Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Aoki Goes For A Carny!

...if that's how you spell it... I've never seen anyone in MMA go for it. I hope Karl reads this.

BTW, Aoki won by decision.

Idiot of the Week

I'm impressed with the iron will of the managers.

West Palm Beach supermarket shootout lands man in jail

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

WEST PALM BEACH — It could've been a typical spat between grocery store customer and manager, with the customer announcing he planned to take his business elsewhere. But then the customer drew his gun. The store manager drew his and so did the assistant manager.

It all happened at 5 p.m. Monday at the IGA Supermarket at 1000 36th St. in West Palm Beach. And in the end, West Palm Beach police arrested customer Marshall Hugo Grant for attempted first-degree murder, shooting into an occupied dwelling, aggravated assault with a firearm and carrying a concealed firearm.

Police reported Tuesday morning that Grant, 73, entered the store through the exit despite manager Marino Hernandez's warning not to enter that way. The confrontation escalated, Grant drew a handgun; assistant manager Roberto Espinal drew his handgun. Hernandez also pulled a gun. Grant backed out of the store, firing three times as he went, the arrest report states.

The managers, who witnesses said never returned fire, ended up surrounding Grant, who hid behind a vehicle while continuing to fire, according to the police report. Grant eventually surrendered his weapon to the managers, once they told him police were on their way.

Grant appeared Tuesday morning before Judge Nancy Perez, who ordered him held without bond while he undergoes a psychiatric examination.

I found that article riiiiiight here.

Gas Price Survey

I've been saying it...

Gasoline prices top concerns over jobs, health troubles By KEVIN FREKING, Associated Press Writer
Tue Apr 29, 6:21 AM ET

Paying for gasoline easily tops the list of economic woes facing families in the United States, according to a survey on how changes in the economy have affected people's lives.

About 44 percent of survey participants said paying for gasoline was a "serious problem" for them. Across all income levels, the cost of gas was the most frequently cited economic concern. The price of gas nationally averaged $3.60 a gallon on Monday, according to the Energy Department.

More than a quarter of households earning more than $75,000 a year described paying for gasoline as a serious problem. For those with incomes of less than $30,000, about 63 percent felt that way.

In a distant second and third place among participants' economic concerns were: getting a good-paying job or raise, 29 percent; and paying for health care and health insurance, 28 percent.

Following in fourth place was difficulty paying rent or mortgage, 19 percent.

Many participants in the survey, nearly three in 10, said they put off or postponed getting health care they needed in the past year. Nearly a quarter of participants skipped a recommended test or treatment. Nearly the same number didn't fill a prescription.

The survey of 2,003 adults was conducted April 3-13 on behalf of the Kaiser Family Foundation, which conducts health research. The survey's margin of sampling error was plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Originally posted here.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Basic and Tech Schools

A lot of people have been asking me where I'm going to be going when I start my life as a member of the Air Force, so I figured I'd do an en-masse email/blog post and hopefully answer the questions for everyone.

Basic training for enlisted members of the Air Force, at Lackland AFB, TX (just outside of San Antonio), is 6 1/2 weeks. I don't expect it to be too difficult; I have many friends that have gone through Marine Corps basic training and they tell me that in the shape I'm in, I'd have no trouble getting through the physical demands of even their BMT which is, in the opinion of many, significantly tougher than AFBMT. I don't claim to have the faintest clue which one is tougher; one can't really say unless they've done both. Not that it all matters anyway...

So, I leave May 20th. That's a Tuesday. I expect that first week ("Zero Week") to be the "1/2" week. Six weeks from that Sunday will be BMT, which puts my graduation at the weekend of July 4th (my best guess at this point), provided that I don't do anything dumb like get injured.

I get one day off (or two days if I really kick ass up to that point) and then I'm scheduled to go to my first technical school. I'll be going to two of them, and I'm not sure which one is first, but here they are:

Keesler AFB in Mississippi, and Sheppard AFB in Texas. Although I'm not sure the exact amount of time I'll be at either one, all my research suggests that all this will take me right up to and maybe through March 2008. At that point, I get some time off to go home and pack up all of mine and Carol's stuff (as well as Carol herself) and we head to wherever in the world I'll be working.

I bolded "wherever in the world" because I really have no idea, and likely no influence upon where that will be. I've been talking online to another guy who's been doing my job for a couple years. Right now he's in Utah, but he spent a few years in Italy. I'm cool with that though, I have my first couple of choices, but I'm going to make the best and have a blast wherever I go.

