Monday, September 21, 2015

Stormy Monday...No, Really

Simple Explanation

On Wednesday Pope Francis will be visiting Washington, D.C. as part of a nearly week-long visit to the United States that will also include stops in New York and Philadelphia.

As one might expect, there has been a great deal of rather silly analysis of the "meaning" of the Pope's visit, especially the scheduled White House meeting with President Obama. It is always interesting to see how the progressive thinkers in the mainstream press (but I repeat myself) view events, but in this case their understanding is hampered by their comprehensive ignorance about the Catholic faith, as well as their hostility to any Catholic leader who opposes the progressive agenda in any way.

Pope Francis
As it happens, even though Francis seems to be a natural ally of President Obama on many issues, there's just something in Obama's character that couldn't resist an opportunity...

As columnist Mona Charen noted:
He cannot be civil and respectful, searching for common ground. No, he must include on the official guest list of those greeting the Pope at the White House a transgender activist, an openly gay Episcopal bishop, and a nun who supported Obamacare despite its funding of abortion and contraception.


If you find yourself wondering why the President would do something so completely unnecessary and so obviously intended to embarrass the Pontiff, all you really need to do is apply Ockham's Razor.

He's doing it because he thinks it's hilarious.

Can't wait for January 2017, when we will finally be rid of this smug, arrogant jackhole...



Things That Make Me Happy: Homeward Bound Edition

As I have noted in this space before, September 2015 has not been a good month for my beloved Kansas City Royals, and the reasons for their struggles do not bode well for an extended run in the playoffs. It will be nice to win a division title for the first time in 30 year, but it will be bittersweet.

The Royals wrapped up a 4-6 road trip yesterday with a 10-3 win over the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park, salvaging the final game of that three-game series. Kris Medlen was touched for five hits and three runs in his five innings of work, but all of the runs were unearned, and Kris advanced his record to 5-1, 3.51 ERA. Danny Duffy's first appearance out of the bullpen after losing his spot in the starting rotation was quite encouraging:
4 innings, 2 hits, 0 runs, 0 walks, 6 strikeouts, 1 save.

Meanwhile, the offense had fun, led by DH Kendrys Morales's awe-inspiring day, which included three home runs...

"Boom! Boom!! BOOM!!!"
Kendrys also had a triple in the game, and his 15 total bases are a Royals franchise single-game record.

The Royals have a much-needed day off today before beginning their final regular-season homestand tomorrow night at Kauffman Stadium against the Mariners. Jeremy Guthrie (8-7, 5.55 ERA) returns to the starting rotation (taking Danny's spot) to face the Mariners' Hisashi Iwakuma (8-4, 3.90), who is 3-0 lifetime against the Royals.



Justice

"You want some respect? Go out and get it for yourself."
At the 67th Prime-Time Emmy Awards last night, Jon Hamm won Outstanding Lead Actor
in a Drama Series for his iconic portrayal of ad executive Don Draper on Mad Men. It was his last year of eligibility (the series ended its run back in May), so it was deeply gratifying to see him finally win.


An argument can be made for AMC's Mad Men as the greatest television drama ever, and Hamm's portrayal of Don Draper was the soul of the show, so a single Emmy for seven seasons of unforgettable acting doesn't seem unreasonable.



Dear Philadelphia Eagles...


Barely better than me as a running back.
You are paying DeMarco Murray millions of dollars, but after two games he has 11 yards rushing. Total. That is only 11 more yards than I have, and I don't play in the NFL.

If that sort of historic ineptitude is acceptable to you, I would certainly be happy to provide it for far less money than you're paying Mr. Murray, and as an added bonus I would not be a public douchebag, whining about not getting more carries.

I could use the money, and I would enjoy moving to the Philadelphia area as well. Think about it...



Until Next Time...

In 1853 the French composer Charles-Fran├žois Gounod wrote a melody which he superimposed over J.S. Bach's Prelude No. 1 in C major, BWV 846, and paired the result with the words from the "Ave Maria," the Latin version of the "Hail Mary" prayer.
To say that the result of his inspiration became popular would be a preposterous understatement. It is among the most beloved and most-performed works in the classical repertoire.

In particular, it is quite common to hear the piece played at funerals, which is why it is on my mind today. Yesterday morning, I read of the tragic death of Jake Brewer in a cycling accident. Jake was the husband of conservative writer Mary Katharine Ham, whose book End of Discussion was the Weekly Book Recommendation here the week
of June 15. I am not an acquaintance of either of them, but they were acquaintances
of many people whom I read and admire, and so their pain as it was being expressed
on social media throughout the day yesterday became my pain, to some extent. When
I read Mary Katharine's own tribute to the husband she had just lost, I was especially touched. Like her, I had lost a spouse at a young age (24, in my case) after only a few years of marriage (less than 3, in my case). I could totally relate to her hope that she wouldn't let herself feel cheated out of all those years with Jake she would never have. That sort of feeling is always present when we lose someone we love, but especially so when they die young. I shall pray that she can resist that thought, as I know from experience it only leads to lasting unhappiness.

Looking for a version of the piece to use as today's send-off is actually what led to this week's Music Recommendation, a new release from cellist Yo-Yo Ma and pianist Kathryn Stott. It is a wonderful album, and their performance of the Bach/Gounod Ave Maria is achingly beautiful. Enjoy...and after you have done so, find someone who matters in your life and tell them you love them. It is the nature of life that each of us will eventually wish we could have just one more opportunity to do that, but there will always come a day when we cannot. Don't let it be today...

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