<![CDATA[Ranker: Recent Politics & History Lists]]> http://www.ranker.com/list-of//politics--and--history http://www.ranker.com/img/skin2/logo.gif Most Viewed Lists on Ranker http://www.ranker.com/list-of//politics--and--history <![CDATA[The Worst Political Slogans Ever]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/worst-political-slogans/nathandavidson

Politics can be boring. Sometimes politics can just be too much for people. There is always a lot on the line during each and every election and it seems to most people that no matter what anyone promises or does, nothing really ever gets accomplished. It's a vicious cycle. But, this list is here to save the day! Sometimes politics can be fun. Sometimes it can be entertaining. That's why this collection of funny campaign slogans exists. You won't believe that these are actually real. Actual politicians running for office used these slogans. So, take a look! Be sure to vote up the ones that you think are the funniest of the funny political slogans.


The Worst Political Slogans Ever, politics & history, worst, politics, other,

It's Nothing to Be Proud of, Harry

All Nuts, No Glory

Total Dick Move

He's Cashews Too!

A Hole New Ballgame

Cox and Cock

A Candidate with Confidence

A Soft Stance on the Issues

Dream On

He's Way Better Than Politicians Who Don't Do Stuff


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<![CDATA[Things You Didn't Know About Mike Pence]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/who-is-mike-pence/rydavis

Who is Mike Pence? The Indiana governor is the GOP Vice Presidential candidate and Donald Trump's running mate in the 2016 Presidential election. If you're unaware of Pence's political legacy, you will find that it is riddled with various conservative successes and controversial stances.

The social conservative's first step into political waters ended in what most would consider a disaster - he got caught spending campaign funds on decidedly non-campaign-related things and it cost him an election. But nearly a decade later, Pence earned his seat in the House, as well as a spot as chairman of the House Republican Conference. As of 2016, Pence was the Indiana state governor, a position he was preparing to defend in the upcoming November elections. However, now that he is running for vice president, Pence has been forced to remove himself from the gubernatorial election.

Now standing alongside the Republican nominee, Pence is prepping to prove himself as a viable vice president. If you're wondering who Mike Pence is or what he stands for, there is definitely a lot to brush up on. Pence is a unique character in the political landscape. He's a supporter of the Tea Party movement, governs with an iron fist by the glory of God, and defines himself as a social conservative.

Pence is a familiar face in the GOP, but unless you reside in Indiana, you might only remember him as the guy who signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act into state law. Even so, the vice presidential candidate is known for a lot more than that. There are plenty of shocking Mike Pence facts and stories you likely haven't heard. And what better time than now to delve into the full Mike Pence biography, from his weird vendetta against a certain Disney movie to his exciting beliefs about evolution?


Things You Didn't Know About Mike Pence,

He Doesn't Believe in Negative Campaign Attacks

Ever since his 1990 debacle, Pence has vowed to play fair in politics. In the months that followed Pence's lost election, the governor penned an op-ed titled "Confessions of a Negative Campaigner" in the Indiana Policy Review. "Negative campaigning is wrong," Pence admitted. "First, a campaign ought to demonstrate the basic human decency of the candidate...Second, a campaign ought to be about the advancement of issues whose success or failure is more significant than that of the candidate."

In the column, Pence apologized for his actions throughout the 1990 election and vowed to revise his campaigning in the future. Ironically, Pence now stands alongside Donald Trump, who has run what is considered one of the dirtiest and crassest presidential campaigns ever. Whether Pence can stay true to his pledge to play fair and avoid falling back into old habits remains to be seen.


He Tried to Create a State-Run News Outlet

In December 2015, it was announced that Pence was organizing a state-run, taxpayer-funded news media program designed to share pre-written stories and break news about his administration. The idea was quickly shot down by the public, who likened Pence's JustIN to the propagandist news networks of North Korea and other dictatorial countries.

Pence was quick to defend the agency, calling people's outrage a misunderstanding. "Reports that this was intended to be a news agency, I think just represent an understandable misunderstanding based on some internal communications that I read about in the press," Pence said. However, Pence's firm hand wavered relatively quickly. Not too long after the announcement, Pence nixed his plans for JustIN. "After thorough review of the preliminary planning and careful consideration of the concerns expressed, I am writing you to inform you that I have made a decision to terminate development of the JustIN website immediately," he wrote.


He Ran a Scandal-Plagued Congressional Campaign
 

I am proud to stand for the Second Amendment and will forever support Hoosiers' right to bear arms!

A photo posted by Mike Pence (@mike.pence) on

Aside from his financial scandal, Pence's 1990 congressional campaign is widely considered one of the most poorly run on record. Ironically, Pence's campaign severely focused on his opponent, Phil Sharp, and his reliance on Super PAC money.

But Pence's harsh advertising is what really prove his willingness to play dirty. According to writer Craig Fehrman, one of Pence's most notorious ad campaigns "featured a man in a tacky robe with a thick Arab accent thanking Sharp for his support of foreign oil...Some still maintain that the ad starred Pence himself." The ad was decried by Arab American groups and several Indiana editorial boards. Aside from the money drama, many believe Pence lost out to Sharp in the 1990 election because of his unrelenting attacks on his opponent.


He Really, Really Hates Mulan

Mike Pence is no fan of the classic animated Disney film Mulan. In fact, he vehemently hates the children's cartoon for promoting "mischievous liberal propaganda." Buzzfeed recently unearthed an op-ed Pence wrote in 1999 about the Disney movie, which is about a Han Dynasty woman who disguises herself as a man in order to enroll in the army. According to Pence, Disney's Mulan pushes a liberal agenda regarding women's role in combat.

In his piece, Pence, who has never served in the military himself, suggests that women should not be allowed to fight alongside men in the armed forces. "Disney expects us to believe that Mulan’s ingenuity and courage were enough to carry her to military success on an equal basis with her cloddish cohorts," Pence writes. "You see, now stay with me on this, many young men find many young women to be attractive sexually. Many young women find many young men to be attractive sexually. Put them together, in close quarters, for long periods of time, and things will get interesting. Just like they eventually did for young Mulan. Moral of story: women in military, bad idea."


Trump May Have Saved Him from an Embarrassing Reelection Race
 

FORMAL ACCEPTANCE OF THE NOMINATION! #TrumpPence16

A photo posted by Donald J. Trump (@realdonaldtrump) on

Following Trump's VP offer, Pence subsequently dropped out of his incredibly close reelection race for governor of Indiana. Just four months before election day, Pence gave up his spot in the race in favor of Trump, who many noted may have saved him from an embarrassing defeat. Pence's previous election was already a close race, but with his approval rating tanking, his second battle with Democrat John Gregg could have easily stripped him of his gubernatorial title.

Most notably, Pence's decision to sign in the highly unpopular Religious Freedom Restoration Act ended up costing the governor approximately $60 million in investments. Prior to his VP nomination, Pence was neck-and-neck with Gregg. Now Gregg holds a substantial lead in the race against a Republican replacement who will have a lot of ground to make up over the course of the next few months.


