Thursday, August 26, 2010

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Boxing vs MMA

For those who did not see the one gloved wonder, Art Jimmerson get mounted by Royce Gracie at UFC 1, the UFC is proud to present James Toney vs Randy Colture. They could have called it the Battle of Washed Up Old Guys, but that really doesn't have the same marketing punch. (get it? its a pun!!)

What we have is a legitimate former Boxing champion in several weight classes. He has fought the best, even lost to Roy Jones, when Jones was climbing to the top of the heap at light heavyweight. For MMA, he has very very heavy hands. For MMA, he has very very quick hands. For MMA he has very very poor movement. For MMA he has very very poor footwork.

To say that Randy Colture is a MMA veteran is a vast understatement. Randy has been the champion multiple times in multiple divisions. For boxing he has very slow hands. For boxing he has very very poor footwork. For MMA he has a near perfect stance. For MMA he has excelent timing.

What this is going to come down to is about how the athletes have been training and with whom they have been training with.
Randy trains out of Extreme Colture with Forrest Griffin, Tyson Griffin, Martin Kampman, Sean Tompkins, Jake Rosholt, etc. PLUS all of the guys just passing through the gym, or using the gym to shake up their training. On top of this Randy is a well known Greco Roman wrestler. He is famous for his takedowns in the clinch.

Toney has been training with a Kempo Karate black belt Trever Sherman... He has no MMA fights. He has several videos on YouTube on how to do Kempo "anti-grappling." No wonder he thinks he is going to smoke Randy.

Here is Trevor getting worked at a Kempo event where the ground is legal... He is the one without yellow gloves.

Only a moron would walk to the center of the ring and attempt to box with Toney... Randy is not a moron. He is going to clinch up on the cage with James and take him down. James will have very little opportunity to avoid this. Once there Randy will win by ref stoppage when it becomes painfully obvious that he is not defending himself intelligently. It is very doubtful that Randy will knock James out, but it is very probable that this fight will end with Randy pounding away on James' face in the mount position while James has his arms straight up while desperately trying to upset Randy's balance with his legs. Randy does not really have KO power, so the end of the fight will be when the ref determines that he has seen enough.

The only chance that James has is in the opening seconds of the match. If he can get his jab working quick enough to keep Randy away, then manage to connect with his big straight right, he could knock Randy out. Randy has a relatively weak chin, and is suspect to a straight right.

It won't happen though. James will allow Randy to clinch, that is what you do in boxing. Except the ref won't break them up. The takedown will come and the end inevitable.

This Doesn't Happen With a .45...

A man in Germany was shot in the head. He didn't notice until he felt a lump... 5 years later.
The man believes that he was shot while partying drunk one New Year's Eve.
This incident reminds us of rule number 2 in a gun fight: "Bring enough gun." (Rule number one is: "Bring a gun.")

There are many factors when choosing a firearm. Getting enough gun is rarely thought of by the casual buyer. It's a gun right? No not right. Not necessarily everything that shoots will kill what you are shooting at. You need to make sure that what you are buying will do the job you are intending for it to do. For instance, you need to prepare a cake for 300 people. You would not hand beat the batter. You would use an electric mixer.
So you must define what is the mission of the gun. Just like in the purchase of airplanes and automobiles, you need to determine what is the primary use of this tool. If your only use for the gun is for target practice, there is no better caliber than the .22. Cheap ammunition and very little recoil combine to make one of the best platforms for learning and perfecting shooting technique. HOWEVER this is not the primary reason many people buy handguns.

Most people buy handguns for one reason. To kill other people. Call it by whatever name you want... Personal protection, self defense, carry weapon, blah blah blah blah. You are buying it to kill the bad guys. That is its mission. So what do the bad guys look like? A typical American male is 5' 10" tall and weighs 180 lbs. That is a sizable animal. If you shoot a person with a .22, unless you hit them in just the right spot, you are just going to piss them off. In the stressful situation where lethal force is needed, you want to be able to pull the trigger, have your target go down.

This is why you need to bring something bigger to your gunfight. Personally, I am a .45 bigot. I love the round. It is accurate, dependable, and makes a big hole. Its drawback is that I can't carry very much ammo. My carry weapon only has a six round magazine. With one in the pipe, I only have 7 shots. When I carry my man-bag, I have a reload mag, but that only has 7 in it. So, at maximum, I have 14 shots.
The same gun in 9mm will carry 8, with a reload of 10. Four more shots is a big deal.