Anyway, I started to write more but I think I've satisfied the purpose for which I began writing this... I'm looking forward to seeing everyone and partying my ass off until I head out! See you all soon!

Death By Caffeine

I learned something new today! At my average weight of 165, it would take 104.76 cups of coffee to kill me. Let Energy Fiend tell you how much you could withstand!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Happy Tax Freedom Day

New video from Remy Remz! Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

GSP Sets the MMA World Right Again.

See the original article here.

St. Pierre Talks Win Over Serra
By Andy Cotterill

[4/22/2008] Newly crowned UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre (Pictures) spoke exclusively with Sherdog.com the day after his impressive second-round TKO over Matt Serra (Pictures) at UFC 83. With the win, St. Pierre reclaimed the belt that Serra had taken from him in his first title defense in April 2007.

"Yesterday was the most beautiful day of my life," St. Pierre said, his voice still raspy and full of happiness. "Everything worked out perfectly, and it is a dream come true."

To get the win, St. Pierre employed a very solid wrestling game that allowed him to stay on top of Serra and punish him with countless hard knees to the body. The style contrasted greatly to the standup that Serra had used so successfully the first time. Was St. Pierre worried the few times that Serra got back to his feet?

"No, I was in perfect control," he said. "My plan was to mix it up with him -- up and down and up and down to get him tired."

There had been some bad blood in the buildup to the bout, but after the win St. Pierre, now 16-2, was quick to praise his opponent. In fact, he pleaded with the Montreal crowd to treat Serra like a gentleman. St. Pierre acknowledged that any animosity that may have existed is now gone.

"He's not a friend because I would never fight a friend," St. Pierre said. "He's an acquaintance. How do you say … a ‘buddy.' Somebody that I respect in the sport."

St. Pierre was also very thankful to the Montreal crowd, whom he called the "noisiest I had ever heard in my life." During the pre-fight warm-up, he couldn't hear the crowd because he was deep within the bowels of the Bell Centre. However, St. Pierre said he felt the trembling in the walls.

"The place was shaking," he remarked.

Surprising perhaps to those who think fighters live like rock stars, St. Pierre only spent a short time at his after-party. The 26-year-old Quebecer's real celebration? A meal at McDonalds and an early trip to bed.

"That's because the stress of the fight makes you tired," he said.

Most followers of MMA agree that contender Jon Fitch (Pictures) will likely get the first crack at St. Pierre, followed possibly by Thiago Alves (Pictures), but only UFC brass knows who will be the Canadian's next foe. If the decision has already been made, St. Pierre doesn't want to know.

"They are both tough fighters, and I don't know yet," he said. "And I don't even want to know until one week, at least."

In the meantime, St. Pierre jetted to the Bahamas Sunday evening for four days in the surf and sun with friends and family. After that it's back to the gym, where he'll help Keith Jardine (Pictures) get ready for his May 24 meeting with Wanderlei Silva (Pictures) in Las Vegas.

Is that too little time to relax after such a lengthy training session and a big fight?

"My friend," St. Pierre said, "that's what I like to do with my life."

4/20 At CU

HAHAHAHA!!! Oh, man. If you're going to try and advocate a drug like weed, you're probably going to get the best responce if you're NOT high at the time. This is pretty funny, I hope you enjoy.

Disclaimer: I don't smoke weed and this post does not represent my opinions on the matter. It's just pretty funny. If you're going to look into it any more than that, please click here instead.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Hillary's Bosnia Footage Revealed!

It was too dangerous for Bill, so they sent Hill.

Whey Protein Powder Lesson

Today, I tried to make a new combination for a drink: Blueberry tea (which I like on its own) with vanilla flavored whey protein powder (which I also like on its own). I use this mixture (actual blueberries, not the tea) all the time in the blender, and I thought it might be a good idea.

When I added the powder to the hot water, I learned a new life lesson: Protein powder does not like to be put in hot water. No, it didn't explode, but I definitely wasted a serving of the stuff, as well as a perfectly good blueberry tea bag. Nasty.

John McCain First to Address High Gas Prices

...the way that a presidential candidate should be. I'm all for going green and all that crap, but it's more important to me to reduce the cost of gas. I'm selling my car upon leaving for the Air Force for several reasons, but one of them is to try my hand at life without a car - indefinitely. Gas prices are atrocious, and the presidential candidates should be addressing the problem as one of their top five concerns. John McCain is the first to make an attempt. Find the original article here.

