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, February 19, 2005

TERM LIMITS FOR THE SUPREME COURT

If we're going to have Associate Justices on the Supreme Court that have no desire to rule on the laws of this land, one may consider the possibility of term limits. But you say, "Tondar, that's unconstitutional." Well, technically, the new Supreme Court would be made up of a system of lesser rotating judges that serve in place of the lifetime appointees.

Personally, I think it is an interesting idea that certainly needs to be hashed out better. But this is a solution, if the court is going to write its own law and set national policy. This is a great check on their power and ability to thwart popular government and replace it with their own personal whims.
PIGPEN ON THE WINDY APPLE

From Pigpen...

"As long as NYC is choosing it's own nickname - in the same vain as Sean Combes - I wonder if N. diddY was a choice or perhaps New Puff City. I personally would go the route of George Costanza and nickname the city T-Bone."
HOCKEY, WHA HAPPENED 3

At least some are taking a lighter approach to a winter without hockey. Hattip to Seth's brother, Ben.
HOCKEY, WHA HAPPENED 2

The more I think about no hockey the more Im working myself up into a frenzy of anger. However, in the meantime I found this practical approach in the NYPost as to why hockey is a failure for the Slamma-Jamma-In-Yo-Face crowd. The truth is, the puck is too small for massive arenas and fans new to the sport. This does make alotta sense. If hockey is going to expand to areas where people have to look inside of their freezer to find ice, then they probably aren't going to know the finer points of the game of hockey. Nor will they find it easy to follow the li'l black "thingie." I think it goes pretty far in explaining why massive cars going 'round and 'round and 'round and 'round in the NAScar circuit is the most popular spectator sport in America, while the NHL has expanded too far, too quickly for a regional winter sport.

On the other hand, Seth took a more purist, idealistic approach to the NYPost's article...

"Throughout this whole hockey lockout, there's been kind of a general understanding that we Wings fans shouldn't talk. We're the Yankees of hockey afterall, and getting 62,000 fans to shell out $60 on a Monday night is, to us, even easier than overpaying an outfielder.

But in this, I think I'm qualified. I've been going to Red Wings games and sitting in the cheap seats every year since the days of Tim "Chevrolet" Cheveldae, and my optometrist and I agree: it's still quite a sight. I understand if the newer fans need Fox's little flashlight to find the puck; when I was a kid I couldn't see the baseballs leaving (should-be-HoFer) Alan Trammell's bat, either. But unless Detroiters and Canadians have some sort of extra puck-seeing mutation in our eyes (not wholly unbelievable), I have to go ahead and disagree with you on the subject of whether or not a game can be seen over 50,000 heads at the Joe.

Of course, that's not all to see. We so-called "veteran fans" also know to watch positioning of the players -- you know, those wide shots of the ice that HDTV is supposed to get rid of. Derian Hatcher's big red figure against the white ice isn't exactly tough to pick out. The teeth he just knocked out of his opponents, of course, are another matter, but then again, who needs sight when you can feel the impact from McCarty's right hook in Ann Arbor!

The money's gone haywire, but the game itself is fine, provided someone actually starts enforcing those clutching and grabbing rules Bettman called his "top priority" exactly 12 months before the lockout began. What hockey needs is to stop pretending it can get NASCAR fans to like it and concentrate again on fan bases that actually own a pair of skates. If you want in-your-face close-ups, lots of scoring, and a large, bright-orange spheroid, go watch basketball."
HOCKEY, WHA HAPPENED 1

Seth Weighs in...

" wanted to comment on the end of the NHL season, but the only original thought I had about this was that there's no more original thoughts left. From recommending plans to killing small-market franchises, to worrying about the welfare of the Zamboni drivers' families, we've said it all.

No-one's listening anyway.

Can you name one time in this whole sordid affair in which the fans had an idea that either side used? This is the diplomacy of arrogance at its worst...for Bettman, Goodenow, and everyone who didn't step in when it was so obvious what they needed to do.

Now that we're back to Square 1, meaning without the chance of playing a season anymore all of those "Let's just play" offers are coming right back off the table, the obvious answers are still obvious.

1. FIRE BETTMAN!!! Send this guy packing. He's supposed to mediate between the owners and the players for the good of the game. That's what it says in his contract. The minute he became the partisan spokesperson for the owners, he should have been fired.

