Turnpikes

Upon returning from Cleveland, one thing is bothering me… Turnpikes.

Based upon my two data points (New Jersey and Pennsylvania), Turnpikes are, as a rule, in much worse shape than your average interstate. To add insult to injury, the motorist has to pay for the right to bounce from pothole to pothole between jersey walls moving through what seems to be one continuous construction zone. The analytical part of my brain insists that there is a connection between the attrocious state of theseroads, and the fact that one is charged money to travel. I can’t figure out what it is.

And one serious question… where does the name “Turnpike” come from?

Cleveland wasn’t that bad, but nothing is screaming out “Come back”. The Rock’n'Roll hall of fame is definitely worth seeing. But I can now say “Been there, done that.”

Loyalty Binds Me.

Greetings loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader asks that you remember Richard III, King of England. He was killed at Bosworth this day in 1485. I have reprinted here a copy of an obituary that ran in the New York Times in 1970. It was written by Rex Stout.

“PLANTAGENET — Richard, great king and true friend of the rights of man, died at Bosworth Field on August 22, 1485. Murdered by traitors and, dead, maligned by knaves and ignored by Laodiceans, he merits our devoted remembrance.”

While your Maximum Leader would not lump Shakespeare in with the knaves, Richard’s memory has certainly been besmerched by many.

Remember poor Richard Plantagenet.

Carry on my minions.

So much to opine about… So little time.

Greetings loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader feels he has not blogged enough this week. Perhaps some commentary on the news may be in order…

First, it seems that Frank Lloyd Wright’s vision of Baghdad may become a reality. Your Maximum Leader likes Wright’s work a great deal and hopes that some sort of civil buildings in Baghdad might become a lasting monument to a positive US involvment in Iraq.

California Recall update! It appears as though your donation dollars can get you more than just “access” to the candidate.

Valiant US troops have captured Chemical Ali. Your Maximum Leader had thought that Chemical Ali was dead… Well, if US troops should happen to let Chemical Ali “escape” while he was being transported through a Kurdish town… It would be justice.

It seems like the “cease fire” between Israel and their oh-so-neighbourly terrorists has ended. Your Maximum Leader is not surprised. What is surprising however is the remarkable self-restraint shown by the Israelis. Especially Ariel Sharon. Were your Maximum Leader in charge in Israel there would be many more incursions into the areas harbouring the terrorists. Your Maximum Leader would be sure tolet the world know that to take a leadership role in a terrorist organization was a death sentance. But, the Israelis (as good western democrats) believe fully in the rule of law and civilization. They do not summarially execute people. Too bad really…

In Alabama more contraversy concerning the monument of the Ten Commandments in the state judicial building. Your Maximum Leader is a big believer in the separation of church and state. (Be warned, such guarantees may not exist in the MWO!) But if this monument goes, shouldn’t the reliefs of the religious lawgivers in the US House of Representatives go too? Your Maximum Leader recognizes that there is a difference between showing reliefs of lawgivers and showing the laws they gave. But really, isn’t this going a little too far?

Anyway, your Maximum Leader is not terribly fond of the reliefs in the US House of Representatives. They are all too similar to one another - at least the ancient ones. And personally, I always envisioned Lycurgus as being clean shaven.

Speaking of Spartans. Your Maximum Leader has finished a book on the Spartans. He highly recommends it. Read “The Spartans” by Paul Cartledge. It is a great book. The Spartan contribution to western civilization is quite underrated. Your Maximum Leader is very fond of ancient Sparta. Indeed, he would have liked to have named one of his offspring Lampito; but Mrs. Villain rejected that idea. There is much to be said about Spartan women. Your Maximum Leader just finished reading a great quotation from a Spartan Woman. When asked what sort of dowry she would give her husband, the Spartan women responded, “My father’s common sense.” Read more about Spartan women here and here.

I have digressed enough.

Carry on my minions.

New Colours.

Greetings loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader is toying with new colour schemes for the blog page. He was shooting for earthy tones at first. But found the contrast was not enough to make the reading of the page easy. Additionally, he decided to make all the links a uniform colour. (A change from the template he was using.) If you have an opinion on such matters. You have my leave to notify me with your opinions. You Maximum Leader will give them thoughtful consideration. Of course, if you are a mendicant and decide to write me; you may be ridiculed. Consider this your only warning.

Carry on.

Updates and changes.

Greetings loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader has been very busy this week, so he hasn’t blogged with the frequency he would like to. Regardless, he has carved out some time to make some changes to the site and post an update or two. Fear not. In the meanwhile, go over to Bill Whittle’s EjectEjectEject blog and read his new essay on responsibility. You have seen the link elsewhere, but it is a good one. Also, your Maximum Leader is intrigued by a new book. You might read the OpinionJournal article about it too…

Carry on.

