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Did you miss this?

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader was preparing for bed when something told him he should check out the news wires to see what is going on in the world. And what should he see but this:

North and South Korean troops along their heavily fortified border exchanged gunfire for the first time in about a year a military official said on Tuesday, with the incident coming as ties between the two have soured.

North Korean troops fired two shots at a South Korean guard post near the Demilitarised Zone on Monday night and South Korean troops returned six shots, an official said by telephone.

“No one was injured in the incident,” the Joint Chiefs of Staff official said.

One of the shots hit the guard post, causing South Korean troops to immediately return fire, the official said.

Isn’t that a fine how-do-you-do? First they fire missiles, now the Norks are firing at ROK soliders. Your Maximum Leader is familiar enough with the long history of gunfire along the DMZ. But one wonders if this latest incident is the North Koreans probing the South and trying to push their luck. There are, as you no doubt know, lots of other things going on.

Carry on.

Guest Posting

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader knows it is summertime. Why? Why because he is enjoying the greatest gig in the history of Albert Gore’s Internets! Yes… He is guest weblogging over at The Hatemonger’s Quarterly. Today’s guest blog is about a bumper sticker your Maximum Leader chanced to see.

Who knows what he will guest-blog about tomorrow?

Stay tuned.

Carry on.

100 Below: Betrayal

Joe was fading. The compound fracture of his left femur bled unabated.

Homey, Joe’s dog, saw everything. Joe was carrying two cases of beer up from the basement and lost his footing. Homey could see and smell the horrible protrusion of bone coming out of his master’s leg.

Joe knew he’d never make it to the phone upstairs. Joe feared he would die at the foot of the basement stairs.

Homey went to Joe and spoke, “I want to help you, but I’ve decided to trade up to the hot blonde with huge tits down the street. Sorry dude.”

Weapon of Choice

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader figured he’d take a moment to recap one of the highlights of his little excursion to Nemacolin Woodlands Resort & Spa. (And here you thought he was going to be going on more about Fatboy Slim…)

Your Maximum Leader went out while at Nemacolin and took advantage of their shooting facilities. He “borrowed” on of the Academy’s Berretta shotguns for his afternoon of killing nasty clays. The model he used was a Berretta Silver Pigeon III 12 guage over-under shotgun. (Mrs Villain, who came along shot the same model of gun in a shorter 20 guage version.)

Your Maximum Leader shot at 100 clays. After about 80 his shoulder really started to feel a little worn out. But he bravely (and happily in fact) went on and went after the last 20 clays.

But before giving you the whole story he must give you a few disclaimers… Your Maximum Leader, to his deep embarassment, does not own a shotgun. Rifles and pistols aplenty. But his gun safe is devoid of shotguns. He mentions this by way of explaining that he doesn’t have an opportunity to practice the skill of clay shooting often. In fact the last time he picked up a shotgun was at Nemacolin in December. Then he shot at 50 clays. He hit about 20 back in December. Prior to that he’d not fired a shotgun in about 12 years.

Last week, your Maximum Leader killed 57 of the 100 targets. Now… Some of you might think that that is a puny number. Allow your Maximum Leader to state that he was on pace to kill about 75 or 80 clays… Until your Maximum Leader’s instructor/guide/all-around-good-fellow Tim decided to kick it up a notch with your Maximum Leader. So your Maximum Leader is actually quite pleased with 57/100.

For most of the stations your Maximum Leader got the traditional treatment. This is to say that your Maximum Leader got the gun loaded. Positioned himself. Then called “pull.” On “pull” Tim would release the first clay and would hold the second clay until your Maximum Leader fired. Upon hearing the first report of the shotgun Tim would launch the second clay.

Your Maximum Leader did pretty well at this. He did have problems “picking up birds” (clays that is) that started their flight high above and behind him. He also had some problems getting a bead on the clays that “popped up” at a distance and then dropped rapidly out of your feild of fire. But all in all he was doing pretty well.

