Egad! You have time to Google Togolese?

Wish I had that kind of spare time! I am sure Bolton doesn’t either, which is good. Is this going to be another litmus test from the left?

Q: Ok prospective UN Ambassador, what do you call the people from Africas Ivory Coast?

A: Ummm, there are people that live there?

Back to the trenches

Tattle, Tattle, Tattle.

Greetings, loyal inions. Your Maximum Leader read with mixed feelings the following article off the AP news wire: Students Rewarded for Tattling.

Now first off, the jist of the article centers how many school districts have created incentives for students to disclose the plans of their fellow students to do “things.” Bad “things.” Like go on murderous rampages at school for instance. Or doing drugs in the bathroom. Or bringing guns to school.

Now, your Maximum Leader is all for doing what we can to avoid murderous rampages in schools. But he isn’t sure about giving out candy, pizza, money, and prime parking spaces are proper incentive. One would hope that at some point the students themselves would catch on and do the right thing if they knew of another student planning a school slaughter.

But you see, your Maximum Leader is of two minds on the whole “snitching” thing. On the one hand, he doesn’t want to reward a “snitch” who betrays his friend’s confidence. But on the other hand, he is okay with “espionage” and the bribing of people to get information you want. In the end, isn’t the spy who gives the information a symbol of ignominity?

Here is a case for you on this general philosophical issue…

Your Maximum Leader is acquainted with a man. Let us call him Joe. Joe is a bear of a man. He is 6 foot 7 inches tall. He must weigh at least 325 pounds. And he is physcially the strongest person your Maximum Leader knows personally.

As it turns out, he also has a BA from Cornell University, and ran his own business for a number of years. He is smart, well (and soft)-spoken, and a generally plesant guy to be around.

And did your Maximum Leader mention that he is a convicted felon who has spent one year in a medium security prison and is now on a work-release from a minimum security prison? His work-release will continue for at least another 18 months.

His crime? Contempt of Court.

You see, Joe is somewhat exceptional in his family. His family are poor decendents of slaves (as Joe once told your Maximum Leader). He doesn’t know where he got his brains (as he will point out). But he got them in a huge powerful package. He used his physical prowess to get to a good college, where he made the most of his completely subsidized education. But many of his kin are not gifted either physcially or mentally.

Indeed one of his relations is a thief and serial father of bastard children. And not a particularly adept one (thief that is) at that. The thief has spent more than a little time in “the poke.” One time, a little over two years ago, this relative of Joe’s offered him a nice plasma TV at a deeply discounted price. Joe was suspicious at first, but familiarity and a desire to help out a relative who needed money to support his kids wore down his suspicions and he bought the TV. A few weeks later the police came to Joe’s house. They asked about the relative. They checked out the TV. It was stolen.

The police asked Joe from whom he got the TV. Joe’s response, “I don’t recall.” The police and the Commonwealth’s Attorney put the squeeze on Joe. They knew he was covering for his relative. Just come out and testify. Joe’s memory continued to fail him.

Joe says that he encouraged his relative to do the right thing and turn himself in. Ask for a plea deal or something. But the thief, true to his thieving nature, did not.

In the end, Joe got 3 years for Contempt. Joe’s business (really self-employment with a sometimes partner) ended. He sold many (most) of his assets to pay his legal fees. And is now on a work-release program. He is trying to figure out how he is going to get himself started again when his time is up.

So your Maximum Leader asks you, should Joe have tattled? Should he have saved himself? Should he have testified in a case he knew would send his repeat offender relative to “the poke” for a very very very long time? Or did he do the right thing?

You all can ruminate on this one for a while andget back to your Maximum Leader after you’ve thought it out.

Carry on.

Voting Non.

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader is shocked at the number of times he has run into voters in this great republic who have voted “for” various ballot issues without knowing the foggiest thing about the ballot issue for which they voted.

In the great Commonwealth of Virginia, we like to have bond referenda. We are quite covetous of our “AAA” bond rating in our Commonwealth and as a consequence don’t put many bond issues up for a state-wide vote. But from time to time we do. And, with rare exception, those bond referenda pass. Generally by large margins.

But if you ask people what the bond referenda were for they couldn’t tell you. What is worse, they will also admit to voting for the bond issue.

But this problem is not one of just bond referenda. We also, albeit infrequently, have general questions on the ballot. Should the voters authorize So-and-So to do This-and-That?

Your Maximum Leader, for one, makes it a point to educate himself about every item appearing on any ballot he is going to cast. Sometimes he makes it a point of contacting a state legislator’s office and getting their take on it. Sometimes he’s gone so far as to ask his state legislators why on earth they voted to put such a piece of mindless drivel on the ballot in the first place.

But on the odd chance that something sneaks by your Maximum Leader, and he doesn’t feel as though he knows enough about an issue; he always votes against the measure.


