Sep 17, 2004
MARKET NEWS DIGEST
-> US debates military strikes on Iran -FT
-> Hurricane Ivan Blasts Alabama, Kills 12
-> Techs set positive pace -CNNfn
-> U.S. current account deficit soars -G&M
-> New nickels unveiled -CNNfn
-> Terrorism-Response Plans May Fail -HDN
-> US Airways lands back in bankruptcy -CBS
-> 3 MILLION ILLEGAL ALIENS TO FLOOD U.S.
-> Face of terrorism changes -KRN
-> PRUDENCE PAYS: Gold Beats Stocks -CRS
-> RUNNING ON EMPTY -Peter G. Peterson
-> Locked in a Cosmic Battle With Islam -Alan Caruba
-> Politicizing 9/11 Is Damaging America's Security
-> INTERNET STILL SPEWING OUT TERRORIST HATRED
-> PRIORITIES: A SPIRITUAL LEADER'S PERSONAL LIFE
-> Priorities -Eva von Thiele-Winckler
FOUNDER'S QUOTE OF THE DAY
"Knowledge is, in every country, the surest basis of public happiness."
MARKET NEWS DIGEST
US debates military strikes on 'nuclear Iran' FT
By Guy Dinmore in Washington - London Financial Times
September 15, 2004
The Bush administration's warnings that it will not "tolerate" a nuclear-armed Iran have opened up a lively policy debate in Washington over the merits of military strikes against the Islamic republic's nuclear programme.
Analysts close to the administration say military options are under consideration, but have not reached a level of seriousness that indicate the US is preparing actual action.
When asked, senior officials repeat that President George W. Bush is removing no option from the table - but that he believes the issue can be solved by diplomatic means.
Diplomacy on Wednesday appeared stalled.
The US and its European allies on the board of the International Atomic Energy Agency continued to wrangle over the wording of a resolution on Iran which insists it has no intention of using its advanced civilian programme to make a bomb.
Gary Schmitt, executive director of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), a neo-conservative think-tank, says that with "enough intelligence and spadework", the US could "do a good job" of slowing Iran's programme for a while.
But, he cautions, the Bush administration would need a "game plan" for the aftermath.
That long-term approach is lacking, analysts say, and has floundered in the debate over "regime change".
Asked whether Israel would take military action if the US dithered, Mr Schmitt replied: "Absolutely. No government in Israel will let this pass ultimately."
Tom Donnelly, an analyst with PNAC and the American Enterprise Institute, says that while inflicting military damage is possible, the consequences rule out this option.
If the US started down the military road, it would have to consider going the whole way to invasion and occupation.
Hurricane Ivan Blasts Alabama, Kills 12 -AP
By JAY REEVES
Sept. 16, 2004
GULF SHORES, Ala. (AP) - Hurricane Ivan slammed into the Gulf Coast early Thursday with 130 mph wind, launching tornadoes, washing out a major bridge and hurling metal signs through the night. At least 12 U.S. deaths were blamed on the storm, but officials said the toll and the damage could have been even worse.
Up to 15 inches of rain were expected as the storm moved inland. It weakened by late morning, but remained a Category 1 hurricane with wind of 75 mph eight hours after its 3 a.m. landfall.
Ivan had already killed 68 as it passed through the Caribbean, weeks after Hurricanes Charley and Frances tore through on their treks to Florida, causing dozens of deaths and billions of dollars in damage.
When Ivan hit the Gulf Coast, it knocked out power to hundreds of thousands of people, toppled trees and ripped off roofs. In the beach resort town of Gulf Shores, where the storm's eye came ashore, the sky glowed bright green as electrical transformers blew. DALLAS (CBS.MW) -- Major oil and gas producers in the Gulf of Mexico aren't
Port of New Orleans closes
Hurricane Ivan could cost New Orleans $19 million a day as cargo ships are turned away, said Gary LaGrange, CEO of the Port of New Orleans. All shipping on the lower Mississippi River was halted Tuesday.
The busy port was closed Tuesday morning because of the approaching storm.
"And that's for the first week to 10 days," said LaGrange, whose port accepts shipments of steel, plywood, rubber and coffee. "But that's a number that increases exponentially as time goes by."
U.S. current account deficit soars
By MARIAN STINSON, Globe and Mail
Sep 14, 2004
The U.S. current account — the broadest measure of the country's dealings with the rest of the world — widened to a record $166.2-billion (U.S.) in the second quarter of this year, a government report said Tuesday.
