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June 9, 2014

Deadly Albino Mountain Attack Spider Terrorizes Residents

Albino-Mountain-Attack-Spider-PFTR
Mike Ackermann liked this post

The deadly albino mountain attack spider is a creature feared not for its size, but for its ferocious nature. It fears no man or beast alive and it has only one way of dealing with intruders in its territory. Like the words on the Claymore Mine say, “Front Towards Enemy”.

My mistake was not paying attention. My fear was I would pay for that mistake with my life as this 8-legged beast stared me down.

Whichever way I turned made no difference.

He relentlessly tracked my every movement and his fearsome jaws pointed directly at me no matter which way I went.

Only once I stepped back to a safe distance did this monster return to his normal business, whatever that may be.

Okay, there is no such thing, at least as I know, as a “deadly albino mountain attack spider” but this little guy gave me a good laugh the other day as I walked past one of the many flowers my wife plants around our property.

Catching a glimpse of something out of place as I wandered around looking at all the lovely tulips sprouting up everywhere I stopped and looked closer. Fully aware of my attention, this little guy reared onto his hindmost bits, raised his forearms and teeth and taunted me mercilessly.

C’mon mister. I dare you!” he cried. “I’ve taken down better than you before and I’ll do it again!

I suppose I’d take his ferociousness far more seriously if he wasn’t sitting atop a purple tulip, the breeze gently waving his newfound home before me.

You’ve got to admit though, nature is pretty amazing and the things you see if you stop for a moment to “smell the roses“, as they say, are as astounding as they are amusing.

 

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March 29, 2014

Leah McHenry: Canada’s Celtic Rock Secret

Leah-McHenry-Canada's-Liberty-Loving-First-Lady-of-Celtic-Rock-PFTR

Leah-McHenry-Canada's-Liberty-Loving-First-Lady-of-Celtic-Rock-PFTR

Last week I wrote about Celtic Rocker Leah McHenry, her dedication to liberty, and her amazing music in my article “Celtic Rocker Leah McHenry: The Homeschooling, Gun-Loving, Metal Mama“. A number of people wrote to thank me for bringing this fascinating woman and her music to their attention.

If you haven’t checked out her music, or if you didn’t read the interview with Leah McHenry in last week’s edition of Canadian Rights and Freedom Bulletin I would encourage you to do so.  She’s quite the woman.

After writing last week’s article I stumbled across a 30-minute interview of Leah McHenry on Anarcast.com.  While the interviewer, Jeff Berwick, tried pinning Leah down with the “anarchist” label Leah would not let that characterization stand.  She defines herself as a libertarian instead.

The interview covers a wide variety of topics, including Christianity and Anarchism, marriage, government, homeschooling and becoming a successful musician from home.

One of the facebook comments on the interview said:

Watch this and tell me: wouldn’t you want solid people like her and (so I assume) her family nearby if
a zombie apocalypse was going on? LOL

From my interview with Leah McHenry last week on the topic of Guns, Self-Defense and “Gun Control”:

“I am among those who believe the right to defend your own life and the lives of your family is indisputable, and a right given by God. One only needs to spend a few minutes studying history to see the pattern of gun control leading to dictatorship and ultimately the mass slaughter of those people from whom they took the guns.”

Independent liberty-loving musicians like Leah McHenry both need and deserve our financial support.

As of today Leah’s IndieGogo.com fundraiser is just under $4,000 away from reaching her goal and funding her next Celtic Metal album.

If you haven’t given to this worthy cause yet, please check out her music, then contribute to making Leah McHenry’s dream come true.  She offers some pretty interesting rewards for those who support her, and there are only 10 days left for her to reach her goal of $25,000.

If she doesn’t raise the entire $25,000 then Leah McHenry doesn’t get a dime.  Please help me ensure that does not happen!

Yours in Liberty,

my-signature-04

Support Independent Music

Leah McHenry is an independent musician. She is a gifted musician and a talented singer. She is precisely the type of person I believe in supporting so she can achieve her goals.

Leah-sword-smallIn Leah’s case her current goal is to raise $25,000 to finance the production of her next album. If you listen to her music, as I did, I am sure you will agree she is worthy of your support.

What I appreciate about Leah’s fundraising efforts is she believes, as I do, that when you give to a cause you get something in return.

Leah has some amazingly creative rewards for anyone who supports her IndieGogo.com fundraiser.

