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, March 20, 2004

"I DON'T FALL DOWN!"

John Kerry decided to take some time out for himself this week and go snowboarding. As he was going down the mountain, a secret service agent moved into Kerry's way causing a bit of a spill.

"When asked a moment later about the incident by a reporter on the ski run, Kerry said sharply, "I don't fall down," the "son of a b*itch knocked me over."

Kerry Then went on to fall six more times that day. You can read all about it on the Drudge Report.
MET FULL OF TARDS

I just got back from spending the day at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Besides my usual stops in American, Spanish, and Renaissance art I also checked out the special exhibit on the Byzantine Empire. Now, alot is made about how stupid American kids are these days. But I think we have to look at adults to see where the problem starts...

These are all quotes from people older than my parents...

Old Lady: "Oh, did you know that Istanbul used to be called Constantinople!"

(Maybe you should write a song about it for They Might Be Giants)

Same Old Lady: "Constantinople was the capital of the Empire of the Romans? Well, what about Rome?"

Arguing Old Man "To Whomever Would Listen (His friend, security guard, random strangers, etc): This exhibit has a lot of great Orthodox Icons but which Orthodox church is it? The Eastern? The Russian? What do they mean by Orthodox?'
IF YOU GOT SOME TIME...

From Pigpen...

"I think I might have mentioned this to you at some point about a year ago, but for some reason I remembered this today. In any search engine look for "Hollow Earth" The results are pretty interesting in the fact that there are so freakin many. Pretty rediculous if you ask me, but intriguing nonetheless in a Jules Verne/Indiana Jones/Mulder & Scully type of way. Just thought the kids might like some crack pot exploration to peruse at their leisure."

Hollow Earth Theory is pretty crazy. If you're not sure what it is, you can look it up in the righthand column of the Crazy Science linky dink. Happy exploring!

Thursday, March 18, 2004

NOT THE BEST WAY TO SPEND TAX-PAYER MONEY

In an election year one would think that Secretary of (Self) Defense Donald Rumsfeld would find a better way to spend tax payer money than a martial arts tournament on Fang Island.

Money Quote: ""Who can deny that conflict is a purifying flame which sears away cowardice, hesitation, sentiment?all that which is unworthy in Man?"

Maybe Seth was on to something with all those "republicans are evil" tirades? Is this an election year scheme to win over undecided voters? Ya know, the Clinton administration never had to have a tournament to find the world's greatest warrior.

Though maybe The Nameless One put it best, "The technique of your opponent is like a finger pointing at the moon. Concentrate on the finger, and you will miss all that heavenly glory. That is the secret, to fight without fighting. At the last, Rumsfeld shall know what I know. I will share my victory with this... Don."
HISTORY LESSON

If you want an interesting history lesson then read this passage about the death of the Astronomer Tycho Brahe. It seems James almost had a similar incident on the night of St. Patrick's day. Though instead of a Duke, James was only hanging out with a really hot chick.
"AFTER-EFFECTS IN SPAIN"

Check out this column by George Will for the words that best describes events in Europe over the last weekend...

"Measured by the immediacy and importance of their political effect, the train bombs in Madrid were the most efficient explosions in the history of terrorism. Detonated 74 hours before polls opened in a national election, the reverberations toppled a U.S. ally."

I have been to Spain 4 times in the last 6 years and have gained a great understanding of their culture and history. However, this last election is frightening on many levels. Not only for them, but for freedom and the ideas of western democracy in general. With this election the forces of appeasement have proven that the terrorists can win. To paraphrase Churchill, Spain has put themselves in position to be consumed last by the tiger. Spain should not forget what the Islamo-fascists remember.

On January 2nd 1492, in an attempt to consolidate the Christian empires of the Iberian peninsula los Reyes Catolicos (the Catholic Monarchs) drove the last of the muslims from Spain. As they retreated from the Alhambra of Granada, the teary eyed sultan was told by his very mother "weep like a woman for what you could not defend like a man." For the 700 years prior to these last 500 years most of Spain was as muslim as Arabia. It is part of Islamo-fascist ideology to reclaim all that was lost during the reconquista. Sure, Spain might have avoided further bloodshed in the short run. But they have shown a weakness that will surely be exploited in an attempt to create a grand Islamic state by any means necessary. Authoritarians, whether facists, communists, or Islamists cannot be negotiated with. The only thing they understand, and the only power they weild is through the use of force. I am afraid of what may happen before our elections this year, now that Spain has reinforced the idea that the west is weak and fearful.

