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 12, 2004

HOPE IT GETS STUCK IN YOUR HEAD TOO

Look what Pigpen found...

Come on in, and pull yourself up a chair (like Chairry!)
Let the fun begin, it's time to let down your hair!
Pee-wee's SO excited,
'cause all his friends have been invited (that's you!)
To go wacky, at Pee-wee's Playhouse!

There's a crazy rhythm, comin' from Puppetland (what that?)
Dirty Dog, Cool Cat, and Chicky Baby are the Puppet Band (yeah!)
He's got a couple of talkin' fish,
and a genie who'll grant a wish -
Golly, it's cuckoo at Pee-wee's Playhouse!

Globey's spinnin', Mr. Window's grinnin',
'cause Pterri's flyin' by (hello!)
The Flowers are singin', the Picture Phone is ringin',
and the Dinosaur family goes, "Hi!"
Mr. Kite's soarin', Conky's still a snorin',
there's the flashing Magic Screen,
The Cowntess is so classy, Randy's kinda sassy -
A nuttier establishment you've never seen!
Spend the day with Pee-wee and you'll see what we mean! (Come on!)

Get outta bed, there'll be no more nappin'! (Wake up!)
'Cause you've landed in a place where anything can happen -
Now we've given you fair warnin'!
It's gonna be that kind of mornin' -
For bein' wacky!
For getting nutty!
Golly, it's cuckoo!
At Pee-wee's Playhouse!

Can you hear the bells, whistles and screams yet? I know I can!
KATHERINE WATCH

Oh good, she found TOAST! Heaven forbid she should not have TOAST!

From Katherine...

"Greetings from Ghana!

I hope things are going well for all of you! I miss you all!

This past week was crazy busy, but it was the best week I have had so far here. At the beginning of last week, I spent some time taking care of sick ones in the group, but now we are all back to health. People get malaria here like we get the common cold at home, so it isn't rare to have students missing class due to malaria.

At the end of the week, I went to the Ghana AIDS Comission in the capital city of Accra. I was in heaven there! If you didn't already know, my passion in life is HIV/AIDS education, so I was like a little kid at a candy store in this place. I tried meeting with the head of the comission, but he told me to come back on Monday at 10am. So, on Monday I didn't teach so that I could go to this meeting in Accra. I took a friend with me since she didn't have school, and we were dropped off at 7am. I found a great place to get coffee and toast, which is hard to find here. Then we went to the Comission and found that he had left for the day, so I had wasted another day going all the way to another city to go to this place. I knew that I couldnt' give up. I was so close to talking to someone about starting an AIDS program, that I knew I had to be persistant to get what I wanted. See in Ghana, everything is different! There is no such thing as time or being on a schedule, you just have to go with the flow!

So, Tuesday I went into the capital city alone. Now that was an experience. I started the day out getting into a fight with the taxi driver. He tried charging me triple what the ride is supposed to cost. I told him just because I am white doesn't mean that I am stupid, and he couldn't believe that I knew what I was doing. See, since this was the thrid day that I have gone to this place, I knew how much the cab fare should have been. SO, I was NOT going to let this guy take advantage of the fact that I am a foreigner, a woman, and all alone in a big city. NO. So he got out of the car and we were yelling at each other. I eventually walked away after yelling in Spanish. Then he started yelling at me in an African dialect, and I just left! I almost burst out into tears because I was so upset, but there I was at the AIDS Comission, so I had to keep my cool.

I went in and I talked to the head of the Comission. I found out a ton of info, got some cool posters and AIDS pins, and then he invited me to some activities througout the month. World AIDS Day is December 1st, so that is coming up. After that, I went to the opening of the AIDS Photo Exhibition at the Museum. Once again, a different taxi driver tried to screw me over. Good thing I knew what the museum looked like because he tried dropping me off in the middle of nowhere. I started yelling at him because he was screaming at me to get out of the car and give him money. An angel drove by on his bike and came to the window and got the driver to take me to the museum.

I got to the museum and I was in tears for hours touring the exhibit. It was incredible. FOr me, this is what I came to Africa to do... work with HIV/AIDS. Afterwards I went to an AIDS program with the school that I work at, and we learned a song about AIDS and got to watch a video and talk to people with HIV. The most beautiful African man who is an AIDS educator got up and sang the song to us and then taught us the words. I was almost crying again because it was so moving. So I got his phone number and I am going to see him on Saturday. I think he is my soul mate! A beautiful black man who is an AIDS educator, and he can sing? Now that is perfection!


Next Tuesday I am doing a huge presentation to the college that I teach at about AIDS. I am getting really nervous because it will be around 400 people that I am going to talk to. I am working on an interactive activity and a powerpoint presentation, so I can only hope it runs smoothly. I am starting a program here at the college for students to join where we will go and teach other schools about AIDS. I can't express how excited I am to do this! I am living my dreams! This is what I have always wanted to do!!!!!

Ok, so today was another great day. I got some real African clothes made for me, and they are super cute. You will all probably laugh at them, but this is what the people here wear. I am getting more made next week too, and I am also getting my hair braided.

I am just getting back from volunteering at the orphanage afterschool. I went with some students to the orphanage that Mother Theresa started here in Ghana. I played with babies for hours, and it was awesome. I can't even tell you how I felt. I was crying and laughing and really enjoying it. Someday I will probably adopt a baby from this orphange. I am going back every week because I can't get enough of this place. The babies are adoreable, and most of their parents have died of AIDS so that is why they are there. It was truly an inspirational afternoon to spend with children who never get to be held on a daily basis. There were over 80 children there, and only 3 people to take care of them. I wish you could all come and play with these babies, they are amazing. It is really hard to leave them, I want to take them all home!

So, last weekend I went to a rainforest! I even got to do a canopy walk up in the trees! There were 7 bridges to cross, and we were up in the air a few hundred feet. IT was an awesome, but scary experience! I was brave and videotaped some of it and also took pictures. WOW! It was one of the coolest experiences I have done. I can't wait to show you what the bridges were like! They were made of rope and wood, and they would sway with every step you took. We even got to see a little bit of wildlife, so that was awesome too.

After the rainforest, we went to the slave castle called Elmina. This was incredible too. I couldn't beleive the stories behind the castle, and how the slaves were treated. SOmeday, you will all have to come here and see what I am talking about, and just be so thankful that you have the life you have now. It is crazy to see how much we take for granted in America. Here, almost everyday the power goes out at least once, and there is no water. There are no phones in most places, and most people will never see a computer in their lifetime. Count your lucky stars for all that you have in your life!

Alright, this is getting long and I am super tired. I have to get ready for another night on the town (shhh... I know it is a school night, but I do this every night now! I will only be living in Africa once, so I have to live it up!). I am going out with this great group of guys again to a little "spot" which means bar, by my place. The guys here are so awesome. They all treat me with such great respect and want to marry me! It is so wonderful! Plus, they won't ever let me pay no matter how hard I try. I will have to bring them all home with me to share! Ha ha ha!

