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, April 16, 2004

NBA PLAYOFF PREVIEW

We all know ESPN isn't going to do their job in covering the NBA properly so Ole Tondar is gonna have to give you the rundown. Because as much as ESPN and Sportscenter love the "Slamma Jamma In Yo Face Action," it doesn't translate to championship success. So keep these things in mind as you watch the playoffs this year...

1. DEFENSE DEFENSE DEFENSE--This is the defining characteristic of every NBA champion going back to the era of the Detroit Bad Boys. This is also why Dallas will never win a championship. To win you must be able to reliably shutdown your opponents offensive flow and take them out of their gameplan. In the longrun you can always count on your shot and your offense to fail at some point. But if your defense is strong enough it doesn't become an issue. Looking back the teams that allow the fewest points on average are most likely to win a championship. Last year it was Detroit, New Jersey, then San Antonio. This year both Detroit and San Antonio are only allowing 84.3 ppg, historically this is an absurdly low number and should serve as an excellent prediction for this year's finals.

2. Ya gotta be able to score SOME points--Defense is important but you need several good scoring options, this was part of the problem with Detroit last year. Also this is what will doom Miami this year.

3. Experience--This was Detroit's other problem last year. New Jersey just knew how to handle themselves in close games when it counted the most. If you remember the Eastern Conference Finals last year, Detroit would always keep it close but Jason Kidd and co. always had the answer and the Pistons just fell short for 4 straight games for the sweep.

4. Implosion--Whether it's from injury or mental distraction this is the biggest obstacle to winning the title. Last year we saw it in Sacramento when Chris Webber was injured. But there are still nagging residual problems. Which makes you wonder, has he recovered fully? What team will crash and burn this year?

Here' the Rundown as I see it...

Round 1

1. Indiana over 8. Boston in 4
2. New Jersey over 7 New York in 7
3. Detroit over 6. Milwaukee in 5
4. Miami over New Orleans in 4

1. Minnesota over 8. Denver in 5
2. LA Lakers over 7. Houston in 6
3. San Antonio over 6. Memphis in 6
4. Sacramento over 5. Dallas in 5

Round 2

1. Indiana over 4. Miami in 7
2. Detroit over 3. New Jersey in 5

1. Minnesota over 4. Sacramento in 7
2. San Antonio over 3. LA Lakers in 7

Conference Finals

2. Detroit over 1. Indiana in 6
2. San Antonio over 1. Minnesota in 5

NBA FINALS

San Antonio over Detroit in 6

The Spurs should repeat because they play great defense, they've got the star power (Tim Duncan), and they are currently riding an 11 game win streak. That is a huge indicator for the end of the season because now is the time to click and be playing well. San Antonio's record should actually be better than it is considering Tim Duncan missed a good chunk of the season due to injury. On top of that I love the Spurs style. Duncan has a strong inside post game and he is complemented with perimeter shooters (Parker, Turkoglu, and Bowen). Plus I think we will see the emergence of Tony Parker as one of the league's top point guards.

As for the other hopefuls in the logjam, I really see Sacramento, LA Lakers, and New Jersey all imploding over chemistry or injury issues. And Indiana, despite the best record in the NBA, doesn't yet have enough experience to top Larry Brown's Pistons.

Things to Watch

1. The Lakers--On paper, the Lakers are one of the best teams in history with 4 future hall of famers. However, after 82 games they still don't have their act together, nor the egos in check enough to be blowing out teams like they should. Kobe has been nagged all season with injuries and that distracting rape trial in CO. Gary Payton is not too happy with the triangle offense. And as great as Phil Jackson is, I don't see him flipping the switch and creating enough focus and drive. On top of that, the Lakers defense ranks 16th in the league. That is horrible for a Phil Jackson team, especially one with this level of talent. Something will certainly give this postseason.

2. The Miami Heat--They have been on a tear that matches the Pistons in length and wins. In their last 21 games they are 17-4. Lamar Odom is kicking butt and most importantly they are playing good defense. They are going to give Detroit or Indiana a run for their money. Though without much offensive firepower they will come up short.

3. Carlisle and the Pacers--Rick Carlisle is a great coach with a great system. Unfortunately he relies too much on his system and refuses to innovate when it doesn't work. During the regular season this makes for alotta wins (Detroit Pistons back to back 50 win seasons). However, when the playoffs come and his teams have to play the same opponent repeatedly, his system becomes too predictable thus he almost lost to Orlando last year and Larry Brown outcoached him, but came up short due to a lack of talent on the 76ers.

