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Happy Thanksgiving

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader wishes you all (a second time) a Happy Thanksgiving. From the archives, for your reading pleasure, the first Thanksgiving proclamation from George Washington:

General Thanksgiving
By the PRESIDENT of the United States Of America
A PROCLAMATION

WHEREAS it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favour; and Whereas both Houfes of Congress have, by their joint committee, requefted me “to recommend to the people of the United States a DAY OF PUBLICK THANKSGIVING and PRAYER, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to eftablifh a form of government for their safety and happiness:”

NOW THEREFORE, I do recommend and affign THURSDAY, the TWENTY-SIXTH DAY of NOVEMBER next, to be devoted by the people of thefe States to the fervice of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our fincere and humble thanksfor His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the fignal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpofitions of His providence in the courfe and conclufion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have fince enjoyed;– for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to eftablish Conftitutions of government for our fafety and happinefs, and particularly the national one now lately instituted;– for the civil and religious liberty with which we are bleffed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffufing useful knowledge;– and, in general, for all the great and various favours which He has been pleafed to confer upon us.

And also, that we may then unite in moft humbly offering our prayers and fupplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and befeech Him to pardon our national and other tranfgreffions;– to enable us all, whether in publick or private ftations, to perform our feveral and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a bleffing to all the people by conftantly being a Government of wife, juft, and conftitutional laws, difcreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all fovereigns and nations (especially fuch as have shewn kindnefs unto us); and to blefs them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increafe of fcience among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind fuch a degree of temporal profperity as he alone knows to be beft.

GIVEN under my hand, at the city of New-York, the third day of October, in the year of our Lord, one thousand feven hundred and eighty-nine.

(signed) G. Washington

Happy day to you all.

Carry on.

Wife gets nailed.

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader submits for your viewing pleasure the short film “Nailing your Wife” starring Nathan Fillion and Aria Giovanni.

Very funny.

Carry on.

Why do I read Ruth Marcus anyway?

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader isn’t sure why he even clicked through on the headline. “Mom in Chief.” The slug under the title was: “What does it say about modern women that Michelle Obama seems to want to be more Jackie than Hillary?” He knew what he was going to get… He was going to get a whiney screed lamenting that an accomplished woman is going to have to be a “traditional mom” while her hubby is going to have to be President of the United States. For the sake of disclosure, Marcus admits that she understands why Michelle Obama is going to take the role of First Mom. Marcus makes that admission up front… Then Marcus continues to lament the role for a whole column.

You know something… Will there be any lamentations and wailing in the editorial columns when we get the first woman president and the First Dude will have to stay home and try and raise the kids in the unforgiving environment that is the White House? Of course there will not. Not a single peep or cry of dispair will be issued. It will be a liberation. Allow your Maximum Leader to ask Ms. Marcus a rhetorical question: Could it be that Michelle Obama might feel liberated by becoming the First Mom? Could Michelle Obama feel comforted in the knowledge that she will get to spend time raising and nurturing her girls at the time they will most need it? Isn’t that liberating?

Damn that piece annoyed your Maximum Leader. Michelle Obama has a huge job in front of her. How does she raise two girls to be normal functioning people in the most unnatural environment you can find in the United States? In addition to raising your two girls, you also have to do “First Lady” stuff. Your Maximum Leader hopes that Michelle and Barack Obama can keep their girls shielded from the press and they prying eyes of the public as much as Bill and Hillary Clinton were able to keep Chelsea out of the press.

Here is a confession for you… Your Maximum Leader isn’t a Rush Limbaugh guy. Limbaugh is a blowhard entertainer and just not your Maximum Leader’s style… There was a period from the early 90s where your Maximum Leader would tune into the Limbaugh show when he was in the car at lunchtime. Anyhoo… He’s not listened to Limbaugh’s show since the mid-1990s. There was one event that caused your Maximum Leader to tune out… It was the day that Limbaugh called Chelsea Clinton ugly. For the love of Pete, she was a young teenager. That is just cruel and uncalled for. Protecting your kids from wiseass commentary from some blowhard or other callous unthinking bloviators/photographers is going to be a big job for Michelle Obama. Your Maximum Leader doesn’t think that anyone should cry over her taking that role.

Carry on.

