Monday, 29 February 2016

Told you so

(Yeah, I know, the video quality is shite. Sorry.)

All I can say is that I totally called this one:

Well, with all due respect, Mr. Cohen, this is what I had to say on the subject nearly 18 months ago:
"When a man and a woman have a combined room-temperature IQ, and have no sense of self-responsibility or control whatsoever, the man ends up sticking his Peg D in whichever of her holes is most convenient and easily accessible at the time. This usually tends to be the Slot C. Because these people are having SWS*, this sometimes results in what most people would call 'a child', or 'a blessing from God', but in this specific case results in what should really be called a 'fornification tropy'. Net result: 18-25 years worth of baby jail." 
Unfortunately, these people are breeding rapidly. And this trend of idiots having babies- either while out of wedlock, or by getting married and then divorcing- appears to be getting worse
(It would be so easy to mock another one of these twits, but sadly I just can't bring myself to link to another story about another Kardashian in the same post. I couldn't do it and look at myself in the mirror tomorrow. Deadlifting 400+lbs? Easy. Having to talk about the Kardashians? Pure TORTURE.) 
Look, all joking aside, we're talking about children here. By definition, children have done nothing to deserve this bleak future. Men and women get married, one of them eventually decides that she- and it is usually the woman- is unhaaaaapy, and the child is the one that gets stuck dealing with the misery of a broken home. Why does your society insist that this is a Good Thing and insist on enabling this folly? 
If you're not ready for kids, don't have them. It's that simple. Contraception- for the pagans out there (like yours truly)- is cheap and easily available. For those who are not so inclined, well, abstinence sucks- but you know what sucks way more? Twenty years of baby jail
The bottom line is that children are a heavy and difficult responsibility. If you're not ready for them, don't be a selfish dipshit and do at least try to be responsible.
Now, admittedly, Etan Cohen was referring the likely election of one Donald Trump as President of the United States of America. And I called that one too.

But, in all seriousness, would a President Trump be so bad?

Yes, he isn't exactly sophisticated in his rhetoric. (I do not necessarily count this as a bad thing.)

Yes, he is vague with his policy statements and there is an awful lot of handwavium involved in any of his pronouncements on a number of subjects- including taxes and immigration.

Yes, there are major problems with his platform that he must be held accountable for and which conservatives, libertarians, and right-wing nutcases (hey, that's me!) need to look at very carefully.

But, he is also the only candidate that has consistently held to a principled line on the only subject that really counts: the coming dissolution of the American republic due to massive immigration.

At this point, it's basically Donald Trump against the Hilldebeast. And I remain highly confident that if you put an unquestioned Alpha male like the Donald- even with his ridiculous hairdo- up against the Wicked Witch of the East, he will win, and handily.

It is at that point that things could get really bad. It is entirely possible that Donald Trump will betray the people who elected him by compromising on a number of policy platforms. It wouldn't be the first time that a supposedly principled conservative engaged in political horse-trading to secure a bad deal just for the sake of his legacy.

After all, most conservatives prefer to conveniently forget that it was their hero, the (genuinely) great President Ronald Wilson Reagan, who signed into law the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. And that Act, along with the even more destructive Hart-Celler Act of 1965, is what has landed America right in the mess that it finds itself dealing with today.

Tens of millions of illegal aliens are here thanks to the Federal government simply not doing its first bloody job, which is to uphold the law.

If the Donald fails to carry out the enforcement of American law, which has been his biggest selling point thus far- and gets away with it- then we can truly be certain that Idiocracy was not a documentary, at all.

Something tells me, though, that this is unlikely to happen. It still could, and I could still be horribly and monumentally wrong. But somehow, I rather doubt it.

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Dear Limey Assholes...

The Brits evidently didn't get the message at Yorktown in 1781 to keep their long pointy noses out of American politics:
The British flagship financial magazine The Economist, considered one of the preeminent voices of the global financial, business and political elite, has waded boldly into U.S. politics, publicly calling for a Trump ouster from the race for Republican nominee with a cover story blasting the GOP front-runner. 
In an email to subscribers, Economist editor-in chief Zanny Minton Beddoes writes that Donald Trump “is dangerously close to winning the Republican nomination for the presidency.” 

Beddoes goes on to say that “Mr Trump is unfit to lead one of the world’s great political parties, let alone America. Republicans should tell him ‘You’re fired’ and rally behind
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), the candidate with the best chance of beating him.” 
The cover story, titled “Time to Fire Him” enumerates a list of reasons why the British mag feels that Trump is “unfit to lead a great political party.” 
Constructing a scenario where Trump beats Hillary Clinton in a general election, the Economist calls a Trump victory “an appalling prospect.” [Only for the whiny public-school-educated jackasses who think themselves superior to Americans in every way and work at The Economist.]
“The things Mr Trump has said in this campaign make him unworthy of leading one of the world’s great political parties, let alone America,” the piece continues. “Mr Trump has prospered by inciting hatred and violence. He is so unpredictable that the thought of him anywhere near high office is terrifying.” 
“He must be stopped,” the writers demand. 
They warn that Americans are becoming “desensitized” to Trump’s “outbursts.”
I have to admit that, when I saw the actual magazine at Whole Foods the other day, I promptly gave it the finger, so disgusted was I by The Economist's transparent, and futile, attempts to sway the American electorate. Then I realised after the fact that people around me probably thought I agree with this nonsense, which I categorically do not.

Unfortunately, I was on private property at the time and simple decorum and respect for that concept forbids me from doing what should have been done, which was to pick up every last copy of that stupid rag and throw it onto the nearest bonfire.

There is precisely one acceptable response to the Economist's delusions of political relevance: F.O.A.D.

The same applies to anyone outside of the US, who is not American of origin, attempting to tell Americans what is best for them. That includes His Holiness, the Pope himself.

It is one thing to disagree with America's choice of politicians, or to take issue with American cultural norms, or to argue that Americans can be, and are, misguided by their politicians. It is a different matter entirely for those who presume themselves to be superior to Americans in terms of political judgement, knowledge, and "virtue", to be telling Americans how to vote, while sitting safely outside American shores and without ever having to actually see what Americans are dealing with on a daily basis.