Sorry that this was a long one. I wish I could write more, but I am sure your eyes are about to fall out. Thanks for reading. I miss you all so much! I really wish I could pack a suitcase with all of you in it so you could have these experiences too.

Hope the snow isnt' too bad just yet. In Ghana, we are moving into the hot months, so that is not good for me. I got attacked by ants yesterday, and I woke up with them all in my hair. It was disgusting!"

My favorite part was when she ate TOAST!

Thursday, November 11, 2004

THAT AIN'T NO TOM SELLECK

Well Ole Tondar has been fighting a bit of a cold lately. So to keep my nose from getting chapped with the runny nose and all, I decided to grow a mustache. After a week of not shaving. It didn't exactly come in nice and full, it was blonde and mangey and looked like something that young Larry Bird would sport.
ZELL WATCH

It seems the fine Senator from Georgia has turned his attacks on that red-headed"high brow hussy" in New York. No, not that red-head in NY :) He means Maureen Dowd of the NYTimes.

Man, I'm gonna miss this guy!
GEORGE DELANO STRIKES AGAIN

Eight days after being re-elected the President alreaday has screwed over his conservative base. Once again he is proposing his plan to legalize all the illegal immigrants. Now in theory this isn't a bad idea. It brings them in as tax paying members of society so they can actually support their own baby factories. In addition, it will help with the Americanization process if they are actually put on the road to citizenship. However, this plan will also have to be backed up with real and serious border control that prevents not only families, but also Al Qaeda from breaking the law and sneaking into the United States with the help of the corrupt Mexican government.
DING-DONG YASSER'S DEAD!


Yasser Arafat, one of the worst terrorists of all time has finally passed away. GOOD RIDDANCE!

In fact, this marks a milestone. It's the first time a "palestinian" has ever died of natural causes. Oh well, looks like he won't be going to paradise to get his virgins since he wasn't able to take any innocent women and children with him. GOOD RIDDANCE!

But seriously. How bad was Yasser? He was only responsible for thousands of deaths as well as causing destruction in Jordan, Lebanon, Tunisia, and of course Israel. I will rest easier knowing that he is no longer of this earth. And once again, GOOD RIDDANCE!
SETH ON THE BCS II

Seth sets his record straight...

"A few things I left out of the BCS post.

First of all, I made a mistake. Only teams who finish in the Top 12 of the BCS standings are BCS-eligible. The Fiesta can't take Arizona. However, they could still grab 2-loss Florida State.

Next, the Notre Dame thing. I know it sounds unfair to single out a team, but the Irish side of it is that they annually play if not the most, then one of the most difficult schedules of any team. While most independents play perhaps one ranked team, the Irish typically schedule Michigan, Michigan State, Purdue, Indiana, Florida State, USC, Boston College, Tennessee, Stanford, Georgia Tech, Army, Navy and BYU. Penn State, Florida, Miami (Fla.) are other teams they oft pit themselves against. Army, Navy and BYU were historically powerhouses - that's why they're on the schedule. So the BCS decided that winning 9 games from their annual schedule from he!! would signify the equivalent of a BCS-conference team winning its conference championship. Of course, they played 11 games when they decided it. If they lose 3 games, however, they likely don't finish in the top 12 in the BCS standings so the question is moot.

A "BCS Buster" is a team that's not in the major conferences or named Notre Dame who breaks that all-important 6th spot in the BCS tallies. However, with the polls now deciding the majority of the the standings, pollsters purposely put, say, Utah a bit lower than they perhaps otherwise should to make sure they don't bust up the BCS. That's why Texas and California are ranked above the Utes. If Michigan wins out, we will be too, on strength of schedule.

A lot of changes were discussed but not passed concerning the BCS bowls this year, including the addition of a 5th BCS Bowl. They said that the Big East will keep its automatic bid, but there's a lot of resistance to this and for good reason. The thing is, they only play 6 conference games. So West Virginia or somebody could easily get whupped in 6 non-conference games, then go 6-0 in the weak Big East and get to play in a BCS bowl instead of, say, Texas (who lost only to Oklahoma). Who deserves it more, #7 ranked 11-1 Co-Big Ten Champions Michigan, or 6-6 unranked Syracuse. See what I mean? Without a Miami, Virginia Tech or even Boston College, the conference really doesn't have any reason to claim winning their conference is as tough as winning the Big Ten, BigXII, SEC, Pac10, or ACC. Even if they get Louisville and Marshall to sign up, that conference is still pretty weak. The only way I see them competing for real would be to convince Penn State that Big Ten play is a big over their heads. Notre Dame won't go over. Not for anything. They're an independent and fiercely so, and if they join anything it will be the Big Ten. Penn State, on the other hand, would resume its rivalries with Rutgers and Pittsburgh while having an opportunity to dominate - the conference gets a big-name team to keep the BCS interested in having their champion play in one of their games."
SETH ON THE BCS

From Seth...

"Right now, one loss by Wisconsin or Cal in their last two games puts Michigan in the Rose Bowl, provided we win our next two. Right now the bowls look like:

Orange: USC/Oklahoma (BCS #1 v. BCS #2)
Rose: Wisconsin/Cal (BigTen Champ/At-Large)
Fiesta: Auburn/Texas (SEC Champ/At-Large)
Sugar: Virginia/W. Virginia (ACC champ/Big East Champ)

Wisconsin losing to Iowa or Michigan State is the cleanest thing tha can happen for us. They drop to the Citrus and we end the season undefeated in conference play and with an automatic trip to Pasadena.

If Oklahoma is upset in the Big 12 championship, the whole thing goes haywire, because Texas and Oklahoma could both still get the BCS invite nod over Michigan, while the winner of the championship game gets an automatic bowl berth anyway. Cal is the presumptive pick for the Rose Bowl because a Pac-10/BigTen matchup is what the game tries to get and Cal is ranked about Michigan. But if they lose, the Rose Bowl would enjoy hosting a BigTen championship game, especially because Michigan
travels very well.

There's also an outside chance that Texas will lose a game, giving us an inside edge to the Fiesta. If that happened, Utah would be pretty upset. It's understood that a Big XII team that lost only to undefeated Oklahoma would go Tempe to replace the Sooners. But a BigTen team who lost to Notre Dame getting the nod over an undefeated team from one state to the north of the game would scream "money decision."

Anyway, don't discout how attractive a 1-loss Michigan team would be to BCS bowl games. Out of all the teams now in the top 10, except for USC, we carry the most money. Even Oklahoma doesn't have the national following of Michigan. Only the Trojans, Miami, Notre Dame, and Ohio State are that big.

The BCS Rankings only decide who plays in the National Championship game. However, if you're undefeated and ranked higher than 6, they have to accommodate you.

It works kind of like a draft. The base formula is:

Orange Bowl: ACC v. Big East
Rose Bowl: Pac10 v. BigTen
Fiesta Bowl: BigXII v. At Large
Sugar Bowl: SEC v. At Large

However, one of the bowls becomes a National Championship. This year it's the Orange Bowl.

You also have certain teams that need to have a spot.

