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Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader thinks that this is his favorite John Prine song ever.

Your Maximum Leader prefers the album version to the performance above.

Carry on.

Holy Hot Wheels Batman! (We wants)

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader is doing his best to stay dry today. The rains are not staying mainly on the plain, but are in fact falling everywhere.

So… Did you see? Warner Picutres and DC Comics have apparently licenced a company to make (and sell) Adam West/Burt Ward era Batmobiles. Oh… If your Maximum Leader had $150,000 lying about with no better application he’d run out to Fiberglass Freaks and get himself one. That would be one cool ride to have. Your Maximum Leader isn’t sure it would be a chick magnet. In fact, if it would attract anything it would be middle-aged men, small boys, and geeks of all ages. Owning a Batmobile would likely always get you invited to drive in local parades… That’s not too shabby…

Anyhoo… We wants…

Carry on.

Religion quiz

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader has seen the various reports and links to the recent Pew quiz on religion. As it turns out, many Americans don’t know much about religion. Unless you are an Atheist, Jew or Mormon in which case you know more than the average American. Not like we all didn’t really know that already.

Your Maximum Leader took the quiz and got 15 of 15. If you want the quiz you can clicky here. Your Maximum Leader was excited that he scored 1 better than his good buddy Kevin. Of course, he figures that the only reason he was able to score better is that he knew the 3 history/politics questions.

Your Maximum Leader imagines that his readership would likely score better than most Americans. Of course you all read this blog. And we all know that reading this blog makes you smarter and better looking than the average American…

Carry on.

Lazy, Games & TV

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader sat down last night and had planned on writing a little piece about liberal fascination with China. Specifically, your Maximum Leader has been perplexed by how often “liberal” commentators praise China’s ability to get things done. Your Maximum Leader wonders if these commentators (Paul Krugman leaps to mind) ever consider that the reason China can get things done is because they are an authoritarian state? Sure there is a lot of economic freedom in China, but there isn’t any political freedom. Do these commentators see that connection? Your Maximum Leader wonders if they do.

Of course, since you don’t see a post on China on the site you can safely assume your Maximum Leader didn’t write the post. He didn’t write it because he needed to cook dinner for the family. He whipped together a basic ragout (ragu?). Pork, onions, carrots, celery, garlic, tomato paste, chicken broth, red wine, you know a ragout. It would have been better if it had simmered for a few hours. (Since it didn’t would it really qualify as a ragout? Interesting questions.) But it was tasty.

After dinner your Maximum Leader decided to watch to TV on the DVR. He watched an episode of “The Late Late Show w/Craig Ferguson” and “Chelsea Lately” both guilty pleasures. Then he was going to watch “Castle” with his daughter. But then Mrs Villain and his daughters hijacked the TV and your Maximum Leader went to his office to get on the computer.

He had planned to blog on the computer. But then he decided to play an old game he has. Medieval Total War II. He started a campaign as the Spanish. His goal is to recreate the Spanish/Hapsburg Empire in Europe at the time of Charles V. So far your Maximum Leader has most of Iberia under his control. He hasn’t kicked the Moors out yet, but it is early. He did snag Corsica and Sardinia (which would have been part of the Kingdom of Naples). He also, by chance, took over Rhodes. (He was going on Crusade to take Jerusalem, but the French took Jersusalem first. Since he had an army in the area… Look! Rhodes is nearby!) So he played his game for a while.

Not like that is terribly interesting.

Not like China… That would be interesting…

Perhaps later…

Carry on.

“…alcohol helps.”

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader attened the Fredericksburg Forum last night. The guest was renown writer/traveler/chef Anthony Bourdain. Allow your Maximum Leader to tell you something. Your Maximum Leader was giddy as a schoolgirl in anticipation for this event. He’s been looking forward to it for weeks now.

For a few years now the Fredericksburg Forum has had a number of great guests, but they have tended to the political. Your Maximum Leader had grown weary of all the political figures and had stopped patronizing the event. Well… When he heard that Bourdain was coming he knew he had to repatronize the event and make sure he was there. And so he was…

Your Maximum Leader spoke to some of his friends in town who he knew would attend and made a wager on how long it would take before Bourdain said “fuck” in his remarks. (Over under by your Maximum Leader was under 2min. Indeed Bourdain dropped the ole f-bomb about 1.5 mins into his remarks. FYI, many patrons thought that he would refrain from cursing during his talk. Your Maximum Leader believed he’d have been disappointed if Bourdain didn’t curse. It is part of his charm.)

