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, September 17, 2005


From Pigpen...

"Seems the other shoe has dropped on John Roberts...finally they got him. Trapped in a series of lies and agendas and private life opinions. Next Teddy K is gonna nail him for not choosing his favorite bum wine. Night Train is the correct answer, but I hear Roberts is partial to Cisco."

From Seth...

"I've seen better reporting, but the media isn't the bad guy here. Basically, Army Corps. plans for the New Orleans dike were criticized by environmental groups, who in this case did have a pretty reasonable complaint and a pretty workable solution.

The thing is, Army Corps. guys are notoriously proud, if you can imagine. Believe me, it's just one of those things. They don't like civilian advice. It's like telling the guys at NASA to find a fuel for the shuttle takeoffs that didn't kill every fish within 10 miles, except I'm not sure NASA guys would respond by throwing down their headsets, pushing back the chairs, and yelling, "okay, fuckers, YOU go to the moon."

That's just an industry insider's take.

Anyhoo, rather than work out their differences, and probably moreso because they were facing huge budget cuts and massive debt to their contractors at the same time, the Army Corps. said "Fuck it" and closed up shot before the levy reconstruction project was completed. It was an unfinished section that broke.

Now, as you can guess, there was a lot of hostility going around before Katrina. Sierra Club was like, "Dudes, WTF! Get back to work!" and the Army Corps. was just plain fed up with everybody, especially Congress for pulling the financial plug right in the middle of a dept crisis for the project. For their part, the Hill did a pretty good job of ignoring two Louisiana representatives who couldn't stop bitching about it. Yes, the proposed cuts did come from the White House, but when it came time for vitriol, the president was spared. Good ol' army, right?

Flash forward to today, and we see the political arm of the White House getting involved. Why? Because there were hostilities, and that means there's someone in the Army Corps. of Engineers who would have no problem indicting environmentalists in general as the reason we can't get anything done. Yes, in the next few weeks, you will see the partisan right press declare that environmentalists were at fault for much of the Katrina damage. Looking forward, from a political standpoint, even if this doesn't exhonerate the president in the eyes of his people, it fits perfectly with the current administration's basic environmental policy: less regulation. So I don't expect the tale of "How Environmentalists Caused Katrina" to go away, despite the plot's obvious problems with fact.

Feel free to draw your own conclusions."

Seth laments to the dorm improvements at the Big Blue...

"It was a mark of pride, which he would bear the rest of his life, for each freshman that survived who witnessed the putrid squalor of the MoJo Dungeon. Air conditioning? We didn't have Air Conditioning! We had asbestos pipes with hot water running through them. We had heat so oppressive that the refrigerator literally just gave up.

You may think I'm overreacting, but how do you think Edmond Dantes would feel if he learned they'd installed a TiVo in every room of Chateau D'If?"

3 of 4

That's right, going back to last year, Lloyd Carr's Michigan team has lost 3 of the last 4 games. On top of that, they have lost 3 of 4 to Notre Dame, 3 of 4 bowl games, and most dreadfully 3 of the last 4 matches against Ohio State. With that being said isn't it about time to start questioning the conservative play of Lloyd Carr? I'm not sure what he is waiting for but it always seems like he is holding back something. This is especially true offensively when we look at the 2005 Rose Bowl and the Notre Dame games. But anyways, let's just hope Old Lloyd doesn't make it 3 of 4 wins over Eastern Michigan in the last 4 years because it is obviously out of my hands whether or not to fire him.

Historically this opinion has been viewed as the worst decision since the Dred Scott. If you get the chance take a look at this well constructed history of how the Roe decision was written. It turns out Justice Blackmun got a bit carried away looking at abortion from a physician's point of view. Money quote...

"But the most important sentence appears not in the Texas case of Roe vs. Wade, but in the Georgia case of Doe vs. Bolton, decided the same day. In deciding whether an abortion is necessary, Blackmun wrote, doctors may consider "all factors — physical, emotional, psychological, familial and the woman's age — relevant to the well-being of the patient."

