Saturday, August 11, 2012

Romney Picks Ryan For VP

So Mitt chose Paul Ryan as his choice and while it wasn't what I was expecting it was a pick I can get behind. For one there are no lawyers on the ticket, Romney got his degree in law but never practiced, instead going in to the private sector as a venture capitalist and Ryan's degree is in economics. Secondly it is a pick that appeals to younger voters and staunch conservatives. Paul Ryan is young and energetic, he makes jokes and has an easy going manner, but he also has a keen mind and firm values that are conservative values. While the democrats have failed to pass a budget for the last several years Ryan put forth a budget proposal that would balance the budget and begin paying down the debt within ten years. He can even speak with a fair degree of authority on national security and foreign affairs as he has shown on the news talk show circuit.

Ryan even provides a good visual, a clean cut all american looking guy with a happy family. He is even a bow hunter (a hobby of mine, it takes a fair bit of skill and you need to practice or your skills go fast) so he has the outdoorsman aspect that contrasts with Romney's unmistakable urbanity. Unless something comes out to torpedo Ryan's image it seems Romney has found someone who can actually help him win in november.

Friday, August 10, 2012

ObamaCare Will Raise The Price Of Pizza

Arguably the most perfect food in the history of man, pizza is fundamental to the diet of all patriotic red blooded americans. Unfortunately according to an add up on Politico right now Obamacare will raise the prices of Papa John's deliciousness. I may enjoy cooking, but sometimes  I like to order a pizza and relax and when I do it is Papa's, and while the 15 to 20 cents extra per order they talk about in the article won't break the bank, they also mention the possibility of lay offs, which is exactly what this fragile economy doesn't need more of.

Then there is the fact that as this graph shows, the projected costs of Obamacare rise with every new estimate, meaning the costs to business owners will continue growing. In the long term that means they pass on the cost to the consumer by raising their prices, or they reduce their costs which most often means a reduced work force. Obviously I'm more worried about increased costs, won't someone please think of the pizzas?

Thursday, August 9, 2012

What Is Under Your City?

An islamic sect was found living in an 8 story deep bunker outside of Kazan in Russia without heat or lighting, according to members the group had been there for a decade and many of the 20-odd children (the youngest of which was only 18 months old) had never seen the sky or daylight. Amazing the sort of things... whole groups of people... that can slip through the cracks in the modern world, isn't it? Then again, how modern can Kazan Russia really be called.

Harry Reid Might Want To Move Out Of His Glass House Before Throwing Stones

Harry Reid has gotten his name all over the news by making the baseless charge that presumptive G.O.P. presidential candidate Mitt Romney hasn't paid his taxes in ten years. Reid has claimed that he doesn't feel the burden of proof is on him, and has  refused to name his sources so it is fairly obviously purely a partisan attack but maybe the Senate Majority leader should take a look in the mirror and catalog his own weaknesses first, because Western Journalism is airing all his dirty laundry. They're even providing sources for their charges.

From dirty land deals like the Del Webb land swap and Coyote Springs were he made small fortunes illegally, to being tied to chinagate figure Huang and being revealed as a sock puppet for George Soros it is bad. The article goes in to Harry Reid's knowledge of ACORN voter registration and exposes him as a man who supports gun grabbing anti-2nd amendment legislation, a political operative who talks out of both sides of his mouth on abortion and gay marriage, and a whiffling wimp on national defense. I could go on and on, the article is beautifully researched and written though, so you are better served reading for yourself and deciding on your own how much credibility to assign the senator.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

TANSTAAFL

Over at Clash Daily you can read a great article on the economy and Obama's failed keynesian economic policies, how he doubled down on bad policies, and the stark choices facing the American people by Edward Woodson. Excellently written and quoting possibly the greatest economist of the modern era, Milton Friedman, it is worth a read through and it should spark a few questions in even the most intellectually incurious mind about Econ 101 and beyond.

