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Loyalty binds me.

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader, a few days ago, noted that archaeologists believe that they had found the Greyfriars Monastery in the city of Leicester. The monastery church was the burial location of King Richard III after his death at the Battle of Bosworth Field. Now, the same archaeology team believes that they may have found the mortal remains of Richard himself.

Archaeologists believe they have found the skeleton of King Richard III from the Telegraph (UK).

Your Maximum Leader is practically beside himself with excitement.

Here are some interesting passages from the piece:

Five key aspects underlined their belief that appears to have ended a decade-long search for his remains.
The skeleton was an adult male, who appeared fit and strong. He had suffered significant trauma to the head where a blade had cut away part of the back of his skull; an injury consistent with battle.
A barbed arrow head was found lodged between vertebrae in his upper back, and spinal abnormalities pointed to the fact that he had severe scoliosis, a form of spinal curvature. This would have made his right shoulder appear visibly higher than his left, which is consistent with contemporary accounts of Richard’s appearance.

Could this be King Richard? DNA tests are being conducted on the remains. Your Maximum Leader would be curious to know exactly the source of the DNA they will be using to do the comparison. There aren’t a lot of Plantagenets hanging about nowadays. (Your Maximum Leader suspects there is some English noble that can claim descent from some Plantagenets - the Dukes of Norfolk perhaps?)

This is a very exciting find. Your Maximum Leader hopes that the remains are those of Richard and that he will be re-interred with all of the honors due a King of England in Leicester Cathedral. (Although to be buried in a fine tomb near Henry VII in Westminster might be fitting as well.)

Your Maximum Leader will follow this story as closely as possible.

Carry on.

UPDATED: According to Wikipedia, and this news piece, the DNA being used to identify the remains comes from Michael Ibsen, who’s late mother, Joy, is a matrilineal descendant of Cecily Neville - the mother of Kings Edward IV and Richard III. If you click on the link you can see Mr. Ibsen being swabbed for a DNA sample at the dig site in Leicester.

Sacrosanct.

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader is sure you didn’t need him to notify you of the assaults on the Embassies of the United States in Egypt and in Libya. During the rocket attack on the Embassy in Libya, our Ambassador, Christopher Stevens, was killed with other Americans.

Like any sensible and patriotic American, your Maximum Leader is angry with Libya and Egypt. He hopes, but holds out little hope, that those who stormed our Embassy in Egypt will be severely punished. He hopes, but again holds out little hope, that those who attacked our Embassy in Libya will be hunted down and killed themselves. He would prefer if this were done through a judicial process by the governments of Libya and Egypt… But he is not hopeful.

Your Maximum Leader is unreformed when it comes to ambassadors and embassies. They are sacrosanct and must be protected at all costs by the host nation. In this he is rather like the Romans and Mongols. Harm our ambassador and we will do severe harm to your nation. Your Maximum Leader seems to recall a story about Genghis Khan going to war with some central asian Kingdom because they killed his ambassador. Genghis actually wanted peace with the kingdom, but felt he had to go to war (and destroy their cities, rape their women, and kill their sons) because of the killing of his envoy.

Now your Maximum Leader is well aware that another war is not what the US needs, wants, can afford, or is inclined to do. (As satisfying as razing Benghazi might be…) But he wouldn’t object to some airstrikes on worthwhile targets. Neither would he oppose the clandestine hunting down and killing of those we can identify as being responsible.

Your Maximum Leader would like more than a little outrage from his President and Secretary of State. But he honestly isn’t sure what they can/will do beyond their statements.

And just so you don’t think that your Maximum Leader is totally irrational in this… He is aware that there are very limited response options given that our long-term interest in these nations is to promote a stable (reasonably) pro-western government…

Carry on.

A Mess. A gooey, sticky, runny delicious mess.

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader is embroiled in a debate. A hot debate. A gooey debate. A melty-cheesey debate.

You see, yesterday, your Maximum Leader’s buddy Kevin posted a photo of what he purported was a “grilled cheese” sandwich. You can see the image by clicking on this linky. You will not that the first image shows bread, cheese and meat after a light grilling. Your Maximum Leader tweeted in a Darth Vader-eqsue way “Nooooooooooooooooo!” In your Maximum Leader’s opinion, this image shows a grilled sandwich to be sure, but the addition of meat precluded it from being a true “grilled cheese” sandwich.

Thus the debate was joined.

Kevin posted a fine reply to the various tweets your Maximum Leader had been broadcasting on the subject. That post is here: The Great Grilled-cheese Debate.

The sides break down thusly: Kevin believes that we should be flexible in our definition of what constitutes a “grilled cheese” sandwich. The inclusion of meat does not preclude the sandwich from still being a “grilled cheese” sandwich. Your Maximum Leader believes the “bemeated” sandwich ceases to be a “grilled cheese” sandwich and starts to be some other sort of sandwich. Your Maximum Leader would posit that the sandwich that started the debate could be a “grilled ciabatta” sandwich.

You should take a moment and read the comments to this post. Indeed, you should weigh in on the subject yourself. Comment here or over there. (It matters not to your Maximum Leader - although it might make it easier to manage if you commented there.)

Let us continue the suffering on both sides caused by this debate! Should we find a middle way and except a broad definition of “grilled cheese?” Should we stand up and support the Platonic ideal of “grilled cheese-ness” that precludes “bemeating” a grilled cheese?

Make your opinions known! Shout out from the rooftops (or at least in the comments) what is a grilled cheese sandwich.

The world will be a better place if we can put this argument to rest once and for all.

Remember - you can’t “bemeat” a grilled cheese!

Carry on.

A few of thoughts

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader is going to forget how to blog if he keeps going on his intermittent rate of updating. Here are some thoughts and tidbits for your reading pleasure.

