The Burbank Tribune (Grandpa White's newspaper in the 1920's)

The geneology history of the “White” family

June 27, 2014
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thomas white patriotThomas White

Found 10 Records, 6 Photos and 10,338,775 Family Trees

Born on 1713.

Thomas White II

Found 10 Records, 10 Photos and 10,338,775 Family Trees

Born in Ireland on 19 Mar 1739 to Thomas White. Thomas married Elizabeth Jones and had 9 children. He passed away on 13 Sep 1820 in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, USA.

Family Members



Thomas White (patriot)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Thomas White (March 19, 1739 – September 13, 1820) was an American Patriot who took part in the Boston Tea Party, was a member of the Sons of Liberty, and served under General Washington in the American Revolution.


Early life

White was born in Kilkenny, Ireland in 1739. In 1771, he immigrated to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. A tailor by trade, he married Elizabeth Jones, a descendant of Sven Gunnarsson. They removed to Boston shortly thereafter, where White joined a Masonic order, possibly St. Andrews Lodge, and participated in all the anti-Crown protests.[1]

Boston Tea Party

On December 16, 1773, members of the St. Andrew’s Lodge and others boarded British vessels disguised as Indians, and threw shipments of tea into the harbor to protest the Tea Act. Thomas White was among the participants.[2][3]

American Revolution

White returned to Pennsylvania, serving as soldier in the Continental Army in 2nd Pennsylvania Regiment in the American Revolution.[4]

Later years

Following the war, his family migrated west, settling in Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania. He built a farm and raised his children there, who numbered 21. Three of his sons served in the War of 1812; one of them, Ezekiel White, was captured at the Battle of Lundy’s Lane, and died of dysentery at a prison camp.[5]


On July 4, 1899, members of patriot societies unveiled a monument in honor of White, located at the Evans Cemetery in Huntingdon County.[6]


  1. Jump up ^ “Thomas White Biography”, USGenWebArchives, Retrieved 30 sept 2009.
  2. Jump up ^ “Boston Tea Party Participants”, Boston Tea Party, Retrieved 30 sept 2009.
  3. Jump up ^ “The Colonial Magazine”, The Colonial Magazine, p. 197, Retrieved 30 sept 2009.
  4. Jump up ^ “Thomas White Biography”, USGenWebArchives, Retrieved 30 sept 2009.
  5. Jump up ^ “Thomas White Biography”, USGenWebArchives, Retrieved 30 sept 2009.
  6. Jump up ^ Fairfield [Iowa] Ledger, August 9, 1899. Also The Hyndman Bulletin, Hyndman, PA

The Evans Cemetery where Thomas White is laid to rest is actually in Bedford Co. PA. Evans Cemetery Coaldale Bedford County Pennsylvania USA GPS Coordinates: Latitude: 40.18190, Longitude: -78.19000

Ezekiel White

Found 10 Records, 10 Photos and 10,338,775 Family Trees

Born in Pennsylvania, USA on 13 Jan 1783 to Thomas White and Elizabeth Jones. He passed away on 16 Sep 1814 in War.

Family Members


George White

Found 10 Records, 10 Photos and 10,338,775 Family Trees

Born in Pennsylvania, USA on 15 Mar 1793 to Thomas White and Elizabeth Jones. George married Catherine Horton and had 12 children. He passed away on 1872 in Pennsylvania, USA.

The War of 1812 was a 32-month military conflict between the United States of America and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, its North American colonies and its Indian allies. The outcome resolved many issues which remained from the American War of Independence, but involved no boundary changes. The United States declared war in 1812 for several reasons, including trade restrictions brought about by Britain’s continuing war with France, the impressment of American merchant sailors into the Royal Navy, British support of American Indian tribes against American expansion, outrage over insults to national honour after humiliations on the high seas, and possible American interest in annexing British North American territory (part of modern-day Canada) which had been denied to them in the settlement ending the American Revolutionary War. [3]

The war was fought in three principal theatres. Firstly, at sea, warships and privateers of each side attacked the other’s merchant ships, while the British blockaded the Atlantic coast of the United States and mounted large-scale raids in the later stages of the war. Secondly, both land and naval battles were fought on the American–Canadian frontier, which ran along the Great Lakes, the Saint Lawrence River and the northern end of Lake Champlain. Thirdly, the American South and Gulf Coast also saw major land battles in which the American forces defeated Britain’s Indian allies and a British invasion force at New Orleans. Some invasions or counter strikes were unsuccessful, while others successfully attacked enemy objectives and took possession of opposition territory. At the end of the war both sides signed the Treaty of Ghent, and all parties returned occupied land to its pre-war owner.

With the majority of its army and naval forces tied down in Europe fighting the Napoleonic Wars until 1814, the British at first used a defensive strategy, repelling multiple American invasions of the provinces of Upper and Lower Canada. The Americans gained control over Lake Erie in 1813, seized parts of western Ontario, and ended the prospect of an Indian confederacy and an independent Indian state in the Midwest under British sponsorship. In September 1814, a British force invaded and occupied eastern Maine. This territory, along with parts of Michigan and Wisconsin, were seized and held by the British and their Indian allies for the duration of the war. In the southwest, General Andrew Jackson destroyed the military strength of the Creek nation at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend in 1814. With the defeat of Napoleon in 1814 on April 6, the British adopted a more aggressive strategy, sending in three large invasion armies. The British victory at the Battle of Bladensburg in August 1814 allowed them to capture and burn Washington, D.C, but they were repulsed in an attempt to take Baltimore. American victories in September 1814 repulsed the British invasion of New York, and the British suffered a major defeat at New Orleans in January 1815.

In the United States, late victories over invading British armies at the battles of Plattsburg, Baltimore (inspiring their national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner“), and New Orleans produced a sense of euphoria over a “second war of independence” against Britain.[4] Peace brought an “Era of Good Feelings” to the U.S. in which partisan animosity nearly vanished.

In Upper and Lower Canada, British and Provincial militia victories over invading American armies became iconic and promoted the development of a distinct Canadian identity which included strong loyalty to Britain. Today, particularly in loyalist-founded Ontario, memory of the war retains its significance because the defeat of the invasions ensured that the Canadas would remain part of the British Empire rather than be annexed by the United States. In Canada, numerous ceremonies took place in 2012 to commemorate the war, offer historical lessons and celebrate 200 years of peace across the border.[5] The war is scarcely remembered in Britain today, as it regarded the conflict as a sideshow to the much larger Napoleonic Wars raging in Europe.

Birth: Jul. 5, 1819
Death: Apr. 5, 1895

OBITUARYMr. E. White died at his residence in Americus, Kansas at fifteen minutes past 6 o’clock Friday evening April 5th. Mr.White had been suffering with cancer on his face and for nearly a year he has been confined to his bed suffering untold agony. Mr. White was one of the old settlers of Americus. He was the father of eight children, now grown, who survive him. Mr. James White the oldset son lives at Emporia but was present at his fathers death. The end came tranquil and tender hands admininistered to his wants in his dying hour. The community losses a good citizen, the children a kind father and the wife an affectionate husband. He had four brothers living near him at the time of his death: Thos. H., Geo. W., Phillip and John W. To them as well as to the nearer relatives is extended the sympathy of the community in this the darkest hour of their trial. Although not a member of any church organization his life had always been an example of honesty, integrity and christiaity. Never forgeting the golden rule but doing good for the love of right his christian character was a bright example worthy of emulation. He was born July 5th 1819 in Huntingdon Co. Pa. and married Eliza Gosnell Nov. 28th 1844 in Huntingdon Co. Pa. He moved to Americus, Kansas in December 1868 and has resided in this vicinity ever since. The funeral opsequies were conducted at the M.E. Church, Saturday, April 6th at 3 o’clock P.M. by Rev. F.D. Loy, Rev. Hammond and Rev. Hill assisting. He was buried in the Americus cemetery. The grim reaper of death has invaded the home circle and taken from our midst an esteemed friend and citizen to join that innunmerable caravan that moves to that mysterious realm beyond, where there is neither pain nor sorrow and death cannot enter.From the Americus Greeting April issue.

Family links:
George Washington White (1855 – 1934)*

*Calculated relationship

Americus Cemetery
Lyon County
Kansas, USA
Created by: Bob White
Record added: Apr 06, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 13873942
Ezekiel White
Added by: Bob White
Ezekiel White
Added by: Bob White
Ezekiel White
Cemetery Photo
Added by: NancyJane
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

Barb J “John 3:16”
Added: Aug. 6, 2006

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My friend “Rick Boyd” sent me this email. Thanks Rick! The day that Albert Einstein most feared has finally arrived..

May 17, 2013


The day that Albert Einstein most feared has finally arrived..

A day at the beach.
Cheering on your team.
Having dinner out with your friends.
Out on an intimate date.
Having a conversation with your BFF
A visit to the museum
Enjoying the sights


It’s here.

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My grandfather, Earl Loy White

February 21, 2013
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My grandfather, Earl Loy White

February 3, 2012

February 9, 1927 Los Angeles

deathdefyinSure, while we’ve repeatedly reported to you about blindfolded drivings—today was announced something that actually guarantees splintering wood and crunching metal.

Finley Henderson has a really good idea:  dive an airplane from a height of 1,000 feet, clip the wings from the machine between two telegraph poles, and crash into a bungalow with the remains of his plane at sixty miles an hour.

Don’t worry:  he wears the shoulder and shin guards of the football field, the breast pad of the baseball umpire and a catcher’s mask.  Kids, try this at home.  Above your home.  Into your home.

Sponsored by Earl L. White and KELW!  Come on out to Burbank’s Magnolia Parkand watch the fun!FearlessFinleyFor the record, when the stunt was performed on February 20, Finley emerged unscathed, smoking a cigarette.  And then noted for the wowed crowd and boys of the press “The stunt is easy if you know how to do it.”

Finley made the news again in June, when, at the Glendale Airport Air Rodeo, just as he was stepping into his plane (this time, to crash into a barn), in front of all those eager spectators, United States Deputy Marshal Charles F. “Spoil Sport” Walsh served Finley a summons.  Hot on Walsh’s heels were pansy Capts. Walter F. Parkin and William B. Breingan, of the recently created Aeronautics Branch, United States Department of Commerce (oh, Mary), there to enforce their writ of injunction restraining Finley from performing the stunt.

Apparently, these hi-falutin’ aeronautics fellows have just made stunting within five miles of a regularly established and operated air line against the law…apparently also is flying a plane that is wholly unsafe, and is likely to collapse upon the audience when in flight.

I am the son of Perk H. White, builder developer and grandson of his father Earl L. White, an early pioneer in the San Fernando valley who came out from Kansas. The 1920′s saw a period of growth and real estate development with the population increasing from 2,913 in 1920 to 16,622 in 1930. Earl L. White knew the value of a connecting link from Burbank to the Cahuenga Pass. When he couldn’t get help from the City, he cleared the underbrush through Dark Canyon and graded the street. This link is now Barham Blvd. and Hollywood Way. On Sunday, March 4, 1923, a 450-acre tract opened in the Magnolia Park area. Earl L. White, a dairy operator, aimed his real estate promotion at the middle income group. White cleared the property with mule teams, graded and improved the streets, built some houses, and began a sales campaign. Two hundred fifty salesmen took prospective buyers around to view lots and houses. Mr. White knew the value of a connecting link from Burbank to Cahuenga Pass and asked for help from the city. When he was unable to get the help, he cleared the underbrush through Dark Canyon and graded the street. This “connecting link” is now Barham Boulevard and Hollywood Way. Earl L. White built and sold Magnolia Park’s first plat of 147 homes. His company handled $18,000,000 worth of real estate transactions in seven years by attracting customers with street dances and spectacular airplane stunts. Mr. White also built a shopping center at the corner of Hollywood Way and Magnolia Boulevard. It included a bank, sub post office, daily newspaper, radio station, dry goods store, beauty and barber shop, shoe store, hardware store, electric shop, and even a mortuary. The newspaper, The Burbank Tribune, had more paid subscribers than any other daily in the valley at that time. Publication of this newspaper stopped in the early days of the depression. KELW (Kall Earl L. White) started as a 1,000 watt radio station in 1927. The Hearst newspaper syndicate bought the station in 1935 and changed the call letters to KEHE. In 1939, the station was purchased by Earle C. Anthony and became KECA. In 1944, Mr. Anthony sold the station to the Blue Network. That same year the Blue Network was changed to the American Broadcasting Company and the call letters became KABC. By 1929, over 3,500 homes had been built in the Magnolia Park area. The “Big Depression” of the 1930′s robbed Magnolia Park of its radio station and daily newspaper, and stopped all real estate promotion. It was almost 10 years before the area again boomed. White developed the Magnolia Park area and by 1929, more than 3,500 homes had been built. The area had a shopping center at the corner of Hollywood Way and Magnolia Blvd., a bank, Burbank’s first radio station, KELW, and Magnolia Park’s own newspaper, The Tribune. Magnolia Park, established on Burbank’s western edge in the early 1920s, had 3,500 houses within six years after its creation. When the city refused to pay for a street connecting the subdivision with the Cahuenga Pass, real estate developer Earl L. White did it himself and called it Hollywood Way. White was owner of KELW, the San Fernando Valley’s first commercial radio station, which went on the air February 13, 1927. Magnolia Park was started in Burbank by developer Earl L White. He started working on plans for Magnolia Park in 1917 and before that he was operating a dairy business on 400 acres he bought in 1915 which is now a Warner Brothers lot and formerly Columbia Ranch. The city’s Magnolia Park area, bordered by West Verdugo Avenue to the south and Chandler Boulevard to the north, is known for its small-town feel, shady streets and Eisenhower-era storefronts. Most of the homes in the area date to the 1940s, when they were built for veterans of World War II. Central to the community is Magnolia Boulevard, known for its antique shops, boutiques, thrift shops, corner markets, and occasional chain stores. The motion picture business also moved to Burbank in the 1920′s. First National Pictures bought up a 78-acre site on Olive Avenue near Dark Canyon. The company was soon taken over by another young company founded by four brothers by the name of Warner. On October 23, 1927, motion picture history was made when Warner Bros. released the first all-talking movie, The Jazz Singer, starring Al Jolson. Other companies soon followed. Columbia Pictures purchased property in Burbank as a ranch facility, using it primarily for outdoor shooting. Walt Disney’s company, which had outgrown its Hollywood quarters, bought 51 acres in Burbank. Disney’s million-dollar studio was completed in 1939 on Buena Vista Street.