It soon became clear that if a patient's "emotional well-being" was reason enough to justify an abortion, then any abortion could be justified.

Legal scholars have long pointed to the shaky constitutional basis for a right to abortion. Blackmun referred to the 14th Amendment, which says that a state may not "deprive any person of life, liberty or property, without due process of law."

If you get the chance read the piece, though Seth and the liberals like to paint Roe as a great leap forward for society, the legal foundation is shakey at best.

Thursday, September 15, 2005



From Pigpen...

"I saw a program on the history channel about sugar last night and it seems that Brazil is making a significant amount of Ethanol for fuel consumption. Since the 80's all gas stations have been required to offer it and it turns out that most Brazillians prefer it because it's about half the cost of gasoline. According to the show they've significantly decreased their dependence on foreign oil to about 15% of total fuel import. I wonder why the US doesn't pursue this more aggresively? Why don't the oil companies pursue this avenue - they stand to make a significant profit as much as anyone else they develops it?

Seems to make sense to me...if you can still profit why stick to the bullhead steadfast oil only school of thought"

Actually I think this was a pet-pork-project of Bob Dole and Tom Harkin back in the day. If I remember correctly, didn't they pump millions of tax dollars into corn ethanol with only marginal results at best? Anyone remember? (Frank?)

Well the new season of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra kicked off tonight with Mahler's Second. In the meantime check out what conductor Robert Spano has been up to in his summer. Turns out he spent the summer putting together a little 16 hour performance of Wagner's "Ring" Cycle. Also in case you're interested the AJC has seven highlights for the upcoming season.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005


From Seth...

I figured you'd at least agree with me on this:

The coverage on the John Roberts in most TV and print media has been sensational, and by senstational I mean sensationalistic.

Every single article focuses on the same issue. You can guess which one.

Sorry, my cohorts, but there's other things being talked about! You'd think by reading Yahoo! News that Ed Kennedy spent half and hour yelling at Roberts about "most precious rights." He actually took the most time asking about a property case and then quizzed him on the intent of those who drafted the 14th amendment, to which the nominee responded that he thought the writers, radical for their time, purposefully made sure the language could be interpreted as such that "separate" would be inherently considered "unequal."

See, that's what we should be learning about the nominee. What's more, that's what our elected officials are asking the nominee.

I know CNN and McNews are praying for the Catholic Roberts to suddenly jump out of his chair and proclaim "FINE, PEOPLE!!! I THINK IT'S MURDER AND I'M GOING TO OVERTURN ROE THE FIRST CHANCE I GET, SUCKERS!!!"

Ain't gonna happen. And frankly, considering this man is going to be, in all likelihood, the Chief Justice for the better part of this next half-century, I'd be a lot more interested in where he stands on Internet privacy, land ownership, personal privacy, consumer rights, corporate law, campaign finance, hate crime legislation, affirmative action, etc. etc.

The Times even started their article on the A issue, although they at least talked about the rest of the goings on and included pieces of the transcript relevant to some of the above topics.

Everyone's reading the same poll I am that says the people care most about his stance on Big A. Gotta sell papers, right? But I'd like to see my profession move past that. As for A, well, this response, I thought, told Roberts' story the best:

(paraphrased) "You're asking what affect my religion would have on my rulings? What could my religious beliefs possibly have to do with what Congress -- Continental or otherwise -- has written into law?"

Right on, but to take it one step further I wish the Senators would change up some of their questions. The Democrats are all up ons in full gotchya mode while the GOP is lobbing softballs. Or as the Jim Lindgren from the Volokh Conspiracy put it, Foghorn Leghorn mode.

Turns out Sonny Purdue isn't the only governor interested in keeping gas taxes low as Seth points out...

"To answer your question, Granholm passed, over a year ago, a bill to make Michigan's gas tax rate permanently responsive to gas prices. So when gas prices are low, the tax is higher. When gas prices are high, the tax is lower. You really notice the difference if you drive to Ohio as much as I do. We were 20 cents higher than them at one point last year. Now we're 20 cents lower, averaging around $2.78 as opposed to the $2.99s at every gas station in northern Toledo yesterday.