(Before anyone asks, yes, I am a foreigner. Yes, I often take potshots at Americans, and their political preferences. Yes, I make no attempt to hide my deep dislike of both lying weasels like the Hilldebeast, and cuckservatives like Marco Rubio. The major difference is that I do not pretend to be morally superior to Americans, and I actually live here, so what Americans vote on affects me as well.)

There are many things to dislike about Donald Trump. I regard him with cautious optimism, at best. He is not anyone's idea of a true conservative; honestly, I haven't got the first clue what he is.

I think Vox Day probably put together the best summary of what Donald Trump is, and of his considerable faults as a candidate- and why he is the only candidate that will actually make the slightest damned bit of difference to the future of the now virtually dead American experiment:
Trump is no more a socialist than the self-styled "Houston Mafia" that surrounded Bush the Elder were; he doesn't have any more ideological bones in his body than did Bush '41 or Bush '43. Sarah talks about Trump's connections to the Clintons, but what she doesn't grasp is that the entire corporate-political elite is connected. Bill Clinton is closer to the Bush family than he is to Trump; in fact, it's entirely possible that Trump's connection to both Clintons is through the Bush family. 
Is Trump going to govern like Obama? Or like the Bushes? Perhaps in many ways, but unlike the other Republican candidates, that is unlikely in regards to the only issue that matters at the moment: immigration. Trump is the only one talking about a wall, talking about stopping Muslim immigration, and even talking about deportations. And that, I strongly suspect, is the real fear of Trump opponents like Sarah. It's not that they think he will govern like Obama on immigration and the American national interest, but they fear that he won't. 
That is why Trump is the only candidate who is worth supporting in 2016, despite being a member of the corporate-political elite, because he is an unpredictable rogue member of it and the only one that might - MIGHT - make a positive difference in the near future in the American national interest. Of course, he also may well not, but we already know beyond any shadow of a doubt that none of the other candidates are worth a damn. 
He isn't an ideal candidate, he probably isn't even a good candidate, and he certainly isn't a trustworthy candidate, but nevertheless, at this point, he is the only possible candidate.
Furthermore, it may come as something of a terrible shock to most cuckservatives, "moderates", and liberals that there is, in fact, support for Mr. Trump from some of the very people that would be hurt the most by his proposals.

As I have stated repeatedly, I am a foreigner working here in the US, on an H-1B working visa, at a bank. I came here to get a Master's degree in a quantitative discipline. I ended up finding a job and have been here in the US for nearly 10 years now. I get paid... well, let's just say pretty darn well for what I do- not least because I am quite simply the best at what I do. (Note what I said: I am the best at what I do. Not at what other people do.) I am currently in the long, long line for a corporate-sponsored green card.

You would think, then, that someone like me would be screaming at Americans to vote for some establishment shill like Marco Roboto, or (God help us all) the Hilldebeast.

And you would be utterly wrong.

I say to you now that The Economist needs to be told exactly which orifice to stick its collective head into, and that Donald Trump is the only one running for President right now whose platform makes even the slightest amount of sense.

I agree with Mr. Trump's positions on a very great many subjects. He is right to argue that invasion by immigration is the only subject really worth talking about right now.

He is right to argue that it is morally, politically, and economically unacceptable for foreigners like me to come to this country and take American jobs overseas.

He is right to argue that there is a real and serious Muslim problem in the US, and that it needs to be dealt with sooner rather than later if America wants to be safe from Islam.

He is right to argue that securing the borders is an absolute priority of the American government- its first and most important priority, really. He is right to argue in favour of a wall built directly on the Mexican border to stop the flood of law-breaking invaders who swarm through the southern states.

How is it that someone like me, who would probably be on a Marco Roboto campaign poster if it weren't for my strong dislike of career politicians, could sound like a campaign spokesman for Donald Trump?

It is very simple: I love this country.

I love what it represents. I am immensely grateful to it and its people for giving me the opportunity to come and live here.

And because I love America, and the ideals that America was built upon, I would see its greatness restored.

The only politician whose platform provides even the slightest amount of hope for that possibility, is Donald Trump's.

I am not American. I do not pretend to be American. I do not speak, act, or live like my American friends do- yet, even so, I have precisely zero interest in recreating the old country here in America for myself. I left that country when I was five, and I have no desire to return. If I wanted to live there, I would LIVE THERE, not here, and I have no patience whatsoever for my fellow foreign nationals who come here to America and then try to recreate what they left behind.

I have been told, to my face, by native-born-and-bred Americans for whom I have profound respect and admiration, that I am more American than many of the people born here.

As far as I am concerned, there is no higher compliment.

But such compliments do not change the fact that, as a foreigner, I am here as a guest. And that is how it should and must be. As a guest, I am bound to obey American laws and observe American customs and social norms. I may grouse about this, I may gently send up such things, but my obligations to this country remain nonetheless.

If Americans elect a President who says that I must go, then so be it. I will leave. I won't be happy to do so, as I rather like it here- but I have never forgotten that I am a guest here, and that my presence here is tolerated only as long as I earn my right to stay.

These obligations are things that the global elites, such as those who write at and edit The Economist, would like to conveniently overlook. They seem to think that cultures are easily manipulated; that cultural differences can be erased with the stroke of a pen; that the process of assimilation, which observably took centuries and millennia in the past, can happen magically the moment foreigners set foot on American soil.

This is utter nonsense. I am observably different from any native-born American; my values and ideals and upbringing clearly set me apart- and I have been here for nearly 10 years and regard the American founding documents, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, as basically Holy Writ.

If someone like me cannot be considered "American" simply because of my presence on the soil, what reason is there to believe that Miguel and Rosa from Guatemala or Mexico are going to magically become Americans simply because they snuck in through a porous Arizonan border?

Finally, for all of The Economist's venomous bile-spewing about Donald Trump- and make no mistake, Mr. Trump is very very far from being a perfect, or even a good, candidate- they would do well to understand one crucial fact:

The hold that elites like them have on Western culture is being destroyed.

They don't like to acknowledge this fact. They don't want to believe it. But it is happening nonetheless.

Their hold on the media, the education system, and therefore the culture, is still extremely strong. But, as Western culture continues its seemingly unstoppable descent into madness and self-destruction, more and more of us are waking up to this fact. And we see that the self-serving madness of the elites can only end in self-immolation.

