Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for December, 2013

Jeremy Giefer’s Son Arrested Again For Sexually Assaulting A Minor

Posted by Phoenix Woman on December 31, 2013

From Bluestem Prairie:

Mankato Free Press crime reporter Dan Nienaber writes in Teen sex offender charged again; Giefer was convicted earlier that Johnathan Alan Giefer, 18, has been charged in Blue Earth County juvenile courty on December 11 with “having sex with a girl between the ages of 13-15 several times between Oct. 5, 2012, and May 31.” 

Giefer was a juvenile at the time the alleged attacks took place.

Giefer had earlier been convicted in Jackson County juvenile court of sexually assaulting a girl under 13, and “was ordered to complete sex offender treatment in May after he was found guilty in juvenile court of sexually assaulting a girl he knew in Jackson County in March 2012,” Nienabor reports.

If the Giefer name rings a bell, it might be because Johnathan’s father is Jeremy Giefer, who managed to get a slap on the wrist for his first known statutory rape offense by marrying the 14-year-old girl he’d knocked up, only to be arrested several years for allegedly raping the daughter who was the product of his original crime, the daughter who prosecutors feared would be under “incredible pressure” from her family to recant the accusations. (Their fears came true in late 2011.)

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Anyone Remember Bandar Bush’s Threat Against Russia And Sochi?

Posted by Phoenix Woman on December 30, 2013

In the wake of two major terror attacks in two days in Volgograd, not all that far from the site of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, does anyone remember this not-so-veiled threat made to Vladimir Putin by Prince Bandar bin Sultan, back in August?

Bandar told Putin, “There are many common values ​​and goals that bring us together, most notably the fight against terrorism and extremism all over the world. Russia, the US, the EU and the Saudis agree on promoting and consolidating international peace and security. The terrorist threat is growing in light of the phenomena spawned by the Arab Spring. We have lost some regimes. And what we got in return were terrorist experiences, as evidenced by the experience of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and the extremist groups in Libya. … As an example, I can give you a guarantee to protect the Winter Olympics in the city of Sochi on the Black Sea next year. The Chechen groups that threaten the security of the games are controlled by us, and they will not move in the Syrian territory’s direction without coordinating with us. These groups do not scare us. We use them in the face of the Syrian regime but they will have no role or influence in Syria’s political future.”

In other words, Bandar told Putin “do what I tell you or there will be Islamic-inspired terror attacks on your precious Sochi Games”.

Putin responded thus:

Putin thanked King Abdullah for his greetings and Bandar for his exposition, but then he said to Bandar, “We know that you have supported the Chechen terrorist groups for a decade. And that support, which you have frankly talked about just now, is completely incompatible with the common objectives of fighting global terrorism that you mentioned. We are interested in developing friendly relations according to clear and strong principles.”

Marcy Wheeler certainly remembers all of this:

Admittedly, this version of the threat was Putin’s version of it, and admittedly Putin has his own history of allowing attacks to happen.

But Bandar has made such threats before, with more reliable countries. And Bandar’s surrogates have been issuing implicit threats since his July “warning.”

By the way, nobody in Iran, the country that Bandar really wants us to hate, has made similar threats against Russian or Western targets.

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NYT Backs Off Its Syria-Sarin Analysis

Posted by Phoenix Woman on December 30, 2013

Thanks to The Consortium for alerting us to this instance of the Gray Lady tacitly (albeit reluctantly) admitting a grave error — namely, that its claims in a September 17, 2013 article that Syria’s Assad régime used sarin gas against its own people didn’t hold up to hard scrutiny:

…the authors [of the new, debunking report] said that their findings could help pinpoint accountability for the most lethal chemical warfare attack in decades, but that they also raised questions about the American government’s claims about the locations of launching points, and the technical intelligence behind them. … The analysis could also lead to calls for more transparency from the White House, as Dr. Postol [one of the new report’s authors] said it undermined the Obama administration’s assertions about the rockets’ launch points.”

To wit:

“The dimensions of the inserted rocket motor very closely match the dimensions in the 9M22-U artillery rocket,” Dr. Postol wrote in an email on Thursday. “If the inserted motor is the same as the standard 9M22-U motor, then the maximum range of the munition would be no more than three kilometers, and likely less.”

