Smallholder Gets Hammered

No, I‚ÄövÑv¥m not talking about the boot shoot at Meehanschloss. (Note to my fellow bloggers: I have pictures of the boots shoot and am not afraid to post them if anyone blogs about ticks. Ever heard of the phrase ‚ÄövÑv Mutually Assured Destruction?‚ÄövÑvp It‚ÄövÑv¥s not just for mad dictators anymore!)

(Looking at those pictures, I am amazed at how young and thin we look. How did we stay so slim when at least half our calories were consumed in liquid form?)

(Many posts ago, the Maximum Leader explained that he didn‚ÄövÑv¥t go into politics because politics was no longer about ideas. Cow manure. He didn‚ÄövÑv¥t go into politics because he knew his liberal friends had pictures of him drinking beer out of footwear that would mysteriously arrive at the Washington Post as soon as he had sewn up the nomination.)

At any rate, here is the real reason for this post.

I had previously argued that animal rights advocates were misguided partially because they seemed to believe that animals lived in a Utopian environment. The Analphilosopher has handed me my head on a platter with his April 26 ‚ÄövÑv Confusions and Fallacies About Animals, Part III‚ÄövÑvp post.

While his strawman setup of:

‚ÄövÑv Animals kill each other, so why can‚ÄövÑv¥t we kill them?‚ÄövÑvp

Doesn‚ÄövÑv¥t address the full nuance of my argument that humane farming actually decreases the suffering inevitable in ‚ÄövÑv Old Bitch Nature,‚ÄövÑvp it is close enough to cause me a bit of intellectual discomfort. He continues:

Aw, the heck with it: go to his site, bump up his traffic numbers and come back. I‚ÄövÑv¥ll wait.

Back already?

So here is the deal. My argument that farming can be more humane is skewered by KBJ. Try transposing my stance on the morality of killing and eating animals to the human realm. If ‚ÄövÑv mother nature‚ÄövÑvp is shown to be analogous to, say, just to make our example have the greatest emotional impact, a concentration camp, would you find the following argument persuasive?

‚ÄövÑv Well, I am giving a better life to the Jews in our humane camp than they would otherwise have in the other camps,‚ÄövÑvp claimed OberKommandant Kleinhalter, ‚ÄövÑv We offer our workers health care and nutritious food so they can serve our purposes. Of course, we do kill them in the end, but we strive to do it quickly and without pain.‚ÄövÑvp

I, for one, wouldn‚ÄövÑv¥t want to defend the morality of that position. So KBJ has me squirming. This is not to say that I am about to betray my Forty-Eighter Wisconsin Dairy Farmer roots and become a vegan; he still hasn‚ÄövÑv¥t convinced me that animals have a claim to moral standing. But his destruction of one element of my defense is well crafted and convincing. I will have to rethink things a bit‚ÄövѬ

A good argument is a joy to ponder. Kudos to the professor.

Dulce et Decorum Est?

Hypothetical Question:

A friend is offered a job with the provisional authority in Iraq. The pay is good, but as we have seen on CNN, the danger is real.

As a friend, should you try to dissuade the person from taking the position?

As a patriot, is it wrong to try to keep talented people from helping the American war effort?

When I first started chewing on this nasty little kone (spelling, Big Hominid?) my first thought was Vietnam. It is 1969. My son has ‚ÄövÑv got a letter in the mail: go to war or go to jail.‚ÄövÑvp Do I encourage my child to go risk his life in a war that appears, as of 1969, to already be lost, or do I tell my child to go to Canada? Love and fear for my child and the desire not to see my progeny squander their life in a lost cause would war with teaching your child about obligations to country. If the collective country calls, how can a citizen say no?

My initial response is that this is a harder call than service in World War Two; we could hope for a positive outcome in the Big One AND our civilization‚ÄövÑv¥s very life was at stake.
But on the other hand is the need to uphold the social contract; you can‚ÄövÑv¥t just say no when society issues a requirement.

