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Maravot News of the World
1:50pm San Francisco
Monday 12.13.04
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kilometer: 0.6214 mile
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Federal Debt vs GDP– Click image for larger view. (OMB)

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

Interest exceeds Group A outlays. Click chart for larger image.

Gross Domestic Products. Click chart for larger image.

Blogs, news & stuff
Worth frequent visits

Intrnational Agencies – News

IRIN News, Africa & Asia
Power & Interest News Report

Osama bin Laden fatwas.
This monster's own words will
lead to his destruction
Definition of fatwa (fatwah)
Maravot News Comment


August 1996

Maps of interest

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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


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

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12.13.04 Scott Peterson given death penalty

At 1:50pm the jury for the Scott Peterson case returned the death penalty verdict in Redwood City, California. Scott Peterson was tried for the murder of his wife, Lacie Peterson, and unborn child. The verdict was made after three days of deliberations. Peterson had dumped his wife's body in San Francisco Bay, near Richmond, California where it floated ashore.

12.13.04 FBI in disorder

Richard B. Schmitt, Times Staff Writer reports that the FBI has experienced unusual turnover in its management and staff since 9/11. The revolving door has created disorder, he says. Its new intelligence arm, which is to form the core of a transformed FBI, is losing dozens of analysts who are supposed to connect the dots to protect the country from another terrorist attack.

All four members of the top management team announced by Director Robert S. Mueller III shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks have left their jobs — as have their successors. Some other officials have had three or even four jobs since the attacks.

Since Sept. 11, five people have held the bureau's top counter-terrorism job. Five others filled the top computer job within a 24-month period.

12.13.04 Israeli attack injures Palestinian children, in response to Hamas attack

Children between the ages of 8 and 12 were treated for shrapnel wounds in a hospital in Gaza. Gunfire from Israeli troops killed a seven-year-old girl, Rania Siam, where she was playing near her house in Khan Younis, Gaza. Israeli forces had retaliated against mortar fire some hours previously against the Jewish settlement of Neve Dekalim. Four people were injured in this attack, including one child. [More>>]

Editorial note: The Pravda report complains about a cover-up by government and media concerning the wounded children. No other media have reported the incident, as of 11:00am San Francisco time.

12.13.04 US forces detain Khan of Kalat and his "hunting party"

QUETTA, Dec. 12 – Saleem Shahid reports that the Khan of Kalat, Mir Suleman Daud, and 10 foreigners were taken into custody in Afghanistan. His convoy was intercepted near the Karar-Gah area and 10 foreign visitors – including Qataris and Egyptians and their two Iranian drivers were arrested. The detainees include Shiekh Mohammad Bin Saif Al Tani, Hamid Saeed, Mubarak Hussain, Rashid Saeed, Mohammad Ali Al Mesri of Qatar, Ahmed Saeed and Mohammad Zakaria of Egypt, Ali Mohammad Mohammadi and Hussain Arbabi (Iranian) and Abdullah Mama. The Khan and his Arab guests claimed to have been on a hunting expedition since December 9.

In a separate report, US forces are currently ferreting out Taliban insurgents who are hiding in their winter quarters in Afghanistan. Their operation in south-central Afghanistan called, "Lightning Freedom," has captured the brother of the former Kandahar governor another senior Taliban commander and six militants. [More>>]

12.13.04 Egypt discovers new gas reserves off coast

BEIRUT, Dec. 13 – Egypt has made a new offshore natural gas discovery in its deep Mediterranean waters, according to Petroleum Minister Sameh Fahmy. The find takes Egypt's reserves to 66 trillion cubit feet, nearly double that recorded in 1999. [More>>The Daily Star]

12.13.04 Convention on Climate Change starts in Buenos Aires

1500 experts and politicians from 189 countries are meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina to discuss global warming. The conference will proceed through December 17. This follows the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol by Russia. The Kyoto Protocol – which President George W. Bush refused to sign – will take effect February 16, 2005. The United States – the worst polluter on earth – is being sharply criticized by attendees. Argentina has been experiencing unusual rains as well as increased solar radiation, and in protest of Global Warming. Environmentalists have installed a Noah's Ark in the center of Buenos Aires. Demonstrating against Washington environmentalists scheduled a "singing in the rain" characterization of George W. Bush, reminding Argentineans that most of the heavy rains they are suffering are related to climate change due to global warming. The focus of the conference will be to reduce gas emissions by 60 percent, and support from developing nations will be necessary to achieve that goal. Attendees have complained that efforts to cut pollution by participants in the Kyoto Protocol are undermined by the US. [More>>]

