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Happy New Year!

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader isn’t sure when it happened, but he became an old man a while back. He became an old man when he suddenly couldn’t sleep in or stay up really late. He hasn’t started to eat dinner yet at 4:30 in the afternoon; but it is bound to happen soon.

So here it is New Year’s Eve and it is only about 8:20pm (Eastern Standard Time) and he is already contemplating sleep. Since it is already after midnight in London (GMT of course) he considers it to be New Year’s Day already. Then again, from the point of view of Catholic liturgical practice, it was New Year’s Day at sundown. Speaking of the Roman Catholic Church, your Maximum Leader must be at church in the morning at 7am. That is another reason to get to bed…

Anyhoo…

Happy New Year to you all.

Carry on.

Follow your Maximum Leader on Twitter @maximumleader.

More thoughts on Syria

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader isn’t sure if he’s mentioned it here specifically, but he’s been a more observant Catholic over the past few years than he was at the time of this blog’s founding. He will not set he is a “better” Catholic - as that would denote a sort of spiritual accomplishment that he doesn’t feel he’s earned. Let’s just say that your Maximum Leader is doing what he can to walk a better path…

Anyhoo… That wasn’t where he planned on starting out… So let us try this again…

Your Maximum Leader was in church today and although this was a regular ole Sunday in “Ordinary Time” - the 23rd Sunday in fact. But the presiding Priest noted today that by decree of our Bishop at the request of His Holiness, Pope Francis, today was also a Sunday offered up for Peace and Justice in Syria.

Sadly, this announcement caused your Maximum Leader to be a bit distracted during Mass as he thought about what he ought to be praying for in terms of the Syrian situation.

Of course, your Maximum Leader offered up a prayer for peace in Syria. This is sort of a general prayer of hopefulness. Hope that somehow - as if my magic or miracle - the warring parties in Syria will just stop their fighting and decided to sit down and discuss how they can all get along better. Your Maximum Leader offered up this prayer, with others in the congregation, as we followed the guidance of our Priest. Your Maximum Leader contemplated this action. He wonders about being disingenuous by offering up such a prayer. He doesn’t honestly believe that there is a remote possibility of this happening. Indeed, an angel of God could come down and appear before Assad and all the other warring actors and none of them would take the sign - if you asked your Maximum Leader.

So what then… What should he pray for? More practically, what should he hope for from his government and governments around the civilized world?

Well… If your Maximum Leader wasn’t clean in his earlier post; let him clear up his position insofar as it can be made clear. The government of Bashir Assad has committed horrible atrocities against his people (and all humanity by extension) and deserves to be harshly punished for it. What your Maximum Leader can’t figure out is exactly how Assad can be held to account. Let’s list some items that factor into the equation here:
1) President Obama has said that regime change is not a goal. This is probably a good thing. Since we know that Assad has control of Syria’s chemical weapons it would be bad to topple him and not know who might end up with Syria’s chemical weapons. On the other hand, we know that Assad will use those weapons so he can’t be trusted with them.
2) Russia and China will block United Nations action in Syria. By this your Maximum Leader means that they will prevent any real action on Syria by the UN. Of course, the UN is a toothless agency in any event.
3) Since the US has been wailing and gnashing our teeth about what to do in Syria, the chances that we could actually find where the Syrians are hiding chemical weapons are slim. This said, one isn’t sure you would want to blow up caches of chemical weapons for fear of incidentally releasing them while trying to destroy them.
4) Without putting forces on the ground, what action could the US (and or her allies) actually do to punish Assad? About the only thing your Maximum Leader can think of it bombing airfields and fixed military installations. But it is likely that Assad has moved civilian hostages into those fixed positions so we would be guaranteed of killing people we don’t want to kill. (NB: One cannot be sure from listening to the President and his advisers exactly if we want to kill anybody. One gets the feeling that we wish we could destroy their stuff without hurting anyone in particular.)

Your Maximum Leader is just stuck. He can’t figure out what can be done in a situation that does, in fact, require some sort of action. Your Maximum Leader has heard lots of military types telling Congress that the US has “goals” but not once has an actual “means” to achieve a “goal” been articulated. Sure, we all want the Assad regime’s ability to deliver chemical weapons to be degraded or eliminated. But how the hell do you actually do it?