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

THE BRUNETTE

Back during the summer of 2001 I used to dream of the perfect girl. This girl would always show up in my dreams, we'd flirt, and then either I would ask her out or she would already be my girlfriend. She's a tall and thin brunette with long straight hair and she's cute, not pretty, but cute. I can never really remember her face but I would know it if I saw it. Anyways, Casey and I once got into a fight because she thought that she was the girl of my dreams. Now Casey was indeed quite the hottie. But unfortunately she was beutiful, not cute. Like most girls she didn't quite understand the difference. But between her looks and her blond hair, I was sure that there was no way she could be "The Brunette."

Well last night the Brunette returned to my dreams, just as cute as ever. We flirted a bit and we went to slip off together but we kept being interrupted by various things. Eventually I woke up without actually getting her all to myself. But I find it weird that I would start dreaming about this girl once again at this time in my life. It makes me wonder, is the ever elusive "Brunette" a metaphor for my relationship with all women or is it some sort of prophetic vision of my future wife that belongs on the pages of New Prophecy?

Just to be safe, if anybody knows the girl described above I would like to meet her :)
GHOST OF ST. PATRICK'S DAY PAST

Well another St. Patrick's Day is here. And I still haven't figured out how I'm going to celebrate my "Irish" heritage (I'm not a bit Irish at all). Most likely I will run down to the barbed beer store and pick up either a case of pabst or high life and spend the day with Sean O'Hannity. But since it's not noon in this part of the world, I have the time to reflect on some St. Patrick's Day adventures I have had in the past.

1999: This was my freshman year of college. I was taking Spanish 232 and hanging out with the cool kids from Grooves highschool in Burmingham MI. This worked out because one of their friends was a fat Costa Rican that would write all of our Spanish presentations out on note cards for us in a coherent manner to simply read in class. But anyways, after class Ben invited me back to his dorm where they had gotten a keg. In this dorm they had taken one room and moved out all the beds and furniture and converted it into the "Sixth Floor Lounge" complete with keg, record player, and more Bob Marley and Rolling Stones than you can shake a stick at. Well on this glorious day we had about 30 people crammed into this single room having a massive party complete with beer pong and flippy cup contests. This also marked the height of my smoking career as I probably consumed a full pack of Parliament Lights between 3pm and 2am that day.

Y2K: Well after the spectacular time I had freshman year, it was only logical and in Tondar fashion to take drinking to the next level in 2000. So the night before I had Merkle buy me a 30 pack of Miller Lite (It was the only 30 pack they sold that wasn't Asshouse or Beast) in preparation. Bright and early on St. Patty's morning I awoke at 9:30 and slammed 2 beers. I then went off to class. Upon my return I planted myself in front of the TV watching NCAA Tourney action enjoying one beer after another. Sure I took time to go to class, eat, and to carry on The War effort with some UM girls in the cafeteria. When my 12th hour of drinking had rolled around, we headed down to 628. Here we met the delightful Marcos. Marcos was the son of a Brittish diplomat that had grown up in Argentina (I think). Well in the tradition of Her Majesty's subjects ole Marcos was going to show us "bloody Americans" how to drink. Anyways, by midnight Marcos was in the parking lot puking his brains out while Tondar stood by taunting him with a raised can of asshouse and the words "Seems America wins this round OLE CHUM! You know if you gonna come to the House of the Cripple, you gotta be ready to roll with the Dar. 15 hours baby! 15 MOTHAFUCKING HOURS *OUW-OWUUUUUL,*" or something just as obnoxious. Marcos then came back in and passed out on the floor where he spent the rest of the night being poked and mocked by Yeza and the Troll Posse. Around 3:30 ole Tondar packed it in and went home to pass out. The next morning in response to my 18 hour binge James dropped one of the best quotes of the week on me when he IMed me, "The fact that you are awake and can
operate a computer defies all logic, physiology, etc." As for poor Marcos, he apparently had flunked out of UM (probably due to his drinking) and was scheduled to be deported back to Argentina on March 18th. That was the last anyone ever heard of the ole bloke. But we will never forget the St. Patrick's day he came into our life and witnessed the 18 hour marathon of the Dar.

2001: This year St. Patrick's day fell on a Saturday. I didn't really have any coherent plan because I dared not to push my body beyond the 18 hr marathon, especially after the night I almost drank my self to death in a flat-out, balls to the wall, 15 hr binge in Spain. That almost killed me, and I remembered my 6 day hangover all too well. So in 2001, I got up about noon and started pounding the beers Johnny Cash style. I was supposed to meet Drake at Touchdowns with some of his brown buddies, but I have to admit I wasn't too surprised when he didn't show up. So I went back home and watched more basket ball enjoying the highlife. Finally Drake got ahold of me and we went to the Li'l Brown Jug where he was boozing it up with a UM professor. We never caught his name, but we called him Dr. Venkman because he was a parapsychologist. In an attempt to coax some cool stories outta him I asked in a drunken slur. "So have you ever seen anything that's really strange?"