  • Donate $10 and receive a digital download of the new album before the release date.
  • Donate $15 and receive a personally-autographed photo card in the mail, as well as a digital download of the new album before the release date.
  • Donate $20 and download every song Leah has ever recorded. It’s a LONG list!
  • Donate $50 and receive a singed copy of Leah’s new CD and a newly-designed Leah T-Shirt, along with a digital download of her new album.
  • Donate $100 and receive signed copies of her two previous CDs, a singed copy of the NEW CD, a Leah T-Shirt, signed photo card and a digital download of all Leah’s music.
  • Donate $300 and Leah will record a cover of any song you want. Then she’ll post it on YouTube and dedicate it to you!
  • Donate $500 and Leah will write an original song just for you. Just name your subject matter and she will do the rest.
  • Donate $1,000 and you get pretty much everything except the cover and original songs. Plus you’ll receive lifetime VIP passes to all future Leah shows in your area.

Leah has done an amazing job of fundraising so far, but she has only 2 weeks left to reach her goal of $25,000. As of today she is just $4,000 from her goal.

Help Leah cross the finish line! Send your financial support today through http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/full-length-leah-album

Check out Leah’s music at these sites, then financially support Leah’s new full-length album, even if you give only $10.

If you enjoy the articles I write here on PostcardsFromTheRight.com, how about buying me a coffee to show your appreciation?

March 27, 2014

Alaska Says Fair Chase Hunting does not include Drones

Hunter-Eithics-and-Fair-Chase-PFTR

Hunter-Eithics-and-Fair-Chase-PFTR

Fair chase hunting does not include the use of drones to find your intended prey.

From the Anchorage Daily News

Hunting big game in Alaska with the help of remote-controlled, camera-equipped aircraft will be illegal later this year when new regulations take effect.

Hunting is a time-honored tradition allowing each of us to put food on our family’s dinner table. It’s also called “hunting” and not “finding” for a reason. The concept of fair chase.

While technology continues to advance it is often to our detriment. Relying on cameras in the air means we no longer rely on actual hunting techniques like tracking and learning the habits of the game we seek.

As Royce Tuckness said so well in his comments on the Anchorage Daily News article:

I have hunted and fished my entire life (59 yrs) without the assistance of drones, airplanes, blimps, helicopters, kites or any other flying device. I think the Alaska Board of Game has absolutely made the right decision here. Hunters should hunt track and harvest game on foot and only use other animals or mechanical devices to get to and remove harvested animals from the field. Anything else would be considered wrong in my opinion. There are hunters and there are takers. The “Takers” are generally Unethical Guides and those who are basically lazy and look for any advantage to simplify the hunt.

I wholeheartedly agree.

Fair Chase, as defined by the Boone and Crockett Club, is the ethical, sportsmanlike, and lawful pursuit and taking of any free-ranging wild, native North American big game animal in a manner that does not give the hunter an improper advantage over such animals.

In simpler terms, it means the animal must have a reasonable opportunity to escape unharmed.

Boone and Crockett Hunter Ethics

Fundamental to all hunting is the concept of conservation of natural resources. Hunting in today’s world involves the regulated harvest of individual animals in a manner that conserves, protects, and perpetuates the hunted population. The hunter engages in a one-to-one relationship with the quarry and his or her hunting should be guided by a hierarchy of ethics related to hunting, which includes the following tenets:

  1. Obey all applicable laws and regulations.

  2. Respect the customs of the locale where the hunting occurs.

  3. Exercise a personal code of behavior that reflects favorably on your abilities and sensibilities as a hunter.

  4. Attain and maintain the skills necessary to make the kill as certain and quick as possible.

  5. Behave in a way that will bring no dishonor to either the hunter, the hunted, or the environment.

  6. Recognize that these tenets are intended to enhance the hunter’s experience of the relationship between predator and prey, which is one of the most fundamental relationships of humans and their environment.

If all you want is to fill your freezer without the “headache” of all that “work” tracking your prey, then go to the butcher store. He will happily provide you with everything you could possibly want.

If you want to be a real hunter, then by all means learn the skills you require to find your prey, then get out into the woods and hunt in an ethical manner.

Like so many hunters, I am sure, I come home empty-handed more often than not. That does not, however, diminish my hunting pleasure. I love being out in the woods. I love searching for the animal that will fill my freezer, but I am thoroughly unwilling to act in a manner unbecoming simply to do so.

Some days I simply do not take the shot because the joy of watching one of God’s amazing creatures wander in front of me is just too good to end with a bullet.

And there’s always tomorrow…

If you enjoy the articles I write here on PostcardsFromTheRight.com, how about buying me a coffee to show your appreciation?

