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Quick Sunday Blog.

Greetings loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader decided to log on the computer rather late today. Indeed, I considered not turning it on at all. I eventually chose to in an effort to check e-mail and see if I got a message from a business associate. Alas, I did not. So… With the computer on, I figured I’d blog a little.

Your Maximum Leader spent the better part of this morning practicing for a Reagan-esque Photo Op. When your Maximum Leader was young he enjoyed seeing then-President Ronald Reagan vacationing at his ranch and chopping wood. I don’t know why I enjoyed seeing Reagan chopping wood. I suppose it was reassuring to see your President doing physical labour to clear his mind. This morning your Maximum Leader spend about 4 hours or so splitting wood. In case you are wondering, your Maximum Leader prefers to split wood using a sledgehammer and wedges. (As he remembers, the Minister of Agriculture prefers an axe.)

While splitting wood, and thinking of Reagan, I contemplated who were the greatest Presidents of the United States. (This thought was prompted by a blog I saw. Check out the Patriette’s application.) Here are your Maximum Leader’s top five:
1) George Washington. The Father of his Country. As well as first in peace, first in war, and first in the hearts of his countrymen.
2) Abraham Lincoln. He preserved the Union and ended the blight of slavery.
3) Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Regardless of what you might think of his politics or social program legacy, he created the modern presidency. (The modern Imperial Presidency as some have described it.)
4) James Knox Polk. I know you are thinking, Who? But James K. Polk is one of our greatest presidents. He was elected by promising to “solve” three major questions of his day. Fix a northern border with Canada. Solve the Texas question. And solve the indian problem. If he couldn’t do these three things, he would not seek a second term. So, he sent the army after the indians and “solved” that problem to the voter’s satisfaction. He went to war with Mexico and acquired Texas and California. (Bonus! Or maybe not depending on your viewpoint…) And he couldn’t get the Brits to agree to a northern border with Canada. So, he did not stand for a second term as president. He retired, and died shortly thereafter. Not only a great president, but a great ex-president!
5) Theodore Roosevelt. Brought America into the 20th Century and got us thinking like a world power.

Your Maximum Leader, before retiring last night, read on the Poet Laureate’s sight how he presumed to kick David Hume’s ass. I took issue with the Big Hominid, and sent him an e-mail telling him as much. He went and posted my response. So, you can read my response here. I think the Big Hominid writes sometimes writes these little philosphical things to get your Maximum Leader’s blood up and otherwise distract him from plotting world domination.

And lastly, your Maximum Leader was watching the Washington Redskins v. New England Patriots game earlier. The Pats are really beat up. And it seemed as though the Pats couldnt go very long without a player being hurt and having to sit out a few plays. Your Maximum Leader wonders if the Pats’ physical conditioning regimen is not rigourous enough?

Perhaps your Maximum Leader should attempt a haiku on that subject…

Patriots beat up
are they conditioned enough?
methinks they are not

There you go. Your Maximum Leader’s first blogged poetry.

Carry on.

What I learned about myself today.

Greetings loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader often will amuse himself by going over to Quizilla and taking a bunch of the quizzes there. What did I learn about myself today?

I am the personification of Lust.

If I were a Greek God I would be Nemesis.

If my life were inserted into a movie. The film would be Fight Club.

f I were a drink I’d be a Cosmopolitan. (For the record, your Maximum Leader is a scotch whisky drinker.

Humm… Somehow all those quizzes were both stupid and entertaining all at the same time.

Carry on.

Sticks and Stones…

Greetings loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader generally doesn’t comment much on the ongoing North/South Korea saga. He feels that his loyal minion and Poet Laureate, the Big Hominid covers most of what he would say. (As do the many Korea Bloggers that the Big Hominid reads like Incestuous Amplification and the Marmot.) But I saw this and laugh and laughed. Rummy may be a lot of things, but illiterate doesn’t top my list.

Carry on.

Beware! The Horde advances!

