Monday, December 31, 2007

Hillary Clinton Risked Life of Innocent Child

Photo: Chelsea Clinton and Sheryl Crow, Bosnia 1995

Hillary Clinton risked life and limb on official White House missions in the 1990s. On one mission, she had to make a hair-raising, "corkscrew" landing into Bosnia, capped with a sprint from the tarmac to escape and evade snipers. Wow, is that what happened to her hair?!

Ever the puckish First Lady and Presidential candidate, she said last Saturday night in Dubuque, Iowa, "I don't remember anyone offering me tea!" OMG, she is like so-o-o heroic!

"Clutch" Clinton was not alone on this dangerous March 1995 mission, or any other. And she didn't actually fly and land the plane, nor actually sprinted, but rather sat as a passenger and walked really fast. She had taken along funnyguy Sinbad, musician Sheryl Crow, and First Child Chelsea Clinton.

You read that right - Chelsea Clinton! Fifteen year old child, Chelsea Clinton!

President Bush has been chided for not sending his twin daughters into combat or even on "dangerous White House missions" (doesn't the Rio trip count?). But, Clutch Clinton was willing and eager to drag her minor child along into a war zone without any self defense training, without a weapon...nothing, just a babe in the woods.

If Hillary Clinton was willing to risk the life of her own 15 year old daughter, what kind of dumbass risks might she have in mind for the kids of other's who have voluntarily enlisted in the military, have received the proper training, and have been issued a weapon? The soldier in the photo indicates by crossing his fingers, that he is under duress in shaking the hand of Sen. Clinton, and that we should not trust Senator Clinton either. When it comes to trusting the judgement of one of the two, I'll trust the soldier.

Drudge Report/

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Calexico School District Boots Illegal Students

The Calexico, California school district, 120 miles east of San Diego, has taken drastic action to curb the attendance of crossborder students. School board officials have hired a photographer to document the faces of Mexican kids who cross the checkpoints to attend school illegally in the US.

Illegal immigrants have a right to an education in the US the Supreme Court has ruled, consequently schools cannot ask about residency or immigration status. The decision was originally intended to address the educational needs of the children of seasonal workers who would return to Mexico when the work ended. The children in question, however, do not fit the seasonal worker category. Their families live just across the border and for years have crossed the border for an education much better than what they would have received in Mexico, if any at all.

For the greater part of the history of the area, the practice was simply accepted because the crossborder students were few and posed no hardship to the school districts. As the residency on the Mexican side of the border increased, so did the crossborder student population. The Calexico citizens pointed out that neither US citizens, Mexican citizens, nor illegal immigrants can claim false residency in a school district.

Schools are funded through property taxes and the parents do not own property in Calexico and do not pay school taxes. That is unfair to the legal citizens of any school district. So, Calexico citizens asked the School District to address the situation and they decided to identify the offenders. The number of crossborder students has declined 5% in the past two years from 9,600 to 9,100 while the city population has grown by 3%.

Sweetwater Disttrict superintendent, Jesus Gandera, administers 44,000 students along the San Diego-Mexico border. He decries the action of Calexico as going too far, that "you're playing immigration agent." He's probably right. But, the crossborder students and their parents are playing thief.

Luis Villalobos of the El Paso Independent School Distict in Texas, says they send representatives to student's homes if they are suspicious. He said that snapping pictures of student violators would be a monumental, unproductive effort. I don't think a 5% drop in illegal student attendance is unproductive. It's what should happen in more border districts.

The truth is that Mexican children have crossed the 1,952 mile border to attend United States public schools for decades. Adequate records and statistics have never been kept. The growth of many border towns like Calexico has outstripped school resources, culminating in overcrowding, the construction of more classrooms and the proliferation of portable classrooms at local cost of $30 million. Finally, Calexico taxpayers were fed up with having their own children bussed across town because their neighborhood schools were full of interlopers, and demanded the Mexican students be booted.

Former Calexico mayor, Fernando Torres, was taken aback when told by the district that his grandchildren would be transferred to another school because there was no room in their neighborhood school. Torres said, "It's not right" for U.S. taxpayers to build classrooms in the US for illegal Mexican bordercrossers.

Personally, I don't care if Mexicans, or anyone else, come here for an education, or even medical care. I have a real problem when I and all other US citizens must pay for the whole boatload. If the parents of the bordercrossing students want their kids to have an education, then pay for it. I'm not opposed to legal arrangements made between the two nations. But not paying for services obtained by deception is theft, and I will not countenance that. It's rude and unneighbourly.

BreitBart/Associated Press

Or read the article at Indigo Continuum.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Sweet Death

The Israeli Army seized 6.5 tons of explosive material marked 'SUGAR'. The bags were labelled as aid from the European Union for Hamas controlled Gaza. The explosive material was actually saltpeter, black powder, Potassium Nitrate - KNO3.

The mineral salt is used for making bombs and as a homemade rocket accelerant. In civilized areas of the world, it is used as fertilizer to grow the crops that feed the hungry who are often Palestinians who use their KNO3 to kill Israelis and each other. Potassium nitrate is not generally used to sweeten coffee and tea, or to make donuts and candies.

The truck transport was stopped at an IDF checkpoint several weeks ago while in the occupied West Bank, as reported by Reuters. Military and economic restrictions were reinforced after the the inter-factional war last June in which Islamist Hamas captured the territory from the more, but not much more, secular Fatah.

The European Union supplies the greater part of humanitarian goods to the Gaza Strip. When informed of the six and a half tons of potentially deadly material, an EU official said,

"We are looking into this report ... If it is found to be accurate, this is an illegal act that should be condemned."
I'm heartened the EU is willing to stick their collective neck out and "condemn" the "illegal act." That will surely stop criminals from committing "illegal acts", because we all know it has always worked so well in the past.


The EU told the Jerusalem Post today that the fake sugar bags were not part of the EU aid program. They don't ship sugar, an EU official said.

"...the bags could not be confused with bona fide EU aid for several reasons: the EU does not export sugar as part of its aid to the Palestinians and food assistance to the PA - funneled through UNRWA or the World Food Program - clearly carries the 12-star symbol of the EU and the name of the European Commission on the bags."
The IDF released a photo of the potassium nitrate filled bags (left) and I have found a photo of a genuine bag for comparison (right).

H/T: Atlas Shrugs

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Fidel Castro - Morally Insane to the End

Fidel Castro wanted to cling to power for as long as there was power to cling to; ever since he was a young man he knew this. By the time of the Cuban Revolution in 1959, Castro had determined it was his "duty to fight for (socialist) goals or die in combat."

Now at 81 years of age, he conversely says, he did not want to stubbornly hold on to power in a letter written to the Cuban people read at this year's closing session of parliament, December 17th. After stubbornly clinging to power for almost fifty years, this admission seems just a tad bit disingenuous, I should think.

What doesn't seem disingenuous, but uncharacteristically candid, is this tid bit of honesty from Castro, "Let me add that I was [clinging to power] for a time, because of excessive youth and lack of conscience." He says he has long since outgrown the urge.

Who doesn't want to rule the world or some small part of it when they are young? It's the "lack of conscience" part that is important. Not many sociopaths ever come to grips with their personality disorder, much less admit to it. I am not in the least bit sure that Castro even understands what he has said about himself in this letter.

Sociopathic individuals were called, from the early 1900s, "psychopaths" . From the 1830s til then the disorder was known as "moral insanity." Castro fits the description for the morally insane, the psychopath, the sociopath, or whatever else we conjure up to call them. Personally, I like "morally insane." What are the characteristics of this kind of nut job? Here are a few from CalTech, Profile of the Sociopath web page:

Manipulative and Conning; Grandiose Sense of Self; Pathological Lying; Lack of Remorse, Shame or Guilt; Lack of Realistic Life Plan/Parasitic Lifestyle; Contemptuous of those who seek to understand them; Does not perceive that anything is wrong with them; Authoritarian; Secretive; Paranoid; Only rarely in difficulty with the law, but seeks out situations where their tyrannical behavior will be tolerated, condoned, or admired; Conventional appearance; Goal of enslavement of their victim(s); Exercises despotic control over every aspect of the victim's life; Has an emotional need to justify their crimes and therefore needs their victim's affirmation (respect, gratitude and love); Ultimate goal is the creation of a willing victim; Incapable of real human attachment to another; Unable to feel remorse or guilt; Extreme narcissism and grandiose; May state readily that their goal is to rule the world.

He writes in the letter that he "was not a person clinging to power." Although Fidel ceded provisional government control to his brother, Raul, 17 months ago, Fidel continues as the head of the Council of State, the highest governing body. He has vowed he will not stand in the way of younger leaders, however, Fidel's name is on the Jan. 20 election ballot, supported by the Communist Party. Despite all claims to the contrary, Fidel Castro, in the twilight of his life, appears to be an aging sociopath clinging to power til his dying breath.

Yahoo News/ Associated Press

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Terrorism Can Be Humorous -

sixteen centuries later.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Tater Tot Attack in Spud Central

It was good that Firefighters of Boise, Idaho Station 8 were already in their turnouts on Christmas Eve. When they returned from a medical call, they saw a glow emanating from the station house kitchen.

