Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Shining Stars

The Stupid, It Burns

"How's THAT for virtue-signaling, huh?"
So, in the latest bit of idiotic theatre involving asshat Donald Trump and his "leadership" team, the acting Attorney General of the United States was dismissed for making
a highly public declaration that she would not do her job.

Specifically, acting AG Sally Yates announced that she would decline to defend President Trump's Executive Order on immigration from certain selected countries.

Her given rationale for this action was unpersuasive, to say the least, and to the complete surprise of no one with a functioning brain, Trump fired her.

Despite the fact that this was a manifestly correct decision, the usual suspects in the progressive mainstream media (but I repeat myself) are in full meltdown mode over her dismissal. Some of these stupid freak-outs have to be read to be believed.

"So, they're mad that he fired someone who was refusing to do her job?"

That's about the size of it, yeah...the progressives seem determined not to learn anything from losing the 2016 election...this sort of thing is a big reason for what happened to their party last November...

Feast Day

St. John Bosco, by Ferdinand Stuflesser

Today we celebrate the feast day of
St. John Bosco, a 19th century Italian priest from Turin who made numerous contributions to religious education.

A follower of St. Francis de Sales,
John is best remembered for founding the Salesians of Don Bosco, a religious order dedicated to helping poor children. In particular the order's Salesian Preventive System gained widespread acceptance in Catholic education and is still in use today.

John Bosco was beatified in 1929 by Pope Pius XI and canonized by him
in 1934.

Among his patronages John is a patron saint of school children (especially those we used to call "juvenile delinquents"), as well as editors and publishers.

"And a hero of yours, I would imagine."

Absolutely he is, yes...every good teacher carries a bit of his philosophy in them, even
if they aren't always aware that they do...

Baseball Birthdays

Today is the birthday of three different members of the Baseball Hall of Fame...

On January 31, 1919 Jack Roosevelt Robinson was born into a family of sharecroppers in Cairo, Georgia. He and his siblings moved with his mother to Pasadena, California after his father abandoned the family in 1920.

Jackie Robinson's athletic abilities and his strength of character led him to become the first black player in major league baseball in 1947. He was the National League Rookie of the Year that season.

Jackie starred for the Dodgers for a decade, making the All-Star team six times and winning the National League MVP Award
in 1949. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962.

On January 31, 1931 Ernest Banks was born into a working-class family in Dallas, Texas.

Although he was more interested in other sports as a child, his father's passion for baseball led Ernie Banks to a Hall of Fame career with the Chicago Cubs. He was inducted in 1977.

Banks was a National League All-Star 11 times in his career, and won the National League MVP Award in 1958 and 1959.

Ernie's cheerful demeanor and his passion for the game (his best-remembered quote: "It's a beautiful day for a ballgame...let's play two!") endeared him to fans across the country.

On January 31, 1947 Lynn Nolan Ryan, Jr. was born into a middle-class family in Refugio, Texas.

Nolan Ryan's athletic ability was apparent at an early age, and he made his major league pitching debut with the New York Mets at age 19.

In his 27-year career Ryan won 324 games (14th all-time), and threw a record seven no-hitters (no other pitcher in MLB history has more than four), the first of them being against my beloved Kansas City Royals in 1973. Ryan also holds the MLB record for strikeouts with 5,714 (more than 800 ahead of the No. 2 man on that list).

Ryan was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1999, the same year as his long-time rival (and my hero) George Brett of the Kansas City Royals.

Lest There Be Any Confusion

From the delightfully off-kilter webcomic xkcd, by Randall Munroe, which you should read every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Until Next Time...

On January 31, 1797 Franz Peter Schubert was born in Vienna, Austria. He went on to become one of the most noteworthy teachers and composers of his era, although he was not widely appreciated until long after his death.

A prolific composer (more than 1,500 works to his credit), Schubert's music stretches across a wide range of genres and instrumental groupings. For the most part I enjoy all of his work, but I have always been especially fond of his chamber works for piano trio, and own more than a few recordings of them.

Since music with a wistful or melancholy feel
to it has a special appeal to me, it is no surprise that my favorite of his piano trio compositions
is his Notturno in E-flat major, which was originally published posthumously (and most likely composed just before his death in 1828).

The Beaux Arts Trio is one of the most acclaimed chamber ensembles of all time, with a performing and recording career that spanned more than half a century. Needless to say, they recorded every significant piano trio work ever published, some of them several times. Their 1985 recording of the Schubert Piano Trios
is considered definitive.

Today's send-off is their splendid performance of Notturno from that recording. Enjoy...

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