Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Snopes is under attack

Posted by Charles II on September 23, 2015

The People’s Cube, a right-wing fake news/”humor” site that confuses hate with humor has accused the people who run Snopes of actual crimes: owners Barbara and David Mikkelson
were detained by police today after an unrelated investigation of a editor lead police onto a paper trail of corruption, bribery, and fraud…

This is being circulated by right-wingers, along with a Photoshopped picture of David Mikkelson supposedly being perp-walked. I do not see any clear indication on the site that it is a humor site.

Barbara Mikkelson is one of my heroes. Snopes is one of the few efforts that have helped to slow down the lie machine. I am saddened that things have fallen to this point.

The lie is being propagated by, among others:




Are right-wingers really this gullible?

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments »


Posted by Charles II on September 20, 2015


Some intersubspecies hankypanky for sure

Posted in Good Things, Just for fun | Leave a Comment »

Corporate depravity

Posted by Charles II on September 19, 2015

This was a story I ran across yesterday and hope is getting traction.

Rupert Neate, The Guardian:

The US government has ordered Volkswagen to recall almost 500,000 cars after discovering that the company deployed sophisticated software to cheat emission tests allowing its cars to produce up to 40 times more pollution than allowed.

The Environment Protection Agency (EPA) on Friday accused VW of installing illegal “defeat device” software that dramatically reduces nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions – but only when the cars are undergoing strict emission tests.

“Put simply, these cars contained software that turns off emissions controls when driving normally and turns them on when the car is undergoing an emissions test,” Cynthia Giles, an EPA enforcement officer said. “We intend to hold Volkswagen responsible.

The EPA and Carb discovered the “defeat device” software following independent analysis by researchers at West Virginia University, who were promoted into action by the International Council on Clean Technology, an NGO.

It does take a special kind of depravity to pull off this sort of crime. We could fix our engine so it works well even with emissions controls, or we come up with a trick to let is pollute. And they choose the stupid solution.

And what a statement about our government, that it didn’t detect the fraud.

Capitalism as cancer… in this case, quite literally.

Posted in abuse of power, capitalism as cancer, crimes | Leave a Comment »

A most beautiful tomato

Posted by Charles II on September 17, 2015

A most beautiful tomato-1 (1)

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

Alleged Breitbart source busted for terrorism

Posted by Charles II on September 12, 2015

This is one of those stories that is almost too strange to believe (Via DailyKos via MsInformed at Eschaton).

Elise Potaka and Luke McMahon, Sidney Morning Herald:

A young Jewish American man has been charged with pretending to be an Australian-based Islamic State jihadist after a FBI joint investigation with the Australian Federal Police based on information provided by Fairfax Media. Joshua Ryne Goldberg, a 20-year old living at his parents’ house in US state of Florida, is accused of posing online as “Australi Witness,” an IS supporter who publicly called for a series of attacks against individuals and events in western countries:

Early on Friday, Australian time, Goldberg, who is non-Muslim and has no real-world links with extremism, was arrested at his home by Florida police for “distribution of information relating to explosives, destructive devices, and weapons of mass destruction”.

This was not all he was involved in.

Katie Zavadski, Daily Beast:

Goldberg had several online personas: an Islamic radical who was popular in ISIS social media; a white supremacist on hate site Daily Stormer; a feminist on Daily Kos; a radical free-speech advocate on Q&A site, and a sympathizer with GamerGate. Goldberg is also accused of being behind a Times of Israel blog post that called Palestinians “subhuman.”

Goldberg, who comes from a Jewish family, had Australi Witness spout a special kind of rage when discussing Jews.

“The Jews are the worst enemies of Allah (SWT). When Islam conquers Australia, every single Jew will be slaughtered like the filthy cockroaches that they are,” he wrote on

Goldberg as Australi Witness also threatened attacks on synagogues in Melbourne and Los Angeles on and on 8Chan’s Islamic State page.

He also had recurring obsessions with certain people and ideas, attacking them with one persona while praising them with another.

