August 31, 2004

The Big Hominid's Birthday

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader will, first, apologize to the AirMarshal for writing a long post and pushing his posts towards the bottom of the page. But, since the day is here, this must written now.

Many of you know that the Big Hominid is the Poet Laureate of the Mike World Order. He has on occasion been known to sing the praises of your Maximum Leader, and even tell of your Maximum Leader's heroic origins.

Allow your Maximum Leader to return the favour.

As we have all learned from Joseph Campbell, there are archetypes within the various religious and spiritual traditions of the world. After much careful research, your Maximum Leader can now illuminate for you, his dear minions, the similarities in the Big Hominid creation myth from the various world traditions.

According to the Nordic tradition, from the Ginnungagap (the emptiness) came Audhumla. Audhumla was the first creature, the primeval cow in fact. From Audhumla's teats flowed the four rivers of milk which fed the next creature, Ymir the frost giant. Ymir spawned many frost giants who inhabited the world and became the enemies of the gods. During the time of the frost giants Audhumla found a salt lick to sustain herself. As she licked the salt, she created the first man, Buri. In time Buri found a mate and their child Bor was the father of the god Odin (Wotan for you Wagnerians out there). But after the creation of Buri, the tale of Audhumla fades. Your Maximum Leader has pieced together ancient runes and discovered that after creating Buri from the salt lick, Audhumla became constipated. She wandered throughout Midgard and Asgard seeking relief. After the Gods defeated the frost giants, Audhumla was found near Valhalla by Thor. Seeing her constipated state, Thor struck Audhumla on the flank with his hammer. A great torrent of manure flew from Audhumla. The manure mixed on the earth with her life-giving milk and formed a great boiling pit. Seeing the festering pit, the god Odin foresaw the eventual coming of a great being who would alternately use his powers equally for good and ill. Odin foresaw that the liquid would coalesce into a child. A child who would be known by his nom-de-blog, the Big Hominid...

According to the Greco-Roman tradition, Cronos (the titan and ruler of the heavens) ate the children he produced with his wife-sister Rhea. But Rhea determined to save one of her children. So she gave a stone wrapped in swaddling clothes to Cronos. Cronos, distracted by Gaia the earth-mother doing a striptease, ate the stone thinking it was his newborn son. The son grew to be Zeus. Zeus, in a fit of teenaged pique, faught his father and forced him to vomit up his siblings (Poseidon, Hades, Hera, Hestia, and Demeter); who joined Zeus in deposing his father and becoming the ruling gods. The little known postscript to this tale is that after vomiting up the siblings of Zeus, Cronos shat out the stone he'd eaten believing it to be Zeus. The feces-encrusted stone fell to the earth and it landed in the sea. The titan feces mixed with the same sea foam that would later spawn Aphrodite. The floating morass of titan feces infused sea foam drifted across the seas. It caused the destruction of Atlantis, and helped keep the sea monster Kraken entombed in the sea. But its greatest creation would come much later. That creation/spawn was to be the scatalogically preordained being, the Big Hominid...

According to the Indian tradition, Vishnu was walking one day and a lotus flower blossomed from his navel. Brahma sprung forth from the lotus blossom and set about creating the world. The oft forgotten part of the story is that after the lotus flower sprang forth from Vishnu's navel, a Titan Arum blossomed from his anus and from that odourous flower were sprung a line of men who would join together the world of spirituality and scatology. It is said that this line of men continues to this day, and that the Big Hominid is known in some parts of rual India and Nepal as the 69th incarnation of the Rectali Lama...

Now you all can see the similarities of the various Hominidal creation stories. Accept them for what they are. And be joyous in your celebration of the anniversary of the birth of the one and only Big Hominid.

Carry on.

Because you just can't get enough of Michael Ian Black.

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader congratulates Dr. Rusty Shackleford for a wonderful edition of Bonfire of the Vanities. He does it 80's style. Here is the link for you all.

As many of you know, your Maximum Leader loves the 80's. And Dr. Rusty helps remind us why there was so much to love.

Carry on.

T Minus 9 days

Just a matter of days.

Can't help but notice that the color scheme here is a lot like Burgundy and Gold.

Women, Dad's and Kids

I know that MaxLead, SmallHolder and the Foreign Minister are all Fathers, as am I.

So I was discussing baby issues with a Female co-worker. I won't go into details, except to say it was a poop related problem. The co-worker has no kids, and no practical baby experience. Yet she saw fit to lecture me on how to deal with this particular issue. And this is a common thing. At a cookout at a friends house on Sunday I was talking about our 7 week old baby, and when telling someone about the poop issue, I got the standard Mother response. "Did you try A? Did you do B? C works?" forget the fact that I was telling the story to set up a joke, I get the "You're a Dad, and an idiot, and you need to be lectured" attitude. Granted, she didn't mean it that way, but the undercurrent is there.

Many women seem to assume that they know more about dealing with any child then any man. Not ALL women, of course. And I do my fair share of second guessing other parents, but I think that's normal.

A friend of ML's and mine tells a story along these lines. Details may be sketchy on my part, but the gist is what's important. He's at a mall with his two daughters. One is fussy. A mother near by comes to "help him" calm his daughter down, and tries to take her out of his arms, seemingly assuming she could deal better than he with it. Now seriously, who do you think a fussy 3 year old would prefer? Her father, or some stranger?

Now I accept that many women, indeed most mothers, know more than I about Children in general. But there is only one person to whom I will defer when talking about my own children, and that is my wife.

French AND Islam... Gotta love it.

The French are dealing with Terrorist/Kidnappers protesting a French Law. The law in protest effectively bans religious symbols in schools, including crucifixes, and skull caps. In this wonderful land, with our First Amendment rights, the law would probably be unconstitutional, but this is the French we're talking about. So ban those hats, and scarves and crucifixes. Truth be told, I doubt they'd enforce it with regard to Catholic symbols.

However, how best to protest the law? How about kidnapping a couple of Frenchman and decapitating them on Al Jazeera? Sounds like a plan. Despite the fact that decapitation may actually improve a Frenchman's odor, this truly is deplorable.

If France gives in, and repeals the law (which would be the right thing to do, for other reasons) then Europeans will have once again emboldened terrorism. If France doesn't give in, then of course, we'll be blames some how.

But I really wonder what the Terrorists are hoping to achieve. I believe that in their minds this IS a cultural war, and they hope to "defeat" the west in some way... yet there are no tangible goals. The terrorists cannot hope to win in any absolute sense, and ultimately they will lose, it's just a question of when. They can still inflict real dammage on us, though the most serious consequences are probably outside their realm of comprehension.

I think the worst thing they can result from this, for America, is a reduction of Civil Liberties resulting from things like the Patriot Act. I don't know if we've gone too far yet, but I could see it hapening. Paradoxically, the worst thing the Terrorists could do from their point of view is stage another high profile attack. Such a thing would result in US public oppinion shifting squarely behind retaliation, and a thorough ass kicking would be the result. Throughout Afghanistan and Iraq, the US Military "kept it's gloves on", being very careful to do its best in selecting targets, and attempting to reduce civilian casualties to a level never before seen in warfare. At some point, I get the feeling we'd say "fuck it" and just kick ass.

And maybe that's not a bad thing.

August 30, 2004

Damn you Smallholder!

So I post, and then Small holder feels the need to post barely 6 minutes later. What's more, he's blathering on about how many problems he has posting. If you can't cut and paste, then maybe you should go back to fertilizing your fields.

At least wait a respectable amount of time before you post.

You'll see... I'll wait until you post one of your long winded rants on Bovine artificial insemination, or whatever, and then I'll snow you under and blast you into the archives.

Weird Symbols

Every time I cut and paste into the blogger posting box, the displayed post has all sorts of funny symbols replacing the punctuation. I don't have this problem on my other blog so it must be specific to Nakedvillainy's blogskin. Maximum Leader, PUHLEASE ask Francey to help solve this problem. It is really annoying to have to go back into the post editor to individually change dozens of punctuation marks.

It makes me feel like an ant.

Sharia, Islamic Courts and Western Culture

Silly me, I thought ML was posting about SHAKIRA, so I was looking for some hot, latin, booty shaking pics. Oh well. Now that women's beach volleyball is over, I guess I'm in withdrawal.


Islamic Courts have no place in a Western Society, as they exist in the Arab world, and isn't that the only precedent we have? Maybe they can function here in a fair way, but I strongly doubt it. First of all, and last of all, there is no precedent for a recognition of anything secular. If an Islamic Court were to function in the West in a healthy matter, it would have to understand it's place in a Secular society. It can't.

What an Islamic court will do is create a sub society living according to Islamic laws within a western culture. Ok, fine. Philosophically it's their right to live as they want, however offensive we may find it. However, Sharia governs every aspect of life, doesnit it? So eventually these two sets of rules will clash. What if a non-Muslim steals from a Muslim? What if the Muslim demands justice in an Islamic court. In America, or Canada, that's not his right. What if an Islamic court in Ohio decided to hang an Islamic teenager for making out after the Football game? Could we allow that to happen in America? No freaking way.

