Democracy in action.

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader has decided to act on a request by his trusted Minister of Agriculture. He asked that your Maximum Leader place a poll on his blog to determine which of lovely women discussed herein is the most babealicious. The requested poll is now available near the bottom of the left side navigation bar. (Under the “Credits” section.)

In case you need refreshers on the looks of the contestants your Maximum Leader provides visual links!

Jennifer Love Hewitt.
Kate Moss.
Jaime Pressly.
Heather Graham.
Halle Berry.
Ann Coulter.

Let it never be said that your Maximum Leader never listens to the outcry of his people.

Vote my minions. But vote wisely. It may be your only chance to ever do so here.

Carry on.

Those crazy physicists!

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader is shocked (Shocked!) to learn that when he is not out making up theories of the universe or being attacked by his wife, Stephen Hawking is out making bets with other physicists.

And what do you know? Sometimes the big name guy loses his bet. Well it seems like some matter may in fact seep out of black holes instead of being completely destroyed.

Hello… McFly? Your Maximum Leader could’da told you that. You did see the film about it after all? Right? Oh! You people. Keep up! We’ve known this since 1979!

Carry on.

Update: While looking through some Google links for black holes your Maximum Leader stumbled across this site. Cool, but now he wonders if it is in need of revision?

Newsfeed & Intelligence Head

Greetings, loyal minions.  Your Maximum Leader has found a new site to add over to the Reputable News area of the site.  It is NewsfeedOnline.  Newsfeed is a sort of clipping service for news.  Not like your Maximum Leader doesn’t already read over all of the Reuters news wires on Yahoo.  But your Maximum Leader doesn’t have (or try to make) the time to read lots of different news sites (after the Reuters wire that is).  And your Maximum Leader must admit that he has never really been a fan of Drudge.  Can’t explain why, maybe it is the complete lack of aesthetics on the Drudge site that annoys him.

Really.  Just look at them:  Drudge/Newsfeed
  Drudge is just a jumble of links. Newsfeed is more elegant, streamlined, and with those summaries you can find something interesting quickly.

Indeed, your Maximum Leader chanced upon this link from the Christian Science Monitor by visiting Newsfeed. The article is deserving of some comment.

There is quite a bit of hubub right now concerning the desire (or possible desire) of the 9/11 Commission to push for a unified head of America’s 15 various intelligence agencies. Your Maximum Leader learned from the CS Monitor article that Bush could, by Executive Order, give the Director of Central Intelligence (aka: the Director of the CIA) more authority over some of the other intelligence agencies.

Some may say that such an order might be a wise first step, but your Maximum Leader thinks not. Really, do we need another layer of bureaucracy in our already bureaucrat-heavy intelligence community? How about this for a radical idea: Combine different agencies and make them accountable to one Director?

Your Maximum Leader has never quite understood how the NSA, National Reconaisance Office, and some of the other agencies grew up independently. Why could they not be put under the aegis of the CIA? Then they would share resources, share expertise, and share accountability under a single director.

Creating some sort of Uber-Intelligence Director (the Intel Tsar?) will not facilitate the sharing of information between agencies. It will mean that intelligence summaries will all be passed to one bureaucrat who will then have to pass them through their own group of analysts before passing them along to decision-takers.

One would thik that the need for quick action and speed would be apparent to lawmakers (and the members of the 9/11 Commission). But they all seem to be in labouring in the fog of groupthink. Sad really. We don’t need more bureaucrats in Washington. We need more spooks (especially Arab spooks) in the field.

Carry on.

On Blogging.

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader believes he is finally caught up on reading the blogs that he missed during his weeklong hiatus. He feels that he should diect you to one piece that Eric at Classical Values wrote. Here is the link: Blustering bloggers, complacent Americans, and “complex motivational issues”.

