Tondar's Daily Rant

Prepare yourself for the writings of Tondar the Destroyer, Baron of Atlanta, Rightful Heir to the Throne of Spain, from whom all babies come. As his will be blogged, so let it be done.

Saturday, August 30, 2003

ANGRY DRUNK

So last night ole Tondar was at a party. Everybody was having a good time until one douche bag decided that he didn't like Tondar. I'm not sure why, but he started chasing me around. I think he might have been retarded or something. Well I went into the kitchen and he thought he had me trapped, but luckily I outsmarted him and climbed out the window onto the porch. He then started yelling at me through the window so I told him to "be cool." But he was anything but cool. At this point for some odd reason he grew a vagina and demanded that we leave the party. Well in the words of Tucker Max "If he can't take a joke then fuck him." I just don't understand why people have to be such haters.

Friday, August 29, 2003

THE RADICALIZATION OF SACKETT

It looks like Sackett has plans for this weekend. He just sent me this email...

"I wanted to make an announcement to those yezamen whom I haven't told about my plans this fall. I'm going to be doing something very unusual; diag-preaching. Now I know what you're thinking, those guys are crazy out there on the diag--and you're right. But I figure just because it's been done badly in the past, that's not to say it can't be done right. Not everyone will go to an evangelistic meeting like Crusade or somewhere to hear the gosel--so if they won't come and hear the good news, then it's going to come to them!

Part of the way I'm going to draw a crowd is to give free money away for trivia questions. September 2nd, at 12 noon will be the first day I'm going to do it. Probably once a week maybe a bit more often than that, we'll see how it goes. Talk soon!"

As Merkle pointed out, "In the Catholic Church, we dont misspell "Gospel."
DEMOCRATIC CONTROLLED SENATE

Republicans may have a majority in the Senate but it's Ted Kennedy who's calling the shots. Check out Bob Novak's column about how he has turned the tables on the majority and now dominates debate and voting.

Thursday, August 28, 2003

SETH ON GERRYMANDERING

Seth has another political rant for us. But this time he actually makes some good points regarding Congressional redistricting. However, his plan to change the system is flawed in that it relies on current politics. What happens if the Democratic party splits? They are not going to be able to hold Catholics and Jews while catering to labor, blacks, feminists, and environmentalists. He is correct to point out that America generally has a 2 party system. But there are times when things get socialist, progressive, reformist, or one party simply collapses (Whigs) that this plan just would not hold up. Seth makes a good point is saying that its a good idea to limit new gerrymandering to right after the census. Because I still don't understand why the Republicans have picked 2003 to redraw Texas. it seems VERY partisan to me. And basically only serves to turn people off from politics and create greater frustration among voters. But see what you think...

SETH'S SECOND MANIFESTO

One of the most corrupt aspects of the U.S. government since the Constitution was ratified has been gerrymandering. After every census, whether they're a Democrat, Republican, Democratic-Republican, Whig, or No-Nothing, elected representatives have hardly ever flinched at re-distristricting electoral zones to strengthen their party's control. Even today, Congressional re-districting is completely subject to partisan gerrymandering, whether the party is strengthening a district for a weak candidate or actively trying to undermine (or dispose of) the district of their opponent. The corrupt practice leads to partisanship, fringe candidates, and representative disassociation with the
electorate. I believe that it's necessary for each subsequent re-districting plan to be accomplished either by a bi-partisan commission or through much more stringent codes outlined in a Constitutional Amendment.

Though both parties are very guilty of this, the Republicans are
slightly worse about it. I base this statement on the fact that they
alone have an official Party mandate from President Bush to win or
strenghthen Republican seats through manipulation of re-districting and
that Republican re-districting plans, when you look at a map, are often
the most obviously bogus. Understand, this has a lot to do with the
Party's strength in rural districts (where population density is lower).
A century ago, when Democrats were stronger in rural America, it was the opposite. Republican re-districting often breaks up larger municipal
areas (like Ann Arbor) and ties them to large areas of farm country. Also related to this rural, Conservative backbone, population of each
district gets way off key. You'd think, given that they're supposed to
be using the census, that each district would have to have an even
number of people, but in reality, it's not uncommon to find twice as
many possible voters in an urban district than a rural one.

Understand, however, that of what we've discussed, even though it sounds kind of like dirty politics, the Republicans aren't doing anything their opponents wouldn't do given the same electorate. Neither party cares what's fair; it's just that whomever's in charge will use the opportunity to strengthen their position.

But recently, the Republican Party has taken this already corrupt
activity one step further. Following a mandate from President Bush,
Republican-controlled State legislatures have begun what their opponents
call "midnight gerrymandering," that is, re-districting without a
census. The corrupt activity is pretty blatant: we have control for the
moment, let's keep it that way. The Republican-controlled State
Legislature in Colorado was the first to follow Bush's directive,
quickly passing a re-districting plan that shored up some of their
control in suburban Denver areas (long-held GOP seats that had become
contentious with urban sprawl). Then they tried it in Texas, where
Senate Democrats fled to Oklahoma, then New Mexico, to prohibit a quarum
and defeat the midnight gerrymander. Currently, the Colorado
re-districting plan is being challenged (it could make it to the U.S.
Supreme Court) on the basis that the Colorado Constitution says to only
re-district after a census.

Would the Democrats do the same? I tried looking but I couldn't find
any examples of a non-census re-districting plan ever occurring before,
but from my knowledge of U.S. history I have to believe that it has
happened numerous times. The corruption demonstrated by the GOP in
Colorado, Texas, and Bush's administration doesn't hold a candle to Boss
Tweed and Tammany Hall. However, considering the modern Democratic
Party's affiliation with intellectuals and minorities (who are generally
quicker to chastise corruption in their ranks) I would suggest that the
Dems try to keep their own gerrymandering practices a bit quieter.

That doesn't mean that a revolt against the GOP would stop the
corruption, not by a long-shot. We need a way to stop gerrymandering
altogether. The excuse of "everybody's doing it" cannot be accepted any
longer. By strengthening incumbent seats, it makes representatives less
attuned to their constituencies, completely undermining the ideal of
Jeffersonian democracy. Rather than Congress existing as a collection of
varying interests, it just encourages partisanship. I know this is hard
to prove, but think about it; you're a U.S. Representative from one of
the suburban Colorado districts who won the closest election in history
and you just know that during your time in office, more supporters of
your opponent are moving in. Believe me, you'd be paying close attention
to your district the next two years. But if party leaders were able to
manipulate your seat so that you were more secure, your allegiance would
change. It's now the party, not your constituents, that you need most to
get re-elected. I know this is an over-simplification but you have to
agree with its affects.

Currently re-districting battles are the most partisan votes in the
country. The Colorado plan was along straight party lines, the first
such vote for 30 years. Texas, which prided itself on bi-partisanship,
not only split along party lines but Democrats were forced to evacuate
the State, effectively shutting down the government and ruining their
bi-partisan tradition.

If voters can agree on anything, it's that partisanship and incumbency,
which are irrevocably tangled, are an affront to American democracy.
Finding a way to end gerrymandering would be the single greatest step we
coud take towards ending the corruption of straight-line party politics
and representative disassociation with the electorate.

But to do so isn't easy at all, not least because it's the same
lawmakers who've benefited from the corruption who are now in power.
There are other problems associated with curtailing gerrymandering
practices and making more districts a toss up. U.S. House
Representatives are up for re-election every two years. If re-election
wasn't almost ensured, they'd have to spend a lot more of that time
campaigning (which also gets pretty costly). You'd also have a much
faster turnover between representatives so that it'd be difficult for
most lawmakers to rise up the ranks. Sure, a lot of incubents would
still win every time, but I think you'd find a lot of younger candidates
would have trouble establishing a base of power. My answer to this,
however, is so what? When things settled, you'd have a lot of
ultra-Conservatives and ultra-Liberals replaced by centric candidates
who, by definition, would be much more apt to support bi-partisan
initiatives.

But the most valid opposition to a bi-partisan commission determining
re-districting is that it takes the decision away from the voters.
Currently, re-districting occurs in the State legislatures. It's a bill,
passed as legally as any other law by elected lawmakers. Under the
Constitution, this gives it the utmost legitimacy. But I would suggest
that the Constitution didn't plan for political parties. Our system has
since grown up around them, and I don't believe that the two-party
system is bad for America. But in this case, I think it's clear we need
an amendment to stem the amount of power the parties may exert on our
system. Such an amendment would, for the first time, actually
acknowledge the two-party system legally, but since it's existed over
200 years already, I don't think that creates very much of a problem.

The problem is, I don't have a clue how the whole thing could work. Can
we take a State Congressional vote out of the process? How do you
specify a committee to have an equal number of both major parties
without the Constitution favoring Democrats and Republicans. What if the
commission included 8 Democrats, 8 Republicans, and 4 Green Party
members; wouldn't such a commission just go right back to the corruption
we have now?

Here's my solution, and I beg you to pick it apart as much as you
will:

1. The U.S. Congress must pass an amendment that prohibits any State
from signing into law a re-districting plan unless it
a) Follows the guidelines outlined in the Constitution
b) Comes within 2 years of a Census and another re-districting plan has not been passed since the last Census
c) Has not been approved by the U.S. House and U.S. Senate bi-partisan commissions and ratified by the President. Each congressional commission must consist of no more than half of the Majority Leader/Speaker of the House's party and no fewer members of the acknowledged Minority Leaders' parties than there are representatives from the majority party. This approval shall only be affirmed through a 2/3 majority of the commission.
d) The re-districting plan must be passed by all parties within 2 years of the Census year.

2. Each State Congress sets up its own bi-partisan commission, following the same rules, and is charged with the task of devising the actual re-districting plan.

The 2/3 majority in each commission is the key to the plan, but what happens if the whole thing gets hung up? You won't have time for more than one or two shots at it, but it's mighty hard to get 2/3 of any committee to agree on something.
JOHNNY CASH'S NEXT PROJECT

It looks like Johnny Cash will have a new boxset of American Recordings out just in time for Christmas. These are the ones that he has been doing with Rick Rubin. On top of that it seems they have American V in the works. Hopefully this one will be better than IV. As for tonight, the man in black is up for 6 VMA awards for his "Hurt" video. I'm not sure if he is performing or not. There were rumours earlier in the week but I didn't see it mentioned on MTVs website or FOXNEWS. Anyways, I hope he wins. I think "Hurt" is one of the best videos ever made. Between the editing, that dissident chord, and the cinematography it flows perfectly and creates so much emotion in just 3 minutes.
STUPID STUPID MEXICANS!

I have always wondered why many Mexicans don't even bother to learn English when they come to live and work and collect welfare in the United States. Well it turns out many of them are just plain stupid. How can they be expected to learn our language when they don't even know THEIR OWN! Por ejemplo here is an actual letter one sent to me. Note the use of willy-nilly grammer and the misspelling of even the simplest words.

Mi Madre se quedo sin trabajo y me hermano se puso muy emfermo en Mexico y me mama se tuvo que ir y aparte la cita o sitatorio llego dos dias tarde estas son las 2 rasonenes parque ella no asistio a la cita.

It's funny how they all use the same excuses even if they don't all use the same language. Como se dice "beat it?" Ah yes, "BATELO!"

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

DRAKE UPDATE

Ever wonder what happened to Paul Drake? Well Seth and James both stumbled upon this little gem. Enjoy!
CLASSIC QUOTES OF THE WEEK

I was looking through my ole Pine UM emails and I found these li'l gems from Oct 2000...

Quote of the week: Merkle at a party Saturday night--"Tondar, where the hell did your shirt go!?!?!"

Quote of the week: Tres: Though the BJ alarm clock would be great. Where are you gonna find the person that is willing to get up before 8am?

Quote of the week: Tres--All I know is that it's an opera and the scenary includes a gate with breasts for handles and its surrounded by penises.

Quote of the week: So youre the one that introduced the "hot Carl" to Tres' mom. Thanks for ruining it for us all! --Merkle



ENDGAME IN IRAQ

Check out this FOXVIEW that says that the current situation in Iraq is much more stable then the media reports. The current tactics of murder and attacks on soft-targets acutally represent the desperate end of the resistance. Hopefully this is true and Iraq will soon be self governed and self policed enough to eventually start bringing home our American heroes. It's good to hear a voice in the media actually offer a positive strategic analysis.

