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, January 22, 2005

WHY AMERICA IS GREAT

Check out this story about the MinuteMan Project designed to stop illegal immigrants along the Arizona border. Of course if government is not going to enforce its own laws, then it is good to know that the citizens will. Plus with this week's dirty bomb threat in Boston, it is obvious to our enemies that we have a wide open backdoor across the border with Mexico.
WELL IT'S STILL PRETTY AMUSING

Even if this VW ad is not real, it's cool to see that there are people out there with a sick Tondaresque sense of humour.
NEW FEATURE

Drake finally posted his photo album from our trip to the Rose Bowl. In addition, since I have a pretty good collection of photos now saved on the hard drive I am going to begin a new feature here on the Daily Rant. From now on keep an eye on this site for a different pic to be posted every day.

The first one seen below, is a beauty. Tondar and his favorite beer enjoying a bike ride in the Pacific Ocean. Notice how I even face the product. Yeah, I'm that good! If Pabst ever needs a new spokesman, I would be more than happy to be THAT guy.

Has there ever been a better picture? Posted by Hello
PRACTICAL HISTORY IN SPORTS

ESPN gets put in their place when they try to use history to predict the outcome of Sunday's AFC and NFC title games. Of course this is rather difficult. So when they interviewed a history professor he tells them why...

"Given the turnover in football, the team that lost a game two years ago, three years ago -- it's not the same team," Ruck said. "I tend to think it might affect the fans more than the players."


Exactly! One of the things about sports broadcasting that really drives me nuts is their use of history as a predictor of current events. And I'm not talking about how NBA teams with great centers tend to win championships. I'm talking more at team, city, and regional level. The fact that Pittsburgh lost to New England a few years ago is going to have no impact on tomorrow's game. These are different teams with new players. So it is impossible to make a parallel between the 2001 Steelers and the 2004 Steelers. They are different teams and tomorrow's game will not be affected by past events.

Of course since ESPN was stupid enough to bring it up, I will oblige their fancy and point out good historical examples...

Like the Bills of the 90's or the Fran Tarkenton and Ahmad Rashad's Vikings of the 70's, these Eagles just dont seem to have what it takes. And following that tradition there has to be 4 failures before the wheels come off and they begin another round of rebuilding.

As for the Patriots, the Sports Guy puts it best...

"When in doubt, make sure you're not going against Tom Brady and Bill Belichick in a big playoff game."


Tom Brady is just that kinda Quarterback that always finds a way to win. From his days at Michigan. You know you are never out of it as long as Brady has one more chance to touch the ball. No way you go against a Champ like that.
AL SHARPTON: POWERBROKER

Between running for President and an appearance on SNL, it is official Rev. Al Sharpton is the leader of black America and a legitimate force in politics. Of course, with that kinda clout comes responsibility. With the 2006 and 2008 elections coming, it will be interesting to see if Al can keep his mouth shut long enough to exercise the power he has built up.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

BEETHOVEN FREAKOUT

From James...

"So at New Years, as usual, they were playing 311 over the stereo because every time i go to Jason's house 311 is playing over the stereo. Everytime. This is because the guy who owns the stereo is a 311 nazi. So during the course of the night, he leaves piss drunk to go pass out or something, and Dawn and I thought it would be funny to put in beethoven's 5th. We got a good version on cd these day, Simon Rattle conducting the VPO. Anyways, jared, jason's friend who lives in the house (used to come by 308 and spin techno stuff) was tripping on mushrooms. He was also drunk. I think he was trying to tell all of us that he loves us or something, when all of a sudden he heard the music. It was a dramatic crescendo, and he said "Not this music!" I was explaining to him the beauty of the oboe solo he was about to hear, how the whole orchestra dies off and only a solo melancholy oboe sings, then gradually the orchestra comes up from the depths. Well, i didn't realize the poor kid had ingested psychotropic fungus, and he freaked-the-hell-out. He went and locked himself in his room. He only let his girlfriend in, but she took it all with good humor. I guess he was crying, but she said he was emotionally unstable all evening (after the shrooms started to hit). He came out after maybe an hour and was ok. Needless to say we didn't get to hear all 4 movements."


And to think Tondar, Drake, Carlson, and Frank decided to spend New Years on the DL in L.A.
NEW MEDIA AT IT BACK

Check out the response to Sarah Boxer's NYTimes "piece" here...