Then Tim decided to take your Maximum Leader to the next level. He decided to launch both clays on the calling of “pull.” Your Maximum Leader had a little trouble at this at first. But then he seemed to find a groove.

Aftr finding this faster groove Tim asked if he could even kick up the difficulty further. Tim suggested that your Maximum Leader do a speed round. This is to say that your Maximum Leader would load his shotgun and place 8 shells on the rail in front of him. Then when your Maximum Leader was ready, he’d call “pull.” When Tim heard the call he would start launching clays. He’d launch one every 10 seconds until he’d thrown 10 clays.

That was quite tough. Your Maximum Leader is pleased to say that he got the first two clays of the speed round. Alas, he only got two of the remaining 8 clays during the speed round. Your Maximum Leader had a little difficulty reloading. He would open the breech and the spent shells would eject. Then as he reached for the new shells he let the gun close a little. That small bit of closure made loading the lower chamber almost impossible without adjusting his hold on the gun. Tim said that this was a pretty good result for someone who had never done a speed round before. That made your Maximum Leader feel good.

So… After his experience at shooting clays, your Maximum Leader is considering getting a shotgun. He is thinking of a Beretta. But they are mighty pricey. Your Maximum Leader is also very partial to Rugers. Alas, the Rugers are very pricey too. Your Maximum Leader knows that if he gets a shotgun, he would like a new one. Although most of the weapon he owns are old and used (and all have some historical value to him), he feels that a new shotgun would be appropriate.

Of course, this discussion would be moot if your Maximum Leader were to fall into huge amounts of cash. If that were to happen he and Brian B would go to New York and be fitted for custom guns by Holland and Holland.

That would be cool.

Carry on.

If you walk without rhythm…

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader, a few days ago, took Mr Atoz’s advice and sat himself down and watched Christopher Walken explore the studio space in the video for “Weapon of Choice” by Fatboy Slim. He had forgotten how much he enjoyed it.

Your Maximum Leader, through various compilations, has a few Fatboy Slim songs on his iPod. They include the full album version of “Weapon of Choice” as well as “Praise” and “Rockefeller Skank.” There is one other one that your Maximum Leader is too lazy to look up…

Anyho…

Your Maximum Leader trucked on over to iTunes and picked up the “Weapon of Choice” video. He’s now watched it about 3 times. More interestingly, the Wee Villain (aged 2 years) has watched the video about a dozen times. Every time he sees his father’s iPod he cries out “Daddy. Show me dancing man!” Your Maximum Leader almost always agrees. Your Maximum Leader holds the iPod and has one earbud. The Wee Villain gets the other earbud. Then the Wee Villain dances.

He’s no Christopher Walken.

Yet.

Carry on.

More people undeserving of sympathy

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader, in the days before the dreamy Jennifer Love Hewitt, did have a thing for Christie Brinkley. Ah yes… Your Maximum Leader remembers those days well. The halcyon days of the Reagan years. The Gipper was our President. The Soviet Union was our enemy. Crockett and Tubbs were on TV. Members Only jackets were hip. Your Maximum Leader was wearing unpressed linen jackets (earth tones only - no pastels) and gurkha shorts from Banana Republic (before they were just an extension of The Gap).

And there was one uber-babe to rule them all…

Her name was Christie Brinkley.

Your Maximum Leader, who generally favors brunettes to blondes, thought that Christie Brinkley was quite hot. For the sake of full disclosure, your Maximum Leader was also a raging bundle of hormones at the time. If push came to shove he could find something attractive about just about any female of the species…

But… Eventually, Christie became entangled with that William Joel fellow. They went off and had babies together. And Christie faded into your Maximum Leader’s distant memory.

She re-emerged around that time she nearly died in that skiing accident. Then she faded away again.

