Monday, June 13, 2016

Feelin' the Blues


Very early Sunday morning a Muslim terrorist shot and killed 50 people and wounded at least 50 more at a dance club in Orlando, Florida.

Before there had even been a complete accounting of the number of victims, of course, progressives were flooding the internet with their usual brand of crap. Even the President himself was unable to resist the partisan temptation.

Among the aspects of the incident that progressives are loath to discuss is the role "Islamophobia" played, or rather the fear of being accused of it. Just as in earlier mass shootings involving radicalized Muslims, there were plenty of people who had concerns, but "see something, say something" cannot work if people are afraid of being attacked for pointing a finger at dangerous individuals they have observed.

It is worth remembering while we listen to progressives bleating about how the NRA or conservative Republicans are really to blame for this incident that it is progressives who have cowed people into keeping their misgivings about dangerous-sounding people to themselves. Even the FBI seems unable to call a spade a spade in the current climate.

"You'd think they'd get tired of saying the same stuff over and over."

Actually, just repeating all the same old stuff is easier than actually thinking rationally about the subject, or learning the facts...


My beloved Kansas City Royals finished a dreadful 2-8 road trip on a positive note, beating the White Sox 3-1 at U.S. Cellular Field yesterday afternoon. It was the team's second straight win, and gave the Royals a 2-1 win of the three-game series.

"I was on top of my game today."

Royals starter Yordano Ventura was completely dominant, allowing only a single run on five hits in his seven complete innings of work. Ventura matched his season-high in strikeouts with 10, and only walked a single batter.

All-Star relievers Kelvin Herrera and Wade Davis needed only 23 pitches between them to record the final six outs without allowing a baserunner.


As has often been the case on this road trip, the Royals didn't muster much offense, scratching out single runs in the 1st and 2nd innings. They didn't score again until All-Star C Salvador Perez, who went 2-for-4 on the day, cracked a solo home run in the top of the 9th that gave Davis a two-run lead.

Now the Royals have 12 of their next 14 games at Kauffman Stadium, where they are 19-7 (.731) so far this season. First up on the homestand is a three-game series with the Cleveland Indians, whom the Royals trail by 3 games in the Central Division standings.

"Time for some payback for that four-game sweep in Cleveland last week, eh?"

Cleveland is a good team, and we will need to play very well to catch up to them...

Feast Day

St. Anthony of Padua, by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo
 June 13 is the feast day of
St. Anthony of Padua, one of the most popular Catholic saints.

Anthony was a friar of the Franciscan order who lived in the early 13th century. He was canonized by Pope Gregory IX
in 1232, just a year after his death (the second-quickest canonization in Church history), and in 1946 he was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius XII.

I have prayed to St. Anthony, the patron of lost articles, all of my life, and have no doubt that such requests for his assistance have been answered. Since he is also considered a patron of the elderly,
I expect I shall be praying to him
in that regard as well before long...

Happy Birthday!

On June 13, 1892 Philip St. John Basil Rathbone was born in Johannesburg, in what was then known as the South African Republic.

Rathbone enjoyed a splendid career both in live theatre and in motion pictures. He was a significant figure in my own childhood because of his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes in a series of 14 films based on the famous fictional detective.
I spent many a pleasant Saturday afternoon watching Rathbone's Holmes use his mind rather than muscles or guns to solve mysteries.

Portrait of W.B. Yeats (1900) by his father, John
On June 13, 1865 William Butler Yeats was born in Sandymount, Ireland.

Yeats would become one of the most important literary voices of the 20th century, and was the first Irish writer to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.

My own experience with Yeats is mostly through his poetry, but he also wrote plays and short stories. Much of his output is available online to read for free.

One of my favorite teacher quotes
is from Yeats, and I made it into a graphic a few years ago...

Great Job, Primary Voters!

From the pen of Chip Bok, whose editorial cartoons you should read often, as I do.

Until Next Time...

During the years I lived in St. Joseph, I spent a fair amount of time in the local Hastings store. They had an excellent book department, and I was quite fond of their used CD offerings as well. The news today reports that the company has filed for bankruptcy,
so I'm not sure how much longer those wonderful stores will be around.

In the fall of 1996, I bought a new two-disc CD that Hastings had on sale for a really low price. It was the Alligator Records 25th Anniversary collection, and it had some of the best blues music I had heard in years. Not long after that I found their 20th Anniversary collection in the used CD section, and several tracks from that album also found their way into my various iTunes blues playlists.

From that point on, I eagerly awaited the release of the company's anniversary collections every five years. I now own all of them, including the recent 45th Anniversary collection which is the Music Recommendation this week.

As always, the collection features a wide variety of blues artists and styles, and thanks
to Alligator Records I am confident that the blues ain't going away any time soon.

Today's send-off is one of the hottest cuts on the new album: Blues harp legend
James Cotton teaming up with my hero Joe Bonamassa on "Cotton Mouth Man,"
from Cotton's 2013 album of the same name. It is paired with photos of Cotton at various stages of his illustrious career. Enjoy...

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