Friday, July 29, 2011

Time to Chill Out a Bit

Boy oh boy, things are in full-tilt bat-shit crazy mode in the U.S. and in the world at large. What to do... What to do...

Well, here's what the Space Brothers suggest:

Thursday, July 28, 2011


You poor bastards out there...

Sure, I remember the days when I had to drive miles through traffic to get to a crappy job first thing in the morning. That was for about three years in the late seventies-early eighties. Screw that, I've pretty much lived and worked in the country ever since.
So the other day I loaded up my trusty steed (International Lawn Tractor) and tools and headed off to work at various jobs here on the island, one small and two big mows.
Recently when I passed the cattle ranch I could see all the cattle on the west side of the road bunched up against the hundred year-old barbed wire and hedge-rows.
It later occurred to me that the guys had probably separated some of the half-grown calves from the rest of the herd. The calves were looking across the road at the rest of the herd on the east side of the valley. The fence didn't look like it would hold.
So I come around the corner to see my neighbors on horseback blocking the road, three men and three women and a couple of guys to open and close gates. This is the kind of traffic delay I can live with. It took about ten minutes, but they trotted the herd across the road to join the cows on the east side. The irony was not lost on me as I pulled away with my mechanical horse loaded up for work.

Something to think about next time you're stuck in traffic...

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Self-Defense: Extended Guard vs. Close Guard

I've been giving some more thought to The concept of where to hold a guard position in various stages of an impending fight;
Some arts have a fixed stance that is always used, be it long or short range. Traditional arts use an extended guard, modern fighting styles such as Boxing or MMA tend to use a close guard exclusively.
Here for example is a traditional Chinese Xingyi San-ti stance:

Partly because I am spending a lot of time on Xingyi forms right now, this is my preferred stance when I need to be alert to a confrontation. It has that "Back-off!" gesture and feels good at sensing an approaching threat. The lead hand is held high, the back hand is close to the core ready for protecting against kicks.
But let's face it, a good boxer can hook around the guard in close quarters and in that case we need to close our guard.
I feel that there are varying degrees of pulling the guard in as the situation changes. Here's Loren Christensen in a modified extended guard, pulling back slightly from the traditional stance and perhaps ready to rip, claw and strike.

But if someone is closing very fast, it seems logical to pull back and protect your centerline and head from heavy punches. Here's Ali in a typical boxing posture:

As Tim Cartmell instructed us at a MMA seminar, the modern method is to cover closely and shuck off the strikes with forearms, protecting centerline, head and ribs. Defense from kicks is either jamming them or stepping out of range. As Tim described, the worst thing you can do is reach out away from your centerline and core area, creating an opening for your opponent to punch through.
In summary, I think that the guard can be adjusted according to range and how much time you have as an attack closes in. By the same token, I would not unnecessarily extend a guard unless I intended to use it. No reason to signal or posture, but it is natural to raise your guard if threatened.

Now, here is my ideal of a nice training scenario:

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Murdoch's "Tiger Wife" Attacks

Wendi Murdoch in pink

As the grand political theater, "The Fall of the House of Murdoch" continues, we saw how Murdoch's Ninja wife sprang into action to protect the Fearless Leader.
As a self-described activist and comedian approached the primordial ooze that is Rupert Murdoch with a plate full of foam pie, loyal bodyguard/wife Wendi Deng lept between the two and allegedly broke the attackers nose.
The pie-eyed activist was led away in handcuffs, Prune-Face removed his foam-soiled jacket and resumed his circular arguments with Parliament officials.
Wendi Deng has been hailed as the new model of an Asian "Tiger Wife" for the heroic defense of her paycheck.

Here is her known history, c/o MSNBC:

•Deng was born in Shandong, China, in 1968 to engineer parents. She was named Wen Ge, which is shorthand for "Cultural Revolution."
•She played volleyball in China.
•She married Jake Cherry, who along with his first wife had sponsored her student visa in 1988, The Business Insider reported. They divorced years later.
•She studied at Cal State before earning an MBA from Yale University.
•She worked in Hong Kong at Star Television, which is owned by Murdoch's News Corp
•Deng met Murdoch at a News Corp. party in Hong Kong in 1997. They married in 1999, weeks after his former marriage was dissolved.
•News Corp. paid Deng $92,000 in 2010 for "strategic advice" on MySpace's expansion into China, according to the Insider.
•Deng is Murdoch's third wife, and they live in Manhattan. They have two daughters, Grace and Chloe.
•She is co-founder and co-CEO of the film production company Big Feet Productions.
•She produced the film “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan,” which opened last week. At a weekend showing at the Southampton UA theater that Deng hosted, guests included Barbara Walters, Rudy Giuliani and designer Tori Burch.