But the fact that the draft was involuntary makes this a poor analogy to the current situation. The hypothetical friend is volunteering for the assignment.

Shouldn‚ÄövÑv¥t we as a society applaud people who are willing to sacrifice for the greater good? We need heroes like Pat Tillmon to remind us of our better natures and the price of our freedoms. This concept is an easy one in the abstract. It is easy to praise strangers who heed the call of flag and duty. But when it comes to a friend, your natural fears and concerns shoulder aside the abstract patriotism.

Hell, if you will permit me to divulge a dirty little secret from my closet of cowardice, there is a part of me that thanks God on a daily basis that I had completed my service obligation and resigned my commission before the invasion of Iraq. This is not so much because of a fear of physical harm (though that is real). I was a bit nervous when my unit was on deck for the invasion of Haiti ‚ÄövÑv¨ the possibility of being shot at becomes clear in your imagination as you are packing up your gear to report to the assembly site. But even with that fear, part of me was willing to put aside personal preferences in the service of our nation. Leaving graduate school would have been a major inconvenience, but that was how I viewed it ‚ÄövÑv¨ as an inconvenience. I have a daughter now. The idea of leaving her and not helping her development as a person is obscene ‚ÄövÑv¨ if I was still under orders, I would leave- what choice would I have? - but I would be very, very unhappy. So I look at my daughter and thank God that I‚ÄövÑv¥m done with the army thing.
But I also look at my daughter and fear what Muslim extremists want to do to her and her future. If you have read my previous posts, I want Osama and the other Islamofascists dead, dead, dead. So I should support the war, right? Even if it means that I should encourage my friend to voluntarily put himself in harm‚ÄövÑv¥s way.

But the real problem is this: I don‚ÄövÑv¥t think the war will help protect my daughter‚ÄövÑv¥s future. Bush and his pals tried to do the occupation on the cheap and are intellectually incapable of changing their tactics. If Bush stays president, the insurgency will grow and we WILL lose. Big Hominid has frequently observed that the issue of national security will weigh heavily as voters make up their minds in November. I, for one, will pull the lever for Kerry on the national security issue. We need a new approach because the current one, t‚ÄövÑv¥aint workin‚ÄövÑv¥. And Rumsfeld won‚ÄövÑv¥t come up with a new approach. Winning (or at least, not losing and appearing weak to the fundamentalist crowd in the ‚ÄövÑv Arab Street‚ÄövÑvp) is important and I think only Kerry has a chance to win. But I‚ÄövÑv¥m in the minority. Most Americans aren‚ÄövÑv¥t going to switch horses midstream (to use Lincoln‚ÄövÑv¥s 1864 phrase) and Kerry is an awful, smarmy, mealy-mouthed candidate. I think Bush is going to be elected in a landslide. So we are going to lose.

If we are going to lose, and yet can‚ÄövÑv¥t get out, I‚ÄövÑv¥m reminded of Tom Lehrer‚ÄövÑv¥s comment: ‚ÄövÑv beginning to feel like a Christian Scientist with appendicitis.‚ÄövÑvp One of the most sobering things about the MacNamara documentary is when he admits that the administration KNEW we were going to lose Vietnam but couldn‚ÄövÑv¥t come up with an exit strategy. Can you imagine living with yourself after sending thousands of boys to die for a cause you knew was lost?

Which brings me back to my hypothetical friend. If one believes that the war is lost, than anyone who dies in Iraq is dying to no purpose. If I believe the chance of death is real and that my friend‚ÄövÑv¥s death will not advance the interests of my nation in any way, shouldn‚ÄövÑv¥t my concern for my friend trump patriotism?

So, if you remove the concept of God and Country from the equation, the only thing left to discuss is money. The occupation authority, operating on the principal of supply and demand, is offering very high salaries. It is moral and just for people to try to provide material comfort for their families. But that material comfort has to be balanced against a loving presence. A trip to Iraq would mean at least a year physically separated from family. This year could easily become two or three as contracts are extended (Yossarian‚ÄövÑv¥s experience of extension is not unique, as recently demonstrated by the Wisconsin National Guard) ‚ÄövÑv¨ though a civilian contractor probably has more leeway to refuse an extension than a soldier. There is a small but real chance that the physical separation might become permanent should my friend end up buried in a shallow grave.