Your Maximum Leader is open to being convinced. But it isn’t happening…

So back to church… Your Maximum Leader was asked (along with the rest of the community in attendance at Mass) to pray for a peaceful solution to the crisis in Syria. Your Maximum Leader offered up such a prayer, but was again distracted by how this could come to be. Since he believes that all sides in Syria would disregard an angel of the Lord asking them to stop fighting; he isn’t sure what he could be praying for to happen. Then an idea came to him. If Russia and China both told Assad to tow the line in some way, then we would see a change. The dictator is only remaining dictator because he has powerful friends to keep his ability to wage war going. This is not to say that Assad would immediately have to stop when Russia and China said so; he could continue. But his ability to grind out the rebels would be reduced. He would be fighting to survive with resources that would not be replenished.

Will your Maximum Leader pray for Russia and China to try and rein in Assad. Sure he will. He’ll pray for it because he doesn’t see anyone on the international stage who could convince those two nations to do otherwise. Obama certainly can’t. Neither can Hollande.

In the meanwhile… Syrians will just keep killing each other.

Carry on.

(Follow your Maximum Leader on Twitter: @maximumleader)

Fool me once…

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader has been thinking a lot about Syria and our impending march towards some sort of military action against the Syrian regime. Here is some of what he is thinking…

Let him begin by looking backwards before he looks forward… Your Maximum Leader fully supported the actions of the Bush Administration in Afghanistan and Iraq. He went so far as to go back and find some old emails he exchanged with friends at the time in order to confirm what he is about to write was accurate… He supported the Iraq War not because he expected to find weapons of mass destruction, or that there was some imminent threat to the United States. (Although, he did expect to find WMD. He wasn’t sure that Iraq posed an imminent threat to any specific US interest.) He supported the Iraq War because he believed at the time that it was time to try something to “shake up” the Middle East, which has been more or less politically ossified since the 1970s. He reasoned that if Saddam Hussein was overthrown and replaced the region might experience some positive change towards resolving some of the more or less intractable issues that have befouled the area. He believed at the time that Iraq was not ready for full western-style democracy, but might be ready for some sort of constitutional system (he speculated at the time that a monarch might be a suitable moderating influence on a reasonably-democratic Iraq). While he wouldn’t identify himself as a “neocon,” insofar as war in Iraq was concerned; he supported the “neocon” agenda in the run up to war.

While looking through the old emails he referenced a few lines ago, he found one in which he expressed confidence that the Bush Administration had a plan that spelled out our goals, objectives and actions to take once the war started. Your Maximum Leader, at the time, would have bet money (not a lot, but some) that we had a thoughtful plan for the invasion and aftermath of Iraq. Afterall, this was the Department of Defense that had plans that assumed that Canada was going to invade the US. If we had a plan to take out Canada, we surely had a plan for a legitimate possible enemy in Iraq. At the time is wasn’t important that we, the US public, know what the plan was. It was stupid to telegraph our plans to the Iraqis and tip our hand. So back then it wasn’t important to know what the plan was, because we surely had a plan.

Well… Was your Maximum Leader wrong on that count. The Bush Administration didn’t have a plan. Not only that, they dealt poorly with the situation on the ground for far too long. By the time the Bush Administration wised up, the damage was done and we’d screwed the pooch in Iraq.

So… Needless to say… Your Maximum Leader isn’t as sanguine now as he was then when it comes to US intervention in the Middle East.

In the aftermath of the Arab Spring and in light of the ongoing unrest in Egypt, your Maximum Leader is really reticent about putting a US soldier anywhere in the Middle East. Frankly, he’s equally reticent about dropping bombs or shooting missiles into the region.

So we find ourselves faced with the prospect of military action against the Syrian regime.

Here are a few things your Maximum Leader believes about this situation. First, the Assad regime is evil and they are capable of using chemical weapons against their populace. Secondly, he believes that chemical weapons were in fact used on the people of Syria. Third, he does believe that when a regime (or group, or individual) uses chemical weapons they deserve to be punished as harshly as possible by the whole international community.