But now for the dark side of Wendi Deng, from the comment section of the above link:

"If you really want to get the conspiracy theories rolling, do a little digging into Wendi Deng's relationship with the PRC's heaviest group of hardline communists.
What is somewhat common knowledge in China and never really brought up in the states (or the western world much at all) is that she wields signicant influence specifically with the worst of the worst Machiavellian element of China's governmental despots and has deep connections with the media control agency as well.
The supposed staunch advocate of the Right is literally married to the darkest heartland of old school Maoist militant thuggery.
Not all of china's government is bad, but the crew she sails with are waist deep in everything from Tiananmen Square to the violent crack downs on Falun Gong. I'm no fan of FG, but I'd set myself on fire before lying down with these guys; they have the meanest hard-on for crushing pro-democracy elements and human rights in their country."

So in the tradition of baseless assertions and speculation that the Dojo Rat Blog is known for, let's trot this one out:

Wendi Deng may be a Communist agent that successfully infiltrated the most powerful media empire in the world.


There is actually no difference between Western Fascists and Eastern Communists. Murdoch only wishes he and his slime-mold could simply roll the tanks into U.S. streets and mow down protests and social unrest like The Communists did in Tiananmen Square.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

First Dead Body Appears in Fox / News International / Murdoch Scandal

Old Prune-Face Rupert Murdoch and Trophy Wife Wendy

I can't help it.
This is the best political theater since the Iran-Contra hearings. By comparison, Clinton's Monica Lewinsky hearings were a big nothing. What we are watching here is the fall of the Murdoch empire.
This includes scores of newspapers, TV shows, and political propaganda units disguised as news services (Fox News).
For those that haven't been following, the parent company of Fox Fake News, News Corp. International is under investigation for a complex series of phone hacking, Police and informant pay-offs, bribes, intimidation and lies.
It has so far cost stock shareholders some ten billion dollars and they are pissed. The corruption has forced the resignations of the head of Scotland Yard, the head of News Corp. Rebeckah Brooks, and the head of The Wall Street Journal Les Hinton.
Rupert Murdoch, his son James and Ms. Brooks are testifying before Parliament right now:

Now, the dead body of the first whistle-blower, Sean Hoare has been found. The deceased is said to have had drug and alcohol problems, yet he was the first employee of "News of the World" that reported on Murdoch's illegal activities.
Here in the U.S., The Justice Department and FBI have begun their own investigation. Reporters here have disclosed information about a secret intelligence gathering operation run out of a secure room in the basement of Murdoch's New York offices.
The implications of this are huge.
In the U.S., Fox News has undue influence over politicians. Rumors of Blackmail and influence peddling are rampant.
This could be the biggest political scandal in thirty years, and it runs very, very deep...

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Black Belt Woman Keeps Man as Sex Slave

Alleged Kidnapper Olga Zajac

From "The Mail Online U.K.":

"Robber who broke into hair salon is beaten by its black-belt owner and kept as a sex slave for three days... fed only Viagra"

"A Russian man who tried to rob a hair salon ended up as the victim when the female shop owner overpowered him, tied him up naked and then used him as a sex slave for three days.
Viktor Jasinski, 32, admitted to police that he had gone to the salon in Meshchovsk, Russia, with the intention of robbing it
But the tables were turned dramatically when he found himself overcome by owner Olga Zajac, 28, who happened to be a black belt in karate.She allegedly floored the would-be robber with a single kick.
Then, in a scene reminiscent of Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction, police say Zajac dragged the semi-conscious Jasinski to a back room of the salon and tied him up with a hair dryer cable.
She allegedly stripped him naked and, for the next three days, used him as a sex slave to 'teach him a lesson' - force feeding him Viagra to keep the lesson going."

(D.R.)- Ok, this sounds like a plot for a really bad porn flick.
But I know it's just the kind of article Dojo Rat readers want to see...

Thursday, July 14, 2011

A New Superhero?

First there was Spiderman:

And Batman:

Now; "The Dragonfly"

Look how "human-like" this little guy appears.
We live on the edge of a big swamp and have lots of Dragonflys. A while back, I was sitting on a log in the early evening as the gnats and mosquito's were coming out. In one of those rare moments, a dragonfly caught a mosquito and literally stopped for a split second, suspended in mid-air right in front of me. Very cool.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Dark History: The Muscle That Lifted Soloflex

Soloflex exercise machine

There is an old saying that's something like; "Behind every great fortune is a great crime".
In the case of Soloflex inventor, designer and CEO Jerry Wilson, that saying is true. Jerry Wilson made his seed money for Soloflex the old-fashioned way; drug running.

