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"You can't say sane temperate things here! This is Congress!"

Monday Music:

I admit I was late to jump on the Chicago bandwagon. It wasn't until I was introduced to the real Chicago (not the sugar-pop stuff they played on the radio) during my college marching band years that I began to appreciate their innovative sound and pure genius. With Chicago, it's all about the layers — the vocals, the horns, the percussion, the base. One of my favorite ways to listen to their music is to single out one part — the trombones, for example —and listen to it the whole way through. I've probably listened to "Just You 'N Me" from Chicago VI a thousand times and just last week heard something I've never noticed before. At the 3:18 mark the horns add a little double-sixteenth/eighth note combo and then repeat it in the next measure. It's the only time that happens in the song. Like I said, genius. See for yourself:

The band was never the same after Peter Cetera joined as lead singer in the '80s, even though I admit I liked a few songs from Chicago XVI. They became more focused on the pop stardom and vocals and lost something in the translation, IMO.

Thanks to our alert readers for pointing out my timeline error above. I really had in mind Cetera's embarrassing solo career (including those truly awful duets) and associated that with the decline of the once-great band. My bad.

Anyway, these days I'd rather hear a tribute band than the real thing. Or, better yet, just crank it up in the car.

Happy Monday-here's something new to worry about:

Business Insider:

I know what you're thinking, and no, we can't use sand from the desert. Wind erosion makes the grains too round for most purposes. We need angular sand that interlocks like pieces to a puzzle. Like the sand generated from mountain rocks, pelted by rain, wind, and rivers for over 25 thousand years.

Just my luck: I move back to the Sonoran Desert when a black market for sand is opening up and the kajillion tons of it I'm sitting on are useless.

I don't know how yet, but I'm going to find a way to blame Obamacare for this.

Thanks, Charlie! That's amazing. Sometimes the hypocrisy is breathtaking. Granted, Soledad didn't go to Chick-fil-A during Pride Month, but the accusation still seems a bit rich.

In other news...

War between cross and crescent.

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, president of the increasingly Islamist Turkey, accused Austria of "leading the world towards a war between the cross and the crescent." Austria's government is going to close a few mosques that allegedly foster radical Islamist ideology.

This is rather rich coming from Erdoğan, who turned the Hagia Sophia back into a mosque. The Ottoman Turks converted this historic Christian church into a mosque after the fall of Constantinople in 1452, but the secular government of Turkey under Mustafa Kemal Attaturk turned it into a museum, and allowed Christian art to be visible underneath parts where Muslims had covered it up.

Erdoğan's remarks also represent a flaring up of the old battle between Turkey and Austria. Turkey attempted to conquer Vienna, the capital of Austria, twice. Both the sieges of 1529 and 1683 proved unsuccessful, as Austrians beat back the army of Suleiman the Magnificent, and Polish hussars came to the rescue in 1683. (The 1683 siege inspired J.R.R. Tolkien's battles in "The Lord of the Rings.")

Turkey represented the biggest Islamic threat to Europe after the Reconquista of Spain, which ended in 1492. The Turks made it all the way to Vienna, but the forces of Islam were pushed back, allowing the West to develop independently.

Now, Erdoğan represents the rising force of Islamism in eastern Europe, and he has pushed to make sharia (Islamic law) the national law of Turkey. His defense of these allegedly Islamist mosques in Austria should only increase suspicion that these mosques are indeed encouraging Muslims to undermine Austria's secular law in various ways.

The large influx of Turkish migrants into Austria may never conquer this Western country, but they may represent a third wave of Turkish aggression into the heartland of central Europe. Erdoğan's remarks provide the cultural support to continue their activism.

Many Western Muslims do not push for Sharia to be enshrined in civic law, and they do indeed wish to live and let live. Leaders like Erdoğan are their enemies, as they suggest that living by Islam necessarily means forcing Sharia upon non-Muslim countries.