Got nuthin’

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader has nuthin’. Nada. Rien. Zippy.

He was pleased over the weekend at a Packers win. But on the whole, football wasn’t doing it for him.

He is feeling generally funkified. And that isn’t funky in a good way.

Carry on.

Fight! Fiiight! Fiiiiiiight!

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader is hardly able to contain his laughter…

HELSINKI—Members of the Group of Eight, the forum for the world’s most powerful industrialized nations, held a special session Tuesday to discuss how best to prod the European microstates of Lichtenstein and Andorra into fighting.

The G8’s proposal, which seeks to pit the small, landlocked principalities against each other in military combat, was reportedly drafted after the leaders of the eight nations had grown bored with their recent negotiations over international energy tariffs.

“After much careful deliberation, we have come to the consensus that the nations of Liechtenstein and Andorra need to just man up and fight, ” said U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown during an afternoon recess. “All of the bigger countries want them to, and everyone agrees at this point that it would be quite lame if they didn’t. Therefore, I would advise Liechtenstein and Andorra to grow some balls already and get on with it.”

“Seriously,” Brown added. “Fight.”

According to French president Nicolas Sarkozy, the group has scheduled the Liechtenstein-Andorra military conflict for tomorrow afternoon at 4 p.m. sharp, provided that neither country “pusses out.” Sarkozy also assured reporters that, if Liechtenstein and Andorra were to engage each other in battle, they would almost certainly find themselves in improved diplomatic relations with members of the G8 for years to come

Via The Onion.

Your Maximum Leader is putting money on the Andorrans. Those wimps in Liechtenstein are soft.

Carry on.

September 11 - Remember.

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader remembers the morning well. Trying to find a TV in the office that we could hook into the cable jack in the conference room. Staring in disbelief as the second plane hit the second tower. Being on the phone with a friend who was working in Crystal City, VA with a view of the Pentagon from his window when he declared “Fuck, the Pentagon just exploded. I gotta go.” I remember watching people leave work to go home to aid loved ones in the Navy get to their ships which then steamed to sea as rapidly as they could. I remember the ships passing through the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay to open seas faster than anything I’d ever seen before.

I remain thankful that my own relatives working at the Pentagon that day were unhurt. I am thankful and grateful that my friends and relatives serving overseas are doing the great work they are. I appreciate all those who watch and stand guard.

God Bless America.

Carry on.

Listmania, Day 4

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader decided to go silly for day four of his listmania trip. He sees that his readers want a list with women… So here it is… A revised edition of the list that started it all.

(In no particular order and excluding the lovely Mrs Villain - who is always my number one.)

1. Helen of Troy
2. Sophia Loren
3. Jennifer Love Hewitt
4. Olivia de Havilland
5. Vivian Leigh
6. Salma Hayek
7. Ornella Muti
8. Summer Glau
9. Irene Langhorne
10. Grace Kelly

Honorable mentions: Carole Bouquet, Raquel Welch, Katharine Hepburn, Diahann Carroll, Hedy Lamarr, Veronica Lake, Catherine Deneuve, Monica Bellucci, Eva Green, Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, Margaret Thatcher, Deborah Kerr, Marilyn Monroe, Queen Rania of Jordan, and Christie Brinkley.

There you go. Have at it…

Carry on.

UPDATE FROM YOUR MAXIMUM LEADER: Damn… So. Many. Names. So. Little. Memory.

Even more for the list: Ingrid Bergman, Parker Posey, Ava Gardner, Evelyn Nesbit, Mary-Louise Parker, Mara Carfagna and probably many others… (Others including Grace Thorsen…)

Oh yes… Your Maximum Leader has no real methodology for assessing desireability in private life across so much time and distance. Indeed he’ll concede that many of those on this list are probably not the type of person you’d want to spend lots of time with… He’s talking about base desire…

Joe Wilson

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader has given some thought today to Rep. Joe Wilson’s little outburst last night during the President’s speech.

The US Congress (House and Senate both) have for quite a long time been caught up on decorum and politeness. Indeed, in most legislative bodies around the world you are just as likely to be punched in the mouth as you are to be called “My honorable friend from (insert district/state here)”. Politics is a rough and tumble business. And emotions sometimes run hot. When they do, well… Shit happens… In a legislative body the shit that happens is often manifested by someone saying something not-so-nice or a little rude. Frankly, your Maximum Leader wishes the House of Representatives were a little more like the British Parliament when it came to debates and “feedback” from the backbenches. Last night the backbencher who couldn’t hold his tongue was Joe Wilson.