Buddhism by the Big Hominid

Greetings loyal minons. Your Maximum Leader was just perusing his poet laureate’s most recent blog. In those times that the Big Hominid is not writing scatalogical poetry, he is generally tuning his well-trained mind to loftier thoughts. This recent posting concerning a Buddhist critique of Islam is no exception. Indeed, it is more a Buddhist critique of the Judeo-Christian-Islamic tradition.

Your Maximum Leader read it, and stopped and reflected on it. Your Maximum Leader is a man filled with attachments. He recognizes that. But, he also recognizes that at some level the essential truth of the universe is more likely a Buddhist one than a Judeo-Christian-Islamic one. That said, he wanted to make one comment. While he thought he would just post directly to the Big Hominid’s site, upon reflection he decided it might be a little churlish to do so. So here, in an unlikely stroke of brevity, is the one comment that came to your Maximum Leader’s mind after reading the article. Perhaps the Buddhists are also Freudians. At least in so much as they are not attached to the idea of a permanent immutable God or scripture. (BTW, here is an interesting link for some classwork at Lemoyne College that might touch on this subject. And one more aside, it is too bad that there are no substantive links to a serious discussion of Freud’s work that I could find in a quick search of Yahoo.)

Carry on.

Cleveland Rocks! (So says Drew Carey.)

Greetings loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader is saddened by the prospect that the Air Marshal will not enjoy his trip to Cleveland. Afterall, it is a business trip, and your Maximum Leader went to Philly to recharge the batteries. (So to speak.) Cleveland is a fine city to visit. It does have the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (as the Air Marshal points out). And in other good news, the river is no longer in flames. Your Maximum Leader does have suspicions that somehow Cleveland is to blame for the recent power outages in the Northeast.

And speaking of the power outage… Your Maximum Leader is positively gleeful that it was the residents of Toronto and Ottowa that rioted when the power went out. New York, Albany, Syracuse, Buffalo, Cleveland, and Detroit were all peaceful and orderly. Now that Canada is no longer filled with polite, law-abiding citizens what good it is except as series of Duchies to be given out to loyal minions by the Maximum Leader when the Mike World Order comes?

Carry on.

Travel

So Max. gets to go to Philly and I get to go to Cleveland. Hmmmmm.

For the record, my name for Philthadelphia is “the City where you F*#$ your brother”. Max. Leader cleaned it up a little bit. And I didn’t make it up, it comes from a mutual friend, currently a resident of Phoenx (the other PH city).

So what does Cleveland have going for it?

- Spinal Tap. (”Hello Cleveland!”)
- “Major League”
- No more Art Model
- You don’t have to boil water anymore to drink it
- The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

on the other hand…It’s in Ohio.

Back from a few days to recharge…

Greetings loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader has returned. Perhaps he should have warned you he was going to take a few days off and enjoy the company of Mrs. Villain without the Villainettes. But, being such an important person, your Maximum Leader must (for security purposes) not disclose his travel schedule in advance.

llow your Maximum Leader to say that he just spent a fabulous long (longish?) weekend in the “City of Brotherly Love.” Or as the AirMarshal says, the “City where you have to love your brother before he beats you to hell.” Your Maximum Leader went to Philadelphia for dinner essentially, all else was extra niceness. You may have noticed that a new link was added to the sidebar. The Mike World Order’s new Executive Chef will be Masaharu Morimoto. I will detail the experience in a moment. But, let me get in one or two other plugs while the moment is upon me. If you are going to Philly, your Maximum Leader strongly recommends staying at the Ritz. (Ask for Bryce when you get there - he is a tremendous help and a credit to the whole Ritz Staff.) He also recommends getting down to the 9th Street Italian Market. While there, stop in and buy some wild boar sausage from Sonny at D’Angelo Brothers. Or if buying meats from a butcher of the first order is not your game, buy some tea or exotic spices from the wonderful ladies down at The Spice Corner. (Your Maximum Leader got Russian Caravan flavour, Mrs. Villain got an herbal lemon…) Or perhaps some cheese is more your style. Then go by and see Sal at Claudio’s. (That link is for the address if you are in Philly. Claudio’s doesn’t have a web site yet…)

Well, where does one begin? The highlight of the visit to Philadelphia was your Maximum Leader’s dinner at Morimoto. The decor was a little flashy for your Maximum Leader’s taste (which runs more towards dark wood paneling and dim lights) but it suited the atmosphere Chef Morimoto wants. The food was absolutely spectacular. Your Maximum Leader has eaten and many fine restaurants, all over the US and the world. This experience is definately in his top five overall, and easily the finest asian food he has ever had. Your Maximum Leader got the Chef’s omakase (at the $120 level). To go with the omakase, he also got the beverage omakase (which matches each dish prepared by Chef Morimoto with the appropriate alcholic beverage). Your Maximum Leader believes that the omakase is the only way to go.

