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 14, 2006


Tondar - I forgot how Europeans are so much like movie extras. 75% of these people seem to be just wandering around aimlessly grunting random phrases. Apples and bananas! Apples and bananas! Random words!

Tondar is alive and well in Paris. Seth has down a masterful job finding his group a great apartment just off the northeast corner of the Louvre. Plus we are within reasonable walking distance (not just Tondar walking distance) to some of the major sights like Notre Dame or the Musee D'Orsay.

I'm not sure why, but it seems that everytime I go to Europe the first day is wasted on logistics and uncertainty. Like today for example, I wanted to buy the weeklong pass to the Louvre. Turns out there is no such thing. Instead, I bought some jambon and ate sandwiches before returning to get the 3 consecutive day pass. After that Seth and I made our way to Notre Dame and then headed north to Sacre Cuour and Montmartre. I really dug the Church because it was a cross between Hagia Sophia and a typical Western European Cathedral, plus nobody in there tried to give me string. However, it turns out they don't have Saturday mass until 10pm (yeah, WTF?), so now I am back at the apartment waiting for the kids to figure out what we are doing tonight (dinner and drinks obviously, it's more a matter of motivation). Thus, I will have to go to 10 or 11:30 tomorrow morning at Notre Dame (the Cathedral, not the football school).

Monday, January 09, 2006

Witnesses for McDonald's admitted in court that consumers are unaware of the extent of the risk of serious burns from spilled coffee served at McDonald's required temperature; Posted by Picasa

Check out some of the details about Benedict XVI's newly remodeled Papal Apartments. It sounds like they could have used some work since this hadn't happend since 1964 under Pope Paul VI...

"For one thing, the electrical system was not up to code. Some rooms still used old 125-volt electrical outlets, which were phased out years ago in Italy in favor of 220 volts. The water pipes were encrusted with rust and lime, and the heating system was approximate at best.

Above the false ceiling, workers discovered big drums placed strategically to catch the leaks from the roof; some were nearly full of water."

Sure, His Holiness may sit upon the Throne of Peter, but it sounds like he's also been sleeping in the projects. I wonder if the Italians disabled the fire alarm so they could go smoke up on the roof.

If you get the chance, please say a prayer for Seth's sick grandfather. I had the pleasure of meeting him over the summer and not only did I find him to be delightful, but he was in the foreclosure business as well. Us folks have got to stick together...

Omnipotent and eternal God,
the everlasting Salvation of those who believe,
hear us on behalf of Thy sick servant, [name],
for whom we beg the aid of Thy pitying mercy,
that, with his bodily health restored,
he may give thanks to Thee in Thy church.
Through Christ our Lord.


Sunday, January 08, 2006


Does that library and computer lab look familiar to anybody? At least they didn't take it to the Labrynth of West Quad containing the half-man/half-pig; Porkator.

I'm getting closer to making up my mind on Bush's third nominee to the Supreme Court.

First of all, I cannot deny his qualifications. The man is bright enough and experienced enough to serve on the country's highest court, and I applaud the president for choosing an able person.

It's his ideology that worries me. Recently, he challenged the notion that the Constitution is a "living document." He went on to say that the founders' vision for America as enumerated in the Constitution is what we should adhere to, not attempt to improve upon.

Remember who first called it a "living document?" It's Madison, one of the thing's chief architects. Now the man's got guts challenging Madison. I like a guy who has the intellectual capacity to get right into founders' arguments. Except this founder's argument was that he and his colleagues were not infallible. They're not. They left slavery legal. They didn't forsee modern medicine's ability to keep the president alive but in a coma. They didn't forsee modern technology's ability to invade privacy without busting down the doors of someone's home.

Alito is a strict constructionist. I know conservatives have been tossing the term around a lot, right next to "legislating from the bench," but Alito is one in the true sense: he doesn't think we should imply intent, just follow the letter. He's not a "strict constructionist" in the GOP rhetorical sense, but in the true sense of the word. It's a valid position, though not one anyone I can think of has taken in a long time. It's, well, quirky.

G-d love him for going that far. In fact, I even think that such a man, whose vision for American law taps into one of its oldest and deepest conflicts, belongs on the Supreme Court.

But not now. Not to replace Sandra Day O'Connor. Because a quirky guy who could write thought-provoking dissenting opinions, a true conservative powerhouse mind like this, becomes dangerous when he's got partisans on the bench with him. He'd be a perfect person to replace Scalia. But to give him a seat now just puts him in the position of being an accomplice to a conservative agenda on the court that's far to the right of the mainstream. He's perhaps one of the most intellectual conservatives I've ever seen, and I heartily wish more conservatives would trace back their beliefs to a basic legal precepts like true strict constructionism. It makes for a real debate.

But minus the opportunity for debate, what good is an intellectual? I therefore have to oppose this nomination, even though I like and respect Alito, because his quirky ideology would only be used to strengthen the hammer of the right wing partisans on the bench. He'd be used to further the conservative agenda. We'd get well-thought-out majority decisions allowing companies to drug test at will, or fire someone for being a homosexual, or more likely, uphold the shadier aspects of the War on Terror, while completely masking the belligerent partisanism of some majority votes.

I think what Seth is forgetting is that conservatives don't always have to vote the same. Look at Scalia joining the liberals in the Raich decision. While Thomas took more of the Madisonian era law, Scalia used New Deal precedent to uphold the ban on weed. As I said before I think Alito will be more intellectually honest than Scalia. But I don't think one can say that Alito or any of the other Justices would get caught up in peer pressure. I always thought this was one of the more foolish arguments used by conservatives saying that Kennedy & O'Connor were becoming more liberal so they would fit in with the cool liberal kids (talk about psychological projection).

But anyways, one has to kinda assume that Bush is going to move the court back to the right. Afterall, elections have consequences. When Clinton won he got to appoint 2 liberals. Now when Bush won you cant expect him to appoint 2 more liberals as well. That's the perfect functionality of our government. You don't get cake if it ain't YOUR birthday.