Let us look a little more at Syria. After the uprisings of the Arab Spring (and after seeing what the US did in Iraq), Bashir Assad probably had a thought. That thought probably went something like this: “Holy shit! Common people are rising up and really screwing over the people that have been screwing them over for decades. Hey! My dad and I have been screwing the people here for decades. Fuuuuuuuuccccckkk. I could be next. Well you know what isn’t going to happen to me? I’m not gonna be overthrown and put in jail like Mubarak. I’m not going to be hanged like Saddam. And sure as shit I’m not going to die in some drainpipe by the side of the road like Gaddafi. I’m gonna hold out to the bitter end and go like Tony Montana if I wind up losing.”

Thus you have a civil war in Syria that has been going on now for years.

Bashir Assad has now gotten in more desperate straits and has used chemical weapons against his internal enemies. He deserves everything (and more) coming to him…

But how do we deliver what should justifiably be coming to Assad and his regime.

Aye. There’s the rub.

According to all your Maximum Leader has read, the goal of the United States would be to punish the Assad regime for using chemical weapons. Our goal is not regime change. Our plan, such as it is, is to drop bombs and missiles on “targets” of some sort to get our message across. And by the way, the Brits aren’t with us. On the other hand the French and Aussies are. (NB: God Bless the Aussies. Your Maximum Leader loves Australia and frankly every Aussie he’s ever met personally.)

So what the hell are we to do? Your Maximum Leader agrees with President Obama in as much as Syria should suffer some severe consequence for using chemical weapons. But unlike President Obama, your Maximum Leader isn’t sure WHAT the US can do that would be effective in any way.

Your Maximum Leader would, ordinarily, be upset at the Obama Administration for telegraphing their lack of a plan to the Syrians. But in light of what he’s learned from the Bush Administration… If you don’t have a legitimate plan for military action, it is probably best not to undertake that action.

If you want you can call your Maximum Leader a partisan hack for supporting a war started by a president he supported; but not supporting one that a president he didn’t support wants to start; he supposes that could be a fair criticism. But, your Maximum Leader really has changed. Look, he was willing to try the untried path once. That wasn’t very conservative of him. But sometimes you can look over the long course of history in a region like the Middle East and realize that major shakeups are the only events that change the region. He figured a major change led by a positive actor like the United States would affect a positive change. Your Maximum Leader was wrong on that. Sadly, you can’t put the genie back in the bottle and we are stuck with the fruits of our ill-conceived adventurism.

In your Maximum Leader’s opinion, there isn’t anything the United States can do right now that would have any positive affect on Syria, the region or the world. He’s open to listening to anyone with a plan. He believes it is possible to convince him to change his mind. But it might be an uphill battle right now. He would be inclined to go back to a Cold War methodology and have our friends and allies take action that we support. But in the Middle East right now we have only one real friend (Israel - of course) and he can’t see a course of action by Israel that would ameliorate the situation in any way.

Basically, the situation is screwed up and there isn’t anything we can to to change that.

One supposes that we can hope that the French take the lead in this and drop some bombs and shoot some missiles that we strongly approve of…

Carry on.
(Follow your Maximum Leader on Twitter: @maximumleader)

So much to comment upon… So little time

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader has noticed that today there is so much happening in the world upon which he wants to comment. And he has so little time to comment upon it. So him go back to the ole tried and true snarky link dump to see what he can do here for your reading pleasure…

The big news of the day comes from the Supreme Court of the United States…

First, SCOTUS rules that a state court must take up the case of an adoptive girl: Your Maximum Leader should get the opinion and read it before he spouts off… but… Your Maximum Leader feels pretty strongly that parents have rights. Having said that, it seems as though the biological father “waived” his rights to parenting during the biological mother’s pregnancy and then had regrets and discovered some Cherokee ancestry under which he could sue for custody. On the one hand, it seems like the biological father is a loser who is (in practice) no more Cherokee than is your Maximum Leader and is using the courts to redress a regret he has. On the other hand, he is the father and your Maximum Leader isn’t sure of the circumstances underwhich the pregnancy proceeded and if the father had a chance to “claim” his paternal rights. Sadly, the biggest loser in this whole case is the poor girl who is going to have “issues” as a result of the discord in which she is being raised.

