Manchester Terrorist Attack

UPDATE ! 12:00PM EDST:  ISIS claims responsibility for the Terrorist Attack.
UPDATE II 12:27PM EDST:  Manchester Police Chief has confirmed that Salman Abedi was the suicide bomber.
UPDATE III 6:00PM EDST:  Sources are now saying that 119 people were injured due to the terrorist attack.

Around 7:00PM last night, I sat down at my desk to catch up on the news of the day and read a few blogs. I keep a live twitter feed on my desktop and noticed a flurry of tweets with the hashtag #Manchester, so being the curious gent I am, I started reading the tweets and discovered to my horror that there was a terrorist attack in Manchester. At this time, 22 young people, the youngest was 8, were slaughtered in this attack. Fifty nine more were injured during the attack, some very serious and twelve under the age of sixteen.

I read article after article, some calling it a Terrorist Attack and others choosing to use the PC term, “Incident”. This was an attack intended to cause Terror across the land, thus a terrorist attack. This type of political correctness is sadly predictable amongst the Western Press.

The press is partly to blame for this attack and have blood on their  hands this morning. They keep stirring the pot, when there is nothing to stir. They speak of racism against Muslims, when the idea of being racist against ever group of people on the planet is preposterous. In case you didn’t know, there is everything from white Muslims to Black Muslims and everything in between. Unfortunately, people do not understand that they make more money by stirring the pot with nonsense.

This attack was not on soldiers or oppressors, it was a heartless and cowardly attack on innocent teenagers and children. As my President, Donald J. Trump, said a while ago:

I won’t call them Monsters, because they would like that term. They would think that’s a great name. I will call them, from now on, Losers, because that’s what they are. And we’ll have more of them, but they’re losers.

The suicide bomber and all like him are cowards, and as the president said, “Evil losers”. Anyone who would harm innocent people, especially children, doesn’t deserve to exist! My thoughts and prayers are with the British people during this horrific time.

The sad fact is that this could’ve been prevented. According to various reports and lists, over twenty one thousand people were killed worldwide in Islamic (extremist) Terrorist Attacks. Islamic extremism is a huge issue in the world. That’s a fact. The data clearly shows that it is a massive problem and must be dealt with head on. You can call me an Islamophobe, if that is all that your brain can espouse, but you would be wrong. Data and the blood of innocents doesn’t lie.

I don’t hate Muslim people, but I have no use for the Islamic sect of blood and war. That is my own personal opinion, but I still treat Muslims with the same respect that I show to everyone else. There are good and bad people in every religion and sect, but Christians didn’t cowardly slaughter 21,000 people last year. The Muslim world has a huge problem and better deal with it. Otherwise, there will be another Crusade of the like that has never been seen before.

Western people have been fighting for freedom for over four thousand years. We have fought for freedom of expression, art, literature, philosophy, and the like for a millennia, yet in the last fifty years we have given it away for political correctness. Western people are squishy and can take a hit or two with a smile, but there comes a point when all bets are off and the smile fades to a scowl of revenge and a fist filled with fury. I don’t want us to get to that point

I am a Christian. Jesus teaches us to love everyone, especially those that hate us. That is difficult in times like these. I do not want the sword of fate and fury to be unsheathed, but if these attacks continue, the tip of the spear will be the last thing these cowardly Terrorist will see.

Germany accepted over two million people in the last two years. You can’t bring people from a different part of the world with a totally opposing culture to your country without exposing your country to attacks. There were nine Terrorist attacks in Germany in 2016.

One day the Western world will have to wake up from this liberal Utopian dream. I only hope that it is not too late to save our grand ideals, history, and freedom.

I’ll leave you with the words of the Honourable Sir Winston Churchill:

Never give in – never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense.

P.S.:  You may notice that there isn’t a little ad on this post.  I don’t believe that you or I should profit in the slightest from the evil and heinous act that took place last night.  Thank you and God Bless.

Photography?

