Saturday, March 03, 2007


Well, it might have if anyone had even noticed the 170 Swiss soldiers who had marched more than a mile into Liechtenstein. During a training exercise in the middle of the night, the Swiss infantry's GPS navigation unit failed, according to radio news reports. Although Liechtenstein has no army, they were still no match for the Swiss infantry which was heavily armed with assault rifles, but without a single bullet.

ZURICH, Switzerland (AP) -- What began as a routine training exercise almost ended in an embarrassing diplomatic incident after a company of Swiss soldiers got lost at night and marched into neighboring Liechtenstein.

According to Swiss daily Blick, the 170 infantry soldiers wandered just over a mile across an unmarked border into the tiny principality early Thursday before realizing their mistake and turning back.

A spokesman for the Swiss army confirmed the story but said that there were unlikely to be any serious repercussions for the mistaken invasion.

"We've spoken to the authorities in Liechtenstein and it's not a problem," Daniel Reist told The Associated Press.

Officials in Liechtenstein also played down the incident.

Interior ministry spokesman Markus Amman said nobody in Liechtenstein had even noticed the soldiers, who were carrying assault rifles but no ammunition. "It's not like they stormed over here with attack helicopters or something," he said.

Liechtenstein, which has about 34,000 inhabitants and is slightly smaller than Washington DC, doesn't have an army.

"It was all so dark," one soldier told the Swiss newspaper Blick, the BBC said.

This wasn't the first time Switzerland has violated Liechtensteinian sovereignty, according to the BBC. Rockets fired by the Swiss Army went astray in 1985 setting the protected Bannwald forest ablaze and the two countries became embroiled in a lengthy dispute. Switzerland had to pay compensation to Liechtenstien for the damage done and the cost of fire suppression.

For want of a Swiss Army Knife w/compass, a large portion of the Swiss Army was lost. There is still a place for 'old school' low tech.

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

Friday, March 02, 2007

What's In Your Accent?

This is really eerie. I remember watching Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes determine a suspect's place of origin and profession by just listening to a few spoken words. I didn't have to say a damned thing and this machine nailed me.

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Inland North

You may think you speak "Standard English straight out of the dictionary" but when you step away from the Great Lakes you get asked annoying questions like "Are you from Wisconsin?" or "Are you from Chicago?" Chances are you call carbonated drinks "pop."

The Midland
The Northeast
The South
The West
North Central
What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

My family is from Michigan. I was born there, but we moved to California when I was two. My father's parents were from Hungary and the south of England. My mother's family has been in America for a very long time. Her father always thought he was being funny when he'd announce he'd married a Black girl. And it was true; Black was her family name. Her cousin, and my second cousin, Hugo Black, went on to sit on the Supreme Court of the United States.

(H/T to Bernie at Planck's Constant for pointing to the Accent Quiz.)

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

Swords and Ex's

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. - A man armed with a 3-foot sword broke into the home of his ex-girlfriend on Thursday apparently because he thought she was with another man, sheriff's deputies said.

Little did he know the ex-girlfriend's roommate, Louis Delgado Hernandez, was not only home, but is an avid sword collector as well.

En garde.

Hernandez grabbed a sword from the wall and a duel ensued, according to the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office.

In the end, it appeared the roommate was more adept at sword play.


Hernandez disarmed Elvis Javier Polanco, 18, of 60 Blazing Star Lane, shortly before deputies arrived, sheriff's Capt. Toby McSwain said. Polanco was cut on the arm in the process. He treated at Hilton Head Regional Medical Center before being taken to the Beaufort County Detention Center.

Here's how the swordplay unfolded:

At around 2 p.m., Polanco and another unidentified man went to the apartment on Genesta Street off Palmetto Bay Road.

It appeared both men had been drinking alcohol, according to McSwain.

Polanco is thought to have broken a second-floor window, climbed onto his friend's shoulders and jumped inside the apartment, according to McSwain.

Hernandez defended the home while the ex-girlfriend, whose name was not provided, called 911.

