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Do Llamas really drink Port?

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maxmium Leader sees one item very worthy of note today in the blogosphere. Our good buddy Robbo is setting up a new blog.

Loyal minions… Your Maximum Leader directs your attention to: The Port Stands at your Elbow.

As Robbo is a good friend of ours and an all around fine fellow… His blog is immediately added over on the blogroll… Indeed, he retains “Loyal Minion” status.

Robbo writes two thoughtful posts (one on the Llamabutchers site and on on The Port Stands at your Elbow) that deserve a bit of reading and thought by bloggers who “share a blog.”

As there are a number of people who have the rights to blog here, in the broadest sense, this is a “group blog.” But, even though these people are your Maximum Leader’s closest friends, Naked Villainy is really your Maximum Leader’s blog. He does retain complete autocratic control over it - but he hopes he’s a benevolent autocrat. And over the past few months, when this blog has been updated, it has been your Maximum Leader doing the updating… So practically, this is your Maximum Leader’s blog.

Your Maximum Leader understands the need to feel like you have a place all your own. He has an office at the Villainschloss over which Mrs Villain exerts no control. He always gets his own way in the Villainmobile. And insofar as blogs go, he knows that what he wants he gets at Naked Villainy. Your Maximum Leader does understand why Robbo would feel the need to have a place where he feels he can fully be himself.

But enough about your Maximum Leader…

Of course, your Maximum Leader recognizes that Robbos schismatic nature (now revealed) might have to put him on a watch list when the Mike World Order comes…

Seriously. Your Maximum Leader knows that he will continue to enjoy the Llamabutchers site. And he will enjoy Robbo’s solo site. (He’s already enjoyed what he’s read. And he curses himself for forgetting about the birthday of General George Henry Thomas - who has rapidly become your Maximum Leader’s favorite Civil War figure.)

Your Maximum Leader wishes Robbo the best of luck in his solo endeavours.

Carry on.

Obama/Kaine in ‘08?

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader sees on the news, in the Washington Post, and on local radio that Virginia Governor Tim Kaine seems to be on the short list of potential Vice-Presidential picks for Barack Obama. (The WaPo article is pretty good. It is located here if you want to clicky the linky.)

Is your Maximum Leader the only one who thinks that Tim Kaine is not a good choice? Allow your Maximum Leader to throw out a few ideas/statements/thougths-that-occured-to-him.

First off… If Obama should win the presidency (50% chance your Maximum Leader thinks) then Tim Kaine moves out of Richmond and into DC. In that case, Bill Bolling (a conservative Republican) becomes Governor of VA. That would boost the chances of the Republican party taking (retaining in this senario) the Governors Mansion in 2009. That thought should appeal to your Maximum Leader… But for some reason it doesn’t. Why doesn’t it?

Well funny you should ask…

Secondly, what has Tim Kaine done as Governor of Virginia? Your Maximum Leader (who did not vote for the Governor) is lukewarm on Tim Kaine as Governor. He can’t think of a single initiative that the Governor has gotten passed in the legislature. He can’t think of a “signature” issue of the Governor. Indeed, your Maximum Leader is remarkably ambivilent towards Tim Kaine. He just seems to be the Governor and is keeping things going. If your Maximum Leader, a Virginia resident and observer of things political, can’t tell you what Tim Kaine has done as Governor that is a bad sign.

So… If a Virginia resident can’t tell you something his own sitting Governor has done for the Commonwealth what exactly does he bring to a national ticket?

That is the issue here. What could Tim Kaine bring to the ticket? Your Maximum Leader doesn’t think that putting Kaine on the ticket would surely bring Virginia into the Democratic fold. It would be a damned close run thing. But by no means a sure thing. Also, your Maximum Leader isn’t sure that Kaine translates well into more southern states. Kaine is not the “good ole boy” type that people in the South might identify with. Kaine seems like a nice guy - but he isn’t on your Maximum Leader’s long list of people he’d like to have dinner and drinks with.

Tim Kaine has youth. Kaine has (some) executive experience. Kaine talked a good game about “change” during his run for the Governorship 3 years ago. But if Barack Obama thinks that Tim Kaine is a dynamic leader with whom he can change the nation (and the world!) he has got another thing coming. Tim Kaine would be a lackluster pick at best. And at worst, choosing Kaine would just reinforce Obama’s negatives (ie: not appealing to blue collar whites, inexperienced, all hat and no cattle, etc).

