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 - Blog.vincentlaforet.com 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.

The Human Experience

September 20th, 2008

Wow! I cannot wait to see this film The Human Experience when it comes out! Unfortunately, it already hosted a number of pre-screenings in the Baltimore/DC area earlier this year, but I just discovered the film now. The title says it all. Just check out the trailer… and be impressed, feel the drama, ask the questions of “the human experience.”

I just discovered Grassroots Films after seeing this great video for CatholicVote.com. Also check out their released film “Fishers of Men” (available on DVD) and the short film “God in the Streets of New York”. =)

back online…

September 4th, 2008

Just after my last blog post in early July, my website got attacked due to an old wordpress install I still had running which was seriously out of date and vulnerable. (more details later) Hopefully the server remains stable, my network connectivity has been quite unreliable here in Nebraska.

Final Tribute to Ron Paul

July 3rd, 2008

After all of the “Ron Paul” posts I’ve made to this blog in recent months, I think it’s only fitting that I provide some closure and a “final tribute” to the Ron Paul campaign for president. Many, including myself, say: Dr. Ron Paul certainly “cured my apathy” for politics. He sparked a deep passion in not only me, but many Americans across the country who valued his well reasoned arguments, and the principles of liberty, freedom and justice to guide our country to prosperity, peace and respect in the world. I feel Ron Paul was the best candidate for the 2008 election and hope for our country, but the R[evol]ution he ignited still burns on…
Read the rest of this entry »

Indiana Jones Disappointment

May 26th, 2008

I was more than excited to see the latest Indiana Jones movie, but sadly the film just did not live up to the high bar set by the original trilogy. I think George Lucas and Steven Spielberg have just really lost their “touch” for film? The original trilogies of Star Wars and Indiana Jones were just top notch and classic, the pinnacle of adventure in film. So what made this film so tragic? I share some of the opinions of these savage reviews (except I feel “Last Crusade” was the BEST!)… the few things that stood out for me were: they went Overboard on the CG, turned action heroes into Fantasy Figures, had poor character development and some Weak Characters, had a Spoon-fed Plot line, tailored it to a Child Audience, and went for Sci-Fi instead of historical context. Warning: Possible plot-spoilers below.
Read the rest of this entry »

Ron Paul on the Economy-Monetary Policy

March 8th, 2008

Though the Maryland election has passed, and McCain has won the republican ticket, I am still a part of the Revolution for change in our country – “Ron Paul” style. Just yesterday I read a fairly recent article, A Word from Ron Paul on Forbes.com (March 4, 2008) and his message on how to fix our monetary system policy was reinvigorating for me, especially after not hearing much about him in the news for weeks. Sure enough, he was the first to respond with a short essay to Forbes on what he feels are the most important issues “facing the nation at this moment in time”. Some quotes I love to take from it are:

This is the first time in over 100 years that monetary policy is being discussed in earnest during a presidential campaign… For over 30 years, I have been urging all Americans to educate themselves about monetary policy in order to better understand how… the Fed and the Treasury Department wield tremendous power over our lives.

The key to tax reform lies in spending reform… Lower taxes and less government spending will put more money in your pocket. A sound monetary policy will increase the value of that money and drive down the costs of living.

I also like how he quoted the former GAO comptroller general David Walker, who has a great video to the American Public to wake up about the National Debt and an interview on 60 minutes about his “Wake Up America” tour on the Inconvenient Truth of U.S. Fiscal Irresponsibility & Immorality (aired March 4, 2007) on YouTube.

According to David Walker, former head of the U.S. Government Accountability Office, “We are mortgaging the future of our children and grandchildren at record rates, and that is not only an issue of fiscal irresponsibility, it’s an issue of immorality.”

Now if you think that “Mitt Romney” would be the best candidate to “fix the economy” due to his success in business, I have to remind you that his success to turn businesses around depended upon the success of the economy. Ron Paul has been studying economics for decades and has served since 1997 on the House Financial Services committee and the Joint Economic Committee. Paul has the experience and wisdom to fix the economy, he’s had it for over 30 years!

Here’s a popular YouTube clip of Ron Paul on the economy… which is merely “A House of Cards ” waiting to tumble as we’ve become a nation funding a war on “terrorism” in two countries and artificially stimulating our own weak economy by ‘charging a credit card’ to China and other nations to hold our debt.

