Tondar's Daily Rant

Prepare yourself for the writings of Tondar the Destroyer, Baron of Atlanta, Rightful Heir to the Throne of Spain, from whom all babies come. As his will be blogged, so let it be done.

Saturday, November 20, 2004


So if you hop on over to ESPNEWS on the TV today you can catch highlights of last nights brawl between the Pistons and Pacers.

My personal favorite moment was when Ron Artest unloaded on the fat kid in the Pistons jersey who came out onto the floor after they pulled Artest outta the stands.

What I don't get is why would they suspend Ben Wallace? Maybe I missed something, but all he did was shove Artest. It's not Big Ben's fault Artest is emotionally unbalanced and became completely unhinged. But anyways, one thing is for certain. We've got ourselves a new rivalry on par with Avalanche vs. Wings now.

There will certainly be more on this to come.

Check out The Sport's Guy's behind the scenes look at the AMAs. When you're writing the jokes, you get pretty good access.

Money quote...

"Since it's Jimmy's birthday, Dick Clark comes out during rehearsal with a giant cake for him. But that's not the best part. Jimmy makes a joke and Dick does the "take a step back, lean forward and slap the knee" laugh, like the one he used to break out on "Bloopers and Practical Jokes." And he's like five feet away from me. I've never been so excited over something so dumb."

Ahhh that's classic Sport's Guy. Though personally, I'm wondering when are they gonna get Tondar to host one of these things featuring the comic writings and Pigpen and Seth. Wonder how many jokes we can make about Snarfle and Grennel before getting boo-ed off stage?

Well Seth's preview still hasn't come through yet. But one thing he forgot to mention was Troy Smith. His scrambling was a swift kick to the groin, and we ended up hurting all day long.

But on the brightside there's still hope for a Sconi defeat. Right now they are down 14-7 with 12:25 to go in the 3rd. I'm raising a Rolling Rock to getting in the backdoor of the Grandaddy of 'em all.

Well, today is the big Michigan vs. Ohio State game. And as usual, the Rose Bowl is once again on the line. With a game of such importance doesn't it make sense that we should have a Seth Rant? Well, he did write one, and I have to say it was great. However, I sent it to myself from my work account about 24 hours ago and it's still lost somewhere in cyberspace. Sorry folks. I will post it when I get it. But for right now I am off to the Line@285 to watch the game.

GO BLUE and beat those Sons of bitches buckeyes!

Friday, November 19, 2004


I'm certainly not the happiest with George Delano and the Republicans. However, since his foreign policy was a major factor in earning the Tondar vote, check out what is in store for the second term according to "Ralph Peters, a retired military officer, an analyst with experience in 60 countries, and the author of 'Beyond Baghdad: Postmodern War and Peace."

UGH, CLOWNS *Shudder*

From Woody...

"Just when I thought Yeza was the least worthwhile campus group ever. At least we took "the lord's work" seriously."

It ain't 2Pac and Biggie. But I'll take rap feuds any where I can get em.

Now that some of the kids out there are getting married, that means that y'all are responsible for bringing dishes to this years Thanksgiving get-togethers. Well, here are a few recipes from Dark Lord Denise that are easy but won't have you looking like Guye Tue Litre.

From Dark Lord Denise...

"Why not make cheesy potatoes? It takes frozen hash browns, onion flakes, sour cream, & shredded cheese. Cook the hash browns & add the other ingredients. Very easy & very good."

Yes, why NOT make Cheesey potatoes!? Or better yet...

"You could make green bean casserole with french fried onions, & use cream of celery soup with a couple of dashes of terriyaki sauce."

Nothing screams Thanksgiving like terriyaki sauce...

"How about a peanut butter pie? Make a graham crust with crushed crackers, butter & tsp of sugar. Nuke for about 1 min or so. Mix 1 8 oz bar of cream cheese with peanut butter to taste & cool whip. Put into the crust & chill."

That one doesn't sound too bad...

I also heard about making an oreo cookie crust, spoon in moose tracks ice cream &
drizzle caramel & hot fudge over the top. Freeze & eat. Any of those would be a treat."

And if all that fails bring a 30 pack of the Highlife. You may look like a lazy bastard, but people will end up drinking it anyways.

I came across this early review for Oliver Stone's new film "Alexander." I'm not sure if it's as awful as they say or it's simply becoming another one of those "Passion" vs. "Faranheit 9/11" things. Well one thing is for certain, it looks like Stone has depicted Alexander as a bisexual. Now, I heard years ago that this was true. That's not really going to ruin the film for me. However, if there are several minutes of hot guy-guy action then I can say right now that this movie sucks (pun intended).

Personally, I'm not that big of fan of Oliver Stone. As a director he is pretty talented but since he insists on writing many of his own scripts and trying to interject liberal controversy they become a bit too preachy for Tondar. However, I was a big fan of his approach in "Platoon" and use of expressionism in "Natural Born Killers." So I guess, we'll have to wait and see what the other critics think of "Alexander" when they have actually seen it.

While every other fast food joint is trying to come up with "healthy" menus, Hardies heads in the other direction. When they zig, you fall to the ground clutching your arm and cursing that "Monster Thickburger." I haven't eaten fastfood outside of Arby's in years. However, Tondar is totally intrigued by the idea of the "Monster Thickburger."

Check out this rather philosophical interview from with Rafael Gomez Perez, as he discusses his book "Eulogy of Goodness."

On the appeal of evil and its parasitic nature...

"When evil captivates, it takes advantage of its opposition to good, or the absence of good. The good is attractive in itself.
There are hundreds of examples in works of art. For example, Goethe's "Faust." No matter how attractive the character Mephistopheles is, the devil, he cannot be compared with Margaret. She is good, deceived, abandoned, but continues to love, to forgive, to pray for Faust and obtains his salvation from heaven.
Sometimes artists emphasize "evil" so that the quality of goodness may be more forcefully seen. Evil is a parasite."

Check out FOXSPORTS' list of the top rivalries in college football. Here's what they had to say about #1 Ohio State vs. Michigan...

"1. Michigan vs. Ohio State
(Michigan leads all-time 57-37-6)

Alabama-Auburn is meaner and Florida State-Miami has meant more, but no rivalry has a better combination of history, animosity and championship implications than Michigan vs. Ohio State.

How dominant have these two teams been in Big Ten play? Since 1913, the two teams have combined for all or part of 70 Big Ten titles and the have finished 1-2 in the standings 15 times since 1968. Everyone else, including the University of Chicago, has combined for 81 Big Ten titles. Michigan's all-time Big Ten winning percentage (not counting 2004) is .730; Ohio State's is .716. Number three? Illinois at .462. In other words, the showdown between these two has meant everything to the Big Ten race for almost a century.

