Columbus Day is really only a big deal on the East Coast and parts of the Midwest where there are enough Italians to care. It’s not big here in the West.
However, if Columbus Day goes to the Dumpster of history and we’re going to have a new national holiday (Americans have pitifully few), I’m all for Native American Day as a mandatory federal holiday.
But what about Vespucci?
I’m talkin’ Amerigo Vespucci, the Italian raconteur and cartographer whose first name wound up as our nation’s name.
Vespucci discovered what Christopher Columbus insisted until his death was India were actually islands off the continental landmasses now known as South and North America.
Vespucci figured out South America was vastly larger than anyone thought, and was a separate continent, constituting a “New World,” as he wrote in a note to his boss Lorenzo de’ Medici.
Compared with Vespucci, Columbus is a pathetic delusional loser famous for making a brilliant mistake that provoked what amounted to a land rush.
Born to a prosperous Florentine family, educated by his Dominican friar uncle, Vespucci became a trusted employee of ruthless nobleman and financier Lorenzo de’ Medici. In March 1492, Vespucci travelled to the Medici bank branch in Cadiz, Spain, to clean up some dirty dealing.
Accomplishing that, Vespucci became during 1495-96 executor of the estate of an Italian merchant who had died in Seville, Spain. Vespucci fulfilled the deceased merchant’s contract with the Castilian crown providing 12 ships for West Indies expeditions. Vespucci provisioned other Indies expeditions, supplying beef for at least one of Columbus’ voyages.
Vespucci personally undertook several voyages between 1499 and 1504, exploring what is now the east coast of South America for both Spain and Portugal. His expedition are largely responsible for Portugal colonizing Brazil.
Crossing the equator on his second voyage, scientist Vespucci re-discovered and mapped stars Alpha and Beta Centauri; constellations Crux and the Southern Cross and the Coalsack Nebula. The ancient Greeks observered these celecstial bodies that were forgotten when the earth’s gradual tilting moved them below Euriope’s horizon.
If we’re going to honor some white guy who made colonization possible, it’s Vespucci we should be erecting statues to.
Hurricane Irma could be two-fer.
Both overpriced, partly tax-payer funded private tRUMP dump, Mar-A-Largo, and hurricane denier Rush Limbaugh’s home are located on opposite end of the same island in West Palm Beach, Florida. Both properties are now inside of mandatory Hurricane Irma evacuation zone ahead of the storm.
On Monday the unhinged radio host told the world the the hurricane that has forced him to flee was nothing more than a liberal hoax. Really. Yeah, really.
Mar-A-Largo and Rush’s version of Neverland are conveniently located just 6.9 miles apart, directly connected by S. Ocean Blvd.
One writer for the Palm Beach Post opined that the has-been host be required to stay through the storm giving a live broadcast.
Although the storm track as of Thursday evening shows the main body of the storm missing the Palm Beach area, the hurricane’s eastern side will pass directly through and it’s likely winds will exceed 120 mph and the storm surge will reach 11 ft.
That could be trouble for Rush’s $35 million Neverland Florida compound and private club Mar-A-Largo.
In 2012 this is how Rush’s love nest was described by a real estate website:
1495 North Ocean Drive is in one of Palm Beach’s most exclusive locales. The estate is situated on 2.2 acres with its own private beach. The compound is a contemporized West Indies construction maze of a huge main house with a minimum of 12 different roof lines to break up the huge mass, and 3 or 4 guest houses and a guard station.The architecture is very well executed, so Rush apparently hired a top-of-the-line Florida architect, and the landscaping appears to be the work of Kerland. The 4 guest homes, other than serving to disarm bombs, are for his constant flow of conservative guests, including the likes of Matt Drudge and Ann Coulter. Limbaugh has a fleet of black & white Maybach 57S, each running at nearly $500,000 each! (see photo of them parked by the guest house compound). The entry to the main house has a majestic fountain in front. People I know who have visited the home describe it as a gold-gilded mansion. The grounds also feature a large swimming pool and putting green.
It’s likely that Rushie won’t be broadcasting from his normal local for a few days. His alleged program normally originates from Limbaugh’s studios near his home, where he’s lived since 1996. Hurricane Irma is about to make that less convenient. WJNO, Limbaugh’s affiliate in Palm Beach County, serves as the de facto flagship station.
I’m sure both tRUMP and Salmon Rushie will beg for federal assistance.