Greetings loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader, after posting that last item from the Scotsman, continued to read that fine newspaper. And he found this article. Why does your Maximum Leader have to read a Scottish newspaper to learn that the Mongolians are on our side? This is very good news. While I understand that the Mongolian contribution to the US/British led efforts in Iraq is not great (size-wise), they are noteworthy. Why not report this in a US news outlet?

And I must also admit, I really really liked the opening line of in the Scotsman article about Hulegu in Baghdad. I hope that US/Mongolian ties continue to develop in the coming years. Especially if the Mongolians are wary of their Chinese neighbours. It can only benefit the US to have friends in that region.

And finally, your Maximum Leader must admit that the Mongol model for a huge empire is a good one. Step 1) Enter nation with your hordes. Step 2) Announce that you will accept their surrender and tribute in exchange for sparing their lives. Step 3) When they don’t accept your offer, destroy them. Step 4) Then tell them you are leaving to do the same thing to the next country over, but while you’re gone continue to pay tribute and obey your directives and you will leave them alone in the future. Step 5) Accept the grateful tribute of the conquered masses while hunting and living the high life on the steppes…

Did you know that Kublai Khan had grass transplanted from the steppes of Mongolia to a yard he ordered built in the Forbidden City in Beijing? In that yard of Mongolian grass, he ordered a traditional yurt to be set up. And he often slept in that yurt. Very interesting. I am told that many of the buildings in the Forbidden City built during Kublai Khan’s reign were later destroyed in the Ming Dynasty. I wonder if the yard is still there? Hummm….

Carry on.

Just when you think it is safe…

Greetings loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader is a little dismayed. Just when he things US Intelligence is getting better and more focused on our enemies, he reads the Scotsman and behold! Whisky of Mass Destruction.

Of course, there are few threats to peace as great as a whirling mass of drunken scots.

Carry on.

No-Call list, Patriot Act, and Links.

Greetings loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader would like to make a few housekeeping items known before blogging. I’ve added another new link to the blog roll. It is Gregg Easterbrook over at the New Republic. If you do not know Gregg Easterbrook, he is the writer of the Tuesday Morning Quarterback column on ESPN’s Page 2. And he is a really intelligent guy. I can’t say I always agree with him. But I enjoy reading him, perhaps you will too. (Speaking of Page 2, also check out Stacey Pressman’s column on Metrosexuals. If you want take the test to find out if you are one… Your Maximum Leader scored 1 of 12 to discover that he was not a metrosexual.) Another change to the links is that I removed my Conservative Uberbabe link to Ann Coulter. While I do find Ann lovely, entertaining, and thought-provoking; your Maximum Leader grows tired of her. Not sure why that is. Please know, that your Maximum Leader still does have an inexplicable fondness for Jennifer Love Hewitt. He doesn’t understand it, Mrs. Villain doesn’t understand it, but one of the Villainettes mentioned that she can shake her booty (after seeing one of JLH’s videos).

Enough of this sillyness! Now on to some comments..

Is anyone else distressed about the Do Not Call List? The FTC is. The Congress is. The Courts are. Your Maximum Leader is not.

This is not to say that I enjoy being called during dinnertime by telemarketers. I do not. But what I enjoy even less than telemarketing calls is LAWMAKERS BEING STUPID!

From time to time if you follow politics you will hear a familar refrain. It contains some variation of the phrase, “I want to break the gridlock in Washington and get things done.” Allow your Maximum Leader to go on the record. I love gridlock. I like going slow. I like that nothing can ever seem to get done. In case you never read the Federalist Papers or studied the separation of powers in the US Constitution; allow your Maximum Leader to educate you. The whole bloody system was set up to create gridlock. This is not to say that nothing can ever get done. We have over 216 years of history that show that laws still get made and Congress, the President, and the Courts can accomplish things. But my contention is that nothing should get done quickly.

