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Lets's talk about democracy
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Sunday, 4 July 2004
Humanity's "Savior, Messiah, Returning Lord and True Parent."

The most reverend Moon declared on March 23rd in front of adoring congress members "Hitler and Stalin have found strength in my teachings, mended their ways and been reborn as new persons."

At an event sponsored by the Washington Times Foundation and the International Interreligious Federation for World Peace (IIFWP, a Moon lead group, the most divine personage finally declared he was "The world's "Savior, Messiah, Returning Lord and True Parent

The "Host Committee" for the blessed event included:

Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md), upon whom Moon bestowed an Ambassador of Peace Medal at the ceremony.

(However, Bartlett "does not recall." If you have any questions reagrding this issue, please feel free to write him at: http://www.bartlett.house.gov/)

Stangely, according to the "Hill News:" (http://www.hillnews.com/news/062204/moon.aspx)

Archbishop George Augustus Stallings Jr., a member of the invitation committee and founder of the Imani Temple in Northeast Washington, D.C., said letters were sent to all Congress members stating that Moon and his wife would be at the event and "every member on the host committee agreed to be on the original [Feb. 4] event."

Stallings said "a follow-up letter" went to those members, confirming their status on March 23 and that unless they opted out in reply their names would remain on the invitation as such.

Other distinguished members of the glorious event included:

Reps. Sanford Bishop (D-Ga.), Chris Cannon (R-Utah) and Harold Ford Jr. (D-Tenn.) as "Congressional Co-Chairs." Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Reps. Tom Davis (R-Va.) and Phil Crane (R-Ill.) and GOP consultant Charlie Black

Posted by bushmeister0 at 12:49 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 4 July 2004 12:53 AM EDT
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Saturday, 3 July 2004
North Korea bows in suplication to the village people.

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) -- U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell donned a hard hat and tucked a hammer in his belt Friday, performing a version of the Village People's hit ``YMCA'' at the conclusion of Asia's largest security meeting.

[I feel so sorry for this poor guy.]

Posted by bushmeister0 at 8:56 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 7 July 2004 1:11 AM EDT
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Saudis have a friend in the White House. (And torture with impunity)
Mood:  on fire
The New York Times reports today that in, "February 2003, an agreement was reached in principle...(that) Prince Saud, the foreign minister, (had) agreed to arrange pardons and release... (of ) five Britons and the two others if the United States would send home a handful of Saudi prisoners from Guant?namo, the American official with knowledge of the negotiations said...

One Defense Department official said a basic question hanging over the discussions was, `Why are we doing this for these guys when we haven't done this for other, better allies?" The official added, "We were just told to do it.'"


The Britons in question were tortured repeatedly by the Saudis; according to the Guardian from 2003: "One of the Britons released last month from a Saudi jail has said he was tortured "beyond endurance" during his imprisonment.

Sandy Mitchell said he was chained, beaten and denied sleep until he confessed to a crime he did not commit.

Mr Mitchell, 44, from Kirkintilloch, was one of six men from the UK arrested three years ago after a series of bomb attacks in Riyadh that left one Briton dead and several other westerners injured.

"I was kept awake for nine days chained to the door of my cell so I could not sleep or sit down," he said. "In the evening times I was hooded, taken upstairs in chains to one of the interrogation rooms where the beatings then progressed to torture.

"The beatings started with punching, kicking, spitting, and eventually progressed to hitting me with sticks. They had this axe handle and I was beaten on the soles of my feet."


Mr Mitchell told the Sunday Times that he had been told his death sentence was to have been a crucifixion,which involves the victim's head being partially severed and their body fixed to an x-shaped cross and hung in public for three days.

The Saudi authorities claimed that the blasts were part of a feud between illegal alcohol smugglers and not the work of Saudi dissidents." [Not that they have any insurgency problems.]

(60 minutes reporting last year on the torture and forced confessions of these men said they were arrested in order to get the British to shut down an anti-Saud newspaper that was being published in London.)