4. Small Ball--This is the offensive strategy of the Dallas Mavericks. They have given up playing defense and are now relying on a high powered offense that is meant to outlast their opponents. Thus you will see alotta Antoine Walker and Shawn Bradley riding the pine. All of this will be interesting to watch. But they're shooting is gonna have to be dead on fire nearly everynight for them to make a run.

5. Pistons--This is a team almost built for Tondar (needs a strong post player like Karl Malone, Hakeem Olajuwon, or Tim Duncan). However, the Pistons really play a style that ESPN hates. No true star, but they have 3 solid scoring options in Billups, Hamilton, and Rasheed Wallace. They have a deep bench with Okur, Williamson, and Campbell (no, I'm not going to even mention Darko). Plus they get solid contributions from Hunter, James, and "King of the Jam, Dunkin' Darvin Ham." And of course there is the Pistons defense. It's the leagues best team defense especially with Rasheed applying strong man coverage gives Ben Wallace the freedom to roam the lane and block shots. However, if the Pistons have one weakness it's their ability to win close games. In those decided by 3 points or less the Pistons are a lowly 6-12 this season. This could be a potential problem especially if they end up in a close defensive struggle (such as with San Antonio). Chauncey Billups can be a clutch performer but he also has a tendancy to be a ball hog when the game is on the line. If the Pistons end up in alotta close games this weakness could come back to haunt them.

In conclusion, you should look for plenty of bitching and moaning from ESPN cronies like Peter May since Iverson, McGrady, and Carter aren't in the playoffs. But in a way I'm kind of glad because it makes the game more intellectual as one group of five takes on another group of five with the ultimate goal of winning not providing great Slamma Jamma In Yo Face Action.
NBA PLAYOFF PREVIEW

We all know ESPN isn't going to do their job in covering the NBA properly so Ole Tondar is gonna have to give you the rundown. Because as much as ESPN and Sportscenter love the "Slamma Jamma In Yo Face Action," it doesn't translate to championship success. So keep these things in mind as you watch the playoffs this year...

1. DEFENSE DEFENSE DEFENSE--This is the defining characteristic of every NBA champion going back to the era of the Detroit Bad Boys. This is also why Dallas will never win a championship. To win you must be able to reliably shutdown your opponents offensive flow and take them out of their gameplan. In the longrun you can always count on your shot and your offense to fail at some point. But if your defense is strong enough it doesn't become an issue. Looking back the teams that allow the fewest points on average are most likely to win a championship. Last year it was Detroit, New Jersey, then San Antonio. This year both Detroit and San Antonio are only allowing 84.3 ppg, historically this is an absurdly low number and should serve as an excellent prediction for this year's finals.

2. Ya gotta be able to score SOME points--Defense is important but you need several good scoring options, this was part of the problem with Detroit last year. Also this is what will doom Miami this year.

3. Experience--This was Detroit's other problem last year. New Jersey just knew how to handle themselves in close games when it counted the most. If you remember the Eastern Conference Finals last year, Detroit would always keep it close but Jason Kidd and co. always had the answer and the Pistons just fell short for 4 straight games for the sweep.

4. Implosion--Whether it's from injury or mental distraction this is the biggest obstacle to winning the title. Last year we saw it in Sacramento when Chris Webber was injured. But there are still nagging residual problems. Which makes you wonder, has he recovered fully? What team will crash and burn this year?

Here' the Rundown as I see it...

Round 1

1. Indiana over 8. Boston in 4
2. New Jersey over 7 New York in 7
3. Detroit over 6. Milwaukee in 5
4. Miami over New Orleans in 4

1. Minnesota over 8. Denver in 5
2. LA Lakers over 7. Houston in 6
3. San Antonio over 6. Memphis in 6
4. Sacramento over 5. Dallas in 5

Round 2

1. Indiana over 4. Miami in 7
2. Detroit over 3. New Jersey in 5

1. Minnesota over 4. Sacramento in 7
2. San Antonio over 3. LA Lakers in 7

Conference Finals

2. Detroit over 1. Indiana in 6
2. San Antonio over 1. Minnesota in 5

NBA FINALS

San Antonio over Detroit in 6

The Spurs should repeat because they play great defense, they've got the star power (Tim Duncan), and they are currently riding an 11 game win streak. That is a huge indicator for the end of the season because now is the time to click and be playing well. San Antonio's record should actually be better than it is considering Tim Duncan missed a good chunk of the season due to injury. On top of that I love the Spurs style. Duncan has a strong inside post game and he is complemented with perimeter shooters (Parker, Turkoglu, and Bowen). Plus I think we will see the emergence of Tony Parker as one of the league's top point guards.

