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UK: Muslims who tried to abduct RAF serviceman at knife-point part of larger gang

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MarhamWinston Churchill lead the British to victory over the Nazis.

Who will be the next Churchill to lead the British to victory over the Muslims?

Or is it too late for the British?

 

England had 5,700 recorded cases of FGM in 2015-16

Source: UK: Muslims who tried to abduct RAF serviceman at knife-point part of larger gang

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U.S. School Bans Some Of Students’ Favorite Items Because It Offends Muslims

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This is from Mad World News.

An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last. Winston Churchill.

U.S. School Bans Some Of Students' Favorite Items Because It Offends Muslims

Sneaking Sharia law has entered U.S. schools by way of banning un-Islamic foods. What’s next? The removing crucifixes and forcing female students to cover their hair?

In the wake of Islamic terrorist attacks throughout the West, strong leaders in countries like Poland and Sweden have begun implementing measures to ensure Muslims either integrate or vacate. However, a U.S. school district has decided that its students need to give up some of their favorite things, in accordance with Sharia law, in order to make offended Muslims feel more at home.

Sweden announced in January that it will expel up to 80,000 asylum seekers over the next few years who crossed its borders illegally. Likewise, after the Brussels terrorist attack, Poland has boldly announced that it will no longer accept the 7,000 Muslim refugees it promised the UN it would welcome. Fortunately, America hasn’t suffered the same devastating effects of mass Islamic migration — unfortunately, that’s why she is still viewing tolerance as a one-way street when it comes to Muslims’ demands.

According to ACT For America, the Kent School District in Washington has announced it will no longer provide non-Muslim students with pork products or anti-Islamic food options during lunchtime, simply because its Muslim students are required by their religion to never ingest it.

When angry parent Dave Brabo heard about the district’s new policy to comply with Sharia and offer Islam-approved foods, he was livid. He called school officials, who only attempted to justify this bias treatment by saying that if they don’t “accommodate the Muslim dietary needs that their federal and state funding would be cut or pulled.”

Outraged that only Muslims’ religion would be favored, forcing forcing everyone to change for their religious requirements, Brado demanded equal treatment for the school’s other religious groups.

Mr. Brabo responded by saying, “I want Kosher food added and labeled, Christian food offered during Lent, and even Hindi food offered.” According to Mr. Brabo, Tom Ogg, Director of Nutritional Services laughed and said, “No.”

Ironically, Brabo was told that the changes were made for physical or cognitive “documented disabilities” and that it had nothing to do with “religious exceptions.” Yet, religious exceptions were exactly what was promoted when the district complied with Islam’s requirement to refrain from consuming pork — a rule that solely applies to the followers of Islam, and not the majority of non-Muslim students.

Bare Naked Islam adds that Ogg, the school’s principal, and two other nutritional service employees told Brabo to “drop it,” and that they were “fearful of reprisal from the School District Administration and that funding would be cut if we didn’t fall in line.”

The district’s final admission to complying and “falling in line” or being punished is a prime example of how Sharia rises in non-Muslim countries. As the Muslim population grows, the democratic process is flipped upside down to reveal that the minority rules.

Sharia implementation begins with seemingly small demands, like the removal of pork products, requiring separate prayer rooms and breaks, or allowance of the hijab, niqab, and burka on public property. This soon escalates to legal prosecution of those who criticize Islam, terror attacks against the religious majority, and legislation that forces all others to adhere to Islamic laws and customs.

Until Muhammad drew his sword to behead 1,400 years ago, there was never a Muslim country, nor a Sharia governance. Because of Islamic persecution, migration, and terror, there are now over 50 countries that exact brutal Sharia legislation. Each one of them was either fooled into believing Muslims came peacefully with the intention of integrating, or they were forced into submission by conquest.

As Western countries begin bowing to the requirements meant only for Muslims, we again see the process of religious migration and subjugation taking over the last beacons of a free world — all beginning with our willingness to change our diet simply because of their dietary restrictions.

H/T [Tundra Tabloids]
Photo Credit [Red Flag News, Conservative Post

BLEEDING HEART JOURNALIST: Enters Muslim ‘NO GO’ Zone, Now Something Else Is Bleeding

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This is from Clash Daily.

An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.

Winston Churchill

This reporter tried to appease the crocodiles and it damned near cost her her life.

A few more stories like this one, and we can safely say  that Sweden will no longer be that poster child for why Socialism is the better way forward. Scratch that: actually, a few more stories like this one, and Sweden might no longer exist.

It all started simply enough: with wrong-headed Progressive assumptions.

In this instance, some neighborhoods were chucking rocks at police. One journalist applied the modern journalistic methods to the situation: find out who wronged them so badly that they have taken to chucking rocks. Naturally, they must have a reason — right? It’s just a matter of hearing their side of the story.

That is the story for which Ms. Valentina Xhaferi went looking. She found it.

In the middle of one of Stockholm’s “no-go” zones, she found one resident willing to discuss that “other side of the story” on camera. They met in the agreed-on public space, and set up for filming.

A passer-by asked why they were filming, and was told. So he grabbed a few friends. And a few rocks. Things turned ugly pretty quickly.

She wanted to get away. They hurled insults, splashed the cameraman with coffee, kicked over their equipment, which they caught on film.

She tried reason.  “It was impossible to calm them down. I pulled back and tried to calm down everyone, while trying to get my colleague and myself out of there.”

Then someone chucked a stone.

They finished the report a week later … this time with police escort.

In relating her story, she unwittingly identified what’s really happening here.  “They thought we crossed the limit and that we were standing on their land.”

Nowhere in the story does it mention identifying characteristics of this “foreign born” community. But we are told that this particular “no-go” zone consists of upwards of 70% “foreign-born” residents. (Statistics tell us that some 40,000 people live within Tensta, a suburb of Stockholm.) Other zones actually boast nearly 100% foreign-born residents.

It wasn’t hard to find which reports she was seeking the “other side”. Police claims that lone squad cars won’t even pursue criminals into certain neighborhoods. Swedish law simply doesn’t apply there. Shariah is enforced, instead.

There are, police estimate, 55 “no-go” zones in Sweden. They are by no means the only European country that has them.

And remember: that was before the wave of humanity began spilling into Europe.

Is it genuinely “compassionate” to have areas of a city where the rule of law is not enforced, and not enforceable? And to whom are the adjudicators of Sharia, themselves, accountable?

It’s time we stop wringing our hands about Islamophobia, and start addressing the real Xenophobia that’s making these supposed “no-go” neighborhoods unsafe for locally-born “outsiders”.

Wolf Pack – The Battle of the Atlantic

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This is from War History OnLine.