BCS #1, BCS #2, the Conference Champs, 9-win Notre Dame, or any undefeated finishing #6 or higher in the BCS standings. This year's pool of must-sends would likely be:

USC (PacTen Champ)
Oklahoma (BigXII Champ)
Wiscosin (BigTen Champ)
Virginia (ACC Champ)
Auburn (SEC Champ)
West Virginia (Big East Champ)

So first, you pluck the BCS 1 and 2.

Orange: USC v. Oklahoma.

Then, those bowls whose conference champs are still on the board get them automatically.

Orange: USC v. Oklahoma
Rose: Wisconsin v. ???
Fiesta: ??? v. ???
Sugar: Virginia v. West Virginia

Now, the bowls get to choose the rest of their invites. You can choose a team not the automatic list if you like, but every team on the automatic list has to be taken. So if you're picking third and the first two teams taken weren't from the auto list, you're stuck with whoever's on the auto list. The order of decision is based off of which bowl lost its conference champion, in the order of where that conference champion is ranked.

In this case, the Rose Bowl lost its usual Pac10 champion, also the #1 ranked team in the BCS. So they get to pick first. They already have Wisconsin. They can grab whomever they want. Someone has to take undefeated Auburn, and a battle of undefeateds might be nice. But Cal is a Pac10 team, ranked #5 in both polls, is nearby Pasadena, and would make a nice fit for a classic Rose Bowl. They take Cal.

Next, the Fiesta Bowl, who lost #2 Oklahoma (the Big XII champion who would otherwise be playing in Tempe), gets to fill both of its spots. They have to take Auburn, and an undefeated team's not a bad grab anyway. Then, they can take whomever else they want. They could grab Arizona if they so chose. But of course, it's about money. Utah is one state away and undefeated, but they don't bring that much dough.
However, Texas only lost to Oklahoma and Texas fans are used to buying tickets and hotels for the Fiesta Bowl. And there's a lot of 'em, too. Texas replaces Oklahoma for a showdown with Auburn.

Now, take this formula and re-configure it for various scenarios. Michigan's best bet for a BCS berth is the Rose Bowl, either as an at-large bid if California loses, or as the BigTen champion bid if Wisconsin loses.

By the way, after the BCS, there's an order in which bowls choose whom they offer bids to. They're not restricted by SEC #2 v. BigTen #2 or anything. Actually, the 2nd-highest-ranked SEC team goes to the Cotton Bowl against the #2 Big XII team. So Georgia could likely face off against Texas there if the Fiesta chooses Utah (battle of undefeateds) instead. Or A&M if not. Out of 12 teams, the SEC usually has two
high-level squads tied for 2nd - like a perfect team that only lost the championship game and another 1-losser who only fell to the outright champion in September. The Citrus Bowl tends to get the lesser of those two while the Cotton Bowl gets the greater."

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

EUROPE WATCH

Looks like Belgium is suffering from too much free speech...

"Belgium's far-right Vlaams Blok was branded racist in a supreme court ruling that will force one of Europe's most successful anti-immigrant parties to relaunch itself.

The supreme court upheld a verdict by a lower court in April that found the party to be guilty of "permanent incitement to segregation and racism".

The top court rejected all 21 arguments put forward by the Vlaams Blok in an appeal against the April ruling by a court in Ghent, saying that freedom of speech had its limits under tough new anti-racism legislation."


How can there ever be too much free speech? Doesn't that drop a big ole steaming deuce all over the idea of "open" democracy?

Secondly, this is another great example of judicial tyranny. If the left can't win power from the electorate democratically, then simply ban the opposition. I guess we should be glad that the Democratic party is still trying to gain power the old fashioned way.
PIGPEN ON WONDERS (AGAIN)

"I know what you're saying about every 80,000 seat joints, as they are erected and torn down at will - Kingdome is a good example of this as well as the soon to be gone Silverdome. However, there are a few that stand the test of time and conjur up something more than just a big place to watch an event. That's why I chose the three I did rather than something as generic as Pro Player Stadium in Miami or Kaufman Feild in Kansas City. They are just as big (if not bigger), than the three I listed, but there is a mystique and a nostalgia that has kept them standing and in use for so long - it's also evident in the fact that regardless of how you feel about the occupants the building is still something that trancends the functionality. I guess in someways they exemplify the innocence that the spirit of America had in the not to distant past and still in some small way cling to that past. In an after thought Lambeau can be added to the list albeit to a lesser degree.

Also the more I think about it, the more Rushmore is the front runner. Regardless of how it was conceived or funded it far suprasses those factors in it's meaning and significance. We don't know what or how the wonders of the ancient world were funded. Are the pyramids less of a wonder simply because it was the Pharoh's way of flaunting his big sack? Or is the colloseum cheapend b/c it was the emperor's selfish attempt to excercise his power through a whim?"

Pigpen raises an interesting point here. Alot of our cultural history can be found in some of these old ballparks. Remember all those young adult books you had to read about the New York Yankees taking on the Brooklyn Dodgers in the world series. Through literature, cinema, and pop culture these buildings have actually become larger than their early 20th Century craftsmanship.

Personally, if I had to name one crown jewel of American Wonders it would be Hoover Dam. It's a great manifestation of that American idea of being larger than life while still maintaining its practical function.
STICKING IT TO ZELL

After being allowed to use the AJC as his personal soapbox, the editorial board at the liberal AJC finally decided to strike back. However, this is one of the best editorials I have ever read. I don't agree with it, but I had to point out this jem of journalism. Notice how they use Zell's style of oration and writing to badmouth his behavior. They even have a random quote tossed in just like Zell is fond of using. Personally, I really liked the references to booze and beatings. It's all made even more ironic by the condescending inference that one can't be conservative without being racist.
SETH ON THE "NEW" BIG EAST

From Seth...

"The Big East is starting to buzz about how it's going to save itself next year. It better get crackin.

I've been doing an analysis of how the conference can rebuild itself. It lost Virginia Tech and Miami already to the ACC and Boston College will bolt at the end of this season as well. Connecticut just recently joined, but Temple (and not a moment too soon) is folding up its football program.

So next year, there will be just 5 teams left: Pittsburgh, Syracuse, West Virginia, Rutgers, and UConn.

No offense to the Scarlet Knights and Huskies, but as far as pigskin goes, they're both 1-star programs. Pitt, WVU and Syracuse are all 3-stars (solid mid-level major conference teams) who deserve better than to fold into a mid-major conference. But they're not likely to find many suitors. At best, Pitt or Syracuse could get asked into the Big Ten (Pitt to provide a rival for Penn State or Syracuse to bring some basketball credibility). But that's not going to happen. The Big Ten has that 12th spot reserved for Notre Dame and Notre Dame only.

The way I figure, the Big East needs at least 10 teams to be even close to a viable conference. So they need to pick up 5. They also need to average about 3-stars in their programs' viability.

First, the easy ones. Louisville is historically a 2-star program that has made itself a 3-star in the last decade. They'd fit nicely. So would Marshall, a program with enough history and dominance of mid-majors and prime-time NFL players (Randy Moss, Chad Pennington, Byron Leftwich, et al.) to warrant inclusion. Marshall would also provide an in-state, in-conference rival for West Virginia.