How important is beating the other team? John Cooper won 71 percent of his games as the Buckeyes head coach with a string of four 10-win seasons in the late 1990s, but he went 2-10-1 against Michigan. Five of those losses cost Ohio State the Big Ten title and one cost a national championship. Cooper was gone in 2001.

As the legend/myth goes, Woody Hayes was on his way back to Columbus from a recruiting trip in Michigan when his car ran out of gas. He ignored a gas station and ended up pushing his car over the border rather than spend money in Michigan.

Signature game
Nov. 22, 1969: Michigan 24, Ohio State 12
Ohio State was the defending national champion and had its most dominant Buckeye team yet under Woody Hayes, having outscored opponents 371-69. The closest anyone had come to touching the No. 1 Buckeyes was Northwestern in a 35-6 loss. Michigan was on a roll of its own with a 7-2 record and a No. 12 ranking, beating its last four opponents 178-22. Even after the Buckeyes got on the board early, it was Michigan's game as its defense showed early that it wouldn't be intimidated. The Wolverines stopped the juggernaut and cost Ohio State the national title. For Michigan, this was one of the great wins in school history, paving the way to the Rose Bowl and a 10-3 loss to USC to finish 8-3 and ranked ninth. Ohio State didn't go to a bowl and finished fourth."

Here's another update on the unfolding anti-immigrant politics in the Netherlands. Between the deaths of Theo Van Gogh and Pim Fortuyn, Geert Wilders has become the voice of anti-immigration and the Dutch twist on the war on terror. This is quite interesting because the Dutch seem to be second nation to become serious about the war on terror so their approach offers an oppurtunity for comparative political science studies.

Here is the article that started the whole OSU investigation from ESPN Magazine...

"My Side

By Tom Fr!end
ESPN The Magazine
He left on a Greyhound bus last May, without a goodbye, without anyone even flipping him the bird. He left unceremoniously, in the middle of the week, with one suitcase, one jacket and one championship he doubted was worth its weight in paper. He left behind the car dealerships, where he says the head coach got him SUVs. He left behind the library, where he says tutors got him bogus A's. He left behind the two-story homes, where he says he got paid for watching paint dry.

He left behind the stucco mansions, where he says boosters slipped him cash for playing Sega with their kids. And he left behind the horseshoe stadium, where he says one man in particular "sold me out".

He never told his mother he was fleeing Columbus, fleeing Ohio, fleeing the racist hate mail she'd already handed over to the FBI. He was too depressed to tell her, but too persona non grata to stay.

He sat alone on that bus for four days. Sat there clearing his mind. Sat there until he saw the Pacific Ocean. He pressed his head against the window and stretched his legs across two seats, and replayed all of his thoughts: the NFL won't let me in. They hate me. They think I don't work hard. They think I'm poison. They don't know the half of it. They don't know the lie.

He got to Hollywood and liked that he could actually walk the streets and not hear: There goes Maurice Clarett. He slept on a buddy's floor, and laid off the carbs, and hoped by this autumn, his second season away from football, his name wouldn't still be synonymous with scandal. But no chance. His associates called several NFL GMs this October and asked them, "What's your perception of Clarett?" And the consensus was the same: immature. Risky. No work ethic. Fourth round.

It angered him, because he thought his college coach, Jim Tressel, the coach he claims he protected in an NCAA investigation, would have set those GMs straight. Would have told them how Clarett used to close down the weight room, how he once returned from knee surgery like it was the flu, how they never would've beaten Miami without him.

"I thought he'd give me the NFL," Maurice Clarett says. "I thought he'd say, 'You took from me and you didn't tell on me, so here's the NFL.' He could have painted me as the first pick in the draft, as the world's greatest everything. He wound up selling me out."

Now, Clarett is a football pariah, denounced by his own school, a school he carried to a national championship almost two years ago. According to one NFL GM, Ohio State athletic director Andy Geiger disparaged Clarett's character to league officials last spring, leading some teams to take Clarett off their draft board. "The AD just didn't like Clarett, for whatever reason," the GM says.

But few know why Clarett kept answering "I don't know" to the NCAA's questions. The NCAA kept asking where he got his cash, cars and trinkets, and Clarett claims he kept saying "I don't know" or "I just magically got them" or "I don't remember." Geiger was furious with him for that, and the NCAA ran him out for that. But Clarett says he lied to save his coach's hide, lied because he thought his coach would convince Geiger to keep him eligible, lied because he didn't want to implicate the men in Columbus with deep pockets.

"He's ineligible because he declined to tell the truth 17 times during an investigation," Geiger says, while refusing to comment on Clarett's specific allegations. "If you want to give him credibility when he's been unable to tell the truth under any circumstance since I've been around him, I'm not going to respond."

But, says Clarett, "what would've become of Ohio State if I said everything? Half the team would've been suspended, and it would've been worse for everybody. I was like, why don't I just take it?"

He thought Tressel would return the favor and protect him, but instead he was suspended indefinitely. Then, he says, he was stripped of teachers, tutors and perks. He calls it an institutional "blackball." That's why he sits in front of a tape recorder now, 14 months later, so he can tell the NFL GMs that there's another side to this story. That's why he's making claims about fre^e rides, fre^e cash, fre^e grades and an Ohio State system that he says lined his pockets and then methodically tore him down.

"Ohio State created me," Maurice Clarett says right off the top. "They created what they suspended."

TO HEAR him talk, his college classes were a sham. Maurice Clarett graduated from high school a semester early and arrived at Ohio State in January 2002. Before long, he says, his grades were literally guaranteed. He describes a system that kept him and other players eligible and was overseen by the football program. He says his "grades were messed up" early on, that he wasn't supposed to be eligible for spring practice or the opening of training camp, but that his coaches simply fixed the problem. "As soon as they'd seen me struggle, they switched academic advisers for me," Clarett says. "He turned me on to a tutor, and then we were cool.

"The tutor is a professor at the school. I'd sit there with a notepad, and I'd be playing or talking on the phone, and he'd just outline everything in the book, and say, 'This is what you write for your paper.' He'd take a notepad and say, 'Write this, write that.'

"And they'd tell you like, the old test from winter '02 is going to be the test for January '03. Or the fall of '01 is going to be the next test. They tell you how the tests rotate."

As Clarett moved into his debut season in the fall of 2002, about to be the first true freshman running back to start a season opener at Ohio State, he realized everything was aligned to prevent his academic failure. If it wasn't tutors doing "research" for him, it was academic advisers registering him in courses fr!endly to the football program.

"My classes were all independent study," he says. "So I'd sh0w up in like the eighth week of the quarter and do something for the last two weeks, and I'd be fine. A lot of times, during classes, I'd be in the weight room lifting. The coaches would be like, 'You get your class done?' I'd be like, 'I'll get it done the last two weeks.'"