Before the call came in, reports The Oregonian, three crewmen were cooking up a mess of Tater Tots and apparently forgot to activate the computerized safety system which shuts off all appliances automatically when the firefighters are called to duty. The highly trained and buffed fire guys are unsure if they logged onto the computer system. An investigation is on-going.

The fire was quickly extinguished when the station crew used a hose from one of their Engines. The cabinets were burned, and there was smoke and water damage. The economic damage is not available.

"We are still trying to determine exactly what happened," Assistant Fire Chief Dave Hanneman said (great stories require great quotes.) No fireman were injured in the incident.

The Tater Tots were a total loss.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Jesus is the Reason for the Season

Christmas is a time of celebration, a time to be with family and friends, a time to ponder the possibilities of peace and love among all mankind. In recent years however, Christmas has been under attack by secularists and atheists demanding that Christmas be stopped, all reference to Jesus be banned for fear that some may feel left out. This Christmas season, there are even those who want religious prayers be excluded from celebrations held in Churches and Cathedrals. After all, they say, Christmas should be inclusive; prayers only serve to exclude the non-religious. Why would such people even be in a Church or Cathedral since they know there would be Christian prayers?

Two years ago, Karina Rollins, an Atheist like me, wrote an article for FrontPageMagazine. In it, she excoriates those who wish to destroy not just Christmas, but Western Civilization itself. She holds, as I do, that Christianity is the foundation of our civilization, without Christianity we would perish as a people and nation. Whether one believes Jesus to be the Son of God, Son of Man, the Savior, the Messiah, God made flesh, or a very wise Rabbi, a philosopher, we cannot deny that Jesus was very real, and for 2000 plus years, has been the major influence of all that has come after Him in the Western world. We also cannot convincingly deny that, although Christmas usurped pagan celebrations, it is today a primarily Christian celebration, but one that all people are welcome to join - religious and secular together, Christ and Santa Claus. This year, Muslims in Turkey and Hindus in India will be joining the Christmas festivities simply because Christmas is fun and happy; it's warm and fuzzy, and who doesn't like warm and fuzzy?
Atheists for Christmas

By Karina Rollins 12/14/2005

Though the leftist sport of this December is to demonstrate smug denials of any “war on Christmas,” the contemptible accounts of the Left’s attempts to kill Christmas – and the government’s appeasement of them – are a well-documented refrain: kids forbidden to talk about baby Jesus or Santa Claus in school; teachers instructed to avoid Christmas-themed jewelry; non-Christians who claim their rights are violated by a manger scene; and the censorship of virtually any mention of the word “Christmas.” Devout Christians are rightly offended.

I, an atheist, am just as outraged.

Every American should be, because there is much more at stake here than Christian sensibilities. The Left’s compulsive dedication to ridding the country of Nativity displays and turning “Merry Christmas!” into a slogan of minority oppression is not just a war on Christians, but – far worse – on Western culture itself.

Christmas hasn’t been a solely religious holiday for some time. What irks many devout Christians is that those who attend church only on Christmas Eve, who get more excited about the fat man in the red suit than the carpenter from Nazareth, and who find the idea of a supernatural Creator who hears our prays preposterous, have laid claim to Christmas as theirs, too.

While Christians celebrate the birth of Christ at Christmas time, the holiday has developed into a Western tradition with many aspects – as faithful Christians lament – utterly devoid of religious content. Many devout Christians – some sport bumper stickers of Santa Claus crossed out with a big X – feel that for large segments of society, the meaning of Christmas has become watered down to a godless excess of presents, food, and glittery lights.

It has. Isn’t it wonderful?

Atheists like me can go to church concerts to rejoice in the glorious music of the season, delight in picking out special gifts for family and friends, and wish everyone a “Merry Christmas.”

But it’s much more than a gorgefest with angel decorations. Just because atheists don’t believe in a God in Heaven doesn’t mean we can’t embrace the Christmas message of brotherhood and peace on earth. While we don’t believe in the supernatural, we can recognize Christianity’s invaluable contribution to human love. That is worthy of celebration every year.

And while a handful of Christian evangelicals wants to ban Rudolph and Santa, my faithless Christmas celebration is in no danger from them. But it is in danger from the Left.

Unhappy that this country is built on Western and Christian values and customs, the Left seeks to abolish any public celebration of Christmas – religious or not – by insisting that holidays of other religions around the world be treated as equal to Christmas simply because they happen to take place in December.

Which is why we have schizophrenic displays of Christmas trees with giant Menorahs next to them (Jews laugh at the idea of Hanukkah as the “Jewish Christmas”), office Christmas parties must be called “holiday” parties, and the Christmas-oriented “Seasons Greetings” and “Happy Holidays” have been perverted into including everything from Ramadan to the phony and racially separatist “Kwanzaa.”

Surely there are some Hindu and Buddhist holy days in December – what’s next, statues of Vishnu and Buddha draped with tinsel and blinking lights?

The problem is that the nonsensical sensitivity sentiment has spread from the extreme Left into much of the mainstream population. Still wanting to acknowledge Christmas, however, Americans devise ways of doing so without admitting it.

Perfectly nice, normal people send cards each December without ever using the word “Christmas” (including, famously, the president and first lady). Others hang fir branches instead of putting up a tree and claim they’re merely being “seasonal.” They decorate their homes with red bows, light candles, and prepare festive meals, claiming they’re doing so to celebrate the winter solstice. Businesses send out cards to clients that mention only “success in the new year.”

What none of them wants to admit is that the one and only reason everyone is slurping eggnog and trudging through over-crowded shopping malls is a man named Jesus born two millennia ago (whether you believe he is Christ or a mortal) – not the Macabees, and not Mohammed. They pretend there is a “holiday season,” as the Christmas season is now called, which celebrates holidays from different faiths. They have all succumbed to the grotesque notion that any celebration by a majority rightly offends the minority.

Not one of them would, of course, expect the Israelis to put up Christmas trees in downtown Tel Aviv in December, so that the Christians living there don’t feel left out. Not one would go to a Jewish friend’s Hanukkah party and expect him to call it a holiday party. Not one would move to Morocco and expect Thanksgiving decorations during Ramadan. Not one would dream of calling the Hanukkah Menorah the “seasonal candelabra.”

It’s not majorities that leftists despise – it’s Western majorities. And when, due to their fraudulent campaign, Western people in a Western country must worry that “Merry Christmas” will be taken as an insult to non-Westerners or secularists, it’s time for every citizen of that country – Christian, Jew, Muslim, atheist, or Hare Krishna – to fight this abomination.

We must all help protect the right of Christians to sing “Silent Night” publicly at a Nativity scene – because if they can’t do that, there’s no telling what the rest of us won’t be able to do next.

Karina Rollins wishes all readers of this column a Merry Christmas.
"Christmas famously "comes but once a year," writes John Steele Gordon in the Wall Street Journal. He goes on to elucidate a brief history of Christmas from it's believed miraculous origin through the blending of pagan and Christian celebrations to what we have today. It's a very interesting treatise. But the story still concludes that without the birth of one single baby 2000 years ago, we would not have Christmas. (Read more at Indigo Continuum.)

Like it or not, Jesus is the reason for the season. Merry Christmas.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Pelosi Revelation

Nancy Pelosi, Democrat Speaker of the House of Representatives, has demonstrated once again that she is one of the most incredible (defined as so implausible as to elicit disbelief) people in Washington, D.C. And I, for one, was astonished by what she had to say.

Speaking of Republicans and the Battle for Iraq, Pelosi said,

They like this war. They want this war to continue ... We thought that they shared the view of so many people in our country that we needed a new direction in Iraq ... But the Republicans have made it very clear that this is not just George Bush's war. This is the war of the Republicans in Congress.
The ever squishy Speaker then modified her remarks.

I shouldn't say they like the war ... They support the war, the course of action that the president is on.
But that wasn't the astonishing part. What Miss Nancy said next was astonishing. For all the lunacy demonstrated by this woman, begrudgingly I have given her credit for being a grown-up who, as a grown-up, must recognize that other grown-ups do, in fact, disagree on a panoply of subjects. After saying she has finally recognized that other people - Republicans, specifically - actually support the Battle for Iraq, support President Bush, support the troops, and support the idea of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for everyone, contrary to her own positions, Miss Nancy said,

And that was a revelation to me, because I thought the American people's voices were so - and still are - so strong in this regard [i.e. in total opposition to the President, any war to defeat totalitarian theology, and unswerving support for freedom, liberty, in short, all the stuff that makes life worth living.]
I am astonished the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, has only now realized that not everyone agrees with her. I am astonished she has only now admitted others actually have opinions opposing hers. I am astonished she has only now realized the Battle for Iraq and the World Terror War is actually supported, even if very reluctantly, by the majority of citizens - the only plausible explanation for its continuance. I am astonished by the arrogance and naivete of the holder of one of the most powerful and influential offices in this great land. I am astonished that she still has supporters.


The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

The Dark Ages of Islam is Now

Muslims are loathe to criticize other Muslims no matter how heinous the offending act. More and more of late, members of the umma are willing to step up and speak out about the violations of decency perpetrated by others of their faith.

Today, in my home town newspaper, The Orange County Register, Syed Hussaini offers a rare critique.