Now we're up to 7, with 5 teams at that 3-star necessity and two still dragging them down.

Independent Navy might be an interesting pickup. They're based in Annapolis, Md., and that Army/Navy game would be a good one to get into the television deals. I know the team stinks, but the thing about service colleges is you can get a lot of bang for a team that won't mess up the rest of your teams' records. And if they're going Navy, might as well snag West Point, N.Y.-based Army as well, right? Again, big following, big games, little-to-no worry about upsetting conference contenders.

So now we've got 9 teams. Five are those middle-of-the-road types who could have a big season one year or a really bad season the next, but at least they'll win some non-conference games and usually beat the mid-major teams they play. Two are service colleges, giving the conference a patriotic theme, a national rivalry game at the end of the season, and otherwise a couple of doormats to pad the winning column of the conference's BCS contender. Two are those cupcakes that every conference gets stuck with, with one of them, however, providing a national superpower in basketball and a rising market share in New England and the other the closest college I-A college to the city of New York (and thus the Big Apple's coveted television rights).

Now it's time for the coup de gras, the juggernaut who garners national attention and annually brings interest to every game on its schedule. Notre Dame, despite its basketball allegiance and weird ability to snag the Big East's tie-in to the Gator Bowl, is not gonna go. They're not. They're all the way in Indiana, play like six Big Ten teams every year, want to maintain their rivalries with Boston College (no longer in the Big East) and USC, and simply like being an independent team that everyone knows should join the Big Ten. The Irish and the Big Ten are like that old couple who've lived together for 40 years, had kids together, and still refuse to get married. Let 'em be.

So who then? Well, since Miami seems content in the ACC, there's only one option: Penn State. They've got to do it. It helps that the move to the Big Ten has become a disaster. On the other hand, the money, the academics, the huge games every week, the focus on football, these are all things that the Big Ten has that the Big East can't offer. It won't happen so long as Joe Paterno, a man cut from the mold of Woody Hayes and Bo Schembechler, is still shuffling up and down the sidelines in pants that are too short and glasses that are too thick. But lose Joe Pa while the Nittany Lions are a Big Ten doormat and PSU might find the lure of being the franchise program in the new Big East quite attractive.

Anyway, according to my calculations, they still have the worst conference.

Here's my statistical ratings. Feel free to question my logic. I figured a 6-star team has to have been dominant historically and at present. A 5-star had to be almost that, almost always ranked, recruit nationally, and usually in contention for a National Championship. A 4-star has to have a massive following and success rate (usually rated and go to a bowl game with sporadic conference championships). A 3-star is your run-of-the-mill major conference team who wins a conf. championship every 10 years, and a 3.5-star team is that except they also dominated college football for a decade historically. Your 2-stars are the also-rans of major college football with programs that compete once in awhile but usually get rolled over, with 2.5 going to such a wimp who used to be a monster. Your 1-stars are the perennial losers.

I gave each major conference team a rating and averaged them to determine conference strength.

Big Ten:
Michigan - 6 stars
Ohio State - 6
Penn State - 5
Iowa - 4
Minnesota - 3.5
Michigan State - 3
Wisconsin - 3
Purdue - 3
Illinois - 3
Northwestern - 3
Indiana - 2
Score: 3.77


SEC:
Florida - 5
Alabama - 5
Tennessee - 5
Auburn - 4
Georgia - 4
LSU - 4
Arkansas - 3
Ole Miss - 3
South Carolina - 3
Kentucky - 2
Vanderbilt - 2
Miss. State - 2
Score: 3.50


Big XII:
Oklahoma - 6
Nebraska - 6
Texas - 5
Texas A&M - 4
Kansas St. - 3
Missouri - 3
Colorado - 3
Oklahoma St. - 3
Iowa St. - 2
Kansas - 2
Texas Tech - 2
Baylor - 2
Score: 3.42


Pac 10:
USC - 6
Stanford - 3.5
Cal - 3.5
UCLA - 3
Washington - 3
Washington St. - 3
Oregon - 3
Oregon St. - 3
Arizona - 3
Arizona St. - 3
Score: 3.40


ACC:
Miami (Fla.) - 6
Florida State - 5
Virginia Tech - 4
Clemson - 3.5
Georgia Tech - 3.5
Boston College - 3
Maryland - 3
NC State - 3
N. Carolina - 3
Virginia - 3
Wake Forest - 2
Duke - 1
Score: 3.33


Big East:
Pittsburgh - 3.5
Syracuse - 3
W. Virginia - 3
Rutgers - 2
UConn - 2
Score: 2.70

Former Big East (w/ Miami, Va. Tech, B.C. & Temple and minus UConn):
3.19

Big East under Seth plan:
Penn State - 5
Pittsburgh - 3.5
Syracuse - 3
W. Virginia - 3
Marshall - 3
Louisville - 3
Army - 2.5
Navy - 2.5
Rutgers - 2
UConn - 2
Score: 2.95

Rats. Still under the 3-point benchmark. Well, it's a start. And it's at least a concise conference of like-academic institutions playing in a single region. Louisville extends the southern border to Kentucky, but everyone is pretty close. And with the region being so highly populated - not to mention that the service schools can win national appeal - it's a conference that could work. It also doesn't ruin other conferences. The MAC can survive without Marshall, although they'll want another school to fill that spot. And Conference USA could refocus its efforts, too spread out at the moment, in perhaps stealing a Sun Belt team or two and gaining power in Texas."
HISTORY OF THE FUTURE

Here's a humourous yet interesting look at the future history of the Presidency of Hillary Clinton through the eyes of a French textbook.
1999 A-"GO"

Recently I found the movie "Go" in the Best Buy bargain bin so I picked it up and gave it a whirl. I know it's only been 5 years. However, it seems like it has been so much longer since the days of X, Katie Holmes, and raves. Looking back this is the perfect movie for a 19 year old who's just finished a year at college. It's a true celebration of that wild abandon that creates a night of legend. Certainly we have had many of those over the 628 and 308 years. This movie came out between the Night of the Good Pirate and the rise of Super Thursday. So it was a time of innocence but yet there was that twinkle of Richard's Rage in our collective eye.

What really makes this movie stir that special sentiment in Tondar is the fact that this film represents the completed rubric of a 628 or 308 night, before Tondar had even been unleashed upon the world. Remember, Y2K was the summer of the Dirty Dozen and running with the bulls. "Go" came out before Joel, Merkle and Rich moved into 628. It even Came out before Tres, Drake, and myself launched the war effort following all of us breaking up with our redheads.

