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Olson on Bush and Churchill

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader has still not left for the beach. In part his delay is due to his having a wee bout of the summer pestilence. He doesn’t know how he picked up this virus, but he has been hacking, coughing, and sniffling something horrible. He’s not been fun to be around by any stretch. He’s felt so bad over yesterday and today that he’s only now gotten out of bed.

He will have to say that Villainette #1 (soon to be ten years old) was a tremendous help. She has a strong “mothering” streak to begin with (which sometimes is a problem when she attempts to dominate her younger siblings) but today her mothering streak was a great help to her father. She was able to bring water and flat ginger ale to him when he needed; and she kept a close eye on her younger brother while Mrs Villain was out. It was a blessing to have her.

So… Your Maximum Leader has been in bed and watching the crap that passes for tv programming. He has been watching the news about the (almost) car bombs in London and the car bombing in Glasgow. Both horrible events. Your Maximum Leader only hopes that the British people don’t draw the wrong conclusion from these events. The wrong conclusion being that an immediate withdrawal from Iraq will suddenly make the Islamists look to bomb other nations.

Immediate withdrawal from Iraq by Britain would be a type of appeasement. And as Winston Churchill once noted, to paraphrase, appeasers feed the crocodile in the hopes that it will eat them last.

That was your Maximum Leader’s pathetic segue into an interesting column he read on the Washington Post site entitled: “Why Winston Wouldn’t Stand for W.” In the peice Lynn Olson makes a number of observations with which your Maximum Leader agrees. Indeed, he agrees with more of Olson’s commentary that one might suspect. But, he feels that Olson is herself guilty of that which she describes as:

Writing about Churchill and Chamberlain, I’ve discovered, is like administering a Rorschach test to one’s readers. People see in Churchill and Chamberlain what they want to see. They draw parallels between the 1930s and the events of today according to their own political philosophy.

In drawing her own parallels between how dissimilar George W Bush is from Winston S Churchill, she doesn’t attempt to show that there might be some similarities as well. While your Maximum Leader is congnizant that Olson’s point in her peice is more to show Bush supporters (as well as Bush himself?) how you shouldn’t wrap Bush in the mantle of Churchill.

Now… Allow your Maximum Leader to go on the record. He is a great Churchill admirer. He keeps a smaller version of the same bust of Churchill on his desk as President Bush does in the Oval Office. And as he types this, the bust of Churchill stares at him from across the desk, and the Karsh photo of Churchill glowers down at him from the wall. And you know something else, your Maximum Leader would never have thought to compare Churchill and George W Bush. Ever. As much as your Maximum Leader loves Ronald Reagan, he would never compare Churchill and Reagan. Perhaps your Maximum Leader keeps his idols in their own temples and doesn’t like mixing them up. But, these figures are so different that comparisons will always fall short.

Now, your Maximum Leader does want to address some points which Olson makes in her piece. Frist off she writes:

Like Bush and unlike Churchill, [Neville] Chamberlain came to office with almost no understanding of foreign affairs or experience in dealing with international leaders. Nonetheless, he was convinced that he alone could bring Hitler and Benito Mussolini to heel. He surrounded himself with like-minded advisers and refused to heed anyone who told him otherwise.

Your Maximum Leader agrees that Bush had no foreign affairs experience on becoming President. But, this is a generally unfair characterization of the early Bush Administration. Does Olson forget that to compensate for his lack of experience Bush did bring on what (on paper at least) appeared to be one of the strongest foreign policy teams in recent memory. Your Maximum Leader remembers that as late as 2003 many of his liberal/Democratic friends felt that particularly in foreign affairs that Bush had the best team possible. Dick Cheney. Colin Powell. Condi Rice. That is one hell of a lineup. Your Maximum Leader doesn’t think that Olson’s comparison here rings true.

In the next paragraphs Olson states that:

Unlike Bush and Chamberlain, Churchill was never in favor of his country going it alone. Throughout the 1930s, while urging Britain to rearm, he also strongly supported using the newborn League of Nations — the forerunner to today’s United Nations — to provide one-for-all-and-all-for-one security to smaller countries. After the League failed to stop fascism’s march, Churchill was adamant that, to beat Hitler, Britain must form a true partnership with France and even reach agreement with the despised Soviet Union, neither of which Chamberlain was willing to do.