Laughed hard

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader just laughed aloud at a recent post from Robbo.

Local Exxon: Dollar Niyuntee Seven per gallon, baybee!

I poured a couple extra gallons out on the ground and set fire to them just by way of celebration.

That is funny right there…

BTW, local WAWA… Regular $1.59. Premium $1.99. (Villainmobile takes premium…)

Carry on.

Signs of the end of civilization as we know it. Part 10,873

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader, who is not a tiny man, sees that the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that obese people have the right to two seats on an airplane for the price of one seat. Great jeezey chreezy. What the hell is wrong with the justices of the Canadian Supreme Court? This is just another sign of the impending end of civilization as we know it.

In that vein…

Your Maximum Leader has an overactive sex drive and is well-endowed. Would that entitle him to two prostitutes for the price of one in Canada?

Just wondering.

Carry on.

Don’t trust the GPS

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader sees that a Norweigian tourist was shot in a slum of Rio De Janerio recently. Why? Because he followed the directions given to him by his rental car’s GPS navigation system. According to Reuters:

The tourists were returning from the beach resort of Buzios about three hours north of Rio Saturday when they got lost, Brazil’s Globo TV and several newspapers reported.

They reportedly told police their Global Positioning System (GPS) system recommended they turn off a main highway as the quickest route back to the airport to drop off the rental car. But the suggested route took them deep into the Mare slum complex, where their rented car quickly came under fire.

No motive for the attack was given, and no arrests were made.

Killingtveit managed to drive the car to safety despite being wounded. He told family members in Norway that he probably went astray because of a fault in the GPS, Norwegian daily Dagbladet reported.

Your Maximum Leader wonders if the system was a TomTom or a Garmin… This piece reminds your Maximum Leader of why he doesn’t trust these GPS thingies…

Carry on.

Bad Beans

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader sees that Kagurazaka Ishikawa, a Michelin three-star restaurant in Tokyo, is taking some heat for selling bad beans.

The black beans were sold under the name of the Kagurazaka Ishikawa restaurant, known for its dishes of seasonal fish and meat.

The beans, which went on sale at a Takashimaya department store in Tokyo, were found to contain Bacillus Cereus bacteria that could cause vomiting or diarrhea, said Nana Okada, a spokeswoman at Takashimaya Co.

The beans, which were made at a factory in central Japan under the guidance of the three-star restaurant in Tokyo, were possibly not heated sufficiently to be disinfected, Okada said.

Oy! Your Maximum Leader would probably revoke one of those stars after learning about this.

Your Maximum Leader was surprised to read, not in this article - but in a piece in the Times of London a while back, that after France; Japan has more Michelin three-star restaurants than any other nation. Your Maximum Leader thinks that before too long the most three-star restaurants outside France will be in located in Dubai…

Carry on.

Chip off the ole block?

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader was wondering…

Would our friend “Fear and Loathing in Georgetown’s” impending child be “Discomfort and Distain in Arlington?”

Just curious.

Carry on.

Update: Thanks to Robbo for more suggestions: “Apprehension and Antipathy in Alexandria;” “Concern and Contempt in Clarendon;” and “Misapprehension and Malevolence in McLean.” All excellent choices… And more orginal than “Miss FLG.”

Wiki does good

Greeting, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader doesn’t often just point you all to a Wikipedia article for no particular reason… But today is the day he does just that.

Your Maximum Leader finds himself going to the Wikipedia home page every day just to see what interesting stuff they have posted there. Today he was rewarded with a particularly good article.

Did you happen to read the piece on King David today? No? Well clicky right here and read the excellent Wikipedia entry for King David I of Scotland.

What makes this piece so good you might ask? Well… It is well written (in terms of prose). It is well documented and has good footnotes and sources. It also has a number of pictures which are always good to break up the text.

Plus is about Scotland… And we all know that if it ain’t Scottish its crap!

Carry on.

Happy Thanksgiving

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader isn’t sure that he’ll be doing much more posting this week. Of course, he writes this now and then will suddenly start writing posts like mad…

Your Maximum Leader wishes you all a very happy Thanksgiving. Don’t eat too much. Take a walk. Stand up while you watch football on tv. Spend time with your family and friends. And most of all… Don’t fall in.

Carry on.