Your Maximum Leader will not recount everything that was said but will hit a few of the high points. These points are familiar to anyone who has read any of Bourdain’s books or watched “No Reservations” (on Travel Channel Monday nights at 10pm). The best part of the talk was when Bourdain talked about the importance of being a good ambassador for your country when travelling. He encouraged us to actually get away from tourist areas and actually meet people and see the “real” country you are visiting. If you meet interesting people and they offer you food, eat it. These are tenets to which your Maximum Leader tries to adhere when he travels. Bourdain expressed amazement that someone like Gwenyth Paltrow could travel through Spain and never try ham. (NB: Your Maximum Leader believes it is a sin against God and nature to visit Spain and not have ham. Indeed people who go to Spain and don’t at least try some ham should be beaten within an inch of their lives.) Bourdain expressed some sympathy for Bobby Flay having to do that awful Throwdown show. Frankly your Maximum Leader enjoys seeing Flay getting his butt kicked when he watches the show (which isn’t often). Flay seems to be an insufferable prick. That said, it seems as though Flay is getting beat up on a bit too much on that show.

The quote of the night was actually the last thing that Bourdain said during the question and answer session. He was asked about his opinion of Andrew Zimmern. Bourdain said that other than the unfortunate name of Zimmern’s show (Bizzare Foods) that Zimmern is a good guy. They have lots in common. One thing they don’t have in common is that Zimmern doesn’t drink anymore. Then Bourdain pulled this out: “When you’ve eaten a dinner of dick and you know you’re having a big helping of nutsack for breakfast, alcohol helps.” Were truer words ever spoken? Your Maximum Leader doubts it.

After the speech there was a “patron reception” for people who shelled out the big bucks to be there. Your Maximum Leader managed to get up to Bourdain before the huge crush of other patrons arrived. He shook hand and said how much he enjoyed the show and books. Then your Maximum Leader asked him “If you could go anywhere in the world to have a meal, where would you go?” Your Maximum Leader speculated before asking the question that the answer might likely be Arzak in Catalonia Spain. Bourdain thought for a moment and said that if you were going to travel anywhere in the world for a meal you’d likely have time for a couple meals. He said that you should go to the San Sebastian region of Catalonia and eat at Arzak, Mugaritz and Extebarri. If you caught the “No Reservations” show on Spain back in 2008 you’d know which three restaurants these were.

Sadly, your Maximum Leader would have liked a little more time to speak with him, but the crush of other patrons was incredible. Your Maximum Leader felt a little sorry for him, as he was surrounded by fanboys (and girls) and hardly had a chance to relax at all.

Anyhooo…

It was a great night. Your Maximum Leader had a great time (as did his lovely wife Mrs Villain). Now your Maximum Leader is off to Wegmans to get himself some Spanish ham for lunch.

Carry on.

Adagio of Spartacus & Phyrigia

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader tweeted the other day “Does liking the music of Khachaturian make me a Communist?” This was brought about by an early morning errand.

You see…

Your Maximum Leader was in the Villainmobile running around town early on Saturday morning. He had a lot of stuff to do starting at 9am; so he was out early to get some cash and a few sundries that would make the day better. While driving he heard a piece of music on the radio (Classical WETA in our Nation’s Capital). The piece was instantly familiar. But at the same time your Maximum Leader couldn’t place where he’d heard it before. The announcer kindly added that the piece was the Adagio of Spartacus by Aram Khachaturian. Your Maximum Leader pulled over, texted the title to his wife and then made a follow-up call to make sure she didn’t delete the text.

All day your Maximum Leader heard the tune in his head. He hummed it. He whistled it. And all the while he couldn’t place where he’d ever heard the peice before. He is not a huge Khachaturian fan. He is not a fan of ballet. (Indeed your Maximum Leader finds that the loves lots of the music of ballet, but finds the actual dancing to be technically amazing and unable to hold his attention.) He couldn’t place the piece. In case you are wondering about the piece here it is:

Your Maximum Leader embedded the ballet rather than another clip that only showed Aram Khachaturian’s face for the whole 9 minutes. He did this for those of you who like ballet. And also ole Aram isn’t all that handsome a fellow…

Anyhoo…

Your Maximum Leader found the peice on iTunes and bought it. He’s listened to it 15 times since Saturday. (Thanks iTunes play count!) All the while he’s not been able to place where he’s heard it before.