Posing as “Michael Slay” on white supremacist site Daily Stormer, he viciously attacked an Australian Muslim activist Mariam Veiszadeh, calling her a “Moslem pig.” Yet Goldberg praised Veiszadeh as Australi Witness, calling her his “biggest inspiration.” Yet another alleged online identity, MoonMetropolis, cheered grotesque caricatures of Veiszadeh.

Goldberg also had another alter ego, Tanya Cohen, whom he attacked using Michael Slay on the Daily Stormer. Cohen was evidently a parody of far-left social justice activists. Slay called her “a Jew bitch who specializes in writing about how the US needs to ban ‘hate speech’ and any other speech that goes against the Jewish cultural Marxist agenda.” An email in Tanya Cohen’s name was linked to Goldberg’s IP address, and articles in her name appeared on Thought Catalog, Daily Kos, and feminist website Feministing.

On Twitter, Goldberg frequently posted about Gamer Gate, a controversy about sexism in gaming that resulted in personal attacks on feminist activists. While Goldberg doesn’t appear to have posted any threats on social media, his tweets used the hashtag #gamergate to mock people he had previously derided as “social justice warriors.”

In articles published under the Moon Metropolis alias and under Goldberg’s own name on Thought Catalog, he expresses the opinions of a free-speech fundamentalist.

“Nothing that anyone could possibly say could ever be worse than a law preventing them from saying it,” he wrote. “If you expressed the opinion that I should be killed, I would still defend your right to say that.”

On Thought Catalog, Goldberg wrote “that neo-Nazis tend to look positively civil and rational when compared to SJWs [social justice warriors].”

And it appears that may have been’s “source” for claiming that Shaun King, an activist who posts regularly on Daily Kos regarding Black Lives Matter issues, is not partly African American. Anomaly on FreakOut Nation posted evidence from social media to that effect. While I haven’t seen evidence beyond the BlazingCatFur post, the evidence persuades me that this is likely so. It has been denied by “Nero” aka Milo Yiannopoulos, the Breitbart writer.

But this is in Google cache:


So I would guess that “Nero” is just fiddling for time.

The kind of hate we see in Goldberg’s multiple personas–not to mention “Nero’s Twitter feed–is remarkable, even in the hateful age in which we live in.

Posted in Flying Monkey Right, rightwing moral cripples, terrorism | 3 Comments »

Washington Complicit in Honduras Corruption

Posted by Charles II on September 11, 2015

Lauren Carasik (Western New England Law School), TelesurTV (June 5th):

As the corruption scandal dogging Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández continues to gather steam, the Obama administration has been notably silent about problems plaguing its ally. This is unsurprising, since the current maelstrom is President Barack Obama and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s legacy in post-coup Honduras.

Honduran opposition parties allege that the right-wing National Party received $90 million of an estimated $300 million stolen from the IHSS, the Honduran Social Security Institute. The money, they claim, funded Hernandez’s costly 2013 presidential campaign against Xiomara Castro, wife of former President Mel Zelaya. The funds were apparently siphoned off through fake businesses, some of which wrote checks to the party, and jacked up prices to fund kickbacks. The entire 18-person board of the IHSS is under investigation – all are members of the National party. Meanwhile, several National Party officials filed a suit against Salvador Nasralla, head of the Anti-Corruption party, claiming his allegations of misappropriated funds are defamatory. Underscoring the uphill battle in ferreting out corruption, Roberto Ramirez Aldana, the prosecutor assigned to the case, fled the country in the wake of credible death threats, hampering the investigation. David Romero, the [Radio Globo] journalist who exposed the scandal, has also received death threats. Impunity and silence are enforced by threats and violence in post-coup Honduras.

And since last month the Supreme Court confirmed that the Constitutional ban on seeking a second term was invalid, in a process rife with suspicious irregularities, Hernández is free to run for re-election. Paradoxically, the justification for the 2009 coup ousting former President Mel Zelaya – that both President Obama and then Secretary of State Clinton refused to condemn – was over allegations that he intended to alter the Constitution to allow his re-election.