Okay… That first story wasn’t really the big one…

SCOTUS “guts” the Voting Rights Act: One would think from reading the headlines that the majority in Shelby County vs Holder was a veritable Hannibal Lecter dissecting the hapless Voting Rights Act and feeding it to an unsuspecting party of wealthy political types. Frankly, your Maximum Leader likes this decision. The under-reported part of the decision is that Congress could pass laws to the re-establish the “gutted” portions of the Voting Rights Act; they just can’t use decades old rationale and keep reauthorizing it. Your Maximum Leader, broadly speaking here, thinks that states should be treated equally under the Constitution. If Congress wants the Department of Justice to review and approve redistricting plans (and the like) then they should pass legislation that covers all states; not just those in the South. Frankly, the Federal Government shouldn’t have preapproval power over redistricting plans. If there is a problem with redistricting, duke it out in the courts after it has been passed by the people elected to do these things. And just so you don’t think that your Maximum Leader is focusing on redistricting… He understands that other measure that could restrict someone’s ability to vote could be affected by this ruling. Having said that it seems clear that the Court has not touched parts of the Act that prohibit outright discrimination. Also, the Court has ruled that Federal requirements to be able to vote supersede those of the states. So it seems unlikely that states will rush out to establish literacy tests and other hurdles intended to keep minorities from voting. And so that he is clear, your Maximum Leader has never objected to requirements to provide photo identification to prove that one is who one claims to be in order to vote. He’s always found objections to proving one’s identity before voting to be ridiculous.

In other news…

Harry Reid calls House Republicans Crazy: No doubt many of them are in your Maximum Leader’s estimation. But just because they are crazy doesn’t keep them from being part of the government…

The Pope “snubs” a high-falutin’ concert: Your Maximum Leader is liking this Pope. While your Maximum Leader would be happy to attend a nice performance of Beethoven’s 9th, he likes the message the Pope is sending by missing the concert. Your Maximum Leader is beginning to think that this Pope has the potential to be a big game-changer.

Putin refuses to hand over Snowden: No surprise there. It is just like the Cold War all over again. Only without the Commies and mutually assured destruction. Your Maximum Leader must admit that he is over two minds on Snowden. On the one hand he is somewhat grateful that the spying programs of the NSA have been exposed and people are upset and worried about their privacy. He hopes that Congress will do something to rein in the excessive power that Congress has allowed the intelligence community to gain (through things like the ill-conceived Patriot Act). On the other hand, we need to be able to keep secrets and those who disclose our nation’s secrets need to be punished. If agents were compromised and killed or imprisoned (or foreign assets of our agents killed, imprisoned, tortured or “disappeared”); then Snowden needs to be punished to the fullest extent of our law.

In more fluffy “news”:

Giada De Laurentiis is no Paula Deen: Seems some Deen fans are upset with the lovely Giada because the execs at Food Network decided to supplant Deen’s shows with Giada’s shows. Now your Maximum Leader likes butter, pork and down-home cooking as much as the next guy… But he really likes looking Giada a hell of a lot more than Paula. And Giada’s stuff is probably a little healthier for him… So there is that… But really now… Giada is so hawt!

What is the best movie that flopped at the box office? Your Maximum Leader is a big “John Carter” fan (he must admit). But his also is a big “Serenity” fan as well. There are others that he can’t recall here… But John Carter was the first that popped into his brain.

There you go. A link dump…

Carry on.

Various thoughts on Death

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader is trying to make some time to blog. Why you might ask? Well, no reason in particular save that of thinking that he might have something to (virtually) say. There was one specific impetus today to write. He read a blurb on some website he frequents (and cannot recall now) that interviewed some very tech savvy people and asked them what ancient technology they insisted on keeping though it was very much outdated. One person talked about an old touch tone phone at their home they loved. Another talked about an old calendar notebook. But one said a blog.

A blog you say…

Hummm… Your Maximum Leader has one of those. Is this medium truly ancient and dead? Well. If it is it makes your Maximum Leader more resolved to try and keep using it.