McCain Proposes Break in Gas Taxes
Apr 15, 6:31 AM (ET)

PITTSBURGH (AP) - John McCain wants the federal government to free people from paying gasoline taxes this summer and ensure that college students can secure loans this fall, a pair of proposals aimed at stemming pain from the country's troubled economy.

At the same time, the certain Republican presidential nominee says Democratic rivals Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton would impose the single largest tax increase since World War II by allowing tax cuts pushed to passage by President Bush to expire.

"Both promise big 'change.' And a trillion dollars in new taxes over the next decade would certainly fit that description," McCain said in remarks prepared for delivery Tuesday. "All these tax increases are the fine print under the slogan of 'hope:' They're going to raise your taxes by thousands of dollars per year - and they have the audacity to hope you don't mind."

That was a play on the title of an Obama book.

McCain twice voted against the very tax cuts he now supports; he says failing to extend them would amount to tax increases for millions of people.

The four-term Arizona senator was presenting his proposals - and blistering his Democratic rivals - in a wide-ranging economic speech at Carnegie Mellon University.

It's part of an ongoing effort to counter the notion - fueled by his own previous comments - that he's not as strong on the economy as he is on other issues. He's also seeking to fend off criticism from Democrats, including Obama and Clinton, that his small-government, free-market stances don't mesh with people feeling the pinch - particularly those hurting now.

His speech comes a day after he said he believes the country has already entered a recession, a label the Bush administration has resisted even as a credit crisis, a housing slump, soaring energy costs and rising layoffs combined to soften the economy.

To help people weather the downturn immediately, McCain was calling for Congress to institute a "gas-tax holiday" by suspending the 18.4 cent federal gas tax and 24.4 cent diesel tax from Memorial Day to Labor Day. He also renewed his call for the United States to stop adding to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and thus lessen to some extent the worldwide demand for oil.

Combined, he said, the two proposals would reduce gas prices, which would have a trickle-down effect and "help to spread relief across the American economy."

Addressing the feared fallout of the ongoing credit crunch, McCain also said the Education Department should work with the country's governors to make sure that each state's guarantee agency - nonprofits that traditionally back student loans issued by banks - has both the means and the manpower to be the lender-of-last-resort for student loans.

Lawmakers, students and financial experts are worried that the credit crisis might make it more difficult for students and their families to find loans. Nearly two dozen lenders have dropped out of the federally backed student loan program.

Among other proposals, McCain said he would:

_Raise the tax exemption for each dependent child from $3,500 to $7,000.

_Require more affluent people - couples making more than $160,000 - enrolled in Medicare to pay a higher premium for their prescription drugs than less-wealthy people.

_Offer people the option of choosing a simpler tax system with two tax rates and a standard deduction instead of sticking with the current system.

_Suspend for one year all increases in discretionary spending for agencies other than those that cover the military and veterans while launching an expansive review of the effectiveness of federal program.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Censorship On College Campuses

Find ye ole article here.

Satirical Words are 'Violence' in Colorado
by Jessica Peck Corry (more by this author)
Posted 04/10/2008 ET
Updated 04/10/2008 ET

One of the most pressing problems in higher education today: No one in power knows how to laugh. Especially women, and particularly the radical, man-hating sort.

Just ask Chris Robinson, a student at Colorado College, a small private liberal arts school located in picturesque Colorado Springs. Robinson, originally from Maine, has been found guilty of violating the school’s anti-violence conduct code.

His crime? Daring to mock “The Monthly Rag,” a leaflet produced by the school’s Feminist and Gender Studies program, and one in which references to male castration, instructions on “packing,” defined as the act of “creating the appearance of a phallus under clothing,” and an advertisement for the book “Dr. Sprinkle’s Spectacular Sex” were all included.

Robinson, together with a friend who has asked that his name not be used, produced a leaflet titled “The Monthly Bag,” a clearly satirical response to the aforementioned publication.

Published under the pseudonym of “The Coalition of Some Dudes,” Robinson’s leaflet used a similar format, but included statistics dispelling the gender wage gap, a quotation about a sexual position (a play on one referenced in The Monthly Bag), and information about female violence and abuse against men. Most notably -- at least to the college’s leftists, the leaflet jokingly referenced “chainsaw etiquette.”

