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Decline and fall of Western Civilization, Pt CLXVII

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader had read about the hubub caused by the removal of kneelers - even the making of kneeling during the Mass a sin - in the (Roman Catholic) Diocese of Orange (California - not Ireland). Here is the LA Times article on the matter. (Thanks to the Irish Elk.)

Your Maximum Leader has attended Mass in a number of churches at which there were no kneelers. Indeed, he has knelt anyway. While a Catholic your Maximum Leader firmly sided with the Latin-Mass-speaking-kneeling crowd. Once he even knelt (without benefit of a kneeler) during a hellishly long service at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. He did this on a marble floor. With a sprained ankle. It wasn’t fun.

Frankly, your Maximum Leader would think that Diocean Bishops would have more to concern themselves with han the question of their flocks kneeling or not. Obviously your Maximum Leader is mistaken in this.

Carry on.

Decline and fall of Western Civilization, Pt CLXVI

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader sees that there have been a number of robberies and attacks on the Mall in Washington DC. For those of you not from the Dee Cee area, or those of you from another planet, “The Mall” is the long, tree-lined expanse of green in the center of the city. The Capitol, Smithsonian, White House, and various public monuments all surround this open space.

For decades the Mall has been a crime-free area in a city riddled with crime. It was an area of the city where your Maximum Leader never thought of being attacked or victimized by criminals. Apparently no longer should that be the case.

Call your Maximum Leader heavy-handed, but he hope they find the criminals responsible. He also hopes the thugs violently resist arrest and have to be shot and killed to protect the lives of the arresting officers. Yes… It would be good if ill befalls the criminals.

Carry on.

Decline and fall of Western Civilization, Pt CLXV

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader sees that there is a photo circulating around Albert Gore’s internets that purportedly shows a duck x-ray with a strange anomaly. The photo, sure enough, looks like a duck’s x-ray. But in the area of the duck’s stomach there is a strange image that appears to be the face of a space alien.

At least this is what is being purported… Yes… The story is that a duck (an injured duck by the way - broken wing you know) ate a space alien…

For your viewing pleasure, here is the photo (courtesy of Yahoo).

Your Maximum Leader doesn’t know what to think about this image and story. But he will share a few stream-of-conciousness ideas on this subject anyho… 1) The duck probably ate some weird seed that caused the image. 2) People are stupid. 3) If the duck really did eat the space alien what should we care - afterall if the alien couldn’t defend itself from a (wounded) duck we humans have nothing to fear.

Carry on.

Decline and fall of Western Civilization, Pt CLXIV

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader wonders what has become of the Washington Post? The newspaper that brought you Watergate now feels the need to bring you 4 full (web-based - not print) pages explaining “Wingmen.”

As if you need to explain the concept of the Wingman? Great jeezey chreezey! Your Maximum Leader particularly liked the duty listing of the Wingman:

He must be decent-looking but not too handsome, or the lead man will end up being the wingman. He must be sociable, able to move the conversation forward or back off, depending on how the lead is doing. It helps if he can gather intelligence on the girl early in the evening, sense whether his buddy has a chance and impart that wisdom privately before the offensive starts.

Your Maximum Leader particularly liked the following line that explained that if the friends of the “target” are not that attractive then the Wingman must “throw himself on the grenade.”

Heh. Throw himself on the grenade. What an analogy. As if chatting up an unattractive girl is like saving your buddies in a foxhole…

Your Maximum Leader flew Wingman once or twice for the Smallholder. (In the days before Mrs. Smallholder of course.) The Smallholder did the same for your Maximum Leader. It is the way of men…

Of course, none of this explains why the Washington Post feels the need to make Wingmen news. It isn’t like the Wingman is a new deal. Famous Wingmen of the arts might include Petruchio and Tranio, Figaro, among others. Perhaps the article isn’t exactly a sign of the decline and impending fall of Western Civilization… Perhaps it is just a slow news day… Or not…

Carry on.

Playing the Vote-ery

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader reads that Arizonians may get to vote on a ballot measure in November that would cause one of their number to become a millionaire. (Or at least a Six-hundred-thousand-dollar-aire after taxes.)

If your Maximum Leader understands this correctly… Should this ballot measure pass, if you vote in Arizona in any statewide/national contest, your name will be entered into a pool. After the election, one name will be pulled from the pool and that lucky person will get $1 Million dollars out of the state’s unclaimed lottry winnings pool.

Is your Maximum Leader the only person who thinks that is a crappy idea? It is pandering to get people to do what they ought to do anyway. Frankly, if you aren’t inclined to vote in the first place your Maximum Leader does want you shuffling down to the polls with little dollar signs in your eyes. It is a bad idea.

Of course, everyone will be required to vote in the Mike World Order. But the vote will be for a huge parliament that meets continually, but does nothing… So voting will be fun!

Carry on.

Memorial Day Weekend

Went to occasional commentor Polymath’s house where we dined on Sweet Seasons Farm pulled pork. Polymath fixed up some delicious honey-based barbeque sauce. Perhaps he’ll share the recipe in the comment section.

Odd thoughts about Memorial Day:

1) I went to Home Depot to buy supplies for my next chicken tractor. When I arrived at the counter, the saleswoman asked “Have you ever served in the military, sir?”

I was a bit taken aback - what anodd question so I answered, “yes, why?”

She brightly answered “You get a 10% discount!” She didn’t even ask for any proof.

This was a nice little perk, but I felt a bit silly since I can’t claim to have faced any danger while in the army.

