Monthly Archives: October 2012

2012 Selection ‘Surprise’: Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are Cousins

Obama & Romney Are Related! Genealogy Infographic

genealogybank.com | Oct 12, 2012

by Tom Kemp

In time for the 2012 election countdown, I recently did some genealogy research to learn more about the background of both President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney, and guess what—they’re related!

What’s more: they’re also related to several former U.S. presidents, English kings, outlaws and celebrities. This is really huge! So huge in fact that our team at GenealogyBank decided to create this Infographic to show many of these surprising genealogical findings.

Obama & Romney - Who Knew? We're Related! Genealogy Infographic

Obama & Romney Are Related?

Yes. Obama and Romney are both direct descendants of King Edward I of England, who was the eldest son of King Henry III and himself a father to numerous children by his two wives, Queens Eleanor and Margaret. King Edward I was perhaps the most successful of the medieval English monarchs. Known as “Longshanks” due to his great height and stature, King Edward I stood head and shoulders above other men of his time, towering at a height of 6’2. Romney and Obama are chips off the old block, both over six feet tall. Romney measures in at 6’2 and Obama at 6’1.

Related

Obama, Romney Family Ties Share Polygamy, More

Several U.S. Presidents as Cousins-in-Common

The 2012 presidential candidates not only share a royal ancestor, they also have many distant cousins-in-common. These distant relatives form the impressive lineup of United States presidents featured in the White House Family Reunion photo in the Infographic above.

12 yr Girl Discovers ALL U.S. Presidents Except One Related to One British King

Obama and Romney’s U.S. president distant cousins-in-common include:

  • James Madison – 4th President of the United States
  • William Harrison – 9th President of the United States
  • Zachary Taylor – 12th President of the United States
  • Ulysses S. Grant – 18th President of the United States
  • Benjamin Harrison – 23rd President of the United States
  • Grover Cleveland – 24th President of the United States
  • Warren G. Harding – 29th President of the United States
  • Calvin Coolidge – 30th President of the United States
  • Richard Nixon – 37th President of the United States
  • Gerald Ford – 38th President of the United States
  • Jimmy Carter – 39th President of the United States
  • George W. Bush – 43rd President of the United States
  • George H.W. Bush – 41st President of the United States

Early American Presidential Roots

Obama and Romney also have deep early American roots in their respective family trees. Mayflower passengers Edward and Samuel Fuller are both direct ancestors of Mitt Romney. They were part of the group of Pilgrims who founded Plymouth Colony in 1620.

Romney is also a distant cousin to the early American President Thomas Jefferson, and Obama is a distant cousin to President George Washington.

Wild West Outlaw Kin

Another interesting ancestral find was that each of the presidential nominees is a distant relation to notorious American Wild West gunslingers. Wild Bill Hickok is a distant cousin to Obama, and William H. Bonney a.k.a. “Billy the Kid” is a distant cousin to Romney. Also noteworthy is that Romney is a relation to famous American actor Clint Eastwood, who has starred in many hit Western movies such as The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

Star-Studded Family Trees

Both of the 2012 election candidates share their family trees with Hollywood megastars, as well as other celebrities ranging from renowned American artists to British royalty.

Obama is a distant cousin to the following celebrities:

  • Brad Pitt – Hollywood Megastar
  • Elvis Presley – King of Rock & Roll
  • Georgia O’Keeffe – Famous American Artist & Painter
  • Robert Duvall – Hollywood Actor

Romney’s family tree also has many movie stars and famous people. His distant cousins include:

  • Clint Eastwood – Hollywood Megastar
  • Alec Baldwin –Hollywood Actor
  • Princess Diana – Former Princess of Wales
  • Katherine Hepburn – Earlier Hollywood Megastar
  • Julia Child – Famous Chef, TV Personality and Author

Both Have Foreign-Born Fathers

President Barack Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, to parents Stanley Ann Dunham and Barack Hussein Obama, Sr. The Infographic features an old photo of Barack Obama II as a child with his mother Ann.

President Obama’s father was born in 1936 in Kanyadhiang Village, Kenya. The Infographic features an old picture of President Obama’s dad Barack Hussein Obama, Sr., as an infant with the president’s paternal grandmother Habiba Akumu Obama.

Governor Romney was born in 1947 in Detroit, Michigan, to parents Lenore and George W. Romney. The old family photograph in the Infographic shows the governor as a baby with his mom and dad.

Mitt Romney’s father George W. Romney, the former governor of Michigan, was born in 1907 in Colonia Dublán, Mexico. The old picture in the Infographic shows Romney’s father as a child with Mitt’s grandma Anna Amelia Pratt Romney.