Liberal Media Priming The Public For Vote Recounts

CNN has an article out discussing the fact that Republicans in several states have passed laws requiring proof of identity at the voting booth and in typical fashion for the lame stream media they are turning it in to some horrible case of vote suppression. Right, and it's a horrible breach of my civil rights when the cashier asks for my I.D. to buy a bottle of whiskey. The simple fact that democrats and their activist groups are on this is worrying considering True The Vote has put 160 counties on notice about their voter registration rolls. But the fact is by attempting to prime the public for vote recounts in november they tip their hand concerning a tactic they are going to use to try and keep "their guy" in office and it really is a bit disgusting that they are this open with their bias while still claiming there is none.

Cross Training In Martial Arts: Range

over two decades practicing martial arts in one form or another has given me a lot of insights and one of them is the value of cross training, not just in terms of running for cardio or strength training, but mixing styles and using weapons training. Quite possibly the most famous cross trainer was also the most famous martial artist of all time. I am of course referring to the dragon, Bruce Lee. In his Tao of Jeet Kune Do Lee explained the advantages of a variety of approaches, the strengths this or that art brought to a fight and where he saw their failings and today we see those truths play out every time you tune in to a UFC broadcast. It comes down to a few things, timing, angles of attack, footwork and range which is the focus of this article.

Range is a difficult concept for some martial artists to deal with, a lot of the time a practitioner will mistake it for reach when they are striking, but it is far more than that. A good sense of range means you understand how to put yourself in a position to strike from a position of power, maintain balance and control your movements to strike accurately and defend yourself. By training in a variety of arts you learn different ways to move and improve your balance, the different styles of striking give you new angles to attack from and new ways to find those angles.

A perfect example of this is a martial artist who trains in karate and muay thai, karate is the system that most people learn first simply because there are so many schools out there and it is a good introduction because at it's core it is a simple system of strikes and blocks that use stance to link the techniques together. One of the big complaints most martial artists have is that traditional karate is "static" there aren't any tricks of footwork that are particularly good at setting up a strike and so a lot of dedicated martial artists supplement it with more "dynamic" styles like muay thai,  shaolin boxing, silat, or others.

The problem is that the more dynamic styles also tend to rely on those set up steps that reduce your options and telegraph your technique, like the step all muay thai kickboxers use to set up their kicks, it gives the strike great power but alerts your opponent to your intention. The lines after that are almost identical to those used in karate but it is an alteration of footwork and one that a smart fighter can also use to control the range of the fight. This hypothetical karate-ka and kickboxer can establish their muay thai strikes and then fall back on the shorter and "cleaner" strikes of karate to catch their opponent as they close, or establish their karate strikes and then use their muay thai footwork to close the distance and crowd their opponent, by cross training they have additional tools in their bag.

As to weapons training, well, most of us are never going to carry a bo staff, escrima, or a sword around in our day to day life, but the cross training benefit of using weapons is that they by necessity take flaws in your movement and exaggerate them, a sloppy strike that over extends you when you punch over extends you even more when that punch is a lunge with a sword. With the extra reach you and your opponent also need to pay more attention to distance and position, cross training with weapons can make your hand-to-hand stronger when done correctly.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The UN Gun Treaty

Time for a shocker, I'm going to give Obama credit for not immediately signing the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty. Amy Goodman over at The Guardian calls the president's waffling and asking for more time to review the treaty cowardice and she may well  be right but for reasons other than what she believes. President Obama has been very clear in the past that he believes in disarmament and seeking "soft power" solutions such as diplomacy but he waited out the clock on this one to keep the NRA off his back due to how close this election is, with many polls having Romney tied with the president or even ahead in key battle ground states. Bad politics to annoy such a large and well funded special interest group in those conditions.

My main problem with Goodman's assertions are however on how benign the Arms Trade Treaty is, with it's vague language about weapons that facilitate "the commission of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes" the treaty leaves a lot up for interpretation. After all, during the Rwandan genocides of 1994 the favorite weapon of Akazu, a group of majority Hutu tribals was the machete when it came to killing Tutsi. Machetes aren't even technically a weapon, but a tool for clearing brush, no matter what slasher movies want you to believe. Some of the most popular hunting rifles in the world are based on the design of the kalashnikov or "AK" rifle design, a huge chunk of the remainder are based on the Garand or the AR-15. Are machetes and hunting rifles covered by that proviso concerning facilitating genocide and war crimes?