The 'dark ages of Islam'

Islam is a religion of compassion and mercy but when one looks at the recent behavior of Muslims in Sudan or Saudi Arabia, there is little evidence to support the religion's tenets. It just goes to show simply a name or a label does not make a good Muslim, much less a good human being.

These are the dark ages of Islam. Whereas the purpose of the religion is to enlighten and guide people, it has become a tool to suppress debate and discussion. Only supreme ignorance can justify the sentencing of a teacher for naming a teddy bear "Muhammad" or for a victim of rape in Saudi to be publicly flogged because "she brought it upon herself" by her attire.

– Syed Hussaini of Anaheim Hills
The letter from Syed Hussaini is a very welcome addition to the struggle against the stupidities offered by Hamas, Pres. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (blog page), Osama bin Laden, and a whole host of unsavory character.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Mentally Healthy People are Republicans

The Gallup Poll has given us proof positive that liberalism is, in fact, a mental illness. The report, Republicans Report Much Better Mental Health Than Others, by Frank Newport and published today says that Republicans are "significantly" - 58% - more likely to believe their mental health is excellent.

In telephone interviews of 4,014 adults, 18 years old and up, in four surveys from November 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007, 43% of Independent respondents rated their mental well being as excellent while only 38% of Democrats thought themselves sane.

Let me restate the above for my Liberal readers:
1. nearly 2/3 of Republicans are normal, sane individuals;
2. almost half of Independents are other than nuts (mostly confused);
3. Democrats are overwhelmingly loony-tunes by 62%, a paltry 1/3 (38%!) of Democrats personally consider their own mental health as "excellent". The Thirty Percenters are obviously deluded.

Further, the findings hold true beyond party affiliation into the categories of income, age, sex, religious service attendance, and education. See the charts here.

The report concludes:

Correlation is no proof of causation, of course. The reason the relationship exists between being a Republican and more positive mental health is unknown, and one cannot say whether something about being a Republican causes a person to be more mentally healthy, or whether something about being mentally healthy causes a person to choose to become a Republican (or whether some third variable is responsible for causing both to be parallel).

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Democrat Debate Captioned & More

Just a little silliness in answer to a photo caption challenge from Mike's America:

Geez! Chewing gum and clapping hands is really hard!

Responding to Wolf Blitzer's question, 'What was the most profound event in your life?, Sen. John Edwards reenacts the time he saved Tinkerbell's life.

While clapping to the beat of the music, Senator John Edwards couldn't overcome his extreme whiteness.

Captioning work done with the help of Big Huge Labs/flickr.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Clinton Seeds Campaign Audiences with Spontaneous Questions

Hillary Clinton was campaigning in Newton, Iowa this past Tuesday, November 6. She and her aides were at a biodiesel fuel plant to introduce her energy plan. The usual media suspects were there - New York Times, LA Times, AP, CNN, and Grinnell College student Muriel Gallo-Chasanoff.

Who is Grinnell College student Muriel Gallo-Chasanoff, you ask? According to Scarlett & Black, the Grinnel College newspaper, she was one of the Clinton campaign's "question plants" at the biodiesel plant that day. She had been approached by Clinton aides before the event began and was given a question to ask when the Senator spontaneously called upon her during the Q & A. Some of the questions, said Muriel were "canned ... One of the senior staffers told me what [to ask]."

Before the event began, a Clinton staff member approached Gallo-Chasanoff and was requested to ask a specific question after Clinton’s speech. Clinton did call upon the hapless and victimized Muriel and began her canned response by saying that young people often ask that question.

Well, DUH! If the aides give the questions out to audience shills, of course the question will often be asked. No surprise there.

This episode does recall an earlier episode almost exactly one month before, in October, when Clinton was campaigning in New Hampton, Iowa. Nashua resident, Randall Rolph questioned Clinton's vote to declare the Iranian Army a terrorist organization; had she not learned anything from having voted war authorization in Iraq?

The Senator from New York thanked Rolph for the question, then accused Rolph of being a plant because she had been asked similar questions in other venues. Rolph held his ground saying he had done his homework and the question was 100% his, forcing Clinton to apologize for being so very rude by accusing him of being a question plant.

One month ago, Hillary Clinton accused a man of being a shill and was very indignant about it. Now she has been caught employing audience shills and she's very indignant about it. There's a lesson to be learned here, but, for the life of me, I just can't put my finger on it. Hmmmm....

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Fair Anti-Imigration Laws

Illegal immigration to the United States of America has surpassed epidemic proportions. With something between 12 million and 30 million illegal individuals in this country, new laws are required to deal with the intolerable circumstances.

These ideas should be seriously considered as future law in the U.S.:

1) The immediate expulsion of any alien the presence of whom the government deems objectionable.

2) Aliens may be excluded from the country if their presence upsets the equilibrium of the national demographics. When aliens are deemed detrimental to economic or national interests, when they have broken laws, they should be jailed or deported.

3) Illegal immigration should be a felony. Any citizen who helps illegals enter the country should be themselves considered criminals. A citizen who marries an alien with the sole objective of helping the alien live in the country should be subject to five years in prison. And no alien may engage in political affairs, in any manner.

4) If an alien wishes to reside in this country, they must have a guaranteed job or be financially independent, and must prove an income from abroad consisting of pensions or investments four hundred times the monthly minimum wage.

5) We welcome only aliens who are useful to society.

6) Only citizens by birth or naturalization and citizen associations shall have the right to own land, water, and their accessories, or to have mining or ground water concessions. The government can concede the same rights to legal aliens if the government can verify they will respect the property as nationals would, and not invoke the protection of their home governments. The penalty for violating the terms of concession should be the loss of concession benefits and privileges.

7) No alien should be granted land, water, or mineral concessions within 100 miles of land borders, and 50 miles of coastal borders. Within these zones, no aliens should be permitted to acquire direct ownership of land or water for any reason.

8) Citizens will be preferred to aliens in equality of circumstances, for all classes of concessions and all employment, duties, or commissions of government for which the quality of citizenship is not indispensable.

9) In time of peace, no alien may serve in the Army, or in police or public security forces. To belong actively to the Army in time of peace, or to the Navy or the Air Force at any moment, and discharge any duty or commission in them, one is required to be a citizen by birth. The same quality is indispensable for captains, pilots, owners, machinists, mechanics, and in general for all personnel who staff any ship or aircraft that carries the National flag or merchant insignia. Also, citizenship by birth is necessary to exercise the responsibilities of port captain, and all the services of director of an airport.

Difficult times require difficult decisions to be made and sometimes harsh laws must be enacted. Some readers may think the above suggestions are too harsh and cannot work because they are too draconian. However, each of the nine suggestions are already successfully executed laws.

In fact, each of the above are laws of the Constitution of the United States of Mexico.

Read the entire ridiculously long Mexican Constitution at Indigo Continuum.

Original news source:
NewsMax, George Putnam, One Reporter’s Opinion — Mexican Laws Are Strict on Illegals

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Islam is Peace / World in Pieces

Original graphic courtesy of new-blogger Kafir Canada via Gates of Vienna.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Westboro Church Found Guilty of Being Stupid

Westboro Baptist Church and the Rev. Fred Phelps were slapped today with $10.9 million penalty for being stupid ( update: $2.9 million in compensatory damages plus $8 million in punitive damages.) It's about time, too. Phelps and his inbred family have been desecrating the funerals of the Honored Dead for too many years while hiding behind the First Amendment's rights to free speech and religious freedom.

The Southern Poverty Law Center set the example in 2ooo when they successfully sued an American neo-nazi group who also claimed First Amendment rights as a church to conduct hate fests and spew their filth. That group was put out of business and had to sell all of their real estate to meet the judgement.

Kansas church liable in gay Marine funeral protest
Wed Oct 31, 2007 4:21pm EDT
By John Hurdle

BALTIMORE, Oct 31 (Reuters) - A jury on Wednesday ordered a Kansas church to pay $2.9 million in compensatory damages to relatives of a gay U.S. Marine after church members cheered his death at his funeral.

The jury in federal court determined that the Westboro Baptist Church based in Topeka, and three of its principals had invaded the privacy of the dead man's family and inflicted emotional distress when they protested at his funeral last year.

The soldier's death was God's punishment on America for tolerating homosexuality, the church's members said.

Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder died in combat in Iraq in March 2006. The Westboro Church was sued by his father, Albert Snyder of York, Pennsylvania. The case was the first civil suit against the church, which has demonstrated at some 300 military funerals in the last two years.

The church, which is unaffiliated to any major denomination, is headed by Rev. Fred Phelps who has been waging a one-man war against homosexuality for years. Most members of the church belong to his extended family.
Like Al Capone found out, you can't escape the long arm of the righteous law. Capone was guilty of numerous murders, but evidence was sparse. So the Feds got him on tax evasion. Westboro Church was well within it's rights under the First Amendment vis-a-vis the government, but they afoul of the rights of the individual citizen and their right to privacy.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Barack Obama - No Flag Pin, No Hand on Heart, Ultra-Loyal Patriot

Barack Hussein Obama, the different kind of Democrat, is apparently the different kind of loyal American, and the different kind of patriot, too.

