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, October 22, 2005

PIC OF THE DAY


Turns out it was only a migraine. Miss Allison is quite fine (in more ways than one). Posted by Picasa
THE DeLAY FALLOUT

Seth has some thoughtful analysis on the consequences of Tom DeLay's trial...

"Do the Dems run with this for 2006?

Will it blow up in their face?

Every major paper yesterday talked about how the Democrats would likely make this a campaign issue.

From the New York Times:

Some Democratic strategists said Mr. DeLay's fight was taking a toll on the image of the Republican Party, particularly when viewed together with a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation into stock sales by the Senate majority leader, Bill Frist of Tennessee, and the inquiry into the leak of a C.I.A. officer's identity.

"It all feeds into the public's perception that whatever is going on, there is a strong whiff of illegality," said Peter Hart, a Democratic pollster.

But Republicans said Democrats were miscalculating if they were counting on the DeLay case to add to their numbers in Congress.

"If Democrats want to run ads in districts around the country that are focused on Tom DeLay, it will be a banner year for Republicans," said Carl Forti, a spokesman for the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee. "If they want to talk about Tom DeLay and I am talking about how their candidate raised taxes in the state legislature, we win."


Basically, every paper mentioned that claims of widespread corruption within the party in power was a primary mover in the 1994 election, and could likely be again in 2006, but nobody could predict because it's so far off. Besides, 1994 happened largely because there were a lot of longtime Democratic representatives in Southern and rural conservative districts. At this time, there were almost 60 close races that year, as opposed to maybe 16 or 17 this year.

If you want a better rundown of the 2006 election this early that guessing how DeLay will factor in, look at the races themselves. Americans right now would vote, in general, between 60-40 and 65-35 in favor of Democrats, but the congressional districts are so gerrymandered, that can't help the Dems very much.

As always, when it comes to politics, Washington Post seems to be the most on the ball. Everyone else can talk Dem strategy or how DeLay/Frist/Cheney scandals will affect things.
PISTONS STILL GOING TO WORK

While players are dying in Atlanta, Kwame is learning the triangle, and Miami is learning how to get along with others, Detroit is still just going to work. Marc Stein has a great piece on the changes Flip Saunders has brought to the Pistons.

"Saunders' offensive preferences, meanwhile, have been met with zero resistance. He wants to run more. He wants to increase the Pistons' screening and motion. He wants big men like Rasheed Wallace and Milicic to make use of their unique passing gifts.

He wants the Pistons to score at least 95 points nightly, compared to the past two seasons of 93- and 90-point averages.

Perhaps it doesn't sound like much of a jump, but the Pistons scoring 95 regularly would make them rather dangerous. Especially if 'Sheed's latest guarantee holds up: "No matter what the offensive sets are, we'll always go out there and play defense. You can't teach the defense we play."


From a Tondar perspective you have to love that. Last year one of my biggest worries was that the Pistons were too defensive oriented as the league's officiating tended to favor offense. Also if the Pistons can convert a few more turnovers into fastbreak points, they will be quite dangerous. (Remember how bad some of their fastbreaks were? I think Ben Wallace and Tayshaun must lead the league in missed jams).

But speaking of the other Wallace...

"Saunders' early dealings with the unpredictable 'Sheed are another source of optimism. The coach insists he's not exaggerating a bit when he compares 'Sheed's skill set to Kevin Garnett's -- "very similar," Saunders said -- and 'Sheed appeared to be rather giddy during the two days ESPN.com spent with the Pistons.

'Sheed shed 20 pounds in the offseason, played with more pep than anyone else in Detroit's exhibition opener and looked as though he's spearheading the vets' Welcome Flip campaign."


Since our game 7 loss to San Antonio, I have been convinced the Pistons need to find another scoring option. However, if 'Sheed can stay out of foul trouble and become the scorer he was in Portland, this will solve many of the offensive problems that have plagued the Pistons over the last few years.

I'm certainly excited about the upcoming season. Now to find a way to watch the games over the internet. Any ideas?
THE DOGMA OF EVOLUTION

Check out this piece that compares evolutionists with Marxists...

"They display the same hermetic materialism, the same desire to suppress dissent by the application of centralized governmental power, the same weird hostility to religion. They do not say, “I think Christianity is nonsense and will therefore ignore it,” but rather “These ideas shall not be permitted.” The justification often is pseudo-constitutional: “the separation of church and state.” Neither the phrase nor the idea is found in the Constitution."


Of course nobody likes to be told that they're wrong. However, the problem with the dogmatic followers of evolution is that they actually hide behind faulty science, while ignoring the scientific method they claim to uphold.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

I do what I want! I drink! I smoke! I sleep in the garage!
PIC OF THE DAY


This was the float constructed by Agricultural Minister, Curious George for the 2005 October Day Parade. Posted by Picasa
OCTOBER DAY 2005

Another October Day has come and gone, and this year the monkeys are a bit frightened. We just got back from Sir Huggs-A-Lot's Fireworks Republican Spectacular. Of course it didn't quite go as planned. Leading up to today, Huggs-A-Lot had been trying to convince me to let him play with matches. I of course told him no. So today, when it was finally time to set off the fireworks he finally got his monkey paws on the matches. After all, how much damage can the little guy do under my supervision?