Who knew that if you wanted to speed the President’s $87 billion request for Iraq through Congress it should have been made a rider to the bill re-authorizing the Federal Do Not Call list? Your Maximum Leader is shocked and dismayed at how fast that bill made it through the House and Senate. The only bill I can think of passed recently that made it through Congress with equal speed was the much maligned Patriot Act.

What is wrong with both of these bills? They are ill-considered. There wasn’t time to debate, think over, or study the issues at hand. I would like to know if the House dispensed with all those mandatory readings bills have to go through? And how any legislation can move through the Senate in less than a 6 months is beyond me… Your Maximum Leader believes in that famous quotation from Thomas Jefferson (or perhaps John Adams or Thomas Paine - no one really seems to know) that “the government that governs least governs best.” And if a government is rushing to pass laws, it is not doing its best governance.

When the Patriot Act was passed, your Maximum Leader turned to Mrs. Villain and said “I don’t care what is in that law, it is a bad one.” Although your Maximum Leader does not belive that the Patriot Act is nearly as bad as the New York Times seems to think it is, I do believe it is a bad law. Congress can’t be expected to make good laws in the week after the nation has been attacked by Islamofascists. Your Maximum Leader would have encouraged, nay required, that Congress go home for a few days after the attacks. Calm down for a moment. Get your wits about you. Then come back and start legislating.

So, where does that leave us? Well it leaves us with the Patriot Act alive and well, but the Do Not Call List apparently dead. Frankly, neither of them should be laws.

Carry on.

Totally Random Blogging…

Greetings loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader was reading the news wires and thought he would comment on goings-on.

Good news follows bad news in the Land of the Gods? After the horrible earthquake in Japan yesterday we learn that there were no reported deaths. This is a testament to earthquake resistant building in Japan. I hope that the aftershocks do not do significant damage or harm. And in another note, it seems Mt. Fuji will remain dormant for a while longer.

15,000 more French fries? Or is it fried French? I suppose the death toll might have been lower had all of the doctors not gone on their annual holiday in August. And let’s not forget all those young’uns who left grand-mere at home in Paris when they went to the beach…

US Gross Domestic Product was up. That is good news. Let us hope that the economy continues to grow and starts producing some more jobs. (And lets stop all this silly talk about rolling back the tax cuts. That will not help keep growth going. Lets talk spending cuts on Capitol Hill.)

More news from France. It seems that French scientists have cloned a rat. Hummm.. Interesting choice.

Who knew they had sold 6,000 Segways?

No sex please we’re British. Oh, on second thought, we’ll have the sex please.

RIP Robert Palmer. I own three of his albums. Very sad. Great voice. Should have stuck with the blues that characterized his early career.

RIP George Plimpton. He was the last gentleman to write about sports. He will be missed.

And in entertainment news… Queer Eye for the Straight Guy is being renewed. As though we didn’t see this coming. Your Maximum Leader has to say that after The Greatest Show in the History of Television, Queer Eye is the most entertaining show on tv. Mrs. Villain and your Maximum Leader enjoy watching it on Thursday nights.

And did your Maximum Leader mention that he is looking forward to seeing a few movies this fall. They are: The Return of the King, Matrix Revolutions, and Kill Bill Volume 1. Right now your Maximum Leader is really iching to see Kill Bill. What could be more entertaining than Uma Thurman and Lucy Liu going at it with samurai swords? Not much is the answer.

And lastly, your Maximum Leader is a little distressed to hear of some of Tony Blair’s troubles. He seems to be in a position of putting down a backbencher revolt in the Labour party. (Here is an editorial from the Telegraph.) I will scrounge around and try and read some more on this subject, but I will note that it will be a very bad thing for the US if Blair succumbs to a leadership challenge from within his own party. Very bad indeed. But, Blair is a master politician and if anyone can come out of this he can.

Carry on.

More Arh-nold Momentum?

Greetings loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader is enjoying his day with the Villainettes, even if they are sick. And he is, as is always does, enjoying his friendly banter with the Minister of Agriculture. Your Maximum Leader will admit that he was not particularly adept at woo pitching during the time reminisced upon in the last two posts. But that may be another tale for another day.

