Saturday, March 01, 2008

Template for Declaring an International Enemy

Whomever succeeds to the U.S. presidency this year, may be in need of a new international enemy sometime during their tenure. If so, the following boilerplate enemy declaration should fill the bill.

The (name of your enemy) are certainly the most implacable and the most dangerous enemies of the (name of your country) nation. Their form of government, their religion, their jealousy of our power, as well as their prosecutions of commerce, and pursuits of universal (name your conspiracy), will fix them in their animosities and aversions towards us, and make them catch at all opportunities of subverting our constitution, destroying our religion, ruining our trade, and sinking the figure which we make among the nations of (name your geolocation).
This was written by Joseph Addison in a 1707 essay and still works today. Originally, he was making the English case against the French.

The French are certainly the most implacable and the most dangerous enemies of the British nation. Their form of government, their religion, their jealousy of our power, as well as their prosecutions of commerce, and pursuits of universal monarchhy, will fix them in their animosities and aversions towards us, and make them catch at all opportunities of subverting our constitution, destroying our religion, ruining our trade, and sinking the figure which we make among the nations of Europe.
France was an evil empire bent on global domination and could not be trusted. Spies and secret agents were used by the French to subvert England in a long range compiracy to sabotage the British economy and sap their reputation in Europe. In 1689, England drafted William of Orange as their king and thereafter were cought in a series of wars with France lasting many years, costing much blood and treasure. The American Revolution was a part of the French-English global wars.

"God and Gold - Britain, America, and the Making of the Modern World"
by Walter Russell Mead
You Tube, Mead speaks at UC Berkeley

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

Friday, February 29, 2008

Prince Harry's War

Cornet Wales, H. has been sent home from the battle grounds of Afghanistan. Drudge Report is being blamed for spilling the beans about Prince Harry's war. Harry insisted that he be deployed with his unit after passing out Sandhurst Military Academy April 12, 2006. His request was denied.

After threatening to quit the uniform, another assignment was found for Harry and his unit - training in Canada and deployment to Afghanistan. It's not like any of this was any big secret. CTV Canada reported June 2, 2007:

Canadian Press

MEDICINE HAT, Alta. -- There are reports that Britain's Prince Harry may be training at Canadian Forces Base Suffield in southern Alberta.

A media lockout at the base has fuelled rumours, which have resulted in dozens of calls to a local radio station.

Some people are saying they can vouch for the fact that the 22-year-old prince is in town, but won't give their names.

Harry was set to be posted to Iraq as a British army officer earlier this spring and seemed eager for the chance.

But the decision was then made that it would be too dangerous for other troops and for the prince, who British military officials say would become a prime target.

CFB Suffield, which is approximately 50 kilometres northwest of Medicine Hat and 250 kilometres southeast of Calgary, is home to a British Army Training Unit.

A spokesman for the training unit won't confirm or deny whether Harry is in Alberta.
Wales was seen at Cowboys Niteclub in Calgary with his Brit Army buds, reported the CBC News June 8. Handsome Harry was making googly eyes at pretty bartender, Cherie Cymbalisty. He hung around late into the night sharing drinks and chatting up the young lady.

The Embassy of Afghanistan in Canada released Bulletin #1707, 6/4/07 from the Afghan News:

Prince Harry in Canada for pre-Afghanistan training:

AFP Sun Jun 3, 12:10 PM ET

Prince Harry is in training at a military base in Canada to prepare for a possible British Army deployment to Afghanistan, newspapers reported Sunday.

The 22-year-old officer, third-in-line to the throne, is at the British Army Training Unit Suffield, about 100 miles (160 kilometres) southeast of Calgary in Alberta.

The casually-dressed prince flew to Calgary from London Heathrow Airport on Wednesday, newspapers said.

"They got him in and out of there very quickly," a witness was quoted as saying in The Mail on Sunday, News of the World and the Sunday Mirror.

Army top brass stopped Harry from joining his regiment's recent deployment to Basra in southern Iraq over fears he would be headhunted by insurgents.

Reports have said he is being lined up for a posting to Afghanistan instead, where it would be harder for Taliban rebels to pinpoint his location. British troops are taking on insurgents in the restive southern Helmand province.

Harry is a second lieutenant in the elite Blues and Royals regiment of the British Army's Household Cavalry, responsible for 11 soldiers and four Scimitar reconnaissance vehicles.