The satire was, apparently, too sophisticated for the school’s liberals. President Richard Celeste wasn’t laughing. In fact, he sent out a campus-wide email condemning the work. “The flyers include threatening and demeaning content, which is categorically unacceptable in this community. . . .Anonymous acts mean to demean and intimidate others are not [welcome].” Celeste then asked the authors to come forward, which they did less than an hour later.

To reward their honesty, the college charged the two male students with violating the college’s anti-violence code. Both were put on trial, a terrifying two-week process where their accusers were allowed to question them about everything from whether they’d ever taken a gender studies course to how they saw their roles in society as white men. “I was terrified,” said Robinson, a 3.9 student who will spend next semester in Syria studying Arabic and who plans to apply to Yale for law school after graduating next year. “These people had the power to sanction me for something roughly equivalent to hate speech. That’s very serious.”

After waiting 17 days “in a Kafkaesque waiting room,” a verdict was given. Last month, Dean of Students Mike Edmonds found both men guilty of “violating the student code of conduct policy on violence.”

For their punishment, Robinson and his friend will now have to wear the metaphorical scarlet letter, with the administration insisting that they initiate a campus dialogue on the issues brought up by their actions. Although Edmonds acknowledged that the intent of the publication was to satirize “The Monthly Rag,” he wrote to the students that “in the climate in which we find ourselves today, violence -- implied violence -- of any kind cannot be tolerated on a college campus.”

Edmonds feebly tried to justify his censorship by telling the students that “the juxtaposition of weaponry and sexuality" in an anonymous parody made students subjectively feel threatened by chainsaws or rifles.

In other words, Edmonds believes college students are too weak and too impressionable to handle a good politically-incorrect laugh at the expense of liberals who take themselves way too seriously.

Political satire -- even when intended to provoke an active discussion on diversity-related issues, is too scary for insecure leftists who have been coddled their entire lives. Never mind the college’s own “diversity and anti-discrimination policy” that mandates that “no idea can be banned or forbidden. No viewpoint or message may be deemed so hateful that it may not be expressed.”

Colorado College, like schools across the country, has built an entire industry around perpetuating the self-victimization of minorities and women, believing both groups are weaklings in need of special protection and isolation.

The college boasts of its “Glass House,” a “nurturing living environment for ethnic minority and supportive majority students.” The college also maintains its active Diversity Task Force, a 22-person diversity police working to establish “processes for voicing and addressing complaints, and monitoring the effectiveness of these processes.”

In a response to Inside Higher Ed, an online education site, Celeste defended the verdict against the students. “The students involved in creating this publication were found to have violated the college community’s standards, but they were not sanctioned or punished,” he said.

Apparently, being forced to "engage the college community in more inclusive dialogue, debate and discussion on freedom of speech" isn't meant as punishment. Sounds like fun. Maybe the campus feminists can even reenact the Salem Witch Trials while they are at it.

According to Colorado College’s Web site, a year at the school costs more than $44,000.

I pity the parents paying for their daughters to major in Feminist Studies. These young women must be so busy “packing” that they don’t have time to study the great works of Western Civilization. And why would they want to study Plato or Socrates? After all, according to radical feminists, the West has only perpetuated the oppression of women.

At least Robinson has kept his sense of humor. I asked him if the case has helped him get dates. While he is in a committed relationship, he says it has helped his co-author-in-crime tremendously. “Women flock to him like wild game,” he said. “They say they like him because he’s a real man.”

All of this would be funny if it weren’t quite so sad. While the feminist rhetoric polluting our colleges is laughable, its effect on ordinary students -- and especially young men -- is something we can no longer ignore.

*The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) originally reported on this story.

Lieutenant Colonel Robert Maginnis On Obama and National Defense

My favorite quote from the following article is...uh, well, the following: Senator Obama’s national security views expressed in his 52-second video reflect that of a knee-jerk liberal academic who thinks that the US is the primary threat to world peace. His views are dangerously naive and his statements suggest a shallow understanding of national security issues and in some cases his facts are wrong. Mr. Maginnis is a retired Army lieutenant colonel, a national security and foreign affairs analyst for radio and television and a senior strategist with the U.S. Army, and this is what he has to say.

Obama Promises to Dismantle Our Armed Forces
by Robert Maginnis
Posted 04/10/2008 ET

YouTube has an undated 52-second clip of Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barrack Obama outlining his plans for America’s national defense. Obama’s presentation demonstrates either total naivete about important national security programs or he is just pandering for votes among the extreme left.

