5/26/2024

Joseph Warren - Bunker Hill

 


Joseph Warren was born on June 11, 1741, in Roxbury, Massachusetts. He received his education at Harvard University and briefly taught at a Latin school in Massachusetts before deciding to pursue a career in medicine.

Warren’s involvement in the Revolution began when the Townshend Acts were passed in 1767. Under the pseudonym “A True Patriot,” he wrote a series of articles that angered the Royal Governor. Despite attempts to charge him with slander, the grand jury refused to do so. Warren had close connections with other patriots, including Paul Revere, Samuel Adams, and James Otis.

After the Boston Massacre in 1770, Warren became the chairman of the Committee of Safety. He delivered two famous orations on the event’s anniversary. In 1774, he spent most of the year in Philadelphia with the Continental Congress, where he became involved with the militia. On April 18, 1775, Warren and Paul Revere learned that King George III had put a price on the heads of John Hancock and John Adams. Revere’s famous ride warned them, saving them from arrest1.

When the battles of Lexington and Concord erupted, Warren left his patients with an assistant and rode to help prepare soldiers for battle. His dedication led to his promotion to second general in command of the Massachusetts forces on June 14, 1775. Tragically, during the Battle of Bunker Hill on June 17, 1775, Warren was shot in the head and died instantly. His bravery and sacrifice remain etched in history12.

Warren was commissioned into the Continental Army at the rank of major general by the Second Continental Congress on June 14, 1775. Three days later, he arrived at Charlestown just before the battle of Bunker Hill began and made his way to where Patriot militiamen were forming. Upon meeting General Israel Putnam, Warren asked where he thought the heaviest fighting would be; Putnam responded by pointing to Breed's Hill. Warren subsequently volunteered to join the militia at the rank of private against the wishes of both Putnam and Colonel William Prescott, both of whom unsuccessfully requested that he serve as their commander instead. Warren declined their request due the fact that Putnam and Prescott held more military experience.

During the early stages of the battle, Warren repeatedly stated that "These fellows say we won't fight! By Heaven, I hope I shall die up to my knees in blood!"[16] Defending the Patriot redoubt against two failed attacks by British troops, he kept firing his gun until running out of ammunition and was killed in action during the third and final assault by British gunfire. The man who killed him was possibly Lieutenant Lord Rawdon, who personally recognized him, or by a British officer's servant, an account supported by a forensic analysis conducted in 2011.[17]

After the battle, Warren's body was stripped of his clothing, repeatedly bayoneted and then buried in a shallow ditch by British forces.[18] Captain Walter Laurie, who participated in the battles of Lexington and Concord, later wrote that he "stuffed the scoundrel with another rebel into one hole, and there he and his seditious principles may remain."[19] American soldier Benjamin Hichborn subsequently wrote a letter to John Adams on December 10, 1775, claiming that Lieutenant James Drew, a Royal Navy officer stationed onboard the sloop HMS Scorpion, went to Breed's Hill "a day or two" after the battle and exhumed Warren's body, "spit in his face, jumped on his stomach, and at last cut off his head and committed every act of violence upon his body... In justice to the officers in general I must add, that they despised Drew for his Conduct."[18] 


Dr. Joseph Warren’s life exemplified courage, leadership, and unwavering commitment to the cause of American independence. His legacy lives on as a hero of the Revolution.



5/24/2024

Face Recognition

Dear Copilot Artificial Intelligence  https://copilot.microsoft.com/

Write an article about compare a face on familysearch.org and tell us how accurate it is.

________________________________

Certainly! Let’s delve into the fascinating world of facial recognition technology and explore FamilySearch’s Compare-a-Face feature.


Facial Recognition Technology on FamilySearch

FamilySearch is a genealogy platform that allows users to build their family trees, discover ancestors, and connect with relatives. One of its intriguing features is Compare-a-Face, which enables users to compare their own faces to those of their relatives. Here’s how it works:

  1. Uploading Photos: Users can upload family photos containing faces. The system then isolates the faces from these photos.

  2. Measurement and Comparison: Compare-a-Face makes a series of measurements based on facial features. It analyzes factors such as the distance between eyes, nose shape, and jawline. These measurements are used to determine how closely related two faces are.

