Maravot News of the World
5:00pm San Francisco
Tuesday 12.07.04
(last post)

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Faces of the Fallen – Iraq
(photos and names of the fallen)

Metric Conversion

kilometer: 0.6214 mile
meter: 39.37 inches
centimetre: 0.3937 inch
millimetre: 0.03937 inch
foot: 30.48 cm
Br. stone: 14 pounds
kilogram: 2.2046 pounds
litre: 1.0567 US quarts
hectare: 2.471 acres
– 1 djerib (Turkey)
– 1 jerib (Iran)
– 1 gong qing (China)
0° Celcius: = 32° F

Federal Debt vs GDP– Click image for larger view. (OMB)

Chart showing National Debt & Annual Deficits w/ Presidents. Click chart for larger image.

John Adam's Diary & other documents, that were banned in US school

Gross Domestic Products. Click on graphic for larger image

Blogs, news & stuff
Worth frequent visits

Intrnational Agencies – News

IRIN News, Africa & Asia

Osama bin Laden fatwas
Definition of fatwa (fatwah)
Maravot News Comment


August 1996

Maps of interest

Click on maps for larger image
Iraq and neighbors
Afghanistan & neighbors
Kazakhstan & neighbors

Historical map of Israel. Figure 2 shows the area allocated to
Israel by the UN in 1948. Compare to Israel' s interactive map below of its controversial security wall

The Scribble Doodle Wall: Israel's Security Fence. Click on image for larger view. Click here, Jerusalem Post map for interactive map.

Middle East Watch

Russia Watch


East Asia Watch

Relevant Works by Mel

The Romance of Anais, an Arthurian-style tale written 1996 describing how Bush got us in the mess in Iraq with a short commentary on the
Chang-an cheat

Duty & Profit, Nov. 1994
Against Leviathan, Jan. 1993
Immoral Coercion, Dec. 1994
Philistia Triumph thou
because of me
, Dec. 1993

I am not responsible for the
content of any links
from this site.

12.07.04 Interest for 2004 exceeded outlays for essential Bush administration departments

Most people, and it is sad to say, most congress persons, are not aware how much American tax dollars go to service the National Debt, which is now pushing $8 trillion. Group A outlays, comprising 13 out of 22 categories of outlays for the government, are about what Bush spends on interest to service the debt each year. The 13 categories of expenditures include: Legislative, Judiciary, Executive Office, International Assistance, Agriculture, Commerce, Civil Defense, Education, Energy, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, and the State Department. They total 320 billion, one hundred eighty-three thousand dollars ($320.183 billion). Bush is paying bankers (most of them foreign) about the same amount: $321.566 billion. It pays to be a friend of the Bush family. Click here to view the chart.
Mel Copeland

12.07.04 US CDC forcasts on global warming grim

An article by Linda Heard [Article is at>>] reminds us though we live in perilous times – now dominated with threats by terrorists – data released by the US CDC show Americans have a one in 9,396 chance of death due to excessive heat, as compared to one in 88,000 chance in dying from a terrorist attack or a one in 10,455 chance of dying in the bathtub. We have some comments with regard to her article.

President George W. Bush's refusal to sign the Kyoto Protocols only increases the threat level of excessive heat complications, droughts and desserts expanding over more areas, worse storms and flooding in others. Carbon dioxide levels are currently the highest in more than 420,000 years. For reference purposes it is worthwhile to consider that the end of the last Ice Age, the Holocene, was ~14,000 years ago (glacial maximum was ~18,000 years ago). Then you could walk from Siberia to Alaska over a land bridge and probably from the Continent of Europe to Britain.
Since then the earth has been in a warming stage. Whether it will end in another Ice Age – or is near the peak of a warming cycle – is hard to say, but the CDC report shows the situation we are in is quite serious: since several Ice Ages (Ice Age cycles repeat every 20,000 - 40,000 years) have passed since 420,000 years ago.

The earliest known Ice Age took place during the Precambrian Time, dating back more than 570 million years. In the 16th century a Little Ice Age began which advanced and receded intermittently over three centuries. Its maximum development was reached about 1750, at which time glaciers were more widespread on Earth than at any time since the principal Quaternary Ice Ages (the last 1.6 million years, with the exception of the last 10,000 years, which are called the Holocene epoch). Although the precise causes of the Ice Ages that mark the Pleistocene are controversial, it is known that prior to this glaciation northern Europe had risen to a much higher elevation than now and that ice formed to great depths there, as in the rest of the Atlantic landmass and the Alpine areas. The Pleistocene was punctuated by warm interglacial periods separating glacial advances; during its latter part, humans occupied niches in the more southerly parts of the continent.
[Encyclopaedia Britannica]

Heard's article says "the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warns that the Earth average temperature rise will be as much as 5.8 degrees centigrade by 2100. During the past 100 years the Earth's temperature has risen an average of six degrees Centigrade. The UN World Meterological Organization states that last year was the third warmest since records were first kept in the 1860's."

With the US being one of the world's major polluters is Australia which emits one of the highest per capita levels of greenhouse gas pollution in the world. Against the US, attempting to reduce emissions are 30 nations who signed the Kyoto agreement, including Russia whose signature put the pact into effect. Russia is responsible for 17% of the world's greenhouse emissions.

Keeping the comparative data in context, world leaders consider crusader George W. Bush a great threat to international security (he was arrested by the Canadian Prime Minister last week for War Crimes) and a recent statement from Pakistan's President Musharraf agrees with what others have said: that the world is less safe after the Iraq invasion
. Applying the odds quoted by Heard, George W. Bush may be remembered in history as the man that posed the greatest threat to mankind – from both a social and environmental point of view. Here's the problem with this point of view, however: If what Cicero said is true, [sic] " a people tend to resemble their leaders," (see also Hobbes Leviathan and Xenophon) then what Bush has been up to doesn't leave us Americans in an enviable position in the face of future historians.

I leave my commentary on the note Linda S. Heard concluded: "...our once beautiful Earth remains tragically and needlessly under siege." Heard welcomes feedback on her article:
Mel Copeland

12.07.04 Heavy sell-off of US dollar in Shanghai

BEIJING, Dec. 7 – The amount of US dollars sold on the Shanghai foreign exchange market has been rising sharply in recent months amid fears of a further decline in the value, the Securities Times reported. Increased selling has occured in other cities. Recent speculation that Beijing will shift the current yuan-dollar peg to a higher level also gave local investors an excuse to get rid of their dollar holdings, the paper said. Currently the yuan is allowed to float only within a narrow range around 8.3 yuan per dollar. [More>>xinhuanet and Schenzhen Daily]

12.07.04 Colgate-Palmolive to cut 4,440 jobs and shut ~25 factories worldwide in toothpaste war

A move expected to produce an annual savings of $250-$300 million after four years will put 4,440 workers out of work. The US toothpaste maker, Colgate-Palmolive is restructuring. The restructuring will cost the firm $550-$650 million in charges over the period.