Clarett says his adviser mapped out his course schedule, put him in easy classes and told him which teachers were on his side. For example, he says he almost never attended one African-American and African studies class, and when he did, it wasn't difficult to cheat. "It was probably like a 40-person class, and 30 of them were football players," he says.

A former member of OSU's academic support staff, who requested anonymity, confirms Clarett's initial grades were "in bad shape," and that Clarett was given a tutor who "only had a few weeks to get him ready for exams" and keep him eligible. "We helped Maurice with, 'How can I survive, how can I get a good grade on a test,'" the former staffer says. "We understand the system. But that doesn't mean we did his work. Players like to brag that people are helping them out. It's a sign of status."

Clarett wasn't naïve. He had suspected before he arrived in Columbus that he'd have privileges. "Any kid from Ohio will know," he says. "It's kind of a tradition. If you play good at Ohio State, you get taken care of." But living it was another experience. The favors, he says, began his first day on campus, in January 2002. There were no unoccupied dorm rooms that day, he says, and a staff member told him to stay in a hotel. "I ain't got no money," Clarett said. He says the staff member simply put it on a credit c@rd.

That summer, Clarett says, the staff began finding him phantom jobs to put money in his pocket. He says it was the responsibility of running backs coach Dick Tressel, Jim's brother and then associate director of football operations, to find jobs for guys on the team. "If you're a walk-on, you're going to get a real job," Clarett explains. "But if you're a player, you go water some flowers for like four hours, and they pay you like a couple hundred. Sometimes you don't sh0 up and you still get paid.

"That was my introduction to 'here comes all the fre^e money.' I did sh0w up at first. But I was like, this is boring, I ain't doing this. I used to go watch 'em hang drywall or something. I'd just hang out, go to McDonald's, come back, watch, leave, be gone. I made a couple grand."

By the fall, he says, the staff was "aligning" him with boosters who'd give him money for food, or for the shopping mall. He says coaches would tell him, go eat here and say hello to this person, or go to this school and talk, or go to this event and speak. Do this and when you leave, someone is going to set you straight.

"They got a little thing where you read books every Friday for kids. And you'll magically meet somebody there. Mr. Such-and-Such will be there. And then you meet Mr. Such-and-Such, and Mr. Such-and-Such becomes your fr!end for a while."

And how much cash would Mr. Such-and-Such pass along?

"Depends how you played that week," Clarett says.

After a 175-yard game? "It was in the thousands," says Clarett, who had 175 yards in the 2002 season opener against Texas Tech. "That was cool."

How would the cash change hands? "It'd get filtered down," Clarett says. "Me and a player would go into a coach's office. And the coach would be like, 'You met my fr!end Such-and-Such? He's a good fr!end of the program. You should check him out sometime.' You go over to his house, you meet him for dinner. You go play with their kids, meet their kids. The boosters know you're in college and need help. They're like, 'You got any money in your pocket?' They make sure you're straight."

Clarett lived 15 minutes from campus, so he also needed a car. He says he took that request right to the head coach. "My transmission blew in my car, a Cadillac. So I'm like, 'Coach Tressel, I can't get back and forth to campus.' This is probably after practice, 6 o'clock, 5 o'clock one night. He gets on the phone and says, this is where I get my car from. He called the man from McDaniel Automotive. He's like, 'I got a player here, Maurice Clarett. He needs a car. Do you have a car out there he can use?'

"So the man gets on the phone with me and says, 'What kind of cars do you like?' I say, 'Got any trucks?' He says, 'Yeah, I got two trucks. I got an Expedition and I got a Tahoe here right now.' He's like, 'I'll be there tomorrow morning.' They drove down to give me the car."

Clarett says he kept the Tahoe for 11 days, then switched to the Expedition. NCAA Rule states that an institutional employee or representative of the institution's athletic interests is not allowed to provide a student athlete with the use of an automobile. According to Clarett, that is exactly what his head coach did. "This is what Jim Tressel arranged," Clarett says.

He says as long as he was running the football well, Tressel was attentive, asking, "You cool? How's your living situation?" He says they talked three or four times a week, always behind closed doors. "We never talked in front of anybody else," Clarett says. "It was always, 'Come to my office.'"

As the season wore on, he says the car swapping escalated, and the dealerships had no qualms about accommodating him. "When you're hot in Columbus, you just go," Clarett says. "Somebody's going to recognize your face. You say, 'I need to use a car.' 'Okay, here you go.'"

He says he'd keep the cars "for weeks, until I got tired of 'em." His favorite was the Lexus SC 430 sports car, but he tried to borrow anything that was new at the time. "Put it like this," he says. "There's a dealership on Morse Road, The Car Store. They've got a used car lot. You just go to the dealership, and go and go and keep on going. That's the car dealership Coach Tressel introduced me to, that and McDaniel Automotive. Both places set me up. I wouldn't have known these places if it wasn't for Ohio State."

The perks made for a plush season. It didn't hurt that the Buckeyes were on their way to the national title game. The week they defeated archrival Michigan was Clarett's favorite week. He says coaches excused players from classes leading up to the game, and that after the 14-9 victory, boosters stopped by flashing their money clips.

"I couldn't have asked for more," Clarett says.

"I had the money I wanted, the car I wanted. I literally, literally had everything. My freshman year, being 19. If I wanted to call a girl, I could've called any girl I wanted, probably, in Ohio. If I wanted any car to drive, I could go to a dealership and get it. If I wanted some clothes, I had the money to put clothes on my back.

"And then, within a matter of months, everything got taken away. Every single thing. I'm talking from A to Z. I'd call people and they're, 'Uhhhh, I'm too busy right now.' The clubs that used to let me in? 'Uhhhh, not today.' The girls? 'Uhhh, I'm too busy right now.' Everybody became unavailable.

"I had nothing."

THE FALL was in stages, and was in part self-inflicted. Maurice Clarett knows he was wrong to have his hand out. And he also knows now he was wrong to assume Ohio State would always have his back, especially after he called them "liars" before the biggest game of his life. When he asked to attend the funeral of a childhood buddy in the week leading up to the Fiesta Bowl, he says he had initial approval to take a red-eye from Phoenix to Youngstown. But, he claims, Ohio State pulled the plug on the trip just hours before the flight. The school contended that Clarett hadn't filed the necessary paperwork to get permission to go. Clarett-who says he knocked on Tressel's door crying that night-told the media that Ohio State wasn't telling the truth.

"It was real big," he says. " 'Clarett calls Ohio State a bunch of liars.' "

Ohio State went on to win the national title, and Clarett scored the winning touchdown. But as far as Clarett is concerned, the minute he called out his school was the minute he was sent to an island. The boosters were the first to abandon him. "They didn't help me out," he says, "because I ran my mouth."