March 26, 2014

Celtic Rocker Leah McHenry: The Homeschooling, Gun-Loving, Metal Mama

Celtic-Rocker-Leah-McHenry-PFTR
Danijel Flegl liked this post

Celtic-Rocker-Leah-McHenry-PFTR

I’ll let you in on a secret. I love celtic rock. Always have. For reasons I can’t explain this genre of music speaks to me, but when Celtic Rocker Leah McHenry sent me a friend request on Facebook I was both intrigued and puzzled. Intrigued because I had never heard of her; puzzled because I didn’t know why a musician would seek “Facebook Friendship” with a freedom-defending, gun-loving redneck writer like me.

Before accepting her Facebook friend request I checked her personal page and quickly discovered this musician is every bit the freedom lover I am. Leah read an article of mine that a mutual friend posted on Facebook, which prompted her to contact me.

The subject of that article was the RCMP abusing their privileges (not rights) and as I later learned, Leah “wholeheartedly agreed with the perspective of the article. When I realized it was coming from a fellow Canadian liberty-lover, I was interested in who this person was.”

I did a Google search of her name and found a number of interviews she’s given over the years. That’s where I found out she called herself “The Homeschooling Metal Mama”. A woman branding herself like that was definitely someone I wanted to know more about!

One question and answer from her interview on Metal Divas both made me laugh and gave some insight into who Leah McHenry is.

Metal Divas: What is a rule — whether it’s a law, societal standard, or moral code that exists that you think should be broken?
Leah: I think clichés are meant to be broken! For example, I educate my children at home, and am considered a “housewife”; however I don’t think I fit the traditional mold when people think of a housewife. I’m not a socially isolated “prairie muffin” who does nothing but bake bread and churn butter. Yes, I homeschool, and I like heavy metal, and guns, and chainmaille.

And the same goes for a metal singer… most people don’t think of a metal singer as a domestic goddess that enjoys raising children and teaching phonics. Whatever the cliché is, I will probably break it.

Leah McHenry calls BC’s beautiful Fraser Valley home but don’t mistake her rural home for anything but the House of Celtic Rock. Leah’s passion is music, specifically symphonic celtic rock in the spirit of Enya and Loreena McKennitt.

I’ve long been a fan of Loreena McKennitt’s music so when I read that Leah McHenry’s music was along that line I wanted to hear it for myself. I loved almost everything I heard. I love the piano and her mastery of it on songs likLeah-smalle “Between Two Worlds” intrigued me. The range of musical styles she’s mastered impressed me; everything from heavy metal to folk, celtic, pop, country and operatic styles show that she is both an accomplished musician and vocalist.

The songs she posted on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/user/leahthemusic) cover a wide range of Celtic rock. She covers some traditional songs, delves into some piano-based songs which I love, and the symphonic rock… well that’s just good clean fun!

You can also listen to Leah’s music on SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/leahmusic

After listening to Leah McHenry’s music and learning of her upcoming album I contacted her about writing this article. She quickly agreed to an email interview since both our schedules are a little insane right now.

Leah’s Love for Liberty

What I quickly learned is Leah Loves Liberty. I appreciate that!

On Canadian Socialism:

I think the problem with Canadian socialism is that we have socialism. And the problem with Canadians is they love it so very much. I often tell people socialised healthcare is our “sacred cow”. If you try to discuss private alternatives with someone, they usually look at you like you’re committing a crime.

We have massive taxation and redistribution of wealth. We are a welfare state. We are forced to pay into a healthcare system that many of us do not want, do not get the benefit of and which is failing.

On Those Evil Americans:

Some Canadians I talk to describe the US as a terrible place to live, as though all hell is breaking loose there, while Canada remains so innocent by comparison. Canada is exactly like the US in many respects (centralized banks, fiat currency, government monopoly of industries, etc.) only we are actually much further down the road in many respects.

The alarming difference is that in Canada, we are “quiet”. So much goes on here politically and economically that the average citizen has no idea about. Most are so oblivious, living with the notion of “free” money, “free” programs and their beloved health care, that they have no idea the trap that awaits us because of it.

We have a system of utter dependency. At least in the US, you have millions of people who are aware of what’s happening and are quite engaged and active in the fight for freedom. They are loud there. I appreciate that.

On Canadian Apathy and Complacency:

It is alarming, disturbing, and maddening at times to think of the things going on in our country that most Canadians have no clue about, or if they have some measure of awareness, they just don’t care. It’s easy to feel alone here, but I know to go about my business and keep on making music is one way I can do something, though it seems unrelated on the surface.

On Waking Up Canadians From Their Apathy:

I had a much smaller audience a few years ago, which has since grown immensely. Now that people follow what I do, I feel a greater sense of responsibility with what I produce. The messages in my songs need to matter.