"I feel I should give my opinion on the NY times article about me and Iraq the Model that has created some variable reactions on the blogosphere. The article was, despite Ms Boxer's kindness, a bad piece of journalism. I had around 45 minutes long phone call with the reporter about my journey with Iraq the Model, my new site, the elections, the general situation here in Baghdad but she (or the paper) seems to have a certain agenda and managed to change the whole issue into a very silly gossip (going as far as quoting trolls!) that is way beneath any respectable paper and certainly beneath me so I won't give it more attention but lesson learned and I won't make the mistake of talking to anyone from the NY times again. It's important to note though that my feelings of respect, gratitude and love for the American people have never and will never change."


At least it's good to know that a handful of partisan leftist douchebags couldn't ruin his opinion of America and the democratic system.
LIBERAL MEDIA AT IT AGAIN

Nothing like some irresponsible journalism from the NYTimes. While they are asking for protection for their domestic sources of political information, they have no problems revealing Iraqi bloggers as "C.I.A. Operatives." But anyways, at least we have the new media watchdogging the legacy media to point out all their shortcomings, biases, irresponsibilities, and other treasonous behaviour.
BOWLING FOR WAYLAND

From Pigpen...

"I'm not surprised that some WT douche bag at Wayland was all into this, but how did one happen have the rare ambition gene that seems to elude the WT sect."

This reminds me of the time in Jr. Hg. when James Watson took the back panel off the inside of his locker and filled it with "bombs." Of course they were just firecrackers and a 6v battary. But that was when it was cool to still pick on the weak ones. In fact, the tinfoil LASERs of "Kindergarten Cop" were not that much of a distant memory. So it was still cool to mock the 'tards for their half-brained deadly revenge schemes.



GO AHEAD, MAKE HIS DAY

From Pigpen...

"When Dirty Harry lays something like this down, one is advised to put the boot to the pavement. If you do decide to make his day he quite possibly would blow your ass any which way but loose."

Somehow, ya just don't think Mr. Eastwood is kidding when he says this one.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

THE DOWNSIDE TO THE OWNERSHIP SOCIETY

What Tondar once giveth, he now taketh away. President Bush has made a big deal about how many people now own homes. However, with interest rates that are far too low, and what that WSJ calls a bubble market. Things are not looking up for current homeowners. But if you think about it, this is good business if you happen to be in foreclosures.

Money quote for the Dar...

"At the same event, Federal Reserve governor Edward Gramlich acknowledged concerns. Some 7% of "subprime" mortgages -- those made to borrowers with poor credit, who are predominantly on low income -- are already seriously delinquent, compared with 1% of prime mortgages"
SHOULDA SAID IT BEHIND HIS BACK

Check out this video of Boomer Esiason telling Dan Marino that Peyton Manning is the "Dan Marino of this era." If it wasn't for Greg Gumble changing the subject we might have seen an all out rumble. The best moment is about 80% of the way through the video when Marino drops the death stare on Boomer. Classic!
P.R.C. M.I.A.

From Seth...

"I was thinking...what's China doing in the wake of the Tsunami.

Not to sound like a pinko-basher, but they've been curiously absent from any relief coverage I've seen. Are we ignoring them?

Well, I went online to find out and apparently, they're barely there. They pledged $83 million and their people have donated a few million more. Congratu-frickin'-lations, China, that's about 4 cents per person. Wow. Really giving 'till it hurts, fellas.

The reason I bring this up is because this is their area. This for them is like Mexico getting beat up for us. We've been hearing about them making economic and political inroads in Southeast Asia for five years, but when a disaster hits, they're nowhere to be found.

I don't begrudge America's place in the world as chief relief provider; I'm actually rather proud of that. And just because I gave and my country gave, I don't think that means everyone else has to as well. But if China wants to do all of this "We're just as important as America" posturing, they should at least show up when hundreds of thousands of their own neighbors are in mortal danger following a natural catastrophe.

Rather, this is what we get from the Chinese Communist Party's official newspaper:

The aid offerings "have caught the world's attention and the people of China are proud of this," the newspaper exclaimed with pride last week. "This shows that Chinese people are their true friends and also shows that China is a responsible big country."


I can just hear Indonesia's China-friendly government now: "With friends like this..."

Seth does raise an interesting point. Because if you look at some of the numbers and reports, China is the next great superpower. However, it looks like they still have to learn that if you're going to be a bigboy nation then you have take on some responsibilities. For all the crap the U.S. takes around the world, we are still the world's leader in giving, even to that sesspool of corruption on First Avenue, the U.N.