So should I ask my friend to sacrifice wealth so that his children will have a greater chance of knowing their father?

Or, is it none of my stinkin‚ÄövÑv¥ business? Should I just butt out?

What do my fellow bloggers think? What would you say to this hypothetical friend?

Wo ist der AuBenminster?

Is he too busy with his thespian pursuits? I want to know how he is doing, goll darn it!

Amazon Priorities

I just schlepped over to Amazon to add a book to my wish list - “Brook Farm, the Dark Side of Utopia,” after reading a review in the Washington Post. My master’s thesis (alas, unfinished), was on a utopian experiment in Ripon, Wisconsin. I discovered that Amazon has added a new feature to wish lists - priorities! Woo-hoo! Now I can let my friends and family know that I want this particular history book more than I want this other book on pasture management.

Amazon wish lists. The greatest creation ever. Now if only I could get my creative-gift-giving sister-in-law to use Amazon and to stop buying me horshoe sets…


Until further notice, all Bloggers are enjoined to abstain from tick jokes.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Science Fiction for Movie Fans

My world history kids took a test yesterday. After one student had finished, he contentedly pulled out a science fiction book and read quietly for the remainder of the testing period.

I know that I should be ecstatic that a kid is reading for pleasure. I am. But I also was disappointed by the choice of reading material. I have observed a phenomenon in recent years ‚ÄövÑv¨ kids no longer read ‚ÄövÑv stand alone‚ÄövÑvp fiction. My readers are typically reading books that tie in with movies or video games. Yesterday it was a ‚ÄövÑv Star Wars‚ÄövÑvp book ‚ÄövÑv¨ something about Han Solo and Princess Leia‚ÄövÑv¥s Jedi children. Other kids read ‚ÄövÑv Forgotten Realms‚ÄövÑvp Dungeons and Dragons tie-ins or Star Trek novels. Very rarely do you see kids reading authors without connections to our consumerist mass media. Part of me wants to scream: ‚ÄövÑv Read a real book!‚ÄövÑvp

I suppose it makes me snobby, but why aren‚ÄövÑv¥t they reading Clarke, Asimov, Bradbury, or Vonnegut (I know Kilgore Trout agrees with me here). Okay, if they find the old masters boring, there is still a fresh crop of sci-fi writers ‚ÄövÑv¨ Orson Scott Card would top my list. How ‚ÄövÑv=bout Jerry Pournelle or Allen Dean Foster or Larry Niven or Piers Anthony (circa 1980s before he became a pulp novel factory)? If fantasy is your game, why not put away the D&D literary abortions and pick up Terry Pratchett, Terry Brooks, Card (again), Eric Flint, or Glenn Cook?

The most recent book I read for pleasure was Cook‚ÄövÑv¥s ‚ÄövÑv Black Company*,‚ÄövÑvp a well-plotted grunts-eye view fantasy novel. One of the major problems with adult life is that there is so little time for pleasure reading. Work, family, household tasks, and farming take up more hours than there are in a day. Now, I enjoy all of those things. BUT I would love to have an extra day in the week during which I would prop up my feet on a chair and read.

* I was able to find time for this only because of enforced inactivity while I was sitting in the bathtub drowning an embedded tick that I couldn‚ÄövÑv¥t get out with tweezers, as the Maximum Leader can attest.

Question for the Naked Villainy Bloggers: What was the best fiction book you have read over the last year?

The Book Exercise

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader will no do a little book exercise. He got the idea from Winds of Change.NET: The Book Exercise.

Here is the exercise:
1) Grab the nearest book.
2) Open the book to page 23.
3) Find the fifth sentence.
4) Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions.

