Somnium Americanum certum est quia impossibile est
“I’m standing in this piece of shit goddamn rubble city and saying to you Americans, I’m going to hand over the 17 Trillion dollar national debt I racked up to you and all future generations once I end my tenure as president. This was my American dream, and it’s going to be your American fu**ing nightmare. Thanks for voting for me — twice!” the jovial president said chuckling like a hyena.
The president then went on to his usual diatribe about how he is being hindered by Republicans in Congress and how none of the mess the country is currently in is his fault in any way.
A homeless army veteran onlooker to the whole sorry scene quipped: “This is what happens when Marxism mixes with Capitalism. In the Marine Corp. we used to call it a ‘clusterf*ck’.”
If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks…will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered…. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs. – Thomas Jefferson in the debate over the Re-charter of the Bank Bill (1809)
Two thousand five hundred EU officials are to lose their jobs in the next four years under a new austerity agreement. read full article
A phrase often heard, especially in leftist circles, is that the 2008 crisis has given us an opportunity to “rebalance the economy,” with production for profit yielding to production for “well-being.”… read full article
Prime Minister’s ‘Loose Cannon’ Style Divides Greece
Antonis Samaras became prime minister of Greece a year ago, when the world assumed his country, battered by debt and austerity, would exit the eurozone. European leaders were openly relieved that Samaras’ conservative, pro-bailout New Democracy …
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Famous Quotes Paired with Clever Illustrations
The area of scientific knowledge has been enormously extended, and theoretical knowledge has become vastly more profound in every department of science. But the assimilative power of the human intellect is and remains strictly limited. Hence it was inevitable that the activity of the individual investigator should be confined to a smaller and smaller section of human knowledge. Worse still, this specialization makes it increasingly difficult to keep even our general understanding of science as a whole, without which the true spirit of research is inevitably handicapped, in step with scientific progress. Every serious scientific worker is painfully conscious of this involuntary relegation to an ever-narrowing sphere of knowledge, which threatens to deprive the investigator of his broad horizon and degrades him to the level of a mechanic …
It is just as important to make knowledge live and to keep it alive as to solve specific problems. (Albert Einstein, 1954)
The individual feels the futility of human desires and aims and the sublimity and marvelous order which reveal themselves both in nature and in the world of thought. Individual existence impresses him as a sort of prison and he wants to experience the universe as a single significant whole. The beginnings of cosmic religious feeling already appear at an early stage of development, e.g., in many of the Psalms of David and in some of the Prophets. Buddhism, as we have learned especially from the wonderful writings of Schopenhauer, contains a much stronger element of this. (Albert Einstein, 1930)
The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. It should transcend personal God and avoid dogma and theology. Covering both the natural and the spiritual, it should be based on a religious sense arising from the experience of all things natural and spiritual as a meaningful unity. Buddhism answers this description .. If there is any religion that could cope with modern scientific needs it would be Buddhism. (Albert Einstein)
In my view, it is the most important function of art and science to awaken this religious feeling and keep it alive in those who are receptive to it. (Albert Einstein, 1930)
Science has therefore been charged with undermining morality, but the charge is unjust. A man’s ethical behaviour should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties and needs; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death. (Albert Einstein, 1930)
There is nothing divine about morality; it is a purely human affair. (Albert Einstein, 1934)
For the scientific method can teach us nothing else beyond how facts are related to, and conditioned by, each other. The aspiration toward such objective knowledge belongs to the highest of which man is capable, and you will certainly not suspect me of wishing to belittle the achievements and the heroic efforts of man in this sphere. Yet is equally clear that knowledge of what is does not open the door directly to what should be. One can have the clearest and most complete knowledge of what is , and yet not be able to deduct from that what should be the goal of our human aspirations. Objective knowledge provides us with powerful instruments for the achievements of certain ends, but the ultimate goal itself and the longing to reach it must come from another source. And it is hardly necessary to argue for the view that our existence and our activity acquire meaning only by the setting up of such a goal and of corresponding values. (Albert Einstein, 1939)