My father, Perk H. White, worked at Lockheed at the time that Wiley Post and Will Rogers took off on their trip. My father pulled the wheel chocks from Wiley’s plane and waved good bye to them. My father was the last one to see them alive in Burbank..

My father, Perk White, graduated USC in 1939 with a Major in business and a minor in law. He worked at Lockheed on the P-38 Lightening which would become famous during WWII, he helped design the twin seat version and photographic version. In 1941, he went into the Navy as an Ensign and was assigned Submarine Chase boats between New York and the caribbean.

P-38 Lightning production line in Burbank. Site is now location of Burbank Empire Center.

My father, Perk H. White and his father Earl L. White built homes for returning G.I.’s in Encino hills, Burbank and Sherman Oaks.

Following the World War II, homeless veterans lived in tent camps in Burbank, in Big Tujunga Canyon and at a decommissioned National Guard base in Griffith Park. The government also set up trailer camps at Hollywood Way and Winona Avenue in Burbank and in nearby Sun Valley. But new homes were built, the economy improved, and the military presence in Burbank continued to expand. Lockheed employees numbered 66,500 and expanded from aircraft to include spacecraft, missiles, electronics and shipbuilding. Burbank’s growth did not slow as war production ceased and over 7,000 new residents created a postwar real estate boom and real estate values soared as housing tracts sprang up on formerly vacant land in the Magnolia Park area of Burbank between 1945 and 1950.

Grandpa White also supposedly did his 33rd degree Masonship with the famous actor commedian Harold Lloyd.

Grandpa White was also involved with the Burbank YMCA (as was my uncle Loy White). Grandpa White donated land and a YMCA camp was named after him and Grandma White, Anna.

For those who want to send their children on an adventure, there is Camp Earl-Anna, the YMCA resident camp. Camp Earl Anna, in Paradise Valley. 2 miles S of nunnery off Water Canyon Rd., Tehachapi Mountains.  7 miles S of Tehachapi.70-acre site in the Tehachapi Mountains, about 120 miles northeast of Burbank. YMCA camping trips to the site will be July 5 to 10, July 24 to 31, and Aug. 14 to 21, and will cost $160 for YMCA members or $170 for non-members. Scholarships are available.

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A tribute to my Uncle Darrel Larsen, flight engineer B-24 and POW Germany Stalag Luft I, forced Black March

February 17, 2013
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  Passion Pit Crew
Front (L-R) Jack Bartoli, Navigator; Irwin Stovroff, Bombardier; John Milliken, Pilot

Back:  Darrel Larsen, Engineer; Martin Richard, Radio; William Manierre, Co-Pilot;  Kenneth Beckwith, Gunner;  Morris Larkin, Tail Gunner.


In the 1990’s, I met my Uncle Darrel Larsen, who was army air corp in WWII. He told me of his story. This is part of a site that is his Navigator, Irvin Stovoroff has written.. They were also part of what was called, “The Black March” which was the European equivalent to “The Battan March”… Just as grueling, but ‘cold’ instead of hot and humid.

“Within a week’s time we were taken to a major Interrogation center outside of Frankfort, Germany.  I think it was called Wetzler.  We were separated and placed in solitaire, and individually taken out for  continued interrogations.  The German officer, my Interrogator, asked me questions I could not and would not answer.  I gave him the usual name, rank and serial number, and told him that was all I had to give, and knew very little else.  On my third trip with him, he said, ” I know who you are and what you are (meaning Jewish).  He told me he could save my life, then proceeded to name my father, mother, brother, sister, the grammar school I had attended, even the name of a former girl friend.  He then said he lived on Ashland Avenue, next to the girl I was dating pre-war.  He had lived on the next street — Claremont Avenue in Buffalo, New York.  He said he remembered being in class with my older sister, and then he informed me that I had been his newspaper boy!!  He had come to Germany to be with his grandmother, and stayed.  He again said he would help me, and he put a question mark on my records next to religion.

After solitaire at Dulag Luft, I like all others were packed into a boxcar for a 3 day transport to Stalag Luft I.  Our train was strafed by Allied fighters because the Germans did not put POW markings on the train.  We were also left in the marshalling yards in Berlin during a bombing raid.

Later in Stalag Luft #1, on January 19, 1945,  I was separated from the main compound of prisoners because I was Jewish.  I know the reason we were not killed was because of the courageous speeches of Col. Zemke and Col. Spicer,  who warned the German commander that if any American officers were harmed, they would be held responsible.  Col. Spicer was put in solitaire and sentenced to death for his speech.  He survived until the end of the war.

When I finally got home after VE Day, I went to where this German traitor lived, but his parents had moved.

After the Dulag Luft (interrogation), I later found myself with my co-pilot Bill Manierre in a large room.  Bill pointed out a beat up and dirty POW who was staring at us.  Did I know who it was?  I looked at the man and said ‘no’.  Bill said, ‘he must know you’ and I replied, ‘I can’t figure out who he is.’

Suddenly Bill exclaimed, “My God! THAT’S MY BROTHER.”  His brother immediately recognized Bill, and they met and embraced.

The Germans were flabbergasted when they found out this was happening.  Major Cy Manierre was a West Point graduate who had been dropped into France, and was working with the French Underground when captured and tortured.  He told Bill and me to repeat his story, that he was a member of the Air Corps, had been shot down and picked up by the French Underground.  If the Germans knew the truth, he could have been shot as a spy.  They believed him, and he was sent to the same camp as Bill and I.  Their mother received two telegrams on the same day, 1:00 AM, 1:00 PM on both sons – Missing in Action.  “fact is greater than fiction.”

Stovroff is now a volunteer National Service Officer at West Palm Beach VA Center, working only with ex-POWs to help get pensions and compensations.  He has met six ex-POWs that were in his camp.  And stranger than fiction, his next door neighbor in Florida was in the same barracks as Stovroff when he was in Stalag Luft #1 “segregated”.  This man’s family owned KATZ DELICATESSEN in New York whose slogan was “Send a Salami to a Soldier In the Army.”

Pappy’s War

A B-17 Gunner’s World War II Memoir

The Black March

By John “Pappy” Paris
Engineer and Top Turret Gunner, 600th Squadron

As follows is a chapter excerpt from Pappy’s War – An B-17 Gunner’s World War II Memoir by John “Pappy” Paris. John was a member of the Lt. Robert Folger crew, a B-17 crew in the 398th Bomb Group, 600th Squadron based in Nuthampstead, England. The Folger crew was shot down on 7 July 1944 on a mission to Leipzig, Germany and John was became a POW in Stalagluft 4. John’s best recollection is that the Black March began on the 5th or 6th of February 1945. He was in the first group to leave Stalagluft 4.

Pappy’s War

A B-17 Gunner’s World War II Memoir

The Black March

John “Pappy” Paris

The Black March! I choose this title. Some went so far as to call it the Death March. Many were marked for life, while others died along the way. I prefer to reserve that infamous title for my comrades who suffered the obscenities of the Japanese bayonet on the infamous Bataan “Death March.” The dirt roads were rutted, water filled, and with a crust of dirty ice on top. At first the guards tried to keep us in military formations. They were sick, lame and as out of shape as we were and carrying equally heavy packs. In addition, they were required to carry along their heavy rifles or burp guns. As a consequence, they soon grew weary and forgot all about military discipline and let us struggle along as best we could.

Kriegies also began to grow weary and discard things along the road side. The first items to go were books and musical instruments, followed by cans of powdered milk which were heavy and difficult to process. Our roommates tried to stay together but soon gave that up because everyone seemed to struggle along better at his own pace. By noon the straps of my heavy pack were painfully cutting into my shoulders. Radio and I stayed together and gave each other what assistance we could when needed. We knew we could depend upon each other and that made our misery more bearable. Some men dropped out by the side of the road the first day but guards and dogs at the end of the column soon got them moving again. Some of the men with ill-fitting shoes were getting blisters on their blisters. The guards appeared nervous and spurred us on until we surely walked the full thirty kilometers that first day. This was a day of that torturous march that will remain forever in my memory although it merged in with many days of equal or greater torture that followed. Dark thick woods were all around us, when I was near the end of my endurance and was sure that I could not take another step the guards at last turned us into a dense stand of trees on one side of the road and said “schlafen hier” (sleep here).

Radio and I scraped snow from a small level patch of ground that we were able to locate. We then laid out two of our thin blankets on the ground, stretched out on them and drew the other two over us. The cold from the ground soon came up through the blankets, so we turned at frequent intervals. My feet soon felt like they were frozen so I would get up and stomp around until the feeling would return. Dozing now and then, somehow I made it through the long cold night.

All of the kriegies had gone the full day without water. Our kriegie doctor that, fortunately, was marching along with us, advised us not to eat snow. He stated that the Kommandant had promised to obtain water for us the next morning. We came to a farm later the next morning and each of us received a klim can of foul tasting water. Food stuff began appearing along the road side. Some of the men were near collapse or perhaps they started more heavily laden than I. Radio and I ate as much of this discarded food including dry powdered milk as we could stuff down. This was one day on that awful march that we at least walked with a full stomach.

Our Kommandant and the guards were very nervous as they did not relish being cut off and captured by the Russians, so they prodded us on. It became pure misery to put one foot in front of the other. The pack straps cut into me and there was a constant pain between my shoulders. As always in life, I could look around me and see someone else a lot worse off than I. The marching kriegies were allowed a short break every two hours. The rest was welcome but it became more and more difficult for me to get up and get going after each respite. Late that afternoon, the guards shouted, “Vier kilometers,” meaning four more kilometers to go. This evening we were divided up into groups and marched into separate farmyards of several large farms.

The farmers fattened their hogs with potatoes and these were cooked in large iron kettles out side over an open fire. The hogs were long gone for the war effort, I would imagine, but the potatoes and the pot were still available. Nitrogen, being one of the principal ingredients of explosives was, as you can imagine, in short supply. The German farmers having no nitrogen available for fertilizer resorted to using human excrement. This was easily obtained from the many outside toilets prevalent in Germany at this time. The main problem was that they did not wash the potatoes for us. They just handled them the same as they did when they fed their hogs, by throwing them into the pot dirt and all. This dirt contaminated with excrement from the outhouses gave us dysentery and we suffered from this malady for the remainder of the Black March. It is a wonder we did not contract a more dangerous disease as a result of them following this dangerous practice.

It was our good luck to have an excellent captured doctor marching along with us. The poor fellow did not have any drugstore type medicine but was good at recommending natural remedies such as the charcoal he prescribed for our dysentery. I am reasonably certain that this prescription saved my life along with countless other kriegies. We were able to make this medicine from fires that we kindled along the way. A handful of charcoal stuffed into my mouth was not a very pleasant medicine to take, but the alternative was surely worse. The sick and lame guards that started this march with us were as bad or worse off than most of us kriegies. Several gave up along the road and would sit down along the wayside and go no farther. Some of our kriegies who thought that they too could go no further fell out and lay along the road beside the guards. I never found out what happened to them, perhaps they joined later lagers or were possibly shot. The Jerry guards had little compassion for us and were quick to swing a rifle butt.

The first weeks of the march saw all of us suffering from diarrhea and dysentery. Many had colds and some had symptoms of pneumonia. When I felt that I could go no further, I would tell myself that each foot I put in front of the other brought me one step closer to home. Had I been marching east instead of west I am not sure I could have endured. In addition to my exhaustion and dysentery was the racking pain in my shoulders. The sixth day of the Black March was the turning point for me. All day long I faced a cold wind, with alternate onslaughts of sleet and icy rain. That night they put me in a cold and drafty barn with no food, just a few nibbles from my dwindling rations. The constant dampness never gave me an opportunity to dry out. There were so many kriegies packed into a small barn that I was unable to stretch out but was compelled to sleep doubled up like a pretzel. With dysentery prevalent men were pushing and shoving each other in the dark trying to make it to or back from the temporary toilets through the long night. On the following morning the sun was out even though it was clear and cold. I marched with the sun on my back and soon I felt dry and refreshed. I came to the conclusion that my body was able to endure many times greater punishment than I once had thought possible. If my will continues strong I shall be able to suffer unbelievable hardships and survive.

There were great explosions up ahead of us and large caliber shells were rumbling overhead. The Kommandant continually traveled up and down the column and cajoled the guards to keep us moving. Along the road he was stopping and conferring with all the Kraut soldiers he met. He did not seem to be getting much useful information. There was much confusion and lots of rumors but in a modern war with tanks on the loose no one really knew where the Russians were. It was the next morning when I detected the unmistakable smell of salt water. It could only be the Baltic Sea. I knew we were marching north west and that meant we were nearing a peninsula that led out toward Swinemunde. How did I know this? I can assure you that my knowledge of German geography had greatly improved since my incarceration.

Eventually we connected with the main road leading into Swinemunde. I could catch glimpses salt water on both sides of us now. We passed the guns; they were firing towards the southeast. They were big coastal guns that had been turned around from their seaward facing positions for this task. We passed a grubby-looking company of Kraut soldiers digging trenches beside the road. It appeared that they were setting up a roadblock, so they must have been expecting the Russians before long. These krauts were obviously a tough group of soldiers that appeared to have had been out in the field for months. The Russians would have their hands full digging this bunch out of their holes.

We were beginning to see considerable civilian traffic on this road. The Aryan refugees were fleeing the Mongol hordes. Many of the straggling refugees appeared as cold and hungry as we. They were driven, not by guards but by fear of being overrun by the Russians. The Russians had been treated quite badly when the German army was winning, now it was the Germans turn to suffer the wrath of the conquering Russians. The refugees were pulling and pushing their worldly goods in every type of conveyance one could imagine. Among them were goat carts, dog carts, and many baby carriages pushed by hand. The people were heavily clothed to ward off the bitter cold; some even wore potato sacks over their heads with holes cut for their eyes. I saw many French, Polish, and Ukrainian slave laborers that must have worked for these refugees, accompanying their former masters. These people seemed to be in as much fear of being captured by the Ruskies as their masters. Many were camped along the roadside after dark with inviting fires burning brightly.