But he was still "switching cars like crazy." On the night of April 16, 2003, he borrowed a luxury vehicle from The Car Store, a loaded black 2001 Monte Carlo, just purchased at auction. He drove it to practice the next morning, and while he was working out he learned it had been burglarized. He says he called Tressel, asking him what to do, and says Tressel advised him to phone campus police. Records sh0w he called them from a phone in the football office.

He met a campus policeman at the car. When he was asked what was missing, Clarett says he told him assorted TVs, radios and CDs, plus his wallet and some clothes. The cop asked how much the TVs and radios were worth, and Clarett says he could only guess because it was a borrowed car, a car he'd had for only 12 hours. He says the cop also asked how many CDs were in the car, and Clarett guessed there were two cases containing up to 300. The cop, agreeing with his guess and assuming each CD cost $15, added it all up.

So the unsigned police report listed the following stolen items: cash ($800), various audio components ($5,000), clothing ($300), two CD cases with a total of 300 CDs (estimated $4,500) and a black leather bi-fold. Total: $10,150.

Clarett thought the news of the break-in might go public, but it didn't. He never filed an insurance claim because the stolen items weren't his. When school ended in the spring, he simply moved on, leaving the team's practice facility to work with a personal trainer in Cleveland. He soon sensed Tressel and his staff were riled, thinking they'd lost control of their star.

"I didn't care," Clarett says. "I was like, the hell with them. I'm not saying it to be cocky, but people in town thought I had become bigger than Ohio State. The thing at the Fiesta Bowl had made everything real big, and they thought I needed to be brought down."

Soon he received an urgent phone call from the athletic department. The NCAA wanted to see him. They told him to bring an attorney.

MAYBE IT was all the buzzing around in that Lexus. Or maybe it was the costly break-in. But by the spring of 2003, the NCAA had serious problems with Maurice Clarett.

On May 5, the NCAA first contacted Ohio State about him, and on June 26, Clarett and the only attorney he knew-personal injury lawyer Scott Schiff-first met with investigators. They asked about the break-in. Tressel, according to reports, was vague about his knowledge of it.

Soon, the leaks started. On July 12 The New York Times reported that Clarett and other players had received preferential academic treatment, that Clarett had walked out of an exam and been allowed to take an oral retest. The school responded by saying it would investigate academic standards for athletes (they ultimately said they found no wrongdoing). Geiger said there had been no special treatment for Clarett or any other athletes at the school.

On July 29, news of the Monte Carlo break-in finally went public, and the next day Tressel and Geiger announced that Clarett couldn't rejoin the team until issues about his eligibility were settled. By Aug. 22 the punishment had become a "multigame" suspension. Then on Sept. 10, Geiger announced that Clarett was done for the year for violating NCAA Bylaws 10.1 (not giving forthright answers) and 12 (taking benefits).

After Geiger made his announcement, Clarett refused comment-he claims Ohio State asked him not to talk-but he now claims he violated Bylaw 10.1 to protect Tressel and violated Bylaw 12 because of Tressel.

He says during the investigation that the NCAA rifled through credit c@rd statements and asked, "How are you affording $800 worth of clothes from Macy's?" He says he told them he "magically" got the cash from his mother. When the NCAA asked how he paid for his food and gasoline, he started with the "I don't knows."

The NCAA asked about the Chevy Tahoe, the one he'd kept for 11 days, and he played dumb. "They asked, 'How did you get the car?'" Clarett says. "I said, 'I looked up the dealer's number in the phone book.' So they go investigating and find out the number isn't even in the phone book. They said, 'Did you get this car through Coach Tressel?' I'm like, 'Nah.' They suspended me for that." They also suspended him for the break-in, claiming he'd lied about the cost of the stolen items. "I didn't lie, I guessed," he says.

But by then he had begun to see the hypocrisy of it all. He was also being suspended for his relationship with Bobby Dellimuti, a caterer and family fr!end from Youngstown who gave Clarett and his mother upward of $2,000 while he was still in high school. At first Clarett lied and told the NCAA that Dellimuti gave him nothing. But eventually he came clean about a $500 check and $1,000 worth of cell-phone bills Dellimuti had paid for him since the 11th grade. Because Clarett hadn't known Dellimuti before his recruitment by Ohio State, these gifts were a violation of NCAA rules. This confounded Clarett. He says Ohio State gave him much more money than that, but, in the end, these cell-phone bills were what was helping to derail his sophomore season.

Sitting in the room with Geiger and NCAA officials, Clarett says he nearly lost his cool: "I said, 'If you're suspending me for stuff I did back in high school, I was never eligible to play anyway. So the trophy should be taken back, right?'

"Geiger just said, 'No, no, no, no. That has nothing to do with it. Just answer the questions.'"

And that was the hang-up; Clarett wasn't answering questions. "I was trying to protect Coach Tressel, the boosters and everybody," he claims. "There were all kind of bills I had run up that boosters just gave me cash for. And I couldn't explain to the NCAA where I got it from.

"During the investigation, they started asking, 'Did anybody else get benefits?' And I'm sitting there thinking to myself, 'I'm going through four-hour interviews. If I tell on anyone, you're going to bring him in, and he's going to have four-hour interviews. It was more than 10 people. It was more than 20 people.

"The NCAA was, 'Are you sure you don't want to say anything about anybody else? And Mr. Geiger was like, 'Are you sure?' Inside, I'm like, 'Are you crazy?' The only thing that matters at Ohio State is football. Everybody knows what's going on, but everybody doesn't want to act like they know."

In September, the Columbus City attorney began to prosecute Clarett for the police report. The attorney said Clarett had falsified it. Clarett maintained he'd guessed at it, but rather than go to trial he accepted a plea bargain and paid a $100 fine to put the ordeal behind him.

But he was being vilified in town, and by December, he says, he'd received hate mail and a death threat. He was sure it was all payback for his one big mistake: dissing Ohio State at the Fiesta Bowl. "They were thinking, 'How do we get him back?'" Clarett says. "They called me a liar. 'He lied about his police report. He lied during his investigation.'"

Clarett thought there was one person who could help. But he couldn't get that person on the phone. "I couldn't talk to Coach Tressel," Clarett says. "He was making himself unavailable.

"We had so many meetings before that Coach Tressel just saved me in. I think he knows in his heart he sold me out. He sold me out to keep his integrity. I don't know if it was the pressure from the athletic department saying, 'You got to sell him out.' But he sold me out.

"Coach Tressel, he made everything easy ... until he wanted to make it hard."

