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Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Fed Cuts Rates By A Quarter-Point!
And in another story sure to upset my favorite conspiracist friend, the Federal Reserve has cut the fed funds rate by another quarter point and apparently also the "discount rate" by a quarter point.
Oh, yes - God willing and the creed don't rise some of these variable rate mortgages will start to be a little more affordable again for a while.
This is the second cut in six weeks, apparently induced by continuing chaos in the credit markets.
Yes, this is going to further depress the U.S. Dollar and cause other - issues, but apparently it's the best our goofy system can arrange.
Essentially it is a "back-door bail-out". Apparently because certain people think it encourages "risky behavior", the government has yet to grow the gonads to do what would actually be the right thing.
Let me repeat it again for those of you who have not been paying attention.
The federal government should DIRECTLY lend ANYONE with an OUTSTANDING MORTGAGE enough to pay it off at 6.5% for 40 years.
You heard me right.
Instead of doing that, these idiots are pumping mass money into the SHORT TERM market where, yes, some of it will end up going temporarily against lines of credit and whatnot, but, what seems to be more common is that this money is ending up going into CREDIT CARDS.
Now, don't get me wrong - some of these offers aren't bad overall - "7% until it's paid off" and whatnot, but they have some BRUTAL side effects.
If you miss ONE payment you may be looking at interest in the 25% range.
They also are almost like baloon payments in reverse. "Until it's paid off" credit card offers are like nuclear waste - they have "half-lives". Basically, if you are making the minimum payments (and why on Earth would anyone want to pay MORE than the minimum payment on an "until it's paid off" loan?) and your interest rates are relatively low, the "half-life" of the loan tends to run in the 4-year range. In other words, if you have an "until it's paid off" balance transfer offer at low interest rates for $10,000 and you make the minimum payments every month, in about 4 years your balance will have declined to $5000.
In another 4 years, $2500.
And so on.
Now, I don't have any advanced degress in finance or economics or anything of the sort, but I'm guessing these idiots are borrowing money from the Fed on overnight repos at 4.5% and lending the money out at 7%. That's all fine and dandy of course unless we hit some post-apocalyptic early '80's type deal where Fed Fund hits 12% or something of the sort and then we'll be looking at bank failures that make the Depression look like a bad night at the track.
No ... someone needs to start putting some kind of regulations in place on this mess and enforce them.
Either that or someone needs to start a new video series called "Banks Gone Wild" ...
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
The Conspiracist Report for 10/30/2007
FBI Puts Antiwar Protesters on Criminal Database; Canada Uses It To Ban Protesters From Entry - OpEdNews.com
Apple Sends 3rd Grader Cease And Desist Letter - CBS 13
Oh that Apple story is choice - this 3rd grader sends Apple a letter about how they can improve the iPod and their LEGAL DEPARTMENT sends back that they don't accept unsolicited ideas.
REAL nice way to treat your customers - particularly a nine-year-old third grader.
That is SO not cool.
GOD I hate big companies ...
Monday, October 29, 2007
Kim Kardashian Speaks!
Like ... OMG ... she's a ditz from hell!
Labels: Kim Kardashian
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Kim Kardashian Nude Playboy Photos Leaked! (Uncensored)
As if this was the slightest surprise to anyone, the Kim Kardashian nude Playboy photos have been LEAKED.
Of course what is REALLY dissapointing is the REALLY bad scan quality.
They look like they were scanned from the actual printed magazine or a proof copy thereof, but I KNOW you can make better scans than that.
As to the actual photos ... :)
All I can say is ...
Some of the poses are a little ... strange ... to say the least - but we are talking about Playboy here ...
Yes ... she's a cute one ... but GOD she looks dangerous ...
Kim Kardashian, Can't Wait Til I Hit That Ass Again... - WayMoreFresher
Kim Kardashian’s Playboy Photo Shoot - StickyButter
Kim Kardashian 2007 Playboy Cover - Hollywood Grind
Kim Kardashian Playboy Photos, December 2007 - The Bastardly
Kim Kardashian does Playboy - The Blemish
Labels: Kim Kardashian
Laketa Cole To Replace Joy Rolland?
Of course the Malaysian contingent has been quite beside itself since the dissapearance from the blogosphere and public access arena of Joy Rolland. Who else is going to treat you to such elegant, lady-like behavior?
