Saturday, July 12, 2008

Robert Redford Gives Best Reason to Vote McCain

Just when you think all the reasons have been presented, another reason to vote for John McCain pops up. Oscar winning actor/director Robert Redford told The Irish Times that he hopes Barack Obama will win.

"...I think he will. If he doesn't, you can kiss the Democratic Party goodbye."
Could there be a better reason to cast a vote for John McCain in November? I don't think so.

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

IndyMac Tanks After Schumer Speaks

The federal government took control of Pasadena-based IndyMac Bank on Friday in what regulators called the second-largest bank failure in U.S. history.

Citing a massive run on deposits, regulators shut its main branch three hours early, leaving customers stunned and upset...

The bank's 33 branches will be closed over the weekend, but the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. will reopen the bank on Monday as IndyMac Federal Bank, said the Office of Thrift Supervision in Washington. Customers will not be able to bank by phone or Internet over the weekend, regulators said, but can continue to use ATMs, debit cards and checks. Normal branch hours, online banking and phone banking services are to resume Monday.

Federal authorities estimated that the takeover of IndyMac, which had $32 billion in assets, would cost the FDIC $4 billion to $8 billion. Regulators said deposits of up to $100,000 were safe and insured by the FDIC. The agency's insurance fund has assets of about $52 billion.
Read the story here.

The immediate cause of the demise of IndyMac was a classic run-on-the-bank like the one we saw in the movie "It's A Wonderful Life" (103 min film.) However, IndyMac was pushed over the edge by Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) who wrote letters to the FDIC, OTS, an dtwo other federal agencies claiming that IndyMac could have "serious problems" in its loan holdings. He wrote, "I am concerned that IndyMac's financial deterioration poses significant risks to both taxpayers and borrowers." The bank "could face a failure if prescriptive measures are not taken quickly."

Schumer's warning induced bank depositors to yank $1.3 BILLION from their accounts between June 27 and July 3, 2008. Although he says IndyMac was already failing and was expected to fold for months, it tanked after Schumer's publicity. IndyMac stock peaked in 2006 at $50 per share. Closing price Friday was 28 cents. Thanks, Charlie.

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

Friday, July 11, 2008

Israel Uses US al-Anbar Airbases

The Pentagon and Israel are denying reports that the Israeli Air Force is using American air bases in Iraq in preparation for a strike on Iranian nuclear facilities. The Jerusalem Post reported July 11th the IAF landed a large force at an American base in al-Anbar near Haditha after crossing Jordanian airspace during the night.

Iraqi Defense Ministry spokesman, Major-General Mohammad al-Askari, "As the Ministry of Defense, we haven't observed any IAF warplanes practicing in Iraqi airspace."

Planes landing and taking off in the dark of night, it's not hard to believe the IDM didn't see the Israeli Air Force. The Israelis usually remove all markings from their equipment on special operation missions. From TIME magazine, June 22, 1981, describing the Osirak bombing mission to destroy "the French-built Tammuz 1 nuclear reactor at El-Tuwaitha, 10½ miles southwest of Baghdad... In September 1980, the Israelis received additional intelligence. Taking advantage of the confusion at the start of the Iraq-Iran war, unmarked Israeli planes flew over the reactor site, gathering valuable data. "

In an article entitled "Friendless Fire?", David Walsh writing for about the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty June 8, 1967, "...multiple, close preattack overflights by Israeli reconnaissance planes, the attack by unmarked jets, and the U.S. flag standing out continually."

Should the American base in al-Anbar be used by Israel to attack the Iranian nuclear sites, unmarked IAF jets will be only 5 minutes from the targets at Bushehr.

Publically, the US is opposing any Israeli action against Iran. Atlas Shrugs points to another JPOST from July 8th which which spoke with Dr. Anthony Cordesman, "The US has opted at this point to stick to the diplomatic track in its efforts to keep Iran from going nuclear, and has made clear to Israel that it shouldn't attack Iran without White House approval." ... Israeli officials confirmed that Cordesman's statements indeed reflected the current tone of US policy.