And what a redhead she was! Mine was a 16 year old cutie with a body that wouldn't quit. Good ole Lacey had that delightfully wicked sense of humor that Tondar loves. For example, we always used to fabricate fights in public. Usually these ended with me chasing her screaming "You Fucking Bitch!" as she drove away in my car while people looked on. Of course she would eventually stop and let me hop in, laying a HUGE kiss on me. It was one of those cool relationships where your personalities compliment eachother perfectly. Afterall ya gotta love any girl that allows you to call her names! Can you imagine a mereDEATH being that cool? Yeah, exactly. So anyways, it should be obvious that this redhead was the first girl to ever really break my heart. All through our relationship I attempted to maintain a healthy level of apathy. And finally by the time I came around and admitted that I actually loved her she had become bored and dumped me. But still, I will always fondly remember the days of cruising around in my 89 cavalier (El Coche De Muerte) running minor shenanigans and singing a forgotten classic of the era in proper duet fashion (yeah, she even had that Tondar love for radio sing-a-longs in the car).

How many remember this song from the "Go" soundtrack...

I was lying on the grass on Sunday morning of last week
Indulging in my self defeat
My mind was thugged all laced and bugged all twisted wrong and beat
A comfortable three feet deep
Now the fuzzy stare from not being there on a confusing morning weak
Impaired my tribal lunar speak
And of course you can't become if you only say what you would have done
So I missed a million miles of fun

I know it's up for me
If you steal my sunshine
Making sure I'm not in too deep
If you steal my sunshine
Keeping versed and on my feet
Check, c'mere c'mere, c'mere

I was lying on the bench slide in the park across the street
l-a-t-e-r that week
My sticky paws were in to making straws out of big fat slurpy treats
An incredible eight foot heap
Now the funny glare to pay a gleaming tare in a staring under heat
Involved an under usual feet
And I'm not only among but I invite who I want to come
So I missed a million miles of fun

I know it's up for me
If you steal my sunshine
Making sure I'm not in too deep
If you steal my sunshine
Keeping versed and on my feet

I know it's done for me
If you steal my sunshine
Not as some and hard to see
If you steal my sunshine
Keeping dumb and built to beat
If you steal my sunshine

My Sunshine
If you steal my sunshine...


At the time, I always thought this song was fitting because I figured she couldn't steal my sunshine if I played it cool. But it turned out I actually was in too deep and when it was up for me all that remained was a drunken Tondar standing in the parking lot of Toys R Us screaming "I hate my life" and tossing a shopping cart around like a ragdoll. And thus began one of the darkest phases in Yeza history: The War.
SETH'S NOT THE ONLY ONE

Check out the Atlanticblog's rundown of leftist hysteria in the wake of the re-election of President Bush. I especially enjoyed the Pigpenesque historical jabs about the 13th Amendment and the parallels to President Polk.

Along the same lines check out this Mark Steyn piece in the Telegraph that calls out the condescending European elites. Afterall, it's much easier to frame America as a crude nation of inbred rednecks urinating on the world than to consider the possiblity that America's rejection of secular socialism ensures a viable future society.

Money quote...

"And, if Americans do "hate abortion", is Mr Reade saying he loves it? It's at least partially responsible for the collapsed birthrates of post-Christian Europe. However superior the EU is to the US, it will only last as long as Mr Reade's generation: the design flaw of the radical secular welfare state is that it depends on a traditionally religious society birthrate to sustain it. True, you can't be a redneck in Spain or Italy: when the birthrates are 1.1 and 1.2 children per couple, there are no sisters to shag."
A LESSON FROM DOWN UNDER

Here's an interesting article that talks about how Australia is looking at abortion from a ferderalist perspective. Imagine that, having the people decide what is, and is not murder instead of an oligarchy of 9 non-elected Justices. Though I wonder if they fly off the handle as bad as Americans about the issue as the two sides simply scream past eachother. I think America could use a solid debate on the issue. However, the FOXNEWS rhetoricians could probably never make this possible.

Though meanwhile, Arlen Specter can't seem to escape the comments he made regarding a Roe V. Wade litmus test for possible Supreme Court nominations. With the judiciary serving a large legislative roll it is important to have a good conservative chairing the judicial committee and backing the President's nominations. Right now Orin Hatch is being forced to retire thanks to Republican imposed term limits. Specter was going to be his replacement. However, majority leader Bill Frist must decide whether to roll the dice on a powerful maverick or roll the dice and try to get somebody trustworthy to handle advising and consenting to the President's nominations.

Monday, November 08, 2004

AFTER THOUGHT

James and Pigpen raise interesting point. However, if every city has a great stadium or building does that make them truly "Wonderful?" The Great Pyramid was great because it took alotta capital to build something that large in the ancient world. Plus there is only one of them. Today we turn out new 80,000 seat stadiums (Ford Field, Georgiadome, Comerica Park) almost yearly. Shouldn't a wonder be something that requires labor, engineering, and capital barely within grasp?

Of course this disqualifies many of the monuments I listed. However, I think this gets to the heart of the discussion of what America will leave behind for Charlton Heston when he tries to escape from the Planet of the Apes.
JAMES ON WONDERS

From James...
"I believe that america has in fact surpassed all of the ancient accomplishments, and created new monoliths that will stand the test of time. is it size that matters? how about the statue of liberty, dwarfing the collossus of rhodes? or perhaps the largest library in the world, the library of congress. if having the largest library ever isn't an accomplishment, it is at least saying something great about our culture. if huge structures like the sears tower and the soon to be erected liberty tower (or whatever that thing in new york is going to be called) aren't tall enough to completely dwarf the pyramids, maybe we should rest easy knowing that they were all built of free enterprise and not an oppressive monarchy.
yes, i think that america has enough monuments to have easily trumped the ancients in every ways. if it isnt' the size of our constructions, it is their plentifulness that perhaps has dulled the impact of their immensity. rome had one great colliseum. how many great structures like the pontiac silverdome, madison square garden, and the rose bowl do we have? honestly, i think future civilizations will marvel at things like the st. lawrence seaway and the national highway system more than any big building we may produce."
PIGPEN ON WONDERS

Seth does raise an interesting point, but we live in today and recognize monuments of yesterday. With the exception of religious monuments do you think that these things were built with the express purpose of being extrodanary or functional? The Colosseum is a wonder of the ancient world and very beautiful, but the archetecture is more functional than it is asthetic. That is what they had to work with, this is also evident in today's modern society in the difference with buildings like the Empire State and the Chrysler building being of the stacked box construction method and the Sears Tower and now defunct WTC utilized a revolutionary column style construction - it may seem asthetically boring (gray boxes), but it really is a funtion of physics, engineering, contruction and space efficiency. Also technology has to be a driving factor, look at the contruction of the pyramids at Giza in comparison to the Colosseum the technology that exisited at the time of the pyramid construction pales in comparison to those of 1st century AD Rome.

I would make the arguement that the US does have it's own monuments in their own right that will last far into the future as wonders in some form or fashion. Such monuments would include, and I'm basing this on something that is extrodanary to us now, but in the ancient world were just buildings with uses.