Your Maximum Leader agrees with Olson’s point. But he thinks it is important to point out the historical context here. Churchill knew that Britain couldn’t “go it alone.” Britain was deficient in air power and men-at-arms. Britain’s sea power was strong, but would likely come under great stress when war came. Churchill knew that Britain had to have allies - because she didn’t have the resources to fight. Britain in the 1930s is not America of 2001 or 2003. Your Maximum Leader believes that if Britain’s situation in 1939 was one of supreme economic and military ascendence (as one can argue America’s situation was in 2001) Churchill would have still sought an alliance with France and other European nations against Hitler. What troubles your Maximum Leader about Olson’s point here is that the casual reader might think that Britain’s situation was stronger than it was.

Of course, we all know that for a time Britain did have to “go it alone.” From the fall of France in June 1940 until America entered the war in December 1941, Britain was (mostly) on her own. What most American’s don’t know is that after the fall of France the consensus of the British political establishment was that Britain ought to seek terms for ending the war. Among Churchill’s cabinet there was (in May/June 1940) a majority that wanted to sue for peace with Hitler. Indeed, it was Churchill (and to his credit Clement Atlee) who wanted to fight on. This stubbornness is a similarity between Bush and Churchill that Olson didn’t feel the need to mention in her piece.

Olson again compares Bush to Chamberlain when she says that

Like Bush, Chamberlain also laid claim to unprecedented executive authority, evading the checks and balances that are supposed to constrain the office of prime minister. He scorned dissenting views, both inside and outside government. When Chamberlain arranged his face-to-face meetings with Hitler in 1938 that ended in the catastrophic Munich conference, he did so without consulting his cabinet, which, under the British system, is responsible for making policy.

All in all your Maximum Leader thinks this is a fair characterization, but again one that lacks historical context. Olson points out in the peice that Chamberlain’s Tories had a large majority in the Commons. But having a large Parliamentary majority isn’t quite the same as having a majority in the Congress. And executive power in a Parliamentary system is much different than our Constitutional system. Churchill himself was accused by many of wielding too much executive authority once he became Prime Minister. He wasn’t just Prime Minister, but was also the Minister of Defence. The closest analogy to this in our system would be George W Bush being President and Secretary of Defence at the same time. (But even that analogy isn’t all that exact.) It is interesting to note that one of the biggest criticisms of former-Prime Minister Tony Blair was that he acted more like a President than a Prime Minister.

All in all, the most troubling aspect of Olson’s essay in the Post (at least for your Maximum Leader) is that she oversimplifies the historical context to make her points. Of course, by adding context she diminishes the force of her argument; but if she fancies herself a serious historian she ought to stick to history and leave the political commentary to someone else.

Carry on.

Zombie Quiz

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader hasn’t yet departed for the beach… But he is still taking quizzes on other blogs…

Your Maximum Leader is:


Mingle2 - Free Online Dating

Although 68% chance of survival is not too bad, your Maximum Leader’s failings are that he is out of shape, he lives in a moderately sized city, and he would try and find loved ones in the event of a zombie apocalypse. Of course, he wouldn’t go out and try and find loved ones without packing serious heat. But he would forsake shelter to find his family and (he hopes) save them from the zombies.

Evidently Joan has fewer problems with her survival. In the worst case senario, your Maximum Leader would have to find Joan and hunker down…

Carry on.

Goin’ to the beach

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader wanted to let you know that he is going to the beach soon. Possibly tonight. Possibly tomorrow. Staying through Thursday of next week. It is likely you’ll see little of him here.

He is bringing a laptop with him to the beach… So there is a possibility of posting… But no promises.

Carry on.

Wrong hunch.

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader must admit he was wrong about something. He may yet prove to be right, but it seems less and less likely as we move ahead…

Your Maximum Leader is sure that you have probably read about the case of Jessie Davis. She was the 9 months pregnant Ohio woman who’s body - and that of her unborn child - were discovered over the weekend. Davis’ boyfriend, Bobby Cutts, Jr, has been arrested, charged, and is being held for the murder.