Take a moment to think about Eric’s post. (Go and read the links too.) Your Maximum Leader thinks that what he does on this blog is opine. It is his right to be able to opine. He doesn’t consider himself a journalist. But he does believe that the journalists will do a better job at their writing if they know that there are thousands of bloggers ready to opine on what is reported to them. Perhaps they will check facts better, try to be objective, and certainly try to be more thorough in their reporting of facts. It is a very sorry day when the Director of the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics, and Public Policy at Harvard University wants to limit the influence of citizens with opinions on discourse in the United States.

Your Maximum Leader will agree with Eric that one can generally identify and understand the bias of a blogger with ease. With much more ease in fact than one could identify the bias of a print/tv journalist.

Jolly good screed Eric! Jolly Good.

Carry on.


Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader was perusing various sites across the internet when he came upon a number of pieces concerning guns. Your Maximum Leader decided to opine some.

First on Keith Burgess-Jackson’s site there was an interesting posting from a NY Times editorial. Keith’s post states that gun owners have a love of liberty and security. This love moves them to own guns. Your Maximum Leader agrees with these premises. As for the subject of the editorial (Virginia gun owners wearing their holstered guns in public - specifically the suburbs of Washington DC) your Maximum Leader is concerned about one thing. While he supports the rights of citizens to bear their arms in public, he is concerned that doing so may lull the bearer into a false sense of security, or possibly recklessness. Gun owners have a responsibility to themselves and to other citizens to be aware of their surroundings, and act according to the laws of their state and of good sense. Generally your Maximum Leader believes that if you want to carry your guns on your person, you should get a concealed carry permit, and take the requisite class.

And one more note on this, your Maximum Leader was in Reston last week, and believes he may have seen someone walking along the street wearing a gun. Interesting coincidence.

While checking out the news wires, your Maximum Leader came across this piece on the Reuters wire. It is interesting. Your Maximum Leader was most interested about Jim Kessler and his group, Americans for Gun Safety. Here is the Americans for Gun Safety (AGS) web site. For a group that seems to be advocating a “A moderate, sensible approach to guns.” the final quote of the Reuters piece seemed odd. AGS spokesperson Jim Kessler, speaking about the spread of concealed carry laws, said:

“They are ineffective in stopping crime but they also seem to be unharmful and have not led to mass shootings the way some on the left feared.”

This line struck your Maximum Leader odd. In the context of the article it seems as AGS was opposed to conceal carry laws, and would fight them if they didn’t seem so harmless. This last quote was odd because of the earlier Kessler quotation concerning the expiration of the “assult weapons ban.” Kessler is quoted by Reuters as saying:

“The assault weapons ban has no chance of being extended unless President Bush gets forcefully behind it but Bush has apparently made a naked political calculation.”

Reading this quotation made your Maximum Leader assume that Reuters was just being biased and quoting an anti-gun advocate.

So which was it? Is AGS just confused? So your Maximum Leader did some checking… Humm… It seems that AGS was founded by a large grant from Andrew McKelvey. McKelvey, the founder and CEO of, was the donor who convinced Handgun Control, Inc. to change their name to the less left-wing Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. Now it is all coming back to your Maximum Leader… AGS is all about incrimental gun illegalization.

Nice of Reuters to be so unbiased.

Your Maximum Leader supposes he will just have to take a walk through town with his Ruger Vaquero in his belt just to make a point.

Carry on.

Huzzah for capitalism!

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader was filled with a deep melancholia while the beautiful Anna was not posting. Surely he understands that people do things outside of blogging, but after a few weeks and a big black screen proclaiming “It’s not you. It’s me.” your Maximum Leader can start to become despondent.

Well, Anna is back. She is in good form. And what do you know? She is harnessing her creative powers. She’s saddling up that bucking bronco of e-commerce. And now she is digging her spurs into the fleshy hindquarters of the free market. With her golden tresses streaming out from under that oh-so-fashionable Dominatrix mask; and with a whip in one hand and a brandy snifter full of port in the other; she commands you to buy some Dog Poo. Or if you don’t have a dog, some butt-tingling salve for your own self.