Well, apparently none other than Cincinnati City Council member Laketa Cole.
According to reports, Laketa Cole was in a fist fight with a certain Whitney Fields on Bitteroot Lane in College Hill on Thursday night.
Oh I'd have paid real money to see that one.
Laketa Cole's temper last reared itself a few years back when confronted about if city materials associated with her office were used in the Alicia Reece run for mayor.
Although, yes, Laketa Cole is from a neighborhood adjacent to the one where I grew up, so it's my guess you better stay on her good side or you're liable to end up cellphone whipped ala Cynthia McKinney or WORSE.
Apparently the altercation was over Laketa Cole's boyfriend, Cornelius Scroggins, who used to date this Whitney Fields.
Oh, dear - love triagle drama.
No word yet on whether or not any adult diapers or pepper spray were involved in this one.
In accounts of events I'm sure Obi Ken would approve of, first Whitney Fields called Laketa Cole a whore, so Laketa Cole returned the compliment.
Laketa Cole goes on to describe a genuine, bonafide, Aiken High School-style catfight with shirts being ripped up, hair grabbing and quite possible eye gouging.
This Cornelius Scroggins of course sounds like a truly ideal citizen with charges of driving without a license, driving under suspension and blasting whole neighborhoods with an outrageously loud car stereo. He missed an August court date on the suspension charge and apparently there's a capeas on out him.
Laketa sure knows how to pick 'em, I tell you.
Although, I'm sure many of you are reasonably shocked (and perhaps a bit relieved) to learn that Miss Laketa is dating MEN. :)
Word is that Whitney Fields tipped off the media about the incident in an attempt to ruin Laketa Cole's reelection chances.
Well, I don't know how the election will turn out, but something tells me Whitney Field's selfless narcing of these events WILL lead to some much needed traffic here at Axinar's ... :)
Police: City Council Member Laketa Cole Gets Into Scuffle - WCPO
Laketa Cole dukes it out - The Cincinnati Enquirer
Cole Train Derailed? - Cincinnati Blog
Laketa Cole In Crosshairs - Cincinnati Black Blog
Cole dukes it out over fight - The Cincinnati Enquirer
Labels: Laketa Cole
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Congress Working On Bill To Let You SUE Your Creditors For Getting You In Unrealistic Mortgages
Looks like Congress is working on passing a bill that would allow you to SUE the predatory S.O.B.'s that got you into mortgages you couldn't possibly ever pay off.
The legislation, introduced by Representative Barney Frank, Democrat of Massachusetts and chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, would require mortgage lenders to - [[gasp]] - verify that the borrower has a “reasonable ability to repay” based on documented income, credit history and debt level.
What I want to know is how in the HELL it ever got to the point that people could get mortgages without passing those criteria?
Another feature of the proposed bill would allow borrowers who patently never had the ability to repay their loans to sue their original lender and/or the mortgage "repackagers" for a better deal.
Actually, I'd love to see a bill that goes beyond that.
Basically if the Congress had the slightest bit of testicular fortitude they would do what might have the SLIGHTEST prayer of keeping a great many people from being thrown out on the street.
Yes, each and every currently outstanding residential mortgage should be refinanced DIRECTLY by the government for the next 40 years at 6.5%.
Then everyone involved in the mortgage business since 9/11/2001 should be hunted down and executed I swear to GOD ...
Labels: Sub-Prime Mortgage Crisis
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Ellen DeGeneres And Her Dog Adoption Troubles
The Conspiracist Report
Pretty much every day my favorite conspiracist friend sends me a stream of links that detail various aspects of clandestine activities by the government via IM (as opposed to an organized email that I could digest in a reasonable manner).
Very often I'm not sure WHAT to say about these things, but I figured I'd go ahead and run them and maybe y'all will start a comment thread [[ahem]] or some such and we'll see where it goes.
From the "Better Late Than Never" department is a story from Wired about how the FBI, if I understand this story correctly, has a semi-automatic digital eavesdropping network.
Yes, that always makes you feel REAL good - almost as good as when White House employees used to regularly read Axinar's. I guess the blog thing has pretty much blown over as nobody seems to CARE now. On the other hand, somewhat ironically, in a desperate attempt to build ratings, Axinar's has, in many ways, gone the route in topics as The Jerry Springer Show once did, so it should be a surprise to no one that nobody reads my ramblings any more.