Colgate's last quarter recorded the first drop in quarterly profit in eight years. It attributes the drop to extra marketing costs to fend off competitor Procter & Gamble who makes Crest toothpaste.
[More>>BBC News]

12.07.04 Yawar warns Iran against meddling in Iraqi election

WASHINGTON, Dec. 7 – In an interview with Washington Post reporters and editors, Iraq's interim president, Ghazi Yawar, a U.S.-educated civil engineer and Sunni Muslim tribal leader, said he was disappointed by political interference from neighboring Iran aimed at influencing the outcome of elections scheduled for Jan. 30. Yawar said that his countrymen must reject religious government and warned against attempts to establish a Shiite dominated government – as is in Iran – in Iraq. [More>>Washington Post]

12.07.04 Congressional accord reached on intelligence overhaul

WASHINGTON, Dec. 6 – Congressional leaders reached a final agreement Monday, allowing passage of a bill to overhaul the nation's intelligence community. It will enact the major recommendations of the 9/11 commission, including creation of the job of national intelligence director. [More>>]

12.07.04 Naples increases war against mobs

LONDON, Dec. 7 – Turf wars between mafia groups in Naples, Italy are being disrupted by Naples police. BBC News reports about 1,000 carabinieri paramilitary police backed by helicopters swooped on poor districts and villages in the Naples area on Tuesday. Among the 53 people reportedly arrested was Ciro Di Lauro, son of alleged mobster boss Paolo Di Lauro. A feud within the Di Lauro clan is thought to be behind the violence.

Twenty-three people have been killed in Naples in the last month alone, prompting authorities to crack down on the mobs.
[More>>BBC News]

12.07.04 Transnational Terrorists captured in Iraq

BAGHDAD (Reuters), Dec. 7 – US troops captured a number of key figures involved in what they described as "transnational terrorism" in Baghdad, the US military said Tuesday. A sports complex was raided east of the capital Monday and several suspected senior level transnational terriorists, including key leaders, operatives and financiers, had been detained." [More>>Reuters]

12.07.04 Al-Quaeda members tried and convicted in Iran

LONDON, Dec. 7 – A Tehran justice department official told AFP Monday that the sentences have been pronounced on a certain number of fugitive Al-Qaeda members found in Iran. The verdicts will be made public when the legal obstacles related to such an announcement are lifted, the official said. [More>>]

12.07.04 Situation deteriorating in Iraq says CIA

NEW YORK, Dec. 7 – According to a classified cable and briefings from the CIA, the situation in Iraq is deteriorating and unlikely to improve any time soon (from a report Tuesday by the New York Times). The assessments are more pessimistic than the Bush administration's portrayal of the situation to the public, government officials told the newspaper. Reuters followed up on the article and the CIA said it did not comment on classified documents. The classified cable was sent last month by the CIA's station chief in Baghdad after the completion of a one-year tour of duty there. [More>>Reuters and CNN]

12.07.04 Taiwan considering name change

Taiwanese leader Chen Shui-bian pledged during the weekend to push for increased use of "Taiwan," rather than the island's official name of the Republic of China (ROC). The Bush administration said it is against moves by Taiwan to drop references to China in its official name. Fearing it would disrupt the status quo in delicate cross strait relations, State Department deputy spokesman Adam Ereli said, "Our view on that is that, frankly, we're not supportive of them."[More>>xinhuanet]

12.07.04 Earliest finds of wine-making found in China

Pottery shards dating from 7,000 B.C. have been found in northern China. Dr. Patrick McGovern, of the University of Pennsylvania, said that the results of laboratory tests on pottery jars from the village of Jiahu in Henan province, China, had shown traces of a mixed fermented drink of rice, honey, and either grapes or hawthorn fruit. The earliest evidence of fermented beverages was found at the Neolithic site of Hajji Firus Tepe in Iran, dating ~5,400 B.C. [More>>CRI online]

12.07.04 Japanese student finds 1,400 year old tomb in China of another Japanese student

Demonstrating that cultural exchange took place between Japan and China during the Tang Dynasty (618-907 A.D.), a student studying in Xi', the capital of Northwest China's Shaanxi Province, found two stone tablets of a Japanese national with Chinese inscriptions. Wang Jianxin, professor of archeology with Northwest University, said the tablets were the first of their kind ever found in China. The tomb owner was a classmate of Abe Nakamaru, a famous Japanese envoy and student with the Chinese name of Huang Heng. The Japanese student-envoy, whose Chinese name was Jin Zhencheng, died in 734 at the age of 36 and was one of several delegations, including 550 envoys, students and monks. The exchange took place during China's golden period, the Tang Dynasty. [More>>Schenzhen Daily]

12.07.04 President of Afghanistan sworn in

KABUL, Dec. 7 – Hamid Karzai took the oath of office, as President of Afghanistan, Tuesday. While addressing the ceremony he said that he would eradicate terrorism with cooperation of the international community.

12.07.04 BBC to cut 2,900 jobs

LONDON, Dec. 7 – The BBC said Tuesday it would lay off 2,900 staff, or more than 10 percent of its workforce, as part of a cost-saving "transformation" of the world's biggest and best-known public broadcaster. []

12.06.04 President Bush plans to borrow $1 trillion more to fund Social Security

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House said on Monday for the first time that President Bush's plan to add personal retirement accounts to Social Security would be financed in part by new government borrowing that could top $1 trillion. Bush has made reform of the U.S. retirement program a top priority in his second term and will push for creating private accounts in a meeting later in the day with top congressional leaders. [More>>Reuters]

As noted in our National Debt table below (see Special Concerns), the National Debt forecasted for 2008 will be $11 trillion or more. This would raise the annual interest on the debt another $100 billion.

12.06.04 Collapse of US dollar may give China's yuan the edge as world currency

Is the dollar about to lose its position as the "Imperial Currency?" China's yuan (aka RMB) may fulfill the requirements of a new world currency, to replace the failing US dollar.

Franz Schurmann of the Pacific News Service notes "Imperial currencies have to circulate not only in their homeland but, increasingly, all over the world. They have to have great stores of money, both public and private. And they must offer 'safe financial havens' in times of war and disaster."[More>> via]

12.06.04 Musharraf says al-Quaeda operatives have been removed from cities and mountains

LONDON, Dec. 6 – Musharraf met in Britain with Tony Blair and both stressed that in addition to using military and security forces to fight terrorism, the world community also has to attack the root causes of it. Musharraf said that the Pakistani authorities have "broken the back" of Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda network in Pakistan after virtually removing its operatives from the cities and the mountains. [More>>]

12.06.04 Russian President Putin accuses US of dictatorial foreign policy

Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in New Delhi Friday for the annual summit talks with Indian prime Minister Manmohan Singh. He accused the United States of pursuing a dictatorial foreign policy and said mounting violence could derail progress towards bringing peace and democracy to Iraq. He also criticized the West for setting double standards on terrorism. "Attempts to restructure various civilizations already in existence unilaterally is the most dangerous thing. The more effective the authors and supporters of these ideas, the more humanity will lean dangerously in economic and social development. With the global threats of international terrorism, organized crime and drugs, the greater the danger of dispersion of weapons of mass destruction, and the greater the danger of their falling into the hands of terrorists.

"And, I think you will agree with me, never in the history of human dictatorship, and moreover international affairs, has this resolved, could this resolve, such a problem. Even if this dictatorship is packaged in beautiful democratic phraseology, it will not be able to solve systemic problems. On the contrary, it will only make them worse."

