Daily Archives: June 23, 2004

Offered Without Comment 2

From today’s WaPo:

More than a dozen lawmakers attended a congressional reception this year honoring the Rev. Sun Myung Moon in which Moon declared himself the Messiah and said his teachings have helped Hitler and Stalin be “reborn as new persons.”At the March 23 ceremony in the Dirksen Senate Office Building, Rep. Danny K. Davis (D-Ill.) wore white gloves and carried a pillow holding an ornate crown that was placed on Moon’s head. The Korean-born businessman and religious leader then delivered a long speech saying he was “sent to Earth . . . to save the world’s six billion people. . . . Emperors, kings and presidents . . . have declared to all Heaven and Earth that Reverend Sun Myung Moon is none other than humanity’s Savior, Messiah, Returning Lord and True Parent.”

Details of the ceremony — first reported by Salon.com writer John Gorenfeld — have prompted several lawmakers to say they were misled or duped by organizers. Their complaints prompted a Moon-affiliated Web site to remove a video of the “Crown of Peace” ceremony two days ago, but other Web sites have preserved details and photos.

Moon, 85, has been controversial for years. Renowned for officiating at mass weddings, he received an 18-month prison sentence in 1982 for tax fraud and conspiracy to obstruct justice. In a 1997 sermon, he likened homosexuals to “dirty dung-eating dogs.”

Among the more than 300 people who attended all or part of the March ceremony was Sen. Mark Dayton (D-Minn.), who now says he simply was honoring a constituent receiving a peace award and did not know Moon would be there. “We fell victim to it; we were duped,” Dayton spokeswoman Chris Lisi said yesterday.

Other lawmakers who attended or were listed as hosts felt the same, she said. “Everyone I talked to was furious,” she said. With Minnesotans demanding to know whether Dayton is a follower of Moon, Lisi said, the senator persuaded the St. Paul Pioneer Press to write an article allowing him to reply.

Because We Say So

Mark Morford on the New Bush Doctrine:

And lo, “Because I said so” spreads like an ugly rash through BushCo’s increasingly teetering, imploding administration, as they desperately cling to any tattered shreds of whatever the hell it was that they claimed was the original reason that they shoved this nation into an economic tailspin and launched us into a brutal, violent, unwinnable war that, by most every measure, we’ve already lost.Why continue this hideous, bloody invasion that is failing on every front? Because we said so. Why continue gouging the economy like pigs in a trough? Because we said so. How can raping the Clean Air Act and increasing logging in national parks and rolling back 30 years of environmental progress and dissing the Kyoto treaty and molesting the planet in the name of massaging the testicles of your corporate cronies in Big Oil and Big Industry possibly be healthy for the planet? Because we said so.

How can hacking away at women’s rights and endorsing homophobia in any way progress the evolution of the battered human soul? Because we said so. How can banning stem-cell research possibly be anything but a nasty and ridiculous and harmful decision that only strokes the bloody Bible of your wildly ignorant right-wing Christian voting bloc? You guessed it — because we said so.

America is still on track and headed in the right direction despite all violent, ugly, soulless proofs to the contrary? Because we said so. Why do I, Geedubya, lie my Texas a– off and say I never really met that Ahmed Chalabi guy and barely know who the hell he is, even though I had personal meetings with him and loved him like a drunk frat brother and championed him as the great swarthy hope for Iraq for like, a solid year? Because I said so.

And now please shut the hell up and quit shoving all those innocent dead Iraqi women and babies and all those disgusting pictures of U.S.-approved rapes and sodomizations and murders and tortures from Abu Ghraib in my face, OK? After all, those pictures don’t even really exist. Why? Simple: Because I said they don’t.

It is the new Bush doctrine. Screw proof. Screw validation. Screw the U.N. and screw Europe and screw your damn 9/11 commission and screw every hunk of lingering logic and humanitarian reasoning on the planet and screw, finally, the notion that we need to justify our actions to anyone, least of all the dumba– American public, you who’ve swallowed every lie so far like Jenna swallows her 10th Coors Light.

Because I said so. It is the final comeback line. It is the only line that still holds, given how we have been awash in so many outright lies and fabrications and bogus Orange Alerts and flagrant misprisions it would make Richard Nixon cheer. It is the last twitch of Dick Cheney’s political sneer, the darkening blackness in Rummy’s eyes, the last spasm of Condi Rice’s comatose credibility, the only pathetic shield BushCo has left.

While Morford correctly identifies this line as the bane of many childhoods (how often did your parents say it to you when they didn’t want to argue with you any more?), what he doesn’t say is why we disliked it so:

It is a statement of raw, naked power. It is a statement of ‘I hold all the cards and you have nothing to say about it.’ It is the statement of the man who holds the gun, the woman who has the badge, the people who surround your house in the dead of night with torches and a rope. It is the voice of unchecked authority and while children need that kind of authority to feel safe, it is a profoundly anti-democratic thing to say to the adults of an entire country.

It is the sort of things dictators and emperors say, Papa Joe said it all the time, so did Pinochet, so did Franco. They called their people ‘my children’ and treated them like errant 5-yr-olds who didn’t know enough to come in out of the rain and had to have every decision made for them. It is the statement of arrogant leaders who believe govt should rule the lives of the people, not the other way around. It is the statement of people who think the Constitution was a mistake, that it allows the inmates to run the asylum and it needs to be…modified by those who deserve to rule.

It is autocratic, aristocratic, the voice of the heirs of King George III taking their revenge on our saucy revolt, and nobody who talks like this should be allowed to rule a supposedly free people.