Harry, known as Cornet Wales in the Army, is expected to practice "fire and manoeuvre" operations at Suffield, the largest training area available for British armoured vehicles, according to the Sunday Mirror.

"All the armoured live firing training is done at Suffield. It points towards a posting in Helmand. That kind of role is less in demand now in Iraq," a military source told the tabloid.

The British Army's website says: "This area is one of the largest our army trains on and it provides a highly realistic environment."

The British Army and Britain's Ministry of Defence refused to comment.
This report is from the same bulletin:

Prince bound for Afghanistan


Prince Harry will serve a tour of duty in war-torn Afghanistan this summer following training at a southern Alberta army base, a British newspaper reports.

Plans have been finalized for Harry -- who flew into Calgary last Wednesday to join British soldiers at CFB Suffield near Medicine Hat -- to fulfil his ambition of serving in a war zone, according to the Observer newspaper.

Details of which regiment he will accompany will not be made public, but his likely brief tour will be to help train the Afghan army in the country's notorious Helmand province, according to British defence officials.

The Calgary Sun revealed Saturday that Harry, an armoured reconnaissance troop leader with the British Army's elite Blues and Royals of the Household Cavalry, is at CFB Suffield.

Suffield is the largest Commonwealth training base, where Canadian and British troops prepare for missions in Afghanistan and elsewhere.

The 22-year-old prince was due to be deployed in Iraq this month before it was deemed too dangerous, both for him and his fellow soldiers.

According to the Observer, it is likely Harry will be accompanied in Afghanistan by a small group of officers from his own regiment.

Yet Britain's Daily Mail reports that plans to send Harry, third in line to the throne, on a mission to Afghanistan are in doubt amid mounting concern over British casualties.

Forces in Afghanistan remain engaged in hostilities, and two more British troops were killed last week.

And British army sources have revealed a single infantry battalion recently saw around a dozen of its soldiers airlifted back to Britain suffering critical injuries within a three-week period, the newspaper reports.

The level of violence raises questions over whether the Prince would be any safer in Afghanistan than he would be in Iraq.
It hardly seems that Prince Harry's posting to Afghanistan was much of a secret to anyone paying attention. The Afghan News, The Mail on Sunday, News of the World and the Sunday Mirror, Observer, and Calgary Sun all knew of the story and went to print with it. Even the PakTribune of Pakistan ran the story June 4, 2007.

Bloggerheads(UK) found the cached story that appeared in New Idea magazine, "a trashy supermarket tabloid", that has been credited with outing the Prince Harry War story that Drudge collected and broke to the world.

Prince Harry: War Lord
Jan 15 12:07pm

Maverick Prince Harry has joined his regiment on a covert mission to Afghanistan and his unit has already seen front line action.

New Idea can exclusively reveal that despite opposition from senior members of the British government and the royal family itself, Harry flew out with his regiment and joined the troops on the front line. He spent Christmas with his men at the sharp end of the action.

'Harry found members of his unit were to be posted in Afghanistan for a four-month tour of duty over Christmas and the New Year,' a close friend tells New Idea.

'He had already begrudgingly accepted the decision to keep him off the front line in Iraq, but when he heard about the mission in Afghanistan he was insistent he would not stay at home eating Christmas dinner and living it up at the palace while his men were on the front line.

'At first there was a lot of resistance, but Harry even threatened to resign his commission and serve as a private if he was kept from the battlefield - and that proved to be the final straw,' the friend says.

'He wants to be a real soldier who gets the same treatment as any other officer of his rank - and that means going to war just like everybody else.'

Prince Charles was said to be against the idea of Harry seeing active service, but sources say that with the support of his elder brother William, and uncle Prince Andrew, who flew helicopters during the Falklands war, Harry convinced Charles not to take action to prevent him from going.

The Queen is said to have sent Harry a card with her best wishes and a gift with sentimental value that he has kept private.

Before he left, Harry invited William and some of his close friends to a secret 'godspeed' party at Boujis nightclub in London.

Guests were under strict instruction that there was to be no mention of the real reason for the party and no toasts or public discussion of Harry's imminent departure.

The British government is said to strongly oppose Harry's deployment to Afghanistan. Their official reason is that his presence may put his fellow soldiers at risk, but defence commentators have been quick to suggest it may be more to do with their fear that Harry could be killed or injured fighting George Bush's 'war on terror'. This would doom Gordon Brown's Labour government in the next election.

