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Off into the sunset.

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader just watched Benedict XVI fade off into the sunset over Latinum. (Is the provence surrounding Rome still called Latinum or is your Maximum Leader’s love of history playing tricks on his memory?)

Your Maximum Leader watched this spectacle mostly out of curiosity. A Pope resigning (or abdicating as your Maximum Leader thinks it should be) isn’t something that happens every day.

Does your Maximum Leader have any deep thoughts to share with you on this historic event? Sadly no. Benedict could be remembered, in some circles, for his impressive scholarship and writing. (Much of which was done before he was elevated to the Throne.) But if abdication due to failing health becomes the preferred method of leaving the papacy, he will be long remembered for how he proceeds from here on out.

In your Maximum Leader’s humble opinion, the title of “Pope Emeritus” is a little much. Wearing the white cassock also seems a little much. If it was your Maximum Leader’s call, former popes would be referred to as “Father ______” and the former pope in question could choose his papal name or his birth name. So the soon-to-be former pope would be Father Joseph or Father Benedict. Also, he should wear a simple black or brown cassock. Your Maximum Leader (intellectually) understands where they are coming from with the title and the dress; but if you are “retiring” and removing yourself from office and public life; then the most basic trappings of that life probably ought to go as well.

Anyhooo…

Now on to the Conclave and the future.

Carry on.

Some Thursday Randomness

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader is grateful for each and every one of you that might still come by the space. He might check his site stats at some point soon to see how many of you there might be…

Anyhooo….

Some random bloggy thoughts for you all this Thursday…

Your Maximum Leader was surprised at Pope Benedict XVI’s decision to abdicate the Throne of St. Peter. Your Maximum Leader isn’t sure why people are calling this a retirement (or even worse saying the Pope is quitting). Since the Pope is the autocratic head of a sovereign state it would seem as though this is more an abdication than a retirement. After some reflection your Maximum Leader thinks that Benedict is doing the right thing by stepping aside. The government of the Roman Catholic Church (the Roman Curia as it were) needs reform and a more youthful and vigorous hand to lead it. This isn’t just your Maximum Leader’s take after reading reports all over the interwebs. Anyone with half a brain who’s looked at the Roman Curia at all in the past 30 years can see how it needs to be reformed and revamped. A modern church (that is a church functioning in the modern age - not “modernizing” theology as many would advocate) requires a modern Curia and bureaucracy. The Benedict and JPII were both proclaimers of the Word. The church, for what your Maximum Leader’s opinion is worth (NB: not much), needs to reform how it works very badly.

In fact, your Maximum Leader would entertain speculation that the condition of the Roman Curia and its need for reform is THE primary reason why the Pope is abdicating…

One more thought on the Pope’s abdication… Your Maximum Leader thinks he should go to a quiet monastery for the rest of his life and be known as “Brother Josef.”

Your Maximum Leader doesn’t give a damn about Chuck Hagel and if he is confirmed as Secretary of Defense. Frankly, unless there is some glaring (generally criminal or nearly criminal) action for which a nominee is responsible; the President should get whomever he wants in whatever job he wants the person in. Elections have consequences you know. Hell, your Maximum Leader doesn’t want John Kerry as Secretary of State… But in your Maximum Leader’s opinion being a misguided dickhead in and of itself is not a disqualification for the office.

Your Maximum Leader doesn’t like the games both sides are playing with all this sequestration stuff. As your Maximum Leader sees it, the House will be blamed for everything regardless of the veracity of the attribution of blame. The President will say (and be believed in saying) that he tried to work with Congress, but his calls fell on ears deafened by partisanship. Harry Reid will say that the Senate was ready to work with the President and the House and he can’t do anything more. And Speaker Boehner will say he tried too, but no one will believe him. So, your Maximum Leader has come to the conclusion that the House Leadership needs to get whatever support they can from Democrats and Republicans in that chamber and make a deal that can get passed. The continuing rancor and inaction is having too much negative impact on the US (and World) economy that getting a deal done is becoming more and more important. Uncertainty is a core problem now in all things economic. Providing even a little certainty will go a long way. Does your Maximum Leader think that the House should abandon long-term deficit & spending-reduction goals… No. They shouldn’t. But someone has to start doing something or the whole thing will go off the rails a lot faster than expected…

Oh yeah… Things will still go off the rails… But perhaps we can build a little more rail-line to try and work out our spending problems.

Your Maximum Leader needs to write more about Richard III. He has all sorts of thoughts on this whole matter, but just can’t seem to find a way to make time to write about them.

And finally… Your Maximum Leader is getting a whole bunch of pork belly in the next few days… That means he’ll be making bacon. Yum. Perhaps he’ll post some photos of the process… (Such as it is.)

Carry on.

In need of updating

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader’s blog is in need of updating. He has comments that he is planning on posting very soon about Richard III and Benedict XVI. Perhaps some political comments as well. Perhaps this Sunday will be the day of updating…

In the meanwhile, please refrain from being martyred on this “holiday” known as “Valentine’s Day.”

Carry on.

God Save the King! Richard found!

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader is sure that by now you have heard the news. No it isn’t that the Ball’mer Ravens won the Super Bowl. The news is greater than that. (Though the news has been overshadowed by the big football game.)

The remains of King Richard III of England have been positively identified. According to the Washington Post (and many other news outlets) the remains found five months ago under a parking lot in Leicester are “beyond a reasonable doubt” those of the last Plantagenet king of England.

Your Maximum Leader is positively giddy with the news. As long-time readers (if there are any of you left) know, your Maximum Leader is a big fan of Richard III. Your Maximum Leader supposes that the next big decision for the archeologists and others involved with the dig will be how to re-bury the King. Your Maximum Leader believes there are really only two choices available for re-burial. The first, and most likely, is that Richard should be lain to rest in Leicester Cathedral (a short distance from where he was found). He has, after all, been buried in Leicester for 500 years already and short of being put back under the parking lot, this is a reasonable choice. The other choice is that specified by Richard himself. As your Maximum Leader understands it, the King had plans in his will to be buried in York Minster.

Your Maximum Leader knows that Leicester wants to keep Richard’s remains and seems to be lobbying for that outcome. Your Maximum Leader isn’t sure if the good people of York are anxious to have Richard buried there. But it would seem as though they would want him. What community wouldn’t want to have a king buried in their city? Your Maximum Leader is pretty sure that Westminster Cathedral shouldn’t be in the running. That said, many people will probably argue for Westminster…

The one sidebar on this whole discovery that your Maximum Leader would like to see it this: a 3-D model of Richard’s skull used to make an image of what he looked like in life. That would be the most fascinating bit of discovery yet to be revealed. We’ve seen what King Tut looks like (and countless other Pharaohs). I’d like to see Richard’s face.

More on this as it becomes available. In the meanwhile… God Save the King! Hail King Richard III.

Carry on.

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