To make clear these fundamental ends and valuations, and to set them fast in the emotional life of the individual, seems to me precisely the most important function which religion has to perform in the social life of man. And if one asks whence derives the authority of such fundamental ends, since they cannot be stated and justified merely by reason, one can only answer: they exist in a healthy society as powerful traditions, which act upon the conduct and aspirations and judgments of the individuals; they are there, that is, as something living, without its being necessary to find justification for their existence. (Albert Einstein, 1939)
.. free and responsible development of the individual, so that he may place his powers freely and gladly in the service of all mankind. There is no room in this for the divinization of a nation, of a class, let alone of an individual. Are we not all children of one father, as it is said in religious language? (Albert Einstein, 1939)
If one holds these high principles clearly before one’s eyes, and compares them with the life and spirit of our times, then it appears glaringly that civilized mankind finds itself at present in grave danger. In the totalitarian states it is the rulers themselves who strive actually to destroy that spirit of humanity. In less threatened parts it is nationalism and intolerance, as well as the oppression of the individuals by economic means, which threaten to choke these most precious traditions. (Einstein, 1954. p43-4)
But if the longing for the achievement of the goal is powerfully alive within us, then shall we not lack the strength to find the means for reaching the goal and for translating it into deeds. (Albert Einstein, 1939)
“Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness of the people; and not for profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men; therefore, the people alone have an incontestable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to institute government; and to reform, alter, or totally change the same, when their protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness require it.” –Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 22, December 14, 1787 
If, as Alexander Hamilton wrote, some of the main duties of the US Government are the protection and safety of the American people, why is it so easy to find examples of government officials deliberately failing to do so? One only needs to learn about the SS Eastland to see a trail of ignored warnings, close calls, and underhanded businessmen being helped by self-serving politicians. From its trial run in 1903, to just a couple of weeks before it capsized in 1915, there were repeated warnings by trained professionals concerning the stability of the ship.
I thought the damned thing would take the turns on her side” -W. J. Wood
Commissioned by the Michigan Steamship Company in 1902 and completed in 1903, the Eastland was built to provide a speedy yet comfortable trip between South Haven and Chicago. In July 1903, the ship was opened up for a public tour. So many people came to view the Eastland that the vessel listed enough to allow water to flood in through the gangways. On her trial runs a few weeks later, Naval Architect W. J. Wood warned the Port Authorities and ship owners that the ship was not designed right, that it was too narrow, causing it to tip over when too much weight was on the upper levels of the ship. He recommended restricting the top deck from passenger use and always having its ballast tanks filled.
The top deck was made off-limits but the listing continued to plague the ship which continued to change owner’s over the years and was moved to different cities to escape its bad reputation. Originally rated to carry 2,800 passengers, the listing caused her rating to drop to 2,400 passengers.
On August 3, 1913, John Devereux York, Naval Architect, sent a letter to the US Harbor Master saying: “You are aware of the condition of the SS Eastland, and unless the structural defects are remedied to prevent listing, there may be a serious accident.” His letter, like Wood’s before him, was ignored.
In response to the incredible loss of life on the Titanic, the LaFollette Seaman’s Act was passed in 1915. This Act mandated that lifeboat space would no longer depend on gross tonnage, but rather on how many passengers were on board. By requiring this extra weight to a top heavy vessel like the Eastland, the law meant to save lives, instead sealed the fate of some 844 passengers. When crafting the Bill, the Senate Commerce Committee had been warned about the dangers of placing additional lifeboats and life rafts on the top decks of Great Lakes ships. But these warnings fell on deaf ears.
On July 24, 1915 Western Electric Company chartered the Eastland along with two other steamers to take its employees from Chicago to Michigan City, Indiana for the company picnic. The mood was festive as a live band played the popular music of the day and the employees brought their families out to enjoy the trip. While there were three ships scheduled to take the revelers across Lake Michigan, the Eastland was slated to be the first ship boarded. 