Marching us day after day with little food and fretful rest, our Kommandat decreed that we must march through the night in order that we might make connections with a ferry that would take us across the Oder Lagun at Swinemunde. Some of the men were getting desperate and talked of mutiny. I was so exhausted that I did not even want to think about it. Besides, we were headed in the direction of home and I did not relish being taken by the Russians either. The column plodded on and on through that long, endless, and murderous night like a giant, mindless, mile-long-thousand-legger. My legs were numb up past my knees: a help really, for I could feel no pain in them. It was a different story with my back, the straps cut in deeper and the pain spread through my shoulders. The agony I suffered that night beggars description. Some men, apparently friendless, fell along the flanks of the march to face an unknown fate. Others zombie-like with glazed eyes were being steered or led down the road by their friends. A pair in particular sticks in my memory. One of the poor fellows had a rag covering his eyes. Was it an infection or the result of a rifle blow? He was holding onto his companion who had one of his feet wrapped in dirty rags and limped along aided by a crutch fashioned from a broken limb. They were making their way down that long road taking care of each other; those boys were surely going to make it.

Some of the men were near insane from fatigue and thirst. We had not had water for over twenty four hours. In spite of being admonished not to eat snow, the only options that I had were the dirty ice mixed with animal dung in the ruts of the road or the occasional piles of remaining snow in shady spots. Eating the snow seemed to me the better of the two evils so I ate it. The horde of prisoners finally staggered onto the ferry dock long after daylight, and not a minute too soon either. The ferry had taken on a load of boxcars and was now full of rolling stock. We were just in time to board it, for I am sure it would not have waited for us. They quickly marched us onto the ferry and wedged us between the freight cars. Then to the great relief of our Kommandant, it crossed over the Lagun.

The hungry kriegies immediately began to rifle the laden cars. All that we found that was edible was one freight car loaded with turnips. They looked darn good to me, so I ate all I could hold and filled up my back pack that was now near empty. After crossing our Kommandant seemed to be relieved. Perhaps he felt safe once we were across thinking the Russians would never cross this Lagun that was only a few kilometers east of Berlin. Our column met several truppe of Volkstrum marching toward the front. These units were composed of old men and young boys. That was being used primarily for taking the place of rear area soldiers better able to fight. Some were wearing rag-tag uniforms of an earlier epoch and most were carrying bolt-action rifles with long bayonets. Now I know the true meaning of the word “Cannon Fodder.” Was Hitler planning to stop the Russian Juggernaut with these raw recruits? I could only feel pity for them.

Unlike farms back home, in this part of Germany several farms were usually located adjacent to each other making up little communities. This resulted in several barns being located more or less together in a small area. At one of these farm communities we were stopped and the Kommandant informed us that we would have the next day to rest. Melting snow mixed with a great amount of manure in these farmyards and trod by our many feet soon turned them into quagmires.

I overheard a Kriegie ask, “Did you ever see so much shit in all your life?”

Another answered, “Oh, that’s how they tell how rich you are over here.”

We were evidently on a millionaire’s farm. The workers on these farms were “slave laborers,” usually French or Poles, but rarely both nationalities at the same farm. Russians might be present but they were always given the manure shovel job or assigned to some similar disagreeable task. Among the different laborers, Poles were the friendliest and invariably wanted to know if one of us knew their cousin Joe in Chicago or Cleveland.

When we moved into a new area the bartering would begin. Unfortunately the slave laborers would have little to trade; sometimes they would come up with a fresh egg or a piece of sausage. With so many men and all of us clamoring for a trade, there would be little enough to go around and the prices would soon go out of sight. We might start out trading a bar of soap or a pack of cigarettes for a loaf of black bread. After being there a while, the price would soon go up to half a loaf only, that is, if there was any thing edible left. The Russians were tough in a trade and usually did not have anything much of value. The French were somehow getting our Red Cross food parcels. Therefore they did not have much interest in our soap and cigarettes. They invariably had better clothing and food than the other slave laborers to trade. Living up to their nasty reputation however they would hold out for watches and rings. Radio and I, not having any valuables, would just have to go hungry. A lot of our boys had been turned in by the French for a small reward paid by the Germans. I always got the impression that the French were completely without scruples and were on whichever side was winning at the moment. After the war, every Frenchman that I ever met had been in the Underground, but I wondered where they were when our airmen were shot down over France.

We were again fed boiled potatoes at this farm. Radio and I stood in line for a couple of hours and we received three small golf ball size potatoes for our efforts. The sun came out for a while in the afternoon, upon finding a sheltered spot out of the cold wind. Not wanting to miss an opportunity and with nothing better to do, Radio and I peeled off our clothes and crushed body lice between our fingernails. This rest did me a world of good and another wonder, my cough had gone away. Perhaps it was all the fresh air that I had been exposed to of late.

The column continued walking westward, twenty-five or thirty kilometers every day. One day was about as miserable as the next, I was always hungry, and usually thirsty as well. One great improvement came our way; the Kommandant commandeered a team of horses and a wagon to haul the sick. Our Doctor walked next to the sick wagon and did the best he could. Some that were not so sick but merely tired and weak like the rest of us were always trying to hitch a ride on the wagon. Doctor had little sympathy for them and rightly so, with so many kriegies that were in such terrible shape. Some hardly able to stand would hang on to the wagon and be pulled along by the team. Several Kriegies died along the way. The guards would choose a burial party and they would bury them in a local German cemetery. If no cemetery was at hand, then they would haul the bodies along as permitted by the freezing weather until we came to one.

One night a few Kriegies escaped. The next morning our Kommandant threatened us, that if any others escaped, he would line us up and shoot every tenth man. Our lager leader came around afterward and advised us that if anyone wanted to escape that he was free to do so. As the ratio were about twenty prisoners to each guard. He promised that if the Germans tried to carry out this threat, the kriegies would simply rush them. This little trek through the woods must have given our lager leader a shot in his backbone. Radio and I discussed escape but decided that as long as we were headed west it was pointless. Frequent cold rain added to our miseries. Once it rained all day long and to add to our misery, that evening we bedded down in a swamp. The ground was too wet to lie down on so Radio and I located a fallen log and sat on that with our backs to each other. We then pulled the wet blankets over our heads and thus spent a miserable night.

One day we marched into Germany’s second largest municipality, the great metropolis of Hamburg on the Elbe. The wreckage of this once-magnificent city was indescribable. People were living in the rubble but still retained enough hate in them to come out to the street to shout insults at us, such as, Luftgansters and Terrorfliegers. We were inured to this kind of reaction by now and paid them scant attention. In spite of all the bombing, they were still busily assembling submarines beside the Elbe River. The air raid sirens sounded as we marched along through the devastation. Our guards were nervous and tried to hurry us along but there just was not much energy left in us.

B17 bombers appeared off in the distance, so close and yet so far away. It was a dreamlike experience for I was squinting at them through a fog of fatigue. This was my first time to see them from this prospective and It certainly was an awesome experience. There were a thousand planes flying in formation at thirty thousand feet. The entire earth seemed to vibrate with their passing and they were leaving great clouds of condensation behind them. Perhaps they were on their way to Berlin again. I could just feel the fear and dread they must be experiencing, for by now they probably could see that deadly wall of flak up ahead that they must soon fly through.

Leaving Hamburg we crossed the Elbe on a rickety, braced-up bridge that had absorbed multiple bomb hits. Plodding along, I was just like an old mule with an ear of corn held out in front of me, as long as they pointed me westward I could keep putting one foot in front of the other. One day was like the next, I was often cold and always hungry. We became expert at scrounging food. To preserve their potatoes, the farmers buried them in pits and mounded them over with dirt. We became so adept at stealing food that by distracting the guards we could rob a potato mound while they were guarding it and with equal dexterity we could filch grain from storage bins in the barns. I was ever alert to any possible edible materials. Diarrhea would suddenly become acute if I was passing a barley or turnip field. Guards had little patience with us and were quick to wield a rifle butt.

Radio and I had long since resigned ourselves to our miserable conditions. We suffered a daily routine of fretful sleep, severe cold and near starvation. Once as we were sitting along the roadside in desolate despair, crawling with lice, our clothing in rags, encrusted with mud, and filth. I became acutely aware of my companion’s wretched condition. Like me, he was reduced to a gaunt skeleton. His body was scabbed and unwashed, and his matted hair was tangled and mixed with his greasy beard. His armpits exuded a foul stench from months of sweat and his crotch was festooned with odorous dingleberrys. Radio was once a proud airman, who had walked the earth with pride and self-esteem. He relieves himself on the sidewalks or along the roadsides now, having no more privacy than that given to a common cur.. Suffering dysentery, one of our most popular pastimes, (not enjoying the pastoral scenery as you might think) was scanning the byways for a likely leaf or a clutch of soft straw that we might be able to wipe our sore asses with. Such are the ways of war!

The column continued marching west for a couple of weeks after we passed through Hamburg. Then one day we were herded into a barn yard and told that the next day would be a day of rest. There was much excitement among the guards! The sick and lame were being drafted back into the war again. They thought that because of their ailments and disabilities suffered that they would never have to fight again. Wrong, they had just received orders to leave for the Eastern Front! A ragtag formation of Volkstrum (People’s Army), marched in to take their place.

Cannon fire was becoming more pronounced now, this time coming from the west. Rumors and wishful thinking was that English tanks would be showing up any day now and set us free. No such luck, the very next morning our new Volkstrum guards lined us up in the barn yard and marched us out to the road. There, to our great chagrin, they turned us to the east and we found ourselves retracing our previous route of march. The rumors flew up and down the long line of kriegies all that day. It was obvious to me that we were being marched back into central Germany. For turning us back, I was sure the Krauts could have but one reason. The BBCs news reports were full of stories about the Redoubt Hitler was establishing in southern Germany. Radio and I were in agreement that we most likely would be marched down near the redoubt area and be held there as hostages.

It was an unusually long hard march that day as we struggled nearly thirty kilometers back down that long road. It was easy for me to see that the Volkstrum had a much harder day of it than we. Youth will out, most of the poor fellows all were forty years older than I. Even if we had not been eating very well, we certainly had been getting our exercise. It was no problem at all for us to wear out these old guys. Hitler was surely scraping the bottom of his manpower barrel.


Radio and I agreed that considering the poor condition of the Volkstrum we would never have a better opportunity to make our get away. We resolved to attempt our break out this very night. It was nearing darkness by the time they finally steered us into a roadside barn. Soon after they doled out our piteous ration of dirty potatoes, we were locked inside the barn for the night. Radio and I made our way to the rear of the structure and began working loose some boards that were level with the ground. We were soon joined by a kriegie we had become acquainted with in our stay at Stalag-Luft IV. He was a nice fellow and the thing I remembered most about him was his dread of facing his father when he returned home to report that he was shot down on his first mission. Splash had lost his roommate somewhere along the way and had picked up a new one on this march. Radio and I did not know the new man that we later dubbed “Spook.”  Splash informed us that they were aware of what we were doing and had decided that they would go along with us. Radio and I explained that they were not included in our plans and that we thought two kriegies would have a much better chance to make it through to the English lines. Four men would decrease our odds, as in this case it definitely would be a crowd. This made a lot of sense to us but they just would not take no for an answer so we reluctantly included them in our undertaking. Before lockup, we had taken note of a large tree that we would use as a rendezvous point about two hundred yards from the barn. Soon after dark we removed the now loosened boards and made our exit. We left through the small opening one at a time, and carefully slipped past a member of the Volkstrum guard leaning against the barnyard fence. We soon met up safely at the chosen tree.

At last, after fifty long days on the Black March we were at liberty but far from being home free. The Kommandant had recently informed us that all escaped prisoners would be shot immediately upon recapture. That statement made sense because at this point in the war the Germans would not be inclined to spend much time on troublesome prisoners. Therefore capture was to be avoided at all costs. It just made more sense for me to risk my life in a try for freedom, rather than to remain passively with the march. The way things were going, sooner or later, we would starve, be shot or die of one of the many pestilences so common in wars. There was always the possibility of execution with a madman like Hitler in charge and so many willing to do his bidding. Suppose one day, when he is sure to see the end coming, he just ups and orders all prisoners shot?

We were thinking that they might send a tracking party to look for us when we were missed at the morning roll call. Therefore it was imperative that we put a great distance behind us. For the third time we walked down that long road that we had just marched in on. For two reasons, if they trailed us with dogs, the scent would be confusing for them and also the English Cannon fire was off in that direction. A short while before daybreak, we noticed a flicker of light up ahead, just a brief flash, like a cigarette being lit. Radio went on ahead to investigate while the rest of us took a sorely-needed break. He soon returned with the news that soldiers were manning a roadblock ahead. This post was probably not just especially to catch prison escapees like us but more than likely to pick up deserters from their own army. A lot of Krauts were finally beginning to see the light and had decided that it was time to go home. Sometime later we learned that there was a dusk-to-dawn curfew in effect in all of Germany. There were roadblocks all over wherever Germany was in control to catch anyone traveling without a pass. We left the road at this point and at some distance into the woods came upon an area with thick underbrush. It was near daybreak and being completely exhausted we decided to lay up here until nightfall and get some sorely needed rest.

Getting together and taking stock of our situation we agreed it would be better for us to keep off the roads, because we were quite near the front and the armies would surely be using them. We knew we were somewhere north of Hanover, because we had seen a bombing raid a few days ago that our guards had informed us was Hanover. By using dead reckoning and the sound of the cannon fire we decided that our line of march should be toward the northwest. We were sure the English would be cutting off and bypassing large numbers of enemy troops, hence our plan to walk toward the battle and avoid being trapped behind the lines along with the enemy troops. Those troops facing total defeat might derive some satisfaction out of disposing of a few escaped prisoners as per orders.

We organized our night marches so that alternate men would lead and the others would trail, with each man staying as far back as possible while keeping the man in front of him in sight. If the lead man stumbled into an enemy patrol or encampment and was caught, this would give those following a chance of not being discovered. This was a fine theory but failed to work in practice. Splash always veered to the right. Maybe one of his legs was shorter than the other. We would assign him a star to follow but soon he would be following one to his right. Splash had another handicap, but we were able to turn this to our advantage. We were in swampy country with many small streams to cross and he was a bit clumsy. When crossing a water obstacle the lead man would always know when Splash had reached it, hence his monicer, so he was relegated to bring up the rear. Now do not get the wrong idea, Splash is a fine gentleman and I consider it a privilege to know him, I am sure the rest of us carried excess baggage as well. Spook always saw enemy soldiers when he was leading. He scared the wits out of us several times, until we finally caught onto the fact that he was becoming “flak happy.” This was serious and it nearly got us into serious trouble a couple of times. (The hardships of our escape would be pointless if we did not get through alive) This earned him third position so that left Radio and I to lead.