Excursus: Isn’t it quaint that the AP referres to the unborn child as a fetus and explains how in Ohio someone can be charged with murder if they kill a fetus? Very quaint.

Your Maximum Leader must admit that he was wrong when he speculated last week to Mrs Villain that he thought Cutts wasn’t the killer.

Normally, your Maximum Leader would immediately suspect the boyfriend/lover/spouse in a case like this. But he didn’t in this case. Why? At first your Maximum Leader thought it might be because Cutts was a police officer. Now, before you start thinking that your Maximum Leader is willing to ascribe a lofty status to law officers; please know that your Maximum Leader is often willing to believe pretty horrible things that police are accused of. Of the police officers that your Maximum Leader has known, there has sometimes been a streak of believing that because they are an authority unto themselves. (Not unlike your Maximum Leader…) Your Maximum Leader is sure that in some (perhaps many) cases, police to exceed their authority. But not in this case.

In the case of Cutts, your Maximum Leader thought that the knowledge of procedures and the fact that he would immediately be the primary suspect might have kept Cutts from committing a crime. Of course, Cutts has only been accused at this point. That means he is innocent until the state proves otherwise. It may be that he didn’t commit the crime of which he’s been accused. Time, and the judicial system, will tell.

There is something else that might have influenced your Maximum Leader’s thoughts unconsciously. Perhaps your Maximum Leader was willing to extend the benefit of the doubt to Cutts because he is black. Perhaps there was some subconscious process that wanted to avoid a racial sterotype? Afterall, doesn’t society tell us that it is always the black man who is the killer? What racial overtones are there when the accused is black and the victim is white? Could your Maximum Leader have been trying to make himself feel like he wasn’t entertaining racist thoughts by giving the black man the benefit of the doubt? Your Maximum Leader is sure that any thinking along these lines was definately unconscious…

If we discover that Cutts did the crime, he ought to be fast-tracked for execution.

Humm… Was that last line laden with subconscious racism? Your Maximum Leader doesn’t think so. Frankly, we should execute more people. Regardless of their race, socio-economic status, or sex. But not everyone agrees with your Maximum Leader on that count.

Carry on.

Kilt licenses?

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader was perusing various blogs today and found a startling story over at Outside the Beltway. James Joyner finds that Scotland is toying with licensing sporrans. The original BBC article that Joyner cites states that the license will be required to show that sporrans produced after 1994 out of the hides of “endangered” animals were humanely harvested. Specifically the piece reads:

The laws are designed to protect endangered species like badgers and otters, whose fur used to be favoured by sporran makers.

The legislation applies to animals killed after 1994.

Applicants must prove that the animal was killed lawfully before they will be able to get a licence.

The conservation regulations were designed to close a number of loopholes and bring Scotland into line with other EU members.

They also apply to other vulnerable animals like deer, wildcats, hedgehogs, bats, lynx, moles, seals, whales, dolphins and porpoises.

The regulations require anyone who owns any part of a protected animal to obtain a licence.

The maximum penalties for breaking the law are a fine of £5,000 and six months in prison.

Oy! £5,000 and six months in prison is a bit much for the unlawful taking of an otter or badger. Of course, it isn’t all that bad if you think that a few hundred years ago you could be killed for hunting in the King’s forest… Well… That would be a King’s forest in England, not in Scotland. And they rarely ever did put anyone to death for it… Walter Scott and countless showings of Errol Flynn’s Robin Hood not withstanding.

Frankly this story, like so many many others, is just another sign of what is wrong in Europe. This law is being promulgated to bring Scotland in line with other EU countries. Is there anything good coming out of the EU Congress in Brussels? Your Maximum Leader isn’t sure of any.

By the way… How the hell would you find out that a sporran was pre or post 1994? Your Maximum Leader has a sporran for his kilt. He bought it in 1985. (It is leather - so presumably a license is not required.) But what is to keep a Scot from claiming that the sporran was pre-1994? Why make it retroactive? It seems senseless. If you are going to be “better stewards” of the wee beasties in the forest why not just start your licensing at a specific future date? It makes a heck of a lot more sense.