In August 2003 Al-Jazeera reported


"Mitchell said that he had also been pressured into making a public confession on television after being told by Saudi police that his wife and young son were being tortured, the newspaper added.

Mitchell and British-born William Sampson, who now holds a Canadian passport, faced execution for allegedly masterminding bomb attacks in 2000 and 2001. The bombings left a Briton dead and two other Britons and an Irishwoman injured.

But the men's families, lawyers and others argued they were scapegoats for attacks carried out by Islamist radicals operating in Saudi Arabia.

All seven were released after Saudi King Fahd granted them royal clemency. According to the Observer newspaper, the heir to the British throne, Prince Charles, played a key role in securing the men's release.

"The prince has excellent connections within Saudi Arabia. He has been very keen that the case should be re-looked at by the Saudi authorities," a spokesman for Charles was quoted as saying."

Well, of course, now we know the Saudis have better connections with the Bush White House, which is what this is really all about.

The whole thing was a big quid pro quo; for the Brits to get their people back and get the pressure off Blair, get the Saudis sweet for the invasion of Iraq and ultimately to clear the decks for "W's" holy crusade.

Typically, the Saudis are the big winners. Bush and CO. are all about keeping us safe from terror by locking hundreds of people up and throwing away the key, except when it comes to Saudi terrorists.

(The NY Times)

"American officials involved in the Saudi case described it as highly unusual and said the backgrounds of those detainees raised greater concerns than those of others. Some officials also said the case showed how considerations other than security and intelligence could influence releases of prisoners."

Our good friends the Saudis, of course, are blameless:

[The Guardian]



"No one was available for comment at the Saudi embassy in London yesterday but last month Adel al-Jubeir, foreign affairs adviser to Crown Prince Abdullah, said: "We have the evidence, we have the proof, and we stand by it. I don't expect that the men who were pardoned would come out and say 'Oh gee, the Saudis were really right, we were alcohol smugglers and we tried to shoot each other'.

`But for people to think that Saudi Arabia tried to pin charges on foreigners in order to hide a terrorism problem is preposterous.'" {How crazy is that?}

Posted by bushmeister0 at 4:17 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 3 July 2004 5:05 PM EDT
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Friday, 2 July 2004
Here we go again...

(The Miami Herald)
More than 2,100 Florida voters -- many of them black Democrats -- could be wrongly barred from voting in November because Tallahassee elections officials included them on a list of felons potentially ineligible to vote, a Herald investigation has found.

A Florida Division of Elections database lists more than 47,000 people the department said may be ineligible to vote because of felony records. The state is directing local elections offices to check the list and scrub felons from voter rolls.

But a Herald review shows that at least 2,119 of those names -- including 547 in South Florida -- shouldn't be on the list because their rights to vote were formally restored through the state's clemency process.

Of the 2,119 people who obtained clemency, 62 percent are registered Democrats, and almost half are black. Less than 20 percent are Republican.

Those ratios are very close to the same in the list of 47,000 voters who the local elections officers are supposed to review and possibly purge from the registration rolls.


Posted by bushmeister0 at 5:20 PM EDT
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Thursday, 1 July 2004
Peace in our time!

Flash: Chamberlin Meets Sum.

Okay, I thought we were going to war with North Korea and now I'm even more convinced. Colin Powell is over there to get things straight with them and you know how much he's respected and listened to at the White House so I'm sure this will be a big success.

The tough guy talk is back and the reasonableness from last week can be explained as "we showed flexibility in our position last week because we wanted our colleagues in the six-party talks to recognize that the United States was seeking a peaceful diplomatic solution." [But not really]

There's always hope though. Paek Num Sum, the North Korean foreign minister, might meet with Powell, which is supposed to be a big 'no no,' "no direct talks" and all, but Powell hints "the North Korean foreign minister will be here tomorrow and participating in discussions of the whole group and it remains to be seen what other discussions he and I may or may not be participating in tomorrow."