12.13.04 Ex-dictator of Chile, Pinochet, indicted

SANTIAGO, CHILE, Dec. 13 – Eduardo Gallardo reports that General Augusto Pinochet was indicted Monday for the kidnapping of nine dissidents and the killing of one of them during his 1973-90 regime, and the former dictator was placed under house arrest. Judge Juan Guzman made the announcement nearly three months after questioning the 89-year-old former ruler and having him examined by doctors to determine whether he can stand trial.

Guzman said he made the decision to try Pinochet after carefully reviewing an interview Pinochet gave to a Spanish language television station in Miami. He said he is convinced Pinochet is healthy enough to stand trial.
[More>>Staten Island Advance via; see also]

12.13.04 Vladimir Sivkovich commission to investigate Yushchenko poisoning

An ad hoc parliamentary commission to investigate the poisoning of Victor Yuschenko is scheduled to gather in Kiev, Ukraine Tuesday, said the press service of MP Vladimir Sivkovich, the commission chair. [More>>]

12.13.04 Prime Minister of Pakistan ministers message of Peace

ISLAMABAD, Dec. 12 – Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz of Pakistan addressed Pakistan's religious leaders Sunday, urging them to counter negative propaganda against Islam by reminding Moslems that the foundation of Islam is peace. He called Pakistan the "fortress of Islam" which must defend its faith by spreading the message of peace. [More>>]

In a separate report the prime minister will be visiting China Tuesday. It will be his first visit to Pakistan's traditional ally since assuming office. Aziz will hold talks with President Hu Jintao and Prime Minister Wen Jiabao during his visit, which will focus on strengthening economic, and trade ties. Mr. Shaukat Aziz and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao will meet on Wednesday to discuss various issues of common interest.

12.13.04 Car blows up in Damascus, Syria

DAMASCUS, Dec. 13 – An explosion ripped through a car in a diplomatic quarter of the Syrian capital, Damascus, injuring a passer-by. The cause of the explosion, which occurred in the Mazzah neighborhood, has not been determined. [] Syria accused Israel of being behind the car bomb that targeted a Palestinian member of Hamas. Speaking to Syrian state-run television, Interior Minister Ghazi Kenaan said a bomb placed under the seat of the vehicle exploded minutes after the Palestinian man and his wife stepped out for a dentist's appointment. [More>>]

12.13.04 Chinese workers trapped in Chinese mine

Thirty-six workers have been trapped in a flooded mine in southwestern China's Guizhou province with rescuers pumping water out of the shaft in an effort to save them, officials said.

Water rushed into the Xujiaba Tianchi mine in Sinan county on Sunday afternoon when 80 miners were in the shaft, said Wu Ming, an official at the mine. Forty-four workers got out safely, but the fate of the others was still not clear on Monday morning, he said.

12.13.04 Horrific bus crash in Iraq

A minibus carrying extra fuel tanks crashed into a car in the city of Baqouba, north-east of Baghdad. Twenty-one passengers, the bus driver, and the occupants of the other vehicle died in the fiery explosion. Extra fuel tanks are common in Iraqi vehicles owing to the shortage of gasoline, where people often wait for hours to refuel.

In a separate incident 13 people were killed at a gate in Baghdad's Green Zone by a suicide bomber. Monday is the first anniversary of the capture of Saddam Hussein. His trial is not expected to begin before 2006. [More>>; see also]

12.13.04 UN atomic watchdog, Mohamed ElBaradei says Iran's nuclear program not a threat

LONDON, Dec. 13 – "Iran does not represent an imminent nuclear threat," ElBaradei told El Pais newspaper, explaining why the board of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) decided not to refer Iran to the UN Security Council for threatened sanctions over its nuclear program, AFP reported.

"For the time being, the Iranian government has not prevented our inspectors from accessing any military building or installation. Until 2003, the Iranians sought to hide things. But their collaboration is good now," ElBaradei said in the interview, given in Vienna on December 9.

