Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

the burden of citizenry leadership

conservative media folks slay me with their portrayal of Romney being of the people. I really don't see how one can not look through the manufactured image he is portraying. a representative leader isn't just someone who is acting executively on behalf of a given populace, that person's decisions are based upon the fact that they are FROM the people, ergo, their decisions need to REPRESENT the People...cumulatively.

which leads me to this post's title: Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan live in socio-economic bubbles. their math is a mystery to their most staunch of supporters, Romney represents the most upper crust of our society and their supporters (especially the blue collar and retirees) are following their platform seemingly on belief/likeness, not reason.

above all else any one elected to executive branch is also a member of the citizenry he/she is elected from. Electoral College be damned, red and blue states be damned, elected officials are beholden, accountable, & therefore answer to the citizenry.

let's say Romney loses the election: what do you think he will go back to doing? will he go back to living a life of corporate autocracy or will his newfound socio-awareness and heightened public status lead him on a  tour of the country finding ways to financially balance the American populous? what did Ross Perot do after the 96 elections? what has either Bush done? what did carter, gore and clinton do? (well, clinton not so much)

in my opinion, the burden of  citizenry leadership is a social accountability stemming on the fact that, when your term expires, you return to being a member of that citizenry, so the platform that got you in office should reflect in the behavior & efforts post-office. being positively engaged in your community is something that should occur naturally, not to collect votes, and only one candidate in the unfortunate "two-party" system does that.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Risk vs Reward

I sit here in a very ummm porcelainated position thinking on my life in general. While it hasn't been a bad one, there are without doubt many things in it that have kept it cloudier than usual.

It's in a precarious kind of hindsight that I look at things now: mistakes/errors glean a sense of foreboding which sucks. I definitely am grateful to be alive and healthy, but tomorrow is truly promised to no one.

I was speaking with someone yesterday and our topic was on dealing with crappy, evil, meanspirited folks. There have been several folks of late who've ticked me off past my threshold but at the same time, I don't think I can not be forgiving of that person. This someone I'd spoken with felt that even if the subject of their ire died, they wouldn't be missed.

I was shocked. Having lost several close family members too, Death is the great Equalizer that nullifies all o our petty squabbles. Im amazed & horrified someone could feel that way in a society so addicted to Death.

Water your friendships folks. Prune, keep & tend to then well.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Jon Jones hype train? Methinks not...

So i'm on one of my fave websites for MMA news, the good ole BleacherReport, thumbing through some really gorgeous articles. Amidst the persistent phone-ringing and quick IT solutions I quickly blurt out to confused callers, an article about Mauricio Rua's greatest KO's sneaks across my gaze. Interesting. Finishing the call, I eagerly click the link and share in the author's insight. Until a comment of the article muses that Jon Jones will be added to this list. As if.

Unless you've been living in cellophane wrapping within the MMA Community, you'd know that the sport's biggest promotion, the UFC, is having one helluva event in Newark in 2 weeks. The main event being one Mauricio Rua vs a Mr. Jon "Bones" Jones, who, after soundly defeating fellow rising star Ryan Bader this past February, enthusiastically and gratefully accepted a last-minute match with Light Heavyweight Champ, "Shogun" Rua. My hands are still ringing with pain from slapping the bar with excitement. Bring on the Advil.

Shogun makes for a terrifyingly efficient striker with excellent takedown defense and a thorough jiu-jitsu offense and defense, and has a superb pedigree in muay-thai. He's praised by most for his unorthodox method paired with an adapting strategy and merciless execution in bouts. 16 T/KOs out of 19 wins speak for themselves: Rua is indeed badass.

But Jonny Bones is the great negater of defense, and does it so profoundly, opponents forget their gameplan completely and by the 2nd round, seemingly are just trying to avoid the OuchMakers that are JBJ's fists, elbows, knees & feet. Even his glancing blows (i.e.: O'Brien being grazed by an elbow) are enough to rock opponents into an impending curtain call.

Coming from a family that probably grazes nightly on Purina livestock grain laced with Semtex, Jones and his brothers are natural, powerful athletes: actively red-shirting for Syracuse and the Baltimore Ravens, with Jon himself wrestling in ju-co in Iowa and in highschool. I was a late-comer to JBJ's style, first witnessing his manhandling of tough-as-bricks Stephen Bonnar. Who suplexes anyone these days in MMA? Who's had the raw strength, dexterity and skill to gleefully slam another human onto their shoulders from a standing position (aside from Street Fighter 2's Guile or Zangief)?

In short, experience aside, Rua's got his work cut out for him. Not only is he dealing with just over a year's worth of Ring Rust, he's also got to deal with the most viciously instinctual ground and pounder he's ever faced who outreaches him, has no cardio problems and is guaranteed to do something he's never seen before. The strength and speed of the judo-like Gaidojutsu is guaranteed to get Rua on his back, where the heavier JBJ will continue to do what he does best.

I don't think this will be a cakewalk for Jones, but I do believe Rua is outmatched. The only folks now that can topple Jones would be Anderson Silva or Phil Davis, or perhaps a slightly faster Frank Mir (if he was @ 205).

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Better Luck Next Time....

I'm fascinated by the thought of failure, not afraid, nor obsessed. It's amazing actually. It's a random and oft-occurring occasion in the life of us mere mortals, it is that warm blank nothingness that greets us with the open arms of a distant lover. Failure is the antithesis of success, not its enemy, not its adversary. It's what keeps us sane, what keeps us Able. Goals are far too often the measurements and finite limits we place on ourselves, yet Experience allows us to redline it just a little further and easier the next time. Endurance is the erasure of that gauged limit.

Never let another wo/man dictate your pace, set your own Redline.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Our Failures to Our Bravest...

