week at a strip joint -- they claim he again went to a private room and had a stripper use a dildo on him -- unlike the previous reported time, this go round he is said to have not insisted upon a brand new dildo and just let the stripper use one that was already on hand).
Seems like Joe should try getting his own house in order.
But it seems like Joe should have long ago dropped the efforts to extradite Julian to the US to face charges for shining some sunlight onto government crimes.
The whole world is watching. Joe Biden is a loser and will go down as such in history. His continued persecution of Julian goes against everything the US government pretends to be. And the whole world watches. They realize it's not "Bad Donald Trump." That's not hte problem. Donald's gone. Joe's the president now. And the persecution continues.
The world sees Joe trying to destroy Julian aand the First Amendement. This assault is scuccessful. Already you have a craven US media cowed even more. Imagine how much worse it woul dbe if Joe succeeds in kidnapping -- let's call it what it is -- Julian and forcing him to stand trial in some US kangaroo court. Joe is attacking the freedom of the press when he attacks Julian.
WSWS notes the statement from the Action Committee for the Defense of Freedom of Art and Expression::
The Action Committee for the Defence of Freedom of Art and Expression (ACDAE) in Sri Lanka will hold an online public meeting at 7 p.m. on Thursday February 24 Sri Lankan (Indian Standard) time, as part of the global campaign to release WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is in danger of being extradited the US on bogus charges.
Assange’s alleged crime was to publish documents exposing the war crimes, mass surveillance and diplomatic intrigues of the US and its allies. The Australian citizen has been the victim of a vicious decade-long witch hunt by the US, UK, Swedish and Australian governments.
Although Assange in January won the right to a UK Supreme Court appeal against his extradition case, the experiences of the past three years of the award-winning journalist’s detention by the British state, demonstrate that no faith can be placed in the judiciary.
The World Socialist Web Site condemned the UK December 10 court ruling against Assange as a pseudo-legal travesty to justify his ongoing persecution. If Assange is extradited to the US, he will face espionage charges that carry an effective life sentence and possibly the death penalty.
The world is watching. And it's Joe Biden and the US's reputation sinking. Around the world, support for Julian grows and strengthens. And Joe gets his way and puts Julian on trial in the US? You have a martyr the world will never foget. Julian becomes JFK and Joe Biden is left to play Lee Harvey Oswald.
The cryptocurrency community has set up a DAO to raise funds for Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, who is currently imprisoned on various charges in London.
Assange was arrested in 2019; he was charged with conspiracy after helping former U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning access U.S. government secrets and publish that data on Wikileaks beginning in 2010. He currently is imprisoned in London and is fighting extradition to the United States.
Now, members of the crypto community have formed a fundraising group called AssangeDAO to raise money for Assange's freedom. Because the group is structured as a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO), those who donate money will receive a governance token and gain input on the DAO's future direction.
Here's RT reporting more on that story.
New figures show Britain’s public prosecutor, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), splashed £151,000 on barristers who failed to convince a judge in January that the US has the right to extradite the WikiLeaks publisher.
The CPS acts on behalf of the US Department of Justice in transatlantic extradition cases.
Another £22,000 of British public money was spent on expert witnesses, as well as £5,000 on transcripts. The bill will rise further next month when an appeal by the CPS, at the behest of the US government, reaches the High Court in London.
A district judge ruled in January that Assange cannot be extradited on health grounds but the US subsequently won the right to appeal the ruling. The appeal was granted despite mounting concerns about the extradition attempt and its wider implications for press freedom.
A key FBI witness for the US government is a convicted paedophile who admits to fabricating testimony about Assange’s activities. Assange and his defence lawyers were previously spied on by the CIA after he had been granted asylum in the Ecuadorian
That's the UK. How many US tax dollars and tax hours is Joe Biden wasting on persecuting Julian Assange? And doing so without any real outcry from the American people for persecution. Look around, there's noo mob trying to round up Julian, insisting he be thrown in a US prison. It's the US government standing all by itself.
The world sees this.
That's a protest outside a town hall in Australia.
Again, around the world, people are watching. Poor Joe Biden. No one cares engouh about him, no one loves him enough, to explain to him how he is destroying any legacy he might have, how he is ensuring that he will go down in history as a loser and will become one of the most hated persons in future history books. All around the world.
The Progressive International (PI), in collaboration with several like minded organizations, will organize the second Belmarsh Tribunal in New York on February 25. It announced the decision in a press release on February 14. The Tribunal seeks to hold the US government accountable for its war crimes in the two decades of the so-called war on terror and also push for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s release.