Her next link is a site something about some problems with syncing UNIX time with UTC due to problems with some of the basic UNIX protocols and how they handle leap seconds.
No, I'm not sure how this is a conspiracy exactly, but maybe she'll fill us in. :)
(Although she tells me she's too paranoid to sync her computers to time.gov.)
The next is one that has come up quite a few times over the years - yes, the government just might be secretly pilfering the gold reserves at Fort Knox.
Of course the gold holdings at Fort Knox are so utterly insignificant in relation to the overall economy so as to be laughable.
On the other hand, if the government is being sneaky about it, it does deserve some attention.
Of course, since we are talking about an outfit that somehow snuck into WTC 1, WTC 2, and WTC 7 over a period of MONTHS or YEARS, rigged all three with TNT, and then managed to get the two biggest ones to collapse at EXACTLY the level where two MANIACS had just hit them with JUMBO JETS, I suppose a little shell game with gold bars is certainly not beyond them ...
Bastardly On Halle Berry's ... "Delicate Condition"
Yes, I was beginning to notice that Halle Berry's pregnancy was beginning to ... change her clothing sizes ... myself.
Bastardly is quite looking forward to what she may look like in February.
Uh, at her age (and let's not forget the fact she's diabetic), being pregnant can take alot out of a person.
In fact, being pregnant at any age and any level of health can be FATAL let's not forget.
But, yes ... it does make one wonder what she might have looked like with ... different dimensions ... :)
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Kim Kardashian Threatening To Sue To Stop Second Sex Tape Release
The Superficial and FOX News are reporting that Kim Kardashian is threatening to sue Vivid Entertainment if they release a second sex tape that continues her escapades with Ray J.
Oh, how horrid.
I haven't seen the FIRST one yet.
Oh yes ... I thought it was just MY family with a wicked history of being oversexed.
Is this just something that RUNS in Armenians?? :)
Labels: Kim Kardashian
Halle Berry "Anti-Semitic" Jay Leno Appearance
Interesting - they didn't cut the comment - they just bleeped the "Jewish" part of it ...
And she realized just as she said it she ruined her career ...
She better consider herself fortunate she's an actress and not a politician ... the demands for resignation would be UNBELIEVEABLE ...
Halle Berry: Anti-Semitic?
Apparently during the taping of her Tonight Show With Jay Leno appearance last Friday night (Oct. 19, 2007), Halle Berry said something about a distorted picture of herself with a large nose looking like her Jewish cousin.
The comment was edited from the version of the show broadcast Friday night.
Now Halle Berry said she picked up the line from one of her Jewish friends and she repeated it before she realized that people would lose they minds.
Denmark Vesey of course is none too thrilled with the situation.
His subtitle for his blog entry is "Group Think Police Strike Again" and he characterizes the events as Halle Berry being "forced" to issue a public apology.
Damn right she needed to apologize.
Let's not even begin to comment upon the RIOT that would have gotten started, for instance, if some Jewish actress had gone hogwild on Photoshop with LIPS or some such and started running her mouth on Jay Leno.
She messed up.
She SHOULD have apologized.
Case closed ...
Halle Berry Thinks All Jewish People Have Big Noses - A Socialite's Life
Halle Berry makes anti-Semitic joke on Leno - The Superficial
Halle Berry apologises for anti-Semitic joke (+video) - Stuff.co.nz
Halle Sorry for Jewish Joke - E! Online News
Did Halle Berry Make an Anti-Semitic Comment? - AOL News Bloggers
Halle is Berry Sorry About Anti-Semitic Remark - JustJared
Monday, October 22, 2007
What Can I Say? Armenians Rock!
Crying shame we're probably related ...
Well, yeah ... and that I'm MARRIED ... :)
BTW ... why is it that I'm just now hearing about this woman???
Kim Kardashian’s Big Ass Birthday Bash - Hottest Posts Of The Day
Kim Kardashian December Playboy Preview - The DERRTY Truth
Kim Kardashian gets classy in Playboy - MSNBC
Kim Kardashian is "Excited For People to See How Normal They Are" - BuddyTV
Friday, October 19, 2007
Shatner Denies Being In New Star Trek Movie
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
"Where You At?"
