Friday, December 4, 2020

Slavery in Santo Domingo

From The BBC:

Few people realise that the Dominican Republic was home to the first black people in the Americas, who were initially brought here from present-day Senegal and The Gambia in the 1490s by Christopher Columbus. It was also where the Atlantic slave trade began in 1503 – 116 years before the first slaves arrived in the US Colonies. And, after Haiti, next door, it was the next nation to abolish African slavery in 1801.

The story of the country’s colonial past began where I stood that morning, and where the women were dancing in remembrance of their ancestor. In an effort to boost tourism, in 2014 the Colonial City experienced more than $100m in renovations over a three-year period. Building facades were repainted and restored, transforming into bistros, art galleries and shops. Yet, to this day, however, la Zona Colonial, as locals call it, reveals little about its African past. Visitors who flock here leave after learning a single version of the Dominican Republic’s history: that of Spain.

Touted as “a city of firsts”, the Colonial City is the oldest, permanent European urban settlement in the Americas, and there’s no doubt that this 10-block neighbourhood is a historical and architectural gem. The former walled city – its original fortified entrances remain standing – boasts the first paved roads and the first military fort, cathedral, convent and university built in the New World. Its narrow cobblestone streets are lined with Spanish-style colonial architecture, including pink, green and yellow pastel-coloured stone buildings, many of which retain their original metal doors, arched entrances and windows, stucco walls and wrought-iron balconies. Sprawling plazas remain punctuated with statues and busts of Spanish colonialists. (Read more.) 

Thursday, December 3, 2020

First Lady Melania Trump’s 2020 White House Christmas Decor

 From Fox 8:

The First Family is celebrating their fourth Christmas in the White House.

The White House said that this year’s theme, “America the Beautiful,” is a “tribute to the majesty of our great Nation. From coast to coast, our country is blessed with boundless natural wonders. The timeless treasures represented in this year’s holiday showcase remind us of the true American spirit. Together, we celebrate this land we are all proud to call home.”

“I am excited to announce this year’s White House holiday theme, ‘America the Beautiful’,” said First Lady Melania Trump. “Over the past four years I have had the honor to travel to some of our nation’s most beautiful landmarks and meet some of the most compassionate and patriotic American citizens. From coast to coast, the bond that all American’s share is an appreciation for our traditions, values, and history, which were the inspiration behind the decorations this year. Thank you to all of the staff and volunteers who worked to make sure the People’s House was ready for the holiday season. Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year.” (Read more.)

"Tremendous and Horrible Fraud"

 From Just the News:

President Trump, in a speech posted online Wednesday, alleged that the 2020 election was tainted by fraud.

"If we don't root out the fraud, the tremendous and horrible fraud that's taken place in our 2020 election, we don't have a county anymore," he said. The president said that swing state election results included large numbers of ballots cast illegally. "Millions of votes were cast illegally in the swing states alone, and if that's the case, the results of the individual swing states must be overturned and overturned immediately," he said. "We have in all swing states major infractions or outright fraud which is far more in numbers or votes than we need to overturn the results of a state," he remarked during the speech. "As president I have no higher duty than to defend the laws and the Constitution of the United States," President Trump declared. "That is why I am determined to protect our election system, which is now under coordinated assault and siege." (Read more.)


President Trump files a lawsuit in Wisconsin, HERE.


From The Epoch Times:

One of the lawyers leading a legal battle over election results in several states has criticized the Republican Party over a lack of support for the efforts, suggesting that GOP officials who fail to support President Donald Trump should lose their positions.

“Ask yourself this question: If you’re sending your money to the Republican Party in Georgia or you send any money to the national Republican Party, where the hell are they?” Atlanta-based attorney Lin Wood asked during a Dec. 2 rally in Georgia’s largest city.

Wood and former federal prosecutor Sidney Powell have spearheaded lawsuits alleging fraud and other illegal conduct in the Georgia, Wisconsin, and Arizona general elections, where current results show Trump’s opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden, leading in tight races.

The GOP has supported efforts to check the integrity of the election, but Wood called out several officials for a lack of attendance.

“Where’s Ronna McDaniel? Where’s David Shafer? Why are the Republicans not fighting for Donald Trump? If they don’t fight for Donald Trump, including Loeffler and Shafer, send them all home,” Wood said.

McDaniel is the Republican National Committee (RNC) chairwoman, while Shafer heads the Georgia GOP. Kelly Loeffler is a junior senator from Georgia appointed to her seat in December 2019 by Gov. Brian Kemp after Sen. Johnny Isakson resigned for health reasons.

“Where’s Kelly Loeffler? Where’s David Perdue? You ought to be standing right here,” Wood said, addressing both of Georgia’s sitting senators who face runoff elections on Jan. 5 to defend their seats.

