Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for May 15th, 2012

The man without a country

Posted by Charles II on May 15, 2012

(Image from LATimes)

Eduardo Saverin, who fled to the United States from Brazil to escape death at the hands of gangs, has now abandoned his American citizenship to save a couple of hundred million in taxes due from capital gains on the Facebook IPO. Bruce Ackerman points out that he can continue to come and go freely to the US and proposes that people who renounce their citizenship should be banned from re-entry except for hardship.

To h–l with hardship. People to whom tax savings are more important than country should have to share the fate of The Man Without a Country. May Saverin eat his d–n money.

Posted in (Rich) Taxpayers League, impunity, The Plunderbund | 6 Comments »

US military accused of killing two pregnant women, two children, and two men/updated

Posted by Charles II on May 15, 2012

Via Quotha, Defensores en Linea says that in Ahuás in the indigenous Miskito region of Honduras:

…the nighttime operation launched against supposed narcotrafficking targets in the dawn of the previous Friday was conducted by US military uniformed as DEA agents.

…a foreign military taking refuge in the new hegemonic notion of “the anti-drug war,” legalized in reforms to the Military Treaty of 1954, violates the national sovereignty and kills civilians as if they were in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, or Syria.

Two pregnant women, two children, and two adult men died by shots fired from helicopter gunships piloted by US military over a vessel which was returning from the (estuary?) of the Patuca river to its community. They were workers in the traditional industry of diving

..the failed state of Honduras gave way to the foreign military occupation in the guise of the so-called “war against d[r]rug cartels, as happened in the last eight years in Mexico, Colombia, and Guatemala.

The general point that the dead were not drug traffickers is confirmed (again via Adrienne) by Tiempo, although Tiempo says four dead, four wounded. Supposedly a boat containing drug traffickers was fleeing from a helicopter and passed the boat of native divers. The narcos had their lights out, the divers had their lights on, so the gunners went for the visible target.

It just isn’t very important to be sure who you’re shooting at, because either they’re bad guys or they’re people whose deaths won’t be noticed.
Update, from Adrienne, hat tip to Brother John in comments. Martha Mendoza, AP:

U.S. government officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because their statements had not been authorized, said Honduran law enforcement did not initiate the shooting, but rather returned fire after being attacked. The officials said the DEA agents did not fire

Because of course, pregnant women and children are so very dangerous. AP, via CBS News:

Angry inhabitants of the largely Indian Mosquito coast region burned down several government offices in the area in response to the attack and issued a statement saying they wanted DEA agents out of the area.

The official didn’t say how many helicopters were on the mission, but said the aircraft were piloted by Guatemalan military officers and outside contractor pilots.

Great. So Xe (aka Blackwater) is involved.

And WOLA is concerned about when the military “interfaces” with the civilian population. Most of us call it “shooting.” The people at WOLA are a parody of a human rights organization.

Posted in Honduras, military, War On Some Drugs | 7 Comments »

False pride takes another fall: Legions of Christ edition

Posted by Charles II on May 15, 2012

Background from Peter Stanford of the London Independent in an interview of Todd Carpunky from 2009:

That trip was the first public sign of the extraordinary bond between Maciel and the man in charge of a church of 1.2 billion souls. In the subsequent 26 years of John Paul’s reign, the Legion was regularly lauded by him for its unwavering fidelity to church teaching, its intolerance of dissent, and its conviction that only Catholicism could save the world.

Much has been made of the power wielded by the secretive Opus Dei under John Paul II, not least by Dan Brown in The Da Vinci Code, but many Vatican-watchers believe that the Legion of Christ was bigger, richer (annual budget £435m), more influential, and even more sinister.

Parents of youngsters recruited as Legionaries described it as a cult that targeted the young and naive in particular, some of them just 13, and then “brainwashed” them. But it is Maciel himself who has proved most controversial. Nuestro Padre was, according to one biographer, “a narcissistic sociopath” with a taste for flights on Concorde and five-star hotels. He is acknowledged by the Legion to have fathered at least one child – a 23-year-old daughter said to be called Norma Hilda and now living in Madrid.

It has also been alleged that he was a paedophile.

I am not one to think that the Catholic Church is the sole or even the main vessel for sexual dysfunction (and if you want dysfunction, read the rest of Stanford’s article). But I do think that false pride–the sense that some human beings are holier than others and have a right to judge the rest of us–is where a lot of this stumbling originates.

Now it turns out that the Legionaries have big trouble again. According to Deacon Keith Fournier:

…one of the legion’s most prominent and popular clerics, Fr Thomas Williams, LC, ThD, a moral theologian, announced his own moral failure. Fr Williams is widely known for his writing, speaking and commentary during numerous television appearances. (NBC,CBS and Sky News)

He has been a source for the major networks on the Vatican, as well as a “go to guy” for comments on the sexual abuse scandals over the last several years. Among his fourteen published books on Christian living and spirituality were Becoming the Christian You Want to Be and A Christian Guide to Conscience. His popular web site has now “gone dark”.