The U.S. dollar fell after the U.S. Commerce Department said that rising oil prices contributed to the deficit, swelling the current account shortfall from the first three months of the year. The deficit in the first quarter was revised higher to $147.2-billion from $144.9-billion.
The deficit in the latest quarter is equivalent of 5.7 per cent of the nation's gross domestic product.
Analysts had been expecting a gap of $158.3-billion according to a survey by Bloomberg News.
The euro rose against the greenback to $1.2285 from $1.2242 before the report, and the dollar dropped to ¥109.56 from ¥110.02. As well, the Australian dollar climbed to 70.15 cents, from 69.54 cents, and the Canadian dollar edged up to 76.97 cents from 76.84 cents late Monday.
The U.S. needs to attract $1.8-billion a day from investors outside the country to fund its deficit.
Techs set positive pace -CNNfn
Market rises as investors take in mild inflation news, drop in oil prices, technology bounce.
September 16, 2004
NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Techs paced a stock advance early Thursday, as investors continued to scoop up beaten-down shares.
Mild inflation and jobless reports, and a drop in oil prices all added to the early advance.
The Nasdaq composite (up 12.23 to 1,908.75) gained around 0.6 percent after 45 minutes of trading.
The Dow Jones industrial average (up 19.90 to 10,251.26) and the Standard & Poor's 500 (up 3.82 to 1,124.19) index both posted smaller gains.
Stocks declined Wednesday, retreating after several up sessions following a profit warning from Coca-Cola (KO: up $0.09 to $41.25, Research, Estimates) and some discouraging economic news. Stocks bounced anew Thursday, bolstered by the economic news.
Market breadth was positive and volume was light, with a number of participants out in observance of the Jewish new year.
The consumer price index, a key inflation measure, edged up 0.1 percent in August versus an 0.1 percent decline in July. Economists surveyed by Briefing.com had expected a rise of 0.2 percent.
New nickels unveiled -CNNfn
On the new coins, Jefferson gets a makeover, the buffalo returns, and the ocean comes into view. September 16, 2004
By Gordon T. Anderson, CNN/Money staff writer
NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - It's not clear whether Thomas Jefferson considered the right half of his face to be his "good side," but folks at the U.S. Mint apparently think so. That's the profile they're engraving onto millions of new nickels.
The redesign, which was made public today at a Washington press conference, is the latest in the Mint's multi-year commemoration of the Lewis and Clark expedition. The third president was the chief patron of that exploration of the American West.
In 2003, Congress passed legislation enabling the Mint to revise the nickel to mark the bicentenary, which resulted in the release of two separate nickels. They went into circulation during 2004, as part of the Mint's so-called Westward Journey series of coins.
Now, the Mint is preparing to release two more coins in 2005.
"The 2005 nickel designs follow Thomas Jefferson's vision to explore the great West," said Mint director Henrietta Holsman Fore in unveiling the new coins, which she referred to as "small pieces of contemporary art."
Since 1938, the five-cent coin has featured an image of Jefferson on its front. The new coins will continue that tradition, but display the image differently.
Most obviously, his face is cropped more closely, instead of showing his entire head. His right profile will now appear, instead of his left. And the word "Liberty," engraved in a copy of Jefferson's handwriting, has been added.
[ED. NOTE: Beautiful designs, but no precious metal in them.]
TUESDAY, Sept. 14 (HealthDayNews) -- If a smallpox outbreak were to be declared today in the United States, just two in every five Americans would heed official instructions to head to a public vaccination site for immunization against the killer disease, a new study finds.
And in the event of a "dirty bomb" attack, just three-fifths of citizens would stay put in an undamaged building, as current guidelines recommend.
The bottom line, according to experts, is that current local, state and federal government emergency-preparedness responses may be doomed to failure should events like these occur.
"Officials are basing their plans on their assumptions of what the public cares about, and how the public might behave. But what our study shows is that those assumptions -- which are best guesses -- are just not right," said Dr. Roz Lasker, director of the Center for the Advancement of Collaborative Strategies in Health, part of the New York Academy of Medicine.
The Academy released its report, Redefining Readiness: Terrorism Through the Eyes of the Public, at a press conference held in Washington on Tuesday.
The attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, a spate of anthrax-laced letters soon after, and ongoing fears that terrorists might use biological or chemical weapons against an unsuspecting populace have led governments to put together emergency-preparedness plans.
But just how effective would these plans be in real-world situations? To find out, Lasker and her colleagues first conducted in-depth talks with public- and private-sector planners. Then, using a mix of discussion groups and a phone survey of more than 2,500 U.S. adults, they tested out the public's response to current plans aimed at minimizing the threat of two hypothetical terror events: a smallpox outbreak and the detonation of a radioactive dirty bomb.