So I guess the only way you can get the Chinese to part with money is to give them Coca-Cola, Levis, and our stray dogs. Not a good way to make friends.
PIGPEN'S WEATHER REPORT

Pigpen on why there was that massive pile up on 96 last week...

"The weather around here has been weird as all hell. We got about 6-8 inches of snow over the last 2 weeks, then the temps started creeping up. Yesterday we had still some snow on the ground but it was 55F - Fog big time. Last night we got a ton of rain - like thunderstorms and fairly large bands of radar red moving though the area. Today it's supposed to rain till noon then snow. This weekend is supposed to be in the teens then back into the mid 40's next week. Right now the big thing is flooding - Big Rapids has been under a flood warning for the last week, now the entire west side of the state is under flood warning. A huge pothole on 196E @ L. Mich ate up like 8 cars this morning - suspension damage and busted tires. This better not turn into "The day after tomorrow" because that movie sucked."

Monday, January 17, 2005

FIRE LLOYD CARR

It's been about two weeks since the traveshamockery of the Rose Bowl. At this point I think I'm ready to talk about it. Basically Michigan had a comparative advantage with their passing game. But once again Lloyd Carr got conservative being up by 10 in the 4th quarter and thought he was playing Indiana. There were so many bad calls, from the defense, to the offense, to the clock management, Carr did a horrible job on the big stage and needs to be fired before he can do the same thing again next year.

Here's Pigpen's thoughts on the matter...

"To botanists, horticulturists and gardeners it is a widely known fact that roses grow best when planted in a good bed of top soil then covered with manure. Well apparently the folks in Pasadena know this and that's why Bevo and the Archduke came on down and did their business. With that being said here is my take on what went wrong:

ESPN said that Tex would beat UM because of stingy run defense - I say bull simply because the Big 10 is 5 years behind the country in the evolution of the game, but they will never give up the punishing (to the player and fan) run attack that the 3 wise men (Bo, Woody, and Haden) coached into the annals (or anals) of Big 10 play. Stingy run defense against a Big 10 opponent? Try again Tex.

Doak Walker winner Cedric Benson - No, again the bread and butter run attack is something UM has dealt with for decades.

Texas receivers - who? Roy's in Motown, ya'll!!

Vince Young - Ahh the 8 ball says yes. All anybody needs to do to beat UM is to move out of the pocket. If MSU was good for anything it was exposing Big Blue's achyllis heel and OSU and Texas paid enough attention to exploit it.

Jim Herrman - Shocked, me either. The most dominant D-coord from 97-00, but like the Fonz in The Waterboy cannot coach anymore. The "bend but not break" approach is not working. Defense is what got USC and OU to the Natl Championship. D is what got Auburn screwed in the polls. UM offense was firing on all cyllinders with 2 count 'em 2 true freshman driving and riding shotgun and this rediculous 3-4 defense blew it - how do you not hold Tex when up by 10. Fine, so they get a TD and trail by 3; whatever, but this ole` crap from the front line is inexcuseable. If you don't agree, go back and watch many regular season games, most notably OSU and MSU.

Maybe the D (no not Tenacious D, although that would be sweet) shoulda partied with you guys the night before, they couldn't have played much worse."

We actually didn't party hard cuz we wanted to be rested for this trainwreck.
YEAR OF THE EUCHARIST

If you are Catholic, be sure to take the time to devote some time this year to veneration of the Eucharist. In fact, it was just announced from the Vatican that you can earn a Plenary Indulgance. So that's some good news for those of us who could use a bit more temporal forgiveness. If anybody hears any further details be sure to pass them on to the Dar.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

MORE CATHOLIC CONSPIRACY

If you'll check out the Virgin Mary's Prophecy Linky Dink at left you will find several passages relating to the Third Secret of Fatima. In fact, they provide Adobe "Directives From Heaven" that you can print off and pass out to all your friends. But for all you Grand Rapids kids out there you might find it quite interesting that these come from Lowell, MI. They even have a (616) number to call. If anybody in the GR area has heard of this I would be interested to know a few more details on this organization.

Secondly, check out this prophecy involving an invasion of the U.S. from Nicaragua. I don't wanna burst anybody's bubble, but if they even thought about it, Patrick Swayze would be on that in a heartbeat.
DEMOCRATS DISSING DEMOCRATS

Zell Miller has called the modern liberal Democratic party, a party without a soul. This is really easy to see after you find out how they treated one of their own. Susan Estrich has the rundown on how California Dems have gone after a fine contributor, fund raiser, and party man because he supported English only education.