Your Maximum Leader doffs his bejeweled floppy hat in her direction and gives her a hearty “Huzzah!” Bonne Chance, Anna.

NB: Your Maximum Leader is addicted (yes ADDICTED) to a particular brand of soap. It is the Fresh f21c soaps. He has not allowed anything else to touch his magnificent dermis in nearly three years. But he is going to give Anna’s soaps a try. He will report back with his findings.

Carry on.

Dr. Rusty…

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader sends his warm congratulations to Dr. Rusty Shackleford on the release of Rusty V3.0. As your Maximum Leader has his own newly minted Villain laying about the Villainschloss he feels qualified to say that he hope the good Dr. is getting rest while he can.

And did you all notice? Dr. Rusty has fallen in with those MuNuvians… Humm… First Anna, then Annika, then BRD, now Dr. Rusty. To what is this world coming?

And who’s next? Kilgore? Skippy? The world wonders.

Carry on.

Note to Smallholder

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader and the Smallholder saw this home for sale on our road trip. We both were quite impressed. If you happen to have $1.3 mil laying about, and a desire to live on one of New York’s finger lakes; you should run out and buy it.

Carry on.

Art History.

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader is trying to catch up on all of the reading he has missed in the past week. There is too much of course, so he is going to give up on some and just comment on other things.

Your Maximum Leader directs you to the interview with Roger Kimball on National Review Online. An interesting Q&A session concerning the politicized state of the teaching of art history. Wonderful money quotation: “Enjoy the work, eschew the politics.”

That line reminded your Maximum Leader of the little discourse with Bill concerning National Geographic and the politization of science. Your Maximum Leader mused that if you always considered politics in listening to music or reading magazines one’s diet of leisure ould be seriously curtailed. (Assuming you are of a more conservative bent.) Your Maximum Leader has found he often has to eschew politics.

Except in cases where the artist in question refuses to lay low in the political arena. (Like Whoopi Goldberg for example…)

Carry on.

Your Maximum Leader returns.

