Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Monday, April 28, 2008

The Assassination of William McKinley

Leon CzolgoszWilliam McKinley 25th President of the United States

William McKinley came to power on March 4th 1897. He was the last of the Civil War veterans to every hold the title of President of the United States. He served one full term, and was just beginning his second when he had his fateful meeting with Leon Czolgosz.

McKinley was President when the United States first became a major force on the world stage. He presided over the Spanish-American War where American forces, including McKinley's soon to be Vice President in his second term Teddy Roosevelt, defeated the Spaniards on the ground in Cuba, and on the ocean where nearly the entire Spanish navy was destroyed in two battles.
A funny story about the war happened at Guam. Captain Henry Glass on the cruiser USS Charleston was ordered to sail to Guam and take the island. Sail there he did and when he arrived he fired a shot to open hostilities. The Spanish official, pathetically underequipped, sailed out to the American vessel, and, not knowing war had been declared, asked for powder to return the American's "salute". Captain Glass promptly took the officer prisoner, and forced the surrender of Guam with only firing the one shot...

This, of course, has nothing to do with the assassination. It is just one of history's goofy stories.

Anyway, McKinley was very much a man who liked to "press the flesh." He enjoyed going to big fairs and expos that featured new machines, and inventions. These types of fairs always brought large crowds hungry for speeches, and a man like McKinley was happy to oblige.
At one such expo in the fair city of Omaha, Nebraska, McKinley was the first President to meet with chiefs of various plains Indian tribes, the first President in history to do so. One of the cheifs he met was the infamous Geronimo of the Apache tribe that gave McKinley's predecessors such a hard time.
It was at this fair in Omaha, that McKinley learned of Naval victory in the Caribbean near Cuba, and that the war was nearly won.
There were many such fairs and McKinley was keen to go to them during his time as President. The Secret Service absolutely hated that McKinley went to these fairs and toured them just like a normal visitor. They remembered the shooting of James Garfield in just such a place and begged McKinley not to go. McKinley would retort "Why should I? No one would wish to hurt me."
Indeed McKinley had every reason to expect that the people loved him. It was September 1901. He had just won re-election, the economy was roaring after a bitter slowdown, and he was a victorious war time President. McKinley was at the top of his political game.
There was an expo in Buffalo New York. Many new inventions were to be on display. Many people would attend. It was right next to Niagara Falls, the tourist in McKinley could not resist.

Leon Czolgosz was, by any account, a born looser. He was the son of Polish immigrants, and a steel worker by trade. He grew up in poverty... Real poverty of the American 19th century, where people staved to death or froze to death. Not the poverty of today, where you bitch when you don't have digital cable.
His most recent job was working for the American Steel and Wire Company in Cleveland, Ohio with his brothers. He made a good wage for that kind of work, $4 a day. Leon and his brothers seemed to be well on their way to a good life, until the unions stepped in. The mill cut wages during some bad financial times. The union retaliated with a strike, and the workers, Leon and his brothers included, were fired.
During the strike some of the workers were protesting. Tension ran high between the striking workers and the police. Soon, a fight broke out, and the vastly outnumbered police panicked. They opened fire on the workers. When it was all said and done 19 workers lay dead, 39 wounded.
The police were acquitted of all charges. Leon saw this as injustice. Everywhere he looked he saw Government oppression, and the exploitation of the working man. He began to take an interest in the Anarchist movement taking shape in the American East.
The Anarchist movement has had many faces in America, from the individual anarchy preached by Henry David Thoreau, to the oppressive federated communities of Anarchist Communism. Leon was interested in the latter form. He believed that private property was evil. He believed that all men, regardless of effort, ambition, or ingenuity, should all be equal. An easy thing to believe in when you are dirt poor, and others have so much more than you do.
Leon believed that a big display had to be made in order for Anarchism to be taken seriously. Something big to get the workers to rise up and throw off the yoke of the Capitalists.
Leon was so intent on this that the other Anarchist believed that he was too much for them. They thought him a spy. Leon had voted in the Republican primary, he constantly talked of violence. He had all the makings of a Government agent. The Anarchist paper Free Society wrote a warning about Leon:

The attention of the comrades is called to another spy. He is well dressed, of medium height, rather narrow shouldered, blond, and about 25 years of age. Up to the present he has made his appearance in Chicago and Cleveland. In the former place he remained a short time, while in Cleveland he disappeared when the comrades had confirmed themselves of his identity and were on the point interested in the cause, asking for names, or soliciting aid for acts of contemplated violence. If this individual makes his appearance elsewhere, the comrades are warned in advance and can act accordingly.

Some time in 1898, Leon suffered what is described as a mental breakdown. He lived as a hermit in his father's house. Shut away from the rest of the world Leon only read newspapers and radical literature.
In Italy, on July 29th 1900, the unpopular King Umberto I was shot by Anarchist Gaetano Bresci. Bresci said that it was for the common man.

King Umberto I of Italy... I dig his 'stash.