The list is as follows (feel free to argue, question or discuss)

Empire State Building (NY)
Crystal Cathedral (Co)
Golden Gate Br (Ca)
White House / Capital (DC)
Statue of Liberty (NY)
Fenway/Wrigley/Yankee (Ma/IL/NY)
StL Arch (Mo)
Cape Canaveral (Fl)
Disney World (Fl)
Big ass telescope in Puerto Rico
Fort Knox (Ky)

In their own arguable way historic centers of industry can be and maybe will be considered wonders of our age in the very distant future...

Boeing's Evart Wa facility
Bethlehem Steel
River Rouge complex
Port of Long Beach (Ca)
Newport News shipyard (Va)

This list is meant to point out that what we consider monuments and wonders of the ancient world are mostly places that would not be perceived as such at the time (which points out a sub-situation that the masses in the ancient world were orders of magnitude less educated than our society now). Regardless in our "educated" society (it is compared to the previous centuries) priorities change and the awe factor that Haggia Sophia and Giza garnered in there respective era's during the primary use of the structures cannot and will not work in the same way. However when future generations uncover our accomplishments and hang them next to the accomplishments of the ancients it is a picture of the progression of the human race, not who made what to look cool. That was a tactic to control the masses before and it was also the spiritual direction that the leaders of the society steered the whole. Today the same doesn't hold true, structures are built to honor technology or to entertain (which hasn't changed) there are exceptions as in the notable structures in DC (functional to govern our country), the crystal catherdral (large center of worship, I think the pope was there in 96 or 97) and the Statue of Liberty & St. Louis Archway (legit monuments, but honor the spirit of the American ideal which is further exemplified in our centers of industry and scientific/engineering accomplishments).
RICHARDS RAGE OF ANTIQUITY

A history lesson from Seth...

"According to historical account, Richard's Wild Irish Rose has been around much longer than we originally gave it credit for.

See, in 330 B.C., Alexander the Great had defeated the Persian King Darius' army soundly and taken control of Persia. After they tracked down the king, the Companions marched back to Perseopolis and began plundering the rich capital city.

Well, that night Alex and his closest buddies sat in the palace and had the wine keep a' comin' . By the wee hours, a boasting Alexander, who had seen the bottom of many a bottle that evening, was challenged by a friend that while his power was great, he couldn't burn down the palace. Oh yeah? Watch this! So, Alexander the Great, at about 3 a.m., led everybody from the building and set it alight, burning down one of the greatest seats of power in the known world.

The next morning, wrote his historian, Alexander asked what army had burned down the city. Then, recalling his shenanigans from the night before, said that he was sorry to have destroyed such a beautiful building. Whoops. Sorry, guy."

And here we thought we were hardcore when we stapled flyers to our chest.

I wonder if Oliver Stone uses this story in his new "Alexander" movie.
MORE MICHIGAN LAWS

From Pigpen...

"In Grand Rapids it is illegal to exit a car parked on the street from the driver side. In addition, each dead rat taken to City Hall is worth a 10 cent bounty."

And to think ole Tondar left THAT economy behind. Now when you bring the dead rats to city hall, can you just leave them piled up in the loby or do you have to take them to a certain floor?
7 LESSONS FROM THE ELECTION

If you're curious why the Democrats lost the last election, check out Bruce Bethke's 7 little points to help liberals make sense of the "horror" of the election.

My personal favorite...

"Lesson 4. Liberals have not had any new ideas in 40 years. Face it. All liberals have done since 1980 is fight a series of rearguard actions designed to protect the gains they made in the 1960's and 1970's, with the crown jewel being Roe v. Wade. More about that in a moment, but first, you must understand that a commitment to rearguard actions and inflexible defensive positions is a commitment to defeat. See the history of French military victories for more examples."


It's ironic that the conservative party is now the party of change, while the "liberals" are clinging to 20 years of failed socialist policy.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

WONDERS IN AMERICA

From Seth...

"Every great civilization built wonders. The Parthenon, the Colisseum, the Pyramids, the Great Wall, the Forbidden Palace, Taj Mahal, Notre Dame, the Duomo, St. Peter's, the Hagia Sophia. And those are just those that survived. For 2,000 years, the largest building in the world was the Hebrew Temple in Jerusalem. The building was so important that its blueprints are still read by much of the world in the Torah/Old
Testament.

The biggest thing Americans have built? Mount Rushmore, the greatest accomplishment of U.S. Senatorial pork (Peter Norbeck).

I wonder if we'll ever be able to construct a worthy monument for future generations to say, "that was built by the Americans." Certainly, we've got a budget for it, but of course, the Democratic system demands practicality - Hoover Dam, or the direction of the space program provide fine examples - or, like Rushmore, a politically motivated scheme. It's not necessary in our culture to have such a symbol of power.
Architects aren't magicians to the general populace. Plus, we're a culture of change, so a stone structure that takes 300 or even 30 years to build isn't going to serve the same purpose as it did when it was commissioned.

Building Cathedrals or other magnificient religious structures would secure permanance of power in a religion-dominated world. As would palaces or massive tombs secure a dynasty in a monarchichal world. The reason the small town of Florence has so much neat stuff is that the Medicis used those structures to secure their power base.

And the only reason these structures survived is because they're built of stone - as that's what they had back then. If you could erect Notre Dame with steel girders, and a glass roof, they would have. The flying buttresses and towering pillars were just stone answers to questions of physics - namely weight transfer. So for America to devise a stone structure in the style of old would seem quite arbitrary.

However, part of our lack of defining public works is that post-industrial American tendency to shy away from creating beauty in favor of practicality. We build boring off-white and gray rectangles because that's the cheapest way to build and gray tones
psychologically restrict our capacity for abherrent behavior. The only building every
put together without budget constraints in America was Detroit's Fisher building. Had the project been completed, it would have likely been a sight of American architectural artwork to behold, but the Depression hit the Fisher family hard and only one of the two side buildings was ever completed. GM's headquarters - a gray rectangle - moved into the foundation for the main structure.

In days yore, the Hoover Dam might have been stylized into the Argonath (the two towering statues in Lord of the Rings) or at least given decor.

Perhaps when we start colonizing the moon, there'll be a major structure build in the place of the Apollo landings. But who knows when that will be.

Any thoughts?"

To which I replied...

You raise a very interesting point here and I was actually considering it all weekend. I think to examine American Wonders we have to define what wonders really are first.

Basically they can be placed into 3 categories...

Practical: These are things built to improve the quality of life. The Romans were big into this with their aqueducts. But the ancients hopped on board with such things as the Lighthouse at Alexandria, the great Library of Ninevah, or the later Great Wall of China.

Religious: This we can group all churches and temples. Up until the modern era it was important to build great churches because heavenly authority went hand in hand with temporal authority. Plus, if there is something greater than man, it is only fair to build something great in honor and to keep favor. This would include Hagia Sofia, The Vatican, The Duomo, the temple at Baalbek, Olympia, Athens, Jerusalem,
Tenochtitlan, Machu Piccu, and Easter Island.

Temporal: These glorify earthly organizations and people. When a man becomes extraordinary it becomes necessary to create a worthy structure for this man. These include such things as tombs like The Great Pyramid, Taj Mahal, Halikanarssus or palaces such as Knossos, Mycenae, Buckingham, Kremlin, Louvre or simply great monuments like the Hanging Gardens, the Eiffel Tower, Brandenburg Gate, The Sphynx, or The Colossus of Rhodes.

