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Don’t mess with Benedictines

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader has been remarkably tedious in his constant commenting that he has things to blog about, but very little time to do so. Well… One of the items that your Maximum Leader has meant to blog about for a while now has wound up in the Washington Post.

Your Maximum Leader is a careful donor of what money he sets aside for charity. One of the entities to which your Maximum Leader tries to give some money every year is the Institute for Justice. Your Maximum Leader doesn’t know if you have ever seen, or clicked through, the link on the right side navigation for the Institute for Justice, but it is there. IJ is a small law firm that fights for economic freedom in America. They got the most press when the, very sadly, lost the infamous Kelo vs. New Haven, CT case concerning eminent domain. Your Maximum Leader believes that IJ was right in its position in Kelo, and the US Supreme Court was very very wrong…

Anyhoo…

The Institute for Justice continues to fight for economic freedom and private property. Now their the face of their most recent fight are Benedictine monks in Louisiana who are trying to sell coffins. The story has made the front page of the Washington Post Online: Louisiana monks go to court to sell caskets.

The basic facts are these. The Benedictines want to sell caskets in their home state; but they were given cease and desist orders before selling their first casket. In Louisiana, only licensed funeral parlors (with funeral directors) can sell caskets. Louisiana law does, however, allow people to buy caskets on-line and use them. The IJ is fighting for the monks on the grounds that Louisiana’s regulations are irrational and unconstitutional (on due process and equal protection grounds).

Your Maximum Leader wishes that there was a particular passage he could cite here to give you the heart of the story, but there really isn’t. You should just go and read the Washington Post piece (clicky here). Or, if you want you can go over to the Institute for Justices’ web site and read their page on this case which has lots of good links and information.

Your Maximum Leader would also commend the Institute for Justice to you if you consider giving to advocacy organizations. This is a good one. You can donate to IJ by clicking here.

Read it all.

Carry on.

Attacked

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader sees that on this day back in 1856, Representative Preston Brooks attacked Senator Charles Sumner on the floor of the United States Senate.

Your Maximum Leader is glad that we don’t have our elected representatives bludgeoning each other on a regular basis today. Well, they don’t LITERALLY bludgeon each other today. It is all rhetorical today.

Carry on.

You are welcome Hollywood.

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader did something over the past weekend that he hasn’t done in decades. What you ask! What did he do? Did he pardon dwarves? Did he start construction of a huge solar shade? No… Neither of those.

He went to the cinema. Not once… But twice in one weekend.

You may suppress your audible gasps now.

Your Maximum Leader can’t recall a time since he was in college that he saw two movies, in theaters, in the same weekend.

For your information, the two films were “The Avengers” and “Dark Shadows.”

So there you go Hollywood… You should thank your Maximum Leader for shelling out his cash to see two films.

Reviews? Reviews? What did your Maximum Leader think of the films you ask.

Well… To begin with the film he saw first, Dark Shadows.

Your Maximum Leader must admit that, on the whole, he likes Tim Burton’s works. He likes the quirkiness and sometimes off-beat work. So, your Maximum Leader expected the film to be a little quirky. All in all, your Maximum Leader was a disappointed in Dark Shadows. If you’ve seen a trailer for it, you got the feeling that the film was going to be gothic humor. Sadly, if you saw the trailers, you saw most of the really funny bits. So if it wasn’t a comedy, you might think they would go for campy gothic horror (like the TV show the film is based upon). Again, sadly, this wasn’t the case either. The film couldn’t decide if it was campy gothic horror or campy gothic humor. It was just sort of campy. Your Maximum Leader, in retrospect, should have waited for the film on HBO.

The second film was The Avengers.

Your Maximum Leader should say that with the exception of Batman and Superman, he is not a big comic book action hero fan. He does believe that “The Dark Knight” is the greatest superhero move EVAH! (And it is among the best in the action movie genre.) The Avengers is the second best superhero movie evan, and a really good action movie as well. Your Maximum Leader will not have to go into great detail (because if you wanted a plot summary or serious critical review you would have looked elsewhere, like Pajiba) but he will say that people of all ages will enjoy the film. The cost of admission is money well spent.

So, there you go… Two movies, two opinions for you.

You’re welcome Hollywood. Your Maximum Leader coughed up some dough to see some films.

Carry on.

Testing

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader is feeling a little old. His eldest is taking the AP World History test today. Your Maximum Leader took the test when he was in high school. (He got a 5.) For the past few weeks, your Maximum Leader has been trying to help Villainette #1 prepare for the test. He should note for the record that Villainette#1 has done everything in her power to avoid this help and to annoy her father in the midst of giving the help. The constant refrain has been, “But dad, we go over this stuff in class all the time now…”

Anyhoo…

Your Maximum Leader is hoping she does well.

(If she doesn’t get a 5 to tie her old man, your Maximum Leader will throw it in her face all summer… Just kidding… Nope, not kidding… Yes, he kidding… Nope… Yes…)

Carry on.

The truth about a new word

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader had a wonderful day (last Sunday) with his good buddy the Minister of Propaganda. While shooting the breeze over drinks and victuals, the Minister introduced your Maximum Leader to a word that he’d invented (with another friend of his). Your Maximum Leader likes this word and will share it with you:

Circumwongle = to arrive pleasantly at the results you want by an unexpected route.

Your Maximum Leader has given his approval to this word and hopes you all can find a way to work it into conversation.

In other news…

Your Maximum Leader was speaking with some other friends last night and one of them threw out a nice line that he’ll have to remember: “The truth is a powerful tool and should be used sparingly.” Your Maximum Leader doesn’t know if this a quotation from someone else, but he’ll have to remember this one too…

Carry on.

Well this is unexpected, and sort of sad.

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader is a little sad by the performance in the last few games by his beloved Washington Nationals. They have been squandering great pitching performances with a lack of offense. The team just can’t get men across the plate. That problem is made worse by the absence of Michael Morse and Ryan Zimmerman. Calling up Bryce Harper is exciting, and may bear fruit, but it isn’t enough now.

Your Maximum Leader hopes the Nationals can string together some wins over the next few games and not completely waste their hot start.

In other sports news…

Your Maximum Leader will be in the Verizon Center tonight rooting for his (also beloved) Washington Capitals in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Semi-finals. Your Maximum Leader thinks he’s drunk the Caps kool-aid. He is feeling good about the team’s chances in this series. The defensive style of play is well suited to the playoffs. By playing a simplified game and doing everything possible to minimize mistakes the Caps have been able to tough out enough wins to make it this far. Your Maximum Leader thinks that they could win this series and move on to the Conference Finals. If that happens, your Maximum Leader will be beside himself with joy.

Carry on.

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