 

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U-52

Silver streaks on the dark water. Terrifying explosions ripping across the night sky.  Silent marauders slipping away and a few hundred thousand tonnes of shipping, food and war material sliding into the cold depths of the Atlantic.  These are the telltale characteristics of a German U-boat Wolf Pack strike, a Wolf Pack that came very close to being the deciding factor that would tip the balance of power in favor of Adolf Hitler’s Germany.

The brainchild of Admiral Donitz, the Wolf Pack was designed to strike and defeat the heavily armed convoy system of transportation that was keeping Britain alive with injections of food and material shipped over from the United States of America.  The idea was that when a U-boat made contact with a convoy, the captain shadowed the convoy while appraising U-boats in the surrounding area of the contact, after which the U-boats would muster upon the shadowing vessel.

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U-203

At a given signal, the U-boats would simultaneously launch their torpedoes at multiple targets and then slip away before the protecting armed ships launched a search for the marauders.  This system worked far more effectively than the one previously used by the German U-boat raiders, in which a single submarine fired torpedoes upon a single enemy target and then attempted to slip away undetected.  The confusion and sheer weight of numbers of torpedoes being fired at the convoy made it very difficult for ships to maneuver out of harm’s way or to successfully launch an attack against a targeted submarine.

Submarine_attack_(AWM_304949)

U-848 under attack by Allied aircraft in the South Atlantic

A number of submarine aces rose to prominence during the war.  Amongst these were men such as the commander of U-47,  Günther Prien, and Joachim Schepke who commanded U-100.  German strategy and daring encompassed the destruction of more than two hundred and fifty enemy ships as well armed vessels vital to the defense of Britain such as Ark Royal, Royal Oak and Hood. So successful were the Wolf Pack operations that Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of England for a great deal of the war, and the living symbol of British resistance, was once heard to exclaim that “… the only thing that ever really frightened me during the war was the U-boat peril.”

Convoy_WS-12_en_route_to_Cape_Town,_1941Convoy escorts and anti-submarine aircraft, November 1941

When the U-boats launched an attack on a convoy, individual submarine captains would choose their favored method of striking at the enemy.  Otto Krteschmer, and many other commanders, chose the dangerous tactic of heading straight into the center of a convoy and hitting ship after ship as they sailed past.  Other commanders chose to stay outside of the strike zone of protective vessels, such as destroyers, and to fire individually upon shipping or to loose a spread of torpedoes into the convoy.

Torpedoed_merchant_shipA U-boat shells a merchant ship which has remained afloat after being torpedoed

The Wolf Pack strategy was extremely successful and could quite possibly have brought Britain to its knees.  However, with the advent of weapons which were at the cutting edge of ground breaking British science and technology, the tide began to turn against the German submariners.

Sonar allowed British ships to detect German submarines and the development of the hedgehog depth charge defense system was to ultimately result in the swinging of the balance of power in the Atlantic in favor of Britain and the Allies.

10 Surprising Stories About Winston Churchill

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This is from ListVerse.

Winston Churchill was a very interesting man and I am always about the news things I have learned about him.

Winston Churchill is probably the most popular British prime minister ever. Having served his country as a soldier and politician, he is often considered the among the greatest of Britons. But while his heroic stand against the Nazis is well known, there are still a few facts about the popular politician that might surprise you.

10 His Cigars

winston_churchill

Photo credit: BBC

The classic image of Winston Churchill includes a giant cigar stuck between his lips. Churchill developed his love of cigars as a young man, when he traveled to Cuba to report on an ongoing rebellion against the colonial Spanish government. For the rest of his life, he smoked eight or nine cigars every day. However, he almost never took a puff, preferring to chew on the end until it went out, then relight it and start again. To prevent the cigar from becoming soggy, Churchill invented the “bellybando,” a strip of brown paper which could be glued around the end.

At any given time, Churchill had 3,000 to 4,000 cigars in his house, mostly his favorite Romeo y Julieta brand. The cigars were kept in boxes labeled “large” or “small” and “wrapped” or “naked.” They were mostly gifts, which helped keep expenses down. (One of his servants observed that “in two days his cigar consumption was the equivalent of my weekly salary.”) On one occasion, the president of Cuba presented Churchill with 2,400 top-quality cigars, although his paranoid security team insisted that one cigar from each box be sent off and tested for poison. Perhaps the story that best illustrates his love of cigars occurred during World War II, when he had a special oxygen mask designed so that he could still smoke his cigar on an unpressurized, high-altitude flight.

9 His Daring South African Escape

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Photo via Wikimedia

In 1899, Churchill traveled to South Africa to cover the ongoing Boer War for the Morning Post. While there, he was offered a chance to accompany an expedition on an improvised armored train. Although correspondents for theTimes and the Manchester Guardian declined the invitation, describing the train as a “death trap,” Churchill was all too eager to go along. That turned out to be a mistake.

As the train was returning to the British lines, it was ambushed by a Boer commando (similar to the one pictured above), which opened fire from a nearby hill. As the British returned fire, the train driver steamed ahead at full speed—and ran right into the rocks the Boers had placed on the tracks, causing one of the cars to derail on a curve. One British crew member managed to escape and make it back to safety, but Churchill and the other survivors were taken prisoner.

The captured men were taken to a school the Boers had converted into a prison camp. Churchill remained there until 1900, when he jumped a fencewhile the guards were distracted. Two captured officers were supposed to follow, but the guards returned and they were unable to join him. When it became obvious that the two officers were not coming, Churchill made his way through Pretoria and managed to sneak on board a cargo train. Forced to jump off by thirst, he then walked through the bush until he came across a cottage owned by a British mining engineer, who agreed to hide him at the bottom of a mine shaft. He also told him that the Boers had placed a £25 bounty on his head. With the help of the engineer, Churchill was able to board a train to Portuguese East Africa, escaping South Africa for good.

8 The Two Winstons

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Although it’s somewhat overshadowed by his political career, Winston Churchill was an accomplished writer. In fact, he won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1953. His first book was The Story Of The Malakand Field Force, a first-hand account of a military campaign in what is now Pakistan.

Funnily enough, there was another writer named Winston Churchill who was active at the same time. This Winston Churchill was an American who wrote a number of novels, six or seven of which became huge bestsellers. These included Richard Carvel, described as “a serious historical novel, embracing a romantic courtship and many events on land and sea,” which sold an astonishing two million copies and made the author a rich man.

Interestingly, both Churchills published their first books in 1898, although the American Churchill was the first to become famous for his writing. Unsurprisingly, he would eventually be eclipsed by the fame of his British counterpart and is almost forgotten today. But at the time, the two writers were often confused with each other. To avoid further difficulty, the two Churchills eventually agreed that the British Churchill would publish as “Winston S. Churchill” while the American would simply go by “Winston Churchill.”