I believe that Islam, as a whole, is lodged in a medieval mindset, and this is one of the main reasons behind all the crap that the Middle East faces today. Not the only reason by a long shot, but Islam as a whole has the brakes on any process that can improve the lives of the Billion plus people living in poverty throughout the Arab world. It doesn't help that Arab leaders are universally corrupt despots living a feudal lifestyle. Would the world tolerate Europeans living, and ruling, like the Saud family? Maybe. I don't know.

Lyrics That Were Not Meant to be Understood

Greetings, lloyal minions. Your Maximum Leader read Michele's post Understanding Lyrics That Were Not Meant to be Understood and loved it. What makes it more interesting is that your Maximum Leader was just listening to Led Zeppelin III on Sunday. Funny.

Carry on.

What would we do without Sharia?

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader read this over at IMAO. So it is likely that most of you have already read over it. But wow! First Saudi Arabia, now Iran! What is up over there? Next thing you know those pan-arabist types will want to be exporting Sharia to the west.

Oh! Wait! Too late.

Carry on.

Warning: Farm Post Ahead!

Yesterday was a great day on the farm.

I was late moving the cows to their new field. They were due to move Sunday morning but I had not yet subdivided the next field. They knew it was time to move and when I passed through their pasture on the way to check on my baby guinea keets, they protested loudly when I wouldn't let them follow me through the gate. I explained that they would have to wait until after church. They were not pleased.

At some point Saturday night, one of the cows had pushed over the jerry-rigged hatch I had built to keep the keets in the coop. They are really curious creatures and I am sure there was no malice; they just wanted to know what was going on inside the barn. The opened hatch allowed the keets to escape into the pasture. As I tried to gather up the three-week-old delinquents, the cows kept coming over to push and rub on me. Annoying and highly amusing at the same time. I couldn't keep from giggling as Bonnie knocked me out of a guinea-pouncing squat right into a manure plop.

I had people stop by after church to get vegetables. I gave away tomatoes, potatoes, basil, peppers, artichokes and parsley. Particularly tomatoes. I have them literally coming out the wazoo! (And boy is it painful)

The minister's wife wanted to see the guineas, so we walked out to the barn to the accompaniment of bovine bellows and other forms of protest. I didn't completely shut the barn door behind us to Bonnie, the Ayrshire Heifer wanted in Washington state, decided she was going to move herself to the next field whether I like it or not. I was inside the coop part of the barn when she nosed open the door, brushed past the startled preacher’s wife, and ambled out the other end of the barn into a new pasture, swinging her tail back and forth, pleased as punch with herself.

I joined her in the field and proceeded to cut back the lower limbs of several cedar trees in the new pasture. I like to get the limbs up high enough that I can mow under them without ducking and so that the ticks that like to live in the cedars (the ones not eaten by guineas) have a farther drop if they want to dive-bomb the cattle. The bare trunks also allow more sun penetration, increasing the growth of the undersown grass. Finally, it allows the shadows to shift around during the day so that the cows don't congregate and pug up one spot. Bonnie watched my chainsaw work curiously in between bites of bluegrass and clover.

Once the lower limbs were out of the way, I strung three electric wires to subdivide the paddock. I usually only run one or two wires (depending on the topography) but will put in all future subdivisions with three wires since I will be acquiring sheep in a couple of weeks. With the gate installed and the electric connections made, I let the boys join bonnie and much adolescent frolicking ensured in the new pasture.

My next job was to tackle the
multiflora in the next paddock in the rotation. Over the last couple of years, I have made a serious dent in the stuff, but there is an overgrown fence line, thick with cedars and big multiflora that I haven't yet conquered. I can't believe this noxious stuff was once purposefully introduced to farms. Kind of like Kudzu, I guess.

At any rate, the conventional wisdom is you have to bulldoze the plants and then spray the hell out of the exposed roots and any regrowth with herbicide. But I don't have heavy equipment and won't use herbicides. So it's just me and my trusty shovel and pick against Lucifer's own plant spawn. I use the shovel and clippers to cut the cane at ground level and then go after the thick, woody root crown with a pick. Some of the root crowns are solid wood about as wide around as a five-gallon bucket.

Even after this treatment, the stuff keeps coming back, so part of my every-other-day routine is to shovel out any regrowth in the just vacated paddocks. I do it at the same time that I am refilling the water containers, kicking manure, and checking for other weeds left behind by the cows.

I was cutting, hacking, and dragging vines out of the cedar canopy when my neighbor stopped by at about four o'clock. He had to get his hay up before it rained. Could I help?

Sure, I said.

Farmers will drop most anything to get a crop of hay in the barn before it is spoiled by precipitation. "Make hay while the sun shines" isn't just a cute saying to us. I figured we would do a couple hours of work. Heh. We didn't finish until midnight.

I'm no longer at my high-school fighting weight. Throwing the forty-pound square bales onto the back of the trucks and hay wagons didn't turn out to be too hard (though it was a bit tricky on the fifth row up). What wore me out was walking behind the truck. Bales come out of the baler at about thirty or forty foot intervals. One person will drive a truck down the center of two rows and the bucker will run back and forth behind the truck, throwing ("bucking") the bales on from either side. This was hard work. If any readers have ever done this job, you know what I'm talking about.

But hard physical labor can actually be fun and I really had a sense of accomplishment when, fifteen minutes after we had closed the barn door on the stacked hay, the skies opened up and a torrential downpour drenched the Batesville environs.

The only downside was waking up at five this morning.

But, tired as I am today, I wouldn't trade this life for anything. I pity the ants of the world:

He wakes up in the morning
Does his teeth, bite to eat and he's rolling
Never changes a thing
The week ends, the week begins


Driving in on this highway
All these cars and upon the sidewalk
People in every direction
No words exchanged,No time to exchange when...
All the little ants are marching
Red and black antennae waving
They all do it the same
They all do it the same way

Bipartisanship Part Deux

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader happened to read the Niall Ferguson piece to which the Minister of Agriculture linked in the post below this one.

First of all, your Maximum Leader wouldn't categorize it as a man-crush. He would categorize it as a mind-crush. Your Maximum Leader is drawn (like Oprah) to fascinating people. Ferguson is an original thinker and writer. That is why your Maximum Leader likes him. Which leads your Maximum Leader to his second point.

Secondly, Ferguson is completely wrong on this count. People (both sharp intellectuals like Ferguson, and dull cretins like many of the protestors of the Republican Convention interviewed on TV) have been predicting how the re-election of president so-and-so or prime minister whats-his-name will spell certain doom for their party.

Your Maximum Leader remembers how many commentators in 1984 were predicting that the Republican Party had hit its high water mark. Re-electing Reagan would break apart the party along social issues that split the so-called "economic conservatives" and the so-called "social conservatives."

In 1996 it was the tension in the Democratic party between the Clintonista "New Democrats" and the "Democrats" that would rend the party to peices.

Ferguson's WSJ peice is one of those great examples of making a historical analogy that really isn't analogous. But as your Maximum Leader has said before, sometimes you try to draw together a set of historical circumstances, show their congruity to the present, and predict future activity from how the past and present appear to coalesce.

Sometimes the analogy works. Sometimes it doesn't.

Alas people have been making the "The-best-thing-that-can-happen-to-the-Republican/Democratic-party-is-X-loosing-this-election" argument for so long that it is like a clanging cymbal that you learn to ignore.

Parties survive because they are inherently flexible and pragmatic. They also survive the internal pressures of conflicting ideology because they are, at best, loose confederations of more-or-less like-minded people who like to win more than they like to loose. American politicians are not party creatures like politicans are in other countries. They affiliate with parties because that is where the money is. Both parties are "big tents" and contain mulititudes and contradictions. People like (and vote for) politicians who are "their own man" and not craven to party interests. Politicians like being thought of as being "independent" and not beholden to anyone. So the parties just deal with it as best they can.

They aren't going to split up any time soon.

Carry on.


Since my last post warned of the danger of a Kerry Presidency, here's one from the other side for the Maximum Leader.

The Maximum Leader is enamored of Niall Ferguson. It is almost a man-crush.

Well, oh great one, your idol thinks a second Bush administration would be disastrous.

This argument might even make the Minister of Propaganda vote Republican.

The "Clinton Effect?"

Talking with a friend and neighbor on Saturday, he argued that a Kerry Presidency would worsen the already problematic problem of military retention and recruitment.

The army is being devastated by the departure of mid-career NCOs and officers as a result of the tempo of deployments*. Recruitment is way down as young men realize that signing the bottom line may result in experiencing combat. My buddy worries that a Kerry presidency would make both problems much worse. Since those who don't want to make the sacrifices necessary for a military career are either leaving or not signing up, the pool of current soldiers is even more conservative than usual. If they had to serve under Kerry, my friend argues, many would decide that, while they support their country, they don't want to serve under that commander in chief.

He claimed that a similar increase of retirement/POS/unfulfilled recruiting quotas occurred under Clinton. Is anyone familiar with this? More data please.

* Full disclosure: If I hadn't already completed my military service, I probably would be joining the exodus. I can't imagine being separated from my daughter for a year at a time. Condemn me as an unpatriotic coward if you will.