CLARETT BEGAN to believe that Ohio State was squeezing him. He was allowed on the sideline for the 2003 home games, then he wasn't. He could play on the scout team, then he couldn't. He had his tutors, then he didn't.

He says he went to Tressel in January 2004, asking for a scenario that could land him back on the field. Months before, Tressel and Geiger had said publicly that the door was open for a return if he paid back the Dellimuti money to charity, stayed eligible and sh0wed "personal growth." But in January, he says, Tressel told him he wouldn't consider a reinstatement unless Clarett met two more conditions. He had to work out every day at 6 a.m. for the next two months. And he had to maintain a 3.5 GPA.

Clarett has never been a morning person, nor had he ever had to pay much attention to his GPA. "For me, it was either eligible or not eligible," he says. But he went to his academic adviser to ask what classes to take. He was surprised at the response: "Maurice, you have to sign up for your own schedule now."

He enrolled in another African-American and African studies class with the teacher he had before. But after a week, he says this professor barred him from the course, and Clarett claims she told him "somebody from a higher power" had instigated the move. "They blackballed me," Clarett says.

With no tutors or teachers in his hip pocket, he felt a 3.5 GPA was improbable if not impossible. And when he told Tressel the 6 a.m. workouts were too extreme, he says Tressel's response was, "If you make that decision, you have to make another decision." So Clarett quit school in February 2004 and applied for early entry into the NFL draft.

We all know the rest. A court ruling put him in the draft, another court ruling took him out, and when the Supreme Court wouldn't overturn the final ruling, Clarett was in limbo. No school, no NFL, no nothing.

His mother, Michelle, was despondent. She remembered the day Tressel sat in her home and promised to treat Maurice like his own son. What did she think of Tressel now? She doesn't know where to begin. "Is it betrayal? Is it disrespect? Is it dishonesty? Is it deceit? Is it a knife in my back?"

SO HE got on that Greyhound. By this time, so much more was in his head. A gun shot had been fired into his mother's home. Then, in February, ESPN reported that Dellimuti had made frequent calls to online offshore bookies, and Clarett was forced to answer questions about his fr!end's betting.

He likes that no one in Columbus knew where he was headed. And as the miles rolled by, he devised a plan. He needed NFL GMs to know that he hadn't been the nuisance at Ohio State that he was made out to be. And the best way to convince them of that was to open his mouth. "It wasn't like I stole something," he says. "Not like I was running from the law or dragging a girl down the stairs. But I have to clear myself up now, because it's affecting the minds of the GMs. I didn't say anything before, because I didn't think it'd be a problem."

So that's why he's sitting in front of a tape recorder. He says he wants to make it clear he didn't do it to get Ohio State in hot water, that he is "still a Buckeye at heart." But that said, he also thinks Ohio State "is going to try to ruin me now," that they will "bring in their high-powered lawyers and alumni" to discredit him, that they may badmouth him again to the NFL, that they may try to get his mother fired from her job as a county clerk.

He says that would hurt, but the story's out now. He's hoping to play in the East West Shrine Game and the Senior Bowl this January, his first games in two years, and he also hopes to sh0w off his reinvented body at the NFL combine in February. At last year's combine, his body fat was a flabby 16%, but this time he plans to pare it down to under 5%. "I'm working," Maurice Clarett says. "I'm up every morning at 6 a.m."

At that hour, he's all alone again."

From Seth...

"Snarfle got kicked in the groin for being Snaffle.

Get it?

Snarfle got kicked in the groin for being Snaffle.

It's a re-wording of a joke my rabbi gave me when I was a wee mite, because I didn't get the original. A joke with a lesson, 'cause in Judaism they don't come any other way.

Get it yet?

Okay, ESPN got kicked in the groin -- twice -- this week, and it wasn't for being bling bling ESPN.

Nay, they're being accused of bias. Bias against Oklahoma and bias against Ohio State.

The Buckeyes are suggesting that ESPN has a vendetta against them in order to undermine the Clarrett story. Well, what else are they going to do, right? If you do a bad thing and get caught by the media, call the media biased. Old story.

The funnier one has got to be Oklahoma. Ohio State could at least show that ESPN underplays the Big Ten. But Bob Stoop's team has been spotlighted, hyped, and bolstered by ESPN since they knocked off the Florida State dynasty in 2001. Their quarterback won the Heisman last year - after ESPN wrote that he should win the Heisman.

But then Stoops sensed that his darling period was over when he saw an article that made a case for Auburn to supplant his team. Were they writing this because Auburn just killed a one-loss, top-10 BCS rival in Georgia last week and ESPN always gets on whatever bandwagon is passing by that minute? No. They were writing this because ESPN and the SEC have a TV agreement. Here's the thing: I get suspicious too when there's a business deal. But you need to find evidence and a pattern! If Bush were to make 10 pro-environment decisions and one pro-oil industry decision, would that mean that he did so only because the oil industry bankrolled his election? No. We say Bush is selling environmental policy to the oil industry because he makes 11 pro-oil industry decisions and no pro-environmental decisions. There's a pattern. As for ESPN trying to fineagle Auburn into the championship to boost network ratings, I don't buy it.

I don't buy it because ESPN's pattern is to get behind whatever's hot. Auburn this week is hot. Maurice Clarrett and other Ohio State players saying Tressel is running a dirty program is hot.

The network and its choice of coverage deserves a good kick in the groin. But it deserves it for pretending a QB who goes 1 for 3 for 80 yards and a touchdown is doing more for his team than a running back who gets 80 yards and a touchdown in 14 carries, not alleged bias against two top programs.

In other words, kick Snarfle in the groin for being Snarfle.

Or, to translate the joke from the bible:

The murderer was hung for theft."

Wednesday, November 17, 2004


From Katherine...

"Only in Africa do my dreams come true!!!!!!

Hey there everyone! I hope this email finds you all doing well and enjoying the cool weather at home! It is starting to get really hot here, and the humidity is outrageous.

This past week has been fabulous! Last weekend I went to Accra, the capital of Ghana, for the weekend. I had booked hotel rooms for my group there last week, and I couldn't wait to go! See, in the hotel we had HOT showers and AIR CONDITIONING! For the first time in forever, I felt so clean and I wasn't sweating at all during the night! It was awesome! That is one feeling I truly miss!

Saturday we went to the AIDS exhibit that I had already gone too, so I showed the other CMU teachers what it was about. I talked with the people running the exhibit, and they told me that they are there everyday, so I think I am going to go back and help one of these days. I really enoy the exhibit, and each time I see it I feel like I understand more about it.

Afterwards, we went and had .......PIZZA! Yes, real pizza. But, I ended up getting sick for hours afterwards, so it wasn't worth it for me. THe rest of the group was off bargaining for things at the market, but I just sat in the hot sun trying to feel better. I had some people bring me things to buy, and I ended up with a few cute treasures.

