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, April 10, 2004

ANTI-WAR CRAZIES

From James...

"This basically excoriates the anti-war protestors better than I ever could, by simply showing videos captured at a rally and some choice interviews."
IRONIC FREE SPEECH

Since the Attorney General doesn't like boobies, it only makes sense to create a composite picture of him with "little porn people."
KILL BILL Vol. 3?

It may take 15 years but Quentin Tarantino is already planning for Kill Bill Vol. 3. Though if you have seen the first 15 minutes of Vol. 1 you would understand the need for a third installment.

Thursday, April 08, 2004

CRAZY CHRISTIANS STRIKE AGAIN

So the local church is putting on a "family show" for Easter. You bring the kids and expect maybe some candy and an Easter egg hunt. Instead you are treated to the Passion of the Easter Bunny as he is whiped, crucified, and has his eggs crushed. Sound like something the Upright Citizens Brigade would pull? Well, not quite, just a bunch of Crazy Christians in Pennsylvania. You can also check out a picture of it here.
KILL BILL Vol. 2

Check out the Fox 411 review of Kill Bill Vol. 2. Roger Friedman cannot say enough good things about this film, calling it a "tour de force." I know Ole Tondar has been looking forward to the Bride's continuing rampage. If you haven't seen the first one, you need to get up off your butt and rent it. However, don't bother buying it because I'm sure Miramax will have a nice DVD combo pack out around Christmas that will leave you $30 bucks lighter.

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

CAN'T GET YOUR HEAD AROUND IT WATCH

Angie sent me this link about the latest European fashion craze. If you thought it was bad enough to poke yourself in the eye for contacts, now imagine having jewellery embedded in your eye. Ewwwww!
BAD IDEA FOR DETROIT

Historically, Detroit is the worst city in the History of Civilization. From being a one industry town to race riots, they have done absolutely everything wrong. However, they may no longer be on the cutting edge of bad ideas. It seems the public highschools in Houston will begin promoting failing students to protect their self-esteem and lower the amount of dropouts. It is ironic that grade inflation is now moving to highschools since I was just talking about this earlier. Though on the other hand since highschools function as modern teenage prisons on the road to specialization, it makes little difference if they hand out diplomas willy-nilly.
THE ARMAGEDDON PLAN

Check out this Washington Post story that describes the "Armageddon Plan" that was put into effect on 9/11. Though it makes sense it wasn't created until 35 years into the Cold War under the Reagan Administration. Another example of just how much Reagan changed the Presidency. Afterall, he had the vision to see that mutually assured destruction (MAD) was a dangerous irresponsible policy for the safety of the American people. Like Tondar on vacation, Reagan was planning ahead for the worst case scenario. However, what is probably most frightening is that it took that long for an administration to start coming up with Frank style contingency plans.
ACLU: MAKING AMERICA LESS SAFE FOR 80 YEARS

From Pigpen...

"So the ACLU is sueing the Federal Government over a list that the TSA keeps concerning travelers who are "a risk" This list is fairly mysterious, no one knows who's on it, how they got on it, or how to get off it. I for one think that there is nothing wrong with this - why publicize a list that somebody can figure a way to get around? Nevertheless the ACLU is bringing a class action lawsuit stating that this is targeting indivduals (no kidding) and needs to be dismantled, forgotten or whatever...watered down maybe. So the policy put into place to make the rest of us safer after 9/11 needs to be removed?! This brings me to my point - the ACLU was founded in the 20's after the US started rounding up Commies and Nazi's and kicking them the hell out of our country. Seems that they havn't strayed too much from the fundemtal purpose of protecting the groups that seek to undermine this kick ass joint. Why the hell do terrorists need to be protected by a country or constitution that they are working to bing down Furthermore what idiot american thinks that they deserve protection?"
ACADEMIA AND ITS DEMOCRATIC SLIDE

Over the last 30 years, universities across North America have worried less about teaching the truth and have focused on transforming society to reflect their political views. Basically, these reflect moves towards political democracy that undermine and corrupt the idea and purpose of Universities to pass down the great knowledge of the day. Engineers, Doctors, and bus drivers can't do their job and allow politics to influence their work. So why should educators subvert learning to reflect the desires of their political activism? Check out this speech by John Kekes that more specifically deals with the fundamental problem of introducing politics and democracy onto college campuses.