If Obama is going to choose a Virginian as a running mate he needs to convince Mark Warner (former Governor of VA) to stop running for the US Senate and to hop on the ticket. Mark Warner is well regarded, experienced, and could actually bring the Virginia into the Democratic fold in November.

But wisely, Mark Warner continues to move towards taking a seat in the US Senate - and is putting his own presidential ambitions on hold for a while.

Frankly… If you Maximum Leader were advising Barack Obama on a Veep pick (which of course he is not) the advice would be this: pick Dick Gephart, Joe Biden, or Sam Nunn. He needs some experience on the ticket with him He also needs accomplishment. Any one of those prominent Democrats would bring Obama experience and accomplishments. If Barack Obama is serious about change, he needs to have a VP who knows how things work in DC and how to get things done.

Of course, those three choices aren’t fun or glamorous…

Your Maximum Leader feels that if Barack Obama chooses Tim Kaine as his running mate; your Maximum Leader’s opinion that Barack Obama isn’t qualified for the office he seeks will be confirmed. It is a bad decision that belies a tendency to make other bad decisions.

Carry on.

Villain quiz

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader saw a little quiz over on Dead Sexy Sadie’s site. It appealed to him. So he took it and was pleased with the results.


Find out Which Movie Villain Are You at LiquidGeneration.com!

Your Maximum Leader doesn’t think of himself as a whiney beyatch like Anakin Skywalker was. But after Anakin became Darth Vader his whiney-beyatchness really went away… Your Maximum Leader likes to think of it as “growing up.”

Carry on.

Greatest Hits…

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader received an email from a long-time reader… The reader wanted to know when your Maximum Leader wrote a particular post about 10 things the US could do to really make the world hate us…

Well… That post goes back to September 20, 2005. For your reading edification… Here it is reprinted in full…

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader was in the Villainmobile and chanced to come across some radio program from the Beeb about how the rest of the world views the United States. The real title of the program ought to have been called “More mindless people spouting off about why they hate the US.”

So… Your Maximum Leader would like to humbly suggest ten (count ‘em 10) policy changes that would give legitimate reasons for the rest of the world to hate us. Here we go:

1) Stop exporting drugs. All those great drugs US pharmaceutical companies make? From now on they are for Americans only. We would, of course, have to destroy all the drug factories built by US companies around the world… But hey, you gotta break a few eggs…

2) Stop allowing immigrants (legal and illegal) to come to the US - unless they can demonstrably show that they can offer some tangible skill or talent to the nation.

2a) We continue to allow foreign exchange students into universities - on the condition that they never return to their native land. Thus making the “brain-drain” problem even worse.

3) Implement a true “you have it, we want it, we take it” foreign policy. Suppose we need more oil. We invade your country and take it. We pay nothing for it. We kill as many people as we need to in order to get it. Then we leave. This policy also goes for gold, silver, uranium, sheep, apes, elephants, coconuts, bananas, exotic hot chicks, whatever really. We can get really whimsical on this one… Maybe one day Congress decides we need a national “schnitzel day.” The night before, we invade Germany and/or Austria and take all the schnitzel we can lay our hands on…

5) Stop all foreign aid. Not a big deal really (to us). We don’t give much foreign aid as it is. After all, we know the UN thinks we’re “stingy.”

6) Take back the Internet.

7) Jam all non-American TV shows from being broadcast anywhere in the world.

8 ) Offer the UK, Australia, and Israel statehood. That way they can partake in all the fun we’ll have! Everyone knows they’re nothing but US stooges anyway!

9) We build a huge solar shade and randomly position it for weeks at a time over other nations. Thereby plunging them into darkness and chaos. We only move the shade to another randomly selected nation if we get a big sappy Hallmark card signed by everyone in the affected country saying how much they really like us and are sorry they forgot to wish us a happy 4th of July. (Nations that send a $25 Wal-Mart gift card to every registered US voter in addition to the sappy card will get a guarantee that we’ll not park the solar shade over their country for at least 1 calendar year.)