A deputy was nearby and arrived within minutes, but not before the other suspect drove away in a white vehicle of unknown make and model.

Polanco was charged with second-degree burglary and high-and-aggravated assault and battery. He remained in the jail Thursday night, according to the jail's online log.

Hernandez won't be charged, McSwain said.

The Island Packet
Break-in ends in sword fight
Published Friday, March 2, 2007

Say, don't we know someone living on this idylic isle?

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

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Al Gore's Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Al Gore resides at the crossroads of insane and crazy, but that's just a personal opinion. Few have been willing to offer any analysis and diagnosis of Gore, but Henry I. Miller has actually done so twice. As a physician, Hoover Institution scholar and former Reagan administration FDA official, Miller wrote an opinion piece for the Orange County Register stating that the "Oscar nominee exhibits signs of narcissistic personality disorder."

A few die-hard Democratic pundits think that Al Gore could be the party's nominee for president next year. After all, they say, his film, "An Inconvenient Truth," is up for an Academy Award (Best Documentary) [the documentary won the covetted golden idol], and he has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. He "has put climate change on the agenda" and "made a difference," according to the Norwegian parliamentarian who proposed him.

In spite of such accomplishments, there's something about Gore that invites – no, demands – ridicule and parody. Who can forget the hilarious send-ups of Mr. Gore on "Saturday Night Live," for example, during the 2000 presidential campaign – the pompous, preachy, prissy prattling about the need for a "lockbox" to protect the Social Security trust fund.

Maybe I can offer an explanation. On the basis of his actions and writings over many years, my guess is that Gore suffers from narcissistic personality disorder. The criteria for this diagnosis, as described in the psychiatrist's bible, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, include a "pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts," as indicated by the following:

•"A grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)."
Mr. Gore regularly demonstrates his grandiosity. Who can forget his notorious claim that he had been instrumental in creating the Internet? But far more serious and complex are Mr. Gore's delusions about issues of technology and environmentalism, such as his repeated endorsement of anti-technology tracts and criticism of technological advances while a congressman, senator and vice president. His writings generally place science and technology at odds with "the natural world" and by inference, with the well-being and progress of mankind. More on this below.

•"Preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love; believes that he or she is 'special' and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)."
These sorts of fantasies run riot in Gore's book "Earth in the Balance," in which he assumes that he, alone, has divined the solutions to the world's problems and the bold and dramatic measures that await the education and enlightenment of the public. When he was vice president, Gore and his staff of true believers attempted to purge the federal government of any dissension or challenge to his view of policy, in a way reminiscent of the worst paranoid excesses of the Nixon administration. Vexed by people who weren't sufficiently "special," Gore simply got rid of them.

•"Requires excessive admiration."
With the exception of the past six years, a politician for virtually his entire adult life who surrounded himself with sycophants – need one say more?

•"Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others ... shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes."
While a senator, Gore was notorious for his rudeness and insolence during hearings. A favorite trick – which I experienced first-hand – was to pose a question, and as the witness began to answer, Gore would begin a whispered conversation with another committee member or a staffer. If the witness paused in order that the senator not miss the response, Gore would instruct him to continue, then resume his private conversation, leaving no ambiguity: Not only is your testimony unimportant, I won't even pay you the courtesy of pretending to listen to it. Gore once accused his political enemies of possessing "an extra chromosome," a remark that infuriated the families of persons with Down syndrome, which is caused by the presence of an extra chromosome.

Gore's patronizing, apocalyptic, and overwrought "Earth in the Balance" provides numerous illustrations of many of these diagnostic criteria, and thereby offers disturbing insights into its disturbed author. In it, Gore trashes the empirical nature of science for disconnecting man from nature. "But for the separation of science and religion," he laments, "we might not be pumping so much gaseous chemical waste into the atmosphere and threatening the destruction of the Earth's climate balance."

Well, but for the separation of science and religion, we would still be burdened with the notion that the sun and the planets revolve around the Earth. It is with good reason that historians call the previous epoch when religion dominated science the Dark Ages.

