Saturday, April 11, 2009

An Easter Story

Still Life with Lemons, Oranges, and a Rose (1633 Spain), Francisco de Zurbaran, housed in The Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena, CA.

Hard to believe, but this is actually a painting about Easter.

What we see is only a small part of the scene. We see the obvious - lemons, oranges, a rose, a cup and two plates on a table. There's no crucifix, no Roman soldiers, nor disciples, no thieves; so, how could this possibly have anything to do with the Christian Easter story?

Let's read the painting starting with the Rose and the Cup. The Rose is a traditional symbol of Mary, the mother of Jesus. The cup or vessel, is the womb of the mother. The vessel contains water signifying purity and the liquid with which Christians are baptized into the faith.

The Lemons, a sour fruit, represent the bitterness at the loss and death of The Christ, Jesus.

Both of these elements are presented on metal plates as offerings, much as the offering plates seen in many churches today. They are set on a table serving as an alter.

The Oranges, unlike the lemons, are painted with stems and flowers. The orange blossoms represent the rebirth as they return after each winter from a seemingly dead tree. The oranges are the sweet fruit that is the Love of Christ.

In 1633, most people were illiterate. The paintings contained stories that were readily available to the unlettered; every peasant who had heard the Bible stories could "read" the painting's story as well as any priest or scholar. We see the paintings today and they are just pretty pictures and are amazed by some authority or author who discovers the secrets and clues "hidden" by crafty artists disguising messages from the Church. There is no secret but to the uninitiated. And now you know what the Spanish peasants knew.

Happy Easter...

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

Thursday, April 09, 2009

America Weakening on Capitalism

The polling firm, Rasmussen, is reporting today that Capitalism is barely winning over Socialism in the hearts and minds of Americans.

Of the 1000 asked in a telephone survey,

53% of American adults believe capitalism is better than socialism.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 20% disagree and say socialism is better. Twenty-seven percent (27%) are not sure which is better.

Adults under 30 are essentially evenly divided: 37% prefer capitalism, 33% socialism, and 30% are undecided. Thirty-somethings are a bit more supportive of the free-enterprise approach with 49% for capitalism and 26% for socialism. Adults over 40 strongly favor capitalism, and just 13% of those older Americans believe socialism is better.

Investors by a 5-to-1 margin choose capitalism. As for those who do not invest, 40% say capitalism is better while 25% prefer socialism.

There is a partisan gap as well. Republicans - by an 11-to-1 margin - favor capitalism. Democrats are much more closely divided: Just 39% say capitalism is better while 30% prefer socialism. As for those not affiliated with either major political party, 48% say capitalism is best, and 21% opt for socialism.

The question posed by Rasmussen Reports did not define either capitalism or socialism.

It is interesting to compare the new results to an earlier survey in which 70% of Americans prefer a free-market economy. The fact that a “free-market economy” attracts substantially more support than “capitalism” may suggest some skepticism about whether capitalism in the United States today relies on free markets.

Other survey data supports that notion. Rather than seeing large corporations as committed to free markets, two-out-of-three Americans believe that big government and big business often work together in ways that hurt consumers and investors.

Fifteen percent (15%) of Americans say they prefer a government-managed economy, similar to the 20% support for socialism. Just 14% believe the federal government would do a better job running auto companies, and even fewer believe government would do a better job running financial firms.

Most Americans today hold views that can generally be defined as populist while only seven percent (7%) share the elitist views of the Political Class.
Go here for the whole Rasmussen report with vital statistics links.

Capitalists are not doing a very good job at communicating what capitalism is and isn't. The best that's done is scare the bejeebers out of people about the evils of Socialism and Communism to the point that very close to half the people don't believe those warnings anymore.

And, why not? Socialism and Communism promise the easy life can be achieved without the grind of daily work. One's lifestyle is guaranteed cradle to grave. What does Capitalism promise? Hard work through long days, you get to keep whatever you create to do with as one chooses, but for success at any level there is no guarantee.