Seems the different kind of patriotic, loyal, Democrat American candidate for the Presidency of the United States of America doesn't wear flag lapel pins, salute the flag, or place the right hand over the heart during the playing of the National Anthem, The Star Spangled Banner ... Oh, say can you see? Not even when it's at Sen. Tom Harkin's Steak Fry on September 17 in Indianola.

Not even if there is a U.S. Code that is compiled by the Office of the Law Revision Counsel of the United States House of Representatives. The Flag Code, United States Code, Title 36, Sec. 171, reads:

§171. Conduct during playing [National Anthem]
During rendition of the national anthem when the flag is displayed, all present except those in uniform should stand at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart. Men not in uniform should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart. Persons in uniform should render the military salute at the first note of the anthem and retain this position until the last note. When the flag is not displayed, those present should face toward the music and act in the same manner they would if the flag were displayed there.
Thanksgiving is coming up in a few weeks. Don't be surprised if the differently patriotic, loyal Democrat American Barack Hussein Obama declares that a true American doesn't eat turkey, cranberries, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie, and that tiny marshmallow and fruit cocktail in the gooey sweet stuff thing that nobody knows the name of, but everybody goes back for seconds.

My goodness! What else can possibly make Barack Hussein Obama even more loyal and patriotic than a steel worker with a Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer sign on the wall next to his pool table - dissing Mom, apple pie, hot dogs with mustard and sauerkraut, and John Deere riding lawn mowers?

I'm not sure Obama can get anymore loyal and patriotic without looking ridiculous and just plain stupid. But, I'm willing to let him give it a go.


Original photo:

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Rep. Pete Stark says President Bush Amused by US Military Deaths

Representative Peter Stark, D-Calif., 13th district displayed a disgusting mean-spiritedness today after the House of representatives failed to override the President's veto of the SCHIP bill. We have all become accustomed to the low brow rhetoric of contempt coming from the liberal leftists on Capital Hill nowadays, but Stark's comments are inexcusable.

Shortly after the vote, Rep. Stark said in front of cameras, the public, the American people, MSNBC, God, and everybody,

"You don't have money to fund the war or children, but you're going to spend it to blow up innocent people if we can get enough kids to grow old enough for you to send to Iraq to get their heads blown off for the president's amusement."

People can have differences of opinion and Stark certainly is entitled to his. But, his comment today goes far beyond a difference of opinion. It is vulgar. It is disgusting. It is childish. It is so many words that in my own anger I cannot even think of them. Saying the President wants our Soldiers, Marines, Airmen, Sailors, and Coast Guardsmen to be killed, that he gets his jollies by having their "heads blown off" is beyond any degree of decency.

Stark is disgrace and should be condemned and censured. The Democratic Party and leaders should also condemn Pete Stark and do so immediately. Democrat rhetoric has long ago crossed the line of common sense and any form of good manners and decency. If the remarks of Pete Stark are not condemned by the Democrat leadership, and don't hold your breath, then the whole of the Democrat Party needs to be condemned. Stark, at the very least, owes the American public an apology. Better would be a letter of resignation effective immediately.

Goddamn Pete Stark. Goddamn anyone who does not Goddamn Pete Stark.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Monday, October 01, 2007

My Father Died - An Obituary

Joseph F. Buda
3/5/22 - 9/27/07

Members of the Greatest Generation were being killed at a rate of 1000 per day during World War II. Sixty years later those who survived the carnage are still dying 1000 per day. Last Thursday, my father was one of those who rejoined his comrades in arms.

Joseph Buda was many things to all those who knew him. He was a devoted husband to his wife of 64 years, 11 months, Margaret. He was the eldest brother to Robert Buda, Betty Rose Beets, Elsie Steinwandt, Wallace Buda, and Ernest Buda. He was a father and provider to his eight children: Susan, Ron, Bunny, Brian, Merrianne, Kevin, Patty, and Becky. In his later years, he enjoyed his 17 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren.

Joe started his long journey in Michigan, the first son of immigrant parents. He graduated high school in a class of 6 students. He left the family farm for the lights of the big city. He initially worked in a machine shop making left-hand springs for British Spitfire airplane engines. Within months, Pearl Harbor was bombed, war was declared and Joe enlisted in the U.S. Navy where he served as a Machinist Mate 1st Class in the South Pacific aboard the Destroyer U.S.S. Converse from 1942-45, participating in several of the great naval battles to defeat Imperial Japan. During the war, Joe married his sweetheart, Margaret in 1942.

When he left the Navy in 1948, Dad worked as an assembler for Ford Motor Co. where he was fired. He then walked across the street and was hired to work the night shift at Chevrolet Motors. When he left that job, Dad went into dairy farming during the mornings and evenings while during the day he worked as a cabinet maker to pay for the farm and provide for his family which had grown to three children. In the mid-1950s, Joe and Margaret, gave birth to a physically handicapped child. For the health of the child, the family (now increased by that child plus one more child) moved to Auburn, Ca. to manage the turkey ranch on Lone Star Road owned by sister Elsie's husband. While there, the Joe Buda family grew by two more children.

Leaving the turkey business, Dad worked through the local Carpenter's Union as a Journeyman Carpenter. He helped build many of the houses in Auburn and surrounding towns. He also worked a few years building the California's water storage system of dams. Dad and Mom also had their eighth child during the Union years. When he left the Union, Dad worked freelance and eventually operated his own company, Joe Buda Construction.

He loved to work the land. Dad would plant a vegetable garden every year with tomatoes, squash, corn, beans, and many others that we kids often hated. But, he would have us out in the garden with him weeding, spreading compost, and picking. He showed us the wondrous tastes of fresh picked vegetables while working right there in his garden.

Dad also loved the Pioneer Methodist Church where he often volunteered time for committees and activities. Dad gave freely of his construction skills when the Church needed repair. Not a man comfortable speaking in public, he would read the Scripture because it served his beloved Lord and Savior.

Dad was a collector. He collected stamps from all over he world, and Indian arrowheads in Michigan and the Auburn area before it was illegal to do so. He would often display the arrowheads at the Auburn Museum. Dad was always a writer of poetry and prose. He wrote a book, "Hell in Paradise" about his experiences in the Pacific during WWII. At the time of his death, Dad was writing a journal about growing old, his thoughts on death, and reflections on his life.

He would tease and tell the same favorite joke dozens of times to anyone who would listen. In the very early morning hours, just before sunrise, Dad was teasing the nurses in the ICU. He asked for his socks to be taken off his feet. When the socks were removed, his Earthly journey ended. Dad died.

Progress in Iraq

Observing the mainstream media, one might think that Iraq has dropped off the face of the planet. Military deaths are down, civilian deaths are down, talk of civil war is down; Iraqi enlistments in the military and police are up, local Iraqi faith in local abilities to confront al-Qaida and insurgents is up, school enrollment and attendence is up - not bad for a failed policy.

• On Monday came news that U.S. military deaths in Iraq fell to 64 in September, the fourth straight drop since peaking at 121 in May and driving the toll to a 14-month low.

• Civilian deaths also have plunged, dropping by more than half from August to 884. Remember just six months ago all the talk of an Iraqi "civil war"? That seems to be fading.

• The just-ended holy month of Ramadan in Iraq was accompanied by a 40% drop in violence, even though al-Qaida had vowed to step up attacks.

• Speaking of al-Qaida, the terrorist group appears to be on the run, and possibly on the verge of collapse — despite making Iraq the center of its war for global hegemony and a new world order based on precepts of fundamentalist Islam.

• Military officials say U.S. troops have killed Abu Usama al-Tunisi, a Tunisian senior leader of al-Qaida in Iraq who was responsible for bringing foreign fighters into the country. Not surprisingly, the pace of foreign fighters entering Iraq has been more than halved from the average of 60 to 80 a month.

• Last month, 1,200 Iraqis waited patiently in line in Iraq's searing heat to sign up to fight al-Qaida. They will join an estimated 30,000 volunteers in the past six months — a clear sign the tide has turned in the battle for average Iraqis' hearts and minds.

• Finally, and lest you think it's all death and destruction, there's this: Five million Iraqi children returned to school last week, largely without incident, following their summer vacations.

None of this, of course, is accidental. The surge of 28,500 new troops announced by President Bush last February, and put in place in mid-June by Gen. Petraeus, seems to have worked extraordinarily well. Al-Qaida, though still a potent foe capable of committing mass atrocities, has been backpedaling furiously.
The Democrat Party is very upset by the obvious good news and is also backpedaling like crazy. After declaring that if President Bush doesn't get the troops out of Iraq by the time "I'm President," Nanny Hillary said, "I will." Except for the fringe candidates, no one from either major party is saying the troops will be out of Iraq before 2013.

Investor's Business Daily

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Global Warming and Evolution

Mother Goose & Grimm


The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Republicans Have Never Done Any Good - Right?

In the non-stop onslaught of Liberal rants, harangues, and outright lies from the Democrat Party vis e vis the Republican Party, it's oft times difficult to immediately recall the truth about their erstwhile nemesis. I find that committing just a few facts to heart to use at appropriate moments goes a long way in throwing a monkey wrench into the well oiled, yet congealed, liberal mindset.

