As your resident mad man seems a bit more weary than usual (and having some medication acting up at the moment) this seems as good a time as any to start my holiday break. It is a few days earlier than last year but hopefully that means it will end a few days sooner as well. There is the 'year in review' to work on and in the days and weeks ahead there will be posts on how South Vietnam was bungled, a country that championed monarchy in Asia, the Divine Right, some soldiers of monarchy from Spain and Russia, that "third force" everyone used to talk about but that never really worked, a profile of a particularly accomplished King of Portugal, more in the "Royal Friends of Texas" series and one of the worst presidents America has ever had to suffer (and who was certainly no great friend of monarchy in the world). I hope you will all look forward to those. For those who are not already, feel free to follow me on Facebook for the occasional update and, of course, I hope everyone has a very happy Christmas. In the meantime, peruse the archives as you please and, as always, stay "mad" everyone. God bless.