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Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 10:41 PM PST

Notes on some lesser known Popes

by misterajc

Liberius. Pope #36, and the first Pope not to be a saint. #37 through #49 were also sainted, so he must have been a bit of a loser.

Benedict IX. Liked being Pope so much that he did it three times.

Gregory XII. Holds the record for the most simultaneous antipopes. By 1409 there were three other claimants to the papacy, calling themselves Benedict XIII, John XXIII and Alexander V.

John XVI. Did not exist. They went from John XV to John XVII. So much for papal infallibility. No I am not making this up. Go look it up.


Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 03:22 PM PDT

Do the Math, Mitt

by misterajc

During the debate, Mitt made a big error in basic arithmetic.

MR. ROMNEY: ...First of all, the Department of Energy has said the tax break for oil companies is $2.8 billion a year. And it’s actually an accounting treatment, as you know, that’s been in place for a hundred years. Now --

PRESIDENT OBAMA: It’s time to end it.

MR. ROMNEY: And -- and in one year, you provided $90 billion in breaks to the green energy world. Now, I like green energy as well, but that’s about 50 years’ worth of what oil and gas receives...

This is not rocket science. $90 billion divided by $2.8 billion is about 32, not about 50. If you want to do it in your head, 2.8 is close to 3 so, 90/3 is roughly 30. Using Mitt's own numbers the subsidy for green energy was about 30 years of that for oil, not 50. Is Mitt so stupid that he can't do simple division, or does he think we (and the press) are so stupid that we won't check his sums?

This from the Telegraph, a right wing British newspaper. Briefly, Romney "appears to have profited from a marketing company that was contracted by the state of Massachusetts after receiving $5 million (£3.2 million) in financial backing from Bain Capital, Mr Romney'™s investment firm."

One of his vice-presidential candidate's brothers, who is a former Bain consultant, was at the time of the investment a senior executive at the marketing company, Imagitas, which was co-founded by another former Bain executive.

Both Mr Romney and Tobin Ryan, who omits his work at Imagitas from his corporate biography, also apparently stood to benefit from the $230 million (£146 million) sale of the company in 2005, while Mr Romney remained in office.

It gets better:
Imagitas donated tens of thousands of dollars to the Republican Governors'™ Association while it was chaired by Mr Romney. A former Imagitas investor and director donates to both Mr Romney and Paul Ryan, who also received thousands of dollars in contributions from his brother Tobin.
Go read the article.

I was born in Walsall, England where was (and probably still is) is a Sikh temple and a thriving Sikh community. They are good neighbors, hard working and honorable, and with equality and charity a living part of their religion, not something that they pay lip service to like so many Christians. Feeding the hungry is a fundamental par of their religious observance.

My mother was manager for a medical practice. Her only complaint was that they all had the same last name, which made alphabetizing the medical records harder. The filing system had a whole drawer just for Singh (Lion) for the men, and Kaur (Princess) for the women.

The idea of someone going in to a Sikh temple and killing people for no other reason than they are different and wear turbans and headscarves hit me in a visceral way. Fuck that.


Sat Apr 07, 2012 at 07:59 PM PDT

Field guide to the undead

by misterajc

With the increasing popularity of all things undead, here's a handy guide to spotting and dealing with the differently vital in our community


Habitat: Graveyards, outside the door trying to get in, Ikea
Diet: Brains
Field Marks: Lurching walk, torn clothes, bloodstains around mouth
How to discourage: Cricket bats


Habitat: Gothic castles, lame movies
Diet: Blood
Field Marks: Nocturnal, invisible in mirrors
How to discourage: Garlic, crosses, stakes through the heart, sunlight


Diet: You
Habitat: London
Field marks: Turns into a wolf at full moon. Duh!
How to discourage: Silver bullets.


Diet: Bread and wine
Habitat: Omnipresent
Field marks: Holes in hands and feet, walks on water
How to discourage: Averse to gays and birth control. If you are a guy hit on him, otherwise talk about your uterus.


Sat Mar 31, 2012 at 01:37 PM PDT

BREAKING: Romney names running mate

by misterajc

The Romney campaign today announced a surprise pick for Vice President – Exxon Mobil Corporation. “This is a game changing decision, that will really energize the true Republican base: Koch Industries, Haliburton, Walmart, Bechtel, Fox and Shell BP,” said a Romney spokesman. “It's also a breakthrough for minority rights, as it's the first time a Corporate American had appeared on the ballot. With subsidiaries in fifty eight countries and puppet regimes in six, Exxon Mobil brings to the ticket foreign policy experience focused on the only countries that matter – the ones with oil.”