100 Below: New Looks

He looked into the mirror. Surgery reduced the scar on his face to a slim line. His tan hid it further. His hair transplant was coming in well and responding to Rogaine treatments.

He checked the cut of his new grey suit. It was bespoke by an Italian tailor. It flattered him. His daily workouts were beginning to pay off as well. He smiled into the mirror. He’d have his teeth whitened soon.

Earnst Stravo Blofeld impressed himself with his new look. Now it was time to go back to the global financial crisis he’d created.

20 November 1759 - Quiberon Bay

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader is reminded that today is the 249th anniversary of the Battle of Quiberon Bay.

Quiberon Bay was unfamiliar to your Maximum Leader until he visited the National Maritime Museum on one of his visits to the UK. At the time he liked the name. Quiberon Bay. It sort of flows off the tounge. (As so much French does.) Indeed, your Maximum Leader likes the name so much, he bought the URL. If one day your Maximum Leader gets a large sailing yacht he will name it “Quiberon Bay” in honor of the battle. (NB: if he buys a big fancy speedboat he’ll name it “Wilde Celt” but that is a tale for another day.)

So… 249 years ago on this day Admiral Sir Edward Hawke’s fleet of 23 ships of the line defeated The Count of Conflan’s fleet of 21 ships of the line in Quiberon Bay. Quiberon Bay was the decisive naval battle of the Seven Years war.

To read more about the battle you can check out the following links:

The Royal Navy site’s blurb on the battle.

Robbo’s Happy Birthday post for Admiral Sir Edward Hawke.

And of course the Wiki page for the Battle of Quiberon Bay.

Carry on.

Sticking up for Bill

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader has been following the whole “Hillary Clinton soon to become Secretary of State for President Obama” story. He thinks it is a bad move for Obama and for Hillary Clinton.

Your Maximum Leader understands the whole “Team of Rivals” bit and getting the best advice available for his 21st Century Camelot in the making. But this is one of those appointments where LBJ’s aphorism doesn’t apply. (It may not be better to have Hillary in the tent peeing out rather than having Hillary outside the tent peeing in.) Your Maximum Leader also understands the whole “keep your enemies closer” idea too.

The problems with these two lines of thought are these. Hillary isn’t an enemy. She is a completely vanquished opponent. Barring a complete meltdown during the First Obama term, there is not a chance in hell that Hillary Clinton will mount a nomination bid in 2012. There is no reason to keep her close to keep an eye on her. Hillary is done. Frankly your Maximum Leader thinks that Hillary is done completely and that there is no chance that she will run in 2016. Hillary’s chances of winning the Democrat Party nomination and being elected President have been staked through the heart. No chance. Also, what advice could she give President-Elect Obama that Joe Biden couldn’t? Wasn’t the reason for picking Biden as VP primarially that he had loads of foreign policy experience? Obama can do better than Hillary for Secretary of State. (Admittedly your Maximum Leader can’t think of too many - mainly because he isn’t used to rattling off the Democratic foreign policy wonk bench like he should be…)

Hillary is poised to take over Teddy Kennedy’s role as the “(flawed) liberal lion of the Senate.” It is a role she should take. She will have more impact on America from a safe Senate seat than she will as Secretary of State. Hillary Clinton, your Maximum Leader has read, is a little frustrated by the Senate. She wishes she had more seniority and better committee chairmanships. Just wait a little while longer Hillary. It will all come. You are set in the Senate. Why screw up a good thing for you? The Presidency isn’t an option. Make the most of the debating society that you can.

There is another reason that Hillary shouldn’t be offered or take the Secretary of State job… That reason has a name. That name is William Jefferson Clinton.

Your Maximum Leader was never a great fan of Bill Clinton’s. Your Maxmium Leader voted against him… Twice in fact… (Indeed, it is odd that the only Clinton to ever receive a vote from your Maximum Leader was Hillary in the Virginia Democratic Primary.) Having said that, your Maximum Leader fully believes that Bill Clinton has earned a retirement and the privledge to do what he wants to do as a former President.