This makes your Maximum Leader want to run out and get a badger/otter/deer/lynx/wildcat/mole/dolphin/seal/whale/bat sporran… Just to have one.

Carry on.

50 ft way to go.

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader is busy entertaining the Big Hominid at the Villainschloss now, and is neglecting blogging. But this article could not pass without note…

Naked couple die from S.C. rooftop fall.

COLUMBIA, S.C. - Police on Wednesday were investigating how a naked couple fell 50 feet from the roof of a downtown office building to their deaths.

The bodies were found on the road by a passing cabdriver around 5 a.m. Wednesday.

Clothing was discovered on the roof, leading authorities to suspect the man and woman, in their early 20s, may have been having sex. Their identities were not released.

“It’s too early to rule out anything,” Columbia police Sgt. Florence McCants said, but McCants said a preliminary investigation didn’t show any sign of foul play.

What a way to go.

Carry on.

Kein sprechender Deutscher

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader read something in his local paper today that he felt was blogworthy.

Although he’s been unable to confirm this factoid on everyone’s favourite free reference site, Wikipedia, he feels the local paper is trustworthy enough to republish this as a factoid, if not an out and out fact…

Apparently on this day in 1916, King George V of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and Emperor of India changed his family name from the oh-so-tuetonic “Saxe-Coburg-Gotha” to the oh-so-Anglo-Saxon “Windsor.”

That has got to be worth at least a few words on this blog…

Carry on.


Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader has very little for you now. Nothing in fact. He thinks that his own laziness, family, the weather, and Medieval 2 Total War have been consipiring to keep him from blogging. Your Maximum Leader has been lazy (at least in regards to blogging) because he’s found it more entertaining to plop down on a sofa and read a Flashman book or watch TV than blog. He’s had a lot of familial engagements to attend to as well. School ending for the Villainettes. Getting various birthday and Father’s Day celebrations under control. Planning (packing for) trips to grandparent’s house for Villainettes. When you Maximum Leader has found himself in the mood to blog… He’s be thwarted by thunderstorms. They seem to pop up at the most inopportune times for blogging. (But they do give a good excuse to just sit and read.) And, finally, your Maximum Leader has been engaged in the most engrossing game of Medieval 2 Total War. (Playing the Danes and really digging the “Norse War Cleric” units. Priests wearing chainmail, on warhorses, with big ole maces just bashing your enemies. Somehow your Maximum Leader doubts that Benedict XVI would condone such activities nowadays. But if he did, your Maximum Leader would personally try and outfit a brigade of War Clerics.)

Excursus: Did you know that on July 14th, 1789 that Louis XVI’s diary contained a one word entry? Rien. (As in “nothing of interest happened today.”) In all fairness to Louis, he was not in Paris that day and word of the storming of the Bastille might not have reached him in Versailles.

Just because your Maximum Leader hasn’t been writing doesn’t mean he hasn’t been reading. Indeed, he’s been reading many blogs. Here are some more linky-related thoughts…

There are many bloggers your Maximum Leader is just going to have to make the time to visit and meet. Many…

For example… Your Maximum Leader wants to meet Eric, perhaps go the YMCA with him and work out some, and then go and sit on his porch and sip fine Scotch Whisky.

Your Maximum Leader would also like to meet Christina and her Mom. Your Maximum Leader feels like he already knows Christina’s mom somehow. Perhaps he’s known people like her and is projecting their traits on her. But every time Christina writes about and encounter with her mom your Maximum Leader feels like he knows exactly what is going on. It is a strange knowing feeling. Regardless, your Maximum Leader would like to meet both of these fine ladies.

Your Maximum Leader would also like to meet (specifically go out dining with) Bobgirl. Fallow deer wrapped in pork. Yumma.