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/XaxdUPNYj2s" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

Clever how both aired on March 4th – coincidentally the only date that is also a command “march forth”. It’s also interesting to note, that perhaps now people might actually “believe” this message that we need to fix the economy… according to polls, consumer confidence in the economy sank to 33% in March, down from 92% last March.

Pull Crypto Keys from My Cold (Dead) RAM Chips!

February 23rd, 2008

So perhaps you want to ensure the privacy of your computer files and encrypt them, or perhaps simply just encrypt the entire disk. You certainly can, but where do you store your crypto keys (on a USB stick?), in a TPM, encrypted on the disk? But at some point in time, it does not really matter, because the crypto keys will likely be copied to RAM so that they can be used to encrypt/decrypt the files… and it’s possible to dump the memory in RAM itself. So you may think that just powering off the PC will effectively erase the RAM – and your crypto keys are gone right? … well, not entirely, as some CS students at Princeton have revealed and was reported on news.com by politechbot journalist Declan McCullagh.

One thing I’ve always been curious about, is just “how long” does the data persist on “DRAM” chips after the system power is shut down. (When referring to “RAM” in a PC, this usually means DRAM or “Dynamic” RAM as opposed to SRAM or “Static” RAM, which has different properties.) Unfortunately I still do not understand the ‘exact’ physics details as to how RAM works (I assume it’s stored magnetic/electrical charge). What is fascinating to me though, is that the RAM can be read after power is lost and also that it can be read nearly perfectly for up to 10 minutes or longer after power loss if cooled properly! Peter Gutmann revealed this even back in his famous 1996 publication on secure deletion, but I’m impressed that students were able to finally test these results and publish them to the public!

Most Tech Friendly President

February 23rd, 2008

There are perhaps a few of you “tech geeks” out there reading this blog, but do you know who would be the most “tech friendly” candidate for President?! Based on this survey on news.com, it appears to be Ron Paul or Barack Obama. Actually, “Only Barack Obama and Ron Paul gave us forthright replies, and they deserve credit for their directness.” Both candidates gave nearly identical responses, however a few of Paul’s were emphasized as “strong no”! (I like his style!) The only question with notable differences, would be the net neutrality issue – and I feel that has solely to do with the format of the question. Ron Paul is the most “Net neutral” candidate because he wants the government to “keep their hands off” of it. As the question was posed:

Q: Congress has considered Net neutrality legislation, but it never became law. Do you support the legislation that was re-introduced in 2007 (S 215), which gives the FCC the power to punish “discriminatory” conduct by broadband providers?

This makes the question murky, because it’s questioning “Net neutrality” and then adding in that the FCC should decide if neutrality was achieved or not – instead of the courts! So I see that as a problem question. In the end, the Net should stay as neutral as possible to prevent creating “classes” of users and traffic, which is simply another tool for the telecoms to use to charge you more money. Read more for a brief background on Net neutrality. Read the rest of this entry »

Indiana Jones – is back!

February 23rd, 2008

Ok, remember when you were a kid and all the adults would ask you “what do you want to be when you grow up?” Well for me, I think it was always a mix between: McGuyver, James Bond, and Indiana Jones! I think the allure is still there for all three of these characters. When it comes to film trilogies though, I don’t think anything compares to Indiana Jones (and Star Wars) – great classic adventure film without any of the gratituous sex and violence – great for the whole family!

The next Indiana Jones film is set for May 22nd… I’m excited!!!

Dr. Ron Paul stands as THE TRUE PATRIOT

February 21st, 2008

Considering the PATRIOT ACT, one who stands up to defend and secure our liberties and due process of law is the true Patriot. See Ron Paul’s article on Reconsidering the Patriot Act. Even after the original sunset clause expired, many sections remained including the controversial topics as well as roving wiretaps and secret searches of records. See other Patriot Act controversaries.

Examine the controversaries of the Patriot Act, as well as those pieces that have been declared unconstitutional (requesting records without a court orderedsubpoena, as well as giving advice to terrorists)

Celebrate 51 Years of Marriage

January 28th, 2008

On February 1st, Dr. Ron and Carol Paul will celebrate their 51st wedding anniversary! As a wedding gift, why don’t you contribute to the “51 Years” money bomb for the Ron Paul 2008 campaign! You’d not only be supporting the best candidate to be President of the United States, you’d also be supporting THE candidate that stands for family values, moral principles, and of course – liberty!

March for LIFE, March for Ron Paul!