That would be less than the ranges of more than nine kilometers calculated separately by The New York Times and Human Rights Watch in mid-September, after the United States had dropped its push for a military strike. Those estimates had been based in part on connecting reported compass headings for two rockets cited in the United Nations’ initial report on the attacks.

The published range for a 9M22-U rocket is about 20 kilometers, or 12.4 miles. But the Syrian rockets carried a bulky and apparently flat-nosed warhead — Dr. Postol called it “a soup can” — whose range would have been undermined by its large mass and by drag, the authors said.

Depending on the motors propelling different Grad models, the projected maximum ranges can vary from 2.5 to 3.5 kilometers, or 1.5 to 2.2 miles, Dr. Postol and Mr. Lloyd said.

The longer estimates seem unlikely, Dr. Postol said, because as a sarin-filled rocket was pushed to greater air speeds by a more powerful motor, the stresses created by its non-aerodynamic shape could cause it to tumble or break apart.

Or, as The Consortium‘s Robert Parry says:

In other words, the much-ballyhooed “vector analysis” had collapsed under scrutiny, knocking the legs out from under Official Washington’s certainty that the Syrian government carried out the Aug. 21 attack which may have killed several hundred civilians including many children.

Bandar Bush is not pleased, I suspect.

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Posted by Phoenix Woman on December 29, 2013

Just because:

This is, along with Solar Roadways and 3D printing from recycled plastics, one of the many things that could save us all.

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Friday Cat Blogging

Posted by MEC on December 27, 2013

Friday Cat Blogging

Posted in Alexander the Great, Friday Cat Blogging, Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Two Creepy Right-Wing Armed Dude Alerts

Posted by Phoenix Woman on December 23, 2013

This is precisely the sort of story that our national TV news ignores but gets picked up overseas by The Guardian:

A Minnesota national guardsman faces federal fraud charges in connection with the theft of names, social security numbers and security clearance levels of roughly 400 members of his former army unit in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The Iraq war veteran intended to use the confidential material to create fake IDs for his militia, court documents say.

Obtained Wednesday by the Associated Press, the federal complaint and affidavit says Keith Michael Novak, 25, threatened to use violence if authorities came to arrest him. He also told an undercover FBI employee that he would barricade himself in his apartment and had “5,000 rounds, a thousand of it is in magazines, ready to go,” according to the affidavit.

Novak, of Maplewood, was in federal custody Wednesday and unavailable for comment. His father has an unlisted number, and attempts to reach him were unsuccessful. The federal defender’s office has the case, but an attorney had not been selected to represent him by Wednesday evening.

In case you were wondering, Novak’s decidedly a right-wing terrorist:

The complaint paints the former intelligence analyst as an armed and dangerous man. FBI special agent Christopher Crowe testified during a preliminary hearing Monday that Novak bragged about having a cache of weapons and talked openly about an escape plan he had in place at his apartment in case authorities came for him. The agent also testified that Novak told the undercover agents millionaire Warren Buffett was on his “target list.”

And to drive that point home, here’s a still photo, taken from a WCCO TV (local CBS affiliate) newscast, showing Novak saluting the Confederate battle flag:

novak fort bragg ID thief confederate

I’d been meaning to tell you all about him earlier, but I’d kept forgetting to do so. Then Sally Jo Sorensen jogged my memory by linking to the story of another creepy right-wing Minnesota militia dude:

A Minnesota militia member charged in what the FBI once called a “terror plot” to blow up the Montevideo police station allegedly told authorities in May that even though he had bombs, he was not a violent person and was using the Internet to investigate bad and dangerous people, according to a document unsealed Friday.

The document also suggests a possible link between Buford Rogers and another Minnesota militia member arrested last week.

It won’t surprise anyone to learn that the two men knew each other:

Rogers also talked about other people he associated with through his militia, including a man named Keith, whom he described as an intelligence officer who used to work with the Army but now is with the National Guard.