If I had never been to the old Soviet Union and observed with with my own senses. I might go for for Socialism, too. However, I never prospered until I gave up on the Liberal Democrat line (lie) and joined the Capitalist Republicans.

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

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

It's Not a Bow

That's the White House. story and they're sticking to it.

Watch closely because what you see at 00:55 didn't happen.

Politico writes that an Obama aide said, "It wasn't a bow. He grasped his hand with two hands, and he's taller than King Abdullah."

Yes, Obama is taller than the Saudi king. Not so tall, however, that he needed to fold like a jack knife.

A Washington Post editorial says:

Mr. Obama later said in Strasbourg, France, "We have to change our behavior in showing the Muslim world greater respect." Symbolism is important in world affairs. By bending over to show greater respect to Islam, the U.S. president belittled the power and independence of the United States.

The bow was an extraordinary protocol violation. Such an act is a traditional obeisance befitting a king's subjects, not his peer. There is no precedent for U.S. presidents bowing to Saudi or any other royals. Former President Franklin D. Roosevelt shook hands with Saudi King Abdulaziz in February 1945. Granted, Mr. Roosevelt was wheelchair-bound, but former President Dwight D. Eisenhower shook hands when he first met King Saud in January 1957. Mr. Obama's bow to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques does not help his image with those who believe he is secretly a Muslim, and why he chose to bow only to the Saudi King and not to any other royals remains unexplained.

No Americans of any station are required to bow to royalty. It is one of the pillars of American exceptionalism that our country rejected traditional caste divisions. Article I Section 9 of the Constitution forbids titles of nobility and stipulates that no officeholder or government employee may "accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state" without the consent of Congress. Judith Martin wrote in her Miss Manners column in 2001 that bowing "is not an ordinary bit of foreign etiquette one might adopt out of courtesy when traveling. ... Americans do not properly bow to any royalty. We show respect for other countries' leaders the same way we do to our own."
Whoa! Good thing Obama didn't bow because that would be really bad; so bad the media would be all over him like slobber on a hound dog.

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

Couch Potato-in-Chief

For the most part, Obama's television viewing habits are rather pedestrian, according to Politico. He watches Entourage, Hannah Montana, SpongeBob SquarePants, SportsCenter, NBA and NCAA games and lots of ESPN.

But when it comes to the real news, and not the fake kind, Obama takes a pass — rarely ever tuning into 24-hour cable chatter or replays of his own performances.

“We usually tell him how we think he did,” said longtime friend Valerie Jarrett.
Alrighty then. That's disturbing.

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

American Crew Regains Control of Pirated Ship

The American crew of the pirated US flagged ship have taken control of the ship and the pirates are reportedly in the water.

The AP writes

WASHINGTON – The crew of a U.S.-flag ship seized by pirates off Somalia is believed to have retaken the vessel, the Pentagon said Wednesday, even as a shaken national security establishment confronted troubling questions about the hostage-taking at high sea.

Capt. Joseph Murphy, an instructor at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, told The Associated Press the Department of Defense that his son Shane, the second in command on the ship, had called him to say the crew had regained control.

"The crew is back in control of the ship," a U.S. official said at midday, speaking on condition of anonymity because she was not authorized to speak on the record. "It's reported that one pirate is on board under crew control — the other three were trying to flee," the official said. The status of the other pirates was unknown, the official said, but they were reported to "be in the water."

That's what happens with an American crew.

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

Somali Pirates Seize US Flagged Merchant Ship

Somali Muslim pirates seized a US flagged cargo ship with 20-21 American crewmen aboard at about 12:30AM local time. The nearest US Navy ship was 300 nautical miles away. According to Reuters,
Andrew Mwangura, coordinator of the Mombasa-based East African Seafarers' Assistance Program, told Reuters the 17,000 ton Maersk Alabama had been seized off Mogadishu far out in the Indian Ocean, but all its crew were believed to be unharmed.