August 29, 2004

Tough quizzes

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader was reading Daniel Drezner's site and decided to take a quiz that he did. It is a great quiz.

Here is the link to the quiz.

Here is a link to your Maximum Leader's results. He got 41%. (No cheating by looking at the answers first.)

NB: Your Maximum Leader feels stupid for answering some questions the way he did. In retrospect his answers are just right out...

That quiz was so good, your Maximum Leader decided to take the Political quiz as well. (He was very close on the scale to Margaret Thatcher.)

They are fun quizzes, even if they don't provide you with some nifty picture to post on your own blog...

Carry on.

August 28, 2004

You go through all the trouble...

of writing a few post and then they get mashed down to the bottom (or into the archives) after the ML write like 5 in a row!


Back to the trenches....

UPDATE FROM THE MAXIMUM LEADER: Now you know how the AirMarshal feels. Every time he posted something earlier this year it wound up being pushed down the page by something the Minister of Agriculture would write. Alas, them are the breaks in a group blog... But just this once, your Maximum Leader will give you a break. Scroll down. - Max.Ldr.

a few simple things

UPDATE FROM THE MAXIMUM LEADER: Because your Maximum Leader was unusually prolix today, and because the Foreign Minister doesn't post as much as he should... This post of the Foreign Minister's was moved to be ahead of your Maximum Leader's posts today. - Max.Ldr.

In front of me right now is a weizen glass full of beer and a bowl of chilli.
It sounds simple and straight forward, and in a way it is, but then again it isn't.

German brewing/purity laws, known here as they Reinheitsgebot,only allow beer made from barley, hops, and water. Most Americans have a mythical view of other countries beer as some sort of Nirvana thing but, as in the States, Germany brews some crap beer as well as some outstanding ones (just like the US!).

I usually buy my beer at Getrank Markt (drink store) which is usually attached to a grocery store but is a separate building. In the Getrank Markt, they sell every think from bottled water to Orange juice and all different kinds of German bottle beers.

One cool thing is that, if you buy beer in a "case", they usually have some sort of toy 18 wheeler with the beer logo on it for free (and the German chick who sells the stuff in the store I go to is HOT!)
Germans drink their beer in particular glasses. There are special glasses for each type of beer.
They usually get wrapped around the axle too if you use the wrong glass.

I miss the Real Ales of the UK. I think this is where most Americans get the idea that the Brits drink warm beer. Its not really "warm", but about 55 degrees. (which seems warm to most Americans)
The reason they are warmer than US beers is because, they have not been pasteurized and the yeast is still active. If you cool it down too much, it destroys the delicate flavors of the beer.

On the whole, I like the dark thick beers. The best time for these is in the Lent season when everyone is fasting so you get these fortified beers with 6-9% alcohol in them YUM !

I made the bowl of chili a couple of days ago. Every since a bizarre jalapeño eating contest with the other ministers in college, I have been a hot food nut/connoisseur. I start with making some salsa. I usually buy a package of fresh Habaneros, some jalapeños, scotch bonnets, chipotles, and any other HOT pepper I can find in the store and throw them in a blender. At this point my wife leaves the kitchen as the "fragrance" is much like somebody has set off a can of mace in the room. To this I add a few cloves of garlic, some onion and a can of minced tomatoes. Blend that puppy up for a few minutes then simmer over the stove. Its great on tortilla chips and I add this to the top of any chili bowl for a real digestive tract burning treat!

Sword quiz and dream...

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader was thinking about Andi taking her sword test on the 11th. And then he happened upon Eric's quiz results and decided to take this (somehow topical) quiz. Well, your Maximum Leader (true to his ethnic origins) scored thusly:

Claymore, power and strength rule your fighting,
these swords were only used by the non faint of
heart and were weilded by the most fierce
warriors. (Please Vote)

What sword would you use (info and pics on swords as well)
brought to you by Quizilla

So, if Andi were to come after your Maximum Leader and engage him in swordplay (unlikely as it would be) the quiz says he would use a claymore. And likely get chopped to pieces. Lucky that a) Andi wouldn't do such a thing; and b) your Maximum Leader is a gun-toting maniac and would lay down a stream of deadly lead if anyone were coming at him with a sword.

And in other news that he isn't sure why he is sharing...

Your Maximum Leader had a remarkably vivid dream last night. In the dream he was walking on the beach in Santa Monica with a young attractive swarthy bikini-clad woman. It was a bright cloudless day with a breeze blowing across the water. We were talking about Edmund Burke and his Reflections on the Revolution in France, while munching on fish tacos. When your Maximum Leader woke from the dream he thought he could smell the sea and taste the fish tacos...

If you are a seer of some sort, feel free to e-mail your interpretation of this dream to your Maximum Leader.

Carry on.

Søren speaks...

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader thanks new addition to the blogroll Brian for this wonderful Søren Kierkegaard quotation.
People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use.
And doesn't Brian have one of the coolest blog titles ever? Memento Moron. Heh.

Carry on.

Change and Kerry

Greetings, loyal minions. Since your Maximum Leader was just blogging about Conrad blogging about why people will vote for Bush this post seems topical...

The AirMarshal and your Maximum Leader were speaking on the phone the other day and politics came up. The AirMarshal made an off-hand comment to the extent that Bush (in his opinion) has demonstrably been a miserable president. Thus his impending vote for Kerry is a vote to replace a demonstrably bad president with someone who will likely become (but hasn't yet proven himself to be) a bad president.

To your Maximum Leader this was (surprisingly) a compelling simple effective argument. What could be more simple than "Change?" He wondered if this simple compelling strategery had ever been used before? Humm... Oh yeah. This guy used it pretty effectively.

So why isn't Kerry driving home the message of "change?" It is odd. He is campaigning on not changing so much. (That is when he is talking issues in the first place.) He says he will stay the course in Iraq. He will keep most of the tax cuts. Yada, yada, yada... Kerry certainly isn't presenting any compelling reasons for anyone to vote for him. His campaign seems to be based on the fact that he is not George W. Bush.

So why not, if your John Kerry, try campaigning on the topic of Change?

While surfing the TV looking for more Olympics coverage, your Maximum Leader caught some of Joe Scarborough's show on MSNBC. In his segment, Joe's Real Deal, (who comes up with these segment titles anyway?) Scarborough said that Kerry needed to get off his arse and call James Carville if he really wants to win this election.

NB: Scarborough said that he was going to post transcripts of the show to his website, but as of this moment they are not there.

This was a great suggestion for Kerry. If there is a Democratic operative who has shown that he can win an election, it is James Carville. Say what you want about him (and your Maximum Leader could say plenty - none of it too flattering - except perhaps that his wife is cool), James Carville knows how to win a campaign.

But will Kerry fire his Massachusetts buddies and hire a ragin' cajun to run his campaign over the last 60 some odd days until the election?


Carry on.

Conrad's lucid comments.

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader loves reading Conrad's blog. He (Conrad) writes so well and fluidly it is disgusting. He regularly posts photos which stiffen your Maximum Leader's sinews. And he has readers who can best be described as "Hottie."

All that aside... You ought to go and read over Conrad's comments on a post from Mark Kleiman. It is a lucid explaination of why many grown-ups are voting for Bush - they are voting against Kerry.

And Conrad's comments on Alice Cooper are fun too.

Carry on.

If Skippy can...

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader decided to follow a link he saw on Skippy's site. He was a little disappointed with what he found. But decided to post the results here anyway.

The Ultimate Politics Survey

Describe your stance on:

Abortion: Against

Affirmative Action: Against in most circumstances

Age of Consent: 18 (Which is high in most places.)

Animal Testing: Favour

Death Penalty: Favour (preferably more cruel and unusual)

Downloading Music/Movies: Against

Drug Decriminalization: Favour (mostly Marijuana, not other drugs)

Factory Farming: Against (to the extent that it is possible to eliminate)

Free Trade: Favour

Funding of Arts: Against government funding if that is what this is asking.

Gay Marriage: Against

Gun Control: Against

Immigration: Favour

Hardcore Pornography: Favour, but with some restrictions concerning accessibility

Human Cloning: Against

Miltary Draft: Against

Minimum Wage: Against, to a point. Issue is quite complex actually.

Prostitution: Favour, but in a regulated licenced way. Public health concerns and all.

School Vouchers: Favour

Taxes: This is a stupid question. Taxes are the price of government. You have to have them. If the question is should they be higher or lower than they are, then ask that.

United Nations: Against (But stupid question. The UN as an organization dedicated to "world peace" it is useless. But as a forum for endless chatter and talk accomplishing nothing it is perfect!)

Universal Health Care: Against

War on Terrorism: Favour (Another stupid question. Who exactly isn't in favour of fighting against terrorists who would like to kill us? One can debate how the war should be prosecuted...)

Welfare: Against, with some qualifications. Some social safety net programs are acceptable.

Take The Ultimate Politics Survey

Get more cool things for your blog at Blogthings

So there it is. Of course your Maximum Leader could have gone into a plethora of mini-screeds on each subject, but in the spirit of brevity he did not.