"There is still one large military installation left to inspect. I hope that we will be able to access it soon, but there has not been any ban or negative response," he added.

12.13.04 Incumbent Chen wins election in Taiwan

Saturday President Chen Shui-bian and his minority party won in Taiwan. Laurence Eyton reports that the Lame Duck President is destined to spend most of the rest of his second term wrestling with the problems of minority government. The election resolved the concerns of Taiwan independence trumpeted by Chen. China can now relax, with the mood now swinging back toward her favor. [More>>]

12.13.04 Update, 12.12.04 Hand grenade explodes in Philippines; 15 people killed, 60 wounded

A bomb exploded in a public market in the village of Barangay, south Dadiangas, the island of Mindanao, Philippines about 4:15pm Sunday. 15 people are dead and the nation is on a "Red Alert." 60 others were wounded. The grenade was thrown near a restaurant and police believe the motive for the bombing was a feud among traders and vendors at the site. The bomb had been disguised as a camera. The blast occurred as the government and the Muslim secessionist Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) were negotiating for the resumption of peace talks. Breakaway factions of the MILF have been blamed for past bomb attacks in strife-torn Mindanao Island in the southern Philippines. [More>>; see for update]

12.13.04 Tunnel explosion injures 11 Israelis, more trapped; Palestinians fire on Israeli settlements

12.13.04 Update. Five soldiers were killed and six wounded in an explosion in a Gaza tunnel Sunday. [More>>Jerusalem Post].

A blast of 1,000-1,500 kgs set off by two suicide bombers blew up an 800 meter long tunnel at the Rafah border crossing to Egypt Sunday night. A continuing battle impedes the rescue operation.

Tunnels have been dug across the Gaza-Egyptian border by Palestinian militants who have been smuggling weapons and munitions into Gaza.

In a separate report by Margot Dudekitch, eight mortar shells were fired on Sunday at Israeli settlements in the northern and in the southern Gaza Strip. One of the shells hit a settlement's assembly hall, damaging the building. A Kassam rocket landed on Sunday in an Israeli community in the western Negev, north of the Gaza Strip.
[More>>Jerusalem Post]

12.12.04 Who poisoned Yushchenko?

Ukranian presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko had at least 1,000 times more dioxin in his system in September than normal, his Austrian doctors say. Michael Zimpfer, director of the private Rudolfinerhaus clinic that has been treating Yushchenko, said tests concluded in the last 24 hours proved that dioxin caused the illness that had disfigured the Ukrainian candidate's face.

"There is no doubt about the fact that Mr. Yushchenko's disease has been caused by dioxin poisoning," he told reporters at a news conference at the clinic. He said the doctors "suspect the involvement of an external party" and that the dioxin had been given orally. "The criminal investigation does not fall within our purview," he added.
[More>>; for facts on Dioxin,]

In our review of the international news for Sunday, the three Russian newspapers linked at Maravot News were silent on the Yushchenko poisoning report. That they were so vociferous before the report and have suddenly gone silent causes one to ponder. Who at Yshchenko's trusted dining table was poisoning him?
Mel Copeland

12.12.04 Feds are expected to hike rates up for the fifth time this year; won't be enough though

In Tuesday's meeting of the Federal Reserve interest rates are expected to be raised for a fifth time this year. Although the ongoing rhetoric from Greenspan would be expected to be something on the order of "to reduce the possibility of inflation," the real need for the rate hikes is to finance the out-of-control debt under which President Bush has buried this nation. To pay off bond-holders on the US debt, when the bonds are redeemed, the Treasury has to print and sell more bonds. The higher the debt the more bonds needed to be sold in the market. The problem is the debt is so high the size of the lots of bonds offered for sale overwhelms the bond market. The number of buyers of US bonds is limited (half of them being foreign banks, including China, Japan and South Korea). To attract the buyers interest rates on the bonds need to be jacked up. But, Japan is in a recession that has been going on for several years, South Korea is in an economic slump, Japan is cutting off financial aid to China, and China is evaluating what to do with the yuan. Record declines in the US dollar, caused by international fears of excessive US debt and trade imbalance, don't make it more encouraging for buyers to rush to buy American bonds to continue financing failed US policies. Why Greenspan did not at least put a verbal sanction on Bush for his spendthrift economics – running a government on a credit card, believing creditors will always be there to loan more money – is something historians may ponder for years. Greenspan's lack of diligence with regard to the US economy is the current cause of declining economies around the world. Expect more hikes, for there is no way out of this one for Greenspan except up: higher rates. Can he hike up interest rates enough to offset declines in the value of the dollar? [Click here to view a chart on the US debt; for the report: Reuters]
Mel Copeland

