Of Politics and Genealogy: US Edition

7 03 2008

My friend, Todd, never runs out of interesting genealogy-related posts. So I grabbed another interesting one. Everything after this sentence is taken from his blog.

US Presidential Family Trees

There is always a resurgence of genealogical interest every election season in the United States. In the past, genealogists believed that the presidential candidate with the most number of royal connections, ergo the “most royal” of all the aspirants, almost always wins the election.

Another angle to look at is the diversity of the family connections of a presidential candidate. This early on, using the references of online genealogical databases, let us examine who among Hillary Rodham Clinton, Barack Obama, and John McCain has the political, social, and royal pedigree.

Part I: BARACK OBAMA

Barack Obama, one of the two Democratic contenders for the presidency, is perhaps, among the three candidates, the most genealogically diversed. His bloodline consists of Luo (Kenyan), English, German, Irish, Welsh, and smattering of French and Dutch ancestries. His pedigree shows different groups of people spanning several generations from different places. (Click here to see his pedigree chart).

Obama’s Kenyan ancestry is sketchy, and is traced only through the male line. (Click here for a diagram of his Kenyan ancestry.) Much of his known family tree is through his maternal side, and it is here that we find many interesting relations to the senator.

Obama could count at least two royal ancestors: William I “the Lion”, King of Scotland, and Henry II of England. He is related to at least six US Presidents: Jimmy Carter (half 7th cousins three times removed), Harry Truman (7th cousins three times removed), the 2 George Bushes (10th cousins once and twice removed, respectively), Woodrow Wilson (husband of Obama’s 6th cousin five times removed), and James Madison (3rd cousin nine times removed). He is also a ninth cousin once removed of Vice-President Dick Cheney. He has several relative lawmakers and Supreme Court Justices, as well.

But Obama’s ancestry is not limited to political personalities. He is a 7th cousin four times removed of renowned artist Georgia O’Keefe, and his eighth cousin once removed, Elizabeth H. Richardson, was married to novelist Ernest M. Hemingway. Another relative is Gordon B. Hinkley, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Theodore N. Vail, founder of AT&T, is a sixth cousin four times removed, while banker JP Morgan is a 7th cousin four times removed.

Other interesting relations of Senator Obama are actors: Margaux Hemingway, his 9th cousin; Superman Christopher Reeve, a 7th couin twice removed, and Katharine Hepburn, a 7th cousin thrice removed, and Brad Pitt is a 9th cousin. Even Justin Timberlake is Obama’s 11th cousin! A truly interesting approach to American politics.

Part II: HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON

Interestingly, Senator Clinton’s ancestry is also as colorful as Obama’s, though not as diverse as his. While Obama’s relatives include people from the arts, politics, banking and finance, business, the Mormon church, and even royalty, Clinton’s are more concentrated on two areas: politics and the arts. (Click here for Clinton’s pedigree chart)

Her political relatives include Prime Ministers Pierre Trudeau and Jean Chretien of Canada. Other than these two popular Canadian politicians, most of Hillary’s more popular relatives are from the entertainment industry. Shania Twain is her 9th cousin three times removed, Celine Dion is her 10th cousin once removed, Alanis Morissette is her tenth cousin, while Madonna and Clinton are 10th cousins. Three very interesting notes on Hilary’s genealogy: her royal antecedents are supposed to be the Kings of Navarre, but there are no exact evidences for that; she is also a 10th cousin of Camila Shand, the Duchess of Cornwall and wife of Prince Charles; and, finally, actor Jon Voight is the husband of Marcheline Bertrand [and father of Angelina Jolie], Hillary’s 9th cousin once removed.


Part III: JOHN McCAIN

McCain’s antecedents are not as glamorous and diverse as Obama’s and Clinton’s. In fact,John McCain’s genealogy (for the time being) has only been traced to reveal two interesting people: one, to King William I “the Lion”, King of Scotland, who is McCain’s direct ancestor, and Laura Bush, wife of President George W. Bush, who happens to be a sixth cousin of Senator John McCain. (Click here for McCain’s pedigree chart).