In the smallpox scenario, current protocol advises citizens to head immediately to a vaccination center for immunization against the highly communicable disease.
"However, we found that twice as many people are seriously worried about the vaccine than are worried about catching smallpox if an outbreak occurred," Lasker said. Two-thirds of those interviewed also said they would simply be afraid of co-mingling with so many strangers for fear of infection.
Overall, three out of five adults surveyed said they might not follow instructions to head to a vaccination site.
Lasker said concerns about the vaccine are "well-founded," since it's estimated that nearly 50 million people are at risk for complications from the vaccine, including people with HIV or eczema, pregnant women, or very young children.
But under the current plan, Lasker said, "individuals would only find out if they had any of those contraindications at the site of vaccination, at which point they might have already been exposed to people with smallpox -- and then they can't get the vaccine."
But there are ways to quell these fears and still make sure the maximum amount of citizens get vaccinated, Lasker said.
"We're calling for strategies that would enable everyone in the country to know their risk status for the vaccine beforehand," she said.
US Airways lands back in bankruptcy
Airline's shares slide more than 50% in pre-market action
By Matt Andrejczak & Kathie O'Donnell
Sept. 13, 2004
SAN FRANCISCO (CBS.MW) -- Shares of US Airways Group fell by more than half in pre-market trading Monday after the airline tumbled into bankruptcy for the second time in as many years.
The filing came on Sunday after reports that negotiations with US Airways' pilots union over additional concessions broke down over the weekend.
US Airways Group was last trading down 55.5 percent at 65 cents in pre-market trading in Instinet.
The move will allow the nation's seventh-largest airline the opportunity to implement a "Transformation Plan" built on lower costs, a simplified fare structure and expanded service in the eastern U.S., the Caribbean, Latin America and Europe.
"We have devoted the last six months to building and implementing a Transformation Plan that leverages our strengths and allows us to compete successfully in a changing airline industry," US Airways President and CEO Bruce Lakefield said in a press release. "Since we still lack the new labor agreements that are needed for the Transformation Plan to succeed, we must preserve the company's cash resources that are required to implement the plan."
Calls to the airline and the Air Line Pilots Association weren't immediately returned Sunday.
US Airways, the nation's seventh largest airline, first emerged from bankruptcy in March 2003 after seven months under court protection. It rejoins UAL Corp., parent of United Airlines. Delta Air Lines may file for bankruptcy before the end of the year.
The nation's airlines have been reeling since Sept. 11, 2001, clobbered by a dearth in air traffic after the attacks on New York and Washington and a wobbly economy. Over the past three years, their losses have added up to $23.2 billion. Analysts project the industry stands to lose at least another $3 billion before the end of the year.
By filing for Chapter 11, US Airways is trying to buy time to get in better financial shape, a plan that has been hobbled by labor groups unwillingly to take wage and benefit cuts as well as record-high fuel prices and weak earnings due to soft ticket pricing.
The U.S.'s borders, rather than become more secure since 9/11, have grown even more porous and the trend has accelerated in the past year. Based on a TIME investigation, it's fair to estimate that the number of illegal aliens flooding into the U.S. this year will total 3 million, enough to fill 22,000 Boeing 737-700 airliners, or 60 flights every day. It will be the largest wave since 2001 and roughly triple the number of immigrants who will come to America by legal means, TIME reports in its cover story , "Who Left the Door Open?" (on newsstands Monday, Sept. 13th).
In a single day, more than 4,000 illegal aliens will walk across the busiest unlawful gateway into the U.S., the border between Arizona and Mexico. And many will obtain phony identification papers, including bogus Social Security numbers, to conceal their true identities and mask their unlawful presence. TIME's Pulitzer Prize winning investigative team, Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele, takes a look at the damage, the dangers, and the reasons America fails to protect itself as millions of illegal aliens pour across the U.S.-Mexican border this year, many from countries hostile to America.
Who are these new arrivals?
While the vast majority are Mexicans, a small but sharply growing number come from other countries, including those with large populations hostile to the U.S. From Oct. 1 of last year until Aug. 25, the border patrol estimates, it apprehended along the southwest border 55,890 people who fall into the category described officially as other than Mexicans, or OTMS. With five weeks remaining in the fiscal year, the number is nearly double the 28,048 apprehended in all of 2002. But that's just how many were caught.