Most of the time I post things through social media which I feel people need to know about, or are concerning. People who know me know I care a lot about the world in which we live and will leave to future generations. I care about the direction we’re headed in, and I see so few people caring that I often feel like jumping up and down on a mountain top, just to wake people up.

I have no idea if it’s working. 🙂

On Marriage:

I think I’m still figuring that one out! I think the big challenge for many is how much spouses tend to change and grow at different paces. Perhaps when a couple met they felt they were compatible at the time.

As life goes on you have kids and mortgages, and all kinds of responsibilities and ventures, and you might come to a place where you feel you don’t “connect” anymore, or don’t seem compatible. I think our generation has been told it’s at this point when you should move on. I personally experienced this as a child with my own parents’ divorce.

I think if we talked more to people of our grandparents’ generation, they would say those seasons of life are normal, and something every marriage will need to work on, regardless of how compatible you are.

On Guns, Self-Defense and “Gun Control”:

I am among those who believe the right to defend your own life and the lives of your family is indisputable, and a right given by God. The state does not have any legitimate authority to take away this right. Any state that believes it does ultimately believes and acts as though it is God.

One only needs to spend a few minutes studying history to see the pattern of gun control leading to dictatorship and ultimately the mass slaughter of those people from whom they took the guns. This point needs to come up again and again in media, as a reminder to people who would otherwise not care, or those who think we’d all be “safer” without guns.

On Home-Schooling Her Children:

There are so many benefits to homeschooling; it’s hard to know where to start. If I had to mention just one, it would be that the government has no right to determine what my child learns. This is huge.

If people only understood the significance of taking back the responsibility of education. This responsibility should never have been abdicated to government in the first place.

I have four kids, ages 2, 4, 6 and 8. They are amazing examples of what children are capable of.

Children are able to learn at their own pace in a homeschool setting, and in many cases, far exceed the academic outcomes of public school students. Just the simple environment of being in the home allows students the freedom to think for themselves, instead of being forced into the assembly line of government indoctrination, which is actually a religious re-education.

On Raising Children:

The best thing I can do is to homeschool my own children and make sure they grow up to be critical thinkers. I encourage people I know to do the same. I’m a bottom-up believer. If we want to change what’s going on at the top, we have to change what’s going on at the bottom. Change beginning with individuals and families are where the biggest and most significant shifts must occur.

On Crowd-Funding Her Latest Album:

Crowdfunding is fan-based fundraising. If you have a pre-existing fan base (pretty much necessary for success), you fund your project, film, music album, or what-have-you through your friends, family, and fans.

My goal is to fund a new full-length metal album. Last Fall I put out a 5-song EP, but I’d really love to do at least 10-12 songs for this new one.

Recording an album is definitely not cheap. It’s the type of industry where you get what you pay for. Yes, there are cheap studios out there, but that’s exactly what the music will come out sounding like. Cheap.

The funds will go to paying musicians (I always hire out), studio time, mixing, mastering, artwork, and printing merchandise such as t-shirts, posters, and the CD’s themselves.

Leah McHenry’s music

Leah is not signed to a record label which is both a blessing and a curse.

It’s a blessing because she maintains total creative control over her music. That’s important for any artist, musician or otherwise.

The curse is it costs a lot of money to record a good album. With the backing of a record label you can afford to produce a quality album without digging into your own pockets. Without that financial backing you must resort to other means to get your music made.

Leah McHenry is not shy. She is also not afraid of taking risks. Using the crowd-funding platform IndieGogo.com Leah made a brave, all-or-nothing gamble on her next album. Either she raises the entire $25,000 she needs through IndieGogo.com or she gets nothing. If she comes up even one dollar short she won’t see a single penny of the money people from around the world pledged to her.

Support Independent Music

Leah-sword-smallLeah McHenry is an independent musician. She is a gifted musician and a talented singer. She is precisely the type of person I believe in supporting so she can achieve her goals.

In Leah’s case her current goal is to raise $25,000 to finance the production of her next album. If you listen to her music, as I did, I am sure you will agree she is worthy of your support.

What I appreciate about Leah’s fundraising efforts is she believes, as I do, that when you give to a cause you get something in return.

Leah has some amazingly creative rewards for anyone who supports her IndieGogo.com fundraiser.

