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, March 19, 2005


Click here to read more about Hogzilla.

Could be 12 ft, could be 7 1/2 ft, but either way Hogzilla was a Big Tiff BEAST! Posted by Hello

When you sacrifice liberty for security you get neither. This horrible news of rape on the subway is certainly a throwback to the pre-Guiliani, BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES New York. Personally, I would say that New York City is still that beast today. They just do a better job of hiding it.

Looks like there could be another setback for EU ratification. In France, the "No" vote has gained a majority for the first time ever. Sure, it is fueled by domestic politics. However, when your economy is forced to provide economic welfare for Ireland, Spain, and Greece, it doesn't take people long to realize what is causing sky-rocketing unemployment of over 10% (and Liberals tell us W. is terrible for the economy), and union disputes. And keep in mind France has one of the strongest economies in the EU. As the EU attempts to eliminate economic disparity using Liberal means of wealth redistribution, France will only suffer further in the exchange.

Frank sent along this li'l gem. It's not quite as good as maddox telling the kids how much they suck. But certainly the Star Wars Dork Patrol needs to be put into place.

I will blog more at a later time about the oddities of the Schiavo case. But in the meantime, check out this Opinion Journal piece from Peggy Noonan that examines the cost to Republican politicians for letting Terri die.

Here's a seasonal blast from the past you may remember...

Marcos didn't survive St. Patrick's day Y2K. He set out to show us American's "how to drink." He ended up on the floor, passed out, and was deported back to Argentina the next day. As for Tondar, I was in hour 15/18 of the great "St. Patty's Day trainwreck of Y2K." Posted by Hello

Friday, March 18, 2005


hehe indians woo woo woo woo...

"An Indian walks into a cafe with a shotgun in one hand pulling a male buffalo with the other. He says to the waiter, "Me want coffee."

The waiter says, "Sure chief, coming right up." He gets the Indian a tall mug of coffee. The Indian drinks the coffee down in one gulp, turns and blasts the buffalo with the shotgun, causing parts of animal to splatter everywhere, then just walks out.

The next morning the Indian returns. He has his shotgun in one hand pulling another male buffalo with the other. He walks up to the counter and says to the waiter, "Me want coffee."

The waiter says, "Whoa, Tonto! We're still cleaning up your mess from yesterday. What the heck was all that about, anyway?"

The Indian smiles and proudly says, "Me training for upper management position: Come in, drink coffee, shoot the bull, leave mess for others to clean up, disappear for rest of day."

There's only one way for a St. Patrick's Day to "STOP" Posted by Hello

Thursday, March 17, 2005


Tondar calls upon Seth to shed some light and share his winning ways with regard to the March Madness and his brackets...

"Remember, hoops is my worst sport. The reason I win brackets (4 of 6 dating back to Phi Psi) is sheer dumb luck.

Like Xavier last year. I thought they were a good team, and that they could beat Texas, then they went ahead and did it. Picking Uconn as my nat. champ wasn't exactly a stroke of genious, and neither was having Oklahoma State, Duke and Uconn in the final four. When Michigan State won the championship, they were the only team I'd watched that season. Lucky me. When Maryland did it, I was in Paris and wasn't getting along with a guy who hated Maryland. I'd never even seen their basketball
team; I liked the word "Testudo."

Anyway, the way I make brackets is from the bottom-up. Don't look at someone and say "These guys are Final Four bound." It's game-by-game. Each matchup, consider whom each team just played. Keep in mind when the games are played; a team with a week to prepare for Wisconsin's weird style of play has a better shot of knocking them off than someone who just found out they'd drawn the Badgers yesterday. Also, remember the where. As much as I'd like to punish Illinois for losing to Ohio State and that easy cheesy schedule, they play all of their games in and around Chicago.

Mostly, remember the who. In Round 1, the Sweet 16 and the Final 4 games, superstars lead the way. In Round 2, the Elite 8, and the National Championship, you need to match up depth and conditioning. Teams who struggle against ranked opponents during the season will do so again. Remember your 5/12s, and that there's hardly any difference between a #6 and a #10.