Based on longtime government formulas for calculating how many elude capture, TIME estimates that as many as 190,000 illegals from countries other than Mexico have melted into the U.S. population so far this year. The border patrol, which is run by the Department of Homeland Security, refuses to break down OTMS by country. But local law officers, ranchers and others who daily confront the issue tell TIME they have encountered not only a wide variety of Latin Americans (from Guatemala, El Salvador, Brazil, Nicaragua and Venezuela) but also intruders from Afghanistan, Bulgaria, Russia and China, as well as people who said they were from Egypt, Iran and Iraq.
Law-enforcement authorities believe the mass movement of illegals offers the perfect cover for terrorists seeking to enter the U.S., especially since tighter controls have been imposed at airports.
Why Alien Criminals Are at Large in America
Perhaps the most alarming aspect of having 15 million illegals at large in society is Congress's failure to insist that federal agencies separate those who pose a threat from those who don't. The open borders, for example, allow illegals to come into the country, commit crimes and return home with little fear of arrest or punishment. From Oct. 1, 2003, until July 20, 2004, the Border Patrol's Tucson sector stopped 9,051 persons crossing into the country illegally who had criminal records in the U.S., meaning they committed crimes here, returned to Mexico, then were trying to reenter the country. Among them: 378 with active warrants for their arrest. In one week, said Border Patrol spokeswoman Andrea Zortman, there were two with outstanding "warrants for homicide."
Living in the War Zone
John Ladd Jr., a rancher just outside Bisbee, AZ, is forced to work the equivalent of several weeks a year to repair, as best he can, all the damage done to his property by never-ending swarms of illegal aliens. "Patience is my forte," Ladd says, "but it's getting lower." The 14,000-acre Ladd ranch, in his mother's family since the 1800s, is right on the border. Ladd says 200 to 300 illegals enter the U.S. Border crossing at the Ladd ranch each night and it is so flagrant that sometimes the illegals arrive by taxi.
Ladd doesn't blame the border patrol, most of whose officers, he says, are doing all they can under the circumstances. Indeed, apprehensions of illegals in Arizona have soared from 9% of the nation's total in 1993 to 51% this year. "I have real heartache for the agents who are really working. They track down the [smugglers], and the judges let them off, and they get a free trip back to Mexico, where they can start all over." The border patrol, Ladd feels, "are responsible guys in a hypocritical bureaucracy."
Rancher George Morin, who operates a 12,000-acre spread a few miles from the border, tells TIME, "All these people say they are coming for the amnesty program. [They] have been told if they get 10 miles off the border, they are home free." The highest levels of the U.S. and Mexican governments have orchestrated this situation as a kind of dance: Mexico sends its poor north to take jobs illegally, and the U.S., in turn, arrests enough of the border crossers to create the illusion that it is enforcing the immigration laws, while allowing the great majority to get through, TIME reports.
How Corporate America Thrives on Illegals
Investigations targeting employers of illegal aliens dropped more than 70%, from 7,053 in 1992 to 2,061 in 2002. Arrests on job sites declined from 8,027 in 1992 to 451 in 2002. Perhaps the most dramatic decline: the final orders levying fines for immigration-law violations plunged 99%, from 1,063 in 1992 to 13 in 2002. In 2002 the old Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) issued orders levying fines on only 13 employers for hiring illegal aliens, a minuscule portion of the thousands of offenders.
Both political parties and their candidates pay lip service to controlling the borders. But neither President Bush nor Senator Kerry supports a system that would end the incentive for border crossers by cracking down on the employers of illegals, TIME reports.
U.S. Fears Terrorism Via Mexico's Time-Tested Smuggling Routes -9/15/04, LA Times-- SAN DIEGO — Growing fears that Al Qaeda emissaries are looking to tap into well-worn smuggling routes along the 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexico border have led to a security crackdown in recent months as well as new levels of official cross-border cooperation, U.S. and Mexican law enforcement officials say. FULL STORY
Face of terrorism changes
Al-Qaida's leadership is hurt, but bin Laden's ideology and tactics still spread
By WARREN P. STROBEL, Knight Ridder Newspapers
9-11-04--WASHINGTON - Three years after the Sept. 11 atttacks, the terrorist threat to the United States and its allies remains as serious as ever, despite a multipronged assault on al-Qaida. That is the assessment of senior U.S. officials, diplomats and counter-terrorism experts.
The assault on the terror organization has badly wounded al-Qaida's central leadership, including many of the men who were behind the deaths of nearly 3,000 people in the 2001 attacks.