At 7 AM, passengers began to board, and within a few minutes, Captain Harry Pederson noticed the ship listing so he ordered water to be pumped into the ballast tanks to stabilize it. The merrymakers kept boarding the vessel until they were jammed in like sardines. The Captain finally called out to the crew to pull back the gangplank and stop more people from coming aboard. Without a paper trail, it can only be estimated that there was between 2,600 to 3,000 people onboard. Even as the gangplank was being pulled in, the ship started to list, causing water to flood through the port gangways. Seeing the water flooding in and knowing what was coming next, the majority of the crew jumped off the vessel leaving only the captain and a few crew members below decks.
All the while, the passengers, unaware of the danger, continued to dance on the lower decks while those on the top moved away from the list to enjoy the view. Then, the unthinkable happened. Dishes began to fly off of shelves; a piano almost crushed two passengers as it slid crazily across the floor. The band stopped playing as water poured through portholes and pandemonium reigned as the ship rolled over on its side to settle on the river bed 20 feet below. Passengers trapped below decks were overwhelmed by the inrushing water and flying furniture. Many of those not crushed by the furniture were drowned be the unstoppable tide of water. Those men, women and children fortunate enough to be on the upper decks threw themselves into the river while the lifejackets sat uselessly in place because there was no time to grab them.
Within minutes onlookers rushed to aid those who had been thrown overboard or jumped into the river, while a tugboat steamed in to rescue passengers clinging to the overturned hull of the ship. An eyewitness to the disaster wrote: “I shall never be able to forget what I saw. People were struggling in the water, clustered so thickly that they literally covered the surface of the river. A few were swimming; the rest were floundering about, some clinging to a life raft that had floated free, others clutching at anything that they could reach – at bits of wood, at each other, grabbing each other, pulling each other down, and screaming! The screaming was the most horrible of them all.”
Other boats in the area and people nearby began helping with rescue operations. Some onlookers dove into the river or jumped onto the boat to help those who were struggling while others threw wooden planks and crates into the water to help people stay afloat. Workmen using acetylene torches nearby immediately ran over and started cutting a hole in the ship where pounding was heard. The crews of other ships were pulling people out of the water, dead and alive. By 8am, rescue turned to retrieval as the last of the pounding from inside the vessel slowly faded into silence and the remaining air-pockets gave out for those trapped within.
The large number of dead made identifying the dead extremely difficult as 22 entire families were killed in rollover. In one case a horse drawn hearse bearing two newly sealed coffins stopped at a row house near Chicago’s South Side which was the home of two families employed by Western Electric. The driver knocked on the door to get burial instruction; when no one answered, he knocked on it again not knowing all seven people from both families had perished on the Eastland.
The capsizing of the S.S. Eastland caused a nationwide demand for justice over the massive loss of life. A grand jury was called which indicted the president and three other officers of the steamship company for manslaughter, and the ship’s captain and engineer for criminal carelessness. This case became an American Jarndyce v Jarndyce as the results did not come in for over 20 years. When the findings were released in 1935, it was determined that the disaster was the result of “conditions of instability” caused by any or all of overloading of passengers, mishandling of water ballast, or the construction of the ship. So none of the crew served any prison time or paid any fine. This finding also absolved the owners of any liability and again demonstrated that protecting the public from predatory companies is not on the government’s “to do list.”
Looking at American policy over the last 50 years, it’s quite apparent that little has changed. We no longer have a “government of the people, by the people, for the people” but one “of special interests, by special interests, for special interests.” Just a few of the many policies showing such unabashed collusion are the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq;  the frenzy surrounding the “swine-flu” epidemic; the bankster and automobile bailouts;  and the green energy giveaways.
“Eating Healthy is Easy” Michelle Obama
As flagrant as these examples are, they pale when compared to what was slipped into H.R. 933, the Agricultural Appropriations Bill. This spending bill was intended to continue funding for several federal departments like the FDA and USDA through the 2013 fiscal year. In a backroom deal that should infuriate every American, Section 735, entitled the “Farmer Assurance Provision,” also called the “Monsanto Protection Act” was quietly slipped into the bill by Missouri senator Roy Blunt with the help of Senator Barbara Mikulski, chair of the Appropriations Committee.