He Used to Be a Catholic Democrat

Most people know Pence as an evangelical Republican. However, many people don't know that the Indiana governor actually grew up a Catholic Democrat. Pence's family tree runs deep with Catholicism and the Democratic party. He is the only one of his six siblings to separate from the church, which proved difficult for his family to accept.

Pence and his family idolized John F. Kennedy for being the first Irish-Catholic president, an appraisal that would quickly fade for Pence. As he grew up, Pence established a very personal relationship with Jesus, which led him to convert. His conversion segued into his political aspirations and affiliations. Pence began gravitating to the Republican side of things until he finally adopted a full-fledged social conservatism stance.


He Used Campaign Funds to Pay His Mortgage

During his 1990 run for a congressional seat in the House, Pence reportedly spent upwards of $13,000 worth of campaign funds for personal purchases. Finance records revealed that Pence used his voter donated money to make mortgage payments, buy groceries, pay off credit card charges, participate in golf tournaments, and make payments on his wife's car.

Although the excessive personal spending was not illegal at the time, it shocked voters and cost Pence his election. The scandal confused Pence supporters after he branded his opponent, Rep. Philip R. Sharp, in a negative light for taking money from special interest political action committees. At first, Pence was extremely unapologetic about the whole affair. "I’m not embarrassed that I need to make a living," he asserted. But following his loss, Pence apologized for his "naiveté." 


He's Against Trump's Ban on Muslims

Although Pence hasn't commented on the controversial stance as of late, the potential vice president initially condemned Trump's call for a ban on Muslim immigration in America. The proposed ban is one of Trump's major platforms in the presidential race, and many are speculating about whether Pence will flip-flop in favor of his running mate.


He's Against Abortion and Planned Parenthood

Pence's pro-life platform has made up a large portion of his congressional legacy. In 2011, Pence led an effort to defund Planned Parenthood, but the amendment was ultimately defeated. After Pence was elected governor of Indiana in 2013, he sought to complicate abortion laws yet again. In March 2016, Pence signed into Indiana law a ban on abortions performed due to an abnormality in the fetus. The law also states that all aborted fetuses must be buried or cremated, a regulation Planned Parenthood believes will halt scientific cell work with fetal tissue.

Currently, a temporary injunction is pausing the law from being enforced, due to a lawsuit filed by Planned Parenthood and Indiana University. Despite all the pushback, Pence believes "an important step in protecting the unborn" has taken place. "I sign this legislation with a prayer that God would continue to bless these precious children, mothers, and families," he said of the law.


He Doesn't Believe in Global Warming

Pence has long been a notorious climate change denier. “I think the science is very mixed on the subject of global warming," Pence told Chris Matthews on MSNBC. "In the mainstream media, Chris, there is a denial of the growing skepticism in the scientific community about global warming.” Pence even wrote an op-ed on the subject in 2001 in which he called global warming a "myth."

His stance on the matter has hardly altered since. In 2008, Pence said: "I would not agree that there is broad consensus on man-made or human activity being the proximate cause of global warming...I don’t think global warming as caused by human activity is a settled question in the scientific community."



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<![CDATA[Freedom Fighters of India]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/freedom-fighters-of-india/vijaymohanp
 "One individual may die for an idea; but that idea will, after his death, incarnate itself in a thousand lives. That is how the wheel of evolution moves on and the ideas and dreams of one nation are bequeathed to the next." – Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. This list of Indian freedom fighters honors the independence leaders that dedicated their lives for the cause of Indian independence. They are ranked in order of popularity by thousands of people in India and around the world. You can vote for your favorite freedom fighters by giving them a "thumbs up." 
Freedom Fighters of India,

Bal Gangadhar Tilak

Bhagat Singh
Date of birth: September 27, 1907
Place of birth: Lyallpur, Punjab, British India
Date of death: March 23, 1931
Place of death: Lahore, Punjab, British India
Movement: Indian Independence movement
Major organizations: Naujawan Bharat Sabha, Kirti Kissan Party and Hindustan
Socialist Republican Association
Religion: Sikhism (early life), Atheist (later life)
Influences Anarchism, Communism, Socialism
Lala Lajpat Rai

Mahatma Gandhi

Rani Lakshmibai

Vallabhbhai Patel

Subhash Chandra Bose

Tipu Sultan

Chandrashekhar Azad

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad
freedom fighter and first education minister of india.b1889

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<![CDATA[The Most Important Supreme Court Cases About Guns and Gun Rights]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/supreme-court-cases-about-guns/katherine-ripley

Gun rights are an extremely contentious issue in the United States, so there have been a lot of US Supreme Court gun cases. Gun rights advocates typically use the Second Amendment to argue that the right to possess firearms for self-defense is constitutionally protected. However, the Second Amendment was not always interpreted that way. This list contains the most important Supreme Court cases about guns and explains how the high court interpreted the Second Amendment throughout the history of the United States. 

Many of these Supreme Court cases about guns are complex because they deal with issues other than the right to own a gun. The most important things you should know about each case are detailed below. Consider them, and vote up the rulings about gun rights from the Supreme Court that had the greatest impact on gun legislation.


The Most Important Supreme Court Cases About Guns and Gun Rights,

United States v. Cruikshank
  • Year: 1875
  • What it did: Overturned the convictions of white civilians who had attacked and disarmed a group of black civilians who were organizing politically.
  • How people reacted: This ruling opened the door for racist groups like the KKK to suppress the political power of black civilians, who had no way to defend themselves against the violent threats, since the government would not protect their right to bear arms.

This case dealt with a racist attack that occurred in Louisiana. Black Republican civilians had gathered at a courthouse as a political protest when they were attacked by armed white Democrats. Over 100 black protesters were killed. The attackers were convicted of federal crimes which included violating the victims' Second Amendment rights. Cruikshank declared that the Second Amendment only prevents the federal government from infringing on a citizen's right to bear arms.

So, according to this court case, only an agent of the federal government can violate your right to bear arms. States and private citizens are not held to the same standards, which is why states can regulate their own gun laws. So when the attackers took away the protesters' guns, they were stealing, but not infringing on their right to bear arms. Since the attackers were only charged with federal crimes for violating the protesters' rights (not any state crimes such as murder or robbery), the attackers' convictions were overturned and they walked free.


Presser v. Illinois
  • Year: 1886
  • What it did: Upheld the conviction of a man who possessed a firearm as a member of a militia group that was not authorized by the state of Illinois.
  • How people reacted: At the time it was argued, this case was not thought of in terms of gun rights advocates versus gun control advocates. Presser would be cited in later decisions, but eventually became obsolete because of new rulings.

The ruling in this case was essentially the same as the Cruikshank ruling: the Constitution only forbids the federal government from infringing on people's right to bear arms. It leaves open the door for states to regulate civilian firearm possession. The Court did say, though, that states cannot regulate firearm possession so extensively that there is no longer an armed militia.