We want no part of this. We will fight that outcome, at all cost- at any cost. And we have found an emissary to bear that message- one who is, ironically, very clearly a product of the very same system that he now claims to fight.

Politics is downstream of the culture. And for all of Donald Trump's manifest and many, many flaws, he has done something that no other candidate, on either side of the political divide, has been able to do: he has completely and irreversibly changed the culture.

The editors of The Economist see this. And they are very, very afraid.

They should be.

So, with all due respect, my Limey friends, SHUT THE F*CK UP and butt out. Your sorry attempts to take down The Donald are laughable, and they have rightly met with scorn and mockery throughout the country.

Thursday, 25 February 2016

When SJWs get the run of the place

Apparently these assclowns cater exclusively to the "douchebag" market. That's the only way I can explain why they're all dressed like vaginal cleansing aids.
Does anyone else find it highly ironic that a company that specialises in telling other people what to do, is now telling its own people to not act like jackasses?
Human-resources software company Zenefits had to send an uncomfortable HR email to their own to staff recently following a few incidents within their San Francisco office. 
The startup, which launched less than three years ago but was evaluated last May at $4.5 billion, was forced to ban staff from drinking in the office after some wild parties that involved employees having sex in the stairwell of the building, according to emails obtained by The Wall Street Journal. 
The emails, sent around last summer by Zenefits Director of Real Estate and Workplace Services, Emily Agin, described the situation of employees having sex at work as 'crude behavior'. 
'It has been brought to our attention by building management and Security that the stairwells are being used inappropriately….Cigarettes, plastic cups filled with beer, and several used condoms were found in the stairwell. Yes, you read that right,' the email said. 
'Do not use the stairwells to smoke, drink, eat, or have sex. [People actually have to be told this?!?]
'Please respect building and company policy and use common sense…' [Insert Deadpool reference here...]
The alcohol ban was officially brought in last week by Zenefits's new chief executive, David Sacks. 
Sacks said it is important to cultivate a more mature work atmosphere in a staff memo that was sent around last Wednesday. 
The memo acknowledged how 'it is too difficult to define and parse what is 'appropriate' versus 'inappropriate' drinking in the office'. [Dude. Seriously?!]
Some reports said that sales staff would gather together and do a shot when a new client was signed. 
Indeed the party culture was blamed for the exit of Sacks' predecessor, Parker Conrad, as CEO at the start of the month. 
In announcing Conrad's resignation to staff in a memo, Sacks pointedly said: 'The fact is that many of our internal processes, controls, and actions around compliance have been inadequate, and some decisions have just been plain wrong. As a result, Parker has resigned.' 
In commenting on the alcohol ban on Monday, Zenefits spokesman Kenneth Baer said it was all part of taking the company forward following the introduction of Sacks. 
Baer said in a statement to the WSJ: 'As Zenefits' new CEO has made clear, it is time to turn the page at Zenefits and embrace a new set of corporate values and culture. Zenefits is now focused on developing business practices that will ensure compliance with all regulatory requirements, and making certain that the company operates with integrity as its number-one value.'
Ah, the sweet and delicious taste of schadenfreude. The only thing that could possibly be better would be a nice chilled goblet of SJW blood. As Vox Day likes to say, drinking the stuff does wonders for one's ability to get important shit done in a hurry.

The SJWs who are currently running wild through the halls of Zenefits are now realising that their ridiculous antics come with a bit of a price.

Speaking of His Evilness, I do believe that I am forced to offer up a very minor correction to one of his books.

If you have read his seminal work, SJWs Always Lie: Taking Down the Thought Police, you may remember that about halfway through the book, he wrote:
SJWs don't begin by storming an institution en masse, breaking down the doors and sacrificing the secretary in the lobby to Satan before defecating on the carpets and copulating madly on the table in the meeting room.
Well, with all possible respect to the Supreme Dark Overlord, he may have gotten things just slightly wrong in this one particular case. Evidently, at Zenefits at least, it is standard practice to drive out the CEO, smoke and drink within the stairwells, and screw with abandon- clients, propriety, and simple professional decency be damned.

Of course, he was referring to companies that SJWs are currently infiltrating, not ones that are actually run by SJWs in the first place. So it is perfectly reasonable to give him the benefit of the doubt there.

Based on the evidence provided by companies like Twitter and Zenefits, it becomes very clear that when SJWs take over and start running companies, things very rapidly go to pot. (In the case of Zenefits, I'm guessing that pot is literally, and liberally, in use in the stairwells.)

I don't know how the parents of the people who work at Zenefits were raised. I do know that my parents generally tried very hard to raise me with a certain sense of what is, and is not, appropriate behaviour in a place of business. I think it is fair to say that they (mostly) succeeded. To the best of my knowledge, I have never been told off for, uh, disreputable conduct in the stairwells of any company that I've ever worked for. Nor can I recall ever being drunk on the job- though admittedly, if I ever were drunk, I very probably wouldn't recall it.

Rude and acerbic commentary aside, Zenefits is one rather good example of what happens when you let the SocJus types run rampant. Eventually, they will take over. Eventually, anyone with even a shred of sense and decency will be forced to confront the fact that he works in a place that might charitably be described as a circus.

And eventually, the adults will have to step in to restore order and sanity.

When SJWs take over a company, venture, or group, what you will inevitably see:

  • A rapid deterioration in the quality and efficiency of what used to be produced;
  • Politicisation of every possible aspect of daily existence;
  • Directives, policies, and ideas that become exponentially more absurd and idiotic by the day;
  • Bizarre shifts away from focusing on tangible and realistic measures of success- such as profits, cash flow, user base, satisfaction surveys, and so on- to completely intangible measures that no one can possibly understand

We are seeing a classic example of this unfolding before our eyes right now. The Twatter fiasco continues to get more absurd by the day, as Twitter's Committee for Public Safety Trust and Safety Council appears to be doing... well, exactly what loony leftists do. Twitter's current management appears to have no problem whatsoever with using their version of the banhammer to get rid of conservatives, insufficiently leftist liberals, and pretty much anyone else that isn't in the "cool crowd".