Money quote: "I hope to have given convincing reasons for thinking that the policies of preferential treatment, relativism, and reliance on the judgment of students undermine teaching and research, and violate the professional obligation of professors to uphold the truth. I hope to have made it clear that these ruinous policies exist in a symbiotic relation with political activism because they reciprocally reinforce one another."

Despite the length, this is truly a must read. I especially liked the logical refutation of the ideas of "cultural relativism." Also this corruption of universities goes back to the Marxist theories of Derrida, Foucault, and Lacan (mentioned in the below post), that seek to destroy Western Civilization from within. Any coincidence that it's all liberal ideas this author points to for causing the decline of today's universities?

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

GO GREEN, GO WHITE! WHOOOOOO!!!

From Drake...

"Staters,

Michigan Basketball just beat ya in the polls.  Yikes, that's gotta hurt, esp. for those in your senior year...time to move on out!!"

Though I think Dumbs put it best in his own special Dumbsian Way...

"I think i speak for everyone DRAKE NOBODY FUCKING CARES if im wrong somebody let me know."

"
NO 'BASEBALL TONIGHT'

From Pigpen...

"With Monday being baseball's official opening day and many other professional games going on in the afternoon, evening, and night Stalag Luft ESPN thought it was more in the veiwers interest to televise figure skating from 8-10 and run the irritating ticker at the bottom to let everyone know what the scores of the 10+ games that night were. Furthermore, Kommandant Peter Gammons can suck it too, he can't see out of his own ass to talk about something other than the Yankees or Barry Bonds. As much as I like "The Best Damn Sports Show" they can suck it now too. Last night at the beginning of the show they ran an ad that I assume is fake despite the tag at the end that said "paid for by Kerry for president" - anyway it blasted Bush for throwing out the first pitch at the Mil-StL game yesterday - inappropriate! They had some dumb broad blathering about "He threw more of a curve to the UN to make a case about WMD", is that necessary?

The Dems can suck it because I'm sure they are behind figure skating and Peter Gammons somehow - I'll let "Best Damn Sports Show" off with a warning this time."
THE EARTH IS SPARED...FOR NOW

From Seth...

"Apparently, for all the sway that the devil and his money has on the world today, even he and his two billion dollars can't force Abba to make another song. This is a great victory for the good people of the Earth who, for all of their faults, have not sinned so much that they yet deserve something as horrific as an Abba reunion."
CAN'T GET YOUR HEAD AROUND IT WATCH

From Seth...

"The United States is losing its War on Carbohydrates, as reported by Reuters and the Associated Press. A new study by the Organization of People Really Always Here Making Up Factualish Figures to Delve Into Various Elucid Realities (acronym) shows that American forces of self control, stretched thin by supporting a family, job concerns, and supporting the local basketball team, are not adequate to stop Carbohydrate forces from entering their diet and strengthening the dangerous Fat Cells. However, Calorie Defense Secretary Dr. Adkins denied the organization's findings, stressing that news such as this paints an unbalanced picture of the tremendous successes the United States has made against Carb forces in the past two years."

Monday, April 05, 2004

HISTORY OF THE MODERN LEFT

If you read Pat Buchanan's latest book he goes into more detail, but assuming Bastardsword's history is correct, it paints a disturbing companion picture. Today's modern left grew out of the 30s pro-Nazi movement in Berkley. Of course it has undergone several transformations, but their ultimate goal is still to undermine Western Democracy and capitalism so they can establish their own totalitarian Marxist state. Hence all the rallies to support Saddam Hussein, North Korea, terrorism, and other non-democratic movements and leaders.