It gets worse. Throughout the book, Gore employs the metaphor that those who believe in technological advances are as sinister, and polluters are as evil, as the perpetrators of the World War II Holocaust. He accuses Americans of being dysfunctional because we've developed "an apparent obsession with inauthentic substitutes for direct experience with real life," such as "Astroturf, air conditioning and fluorescent lights ... Walkman and Watchman, entertainment cocoons, frozen food for the microwave oven," and so on. Makes you wonder why he bothered to create the Internet.

People who suffer from narcissistic personality disorder are tough to be around. They make terrible bosses, unbearable in-laws and insufferable neighbors. That's why I don't want Al Gore to be president – or to live next door to me.

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

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Bush Ranch Home is Earth Friendly

While the Al Gore homestead (right) is an energy hog, the Crawford Ranch house of Pres. George Bush is very much environmentally friendly, even according to a website that doesn't like George. Thanks to Mike's America, we have this opportunity to showcase both homes.

Published on Sunday, April 29, 2001 in the Chicago Tribune
Bush Loves Ecology -- At Home
by Rob Sullivan

The 4,000-square-foot house is a model of environmental rectitude.
Geothermal heat pumps located in a central closet circulate water through pipes buried 300 feet deep in the ground where the temperature is a constant 67 degrees; the water heats the house in the winter and cools it in the summer. Systems such as the one in this "eco-friendly" dwelling use about 25% of the electricity that traditional heating and cooling systems utilize.

A 25,000-gallon underground cistern collects rainwater gathered from roof runs; wastewater from sinks, toilets and showers goes into underground purifying tanks and is also funneled into the cistern. The water from the cistern is used to irrigate the landscaping surrounding the four-bedroom home. Plants and flowers native to the high prairie area blend the structure into the surrounding ecosystem.

No, this is not the home of some eccentrically wealthy eco-freak trying to shame his fellow citizens into following the pristineness of his self-righteous example. And no, it is not the wilderness retreat of the Sierra Club or the Natural Resources Defense Council, a haven where tree-huggers plot political strategy.

This is President George W. Bush's "Texas White House" outside the small town of Crawford.

Yes, the same George W. who believes arsenic and drinking water might not be such a bad combo, the same man who reneged on his campaign promise to lower carbon dioxide emissions from power plants, the same man who is doing everything in his power to fling open the Alaskan Natural Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling.

How does the President reconcile an eco-friendly abode for his own family with his persistent stand against anything that smacks of an environmentally friendly agenda for the nation as a whole? The answer to that perplexing question is a real mystery.

Perhaps sound ecological practices are only for those who can afford them: as a self-proclaimed strict constructionist of the U.S. Constitution, Bush must be aware that clean air and clean water are not guaranteed in that glorious document. Perhaps in Bush's Brave New Corporate World, clean natural resources are merely commodities in a free-market economy: if you can pay for them, fine; if not, tough. The rest of us will just have to put up with more toxic dumps and more public lands being turned over to logging, mining and oil companies.

According to David Heymann, the house's architect and associate dean of the University of Texas architecture department, Heymann designed the house so that "every room has a relationship with something in the landscape that's different from the room next door. Each of the rooms feels like a slightly different place."

In a USA Today interview, Heymann said, "There's a great grove of oak trees to the west that protects it from the late afternoon sun. Then there is a view out to the north looking at hills, and to the east out over a lake, and the view to the south . . . out to beautiful hills."

I suppose in George W.'s architectural world only the rich and powerful have views; vistas that the public owns as part of its shared heritage are up for lease and sale.

Heymann also termed the house "stunningly small." Really? Would it be stunningly small for a single mother in South Central Los Angeles? How stunningly small would it be for an immigrant Latino family in San Antonio Maybe in the rarified heights where second homes are the norm, 4,000 square feet is small and on a stunning scale as well, but in Main Street America that much elbow room is pretty big for the first and only home.