This act woke Leon up. In this act he found a hero. In this act he found a cause. He would emulate this act. He would kill the President for the common man.
Leon endeavored to make the assassination of President McKinley as much like the assassination of King Umberto as possible.
Buffalo was having a fair. The President liked fairs. The President was well known for shaking hands. It would be easy.
On August 31st, 1901 Leon moved to Buffalo.
On September 2nd Leon went out and found the same type of gun that Bresci used, a .32 Iver Johnson Safety Automatic hammerless revolver. He paid $4.50. (A days wages??? Kahr are you reading this?? Bastards. I hate them for making me want their guns so much.)

This type of gun appealed to Leon. It seemed made for assassination. It was small, easy to hide. It had no hammer to cock. No hammer to catch on clothing. Just point and shoot. Perfect.
Leon began to practice his technique. He would hold a handkerchief in his left hand dip in to his pocket with his right, pull the revolver and cover it with the handkerchief. He practiced until he had the movement down perfectly.
McKinley was due to give a speech on September 5th. On September 6th the President would be "pressing the flesh."

On September 6th Leon got in the receiving line in front of the Temple of Music to meet the President and shake his hand.

President McKinley about 10 minutes before he was shot.

Leon finally got to the front of the line. There McKinley stood, smiling, with his hand outstretched, blissfully unaware of what was about to happen.
Leon had his gun out and covered by his handkerchief. With his left hand he batted away the President's hand, revealing the gun. Leon fired twice, hitting the President in the shoulder, and in the stomach.
As the wounded President fell to the floor the crowd realized what was happening, and fell upon the assassin. Leon was soon being beaten to within an inch of his life.
McKinley seeing what was happening, told his body guards "Don't let them hurt him, boys." The Secret Service did there best to extract Leon from the crowd and lay him down. For a moment, predator and prey lay side by side.

A sketch of the assassination.

McKinley was rushed to an operating theater set up for the expo. Despite the outsides of the buildings being covered with electric lights, the buildings were meant to be temporary, and had no electric lighting in their interiors. The operating theater could not be lit by candles, because the President was anesthetized by flammable ether. A large reflecting pan had to be used to bring in natural sunlight.
The bullet that went in to the shoulder was easily found. The gut shot, however was very difficult to find. The bullet had tumbled through the President's body hitting his stomach, colon, and kidney ending up somewhere lodged in the muscles of the back.
The death of President Garfield weighed heavily on the doctors minds as they scrambled to figure out how to extract the bullet. On display was a new medical invention brought about by the new field of radiology. An amazing device that allowed doctors to take a picture of the insides of a person, something called an X-Ray machine. However, this new device was so new that the people selling them had no idea as to what the side effects of its use were. If they use it on the President, and he dies, that could be very bad for business. It was decided that the X-Ray not be used.
With the bullet seemingly away from any vital organ, and the damage repaired as best as could be, it was decided to leave well enough alone, and leave the bullet inside the President.
McKinley held on for eight more days. He seemed to be feeling better. He even ate something, toast and some coffee. He then went in to shock, and passed away in the early morning hours of September 14th 1901. His last words reflected his religious belief "It is God's way; His will be done, not ours." Official cause of death was attributed to gangrene surrounding his wounds.

After the shooting Leon recovered in his jail cell. He was beaten quite severely. At first it was believed that he would die before he reached trial. Leon proved to be tougher than that though, and he pulled through.

Leon in his cell. Note the bandages around his head, and the broken nose.

The trial began on September 23, 1901 by 4:26 on September 24th, after just 8 hours and 26 minutes total time, a verdict was reached. Leon did not mount much of a defence. Many witnesses testified that Leon had shot the President, and Leon's own confession to the police did not help his case much.
Leon was, of course, sentenced to death. Sentence was carried out on October 29th 1901. Leon was strapped in to the electric chair, and as they fastened the straps, he said: "I killed the President because he was the enemy of the good people — the good working people. I am not sorry for my crime."

They hit Leon with three charges at 1,700 volts for one minute apiece. He was declared dead soon after 7:12 am.

There was great concern that Leon may become a martyr for the anarchist cause, so the state took extraordinary efforts to prevent this from happening. An extra thick casket was ordered and Leon's body placed inside. A large quantity of Sulfuric acid was poured in to the casket and the coffin sealed. It was estimated that Leon's body would be completely dissolved in 24 hours.

So a new era began in America that year. McKinley's very young Vice President, Theodore Roosevelt, was sworn in as President on September 14th, and ushered in the era of the U.S. as a world power. Leon Czolgosz was hardly ever thought of afterwards. Today if you ask someone about Leon, it is likely that they will not know of who you speak. Of course if you ask them about William McKinley or Theodore Roosevelt they will not know of who you speak...

Sunday, April 27, 2008

A Break From Assassinations

The Assassination of James Garfield

Charles J Guiteau
James Garfield 20th President of the United States

First the second presidential assassination in American history. Civil War General James Garfield took office after Rutherford B. Hayes decided not to run for re-election. Hayes left office in 1881. He was in office only 200 days. Long enough to appoint a cabinet, have one very minor inside baseball political victory, then die. He could have been a very strong President, his inside baseball victory was over a very powerful member of the Senate. But it wasn't to be.