Was Joe Wilson being rude? Well… He was given the way people today expect our legislators to behave when being addressed by the president. But then again… Remember that George Washington decided never to give a speech before Congress after the way he was treated after his first State of the Union address.

Perhaps our legislators have lost their edge.

Perhaps Joe Wilson will spark a return to more rough and tumble debate…

If we see more enlivened debate in the House, your Maximum Leader might watch C-Span more often.

Carry on.


Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader fears that if Sir Basil doesn’t start blogging again soon he’ll have to replace the link on the sidebar with something fun…

Like the Art of Manliness.

Indeed… The Art of Manliness might wind up on the sidebar regardless.

Carry on.

Listmania Day 3

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader promised you a variation on an old familiar list. Well here tis.

Your Maximum Leader knows that every “President’s Day” (known to civilized Americans as “Washington’s Birthday”) that lists abound enumerating the “Greatest Presidents of the United States.” Well… Your Maximum Leader has decided to enumerate the worst Presidents of the United States. Here you are:


(This is an ordered list with #1 being the worst President in the history of our Republic.)

10. George W. Bush
9. Franklin Pierce
8. Zachary Taylor
7. Millard Filmore
6. Jimmy Carter
5. James Buchanan
4. Woodrow Wilson
3. Richard Nixon
2. Ulysses Grant
1. Warren Harding

Honestly, this was a very hard list to put together. One has so many choices it is sometimes hard to split hairs. (And although Richard Nixon is on this list, you very well could put him on a list of the greatest presidents as well. His presidency is schizophrenic that way. So many great accomplishments and so many terrible mistakes.) Your Maximum Leader, in all honesty, feels that although he has just left office we can judge George W. Bush’s presidency negatively. Your Maximum Leader is basing his rating there on the basis of fiscal policy and mishandling early on of Iraq. Your Maximum Leader voted for Bush (twice) and can’t say he regets either of those votes. But in the end, Bush just messed things up.

Carry on.

Listmania controversy! Woo hoo!

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader sees that his list today has elicited some feedback from our addle-brained friend FLG. FLG writes, “FLG fears that the Maximum Leader has taken to blogging and smoking crack while drunk in the midst of an acid flashback after being hit on the head with a sledgehammer repeatedly because he’s losing his senses.” FLG then reprinted your Maximum Leader’s list of the 10 greatest rulers in the history of the world and states:

FLG can countenance Augustus at number 2, but this is the correct order:
1. Alexander the Great. King of Macedonia. Son of Ammon. Conquer of the Known World. Biggest Badass In History.
2. Augustus Caesar. First emperor of the Roman Empire.

Well… What can your Maximum Leader say save that FLG is obviously delusional and in need of serious professional help. (NB to Mrs FLG: Your Maximum Leader can recommend both caring and helpful professionals that can care for your husband. They can also administer ECT in doses that will bring FLG around.) It is plainly evident that Augustus Ceasar is a greater ruler, by the criteria used, than Alexander. Unfortunately for FLG length of rule, issues of taxation, building roads and public buildings do count towards being the greatest ruler in the history of the world.

Of course Alexander the Great would be the greatest ruler in the history of the world - if one looked only at the period from the dawn of civilization until about 30 BC. (That Augustus visited the tomb of Alexander doesn’t amount to much. Alexander’s body was a tourist attraction and many lesser people visited. Your Maximum Leader seems to remember that it was another royal tourist who actually wound up destroying the body of Alexander. Wasn’t it the Byzantine Empress Irene who demanded that a small candle be put into the sarcophagus of the King so she could see the body better and it caught fire and burned?)

After careful review of the comments left on FLG’s post your Maximum Leader would agree to two revisions to his list. Your Maximum Leader would gladly take Ancient’s recommendation and remove Louis XIV in favor of Henry II of England. As readers here would note, your Maximum Leader has Henry II on a permanent place of honor in the “Pantheon of Greatness” on the top right of this blog. Your Maximum Leader was debating Henry vs Louis but decided to put Louis on the list because he thought to put Henry on the list might be due to a native bias your Maximum Leader has towards Henry. Your Maximum Leader isn’t sure about Ancient’s other suggestion about Alfred the Great. Certainly Alfred’s personal contributions to the English language can’t be underestimated as a cultural contribution. Also he was a great unifier/conqueror. In comparison to Henry, Alfred’s kingdom was smallish. (Then again, Henry inherited or married into much of his kingdom.) Your Maximum Leader will have to say that Alfred doesn’t likely make the cut.

Then there are the suggestions of Arethusa and Alpheus. The first suggestion is replacing Alexander the Great with Philip II of Macedonia. Without Philip laying the ground-work Alexander might not have amounted to anything. Your Maximum Leader sees the wisdom of this recommendation. But in the end, it was Alexander who did the conquering and not Philip. That puts Alexander on the list and would likely keep Philip off the list.