But then most of us can't reconcile what might at first glance appear to be inherently irreconcilable. Maybe some day, like our noble president, we will be able to make that kind of staggering mental feat. That is, if we ever stop misunderestimating ourselves.

Rob Sullivan is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles.

Copyright 2001 Chicago Tribune

On a related note, some people at Democratic Underground have said, "It's not even a RANCH, so stop calling it that!" and "A large farm where horses, sheep, or cattle are raised. If he raises any of the above three, I don't have any problem with his place being a ranch. But I don't think he does, so it's not." As usual, the clueless left is wrong. The Crawford Ranch, the Western White House is a ranch. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

These are Longhorns, a type of bovine common to Texas. We see displayed here both adults and juveniles, called cows and calves respectively. The cattle are a part of the Crawford Ranch herd.

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

Monday, February 26, 2007

Inconvenient Truth: Al Gore is Boss Energy Hog, Uses 20x National Average

Al Gore at the Oscars Sunday night got a massive dose of excessive, yet undeserved, admiration. His 'mockumentary', An Inconvenient Truth, was rewarded with an Academy Award. It's odd - the same organization that snubbed Heavens Gate gave an Oscar to An Inconvenient Truth. One is elitist, pseudo-science-fiction crap and the other an expensive Western depicting the Johnson County Wars in 1890s Wyoming. Well, Hollywood is the land of make believe, right?

Today, The Tennessee Center for Policy Research, an independent, nonprofit and nonpartisan research organization committed to achieving a freer, more prosperous Tennessee through free market policy solutions released the following statement to the press:

Last night, Al Gore’s global-warming documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, collected an Oscar for best documentary feature, but the Tennessee Center for Policy Research has found that Gore deserves a gold statue for hypocrisy.

Gore’s mansion, located in the posh Belle Meade area of Nashville, consumes more electricity every month than the average American household uses in an entire year, according to the Nashville Electric Service (NES).

In his documentary, the former Vice President calls on Americans to conserve energy by reducing electricity consumption at home.

The average household in America consumes 10,656 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year, according to the Department of Energy. In 2006, Gore devoured nearly 221,000 kWhmore than 20 times the national average.
Last August alone, Gore burned through 22,619 kWh—guzzling more than twice the electricity in one month than an average American family uses in an entire year. As a result of his energy consumption, Gore’s average monthly electric bill topped $1,359.
Since the release of An Inconvenient Truth, Gore’s energy consumption has increased from an average of 16,200 kWh per month in 2005, to 18,400 kWh per month in 2006.

Gore’s extravagant energy use does not stop at his electric bill. Natural gas bills for Gore’s mansion and guest house averaged $1,080 per month last year.

“As the spokesman of choice for the global warming movement, Al Gore has to be willing to walk the walk, not just talk the talk, when it comes to home energy use,” said Tennessee Center for Policy Research President Drew Johnson.

In total, Gore paid nearly $30,000 in combined electricity and natural gas bills for his Nashville estate in 2006.

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

Sunday, February 25, 2007

What A Conservative Should Know

What A Liberal Will Believe listed a bunch of "facts" generally accepted by Liberals and far too many Conservatives. As pointed out, none of the "facts" are true.

Semator Barak Hussein Obama, writes in his memoir, The Audacity of Hope, "The arguments of liberals are more often grounded in reason and fact." Randall Hoven, writing for The American Thinker challenges Obama's assertion and the rest of us, the "benighted conservatives", who haven't bothered to learn what is and isn't factual.

The Questions

1. In 2005, the U.S. federal government spent $581 billion on Health and Human Services and $560 billion on Social Security Administration, for a combined total over $1.1 trillion. How much did the United States spend on Defense-Military?

(a) $2.744 trillion
(b) $1.474 trillion
(c) $744 billion
(d) $474 billion
2. In 2001, public spending per capita on health in the United Kingdom, Canada and France was $1,518, $1,531 and $1,599, respectively. How much was public spending per capita on health in the United States?