Blunt, bearer of several monikers including “Senator Earmark” and garnered a “Most Corrupt” from CREW hails from Monsanto’s home state of Missouri.,  His cozy relationship with the GMO seed/chemical has earned him over $118,000 from Monsanto since 2008 and over $243,000 from agribusiness PAC’s in 2010 alone. Brashly showing just how owned he is Blunt, admitted to Politico that he “worked” with Monsanto on the bill.
The Monsanto Protection Act prohibits federal courts from banning the planting and sale of genetically-modified organisms (GMOs). This applies even if those experimental crops are found today or in the future to be extremely dangerous or to cause a runaway crop plague.
A “Food Democracy Now” petition sums up this outrageous act like this: “With the Senate passage of the Monsanto Protection Act, biotech lobbyists are one step closer to making sure that their new GMO crops can evade any serious scientific or regulatory review.”
“This dangerous provision, the Monsanto Protection Act, strips judges of their constitutional mandate to protect consumer and farmer rights and the environment, while opening up the floodgates for the planting of new untested genetically engineered crops, endangering farmers, citizens and the environment.”
Simply put, this provision is an all-out attack on any judicial review doing their job and protecting the American public from potentially dangerous items and essentially violates the separation of powers.  Of course, the question of “Separation of Powers” is almost obsolete anymore when looking at the flood of “former” Monsanto and other Biotech employees that now operate the very government agencies charged with policing Monsanto. 
Some of the many:
• Roger Beachy heading up the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, the former director of the Monsanto Danforth Center
• Islam Siddiqui, Agriculture Trade Representative, is a former Monsanto lobbyist
• Tom Vilsack, Iowa governor, and commissioner of the USDA, created the Governors’ Biotechnology Partnership, and had been given a Governor of the Year Award by the Biotechnology Industry Organization, whose members include Monsanto.
• Ramona Romero, the new counsel for the USDA, who had been corporate counsel for another biotech giant, DuPont.
• Michael Taylor, deputy commissioner of the FDA, the new food-safety-issues czar, former vice-president for public policy for Monsanto. Taylor had been instrumental in getting approval for Monsanto’s genetically engineered bovine growth hormone.
• Elena Kagan, Supreme Court Justice, as federal solicitor general, had previously argued for Monsanto in the Monsanto v. Geertson seed case before the Supreme Court.
• This is in addition to the eight lawmakers who own stock in Monsanto
All these friends in high places have enabled Monsanto to push through numerous Genetically Modified crops in spite of massive public outcry.,  Sen. John Tester who strongly opposed the Act told Politico “that the deal worked out with Monsanto was simply bad policy.” And: “These provisions are giveaways, pure and simple, and will be a boon worth millions of dollars to a handful of the biggest corporations in this country,”
In one of those ironic twists that define the Obama administration, while Michelle Obama is touting that “82% of today’s consumers want healthier foods,” her husband is busy ignoring a petition with over 250,000 signatures on it. This petition requested he veto HR 933 until the offensive provision was struck out of it, even as thousands of protestors were in front of the White House, Obama showed where his allegiance is and signed it anyway.
Currently, the Vermont State Legislature is considering a bill that would require labeling of all GMO foods sold in their state. Monsanto is working to thwart this wildly popular bill by threatening to sue the state if it passes. Their lawyers are using several arguments including how safe their GMO crops are for people. One topic not being presented by Monsanto is the damage being done to the farmers tires who have switched over to GMO corn. In a recent article on Autoblog, GMO corn is “wreaking havoc” on tractor tires. Mark Newhall of Farm Show Magazine tells American Public Media’s Marketplace that after the stalks are cut during harvest, the leftover stubs are like “having a field of little spears.” So instead of tractor tires lasting the usual five to six years, they’re getting chewed up after just one or two years. With tractor tires sometimes costing thousands of dollars, tire manufacturers are turning to Kevlar, the armor plating the US military uses to resist being shredded. Eating something that requires armor plating to harvest is what Monsanto calls safe?
