Mercury Rising 鳯女

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Archive for the ‘heroes’ Category

Moral Incoherence, Cognitive Dissonance

Posted by Phoenix Woman on June 30, 2011

“Evil deeds do not make an evil person. Otherwise we would all be evil. If evil people cannot be defined by the illegality of their deeds or the magnitude of their sins, then how are we to define them? The answer is by the consistency of their sins. While usually subtle, their destructiveness is remarkably consistent. This is because those who have “crossed over the line” are characterized by their absolute refusal to tolerate the sense of their own sinfulness.”

— M. Scott Peck, “People of the Lie”

Today I had the experience of seeing someone who up until two weeks ago I’d thought of as incorruptible tell an ignoble, pathetic lie even as the evidence exposing the lie was there for all to see. The lie involved pretending that this person did not commit certain reprehensible actions which were recorded, in black and white, at the start of the discussion.

The sadder thing is that even without the evidence in black and white, I had other evidence to hand showing that the lie was a lie — evidence the person who made the lie and the initial actions denied by the lie doesn’t know I possess.

The person in question knows that the lie and the actions it denied were wrong, and that the position this person is promoting is morally indefensible. Which would explain why this person ran away from the discussion, and in fact the list holding it, rather than continue to defend what this person knows to be wrong. In a way, that’s a good sign: If the person were truly evil, there would have been an attempt to brazen it out.

Posted in evil, heroes, hissy kabuki, hypocrites, liars | 1 Comment »

Monday Morning News Roundup

Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 23, 2011

— Earlier this year, I mentioned Bluestem Prairie’s breaking the story of a certain repeat sex offender, Jeremy Giefer, who seemed to be getting astonishingly gentle treatment from various prominent “law and order” Republicans such as Tony Cornish. Well, guess what? The Twin Cities media doesn’t seem to be much interested, but as BSP’s Sally Jo Sorensen reports, the DC-based The Politico has picked up on it:

Pawlenty’s pardon problem involves Jeremy Geifer, who had been convicted in a statutory rape case involving a 14-year-old girl he later married. Geifer had been described by everyone in his life as a model of reform, which eventually led to a 2008 pardon by a three-person board led by Pawlenty.

But late last year, Geifer was accused of sexually assaulting another underage girl more than 250 times. Pawlenty moved swiftly, asking for a probe into whether Geifer lied on his pardon application and pushing to close down a day care run by his wife.

What Politico chose not to mention: The latest alleged victim of Giefer’s is none other than his own teenage daughter, the very person he fathered off of the 14-year-old girl he married.

— Speaking of local journalists breaking stories, Karl Bremer, of the blog Ripple in Stillwater, just got one heckuvan atta-boy:

The Minnesota Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has informed me that I won a Page One Award for “Best Use of Public Records” for my series on “Minnesota and the Man Known as ‘Bobby Thompson.’” They won’t reveal whether it was 1st, 2nd or 3rd place until the annual awards banquet June 7.

‘Bobby Thompson’ is the assumed name (probably one of many) of the notorious scammer and Michele Bachmann pal behind the fake charity known as the “U.S. Navy Veterans Association”.

— Speaking of Page One Awards, City Pages’ Nick Pinto was nominated for one for his followup work on the Giefer story mentioned above, the one Sally Jo Sorensen broke at BSP.


(Crossposted to Renaissance Post.)

Posted in blogs and blogging, heroes, heroines, media, Minnesota, real journalism | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off on Monday Morning News Roundup

Goodbye, Harmon

Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 19, 2011

Yes, this is really what he looked like in his prime.

So many people have already said so many things so much better than I ever could about the Pride of Payette, Idaho, Harmon Killebrew, that I figured I’d let the picture of his statue speak for itself.

This is the man who was the first — and one of only four men — to hit a ball out over the left-field roof of the old Tigers stadium. This is the man who had eight 40-home-run seasons during the height of the pitcher’s renaissance of the 1950s and ’60s. This is the man who the pitchers of that era (such as Tommy John) feared as they feared no other.

And all without steroids.

But, as good as he was a player — and he was good enough to make the Hall of Fame — he was an even better human being.

Goodbye, Harmon. And thanks.

(Crossposted to Renaissance Post.)