Then she showed up recently on some commercial. And Mrs Villain commented, upon seeing the commerical, that she was really good looking for being 40 something. Around then we both figured out that Christie was more like 50 something… We both agreed that Christie is still a hot woman. (Your Maximum Leader is willing to overlook that whole Billy Joel thing…)

So… When your Maximum Leader read that Mr Christie Brinkley was exposed for having an affair with an 18 year old in his employ he was waiting for the apology. He’s issued it. It seems he was stupid and foolish.

Yeah. Your Maximum Leader would agree. He is stupid and foolish. He is undeserving of sympathy.

Of course, he is like what? Mr Christie Brinkley number 5? If he had just waited a little bit she would have moved on to Mr Christie Brinkley number 6…

Regardless… He is an idiot.

And Christie Brinkley was never esteemed by your Maximum Leader as much as he platonically loves the dreamy Jennifer Love Hewitt…

Carry on.

Guilty and Insane

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader comes out of his hole to blog. And what does he choose to blog about? The raging war in the Middle East? The raging civil war in Iraq? The raging lunatic running North Korea? The raging hormones of millions of teenaged boys?

Nope. He’s going to be blogging about Andrea Yates.

As he is sure you’ve read by now, Andrea Yates was retried for the murder of her children and has been found not guilty by reason of insanity. According to Reuters Yates:

who is being treated with anti-psychotic drugs, looked stunned and tears welled in her eyes when the verdict was read. She hugged defense attorney George Parnham, who also defended her in the first trial, before she was led away by a court bailiff.

Awww… Poor little psychotic not-mommy. Your Maximum Leader, who in most cases is a font of human compassion and mercy, has a hard heart where Andrea Yates is concerned.

In point of fact, your Maximum Leader is disgusted by all the good Christian people who are all to happy to forgive Andrea Yates for her crimes. The leading forgiver? Ex-husband Rusty. Says Ex-hubby and chief forgiver Rusty Yates:

“It’s a miracle,” tearful ex-husband Rusty Yates said of the verdict. “The prosecution spent five years trying to come up with a motive in this case and missed the most obvious one — that she was psychotic.”

Huh? This ridiculous line is aped by the jury foreman. Here is the part about the foreman:

Todd Frank, foreman of the six-man, six-woman jury agreed, saying that while some jurors wanted a finding of guilty, it was impossible not to see that Yates was very ill.

“It was very clear to us all that (the doctors who cared for her) believed she had psychosis before, during and after” the crime, he told reporters.

“I hope this will help to prevent something like this from every happening again,” said Frank, a 33-year-old marketing manager.

Your Maximum Leader shudders to try and parse the complete imbecility of this statement. From time to time your Maximum Leader is filled with respect for “common man” when he is asked to serve on a jury. And then, most of the time to be honest, your Maximum Leader remembers why there will be no jury trials in the Mike World Order. People are stupid and shouldn’t be so empowered in capital cases. (Of course, there will be many show trials in the MWO… Those will be well populated with juries of “common” people.)

So, Mr Todd Frank is glad to offer up that Andrea Yates is mentally ill. Great. Remember Rusty Yates said that the prosecution was looking for a motive? Well… Apparently Mr Frank and his compatriots on the jury were looking for a rational motive too. Perhaps they should have been considering if Andrea Yates could tell right from wrong at the time of the crime. You don’t need a motive in this case. You need to establish if Andrea Yates could tell right from wrong. Apparently the chuckleheaded jury was more concerned about making sure the defendant got “help” and less concerned about the drowned children.

You know… Your Maximum Leader would be happy to have a new choice for juries in this type of case. Guilty and Insane. That way you get the best of oth worlds… You could just declare a defendant insane, get them treatment enough to make them sane; then execute them because they are still guilty as hell.

Ah well… One hopes that Andrea Yates spends lots of time in the maximum security mental hospital for the criminally naughty. She is getting off easy. Your Maximum Leader hopes that she gains lots of comfort from the continued friendship of ex-hubby and chief-forgiver, Rusty…

Carry on.