Who knew the presidential candidates shared so many family connections? We’re continuing our ancestral exploration into the 2012 U.S. presidential candidates’ family trees. Make sure to stay tuned by following us here on the blog and on Facebook, Twitter or G+ to get more Obama and Romney family history.

. . .

Romney Agrees With Obama… On Everything

Completely corrupt Portland city council secretly met with fluoride lobbyists before voting to poison Oregonians’ water

NaturalNews | Oct 23, 2012

by J. D. Heyes

(NaturalNews) Did Portland City Council members secretly meet with lobbyists representing those who seek to force area residents to be poisoned with fluoride? Opponents of the effort seem to think so, and with good reason.

The lobbyists did, in fact, meet with all five council members in July or August, they have said, but only one of those initial meetings appears on public calendars and only then under a vague heading, according to local Oregon media.

If there was other contact, that could cast a pall over the entire council because such meetings would appear to violate the city’s lobbying and reporting requirements.

Those requirements, which were championed by then-Commissioner (now mayor) Sam Adams in 2005, affect lobbyists and city officials alike “and are meant to reveal who attempts to influence city leaders – and on what topic,” The Oregonian reported on its blog.

The driving force behind adding fluoride to the drinking water of Portland and surrounding communities is Upstream Public Health, but the group’s plan has been challenged via a referendum effort that could block the council’s unanimous Sept. 12 vote of approval.

Just slipped their minds?

Lobbyists, in a recently filed disclosure, reported meeting with commissioners Randy Leonard on July 26, Dan Saltzman and Nick Fick on Aug. 2, Amanda Fritz on Aug. 6 and Adams on Aug. 27 to push their case for adding fluoride to water.

Yet, those same officials, who are required by rule to publicly post their calendars on a quarterly basis, “either didn’t disclose them meetings about fluoride or left a vague subject heading,” The Oregonian reported, adding that both Adams and Leonard said they weren’t actually present at the meetings.

Leonard has been a proponent of the fluoride plan. According to his calendar, he had four meetings on July 26, but none were about fluoride.

Saltzman, meanwhile, had three meetings listed for Aug. 2 with the city forester, the police union and one regarding a homeless camp – nothing about fluoride.

Of nine slots on Fish’s calendar, he reported a single 30-minute meeting Aug. 2 with “Health Coalitions” but did not provide specifics about the group or the topic of discussions.

Fritz, who reports weekly rather than daily appointments on her calendar, listed 16 meetings or events for the aforementioned period of time; none listed fluoride as the topic or Upstream Public Health as an organization she met with.

Finally, Adams listed six items on his calendar for Aug. 27, including a meeting with Police Chief Mike Reese, a meeting regarding trade with Brazil, one with Transportation Director Tom Miller, a media event and two blocks for “office time.” Again, nothing about fluoride.

City code requires elected officials to post their calendars “of activities related to official city business” 15 days after the end of the preceding quarter. That deadline was Oct. 15.

There is one exception – if an elected official “determines that such posting posses a safety threat.”

It seems, now that allegations of impropriety have hit the light of day, everyone has an excuse about why they didn’t do their duty and inform the public what was happening.

About that reporting requirement…

Leonard told the paper via email he never met with Upstream Public Health on July 26, even though the group has said its representatives had a “personal meeting” with him. Leonard said the meeting was with Stuart Oishi, a member of his staff.

Oh.

Adams spokeswoman Caryn Brooks says the mayor never met personally with the group, either, that Upstream met with herself and Amy Ruiz, the mayor’s deputy chief of staff. She did say; however, that Adams phoned Upstream about fluoride – a claim that did not appear on the group’s mandated reporting requirement – and that he also ran into representatives of the organization at a local tavern.

Sure.

Fish, in a separate email to the local paper, said Kayse Jama, a founder for the Center for Intercultural Organizing, requested the Aug. 2 meeting but told his office that the agenda was “broad health equity strategy.” Fish says he didn’t learn about the topic until the meeting actually began.

Of course.

So, “not me, my staff;” “saw someone in a bar;” and “I didn’t know until it was too late” are the “reasons” for not reporting what was obviously an effort by a lobbying group to influence elected officials – no matter the method.

Most subsequent meetings with Upstream were put on council member’s calendars, but the initial ones clearly were not.

Portland, by the way, is one of the last bastions of fluoride-free water in the U.S.

U.S. military dumped millions of pounds of mustard gas, explosives into the Gulf of Mexico

 

Natural News | Oct 23, 2012

by J. D. Heyes

(NaturalNews) It’s not something that has been sanctioned by the Defense Department for more than 40 years, but once upon a time, it appeared to be a routine practice: The disposal of U.S. arms at sea.

Now, years later, the effects of this irresponsible practice are returning to haunt us.