2. Get rid of sad-sack franchises. Why is it that EVERYBODY outside the room knows this is necessary, and everyone inside can't grasp it? They're mucking the whole thing up. You can't have a salary cap of $20 million to make them viable. And while supporting the Penguins when they're down is something the Red Wings and Rangers can see the value of, it's impossible to talk luxury tax when it's going to 10 teams that can't stay afloat. If you don't have an ice rink at Christmas in your town square, you shouldn't have one in your basketball arena either. Okay, maybe Atlanta can pass because of its northern population, while L.A. and Dallas can support one (note: ONE) team by sheer numbers. Fold the Hurricanes. Fold the Panthers. Fold the Predators. Fold the Mighty Quacks. Fold the Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning - those fans don't deserve Vince Lecavalier. Canadian teams deserve some help staying afloat because, quite simply, those teams mean more to the locals than
all of their other sports combined. Any team with a NASCAR channel is on its own.

3. Get a sense of yourself. Hockey shouldn't pretend to be an ESPN slamm-jamma, in-yo-face minstrel show, but the alternative to that. It's a winter sport. That's not a niche, it's simple geography! The only places where hockey is the 4th sport are Boston, Chicago, New York, Dallas, and L.A., which explains why sportswriters thinks of it so. Detroit likes its hockey team more than its pro football franchise. Denver has Joe Sakic in its heart more than Carmelo Anthony. The newly minted Minnesota Wild are already a bigger attraction than the baseball team that dominates its division. Pittsburgh and host of other hockey cities don't even have NBA, MLB or NFL teams. And I've yet to mention Canada. This isn't a sport for glitz and millionaires but for teamwork and fan relations.

4. Keep the good ideas and NEGOTIATE! In 160 days of Lockout, not to mention two years of everybody knowing this was coming and where the sticking points would be, there wasn't real negotiation until the 11th hour, literally. $40 million cap with $3 million in bonuses allowed, 24 percent pay cut around the league, add some minimum payroll between $20 and $30 million,** and add some revenue sharing but tie it to ticket prices and the local population (a lively league is what we're buying;
filling the seats and building a competitive team is up to you. If a city of 250,000 people can make more revenue than one of 9 million, they shouldn't be punished for it), These were all good ideas we heard this week.

Sure, the owners who run teams for less than $20 million (after the trade deadline, mind you) gasped at a $40-plus million cap, but look how far we came in just a few short days. The players' union abandoned its hardline cap stance and offered to cut 24 percent of everyone's salary. The ball was now in the owners' court, and they couldn't simply take whatever counter-offer the players had next? Is $43 million high? Sure it is. But it's a cap, not a recommended salary. It's the high end, the
MOST you can spend. Spend less. No-one's stopping you. A well-built $20 million team (Calgary) knocked of the most expensive team in history last year (Detroit) on its run to the Cup Finals. You think a $30 million team won't be able to keep up with someone spending just $10 more?

How many times have people said this? The so-close final offer this week was exactly, and I mean EXACTLY in-line with what everyone thought the end result would be. So what do you call the last 3 years? Posturing? I don't care if other fans like the sport. The fans who've been supporting it liked the sport. They built stadiums to support it with their tax money. They paid outrageous sums of money for stints of one-to-nothing clutch-and-grab fests that the league is too chicken to
enforce.

I don't know what the hit will be. But any segue the league made toward keeping a team


**I changed my mind on this one. The argument against it said that teams need to run lean either because of economics (Calgary) or because they're saving for a future run (see Tampa Bay in 2001-02). But thinking about it, this would mean the same player movement at trade deadline as before. You don't want a franchise cornerstone like Teppo Numminen or Ray Borque jumping ship for the playoffs. If Phoenix or Boston is worried about getting saddled with a star's salary, don't pay him so much! A minimum cap says you have to hold onto your stars. And it's better hockey. And better fans."
TONDAR IS ROLLING "OSCAR SMALL"

Normally I am all about the movies and take time out to watch the Oscars. But in 2004, I didn't make it to alotta movies like I normally do so I don't have much of an opinion with regard to Oscar. In fact, I have become rather disenchanted with the Oscars in the last few years with the shunning of "Gangs of New York," and the celebration of Michael Moore. Politics aside, these are two great examples where Hollywood proved it wouldn't know visual art from a festering crotch soar.