Founded by abolitionists, the Republican Party has had a 150 year history of fighting for Civil Rights. In contrast, the Democratic Party's active opposition to Civil Rights gave rise to the Ku Klux Klan, Black Codes, Jim Crow Laws and other repressive legislation which resulted in the multitude of murders, lynchings, mutilations, and intimidations (of thousands of black and white Republicans). On the issue of slavery, Democrats gave their lives to expand it while the Republicans gave their lives to ban

While Democrats were busy passing laws to hurt blacks, Republicans devoted their time to passing laws to help blacks. Republicans were primarily responsible for the following Civil Rights legislation:

1. The Emancipation Proclamation
2. The 13th Amendment
3. The 14th Amendment
4. The 15th Amendment
5. The Reconstruction Act of 1867
6. The Civil Rights of 1866
7. The Enforcement Act of 1870
8. The Forced Act of 1871
9. The Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871
10. The Civil Rights Act of 1875
11. The Freeman Bureau
12. The Civil Rights Act of 1957
13. The Civil Rights Act of 1960
14. The United States Civil Rights Commission

They also gave strong bi-partisan support and sponsorship for the
following legislation

15. The Civil Rights Act of 1964
17. The Voting Rights Act of 1965
18. The 1968 Civil Rights Acts
19. The Equal Opportunity Act of 1972
20. Goals and Timetables for Affirmative Action Programs
21. Comprehensive Employment Training Act of 1973
22. Voting Rights Act of Amendment of 1982
23. Civil Rights Act of 1983
24. Federal Contract Compliance and Workforce Development Act of 1988

The Democrats opposed all of the above and to this day refuse to acknowledge their shameful past. ... History speaks for itself. Labels have changed, but Republican Party ideals have not. As noted writer Thomas Sowell once said,
"If you have always believed that everyone should play by the same rules and be judged by the same standards, that would have gotten you labeled a radical 50 years ago, a liberal 25 years ago, and a racist today."

Republican Party ideals are just that - ideals. They represent the goal. The ideal is not concretized law that cannot be violated under pain of some god-awful punishment, rather a point at which to aim out sights. The Republican ideals are violated in a myriad of ways nearly everyday, but at least the ideals are bigger and grander than doing whatever is expedient today, tomorrow be damned. And people still believe in the larger truths espoused therein.

Beyond higher taxes, punishing the rich for their success, equality trumps freedom and liberty in all things, facts are lies, opposition to capital punishment for killers, and the righteousness of killing babies, I have a hard time determining exactly what are the ideals of the Democrat Party. Even when I was a Democrat, I had no idea what the higher principles of the Party of the People were. If anyone knows what positive ideals Democrats hold dear yesterday, today, tomorrow, I would be more than happy to publish then here without comment. Anyone?

Republican Voices - Hate mail

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

HillaryCare, My Sister, and Me ... and Everyone Else

My younger sister, Indigo Rose, wrote in response to the last article on HillaryCare:

I don't understand how a person could be carrying insurance BEFORE looking for a job? Most of us work to get the insurance benefit. Rural area, State of California, we share the cost of $925.10/mo for 2 people (our share $276- and it raises 6% in January). A family plan is $1,202.63/mo right now.

After a visit to British Columbia in the 1990's the Canadian's were telling us to DO WHATEVER NECESSARY TO NEVER ALLOW UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE!!! The wait for surgery, any surgery... tonsils, heart.., took too long. Lives were being lost.
I got carried away with a 'short' response.


Your concern is a common one and one with which we should all be very clear.

Currently, as you state, most workers obtain their insurance through their employer. In my case, the employer pays 100% of the insurance premium while I pay a small deductible - $15 office visit, $25 prescription drug, $200 ER usage, $2000 hospitalization. Of course, these are not the actual costs of the medical services, but merely the part I pay; the insurance company pays the difference.

Our Dad paid all of the insurance premiums while he worked in the late 20th century. It wwas expensive for the time, but everyone paid their own way. During the 1980s, employers could not afford to pay larger salaries to everybody, so they began offering health and dental care as inducements to work for company X, rather than company Y. Soon, employer paid health care was assumed to be a "right" instead of the benefit it truly was.

As the cost of health care increased for employers, many companies began transferring a portion of the cost to the employee - the deductible. However, employees had become accustomed to health insurance paid by others and the concept that health care is a right had taken firm hold. Employers began lobbying Congress to help them out with tax breaks. This action got government into the mix.

Currently, health care and health insurance as a right guaranteed by the Constitution (...provide for the common Welfare...) to all persons in America is a belief that will not be easily debunked, if it's at all possible. Employers have successfully transferred the responsibility from the employee to the employer and finally to the government. Under government auspices, health care is moving toward not just a right guaranteed to the citizens, but an obligation of each citizen. The responsibility has come full circle, but where it was once a free choice, it will be a government requirement for living here like paying taxes. Most assuredly there will eventually be penalties for not having health insurance.

Hillary Clinton's plan would require all workers have a health identification card much like a license - hunting, fishing, driving, etc. Without the health care license, a prospective employee would not be eligible for employment. Conceivably, this license could become the standard ID used for all transactions, especially if our individual genetic code is used as our ultimate identifier, much as fingerprinting is used today. Let's be very honest here, Hillary Clinton is not a Democrat, she is not a Socialist. Hillary Clinton is a Communist and complete control of our lives is the ultimate goal to be achieved through incremental 'give-backs' by the citizenry to the central government.

I know this sounds very paranoid and Big Brother-ish, but it's not unprecedented. The Social Security card was not supposed to be used as a primary ID, but that is what has happened and is now issued at birth. The drivers license was never supposed to used as a primary ID, but it is. Credit cards definitely were never meant to be used as a primary ID, but try renting a DVD without one.

Our medical records have been the last of our private data that is private. Under universal heath care, like all of our other private information, the medical records of all Americans will be available to anyone with the money to purchase access. Supermarkets keep records on what we eat through in-store discount membership cards. By signing on to a political party roll, we identify our neighborhoods enabling political operatives to target likely voters per household rather than general geographic area. Credit card companies and banks track every purchase, location, and the time the issued card is used. Our locations are tracked when we use our automated toll-pass. Phone companies know where we are and with whom we talk every time we make a phone call; some folks even advocate issuing a "phone-number-for-life" to every newborn child. Even information on our pets is compiled when we use the Petco and PetSmart discount cards and our pets can be tracked by satellite by use of an implanted chip; the same chips are being touted as an anti-kidnapping tool to be implanted in children, and the military is toying with the idea implanting the chips into soldiers so they are easier to find if lost in the fog of war. How long before we are all required to be implanted with the satellite tracking chips?

This is all very saddening. The even sadder truth is that no matter how much we may protest or resist, all of these "progressive advancements" will eventually be commonplace. Our treasured freedoms and liberties will be just quaint memories for those who survive and long ago history for the futures children. History demonstrates that people are more likely to entrust more and more of their unalienable rights to governments than to embrace the much more difficult habits of the heart of freedom and personal responsibility. Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1776, "all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed."

Technology has changed, mankind hasn't.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

American Health the Greatest Say Canadians

Sen. Hillary Clinton, Democrat Presidential candidate, has introduced HillaryCare 2.0 this week. Her plan is a massive enlargement of government bureaucracy and spending, despite a promise of “no new bureaucracies.”

Sen Clinton (what happened to Rodham?) seeks to make Health Care Insurance a requirement for everyone in the U.S. Every worker would have to show proof of insurance in order to obtain a job. She also promises that everyone will pay higher taxes to pay for her health care improvements that she admits will cost $110 billion per year. That's an extra tax contribution of $367 for every man, woman, and child in America.

We are told our health care system is broken and 47 million Americans are without insurance; about half the 47 million are illegal aliens - 20 million. But, that doesn't mean the health care system is broken, it only means many people don't have health INSURANCE, not an inability to obtain health services. Many people simply choose not to carry the expense of insurance. It's estimated that 9.3 million people with household incomes above $75,000 are uninsured. Another 8.5 million of the uninsured have household incomes of $50,000 to $74,999.

Why would anybody want to pay for health insurance in a country with health care so bad that New York City 9/11 rescue workers had to be taken to Cuba for adequate care by Michael Moore? Why indeed, when tens of thousands of Canadians come to America for health care even though Hillary & Co. tout the Canadian health service system as far superior to ours.

The most recent example of this trend is Belinda Stronach, a Liberal Party member of Canada's Parliament and daughter of Canadian billionaire industrialist Frank Stronach.

Stronach, a close friend of Bill and Hillary Clinton, came to California last June for a cancer operation. Her spokesman, Greg MacEachern, told the Toronto Star that she made the decision to go to the U.S. because it was the "best place" for her type of surgery — not that she lacked any confidence in Canada's health care.

But Stronach, who has the resources to afford the finest in foreign care, isn't alone. Stronach's fellow Liberal Party member Robert Bourassa, who served as premier of Quebec in the early 1990s,chose to be treated in Cleveland, Ohio, when he was diagnosed with cancer — not in Canada.

Just last month, , we wrote about Karen and J.P. Jepp, who had to leave their home in Calgary, Alberta, for Great Falls, Montana, to give birth to their identical quadruplets. Why? A shortage of neonatal beds and inability to perform a C-section for multiple babies.

You might wonder, if Canada's health care system is so great, why would a Canadian city of more than a million people have fewer beds for newborns and fewer services than a fairly remote prairie city of 57,000? Good question.