Denmark Vesey found an interesting piece that ran on Fox News about a teacher in Chicago targeting the "bad grammar" particularly of some segments of the African-American community.
This has certainly been a subject of debate that I have run into since my many fine years of experience at Aiken High School in the College Hill neighborhood of Cincinnati.
The debate seems to go something like this - are these "non-standard" pronunciations and grammatical constructions used by some segments of the African-American community simply "lazy grammar", or might these things constitute a legitimate dialect in their own right?
Of course as we have seen from the example of the Hispanic community, certainly an entirely separate language can at some point reach a level of acceptability that you see it all over stores, automated customer service systems, voting ballots, and so on.
However, this "Black English", "Urban American Dialect", or whatever you want to call it, has SO much in common with "standard English" that it, for whatever reason, has never been commonly accepted as a separate language, dialect, or creole.
Occasionally it starts to get a LITTLE respect - for instance, Nextel, realizing that it had a massive telecommunications network very concentrated in urban areas that went mostly unused at night after most of the general contractors had gone to bed, started marketing a pre-paid wireless telephone service called Boost Mobile to a group that 1) was heavily concentrated in the urban areas where Nextel has a good footprint, 2) had bad credit so they NEEDED pre-paid service, and 3) presumably would use the service most often to ask the single question, "Where you at?", as this became the main slogan for Boost Mobile.
After considerable research I have come to the conclusion that this "Urban American Dialect" is, indeed, a legitimate creole. The source languages I believe are dialects that were spoken in England some 300 years ago and a West African language called Wolof.
For instance, some features common to Wolof and Urban American Dialect are that the verbs tend not to be conjugated.
The Urban American Dialect is often used as a sign of cultural identity as well. For instance, once the older sister of our good friend Nate Livingston once told me that she was criticized by her African-American friends for speaking the "standard English" dialect and, in so doing "sounding too White".
There are many who would say that there is nothing inherently wrong with this dialect in and of itself. Carl B. Stokes, the first Black mayor of Cleveland once came to speak to us at Aiken and he went on for quite some time about, although he used "standard business English" in business settings, upon returning to his humble abode and sitting down to a steaming plate of peach cobler, he would frequently "be talkin' some mess" back home.
Of course *I* have made liberal use of this dialect from time to time - particularly when there is a phrase that simply doesn't translate well into "standard English". For instance, I have yet to find a phrase in "standard English" that quite captures the "spin" of opining that someone "be out they DAMN mind". It's also very true, of course, that one simply cannot find a better phrase to express the notion that, for instance, Obi Ken be trippin'.
I think what we've lost in this country though is a spirit of "when in Rome". If you want some money from Spanish-speaking communities, you learn to speak Spanish. If you're trying to sell pre-paid Nextel service to Urban Americans, you ask them, "Where You At?"
And, similarly, if you are psychotic enough to want some money from (want to work for) The White Man, you learn how to do such stuff as say, "Oh, yes, Mr. Hochfarend, we are expecting to do quite well this year, sir. Oh, yes sir, we have a wonderful company here, sir. I can't imagine working for anyone other than you, sir. Yes, sir ..."
Labels: Denmark Vesey
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
UK Study Lets Obi Ken's Mother Off The Hook
Remember how Obi Ken (KenDiesel) said he didn't want national health care because he didn't want his tax dollars going towards treating any health problems caused, in particular, by his mother's eating habits?
Well, it turns out that a recent UK study has concluded that obesity is not a "lifestyle choice" per se, but, rather, "an inevitable consequence of a society in which energy-dense, cheap foods, labour-saving devices, motorised transport and sedentary work [are] rife."
Among other things they are suggesting that towns be laid out to encourage more physical activity and that the bite be put on mothers to breast feed as it is believed that slows down infant weight gain.
Are they trying to say that ENFAMIL is responsible for making us all big as battlestars????
You Can't Even Cuss Out Your Own Can In Your Own House Any More ...
Pa. woman accused of being a potty mouth - Yahoo/AP
Yep ... Looks Like Verizon Is Airing ALL Your Business
In another story that I'm sure is going to leave my favorite conspiracy theorist friend going "toldja", it looks like Verizon has admitted to releasing tens of thousands of communication and business records relating to customers based on emergency requests from state and local law enforcement agencies without a court order or administrative subpoena.