About 20 minutes ago your Maximum Leader suddenly remembered, he lives in the age of the interwebs. Surely the Google must know something about this piece. And as certainly as night follows day, and May flowers follow April showers the Google was a help. It turns out that this piece has been in many movies. The one that your Maximum Leader immediately recognized was “The Hudsucker Proxy.” (NB: your Maximum Leader loves the Hudsucker Proxy.) Now his mind is no longer agitated by not knowing where he’s heard this little ditty before.

Of course, none of this answers the question of are you a Communist if you like Khachaturian?

Probably not… But one should wonder…

Carry on.

Molly Norris and outrage.

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader was reading the Wall Street Journal’s daily wrap-up of news and blogs the other day. In that wrap-up the editors of the WSJ introduced your Maximum Leader to the plight of Molly Norris.

Now in all honesty, your Maximum Leader allowed himself to be overtaken by events and he didn’t immediately write about how he felt and what he thought about Molly Norris. Thankfully, your Maxmium Leader was over reading Professor Mondo’s blog and it all came back to him.

Rather than just blather on himself, how about we check out what the good Professor had to say:

“Islamophobia” is a term that gets bandied about these days, with the ever-popular rhetorical effort to define disagreement with the multicult as mental illness. However, Molly Norris isn’t being stalked by rogue Episcopalians or offended Baha’i. The fact is that she’s been forced to go to ground by deranged Muslims. Meanwhile, saying that we have to be careful not to offend the deranged is a cowardly way out — and it simply makes all of us hostage to whoever we perceive as being least rational.

Well put sir! Well put. You should click through to see the Professor’s site and you should click on the links he provided.

Your Maximum Leader grows weary of trying to avoid the delicate sensibilities of Muslims around the world. If every Muslim in the world thinks that when your Maximum Leader speaks out against “Muslim terrorists” he is actually saying that “every Muslim in the world is a terrorist”; then most Muslims in the world need to lighten up and catch a clue. We all know that just being a Muslim doesn’t mean you are or are sympathetic to terrorists. Conversely, not every Christian is a Koran-burning Christian. Don’t you find it odd that the President of the United States and just about every Christian religious leader in the United States has to apologize to the entire Muslim world for the (threatened) actions of about 50 Christians at a Florida church who thought burning the Koran would be fun?

You know something. If 50 Muslims somewhere in rural Wahziristan decided to burn Bibles, wrapped in American Flags while throwing apple pies off a cliff; your Maximum Leader would hardly think it was newsworthy. Furthermore he would not assume that those 50 Muslims were speaking on behalf of a billion Muslims around the world. Call him crazy (He’s crazy!) but he doesn’t think that way. Apparently many Muslims do think exactly that way.

Anyhoo…

Your Maximum Leader is upset (very upset) about what is happening to Molly Norris. She doesn’t deserve to have to go into hiding and make a new identity. Frankly, she shouldn’t have to pay for it too. Isn’t this another battle in the War on Terror? Can’t we find a few grand to help Molly out in the Defence budget? Or the Stimulus bill?

We should all be appalled by what is happening to Molly Norris. We should all demand that the President request that the Muslim leaders apologize to Molly Norris. Or, heaven forfend, perhaps the President could put a bounty on the head of Anwar al-Awlaki and see how he likes it.

Oh! The President apparently has done so.

Sadly your Maximum Leader doubts that the President is encouraging the CIA (or other entities) to actually kill the people on this “hit list.” Perhaps we should go the route of Letters of Marque & Reprisal.

By the way… Professor Mondo is now on the blogroll - over there on the left side. You should go over an take a read.

Carry on.

Some randomness, mostly about Twitter.

Greetings, loyal minons. Your Maxmium Leader figured he’d share with you all a few random thoughts that he’s “tweeted” about earlier this week. If you are a Twitter type, your Maximum Leader can be found (and followed) at: Twitter.com/maximumleader

Resolved, Alton Brown not withstanding, cooking is an art & baking is a science. Discuss.

Does liking the music of Khachaturian make me a Communist?

Resolved, smart phones have degraded the quality of arguements about trivia in bars. Debate.