Now you're right that America does like to keep things practical since we dont have any kings worthy of great palaces or tombs. But practical monuments seem to be our crowning achievements. Look at the Golden Gate Bridge or Brooklyn Bridge. These were great achievments for the time they were built. Also consider great scientific programs such as NASA or SETI, these will leave a handful of monuments but serve to further mans quest to understand himself in the universal scheme. Also don't forget 2 other great practical wonders...Las Vegas and Walt Disney World. In 2000 years you can imagine archeologists coming to the desert in Vegas to try and figure out why there are great multi-roomed palaces. Or visiting this strange shrine in FL dedicated to the religious order of a smiling rat. These are great achievements and really reflect our American culture. Yeah, they are very comercial in nature but I think it does not subtract from the wonder of their existence.

As for religious monuments, America only has a couple of these. This is ironic considering we are such a religious nation. But I think this reflects modernities focus on more temporal concerns of fighting poverty instead of raising great spires to heven. Though I would consider the Morman Tabernacle and St. Patricks in NYC both very substantial buildings of faith and devotion.

Being a democracy and only 200 years old, we lack temporal monuments the most. Though we do have a handful of small temples built for Jefferson, Lincoln, FDR. We tend to devote more of our monuments to collective efforts such as Vietnam, WWII, or Korea. Also dont forget the monuments devoted to the Native Americans (Crazy Horse) or my personal favorite, the Conferadacy's very own Stone Mountain GA (its so tastefully done but so pointless).

Im sure as America grows older we will get some great buildings. These would especially be likely if there is a transition to Monarchy or a need to create say a new Vatican after a second Islamic invasion turns St. Peter's into a mosque, or we see Scientology or Paganism find a deep foothold within America. But after 200 years, I am pretty proud of our handful of practical monuments and as you can tell Im always really pumped about building great spaceships and far-off bases on other worlds in the future.

Also it should be noted...The Duomo and in fact most structures in Firenze (outside of the Palazzo Pitti, the Ufizzi, and San Lorenzo) were not made to glorify Medici power. They were built because Florence was one of the great economic and cultural capitals of the world during the 13th-16th century. Florence had many great families...Corsi, Salviati, Tornabouni...The Medici are only remembered because they turned the Republic into their own personal Duchy and were big time players in
European politics for 500 years afterwards.
THE BLOGGARIAN JIHAD

I guess it was only a matter of time, but the Jihad has now made its way into the blogosphere as well. Between the murder of Theo Van Gogh and this latest attack on free speech, maybe President Bush is right. They really do hate our freedoms. Afterall, what is the goal of their jihad? It is to create oppressive Islamic fundamentalist regimes where their perverted view of islam can flourish. For this to happen freedom of religion, speech, press, and assembly must all be suppressed in favor of the overriding theocratic theme.
CRAZY MICHIGAN LAWS

From Seth...

"With the passage of Proposal 2, I thought I'd list a few other stupid laws on the books in the state of Michigan, as per a conversation between my brother and I the other night:

1. A woman isn't allowed to cut her own hair without her husband's permission

2. There is a 3-cent bounty for each starling and 10-cent bounty for each crow killed in any village, township or city in the state. Tres- this could supplement your can collecting.

3. It is legal for a robber to file a lawsuit if he or she got hurt in your house, except those proceedings can then be used to put the robber in jail.

4. This got repealed in 2000, but until then you could not swear in front of women and children.

5. Any person over the age of 12 may have a license for a handgun as long as he/she has not been convicted of a felony. In '99 (after Columbine) they decided to add that you can't bring it to school.

6. It is illegal to kill a dog using a decompression chamber.

7. Adultery is illegal, but can only be punished upon a complaint by the affected husband or wife. Furthermore, no prosecution may take place if the offense was committed over a year from when a complaint was made.

8. No man my seduce and corrupt an unmarried girl, or else risk five years in prison.

9. The last Sunday in June of every year is officially named Log Cabin Day.

10. Cars may not be sold on Sunday.


Cities:

Detroit:
1. Couples can't make l0ve in an automobile unless the act takes place while the vehicle is parked on the couple's own property.

2. It is illegal to willfully destroy your old radio.

3. It is illegal for a man to scowl at his wife on Sunday

4. It is illegal to let your pig run free in Detroit unless it has a ring in its nose

5. It is illegal to throw an octopus onto the playing surface of any Detroit pro sports team. (Think about this one from the perspective of people living 100 years from now and you begin to understand where dumb laws come from).

Clawson:
Only a farmer may legally $leep with his pigs, cows, horses, goats and chickens.

Grand Haven:
No person shall throw an abandoned hoop skirt into any street or on any sidewalk, under penalty of a five- dollar fine for each offense. (Doesn't say anything about running around nekkid with a bass)

Harper Woods:
It is illegal to paint a sparrow to sell it as a parakeet

Kalamazoo:
It is against the law to serenade your girlfriend.

Rochester:
All bathing suits must have been inspected by the head of police before being worn in public.

Sault Ste. Marie:
Smoking while in bed is illegal

Wayland:
Anyone can keep their cow on Main Street downtown at a cost of 3 cents per day.
DICK MORRIS ON THE ELECTION

Check out what Bill Clinton's old political consultant had to say about the election. He was most impressed with the insignificant roll that advertising played.

Money Quote...

"In the states which the campaigns did not contest and assigned to one camp or the other, Bush's vote rose by 2.9 percent over his showing against Al Gore in 2000. And in the states where the candidates spent advertising money like there was no tomorrow, Bush's vote share rose by 2.6 percent."


Seth pointed this fact out the morning after the election. However, Dick Morris goes on to suggest that presidential elections are better fought all across the nation instead of the current focus on swing states and regional battles.
A NIGHT AT THE OPERA

Last night ole Tondar decided to further culture his ass, so I rolled on down to the Civic Center and took in Mozart's Don Giovanni. It was a good performance. However, at 3 and 1/2 hours long, my ass was about to fall off during the second act. It didn't help that anti-social radius I had evaporated after intermission and I was no longer able to sprawl across the seats Wiltse-style. But on a positive note, I also found it interesting how good my Italian still is. Foreign languages are my one weakness. Nevertheless, I was able to understand alotta words and rhymes that were not translated on the projection screen above.