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

LESSON IN JOURNALISM

In case you were unsatisfied with Seth's reasoning behind the liberal media bias, Walter Cronkite does a much better job explaining it. He seems to think that journalists are closer to the ills of society and thus more understanding. Personally I don't think this really stands up since the liberal philosophy to replace responsibility with more government is inherently flawed. But at least Cronkite doesn't have to rip Bush and look for clandestine conspiracies.
THE PRESIDENTIAL POLITICAL PARADOX

Here are some statistics on the casualties for Operation Iraqi Freedom. Compared to WWII and Vietnam the numbers aren't even close. In fact, more Americans are murdered everyday in America than are killed on a daily basis in Iraq. However, if the media continues to promote the Vietnamesque attitude of doom and gloom it could easily create a situation forcing America to withdraw. This would be a disaster for two reasons. First, it would leave Iraq in chaos and create a power vacuum which could be filled with an Iranian invasion and an expansion of their Shiite Dictatorship. Secondly, it would send a signal to the world that America cannot be trusted to follow through on its commitments. This would quickly erode American prestige and lead to an emboldening of our enemies.

At this point it doesn't really matter why we went to war. It only matters that we win and help create a better Iraq. But before we start blaming Bush for the worst debacle in foreign policy history we need to give the situation some time. If a year from now Iraq is still a chaotic mess then Bush will have a slim chance of being reelected. However, if the situation stabalizes and a free and democratic Iraq emerges (with free flowing oil) then there is no way Bush can lose. Unfortunately for all you Bush hating liberals, through Iraq, our President has created a paradox that ties his reelection to the success and prestige of American power. If we fail then he fails, and if we succeed then he will succeed. And unfortunately there is no way to seperate the two at this time. At some point, this issue may be resolved and another issue will dominate voter's minds. But do not fool yourself into thinking that the American people would trust a Democrat with the war on terror and the reconstruction of Iraq. Is Howard Dean really gonna stop Al Qeada? Will Dick Gephardt be able to flex American power with the same retributional force as Bush? Do you honestly think that Gore would have even invaded Afghanistan after September 11th? It's certain that the Arab world would not vote to reelect Bush. Sure, you may not agree with the man's policies but through a very brilliant political move he has created a situation where his reelection becomes a matter of national security and prestige. If Democrats are to have a shot in 2004 they need one of two scenarios. First, an impossibly quick resolution in Iraq followed by the current economic recovery ending in a meltdown. Or Dems will win with a continuing "quagmire" of failed policy (Nixon did this in 1968 (Vietnam) and Regan did this in 1980 (Iran)). However, to hope for either of these scenarios would be rather unamerican. Liberals will never give Bush any credit. But it looks like once again he has politically set himself up for a win-win scenario.
HOW BLACK IS BLACK?

The Supreme Court's ruling in the two UofM affirmative action cases has raised another question. How black is black? I was discussing this point a while back, because for a factor of such importance for college admissions, how do you decide what precentage constitutes a minority. Secondly, how do you prove it? Take my "media-gringa" friend Julene. She is as white as Tondar with blond hair and green eyes. Yet since her Dad comes from a Spanish speaking country (Spain), and she is fluent in Spanish, does that make her Hispanic? Does it matter that her Spanish Dad is just as white and has blue eyes? He is technically a part of hispanic world. Thus making Julene half hispanic. Yet she went to the same highschool as Tondar and culturally very American. Using the federal government's Native American percentile (33%) this would be a high enough percentage to have her qualify for free schooling and casino money.

For Universities and people concerned with true equality this becomes a difficult issue because the liberals want to legislate their personal interpretation of "equality" from the bench. However, with regard to matters of race it is impossible to nail down any exact percentage that can truly define a minority. Race is a very fluid thing, as the human animal has always blurred the lines that society creates. It simply boggles my mind that the only way for liberals to correct past racism is to create a caste system of modern racism that makes some groups arbitrarily more equal than others.
BACKWARDS MAP

Here's an interesting column from Hal Lindsay on why the Roadmap to Peace is flawed. It seems that once again the Palestinian Authority is anything but a true authority and in the meantime Israel is chastized for building a security fence to protect its citizens. Also check out the chilling quote at the end from the Book Of Zechariah.