I was at the intersection of Northtown & Old Canton a few hours ago, and as I cursed at the all-too-familiar ill-timed traffic light holding me hostage, I noticed a seemingly dazed and unshaven Veteran stumble across the street. So struck was I by his shuffling from Regions' drive thru, I nearly let him be hit by an oncoming car unaware of his presence. I bolted out of my seat & motioned for the merging Acura to slow, possibly saving the man's life. The driver seemed as moved by the man's appearance, and saddened (not angered or annoyed), as the man trudged on past, emblazoned USMC tattoed arm now shakily holding a cigarette at its' end.

I'm far from traditional political "polar" values, but I am a staunch supporter of our Veterans' well-being. The death of the disabled gentleman downtown and the contamination of dozens of patients at the Miami VA Hospital earlier this month puzzles and disarms me. I'm even remembering '07 & '08's Veterans' Rights marches during the previous administration: how in the world do we have hundreds of billions of dollars in military spending but unequal resources for the people it's spent on..? That's not looking far enough down the road, if at all. One of the reasons I voted for Obama was his take on our veterans' well-being, a sound stance echoed in his appointment of veteran Erik Shinseki to be his Secretary of Veterans' Affairs. Not to poke fun, but McCain is a Former USAF POW who *still* can't raise his arms high.

Things like this make me a socialist at heart: equal health care for all citizens is underscored for our military veterans, and I feel the same way for our police. Those who serve and protect the Populace under the will and control of government with nothing less than their Lives at the helm, must receive the same holistic care and well-being once they have served their duty. I'm talking about a Marine friend of mine being jerked around for getting antibiotics; another friend suffering from pneumonia and gambling with Mono because her Base's hospital is not covering her treatment, so she has to pay initial treatment in a public ER out of pocket. How can we do this to our population that we ask so much and so dearly of...?

We've failed our Bravest. We've gone deaf-mute to those who have answered Calls of Duty. We erect red-tape for those who DREW the Front Lines, then bravely tread across them. We proudly "support our troops" on bumper stickers, but can't seem to give a dime to the gentleman at the corner wearing well-worn BDU's.

We can't Fail them anymore.
Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone

Today's Athletes, and why we All Fall Down. (reprinted from my Facebook page 9/18/09)

Just got finished with a late Suhr (Ramadan Mubarak, everybody!) but I found myself thinking about the same thing I was thinking on when I went to sleep: the Liddell/Evans fight. I went to Buffalo Wild Wings in Ridgeland at the invitation of my guy Scott, just to get out of the house for awhile. The place is packed, and amidst all of the turmoil of the Gators/'Canes game, came the shouts for quality bouts and cheers for the UFC matches going on. As the Miami/Florida game began to look more like a rout than a game, more and more of the pixelated monitors began obediently displaying the familiar blood/sweat/tears Octagon in all of its Hi-Def glory.

After a decent pantheon of mediocre bouts, we finally amp up for the Main Event, Liddell vs. Evans. The complimentary and traditional glove-touch aside, I watched very little action animate before my eyes in the first round. As I texted the play-by-play with my future brother in law, I watched Liddell, whom I was pushing for, start to build that terrifying momentum any Follower of his knows so well, and grinned as he kept that right arm cocked, ready to let the hammer drop at a moment's notice and valet a few hooks upside Evans' head.

Now I'm a fan of athleticism, no matter the sport, no matter the gender; i appreciate a good performance. And although i was rooting for Chuck, I was disappointed with Evans' performance: he found himself backed into the fence a couple of times, there were straight, elongated and miscalculated throws made by Liddell he should've capitalized on, just for points' sake, but he didn't. And as that bell rung, I found myself intrigued by Evans, and as the next round started I knew that if his stamina was waning, dude was gonna be in a world of hurt by the next bell. More aggressively the fighters engaged each other, and about 1:15 in, the Iceman cameth with a right jab.

And that was when the taut rubberband known as Rashad Evans, released.

Evans walked into the jab, taking the damage to his torso, effectively stopping the blow, and countered with a right-cross-made-haymaker with a buttload of forward momentum, snapping Liddell's jaw in the opposite direction. Chuck fell like a House of Drinking Straws. When Evans released, Kelly and I both screamed. Loudly. Because we knew what was about to happen before the blow landed. Evans even immediately followed with a left cross that missed, ONLY because Liddell was already falling, just in case his gambit didn't finish the job.

At that point, the entire evening-long raucous emanating from the establishment of Buffalo Wild Wings of Ridgeland, MS vanished. You would think that it was the 1960's, and that Joe Louis had just defeated Jack Dempsey on the eve the Voting Rights Act was signed or something. I didn't hear a SINGLE sound of praise or amazement or shout or anything anywhere outside of our isthmus of melanin for what seemed to be the longest four seconds ever timed, as Liddell lay intoxicated from the anesthetic in Rashad's right hand.

AND DON'T LET NOBODY TELL YOU IT WAS A LUCKY PUNCH. Because that's what I thought at first, until I noticed the replay where Evans is clearly looking at Liddell, clearly stunts the growth of Chuck's right hand and clearly follows with that Left Hand in case his Right didn't seal the deal. I think the speed of his release, coupled with the velocity, momentum and trajectory of the punch made that equation happen. A little slower/faster, a little less powerful, a bit off target and Chuck would've released a left hook, and cocked that dangerous Right Glove back again. But it didn't go down that way, and I think Chuck screamed inside the same way we did as he realized what was about to happen.

I'm dismayed though, at how quiet the place got, how long the faces of the formerly excited Gators fans were, even the bartenders moved a little slower in collecting/distributing everyone's payments. It was a combination of a Matrix-like slowdown moment and the Visa CheckCard commercials when someone tries to pay with cash.

But when prejudice strikes, I guess we all fall down.