The really great suggestion that Arethusa puts forward is Sulieman the Magnifcent. Sulieman didn’t make the list probably because of the pro-Byzantine and anti-Ottoman tendencies of your Maxmium Leader. Indeed, Heraclius makes the list even though your Maximum Leader keeps thinking to himself that if Heraclius had spent a little more time subduing the arabian penninsula… Well… History could have been much changed…

In light of what he’s read here is a revised list:


1. Augustus Caesar. First Emperor of Rome. Creator of an empire that lasted in the west for 450 years (and in the east for 1453 years). Builder of roads, aqueducts, temples, baths, forums, and great cities. He ruled his empire for 44 years.

The runners up in no particular order:

Qin Shihuang. First emperor of China.
Tokugawa Ieyasu. Shogun of Japan.
Peter I of Russia. Tsar of Russia.
Rameses II. Pharaoh of Egypt.
Charlemagne. Holy Roman Emperor and King of the Franks.
Alexander the Great. King of Macedona.
Kublai Khan. Emperor of China.
Henry II (Plantagenet). King of England.
Sulieman the Magnifcent. Emperor of the Ottoman Empire.

There you have it.

Carry on.

Listmania, Day 2

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader, as he promised, is continuing on his listmania streak. Today he provides for you a list of the greatest rulers in the history of the world. Yesterday he promised that the list would be of the greatest “leaders” in the history of the world. While putting together today’s list your Maximum Leader realized that a better appelation would be “rulers.” Allow him to explain.

This was a tough list to put together. There are so many criteria by which one could judge someone as being “great.” The criteria that your Maximum Leader settled on mentally were these: scope of power/influence in geographic terms, power within the political structure, longevity of rule/reign, scope of internal improvments within territory ruled, “cultural” growth/blossoming. After considering these criteria your Maximum Leader determined that leaders in democracies tend not be able to be compared to leaders in political systems where power is invested in a narrower number of people (or in just one person). Thus, your Maximum Leader determined that he wasn’t talking about “leaders” in the sense that we might call George Washington, Winston Churchill, or Charles DeGaulle leaders. He was really talking about rulers in an imperial or other monarchical sense. Your Maximum Leader also determined that these rules had to generally behave in a way that an objective observer could reasonably describe as “good.” This would eliminate men like Hitler, Stalin, and Mao from the list - although they might otherwise fit the criteria.

That said… Here is the list:


1. Augustus Caesar. First emperor of the Roman Empire.
2. Qin Shihuang. First emperor of China.
3. Tokugawa Ieyasu. Shogun of Japan.
4. Peter I of Russia. Tsar of Russia.
5. Rameses II. Pharaoh of Egypt.
6. Charlemagne. Holy Roman Emperor and King of the Franks.
7. Alexander the Great. King of Macedona.
8. Kublai Khan. Emperor of China.
9. Louis XIV. King of France.
10. Heraclius. Emperor of the Byzantine Empire.

NB: The links on this list are all to Wikipedia pages. Your Maximum Leader hasn’t read all of those pages completely for accuracy and scope. He puts them there as general references.

Your Maximum Leader notes that this list is unordered, except for number 1. Your Maximum Leader does believe that Augustus Ceasar would top his list in any circumstances.

Tomorrow… A slightly different take on an old familiar list…

Carry on.

Still the King.

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader wanted to pass this along to you in case you didn’t see it on Instapundit.

Don’t be full of number two.

Carry on.

Listmania, Day 1

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader once made a series of lists with some college friends of his. The most famous of these lists (among the group of friends) was the list of “The most attractive women in the universe ever.” That list resided on your Maximum Leader’s refridgerator for many years.

For some reason over the long weekend your Maximum Leader decided to dedicate this (abbreviated) week to listmania. Every day he will post a different list for your reading pleasure. Without further introduction… Here is day one’s submission…


1. Irving Berlin
2. Johnny Cash
3. Bob Dylan
4. Randy Newman
5. Woody Guthrie
6. Oscar Hammerstein II
7. Bruce Springsteen
8. Townes Van Zandt
9. Jerry Lieber & Mike Stoller
10. Prince

There you have the list. The more your Maximum Leader regards this list the more he should note to you all that unless otherwise noted all his lists are in no particular order. In this case they are in no particular order, just 10 names who each could qualify as the greatest American poet/songwriter. Your Maximum Leader, if pushed, would likely stand by Berlin and Cash as 1 and 2 respectively. If he was pushed to rank the others he would probably mix up that order a little.