Carry on.

Those creative political partisans!

I am just amazed at some of the creativity (on both sides). I wish I had the time to think this stuff up and execute it.

August 27, 2004

Good to see the Farmer's back with us....

But why did you have to go and say all that Bull Shi7 about me huh? I wouldn't want those folks on the left to think I am anything but some sort of raving lunatic....

Speaking of those on the left.... what is Bruce so upset about anyway?

But his pictures are pretty cool.

I don't want to hear you posting anymore about your slow computer! Next time the ML is around, have him hook all that stuff up for you. Its an Athalon XP1500 processor... not the fastest car in town but it will get you out of the stone age!

Been busy hear in Germany. If you haven't noticed there is Talk of closing the bases (or greatly reducing) the US footprint here. I know it is cutting my own throat, and conventional wisdom would be to vote the pocketbook and all... but.

I think it is a great idea to realign the bases. The only thing the US Army is doing here in Germany (besides providing me with a hellofa good lifestyle) is pumping BILLIONS of dollars into the local German economy every year.

Kerry says he wouldn't pull them out... I don't believe him though. If he has two brain cells working in his noggin' he should be saying the same thing. I don't think that bringin em back home is the best choice though.

I say plop a bases down in strategic locations around the world where we could get to the hot spots fast, but also provide economic stimulus and project American Culture to the locals (Nigeria, Poland, Romania, etc).

Word around the base though that any re-alignment won't happen till 2006/7.

So if you have been thinking about a European Visit to the FM, start planing now!

Back to the Trenches

Summer Blogging Report (Part One)

I didn't blog at all this summer.

I'm sure many of you were relieved to be spared from the dose of cow genetics sullying your morning cup of Maximum Leader ranting.

My home computer was incapable of sustaining a connection the internet.

I didn't read Big Hominid all summer; his graphics-enriched lair would crash my puny computer every time. Since then I have tried to catch up with his summer posts, but the Poet Laureate seems to have moved away from the political posts I enjoy so much. Kev, man, when the Dear Leader rants, I need a BigHo smackdown of the pompadour!

I hate to confess it, but the first blog I checked every day (other than Naked Villainy, of course) was "Celibate in the City."

I was like an OCD housewife hankering for her "Guiding Light."

I soooooooo wanted this sweet woman to meet a nice guy. I kept checking in for updates on her Irish vacation. Unfortunately, she seems to have recently added "blogs" to the list of things that she is "not the kind of girl who..." list. Nonetheless, if you missed the soapy saga, click on over and scroll back through the archives.

Kilgore's site reliably incites my computosaurus obsoletus to suffer a Java error aneurysm, but clicking through the error messages was always worth it.

My favorites:

The reminiscence of working in a collection agency amused me to no end.

As someone who has been indoctrinated since birth with the Keiloresque virtue of keeping one's thoughts to one's self, I took sweet, sweet pleasure from:

Once I was talking off a debtor who owed over a thousand dollars for jewelry purchased on credit at 18 percent interest. She never made a single payment. "Quit calling me," she said. "I'm raising three kids and I don't have any money.""Well, where are you working?" I asked."I am on welfare," she said, in the same tone of voice that another might use to say I am the head of neurosurgical research at Johns Hopkins University."On welfare? Sounds to me like the government is raising your kids," I said.

I liked the essay on cooking to impress in the workplace. While I'm not the effeminate, gammy-handed little pastry chef that Kilgore is, I do understand his motivation. I like to share farm produce with neighbors, family, friends, baby-group members, churchmembers, and work colleagues. I eagerly await the kudos that follow and bask in the reflected glory of my tasty, juicy, beautiful, organic tomatoes. I have also taken to dragging houseguests into the pantry to show off the 93 cans of tomatoes Mrs. Smallholder put up* from one day's production.

* For those of you who do not hail from the Midwest, "putting up" is another phrase for preserving or canning food. I used it so I wouldn't have to use the same word twice in the same sentence.

Kilgore's skewering of The Da Vinci Code earned my applause. People at work kept gushing to me that, as a history teacher, I would just LOVE the darn book. So I borrow it. And hated it. I thought it was abominable paced, poorly written, and massively implausible. The unveiling of the secret villain made no sense whatsoever.

Read the about the roommate train wreck. As someone who was always blessed with good roommates, I'm somewhat fascinated by bad roommate stories. A little bit of me might even wish that I had had a bizarre roommate just for the story value. Maybe I should make something up about the Minister of Propaganda. I did once wake up in bed - naked - with the Foreign Minister, but the story of how I ended up at AA is another whole can of worms.

I think the villainous bloggers should all write their own version of this "brief summary of people I avoid at work."

Another great idea the Naked Villainy ought to steal (only be sure to call it, please, "research"): "Am I a man?" charts. Heh. I get to make Rob's matrix.

More to come...


Gosh, how long has it been since the Maximum Leader and I have screamed "Bruceeeeeeee!" in the Longwood dining hall?

We had a friend who was easily embarrassed. So, as good friends, we (okay, I might have been the instigator) proceeded to embarrass him whenever possible.

If he entered the dining hall, we'd yell and he would turn bright red.

My favorite was to yell across the campus: "It's Bruce 'hung like a mastodon' (last name withheld).

He once tried to turn the tables. I'm walking across the quad and I hear a booming voice: "Hey, isn't that Mark (last name withheld), president of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance!?"

I didn't miss a beat: "Yes it is, Bruce ! You missed the meeting last night."

Never try to outembarass someone who dances like me.

At any rate, through the illustrious Kilgore "the homewrecker" Trout, I bring you two post from a blogger named bruce. No capital letter. Just bruce*.

Falwell's law school

The Maximum Leader's fellow travelers

* Some people don't like to capitalize their names, citing humility. It just seems to be backhandedly pretentious to me.

Besides, to quote the great Al Yankovic, "I'm a million times as humble as thou art!"

I'm #42,755!

Smallholder is the 42,755th most popular word in the English language.

You know it will be a good school year when:

...You set up an optional early morning breakfast to discuss an optional reading, expecting four or five kids and one or two parents to come but you end up with 30 kids and a dozen parents.

Or, on a more bemused note that will appeal to the Maximum Leader, I was going over a quiz today and explaining why some choices were not correct; once "distractor" choice was Immanual Kant. I explained that he was a philosopher, not an explorer, and as we moved on, gave the throw away line, "but some people say he was a real pissant who was very rarely stable."

Without missing a beat, one of my girls replied "Heidigger, Heidigger was a boozey beggar who could drink you under the table."


Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!

The incident related in the Maximum Leader's post below certainly sounds scary. If he was on 64, which makes sense based on his itinerary, the incident probably happened within view of my farm; if Rick had looked to the left over the downhill side, he might have seen the back of my hill waaaay below. My first reaction (Analphilosopher would condemn this of course) is relief and thankfulness that the humans involved are okay. Rick did the right thing: rather than endanger his family and other human drivers, he risked the bear's life. And then, like all people of goodwill, became concerned about the bear.

I'm glad animal control was reassuring and said that the bear was likely to survive, but I have my doubts. The fact that it was able to make it up the hillside is not necessarily an indicator of its long term prospects. Animal control officers know a lot more about this stuff than I do, but I would think that even a minor break or major bruise that resulted in decreased mobility would end up being fatal. Of course, Bears are largely scavengers in heavily populated areas, so he should still be able to outrun trash cans.

I have never seen a bear on or around my property, but the farmer behind me has found the occasional track. Bears harassing my livestock has never been a particular concern. Dogs with irresponsible owners are by far the greater problem.

You might ask why I had lions and tigers in the post title. Last weekend my wife and I took our sweet little daughter to the National Zoo. She really enjoyed seeing the animals. But, when perceived through adult eyes, the National Zoo is rather depressing. The animals are kept in small, non-stimulating pens. Many of the social animals were penned by themselves. The little plaques describing the animals were uninformative. It is a serious tragedy that America's NATIONAL Zoo is in such a run-down condition. They need new leadership and new funding to turn things around, improve the living conditions of the animals, make visits educational, and to actually conduct real science.

If that can't be done, it ought to be shut down.

The government could sell the land to private developers and use the sales proceeds to further cut capital gains taxes.

Bears in Albemarle

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximun Leader was just catching up on some of Rick in Va's recent posts and read this and this. Like Rick, your Maximum Leader hopes the bear made it. And since this is in the Smallholder's neck of the wood, your Maximum Leader will ask his Minister of Agriculture if he has ever seen a bear out his way?

Carry on.

August 26, 2004

More on 527

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader just read over the last posting by the Smallholder. Your Maximum Leader isn't sure why he might call Bob Dole a fool. He certainly isn't. He ran his campaign the way he wanted to. Bravo to him. But he certainly doesn't seem to be dismissing the Swifties. He's even talked to Kerry about it. A very salient point in this discussion was in fact, brought up by Senator Dole. He said:
He said he was very disappointed, we'd been friends. I said John, we're still friends, but [the Swiftvets] have First Amendment rights, just as your people have First Amendment rights.
Your Maximum Leader has said before that these organizations, as much as your Maximum Leader dislikes them, have a right to say what they will.