Getting in to why a .45 over a 9mm is a different discussion, but at least you are having the discussion. Think about the mission of your weapon before you buy. Worry about bringing enough gun.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

What Costs More?

As the final combat brigade leaves Iraq rumblings about cost, and that the war was a financial drain that was the primary factor on our massive deficit, and helped pull us in to the Great Recession.

At first, this seems reasonable. Wars are expensive. Throughout history we have instances of whole empires falling apart due to war expenditure. We have been fighting for roughly 7 years, so that is 7 years of expense. France fell apart after the 7 years war, ushering in the abashment of the French monarchy. Makes sense that today, with the cost of war, the Iraq conflict would surely cost that much.

Then we look at the numbers. The total cost at the end of the war is $709 Billion. Ouch. That is a chunk of change. Not cheap by any standards. Recall this is over a period of 7 years. Surely that much money must have been at least 50% of all spending by the government during that time. Nope. Not even close. What about 10%? That war must have been 10% of all federal spending. Still freezing cold. Try 3.2%. The entire Iraq war was not more than 3.2% of federal spending. Check this out:

The silly fact is that the Federal Government spent more on Education during the Bush Administration than the Iraq war.

Understand this, the US Government spends more on social programs than on anything else. Now, realize that the Obama administration deficit spent nearly $100 Billion more in the first MONTH of his presidency than the Bush Administration did in his entire 8 years. All 8 years. This comes from extensions on TARP, and on the massive stimulus program.

The war did not break us. The war on Poverty, Health Care, and the War on Drugs, has. Had the government been minding its Constitutional duties rather than the bastardization of the Commerce Clause extra curricular activities, this mess would not be a mess.


Sunday, August 22, 2010

MMA Trends

There are trends in MMA as in all sports. The first trend was the ground fighter. Royce Gracie won the first UFC, and the call went out for guys who could fight on the ground. Mark Coleman brought the Grounder Pounders from the wrestling world. Mirko Filipovic, and Chuck Liddell brought in the era of the sprawling kickboxer. For a while, you saw permutations of the above. The great thing about these fighters was that finishes were the norm, not the exception. The wrestlers knew that they had to pound out their opponents to prevent them from submitting or knocking them out. The sprawling kickboxers knew that they had to knock their opponents out, before they were held on the ground and pounded out, or submitted. The submission guys knew they had to tap their opponents out before they were knocked out, or pounded out. MMA was exciting and fun, and rarely saw the judges.

There is a new trend in MMA. It is the well balanced grinder fighter. He is well versed on the ground, and has a good stand up game. Wins do not come by KO or submission. Wins come by decision. Their goal is to use the rules to hold their opponent on the ground and do just enough not to get reset, or to throw one or two leg kicks with a steady jab to keep a slight edge on the judges card. Chris Byrd's strategy left boxing and came to MMA. There is nothing wrong with this... These fighters fight not to loose, and win within the rules of the sport.
The problem is that MMA is becoming boring. It is tough to watch a grinder fighter simply fight to get to a decision. Personally, I like the guys that fight to finish. Of the weight classes, right now there are several grinders in the role of champion. Frankie Edgar is the newest edition, beating BJ Penn, a finisher, for the belt. The best known grinder is, of course, Georges St. Pierre. GSP does nothing to get himself in to trouble he takes his guys down and lays on them until the fifth round bell.

As the sport continues, this trend of the grinder fighter will be the prototypical fighter. It is so much safer to be this type rather than a guy who puts people away. To knock somebody out, or to submit them, means that you must take a risk. Grinders are risk adverse, and rarely do anything to jeopardize their position.

How to change up this trend? Allow knees to a grounded opponent. Adding knees changes the game considerably. A man on the bottom, in side control, still has the ability to effectively mount an offence if knees are allowed. Take downs are much much more costly if they fail. Right now when guys shoot, and loose, they simply take a knee. A stalemate position ensues, until one guy forces a scramble. With knees, the sprawler, has the option to punish the shooter.
Knees on the ground also force a higher degree of ground skill, and make the ground game much more dynamic and exciting. Current rules give no incentive for fighters to pass guard. Fighters on top typically pass to half guard and begin their ground and pound game. From half guard the man on the bottom really has very little offence to mount except to attempt a sweep, or to retain guard. With knees on the ground, the man on top wants to pass to side control so that he can bring the knees in to play. As he does this the man on the bottom is given opportunities to sweep, or attain a better position. The fight moves much quicker, is much more exciting, and leads to more finishes.