(a) $168
(b) $682
(c) $1,286
(d) $2,168
3. In 2003 in the U.S., those making $200,000 or more (Adjusted Gross Income, or AGI) made up less than 2% of all federal income tax returns, yet they accounted for almost 22% of all income (AGI) reported to the IRS. What fraction of all federal income tax dollars came from those who made $200,000 or more in 2003?

(a) 2%
(b) 12%
(c) 22%
(d) 42%
4. While 140 countries have signed the Kyoto Treaty to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, the U.S. refuses to do so. From 1994 to 2004, carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of fossil fuels increased by 19.4% in Canada, 26.4% in Greece, 42.9% in Norway, and 68.4% in China. How much did carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of fossil fuels increase in the U.S. from 1994 to 2004?

(a) 129%
(b) 92.1%
(c) 29.1%
(d) 12.9%
5. In 2004 in the U.S., just three years after the 911 attacks, there were 1,013 anti-Jewish hate crime offenses. How many anti-Islamic hate crime offenses were there?

(a) 100,094
(b) 10,094
(c) 1,094
(d) 194
6. In 2004 in the U.S., the cumulative total of men who had AIDS due to sexual contact with other men was 402,722. How many men had AIDS due to sexual contact with women?

(a) 43,347,000
(b) 4,334,700
(c) 433,470
(d) 43,347
7. In 2004 in the U.S., it was not known whether a weapon was present in 5.2% of the cases of rape and sexual assault. A non-firearm weapon was known to be present in 7.9% of the cases. How often was a firearm known to be present in rapes and sexual assaults?

(a) 80%
(b) 40%
(c) 20%
(d) 0%
8. The CIA's "Comprehensive Report of the Special Advisor to the DCI on Iraq's WMD" by the Iraq Survey Group (ISG), also known as the "Duelfer Report", is the authority commonly cited to debunk the threat of WMD as an excuse to invade Iraq in 2003. Which of the following statements was taken from the Duelfer Report?

(a) "we cannot express a firm view on the possibility that WMD elements were relocated out of Iraq prior to the war"
(b) "ISG technical experts fully evaluated less than one quarter of one percent of the over 10,000 weapons caches throughout Iraq"
(c) "Iraq could have re-established an elementary BW [biological warfare] program within a few weeks to a few months of a decision to do so"
(d) All of the above.
9. In 2003 in the U.S., the number of pedestrians killed in motor vehicle accidents was 5,991. How many motorcycle riders were killed?

(a) 36,076
(b) 7,663
(c) 6,736
(d) 3,676
10. The intelligence of President George W. Bush is often ridiculed, especially on late-night comedy shows. What fraction of the general population is less intelligent than President Bush?

(a) 25%
(b) 50%
(c) 75%
(d) 95%
The Answers

To each question the answer is (d).

1. The U.S. federal government spent $474 billion on Defense-Military in 2005, well less than either Health and Human Services or Social Security (Table 461). In fact, it was less than 20% of all federal outlays and just 3.8% of GDP. These are historically low numbers and unprecedented for wartime.

2. Despite the U.S. health care system often being described as a "free market", the U.S. spends more in public dollars per capita than almost all other countries, including Canada and the U.K. In fact, only Norway spends more (Table 1318). Note that these are public dollars, meaning government spending. Total public and private spending on health care in the U.S. is about double that, or about 16% of GDP.

3. Households with AGI of $200,000 paid over 42% of all federal income taxes, despite making up less than 2% of all returns and just 22% of all reported income (Table 474). In fact, the average tax rate for those making $500,000 or more was 25%, while it was only 7% for those making between $30,000 and $40,000, or near median incomes. That means the richest tax payers pay more than triple the rate of the middle class. And this is well after the Republican tax cuts took effect.

4. Between 1994 to 2004, carbon dioxide emissions from the U.S. increased by 12.9%, the same increase as that of France and a smaller increase than that of Canada, Greece, Norway, and China. In fact, U.S. emissions grew at a slower rate than the emissions from 143 of 213 countries (67%), including Cuba, Venezuela and Iran. Moreover, North America is actually a carbon dioxide sink, meaning it absorbs more than it produces.