Your Maximum Leader has been reading Steve’s site now for a long time. And recently he’s found that Steve’s posts on growing tomatos and peppers to be completely engrossing. Your Maximum Leader isn’t sure what it is about South Florida that makes smart people with a keen sense of observation such good writers. But soemthing must. Sure your Maximum Leader knows that South Florida is filled with vapid party-goers and cubans too; but Steve seems to be coming out of an environment that has produced a number of great writers.

Did you know that a few days ago the word of the day was eructation? Your Maximum Leader had never heard the word before. (Sadly, he knows most of the words of the day.) Let him say he likes the word eructation.

Oh… One more thing… Two more actually…

Patton at the Ministry of Minor Perfidy wrote a piece that was very similar to one that your Maximum Leader was thinking of. Here is Patton’s post on Brendlin v California While reading the accounts of the ruling in the Washington Post, your Maximum Leader found that the mention of Mr Brendlin’s race to be somewhat gratuitous. Having said that, your Maximum Leader was gratified by the outcome of the case. A small victory for individual rights…

Also, if you are a DC area blogger… And a war/board game geek… You might want to see about playing Axis and Allies at Casa de Buckethead on Bastille Day

That is about it for now… If the mood alights on your Maximum Leader, he might write more…

Carry on.

Links! Links! And some more links!

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader is running short on original content. Well… He is running short of original content that he feels is worth posting. (And frankly, if you’ve been reading what passes for posting here lately that should tell you that what he’s got ain’t all that…)

So, your Maximum Leader decided that he needed to showcase some links to other bloggers that he’s enjoyed reading lately.

Today’s HMQ post made your Maximum Leader laugh quite hard. He’s tried to think up his own pithy t-shirt sayings for young female co-eds. All he could come up with was: (MORALLY) LIBERAL. Not all that good, surely not as good as those of the HMQ’s Crack Young Staff. But your Maximum Leader feels his own self-esteem improving because he tried… And as we all know, just trying is all that matters.

Your Maximum Leader thought that Phin’s post about Bear Grylls at Agent Bedhead’s site was a hoot as well. Although your Maximum Leader likes to think that Bear could easily triumph in Episode 4 wherein Bear insults a Texan. He doesn’t think that Bear would fare well in Episode 5 in Compton. Your Maximum Leader thinks it is mostly the fact that the Bloods would just outnumber Bear. He could take one or two in a fight… But a whole gang… Prolly not… And then the horror of Episode 6… It is unspeakable…

Did you read Buckethead’s post about battleships and air power? Excellent work. All in all your Maximum Leader completely agrees. But, your Maximum Leader does believe that there is a limited utility for a fairly large gun/missile ship/sub in our naval arsenal. Although he doubts that any ship we come up with will be as aesthetically pleasing as an Iowa Class battleship. Also… Show Buckethead a little B-day love and send him money for his Jesus phone.

Is it possible to improve on bloggy perfection? Well… It seems as though Mrs P has figured out a way. Patum Peperium is one of your Maximum Leader’s favourite blogs, and now with more contributors it is even more better (as kids with a poor grasp of grammar would say).

And finally… If you are all for grown up reading (with some NSFW photos and language that the FCC now says is more or less okay if it is off the cuff and live) you should check out Skippy on Paris Hilton’s jail term (your Maximum Leader shocked Mrs Villain by agreeing with Skippy’s assessment that Paris is being treated more harshly than others in her situation and that is bad). You might also check out Skippy’s take on President Bush’s statement about Kossovar independence. (That link is work safe.) Your Maximum Leader has to say he agrees with Skippy on that too… Just to show your Maximum Leader isn’t always in agreement with Skippy… Your Maximum Leader doesn’t think Lindsay Lohan is at all attractive in any way… So there…

Carry on.


Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader was listening (as is his habit) to his trusty iPod today. It was randomly selecting songs… And picked this particular ditty to dish out to my waiting ears.

Since then, your Maximum Leader has been listening to The Traveling Wilburys all afternoon…

It is a shame that the quality of this video on You Tube is so sucky…

Carry on.

