Monday, June 28, 2010

Sensationalism surrounds MMA fatality

MMA Lightweight Michael Kirkham died Monday after his professional Mixed Martial Arts debut. Story can be found here.

It's a shame, and tragic, that a fighter with an amateur career between 1-3 and 3-3 (depending on the source) thought that the time was right to go pro. Also very strange is a fighter who stood 6'9" fought as a lightweight (155lbs). As a guy who stands 5'5" and 165, I'm amazed he could maintain function after cutting to make weight. Based on how most people view cutting weight, and the consensus is that it sucks something fierce, Kirkham must have been miserable, along with dehydrated.

Certainly the small promotions that are so insistent on giving fighters a shot must bear some blame for these tragedies. Faulty officiating, lax medical screening, and over-zealous promoters are still plaguing the burgeoning mixed martial arts community. It's also possible that Kirkham had a latent aneurysm that burst during the fight.

That being said, sensationalism toward this story is already rife on the internet. Look at the photo accompanying the story on Huffington Post:

Blood splatters and a discarded mouthpiece, with no indication of whether it was from this event or not. Occasionally it's mentioned that this is the second death at a MMA professional event in 3 years in North America, but ignored is the fact that this is only the second since MMA came to the United States in 1993.

Is MMA safer than boxing? The jury is still out, by and large. Certainly, Chuck Liddell's recent woes are being used by opponents of MMA to prove that the sport is much more dangerous than boxing. The difference, argues proponents of MMA, is that blows to the head and body are not the only way to end a fight. Saturday night's StrikeForce headlining bout between Fabricio Werdum and Fedor Emelianenko ending with a nary a heavy punch thrown, instead with a brilliantly executed Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu triangle choke. MMA contests, especially those that take place in cages, are more and more often turning into highly technical wrestling matches, rather than the all-out slugfests of MMA's early days.

Certainly the entirety of the young MMA community, fighters, fans, coaches and promoters alike, have turned a wary and worried eye to the results of Mr. Kirkham's autopsy. One can only hope that any results are not ignored, whether mandating further pre-contest examinations to root out latent head injuries or aneurysms, mandatory hydration testing to reduce insane weight cutting, or insistence on proper fight officiating to prevent excess injury to defeated fighters. Kirkham's death was and is a tragedy. Failure to heed what can be gleaned from his death would only compound that tragedy.

UPDATE: I know this isn't much of an update, as it's mostly to say that Michael Kirkham died of a brain hemorrhage due to blows received during the bout. No indication of given as to whether previous injuries or concussions had an impact on the health of his brain at the time of the fight, or if dehydration due to cutting weight was a factor. The trainer for Kirkham's opponent said that it did not appear that Kirkham put on much weight between the weigh-in and the bout. Whether that's the result of Kirkham (who stood 6'9") naturally walking around at or near lightweight (155lbs), or Kirkham being prevented by some other circumstance from bouncing back to a more normal weight, has not yet been published. Kirkham received a medical examination prior to the fight and was declared fit.
Further autopsy results such as toxicology are still pending.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The evolution of music

If a band puts out an album that doesn't sound like the same as the album they put out 10 years ago, don't complain about it. Of course they don't sound like they did 10 years ago. You're not in college anymore, and neither are they.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Atlas Shrugged: From Fiction to Reality

Stephen Moore has a great opinion piece about Ayn Rand's magnum opus and its rather direct modern comparison that would put Rand on par with the prophetic, complete with upbeat names given to government actions that are actually likely to cripple our economy and drive the country irrevocably into debt. The fact is that a man now has to say that he is opposed to "American Recovery and Reinvestment" if Barack Obama thinks his plan is the means to make those things happen. Read the whole article here. And if you haven't read Atlas Shrugged, I cannot advise you strongly enough to do so. Here's the Amazon link. Then you, too, can join the ranks of people who are seeing the devastation coming. Maybe if enough people start to get it, we can yet do something about it. I'll not use a collective "we" to describe John Galt. Instead, I will say that each man has it within him the capability to be John Galt, to shake and move the world a tiny fraction. Enough individuals agreeing that it is in their own self-interest to move the world in the same direction have within them the power to change the world. 

Friday, January 9, 2009

So long nutjob, hello Dan Ackroyd's stunt double!

From Obama introduces new DNC chairman without old DNC chairman present.