12.12.04 Cold War being revisited by Bush administration?

WASHINGTON, Dec. 12 – Paul Richter, Times Staff Writer, reports that the Bush administration is beginning a broad review of its Russia policy. They are looking at a more confrontational approach toward Moscow over its treatment of neighboring countries and its own citizens. [More>>]

12.12.04 International Space Station (ISS) to be reprovisioned December 24

Food in the ISS will run out by the end of December, and if there is a problem with the December 24 launch of Russia's space vehicle "Progress M-51," the crew will be instructed to abandon the station. In that event the station controls will be switched over to ground control. According to NASA, Russian cosmonaut Salizhan Sharipov and American Leroy Chiao have been asked to cut out calories equal to three cans of Coke from their daily diet – around 10 percent of their daily allowance and an amount that would be little noticed. There is enough water at ISS. There haven't been any emergencies during the 6-year history of the ISS. [More>>]

12.12.04 Iran looking to Russia to build nuclear power-plants

Sergei Mironov, Speaker of the Federation Council, or the upper Russian parliamentary house, said, "..they [the Iranians] hope their next nuclear power plant, too, will be constructed by Russia." Completing his two-day visit to Iran, Mironov said that Iranian President Mohammad Khatami had called for a multiple increase in bilateral trade. [More>>]

12.12.04 Russian-Chinese strategic partnership

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov has arrived in China on Sunday. "We shall consider bilateral issues and the situation in hots pots of the world. The purpose of this meeting is to promote Russian-Chinese strategic partnership," the minister said. Mr. Ivanov is to hold talks with Chinese counterparts and participate in the 11th intergovernmental Russian-Chinese commission for military-technical cooperation. [More>>]

12.12.04 Latest talks on Kashmir hold promise

VERINAG, Dec. 11 – Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed expressed confidence that the dialogue going on between Indian and Pakistan to resolve problems would succeed and jammu and Kashmir would again return to the days of its old glory. He said the engagement of the two countries in talks is widely appreciated and even those who otherwise espoused violence to put across their point too have now recognized its imperativeness. [(KT News Service)]

12.12.04 Korea uneasy over Japan's new military focus; fears of arms race

Choi Soung-ah reports, "Shifting its military focus away from the half-century-old Cold War threat of invasion from Russia, Japan's new defense review points to its closest Asian neighbors as main threats and is causing regional concerns for South Korea.

"In its second review in less than a decade, Japan overhauled its defense priorities and last week adopted plans that name China and North Korea as primary military threats because of changing global threats. But for South Korea – the only neighbor excluded from the target list – Tokyo's overhaul of defense priorities is giving rise to new concerns since it may put Seoul in the center of dangerous intensifying regional tensions...The Japanese military buildup could spark an arms race in Northeast Asia."
[More>>Korea Herald]

See article, "US moving bases..Bush leaves Koizumi holding the bag"

12.12.04 China miffed over Japan's new military focus; 32 years of Sino-Japanese relations at stake

Although diplomatic in wording, Japan's Defense Program Outline mentions China and the DPRK (North Korea) as the only neighbors that pose a threat to it. China has expressed its "strong dissatisfaction" with the Japanese move. "This is totally groundless and extremely irresponsible," commented Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyueon Friday. China and Japan normalized relations 32 years ago. In addition to the Treaty of Peace and Friendship signed six years later, the two countries agreed to upgrade their relations to partnership in 1998.

In the past three decades, trade has increased by more than 130 times and is expected to reach 150 billion US dollars this year. China might become Japan's biggest trading partner in the very near future. Japan's total investment in China amounts to 46 billion dollars.

