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.

Friday, November 07, 2003


Check out what the sports guy has to say about the coming NBA season. For the most part I agree with him, whether he is Weeding Out The West, Denouncing the Least in the East, or Crowning the Champs.

On top of that he found our...


Andre Miller former LA Clipper Point Guard: "I ain't doin' sh-t for the Clippers!"

The Democratic race looks pretty much up for grabs. But after reading this article from the New Republic I'm pretty sure that Howard Dean will end up with the nomination. He has the two most important elements for winning the nomination, money and organization. Also check out this story for some interesting stories on how Mondale got the nomination in 1984 and fat Ted Kennedy almost won in 1980.

The United States has never had an official language. This is because everybody that came to the great melting pot just automatically learned English. It was a symbol of national pride that people would cast off their old allegiances and fight, work, and die for the land of opportunity. However, this is becoming less the case these days as many immigrants refuse to learn English, while the forces of multi-culturism make excuses for their ignorance. Sure, it's fun for me to speak BAD Spanish to Mexicans at work...

necessities alimento perque la prostata es muy grande.

Si, medicaid para los coches empieza en el primero del partido.

Quanto arboles viven en su casa?

You would be surprised at how quickly they start speaking English with me after a few sentences of that. But the point is, it is confusing for both parties when communication between countrymen is impossible.
Well luckily Congress is taking steps to reverse this divisive problem. In the past, I was never in favor of a national language until I visited Europe. After seeing the infighting in Spain between the Basques, Catalins, and Castillians, I realized how important unity is to a nation. Because the nation that cannot even be unified in language will not be unified in a time of threat and crisis. For a nation-state to truly work the people have to be bonded together by similar threads. The most important of these being language. If you disagree, take a look at the regional nationalism found in Spain and Italy. People say that they are Florentine, Roman, or Basque before they identify themselves as members of the larger nation-state. This makes their commitment to their nation as deep as their momentary self-interest, which is a very real threat to any government that seeks to stand the test of time.

Thursday, November 06, 2003


Was it Trick-Or-Treat Rage or Shenanigans afoot again in A2?

Instead of breaking down losses Seth has decided to use his powers of sports commentary for good and has broken down the 15 types of UM football victories....

"Okay, even the most pessimistic Michigan fan (which is like saying "even the bad players on the Detroit Tigers") has to admit that the Wolverines win a whole lot more than they lose. So in the name of unbiased coverage, and in honor of their most recent victory in East Lansing that saved me from another year of harassment from the family members who didn't do as well in high school, here's a chart for Michigan winning.

1. The "You're Kidding Me, I Turned It Off Already!" Win:

Nothing exemplifies this one better than the Minnesota game this year, when the boys in blue somehow found a way to turn a "John Navarre road loss" into a stunning comeback victory. But there have been others. 1995, the first game of the season, I turned off the TV at the end of the 3rd quarter, far too frustrated with our absolutely anemic offense to waste any more of my Saturday. We came back to beat Virginia. Washington last year also sticks out.

2. The "Thanks, guy" win.

This is when Michigan gets into a close game, seems about to lose it any second, and then somebody on the other team gets knocked on the head, wakes up thinking he's a Vietnamese hooker, and pulls off a play that would get a kid thrown off the Yeshiva High School JV team. Examples: Wisconsin 2001 - the score was tied with U-M forced to punt and 1:40 left to play - ample time for the Badgers to put together a winning field goal drive. But the punt bounced off the returner's leg when he tried to run away from it, and a seldom-used Michigan senior CB (whose big brother was just released from federal prison) fell on it to put us a 35-yard FG try away from a win. Thanks, guy. Also note: Alabama, Jan. 1, 2000, Orange Bowl, 2OT, Tide score a TD to pull within 1 then miss the extra point. Thanks, guy. 1998, we punt to Iowa, Michigan up 10-9 with 2:00 left in the 4th, Kahlil Hill catches it on his own 5-yard line (doh), gets chased back into the end-zone (doh) and then gets tackled for a safety (doh!), taking the life out of Iowa and sealing the Michigan victory, 12-9. Thanks, guy. Late 1997, someone in the University of Hawaii athletics office suggests at the meeting, "You know what, we should really fly Michigan out here next year to get some national exposure." Thanks, guy.