Posted in heroes, Minnesota | Tagged: , , | Comments Off on Goodbye, Harmon

Support the Fourth Amendment

Posted by Charles II on April 28, 2011

From Cornell Law:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Thomas Tamm, who acted to defend the Fourth Amendment, had his home invaded with agents with drawn weapons, had his phone tapped and his e-mail read, and was subjected to investigation for four years, at which time the government concluded that he had behaved entirely legally in telling the New York Times of criminal–i.e., illegal– wiretaps by the Bush Administration. The Holder Justice Department, rather than drop the harassment promptly and with an apology–and recompense– waited over a year and has issued neither an apology nor helped Tamm with his enormous legal bills.

Support the Fourth Amendment. Help Thomas Tamm:

[Edit, 5/2/11Thomas Tamm Legal Defense Fund
Bank of Georgetown
5236 44th Street
Washington, DC 20015

I understand that this account has been closed. I am seeking updated information].

Posted in BushCo malfeasance, Department of Injustice, heroes, NSA eavesdropping | 2 Comments »

Guest Post At RenPost: “It’s OK (But Only) If You’re A Republican”

Posted by Phoenix Woman on December 28, 2010

Hey folks! A quick announcement.

Neil Haugerud, a buddy of mine, has a blog and he’s not afraid to use it. Even more frightening, he’s not afraid to let me take the wheel every once in a while. Here’s the result. (While you’re there, check out some fine posts by the chief cook and bottle-washer himself.)

This has been a public service announcement of Mercury Rising.

Posted in blogs and blogging, heroes, Mike Huckabee, Minnesota | Comments Off on Guest Post At RenPost: “It’s OK (But Only) If You’re A Republican”

When America was betrayed

Posted by Charles II on December 9, 2010

Through the lens of the late reporter, Gary Webb, Robert Parry reviews the moment in American history when the media turned from reporting the news to actively suppressing it.

The media has always tailored its reporting to power. One can name many times when it failed to report critical stories. That Watergate and the Pentagon Papers ever came out were miracles. But in the 1980s, the press was actively corrupted. For example, a newspaper run by a convicted felon became a must-read. But nowhere was the corruption more evident than in the Iran-Contra story where for years, reporters like Bob Parry nibbled at the edges of a huge diversion of funds and resources into an off-the-shelf “war” fought principally through death squads and other methods that constitute crimes against humanity. Hundreds of thousands of civilians died. And in this country, hundreds of thousands fell to addictive narcotics imported by the criminals flying weapons south and narcotics north.

At last– and I remember this moment very acutely– a brave reporter by the name of Gary Webb told the story of how those drugs had ravaged poor neighborhoods. The major media, rather than admitting the truth of the story he had broken, mocked him. His editor succumbed to cowardice and failed to back up Webb. Webb ultimately committed suicide.

It was at that moment, at exactly the same time that the complicity of the major media in spreading lies about Bill Clinton began to unravel, that we knew that our media were hopelessly corrupt, acting as friends and allies of narcotraffickers and murderers. It was at that historical moment when Gary Webb’s character was systematically assassinated to silence the little ray of truth that he shone on corruption at high levels that we knew at last that America had been betrayed, that evil had overcome the nation.

Rest in peace, Gary. You served your country as much as any soldier ever did.

Posted in heroes, Iran Contra, War On Some Drugs | 2 Comments »

Senate Finally Admits Corporatist HCR Is DOA; Public Option Revived By Pingree And Polis

Posted by Phoenix Woman on January 27, 2010

Give Jane Hamsher a hand, because she and Representative Grijalva knew what was coming, as well as how to fight it so that a true HCR bill would rise from its ashes:

Against all odds, the $1.4 million being spent each day on lobbying failed. Those who insisted that it was unfair to force the country to pay money to private insurance companies without the alternative of a government run program won. We won because of Raul Grijalva’s leadership, and because the public rejected a health care bill that put corporations first and people second.

Now it’s time to return to the task of passing real health care reform. And this morning in the Houuse, Chellee Pingree and Jared Polis are pushing the Senate to reconsider the public option.

For those people who are genuinely concerned about the Federal deficit, the public option is the better choice as it cuts over $100 billion from the deficit over a ten-year period, in addition to providing better coverage for more Americans than ever before.

The good guys are winning for a change, and it’s because they planned ahead and thought several moves ahead.