Finally, know your competition. If you're in a large pool -- more than, say, 25 or 30 brackets -- then you need to make some things happen to win. This isn't the place to pick the Tar Heels, because everyone else will. Look for a hot 5 and take 'em far; most people who won big brackets last year had Georgia Tech in the Final Four (I had Michigan State there, but it's all about Xavier). Against fewer people, your
bracket should look like you just picked whomever has the higher ranking. Don't forget the RPI people use the same judgement we do in picking brackets and they know a heck of a lot more.

So without further ado, here's my 1st round breakdown:


Round 1: This bracket was set up for Illinois. As much as I wanted to knock them out, I couldn't. There's two SEC teams to like here that I don't know what to do with. UW Milwaukee can beat a lot of teams, but I don't want to give up on 'Bama, who could be better than last year. LSU, too. UAB is a good dark horse pick, but LSU is a good one, too. I kept 'em. Lose Texas in the 1st round, and take Saint Mary's over Souther Illinois.

Round 2: Nevada doesn't match up against the Illini, but this could pose a stumbling block. This is a real team after Illinois faced another easy kill, and if their star hasn't found his stroke by then, it's a good place to lose 'em. B.C., if you didn't have them fall to Penn, can bow out now to the Crimson Tide. If LSU survices UAB, they're the perfect team to take out Arizona. On the other hand, Arizona is the perfect team to play hard in the 2nd round. St. Mary's was fun while it lasted, but they're not going to topple Oklahoma State.

Sweet 16: If your Illini survived, they'll end Alabama right here. Arizona should be hot by this point if you still have them around. If people like Oklahoma State, Arizona will win. If 'Zona is getting the press and the love, it's bye bye. However, if LSU knocks them off, then you've got the Tigers up against Oklahoma State. Run LSU up and down the court like that and it's adios.

Elite 8: Illinois probably versus Oklahoma State or Arizona. Either way, it's Illini at home.

From Seth...

St. Louis:

"Round 1: Washington might have lucked out with the #1 seed with a hot performance in the revitalized Pac 10. Well, you were going to call them hot to begin with, right? Pacific got shorted in rank and Pittsburgh got over-estimated, so take Pacific. Georgia Tech won my respect when I watched a few of their ACC tournament games, so I'm ignoring this particular 5/12. Louisville is a good team. Texas Tech looked solid at the end of the year and UCLA didn't, but in a personnel war, Bobby Knight doesn't match up against UCLA any better than he did in the '70s.
Gonzaga isn't the little kid anymore, and are tough to gaugue because they're so much better than their conference. West Virginia I'm soured on, and Creighton deserves some love. And you gotta take Wake.

Round 2: I told you the Huskies are hot, and that doesn't change for the duration of this weekend. Georgia Tech thrills in matchups against tough teams, so this could be a good dark horse pick over Louisville. Gonzaga is tough to gaugue, I said, but UCLA isn't; they can't beat the great teams. Take Zaga. As for Creighton and Wake, you gotta take Wake.

Sweet 16: Washington was hot last week. Georgia Tech is on a mission, just like they were last season. So considering you've wanted to punish the Huskies for that #1 seed all along, now's your chance. Between Gonzaga and Wake, my thinking is that Gonzaga is sick of being 2-and-done when they finally reach the show. But so what? Wake was forged against UNC and Duke. Gonzaga won't be underrated. You gotta take

Elite 8: Georgia Tech did this last year, too. Those who knew their worth, knew to take 'em as far as the Elite 8, and then they busted through. Well, this isn't last year. They're not THAT good. And Wake Forest knows how to beat 'em inside and out. You gotta take Wake."

From Seth...