As for the other hopefuls in the logjam, I really see Sacramento, LA Lakers, and New Jersey all imploding over chemistry or injury issues. And Indiana, despite the best record in the NBA, doesn't yet have enough experience to top Larry Brown's Pistons.

Things to Watch

1. The Lakers--On paper, the Lakers are one of the best teams in history with 4 future hall of famers. However, after 82 games they still don't have their act together, nor the egos in check enough to be blowing out teams like they should. Kobe has been nagged all season with injuries and that distracting rape trial in CO. Gary Payton is not too happy with the triangle offense. And as great as Phil Jackson is, I don't see him flipping the switch and creating enough focus and drive. On top of that, the Lakers defense ranks 16th in the league. That is horrible for a Phil Jackson team, especially one with this level of talent. Something will certainly give this postseason.

2. The Miami Heat--They have been on a tear that matches the Pistons in length and wins. In their last 21 games they are 17-4. Lamar Odom is kicking butt and most importantly they are playing good defense. They are going to give Detroit or Indiana a run for their money. Though without much offensive firepower they will come up short.

3. Carlisle and the Pacers--Rick Carlisle is a great coach with a great system. Unfortunately he relies too much on his system and refuses to innovate when it doesn't work. During the regular season this makes for alotta wins (Detroit Pistons back to back 50 win seasons). However, when the playoffs come and his teams have to play the same opponent repeatedly, his system becomes too predictable thus he almost lost to Orlando last year and Larry Brown outcoached him, but came up short due to a lack of talent on the 76ers.

4. Small Ball--This is the offensive strategy of the Dallas Mavericks. They have given up playing defense and are now relying on a high powered offense that is meant to outlast their opponents. Thus you will see alotta Antoine Walker and Shawn Bradley riding the pine. All of this will be interesting to watch. But they're shooting is gonna have to be dead on fire nearly everynight for them to make a run.

5. Pistons--This is a team almost built for Tondar (needs a strong post player like Karl Malone, Hakeem Olajuwon, or Tim Duncan). However, the Pistons really play a style that ESPN hates. No true star, but they have 3 solid scoring options in Billups, Hamilton, and Rasheed Wallace. They have a deep bench with Okur, Williamson, and Campbell (no, I'm not going to even mention Darko). Plus they get solid contributions from Hunter, James, and "King of the Jam, Dunkin' Darvin Ham." And of course there is the Pistons defense. It's the leagues best team defense especially with Rasheed applying strong man coverage gives Ben Wallace the freedom to roam the lane and block shots. However, if the Pistons have one weakness it's their ability to win close games. In those decided by 3 points or less the Pistons are a lowly 6-12 this season. This could be a potential problem especially if they end up in a close defensive struggle (such as with San Antonio). Chauncey Billups can be a clutch performer but he also has a tendancy to be a ball hog when the game is on the line. If the Pistons end up in alotta close games this weakness could come back to haunt them.

In conclusion, you should look for plenty of bitching and moaning from ESPN cronies like Peter May since Iverson, McGrady, and Carter aren't in the playoffs. But in a way I'm kind of glad because it makes the game more intellectual as one group of five takes on another group of five with the ultimate goal of winning not providing great Slamma Jamma In Yo Face Action.
THE ONION'S NOT REAL

It may seem like an obvious point, but people often stumble on The Onion (America's Finest News Source) and become outraged when they take the news a little too seriously. From a retractable capital dome, to Harry Potter's "Satanic Message," the fake news of The Onion has tricked many.
SETH'S RETRACTIONS AND OBSERVATIONS

From Seth...

"I was watching some good ol' playoff hockey and noticed one glaring mistake.
 
Uh, Roenick is playing. I'd read a month ago that he wasn't going to be in the playoffs after his last concussion but apparently, to Roenick, the cup is more important than remembering your mother's name all the time. Anyway, I goofed. Sorry, McNews (USA Today).
 