Your Maximum Leader, as you can surmise, is generally opposed to the government doing “things” outside of its regular scope. If doing a “thing” is such a troubling political issue that it requires a referendum, perhaps it is better that it not be done in the first place. And in the balance he doesn’t much like referenda of any sort. In many cases (except where state constitutions mandate otherwise) ballot referenda are just another way that an elected representative can shirk their duty to take decisions. (That is afterall the job description.)

So, imagine your Maximum Leader’s pleasure as he continues to read about the imperiled EU “Constitution.” Imperiled in France at any rate. It appears as though a slim majority of voters in France are too confused by the document. They will thus be voting against its ratification.

Your Maximum Leader hopes the EU “Constitution” fails in France. Your Maximum Leader doesn’t know why, but he values French nationhood and national identity more than those fools who govern France.

(And he bets you’d have never thought to see those words appear in this space.)

For all their shortcomings in your Maximum Leader’s view, he does love France for being France. And if this bastard document goes forward, the long-term prospects of there being a “France” as we know it (and love/hate it) are slim. (This goes for Germany, Italy, Britain, Spain, the Netherlands, and any other EU country frankly.)

One can hope that the rural Frenchman will recsue his cosmopolitian sophisticate brothers from the rule of Brussels.

Your Maximum Leader is keeping his fingers crossed.

Carry on.

The Tragedy of Bush’s Foreign Policy

Perhaps this specific issue is a personal concern that won’t elicit sympathy from all of the ministers, but I think it’s important to remind readers of the ongoing consequences of the Bush election.

Incidentally, the people of Togo are properly referred to as ‘Togolese.’ Although it does’t surprise me to see that a good Bush neocon like our dear Foreign Minister wouldn’t bother to look it up. UN Ambassador Nominee John R. Bolton probably doesn’t know the difference, either.

Keep those softballs coming, knuckleheads.


Togoan’s vow to move to Canada?

I would imagine that the exodus from Togo will be happening shortly too.

back to the trenches


Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader, as you know, has a TV. This should come as no surprise to any of you out there. Indeed, he has, from time to time, praised and hailed the glories of his 46 inch widescreen high definition Sony television. It is a marvel to behold.

As spectacular as his television is, your Maximum Leader is rather surprised at how little he actually watches the TV. Indeed, excluding news live sporting events he probably only watches about 1-2 hours of programmed television a week. If you add news to the mix you up the number somewhat. He generally “watches” about 35-45 minutes of news in the morning (Fox & Friends and NBC’s Today). And about 30 minutes in the evening (WRC TV 4 the NBC affiliate in Washington DC).

Excursus: Isn’t E.D. Hill of Fox and Friends the most desirable woman in “network” news nowadays? Damn she is a fine looking and astute woman. Looks. Brains. Fecundity. Three traits for which your Maximum Leader likes to screen women. He imagines (if he may paraphrase Austin Powers’ inner monologue) she shags like a minx. And then after ED shags you like a wild scratching animal, she can provide insightful news commentary. So it is a win-win.


When you add live sporting events into the mix (2-4 more hours - slightly more in baseball season) that still is more TV than your Maximum Leader should watch (but less than many.)

30 minutes of TV that your Maximum Leader never misses is The Simpsons. And according to the news wire, this Sunday that greatest of all television shows will wrap up its 16th season with episode 350. Bravo to Al Jean and the brilliant writers that keep the show fresh.

Carry on.

Name Recognition in the 3rd World?

An election fraught with corruption, intimidation, and other irregularities? An ill-informed populace? The candidate whose Dad ran the country? Is our Maximum Leader speaking of the Presidential election in Togo or the United States?


UPDATE FROM YOUR MAXIMUM LEADER: It seems your Maximum Leader tossed the M of P an unintentional slow-pitch softball…

Name Recognition

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader sometimes wonders about elections in 3rd World nations.

Take for example the recent elections in Togo. It appears as though the son of the recently deceased dictator of that African nation has won the presidency. If you assume that the election was not fraught with corruption, intimidation, and other irregularities (a strech), wouldn’t the guy with high name recognition seem to have an advantage.

Your Maximum Leader will jump to a few conclusions. First, it seems unlikely that the population is particularly well-informed. Second, it seems as though the general economic situation in Togo is dire (to be charitable). And third, the last person democratically elected was overthrown in a coup. If those conclusions are accurate, wouldn’t it make sense to elect the guy who is in cozy with the military? The guy who’s dad ran the cuntry for 40 years. And the guy who seems likely to overthrown the government if he loses (despite pledges to the contrary).

Makes you wonder.

Carry on.

Immorality, Please.

Wait . . . we’re voting on this, right?

Oh, Smallholder’s header says “. . . OF Immortality” — I thought it said “. . . OR Immortality.” Sorry.

Nonetheless, I think my vote stands.


Immorality of Immortality?

Those of you in our own little corner of the blogosphere who have been following the illustrious Bill’s conversations on the topic of immortality, the Minister of Agriculture hereby directs you to Classical Values.