And this is after I have told everyone how much everyone I know on Verizon wireless just loooooooooves the great signal coverage they get on Verizon.
Then there's the matter of our favorite "alternatively employed" blogger who seems to be getting all kinds of use out of Verizon's fiber optic service within a stone's throw of our nation's capital.
Now, it does look like some of the information requested WAS clearly of IMPORT - coughing up the IP of a child predator who had abducted a 13-year-old girl leading to his capture, and helping to track down a webcam being used to broadcast a six year old being sexually abused.
Yes, these are worthy endeavors of course, but someone better set up some sort Emergency Room of the judicial system so that these agencies can get in a request 24/7 with SOME modicum of checks and balances still in place.
Of course no one has a problem with a communications company coughing up information leading to the capture of a child sexual predator, but, if all it takes is one phone call to cough up this information, yes, someone COULD extract the top-secret Sun workstation configuration video from my conspiracist friend and we can't have THAT now, can we?
But, seriously ... this is some scary stuff. Obviously there are legitimate needs to obtain this information in a hurry, and obviously there ought to be more legit ways of going about allowing law enforcement access to this information ...
Axinar's Headlines (And Books) Of IMPORT!
Once upon a time The Dean once called me "A Staff Unto Myself".
But, alas, there is only one of me, and quite often there are a great many topics of IMPORT that I would like to cover, but, unfortunately, I just don't have time to do justice to them all.
Fortunately the good people at Google have come up with a tool that will at least let me inform you in a reasonably efficient manner of the topics you should find of at least as much interest as I do.
Namely, although you may have seen my "Axinar's Headlines of Import" section on the right margin of Axinar's, I just found out this afternoon that I could actually blend the format of the section directly into the blog.
SO, if you'll pay careful attention, you'll notice that my newly expanded "Axinar's Headlines (And Books) Of IMPORT" section is now in the same format as my blog roll.
Books have been added thanks to the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County who now have an RSS feed of their new books, which is DA BOMB.
Also, for those of you who would like to go straight to the full-page version of "Axinar's Headlines (And Books) Of IMPORT" the link is here.
However, of course you ought to check in at the main Axinar's site from time to time to find out now only WHAT is going on, but what to think about it ... :)
Missing Shoppers Found
A representative of the Warren County Sheriff's office confirmed that the remains of Otterbein Retirement Community residents Ellen Walters, 68 and Ada Wasson, 80, were found Sunday morning near Campbellsburg, Kentucky.
No signs of foul play were found.
They had been missing since April 19, believed to be headed to an outlet mall near Columbus, OH or Carrolton, KY.
Autopsies are planned for today as well as press conferences by officials and representatives of the families.
Details emerging are that the women got lost on the way to an outlet mall in Kentucky and ended up in a ditch.
The remains of Ada Wasson were found 600 feet in a straight line from the car back to the highway. She ws the older of the two, but in better health.
How incredibly sad.
I wonder why they never carried cell phones ...
Search Ends Sadly for Two Missing Elderly Women - AP Video
'Bless her heart, she was trying' - Cincinnati Enquirer
Wrong turn left women stranded - The Cincinnati Post
Coroner Positively Identifies Missing Women - WKRC-TV
Hunter almost didn't see car - Kentucky Enquirer
Hunter says women's car well-hidden - Cincinnati Post
Monday, October 15, 2007
KenDiesel - Vindicated!
Although all the details have not yet been released, apparently the self-described Illustrious KenDiesel and the First Amendment of the US Constitution have won at least one battle against - of all places - Kroger's!
As I understand the original story, Obi Ken here (KenDiesel), a few months ago, for reasons still baffling to me, decided to post on his MySpace Blog some commentary where, if I understand it correcty, he was questioning the virtue of at least two of his co-workers.
As Obi Ken relates the story, representatives of Kroger's "Risk Management" department accosted him on his shift and summarily tossed him out of the building. Now, Kroger's of course is one of the last places that has an accountability to an established collective bargaining unit, so Obi Ken technically was suspended until representatives of that collective bargaining unit could be consulted.
Well, if I understand him correctly, word just came down over the weekend that instead of being "freed up for other opportunities" he is actually being transferred to a different Kroger location.
Oh, that's heavy.
It pretty rarely goes down that way.
Of course pretty much since the on-line world was invented in the early 1980's there has been a truly BIZARRE relationship between active on-line participants and many employers.