10) First, put a whole bunch of nasty neutron bombs on satellites. Then start a new season of “Survivor.” The season will be entitled “Survivor: The 3rd World.” Multinational teams from all over the 3rd world will compete against each other. Teams will seek to win contests and earn “immunity.” Losing teams will have to vote off one team member. The contestant voted off will be summarily executed and his nation bombed indiscriminately. Eventually the one surviving contestant will be given $1 million (US) and his nation given Commonwealth status. (Just like Puerto Rico!)

If we make these simple policy changes then, truly, the rest of the world might have a legitimate reason to hate us.

There you have it. Perhaps not as fresh as it was 3 years ago… But one or two of these still brought a smile to your Maximum Leader’s face.

Carry on.

Maturity coming?

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader has noticed something recently. He isn’t sure what is happening, but he suspects that is has something to do with maturity.

He’s been noticing that he’s been thinking to himself how damned attractive Nancy Travis and Gabrielle Anwar are. He’s found himself watching “The Bill Engval Show” on TBS (Mrs Villain likes it - your Maximum Leader thinks it is okay, but Nancy Travis makes some of the tired writing okay…) and “Burn Notice” on USA. Nancy Travis - google tells your Maximum Leader - is 47 years old. Gabrielle Anwar is 37. Travis has two kids. Anwar - 3. Neither appear to be silly bimbos that you find on gossip sites all the time.

Humm… Could this be a sign of your Maximum Leader growing more mature and stodgy?

No need to answer that… Your Maximum Leader already knows the answer…

Carry on.

DVR

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader is pissed again… He now has yet another new DVR/HD cable box. The cable company just brought it by.

Perhaps it is the dwarves slaving away under the Villainschloss… Perhaps it is the electrical storms… But your Maximum Leader has lost three previous DVR/HD cable boxes in the past two months…

He is getting a bit pissed off at having to reprogram all the shows to record into the new boxes…

Of course… There aren’t that many shows he’s recording in fact. Right now set to be recorded are: Chelsea Lately, Penn & Teller’s Bullshit, Burn Notice, The Simpsons, Scrubs, 30 Rock, and any episode of Sherlock Holmes mysteries on PBS.

Your Maximum Leader really likes Burn Notice by the way. It has Bruce Campbell. That is a big plus. Gabrielle Anwar is pretty damned hot. And the stories are fun to watch.

By the way… This is mostly for Robbo… The Musgrave Ritual episode was on PBS last night. Your Maximum Leader had forgotten how insane the housekeeper looked in this episode…

Carry on.

He’s got that going for him.

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader has enjoyed himself by watching the news this week. On the one hand you have the carefully scripted foreign tour of Barack Obama. On the other, you have the not-so-scripted voyages around our great republic by John McCain.

Frankly, your Maximum Leader can’t make out what seems to be happening this week. Obama has been getting positively gooey (and your Maximum Leader means gooey in the best way possible) news coverage. He’s looked pretty presidential. He’s had lots of fun photo-ops with all manner of fun people. (Your Maximum Leader is waiting for pix of Obama and Carla Bruni Sarkozy from this Paris leg of the trip. Carla Bruni Sarkozy is a fine female specimen.) Your Maximum Leader would have expected some small bounce in “the polls” to materialize for Obama. This doesn’t seem to be happening. Your Maximum Leader suspects that at some level people are thinking (to themselves at any rate) that Obama is rushing out to get photo-ops and nothing more. McCain doesn’t need those photo ops. McCain has been making the rounds in Europe and the Middle East for decades.

Could it be that at some level Obama’s trip is back-handedly helping McCain? Could Obama’s trip be seen as somewhat craven and pandering? Your Maximum Leader isn’t sure that this is exactly what is happening; but it would explain the steady polling of the week.

By the way… Speaking of meeting interesting folks on the campaign trail… John McCain met with the Dali Lama today. Your Maximum Leader isn’t sure, but he was pretty sure that he heard the Dali Lama tell John McCain something to the effect of “Gunga. Gunga-galunga.” If this is the case, even if John McCain doesn’t become president he can rest easy knowing that on his deathbed he’ll receive total consciousness.

Carry on.