7The Accident That Almost Killed Him

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Photo via Wikimedia

In December 1931, Churchill was on a late-night visit to his friend Bernard Baruch (pictured with Churchill) in New York when he had a brush with death. While crossing the street, he was hit by a car, which then dragged him behind it for a short distance. As it turned out, Churchill had instinctively looked to the right when he wanted to cross. However, since cars drive on opposite sides of the road in America and Britain, he should actually have looked left. Instead, he stepped serenely into the path of an oncoming car.

Churchill sustained severe bruising on his chest and a sprained shoulder. He played down the severity of the injuries, writing that he couldn’t understand “why I was not broken like an eggshell or squashed like a gooseberry.” He alsoaccepted all the blame for the accident, informing the police that the driver was innocent and securing his release. Since the accident occurred during Prohibition, Churchill managed to talk his doctor into writing him a note asserting that “the post-accident concussion of Hon. Winston S. Churchill necessitates the use of alcoholic spirits, especially at meal times.”

6 His Interest In Islam

An Inside Look At The Hulton Archive

Churchill was so fascinated by Islam that his family thought he might convert. His interest was revealed by the discovery of a 1907 letter written by Lady Gwendoline Bertie, who was engaged to his brother at the time. The letter was written as Churchill was about to leave on a tour of North Africa and Lady Gwendoline warned that “if you come into contact with Islam your conversion might be effected with greater ease than you might have supposed.”

In reality, Lady Gwendoline probably didn’t need to worry, since Churchill was basically an atheist by that point and never seriously considered converting to Islam. However, he did have an interest in Islamic culture and he and his friend Wilfrid Brunt often dressed in Arab clothing in private. During World War II, Churchill managed to find £100,000 to build the London Central Mosque, which he hoped would attract Muslim support for the war. He was also against the way Frederick Lugard treated Muslim tribes in northern Nigeria, then a British colony. Nevertheless, Churchill still criticized Islam in his book The River War, which bemoaned the treatment of women in the Sudan.

5 His White House Birthday Suit

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Photo via Wikimedia

Churchill apparently had several naked incidents while staying in the White House. On one occasion, he supposedly encountered the ghost of Abraham Lincoln while naked. They stared at each other for some time before Lincoln politely disappeared.

President Franklin Roosevelt also saw him naked, along with several White House staff during his 24-day visit in 1941. Churchill had just taken his bath and was pacing around in the nude when Roosevelt came in. The president quickly tried to leave, but Churchill told him not to, declaring that he clearly had nothing to hide from his closest ally.

This incident is somewhat controversial, since Churchill later insisted that he “never received the president without at least a bath towel” to cover himself. However, Churchill’s stenographer and bodyguard both claimed to have witnessed the incident and Roosevelt’s secretary said the president told her about it later, describing Churchill as “pink and white all over.” And Churchill himself once told King George VI that he was the only person on Earth to ever meet with a president naked.

4 The Siege Of Sydney Street

On December 16, 1910, nine unarmed policemen were sent to investigate a reported burglary attempt in Houndsditch, London. When they arrived, the criminals, later identified as anarchist refugees from Latvia, opened fire, killing three policemen and injuring two others in the worst police shooting in London history. It’s been noted that the killings reflected something of a culture clash—the Latvians were familiar with the armed and brutally violent Russian police, while the baton-wielding British bobbies were completely taken by surprise and unable to defend themselves. During the melee, one of the gang members was accidentally shot by his friends and died a few days later. A massive manhunt was quickly launched for the two surviving shooters.

On New Year’s Day, the police received a tipoff that the murderers were hiding in a house on Sidney Street. The police cordoned off the area and Churchill, who was the minister responsible for policing at the time, arrived and took command of the operation. Reinforced by the military, the police engaged the criminals in a lengthy gun battle, during which the Latvians fired more than 400 rounds and a bullet tore through Churchill’s hat. The situation was only resolved when the building caught fire and Churchill ordered the fire department not to risk attempting to put it out. One of the men inside was shot when he leaned out to escape the flames, while the other burned to death. There has since been a degree of controversy over whether the two men were actually the same Latvians who shot the policemen, although historians have noted that starting a massive, suicidal gunfight implies some level of guilt.

Churchill seems to have enjoyed the grisly experience, telling a colleague that the siege was “such fun!” Some papers criticized him for using the battle as a “photo opportunity,” noting that it was inappropriate for a politician to directly take command of a police operation. However, the incident seems to have helped cement his reputation as a man of action and improved his popularity with the general public.

3 Churchill’s Sneeze

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Photo via Wikimedia

The border between Jordan and Saudi Arabia includes a sharp zigzag known as Churchill’s Hiccup or Churchill’s Sneeze. The story goes that Churchill was drawing the map when a sudden hiccup or sneeze caused his hand to slip, making a sharp indent into Jordan. It’s a pretty ridiculous story and unsurprisingly it isn’t true. Instead, the zigzag shape was actually deliberately designed to give Britain an uninterrupted air corridor between Jordan and Iraq.

If there’s an element of truth to the story it’s that Churchill, as minister for the colonies, did play a significant role in establishing the borders of the modern Middle East. This occurred in the wake of the controversial 1916 Sykes-Picot Agreement, in which Britain and France agreed to divide the Middle East between them, ignoring ethnic and religious boundaries in the process. They were so unsure about what to do with Palestine that they actually considered just giving it to Belgium. Meanwhile, France ceded a chunk of Syria to Turkey against the wishes of most of the locals, simply because the wealthy Turkish minority in the area was better at lobbying than the impoverished Arabs.

Britain and France also initially agreed to support the creation of a Kurdish state, but then dumped the idea when it became clear they would have to give up large chunks of Iraq and Syria to make it happen. Today, 25 million Kurds remain without a state they can call their own. The agreement is now even used as a recruitment tool by ISIS, which claims that the boundaries were unjust.

2  His Black Dog

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Throughout his life, Churchill probably suffered from manic depression, which he called his “black dog.” At times, his depression was so severe that he didn’t like standing close to a passing train or looking at the ocean from a ship because he feared he would be tempted to commit suicide. His close friend Lord Beaverbrook once said that he was always either “at the top of the wheel of confidence or at the bottom of an intense depression.”

During his bouts of depression, Churchill would almost cease to function, spending a great deal of time in bed and losing his appetite and ability to concentrate. When he recovered from one such bout, he memorably described how “all the colors come back into the picture.”

When not depressed, Churchill was famously full of energy, usually working and talking until the early hours of the morning. He bounced constantly from one topic to another, causing Roosevelt to quip that he “has a thousand ideas a day, four of which are good.” In fairness, Roosevelt knew Churchill best during the later years of the war, when his doctor had taken to prescribing him amphetamines in order to avoid any depressive episodes, which didn’t help his manic tendencies.