Well, imagine your Maximum Leader’s dismay when he read this little bit from today’s Washington Post:

Clinton is mulling whether to take the post [Secretary of State] with her husband and close advisers, the source said, noting that becoming the nation’s top diplomat would be a major and career-changing decision for the former first lady. Of particular concern is how much influence Clinton would have in Obama’s White House, where she would compete for attention with other top foreign policy and national security advisers, said a source, who spoke on condition of anonymity in order to speak candidly about the negotiations.

The source said the Clintons are “going to extraordinary lengths to do whatever it takes,” and that Obama’s team is now satisfied with the concessions agreed to by the former president, whose global business and philanthropic activities have been a source of concern during the vetting process.

Bill Clinton has agreed to make public all previous and future donors to the William J. Clinton Foundation, including those who gave gifts anonymously, the source said. The foundation staff will begin contacting donors, who gave to the foundation on the condition that their identities remain anonymous, to tell them their names will now have to be released to the Obama team, the source said.

The former president also has agreed in principle to clear every future speech and activity with the Obama administration, but lawyers for Obama and Clinton have yet to “work out the details. That is, if he gives a speech in France, will it go through the State Department or the White House,” the source said. But, the source added, the former president has “agreed to it.

Italics added by your Maximum Leader in those last two paragraphs.

Allow your Maximum Leader to now exhort: What the fuck?!? Bill Clinton is going to reveal the annonymous donors to his foundation. He is going to clear speeches with the Obama administration before giving them? What the hell?

Releasing those names to Obama’s people is tantamount to just letting them out in the open. It might take a little while to circulate out of the sanctum sanctorum but the names will get out. Why reopen that old wound? Why? Is Hillary’s ambition so great that Bill is willing to have the final days of his Administration reopened and investigated again?

And on top of that Bill Clinton is going to have to clear his speeches with the new Administration before he gives them. Great jeezey creezey. It isn’t the speeches that you need to worry about. It is the off the cuff Q and A sessions that you have to watch out for. It is the impromptu (and honest) Bill Clinton that you have to worry about.

If your Maximum Leader were Bill Clinton… Well, if your Maximum Leader were Bill Clinton he’d have dumped Hillary shortly after she got her Senate seat and would be jetting around the world dispensing wisdom and picking up new young hotties every few months and trying to die researching vaginaltruism under a space lamp before reaching age 75… But your Maximum Leader digresses…

If your Maximum Leader were Bill Clinton, he’d never agree to this. In fact your Maximum Leader would tell President-Elect Obama’s transition team to stick their collective heads up their collectivist arses. No way in hell he’d divulge his donor names. There is even less of a chance that he’d get his speeches vetted by some punk-arse senior staffer in the White House (or by a senior diplomat at State). He’s a former President. A former two-term President of the United States of America. He has been to the mountaintop. He’s been lord of all he surveyed. His finger has been on the button (and who knows where on Monica Lewinsky). Now he can do whatever the hell he wants to do.

Your Maximum Leader, as longtime readers know, generally looks kindly on former Presidents who choose to die shortly after leaving office (ie: James Knox Polk - the fourth greatest President in our history) or just remain in quiet obscurity (ie: Ronald Reagan, Jerry Ford and the Elder Bush - one hopes that the Younger Bush will spend the rest of his natural life on his ranch in Crawford). Your Maximum Leader knew that life (the quiet obsucre one) wasn’t the life for Bill Clinton. Clinton needs the attention of an adoring crowd. Your Maximum Leader figured that if he kept as low a profile as possible and didn’t go condeming America or American policy (a la Jimmy Carter) Clinton wouldn’t be too bad. Sure, Bill had to campaign for Hillary. That was unseemly. But one hoped that after Hillary lost her shot Bill could go back to being Bill. Alas, it seems not to be…

Is all this kow-towing to Hillary’s ambitions the punishment Bill must suffer for Hillary standing by him during the bad times? If it is your Maximum Leader would like to advise the junior senator from New York that her chips have been cashed and it is time for her to leave the table. Your Maximum Leader would also like to advise the forty-second President of the United States that if he is doing all this to “make up” for all the crap he’s done to Hillary; then he has officially received his (and your) Maximum Leader’s dispensation to stop now and just go back to being Bill.