Oh that night was awesome.... sleeping in air conditioning! Even though there were only 2 twin beds for 3 of us, we pushed them together and slept the opposite way so we all had the crack. It was so nice! I can't explain to you how hot it is! I lay in my bed and sweat, and it is the coolest part of the day!

Monday was a holiday for us here, since it was the end of the Muslim Ramadan. Due to the holiday, I went to the beach the day before and stayed out late enjoying the African life. The beach was awesome, and I even got a manicure right there while laying out. I had beautiful African bringing us fruit platters and chicken kebabs. It was just what we needed! I took a nap in the sun and woke up with a monkey on my bed! (we had these sunbed things to lay on) I guess it is only in Africa you wake up with a monkey on your bed!

So, today was the day. My dreams are coming true with this HIV/AIDS presentation. I presented to the college today, and it was awesome. There were about 400 in attendance, and I did 2 activities with them and then a powerpoint presentation to the group. I was so nervous before, but once I started talking it all went away. The group was very receptive and had great feedback for me. I had so many people come up to me afterwards to say great things about it, so today was the best day that I have had so far! I am doing what I have always wanted to do! I am teaching the world about AIDS! I am also starting an AIDS Awareness group here where we are going to do things for the community for the next few weeks. I am working on getting someone to take over my position once I leave since I will be home in less than a month. There is so much I want to do before I go! I might just have to move here for a bit to finish this project! The cool part about the college is that it is the most prestigious IB college in all of Africa, and most of the students graduate from here and go on to schools like Stanford, Harvard, Yale, etc... in the states. See now they can spread this knowledge wherever they go, and that is why I started this group. I am also working on a website for it, and then I will be able to work with them and communicate with them from anywhere in the world! I am so excited! Knowledge is power!!!!

I had those interested in the group stay after the presentation, and there were over 50 which is way more than I expected. We are planning a sweet project for World AIDS Day which is coming up in less than 2 weeks. I am also trying to meet with the current president of Ghana, but I am not sure that will work. He is busy since the elections here are in 2 weeks.

SO that is my life in a nutshell right now. I also got my hair braided, and more African clothes made, so I am sure none of you will recognize me when I get home. Ha ha

I miss you all so much! Next week I will be visiting the neighboring country of Togo, so I am not sure that I will have access to write you all. If not, have a HAPPY THANKSGIVING! Eat lots of yummy food, and don't forget to be thankful for all that you have!

Take care! Oh wait.... I wanted to give you all this website to see what is going on over here! One of the teachers in my group has created it, so check it out to see pics of what is going on in Ghana!"

I was playing NBA Live the other night and thinking, one thing the EA games really miss is the headcase factor. You know, you never have to worry about Artest melting down or colecting flagrant fouls, or taking time off to promote the new album. TO will never chase McNabb up and down the sidelines. It's perfect unity. Right now for example my Hawks are about to win the 2007 NBA Finals with the following lineup...

Andre Miller
Mo Peterson
Vince Carter
old Chris Weber
Theo Ratliff

Now most of my offense revolves around the post play and defense of Ratliff. In addition, I get about 18 ppg from old Michael Finley off the bench (I like to start with Peterson's D but end up giving Finley more minutes.) However, my most talented player, Carter is often benched in favor of Danny Fortsen or old Jamal Mashburn. I dont play with a large front court but it is still a pretty hardcore defensive minded one which leaves Vince only getting about 16ppg (most of which is in the 1st qtr). Now if you compare this to the fit that Carter is throwing these days in Toronto, why arent I seeing a more disgruntled superstar playing like crap and ruining things for my team chemistry. Im also getting solid contribution from Weber though he tends to play small for his 6'10 size (which also bumps Vince outta the 3 spot).

Another thing I noticed was a high use of shenanigans...

Last night my Lions (3-4) were beating Buffalo. Then right before halftime they go on this 30 sec. FG drive to pull them within a TD. What really p@ssed me off was one of my players went down with a hurt wrist giving them the final TO they needed to score. Now I know there is supposed to be a TO called when somebody gets hurt. But if its his wrist dont players always hop up and run off the field to prevent
further damage to the team if they can. I ended up winning 26-13, but after that I was willing to declare shenanigans if that stolen 3 made a difference in the end. I dont mind losing...but whats up with all the player hating shenanigans (especially at 4* levels) that make the game go from fun simulation, to computer beatdown? Nosetackles diving over my center, balls passing through Shazor's head, BS injuries at just the perfect moment for the puter? Theres certainly something foul afoot here.

Though luckily, it looks like Seth has the answer...

"The shenanigans you refer to are what I like to call the "Tecmo Bowl Factor."

That is, the programmers thought it wouldn't be fun if the player won every game once he learned how to play. So in order to create those intense situations you see in football, chance starts flying off the handle. A 2-star walk-on receiver from Indiana starts catching passes in triple coverage - and that triple coverage includes two 5-star cornerbacks and an All-American safety. Their bang-'em up fullback is outrunning your fastest player down the field. Their QB can throw dead-on passes while three of your linebackers are in the process of ripping out his intestines, while your own QB gets sacked by a finger four feet away, your 300-lb. Offensive linemen are getting knocked down by defensive backs, and your best hands receiver drops wide-open passes.

Of course, you could be just feeling the "Lions Factor," which is the all-too realistic ability for the Detroit Lions, for the last 50 years, to devise very creative ways to lose - be it choosing to kick-off in overtime, committing pass interference on a last-second Hail Mary, or the patented Scott Mitchell 3rd-down-and-short-while-running-out-the-clock interception.

While we're on the topic, here's the Top 10 Factors for EA Sports to add into next year's crop of sports games:

10. The Yankee Factor - The previous year's MVP will sign with or get traded to the Yankees and proceed to shave his facial hair, drop .100 points in his batting average, halve his run production, and spend twice as long on the DL list. This will also be true for the New York Rangers.

9. The Deion Sanders Factor - In next year's edition of Madden, players will hold out for better contracts during the offseason because Jesus told them to.

8. The McSorley/Stevens/Lemieux/Bertuzzi Factor - In the new NHL game, if a player injures a guy on the other team with a cheap hit, he becomes a target every time that team plays him. The guy get's a bullseye above him all times he's on the ice and your enforcer will try to drop gloves with him all game.

7. The Cardinals/Clippers/Bengals Factor - All high draft picks for these franchises must invariably end up as wastes or get traded and blossom elsewhere.

6. The Union Factor - Every five years, you have to renegotiate a deal with the Player's Union. If salaries aren't going up faster than the revenue stream, the union threatens to strike. If you choose the "institute salary cap" option in NHL or MVP Baseball, you lose the season and the game won't load until you rescind it. When you come back, the players are making more than before, except most teams have half the fans.