12.06.04 Prime Minister Blair refuses to mediate Kashmir dispute

In his talks with President Musharraf of Pakistan, British Prime Minister Tony Blair brushed aside Musharraf's plea for Britain to act as a mediator in the dispute over Kashmir. Blair – perhaps acting on cue from President Bush – told Musharraf that it is up to India and Pakistan to resolve the dispute between themselves.
Mel Copeland
[For a report on this aspect of their meeting:]

12.06.04 Pat Tillman's mother believes military burnt her son's uniform in cover-up

The latest evidence concerning Ranger Pat Tillman's death in Afghanistan reveals that friendly fire took his life. His mother has more issues with the military in terms of the cause of his death. Mary Tillman accused the military of burning her son's uniform and gear in an attempt to cover up the circumstances of his death. She said her son Kevin, a Ranger in the same platoon as Pat Tillman that night, was ordered to guard the shooting scene but was not told until later that his brother had been killed. [More>>]

12.06.04 Kurds in southeastern Turkey want their requests met before EU admits Turkey

DIYARBAKIR, (Northern Kurdistan), (AFP) Dec. 4 – Fifty-seven mayors from Turkey's mainly Kurdish southeast called on the Turkish government Saturday to take more steps to make peace with its Kurdish population ahead of the EU membership talks. Their joint declaration also requested a full pardon for armed rebels of the outlawed Kurdish Workers Party (PKK), to encourage them to lay down their arms. They also called for amendments to the constitution to ensure equal rights for all ethnic groups and steps to improve welfare in southeast Turkey. [More>>]

12.06.04 New evidence emerges on world's worst industrial accident

In an article December 6, Saeed Shah reports that new evidence has emerged that could undermine Union Carbide's long-standing denial of responsibility for the world's worst industrial accident, the devastation of the Indian city of Bhopal. Union Carbide has always claimed that its Indian subsidiary was solely responsible for the damages from a poisonous gas leak that killed thousands of people 20 years ago. In 1984, 7000 people were killed instantly. Recent documents show that cost-cutting before the fatal leak was a key factor causing the accident. Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) owned a 51 per cent stake in its Indian subsidiary, Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL). UCC and its chairman at the time of the leak, Warren Anderson, have never answered a summons to face charges of culpable homicide in India. UCC was bought by Dow Chemical, another US giant, in 2001. The documents show that UCC provided the "basic process design" for the Bhopal plant - built in the late 1970s. [More>>Belfast Telegraph]

12.06.04 Attack on US consulate in Jeddah kills eight

JEDDAH, Nov. 6 – Militants threw heavy explosives at the gate of the US consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and took hostages. The Saudi Interior Ministry said that three of the five attackers were killed. Saudi security officials said two security guards at the gate of consulate were wounded, one of them seriously, after the attackers opened fire on them before entering the mission. Five members of the consulate's local, non-American staff were killed, according to the US embassy. One Saudi officer was injured in the battle, said Interior Ministry spokeman Brigadier-General Mansour al-Turki. Note: media reports on the number of killed range from 8-12 dead. [More>>(AP)]

12.06.04 Eight soldiers plan to sue over Army's Stop-Loss policy

Poor military planning for the invasion and occupation of Iraq is producing its consequences. In order to mitigate the effects of not having planned enough troops for the invasion and occupation of Iraq, the Department of Defense passed a Stop-Loss policy, extending the enlistment time of contracted enlistments. While most contracts between two parties require both parties to a contract to agree to an amendment, the latest contracting policies out of the Bush administration allow one party to bind the other through unilateral amendments. This is in essence what the Stop-Loss policy provides, setting an unusual precedence in contract law.

An article by
Monica Davey reports, "It was the DoD way to promote continuity within deployed units and to avoid bringing new soldiers in to fill gaps left in units by those who would otherwise have gone home when their enlistments ran out. If a soldier's unit is still in Iraq or Afghanistan, that soldier cannot leave even when his or her enlistment time runs out."

Thousands of troops have been retained in Iraq under these provisions, and eight soldiers who were affected by the Stop-Loss policy are initiating a law-suit against the government. The complaints of the eight soldiers are the latest signs of rising tension within the ranks." [More>>]

12.06.04 Twenty-three Army reservists escape court-martial for refusing Iraq mission

(BAGDHAD (AP),Nov. 6 – Twenty-three Army reservists who refused a dangerous mission to transport fuel in Iraq will face punishments such as extra duties or reduction in rank but won't be court-martialed, the military said Monday. [More>>]

12.06.04 Phillipines appeals for international aid after being hit by storms

It has been called Southeast Asia's worst storm season in 13 years. The last two storms that wreaked havoc on the islands left 568 dead and hundreds still missing. Most of the destruction came from a tropical storm hitting the northeastern provinces November 29, killing at least 530 people and leaving 607 missing. Three days later Typhoon Nanmadol struck the same region, leavingt 38 dead and 33 missing, according to the Phillipine Office of Civil Defense. [More>theglobeandmail]

12.06.04 Sowell calls Teresa Hines Kerry "rich white trash"; his view: "Moslems killing Moslems reduces fears

Something for the Trivia People Baiters column – In a random collection of ill-conceived thoughts Thomas Sowell said in his column November 6, "Anyone who grew up in the South is bound to have heard the phrase 'poor white trash.' Teresa Heinz Kerry has given us a new category – rich white trash." He doesn't provide any further reason for his declamation, however. He believes that claims of a clash between Islam and the West are ameliorated by the fact that Moslems are killing Moslems – apparently in his view a good thing: "Fears that the Iraq war would be seen in the Middle East as a clash between Islam and the West are being blunted to some extent by the actions of the terrorists themselves, who are killing far more Moslems than they are killing Americans or other members of the military coalition." [More>> via]

Mr. Sowell and his publishers should read about Streicher's trial
Mel Copeland

12.06.04 US Environmental Protection Agency may become more lenient to polluters

WASHINGTON, Nov. 5 – During the next four years of George W. Bush's term, over a third of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) staff will be eligible for retirement. This will further enhance Bush's favors to polluters and future polluters; thirty years of environmental laws are at risk of being dismantled. [More>> via]

12.06.04 President Musharraf of Pakistan says world less safe after Iraq invasion

WASHINGTON, Nov. 6 – President Pervez Musharraf disclosed to CNN's "Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer": the US-led invasion of Iraq was a mistake that has made the world a more dangerous place, but a swift withdrawal would make matters worse. He believes that after the elections and the situation is stabilized should the United States consider a withdrawal from Iraq... [More>> via]

12.06.04 Former CIA DirectorTenet urges restricting internet access

The Washington Times reported a story 12.01.04 that we seemed to have overlooked, having to do with former CIA Director George J. Tenet. Tenet has been advocating new security measures to protect homeland security, and these measures apparently include restricting internet access to those who can prove they are not a security risk. "Access to networks like the World Wide Web might need to be limited to those who can show they take security seriously," he said. [More>> via Village Voice]


12.05.04 US accused of eliminating witnesses to Iraqi attacks

Dec 6 – The US has been fighting two wars in Iraq: a war to eliminate insurgents and another war to eliminate witnesses, according to a November 26 article by Naomi Klien in London's Guardian newspaper. She wrote, "In Iraq, US forces and their Iraqi surrogates are no longer bothering to conceal attacks on civilian targets and are openly eliminating anyone - doctors, clerics, journalists - who dares to count the bodies...General Franks said, "We don't do body counts." Her initial concerns were of the pattern of US forces attacking hospitals first and confiscating communicatin devices, non-embedded reporters are shot, etc. Anyone in Iraq - doctors, clerics, journalists - who dared to count the bodies of civilians were killed. The U.S. Embassy in London complained, but the columnist hit back [More>>Big News Network] See also, story by Ashish Kumar Sen, "Confusion over Aids workers in Iraq makes workers sitting ducks."

12.05.04 Bush arrested for War Crimes on November 29 trip to Canada

(AP) On the first of his two day trip to Canada, President Bush was arrested and charged with War Crimes. Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin released the written statement indicating that "proceedings have commenced against President George W. Bush under the Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act 9(3)."

