Monday, January 20
Moon Shadow: The Rev, Bush & North Korea
Wayne Madsen, Counterpunch, January 14, 2003

When President Bush added North Korea to his list of "Axis of Evil" nations, the influence of the self-declared reincarnation of Jesus Christ, the "Reverend" Sun Myung Moon of the Unification Church, loomed largely over the White House decision-making process. ....

....For twenty years, Moon's main policy laundering enterprise for his incessant influence-peddling has been The Washington Times, the money-losing newspaper he owns outright through New World Communications, Inc., the paper's parent publishing company.

New World also owns Insight Magazine, The Middle East Times (based in Cairo), Zambezi Times (based in Lusaka, Zambia), newspapers in Uruguay and Canada, a textbook publishing company in Russia, and United Press International, the formerly well-respected wire service that fell on hard financial times and was bailed out by Moon's seemingly unlimited cash flows.

Next year, an Insight magazine reporter is poised to take over as President of the venerable National Press Club in Washington. Thus, in a presidential election year, a Moon employee will have influence .... (more)


Human Rights: Trading Away America's Treasure
Editorial, Minneapolis Star, January 18, 2003

Remember America? Land of the free? Thomas Jefferson and Co. thought the whole thing up. Woody Guthrie sang about it. Martin Luther King went to jail to lay claim to its promises. Millions have gloried in it, thrived in its light, dreamed of its liberty. Yet ever since terrorists shattered the calm of a September morning in 2001, America's image as freedom's citadel has been under siege.

Who is attacking it? The last gang you'd expect. According to Human Rights Watch, the U.S. government itself is exhibiting alarming disregard for traditional American rights. The government is so intent on tracking down terrorists, the monitoring group says, that it has come to see human rights as an obstacle to its mission.

It's a foolish fixation -- not to mention cruel. The 600-plus Taliban prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, notes Tuesday's report, are being held "in a type of legal black hole" -- denied any guarantee of release at the end of "active hostilities" as required by the 1949 Geneva Convention. ... (more)


Do Well in Hard Times: Become a Bush Political Appointee
Christopher Brauchl, Boulder Daily Camera, January 18, 2003

On Jan. 11, 2003, it was reported that payrolls were shrinking by tens of thousands of people all over the United States. That was offset, however, by the prospect of eliminating the tax on dividends, which will benefit, among others, those who have no jobs but sizable stock portfolios. In addition, there are still high-paying jobs to be had. ....

....The bonuses paid to political appointees, however, don't hold a candle to salaries to be paid members of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board that was created by Congress in 2002.

At the height of the accounting scandals in 2002, Congress established the board to oversee the accounting profession. Until 2002, it was believed that one of the functions of an accountant was to oversee the activities of large corporations. During the collapse of, among others, Enron, it was learned that if that was the role of an accounting firm, in many cases it was a role it had played badly and for which it received appropriately bad reviews. As a result Congress decreed that a board should be created to oversee the accountants who were overseeing corporations.

The theory was that if there are enough people overseeing people who are overseeing other people, eventually someone will get it right, a novel if not necessarily correct assumption.

.... It deferred action on a suggestion that the auditors in charge of auditing the board which is to audit the auditors who audit corporations, be replaced every five years in order to ensure their independence.

It did not defer action on compensation for its members.

It considered its work, compared it with what the president of the United States does, and concluded its members should be paid $452,000, $52,000 more than he receives. It also decided that the chair, when hired, would be paid $556,000. ....(more)


At CNN, It's All Problems, All the Time
VERNE GAY,, January 16, 2003

Why, why, why? With all that talent and all those brains and great correspondents and solid anchors and worldwide distribution and viewer loyalty and rich history and more money than a small European principality. ... Why? Why can't CNN get its act together? Here lies one of the most pressing - and perplexing - questions in all of television journalism. .... (more)tuesday, january 21
Moon Shadow: The Rev, Bush & North Korea
Wayne Madsen, Counterpunch, January 14, 2003

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