Greetings, loyal minions.  Your Maximum Leader has returned.  Oh, how much he has to tell you minions.  Where to begin?
First off, a retraction.  The last post your Maximum Leader completed before departing for his little trip, the one about the attack on a French woman on a train; is in fact a hoax.  Shame to the woman.  Scorn on her for fabricating such a tale.
Now, on to business.  Shortly after his last post, your Maximum Leader jumped into the Villainmobile and drove on down the the Minister of Agriculture’s (collective) farm.  The two of us then departed the friendly confines of the greater Charlottesville, VA area on a mad rush to New York state.
We drove (okay, for the sake on full disclosure - your Maximum Leader drove) at high speed across the beautiful mountains of Virginia and Pennsylvania.  We then skirted across the Pennsylvania piedmont and tidewater.  Then we crossed up towards the Finger Lakes regions of New York.  Our first destination, Auburn, NY.
Once we crossed into New York, we determined to visit the
Millard Fillmore birthplace.  It seemed a must while so near.  Yes, loyal minions.  Your Maximum Leader and his faithful Minister of Agriculture were going to go and see the very place where one of the most mediocre men ever to occupied the presidency of our great nation was born.
We veered the Villainmobile off the highway and started to drive the scenic byways of New York state.  We passed through many lovely late 19th century villages and towns as we progressed towards our destination. 
Alas, this part of our story is not a happy one.  We drove and drove all around the region looking for the Millard Fillmore birthplace.  It was so clearly marked on all our maps, yet in reality it was so elusive.  Eventually, your Maximum Leader and his Minister of Agriculture broke down and decided to ask a local…
Much to our horror, no one in the area knew, or had ever seen the Millard Fillmore birthplace.  They all had heard about the
Fillmore Glen state park.  But none could help us in our quest to see the place de naissance of our less-than-illustrious thirteenth president.  Alas, we feared that time was growing short and our quest for Millard Fillmore was abandoned.  Unfulfilled.
But we did stop at a
winery on Lake Cayuga.  The wines were a little too sweet for your Maximum Leader’s palette.  But we did contribute to the local economy nonetheless.
Late in the evening we arrived in Auburn.  We caught a quick bite at a local pizza joint and turned in to watch the home run derby on ESPN.  (Well, your Maximum Leader watched the home run derby at any rate.)
The next morning we awoke and visited the
Seward Mansion.  It is a grand old house.  Th Minister of Agriculture suggested this stop (click here to see the Smallholder in front of the house), and it was a good one.  The house is filled with books.  Your Maximum Leader had no idea that William Seward was such a world traveller.  He visited Egypt, the courts of Europe, China, and Japan.  For a man of his time (d.1872) he was remarkably well travelled.  If you are in the Auburn area, your Maximum Leader suggests you stop in and see Seward’s house.  
Then your Maximum Leader and the Minister of Agriculture drove on to Cooperstown, NY.  There we visited that great shrine to the great American game, the Baseball Hall of Fame.
If you’ve never been to Cooperstown allow your Maximum Leader to make some observations.  First, the town is hell and gone from anything.  There is no direct route there.  One must travel small two lane roads through hills and fields.  While this was just what your Maximum Leader and the M of A were hoping for, it could be disappointing for those of you out there used to seeing things “right off the interstate.”
Cooperstown is a lovely little victorian hamlet.  One big main street, filled with baseball stores, a few restaurants, and various trinket stores.  There are large victorian houses throughout the town.  And their owners must take particular pride in their homes, because they are all beautifully landscaped and well kept.
The National Baseball Hall of Fame was a little disappointing to your Maximum Leader.  (Who is a baseball fan.)  Much of the hall was closed for renovations, and many of the exhibits were travelling around the country.  Most were in Houston for the All Star Game.
Your Maximum Leader saw many of the plaques enshrining some of his favourite players in the grand hall.  He also liked seeing some of the memorabilia from the early 20th century.  One of your Maximum Leader’s favourite players of the game is Ty Cobb.  (Click
here to see your Maximum Leader with the plaques of the first class inducted into the Hall.  Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, Christy Mathewson, Walter Johnson - and being blocked by your Maximum Leader - Babe Ruth.) 
Yes, yes.  Ty Cobb was a horrible, vile man.  But he was a great player and your Maximum Leader admires him for his skills.  
Another of your Maximum Leader’s favourite players was Hank Aaron.  (Who by all accounts is a fine man as well as a fine player. Seeing the plaques for these two greats, and looking at their bats and uniforms was fun.  Overall the visit to the hall was a little disappointing as so much of it was not available to see.  Your Maximum Leader will have to go again some time.  Perhaps next time he will find a way to hit a few balls on Doubleday Field. (Click here to see your Maximum Leader and the Smallholder in front of Doubleday Field.)
Then your Maximum Leader and the Minister of Agriculture went on to
Sagamore Hill.  Your Maximum Leader had been to Teddy Roosevelt’s home before, but it was the first visit for the Minister of Agriculture.  It is a wonderful house.  Your Maximum Leader has found that presidential homes are often great reflections of their owners/builders.  This is certainly true of Sagamore Hill and TR.  The rooms are covered wih hunting trophies.  (They are also filled with books.)  The house is masculine to say the least.  The walls are covered in dark walnut paneling (save the drawing room - which Mrs. Roosevelt painted a light blue and filled with Louis XIV furniture).  And the lighting is generally quite subdued.  Your Maximum Leader finds the house relaxing.  Which is, he suspects, as it should be.  TR and his family were a vigourous outdoor bunch, and when they came inside it was to eat, read, rest, and prepare for more outdoor activities. 

