ohn Hancock is best known for his large signature on the Declaration of Independence, which he jested the British could read without spectacles. He was serving as president of Congress upon the declaration’s adoption on July 4, 1776, and, as such, was the first member of the Congress to sign the historic document.
John Hancock graduated from Harvard University in 1754 at age 17 and, with the help of a large inherited fortune, established himself as Boston’s leading merchant. The British customs raid on one of Hancock’s ships, the sloop Liberty, in 1768 incited riots so severe that the British army fled the city of Boston to its barracks in Boston Harbor. Boston merchants promptly agreed to a non-importation agreement to protest the British action. Two years later, it was a scuffle between Patriot protestors and British soldiers on Hancock’s wharf that set the stage for the Boston Massacre.
Hancock’s involvement with Samuel Adams and his radical group, the Sons of Liberty, won the wealthy merchant the dubious distinction of being one of only two Patriots-the other being Sam Adams-that the Redcoats marching to Lexington in April 1775 to confiscate Patriot arms were ordered to arrest. When British General Thomas Gage offered amnesty to the colonists holding Boston under siege, he excluded the same two men from his offer.
With the war underway, Hancock made his way to the Continental Congress in Philadelphia with the other Massachusetts delegates. On May 24, 1775, he was unanimously elected President of the Continental Congress, succeeding Peyton Randolph after Henry Middleton declined the nomination. Hancock was a good choice for president for several reasons. He was experienced, having often presided over legislative bodies and town meetings in Massachusetts. His wealth and social standing inspired the confidence of moderate delegates, while his association with Boston radicals made him acceptable to other radicals. His position was somewhat ambiguous, because the role of the president was not fully defined, and it was not clear if Randolph had resigned or was on a leave of absence. Like other presidents of Congress, Hancock’s authority was limited to that of a presiding officer. He also had to handle a great deal of official correspondence, and he found it necessary to hire clerks at his own expense to help with the paperwork.
Hancock was president of Congress when the Declaration of Independence was adopted and signed. He is primarily remembered by Americans for his large, flamboyant signature on the Declaration, so much so that “John Hancock” became, in the United States, an informal synonym for signature. According to legend, Hancock signed his name largely and clearly so that King George could read it without his spectacles, but this fanciful story did not appear until many years later.
St. Clair gave an address which I just read in digest form in Counterpunch. In it he echoes one of the themes I’ve been riffing on for years, OWS, notwithstanding. Though he does not mention Occupy or Wisconsin or any of the rest of the happy face the left has been putting on activism for the past year or two they stand in as silent sentinels–they were the last gasps of a tired and finished movement.
Does the Left exist as an oppositional political, cultural or economic force? Is anyone intimidated or restrained by the Left? Is there a counterforce to the grinding machinery neoliberal capitalism and its political managers?
The answer is, of course, no such movement exists.
This is the politics of exhaustion. We have become a generation of leftovers. We have reached a moment of historical failure that would make even Nietzsche shudder.
St. Clair is a deeply insightful political thinker who is unafraid of the truth, despite the fact he had to work under the shadow of the petty-tyrant Alex Cockburn. His article is a tale of woe. He notes how the American public actually favors many progressive ideas yet the left gets no traction–he doesn’t say why–his article is just a cry of the heart.
In conducting U.S. counterterrorism operations against al-Qaida and its associated forces, the government has targeted and killed one American citizen, Anwar al-Awlaki, and is aware of the killing by U.S. drones of three others, Attorney General Eric Holder said in a letter to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy.
Al-Awlaki, a radical Muslim cleric, was killed in a drone strike in September 2011 in Yemen. Holder said three other Americans were killed by drones in counterterrorism operations since 2009 but were not targeted. The three are Samir Khan, who was killed in the same drone strike as al-Awlaki; al-Awlaki’s 16-year-old son, Abdulrahman, a native of Denver, who also was killed in Yemen two weeks later; and Jude Kenan Mohammed, who was killed in a drone strike in Pakistan.
The biggest revelation in Holder’s letter – that the U.S. has droned a fourth American, Jude Kenen Mohammed – is also the greatest of many deficiencies. All Holder says is the U.S. killed but didn’t target these two American men (Mohammed and Samir Kahn) and one American child (al-Awlaki’s 16-year-old son). [..]
Ms. Raddack points out that while the letter includes new and credulous accusations about al-Awlaki posing an “imminent threat”, it tells us nothing about how the other Americans ended up being killed by drones. Good question, that I doubt we’ll ever get an answer.
The other point MS. Raddack makes goes to the public’s right to know the legal justification that was given to the president by the Office of Legal Council:
If Holder wants to draw a distinction between Americans that the U.S. government targets and kills without due process and those Americans that the U.S. government kills without due process but doesn’t target, then the American people are entitled to know the legal basis for when the government finds it acceptable to make Americans collateral damage in the legally-unsustainable, morally-reprehensible unilateral drone drops.