Charles J. Guiteau a lawyer and a religious zealot, wanted a federal job... Not just any job but consul to Paris... Let's backup a little bit. Why did Chuck want such a high federal job? He wrote a speech entitled Grant vs. Hancock. Grant as in Ulysses Sampson Grant. Grant was what was known at the time as a "Stalwart." The Stalwarts believed that to the victor go the spoils, and applied this philosophy to political appointments after they won high office. They were opposed, in their own party, by the "Half-breeds" who believed that only the best person of the job should get the job.

Anyway, during the Republican national convention the two factions the Stalwarts and the Half-Breeds were involved in a bitter struggle. Not unlike the Democrats today. The way they selected the Presidential candidate was different back then. It all came down to the state's delegates meeting at the convention and voting on a candidate. No messy primary elections to screw things up.
Guiteau changed the name on his speech to read Garfield vs Hancock, and passed it around. There is no evidence that he speech was read or even looked at by any delegate. Essentially it was just one guy passing out a paper that was all about Grant's achievements with Garfield's name on it at a crowded convention.
The convention eventually reached a compromise and the Republicans chose the Half-Breed Garfield as their Presidential candidate with Stalwart VP candidate Chester A. Artur as their ticket.
Guiteau thought that it was because of his speech that Garfield was chosen.

When Garfield won the election in November of 1880, Guiteau thought he deserved a very high post for single handedly winning the nomination for Garfield. If you didn't already realize it already... Chuck be crazy.
Guiteau was a supporter of the Stalwarts, the guys who gave jobs to their cronies. Garfield was a Half-Breed, in favor of giving only the best person the job. Why Guiteau thought that he would get a job from Garfield is beyond me.

Anyhoo, Chuck first wanted to be ambassador to Vienna, but then thought that Paris would better suit him.
When working as a lawyer, Chuck was best known as a bill collector, because of his ability to annoyingly show up everywhere to collect the money owed. This mainly resulted in upset customers. He was not successful as a lawyer... However he now used this annoying trait to show up everywhere Secretary of State James G. Blaine was to ask for his appointment. Eventually Blaine got so fed up that he personally told Guiteau leave and never return. As you can guess that made our buddy Chuck awfully angry.

Chuck now believed that God was commanding him to kill the President for being so thankless to the man who got him nominated. Since he had no money, he borrowed $15 and found himself the best revolver he could buy.

Why did he want the best revolver that money could buy? Because Booth had become famous for shooting Lincoln, and realizing that after he killed the President, he, and everything associated with him, too would become famous.
Even though Chuck be crazy, he still revered the office of the President and felt that this assassination should be carried out with style.
He wanted the President to be dead after being shot, so he wanted a large caliber gun to do the job right. He found what he was looking for in the .44 Webley British Bulldog revolver. Chuck liked one with pearl handles. Chuck thought that would be a gun that would look great in a museum after all this was over with... The problem was that he could not afford the pearl handled one, so he reluctantly bought one with wooden handles.

The gun... or one like it.
Now that the gun was bought, Chuck went to the jail house in Washington for a tour. He wanted to see where he would be spending his time after the shooting. I guess he found everything collio; because after some target practice, Guiteau started to stalk the President.
He got his first chance at success when the President was going to the train station to see off his wife. Guiteau did not take that opportunity, because he knew that the First Lady was ill and he did not want to upset her...

Wait... Chuck, don't you think that the death of her husband would upset her???

A few days later on July 2nd 1881 the President returned to the train station. He was off to see his ailing wife. Chuck had everything prepared. He had his gun, he knew where he would intercept and shoot, he even
had a cab waiting to take him to jail. The train station was crowded and Chuck thought that there may be a possibility that the crowd my lynch him. He did not want to go out like that.
As the president past him buy Chuck stepped behind the President and fired twice. The first shot grazed the President's arm, but the second one entered the first lumbar vertebra but missed the spinal cord.

Guiteau did not have a chance to get to his cab, the Washington police nabbed him and as they hauled him away Chuck was yelling: "I am a Stalwart of the Stalwarts. .. Arthur is President now!!" Arthur, as you recall, was Garfield's Vice President, and a Stalwart.

Now begins the weird part of the story... Garfield was taken back to the White House, then to New Jersey never having lost consciousness. Cue every freaking doctor in the Washington area.
At the time sterilization and sanitary procedures were preached, but not really practiced or believed in. So the first doctor that saw Garfield, Williard Bliss, went looking for the bullet. How? With his unwashed finger. He just stuck it in to the wound. After not finding the bullet, the doctor went poking around with an unsterilized metal probe, carving out new wounds as he went.
Now that Bliss had made a mess of things, the Army Surgeon General wanted a go. So he started sticking his unwashed fingers, and unsterilized probes in to the President. Did I mention there was no such thing as anesthesia back then? Yeah, no anesthesia. Garfield was in unthinkable agony.
After not finding the bullet, the doctors all agreed that the bullet was in the liver and the President would soon die.
The President lived. And so what does a good doctor do when his patent is living in the late 19th century? Start shoving your unwashed fingers in his wound of course!
More finger poking, this time by the Navy Surgeon General. He was so convinced that the bullet was in the liver that he actually punctured the liver while looking for the bullet. Of course the channel that the bullet made through the body was so messed up by now that there was no possible way to find where it went.
With the liver punctured, the Navy doctor said that the President would die in 24 hours.