Starving, we made every effort to scrounge food to keep up what little energy we had remaining, for by this time we were little more than skeletons with distended stomachs. Replenishment of our larder was every bit as important as eluding the Germans. Once we happened upon some domestic geese that had gone wild. One was very aggressive but wily enough that we could not catch her. It soon dawned upon me that she was trying to protect her nest, which I soon located. There we found a fine clutch of eggs that we devoured raw on the spot. We came to a farmhouse on the edge of the swamp. Taking this opportunity to reconnoiter, I left my companions nearby with instructions to create a distraction in case I ran afoul of the farmer or his dog. I soon located a mound of buried potatoes and quickly dug into it, stuffed my shirt full, and then beat a hasty retreat.

The only drinking water in the swampy country that we could locate had a green scum on it. Not having any chlorine or those handy little iodine tablets. Our only recourse was to boil every drop we drank, otherwise it was sure to make us sick. On our daily stops we would gather dry, dead sticks, prop up a couple of rocks and build a smokeless fire. It became our practice to boil our potatoes in extra water and drink the resulting boiled soup for our liquid ration. One night we happened upon a wild boar that charged us and barked or whatever wild boars do. After our experience with the goose, figuring she was protecting her brood, we immediately began looking around. Sure enough, we soon located a nest with four suckling piglets that appeared to be under two weeks old.

Excited over this bonanza, we decided to stop and spend the coming day at this spot. Now, our next problem was slaughtering the pigs. No volunteer stepped forward so we reverted to the drawing of straws. Poor Splash, being unlucky, drew the short straw. Armed with my pen knife, he proceeded to make a complete mess of things. For humane reasons, I relieved him of this vital task and reassigned him to the fire-making detail. My upbringing gave me some expertise in this critical operation. I proceeded to slit their throats, dress them, and skewer them on green sticks in preparation to roasting them over our small fire. We turned them until they reached a golden brown color. We then pulled the tender carcasses apart, sprinkled a bit of salt that we found remaining in one of our back packs on the meat. This, without a doubt, was the most delicious repast I have ever experienced or likely will ever again be privileged to enjoy.

One morning we became careless and found ourselves among a group of houses in a small village with daylight upon us. Quickly, we ducked into a ditch located near a small field next to the road. What to do? With the breaking of day the little village was beginning to come alive and if we moved around much we were sure to attract attention. It was decided that our only option was to cut some underbrush and pile it in a nearby ditch. Then crawl under it, sleep there for the day and leave with the coming of darkness. Suddenly! Radio and I noticed two uniformed men bicycling down the road that came past our field. We grabbed Spook and hit the ditch but Splash was too far away for us to get his attention. Hiding, we watched Splash finally take notice of the danger but far too late to duck. Looking around and seeing that we were out of sight, he kept his cool and continued cutting brush. Luckily for us, he was wearing an old blue Canadian flyer’s coat and a floppy unmilitary-looking cap. The two soldiers pulled up for a few minutes, apparently for a rest. They idly watched Splash cut brush for a few minutes, then remounted their bikes and pedaled on their way. The rest of our stay in the ditch was uneventful, except for a visit by a friendly neighborhood dog. We certainly had our thrill for that day.

The P-47s and P-51s were buzzing around like a swarm of angry hornets, so we presumed we were nearing the front. They seemed to be having trouble finding suitable targets. Suppose they found themselves low on gas and heavy with ammo and if one of them spotted us, he just might pick us as his target of opportunity. We spent the day not daring to show ourselves out in the open and even worried about the small fires that we kindled to boil our potatoes.

Creeping along one very dark night, we began to hear unusual noises nearby, a sort of metallic clinking and a few guttural voices. Using extreme caution, I dashed forward to a hiding place and then each of my companions would follow. Then as I dashed to the next hiding place, wham, one of the loudest explosions that I have ever experienced in my life. Jumping what seemed to me ten feet into the air. (I am sure I can attribute some of the gray hair I have today to that fright). Apparently it was a large caliber cannon that Jerry decided to fire just as we were passing by. Needless to say, I was not of much use for the rest of that night.

Radio become thirsty and as we crossed a small stream in the dark the water appeared clear to him so he decided to chance a drink. Not wanting to take the risk and believing that I could make it until we would be able to boil water again, I passed up the tempting guzzle.

Walking through the deep darkness of those thick woods, we came upon some weird looking vehicles in the dark. Not wanting to chance meeting hostile occupants in the darkness and at the same time not wanting to pass up a possible food source. We decided to hide out and observe this mystery in the light of day. Daylight came and there was not a living person to be seen. Chancing a closer look, we found it to be an abandoned wagon train loaded with furniture and household goods. What a fortuitous windfall! Food and condiments were in abundance. We never had a clue as to what had become of the people and horses that had obviously once accompanied the heavily-laden wagons. Rifling through this bonanza, we discovered dried fruit, honey, some buckwheat flour, and a few pieces of hard sausage. Radio pulled a large frying pan and some other utensils from one of the wagons and mixed the flour and other great things he had located into a large pot of pancake batter. Splash and I built an appropriate fire. Splash greased the hot pan with sausage; he then poured in the batter and proceeded to cook a scrumptious stack of hot cakes. We thereupon covered the large buckwheat cakes with honey and marmalade and had ourselves a glorious feast. For desert we topped the whole thing off with dried fruit and a hot cup of ersatz coffee sweetened with honey. Radio became seriously ill with diarrhea and intestinal pains a short while later. I presumed it was from the “clear” water that he drank from that small stream. We looked around and discovered that Spook had disappeared. He had become very irrational during the past few days. The problem was, we had no idea in which direction to look for him. With Radio sick and Spook gone it began to appear that just when things were looking the brightest, our Great Escape was coming apart.

Back up Joe!

The wagon train was hidden in the woods near a main road. Sleeping near our cache, we were awakened by a noisy group of vehicles including tanks approaching late in the afternoon. We immediately grabbed our things and went into deep hiding. They picked a bivouac nearby and began parking. Then suddenly! I heard someone say “Back up Joe!” Was that ever music to my ears? I walked out to the road looking for the parking area. A Jeep came by and I flagged it down. Inside were a sergeant and a lieutenant from Montgomery’s “Desert rats”.

After almost a year of hardship and deprivation I was free. I had won the battle against the four horsemen. I had survived the record breaking sub-zero temperatures of the bitter Baltic winter of 1944-45. I was alive!

I directed my new-found friends to the wagon train to pick up my companions. The English soldiers were friendly but aloof. I had spent fifty days on the Black March and twenty-one more as an escapee. Filth-encrusted, and Louse-infested, I had not shaved or bathed since departing Stalag-Luft 1V. What I failed to realize was that I smelled to high heaven. They were kind enough just to let me share their Jeep with them. They took our gang to the parking area where we were reunited with Spook. One of their scouts had found him wandering down the road. The armored spearhead that we had linked up with had blown a bridge behind them in order to bottle up enemy troops that they had cut off. They planned to take a large town the next day or two up ahead where there was an airfield they hoped they would be able to use. Thus they could be re-supplied and we might get a chance to catch a ride back to England.

Their medical unit had set up a tent and was in business. I took Radio to the doctor for treatment. While there, I had the Doctor examine my eye. Something had seemed to be in my eye for the past two weeks. Radio had looked but was unable to find anything. The Doctor found that I had a cornea ulcer that he was able to start treating on the spot. This earned me a medical evacuation tag that would be good for a priority ride back to an English hospital.

The following morning I went through the English chow line twice and gorged myself. This was in spite of receiving well meant advice not to eat too much until my body got used to real food again. Radio and I were placed in a captured Mercedes half-track along with a “clean up” squad of the Desert Rats. In this vehicle we followed along behind the tanks as they rolled through several small towns. Surprisingly, one little town was leveled by high explosive shells. When I asked one of the men in the half-track the reason, he explained that a sniper had fired and wounded one of their men. That seemed to be a rather drastic reprisal to me. He explained that it was done because the news would precede them and towns people in the next towns not wanting their homes destroyed, would make sure no snipers were about. The Eight Army was an amazing outfit. I was dazzled by their spirit and enthusiasm. Some of their elan may have been due to their realization that after so many long years of hard fighting, victory was at last drawing near. The tank commanders all rode their tanks standing up in open turrets and the men in our half-track stood at the front of the half-track seemingly enjoying the scenery. I felt better setting down sort of behind the armor plate, I sure did not want to make it this far and be picked off by a sniper. I asked one man if he was not afraid and he said they would not know if a sniper was about unless they gave him a target. See what I mean?

The German townspeople were quick to surrender; most of the buildings in the little towns we went through had white sheets hanging from every window. Some people think World War Two was caused by the Allies not going into Germany and finishing the job in the First World War. The German people always blamed their leaders for surrendering and never thought they had been beaten. There certainly should not be any doubt about it this time.

When we arrived at the town with the airport, I was told that the medical evacuation plane would not be ready to return to England for several hours. Free to roam in this newly captured town, with the townspeople trying to convince us that they hated Hitler all along and were forced by him to fight the war. I was like a kid turned loose in a candy store. Somehow Radio and I became separated. I met some newly-set-free Polish slave laborers and was invited to accompany them to a recently liberated beer hall; therefore I was distracted for awhile. Later while I was wandering around town, I came upon a barber shop. Not having any money but, brazen with a few beers under my belt. I knew also that help was only a shout away with all my new friends in those huge English tanks about. I demanded a shave and haircut. The barber was more than happy to give me the sorely-needed tonsorial service. Soon after this I saw Radio coming down the street, he and I had slept together for most of the past seventy days to keep from freezing to death and would you believe? He walked right past without recognizing me. Both of us were emaciated and weighed less than one hundred pounds, we were happy but surely looked the worse for wear.

Later, I hitched a ride on a C-47 medical plane that took me to a Royal Air Force hospital in England. After a quick inspection by my allies, they requested my clothing that had almost become a part of me. I assumed they wanted these articles for an exhibit in their War Museum. To my great disappointment they were cast into a nearby incinerator. After a luxurious interlude with a hot shower I was dusted from head to toe with DDT powder. Now finding that they had a naked American on their hands, they kindly issued me a Royal Air Force uniform.

Packing me off to the hospital they proceeded to ply me with high-protein food, with enthusiastic participation on my part. I promptly broke out with a severe case of hives that persisted until the raw eggs were withdrawn from my milk shakes. My weight shot up to one hundred and fifty pounds, more than I had ever weighed in my entire life. The rich food I had been eating must have gotten my hormones stirred up. Holy cow, I just locked eyes with that homely nurse’s aide that makes my bed. No doubt about it, I have been overseas much too long. Finding that I had no funds of my own, my benefactors granted me a twenty minute phone call home. What a thrill to hear Juanitas’s voice and to realize that my long ordeal was finally coming to an end. That it allowed me, at long last, to put my finger on the calendar and say with certainty, here on this date I shall be home.

Discharged from the hospital, I caught a ride on an empty U.S. Army C-54 transport plane deadheading west over the Atlantic. This magic carpet took me to Ireland, Iceland, Newfoundland, and finally to the good old U.S.A. The pilot pointed under the right wing and informed me that the coast of Maine was now sliding by below me. My great adventure would soon be over. Would I want to do it again? No, once will do me, thank you. I am here to tell my story due to good fortune that I gratefully recognize has filled in several inside straights on my behalf. Do I give God credit for saving my life? No, I am sure if there is a God and if he would have had anything to do with it. There were many of my comrades lost that were much more deserving to live than I.

However, the demons are still with me, every little noise and I am instantly alert. Each time I step outside I can feel the machine guns follow me from the towers. It’s even worse at night when I am visited by specters who ask, “Why are you alive, your friends are dead. They wanted to come home just as bad as you did.” Why did the plane not explode when the engine was afire as I saw a dozen others do? Why did the fighters concentrate on the group ahead? Only time can make these devils go away. It would take an understanding family to bring me back to a normal life.

While I was overseas putting my life on the line, making fifty dollars a month and sending half of that home to Juanita. I have to wonder if those draft deferred and four F men who stayed home and got the high paying jobs in the defense plants and often struck for more money. These same fellows now who are quick to tell me how rough they had it standing in line for a pound of coffee or few extra packs of cigarettes. Now these fellows apparently have all the good jobs. Are they going to step aside for someone like me that only knows how to shoot a machine gun? I know I was fighting for freedom but I am beginning to wonder. Was it for freedom to sleep in a hobo jungle?

However, I am not the same little guy who was not quite dry behind the ears when I went into the service three long years ago. I think of myself as much more tolerant now.

If someone says to me; “I can’t eat this or I will not touch that.”

There is someone who has never eaten a few boiled potato crumbs picked out of a handful of dirt. I just smile and know that this person has never really been hungry.

When they say; “I can’t stand this or I can’t do that.”

I can show you someone who has not crushed cooties between his thumb nails or ever been cracked with a rifle butt for stealing a half-rotten turnip.

As I landed at La Guardia the last standing walls of Berlin were crumbling around the few forsaken children and old men defending the Third Reich-an ironic legacy of the Master Race.

A Merriam Press Press Original Publication, 218 Beach Street, Bennington, VT, ISBN 1-57638-210-9. Search Merriam Press using search term Pappy’s War.

Personal History Information
  1. Veteran: John “Pappy” Paris
  2. Engineer and Top Turret Gunner, 600th Squadron
  3. Date of Personal History: October 2004 Web Page submission. Excerpted from Pappy’s War – An B-17 Gunner’s World War II Memoir
  4. Author: John “Pappy” Paris
  5. Submitted to 398th Web Pages by: John “Pappy” Paris

 Uncle Darrel said he once owned The Wagon Wheel in Oxnard

The Wagon Wheel Oxnard

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“No Working Title” (pun intended)…

February 8, 2013
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I think the news service, especially in the United States is mainly run by people who make their money in the ‘stock market’ world wide.. I don’t think they really care about the real America, or they are so out of touch with the majority of real Americans, that’s why they revere when the ‘stock market’ is up, and print stories like manufacturing and exports up in other countries but are not worried about American manufacturing and exports and deteriorating American cities and American poverty.. We remember President Lyndon Johnson’s ‘war on poverty’.. How’s that war on poverty in America going today? Do you suppose that any of our problems are caused by our ‘debt’? On the way we do business in the USA and outside of the USA now? People don’t really want jobs anymore as they did when I was young. People just want a lot of money to invest so they can purchase and pursue their every whim! Invest in America means something entirely different than it did when I was young! Investing  in America meant investing in its young people through social programs like the Boy Scouts and YMCA’s and Big Brothers and younger peoples church groups, investing in America meant taking pride in owning an American made product, having a ‘savings’ account in your bank as opposed to 3 credit card accounts…………

Santelli noted in January the total debt that our children are currently charged with is $3.5 million per baby born today. Santelli is right. Instead of just listening to the media hype and spin, look at the numbers.