More on Batman, and a big waste of time…

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader wants to do two things in this post. First, comment some more on “The Dark Knight.” And second, blog about a big ole (yet sorta fun) waste of time he just completed earlier this week.

To begin! “The Dark Knight.” Your Maximum Leader is still thinking about the film. It is that memorable. To address a few items left by various commenters on the preceeding post… For our good friend Brian, the Bruce Wayne as playboy/fop or brooding millionaire… Your Maximum Leader might be missing some nuance of your description. He has felt that the best Bruce Wayne was Michael Keaton. Keaton’s Bruce Wayne was the sort of absent-minded yet innocuous rich guy. Christian Bale pulls this much more towards the young rake of a rich man. Not foppish, but very self-centered and self-indulgent. (In “The Dark Knight” a ballet performance is cancelled because Bruce decided to take the whole ballet troupe with him on his private yacht for a little woo-pitching.) Your Maximum Leader thinks that Bale’s Bruce Wayne works well with the alter-ego of Batman. Without attempting to get all Tarantino here, is Bruce Wayne the “act” or is Batman the “act?” Which is the real “essence” of the man? Your Maximum Leader thinks that for the purposes of these movies Batman is the real man - and Bruce Wayne has devolved into the cover story. In a way, Bruce Wayne, the rich playboy is someone we can identify with. We see plenty of rich celebs all over teevee and the interwebs. We want to see Batman. So, in the end your Maximum Leader doesn’t think that “The Dark Knight” will do much to change one’s impression of the Bruce Wayne side of this character. Wayne is essentially a minor subplot.

Your Maximum Leader finds Ellison’s comment interesting. The interesting part is this: What amazes me is that a movie this good was made with DC characters. Maybe Marvel doesn’t have the monopoly on three-dimensional heroes and villains with a backstory. Perhaps after years away from the genre, he is having trouble with the idea that Marvel comics always had the more developed characters. Your Maximum Leader’s years of reading comic books were in the 80s and into the 90s. This was the age of Millers “Dark Knight” reinvention of the Batman story. (And it was the era of “The Watchmen” (soon to be a major motion picture - and still a fantastic comic book). It could be that the comics in which your Maximum Leader indulged were all well written and well developed. So he’s never thought that DC lacked for good characters. It could also be that the movies based on the DC characters have lacked good screenwriters…

Anyhoo… Moving on from movies…

Your Maximum Leader, on Wednesday night, decided to check in to see if his Blogger/Blogspot logins worked. (They did.) He then did something that he’s never done before. (But perhaps you have…)

On the left side of the Blogger main page there is a little rotating spot showing the names of blogs that have recently been updated. Your Maximum Leader doesn’t believe he’s ever clicked on that link before. But Weds. night he clicked through on any blog name that he thought sounded interesting. He did this for 1 hour. He rarely had to wait more than 30-40 seconds for an interesting sounding blog title to appear. Just for the record, he didn’t click on any purely numerical blog titles. In fact, here is a list of blog title “types” he didn’t click on: all numeric, chinese/japanese/asian characters, any blog title that was a song lyric, any blog title that was “businessey” sounding, anything written in “3l33t.”

So there…

He was surprised at how many innocuous blog names just linked you to pages that were obviously set up just to improve someone’s web site search results. There were also a number of blogs that were really fronts for dating sites. Your Maximum Leader was surprised at the dearth of porn sites. In 1 hour he probably only saw 5 or six blatantly pornographic titles appear as links - and only clicked on two that were not blatantly porn but were instead funny and suggestive.

Well… Over the course of 1 hour there were only three blogs worthy of note. Here they are.

A Very Creepy Blog. A blog dedicated to discussion of the art and articles of the horror magazines of the 1970s and 1980s. Your Maximum Leader was a “Creepy” and “Vampirella” reader back in the day.

Smells Like Grape. A wine review site.

I write it, you skim it. A personal blog with some rather interesting posts. Some neat links too. Including this one: Barack Obama is your new bicycle. Barack Obama is not your Maximum Leader’s new bicycle, but he is the new bicycle to so many people…

Your Maximum Leader might play this little game of Blogger update again some time…

Carry on.

The Dark Knight - a quasi-review.

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader is sitting in front of his computer. It is 12:58am. He is blogging.