12.12.04 Saddam's illegal oil trade to Syria, Jordan and Turkey

CIA's top weapons inspector in Iraq Charles Duelfer said in a report that Iraqi former president Saddam Hussein's illegal oil sales generated about $8 billion between the two Iraq wars. Most of the trade was with Syria, Jordan and Turkey. [More>>CRI online]

12.12.04 Japan cutting capital cooperation projects in China

Perhaps colored by its new defensive strategy, Japan has cut off the free capital cooperation projects with China starting in 2006. The Japanese government is also phasing out low interest credit to China. Last year Japan provided about $50 million in free capital cooperation projects and $920 million in low interest credit to China. [Daily Yomiuri & CRI online]

12.12.04 54 journalists killed in 2004

The BBC reported Saturday that 54 reporters have been killed in 2004, the largest toll in a decade. The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) reported that the Iraq War accounted for the deaths of 23 reporters and crew. Most of those killed in Iraq were Iraqi reporters working for US organizations. CPJ Executive Director Ann Cooper said, "What we've seen this year is the deliberate targeting of Iraqis who work with Westerners." The second most dangerous country was the Philippines, where eight journalists have been killed, the BBC said. The CPJ said the year with the heaviest death toll was 1994, when 66 journalists were killed. [BBC via bignewsnetwork]

12.10.04 Sky Diver commited suicide from 13,000 ft,, ruining hedge and leaving wide crater

From the evidence of a suicide note in his car, a message on his cell phone explaining his suicide, and the fact that his parachute was fully operational, an inquest concluded that an experienced parachutist committed suicide. The soldier, based at Shackleton Barracks in Ballykelly where he served with 40 Signals Regiment, was apparently under intense pressure from his regiment, said his wife. She said the pair had recently argued over a new kitchen after which she went to court for possession of the couple's home on Cayman Avenue in Bangor.

A witness explained that he saw the man and another with whom he was sky-diving. One parachute opened and the chute of the dead man did not open. Garvagh man David Garvin who witnessed the incident said: "I was outside in the garden and heard a parachute open and looked up," he told the court. "One man had opened his canopy but another was still in free fall. "He was in the proper position, arms outstretched and a slight bend in his legs. He never got out of that position the whole time. I heard the thud of him falling around 300 yards away."

The free-falling suicide was on May 15 of this year. The parachutist, who had made over 700 jumps, "suffered catastrophic injuries" when he plunged into a hedge off the Killyvalley Road leaving a crater several feet across.

12.10.04 Environmentalist Wangari Maathai wins Peace Prize

OSLO (Reuters) Kenyan environmentalist Wangari Maathai, received the Nobel Peace Prize Friday. Kenya's deputy environment minister and the first African woman to win the Peace Prize. She campaigned to plant 30 million trees across Africa to slow deforestation and said, "Today we are faced with a challenge that calls for a shift in our thinking, so that humanity stops threatening its life-support system." [More>>]

12.10.04 Bomb in Pakistani city Quetta kills 10; another incident in Mosque bombing kills 7

A bomb planted by suspected nationalists exploded in the southwestern Pakistani city of Quetta, officials said. Ten people were killed and at least 21 injured. The device was strapped to a bicycle in the city's crowded market. The Baluchistan Liberation Army, a self-proclaimed nationalist group, said it carried out the attack. "Our target was the military truck," said Azad Baluch, calling himself the group's spokesman. [More>>Al-Jezeera]

In a separate incident in the city of Jahore, a man shot his way into a Shia Muslim mosque in the Pakistani city of Lahore and detonated explosives attached to his body. Seven people, some of them children, were killed. [More>>al-Jezeera]

12.10.04 Ex-CIA agent says sacked for not faking Iraq WMD reports

A sacked CIA official has sued, alleging he was fired for refusing to fake reports supporting the White House position that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, local media said. Described as a senior CIA official who was sacked in August "for unspecified reasons," the lawsuit appeared to be the first public instance of a CIA agent charging he was pressured to concoct intelligence on Iraq.

The suit claims the unidentified ex agent was urged to produce reports in line with President George W. Bush's contention that Iraq had illegal chemical or biological weapons, which threatened US and international security.

12.10.04 Women taking diet pills may have more lesbian and gay children

A new study suggests that women who take amphetamine-based diet pills when pregnant are more likely to have lesbian and gay children. Expectant mothers who have taken thyroid medication are also included, with similar findings.