  3. Matching Algorithm: The system compares the uploaded photo to portrait photos of ancestors available on FamilySearch. It looks for similarities and calculates a similarity score.

  4. Interpreting the Score:

Accuracy and Considerations

Now, let’s address the accuracy of Compare-a-Face:

  1. Quality of Photos: The accuracy of the tool depends on the quality of the uploaded photos. Clear, high-resolution images yield better results. Poor-quality photos may affect the accuracy.

  2. Ancestor Portraits: The system matches against portrait photos of ancestors. If an ancestor’s portrait is a tombstone photo, it will compare against that image. Keep in mind that tombstone photos may not capture all facial features accurately.

  3. Negative Matches: Scores below 30-35% are less reliable. However, a low score doesn’t necessarily mean no family connection—it simply indicates a weaker resemblance.

  4. Additional Context: Compare-a-Face doesn’t consider all photos on FamilySearch for a given person. It focuses on portrait photos. Therefore, if your ancestor has other types of photos (e.g., candid snapshots), they won’t be part of the comparison.

Conclusion

In summary, FamilySearch’s Compare-a-Face is a valuable tool for exploring potential family connections based on facial features. While it’s not infallible, it provides intriguing insights into our shared genetic heritage. Remember to use it alongside other genealogical research methods for a comprehensive understanding of your family tree.

If you’d like to try it out, you can access Compare-a-Face on FamilySearch’s website2. Happy exploring! 🌟

______________


So I tried this program myself. Very interesting.  My father and I have the closest appearance. My paternal grandfather is almost as close, and we do look alike. And as you can see, I also look like many of my great great grandparents.















The program also lets you compare how you look to celebrities. Since we are not related to these people the percent is lower.











5/21/2024

Enough Already: It’s Time to Reform the Supreme Court

An excellent proposal to reform the Supreme Court, written by Jill Lawrence of thebulwark.com. Our Supreme Court is a disgrace, and needs reform. A national embarassment. 


I agree with all of her recommendations. I would add one additional reform for our entire court system. A judge should never rule on a person who appointed the judge to the job. An obvious conlict of interest.

___________________


Enough Already: It’s Time to Reform the Supreme Court

Ethics outrages and partisan hardball are not what the Founders had in mind.

(Photo by Samuel Corum/AFP via Getty Images)


HOW MANY LAST STRAWS can there be? When it comes to the Supreme Court, the supply appears to be infinite.


The Court needs an extreme makeover ASAP, and that is far from an extreme idea. It’s the only path back to a high court that is trustworthy, balanced, logical, and durable.


The latest shock is the photo of an upside-down American flag—a symbol adopted by Donald Trump supporters, including the “Stop the Steal” movement to keep him in office after he lost—on display outside Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s house in January 2021, just days after an insurrectionist mob waving some upside-down flags attacked the U.S. Capitol.


And no matter how or how soon the justices rule on Trump’s argument that he deserves absolute immunity from criminal prosecution, apparently on the theory that presidents should be free to do whatever, including try to overturn elections they’ve lost, the oral argument in that case last month was so disturbing—with justices and Trump’s lawyers entertaining hypotheticals about a president ordering the murder of a political rival—that it can never be unheard. Not even if Trump loses the 2024 election, not even if he’s convicted in any or all of his criminal trials.


The only answer is to fix the damn Court, as Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer likes to say about roads. After eight years of escalating ethics outrages and take-no-prisoner tactics, most of them perpetrated by hell-for-leather conservatives, steps that once seemed over the top or unnecessarily melodramatic now increasingly seem like common sense to many Americans.


Finally.


In one sign of urgency building on Capitol Hill, five House Democrats and several advocacy groups last week announced a Court Reform Now Task Force to highlight the Court’s problems and new laws that could ease them. “Not everyone in Congress knows that this is a five-alarm fire situation,” said Rep. Hank Johnson of Georgia, senior Democrat on the House Judiciary subcommittee that oversees courts. The next day, the New York Times published its report about the “Stop the Steal” flag on Alito’s lawn.

