Saturday, June 09, 2007

Perfidious Albion

Yesterday, I marked the 40th anniversary of the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty.

To be fair to the Israelis, this war crime had its precedent, as so many others did, in a war crime perpetrated by America's other Great Ally, Winston Churchill. I refer to his attack on the fleet of an allied nation (France) at Oran, 3 July 1940, that resulted in the deaths of 1,300 French sailors.

Attack on Mers-el-K├ębir - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

technorati tags:, , ,

Blogged with Flock

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Do As We Say, Not As We Do

2 Charged In Laotian Overthrow Plot

We're looking at conspiracy to murder thousands and thousands of people at one time. -- Assistant U.S. Attorney Bob Twiss
Shock And Awe, anyone?

The United States cannot and will not provide safe harbor to those plotting to overthrow foreign governments of countries with whom we are at peace. -- McGregor Scott, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of California
ROFLMAO! Where has this guy been? Hawaii, Iran, South Vietnam, Guatemala -- what happened to those coup plotters?

For a more extensive discussion, see Stephen Kinzer's book, Overthrow.

Monday, June 04, 2007


Congressman Ron Paul will be a guest on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" tonight at 11:00 pm ET.

The third GOP presidential debate will be held tomorrow night at 7:00 pm ET in New Hampshire. CNN will broadcast the debate with Wolf Blitzer as the moderator.

Did you never notice how people no longer say, "We're a free country?" Instead, they merely say, "We're the freest country in the world," as if favorable comparisons with Cuba, Zimbabwe, Iran, and North Korea were good enough. If you care at all about restoring freedom in this country, go to Ron Paul's Campaign Website now and sign up.
Camera Notes

I've posted some photo equipment on eBay, as a result of my recent experience shooting daily in Vietnam. Here's what I've found:

The Pentax K100D is a great camera, no doubt. The K10D, however, motivates me to move up for several reasons. First, as an old film-and-darkroom guy, I value post- processing and prefer to shoot in RAW format whenever possible. The small buffer of the K100D forces me into JPEG mode more often than I would like. Second, the K10D has more of its manual overrides on buttons; the K100D buries them in menus. Third, the K10D dispenses with the "idiot" modes and replaces them with truly innovative and useful shooting modes. Other nice upgrades include the K10D's weathersealing and sensor dust removal functions.

The Tamron 70-300mm Di zoom (effective length 105-450mm) is a decent lens, especially at the price. Nits to pick (for me) were:
  • Autofocus slow - tends to hunt
  • Lack of clutch in focusing mechanism - risk of damage to lens if you forget to switch to manual focus when attaching or removing lens hood
  • Weight and bulk - I didn't really find much use for the 200 - 300mm range, or the macro. The 50-200mm would be a better choice for my use
That said, I probably would not be selling it if I weren't scraping together the money to buy a K10D. It's a good lens to have in your bag

The Metz Mecablitz 36 C-2 is a non-dedicated unit. It will not interface with the camera manufacturers' various TTL flash modes. Used properly, however, it delivers very consistent results at a fraction of the cost of a dedicated unit. It also is less likely to be fooled by highly reflective backgrounds. The trade-off is a bit of a learning curve (the instruction manual is excellent) and a certain amount more manual adjusting. I did learn to use it fairly efficiently, but I still think I could work faster with a dedicated unit. Trade-offs to everything, as I said. I'll buy the Pentax AF540FGZ.

So, now you know.