Yeah, you read that right. They were paying for a crime committed in 1357!
Where did all these fake followers of Mitt Romney’s Twitter account come from?
US News isn’t totally sure, but they found the guy whose picture got boosted for ‘em.
Only in America: A lifeguard at Florida’s Hallandale Beach was rewarded for saving a drowning swimmer by being fired from his job. Lifeguard Tomas Lopez, 21, rushed to the aid of a man in an area where people are warned that they are swimming at their own risk — a slice of ocean outside of Lopez’s designated patrol territory. Lopez’s employer says coming to the aid of someone outside the area that the company is paid to patrol is a liability, puts swimmers within Lopez’s zone at risk, and is therefore prohibited. Lopez has since been offered his job back — an offer he declined.
- cause In January, a freshman at a California high school found that his iPhone, which had Apple’s Find My iPhone software installed, was missing from his locker. He informed his father, who happens to be the Berkeley police chief.
- reaction Chief Michael Meehan put ten officers on the case,…
Big rigs with bombs are secretly cruising the interstate near you. But how safe are they from terrorists or accidents? To find out, we sent Adam Weinstein to investigate…and haul ass after one on a long stretch of South Carolina lowcountry highway. YEEHAW.
(Plus, later today, we’ll share the list of headlines for this story that we rejected. They’re oh so good. And bad.)
Iranian women ninjas. Yes, you read that right. See a segment from Press TV on Iran’s female ninjas or “kunoichi.”
"Poor because of you!" shout activists from the topless Ukrainian protest group, Femen, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. (Warning: since they are a topless protest group, the video contains footage of topless women.)
Born in 1790, John Tyler was our 10th President. He took office in 1841 after William Henry Harrison died. And he has two living grandchildren!
Not great-great-great-grandchildren. Their dad was Tyler’s son.
How is this possible? The Tyler men have a habit of having kids very late in life. Lyon Gardiner Tyler, one President Tyler’s 15 kids, was born in 1853. He fathered Lyon Gardiner Tyler Jr. in 1924, and Harrison Ruffin Tyler in 1928.
[Source: Genealogy of John Tyler]
From the end of the 19th century through the turn of the 20th century, King Leopold II of Belgium ran the so-called Congo Free State as his private property, amassing an enormous fortune by turning most adult males into slaves to collect wild rubber and ivory from the jungle. The women and children were held hostages—their hands, noses and ears often chopped off when the men in their families did not meet their rubber quota or failed to return.
For over 23 years, Leopold’s army forced hundreds of thousands of slaves to work in killing conditions where many died from exhaustion. Some 20 slave uprisings were put down with extreme bloodthirstiness. After the Belgians discovered gold in 1903, they worked thousands to death in gold mines. It has been estimated that about 10 million people out of a population of 20 million lost their lives under King Leopold’s barbarous rule.
Villages which failed to meet the rubber collection quotas were required to pay the remaining amount in severed hands, where each hand would prove a kill. Sometimes the hands were collected by the soldiers of the Force Publique, sometimes by the villages themselves. There were even small wars where villages attacked neighbouring villages to gather hands, since their rubber quotas were too unrealistic to fill.
One junior white officer described a raid to punish a village that had protested. The white officer in command
‘ordered us to cut off the heads of the men and hang them on the village palisades … and to hang the women and the children on the palisade in the form of a cross.’
After seeing a Congolese person killed for the first time, a Danish missionary wrote:
‘The soldier said “Don’t take this to heart so much. They kill us if we don’t bring the rubber. The Commissioner has promised us if we have plenty of hands he will shorten our service.”‘
In Forbath’s words:
The baskets of severed hands, set down at the feet of the European post commanders, became the symbol of the Congo Free State. … The collection of hands became an end in itself. Force Publique soldiers brought them to the stations in place of rubber; they even went out to harvest them instead of rubber… They became a sort of currency. They came to be used to make up for shortfalls in rubber quotas, to replace… the people who were demanded for the forced labour gangs; and the Force Publique soldiers were paid their bonuses on the basis of how many hands they collected.
In theory, each right hand proved a killing. In practice, soldiers sometimes “cheated” by simply cutting off the hand and leaving the victim to live or die. More than a few survivors later said that they had lived through a massacre by acting dead, not moving even when their hands were severed, and waiting till the soldiers left before seeking help. In some instances a soldier could shorten his service term by bringing more hands than the other soldiers, which led to widespread mutilations and dismemberment.
Why am I posting this, of all things? There’s talk in the MSM that presidential candidate Newt Gingrich is a legitimate historian and a renowned academic. His only real academic work, his PhD dissertation, which has never been cited, concludes that Belgian rule over the Congolese was positive and modernized the country, mentioning King Leopold but once. Does this look like positive modernization to you?
Newt Gingrich is not an academic, just a very poor storyteller of fiction.
What I want to know is who the hell was on his dissertation committee and how the hell did they find it appropriate to give him his degree? Those people, if still living, should probably be removed from their academic posts. Seriously, that would be like if I wrote my dissertation about how Tuberculosis is a good thing and we should actively try to spread it around to more people.
His dissertation adviser was Belgian.