Strike Two.

The President did not die. And, again, what does a good doctor do when his patent is living in the late 19th century despite your best efforts? Call the guy who invented the telephone!

Alexandar Grahm Bell was called in to see if he could find the bullet. Bell rigged up a metal detector to see if he could find the bullet. He thought he did, but the bullet was much deeper than originally thought. All this time the doctors are still putting their unwashed hands and instruments in to the President's now festering wound.
Since the President was getting worse, the doctors decided that they would have to cut the President open to get the bullet out. They did not find the bullet where Bell had told them it was. It was found later that Bell's metal detector did work... it had detected the metal in the frame and the springs of the mattress.

Now what started out as a 3 inch wound, is a 20 inch canal that was heavily infected, oozing puss, unbearably painful, and causing sepsis.
The President hung on then died of a massive heart attack, brought on by a clot in a blood vessel, no doubt from his wound. It was September 19th... 79 days AFTER he was shot.

So with the doctors successful in their attempts to kill the President, attention again focused on the now infamous Charles J. Guiteau.

As the President lay being slowly killed by his doctors, Guiteau was working on his defence. He thought that he could easily beat an assault wrap by reason of insanity. After all it was God's hands that did the assaulting, not his.
Chuck thought that after he got out of prison he would go on the lecture circuit, making huge sums of money. He even started dictating his autobiography, complete with personal ads for "... an elegant Christian lady of wealth, under thirty, belonging to a first class family..."

Chuck be crazy.

Mean while editorials were being written speaking about a certain "Judge Lynch" that needed to be sent to see our good buddy Chuck.
Then the President died.
This thoroughly convinced Chuck that his act was the absolute will of God. How could God deny so many prayers of so many Christian Americans for the life of the President, if God did not want Garfield dead? He wrapped himself in prayer.
About a month after Garfield's death Guiteau was arranged. His defence team was his brother-in-law George Scoville and Leigh Robinson. And for some reason Guiteau liked to say that his lawyer was incompetent. During the arraignment Chuck had this to say:
I plead not guilty to the indictment and my defense is threefold:
1. Insanity, in that it was God's act and not mine. The Divine pressure on me to remove the president was so enormous that it destroyed my free agency, and therefore I am not legally responsible for my act.
2. The president died from malpractice ...if he had been well treated he would have recovered.
3. The president died in New Jersey, and, therefore, beyond the jurisdiction of this court.

The trial began on November 14, 1881. It was a very strange affair... As we have found out before Chuck be crazy. And we all know crazy makes for good entertainment.

At the start of the trial Chuck started handing out fliers to the press that said "I am... charged with maliciously and wickedly murdering one James A. Garfield. Nothing can be more absurd, because General Garfield died from malpractice... the issue here is "Who fired that shot; the Deity or me?"
Yeah... pretty sure you did there Chuck...

Jury selection was a madhouse. At the end the court went through 131 perspective jurors, most of which were excused when they mentioned things like no amount of torture was good enough, He, Guiteau, ought to be lynched, and he ought to be hanged. Eventually they got the 12 they needed.

As Robinson began his opening statement, Guiteau leapt to his feet and shouted:
I do not want to hear any more speeches of Mr. Robinson's. I want him to get out of the case... I want to say emphatically that Mr. Robinson came into the case without consulting me; that I know nothing about him; that I don't like the way he talks; and I ask him to retire. I expect to have some money shortly, and I can employ any counsel I please. I want it understood that I am not a beggar or a pauper.

The money Guiteau was talking about was the money that he expected to come from lectures and the sale of his autobiography. Crazy.

As the trial went forward, it became clear that Chuck wanted it to be known that he was the leader of his defence team and that he was pretty much defending himself in the case. At one point the judge said that if Guiteau addressed the court again, the judge would have him removed.
After that the real fun began. It was filled with the crazy of Guiteau, and all of the uptight sexual issues that Victorian America had to offer.
At one point, Chuck jumped out of his seat and chased his brother-in-law around the courtroom saying that he was no criminal attorney. As the bailiffs restrained him he was heard to be yelling "Mind your own business!!"
He was frequently heard berating his lawyers, and asking the judge for "first class" talent.
Guiteau's attorneys did their best to show that Chuck be crazy. Something that we, and the rest of 1881 America, already knew. As the lawyers presented their case, Chuck began to take offence and would yell things out trying to defend his own crazy.
Scoville said "[Guiteau] had neither the mental nor the physical capacity for hard work," Chuck then took it upon himself to call out: "I had brains enough, but I had theology on my mind... there is no money in theology... I left a $5000 law business to do that kind of work, but you see how I came out."
The prosecutor believed, as many people did at that time, that sexual activity brought on insanity. He questioned our buddy Chuck about the time he spent in the Oneida Community, a utopia community set up on the belief that Jesus' second coming had already happened and that marriage did not exist. Instead every man was married to every woman, thus the community practiced "free" love. Chuck said that he had sex with three women there, but other than that remained chaste.