Watch Obama’s message and consider some inconvenient facts about his national security promises.

“I’m the only major candidate to oppose this war from the beginning and as president I will end it.” No one likes war: especially those who have to do the fighting and dying. Yet, our military leaders make clear that the consequences of a rapid withdrawal from Iraq as Obama seeks would be disastrous not only for American interests in the region but for Iraq itself. It would provide a propaganda victory for al Qaeda and Iran because they will be able to claim they defeated America. Further, it could worsen the Iraqi civil war, create an unstable Mideast and further spike oil prices.

“Second, I will cut tens of billions of dollars in wasteful spending.” Anyone who has worked with the military for any length of time knows there is waste, often in weapons systems. Recently, the Government Accountability Office found that 95 major weapons systems -- including the Joint Strike Fighter and the Littoral Combat Ship -- have exceeded their original budgets. These cost overruns could be the result of waste or mismanagement or, perhaps, the development and fielding of sophisticated new weapons with constantly changing requirements is difficult and inefficient.

The senator should understand there is a difference between waste and defense spending. But does he? There is no reason to think so in any of his speeches or position papers. Obama’s employer, the US Congress, indulges in pork barrel earmarks contributing to wasteful Pentagon spending. Earmarks circumvent merit-based systems to create jobs in favored congressional districts and saddle the military with unwanted -- wasteful -- programs.

“I will cut investments in unproven missile defense systems.” Recently, both our sea-based and ground-based missile systems proved to be successful. On Feb 20, the USS Lake Erie armed with an SM-3 missile destroyed a wayward satellite traveling at more than 17,000 MPH more than 100 miles high. In September, 2007, our ground-based midcourse defense system killed a dummy missile over the Pacific using an interceptor stationed in Alaska. The US Bureau of Arms Control warns, “The ballistic missile danger to the US, its forces deployed abroad, and allies and friends is real and growing.”

“I will not weaponize space.” America’s current policy is not to weaponize space. However, it’s important for policy makers to recognize the US’s dependence on space. Our banking, communications and navigation systems almost entirely depend on satellites. Space lines of communication are as essential for commerce today as sea lines of communication were two centuries ago. Does Obama mean he wouldn’t provide defensive systems for our satellites? Apparently so.

Surrendering space to rogue nations and pirates places our economy and military at risk. Anti-satellite weaponry will proliferate and must be countered.

“I will slow our development of future combat systems.” Our combat systems are becoming ancient. Our air force is flying aircraft which are based on 1940s and 1950s technology and our army is driving 1960s and 1970s vintage vehicles. Older equipment is expensive, time consuming to maintain and potentially dangerous.

The Army’s Future Combat Systems (FCS) is the first full-spectrum modernization effort in nearly 40 years. It will replace Cold War-era relics with “full-spectrum” operations capable modular systems designed to operate in complex terrain. It can also be adapted to civil support, such as disaster relief.

Failing to develop future combat systems puts American warriors at risk and unnecessarily jeopardizes our security.

“… and I will institute an independent defense priorities board to ensure that the Quadrennial Defense Review is not used to justify unnecessary spending.” Congress created the QDR as an every four-year analysis intended to balance defense strategy and programs with resources.

In 2007, the Government Accountability Office, an “independent defense priorities board” in its own right, published its analysis of the most recent QDR. It lauded the Bush administration for sustained involvement of senior officials, extensive collaboration with interagency partners and creating a database to track implementation of initiatives. The GAO faulted Congress for failing to clarify its expectations regarding what budget information the Pentagon should provide.

To make matters worse, Congress’ 2008 Defense Authorization Act created two new and redundant every four year analyses. One is an independent military assessment of roles and missions and the other identifies core mission areas, competenceis and capabilities.

Obama is right to criticize the QDR because it has become an exercise in fantasy but his Congressional colleagues keep piling on new requirements. The senator can help the Pentagon by scaling back on the analyses requirements. Just tell the military what the country can afford and then have the services explain what they will buy and how much risk we will have to accept.

“To seek that goal I will not develop new nuclear weapons.” That’s dangerous. Our present nuclear arsenal will atrophy if it isn’t modernized. According to the head of the military’s Strategic Command, Air Force Gen. Kevin Chilton, our warheads are aging and weren’t designed to last forever, making him nervous. “I liken it to approaching a cliff -- and I don’t know how far away from that cliff I am,” Chilton said.

