Tuesday, October 17, 2017

GOP Needs A John Dean Like Warning About Steve Bannon

It's scary to think that Steve Bannon, who proudly once proclaimed how he made Brietbart a platform for the alt-right, was President Trump's chief strategist in the White House.  This bomb thrower who is now back at Breitbart, thankfully removed out of the White House, has proclaimed a "war on the GOP establishment" [i.e., a war on everyone in the GOP who is not Trump]. 

For full disclosure, I consider myself a Bill Buckley, Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, Marco Rubio, Ben Sasse Republican, so I guess I would be a part of the GOP establishment that Bannon is declaring war on.  Maybe because of that I think Steve Bannon and those like him [ex. Sean Hannity] are very dangerous to the continued existence of the Republican Party.

In saying all this, I am not saying the Republican Party and their leaders in congress, like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, are without blame for the frustrating lack of legislative action that all Republicans feel. I am just saying extremists like Bannon are not the people we should turn to, to fix the Republican Party. Because Bannon's fix, isn't a fix at all.  It is a total destruction of the Republican Party as we know it that he is aiming for.  There are some great Republicans, like Marco Rubio and Tom Cotton and yes, like Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell, and many, many more that Bannon would call the establishment that he has declared war on and wants to take out. We don't need fewer of these great Republicans, we need more.

In 1973 during the Senate "Watergate" hearings, President Nixon's White House counsel, John Dean, described to the committee how he had told President Nixon about a cancer that was growing on the presidency that needed to be removed:

I think a similar warning of what will happen to the Republican Party if this Steve Bannon cancer is not removed.  A warning like this: "There is a cancer that has attached itself to the Republican Party named Steve Bannon. That cancer will grow and if it is not removed, it will kill the Republican Party."

Yes, the Republican Party is and should be a big tent party of diversity of people and ideas.  But just as we [the Republican Party] basically told the bigot David Duke to get the hell out of the party, [and like many years ago we pushed the anti-immigrant, and some who feel anti-Semitic, Pat Buchanan out] you and your ugly views are not welcome in the party of Lincoln, we should do the same to Steve Bannon.  I am not calling Bannon a bigot or anti-Semitic, he is certainly no David Duke, but I am saying he not only does not have the Republican Party's best interest in mind, he actually wants to destroy the party.  

Kicking someone out of the party who wants to destroy it is not forgoing our ideals of a big tent party in my opinion.  I say remove this cancer. 

Monday, October 16, 2017

Welcome To H-Town Mr. Fall

During the summer I have been walking in this "cool" mall to do my morning walk out of the sun's draining heat. That has continued past the summer as it seems like the hot temperatures would never go away in Houston.  That is until today, when it seems like out of the blue, there was an actual chill in the air as I walked outside.  I looked at my weather app on my I-phone to see the temperature at 60°.  Wow!  So, back outside today to these beautiful lakes area to do my morning walk.  Hallelujah!

What a great feeling doing my walk around these lakes "in the fall"
Finally, Fall has officially come to H-Town!  Thank you, God!

In honor of this, Tales would like to play Vivaldi's great "Autumn Violin Concerto" from this Baroque composer's "Four Seasons".

Saturday, October 14, 2017

The Staccato Speech vs. The Legato Song

One of the great things about going to my daughter Ebony's classical music piano lessons, when she was young, was learning so much about reading and understanding the written musical scores.  One of the first things in piano she had to learn was the difference between staccato [playing each note written separately in a pecking manner on the keys] and legato [connecting a group of notes without a break from one note to the next in a rolling manner]. In the legato method the pianist rolls his finger on one note and doesn't release that note until he connects it with the next note that is rolled. This creates a singing sound of those notes played. You can tell when the composer wanted the pianist [or any instrument] to play a group of notes in a legato manner as there will be a curved [slur] line over  those notes written. If the composer wanted to make clear without a doubt that a group of notes is to be played staccato, he will place a dot over those notes. The pianist will play staccato notes by bouncing down then up on each note separately. There will be a clear space from one note to the next.  Sometimes a composer will have a curved line over a group of notes with also  a dot also over each separate note.  While there is that curved line, you still play those notes staccato. That curved line is emphasizing that those notes constitute a phrase. The dot over each note trumps the curved line meaning staccato is to be played.

If these were spoken words instead of notes, you could say that the staccato sound is speaking each word distinctly and separately, while the legato sound would be singing those same words.

Here are some examples to demonstrate staccato vs. legato.

First I have picked piece with the written score where you can see staccato marked, legato marked [with the curved lines], and where you will have the curved line indicating a phrase but with dots under or over the notes, indicating those notes are to be played staccato-even though they have a curved line over them. It is a beautiful piece by the German Romantic composer, Robert Schumann, his piano concerto in A-minor.

I love this piece and think you will too.

Robert Schumann: Piano Concerto in A-minor, Movement 3, Allegro Vivace:

Now for a piece that mostly emphasizes a speaking staccato sound is from one of the greatest composers ever, the Baroque composer Johann Sebastian Bach, in his keyboard concerto in d-minor.  You can hear staccato played, by not just the piano, but by the other instruments as well.

J.S. Bach: Keyboard Concerto #1 in D-minor, Movement 3, Allegro:

Now here is a piece that mostly employs the legato technique from one of my favorite composers, the melodic Romantic composer, Felix Mendelssohn, with his beautiful violin concerto. Listen to the Andante movement how the notes [for the most part] are connected in a legato singing sound.

Felix Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto in E-minor, Movement 3, Allegro Vivace:

Now this final example of a piece emphasizing the staccato technique from the quintessential classical composer Mozart, his horn concerto in E Flat Major. This rondo movement is one of my favorite movements in the horn concerto repertoire.

W.A. Mozart: Horn Concerto #4 in E-Flat Major, Movement 3, Rondo - Allegro Vivace:

Friday, October 13, 2017

Happy 242nd Birthday United States Navy!

As the United States Navy established October 13, 1775, the Tales salutes and wishes a
Happy 242nd Birthday United States Navy!

US Navy Anchors Aweigh: