Booms, Busts, and War

You had the Depression (bust), followed by Pearl Harbor and WW2, and the post-war boom. This created the perception of the Greatest Generation. But the media has failed to put things into perspective and the boom, bust, and war cycle continues to this day. Maybe the current generations are under-rated.

Many overlook that the Internet bubble 90s were a period like post WW2, booming without external threats. That bubble popped and then what did we get? 911.

911 was like Pearl Harbor, plus you have Aphghanistan (Taliban), Iraq (Bathists/Sadaam), Syria (Bathists/Assad), Libya (Khadaffi), Pakistan (Bin Laden killed there) and many other wars and pseudo-wars since then.

Now the ‘war on terror’ has gone on 16 years , which is actually much longer than WW2 was. Unlike the cold war its a hot war, rather than a standoff.

Other than Pearl Harbor the US was not attacked during WW2. Whereas war on terror massacres here in the US by foreign (inspired) cells have been at least once a year almost.

I don’t think the major media has done a good job of putting modernity in perspective. When the history books are written a hundred years from now the War on Terror will be considered to have been WW3, and the Generations of X and Millenials will be considered to have been fairly militant and forthright.

Bloated Governments Should Pay Taxes

What if instead of taxing individuals, individuals (society at large) taxed the government? With the taxes from the government enriching Joe Six Packs, benefits could be cut , since people would have the cash to cover unforeseen circumstances. This would shrink the government.

What rate would you have to tax government spending at to get the government to shrink?

Once the government becomes half the economy
why should the private sector/individuals be taxed rather than the government itself?

The way to do this in practicable terms is to have the government pay quarterly dividends to taxpayers, by selling off its assets to private companies. Such assets would include foreign military bases, national forests and coastlines, and the rights to things such as offshore drilling off of Florida. When a private individual cannot pay their taxes they often have to go to the pawn shop and sell something or have their wages garnished. This should be reversed and the government should sell off its own assets instead, and have their income garnished, to impose fiscal austerity, thereby ultimately shrinking the government, while increasing the private sector’s share of the economy.

Good Time Crime Flick : A-

The crime thriller “Good Time,” which just hit DVD and Blu-Ray, is easily one of the year’s best films. Starring the perennially underrated Robert Pattinson (who is also great in “Cosmopolis” and “The Rover”) as Connie,a smart criminal determined to protect his developmentally disabled brother, the film opens with the two brothers in a heist gone wrong. Connie had busted his brother out of the government’s care, and, as you might expect, the heist goes wrong and the brother ends up in police custody and gets sent to Rikers’ island. The rest of the film is about Connie’s desperate, all-night odyssey to save his brother from the horrors of prison. However, in trying to save his brother, Connie makes big mistakes and ends up getting himself in an astonishing amount of bad situations.

I thought I knew how “Good Time” would turn out, but I was wrong. The script is both serpentine and surprising as it refuses to cater to our expectations. This is not a mainstream film but it is exciting because it is so well executed. All of the actors are great, as are the music and cinematography. The portrayal of the disabled brother is convincing also and Jennifer Jason Leigh is brilliant in a small role. By the end we’ve been through quite a ride with characters and plot twists we haven’t seen before. Pattinson’s portrayal of the smart but misguided and dangerous Connie is indelible. “Good Time” is a must-see!

Why You SHOULD Stall in Closed Guard

I disagree. The opponent on top in closed guard is in a bad position. If the opponent on bottom has his legs locked around the waist and is not attacking, it is actually the bottom player who is stalling from his superior position. If the top player also stalls , that is a result of the bottom player stalling from his guard. If the bottom player tried to submit or sweep , then this would not even be an issue.

The closed guard player will sometimes express frustration that you are not opening up and attacking. But he is the one who pulled and closed guard and is doing nothing. The position was generally his idea, not yours, so why does he get away with doing nothing? Your instructor will also likely troll you, telling you to do some highly predictable guard open attempt that will likely get you scissor swept over into an even worse position. Ignore them all. If they are frustrated by your style, then stick with it. If you are frustrating your opponent, then you are winning.

Unfortunately, in BJJ, too much time is spent trying to get all the students to fight like robots. When you utilize strategy to win, people get mad if its not the same techniques/ strategy they would use to win. They also do not like it when you slow down the fight from bad positions.

I have many guard passes. I will usually try them to see if they feel like they will work or not. I do not fully commit to them if they do not feel effective I reset and stall. Often when I stall in closed guard people wrongly assume that I lack knowledge of guard passes. This is not the case. I am not only knowledgeable about many passes, but I am equally knowledgeable about how many attacks the closed guard dude can do from his superior position.

It should not be incumbent on the player with the inferior position to be expected to initiate the attack. Moreover the closed guard staller (the bottom guy) would get elbowed in the nuts and slammed on his head in a street-fight. Also in Judo and other grappling arts like wrestling you are not allowed to close guard and not then attack, because that IS considered stalling. I know my perspective is not popular , but it is true nevertheless. I am purple belt and have trained 10 years. If you try and pass the closed guard rather than stalling and waiting for them to open, your chances of getting submitted or swept increase dramatically.

If you were in WWI trench battle and had an inferior position to the enemy, and the enemy expected you to charge and was ready to counter – would you charge ahead and die? No. It would be smarter to set an ambush and wait for the enemy to engage. Then, once engaged rather than in a standoff, you can use the transition game to start surprising and attacking your opponent.

I still do try and pass the guard, and am often successful in passing rather quickly. I can show the unorthodox passes I tend to use in another post. However, there are times when nothing seems to be working to open their guard without leaving myself vulnerable. Many BJJ rollers seem to not understand the concept of risk management and unique strategy. If you have ever read the Art of War, Sun Tzu, would definitely not recommend that you do what your opponent expects or wants you to do.


Mid-Night Rider 80’s B Movie

This little known 1984 cult movie Mid-Night Rider is about a male gigolo street hustler who roams the streets looking for tricks. Really bad disco plays as he walks around Sunset Blvd, mostly at night. This seems to be an ode to midnight Cowboy. This dude is hooking up with a bunch of chicks and there is tons of nudity. He also gets beaten up randomly early on, to add some noire.

Meanwhile, some female pimp in a funny retro car takes him around to appointments. At one point the voice-over says something about being dropped off with twelve year olds, and the viewer (me) cringes. The box for this movie is also inappropriate and misleading, in that it makes the movie look family friendly. The main guy is hugging a kid on the front of the box, and you think you are buying a Highway to Heaven clone because of the bad hair-dos. The movie sold in VHS clamshell box, to make matters worse, I found this beside Disney films at the local Goodwill. The back of the box has the gigolo sitting on some grass smiling next to the little boy.
A closer look at the box and you see a slogan about sex, drugs and violence – plus a bunch of crazy shit that happens as a result of an orgy gone wrong.

This film is a complete train wreck, and is somewhat disturbing. Yet in its pure awfulness it is somewhat mesmerizing. I-net searches show only one copy on Ebay and very few on Amazon. The title was obvopusly a play on the TV show Night Rider. And the box was an imitation of Highway to Heaven Films. This film is more like a stairway to hell though.

Pros and Cons of Heel-hooks

Heel-hooks are a taboo subject in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and martial arts, mostly because they are considered to be dangerous. Following what I considered to be a somewhat ‘cheap’ tap-out in training recently, I thought I would take a look at some of the pros and cons of this controversial move. I personally have a bad feeling about the use of them in practice, but I respect my instructor’s view that they make people more well rounded fighters when practiced.


  • It works well on most body types, and is an effective way to get a submission.
  • If someone is not defending their ankle properly, attacking it will teach them to improve their defense, eventually making them a better fighter.
  • It is a good way for a smaller guy to tap a larger guy, and also is a way to end a match quickly if the opponent is hard to beat in terms of position.
  • Mastering the attack of heel hooks makes you a more well rounded fighter, as you add options to your arsenal.