With out the knees on the ground, the fans will start to leave, and leadership will attempt to bring them back. How? By limiting the ground game. Standing up opponents quicker and quicker. By limiting the clinch game by splitting opponents up. Soon we will have nothing but small glove Kickboxing with take downs.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Meaningless Facts

In a recent Time Magazine poll, 24% of Americans believe that the President is a Muslim. In other meaningless facts, 13 people a year are killed by vending machines falling on them, and 4% of Americans consider themselves vegetarian.

It makes absolutely no difference what invisible man the President talks to, or how he talks to him. None. What is it about this particular religion that gets Americans all nutsy crazy? Sure, some radicals flew planes in to buildings and took them down. What are we doing about that? We are fighting them in Afghanistan... Sort of. They are fighting us, and we are trying to stay alive. Which brings us to the crux of this post.

Instead of hand wringing about useless statistics of what divine practice the American people suppose our President is, why are we not hammering on the White House door asking why there is little to no support of our war fighters in Afghanistan? The only real statistics we should be shouting about are 1156 dead, 88 last month alone.

We are loosing a war that we already won. Why are we loosing it? Poor leadership. We don't have enough boots on the ground, so our war fighters are being picked off one by one. In the southern provinces, IEDs are set with impunity. The villages, who just want to be left in peace, side with the Taliban, not because they want to, but because we can't protect them if they side with us. Why? We are spread too thin. So thin in fact that we can not mount a decent retaliation if one of the villages that made the mistake of siding with us is hit by the enemy.

What do we need to win? More guys, more bullets, more guns. The same thing that armies have needed since the invention of the firearm. We must commit to this war as we did in Iraq. Only then will we defeat the enemy.

Will we do what needs to be done? Here is a fact for you, 100% of this blogs authors believe that we will not.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Iraq War Over

To very little fanfare, the last combat troops have left Iraq. What does this mean? It means that the Iraq war is over with a stunning victory to the United States of America. It means that we have achieved something in Iraq that we have yet to achieve in any of the major belligerent countries in World War II. Combat troops in Germany? Yes. Combat troops in Japan? Yup. Combat troops in Italy? You better believe it. We have had a combat presence in those countries since we defeated them 60 years ago. Yet, no combat troops in Iraq. Amazing.

Despite my extreme dislike of how he ran the war, and how he ran his presidency, George W. Bush must be given his due for this war. He stuck to it, and managed to fight and win two distinct and very different wars in Iraq. The first war was against the regime of Saddam Hussein. The second was against a very tough and determined guerrilla insurgency first staffed by former baathist party members, then by trained forces from Iran.

It is amazing to me that this day is not celebrated as V-I Day. Instead, the media portrays this stunning and unprecedented victory as a depressing loss. The current President of the United States says nothing. No recognition, no atta boy to the military, who paid for this victory in blood. Way to preserve the memories of those killed. Way to bolster the hopes of those injured and wounded. You all suck. You truly do.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Ground Zero Mosque

President Obama... DO NOT BACKTRACK!!! You said that the Ground Zero Mosque was a local issue. This is exactly the right thing to say. You are absolutely correct on your Constitutional interpretation. It is very difficult to mess up "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion..." The federal debate ends there. It makes no difference if the Church of the Giant Phallus wants to erect a Holy Giant Phallus at ground zero. The Feds back off. They have zero power there.

The only government that has any authority over where a place of worship, or a religiously affiliated community center is placed in New York, New York is the County, City, and State of New York. If they deem that it is zoned correctly (it is) then all three have an obligation to step aside and allow the center, Mosque, or Giant Phallus to be built.

It is also the obligation of the city, county, state, and federal governments to make sure that those who choose to attend service at this religiously affiliated place are safe to do so. Not even if the proctor just says "Death to America" over and over again for hours. Not even if the secret passphrase to get in to the place is "Death to America."

Other religions have full access to this area. There is a Catholic Church in the same two block radius. There would be no fuss if a Lutheran group decided to put up a church in the same area. This is about demonizing a religion and branding the people who practice that religion as evil. Let's use a similar situation... Tim McVeigh was a Cristian. You better believe that he had religious motivations for blowing up the Federal Building in Oklahoma City. There are all kinds of Christian iconography all over the Murrah building site. Nobody has a problem. Double standards do not exist with Freedom. There is only right and wrong.