3. The "thanks, guy in stripes" win

Closely related to the "thanks, guy" except it's an official who gives us the game rather than a player. A-Train fumbles on the goal line against Illinois in 2000 and the ref says he was down..thanks, guy in stripes. Penn State's driving to avoid overtime at Ann Arbor in 2002 and the ref calls a PSU catch out of bounds when the guy had an NFL two-feet plant. Oh well, thanks, guy in stripes. MSU at Michigan in 2000, nobody can score, it's 7-0 Michigan after the half and T.J. Duckett fumbles after running out-of-bounds, but the officials give Michigan the recovery by Victor Hobson and U-M drives 92 yards to go up 14-0, final score. Thanks, guy in stripes. Note: there've been more "screw you, guy in stripes" games for Michigan than otherwise, highlighted by two particular goofs with MSU.

4. The "Bo was here" Win

These could account for virtually every Michigan win from 1969 to 1990, but they still come back every once in awhile today. You see, Bo Schembechler was a Woody Hayes assistant who stole from Woody his genious strategy: recruit really big offensive linemen and really big running backs and run up the We successfully ignored the forward pass for decades before getting with the 20th century, but as this week's peformance from Perry demonstrates, we're not above going back to "Three Yards and a Cloud of Dust" philosophy. Its simplicity is its brilliance. As one sports commentator this weekend put it, "Michigan came into this game with the best passing offense in the Big Ten. Michigan State came in as the worst passing defense in the Big Ten. So what does Michigan do? Run the ball, run the ball, run the ball, and run the ball, 60 times for 250 yards." This style may be boring, but it's great for rivalry games, because every play we're up there going, 1st down, "EAT IT", 2nd down, "EAT IT", 3rd down, "EAT IT"..1st down....

5. The "Beat-down in the Big House" win

What's worse than getting embarassed by a bully in front of 20 of his friends? Getting embarrassed by a bully in front of 111,000 of his friends. Purdue, Illinois and Notre Dame this year, MSU last year, all of those WAC, MAC, and Sun-Belt wimps every year, Illinois and Minnesota in 2001, Penn State in 2000, Purdue and Northwestern in 1999. That beauty against Penn State in 1998. Colorado in 1997. Purdue in 1995. Purdue in 1993. Purdue every time since the late '60s that they've visited Ann Arbor...y'know, some teams just shouldn't keep visiting Ann Arbor.

6. The "Scores can Lie" win

I'm not going to name names here, because this qualifies for a good sum of Michigan wins throughout history. You know the type: U-M has a stymying defense, plays keepaway on offense all day, then lets the other team chip their 28-point deficit to 11 against Michigan's JV girl's golf team and tackling practice dummies in the 4th quarter. Okay, fine, best example: at Purdue 2002.

7. The "Schedule Indiana for Homecoming" Win.

Yes, I purposely left some particularly nasty games against the Hoosiers out of the other categories, but Purdue isn't the only Indiana team who would have been better off staying home trying to invent the longer-lasting light-bulb than making the trip up North. Indiana for the last decade or so can always be counted on for getting those old alumni cheerleaders doing 40-plus back-flips. And you thought we only kept them around in the Big Ten for their basketball credibility...

8. The "Let's Forget this one, and talk about the Rose Bowl or something" win

Michigan goes to face a 2-10 cupcake, then suddenly finds themselves scrounging for points by the 3rd quarter. At Indiana in 1999, coming off a tough loss at MSU and a huge home upset from the Illini tribe, Michigan made it a close one, winning by a field goal late. But the best example is the 10-7, LFTOATATRBOS victory-like thingy against the Utah Utes last year. At Iowa in 2001 (Marquise Walker's God-hand catch) was like that, too.

9. The "Don't come in ranked above us, bastards" Win

Michigan State was set for a win this year, before making the horrible mistake of getting ranked in Top Ten, getting Michigan to take them seriously and hand them a serious pounding (EAT IT!...2nd down...EAT IT....3rd down...). A few weeks ago, Purdue comes to town in the top 10 with Michigan still reeling from its 2nd loss in Iowa. See "Beat-down in the Big House." 1999, Penn State looks to be BCS bound behind #1 and #2 overall draft picks, Courtney Brown and LaVarr Arrington, stumbling to #6 against Minnesota then getting both blue chips injured when #16 Michigan rolled into Happy Valley. Happy Alamo Bowl, suckers. 1995, Ohio State is ranked #2 and only a trip to Ann Arbor away from a perfect season. Boom! 31-23. Following year, Ohio State is ranked #2 and only a visit from Michigan away from a perfect season. Boom! 13-9. (see the "Thanks, guy named Cooper" Win) Penn State's ranked #3 and only a visit from also unbeaten Michigan and a few Big Ten cupcakes away from a perfect season. Final score: 34-8. U-M loses occasionally to lower-ranked teams that end the year higher, but as underdogs, they've only lost to Ohio State since I've been growing facial hair.