The RNC and spokespeople for Loeffler and Perdue didn’t respond to requests for comment by press time.

“I was proofreading a lawsuit we intend to file tonight or tomorrow and missed the press conference and rally,” Shafer said in a Twitter direct message sent to The Epoch Times. “We have filed hundreds of complaints with the secretary of state. I am not sure anyone has done more than the Georgia Republican Party.”

The Wood and Powell suit in Georgia makes 30 allegations of electoral fraud and other illegal conduct and irregularities. (Read more.) 

King Louis XVI Returns to City Hall

 From Leo Weekly:

A resolution to repair the King Louis XVI statue and reinstall it as quickly as possible outside of Metro Hall passed 6-4 out of a council committee Tuesday.

The marble depiction of the French ruler for whom Louisville was named was damaged by graffiti and lost a hand during protests over the police killing of Breonna Taylor earlier this year. It was removed on Sept. 3. The resolution to repair the statue now heads before Metro Council with amendments addressing concerns.

Sponsors of the resolution said that the quick restoration of the statue was important because the city must repair its property that is vandalized.

“Normally, when damage is done, especially when damage like this is done, as a result of the evenings that folks were expressing legitimate frustrations — windows were broken, graffiti was painted, things were burned — typically, when those things happen, you repair that damage, and you try to get back to some sense of community that appreciates and respects one another and the property that belongs to all of the citizens of Louisville,” said Councilman Kevin Kramer, R-District 11, the primary sponsor of the resolution.

Opponents of the resolution said they were concerned about prioritizing replacing the statue without a full assessment of its condition and cost. That assessment will contain a cost estimate, and it might say the statue is not durable enough to be returned outside.

“I think we’re just jumping ahead of things,” said Councilman Bill Hollander, D-District 9. “We’re saying, first of all, we want to restore it no matter what the cost. And two, we want to be at this location, even if it’s not the best location to preserve it in the future.”

In response to some concerns from colleagues, Kramer added two amendments. One stipulated that the mayor’s office would have to present the cost of repairing the statue to the council if it requires city funds to do so. The other amendment altered a sentence in the original resolution that said the mayor should pursue federal coronavirus-related funds, in addition to other third-party funds, before using city money to pay for the repairs. Now, the resolution says only that the mayor should first pursue philanthropic, federal and/or other third-party funds before dipping into municipal coffers.

The council did not address suggestions from some community members that the statue not be replaced at all.

In a recent interview with LEO, Ramona Lindsey, a member of the city’s Commission on Public Art, said the vandalism of the statue is a sign that the public might be divided on it — and that returning the statue to its prominent location might not be appropriate now. (Read more.)

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Goya and Velázquez

 From ArtNet:

If Goya’s veneration of Velázquez, noted by his son in an early biography of the artist, began with the close study essential to translating painting into etching, other works soon betrayed the master’s influence. Velázquez lurks behind The Blind Guitarist, a large tapestry cartoon delivered to the factory three months before the first etchings were offered for sale. Intended as an introduction to the diverse characters at the annual fair of Madrid, it presents them gathered to listen to a blind man singing a ballad of recent news. Young women, a stylishly dressed foreigner with hand in waistcoat, two women in working-class dress, and two boys stand out in front of a crowd of men wrapped in their brown capes; behind them, a man on horseback has stopped to listen. Subtle highlights distinguish the faces of the men in the crowd, but the contours of their capes fall into shadow, as Goya had emulated the somber tones within shadow of Velázquez’s Triumph of Bacchus. Behind the crowd and silhouetted against the sky, the rider’s broadly painted face, with one side illuminated and the other in shadow, pays tribute to the figure standing in the background doorway of Las Meninas. (Read more.)


"One of the Most Insidious Examples of Documented Voter Fraud" in the History of America

 From The American Spectator:

That’s roughly 570,000 votes for Biden and 3,200 for Trump. Biden scooped up this enormous batch by 99.4 percent. Incredible. Impossible. Scandalous.

When Waldren said this, the audience in the room gasped in shock. (To watch the exchange, and the entire hearing, click here. This exchange begins at 1:28:00.)

If what Waldren alleges here is true, then this would constitute one of the most insidious examples of documented voter fraud in the history of American presidential politics. This one spike alone would have erased Donald Trump’s 600,000-vote lead over Joe Biden late Tuesday night, November 3. Biden has reportedly won Pennsylvania by about 70,000 votes. This one swing would have done it. If this is true, then this episode alone might well constitute a smoking gun affirming a fraudulent election in Pennsylvania.

And yet, this electoral bombshell has been completely ignored by the mainstream press. The only national sources that I could find reporting it were RealClearPolitics, Breitbart, and Greg Kelly of Newsmax TV. The video link that I’ve provided is courtesy of Right Side Broadcasting Network, a conservative source, filling a gap vacated by shameless mainstream “news” sources, which avoided the hearing like the plague. (Read more.)