“It is said that by secret pleasure she actually forced her, though most unwilling, to have intercourse with him, and when in this way the girl had lost her virginity, arranged for her to marry him, for fear the Emperor might put a stop to her little game.”

- from “The Secret History” by Procopius.

What a fun sentence to get! Of course, if you counted the introduction (your Maximum Leader did not to get the above quotation) then the sentence would be this one, which is almost as good:

“She then persuaded him to kill Constantine, a general who as Belisarius’s friend had dared to express sympathy for him.”

- from the Introduction to “The Secret History” by G.A. Williamson.

Carry on.

Open season on the Bush administration

As an aside, the link I posted below and relinked here is an excellent opinion piece by Harold Meyerson about the insider accounts that are currently plaguing the administration. It’s worth a read n its entirety, but I want to quote the final paragraph verbatim:

“Indeed, what defines Bush as a leader is that he repeatedly put Tenet’s case
[for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq] to the American people as the reason
we had to go to war, though he was personally unconvinced by it. What defines
Cheney is that he was the one guy in the room who thought that Tenet had
connected the dots. Which is to say, the president is only a liar. The vice president
is a lunatic.”

The full court attack on this administration’s credibility begins now.

The view from the militaristic left

I’ve been busy, but I just want to weigh in: I’m an admitted liberal and military veteran, and I’m voting for Kerry.

I am opposed to both a new draft and mandatory military service. The all-volunteer force is the cornerstone of our present military configuration. Modifying that tenant has far-reaching applications. For example, the use and application of current and future technologies for individual force enhancement, in my opinion, depends on soldiers whose commitment and focus lies beyond surviving the next two years. It is also extremely difficult to build esprit de corps among drafted soldiers. The gains in manpower do not outweigh the loss of cohesion. No matter how large, I doubt a drafted military could occupy Iraq with even half the effectiveness of our current forces: they simply would not possess the willpower to stay the course.

Along that course, I am in favor of giving the UN more control of the final outcome in Iraq. I agree with many of our Maximum Leader’s predictions as of the consequences of UN leadership, but I think the consequences of continued U.S.-occupation are worse. First, secular democracy (Maximum Leader’s oft-repeated goal for Iraq) will never be achieved in Iraq, since a majority of the population favors a religious style theocracy modeled on Iran. Second, a U.S.-sponsored state will never achieve legitimacy in the region, particularly when the Defense Department continues to throw it’s support behind individuals like Ahmed Chalabi (again look to the example of Iran, where our support for the Shah blinded us to consequences of revolution). Third, the linking of our economic, political and military interests damages our credibility elsewhere in the world, where is might be needed for future conflicts. The Bush administration seems to agree on some level, since they’ve already asked the UN to oversee the transition. As I’ve said before, we need to sacrifice our economic and political interests in Iraq and focus on what we do best: killing people. We can continue to fight the war on terrorism without enriching Halliburton. Incidentally, the United Nations IS to be credited with the success of stability in the Balkans (Yugoslavia was never a stable nation, so it’s dissolution is not the fault of the UN), which is one more success than the U.S. has had in post-WWII nation-building.

This is the essence of my disagreement with most of the posters on this site. I feel that the Bush administration’s goals in Iraq cannot be achieved, and what progress we do make is continually undercut by political cronyism and economic corruption. It was a bad war from day one: fought to achieve hidden objectives and justified by by threats of ‘imminent danger’ that were intentionally overhyped. We have a responsibility to clean up our mess, and we should keep our troops on the ground and maintain a robust level of economic aid. The Iraq War and it’s consequences will be the defining event of our generation, just as Vietnam probably was for most of our parents; if we’re thoughtful about what we do from here, we can prevent it from also defining the generation of our children.

Bloggy goodness all across the board.

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader figured he would take a few moments to try and respond to some items that have been written about in this space over the past week.