Now, here's the thing: both Zenefits and Twitter are private companies. They have every right to do whatever the hell they want in order to abuse and mistreat their customers, their employees, and their investors.

They absolutely DO NOT have the right to be absolved of all of the consequences for their actions.

Companies like Twitter and Zenefits continue to be absurdly overvalued relative to their true value. In the case of Zenefits, I have a rather hard time believing that an HR software company that came into being just three years ago could possibly be selling products so amazing, so different, so far ahead of the competition, as to be worth $4.5 billion. And in the case of Twatter... well, I don't use social media, other than LinkedIn (and that too only very sparsely), so I honestly have absolutely no idea what people see in it.

In both cases, and in the case of every company that eventually undergoes SJW convergence, the great news for us is that inevitably, someone will come along with a better set of ideas and a better way of doing things.

Remember a company called Yahoo!? They got themselves a rather fetching lady CEO a few years ago... and look what happened to them. They stopped focusing on the boring but important things like profits and revenues, and instead chased crazy ideas that didn't have a snowflake's chance in Hell of succeeding.

And now look at them. According to data from Statista, as of October 2015, they were surpassed by Microsoft's Bing engine in terms of search engine usage.

Just how horrible does a big search engine have to be in order to be considered worse than BING?!

And in Yahoo!'s case, competitors are catching up in a very great hurry. DuckDuckGo is probably a search engine that you have never heard of. If you haven't, I would highly recommend giving it a test-drive. I use it as my default search engine both at home and at work. It does not track your results; most ads are scrubbed beforehand (and can be scrubbed completely when using a simple free ad-blocker in your browser); it's extremely fast; and the results are presented in a nice, easy format.

The same will happen to Twitter. Someone else will come along and create a far better microblogging, advertising, and no-holds-barred conversation platform that doesn't adopt cowardly shadowbanning tactics to silence those that management doesn't agree with. It's already happening.

Ultimately, no company is immune to O'Sullivan's Law: "Any organisation or enterprise that is not expressly right-wing will become left-wing over time". But we right-wing nut-jobs are learning. It's taking a clue-bat and quite a few nut-shots to make us understand it, but right-wingers are rapidly coming to understand that the only way to handle a progressive seeking entry into our organisations is to offer a swift boot up the arse.

Eventually, I believe that we will build stable, free, open-source, and exceptionally richly-featured alternatives to many of these left-wing pet projects- but in such a way as to make it very difficult, if not impossible, for them to infiltrate and take over. And when that happens- progressives had better watch out, because they are suddenly going to realise that the old conservative tactics of rolling over and playing dead in order to avoid being called racist, sexist, homophobic, or whatever, aren't working anymore.

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Keep the IRON FIRE burning

It's hard to believe that, for all of my exposure to (and taste for) great power metal, I've never come across a certain Danish power metal band by the name of IRON FIRE. Fortunately, I corrected that rather egregious oversight last week, and have been listening to their last five albums pretty much non-stop since then.

If I had my way, these would be cranked up full-blast in every powerlifting gym in the land. Just you try listening to "Back in the Pit" or "Gates of Cybertron" or "Ironhead" or "The Underworld" without going straight into beast mode.

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Your metalhead alter-ego


Have I ever mentioned how much I dislike METALLICA?

These guys spend most of their time listening to DRAGONFORCE and... well, being borderline gay

These guys are the best kind to hang with at an AMON AMARTH concert
And last but not least:

I ran into one of those at a concert that I went to in Cleveland- AMON AMARTH was playing that night, incidentally. Some girl standing off to the side, hot as balls, looking very good in a very skimpy outfit. Beyond that, though, I had absolutely no clue what the hell she was doing there.

Thursday, 18 February 2016

A masterclass in ass-kicking

I never get tired of watching Holly Holm beat the bejeezus out of Ronda Rousey- and now the UFC has finally made the full video from UFC193 available for us to view:

I can't be the only one that notices just how much Holly Holm looks like Ivan Drago there...

"I Must Break You..."

That there was Holly Holm, CroCop Emeritus Professor of Headkicks at Beatdown University, demonstrating precisely how big the gap is between a skilled, extremely experienced, patient, methodical, careful, well-prepared, and exceptionally fit striker- and a bull-rushing brawler with no real foundation in the striking arts.

There are many things I enjoy watching in that fight. I have seen it many times since that epic victory; the Head Kick Heard Round the World was merely the crescendo that capped a symphony of destruction. But the fight is more than just great entertainment (and a terrific source of schadenfreude- as I have said repeatedly in the past, I am NOT a fan of Ronda Rousey). It also provides many useful lessons that people who enjoy sparring and boxing can take to heart.

I don't really watch MMA for the entertainment value. I actually watch MMA fights in order to try to understand the art and the science behind fighting a little bit better. I like to box and kick-box; I started my training in stand-up striking and I continue to train in the striking arts every chance that I get.

I do not claim to be any good at it, but I would like to think that my skills have improved significantly over the few years that I have been training.

Yet there are always gaps and weaknesses in my skills. And MMA fights give me great ideas for addressing them, or for trying something new and interesting.

The Art of Pressure-Fighting

The first time I saw Chris Weidman really fight was in video replays of that fight where he defeated Anderson Silva. A lot of people wrote that off as a fluke- but repeated viewings of that video made me realise that there was nothing even remotely "lucky" about Mr. Weidman's victory. He won because of his uniquely powerful style of pressure-fighting.

When I saw Chris Weidman outfight Lyoto Machida at the UFC175, I realised that Mr. Weidman's style turned out to be extremely effective. The way Chris Weidman controls space and time during a fight is something to behold. Though a wrestler by background and pretty much nobody's idea of a truly fearsome striker, he can defend against hard strikes pretty well- and because of those defensive skills, he knows how to keep the pressure on by constantly moving forward, carefully and tactically. In doing so, he tends to rapidly establish dominance over his opponents and thereby controls both the pace and the tempo of his fights.

That was true until he ran into a far better striker who also happened to be a phenomenal grappler, in the form of Luke Rockhold, at UFC194. And even then, the first two rounds were very closely fought; only when Chris Weidman threw that stupid wheel kick in the third round did his fortunes drastically worsen.