So…

Your Maximum Leader has been thinking about death a little bit recently. The thought was first brought on a few weeks ago when Mrs Villain’s grandmother passed away. She was 105 and 3 months. She was, if your Maximum Leader might be forgiven for sounding uncaring, ready to go. And it was her time. Indeed, it was past her time. Probably 3-7 years past her time depending on which event one might want to use as a delineation. (She broke her hip about 7 years back and became mostly immobile at that point. But about 3 years ago her sight and hearing gave out pretty much continually - there were days when she seemed to be able to hear better than others.)

Regardless. She shuffled her mortal coil without excessive suffering or illness. As your Maximum Leader tweeted that night (using a paraphrase of a prayer that jumped into his awareness), the long burden of years was lifted for her.

In some ways, the long burden of her years was lifted for the rest of us as well. Your Maximum Leader doubts that she really remembered who he was for the past few years. There were times when she seemed to recognize Villainette #1. She did always remember Mrs Villain. Your Maximum Leader was amused to himself that she was able to recall Villainette #1. Your Maximum Leader’s eldest did make an impression on “great nannie” as we called her. We took Villainette #1 up to great nannie’s house in Rhode Island a few times before age and the onset of some infirmity required the move to the assisted living facility. Great nannie must have really bonded with Villainette #1 in a way that few did afterwards. Your Maximum Leader was amused that great nannie would remember Villainette #1; but wasn’t too sure about the father of this growing girl.

Great nannie also loved the Wee Villain. Your Maximum Leader isn’t sure that she always knew that the Wee Villain was her great grandson; but he was always sure that great nannie loved boys. She raised two of her own. She always seemed to prefer the company of men (over the company of “weak women”). Your Maximum Leader thinks that, with her own strong New England personality, she just had little toleration for the public face of women in her age.

Anyhoo…

Your Maximum Leader isn’t sure exactly how he should feel about great nannie’s passing. He is a little relieved. He thinks that it is something of a blessing. At some level he might even be happy for her. But he generally isn’t sad. He’s prayed for her (now that your Maximum Leader is trying to be more observant of his Catholic faith). But he isn’t sad. Should he feel some guilt about this? Perhaps. But as far as deaths go, this one is as good as one can get.

After thinking about this peaceful passing, there are other ruminations on death that come into his mind.

Two cases in particular. That of murderer Jodi Arias and kidnapper Ariel Castro.

Allow your Maximum Leader to step back and go over some ground that he’s not trod here in a while. For those of you who might not have been around years ago at the onset of this blog (and if you weren’t your Maximum Leader has to wonder what on earth brought you here more recently), your Maximum Leader has for most of his life favored and supported the death penalty. That effectively changed thanks to a post by our bloggy friend Skippy. The post concerned the case of Cameron Todd Willingham. That post, the links in it (especially to the New Yorker piece on Cameron Todd Willingham) and later the movie Incendiary basically changed the way your Maximum Leader thinks about the death penalty and its application.

(NB: You should read all of those links. And if you get a chance, rent Incendiary. Your Maximum Leader drove from his home in Fredericksburg, VA to downtown DC to see the movie during its limited run at one cinema in the area.)

Basically, the death penalty is over applied in the US. We like to think that we are being tough on crime by prosecuting and convicting in death penalty cases. But really, we are in the end harming our justice system. The harm is caused by a pervasive sense of doubt as to how the death penalty is applied and if it was called for. Was the death penalty sought because the accused was poor? Was black? Was marginally mentally competent? Was the prosecutor up for re-election? Too many questions.

But then just as one’s mind starts to ponder the many questions about the death penalty, as person like Jodi Arias comes around.

Without restating the whole sorrid case allow your Maximum Leader to summarize Jodi Arias thusly: a somewhat cute crazy bitch murdered her sometimes boyfriend. Unlike Skippy your Maximum Leader doesn’t find Jodi Arias all that physically attractive so he doesn’t quite get the national fascination with the story. (We Americans do like to follow capital cases with a hot defendant. Your Maximum Leader is willing to concede that he might have been more interested in the Arias case if a) he had found Arias more physically attractive and b) it hadn’t just gone on and on and on and on.)