Some playoff observations so far:
 
1. Damn you ESPN! Hockey is not the NBA. It's a team game. It's about what's on the front of your jersey, not what's on the back. So why, then, did you suddenly think it was important to put the "Now on the Ice" markers under the score. It's getting ridiculus. Every time Steve Sullivan has taken the ice for Nashville, the little "Now on the Ice: Steve Sullivan" bar has dropped down. You know how many points Sully has this year? Zip. ESPN is really bad at picking out the stars, especially considering that it's usually the grinders who come out as heroes in the playoffs. They keep putting Datsyuk up there when he comes out, but what about equal stars Hull, Yzerman, Shanahan, Lidstrom, Chelios, Zetterberg, Hatcher and Lang, not to mention Holmstrom and the Grind Liners who've been the real heroes of the series for Detroit so far. (I understand Lidstrom, though, considering that if you had your stupid bar on there every second he was on the ice, it would probably burn into our screens at the 11:15 mark of the 3rd.) Sorry, ESPNBA, but even though I appreciate the fact that you're trying to lure more people to the sport, you're going to have to face the reality that those who watch hockey will know that the big guy flying around in a maroon jersey and "21" on his back is Petr Forsberg, while a rookie winger whom nobody ever heard of already has more points than he. Give it up.
 
2. Some hot and nots after three

Detroit/Nashville -
    Hot: The new Shanahan/Lang/Holmstrom line, the National Anthem performed by Bluegrass band
    Not: Power Plays, National anthem performed by Karen Newman

San Jose/St. Louis -
    Hot: Mike Sillinger's back from the grave.
    Not: Pronger's legendary temper in game 3

Vancouver/Calgary -
    Hot: Grandpa Sanderson and the Sedin boys.
    Not: Jarome Iginla

Colorado/Dallas -
    Hot: "Patrick Roy would've made that stop."
    Not: "Who the hell ever heard of Steve Ott?"

Tampa/NYIsles -
    Hot: Nickolai Khab...Chhabibbiluli...Khabiluleniahh...Tampa Bay's Goalie
    Not: ESPN analysts trying to pronounce his name

Boston/Montreal -
    Hot: Rookie-of-the-Year candidate, netminder Andrew Raycroft (hon. mention: Nylander to Samsonov to Nylander to...etc.)
    Not: Rookie-of-the-Year candidate, right winger Michael Ryder

Philadelphia/New Jersey -
    Hot: High-octane offenses led by Roenick, Zhamnov, Kim Johnsson / Elias, Gionta, and Gomez (6 of top 7 for '04 playoff scoring)
    Not: Pre-playoff predictions that the defensively-minded teams would yield a series of 1-0 wins

Toronto/Ottawa
    Hot: Shutouts by Eddie the Eagle
    Not: Home Ice Advantage"

Two things: First off we know ESPN is all about star players. In an era of "Sports Center" it is all always about "slamma jamma in yo' face action." From hockey to baseball and back to the NBA it is alwys about the indivdual. Though as we know, and anybody who played a day of team sport in high school, it is always about TEAM TEAM TEAM. Peter May has another column in opposition, but that will be referenced in my NBA Playoff Preview tomorrow.

Secondly, Ole Tondar watched the Wings tonight and we did see the Power Play get "hot" again in Detroit's 4-1 win. Game 6 will be Saturday at 3.

Thursday, April 15, 2004

YOU GOTTA PAY YO BILL O' THEY SHUT YOU OFF

*Daily Rant Exclusive*

So the liberal talk radio network, "Air America" has been shut down in LA and Chicago for not paying their bills. Which is suspect to begin with since Hannity or Rush don't have to pay anybody to have their voice heard. Afterall, in a free and democratic United States shouldn't free markets and network ratings determine who gets on the air? Though on the other hand, if you talk to "Air America" they have been bamboozled by an evil Dark Lord of radio media. Personally, I don't know who's right, but it's interesting that Air America would release a press release saying the following, before quickly pulling it off their site. Due to Tondar's laziness I left the page open and can now bring the text to you in full that is now too racey for the Air America site...

"After just two weeks on the air, Air America Radio, the fledgling liberal talk-radio network featuring Al Franken, Janeane Garofalo, and that really loud woman from Florida, appears to have encountered serious cash-flow problems.