Money quote: "Meanwhile, the Paris movement of 1968 saw the advancement of the philosophy of Derrida, Foucault and Lacan. They asserted a philosophy designed to “destroy Western culture from the inside”. It was based largely on the philosophy of Martin Heidegger, a fact which remained hidden till fairly recently. Heidegger was the chief philosopher of the Nazi party, who went to his grave in the 1976 proclaiming that his work showed the might and righteousness of the Nazi cause. One of his chief products was cultural-relativism, which meant that nobody could issue a moral condemnation of Nazism since all cultures are equally moral..."

Remember hearing that one in the liberal university? "We can't make a moral judgement because who's to say which culture is correct." In the meantime, Mao, Stalin, and Saddam were filling mass graves. But you never see anybody protesting them, now do you.
PIGPILE ON SETH

Pigen just doesn't agree with Seth's latest organized labor rant...

"Seth goes into labor being just as effective today as they were in 1936 (Buick City sit down strike at Fisher Body No.1)...wrong. It's iportant to the Dems to herd a bunch of rednecks into thinking that they are being held in interest, when infact they are being sucked dry in the wallet. Dems use unions for personal interests and vice versa. Kerry isn't going to and can't do anything that Bush hasn't done for manufacturing. Manufacturing is run by private corporations that are only concerned about $ no matter what party they throw a bone to. The incessent blathering about lowering wages and benefits is crap. A UAW employee (Assy Line, not actual UAW) make more starting than any one reading this either has, does or will. Lazy labor getting better health care than the teachers union and still making 55K+/yr. How are they the down trodden worker? Unions wore out their welcome 50 years ago."
TEN YEARS AFTER NAFTA

Check out this Tom Friedman column that discusses the need for infrastructure investment in Mexico as a solution to the immigration problem. Like the EU's investment in Ireland, Portugal, and Greece, this would help their economy grow and discourage the incentive to sneak into the United States. It's an interesting theory and better than anything currently on the table.

Sunday, April 04, 2004

REPUBLICAN DEFICITS IX

James strikes back...

"Your explanation didn't make any sense to me.  you said "First of all, using 2002 statistics warps the results because it was a mid-term election in which 65 percent of the open seats in Congress, the Senate, and gubernatorial elections were Democratic and many of these were uncontested or heated primary campaigns."

What do you mean that 65% of the open seats were democratic?  if they were open seats that means there was no incumbent, so how could they be democratic?  second, your logic about most corruption coming from the executive branch is faulty.  the costs of running a successful senatorial campaign is enormous.  have you ever heard of pork barrel spending?  that is a purely legislative form of corruption.  but finally, if you look you don't really see too much discrepancy between 2000 and 2002.  the number simply don't support your claim.
 
No, labor ruined capitalism.  all history aside (which i largely disagree), labor today is the death of american industry.  there is no way to exonerate unions in the 21st century.  look at detroit diesel, which must employ two people for every one job.  one persons performs the task and another person sits behind the employee telling him "screw that part here".  that is dead weight loss.  or how about the UAW employees who leave halfway through the day and have their buddies clock them out?  or how about the teamsters, who have been in bed with organized crime since day one?  or the labor unions that robbed the pension plans of their members so they could finance mob casinoes in las vegas?  or the bloated and corrupt teachers union who have both unions and tenure?  lazy and inefficient teachers are not fired, they just get cushy history classes instead where they show movies all day to students instead of actually creating lesson plans.  unions suck, i should know i'm part of one.
 
once again, i find the "facts not in evidence".  i completely disagree with your economic model.  i completely disagree with your campaign finance ideals.  free market economy isn't a misnomyer, its an ideal.  there is no pure market, even adam smith acknowleged this.  rather, it is an ideal situation where the consumer has perfect information about products which causes producers to heavily compete for consumer's dollars.  since perfect information does not exist, perfect markets do not exist (though economist will scour the globe searching for one).  and individuals like myself should be allowed to contribution as much money as we want to any election campaign.  why should the government be able to restrict how much money i give to a candidate?  that, i believe, is restricting my right to express myself politically.
 
i think perhaps the real core of the problem with the democrats is that they actually believe that they "care more".  that way big brother can invade my life and redistribute my college inheritance to a less productive member of society.  why?  because they care?  they can drain my paycheck on social security, even though it will be bankrupt by the time i retire.  they can block any attempts to save social security by allowing more individual management of the system, including making it more like a pension whereby it is invested in the markets.  at least i'm no so sectarian that i buy every line of well scripted propaganda that a political party spews fourth."