In a world where political victories and losses are not as easily predicted as surveys are paraded and believed to be, looking at a candidate’s ancestry sometimes tells us who among the candidates is the strongest.

It is interesting to note that Obama and McCain share a common descent from King William of Scotland, and that Obama and Clinton are relatives by affinity because Obama’s cousin, Brad Pitt, married Angelina Jolie, the daughter of Jon Voight, Hillary’s cousin.

The fight between Hillary and Obama will be long and hard, considering that both have strong royal bloodlines and, while Obama have many US Presidential relatives, Clinton’s two Canadian Prime Minister cousins Trudeau and Chretien are two of the modern times’ most influential. And, between them are [sic] a plethora of singers and actors and actresses, each of whom have made an impact to the world.

Whoever wins in the Democratic race will ultimately face McCain who, while not having as many famous relatives as Obama and Clinton, certainly has the right relationship to incumbent George W. Bush, as well as also a royal descent from William of Scotland. It would seem that this November would be a face-off between Obama and McCain, both of whom are related to the Bushes and both sharing a common descent from King William of Scotland.

_____________________

This article is based on several online genealogies of the three candidates, the most comprehensive of which is http://www.wargs.com/political.

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Those Commonly Mispronounced Last Names

21 12 2007

Having worked as a publishing consultant for a Canadian-owned, Random House-affiliate publishing services providing company was the closest that I ever had to working for a call center.   Because we catered to mostly North American clients, we had to speak, well, at least passable American English.  Not having undergone any American accent training, I still felt that my English (and other Anglicized words)-speaking skills are somehow above average. 

I never liked trying to sound American by talking nasally.  I’d sound like someone with speech problems like some people I know.  Hehe.  So, I went into training and since I am not at all an idiot, I learned what I was supposed to learn within the period allotted for the process, far more quickly, I believe.  Our trainers were a bunch of characters.  But then again, trainees—and students for that matter—always make fun of their trainers and teachers. 

The first month was a lot of fun.  Our American department head gave us the permission to take 10-minute breaks in between 60-minute of straight serious work.  Those were on top of our lunch breaks and two 15-minute breaks.  That was pure heaven for smokers like us and for non-smokers who took the same breaks as we did to chat and talk about the “characters” in the office.  Since we were told to speak English at all times then, we did.  So breaks were a bunch of breaks indeed filled with funny anecdotes in English.  There were 9 of us in our batch.  We were supposed to be a part of the first batch of 12 but since the first three—who later became our supervisors—were taken in before the Christmas break and they needed hands on deck (not on the dick, you, you!) then, we were considered the 1 1/2 batch.  Hehe. 

So anyway, the main criterion for the beauty contest—er—for hiring us was our English speaking skills.  Our American department head conducted one on one interviews and if you pass his standards—meaning he understands the way you speak and you get to deliver the answers to his questions the way he wants to hear them—then you’re hired.  So we were super proud to have been hired into a position that promised at least a basic fee of twenty grand, well, not in dollars, but in pesos.  We were also given the chance to earn commissions.  It was a good deal!  I will keep mum about what went on after that in terms of monetary concerns because I don’t want to rouse the sleeping monsters here and there. 

The first day we went live—call potential clients—we got lost.  One of the major problems?  Pronunciation of last names.  Pronouncing places wasn’t much of a problem because somehow, I already knew how to properly most of them, like Tucson/TOO-sahn/in Arizona,  Cayce /KAY • see/ in South Carolina, Des Moines /dih-MOYN/ in Iowa, Leicester /LESS-tur/ in Massachusetts, Reading /RED-ing/ (not like READING from the base verb READ!) in Pennsylvannia and many others. 