United States v. Miller
  • Year: 1939
  • What it did: Upheld the 1934 National Firearms Act, which required that all automatic firearms, short-barreled rifles, and shotguns be registered and required their owners to pay a tax.
  • How people reacted: Advocates of stricter gun safety laws used this ruling to pass more restrictions on gun ownership. Gun rights advocates, though, have also used the ruling to argue that citizens have a constitutional right to own military-style weapons.

The Miller decision used a narrow interpretation of the Second Amendment: that the right to bear arms was only protected when citizens were partaking in the state-sanctioned militia. The case concerned Jack Miller, who was charged with violating the 1934 NFA when he transported a shotgun across state lines. Miller claimed the NFA violated his right to bear arms and was unconstitutional. The Supreme Court disagreed, because the Second Amendment only guarantees the right to bear arms in the context of a militia, and the weapon Miller was caught with would not be useful in a militia.


Voisine v. United States
  • Year: 2016
  • What it did: Upheld a federal law which prohibits persons with misdemeanor domestic violence convictions from owning firearms.
  • How people reacted: Ruth Glenn, the executive director of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, praised the ruling, saying, "Any time there's an act of domestic violence, it's imperative we address it by removing firearms." Erin Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America, said, "A principle in law is that the punishment should fit the crime. Sadly, permanently disarming Americans for slight infractions that impose no jail time is simply not just."

This court case was filed by two men who had both pleaded guilty to charges of misdemeanor assault against their romantic partners. They argued that they should still be able to own firearms because their cases were for "reckless conduct," not intentional abuse. The Court ruled against them.


McDonald v. Chicago
  • Year: 2010
  • What it did: Struck down a Chicago ordinance which banned handguns.
  • How people reacted: After the Court ruled in his favor, the plaintiff in the case said he was happy to be able to purchase a gun "to protect himself from the thugs in his neighborhood." The mayor of Chicago responded to the ruling by saying, "As a city we must continue to stand up...and fight for a ban on assault weapons...as well as crack down on gun shops."


McDonald clarified the ruling of Heller, saying that neither the federal government nor state governments can infringe on individual citizens' right to bear arms. The Chicago ordinance was declared unconstitutional.


Caetano v. Massachusettes
  • Year: 2016
  • What it did: Overturned the conviction of a woman who carried a stun gun for self-defense.
  • How people reacted: The prosecutor and judge in Caetano's criminal case agreed that Caetano should be exonerated from the charges brought against her. However, the statute used to convict her initially remains on the books in Massachusetts.

This case isn't actually about firearms, but it is about the Second Amendment. The Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment can apply to weapons other than those that were available at the time the Constitution was written. This ruling has cast doubt over whether states can ban tasers and other types of weapons which are not firearms.


District of Columbia v. Heller
  • Year: 2008
  • What it did: Struck down provisions of a District of Columbia law which prohibited people from owning handguns, automatic, and semi-automatic firearms, and required guns in the home to be protected by a trigger lock.
  • How people reacted: Wayne La Pierre, representing the NRA, said in response to the ruling that the NRA would promptly file legal challenges against similar laws in Chicago and San Francisco. Paul Helmke, representing the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, said he disagreed with the justices' interpretation of the Second Amendment but was glad the ruling "still allows common-sense gun control laws, restrictions to make us all safer."

Heller was the first Supreme Court decision which declared a law unconstitutional solely on the grounds of the Second Amendment. It solidified gun rights advocates' interpretation of the Second Amendment: that an individual civilian's right to own a firearm and use it for self-defense is constitutionally protected.



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<![CDATA[Crazy Medal of Honor Acts the Rest of Us Wouldn't Have the Stones to Attempt]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/crazy-medal-of-honor-acts/jim-jacobi

War puts ordinary men and women in extraordinary circumstances, regardless of their background and pathway into the Armed Services. Tales of heroism and bravery at all levels are not uncommon in wartime. Reactive instincts to protect those around you are omnipresent during combat, but there’s a particular kind of courage history doesn’t forget.

The most prestigious recognition for bravery a member of the United States’ Armed Services can receive is the Congressional Medal of Honor (MoH), and its official citation includes “the highest U.S. military decoration… for gallantry and bravery in combat at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty.” Every MoH is approved and awarded by Congress, and presented to the recipient by the sitting president. Medal of Honor winners are American war heroes, those responsible for the bravest acts imaginable. 

It’s been 153 years since the very first Medal of Honor was received during the Civil War, and since then, there have been a total of 3,498 MoHs awarded out of the many, many millions of servicemen and women. In 2010, an Army Staff Sergeant became the first living MoH recipient in nearly forty years, which goes to show that most are awarded posthumously. Below is a (short) list of Medal of Honor recipients whose acts were so brazen and insane that the rest of us will only ever read about them…with goosebumps.


Crazy Medal of Honor Acts the Rest of Us Wouldn't Have the Stones to Attempt,

William Turner - Assaulted Enemy Positions with a Pistol to Save Stranded Soldiers

The use of trenches in WWI flipped the traditional notion that high ground in combat has the advantage on its head. The area between opposing trenches was called no man’s land for a reason. It usually took a force of overwhelming numbers to advance on and capture enemy trenches. In this environment, William Turner and a small group of men found themselves separated from the rest of their company when German machine guns opened fire on them.

Turner single-handedly rushed the machine gun with only his pistol, eliminating the gunners and taking the position. He immediately advanced to another enemy position some twenty-five yards away, just as the rest of his small detachment reached him. Although Turner was wounded three times, he continued to lead the charge over three successive of enemy trenches. After running out of ammunition for his pistol, he engaged in hand-to-hand combat, before grabbing a rifle from a fallen enemy soldier.

After running out of ammo again, Turner successfully charged yet another machine gun emplacement, using only his bayonet. He led the small group of men to resist a fierce counterattack until Turner was finally surrounded and killed in action. William Turner was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously.


Junior Edwards - Assailed an Enemy Machine Gun Nest Three Times, Alone

The Korean War has a special place in our military’s history. So soon after WWII, yet it lacks the glamor of immorality bestowed upon WWII, and escapes the shame suffered by Vietnam. But make no mistake, Korea was a horribly brutal conflict. More than half the number of men killed in action (36,574) as the Vietnam War, yet Korea lasted only three years, compared to Vietnam’s decade.

On an impossibly cold January night in 1951, a well-placed machine gun nest began raking fire across the lines of Junior Edwards’s platoon. In an attempt stave off the enemy’s volley, Edwards, alone, charged uphill toward the pillbox, tossing grenades as he advanced. It worked… temporarily.