The lesson I learned from him is that constantly pushing an opponent backward is actually pretty effective a lot of the time- provided you don't just rush in like an idiot and get pummeled while you're closing the pocket.

The Virtues of Counter-Fighting

That was the key lesson that I didn't learn, and my teachers noticed this pretty quickly and constantly pointed it out to me. The problem was, I didn't know how to adapt and adjust my footwork, head movement, and approach to compensate for this shortcoming.

Then I saw Holly Holm simply take apart Ronda Rousey, and that is when I realised how to change my style, by learning from her. So I did.

I concentrated more on staying out of range and moving around my sparring partners, making sure to stay moving and elusive and only coming in to take advantage of a mistake. I haven't come anywhere close to perfecting this yet; I routinely find myself getting tagged and punched by guys my size or bigger (and there aren't too many of those) even when I'm moving and circling. But, with a few exceptions, I tend to give at least as good as I get.

Also thanks to Holly Holm, I learned to actually use the clinch in boxing and kickboxing to my advantage. The clinch is something that tends to scare the living shit out of novices the first time they get into one, because they have no idea what to do- but in reality, it can be a very useful place to launch highly effective attacks at a very short range. The clinch in classic boxing isn't used to rest; it is used to push the other guy around, and to land short, hard shots to the solar plexus, the floating ribs, the kidneys, the head- and the liver. (Liver shots are very hard to land- but if you land one correctly, that's the end of the fight.)


The last, and most important, lesson that I learned from Holly Holm undoubtedly was the need to be patient, elusive, and "natural" in terms of striking. This is a very, very hard lesson to learn, and I'm still trying to figure it out.

When a lot of guys start out with boxing, kickboxing, and muay thai, they tend to be quite predictable when they throw their strikes. Either they will "load up" their punches- by moving the fist back and then forward, instead of straight out- or they will stiffen and tense just before they strike. A skilled and experienced striker knows how to watch for this, and can use that signal to "time" the strike perfectly and land a counterstrike of his own.

That counterstrike is not always devastating- but it sure as hell can be, especially if it was totally unexpected. As my teachers keep saying, the punches that hurt the most, the ones that knock you the hell out, are the ones that you never saw coming.

To compensate for this, unskilled strikers tend to simply charge in, and they get impatient when they realise that their strikes aren't landing. They always forget that, on average, only about one in three strikes will ever actually land.

Think about that for a moment. If you're in a striking contest, in a real fight, two thirds of everything you throw is going to miss. Therefore, it makes little sense to attempt to over-commit to any one strike; it makes even less sense to attempt to throw everything into just one or two punches in the hope that they'll end the fight. Statistically, those punches and kicks won't even hit the target- indeed, if you throw a really hard kick or punch against a skilled and experienced fighter, he will likely either dodge the strike completely, or block it with a very hard bone-on-bone impact- and that will be the last strike you throw with that particular limb.

Instead, as Holly Holm showed in her championship fight, it is far better to use exploratory strikes, to use a large number of different low-impact strikes from different angles to overwhelm an opponent, and to patiently seek openings as and when they come. What Holly Holm did to wear down Ronda Rousey was a truly masterful (mistressful?) display of tactical finesse, striking skill, and footwork. The head kick that ended Ms. Rousey's reign was simply the spectacularly violent cherry on top of a very well-crafted blizzard-cone of badass striking.

The key lesson there was to avoid throwing strikes just for the sake of throwing strikes. Instead, throw strikes that feel natural, overwhelm an opponent through a high volume of low-power strikes that distract him; and, when given the opportunity, accelerate and explode into a truly powerful strike that actually lands and causes damage.

Does My Eye Look Normal To You?

Eventually, of course, every striker- good or bad- runs into someone better. The other night, I found myself sparring against the Grandmaster of our Federation. Now, this man is a full head shorter than me and about twenty years older- but he is unbelievably strong, extremely fit, and he loves to fight. (Actually, to paraphrase his own words, he doesn't exactly like to fight, per se; he likes to find ways to hurt people. And he is extremely good at it.)

This man gets kind of carried away if he's having fun in a sparring contest, to the point where he loses track of time completely. And when he explodes into a strike- which he absolutely will, given even the merest hint of an opportunity- it's like watching a great white shark burst through an ice pack to shred a sea lion.

Which is all fine and dandy to watch on a nature program on TV- but rather less so when YOU'RE the sea lion.

So, inevitably, I found myself getting pummeled for a good thirty-five minutes straight by a man with something like 40 years of experience in boxing. No breaks, no water, no rest. That was... interesting, to say the least.

I surprised myself by being able to stay on my feet and breathing easily until about the last five minutes- even though he was hitting me pretty hard. (By his reckoning, of course, he was going easy on me- and I knew it. But getting punched hard in the face is not fun, no matter how lightly someone is doing it.) My head was certainly sore as hell afterwards, and he absolutely nailed me with a shot to my liver that damn near dropped me towards the end, but I survived to tell the tale.

... Well, y'know, relatively speaking.

During the course of that sparring match, I got in a few good hits, to be sure- but for every decent hit that I managed, he nailed me with about ten. That kind of exchange rate will get you killed in a real fight, no question about that. And in the process of getting my ass kicked, I discovered that I still have a lot of work to do on some fundamental issues like timing, movement, and head position.

One of the most important lessons I learned, for instance, is that, no matter what, you have to keep moving. Stand still in a sparring match or a fight, and you know what happens? You turn into a target.

Which, of course, is precisely what happened to Honda whenever Holly Holm stopped moving in front of her, and she stopped in response.

Never Stop Fighting

Ultimately, the biggest lesson that I've learned from martial arts, whether it be from watching true greats like Holly Holm, Chris Weidman, T. J. Dillashaw, and others, or from training myself, is that you simply cannot give up.

The reason why Holly Holm won is because she believed in herself and her abilities when almost nobody outside of her own team did. She came into that fight a truly massive underdog- but in hindsight, her victory was actually not that surprising. She was the far better rounded fighter; she was much less emotional about the idea of facing a great champion; and she was vastly better prepared by a team of truly great coaches and mentors.

I do not consider myself to be a martial artist. I do not believe that I have any natural talent whatsoever for martial arts. Everything I can do, everything I have learned, is a product of nothing more than very hard work. A good work ethic, coupled with great coaching, can produce a decent set of skills. Combine those two things with real talent, and you get true martial artists, like our instructors at my Federation.

