Since February 1st is Superbowl Sunday — as well as my birthday (I’ll pass on the cake, thanks. It’s broccoli and carrots in a light ranch dip all the way down for me from here on out) — I figured I’d go ahead and get this posted now before most people, myself included, disappear for the winter version of spring break.
Not only is my birthday on Superbowl Sunday this year, but my wife’s is two days later. And Satch’s championship tournament at the University of Northern Colorado comes at the end of the week, meaning I’ll be spending time outside of my normal team coaching sessions prepping him most days. Hopefully Obama doesn’t take my absence to mean he can do any goddamn thing he pleases to my country. Fucker’s sneaky like that.
So, to sum up: as always, if you feel inclined to donate, I greatly appreciate it. If not? Well, I won’t starve or anything like that. But then I won’t be eating steak this month, either. And that’s on you.
update: speaking of birthdays, I was just going through some of my Mom’s things and found an old college portrait photo. Thought you might all get a kick out of it, so I snapped a pic of it with my phone, creating a kind of weird photo palimpsest. Behold, the 80s! And yes, that’s an earring. Like I said: the 80s.
Suddenly I feel like humming a Smith’s tune, then killing myself.
update 2: pub decor additions!
Students at a UC Davis-affiliated Jewish fraternity house awoke Saturday morning to find two large swastikas spray painted onto their building.
Nathaniel Bernhard, vice president of the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity, said the vandalism took place between 3 and 9 a.m. Saturday. He condemned the action, saying the hate crime threatened to rekindle race tensions at UC Davis. The fraternity house is located off-campus.
“Jewish people still can’t feel safe on their own campuses and in their own houses,” Bernhard said. “Anti-Semitism still exists today. It’s not a fairy tale.”
h/t Donald Douglas
We’ve only just completed January and the competition for Most Stupid Thing of The Year is off to a roaring start. I believe this is at least even money with the Army defeated by “chinks in the armor“.
Tolkien lore led a Texas boy to suspension after he brought his “one ring” to school.
Kermit Elementary School officials called it a threat when the 9-year-old boy, Aiden Steward, in a playful act of make-believe, told a classmate he could make him disappear with a ring forged in fictional Middle Earth’s Mount Doom.
“It sounded unbelievable,” the boy’s father, Jason Steward, told the Daily News. He insists his son “didn’t mean anything by it.”
The Stewards had just watched “The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies” days earlier, inspiring Aiden’s imagination and leading him to proclaim that he had in his possession the one ring to rule them all.
“Kids act out movies that they see. When I watched Superman as a kid, I went outside and tried to fly,” Steward said.
Aiden claimed Thursday he could put a ring on his friend’s head and make him invisible like Bilbo Baggins, who stole Gollum’s “precious” in J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy series “The Lord of the Rings.”
“I assure you my son lacks the magical powers necessary to threaten his friend’s existence,” the boy’s father later wrote in an email. “If he did, I’m sure he’d bring him right back.”
Principal Roxanne Greer declined to comment on the fourth-grader’s suspension, citing confidentiality policies, according to the Odessa American, who first reported Aiden’s troubles Friday.
“Principal Roxanne Greer” … let me leap to an assumption that this female has some issues with the nature of little boys.
It is NOT a good thing that k-6 teachers are almost exclusively female.
And this wasn’t the first time little Aiden has been slapped down by Greer’s goblins ..
Two of the disciplinary actions this year were in-school suspensions for referring to a classmate as black and bringing his favorite book to school: “The Big Book of Knowledge.”
“He loves that book. They were studying the solar system and he took it to school. He thought his teacher would be impressed,” Steward said.
But the teacher learned the popular children’s encyclopedia had a section on pregnancy, depicting a pregnant woman in an illustration, he explained.
Seriously, this is child abuse. The principal and every teacher who participated in these actions need to be fired.
Bravo, Michael Ramirez
… an Army that can be defeated by a kerfuffle on Twitter …
The U.S. Army has deleted a tweet that used the term “chinks” in armor after people freaked out that the same word can be used in a completely different context as a racial slur against people of Chinese descent.