"Round 1: This is the bracket that's driving me nuts. Minnesota is a Jekyll and Hyde squad and so is Iowa St., so that's a pick-'em. New Mexico is your perfect 5/12 over Villanova. Florida is hot. Now here's a funny thing: Wisconsin is getting a lot of looks to go far. Everyone's taking them as a dark horse because they're so hard to beat without preparation. Well, guess what, Northern Iowa is preparing. Kansas is a known quantity. N.C. State is a team you gotta like over Charlotte. And between the defending champs with a new back-court and Central Florida, take the one you know.

Round 2: North Carolina is this year's Oklahoma State: great offense, and everyone knows it. Move 'em up. Florida should still be smokin' come March 19. Kansas could have a problem if it faces Wisconsin, but because I knocked the Badgers out already, the Jayhawks cruise on through. Now here's my problem. I like N.C. State. But I like Uconn. I like N.C. State, and it'd be nice to see a North Carolina showdown in the Sweet 16. But I like Uconn. Sorry. I like Uconn.

Sweet 16: So here's my predicament. UNC has to beat Florida, because Florida can't play defense enough to stop these scoring machines. But Kansas or Uconn? Well, let's put a yada yada yada in place of another back and forth and say I like Uconn.

Elite 8: This would have made a great national championship game, but after all that wrangling, I put #1 and #2 against each other for a Final Four spot. Well, North Carolina wins games like this, and Uconn had their day last year. It's a bad day to be short in the post, and the Heels advance."

From Seth...


"Round 1: Duke's a no-brainer. Mississippi State is another SEC team to like, and Stanford always bites me if I pick 'em to win a tournament game, even when they're a #1 seed. In the 5/12 we have Michigan State and Old Dominion, who doesn't stand a chance. Go Spartans. Same goes for 'Cuse against an overmatched Vermont. Syracuse is better than they were all season, and that's something to like. Last year, the best player in the country ended up winning a national championship. Well, this year
the best player in the country is a lonely man on Utah. They can beat UTEP. Oklahoma is a powerful squad who should have played better this season. They shouldn't have a tough time against Niagara. Iowa performed well in the Big Ten tourney, and Cincy stinks in the NCAAs, but then again, we've seen Iowa play fast teams and they always get their butts whipped, so why not now? Then there's your funny little Kentucky versus East Kentucky, which is the basketball equivalent of Michigan versus Eastern Michigan. Get the picture?

Round 2: Duke's a no-brainer, even if you like Mississippi St. Nobody wants to play Michigan State, but Syracuse has the depth and experience to send MSU to the free throw line, which is much like sending Shaq to the free throw line blindfolded. Facing a team full of talent, Utah's lone superstar will resemble Shaq in last year's NBA Finals. Boomer Sooner ahoy. As for Cincy/Kentucky, don't take Cincy. Don't ever take Cincy. Fast is nice, but they'll be running around in circles once those boys in blue start beating them down low.

Sweet 16: As much as you gotta like what's happening with Syracuse, I didn't take them over the Blue Devils. Duke has bigger fish to fry and this Coach K team plays the ball higher than anyone the Orangemen have faced. Meanwhile, say goodbye to Oklahoma.

Elite 8: All told, I think Syracuse was the bigger test for Duke. This Blue Devil team doesn't have the depth of past seasons - of course, Coach K has won without depth before - but I wanted Kentucky to go out earlier if it wasn't Cincy and Oklahoma they faced. So here's my opportunity. Send Duke."

From Seth...


"Three 1s and a 2 for my Final Four? And three ACC teams? I'm just askin' for it, aren't I? Maybe I should have had 'Bama take out Illinois. But you take what got you here. St. Louis isn't far from Champagne, so you've gotta think Illinois has a home-field for the final two rounds. Wake could beat them, but I think this is when you see the Illini team that was hot all season turn it into overdrive. They have just that kind of people. Someone in this game is going to have a nasty a-Wake-ning. I went with Illinois, but you don't have to. As for Duke/UNC, this classic ACC matchup will prove an instant classic, with Duke's defenders pulling off the win against a North Carolina team yet to see such hard play from such talent in the tourney.