Irwin Cotler, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, performed the investigation into the Bush administration's alleged crimes and made a statement warning any former official of the Bush administration that they will be entering Canada at their own risk [of being arrested for War Crimes]. Earlier Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld was charged in Germany with War Crimes.
[More>> via commonground common]

12.05.04 Saudi unified front breaking up

Members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) are breaking away from their Saudi alignment and making separate economic and security agreements with foreign powers. "It is alarming to see some members of the GCC enter into separate bilateral agreements with international powers in both the security and economic spheres, taking precedence over the need to act collectively," Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal told a conference on security in the Gulf on Sunday. [More>>Al-Jezeera]

12.04.04 Confusion makes aid workers in Iraq sitting ducks

WASHINGTON, Dec. 4 – Ashish Kumar Sen reports that an unprecedented number of aid workers are being targeted by terrorists in Iraq. US forces in Iraq have held a prominent position in providing aid, from medical support to feeding the displaced population. Since CARE International's director of operations Margaret Hassan was killed, insurgents have stepped up their attacks on people giving aid. Oliver Burch, Iraq program manager at London-based Christian Aid, said it's "very important for there to be a clear line between what the military is doing - particularly if large parts of the population regard it as belligerent - and humanitarian groups. The latter should be seen as neutral...We have a situation where the Iraqi population is totally confused. They cannot distinguish between foreign forces and foreign aid workers." [More>>]

12.03.04 US National Debt reduction a priority for Senator Feinstein

by Mel Copeland

Maravot News Dec. 3 – Wondering whether there might be another movement brewing in Congress to stop borrowing to fund the US government, we contacted California Senator Diane Fienstein (D). Her answer is posted below.

History buffs may recall that former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R) led the last revolt (September 1994 - April 1995) to stop irresponsible government borrowing, converting President Clinton into a "pay as you go" plan of government funding. The historic announcement was called, "Republican Contract with America." It worked quite successfully, producing a budget surplus (reducing the National Debt as well).

Senator Feinstein

December 3, 2004

Dear Mr. Copeland:

Thank you for contacting me to share your concerns about
Federal spending priorities and tax legislation. I welcome the
opportunity to respond.

Like you, I appreciate the value of taxpayer dollars and
believe they should be spent on appropriate programs. I am
committed to an efficient Federal government and I have made it a
priority to reduce the size of the national debt. In order to achieve
this goal, the President and Congress must maintain strict fiscal
discipline so that deficits do not continue to rise. At times, this
may mean voting against tax cuts we cannot afford, and at other
times it may mean keeping spending in check. But regardless, be
assured that I am firmly committed to supporting legislative
initiatives that will substantially reduce the Federal budget deficit.

Once again, thank you for writing. Please know that I
believe that Congress should closely and continuously examine
areas where federal dollars are not being spent effectively. I value
and respect your opinion and hope that you will continue to share
your thoughts and ideas with me. If I can be of further assistance,
please do not hesitate to contact my Washington, D.C. office...

Sincerely yours,

Dianne Feinstein
United States Senator

Further information about my position on issues of concern to California and the Nation are available at my website

At first frowning over the Republican contract, Clinton soon jumped with glee at the positive response by Americans to the "pay as you go plan" and was surely warmed by the smiles coming from the international banking community. Most importantly, the stalled American economy began to steam ahead; and then the average American taxpayer took a deep breath, thinking, "for the first time, after years of deficits, we could see the light at the end of the tunnel." At that time even the patron saint of the Conservatives, Wm. F. Buckley Jr., was happy to that end. For my part, I thought we were on a sinking ship before Gingrich and 300 Republican House members made their great announcement on the steps of the Capitol.

In my correspondence with Mr. Buckley I used a metaphor of being on a sinking ship (I asked whether we were on the Pequod or the Titanic and feared it was the Titanic) suggesting that our economy was sinking as a result of the enormous Reagan-Bush deficits (see table below). Though Mr. Buckley was a friend of President Reagan, with regard to the National Debt Mr. Buckley expressed the need to stop the borrowing. Actually, to keep his response to my inquiry in the context in which it was expressed, he made two initial comments on the excessive deficits.

The conversation began as a result of my letter to him in December 1992 asking him to correct a misstatement on his Firing Line Debate, where all the panelists were quoting the deficit at $200 billion. The actual deficit that year was running ~$300 billion per year, and I noted in my letter to Mr. Buckley – a sailor as I – that had his navigator been off in his bearings to Europe in their trans-Atlantic crossing, as much as the Firing Line panelists were with regard to the deficit, he would have ended up in the island of St. Helena rather than Paris.

I was concerned about the deficit then, because it was sinking our economy, in my opinion. Most people – then and now – don't know the difference between the "deficit" and the "National Debt." They thought then and still think that way, if you follow media reports, that we are passing the debt on to our children. But the argument I posed to Mr. Buckley went far beyond that somewhat small, self-indulgent guilt-trip, for I was concerned that the National Debt involved an interest payment (just as in a home mortgage); and at the time in 1992-1993 the interest being paid each year was more than our Defense Department expenditures – which were then considered way out of line, over the top, excessive, a complete waste, etc. But I pointed out that the deficit and interest on the debt were about the same amount each year (which is true once again under the Bush administration), and the annual expenditure was far more than any other item in our government outlays. For instance, in December 1992 and early 1993 interest on the National Debt was about $320 billion per year. The Defense outlays projected for 1993 were $220 billion. Welfare – a major boil at that time, as Congress complained that we were spending too much money on the beggars – was $152 billion (half that which we were spending on interest!). Congress was apparently then in favor of throwing those who could not provide for themselves out on the street, following Reagan's prior example in California, where he emptied mental and other institutions by cutting off their funding. That was around 1985, before which there were no homeless people in San Francisco. (Since Reagan's stint as governor of California San Francisco has not failed to be credited as one of the homeless capitals of the United States, if not the world)

So you can understand that my inquiry with Mr. Buckley concerning the amount of money we were spending on interest on the National Debt was not unconnected to the reality of the poverty we see creeping through the streets of America.

Most of you are familiar with the Titanic. My reference to it, as being an allegory of a sinking ship of state upon which we were sailing, involved a lot of passengers. I argued that other boats were tied to it, and pointed out how the European and Asian economies would probably begin sinking before the water flowing into our titanic ship of state could be plugged. As for the Pequod, for those of you who are not familiar with Herman Melville's great work, "Moby Dick" (1851), the introduction of that work explained the origin of the name of the whaling ship. The Pequod was stove in by a great white whale, Moby Dick. Melville explains, something to the effect, "The Pequods, you see, were a tribe of Indians that are now extinct." They weren't quite extinct in Melville's time, and certainly they are not now extinct, from the size of their casinos on the east coast of the United States. However, the hint is well taken as to what his story is about: that the whaler, Pequod, in her hunt for Leviathan would become extinct.

I also argued in my complaint to Mr. Buckley that the people who were collecting most of the money we taxpayers were shelling out were like a handlebar-moustached rent collector appearing in the dead of night, wrapped with his huge, dark cape over his shoulders, broad brimmed hat shading his evil eyes, demanding the rent payment or else. These are the two letters that began the 2 1/2 year conversation with reference to our National Debt (keep in mind that the spectre has come back to haunt us again, but the debt is much higher today, and thus the conversation is once again relevant):

February 2, 1993

Dear Mr. Copeland,

Perhaps we ought to divide the arguement. Whether the government is properly engaged in the business
it funds with debt, and whether the costs of those businesses are lower than their benefits, is one question. Whether the people whose money the government borrows to fund those businesses are sociopaths because they make money by lending it, is quite another. Not even people who make more thant $200,000 per year can compel the feds to borrow. If debt service is growing too high too fast, then the tax-and-spend-and-elect crowd in the congress are the sociopaths.