Denmark's A.P. Moller-Maersk confirmed that the U.S.-flagged Maersk Alabama had been attacked by pirates about 500 km (300 miles) off Somalia and had probably been hijacked. The company said it had 20 American crew on board.

A spokesman for the U.N.'s World Food Program (WFP) in Nairobi told Reuters that among the vessel's cargo were 232 containers of WFP relief food destined for Somalia and Uganda.
The AP had this earlier report


NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) - Somali pirates on Wednesday hijacked a U.S.-flagged cargo ship with 21 crew members aboard, a diplomat and a U.S. Navy spokesman said.

The Kenya-based diplomat identified the vessel as the 17,000-ton Maersk Alabama and said all the crew members are American. The diplomat spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

The U.S. Navy confirmed that a U.S. flagged ship with 21 members of crew was hijacked early Wednesday off the eastern coast of Somalia.

Spokesman Lt. Nathan Christensen said the attacked happened in the early hours of the morning hours, about 280 miles (450 kilometers) northeast of Eyl, a town in the northern Puntland region of Somalia.

Christensen said there were U.S. citizens aboard the ship, but he did not say how many. He declined to release the name of the ship until the family members of the crew are notified.

He said the ship was operated by the Danish company Maersk, which deals with the U.S. Department of Defense. Christensen said the vessel was not working under a Pentagon contract when hijacked.

Maersk Kenya Managing Director Rolf Nielsen said the company was still verifying reports of the hijacking. An U.S. embassy spokeswoman was not immediately able to confirm the incident.

Andrew Mwangura of the East African Seafarers' Assistance Program said the ship was taken about 400 miles (640 kilometers) from the Somali capital, Mogadishu.

The vessel is the sixth to be seized within a week and the first with an all-American crew.
An NPR news item quoted an American official as saying there was no plan or discussion to rescue the crew or ship. Perhaps that's because it's still early in the event. However, America has been here before and Pres. Thomas Jefferson had a very successful plan. Pres. Gerald Ford used that plan to rescue the crew of the SS Mayaquez.

I suggest we use it. Following Jefferson and Ford would be far more useful than following the plans of Obama's presidential mentor, Jimmy Carter, and the grandiose Operation Eagle Claw that managed only to kill the American rescuers and do decades of damage to America's ability to act anywhere around the world. The only good result was the election of Ronald Reagan to the presidency.

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

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Geert Wilders in California - The Video

Geert Wilders presented his film Fitna in Beverly Hills, CA Saturday night. It was essentially the same presentation I attended that afternoon at Chapman University in Orange, CA.

Read Robert Spencer's entire post here.

Here is the newer version of Fitna 4-4/2008

The Q&A portion can be seen at Jihad Watch, Geert Wilders speaks in LA.

Robert Spencer introduced Fitna at the Beverly Hills event. His remarks are always well worth the time to listen.

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

Monday, April 06, 2009

Four Syrians Plot Obama Assassination

While White House resident Obama was submitting to the Saudi king, apologizing for America's existence, and sucking-up to the Turkish Parliament, all part of the hopeychangey design to get people to like us, really like us, four disgruntled Asian youths, i.e., Muslim terrorist pigs plotted to kill Obama.

As told by CNN the Saudi Arabian newspaper al-Watan

... reported the suspect, who was carrying an Al-Jazeera TV press credential in the name of "M.G.," confessed to authorities after his arrest that he and three alleged accomplices plotted to stab Obama with a knife during the Alliance of Civilizations Summit in Istanbul, which Obama attended on Monday evening. The U.S. officials confirmed those allegations, but stressed to CNN that the information provided by the man is still being verified.
Well, so much for holding hands and singing Kumbaya.