When the Korean soldiers realized Edwards exhausted his grenade supply, they returned to the gun and unleashed hell on him. He was forced back down the hill, but he only stayed down long enough to replenish his grenade supply. Advancing again, Edwards successfully neutralized the machine gun and its crew. However, Korean reinforcements quickly set up another heavy gun and began targeting Edwards. Edwards went downhill again to grab more grenades, and charged uphill a third time, alone, to try and neutralize the new threat.

He succeeded in silencing the second machine gun, but was mortally wounded in doing so. Junior Edwards was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously.


Dr. Mary Walker - Crossed Enemy Lines Alone to Provide Medical Asisstance

The first and only woman ever to receive the Medal of Honor, Dr. Walker volunteered in for Union Army at the outbreak of the Civil War, working as a field surgeon through such iconic clashes as the First Battle of Bull Run and Fredericksburg.

Walker frequently crossed into enemy territory to provide much-needed medical assistance to the local civilian populace, as well as to assist Confederate Army field surgeons. These were solo ventures, since the men she served with repeatedly refused to accompany her out of fear of death and/or certain capture. After all, the modern articles of the Geneva Convention wouldn’t exist for another 88 years.

Walker remained undeterred, and continually assisted both sides during the Civil War, with complete disregard for her own safety. In 1864, after helping a Confederate Army surgeon with an amputation, she was arrested as a spy and held as a prisoner of war for longer than four months. After the war, President Andrew Johnson and Congress heeded General William Tecumseh Sherman’s recommendation and awarded Dr. Mary Walker the Medal of Honor.


James Hendrix - Rushed the Battlefield Three Times in One Day to Rescue Wounded Troops

The Battle of the Bulge was the last major engagement of the European theater in WWII. There were an estimated 200,000 casualties between the Americans and Germans. US Army Private James Hendrix was with the leading element in a final Allied attempt to break through German lines at Bastogne when his unit ran into a maelstrom of small arms and artillery fire.

Hendrix dismounted from his half-track (a jeep/tank hybrid) and advanced, alone, toward two German 88 mm guns. The German 88 fires a shell nearly 3.5 inches in diameter. Through rifle fire, he forced the German gun crews to take cover long enough for him to advance and force their surrender.

Later that day, Hendrix voluntarily left his vehicle again to aid two wounded and helpless soldiers caught in a cross fire. He effectively staved off enemy fire long enough for the wounded men to reach safety. Even later that same day, Hendrix again voluntarily braved mines, machine gun fire, and enemy snipers by leaving his half-track a third time to reach a fellow soldier trapped in burning vehicle. Hendrix dragged the man to safety and put out his flaming clothing before the vehicle’s ammunition payload exploded.

All of this occurred on December 26, 1944. Hendrix was nineteen years old at the time.


Vernon Baker - Drew Enemy Fire to Aid the Evacuation of Injured Troops

Barely three weeks before the Axis surrender in April 1945, Vernon Baker led the charge that captured five enemy positions, knowingly exposed himself to draw enemy fire away from his troops, and led a battalion-sized force (about five-hundred men) to successfully capture an enemy strong point, all in less than forty-eight hours.

On April 5, 1945, Baker was a 2nd Lieutenant in the US Army, which is the lowest rank for an officer. In Italy’s mountainous terrain near Viareggio, his company came under intense machine gun fire from well-entrenched enemy nests. With most of his men pinned down, he crawled to the nearest machine gun position and killed its occupants, then immediately crawled to the enemy’s observation post and eliminated its spotters.

After that, Baker successfully attacked another two emplacements, with the help of one of his men. To cover the evacuation of his company’s wounded personnel, Baker assumed an exposed position, to draw enemy fire toward him instead of his men. The very next day, he voluntarily led a battalion advance (a job usually reserved for a Colonel) through a mine field to help achieve the division’s objective.

Vernon was the only living black American WWII veteran to receive the Medal of Honor, and it was not awarded to him until 1997, under President Bill Clinton.


Robert Laws - Charged Entrenched Enemies Across Open Ground Amidst Grenade Fire

On January 12, 1945, Robert Laws and the rest of Company G of the Army’s 43rd Infantry Division faced a reinforced Japanese infantry company that was expertly entrenched in pillboxes on a rugged hillside on the Philippine Islands. The Japanese positions could only be attacked by traversing a narrow ridge that was nearly 75 yards long, almost 3/4 of a football field.

After being the first to sprint the 75-yard ridge under fire, Laws began hurling grenades at the closest pillbox. During this initial melee, Laws was injured by an enemy grenade. More men joined Laws and began passing him grenades, until he successfully landed one inside the pillbox. He then led an uphill charge against the entrenched Japanese riflemen, and in the process was wounded in both legs, both arms, his chest, and head by Japanese grenades and TNT charges.

Three Japanese soldiers charged Laws with fixed bayonets, and he killed two of them by emptying his magazine. He engaged in hand-to-hand combat with the third, and the two tumbled sixty feet down the hill Laws had just climbed. After killing the third enemy soldier, Laws again climbed the hill to help lead the eventual destruction of the enemy positions on the hillside. He wasn’t evacuated until their success was imminent.


William Lawley - Landed a Flaming Plane with One Good Arm and a Head Injury

The skies over Europe during WWII were a hostile and deadly place. More than 52,000 airmen died or were declared dead as a direct result of combat missions. Bombers were poorly armored, slow-moving, and the men had to endure unpressurized cabins with constant sub-zero temperatures. Safety countermeasures didn’t exist. Engine fires were common, and were an almost-certain death warrant for every man onboard.

During a bombing run in February 1944, William Lawley was the pilot of a B-17 that came under attack by 20 enemy fighters. Lawley’s aircraft was quickly shot out of formation and left unprotected. Eight crew members were immediately wounded, the co-pilot killed, and the majority of the controls destroyed. On top of that, Lawley himself sustained a serious head wound, and learned one of the engines was on fire. Blood splattered all over the windshield reduced his visibility nearly to zero.

Steering the plane with only his left arm, Lawley put the B-17 into a steep dive to extinguish the engine fire. During the dive, he was informed that two of his crew were too severely wounded to bail out. With that in mind, Lawley turned the plane back toward England, while giving the crew the option to bail out. With the engine fire spreading, Lawley refused first aid until he dove again to put the engine fire out, and in doing so, passed out from blood loss from his wounds. He was revived by the bombardier and remained at the controls until he successfully crash-landed the B-17 at a base in England, after another engine fire and running out of fuel.

Lawley accomplished all this with the extra weight of bombs still onboard since the bomb racks were frozen.


Jake Allex - Singlehandedly Charged an Enemy Machine Gun Position with a Rifle

The command structure of Army and Marines combat infantry units has been molded and perfected for generations. In the chaos of combat, the chain-of-command, and the training under it, is perhaps the only thing infantrymen can truly rely on. But what happens when that structure collapses after being targeted by the enemy? What happened to the lowly Red Coats after Mel Gibson Benjamin Martin targeted the officers in the woods in The Patriot? Well, something like that actually happened to Jake Allex in France on August 9, 1918.