Posted in Good Things, health care, heroes, heroines | 4 Comments »

How To Stop A Massacre Before It Starts: Honduras Edition

Posted by Phoenix Woman on November 23, 2009

Charles notes a report by Narco News’ Tamar Sharabi that Andres Pavon, the head of CODEH, the Committee for Human Rights in Honduras and a key figure among those backing the lawfully-elected government and resisting the tyranny of the Micheletti coup, has been charged by the coup régime with “defamation of Romeo Vasquez Velasquez,” the general of the armed forces who is working for the golpistas, or coup leadership.

His crime? Urging Hondurans to boycott the fake elections and warning that the golpistas were planning to stage a massacre of Honduran people and then try to make it look like resistance workers did it.

Just as Seymour Hersh’s articles warning of the Bush Administration’s planned attacks on Iran were likely the key reason those attacks didn’t happen, Pavon’s bravery in spreading the word about the alleged planned massacres may well be what keeps them from happening. This is particularly true now that word of them has even made it to non-Spanish-language media, especially in the US, the chances of the golpistas being able to spin any such attack have dropped dramatically.

[UPDATE: Charles notes that the defamation charge is a month old, and the “impeding the election” charge is a new charge against Pavon.]

(Crossposted at The Seminal.)

Posted in heroes, Honduras, Iran | 4 Comments »

This Is What Decency Looks Like

Posted by Phoenix Woman on November 13, 2009


Ten-year-old Will Phillips, in the West Fork School District in Washington County, Arkansas, did something very brave recently:

There’s a 10-year-old lad, a fifth-grader at West Fork Elementary, who decided he wasn’t going to say the Pledge of Allegiance at school anymore because there was no liberty or justice for all in America, as the pledge’s rote recitation asserts.

He’d concluded that gay people didn’t get equal justice or liberty in this country and that he was loath to mouth something suggesting they did.

That is to say the boy was thoughtful, sensitive, courageous and free.

And it wasn’t just a one-time action, either:

The class had a substitute teacher that week, a retired educator from the district, who knew Will’s mother and grandmother. Though the substitute tried to make him stand up, he respectfully refused. He did it again the next day, and the next day. Each day, the substitute got a little more cross with him. On Thursday, it finally came to a head. The teacher, Will said, told him that she knew his mother and grandmother, and they would want him to stand and say the pledge.

“She got a lot more angry and raised her voice and brought my mom and my grandma up,” Will said. “I was fuming and was too furious to really pay attention to what she was saying. After a few minutes, I said, ‘With all due respect, ma’am, you can go jump off a bridge.’ ”

Will was sent to the office, where he was given an assignment to look up information about the flag and what it represents. Meanwhile, the principal called his mother.

“She said we have to talk about Will, because he told a sub to jump off a bridge,” Laura Phillips said. “My first response was: Why? He’s not just going to say this because he doesn’t want to do his math work.”

Eventually, Phillips said, the principal told her that the altercation was over Will’s refusal to stand for the pledge of allegiance, and admitted that it was Will’s right not to stand. Given that, Laura Phillips asked the principal when they could expect an apology from the teacher. “She said, ‘Well I don’t think that’s necessary at this point,’ ” Phillips said.

And of course, since he’s sticking up for gay people, he’s getting the usual sort of harrassment. But he’s standing firm, if you will, in his refusal to stand for a pledge that he believes is untrue.

You are a good young man, Will Phillips. Good and brave and honorable. I can’t wait to see what you’ll be like in another ten years.

Posted in Constitution, family values, freedom, gay rights, heroes | 6 Comments »


Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 29, 2009

Unlike what the GOP/Media Complex is telling us, Teddy Kennedy was not going to trade away the public option. He’d already done all the compromising he planned to do, by giving up the push for immediate universal single-payer health care.

David “Kagro X” Waldman suggested that, rather than naming a health-care bill after Teddy, we instead name the one thing he found to be non-negotiable, the one line in the sand he would not cross, for him. Thus, the public option is now “Tedicare”.

Here’s the Tedicare logo, courtesy of the wonderful Rochelle Lesser:


You can order coffee mugs and t-shirts with his image over at CafePress. Proceeds go to support Fire Dog Lake’s fight for the public option.

Posted in health care, health issues, heroes | Comments Off on Tedicare

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