Yours Cordially,

Wm. F. Buckley Jr.

Agreeing with Mr. Buckley as to the Leviathan that stove us in, being Congress and our Presidents, I offered data which showed that Presidents Reagan and Bush essentially got every appropriation they asked for out of congress and it was they who were the leaders of the sociopaths. Captain Buckley replied:

February 19, 1993

You may quote my letter of February 2 in its entirety, if you wish; but I have to decline to give you latitude to excerpt. As to the Presidents' budget requests, I said at the time they were too high. I still say so. President Reagan might possibly have succeeded with a lower one, the first time out. After that, we were probably sunk.

Yours cordially,

Wm. F. Buckley Jr.

In keeping with Mr. Buckley's terms, I must refer you to the work, Against Leviathan, that records the beginning of our conversation. My objective with regard to stopping the borrowing on the debt – which Mr. Buckley shared – also involved issues on ethics, having to do with the responsibilities of leaders "telling the people what they had a right to know." [Cicero, The Offices]; thus explaining why we drifted from an "Economics 101" issue" to "faith." Mr. Buckley is a highly respected Catholic.

Bad economic policies by a leader can lead to extraordinary suffering; certain suffering in the 80's and early 90's might not have been seen had a more fiscally responsible leader been at the helm. As pertaining to the Reagan-Bush era of irresponsible, unnecessary borrowing we must leave it behind us, as part of our history. Mr. Reagan cannot answer from the tomb, as far as anyone can tell, and thus can no longer defend himself. So our argument is not with the dead, but rather to promote the common welfare for those who are alive.

Deficit Spending was first experimented upon by Hoover, and his policies left us in the Great Depression. When Reagan entered office with his new ideas on borrowing – strapping the next generation with his debts – pundits gave the term a more respectable nomenclature, "Reaganomics." Ultimately that term involves an ethical question.

While the issue may appear scary – for prudential reasons – we have seen that dealing with Leviathan is not that difficult. In the end there is less head scratching, trying to find money that does not exist, and people hoping in our economy can get more sleep at night. The Clinton era proved this point.

12.02.04 New meeting for progress in the Middle East and North Africa

The first meeting of G8 nations, Middle East and North African nations will take place in Morocco December 11. The meeting is called, "Forum for the Future," and will explore economic and cooperative ventures among the nations. The Morocco meeting will bring together foreign affairs and finance ministers from more than 20 countries of the Broader Middle East and North Africa region, along with G8 counterparts and representatives from regional and international organizations. [More>>]



12.04.04 Tokyo Finance Minister loses sleep over dollars but still buying
12.03.04 Empty promises – Social Security benefits not sustainable
12.02.04 US moves bases; Bush leaves Koizumi holding the bag for East Asian Security; Franks shrugged
12.04.04 Japanese government studying proposal for offensive "first strike" weapons
12.01.04 Dollar drops, oil prices rise
12.01.04 Morgan Stanley's chief Asian economist warns against devaluing China's currency
11.30.04 "The dollar is depreciating and it is not managed," complains Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao
11.30.04 Economic growth in 2005 will be sluggish due to oil prices
11.28.04 Asia complains about falling dollar and US has no savings
11.27.04 Bush administration has new idea on funding American kids' retirement: borrow the money!
11.26.04 US dollar climbed above $1.32 to the euro and fell again against the yen
11.25.04 Russian Central bank concerned over US dollar demise
11.14.04 US September Bond sales a flop
11.14.04 Editorial by Priscilla Penwright, China hogging the oil not fair to America
11.26.04 Anti-dumping law may cut exports of American hogs
11.19.04 "US must cut record budget deficit or face painful consequences," said Greenspan to Bankers
10.30.04 Central Asia and Caucasus conference held October 12-13, 2004 – US "me-only" approach; New Great Game
11.18.04 US unilateralist position may leave it out in the cold
11.01.04 (Trend Story) Central Asian Common Market and the critical role of Afghanistan


12.01.04 Fallujah the 21st century Guernica?
11.30.04 Rumsfeld facing war crimes case in Germany & petition for victims filed with OAS
11.28.04 Protesters to attend Bush Inaugural Jan. 20; War Crimes complaint against Bush
11.27.04 Human Rights group accuses Bush administration of genocide in Iraq
11.01.04 Washington has opened a Pandora's box, intensifying ethnic and religious conflicts


12.04.04 Musharraf says talks with India on Kashmir "moving well"
12.01.04 Musharraf repeats position: Kashmir and Palestine disputes ripe for solution
11.26.04 President Musharraf sees common solutions in the disputes in Kashmir and Palestine
12.04.04 Indian Prime Minister Singh's response to Musharraf


12.03.04 US continues to rattle sabres at Iran
12.02.04 Defense Secretary Rumsfeld's office & the "Iran's secrets to Israel" papers
11.30.04 Iran's freezing of uranium enrichment activites verified by IAEA
11.29.04 Bush administration rattling sabers over Iran nuclear agreement
11.28.04 Suicide mission recruiters more active in Iran – 30, 000 recruits
11.14.04 Iran agr
ees to suspend uranium enrichment.
10.31.04 Iran signs $70 Billion energy contract with China


12.04.04 Russia and India sign strategic partnership
12.04.04 Russian & American bases in Kyrgyzstan growing
12.01.04 New oil deal between India and Russia in the making
12.01.04 Russia announces ambitious space program
12.01.04 Russia rolls out new naval ships
11.29.04 Russia tests anti-missile system in Kazakhstan


12.05.04 German Chancellor on three-Day trip to China to deepen "strategic partnership"
11.01.04 China's reliance on imported oil grows


12.03.04 French Prime Minister acts to stop Hizbullah TV; anti-Semitism increasing in Europe
12.02.04 Austrailia refuses to sign non-aggression pact
12.01.04 Not to forget the hate merchants
12.02.04 Solving the problem in Cyprus is a key to peace in the EU
12.01.04 European heatwaves increasing
12.01.04 Japanese minister wants Security Council over-hauled
11.30.04 United Nations to be restructured
11.26.04 America's soft underbelly, her ports, are enormous targets
11.26.04 India plagued by separatist groups
11.26.04 Japan still miffed over Chinese oil wells off coast
11.26.04 South Korea's nuclear developments a concern to IAEA and China
11.22.04 Saudis expanding Islamic schools in South Asia
11.24.04 Syria wants to have "unconditional" negotiations with Israel
11.17.04 Forty-seven Iraqi groups protest forthcoming January election in Iraq
11.16.04 Bin Laden's mountain fortress?
11.16.04 Wanted militant Mehsud meets with Pakistani commander
11.14.04 Terrorist leader Abdullah Mehsud released from Guantanamo; continues terrorist activity
11.16.04 Kurdistan leaning heavily towards independence from Iraq
11.15.04 US wants to redefine security treaty with Japan
11.15.04 US troops round up prominent imams of the Association of Muslim Scholars (AMS)
11.13.04 Landmark decision against US-based fund raisers for terrorist organization Hamas
11.11.04 Bush II adopts Hama Rules One thing leads to another. An interesting article by Charles Glass [11.09.04 article in ; also carried by] compares the US assault on Fallujah to the Syrian assault on a rebel stronghold of Hama, Syria in the spring of 1982.
11.01.04 US soldiers pull out of the demilitarized zone (DMZ)


11.22.04 (11.26.04; 11.30.04 Updates) US twin deficits are causing Japanese jitters: the story behind the collapse of the dollar

While this story has been breaching for several weeks, it will continue to be a big item in the news until the world press loses interest in the money others are losing. So we're keeping it at the top of the page.