Nope, we were not given any help in that department.  What I did was create my own pronunciation guide.  Well, it all boils down to etymology for some.  And if you really can’t pronounce it properly, it’s best to politely ask the owner of the name.  I once looked for a Miss Augusta Something only to find out that he’s a HE.  Some countries don’t go by the usual Filipino convention of names ending with (Mario) O or U for men and A (Maria) for women.  By the way, my parents names are Gregorio and Gregoria.  Talk about soulmates!  LOL. 

My research enabled me to learn some new things and to affirm those that I already knew.  I thought it would be nice to share the fruits of my research here.  How’s that?  Most of them are from Inoglo, About.com and The Budget Fashionista.

I started with author’s names. 

Paulo Coelhopaw-LU ko-wel-YU (my own version based on the IPA guide)

Chuck Palahniukchuhk PALL-uh-nik

Ayn Randine rand

Roland Barthesroll-AH(NG) bart

J.R.R Tolkien“TOLL”-keen

Ivan Illichih-VAHN IH-lich

Jodi PicoultJOE-dee PEE-koe

Marcel Proustmar-SELL proost

Kathy ReichsKA-thee ryks

Jon Scieszkajahn SHESS-kuh

Fyodor Mikhailovich DostoevskyFYOE-dur mih-HY-loe-vich dahs-tuh-YEF-skee

J K Rowling—“rolling
 

Then artists:

Jan van Eyckyahn fuhn ike

Caravaggiokar-uh-VAHJ-o

RembrandtREM-brant

Eugene Delacroixuu-ZHEHN deh-lah-krwah

Edgar DegasED-gar duh-GAH

Claude Monetkload moe-nay

Paul Gauguinpall go-GA

Jean-Auguste Ingreszhahn-o-gust angg

And what last name pronunciation guide would be complete without fashion designers?  So here’s a not-so-complete guide from The Budget Fashionista.  They’re divided into A-G, H-M, and N-Z

Giorgio Armani: Jor-ji-o Ar-ma-nee
Manolo Blahnik: Muh-no-low blah- nick
Andre Courreges: AN-Dre Courreges
Balenciaga: Bal-en-see-AH-gah
Bottega Veneta: Bo-TAY-ga Ve-NE-tah
Roberto Cavalli: RO-ber-to Ka-VA-lee
Chanel: Sha-nel
Chloé: KLO-ee
Comme des Garcons: KUM de Gar-SOHN
Christian Dior: KRE-shtaan DEE-or
Dolce and Gabbana: DOL-chay and Gab-BAH-nah
Ellen Tracy: EL-lin TRAY-see
Salvatore Ferragamo: Sal- va- tor Ferr-A-ga-mo
Gianfranco Ferre: Gee-an-fran-ko Ferr-ay
John Galliano: Gall-lee-a-no
Givenchy: Gee-von-she
Halston: Hall-stun
Hermes: Air-mez
Hugo Boss: He-you-go Bo-s
Imitation of Christ: Em-ma-ta-shun of Cry-st
Marc Jacobs: Ma-rk Jay-kob-s
Betsey Johnson: BET-see JON-sun
Calvin Klein: CAL-vin KLYIN
Donna Karan (DKNY): Don-NAH KA-ran
Michael Kors: My-kal Ko-ors
Karl Lagerfeld: Ka-ral La-ger-fell-d
Helmut Lang: Hell- Mut Lay-ng
Jeanne Lanvin: John La- vin
Ralph Lauren: LORE-in
Nanette Lepore: Na-net LA-pour
Christian Louboutin: KRI-shtaan Lu-bu-TAHN
Louis Vuitton: Lu-wee Vee-tuhhh
Catherine Malandrino: KATH-er-in Mal-an-DREE-no
Alexander McQueen: Al-ex-AHN-der Mac-KWEEN
Isaac Mizrahi: Eye-zak Miz-ra-hee
Issey Miyake: E-say Me-ya-kay
Zac Posen: Zak Poo-zen
Proenza Schouler: pro-en-za skool-er
Emilio Pucci: E-MEE-lee-o POH-chee
Tracy Reese: TRAY- cee Ree-s
Elsa Schiaparelli: EL-sa She-a-pa-REHL-lee
Anna Sui: AN-na SOO-ee
Gianni Versace: Gee-a-nee Verr-sha-chie
Diane Von Furstenberg: DY-an Von FUR-sten-berg
Vera Wang: Veer- ra Way-ng

About.com also has an audio pronunciation guide on how designers’ names and brands are pronounced.  Check it out here.  It contains the correct pronunciation guides of Balmain, Byblos, Ermenegildo Zegna, Jean Paul Gaultier, Les Copains, Yves Saint Laurent and many more.