Wilson is a fascinating yet enigmatic character who successfully piloted his Soloflex invention as well as the planes he loaded with prime Colombian marijuana.
He is a deep thinker, a man's man who has treaded the fine line between cop and criminal. At his Oregon-based Soloflex factory he's the benevolent cop, but his current standing is a far cry from the man steeped in the drug trade and associating with a cast of characters linked to the assassinations of President Kennedy and a Federal judge in Texas.
I had the experience of touring Wilson's Soloflex factory while on a maintenance crew. The employees looked like they were having a great time at a great workplace. Their break time was spent playing video games in the lunchroom or shooting hoops outside. The factory was spotless and efficient. Wilson hit the big-time when he switched from magazine adds for his innovative machine to full-length infomercials on cable TV. One year he made $98 million in sales with a net profit before taxes of $54 million. At the time, he was producing 900 Soloflex machines a day. The modern era of Soloflex is a model of the perfect workplace, but it received a leg up through the criminal underworld.

Wilson was born to be a pilot; his early boss at Callen's Flying Service near Roswell had a record of shooting 110 eagles in one day from an airplane. Ranchers at the time had bounties on all predators. One of his relatives, "Uncle Dude" was a well-known bootlegger and pimp who died after being shot in the back.
Wilson's mix of good and bad luck began when he was a pilot for The Chagra Brothers.
The Chagra Brothers leaving a courthouse

Lee Chagra was the oldest of three brothers. By all reporting, he was a slick criminal lawyer, cocaine addict, high-stakes gambler and head of a small but powerful criminal organization. Joe Chagra, Lee's law partner was cleaner and slightly more responsible but Jimmy appears to have been the root of a lot of family trouble. Wilson has written that Lee and Joe Chagra offered seed money for Wilson's Soloflex invention.
Wilson was the Chagra's pilot, and was soon incorporated into their drug trade. This of course, was at great risk and peril. When the crew branched out from Mexico to Colombia, Wilson spent a little time in a prison near Santa Marta Colombia. His biography states that the avocados were great and that wives and prostitutes were allowed to visit once a week. The operation fell into disarray when they were busted in Ardmore Oklahoma. Dubbed "The El Paso Ten", they were released with a hung jury. It appeared that the jury found out that the cops had stolen somewhere around 4,000 pounds of the 21 thousand-pound shipment and that was the end of the trial.
Lee and Jimmy Chagra were famous in the southwest. Lee for representing drug traffickers in court, Jimmy for trafficking drugs, and both for their expensive gambling habits. Casino's in Vegas sent airplanes to pick them up when they called. Lee was known to take two or three strippers home at night for cocaine-driven orgies. Jimmy was said to emulate Lee, and Joe stayed fairly clean by comparison.
From Wilson's biography, it's unclear when he parted ways with the Chagra's but he did go on to contract flying services for celebrities and mail shipments. He makes a point of saying that he always paid his taxes.
By 1978 the justice system was closing in on the Chagra brothers again, this time for good. Federal judge John Wood, dubbed "Maximum John" for the lengthy sentences he handed out, had his sights set on Jimmy Chagra. Wood, who had long family ties to Texas law enforcement and a prosecutor named Kerr were poised to give Chagra a life sentence without parole. In a complicated series of events, the once-powerful Chagra network began to unravel. Someone it seems, had positioned a van near the car driven by Federal prosecutor Kerr. The doors flew open and shotgun and rifle fire exploded on Kerr's car. Despite the ambush, Kerr survived.
Meanwhile, Lee Chagra allowed entrance to his fortress of an office to two men who killed him. On December 23 1978, two soldiers from Ft. Bliss were sent by a distant family member of the Chagra's, Lou Esper, in an attempted robbery. David Leon Wallace and Don White shot Lee Chagra and stole around $450 thousand-dollars. An open vile of cocaine was on Chagra's desk and a cigarette was still in his mouth. His boots, where he kept thousands of dollars, were removed. The large amount of cash was looted from the next room. Friends and family said Lee feared he was being stalked, and those fears proved true.
On May 29 1979, a sniper shot Federal Judge John Wood in the back as he was leaving his home. That was the same day Jimmy Chagra was originally scheduled to appear in Judge Woods court. This began the largest manhunt in history at the time. In a secretly recorded jailhouse conversation, Joe and Jimmy Chagra had discussed details of the assassination. Joe Chagra took the rap and was sentenced to ten years. Jimmy was reported to have been released into the witness protection program. The hitman was none other than Charles Harrelson, the father of actor Woody Harrelson.
The signifigance of Harrelson being involved is huge.
Charles Harrelson

Harrelson had also admitted to being involved in the Kennedy assassination. After President Kennedy was shot, three "tramps" were arrested, questioned and released. They are said to be Frank Sturgis, Charles Harrelson and E. Howard Hunt. Sturgis and Hunt were with the CIA.
Sturgis, Harrelson and Hunt

The intelligence connections may run deeper. In reviewing notes from a 1990's interview, a source had named to me the man who claimed to have flown the hit man in the Judge Woods murder from the scene of the crime. He was a CIA contract pilot my source had worked with in Alaska.