With regard to this year, I did see "Million Dollar Baby," which was a wonderful film and probably the most realistic boxing movie ever made. I wouldn't mind that movie cleaning up in "Titanic/Ben-Hur" fashion. As for the rest of the contenders I dont really know much about 'em. Most likely Martin Scorsese will win for getting ripped off during the last 30 years and the Aviator will clean up as compensation for the shunning of "Raging Bull," "Goodfellas," and "Gangs of New York."

On the other hand, Seth points out an interesting non-contreversy that had been brewed up by the Drudge Report. Personally, I have no problem with Chris Rock hosting. Yeah, Sean Hannity is right to point out that a conservative could not get away with any of the things Chris Rock says. But that doesn't make him any less funny. Nor does it make the P.C. brigade any more righteous when they ignore one of their own. Personally, I hope we see some F-bombs, N-words, and ironic jokes that make everybody uncomfortable.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

PIC OF THE DAY

Seeing the Turk in the Virgin Mary nook is wrong on SOOOOOOOO many levels...


This is the same guy that tried to crank yank Phondar (and my caller ID) on New Years. Posted by Hello
NO, NOT THE WINDY APPLE

From Seth...

"The city of New York applied today to have its official nickname become "The World's Second Home."

Personally, I think they should start by changing the official bird so that it's no longer a hand gesture.

You can't nickname yourself. Your buddies have to do it. Hey, Jersey, what do you think we should call New York?"
MORE ABOUT DEAN

To add to Pigpen's point, Bob Novak has an interesting piece about Howard Dean being the representative of a lost Democratic Party. For America, and the two party system, it really hurts that the Democratic Party has completely imploded and has become so inept. This is why we see the Republicans becoming the lone party of the center and the Dems searching desperatley (in Dean) for an identity that can distinguish them as a viable alternative. Unfortunately they have gone too far left to be a viable alternative, and the real loser in that scenario is democracy.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

PIC OF THE DAY

Seth has a fitting photo from the days of a simpler, yet functional NHL...


"The guy in the middle was picked after Pat LaFontaine, Bryan Lawton, and Sylvain Turgeon in the 1983 draft.

He's wearing #29 in this photo, but when he got to camp, another young player, Randy Ladouceur (who was a Carolina assisant coach when we played them in the finals but I don't know where he went) said "hey, I want to be #29."

The rookie had to switch to Ladouceur's number, which was 19." Posted by Hello
HOWARD DEAN REACHES OUT

If there's one thing that defines the Democratic Party of 2005, it's race baiting. And Pigpen has a rundown of Howard Dean's first day on the job....

"Kinda sums up Howard Deans charisma and personality. money quote:

During a meeting Friday with the Democratic black caucus, Dean praised black Democrats for their work for the party, then questioned Republicans' ability to rally support from minorities:

"You think the Republican National Committee could get this many people of color in a single room?," Dean asked to laughter. "Only if they had the hotel staff in here."


I'm waitng for the "Little Black Sambo" reference at the next pancake breakfast speech (anybody but me, remember that children's story?)"
LE WHA?

From Pigpen...

"Kinda reminds me of David Lee Roth's "Kung-fu: the website" Other wise Hey wha happened?!"
DORKOLOGY

Here's something to occupy your time if since we don't have hockey this year. Check out 8 years of Marc Eisenstadt's e-mail statistics. It's kinda interesting to see the rise of spam. And ironically it has nothing to do with me needing Ci@lis either.
A SAD DAY IN HOCKEYTOWN

Pigpen on the end of the "hockey season..."

"Let us all have a moment of silence, raise a glass or even shed a tear for what will be the first time since 1919 the Lord Stanley's cup will not be awarded. I for one blame Gary Bettman and the whining owner of garbage, bottom feeding teams. Does Florida really need 2 teams? Does Car, Nash, and Phx really need to exist? Get rid of all the teams that were formed during the last expansion and one of the Florida teams (pick one, anyone) and call it good. Small market [American] teams are the the problem here. It's sad for me to think that Yzerman's last game could very well have been last May when he got busted in the eye - that's no way for Detroit's most beloved sports figure to go out. I like the Tigers and UoM football, but my true passion will always be the Red Wings. Gary Bettman can suck it sideways along with Bud Selig - I hope your investors are happy now - jerk!"
LIFE ON MARS, TODAY

For the last decade scientists have speculated that life existed on Mars at one time. However, after studying underground life, there exists a high possibility for life to exist under very harsh circumstances.Money quote...