What is Photography?  According to Wikipedia, Photography is the science, art, application and practice of creating durable images by recording light or other electromagnetic radiation, either electronically by means of an image sensor, or chemically by means of a light-sensitive material such as photographic film.

That is as good as an explanation as I can give.  To a journalist or street photographer, it may merely be a medium used to capture and document a scene.  To a landscape photographer, it may be more of an art used to evoke an emotion.

I, for example, take photographs, not pictures.  Pictures are selfies and snapshots you or I may take throughout the day.  Photographs belong on a wall.  They are either art or documentation of a time, scene and/or event that can’t be captured again.  A simple example of this would be wedding photographs.  The wedding of two people usually only happens once, so it is important to not only capture it, but to save the prints.  If and when the digital world ever crashes, it may be all you have left.

There are scientific elements, of course, but after doing it for years, I do it without thinking.  There is the exposure triangle to help you with ISO, Aperture, and Shutter Speed, but at this point in my career, I can look up at the sky and know where my settings need to be without thinking.  That took years of making mistakes.  Don’t be afraid to make mistakes.  An overexposed photograph has happened to the best of us.

Then there is the composition element of a photograph.  There is the rule of thirds, leading lines, and symmetry to name but a few.  They are important to learn in order to be respected by your peers, but once you learn them and prove you know them, you can break them.  I enjoy breaking rules.  🙂

The image below, for example, is moody but far from perfect.  It is unbalanced.  Think of content you see as weight.  If you put that weight on a scale, it would tip to the left.

The composition in the next photograph is perfect, but it doesn’t have the soul (Does that even make sense?) of the previous photo and it doesn’t evoke emotion.

The last photo in this series is from Inch beach in County Kerry, Ireland.  It is a special photograph to me, because I was there and it helps me remember that day and the fun we had running down the beach.  One similar to this sold within a day of publishing it, so the place is special and I got all the elements correct that day.

Photography, like any other medium or anything in life, is what you make of it and how hard you work towards improving your craft.  I’ll be doing a post every week focusing on Photography.  My life is full of ironies.  I’m a photographer with one eye and a podcaster with one ear.  Life is entertaining.  🙂

Wanna Cry?

On Friday,  a piece of Ransomware, called “Wanna Cry“, was unleashed on the internet worldwide.  It has plagued over 150 countries at this point.  It has been given the name of “Wanna Cray?, because if you get it, you’ll be crying.

I have a background in IT Security, so all of my PC”s are up to date, but yours may not be.  If you’re reading this on a PC that runs Windows of any version, please do yourself and the rest of the world a favor, and check for updates.

Microsoft announced on Friday, May 12th, 2017, that they had patches to prevent these attacks for Windows all the way back to Windows XP and Server 2003.

The code usually comes in through a link you click in an email or an attachment, but this one is much more malicious.  Once infects one PC on your office network, for example, it will look for vulnerabilities and unpatched Windows PC’s on the network and infect them.  Once it has done that, it will encrypt all the files that it can access on the network and lock them.  But in this case, you will not be able to pay them and get your files back.

This evening, I learned that there are new variants of this code that are still plaguing the internet.  The new variants are not encrypting files but using the PC’s they infect to search out others on the internet.  These new variants could be used in the coming week to cause a larger outage on the internet.

If your connection seems slower than usual or you are experiencing suspicious behavior on your PC, please make sure windows and your antivirus are up to date.

If you need any help, I’ll do what I can to help.

If you are using a Linux PC or Mac, you can sit back and laugh.  🙂

Elainé’s Senior Photo Shoot

I was honored to do a Senior Photo Shoot for my little cousin at South Carolina Botanical Gardens this past weekend.  She’ll be graduating in a few weeks and going on to College.  It’s hard to believe that she is graduating high school.  It seems like only yesterday, when I was pushing her around in a stroller.

I am immensely proud of this young lady and wish her all the luck in the world.  We are all incredibly proud of her.