But Harry has always been insistent that he wanted to see active duty and he hated the idea of being wrapped in cotton wool while his men put their lives on the line.

He famously said: 'There's no way I'm going to put myself through Sandhurst and then sit on my a*** back home while my boys are out fighting for their country.'
I think too many organizations are taking credit for discovering a not-so-secret top secret. Those credit seekers should actually be very embarrassed that it took them so long to see the story that was literally in their faces printed right there in their own newspapers. From June 2006, while Harry was training, as the MoD said, for deployment in Afghanistan to the 10th week of a 14 week Afghan assignment, the press missed the actions of one of England's highest profile celebs. Not much for the MSM to be proud of there.

For his service in a war zone some 500-800 yards from Taliban jihadis, under fire five time a day, involved in fire fight lasting a few hours, and directing air power to Taliban positions, Prince Harry acquitted himself admirably. He was a soldier among soldiers doing a very dangerous job. Though the MoD is withdrawing Cornet Wales, he is already insisting upon returning to his unit and his men. Admirable, indeed.

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

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Obama's Kerry Moment

Almost sounds like he voted for it before voted against it.

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

The Power of Your Brain

The human brain is an amazing thing. It is incredibly small, yet can perform functions more complex and faster than the best computers.

One of the things it does instantaineously is decode letters in series. We call those words. Usually the words are assembled in an agreed upon order and we recognize them without thought. But, what happens when the letters in the words are mixed up? Well, pretty much the same thing. It happens so quickly that witerrs need to get tehir pniot asorcs in jsut a few seodcns, or the raeedr's anitttoen is lsot.

Arinocdcg to rencet rseaerch, the hmuan brian is plrectfey albe to raed colmpex pasasges of txet caiinontng wdors in whcih the lrettes hvae been jmblued, pvioedrd the frsit and lsat leetrts rmeian in teihr crcerot piiotsons.

The fcat taht you are ridenag tihs now wtih reaitvle esae is poorf of the thoery.

Wehre did all of tihs strat?

It smees taht the trehoy orgteiinad form a 1976 ppaer at the Uvnitsriey of Nigaonthtm wtiertn by Graahm Rwsnailon of Asrhodelt, wichh gvae rsie to an acirlte wihch aaeprrped in the 'Narute' pbuolitaicn in 1999.

A fhrtuer alircte in the Tiems neppeawsr in Speemebtr 2003 pivroedd mroe eanxopiatln auobt the peohoemnnn.

In the Tmeis aitlcre, Dr Reoaesln MhActcry, a neruo-phylcoogsy lruecter form Knig’s Ceglloe, Cgmdbriae, ssegegtud taht hmuan bnegis are albe to usnatdnerd jeublmd up wdors buaecse the hmaun bairn parimliry raeds the mannieg rehatr tahn the piothenc cnontet of wdors (the sdnuos of the wrdos and leertts).

Dr McRtcahy was qoteud as saiyng, taht "...if you can acaitinpte waht the nxet wrod in a snnetece cloud be, you wlil not nslsciareey ntcoie if smoe of the leettrs in taht wrod are out of pclae...", and she aslo taht she was sepsrruid at jsut how rosubt the barin’s rgceotnioin aeiibtils had been pverod to be. "The hamun biarn is a lot mroe toanelrt tahn we had pahrpes risaeled, and it has to cpoe wtih diisputrng in eevydray lfie."

The torehy pdeoivrs a fiatsincang pprciesetve on mderon cutonacniimmos and the dmveelnoept of laguange.

The terohy aslo hples to eaipxln the doepmevnlet of merodn txet mseniagsg lagunage, and how the hamun biran so rlaidey utendrnsdas atboivbinears and cimtonobnais of lrettes and nbrmeus mainkg new 'wdros' whcih we've nveer seen beofre and yet stlil are albe to usterdannd alsomt iammeiltdey. For emxpale: 'c u lte8r', wihch you'll nitcoe you can utransnded eevn thgouh it's jmulebd.

One of the gerat lsneoss form tihs troehy dmsttnareoes the rmaaebrlke pweor of the huamn biarn.

Wehn we are yonug we not olny lraen how to raed, but aslo ibcerndily and uninaenionltlty lraen how to raed waht wuold by nmoral cooevntnin be decerbisd as uettr nnsosnee.