The Bush administration's deficits in both trade and fiscal budget – the Twin Deficits –are dragging down world economies. Both deficits are largely responsible for the plunge in the value of the dollar. In Japan the plunge has lasted 55 months. The Bush administration's policies have caused the yen to appreciate for the past 55 months. While the Bush administration publicly supports a strong dollar, it is reportedly accepting the weakening dollar, since a weakened dollar makes US goods and services better buys on the foreign market.

Says Yomiuri Shimbun,
[] "The yen's sharp appreciation is fueling concerns over the nation's economic recovery. But the market direction is unlikely to change soon as the recent yen appreciation is closely related to U.S. trade and fiscal deficits...According to estimates of the Dai-Ichi Life Research Institute Inc., Japan's gross domestic product will drop by 0.4 percent annually if the 100 yen-to-the-dollar level continues for a year."

Decline in dollar to the Japanese yen and euro
* January 1, 2002 the euro was first put into circulation.
© 2004 Mel Copeland
Jan. year
yen to dollar / ($)
euro to dollar / ($)
George H. W. Bush
146.25 ($.0068)
George H. W. Bush
124.5 ($.0075)
George H. W. Bush
125.4 ($.0080)
William J. Clinton
112.5 ($.0079)
William J. Clinton
112.5 ($.0088)
William J. Clinton
100.52 ($.0099)
.816 ($1.22)
William J. Clinton
103.92 ($.0095)
.780 ($1.28)
William J. Clinton
115.49 ($.0086)
.807 ($1.25)
William J. Clinton
132.4 ($.0075)
.913 ($1.10)
William J. Clinton
112.15 ($.0089)
.846 ($1.18)
William J. Clinton
101.7 ($.0098)
.984 ($1.01)
George W. Bush
114.26 ($.0087)
1.05 ($.95)
George W. Bush
132.02 ($.0076)
1.11 ($.90) *
George W. Bush
119.86 ($.0083)
.96 ($1.04)
George W. Bush
106.95 ($.0093)
.79 ($1.26)
George W. Bush
Nov. 18, 2004
104.23 ($.0097)
.77 ($1.29)
In general, based upon the complaints coming in from overseas concerning the decline in the value of the US dollar and comparing rates since 1990 we can see a trend, where the Bush economics (Presidents George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush) have not been healthy for the United States, Europe and Japan. The former Bush, in fact, caused a major world-wide recession, beginning in Europe and surfacing in Indonesia. While we experienced years of economic stability under Clinton, the irresponsible deficit spending policies now continued from father to son (George H. W. to George W.) give no promise of prosperity in the coming years.

The US deficit, being the source of the declining dollar, perpetuates further debt and increases interest rates and inflation. About half of the US $6 Trillion debt is owned by foreign investors (primarily banks). When investors redeem their bonds in a period when the dollar is declining, as is the case in the two Bush administrations, they lose money on their investment in US bonds. This causes potential buyers of US bonds to back out of the US bond market. When buyers back away from the US bond market, the US has to raise interest rates to draw them back into the market. Following the increase in the prime rate, mortgages and other loan rates increase.

The greatest fear in international exchange is inflation. Foreign interests who own the US public debt – who cash in five year bonds today– will lose about 35% on their investment. Historic yen and euro rates compiled in the "Decline in dollar to yen" table are from

The National Debt is an exponential debt. The adding of interest, plus continued borrowing / sales of US Bonds, compounds the debt. The debt takes on the form of a "J" curve. President Bush claims that he will "halve the debt," presumably in the next four years. The Clinton years, 1993-2000, represented the most fiscally responsible administration since Nixon (see "Running a government with a credit card" below). During Clinton's term Congress had adapted and applied a "pay as you go" process, preventing further borrowing to fund the government and actually paid down the National debt through their diligence. The dedication of Congress and the President during the Clinton years is not present in the current administration of Bush II, and reducing the deficit, let alone the National Debt, would seem improbable. It appears that the National Debt has reached a point of no return, where interest on the debt alone will consume any efforts to retire the debt. The debt from 1974 through 2009 (the data are current as of 11.22.04, from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB); the years 2004 - 2009 are OMB estimates) look like this:

"J" Curve of the National Debt through 2009. Years 2004 through 2009 are estimated by the US Government:, and listed below. Inserted in this table is an "Annual Deficit and Surplus" chart (the image curiously resembles a dragon). For charts on expenditures and deficits from President Wilson to the present click here, "Review of the presidencies." The National Debt above can be compared to my 1993 J Curve projection from Duty & Profit, a conversation with Wm. F. Buckley Jr. Total receipts in 2004 were forecasted at just less that $2 trillion – the US income is about 27% of expenditures, using Federal data. Note that a large part of the deficits during the Reagan-Bush I and Bush II years comes from interest on the debt! This compounding debt can only be resolved by paying down the principal of the debt – which Clinton recently attempted and Bush II cannot do. A government that borrows without the intention to pay off the principal of the loan can only be headed one way: the interest on the debt will consume budgeted outlays and represent an ever larger part of expenditures, eventually causing the government to default on the loan. This results in a decline in public and private investment, as happened in the years of Bush I. An example of interest consuming outlays was during the Bush I administration in 1992: the Department of Defense was budgeted ~$270 billion. Interest paid out that year exceeded $292 billion. A comparable situation exists today. Another issue involves "Debt vs % of GDP." The issue is distracting, in my opinion, since all debts reduce to one principle: if one does not pay off the principal of a loan one will be bankrupted. A comprehensive review of the Debt vs percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is at: A good chart on the Federal deficit vs percent of GDP is at: Links on the Public Debt are at the Federal Bureau of Public Debt site:

The National Debt data are as follows: US Office of Budget & Management – National Debt

A forty-year amortization table on a loan of $5 trillion (double everything for a loan of $10 trillion) at 7% interest:

Amortization Table for a loan of $5 trillion over 40 years @ 7% interest. Double the amount for the Bureau of Budget forecast of a $10 trillion debt by year 2009. On $5 trillion the annual payment would be about $1 billion per day; $2 billion per day on $10 trillion. Compare to the actual interest paid on the US debt, i.e., year #1 @ $375,045 billion principal & interest versus the actual interest only payments in 2004 of $321,566 billion. Perhaps the principal that was not paid over the years should be collected from the Bush family and Regean estates who ripped us off so to put a stop to this kind of irresponsible financial leadership.

Interest on the Public Debt. Compare interest paid against the Amortization Table on the left.

It is no wonder that foreign governments are concerned about the decline in the dollar. Americans should have studied some basic fundamentals in home financing It is no wonder that foreign governments are concerned about the decline in the dollar. Americans should have studied some basic fundamentals in home financing and not allowed their spendthrift President to get out of hand. Then again, there is hope that Americans will start to pay attention to their accounts and those they elected to manage them. Total receipts estimated in the Federal Budget for 2004 are just short of $2 trillion." Growth in receipts. – Total receipts in 2004 are estimated to be $1922.0 billion, an increase of $85.8 billion or 4.7 percent relative to 2003. Receipts are projected to grow at an average annual rate of 7.0 percent between 2004 and 2008, rising to $2,520.9 billion. This growth in receipts is largely due to assumed increases in incomes resulting from both real economic growth and inflation." [2004 FEDERAL RECEIPTS AND COLLECTIONS, p. 57]

Actual interest on the US debt since 1996 averages just short of $1 billion per day. While in the administration of Bush I, the deficit each year was essentially the same amount as the interest on the debt (they were borrowing to pay the interest on the debt), under Bush II the $400 billion + yearly deficits exceed the interest on the debt.