In classic vindictive, back-biting style that has become the MO of Democratic politics since Obama gained prominence, the Democratic National Commitee welcomed their new Chairman...while the old chairman was on vacation. It's like getting dumped via a text message, then your now ex-girlfriend also posting it on Myspace, and she has about 45 million friends. 

And now Tim Kaine, Governor from Virginia, is the new DNC boss. If you didn't already know him, just imagine Dan Ackroyd's dysfunctional assassin from Grosse Pointe Blank, wait, you don't have to do anything from there. Just for comparison, here's Dan first.
And now Tim: It might just be me. Either way, congratulations, Gov. Kaine! The more time you spend working hard as Chairman of the Democratic National Commitee, the less time you have to spend f%#$ing up my home Commonwealth.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

And now, a word from some guy who will be President in about 2 weeks. My hilarious commentary will be in italics. Also note that I will abbreviate the crap out of this, because otherwise this post will go on for days, and I will eventually laugh myself off my chair at my own rapier wit.

Throughout America’s history, there have been some years that simply rolled into the next without much notice or fanfare. Then there are the years that come along once in a generation – the kind that mark a clean break from a troubled past, and set a new course for our nation. 
This is one of those years...  
How is a clean break going to involve doing the same Government handouts that have been going on for the past four months, and hiring a Cabinet that consists mostly of our 42d President's cronies? So by "clean break" Barry means "a return to 1992, only starting with a much worse economy."
I don’t believe it’s too late to change course, but it will be if we don’t take dramatic action as soon as possible... If nothing is done, this recession could linger for years... Why does the government talking about "dramatic action" make me want to hide my wallet?

Banks made loans without concern for whether borrowers could repay them, and some borrowers took advantage of cheap credit to take on debt they couldn’t afford...Yeah, because banks really want to lose money hand over fist. I can just imagine loan officials saying, "I know these people can't pay back this loan, but dammit, making the organization I work for pancake is a moral obligation that I take very seriously!" Honestly, where do you think the pressure to hand out those loans came from? Maybe Uncle Sugar? Maybe all those Congresspersons like Barney Frank who denied that Fannie and Freddie had issues in 2001, 2004, or Spring of 2008. No, when the going gets tough, Barry blames private enterprise.

That is why I have moved quickly to work with my economic team and leaders of both parties on an American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan that will immediately jumpstart job creation and long-term growth...AKA, The New New Deal. Because the Old New Deal did so much to improve the Depression. It was just rotten luck that made it last 7 years longer.

It’s a plan that represents not just new policy, but a whole new approach to meeting our most urgent challenges. For if we hope to end this crisis, we must end the culture of anything goes that helped create it – and this change must begin in Washington. It is time to trade old habits for a new spirit of responsibility. It is time to finally change the ways of Washington so that we can set a new and better course for America...
In other words, you miserable, mouth-breathing, gun-toting, religion-clinging, backwoods, spendthrift retards, you cannot be trusted to so much as take a leak without someone holding it for you. So it stands to reason that you cannot budget, live sensibly, or save money, let alone understand things like health insurance or interest rates. Understanding and doling out these things will now be handled by your intellectual superiors. Namely, the Federal Government. It's the Responsible Way.

There is no doubt that the cost of this plan will be considerable. It will certainly add to the budget deficit in the short-term. But equally certain are the consequences of doing too little or nothing at all, for that will lead to an even greater deficit of jobs, incomes, and confidence in our economy...Please God, deliver me into the hands of a wicked, forsaken government that gets the Hell out of the way and lets private enterprise fix private enterprise through the competition to create the most superior product at the most reasonable price. But Barry has already said what he thinks of private enterprise. I remember a day when "confidence in the economy" was found in the people by knowing that competition would create high quality product at reasonable prices. Now apparently one requires government intervention to make us "feel gooder" about the economy.

It is true that we cannot depend on government alone to create jobs or long-term growth, but at this particular moment, only government can provide the short-term boost necessary to lift us from a recession this deep and severe...And Barry promises to put everything back to normal once the Recession ends. Honest. He means it. 

That is why we need to act boldly and act now to reverse these cycles. That’s why we need to put money in the pockets of the American people, create new jobs, and invest in our future. That’s why we need to re-start the flow of credit and restore the rules of the road that will ensure a crisis like this never happens again...Oh, that thing about putting everything back to normal...Total lies. Mouthbreathers. Oh, and by putting money in the pockers of American people, he means to take it from people who make more money than you and put it in your pocket. When that well runs dry, he means to take it from you and put in the hands of people poorer than you. And so on and so forth until everyone is broke except our Uncle Sam. 