Tihs bges qtuseonis abuot the dicrieotn of laagngue eolotuvin.

Waht wlil lgganaue look lkie in geotrnaiens to cmoe?

Whtuoit dobut hmuan binegs are albe to asobrb pvrseiogerlsy mroe maening form pvolesesrrigy rucdnieg anotmus of wrdos and lrttees.

We now raed in shohtnrad - and iamegs - and sfcginltianiy we are beord by aiytnhng taht is too lhtngey.

Posorneiafl witerrs need to get tehir pniot asorcs in jsut a few seodcns, or the raeedr's anitttoen is lsot.

The jmbleud wdros torhey datrmneeosts jsut how caalbpe the biarn is at arnboibsg mneaing far mroe qilcuky tahn msot wrietrs wuold eevr iaimnge.


When finished with this post, I hit the SpellCheck option and the program froze up. The computer couldn't process all the jumbled words and it just quit. You, the human, got this far and that's farther that the microprocessors got. Congratulations.

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

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Mint Rejects D.C. Two Bit Design

The District of Columbia, the home of Washington city, after ten years of lobbying will have its own quarter in the commemorative state series of 25 cent coins. However, the three designs submitted have all been rejected because they carry the words "Taxation Without Representation."

The U.S. Mint rejected the slogan explaining that "the proposed inscription is clearly controversial and, therefore, inappropriate." The District's citizens have neither voting rights beyond city government, nor representatives in Congress.D.C. Mayor Fenty said of the inscription, "It's a fair assessment."

"Taxation Without Representation" harkens to the American revolutionary slogan "No Taxation Without Representation" which was in reaction the Stamp Act imposed by King George III and Parliament in 1765. In order to pay for the Seven Years War and other services rendered, the British government decided it was time the Colonies contribute to the cost of their own defense.

The Colonists had for many years been developing a political identity separate from that of the Mother Country. Though they were quite used to paying Royal taxes within the Colonies, the Stamp Act was the first time they had been taxed from outside their homes. The Colonists argued that since they were not represented in Parliament, they should not have to pay the tax. The fact that several English cities, such as Manchester, also did not have parliamentary representation and were taxed at a much higher rate, was of no concern to the Colonists.

It was the passing of the Stamp Act and the failure a year later to repeal the tax and the subsequent Townshend Act of 1767 establishing taxes on goods not previously taxed, like tea, which impelled the Colonies to the separation. It also impelled the Colonists to switch from drinking tea to coffee. For all the high toned rhetoric, the American Revolution was at heart a revolt against higher, not high, taxes.

As for the D.C. quarter, another design will be submitted with an alternate slogan. Perhaps the design with astronomer/mathematician Benjamin Banneker and musician "Duke" Ellington will be acceptable. The new coin is scheduled to debut in 2009.

h/t Indigo Rose
The AP via KTVN Channel 2 Reno
and News Channel 8 Arlington
Information on the Stamp Act courtesy of United Kingdom Parliament.

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

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Our Town: Tustin, CA

Ryan Kimberly lives in Tustin, the California town I call home. He's 19 years old, lives with his grandparents, and some folks are calling him a hero, especially Davey and Lisa Miller. The Millers were out to dinner and their home caught fire. Ryan was driving by, saw the smoke, found the flames, and ... well, I'll let Frank Mickadeit, Orange County Register columnist, tell the story because it's his column -

Now here's the kind of problem I like to solve. Lisa Miller of North Tustin called me because a 19-year-old boy saved her house from going up in flames and she didn't know what do for him. Gee. I don't know, put him in your will?

O.K., I'll play. Lisa is married to Davey Miller, who I see most Fridays. So I call up our hero, Ryan Kimberly, and pretty much have to drag it out of him. It's as Lisa described it. He's a guy of few words or wants.

The Millers were having dinner at Javier's the Sunday night before last. Ryan, who lives with his grandparents, was driving home. As he passes the Miller house on La Loma Road, he sees flames shooting up out of the backyard.

He pulls over, hops the fence and sees the fire is coming from the pool heater. It has spread to an adjacent exterior wall of the house and is licking at the rain gutter. He looks around and finds the hose and … uh-oh … it's not attached to a spigot. … Where's the damn spigot! … Finally finds one, turns on the hose, puts out the fire, saves the house.

"We just don't know what to do for him," Lisa had told me. "He doesn't seem to want anything."

