Wednesday, April 13, 2016


The Lie That Won't Die

So yesterday was the annual celebration of mendacity and half-witted posturing called Equal Pay Day.

As someone who spent my life teaching young people how to recognize and refute falsehoods, I take the continued existence of this fraud as a personal insult.

Of course the whole thing is political, and based on an edifice of lies. When you examine the facts, of course, a much different picture emerges. But progressives prefer their familiar lie to the inconvenient truth...

"Are you implying that Mrs. Clinton and others are lying for their own ends?"

I'm not "implying" jack taco...they're lying their fucking asses off, and they should be called on it...of course, the progressive mainstream media (but I repeat myself) will do no such thing...

Funny Game

"Good job, LoCain!" "Thanks, man..."
Baseball is a funny game. Last night my beloved Kansas City Royals scored three runs before the Houston Astros recorded a single out, thanks to singles from SS Alcides Escobar and 3B Mike Moustakas, followed by a three-run homer by CF Lorenzo Cain. They would get only four more hits the remainder of the game.

Fortunately, that early outburst held up for a 3-2 victory at Minute Maid Park in Game Two of this four-game series
(a rematch of last year's ALDS), which is now tied at a victory apiece.

Royals RHP Kris Medlen, in his first start of the season, promptly gave back two runs in the bottom of the 1st on three hits and two walks, but settled down to pitch five solid innings with seven strikeouts to pick up his first win of the season.

Royals relievers Luke Hochevar, Kelvin Herrera, Joakim Soria, and Wade Davis held the Astros to just four baserunners the rest of the way, while recording an additional seven strikeouts.

"A win is a win is a win, am I right?"

I suppose...but blowout wins are a lot easier on my nerves...


Original 1963 "one sheet" poster
On April 13, 1964 Sidney Poitier became the first black actor to win the Academy Award for Best Actor, for his splendid performance in Lilies of the Field.

The film was based on a 1962 novel by William Edmund Barrett, and received four other Oscar nominations including one for Best Picture.

Poitier received his Oscar at the 36th Academy Awards ceremony, which had a number of other noteworthy firsts as well.

In the fall of 1997 I directed a stage play version of the story at Bishop LeBlond High School. This adaptation was written in a way that permitted the Homer Smith character to be played by a white actor, which is what we did.

Happy Birthday, Tom!

Thomas Jefferson (1800), by Rembrandt Peale
On April 13, 1743 Thomas Jefferson was born in Shadwell, Virginia. It is possible that you may have heard of him.

Our nation's first Secretary of State and third President, Jefferson was the principle author of the Declaration of Independence and was responsible for the Louisiana Purchase. Upon his retirement from politics he founded the University of Virginia.

I was honored to teach at his namesake high school in Council Bluffs, a school which graduated many of my relatives.

Brevity Is the Soul of Wit

From the indispensable comic strip Dilbert, by Scott Adams, which you should read every day, as I do.

Until Next Time...

Back when I was teaching, it was difficult for me to get across to my students just how big a deal the competition between the United States and the Soviet Union was during my formative years. They didn't understand why the rivalry between the two nations in sports, the arts, the sciences, and other fields of human endeavor was considered such an existential matter. But it was. I guess you just had to be there...

A ticker-tape parade for a classical pianist?
My own earliest memory of such things was the fuss made on the news about 23-year-old American prodigy Van Cliburn winning the first International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in Moscow.

On April 13, 1958 the young Texan performed Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1 and Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3, two of the most technically demanding pieces in the classical repertoire. The standing ovation he received at the conclusion of his performance lasted for more than eight minutes.

News accounts passed along the story that the contest's judges had timidly asked permission from Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev before announcing that Cliburn had won. "Is he the best? Then give him the prize!" Khrushchev is said to have responded.

Cliburn performed at the competition with the Moscow Philharmonic under the baton
of conductor Kirill Kondrashin. Upon his return, Cliburn performed the winning pieces
at Carnegie Hall. Kondrashin was allowed to travel to the United States to conduct the Symphony of the Air for the Carnegie Hall show. This was widely viewed as a sign of respect by the Soviet Union for the young American's talent.

Today's send-off is an unedited live recording of his Moscow rendition of the Tchaikovsky concerto. I don't normally feature pieces this long, but I'm making an exception for this legendary performance. Enjoy...

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