Ambassador Linton F. Brooks, administrator of the US’s National Nuclear Security Administration, said we have a new program that will potentially reduce the number of warheads and make them safer. It’s called the Reliable Replacement Warhead program and “contemplates designing new components for previously tested nuclear packages.” The RRW would create, Brooks said, a "reduced chance we will ever need to resort to nuclear testing" again.

“I will seek a global ban on the production of fissile material…” Nations capable of producing nuclear weapons produce fissile material for their atomic arsenals. Many of these same nations produce fissile material to fuel their nuclear power plants which light millions of homes and are a cheap, clean energy source in a world concerned about hydrocarbon pollution.

Efforts to control the production of fissile material date back to the 1946 Baruch Plan but that attempt was abandoned during the Cold War. In 1992, President George H.W. Bush announced that the US no longer produced fissile material for nuclear weapons and in 1993 President Bill Clinton called for Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty negotiations. While this is a worthy goal it is not achievable in an energy hungry world.

“… and I will negotiate with Russia to take our ICBMs off hair trigger alert...”

The US nuclear forces are not on “hair trigger” alert. Only a portion of America’s deployed nuclear forces maintain a ready alert status.

Besides, our policy does not rely on a “launch on warning” strategy. Rather, our forces are postured to provide flexibility by raising the readiness status of the force and by putting weapons systems on alert when necessary.

“… and to achieve deep cuts in our nuclear arsenals.” Our nuclear arsenal is a deterrent against enemies with similar systems. Deep cuts without verifiable reciprocal cuts would be dangerous. However, we are making progress via the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty which proposes a reduction of the overall threathold of up to 1,500 warheads. Russia has approximately 4,162 and the US has 5,866 strategic warheads and both nations possess thousands of tactical weapons and reserve stocks as well.

Senator Obama’s national security views expressed in his 52-second video reflect that of a knee-jerk liberal academic who thinks that the US is the primary threat to world peace. His views are dangerously naive and his statements suggest a shallow understanding of national security issues and in some cases his facts are wrong.

Find the original article here.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Fedor Carries the Olympic Torch

Sit on that, Sean Hannity.

Fedor Carries Olympic Torch in St. Petersburg
By Evgeni Kogan

[4/9/2008] In a traditional lead-up to the Beijing Olympics, the Olympic torch touched down in St. Petersburg, Russia, on Saturday before heading off to England and France, continuing its world tour.

The torch was taken along a 12-mile route through the wide streets and boulevards of the historical river city by a relay of 80 Russian sporting champions, cultural icons and national heroes.

After starting at the Soviet World War II memorial, it passed Petropavlovsk Fortress and St. Isaac's Cathedral before finally arriving at the Palace Square in front of the State Hermitage Museum -- the setting for the beginning of the 1918 Communist Revolution.

The first carrier of the torch was Galina Zybina, 77, an Olympic shot put gold medalist at the 1952 Games, the first year that the Soviet Union took part in the competition. Zybina was a survivor of the 900-day German blockade of the city during World War II, during which approximately 2 million of the residents died from a lack of food and the harsh Russian winters.

The ceremony to light the torch was conducted by city governor Valentina Matvienko, flanked by soldiers in period uniforms and serenaded by a military orchestra. Zybina's starting of the relay was said to be "deeply symbolic."

Former Pride heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko (Pictures) also carried the torch, and for the sport of mixed martial arts in Russia, it is perhaps also deeply symbolic that he was asked to participate.

The public profile of MMA has been rising steadily throughout the last 10 years, particularly in St. Petersburg due to the city being a base for the Red Devil Club and a continuing host of the M-1 Mixfight events.

Nationalism is a very important part of the Russian culture and psyche. Though its uptake of popular culture is on par with any Western country, Russia still holds in very high regard its national victories. The whole country, young and old, celebrates a variety of war and peacetime achievements.

Under a bright blue spring sky, Fedor, wearing an official Beijing Olympics training shirt and sporting the number 42, carried the torch alongside such national heroes as Zybina, Olympic figure skater Evgeni Plushenko, St. Petersburg soccer star Andrei Arshavin and the first woman in space, Valentina Tereshkova.