The employers, having the bulk of the money and the power, usually emerge victorious. Two of the most notable cases are the flight attendant who appeared in on-line photographs semi-nude IN her employer's uniform, and somewhat more recently where a WAIT STAFF from Florida was terminated for appearing in on-line photographs DRINKING A BEER.
Now, if I'm reading this correctly that, at least in a union environment, and if it's actually true of course, that you have the RIGHT to broadcast that someone has a revolving bedroom door ...
Well ... we may exercise a little more latitude the next time someone tries to air local celebrity dirty laundry on Axinar's ... :)
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Verizon Wireless Preparing To Broadcast ALL Your Business
Here's one that I'm sure is going to get the attention of my favorite conspiracty theorist friend.
Word is getting around that Verizon Wireless is sending around a notice that, unless you specifically opt out, if you are a Verizon Wireless customer they are going to start sharing your call records with half the planet.
Apparently there is a phone number, 1-800-333-9956, you can use to opt out of this sharing of "Customer Proprietary Network Information" (CPNI), but there is other language in the notice that some customers are getting that says, "If you do not want us to collect, transmit or use such information about you for the above purposes, you should not use the services; by using the services, you expressly authorize us to use your information for these purposes."
Now, I am not a Verizon Wireless customer, so I have not seen the notice first hand, but there is a copy posted online.
Somehow I'm thinking there are going to be people having fits left and right about this one come tomorrow morning.
Yep ... I thought my conspiracist friend was getting overly jumpy about these various software packages that "phone home" and not is looks like our cell phone vendors are going to start using our own calling records against us to try to sell us crap ...
Lovely ... just lovely ...
Labels: Verizon Wireless
Axinar's Ripped A New One On CityBeat
There's one school of thought that says that any publicity is good publicity.
However, I about fell over when I saw myself mentioned on CityBeat's "Living Out Loud Blog" - namely a post called "That Was the Week That Was - In Blogs" where a certain Larry Gross was taking great unbrage with my frequent Vanessa Hudgens references.
This of course is quite parallel to my favorite conspiracist friend sending me IM's that basically say, "Ax, for the love of God, you need to write about something of some IMPORT."
Of course, what I find interesting of course is that someone from a Cincinnati institution as presumably respectable as CityBeat is reading this blog in the first place.
However, yes, I have to admit, for whatever reason I have been suffering a severe case of writer's block and have not stumbled across much of IMPORT, particularly with a local focus, to write about lately.
In any event, if a great metropolitan newspaper like CityBeat is going to take it upon itself to criticize my choice of topics, then I may very well have to go to the infamous "microblog" format that the Cincinnati Blog does seem to use effectively to the tune of 600+ hits/day where he hits alot of topics and then moves on.
But you'd think, even if it ISN'T local in nature, that CityBeat would take some note of my rantings and ravings about the Armenian genocide legislation at least ...
I Have Two Words For This Man - And They Ain't "Happy Birthday"
Labels: Armenian Genocide
Friday, October 12, 2007
Al Gore Wins Nobel Peace Prize
Now watch Obi Ken and Rush try to say this was politically motivated somehow ...
Labels: Global Warming
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Oh My Goodness ...
Vanessa Hudgens' New Job, Spokesmodel of Marc Ecko - Random Citations
Labels: Vanessa Hudgens
John "Chicken" Stephens
And speaking of ancestry ...
When I first found out that a person can send into FamilyTreeDNA and find out, roughly anyway, where his mitochondrial DNA, and therefore his direct matrilineal ancestors came from, I jumped at the chance.
My "mtDNA haplogroup" came back as H11, a somewhat rare group, but clearly European.
You see, at first I didn't have much in terms of paper records to go on from my direct matrilineal line.
What I did find was a cousin who told me that his daughter has interviewed by great-aunt before she died and that she told a tale that her mother's mother's mother had an older brother from North Carolina who "became a Senator".
Well, I knew his name was Stephens, but there never was a US Senator named Stephens from North Carolina.
However, as I later found out, there WAS a STATE Senator by the name of John Stephens who was assassinated in the basement of the Caswell County courthouse by apparently one of the first members of the Ku Klux Klan - a certain George Lea.
This George Lea apparently made some sort of tape-recorded deathbed confession to the crime.