As for dishonesty, what precisely are the Swifties being dishonest about in their ads? They seem to have different opinions about what went on in Vietnam than does John Kerry.

And why should the president ask the Swifties to stop running their ads? Should the president endorse the curtailing of free speech by people with the money and the legal right to speak? As your Maximum Leader mentioned before, free speech doesn't entitle you to lie. If the Swifties are lying they should be sued. The most recent Swiftie ad that your Maximum Leader saw on a news talk program is condemning Kerry for his anti-war stance after returning from Vietnam. What is dishonest about that? He was very vocally anti-war. Is this proof that you can't have it both ways? You can't be an anti-war war hero without pissing off lots of people...

Your Maxmimum Leader doesn't doubt that Bush (or another close to him) could get the group to pull the ads. But why should he? What is his compelling reason to do so? Your Maximum Leader doesn't see one. While your Maximum Leader (and the president) both believe that Kerry should be proud of his war service (and your Maximum Leader has called Kerry a war hero many times), it doesn't mean that those attacking his war record are being dishonest. From what your Maximum Leader has read, some of these men have been saying these things about Kerry for years and years. But are now just getting attention because Kerry has thrown himself into the presidential ring.

And as for Isn't comparing Bush and Hitler (like they did in ads earlier this year) a little much? (Full disclosure:, after much public outcry, did remove the ads from their website. But thanks to the wonders of the internet, they are still out there - hence the link.)

527s continue to be a problem for the campaigns. Your Maximum Leader believes more a problem for Bush than for Kerry actually. But these people have a right to say what they will.

Carry on.

More Class

From today's Washington Post:

When Bob Dole Said No
By Noel KochThursday, August 26, 2004; Page A23
"They want me to head Veterans," Bob Dole said. "They" meant the Bush White House. His tone said there were things he would rather do.
I asked him whether he was going to do it -- take on the campaign role of going after the veterans' vote. "Probably have to," he said, although he added that he knew the Bush campaign would want him to attack John Kerry, and he didn't intend to do that. He didn't have anything against Kerry, he said.
The conversation in my old friend's Pennsylvania Avenue office took me back decades. In the 1970 off-year elections, Bob Dole, freshman senator from Kansas, campaigned so aggressively for Republican candidates that he was awarded the position of chairman of the Republican National Committee. It looked like one more giant step forward for the man whose war wound in April 1945 brought him near death on three separate occasions and kept him bedridden for years while other young veterans were starting careers. When he finally learned to walk again, he did it with a vow: "I'm going to get those years back," he told his brother Kenny.
But the RNC job was a poisoned apple. It came from the White House, and Dole was expected to pay an extravagant price for it. I was, in the way of things, the bill collector. For a brief period, I worked for Charles Colson. Chuck was one day to found an important prison ministry, but before his pilgrimage took him there he styled himself a hatchet man for Richard Nixon.
Colson ran a political operation in the White House, with outreach programs to various constituencies. My "constituency" was Congress, and my job was to get Republican members to laud the president and savage Democrats -- particularly House and Senate Democrats. The idea was to keep White House enemies on the defensive. Sometimes it worked. When it didn't work, it was because the members refused to be mustered into Colson's attack machine. They valued their independence.
No one valued his independence more than Bob Dole, who had struggled for so long to regain it after years of dependency on others. Colson never understood that; he felt Dole should pay for the chairmanship, and it was assumed I could persuade him to do things he preferred not to do -- such as launching gratuitous attacks on his colleagues. "They want me to get out there and accuse Teddy Kennedy of all kinds of stuff," he would complain. "I'm not going to do that. I have to work with the guy. Besides, I like him."
Dole was no shrinking violet; he was willing to attack -- indeed, his reputation for it shadowed his career for years. But he was not willing to be manipulated. He refused to be used, and Colson swore Dole would pay for his defiance. After the 1972 election Dole was fired as party chairman. His bitterness was palpable: "They invited me up the mountain [Camp David] and threw me off."
Dole is part of a political generation that took national service for granted. What separated his service from that of so many of his congressional colleagues was that he nearly died and then spent the remainder of a remarkable life overcoming challenges that most people can't imagine -- e.g., simply getting dressed.
No one is better placed than Dole to know how arbitrary are the fortunes of war. It is not surprising to hear John Kerry's wounds belittled by men who have avoided all risk of being wounded. Someday perhaps we will be able to plumb the neuroses of those who avoided Vietnam and have ever after had difficulty living with the choice. But it is surprising to hear Bob Dole doing it. Kerry not hospitalized for his wounds? Bob Dole was not hospitalized for his first Purple Heart either.
"It was just a scratch," he later recalled. "I think one of our grenades hit a tree and bounced back." He received a Bronze Star, but that came much later, and was a bureaucratic exercise having little to do with his service as a platoon leader in the extraordinary 10th Mountain Division on April 14, 1945, the day his war ended, in Italy.
Bob Dole knows as well as any person how capricious is the gleaning of medals. Some men deserve what they don't get; some get what they don't deserve. And who should know better than he that it is craven to belittle a man's service because it didn't extend over some arbitrary stretch of time?
Bob Dole spent little time in combat. But as a result of the time he did spend, he lay on his back for years, recovering, and helping others to recover.
I spent a year in Vietnam and came home without a scratch. My brother served two tours in Vietnam, earned three Purple Hearts (and was hospitalized, and does draw disability -- weird yardsticks used to measure John Kerry's alleged shortfall), and yet spent far less time than I did in-country. Indeed, his first "tour" lasted about 15 minutes, ending on the beach near Danang in the midst of the U.S. Marines' first amphibious assault in Vietnam.
Time in-country, how often a man was wounded, how much blood he shed when he was wounded -- it is hurtful that those who served in Vietnam are being split in so vile a fashion, and that the wounds of that war are reopened at the instigation of people who avoided serving at all. It is hurtful that a man of Bob Dole's stature should lend himself to the effort to dishonor a fellow American veteran in the service of politics at its cheapest.
There was a time when he would have refused. I know. I was there.

I suppose the Maximum Leader will say that Bob Dole is a fool; if he had been willing to condone dishonest attacks in his presidential campagin, perhaps he might have won. That may be so.

But I wish we had leaders who would take the high road in actuality, as opposed to pretending to be on the high road while allowing minions to sling mud and calumny.

Yes, I'm talking about the Swift Boat Veterans. But I'm also talking about the way that Bush supporters made calls to South Carolina voters to whisper that McCain had adopted a "black baby," perhaps costing McCain that primary and ending his presidential aspirations.

I assume the Maximum Leader will follow his general pattern (correct me if I am wrong, oh partisan one) and say:

1) Bush isn't running the adds. Private citizens are legally funding them.

2) Well, the Dems and Move On are doing it too!

I'll concede both points. But respond with this:

Anyone who thinks Bush could not immediately end the adds with a phone call to his backers who are bankrolling the media buys is either willfully deluded, or if they legitimately believe Bush can't stop the adds, ought to re-evaluate the leadership abilities of their man.

I'm not sure that Move On has been running ads that are parallel in their level of dishonesty. If they are, I'll condemn it. I guess I'm just not sufficiently partisan. The Minister of Propaganda will be disappointed.

I would also like to point out the disparity between Bush saying that Kerry should be proud of his war record while allowing (and encouraging by his Machiavellian silence) his supporters to make the harsh claims. Does this sound a wee bit dishonest? I'm sure it doesn't to the Maximum Leader.

From a pragmatic point of view, Bush's actions are useful. Kerry is smeared, and Bush isn't seen by the largely uncritical electorate as being the author of negative adds. Also from a pragmatic viewpoint, Kerry's response doesn't say much about his leadership either. As Skippy says, it's amateur hour over at the DNC.


From the world of Women's Olympic Soccer:

"I want to say something," German defender Steffi Jones said after the Americans eliminated them 2-1 in overtime in Monday's semifinals. "For those players who are ending their soccer careers, we should say thank you.

"Playing against them was awful. Playing with them (in the WUSA) was wonderful. But the whole game of women's soccer owes them so much. They opened so many doors. I wish that they win the final, and have a nice life afterward."

Classy sportsmanship. Perhaps this is why I enjoy women's soccer more than most traditional "American sports." The players haven't become egotistical jerks like many of our more high profile athletes.

August 24, 2004

Need to be cheered up?

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader, who was already feeling a little melancholy today, just did something sure to raise the spirits of any mortal human. He read this post of Skippy's.

As usual, Skippy is thoughtful, cogent, and objective. (Not to mention a fine writer with a free-flowing style that makes your Maximum Leader jealous. Damn him.)

While it may be overstating it to say that since the dawn of the industrial age the world has depended on the US Dollar for support, it is true that the US economy keeps the rest of the world's economies going. At what point will the fiscal recklessness that in endemic to our political system cause the complete meltdown of the world economy?

Neither candidate has a plan (or even the thought of having some advisors get together over coffee at the corner Starbucks to make up some platitudes about a plan) to address the real, growing, problem with entitlements in this nation.