Art has often been drafted into service for war.
A century ago today, April 6, 1917, the United States declared war on Germany, entering World War I.
The U.S. mobilized more than 4 million soldiers for the war, which had already been underway for nearly 3 years. About 110,000 U.S. soldiers were killed, including 43,000 from influenza.
World War I created a massive federal government expansion to support the war effort and manage a significant increase in the size of the U.S. Armed Forces.
That’s where military recruiting posters come in. Before radio and TV, most advertising was strictly visual.
Many of the posters are now iconic pieces of American art and history and were so well received, some were revived for WWII.
Many of the artists who created these posters were as interesting as their work.
Charles Buckles Falls, also known as C.B. Falls (December 10, 1874 –
April 15, 1960) was from Ft. Wayne, In., but left as quickly as he could. Falls moved to Chicago, beginning his career as an architect’s assistant and a sketch artist for the Chicago Tribune. Falls moved to New York City around 1900.
Known for his skill as a letter-illustrator, Falls often used large, “eccentric” black letters, and is also known for his woodblock prints. Falls incorporated brighter colors of blue, green, orange, and yellow, to contrast his black-inked woodcuts, unlike most woodblock artists of his time
A man of many talents, he designed fabrics, furniture, and even trade bindings. He was also involved in helping design scenery and costumes for the American Society of Illustrators, the Palace Theatre and Fifth Avenue Theatre in New York.
In 1914, Falls wrote, directed, and starred in a play, “Perfectly Happy,” that was produced at the Berkeley Theatre.
After the 1930s his illustration style fell out of favor, but he continued top produce work.
The aptly named James Montgomery Flagg (June 18, 1877 – May 27, 1960) worked in media ranging from fine art painting to cartooning, but is best remembered for his political posters
Flagg’s most famous work was a 1917 U.S, Army recruiting poster.
Inspired directly by a British recruitment poster showing Lord Kitchener in a similar pose, Flagg’s poster showed Uncle Sam pointing at the viewer with the caption “I Want YOU for U.S. Army”.
More than four million copies of the poster on were printed during World War I. It was revived for World War II.
At his peak, Flagg was reported to have been the highest paid magazine illustrator in America.
Flagg painted portraits influenced by John Singer Sargent’s style. Flagg’s sitters included Mark Twain and Ethel Barrymore. His portrait of boxer Jack Dempsey now hangs in the Great Hall of the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C..
Howard Chandler Christy (January 10, 1872 – March 3, 1952), famous for the “Christy Girl” – a successor to the “Gibson Girl” – was a popular Jazz Age portrait painter. From the 1920s until the 1940s, Christy’s likenesses of congressmen, senators, industrialists, movies stars, and socialites were well known.
He painted Lt. Col. Theodore Roosevelt, presidents Harding, Coolidge, Hoover, Roosevelt, and Truman. Other famous portraits include William Randolph Hearst, the Prince of Wales (Edward the VIII), Eddie Rickenbacker, Benito Mussolini, Prince Umberto, and Amelia Earhart.
Christy first attracted attention with his realistic illustrations and several articles as a combat artist during the Spanish–American War published in Scribner’s, Harper’s, and Leslie’s Weekly magazines, and in Collier’s Weekly.
His poster “Gee I wish I were a Man, I’d Join the Navy,” 1917, was one of his most famous works. In 1940, he painted the Scene at the Signing of the Constitution of the United States, which is installed in House wing of the US capitol.
Chicago artist Richard Fayerweather Babcock (June 4, 1887 – Feb. 25, 1954) was one of the lesser known of the WWI poster artists.
After moving from his birthplace, Iowa, to Chicago, Babcock studied at the Art Institute and Munich, Germany.Babcock found success in providing illustrations for the Encyclopedia Britannica and World Book Encyclopedia encyclopedias. we also on the faculty of the American Academy of Art. An avid musician, he was a member of a chamber music ensemble.
Babcock apparently had no fear of using phallic symbols in his recruiting posters.
1. Russia evidence heats up, exceeding Watergate-levels of and controversy malfeasance. Putin decides tRUMP is toast.
3. tRUMP resigns. tRUMP supporters still say they love him and everything is someone else’s fault.