Last week, authorities arrested Keith Novak, whose first name and career match the description of the man Rogers spoke about. Novak, 25, of Maplewood is charged with fraud in connection with identity theft. He is accused of stealing the personal information of members of his former Army unit to make fake IDs for people in his own militia.

Novak is the self-described commander of a group called the 44th Spatha Libertas, authorities said.

Rogers’ own antigovernment outfit goes by the name of the “Black Snake Militia”.

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“Duck Dynasty” Creator Is Also Gay Porn Star

Posted by Phoenix Woman on December 22, 2013

Life’s little ironies:

Oh boy. Howie has the latest on the Duck Dynasty flap:

Do you know what a fluffer is? The clinical Wikipedia definition: “A fluffer is a person employed to keep a male adult film star aroused on the set. These duties, which do not necessarily involve touching the actors, are considered part of the makeup department. After setting up the desired angle, the director asks the actors to hold position and calls for the fluffer to ‘fluff’ the actors for the shot. Fluffing could also entail sexual acts such as fellatio or non-penetrative sex.” …

Fluffer is also the name of a 2001 gay porn film that got a buzz because Blondie (Debbie Harry) was in it. But it will have a whole new life now because so was Scott Gurney, the creator of Duck Dynasty.

Howie’s got clips at the link. They’re actually quite tasteful, all things considered. Mr Gurney played one of the leads by the name of Johnny Rebel. He’s quite attractive.

Here’s the Wikipedia page for The Fluffer.

And here’s the page’s edit history, which shows that the page — at least at the time I’m writing this blog post — hasn’t been edited since March.

Oh, and here’s Gurney’s IMDB entry, which cites The Fluffer (look under Acting Credits).

That indicates that this isn’t a spoof somebody just recently dreamed up to get back at Phil Robertson.

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Friday Cat Blogging

Posted by MEC on December 20, 2013

Friday Cat Blogging

Posted in Alexander the Great, Friday Cat Blogging | 1 Comment »

Belying His Current “Reasonable” Pose, Paul Ryan Still Holding Debt Limit Hostage

Posted by Phoenix Woman on December 15, 2013

While the rest of the US news media touts the myth of a newly “reasonable” Paul Ryan, when he’s chatting with his fellow Republicans on FOX News he’s still the same old hold-the-debt-limit-hostage guy he was back in October:

WALLACE: Sir, I understand, but the question is, are you going to demand more in return for raising the deficit?

RYAN: We as a caucus, along with our Senate counterparts, are going to meet and discuss what it is we want to get out of the debt limit. We don’t want nothing out of this debt limit. We’re going to decide what it is we can accomplish out of this debt limit fight.

One of the problems or concerns I have with the debt limit is we don’t know when it’s going to hit.

Jack Lew, the treasury secretary, has ultimately discretion on when this could occur. So, the timing of this is very much in doubt.

So we’re going to meet in our retreats after the — after the holidays and discuss exactly what it is we’re going to try and get for this.

Sounds like the same song he and the other Republicans were singing back in August and September, doesn’t it?

I told you all earlier (and repeatedly) that the Republicans can’t resist trying another shutdown. They can’t.

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More tension in international waters off China

Posted by Charles II on December 14, 2013


A US guided missile cruiser operating in international waters in the South China Sea was forced to take evasive action last week to avoid a collision with a Chinese warship, the US Pacific Fleet has revealed.

The USS Cowpens had been operating in the vicinity of China’s only aircraft carrier, the Liaoning…

Another Chinese warship came near the Cowpens in the incident on 5 December. The US ship was forced to take evasive action to avoid a collision, the Pacific Fleet said in its statement.

The Cowpens had been in the Philippines helping with disaster relief in the aftermath of typhoon Haiyan, which hit the region in November. The US navy said it was in the South China Sea conducting routine “freedom-of-navigation” operations – which are intended to assert the right of passage through a disputed area – when the incident occurred.

This was a few hundred miles away from the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands where there has been recent awkwardness. The Chinese are trying to expand the recognized zone of their control farther from the mainland. International law is not, in my opinion, on their side.

And every incident of this kind increases the risk of hostilities.

Posted in China | 3 Comments »

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