First off, in keeping with your Maximum Leader’s advocacy of King Richard III of England (per post below); you might be interested in knowing that archeologists believe that they have found the church in which Richard’s remains were buried after the King’s defeat and death at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485. Here is the article: Lost medieval church found beneath parking lot. Here is the first bit of the piece:

The hunt for King Richard III’s grave is heating up, with archaeologists announcing Sept. 5 that they have located the church where the king was buried in 1485.
“The discoveries so far leave us in no doubt that we are on the site of Leicester’s Franciscan Friary, meaning we have crossed the first significant hurdle of the investigation,” Richard Buckley, the lead archaeologist on the dig, said in a statement.
Buckley and his colleagues have been excavating a parking lot in Leicester, England, since Aug. 25. They are searching for Greyfriars church, said to be the final resting place of Richard III, who died in battle during the War of the Roses, an English civil war. A century later, Shakespeare would immortalize Richard III in a play of the same name.
After his death in the Battle of Bosworth Field, Richard III was brought to Leicester and buried at Greyfriars. The location of the grave, and the church itself, was eventually lost to history, though University of Leicester archaeologists traced the likely location to beneath the parking lot for the Leicester City Council offices.

The article continues to say that if the archeologists find Richard’s grave, he will be reinterred in Leicester Cathedral.

Of course, your Maximum Leader’s readings have all pointed towards Richard’s body (bones mostly) being removed from his grave and thrown into the nearby River Soar during the Tudor dissolution of the monasteries. So it could be that Richard will not be found at all. Your Maximum Leader, for one, really hopes that they find Richard’s grave and are able to give him a proper royal burial.

Your Maximum Leader apparently bought too soon when he purchased Kindle Fires for himself (in June) and Mrs Villain (in August). Now Amazon has revamped and expanded the line of offerings in the Kindle Fire department. Your Maximum Leader is a little intrigued by the prospect of an HD Fire. The other interesting bit is the kid-proofing settings that are coming with the Kindle Fire OS upgrade. Villainette #1 and the Wee Villain frequently “borrow” one of the Kindles in the house. (The former to read books and the latter to watch videos.) It would be nice to put a filter on the items (mostly video content) that we could keep the kids from watching. Anyhooo… Your Maximum Leader should have waited and gotten the second Kindle later in the year when the new HD models were available.

Some commenters on the tablet computer market are writing that Amazon’s new Kindle Fires are game changers in the segment. Your Maximum Leader disagrees with this. He sees the Kindle Fire as an entertainment platform; whereas other tablets are computer surrogates with increased functionality. Perhaps most tablets are entertainment platforms and not computer surrogates to their owners… In which case, the new Fires might actually be game changers…

You might be curious to know your Maximum Leader’s thoughts on the recently completed national party conventions. He doesn’t have many thoughts on them. He didn’t watch anything beyond the recaps on morning newsfotainment programs (mostly ABC’s GMA to be honest). Your Maximum Leader isn’t sure how watching would benefit him at all. The candidates and their supporters are not adding anything of substance to national debate (such as it is). They are repeating tropes they’ve been trotting out for the past 18 months at least. Conventions are nothing more than pep rallies for the hardcore supporters. Your Maximum Leader can do without such pep rallies. He’s looking forward, without good reason by the way, to the Obama/Romney and Biden/Ryan debates. He is looking forward to them because there might be some real substance discussed at those events. He must emphasize the “might” in that last sentence. Debates are tightly scripted and rule-bound. That noted, they are live and extemporaneous to a limited extent. It is possible that one or both of the debaters might go off-script and something worthwhile come up. It hasn’t happened too often, but it does happen. So there is that.

So, you might be thinking, if your Maximum Leader wasn’t watching the political conventions; what was he watching. Why he was watching his beloved Washington Nationals baseball club. The Nationals continue to lead the National League East; and are battling it out for the best record in baseball (with the Cincinnati Reds). Your Maximum Leader loves baseball. He has always enjoyed watching the Nationals (in person and on TV). This season has been different. Your Maximum Leader tunes in (or arrives at the park) fully expecting to see the Nationals win a game. This has not been the case in past seasons. It is thrilling spectacle.

One of the things that makes your Maximum Leader so excited to watch the Nationals is the sheer potential of it. By potential he means that he honestly feels this team has no limitations on their ability to advance. Neither are they weighed down by history. Some of you out there might wonder what your Maximum Leader means by being weighed down by history. This is a hotly debated item. To explain further… Your Maximum Leader’s second favorite sport, ice hockey, serves as his example. His beloved Washington Capitals have been a great team for the past 5 years. But, they can’t get to the championship game in the playoffs (Division championship or Stanley Cup). The Caps are great to watch and exciting during the season. They make it to the post-season. Then your Maximum Leader expects them to make it to the second round and be eliminated. It has happened so many time in the team’s history it almost seems like a forgone conclusion. Your Maximum Leader is weighed down by negative expectations. It can be debated that the players (who come and go for the most part) feel this history as well. Players say that they don’t feel the weight of history on them as they are playing. But your Maximum Leader doubts that. The Caps potential seems limited - and will until they make it to a championship game. The Nationals aren’t like that. Baseball’s long history in Washington is punctuated by stretches of baseball’s absence from our city. While it is true that the Washington baseball club hasn’t make the playoffs since 1969 (the year your Maximum Leader was born) and hasn’t won in the playoffs since 1933 (before your Maximum Leader’s parents were born); it must be noted that there was no baseball in Washington from 1971 until 2005. So there really isn’t a history that weighs on the city or the players. This franchise can write its own history. Your Maximum Leader hopes it is great history at that.

Carry on.

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