Stop the presses!!! There's nothing more exciting than half a story from a third hand source!!!!
Insiders tell SLUDGE, that the reason the network was pulled off the air this morning in Chicago and Los Angeles, the network's second- and third-largest markets, was because, the owner of both stations, Arthur Liu of Multicultural Broadcasting, said, the network bounced a check and owes him more than $1 million! The run-on sentence, tortured grammar and the exclamation point clearly means it's true!!

Only it isn?t.

Normally we'd let this go because "habitual liars" like Drudge are laughable, and ridicule is our business.

But Arthur Liu --- not funny. He lied to us, he ripped us off and now we're chasing him down with a pipe wrench. It's a metaphor.

Here's what really happened:

This Liu-ser was ripping off our boss Evan Cohen big time (he can't do that, that's our job). Evan found out about it and he stopped payment on a check to keep Liu-cifer from ripping him off even more. You can touch Evan for the occasional meal or drinks but a million bucks is crossing the line. And if we ever get low on cash, we can always call Barbra Streisand. Or any of the Baldwins. Except Stephen.

So we got screwed, Liu'd, and tattooed. How Liu can you get? In Liu of payment. Liu'd and lascivious behavior. These write themselves. What we?re getting at is that we hate him.

So now everyone's saying we're going down the dumper in Chicago and Los Angeles, but what they don't tell you is that we're still on in Portland. And we OWN Portland. And let's not forget Riverside and Plattsburgh. And New York. And streaming on the internet. And XM. And Sirius. Actually we're fine. So cool your jets. Air America Radio isn't dead, we're in court and we're going to slam Liu's head in a car door. Another metaphor. We hope to be back on the air tomorrow or the next day in those markets.

In the meantime, why don't you give Arthur a call at (212)966-1059, or check out his website www.mrbi.net

Arthur Liu, I wouldn't show your face around here.

Or Riverside. Or Plattsburgh.

DEVELOPING……"

It's rather funny how the "Air America" site engages in the same style ad hominem attacks that Seth rsorts too. I don't really know who's right, but does it do any good to even "metaphorically" slam somebody's head in the car door? Once again, we see liberal hate speech at its best and entirely ignored by the liberal media.

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

HISTORY OF TERROR APPEASEMENT

Check out this great (but lengthy) article by Victor Davis Hanson that chronicles the west's appeasement of terror since 1979 and the left's chic fascination with supporting islamo-fascism. He then concludes by putting it all into historical perspective by showing the accomplishments of Bush in the war on terror thus far.

Money quote: "Since September 11, he has removed the Taliban and Saddam Hussein, begun to challenge the Middle East through support for consensual government, isolated Yasser Arafat, pressured the Europeans on everything from anti-Semitism to their largesse to Hamas, removed American troops from Saudi Arabia, shut down fascistic Islamic “charities,” scattered al-Qaida, turned Pakistan from a de facto foe to a scrutinized neutral, rounded up terrorists in the United States, pressured Libya, Iran, and Pakistan to come clean on clandestine nuclear cheating, so far avoided another September 11—and promises that he is not nearly done yet. If the Spanish example presages further terrorist attacks on European democracies at election time, at least Mr. Bush has made it clear that America—alone if need be—will neither appease nor ignore such killers but in fact finish the terrible war that they started."

Like I said before, there is nobody else I would entrust the safety of this nation to right now.
REFLECTIONS ON THE WINGS IN GAME 4

In sports theory the most important game (besides the clincher) in a seven game series is game 4. It is pivotal as it can either represent a turning point for momentum or it will push the loser to the brink of elimination. With Tuesday's game 4 shut-out loss, it is obvious that the Wings have lost the initiative and have allowed the Predators to creep back into this series. Needless to say Seth was not happy about this development as he watched the game...

From Seth...

"That was hands-down, the hardest Wings game I've ever had to watch. The officiating was absolutely horrific, especially at key moments leading to two scores for the Predators and stealing two from the Wings. You could tell that they hadn't done their job when the Wings at the end deteriorated into picking fights while Nashville, realizing they could get away with anything, started trying to injure key players. I liked their team as they went through this year, but I lost all respect for that squad when they gave up on a 3rd period breakaway to give Cujo a full-speed, knee-first blow.
 
