BILLY JOEL: STILETTO

Another installment of Give Them A Shoutout Before They’re Dead with Billy Joel as the subject. Here’s his 1978 anthem to wicked women – Stiletto.

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WAVELENGTH (1983)

WavelengthWAVELENGTH (1983) – This is an unjustly neglected science fiction film that stars Robert Carradine, Cherie Currie and Keenan Wynn in a very unconventional love triangle: both Carradine and Currie are fighting over Wynn. (I’m kidding!)

Robert Carradine plays a moody musician suffering a career lull, Cherie Currie portrays a groupie who becomes a bona fide romantic partner for him and Keenan Wynn barks and snarls in his usual “grouch with a heart of gold” manner. Cherie’s sensitive mind is open to alien brain-waves calling to her from a nearby (seemingly) abandoned government installation. Carradine and his neighbor Wynn help her try to find out what’s going on. Continue reading

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COLLEGE BASKETBALL RANKINGS FROM BALLADEER’S BLOG

cuyahoga-challengers-goodNJCAA (National Junior College Athletic Association) Division Two – 1. CUYAHOGA COLLEGE CHALLENGERS    ###     2. ANCILLA COLLEGE CHARGERS    ###    3. PARKLAND COLLEGE COBRAS    ###     4. TRITON COLLEGE TROJANS    ###     5. MONROE (NY) TRIBUNES    ###     

Iowa Central Tritons logo6. IOWA CENTRAL COLLEGE TRITONS    ###     7. LINCOLN COLLEGE LYNX    ###     8. HENRY FORD COLLEGE HAWKS    ###     9. RICHARD BLAND COLLEGE STATESMEN    ###     10. ARKANSAS STATE-MIDSOUTH GREYHOUNDS    ###      Continue reading

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SEX AND POLITICS: FEBRUARY 12th

Adam SchiffADAM SCHIFF the ranking DEMOCRAT on the House Intelligence (as in spying) Committee, wins this month’s DUMBER THAN JIMMY KIMMEL AWARD. Schiff got punked by Russian comedians awhile back because this actual elected representative is so unhinged when it comes to the groundless Trump-Russia Collusion scam.

Schiff thought he was dealing with sources who could provide him with NAKED PICTURES OF PRESIDENT TRUMP. Democrats HATE President Trump because of all the good he has done for the working class and the poor.    Adam Schiff represents every reason so many of us are ashamed that we used to be Democrats.

Hillary screaming againHILLARY CLINTON’S ADVICE FOR MARRIED COUPLES

Hillary “Bugsy” Clinton, failed presidential candidate and career criminal, has a unique perspective on how to make a marriage last.

With Valentine’s Day coming up Hillary decided to discuss what makes her marriage work.

“As long as spouses cannot be forced to testify against each other, Bill and I will probably stay married forever!”  

Black Women 4 TrumpMARTIN LUTHER KING WOMEN OF COURAGE

More women of color who courageously reject Democrats who try to order them what to think and say:

Patricia Dickson – https://twitter.com/Patrici15767099       Continue reading

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SIXTEEN OVERLOOKED SECRETARIES OF STATE

With Presidents Day coming up on the 19th Balladeer’s Blog has been presenting some seasonal posts. A fair amount of our past presidents had served as Secretary of State in earlier administrations so that is the tie-in to the upcoming holiday. 

Timothy Pickering1. TIMOTHY PICKERING (1795-1800)

Served under: Presidents George Washington and John Adams

Noted for: Conspiring with Alexander Hamilton to undermine some of the policies of the Washington and Adams administrations. When Adams discovered this he ordered Pickering to resign, but Pickering refused, forcing Adams to fire him. Pickering remains the only Secretary of State to officially be fired by the President.

2. HENRY CLAY (1825-1829)

Served under: President John Quincy Adams

Noted for: Fighting a duel with Senator John Randolph, one of Clay’s critics who felt he had struck a “corrupt bargain” with Adams to get this prized cabinet position. Also for completing the first commerce treaties between the young United States and the various nations in Scandinavia and Latin America.

3. JOHN FORSYTH (1834-1841)

Served under: Presidents Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren

Noted for: Obtaining long-disputed reparations from France for U.S. commercial losses suffered during the Napoleonic Wars. Also for threatening to resign early in Van Buren’s administration before his relationship with the new president improved.

Daniel Webster4. DANIEL WEBSTER (1841-1843 and 1850-1852)

Served under: Presidents William Henry Harrison, John Tyler and Millard Filmore

Noted for: Negotiating a treaty which set the boundaries between Maine and New Brunswick, encouraging a popular uprising in Hungary and for dying in office in 1852. But mostly for his distinguished Senate career and for his fictional role in the story The Devil and Daniel Webster.

5. WILLIAM MARCY (1853-1857) Continue reading

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TOP FIVE FLASHMAN NOVELS: NUMBER FIVE

For Balladeer’s Blog’s Number One Harry Flashman Novel click HERE  . For background info on George MacDonald Fraser’s infamous anti-hero Harry Paget Flashman you can also click that link.

Flashman on the March5. FLASHMAN ON THE MARCH (2005)

Time Period: The 1867-1868 Abyssinian military campaign and rescue mission.

This volume of The Flashman Papers is set right after Harry’s thwarted mission to preserve Emperor Maximilian’s reign in Mexico followed by his unsuccessful attempt to spirit away the fallen Emperor before he could be executed. (Well it wasn’t Flashman’s fault. As history tells us, Maximilian DID refuse to escape with the conspirators who busted in to save his sorry butt.)

Synopsis: After a passionate farewell kiss from (the real-life) Princess Agnes Salm-Salm, Harry Flashman further raises the ire of his Austrian escorts by seducing a young, blonde and buxom Hapsburg aristocrat on the trans-Atlantic voyage with Maximilian’s coffin.

In Trieste, with the Austrians planning to unleash their wrath on Flashy as soon as the ceremony for Maximilian is over, our main character bolts for the British consulate. HMG is happy to have Sir Harry on hand and entrusts him to escort the notorious 100,000 Maria Theresa Thalers being sent to finance General Robert Napier’s upcoming Abyssinian Expedition.   

Flashman on the March 2That expedition is being launched to free British captives being held and tortured by the (historically) unhinged Emperor Theodore II of Abyssinia (Called Ethiopia today). 

Before Flashman knows it he’s caught up in a clash with Muslim slavers on the Red Sea, then breezing right along to the Eritrean port of Zula, embarkation point for the British campaign into Abyssinia.  

The author George MacDonald Fraser’s descriptive talents were in top form in Flashman on the March. As fans well know, Fraser creates scenes in the reader’s mind that surpass the biggest-budgeted cinematic blockbusters.

This particular tale lets him fully unleash his genius for seeming to take his audience to faraway planets while never leaving the Earth. Abyssinia/ Ethiopia feels menacingly alien and its hostile terrain might as well be on an orbiting asteroid as we get dragged into deadly danger with the reluctant Flashman.   

Harry and his Royal Marine escorts eventually catch up with General Napier far inland, and even though our protagonist officially turns over the shipment of Thalers he is still at Napier’s mercy in terms of papers and transit orders home to England. 

With the British forces – complete with 44 war elephants from India – moving more slowly than anticipated, Napier decides to send Flashman on ahead of the main army.

Harry’s orders: a) to rescue the hostages by any means necessary if the opportunity presents itself, if not, then b) to covertly keep tabs on the location of the hostages in case the Emperor decides to take them even further inland and c) to feel out Theodore’s many enemies in the war-torn country and try to recruit ad hoc allies to prevent the Emperor’s army from escaping.   

Kevin Kline good FlashmanFlashman’s guide, translator and fellow warrior will be the beautiful Ethiopian woman Uliba-Wark, half-sister to the country’s Queen. Uliba-Wark has a small domain of her own and is up to her neck in Abyssinia’s countless political and sexual intrigues & rivalries.

A running battle on horseback which leaves Harry and the warlike beauty as the sole survivors enroute to her castle is just a hint of the wild bed and battle action that lays ahead. I still go back and forth about placing Flashman on the March at number 5 or number 4.   Continue reading

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FOR ELFIDD/ THE ROOSTER – A SHOUTOUT TO THE PHILADELPHIA EAGLES

Philadelphia EaglesFor Elfidd at As The Rooster Crows Blog ( always a great read, by the way) here is my belated congratulations to his Philadelphia Eagles for their franchise’s first Superbowl Victory!

Hope you enjoy the shoutout, Elfidd! 

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