The Cons:

  • Very dangerous in terms of blown meniscuses and torn ACL’s, and different than arm-bars in that there is often no pain until torn/popped.
  • Cannot be used in competition at most belt levels, (not til brown belt in most gi tournaments, or not until advanced in no go division).
  • With gi on, grapplers legs can get caught in fabric, blowing on or both men’s knees out due to getting tangled in cloth, despite having otherwise executed the escape properly. This is not a factor in no gi.
  • Focusing on leg locks sometimes is a way to cheat in terms of not improving one’s positioning, and going for a leg-lock instead. This can conversely be seen as a good thing though, from a lessor opponents perspective.

One thing is that rolling leg legs recklessly to the opposite (technically wrong side) is a bad thing in my view since it would mean most people in the sport could all have their knees, hips, and ankles blown all the time, which would hinder the practice of the sport. The heel-hook I was complaining about was kind of an inverted heel hook, which is kind of like a cross between a heel hook and a rolling leg lock, and I think its probably something that should at least be practiced with caution when in sparring, at a speed slow enough to allow a tap before major injury.

McCain Surgery Boot Switched Sides

McCain’s surgery boot was on his right foot following his ACL surgery. Now two weeks later he is sporting it on his opposite leg instead. This is further fueling speculation that there may be a tracking device involved.

976 Evil (Horror Hotline Flick)

What is even scarier than being groped?  One of the most exciting yet under-the radar Blu-ray releases of the year is “976-EVIL,” a forgotten but very interesting 1988 horror film directed by Robert Englund. His tenure as Freddy Krueger in the “Elm Street” series serves him well here as he spins a ghoulish tale of sex, bullying and revenge. Stephen Geoffreys (Evil Ed in “Fright Night”) stars as Hoax, the most geeky, nerdy, creepy teenager since Carrie White. What a crazy actor. He was great in Fright Night. Did he overact in 976 evil? Yes!And he wound up not getting roles except as a gay porn bottom, which we will have to overlook in this review, and maybe takes this film down a half a star out of prejudice.

Loathed by his classmates, he idolizes his cousin Spike (Patrick O’Bryan). Spike has been using the creepy phone number that gives the movie its title and it has been helping him get what he wants. In the end, however, he decides the whole thing is too creepy and throws it away. Unfortunately, Hoax finds the phone number and starts using it to get revenge on his creepy, religious mother (Sandy Dennis), on Spike’s girlfriend, and on Spike’s card playing buddies. At the end of the film, he turns into a demon, and only Spike and a private investigator (Jim Meltzer) stand in the way of hell on earth.

This movie is very interesting for a couple of reasons. Firstly, everyone in the movie is evil on one way or another. With no “good” characters we are left wondering how things will turn out. Secondly, this is a very gruesome movie with some memorable kills and one-liners. Director Englund is presumably responsible for that. Thirdly, this is an early screenplay by Brian Helgeland (who went on to win an Oscar for “L.A. Confidential.” Lastly, Geoffreys is simply the man as Hoax; he owns the movie.

You gotta watch it for the line “can I enter this hand with two hearts?” while throwing two beating human hearts onto the poker table. And the line, “Can I give you a hand with that?”, while severing someone’s arm. This film has no redeeming value except for entertainment. It seems to relish in Satanism and depravity. Truly it is an evil film, that lives up to its title.

The new Blu-ray features an amazing high-definition transfer of the theatrical version of the film as well as a “retro VHS” transfer that is 12 minutes longer.  There is also a commentary track with Robert Englund and his wife.  If you’re looking for a scary good time, look no further than the new Blu-ray of “976-EVIL”!

For a Bloody Good Samurai Flick Try…

“Blade of the Immortal,” a fantastic, gory supernatural Japanese samurai movie from master of horror Takashi Miike, is one of the year’s most entertaining films. Based on a hit manga series in Japan, the plot has many similarities to this year’s hit “Logan” but this movie is actually better! It concerns a little girl who must convince a world-weary, immortal samurai to avenge her family. And so he does, in one of the goriest, craziest, and most epic action films in a long time. The director, whose 100th film this is, may be familiar to American audiences through “Audition,” “Ichi the Killer,” the original “One Missed Call,” and “13 Assassins.” This time he tops himself, giving us a film that is a cross between Akira Kurosawa and Quentin Tarantino. It’s longish but never dull, and is now playing in select theaters and Amazon Prime streaming.