Now… In the case of Jodi Arias, the state should go ahead and execute her. This is as clear a proper application of the death penalty as there can be. Crazy woman has wild monkey sex with boyfriend in the shower. He tells her afterwards that he’s not taking her on vacation with him. Crazy woman stabs and shoots him to death and then plays stupid. Jodi Arias should, now having been convicted, be ushered quietly in front of a firing squad and shot. Sadly, only Utah still shoots people - so lethal injection it is.

Unless you are against the application of the death penalty in all cases (and bully to you if you are); your Maximum Leader can’t see any reason why Jodi Arias shouldn’t be executed. (NB to Skippy: Okay there is one reason. To be Skippy’s sex-toy for a period and then be executed.)

So now having stated a case where your Maximum Leader has no trepidation in serving up an execution, let him move on…

At lunch with some respectable men about town the other day your Maximum Leader mentioned off-handedly that Ariel Castro should not be considered for the death penalty.

Just in case you missed it, Ariel Castro is the Cleveland man who kidnapped three young girls. Raped them. Beat them. Induced miscarriages in them. And ultimately fathered a child (of rape) by one of the kidnapped girls. He repeated these crimes over and over on these girls for a period of at least 10 years.

Yet this man shouldn’t, in your Maximum Leader’s estimation, be prosecuted for capital crimes. The most simple reason for this is that none of his victims died. Now, you are thinking to yourself, “Self, what about those miscarriages.” Good point. Although he’s against abortion, it isn’t quite the same. Pregnancies end for many reasons. Even the healthiest and most careful women can miscarry. Though there is a purposeful element to the miscarriages/abortions inflicted by Castro on those poor girls, your Maximum Leader isn’t able to commit to them being murder under the laws of the land. (NB: If it turns out that there is evidence that the babies had reached a stage of development where they might have lived outside the womb if delivered; then your Maximum Leader will reconsider this opinion.) Castro is a terrible waste of a human being. But his victims live. Because of that, the state shouldn’t attempt to kill him.

Your Maximum Leader didn’t realize the shock that this position would cause at the lunch table. One of his friends asked if his opinion would be different if the victim was one of the Villainettes? Of course it would. Your Maximum Leader would seriously advocate for the execution of people who inflicted minor harms on his daughters. But, that is because your Maximum Leader is their father. The law should be applied without that passion. It should be applied rationally and at arms length. Being as objective as possible, Ariel Castro, in your Maximum Leader’s opinion shouldn’t die for his crimes. A lifetime of solitary confinement punctuated by prison shower sodomy? That seems just. But death seems too much.

You may disagree (and frankly you are welcome to). But from what he knows now, that is how your Maximum Leader sees it.

So, there are some thoughts your Maximum Leader has been having about death… And look at that… He’s made a blog post out of them. Perhaps this medium isn’t as moribund as expected.

Carry on.

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.

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.

Horror

Greetings. I sat down today to try and write a post and update this moribund blog.

But just as I logged into the internet I saw.

I can’t say how grief-stricken I am for the families of the 20 slaughtered children and the 6 murdered adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. I am also saddened for the parents of the shooter, who were apparently murdered by their son before he went to do his grisly work at the school.

My heart is so heavy I can hardly wish all manner of Dantean misery on the soul of the shooter.

As my wife is a teacher in an elementary school, my mind is conjuring scenes of what Sandy Hook must be like now.

I can hardly bear it.

Carry on.

Alive and Well

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader is alive and well. His family is alive and well. His property is undamaged by Hurricane Sandy. For all of that his is thankful. His heart goes out to those in New Jersey and New York who are suffering so much right now.

Your Maximum Leader spend the weekend before the storm getting the Villainschloss ready for the storm. We cleared up the leaves. Cleaned gutters. Secured loose items in the yard. Verified the backup generator was working and that we had spare fuel. All the stuff you do. The only real concern we had was for the many trees around the house. You can never tell when one is going to decide to give up the ghost and fall on your home or auto.

Providentially, nothing bad happened. We didn’t even lose power. It flickered once or twice, but remained on. Your Maximum Leader believes that the derecho storms of this past June helped us out. Those storms, which left your Maximum Leader without power for nearly three days, probably culled out lots of the trees that would have fallen otherwise during Sandy.

Your Maximum Leader is, again, thankful that he doesn’t have anything interesting to report.