“Lurking (and leaking) beneath the world’s oceans are an estimated 200 million pounds of unexploded and potentially dangerous explosives – from bombs to missiles to mustard gas,” Fox News reported recently.

That is the conclusion of William Bryant and Niall Slowey, oceanographers from Texas A&M University, who have documented a pair of these dump sites in the Gulf of Mexico. The two researchers put out a conservative estimate that at least 31 million pounds of ordnance can be found in the Gulf of Mexico, as well as off the coastlines of at least 16 states, from New Jersey to Hawaii.

That includes thousands of containers of mustard gas, which lie strewn about the ocean floor off the coast of New Jersey. And, they said, there are seven dump sites on the seafloor of the Gulf, each one measuring approximately 81 square miles

One is located at the mouth of the Mississippi River Delta.

“The amount that has been dumped was unbelievable,” Bryant said. “No one seems to have reported seeing explosives in the Gulf. We felt it was our responsibility to report it.”

After a half a century on the sea floor…

Now, the two oceanographers admit that the existence of UXO (unexploded ordnance) at sea is no secret. Until relatively recently, it was an acceptable international practice.

“Dumping conventional and chemical munitions captured from enemies – Nazi German, for example – was also an accepted practice,” Fox News reported.

For the U.S. anyway, that all changed in 1970 after the Pentagon prohibited the practice. Congress followed up with the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act of 1972, which generally banned sea disposal altogether.

But after some 50 years or more on the sea floor, the condition of these dangerous munitions is not known.

“Is there an environmental risk? We don’t know, and that in itself is reason to worry,” Bryant said. “We just don”t know much at all about these bombs, and it’s been 40 to 60 years that they’ve been down there.”

The report noted that analysts have suspected for some time that tones of undocumented munitions were “short-dumped,” as in, disposed of long before ships reached designated dumping sites, leaving them much too close to shore for comfort.

While conducting their sea floor research, Bryant and his team found two dump sites where they vividly captured decaying canisters of what they believe to be chemical weapons. At one point, they also found themselves floating above a field of munitions that were as large as 500 pounds.

How much is out there, and where is all of it?

In a statement published by Texas A&M, an explosion from a UXO could produce a number of calamities: It could threaten ship traffic, commercial fishing and cruise lines, among other activities. And, of course, the munitions pose a threat to some 30,000 people who work in the oil and gas industry aboard ocean rigs.

Bryant’s team said Texas shores are the closest to munitions, some of which lie as little as 50 miles offshore. Louisiana was the second closest, and in particular, the Mississippi River Delta.

Officials at the Defense Department want to know just how lethal these devices still are, so the Pentagon began conducting a massive search effort in 2004 to locate all of the ordnance. Thousands of hours of labor have been spent looking over millions of pages worth of documentation to determine where dump sites are, what type of ordnance was dumped and how much at each site.

The team has presented their findings at the International Dialogue on Underwater Munitions in Puerto Rico recently.

Mali: “The New Afghanistan”


Armed Islamists gather on Sept. 21 in Gao, the biggest city in northern Mali, which is now under the control of armed Islamist groups. Issouf Sanogo / AFP – Getty Images

NBC News | Oct 23, 2012

By Rohit Kachroo

For many years, the landlocked state rarely bothered the international community. Its growing economy and relative social stability made it an example to some neighboring countries.

But that has changed over the past several months. Today, security officials frequently talk of Mali as being “the new Afghanistan.” They fear that deep inside the country’s northern desert, al-Qaida has carved out a new home — not only a safe haven for terrorists, but a training ground for a new generation of Islamist militants.

The fragile government has lost control of most of the country since President Amadou Toumani Toure was overthrown in a military coup in March, leaving a power vacuum that enabled Tuareg rebels, Mali’s main rebel group, to seize two-thirds of the country. But Islamist extremists, some allied with al-Qaida, hijacked the revolt and then imposed harsh Islamic law in a desert region the size of France.

Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb have benefited from the remains of the Libyan regime, as guns and fighters from Libya have found their way into the country.

The conflict has exacerbated a deteriorating humanitarian and security situation in the turbulent Sahel area — a belt of land spanning nearly a dozen of the world’s poorest countries on the southern rim of the Sahara — where millions are on the brink of starvation due to drought.

Mali al-Qaida-linked group stones couple to death over alleged adultery

The experience of other al-Qaida franchises may have taught the world to act early when faced with a growing threat on a new front. Consequently, military planners around the world are focusing their attention on Mali.

France is becoming increasingly involved behind the scenes, and foreign military intervention would likely follow the example of Somalia, where African forces provided soldiers, assisted by Western resources.