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Another hanky-panky scandal, this time in Michigan, with bonus corruption

Posted by Charles II on September 11, 2015

Jonathan Oosting, MLive:

Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat, embattled lawmakers accused of misconduct and misusing taxpayer resources to hide their extra-marital affair, are no longer representatives in the Michigan House.

Courser, R-Lapeer, resigned at 3:12 a.m. on Friday as the House prepared for a third vote on a resolution to expel him from office.

One hour later, the House voted 91-12 to expel Gamrat, R-Plainwell, making her just the fourth lawmaker ever to be removed from the Michigan Legislature by her peers.

The House Business Office, which launched an investigation last month at the request of Speaker Kevin Cotter, R-Mt. Pleasant, had accused both Courser and Gamrat of “deceptive, deceitful, and outright dishonest conduct.”

The freshman lawmakers “abused their offices,” according to an 833-page report made public this week. They directed staff to facilitate their affair, and they also blurred lines between official and political work, a potential violation of Michigan campaign finance rules.

“These two members have obliterated public trust,” said Rep. Ed McBroom, R-Vulcan… and each day that they continue here, they reduce the public’s trust in this institution.”

Republicans seem to be making a lot of firsts lately.

Posted in abuse of power, corruption, Republicans acting badly | Leave a Comment »

Relieving chronic pain

Posted by Charles II on September 10, 2015

I suggest listening to the following presentation by Daniel Clauw, U. Michigan Medical:

Posted in science and medicine | Leave a Comment »

Solar evaporators will save the world

Posted by Charles II on September 10, 2015

Via commenter Jo6Pac, Derek Markham, Clean Technica:

WaterFX Hydro I, Inc., doing business as HydroRevolution℠, a California subsidiary of WaterFX™, is offering the shares to finance the construction of a fully solar-powered desalination plant in the Central Valley, which is expected to be able to produce up to 1.6 billion gallons (5000 acre-feet) of water per year, with virtually zero liquid discharge. The HydroRevolution℠ process is said to allow for a 90% recovery rate, with the remaining brine being treated further to isolate the salt and mineral byproducts for industrial applications.

Instead of desalinating seawater, as many desalination operations do, this plant will pull water from shallow irrigation water (also called subsurface drainage water) which is produced as a consequence of agriculture, and which has a high salinity content that can be detrimental to freshwater ecosystems

Once completed, the plant will be the first of its kind in California, and the largest solar desalination plant in North America.

Now, I think we could use distilled seawater to recharge aquifers that are being drawn down, and counter continental drying. But in any case, we’re going to need sources of fresh water. This desalination process will help.

Posted in environment | Leave a Comment »

Heresy in the temple

Posted by Charles II on September 10, 2015

Nasos Koukakis, CNBC:

The austerity imposed on Southern Europe after 2010 has led many famous economists to ban together and address the structural weaknesses of the monetary union. Some even have gone a step further by supporting European protest parties and leftist governments, demonstrating their opposition to the austerity policies.

Among them are Nobel Prize-winning economists Paul Krugman and Joseph Stiglitz; Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University; James Galbraith of the University of Texas at Austin; and Thomas Piketty, professor at the Paris School of Economics.

In a joint letter, these acclaimed thinkers have asked the General Assembly of the United Nations today to back fundamental debt crisis principles concerning the restructuring of sovereign debts. The goal: to establish a legal framework for debt restructuring, allowing each state to solve its debt problems without risk of financial collapse and loss of sovereignty.

these economists have called for a relaxation of austerity, debt restructuring and investment-induced recovery. They are sharp critics of Germany’s commitment to budgetary discipline.

[John] Geanakoplos, an economist of Greek heritage [and James Tobin Professor of Economics at Yale] , believes that restructuring the public and private debt may eventually lead to smaller losses for the lenders.

Posted in economy, Europe | 2 Comments »

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