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The major options for Court reform have been clear for years. Now, with Supreme Court job approval hovering at or near record lows, several are under discussion on both sides of the Capitol:


  • Ethics. The Supreme Court Ethics, Recusal, and Transparency Act to require a binding code of ethics and transparency measures for justices. This is a popular bipartisan idea, with support levels of 90 percent in one poll, 75 percent in another67 percent in a third.

    Given all that’s come out in congressional and media investigations, from Justice Clarence Thomas’s wife Ginni participating in “Stop the Steal” efforts to Thomas himself accepting decades of luxury travelprivate school tuition, and other gifts from wealthy conservatives with interests before the Court, the broad support for an ethics code is not surprising. As Rep. Jamie Raskin said at the task force press conference, “Right now America’s got the best Supreme Court that money can buy, which is a pretty awful Supreme Court. We need the best Supreme Court that money can’t buy.”

  • Term limits. The Supreme Court Tenure Establishment and Retirement Modernization (TERM) Act setting eighteen-year terms for justices, allowing each president to nominate two. Polls show about two-thirds of Americans support this.

    The widespread support for term limits is also unsurprising after one political hardball spectacle after another, starting with the Senate GOP blockade of President Barack Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland. Republicans left the seat vacant for over a year for the fake reason that the March 2016 nomination was too close to the November 2016 election. We know it was fake because, beyond the bedrock absurdity, Republicans rushed through a nomination in less than a month at the end of 2020—also a presidential election year.

  • Court expansion. The Judiciary Act to expand the Supreme Court from nine to thirteen members. Congress has changed the size of the Court seven times in the past. Still, the public is more wary about this, with one poll showing 44 percent in support of adding justices compared with 35 percent opposed.

Until recently I was skeptical about both term limits and Court expansion. I didn’t sense the political will for either one, and I wasn’t sure either was warranted. But since the immunity hearing, and after many rulings detached from precedent, practicality, or public opinion, I’ve had zero doubt about the need for term limits and I’m even warming up to the prospect of a thirteen-justice Court.

The point of all of this is not to pack the Court and send it screeching left, but to rebalance and stabilize an institution that has grown smug, immodest, inured to ethics abuses, and cavalier to constitutional and national concerns and freedoms—starting with whether a president who tried to stay in power despite losing an election should be tried for that before voters pass judgment on his third presidential campaign.

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The links between democracy, the Court and what the Brennan Center calls “changing public values” have been fraying for years. Two-term presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama each named two justices over their eight years, while Trump named three in his four years, the center notes, and called that “impossible to square with principles of democratic legitimacy.” Term limits, by contrast, would give each president “an equal imprint” on the Court and “enhance the democratic link between the Court and the public.”

Conservatives have, of course, been largely pleased with this Court’s rulings. But the political, legal, and human consequences, especially from losing the constitutional right to legal abortion, are just beginning. It is not difficult to envision term limits producing a more moderate Court, to the benefit of a less ideological, less theocratic, less MAGA GOP of the future.


The most likely bipartisan project right now is the most modest: a binding code of ethics, with requirements similar to those for members of Congress. But I would also suggest to center-right Republicans, independents, and even traditional conservatives, that term limits are worth their consideration as well. President Joe Biden’s bipartisan commission on the Court noted in its final report that term limits “enjoy considerable, bipartisan support.”


Like the Republican party and democracy itself, the Court is not working as it once did. The “mischiefs of faction” the Founders so feared have overridden the necessary niceties of good character, civic virtue, and the rule of law. Beyond that, the reformist tradition that has allowed America to learn, grow, adapt, and change over the centuries is dormant.


And the longer it stays that way, the more it looks like the psychological syndrome of learned helplessness—summarized by Medical News Today as “a state that occurs after a person has experienced a stressful situation repeatedly. They believe that they are unable to control or change the situation, so they do not try, even when opportunities for change are available.”


In American politics right now, those suffering from “learned helplessness” are the many Republicans who know Trump is a cancer on their party and nation but did not vote to impeach, convict, or bar him from office after the 2020 election; and the many Democrats who have failed to seize potential “opportunities for change” in the past few years.


Are we okay with political hypocrisy, hyperpolarization, power grabs, threats, violence, and corruption? Do we really want to let our reformist tradition die?


I don’t think so.


There’s no term limit on your ability to forward this article to a friend:

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