Though this bill will only remain in effect for six months, it sets a dangerous precedent in allowing corporations to undermine public safety if they can buy enough government support. It shows that the same Congress that ignored the warnings when passing the LaFollette Seaman’s Act in 1915, are quite capable of ignoring the warnings against Genetically Modified foods.
“The people must remain ever vigilant against tyrants masquerading as public servants.” George Washington
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1. The Federalist No. 22
2. Eastland Disaster
3. Eastland Disaster Historical Society
4. Eastland faulty says Naval expert
5. The Eastland Disaster
6. S.S. Eastland flips over on Chicago River, killing over 800 people including 22 entire families
7. Lost to the Lake: The S.S. Eastland Disaster
8. Eastland Memorial Society
9. Eastland disaster Historical Society
10. Eastland Disaster: Wacker Drive between Clark and LaSalle Street Bridges
11. Chicago, IL Steamer EASTLAND Disaster, Jul 1915
12. The Eastland disaster pictures
13. Profiting vs. Profiteering
14. The pandemic that never was: Drug firms ‘encouraged world health body to exaggerate swine flu threat’
15. The Bailout: By The Actual Numbers
16. The Real Green in Fedgov’s “Green Energy”
17. H.R. 933: Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013
18. The Grand New and Old Party
19. Crooked Candidates 2010
20. Sen. Roy Blunt: Monsanto’s Man in Washington
21. Big Agriculture flexes its muscle
22. Tell President Obama to veto the Monsanto Protection Act
23. ‘Monsanto Protection Act’ Sneaks Through Senate
24. Monsanto: Big Guy on the Block When it Comes to Friends in Washington.
25, Top 10 excuses for Obama signing the Monsanto Protection Act.
26, Kill the Monsanto Protection Act: Force Senator Roy Blunt to Resign.
27, Monsanto Protection Act Obama deception GMO’s
28, Michelle Obama business case healthier food options.
29, Monsanto threatens to sue State of Vermont
30, Food Safety
31, GMO crops so tough that farmers are turning to Kevlar tractor tires.
32, Monsanto Protection Act Signed By Obama, GMO Bill “Written By Monsanto” Signed Into Law.
We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest. A kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from the prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. The true value of a human being is determined by the measure and the sense in which they have obtained liberation from the self. We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if humanity is to survive. (Albert Einstein, 1954)
The most beautiful and most profound experience is the sensation of the mystical. It is the sower of all true science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead. To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their primitive forms – this knowledge, this feeling is at the center of true religiousness.
( Albert Einstein – The Merging of Spirit and Science)
I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it. (Albert Einstein, 1954)
Quotation by Siddhãrtha Gautama (Buddha):
“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it.
Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many.
Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books.
Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders.
Do not believe in traditions simply because they have been handed down for many generations.
But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”
Buddhism practised as a way of life is fine but Buddhism practised as a religion is total nonsense. Once Buddhism becomes a religion it acquires the trappings that go with it… greed, wealth, rituals, divisions, factions, superstition, dogma,canons, creeds , veneration,myths and the final plea please help me Buddha
10 Lesser-Known Iconic Photos of WWII
by Patrick Weidinger,
There are many iconic photos that emerged from the Second World War. Many of the people in these photos are instantly recognizable – Churchill flashing the “V” for victory sign, for example. In other photographs, however, you may not know the name of the people depicted – the sailor kissing the nurse on VJ Day, the Marines raising the flag on Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima – but you definitely know the story.
Ten of those somewhat lesser-known photographs are presented here, along with the fascinating stories of the people in them.
This WWII era photograph was used to show Americans that women were doing their part to fight the war – even when they really weren’t. The four women pictured here, in front of the famous “Pistol Packin’ Mamma” aircraft, were part of the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots program – better known as the WASPs. One of the four – the farthest on the right – is Blanche Osborn Bross.
The WASPs were a very exclusive club. Over 25,000 women applied for the program, and only 2,000 were selected of which barely 1,000 graduated and became pilots. Though they did not see wartime action, some of them did die in airplane accidents. After the war, Blanche Osborn Bross continued to fly, and later served with the Red Cross in China. She died at the age of 92.