Carry on.

We’re all gonna die!

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader happened to drive by three grocery stores today during lunch time. If the crowds in the parking lots (of people buying milk, water, toilet paper and the like) are any indication of the level of apprehension associated with the impending arrival of Hurricane Sandy; then your Maximum Leader can only declare that we are all gonna die. And soon.

Your Maximum Leader does need to buy some milk, by the way. But that is because he and his family consume about 5 gallons of milk a week and we normally buy on Friday…

Damn.

This all being said… Your Maximum Leader has his backup generator standing by with plenty of spare fuel. So that means we should be just fine…

Carry on.

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.

Loved this title

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader just loves it when the title of a news article pretty much sums up everything.

Take for example this gem from Reuters: Man wins dumpling eating contest, then dies.

It doesn’t get any plainer than that.

Sadly, the 77 years old Ukrainian man in question only won a jar of sour cream before shuffling this mortal coil.

Carry on.

Annoyances

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader decided to list a few people who’s very presence in our national consciousness annoys him. This list is in no particular order: (In Politics) Michele Bachmann, Donald Trump, Maxine Waters, Henry Waxman, Sarah Palin, Charles Schumer, Dick Durban, Harry Reid, David Axlerod, James Carville, (In “sports & entertainment”) any Kardashian, the whole NBA, Peter King, Lindsay Lohan, Dr Oz, Dr Phil, Jay Leno, and George Lucas.

That is all.

Carry on.

Got nuthin’

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader meant to post yesterday. As you can tell by the unaltered timestamp on this post, he did not. August 2011 was not a particularly good month for your Maximum Leader. But September should turn things around.

Since your Maximum Leader seems to be suffering from a short attention span, lets give some Twitter-esque commentary here on ye olde blogge.

By the way, you can follow your Maximum Leader on Twitter at: @maximumleader.

Your Maximum Leader didn’t think it was possible for a President to screw up getting to speak in front of a joint session of Congress. Our incumbent President apparently has.

Your Maximum Leader’s favorite primate is the orangutan. (Your Maximum Leader was always a fan of Dr Zaius.)

Your Maximum Leader isn’t sure how he feels about the CIA CTC killing terrorists. To be more specific, he worries about accountablility. (He doesn’t really mind killing bad guys.)

It is getting hard to remember who the Prime Minister of Japan is at any given moment. They are on their 6th PM in 5 years.

Your Maximum Leader must agree with both Dr. Krauthammer and Robbo. Those Washington Natnals are going places. FYI - Your Maximum Leader often sees Krauthammer next to the Dippin Dots near Section 128. (Your Maximum Leader often mooches tix from a friend in Section 127. At a recent game in addition to Krauthammer, your Maximum Leader enjoyed a game in the company of George Will and Ben Bernake.)

Your Maximum Leader loved this little interplay between counter-agent and customer over at Ellison’s.

Your Maximum Leader wishes there was a person running for the office of President of the United States that could elicit more of a reaction than “hummmm” paired with a heavy exasperated sigh.

You know, if all you read was the Washington Post and NY Times you wouldn’t get much of a feeling of outrage at the recent debacle over at BATF known as “Fast & Furious.” This long piece from the WaPo is about as outraged as you would get.

Has your Maximum Leader mentioned how much he loves Doctor Who now? He does. He didn’t like it as much when he was younger (in the 1970s and 1980s). But now it is very cool. Very cool indeed.

Oh…

And… One day late…

Rabbit!

Carry on.

Trial outcomes

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader seems to explain to Mrs Villain (and now his villainous progeny) a few times a year that “Not Guilty” is not the same as “Innocent.”

From what your Maximum Leader can tell, Casey Anthony is “Not Guilty” of any crimes other than lying to investigators. That doesn’t mean she didn’t do it. What it means is that the state didn’t prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.

Your Maximum Leader is okay with the outcome of the case. If the state doesn’t prove the case, the accused goes free. That is the way it should be.

Your Maximum Leader will now set the over/under for Casey Anthony appearing in a strip club/nudie mag/soft-core porn near you at 10 months. (After she serves whatever time to which she’ll be sentenced for the crimes of which she was convicted.)

Carry on.

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