R.I.P. Ben Ferencz

“No country that prefers to use its power rather than the rule of law will vote for the rule of law, it’s logical,” he said in a recent documentary. “There are some people who do not trust the rule of law, and they prefer to use military power to achieve their goals as they decide, when they decide. That’s led by the United States. … War will make mass murderers out of otherwise decent people. … It’s inevitable, whether they are Americans, or they’re Germans, or anybody else.”

Never forget!

Republican Party, America’s rightwing mouthpiece, restarts their campaign to Whitewash history

Stephen Maturen/Getty

25 May 2020, a man died after a “medical incident during police interaction” in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The man was suspected of forgery and “believed to be in his 40s”. He “physically resisted officers” and, after being handcuffed, “appeared to be suffering medical distress”. He was taken to the hospital “where he died a short time later”.

It is not difficult to imagine a version of reality where this, the first police account of George Floyd’s brutal death beneath the knee of an implacable police officer, remained the official narrative of what took place in Minneapolis one year ago. That version of reality unfolds every day. Police lies are accepted and endorsed by the press; press accounts are accepted and believed by the public.

That something else happened – that it is now possible for a news organization to say without caveat or qualification that Derek Chauvin murdered George Floyd – required herculean effort and extraordinary bravery on the part of millions of people.

The laborious project of establishing truth in the face of official lies is one that Americans embraced during the racial reckoning of the summer of 2020, whether it was individuals speaking out about their experiences of racism at work, or institutions acknowledging their own complicity in racial injustice. For a time, it seemed that America was finally ready to tell a more honest, nuanced story of itself, one that acknowledged the blood at the root.

But alongside this reassessment, another American tradition re-emerged: a reactionary movement bent on reasserting a whitewashed American myth. These reactionary forces have taken aim at efforts to tell an honest version of American history and speak openly about racism by proposing laws in statehouses across the country that would ban the teaching of “critical race theory”, the New York Times’s 1619 Project, and, euphemistically, “divisive concepts”…

Legislation seeking to limit how teachers talk about race has been considered by at least 15 states…

Hoping to return America to our racist roots, the fascist clown show that owns the Republican Party marches off again on their favorite highway paved with bigotry, lies and deceit.

Find truth. Follow the smell!

After learning that ‘Dilbert’ creator Scott Adams made racist comments last week on YouTube, Robb Armstrong launched what he called the “black Sharpie rebellion.”

The long-running syndicated comic strip “JumpStart” and a CBS television series that would feature a Black family in Philadelphia are works of Armstrong. Adams and Armstrong used to be friends, and Adams even published a positive review of Armstrong’s 2016 book.

Armstrong initially believed it was a joke when a friend informed him that Adams had claimed on his “Real Coffee” YouTube program on Wednesday that the author of “Dilbert” was encouraging segregation by asking White folks to “get hell away from” Black… 

Since last week, the comic strip has been pulled by hundreds of publications, including The Post. The publisher of “Dilbert” and Adams’ syndicate, Andrews McMeel Universal, said in a statement on Sunday that it was “severing our connection” with Adams. This termination affects “all elements of our business” with the cartoonist…

Other cartoonists, including Luke McGarry and Clay Jones, portrayed Adams’s titular office-drone character as bigoted, with McGarry portraying him in a Ku Klux Klan robe and hood and Jones portraying him dining with white supremacist and antisemite Nick Fuentes, rapper Ye, and former president Donald Trump. 

Napoleon’s Death Mask

Death mask of Napoleon, taken a day and a half after he died on the island of St. Helena at age 51. His eyes are closed, lips slightly parted, and his shaven head is tilted backward, resting on a pillow garnished with a tassel at each corner. Napoleon’s original death mask was created on May 7, 1821. Surrounding his deathbed were doctors from France and Britain.

During the time of Napoleon Bonaparte, it was customary to cast a death mask of a great leader who had recently died. A mixture of wax or plaster was carefully placed over Napoleon’s face and removed after the form had hardened.

From this impression, subsequent copies would be cast. Contrary to some accounts of Napoleon’s death, it was not Dr. Antommarchi who made the original mask or so-called “parent mold”; it was the surgeon Francis Burton of Britain’s Sixty-Sixth Regiment at St. Helena.

Looks better IMHO than any actor ever chosen for a movie representation.

Barnum’s Animal Crackers

Original box circa 1902

Did you eat Barnum’s Animal Crackers when you were a kid or maybe you still eat them? Do you know why they put a string on the original boxes from 1902? Read the answer at the end of this post.

Do they still make Barnum’s Animal Crackers? According to Wikipedia the rotary dies are still used today. Barnum’s Animals Crackers are all produced in the Fair Lawn, New Jersey, bakery by Nabisco Brands. More than 40 million packages of Barnum’s Animals Crackers are sold each year, both in the United States and exported to 17 countries worldwide.

Today’s box…cages are finally gone

Today the box has changed and they have a handle instead of the string. About five years ago the animals on the box were freed from their cages as shown in the bottom picture. 

The original string was put on the box because it was meant to be hung as a Christmas ornament after the cookies inside had been eaten. 

Thanks to…


History of forced sterilization in Peru

A judge in Peru opened proceedings on Monday against disgraced former president Alberto Fujimori and other officials accused of the “forced sterilizations” of thousands of poor, mostly indigenous, women.

An estimated 270,000 Peruvians were subjected to surgery to have their fallopian tubes tied as part of a family planning program instigated during Fujimori’s final four years in power.

Fujimori and his fellow defendants, including three ex-health ministers, “did a lot of harm with their policies,” said public prosecutor Pablo Espinoza as he read out the charges against the 82-year-old former president…

Fujimori, who is currently serving a 25-year sentence for crimes against humanity during his 1990-2000 presidency, did not take part in the virtual hearing.

He and his five fellow defendants are accused of being “indirect perpetrators of damage to life and health, serious injuries and serious human rights abuses” against women who were surgically sterilized between 1996 and 2000.

Most of the victims were indigenous people including a woman who was 19 when in 1997 she took her baby to a clinic to be vaccinated, only to be tied up by soldiers.

Fujimori and his henchmen should be executed – slowly and publicly – for their crimes against humanity. Yeah, I know. That wouldn’t be humane. Tell that to the women and men who were forcibly sterilized.