  • Donate $10 and receive a digital download of the new album before the release date.
  • Donate $15 and receive a personally-autographed photo card in the mail, as well as a digital download of the new album before the release date.
  • Donate $20 and download every song Leah has ever recorded. It’s a LONG list!
  • Donate $50 and receive a singed copy of Leah’s new CD and a newly-designed Leah T-Shirt, along with a digital download of her new album.
  • Donate $100 and receive signed copies of her two previous CDs, a singed copy of the NEW CD, a Leah T-Shirt, signed photo card and a digital download of all Leah’s music.
  • Donate $300 and Leah will record a cover of any song you want. Then she’ll post it on YouTube and dedicate it to you!
  • Donate $500 and Leah will write an original song just for you. Just name your subject matter and she will do the rest.
  • Donate $1,000 and you get pretty much everything except the cover and original songs. Plus you’ll receive lifetime VIP passes to all future Leah shows in your area.

Leah has done an amazing job of fundraising so far, but she has only 2 weeks left to reach her goal of $25,000. As of today she is just $6,000 from her goal.

Help Leah cross the finish line! Send your financial support today through http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/full-length-leah-album

Check out Leah’s music at these sites, then financially support Leah’s new full-length album, even if you give only $10.

If you enjoy the articles I write here on PostcardsFromTheRight.com, how about buying me a coffee to show your appreciation?

January 1, 2013

The Lesson of Ben Comen and why each and every one of us should apply it to our own lives

The-Lesson-of-Ben-Comen

The-Lesson-of-Ben-Comen

Ben Comen is a runner. Specifically, he’s a cross country runner. He’s never won the Olympics, nor is he likely to. In fact, Ben will never make it to the Olympics other than as a spectator.

So what lesson can a runner you’ve never heard of and who has never won a Gold medal at the Olympics possibly teach us?

Possibly the most important lesson of all.

Make a decision. Follow it with Action.

There’s a little more to it, but that’s the core right there. Here’s the rest of it.

1. Make a decision and follow it with action.

2. Never stop giving that action everything you’ve got.

3. Be 100% committed to your decision and the action that flows from it.

4. Only compete against yourself. Forget everyone else. What they do doesn’t matter.

Sounds simple, right?

It is.

The hard part comes when the inevitable tidal wave of people tells you to quit, to give up, to stop making a fool of yourself, to just stop trying at all, and they will. They always do.

That, I suppose, is where the most valuable part of the Lesson of Ben Comen comes in.

Never listen to the naysayers who will tell you endlessly (even though you never asked them) that you’ll never do anything useful; that you’ll never amount to anything; that you’re an idiot for even trying.

Ben is not a great runner, though that’s not from lack of effort on Ben’s part. You could even say Ben isn’t even a good runner.

You see, Ben Comen isn’t like you and me. Ben has cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is a disease that affects his balance, among many other things.

Balance is essential for a cross-country runner. Ben doesn’t have it. Ben also doesn’t care that he doesn’t have it. He runs anyway.

As you’ll see in the video below, Ben simply never gives up, no matter what.

Anybody can find something they can do – and do it well. I like to show people you can either stop trying or you can pick yourself up and keep going. It is just more fun to keep going.” -Ben Comen

So today, as you step into a brand New Year and wonder what’s ahead for you, think about the lesson Ben Comen. Think about the obstacles he faces and how he takes on that challenge with joy in his heart each and every day of his life.

Then take this simple lesson and apply it to your own life.

Ben did and, as a result, he is the only person I’ve heard of who both has cerebral palsy and is also a member of a championship cross-country team.

That’s quite an accomplishment even without cerebral palsy!

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October 16, 2012

Congratulations Felix Baumgartner! He Jumps from Space and Lands on his Feet!

Congratulations-Felix-Baumgartner

Congratulations-Felix-Baumgartner

In a miraculous feat of human engineering, Felix Baumgartner successfully jumped from the very edge of space (over 24 miles in the air) in nothing but a space suit.  He was in free fall for over 4 minutes, and broke the speed of sound.  That makes him the only man in history to do so.

Congratulations to Felix and the entire Red Bull Stratos Team for making this amazing feat a reality!

This video is almost 15 minutes long but it’s well worth the watch.

For the curious, you can learn all about the Red Bull Stratos projet at http://www.redbullstratos.com/

If you enjoy the articles I write here on PostcardsFromTheRight.com, how about buying me a coffee to show your appreciation?

September 15, 2012

Truth is often stranger than fiction, and never moreso than when it comes to cats

Cats are pretty interesting creatures.  They are haughty, arrogant and generally do as they please.

They can be kind and loving creatures, curling up with you when you’re not well.  They can be wickedly evil little critters when the mood strikes them as well.  Just ask any mouse that’s crossed a cat’s path.

My own cat Goofball pretty much does whatever he pleases, whenever he pleases.  If he doesn’t like the fact you’re not paying attention to him, he’ll jump onto the screen door and slam it repeatedly until you acknowledge his Imperial Self.