Tomorrow… The greatest leaders in the history of the world.

Carry on.

General thoughts and musings

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader is pleased to report that it appears as though the various renovations to the Villainschloss are completed. It is now just a question of moving some stuff around and getting everything back to normal. The renovations have caused the summer to be a bit tense among the whole family. So we are looking forward to a quiet long weekend to get our wa back.

Your Maximum Leader has, for the past few weeks, been storing up items upon which he wanted to comment at length. Alas, he couldn’t find time to do so. Rather than just discarding these items he’s decided to just dump some ideas in one post.

First up… Have any of you been following the abomination that has become the America’s Cup? Your Maximum Leader had some links that he’d planned on sharing. Alas, many of them are no longer functioning as the pieces have moved or changed or expired. To hit the high points… Basically the America’s Cup will be held in the Persian Gulf. The yachts will be trimarans. TRIMARANS! They will also allow motorized winches to be used on board. WTF? Really now… WTF? Your Maximum Leader thought that the requirements for the boats were determined a long time ago - and called for monhulled boats. Your Maximum Leader has only been marginally interested in the America’s Cup at best… And now all these changes have just set him off. It is crap.

Did you happen to notice this bit on the Washington Post concerning the possible discovery of a portrait of William Shakespeare done during the Bard’s lifetime? Fascinating stuff. Your Maximum Leader has seen the “forgery” portrait at the Folger Shakespeare Library and knew about it’s history. That said, these new researches and attempts to establish that the portrait actually shows Shakespeare are pretty interesting. Your Maximum Leader imagines that there is a National Geographic special in this story… Your Maximum Leader’s favorite passage from the article:

The hunt for a likeness of the bard in his heyday has turned up various candidates over the centuries, almost all of them illegitimate. Up to now, the painting with the most credible claim as a life image is the Chandos portrait, the star of London’s National Portrait Gallery. It shows a dusky, writerly-seeming man with receding hair and an earring. But its provenance is unclear. The search is complicated by the fact that a 1770s mania for Shakespeare souvenirs resulted in a spate of good forgeries. The Janssen portrait held by the Folger was thought to be one of those. The “Searching for Shakespeare” exhibit was therefore really a show about likely and, mostly, unlikely contenders. Cobbe and Laing wandered through the viewing, looking at bogus bards, until they arrived at a far wall, on which the Janssen portrait hung, on loan from the Folger. The oil-on-wood is legitimately dated to 1610, but it was discredited in 1937 when new X-ray technology showed the brow had been over-painted to make the sitter bald. It fell from grace under the supposition that it was altered to look more like the Droeshout. In 1988, the Folger restored the original hairline and exhibited it as an interesting mistake.

The Janssen showed a close-bearded man in a scallop-edged lace collar — in almost every detail, a replica of the unnamed courtier on the Cobbe family’s wall. The one who was not Sir Walter Raleigh.

After a moment, Laing said, “Don’t you have one of those?”

“Yes,” Cobbe said, nonplussed. “Rather a better one, actually.”

Your Maximum Leader will have to get to the Folger and see what he can. Of course it would be better to travel to Stratford upon Avon and see the whole exhibit…

Did you see the piece on Yahoo news about more people making their own bacon? Nope? Your Maximum Leader saw it. You can clicky here to get it yourself. The money quote:

“There is nothing bacon does not improve. Bacon is the new black,” says [San Francisco Chef Ryan] Farr, whose charcuterie company produces 4505 Chicharrones, the pork snacks favored by several San Francisco bars and restaurants. “I have five vegan friends who close their eyes when they eat them and pretend they are potato chips,” Farr says. “Bacon is the gateway meat.”

Bacon is a gateway meat… Wonderful! From experience your Maximum Leader can assure you that it leads to ham. If the Lord hadn’t wanted us to eat pork he wouldn’t have made the pig so darned tasty and easy to domesticate…

Your Maximum Leader is growing more and more tired of the “health care debate.” He should put extra emphasis on the quotes around the word “debate.” As your Maximum Leader mused earlier, there is no debate. There is only shouting. There is no meaningful discussion. Normally at this point the ossified battle lines either decide to actually battle or just decided to forget to fight. Your Maximum Leader hopes that the battle will not be joined at all in Congress and the bills will just die off until some other time. Republicans could show some real leadership in promoting a market based solutions along with legal reforms. Tort reform for malpractice and allowing insurance companies to compete across state lines would be a nice start. Also, one might as well consider the plan that your Maximum Leader blogged about in June of 2004.

Those are the big items on your Maximum Leader’s mind right now. Alas, there were some other bits he thought might make interesting posts, but they were too topical and their time is past…

More later.

Carry on.

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