5. The Tuna Factor - Any team that gets Bill Parcells as a coach must have one losing season, then win a championship, then lose in the first round of the playoffs, then trade their starting quarterback, then watch Parcells leave.

4. The Six Degrees of Bill Walsh Factor - The closer a coach's connection to Bill Walsh, the more effective he is. Anyone within 2 degrees must run the West Coast offense. Degrees are indicated on coaches' pages by the number of icons of Sid Gillman with his goofy bow-tie that appear. For example, Mornhinweg: 1 Sid. Gruden: 2 Sids. Billick and Reid: 3 Sids. Shanahan and Mariucci: 4 Sids. Holmgren and Denny Green: 5 Sids.

3. The LeBron/Vick/Lindros Factor - One player in the league in each game will get marked with "The Next _____" tag. He'll proceed to ask for more money, his bling rating (see answer 1) will go up, and his team will fall to last place. Meanwhile, his Nike commercial will play during every loadup and announcers will say his name 10 times in every game he's not playing in and 300 times in those he is.

2. The Answer Factor - When you control a contending team in a Pro Game, if you make a roster move, your rival must also make a roster move. So if you're controlling the Red Sox and you sign Curt Schilling, the Yanks will invariably pick up The Unit. Fun for all as salaries across the league skyrocket.

1. The Bling Factor - For all EA sports games, aside from speed, tackling ability, etc., each player has a "Bling" rating." Players with high bling wear jewelry during the game, ask for more money, hold out, ask to be traded, tell the media what's going on in your locker room, and end up on Turkey lists. Players drafted from
Miami, Florida State, or the Pac Ten will have high bling, Big Ten and Big XII schools, low bling. The upside of high bling players is they attract more fans. A team with too high of an overall bling rating plays worse than their potential. Bling levels change year to year with various players. Superstardom almost always raises bling. Age tends to curb it, as does more college. Playing for an L.A. or Miami team raises bling, but high bling players are more attracted to Florida and California in the first place. And best of all, in the college game you can raise your program's bling - free cars, babes, etc., to gain an inside track on those high-bling high school superstars. But be careful how high the bling goes - you could get caught by the NCAA and slapped with sanctions.

Two more suggestions for EA Sports:

1. NCAA: Michigan/Ohio State never starts at 8:00 p.m.! No Michigan football home games start after 3:30. Either program it in or let me do it manually.

2. NHL: Goalie Fights."

For every conversation we have about Beerymids and who would win the fight between Elton John and Liberace, just remember that there are tools like this out there.

From Ellie...

"Geeks are hilarious!! I am currently in the Oakland Center computer lab on campus of Oakland University. This computer lab is notorious for holding geek gatherings. There is a group here currently and listening to them has me laughing. There is one particular geek who thinks he's all that and a bag of chips! He was talking with another geek about his fencing practice, He thinks it really should be considered a lesson which is a class. The other geek who takes fencing (such a geek activity) says that it isn't a class it's a practice. The other geek then says, "Your right, there is a difference between a lesson and a class." He then continues to talk about a talk happening about a theatrical show put on by the director of this production and he was all excited that "they were serving CHEESE!!"

Wow, somebody musta been reading their Urkel Manual before EECs class that day.

From Germaine...

"Suddenly he burst into the kitchen saying ...

"Careful ... CAREFUL! Put in some more butter! Oh my GOD! You're cooking too many at once. TOO MANY! Turn them! TURN THEM NOW! We need more butter. Oh my GOD! They're going to STICK! WHERE are we going to get MORE BUTTER? Careful...CAREFUL! I said be CAREFUL! You NEVER listen to me when you're cooking! NEVER! Turn them! Hurry up! Are you CRAZY? Have you LOST YOUR MIND? Don't forget to salt them. You know you always forget to salt them. Use the salt. USE THE SALT! THE SALT!

The wife stared at him. "What the hell is wrong with you? You think I don't know how to fry a couple of eggs?"

The husband calmly replied, "I just wanted you to know what it feels
like when I'm driving with you in the @%&! car!"

It's funny if you know a naggy dragon!

Tuesday, November 16, 2004


Last week Tondar had to call Pigpen after discovering that Old Milwaukee has changed it's classic label to the more Ghetto-riffic OM.

Here's Pigpen on the abomination...

"Where do I begin, Bic bought me a case a couple of weeks ago and I was so happy to get it, until I pulled out a bottle. To me it didn't seem like I had a bottle of Ol' Mil in my hand. It instead had a cheapened quality to it that suggested something as generic as *gulp* Coors Light. Now, Pigpen is what he consideres to be a connesuer of cheap beer - there are many suttle levels to the cheap beer hierarchy and Old Milwaukee HAD a nostaligic aire about it that was aided by either the retro label or the label that marketing has been too lazy to change for years. Either way, I was shocked, appalled and disheartened that my favorite constant of the MTU years has turned on me. It's the first beer I ever had leagally by the way as well as the contents of my senior barrel. Interesting story about that, at our senior barrel it was my old mil, and 3 other barrells of Labbatt's (high class beer in Houghton), "man old mil is crap" (as they are dowing the 6th cup); mine was the first barrel gone! The other Sig Rho Old Mil faithful feel the same way. I also have a feeling that the city of Houghton is reeling now that the most popular beer in town has "sold out." We owned that beer. Visitors and freshmen would balk at the suggestion that this was a concious and preferred choice that was made over anything the "King" has to offer time and time again in the fine establishments that liberally cover Houghton and the Keweenaw. Lone Star brewing has apparently decided that they will TRY and roll with the masses in the 21st century. I beleive that this is largely due to the ever growing cult appeal that Pabst has on our age demographic (by the way, they are brewed by the same place). Also I did notice about 2 months ago I caught the MLB divisional playoffs sponsered by....Old MIlwaukee complete with the new OM logo. I think this new foray in to advertising was a cause for the label change to shake the national image that Old Mil is the beer your grandpa drinks. And to do this the familiar logo had to be jettisoned. Ugh! I'm such a Mo b/c even though it is really irritating to me that they changed, I'll still have cases run southbound from the UP any chance I can get (cans just aint the same)

Pigpen's cheap Beeramid

Old Milwaukee Pabst
Schlitz High Life Schaefers
Hamms Buger Goebels Jacob's Best

I'm sure that your perceptions of what's cheap and what's not are different from mine and in many cases I'm sure most of you have never heard of some of these brands. A Wisconsin distribution district is free to operate outside ye olde Kingdom of St Louis. Don't get me wrong, I like imports and middle of the road brands too (as long as it's NOT from StL), but when you are a poor broke college kid (we all have been) your choices depending on geographic location vary - these were mine and I found that I enjoy them. Most of the Houghton kids won't even consider touching the lower half of the beeramid (with rare exceptions for the HF). Gentlemen, remember this simple philosophy (Tondar, I know you're down):

To live the high life, one must first love the high life.

