Road Trip!

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader is not going to be posting much (or at all) until Thursday. He will be leaving tonight to get the Minister of Agriculture for a fun (geeky) road trip. We plan on visiting the William Seward House and Sagamore Hill at the least. We may also be able to stop in to Cooperstown and see the Baseball Hall of Fame.

So, loyal minions. In your Maximum Leader’s absence, be good.

Your Maximum Leader supposes that in his absence he leaves his blogsite in the hands of the Poet Laureate, Air Marshal and Minister of Propaganda.

Carry on.

Rising to the challenge…

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader has decided to enter the fray with his esteemed Minister of Propaganda. He feels as though there is an implication in the Minister of Propaganda’s last post the the war in Iraq was not properly debated.

Of course there is a more insidious implication in the last post. Namely that the administration, through use of cleverly manipulated intelligence information (or out and out fabrication of intelligence information) to move the people of our nation towards favouring war with Iraq.

As we all know, the war was debated by our elected represenatives in Congress. And after that debate both houses of the Congress voted to authorize military action by the president. Your Maximum Leader believes that one could make an argument that Congress rushed the debate and therby did not give the war as full consideration as one might desire. The Congress did have, in your Maximum Leader’s opinion, plenty of debate before voting.

Unfortunuately, our Congress doesn’t generally like to have lengthy debates on contraversial subjects. They instead like to have intermidable debate on lower profile subjects and rush through the items on which they should concentrate their energies. This has been a tendency in Congress since the 1960s at least; and doesn’t appear to favour one party or the other.

The more important implication of the Minister of Propaganda to discuss is the misleading of the public (and by extension our representaives). Your Maximum Leader will agree that there was a considerable amount of misinformation floating around during the debate preceeding the war. Information that was judged at the time credible by the US, UK, France, Russia, and other nations has now been shown to be innacurate. And there should be a price to pay in the intellegence community for that.

However, there was no significant dissent at the time concerning the quality of intelligence information under discussion. If those in Congress, or in the public, had concerns about the quality of intelligence they should have acted in a way to get more time. Senator Kerry, for instance, could have quietly asked for more time to debate. Or Senator Edwards could have discreetly threatened to use various parliamentary tactics available to all senators to get a longer period of debate. And use that time to get more intelligence review.

But they did not.

It is one thing to carefully consider the information at hand, and then upon learning that the information is not accurate; declaring that your decision was bad. It is another thing to give cursory examination to information presented to you; and then later declaring that you lied to. Alas it is the latter statement that both Kerry and Edwards are declaiming now.

Your Maximum Leader would also like to take a moment to address the question of intelligence information. While most would agree that the immenent Iraqi threat to the US did not exist as it was portrayed; that does not equate to an immenent Iraqi threat not existing at all. We have found artillery shells containing nerve agents (which were supposed to be destroyed years ago). We have found and removed from Iraq over a ton of radioactive material (that the Iraqi’s were not supposed to have). We have evidence from the United Nations no less that Iraq shipped missles (they weren’t supposed to have) to various nations around the world before the war began. We know that Saddam Hussein was neither a friend of the civilized world, nor his own people. We know that Saddam’s intelligence services did have contact with Al Qaida.

And we don’t know what would have happened had we not acted.

Your Maximum Leader still believes that our actions in Iraq were justified, and are a positive accomplishment towards a safer world and a more progressive Iraq. Has the administration done the best job possible in rebuilding Iraq? No. They have not. Have we done the best job possible in managing Iraq? No. But the job we have done is not over. Your Maximum Leader doesn’t believe that Kerry/Edwards will do a better job. Nothing Kerry has said has given your Maximum Leader any reason to believe that he would, in fact, do anything different. Thus, changing presidents would have zero net effect on Iraqi policy. And would only give a possible President Kerry the opportunity to stay the course and blame everything (rightly or wrongly) on Bush. Your Maximum Leader would just as soon retain President Bush, who has at least demonstrated that he will act in the manner that he believes is best for the country.