"Sectarian," that's a Frank word. Sean Hannity uses "intellectual honest" but in a way it all gets to the same point.
REPUBLICAN DEFICITS VIII

Seth carries on the longest exchange in Daily Rant History...

"First, you used "whom" incorrectly.
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I explained in pretty good detail why the 2002 statistics you gave are hardly representative of what to expect in the 2004 election. To re-state quickly, much of the corruption comes from the executive branch so a non-presidential election is hardly representative of campaign finance problems. You can't use 2002 numbers to say that Bush wasn't bought off in 2000. Using the off-year statistics is a cheap and deceiving means of keeping Bush's record $100 million war-chest (and expected $200 million in 2004) out of the debate on whether or not Bush's White House is corrupt.
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Where are you getting your history? Labor saved capitalism. Had workers not united to put controls on the labor abuses of big business, it's very likely that Communism, Socialism, or Huey P. Longism would have taken root in America during the 1930s. I agree that there's a level of corruption that's taken hold in the UAW and other major labor groups, but it doesn't come close to having the same effect of sleazy corporations and their control of the Republican agenda. What have the Democrats really done for labor recently? Their biggest pro-labor successes have been minimum wage laws?and better health care benefits. The outsourcing issue is a Dem campaign strategy catered to white collar populism, not labor. The social security standoff is also a campaign issue and Republicans are just as responsible for not willing to budge on it. In fact, the only corruption I can see from Labor's financing of Democratic campaigns is the UAW and Teamsters' ability to hamper any attempts at public transportation.
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Unions are still important today as most corporations turn to slashing benefits, lay-offs, cheaper labor alternatives, and temp workers before considering clipping executive expenses, bonuses, vacations, salaries, and other pay-offs. Democrats don't just side with labor because unions give them money - protecting American workers' rights in the face of powerful corporations seeking to abuse them for profit has been a paramount task of the 20th century U.S. government.
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Corporations if left to their own devices will attempt to establish market control and monopolies, which inevitably leads to a suppression of innovation. "Free market economy" is a misnomer; in order for our system to work there has to be a balance of freedom for the manufacturer to create and sell what they will and freedom for the consumer to choose between products and services. Tip the balance too far towards the consumer (Mr. Nader, pay attention) and then anti-business climate breeds a top-to-bottom economic failure. Tip the balance too much in favor of the corporations, and you end up with so little money at the bottom that nobody can purchase consumer goods - resulting in a bottom-to-top economic failure. Depending on how far it is tipped, there are varying degrees of failure/success. Voila - you have the basis for your economy. The Bush economy is flagging largely because the balance has tipped to the corporations, and that has only occurred because of the policies of the top of the Republican Party being dictated by their corporate donors.
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I agree with you that anecdotal evidence when standing alone does not prove anything. But what I was presenting was policy, not anecdote. I'll give you an example. In 1999, 10 states filed suits against 51 power plants who had violated NSR rules by upgrading or expanding plant operations without obtaining environmental permitting or installing pollution control equipment. When Bush was running for office in 2000, he made it clear that he would continue to pursue government suits against these energy companies who thought they could fight NSR revisions by the EPA by simply not complying with emissions standards - effectively reverting to pre-1950 levels of toxicity (we're talking major acid rain, dead lakes and streams, widespread health problems, etc.). One of the biggest offenders, Cinergy, agreed in early 2000 to spend $1.4 billion to upgrade their plant and settle the suit. At this point, they also contributed $5 million to Republican Party campaigns, including Bush's bid for the presidency. When Bush took office, one of his actions was to relax the NSR revisions (even though the EPA recommended strongly against this), but EPA administrator Christie Whitman made it clear when testifying before Congress that anyone who had violated the law previously would still be prosecuted. When this happened, Cinergy backed out of their agreement and "rejoined the fight" as they called it. Last fall, Bush reversed his position and dropped the suit?against Cinergy and two like it?altogether. In the few months since this happened, 50 other power plants have stopped making environmental upgrades and wiggled out of lawsuits - costing the environmental industry an estimated $20 billion. Where'd that money go? Well, wages at the power plants didn't go up. Nothing went towards cleaning up the pollution they were still causing. None of those 50 have made any upgrades. No, most of it went into bonuses for the executives of each company, but a good chunk of it is now spitting out advertizements that call John Kerry a waffler on issues.
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$20 billion is not just an anecdote, James. The money doesn't come from nowhere. The energy companies had already charged their clients for energy upgrades - which accounts for heavier bills for?2 million American households. Because other companies around these facilities need clean water to operate (among them, I might add, is your friends the Canigua Wine Manufacturers), they've had to petition their localities to clean up the energy companies' mess. Chalk up money taken from municipal and state budgest - which comes from schools, public projects, or higher state and municipal taxes. Now account for the damage done to the massive environmental control business - thousands of jobs cut - advertizing money slashed - and benefits (including my own) lost along the whole way. Add that up and the U.S. economy just took a 1 percent hit. This isn't an anecdote - this is policy. Bush moved a massive sum of money from a very large group of Americans into the pockets of a few, taking a cut to get re-elected in the process.