The first course was a Toro Tuna Tatare with caviar and wasabi. (This item is also on the regular menu.) This dish perfectly set the tone for the rest of the evening. It was exquisite. The flavours blended perfectly, and the dish was refreshing as well. From there we moved onto Raw Oyster’s Four Flavours. There were four small oysters each prepared differently. One was topped with caviar, another with Thai fish sauce and shaved Jalepenos, another with a crystalized ginger, and the last with an italian herb who’s name slips your Maximum Leaders mind. The next course was Scallops and Truffles. The scallops were lightly braized and then served with japanese greens, shaved truffles (black), and a ginger and truffle sauce that was very light and complementary to the dish. The next course consisted of a wasabi sorbet with fruit to cleanse the pallette. The next course was a split lobster with an 8 spice rub grilled over an open flame. We then moved on to a dish with Kobe Beef, foie gras, and japanese sweet potatos. Then a sushi dish with some fantastic and unusual fish. And finally an piece of almond sponge cake topped with coconut sorbet. Your Maximum Leader was is 7th heaven at the end of the meal. He will also plug Chef Morimoto’s custom brewed Soba beer and his sake. (Alas, you can only get his sake at the restaurant. But order the beer!)

Your Maximum Leader is sitting in his compound, closing his eyes, and contiuing to taste the wonderous meal he just had. He knows that when the MWO comes. Masaharu Morimoto will be well taken care of.

Carry on.

A Californian not running for governor…

Greetings loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader is, as he always is, once again glad that Victor Davis Hanson is alive, well, and writing such thoughtful stuff. Your Maximum Leader is saddened every time he reads a Hanson article. Saddened that he did not attend UC, Davis so that he could have taken a class from this brilliant man. I commend to you (as will myriad bloggers) his latest on NRO.

Carry on.

Arh-nold

So here’s a question posed to the ML. Does Arnie have bigger political aspirations? We know he cant be Pres. But he can serve in the Senate, can’t he? Imagine Arnie in a position of national Power.

“The Chair recognizes the freakin’ huge senator from Calif.”

“Arnold has been named chairman of the joint committee for Pumping You Up”.

So Arnie, is it true what they say about Steroids?

Wait…. Windows is giving me the finger again. Damn. I should switch to Linux.

Arh-nold

California will be the first state to have a governor who has solved the riddle of steel. Calif may also be the first state to have a governor who has shown his ass on film.

Wait…. Windows is crashing, gotta re-boot.

Arh-nold

Q: Governor, What is best in Life?

A: To crush your enimies, se them driven before you, and hear the lamentation of the women.

If memory serves, Warren Buffet is a Democrat, which would explain why ML is not fond of him. However, it does demonstrate that Arnie is very aware of one of the most important tasks any executive at this level must to: team building. Score one for the Govenator.

Wait… Windows problems… Gotta re-boot.

Arh-nold gets endorsed!

Greetings loyal minions. Will your Maximum Leader’s fascination (horrid fascination that is) with the recall end? No, I fear not. It seems that Arh-nold has just been endorsed by Warren Buffet. That endoresment should be worthsomething. Warren Buffet is a smart man. He has made good money for himself and others. But, your Maximum Leader is not fond of his political views. At least his ones having to do with the estate tax.

Buffet’s endorsement does affirm that Arh-nold is a smart investor, and a shrewd businessman. Please do not misunderstand your Maximum Leader’s earlier opinion stating that he is not sure about Arh-nold. Your Maximum Leader believes Arh-nold to be a great American and a living testimonial to the American Dream. What your Maximum Leader isn’t too sure of are Arh-nold’s wider political views.

Carry on.

A little morning business

Greetings loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader would like to take care of some housekeeping matters this morning. First, allow him to wish Fidel Castro a very very very unhappy 77th birthday. You stinking murderous bastard. May you not live to see 78.

Second, This morning over on the Poet Laureate’s site, the Hominid asks if our post of last night is saying that the voters of California are getting a little too much democracy? (BTW, go over and read the Hominid’s post on nondualism. Very interesting and educational. Who knew he had talents outside of writing dead horse haiku?) Allow me to answer the Hominid. Yes. The voters of California are wallowing in too much democracy. Your Maximum Leader is not sympathetic because this is the way they want it. If you want to try and run a huge state by referendum - go ahead. But don’t be shocked when you get the mob whipped into a voting frenzy. Your Maximum Leader will write more on the California situation, so watch this space.

Thirdly, more whiners! Only these whiners are in Texas. Your Maximum Leader doesn’t normally think of Texans as whiners. Perhaps he has fallen prey to the strong quiet westerner image. It seems as though those Democrats in the Texas legislature just cannot stand to lose. It has gotten so bad that they are now being fined for hiding out in Oklahoma and New Mexico. Your Maximum Leader is dismayed by this. It would appear as though the Democrats are not being particularly democratic in that they want to shirk their responsibilities and not vote on affairs of state. We shall look into this more closely and comment later.

Carry on my minions.

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