As the trial wore on, Guiteau became more and more abusive towards his lawyer. At one time the court reports that he said to his brother-in-law:
You are about as consummate a jackass, I must say, as I ever saw... I would rather have some ten-year-old boy try this case than you... I could have got three or four first-class lawyers on this case that were anxious to come if you hadn't elbowed them off with your consummate egoism and vanity."

Finally on January 23, 1882, after three long months of crazy, the defense rested. The jury went out to deliberate the case... for less than an hour. Chuck was found guilty of murder in the first degree. He was sentenced to hang by the neck until dead.
As he waited for sentence to be carried out, he attempted to sell the suit he shot Garfield in. He signed many pictures and sent them for sale. He still thought that God would intervene and set him free. He was wrong.
On June 30, 1882 Chuck was led to the gallows. He faced a crowd of thousands that gathered to watch the assassin of President James Garfield die. He tried to recite a self made poem, but was only able to repeat "I am going to the Lordy, I am so glad" over and over again. The noose was fitted around his neck, and sentence was carried out.

It is interesting to note that the so called Stalwart Chester A. Arthur imposed a very Half-Breed like system when selecting his cabinet. He created a merit system, and confirmed that all that he hired for positions were qualified for the job. Arthur served out the rest of Garfield's term and did not run for re-election.

Check out these sites. They are where I got all of this great info:

Who Are These Guys?

Do the names Charles Guiteau or Leon Czolgosz ring a bell?

How about faces:

Charles Guiteau

Leon Czolgosz

What about John Wilkes Booth? Or Lee Harvey Oswald?


My wife and I have a place-mat with all of the U.S. presidents on them. On the back it gives a bit of information about each president. I knew that Presidents Garfield, Lincoln, McKinley, and Kennedy were all assassinated. I could name John Wilkes Booth and Lee Harvey Oswald as assassins of Lincoln and Kennedy respectably, but I could not name the assassins of McKinley nor Garfield. I could name why Lincoln and Kennedy were shot (Lincoln was shot because Booth was still fighting the Civil War, and thought that if Lincoln was dead the south would rise up and beat the north back. Kennedy was shot because Oswald wanted to be remembered though out history as a great Marxist hero.)
What about Garfield and McKinley? Why were they shot? Why have they been forgotten while Kennedy and Lincoln stand as American martyrs?

I am going to look in to these two lesser known assassinations. Why? Because I want to know more about the deeds, the men killed, and the killers.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Wesley Snipes... 3 Years In The Poky

Wesley Snipes was sentenced to three years in jail on tax evasion today.

Pay your taxes!! We can't find time in the day to catch illegal immigrants, and others who commit real crimes, but we sure as hell can throw aging action stars in the hoosegow!!!!



No Blade IV for you!!


今日、ひこうきをしょじしたいです、でも 曇りすぎます。ざんえんです。くもが大嫌いです。

私とともだちはAtlantic, IA に行きます。今運転をしないと行きませんです。車が嫌いです。車はとてもつまらないです。

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

New Concealed Carry Options

As more and more people go to work civilian jobs in combat zones, the need for concealed carry becomes more and more important.

Fortunately companies have stepped up, as they always do where there is a chance to make some money.

Here are some new cool ways to pack with out having to pack on your person. Why us a bag? You can carry a full size weapon, and 6 reload mags in the middle of summer without worrying if your shorts will fall off from the extra weight.


This is perhaps the coolest and most innovative company to come around in a while. They deal exclusively in bag concealed carry platforms.

Gearslinger Monsoon

This is a great idea that combines the backpack hydration unit, the single strap back pack AND the CCW platform.
The weapon pouch is situated just behind the user, so pulling the weapon is easy.

What a wonderful product! It comes in several different colors, and can be worn anywhere with out suspicion. The drawbacks? It costs $150 with all of the accessories.

Gearslinger Remora

More like a man bag, this is a smaller bag that is, in my opinion, more conspicuous than the Monsoon, but still very nice.

It has a belt loop on the back of it so that it can be secured to the belt for faster, easier weapon deployment.
Again it is pricey... $100.


I was surprised to see a major mainstream company like Camelbak have CCW options. But as I thought about it, they supply the U.S. Military with their hydration packs, why not add a pocket for a pistol??

Camelbak Goblin

Really, this is just a play on the old fanny pack CCW platform. Because it has the hydration piece, though, people will look past it.
Kind of weird looking though... $60.

Camelbak Demon

Very cool idea, BUT you would actually have to take the backpack off to pull the weapon. It is less a CCW platform, and more of a backpack with a special pocket for a gun. I would like to see one of these up close to really make a determination. What is nice about it is that the holster for your pistol is built in, not an add on option like the Gearslingers.
Comes in at $120 to $150.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Double Standard??

I have a dream too... It is the same dream.

We all know who Jeremiah Wright is... If you don't know, you should. He is the pastor of Barack Obama's church.