(Need more images?  Well here is the Smallholder relaxing in one of TR’s rocking chairs on the porch of Sagamore Hill.  Here is the house from the main road.  Here are some of TR’s “big sticks.”  Here are the chaps TR wore while working as a rancher in North Dakota.  And here is the uniform in which he charged up San Juan hill.)
After Sagamore Hill your Maximum Leader and the Minister of Agriculture returned to Virginia.  But shortly after the Minister of Agriculture returned to his farm, your Maximum Leader went to pay a visit on the AirMarshal, Mrs. AirMarshal and their newest daughter (who is your Maximum Leader’s goddaughter). 
Many many congratulations to the AirMarshal.  Your daughters are beautiful.  You are a very lucky man.
After paying a visit to the AirMarshal, your Maximum Leader returned to the Villainschloss to recieve the Foreign Minister and his family.  We had a great visit, and determined that (somehow) your Maximum Leader must contrive a gathering of all of his ministers.  Since the Poet Laureate is in Korea, the Minister of Propaganda is on the left coast, and the Foreign Minister himself is regularly in Germany that is a tall order.  But your Maximum Leader will put his formidable mental powers to that task.
So, now your Maximum Leader is back and ready to comment pithily on current events, philosophy, Jennifer Love Hewitt, and other sundries that come his way.
Carry on.

The Big Favor by the Poet Laureate

Yo, Minister o’ Proppa-ganda!

I gotta favor to ask yas.

Foist, a preface:

You don’t know me from Adam.
I don’t know you from Eve.
We bot’ know Mike da Maximum Leadah.
I trust Mike’s taste in friends.
So I feel free to do sump’n rude and obnoxious.
I’m askin’ yas a fayvah.
A big fayvah.
A fayvah dat plays on our mere two degrees a’ separation.

You’re free ta’ say no, because it’s two degrees of separation and not one.

But I hope ya’ feel guilty if ya’ say no.
I hope ya’ feel like God will hate ‘choo.
Like God will fook widjer cereal in the morning.
Turn it inta’ maggots or oithwoims or some udda’ “Lost Boys”-meets-”Raiders a’ da’ Lost Ark” cliché.

And now:
Here it is.
The fayvah.

You know people, from what I understand.
Big people. People who might not have time, but dey’ve got money.
And connections.
In udder woids, dey got clout.
People wid’ political views.
People who can make noise.
People who might be able to contact certain parties in, oh, I dunno… Hollywood.
Or da’ media.

I dunno if you been following dis, but dere’s massive censorship going on in South Korea right now.
Visit my blog and click the bannah’. Dat’ll lead you to a post dat explains everything.
Blogs and sites are bein’ censored.
Mosta’ dem ain’t guilty o’ nuttin’.
Dis shouldn’t be the sole consoyn of us expat Koreablogguhs.
It should be everybody’s business.

Everybody’s fookin’ business.

So I’m askin’ yas to make some noise for our cause.
Lots and lots o’ noise.
If you know people, and your people know people, get them ta’ make some noise, too.
The Korean government gets a free ride from our press about this nonsense, but Koreans worry about how dey’re viewed by da’ woild.
Get a buncha’ people togeddah to tell Korea:


Can you do me dat fayvah?
Can you hit da’ right people?
If you can, I’d appreciate it.
And you’d have my dog’s gratitude, except my dog’s fookin’ dead.

Tanks, man. Tanks in advance.

I knowyou’ll do da’ right ting. ‘Cause you don’t want da’ Almighty Himself fookin widjer cereal every mornin’.


A reason not to travel to France.

RETRACTION!:  Greetings, loyal minions.  Your Maximum Leader must alert you to that which you likely already know.  The attack referred to in this blog post is a hoax.  Your Maximum Leader thought he might just delete the post, but decided against it in favour of the retraction.
Carry on.

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader provides you with a stomach turning link. Gang Attacks Mother on Paris Train. Let us hope that the French people do mobilize against anti-semetic attacks.

Carry on.

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.


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