But it has failed to stem the spread of Osama bin Laden's ideology and methods, which have been adopted by violent Islamic groups worldwide. Those groups are even harder to track and capable of great damage, the officials and experts said.
"The threat of al-Qaida-related terrorism remains as great as ever. But the nature of the threat has changed," a United Nations panel said in a report issued in late August.
President Bush, who has made the "war on terrorism" the core of his re-election campaign, appeared to waver recently on how it is proceeding.
He said in a television interview that "I don't think you can win" the war. The remark quickly drew criticism, and he modified it. The next day he said: "Make no mistake about it - we are winning, and we will win."
In interviews and writings, senior U.S. counter-terrorism officials presented a less black-and-white picture of success and failure. The threat from al-Qaida itself probably has waned, and the group is battered and frayed, experts said. But the threat from the new "franchise" groups is growing rapidly and may even have surpassed it. It is fueled by widespread resentment in the Muslim world of U.S. policies, including the invasion of Iraq and unblinking support for Israel.
"Even with al-Qaida waning, the larger terrorist threat from radical Islamists is not," senior CIA official Paul Pillar, a former head of the agency's Counter-Terrorist Center, wrote recently. "Al-Qaida still has the capacity to inflict lethal damage, but the key challenges for current counterterrorism efforts are not as much al-Qaida as what will follow al-Qaida," he wrote. For Americans worried about new terrorist attacks, that picture is mixed, too.
Al-Qaida is aiming for another catastrophic strike against the United States, counterterrorism officials said. But with the group's remaining leaders on the run and U.S. defenses increased, such a strike seems less certain than it did three years ago.
What can Americans DO to protect their Family AND their Assets in todayï¿½s uncertain world?
Well, for family safety, I follow what Homeland Security and the American Red Cross recommend. When it comes to asset protection and financial safety, I trust in gold coins because they are tangible wealth that I can hold in my hands.
Back in 2001, when I wrote "Rediscovering Gold in the 21st Century," I knew that gold was destined to reemerge as the #1 asset -- for safety, privacy and growth.
In 2004, Investment-Grade United States Gold and Silver coins are once again outshining the competition. Unlike stocks bonds, or even cash, U.S. Gold and Silver coins have outperformed nearly every other asset, so far in the 21st century.
For nearly a quarter century, Swiss America has helped to protect AND grow American's wealth with good-old-fashioned U.S. Gold and Silver coins.
I strongly recommmend that your financial preparation for any emergency should include asset diversification that includes United States Gold and Silver coins.
The time-tested European asset allocation formula is simple; 25% in stocks, 25% in Bonds, 25% in real estate, and 25% in Precious metals.
The precious metals part of a portfolio should include a balance between gold and silver and a balance between lower-grade coins, for protection, and higher-grade coins for growth.
CALL A SWISS AMERICA BROKER TODAY TO DISCUSS HOW WE CAN MAKE PRUDENCE PAY FOR YOU ... TOLL-FREE 800-289-2646.
* NOTE: All numbers in the above charts represent the ask to ask (retail) prices and do not include transaction costs, such as; commissions, spreads and fees. All investments have risk and past performance is not a guarantee of future performance.
RUNNING ON EMPTY -Peter G. Peterson
Sep 13, 2004
When Bush came to office in 2001, the 10-year budget balance was officially projected to be at a surplus of $5.6 trillion. But after three big tax cuts, the bursting of the stock-market bubble, and the devastating effects of 9/11on the economy, the surplus has evaporated, and the deficit is expected to grow to $ 5-trillion over the next decade. The domestic deficit is only the half of it. Given our $500 billion trade deficit and our anemic savings rate, we depend on an unprecedented $2 billion of foreign capital every working day. If foreign confidence were to wane, this could lead to the dreaded hard landing.
Peter G. Peterson--a lifelong Republican, chairman of the Blackstone Group, and former secretary of commerce under Nixon--shatters the myths with hard facts and a harrowing view of the twin deficit's real impact. Republicans and Democrats alike have mortgaged America's future through reckless tax cuts, out-of-control spending and Enron-style accounting in Congress. And the situation will only get worse as the Baby Boom generation begins to retire, making unprecedented demands on entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare. Despite what Bush says, we are on a path that could end in economic meltdown, and we simply cannot grow out of the deficit.
In Running On Empty, Peterson sounds the warning bell and prescribes a set of detailed solutions which, if implemented early, will prevent the need for draconian measures later. He takes us behind the politicians' smoke-and-mirror games, and forcefully explains what we must do to rescue the future of our country.