The First Amendment was written not to protect stuff that the majority likes. It was written to ensure that stuff the majority did NOT like could be expressed. This means that we let those that have differing opinions to ours say their piece. Even if we are fighting those that espouse those views. During every war we have ever had, sympathisers from every side have had their place. That is who we are.

Keep the faith Mr. President. For once you have the right idea. Build the building, and try to remember that your invisible man is no more powerful that the next guy's invisible man.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Training At a New Job

Orientation training that is... I was in D.C. for a four day orientation course this week. A very interesting exercise. What was interesting? Not the content certainly, it wasn't anything that I haven't heard before. What was interesting is that the company that now owns me puts every new hire, from the graduate coming in to their first job, to the new senior vice president, through the exact same course. This being a large company there were nearly 200 new hires, from all over the country, so the depth of the diversity was very fun.

I sat at tables with guys with 25 years of experience, along with the summer school graduate pooping himself trying not to show how nervous and green he was. It was a lot of fun. About the second day I was sitting at a table with three new graduates entering their first job out of school, one 25 year veteran of the Marines entering his first civilian job, and two other refugees from the corporate civilian world like myself. We were shown a sexual harassment video and asked to discuss what we saw with our table. The corporate civilian guys looked at each other and gave each other knowing smiles... This was not our first rodeo and knew better than to say what we were really thinking. It was at that point that we realized that the Marine was furiously taking notes and asking us situational questions about what jokes he could say, and if people really did get fired for saying the things shown in the "joke" portion of the video. Two of the three graduates were young women clearly distressed in what they saw in the video and were asking if situations like what we saw in the video happened very often. It was surreal.

It is a fact of human nature that if you are exposed long enough to a certain culture or behavior, it not only becomes normal, you believe that all people everywhere do or participate in the said culture or behavior. I have made fun of this on many occasions having to do with religion, and ignorant people's exposure to new cultures. However, I found that I had fallen in to the same trap when it came to work life, as had the other corporate civilians at the table. We were quite surprised to see the looks of fear and horror on the graduate's faces. Coming from the sheltered world of college, and their parent's houses, they had no frame of reference, no experience, to tell them that the behavior that they saw on screen was so outside the norm that it bordered on the absurd. We were also startled at the flip side of the coin, the military man who had been immersed in crude language and off color stories for much of his adult career. He was equally worried that he would be fired very quickly for simply being himself.

The three corporate schmucks then had to console the graduates by saying that the stuff on the screen was very rare, and that we had never seen a case of quid pro quo in our lives. We then had to sternly warn the Marine that he very much had to watch what he said, because we had all witnessed, on many occasions, individuals get in to trouble for saying or doing off color things in the workplace.

Me being me, told him that if he looked at no one and said nothing he would be just fine. I thought it was an obvious joke, but when he started writing what I had said down I had to make sure he knew the spirit of what I was talking about.

All in all an interesting, fun experience, simply from the human condition aspect. Most of what was presented was corporate Kool Aid, but from a people watching perspective a most interesting 4 days.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Member When I Asked If I Was a Whore?

I am. Big time. I had a company wave responsibility and money in front of my face and I jumped all over myself to get on board. This is not a bad thing.

My previous company hired me as a developer specializing in SharePoint. What I ended up doing was a whole bunch of web administration, server migrations, and fighting over what was better scripting a deployment so it was the same every time, and the good old cut and paste method. I said automated scripting was better.

Anyway, things did not work out like I wanted them to. I liked the company's vision of clean, abundant, affordable, and American energy. That was great, I am still all for it... However when it came to the hard questions about if our drilling methods contaminated water supplies, the company was inexplicably silent. Clean energy can not be called clean if it is good to the air, but horrible to water.

I was kind of on the fence about leaving, but a friend said something to me that I had told him once: Don't be a bitch, impose your will. Then he said another one of my favorites: Don't be a doormat. Do you know what people do to doormats? They wipe shit on them. Don't be that guy.
I am very inspirational when I want to be... I realized that I was both doormat and bitch. I needed to find someplace to grow.

So, I started looking... I found a large company that wants to set up an office where I live, and is looking for technical people to staff it. They also need someone to lend a leadership hand, and ask the technical questions. I am that guy. Despite being lied to on several occasions by companies, I am cautiously optimistic... Excited even. I think that I can be a decision maker at this office, and do the kind of work that I like to do, solve problems.