We continue to have a democratic system of government, and if Bush’s opponents hold contrary opinions to the president’s they can use our existing institutions to force/make changes. If they do not (as it seems they haven’t in the past to listen to them), they have, in your Maximum Leader’s opinion, very little ground on which to make a principled stand.

Carry on.

Alluding to World War II, ever so gently

While poking around the blogosphere, I stumbled upon a quote I think worth contemplating, especially amongst such fine historians as count themselves in the Maximum Leader’s cabinet:

“Why of course the people don’t want war. But after all it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.”

–Hermann Goering (Nazi), at the Nuremberg Trials

C’mon, gentle readers, I know it might be difficult so soon after the 4th of July, but set aside the Lee Greenwood patriotism for a minute and think it through. Vote for a publicly-debated foreign policy in ‘04.


Quiz Time

I took the personality quiz recently suggested by Maximum Leader and scored as follows:

Wackiness: 52/100
Rationality: 62/100
onstructiveness: 74/100
Leadership: 66/100

You are an SRCL–Sober Rational Constructive Leader. This makes you an Ayn Rand ideal. Taggart? Roark? Galt? You are all of these. You were born to lead. You may not be particularly exciting, but you have a strange charisma–born of intellect and personal drive–that people begin to notice when they have been around you a while. You don’t like to compromise, but you recognize when you have to.

You care absolutely nothing what other people think, and this somehow attracts people to you. Treat them well, use them wisely, and ascend to your rightful rank.

Going back into the archives, I also took the geek quiz and scored only 15%. That didn’t really bother me (I already knew I was less geeky than the Min. of Agriculture), but as a California liberal, I was disturbed by the fact that my score was accompanied by a picture of Arnold “The Groper” Schwarzenegger.


A name, booze and sundries…

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader woke in the night after a vision. In the vision he saw a great legion of villainous bloggers set to do his bidding. And thus he found the name to separate the quality bloggers he knows and loves from those those mega blogs. And thus the “The Legion of Villainy” is born. The sidebar has been updated accordingly. One will also note that the fabled ranks of the “Loyal Minions” category has been expanded by one. Dr. Rusty Shackleford has entered the ranks of Loyal Minions. Perhaps your Maximum Leader should award some sort of gift for those who are granted the Loyal Minion status. Hummm… Your Maximum Leader will ponder that.

In the “sundries” department… Ever wonder what the root cause of the Poet Laureate’s humour is? Look upon his dingus ye mighty and lament!

Your Maximum Leader reviewed two recent posts by Bill, both kindly mentioning posts in this space. In the first of Bill’s linked posts, he discusses how he felt he had to resign from the National Geographic Society due to their publication of bad science. Your Maximum Leader asks rhetorically, how susceptible is scientific journalism to the affects of ideology? In discussing global warming (the scientific question at the heart of Bill’s decision to leave National Geographic) there is a tendency among “left-leaning” scientists to ignore data that may contradict their preconceived notions concerning that phenomina. “Right-leaning” scientists commit the same sin in reverse. The open question on this matter may be do we have enough data to make an informed hypothesis? Humm… Something to ponder.

In the second linked post, Bill discusses some of the AirMarshal’s (very popular) booze posts. Specifically he asks about Oban. Your Maximum Leader has not had Oban for a number of years. This should not be construed to mean that he didn’t (or doesn’t) like Oban. He doesn’t remember the taste in fact. (Which is a sure sign that he should pick up a bottle.) Your Maximum Leader, like his AirMarshal, will wholly endorse Johnnie Walker Gold. He was drinking some last night. It was served frozen. And it was a fine compliment to a bowl of vanilla ice cream (Edy’s) and fresh peaches.

Carry on.

I am losing my faith in the American people

I am so angry about this administration right now I can hardly think straight, much less compose a calm and rational blog posting. That the American people continue to tolerate this degree of hypocrisy, deceit, manipulation and incompetence is unbelieveable to me.

Channeling anger through humor:

The Liberal Media Compares the Candidates

Bush Discovered to be Evil Cyborg

The Learning Curve

The Blame Game

A Terrifying Election

How Conservatives See It

Play It as It Lies

Scalia to the Rescue

Conservatives Suspicious of Coverage

Mission Accomplished: One Year Later

Attention: Multi-Millioniares!