From Publishers Weekly
For years, Peterson, secretary of commerce under Nixon and author of Gray Down, has been a compelling Cassandra, warning that the mix of growing debt, an aging population, and deficits in Social Security and Medicare portend disaster. Now, he laments, Republicans pursue reckless supply-side economics and Democrats, assuming a repeal of Bush's tax cuts would enable new government spending, are unwilling to consider limits on entitlements.
Citing study after study, the author shows that it is a failure of leadership, not knowledge, that has let deficits loom. Beyond that, add the new burdens imposed by September 11 ï¿½ and the fact that European countries, aging like us, likely will have less money for security and international aid. Peterson attacks 10 partisan myths, among them that means-testing federal benefits will shred the safety net; that the elderly are poorer than children, that Americans are overtaxed and that using tax cuts to shrink government can work.
What went wrong? He blames interest groups, individualism, short-term it is and generational change.
Peterson offers concrete solutions: among them: index Social Security to prices, not wages; use the federal employees' health plan as a model; force Congress to include unfunded retirement obligations in its balance sheet; and pursue more nonpartisan politics, such as free TV time during campaigns.
A self-described "fat cat," Peterson is willing to bear an "affluence test" for Social Security; he challenges leaders to revive JFK's call for civic responsibility.
Locked in a Cosmic Battle With Islam -Alan Caruba
National Axiety Center (April 2004)
Americans are pragmatists. We are interested not only in how things work, but how we can improve them. We are fascinated with cars and with every kind of machine and gadget that make our lives easier as well as entertaining us with the leisure time they provide. If you want to find Americans, go to the mall.
Despite this, however, Americans can surely be rated as among the most religious people. The success of the film, "The Passion of the Christ", is ample testimony to that. The debate raging over the morality of same-sex marriage, the outcry against the removal of a monument depicting the Ten Commandments from a courthouse, and the continued opposition to abortion attest to the deep concern Americans have for moral issues.
America and other nations of the West are, however, locked in a cosmic battle with Islamic fundamentalists around the world who view Western civilization as a form of idolatrous barbarism. The attack on the World Trade Center was symbolic of the great battle being waged against us. To the Islamists, the towers represented the worship of materialism, of money and greed. To Islamï¿½s true believers, there is no validity in Judaism, Christianity, or any other religion. To them, idolatry is the most heinous sin and, if they must die to destroy us, they will do so.
Ian Buruma, the Luce Professor at Bard College, and Avishai Margalit, the Shulman Professor of Philosophy at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, explore this battle in a book. It is "Occidentalism: The West in the Eyes of Its Enemies" published by The Penguin Press ($21.95). It is a relatively short book, but one so packed with insight that the mind lingers over every sentence.
As the authors note, "Wars against the West have been declared in the name of the Russian soul, the German race, State Shinto, Communism, and Islam." The present "war on terrorism" should more accurately be called "the war on Islam" because we have been forced to defend ourselves again a large number of Islamic organizations waging this war. While we focus on al Qaeda, the creation of Osama bin Laden, there are dozens of comparable Islamic groups wreaking havoc in various parts of the world, from Israel to Indonesia, from Saudi Arabia to Morocco, from Spain to Iraq, from Afghanistan to Turkey, from Kenya to Russia.
It is a cosmic war pitting their belief that Islam is the only true religion and therefore the salvation of mankind against Western values of individual freedom, human rights, Capitalism, and Democracy. Those fighting this battle feel called by Allah, their god, to save the world.
Why? "When people are not only humiliated by foreign forces, but oppressed by their own government, they often retreat to the ï¿½inner lifeï¿½ of the spirit, pure and simple, where they can feel free from the corruption of power and sophistication," say the authors of "Occidentalism." Most certainly, the Arabs of the Middle East fit this description. So do Muslims in many other areas of the world. Though Islam has spread widely throughout the world, representing an estimated 1.3 billion people, not all Muslims subscribe to the battle being waged in its name, but all find in Islam the comfort of absolute certitude.
An earlier commentary of mine, "The Decline and Fall of Islam" ... FULL STORY
Liberals Politicizing 9/11 Is Damaging America's Security
By Gordon Bishop, AMERICAN DAILY
Liberal Democrats are viciously bashing President Bush because 9/ll awakened America to the start of World War III between radical Muslim terrorists and the free world founded on the Judeo-Christian ethic and morality.
The world leader of the War on Terrorism is President Bush, who is bringing representative governments to nations controlled by dictators, mass murderers, and torturers.