Tough few days

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader just wanted to let you know he’s had a few tough days.

You know how he knows his day has been tough?

He had a Coke for lunch and mentioned to a dining companion that the Coke “tasted funny, abnormal…”

After moment he realized what was wrong… The Coke didn’t have bourbon in it.

Oy.

Carry on.

Warning

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader feels the need to let you all know that posting may be light over the next few days. He has some various commitments to attend to that will occupy much of his time. But fear not. When time permits your Maximum Leader will regale you all with pithy commentary on the days events - or whatever catches his fancy.

In case any of you remember… Your Maximum Leader should report that he had a great time at Nemacolin. He and Mrs Villain relaxed. She got spa treatments. He shot guns. We dined out. She shot guns. He shot guns. We dined out some more. It was piles of fun. If you are looking for a resort at which to spend a long weekend, your Maximum Leader will highly recommend Nemacolin.

The only negative comment your Maximum Leader could make about his trip was a slight critique of one restaurant on the property. One night your Maximum Leader and Mrs. Villain dined at Lautrec. It is a high end (very high end) restaurant on the property. The chef has been awarded the honors of “Best Chef in Pittsburgh” for two years running. But your Maximum Leader would have to say that the kitchen staff may have been a bit off their game. Some of the food (in a multicourse tasting menu) was rather indifferently seasoned. It was prepared and served with great care and precision. But Mrs Villain had a risotto that, he hates to admit, required salt and pepper. It was really bland. Your Maximum Leader had some escargot that was pretty conventional, which is to say overflavored with garlic. All in all, your Maximum Leader would refer you to any of the other restaurants on the property. They are all fantastic. And, as he said, Lautrec may have been having an off night…

Well… Again, be warned. Light posting ahead… But next week… Yes next week there is a big surprise in store for you all…

Big surprise.

Carry on.

Eggs?

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader reads on NRO that CBS will be touting Katie Couric’s installation as the new CBS Evening News Anchor by engraving the message on 35 million eggs.

35,000,000 eggs.

With Katie Couric’s name on them.

And probably the all-seeing CBS Eye…

Ugh.

What a crappy idea. Aren’t eggs really a breakfast food? Wouldn’t you want to advertise an evening news program on a dinner food? Like spelling Katie’s name in gravy a Swanson’s Hungry Man Meatloaf dinner?

Carry on.

Hezbollah & Lebanon

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader has been silent here on the happenings in the Middle East right now. His mind has been focusing on the situation to the extent that his life is allowing that to happen. First off, your Maximum Leader is a staunch supporter of Israel. He supports their military actions against Hamas and Hezbollah. He feels that their reaction is “proportionate” - whatever that means. He can tell you one thing for sure, Israel is acting with more restraint than would your Maximum Leader.

So what happens now? Israel has said that they will stop acting in self-defence when they are not being attacked. This seems like a perfectly reasonable stance to adopt. It is unfortunate that neither Hezbollah nor Hamas are rational actors on the international scene. It is unfortunate for Israel that Hezbollah & Hamas are so intractable. You can’t very well negotiate with someone who can’t get past the idea that they want you dead. And it is unfortunate that the people of Lebanon, many of whom are not supporters of Hezbollah, are suffering as a result of their own weakness.

Lebanon, long the minion of a strong Syria, has only recently started to cast off Syrian authority. The “central” government in Beirut doesn’t control the south of the country. The south where Hezbollah reigns. Your Maximum Leader agrees with the Israeli UN Ambassador when he said words to the effect of Israel will liberate southern Lebanon from Hezbollah - and that will be a boon for all Lebanese.