10. The ever-beloved "Coop Troop Poop Shoot" aka "Thanks, guy named Cooper" win

On 2/10/01, the world celebrated official John Cooper day. John Cooper being the Ohio State coach for 13 otherwise fantastic seasons for Ohio State. 2-10-1 being his record againt Michigan during his career there. Those 10 wins, stretching from 1988 to 2000, varied from close ones to blow-outs to upsets, but every one made me wriggle my toesies in pleasure. Thanks, guy named Cooper.

11. The "Shit-canned and askin' ol' Tondar for foodstamps" win

Part of being Michigan is that no matter if its Ohio State or Miami (Ohio), everyone circles you on their calendar as the game of the season. The upside of this is that the Wolverines have had a number of opportunities to personally end the careers of some otherwise good head coaches. In the '80s, people remarked that the game had passed poor Woody Hayes by after getting embarrassed by former assistant Bo, leading to the great coach's retirement. In 2000, Drew Henson and co. marched into Columbus in the snow to romp Cooper's Buckeyes to the tune of 38-26. Henson may have gone on to play really bad baseball there, but Cooper never got to see it, having been sent out of town after the game. After getting a good, ol'fashioned "Beat-down in the Big House," MSU coach Bobby Williams remarked that he didn't know if he'd lost control of his team and got booted before the Spartans took the field again. Cooper accepted a position as a "financial engineer" at Falcon Group. Williams is now selling stolen speakers out of a van. All 'cause Michigan had to go out and win football games.

12. The "Joe Paterno is our Bitch" Win

Penn State was admitted into the Big Ten in 1994. They beat Michigan in their first two conference meetings before losing the #4 vs. #3 match-up to the eventual champion Wolverines in '97. The following year, Michigan beat the crap out of them in a convincing 27-0 shut-out. The afformentioned '99 upset sent Paterno's squad on their way to a lackluster finish to what should have been their big season. They lost 33-11 at Michigan in 2000, got embarrassed at home in 2001 20-0, then had their big season last year ruined in a heart-breaking Ann Arbor OT loss. Trust me, for all the "Michigan doesn't have to play Penn State this year" talk at the beginning of the season, PSU is happier than we are about the 2003-04 hiatus. JoePa's a really great coach, one of the best all-time, one of the good guys you want to root for, and quite simply, Michigan's bitch.

13. The "Barry Alvarez is our Bitch" win

Wisconsin makes it closer than Penn State can manage, but in the last six-year stint in the Big Ten's rotating schedule, the Badgers went 0-6 against Lloyd Carr's Wolverines. Even the two years they went to the Rose Bowl, 98 and 99, Barry's boys fell to Michigan. For all the "Michigan doesn't have to play Wisconsin" talk at the beginning of the season, believe you me, Wisconsin is happier than we are about the 2003-04 hiatus. Barry Alvarez is a great coach, has done magnificient things with that program, and is, quite simply, Michigan's bitch.

14. The "Whew!" win

Some teams are really great at coming back and winning by one to six points with no time left on the clock. Not Michigan, who is really good at going up by one to six points with 1:49 left on the clock. What typically ensues is a 40-yard march down the field, followed by a hail mary that gets intercepted, time running out, or some bull shit event that doesn't go on this chart but gets talked about for f-ing ever and makes you hate Kordell Stewart or T.J. Duckett for their entire NFL careers. Okay, off topic...back to wins... Usually, like I said, time runs out on the opponent (Notre Dame 1999, shoulda been MSU 2001) or they throw an intercepted Hail Mary pass (Boston College 1996, WSU in the Rose Bowl 1997, Ohio State 1997, Iowa 1997, Minnesota 1998, Iowa 1998, Wisconsin 2000, Auburn in the Citrus Bowl 2001, Iowa 2001 - okay, it was a 4th and 1 incompletion but he could have intercepted it..batting it down did the job, Wisconsin 2002 same thing, Michigan State 2002. Whew! And you wonder why Michiganders are more prone to heart attacks than other states...