Conducted by the Minot State University, North Dakota, the study followed more than 5,000 mothers and their offspring. The research will be published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences.
[More>> via Village Voice]

12.10.04 Feds concerned wheels falling off Dodge vehicles

DaimlerChrysler will recall 600,000 of the most popular vehicles on the road – the Dodge Durango SUV and the Dodge Dakota pickup truck – due to problems that could lead to the front wheels falling off. [More>>]

12.10.04 OPEC to reduce oil production

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) agreed to cut production back to target production levels of 27 million barrels per day from early next year. An OPEC delegate announced at a meeting in Cairo, that the leading oil producers agreed to eliminate 1 million barrels per day of excess supply over the quota limits. [More>>CRIonline]

12.10.04 Fatwas – edicts issued by Islamic clerics – getting out of hand

CAIRO, Dec. 8 – Ahmad Aboul Wafa reports that Cairo is being flooded with unnecessary and often frivolous fatwas. In the past, scholars of Islam used to gain prominence by issuing important fatwas (religious edicts) that were characterized by their objectivity and integrity. But things have changed. Today, fatwas in Egypt are issued just about daily to forbid anything from the internet and satellite dishes to mobile phones and yoga.

"Most of the fatwas issued recently are stupid, silly and against any kind of modernity," said Ahmed Shawki Al Fangari, an Islamic researcher and a writer at Rose El Youssef magazine. "These fatwas are a strong indication of the ignorance and frivolity of their issuers who want to keep people away from other important issues like democracy and technology," he added.

According to Al Azhar scholars, proper fatwas play a very important role in the everyday life of Muslims. "World and life circumstances change every day and fatwas are one of the means by which Islam adapts to this change," said Mohammed Abu Laila, a professor of Islamic Studies at Al Azhar University and a member of the Dar Al Iftaa committee, the Al Azhar body responsible for overseeing interpretations and fatwas.

"There are issues in modern life that are not mentioned in the Koran and the Sunna and so fatwas try to find an answer to questions concerning these issues," he told the Middle East Times. Today, however, sheikhs and scholars are issuing strange fatwas almost daily in mosques, in newspapers, on radio and on television. One recent fatwa forbade the practice of yoga on the grounds that it is an ascetic Hindu practice. Another declared that Muslims should not use the internet because it makes them waste their time. Most recently, a fatwa announced that ironing women's pants was forbidden as women are not allowed to wear pants in Islam. [
More>>Middle East Times]

12.10.04 John the Baptist's cave found

KIBBUTZ TSUBA, Dec. 5 – Jacques Pinto (AFP) reports that a British archaeologist has uncovered a cave in the mountains near Jerusalem which he believes conclusively proves that the Biblical figure of John the Baptist existed.

"The first concrete evidence of the existence of John the Baptist has been found on site," 46-year-old Shimon Gibson said. Gibson, who holds a degree from University College London and has written several works on Biblical archaeology, believes the discovery to be "the first archaeological proof of the historical veracity of the Gospels".

Other archaeologists, however, believe Gibson's conclusions go too far, and that the discovery of an ancient place of worship linked to John the Baptist does not prove that he actually existed....

The cave, which is located on the grounds of Kibbutz Tsuba just outside Jerusalem, is "about an hour's donkey ride from Ein Kerem, the village where Christian tradition says John was born", Gibson says. It is also on the edge of the Judean desert, where John was known to hold spiritual retreats... a crudely-drawn picture of John the Baptist carved into the limestone walls "dressed in camel hair robes" as described in the Gospel of Matthew. Several crosses and a rough drawing of a severed head were also carved into the walls...
[More>>Middle East Times]

12.10.04 Russia and Spain partnership prospects

Russia and Spain have fine partnership prospects in many fields, in particular, energy infrastructure development, said President Vladimir Putin. Among priority fields, he highlighted construction, infrastructure, railway transport, highway laying, power industry-in particular, the oil-and-gas sector, and closer capital investment links. Spain's Cabinet and many Spanish-based companies are interested in building up investment in Russian power industry, construction, railway infrastructure and tourism, said Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero of Spain. [More>>]

12.10.04 Japan ends decades-old ban on military exports

TOKYO: Japan took another step away from its post-World War II pacifism on Friday by ending its decades-old ban on military exports. Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's cabinet agreed to allow military sales only to the United States and for missile defense a day after it extended Japan's ground-breaking troop deployment in Iraq for another year.