During an already intense fire fight, all the officers in Allex’s platoon became casualties in quick succession, after his platoon came into range of a German machine gun nest. Instead of wasting invaluable time trying to figure out who should take command, Allex leapt into action. He advanced some thirty yards toward the nest, alone, exposed, and under heavy fire, and attacked the enemy gunners so fiercely he ran out of ammunition.

After that, Allex relied on a bayonet as his primary weapon, which he used to kill five enemy soldiers before it snapped. He then used his rifle butt to subdue the rest of the nest, resulting in the capture of fifteen prisoners, all by himself.


Alan Eggers & John Latham - Crossed No Man's Land to Save a Tank Crew

No man’s land, September 29, 1918. Alan Eggers and John Latham are trapped with Thomas O’Shea in an artillery crater behind enemy lines, after getting separated from their platoon after a smoke barrage. That’s when they hear Americans calling for help from a disabled tank nearby. "Nearby" being about thirty yards away in no man’s land. In broad daylight, the three soldiers left the relative safety of their crater and made their way to the tank under attack from trench mortars and German machine guns. O’Shea was mortally wounded, but Eggers and Latham continued undeterred.

Eggers and Latham rescued three wounded Americans from the tank and helped them to cover in a nearby trench. They then again braved German fire to return to the tank and dismount its Hotchkiss gun, to give them a fighting chance for survival. The Hotchkiss gun was the Allies’ standard heavy machine gun in WWI.

Together, Eggers and Latham lugged the gun back to the trench with the wounded men, and, by employing effective fire, were able to keep the enemy at bay for the remainder of the day. Under cover of darkness, they helped the wounded men escape to the frontline, while still toting the Hotchkiss gun to keep it out of enemy hands. All three men from the tank survived.


Charles Berry - Fell on a Grenade to Save the Lives of Fellow Soldiers

It’s hard to fathom how primitive military technology was during WWII. Without satellite imagery, unmanned drones, radar, nighttime reconnaissance, or night vision capabilities, WWII infantrymen only had moonlight and their ears to detect the enemy at night. It was relatively easy for both sides to advance into attack-ready positions under cover of darkness. That’s exactly what Japanese forces did to Charles Berry’s unit on Iwo Jima in March 1945.

A surprise attack broke out in the middle of the night, while Berry manned a foxhole. Instead of the usual back-and-forth of machine gun fire, Berry quickly found himself in a pitched hand grenade duel. In the middle of the night, live Japanese grenades rained down on Berry and the other men in his foxhole, and he kept throwing them right back, rather than bailing out of the hole and finding cover elsewhere.

Not knowing how much time was left on the fuses, Berry engaged in the deadliest game of hot potato, until a grenade landed in his foxhole he couldn’t get to in time. Instead of jumping out, Berry dove directly on top of the grenade without hesitation. He absorbed most of the blast, and undoubtedly saved the men in his foxhole by sacrificing his own life. Charles Berry was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously.



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<![CDATA[The Weirdest Royals Throughout History]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/weird-royals-in-history/danielle-ownbey

When we think of royalty, beautiful princesses and charming princes come to mind. History reveals that, sometimes, real-life rulers were more akin to villains in storybooks: deformed hunchbacks, crazed witches, sleazy morons, and murderous families. Whether these weird royals were born that way or the job drove them to it, a number of leaders throughout history exhibited signs that something wasn't right. For some, it was just a strange quirk here or there. For others, a debilitating problem that left them unfit to rule. 

No one can deny that, despite the perks, being a royal is complicated. You have access to massive riches that could corrupt you. You have to decide the well-being of an entire nation. All the while, there are people out there who probably want you dead. This could lead anyone to become a little bit weird. Here's a list of the weirdest royals and weirdest royal families throughout history, what made them that way, and how it might have affected the country they ruled. 


The Weirdest Royals Throughout History,

Catherine II of Russia

Royal Title: Empress of Russia

Crazy Quirk: Catherine’s sexual appetite led to rumors about her engaging in carnal pleasures with a horse.

Catherine the Great is something of an anomaly on this list, because she was not a bad ruler. She instituted massive reforms for Russia and made female rulers look strong and capable in a time when men mostly did the ruling. While her professional life flourished, her private life was a bit more controversial.

Catherine was born Sophie von Anhalt-Zerbst in Germany and married Peter III in 1745. Peter’s love for toy soldiers above his wife led to her first extra-marital dalliance, in the effort to achieve an heir. Many historians believe that none of her four children were fathered by the king. After Peter III took control of Russia and made the unpopular decision to end Russia’s war with Prussia, Catherine conspired with angry nobles to overthrow her husband. He was killed by the brother of her new lover, Gregory Orlov.

From then on, Catherine ruled Russia, picking up and dropping lovers as she saw fit. She gifted one lover with one thousand serfs, and made another the King of Poland, only to wage war on him when he didn’t prove to be the puppet she wanted. To address the elephant – or horse – in the room: many historians believe the story of her death during sex with a horse was an attempt by her enemies to discredit her. But still. Good story. 


Christian VII of Denmark

Royal Title: King of Denmark

Crazy Quirk: A man-child who leap-frogged dignitaries when they bowed to him. Literally.

In 1766, Christian VII of Denmark became king at age 16, and never acted a day older for the rest of his life. According to his doctors, his frequent masturbation bordered on unhealthy. He played pranks on his grandmother, putting pins in her throne and throwing things at her. He ran wild through the streets with his friend and his mistress, destroying shops and patronizing brothels. He built his own torture rack and had himself tied to it and flogged.

As he regressed further and further, his devious doctor, Johann Friedrich Struenseé, saw a chance to swoop in and gain power. Struenseé got himself appointed to Christian’s cabinet and seduced Christian’s wife. Struenseé maintained his spot as defacto ruler until Christian’s equally sneaky step-mother persuaded a very weak-minded Christian to have Struenseé and the Queen arrested for their affair. 


Elagabalus

Royal Title: Emperor of Rome

Crazy Quirk: Elagabalus was a hedonist who delighted in watching people suffer.

Elagabalus, who took the throne in 218 AD, was a lesser-known Roman Emperor whose behavior rivals that of the most vicious, cruel, and self-indulgent rulers of all time. Here’s a list of some of Elagabalus’s weirdest royal activities:

  • He chained naked women to chariots, like horses, and whipped them as they pulled him around.
  • He released snakes into the audience of the gladiator games, and gleefully watched panic and injury ensue.
  • He tied dinner guests to a water wheel to watch them slowly drown.
  • He tossed gold and silver from the balcony of a tower and reveled in commoners fighting and dying over the money.
  • He let loose lions and tigers during a feast.
  • He filled positions in the government based on penises size.
  • When his chief advisor warned him that he should live a moderate life to prevent revolt over the effects of his taxation, he murdered his advisor.