According to David Walker who served as United States Comptroller General in the Government Accountability Office from 1998 to 2008, the U.S. government’s real financial burden is close to 70 trillion dollars.
This is because the national debt of 16 trillion does not account for obligations like Social Security, Medicare, Public Employee Pensions and other liabilities which the government is already committed to.
These liabilities are ticking time bombs, primed to explode with each new wave of retiring baby boomers. On top of this, medical costs continue to rise across the board driving Medicare expenses through the roof.

Many of us are fortunate to remember the 1950’s and “Made in USA” as an example around the world.. The manufacturers of World War II products switched over to the American car, electronics and appliance production.. American jobs…Where do those cars, electronics and appliances come from today! My dad and his dad built homes for returning GI’s in the San Fernando Valley, those GI’s got many of those jobs in auto plants, aircraft factories and manufacture. (I don’t remember hearing about the stock market on the news in the 1950’s, it was something that was relegated to the B section of the LA times).

Stock Market Today: February 4, 2013

12:00 PM EST – The new trading week began with the major U.S. equity indexes, particularly the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 Index, testing their all-time highs. Such levels, in our opinion, have left the indexes ripe for some profit taking and that seems to be the case today. Renewed worries about Europe (more below) and some uninspiring data on the U.S. economy are the primary culprits behind today’s selloff. Thus, as we pass the midday hour on the East Coast, the aforementioned indexes, along with the NASDAQ, Russell 2000, and the S&P Mid-Cap 400 Indexes are well into negative territory.

South Korea Manufacturing Up for First Time in 7 Months

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Published: Tuesday, 1 Jan 2013 | 10:00 PM ET

Daniel Acker | Bloomberg | Getty Images

South Korea’s manufacturing sector expanded in December for the first time in seven months but new export orders fell, a private survey showed on Wednesday, underscoring a still fragile recovery in Asia’s fourth-largest economy.

The HSBC/Markit purchasing managers’ index (PMI) on South Korea’s manufacturing sector edged up to a seasonally adjusted 50.08 in December from 48.16 in November and 47.37 in October, Markit Economics said in a statement.

(Read More: South Korea December Inflation Eases, Gives Room for More Easing)

It was the first time since May that the index stood above the 50-point mark that separates expansion from contraction in manufacturing activity. Sub-indices for overall output and new orders ended up marginally above 50, driven by new product launches that met domestic demand.

But the new export orders sub-index fell to a seasonally adjusted 48.86 in December from 49.63 in November, marking the seventh month of contraction as overseas consumer sentiment wilted in the shadow of euro zone and U.S. fiscal cliff worries.

South Korea’s economy is widely believed to have turned the corner during the third quarter but both policyakers and analysts predict the recovery will be modest as export demand from the advanced economies remain depressed.

Data released on Tuesday showed that South Korean exports in December suffered their first annual fall in three months due to fewer working days than a year before and as the global demand has yet to fully recover from a slump.

Employment in the USA in the 1950’s
Jobs in the 1950’s flourished in all three sectors: private, public and self-employment. The end of World War II saw an unprecedented number of jobs in manufacturing, banking, the sciences and the arts. As a result of many veterans returning home from the war, marrying and beginning families, housing construction and the network of jobs related to that field soared. This was particularly true in the USA, where housing on both coasts and in-between, was in stages of new development. Another large area of jobs existed in the auto industry with major car companies experiencing huge volumes of orders for Oldsmobiles, Chevrolets, Fords, Pontiac, Chryslers and others. In both blue collar and white collar sectors, an abundance of jobs were available even as small businesses grew larger and larger.

Jobs in retail sales, customer service, bookkeeping, office administration, purchasing, shipping and receiving, secretarial and accounting were part of the necessary operation of most businesses. Departmentalizing as growth continued only added to the need for additional staffing. Union jobs, such as those in manufacturing, importing and exporting as well as those in the steel, chemical and equipment processing industries, offered a safe, secure working environment in which upward mobility could also increase the salary range over time. The USA, as an example, led the world in steel and plastics production. Jobs in engineering increased as a result of demand for infrastructure design and implementation. With the volume of chemical companies surging, chemists, chemical engineering and specialty engineering in fields such as packaging, metallurgical and mechanical engineering were a result of hi-volume demand for goods nationally and internationally.

Salaries of the 1950’s
The salaries of a US manufacturing manager, one of the top positions in employment, hovered close to $100,000 in the 1950’s. CEO salaries, depending on the corporation, grew far more slowly than that of middle management and other employees, according to Fortune Magazine, June 2001. In 1950 in the USA, President Harry Truman signed into law The Revenue Act, tying stock options to pay. This would have immeasurable ramifications for the future on how executive employees would receive salary increases. The average middle class salary for a single earner in 1950 was well below $32,000 annually in most non-professional, non-licensed fields. White collar jobs paid far less in salaries while benefits such as medical, retirement and stock options added to the value of most 1950’s jobs. The 1950’s, for the most part, was an “employee’s market”. However, one of the personal attitudes required to be hired for a position was longevity. Employees of the 1950’s sought employment with the frame of mind that if they worked hard, earned a good salary with employer-paid benefits
and adhered to “company policy”, they were insured a job for a lifetime.

Growth Potential
Job seekers in the 1950’s looked for employment that had potential growth far into the future. Jobs in the arts and especially, television, a relatively new innovation, created an additional venue for employment as had those in research and development.

WTO and the Great American Sell-off

March 08, 2012   Benjamin Clement


A country’s source of production is its domestic manufacturing base. Without American-based companies, our country receives no production and creates no real wealth. America has allowed our companies to be sold off to foreign competitors on the open stock market. Over 16,000 of our best wealth producing companies have been auctioned off and the U.S. has no authoritative government agency prohibiting this Great American Sell-Off. A country that produces nothing produces no wealth.

The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) was developed to oversee the national security implications of foreign investments into the U.S. economy.

According to Wikipedia, CFIUS was directed to:

  1. arrange for the preparation of analyses of trends and significant developments in foreign investments in the United States
  2. provide guidance on arrangements with foreign governments for advance consultations on prospective major foreign governmental investments in the United States
  3. review investments in the United States which, in the judgment of the Committee, might have major implications for United States national interests
  4. consider proposals for new legislation or regulations relating to foreign investment as may appear necessary.

If the foreign acquisition of a U.S. company goes against U.S. interests, CFIUS has been directed to stop the takeover and order divestment. Since enacted in 1975, CFIUS has only done this once.

We have sold such a large number of our companies that we must now live on imports. As a result, the U.S. incurs massive amounts of debt (owned by foreign countries) that can in turn only be repaid by selling our wealth producing companies and assets. This cycle must end. Very soon we will be unable to even protect and support ourselves.

RCA is now French, Zenith is Korean. Frigidaire is owned by a Swedish company. IBM’s Personal Computer Division–with its 500 patents–is now a Chinese company. Westinghouse Nuclear Energy’s major shareholder is Toshiba–a Japanese company. Lucent Technology, a former research division of AT&T, along with all the patents acquired from the beginning of the phone system, is now a French company. In 2008, Brazilian-Belgian brewing company InBev purchased the iconic American brewer Anheuser-Busch, makers of Budweiser. With the sale of these manufacturing companies the future profit and technologies all belong to foreign entities.

As we produce less with what little American-owned factories remain, our debts compound. In 2010 our Balance of Trade Deficit (debt) was just under $633 billion. The 2010 deficit, reduced due to the global recession, is small compared to the deficits of the past 5 years. In 2008 the United States’ trade deficit was almost $700 billion, heightened by the $835 billion deficit in traded goods. Our national debt is $14 trillion. If every citizen (regardless of age) were required to pay off that debt, each would be responsible for approximately $45,000.

The trade crisis is predominantly fueled by our import/export ratio with China. In 2008 (the year economists admitted there was a recession), the U.S. traded at a deficit of $268 billion with China alone.

The United States needs to take the steps necessary to restore manufacturing to our country. This must be done through policies that discourage the outsourcing and offshoring of American companies and workers. The WTO and the respective Free Trade Agreements associated with the organization have been a major catalyst in this destructive trend. The WTO, which is the only global international organization dealing with the rules of trade between nations, consistently rules in favor of foreign interests and often counters U.S. laws. As long as we are in the WTO, we cannot fix our trade deficit.

The United States has options though. The WTO charter specifically states that countries experiencing large trade imbalances can take a hiatus from WTO regulation. The United States desperately needs independent policy creation. Our middle class is dwindling, unemployment continues to rise and no prospective agenda to naturally restore manufacturing has yet to be introduced. As long as the U.S. remains under WTO control, our job growth will continue to decline and wealth will continue to depreciate. There is no reason for the U.S. to remain in the WTO through such a difficult time; there’s no one who can stop us from leaving. So why don’t we?

Toledo area poverty rise worst in U.S.

‘Extremely poor’ in region jumped 15.3% since 2000

The concentration of poor people living in Toledo’s poorest neighborhoods grew by more than 15 percent in the past decade, giving the metropolitan area the unenviable distinction of No. 1 among American’s largest metro areas.

More than 46,000 people reside in neighborhoods with poverty rates of 40 percent or higher in the metro area — which includes Lucas, Fulton, Ottawa, and Wood counties — with all but one of the 22 poor neighborhoods located within the borders of Toledo, according to a Brookings Institution study of the 100 largest metropolitan areas in the country.

Deb Ortiz-Flores, director of Lucas County Job and Family Services, said she was not surprised at the city’s top rank for impoverished people living in extremely poor neighborhoods.

She said the number of people receiving food-stamp assistance nearly doubled over the last 10 years, going from about 51,000 people to 96,000

“Women have always been the hidden homeless demographic,” explained Dan Rogers, Cherry Street’s president and chief executive officer. Landlords typically are far more reluctant to throw women and children out on the street than to oust men, he said.

Phillippe Kurek, 49, of Oregon, said he picked up some clothes to save money for other expenses. He and his wife, Karen, 48, who has lupus and other health problems, are barely making it on his $675 a month in Social Security and disability benefits, Mr. Kurek said.

He said his landlord has been generous with him because he and his wife helped care for the landlord’s late mother when she had Alzheimer’s disease.

“People need to get out and help other people,” Mr. Kurek said.

The need has gone beyond Toledo’s city limits and penetrated its suburbs.

A recent Brookings Institution paper shows that Toledo had more than twice the national average of suburban poverty between 2000 and 2008.

Illinois Poverty Rate 2012: One-Third Of State’s Residents Considered Poor According To New Report

Posted: 01/16/2013 6:03 pm EST  |  Updated: 01/16/2013 6:03 pm EST

The January 2013 report also suggests that more than half of all Americans will have experienced poverty by the time they are 65.

According to the 2011 Federal Poverty Threshold, a single person earning $11,484 and a family of four earning $23,021 are considered to be living in poverty.

Lyndon Johnson on Welfare & Poverty

1964: Food Stamps, initially 350,000 people, now 42 millionIn 2010 came news that 41.8 million Americans were on food stamps and the White House was predicting that the number would grow to 43 million in 2011. It did: by February 2011, 44.2 million Americans, one in seven, were on food stamps. In Washington, D.C., more than a fifth of the population was receiving food stamps.

To chart America’s decline, the explosion in the food stamp program is a good place to begin. A harbinger of the Great Society, the Food Stamp Act was signed into law in 1964 by LBJ. Initially, $75 million was appropriated for 350,000 individuals in forty counties and three cities. However, no one was starving in the 1960s.

Source: Suicide of a Superpower, by Pat Buchanan, p. 32 , Oct 18, 2011

Click on a state for:

  • State’s poverty ranking
  • Overall poverty rate
  • Deep poverty rate
  • Child poverty rate
  • Senior poverty rate
  • Young Adult poverty rate
  • Disabled poverty rate
  • Poverty by gender

Map data source: Current Population Survey (CPS), 2011 Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC).

Switch Maps Views
Switch views to see:

Poverty rate info by county, throughout the US

Info on CCHD-funded organizations that are helping to fight domestic poverty.


State Poverty Rate

Shrinking labor force

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the percentage of the U.S. labor force “that is employed” has continually fallen since 2006.
But it gets worse.
The number of Americans “not in the labor force” more than tripled during Barack Obama’s first term in office. This number is particularly interesting because it is larger than the increase in the number of Americans “not in the labor force” during the entire decade of 1980-1990.
The mainstream media have been giddy reporting 157,000 jobs were added to the U.S. economy in January. But it’s the “non-seasonally adjusted” numbers — the number of Americans with a job — which actually decreased by 1,446,000 between December and January, according to Michael Snyder, an economist, attorney and author of the Economic Collapse blog. These numbers are even more important.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the labor participation number has been in a free fall since 2006:
2006: 63.1 percent employed
2007: 63.0
2008: 62.2
2009: 59.3
2010: 58.5
2011: 58.4

In January, only 57.9 percent of the civilian labor force was employed.

We keep electing the wrong “paramedics”, will America live?

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April 27th, 1961 JFK Speech. How we have changed.

January 18, 2013
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How things have changed since then. How we as a people, and as a people group, in the Republic and nation of America have changed since then. How our “press” has changed. How our ‘leaders’ have changed. How our once great nation has changed since then, since his assassination, some for the better but much more for the questionable with the very controversial 1960’s…

File:Jfk happy birthday 1.jpg

Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen:

I appreciate very much your generous invitation to be here tonight.

You bear heavy responsibilities these days and an article I read some time ago reminded me of how particularly heavily the burdens of present day events bear upon your profession.

You may remember that in 1851 the New York Herald Tribune under the sponsorship and publishing of Horace Greeley, employed as its London correspondent an obscure journalist by the name of Karl Marx.

We are told that foreign correspondent Marx, stone broke, and with a family ill and undernourished, constantly appealed to Greeley and managing editor Charles Dana for an increase in his munificent salary of $5 per installment, a salary which he and Engels ungratefully labeled as the “lousiest petty bourgeois cheating.”