This Soviet WWII photograph was unidentified for 23 years until the man in it, Aleksey Gordeyevich Yeremenko, was recognized by his wife and children when they saw the photograph in Pravda. It remains one of the most iconic photographs of World War II. Yeremenko was a junior political officer serving with the 220th regiment of 4th Rifle Division. On July 12, 1942, the commander of his regiment fell during battle. Rallying his troops to the attack, Yeremenko stood and waved them on. Seconds after this photograph was taken, Yeremenko was shot dead.
Many WWII photographs are shocking because of what they depict (“The Last Jew of Vinnitsa” for example). This Japanese photograph is shocking because of what it implies. Seen here are two Japanese officers, Toshiaki Mukai and Tsuyoshi Noda, each leaning against his Samurai sword. The photograph was widely shown in Japanese newspapers in 1937, and depicted a “contest” between Mukai and Noda to see who could be the first to cut off 100 heads.
The photograph and story came from about the time of the Japanese invasion of China and the slaughter and rape of Chinese cities such as Nanking, where the Japanese army systematically raped and killed untold thousands of civilians and Chinese prisoners of war.
The newspaper articles tried to describe the killing contest as being performed during “hand to hand combat”, but in all likelihood, the beheadings by sword were carried out on helpless civilians and prisoners. Later editions of the newspapers stated that each had broken the “100 head” goal, and were therefore resetting the goal to 150 heads. After the war, one of the men admitted that only four of the beheadings had taken place during combat – most of his total came from passive, lined-up Chinese prisoners. After the war, both Mukai and Noda were executed for war crimes.
On September 16 and September 22, 1941, the Nazis rounded up all of the Jews in the town of Vinnitsa, Ukraine, and executed them. Pictured here in this famous photograph we see a man, kneeling before a pit filled with bodies, about to be shot by a German soldier. This photograph was found among a German soldier’s photo album, and on the back was written the title “The Last Jew of Vinnitsa”.
A Wehrmacht officer who observed the slaughter described it in all its horror. The people were told to show up at the already dug pit for a “census”. They were then forced to disrobe and turn in all their belongings. A row of naked people were then lined up along the pit, and mowed down by German soldiers using pistols. The next group would be ordered to shovel quicklime onto the still-writhing bodies in the pit, then repeat the process of undressing, turning over their valuables, and being shot – until each and every one of them joined their families and neighbors in the pit. All 28,000 Jews from Vinnitsa were killed in this manner.
So many images from World War II, like this one, do not have captions detailing who was in the photograph. In some cases, photographers quickly snapped photographs of soldiers who were on the move or in action. The photographers never had the time to ask their name, company, or other information.
Other images, similar to this one, were never documented because of what they depicted. Though the year and campaign are given for this tragic photo, there is little wonder why the name of the woman and her child were never recorded. They were about to be executed by a German soldier. Who were they? All we know is that the photograph was taken in the Ukraine, and shows the execution of Jews from Kiev. Mailed from the Eastern Front back to Germany, the photograph was intercepted by a member of the Polish Resistance who kept it as documentation of German war time atrocities. The only description written on the photograph was “Ukraine 1942, Jewish Action [operation], Ivangorod.”
hough largely over shadowed by the bloody fighting the U.S. Marines and Army encountered on other islands such as Okinawa and Iwo Jima, the battle for Peleliu Island in 1944 was just as bloody – maybe even more so. The fighting on Peleliu was sheer butchery on both sides. The US Marines and army would suffer 6,800 casualties, the Japanese army at least double that.
Captured here in an iconic photograph of WWII, on September 15, 1944, are two Marines enjoying a brief respite from the constant battle. Gerald Churchby (later found out to be Thursby) and Douglas Lightheart are sitting in a shell hole, with the jungle of Peleliu shattered and broken all around them. That’s private Lightheart from Michigan, sitting holding the large machine gun in his lap, with a cigarette butt hanging from his mouth. The look in his eye is one of acute awareness, as if the enemy were about to attack at any second (which they probably were). Sitting to his right is private Churchby, seen holding his rifle with a far more casual and unconcerned look. Maybe he was just trying to smile for the picture?
