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Chris Bradley
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Writers love robbing other writers.

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Velvet Fist got a new team member: Victor the Viking!  He's the one in the middle, the brown bear guy, and I have been informed that I did not make a trencher so much as a Viking longboat.

Well, Victor crawled out of tough times.  He was going to a bad place when he had a vision of Thor telling him to crush his enemies and wreck havoc on their houses.  So he did!  Leaving a trail of destruction from Copenhagen to Xenia, the shattered bodies of MMA prospies and gatekeepers, he arrived covered in the nylon of his enemies, ready to train at the premier mixed martial arts camp in the world!

He already made Canute the Canuck cry, saying that Canute was a sad excuse for a bear of Viking stock, and that he will never see the hall of Valhalla.  Canute said that he didn't even want to go there, but I think we all know he lies, given his berserker fighting style.  But Victor thinks Canute needs to want it more.  We'll see!

This is what I think of what I think of terrorism and our response to it: in Xenia (Xenia!), cops are now carrying an antidote to heroin because heroin ODs have tripled in the past year.

The ODs are caused, in large part, by Mexican drug gangs growing their own opium, causing a dramatic drop in prices in the US market.
These gangs are terrorist organizations according to the US State Department.

We have yet to invade Mexico, or fire cruise missiles into Mexico, or launch Predator drones with Hellfire missiles into Mexico. This despite the fact that Mexico is a much larger threat to American well-being than terrorists half a world away - the effects of these narco-terrorists are being felt in small towns and big cities across America, and sharp rises in heroin addiction and ODs.

BUT the war on terror has no religious component.

Seriously, Anderson Silva got popped for steroids? Well, I'm guessing this hastens the time of his retirement. I know that, in the long run, it won't effect his legacy at all - and it doesn't take a genius to figure out why a 39 year old man with a gruesomely broken leg might rely on chemical enhancement . . . but, man, why is it so few fighters leave the sport with dignity?

Diaz got popped for weed, which doesn't effect his "legacy" since everyone already knows he's a giant pothead and it's ridiculous that they test for it.

I want to further say that the Cesar Gracie and Skrap Pack corners aren't doing anyone any fucking good, lately.  During most fights, the corners are telling their fighters that they're winning, even when they are not.  This is enormous in terms of what a fighter does.  If you think you're winning, you could well just do the same thing without a change in intensity much less a change in tactics, then have a Diaz-esque level of surprise when it's anounced you lost badly.  A good corner says what it has to say to get their fighter to perform at their peak.  Sometimes that does involve lying, but the Cesar Gracie corners are being unhelpful - and doubly so because they seem to be incapable of offering constructive advice.  So if Gil Melendez was telling Nick Diaz that he was winning BUT he needed to get into the pocket and target Silva's body, I wouldn't be writing this.  But saying, "You're winning, more of the same" when you're NOT winning is bad cornering and irresponsible.

I think this accounts for the underwhelming performances of the Cesar Gracie camp, lately, or at least in part.  If they actually think that Nick Diaz was winning his fight with Anderson Silva, they are not qualified to corner professional fighters in high-level fights.

That said, if nothing else, this Silva-Diaz fight has gotten me altogether over the fighters in Cesar Gracie's camp.  Their saving grace was putting on good fights, which made their often brutal stupidity and incoherent interviews a strange, intriguing puzzle, but it's been a while since I saw a single male Cesar Gracie fighter look top-notch.  With Nate looking out of shape and slow, and Nick being timid, and Gil just losing way too much (plus, fuck Jake Shields for gouging GSP's eyes, like, five times), well, if all you're bringing to the game is childish antics, I suggest you investigate steroids and pro wrestling.

Now that Silva vs. Diaz is over, I can say, "I told you so."  It was a pretty awful fight.

I will admit when I'm wrong, though.  I only considered two possibilities - both centered around Anderson Silva.  The first possibility was that Silva had not recovered from his leg injury, either mentally or physically, and the second was that he would be the same Silva as before.  What I failed to imagine is that Nick Diaz would suck balls.  But he came out listlessly, with an uncharacteristic lack of aggression.  I expected him to try to do what he did to Paul Daley and Robbie Lawler, both of whom also hit very hard.  But what ended up happening is Anderson Silva, a notoriously low-volume (albeit it very high accuracy, very precise, very powerful) striker outstruck Diaz in terms of volume.

At the beginning of the fight, Diaz offered a great deal of clowning.  It was funny to start, then it lost its appeal, though Diaz offered a great deal less of it from the second round on.

By the end, it was clear that neither fighter was fighting up to their past potential - though one must forgive Silva, who is coming off a terrible injury and is 39 years old!  That he's fighting at all is fairly remarkable.

With the surprisingly low volume of Diaz, however, he didn't play into Silva's hands and Silva was never able to get the combination that would send Diaz to the mat.

After the fight, everyone seemed to know what I knew beforehand - that it was a clown car of a fight.  If one looks at the Twitter feeds, they start off saying this is the greatest match-up of all time and end with beliefs that Silva just wanted to get a win before he retired, and calls for that retirement.  I knew it would suck beforehand, I just failed to consider the possibility that Diaz would fight a measured fight with as much tactics as he's able to muster.

And afterward, Diaz was Diaz, from his incomprehensible post-fight interview to his assertions that he won every round of the fight (arguably, he won the first round, but you'd have to be a blind idiot to believe he won any other round . . . though sometimes MMA judges are blind idiots, not tonight, not in Vegas).

I understand what the UFC is doing.  They're having a bit of a star problem, right now.  None of their champions are igniting public imagination, not even Ronda Rousey (who's seems more interested in promoting movies than fights, these days).  But during this kind of lull, I wish they would focus on building their legitimate talent pool - and MMA has never had so much talent as right now - rather than put on these gimmick fights.  I mean, seriously.  Silva vs. Diaz but the UFC can't find someone for JoJo to fight?  Fuck that shit.

Egypt's President Sisi predicts a long battle with militants?  Gee, I can't see why, y'know, what with him being the pawn of the military government that voided the constitution and deposed a democratically elected president.  I mean, I bet there's NO LINK AT ALL between the criminal seizure of power by the current regime and the militants in the Sinai.

Of course, the press is painting the Egyptian insurgency as being linked to the IS.  Which is probably true.  It wasn't like the Muslim Brotherhood , which supported the previous, actually elected president of Egypt, didn't have a similar ideology to the IS.  

ON THE OTHER HAND, what is the real cause of this insurgency?  The IS or the illegal seizure of power by the military?  HMMM, it's a poser.

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Caturday!  Princess Irulan and Gerard the Gorilla!

Watching last night's The Daily Show with guest Jill Leovy, talking about crime, she said, "We don't want police to be handled by robots."

I do.  I can't wait for the next generation of robots that will do jobs that interact with the public in complex ways.  Because what we'll find out is how much of those institutions that are being roboticized are full of bullshit.

For instance, we're right on the cusp of robots being able to drive.  One of the first industries that will jump on this will be long distance truckers.  I believe we will see a fairly radical improvement in the quality of truckers - because truckers break the law so often and in so many ways that won't be programmed into the robot trucks.  The robot trucks will be told to obey all traffic laws all the time.  They will be unable to disobey.  So the dangerous road conditions created by the big rigs on todays' roads will vanish.

Likewise, when cops start being robots - they will not be programmed with racism or homophobia or sexism.  They will have strict and known criteria for handling police work.  All of the bullshit obfuscation that human police workers use to rationalize violence, racism and other discrimination will just vanish.  In retrospect, it will make clear how deeply ingrained these vices were in police all along.

So, yeah, bring on the robot revolution.  I'm all for it.
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