Here are three videos of cats that are truly astounding, and there’s not a screen door to be found.  🙂

A Cat and an Owl will amaze you.

 

“I’m gonna get that thing, whatever it is!”

 

All God’s Creatures on one porch…

 

 

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August 16, 2012

In an age of myopic self-absorption Danielle Smith’s selfless act sure stands out

danielle-smith-wheelchair

I tumbled across the story of Danielle Smith’s awesome act for charity only because she shares the same name as Alberta Wildrose Party Leader Danielle Smith.

Danielle Smith raises money in her wheelchair for Help for Heroes

This Danielle Smith is 21 years old, was one of the Torch Bearers at the 2012 Olympic Games in England and lives in Tollemache Fields, South Witham, England.  At the age of 15 she lost her left leg to disease.

That’s a terrible tragedy for any young girl but as a result this Danielle Smith has grown into a brave and selfless young woman.  In order to raise money for Help For Heroes she stopped wearing her prosthetic leg and in doing so, helped show what it is like for injured soldiers returning home.

“I want to show other people how hard it can be to have one leg. Show them what it would be like if they had their leg blown off.”

She was thrilled with the response to her fundraising efforts, which raised 369 UK pounds for her chosen charity.

“I’m amazed, I’ve had such a good response to what I’m doing. I got a bit teary about the amount people are helping me because it’s a good cause.”

Help For Heroes is a British organization created to provide

direct, practical support to wounded, injured and sick Service personnel, veterans, and their families. This is provided through grants to individuals and other Service charities, capital build projects and support for life at our four Recovery Centres across the UK.

That’s a great cause and one the young Danielle Smith obviously can relate to.  While she received a lot of support, there were some strange looks and comments as Danielle went about her life in her wheelchair or on crutches and no prosthetic leg.

“Some people have been asking me why I’m at work, and I’ve had a few people looking at me to see why I’m in a wheelchair. Some people look at me like I’ve stolen it.”

If you would like to support Danielle Smith’s “Limbless Week” charity event in support if wounded soldiers, please check out her donation page at http://www.bmycharity.com/DanielleSmith

If you enjoy the articles I write here on PostcardsFromTheRight.com, how about buying me a coffee to show your appreciation?

July 28, 2012

Documentary: James Nachtwey – War Photographer

Hello there……

If you have a chance, please watch the video below. It’s a documentary about the life and work of a war photographer, James Nachtwey.

I have always admired, deeply admired, those men and women who put themselves, their souls and their sanity, into the palm of Death himself to bring us shattered fragments of Mankind’s brutality, to bring us face to face with ourselves.

Photographers like Dickie Chapelle, David Douglas Duncan, Robert Capa, Eddie Adams, Nick Ut, Larry Burrows, Kevin Carter and so many many more. Many of these men and women are frequently killed in the act of harvesting those brutal, chilling and horrid fractions of time.

Some of them, like Kevin Carter (Vulture and Child, Pulitzer Prize, 1994), haunted and unable to escape the images seared into their souls, images that haunt their every waking moment, that taunt their every moment of silence, seek refuge in the silence of death and take their own lives.

And then, amongst the stills, the black and white moments in time, come those who tell our story through film. One of my favourite documentaries is Romeo and Juliet in Sarajevo, a joint production of Frontline PBS, the CBC and the National Film Board of Canada. Its a story of two young lovers, a Bosnian Serb and Muslim, who were cut down in a sniper cross-fire and whose bodies lay arm in arm for days until a cease fire allowed their recovery. If you ever get a chance to watch it please do……its life changing.

I wrote a small piece, below, that touches on both Romeo and Juliet as well as the life’s work of war photographers.

In closing, if you have the time, please watch the Nachtwey documentary, its well worth your time.

Regards, Don Laird
Edson, Alberta, Canada

(more…)

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December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas to Canada’s Troops!

support-our-troops

Merry Christmas! (animated)

 

Merry Christmas to all our men and women in uniform, wherever you may be today.

Just for fun, here is a video of a so-called “flash mob” singing Christmas Carols in a Californa shopping mall, much to the delight of the mall’s customers. Here is the official description of the video from YouTube:

Journey of Faith performed a Christmas “Flash Mob” at the South Bay Galleria in Redondo Beach on December 18, much to the delight of local shoppers. Thanks to all who participated. Merry Christmas everyone!!

 

 

On behalf of me and my wife Lynda, I hope you have an incredible Christmas Day today.  Know that even though you may be away from your family today, both they and our family are thinking of you and we pray for your safe return home.