It's been a big help to those of us who try to plan gas into our montly budgets, too, to have less fluctuation."

Monday, September 12, 2005



Let your research begin here Frank. Also be sure to swing by Canandaigua's website for a Q&A session.

"How long should I age Cisco wine before drinking it?

Please remember that Cisco wines are designed for consumption in a relatively short period after you purchase them. They are not made for aging or being stored for long periods of time."

Hockey Can't Shake Fans

After raising ticket prices to an average of $60 or more for normal seats, letting goalie pads balloon to the point that simply sitting with your arms and legs out has become known as a goaltending style, turning what used to be called "interference" into "good defense," and then delivering the coup de gras by canceling an entire season so millionaires and billionaires could argue about money, the NHL still cannot seem to get rid its fans.

"We're doing everything we can think of to make them go away, but these people keep showing up to hockey games," said a frustrated commissioner Gary Bettman. "They like scoring; we got rid of scoring. They like fights; we outlawed fights. And they still won't leave! I don't know what gives!"

It doesn't seem to be from lack of effort. After finally reaching an agreement over a labor dispute that led to the NHL becoming the first major professional sport to cancel a whole season, the first words back were those of Jeremy Roenick, one of the games biggest stars, literally telling the fans not to come.

"What, do they need it spelled out? We don't want you people watching the game anymore! We're sick of you! Go the F--- away!!!" yelled former players' union representative Bob Goodenow. Goodenow, who raised players' average salaries by over 500 percent during his tenure, was fired last month for agreeing to a salary cap that, according to some analysts, runs the risk of increasing fan interest.

"We really are trying," agreed Bettman. "I mean, for years, I've been moving the sport out of Canada and hockey-crazed towns like Hartford, Conn. and putting them in Southern, NASCAR-infused cities like Raleigh [N.C.], Nashville [Tenn.] and Atlanta, but still people come. We're getting better at it at least. Like 10 years ago, we moved Minnesota's beloved Stars to the heart of football country, and they somehow thrived. Then we took away Quebec City's team -- I mean QUEBEC F-in CITY -- and stuck them in the middle of the Rocky Mountains, and still the ranchers and ski bums started filling the seats. We even tried putting a new franchise in Columbus, Ohio. What more can we do?"

Leading up to the lockout, the NHL tried various stunts to ward off smelly fans, who, according to the league, drink way too much crummy beer and spill it all over their brand-new seats. "I remember first they had some guy knock Bryan Berard's eye out -- you know, to gross everyone out -- but that didn't work," recalled the Red Wings Brendan Shanahan. "So then they moved up to having stars do sick things, like Todd Bertuzzi splitting open a guy's head, or Hasek beating up some Czech guy on rollerskates, or all that weird stuff with Mike Danton and his freakish agent, or Eric Lindros with his very existence."

More recently, the league had one of its biggest young stars kill an Atlanta teammate in a drunk driving accident, but then realized that the tragedy only made the southern city even more at home with their team. Heatley has since been shipped to Ottawa, the Canadian capital, to head up an attempt to disengage that country from the sport.

Other hockey players noted that the league tried putting up thick black netting so any fans who came to a game couldn't actually see what was going on down at the ice, but that hasn't had much effect either.

"I don't know where to go from here," said former NHL superstar Wayne Gretzky, who has agreed to try to undo the effects of his star power with a failed coaching stint scheduled to begin this season. "We've blacked out games that don't sell out and gave up almost all of our airtime on ESPN to poker. If after everything we've pulled, the fans still want to keep following professional hockey, I don't know if we can stop them."

From Pigpen...

