Thursday, June 2, 2016



There was a shooting yesterday on the campus at UCLA. A mentally-disturbed individual, who had previously killed a woman near the town where he lived in Minnesota, shot and killed an engineering professor with whom he had an academic dispute, and then turned the gun on himself.

As usual, a great deal of self-righteous nonsense took over the internet in the wake of the news. Some halfwits started fulminating about the campus carry movement, which had nothing to do with what happened at UCLA (which doesn't have campus carry, and wouldn't have permitted a student on campus with a shotgun even if it DID have campus carry). Others blamed the National Rifle Association, even though the killer was not a member of the organization, and even though the NRA doesn't condone killing innocent people with shotguns (or any other firearm).

Advocates for stricter gun control laws also began their predictable bleating, even though California has some of the most restrictive such laws already, and even though people who commit murders with shotguns are unlikely to be deterred by such laws.

What really got my goat yesterday, though, was people trying to argue that Catholics must as a matter of faith oppose the ownership of guns. One person even went so far as to suggest that no Catholic could in good conscience own or use a gun, since guns are intrinsically evil. As I noted to this particular advocate, that opinion would come as a great shock to thousands of Catholic police officers and soldiers. I got no response.

A great deal of this nonsense, of course, is been peddled by people (including some Catholics) who have no idea what Catholic teaching says.

1994 English-language paperback edition

To begin with, evil is not a property belonging to physical objects, which are morally neutral. The catechism is clear that evil is a concept that applies to human action. A gun, therefore, cannot be "evil" any more than a screwdriver or a coffee mug or any other inanimate object can be. Thus, it is an grievous error in reasoning to say that Catholics cannot own "evil" things like guns.

The catechism also explicitly permits the use of deadly force for self-defense, and for the defense of innocent others. To use a firearm for such purposes, then, is not only not inconsistent with Catholic doctrine, it can be a moral imperative under certain circumstances.

There is nothing wrong with a Catholic being a gun control zealot (other than the inherent defects in the logic of that position), but it really grinds my gears to have someone making ignorant claims regarding what my faith requires of me. Read the Catechism, please.

"Such a pity all bipeds aren't as rational as you, eh?"

It truly is, yes...


Last night at Kauffman Stadium my beloved Kansas City Royals completed a perfect 6-0 homestand with a 6-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays. It was the team's first perfect homestand of six or more games since 1988.

Now 1-0 with a 3.44 ERA
Royals starter Danny Duffy picked up his first win of the season with six solid innings. Danny allowed three runs on seven hits, but the most encouraging sign was that he struck out 6 without walking a single batter, and got through six innings on just 75 pitches.

The relief corps of Joakim Soria, Kelvin Herrera, and Wade Davis held the Rays scoreless over the final three innings.


Offensively, CF Lorenzo Cain continued his recent hot streak, going 3-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored. Lorenzo's batting average improved to .305, and just as he did on Tuesday night he gave the Royals the lead in the bottom of the 1st inning.

Last night it was a single that drove in 3B Whit Merrifield, who extended his hitting streak to his first 11 starts (a team record) with a one-out double. He has scored a run in nine straight games, which ties the team record for a rookie, and he added a single in the 4th inning for his seventh multi-hit game in his 11 starts since being called up.
His batting average improved to .360.

The Central Division-leading Royals now take their six-game winning streak on the road for 10 games with the Indians, Orioles, and White Sox. They don't have another off day until June 9, and they won't see Kauffman Stadium again until June 13.

"You know I saw you watching whole Tampa Bay series on TV, right?"

You were imagining things...

God Save the Queen

Elizabeth II in 1953
Since my birth in 1953 there have been eleven presidents of the United States (Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush the Elder, Clinton, Bush the Younger, and Obama).

I have also lived through the reign of seven Popes (Pius XII, John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I, John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and Francis).

During my entire 63 years (and counting) on this planet, however, there has only been a single monarch of the British Empire: Queen Elizabeth II.

On June 2, 1953 Elizabeth's coronation took place at Westminster Abbey, and was the first British coronation to be televised live. She is just the 40th monarch to wear the crown since 1066, and in 2015 her reign became the longest in the history of the empire.

When Predators Target TrumpWits™️

From the indispensable comic strip Non Sequitur, by Wiley Miller, which you should read every day, as I do (even though Wiley is a squishy liberal).

Until Next Time...

There really isn't any magical formula for writing a hit song, no matter what people might try to tell you. And the people who say "it's not the song, it's the singer" are equally full of brown stuff, as terrific singers release songs that don't catch on with the listening public all the time.

In 1957 country singer-songwriter Don Gibson released "Oh Lonesome Me" to some success. The song spent several weeks atop the Billboard Country Music chart, and made it to No. 7 on the mainstream Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart. The song basically launched Gibson's career, and led to a number of country hits which also cracked the lowest rungs on the Hot 100 from 1957 through the early '70s.

The real hit, though, was the "B" side of that single, a song called "I Can't Stop Loving You." Gibson's version made the Top 10 on the country chart, and No. 81 on the Hot 100, and was a slightly bigger country hit for Kitty Wells in 1958. It's greatest success was yet to come, however.

In 1962, legendary R&B artist Ray Charles released what many consider his finest album, Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music. It was a collection of country and western songs recast in Charles's familiar style, and it caused an immediate sensation. The biggest hit single from the album was Charles's interpretation of Gibson's "I Can't Stop Loving You," which "crossed over" and became a major pop hit.

On June 2, 1962 Charles's version of
"I Can't Stop Loving You" hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart, and it would hold that position for five straight weeks. It also won the 1963 Grammy Award for Best Rhythm and Blues Recording.

From that point on, the song became Gibson's most popular, with hundreds of artists recording their own versions. In addition to country performers like Wells, Conway Twitty, and Martina McBride, it was also recorded by rock and roll stars like Roy Orbison, Elvis Presley, and Jerry Lee Lewis.

Crooners like Frank Sinatra and Andy Williams recorded the song as well, and there was even a Duke Ellington version.

In 1999 Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, and in 2001 Ray's version of "I Can't Stop Loving You" received the same honor. It was a staple of Ray's live shows until the end of his career.

Today's send-off is Brother Ray's chart-topping 1962 rendition, which was always my mom's favorite. Enjoy...

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