Vokoun is just plain nasty, using scrums in front of the net as an excuse to use his stick as a weapon. And while the refs called a number of clutching and grabbing penalties, most of them were questionable calls against the Wings while the Predators were free to maul whomever they so pleased. The worst moment was when Draper got that obvious high-stick right in front of the referee that drew blood. The announcers said the ref was watching the net, but I saw him standing behind Vokoun's right shoulder and staring right at Draper when the high stick came. And as for making it up to us, on the very next play, they called a B.S. penalty on the Wings.
 
Some people say a home sweep for Nashville was important for making hockey popular in its struggling southern markets, but what those fans saw last night wasn't hockey."

However, my Brother Dan is a bit more optimistic and sees the Wings getting their act together since 2 of the next 3 are at the Joe, despite the momentum shift on the road.

From Dan...

"The worst draw that the Red Wings could've gotten for the playoffs is the one that they ended up with.  Not only does Nashville always seem to play Detroit tough, but they've proven that they can beat them in any fashion.  Earlier in the regular season, Nashville was down 3-0 in the third period, and came back to win 4-3, without going to overtime.  Thus far in the playoffs, they have been able to withstand the two defeats in Detroit, and they have completely outplayed the Wings in Nashville.  The Preds are being led by a hot goaltender, and have a young group of scrappy forwards.  Sound familiar?  However simiilar, I do not think the results will be the same as the series last year with Anaheim.  Detroit has too much offensive firepower, led by the newly acquired Robert Lang, and their defense is the deepest in the NHL.  The Wings will get back to shooting the puck more, stop turning the puck over in their defensive end, and with CuJo back in the net tomorrow night, the wings should regain control of the series.  I still think Detroit will win in 6 games."

Obviously the Wings won't be swept this year like in that unmentionable dark age. But I'm going to agree with Dan on this one. I think this will be the wake up call Detroit needs to light the championship fire in their belly. Hopefully we will see a hard hitting, high scoring game tomorrow. Due to its importance I'm making a special adventure trip to Manhattan to watch the game and spend money in supporting my Wings.
THE SAD POLITICS OF NATIONAL DEFENSE

"The national 9/11 commission has been hijacked by political shills." These are the opening words of a scathing NYPost editorial blasting the obviously partisan 9/11 commission. It's sickening the way this has unfolded as nothing more than a GOTCHA media circus. If they were interested in the "truth" they would not take a prosecutorial tone with every Bush administration official, but then allow Clinton's people or Richard Clark to speak for as long as possible without any kind of rude interruption. On top of that, why aren't they looking into Clinton's missed chances to get Bin Laden? But I guess that might help Bush get re-elected, so they'll just ignore that one.

Though, I'm not really surprised by all of this. Democrats became unhinged long ago. If you still disagree, look at the ad they put in a Florida paper calling for Donald Rumsfeld to be taken and put "up against a wall and say 'This is one of our bad days,' and pull the trigger." It's frankly sickening the level of "discourse" to which many of the Democrats have sunk and reveals a dangerous undercurrent of totalitarianism as they hunger for the only thing they truly care about, power.
THE PRESIDENT SPEAKS

The beauty of the blog is to be able to provide an instant response to events as they unfold. So I will give a rundown of what I thought of the President's speech and press conference tonight.

Coming in I thought it was a good idea for Bush to address the nation. With increased violence in Iraq over the last week and an apparent lack of direction from the White House, it was reassuring to hear that we will stay the course and not be deterred by tribal fighting, and violent powerplays, nor will we succumb to the temptation of appeasment. It was also good to hear from the President again. It reminded me of how much I really like George W. Bush as a leader and person. I disagree with a good chunk of his policies. But when it comes to national defense and security there is nobody else I would trust in the White House.