But if you just want to learn how to fight and how to defend yourself- in other words, how to hurt other people so they stop hurting you- then hard work and determination will take you a very long way.

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Lose. Hope.

Am I the only one who notices the unnaturally gigantic head on that guy?
You know how the Baby Boomer generation's motto went something like, "Don't trust anyone over thirty"? Well, as far as Millennials are concerned, the appropriate phrase for the rest of us to take to heart when dealing with them is, "don't trust the judgment of anyone born after 1990":
A new survey from YouGov finds that millennials have more favorable views of socialism than of capitalism. 
As Santayana said, those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it. Less than two decades after socialism seemed to have been confined to the dust-heap of history, another generation may have to learn hard lessons. 
The survey, taken at the end of January, found that 43 percent of Americans under 30 had a favorable view of socialism. Less than a third of millennials had a favorable view of capitalism. No other age or ethnic demographic preferred socialism over capitalism. 
Seniors, unsurprisingly, had the most favorable view of capitalism. Just 23 percent of Americans older than 65 had a positive view of socialism. Sixty-three percent of seniors, though, had a favorable view of capitalism. 
Seniors, after all, experienced the long-standing intellectual battle between capitalism and socialism played out in real life. They witnessed a post-war economic euphoria grind down into a socialist malaise, only to be reinvigorated by a global embrace of disruptive technology, deregulation, and global trade. 
In the past 20 years, the number of people living in poverty worldwide has fallen by half. In 1990, 43 percent of the world’s population lived in extreme poverty. In 2013, the United Nations estimated that just 22 percent of the world’s population continued to live in extreme poverty. 
“Never in history have the living conditions and prospects of so many people changed so dramatically and so fast,” the UN Human Development report said
Even if millenials aren’t swayed by the dramatic improvement in worldwide living standards, one would hope they would see the benefits of capitalism in the products and services that inhabit their world. 
They live, and thrive, in a consumer-driven, on-demand society. They have immediate access, at their fingertips, to more knowledge, art, music, and communication than the wealthiest oligarch just a few decades ago. 
Each and every one of the products and services they use every day was developed by someone chasing profit and market-share. It is a cliche to say that capitalism has powered the technological and scientific innovations that have improved all our lives. Apparently, however, it is a cliche that bears repeating. 
On a postive note, every other demographic block in America still prefers capitalism over socialism. Well, Democrats, perhaps naturally, are evenly split between the two economic systems. At least Democrats, though, have slightly higher unfavorable ratings of socialism than capitalism. 
The danger, of course, is that the demographic in America that does prefer socialism is also the future of the country. Of course, they have the luxury of looking positively on socialism, since any impact on their lives is restricted to dusty history books.
Lord, here we go...


The Millennial experience with socialism is, indeed, restricted purely to history books. But those history books have quite a lot to tell us- even Millennial airheads who aren't born with the sense that God gave a gerbil.

On my bookshelf is an 860-page tome that I acquired recently after years of leaving it on my wish list. It is named The Black Book of Communism, and it is, to date, probably the single most comprehensive reckoning of the horrendous toll that socialism had taken upon an afflicted humanity in the 20th Century. Within its pages, the entire appalling, murderous, bloody-handed record of communist tyranny, oppression, evil, and suffering is laid bare for the world to see.

And from that truth, there is no escape. Not even for the most wretchedly stupid and deluded of Millennials.

Prior to its publication, it was possible for intellectually slippery and dishonest Marxists- is there any other kind?- to use a particularly ridiculous form of the "no true Scotsman" fallacy. They would endlessly contort the rumours and terrible stories that made their way out of the second-world hellholes that the Communist nations became, no matter how dire, no matter how awful, and no matter how much bloodshed had to be delicately papered over in the process.

They would argue that no true socialist would ever sentence millions of Russians to slavery and death in the gulags, or condemn tens of millions to an agonising death by starvation in the enforced collectivist famines of Ukraine and the Great Leap Forward in China.

They would fervently claim that the Soviet Union's longevity had nothing whatsoever to do with the West's constant propping up of that failing and decrepit system, and everything to do with the innate robustness of the socialist system of production.

They would resort to the most fantastical contortions of logic in order to refute the irrefutable truth of the impossibility of economic calculation in the socialist commonwealth- a theorem proven so thoroughly by Ludwig von Mises in that seminal paper that his critics had to resort to sheer fantasy in order to argue against him. They failed, miserably and repeatedly, but that didn't stop them from trying.

They would refuse to acknowledge the endless and wretched suffering of over a billion people condemned to a miserable, doomed, trapped existence behind the Iron Curtain, never knowing the basic human dignity of having the right to choose one's own destiny, never to feel the true joy of wealth created and earned through the labours of one's own hands.

And then the Iron Curtain fell, and the Satanic reality of socialism was laid bare, for all the world to see.

I was too young to remember the fall of the Berlin wall. I watched old film footage of that magnificent moment decades later. I saw the joy radiating from the dancing children of East Germany, the tears streaming from the eyes of their parents, and the smiles that illuminated the faces of all those who were reunited with loved ones long thought lost across a wall that had once so shamefully divided a city.

I saw the power of a loving Creator, striving to deliver His children from the insane evil that we had inflicted upon each other.

If ever there was proof that socialism is evil, the fall of the Berlin Wall was it, in living colour.

In the nearly thirty years since that amazing day, the day that saw the final victory of Ronald Wilson Reagan's lifelong war against the evil of communism, a new generation has come forth, and like every generation before it, seeks to forget the lessons that its predecessors had to learn the hard way.

The difference between them and their progenitors is that at least previous generations had the excuse of being ignorant. The flow of information was not nearly so readily available then as it is now. Ignorance was a feeble, though passable, excuse once upon a time.

But now, thanks to the Black Book, there is no excuse. There is no such thing as "workable" socialism. It always fails. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. And as the failures of socialism become ever more glaring and apparent, socialists are left with just two choices: double down and continue making the same mistakes, or abandon their mad Utopian schemes altogether and finally admit that they were completely wrong.

Even a Millennial should be able to figure out which option is usually chosen.