We’re gonna (have to) keep Vermont

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader must thank the many readers who commented on the Vermont Secession posts. Your Maximum Leader had no idea that there were so many hotbeds of secession around the nation. Although, to be honest, most of these movements are people wanting to create their own new state out of a portion of their old state (the Ole West Virginia/Virginia situation). Very few, including some secessionists in Texas and the aforementioned Vermont, actually seem to want out of the United States.

Well… Your Maximum Leader, as he’s stated before, will not let Vermont go peacefully. He’ll fight to keep Vermont in the Union. He’ll fight to maintain the Northeast Dairy Compact. Heck, we might need those Vermont dairy farmers to help keep the price of milk down (provided we could let market forces work outside of the Northeast Dairy Compact). Have you noticed food prices recently? Your Maximum Leader has. He spend $1.99 on a gallon of milk about three months ago. Today, he had to buy a gallon of milk (1% in case you care) and it was $2.95. Insanity!

The people at the Christian Science Monitor (and Yahoo News) have also noticed this price spike in food. In case you are too lazy to clicky on the linky:

The reason people are smarting: Inflation in grocery aisles is up by more in the first six months of 2007 than in all of 2006. That means food costs are on track for the biggest annual percentage hike since 1980, according to the Labor Department. The anticipated 7.5 percent increase would readily outflank the 2.6 percent core inflation rate to date, which excludes food and energy. It’s across every grocery aisle, too, from burgers to bagels, from duck to dumpling.

Added to sticker shock at the gas pump, high food prices, especially for meat, are forcing consumers to scrimp, coupon-clip, and ponder the possibilities of a deep freeze to take advantage of discounts, says Boyd Brady, an extension agent at Auburn University in Alabama.

“There’s a … combination of higher demand, natural disasters, higher energy prices – just a myriad of factors driving what price increases we’re seeing across the food sector,” says Chad Hart, an agricultural economist at the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development in Ames, Iowa.

The chief culprit is corn, namely No. 2 feed corn, the staple of the breadbasket. In answer to President Bush’s call for greater oil independence, the amount of feed corn distilled into ethanol is expected to double in the next five to six years. Distillation is already sucking up 18 percent of the total crop. The ethanol gambit, in turn, is sending corn prices to historic levels – topping $4 per bushel earlier this year, and remaining high. All of this trickles down to the boards at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, affecting the price of everything from sirloin to eggs (which are up, by the way, 18.6 percent across the nation).

In a welcome response, US farmers told the government in April they plan a record-breaking 93-million-acre corn crop, though its true size won’t be known until the end of June. But corn alone does not explain the number of products that have become more expensive of late.

Facing higher costs at the farm and shareholder pressure to maintain profits, companies such as Tyson Chicken and Coca-Cola are raising prices. The fact that fuel prices remain relatively high hasn’t helped either, allowing no break in the cost of transporting perishable goods.

For fruit and vegetable growers, labor shortages are also a factor. A $2 cantaloupe sold for $3 at the South Carolina Farmer’s Market in Greenville recently, largely because of labor woes, says Thompson Smith of the South Carolina Farm Bureau. Winter cold snaps and hard freezes in California and the Southeast have made peaches, apples, and oranges pricier.

In the heartland, low yields on winter wheat mean cookies and baguettes are more expensive. Meat costs are up by 15 percent in some regions, in part because of drought that, as in Alabama, caused a cattle sell-off. Milk prices are up in part because of a global shortage, with milk exporters such as New Zealand unable to add capacity and Australia enduring a debilitating drought, even as demand rises in Europe, China, and India.

Damn those people in Europe and China and India. Drinkin’ our friggin milk! Don’t they have clean drinking water over there? Oh… Yeah…


Although your Maximum Leader isn’t sure how a $2 cantaloupe is actually a $3 dollar cantaloupe (did some important information get edited out of that line?), he does see the price increases with frightening regularity. One wonders if we are going to see record price increases on victuals this year does that mean that farm subsidies will be lower? After all, some of these record prices must get to a farmer’s pocketbook…

Your Maximum Leader was joking there… He knows that subsidies aren’t changing… (Thanks Congress!)