Mom and Apple Pie

Presidential Revisionist Comics

Encyclopedia Bush

Things We Have Learned From Republicans Lately

Slime and Defend

Actionable Intelligence



Boy, if gay marriage causes such a stir in the US, imagine what THIS would do.

I sincerely hope that the Ag Ministers animals stay within their species. I mean, really.

How Convenient

My Father in Law is a Vietnam vet. He served as an Army intel officer right out of ROTC circa 1967, and saw combat. He’s also a lifelong Republican who has chosen to live in Maryland. go figure. He’s also completely intolerant of draft dodgers. It’s the reason he hated Clinton.

What boggles my mind is how he’s completely resentful of John Kerry’s military service. I continuously get e-mails from him about unconfirmable nit picky problems with Kerry’s war record.

So I ask him what about Dubya going into the National Guard, and all the associated problems with potential AWOL behaviour, and leaving early etc. His response is that “noone can prove it, so what’s the big deal.” When I ask him how he feels about Cheney who avoided going to Vietnam for various nebulous reasons, he doesn’t have a problem with Uncle Dick avoiding the draft, or service.

Gotta love hypocrisy. It’s OK for Dubya or Uncle Dick to avoid service entirely, but God forbig Kerry actually wears medals he earned.

So some of Dubya’s Nat Guard records have been lost? How convenient. Lost in ‘96 and ‘97? Sure. Right. Excuse me for being skeptical.

What we have here is a rich kid whose powerful Daddy got him out of an obligation to go to War by defending the skies over Texas from Mexican infiltration. And Dubya, for whatever reason, couldn’t even meet that obligation. War time President? Sure thing. George Sr. lied about his age so he COULD serve in WWII. That’s character. Being too drunk, or whatever, to show up to fly a jet over Texas? That’s pathetic.

Slay the fatted calf!

A Most Happy Blogiversary to the Maximum Leader!


What do Frank J and your Maximum Leader have in common?

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader and Frank J have something in common. Both our blogs were started on July 9th.

We’re also devilishly handsome, quick-witted, and armed to the teeth.

Carry on.

Housekeeping, and being bad…

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader needs to just throw out a few things for his ministers and loyal minions to consider.

First, the Minister of Agriculture (who’s dearth of posting is related to his crappy computer at home) has suggested a weekly poll or some sort of multiple choice question be added to the site. Your Maximum Leader has given this some thought and is not opposed to the idea. But, would it really be worthwhile? Although we’ve been getting more and more traffic of late (over 3200 visitors last month!) do people really want another poll?

Second, your Maximum Leader has tried (furtively at 3 am on Sunday mornings) to get Haloscan comments and trackbacks working. While he can get them to display, they seem to ruin the asthetics of the page as he can’t get them to display in a font/colour he likes. Again, the Minister of Agriculture has expressed his desire to have comments on the page. Also, the esteemed Dr. Rusty Shackleford has given the most compelling reason for adding comments. The comments cause you to reflect on what you have written; and can make you a better writer. Excellent point. But they also can be the domain of putzes and counter-revolutionaries. (And frankly if your Maximum Leader wants a contrary political opinion to his own he can always consult his Minister of Propaganda.) He may give Francey a call on this one and try again. If anyone has any thoughts on this matter they are welcome to shoot your Maximum Leader an e-mail. (Link on left.)

Third, your Maximum Leader is growing upset with his current blogroll layout. He likes the “Loyal Minion” category (for those minions so near and dear to his heart). But then when you get to “Villainous Bloggers” he feels he needs another category. While bloggers like Keith Burgess-Jackson, Annika, Anna, Dr. Rusty, BRD, Bill, Skippy and the Grand Vizier all deserve the title, the more mainstream (and higher trafficed sites) like Instapundit, IMAO, Allah and Du Toit should be sorted by some other type of nomenclature. But your Maximum Leader is not sure what to call that other title. Suggestions are welcome (again, e-mail your Maximum Leader using link on left). Perhaps he will send a Nakedvillainy T-shirt (or thong) to the minion who sends him the best suggestion.