As a largely English-speaking country, I believe that pronouncing these foreign names and last names—English and Anglicized—are not merely about sounding good or whatever but it means giving respect to people from other countries whose names are not that easy for us Filipinos to pronounce.  My name is constantly mispronounced and misspelled either and while I have gotten used to it, it still gets annoying sometimes.  So, I think learning how to pronounce these names properly is a way of giving respect to others.





Giggles and Flirtation

2 12 2007

I used to actively chat via mIRC when I started out in college.  I guess it was around the time when the now extremely popular IRC client took its babysteps too.  Then came ICQ (an oronym for I seek you) but I never really liked it for some reason.  It was around that time when I first created my Yahoomail and Eudoramail accounts.  Looking back, I can never really believe how far everything has gone.  During that time, sending SMS was limited to the rich kids.  But later on, mobile phones have become almost an extention to our body parts.  Even the families who could barely eat three square meals have at least one. 

When my father’s aide asked permission to buy a cellphone, I had a long talk with him.  I told him that while I don’t have anything to do with whatever he does with his life and his money, we definitely hope that buying a gadget that would test his priorities, would not affect his priorities.  He came here from a far-flung barrio where his father would beat him up if he couldn’t hand over a few coins to buy booze.  He came here because we need him as much as he needs us.  My father is paralyzed and because old men are the most hard-headed patients in the world, he has never recovered from his stroke.  He has become totally dependent to the not-so-young boy for even the simplest of things—from scratching his back to feeding him—to the messiest of them all, like wiping him clean after defecating, sponge-bathing him, and doing covert ops just so he could eat ice cream in the middle of the night when my mom specifically told him not to and so many other things.  My dad, even when he was in tiptop shape, has always been a handful.  That’s where I got most of my traits, I guess—his gene pool.  So anyway, we all know how it felt like when we first had our first ever mobile phone with SMS capabilities.  I kinda expected the changing of ringing tones, message alert tones, the horrendous volume, the non-stop-I’ll-trip-over-but-I-dont-care-just-so-long-as-i-can-finish-this-message thing, etc.  Because I am nocturnal, I get really hot-headed in the morning a few minutes before I sleep or when my sleep is interrupted during the day.  And because he had his message alert tone changed to some pop tune, the darn phone pumps up the volume non stop after lunch when everybody in the house is asleep for siesta, including him.  And because I’m a light sleeper–that depends actually on the kind of noise–I always get to be the one who hears the alert.  After three consecutive messages, I rush downstairs and try to find the darn phone and lo! and behold! it’s right near the landline phone in the living room.  So I looked for the owner of the loud phone.  And my, oh, my, the good boy is in deep slumber, with his mouth wide open as if waiting for manna from heaven to fall.  So there I was, fully awake after around just 3 hours of sleep after almost 36 hours of working.  In a very bad mood.  I make it a point never to do anything when I’m all angry and pissed.  And so I tried desperately to go back to sleep.  So sleep I did until around 7PM which made my head hurt real bad.  I don’t like sleeping till around that time because it always makes my head hurt like hell.  I went back to work and downed a whole pint of vanilla ice cream.  God, that was heavenly.

And so one day, I called him and asked him to sit down for another one of my attempts at diplomacy.  So I said…I understand how it is to have a new phone and to be new in the SMS arena but if could just put his phone in silent mode when he’s in Papa’s room, that would really be great.  Or he could leave his cellphone in his room so it won’t disturb anyone if he doesn’t want to change the alert tone. 