I don’t understand the connection between round neck tee [shirts] & big boobs. Trying to get a mental picture, but keep getting distracted.

Great jeezey chreezey! I just learned that the[y] changed Cookie Monster on Sesame St. into Carrot Monster. I feel violated.

If your Maximum Leader may paraphrase the great Elisson, Twitter is blogging for people with ADD. Perhaps your Maximum Leader has ADD and just didn’t realize it until now. Or perhaps Twitter is more aptly described by Dustin Rowles over at Pajiba (in his excellent review of Easy A):“If you look at Twitter on any given day, you’ll find millions of people essentially having conversations with themselves, and they’re not looking for engagement so much as they are seeking validation for their own opinions about themselves.”

At any rate, your Maximum Leader is on Twitter.

Carry on.

Some political (heresy)

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader has written in this space before that he’s not much of a “Tea Party” type of person. He considers himself a conservative. He further considers that he is likely in agreement (in broadest principles) with many of the overarching ideas espoused by the Tea Party movement.

But honestly, he thinks that the movement is going a bit far.

The requirement to which your Maximum Leader objects the most is the one calling for ideologocial purity. Purity in a political movement is counter-productive in this and most times throughout US history. (This is made worse by the fact that in many cases the ideology espoused by many in the Tea Party movement just isn’t consistent in the best case, and just completely ignorant in the worst case.) Your Maximum Leader also isn’t thrilled with many candidates running under the banner of the Tea Party.

So let us get a few things out of the way… Your Maximum Leader hasn’t directly supported any Tea Party candidate. Frankly he has no reason to. He is represented in Congress by Rob Wittman. Congressman Whittman is a great guy personally and is perfectly conservative enough for your Maximum Leader. Your Maximum Leader doesn’t spend a lot of time going around actively supporting candidates who have no connection directly to him. (Although he is still very interested in politics in the aggregate.)

To your Maximum Leader the Tea Party movement has been something from which he has felt detached and more than a little bit disturbed by. He is generally suspicious of any populist movement of any ideological stripe. Anger is not his favorite emotion in politics. Certainly anger and fear are the most powerful of political motivators in our country. That said your Maximum Leader isn’t all that comfortable with emotion being the major motivator in politics. (NB: This is not to say that your Maximum Leader doesn’t like intrigue, backbiting and grudges. He does. But he doesn’t want voters to be overly emotional that just makes them more crazy than normal. Emotional voters - bad. Politicians being politicians - normal and sometimes good and fun.)

So… What about the Tea Party victory of the moment? Let your Maximum Leader discourse for a moment on Christine O’Donnell. Let him start with the good stuff. Speaking as an objectifying man, she is cute. She’s a hell of a lot better looking than Mike Castle that’s for sure. (NB: Your Maximum Leader has met Mike Castle in the distant past. At the time Castle was Governor of Delaware. And he should also add that he seems to remember then-Gov Castle having a rather hot girlfriend. Your Maximum Leader only mentions this because apparently some people were rumoring recently that Castle was gay. Take that for what it is worth.) And being cute certainly must count for something. Insofar as her politics go, your Maximum Leader can’t say anything good or bad about her. Other than knowing that she was supported by the Tea Party movement and Sarah Palin there doesn’t seem to be much written about her politics.

Except the stuff about abortion (she’s against it - so is your Maximum Leader by the way), masturbation (she’s against it - your Maximum Leader doesn’t know why masturbation might be a political issue - but insomuch as it is political he’s for it) and calling President Obama anti-American your Maximum Leader doesn’t know much about her politics. Again, like with the Tea Party at large, he suspects that he would likely agree with lots of her politics if he knew what they were. (Then again, like the Tea Party at large, the devil is in the details.)

She was nominated as the Republican candidate for Senate twice before. So apparently much opposition to her is recent. It is fine for her to be a sacraficial lamb before the campaigning of (now Vice-President) Joe Biden but it is too much for her to compete for a seat that is now open.

She won the primary fair and square. She won it in the only way she could. She tapped into voter anger and pushed the buttons that needed to be pushed. She’s played by the rules and won according to how the rules are played.

But there is the question of should she have run against Castle in the first place. This is the heart of what your Maximum Leader has to say on this.