I don't care what church you go to. It doesn't matter to me which invisible man you pray to. I don't even care what your pastor/preacher/priest/imam/Rabi/whatever says during your service or lack there of. I don't care. Spout out that you hate this kind of people, or that you wish that kind of people would die, or that you think that you should all go to South America and drink Kool-Aid laced with poison. I don't care.

The First Amendment says that you can do that. As long as you do not restrict my rights, go right ahead.

The double standard starts when you listen to what the Reverend Wright has to say. There can be no other descriptor than to call the man a racist. Not just a mild racist that simply makes jokes about other races that can be taken the wrong way, but the bad kind of racist that would wear a sheet on his head if he was a different color.

That said, according to Obama's tax return, released by his campaign, he gave Wright's church $26,000 last year. That is a large chunk of change.

IF John McCain or some other white politician gave $26K to some white supremacist church, what would the media and the country say? What would be the outrage be?

For the Untied States to put racism behind it, for us to live in a color blind world, ALL forms of racism must be put in the past. We must rid ourselves of all special attention for any race. We must ensure that people are not "judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."

Sunday, April 20, 2008

UFC 83 Recap

The UFC put on a great show! A good card and lots of good fights.

Jonathan Goulet def Kuniyoshi Hironaka TKO (Punches) 2:07 rnd 2
My Pick: Hironaka by decision
Bad start..
This was a very entertaining fight that I am very glad the UFC decided to show. Goulet had Hironaka in a bad way, then Hironaka was able to reverse it, and knock Goulet to the ground. If the round had been five seconds longer Hironaka would have gotten the stoppage, but it wasn't to be, and Goulet was able to finish him on the feet.

Cain Velasquez def Brad Morris TKO (Strikes) 2:10 rnd 1
My Pick: Morris by KO first round
Even worse...

Rich Clementi def Sam Stout Decision (Split)
My Pick: Stout by decision
Somebody stop the bleeding!!!

Demian Maia def Ed Herman Submission (Triangle Choke) 2:27 rnd 2
My Pick: Maia by RNC second round
Maia gets another submission of the night... I am glad that this time it did not involve my friend... Anyway Maia looks to be a man on a mission in the middleweight division! He caught Ed in a Triangle Choke from the mount position and hammered him with punches until Ed went out and the ref stopped the fight.

Jason Day def Alan Belcher TKO (Punches) 3:58 rnd 1
My Pick: Day by decision.
Not by decision, but he takes the win.

Jason MacDonald def Joe Doerksen TKO (Strikes) 0:54 rnd 2
My Pick: Joe by decision.
Jason must be better than I thought... Or Joe has not been working on his stand up again.

Mac Danzig def Mark Bocek Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) 3:48 rnd 3
My Pick: Danzing by KO first round
Bocek was more game than I thought. He really gave a good showing in the first round, but began to wear down in the second. He was spent in the third and Mac really beat him up.

Michael Bisping def Charles McCarthy TKO (Arm injury) 5:00 rnd 1
My Pick: The Count by KO second round
Bisping looked really good at 185. His knees were rapid fire and very effective.

Nathan Quarry def Kalib Starnes Decision (Unanimous)
My Pick: Nate by KO second round
Nate came to fight, but Kalib came to run. Kalib got beat up and then put his running shoes on and ran away from Nate the rest of the fight. Nate's Muay Thai really looked good. He punished Kalib's leg to the point where Kalib had to switch stance to protect his left leg.
Nate did get a record last night, though... the very first 30-24 score card.

Rich Franklin def Travis Lutter TKO (Strikes) 3:01 rnd 2
My Pick: Rich by KO first round.
Rich had no respect for Lutter at all. Not on the ground, not standing up. Rich beat up Lutter in Lutter's guard, but really took it to him standing. Travis could not secure the single leg takedown; exactly what Franklin wanted. Travis gassed in the early second, and Rich stared the beat down.
Travis did have some offence though, he locked in a good armbar in the first round, and he almost had the tap. He did not get the thumb in the correct position, though, and Rich was able to roll out of it.

Armbar attempt.

The end is near...

Georges St. Pierre def Matt Serra TKO (Knees to body) 4:45 rnd 2
My Pick: GSP by KO very quickly first round
Georges wanted to beat on Matt Serra for a while, so no KO in the first round, but the KO happened in brutal fashion with a Matt Serra on all fours as GSP threw knee after brutal knee in to Matt's liver.
Good win, and I don't think that anybody will be challenging for the Welterweight belt for some time.