Well, there have been Duke teams to win the National Championship when it wasn't one of those years that Duke looks unstoppable. And there have been Duke National Championships with teams just like this. But Illinois is just the team to exploit what Duke doesn't do: bring in defensive guards off the bench. It comes down to the fact that the Illini know how to win. They've got upper classmen who've been doing it for ages, and they're really good enough to deserve the #1 ranking, Big Ten or no Big Ten. I'm sorry, but I've gotta do it.


You're welcome, Henry Blake."

Wednesday, March 16, 2005


Is there anything better than St. Patrick's day and tournament play all on the same day. I can't think of anything else that screams beer bender.

Happy St. Patrick's Day from the Daily Rant. Posted by Hello

From Seth...

"Why take steroids when you can buy new shoes.

Baseball could be considered your ultimate black; it goes with almost anything. Presidents and baseball mix. Caramel popcorn and peanuts and baseball mix. Sunglasses and baseball mix. Even bling doesn't look completely out of place; at least it goes better on Ken Grifffey Jr. than Latrell Sprewell.

But a show about gay guys and fashion, plus baseball, plus Boston? Uhh...I dunno. If they change it into the Pink Monster, though, you let me know."

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

It's baaaAAAAck Posted by Hello

Monday, March 14, 2005


Listen up kids, Ole Tondar is rolling back into Michigan for a West Coast tour. I will be flying back into GR around 9 on Thursday the 24th. Then, I will be sticking around until the evening of Sunday the 27th.

I was thinking of a little West Coast get together for Friday night (3/25) someplace. If you are down for a few shenanigans gimme a holla' on the Phondar.

Seth isn't so sure President Bush deserves ALL the credit for democratic surge that is sweeping the Middle East (and world)...

"Between the Iraqi and Palestinian elections, Lebanon's uprising, and Syria backing down, there's no denying that Bush's Mideast agenda is currently on a role. Of course, true to form, the administration takes full credit, over-estimates their own involvement, and starts patting itself on the back before anything's solid. At least, that's the WaPo's take.

The way I see it: it wasn't Bush's inaugural rhetoric that caused the Lebanon uprising. Let's give credit where credit's due: a growing number of Middle Eastern Arabs who watch Al Jazeera instead of government-issue propagates and realized that they were born free men. As for American involvement, what Bush's administration accomplished behind the scenes I think did the most. Liberating and occupying Iraq obviously meant there would be an election. Keeping the violence at a simmer that day, that was us (although there was A LOT more violence than was reported on American television.) Likewise, it wasn't Bush' roadmap, but in him giving faith, backing and resources to Colin Powell to engineer the 3-day limbo during the long death of Arafat. That staved off certain chaos (and attacks on Israel) that made it possible for a peace-loving government to take control. And in Lebanon, it wasn't threats or the presence of troops in Iraq that sparked the popular revolution so much as the president's administration's ability to keep Israel from retaliating on Lebanon last summer. Rather, he folded the blame (more than they deserved, as it turns out) on Syria to pave the way for Lebanese popular support to turn anti-Syrian.

And gloat as he may, it is surely to his credit."

I wouldn't give all credit to Bush considering that self-rule actually requires the will and consent of the people to rise up and claim their God given right. However, I think America's willingness to stand up to evil (not GOP evil, but REAL genocide, rape, and destructive evil), has disrupted the status quo of tyranny and oppression that breeds the kind of terror we saw on 9/11 and 3/11. The micromanagement to which Seth refers are certainly great events. However, what history will remember is the courage of the United States to once again stand up to the "evildoers" instead of accepting a failed status quo that would only become increasingly more dangerous for America and the West.

From Pigpen...

"I wish I could be like this guy...only not dead"

The other day at work, I was crunching some stats at lunch and thought y'all might be interested...