The natural counterargument to the (admittedly melodramatic) account of the evils of socialism given above does, of course, go something like this:
You're just a raving right-wing reactionary! Bernie Sanders isn't going to implement full-blown communism! He's just going to make the world more FAIR! By taking from the rich and giving to the rest of us! By investing trillions of dollars in infrastructure and schools and public works projects! By taxing those evil corporations and banks! If you don't support him, you have no heart!
It is a distinct possibility that I do not, in fact, have a heart. But I do have a brain. And unlike the Millennials, I am actually inclined to use it from time to time.

Perhaps Bernie Sanders and his Millennial cohorts do not plan to completely nationalise the country's industries, or to enforce collectivisation of all farmland, or to tax the rich at 100% of their income and wealth. Perhaps he only intends to go, say, 60% of the way toward those goals. What could be wrong with that?

I could give you a hundred different answers to that question, all of them based on hard-headed and clear-eyed understanding of economics, incentives, and history. But the one answer that stands out the most is the emotional argument, which is how Millennials themselves love to argue.

You see, unlike most Americans, I actually have some idea of what real socialism looks like, up close and personal.

Back in the old country, my home state was until quite recently a hard-core socialist state. And I do mean hard-core. The Communist Party that took control of that state in the late 1950s and early 1960s proceeded to strip the major cities of all of their wealth, chased away industry and technology, and redistributed all of the wealth to the farming areas. The result was an entirely predictable implosion of productivity, economic activity, and general living standards.

For the past twenty years I have returned to the old country roughly once a year. For fifteen of those twenty years, I would find myself returning to a city without hope, a city dying slowly on its feet, a shambolic corpse that had not the sense to realise that it was dead and which continued somehow to stagger on, crushing its people under the sheer weight of the accumulated decades of misery and stupidity. Only recently has that socialist insanity began to recede, as the state's government has recognised, however belatedly, that wishes are not in fact horses, and that beggars cannot in fact ride.

And yet even this is not enough. I remember very well sitting in my family's home shortly after Christmas last year, talking about the reality of socialism. My sister is, of course, a Millennial, and has openly expressed her dislike of capitalism- which, when you consider the fact that she went to some of the best schools in the world and is by any standard highly educated, makes you wonder what value, if any, there is in modern "education" at all.

My family is an argumentative bunch- not for nothing have I learned how to develop, express, and defend points of view. But when you're dealing with two women at the table who argue the only way women know- through emotion- then arguing with logic and reason simply won't cut it.

So I asked my family a very simple set of questions.

  • In the entire history of the division of Berlin, precisely how many people went from West Germany into East Germany?
  • Since the Castro revolution, how many boats were seen going from Miami to Havana?
  • Since the Panmunjom Armistice Agreement that ended the Korean War, how many South Koreans have fled into the North?
  • How many people do you know of that went from Vietnam into Cambodia during the height of the Khmer Rouge regime, instead of the other way around?
  • During the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution, how many people relocated permanently from Taiwan to mainland China, instead of the other way?
My sister was unable to answer any of these questions with anything other than dumbfounded silence- though the look on her face was most eloquent.

No matter where you look, the answer is always the same: the workers living in those supposed socialist "paradises" were so in love with their new Utopias that they desperately fled them at the earliest possible opportunity. And that is because socialism simply does not work.

If history teaches us anything, it is that Mankind's impulse to create a better world will always lead us into trouble if we are not wary and cognisant of the lessons of history. Unfortunately, one of the key lessons of history is that every generation appears to be doomed to repeat the mistakes of its predecessors; the best we can do, apparently, is not to cock up quite as spectacularly as those who came before us.

And yet... and yet... in spite of it all, in spite of the nonsense that passes through the sawdust-filled skulls of most Millennials these days, especially those stupid enough to fall for what Bernie Sanders is selling, there remains hope.

Forty years ago, the forces of the socialist world appeared to be ready to dominate all life on Earth. It appeared as though nothing could possibly prevent the global takeover of the Soviet Union and its allies and proxies. It appeared as though the United States of America, with its magnificent traditions of individual liberty, immortalised in the beautiful, defiant prose of the Declaration of Independence and given weight and meaning in the equally brilliant words of the Constitution, would be forced to retreat and dwindle into nothingness, a forgotten footnote in the long passage of history.

But it did not come to pass. Socialism failed then, as it will fail again. And it failed because socialism is built on lies.

The lies that gave rise to socialism have now given birth to new and faster-failing ideologies, such as feminism and social justice- the great new deities of the godless Left. But they, too, will wither and fade, as all lies must.

How do I know this? Because unlike my sister and her friends, I can understand history- and I know enough to heed and take to heart the life and the works of a saint, who waged a spiritual war on Communism, and who now rests with the Lord:

The truth, that life is sacred, is graven in the human heart, and no lie can prevail against it forever. 
I learned that lesson from reading one of the most powerful books I’ve ever come across, Pope John Paul II’s autobiographical Memory and Identity. It was the last book he wrote before he died. In it, that Pope wrote about the three great ideologies of evil that he faced in his life: Nazism, Communism, and the Culture of Death. And he pointed out that in his own lifetime, there was a point when Nazi ideology seemed unbeatable. The Nazis had conquered most of Europe, were menacing Britain, were rolling straight for Moscow, and starting up their machinery for exterminating their enemies. People who lived under Nazi occupation had every reason to think its power would last indefinitely. But in fact, that regime was destroyed after only 12 years in power. So much for the Thousand-Year Reich. 
Next, the Pope pointed out how Communists, who did much of the fighting against the Nazis and then filled their shoes as conquerors and tyrants, looked absolutely unconquerable. Communism rolled over Eastern Europe, then conquered China, and exported its agents and its armies to every corner of the globe, arming itself with nuclear weapons that could wipe out the human race. 
Then in 1989, the Communist colossus collapsed from within. It had been built upon a bedrock of lies about the human person, so human beings eventually rejected it. We were born to know the truth, and something in our soul is repulsed by lies. This awakening takes work and it takes time. But it is ultimately unstoppable.
Ultimately, the truth always wins. And no one- not Bernie Sanders, not the Hilldebeast, not the most craven of cuckservatives- can stop it. 