And what really can be done? The social programs in question have created dependant classes of people who vote for those giving out the dole. As time goes on it will take a significant number of politicians to go to heroic (and your Maximum Leader is talking Homeric heroic) lengths to save us from the impending crisis. Those hypothetical politicians-cum-statesmen will all lose their careers doing it. Assuming they can pull it off at all.

And that thought, loyal minions, is just enough to put your Maximum Leader over the top today in overwhleming feelings of dread. He will now turn off the internet and drown his apprehensions in superhuman amounts of Scotch wiskey.

Carry on.

Smallholder Returns

Your humble Minister of Agriculture is back online.

After an absence of so long, one would think that I would return with all kinds of fun blogging topics and insightful comments.

Alas, I've got neither of those.

So perhaps I will mark my return to Naked Villainy with the tale of a summer visit from an old pal.

Said old pal and I began hanging out in college. We met through the Maximum Leader and another friend, She-who-became-a-monster. I had broken up with a girlfriend who had taken to speaking of marriage. He was carrying on a long-distance relationship with his eventual wife. We played a lot of Diplomacy. We also got thrown out of the college computer lab for playing Mechwarrior too much. Heh.

(Diplomacy if a fun, fun game. We ought to have a Naked Villainy play-by-mail tournament. The anglophiliac Maximum Leader could be England (of course), the pseudo-fascist Foreign Minister could be Germany, the leftist Minister of Propaganda could be Russia, the ever-balkanized-in-his-thinking Minister of Agriculture could be Austria-Hungary. I'm not sure of a good country fit for the Big Hominid or Air Marshal. I'd say France for Kevin based on his love of the language, but that would just be mean. Of course, the rigidly secular Italian state might be a good proxy for the Air Marshal's skepticism.)

We had some very good times together in that short year of college before he had to leave the ivy-coated nest and fly. I still get the giggles thinking about when we jumped up on the stage during the Rocky Horror Picture show and did the timewarp.

(If only I could timewarp back and remove the girl who went with us to the show from the otherwise fun memory. Quoth the Maximum Leader: "She'll cheat on you. She's cheated on everybody else." Quoth Smallholder "No she won't! This relationship is different!" Guess who was right... In fact, Jen could be a whole 'nother post about how my friends failed to get me to come to my senses about this girl. Of course, we would have to give her a nomme-de-blog first. Any suggestions, lads?)

(Admit it, dear readers, you really missed my off-the-point-asides, didn't you?)

I also remember all of us getting down at the wattage-in-the-cottage parties. For a really big guy, he was quite a good dancer and attracted a goodly amount of female attention, but never did do much about that attention. The Maximum Leader was there too, but I can't really say he was dancing with us - it was more of a spastic flailing. But I should talk.

Some of my favorite memories from college are sitting on the porch of The Horseman of Hunger's house, watching the boys chip golfballs off the hill into downtown Farmville, drinking beer to excess from chilled mugs, arguing politics (particularly the Second Amendment), planning for the future, reading Hunger's collection of American Heritage (okay - so we were geeks), basking in their jealousy of my girlfriend (before she fulfilled the Maximum Leader's prophecy).

My bud's graduation party was also excellent. A late night stroll at the beach with our women, a great volleyball game, and watching my friend's father get all misty eyed that his boy was all grown up.

I also really enjoy his esoteric knowledge in random fields. I remember his outrage that the rpg shown in an Indiana Jones movie was an anachronism - it wouldn't be invented until three years after the "Last Crusade."

He never got me into re-enacting, but I have always enjoyed his stories of life "in the field."

I don't get to see him much these days - we live very far apart. But our relationship, even if neither one of us is a particularly good correspondent, is one of those rare childhood friendships that deepens as you get older. As we have become husbands and fathers, I am amazed at how often our ideas and goals are similar. His lovely wife and my dear Sally (both of whom carry the well-earned sobriquet of "long suffering") have become friends and probably communicate more often then we do.

On his last visit, he came with me to pick up my sweet Bonnie - the Ayrshire heifer that will become our nurse and milk cow. While several of my friends humor me when I go off on farm tangents (and the Maximum Leader is particularly good at humoring me), he is my only friend who actually seems to approach the joy I feel in my heart when working the land.

His response to my re-emergent Christianity has hit the right note. He is perhaps a bit more literal than I, but his Christianity isn't an in-your-face-everyone-else-is-going-to-hell brand that I find so repulsive in many of my fellow believers. I went through some serious soul-searching at the exact time that the Maximum Leader was rejecting the doctrine of Catholicism. While the Minister of Propaganda seemed personally offended that I was no longer a godless atheist, the subject of this post was a quiet listener.

Well, enough background. My friend's visit this summer was probably the highlight of my time off. We got to spend some good family time, hung around the farm, played with our girls, shared parenting tips, celebrated our impending familial additions, talked philosophy, and, one night when the girls were asleep, got good and damn drunk with my father-in-law. And nearly burned down my in-laws' new house at Wintergreen.

But the best part of the whole visit was watching our progeny frolic together. His daughter is a wonderful, precocious, sweet-tempered child. Watching two year olds share conisistently with each other must be the eighth wonder of the world.

Now, my life is pretty darn good. (Is this why I am an uninspired blogger? If only I was more tormented like Skippy and Kilgore...) I have a great family, TWO jobs that I love, and live on my own nine acres of paradise.

But without minimizing all those blessings, life would be even better if we could hang out more often.

Here's a symbolic beer raised to the Foreign Minister.

Pam Anderson - Fairey Godmother?

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader thanks Wizbang for pointing him towards this story. Winnipeg Sun Sports - Back on the beam.

Nothing like having Pam Anderson as a sponsor. There was a day when the Minister of Agriculture would have loved to have Ms. Anderson has his "sponsor."

Carry on.

More Liebestod.

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader sees that Rachel is going to check out the other recording of Tristan und Isolde. She's a sucker for Deitrich, your Maximum Leader for Kirsten. Ah the joys of loving classical music...

Does anyone out there (excepting Rachel) even know the Liebestod from Tristan? The "Love-Death" as it were? It is a great peice of music. For those of you who are visually stimulated, yet do not care to watch the whole opera to get to the Liebestod, rent the film Aria and watch the Liebestod segment. You'll get the jist of the piece.

Speaking of Aria. Your Maximum Leader didn't care for it too much the first time he saw it. But a second viewing improved the effect for him. (Except in that one segment with all of the bodybuilders.) He figured that people who might not like opera could be moved to learn more about the operas from which the various segments were taken. And that isn't all that bad.

Carry on.

More Swift Boat and 527s

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader reads that the President has asked that the Swift Boat Vets stop running their ads. But he also added that other 527's should stop their ads too.

Well Mr. President, your Maximum Leader hates to tell you this, but none of it will stop. It will not stop because it is legal and effective.

Your Maximum Leader got a real chuckle out of John Edwards' demand that the President "take responsibility and demand that the ad come off the air." That is a laugh. Responsibility for what exactly? Is the president responsible for the ad? No. Do people responsible for the ad have connections to Bush people? Well yes. Your Maximum Leader would be shocked if they didn't. It is the duty of politicians to find people who will give them money with which they run their campaigns. And those people can also give money to other groups (and frequently do).

Your Maximum Leader believes this is a type of political speech. You find out who agrees with your positions on various issues, and then support them by volunteering or buying their publications, or making donations to them. Why should people stop giving money to legal organizations with which they agree?

They shouldn't.

Your Maximum Leader doesn't believe it is the duty of the President Bush to tell the people he knows affiliated with the Swift Boat Vets group to stop their ads. Nor does your Maximum Leader believe that Senator Kerry should tell the people he knows affiliated with that they should stop their ad campaigns.

Some people say that the difference between Moveon and Swift Boat Vets is that the Vets are lying. Great! Senator Kerry should sue them. Lying is not protected speech. No court in the land would allow outright lies to be publically disseminated. Unless of course the lies aren't outright lies but differences of opinions based on sometimes obscure facts.

As your Maximum Leader has written before, John Kerry is a certified war hero in his book. He served with distinction while in Vietnam. Your Maximum Leader hasn't cared for much of what John Kerry has done publically in the years since his return from Vietnam. That doesn't diminish his war service, but it also doesn't give him a free pass to be president.

Carry on.

Housekeeping & Exit Strategery

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader was reviewing his site server statistics and seeing what had happened to his dearly beloved blog in the weeks of limited posting. He discovered that while his traffic has fallen off since the high point in June we still get between 65 and 120 unique visits a day. Not too bad really.

Also, while checking the referral log, you Maximum Leader discovered that 10 unique visits to came from Neil Barker's Seoul. Neil has sent traffic here, has wisely chosen to blogroll this site and writes some good stuff. Thus he has been added to the Legion of Villainy.

In reviewing search terms that brought people to this site, your Maximum Leader has learned that he is still the number two match for the name "Summer Saunders" on Google. It is all because of this post. The joys of misspelling a name will be revisited upon you for ages. But hey, it is worth about 25 hits a month...