Yours in Liberty,

Christopher di Armani

 

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November 13, 2011

Free WiFi Internet and a $50 discount for killing your unborn child on The Lord’s Day

why

It’s quite the deal, really.  The catch is the ONLY day you can get the $50 discount for killing your unborn and unwanted child is on Sunday, commonly referred to in some circles as the Lord’s Day.

Highly ironic, don’t you think?

Or perhaps disgusting is a better word for it.

Free Pap Smear With Abortion Procedure at EPOC Clinic in Orlando Florida!

screams the popup on their website.

3 minute pain free safe abortion…

The Orlando Women’s Center (OWC) in Orlando, Florida, has found what they think is a great way to increase their bottom line: abortions while “daddy” is watching the big game.  Wouldn’t want to drag him away from the game while you deal with “the problem”!  No, that wouldn’t be good.

And, naturally, you probably don’t want to miss any of the game highlights yourself, so you can catch all the latest scores with their “Free WiFi Internet Access”.

That’s so considerate of them, but lest any woman get greedy they limit their discounted Sunday-Only abortions to “one coupon per patient.”

There was a time when mothers cherished the life growing inside them.  Those days seem a long way away in today’s “progressive” culture where anything goes and truth is whatever you can convince yourself it is.

Yes, it’s true…

I‘m on of those pesky people who believe that abortion is the intentional killing of an unborn human being. You are, of course, free to dress that killing up in whatever legalese will let you sleep at night, and that’s okay. Current “wisdom” says that your “truth” and mine don’t have to be the same.

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November 10, 2011

The worst of Mankind and the Best of Mankind

depraved_indifference

Human beings are, at best, disgusting and depraved creatures.  This was proven again (as if it needed to be) when dozens of people in China showed exactly how deeply depraved we human beings can be.

On October 13th, on a busy street in the Guangfo Hardware Market in China, a toddler walks across the road and is struck by not one, but two vehicles, neither of whom could be bothered to stop check on the child they had just run over.

That isn’t even the worst of it, as horrifying as that thought is…

The worst of it is the dozens of bystanders that just carried on as if nothing at all had happened… while a two-year-old girl, Yue Yue, lay dying in the middle of the street.

One newspaper said a total of 18 people ignored the child as she lay bleeding and battered in the middle of the road. She died this week from her injuries and I doubt anything would have changed that outcome, sadly.  Being run over by two vehicles causes a lot of damage to the human body, and even more so to a child’s.

Lest anyone be so ignorant as to believe this is a Chinese problem, rest assured it is not.

Here in Canada we have serving RCMP members acting equally depraved.

RCMP Corporal Monty Robinson, for example, walked away from the scene of the accident where he killed 21-year-old Orion Hutchinson, and later claimed he was concerned about getting his kids home.

Any man with a shred of character in his body would render first aid to the man that lay dying in the street, but not Corporal Monty Robinson.  Getting his kids home and downing a quick couple of shots of vodka was far more important than attempting to save a man’s life.

So no, we Canadians are hardly the sort of people that can lay claim to being “superior” to anyone.

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October 20, 2011

Time for a coffee break and a four minute brush with the Heavens……enjoy!!!

joe-capra

Hello there……its me again……. Don Laird…..

Take a moment……make a cup of your favourite hot beverage, and then sit down and put your feet up….click the link and enjoy….

One of my favourite mediums…photography….and one of the only times I can suffer the magnificence of colour….time-lapse photography….(the other being HDR photography…..)

Here is an incredible video of time-lapse photography by Joe Capra.

Joe Capra is a man who wandered to one corner of this planet, Iceland, to take over 38,000 photographs….. 38,000 splinters of time…… 38,000 exquisite moments in the ebb and flow of a “Pale Blue Dot” spinning through space………

From those 38,000 splinters of time, Joe Capra, an artist and a craftsman, created a breathtaking film of Iceland ‘neath the midnight sun. I was stunned and as I watched I slowly drifted away on music beguiling, transfixed as, once again, I was stumbling through my youth, once again, with the eyes of a young man, discovering the northern reaches of Canada, taken back to my wanderings in the Arctic and the Yukon so many years ago……….sublime…..surreal…..simply magnificent……

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October 2, 2011

The lessons of Mary Reynolds and the Detroit Lions and what they mean for us all

union-bay

This past couple of weeks has been pretty busy for me, so writing for the blog has been temporarily relegated to the back seat.  While I’ve managed to keep to my goal of one new article per day most of the time, this past week has certainly not been one of those times.

God decreed that 6 days man shall work, and the 7th he shall rest, so that’s what I’ve been doing today.

Resting.

I was working far too late last night (again) so today I decided to sleep until I was done, and then sleep just a little more.