Of all this cast of characters, only Jerry Wilson of Soloflex survives.
Wilson went on to sponsor a host of progressive causes. He mounted a campaign to remove a powerful Republican Congressman from Oregon. He funded plans to shut down Oregon's Trojan Nuclear power plant. He ran for Governor in 2010.
Wilson didn't suffer gunshots or lengthy prison time. He could have died dozens of times flying. The only bad news that crossed his radar screen was the arrest of his son Brian for felony gun possession from a previous crime.
Brian Wilson's guns

Jerry Wilson has indeed lived a charmed life. Despite brief incarceration, he used his resources well and built the Soloflex empire.
I'm sure he has a lot more stories to tell.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Isshin Ryu Master Angi Uezu

I found this great picture of an Isshin Ryu master.
The guy looks tough as nails, I wouldn't want to fight him. After searching around a bit, I found it is Angi Uezo. Here are a few details from this biography:

"Angi Uezu was born January 3, 1935, in Chiyaranka City on the island of Saipan. His first involvement with martial arts came in junior high school where the schools curriculum included Gojuryu. He didn't like Karate because he was very much against fighting of any sort. He thought, why train in Karate and get beat-up everyday learning to defend yourself when the likelihood of getting into a fight was so remote?
In 1956, he met Yukiko Shimabuku, the third daughter of Master Tatsuo Shimabuku, the well-known karate master. After a short courtship and Yukiko's prodding to get married, Master Uezu went to the Kyan dojo to ask Master Shimabuku for his daughters hand in marriage. Master Uezu tells the story of his first meeting with the Master. "As I approached Master Shimabuku's house I could hear some very loud pounding. I walked up to the fence gate and saw Master Shimabuku punching the makiwara. He wasn't smiling and was very intense. I thought he was getting ready for me."

The story continues to say that he avoided practicing Karate for years, even though married to the master's daughter. On advice of a friend, he relented and took up the art. He soon was teaching at nearby military bases:

"Due to his loyalty and dedication, he soon became one of Master Shimabuku's top students. During the early sixties as his skills improved he became one of the top competitors on Okinawa winning many competitions and became highly regarded as an outstanding martial artist on Okinawa. He was an excellent counter fighter with an array of techniques that he worked until he considered them perfect for all types of fighting."

There's a lot to be respected about these austere, traditional forms of Karate.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Jack Nicholson on "Individual Freedom"

Well, it is fast becoming a July 4th tradition over here at Dojo Rat to play this short scene with Jack Nicholson and Dennis Hopper in "Easy Rider"

I get so frustrated with "conservatives" that have no idea how much people have struggled to have the basic freedoms we experience today.
Sure, they wave the flag and cling to a U.S. Constitution that most of them do not understand and that is in direct conflict with contemporary "conservative" beliefs.

Progressives, or "liberals" if you will, fought against powerful financial institutions with private armies like The Pinkerton's to establish workplace safety regulations.
They ended child labor.
Gave us civil rights.
Women's rights.
The 40-hour work week.
Environmental protection.
Food safety inspection.
--The list goes on and on.

In the folklore of "conservative" mythology, they would do away with all this. They embrace the magical thinking of a non-existent "Free Market".

And as Nicholson says; they'll talk and talk about "individual freedom", but when they see a "free individual", it makes them Dangerous.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Cute Hippie Chick of the Month: "Skin Diver" Edition

July doesn't seem like the time we would look at pictures of the Russian Arctic, but who can resist this from "The Mail Online" (U.K.):

"Braving sub-zero temperatures, she has thrown caution — and her clothes — to the wind to tame two beluga whales in a unique and controversial experiment.
Natalia Avseenko, 36, was persuaded to strip naked as marine experts believe belugas do not like to be touched by artificial materials such as diving suits.
The skilled Russian diver took the plunge as the water temperature hit minus 1.5 degrees Centigrade."

(D.R.): Now, I'm not too crazy about the reason for this. They are trying to train the whales to be used to human contact so they can be delivered to zoos like Sea World.

From the article:
"The average human could die if left in sub-zero temperature sea water for just five minutes.
However, Natalia is a yoga expert and used meditation techniques to hold her breath and stay under water for an incredible ten minutes and 40 seconds."

I couldn't do it. You know what cold water does to guys...