Your Maximum Leader was just catching Fox News for a moment. It seems that Davis Recall financier and Congressman Darryl Issa has endorsed Arh-nold for governor. Perhaps Arh-nold is gaining momentum…

If in fact Arh-nold is gaining momentum, your Maximum Leader believes that it is another sign that Arh-nold is more crafty than many give him credit for. Think on this for a moment. 1) Arh-nold enters the race, immediately a front-runner. 2) Arh-nold’s campaign has a few early missteps - he looks like a novice. 3) Other major candidates want Arh-nold to debate so that they can tear into him. They can’t wait to debate Arh-nold because he seems to be a political novice and perhaps a stupid bodybuilder/action-movie-hero. 4) Arh-nold refuses to join early debates. He is branded a fraidy cat for not doing the early debates. There is an undercurrent building that he doesn’t have what it takes. 5) Arh-nold agrees to join late debate. Arianna Huffington spends whole week boning up on her snide comments and sharpens her fake nails. 6) No one has high expectations of Arh-nold going into the debate. 7) Arh-nold shows up in debate and does pretty well. 8) Everyone is surprised at how well Arh-nold did. Endorsements begin. And momentum builds with only 11 days left until the recall vote.

Perhaps your Maximum Leader is growing too conspiratorial in his old age. But what if this was the plan all along? Arh-nold’s campaign people are crafty. They all worked for Pete Wilson from what I can gather. (And frankly, your Maximum Leader thought that Pete Wilson would have been good presidential material at one time. He was a Nixon neophyte from what I read.) And Wilson’s people could win elections. Suppose they realized that the key to winning was laying low, reducing expectations, staying away from the circus atmosphere… And then making a late push and run for daylight. Perhaps they were afraid of peaking too early (like Bush the Elder in the 1992 presidential contest). Then they would only have to worry about peaking too late (like Ford in the 1976 presidential contest).

Crafty. I’ll have to keep my villainous eye on this.

Carry on.

The Maximum Leader’s Woo-Pitching Wingman Remembers The Stephens Woman Too

Several posts back, the Maximum Leader felt pressured by his wife to ease any offense I might have taken over our gay-marriage debate.

While the Minister of Agriculture appreciates Mrs. Villain’s touching concern, he assures her that her husband’s ripostes do not wound or offend this humble smallholder. The Maximum Leader and I have been going at each other’s political positions hammer and tongs since our political philosophy class lo so many years ago. The Maximum Leader, in a clever nod at my liberalism, might even say that we have been going at it “hammer and sickle and tongs.”

Nonetheless, I was very pleased to hear of the Maximum Leader’s staffing decisions for the Ministry of Agriculture. While I personally would have nominated Miss Pressly for the “Undersecretary position,” I am looking forward to working with her to meet the Maximum Leader’s five-year plans for food production. I have joked for years that when the Mike World Order arrived I would begin tying my own blindfold and learning to smoke so that I could enjoy that last cigarette. Mike always smiles and assures me that, despite my heretical left-wing philosophy, I will have a high place in his administration. He was confident that every man has his price and that I could be bought by the MWO. He has found my price.

In reading my Maximum Leader’s most recent post, I had to smile. As a history teacher, this would be an excellent example of the unreliability of oral history and primary sources recorded long after the event. I believe, and I could be mistaken, that only the Maximum Leader was pitching woo at the Virginia Historical Society Party. I was playing the well-honored position of wingman.

Your Maximum Leader (and master of his blog domain) responds: The more I think back, the more I concur with the Minister of Agriculture. He was my Wingman and I was trying to pitch woo.