Thomas Murray would do his part to win WWII by being the poster boy for rationing. During the war, Americans had to use ration stamps to buy all manner of goods that were in short supply, because these goods were needed for the war effort. Coffee, butter, rubber, and many other staples were hard to come by. The US used poster campaigns to put a face on the soldier who was fighting for the country and who needed these goods, as a way to encourage Americans to make sacrifices and tolerate rationing. This iconic photograph of Murray smiling to the camera and holding a military cup of “Joe” was one of the most popular “support rationing” posters of the war effort. Murray died in 2002 at the age of 87, and was buried with full military honors.
Murray’s face would later be used in another war effort – the war (still ongoing) for Internet discussion board civility. A copy of the poster, with the words changed to “How About a Nice Big Cup of Shut the Fuck Up” (Think Before You Say Something Stupid) was – and still is – commonly used on discussion boards to try to shame trolls into thinking before they post. The rationing effort was far more successful.
Not much is known about this iconic World War II photograph, but to many it is instantly recognizable, and is titled simply “Grief”. The photograph was taken by Soviet photographer Dmitri Baltermants. He photographed many Soviet battles including Stalingrad, and he himself was wounded twice. All of his photographs were censored by the Red Army. Only the ones that fit into the Soviet propaganda campaign would be published. Though this photograph was sent around the world during WWII, few newspapers or magazines would publish it, considering it to be another piece of staged Soviet propaganda.
The photograph did not become widely known until the 1960s, and is now one of Baltermant’s most famous images. Shown is the aftermath of a German army massacre of Jews in Kerch, in 1942. The village women search the bodies for loved ones. The brooding, saturated sky adds to the drama of the photo. The woman standing with her arms out would later find the body of her murdered son.
Everyone recognizes General Dwight D. Eisenhower in this famous image. He is seen here addressing American paratroopers on June 5, 1944, the day before the D-Day invasion of Europe. The tall man standing directly in front of Eisenhower and wearing the #23 around his neck was Lt Wallace C. Strobel. Strobel was part of an airborne infantry regiment that parachuted behind enemy lines, the night of the D-Day invasion. Of the 792 men in Strobel’s regiment, only 129 would still be fighting six days later. One of those 129 was Strobel. He died in 1999.
Strobel remembered meeting Ike. He and the other paratroopers had smeared burned cork or cooking oil over their faces, to blacken them for night-time operations. The number hanging around his neck was meant to designate his assigned plane. Strobel was the jump master for his plane. He and his fellow crew were making last minute preparations for the mission when Ike appeared and walked straight up to him. Ike asked him what state he was from, and whether or not he felt ready for the mission. Strobel told Eisenhower that he was from Michigan – and yes, they were ready. Eisenhower responded that he had been to Michigan, and loved the fishing there. Though Strobel felt Eisenhower had come to try to reassure the men and lift their spirits, it actually seemed to be they who lifted Ike’s spirits. Strobel remembered how well-trained and prepared they were, and that their confidence had a real calming and reassuring effect on Eisenhower.
Sergeant Leonard Siffleet was a commando fighting with the Australian Army in New Guinea when he was captured by natives, who turned him over to the occupying Japanese army. Trained as a radio operator in the Special Forces, Siffleet was part of a secret surveillance detachment sent to New Guinea to watch the coast and report back on enemy activities.
After they were turned over to the Japanese, they were held for about two weeks, tortured, and then – on October 24, 1943, on the orders of Vice-Admiral Michiaki Kamada of the Imperial Japanese Navy – Siffleet was executed by beheading. He was beheaded by a Japanese officer, Yasuno Chikao. Chikao ordered another soldier to photograph him while he performed the execution. U.S. forces later recovered the photograph from the body of a Japanese major, in April 1944. Though the Japanese often executed prisoners by beheading (see Toshiaki Mukai and Tsuyoshi Noda above), this is the only known surviving photograph documenting the beheading of a prisoner.