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You better do some research before you start talking about the Pollution Control Industry and their campaign contributions. The biggest player in that industry, General Electric, gave more to Republicans than the Democrats. Because the industry is still very new, most companies couldn't afford to give anything to political campaigns. If they had, you can bet your ass that more would have been made about Arnold's campaign comment about shutting down the California EPA because it's "redundant."
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Protecting the environment should never have become this much of an issue. The only reason it has become so is because Republicans can get a pretty penny from polluters. Since 1960, industries use completely different materials than the turn of the century and if they aren't regulated, people are going to get sick and die. Global Warming from burning coal isn't the big issue anymore; mercury content, SOx, H2S (acid rain), mercaptans?and NOx emissions that make the area around a plant uninhabitable, contaminated soil remediation, inland lakes and other freshwater sources become "dead," the spur track loophole for dumping hazardous waste while changing trains, toxigenomics, cheaper wastewater handling systems, safety for industrial workers from fumes, and perchlorates from modern rocket fuel makers getting into drinking water are the issues we're dealing with. My point is, it's not about whether or not we need to clean it up anymore; it's about who's responsible for doing it: the plant that made the mess, the state or municipality who has to live in it, or the next business that wants to start up in the a now-contaminated area. The best way for everyone involved is to control the amount of pollution that gets into the environment at the source, especially because between government grants and the system upgrades built into most modern equipment make most of this stuff pays for itself in a few years. The NSA put out a report commissioned by the Bush administration in 2003 that found 95 percent of companies receiving fines in 2002 had the economic means to meet standards. The money's there; these guys would just rather extort the money than spend it to help their company, then send a little towards the Republicans to keep the lie maching going and outraged local governments off their backs.
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As for the monkey legislation you referred to, we already had a program in place that allowed states to set up deals like this to share compliance levels and also Clinton legislation that pays companies off for reaching certain goals ahead of time. Bush's voluntary compliance initiative had two major problems. The first is that it was completely toothless. The only built-in penalty was a tax penalty that Dems tacked on in?committee but got voted down as an "Energy Tax." Also, a big part of the bill was to allow the EPA to change the cap more often (which basically meant that instead of letting the scientists do a review and then make recommendations, the politicians could raise the cap whenever they liked). The second reason was that pollution isn't just?pollution. Cap and Trade policies for acid rain and carbon emissions (which were Clinton-era bills) have worked in the past. Doing the same for mercury, which this?legislation?proposed, would pose a huge hazard. It's all well and good?if?Plant A?in Detroit is making less mercury. If Plant B in Toledo makes as much more as the Detroit plant makes less, however, it becomes a huge health hazard to northern Ohio. Get it?
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This kind of corruption is what I'm talking about when I say that Big Business controls the Bush administration.
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What I'm most sick of, however, is this "you're as bad as we are" whining that keeps coming from the right. Not only are you wrong on most accounts, that type of finger pointing is the exact unproductive attitude in politics that gave us these problems in the first place.?Just because the Republican Party has become so currupt?that they could print "services rendered" receipts?to their campaign donors doesn't mean that everyone else is doing it. Come back to the issue of campaign finance; if candidates didn't need millions (or hundreds of millions in the case of the presidency), would the democrats still have the same platform? Yes. Republicans? Not even close.
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Money doesn't equal speech, James, because it's not equal. You should follow the Supreme Court a little more closely. The "Money Equals Speech" claim comes from a heavily politically biased case in the mid-'70s that the wealthy right like to champion like it's the bible. But the last time it was heard last December, the court decided that the BCRA's ban on soft money did not constitute a breach of the 1st amendment and that it was an important step for stopping corruption and the appearance of corruption. This was only a small victory and in face of the gross violtions of the BCRA being perpetrated by Bush and Kerry soft advertizers only months later, it looks about as effective as the NHL's assertion that it's going to cut down on clutching and grabbing. This issue could be one of the defining achievements of our generation as it moves forward. After four years of Bush, Americans are much more aware of how deep this corruption goes, especially as the President's war chest for November continues to grow. You know this, James. You know why the Republican Party is against campaign finance reform. You know that the wealthy and big business, historically and presently will try to corrupt the system and that the Republican Party is their modern political outlet.
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You know that the Democrats care more for the welfare of the American people and the common good. Go back to abortion - at least you'll have some basis for your argument instead of the well-scripted ignorance that Republican backers paid so much money to put in your mouth."