15. The "Wait, HE can't do that!" Win

This is when one of our players who's known for doing something wrong wins us the game by not being, well, himself. Take Washington 2002; Michigan lines up for a long field goal try with seconds left on the clock for the win. The kicker: notoriously not-on-target Phil Brabbs, who finished the season with 3 FGs in 9 tries. What does he do? Knocks it between the uprights. Huh. Another one? John Navarre loses to ranked teams on the road. He always loses to ranked teams on the road - every one of them since UCLA his freshman season. So this year he's following the playbook, almost comeback and all, and then instead of throwing an interception or letting a 4th down throw sail on him, Navarre is pristine and pulls off the win. Last one: 1991 and Michigan is battling it out with Notre Dame. Desmond Howard, at the gates of his Heisman campaign, is known (as he was always) for dropping catches. He was always a return specialist first. Not exactly the guy you'd think would make a reception to go down in lore as "the catch." So anyway, the Irish had beaten U-M three straight years in a row, were playing incredibly tough, and there was little time left to come back from a 3-pt. deficit. At 4th and short on ND's 23-yard line, Michigan QB Elvis Grbac surprises everyone by dropping back and launching a floater towards the end-zone. It looks like it's overthrown, but Howard speeds beneath it, stretches out his 5'10" frame as far as it will go, and reaches out of the end zone to make a leaping score. Michigan wins 27-24.

Go Blue!

and PLEASE make the Ohio State game one of the above."

Here is a good summary from Andrew Sullivan that discusses Bush's re-election prospects for 2004. Sorry Seth, but things are still looking good.

Here is a review from the NYTimes of the rereleased Beatles album "Let It Be...Naked." Since we never got to go behind the music in 1970 there is also an interesting history included in the article about the original "Let It Be."

Wednesday, November 05, 2003


Here is the full text of that Democratic memo. I am especially shocked at the format as it lays out a 3 step partisan rubric for attacking the President regardless of what the intelligence committee finds. On top of that I have been watching the major liberal news sources and neither the New York Times nor MSNBC have even picked up the story. This is absolutely sickening.

Look who might get out of prison next month. Though, I probably wouldn't have him babysit my children. Well, unless they wet the bed, had red hair, or did something else really bad.

Yesterday CBS canceled the mini-series starring her husband as Ronald Reagan. Now she is pissed and riding off on her high horse of artistic freedom. Sorry Babs, it's not censorship if a company makes a business decision NOT to offend 1/3 of America.

Patti Davis sets the record straight on the CBS Reagan movie. You would think if they were going to make a movie about the Reagan family they would have actually talked TO the Reagan family.

Check out this FOXVIEW about how France helpped the United States succeed in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Sure, they betrayed their NATO "ally," but the intelligence they provided Baghdad was so wrong it led to our quick victory. Interesting stuff.

This is one of the worst things I have heard in a long time. In addition, I did not hear anything about it at all this morning from mainstream media when I was watching NBC's Today show. A memo was leaked revealing Senate Democrats plan to politicize the Intelligence Committee to optimally hurt President Bush in next year's elections. Because of the depravity of the situation I will simply quote the FOXNEWS article...

"Among other things, the memo recommends that Democrats "prepare to launch an investigation when it becomes clear we have exhausted the opportunity to usefully collaborate with the [Senate] majority. We can pull the trigger on an independent investigation of the administration's use of intelligence at any time — but we can only do so once ... the best time would probably be next year." ...

"In a statement, Roberts said that the memo "appears to be a road map for how the Democrats intend to politicize what should be a bipartisan, objective review of prewar intelligence." ...

""I have no idea how this became public. I am a little stunned. You can't politicize the Intelligence Committee. The memo is blatantly partisan. Members of the committee on the Republican side are frustrated, outraged and indignant. I hope we can get past this," Roberts said. "

Absolutely horrible! While Americans are dying in Iraq, Democrats are plotting how to turn this into political oppurtunism. I think this is official proof that Democrats have lost it. Instead of figuring out how to best serve their nation and the good of the American people they use this as a chance to attack the President with whom they disagree. There may have been a point where an investigation would have validity to it, but the memo makes it clear they are going to launch an investigation regardless of what they find in the Intelligence Committee. In addition, to politicize the intelligence committe is simply dangerous for the security of this nation. The CIA and FBI rely on this committee to be non-partisan so they can continue to work with it and trust that their isn't used for one party's gain. Frankly, I don't have the words to describe my shock and outrage at this revelation. I will be posting more on this later.

Tuesday, November 04, 2003


Looks like Coolio could be in Gangsta's Paradise until 2018.

Some monkeys were misbehaving in India this week and I'm Sure all of you asked yourself, "Is this the work of the Monkey Republic of the Love Grotto?" Well Philosopher King Mojo issued this statement...

"India dirty. Love Grotto dirty. Monkeys poops and eats people food bad. Me not responsible for monkeys outside Republic. Send Foreign Minister William Jennings Bryant to India. He throw up. He say monkeys bad. He give help to India. He throw up again. He bring back candy and fruit and cake and twinkie and ice cream. No altoids. Republic want help to fight water softener and washing machine. India good. Bad Monkeys bad."