Apparently quite a bit. Immediately, Huggs-A-Lot began lighting matches and tossing them in the air. Most landed harmlessly on the ground to the oohs and ahhs (and even a few gasps) of the rest of the Republic. He was dancing around to Europe's "Final Countdown" and I just figured this was part of the show. However, when one of the matches landed on Melvin Thornton, once again it was pandamonium. Melvin began screeching, weeping, and throwing feces. Monkeys began scrambling this way and that while lit matches were raining down everywhere. One even landed in the dumpster by my apartment, igniting a massive pyre of trash. At this point, Mr. Mojo quickly thanked everybody for coming out including "Mr. Pinchy" of Germany and ran back inside. As the firetrucks came (for the second year in a row), I found the monkeys cowering under the bed. As for "Mr. Pinchy," after refusing to neither give him my spare bottles and cans nor access to my apartment, I gave him a MARTA token and pointed him towards the subway after explaining, our Republic has no need for an unemployed chancellor.

Earlier, I had my anual sitdown with Paddington. Here is what he had to say about the parade down Peachtree Dunwoody...

"Parade fun! Mojo great leader. Mojo say "Long live Republic!" Paddington still say "Long live Republic!" Repbulic good to Paddington. Paddington like stove and Miss Allison. Republic Paddington friend number three. THREE! THREE! Paddington watch happy parade. Paddington wave to Mr. Mojo. Mr. Mojo wave back. He be, he be, he be Paddington's most favorite feel officer king in the whole world! Paddington wave to Lord Grumpington's missiles. Missiles no wave back. Paddington get candy from Lady Sassafrass. Paddington miss Stove at Parade. *sad face* Paddington want Miss Allison be parade." *sad face*


But Paddington, didn't you get more fruit and candy since they weren't there too?

*Monkey gigggle*
DORKOLOGY

In case you've ever wondered, why can't I join a medieval combat society, this is for you. Behold: Belegarth, home of the foam beatdown. Unto which kingdom does thou belong?

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

HAPPY OCTOBER DAY

The monkeys wanted to remind everybody that today is October Day celebrating the third anniversary of the founding of the Republic. There will be reports tonight of the celebration. However, here is a reminder of what went down last year.
NHL WEEK 2

From Seth...

"In week 2, we're starting to see which teams are built for the new, wide-open NHL.

First, it looks like, at least in the first several games, the promise of fast-paced, skill-based hockey wasn't just hype afterall. Who'd have thought?

One look at the standings tells you right away what kind of sport this is going to be. If you want people sitting around checking each other for two hours, go watch the World Poker Tour.

At the top of the heap are the fast-skating Ottawa Senators, Montreal Canadiens, Nashville Predators, Detroit Red Wings, and Buffalo Sabres. Meanwhile, the high-priced goon squads in Philadelphia and Toronto are already incurring the wrath of the leagues' worst fans with 1-2 and 1-1-2 records respectively.

As for breaking through pre-season hype, as it turns out, the Great One has done more harm than good behind the bench (no-one should doubt his team's talent level) and for all the talk of hockey's new LeBron, Sidney Crosby has yet to translate his awesome talent, along with that of the superstars they surrounded him with, into a win. The kid will be good, but I don't think it's unreasonable to wait a couple years before assessing his Hall of Fame credentials. He just turned eight-frikkin-teen!

However, it's good to see some of these sleeper talents finally breaking out. Glenn Murray (BOS), Jason Williams (DET) and Eric Staal (CAR) have joined the usual suspects atop scoring lists. In Detroit, Henrik Zetterberg has been the team's best player. Speed, determination, hockey smarts and skill seem to be mattering. The same is true in goal, where the talented have really shined and the old Pad Boyz are struggling. Dom Hasek has been Dom Hasek, which is about the best compliment you can give a goalie. But Roberto Luongo, perhaps the best young netminder out there, is singlehandedly keeping Florida on top their division. Meanwhile, Giguere, Olie the Goalie, Lalime, Denis, et al. are having trouble understanding what that black rubber thing is that keeps squirting past them.

If coaching ever made the difference in a hockey club's fortunes, now's the time. The teams that are learning to play by the rules are generating scoring opportunities and powerplays, while those who think they can simply sit on opponents all game are getting a lot of practice at 5-3s.

The Washington Capitals have let in 31 goals already. The reason? 114 penalty minutes. The teams that aren't taking as many penalties, on the other hand, are dominating the league. The lone exception is Florida, who's near the top with 96 minutes spent killing power plays. They're 3-2-0, one point up on 2-2-1 Tampa Bay, and that's just because Luongo has put up a sick 1.60 GAA and 93 percent save rate. The Red Wings, who are 4-1, are the 12th least penalized team. However, if you discount penalty minutes that didn't lead to power plays, i.e. fights, Detroit moves up to 2nd.

Still, with coaching a close second, what it seems to come down to this season mostly is personnel. If you've got a smart puck-control team like Ottawa or Detroit, or a lot of speed and guts like Montreal or Nashville, then you've got a good season ahead. Perhaps it should have been that way all along.