If I recall correctly, I was in a relationship at the time. The undeniably attractive young woman’s desire to burnish her status using her Confederate antecedents was eating me alive. I desperately wanted to issue a riposte that had I been next in line after Mr. Wilkes’ crime, her ancestor would have been shot for treason. I would probably have followed up by refuting her whole “The Civil War was about state’s rights, not slavery” inanities with reference to South Carolina”s Ordinance of Secession (To paraphrase Clinton’s campaign team, South Carolina’s leading politicians openly said “It’s about slavery, stupid”) and a discussion of the South’s desire to see federal power exercised when Wisconsin exercised her state rights by nullifying the Fugitive Slave Act.

However, out of my friendship for the Maximum Leader, I bit mytongue and smiled encouragingly at the beautiful young lady, working in as many positive stories about Mike as possible. I was also actively encouraging the Maximum Leader to step up the directness of his woo-pitching. Since the young lady began inquiring about our after party plans, his woo-pitching seemed poised for success. I believe that I have previously discussed the Maximum Leader’s willingness to stand on principle. Despite having success in his grasp, her Southern Belle schtick finally irked him enough to produce his Churchillian-in-its-pithiness put-down. While I was disappointed at the failure of my wing leader’s campaign, the puzzled, distressed look on her face was priceless.

This will probably get me shot, but I feel I must relate two other Maximum Leader woo-pitching stories.

Your Maximum Leader holds his breath.

Your Maximum Leader, while an excellent tyrant-in-waiting, was always the subtle sort when it came to pitching woo. We were the Yin-and-Yang of woo-pitching. I was constantly encouraging him to “pass a resolution authorizing monies for the invasion of the ‘continent,’” but he had to work at his own pace. For one solid week, his roommate and I heard stories of Maximum Leader’s gradually escalating woo-pitching towards a young lady in the political science department. The roommate and I ran into her at a party that weekend, and began chatting. We decided to advance our allyvᬨv s cause, and inquired about her state of mind. Her response? An incredulous “Mike’s been hitting on me?”

Your Maximum Leader responds: I believe I was laying ground-work for woo pitching. But alas, the object of my wooing was still hung up on her recent break up. A few short weeks later, for the record, the woman and her former beau reunited. When last I heard, the two were happily married.

The one and only time I remember active woo-pitching from the Maximum Leader was when he ditched my 21st birthday party for a couple of hours when things looked promising with another of the bar’s patrons. While some might have been hurt, I simply sent him positive vibes from across the bar. My reward? When the woo-pitching failed, he returned to our group, and promptly tricked me into the trunk of the designated driver’s car. “Hey, Mark, it would be cool to take a gag picture of you being so drunk that we put you in the trunk of the car.” Ever the affable inebriate, I crawled into the trunk and turned to pose. They slammed shut the trunk and drove me around town for the next hour.

Maximum Leader comments: Now THIS I remember! It was not one hour. It would only seem that way if you were inebriated.

Now that I think about it, perhaps Ms. Pressly is not enough of a bribe to keep me from joining the counter-revolution.

Maximum Leader responds: Think again. Ms. Pressly is the only bribe you may get…

Being someone…

Greetings loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader just re-read the link to the Aaron Burr biography in my last post. At the bottom of the biography was a bibliographic citation to a book by Thomas Perkins Abernathy. Your Maximum Leader studied at college with a professor who himself was a student of Dr. Abernathy. I was regaled with many stories of Abernathy while my professor (and friend, the late Richard T. Couture) reminisced about his days in college.

You may be asking where I am going with this… Your Maximum Leader noted the Abernathy citation, on the page about Aaron Burr, after I made a reference to Alexander Hamilton… Here is where I am going…

I was once able to quote Dr. Abernathy in a social situation. I was with the Minister of Agriculture at a Virginia Historical Society meeting in Richmond, VA. The Minister of Agriculture and your Maximum Leader were the only two people there under the age of 50, except this rather attractie blonde woman. The M of A and myself, naturally (as we were young and single at the time) started a converstation with this attractive blonde in the hopes that one or the other of us would be able to pitch a little woo her way later. But all this (otherwise) attractive woman would talk about is how she was the great-granddaughter of Alexander Hamilton Stephens. After a few references to her famous ancestor, I was really put out.