A few hours later, I heard the phone screaming mercilessly.  So I called him and asked him what’s going on.  He had the volume set to 5 so he could hear it even from Papa’s room.  Now, isn’t he wise!

So anyway, our houseboy has expanded his vocabulary, thanks to text education, to a few more English words.  He has also acted like a male dog in heat.  He has since become (and became) the boyfriend of almost all the housemaids in the subdivision and in the nearby bakery. 

Much to my mom’s utter disgust, of course.  But I try to tell her that I understand.  It’s so easy to flirt over the phone, online and even over the good old snail mail—pen pals anyone?  We all have different worlds and for people who do not have to think of anything else other than waking up and serving his bosses, I think he deserves whatever surge of lust or something like it that he’s been indulging to these days.  SO LONG AS IT DOES NOT AFFECT HIS WORK.  Well, there have been lapses but I think things have been addressed pretty clearly and I am keeping my fingers crossed that nothing bad will happen.  What is a little concession like that for days of peace and order!  If it makes him happy, then it causes a chain reaction.  Happy employees are more effectively productive and that means happier employer.

So, now, let’s go back to moi.  I once had a two-year relationship with a guy I met online way back in college.  Well, make that three.  The other two were merely sinfully wonderful and memorable flings so they don’t really count as relationships but just for the sake of statistics, let’s count them in.  There’s something about exchanging naughty and teasing comments with someone who’s not physically near you that makes things a whole lot more, er, tingly. 

When the cameras were integrated into mobile phones, my then boyfriend asked me to send him “sexy” pix and he returned the favor.  Since I was in a semi-long distance relationships, the ooohs and aaaahs over texts and later phone calls sufficed.  Then with the advent of more modern tech, um, simultaneous indulgence of self-help developed cult-like support online.  Sad to say, it has degenerated the nature of flirting and harmless chatting with strangers. 

I traverse the long and winding information superhighway every day and because of that people constantly ask me what cybersex is, or if I’ve met someone online who will whisk me off poverty in the Philippines to some sugar-coated gingerbread house in the land of milk and honey or somewhere far from this Pearl of the Orient.  Well, I can explain in a very clinical and academic way what cybersex is and how it is done but in terms of chatting with someone who will eventually become a special part of my life, the answer is a resounding, eeeeeenkkkkk! 

NO.  As a single (Asian) female, I do get into those moods when I feel like I really want to be with someone.  My former landlady tells me I’m on NPO for now—medical practitioners, go figure—and for someone who had been not on NPO for a collective and straight seven or so years, it’s quite hard.  They say you don’t crave for something that you haven’t really tried.  Well, I have and so I crave.  But despite being a cosmo girl who understood Carrie’s consternation at the prospect of losing her Manolos to a “shoe-napper”, I think my quick tumble in the hay days are over.  I am not into that anymore.  Well, if the opportunity presents itself, why not?  But I have made my circle so small that even I could not turn around that easily.  So what opportunity are we talking about?  I’m not complaining, mind you.  But the thing is, I meet people online.  From work, through blogs, through wherever.  And while I am a natural tease and flirt, being asked for a cam view and for something to start a few minutes after you even say hi, is a tad too weird for me.  After a long hiatus from chatting, I tried getting into one of those chatrooms in Yahoo and jeeez, people seem to talk in one language and all they ask and talk about is sex, cams and cums!  Whatever happened to friendship and getting to know you while we flirt occasionally without really meaning anything much?  It’s just me getting all cheeky and clenched butt. 