Before the Osirak strike, the Reagan administration advised negotiations with Iraq to halt Saddam Hussein's nuclear program. Although Reagan didn't know about the air raid preparations, he continued to caution Israel against taking any military action. According to the Israeli Insider, June 25, 2004, after learning of the raid, "...Reagan was furious and the U.S. supported the UN Security Council resolution condemning Israel. On the other hand, the U.S. ambassador to the UN, Jeane Kirkpatrick, was one of Israel's staunchest defenders, and the U.S. vetoed more than a dozen other anti-Israel resolutions.

While other presidents privately threatened to withhold aid or take other measures against Israel, Reagan did not hesitate to publicly punish Israel. After Israel annexed the Golan Heights in 1981, Reagan suspended the strategic cooperation agreement prompting Begin to accuse Reagan of treating Israel like a "banana republic." The U.S. also suspended the delivery of F-16 jet fighters to Israel after the raid on Osirak. In both instances, the penalties were only temporary."

Post raid, Reagan acted on incomplete information believing Israel had not consulted with the US and other allies before the mission. President Reagan wrote in his diary, "June 16 - We have just learned that Israel & the previous admin. did communicate about Iraq & the nuclear threat & the U.S. agreed it was a threat. There was never a mention of this to us by the outgoing admin. Amb. Lewis cabled word to us after the Israeli attack on Iraq & now we find there was a stack of cables & memos tucked away in St. Dept. files."

I was living in Irvine, CA., near El Toro Marine Base, during Gulf War I. The Pentagon would say by day there were no troop movements to the Gulf and no C-130 Hercules cargo jets were flying from US bases. For about a week, during the dead of night, heavy aircraft were taking off every few minutes from El Toro. I could hear them while in bed trying to sleep through the noise. In the low city lights, there was a moment of ascent when the shape of the planes were visible against the black sky.

Just because the Administration and the Pentagon say there are no plans to bomb the Iranian nuke sites, doesn't make it so. The Israelis have pulled off complex secret missions before and have used unidentified aircraft. The US has also covered large scale operations quite well from the general public. Because any actions against Iran would necessarily be secret, it isn't possible for me to say whether or not Israel will attack Iran's nuke sites. All I know is that I've seen the current activities before and violent world saving actions have followed.

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

Thursday, July 10, 2008

54 Years Ago

Uncle Harry, Nannie, Aunt Laurel, Cousin Harry. New Jersey, July 10, 1954

I have no idea who these people are or were other than their names and the photo was made on July 10, 1954 in New Jersey.

In the very early morn, miles and miles west, I was born.

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

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Climate Change Delusion: Patient Zero

Finally, a reason to side with Freud. Aussie shrinks have identified Patient Zero of Climate Change Delusion. The global warmists have scared the crap out of a "17-year-old man", a child really.

PSYCHIATRISTS have detected the first case of "climate change delusion" - and they haven't even yet got to Kevin Rudd and his global warming guru.

Writing in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, Joshua Wolf and Robert Salo of our Royal Children's Hospital say this delusion was a "previously unreported phenomenon".

"A 17-year-old man was referred to the inpatient psychiatric unit at Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne with an eight-month history of depressed mood . . . He also . . . had visions of apocalyptic events."

"The patient had also developed the belief that, due to climate change, his own water consumption could lead within days to the deaths of millions of people through exhaustion of water supplies."

But never mind the poor boy, who became too terrified even to drink. What's scarier is that people in charge of our Government seem to suffer from this "climate change delusion", too.
So, what's next Mr. Gore? Stealing candy from babies, reintroducing the Closet Monster? Global warming deniers under every bed?

Get used to it. More people are going to be afflicted with this malady of stupidity. And not all of their reactions will be benign to other. Personal violence is going to happen and it's all on Al Gore's head.

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

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Saudis Feel the Economic Pinch

The price of gasoline has been around $.45/gal the last few days in Ryadh, Saudi Arabia. That's only about one-tenth of the price US drivers are paying. But, don't get too hot under the collar, all is not rosy in the magic Kingdom.

Saudi Arabia is experiencing 11% inflation and many Arabs say they are worse off now than they were in the first oil crisis in the 1970s. That boom raised the desert kingdom from rags to riches, but today the price of everything is higher, except fuel.

"Gas prices are low here, so what?" said Muhammad Abdullah, a 60-year-old retiree. "What can I do with gas? Drink it? Take it with me to the supermarket?"

