Source: New York Post
Park Geun-hye faces calls for impeachment after a friend was indicted and the president was accused of giving her access to government documents.
Now, one friendship Ms. Park does have has imperiled her presidency.
The friend, the daughter of a cult leader who once claimed to speak with Ms. Park’s murdered mother, sought to enrich herself through ties to the presidential office, South Korean prosecutors have alleged in an extortion indictment. The friend also received access to classified presidential policy documents, they say.
The snowballing political drama is paralyzing the government of South Korea, a close U.S. ally, at a time when the Obama administration considers North Korea and its increasingly aggressive nuclear strategy to be the top national security priority for the next administration.
Prosecution documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal say that foundations set up by the president’s friend, a 60-year-old woman named Choi Soon-sil, allegedly used her presidential ties to wrest millions of dollars in donations from Korean conglomerates. Prosecutors have raided most of South Korea’s biggest business groupsseeking evidence. Some of the money, prosecutors believe, went to pay for Ms. Choi’s affluent lifestyle and her daughter’s equestrian aspirations.
A political scandal linking South Korea’s President Park Geun-hye to a charismatic cult leader and his daughter has prompted hundreds of thousands to demonstrate in the streets. The Wall Street Journal looks at how she got there. Photo: AP
Both Ms. Park and Ms. Choi deny the accusations. The president, in a tearful televised statement this month, disputed colorful reports in the Korean press that include shamanistic rituals supposedly held in the presidential office. Such claims are a “house of fantasy,” Ms. Park’s lawyer said.
The denials haven’t stemmed a clamor for her resignation. Five mass rallies in five weeks have demanded the president’s ouster, with organizers estimating over a million protesters gathered in Seoul on Saturday. In surveys, Ms. Park’s approval rating has sunk to 4%. One poll showed that 80% of South Koreans favor impeaching her.
Opposition parties say they will push for an impeachment vote by early December if Ms. Park doesn’t step down. She has given no indication she will, though she has offered to share power with a new prime minister suggested by the opposition.
Even if she survives the tumult, Ms. Park’s diminished political authority presents risks for the U.S. and an early foreign-policy challenge for President-elect Donald Trump. The U.S. relies on close ties with Seoul to manage dangers presented by a bellicose North Korea. The U.S. has around 28,500 troops based in South Korea.
Ms. Park wants to deploy a sophisticated U.S. missile system next year to defend against North Korea’s advancing nuclear-weapons program. Opposition leaders, by contrast, put priority on closer ties with China, which strongly disapproves of the missile-shield idea, at a time when other Asian countries such as the Philippines and Malaysia are tilting toward Beijing. Ms. Park’s domestic opponents also seek to break with Washington by rolling back the sanctions pressure on Pyongyang. Read the rest of this entry »
Brendan O’Neill continues:
…By the Cult of Hillary Clinton, I don’t mean the nearly 62 million Americans who voted for her. I have not one doubt that they are as mixed and normal a bag of people as the Trumpites are. No, I mean the Hillary machine—the celebs and activists and hacks who were so devoted to getting her elected and who have spent the past week sobbing and moaning over her loss. These people exhibit cult-like behavior far more than any Trump cheerer I’ve come across.
“Maybe she is an idea, a world-historical heroine, light itself…Hillary is Athena,” Heffernan continued, adding that “Hillary did everything right in this campaign… She cannot be faulted, criticized, or analyzed for even one more second.”
— Virginia Heffernan
Trump supporters view their man as a leader “fused with the idea of the nation”? Perhaps some do, but at least they don’t see him as “light itself.” That’s how Clinton was described in the subhead of a piece for Lena Dunham‘s Lenny Letter. “Maybe [Clinton] is more than a president,” gushed writer Virginia Heffernan. “Maybe she is an idea, a world-historical heroine, light itself,” Nothing this nutty has been said by any of Trump’s media fanboys.
“Hillary is Athena,” Heffernan continued, adding that “Hillary did everything right in this campaign… She cannot be faulted, criticized, or analyzed for even one more second.”
That’s a key cry of the Cult of Hillary (as it is among followers of L. Ron Hubbard or devotees of Christ): our gal is beyond criticism, beyond the sober and technical analysis of mere humans. Michael Moore, in his movie Trumpland, looked out at his audience and, with voice breaking, said: “Maybe Hillary could be our Pope Francis.”
Or consider Kate McKinnon‘s post-election opening bit on SNL, in which she played Clinton as a pantsuited angel at a piano singing Leonard Cohen‘s “Hallelujah,” her voice almost cracking as she sang: “I told the truth, I didn’t come to fool ya.” Read the rest of this entry »
The Daily Beast reports:
…Mercer reportedly demanded to know victims’ religions before opening killing them, according to witnesses and authorities.
A MySpace account belonging to Christopher Harper-Mercer is registered to Torrance, California. Harper-Mercer and his mother previously lived in Torrance before moving to an apartment in Winchester, Oregon, where neighbors tell The Daily Beast there is a heavy police presence currently.
Source: The Daily Beast
Though the Church of Scientology was established on this day — Feb. 18 — in 1954, the idea came to L. Ron Hubbard a few years earlier when, according to Scientology’s official website, “with further investigation through late 1951 and 1952, Ron indeed contacted, measured and provided a means to experience the human soul.”
It was around that time that those investigations drew the attention of TIME, which first explained Scientology in the Dec. 22, 1952, issue. By that point, Hubbard was already known to readers as an author, especially of Dianetics; he had recently left his eponymous Dianetic foundation to work on Scientology. The TIME story was fairly dismissive of his new idea — he had “whipped up the bastard word Scientology,” it reported — but still took the time to explain how it worked:
It all began when Hubbard added an electrical gadget to his dianetic auditing—an “electropsychomeer”…
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[VIDEO] What’s More Fun Than a Scientific Analysis of Solar Flare? Solar Flare Analysis by Cuckoo-Bananas Religious Cult Member Warning of Demonic Witchcraft Ceremonies and One-World Locust Army Takeover!Posted: June 13, 2014
Note, it looks normal, credible, reasonable, and semi-scientific, until about 4:40 (skip ahead to the good part) then the wheels come off, and the narrator reveals the truths from the secret chambers! Here are a few highlights. Listen as he correlates current solar flare activity to an event “this past weekend” when…