He then gave me this look like I had a turd on my head and said, "I've seen ALOTTA shit that's strange." Dr. Venkman then proceeded to pour himself a beer out of our pitcher.

However, Drake knew what I was getting at and redirected the conversation. Dr. Venkman then justified his beer stealing with stories of ghosts and secret tunnels under the University. He even told us of one entry point in West Hall. The next week we checked, and sure enough, Dr. Venkman's story checked out. After our time at the bar we decided to retire to 628 for some asshouse and a crazy taxi tournament. It wasn't the best St. Patty's day ever, but it was a solid adventure in UM tradition. Afterall, I drank beer for 15 hrs straight and discovered the fun of drunken crazy taxi.

2002: This year it was going to be difficult to celebrate a true St. Patrick's day like I had the previous 3 years. Especially considering I was studying abroad in Italy, and was on an official class related excursion to Venice. Nevertheless, I was able to get my hands on the last fifth of Tillamore Dew in old Venice (only 10 euros!). I then started drinking before I boarded the bus home. It also happened on this day that the Americans all learned not to ride the water taxi without a ticket because it is a 50 Euro fine. But the spirit of the Good Pirate was with me that fine day and as they had us all off to the side figuring out the best way to punish "gli Americani," I simply slipped off in a crowd of people. Yes, in the words of Margot, "Happy Birthday Tondar."

Back on the bus I guess I was smelling like Irish whiskey because some girl asked me not to drink on the bus. Well I didn't wanna be rude so I obliged and put it up. Afterall, it was only a 3 hr ride home, my shakes weren't that bad yet. But she continued to keep asking after I agreed with her. This is where the booze took over and I became obnoxiously penitent: "Alright I won't do it! I'm sorry Deborah! Do you want me to take my belt off and flail myself with it. Do you have a knife, maybe I can carve "Sorry Deborah" into my chest. OK? OK!?! WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT FROM ME?" Well, this outburst shut her up so I was happy for the quasi-sober ride home. The only other highlight was a bus sing-along of Elton John's "Tiny Dancer" like they had in the movie "Almost Famous." Back at the Villa Margot and I spent the rest of the night playing crazy eights and finishing off the fifth. Out of the 4 great St. Patrick's Days, this was the only one, I actually spent with a girl. Sure it wasn't the most Tondar, but I think it will always be my favorite.

2003: This year is hardly worth mentioning. It was a miserable St. Patrick's day because I had to be at Malebolge the next morning. Hopefully this year will be better, whatever adventures are in store for ole Tondar. But speaking of the store...
WHERE ARE THE JOBS?

Right now the economy is running along very strongly. However, unemployment statistics still have not recovered to reflect the strength of our GDP. If you read Pat Buchanan he will blame NAFTA and global free trade. This allows America to export jobs to parts of the world with significantly cheaper labor as we head towards a labor/resource equilibrium. However, if you take a look at this Dan Drezner piece you will see the big difference during this recovery has been productivity. 1990's technology is catching up and allowing less people to do more work. In addition, with demands on employers to provide healthcare and other benefits we see an increasing cost for employers that makes them re-examine their needs before simply hiring new people. Both articles are worth the read especially if you are unemployed like ole Tondar.
FEAR OF FLIRTING

Everybody remembers back in highschool and junior high how "Sexual Harassment Panda" would come to visit and tell us not to touch or flirt with girls because this may be sexual harassment. Well, according to this FOXVIEW people are now wising up to the politcal correctness of it all and examining these things with an even hand. Now of course nobody wants the ladies to be felt up, but when good professors are driven to suicide, it crosses one's mind that feminism may have been carried a bit beyond true equality.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

CAN'T GET YOUR HEAD AROUND IT WATCH

Kashif sent me this strange li'l link.
LIBERAL TALK RADIO IS WORTHLESS

I was going to call this one Liberal Talk Radio Can Suck It, but that shows the kind of hatred I have reserved for David Letterman, poor people, or an ex-girlfriend. Basically, liberal talk radio is just too darn boring to make an impact. A while back I posted on the coming wave of Democratic funded liberal talk radio. Well recently I have been listening to liberal talk radio on the ole IMac here. It pretty much sucks. A typical exchange will go like this.

"Hello is this Veteran Steve from Detroit?"
"Yes I just wanted to talk about what that lying Bush and the neo-cons are doing to Veterans."
"Ugh Bush! He is such a liar. When are the American people gonna wake up and realize this?"
"You know who else is a liar? Rush Limbaugh!"
"Oh, I know and don't forget that, that Sean Hannity. They are just idiotic cavemen that believe the world is flat!"