And now we begin the “Being Bad” portion of the post….

Your Maximum Leader and his Minister of Agriculture are going on a ROAD TRIP!!!! Woo Hoo! We are going to pile ourselves into the Vilainmobile and run off (leaving our lovely spouses and progeny) to…. Long Island.

Yes… THAT Long Island. The one that is part of New York state. That big barrier island protecting Connecticut and Rhode Island…

Okay it is not the most fun destination. But there is a reason we are going to Long Island, NY. That is where you find Oyster Bay. And when speaking about Oyster Bay there is only one thing to see there… Sagamore Hill. The home of Teddy Roosevelt.

Okay… We’re geeks. And history geeks at that. But hey, if we pack lots of booze and guns and a digital camera and promise to share the pics it will be okay right? Right?

Really! We’re gonna be bad. We’re probably gonna cause the rangers up there to have heart palpitations with our badness… Wez gonna partay old school. (And at the same time have a great learning experience…)

Well… Moving on….

Another item in the “being bad” category. Your Maximum Leader just bought a movie on Amazon utilizing their patented “One Click” technology. He bought Bubba Ho-Tep. Your Maximum Leader is practically salivating waiting for the film to arrive. Indeed, he has made a space next to the deluxe “Boomstick” edition of Army of Darkness in his DVD collection. The space already longs to be filled by Bubba Ho-Tep.

Why is this bad? Well, let us just say that your Maximum Leader and his lovely, devoted, and sometimes willful spouse, Mrs. Villain, don’t often agree on what films to purchase for the Villainschloss DVD collection. Indeed, most of the films in the collection are much beloved by your Maximum Leader - and completely unwatchable to Mrs. Villain.

To illustrate this point, on your Maximum Leader’s birthday, Mrs. Villain looked over the DVDs sent as tribute and declared Monty Python’s Life of Brian, “Shit.”

Your Maximum Leader is sure that Mrs. Villain will not get even 1/1,000,000th the joy from watching Bruce Campbell (as Elvis) and Ozzie Davis (as John Kennedy) battle Bubba Ho-Tep.

And your Maximum Leader bought the film anyway.

Why is this bad? Your Maximum Leader promised Mrs. Villain that she would get to pick the next DVD added to the collection.


Your Maximum Leader believes he will try to make it up to her by taking her out for dinner next week (around the time the film should arrive) at our favourite restaurant. Calling now to make reservations…

Carry on.

What!?! Another Quiz.

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader saw this over on the Poet Laureate’s site (site not accessible in the Republic of Korea, the People’s Republic of Korea, and other screwed up places). He saw it on the lovely Annika’s site (site also not accessible in the Republic of Korea - and your Maximum Leader guesses the People’s Republic of Korea). And now here are the results of this quiz, as taken by your Maximum Leader.

Wackiness: 36/100
Rationality: 50/100
Constructiveness: 10/100
Leadership: 40/100

You are an SEDF–Sober Emotional Destructive Follower. This makes you an evil genius. You are extremely focused and difficult to distract from your tasks. With luck, you have learned to channel your energies into improving your intellect, rather thn destroying the weak and unsuspecting.

Your friends may find you remote and a hard nut to crack. Few of your peers know you very well–even those you have known a long time–because you have expert control of the face you put forth to the world. You prefer to observe, calculate, discern and decide. Your decisions are final, and your desire to be right is impenetrable.

You are not to be messed with. You may explode.

Your Maximum Leader leaves it to his minions to determine the accuracy of the test.

Carry on.

Remakes… Hmmm

One good, one undecided.

A broadway version of “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” with Hank Azaria, David Hyde Pierce and Tim Curry sounds like it has a lot of promise. Who knows, though. Still with that cast it could be really funny.