In fact, these and other instances lay bare the ugly truth about Canada's system: Far from being a health care paradise, Canada's system is in disarray — and getting worse. That's why it's pursuing private-sector reforms, even as we consider national health care.

In 1998, 212,990 Canadians were on hospital waiting lists for surgery, waiting on average 13.3 weeks. Today, more than 800,000 Canadians are on waiting lists, waiting often 20 weeks or more.

Survival rates for major types of cancer in the U.S. are higher than in Canada. As such, seven of 10 Canadian provinces send their prostate-cancer patients to the U.S. for treatment. What does that tell you?

Americans have more access to advanced medical procedures like dialysis and coronary bypass surgery, and use more medical technology like CT scanners and MRI imaging machines. Canada's Fraser Institute puts it bluntly: "Canadian patients do not get the same quality or quantity of care as American patients."

Universal care, as pushed by Stronach's friend Hillary Clinton, will have the same results in the U.S. as in Canada.

Do Americans really want that?

This American certainly doesn't want any part of HillaryCare. As for the cost of the bloated program, just what does 110 billion dollars really look like? Try this:

$68 billion (Department of Education)
+ $22 billion (Department of Energy)
+ $8.03 billion(Environmental Protection Agency)
+ $7.77 billion ( Corps of Engineers)
+ $2.68 billion (Executive Office of the President)
+ $675 million ( Small Business Administration).

Certainly, Sen Clinton would not create another bureaucracy. As President she would probably roll HillaryCare 2.0 into the Health and Human Services budget which for 2006-07 is a paltry $76 billion (increased by $2.7 billion for 2007-08.) So again, the former First Lady isn't really lying, there would be no new bureaucracy. Believing her only requires "a willing suspension of disbelief."

Investors Business Daily
Canadian Press
Milwaukee Journal Sentinal

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Constitution Day - Who Remembers Anymore?

Every September 17 is Constitution Day. How many of us actually remembered? I didn't. I forgot just as I've forgotten the Maine and the Alamo. Fortunatly, Joseph Farah of World Net Daily remembered and has reminded us of the special nature of our Constitution.

Today is Constitution Day. How will you celebrate? How will you mark the occasion?

On Sept. 17, 1787, the Constitutional Convention, meeting in Philadelphia for four months, agreed on the final draft of this special, inspired document and submitted to the several states for ratification.

That was 220 years ago.

It was ratified June 21, 1788, when New Hampshire approved it as the ninth state. Congress, acting under the Articles of Confederation, declared the Constitution the law of the land March 4, 1789.

By general assent and resolution of the Congress, Sept. 17 has been designated as Constitution Day ever since – designated, but not necessarily acknowledged or observed.

In the 21st century, we celebrate many holidays in America – Independence Day, presidential birthdays, Veterans Day, Memorial Day. Yet, no one even acknowledges Constitution Day anymore. That's tragic.

America has forgotten the two concepts that made her special as a nation – two unique factors that set her apart from the world from the start.

First, the Founding Fathers wrote a Constitution that strictly limited the role of the federal government in the lives of Americans. The idea that Washington had some role in education, redistribution of wealth, setting minimum wage requirements, nationalizing millions of acres of land, taxing income and subsidizing government-approved artists would have been anathema to the men who fought so valiantly for freedom against an overreaching foreign tyranny – if they could have even imagined such abuses.

Secondly, the framers of that Constitution spoke eloquently about the fact that only a moral people – a nation of Godly people with common spiritual and social values – were capable of self-government. They could not have envisioned the depths of depravity, licentiousness and vice to which our society has fallen – yet they warned about it.

The "Scene at the Signing of the Constitution of the United States," painted by Howard Chandler Christy in 1940. It depicts the signing of the U.S. Constitution at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pa.

Our current debates about social and government policy seem disconnected from these two critical foundations of the American republic. Politicians will never solve the problems facing the country without acknowledging these two essential precepts.

In fact, I'll go further. Politicians will never solve our problems. Period. The more government tries to do, the worse things get.

And that's the beauty of the Constitution. It strictly limits what government can do. The trouble is that Americans have forgotten this. They've been dumbed-down by government schools and a government-media complex to believe that Uncle Sam is there to solve all their problems – from how much they get paid, to what they spend on health care, to how they should raise their own children.

We honor the flag in America, but not the Constitution. The flag is a mere symbol. The Constitution is the real thing. We should revere it, and, more importantly, live under it.

Why do we salute the flag and not the Constitution? The Constitution is every bit as symbolic as the flag, but it is much more – literally a guidepost to maintaining (or now, perhaps, to recovering) America's freedom. But it can only serve that function if we as a nation abide by it, pay heed to it, live by its code and its spirit.

Which symbol is really worth dying for? The flag is not my pick. After all, it is just a symbol. Symbols, of course, are important. But the Constitution is more. It is both symbol and substance. And its substance is being desecrated by some of those so piously concerned about the symbolic desecration of the flag.

A few years ago, a public opinion survey found that less than half of American adults would vote for the Constitution if it were on the ballot today. To that, I say, thank God there is no requirement for a referendum on the Constitution. Another poll showed close to half of Americans don't believe in the basic First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech, assembly, religion and the press.

So, there you see it. The Constitution is being desecrated before our eyes. Here in one document are the guiding principles of our nation succinctly and clearly stated. The Constitution, coupled with the Declaration of Independence, represents more of a national creed than a simple founding document for the nation.

But skeptics are winning the day. Not even the Constitution holds us together as a people any longer. Maybe, instead of reciting the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag in school every day, that time could be better spent reading the Constitution.

Maybe next year, 2008, an election year, we will remember Constitution Day. That is, if there is still a Constitution to remember.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

New Russian Bomb Really Sucks

The Russian military has tested the world's most powerful vacuum bomb. The bomb produces a high pressure ultrasonic shockwave and extremely intense heat.

The high temperature shockwave reaches much farther than any conventional weapon. Gases are consumed in the blast creating a partial vacuum that exacerbates property damage and injuries to animals and people.

Russian deputy armed forces chief of staff, Alexander Rukshin, said the vacuum bomb has the explosive and destructive power commensurate with a nuclear weapon, and that "all that is alive merely evaporates."

Taking the opportunity to tout Russia's green credentials, Ruskshin added, "... I want to stress that the action of this weapon does not contaminate the environment ..."

Oh, that's very considerate. I know I will appreciate being evaporated while the environment is unharmed. I'm sure Gaia will remember the kindness of Russians.

Reuters and reporter Dmitry Solovyov

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007



The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Gen David Petraeus Reports to Congress 9/10/07

Report To Congress: The Situation In Iraq

Mr. Chairmen, Ranking Members, Members of the Committees, thank you for the opportunity to provide my assessment of the security situation in Iraq and to discuss the recommendations I recently provided to my chain of command for the way forward.

At the outset, I would like to note that this is my testimony. Although I have briefed my assessment and recommendations to my chain of command, I wrote this testimony myself. It has not been cleared by, nor shared with, anyone in the Pentagon, the White House, or Congress.

As a bottom line up front, the military objectives of the surge are, in large measure, being met. In recent months, in the face of tough enemies and the brutal summer heat of Iraq, Coalition and Iraqi Security Forces have achieved progress in the security arena.

Though the improvements have been uneven across Iraq, the overall number of security incidents in Iraq has declined in eight of the past 12 weeks, with the numbers of incidents in the last two weeks at the lowest levels seen since June 2006.

One reason for the decline in incidents is that Coalition and Iraqi forces have dealt significant blows to al-Qaida-Iraq. Though al-Qaida and its affiliates in Iraq remain dangerous, we have taken away a number of their sanctuaries and gained the initiative in many areas.

We have also disrupted Shia militia extremists, capturing the head and numerous other leaders of the Iranian-supported Special Groups, along with a senior Lebanese Hezbollah operative supporting Iran's activities in Iraq.

Coalition and Iraqi operations have helped reduce ethno-sectarian violence, as well, bringing down the number of ethno-sectarian deaths substantially in Baghdad and across Iraq since the height of the sectarian violence last December. The number of overall civilian deaths has also declined during this period, although the numbers in each area are still at troubling levels.

Iraqi Security Forces have also continued to grow and to shoulder more of the load, albeit slowly and amid continuing concerns about the sectarian tendencies of some elements in their ranks. In general, however, Iraqi elements have been standing and fighting and sustaining tough losses, and they have taken the lead in operations in many areas.

Additionally, in what may be the most significant development of the past 8 months, the tribal rejection of al-Qaida that started in Anbar Province and helped produce such significant change there has now spread to a number of other locations as well.

Based on all this and on the further progress we believe we can achieve over the next few months, I believe that we will be able to reduce our forces to the pre-surge level of brigade combat teams by next summer without jeopardizing the security gains that we have fought so hard to achieve.

Beyond that, while noting that the situation in Iraq remains complex, difficult, and sometimes downright frustrating, I also believe that it is possible to achieve our objectives in Iraq over time, though doing so will be neither quick nor easy.

Having provided that summary, I would like to review the nature of the conflict in Iraq, recall the situation before the surge, describe the current situation, and explain the recommendations I have provided to my chain of command for the way ahead in Iraq.