That work begins with this plan – a plan I am confident will save or create at least three million jobs over the next few years. It is not just another public works program. It’s a plan that recognizes both the paradox and the promise of this moment – the fact that there are millions of Americans trying to find work, even as, all around the country, there is so much work to be done...Yes, there is a lot of work to be done. Just that lots of it is being done by illegal immigrants. Tell an American citizen that if they don't pick fruit, clean hotel rooms, or bus tables they won't get a welfare check and they'll starve to death, that work might actually get done by actual Americans. Oh, and get rid of business taxes so that corporations and businesses don't have to hire illegals and keep things under the table, and I bet they might be more inclined to hire people.

To get people spending again, 95% of working families will receive a $1,000 tax cut – the first stage of a middle-class tax cut that I promised during the campaign and will include in our next budget...Hey, I remember when we tried this 6 months ago. How did it go? Oh, like crap. And just remember, every penny of that $1,000 is courtesy of the charity of someone who makes $100,000 a year or more. By charity, I mean that their failure to take part in this "charity" is called Tax Evasion.

It is time to set a new course for this economy, and that change must begin now. We should have an open and honest discussion about this recovery plan in the days ahead, but I urge Congress to move as quickly as possible on behalf of the American people. For every day we wait or point fingers or drag our feet, more Americans will lose their jobs. More families will lose their savings. More dreams will be deferred and denied. And our nation will sink deeper into a crisis that, at some point, we may not be able to reverse...Thank you, Chicken Little. Don't just stand there! Do SOMETHING! NOW!!! Spare no expense! Remember that it's far worse to have a crisis we can't get out of than a deficit that our children will never be able to pay back, leaving them subject to foreign powers to whom we owe money. Think we're NATO's police force right now? Hah, wait 30 years when those nations hold bonds against us equal to 20, 25, 33% of our GDP.

That is not the country I know, and it is not a future I will accept as President of the United States. A world that depends on the strength of our economy is now watching and waiting for America to lead once more. And that is what we will do...And we will do it by following the models of Europe and other nations with little or no economic growth! Hooray!

[A]nd insist that the first question each of us asks isn’t “What’s good for me?” but “What’s good for the country my children will inherit?” Because me personally, I think deficit spending that will leave my children with triple the Federal Deficit that I saw when I became a tax-paying American is the legacy I'm aiming for. I'm also planning to max out all my credit cards on consumables if I'm ever diagnosed with a terminal disease. It would just be following the spirit of Barry's American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan. Mortgage our future to save his re-election.

Post Script: I feel an obligation to point out that, presently, Barack Obama is the President-Elect, a non-title. Given that he has resigned from the Senate in order to become President, he is currently a private citizen. I bear no intention of addressing him as Barry once sworn in as President. That would be highly disrespectful to the Office of President of the United States of America.

Oh goody, another blog

Social networking sites suck for blogging, and any other blogs I may or may not be responsible for have long since slipped into disrepair. So, I begin a new blog. I hope to make this something of a mil-blog, only less military and other random crap. But first, a few things about me.

I'm just shy of 26 years old. I'm in the Army, which I love. I'm married to a beautiful woman the name of Rebecca (if I put some effort into the blog and post photos, you might even get to see her, you lucky dogs) and I've a 5 month old son whose name is Declan. They're my life, my love, and my pride. I would personally move Heaven and Earth for them. So you can imagine I am unlikely to hesitate to utterly destroy anyone who intended them harm. 

I come from an officer-free military family. My wife's family is almost entirely Police, Fire, and Rescue. So I get along just fine with my in-laws, who understand and appreciate the similarities in attitude that comes with the civil service business.

I'm a warrior and I'm a Patriot. I am in the military because I enjoy it, and cannot imagine another life that I would find better or more suitable, and because I serve a national of ideals worthy of my service.

I'm a Christian, and I serve God for the same reason I serve the Constitution and the people of the United States: He is an ideal worthy of my service, and my life. If I am wrong about His existence, I don't give a damn. I'm too busy living a good and temperate life, raising a family, and living according to the beliefs and ideals I believe he has instilled in me.

And that's what life is about, honestly: Finding an ideal worthy of your life, and living for it. 

I'll have more on these and other topics in upcoming installments.