I was relating this to my father, who had gone to Lowes this weekend. Lowes asked the same question, but then they clarified; only retired or active duty folks get the discount from Lowes.

Only in America. My Dad went to Korea. I played football and proofread colonels’ memorandum. I get the veteran’s discount and my dad doesn’t.

2) In the Valley down here we had “Confederate Memorial Day” on Sunday. My parents went to a ceremony. This is the type of situation where, if you plunked your humble Smallholder smack in the middle, I would get my butt well and truly kicked.

Speaker: “We are here to honor the sacrifices of our fallen grandfathers who fought nobly for the cause…”

Smallholder: “Noble? Noble? Bunch of slavery supporting sons of bitches! Your cause was evil and I’m glad you lost! Reap the whirlwind, you traitorous jackasses!”

Attendees: “A Yankee in our midst! To the lynchin’ tree!”

3) Another odd thing happened. My farmer neighbor came over and was complaining about Bush’s immigration plan, going on and on about how immigrants hurt our economy. I knew better, but the teacher in me, frustrated by his ignorance of economics, explained that immigrants, like Walmart are good for the American economy. And he actually changed his mind! It seems that very few people are willing to shift course when their assumption are shown to be fallacious. Of course, this is the sign of intelligence: Adopting a new hypothesis when the evidence disproves your previous hypothesis. Unfortunately, in a Jacksonian democracy, people being willing to adopt a new position based on new evidence are few and far between. And those of who do are often maligned as being “squishy.”

Hear Hear Sir Edmund.

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader sees that Sir Edmund Hilary is chastising recent climbers of Mt Everest for not stopping and trying to help a fellow climber who later died. As well he should. If a climber is in a position to help another climber in distress he should do so.

Of course, after reading Sebastian Junger’s “Into Thin Air” your Maximum Leader wonders if anyone nearing the summit of Everest is actually able to do anything for anyone else…

The 40 odd climbers who passed the dying man should have done more than they did regardless.

Carry on.

Little known Constitution

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader expects that President Bush’s approval ratings will soon skyrocket. As soon as he starts flying and shooting plasma out of his fingertips he’ll be more popular than Superman. After all, invoking Presidential Superpowers worked wonders for Teddy Roosevelt.

Carry on.

While I’m Ranting

Raising calves: Pictures of a factory farm.

The Big Boys In Agriculture Strike Again!

Faithful minions hav listened to me rant about the power of the milk processing lobby.

Now the big chicken factories are coming after small pasture-based flocks like mine.

Obviously, low-density, healthy flocks living on clean grass are much more likely to become vectors for disease than the big boys’ birds which are housed in lots of 100,000 with a square foot per bird, debeaked to stop crowding-induced cannibalism that live in their own manure.

You know, I think that on this issue, I just might have to be civilly disobedient.

Breakin’ the law! Breakin’ the law! Breakin the law!

Family Time…

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader should let you all know that he will not be posting tomorrow through next Tuesday. Tomorrow he is taking the day off and he and Villainette #1 are going to Dee Cee for a day of culture and cuisine. (AKA: The Smithsonian and lunch out.) We might also take in the Nats v Dodgers contest tomorrow night.

Then it is off to the beach for a few days. He will return to posting on Tuesday…

In the meanwhile… Imagine yourself going to Ayn Rand Camp.

Carry on.

Franklin Rap

Riffing before class with some kids who have band, I joked that they should write historical lyrics. On the spur of the moment, I demonstrated with a Franklin rap. Here is my quickly jotted doggeral:

Ben Franklin was an apprentice
But soon he built a printing press

Author of Poor Richard’s Almanack
This is my Ben Franklin Rap.

Since the “Early bird catches the worm”
Laziness and vice young Ben spurned.

American enlightenment figure,
At blind faith he would snigger.

To expanded the horizons of his fellow men
Founded the University of Penn

More than a man with intellectual curiosity
At Albany he advocated colonial unity.

Historian Brands called him the first American
During the Stamp boycott he wore homespun

He knew Tom Paine
Joined the refrain
Said it was only Common Sense
And with aplomb
Helped young Tom
Write the Dec of Independence

Scientist and man of letters
The Frenchmen weren’t his betters

Sent to France, he donned a hat of coon skin
Public relations to bring an ally in

As an old man in gay Paree
Was a hit with zee lay-dies.

Not for democracy, he told King Louis
Strike a blow against British tyranny!

Victory for Continental defiance,
He concluded the French alliance.

When the framers were divide by tension,
Compromiser at the Philadelphia convention.

Ben worker to heal the slavery rift
They compromised on three fifths

Inspired by the Sun on his Louis Fourteen chair,
Supported the bicameral legislature.

Superannuated he might have been,
But brilliant to then end was our dear Ben

Cool Rock Group Name

Blood, Toil, Sweat and Tears

Ditto Robbo

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader took a quiz yesterday. Eric made a good comment about the whole “reading romance novel” bit of the answer.

In response your Maximum Leader will just have to ditto Robbo the Llamabutcher’s comments about romance novels.

Carry on.

Quiz Time!

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader saw a quiz he’s never taken before over on Tinkery Tonk… His results:

Which country should you REALLY be living in?

The United Kingdom

You have pride in yourself and pride in your country. You believe that history and culture is an important factor to the future of your country, and that traditions and values should be upheld. You love your scones and tea, and reading soppy romance novels. The UK is where you should be…

Personality Test Results

Click Here to Take This Quiz
Brought to you by quizzes and personality tests.

No surprise here for your Anglophile Maximum Leader.

Carry on.

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