Okay… Is Mike Castle a RINO? Is he a dreaded Republican in name only? No. He is a Republican. Is Mike Castle a conservative? No he is not. Your Maximum Leader realizes that Republicans tend to be more conservative than Democrats. But since we only have two political parties in this country they both need to be pretty big tents (to use a cliche). If one attempts to purify one of the parties you are left with a small rump party that ceases to be viable long-term.

Let us go back to the situation in Delaware. Is Delaware a particularly conservative leaning state? No. If it was would they have elected Joe Biden for all those years? Why has Mike Castle been so successful in Delaware? He’s been successful because he is in touch with the people he has represented for so many years. Mike Castle was the Republican that was able to appeal to the people of Delaware. Could conservatives count on the Mike Castle vote 100% of the time? No they could not. Could conservatives count on Mike Castle’s vote 50% of the time. Sure they could. Could conservatives count on Joe Biden’s vote 50% of the time? Nope. Could conservatives count on Joe Biden’s vote 10% of the time? Probably not.

So let us see where we are now. Christine O’Donnell might well win the race in November. Who knows. She won a primary “against the odds.” So if she can pull out one more win this year that would be great. If she wins in November your Maximum Leader will eat his words and state that nominating her wasn’t a mistake.

But let us say that history has not changed and Delaware is still what it has been for decades, a pretty safely Democratic state, and that Christine O’Donnell is beaten by a relative nobody on the Democratic side. Then what? What if Delaware was the difference between Republicans running the Senate or Democrats retaining control? In that situation would it not have been better to have Mike Castle there than in enforced retirement? As far as your Maximum Leader is concerned, the answer to that question is yes. Better to have Castle than nothing.

But for many Tea Party advocates it is better to have nothing than something. That is very disturbing.

Many years ago your Maximum Leader was an intern on Capitol Hill. And in his lowly position he had occasion to run into Lee Atwater and Mary Matalin and a host of other late 1980s early 1990s political guru types. At one point Lee Atwater said to a bunch of us interns that generally speaking 40% of Americans were always going to vote Democrat and 40% were always going to vote Republican. Both parties were fighting over about 11% of the electorate. Now Atwater was speaking about national races and speaking in the aggregate. But there is a basic truth here that many in the Tea Party movement don’t seem to get…

Let us say that those evenly split 80% of Americans were not just Democrats and Republicans. Let us instead think of them as Liberals and Conservatives. Those numbers are pretty hard and fast. Your just not going to change the mind of anyone in that 80%. But that doesn’t mean you can’t try to. And in your Maximum Leader’s opinion that is just what the Tea Party movement activists are trying to do. It isn’t that the Tea Partiers are fighting in a meaningful way to win over the minds of the middle 20%. They are trying to make sure that the only people on their side are the ones that completely agree with them.

Your Maximum Leader thinks that it is unlikely that O’Donnell will win in November. She might, but it is unlikely. With Delaware remaining safely in Democratic hands it becomes less likely that Republicans (conservative ones as well as not so conservative ones) will take control of the Senate. If the Senate stays Democratically controlled it is much less likely that the Tea Partiers will get their (purported) wish, namely the opportunity to stop President Obama’s agenda.

So the question seems to be are the Tea Partiers looking to win, or just to make sure only the kids they want to play get to play? At this point your Maximum Leader thinks that the primary objective of Tea Party activists is to take control of the Republican party where ever they are able, regardless of being able to actually beat the man who they believe is ruining the country.

Sure some Tea Party supported candidates are going to win this fall (your Maximum Leader thinks Rand “Aqua Buddha” Paul will likely win in KY and it seems that Sharon Angle might actually beat Harry Reid in NV). It will be interesting to see how the Tea Party candidates will actually govern. Your Maximum Leader suspects that they will be a pain in the arse to everyone of all political stripes. We’ll see on that.

Carry on.

Some sport musings

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader has been spend a lot of time watching and thinking about baseball and football.

On the baseball side of things, your Maximum Leader’s son, the Wee Villain, has started to play organized ball. The Wee Villain has been enjoying himself very much at practice and is looking forward to the first game (which is Saturday). In terms of his skills, he has a good and reasonably accurate throwing arm, he is a slow runner, he is still somewhat afraid of balls hit in the air coming down and hitting him, he is good at fielding grounders, and his swing is terribly aggrevating. All in all he is a middling player in his group. Your Maximum Leader believes that he’d be much better if he could improve one element of his swing. When the ball comes at him he “steps out” with his front foot. He completely opens his stance and misses the ball. The motion causes him to lose the ball visually, it messes up his swing (which otherwise would be okay) and completely takes away any power he might have in the event he made contact. Your Maximum Leader has gone so far as to lay on the ground behind the Wee Villain and hold his ankles when he swings so he can’t move his feet at all.