1 His Quotes

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Photo credit: ITV

The great quotes of Winston Churchill have filled entire books. Unfortunately, many of the quotes attributed to him just aren’t true. For instance, Nancy Astor is often said to have told him “If I were your wife I would put poison in your coffee,” to which Churchill replied “If I were married to you, I’d drink it.” The incident did happen, but Churchill wasn’t involved at all. Instead, his good friend Lord Birkenhead delivered the reply.

Churchill did have a run-in with Astor, herself a great wit and the first female British Member of Parliament, but it was rather less quotable. Apparently, Churchill complained that he “felt when you entered the House of Commons that a woman had entered my bathroom and I had nothing to protect myself with but the sponge” to which Astor replied “Would it never occur to you that your appalling appearance might have been protection enough?”

Churchill couldn’t really complain about Astor’s rudeness, since he genuinely did respond to another female MP accusing him of being drunk with “Madam, you are ugly and I will be sober in the morning.” However, he probably didn’t say that “Americans will always do the right thing, after they have tried everything else” or tell a civil servant bemoaning prepositions at the end of sentences that “this is the kind of English up with which I will not put.” And both Churchill and George Bernard Shaw denied the famous story in which Shaw sent Churchill two tickets to his new play and invited him to “bring a friend, if you have one” only for Churchill to reply that he would come on the second night “if there is one.”

However, Churchill fans shouldn’t despair just yet. It most likely is true that Churchill was in the toilet when an aide informed him that the Lord Privy Seal had arrived to see him, prompting the memorable instruction to “tell the Lord Privy Seal that I am sealed in the privy and can only deal with one s–t at a time.”

Another 10 Fascinating Facts That Are Wrong

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This is from ListVerse.

A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.

Winston Churchill

We put a lot of trust in our teachers – as pupils we trust that they know what they are talking about, and as parents we trust that they are educating our children. But unfortunately (and no doubt unintentionally) many of our teachers repeat the same myths that they were taught. Through the Internet we pick up the odd myth here and there and even in books and papers we see the same errors being repeated. This is the third in our “fact” debunking lists – the other two are: Top 10 Fascinating Facts That Are Wrong, and 10 More Fascinating Facts That Are Wrong. As always, be sure to add any of your favorites via the comments below.

10

High-Fructose Corn Syrup

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Myth: high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is making us fat

Since HFCS entered the American food supply in the 1970s, and the rates of obesity started to rise about then. Consequently, many blame HFCS for the fat plague. It’s true of course that the calories HFCS contributes can be linked to the nation’s obesity problems, but its calories are no different from those in refined white sugar: the makeup of HFCS (55 percent fructose and 45 percent glucose) is close to that of white sugar (50 percent fructose and 50 percent glucose), which means that our bodies digest HFCS and sugar in very similar ways. Nutritionally speaking, the two are virtually identical.

Interesting Fact: Coca Cola produced in Mexico is still made with sugar (as opposed to corn syrup in the US), and many people claim to be able to taste the difference – refusing to buy the “inferior” American coke. Unfortunately a truly scientific blind test has not been done and the various tests online all vary widely in their conclusions.

9

Cell Phone Cancer

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Myth: Cell phones cause brain cancer

Lawsuits and news headlines have fueled the myth that cell phones cause cancer, particularly brain cancer, and 30 percent of Americans still believe this myth, according to the Discovery Health/Prevention telephone survey. Consumers could easily have missed the reports showing no danger from cell phones because they didn’t receive alarming front-page coverage like the original reports. A few studies suggested a link with certain rare types of brain tumors, but the consensus among well-designed population studies is that there is no consistent association between cell phone use and brain cancer. [Source]

Interesting Fact:The very first patent for a cell phone like device (wireless telephone) was granted in 1908 to Nathan B. Stubblefield who some people claim invented the radio before Tesla and Marconi. Stubblefield died as a self-imposed hermit by starving to death.

8

Horse Statues

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Myth: The number of hooves in the air on a statue of a horse tells us how its rider died

In my research for this list I was very surprised to come across this myth – I, like many others, had always believed it to be true! The idea is that when a statue of a horse has one foot in the air, his rider was wounded in battle but survived. If he has two hooves in the air the rider was killed, and if he has none in the air, the rider survived. While this is a myth – interestingly it does seem to apply to the majority of statues relating to Gettysburg equestrians though not James Longstreet who was not wounded but his statue does have one leg raised (pictured above).

Interesting Fact:A statue of a horse with a rider is called an equestrian statue – which is derived from the latin “eques” for Knight and “equus” for horse. A statue of a horse is called an “equine statue”.

7

Round World

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Myth: Christopher Columbus discovered that the world was round

This is a very old myth that is surprisingly believed by millions of people. What we are told is that the Genoese Columbus’ peers doomed his trip to failure because they thought he would fall off the edge of the earth. Now – this was in the 1490s but man has known the earth was round since the idea was first put forth by Pythagorus 2,000 years before Spain even existed. Columbus did fail to reach his original destination, but in so doing he discovered the Americas. Not a bad end to a failed journey really. The round earth theory was so well established that the navigational methods at the time were all based on the fact that the earth was round.

Interesting Fact: At the age of 53, Columbus returned to Spain from the Americas and was promptly arrested with his two brothers for the atrocities he had committed. They remained in jail for six weeks before the King finally released them and restored their wealth and property. Columbus believed that his explorations to the New World would result in the beginning of the Last Judgement of man.

6

Bananas Crisis

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Myth: In ten years there will be no bananas left

There is some basis in truth to this myth (as is often the case) – there is a disease (fusarium wilt, or Panama disease) that is threatening bananas in some Asian countries and it is the Banana most Americans are familiar with (the Cavendish banana) but it is not likely to wipe out the entire world’s stock of bananas – or even the Cavendish banana as it has not infected some of the larger exporting farms. Furthermore, the cavendish is only one of roughly 300 types of bananas that are available and good for human consumption.

Interesting Fact: Bananas don’t grow on trees – the plant that produces the banana is actually a herb.

