Bob Barr Counter-Debate

October 15th, 2008

Watch Bob Barr counter debate Senators McCain and Obama tonight live on the internet.

I’m a Catholic Voting for Bob Barr

October 15th, 2008

This is a fairly late announcement I know, but after Ron Paul dropped out of the race months ago… I was just too distraught to look at the other 3rd party candidates much. I’ve finally been hearing more and more about Bob Barr though, and I think the guy he says he is “now” is pretty good… good enough to be President… and a much better pick than the offerings from the two main parties!

In general, he doesn’t have quite the impeccable voting track record or moral compass in his personal life as Ron Paul, but Bob Barr was a Republican Congressman who saw how bad the party had become after 9/11 with the big government neo-conservatives (thoughtlessly sacrificing liberty for the perception of safety and more government) and so he got out… and joined the Libertarian party in 2006. He is pro-life, pro-marriage, anti-war, wants to maximize civil liberty & states rights, minimize the federal government, knows a thing or two about international affairs and defense, and so all of these things sound like are a great mix for me.

The sad thing is, he’s just now recently come to a very stunning 180-degree turn around on some issues he’s held in the past (drug war, abortion, personal/religious restrictions, others)… and has historically dramatically shifted his views. =( However, now he is very much in favor of considering the harm reduction principle and leaving many of these failed policy decisions to the states, avoiding a “one-size-fits-all” federal solution.

Quick facts: He’s 59, born in Iowa, traveled the world with military father who was trained in engineering, attended high school in Tehran Iran, worked at the CIA as an analyst for 8 years, started a law practice in Georgia, has degree in International Affairs, is married to his 3rd wife, regrets voting for the Patriot Act and voting to authorize the Iraq War.

See Bob Barr on wikipedia politics, on the issues, and on youtube.

Ultimately, this vote is about CHANGE, about CHANGING the TWO PARTY system we have, and restoring the conservative platform to the Republican party which the NeoCons have stolen! This vote is a vote for our CONSTITUTION, for limited government, for LIBERTY… or in the words of William Wallace (Braveheart) “FREEEEEEDDOOOOMMM!”.

Articles of support: He is Not just for Libertarians, Catholics should consider him, Voting for Barr, not against McCain, Many good Bob Barr videos on youtube.

This is the Time for Liberty

Don’t be a Music Pirate

October 13th, 2008

XKCD - Music Pirate

This is why I support:

If you haven’t read it before, see Stallman’s essay The Right to Read, it’s not just about software — when your own data and documents require said software to be accessed.

100 Gentlemen of Baltimore

October 1st, 2008

Charles I just missed the first camera club meetings of the new year for both Bowie-Crofton and Anne Arundel, however I saw that Doug Bruns presented at the AACC and so I checked out his website. I was impressed! I particularly enjoyed his project on 100 Gentlemen of Baltimore, where he took both photos and brief stories about the life of some of those living on the streets of Baltimore. The photos are also available for sale in a hard cover book for those interested. This project lures me for perhaps the same reasons, my desire to understand and possibly help those around me who are in need.

Two homeless men died of exposure on a major street in downtown Baltimore late November, 2005. This project was born after reading of their deaths in The Baltimore Sun. Initially, the project arose out of curiosity: “What is it like to sleep on a sidewalk, to not have a shower or a toilet?” After meeting a few of these men, however, it became my mission to understand something of the life of the homeless and to attempt to represent the face of homelessness. This book is the result of my attempt to answer that question.

Christian Adventure Missions and Outreach

October 1st, 2008

I just stumbled upon The World Race, an 11-month 11-country journey for Christian young adults to spread their love of God through Jesus Christ our Savior to those who most desperately need Him and His Love in our world. Now, does that sound like an adventure or what? For the soul, spirit, mind and body! Just read some of the WR blogs and you’ll see, this is a great program and I’m glad to see them using blogs to share the experience widely.

As an alternative, if you’re interested in a shorter trip, consider Adventures in Missions as a start. I would have loved to have done that, to re-energize my Christian faith and feel great for actually “doing something” to help those in need in our world. Melissa and I actually looked into doing “volunteer vacations” during summer 2007… but we had so many places and people we wanted to visit that we just didn’t have the time. A great Catholic friend of mine, Laura Long (aka dovekeeper) has actually spent well over a year in Honduras, throughout multiple trips, helping the street children with the ProNino foundation. Here is a video she made about it in preparation for her 2007 stay.

When it comes to international volunteer work though, there are many options, as I found in my early research. I would like to help people in need, learn a foreign language and culture, and preferably offer IT, education and building assistance. Here are some sources: [tech bend: free networks, geek corps(long term)], catholic network of volunteer service, cross cultural solutions, cactus, global volunteers, volunteer international (search many other programs), idealist, i to i, travel to teach, volunteers for peace, so many more…

The New 5D (mk2)

October 1st, 2008

Ok, when I first learned about full-frame DSLRs, only Canon had them at the time (pre-fall 2007): the 1Ds mk2 (1D series) and 5D. While the 1D has been in the $7000 price range, the 5D has hovered just under the $3000 price range for a “professional” level DSLR. Unfortunately, the 5D was released in 2005 and had become quite “out of date” with the latest 1Ds, 30D, 40D, 400D and 450D… many of these being “lower end” DLSRs but having more advanced digital features such as 3″ LCD, live view and automatic sensor dust removal. In the mean time, Nikon had released full-frame DSLRs that competitively beat the 5D in it’s price range (live view, video, 24k ISO)… so except for the 1D models, I thought the bar had now swung in favor of Nikon having the best “affordable” DSLRs…

Reverie - ©Vincent Laforet - Well, now finally after much anticipation… the 5D mk2 has been unveiled – and with it – I think the favor has clearly swung back to Canon. The 5Dmk2 is set for release in November 2008, but just check out how impressive this camera is!

So, while it’s certainly not in my budget now… someday, oh yes someday, she (the 5D mk2) will be mine! =)
Edit: 9/13/2008 Updated the links to point to the new video hosting site on smugmug. 11/2008 Also the old Canon link works as well, Canon is not hosting the video again. =)

In Theatres Now: Fireproof

October 1st, 2008

Do you remember “Kirk Cameron”, aka Mike Seaver from Growing Pains? Well, he’s definitely gone from fame to faith and has been staring in Christian TV shows and films, the latest of which is “Fireproof“. (He’s also doing street conversions!) It’s a Christian film about saving a marriage, how a husband should love his wife like Christ loves His church. There have been some very good reviews about it, and I encourage you all, and especially couples, to check it out near you. Here’s the trailer video.