"So now hurricanes are the fault of our President...ahem sorry...Bush. How ridiculous to think that he's similar to the person that the band Rush spoke of in "Prime Mover." IF the circumstances had been slightly different it wouldn't have mattered either way. Either the hurricane went somewhere else or it hit N.O. harder and the levee's would have broken no matter what. I also like the pic of the guitar towards the bottom. It was a total set up...I'm sure Bush specifically requested a non-US made ax to wail on...Please!

You know, I loved Roger and Me, but I don't think I could ever watch it again after what this guy has become over the last 5 or so years. It's more PR based than muckraking. Upton Sinclair must be turning in his grave right about now.

Sunday, September 11, 2005


Denise passed this fwd on to me. I guess with all my talk of "Woman's Work" she knew I could appreciate a kindred spirit such as Clarence...

"It is important for men to remember, that as women grow older it becomes harder for them to maintain the same quality of housekeeping as when they were younger. When you notice this, try not to yell at them. Some are oversensitive and there's nothing worse than an oversensitive woman.

My name is Clarence. Let me relate how I handled the situation with my wife, Marie.

When I took "early retirement", it became necessary for Marie to get a full-time job, both for extra income and for the health benefits that we needed. Shortly after she started working I noticed she was beginning to show her age.

I usually get home from the Golf Course about the same time she gets home from work. Although she knows how hungry I am, she almost always says she has to rest for half an hour or so before she starts dinner. I don't yell at her. Instead, I tell her to take her time and just wake me when she gets dinner on the table. I generally have lunch in the Grill at the club so eating out is not reasonable. I'm ready for some home cooked grub when I hit that door.

She used to do the dishes as soon as we finished eating. But now, it's not unusual for them to sit on the table for several hours after dinner. I do what I can by diplomatically reminding her several times each evening that they won't clean themselves. I know she appreciates this, as it does seem to motivate her to get them done before she goes to bed. I really think my experience as a manager helps a lot. I consider telling people what they ought to do, I like to think that is one of my strong points.

Now that she has gotten older, she does seem to get tired so much more quickly. Our washer and dryer are in the basement. Sometimes she says she just can't make another trip down those steps. I don't make a big issue of this; as long as she finishes up the laundry the next evening, I'm willing to overlook it. Not only that, but unless I need something ironed to wear to the Monday lodge meeting, or to Wednesday's or Saturday's poker club, or to Tuesday's or Thursday's bowling, or something like that, I will tell her to wait until the next evening to do the ironing.

This gives her a little more time to do some of those odds and ends like shampooing the dog, vacuuming or dusting. Also, if I had a really good day on the course and it was wet and muddy, my clubs are a mess, so I let her clean them, you know.....get the grit off the grips and a little light Brillo on the club faces at a casual pace. My golf bag is heavy so I lift it out of the trunk for her. Women are delicate, have weak wrists and can't lift heavy stuff as good as men. But I did tell her I don't like & nbsp;to be wakened during my after-golf nap, so rather than bother me, she can put them back in the trunk when she's finished.

Another symptom of her aging is complaining, I think. For example, she will say that it is difficult for her to find time to pay the monthly bills during her lunch hour. But boys, we take 'em for better or worse, so I just smile and offer encouragement. I tell her to stretch it out over two or even three days. That way she won't have to
rush so much. I also remind her that missing lunch completely now and then wouldn't hurt her any (if you know what I mean).

When doing simple jobs, she seems to think she needs more rest periods. She had to take a break when she was only half finished mowing the yard. I try not to make a scene. I'm a fair man. I tell her to fix herself a nice, big, cold glass of freshly squeezed lemonade and just sit for a while. And, as long as she is making one for herself, she may as well make one for me too, and then take her break by my hammock. That way she can talk with me until I fall asleep.

I know that I probably look like a saint in the way I support Marie. I'm not saying that showing this much consideration is easy. Many men will find it difficult. Some will find it impossible! Nobody knows better than I do how frustrating women get as they get older. However, guys, even if you just use a little more tact and less
criticism of your aging wife because of this article, I will consider that writing it was well worthwhile. After all, we are put on this earth to help eachother."