When questioned by reporters about the vetting process, the spokesman said that it had been completed in a record forty eight hours by Exxon Mobil staff. Asked about the possible conflict of interest, the spokesman revealed that Exxon had been vetted by the same Exxon public servants who wrote the Cheney administration's energy policy, so they were ideally qualified for vetting a Vice Presidential candidate.

Exxon Mobil is expected to self finance the campaign. “We would have paid for it anyway,” said their CEO, “But now we get a place on the ticket, too. I know there are some racists out there who don't think that Corporate Americans are real Americans, or even real people, but this election will prove them wrong.”

A spokesman for the Obama campaign said they were not commenting on the constitutionality of this announcement until they had seen Exxon Mobil's birth certificate.

UPDATE: Wow, top of the rec list. Thanks everyone. I'll try and post more often than once every four years in future :-)


Sat Oct 25, 2008 at 09:57 AM PDT

CO-Sen My Nephew Hosts the Candidates

by misterajc

I have a nephew Alex in Colorado. I've only met him a couple of times as he was already an adult by the time I married his aunt, and he has always lived in a different part of the country. This story came from my wife who is staying with her sister (Alex's mother) in Denver so she can work for the Obama campaign in a swing state.

Alex got a phone call: "Are you aware that there is an election for senator this year between Bob Schaffer, the Republican, and Mark Udall, the Democrat."

"Yes, I am."

"Have you decided which way you will be voting yet?"

"Not really. I'm sort of a centerist."

"Would you like to have the candidates come over for dinner at your house and try to persuade you?"


"We're making a TV show with the candidates, and we'd like to show them having dinner at the house of an undecided voter. Would you be interested?"

"Er, Sure."

So Alex got to have dinner with the candidates while his wife tried to keep their young kids quite in the background. The show will air within the next week. I'll try and get more details when I can, including the important one - which way Alex is going to vote.


The Department of Homeland Security can't keep unauthorized people from posting to their mailing list. Computerword has the details of another small but telling example of Bush administration incompetence.

Here’s the story: DHS provides a daily summary of news items for its mailing list subscribers,  which includes people with security and disaster response roles, vendors and news media. But its mailing list was misconfigured today. Anyone who hit "reply all" reached everyone one the list,  triggering some 200 emails -- and counting.   The temptation to reach out was too much.  It quickly became a big networking party.

The results soon became hilarious...

Continue Reading

In a continuation of the War on Truth, Bill Proenza, the head of the National Hurricane Center has been warned by his boss, acting director of the National Weather Service, Mary Glackin, to shut up about the failure of the Bush Administration to provide adequate funding for hurricane forecasting. He has been complaining since his appointment in January that NOAA should be spending money on a replacement for the obsolete QuickSat weather satellite, rather than on public relations campaigns. This is not his first warning. According to the Miami Herald

Proenza said that on April 13, he was told by Louis Uccellini, a high-ranking weather service official: ``You better stop these QuikScat [and other] complaints. I'm warning you. You have NOAA, DOC [the U.S. Department of Commerce] and the White House pissed off.''

There's more...

Continue Reading

Who created the list, and why?

Part 1 is here with contact information for committee members

Link to part 2 is here.

  • No pictures please as they slow things down too much.  

  • New diary starts when current one reaches around 250 comments.  

  • Please recommend new diaries and unrecommend old diaries to minimize the number of Live Blog diaries on the Rec List

  • If you're posting a Live Blog diary, you only need to link back to the previous diary not ALL of them.  Please include all the media links though.

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Fri May 04, 2007 at 07:27 AM PDT

The country is turning red

by misterajc

I don't mean America of course, but America's fourth closest neighbor, the Bahamas. The closest three are Mexico, Canada and Russia (which is only three miles away from America.) The closest Bahamian island is fifty miles from Florida, so in good weather you can get across on a jetski.

Red is the color of the Free National Movement, which this week defeated the incumbent Progressive Liberal Party (yellow) in a noisy and enthusiastic campaign. The issues at stake included sale of land to foreigners, national health insurance and fishing limits.

More about sex, drugs, money and politics in the Bahamas below the fold...

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The state of Israel receives a lot of political support from fundamentalist Christians in the US. Many of them believe (due to a strange reading of Revelations, the wackiest book in the Bible) that Armageddon will only happen when the Jews are in full possession of the Promised Land, including all of Jerusalem. I have a much more reliable suggestion for arranging the second coming. Let's get DNA samples from the shroud of Turin, and clone Jesus. With the right host mother we could even arrange yet another virgin birth. I'd love to check in with Big J what he thinks about the USA's current policy in the Middle East. Did he really say, "Turn that other cheek," or was it, "Bomb those bastards back into the stone age"? Of course, the DNA on the shroud is pretty messed up and there are also some wine stains, so the second coming of the Lord might well look like a giant grape, but that's a risk we have to take.
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