For a full 48 min game there are 96 minutes to be split at the 4-5 slot (power fwd and center). If you add up the minutes per game avgs for Rasheed Wallace, Antonio McDyess, and Ben Wallace you get 94.40...that's all except for about 96 seconds every
game. Note the breakdown...

RW--34.32 mpg
AD--23.74 mpg
BW--36.34 mpg

Using this I was able to calculate some other numbers and note the lack of drop off when McDyess enters the game for 'Sheed. Statistically they are almost identical.

Points per minute...


Turnovers per minute...


Rebounds per minute...


Blocks per minute...


Note how Ben is getting a board every 3 minutes compared to the still great pace of one per 4 min by the other 2. In addition, note how BW has twice as many blocks as the other 2. Given the Pistons balanced offense, it rarely makes a difference who is playing the 4-5 (especially considering Bens shortcomings in the front court).

Also given these stats I would have to disagree with Seth's theory that McDyess has lost a step. In fact he is at almost the same level as 'Sheed (a former star making a seamless transition to a team oriented approach). Considering the state of the Pistons offense these numbers are about what you would expect considering that he has to share ball time with Chauncey, Rip, and Tayshaun.

With Sheed and McDyess able to perform at allstar level, their postplay could be a way to continue a slower approach with out sacrificing anything on the defensive end, especially during the offensive coldspells. Instead of relying on Chauncy or Rip to drive or launch deep, it might be wise to turn these two into banging power forwards to take advantage of their former (but mostlikely not lost) greatness in the

Appendix A

Something to think about at least. Any thoughts?

I just got done cooking up my corned beef for St. Patrick's day. I began with a base of cabernet sauvignon, and from there I applied a few Tondar secrets. In the end, it was as pink as cooter, and twice as tasty. The juicy tender meat just fell right apart. Mmmmmm I'd like to say it's a shame that I don't get to share any with you, but being an only child, I never really learned to share.

Seth presents a difficult legal issue...

Apple wins lawsuit over trade secrets
A judge on Friday ordered three independent online reporters to divulge confidential sources in a lawsuit brought by Apple Computer.

"Neat legal question...

Ever read John Grisham's the Rainmaker, or see the movie? The book had a stolen evidence ruling that basically said if the prosecutors didn't know of or have anything to do with the theft of a piece of evidence, it could be used.

There was a Law & Order episode that didn't agree with Grisham.

Anyway, here's a question like that, but it's with patents and journalists.

The judge ruled that journalists should not print company secrets having to do with upcoming products if they received their information from an illegal source. You can guess how I feel. I understand the need for invention to be protected. If I'm building a great new device and big-bad Microsoft reads the blueprints in the paper and beats me to it, it was unfair to me, especially if someone working for me disclosed the secret.

The first problem: this goes against the 1st amendment, and pretty clearly. It says right there on line 1 that the press can write what it wants. The second is that journalists have an ultimate responsibility to provide for the public EVERYTHING that's relevent. If there's a new I-Pod coming out and we learn how they added some amazing function, we have to print it because that's good journalism.

So as with military secrets, code-names for Secret Agents, etc., the onus is on the holder of information to keep it secure, because the code of journalistic ethics does not allow for discretion based on who's going to get hurt.

This ruling seems to straddle the opposing opinions of who's responsible, and, I think, creates a workable solution for now. But because this limits what information a journalist can print, it's still unconstitutional. There's nothing to stop this ruling from allowing journalists to print any number of legitimate stories. Watergate, for example, would have been bottled up because Deep Throat was illegally giving away government secrets. The Lewinsky Affair, too, as Linda Tripp originally broke the story by handing over illegally taped phone conversations between Monica and herself."

As usual there are alotta issues going on here. Eugene Volokh has a good rundown of these over at the Volokh Conspiracy...

"The judge did not deal with any possible subpoenas against the bloggers. He thus didn't decide whether bloggers are entitled to be treated the same as other journalists, but concluded that in any event the subpoena against the service provider -- which the service provider isn't contesting -- is constitutionally permissible."