The problem with these sorts of agreements is not their intention, but in their implementation, governments should never be granted new power in vast swaths, but incrementally and over a period of time that allows for testing so excesses can be pruned back. Then again, Miss Goodman is a brit and a journalist, probably can't tell the difference between an FN FAL and an M-16.

Vote Of The Living Dead

True the Vote has sent notice to 160 counties that they have more registered voters than there are live, eligible individuals in their county, so it seems someone is up to some distinctly Chicago style shenanigans. True the Vote is a non-partisan legal group concerned with combating election tampering and was able to determine these counties had a problem by comparing census data with data made available by he bipartisan Election Assistance Commission.

“We are deeply concerned by our discovery of voter rolls across America that contain substantial numbers of ineligible voters, possibly resulting in the disenfranchisement of eligible voters and the subversion of our nation’s electoral process,” the letters to the counties state. True the Vote President Catherine Engelbrecht also said in a statement to press that “Failing to maintain accurate voter registration records is a flagrant violation of Section 8 in the NVRA.” Engelbrecht also made it clear that True the vote believes it is unacceptable for any county to have the sort of large scale negligence in the maintaining of their Registry.

True the Vote did not say what ends they believe this sort of large scale fraud in the voter registries would serve, but considering the issues with left wing organizations like ACORN I don't think some conclusions are all that hard to come to, do you?

Dick Cheney: Badass Or Baddest Ass?

On tonight's episode of Hannity former VP Dick Cheney calls out Obama on being in over his head, inexperienced and under qualified when he assumed the presidency, and how it shows through in the way the president has handled the economy, the war on terror and more. This is no doubt going to be fun to watch, Cheney doesn't seem to have a filter between his brain and his mouth some times, as if he has embraced being that angry old man that liberals called him from the moment he became the vice president, but it raises the question of just how much a badass he is. No one talks about former vice presidents all that much, but Cheney is inescapable in the media. The man's  fight with more heart attacks than a team of competitive eaters, shooting a friend in the face on a hunting trip (and the friend apologized in the press) and the fact that he is possibly the biggest conservative rainmaker out there prove that this indomitable curmudgeon might be central to the G.O.P. for as long as he says he is and not a minute less. If you disagree he will probably just tell you to go f**k yourself. Watch Hannity tonight to see the full skinny on what the bulldog of the G.O.P. thinks of the job Obama has done as president people.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Technical Issues

Title says it all, was having issues with my laptop all day so no writing got done, I'll have plenty up tomorrow.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Dragon Gets A Title Shot

Last night Dana White was having an event with two main events, Lyoto "The Dragon" Machida against Strong up and comer Ryan Bader, and Mauricio "Shogun" Rua faced Brandon Vera with the most impressive winner out of the two matches getting a shot at the light heavyweight championship as determined by White. Machida put on a striking clinic, showing off his ever improving karate skills with sharp kicks to the body Arizona State wrestling honed Bader and ended the fight by knockout at the start of the second round when Bader tried to charge in behind a big right hand. Machida was ready for it, showing why he is considered one of the greatest counter-strikers, blocking that big right hand and firing his own straight right to the jaw of his opponent with precision and power.

It was an impressive win and you could hear the announcers debating how much that did or didn't come in to the thinking of Rua and Vera. For my money I think both men were more focused simply on winning than how they got the victory. Vera arguably needed the victory more after a long couple of years of performing below what everyone including himself expected of him and both men fought valiantly in to the fourth round. The big surprise of the fight was strategy, Rua has often been called out for his in your face, pounding style however on that night he was pushing the ground game, initiating several takedowns and working side control effectively in multiple rounds. It wasn't all Shogun however, both men had cuts to their brows and Vera showed some incredibly effective combinations leading in to leg and body kicks, and Vera even let fly a few head kicks, catching Shogun once or twice but it wasn't enough and Mauricio eventually won by a TKO.

At the end of it all the question was would Machida winning in dominating fashion or Rua grinding it out impress Dana White more. Obviously the tile shows you what choice he made, and Lyoto "The Dragon" Machida is going to be getting another shot at gold and glory.