My personal favorite was a jolly number in the second scene where Leporello was hopping around Donna Elvira bragging about Don Giovanni's many sexual conquests. He especially had perfect musical and comedy timing with the line, "Ma en Espana mil e tre!" But in Spain (he had) 1003. I've been singing that one to myself all day :)

One cool thing about Opera Atlanta is that to encourage people to get there on time there is a lecture an hour before the show starts. I found it interesting because it pointed out many larger themes besides the simple morality lesson of "Don't act like Tucker Max." For example, in Scene V of Act I there is a ballroom scene where the entire ensamble sings the praises of enlightenment era liberty. This really lifts Don Giovanni from delightful anti-hero to eighteenth century political and social rebel who gives a big F-You to society, order, and morality. Of course in the end he is swallowed up by hell for his refusal to repent. But this subtle contrast shows Mozart had quite a bit to say about finding the balance between liberty and morality in any society.
ZELL ON THE ELECTION

Georgia Senator Zell Miller had a wonderful must-read editorial piece in the AJC following the election. It was so good that Sean Hannity actually read the entire thing on the air. If you remember Zell is a retiring democrat that supported Bush in the last election. Last year, he wrote a book called "A National Party No More," which discusses how the modern liberal democratic party has completely written off the south...

"In 1980, the South had 20 Democrats and just six Republicans in the Senate. As recently as 1994, the Senate had 17 Democrats and nine Republicans from the South. A decade later, the number had reversed to 17 Republicans and nine Democrats. With this election, it is 22 Republicans and just four Democrats from the South."


In addition, with many yankees such as Ole Tondar, moving to the South, the growing region has become more important than ever in national politics...

"The most recent failed nominee for president stands as proof that the national Democratic Party will continue to dwindle. The South has gone from just one-fourth of the Electoral College in 1960 to almost a third today. To put this in perspective, that gain is equal to all the electoral votes in Ohio. Yet there was not a single Southern state where John Kerry had any real chance. Would anyone like to place bets on the electoral strength of the South by 2012? Maybe they should tax stupidity."


But one other point I found interesting was the fact that 2004 represented a re-affirmation of President Bush's aggressive foreign and defense policies...

"I retire with a quiet satisfaction that after witnessing the struggle of democracy over communism and fascism, the fear I once held that America might not rise to meet this new challenge of terrorism has vanished like a fog under the radiance of a new dawn. While the threat is still real, the shadow looming across a promising future is gone."


It should be noted that throughout American history only once has the electorate retreated from a difficult yet proactive approach to America's roll domestically and abroad. Voters opted to continue the hard battles of the Civil War, the New Deal, WWII, the Cold War, and even Vietnam. The only retreat was following WWI, where Woodrow Wilson's League of Nations was defeated in favor of American isolationism.

But anyways, if you get the chance I highly recomend that you read all of Zell's column. (Also if you haven't, go ahead and sign up for the AJC. They need alotta info, but you don't have to give them real info. I will be linking to that site alot so it's good to be on the same page as The Daily Rant.)
PIGPEN ON SETH'S ELECTION RAGE

From Pigpen...

"Is Seth REALLY scared of this next (or current) administration. Even if the Dems won I can't honestly say that I'm scared of what they will do or what have you. I'm curious to know what he REALLY thinks is the problem or anything else that garners an explanation of his statements that whine about not being free for 4 years or his rights have been taken away. When we think about it, how will our everyday lives change in drastic fashion from one administration to another regardless of party. I'm puzzled as to how he honestly thinks or has convinced himself that it's a night and day change. "Ok Karl Rove, Bush won throw the freedom switch", I don't see why the clandestine fear that he likes to purpetuate is even a viable arguement...

Pigpen - Bush, check
Tondar - Bush, check
Seth - Kerry; whoa whoa, turn off his rights. Get a hold of the IRS and the Pentagon, we need to nip this in the rear

Gimme a break! Life will go on as it has for the previous 4 years and the 8 GLORIOUS years that were before that. If I remember correctly, 92-00 were nothing but unicorns and rainbows huh?"

Pigpen does raise an interesting point. Does the fact that we don't get to see the liberal agenda of higher taxes, socialized medicine, and surrendering sovereignty to the French and U.N. constitute a loss of freedom? It's actually kinda ironic that the party of big government, and federal babysitting is bemoaning a loss of "freedom."
TONDAR WASN'T JEALOUS ENOUGH

I went out with Lady Talkington Friday night again. We ended up going to a fancy pants are show like the ones I used to attend in NYC. The art was nice, but it was pretty pedestrian compared to the avant gard shock art of a Hil Cato or Cynthia Von Buhler. My favorite was a coastline scene that reminded me of the French realists especially a happy Gustav Corbet.

But anyways, the event was $5 all you could drink, so Tondar went at it pretty good and started talking up art some random folk. In the meantime, Lady Talkington runs into a bartender she knows named Michael. She then starts flirting around with him pretty good. When I didn't fly off the handle at this she decided to come over and pick a fight. Unfortunately her drunkass was loud and beligerant. She started laying into me for using the girlie voice, telling her bestfriend that she smelled good (yeah, she was wearing Lacey's perfume), and for listening to Bortz on the radio.

Well, some may call Tondar a pussy because I took this all in stride considering that I was having a good time at the party. Upon seeing my apathy she stormed off to get another beer. I then turned to the guy with whom I was previously speaking and had this exchange...

McJunkin--You don't know alotta people around here do you.

Tondar--Nope not really. But as you can see I'm really making an effort to go out and socialize with DIFFERENT people.

McJunkin--I can see that.

It's funny because she pulled the same thing last weekend at a Halloween party. She plopped down in a chair and was chatting it up with several gay men. Well, ole Tondar was gonna use this oppurtunity to work a little schwerve magic but unfortunately that backfired. First, this hideous girl came up and draped herself all over me. Then she tried to impress me with a fascinating tale of how she lost 35 pounds and had her mom fed ex her costume from NY. As intrigued as I was, I quickly made my way to the other side of the party when I was approached by a hottie. She wanted to know if I was with anyone that night. I glanced over at Lady Talkington lecturing gay men on the finer points of one sided conversations, and replied, "No I'm here with just some friends." The hottie then wonders if I'd be interested in meeting someone. Now I'm thinking "Excellent, Tondar is in. Hotties always travel in packs." Unfortunately she wanted me to meet "Tom." I explained how that wouldn't work out very well for me, and simply retreated to go have another beer. However, the night wasn't a total waste as I talked to an interesting Frenchman who tried to explain the loss of the Eiffel Tower would be just as devastating as the loss of the World Trade Center towers. But it was still better than hearing Lady Talkington complain about her job for the 50th time.
CAN'T GET YOUR HEAD AROUND IT WATCH

Alotta Democrats are upset about the re-election of President Bush. However, one Georgian took it harder than most. He packed up his shotgun and drove to ground zero in NYC on a suicide run. Yeah, I can't quite figure that one out either.
CAN'T GET YOUR HEAD AROUND IT WATCH

Alotta Democrats are upset about the re-election of President Bush. However, one Georgian took it harder than most. He packed up his shotgun and drove to ground zero in NYC on a suicide run. Yeah, I can't quite figure that one out either.
THE EUROPEAN JIHAD

With the recent jihadist murder of filmmaker Theo Van Gogh, The Netherlands received a wakeup call about the importance of fighting islamic fundamentalism. Here's a Dutch blog that has been keeping track of the situation. It seems, they too have now declared a war on terror. However, with Europe's track record for violence and intolerance, let's hope that the worst solution will be mass deportations. Afterall, we don't need a repeat of 1961 Paris.