The policy change Friday came in the form of a set of guidelines for defense policymakers, updated for the first time in nine years, along with a five-year outline for military procurements set to begin from April 2005. The guidelines approved by the cabinet said Japan needed to change its mindset to have "multi-function, flexible defense capabilities" to deal with new threats such as terrorist and missile attacks.

12.10.04 Pacers, 7 Pistons Fans Face Charges

PONTIAC, MICHIGAN, Dec. 9 – Pacers players Ron Artest, Stephen Jackson, David Harrison and Anthony Johnson were charged Wednesday with single counts of assault and battery, a misdemeanor that carries a maximum penalty of about three months in jail and a fine of up to $500. Jermaine O'Neal, a three-time NBA All-Star, was charged with two counts of assault and battery for his actions in the brawl at the end of a game last month.

Five fans were charged with misdemeanor assault and battery, including Pistons star Ben Wallace's brother, David. Fan Bryant Jackson also was charged with felony assault for throwing a chair. That crime is punishable by up to four years in prison, but he could get up to eight years because he has prior convictions, Oakland County Prosecutor David Gorcyca said.
[More>>(AP) New York Post]

12.10.04 Singapore and Iran looking to closer ties

SINGAPORE, Dec. 10 – Singapore can be a springboard for oil-rich Iran to expand its business links in Asia, Singapore's, Trade and Industry Minister Lim Hng Kiang said Thursday as the city-state emphasized its desire for closer bilateral trade ties.

Trade between the two countries has doubled to $1.2 billion over the past 10 years but there are still many areas for the two countries to deepen their mutual economic interests, Lim said in a speech at an Iranian business seminar here. "Bilaterally, our trade ties are healthy. Nonetheless, there is potential to do more," Lim said.

12.10.04 Asia to be growth juggernaut for vehicle industry

SINGAPORE, Dec. 9 – Auto sales in Asia are expected to grow at a world-beating 16 percent each year over the next 15 years as the region becomes critical for the vehicle industry to offset sluggish growth in other key markets, industry experts said on Wednesday.

Excluding Japan, regional auto sales will grow from 12 million units in 1999 to 31.3 million in 2020, Graeme Maxton, auto consultant firm Autopolis' managing director for Asia, told an industry conference in Singapore. If the projections materialize, it means Asia will account for one out of three cars sold globally in 2020 from one out of five in 1999, Maxton said. [
More>> via]

12.10.04 Yahoo introducing new search engine

Yahoo is introducing a free, high-speed way to search for data on personal computers, challenging Google's U.S. release this fall of a similar product. The product lets users search, not just e-mails and other documents on their hard drives, but also MP3 music files and saved Portable Document Format files, (PDFs), often used to distribute documents. [More>>bignewsnetwork]

12.10.04 Marine charged with desertion

The Lebanese-born U.S. Marine who disappeared from his post in Iraq for nearly three weeks this summer before reappearing in Lebanon, saying he had been captured by enemy fighters, was charged with desertion yesterday.

The Marine Corps charged Cpl. Wassef Ali Hassoun, 24, of West Jordan, Utah, after a five-month investigation into his June 19 disappearance from a U.S. military camp near Fallujah. Hassoun was also charged with theft of a military firearm for allegedly leaving the camp with his 9mm service pistol, and with theft and wrongful appropriation of a government vehicle.


12.08.04; 12.09.04 Update: Military personnel enlistment is for as long as there is war

American troops volunteer for military duty that is open-ended. The contract they sign says that the term of the contract may be extended indefinitely in times of war. Copy of the contract: enlistment.pdf.

Scott Pelley's report Wednesday, CBS 60 Minutes "Deserters:..," dealt with the issue of about 5,500 American deserters, some of whom are in Canada and filing for asylum. The situation recalls the sequence of the Vietnam War, where soldiers becoming more informed about the war began to object to the war on principals involving "non participation in an illegal war."[More>>]

12.08.04 Planned cut-back in oil supply by OPEC

Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi Wednesday questioned the need to cut back oil supplies. Cut-backs were being proposed as a prelude to Friday's ministerial meeting of OPEC oil producers in Cairo. OPEC is concerned about falling prices in crude oil, though the cartel's reference crude price was still above its official target. [More>>The Daily Star]