Basically, there is very little substance and whatever they talk about always leads back to ad hominem attacks on their political opponents for "being evil and stupid." There is really no substance to any of their discussions or arguments.

Personally, I listen to Sean Hannity on a regular basis. I enjoy his show for the basic reason that he puts on an informative show in an entertaining manner. He talks about "the most important issues of the day." Which are usually pointing out specific examples where John Kerry has flip flopped or acted unpresidential. Or Hannity will focus on the dangers of terrorism in our world. What this boils down to is an alternative source of news and information that is different than what you will find on the NYTimes, NBC, CNN, or other liberally biased mainstream sources. Conservative talk radio is based on a rebel yell of anti-establishment news and entertainment that appeals to the third of Americans that previously had no media voicing its concerns or opinions.

But recently James sent me an article updating the future of liberal talk radio. The article says that this new medium will be lead by comedians Al Franken and Janeane Garofalo. Originally I thought this medium might fail because it cannot present a coherent anti-establishment voice. However, I am now a bit more optimistic about its chances, but for different reasons. With entertainers like Franken and Garofalo running the show, liberal talk radio will be more entertainment based. This actually gives it a very good chance of survival. If they can stay fresh and funny 5 days a week with delightfully funny jokes and gues this will succeed. It can easily become a radio version of shows such as Comedy Central's "The Daily Show" or Bill Maher's "Politically Incorrect." However, I doubt that they can really provide any substance or insight into the most important issues of the day. It will simply become its own unique form of radio entertainment. This is unfortunate for liberals, because they wanted to see a mass exodus from Rush and Hannity. However, I don't see people abandoning them anytime soon. Conservative radio works too hard to be a viable alternative to mainstream media. Liberal radio will simply echo other forms of media without the pictures. But with Garofalo involved that works out for everybody.
NO LIBERAL BIAS?

If there is no liberal bias in the media then why are staff members at the NYTimes contributing to Democrats and Green Party candidates?
LAST SUNDAY! SUNDAY! SUNDAY!

Check out ESPN's Sports Guy's running diary of Wrestlemania XX. This is a must read for anybody that has been into pro-wrestling anytime during the last 20 years. (OH YEAH!)

Monday, March 15, 2004

FULTON STREET MizALL

Last week I went out to get measured for a tuxedo for Pigpen's upcoming wedding. I searched online and the closest place was 2.1 miles away. So I set off in search of this tux shop and came across an interesting part of Brooklyn. The Fulton Street Mall is a very busy comercial street with covered sidewalks on either side. What is probably the strangest part of this areas is the fact that it is like an economically well off ghetto. There are a variety of your typical street mall fixtures such as banks, drug stores, Toys R Us, and even a Macy's. However, thrown in between all of this were a variety of fried food restaurants. From Popeye's to KFC to Long John Silver this place had it all. On top of that, the remainder of the stores consisted of jewelery stores with a wide selection of assorted bling-bling. And of course no ghetto jeweler would not be complete without their neon signs in the window advertising "gold fronts" (this is a plate of fake golden teeth that go over your own teeth and usually have letters carved into them). I actually didn't find the tux shop this day. But somehow I think the Fulton St. Mall is its own reward.
VAMPIRE BATTLE IN JACKSONVILLE

When somebody starts talking about vampires the first things that come to mind are castles in Transylvania and Domino's Pizzas in Jacksonville. Check out this story about a self proclaimed vampire slayer that shot his coworker twice. Sounds like somebody has been spending time reading the FVZA linky dink at the left. Though my only question is, if the guy wasn't really a vampire, then how did he survive being shot in the face and the stomach. Something just doesn't add up here.
IRAQ: ONE YEAR LATER

Check out this commentary that puts Operation Iraqi Freedom into historical perspective. Like FDR during the election of 1944 Bush is facing much criticism but most of it is politically motivated.

Money Quote: "If you take the partisan rhetoric out of this issue, you can see that the war effort expresses American foreign policy objectives enunciated by Republicans and Democrats over a dozen years. The struggle to defeat Islamist terrorism is necessary for America's national security and for world peace. Simply put, that is why the public continues to support the war."

Also keep in mind all the forcasts from a year ago that predicted doom and gloom war scenarios that never materialized. Mass death, revolution, refugee crisis, biological and chemical attacks were just a few of the horrors predicted by opponents of the war. Compared to all of that, things are going very well as democracy and stability take hold in Iraq.
NEW PLANET

If you consider Pluto to be the ninth planet in our solar system then astronomers have just found the tenth. The new "planetoid" named 'Sedna' is a bit smaller than Pluto and three times farther away. This puts it about 8 billion miles from the sun.