But when all his financial appeals were refused, Marx looked around for other means of livelihood and fame, eventually terminating his relationship with the Tribune and devoting his talents full time to the cause that would bequeath the world the seeds of Leninism, Stalinism, revolution and the cold war.

If only this capitalistic New York newspaper had treated him more kindly; if only Marx had remained a foreign correspondent, history might have been different. And I hope all publishers will bear this lesson in mind the next time they receive a poverty-stricken appeal for a small increase in the expense account from an obscure newspaper man.

I have selected as the title of my remarks tonight “The President and the Press.” Some may suggest that this would be more naturally worded “The President Versus the Press.” But those are not my sentiments tonight.

It is true, however, that when a well-known diplomat from another country demanded recently that our State Department repudiate certain newspaper attacks on his colleague it was unnecessary for us to reply that this Administration was not responsible for the press, for the press had already made it clear that it was not responsible for this Administration.

Nevertheless, my purpose here tonight is not to deliver the usual assault on the so-called one party press. On the contrary, in recent months I have rarely heard any complaints about political bias in the press except from a few Republicans. Nor is it my purpose tonight to discuss or defend the televising of Presidential press conferences. I think it is highly beneficial to have some 20,000,000 Americans regularly sit in on these conferences to observe, if I may say so, the incisive, the intelligent and the courteous qualities displayed by your Washington correspondents.

Nor, finally, are these remarks intended to examine the proper degree of privacy which the press should allow to any President and his family.

If in the last few months your White House reporters and photographers have been attending church services with regularity, that has surely done them no harm.

On the other hand, I realize that your staff and wire service photographers may be complaining that they do not enjoy the same green privileges at the local golf courses that they once did.

It is true that my predecessor did not object as I do to pictures of one’s golfing skill in action. But neither on the other hand did he ever been a Secret Service man.

My topic tonight is a more sober one of concern to publishers as well as editors.

I want to talk about our common responsibilities in the face of a common danger. The events of recent weeks may have helped to illuminate that challenge for some; but the dimensions of its threat have loomed large on the horizon for many years. Whatever our hopes may be for the future–for reducing this threat or living with it–there is no escaping either the gravity or the totality of its challenge to our survival and to our security–a challenge that confronts us in unaccustomed ways in every sphere of human activity.

This deadly challenge imposes upon our society two requirements of direct concern both to the press and to the President–two requirements that may seem almost contradictory in tone, but which must be reconciled and fulfilled if we are to meet this national peril. I refer, first, to the need for a far greater public information; and, second, to the need for far greater official secrecy.

The very word “secrecy” is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings. We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweighed the dangers which are cited to justify it. Even today, there is little value in opposing the threat of a closed society by imitating its arbitrary restrictions. Even today, there is little value in insuring the survival of our nation if our traditions do not survive with it. And there is very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon by those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment. That I do not intend to permit to the extent that it is in my control. And no official of my Administration, whether his rank is high or low, civilian or military, should interpret my words here tonight as an excuse to censor the news, to stifle dissent, to cover up our mistakes or to withhold from the press and the public the facts they deserve to know.

But I do ask every publisher, every editor, and every newsman in the nation to reexamine his own standards, and to recognize the nature of our country’s peril. In time of war, the government and the press have customarily joined in an effort based largely on self-discipline, to prevent unauthorized disclosures to the enemy. In time of “clear and present danger,” the courts have held that even the privileged rights of the First Amendment must yield to the public’s need for national security.

Today no war has been declared–and however fierce the struggle may be, it may never be declared in the traditional fashion. Our way of life is under attack. Those who make themselves our enemy are advancing around the globe. The survival of our friends is in danger. And yet no war has been declared, no borders have been crossed by marching troops, no missiles have been fired.

If the press is awaiting a declaration of war before it imposes the self-discipline of combat conditions, then I can only say that no war ever posed a greater threat to our security. If you are awaiting a finding of “clear and present danger,” then I can only say that the danger has never been more clear and its presence has never been more imminent.

It requires a change in outlook, a change in tactics, a change in missions–by the government, by the people, by every businessman or labor leader, and by every newspaper. For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence–on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day. It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations.

Its preparations are concealed, not published. Its mistakes are buried, not headlined. Its dissenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned, no rumor is printed, no secret is revealed. It conducts the Cold War, in short, with a war-time discipline no democracy would ever hope or wish to match.

Nevertheless, every democracy recognizes the necessary restraints of national security–and the question remains whether those restraints need to be more strictly observed if we are to oppose this kind of attack as well as outright invasion.

For the facts of the matter are that this nation’s foes have openly boasted of acquiring through our newspapers information they would otherwise hire agents to acquire through theft, bribery or espionage; that details of this nation’s covert preparations to counter the enemy’s covert operations have been available to every newspaper reader, friend and foe alike; that the size, the strength, the location and the nature of our forces and weapons, and our plans and strategy for their use, have all been pinpointed in the press and other news media to a degree sufficient to satisfy any foreign power; and that, in at least in one case, the publication of details concerning a secret mechanism whereby satellites were followed required its alteration at the expense of considerable time and money.

The newspapers which printed these stories were loyal, patriotic, responsible and well-meaning. Had we been engaged in open warfare, they undoubtedly would not have published such items. But in the absence of open warfare, they recognized only the tests of journalism and not the tests of national security. And my question tonight is whether additional tests should not now be adopted.

The question is for you alone to answer. No public official should answer it for you. No governmental plan should impose its restraints against your will. But I would be failing in my duty to the nation, in considering all of the responsibilities that we now bear and all of the means at hand to meet those responsibilities, if I did not commend this problem to your attention, and urge its thoughtful consideration.

On many earlier occasions, I have said–and your newspapers have constantly said–that these are times that appeal to every citizen’s sense of sacrifice and self-discipline. They call out to every citizen to weigh his rights and comforts against his obligations to the common good. I cannot now believe that those citizens who serve in the newspaper business consider themselves exempt from that appeal.

I have no intention of establishing a new Office of War Information to govern the flow of news. I am not suggesting any new forms of censorship or any new types of security classifications. I have no easy answer to the dilemma that I have posed, and would not seek to impose it if I had one. But I am asking the members of the newspaper profession and the industry in this country to reexamine their own responsibilities, to consider the degree and the nature of the present danger, and to heed the duty of self-restraint which that danger imposes upon us all.

Every newspaper now asks itself, with respect to every story: “Is it news?” All I suggest is that you add the question: “Is it in the interest of the national security?” And I hope that every group in America–unions and businessmen and public officials at every level– will ask the same question of their endeavors, and subject their actions to the same exacting tests.

And should the press of America consider and recommend the voluntary assumption of specific new steps or machinery, I can assure you that we will cooperate whole-heartedly with those recommendations.

Perhaps there will be no recommendations. Perhaps there is no answer to the dilemma faced by a free and open society in a cold and secret war. In times of peace, any discussion of this subject, and any action that results, are both painful and without precedent. But this is a time of peace and peril which knows no precedent in history.

It is the unprecedented nature of this challenge that also gives rise to your second obligation–an obligation which I share. And that is our obligation to inform and alert the American people–to make certain that they possess all the facts that they need, and understand them as well–the perils, the prospects, the purposes of our program and the choices that we face.

No President should fear public scrutiny of his program. For from that scrutiny comes understanding; and from that understanding comes support or opposition. And both are necessary. I am not asking your newspapers to support the Administration, but I am asking your help in the tremendous task of informing and alerting the American people. For I have complete confidence in the response and dedication of our citizens whenever they are fully informed.

I not only could not stifle controversy among your readers–I welcome it. This Administration intends to be candid about its errors; for as a wise man once said: “An error does not become a mistake until you refuse to correct it.” We intend to accept full responsibility for our errors; and we expect you to point them out when we miss them.

Without debate, without criticism, no Administration and no country can succeed–and no republic can survive. That is why the Athenian lawmaker Solon decreed it a crime for any citizen to shrink from controversy. And that is why our press was protected by the First Amendment– the only business in America specifically protected by the Constitution- -not primarily to amuse and entertain, not to emphasize the trivial and the sentimental, not to simply “give the public what it wants”–but to inform, to arouse, to reflect, to state our dangers and our opportunities, to indicate our crises and our choices, to lead, mold, educate and sometimes even anger public opinion.

This means greater coverage and analysis of international news–for it is no longer far away and foreign but close at hand and local. It means greater attention to improved understanding of the news as well as improved transmission. And it means, finally, that government at all levels, must meet its obligation to provide you with the fullest possible information outside the narrowest limits of national security–and we intend to do it.

It was early in the Seventeenth Century that Francis Bacon remarked on three recent inventions already transforming the world: the compass, gunpowder and the printing press. Now the links between the nations first forged by the compass have made us all citizens of the world, the hopes and threats of one becoming the hopes and threats of us all. In that one world’s efforts to live together, the evolution of gunpowder to its ultimate limit has warned mankind of the terrible consequences of failure.

And so it is to the printing press–to the recorder of man’s deeds, the keeper of his conscience, the courier of his news–that we look for strength and assistance, confident that with your help man will be what he was born to be: free and independent.

**Francis Bacon, 1st Viscount St. Alban,[1][a] Kt., KC (22 January 1561 – 9 April 1626) was an English philosopher, statesman, scientist, jurist, and author. He served both as Attorney General and Lord Chancellor of England. Although his political career ended in disgrace, he remained extremely influential through his works, especially as philosophical advocate and practitioner of the scientific method during the scientific revolution.

Bacon has been called the creator of empiricism.[2] His works established and popularised inductive methodologies for scientific inquiry, often called the Baconian method, or simply the scientific method. His demand for a planned procedure of investigating all things natural marked a new turn in the rhetorical and theoretical framework for science, much of which still surrounds conceptions of proper methodology today.

**Solon (pron.: /ˈslɒn/ or /ˈslən/; Ancient Greek: Σόλων, c. 638 BC – 558 BC) was an Athenian statesman, lawmaker, and poet. He is remembered particularly for his efforts to legislate against political, economic, and moral decline in archaic Athens. His reforms failed in the short term, yet he is often credited with having laid the foundations for Athenian democracy.


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Grandpa White’s radio station in the 1920’s, KELW

January 13, 2013

    This is an article from the “Radio Heritage Foundation” about my Grandfather’s (Earl Loy White) radio station KELW in Burbank in the 1920’s… I once sat at my uncle Loy Whites house after church and he told us things that went on in his life when he was younger. He said that he was around 15 (around 1924) years old when he was asked to DJ the radio station on the lunch hour, to relieve the regular broadcaster. He mentioned that during the depression the only job that was around was digging graves at the local mortuary and grave yard, which he did. The radio station interviewed people who came through Burbank as Lockheed plant and runway was there, people like Amelia Erhardt, Charles Lindburgh and the famous Will Rogers. In fact our father, Perk White was the last person to take the chalks out of ‘Pilot’ Willey Posts airplane when it took off to Alaska carrying Will Rogers on their ‘fatal’ flight.

    Behind his desk, Grandpa White had a lot of placards hanging up and licenses. During his life, he wore a lot of hats, he owned and operated a dairy, citrus orchard, become a developer in Magnolia Park and Burbank, real estate saleman and broker, donator to the YMCA, where a camp is named for him and Grandma White still today in Tehachapi, Ca. (Earl Anna Camp). I loved going to YMCA summer camps when I was a kid. One story my uncle Loy told was of Encino Presbyterian church, where the White’s had attended. Supposedly one of the comic actors, either Hans Conried or Edward Everett Horton started a church in their barn in Encino and from there it became Encino Presbyterian. In the 1990’s, I attended Encino Presbyterian with my son Dustin and Loy and Virginia White.

    Grandpa White was always a business man up until his death in the early 70’s. He was driving his old 58 Cadillac to Orange County from the San Fernando Valley and he had a stroke and ran the car into a wall. Grandma White lived about a year longer.  At one time, Grandpa White was worth more than $17,000,000.00 before the great stock market crash and depression of 1929. One thing I remember them saying to me when I went over to visit them in their small apartment in Sherman Oaks before he died was, “The Lord Takes Good Care of Us”.. and it still stays with me!


by Jim Hilliker and David Ricquish

Early Tejano Music heard in New Zealand

Beautiful Downtown Burbank

image of KELW logo
KELW logo.
© Eric Shackle Collection

You’re probably familiar with the expression ‘Beautiful Downtown Burbank’ which was applied wryly to that part of The Valley in the greater Los Angeles conurbation known as the City of Burbank. Home of TV and movie studios now, but 75 years ago it was no more than a peaceful rural area on the other side of the Hollywood Hills. They canned peaches there, and the peaches were grown locally.

In 1934, New Zealand radio listener Eric Shackle regularly tuned to the early morning show from short lived Burbank radio station KELW on 780 kc. At this time of the day, KELW broadcast a two hour Spanish language program hosted by Pedro Gonzalez, one of the earliest Tejano music performers.

There’s another New Zealand connection with Burbank. The Lockheed Electra planes which flew the Tasman Sea in the colors of TEAL (Tasman Empire Airways Limited) in the 1950’s and early 1960’s were built at the giant Lockheed facility in Burbank.

KELW owned by Earl L White

KELW was a radio station on air for only ten years from Burbank, roughly between February 1927 and 1937. It was started by Burbank real estate developer Earl L White, who gave his initials to the new radio station.

The first night of broadcast, on Saturday, February 12, 1927, saw many local and civic dignitaries join Earl White at the KELW studios. White was soon proud that KELW could be heard as far to the east as New York City, and was heard well throughout the western states.

During this time of ‘chaos’ in American radio, when stations could choose their own frequency and transmitter power, KELW used the wide coverage frequency of 560 kc and an initial power of 250 watts.

By mid-1927, the new Federal Radio Commission forced ‘wavejumper’ KELW to move to 1310 kc. Here it could still operate almost fulltime, as KPPC in Pasadena, which shared the frequency, only broadcast for a few hours on Sundays and Wednesdays. By 1928, KELW had increased power to 500 watts and famous personalities lined up to be heard, including evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson and humorist Will Rogers.

Unfortunately, about 15 months later, The White Spot of the Fernando Valley as KELW called itself, was compelled to move yet again, to a new frequency of 780 kc. Worse, it had to share time on the frequency with KTM Santa Monica, which meant that advertising and sponsorship income fell from November 11,1928.