The Nature of the Conflict

The fundamental source of the conflict in Iraq is competition among ethnic and sectarian communities for power and resources. This competition will take place, and its resolution is key to producing long-term stability in the new Iraq. The question is whether the competition takes place more — or less — violently. This chart shows the security challenges in Iraq.

Foreign and home-grown terrorists, insurgents, militia extremists, and criminals all push the ethno-sectarian competition toward violence. Malign actions by Syria and, especially, by Iran fuel that violence. Lack of adequate governmental capacity, lingering sectarian mistrust, and various forms of corruption add to Iraq's challenges.

The Situation in December 2006 and the Surge

In our recent efforts to look to the future, we found it useful to revisit the past. In December 2006, during the height of the ethno-sectarian violence that escalated in the wake of the bombing of the Golden Dome Mosque in Samarra, the leaders in Iraq at that time — General George Casey and Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad — concluded that the coalition was failing to achieve its objectives. Their review underscored the need to protect the population and reduce sectarian violence, especially in Baghdad. As a result, General Casey requested additional forces to enable the Coalition to accomplish these tasks, and those forces began to flow in January.

In the ensuing months, our forces and our Iraqi counterparts have focused on improving security, especially in Baghdad and the areas around it, wresting sanctuaries from Al Qaeda control, and disrupting the efforts of the Iranian-supported militia extremists. We have employed counterinsurgency practices that underscore the importance of units living among the people they are securing, and accordingly, our forces have established dozens of joint security stations and patrol bases manned by Coalition and Iraqi forces in Baghdad and in other areas across Iraq.

In mid-June, with all the surge brigades in place, we launched a series of offensive operations focused on: expanding the gains achieved in the preceding months in Anbar Province; clearing Baqubah, several key Baghdad neighborhoods, the remaining sanctuaries in Anbar Province, and important areas in the so-called "belts" around Baghdad; and pursuing Al Qaeda in the Diyala River Valley and several other areas.

Throughout this period, as well, we engaged in dialogue with insurgent groups and tribes, and this led to additional elements standing up to oppose Al Qaeda and other extremists. We also continued to emphasize the development of the Iraqi Security Forces and we employed non-kinetic means to exploit the opportunities provided by the conduct of our kinetic operations — aided in this effort by the arrival of additional Provincial Reconstruction Teams.

Current Situation and Trends

The progress our forces have achieved with our Iraqi counterparts has, as I noted at the outset, been substantial. While there have been setbacks as well as successes and tough losses along the way, overall, our tactical commanders and I see improvements in the security environment.

We do not, however, just rely on gut feel or personal observations; we also conduct considerable data collection and analysis to gauge progress and determine trends. We do this by gathering and refining data from coalition and Iraqi operations centers, using a methodology that has been in place for well over a year and that has benefited over the past seven months from the increased presence of our forces living among the Iraqi people.

We endeavor to ensure our analysis of that data is conducted with rigor and consistency, as our ability to achieve a nuanced understanding of the security environment is dependent on collecting and analyzing data in a consistent way over time. Two US intelligence agencies recently reviewed our methodology, and they concluded that the data we produce is the most accurate and authoritative in Iraq.

As I mentioned up front, and as the chart before you reflects, the level of security incidents has decreased significantly since the start of the surge of offensive operations in mid-June, declining in eight of the past 12 weeks, with the level of incidents in the past two weeks the lowest since June 2006 and with the number of attacks this past week the lowest since April 2006.

Civilian deaths of all categories, less natural causes, have also declined considerably, by over 45% Iraq-wide since the height of the sectarian violence in December. This is shown by the top line on this chart, and the decline by some 70% in Baghdad is shown by the bottom line. Periodic mass casualty attacks by al-Qaida have tragically added to the numbers outside Baghdad, in particular. Even without the sensational attacks, however, the level of civilian deaths is clearly still too high and continues to be of serious concern.

As the next chart shows, the number of ethno-sectarian deaths, an important subset of the overall civilian casualty figures, has also declined significantly since the height of the sectarian violence in December. Iraq-wide, as shown by the top line on this chart, the number of ethno-sectarian deaths has come down by over 55%, and it would have come down much further were it not for the casualties inflicted by barbaric al-Qaida bombings attempting to reignite sectarian violence.

In Baghdad, as the bottom line shows, the number of ethno-sectarian deaths has come down by some 80% since December. This chart also displays the density of sectarian incidents in various Baghdad neighborhoods and it both reflects the progress made in reducing ethno-sectarian violence in the Iraqi capital and identifies the areas that remain the most challenging.

As we have gone on the offensive in former al-Qaida and insurgent sanctuaries, and as locals have increasingly supported our efforts, we have found a substantially increased number of arms, ammunition, and explosives caches. As this chart shows, we have, so far this year, already found and cleared over 4,400 caches, nearly 1,700 more than we discovered in all of last year. This may be a factor in the reduction in the number of overall improvised explosive device attacks in recent months, which as this chart shows, has declined sharply, by about one-third, since June.

The change in the security situation in Anbar Province has, of course, been particularly dramatic. As this chart shows, monthly attack levels in Anbar have declined from some 1,350 in October 2006 to a bit over 200 in August of this year. This dramatic decrease reflects the significance of the local rejection of al-Qaida and the newfound willingness of local Anbaris to volunteer to serve in the Iraqi Army and Iraqi Police Service. As I noted earlier, we are seeing similar actions in other locations, as well.

To be sure, trends have not been uniformly positive across Iraq, as is shown by this chart depicting violence levels in several key Iraqi provinces. The trend in Ninevah Province, for example, has been much more up and down, until a recent decline, and the same is true in Sala ad Din Province, though recent trends there and in Baghdad have been in the right direction. In any event, the overall trajectory in Iraq — a steady decline of incidents in the past three months — is still quite significant.

The number of car bombings and suicide attacks has also declined in each of the past five months, from a high of some 175 in March, as this chart shows, to about 90 this past month. While this trend in recent months has been heartening, the number of high profile attacks is still too high, and we continue to work hard to destroy the networks that carry out these barbaric attacks.

Our operations have, in fact, produced substantial progress against al-Qaida and its affiliates in Iraq. As this chart shows, in the past eight months, we have considerably reduced the areas in which al-Qaida enjoyed sanctuary. We have also neutralized five media cells, detained the senior Iraqi leader of al-Qaida-Iraq, and killed or captured nearly 100 other key leaders and some 2,500 rank-and-file fighters.

Al-Qaida is certainly not defeated; however, it is off balance and we are pursuing its leaders and operators aggressively. Of note, as the recent National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq explained, these gains against al-Qaida are a result of the synergy of actions by: conventional forces to deny the terrorists sanctuary; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance assets to find the enemy; and special operations elements to conduct targeted raids. A combination of these assets is necessary to prevent the creation of a terrorist safe haven in Iraq.

In the past six months we have also targeted Shia militia extremists, capturing a number of senior leaders and fighters, as well as the deputy commander of Lebanese Hezbollah Department 2800, the organization created to support the training, arming, funding, and, in some cases, direction of the militia extremists by the Iranian Republican Guard Corps' Qods Force.

These elements have assassinated and kidnapped Iraqi governmental leaders, killed and wounded our soldiers with advanced explosive devices provided by Iran, and indiscriminately rocketed civilians in the International Zone and elsewhere. It is increasingly apparent to both Coalition and Iraqi leaders that Iran, through the use of the Qods Force, seeks to turn the Iraqi Special Groups into a Hezbollah-like force to serve its interests and fight a proxy war against the Iraqi state and coalition forces in Iraq.

The most significant development in the past six months likely has been the increasing emergence of tribes and local citizens rejecting al-Qaida and other extremists. This has, of course, been most visible in Anbar Province. A year ago the province was assessed as "lost" politically. Today, it is a model of what happens when local leaders and citizens decide to oppose al-Qaida and reject its Taliban-like ideology.

While Anbar is unique and the model it provides cannot be replicated everywhere in Iraq, it does demonstrate the dramatic change in security that is possible with the support and participation of local citizens. As this chart shows, other tribes have been inspired by the actions of those in Anbar and have volunteered to fight extremists as well.

We have, in coordination with the Iraqi government's National Reconciliation Committee, been engaging these tribes and groups of local citizens who want to oppose extremists and to contribute to local security. Some 20,000 such individuals are already being hired for the Iraqi Police, thousands of others are being assimilated into the Iraqi Army, and thousands more are vying for a spot in Iraq's Security Forces.

Iraqi Security Forces

As I noted earlier, Iraqi Security Forces have continued to grow, to develop their capabilities, and to shoulder more of the burden of providing security for their country. Despite concerns about sectarian influence, inadequate logistics and supporting institutions, and an insufficient number of qualified commissioned and non-commissioned officers, Iraqi units are engaged around the country.

As this chart shows, there are now nearly 140 Iraqi Army, National Police, and Special Operations Forces Battalions in the fight, with about 95 of those capable of taking the lead in operations, albeit with some coalition support. Beyond that, all of Iraq's battalions have been heavily involved in combat operations that often result in the loss of leaders, soldiers, and equipment.