Osama bin Laden, who declared war on America on 9/11, and Saddam Hussein, who was the most ruthless madman in the Mideast, are just the beginning of a war pitting radical Muslim terrorists against Western Civilization.
Liberal Democrats just don't get it. They ignore the reality of 9/11 only because Bush is leading the war to save not just America, but Western Civilization as well.
This year's Presidential election will come down to two issues: The War on Terrorism and the War on Taxes that is destroying America's economy and families.
Liberal Democrats have no plan on either issue. They are committed to more government programs, and defending the attacks on our traditional institutions and culture.
If the liberals and terrorists win, it's all over for America and the 'rule of law.'
Liberal-driven anarchy will rule the day: Chaos and Mob Rule. It's already happening in California and other states over the issue of same-sex marriage. Damn the law! We'll do we want!
Anarchy has destroyed many nations over the past 2,000 years. Will America be the next to collapse?
STILL SPEWING OUT TERRORIST HATRED ON THIRD ANNIVERSARY OF 9/11
Jeremy Reynalds, JoyJuction.com
Sep 11, 2004
Three years after 9/11, a video available for download through a link on an Internet bulletin board service, regarded by many terror experts as being a prime means of communication for al Qaeda operatives makes an apparent attempt to justify the attacks.
The video pans across the sky and shifts to weapon-toting apparent Islamic militants standing against a backdrop of mountains. After that the video shows apparently dead, injured and traumatized victims of presumed brutality by America and its allies.
A video simulation then shows planes crashing into the World Trade Center. Voices can be clearly heard chanting "Allah Akbah" the Arabic for "God is great!"
Following that, the video then shifts to pictures and apparent profiles of the 19 hijackers. Once all the pictures of the terrorists appear on the screen, al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden's picture is also shown.
In addition to this video, the latest GIM al Qaeda message features pictures of the 19 hijackers interspersed with the decimated World Trade Center (their collective pictures are labeled "heroes") and a pictures of bin Laden and his colleagues. (That picture is named "lions.")
A few months ago, Yahoo's GIM group was known on line as Global Islamic Media. It changed to Global Islamic Media Centre, and then slightly altered its on line name to Global Islamic Media Center. After disappearing for a few weeks it reemerged as "Ilamislami."
The group posts all of its messages over a distinctive brown parchment background (apparently stored on the servers of Jihadunspun.com a controversial pro Islamic web site.
GIM initially achieved notoriety in part because in Dec. 2003, Islamic militants discussed the possibility of a terrorist attack designed to affect the Spanish general election.
After the bombings, which killed 200 people and injured 1,500, Spain's conservative party was defeated. Spain's new Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero who criticized President George W. Bush for the Iraq campaign, withdrew Spanish troops.
GIM's al Qaeda connection is routinely accepted by many analysts. Paul Eedle, a British investigative reporter who specializes in radical Islam, was interviewed by CNN in March. He commented, "The Global Islamic Media list .... puts out a stream of statements, 30 to 50 a month, explaining the group's strategy and claiming responsibility for its actions, including the Madrid (train) bombings ... "
According to Eedle, the Internet has been a wonderful creation for al Qaeda. "The Net creates a virtual meeting place, a glue that holds together al Qaeda, even though its leadership has been holed up in the mountains and is now surrounded."
Yahoo was not contacted for this story, but a few months ago after many requests for comment issued a statement which appears to be the company's standard response.
It came from Mary Osako, Mary Osako, Yahoo's Director of Communication. She said that those wishing to use Yahoo Groups "agree to not use the Service to upload, post, email, transmit or otherwise make available any content that is unlawful, harmful, threatening, abusive, harassing, tortious, defamatory, vulgar, obscene, libelous, invasive of another's privacy, hateful, or racially, ethnically or otherwise objectionable. When notified of content that may be in violation of our Terms of Service, we are committed to reviewing each report and taking appropriate action, generally within 24 hours."
However, Yahoo continues to allow Global Islamic Media to operate and that seems to show no signs of changing.
PRIORITIES: A SPIRITUAL LEADER'S PERSONAL LIFE
Rev. Steve Mathewson
What do my people need most from me as a pastor and Christian leader? Do they need me to preach more effectively? Do they need me to hone my administrative skills? Do they need me to concentrate on developing leaders? While these ministries are critical, a more foundational need lies underneath them.
Robert Murray McCheyne, a Scottish preacher who did not live to see his thirtieth birthday, hit the bull's-eye when he said: "My people's greatest need is my personal holiness." McCheyne's biographer, Andrew Bonar, observed that McCheyne's "whole ministry was little else than a giving out of his own inward life."