4. Pence immediately pardons tRUMP. tRUMP supporters still say they love him and everything is someone else’s fault.
5. Together with an unelected VP with a year to go before the midterms, Pence leads the GOPers on their path to enriching themselves while screwing the country. A great deal of damage is done but limited by the fact the GOP is in turmoil. tRUMP supporters still say they love him and everything the GOP is doing is just great. * Extra bonus screw job that could happen at this point: A Constitutional crisis is caused by the GOPers and Koch Brothers get to redo the Constitution their way, taking away number of rights and even repealing the emancipation proclamation. (Yes, they really watn to do that.)
6. Mid-term elections. Once again all the cheating stops are pulled out. Amazingly, the Dems make few gains despite the fact most of GOP is still in turmoil. tRUMP supporters still say they love him and everything is someone else’s fault.
7. The economy crashes. For the next two years the USA is in steep and rapid decline as one international and domestic crisis after another, mostly fall out from tRUMP and the demand of the Freedom Caucus. tRUMP supporters still say they love him and everything is someone else’s fault.
8. Desperate, GOPers make sure to start a war we can’t finish or pay for due to pledges to never raise taxes. tRUMP supporters still say they love him and everything is someone else’s fault.
9. The economy goes into a downward spiral and begins to approach Great Recession/Depression levels. tRUMP supporters still say they love him and everything is someone else’s fault.
10. Unable to shut up, tRUMP starts more and more tweeting about Russia. He mysteriously passes away in his sleep, his body cremated before an autopsy takes place. tRUMP supporters have tremendous outpouring of sympathy for the fallen patriot tRUMP and demand that all public buildings be renamed after him.
11. 2020: Not only not great, but bankrupt America is internationally isolated. Now financially at the level of a 3rd world nation and international status as a pariah, Putie has what he wanted.
12. It doesn’t matter which party is elected next because the nation never recovers. America will never be great again, thanks to the GOPers and tRUMP.
Paul Manafort and his family are in the process of becoming their own crime wave. When it comes to tRUMP and his associates, the criminals and criminal connections just don’t stop coming.
The Los Angeles Times reports Jeffrey Yohai, a real estate developer who is the son-in-law of Paul Manafort, the former chairman of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, took father and son actors Dustin and Jacob Hoffman for $3 million in a real estate scam involving a Hollywood Hill property located on the famous Blue Jay Way.
Yohai is also facing a lawsuit in New York from an investor alleging that he operated a Ponzi scheme, according to the Times. Yohai, 35, said in a filing that the allegations are fabrications.
Enter father-in-law Manafort.
From The Times:
Manafort, his wife Kathleen and daughter Jessica — who is married to Yohai — invested $4.7 million in the developer’s L.A.-area projects, according to bankruptcy filings. The biggest of those investments was a $2.7-million loan made by Manafort last year to the now-bankrupt company that owns a property on Stradella Road in Bel-Air, documents show.
Manafort reportedly recently stopped a foreclosure of his Brooklyn, N.Y., townhouse (he lists his address as New Briton, Conn.) after a bank headed by a former Trump advisor gave him $16 million in loans.
Manafort is reportedly under active criminal and counterintelligence investigation by multiple federal agencies for issues related to the Trump campaign as well as financial transactions. One would think that lobbying for dictators Ferdinand Marcos and Mobutu Sese Seko, and guerrilla leader Jonas Savimbi, would pay better.
Yohai’s apparent real estate scams reach beyond the Hollywood Hills and at least one New York ventures went south due to shady dealings, according to published reports.
Guy Aroch, a Manhattan-based fashion photographer, has claimed in a lawsuit that he invested $2.9 million in two of Yohai’s residential real estate projects, including a condominium.
Aroch says he never saw a dime.
Instead, Yohai allegedly “used most or all” of Aroch’s investment for “personal travel; lavish purchases; and/or speculative ventures outside the investment mandates,” according to a lawsuit filed by Aroch. The lawsuit also alleges that in October Yohai defaulted on a promissory note defaulted.
Yohai is using a classic tRUMPian defense. This is all being done to embarrass his father-in-law because of his association with tRUMP. Of course, Manafort’s working for that Ukrainian dictator who had peaceful demonstrators killed would, have nothing to with it. Oh and Manafort neglected to report his Ukraine work when he tried to get a government job. Ooops.
Nice try, Yohai.
How the heck the Hoffmans, who apparently tried hard to shield their investment from public view, got involved with this guy remains unclear.
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