Ah, Summer... She would probably still make the list of the most desireable women in the universe ever. What is she up to know your Maximum Leader muses? A quick search of her name (spelled correctly) shows that she is still the co-host of NBA Inside Stuff. That bit of knowledge is almost enough to get your Maximum Leader to watch, although he hates the NBA and basketball in general. Here is a chat transcript with Summer from the WNBA site. Interesting, she'd want Ashley Judd or Diane Lane to portray her in a movie. Grrr baby... Summer also still hosts "Figure it Out" on Nick. Your Maximum Leader should get the Villainettes to watch it one day...

One last housekeeping matter. Some lucky soul found Nakedvillainy by searching for the following words: "wanted ayrshire heifer in washington state." Humm... On Google that puts us on the second page of matches, and Yahoo also puts us on the second page of matches. Well Mr. "Looking for an ayrshire heifer in Washington state," if you are still visiting shoot an e-mail to the Minister of Agrigculture (link on left) and he will extoll the virtues of ayrshires to you. And perhaps encourage you to join his ayrshire breed fan club...

Enough of this...

Some of you minions may be wondering when your Maximum Leader is going to get to the "Exit Stratergery" part of the post. Well here it is.

While vacationing, Villainette #1 (the Princess) made a little friend. Your Maximum Leader and the little friend's parents engaged in a little chit-chat of our own while watching over our progeny. Little friend's father (LFF) noticed your Maximum Leader was reading the most recent issue of National Review. He then started to ask some political questions of your Maximum Leader. Who gladly opined in the areas in which LFF was interested. Then LFF asked your Maximum Leader if Bush was wrong to go into Iraq without a clear exit strategy. Your Maximum Leader said no, it is almost impossible to plan a clear exit strategy when you have no idea how the war will turn out. Your Maximum Leader then asked LFF if having an exit strategery (so to speak) is a critical component of supporting going to war in the first place. LFF said yes it was. Your Maximum Leader then asked LFF when did President Clinton unveil his exit strategy for Bosnia? Or Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon for Vietnam? Or Presidents Truman and Eisenhower for Korea? Or FDR for WW2?

None of them really did was the point.

Exit strategies are tricky things. If you make them up ahead of time they must be flexible enough to adapt to a changing situation on the ground. Your Maximum Leader seriously doubted that Truman or Eisenhower thought that fifty years after the truce was signed in Korea that US troops would still be on the peninsula. It is hard to imagine FDR telling Churchill that he would be happy to send US troops to Europe "... But only if we have a sort of plan for bringing the boys home quickly after victory is won. The American people will not stand for a long-term occupation."

So the question before us is what about Iraq now? Did the current administration have a plan for getting us out of Iraq once we got in? Your Maximum Leader believes the consensus opinion would be that they had some loose ideas about what would go on, but not a really firm plan. Administration officials said that our troops would be in Iraq for a few years. That seems like a reasonable assessment. Our actions are being determined, in part, to the very fluid situation in which our troops and their officers find themselves.

Our goal should continue to be propping up the Interim Government and doing all in our power to stabilize the country and turn over full authority to a new Iraqi government. One that is democratically determined and popularly supported. Of course, your Maximum Leader's preference is that the government be a regular "western-style" democracy. (With certain basic freedoms, rule of law, and toleration.) But that might be something of a stretch.

Our goal, in a roundabout way, brings us to the problems in Najaf. It seems as though the forces of the interim government are going to storm the Ali Mosque. This is, in your Maximum Leader's opinion a generally good thing. The Interim Government needs to surpress insurrections. If that means storming a mosque that has been made into a makeshift fortress... So be it. The militants inside were given fair warning to put down their arms. They were offered amnesty. Now the Interim government must show it has some balls.

Carry on.

August 23, 2004

The Maximum Leader Returns, Part Deux.

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader is tanned, rested, and returned from his fun beach vacation with the family. Perhaps another post follows on that topic later...

Well, your Maximum Leader sees that his suggestion for an Olympic Truce was met with the outcome of least effort, few posts. Que sera sera.

Well, your Maximum Leader admits that he will not likely be able to catch up on all the reading he missed from a full seven days away from anything resembling an internet connection, or a personal computer for that matter. So with that in mind, how about a little link dumping to let some of your Maximum Leader's favourite bloggers know that he does care about them.

Above all, allow your Maximum Leader to send belated first blogoversary wishes to the first (excluding the various ministers posting here) blogger to be ennobled with the sacred title of "Loyal Minion" --- Kilgore Trout. Your Maximum Leader cannot heap enough praise on good Kilgore. There are few blogs your Maximum Leader checks multiple times a day. Kilgore's in one of them. (Of course, Kilgore rarely posts more than one nugget of joy a day - which is probably related to the fact that he is a distance runner and can only summon up one nugget of joy a day; so perhaps your Maximum Leader is overanxious in seeking Kilgore updates.)

Just as Kilgore's sexual frustrations amuse us, so too do the sexual frustrations of our Poet Laureate. Your Maximum Leader says morals be DAMNED! Fuck Miss SNU. Do it! Dooooooo it! Risk your lab-coat wearing job! Just do her! "Cutler" her even.

(NB: "To Cutler" a verb created by your Maximum Leader and the Smallholder while on their roadtrip. Its etymology comes from Jessica Cutler who revealed that men like her for her ass. Her half-Korean ass that is. Humm... The Poet Laureate is half-Korean... Jessica Cutler is half-Korean... If they got together and made babies - which by the way is unlikely if the Poet Laureate were to cutler Jessica Cutler - they would still be half-Korean wouldn't they?)

Up next, Dr. Rusty Shackleford is always out there keeping an eye on what is important out there. And as a reward, he has more traffic than Noam Chomsky. Huzzah! As an added reward, Rusty will not be dragged out and shot for idiocy when the MWO comes. The same cannot be said for Noam.

Since Anna hasn't posted in almost as long as your Maximum Leader one can only assume that the Botox went horribly wrong.

Your Maximum Leader thought of Annika while on vacation. Not like that! Get your minds out of the gutter. (But Annika can bring out the best in men that is for sure.) Knowing how Annika enjoys flying and planes caused your Maximum Leader to think of her when he took the Villainettes to Kill Devil Hills and paid a little homage to the brothers Wright.

BRD is now on vacation, but his short missive on toilets amused your Maximum Leader. Which reminds your Maximum Leader, didn't the Poet Laureate have a run-in with Japanese toilets? He must have posted about it, but your Maximum Leader lacks the will to find the post(s) in question.

Your Maximum Leader also missed reading Bill's blog while he was gone. Bill wrote a remarkably thoughtful comment on the recent post of the AirMarshal concerning the young girl and communion. While your Maximum Leader will not go into much comment on this matter here, he is torn between understanding the church's position (at least its theological foundations) and the knowledge that the church has made exceptions from time to time for good reasons. It seems to him as though this wouldn't be a bad time for an exception.

What can one say about Skippy? Well... Your Maximum Leader, like Skippy, finds Michele Malkin hot. (But never has a happy ending watching her on TV. And your Maximum Leader watched her on Hardball last week too. She got her delicious ass handed to her by Matthews. But, in all honesty, Matthews was being a domineering bastard who wouldn't let her talk.) And just to note one more thing, your Maximum Leader believes that the more physically attractive a woman is, the less likely she is to be good in bed. Just like Skippy says.

Your Maximum Leader always likes Rachel's blog. This must be, in part, because she loves classical music. But really Rachel? You'd prefer the Overture from Tristan und Isolde rather than the Liebestodt? Perhaps you should give a listen and reconsider. (And try this recording instead. Your Maximum Leader is a sucker for Kirsten Flagstad.) Your Maximum Leader also thanks Rachel for the link to Communists for Kerry. Your Maximum Leader thought he would originally do his blog along a communist theme, but sadly discovered that it was already done, and done better than he would likely be able to pull off.

Speaking of the Commissar, he also directs us to Communists for Kerry.

In closing let your Maximum Leader give a shout out to his Dear Buddhist Minion Andi... Your Maximum Leader says get the fitted tee and the thong.


Then send photos. Your Maximum Leader will then decide if you are a bad Buddhist or a naughty Buddhist. Such determinations are only possible with photographic evidence. (And if in these hypothetical photos you are clutching a sword while wearing the fitted tee and the thong your Maximum Leader would be unable to control himself and would likely have a hormonal overload... Frankly just the thought in his mind of a sword-wielding, tee-topped, thong-clad Buddhist chicka is causing him to go a little cross-eyed.)

With that last comment, your Maximum Leader (necessarily) declares this post closed.

Carry on.

August 22, 2004

Richard III, King of England, RIP

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader asks that you remember Richard III, King of England. He was killed in battle at Bosworth this day in 1485. He fought valiantly, if not triumphantly. He was the last Plantagenet to rule England. He was the last King of England to die in battle. And his death marks the generally accepted end of both the Wars of the Roses and the medieval period in England.