You may be asking yourself, “Self. What could possibly compell my Maximum Leader (a man who likes his sleep) to break off his own little All-Star break and blog at one o’clock in the morning?”

Well, loyal minion. That something would be the fact that your Maxmium Leader just got back to the Villainschloss after seeing a 10pm showing of “The Dark Knight.”

Wow.

Your Maximum Leader has seen every Batman film. In the theatre. Within a few days of the movie opening. (Most of the time he’s gone opening night.) Yes… He even paid money (American dollars in fact) to see “Batman and Robin” on opening night in the cinema. (NB to loyal minions: Sweet Jebus… Paying money to see “Batman and Robin.” That was a mistake.) He knew that he was going to ditch his family and see “The Dark Knight” on opening night. He was going to see what all the fuss was about.

Now, allow your Maximum Leader to state on the record that while he thought that “Batman Begins” was pretty damned good, the 1989 “Batman” was a bit better. Perhaps it was the fact that Katie Holmes’ weird smirk annoyed him. Perhaps it is because he has a soft spot in his cold heart for Michael Keaton (an underrated actor). Perhaps it was just the sheer magnetism of Jack Nicholson… But the 1989 Batman has always been the best Batman film in your Maximum Leader’s opinion.

That was until about 30 minutes ago.

Not only is “The Dark Knight” the best Batman film of the collection; it is the best “comic book” movie ever. It may actually be a fantastic film when considered against any film in any oeuvre.

Yes… It is that good.

You should make every human effort you can to see this movie in the theatre.

It is not overhyped.

Go ahead and pay the exhorbitant charges to see the movie. Even if you live in New York, Chicago, or LA where movies might actually cost more than $10 per ticket. Pay. If you have to buy a ticket online and pay some $1-2 service fee to do so. Pay.

It is that good.

It is not just the performance of Heath Ledger that is superb. Every single actor - even the minor ones - are that good.

Let your Maximum Leader tell you how good Heath Ledger is as the Joker. Your Maximum Leader never once thought of Jack Nicholson’s portrayal during the movie. And even now your Maximum Leader is thinking to himself, “Damn. Ledger made that role his bitch. He owns the Joker role.” Your Maximum Leader doesn’t see how anyone else could even try the role in the future. Because no one else is going to be as good as Nicholson; and Nicholson wasn’t as good as Heath Ledger.

Frankly, Christian Bale’s portrayal of Batman is underappreciated. Your Maximum Leader has read reviews saying that the Joker is so much more interesting than Batman that the viewer “forgets” the “hero” as he is drawn into the villain. (NB: Your Maximum Leader thinks that this observation is true. We may not find Batman/Bruce Wayne as interesting as the Joker - or any villain. Because we know Batman’s motivation. We know what drives him. We also know that he is basically good (vigilantism aside) and that he operates with constraint. As the bad guys do not operate wtihin constraint, they are more unpredictable and fascinating.) But, Bale does a masterful job of bringing some nuance and real emotion to the role of Batman/Bruce Wayne. His performance is noteworthy, although overshadowed by Ledger.

Your Maximum Leader isn’t going to go into spoilers or deep plot review (although he may in a few days - to give you a chance to do the right thing and see the movie). But let him just say two more things in praise of this film. First, he will make every effort to see it a second time in the cinema. Second, if there was a place where he could sign up right now to reserve a prepaid copy of this movie on DVD he would ante up.

Do yourself a favor… Go see this movie.

Oh yeah… Do yourself a good parenting favor… It is not a movie for kids. Your Maximum Leader believes that no kid under 16 should see this movie. It isn’t just the violence - of which there is much. It is the story itself. It is an adult film with adult themes. Your Maximum Leader saw a few parents with kids around 10-13 at his showing. Unless those kids were intellectually sophisticated (and guessing from the parents your Maximum Leader would say they were not), this movie was just an action flick. Those people didn’t get it.

Carry on.

My very own All-Star Break

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader is one tired guy. He’s been dog sitting and niece/nephew sitting recently. Five kids and two dogs in the ole Villainschloss. That is a handful of domestic responsibility.

To make matters more interesting… The Villainschloss sprang a small roof leak (which we believe was just fixed last night with some roofing caulk), the garbage disposal in the primary kitchen died, and the lovely Mrs Villain has decided to start painting the basement.