The Legionary Priest admitted on Tuesday, May 15, 2012, that he had fathered a child in the past.

The public focuses on the sex. While there is a real problem of very real individuals whose lives have been created and damaged by abuse, the bigger problem, as I see it, is that lying has become so accepted–not just in the Catholic Church, as Mitt Romney so well exemplifies, but everywhere. It’s simply more damaging when it occurs in the Church.

According to blogger Genevieve Kineke, Williams

has been a vocal advocate for the Legion “evidently while harboring his own `double life.’ Either his superiors knew this, and still allowed him to speak, or he abused his freedom knowingly and engaged in grave hypocrisy.”(Nicole Winfield, AP, on HuffPo


In other words, Kineke is saying, Williams engaged in systematic lies in order to cover up a past sin of his own.

Thomas Williams has apparently taken his website offline. More coverup. More lying.

Posted in abuse of power, religion | Comments Off on False pride takes another fall: Legions of Christ edition

Murdoch’s millstones. Brooks Charged.

Posted by Charles II on May 15, 2012

Rebekah Brooks has been formally charged:

The Crown Prosecution Service received a file of evidence from the Metropolitan Police Service on 27th March 2012 in relation to seven suspects:

* Rebekah Brooks;
* [her husband] Charles Brooks;
* Cheryl Carter – Mrs Brooks’ personal assistant;
*Mark Hanna – Head of Security at News International;
* Paul Edwards – Mrs Brooks’ chauffeur who was employed by News International;
* Daryl Jorsling and a seventh suspect – both of whom provided security for Mrs Brooks supplied by News International.

“All the evidence has now carefully been considered.

“Applying the two-stage test in the Code for Crown Prosecutors I have concluded that in relation to all suspects except the seventh, there is sufficient evidence for there to be a realistic prospect of conviction.

“I then considered the second stage of the test, and I have concluded that a prosecution is required in the public interest in relation to each of the other six.

“All seven suspects have this morning been informed of my decisions.

“They are all due to answer their bail at police stations later today. When they do so, they will be charged as follows:


Rebekah Brooks between 6th July and 19th July 2011 conspired with Charles Brooks, Cheryl Carter, Mark Hanna, Paul Edwards, Daryl Jorsling and persons unknown to conceal material from officers of the Metropolitan Police Service.


Rebekah Brooks and Cheryl Carter between 6th July and 9th July 2011 conspired together permanently to remove seven boxes of material from the archive of News International.


Rebekah Brooks, Charles Brooks, Mark Hanna, Paul Edwards and Daryl Jorsling conspired together and with persons unknown, between 15th July and 19th July 2011, to conceal documents, computers and other electronic equipment from officers of the Metropolitan Police Service.

Via Ritholtz, an article from Amy Chozick, NYT

A former News Corporation subsidiary, a Moscow-based billboard company called News Outdoor Russia, is the subject of an F.B.I. inquiry into whether the company bribed local officials to advance its business. The findings of that investigation could prove a violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, according to a person briefed on the inquiry. News Corporation sold the company in July to a bank controlled by the Kremlin.

The hacking scandal has delivered a blow to News Corporation’s push into the potentially lucrative education sector….In November 2010, News Corporation paid $360 million for a 90 percent stake in Wireless Generation, an education technology company ….

In August, Wireless Generation lost its $27 million no-bid contract to develop educational software for New York schools….

In Turkey, News Corporation, which already operates several Turkish television stations, is one of three bidders for the country’s second-largest media group, Sabah-ATV, which is valued at $700 million to $1 billion. A deal would add to its portfolio of international pay TV stations, which includes Sky Deutschland in Germany and Sky Italia in Italy.

But the bid could face regulatory opposition in Turkey as a result of the scandal.

Posted in crimes, FBI, Media machine, Rupert Murdoch | 4 Comments »

Prominent Gay GOP Donor Drops Romney For Obama Over Marriage Equality

Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 15, 2012

Thanks, Joe Biden! Forcing Obama’s hand on this issue was the best thing you could have done for him. It’s already paying dividends:

A famous donor has dropped his support for Mitt Romney‘s campaign, asked for a refund, and thrown his support to Barack Obama after the President announced his support for same-sex marriage and Mitt Romney derided it at his commencement address at Liberty University over the weekend.

Bill White, the former President of the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum, a veterans activist, and founder of the strategic consulting firm Constellations Group, wrote Mitt Romney and expressed his dissatisfaction.

“I feel that I no longer wish to support your presidential campaign and ask that you please return the maximum contribution that I gave to you last year,” Bill White wrote in a letter addressed to Romney, CNN reports:

“You have chosen to be on the wrong side of history and I do not support your run for president any longer,” White added.

Meanwhile, Obama’s black coalition is — as any intelligent person would expect — holding steady.

I think that Obama may have just guaranteed his own re-election.

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments »

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