Whatever they do or don't do, it doesn't matter because it's "Mr. Credibility" himself in the talks and neither the Koreans nor the Bush administration cares what he does.

Wait for the next round when they send John Bolten back.


Keep in mind the U.S. says they plan to pull 12,500 troops out out of South Korea by the end of 2005 and along with the 3,600 already on their way out to Iraq, troops have already been moved out of Seoul, supposedly because of the bad PR from the death of a young girl, but it's really to get them out of the way of the initial barrage of North Korean artillery and maybe even a nuclear strike.

See my musings on North Korea below for info on
naval deployments and such related to this subject.

Posted by bushmeister0 at 1:57 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 3 July 2004 5:01 PM EDT
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Wednesday, 30 June 2004
Torah gives thumbs up on killing Jews:

Rabbi Avigdor Neventzal of Jerusalem's Old City told a gathering of West Bank settlers on Tuesday: "I am a Torah authority, and it is my role to rule according to my understanding.

"According to Jewish law, anyone who turns over territories that are part of the Land of Israel to non-Jews is subject to Din Rodef (Jew killing Jew), but I hope none of my students carries out an act of this sort," he was quoted by Israeli army radio as saying.

Mr Netanyahu said the remarks incited violence. [He's one to talk]

"This is something that must not be done - we are a law-abiding country and if we make difficult choices from a national standpoint, we accept them in a democratic and law-abiding manner," he told public radio. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3853987.stm

Sounds like Rabbi Joel Teitelbaum who said Jews died in the Holocaust because they were sinners:

More on that...

Is God a mass murderer?

Rejecting the Haredi theodicy.

In light of recent discussion on a number of forums, some readers might regrettably have come to view Orthodox Judaism as a savage religion, one that claims God is a mass-murderer and that views Adolph Hitler as literally doing the work of God in punishing the Jews.

In sadness, one must admit that to a small degree, that view has some validity. Indeed, there are a number of small ultra-Orthodox sects which do have such hate-ridden theologies.

People with such views post on many e-mail forums and bulliten boards; depending on which one of their tracts you read, you will find that they claim that the millions of Jews of Europe deserved to die because:

(a) they supported building a Jewish state in Israel...

(b) Reform Judaism developed and was allowed to exist...

(bc) Reform and Conservative Judaism developed and were allowed to exist...

(c) Jews were not careful to observe the rules pertaining to mezuzot and other ritual acts, etc...

In all of these cases, some people conclude that all the Jews of Europe really were terrible sinners that deserved to die, and thus the Nazis did the work of God.

Posted by bushmeister0 at 3:30 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 30 June 2004 3:33 PM EDT
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Monday, 28 June 2004
The big transfer!

The "big transfer" of power we've all been waiting for has finally arrived. President Bush announced today, "fifteen months after the liberation of Iraq and two days ahead of schedule, the world witnessed the arrival of a full sovereign and free Iraq." (Of course, worries about a big attack to disrupt the turnover had nothing to do with the "two days ahead of schedule.")

Wow! Now, all the violence will end. Wasn't that the deal? Terrorists were trying to prevent Iraqis from being free so they were attacking the Americans? It would get worse on the "run-up" to the turnover and then die down because the Iraqis would be free?

Well, sadly the president says the insurgents are,"going to change their focus now and probably focus on the elections " Oh darn it, so much for that. (He seems to know so much about the insugents and their plans, he ought to tell someone in the pentagon.)

The new Prime Minister Iyad Allawi is ready to start ruling though, you bet, according to the Financial Times: "The handover has prompted speculation that Mr Allawi will use his new powers to declare martial law, curfews, or other measures to deal with the country's security problems." (Let the hand chopping begin!)

Probably to be followed by a gassing of the Kurds and a visit by Donald Rumsfeld talking turkey about an oil pipeline for Bechtel.