*sigh* A few things...

First, how inappropriate for pointing out the James' misuse of the word "whom." I can't think of any cheaper rhetorical trick to weaken his argument without actually attacking the argument itself. When you write a several hundred word post you are bound to make a few mistakes. Besides, in the blog I try to edit everybody's rant. Though, on the other hand, maybe we should just discount all of Seth's arguments for misspelling words? Hopefully I won't lose any advertiSers over this one!

Secondly, you prove James' point regarding anecdotal evidence, with your tail of the $20 billion. That's a fine story. But it's a very small part of an economy that is based on TRILLIONS. In, addition, may I also point out we don't really know the validity of the story since it didn't even include a link for us to independently verify the happenings of this money. We need a frame of reference if you are going to get into details like that. Otherwise we are like children that wander into a theater and wants to know what's going on. Also, let this serve as today's rhetorical lesson: Begging the Question. In this case Seth uses anecdotal evidence to disprove the importance of anecdotal evidence in argument. Like using a word to define itself. This creates a circular logic that does not truly establish any new argument but simply goes around and around.

For example: Melvin Thornton wants welfare. It is a necessary condition of welfare, that you are working to receive welfare. Melvin Thornton does not have a job. Melvin Thornton must find a job to get welfare. Melvin Thornton cannot find a job because he does not get welfare. Melvin Thornton wants welfare.

That is my favorite example because Mr. Thornton and I had this same circular discussion many times while I was playing yahoo games or filing random papers.
TRIUMPH ON NPR

Check out what Triumph the Insult Comic Dog has to say about the original liberal radio.

Money Quote: "Triumph: Oh here we go, here we go now. I can't believe the government is paying for this interview when my money could be going to Pekinese hookers instead of public radio. NPR is more slanted than my (bleep) after I schtupped a Saint Bernard!"
NOT KEEPING THEIR WORD

But the terrorists said that if we elected the socialists they would leave us alone?