I don't think I can say it any clearer myself Mr. Mojo.

Last night I was trying to decide where I wanted to go in Spain. I'm leaving in 2 weeks so I figured it's time to get on with the planning. I only have 10 days to see most of Southern Spain and the Madrid area so I was looking through my photos to see where I have been and how the record compared to my memory. Surprisingly my memory was a 100 times better than the photos. Here are my thoughts on what I saw...

1) The first time I went to Spain was right after graduation. There were actually alot of pictures from graduation and to tell you the truth they all sucked. They were all of people I have no desire to remember or see again. In fact, now that I think about it; highschool can suck it.

2) The pictures I did have of Spain sucked. For having spent over 2 weeks there, I had only a handful of ok pictures. There were many days that I was either too hung over or simply forgot to bring my camera along. In one set I found a note from Katherine saying, "you sure were drunk alot!" In addition, when I took my photos I had no concept of framing and often I didn't even understand the dimensions of my own camera as heads were cut off on top or people sliced from the sides. On top of that I would take pictures of the stupidest things; random fountains, random alter pieces, moorish doorways, and buildings. But these weren't buildings of significance like cathedrals or the El Ambra. these were modern office buildings or the endless landscape of crappy innercity euro-homes. Crap, nothing but total crap! Even beautiful scenery was fouled up with powerlines, random people, or were simply blurred from being taken in a moving vehicle. There was only one highlight, a picture in Barcelona of a little boy dumpster diving. This was my favorite because I called it "...Just Like Oscar The Grouch." At least I still hated the poor back then too.

2) Two years later I returned in the summer of Y2K. That time I went to run with the bulls in Pamplona and hang out with my friend from highschool, Saioa. Well, Saioa ended up going crazy so I spent most of my time with my new self-proclaimed best friend, Julene (Saioa's younger sister). I did have a few adventures but my photos were not that much better than my previous trip. There were too many shots of people drinking. Especially, extreme closeups of Julene's tonsils and some nice photos from the night I almost died (Ugh! six-day hangover). the best photos on this trip were taken in Pamplona leading up to the moment I became a man and survived the 3/4 mile run with the bulls. However, most of the action photos I took to document my courage did not turn out because my film was too slow. These include part of my blurred head and a roof in one, and the blurred bull that almost gored me as I dove out of the crowd he attacked in another. Just like 1998, for having spent 3 weeks in Spain I had very few pictures. My framing and shot selection were still VERY POOR at this point. The worst was a diagonal picture at the main gateway into Toledo. Holy crooked bridge Batman, Tondar sure sucks!

3) My third trip to was last June. This trip finally had photos worthy of the Destroyer. They were well framed and contained either beautiful scenery, or interesting sites with people occaissionally mixed in. From La Sagrada Familia to El Escorial there were plenty of great pictures, both thematically and artistically.

If there is one thing that can be taken away from all of this it is the evolution of Tondar. Starting just after highschool the legend and the adventures began. However, this growing period was not finished until I could bring some balance and both recognize a true Kodak moment and have the skill to create a decent photographic record of it. I'm looking forward to going to Spain. Not just because I won't have to deal with poor people and hear how it's my fault they made bad choices in their life. But this time I will be exploring the same cathedrals, palaces, and bars with a Tondar frame of mind. And this time I will be able to document my adventure. Between the blog and photos, hopefully I will be able to show you every beer, church, and death march.

This didn't post Friday so I am putting it up here again. This is a great column from the New Republic. It explores the political difficulties in the post-cold war era. It seems both Republicans and Democrats have been making foreign policy decisions based on partisan grounds. From Kosovo to Iraq, the members of both parties parties have made their decisions (for the most part) based on who is President instead of the best course for America and the world. Though it's kind of sad, it does make sense.
Broken Blogger

Assuming this posts, check out this article from Slate about the relationship between haliburton and Iraqi contracts. Bush-haters will be surprised. Turns out there is a positive correlation, but it is not statistically significant.

From The Ministers Quartet "Let Me Touch Him" to Devastatin' Dave the Turntable Slave's "Zip Zap Rap," this is quite the horrible collection. Though, they left out the Kelly Family, who of course should never be confused with the Dayton Family.

Monday, November 03, 2003


In the tradition of Pat Buchanan's latest book, Thomas Friedman of the NYTimes has an interesting column that ponders the end of Western Civilization. He differs from Buchanan in that he sees a greater division between America and Europe, instead of a mutual decline from within. It's worth a read to see the same result from a more liberal source.