There are lots of questions. If these three Americans were not the targets, then who were they targeting? And why?
“In Eric Holder’s letter,” Scahill stated, “he talks about how Anwar Awlaki was actively involved in imminent plots against the United States, that he had directed the so-called underwear bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who tried to blow up a U.S. airplane over the city of Detroit on Christmas Day 2009. And what’s interesting is that all of these allegations are made by Eric Holder, but no actual evidence has ever been presented against Awlaki to indicate that he played the role that Eric Holder is asserting. His trial was basically just litigated through leaks in the press. He was never indicted on any of these charges. And Holder, in fact, in his letter, says that we have all of this evidence, but it’s too dangerous to be made public. And so, there’s really a continuation of a posthumous trial of Anwar Awlaki through leaks and now through this letter from Eric Holder.”
Scahill notes that the details of the death of Jude Mohammad, who had been indicted, have not been released; that there were no criminal charges against Samir Khan, a Pakistani-American from North Carolina who was killed alongside al-Awlaki; and Holder used an curious phrase, “not specifically targeted,” referencing the death of 16 year old Abdulrahman al-Awlaki.
“You know, what does that phrase mean? It’s almost like an Orwellian statement, ‘not specifically targeted.’ Well, it could mean that these individuals were killed in the signature strikes that you mentioned, which is a sort of form of pre-crime, where the U.S. determines that any military-aged males in a targeted area are in fact terrorists, and their deaths will be registered as having killed terrorists or militants. So, it’s possible that the other Americans that were killed were killed in these so-called signature strikes.
“But in the case of this 16-year-old boy, it’s almost impossible to believe that it’s a coincidence that two weeks after his father is killed, he just happens to be killed in a U.S. drone strike. And there were leaks at the time from U.S. officials telling journalists that, oh, he actually was 21 years old, he was at an al-Qaida meeting. But they’ve never been able to identify who they killed in that strike. And the Obama administration has never publicly taken on the fact that they killed one of their own citizens who was a teenage boy. There are no answers to that question. So, I think that there has to be a far more intense scrutiny of the statements of the attorney general and also what we understand the president is going to say later.”
Yes, the Obama administration assassinated four Americans, but …..
The main purpose our blogging is to communicate our ideas, opinions, and stories both fact and fiction. The best part about the the blogs is information that we might not find in our local news, even if we read it online. Sharing that information is important, especially if it educates, sparks conversation and new ideas. We have all found places that are our favorites that we read everyday, not everyone’s are the same. The Internet is a vast place. Unlike “Punting the Pundits which focuses on opinion pieces mostly from the mainstream media and the larger news web sites, “Around the Blogosphere” will focus more on the medium to smaller blogs and articles written by some of the anonymous and not so anonymous writers and links to some of the smaller pieces that don’t make it to “Pundits” by Krugman, Baker, etc.
We encourage you to share your finds with us. It is important that we all stay as well informed as we can.
I’ve been following the Google Art winners — Google asked school children around US to submit art showing “Google” logo. There were many imaginative, worthy entries. Summery, full of fun animals – fun kid stuff – but also some savvy artwork from the older students. Really – look it up. Great stuff – makes you proud.
And the winner is (wait for it) … a military theme: a young daughter running to her soldier dad coming home. One of the least imaginative works I’ve seen. But let’s not forget it’s military, thus Americana I guess. The first prize was a generous college scholarship. I’m touched. btw, it was the only military theme I saw, though maybe I missed one or two.
But Xanthe, what kind of beeach takes issue with a little girl running to her dad just home from war. Considering the other art I’ve seen and the other themes available – well, me for one.
If you go to Google home page you’ll see the winning artwork and can follow through to see some of the rest of the work submitted. Really awesome stuff from our students.
Of course, good luck to the young person who won but really – supposedly this was voted in by google users which makes me even sadder than if Google chose the winner.
As every damn fool knows, humans or Norse gods or both (I can never remember which, being a recent convert) were created from the corpse of an ice giant and a cow.
Now scientists, our modern Frankensteins, have created Bossie, the micro cow.
Doing it in the Dark: Fuel from thin air, and beyond light
“Where the hydrogen coming from?” asked a number of astute readers at the time. And for sure, it was coming not from water, but from hydrogen gas. Which is generally made from fossil fuels (though it can be made renewably).
So, how is this latest news from UCD an advance of the storyline? In two ways – one, we haven’t seen the requirement for hydrogen gas: water seems to be able to provide the hydrogen. Secondly, we note that the targeted products that Bossie can make include, to date, isobutyraldehyde and isobutanol.
Well, only small children, the Koch brothers, Exxon and other malevolents would be scared out of their wits by that but think about some other enemies of the environment. Hey, I am not against small children but just reporting. Even our enlightened youngsters seem to be against abortion and population growth. Go figure.
But there is the possibility our modern Dr. Frankensteins will turn their attention to milk and meat, hence the name Bossie, to the horror of the organic food hoaxsters.