It is going to take more and more practice. Then again, he is six…

As far as your Maximum Leader’s beloved Washington Nationals are concerned… There is all at once so much and so little to say. Your Maximum Leader had predicted that the Nats would win 70-75 games this year. That is still a possibility, but it is a little reach. Most of the Nats’ games are against NL East opponents; and we have a pennant race in the NL East. On the good side of the equation (for Nats’ fans) is that the Nats have played NL East teams that are not the Florida Marlins very well. So well in fact that they have a winning record against the NL East (except Florida). But the Phillies are highly motivated to play well to make sure they make the playoffs and have some “mo” working for them. It will be interesting to watch as the Nats could play the role of spoiler to some team.

In other Nationals news. Your Maximum Leader believes that the team should offer Adam Dunn a 3-4 year contract and keep him. If this season has shown us anything it is that you never know what will happen with your prospects. With that in mind, give the big lug a contract and let him stick around. Sure he isn’t a great fielder (and in a perfect world he’d be a DH for an AL team - a role he’d fit exactly) but he does pop the ball and he makes Ryan Zimmerman a better hitter. Keep him for his offence says your Maximum Leader. We like Adam Dunn and we’d like to see him stay on as a Nat.

Nyjer Morgan however… Your Maximum Leader has turned on Nyjer. Last year he was fun to watch and greatly entertaining. This year he is making mental errors and being a little more belligerent than he should be. His “baseball IQ” is not as advanced as others and he probably has been working himself out of a job in DC. If Morgan winds up being traded, your Maximum Leader wouldn’t shed a tear. The Nats have plenty of talent coming up that can play outfield and likely do better at it than Morgan is now.

So that is baseball…

As for football…

Your Maximum Leader has been souring on football more and more over the years. He can actually see himself not watching it at all within a few years. The problem for him now is head injury leading to early death. He finds himself wincing at hard hits and heads snapping back in blocks and tackles. All of the research coming out about the connection between head trauma and dementia, ALS and other problems has actually scared your Maximum Leader a bit.

Of course, your Maximum Leader doesn’t play football, hasn’t played organized football and has nothing to fear from injuries he’s never sustained. But at some level now that he knows what is going on out there he doesn’t like watching it as much. It was hard to watch his (beloved) Green Bay Packers play the Philadelphia Eagles. It was hard to watch because Aaron Rodgers was getting sacked quite a bit early on. With every sack your Maximum Leader wondered if a few months were taken off Rodger’s life - or the life of the defensive player who got the sack.

Because your Maximum Leader can’t let this subject go without some sort of snarky political comment… Here tis: You know that with nationalized health care coming up they will eventually have to outlaw (or othewise prohibit) football being played like this because it is too dangerous and the public cost will be too high to bear.

Anyhoo…

Your Maximum Leader hasn’t stopped watching football, but it is sort of hard. He can say this, the Wee Villain will never play football. EVER. That doesn’t stop others from sacraficing their sons to the allure of the gridiron… Your Maximum Leader is happy to let others do that…

All this angst aside, it was good to see the Packers win. Very good in fact. It made your Maximum Leader very happy.

Carry on.

Harshing your zombie mellow

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader probably spends 5.2 hours a month contemplating the zombie apocalypse. (To choose a round number…) He will occasionally drive somewhere out in the country and see a nice house and think to himself, “Self, you know you could hole up in that house against a horde of zombies for quite a while.” He will, from time to time, even take some target practice against paper targets with the image of Illinois Nazi zombies just to stay sharp.

So, imagine his interest when he saw a link over at Agent Bedhead’s site entitled: 7 scientific reasons a Zombie Outbreak would fail (quickly). He knew he’d have to click on the link. But at the same time he felt some trepidation. Why apply science to a problem best left exclusively to shotguns, rifles, molotov cocktails and chainsaws (as a last line of defence)?

Well, your Maximum Leader clicked and read. You should click and read the piece here: 7 Scientific Reasons a Zombie Outbreak Would Fail (Quickly).