Or even better, newly arrived ambassador John Negroponte, who is expected to present formal credentials to Allawi today, could show him how he did the death squad thing in Honduras and what it could do for Iraq.

Strangely, no news from Mr. Bush about the marine being threatened with a beheading by terrorists and no mention either, about the over 800 dead U.S. troops who made this happy day possible. They'll all be coming home now, right? Wrong again!

One happy camper in all this has to be Paul Bremer. I bet he won't be volunteering for anymore neo-con experiments anytime soon. Rummy is happy too; now Iraq is the State Department's problem.

It's time for the greatest defense secretary in history to get back to doing what he does best; testing stress positions on himself and planning new invasions. ("I know where Iran's nukes are, they're north, east, west and south of Tehran somewhat!)I can't wait and neither can they!

Posted by bushmeister0 at 11:59 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, 28 June 2004 12:21 PM EDT
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Sunday, 27 June 2004
Indonesia is next on the hit list!
Goss on Moore:

In Michael Moore's new movie Fahrenheit 911, Porter Goss defends the Patriot Act to the hilt and urges anyone who has problem with it to call his 1-800 #.

Problem is, he doesn't really have one, so Moore put his office number on the screen.

According to Goss's staff people were calling from theaters while they were watching the movie to see if it was a real number.

Goss told the local paper in Naples Florida, "I can go along with a good prank as well as everybody else, but we are a nation at war.

And I'm not sure how suitable a forum this is to be playing these kind of games when we've got people out in places like Afghanistan and Iraq and Indonesia and elsewhere putting their lives in harm's way for our freedoms."

Indonesia? We invaded Indonesia and no one told me? Goss is suppossedly in line to take George Tenet's job, so it's good to see we've got another able DOI to provide more slam dunks for the president.

Cheney prepares to deliver "F" bomb.

Cheney told FOX that "I expressed myself rather forcefully, felt better after I had done it.

I think that a lot of my colleagues felt that what I had said badly needed to be said, that it was long overdue.

[His colleagues? At Halliburton?]

Ordinarily I don't express myself in strong terms, but I thought it was appropriate here."

[The senate was the appropiate place for "fuck yourelf?"]

BUsh spreading the love around:

Bush continues his good will tour around the world and in Turkey before he arrived yesterday the love was evident as this AP story relates:

(AP)Saturday, June 26, 2004; 4:01 PM

ANKARA, Turkey -- Turkish police fired tear gas at more than 150 left-wing demonstrators who hurled rocks and tried to smash through a barricade in Ankara on Saturday, just hours before President Bush arrived for a NATO summit.

Police used bomb-detecting dogs to comb the area around the hotel where Bush is expected to stay, and security officials closed streets throughout the capital, part of a massive operation following Thursday bombings in Ankara and Istanbul that killed four people and injured 17.

Also Saturday, supporters of Jordanian-born militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi said they had kidnapped three Turkish workers in Iraq, Arab TV station al-Jazeera reported.

An al-Jazeera employee told The Associated Press that the group threatened to behead the hostages within 72 hours if Turkish companies did not withdraw from Iraq.

Bush is unpopular in Turkey, where the overwhelming majority of the public opposed the war in neighboring Iraq. If Turkish hostages were executed in Iraq, that could considerably increase tensions.

Posted by bushmeister0 at 2:49 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 3 July 2004 11:47 PM EDT
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Saturday, 26 June 2004
Bush making a big slash in Ireland.

Summit disrupted by protests:

The EU-US summit is drawing to a close but the protests in Co Clare are just gaining momentum.

Ambush, a protest against the Bush administration in Iraq and his war policies, has gathered outside the 'Peace Camp' at the N18 is making its way to Shannon Airport.

Many detours have been put in place throughout the county, the main road to Shannon has been closed and several check points have been erected.

A press conference due to begin at 1.40pm was delayed as buses carrying about 300 journalists were unable to get past the traffic and protestors.