Concerning Bush and secrecy in government. The Minister of Propaganda made some very important points in this post. But, your Maximum Leader believes that the tendency to insulate the workings of the Executive Branch from the media (and by extension the public) has been going on since the creation of CNN. The Clinton Administration went to court numerous times to protect “privileged” meetings concerning Mrs. Clinton’s health care reform initiatives. (To cite one Clinton era example of many.) And a closer examination of the records of the past 10-15 years would, your Maximum Leader believes, show increasing secrecy in the Executive branch of our government. Is this a good thing? No. As my loyal minister points out, exchange and competition of ideas is the very life-blood of a democracy. The public needs to be informed as to what the policies of his nation are; and what they are likely to be in the future. This requires a degree of transparency in how the business of government is conducted. How much transparency is the question.

Your Maximum Leader brought up the creation of CNN for a reason in this context. One reason for the increasing secrecy surrounding policy making is the fact that if there isn’t some secrecy, incomplete policy considerations are likely to be reported on by the news networks. CNN, MSNBC, Fox News all have 24 hours a day coverage of news. And that means that every day brings them programming challenges. They are always looking for something to report upon. They would gladly report on what the President (any President) is doing or thinking of doing, if they could find out. Your Maximum Leader firmly believes that any president is entitled to get confidential advice from his people. But he also believes that “fact-finding” (to use a broad term) that leads to policy formulation should be open for examination. (Except in such cases where a clear national security issue can be shown to preclude public examination.)

Overall, your Maximum Leader would like to see more transparency in government. Though he sometimes (okay, much of the time) takes a dim view of the degree of political acumen of many of his fellow countrymen, it is still better for all that the information be out there.

Moving on to two linked issues… The Minister of Agriculture wrote about “Clarity for Kerry” and the Poet Laureate wrote about the possibility of the Draft returning.

The Minister of Agriculture wrote about how Kerry may be playing a UN card to cater to his Democratic base, but he is not going to just pull out of Iraq. The Minister of Agriculture believes that Kerry knows that he has to play to win in Iraq. Your Maximum Leader isn’t too sure of this line of reasoning. Your Maximum Leader believes that Kerry is committed to both “winning in Iraq” and increasing the UN role in Iraq. These positions are not mutually exclusive. It all depends on your vision of winning. For Kerry, from what your Maximum Leader can tell, winning will consist of getting a UN mandate in Iraq and internationalizing the military forces there. Once that is accomplished, the problematic issues of Iraq’s future government (and even status) is a group decision to be determined by the Security Council of the UN. Unrest in Iraq, which ethnic/religious group gets what, who controls the oil, and all other thorny issues would be determined by UN administrators on the ground with the help of Iraqis; and ultimately those decisions would be ratified by the Security Council.

That my minions is not winning. Your Maximum Leader doesn’t believe the UN is institutionally capable of “solving” the problems of Iraq. They have not proven themselves capable in Cyprus, the Balkans, East Timor, Lebanon, or any number of African nations. While internationalizing Iraq might take the heat off of the United States alone, it will not solve the problem. This begs the question of what will solve the problem?

Like the Minister of Agriculture, your Maximum Leader is becoming disillusioned with how the Administration is handling Iraq. As the Minister of Agriculture alludes (and has he said to your Maximum Leader privately), we (the United States) do not seem to be acting with clear intentions in Iraq. And regardless of that fact, we may not have the resources in Iraq to act decisively. Your Maximum Leader believes that a secular, democratic Iraq is an important goal. And one that with time and resources may be attainable. He doesn’t believe that the United Nations will be able to mold such a state. (Indeed, your Maximum Leader believes that ultimately the UN, if they are more involved, will be unable to keep Iraq together an will recommend that it become at least two states. A majority Kurdish state and a majority Shia state; both with sizable Sunni minorities. (If not three states all together.) A secular democratic Iraq would be a leap forward in a region that is typified by authoritarian regimes. A secular democratic Iraq may also produce circumstances where extreme Islamofacists may not take root. (Ultimately, extremist Islam is our major security concern.) Only the United States and like-minded nations can produce any such result. The UN cannot because it is only going to be concerned about what is “best for Iraq” not best for the world.