Mel Copeland

In the beginning....

Bush taking too long to read "My Pet Goat" reader on 9/11.
Read full text.

Running a government using a credit card

This year's deficit caused by Bush will be a record deficit since Richard Nixon showed a surplus (in 1969). Bush calls Democrats "tax and spend liberals" when he and his father spent other people's money to run their governments! Who is it that has to pay for the deficit run up each year by a fiscally irresponsible President ? You do. You pay in several ways, since borrowed money is a worse tax on you and the economy than a legitimate tax. The National Debt is $7.4 Trillion as of 10.27.04. That debt is financed by the bond market. While the interest rates on bonds go up and down, generally the rates are affected through the Federal Reserve and supply and demand. Most of the debt during George Bush's administration (1989-1993) was carried by the G-7 Central Banks and a few others who could take large positions in the Bond Market like George Soros. Since supply and demand affect prices of bonds, the greater the supply of bonds, as in a period of excessive government borrowing, would ordinarily depress the price of bonds. To attract buyers, the Federal Reserve must raise interest rates. So when your mortgage loan goes up, owing to an increase in interest rates, its because of the Bush Borrowing: running a government on a credit card.

Since the government runs on borrowed money, the amount of the original loan (new in 2001) grows exponentially, in a curve called a "J" curve. During George Bush's years the deficit was essentially equal to the interest accumulated each year on the debt. That interest debt is added to the original loan amount causing the debt to grow [unpaid] until an effort is made to reduce the debt, paying down both principal and interest. Fearing a crash Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich announced in May 1995 that there would no longer be any borrowing on the debt. We would "pay as we go," a concept George W. Bush recently derided with reference to Kerry's attempt to restore the years of responsible government under President Clinton. Although Clinton was initially following the Bush Borrowing program – of running the government using a credit card – he converted to the Republican plan and paying down the debt became the great cause of his administration. The response from the economy was plain: it grew, became healthy, wealthy and wise. When you have savings you feel secure. When you have no savings and have trouble finding people to loan you money you feel insecure. Clinton stopped the insecurity of the Bush administration.

In 1993 I prepared a mortgage amortization table for the then $5 Trillion debt inherited from George Bush. At 7% interest a 40 year loan of that amount would result in the payment after 20 years of $6.4 Trillion in interest and $90 million in principal. After 40 years the debt would be paid off and total interest paid would be $10 Trillion.

Who makes money from Bush Borrowing are the wealthy. Most of the US Bond Market is owned by foreign governments and major institutional investors like Warren Buffet and Mutual Funds. While it is not likely that the US government will default on its now $7 Trillion debt, it is a debt that is now in an exponential phase where the amount accumulating in interest each year is the major component of outlays each year in the National Budget. Keep in mind the case of Brazil and other nations that defaulted on their debts and required an International Monetary Fund bail-out. If the US government were unable to sell enough bonds to pay off the 2005 interest, for instance, the amount the US would require to bail it out would exceed the financial reserve of the International Monetary Fund. As in the George Bush years, our economy has been staggering under the weight of the National Debt and its rapidly accumulating annual interest. Growth simply slows down under such uncertainties.

The stock market becomes softer when it anticipates a shift from stocks to bonds (when the government is selling a large lot of bonds). In simple terms, when the government has to sell bonds to pay off its creditors, the stock market can expect its investors to shift their positions from stocks to bonds. This causes the stock market to have a small panic attack. From time to time, if the movement from stocks is large enough, the stock market has a stroke.

Foreign markets react to American economic troubles; thus, the growing US National Debt creates insecurity among the international financial markets. This insecurity can be observed in the value of the dollar against other currencies. Not long ago the Euro was worth a little bit more than a dollar. Yesterday, 10.26.04, the Euro was worth $1.38.

When the US is in a recessionary trend the effects are soon seen in Europe. Jobs are lost (Germany now has a 10% unemployment rate; I remember when Germany took pride in having almost no unemployment – before the Reagan-Bush years); and there is a slow-down in the purchase of goods from the United States. The US is now experiencing record deficits in the export market, and part of the cause of the record deficits in exports is owing to the recessionary trend among our European trading partners. If our government were to be set on a firm financial plan – away from the Bush Borrowing credit card madness –the foreign markets would feel more secure in their investments in America and purchase more from us. You would think that if the Euro has increased in purchasing power over the dollar by 25% one would see an equivalent growth in American exports. But exports are down. Something is seriously wrong, n'est pas?

Gingrich should be arguing for fiscal responsibility – along with Kerry –as he did in 1997. The Newt Gingrich concept of paying off the debt reported in US News & World Report in 1997:

"When he sat down to talk policy with House Speaker Newt Gingrich in April, Rep. Mark Neumann didn't mention his plan to pay off the entire $5.38 trillion national debt. But as Gingrich thumbed through Neumann's numbers-laden analysis of the federal budget, he stopped at the last section, titled "Retiring the Debt." Gingrich started asking questions and got visibly more excited with each answer.

Now Gingrich and other Republican leaders have embraced Neumann's proposal – that rather than stopping with a balanced budget, America should go on to pay off its debt – as a defining idea of modern conservatism. If revenue and spending trends point to a balanced budget, the argument goes, the government should stay on that course and use the eventual surpluses to retire the national debt.Gingrich is meeting with conservative activists to rally support for the idea.

See also a detailed article on the Neuman-Gingrich plan by By James K. Glassman, Tuesday, July 15 1997, The Washington Post. The plan evolved out of a continuing crisis over the budget, when the government was threatened with being shut down over the debt (see full report, CNN US News November 13, 1995).

Mr. Gingrich, why aren't you strongly behind Kerry's position of reinstituting the Clinton era of Fiscal Responsibility? Your loyalty to Bush should have some limits. Isn't your position now – against Kerry's debt reduction –somewhat two-faced?

President Bush launches illegal war

9.16.04 Secretary General Kofi Annan declares to the BBC that Bush conducted an illegal war in Iraq: Iraq war illegal, says Annan. The United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has told the BBC the US-led invasion of Iraq was an illegal act that contravened the UN charter. more >>

Why the Crusade & Jihad?

Without rehashing the history of Western Civilization in one paragraph, we can ascribe Christian and Jewish sentiments to defend Israel and to view America as the anointed of God (Allah, (2) in the Koran) to perceptions of pastors who spend more time feeding on the flock than feeding them. If the flock were fed properly it would not believe that it is just to kill on behalf of God. The Christian and Jewish scriptures all agree that vengeance belongs to God (i.e., as in Psalm 94.1), that the Warrior of God is a man of peace, just and charitable. I have always believed (and I know Jesus adhered to this old teaching) that if God wants to kill someone let him kill them himself. You don't need to be his agent, in my opinion. But you can assist in bringing peace to the world.

Sealed Golden Gate with the Dome of the Rock behind and a Muslim cemetery in the foreground may be the gateway to Peace in Jerusalem. It was where the priests and prophets of Israel gathered; called the Gate of Righteousness by the Prophets.

There is no doubt that during the Axis Age (600 B.C.) the great sages, Lao Tzu, Confucius, Buddha and Jeremiah – later followed by Socrates – agreed that doing good and avoiding evil towards your fellow man was the answer. They all believed in the Golden Rule: Don't do to others that which you would not want done to you. Upon this one teaching all the teachings of the Bible rest.