When the Great Depression hit in late 1929 and 1930, White was wiped out financially, and couldn’t afford to keep KELW running. It was then taken over by a group licensed as Magnolia Park Limited.

White had developed the Magnolia Park section of Burbank with tract homes, a shopping center, a movie theater, his own newspaper The Tribune and his radio station KELW at 3702 Magnolia Boulevard. So, with White out of the picture, KELW remained in the studios on Magnolia.

image of KELW Studios
KELW Studios and one of the twin antennas on Magnolia Blvd, Burbank, CA
© Burbank Historical Society

KELW now promoted itself as Official Broadcasting Station for the Federated Church Brotherhoods of California (authorized by W P Willimott, General Secretary on June 19, 1934) as well as the American Legion Post 150 with ‘news and programs of Legion activities broadcast daily’.

At this time, the KELW schedule was 4am-6am, 10am-1pm and 5pm-8pm daily, or just eight hours a day. Although located in Burbank, the station also maintained a sales office in Los Angeles to increase advertising income. The rest of the broadcasting day on 780 kc was given over to KTM which used a more powerful transmitter.

Hearst Radio Inc buys out KELW

By 1935, KTM had become KEHE, named after the Los Angeles Evening Herald Newspaper and was the Los Angeles station for Hearst Radio Inc, part of the Hearst media empire. At the same time, KEHE bought KELW and ran both stations, sharing the same frequency of 780 kc. This effectively gave Hearst Radio a fulltime signal on 780 kc although via two separate FCC licences, two callsigns, and even two transmitters.

In 1937, KEHE was authorized by the FCC to increase power from 1000 to 5000 watts daytime and from 500 to 1000 watts nighttime, and to merge operations with KELW. At this time, KELW had been operating with 1000 watts daytime and 500 watts nighttime as well.

The KELW licence was deleted in 1937 and KEHE went on to eventually become KABC on 790 kc. With 5000 watts, KABC has always been heard well in New Zealand. And the studios at 3702 Magnolia? They were demolished around 1995-1996. Whilst living in Los Angeles in 1988-1992, like many others, I must have driven past the old KELW building more than once without knowing it was there.

Mexican Program


image of Pedro Gonzalez
Pedro Gonzalez.
© espinosa productions, Scottsdale, AZ.

In a 1934 letter from KELW to its New Zealand listener, the Program Director wrote: We broadcast a Mexican program every morning from 4am to 6am PST. What you heard was an imitation prize fight. They put it on just for the fun of it right in the studio. I think the programs from 4am to 6am are rather interesting as they are always putting on something a bit different. Have you heard their duck? He performs over the mike quite often.

As well as this duck, a former telegraph operator from Chihuahua in Mexico, one Pedro Gonzalez, also performed over the KELW mike in the mornings.

Listeners in Burbank, all over southern California, and as far away as New Zealand, were actually listening to the birth of tejano music, the music style which has now become a multi-million dollar industry reflecting the culture of the borderlands between northern Mexico and southern California.

Pedro was a refugee of the Mexican Revolution. Originally condemned to death by firing squad by Pancho Villa, his life was saved when local schoolchildren placed themselves between him and the firing squad. He was later to marry one of the schoolgirls, but in the meantime, he was given a choice, join Pancho Villa or die. He stayed with the army of Villa until 1917 when it fell out of favor in Mexico.

During the 1920’s and early 1930’s, Pedro Gonzalez became immersed in the emerging Chicano culture of Los Angeles, and eventually became one of the most popular radio announcers, writers and singers in the southwest during a period which witnessed an explosion of Spanish language broadcasting and recordings.

Los Madrugadores

Pedro’s show, commercially sponsored by Folger’s coffee was first broadcast on KMPC in Los Angeles, and later, KELW in Burbank.

Although these stations both normally broadcast in English, this early Spanish language program was possible because of the sponsorship income. Pedro broadcast live from the heart of the Chicano community from 4am to 6am every morning. Throughout the southwest, thousands of Mexicans, up at the crack of dawn to go to work in the canneries, factories and fields, tuned in to hear their favorite announcer and recording star.

Pedro’s show was to provide a vehicle for many young singers and musicians, who got their first breaks with him. Out of this confluence of talent emerged a unique style of music associated with Los Angeles. However, no group was as popular as Pedro’s own.

The group called themselves, aptly for the broadcast time, Los Madrugadores (The Early Risers) and they recorded over 100 songs on Columbia, OKEM, Victor and other labels. Pedro himself wrote many famous songs in this time including Sonora Querida and Lavaplatos.

Ballad of an Unsung Hero


image of  Los Madrugadores
Los Madrugadores © Arhoolie Records

The story of Pedro Gonzalez was eventually told in the Emmy Award winning 1983 TV documentary Ballad of an Unsung Hero on San Diego PBS outlet KPBS-TV and later broadcast nationwide over the PBS network.

More recently, Arhoolie Records of El Cerrito, CA released a collection of original recordings by Los Madrugadores, including a 28 page booklet with more information about Pedro and his program over KELW.

Dr David Burbank

The City of Burbank has an interesting local history. It was founded by David Burbank, a real estate developer who saw business opportunities in this then rural area, particularly when the Southern Pacific Railroad came through his lands and built a railway station there.


Jim Hilliker is a radio historian and former broadcaster.

He has written a number of articles on the history of broadcasting in Los Angeles.

He currently lives in Monterey, California.

Sample all 24 tracks from the album ‘Los Madrugadores’ including the famous Sonora Querido and Suenos De Oro and buy the album right here.


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Renowned French economist to join Obama’s team / The head of a French food aid charity has called on the public for help in coping with the steep rise in the number of people needing food handouts, raising concerns that the economic crisis is biting hard among the poor in France.

January 6, 2013
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Obama names French economist, France’s Esther Duflo to help shape US global policy, how are her policies working in France? He should have named someone like Rand Paul, or Gearld Celente, George Leong, or some other ‘real’ American economist?
While Duflo’s nomination will likely be viewed with a sense of pride in France, it comes as Obama’s leadership continues to be dogged by unflattering comparisons in the media to European-style socialism. Just Friday, the cover of financial news magazine The Economist depicted Obama wearing a beret, red neckerchief and a striped mariner shirt, under a headline that read “America turns European”. The article criticised the country’s recent fiscal-cliff deal as “lousy”, saying its mismanagement bore striking similarities to the “mess in the euro zone”.

French food aid NGO reports ‘explosion’ in demand

French food aid NGO reports ‘explosion’ in demand

The head of a French food aid charity has called on the public for help in coping with the steep rise in the number of people needing food handouts, raising concerns that the economic crisis is biting hard among the poor in France.


Latest update: 06/01/2013

Barack ObamadevelopmenteconomyFranceUSA

Renowned French economist to join Obama’s team

Renowned French economist to join Obama’s team

France’s Esther Duflo, a star economist who was once named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world, has been nominated by US President Barack Obama to help shape US global development policy.

By Aude MAZOUE (text)
France’s Esther Duflo, a world renowned economist, has been nominated by US President Barack Obama to join a government body dedicated to advising the administration on global development policy.
Called the Global Development Council, the group was founded by Obama in 2010 to help shape US development efforts abroad.
While Duflo’s nomination will likely be viewed with a sense of pride in France, it comes as Obama’s leadership continues to be dogged by unflattering comparisons in the media to European-style socialism. Just Friday, the cover of financial news magazine The Economist depicted Obama wearing a beret, red neckerchief and a striped mariner shirt, under a headline that read “America turns European”. The article criticised the country’s recent fiscal-cliff deal as “lousy”, saying its mismanagement bore striking similarities to the “mess in the euro zone”.
A rising star
Esther Duflo’s CV
Esther Duflo earned a master’s degree from DELTA (now called the Paris School of Economics) in 1995 before heading to the United States to begin a PhD in Economics at the famed Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Upon completing her degree in 1999, Duflo continued on at MIT as an assistant professor of economics. She took leave from the school in 2001 to work at Princeton University for one year, before returning to MIT where she was granted tenure at the age of 29. After more than a decade in the US, Duflot was granted US citizenship in 2012.
Duflo, who was raised in a “left-leaning Protestant” family, said she became aware of economic divides and social injustice at a very early age.
“I was always conscientious of the gap between my existence and that of the world’s poor,” she told weekly French magazine l’Express in a January, 2011 article. “As a child, I was extremely troubled by the complete randomness of chance that I was born in Paris to an intellectual, middle class family, when I could have just as easily been born in Chad. It’s a question of luck. It inspired in me a sense of responsibility.”
While Duflo may feel that her privilege in life is the result of chance, President Obama’s intention to appoint her to his Global Development Council is not. Ever since completing her undergraduate studies at Paris’s prestigious Ecole Normale Supérieure in 1994, Duflo has led a distinguished career, collecting numerous academic honours and awards along the way.
One of the world’s 100 most influential people
It is by no means an exaggeration to call the now 40 year-old Duflo one of the world’s star economists. French daily Le Monde once awarded her its “Best French Young Economist Prize”, and in 2009, she was granted a MacArthur Fellowship (which has also been dubbed ‘the genius grant’). Duflo’s work also earned her the John Bates Clark medal in 2010, which is considered second only to the Nobel.
The following year, Time magazine named Duflo one of 100 most influential people in the world. The magazine applauded her for relentlessly “questioning conventional wisdom”.
“She has broken out of the ivory tower to do something economists rarely do: gather real data to see what really works in alleviating poverty,” Time wrote.
A closer look at poverty
Duflo’s research has largely focused on microeconomic issues in developing countries and looks at areas such as education, access to finance as well as health and policy evaluation. As co-founder and director of MIT’s Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab, Duflo has singled herself out by championing the idea that it is impossible to successfully tackle the issue of poverty without a thorough understanding of the population at hand. In other words, the devil is in the detail.
While Duflo’s work has already helped contribute to changing the way governments and organisations deal with global poverty, her potential new role as a member of the Global Development Council will allow her to have a direct impact on how the US handles such issues.
Latest update: 29/12/2012


French food aid NGO reports ‘explosion’ in demand

French food aid NGO reports ‘explosion’ in demand

The head of a French food aid charity has called on the public for help in coping with the steep rise in the number of people needing food handouts, raising concerns that the economic crisis is biting hard among the poor in France.

By Ben MCPARTLAND (text)
A plea for help by the head of a French charity, struggling to cope with an “explosion” in demand, has raised further concerns about the increase in poverty in France.
Olivier Berthe, president of Restos du Cœur (Restaurants with Heart), which hands out food parcels and hot dinners to those most in need, has implored donors and the government to come to its aid and help them cope with a massive rise in demand.
Just one month after launching its annual winter campaign, the charity has reported a 12 percent rise in the number of people coming through its doors, which, according to Berthe, represents an extra 100,000 compared to this time last year.
“It’s not a rise, it’s an explosion,” Berthe told French radio RTL this week. “These are figures that we are not used to seeing.”
Berthe has called on the public to help them deal with a crisis that he predicts is only going to deepen.
“We know that the situation we are in is going to deteriorate and we will have to take measures to manage it. If our donors do not react then we will not be able to cope,” Berthe said.
In the winter of 2011/2012 the charity distributed 115 million meals compared to just 8.5 million in 1985, the year it was launched by the French comic actor Coluche.
EU funding vital to help feed the poor
Restos du Coeur is backed by figures from French showbiz who regularly help in fundraising through taking part in TV shows and pop concerts.
But Berthe believes the French government now has the most vital role to play in helping the charity provide for the growing number of hungry beneficiaries, who can no longer afford to feed themselves.
He has urged lawmakers to fight hard to make sure the European Union does not cut funding for its food aid program, which pays for around one quarter of all the meals handed out by Restos du Coeur. Private donors, public grants and fundrasing initiatives account for the remainder.
But the €500 million budget for EU food aid could soon be slashed by member states. Restos du Coeur are just one of several food aid charities in France calling for European leaders to back down.
“It seems that the government is trying to compromise with Germany or England,” he said. “It must demand the food aid program is extended.”
Berthe’s appeal comes at a time when the French government is under pressure to act to deal with the growing problem of poverty.
A recent public opinion survey revealed one in two French people saw themselves as being poor or at risk of becoming poor in the future.
Earlier in December Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault announced the government would stump up €2.5 billion over five years with the money to be spent on a range of measures including welfare benefits, housing aid and youth employment schemes.


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Matthew 24: 7 Nationality against Nationality, ethnic group against ethnic group…

January 3, 2013
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Matthew 24: 4-8

Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom (or Nationality against Nationality and Ethnic group against ethnic group). There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.

Do you suppose these problems in Greece could happen in America too because of jobs, could people born in America clamoring for jobs, blame immigrants for taking those jobs? Recently I was in San Francisco where I was doing security at nursing strikes. I spoke with someone I met on the street, they complained that our nursing schools were being over run by people coming from other countries, and also taking the jobs of people that were born here. My daughter, who was born in California, who has been an RN for years, said there are not many jobs for RN’s now in her area of San Francisco, yet they continue to school more young girls. Can all Americans unite and pull together in ‘hard times’? What would the ‘uniting’ factor be?