The full catalog of his perversity deserves a list unto itself, but there might not be enough room for all of his eccentricities and atrocities to fit. 


Ivan the Terrible

Royal Title: Tsar of Russia

Crazy Quirk: He executed a Reign of Terror that left most of those around him executed.

The first, and arguably most famous, tsar of a centralized Russia, Ivan IV, also known as Ivan the Terrible, earned his nick name fair and square. Prone to wild rages from a young age, he suffered from the deaths of both parents by age 8, and the constant threat of usurpers to his throne. In 1847, he became tsar of Muscovy. From there, he expanded outward, snatching up land and taking down anyone in his way.

After his wife’s death, Ivan sunk into a depression that inspired his 24-year-long Reign of Terror. He seized absolute control, murdered any noble who spoke against him, beat his daughter-in-law so badly she miscarried, murdered his son in one of his rages, and blinded the architect of St. Basil’s Cathedral so that he could never create another beautiful building again. He died a broken man, much like the country he left behind.


Joanna of Castile

Royal Title: Queen of Castile and Aragon (Spain)

Crazy Quirk: Her obsession with her husband drove her to keep his dead body with her at all times.

Joanna of Castile was the daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella, famous as the royals who sent Columbus on his western voyage. Joanna married Philip I of Burgundy, son of the Holy Roman Emperor. She was very devoted to her husband, and gave him six children, all of whom went on to be emperors or queens.

Joanna earned her title "Juana La Loca" for her obsession with her husband. After his sudden death in 1506, she refused to be separated from Philip's dead, embalmed body. She kept it in her room and even traveled with it. Despite her place as Queen of Castile and Aragon, her family never saw her as fit to rule, and her son Charles took on the role of regent, becoming the real leader of the country. 


King Ludwig II of Bavaria

Royal Title: King of Bavaria

Crazy Quirk: He spent most of his time and money during his reign building elaborate and fantastical castles.

King Ludwig II’s most important contribution to world history is the construction of Neuschwanstein, the German castle that inspired Walt Disney’s famed castle. This is also evidence of one of his most famous quirks, but definitely not his only one.

Ludwig was born in 1845, and spent his childhood dressing up, play acting, and isolating himself from the rest of the world. He became king at 18, without any training or experience, and shied away from the job for the rest of his life. Ludwig retreated to his lavish castles and fully invested himself in his fantasy world, hiring set designers instead of architects to create his castles. He imagined himself as Parzival, a medieval figure associated with the Holy Grail. 

When banks threatened to seize Ludwig's property, the government declared him insane and deposed him. The day after he was imprisoned, he was found dead under mysterious circumstances, along with the psychiatrist who declared him crazy. 


Nero

Royal Title: Emperor of Rome

Crazy Quirk: A narcissist and sadist, he had his mother killed and let Rome burn to the ground.

When it comes to Nero’s rule, it’s clear he got his Machiavellian inclinations from his mother. Nero’s mom, Agrippina, orchestrated Nero’s rise to the throne in 54 AD by marrying her uncle, Claudius, and convincing him to install Nero as Emperor instead of his own son, before poisoning Claudius to death. When Nero came to power, he took a lesson from his mother’s playbook and set about taking down everyone who threatened or even bothered him, including his mom. He also dispatched with his cousin and his wife when they got in his way.

Despite instituting some positive social and political forms, Nero’s hedonism continually got the best of him. He took multiple wives and lovers, spent massive amounts of money on personal sexual pursuits, and murdered anyone who dared to criticize his ways. In 64 AD, a great fire struck Rome, taking out 75% of the city. Many Romans contended that Nero himself started the fire to make way for a new castle. Even if he didn’t, he did nothing to stop it, blaming Christians and initiating a period of oppression and torture of Christians in Rome.

Nero also married a man he randomly saw on the street who looked like his wife (the one he murdered), and made the man dress in his wife's clothes and act like a woman, while having a separate relationship with a slave in which Nero played the role wife. 


Qin Shi Huang

Royal Title: Emperor of the Qin Dynasty

Crazy Quirk: The famous emperor who built the terra cotta warriors also burned books and became obsessed with immortality.

Born Zhao Zheng in 259 BC, Qin Shi Huang is perhaps China’s most influential ruler aside from Chairman Mao. He famously united the disparate states of China into one unified force.
Hardhearted at an early age, he became king of a small Chinese state at 13 and quickly had his mother’s lover killed to remove his threat to the throne. He battled his way through states, taking them over one by one, until he created a unified, centralized China.

Like Mao two thousand years later, Qin declared war on intellectuals, believing them to be plotting behind his back. He burned books and even buried 460 intellectuals alive. Toward the end of his life, he became obsessed with achieving immortality. He roamed the newly unified China in search of elixirs, alchemists, and magicians who could help him achieve immortality, but his treks were to no avail. He died in 210 BC and was buried with his army of terra cotta warriors and all of his concubines. 


Charles VI of France

Royal Title: King of France

Crazy Quirk: Charles believed he was made of glass.

Charles VI ruled France during a time of great chaos, and that turmoil existed within him as well. After his first bout of madness in 1392, when he suffered from fever and convulsions, Charles lived out the rest of his life plagued by insanity. His paranoia and violent rages made him dangerous and homicidal to anyone in his close proximity.  During his spells of madness, he often had to be restrained, and he gave up on his personal hygiene to the point that he had to be cut out of his clothes.

Most famously, Charles suffered from a “glass delusion," his belief that his body was made of glass. He faded in and out of this delusion, and it caused radical changes to his character. When he wasn’t in its grips, he was an outdoorsy athlete. When the glass delusion struck, he refused to move, sitting still for hours on end. 


Erik XIV of Sweden

Royal Title: King of Sweden

Crazy Quirk: Paranoia drove him into violent rages and to murder.

Erik XIV, the King of Sweden, who once courted Elizabeth I, was a charming, handsome and capable king, until paranoia drove him crazy. He ascended to the throne in 1560 and spent a large portion of his early kingship in a battle for control with his brother. As time went on, paranoia started to take over and his mind began to fade.

Erik began showing signs of schizophrenia, and these impulses took  him over. He sentenced guards to death for irritating him and executed people for whispering or giggling in his presence, convinced that everyone was plotting against him. Servants who looked well-put-together were put to death for trying to seduce the ladies of the court. Finally his rage boiled over, and he killed a Swedish nobleman with his own hands, stabbing him to death.



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<![CDATA[Game-Changing Facts About Floating Cities & Seasteading]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/peter-thiel-floating-cities-seasteading/kellen-perry

It's an idea supported by one of the richest and most controversial men in Silicon Valley: seasteading. But what is seasteading, and what does it have to do with PayPal co-founder and Gawker enemy Peter Thiel? Well, a "seastead" is just a folksy name for a floating city, and Thiel is on board because he thinks that seasteads could someday be home to "libertarian utopias" where big ideas could thrive without government intervention.