“Chinks in special ops’ digital and physical armor poses challenges, experts say,” the tweet read, followed by a link to a news release about how terrorists’ using social media has left a hole — dare I say, a chink in — our country’s defenses.
Originally, the release had a headline similar to the tweet, according to the Washington Post. It has since been changed, however, because apparently calling someone racist is an irrefutable argument even when the accusation is based on not knowing what words mean. […]
Apparently, in the 21st century being “offended” is a force so powerful that not even the U.S. Army can stand up to it.
He passed away Thursday at the age of 81.
Washington (AFP) – US poet, songwriter and singer Rod McKuen, a multiple Academy Award nominee, has died at the age of 81, US media reported.
McKuen died on Thursday in Los Angeles of respiratory arrest after suffering from pneumonia, friend and producer Jim Pierson said, according to the Los Angeles Times.
His work included the Academy Award-nominated song “Jean” for the 1969 film “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie” and he was nominated for an Oscar again in 1971 for his work on the animated film “A Boy Named Charlie Brown.”
McKuen was a prolific composer, working with artists such as Johnny Cash, Barbra Streisand and Frank Sinatra.
The Hollywood show business publication Variety said he published 30 books of poetry, including “Listen to the Warm,” which sold millions of copies, and that McKuen won a spoken word Grammy for “Lonesome Cities.”
The St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture said that at the peak of his career McKuen was “the unofficial poet laureate of America,” the New York Times said.
When I was in high school his slim volumes of poems were eagerly bought and read (I still have some, packed away).
– And though he does his best to present its illiberal aspects as at least minimally intellectually justifiable — using perverse grievance politics and self-fulfilling prophecies about power relations themselves belied by the outsized wielding of power over discourse the self-styled oppressed and marginalized possess — in the end what is revealed is what I’ve been writing about here consistently since the inception of this site back in 2001, and before that, in academic fora: identity politics can only lead in one direction, and that’s to a kind of police state for speech and thought.
It is totalitarianism masquerading as liberation, and as far as it follows the Marxist critique of free speech, it is anti-American, fundamentally illiberal, and hostile to Enlightenment notions concerning the marketplace of ideas and competing claims to knowledge. It is the act of the self-styled “dispossessed” — who have repositioned themselves as the very control mechanism of discourse they pretend to fight against — congregating into a kind of pseudo-academic goon squad and mental lynching party.
It is, in a word, revolting. Or, if you prefer, pathetic.
I’ve long counseled many on the right who believed solicitousness, deference, and capitulation, at least in practice, to these gambits was a way to mitigate them, that all they were accomplishing in fact was emboldening even more of such behavior, devolving inevitably to the point of ludicrousness — where purported microaggressions are treated as significant breaches of decorum and worthy of shunning, with even the various factions within the left’s identity politics movement eating their own. I mean, patriarchal-racist syllabi? Seriously? The frightened silence some of the erstwhile proponents of controlled speech now engage in is, perhaps, the only real benefit of the radical surrender of free speech as a justifiable ideal.
To combat these occurrences of being surreally assailed as a bigot of some stripe or another, most people choose…well, not to. They fall silent, instead. Slip off the radar. And yet the only real effective way to defeat such nonsense is to point at every naked emperor in his or her (or transitioning) pique of high dudgeon and laugh hardily at the flaccid, drooping bits he/she/they? has chosen to display as socially constructed emblems of their own empowerment, but which in reality are just naked, impotent, barren folds of ugliness.
In short, when you allow these people to define and determine your meaning, you’ve lost.
…Which, sadly, can — in certain scenarios — make innocuous actions like calling your dog, if he happens to be a boy, and someone is around who might take that wrong, an act of racist aggression requiring public contrition.
Or so I’ve heard. But then, I’d have to take a reader poll to know for sure what position to take on the issue.
My advice now, after years of preaching the same thing? Embrace your inner Joshua / WOPR: “the only winning move is not to play.”