So I started doing some research to try to find out what could have upset someone enough to off this estimable uncle of mine.
I found a number of accounts, but the one that sounded the most plausible about how he got the nickname "Chicken" had nothing at all to do with any lack of courage, but rather referred to an incident where supposedly his neighbor's chickens were destroying his garden, and, in a fit of rage, my uncle John Stephens slaughtered those chickens and delivered them, fully dressed with all the trimmings, to their owners.
Now, of course a terrible temper DOES run quite strongly on my mother's side of the family, so I can see something like this happening.
However, I didn't think sending someone's chickens to meet their maker would be enough to move someone to garrote someone in the basement of the Caswell County Courthouse.
Nope - as my research progressed I discovered the much more likely explanation.
Turns out John Stephens had been helping the recently freed slaves sue their former owners, and, by one account, when that endeavor wasn't moving fast enough, he organized the former slaves into setting fire to the crops and businesses of their former masters.
Now THIS I can see someone getting murderously angry about.
In fact, I found myself wondering if there might be some TINY grain of truth to some of the mess from Birth Of A Nation - that maybe in the midst of the rest of the carpet bagging activity that this relative of mine, in, perhaps, a bit of seething hatred for the "Power Elite" of his time, just might have decided to cause them a wee bit of a problem with the assistance of his newly freed friends.
It's entirely possible that, at least at first, the Ku Klux Klan may have been some sort of "defense mechanism" against what my uncle and his friends were attempting.
If that be the case, then, yes, ironically enough, a relative of mine - one with the very same "brand" of mitochondrial DNA I have - may very well have set into motion the events that led to the formation of the Ku Klux Klan.
Oh yes ... that temper on that side of the family CAN cause trouble I tell you ...
Senator John Walter Stephens - Rootsweb / Caswell County Historical Association
Labels: John Chicken Stephens
Your Money Or Your Life
GREAT story running on MSNBC about some of the really great new cancer drugs we've come up with, but - you know what - people are losing their houses and life savings to get them.
This sort of stuff makes me really, really sad.
The conservatives tell me that our private insurance based system makes these kinds of "miracle drugs" possible.
But what kind of miracle is it when the drugs are so damned expensive you can't afford to eat?
What kind of miracle is it when you have to chose between trying to save your life and trying to keep a roof over your head?
What kind of miracle is it when you live in a country so unimaginably evil that if you DO decide it's too expensive and that you'd like to leave a little behind for your spouse and children to live off of that they won't even fork over the thiopental, pancuronium bromide and potassium chloride that would afford you the dignified exit granted to the kind of first-class scum that rape and murder little girls?
Labels: Health Insurance
The Axinar Is Armenian - And It WAS Genocide
The Axinar's ancestors have quite a number of interesting stories of course.
From my father's side there's the story of how one of my ancestors snuck out with the daughter of his employer in the middle of the night to seek a new life in America.
From one part of my mother's ancestry is the story of John "Chicken" Stephens, who apparently was one of the first people ever lynched by the Klan for the unpardonable crime of trying to help the then recently freed slaves to claim compensation from their former owners.
But one of the saddest tales of my ancestors is my great-grandfather Mesrob Sarkis Mamoulian, who grew up in what he would later describe in the U.S. Census as "Turkey (In Asia)" and spoke Turkish as his native language, but was ethnically Armenian - living in an area that had historically been Armenia for many centuries.
He apparently avoided the horrors that befell his people in 1915. He was an artist and was apparently on the way from Naples, Italy to New Mexico in 1909 aboard a ship called Prinzess Irene. He was involved in a number of adventures here in America that involved patents apparently as well as generating a number of children - one of whom led to the Axinar.
Apparently his family was not so fortunate. From all accounts there were systematically butchered by the Ottoman Empire - the ancestor of the modern-day nation of Turkey.
Looks like the U.S. Congress is FINALLY getting ready to put through some legislation to recognize the Armenian genocide, a move that has prompted praise from modern-day Armenian leaders.
However, you guessed it - that S.O.B. Bush is threatening to veto the measure for fear of p*ss*ng off the Turks, and, if I understand this flow of logic here, quite possibly causing the Turks to set off a chain of events that could lead to another terrorist attack on the scale of 9/11.
To tell you how freaky this whole situation is, even the ISRAELIS are on Turkey's side on this one.