Oh… Did your Maximum Leader mention that the cable box/DVR apparently shorted out last night too?

So, your Maximum Leader is taking his own little All-star break. He may, or may not, blog further this week. Check this space for new posts.

Oh… Your Maximum Leader does have a second TV with basic cable - so he was able to watch the Home Run Derby last night. He was sure as Josh Hamilton was going on his first round tear that someone else was going to win the derby. Hamilton blew his wad too early and just didn’t have it in him at the end.

Another Home Run Derby observation… Your Maximum Leader knew all the National League players in the Derby, and most of the American League players as well (being a National League man that is no surprise). But he was disappointed in how many “stars” did not participate in the Derby. Has this All-Star ritual lost its luster? He would have liked to have seen Manny Ramirez, or Junior Griffey out there swinging for the fences…

Go National League! Show those American Leaguers who’s boss…

Carry on.

Vader lets Luke have it

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader has been enjoying some tv time with his kids during bad weather over the past few weeks. We’ve been watching the Star Wars movies (in numerical order - not film release order). They all love the films. It is fun for him to watch the movies with the kids. It is helping him recapture some of the magic they once held for him. The horrible dialogue and acting aren’t a big distraction to your Maximum Leader’s villainous offspring. In fact, they sorta dig it. (Which just goes to confirm that George Lucas probably never learned anything about writing dialogue after age 15.)

Anyhoo… Your Maximum Leader and the kids were looking on the interwebs for various Star Wars fan clips to view and get a chuckle out of. Your Maximum Leader happened to see this one and it made him laugh and laugh…

Funny.

Carry on.

Tuned out of the Nats

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader loves his baseball. Not only that, he has thrown himself - heart and soul - into his (reborn) hometown team, the Washington Nationals.

Your Maximum Leader lives about 50 miles from the Nats ballpark. The drive, coupled with the cost of tickets and time, limit the number of games to which your Maximum Leader can truck himself (and family). If he lived closer to a Metro station (as opposed to about 30 miles from one) he would likely buy cheap seats and see more games. Indeed, if that were the case, he’d likely buy a partial season ticket plan.

All that talk about going to games aside, your Maximum Leader does watch just about every Nats game on TV. In fact, Mrs Villain, Villainettes 1 & 2 and the Wee Villain also watch the games. (Okay, the Villainettes and Wee Villain don’t watch in rapt attention, but they drift in and out. Mrs Villain can’t just sit down and watch any tv - so she always has something else handy while watching.) That is a lot of baseball on TV. If you wanted to count ESPN games that would be even more baseball on TV.

Well imagine your Maximum Leader’s dismay when he read yesterday that on average about 9,000 households watch Nats games on TV. Out of a metropolitan area with 5.5 million people (5,500,000 for those of you who like numbers written out) a meagre 9,000 watch the Nats on TV.

Your Maximum Leader wonders how Nielsen gets their numbers. But he doesn’t doubt that the number is accurate. Other than Robbo, and one other friend, your Maximum Leader must admit that he doesn’t know anyone who watches the Nats on TV. (So now your Maximum Leader can account for three households - only 8,997 more households to go…)

Your Maximum Leader finds that he agrees with the dismay expressed so well by Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post. Your Maximum Leader believes you should click through and read Boswell’s piece if you are interested. Here is one bit with which your Maximum Leader particularly agrees:

Perhaps the Nats’ TV malady may impact the Lerner family as well. Will the Nats’ owners feel a warm fire being lit under their feet over the next three weeks as they consider whether to make trades that add, rather than subtract, talent and payroll from their major league roster before the Aug. 1 trade deadline.

If it’s true that you could fit every Nats TV viewer into the team’s upper deck — with room to spare — perhaps there’s a frightening future in that stark stat. Can the franchise risk alienating the affections of a city that, just three years ago, rejoiced when the Nats were in first place at the all-star break and the darlings of the entire sport? Washington actually tasted the summer joy that attends a mere wild-card race, even when you don’t make the playoffs. That whiff of success makes the current 102-loss pace more bitter.

Frightening indeed. Your Maximum Leader doesn’t want to regret dissing the Braves if Washington loses their franchise because it withered on the vine…

Carry on.