Once again, the Democrats have proven that we have no viable alternative to George W. Bush's Republican leadership. That's not good for democracy. That's not good for anybody.
THE IMPORTANCE OF DEMOCRACY

In today's NYTimes Tom Friedman had a great column on why America doesn't have to be loved by the Middle East. We just have to bring them democracy. Money quote...

"I believe the tensions between us and the Muslim world stem primarily from the conditions under which many Muslims live, not what we do. I believe free people, living under freely elected governments, with a free press and with economies and education systems that enable their young people to achieve their full potential, don't spend a lot of time thinking about who to hate, who to blame, and who to lash out at. Free countries don't have leaders who use their media and state-owned "intellectuals" to deflect all of their people's anger away from them and onto America."
2 SITES OF THE RIGHT

Just in case y'all are sick of reading Tondar, Pigpen sent a couple of links. One sticks it to Michael Moore on a daily basis. The other just seems have the right idea.
SETH ON THE DUTCH

From the Seth archives August 13, 2004:

"I found some interesting stuff on Dutch politics in an article we're doing for Security Magazine's October issue. You can read the article online when it comes out but I'm not allowed to release it right now.

I think I'd be considered a moderate-to-right guy in their political spectrum, which marries the Religious Conservatives to the Socialists and the Liberals to the Libertarians. The latter are considered the "right" for supporting free trade but they're also the ones who argue for gay rights and other socially liberal things. Somehow, this alignment seems to make more sense than what we have here: hippies married to labor and religious/country folk married to the corporate world. Look at how the issues stack up:

Left/Right
Pro-Life/Pro-Choice
Homophobic/Gay Rights Advocates
Strong Regulation of Business/Laissez-faire economics
Govt. support of big/small businesses/Open Market determination
Regulation of Pot, Alcohol, Tobacco/Light up, drink up, smoke up
IIlegalize Prostitution/Regulated Prostitution
Keep firearms illegal/Legalize some guns
Neutral-Arab, Pro-Israel/Anti-Arab (immigrants especially) but Neutral on Israel
Support 3 BBC-like govt./broatcasters Support 10 free market broadcasters
Neutral on Immigration/Favor stricter immigration
Europeanist - involvement in the EU/Nativism
Environmentalist - strong regs/Neutral on Environment
Military Spending/Complain of "Politics of fear"
Heavy taxes, deficit spending/Lower taxes, balanced budget
Nationalized Health Care/Reform (weaken) Health Care System
Govt. Pensions (like Social Security)/Reform (weaken) Govt. Pension system
Urban, war veterans party base/Rural, youth party base
Neutral to anti-religion/Pro Christian
Intellectualism/Populism
Love Americans (except Bush)/Love the Queen
Drink Beer/Drink Beer

So the right are Libertarians and the Left are Socialists. However, the right seems to think the freedoms should apply only to the native Dutch. With the Left currently in power, they end up with basically standard Euro economic and foreign policy but a very Bush-like social agenda. Interesting."

For the most part I would consider myself Dutch Right. However, how do Christians and abortion advocates end up on the same side of the political spectrum. Ole Tondar can't quite seem to get his head around that one.
SETH ON THE FIRST AMENDMENT

From the Seth Archives August 2, 2004:

"Amendment numer uno: Freedom of Speech.

Modern translation:
You can say what you want.
You can write what you want.

But you can't say what you want if it puts others in grave danger
Or ruins someone's life with falsehood
Or threatens the life of the President.

On the other hand, you can write a book in which a fictional character says something that puts fictional others in grave danger.

You can write a book in which a fictional character ruins the life of a nonfictional person...I think...

But can you write a book in which a fictional character talks about the whys and hows of killing the nonfictional President of the United States?

I think all three of us are pretty staunch supporters of a broad interpretation of the 1st Amendment, although perhaps we differ on different levels of interpretation. But this one, I think, is pretty close to the line for all of us.

The guy wrote a book with a fictional character who is obsessed with killing W. It doesn't preach that W should be killed, but indications are that the author left it up to readers to decide whether or not to identify with that character.

Had the discussion actually occurred, I would say to throw that psycho in jail. You don't talk about killing the president - even in jest - because it endagers the life of our president. It's an essential tenet of the society we built; afterall, we're fighting millions of years of ending the reign of the alpha male by terminating his ass. In this country, said we (the people), if you want the current leader out, you are given every opportunity to tell your countrymen why. I think that, in a nutshell, is what the first amendment is about - allowing the press and the person to put voice to truth particulary in political relevency. So many nations before ours didn't have that; you don't get to say you hate the King's policy. However, if the King is the law, then killing the king kills his law with him. The next King could even commend you for the regicide, as it gave him throne and the law.