Top-level American and French military leaders and diplomats, including U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson, began two days of talks in Paris on Monday on intelligence-gathering and security in the Sahel region, diplomats from both sides told The Associated Press. In addition, France will move surveillance drones to West Africa, according to Intelligence Online, quoted by The AP.

One of France’s fears is that because of its history as a former colonial power, it could become a target of the militants.

Although France is likely to take the diplomatic lead among the Western powers, many other countries, including the U.S., appear to be growing more concerned about the terrifying prospect of a lawless Mali upon their domestic security.

Germany’s Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said on Tuesday after talks in Berlin with the U.N.’s envoy to the Sahel, Romano Prodi, that he was extremely worried about the situation in northern Mali.

“From the north of Mali you need to cross only one international border and you are at the Mediterranean. If the north collapses, if terrorist training camps spring up and it becomes a haven for global terrorism, this won’t just endanger Mali and North Africa, it will also threaten us in Europe.”

“There will be support from Germany and Europe, it is not about fighting troops but support through the training of an African mission,” Westerwelle added.

Divided Hungary marks 1956 anti-Soviet revolt


Young people march through Budapest on Monday to re-enact the protest march of Hungarian students in 1956, which ignited the revolution and war of independence against communist rule and the Soviet Union. Lajos Soos  /  EPA

NBCNews.com | Oct 23, 2012

Hungarians are feuding bitterly amongst themselves as they mark the 56th anniversary on Tuesday of the revolt in which the nation rose up to overthrow Soviet rule in a 1956 revolution.

With politicians of the ruling right and opposition left at loggerheads, Hungary will have two separate mass rallies, one for and one against Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government, highlighting sharps divisions over his controversial reforms.

Hungary’s uprising in 1956 was the first serious blow to the Soviet bloc established after Soviet tanks drove out Nazi German troops from Central Europe at the end of World War Two. Though the uprising was crushed, its impact was lasting and it played a role in the collapse of Soviet rule three decades later.

The anniversary will give the conservative Orban, whose centralizing style and unorthodox policies alienated throngs of supporters since a 2010 election landslide, a symbolic platform to brandish his go-it-alone approach to fixing the economy.

Shunning European Union advice from Brussels, which Orban compares to Hungary’s former communist ruler Moscow, the premier has flagged higher taxes on banks and other big businesses to curb the budget deficit.

“We … will clearly signal over the next days, weeks and months that Hungary will not backtrack one iota from its stance that the West is mishandling its crisis,” Economy Minister Gyorgy Matolcsy said on state radio on Monday.

“This is their problem, but in Hungary we refuse to build our policies on flawed recipes and austerity packages,” said Matolcsy, the architect of Hungary’s unorthodox measures such as Europe’s highest bank levy and special taxes on various sectors.

Orban will address supporters from 4 p.m. local time (10 a.m. ET) outside parliament, while opposition groups will stage a rally in central Budapest from 3 p.m. local time (9 a.m. ET) featuring a speech by former Prime Minister Gordon Bajnai, Orban’s predecessor.

iPad used to draft Hungarian constitution

The far-right Jobbik party, which holds 45 of 386 parliament seats and has capitalized on widespread resentment of Hungary’s around 700,000 Roma, will hold a rally of its own from 3 p.m. local time (9 a.m. ET).

‘A very specific message’

Critics say the government’s measures and its reluctance to change its flagship flat-tax policy have prolonged a crisis in the central European country of 10 million people which is seeking an international loan to shore up its shrinking economy.

Orban’s ruling Fidesz and the main opposition Socialists both nudged higher in an October opinion poll, while more than half of eligible voters had no party preference.

Organizers of the opposition rally, which attracted about 25,000 people last year, say they want to send a strong signal that a change of government is needed at an election due in the first half of 2014.
AP, file

“We formed a political association to convey a very specific message to replace the current government of Viktor Orban,” Peter Juhasz, chairman of opposition group Milla, which is organizing the rally, told Reuters.

Some in the opposition camp, like Juhasz, hope that Bajnai, who led a government of technocrats supported by the Socialists in 2009-2010, could emerge as a credible challenger to Orban and sway millions of undecided voters.

The 44-year-old Bajnai, who implemented an International Monetary Fund program that pulled Hungary back from the brink of bankruptcy in 2008, called for an “immediate and radical” turnaround in economic policy in a speech last week.

Hungary President Pal Schmitt quits in plagiarism scandal

Organizers of the pro-government rally, which will march across central Budapest to parliament where Orban is speaking, say they want to express support for the government which they say resists outside meddling in Hungary’s affairs.

“The European Union and the European Commission have not abandoned their attack against Hungary,” political scientist Tamas Fricz, an organizer of the rally told conservative daily Magyar Nemzet in an interview on Monday.

“We need to show … that the government, which defends national sovereignty is not in a vacuum, that it has a majority.”