It seems the delightful Mistress Angela has had a link to the Daily Rant posted for quite some time. Internet and blogger etiquette dictates that Ole Tondar reciprocates. So there you have the new Linky Dink. And of course, my apologies go out to the S-p-r-y Household for Master Tondar's naughty manners.

Seth on this year's NCAA Tourney...

"Last year I cleaned up with my beautiful bracket. Everything fell into place, including Xavier making it to the Great 8 before getting knocked out by Duke.

Well, this year I don't feel so good. First of all, the obvious. WASHINGTON???????!!!??!??!??!?!??!?!?

Now that that's outta the way, I also wish to voice my discontent of UConn, North Carolina and Kansas sharing a bracket. C'mon!!! In 3 separate brackets those are 3 Final Four picks!

The best joke in this bracket before me is Georgia Tech, Wake Forest and Washington all on a collision course for each other.

So all of my strategies are shot. The teams that were hot last week are all together. The teams that were hot all season are all together. The teams that had injuries all season that are all healed now are all together. What gives? I might as well just pick each game by whomever's ranked highest. They even gave Georgia Tech a #5 seed when they had a #8 seed's record. Yeah, I knew they were hot at the end of the year, but I wanted everyone who didn't know that to say to themselves, "Gee, these guys are ranked under Pittsburgh."

Sunday, March 13, 2005


From Seth...

"Note the "Sooner rather than later." Democrats too often treat this as a 3rd-rail issue, and it sickens me. Rather than take the opportunity presented by the Republicans' courage to address the issue and work for real change, a lot of Democrats would rather the GOP reformers push through their bad plan then take the political hit.

This is why there are so few moderate Republicans left when they should be sick of the right-wingers. This is why we're facing such strong GOP solidarity today. Because when someone from the GOP goes out on a limb, rather than meet him, we shake the tree.

How hard can it be to swallow Bush's stupid private accounts idea in order to put some stoppers on it. This program has the potential to ruin Social Security as it stands, and we're gonna just sit by in hopes that it crashes in the Republicans' faces. What's the plan? Regain Congress and the presidency by 2008 and undo everything?

If I were a Republican Congressman right now, I'd recommend offering the Democrats just such a control on the private accounts thing. They look so pissy right now, I bet they'd slap my hand away and I could then do 2 weeks of partisan accusations. Then again, the Republicans in the House are about as adept at bipartisanship as Julian the Apostate was at making Christians feel comfortable.

Anyway, with both sides, I'm disgusted.

This is why our country can't make any strides. Because to our leaders, it's all about getting their management team in control, not in moving the company forward. When Bush comes to office, he spends his first term undoing everything Clinton made. And it seems next time the Democrats get control, the plan is to undo everything Bush made. A perfect example is Clear Skies. Cap-and-Trade isn't a bad idea. The Kyoto Protocol is a cap-and-trade program. EMS is a cap-and-trade program. Bush's program isn't really environmental protection: he left out a clause to limit regional trade so that two factories in one town both end up spitting out more than the locals can safely breathe, and also made limits so high that had there been no limits at all, it wouldn't have made any difference. If we killed the loopholes, however, Clear Skies would work. Every Democratic potential nominee except Wes Clark said they'd get rid of Clear Skies altogether. See what I mean?

Why not fix, taking the good from a program and making it work? Social Security's model relied on successively larger populations. But the model has changed. C'mon, we all know it. It's not just that the Baby Boomers are a big bunch, it's that Generation X isn't having kids. Our average age for our first child is close to 30. Theirs was 25. That's the problem. We don't have enough help to pay for the boomers in 10 years. So if the model changed, we need a new way for Social Security's income to grow. Of course private accounts won't do anything more than take money out of the coffer for today's retirees. But we can come up with investment ideas.