"The two scientists, according to sources at the Sunday meeting, based their case in part on Mars’ fluctuating methane signatures that could be a sign of an active underground biosphere and nearby surface concentrations of the sulfate jarosite, a mineral salt found on Earth in hot springs and other acidic bodies of water like Rio Tinto that have been found to harbor life despite their inhospitable environments."


Interesting stuff. The more we find out about life, the more we realize we don't know jack.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

PIC OF THE DAY

AHOY!!


Every good Captain needs a boat. I'll give you one guess what the captain of the "Per Diem" does for a living. Posted by Hello
AND THE WHEELS COME FLYING OFF LEBANON (AGAIN)

One downside to Bush's plan to transform the middle-east is that it creates chaos in an already unstable region. And it appears that this is about to playout in Syrian dominated Lebanon. Check out this political analysis about the unfolding international crisis following the Hariri assasination in Beirut.
RICHARD'S RAGE IN ADRIAN

Nothing like a little drinking and driving with your old pal listerine. Only in Michigan, baby!

Monday, February 14, 2005

"PIC OF THE DAY"

BROTHERS!! AND SISTERS!!!


It just seems like a Neil Diamond kinda day. Posted by Hello
SULLY ON THE UN

Andrew Sullivan returns to his more balanced perspectives with this piece on the United Nations and Oil-For-Food.

Money quote...

"But precisely because it has to represent all nations, it cannot represent justice or even any meaningful definition of the word “peace”. As long as Saudi Arabia is determining what human rights are, it’s a joke. Yes, it can be useful as a mechanism for the great powers to enforce their will in less naked and more consensual a fashion. But without those great powers, it’s useless."
KEEPING THE FOOD POLITICALLY CORRECT

That "racist" cop shoulda known better than to eat a banana in front of others.

From pigpen...

"Atleast the cop wasn't eating chicken, watermellons or drinking orange pop or Hawaiian punch

Damnation COME ON PEOPLE find a different ax to grind - if the cop was eating saurkraut would he have been accused as being a neo-nazi? If this catches on I'm wondering what food will be PC enough to consume safely."


Pigpen's right. Sometimes people just have to suck it up and quit acting like big babies.
KEEPING THE FOOD POLITICALLY CORRECT

That "racist" cop shoulda known better than to eat a banana in front of others.

From pigpen...

"Atleast the cop wasn't eating chicken, watermellons or drinking orange pop or Hawaiian punch

Damnation COME ON PEOPLE find a different ax to grind - if the cop was eating saurkraut would he have been accused as being a neo-nazi? If this catches on I'm wondering what food will be PC enough to consume safely."


Pigpen's right. Sometimes people just have to suck it up and quit acting like big babies.
"Aufmerksamkeit homophobic faschistischer Zoowächter"
From Pigpen...

"How dare zookeepers attempt to introduce a natural reproductive environment. It's a freakin zoo and an animal - WTF. Maybe in Antarctica there is one gigantic penquinic orgy for the dudes (a-la Southpark) and a huge softball game for the chicks (zing - chicks), but in the zoo everything is on the straight (zing again) and narrow. Dammit homo's think before you talk! Does this really sound "progressive" or intelligent or even help to advance your cause?

Money quote: "Gay groups insisted that penguins had a right to form couples without human interference, she said."
MAINSTREAMING WHITE AMERIKA

Pigpen's not down with new nazi tactics...

"Right-thinking gets on this article for being a sheep in wolve's clothing out of the uber-liberal LA Times. I however pass this along not for that reason, but for the fact that, damn this is heavy - how sneaky have the neo-nazis been and are we all getting indoctrinated on the right just as the socialists did to the left. I for one cannot subscribe to the hate mentality. Everyone needs to stop bitching and fix the problem - be a solution, not a propogator of problems. Nevertheless the National Alliance that the article speaks of is becoming a problem in MI - Bay City, Saginaw and Flint have had problems with unsolicited material, and most recently Wyoming having leaflet problems. Is this what it's comming to, or am I ringing the firebell."


It's a real shame groups like this can't just go away. But unfortunately unpopular speech needs to be allowed into the marketplace of ideas, otherwise we end up like the liberals that run America's Universities. Personally, I would call this a great calling for cry-baby groups like the Anti-deffamation League. This is a chance for them to actually get off of Mel Gibson's back for being a Christian, and go after REAL anti-semites with a nice little history lesson of all the pain, suffering, and destruction that the nazis brought to Germany when they actually did have power and a following.