It is from Shakespeare's play Richard III that the name of this site is taken. The important lines come in Act One, Scene III:
But then I sigh; and, with a piece of scripture,
Tell them that God bids us do good for evil:
And thus I clothe my naked villainy
With old odd ends stolen out of holy writ;
And seem a saint, when most I play the devil.
Richard is, in your Maximum Leader's opinion, one of the most maligned kings in all history. Shakespeare's play, while vastly entertaining, is far from an accurate portrayal of history and the man as we now know him. But that is the subject of another post.

To close, allow your Maximum Leader to post an obituary first penned by Rex Stout.
"PLANTAGENET -- Richard, great king and true friend of the rights of man, died at Bosworth Field on August 22, 1485. Murdered by traitors and, dead, maligned by knaves and ignored by Laodiceans, he merits our devoted remembrance."
While your Maximum Leader would not lump Shakespeare in with the knaves, Richard's memory has certainly been besmerched by many.

Remember poor Richard Plantagenet.

Carry on.

the wisdom of Fafblog

The Air Marshal asks for my take on the communion-denial question, but by sheer chance I discovered that Fafblog had beaten me to the punch on this one. Their answer echoes my own, at least in spirit.


August 20, 2004

Wheat-allergic girl denied Communion

Read the story here. I'd be interested in BigHo's take on this. Being a spiritual, but non religious person, married into the Catholic church, this sort of thing strikes me as just plain stupid. I guess it's OK for priests to molest little kids, but you can't use rice crackers in communion.

It just seems that so many times organized religion gets hung up in irrelevant details and misses the whole point of worshipping a greater being. Especially a political, and financial organization like the Roman Catholic Church.


August 19, 2004

Sounds of Silence

Damn, it's quiet here. I know that the Smallholder's cow stepped on his computer, so he's not posting these days. And Max is vacationing with the extended family. But come on, the Foreign Minister and the propaganda minister have been uncharacteristically silent lately.

So some random Olympic thoughts.

So I'm watching Women's volleyball with my daughter. I tell her that the ladies in blue (the USA) are the good guys, and we want them to win. She then tells me that the women in red (the Chinese) are the bad guys, and we want them to lose. So I get waffly explaining that there are no "bad guys", but we just want the USA to win. She doesn't get it. If there are good guys, then why aren't there bad guys? Good point. I miss the days of the Evil Empire, with the clear villains to root against in the Olympics.

I can understand 14 year old gymnasts being so short... but a 26 year old woman looking like that is just freaky. Kerri Struggs (sp?) was on an episode of "Trading Spaces" and seeing her still at that size, with that voice as a grown woman... bizzare. That voice on a "grown" woman is just weird. I know it's not her fault, and I'm being mean. But imagine a woman speaking in that voice at an intimate moment. Use your imagination. Ugh. But it's not like their given drugs to keep them small I guess, they really just are that size.

I quote from George Carlin.
Gymnastics is not a sport because Romanians are good at it. It took me a
long time to come up with that rule, but goddammit, I did it.

That Japanese swimmer should be stripped of his medals. Not because of the dolphin kick, but because of that damn shrieking after he "won." (kinda like Bush "won" Florida, eh Greg?... come on ... post... it's boring here.) Seriously, though, I'm the kinda guy who holds grudges. I was just 3 at the time, but the Russian gold medal in B-ball in 1972 still pisses me off, as does the Korean victory in boxing in 1988.

Basketball bothers me. I don't really feel an affinity for these players, and I don't give a damn if Iverson loses. In fact, I usually like it when Iverson loses. And when our best player wasn't even born in America (Tim Duncan is from the Virgin Islands I believe), what does that say. But it bothers me in three senses. First that our best players don't want to go. (No Shaq, no T-Mac, etc.) Secondly that our Olympic committee was so ignorant as to the nature of international hoops in constructing this team as to ignore shooters and "skilled" players. Thirdly that North American sports are so out of touch with the way games are played around the globe. Basketball and Hockey in North America are games of thuggery. Globally they are games of skill. More fun to watch the global versions.

Is the Marathon actually run on the plains of Marathon? If it's not, it should be.

Didn't the ancient Olympics featuer athletes in the nude? Why not now? I might not want to watch many of the sports, but it would make women's beach volleyball, and women's swimming much more interesting and fun to watch. At least for roughly half of the viewing audience.

I know the point is moot, but I still don't like admitting pro athletes. I know the line has always been blurred, but I feel some line was crossed in 1992 with the Dream Team, and in 1996 in Hockey. I remember my self righteous indignation at the Soviets and their "amateur" hockey players. But at least I was right. Now I kind of miss it.


August 17, 2004

Men of Great Intellect

From an e-mail circulating the net.

"I have always strenuously supported theright of every man to his own opinion, however different that opinion might be to mine. He who denies another this right makes a slave of himself to his present opinion, because he precludeshimself the right of changing it."

-Thomas Paine, 1783

"Free speech exercised both individually and througha free press, is a necessity in any country where people are themselves free."

-Theodore Roosevelt, 1918

"The truth is found when men are free to pursue it."

- FranklinD. Roosevelt, 1936

"If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear."

- George Orwell, 1945

"Any time we deny any citizen the full exercise of his constitutional rights, we are weakening our
own claim to them."

- Dwight David Eisenhower, 1963

"What is objectionable, what is dangerous about extremists is not that they are extreme, but that they are intolerant."

-Robert F. Kennedy, 1964

"Go fuck yourself."

-Dick Cheney, 2004

August 14, 2004

Olympic sports we need

I'm all for the introduction of new sports to the Olympics. Here's a short list of venerable sports that haven't been recognized by the IOC yet:

1. Gang-banging with consenting adults. The Houston 500 needs to be Olympicized and would be an instant hit, what with all the closeups and replays. The only stumbling block to this would be analysis and commentary by John Tesh. But damn, this sport makes me wish Howard Cosell were alive today.

2. Dwarf tossing/bowling. Little people have served as projectiles since time immemorial, and it's about time we had the Summer Olympics' answer to ski jumping.

3. Bitch-slapping. I'd remove weight class and sex restrictions and just make this a free-for-all. Given the role politics plays at the Olympic Games, I'd wager this sport would be mighty cathartic, even for the losers.

4. Sheep-humping. At a guess, the contest would boil down to the Scots and the Kiwis, with the Aussies a distant third, possibly jockeying for the bronze with a highly motivated team of Swiss farmers. But given the ubiquity of Murphy's Law, I wouldn't be surprised if some small team-- say, the Iranians-- proved up to the challenge.

There are also some sci-fi-inspired sports I'd like to see:

1. Telekinetic brain-explosion. It happened in "Scanners," and I bet Michael Ironside would rope in the gold for the Canadians.

2. Brachial energy generation. Emperor Palpatine can do it, as can Count Dooku. Any number of Asian animé characters can project "chi" or "ki" globes, and Rick Moranis demonstrated some pyrotechnic potential (arguably with the help of his Schwartz ring) when he blasted a minion's crotch in "Spaceballs."

3. All-time fastest parasite infestation. A contest for non-humans that uses human hosts! We'd have to settle on a decent intergalactic definition of the term "parasite," otherwise the humongous Brain Bugs of "Starship Troopers" might qualify thanks to some technical loophole. Possible contestants would include Ceti Eels from "Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan," nanites (including Borg nanites) from any number of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" episodes, chest-bursting larvae from the facehuggers in the Alien series, and the green "meteor shit" that drives Stephen King to suicide in the movie "Creepshow."

4. Quickest conversion from evil to good. Luke was able to bring his father back from the dark side of the Force, but how well would he fare against the Borg Queen?

I also think that golf and fishing should be recognized as the true Olympic sports they are, but a little voice in my head keeps insisting that (1) golf and fishing need to be combined somehow, and (2) we need to add old-school Ultimate Fighting into the mix. As with bitch-slapping, there'd be no weight classes or sex restrictions, but I have no idea what we'd call this awesome sports hybrid. We should probably name it according to an exclamation common to all three sports, so say hello to Fuuuuuuuck!


Olympic Truce?

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader is watching the Olympic Opening Cerimonies at his esteemed in-laws' house. He is remembering that the Olympic Truce will be called. You all remember the Olympic Truce. The temporary peace that is called all wars around the world (or just among the Greek Polis in ancient times) to allow athletes to participate in the games.

Your Maximum Leader will make a polite (if somewhat self-interested) request in light of the Olympic games in Athens. How about over the next week this blog become a non-political forum? Your Maximum Leader and his ministers have interests outside of politics and argument. Perhaps these outside interests would make some good posts. The Minister of Agriculture could write a post or two about life on the farm. The Minister of Propaganda could relate a colourful anecdote about life in Hollywood. The Foreign Minister could talk about life as an American overseas. The AirMarshal could write more about sports, alcohol and parenting. The Poet Laureate might write a humour piece or a piece about interreligious dialouge. And your Maximum Leader will write something about Jennifer Love-Hewitt. (Or perhaps something else...)

Your Maximum Leader believes that a week of non-political writing will be our sort of internal Olympic Truce. Of course, this is a non-binding request, and if some hotbutton political event occurs during this week; by all means comment away. Think of this as an opportunity expose our readership (dwindling as it may be) to other interests of those bloggers here.

Carry on.