Which brings your Maximum Leader to the one vexing point he can’t seem to get past. Many bloggers, the Israeli government, and others say that Hezbollah must be destroyed. How exactly is that accomplished? This is the vexing problem. Your Maximum Leader supposes that there is the undefined term “destroyed” out there. Well… Perhaps not undefined; more accurately “destroyed” in this case is ambiguous. Does “destroyed” mean that Hezbollah will be organizationally dismantled in Lebanon to the point where it is no longer a viable political/military force? That is an achievable goals in this conflict. But does “destroyed” mean that Hezbollah is largely demolished at all levels and moves underground as small cells of terrorist operatives living in far-flung areas of the world? That too may be an achievable goal. But does “destroyed” mean that Hezbollah is wiped from the face of the earth? Well… That isn’t going to happen.

For the most part your Maximum Leader believes that the goal of Israel, after getting back their soliders, is to drive Hezbollah out of southern Lebanon and cause Hezbollah to no longer be an effective political/military force in that country.

Unfortunately, that is about the extent of what your Maximum Leader thinks Israel can do. At some level Hezbollah still has support among many people in the region. Your Maximum Leader recognizes that their support is limited as they are backed by Shia and Shia sects. They are ot of the predominant vein of Islam for that geographic region. But they still have support.

So long as Hezbollah has people (and a government in Iran) that support them, they will continue to exist in some form. Now we are back at your Maximum Leader’s vexation. What is destroyed? It is unclear. The next step of vexation is how do you destroy them? We see on the news what is going on every day. That is one element. One suspects that Israeli special forces are on the ground and terminating with extreme prejudice. That is a second element. But what is being done to dismantle the support structure that keeps Hezbollah going? To be specific your Maximum Leader is asking what is being done to attack those who feed, shelter, and nurse those Hezbollah terrorists? That is where the real problem is.

Carry on.

Excuses, excuses.

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader wants to warn you all that bloggng will be somewhat sporadic this week. He has a lot going on and feels that the most likely times he’ll be able to blog will be later in the evening. He should also mention that Thursday and Friday he and Mrs Villain are going to go to Nemacolin Woodlands Resort and Spa for a longish weekend. (Thursday through Saturday). There is no telling if there will be any blogging during that period. Well… Your Maximum Leader might jot off a few words while Mrs Villain is at the Spa. Your Maximum Leader is not a spa sort of fellow. Sure a nice trip to the sauna is refreshing from time to time; but when it is over 100 outside and the humidity is nearing 100%, the sauna isn’t much different than outside.

Consider yourselves warned - sporadic posting ahead.

Carry on.

Grizzly Man Thoughts

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader can’t recall if he ever blogged about watching the film ‘Grizzly Man.’ The film was commended to your Maximum Leader by his esteemed brother-in-law. It was recommended without comment. Just a “You should watch this.”

And your Maximum Leader did. You should see “Grizzly Man” for the absolutely stunning images of bears.

Your Maximum Leader will commend the film to you if you haven’t seen it. He will also commend to you Big Stupid Tommy’s prayer of thankfulness to Jeebus after watching the film. Your Maximum Leader agrees with Big Stupid Tommy completely. So much so that Big Stupid Tommy is now blogrolled…

Carry on.

14 Juillet

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader is sure that his loyal readers have by this time heard that today is July 14th. That means in France they are celebrating 14 Juillet, or Fête de la Fédération, or Fête nationale, or (in English) Bastille Day.

Many in the blogosphere, at least the more “right wing” areas of it, don’t have a lot of nice things to say about the French. Frankly, your Maximum Leader has done his fair share of French flogging here and in his personal life. Your Maximum Leader and Smallholder can’t get together without doing a little joking at the expense of the French. But from time to time your Maximum Leader would like to get off the bash France wagon and point out some redeeming qualities in our sometimes friend and ally.

