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To: LindyBill who wrote (6812)2/27/2012 2:07:28 PM
From: ManyMoose
   of 16478
Tidal flats are a dangerous thing in Alaska.

I wonder whether the buoyancy of that horse would have enable it to escape the rising tide. Most of its bulk is above the bottom. Probably not. Horses are good swimmers, but they just hold their head and neck above water.

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From: LindyBill2/27/2012 2:08:02 PM
   of 16478
"Waltzing Matilda

by Banjo Paterson
Song of the Week - Aussie Encore
February 27, 2012

I'm currently Down Under on my 2012 Oz tour, and very happy to be here. The formal events started with a big dinner at the Athenaeum in Melbourne hosted by Michael Kroger and featuring me plus scourge of the Eurocrats Daniel Hannan, fellow freespeecher Andrew Bolt, The Australian's Janet Albrechtsen, and the Leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition Tony Abbott. You don't have to be that loyal compared to a government party tearing itself apart over the Julia Gillard/Kevin Rudd feud. Anyhow, it was a great night, and a grand start to the tour. Andrew Bolt very kindly compared me to Michelangelo, which may be my most unearned praise since Julian Porter, QC compared me to Mozart a decade or so back. But he also mentioned that, when he began reading me years ago, it was mainly about music - and not even music he particularly liked. Last time I was here, the IPA's Jon Roskam, who'll be joining me and Janet on stage in Sydney on Wednesday, also said my musical essays were among his favourites. So, while I'm staggering around the Lucky Country, we're going to rerun some Aussie Songs of the Week every couple of days. No surprises in our opening number - and, if you're interested, this piece is adapted from my book, A Song For The Season:

The ceremonial musical trend in the British Commonwealth in recent years has not been a happy one. Two or three decades back, folks in Her Majesty's farther-flung realms decided that "God Save The Queen" no longer represented the rich vibrancy of their young confident post-colonial nations and so it was time to get an anthem less obviously tied to the Mother Country's apron strings. Fair enough. But in practice it means that all these young, vibrant, confident, etc nations find themselves replacing "God Save The Queen" with some stodgy dirge of generic ceremonial character with insipid lyrics so anxious not to give offence they're paralyzed into all but the most vacuous generalities. Thus Jamaica, which reclassified "God Save The Queen" as the "Royal Anthem" and introduced as its national anthem this:

Grant true wisdom from above
Justice, truth be ours forever
Jamaica, land we love
Jamaica, Jamaica, Jamaica
Land We Love.

While the Solomon Islands opted for:

That men shall brothers be
Make nations see
Our Solomon Islands
Our Solomon Islands
Our nation Solomon Islands
Stands forevermore.

And New Zealand decided to designate a "co-national anthem" to share the spotlight with "GSTQ". It rather bravely rhymes "New Zealand" with "free land", which works in the same way "a tinkling piano in the next apartment" rhymes with "those stumbling words that told you what my heart meant". Anyway, aside from the feminine rhyme, it's standard stuff:

Guard Pacific's triple star
From the shafts of strife and war
Make her praises heard afar
God Defend New Zealand.

The old dominions faced an additional problem: in the new multiculti utopia, almost any line that isn't stupefyingly bland is objectionable to someone or other. Despite the remorseless filleting of the lyrics to "O Canada", every year or two some grievance is lodged against the two or three remaining lines of the original. Some feminist Senator objected to the sexism of "True patriot love in all thy sons command", and said Canadians deserved a national anthem that saluted the contributions of women. If that's the criterion, they should have stuck with "God Save The Queen". Someone else objected to the opening lines:

O Canada!
Our home and native land…

The words "native land" apparently exclude immigrants from the song's sentiments. To solve that problem and simultaneously address native grievances, I proposed amending it to:

O Canada!
Our home on natives' land…

There was a poll a few years ago which showed something like 80 per cent of Americans knew the first line of "The Star-Spangled Banner" but only 40 per cent know the first line of "O Canada". Which is remarkable, when you consider the first line of "O Canada" is "O Canada". Still, game as I am to disparage the Dominion's anthem, I have to say it's effortlessly outpaced in insipidity by the song our cousins Down Under have to sing on Australia Day every January:

Australians all let us rejoice
For we are young and free
We've golden soil
And wealth for toil
Our home is girt by sea…

"Girt" is famously the only point of lyric interest in "Advance Australia Fair". Peter Dodds McCormick wrote the song back in 1878, which meant, by the time they decided to make it the official anthem 20 years ago, most of the verses were unusable. No point shaking off the old cultural cringe of "God Save The Queen" only to start singing couplet after couplet about "gallant Cook from Albion" and "true British courage" and "old England's flag". And how about this quatrain?

Britannia then shall surely know
Beyond wide ocean's roll
Her sons in fair Australia's land
Still keep a English soul…

So, after all the colonial sucking up was excised from the lyric, "girt" was pretty much all that was left. A few years ago, incidentally, there was an Aussie satirical magazine named Girt in its honor: I signed on with them but it folded after one issue. Don't believe I ever got the check. I try not to be biased against "Advance Australia Fair" on that account, but honestly, was there ever such a gulf between the spirit of a great nation and its official musical embodiment?

The same rules of standard songwriting apply to patriotic music. First, be specific. "The Star-Spangled Banner" meets that test. So too, in fairness, does "La Marseillaise". But, if you sit down to write a purpose-built national anthem, you wind up with something that sounds like it won second prize in a Write A National Anthem For Anywheristan competition.

With Australia, it's especially unfair, as the country has one of the best catalogues of folk songs of anywhere on the planet. I'm always surprised at how many I learned from afar as a child: it's not just that Oz occupied a particular place in the imperial imagination, but that that place had a very specific musical character, too. My dad loved to sing "The Wild Colonial Boy" to me. There are tons of verse-and-chorus numbers about similar characters but this is one of the few whose lyric is matched by its musical swagger:

'Twas of a Wild Colonial Boy
Jack Dowling [or Doolan, or Duggan, or some such] was his name
Of poor but honest parents
Was reared at Castlemaine
He was his father's favorite
And mother's only joy
And a terror to Australia
Was The Wild Colonial Boy…

In 2002, Allen Mawer conducted an exemplary investigation into the song which proved fascinating not just from an historical perspective but also from a musicological one: Mawer is very sound on the process by which an essentially true story got distorted along the way because another judge's name rhymed more easily and a two-syllable constable fit the prosody in a way the three-syllable one didn't. It's a great song, although one understands why a number about a lad who shoots the Queen's troopers is perhaps not the most appropriate for state occasions.

Another one I always liked is "Wallaby Stew", written by Cecil Poole at the end of the 19th century. It's one of those songs that skewers time, place and sensibility: the energy of a Britannic proletarian culture liberated by distance from the confinements and class resentments back home. The chorus is marvelous:

So stir the Wallaby Stew
Make soup of the kangaroo tail
I tell you things is pretty tough
Since Dad got put in gaol…

And over the years I still get a chuckle out of the verses, a rueful meditation on the vicissitudes of Outback life:

Our sheep were dead a month ago, not rot but blooming fluke
Our cow was boozed last Christmas Day by my big brother Luke
And Mother has a shearer cove forever within hail
The family will have grown a bit since Dad got put in gaol…

As the metropolitan reaction to the death of Croc hunter Steve Irwin reminded us, not all Australians want to be celebrated for the blokey camaraderie of the bush. No doubt it's very frustrating when Sydney has so many fine Thai restaurants and firebreathing imams to be continually cheered in popular culture for boomerangs and kangaroos and mates and cobbers and larrikins. But, musically, you can't beat something with nothing, and "Advance Australia Fair" is one big zero.