On the other hand, and NPR pointed this out too, I thought he got burned on the question about what mistakes he has made during his presidency. Bush is a very optimistic and forward looking person and though he doesn't like to dwell on past mistakes, they have been made, and Americans expect their leaders to admit to it. We do not elect kings of "perfect" devine right. Presidents are merely people, though few are as hated as Bush. I think this makes him reluctant to fuel their fire. But on the other hand, the majority of America is very forgiving. Afterall we were able to forgive Kennedy for the Bay of Pigs fiasco and Clinton for the Monica Lewinsky debacle. Off the top of my head I can think of 2 mistakes the President has made. First, his handling of postwar Iraq has not always been smooth. There have been issues over the number of troops, how much authority to give to whomever, and how to pay for it all. There was no model for nation building on this scale and so the President had to use trial and error, with some degree of error. Secondly, I don't think the president has always represented a strong reassuring presence. Especially while the troops are in Iraq, and the Democrats were railing against him in the primary it often seemed the President would go too long without addressing the nation from the Bully Pulpit. In an age of instant news, this allowed his opponents to set the news agenda against him all too often. A few more primetime appearances would have let the nation know that we are on the right path, and would have gone a long way in silencing his critics and reminding America which leader will protect them in this war against Islamo-Fascism and fanatical terror.

Finally, I thought the best moment of the night was this line...

"So long as I'm the president, I will press for freedom. I believe so strongly in the power of freedom. You know why I do? Because I've seen freedom work right here in our own country. I also have this belief, strong belief, that freedom is not this country's gift to the world. Freedom is the Almighty's gift to every man and woman in this world.

And as the greatest power on the face of the earth, we have an obligation to help the spread of freedom. We have an obligation to help feed the hungry. I think the American people find it interesting that we're providing food for the North Korea people who starve. We have an obligation to lead the fight on AIDS, on Africa. And we have an obligation to work toward a more free world. That's our obligation. That is what we have been called to do, as far as I'm concerned. And my job as the president is to lead this nation and to making the world a better place. And that's exactly what we're doing."

Great words from a great leader. There's no better way to sum up Western Political thought manifested in America's founding ideals. As the representatives of civilization, it is our duty to help the world recognize their own freewill and destiny so they can build themselves up instead of tearing us all down. That, right there, is the money quote of this administration.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

PROBLEMS WITH AFFIRMATIVE ACTION

Check out this book review from UM philosophy professor, Carl Cohen. Im just curious if anybody knows anything about Dr. Cohen. Though it doesn't matter, I'm sure after wrting something negative about affirmative action he will be fired by the Diversity Athority. However, this piece is worth the read because it points out how affirmative action programs have failed everywhere they have been used on Earth. And what were the lessons of these failings?

1. "Race preference does not wind down; it winds up. Proliferation is the rule." This means that affirmative action cannot exist for a short time. It creates second class citizens that will a bigger and bigger helping hand in society.

2. "The inferior performance of some ethnic groups is not always a consequence of discrimination against them." It's funny how Asians and Jews, inspite of their minority status don't need any special advantages.

3. "It promotes hatred of a kind and of a degree almost impossible to reverse." After all, what better way to promote resentment then to hold one group of people in favor because of something as arbitrary as their color instead of their character.

4. "When racial balance is advanced by granting preferences that are deeply resented, diversity produces not greater racial harmony but greater racial conflict." By pointing out everybody's differences it makes it easier for some people to be more equal than others.
DANCIN' FOOL

From Drake...

"This one has Joel written all over it."

Monday, April 12, 2004

SETH'S NHL PLAYOFF PREVIEW

Sorry about taking so long to post this. The blogger wasn't working right over the weekend so I wanted to be sure before I posted a gem like this one. But since most mainstream sources of NHL news suck Seth has put together a little post-season preview. Enjoy...

From Seth...

"I know what you mean about American news sources categorically sucking ass at hockey. For example, McNews (USA TODAY) reported in their full-section playoff preview that the Flyers' chances hinge on the success of Jeremey Roenick. I should hope not, for Philly's sake. Roenick is out for the season with a possibly career-ending concussion.

There are only four relatively consistent markers I've every found for predicting playoff success in the NHL.

1. Game 7 goes to the home team. This almost never fails.

2. If you were hot at the end of the season, it should carry you 2 games into the playoffs but not further. If you lose an important game at the end of the season (i.e. needed 1 point to clinch your division and couldn't get it) it also carries over for 2 games into the playoffs.

3. If your goalie's name is Lalime or Cloutier, you won't make the
finals.

4. The team with the fewest road losses during the season should make it as far as three wins in the Stanley Cup Finals. Seriously. Last year it was New Jersey, who won the cup. The year before it was the Red Wings, also champions. The year before that it was New Jersey, who made it to Game 7 before losing to Colorado, who had the second-fewest road losses. In 2000 it was Dallas, who lost in Game 7 to the Devils. In '99 it was Dallas, who won the cup. I didn't take it back any further, but you get the picture. This year, the Bruins are in the best position, with only 7 losses on the road. The Avalanche were cold at the end of the season, but still finished with just 8.