I’m a “life is good” kind of guy. While recognizing the incredible social upheaval immortality wil engender, I also think people ought not to die if they can avoid it.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to see the oak tree I planted last week grow to a hundred-foot behemoth? To watch my great-great-great grandchildren get married? To try different careers?

Naysayers bring up overpopulation, pollution, unemployment, bankrupt pension programs and a host of other issues.

But perhaps immortality would spur us to really try to solve many problems. Currently our democracy thinks very short term: Give us tax cuts now even if our grandkids will be saddled with the debt. If we were the ones who would have to pay the bills for this Congress’ spendthrift profligacy, perhaps we would demand that our representatives begin acting like adults. Perhaps enivornmental issues would acquire more urgency if it was our own long term interests being compromised for short term gain.

That’s all just firing from the hip. The subject deserves a longer post than I am willing to contsruct right now. So go over to Classical Values.


I got a call last night from my neighbor the beef cattle farmer.

He had an newborn calf but could not find the mother. Either he had a downer cow lost in the woods or one of the cows had had the rare set of twins. Looking at him, his size told me that he wasn’t a twin.

Since the mother was absent, the order of the day was to get some colostrum for the little guy. Calves are born without a functioning immune system and get their immunoglobulin (sp?) through the mother’s first milk - colostrum.

Another cow had had a calf that day and had colostrum in her udder. Beef cows are a bit wilder than tame house cows like Bonnie so we had to figure out a way to get her into a tight corral where we could let the orphan nurse, or failing that, tie her up and milk out some colostrum for him.

She, of course, had hunkered down with her calf a half mile from the corral. Unable to herd her, we decided to bring her up by grabbing the calf and getting her to follow us. This is an operation fraught with peril since the mother cow is like as not to stomp on you when you mess with her baby.

So the plan was for me to grab the calf while my buddy stood by to swat her nose if she got too belligerant.

I caught the little guy when he slipped in a cow pie, and quickly hoisted him over my shoulders for the walk to the corral.

Cowpies in the springtime are foul, runny messes. When cows make the transition from dry hay to wet grass, their manure becomes very loose for a few days - it is called the “Jersey squirts.”

So the little guy has green, runny manure pasted on his back hoof.

Which he promptly kicks frward into my mouth.

Now, unable to set him down for fear of the mother, I had to walk to the corral, spitting out manure as best I could.

Very, very disgusting.

It tastes much like it smells.

Now, our fair readers will know that the humble Smallholder is not a squeamish guy. I confess that I was rather grossed out.

So, for all the readers out there who don’t cotton to my progressive politics and frequently declare that I ought to “Eat crap and die,” please rest assured that the first half of your wish has come true.

Hope For The Minister of Propaganda

Perhaps Rob won’t die a bachelor after all.

And the best thing is, once he is married in Maryland, other states will have to accept the validity of his marriage under the “Full Faith and Credit” clause.

Unless the assault on out Constitution continues…

Okay… I’ll Take That Quiz…

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader sees that his Minister of Propaganda has returned to provide commentary and insight into the world.

But his first post was a Rum & Monkey Quiz. After posting the quiz results, the Minister of Propaganda speculated that he and your Maximum Leader are not compatible. Well… Your Maximum Leader took the quiz too. Here are his results.

I’m an apparently intelligent, moderate, tight as fuck, pathetically simple-minded, dribbling child!
See how compatible you are with me!
Brought to you by Rum and Monkey

According to the quiz results, your Maximum Leader and his Minister of Propaganda are, in fact, 68% compatible.

Of course, the quiz is obviously wrong in that it identifies your Maximum Leader as a “moderate” and a “dribbling child.” While your Maximum Leader has a “dribbling child” at home (the Wee Villain is only 10 months old afterall and teething), he is definately not a moderate…

Ah well… So much for the accuracy of internet quizzes.

Carry on.

Re-introducing Myself . . .

Since I’m in the process of reestablishing my bona fides, I found this survey result from a few months ago that for some reason I didn’t post when I took it. I think I was having trouble with blogger at the time so I saved the info for later but promptly forgot about it. Or perhaps I hadn’t yet recovered my ability to type after my massive post-election stroke. For any loyal minions who aren’t familiar with my pre-election postings, however, this survey result amusingly sums me up:

I’m a generally unfuckwitted, liberal, disgustingly generous, relatively well adjusted human being!
See how compatible you are with me!
Brought to you by Rum and Monkey

I suspect I’m not the slightest bit compatible with our Maximum Lader, and yet we remain friends. Go figure.


The Pope And Interreligious Dialogue

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader hasn’t written too much of the past few days, because he’s been busy. Your loss. One of the things occupying his time has been trying to clear up some e-mail correspondence. Including replying to some messages from his buddy the Poet Laureate.

The BigHo has chosen to take some thoughtful bits from our e-mail exchange and post them. You may be interested to read them. The post is here. Your Maximum Leader has some other thoughts on this subject that he hopes to write more about over the next few days - time permitting.

Carry on.

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