 From The Epoch Times:

During the hearing, a cybersecurity expert said the user manual for Dominion Voting Systems machines guides users on how to connect to the internet, and that the machines, used by multiple states, were connected to the internet during the election.

“The Dominion suite user manual is about an inch and a half thick. My team went back through the user manual and looked at all the instances where in the user’s manual, it tells operators to connect the ethernet cords to the router, and it is, the systems are connected to the internet,” said Phil Waldron, a cybersecurity expert and retired Army colonel.

“Our teams looked at spirographs on the Dominion network on Election Day and showed the increased web traffic, internet traffic on Election Day for Dominion servers.

“In a nutshell, these systems are not what you’ve been told, if you’ve been told anything.

“They are connected to the internet. There is no transparency of how the voter information is processed, moved, and stored. And, as a matter of fact, these companies have refused to allow any type of inspection into their code and they always decry, it’s our IP, it’s IP protection.”

In 2016, Trump won the state’s 11 electoral votes by less than 100,000 votes. In the 17 presidential elections between 1952 and 2016, only one Democratic candidate won Arizona—Bill Clinton in 1996. (Read more.)

More from The Epoch Times:

Maricopa County GOP chairwoman Linda Brickman on Nov. 30 testified before members of the Arizona State Legislature that she personally observed votes for President Donald Trump being tallied as votes for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden when input into Dominion machines.

Brickman, the GOP head of one of the country’s largest counties and a veteran county elections worker, submitted her testimony in a sworn affidavit under penalty of perjury. She testified that she and her Democratic partner witnessed “more than once” Trump votes default and shift to Biden when they were entering votes into Dominion machines from ballots that couldn’t be read by machines.

She alleged that she was later threatened by election supervisors at the Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center (MCTEC) for speaking out about what she had witnessed.

“I observed, with my Democratic partner, the preparation of a new ballot, since the original one was soiled, or wouldn’t go through the tabulators. I read her a Trump Republican ballot, and as soon as she entered it into the system, the ballot defaulted on the screen to a Biden Democratic ballot,” Brickman told GOP Arizona State legislators on Monday.

She remarked that when she reported the issue to election supervisors, others in the room also commented that they had “witnessed the same manipulation.”

“We were never told what, if any corrective action was taken,” Brickman continued. “All I know is the next day, I was called outside the room that I was working in for signature verification by a supervisor who said, ‘I understand you caused some problems this week and you thought our machines were not working correctly.’

“I was told at that point in time that I could not discuss anything or talk about what was going on.

“Many people were threatened,” Brickman told the hearing. “They were told that their voices would be suppressed, they would have to leave the room and not work there again. I’m here because I think this is our duty to speak the truth.” (Read more.) 

More HERE and HERE


The Holodomor's Terrors

 From Radio Free Europe:

Sitting up straight in a freshly pressed white shirt, Pavlo Rozhko beams with delight as he sings a Ukrainian folk song to the accompaniment of a traditional stringed instrument known as a bandura. Rozhko, who at 91 still participates in a choir, says he has loved singing ever since his childhood on a bustling family farm in the village of Piski in southeastern Ukraine.

"My father and mother were cheerful people," he says. "They were sewing, spinning. We had our own sheep and lambs. We kept the lambs inside the house. There were a lot of us. We were dancing, singing, shouting. Nobody yelled at us about anything. Everyone was growing up healthy and happy, until the collectivization."

Rozhko was 11 when a massive famine hit Soviet Ukraine, as Josef Stalin pushed forward with radical agricultural reforms that stripped millions of peasant families of their land and crops. By the time the 1932-33 famine ended, at least 3 million and as many as 10 million Ukrainians and Cossacks had died, and the Soviet Union's most fertile land had been overtaken by massive, Kremlin-run collective farms. (Read more.)


Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Princess Anne and the Romanov Jewels

 From Express:

Princess Anne is the current owner of the Empress Maria Feodorovna choker. It features a large diamond and sapphire clasp at the centre of four strands of pearls with gold as diamond spacers. It can also be taken apart and worn as a brooch and two pearl bracelets. The necklace originally belonged to Empress Maria Feodorovna, wife of Tsar Alexander III.

When the Romanov family fled Russia, after Tsar Nicholas II and his children were murdered in 1917, this choker was among the jewels the Empress brought with her. After her death in 1928 it was inherited by her daughter, Grand Duchess Xenia, who later auctioned a selection of her mother’s jewels in London. Queen Mary of Teck – Queen consort to King George V – brought the choker for a reported £6,000 (roughly £400,000 today) and wore it both as a necklace and disassembled. When she died, the choker was inherited by Queen Elizabeth II, who then passed it on to Anne. (Read more.)