At that point a phrase that Thomas Perkins Abernathy once said to an uppity student at UVA popped into my mind. When this woman finally stopped talking about Alexander H. H. Stephens I said, “I would rather be a someone at the end of a long line of no-ones; than a no-one at the end of a long line of someones.”

Needless to say, any chance of either myself or the Minister of Agriculture pitching woo at this woman was ended. But, it is now a cherished memory for the both of us.

Carry on.

More on Wesley Clark.

Greetings loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader might get a whole lot of blogging done today as he is home with the Villainettes. They are confined to the Villainschloss as they are rife with pestalence. (Some viral thing actually…)

The first item to catch my eye today was brought up by the great people at Opinion Journal. It concerns a Lincoln Day speech given in May 2001 by Wesley Clark. (The good people at Opinion Journal were good enough to provide the whole text of the speech. Read it here.) For those of you who may not have ever been to a Lincoln Day event, as the editorial board at Opinion Journal says, they are very partisan Republican events. Your Maximum Leader has attended a few of them, and can personally vouch for them being partisan (oftentimes fundraising) events.

It seems that in May 2001, General Clark said to the Republican crowd in Little Rock a whole bunch of stuff that he evidently oesn’t believe now. He said flattering things about President Reagan. He said that the current President Bush’s national defence team (including Rumsfeld, Rice, and Powell) was “great.” And we in the US “need them there, because we’ve got some tough challenges ahead in Europe.” If only he knew how much we would need them in the months to come.

Alas, somehow since May 2001 the President and his team have now lead the nation astray and only Wes Clark can right us. I don’t get it. As I mentioned in an earlier blog, I am not as concerned about what the Democrats have to say about how we came to get into Iraq. What are they going to do now? All of the candidates at the debate the other night (except Dennis Kunich and Al Sharpton) said they were for the $87 million requested by the White House. If that be the case, what differentiates them from Bush. They can say all they want the they wouldn’t have gotten us into Iraq, but since we’re there they’ll do the same thing as the incumbent. That doesn’t seem to be a winning strategy.

Allow me to digress for a moment on Al Sharpton. He is the most entertaining of the Dems running for president. Because he is honest and engaging. Of course he is also as close to pure evil as you can get. (Trust me I know, I am the Maximum Leader after all.) I am so conflicted by Al Sharpton. I am both repulsed by him (and his past behaviour), but he continues to entertain me is a twisted type of way. I think he is in the race simply to garner enough support to be a force in whatever administration the Democrats hope to put together. I give Al one thing. He has come a long way since starting race riots and fighting in the streets. Way to go Al!

Back to Wes Clark, I am just getting turned off by all the stories I am reading about his naked ambition. (Here is one.) Perhaps your Maximum Leader is too familiar with the founders of our nation who believed that naked ambition to be president was a bad thing. (That is why Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr had their duel afterall.) His naked ambition, coupled with what is apparently some opportunism in joining the Democratic party, is not very appealing to me.

Of course, in our modern age I know you have to want to run for president. It is not fun to run. You and your family step into a spotlight that is unpleasant at best. I suppose I want my candidates for president to skirt a fine line between not wanting the job, and wanting it too much.

At any rate. I hope to blog a little about Tony Blair today. So more to come.

Carry on.

A few random thoughts…

Greetings loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader has been busy directing cleaning crews around the Villainous Compound in the aftermath of Hurricane Isabel. Also, I have noticed some wierdness with Blogger. These two factors have contributed to my not blogging much. But I felt I needed to throw out some ideas before I lost them…

First thought, your Maximum Leader is not sure why so many Democrats are so excited about Wesley Clark. Is it the uniform? I didn’t think Democrats were excited by a man in uniform. I could be wrong. Clark indicated today that he would roll-back some of the tax cuts and use the money to set up accounts for national security, boosting the economy, and otherwise paying for things that the Government (he thinks) ought to pay for. I agree with national security spending, but I am a not pleased with many of the social programs that other Dems would like to create/expand/grow.