Al-Mazeen says his monthly grocery bill has doubled — to $215 — compared to last year, when oil was at around $70 a barrel. During that time period, the price of rice has doubled to about 72 cents a pound, and a pound of beef has gone up more than a third to about $4.

Moreover, Saudis are grappling with unemployment — estimated at 30 percent among young people aged 16 to 26 — and a stock market that is down 10 percent since the beginning of the year.
Although the kingdom controls most of the oil wealth and distributes the wealth to all citizens, there are more citizens today than in the 1970s. Back then, the population was only 9.2 million and has exploded to 22 million Saudi citizens today with 5.6 million more foreign workers who must be paid. The King's subjects are not the wealtiest in the region. Per capita income in the Kingdom is 20,700USD, while the Qatari per capita income is 67,000USD. Qatar, however, has only a half-million people.

Last week, "the Economy and Planning Ministry said the rental index, which includes rents, fuel and water, has soared 18.5 percent, while food and beverage costs have increased by 15 percent."

The Saudi government does not believe the high oil prices can be sustained. On March 31, the Cabinet reduced customs duties "on 180 major foodstuffs, consumer goods and construction materials for at least three years." Yet, the budget surplus is expected to about $260 billion in 2008 compared to 47.6 billion in 2007. Because of declining supplies of in-ground oil, the Saudis invest much of the nations wealth abroad in capital growth vehicles, stocks, and real estate as a hedge against the day when oil prices fail. These investments put greater strain on the national budget.

We may be having economic problems today and the future looks bleak, but the US has the capacity to weather the current economic down turn and again turn a profit in the future. In the meantime, buckle up; it's going to be a bumpy ride.

h/t: Indigo Rose

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

Monday, July 07, 2008

Rene Marie, 'I did not feel like an American.'

Rene Marie, I understand, is a jazz singer of some renown. Most are aware Ms. Marie substituted “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing", the so-called Black National Anthem, for the expected "Star Spangled Banner", the American National Anthem at a mayoral event in Denver, Colorado. (You Tube video.)

Many photons have already been spilled on this subject, so let's just say that most folks didn't appreciate the switch and it came as a complete surprise as Ms. Marie had never done such a thing before. Or so they thought.

The Denver Post blogger Frosty Woodbridge wrote, "Ms. Marie smugly disrespected America!"

At the blog, Planck's Constant, "Some Americans Do Not Appreciate America. I'm not talking about immigrants who become citizens and do not appreciate this country, that is at least comprehensible. I'm talking about black citizens who, had they been born in Africa, would have been slaves to some Muslim overlord or dying of hunger, disease, or war," wrote Bernie.

Can't say that I disagree with either opinion or any of the other dozen or so articles offering similar opinions excoriating Ms. Marie.

Even Rene Marie come to a similar conclusion. In an interview three years ago in Russia, "the interviewer referred to me as an American. I started to interrupt her, to tell her she was mistaken. But I caught myself and was extremely surprised and dismayed to discover that I didn’t feel like an American."

Three points: Ms. Marie was not hired, but asked to sing; it was not the first time she switched songs; she was introduced as Rene Martin (maybe that was the final straw.)

Rene Marie has a Q and A statement at her webpage:

Last month, I was contacted by a staff member of the Mayor’s office and was asked to sing the “Star Spangled Banner”. I knew if I sang at this event I would not be singing the standard version of this song, but would be singing my own version of it. After thinking about it for a day I called back and said I would like to sing for the event. On the day of the event I arrived and followed through on my intention to sing my version of the national anthem. When I finished singing, I returned to my place on the podium with the other participants and listened to the Mayor’s speech. When it ended, I left the podium and went home. I didn’t get that much feedback, but the responses I did get were all positive.

I can see how it may be perceived that way. But I looked at it a different way: I am an artist. As such, if I wait until I am asked to express myself artistically, or if I must ask permission to do it, it would never get done. I wanted to tell them what I was going to do, but I couldn’t because I knew the answer would be ‘no’. I knew that, even if I asked to do my version of the national anthem, the answer would be ‘no’. ...

I viewed the invitation to be a door opened to me to sing this version of the Star Spangled Banner; that others needed to hear it as much as I needed to sing it. Also, I had sung the song successfully right in the city of Denver only two months earlier and received much positive response. The organizers of that event did not know I was going to sing that song, either.