Good news! The Koran says that everything in the Jewish Scriptures (Old Testament) and Gospel (New Testament) are true! As I pointed out many years ago in a conversation with Wm. F. Buckley Jr. in a series of books, including Philistia triumph thou because of me, there are points in the Koran upon which the Jews, Christians and Moslems can reconcile their disagreements, such as:

Koran, The Cow: And now that a Book confirming their own book has come to them from Allah, they deny it, although they know it to be the truth and have long prayed for help against the unbelievers...when it is said to them, 'Believe in what Allah has revealed,' they reply, 'We believe in what was revealed to us.' But they deny what has since been revealed, although it is the truth, corroborating their own scriptures.

Koran, The creator 36.24: Your only duty is to give warning...What we have revealed to you in the Book is the truth confirming previous scriptures.

Koran, Kneeling 45.16 We gave the Scriptures to the Israelites and bestowed on them wisdom and prophethood.

Koran, AL-AHQAF 46.12 Yet, before it the Book of Moses (Torah) was revealed, a guide and a blessing to all men. This Book confirms it.

Koran, Women 4.47 You, to whom the Scriptures were given! Believe in that which we have revealed, confirming your own scriptures...

Koran, The Cow 2:116 The Jews say the Christians are misguuided, and the Christians say it is the Jews who are misguided. Yet they both read the Scriptures. And the pagans say the same of both. Allah (5) will judge their disputes on the Day of Resurrection.

We can see, therefore, that Moslems are taught via the Koran to honor the scriptures and teachings Christians and Jews honor. Also, with respect to the Koran's teachings on Moslem behavior, it is clear that a Moslem cannot wage war against another Moslem, as is currently going on in Iraq and has been so throughout history:

Koran, Women 4.92 It is unlawful for a believer to kill another believer except by accident.

To dispel any confusion on the Koran's view of people who do not believe in the Koran (notwithstanding the verses cited above) Mohammed went a bit too far, in my opinion, when he listed the following which confute the Bible (I know on the Day of Resurrection noted above my reading will be upheld).

Koran Repentance 9.20 Those that have embraced the faith and fled their homeland and fought for Allah's cause with their wealth and their persons are held in higher regard by Allah. It is they who shall triumph. Their Lord has promised them joy and mercy, and gardens of eternal bliss where they shall dwell forever. Allah's reward is great indeed.
9.116 ...Allah has purchased of the faithful their lives and worldly goods and in return has promised them the Garden. They will figtht for His cause, slay, and be slain. Such is the true pledge which he has made them in the Torah, the Gospel, and the Koran. And who is more true to his promise than Allah? Rejoice then in the bargain you have made. That is the supreme triumph.

Koran, Women 4.91 Others you will find who seek security from you as well as from their own people. Whenever they are called back to idol-worship they plunge into it headlong. If these do not keep their distance from you, if they neither offer you peace nor cease their hostilities against you, lay hold of them and kill them wherever you find them. Over such men We give you absolute authority.
4.92 It is unlawful for a believer to kill another believer except by accident.
4.98 He that flies his homeland for the cause of Allah shall find numerous places of refuge in the land and great abundance. He that leaves his dwelling to fight for Allah and His apostle and is then overtaken by death, shall be rewarded by Allah.
4.104 Seek out your enemies relentlessly.

There are several verses that endorse Jesus – some calling him a prophet of God (as they would have to once they accept the Gospels as truth). But this one is the gem of the lot, since it acknowledges Jesus as the Messiah. The Messiah means "anointed one" and the term was created and applied only in the Bible. Christians know the term as Christ, which is the Greek translation of the word. The fact is, based upon what we have seen in the Koran above, all Moslems must honor the teachings of Jesus the Messiah. If there is any confusion on those teachings it can be simply resolved by opening the Gospels and reading them. They all reduce down to the Golden Rule. And it is not important that you be a Christian, Jew or Moslem to practice the Golden Rule. If you practice the Golden Rule you satisfy the teachings. For if you know those teachings you know God and if you do them you are one with God. The scripture asks, can two walk together except they agree?

The gem in the Koran of Jesus the Messiah, beyond the other verses endorsing the teachings of Jesus, which is a good foundation for some kind of reconciliation:

The Imrans, 3.45, 47 The angels said to Mary: 'Allah bids you rejoice in a Word from Him. His name is the Messiah, Jesus the son of Mary. He shall be noble in this world and in the next, and shall be favoured by Allah. He shall preach to men in his cradle and in the prime of manhood, and shall lead a righteous life."

The term Messiah first appeared in the Bible. It means Anointed One and in Greek the term is Christ. Knowing this, then, we should endeavor to find a place of agreement and learn to walk together. A good part of the Old Testament has to do with the Messiah and what is expected of him.

One cannot walk blindly through scriptures and take them for granted however. Applying them for good becomes an art. It takes practice. One cannot apply scripture, for instance, through a rush to judgment. After all is said and done, when understanding has ruled over boiling sentiments, we can point to our results: charity, justice and mercy. Unfortunately, we are a long way from achieving those things in this current age. It may be, in order to achieve a higher level, to at least remove ourselves from a state of chaos, that we need to take account of our leaders. Then we must ask ourselves how it is that we let them lead us into this chaos. This is called, confronting your own failures. Until both sides come to grips with the goodness that is in them, and do some good in order to gain in goodness, the Jihad will probably continue.

Now President George W. Bush would lead us to believe that we can kill off the Jihadists. I don't subscribe to his program and know that an invitation to reasoning together should bear more fruit. Who in the world would ever refuse this offer:

Isa. 1:18 ³Come now, let us reason together,² says the LORD. Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.

Mel Copeland


(1)The story "The Pet Goat," is written in lower case for our Commander in Chief and teaches how one should be alert and watch for robbers. A girl and her pet goat didn't see what was coming. Since then George W. Bush has been looking for a scapegoat.

Illustration from the pet goat reader

a girl got a pet goat. she liked to go running with her pet goat. she played with her goat in her house. she played with the goat in her yard.

but the goat did some things that made the girl's dad mad. the goat ate things. he ate cans and he ate canes. he ate pans and he ate panes. he even ate capes and caps.

one day her dad said, "that goat must go, he eats too many things."

her dad said, "we will try it."

so the goat stayed and the girl made him stop eating cans and canes and caps and capes.

but one day a car robber came to the girl's house. he saw a big red car near the house and said, "I will streal that car."

he ran to the car and started to open the door.

the girl and the goat were playing in the back yard. they did not see the car robber.

more to come

(2) The name, Allah, in Arabic is an expression of surprise. It is not unusual for the God of the Bible to be known by many names . Jewish Midrash quotes passages in the Old Testament (Torah) that cite as many as seventy names of God (and more). But they can all be reduced down to one name.
(3) I use Edward Tripp's, The Meridian handbook of Classical Mythology (formerly titled Crowell's handbook of Classical Mythology), 1970.


Up-to-date information on the Presidential Race 2004:
Halliburton's major stock holders:
The Bush family and Cheney's financial holdings in Halliburton via Vanguard and other corporations:
Sinclair Broadcast Group advertisers. Help stop Bush and his brown-shirts by boycotting the advertisers that support Sinclair!
Duty & Profit.html, a portion of the correspondence with Wm. F. Buckley Jr. from 1992-1995 on the national debt
Bushwatch:, Link on the Bush bin Laden wheeling and dealings
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