I go 7 for 11 on my triumphant return.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Everybody Makes Weight for UFC 83

Georges St. Pierre (169.5) vs. Matt Serra (169.5)

Travis Lutter (185) vs. Rich Franklin (185.5)

Charles McCarthy (186) vs. Michael Bisping (185.5)

Mark Bocek (154.5) vs. Mac Danzig (154.5)

Nathan Quarry (185.5) vs. Kalib Starnes (186)

Joe Doerksen (184.5) vs. Jason McDonald (185)

Jason Day (183.5) vs. Alan Belcher (185)

Demian Maia (184.5) vs. Ed Herman (185.5)

Rich Clementi (155) vs. Sam Stout (155.5)

Brad Morris (225.5) vs. Cain Velasquez (235.5)

Kuniyoshi Hironaka (170) vs. Jonathan Goulet (169.5)

Friday, April 18, 2008

Battle Hymn of the Republic

I was listening to the reception that the President threw for the Pope this week. I really don't know why we, the U.S., went with a full state welcome that included the largest reception ever held for a foreign leader the White House has ever seen, for the Pope. We really went all out, 21 gun salute, military music, the whole 9 yards.

Anyway the Army Choir sang one of my favorite songs, "The Battle Hymn of the Republic." It was just awesome. What impressed me more is that they did the full "military" version of the song that is more often than not, not sung.

Remember that this song was written during the time of the Civil War. It was a time of religious resurgence, and a time of great fear. It was also a time of great optimism.

The last verse is the verse I am talking about the original lyric are thus:

In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me:
As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,
While God is marching on.

Most often the line "let us die to make men free" is changed to "let us live to make men free." Not nearly as powerful, and, in my opinion, dishonest in what it takes to win and maintain freedom.

Here is an OK version of the Hymn with the original lyrics:

Here is a great, all be it the sissified, rendition:

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

UFC 83 Serra vs St. Pierre 2

The UFC puts together a decent card for its first time in Canada featuring the welterweight championship... but they have mostly middleweight fights on the card. Makes little sense to me, but hey, I am not Joe Silva. If I was I would fill cards with Sakuraba vs Kevin Randleman 9 times.

Kuniyoshi Hironaka Vs. Jonathan Goulet (Welterweight)
Hironaka is a Shooto stand out, but has struggled in the UFC, going 1-2. He has fought good opposition, beating both Nick Diaz and Renato Varisimo by split decision and KO respectively. Primarially, like most Japanese fighters, Hironaka is a ground fighter and will look to take the fight there to win by submission or decision.

Goulet has been all over the place in the UFC, knocked out Jay Hieron in his UFC debut, then was dropped, lost almost immediately to Duane Ludwig by KO in his return, then won a majority decision over Luke Cummo, lost by KO to Josh Koscheck, then was dropped, was brought back after going 3-1 in other shows to loose by armbar to Justin Hazelet, then was dropped, and now he is back to fight in his native country. Wow.

This will be a ground battle, and even though Goulet calls himself a BJJ guy, BJJ is really his weakest area. Hironaka by decision.

Brad Morris Vs. Cain Velasquez (Heavyweight)
Morris is a 6-2 fighter from down under. His last win was a TKO in BodogFight where Kristof Midoux did not answer the bell for the second round.

Cain hasn't had a fight in two years... He last fought in BodogFight in St. Petersburg, a KO win over Jeremiah Constant.

I don't know these guys, and so I will give the win to the guy who has been the most active with the most experience... Morris by KO first round.

Rich Clementi Vs. Sam Stout (Lightweight)
Clementi comes in after a very impressive submission win over Melvin Guillard. Rich seems to have found his stride lately winning his last four all by submission.

Sam Stout beat Per Eklund by decision in his last visit to the UFC. Sam is known as a very strong Muay Thai fighter.

Sam has struggled with good ground guys, he lost to Kenny Florian by RNC, just barely beat a gassed Spencer Fisher by decision, then lost an obvious decision to Fisher in their next bout. Rich showed great athleticism and poise when taking on the explosive Guillard. I think that Rich will not fair well in the stand up game, and will be forced to take Stout down. That is not very easy, Stout has shown he has a good clinch and wrestling game. In the end I think that Stout will dominate on the feet and prevent any extended ground work. Stout by decision.

Ed Herman Vs. Demian Maia (Middleweight)
Ed has been on and off after loosing to Kendal Grove at the TUF final way back in June 2006. He has looked like he is coming back on, though winning his last three by submission. Granted the UFC has been feeding him less than stellar opponents, but a win is a win.

Demian Maia beat my friend and training partner Ryan Jensen by RNC in his last fight... While I don't like that very much it is hard not to like this BJJ Black Belt. He is a humble guy who now has a 4-0 record, all by submission. Maia seems to favor the quick single leg takedown then work his ground game.

For sure Herman will walk in to this fight very confident that he will win. He sees in Maia what we saw when we were training for him. Stuff the single leg and you can G&P him out... The problem is that it is not that simple. Ryan, admittedly, did not do a good job is stuffing the takedown. Ryan wanted to trade a little and was surprised when Maia shot in. I think the same will happen to Herman. Ed has kind of a loose approach to the sprawl, and has not really shown that he is all that great in stopping takedowns. Maia by RNC second round.

Jason Day Vs. Alan Belcher (Middleweight)
Day is hot right now winning his last four fights over opponents that include Ron Faircloth (KO) and David Loiseau (Split Decision). His record stands at 18-7, mixing his wins up with KOs and submissions. This will be his first fight in the UFC.