Anniversary and whatnot

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader has a case of the summer blehs. What are the summer blehs? They are that feeling that you would just rather sit and read a book, watch a baseball game on tv, play with the kids, or just sleep as opposed to turn on the computer and write a blog post.

So, your Maximum Leader has been reading, watching tv, playing with his kids, or sleeping rather than blogging. Your loss isn’t really his gain… But hey, this is his site afterall..

Speaking of this site… Naked Villainy turns 5 years old today. Wow! Five years. That makes this blog older than your Maximum Leader’s youngest, the Wee Villain. (He’s not so “wee” anymore. Which is to say that he is not “wee” like he was when he was born, but compared to his old man (and Maximum Leader) he is still “wee.”)

What will your Maximum Leader do tonight to celebrate his blog’s 5th anniversary?

Probably not much…

Just like the amount of content he’s been posting recently…

Carry on.

CC in 1926

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader saw this little tidbit on the Wall Street Journal today. It is good enough to be shared far and wide.

Governments do not make ideals, but ideals make governments. This is both historically and logically true. Of course the government can help to sustain ideals and can create institutions through which they can be the better observed, but their source by their very nature is in the people.

The people have to bear their own responsibilities. There is no method by which that burden can be shifted to the government. It is not the enactment, but the observance of laws, that creates the character of a nation.

- Calvin Coolidge

Although your Maximum Leader is pretty sure that the Wall Street Journal has a much wider readership than this blog… He thinks it is possible that some of his readers (erudite as they surely are) might not peruse the WSJ.

Carry on.

No Cherry Tree

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader sees that his neighbor’s place is in the news. From just a little ways away from the Villainschloss we have this piece. Washington’s boyhood home found, but no hatchet. From the article:

The archaeologists were delighted to at last find the remains of George Washington’s boyhood home but got stumped when they looked for evidence of the cherry tree and rusty hatchet.

“This was the setting for many important events in Washington’s life,” David Muraca, director of archaeology for The George Washington Foundation, announced Wednesday.

Most biographies offer little detail of the first president’s youth, so the discovery may provide insight into Washington’s childhood, he said. The site is located at Ferry Farm, just across the Rappahannock River from Fredericksburg, Va., about 50 miles south of Washington.

Philip Levy, associate professor of history at the University of South Florida, found evidence that the house was a one-and-a-half-story residence perched on a bluff overlooking the river.

“If George Washington did indeed chop down a cherry tree, as generations of Americans have believed, this is where it happened,” said Levy. The researchers said the artifacts they have recovered did not include a hatchet.

“There is little actual documentary evidence of Washington’s formative years. What we see at this site is the best available window into the setting that nurtured the father of our country,” Levy said.

Three likely locations were excavated over seven years. The site where the foundations of Washington’s home were discovered was built during the first part of the 18th century — Washington was born in 1732 — fit the type of house in which Washington would have lived and also yielded artifacts likely linked to his family.

“Now that we have identified the home, we can begin understanding Washington’s childhood,” Muraca said, as well as dispel some of the folklore surrounding the president’s life. For instance, the tale of Washington’s chopping down the cherry tree with a hatchet and confessing to his father has never actually been proven.

“We see a county-level gentry home,” he said. Washington’s father “was wealthy within the county … not on the colonial level but locally important, and we see a home befitting that status.” The house measured about 53-feet by 37-feet, with a central hallway and two rooms on each side of the hallway.

The eventual goal, Muraca said, is to rebuild the home as it was in the 1740s.

Your Maximum Leader learned a little about this discovery a week ago when he was actually visiting Ferry Farm with his daughter, Villainette #1. (She was in a local “history” camp for a week and visited Ferry Farm - among other local historial landmarks.) We spoke with a student archeologist (who helped with the recent digs) and she told us all about what they had found. Alas, some of the artifacts that the full article mentions are not yet on display. They said it might be 6 months to a year before they start to display the most recent batch of artifacts…

Reason to come back apparently…

Your Maximum Leader should also note that he’s been hit up by the good people at the George Washington Foundation to donate to the reconstruction of the Washington House… He’ll likely donate when he can see some plans…

Carry on.

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