"The Olympics is the pinnacle of sporting achievement, and the torch is the game's symbol," said Emelianenko, who on Tuesday told Sherdog.com he'll fight Tim Sylvia (Pictures) this July. "It's therefore a treasure. I was very honored to be asked to participate and carry the torch for my part of its journey with such accomplished company, including a great number of world-class athletes, whom I hold in very high regard."

The carriers in each country were chosen by each nation's Olympic Committee representatives along with local authorities. The 31-year-old Emelianko's participation is perhaps the strongest sign yet of the sporting establishment's acceptance of MMA.

This is particularly interesting in Russia, where MMA does not have the broad audience it enjoys in the United States or Japan. That's not to say it is unknown. There is "Boets," a television channel dedicated to the fighting arts and, famously, Russian President Vladimir Putin is a big fan. However there aren't significant gate numbers, events are few and far between and pay-per-view does not exist.

This isn't only the case with MMA. All Russian professional sports have a long way to go before they are commercialized to the level that the United States enjoys.

Hence MMA in Russia has not forced itself on mainstream sporting consciousness purely through its economic might and the media presence that follows it. It has quietly done its own thing, appealing to the country's grass roots combat sports fans, slowly gaining acceptance and a following.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Sean Hannity and MMA

...and I'm not a fan of his brand of entertainment. I am a conservative, and I can't stand this guy. This video goes right along with the previous one I posted featuring Bill O'Rielly spewing the same kind of crap.

Listen... people get paralyzed playing hockey and football. You don't see people rushing to take their kids out of these sports, do you? If you can't handle seeing kids do MMA then don't fucking watch it.

However, I am sick of people like Sean Hannity and Bill O'Rielly (I can't stand either one of them honestly; I'm a Rush fan and Sean, who comes on right after Rush, simply can't compete. I'm sure he doesn't feel too bad about this; no one can compete with Rush), with whom I'd love to agree on so many things, spout off nonesense and do what they can to hurt the image of a sport that millions love and practice.

Sean, I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt by thinking that you're not dumb enough to truly believe what you say about MMA. More likely you've simply found something else upon which you can go off because you think your audience will like hearing you bad mouth something they don't like. Well, guess what? I'm a conservative, and I like MMA. Yes, McCain has my vote but his previously stated positions on MMA are based on what the sport was and not what it is. Today those positions are wrong, and so are you. Stop bashing the sport I love.

Absolutly Sorry

Enough people complained. Check it out:

Absolut apologizes for Mexican vodka ad
From the Associated Press

6:58 PM PDT, April 5, 2008

MEXICO CITY — The Absolut vodka company apologized Saturday for an ad campaign depicting the southwestern U.S. as part of Mexico amid angry calls for a boycott by U.S. consumers.

The campaign, which promotes ideal scenarios under the slogan "In an Absolut World," showed a 1830s-era map when Mexico included California, Texas and other southwestern states. Mexico still resents losing that territory in the 1848 Mexican-American War and the fight for Texas independence.

But the ads, which ran only in Mexico and have since ended, came as the United States builds up its border security amid an emotional debate over illegal immigration from their southern neighbor.

More than a dozen calls to boycott Absolut were posted on michellemalkin.com, a Web site operated by conservative columnist Michelle Malkin. The ads sparked heated comment on a half-dozen other Internet sites and blogs.

"In no way was it meant to offend or disparage, nor does it advocate an altering of borders, nor does it lend support to any anti-American sentiment, nor does it reflect immigration issues," Absolut said in a statement left on its consumer inquiry phone line.

Some fringe U.S. groups also claim the land is rightfully part of Mexico, while extreme immigration foes argue parts of the U.S. already are being overtaken by Mexico.

"In an Absolut world, a company that produces vodka fires its entire marketing department in a desperate attempt to win back enraged North American customers after a disastrous ad campaign backfires," a person using the moniker "SalsaNChips" wrote on Malkin's Web site.

A plan for comprehensive immigration reform designed to deal with an estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants in the United States -- the vast majority from Mexico -- collapsed last summer under the emotional weight of the debate.

Absolut said the ad was designed for a Mexican audience and intended to recall "a time which the population of Mexico might feel was more ideal."

"As a global company, we recognize that people in different parts of the world may lend different perspectives or interpret our ads in a different way than was intended in that market, and for that we apologize."

Vin & Sprit, Absolut's Sweden-based parent company, will be acquired by French spirit maker Pernod Ricard SA under a deal reached last week.