... Actually, I didn’t expect that singing the song would garner this kind of negative attention. After all, I had sung the exact same song in May at the Colorado Prayer Luncheon, an event attended by members of the Executive, Judicial and Legislative branches of the state government earlier this year and, to my knowledge there wasn’t even a ripple of complaint. In fact, I got nothing but positive remarks about my song. This played a large part in my decision-making process to sing the song again at the State of the City address.
There's something wrong in Colorado if members of the Executive, Judicial, and Legislative branches don't know the song sung as the National Anthem simply wasn't, and do not know enough to say anything about it.

Rene Marie has an excuse - she's a self-absorbed, ignorant jazz artist, and as her statement indicates, does not have a clear idea of what she wanted, what she did, nor how the choice would affect others. The state officials have no excuse.

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

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Iraqi Yellowcake Delivered to Canada in Secret

There is really big news out today that the Saddam era yellowcake has finally been removed in a three month secret removal operation. The US government wanted to move the yellowcake by ocean ship from Iraq, but decided that would be extremely risky since the ships would have to pass through the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz.

They decided to haul the stuff out by cargo jet to the Indian Ocean British base at Diego Garcia, then put the 550 metric tons (1.2 million pounds plus) of concentrated uranium on ships. The ships would then deliver the yellowcake to Canada. The Canadians assure us the yellowcake will be used only for good and not for evil.

There is much being made of this story vis-à-vis the main stream media, the much maligned MSM. It's being printed the MSM will not pick-up the story, the MSM ignored the story for years, the MSM has for years claimed the nuke program didn't exist, the MSM is shocked, shocked, to find that Iraq did indeed have a nuclear program. And much of it is true. Most of the criticism is hype, though.

The MSM - who the hell is the MSM anyway? - has been reporting the yellowcake for years. In fact, the story that broke today is from the Associated Press, the AP, the evil AP, the traitorous AP, the AP that wouldn't know the truth if it tripped over it. Along with the AP story is a photograph with this caption: In a Monday June 9, 2003 file photo, UN inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) work at the nuclear facility in Tuwaitha, Iraq, 50 kms east of Baghdad. The last major remnant of Saddam Hussein's nuclear program - a huge stockpile of concentrated natural uranium - reached a Canadian port Saturday, July 5, 2008, to complete a secret U.S. operation that included a two-week airlift from Baghdad and a ship voyage crossing two oceans. (AP Photo/Saurabh Das, file)

The AP points out that an official interviewed said, "There was no evidence of any yellowcake dating from after 1991." That comports with the story the Left has been telling that Saddam was not buying yellowcake from Niger. But it also conforms to the Bush Administrations assertion that Saddam had nuclear material all along.

Yet, this supposed to be some kind of vindication for ... whom? For what? The right is still going to say Saddam had a nuclear program with yellowcake and the Left is still going to say Saddam had no working nuclear WMD and besides, he didn't get the yellowcake from Niger, like Joe Wilson said. What changes?

The whole argument got sidetracked by both sides playing politics with a subject that seemed imminently dangerous, but in reality, was of marginal import at best. There was a sexy blonde CIA spy involved and that certainly kept people's attention.

The yellowcake stockpiles themselves were of little or no danger. Yellowcake is non-explosive and one must breath in the dust to get sick. The stockpiles were under US military guard since the the start of the war because everyone in the biz knew the exact location. The bad guys haven't the equipment to process the material. A dirty bomb would be the best they could do, and that would have limited efficacy.

My question is this: who or what is the MSM? The MSM is being accused of ignoring news stories, yet they are the same guys that everyone else gets the stories from. So, if the MSM isn't reporting, where do the stories come from?

Or is it that the MSM, hated by both sides of the aisle by the way, reports stories in a manner and with a bias with which we do not agree? Much of the so called 'new media' has been around long enough to be thought of as 'media of record' as the New York Times and the Washington Post are called 'papers of record'. These would, of course, be media organs to whom officials go to spill the beans and common folk go for reliable information. So, would Pajamas Media, Drudge Report, Townhall, InstaPundit, and Michelle Malkin be eligible for MSM status, because we go to them for reliable information. Or is that reserved only for news organs we don't like?

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