Well… Most of the redeeming qualities of France are not related to politics. They are cultural and culinary qualities. First, allow your Maximum Leader to say that every Frenchman/woman he’s met personally has been absolutely charming. Now, he’s not traveled to France - which might change his opinion - but he’s always found citizens of France that he’s met to be good company. And did your Maximum Leader mention that the French know how to cook. Well… Perhaps all Parisians don’t know how because they eat out, but outside of Paris it seems to be a different story. Your Maximum Leader is a great fan of French provincal cooking. It is hearty fare with a flair. Also, being a cheese lover - the French have got lots of fine cheeses…

And speaking of cheese, that brings your Maximum Leader to politics. Charles de Gaulle is purported to have commented that is it nearly impossible to govern a nation that has over 400 types of cheese. No doubt that is true. But we as Americans should respect the French people for their actions of 217 years ago. They did throw off an autocratic government that oppressed them and kept them in poverty and servitude. (Certainly 18th Century France was a less pleasant place to be than pre-Revolutionary America…) The French Revolution didn’t go the way of the American Revolution. And that has been too bad for the French. In many ways one might attribute the ebb and flow of the French Republic to the nature of the autocratic government they overthrew.

That the French Revolution decented into rampant bloodshed and eventually to a new autocracy can be viewed through the lens of trying to redress grievences t an extreme. The people of France were badly governed by their autocratic king and courtiers. They did not enjoy the freedoms that an Englishman (or Scot or Welshman) of the same period enjoyed. They realized they deserved better. But they didn’t get better. Your Maximum Leader likes to use the French Revolution as an illustration of 18th Century Rationalism gone amuck. By trying to apply reason without common sense and restraint you wind up with a recipie for disaster. This realization came to your Maximum Leader twice in his life. The first time was while reading Burke’s “Reflections.” No shock there. But the second time was when he had write a paper on Robespierre for an upper division history seminar. At some point your Maximum Leader was reading over letters Robespierre had written during the Terror and it was like a light went on in his mind and all was revealed. Robespierre (and so many other French Revolutionaries) felt like they had so much work to do to rebuild France as a modern enlightened republic. But rebuilding on existing foundations was not possible. All had to be destroyed so that the new could be built.* The French Revolutionaries took their noble ideas to a horrific extreme.

Over 217 years one can see the hand of the French Revolution still at work in French politics today. The French can still “mix up” the international community. While revolutionary France is not exporting armies to liberate Europe, France still charts its own course it the world. The French continue to deal internally with how the revolutionary idea of secularism interacts with their growing muslim population. The French yearning for equality and equal treatment influences their socialist social policies and economy to a great (and your Maximum Leader would say bad) extent.

Your Maximum Leader wishes any Frenchmen reading this (decidedly Anglo-American) site a happy Bastille Day. He hope you might ponder your own revolution and that of the US. We didn’t always get it right, but we’re still learning. The same could be said for France. He hopes you’re learning too.

Carry on.
(more…)

More Linkage!

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader is attending to some family matters and doesn’t have much opportunity to write pithy commentary on the events of the day.

But he feels he must reject expert advice courtesy of Dead Sexy Sadie and post something anyway.

Steve-O Returns! And he has a new Mac to boot. Miserable bastard… Gettin’ a new Mac… Your Maximum Leader wants a new Mac… But he digresses…

Mrs P is back from a trip to the beach and in rare form today. I bet Mrs P’s naan is quite good, but I would prefer to have a batch of whatever Mr P is whipping up for the Royal Bombay Yacht Club.

The boyz over at the Ministry of Minor Perfidy are cetainly aspiring to grow up and become major perfidy with all of the quality writing going on over there. Your Maximum Leader thought he’d link a recent piece or two. But rather than have you skip something, he’s decided you should just jump on over there and start reading. Your Maximum Leader must admit that he is rather partial to “No. U-da-ho.” That makes him smile.

The best story your Maximum Leader has read in a long while… From the great and powerful Velociman. Part one is here. Part two is here.

You know something… Your Maximum Leader has at least one reader. One who cares… Thanks Phoenix. You care. (And your Maximum Leader should note that Phoenix is particularly prolix today.)

That is about all for this update. Your Maximum Leader hopes for another later on.

Carry on.

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