Alan Belcher is an old hand at the UFC now amassing a record of 3-2 in the big show. His biggest win has be the third round KO of Jorge Santiago, but the D'Arce choke loss to Kendal Grove is the one that everybody remembers. Alan is a typical American MMA fighter good wrestling and G&P, OK boxing style stand up.

The ony reason Day is on the card is because he is from Canada, and this UFC is in Montreal. That said he looks like a decent competitor and he should do well in front of his countrymen. Alan is dangerous, but not as dangerous as say a David Loiseau. Day by decision.

Joe Doerksen Vs. Jason MacDonald (Middleweight)
Joe is in kind of a slump loosing his last fight by KO to Ed Herman, and before that loosing by KO to Paulo Filho in the UFC. Doerkersen is a ground fighter. Of his 39 wins, only 5 have been by KO, and only 3 have been by decision. The rest have been submission after submission. You name the submission Joe has caught somebody with it (except the gogo plata, that is the sole domain of Brad Imes).

Jason MacDonald is looking to comeback after dropping a decision to Yushin Okami at UFC 77. Jason has been hot and cold in the UFC, winning a couple of fights (Ed Herman, triangle; Chris Leben, guillotine; Rory Singer, KO), then loosing to the higher caliber fighters (Rich Franklin, KO; Okami, decision). Jason is a ground guy, and very athletic.

Look for this one to go to the ground where both guys will have their ups and downs. I think that Joe is the better one on the ground though, Joe by decision.

Mark Bocek Vs. Mac Danzig (Lightweight)

The UFC is feeding Danzing somebody to chew up. Danzing by KO first round.

Charles McCarthy Vs. Michael Bisping (Middleweight)
Chansaw McCarthy has not fought in a while, concentrating on running American Top Team. He won his last fight with an armbar over the limited ground skilled Gideon Ray. Chainsaw is a ground guy and has surely sharpened his skills with ATT.

Bisping lost to Rashad Evans by split decision in his last fight, before that he "
won" a controversial split decision over Matt Hamill. He has decided that he is too small for 205 and is cutting weight to 185. Will we see a transformation like we saw when Rashad Evans moved from heavyweight to light heavy??

This is a tough fight for me to call, because I think that the time off probably did Chainsaw a lot of good. He has been working out with a good team, so I don't think that he will be a push over. Bisping is cutting weight for the first time, and I think that will definitely affect his performance, especially if the fight goes in to the middle second and third rounds. Bisping has not shown good endurance in his previous fights, so the weight cut may be too much for his gas tank to take. In the end I think that Bisping wins, though... The Count by KO second round.

Nate Quarry Vs. Kalib Starnes (Middleweight)

Nate has been easing back in to MMA after a devastating KO loss to Rich Franklin. After that loss Nate has had several surgeries on his back, and has difficulty training and performing at the level he was at before the Franklin fight. He won his last outing beating Pete Sell by KO in the third round. That fight was a little over seven months ago now, and says that he is in good shape. Nate is a versatile fighter with good ground skill... I would like to say that his stand up game is good, which it is, but it shouldn't be... Nate looks like an old school fighting video game guy. Punch, block, punch, punch. Very wooden, BUT extremely effective.

Kalib got cut against Alan Belcher in his last fight and that ended it early for him. Kalib is a BJJ guy, and very skilled from what his teammates say. However, we really have yet to see any real strong ground skill from him. The only submission he has gotten in the UFC was over hapless "I am a real Ultimate Fighter" TKD moron Dany Abbadi...

Nate has a way of proving he is the better man, and I don't see any reason to doubt him now. Nate by KO second round.

Travis Lutter Vs. Rich Franklin (Middleweight)

Travis Lutter couln't make weight, looked like a zombie, and lost by triangle choke to Anderson Silva in his last appearance in the UFC. Lutter is well known for his ground skill, and showed it off by easily tapping Patric Cote by inverted armbar, BUT that was nearly 17 months ago now...

Rich Franklin lost his last fight by KO at the able hands of Champion Anderson Silva. Rich seems able to beat everybody BUT Silva... Rich has very strong stand up, and a balanced G&P/submission game.

This should be a good fight. I don't think that Lutter has anything that Rich has not seen already, BUT he could bring a ground game that Rich has yet to deal with. I don't think that it will get off of the feet though, Rich by KO first round.

Matt Serra Vs. Georges St-Pierre (Welterweight Championship)

Matt Serra ushered in the era of the BJJ guy with flowing submissions. That's about it.

GSP is a head case that has some of the most talent we have ever seen. He destroyed Matt Hughes. Destroyed him. Beat him up, stuffed his takedowns, and then tapped him out. It was embarasing for Hughes.

This fight needs to take place, but I don't think that the UFC needed to bring it to GSP's hometown to give him the edge. Matt Serra does not have GSP's number. He never did, and he never will. GSP by KO very quickly first round.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

If Only I Could Disguise My Beer...

Now with HIDEABEER technology, I can!!!

turns in to

Look at all the kinds they have available!

I haven't had a 7OP or a Dr. Papper in years!!

No we haven't been drinking osafer. We are just here hanging out drinking our refreshing cans of Diet Pipsi, and Diet Cola!