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The comic about King Leopold of Belgium.
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It's Bad To Be The King

king leopold IIAs you might guess I barely scratched the surface of King Leo's monstrous reign over North Congo, but the most disgusting part of this story was this nasty business of the cutting off of hands and feet.

In the beginning I'm sure it was highly motivating to the workforce, one that didn't meet its rubber quota, when a comrade fell to the machete. When that threat lost its effectiveness the police force moved down the chain to wives and children. To keep bookkeeping happy the amputated hands had to be sent in along with the rubber as an explanation of the shortage.

This meant that, in short time, spare hands and feet became sort of a currency as smarter workers found they could augment a shortage of product with spare hands, and so inter-village warfare over hands and feet broke out. What fun that must have been on a Friday night.

Could it get worse? Certainly. The King was evidently some sort of cheapskate who didn't want his soldiers wasting bullets shooting animals, only lazy workers. So if they shot at a worker and missed, or took pot-shots at the stray gazelle, the soldiers had to explain the loss of the bullet with, you guessed it, some luckless worker's hand. The practical upshot of this was if the local gendarmes were taking unauthorized shooting practice in your area it was wise, as a native, to make yourself really scarce for awhile.

The big difference between King Leopold and Adolph Hitler is that Adolph killed six million Europeans for personal and political reasons. Leo, on the other hand, was in it purely for the money. To him, enslaving an entire country was capitalism at its finest. That makes him, in my eyes, a somewhat greater monster
than Hitler

You may be asking yourself what's the relevance of this story to your everyday life and I say "Plenty!". This is what happens to a country when plutocrats call all the shots. So when you look at the poisoned Gulf of Mexico, the poisoning of the groundwater throughout our country, the way the Bill of Rights has been completely shredded over the past 30 years, the way the voting process has been compromised by big money, and the way the Republican Party does everything in its power to serve their rich masters then you're seeing an ugly picture of the future America to come.

And that America, and you, will be owned by the Koch brothers.


If you'd like to read more about King Leopold's time as ruler of North Congo here's a concise description.


BTW, speaking of water and oil, Raging Pencils has been discovered by the Damascus Citizens for Sustainability. It's sort of a one-stop-shop for fracking news. Check it out.


end rant

If you're interested here's a copy of "White King, Red Rubber, Black Death".

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Teacher: And who's your book report on, Billy.
Billy: It's about King Leopold of Belgium.
In 1885 King Leopold was granted authority over the Belgian Congo, whereupon he quickly turned it into a slave state devoted to the rubber and ivory trade. If the natives didn't produce enough rubber the military would chop off their hands and feet, even those of children. During his rule as many as ten million Congolese were said to have been killed or died of starvation. When the world discovered these atrocities the King burned all of the evidence and proceeded to live to a ripe old age of 74.
Teacher: Thank you, Billy, I....
Billy: In conclusion, Godwin's Law is for pussies.

Overturn Citizens United