In God's design for Christian leadership, "being" precedes "doing." That is, "who you are" provides the foundation for "what you do." Your ministry consists in giving out of your inward life. The Apostle Paul reflects this design when he exhorts the Ephesian elders: "Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock" (Acts 20:28). Similarly, he tells Timothy to "pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching" (1 Timothy 4:16). A few lines earlier, in 1 Timothy 4:12, Paul breaks down the command "pay close attention to yourself" into five areas in which Timothy must provide a good example: speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity.
Pastors and leaders must wrestle with how to "flesh out" personal holiness in each of these areas. In this article, I want to explore the final two areas since Christian leaders and pastors often stumble in them: prayer (the way a leader expresses faith) and purity.
First, I carve out time in my schedule to pray. New Testament scholar D. A. Carson warns: "Much praying is not done because we do not plan to pray. . . . Paul's many references to his 'prayers' (e.g., Rom. 1:10; Eph. 1:16; 1 Thess. 1:2) suggest that he set aside specific times for prayer - as apparently Jesus himself did (Luke 5:16)." If I don't budget time for study, sermon preparation, leadership development, staff meetings, and worship planning, these responsibilities will get the short end of my time. So does prayer if I fail to build it into my schedule.
Like many pastors, I see my schedule change constantly, so I have to be creative in scheduling prayer times. For awhile, I set aside the hour from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. to pray for the ministry in which I am involved. Lately, I have moved it to 8:00 a.m. Whether I follow through or not depends to a large degree on whether I block out this time in my daily schedule. If I fail to plan, I plan to fail.
Another area to which leaders and pastors must pay close attention is personal purity. Purity starts by admitting vulnerability. While I have promised to be faithful to my wife, thinking or saying that I will never be unfaithful amounts to sheer arrogance. I know several Christians who have fallen into sexual immorality, and none of them ever expected it to happen. In each case, they got blind-sided by an emotional attraction conceived in a counseling situation or a work relationship. In each case, they assumed invincibility, not vulnerability.
Effective leaders pay close attention to their personal lives, including issues like prayer and purity. They focus on personal character because the stakes are high. Years ago, Puritan pastor Richard Baxter warned fellow pastors that the prince of darkness will do anything he can to entice a pastor to sin. Why? Baxter observed: "He knows what a rout he may make among them [God's people], if the leaders fall before their eyes." (5) Yes, my people's greatest need is my personal holiness!
Rev. Steve Mathewson is Senior Pastor of Dry Creek Bible Church, Belgrade, Montana. He also serves as an instructor at Montana Bible College, Bozeman, Montana.
FORMER TBN EMPLOYEE ALLEGES GAY TRYST WITH PAUL CROUCH -Christianity Today - 9/14/04
HOLDING LEADERS ACCOUNTABLE IN A CULTURE OF PEACE By Ken Sande, President, Peacemaker Ministries
It's not important to be happy, but to make others happy.
It's not important to be loved, but to love and be a blessing to others.
It's not important to enjoy, but to share.
It's not important to have your own way, but to deny yourself.
It's not important to find your life, but to lose it.
It's not important to seek your own satisfaction, but to be satisfied in satisfying others.
It's not important that God does our will, but that we do His.
It's not important to live long, but that our life has the right content.
It's not important what people think and say about us, but what we are before God.
It's not important what we do, but how and why we do it.
It's not important to have much knowledge, but to put what we know into practice.
It's not important how we appear, but how we are.
It's not important to avoid suffering, but that the suffering achieves its aim in us.
It's not important when we die, but whether we are ready to meet God.
ABOUT THE EDITOR
David M. Bradshaw is Editor of Real Money Perspectives, publisher of Rediscovering Gold in the 21st Century: The Complete Guide to the Next Gold Rush (7/01) and has been an economic commentator since 1987, when he produced the World Economic Perspectives radio show. In 1997, he produced a one-hour TV documentary, "Preparing Wisely for the Next Millennium," which was distributed free of charge at Blockbuster Video nationally. In 1999, he produced a one-hour radio special, "The Big Picture: The Shape of Things to Come" discussing geopolitical, economic and spiritual trends in the 21st Century. MORE ... NOTE: Youngest daughter Braida Zoe (7 months) is learning the importance of having a crash helmet -- a valuable habit for us all to remember!
DISCLAIMER: All of the information in this story is believed to be true, however errors are possible.
Past performance is no guarantee of future performance. All investments have risk.