A remake/prequel of/to “the Pink Panther”? Ok, skeptical enough. But Steve Martin as a pre-Peter Sellers Clouseau? No. First of all, Martin is too old. Second of all, Inspector Dreyfus IS Herbert Lom. I don’t see Kevin Kline in the role. Actually, the more I think about it, the more I don’t think that Martin can pull off Clouseau. What made Peter Sellers’ Clouseau so great a character was Clouseau’s absolute ignorance of his on incompetance. I don’t think Martin can pull it off. One characteristic of a Steve Martin comedic performance is an awareness of the absurdity of his character. And I think that would ruin Clouseau.

Boozing it up.

So my wife and I are in “when the hell is the baby coming?” Mode. The latest sono (yesterday) estimated the baby at almost 9 lbs, and estimated my wife as being 41 weeks pregnant. Now huge babies aren’t typical in our family, as they are in the MaxLd’s family. My personal feeling is that her docs miscalculated her due date. I’ve felt this from the beginning. Oh well.


For Fathers’ day, my wife splurged and got me a bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue Label. I was shocked, and grateful, that she’d spend the bucks on alcohol. Blue label typically runs in the $150 to $200 range, so I was quite pleased.

So on Fathers’ day, my dad and I enjoyed this fine blended Scotch. I’ve long believed that stuff that expensive couldn’t be worth it. I can happily say now that I was

So here’s my take on Johnnie Walker. I’ll admit at the start that I haven’t tried Green Label. It’s fairly new. Unfortunately, I can’t access the official Johnnie Walker web site, so I’m not linking to their descriptions of the various whiskies’. Here’s a link that should guide you to the official sites, but it’s not working for me at the moment.

Now, Red Label is just nasty and not worth considering. It’s good for mixing, or drinking with liberal ice and water added. But for really enjoying it as scotch, don’t bother.

Black Label is yummy. It’s got kick. A good 12 year old blend. Until recently, it was THE deluxe scotch in the Johnnie Walker stable. Now, with the additional colors, it’s not got the reputation it once had. Still, it pretty much rocks in my humble opinion. It’s smooth, yet it has smoke, a full flavor and enough of an edge to keep it interesting. And it’s affordable, which is a plus. The only negative right now is that I don’t have a bottle of it at home.

Gold label is an 18 year old. It’s completely different. It’s got a texture I haven’t experienced in the whisky world before. It’s a very thick, almost buttery texture, with a butter scotch flavor that is just wonderful. Frozen, this whisky is wonderful with good chocolates. Still, having kept it in the freezer for a while, I’ve taken it out. I prefer whisky neat at room temperature, and this one is no exception. I highly recommend this whisky. It’s about the best price you are gonna find for an 18 year old. Compare it to The Macallan 18 yar old Single Malt, which I’m told was recently selected the best whisky in the world by Whisky Magazine, and you find in Gold Label you can get a great 18 year old whisky for $40 less. Maybe not quite as good as The Macallan 18, but there isn’t much that is.

The Macallan might be the subject of another post at some point. If you haven’t tried it, go out and buy yourself a bottle of the 12 year old today. The Macallan is a wonderful contrast to The Glenlivet. Both are Speyside Single Malts, but radically different in flavor.

But I digress.

The feather in the cap of the Johnnie Walker range, Blue label has no stated age. I’ve heard it’s a 25 year old. Still, it almost seems to miss the point to focus on the age. It’s just a phenomenal whisky. I don’t have the words to describe it.

I recently bought a bottle of Gold Label for a friend as a graduation present for an MBA. He was a Single Malt snob who admits that JW Gold Label is better than most anything he’s had, save The Macallan 18. It might be a nice contrast to taste Blue Label and The Macallan 18 together. To see the best Single Malt and the best Blend side by side. And try JW Black Label and The Macallan 12 together. Two 12 year olds that rock, but are radically different.

Scary thought.

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader read this on the Minion and Lackey blog and immediately thought of the Poet Laureate.

What? Too lazy to click through? Allow your Maximum Leader to quote in full:

You kids have it easy these days. When I was young there were no gerbils. We had to cram enraged weasels up our cornholes and we were thankful for ‘em.

Do you now understand why your Maximum Leader read this and thought of the Poet Laureate?

Carry on.

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