Washington’s Teeth were wooden if wooden means pulled from a Slave’s mouth


And what history is still taught today:

In 1780 a French dentist named Jean Pierre Le Moyer (also called Le Mayeaur, Le Mayeur, and Joseph Lemaire) came to America, possibly as a naval surgeon with the French forces commanded by the Comte de Rochambeau, and over the next decade treated patients in New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Alexandria, and Richmond. […] Le Moyer first treated George Washington’s teeth at his military headquarters in 1783.

The following year, in May of 1784, Washington paid several unnamed “Negroes,” presumably Mount Vernon slaves, 122 shillings for nine teeth, slightly less than one-third the going rate advertised in the papers, “on acct. of the French Dentis [sic} Doctr. Lemay [sic],” almost certainly Le Moyer. Over the next four years, the dentist was a frequent and apparently favorite guest on the plantation. Whether the Mount Vernon slaves sold their teeth to the dentist for any patient who needed them or specifically for George Washington is unknown, although Washington’s payment suggests that they were for his own use. Washington probably underwent the transplant procedure–“I confess I have been staggered in my belief in the efficacy of transplantion,” he told Richard Varick, his friend and wartime clerk, in 1784–and thus it may well be that some of the human teeth implanted to improve his appearance, or used to manufacture his dentures, came from his own slaves.

via Special Video Reports – The Private Lives Of George Washington’s Slaves | Jefferson’s Blood | FRONTLINE | PBS

props to FranChescaleigh’s blog

Drug testing welfare applicants is bad policy


Drug testing welfare applicants a big zero:

Drug testing welfare recipients is demonizing. Courts have ruled on numerous occasions that Republican efforts to make every applicant pee in a cup are unconstitutional. The laws that do go into effect only confirm what researchers already know: Welfare recipients are not rampant drug users, and most of those who do take drugs are not addicts.Those who do have substance abuse problems mostly drink alcohol.

Greece’s new response to austerity demands…


Greece’s new response to austerity demands…

Syriza, in particular, has been outspoken about the need for Germany to atone for its past in Greece, or at least show a bit more leniency now as compensation. Tsipras has campaigned on the issue for more than a year, including in the build-up to Sunday’s election. “We are going to demand debt reduction, and the money Germany owes us from World War II, including reparations,” he said earlier this month.

A 2013 study carried out by the previous Greek government of defeated Prime Minister Antonis Samaras estimated that Germany owed Greece some $200 billion for damages incurred during the Nazi occupation, the cost of rebuilding destroyed infrastructure as well as loans Nazi authorities forced Greece to pay between 1942 and 1944.

via Greece’s new prime minister wants Germany to pay for Nazi war crimes – The Washington Post.

Pensioners now, social security next…


WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Monday ruled that a chemical company may be able to cut the health benefits of its retired workers, unanimously reversing an appeals court ruling that said the benefits had vested for life.

“Courts should not construe ambiguous writings to create lifetime promises,” Justice Clarence Thomas wrote for the court, adding that “retiree health care benefits are not a form of deferred compensation.”

via Supreme Court Rules Against Retirees in Union Health Benefits Case – NYTimes.com

Sign up for a job, work til retirement, part of the deal: pensioners get full health benefits. Now, those benefits: revoked thanks to the Roberts court.

“The mistake I made there was to protest against segregation generally…”


On tactical errors, and the need of a protest movement to have a goal:

The mistake I made there was to protest against segregation generally rather than against a single and distinct facet of it. Our protest was so vague that we got nothing, and the people were left very depressed and in despair. It would have been much better to have concentrated upon integrating the buses or the lunch counters. One victory of this kind would have been symbolic, would have galvanized support and boosted morale. But I don’t mean that our work in Albany ended in failure. The Negro people there straightened up their bent backs; you can’t ride a man’s back unless it’s bent. Also, thousands of Negroes registered to vote who never had voted before, and because of the expanded Negro vote in the next election for governor of Georgia—which pitted a moderate candidate against a rabid segregationist—Georgia elected its first governor who had pledged to respect and enforce the law impartially. And what we learned from our mistakes in Albany helped our later campaigns in other cities to be more effective. We have never since scattered our efforts in a general attack on segregation, but have focused upon specific, symbolic objectives.

via "Militant as Well as Moderate": Martin Luther King's Longest Interview

Philly Jesus story by @FarFarrAway on PhillyMag.com’s “Most Important Journalism” List


Included in the 2014: The Most Important Philly Journalism list over at PhillyMag.com are links to important articles about political corruption from state wide fracking conspiracies down to violations of property rights, the use of lethal police force, a star athlete’s corrupted finances, tweeter FanSince09 using social media to quickly track down criminally brutish gay-bashing suburbanites and of course Philly Mag re-breaking the Bill Cosby story + social media. Seriously go read them.

But in the end, you gotta rep your crew:

Stephanie Farr on Philly Jesus. It seems like Philly Jesus was everywhere this year — BBC, Reuters, Instagram, jail — but it was the Daily News’ Farr who introduced him to the wider public. Why do I rate this story so highly? Personal pique. I saw Philly Jesus wandering Center City early in the summer and thought: “I wonder what his story is?” Farr had the same question, and like a good journalist, went to answer it — and got an interesting piece out of it. Not every important story results in a lawsuit or a reputation ruined: Sometimes we just get to learn a little more about the community around us. Kudos to Farr for remembering that.

via 2014: The Most Important Philly Journalism | News | Philadelphia Magazine

My only qualm is the blurb says “like a good journalist”.

I know Farr’s a great journalist. Good for Philly.