So I don't see the restriction on speech concerning killing the Commander-in-Chief as contrary to a strict adherence to the 1st Amendment. Our Constitution, in theory at least, establishes a different pyramid of power than that which comes before it. The Law is on top. Then comes Congress, who make new law within the framework of the Law. Then comes the President whose job is solely the enforcement of that law. Then comes the judiciary, who complete the circle by upholding the tenets of the Constitution by supporting or striking down the laws of Congress.

We can go into how the government's top Sherriff became the King Legislator another time, but looking at it from a Constitutional perspective, we see in our don't-kill-the-president legislation a basic protection of that system. If he's our enforcer, like any police officer, the nation's top cop is bound to make enemies executing the laws that are dictated to him by Congress. Thus, he should enjoy a cop's protections. You can say all the bad crap you want about him, especially since we get to vote yeah or nay on terminating his employment every 4 years. But you can't plot his demise.

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

Now, let's return to reality, where the president is very much the King Legislator and very little the hapless enforcer. The first amendment listed above has been reinterpreted in our national consciousness to protect any number of actions as freedoms of expression. And we've accepted this as a proper interpretation of the framers' intent. There's a lot of Amendment 10 in this understanding - as our basic freedoms we define as being able to do whatever the law doesn't explicitly say we can't.

It's a wide interpretation, but a good one. And I think it includes the publishing of a book that has a guy talking about killing the real president - even if it gives a blueprint. We're not judging tasefulness here, but legality.

So what's the problem? Why the fuss? Good socio-political discussion isn't the only thing that comes from a liberated mouth. More specifically, even if most of us see the unbalanced personality in the short novel as a whack-job, his musings could very well be brought to reality by the unbalanced among us here in the world of nonfiction. Yes, it's a danger. It's a serious danger. We don't want any more people out there than we have already with their minds set on killing our commander-in-chief, so why give them motivation?

But in this case, I say it's worth the risk. Like our interpretation of the 1st amendment's vaguaries, we have to establish intent to determine if a crime was comitted. There's varying degrees to which guilt can be established too; for instance, labeling his authorship criminal negligence. But intent is tough to prove and in this case, I think it's pretty obvious that the author was going more for a metaphysical expression of pent-up anger and frustration, which stems from being at war. Is there a danger of supplying a psycho with motivation to take his presidenticidal fantasies into the realm of nonfiction? Certainly there is, but the risk is well worth it. Afterall, the other option is to suppress a clear-cut case of an American using his right to free speech.

Why is that so bad? Think intent. When the framers stuck the 1st amendment and its nine fellows onto the end of their Constitution, it wasn't because they believed themselves that such governmental restrictions were necessary. Rather, they were making concessions to get the damn thing ratified. And when making their pact with what then represented the people of the United States, the very first promise they made was, to paraphrase, "we're not going to make an official religion or laws that stop you from practicing as you deem proper the religion of your choosing. We're not going to stop you from speaking your mind, or the press reporting the truth that they discover (no matter if it's embarrassing to the leaders' person). We're not going to stop you from gathering in groups to amp your opinions so long as you behave yourselves. And if we fuck that up, you can most certainly call us out on it and seek redress."

Intent of the 1st amendment: if you allow your delegate to sign on the dotted line, we guarantee that you can say what you want about us. Just please do it now before Franklin and Jefferson get back from Paris and screw this whole thing up.

And so their law became the Law. And in return, we reserved the right to open up our mouths. So as important as it is to protect our president, a psychological nudging from one author doesn't requisitie the breaking of that pact."
ADVENTURE WATCH

After being in the South for sometime, tonight it occurred to me that I need to take more adventures. Here I am in this Hillbilly land surrounded by people like "Whiskey Dick." I need to hit the road and have adventures in rural Georgia. So when y'all come to visit, we're gonna be makin' a few road trips and exploring the Georgia area. Bring your runnin' shoes cuz we're gonna tear back that envelope and find out where that ole demon lives.
HITLER DIDN'T LIKE HIS OWN POPE

Well this really throws a wrench into revisionist history. Why would Hitler try to kidnap his own Pope? Unless, he actually wasn't working for the Nazi's. That's a fine theory but I'm sure it won't hold up under academic scrutiny considering it doesn't attack Christianity or the Pope.