Regardless, all these Democrats (Clark apparently included) are now saying that they were against the war. Or they now don’t like the war. Or that we need to rally the world behind us. The question in your Maximum Leader’s mind is “What are you going to to aout Iraq now?” Who cares what they thought about going to war? I don’t. Last time I checked, that issue was moot. The war was (is?) fought. We are now in Iraq. If they are elected what will they do? If we don’t garner international support (or UN approval or whatever they incessantly whine about) are they in favour of us leaving? They keep asking to what end the $87 billion will be spent? Hummm… Let me think about that. How about paying our soliders, keeping equipment running, financing combat/policing/humanitarian operations, and trying to rebuild Iraq’s infrastructure so that Iraq can become more stable and prosperous. Do they want a line-item breakdown? (Could they give a line item breakdown of where their favourite social program monies went? Do they care?)

So as your Maximum Leader contemplates the Democratic message on Iraq. (At least the message from Clark and Dean.) If we can’t get UN support for our being there, and our “allies” will not contribute more men and money; the US shouldn’t go it alone. If we aren’t going to go it alone that means we are going to leave. Right? Really, what alternative is there? And if we leave, what does that do to Iraq? Think about that one for a moment. If you think Iraq will (without our intervention) become a model state and not fall into the dictatorial anti-western mold of its neighbours, I would ask you to let me know what you’re on so I can give it out in tremedous quantities in the early days of the MWO. Because whatever it is, it is affecting your brain. Badly.

The second and final item of this short blog is prescription drug prices. Many people on both sides of the asile complain that prescription drugs cost too much. Your Maximum Leader has observed that immediately after someone complains about the cost of prescription drugs there is inevitably a reference to how Canada, or Britain, or France controls drug prices to make them affordable. Your Maximum Leader will provide a quick analysis of what is really being said in these statements. Here it is: Because the health care industry in the USA is not a branch of the government, it is driven by market forces. These market forces have helped to make US health care the envy of the world. So much so that all the other nations of the world come to our drug companies and want them to sell their drugs in other countries. But in those other countries the prices are controlled by the government so the US drug companies cannot charge a realistic price for the drug to help them fully recoup the costs of producing the self-same drugs that are in such demand. Thus, the US drug consumer is subsidizing the foreign drug market.

Allow me to state for the record, your Maximum Leader is a believer in free trade. But this item forces me to reconsider this position. Why should we allow foreign governments to set the price for our drug companies products? Why don’t we start to set prices on products from other countries? A little trade war now and then might be what is needed to break down some of the barriers to economic development in other nations and growing the US economy as well.

I know the World Trade Organization is ostensibly set up to deal with issues like this. But what good is the WTO really? Isn’t just a little economic clique of anti-American countries like the UN? I think so. Ultimately Americans must look after American interests. Often what is good for the USA is good for others as well. But in the end, we have to defend our interests - and international organizations based on building consenus among all nations has not been shown to advance US interests. I think we should re-think our role in many international organizations - or try to redefine the role those organizations’ missions to limit them to clearly defined tasks.

Anyway, in light of Blogger’s recent technical problems that will be all for now. More later.

Carry on.

Mother Nature Foiled again!

Greetings loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader has foiled Mother Nature once again. Although Hurricane Isabel did her best, the Villainous Compound is still here. We lost a few trees, and one of the trees had the poor taste to fall on Mrs. Villain’s van. But, overall, the storm has passed and I remain unscathed.

I am rather tired, so don’t really feel like blogging much tonight. But, I can give a quick update on a variety of items. I did speak to the Minister of Agriculture tonight, and he is well. He is writing a response to my last blog on gay marriage. I look forward to it, but must admit that neither of us is likely to change their position on this hot-button topic.