So I'd have to say that the stage is set for a Boston/Colorado matchup with the Bruins winning in Game 7. The Wings should make it past Nashville but have a good chance of coming up against Colorado in the second round if San Jose and Vancouver win their respective pillow fights with St. Louis and Calgary.

Of course, there's one thing wrong with that: Boston's best player Joe Thornton just went down the last week of the season. So I have to go back to the drawing board...

Here's how I see the playoffs:

Round 1:
1. Detroit over 8. Nashville in 6
2. San Jose over 7. St. Louis in 7
6. Calgary over 3. Vancouver in 5
4. Colorado over 5. Dallas in 6

1. Tampa Bay over 8. NY Islanders in 4
2. Boston over 7. Montreal in 6
6. New Jersey over 3. Philadelphia
4. Toronto over 5. Ottawa in 4

Conf. Semis:

Detroit over Calgary in 5
Colorado over San Jose in 4

New Jersey over Tampa Bay in 6
Toronto over Boston in 7

Conf. Finals:

Colorado over Detroit in 6
Toronto over New Jersey in 5

Finals:

Colorado over Toronto in 6


If anyone were to upset my predictions, however, I'd honestly have to say the Wings. I'm not being a homer here; the Red Wings are finally healthy after a season in which at points they were dressing half the Grand Rapids team in red jerseys (remember Darryl Bootland, Nathan Robinson, Jiri Hudler, Niklas Kronwall, Anders Myrvold, Jason Williams, Jamie Rivers, Boyd Devereaux, and Mark Mowers all playing in the same game?). Now healthy, this team has to be one of the deepest in history. Yzerman, Datsyuk, Shanahan, Zetterberg, Lang, Hull, Lidstrom, Schneider,
Hatcher, and Chelios would be first liners on most any team in the NHL, the grind line is the best defensive unit in hockey, Thomas, Whitney, Fischer, Woolley, Kronwall, and Holmstrom are all solid. Both our starting goaltender and his backup have played 30 games in a year that both were supposed to be doing a lot of sitting and minor league tending. Also, with a possible lockout next season and a subsequent re-inventing of the game, the Wings are almost poetically the last remnant of the old guard. It's been such an odd season in Detroit, anyone who thinks they can make a prediction on this post-season as far as the Wings go is either lying, a fool, or owns a time machine."

And if you doubt the authority of Seth on sports...

"Speaking of brackets, I won my NCAA bracket with 114 points (bless you Uconn). There were 82 people in the pool and the payout's HUGE. I'm using the moolah to buy a guitar."

And with Detroit currently up 2-1 on Nashville, a 4-2 Wings win becomes very likely (at least from a mathematical perspective).
ALTERNATIVE HISTORY

While the Democrats are turning the 9/11 hearings into a political GOTCHA circus for the President, TNR examines what would have happened if the President had acted on the early intelligence that predicted a major attack on US soil. Truly a must-read.
ANDREW SULLIVAN ON LIBERAL TALK RADIO

Andrew Sullivan's latest column goes well beyond his usual summary. While pointing out how liberal talk radio fails, he agrees with Tondar's earlier assesment. Basically that liberal radio lacks any substance, ideas, and arguments. He attributes this to leftist intellectual arrogance...

"Liberals like to think their biases are actually reality. That's why they are much happier on, say, the BBC or, in America, on National Public Radio, which bores and uplifts the average listener into eventual submission to centre-left orthodoxy. And they're objective, of course. There is no bias at the BBC or NPR. Just professionalism! So liberal radio - in its purest form - already exists. And taxpayers subsidize it."

On the other hand, I don't agree with his points on FOXNEWS or the Drudgereport. Just because a news source positions itself to the right of the mainstream liberal media DOES NOT make it conservative. But Sully's column is worth the read alone for pointing out the lack of logic on today's liberal left.
SHOUT-OUT TO BROOKLYN

A while back I posted about my adventure at the Fulton Street Mall. Well check out what happened over there when somebody robbed the HSBC. It almost sounds like something out of a Coen Brothers film.

Sunday, April 11, 2004

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

Jewish Clement: "It's like Auschwitz, I've been given a spoon!"