OK, kid, I tell Ryan. Here's your chance. I know Davey. Santa Ana High, Western Law, doing well. Good cigars and good guitars. What's your pleasure? I can get you just about anything. What are you driving?

"Altima," he says.

"What year?" I ask.


So he doesn't need a car.

"Into music? Play the guitar?"

"Not really. I wanted to once."

"Smoke cigars?"

"Do I do what?"

Guess not.

Look, give me something to work with here. What are you doing? In school?

He's in fashion college. Wants to be a clothing designer. Hmmm, I say, I don't know what to do with that. I called the Fire Authority. Battalion Chief Kris Concepcion (who confirmed the incident happened) told me they'll look into a commendation. Best I can do for now, Ryan. I'll get back to ya.
From time to time, we hear of these kinds of hero stories. The poor immigrant cabbie who finds a wallet full of loot and gives it back to the desperate owner, or the stranger who grabs the little kid before being hit by the bus, and they want no reward. I remember a kid a few years ago that did a good deed, didn't want anything, but was made a national spectacle with news stories and Oprah interview - it was ridiculous.

Ryan did a good thing and doesn't want a reward beyond the thanks he's already received. There are people who are bound and determined to give him what he doesn't want. More's the pity. Ryan was raised with the right attitude and that should be respected. Apparently the only thing he wants is to know he did the right thing and that should be respected, too.

Ryan, thank you. Our town is better because of you.

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

Monday, February 25, 2008

The Iceman Arriveth

The iceman not only cometh, but he's here and has been for some time. At least that's what Russian records indicate said The National Post of Canada last month. "[T]he Russians -- with their northern military bases, scientific stations and gulags -- have records going back more than a century." But those aren't real scientific datum because they are Russian numbers and one can't trust Rusky numbers.

We in America have hard data, real data, accumulated over the centuries of European habitation of this continent. Right?

"... amidst all the headlines about catastrophic Arctic warming, there are reliable satellite images of Arctic ice coverage going back only to 1979 and -- at least in the Western hemisphere -- reliable surface and air observations going back to just 1972. So-called "record" melting is only a record compared to the past 30 or 40 years."
THIRTY OR FORTY YEARS! Is that all? That's it? The fate of the planet, according to Al Gore, hangs in the balance based on 30 or 40 years worth of temperature records?! Good grief, that's not even long enough to be called climate, it's just weather.

But, there are the Polar Bears drowning in the open Arctic Ocean for want of an ice cube large enough to sustain their dwindling population. Once the ice is gone, the mighty white predator, Moby Dick of the North, will be extinct. Right?

Then there was the news in early December that Icelandic and Norwegian scientists had determined an ancient polar bear jawbone they had discovered in 2004 was 110,000 to 130,000 years old.

What has that got to do with global warming? Only that it proves Ursus maritimus was a separate species before the Eeemian interglacial period. The Eeemian was a much warmer period than our own Holocene period, yet the big white predators managed to survive it without endangered species protection or the hand-wringing of environmentalists.
ONE HUNDRED-TEN THOUSAND TO ONE HUNDRED-THIRTY THOUSAND YEARS! That long? Polar Bears survived earlier warm periods, says The New York Times, that weren't caused by man made industrial pollution. How could this be? Well, the Eeemian may have been much warm than our Hallocene, but not that much warmer. Right?

By analyzing pollen patterns, European researchers determined the kinds of trees and shrubs that grew at different times. Evergreens like pines, for instance, are more abundant in cold times, while deciduous trees like oaks abound in warm periods. From this record the researchers deduced that the warmest winter temperatures in the first 2,900 years of the Eemian, on average, were about 10 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than they are today. But the rest of the Eemian, they found, descended often into episodes of severe cold.

In the coldest of these episodes, when winter temperatures were comparable to those at the end of the previous glacial period, the temperature dipped to 50 degrees below zero Fahrenheit at some points, with an average in the coldest month of 4 below.
TEN DEGREES F WARMER THAN TODAY! Oh no, we would all fry and the Polar Bears would die under those conditions. Oh, wait. That was 110,000 - 130,000 years ago and Polar Bears and we are still around. I guess 10d F isn't so hot after all. But...