Before ending this post… Your Maximum Leader will give an unsolicited piece of advice to President-Elect Obama. Don’t. Just don’t. If you want to be your own man don’t involve the old regime with your own. You can privately ask for advice and ideas from those who went before you. (And frankly if you are serious about bringing change you should.) But inviting a Clinton (which really means inviting both Clintons) into your cabinet is not going to help you grow into the office you stand ready to take. Just don’t do it.

Now loyal minions… It is time to get some egg nog with bourbon…

Carry on.

Somalia = Modern Tortola

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader, continuing the pirate theme of some previous posts, sees this little tidbit on the news wires: Somali pirates transform villages into boomtowns. From the piece:

MOGADISHU, Somalia – Somalia’s increasingly brazen pirates are building sprawling stone houses, cruising in luxury cars, marrying beautiful women — even hiring caterers to prepare Western-style food for their hostages.

These boomtowns are all the more shocking in light of Somalia’s violence and poverty: Radical Islamists control most of the country’s south, meting out lashings and stonings for accused criminals. There has been no effective central government in nearly 20 years, plunging this arid African country into chaos.

But in northern coastal towns like Haradhere, Eyl and Bossaso, the pirate economy is thriving thanks to the money pouring in from pirate ransoms that have reached $30 million this year alone.

“There are more shops and business is booming because of the piracy,” said Sugule Dahir, who runs a clothing shop in Eyl. “Internet cafes and telephone shops have opened, and people are just happier than before.”

In Haradhere, residents came out in droves to celebrate as the looming oil ship came into focus this week off the country’s lawless coast.

Businessmen gathered cigarettes, food and cold bottles of orange soda, setting up kiosks for the pirates who come to shore to resupply almost daily.

Dahir said she even started a layaway plan for them.

“They always take things without paying and we put them into the book of debts,” she told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. “Later, when they get the ransom money, they pay us a lot.”

Residents make sure the pirates are well-stocked in khat, a popular narcotic leaf, and aren’t afraid to gouge a bit when it comes to the pirates’ deep pockets.

“I can buy a packet of cigarettes for about $1 but I will charge the pirate $1.30,” said Abdulqadir Omar, an Eyl resident.

While pirate villages used to have houses made of corrugated iron sheets, now, there are stately looking homes made of sturdy, white stones.

“Regardless of how the money is coming in, legally or illegally, I can say it has started a life in our town,” said Shamso Moalim, a 36-year-old mother of five in Haradhere.

“Our children are not worrying about food now, and they go to Islamic schools in the morning and play soccer in the afternoon. They are happy.”

The attackers generally treat their hostages well in anticipation of a big payday, hiring caterers on shore to cook spaghetti, grilled fish and roasted meat that will appeal to Western palates.

Your Maximum Leader feels for the poor people of these coastal Somalian towns. He feels that they will just have to suffer as civilized nations combat piracy in the Indian Ocean. Your Maximum Leader suggests that the people profiting off the pirates make all the money they can and then get the hell out of Somalia. Piracy is not a viable long-term way of moving out of poverty and disorder.

Here is a question for ye… To eliminate the problem do you attack the pirates in their villages ashore? Noodle that one for a little bit.

Carry on.

Piracy

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader remembers a great class he took as an undergraduate. The course was “American National Security Issues 1989 - on.” It was taught by Lt-Gen. Samuel Vaughan Wilson (US Army Retired). (NB: Upon more reflection, General Wilson’s class was easily the single best class your Maximum Leader took as an undergraduate or graduate student.) It was in General Wilson’s class that your Maximum Leader learned what a seriousl global problem piracy still was. Until that point your Maximum Leader had assumed that the British Navy had eliminated piracy (for all intent and purposes) at the beginning of the 18th Century.

How wrong your Maximum Leader was.

Just look at the headlines today: Indian navy sinks suspected pirate mother ship. or Saudi Foreign Minister says tanker owners in talks with pirates.

Your Maximum Leader agrees with Robbo and FLG and believes that the Congress should start issuing Letters of Marque & Reprisal to private firms or individuals to combat piracy on the high seas. We (that is the United States) might have to modify or even opt-out of the Declaration of Paris of 1856. Given the rash of pirates in the Indian Ocean a revisitation of the 1856 agreement might be in order.

BTW, your Maximum Leader was all for issuance of Letters of Marque to help fight terrorists around the world back in 2003. It was a good idea then… It is a good idea now…

Carry on.

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