Greece has not faced up to the ghosts of its past

As Angela Merkel makes a futile attempt to prop up Greece’s political class, the country is on the brink of self-destruction
Demonstration against Merkel visit in Athens

Protesters hold anti-German banners during protest against Angela Merkel’s visit to Athens. Photograph: Aristidis Vafeiadakis/Zuma Press/Corbis
Angela Merkel and her new act – Deutsch-Griechische Freundschaft – played a gig in downtown Athens this week. Billed as the launch of Merkel’s new album “Ich bin eine Athenerin”, critics already insist that much of the material is recycled from previous works. They point to the painfully monotonous riffs which set the teeth on edge to suggest that Merkel may well get sadistic kicks out of taunting its listeners. Merkel touched down for six hours. She gave a solid, no frills, no nonsense set. She came, she saw, she played. It didn’t set the house on fire – but then again, we Greeks are quite capable of doing that ourselves.
One of the forseeable blowbacks of the wildfire that swept through Greece in 2009 has been the corrosive rise of xenophobia and racism, directed both inwards towards immigrants and outwards towards Europe, especially Germany. The latter was expressed at its most vulgar at this week’s anti-Merkel protests in Athens, where images of a Fourth Reich enslaving the country, belittling its people, ripping off its (as yet undiscovered) oil reserves and annexing western Thrace to hand back to the Ottomans played heavily to the collective imagination.
These days, sordid conspiracy theories abound in Greece. Sane considerate folk espouse bizarre political narratives. Old middle-class sureties have given way to gloom, idiocy and self-mutilation. Those already on the edge have tipped over into self-destruction and turned against the vulnerable.
The problem is that, as a society, Greece never made peace with itself. Nor did it engage in a truthful dialogue about the ghosts of its past. It has never enforced self-evident codes and norms of behaviour. The fundamentals of a liberal order were never fully in place. So when the financial tsunami hit, it fell apart.
Nowhere is this more evident than in the country’s metropolitan heart. Greek residents stranded in the wasteland of central Athens are turning on “immigrants” who have been in the country for 20 years. Second-generation Albanian kids are venting their jobless fury on Pakistanis, Bangladeshis and Afghans their own age. The faultlines of the old civil war are reappearing. Militias of far-right thugs do battle with immigrants and gangs of leftist youths.
Earlier this week it emerged that anti-fascists were imprisoned illegally for days at the Attica General Police Directorate (Gada), the Athens equivalent of Scotland Yard, where they were tortured by officers who, to all intents and purposes, were card-carrying members of Golden Dawn. A slate of attacks on gays in the street may hint at what is yet to come. Yet the minister of public order talks of “zero tolerance”, to the accolades of the respectable bourgeois press.
The death of the old political order is all too apparent. Scandals come to light every day and the sums involved, if true, are staggering. This only excites the febrile minds of a ruined petit bourgeoisie, which is turning furiously against the old authorities. Justice proceeds at a snail’s pace and the mob bays for blood and everyone is guilty till proven innocent.
The hardline Stalinist CP, for years the bulwark against the rise of fascism in plebeian neighbourhoods, is now openly taunted in parliament by far-right MPs about its terminal decline.
The Syriza left is now a mass electoral movement attracting the old socialist clientele who jumped ship, discredited union bureaucrats and radicalised youth. It promises to roll back the neoliberal onslaught personified to them by Frau Merkel, to halt austerity measures, but also to stay in the euro and the EU. It generally promises to create a brave new world, even if it is a bit coy in spelling out what exactly that world may look like.
The imminent danger for the country is social implosion. Some talk of a postmodern Weimar. Others of a black hole like Kosovo. The purpose of Merkel’s visit, on a symbolic level, was to bring the country back into the mainstream European fold and prop up a mercurial and discredited political class. Yet can the people so centrally implicated in the country’s fall take on the role of its saviour?
If the European and domestic elites do not quickly change their plan to “manage” this crisis, then the centre will not hold. Then the political economy of pain will truly come into its own.



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Fear and the Fiscal Cliff

January 1, 2013
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W.C. Fields was an expert at juggling, however, I don’t think our legislatures ever took any lessons and even care to?
Seriously, maybe this is a large “Ponzi Scheme”?
The “Total” US debt as shown on the U.S. National Debt Clock is somewhere in the vicinity of 58 Billion.. And I have heard as high as 94 Billion Dollars.. Keep that in mind as our legislature persons, worry about less than a 16 Billion and continue to try and spend more, 330 Billion..
Question… Shouldn’t we at this point take the credit card away from them? Or possibly we no longer have control or power?
Debt Held by the Public – Foreign governments and investors hold 48% of the nation’s public debt. The next largest part (21%) is held by other governmental entities, like the Federal Reserve and state and local governments. Fifteen percent is held by mutual funds, private pension funds, savings bonds or individual Treasury notes. The rest (16%) is held by businesses, like banks, and insurance companies and a mish-mash of trusts, businesses and investors. Here’s the breakout:
  • Foreign – $5.135 trillion
  • Federal Reserve – $1.6 trillion
  • State and Local Government, including their pension funds – $624 billion
  • Mutual Funds – $854 billion
  • Private Pension Funds – $595.9 billion
  • Banks – $307.2 billion
  • Insurance Companies – $254.1 billion
  • U.S. Savings Bonds – $184.8 billion
  • Other (individuals, government-sponsored enterprises, brokers and dealers, bank personal trusts and estates, corporate and non-corporate businesses, and other investors) – $1.23 trillion. (As of December 2011. Source: Treasury Bulletin, Ownership of Federal Securities, Table OFS-2)

This debt is not only Treasury bills, notes, and bonds but also TIPS, Savings Bonds, and State and Local Government Series securities.

As you can see, if you add up debt held by Social Security, and all the retirement and pension funds, a large part of the U.S. Treasury debt (30%) is held in trust for people’s retirements. If theoretically the U.S. were to default, foreign investors would be angry, but the greatest harm would befall the average U.S. citizen.

Deficit ‘fiscal cliff’ bill actually spends $330 billion more

Fiscal cliff fears

By Kay Bell ·
Thursday, November 22, 2012
Posted: 6 am ET
  • 1
Are you worried about what might happen if Congress and the president can’t avoid the fiscal cliff? You are not alone.
Most Americans, 62 percent, fear that the automatic spending cuts and tax increases scheduled to take effect in January will have a major effect on the U.S. economy than on their own finances, according to a recent survey by Pew Research Center for the People & the Press and The Washington Post.
Almost as many of those surveyed (60 percent) the week after the presidential election also worry that fiscal cliff implications would negatively affect their own personal financial situations.
And most think the financial damage is imminent.
About half of those questioned — 51 percent — don’t think that President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans will reach an agreement by the end of the year to avoid going off the fiscal cliff.
If that happens, look out, Republicans. Fifty-three percent of those surveyed say that in that case they would blame congressional Republicans more than President Obama for the failure.
Even though Democrats might get more political mileage out of a fiscal cliff failure, people who are members of that party are more optimistic than Republicans that a deal will be struck.
Right now, it looks like the positive thinkers have the edge.
Republicans, apparently a bit chastened by their Nov. 6 losses, are talking as tough about taxes as in previous financial standoffs.
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, who almost negotiated a grand financial bargain involving tax cuts during the 2011 debt ceiling debate, has said he is open to revenue raisers.
This isn’t exactly caving to Obama’s demand for higher income tax rates for top earners; Boehner means his party is willing to look at eliminating some tax deductions in order to get more money for the U.S. Treasury.
It’s a small step, but given Congress’ tendency to deadlock, any movement is welcome.
The next task is for Representatives and Senators to change those steps into a steady run so they can complete a fiscal cliff resolution by the end of the year.
Do you think lawmakers will find a way to avoid falling off the fiscal cliff? Who do think will get the better deal, Democrats or Republicans?
Want the latest news on taxes, tax reform prospects, state taxes, filing deadlines, Internal Revenue Service alerts and tax-saving tips? Subscribe to Bankrate’s free Weekly Tax Tip newsletter.

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Retirement hangs on fiscal cliff

By Jennie L. Phipps ·
Monday, November 12, 2012
Posted: 1 pm ET
  • 0
If we fall off the fiscal cliff, retirees could face a 17 percent increase in their 2013 income taxes, predicts CFP professional Leon LaBrecque, a lawyer and certified public accountant.
LaBrecque weighed the impact of eight unpleasant financial problems he believes retirees — and those on the brink of retirement — are most likely to encounter as a result of the nation sliding over the cliff. He estimates the dollar impact and predicts the likelihood of Congress passing a solution.
He says that for retirees and those doing retirement planning, “The most dangerous one of all is the expiration of the Bush tax cuts because it changes everything.”
Here’s his list:
  1. Expiration of the Bush income and estate taxes ($246 billion impact). This will hit everyone who pays income taxes and anyone whose estate is over $1 million. The fix: Extend all or some tax brackets and extend the current estate tax limits. Probability of Congress taking this step: very high.
  2. Alternative minimum tax, or AMT, patch ($50 billion impact). This law was designed to extract money from millionaires who wiggled out of paying taxes. The AMT isn’t indexed for inflation, so now it is hitting some people who make as little as $40,000. The fix: another patch. Probability of it passing Congress: very high.
  3. Sequestration ($109 billion impact). These federal spending cuts were mandated by Congress last year as part of a deal to raise the nation’s debt ceiling. Social Security and Medicaid aren’t affected, but Medicare Part D could get a 2 percent haircut, pushing up what Medicare recipients pay. The fix: new budget cuts. Probability of these passing: slightly above zero.
  4. Expiration of the payroll tax holiday ($115 billion impact). President Barack Obama cut payroll taxes by 2 percentage points to stimulate the economy. The fix: Extend the cuts. Probability of passage: slight.
  5. Unearned income Medicare contribution tax ($24 billion impact). This affects singles with incomes greater than $200,000 and couples with incomes greater than $250,000. The fix: Repeal the Affordable Care Act. Probability: subzero.
  6. Expiration of the debt ceiling ($300 billion impact). The whole world would feel the pain if the U.S. couldn’t borrow. The fix: Raise the debt ceiling. Probability of passage: good.
  7. Doc fix ($15 billion to $22 billion impact). Physicians who treat Medicare patients will take a sharp pay cut. The fix: Adjust Medicare pay guidelines. Probability of passage: maybe. (Docs can afford good lobbyists.)
  8. Small-business and stimulus tax breaks ($27 billion impact). This involves a host of small tax breaks, including the individual retirement account charitable rollover, which allows people older than 70½ to make mandatory IRA withdrawals by sending the money directly to a charity. These donations aren’t tax-deductible, but neither do they count as income, which could result in higher taxes on Social Security or higher Medicare premiums. The law expired last year, but some are still hoping it will be extended retroactively. Likelihood of passage: 50-50.

‘Fiscal cliff’ to sock CDs?

By Claes Bell ·
Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Posted: 10 am ET
  • 1
One of the big issues facing the country these days is whether Congress and President Barack Obama can strike a deal to avoid the sudden expiration of the Bush tax cuts coupled with a sharp decrease in federal spending — what’s known as the “fiscal cliff.”
If the two sides don’t reach a deal, there could be a surprising casualty: savings rates.
An analysis by Market Rates Insight finds that the growth of consumer deposits was nearly twice as fast in the nine years following the Bush tax cuts as it was in the nine years preceding.
The analysis examined two time periods, pre- and post-tax cuts. The first time period was from June 1992 to June 2001, prior to the enactment of the initial tax cuts measure, the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act  of 2001 (EGTRRA). During this nine-year period, total deposits in FDIC-insured institutions increased by $1.5 trillion, or 42 percent. However, during the nine years after the tax cuts took effect, total deposits increased by $4.1 trillion, or 82 percent, which is nearly double the rate of growth compared to the first period.
Dan Geller, executive vice president at Market Rates Insight, says skinnier bank accounts are a predictable result of higher taxes.
“People will have less money because the average household will pay an extra $2,500 a year in federal income tax,” he says.
I asked Geller if that slowing growth might actually benefit savers by forcing banks to offer higher CD rates to attract new deposits.
“There are a few scenarios to declining deposits,” Geller says. “If demand for loans increases and deposit level decreases, interest rates on deposits will go up as well as loan rates. If demand for loans remains the same, and deposits levels decrease, banks that need to increase liquidity will pay higher interest rates on deposits, but will be at higher risk due to the additional expense.”
What do you think? Would you save less if tax rates went back to Clinton-era levels?

Fiscal cliff’s costly prospects

By Kay Bell ·
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Posted: 3 pm ET
  • 0
Congress doesn’t plan to be back in Washington, D.C., for votes on any legislation until Nov. 13. That gives lawmakers six and a half weeks to find a way to keep the country from falling off the fiscal cliff.
Good luck with that.
Not to sound too pessimistic, but I am pessimistic. This current batch of senators and representatives deserves its horrid reputation as the do-nothing Congress. I’m not convinced they’ll overcome that perception after the election.
Sure, a small group of some senators is meeting unofficially to come up with alternatives to sequestration, the automatic across-the-board spending cuts facing federal programs in January 2013 if legislators can’t come up with another plan to which all of Washington, D.C., will agree.
I repeat, good luck with that.
If Mitt Romney wins and the Republicans control or at least have decent numbers in both the House and Senate, the GOP won’t do anything in the lame duck session. They’ll just wait until the new president takes the oath of office in January and then push through at least some of the tax and spending changes they’ve been wanting to enact for years.
If President Barack Obama keeps his job, don’t be surprised to see the partisanship on Capitol Hill continue. This will be especially evident if Republicans make gains in both legislative chambers. With no election to worry about, the president can hold firm to his principles as he looks to shape his administration’s legacy in its last four years. And the GOP lawmakers could see short-term voter pain, even if it threatens their electability, as an eventual longer-term win for the party and its fiscal goals.
So what happens to all of us outside the D.C. beltway if no agreement is reached? On the spending side, defense and domestic budgets will be slashed, meaning fewer services.
As for taxes, the Bush tax cuts expire and the payroll tax reduction disappears, meaning less pay with the year’s very first check. The estate tax will affect many more families. Education tax breaks will end or be reduced.
And tax extenders that already ended Dec. 31, 2011, won’t be renewed. Among many other things, this means the popular $1,000 child tax credit will be halved, more married couples will again face the marriage tax penalty, and the deduction for state and local sales taxes can no longer be claimed.
It’s not a pretty picture.
The Tax Policy Center, a progressive tax think tank in the nation’s capital, has put a cold hard cash face on the fiscal cliff prospect. As noted in just the few examples I cited, almost every taxpayer would see a spike in his or her tax bill.
Nearly 90 percent of Americans would pay more tax in 2013, according to the Center’s report Toppling off the Fiscal Cliff: Whose Taxes Rise and How Much?
Overall, taxes would increase by more than $500 billion that year alone.
While the exact financial effect depends, of course, on a person’s income, the Tax Policy Center says the tax increase would average out to almost $3,500 per household.
Breaking out the effects further, the Center says a typical middle-income family making $40,000 to $64,000 a year could see its taxes go up by $2,000 next year.
And low-income households would pay more due to expiration of tax credits in the 2009 stimulus.
High-income households also would be hit hard by higher tax rates on ordinary income, capital gains and dividends and by new health reform taxes that kick in next year.
As for the country as a whole, the rising marginal tax rates would potentially affect every economic decision.
Is the Tax Policy Center being a Chicken Little or a Cassandra that we ignore at our own risk?
Not to give the tax policy group too much credit or blame, but I vote for it being a visionary prophet more than just a frantic doomsayer.
Let’s hope Congress is listening and has given itself enough time to act accordingly.
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And we thought “The Exorcist” was scary?

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