The first Belmarsh Tribunal was organized in London during Assange’s extradition hearings in October last year. It is named after the infamous prison in London where Assange has been kept for almost three years.
The upcoming Belmarsh Tribunal in New York coincides with with the date of the opening of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility by the US in occupied parts of Cuba 20 years ago. Hundreds of people were imprisoned and systematically tortured in the name of fighting terrorism. Most of them have never been charged with any crime.
Julian exposed the truth about the US war on Iraq. Joe Biden voted to support that war. Why is he not asked about that? Not "Do you regret your vote." Why isn't he asked about what was his foundation for supporting the war? What was his thinking?
Because it goes to why he's such a lousy president now. He knows what needs to be done, he just won't do it.
Nouri al-Maliki could become the next prime minister in Iraq. Joe's fear of that is whispered to be why he forced the US government into bed with Shi'ite cleric and cult leader Moqtada al-Sadr -- Moqtada, a man responsible for the deaths of how many American troops? Moqtada responsible for attacks on Iraq's LGBTQ community (and people suspected of being part of that community who were not). Moqtada who loathes women and tries to strip them of their rights -- most recently during The October Movement when he threw his hissy fit that women were participating and started issuing edicts andf fatwas, caftan a-flapping as he screeched howled that women should not be allowed to protest with men.
Moqtada has no redeaming qualities. But Joe's in bed with him. Who knew Joe was a chubby chaser? In August, he approved the payment (bribe) to Moqtada to get Moqtada to announce he was now supporting the elections scheduled for two months later. US tax dollars sent to the killer of US troops.
What did the US get in exchange? Not a damn thing.
Again, Joe knows right from wrong -- didn't manage to teach it to Hunter, but Joe does know.
And Joe knows Nouri's a thug. Joe was saying in April of 2008 -- we covered that hearing -- that Nouri was a thug and that Iraq had no real government. He knew that then. Now maybe he's so senile that he's forgotten it. But, more likely, this is just another example of Joe knowing the facts but refusing to act appropriately in response to them. That has been the story of Joe's political life and him getting to put the title "president" in front of his name didn't change that one bit.
Let's stay on the LFBTQ community in Iraq for a moment. Azhar al-Rubaie (MIDDLE EAST EYE) reports:
It was a long and arduous journey for 23-year-old Samir Hassan, but in December 2021 he and his boyfriend finally received asylum status in Lithuania after fleeing from Iraq to Belarus with his boyfriend in July of that year.
Thousands of Iraqis poured into Belarus last year following a change in the country's visa rules, attempting to find a better life in Europe.
Among those were many LGBTQ+ people who left difficult lives filled with repression, violence, and loneliness in their home country.
“After a long story of hardship at home, I succeeded in arriving in Lithuania from Belarus. Such a horrible journey I experienced but nothing comes easily, I and my boyfriend cashed lots of money to settle in a safe place," said Hassan.
He said that due to his sexual orientation he was regularly facing problems with his family and received abuse on the streets of Iraq.
Meanwhile, Iraq remains without a president or a prime minister. Not having a president yet is a vlation of Iraq's Constitution which clearly outlines the steps that must be taken and when.
Strange, isn't it?
The whorish pwestern press told us Moqtada was a "king maker." The moment Joe Biden slipped into bed with Moqtada, he didn't give Moqtada just the tip, he slammed in balls deep and the media was there to go along with him.
All hail king maker Moqtda!
But here we are, the middle of February and nothing. Elections took place Ocgtober 10th.
No president. No prime minister.
The king maker appears not to have been as royal
Here's the beginning og a critique ASHARQ AL-Awsat has published on the current stalemate:
Head of the Sadrist movement, cleric Moqtada al-Sadr is carefully wading through the Iraqi political ring against his rivals in the pro-Iran Coordination Framework.
Iraq has witnessed a turbulent past two weeks with former minister Hoshyar Zebari being barred from running for president and the Supreme Court's surprise ruling on the Kurdistan Region's oil policy.
The ruling by the court on Tuesday cast doubt on the legal foundations of the independent oil policy of Iraq's Kurdish-run region and threatened to drive a political wedge between the two governments. The Supreme Court struck down the legal justifications for the semi-autonomous region's oil policy, effectively calling into question the future of the region's oil contracts, exports and revenues.
Amid these two developments, it appeared as though Sadr has been luring his rivals into revealing their cards as they grapple with the fallout of these rulings, their impact on the country and the formation of the new government.
However, the current tussle in Iraq goes beyond these rulings and the formation of a government, but extends to the very heart of the political process that has been in place since 2003.