We've been frolicking down the "W" end of the folk-song index – "Wallaby Stew", "Wild Colonial Boy" – and we've only just reached the biggest "W" of all:

Once a jolly swagman camped by a billabong
Under the shade of a coolibah tree
And he sang as he watched and waited till his billy boiled
Who'll come a-waltzing Matilda with me?
Waltzing Matilda
Waltzing Matilda
Who'll come a-waltzing Matilda with me?
And he sang as he watched and waited till his billy boiled
Who'll come a-waltzing Matilda with me?

The poet Banjo Paterson is traditionally credited with the song in the version generally performed, though some scholars continue to question this. Still, the song we know today began life in January 1895, when Paterson was visiting the Macpherson property at Dagworth Station in Queensland, north-west of Winton. Also visiting, from Victoria, was Christina Macpherson, who'd come home to spend Christmas with her father and brothers after the death of their mother. One day Christina played Paterson a tune she'd heard at the races in western Victoria, and the poet said he thought he could put words to it. The tune is said to have been "Thou Bonnie Wood of Craigielea", but there was also an 18th century English marching song called "The Bold Fusilier". Paterson claimed never to have heard the earlier lyric but its pattern is so similar it's impossible to believe that "Matilda" wasn't laid out to the scheme of the earlier number:

A gay Fusilier was marching down through Rochester
Bound for the war in the Low Country
And he cried as he tramped through the dear streets of Rochester
Who'll be a sojer for Marlb'ro with me?
Who'll be a sojer?
Who'll be a sojer?
Who'll be a sojer for Marlb'ro with me?

Marlborough being the Duke thereof: Winston Churchill's forebear. "Cried as he tramped"? "Sang as he watched"? Don't tell me that's not a conscious evocation. Nonetheless, "Waltzing Matilda" is a splendid improvement on the original. If you're a non-Australian who learned the song as a child, chances are you loved singing it long before you had a clue what the hell was going on. What's a swagman? What's a billabong? Why's it under a coolibah tree? Who cares? It's one of the most euphonious songs ever written, and the fact that the euphonies are all explicitly Australian and the words recur in no other well known song is all the more reason why "Matilda" should have been upgraded to official anthem status.

And yes, a "swagman" is a hobo, and this one steals a "jumbuck" (sheep), but he ends up drowning, which gives the song a surer moral resolution than most similar material. Yet in a sense that's over-thinking it. It's not about the literal meaning of the words, but rather the bigger picture that opens up when they're set to the notes of that great rollicking melody: the big sky and empty horizon and blessed climate, all the possibilities of an island continent, a literally boundless liberation from the Victorian tenements and laborers' cottages of cramped little England. Few of us would wish to be an actual swagman with a tucker bag, but the song is itself a kind of musical swagman with a psychological tucker bag, a rowdy vignette that captures the size of the land. One early version of it went "Rovin' Australia, rovin' Australia, who'll come a-rovin' Australia with me" – which is a lousy lyric, but accurately describes what the song does.

One sign of the song's muscular quality is the number of variations. Of the rock'n'roll crowd's monkeying around with it, I think I'll stick with Bill Haley and the Comets' goofy "Rockin' Matilda". The Pogues-Tom Waits approach – "And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda", "Tom Traubert's Blues" – seems to me to glum up the works unnecessarily. To use it for the story of a soldier who loses his legs at Gallipoli is unduly reductive: It's too good a real marching song to be recast as an ironic marching song. I don't know whether today's diggers march to "Matilda" in Afghanistan and Iraq and East Timor but it's one of the greatest marching songs ever, and today as a century ago it remains the great Australian contribution to the global songbook:

Waltzing Matilda
Waltzing Matilda
You'll come a-waltzing Matilda with me
And his ghost may be heard as you pass by that billabong
You'll come a-waltzing Matilda with me

Waltz on!

from A Song For The Season"

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From: LindyBill2/27/2012 11:11:55 PM
   of 16478

'Dancing with the Stars' Season 14 Spoilers: A New Casting Rumor and the Official Announcement
Monday, February 27, 2012

Laurel Brown
Senior Writer, BuddyTV

We will soon know the names of the celebrities participating in Dancing with the Stars season 14. Shortly after that, we'll see those stars in action. But maybe you don't think that such knowledge will come soon enough. That's OK. We've got some spoilers -- and information about the official Dancing with the Stars season 14 cast announcement -- right here!

The Official Dancing with the Stars Season 14 Cast Announcement
While leaks, rumors and spoilers are all well and good, some people actually want straight information about the Dancing with the Stars cast. For those people, the wait is almost over.

On the morning of Tuesday, February 28 -- during the broadcast of Good Morning America (which begins at 7am ET) -- we will learn the names of those celebrities competing in Dancing with the Stars season 14. Will the rumors be right? Which celebrities will be paired with which professionals? Does anybody care about dancing so early in the morning?

Check back here to BuddyTV if you want to get the information without having to get up early -- we'll have all of the names as soon as they are announced!

Maria Menounos Has Been Cast
According to a report from, Extra host Maria Menounos will be a contestant in Dancing with the Stars season 14. This marks the fourth leaked celebrity name for the season: Maria Menounos joins Melissa Gilbert, Sherri Shepherd and Jack Wagner as reported dancers for DWTS season 14.

Although she is best known for being the co-host (with Mario Lopez) of the entertainment "news" show, Extra, Maria Menounos also has an extensive acting career (albeit in bit parts). She has appeared in such TV shows as Without a Trace, One Tree Hill and Scrubs. Internationally, Menounos is best-known as a presenter of the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest.

Who will Maria dance with? No clue. But we'll find out soon!

Who will be performing on Dancing with the Stars season 14? Click here for more DWTS casting spoilers!

Who's Got Maks?
Despite rumors that Maksim Chmerkovskiy would not be returning to Dancing with the Stars season 14, there is now confirmation that the controversial dancer will come back. asked the professional dancer directly and got an affirmative answer. Then, in true paparazzi fashion, the same source trailed Maks to the studio.

Where he met... Melissa Gilbert.

Granted, this is hardly confirmation that Maksim Chmerkovskiy will be dancing with the former Little House on the Prairie star. But it does look like we may soon see Mad Maks yelling at sweet little Laura Ingalls...

How do you feel about the Dancing with the Stars season 14 cast so far? Are you excited about any of the celebrities? Who else would you like to see dance? Leave your comments below and remember to check back tomorrow morning for the official cast announcement!

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From: LindyBill2/27/2012 11:13:39 PM
1 Recommendation   of 16478
Liberals Decide They Don’t Like Propaganda
from Power Line by John Hinderaker
(John Hinderaker) Act of Valor opened last weekend to an enthusiastic response from movie-goers–it topped all films with a $24.5 million gross–but a less enthusiastic reaction from liberal critics and pundits. A common theme was that Act of Valor is propaganda. Thus, the Washington Post headlined: “‘Act of Valor’ with real-life SEALs: new breed of war movie or propaganda?” Ann Hornaday wrote:

But the surprising, if not unprecedented, use of so many active-duty military personnel, as well as the filmmakers’ embedded access to training missions and material (including a nuclear submarine) have put “Act of Valor” in the crosshairs of critics who question whether the movie crosses the line between entertainment and propaganda, and whether the military should be in the movie business at all.

Ms. Hornaday’s article contains a number of howlers–I love her reference to “the Obama era of surgical warfare”–but she was far from the only one to float the idea that Act of Valor is propaganda. Other liberals have called the movie a poor act of military propaganda, A display of heroism or American propaganda? a flashy piece of propaganda, Hollywood war propaganda, and the Pentagon’s amnesia-inducing propaganda. We could go on and on, but let’s close with this one: “Andrew Sullivan at The Daily Beast is asking whether Act of Valor is propaganda.”

Well, the movie is certainly pro-SEALs. Whether that makes it propaganda, you can decide for yourself. What is funny about this, however, is that quite a few movies have been made about post-September 11 warfare in Iraq, Afghanistan and around the world. Virtually every one of them has been shameless propaganda. You probably didn’t see them–hardly anyone did, for the most part–so let’s call the roll of shame: Fahrenheit 9/11; Rendition; In the Valley of Elah; Why We Fight; Homecoming; The War Within; Lions For Lambs; Stop Loss; Redacted; No End In Sight; The Kingdom; and Home of the Brave. No doubt I’ve missed a few. These films were anti-war, anti-military propaganda. Audiences avoided them like the plague, but the Washington Post had no problem with anti-war propaganda, nor did any of the critics, pundits or news outlets linked above.

Countless anti-military movies can be made, and continue to be made, even though their backers must know that they are destined to lose money. But if they are countered by a single pro-military movie, liberals get out their cloves of garlic and crosses–no, wait, just the garlic–and try to ward off the evil spirit of “propaganda.” It is a humorous phenomenon, but not one that will influence American movie-goers in the slightest.

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From: LindyBill2/28/2012 3:55:20 PM
1 Recommendation   of 16478
Latest News | Primary Results | Candidates | Fundraising | Political Cartoons | Opinion

Sports Illustrated bikini model Kate Upton sparks a debate

By David Horsey February 16, 2012, 12:15 a.m.

Kate Upton, the model splashed across the cover of this year’s Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition, is at the center of a hot debate that has nothing to do with birth control, Mitt Romney’s tax returns or how the heck Newt Gingrich persuaded three women to marry him.

Some among the sleek set in the fashion industry think the 19-year-old, self-promoting model is too chubby to be chic -- their definition of hefty encompassing 99% of the nation’s females. The fashion mavens denigrate Upton’s whole look – her too-blond hair, her generic, pouty cheerleader face and her long legs that one critic described as looking as if they belong to a player for the WNBA. The casting director for Victoria’s Secret fashion shows said she’d never allow such a skank to darken her runway. (We all know how Victoria’s Secret is the epitome of haute couture.)

Others look down on the young woman’s tabloid lifestyle, her romantic links to Kanye West and New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez and even the teeny-tiny size of her bikini bottom in the Sports Illustrated cover shot.

Upton's defenders say she has a right to party. To suggest she is fat, they say, is tantamount to promoting anorexia. Her fans insist that Kate’s look is a healthier example for American girls, even if her beach attire indicates she can’t distinguish between panties and a Post-it stuck to a strand of dental floss.

The point here is not to take sides in this debate or even imply it has any importance. The Kate Upton kerfuffle simply lends a little perspective to the current political campaign. Journalists have been covering every twitch and twist of the Republican nomination fight for months now, millions of dollars have been spent on attack ads and robo calls and the candidates have roamed the countryside shaking hands and calling each other names, yet the number of people who have taken part in primaries and caucuses compared with the number of Americans who have stayed away is about the same as the ratio of fabric to bare skin in Kate’s beach shot.

For all the intensity of the presidential race thus far, there are still millions of folks who never bothered to tune in to any of the candidates’ debates. But the YouTube video of Kate Upton dancing the Dougie in the bleachers at a ballgame has attracted more than 3.5 million views.

We may be in the midst of a titanic struggle for the soul of the country, but, in the land of the free, none of us are required to pay attention.

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To: Uncle Frank who wrote (6815)2/28/2012 4:00:21 PM
From: LindyBill
   of 16478
Every season I read the list and go, "OMG!" Then they turn out pretty good. No really obese ones this time.

ABC Announces the 'Dancing with the Stars' Season 14 Cast
Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Laurel Brown
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
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Every season, speculation runs rampant about which celebrities will take the stage of Dancing with the Stars. Will the show get big, popular stars? Who will be a surprise? During the Tuesday airing of Good Morning America, ABC announced the Dancing with the Stars season 14 cast. Keep reading to learn all of the celebrity names as well as their professional dancing partners.

Most of the time, we don't get to find out the celebrity and professional dancers for a Dancing with the Stars season all at once. But instead of separate announcements (celebrities during prime-time, professionals in the morning), ABC opted to name the Dancing with the Stars season 14 celebrities and professional dancers all at once.

Of course, that announcement has to wait for national and international news, as well as jokey moments from Tom Bergeron (nice sign...). It's not like ABC would let us know the cast names right away...

Considering that they can get a theater full of DWTS fans in California at 4am, I suppose that the show doesn't need to worry about such things as time.

Wow, based on what was said, it looks like star #12 was only just cast. The last-minute replacement will be paired with Tristan MacManus

So who are the DWTS season 14 stars?

  • Jack Wagner - Melrose Place actor
  • Melissa Gilbert -- Little House on the Prairie actress
  • Donald Driver - Green Bay Packers receiver
  • William Levy - telenovela star (The Soup is going to love this one)
  • Sherri Shepherd - The View host and actress (aka, Tracy Jordan's wife on 30 Rock)
  • Katherine Jenkins - opera singer
  • Gavin DeGraw - singer and expert hat-wearer
  • Martina Navratilova - tennis player
  • Roshon Fegan - Shake It Up star on Disney
  • Maria Menounos - Extra host
  • Jaleel White - Urkel (who also plays the banjo)
  • Gladys Knight - singer who started out recording with the Pips

Who are their DWTS season 14 partners?

  • Anna Trebunskaya with Jack Wagner
  • Maksim Chmerkovskiy with Melissa Gilbert
  • Peta Murgatroyd with Donald Driver
  • Val Chmerkovskiy with Sherri Shepherd
  • Karina Smirnoff with Gavin DeGraw
  • Tony Dovolani with Martina Navratilova
  • Chelsie Hightower with Roshon Fegan
  • Kym Johnson with Jaleel White
  • Tristan MacManus with Gladys Knight
  • Mark Ballas with Katherine Jenkins
  • Cheryl Burke with William Levy
  • Derek Hough with Maria Menounos

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To: LindyBill who wrote (6821)2/28/2012 4:54:45 PM
From: Siber
   of 16478
No really obese ones this time

No, but some of them are borderline, as well as having the borderline token "oldie", Gladys Knight.

Interesting how Derek always seems to end up with a winner (as I see it).

Very much looking forward to this season.

Edit: I notice there are only 10 of the 12 contestants in the picture. Since I've never heard of some of them, I can't even say who is missing.

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To: Siber who wrote (6822)2/28/2012 5:46:11 PM
From: LindyBill
   of 16478
Maria Menouous looks good but most of these ex-Beauty Queens can't dance. TWT.

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From: Stan2/28/2012 6:20:17 PM
   of 16478
Belying the “flix” in its name, Netflix is now primarily an Internet streaming service for television shows, not feature films.

TV series now account for more than half of all Netflix viewing. That helps to explain why this Wednesday — the long-awaited moment when motion picture classics like “Scarface” and newer hits like “Toy Story 3” will vanish from the streaming service — is not the doomsday that it was once expected to be.

The vanishing films are from Starz. Its three-and-a-half-year-old deal helped Netflix persuade millions of people to sign up for Internet streaming, hastening the company’s leap to digital distribution from physical DVDs.

It became clear about a year ago that the deal would not be renewed. By then, though, Netflix was bulking up on old TV episodes and, in a direct challenge to HBO, beginning to distribute its own original shows for the streaming service.

Continued. . .

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To: LindyBill who wrote (6823)2/28/2012 7:04:30 PM
From: Carolyn
   of 16478
I have heard of very few of them.

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