MINUS FIFTY DEGREES FAHRENHEIT! That's really cold. No one could possibly survive -50d F. What about the 200,000 people who live in Yakutsk, Russia? The Siberian burg, says A Welsh View, is the coldest city on Earth where -50C/-58F is considered normal. Children get a snow day when it really gets cold at -55C/-67F.

Maybe we're not in so much trouble after all.

But wait, there's more ...

Canada's National Research Council employs a guy, Kenneth Tapping, who stares at the sun through a giant radio telescope all day. He's convinced, says The National Post, that we are headed for a really long, really cold spell because Sol, our sun, may be entering a period of inactivity with very few solar flares. Sun spots spew out large amounts of energy that bombards Earth, perturbating the atmosphere causing variations in weather.

The last time the sun was this inactive, Earth suffered the Little Ice Age that lasted about five centuries and ended in 1850. Crops failed through killer frosts and drought. Famine, plague and war were widespread. Harbours froze, so did rivers, and trade ceased.
OH NO! Another fatal disaster that will destroy all life on Earth and no one can do anything to stop it. Well, I guess we can always just sit back and drink a nice cold bottle of beer and wait for the end.

This year, unusual weather in Europe caused their 2007 hop crop to fall far below expectations. Germany’s crop was OK, but the harvests in Czechoslovakia and Slovenia fell 30% below expectations. (Go to YouTube and type in “Slovenia” and “hops” to see a hop farm devastated by a hail storm just prior to harvest.) England’s harvest was average, but - although classic varieties such as Kent Golding and Fuggles are popular among homebrewers - hop acreage in the UK has fallen so low (under 2,500 acres) that they no longer have much impact on the global hop trade. While all this was happening, the pool of excess hop extract finally dried up.”

SAY IT AIN'T SO! Now we're really doomed!

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

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Barack Obama is an Empty Suit, and Yet...

There is something about Obama. It's hard to identify. It's hard to quantify. But still, there's something about Obama.

A bit of a speech Obama delivered Feb 19 in Houston, Texas has been on my mind because it reminded me of something I couldn't quite remember until today - a poem about possibilities.

Rudyard Kipling -


IF you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!'

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
' Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch,
if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!
Barack Obama -

And if we could just get beyond
the divisions that have become
so commonplace
in our politics,
if we could bridge the divides
so that black, white, Hispanic,
Asian, Native American,
young, old, rich and poor,
Republican, Democrat,
if we could join together to challenge
the special interests in Washington,
but also to challenge ourselves,
also to challenge ourselves
to be better,
to be better neighbors,
to be better citizens,
to be better parents,
then I believe
there [is] no challenge we could not solve,
no destiny we could not fulfill.
Obama seems ubiquitous. If not himself, then the idea of Obama. As Dino Demopoulos of Chroma puts it: "Is there even a point in making the distinction? ... he has become a canvas for the projection of everything positive that Americans want to believe in... The idea of Obama is pretty compelling..." He has become "an open-sourced candidate. He can mean a lot of things to a lot of different people..." To illustrate his point, Dino sends readers to Barack Obama is your new bicycle and push refresh to get a new message of affirmation.

Obama is not just a candidate for President of the United States, he is a branded commodity. But a brand speaking a language viscerally understood by millions in the Western world, especially in the Anglo-American world. He is criticized for being an empty suit and a stuffed shirt at once; a man of style, but no substance. His words ring hollow without the one thing that gives them meaning, the one thing that has always offered comfort - hope.

Many before him have had the same and worse said about them. Some have been killed for the seemingly empty promises offered to the star struck and yearning masses:

And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. - Jesus of Nazareth

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty . . . Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans - born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace. - John F. Kennedy

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction....The chain reaction of evil -- hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars -- must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow and his orphan - to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations. - Abraham Lincoln.

To deprive a man of his natural liberty and to deny to him the ordinary amenities of life is worse then starving the body; it is starvation of the soul, the dweller in the body. - Mohandas Gandhi
I do not mean to endorse Barack Obama, merely try to understand the phenomenon that is Obama. He cannot be dismissed out of hand because within the nebulous ideas are the seeds of this nation stretching back to the Magna Carta, The Mayflower Compact, The Declaration of Independence, The Gettysburg Address, I Have a Dream and all the way to our own day.

Hope and an unshakable belief in the possibilities of tomorrow that is the heritage of America is what is being offered by Obama. We all feel it to some degree, but for many of us, there must be more, something more solid, more substantive, more factual - something more than hope.

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