12.08.04 Rumsfeld says, "You go to war with what you have."

Based upon TV broadcasts Wednesday, apparently the need to go to war in Iraq was so urgent President Bush could not plan on supplying the troops with necessary equipment and resources. The strategy revealed Wednesday in an appearance before our troops at Camp Buehring, Kuwait, by Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld now is, "You go to war with what you have." He said this in answer to a soldier's complaint at the briefing, having to do with soldiers still not having armor and forced to raid rusted debris to add armor to their vehicles and equipment. Although March will be the second anniversary of Bush's invasion, troops still don't have proper equipment. Rumsfeld explained that it is a matter of logistics. With reference to supplying armored Humvees Rumsfeld said America can't build them fast enough. Let's face it, the 250 tons of ammunition that came up missing – after Bush's army rushed by Saddam Hussein's unguarded armories heading to Baghdad to secure the oil ministry – might possibly be the reason why America can't keep up with the demand for armored Humvees.
Mel Copeland

12.08.04 European Airbus may subcontract subsytems of A350 jetliner to China
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 Taiwan considering name change
12.06.04 Kurds in southeastern Turkey want their requests met before EU admits Turkey

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>>]



12.09.04 President Bush rules out hike in payroll tax to fund Social Security
12.09.04 Asian markets down – consumer confidence reaches four-year low in South Korea
China to move to flexible currency (yuan, aka RMB)
12.08.04 Iraq War troops give up jobs at home to serve Bush – become homeless after service
12.07.04 Heavy sell-off of US dollar in Shanghai
President Bush plans to borrow $1 trillion more to fund Social Security
12.06.04 Collapse of US dollar may give China's yuan the edge as world currency
12.03.04 US National Debt reduction a priority for Senator Feinstein
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


12.05.04 US accused of eliminating witnesses to Iraqi attacks
12.08.04 US Democratic Transformation of the Middle East coming under attack
12.06.04 President Musharraf of Pakistan says world less safe after Iraq invasion
12.05.04 Bush arrested for War Crimes on November 29 trip to Canada
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
9.16.04 President Bush launches illegal war
11.01.04 Washington has opened a Pandora's box, intensifying ethnic and religious conflicts


12.06.04 Prime Minister Blair refuses to mediate Kashmir dispute
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


12.09.04 Pakistani scientist's link to nuclear technology sales to Iran
12.07.04 Yawar warns Iran against meddling in Iraqi election
12.07.04 Al-Quaeda members tried and convicted in Iran
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


12.08.04 US Colin Powell and Russian Sergey Lavrov verbally duke it out over Ukraine – conference scuttled
12.08.04 Elections in Iraq unimaginable under occupation by foreign troops, says Putin
12.08.04 Turkey economically strategic to Russia
Russian President Putin accuses US of dictatorial foreign policy
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


12.09.04 EU looking to lift arms ban to China
12.09.04 Good news for San Francisco: Chinese tourists may be on the way – but some bad news
12.08.04 Chinese Prime Minister arrives in the Hague for summit with EU
12.08.04 EU and China sign strategic partnership
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


12.09.04 North East Asian countries uneasy with Bush administration direction – fear another Iraq
President Karzai of Afghanistan declares Holy War on drug trade
12.09.04 Moqtada al-Sadr left off Sistani's electoral list
12.08.04 Israeli soldiers admit having killed 15-year-old Palestinian for sport
12.06.04 Eight soldiers plan to sue over Army's Stop-Loss policy
12.08.04 Oil producing governments in Mideast getting rich while their people starve
12.08.04 Eritrea in fourth year of drought Somalia suffering from drought; both ignored
12.07.04 US CDC forcasts on global warming grim
12.07.04 Situation deteriorating in Iraq says CIA
12.06.04 US Environmental Protection Agency may become more lenient to polluters
12.05.04 Saudi unified front breaking up
12.04.04 Confusion makes aid workers in Iraq sitting ducks
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; 12.08.04 Updates) US twin deficits are causing Japanese jitters: the story behind the collapse of the dollar

This is an ongoing article. We received a response from Senator Diane Fienstein which we cuddled midst a general review of the historic repeat of Deficits from father to son: Bush I to Bush II.

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. [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
Maravot's Homepage

Launched: 10.25.04 / 11.02.04
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Copyright © 1981-2004 Mel Copeland. All rights reserved
Background: tile from Cicero's villa (Marcus Tullius Cicero 106 B.C. - 43 B.C.)