I think I've seen it all.
Look - ever since I've gotten into the genealogy thing I have met some FASCINATING cousins - newspaper writers and computer geeks on my dad's side, and one fascinating gentleman on my mother's side who doesn't appreciate my use of the nickname "Chicken" when referring to State Senator John Stephens, but I've never had the chance to talk to my Armenian great-grandfather's relatives because they were all MURDERED - systematically and only because of their ethnicity.
Even Hitler thought he could get away with the Holocaust because of what happened to the Armenians in 1915.
It's about time someone grows a pair enough to recognize that.
And if the Turks can't live up to their past, so be it ...
Labels: Armenian Genocide
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
So Sweet She Could Cause A Person A Cavity
Labels: Vanessa Hudgens
I'm Sorry ... I Can't Help Myself ... :)
Labels: Vanessa Hudgens
Sunday, October 7, 2007
Star Trek Remastered 'What Are Little Girls Made Of' FX Reel
More, as usual, on Trek Movie Report ...
Friday, October 5, 2007
Parminder Nagra Is 32 Today
Now I think they said last week Neela Rasgotra is only 29 ...
How'd that happen???
Labels: Parminder Nagra
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Vanessa Hudgens Bowling
Hybrids A Mortal Danger To Blind People
In a twist that I'm sure no one saw coming ...
(Oh, that's a groaner even for me ...)
Turns out that these new hybrid cars that often run only under battery power at low speeds are a potential danger to the blind.
Seems that many blind people, when trying to negotiate city streets, use their sense of hearing to try to pick up the sound of nearby cars running in order to avoid being turned into a potato pancake by one of them.
Problem is that, when operating under battery power, hybrids make almost no sound.
Looks like one possible solution they are looking at is some sort of electronic noise generating device.
Actually I'm thinking there might already be a good candidate - namely those kilowatt linear stereo amplifiers and rap CD's ... that combination could not only alert the blind but WAKE THE DEAD ...
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
Halle Berry Says She Wants ANOTHER Child
Only three months pregnant with her first child, AP/Yahoo is reporting that Halle Berry wants ANOTHER child.
Has she LOST her mind?
She should see what parenthood has done to my cousin.
Halle Berry is 41 and said that playing the role of a mother in her latest movie Things We Lost in the Fire helped convince her she wanted to be a mother.
Oh dear God.
My own mother did about five years as a labor and delivery nurse and that "convinced" her she could handle being a parent and we KNOW what happened with that one.
She also said she doesn't plan to marry her expectant baby daddy, Gabriel Aubry, but that they "feel fully committed to each other".
Girlfriend, now listen up ...
What you have to do is not let the poor devil have a moment's REST for a solid YEAR until he FINALLY breaks down and married you in a gale-force wind at sundown on KEY WEST, for the love of God ...
Better see if you can keep from losing your damn mind with the first one before you start working on a 2nd ...
Labels: Halle Berry
New Enterprise Test Footage?
There's a clip up on YouTube that was posted on July 8th, but is just now making the rounds.
It's possible this is test footage of a concept for the Entprise 1701 that may appear in the new movie.
Looks like they have added a single photon tube at the top of the secondary hull, and, although it is hard to make this out, it looks like they have used the pylon design from 1701-A.
The "curve" of the secondary hull towards the hangar deck ALSO seems to be from 1701-A.
Hard to tell which design they might be using on the hangar doors themselves.
Apocryphal - but interesting ...
Monday, October 1, 2007
Bernanke:1, Conspiracists: ZIP!
Cincinnati Gripped With Bedbug Infestation
WKRC, Local 12's Rich Jaffe is reporting on an apparent massive bedbug infestation that has struck the City of Cincinnati.
My guess is that bedbugs don't pay much attention to municipal boundaries, so everyonne in the region could be in deep doo any time now.
Officials are recommending that homeowners encase any infested furniture in airtight plastic bags and throw it out in the regular trash.
Apparently they recognize this might be difficult for some people so they have also set up a hotline to arrange pickup of infested items, (513) 591-6000. Apparently you press 1 for health information, and 2 for trash collection information.
Human blood is the favorite food of the bedbug, but can live for up to a year without it.
Just makes you feel REAL clean just thinking about it, doesn't it?
Tri-State Infested With Bedbugs - WKRC Video