5

Newton’s Apple

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Myth: Newton devised his universal law of gravity when an apple fell on his head from the tree under which he was sitting

It is always exciting to think of a great discovery happening in the blink of an eye due to a coincidental event – we consider that if it were not for the right person being in the right place at the right time, man would have lost an incredibly significant piece of knowledge. For this reason people have clung to the idea that Newton devised his universal law of gravity because of an apple hitting him on the head. But in fact the first mention of an apple in relation to Newton came 60 years after his death: “Whilst he was musing in a garden it came into his thought that the power of gravity (which brought an apple from the tree to the ground) was not limited to a certain distance from the earth but that this power must extend much further.” (John Conduitt)

Interesting Fact: Though he is better known for his love of science, the Bible was Sir Isaac Newton’s greatest passion. He devoted more time to the study of Scripture than to science, and he said, “I have a fundamental belief in the Bible as the Word of God, written by those who were inspired. I study the Bible daily.” He spent a great deal of time trying to discover hidden messages within the Bible. [Source]

4

Typhoid Mary

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Myth: Typhoid Mary, the most dangerous woman in America, killed hundreds (if not thousands) by infecting them with typhoid

The story is Typhoid Mary is relatively well known and it certainly is true that she (Mary Mallon) carried Typhoid fever without catching it herself. It is also true that she caused human deaths as a consequence. What is not true is the enormity of the carnage she left behind her. In fact, Mary (who worked as a cook) caused 30 – 53 (different sources cite different numbers) people to catch Typhoid, but only 3 of those people died. When it was first discovered that Mary was the cause of these people becoming ill, she was quarantined. This was for a short time only as it was felt that it was unfair to quarantine her as others in a similar situation were not. Mary was allowed to leave on the condition that she stop working as a cook. She accepted the condition but unable to get a job paying as well as cooking, she took on a false name and began working at a hospital as a cook. She caused 25 people there to become sick and one died. For this reason she was arrested and put in quarantine until she died 18 years later. She is pictured above in a bed during her first quarantine.

Interesting Fact: Typhoid is spread by the salmonella typhi pathogen which would normally be killed by the heat of cooking – but one of Mary’s specialty dishes (that was frequently requested by diners) was her peach icecream. Mary’s lack of hygiene when using the toilet enabled the bacteria to transfer from feces to her hands.

3

Einstein Failed Math

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Myth: Einstein failed math at school

This is a surprisingly old error which everyone seems to believe. Its origins seem to be a 1935 article in the Ripley’s Believe it or not magazine in which the myth first appears in print under the heading “Greatest living mathematician failed in mathematics.” Many failing students probably take heart in the myth thinking that there may be hope for them if Einstein could flunk math and still become a genius, but unfortunately for them, Einstein showed genius from a very young age – including in the field of mathematics. When he was shown the article from the magazine, Einstein laughed and said: “I never failed in mathematics. Before I was fifteen I had mastered differential and integral calculus.”

Interesting Fact: In 1905, during his spare time, Einstein produced four papers that upended physics. The first showed that light could be conceived as particles as well as waves. The second proved the existence of atoms and molecules. The third, the special theory of relativity, said that there was no such thing as absolute time or space. And the fourth noted an equivalence between energy and mass described by the most famous equation in all of physics, E=mc^2. [Source]

2

Titanic SOS

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Myth: The Titanic was the first ship to send out the SOS signal

Initially the Titanic sent out the CQD signal (standing for “All stations: distress”) but Britain had recently signed up to the new standard of SOS so one of the crew suggested that it be used as well: “Send SOS; it’s the new call, and besides, this may be your last chance to send it!” It certainly was new to British ships, but the standard had been in use for some years prior and there is even a newspaper article from 1909 which describes its use by an American ship, the Arapahoe.

Interesting Fact: Contrary to popular belief, SOS does not stand for anything. Some believe it means “save our souls” or “send out ships” but in fact, the signal was chosen because it was so simple to send that a person who was unfamiliar with radio equipment could send it in the case of an emergency (… / – – – / … SOS in Morse Code – is far easier than the previous distress signal of CQD: -.-. / – -.- / -..).

1

Margarine Madness

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Myth: Margarine is 1 molecule away from plastic

Americans eat four times as much margarine as butter every year which seems surprising considering so many people believe this little myth about the chemical spread. While much of the negative stuff we hear about margarine is true, this particular myth is not. Margarine is made by heating vegetable oil and infusing it with hydrogen – in other words saturating it to a point that it remains hard at room temperature. It is then mixed with other ingredients to give a white lump that resembles fat. Yellow food coloring is added and voila – we have margarine. There is not one molecule of anything that you could add to margarine to turn it into plastic.

Interesting Fact: Margarine was invented because Emperor Louis Napoleon III of France offered a prize in 1869 for anyone that could come up with a cheap butter alternative for the army and the lower classes. Hippolyte Mège-Mouriés (a French chemist) won the prize with his oleomargarine. Governments around the world tried to stop people from using margarine by putting heavy taxes on it and banning its coloring. Believe it or not, it is still illegal to sell butter-colored margarine in Missouri [source] and it was illegal in Quebec until July 2008 [source].

JAMIE FRATERJamie is the founder of Listverse. He spends his time working on the site, doing research for new lists, and cooking. He is fascinated with all things morbid and bizarre.

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15 Illustrious Facts About Magna Carta

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This is from Mental Floss.

 

SALISBURY, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 27:  Detail of text is seen on a copy of the Magna Carta in Salisbury Cathedral's Cloisters and Chapter House on February 27, 2015 in Salisbury, England. To celebrate the 800th anniversary of the historic charter, Salisbury Cathedral - which boasts to have the best preserved of the four originals - is opening a new interactive exhibition which tells the story of its creation and enduring legacy.  (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

One of the most important documents in the history of government—and the oft-cited root of our comparatively fledgling democracy—celebrates its 800th birthday today (probably). Celebrate with a series of facts from Magna Carta’s long and illustrious history.

1. THERE’S SOME DEBATE ABOUT THE ANNIVERSARY.

Plenty of reputable sources will be touting Magna Carta’s 800th birthday today, and the Queen herself is visiting Runnymede to honor the signing. But some scholars think we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Although the surviving original copies of the document itself say that it was “given by our hand in the meadow which is called Runnymede between Windsor and Staines on the 15th day of June in the 17th year of our reign,” some people believe that it took another couple of days to hammer out all the details and that it wasn’t sealed by King John until June 19, which is when the peace between John and his barons is known to have commenced.

2. MAGNA CARTA FAILED TO DO WHAT IT WAS ORIGINALLY INTENDED FOR.

Drafted as a peace treaty between the abhorred King John and his rebel barons, at first the great charter was an abject failure. Just 10 weeks after Magna Carta became law at Runnymede, Pope Innocent III nullified the agreement and plunged England into a civil war.

3. IT WASN’T EVEN THE FIRST OF ITS KIND …

There was actually plenty of precedent for Magna Carta. In 1100, Henry I signed the similarCoronation Charter upon his accession to the throne. Like Magna Carta would do more than 100 years later, it was intended to grant a number of concessions to his barons, and represented the king binding himself to a set of laws. Although these promises were frequently flouted, after Henry’s death his next few successors kept up the tradition, affirming their commitment to Henry I’s promises to the barons. But Richard the Lionheart and King John decided to break with that tradition.

4. … BUT IT WAS INFLUENTIAL.