So what are floating cities, exactly? And could floating cities really work? Floating cities can be constructed from many things: re-purposed abandoned oil-drilling platforms, brand new high-tech floating islands, or even just anchored boats tethered together. Former Sun engineer Wayne Gramlich coined the term "seastead" because he thought "homesteading on the high seas" could be a viable option, and libertarian activist Patri Friedman thought permanent seasteads were viable enough to quit his job as a software engineer at Google and team up with Gramlich to form the Seasteading Institute (TSI) in 2008 (with financial support from Thiel). 
 
Skeptics say that current seasteading technology isn't practical and it could be decades before seasteading takes off (if it ever does - some critics say the whole idea is bonkers). Regardless, there are a ton of amazing seasteading facts to explore: it's a fascinating topic even if you think it's absolutely insane. Enjoy these floating cities facts, landlubbers!


Game-Changing Facts About Floating Cities & Seasteading,

The First Full-Time Modern Seasteaders Would Have to Be Super Rich

The first seastead prototypes will likely cost about $100,000 per occupant, which doesn't sound super pricey, but that's $100,000 in cash we're talking about. Banks likely won't accept a seastead as collateral, so it's not like buying a house.

What does that $100,000 get you? If you're living in the seastead envisioned by Wayne Gramlich (who coined the term), only about 100 square feet of living space.


Governments May Not Leave Seasteaders Alone

The history of establishing micro-nations similar to the ones proposed by the proponents of seasteading is pretty ugly. Existing nations typically assert jurisdiction (e.g., Tonga and the Republic of Minerva) or simply use force to destroy the micro-nation (e.g., Italy and the Republic of Rose Island).

Seasteaders could seek temporary protection by adopting the flag of a nearby foreign country and thus subject themselves to local maritime law, but those countries would probably get pretty pissed if the seastead was a success and hundreds of its former citizens were living and working tax-free just off shore.

 


Seasteading's Biggest Champion Is a Donald Trump Fan

Seasteading poster boy and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel is many things: a billionaire, a futurist, a "comic-book villain" (according to Gawker), and a seeker of eternal life. He's also a supporter of Donald Trump's presidential campaign and is a Trump delegate in California.

Why? Thiel hasn't officially commented, but it's speculated that they share views on immigration and libel laws.

 


Seasteading's Biggest Financial Backers Want to "Escape from Politics"

Seasteaders aren't just in it for the cool ocean breezes: seasteading champions such as PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel want to use seasteads to "escape from politics in all its forms." Many wannabe seasteaders want to create self-sufficient "libertarian utopias" by "voting with their boats" instead of reforming existing political systems. Critics note that even a "libertarian utopia" is driven by politics, just a different kind of politics.

 


Seasteads Could Be Almost Entirely Self-Sufficient

A proposed Chinese seastead aims to be basically self-sufficient, with plans for tidal energy, on-site farms and hatcheries, and even a factory or two to create necessary goods. Residents technically would never have to leave the city and could even travel to work, parks, and various entertainment venues via submarine and electric car. The 10-square-kilometer island would even convert all its garbage into energy.


The First Major Seastead Could Be a High-Tech Business Incubator

Foreign entrepreneurs looking to sell their big ideas in Silicon Valley run into a big problem: US immigration officials limit how long they can stay in the country, thus cutting into the valuable time it takes to get their big ideas off the ground. Enter Blueseed, a proposed seastead-like business incubator off the coast of San Francisco that would allow foreign innovators to work close to Silicon Valley without government meddling.

What about trips to the mainland? B-1 visas would allow workers to freely travel back and forth from Blueseed to Silicon Valley for business purposes and are valid for as long as 10 years.

 


Some People Have Already Been "Seasteading" for More Than a Thousand Years
Think seasteading is wildly impractical? Tell that to the Tanka people of southeast China. The Tanka "boat people" have been living in floating homes and working on seafood farms since the Tang Dynasty (around 700 AD). About 7,000 of these so-called "gypsies of the sea" currently live in the floating city founded by their ancestors as a way to flee a mainland war.

Seasteading Is Basically the Only Way to Create New Nations from Scratch

Want to create your own country from scratch? If you want to do it on dry land, you're out of luck: as the Seasteading Institute points out, "there is no land unclaimed by existing governments." Seasteading advocates say that living at sea is likely the only way to truly start a new nation, noting that even unoccupied islands are controlled by existing countries that exploit their fishing and mineral resources.


Seasteaders Don't Want to Live Off the Coasts of Countries With UN or EU Membership

TSI has discussed with several countries the possibility of building floating communities just off their shores, but they don't want their potential new micro-nations anywhere near countries with United Nations Security Council or European Union memberships. Countries with those affiliations wouldn't provide the necessary autonomy for a proper seastead to thrive. TSI has also ruled out countries in hurricane and cyclone zones. Which countries are candidates? Ghana, Columbia, Hong Kong, Panama, and Singapore, among others.

 


Seasteads Can't Just Be Recycled Cruise Ships

TSI cites cruise ships as examples of the viability of the seasteading lifestyle, noting that "over thirty million people a year" already visit cruise ships and are thus familiar with life at sea. TSI thinks cruise ships are proof that the "basic problems" of seasteading engineering have been solved, but they make it clear that cruise ship life and seasteading are very different. You can't just park several cruise ships next to each other and call it seasteading: cruise ships tend to roll in choppy waters and their stabilizers only work when they're in motion.

 



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<![CDATA[Historical Figures You Most Want to Bring Back from the Dead]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/historical-figures-we-most-want-to-bring-back-from-the-dead/alexf

Throughout the course of history, the human race has produced some truly remarkable individuals - individuals who, sadly, have passed away, leaving nothing behind but the footprint of their influence on society. But what if these towering figures didn't have to stay dead? If you could bring someone of significant historical importance back from the dead, who would you pick?


Historical Figures You Most Want to Bring Back from the Dead,

Abraham Lincoln

Benjamin Franklin

Franklin D. Roosevelt

George Carlin

Jesus Christ

John F. Kennedy

Leonardo da Vinci

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Nikola Tesla

Theodore Roosevelt


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<![CDATA[Stomach-Churning Things You Didn't Know About Chinese Foot Binding]]> http://www.ranker.com/list/stomach-churning-things-you-didnt-know-about-chinese-foot-binding/jeffrichard

Most of us have our morning ritual down pretty well. It's usually a variation of shower, dress, coffee, breakfast, scream at traffic, more coffee, arrive at work, and subsequently ponder our place in the universe until it's time to go home.

But rewind to a bit earlier: in those few precious moments before it's time to get out the door and race to punch in the clock, we probably don't think about the shoes we're slipping on. Okay, maybe some of us give it a little more thought than others, but they're typically the last items we put on, and the first ones we take off. 

They're fairly easy to operate, with the only real struggle coming from maybe a stubborn heel or a frayed lace every now and then. 

The point is, we should all be thankful the process of foot binding is finally over.