Ever hear how Al Gore "invented" the Internet. What he did was move government money from various agencies that would benefit from the Internet into the development project. When the Internet took off, agencies like the Tennessee Valley Authority got a nice big payback. There's potential for Social Security to be invested in much the same way, albeit in a different industry. How about in genome testing. We're probably 10 to 15 years away from the first FDA-approved pills that are genetically specific. We'll be able to take a genetic sample from a patient and determine whether or not they can handle the drug. So all of those drugs sitting on the shelf because 7 percent of the population would have really bad side effects would suddenly become useable. How about that? The government puts some dough from Social Security into the research and development of the requisite gene tests, purchases the unusable pills from the Pharmaceutical companies in return for them knocking down their prices, and then add 10 years to the retirement age that don't apply to physical labor workers. When the boomers finally hit, we'll have the payoff from selling the pills. And through all of this, we increase the quality of life by providing genetically specific drugs.

I guess it's "More government," but as a registered Democrat, I'm allowed, har har. Honestly, since we're not adding money to the system, and we increased the retirement age to 65, it's not really bigger government. And it's targeted investment rather than the unbelievably self-serving idea floating among the corporate protectionists swine of investing S.S. money into whichever company gave the most money to GOP campaigns last year."

Seth is right that social security is quite the 3rd rail issue. And it's ironic that Democrats all of a sudden are NOW talking about fiscal responsibility. However, that is always characteristic of the party out of power in American politics. The two big roadblocks ole Tondar sees in bringing about true reform and a degree of financial independence are the hardcore Democrat partisans like Ted Kennedy, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi, and their alliance with the AARP. It's obvious that the AARP has declared war on every American under the age of 30 and is willing to run us into financial ruin to help the Democrats win their pissing contest and halt reform.

Another reason Democrats are so against reform is their need to maintain their constituency. As Boortz puts it...

"What are the Democrats after? One word. Control. Control of you. Control of our senior citizens. As long as they have control over these retirement funds that should, in a sane world, be under your control ... as long as the government controls those funds, the government controls you. Tell me --- how, if you own your own retirement account --- can Democratic demagogues tell you that if you vote for anyone but them that some evil force is going to come and take that account away from you? Answer? They can't! They know that you'll look at them like they've lost their minds? You would know that you own that account, and that the money is yours, and that it isn't going to be taken away simply because you voted for a Republican ... or, preferably, a Libertarian."

But Seth has a different view...

"There's one item I'd like to add to the Social Security e-mail...

Right now, with X payed in and X payed out each year, Social Security functions with minimal overhead. Any changes, like I suggested, would likely increase administration costs 100 fold. So my argument for less bureauocracy falls short.

And considering that the Republicans seem more interested in spreading lies and fear rather than working toward a solution, I rescind my compliments to them. I'm now more convinced than ever that the GOP wants to do away with the program, and that ending S.S. is they over-arching goal of Bush in this endeavor, not saving it.

I still think Democrats play politics with this issue too much, but when it comes to being evil, Republicans are killing them. The reason it's hard to see it is because you don't want to believe such things about your leaders: could they really be lying in order to accomplish something they know wouldn't be popular? Yes. Yes. Yes. It's the only theory I have that explains the data: how anti-S.S. people have rallied behind the reforms while the most respected financial guys are horrified."

I tended to disagree with Seth, but now that he has called Republicans "evil" I have totally changed my mind. How foolish of me to agree with their works of evil especially the whole idea of personal accounts. I always tend to forget how evil responsibility and freewill are when examining right and wrong through the lenses of secularism.

But in reality no politician is going to eliminate a program that hands out free money to voters. No matter how "evil" Republicans may be, there is no way for them to escape the potential backlash that would come from destroying social security. Seth seems to forget one of the inherent problems of democracy that plague our republic. The only thing worse than mob rule is the propensity over time to vote government treasure to the people to secure power.

"HELLO," the program I use to post the "Pic of the Day" seems to have taken a dump due to server issues. So until these are resolved I'm afraid we will just have to deal with the ole textual format. My apologies to those of you who can't read.