Friday, April 4, 2008


I've had my last drink of Absolut Vodka, and here's why. Of course, you could always just read the article below, but whenever I copy something into my blogs, I like to put a link to the original publication just to make it a smidgen less likely that I'll get sued.

Perhaps the folk of Sweden think this is a great idea to get lots of Mexicans to buy their product. Perhaps they're right. I just wonder if they counted on how much business they're losing by running this ad, even if it is indeed only being run south of the border (the real border, that is).

Heh, hey, you never know. Maybe so many Mexicans will get into Absolut and be too drunk to illegally cross the border (again, I'm referring to the real border). I suppose there is good in any situation...

Mexico reconquers California? Absolut drinks to that!
The latest advertising campaign in Mexico from Swedish vodka maker Absolut promises to push all the right buttons south of the U.S. border, but it could ruffle a few feathers in El Norte.

The billboard and press campaign, created by advertising agency Teran\TBWA and now running in Mexico, is a colorful map depicting what the Americas might look like in an "Absolut" -- i.e., perfect -- world.

The U.S.-Mexico border lies where it was before the Mexican-American war of 1848 when California, as we now know it, was Mexican territory and known as Alta California.

Following the war, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo saw the Mexican territories of Alta California and Santa Fé de Nuevo México ceded to the United States to become modern-day California, Texas, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado and Arizona. (Texas actually split from Mexico several years earlier to form a breakaway republic, and was voluntarily annexed by the United States in 1846.)

The campaign taps into the national pride of Mexicans, according to Favio Ucedo, creative director of leading Latino advertising agency Grupo Gallegos in the U.S.

Ucedo, who is from Argentina, said: “Mexicans talk about how the Americans stole their land, so this is their way of reclaiming it. It’s very relevant and the Mexicans will love the idea.”

But he said that were the campaign to run in the United States, it might fall flat.

“Many people aren’t going to understand it here. Americans in the East and the North or in the center of the county -- I don’t know if they know much about the history.

“Probably Americans in Texas and California understand perfectly and I don’t know how they’d take it.”

Meanwhile, the campaign has been circulating on the blogs and generating strong responses from people north of the border.

“I find this ad deeply offensive, and needlessly divisive. I will now make a point of drinking other brands. And 'vodka and tonic' is my drink,” said one visitor, called New Yorker, on MexicoReporter.com.

Reader Paul Green goes into a discussion on the blog Gateway Pundit of whether the U.S. territories ever belonged to Mexico in the first place, and the News12 Long island site invited people to boycott Absolut, with one user, called LivingSmall, writing: “If you drink Absolut vodka, you can voice your approval or disapproval of this advertising campaign with your purchases. I know I will be switching to Grey Goose or Stoli and will never have another bottle of Absolut in my house.

“Hey Absolut ... that's my form of social commentary.”

-- Deborah Bonello and Reed Johnson in Mexico City

By the way, it's pretty ridiculous to think that most people in the North East don't know the history. That's two insults now.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

My Cousin

My cousin is in New Zealand on a... ridiculously long vacation? Anyway, he has a blog up and he mentioned Sir Edmund Hillary. His thoughts made me chuckle, and I thought I'd share them with the Janicik world. Here ya go!

All of New Zealand was bummed out by the passing of Sir Edmund Hillary,
co-conqueror of Mt. Everest. Up until the rise of Xena: Warrior Princess, Sir Ed
was the world’s most renown Kiwi, and the national papers ran full page photos
and articles commemorating his life and achievements. There is a movement to
name a mountain after him, which seems appropriate. I wonder if there’s a Mt.
Tenzing somewhere in Nepal. Maybe Mt. Everest should be renamed Mt.
Hillary-Tenzing. Shouldn’t the mountain be named after the guys who first
climbed it, rather than a
former Surveyor-General of India
? Compared to Hillary and Norgay, Everest
was a punk-ass bitch. Why does he get that naming rights?

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

UMAN Grappling Tournament

This past Sunday we were at the UMAN Grappling tournament in Rahway, NJ. I did well in my first two matches and made a stupid mistake to get subbed in my third. I ended up taking third place. In all fairness, there weren't enough participants to have different experience categories. This means that the guys I beat (and the guy who beat me) may very well have a great deal less or a great deal more experience than I do. As usual, you don't get to see me lose. That video goes into my personal collection, never to be seen by the outside world. Unless someone else took video too. Oh well, here are videos if you'd like to watch. Enjoy!

Match #1

Match #2