So, where does that leave us? Well it still leaves us with the problem of the insurgency. Your Maximum Leader agrees with the Smallholder that if the Defence Department didn’t think there might be an insurgency they were negligent. Your Maximum Leader is surprised (to be honest) that the insurgency is not more widespread, and didn’t start earlier. But, it seems to be clearer and clearer that we need more troops on the ground. Where do they come from? Well, there is no easy answer to that.

Your Maximum Leader agrees with Senator McCain that Congress, regardless of what the President thinks, should vote to expand the size (along with improve the pay) of our Army and Marine Corps. Your Maximum Leader doesn’t believe there is a need for a draft, nor does he think one is in the offing. This will take time to accomplish, but should be done. In the meanwhile, shifting forces from Europe, Korea, and the Balkans to Iraq seems to be feasible. Your Maximum Leader believes that the current administration is holding out against increased deployments in Iraq because of how it would be perceived politically. This is wrong. Your Maximum Leader doesn’t believe the administration is ideologically incapable of sending more troops; they just don’t want to “give an issue” to the Democrats. (This same line of thinking was also used by Johnson and Nixon during Vietnam. To make a historical analogy that may not be completely applicable in this circumstance.) This is wrong. If more troops are needed, and pretty much everyone thinks more are, more should be sent.

As for the draft…

Your Maximum Leader agrees with Tacitus insomuch as a draft is politcally nearly impossible, but it would be a clear sign that America was serious about its overseas committments. Your Maximum Leader has pondered this question quite a bit over the past few days. How could we institute a draft where members of all economic classes were equally likely to serve? (This is one of the questions raised by the Poet Laureate.) Simple. Remove many of the exemptions. Like going to college. If college were not an exception, lots more “upper class” kids would have to be drafted. As for fleeing to Canada (or elsewhere), that regrettably will always be an option for those with means. But what shouldn’t be an option is pardoning those people who flee (thanks President Carter) or allowing them to possess or manage property (assets) in the United States.

Hell, forget the draft, how about mandatory military service?

One last point… The AirMarshal requested that your Maximum Leader blog about Saudi Arabia. That would take so much more time than he has right now… But to rattle off a few points. The Saudi Royal Family is corrupt. They hold on to power through careful spending of money, cultivation of friends who can help them, deflection of anger against them towards the US and Israel, and oppression of their people. Their hold on power is tenuous. But, the prospects of who could replace them is even more scary. Your Maximum Leader believes that Saudi Arabia is a deeply troubled nation that needs reform at so many levels he wouldn’t know where to start.

Fingers tired my loyal minions. Will sign off now.

Carry on.

Belief-o-matic results.

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader went and took the Belief-o-matic test again after reading the AirMarshal’s results. Here are the results of your Maximum Leader:
1. Orthodox Judaism (100%)
2. Bah‚àö¬8′í Faith (94%)
3. Sikhism (92%)
4. Islam (91%)
5. Reform Judaism (88%)
6. Jainism (74%)
7. Unitarian Universalism (74%)
8. Liberal Quakers (73%)
9. Neo-Pagan (71%)
10. Mahayana Buddhism (66%)

Your Maximum Leader just figured you’d like to know more about him. Especially after you were all entralled with his interview responses

Carry on.

Belatedly Heeding the Call, Part II

For more draft talk– and it seems to have gotten serious rather quickly– visit this link at Tacitus. The post says, rather ominously:

It’s coming, and at this point, it either needs to come, or we need to abandon our role as de facto hegemon. In the latter case, much blood and suffering around the globe will ensue. Two things strike me as being fairly obvious on this point: first, that a President George W. Bush will be politically and socially unable to implement a draft; second, that it would be the clearest signal of serious intent we could send to our adversaries in Iraq and elsewhere.