Even though the original version was swiftly nullified, these days we consider Magna Carta the ancestor to many of our modern democratic constitutions. Just a year after it was drafted, the tyrannical King John died and his son, Henry III, just 9 years old at the time, succeeded him. Henry reissued the charter three times during the course of his reign, reintroducing it to the historical catalog, and on March 28, 1297, it was added to the Parliament Rolls by Edward I.

5. THREE OF THE CLAUSES ARE STILL ON THE BOOKS.

Many of the original 63 clauses pertained to minutia specific to life and government in the Middle Ages—like the proper width for the bolts of cloth used to make monks’ robes. In fact, by the time Henry III reissued it, the Charter had been cut to 37 clauses. And those 37 stayed on the books into the 19th century, when British parliamentarians began repealing many of the obsolete laws from their long history.

Three of the original Magna Carta clauses are still enforced eight centuries later, however. The first pertains to the rights of the English church, and the second grants certain liberties and traditions to the city of London—but it’s the third that is the most famous. Clause number 29 (39 in the original) says that “No free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions, or outlawed or exiled, or deprived of his standing in any other way, nor will we proceed with force against him, or send others to do so, except by the lawful judgment of his equals or by the law of the land.” In other words, people cannot be legally punished without the sanction of the law and a fair trial.

6. ORIGINALLY, IT DIDN’T ACTUALLY APPLY TO EVERYONE.

That “free man” stipulation in clause 29 made Magna Carta far less democratic than the many future documents it inspired. It was drafted to protect the barons’, or noble landowners’, interests against those of the king. It granted virtually no further protection or rights to the scores of peasants that still answered to whomever owned the land upon which they worked.

7. THERE IS NO SINGLE ORIGINAL MAGNA CARTA.

And no one knows who really wrote it, either. Although the document itself claims to be “Given by [John’s] hand,” we know it was essentially forced on the King by his barons and today the text is thought to have been largely influenced by Archbishop of Canterbury Stephen Langton. Regardless, in its initial form, there were multiple copies that were distributed to cathedrals across England during the summer of 1215, four of which still survive today.

8. IN 2007, A 1297 MAGNA CARTA SOLD AT AUCTION FOR $21.3 MILLION.

It wasn’t even a 1215 edition. The 1297 copy sold for $21.3 million at Sotheby’s in New York, the most ever paid for a single page of text.

9. WINSTON CHURCHILL TRIED TO USE A COPY TO ENTICE THE UNITED STATES INTO WORLD WAR II.

One of the few original copies had been on tour in the States when the war broke out. Rather than have it shipped back, Winston Churchill tried to force Lincoln Cathedral—who owned that particular copy—to donate this original Magna Carta to the United States in an attempt to entice the U.S. into an alliance. The British cabinet called this desperate measure “the only really adequate gesture which it is in our power to make in return for the means to preserve our country.” Ultimately, the document spent the rest of the War safely guarded at Fort Knox, but was returned to the UK in 1946.

10. IT’S JUST “MAGNA CARTA.”

Plenty of modern sources add the definite article out front, particularly in the United States. But since it was originally written in Latin, which doesn’t have a direct translation for articles like “a” and “the,” the correct way of referring to it is simply “Magna Carta”—as they always do in the UK.

11. FDR REFERENCED MAGNA CARTA.

Long before Jay-Z released Magna Carta … Holy Grail, the document served as a powerful allusion in American culture. In his third inaugural address, Franklin D. Roosevelt extolled the inherent virtues of Democracy, saying, “The democratic aspiration is no mere recent phase in human history. It is human history. It permeated the ancient life of early peoples. It blazed anew in the middle ages. It was written in Magna Carta.” Other people who have referenced it publicly include Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi.

12. JUST THIS YEAR, ANOTHER COPY WAS DISCOVERED.

Earlier this year, a copy of Magna Carta was found in the local archives of Sandwich, a sleepy seaside town in eastern England. The particular copy found is believed to date to 1300. Although this means it is not an “original,” it joins just 23 other known copies of Magna Carta. It was discovered inside a 19th-century scrapbook kept by a researcher.

13. MAGNA CARTA WAS SEALED, NOT SIGNED.

This is all well and good—King John was just behaving like all other Medieval monarchs when he used his official Great Seal, rather than a quill, to put his name to Magna Carta—except that the UK’s Royal Mint recently unveiled a two pound collectors coin in honor of this year’s anniversary that shows the king with a quill in hand. The obvious implications of this design choice—that the document was “signed” in the traditional sense—have stirred up a minor academic controversy.

14. IT CONTAINED SOME RIGHTS FOR WOMEN.

Of course, this being 1215, women were not included in the protected group of “free [men]” referenced in the famed clause 29. However, they received some incidental protection from efforts to preserve the exclusivity of the noble class and ensure that noble children didn’t lose their inheritances. Noble women could inherit land (in the absence of any brothers) and refuse forced remarriage, and widowed baronesses controlled a dower—a portion (usually a third) of their husbands’ lands.

15. IT’S STILL A HOT TICKET.

In February this year, all four surviving 1215 Magna Carta were brought together for the first time in their 800 year history at the British Library in London. Security for the exhibit was intense, of course, but nothing compared to the competition to get into the room. More than43,000 people applied for tickets to see the four tattered pieces of parchment, but only 1215 of them were given the opportunity to do so over the course of three days.

‘MAD’ JACK CHURCHILL: NAZI SLAYER

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This is from Warrior Scout.

His men would have charged The Gates Of Hell for him.

 

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In an age of mechanized warfare, ‘Mad’ Jack Churchill fought Nazis with sword and bow. But was he really crazy?

His nickname was “Mad Jack.” He wasn’t really mad. He was theatrical.

He used a bow-and-arrow to attack German soldiers in World War II. He played bagpipes during battles (or maybe afterwards). He brandished a sword.

He clearly had a flair for the dramatic gesture. And for greatness. He is one of the most notable foot soldiers of history.

His full name was John Malcolm Thorpe Fleming Churchill. Born in England on Sept. 16, 1906, he received a solid education, including study at the Royal Military College in Sandhurst, one of the world’s best schools of the military arts. Among its distinguished alumni is Winston Churchill – who, by the way, was not related to Jack.

Jack was commissioned as an officer in the British Army at age 20 (he would eventually achieve the rank of lieutenant colonel). He was sent to Burma and served there from 1926 to ’36. He apparently had a lot of time on his hands – he mastered the bagpipes and traveled on a motorcycle across neighboring India.

The romance of the Far East probably intrigued Jack for a while, but in truth, peace-time service was not to his liking; so he retired from the army in 1936. Between ’36 and ’39 he traveled. He also worked at a newspaper, played bit roles in a couple of movies, and became one of the best archers in the world, good enough to represent Britain in international competition.

War came in 1939 when Hitler seized Poland. In the spring of ’40, as the Nazis raced through France, Jack fought for the British Expeditionary Force, and here, his legend began to take shape.

In May of ’40, as his company retreated toward Dunkirk, Jack got medieval on the invading Nazi – literally. Accounts vary widely about exactly what happened; the most reliable report is probably this one from the Dundee (Scotland) Evening Telegraph in 1945: “[Churchill] was on patrol when some Germans were detected in a thicket about 200 yards away. He shot two arrows into the thicket. There were some strange noises and no answering fire.” We’re not sure why he chose to use the bow-and-arrow at that moment. Perhaps he was out of bullets. Maybe silence was essential. Possibly he knew that a bit of legend-making would be good for the British soul. Quite possibly, all three factors came into play.
RELATED: 12 Examples of Psychological Warfare
Having escaped Dunkirk in one piece, Churchill soon found his natural metier: he became a commando.

The British Commandos were created in 1940 by Winston Churchill to shift the nation from a purely defensive mode to being able to counter-attack. It was work well-suited for Mad Jack. He participated in one of the first of Britain’s major commando raids, a successful amphibious attack on the German-occupied village of Vagsoy, Norway, in December, 1941. According to some accounts, he came off a landing craft at Vagsoy playing the bagpipes. Maybe; maybe not. This version of events should be regarded with caution, since stealth was a cardinal goal in the assault. Other accounts suggest he played his pipes after the battle was won.

As the British continued their campaign against the Nazis in other theaters, including Italy and the Adriatic Sea, Mad Jack further distinguished himself in commando operations. In Italy, armed with a sword, accompanied by a Cpl. Ruffell, he crept silently among several German sentry posts and corralled 42 prisoners.

He was eventually captured during an action on the Island of Brac in the Adriatic off Croatia, only to escape German imprisonment (possibly twice). When the war in Europe finally ended in the spring of ’45 Mad Jack still was not done. After arranging a transfer to the Far East, he arrived in India in time for the summer invasion of Japan. However, the atomic bombs put an end to hostilities in August. According to some reports, Mad Jack expressed regret that the war ended before he could be killed gloriously in battle.

And after the war? Well, he graduated from an army parachute course at age 40, taught commando tactics, served in the Middle East with distinction, participated in motorcycle speed trials, surfed in Australia, and made beautiful little radio-controlled boats.

Mad Jack Churchill finally died in bed on March 8, 1996. He was 89.

So was Mad Jack actually mad?

Dr. Bret A. Moore, a psychologist and author based in San Antonio who works with U.S. troops, offers this assessment:

“The penchant for theatrics has always been an important aspect of war. Warriors have painted their faces and carried decorative swords as a way to intimidate, distract, and gain an upper hand against the enemy. Was ‘Mad Jack’ crazy? It’s impossible to know and it depends on how you define ‘crazy.’ I haven’t evaluated him. My guess is that he was a brave and passionate soldier who loved what he did and wanted to instill a sense of strength, motivation, and fearlessness in the men he led. His dramatic nature was his way of doing so.”

Sen. Cotton: ‘Rather Than Confront Our Adversaries, Our President Apologizes’

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This is from CNSNews.

The state of Arkansas should be very proud of their junior Senator.

Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) is an example of what a Senator should be a leader.

We need more Tom Cotton’s Ted Cruz’s, and Mike Lee’s in the Senate just to name a few.

 

(CNSNews.com) – The freshman GOP senator who catapulted into the headlines this month with a controversial letter to Iran’s leaders delivered a stinging attack on the administration’s foreign policy Monday evening, charging that it was conducting an “experiment with retreat” that has emboldened America’s foes and is deeply troubling its friends.

Delivering his maiden speech on the Senate floor, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) appealed for a defense budget that reflects “the threats we face.”

Opening with a quote from Winston Churchill warning of Western disarming and weakness even as the Nazis were rising in the 1930s, Cotton said the U.S. was today “again engaged in something of a grand experiment of the kind we saw in the 1930s.”

“As then, military strength is seen in many quarters as the cause of military adventurism. Strength and confidence in the defense of our interests, alliances, and liberty is not seen to deter aggression, but to provoke it,” he said.

“Rather than confront our adversaries, our president apologizes for our supposed transgressions. The administration is harsh and unyielding to our friends, soothing and supplicating to our enemies. The president minimizes the threats we confront, in the face of territory seized, weapons of mass destruction used and proliferated, and innocents murdered.”

 

http://www.mrctv.org/videos/sen-cotton-attacks-administration-foreign-policy-maiden-senate-speech

Cotton went on to speak about the administration’s response to the threat posed by radical Islamists, primarily al-Qaeda and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), whose precursor was al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Iraq.

“During his last campaign, the president was fond of saying al-Qaeda was ‘on the run,’” he said. “In a fashion, I suppose this was true: al-Qaeda was and is running wild around the world, now in control of more territory than ever before.”

After Obama disregarded military advice and withdrew all U.S. forces from Iraq in 2011, Cotton charged, “al-Qaeda in Iraq was let off the mat.”

“Given a chance to regroup, it morphed into the Islamic State, which now controls much of Syria and Iraq.”

Cotton said Obama’s suggestions “that the war on terror is over or ending are far from true,” and cited recent testimony by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper that once the final accounting is complete, “2014 will have been the most lethal year for global terrorism in the 45 years such data has been compiled.”

“Yet the president won’t even speak our enemy’s name.”

(Outgoing Attorney-General Eric Holder argued recently there was little to be gained by using terms like “radical Islam” or “Islamic extremism.”)

Cotton’s speech also touched on the nuclear negotiations with Iran; the administration’s failed “reset” with Russia and its response – a weak one, he said – to President Vladimir Putin’s aggression in Ukraine; and a rising China, whose military spending has increased by 600 percent over the last 15 years, as it seeks to deny the U.S. access and extend its hegemony in the region.

“While America has retreated, not only have our enemies been on the march. Our allies, anxious for years about American resolve, now worry increasingly about American capabilities,” he said. “With the enemy on their borders, many have begun to conclude they have no choice but to take matters into their own hands, sometimes in ways unhelpful to our interests.”

Cotton did not go into detail about his objections to a proposed Iran nuclear deal, saying they were “well-known.”

But he listed the Iranian regime’s conduct in the region, including the killing of Americans from Lebanon to Saudi Arabia to Iraq; its support for the Assad regime; its domination of Lebanon and Yemen; and its ballistic missilebuildup.

“Iran does all these things without the bomb. Just imagine what it will do with the bomb,” he said. “And imagine a United States, further down the road of appeasement, largely defenseless against this tyranny.”