The Coordination Framework is meanwhile, trying to exploit the rulings, warning Sadr against forming a government that excludes former prime minister Nouri al-Maliki or of joining the opposition.
Over the past two days, members of the Framework have mulled what the coming weeks will bring. They believe the rulings have dealt a blow to Sadr, who has been seeking the formation of a "national majority" government. The Framework has been opposed to this and believes the country cannot support the fallout from such a move.
The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) leader Masoud Barzani and Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr spoke on the phone on Thursday, reiterating their commitment to their tripartite alliance with Sunnis in Iraq’s parliament. The alliance will meet in the coming days, according to a statement by both figures.
“During the phone call, they talked about taking necessary steps and [having] coordination in the positions of the strategic tripartite alliance during the current stage in order to form a national majority government,” a joint statement from the political leaders read.
Barzani and Sadr agreed that the members of the alliance will meet “in the coming days,” it added. Arafat Karam, head of the Iraqi dossier at Barzani's office, told Rudaw later in the day that the "important" meeting will be held in Erbil without specifying the date.
Children are persecuted around the world. This is true in Iraq. Jo Becker notes at Human Rights Watch:
Iraqi authorities detained over 1,000 children, some as young as nine years old, last year on national security charges, primarily for suspected links with the Islamic State (ISIS), according to a new United Nations report. Although ISIS attacks have dropped considerably since the group lost most of its territory four years ago, the report finds that the detention of children has significantly increased.
In late 2018, I interviewed boys detained as ISIS suspects in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Some said they had been recruited to fight with ISIS, while others said that they worked as cooks, drivers, or simply participated in a few days of training. One 17-year-old said he believed he was arrested for working at a restaurant in Mosul that served ISIS members. A few said that they had no links to ISIS, other family members had. Regardless of the extent of their involvement, they were all charged with terrorism.
The majority of the boys said their interrogators tortured them to secure confessions. They described beatings with plastic pipes, electric cables, or rods, sometimes for hours. Nearly all said they eventually confessed to ISIS association, believing they had no other choice.
International law prohibits the recruitment or use of children by armed groups, yet Iraq is treating these children as criminals, even if there is no evidence they participated in violent crimes. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called on Iraq to release the children.
Instead of detaining and prosecuting children suspected of ISIS affiliation, Iraq should work with the UN to set up reintegration programs so that these children can rejoin their communities, get back into school, and resume their lives.
A recent United Nations report on children and armed conflict in Iraq shows a “sharp increase” in the total number of children detained in the country on national security charges and alleged links to the Islamic State group (ISIS), although it finds that the number of grave violations committed directly against children has decreased significantly between the summers of 2019 and 2021 as compared to previous years.
The fourth report of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict in Iraq, shared on Wednesday, outlines the progress made in the country so far in addressing crimes against children, highlighting key violations committed between the period of August 2019 to June 2021 and - crucially - naming the main perpetrators: ISIS, Iraq’s security forces, the Turkish Armed Forces’ “Operation Claw,” and the Iran-backed militia, the Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF, or Hashd al-Shaabi).
During the time frame, the report finds, at least 317 grave violations were committed against 254 children; four of whom were abducted, 98 of whom killed, and 151 maimed; the explosive remnants of war (121) and improvised explosive devices (46) being the leading causes of these casualties. It notes that the actual number of violations is likely to be far higher than the report can accurately show, but is nonetheless a dramatic decrease on the previous report’s total of 2,114, and the lowest number verified in the country since the UN began monitoring grave violations against children in 2009.
This is in response to the four above and one more deciding that in February of 2022 the most important to cover is . . . horse races. They're not covering candidates. They're offering the same superficial coverage that the mainstream media gets slammed for. And they're boring us all and trying to boss around -- vote for ___! Send money to ____!' It's outrageous.
As Jimmy Dore notes repeatedly, we're in a pnadmeic, and people are struggling. But not only do the women above beg you for money for their programs, they now want to reach into your pockets and take out more moeny so you'll fund the candidates they love.
It's outrageous. It's a misuse of fame. Yes, there fame is limited, but they're misusing it. I have never, ever been anything but respectful to a fan (unless they got intentionally agrressive -- I'm not talking about the one who grabbed my hand and broke my finger because he squeezed so hard, he was excited and didn't realize it was that tight). I would have nothing without them. I've never refused an autograph request or said, "Get that camera/phone away from me!" I don't hit them up for money.
But the ladies above not only want you to support them, now they need you to also support their candidates.
Talk about a goldigger.
Isaiah wants to be sure everyone has a chance to catch REVOLUTIONARY BLACKOUT's three reports on this nonsense.
The following sites updated: