Monthly Archives: January 2019

COLLEGE BASKETBALL RANKINGS FROM BALLADEER’S BLOG

Per the Glitternight Index:

villa-maria-college-vikingsUSCAA (United States Collegiate Athletic Association) Division Two – 1. VILLA MARIA COLLEGE VIKINGS    ###   2. BERKELEY (NY) COLLEGE KNIGHTS    ###    3. NEW HAMPSHIRE TECHNICAL INSTITUTE LYNX    ###    4. CENTRAL PENN COLLEGE SILVER KNIGHTS    ###    5. PENN STATE AT WILKES-BARRE NITTANY LIONS    ###   

college of new rochelle blue angels6. COLLEGE OF NEW ROCHELLE BLUE ANGELS    ###    7. SOUTHERN MAINE COLLEGE SEA WOLVES    ###    8. JOHNSON & WALES COLLEGE AT CHARLOTTE BOBCATS    ###    9. ALBANY COLLEGE OF PHARMACY AND HEALTH SCIENCES PANTHERS (Should be the Apothecaries)    ###    10. WARREN WILSON COLLEGE OWLS    ###    Continue reading

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JUSTICE SOCIETY 15: BRAIN WAVE RETURNS

Wonder WomanWow! Readers really cannot get enough superhero posts! I have a soft spot for superhero stories myself because reading them served as a gateway to two of my adult passions: mythology and opera. Here’s more of the world’s FIRST superhero team – DC’s Justice Society of America. FOR PART ONE CLICK  HERE 

I will review the original issue and then detail how I would “script-doctor” the story for modern audiences.

all star 17ALL STAR COMICS #17 (June 1943)

Title: BRAIN WAVE GOES BERSERK

Heroes: SANDMAN, WONDER WOMAN (Original), THE SPECTRE, HAWKMAN (Original), DOCTOR MIDNITE, THE ATOM (Original), STARMAN, DOCTOR FATE, JOHNNY THUNDER

Villain: BRAIN WAVE

green lanternSynopsis: This story presented the return of the Justice Society’s archenemy Brain Wave (Henry King). In typical supervillain fashion Brain Wave survived his seeming death at the end of his previous battle with our heroes.

He and his mental creations are back in business overseeing criminal activities ranging from robberies and blackmail to manipulation of a U.S. Senator. Continue reading

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ASK BALLADEER: THE SPANISH CIVIL WAR

masc chair and bottleQUESTION: How come you no longer make as many mentions or blog posts about the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) as you used to?

ANSWER: First let me provide clarification for newer readers why I used to invoke the Spanish Civil War so frequently. I used to use that conflict’s imagery and terms as a departure from over-used World War Two and Cold War clichés when describing the current forces tearing the U.S. apart.

Ultimately nobody (except maybe the Anarchists) were worth rooting for in the Spanish Civil War once you had Stalin aiding the leftists and Hitler & Mussolini aiding the right-wingers. No matter which side won it was clear that Spain would no longer be a free country like it had been under the short-lived Republic.

American FlagLong ago I used to condemn the Anarchists for finding both the left and the right too totalitarian to be worth siding with and fighting both sides. In recent years I’ve certainly come to sympathize with their position as we here in America have seen that the political left is every bit as bad as the worst right-wingers ever were. 

I stopped using Spanish Civil War imagery and terms as frequently as I used to because more and more people on the internet have taken to using them, too. I’m not implying those others imitated me, I’m just saying that it’s no longer as unique as it used to be.

And I could swear that a certain wide-eyed, fanatical chipmunk in Congress fancies herself to be America’s version of La Pasionaria from the Spanish Civil War era. 

At any rate I still find that conflict – and the countless movies about it – fascinating. Orwell, Hemingway and Andre Malraux aside you’ve also got the American volunteers who fought in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade in Spain. Plus there’s the pop culture appeal, like with the way Rick Blaine in Casablanca served in the anti-Franco forces in the Spanish Civil War.

And on a more comical note, it was always fun to trip up America’s increasingly deranged left-wingers with Spanish Civil War references. Just because the American Volunteers were called the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, American leftists would often sneeringly accuse you of not knowing that “Abraham Lincoln was a President during OUR Civil War, fucktard, he wasn’t in Spain.”

It was fun to then cut the smirking fools off at the knees by pointing out how THEY are actually the ones who are uninformed, by revealing what the Abraham Lincoln Brigade really was. Continue reading

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COLLEGE BASKETBALL RESULTS: NAIA

NAIA DIVISION ONE

Grand View VikingsDOWN GOES NUMBER TWO – The GRAND VIEW UNIVERSITY VIKINGS welcomed the number 2 team in the nation – the WILLIAM PENN UNIVERSITY STATESMEN. The Vikings put the Statesmen on Upset Alert with a 29-28 edge at Halftime. William Penn U came back to force Overtime with a 62-62 tie to end Regulation. In OT the Vikings managed a 73-69 triumph led by Jordan Brunkow’s 29 points. 

Harris Stowe State HornetsAND NUMBER THREE COMES TUMBLING AFTER – In this Upset the HARRIS-STOWE STATE HORNETS played host to the country’s 3rd ranked MISSOURI BAPTIST UNIVERSITY SPARTANS. This defensive epic saw the Hornets on top 33-22 at the break before the Spartans knotted things up 57-57 by game’s end. The 1st OT ended in a 63-63 tie but in the SECOND OVERTIME Harris-Stowe State won it 74-70. Nate Rigmaiden led the way with 29 points.

LSU Shreveport Pilots NEWOTHER UPSETS IN THE TOP TWENTY-FIVE – The LSU-SHREVEPORT PILOTS (Riverboat Pilots) knocked off the visiting (13) WILEY (TX) WILDCATS in a 94-90 shootout    ###   Meanwhile the GRACELAND UNIVERSITY YELLOW JACKETS edged the (17) PERU STATE BOBCATS 74-72   ###   And the OKLAHOMA PANHANDLE STATE AGGIES (should be the Okies) downed the (20) USAO DROVERS 84-83 in their own house. Continue reading

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PAT BENATAR: PROMISES IN THE DARK

Balladeer’s Blog’s Give Them A Shoutout Before They’re Dead strikes again. This time around it’s Pat Benatar with her song Promises in the Dark

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TRUMP CONTINUES TO KEEP BIG PHARMA ON THE DEFENSIVE

Donald Trump rock starDe facto Third Party President Donald Trump continues to provide TANGIBLE, financial help to the working class and the poor. In this case it’s through the way his Theodore Roosevelt-style squeeze on Big Pharma has helped keep U.S. drug prices from spiraling out of control. The link to the article is below, but first some thoughts and excerpts. 

Those of us in the real world all know many families whose financial survival has been possible because of this and other ways that President Trump has kept his promises to them. And he’s done it while having to fight BOTH the Democrats and the Republicans as well as the deep-pocketed pharmaceutical companies who own those Democrats and Republicans.

fake newsNo matter how much the Fake News outlets distort every single thing Trump says and does, no matter how many brain-dead professional athletes trash him and no matter how many shallow, uninformed and emotionally unstable entertainers lie about him, those of us in the real world – not the callous, comfortable and uncaring world of One Percenters – continue to support him.

These are not “theoreticals” or “opinions” these are CONCRETE ways that this President has helped the forgotten working class and poor people clearly hated or ignored by Trump’s critics. Anyway, on this particular issue, here are the excerpts and the link for the article:

Trump and black people in maga hats“It’s (Trump’s role in this) also one of the reasons, beyond the insanity that is the current Democratic Party (see: Sanders, Bernie; Warren, Elizabeth; Ocasio-Cortez, Alexandria; Pelosi, Nancy; Tlaib, Rashida; and on and on), why people who supported Trump in 2016 remain loyal to him. He has, in fact, delivered on things like this that his voters care about.”

“Big Pharma doesn’t like that under Trump, drug prices are being held down and products like biosimilars and generics are grabbing more market share (if you want to know how much a bunch of them hate biosimilars, go read this). But according to the Journal of the American Medical Association, the health care industry— including Big Pharma in good measure— spends $30 billion a year on marketing — i.e., those annoying pharmaceutical ads on TV — and pressuring doctors to prescribe their drug, not the cheaper one that works just as well.”

“Maybe if Big Pharma is so terribly upset about its theoretical profit margin being cut by things like the president using the bully pulpit to hold drug prices down, more generic drugs hitting the market, and drug discount programs, they could spend less on marketing and pocket the change.” Continue reading

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PUCK: BOSS PLATT, FATHER KNICKERBOCKER AND EUGEN SANDOW

puck father knickerbockerBalladeer’s Blog takes another look at a political cartoon from Puck magazine (1871-1918), the famous humor magazine. For more Puck click HERE 

This time around it’s the cover illustration from June 9th, 1897. The cartoon depicts a furious Father Knickerbocker breaking chains labeled “Raines Law” and “Hayseed Legislation” while the caption reads “Let Boss Platt beware: Father Knickerbocker is in training for this Sandow Act.”

Father Knickerbocker, then as now, was the symbol of New York. The figure was based on Washington Irving’s Diedrich Knickerbocker, the pseudonym under which he wrote his History of New York in 1809. That history was told from the alleged perspective of the old-line Dutch families who had settled New York before it was taken by the British.

There had actually been a Knickerbocker family in New York since the 1600s and the name appealed to Irving as being quintessentially Dutch-American. 

Boss Platt was Thomas C Platt, successor to the corrupt Roscoe Conkling as the head of New York’s Republican Party Machine. (Tammany Hall, synonymous with political corruption, was still the name used for the state’s Democrat Party Machine)

Joseph Keppler at Puck magazine disdained Platt and the New York machine as much as he disdained Tammany Hall. The Raines Law chain being broken by Father Knickerbocker symbolized the Blue Law banning the sale of alcohol in New York on Sundays. Keppler held Boss Platt responsible for Raines Law and other parochial legislation known as Hayseed Legislation, the other chain being broken by Father Knickerbocker. Continue reading

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