Cotton has come under fire from the administration, Democratic lawmakers and other critics for spearheading an open letter, signed by 47 GOP senators, informing the Iranian regime that they will consider any nuclear agreement resulting from negotiations now underway which is not approved by Congress to be “nothing more than an executive agreement between President Obama and [supreme leader] Ayatollah Khamenei.”

The administration has called the initiative “ill-informed and ill-advised,” and a “distraction” in the talks now underway in Switzerland. Secretary of State John Kerry on CBS’ Face the Nation this week took a dig at the 37 year-old senator’s rank, calling the letter “an unconstitutional and unthought out action by somebody who has been in the United States Senate for 60 some days.”

Cotton, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 2013-2015, is a U.S. Army veteran, with combat service in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Wrapping up his hawkish speech, he declared, “I will now yield the floor, but I will never yield in the defense of America’s national security – on any front, or at any time.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said afterwards that Cotton had given an “extraordinary” speech on America’s national security requirements, “and as someone who’s served in the military himself in recent conflicts, speaks with extra authority.”

The 8 Honorary Citizens of the United States

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This is from Mental Floss.

 

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image credit GETTY IMAGES (CHURCHILL) / ISTOCK (FLAG)

Let’s say you’re not a citizen of the United States, but you want to be. But not so much that you’d apply for naturalization, which involves interviews, tests, biometrics screening, and oaths. Let’s say you just want it, but again, not so much that you’d want to actually vote in the U.S., or apply for a passport. In such a situation, what you want is called “honorary citizenship of the United States.” You want the U.S. to claim you, kind of, but not so much that we have to do anything for you, nor do you do anything in exchange. As the U.S. State Department puts it:

Honorary citizenship does not carry with it the rights and privileges of ordinary citizenship, and such status does not confer any special entry, travel or immigration benefits upon the honoree or the honoree’s relatives and dependants [sic, really]. It also does not impose additional duties or responsibilities, in the United States or internationally, on the honoree.

Such citizenship is granted by Congress and the president, and the Senate website hosts acomplete roster of those who have been so honored. Here are the eight honorary citizens of the United States.

1. WINSTON CHURCHILL

You probably know Churchill as the wartime prime minister of the United Kingdom, which is likely the reason why the United States bestowed honorary citizenship upon him. You might not know that he was also recipient of the 1953 Nobel Prize in Literature, placing him (in the often unreliable eyes of the Nobel committee) alongside Yeats, Hemingway (who won it the following year), and Marquez.

2. RAOUL WALLENBERG

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The horror that was the Holocaust defies human imagination (except for the many humans responsible for it). Though Hungary fought alongside Germany in World War II and passed anti-Semitic laws, Jews of Hungary were largely spared the Holocaust. Once Hungary wavered in the Axis cause, however, Hitler ordered the country occupied. Hungarian Jews were rounded up and deported, and within one year, a half-million were murdered.

Raoul Wallenberg, a businessman, was sent to the Swedish Embassy in Hungary. His job was to issue 650 passports to Hungarian Jews with ties to Sweden, which would protect them from deportation. Upon arrival, Wallenberg took in the scope of the crisis and ramped up his operation. Through the creative issuance of diplomatic paperwork, he managed to protect thousands. When the fascists got wise to Wallenberg’s operation, they invalidated the paperwork, rounded up Jews, and forced them to walk to the Austrian border. Wallenberg, undeterred, followed behind in his car, and defying the guns pointed at him, provided food, water, and aid to those on the death march. He continued issuing his documents, finding some success. When the Soviets seized Budapest, Wallenberg was arrested as a spy. In 1981, there were reports that he was still alive in a Soviet prison, and so Congress passed a resolution making him an honorary American citizen to pressure the Soviets to reveal his whereabouts. As of today, it’s still unclear what happened to him, but according to the Soviets, he died in 1947.

3 AND 4. WILLIAM AND HANNAH PENN

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In 1984—more than three centuries after he founded the Pennsylvania Colony—William Penn was named an honorary citizen of the United States. His colony was notable in that it wasn’t the hell that many Puritan colonies were at the time. It was also notable for having eventually been led by his wife, Hannah, who picked up William’s slack when his health declined toward the end of his life. After he died in 1718, she continued running the Pennsylvania Colony for another eight years.

5. MOTHER TERESA

Mother Teresa and Churchill are the only two people to have been named honorary citizens of the United States during their own lifetimes. The Catholic nun is known for her work with the poor in Calcutta (now Kolkata) and is presently on the fast track to being declared a saint by the Church. For what it’s worth, one step in the Vatican’s canonization process used to be a hearing with the so-called “devil’s advocate,” whose role was to argue against a candidate’s beatification and canonization. The position was abolished in the 1980s, but the Vatican still seeks out opposing views. During the Vatican’s investigation of Mother Teresa, Christopher Hitchens testified as her de facto devil’s advocate. A frequent critic of Mother Teresa, Hitchens later said of the hearing that he “represented the devil pro bono.”

6. MARQUIS DE LAFAYETTE

There is a strong argument to be made that the United States would not exist without Lafayette. He was the French general who led divisions of the Continental Army during the American Revolution, and who, according to the 2002 Joint Resolution granting him American citizenship, “secured the help of France to aid the United States’ colonists against Great Britain.” Later, after returning to France, he introduced the “Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen” before the National Constituent Assembly. (He coauthored the document, which played an important role in the French Revolution, with Thomas Jefferson.) So important was he to the cause of American independence that when he died, the U.S. House and Senate draped their chambers in black.

7. CASIMIR PULASKI

U.S. National Archives

Like Lafayette, Casimir Pulaski was drawn to the cause of American independence from Great Britain, and set sail for North America to help fight for the Continental cause. He didn’t waste any time once he got here. Among his accomplishments: During the Battle of Brandywine, he led a cavalry charge that saved George Washington’s life; he was promoted to general; he organized a legion of mounted soldiers; and, while he was at it, wrote the book on cavalry tactics. (Today he is considered one of the fathers of the American cavalry.) By order of Congress, for nearly a century now October 11 has been celebrated as Pulaski Day in the United States. He was made an honorary citizen in 2009.

8. BERNARDO DE GALVEZ

In 1777, Col. Bernardo of Galvez was made interim governor of Louisiana, which was then under Spanish control. An enemy of the British, Galvez helped smuggle supplies to the Continentals by way of New Orleans, a port city. As governor of Louisiana, he also orchestrated a campaign against the Red Coats, defeating them in the Battles of Fort Bute and Baton Rouge. After being appointed general, he also won the Battle of Fort Charlotte, taking Mobile from the British. George Washington considered Galvez to be “a deciding factor in the outcome of the Revolutionary War,” according to the 2014 resolution declaring Galvez to be an honorary American citizen. He’s also the most recent recipient of the honor, meaning the threshold is pretty high. It might be easier just to go through Immigration Services.

 

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