Go read the rest, including the update, which lists all the things that would happen if America decided to curl up into a little ball and shun the world. And as always, take a gander at the intelligent comments that follow. Tacitus is one of the few blogs with consistently decent comment threads because he and his team enforce a rather draconian commenting policy. The discipline is worth the effort: he’s attracted a lot of sharp people, both dittoheads and detractors.


Important Correction

Greetings, loyal minions.

I have come to my senses. Smallholder is correct about everything. I will now defer to his judgment in every situation.

I would also like to say (and I don’t care if the Foreign Minister thinks this is wrong):

I feel pretty. Oh! So pretty.

Carry on.

Posted by the Maximum Leader

What occurs above is a parody (a bad one at that), by the Minister of Agriculture. Your Maximum Leader is certain that most of his loyal minions would pick up on the fact that the Smallholder, try as he might, hasn’t mastered the talent of 3rd person narrative. Also, we know that your Maximum Leader would never use the word “pretty” to describe himself. That feminine term would only be used by a man who’s only domestic contact this week has been his cows… And they think the Minister of Agriculture is “pretty” in a “human” sort of way.

Max. dr.

JLH Update

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader feels it is time for a Jennifer Love Hewitt update. Here it is: Yahoo! News - Hewitt, Chaplin Go ‘Carol’-Ing

Carry on.

Quick note… This is a group blog.

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader has been rather preoccupied with other items this week, and has been unable to find good blog time. But, in his mind are a series of posts on Saudi Arabia, secrecy in government, and Kerry’s foreign policy. Alas, this is not the time for those posts.

This is the time for a quick note of explaination…

The esteemed father of your Maximum Leader telephoned last night. In the course of our chat, the esteemed father of your Maximum Leader asked “So what’s this I hear about you voting for Kerry in the fall?” Your Maximum Leader asked his esteemed father what he was talking about. It seems that the saintly mother of your Maximum Leader may have read the Minister of Agriculture’s post on “Clarity for Kerry” (scroll down) and mistakenly believed that your Maximum Leader wrote it.

Just a little review for those of you who are new here…

Look at the small print of the tag line at the end of each post. That will tell you who wrote it. To give you a quick review of the bloggers here:

1) First and foremost, your Maximum Leader. The “Mike” in the “Mike World Order.” The tagline will read “Posted by the Maximum Leader.” Your Maximum Leader also begins all his posts with the words “Greetings, loyal minions.” And ends his posts with the words “Carry on.”

2) The Big Hominid. He is the Poet Laureate of the Mike World Order. He has his own blog (found here). And his tagline will read “Posted by Kevin.” Your Maximum Leader has known the Big Hominid since 3rd grade. If he were a woman, it is likely that your Maximum Leader would have tried to marry him. (And of course, if it weren’t for Mrs. Villain, he could now in Vermont, Massachusetts, and San Francisco.)

3) The AirMarshal. He is the chief scientist (make that a Rocket Scientist) of the MWO. His tagline will read “Posted by AirMarshal.” Your Maximum Leader has known the AirMarshal since middle school. He is Godfather to Villainette #2. (FYI, the Big Hominid is Godfather to Villainette #1.)

4) The Smallholder Minister of Agriculture. The agrarian philosopher of the MWO. His tagline reads “Posted by Smallholder.” While he shouldn’t vote for Kerry (for reasons your Maximum Leader will lay out later), he is generally capable of sound judgments. Your Maximum Leader met the Smallholder in college, and for some mad reason, we haven’t stopped talking yet.

5) The Foreign Minister. He is the gun-toting, libertarian, living abroad in Germany, hunk of burning love of the MWO. While he DOESN’T POST NEARLY OFTEN ENOUGH (leaving it up to your Maximum Leader to tow the party line) he is a valued friend and minister. His tagline reads “Posted by Greg.”

6) The Minister of Propaganda. The man with the cinematic eye. The liberal heart of the MWO. A man who your Maximum Leader likes to spend time for any occasion. His taglines read “Posted by the Director.”

So readers be warned…. There are SIX of us here. Be careful…

Carry on.

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