(h/t Terry H)
But hey, we can take care of that, I think. After all, Christie has overseen NJ’s credit-rating tanks, and Bush — well, Common Core, amnesty, “center-rightest,” et al. Both fit this description perfectly: ” he is the wrong man at the wrong time representing the wrong people.”
Then of course, there’s Princess Lindsey. Who is a McCain favorite. And there’s nothing more important in a GOP primary than the imprimatur of John McCain, perhaps the most impotent, unbalanced, and feckless “leader” of the modern era. A “Maverick” with a black thumb, he has proven he can turn any flower into a pile of wilted compost.
Now, this doesn’t mean one of them won’t be foisted on us; after all, they have big money support and Karl Rove’s shiny white board to buoy them. Just that neither has a single chance in hell of winning, given the number of fed-up conservatives and Reagan Democrats who would rather sit home than see another pal of Big Government and Wall Street pretend he stands for any of the things he’ll pretend he stands for during primary season. May as well have Hillary. Bc there’s not a shit ton of difference, and at least we don’t have to pretend she stands for things that we do.
On the positive side, Romney’s realization that he can’t reinvent himself as “authentic” opens the field up for Walker, Rubio, Paul, Cruz, Carson, Kasich, and even Santorum, the latter two of whom seem to have the ear of Reagan Democrats, even as in the case of Santorum he infuriates the hardcore “progressive” left whose voice is outsized compared to its electoral numbers.
Of course, the left will do everything they can to steal any election (hi, Al Franken! Have enough last-minute ballots stashed away somewhere?), so there’s always that concern. But who knows? Maybe they’ll be too caught up in destroying Israel and rigging their elections to get their ground game going early here at home this time.
nb: if, say, a conservative takes the lead in the primaries, I still believe Mitt will “reluctantly” join the fray, to rescue us from ourselves. I believe he believes Bush and Christie will be drummed out earlier than expected, and once they leave, he’ll swoop in and take their “grown-up” role in the field.
Just speculation on my part. But Romney is about Romney. And Mitt wants to be President so badly he can taste it. Which is what happens when you spend all your time kissing asses.
Some of you have emailed me about getting your kids involved in wrestling or martial arts, so I’ve decided to suggest a few training aids that really work. Here are a few tools that I think will prove useful, both for kids and for adults looking to get into grappling / wrestling / MMA:
Iowa Style Snapper: working the head is a crucial skill, and developing the functional strength and the proper technique will give you a huge edge.
Takedown Defender: I actually just ordered this for Satch, who has a good sprawl but whose footwork after his fakes leaves him on his heels and vulnerable to deep penetration shots. This piece of equipment helps you improve your footwork, develop quick reaction times, and practice short offense on the mat — be it a go behind, an ankle or knee-block takedown, a headlock series, or even monsters and bow and arrow cradles. Once you are confident that no one can get to your legs, you can work your ties and set-ups — which goes back to having good technique on the head.
JOBO Legs Takedown Trainer: life-like feel and resistance that actually increases as you complete the shot, this piece provides the optimal amount of space from the wall to complete all sort of leg attacks, from blast doubles to swing singles to heel and ankle picks to high crotch.
Suples Bulgarian Bag: strength, conditioning — all the benefits of kettle bell training (hitting multiple muscle groups) with grappling-specific advantages (offset leverage, grip strength, and the landing of the weight directly on the shoulders, back and chest).
Any kind of rowing machine or, more simply, rowing: push / pull strength, grip strength, and tendon strength are essential in wrestling. Rowing works the first two efficiently.
Short range of motion curls: using heavy weight and beginning w/ a bent elbow, move the weight about 4-5 inches in reps of 30-50. This will build incredible tendon strength in the arms, which will allow you to shuck, snap, downblock, and keep shooters at bay, often without sprawling. You can also plant your elbow on the table and do table curls, which will give you similar results.
Indian clubs: develops the shoulders and gives great range of motion (for all sort of great products, check out Strongergrip.com)
Hercules strap: in addition to bridges, which work one component of the neck, heavy neck lifts with a hercules strap and a loading pin will develop the carotid sheaths.
Any questions? Just ask.