After reading the piece your Maximum Leader sat, deflated, in his chair and realized that unless he was right at the epicenter of the outbreak; he’d never get to fulfill his dream of driving down a street full of zombies blasting away with automatic weapons.

Damn you Cracked.com!

Carry on.

UPDATED: Further review of the Cracked.com site turned up this piece: 5 Scientific Reasons a Zombie Acpocalypse Could Actually Happen. All reasons are very scary.

100 Below - The Flash Drive

She was about to pull off an intelligence coup that would rival any in history.

Her life had been preparing for this. Chinese immigrant parents taught her their rural accent. She worked harder than her obvious intelligence required in school. Good luck gave her physical beauty.

She’d spent years insinuating herself, eventually, into the bed of a top intelligence official. Now she had a list of active agents on a $4 flash drive wrapped in cellophane pushed further inside her than any man had ever been.

She’d omit the last part when she turned in the drive.

Historic appeal - Classical Egypt edition

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader is a little surprised to have two interesting history related posts in one day. (NB: He is a little excited to have two posts in one day, speaking frankly.)

The AP is reporting that Egyptian antiquities authorities are planning opening up for tourism the classical city of Leukaspis (or Antiphrae) near the current city of Marina.

The ancient city was covered by a tsunami in the 4th Century and was rediscovered in 1986. Recent digs have revealed many intact buildings and tombs. The city was a port in classical times and exported grains across the Roman Empire and the land has been eyed by wealthy Egyptians who have wanted to develop the land as a golf course resort on the coast.

Well thank goodness that Antiquities authorities were able to preserve (at least some of) the site from development.

Carry on.

Historic appeal - Or you may fire when you are ready, Gridley

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader sees on the news wire that the USS Olympia, Commodore Dewey’s famous flagship ship from the Spanish American War (and specifically the Battle of Manila Bay), is in danger. Lots of danger. Danger of three sorts. The first is that the ship will just sink at her moorings. The second is that she’ll have to be sold for scrap. The third is that she might be taken to sea and made into an artifical reef. According to the AP article:

Since taking stewardship of the floating museum from a cash-strapped nonprofit in 1996, the Independence Seaport Museum has spent $5.5 million on repairs, inspections and maintenance. But it can neither afford the $10 million to dredge the marina, tow the ship to dry-dock and restore it to fighting trim, nor the $10 million to establish an endowment to care for it in perpetuity.

[…]

Efforts to secure private or public funding have been unsuccessful, a stark reminder of recessionary times. Museum officials are reluctantly mulling whether to scrap the National Historic Landmark, said to be the world’s oldest steel warship still afloat, or have the Navy sink it off the coast of Cape May.

The 344-foot-long protected cruiser ideally should have been dry-docked every 20 years for maintenance. Instead it has been dutifully bobbing — and quietly wasting away — in the Delaware since 1945 without a break from the wind and waves.

The waterline is marked with scores of patches, and sections of the mazelike lower hull are so corroded that sunlight shines through. Above deck, water sneaks past the concrete and rubberized surface layers, past the rotting fir deck underneath, and onto the handsomely appointed officers’ quarters below.

Your Maximum Leader visited the Olympia in 1999. It was a fun little side trip during a visit to Philadelphia. At the time the ship looked to be in better condition than it is described right now. Of course, on the short tour of the ship one didn’t get to see all the areas that weren’t being kept up nicely. Your Maximum Leader hopes that the $20 million needed to keep this great ship afloat and cared for is raised.

For more on the Battle of Manila Bay you can clicky here.

Carry on.

Rabbit and doing some good

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader forgot to publish this post yesterday. So here is the post he’d written for yesterday:

Your Maximum Leader cries out at each and every one of you! He cries out “Rabbit!” (Since it is the first of the month.)

Now that we have this out of the way…

Your Maximum Leader is involved some in the activities of the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation here in the Fredericksburg, Virginia area. The Cal Ripken Foundation is building a ball field in our area to give poor and “at-risk” kids a nice safe place to play baseball. It is a very worthwhile cause. If you would like to do something to help this cause you might go to the Pepsi Refresh site and vote for the Foundation to get a grant from Pepsi. Here is the information:

Go and vote. It don’t cost nuthin’ and it could help out kids in your Maximum Leader’s fair city.

Carry on.

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