I'm sure after what happened against the Wolverines, Brado is certainly rethinking these predictions he sent me on 9/8/05...

After a preview of the Charlie Weiss Fighting Irish I feel inclined to make some season predictions. Most likely no one cares about ND but me, here it is anyway.

Pitt-Much improved efficiency over last year. Not a perfect game but remember last year this Pitt team ran the South Bend scoreboard up to 41 points.

Michigan-A winnable game for the Irish in South Bend. Look for them to come up just short at the Big House.

Michigan State-A definate W in the column based on ND's perfomance at Pitt and South Bend air.

Washington-Last year's Irish prevailed 38-3. After the improvement shown against Pitt this is another win. Look for a closer game in Seattle though.

Purdue-The Irish suffer their second loss of the season in W. Lafayette. Their's just something about Purdue that ND can't figure out.

USC-The Pats of the NCAA. LOSS

BYU-A close one in Provo last year. I'd give the Irish a definate edge in South Bend.

Tennessee-The Vol's hand ND their second home loss. Don't know why, just a hunch.

Navy-Irish win handily.

Syracuse-Don't know much about the Orangemen. With Benedict in our corner I'll say Irish.

Stanford-Again, don't know much about the guys with the Sequoia tree mascot. When in doubt, Irish win.

Disclaimer: If you did the math that's a 7-4 season for the little Leprechauns. Remember, the Irish of recent times are a bit of a roller coaster. Also, remember as a fan I err on the side of win, could be 4-7 by the time the smoke's cleared. It's like trying to predict what Lions will show up.

From Seth...

So in the Da Vinci Code, there's a supposed secret society called the "Priory of Sion" who formed the Templars, hid the Holy Grail, begat the Merovingian Dynasty, and included at its head such eminent figures as Leonardo da Vinci and Victor Hugo.

The Question:

Is the Real Priory of Sion:

a. A real organization, as described by Brown, which came to light in the 1980s after documents were found in the French Biblioteque Nationale and one member agreed to a TV interview

b. Completely made up by Dan Brown for fictional purposes.

c. A nonsensical group

d. An ancient and secretive society from the Reformation that tried to save Catholic artifacts from destruction, thus all the interests from grail seekers.



Three to five guys in the 1950s who started a joke political party together in college in southern france, writing up fake ties to famous historical figures and the Merovingian line as their platform: "Vote for me, for I am your rightful king."

Of the three main guys, one wrote a book about a local church's grail ties, followed up by the second guy who placed the documents mentioned in (A) in the biblioteque nationale, and then wrote a best-selling novel about the nature of the grail as Mary Magdalene. The third guy, who was extremely wealthy and financed the whole charade, played the role of mysterious contact within the organization, and gave the TV interview mentioned in (A).

Dan Brown bought it hook, line and sinker, but the players all confessed to their ruse before his book came out. Somehow, Brown missed that little detail.

"It's where I lost it, New York, New York." Posted by Picasa

From Philosopher King Mr. Mojo Risin'...

"Monkey Republic love America. Monkey Republic fight with America in Iraq. Lord Grumpington be angry. kill many bad scarf people. Bad Day anniversary make Mr. Mojo sad. Bad Day anniversary make Mr. Mojo angry still. Monkey Republic stand by America friend. Lady Sassafrass sends hugs. We pray for America people."

Well said my monkey friend.

Four years have now passed and I too have to admit that it is difficult to remember that the enemy within still exists. This enemy hates America for being strong and successful, and is waging a whole new kind of warfare against us. But on this day I hope we all remember that in the first place we are all Americans and share a common history and devotion to life, liberty, and the pursuit (not the guarantee) of happiness. Secondly, I hope this nation continues to do good and remains blessed in the eyes of the LORD.

But anyways, if you get the chance check out this essay by Andrew Sullivan. It's a good read on the best of America in our new days of darkness.

I'm not sure why I found this so funny, but if you get the chance check out the Dalek Song for a good chuckle. (Hat-tip to miss Allison for the Link).