These losses are among the shortcomings identified by operational readiness assessments, but we should not take from these assessments the impression that Iraqi forces are not in the fight and contributing. Indeed, despite their shortages, many Iraqi units across Iraq now operate with minimal coalition assistance.

As counterinsurgency operations require substantial numbers of boots on the ground, we are helping the Iraqis expand the size of their security forces. Currently, there are some 445,000 individuals on the payrolls of Iraq's Interior and Defense Ministries. Based on recent decisions by Prime Minister Maliki, the number of Iraq's security forces will grow further by the end of this year, possibly by as much as 40,000.

Given the security challenges Iraq faces, we support this decision, and we will work with the two security ministries as they continue their efforts to expand their basic training capacity, leader development programs, logistical structures and elements, and various other institutional capabilities to support the substantial growth in Iraqi forces.

Significantly, in 2007, Iraq will, as in 2006, spend more on its security forces than it will receive in security assistance from the United States. In fact, Iraq is becoming one of the United States' larger foreign military sales customers, committing some $1.6 billion to FMS already, with the possibility of up to $1.8 billion more being committed before the end of this year. And I appreciate the attention that some members of Congress have recently given to speeding up the FMS process for Iraq.

To summarize, the security situation in Iraq is improving, and Iraqis elements are slowly taking on more of the responsibility for protecting their citizens. Innumerable challenges lie ahead; however, Coalition and Iraqi Security Forces have made progress toward achieving sustainable security. As a result, the United States will be in a position to reduce its forces in Iraq in the months ahead.


Two weeks ago I provided recommendations for the way ahead in Iraq to the members of my chain of command and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The essence of the approach I recommended is captured in its title: "Security While Transitioning: From Leading to Partnering to Overwatch."

This approach seeks to build on the security improvements our troopers and our Iraqi counterparts have fought so hard to achieve in recent months. It reflects recognition of the importance of securing the population and the imperative of transitioning responsibilities to Iraqi institutions and Iraqi forces as quickly as possible, but without rushing to failure. It includes substantial support for the continuing development of Iraqi Security Forces.

It also stresses the need to continue the counterinsurgency strategy that we have been employing, but with Iraqis gradually shouldering more of the load. And it highlights the importance of regional and global diplomatic approaches. Finally, in recognition of the fact that this war is not only being fought on the ground in Iraq but also in cyberspace, it also notes the need to contest the enemy's growing use of that important medium to spread extremism.

The recommendations I provided were informed by operational and strategic considerations. The operational considerations include recognition that:

• Military aspects of the surge have achieved progress and generated momentum;

• Iraqi Security Forces have continued to grow and have slowly been shouldering more of the security burden in Iraq;

• A mission focus on either population security or transition alone will not be adequate to achieve our objectives;

• Success against al-Qaida-Iraq and Iranian-supported militia extremists requires conventional forces as well as special operations forces; and

• The security and local political situations will enable us to draw down the surge forces.

My recommendations also took into account a number of strategic considerations:

• Political progress will take place only if sufficient security exists;

• Long-term U.S. ground force viability will benefit from force reductions as the surge runs its course;

• Regional, global, and cyberspace initiatives are critical to success; and

• Iraqi leaders understandably want to assume greater sovereignty in their country, although, as they recently announced, they do desire continued presence of coalition forces in Iraq in 2008 under a new UN Security Council Resolution and, following that, they want to negotiate a long term security agreement with the United States and other nations.

Based on these considerations, and having worked the battlefield geometry with Lieutenant General Ray Odierno to ensure that we retain and build on the gains for which our troopers have fought, I have recommended a drawdown of the surge forces from Iraq. In fact, later this month, the Marine Expeditionary Unit deployed as part of the surge will depart Iraq.

Beyond that, if my recommendations are approved, that unit's departure will be followed by the withdrawal of a brigade combat team without replacement in mid-December and the further redeployment without replacement of four other brigade combat teams and the two surge Marine battalions in the first seven months of 2008, until we reach the pre-surge level of 15 brigade combat teams by mid-July 2008.

I would also like to discuss the period beyond next summer. Force reductions will continue beyond the pre-surge levels of brigade combat teams that we will reach by mid-July 2008; however, in my professional judgment, it would be premature to make recommendations on the pace of such reductions at this time.

In fact, our experience in Iraq has repeatedly shown that projecting too far into the future is not just difficult, it can be misleading and even hazardous. The events of the past six months underscore that point. When I testified in January, for example, no one would have dared to forecast that Anbar Province would have been transformed the way it has in the past six months.

Nor would anyone have predicted that volunteers in one-time Al Qaeda strongholds like Ghazaliyah in western Baghdad or in Adamiya in eastern Baghdad would seek to join the fight against Al Qaeda. Nor would we have anticipated that a Shia-led government would accept significant numbers of Sunni volunteers into the ranks of the local police force in Abu Ghraib.

Beyond that, on a less encouraging note, none of us earlier this year appreciated the extent of Iranian involvement in Iraq, something about which we and Iraq's leaders all now have greater concern.

In view of this, I do not believe it is reasonable to have an adequate appreciation for the pace of further reductions and mission adjustments beyond the summer of 2008 until about mid-March of next year. We will, no later than that time, consider factors similar to those on which I based the current recommendations, having by then, of course, a better feel for the security situation, the improvements in the capabilities of our Iraqi counterparts, and the enemy situation.

I will then, as I did in developing the recommendations I have explained here today, also take into consideration the demands on our Nation's ground forces, although I believe that that consideration should once again inform, not drive, the recommendations I make.

This chart captures the recommendations I have described, showing the recommended reduction of brigade combat teams as the surge runs its course and illustrating the concept of our units adjusting their missions and transitioning responsibilities to Iraqis, as the situation and Iraqi capabilities permit. It also reflects the no-later-than date for recommendations on force adjustments beyond next summer and provides a possible approach we have considered for the future force structure and mission set in Iraq.

One may argue that the best way to speed the process in Iraq is to change the MNF-I mission from one that emphasizes population security, counter-terrorism, and transition, to one that is strictly focused on transition and counter-terrorism. Making that change now would, in our view, be premature. We have learned before that there is a real danger in handing over tasks to the Iraqi Security Forces before their capacity and local conditions warrant.

In fact, the drafters of the recently released National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq recognized this danger when they wrote, and I quote, "We assess that changing the mission of Coalition forces from a primarily counterinsurgency and stabilization role to a primary combat support role for Iraqi forces and counterterrorist operations to prevent AQI from establishing a safe haven would erode security gains achieved thus far."

In describing the recommendations I have made, I should note again that, like Ambassador Crocker, I believe Iraq's problems will require a long-term effort. There are no easy answers or quick solutions. And though we both believe this effort can succeed, it will take time. Our assessments underscore, in fact, the importance of recognizing that a premature drawdown of our forces would likely have devastating consequences.

That assessment is supported by the findings of a 16 August Defense Intelligence Agency report on the implications of a rapid withdrawal of US forces from Iraq. Summarizing it in an unclassified fashion, it concludes that a rapid withdrawal would result in the further release of the strong centrifugal forces in Iraq and produce a number of dangerous results, including a high risk of disintegration of the Iraqi Security Forces; rapid deterioration of local security initiatives; Al Qaeda-Iraq regaining lost ground and freedom of maneuver; a marked increase in violence and further ethno-sectarian displacement and refugee flows; alliances of convenience by Iraqi groups with internal and external forces to gain advantages over their rivals; and exacerbation of already challenging regional dynamics, especially with respect to Iran.

Lieutenant General Odierno and I share this assessment and believe that the best way to secure our national interests and avoid an unfavorable outcome in Iraq is to continue to focus our operations on securing the Iraqi people while targeting terrorist groups and militia extremists and, as quickly as conditions are met, transitioning security tasks to Iraqi elements.

Closing Comments

Before closing, I want to thank you and your colleagues for your support of our men and women in uniform in Iraq. The Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen with whom I'm honored to serve are the best equipped and, very likely, the most professional force in our nation's history. Impressively, despite all that has been asked of them in recent years, they continue to raise their right hands and volunteer to stay in uniform.

With three weeks to go in this fiscal year, in fact, the Army elements in Iraq, for example, have achieved well over 130% of the reenlistment goals in the initial term and careerist categories and nearly 115% in the mid-career category. All of us appreciate what you have done to ensure that these great troopers have had what they've needed to accomplish their mission, just as we appreciate what you have done to take care of their families, as they, too, have made significant sacrifices in recent years.

The advances you have underwritten in weapons systems and individual equipment; in munitions; in command, control, and communications systems; in intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities; in vehicles and counter-IED systems and programs; and in manned and unmanned aircraft have proven invaluable in Iraq. The capabilities that you have funded most recently — especially the vehicles that will provide greater protection against improvised explosive devices — are also of enormous importance.

Additionally, your funding of the Commander's Emergency Response Program has given our leaders a critical tool with which to prosecute the counterinsurgency campaign. Finally, we appreciate as well your funding of our new detention programs and rule of law initiatives in Iraq.

In closing, it remains an enormous privilege to soldier again in Iraq with America's new "Greatest Generation." Our country's men and women in uniform have done a magnificent job in the most complex and challenging environment imaginable. All Americans should be very proud of their sons and daughters serving in Iraq today.

Thank you very much.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.