I was interested to read that the oldest genitals in the world are Scottish. As your Maximum Leader is of Scottish extraction, I find it interesting. Indeed, although I am a proud American first and foremost; I enjoy my Scottish heritage. I enjoy my heritage so much, I own a kilt and have been known to eat haggis. (And if you are in the market for a kilt, let me recommend the official kilt-makers of the MWO.)

I was also referred to this article by a loyal minion. Who knew that Stevie Nicks would care about Britney? Your Maximum Leader has always liked Stevie. And in a way, this article only makes me like her more.

Your Maximum Leader continues to follow the CA Recall Election closely. Many conservatives have recently suggested that McClintock drop out. (Look here. There are more, but I am not going to link to all of them. Hey the link I provide is only part IV of an ongoing debate.) I am not sure that McClintock should drop out. I am developing a very favourable impression of him. And honestly, Arh-nold doesn’t appear to be saying anything of interest. That is not to say that Arh-nold should drop out. At this point I don’t see any point to either of them dropping out. How about some of the other 133 candidates dropping out? I would like to see the porn star and Gary Coleman stay in though. I think the two of them combined will garner 3% of the votes. (How’d you like that? Maximum Leader predictions.)

And what about Wesley Clark? This is the man the Democrats want to represent them on defense issues? The man who ordered the British to force the Russians out of the Pristina Airport in Kosovo? Well, your Maximum Leader will reserve judgement until he hears more about what Clark has to say about other issues. But, I will say that he doesn’t seem to be off to a good start. Indeed, the early days of the Clark campaign remind me of the early days of Arh-nold’s campaign in CA. Lots of contradictory statements and not a clear message on any subject. Humm…

Well… Enough right now. Your Maximum Leader is going to settle down and watch Monday Night Football. In case you are interested, your Maximum Leader will be rooting for the Raiders. But, your Maximum Leader’s first football loyalty is to the boys in Titletown. A final word on Monday Night Football…. John Madden is going slowly insane in front of us all. But that Lisa Guerrero is quite easy on the eye.

Carry on my minions.

Some Random thoughts.

Greetings loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader wanted to blog last night, but was unable to. Indeed, he forgot what he even wanted to comment upon. He was busy driving to Virginia Beach, VA to extricate an elderly friend from the path of Hurricane Isabel.

Your Maximum Leader wants to give a big virtual “shout out” to the Poet Laureate. The Big Hominid is the man. He has been able to sinicize one of your Maximum Leader’s favourite Roman sayings. For those of you who may not know, the saying is: “When your luck has run out, it doesn’t matter how big your dick is.” It seems that when translated into Chinese the saying becomes: “In a time of misfortune, a big penis is useless.” The Big Hominid is thinking of selling this as a t-shirt or a poster. Your Maximum Leader thinks this a great idea. Indeed, were a t-shirt with this saying available, your Maximum Leader would buy one and stand in front of the Chinese Embassy in Washington DC until he offended a Chinese diplomat.

Since I have gone and posted the link to the Chinese Embassy, allow me to comment. What a preposterous load of dung. (And I only read the press releases about Tibet and Falun Gong!) The lengths to which the Chinese will go to make everything look so good… It is disgusting. And in the name of spreading a little truth over Chinese lies. Here is a link to Falun Gong. And here is a link to the exiled government of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

While I sit in my Villainous Compound and seethe about the Chinese…. I encourage you to…

Carry on.

Your Maximum Leader really does like his Minister of Agriculture…

Greetings loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader, from time to time, is lectured by Mrs. Villain on the tone and tenor of some of the posts on the blog site. She looked over some of the recent exchanges between the Big Hominid, the Minster of Agriculture, and myself. She thought I was being a little hard on the M of A. (She was unmoved by my response that “He started it!”) Mrs. Villain thought I should post something nice about the M of A. Well, after much reflection I decided to post a link that the M of A would enjoy. (Although I will also say that he should be aware of when he chooses to click through to view the link.) Without further adieu, the First “Under”- Minister of Agriculture in the MWO, Jaime Pressly. More Jaime here.

Carry on.

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