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

Obama Affirms Another Bush Policy

Speaking before the Parliament of Turkey, Obama affirmed one of many Bush doctrines by stating as clearly as he could,

"So let me say this as clearly as I can: The United States is not and will never be at war with Islam."
For eight years, President George Bush continuously said in various ways since September 11, 2001, as listed HotAir:

•“I’ve made it clear, Madam President, that the war against terrorism is not a war against Muslims, nor is it a war against Arabs. It’s a war against evil people who conduct crimes against innocent people.” — Remarks by President George W. Bush and President Megawati of Indonesia The Oval Office, Washington, D.C. September 19, 2001

•“The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam. That’s not what Islam is all about. Islam is peace. These terrorists don’t represent peace. They represent evil and war.” — Remarks by the President at Islamic Center of Washington, D.C. Washington, D.C. September 17, 2001

•“All of us here today understand this: We do not fight Islam, we fight against evil.” — Remarks by President George W. Bush to the Warsaw Conference on Combating Terrorism November 6, 2001

•“I have assured His Majesty that our war is against evil, not against Islam. There are thousands of Muslims who proudly call themselves Americans, and they know what I know — that the Muslim faith is based upon peace and love and compassion. The exact opposite of the teachings of the al Qaeda organization, which is based upon evil and hate and destruction.” — Remarks by President George W. Bush and His Majesty King Abdullah of Jordan The Oval Office, Washington, D.C. September 28, 2001

•“Islam is a vibrant faith. Millions of our fellow citizens are Muslim. We respect the faith. We honor its traditions. Our enemy does not. Our enemy doesn’t follow the great traditions of Islam. They’ve hijacked a great religion.” – Remarks by President George W. Bush on U.S. Humanitarian Aid to Afghanistan Presidential Hall, Dwight David Eisenhower Executive Office Building, Washington, D.C. October 11, 2002
And list goes on.
It's my opinion that both Bush and Obama are wrong. We are at war with Islam and have been for 1400 years. We will be at war with Islam for another 1400 years and will continue to be at war with Muslims until they stop trying to kill everyone who isn't Muslim (not the likely out come.)

On the other hand, it's good to know that the evil monster Bushitler is not so evil and monstrous to Leftards anymore. In light of reality, we were right, the Liberals were wrong, and they just cried "uncle."

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

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Joker Obama Tightens Grip on Bankers

The Obama administration is refusing to accept monies some banks want to return to the Federal treasury. The banks and bankers are under threat of something untoward happening.

Stuart Varney of the Wall Street Journal wrote on Saturday,
... Under the Bush team a prominent and profitable bank, under threat of a damaging public audit, was forced to accept less than $1 billion of TARP money. The government insisted on buying a new class of preferred stock which gave it a tiny, minority position. The money flowed to the bank. Arguably, back then, the Bush administration was acting for purely economic reasons. It wanted to recapitalize the banks to halt a financial panic.

Fast forward to today, and that same bank is begging to give the money back. The chairman offers to write a check, now, with interest. He's been sitting on the cash for months and has felt the dead hand of government threatening to run his business and dictate pay scales. He sees the writing on the wall and he wants out. But the Obama team says no, since unlike the smaller banks that gave their TARP money back, this bank is far more prominent. The bank has also been threatened with "adverse" consequences if its chairman persists. That's politics talking, not economics.

Think about it: If Rick Wagoner can be fired and compact cars can be mandated, why can't a bank with a vault full of TARP money be told where to lend? And since politics drives this administration, why can't special loans and terms be offered to favored constituents, favored industries, or even favored regions? Our prosperity has never been based on the political allocation of credit -- until now.

Which brings me to the Pay for Performance Act, just passed by the House. This is an outstanding example of class warfare. I'm an Englishman. We invented class warfare, and I know it when I see it. This legislation allows the administration to dictate pay for anyone working in any company that takes a dime of TARP money. This is a whip with which to thrash the unpopular bankers, a tool to advance the Obama administration's goal of controlling the financial system.
Obama is clearly taking far more control of the country than is needed. Historically, there are two things a ruler must control in order to establish absolute control (1) the language, and (2) the economy. Obama has proved himself a master of language control by renaming terrorist acts as "man-made disasters"; toxic assets are now "legacy loans." Now, people and institutions are not allowed to repay loans with interest to the Federal treasury thereby keeping them in thrall to the creditors. By any name , this is tyranny.

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