Anyho… Moving back to the first point of this post… With record dairy prices coming and demand growing, we must keep Vermont in the Union. Damn those Vermalcontents, Your Maximum Leader will go up there and secure those dairy farms and keep the milk and cheese flowing. He’ll make sure that those cows are fed and milked at gunpoint if need be.

By the way… For those of you wondering what your Maximum Leader’s Colonel-in-Chief outfits might look like… We have a few styles to choose from… Here we go:

Your Maximum Leader in the style of the Virginia Militia (Colonial Era):

Your Maximum Leader in the style of British Colonial officer:

And your Maximum Leader in the style of a 1930s dictator (a la Ian McKellan’s Richard III):

You can take your choice as to which one you like best… Your Maximum Leader will make sure to take them all with him on campaign…

Watch out Vermoonbats! Your Maximum Leader’s got your number!

Carry on.

Ancient Rome Virtually

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader is sure that some of you out there are wondering “Hey! When will my Maximum Leader post something?” Well, all your dreams are coming true right now… New content on Naked Villainy…

Your Maximum Leader had lots of stuff he was going to try and post last night, but he did not blog because of a powerful thunderstorm. Call him crazy, but after losing a TV to a lightining-related power surge (through a surge protector by the way) he doesn’t turn on the computer during bad thunderstorms. (In fact, he unplugs TVs and computers from the wall… Interesting tidbit there…)


Your Maximum Leader does appreciate what the good people at UVA are doing to help our understanding of what ancient Rome looked like. Perhaps you saw the piece which went in part:

“Rome Reborn” was unveiled on Monday in a first release showing the city at its peak in 320 AD, under the Emperor Constantine when it had grown to a million inhabitants.

Brainchild of the University of Virginia’s Bernard Frischer, Rome Reborn ( will eventually show its evolution from Bronze Age hut settlements to the Sack of Rome in the 5th century AD and the devastating Gothic Wars.

Reproduced for tourists on satellite-guided handsets and 3-D orientation movies in a theatre to be opened near the Colosseum, Frischer says his model “will prepare them for their visit to the Colosseum, the Forum, the imperial palaces on the Palatine, so that they can understand the ruins a lot better.”

“We can take people under the Colosseum and show them how the elevators worked to bring the animals up from underground chambers for the animal hunts they held,” he said, referring to the great Roman amphitheatre inaugurated by Titus in 80 AD.

Your Maximum Leader has looked over some of the images. Very cool. The navigation interface on the website could use a little work, but all in all it is very interesting.

Now if only they could add a “sounds and smells” track to the virtural tour to give people a real flavor of what ancient Rome was like…

Carry on.

100 Below: Card Shark

Joe was tired of losing money to the stranger. The stranger seemed clever. Too clever by half.

“Listen feller,” Joe stated, “I’m of a mind to think you’re cheatin’.”

The stranger smiled wide. “My dear boy, I’m not cheating. I am using both of my brains to figure you out.”

“Both yer brains?”

“Yes, the one I was born with, and the other I stole from an itinerant I killed back in ‘68. My two brains are quite superior to your one.”

Joe thought about it. Yup. Two brains would ’splain everything.

Bad Dad

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader has not been himself for the past few days. He has been rather weary and sometimes short tempered with people. He thinks he lost it a little bit last night.


Well, loyal readers… Your Maximum Leader wrote a rather lengthy post describing how and why he “lost it” last night. But after hitting the publish button, he decided he didn’t want to be that candid. So he is editing himself.

Let it suffice to say that your Maximum Leader’s not in a great mood. He’ll probably just take the weekend off from thoughts of posting.

Have a good one…

Carry on.

Bento Boxes

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader loves japanese cuisine. He wishes there was a good japanese place here in his area. Alas, the best one is a long way away…

Anyhow… A long time ago your Maximum Leader lived in a place with one good japanese restaurant. And that place would do Bento Boxes for lunch for $10.99. He would treat himself from time to time…

If you are interested in bento boxes, you should check out this piece in the Washington Post today about the healthy lunchtime alternative a Bento Box represents…

All this talk of Bento Boxes makes your Maximum Leader hungry… He will get some lunch now…

Carry on.

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