January 22nd, 2008

Today is the March for Life in our nation’s capital, Washington D.C.! Last year I joined the March for Life in San Francisco, and after today I will have marched for life on both coasts! There is no issue more important to me than the preservation of Life – and this falls into politics as well with abortion and war (see entry below) – which is why I encourage you all to vote “Dr. Ron Paul for Life”.

Here’s a great Ron Paul for Life video:

When it comes to the other candidates, all of the Democrats are for abortion and of the republicans – both Guiliani and Romney have been vocal and resolute for abortion “rights”. McCain while opposing abortion as birth control (but not incest/rape) he is adamant on federal funds for embryonic stem cell research in this EWTN video however EWTN says Ron Paul is a great Right-to-Life candidate. The problem with abortion “rights” is that no one has the “right” to murder. No one has the right to take your life and you have no right to take another’s. This stems from the very Philosophy of Liberty. Also, no other candidate promotes all “Pro-Life” issues like Ron Paul, who by principle is against: abortion, the death penalty, federally subsidizing embryonic stem cell research and unjust war (following the Christian “Just War Theory”). See just how compatible Dr. Ron Paul and Pope John Paul II are on Pro-Life issues!

Abortion is a matter of “principle”, not “privacy”. Dr. Ron Paul (OBGYN) is “the man of principle” and the ONLY Pro-Life and Pro-Peace candidate running for the Presidency. The Philosophy of Liberty is to protect both Life and Liberty – you cannot protect Liberty without protecting Life! (the ultimate liberty).

Why Ron Paul is the ONLY moral choice

January 9th, 2008

Ron Paul is the ONLY ONE who opposes PREEMPTIVE WAR. He follows the “Just War Theory” and is the only true practicing Christian that I see running for the presidency. Please consider the ideology of Preemptive Nuclear War & Christianity… blessed be the peacemakers, blessed be Dr. Ron Paul.

Ron Paul is the Peace President. He is pro-Constitution and pro-Freedom. Ron Paul is the only vote for Peace, Love, and Charity. See Ron Paul – The Just War Theory & The Peace President

Not only was invading Iraq a SERIOUS mistake (preemptively attacking a country that did not even threaten us and effectively did not even have the capability to threaten us or its neighbors) that precipitated over 650,000 civilian deaths and over 1.2 million displaced people… only Ron Paul has LEARNED FROM THIS MISTAKE and would not repeat the same mistake with Iran or any other country. You need to know that: Ron Paul Reads the Frickin’ Constitution

The entire video of the 2007 GOP Debate in Michigan starts here on part 1, however the other candidates views on preemptive war with Iran starts in Part 9.

Thank God that Ron Paul places diplomacy over war with regards to the Iranian threat or any other “nation that threatens the U.S.A.”

update 20071215: All of the republican candidates, other than Dr. Ron Paul, look like (and in my humble opinion simply are) idiots when it comes to foreign policy, intelligence, and war. The December 2007 NIE “Iran: Nuclear Intentions & Capabilities” (pdf) clearly points this out. As President, I want a leader who can rationalize and think on his own two feet about threats to our nation, and not simply be another sheep from the fold who panders to whichever direction the popular rhetoric takes them… especially when it leads to war and further opportunities for the executive branch to abuse the Constitution of the United States and trample liberties, let alone leave our nation at greater risk and increased hatred around the world. Dear Lord help us!

Teaparty07 — 4 days until Dec 16th!

December 12th, 2007

As I mentioned before, the 2007 (Liber)Tea Party is about to take place this Sunday. Show your support for our Constitution, including the role of our federal government and liberty it established for all citizens, and donate to Ron Paul’s campaign. Be a part of it!

Have you been listening? Then let’s do something!
This December 16th, 2007 – it’s time to reclaim our Liberty!

A Blimp? Yes, a BLIMP! A Ron Paul BLIMP!

December 10th, 2007

The Ron Paul Blimp fund raiser has succeeded, and now Ron Paul will become the first presidential candidate to have his own blimp! This is a message from the “people”, not the mainstream media, so listen up and be a part of it – the Ron Paul Love Revolution – or live with the consequences. Read the writings on the walls, Ron Paul supporters are everywhere around you, listen to their voices via the Internet!

You can help to support Ron Paul advertising or celebrate the season of giving by dropping a load of cash into the Ron Paul campaign and show your support for LiberTea on December 16th – the anniversary of the Boston Tea Party!

The blimp is starting to get some mainstream coverage…