Saturday, 13 February 2016

RIP Antonin Scalia

I have to admit, when I saw this news, I simply couldn't believe that Justice Scalia had left us:
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has been found dead at a luxury resort in west Texas, news outlets are reporting. The Justice apparently died of natural causes in his sleep after a day of quail hunting at Cibolo Creek Ranch near Marfa, Texas. 
Scalia, 79, arrived at the ranch for a hunting trip on Friday and attended a private party with about 40 people, the San Antonio Express News reported. Scalia did not show up for a scheduled breakfast. Staff members of the resort went to find the justice and instead found his body. 
U.S. District Judge Fred Biery told the San Antonio newspaper he was among those notified about Scalia’s death. “I was told it was this morning,” Biery said of Scalia’s death. “It happened on a ranch out near Marfa. As far as the details, I think it’s pretty vague right now as to how,” he told the Express-News. “My reaction is it’s really unfortunate with any death. And now, politically, in the presidential cycle we’re in my educated guess is nothing will happen before the next president is elected.” 
Justice Scalia was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Ronald Reagan in September 1986. He was considered to be one of the most conservative constitutionalists on the court by many.
If I know anything about American conservatives, I have no doubt that a huge collective groan echoed around the country when people heard this news. One of the strongest voices for true conservatism, and the foremost proponent of the "originalist" doctrine of Constitutional interpretation, is gone. And we are far poorer now for it.

Justice Scalia was a truly remarkable man. I have seen and read far less of his works than I should, but what little I have seen has always made a tremendous impression upon me. I remember watching a Hoover Institute interview done by Peter Robinson of Justice Scalia some years back, and I came away from it with tremendous respect for his erudition, his wisdom, and his impassioned defence of the rule of law:

The few of his judicial opinions that I have read revealed a remarkably powerful mind. His ruling in the DC vs Heller case was superbly written- as, I gather, were most of his writings as a Supreme Court Justice. The ruling itself was 40-something pages of extremely close textual analysis designed to get right to the heart of what the Authors of the Constitution actually meant by "the right to keep and bear arms"- and maybe two lines that went something like, "we recognise that this issue is an emotionally and politically charged one; nonetheless, we also recognise that the law is what it is".

Now, for me at least, the meaning of the Second Amendment is perfectly clear. (And I'm not even American.) But for those who are unable to put two and two together, his analysis made it very plain exactly why the Second Amendment exists, and why it is a fundamental freedom that no government should ever have the power to remove.

In his absolutely scathing dissent to the Court's abominable decision in the Obergefell vs Hodges case, what struck me the most was the extreme contrast between the majority opinion's fluffy-unicorns-and-rainbows view of the Constitution and the world in general, and Justice Scalia's far more sober, hard-nosed view of the need for strict and harsh limits upon absolute power.

It seemed as though Justice Scalia, joined perhaps only by Justice Thomas, understood exactly why the Supreme Court did not have any authority whatsoever to make laws up- which, of course, it doesn't, but nobody pays attention anymore to that little detail. And only he had the courage to say what needed to be said- that the pink fascists of the Left had absolutely no right whatsoever to tell the rest of us who can and cannot get married, and neither did the Court.

As far as I can tell, Justice Scalia was one of the very few voices still left in the legal profession that understood the Constitution for the remarkable document that it really is, in its entirety. Far too many legal scholars simply pick and choose things about that document that they agree with; far too many of them believe that the Constitution is a "living document", that it means pretty much whatever the prevailing wisdom of the day says, and that its text can be altered at will by the words of air-headed judicial scholars with no appreciation for the terrible corruptions that power can create.

By contrast, Justice Scalia was a proponent of the view that the Constitution is a set of laws, and that if you don't like the laws, then it is up to the sovereign people to change them through the due process that the document itself guarantees.

Time has shown that his view- the "originalist" one- is correct, and the liberal or "living Constitution" doctrine is a path toward tyranny. And now, we have lost perhaps the last great defender of that magnificent document and all of the blessings that it has given us.

This does not bode well for the future. My opinion of the current Republican establishment sits somewhere between what I think of toilet paper, and what I think of the stuff that toilet paper is used to clean up. I do not expect the current Republican-controlled Congress to actually stop President Odumbass's next Supreme Court nominee from decisively, and permanently, swinging the Court farther to the hard left.

I fully expect that all of the good that Justices Scalia, Thomas, Alito, and to some extent Roberts have done in holding the line against the progressive Left's desire to control and destroy will be undone. All of their posturing aside, we know what will happen: the Republican Congress will pretend to be outraged at the next Obarmy Supreme Court nominee- and will then vote for him (more likely her) anyway.

The Supreme Court, of course, has precisely zero power under the Constitution to enforce its judgments- this is a fact, go look it up under Article III. (I remember well asking a former boss of mine, back in my somewhat more naive days, about this when "Justice" Sotomayor was put up as a nominee for the Court; he set me straight on the subject and told me what the Constitution actually has to say about the Court's powers.) It merely has the power to provide an opinion on existing laws- but both the State and Federal governments have respected the Court's judgments since at least 1803 and the Marbury vs. Madison case.

And that means that a poorly chosen, badly qualified, or just plain incompetent Justice can wreak absolutely havoc upon a nation that was supposedly one of laws, but has long since devolved into rule by executive fiat and incompetent, power-hungry bureaucrats.

If I may make a prediction, a truly great legal scholar in the mould of Robert Bork- remember him?- will not be considered for Justice Scalia's now very sadly vacant seat. If we are very very lucky, the next nominee might turn out to be a largely useless non-entity like "Justices" Kagan and Sotomayor. That is the best that we can hope for.

Things are almost certain, of course, to be far worse than this. We are likely to get another Justice Breyer or Souter.

God help us all. God help the United States of America.

Speaking of which- Lord, one of Your own returns to You this day. A man who lived life well, who did much good on this Earth, and who lived by Your Law. We are now bereft of his presence; we have only his example to guide us. Thank You for letting us have such a great scholar and mind among us, while we could. His soul is with You now, to claim the rest and the reward that Justice Scalia so greatly deserved.

14For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. 15And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. 16Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. 17And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. 18But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money. 
19After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them. 20And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. 21His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.