I remember one masseuse who’s a friend of my mom.  She’s quite talkative—a trait that I really do not appreciate while getting a massage.  But when conversations turn green, even in my half-awake, half-asleep state, my ears still perk up.  So anyway, she just got widowed and so she’s been the brunt of jokes about looking for an “American” (the word is enclosed in quotation marks because sometimes we have this penchant of calling all foreigners American) husband.  She said she tried chatting but she gets uncomfy when the guy that she chats up with shows his dick right out and asks her to show her boobs or slit in return.  So she makes up excuses about not having a cam and all that jazz while she and her relatives watch while the “American” on the other side of the internet touches himself till everything limps down and the guy excused himself so he can “dry off” and “clean up” that usually means going to the bathroom or grabbing a roll of toilet paper for some. 

While I do not want to sound prissy, this simply does not turn me on.  I don’t know.  I get turned on by witty conversations that are peppered with flirtations and naughty innuendos but being other than that, I can always get into the part and just type some “motivational” lines for the other party. 

Needless to say, I’m not on a serious quest to find someone who’ll treat me like a princess and not for anything else.  When I’m 30 and I’m still not “in a relationship” as Friendster puts it, I will panic.  But only for a moment.  I think I have a healthy enough self-esteem to know that it’s not being in a relationship that matters—it’s in having fun while we can in a way that we will have fun indeed.  Perhaps, I still have unresolved personal issues to take care of and I think I will not make a good partner until I iron out whatever ugly wrinkles there are in my shirt. 

I have recently been getting proofs how big a liar my ex-boyfriend is and his audacity of continuously denying so many things even when I know what the real score is have been such huge downers lately.  Well, there’s work.  It gets me down but not emotionally so occasional online flirtations with people that I don’t really know, help big time.  Well, I’m choosy.  I don’t like wimps and younger guys.  And I have very little time.  So when I do get into that kind of mood, I’ll go for knights (or badass chicks!) in rusty armors while I wear my French maid’s costume.  Don’t get me started on how to use the feather duster!  LOL. 

But well, I miss blogging and even if I’m not making any sense, I am quite happy that I have blabbered a thought too many somehow. 

Oh, and I’m not in THAT mood right now, with over 70 web pages to revise, I don’t think I can afford to let out even a lusty sigh.  So, a piu tardi! Molto grazie! Ciao! 





Die Hard 4.5–One More Spoof, Bisaya Edition

25 10 2007

Yet another spoof from the same funny Ozamiznon

Warning: 

May be offensive to some.  This is just a spoof and should not be taken as anything otherwise. 

This is in Cebuano and I believe I can’t do justice to it by translating it to any other language so…

Watch at your own risk.





Troy–Yet Another Spoof, Bisaya Edition

25 10 2007

Warning: 

May be offensive to some.  This is just a spoof and should not be taken as anything otherwise. 

This is in Cebuano and I believe I can’t do justice to it by translating it to any other language so…

Watch at your own risk.





Harry Potter–Bisaya Edition

25 10 2007

This is a Harry Potter spoof from a fellow Ozamiznon.  Way to go, Bai.  Hehehe.  LMAO gyud.

Warning: 

May be offensive to some.  This is just a spoof and should not be taken as anything otherwise. 

This is in Cebuano and I believe I can’t do justice to it by translating it to any other language so…

Watch at your own risk.





I’m a 2!

25 10 2007

I always thought that I was a 9 in Enneagram but I took around 4 tests in various online sites and I always get 2 so I guess I’m a 2!  Hmmm… 

Guess there’s some goodness in this bitchy person I call myself, after all.

My result from Tickle.com:

You’re a Type 2 – The Humanitarian

Friends, family, and colleagues probably appreciate your caring and generous nature. They’re also apt to know that when they come to you with a problem, you’ll usually offer a shoulder to cry on and unparalleled compassion. As a Humanitarian, you’re likely to be seen as a loving and helpful person with a kind heart.

Being a member of this type puts you in good company. Mother Teresa, with her tireless devotion to aid the sick and destitute members of society, and Bishop Desmond Tutu, with his emphasis on nonviolent protest against racial injustices, are also Type 2s
This means that compared to the eight other Enneagram types, you have a strong sense of empathy for other people. In fact, you’re the kind of warm, sincere person who can be uniquely capable of seeing the good in others.