5. In 2004 in the U.S., just three years after the 911 attacks, there were 194 anti-Islamic hate crime offenses, about one fifth as many as anti-Jewish offenses, and only about 2% of all hate crime offenses (Table 308). In fact, anti-Jewish offenses constituted over two thirds of all anti-religion hate crime offenses, despite both the small numbers of Jews in the country and the much-feared "Muslim backlash" (meaning backlash of non-Muslims against Muslims) that appears ever more phantasmagorical.

6. In 2004 in the U.S. there was a cumulative total of 43,347 men who had AIDS due to sexual contact with women, or about a tenth as many as those who had it from sexual contact with other men (Table 177). However, since heterosexual men outnumber gay men by a factor of 10 to 100, gay men (herein meaning men who have sex with men) are 100 to 1,000 times more likely than heterosexual men to get AIDS from sexual contact.

7. In 2004 in the U.S., no firearm was known to be present in any rape or sexual assault - zero, despite some other type of weapon being present in about 8% of such crimes (Table 315).

8. The Duelfer Report admitted that dozens of chemical weapons actually were found [later determined to be more than 500], that the ISG did not search much of Iraq, that its sources were not reliable, that most suspected WMD sites had been looted or destroyed, that WMD could very well have been taken out of the country, that WMD programs could have been reconstituted and WMD produced quickly, and that Saddam Hussein intended to do exactly that shortly after he bribed enough countries using the "oil for food" program to drop the sanctions and inspection regime. Does that sound like "no threat" or "no evidence" to you?

9. More pedestrians than motorcycle riders were killed in motor vehicle accidents in 2003 - in fact, 63% more, according to the National Safety Council. Of the 44,757 deaths due to motor vehicle accidents, only 3,676 (8%) were motorcycle riders. Should pedestrians be forced to wear helmets, as are motorcycle riders in many states? Why not drivers and passengers in cars and trucks, for that matter?

10. George W. Bush's SAT score of 1206 has been widely reported. The SAT score (if taken prior to 1995) can be used to estimate IQ, to compare to the general population, and to compare to occupational averages and popular figures in history. Using such estimates, President Bush's IQ is between 125 and 130 which ranks him as more intelligent than over 95% of the population, more intelligent than most college professors and medical doctors, and similar to Abraham Lincoln, Rousseau and Thackeray (comparative IQs of 128).

All of the Liberals who answer these question either will or have answered them wrong. The majority of the Indigo Red readers are Conservatives - so, how'd you do?

How did I do? Well, honestly, I didn't know the answer to many of the questions. However, knowing which answer a Liberal would choose (the worst case) compelled the opposite response. As most of us here have found, any position diametrically opposite that of Liberals is, ipso facto, the correct and factual answer. When one learns this, facts become self-evident.

"Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan (attributed), four-term U.S. Senator, ambassador, administration official, and academic. Democrat (they're not all stupid.)

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

What A Liberal Will Believe

You are a liberal if you believe any of these claims:

1. We spend more on defense than we do on health care and other human services.

2. Our health care system is worse than other developed countries because the free market has failed and our government doesn't spend enough on health.

3. The rich pay less in taxes than the poor.

4. The U.S. is one of the worst offenders in producing global warming gases, and keeps on polluting while other countries are cutting back.

5. The biggest problem with Islamic terrorism is the resulting backlash against Muslims.

6. AIDS affects everyone equally, gay and straight.

7. We have high rates of rapes and sexual assault because of the availability of guns.

8. There was no good reason to invade Iraq in 2003, certainly not the threat of WMD.

9. More lives would be saved by making helmets mandatory for motorcycle riders than would be saved by making them mandatory for pedestrians or car drivers and passengers.

10. President Bush is stupid.

And you would be absolutely wrong on every point because the facts say otherwise.

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