It’s been excellent.  I finally managed to open my eyes in time to turn on the stupid box and catch the last ten minutes of the Dallas Cowboys – Detroit Lions football game, and am I ever glad I did, although not for the reasons you might expect.

The last ten minutes of the game were exciting, to be sure, but they could never have happened if the entire Detroit Lions football team hadn’t done one simple thing for the entire preceding 50 minutes of the game:

Their jobs.

They did what was put in front of them to do and they did it to the best of their ability.

They didn’t let outward appearances get them down.  They didn’t let a silly thing like the scoreboard dictate how they would do their jobs, or indeed IF they would do their jobs.

They simply did what was put in front of them to do as best they could for an entire 60 minutes and in the process they not only won the game after being down 24 points, they handed the Dallas Cowboys their worst implosion in franchise history.

How awesome is that!

But as I lay in bed watching the Detroit Lions quarterback toss the winning touchdown with just over a minute left to play, I began thinking about what they had just accomplished, and what lessons I ought to be taking from that awesome performance.

The lesson itself is mind-numbingly simple:

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August 26, 2011

“Obama is a living and breathing nightmare” — The Epic Failure of Obama in 2 minutes or less

obama-epic-failure1

In a column titled “A disaster called Obama“, columnist Yigal Wait writes scathingly about the failure of “Mr. Hope and Change”, Barack Obama.

While his column tears strip after strip from the hide of the most useless President in American history, his last two lines are brilliant:

Bush is already a distant dream, while Obama is a living and breathing nightmare. Now all that’s left is to wait and see whether America’s citizens will be able to remove him from the White House before he destroys everything.

Too true.

I urge you to read Yigal Wait’s entire column for a middle-eastern perspective on the man who seems intent upon destroying America from inside the White House.

I also came across this video the other day and thought it complimented Yigal’s commentary perfectly.

There’s really nothing I can say that this video doesn’t.  Enjoy!

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August 25, 2011

I don’t care if you hate skateboards… this is one video you must see!

skateboarding-is-not-a-crime

Hello there. It’s me again…Don Laird.

As the old expression goes…….”I’m working on something big”……but before I get all heavy and critical (with furrowed eyebrows and a rambling rantish screed….)…….you need to watch these guys….

No, seriously…..like you really, really, really need to watch these guys…..

These guys are a group of seriously skilled skateboarders, Californians, who took their love of the sport and turned it into an art form and a company called Original Skateboards.

Their specialty is a type of skateboard called a “longboard”. Their talents, as displayed in the video below, are a manifestation of their love of not only the sport but of life as well.

I am not for a lot of monkeying around with skateboards in areas with a lot of passersby and pedestrian traffic, it tends to put a wobble in the harmonics and the flow of my karmic groove. But to do what these guys do, where they do it, with the skills, grace, talent and finesse they do it with…is seriously off the hook!!!!

Essentially, Longboarding is to skateboarding as Big Wave Tow-In is to ocean surfing……..its talent, grace, athletic prowess, lack of fear, killer surroundings and scenery, arse-puckering rides and all of that is shaken (not stirred) with enough adrenaline to blow the top of a normal mortal’s head off…….

Welcome to Longboarding!!!

Here is a video, brilliantly shot in HD. The camera work is remarkable. The video is professionally edited to a killer soundtrack by The Glitch Mob, “We can make the world stop”.

Enjoy!

 

 

These guys are a group of seriously skilled skateboarders, Californians, who took their love of the sport and turned it into an art form and a company called Original Skateboards.

 

For other fantastic HD videos by these artists visit their Youtube Channel and search their uploaded videos for the series shot in Costa Rica…..more stunning excellence.

I leave you with a relevant quote……..

Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth………
Ecclesiastes 11:9

Regards, Don Laird
Edson, Alberta
Canada

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August 22, 2011

Of The Rocky Mountains, Restless Souls and Walkabouts (and a shitload of shoe leather!)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon so I decided to take a drive. A cup of coffee and out to the mountains of Jasper, Alberta, practically right in my back yard. For me the mountains are a magical place I never tire of visiting.

Occasionally I have to give thanks for all I have that I take for granted. There are people in this world who will never get the chance to visit the Rockies. Still others who save for years and it is the trip of a lifetime. I only live an hour away from them.

There are millions of people in this world who drink water that is dirtier than my toilet water and here I am surrounded by rivers and lakes of crystal clean water, that I can drink. Then there are the breathtaking vistas as opposed to concrete jungles, air that is as sweet as honey…the list goes on…sometimes a person just needs to sit awhile and put life into perspective.

Anyway……as usual……I digress…….I ramble……

Going out to the park as often as I do I always run into the usual suspects.

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