But what is foot binding, exactly? Well, imagine bending (and occasionally, breaking) your feet to grotesque angles from the age of five - and that's just scratching the surface. 

So why would anyone want to mangle their own toes to look like a vacuum-sealed pack of cocktail sausage smokies? Click through to find out some insane facts about this primitive practice.   


Stomach-Churning Things You Didn't Know About Chinese Foot Binding,

Why Foot Binding Was Practiced

By now, your toes are probably cringing and curling for the worst reasons possible, but still not as (literally) bad as those poor girls in China. So why would anyone subject themselves to such torture? 

Early beliefs maintained it was the male perception of beauty that enforced foot binding. That a woman's walk was more elegant and beautiful if she gently swayed to and fro, walking with delicate steps like a majestic lotus flower swaying in the wind...

In reality, that poor woman was one very fragile bone away from completely collapsing to the ground, all just to project a specific type of sexuality. And if that wasn't enough, it wasn't the only reason men were turned on by it.  

They also believed that when a woman walked with a strained gait, it also made her pelvic and inner thighs tighter, resulting in stronger vaginal muscles as well. 

Either way, the process was ultimately about forcing a woman to literally contort to a specific shape for what others perceived to be beautiful during the time.


No One Quite Knows How It Originated

It's difficult to pin down exactly when foot-binding began, but historians have dated its start sometime during the tenth century, after a dancer named Yao Niang bound her feet in a similar fashion. Adding to the mystery, it's also unclear as to who was the first person to devise the ongoing practice for what's basically an elaborate foot fetish, but it is believed that because the Lotus Flower was held in such high regard during the time, the concept of beauty could be "elevated" if a woman's foot shared a similar shape. 

Regardless, the fact that foot binding was perpetuated so often came down to the societal order: that a woman should look beautiful, and be as subservient as she can be for her husband. 


Without Proper Maintenance, the Foot Would Rot

The effects of foot binding went beyond creating virtually miniature doll-sized feet, but also ran the risk of literally leaving their owners with stumps instead. Occasionally, if the feet were not properly maintained and the twisting toenails not clipped, bits of flesh would become swollen and fill with pus, creating a nightmarish odor that even the worst shoe-removing airline-flier could never compete with.

After a time, chunks of the foot would begin to rot away and, in some extreme instances, even whole toes were known to fall off

 


How Foot Binding Worked

If you've seen the film Misery, you know the foot does not do well under immense stress, particularly when that stress comes very quickly in the form of a sledgehammer wielded by a very angry Kathy Bates. 

In the case of foot binding, the foot equally does not hold up very well when it comes from a very slow process which forces it to contort into a bizarre crescent shape over many decades. 

So how does foot binding work exactly? 

Well, first off, if you were a young girl (we're talking as young as five years, because that's when the bones are still "soft"), and lived in China up until only three generations ago, you may have been subjected to a process which can only be described as mutilation.

First, the feet were submerged in hot water, then the four smaller toes were tightly wrapped in cotton bandages, nestling them under the rest while the ball of the foot is angled downward to create a type of grotesque half-moon. After that? Rinse, wrap, and repeat - for the rest of one's life.

Oh, and don't forget to make it tighter each time. 


The Effects on the Rest of the Body Were Awful

As if rotting flesh wasn't bad enough, foot binding also had severely detrimental effects on the rest of women's bodies. 

As a result of being forced to forever walk in baby steps (and on top of their toes), women regularly suffered from severe headaches, poor circulation, extreme hip discomfort, and, in some cases, even spinal fractures

On top of the physical ailments suffered, there was also the psychological damage that was incurred from foot binding. Imagine having your feet bound from the age of five for the sole reason of being perceived as "beautiful" to other men. Your handicap, not the result of a birth defect, but rather from societal constraints, and being viewed as nothing more than an object to be molded to others' perceptions could truly take its toll. 


Their Boots Illustrate the Shape of Their Feet

Constructed from silk or cotton, shoes worn by those who were foot-bound were very similar to the feet that would inhabit them. That is, they weren't exactly created for practical reasons like, say, walking comfortably, but rather to extend the misery warped concept of beauty that began when their owners' feet were first mangled. 

Called "Lotus shoes," they were designed to look like the bud of a lotus flower, were typically wedge or sheath-shaped, and were more akin to doll shoes than anything else. 


The Upkeep on Mangled Toes Was Horrible

It's one thing to go too long without clipping one's toenails. Maybe it was an old college roommate with gnarly hobbit feet. Maybe it's finding a disgusting straggler still on the couch long after a clipping session. 

But in the case of women who's feet were bound, the process was much more involved. So much so that feet had to be regularly bound and unbound, washed and re-washed, to make sure that gangrene wouldn't set in. 

On top of that, if the toenails grew too long, they would eventually cut into the bottom of the feet, causing severe infections. 


It Only Recently Ended

Thankfully, the process of foot binding, like a gangrenous chunk of flesh infected by an errant toenail, has since died off. Barring a few possible villages in rural areas in China, the last known instance of foot binding occurred in 1949, with only a few women still alive who bear the twisted extremities. 

The reason? As Communism rose in the late 1940's, the old traditions quickly began to fade away, although not without leaving several women scarred and badly mutilated for life. What few who are still alive remain in those small villages, but thankfully, this is one tradition that likely won't see any type of resurgence.



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<![CDATA[The Worst U.S. Presidents]]> http://www.ranker.com/crowdranked-list/the-10-worst-u-s-presidents
The worst U.S. presidents of all time, measured by their negative impact on the nation, its citizens health and happiness, and its future prosperity. (In some cases – such as the popular selections of Warren G. Harding and Richard Nixon – the negative view of the president and his administration is due to various scandals and perceived corruption within its ranks. Nixon, of course, remains the only president to step down from the office amidst threats of impeachment.)

Much of a president's job – including serving as the figurative head of the American state and setting the nation's general legislative and diplomatic agenda – is sort of intangible and hard to evaluate in strict "good vs. bad" terms. This makes any list of the "best" or "worst" US presidents essentially subjective, and though there were administrations with a significant series of positive or negative outcomes, it's rarely clear just how much these had to do with the person in office and how many were simply due to accidents of fate or circumstance. Nonetheless, in particularly extraordinary cases – such as the administration of Abraham Lincoln, which kept the nation intact during the Civil War crisis, or the administration of Andrew Johnson immediately after that threatened the entire success of the Reconstruction project – it is clear which presidents did an overall good or bad job.

So who were the worst presidents of all time? We're ranking them here, based on your votes! When you've had enough political negativity, be sure to check out Ranker's ultimate uplifting presidential list: The Best US Presidents.
The Worst U.S. Presidents,

Andrew Johnson

Barack Obama

Bill Clinton

George W. Bush

Herbert Hoover

James Buchanan

Jimmy Carter

Lyndon B. Johnson

Richard Nixon

Woodrow Wilson


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