President Bush was due to leave directly after the press conference, but his flight from Shannon will now also be delayed.


And on to Turkey where the police are already battling protesters in Ankara...


From yesterday:

U.S. Airstrike Kills Up to 25 in Fallujah (Associated Press )

BAGHDAD, Iraq - U.S. jets targeted terror mastermind Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, pounding one of his suspected hideouts Friday in Fallujah in a strike U.S. officials said killed up to 25 people.

Iraqi leaders warned of more insurgent attacks after a wave of bloodshed blamed on al-Zarqawi, and said they were considering drastic measures to combat the violence -- including declaring martial law or a state of emergency in some areas.

"It's the people who want us to take stronger measures," said interim Defense Minister Hazem Shaalan. "We have to be patient. Building democracy requires patience."

[As usual a lack of intelligence is made up for in tonnage of bombs dropped]

A senior administration official acknowledged that intelligence about al-Zarqawi's network was limited.

"I don't think we have, really, any idea how broad it is," the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. He added that al-Zarqawi likely has "some kind of command and control" role.

Posted by bushmeister0 at 4:41 PM EDT
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Warren and me in the school yard.

A letter to Warren Olney of KCRW Santa Monica's "To the Point" radio program on the PRI network:

Dear to the point--

Wednesday's program was entitled "Using 9-11 Fears to Set National Security Policy." I thought, initially, the discussion would be centered on William Greider's Nation article, which was:

"When President Bush called Americans to enlist in his "war on terror," very few citizens could have grasped the all-encompassing consequences of the proposition. The terrifying events of 9/11 were like a blinding flash, benumbing the country with a sudden knowledge of unimagined dangers.

Strong action was recommended, skeptics were silenced and a shallow sense of unity emerged from the shared vulnerabilities. Nearly three years later, the enormity of Bush's summons to open-ended "war" is more obvious.

It overwhelmed the country, in fact deranged society's normal processes and purposes with a brilliantly seductive political message: Terror pre-empts everything else."


What actually occurred, however, couldn't have been further from the provocative lead in. William Greider got several minutes at the beginning of the show to state his position and then, in his own words, was made the "the liberal foil" for a rambling tirade by an American Enterprise Institute flak and some nobody from the Kerry campaign, who wasn't even really speaking for the campaign.

They were allowed the opportunity to make their political points, ad infinitum, without being made to answer the very valid issues that were raised by Mr.Greider.

Almost 50 minutes into the show; the host gave Mr. Greider a chance to confront his critics; who had spent the entire program talking about the same old warmed over issues that you, Warren, me and everybody else has heard a million times before. (And studiously avoiding the very uncomfortable conclusions Greider was coming to.)

To top it all off, despite his protestations to the contrary, (That he didn't use Greider as a foil), Warren Onley gave the AIE shill and Mr. Nobody a rebuttal, to boot!

I am truly disgusted with this pathetic excuse for a supposed radio program claiming to get to the point on the important issues of the day. The moral cowardice displayed by the producers and host of the show is truly distressing.

Please review the description of the topic of the show and compare it to the actual broadcast and tell me what relation it had to the very real and thoughtful issues William Greider has brought to the table.

What a wasted opportunity to debate very serious issues that no one will touch in the "liberal media."

And what a waste of my valuable time.


Warren's response:

Dear Mark,

We tried to relate Greider's brilliant analysis to the political campaign--and particularly the question of whether Kerry offers an alternative to Bush--since the election will provide an opportunity for voters to act on the issues Greider raises. Not all our listeners already know everything there is to know about other points of view.

As Greider pointed out, many conservatives agree with his basic point about the political use of the war on terror--including William Arkin, one of our other guests. Unfortunately, Arkin chose to ignore their agreement and referred to Greider as a "leftist," which offended Greider. Apparently, that's all you were able to hear.

[Well, you listen to the program and you tell me:]


Posted by bushmeister0 at 2:57 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 26 June 2004 3:09 AM EDT
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