Based on that, call me Steve Winwood!"

Tondar is down. But I have to admit it's hard to get Milwaukee beers here in NAScar country. We have about half the selection as Michigan.

Here's the latest NBA column from the Sports Guy. It's pretty good, especially the way it goes after Ron "The Artiste" Artest, and Kobe "The Rapist" Bryant.

From Drake...

"I was talking to tondar the destroyer last night, and he had mentioned something about the rose bowl. being as how we know we are gonna kick some OSU butt this weekend and how we have two yezaman already living in the area, i think tondar the destroyer was right in thinking about a trip to pasadena.

Who else is interested? merk? come on, it'll be on jan 1, you still wont have to pay taxes ;)

Anyway, I have no idea how to go about ascertaining these tickets, so if someone has an idea or a way, let everyone know ASAP.

what's up CALI

To which Brent replied...

"Of course,

We should all go to the Grandaddy! I'm in.

Now we just need to find out how to get tickets???"

Which yes, the rumours are true. If Big Blue beats OSU or Wisconsin loses at Iowa ole Tondar is packing it up and heading to the West Coast for New Years. The only question I have, is how much PBR and Richard's am I allowed to bring on the plane?

From Seth...

"Orange: USC v. Auburn
Rose: Michigan v. Cal
Fiesta: Oklahoma v. Utah
Sugar: Miami* v. Boston College

The neat thing about this bowl picture? If Oklahoma demolishes Utah, as I guess they would, they'd be pretty perturbed about having a perfect season and not being #1. And if Michigan topples Cal while Texas A&M crushes Arizona State in the Liberty Bowl (A&M lost only to Oklahoma, Texas and Utah this year, Arizona St. lost only to Cal and USC) and Texas puts a whuppin' on Georgia (who Auburn played twice), that would be a pretty good indication that Oklahoma was the better team.

USC's claim to #1 in the polls is because they beat 2-loss Virginia Tech, 1-loss and highly regarded Cal, and 2-loss Arizona State. If VT were to fall to Miami, and the two Pac-10 teams were to also drop, it hurts USC a lot. The rest of the Pac-10 isn't that good. Meanwhile, Oklahoma's claim to fame is beating 1-loss Texas and 3-loss Texas A&M. If Texas wins a big bowl game, that means only Oklahoma could beat that
team. Meanwhile, the Big XII and Pac-10 have the Liberty Bowl, a highly-ranked secondary bowl that pits the #2 Pac-10 v. #3 Big XII teams against each other. AP voters often use secondary bowls to determine which conference was stronger at the end of the season. So an A&M win over Arizona State would suggest that Oklahoma played the better opposition, thus were more deserving of a National Championship.

So while USC last year won the AP and lost the Coaches' #1 ranking because the coaches had to vote for the BCS Nat. Championship winner, this year it might be the other way around. How's that for irony?"

Monday, November 15, 2004


From Seth...

"Looks like greedy corporate casinos are trying to take apart Beaver homes so they can line their pockets."

Man Republicans gotta shakedown ALL of nature :)

Sunday, November 14, 2004


Alotta bitter Democrats are still looking for a way to turn the election to John Kerry. Check out this bi-partisan Howard Troxler column that examines and corrects SOME of the electoral miscounts and screwups.

From Pigpen...

"Here's a spoon, Ted Rall, Eat My Ass!"

I couldn't agree more. Seth often points out that Democrats are more educated. Which statistically may be true, but should not imply that conservatives are idiots. But it makes it easier to believe that there has never been an intellectual conservative, and that all Republicans are actually homophobic, redneck, racists. Afterall, when you can excuse your politcal opponent as a simpleton there is no need to debate ideas or philosophies. The only problem with this view is that it has lost 3 elections in a row for the Democrats. Afterall, if they are so smart, shouldn't it be more difficult for Americans to see through the arrogance of their elitist views and stop electing Republicans?

Well, I was looking over the Virgin Mary's prophecy site and came across this interesting bit regarding a 1972 infiltration of the Vatican by the Devil. However, upon further research, it looks like it's not quite such a rear-pull. Strange stuff!

James and Dawn found this link. As in the spirit of New Prophecy, check out the Virgin Mary's End-Times Prophecies. Wow, there's hours of great material with this one. Send me specific links if you find anything of particularly great interest.

Not that the mainstream media has been covering it. But things in the Netherlands are increasingly getting out of hand. Tit for tat, muslims and the native Dutch are exchanging acts of violence, attacking churches, mosques, and schools. Even if the post-Van Gogh violence cools down. It looks like there will be a strong move politically towards the anti-immigration policies.

Personally, I don't really care what goes down. I can see both points of view. However, I hope the worst of the Dutch reaction will only be mass deportations. As I've said before, Europe has a pretty crappy record when it comes to civil liberties. Here's hoping the Netherlands will solve win their war on terror with a minimal loss of life and rights.

Frank always used to talk about creating a fat tax on things such as McDonalds, doughnuts, and candy. When you really think about it, it's a pretty good idea. Like taxing cigarettes, it creates an additional source of revenue for those that rely heavily on public health systems. In addition, it discourages unhealthy behavior. Really, the only logistical problem would be to determine which fatty foods would be exempt from the fat tax. Pardon the pun, put I'm sure it would involve large amounts of pork barrelling, where the richest companies would get off. But anyways, speaking of discouraging unhealthy behavior. Look what the UK is up to with their childrens' programming.

For those of you out there that want another manly drink but don't want to take the time to mix up a solid martini or manhattan, try one of NYC's hottest new drinks. Simply mix about a shot of Southern Comfort with an equal amount of straight up lemon juice. Of course you can double the recipe in a highball glass. But any way you multiply it out, it's gonna equal a solid sipping drink. In fact it's so good, Tondar is having one right now on the rocks.

Cheers kids!

As much as I believe in the nobility of the war in Iraq, it's still war and there are gonna be heartbreaking casualties. Drake found this interesting link showing the "novel use of a 2000 lb'er on human targets." Though I doubt it, I hope that they were all terrorists.

Sorry I have been away from the blog this weekend. I was entertaining an ole Yankee friend from the North. Miss Erika was here from NYC. It was a fun weekend, especially seeing the final phases of converting a Spartan to a Wolverine fan. We went to the bar and I introduced her to Southern Nachos. She was especially impressed with the lower beer prices and our subway system that really only runs between my apartment, downtown, and the airport. But anyways, it was a fun weekend and it was great to see cool Miss Erika again.