Continuing on my quest to ignore politics – provoked in great part by the media’s recklessness on Russia – I’ve been reading about John McEnroe’s comments about Serena Williams,

Garcia-Navarro: We’re talking about male players but there is of course wonderful female players. Let’s talk about Serena Williams. You say she is the best female player in the world in the book.

McEnroe: Best female player ever — no question.

Garcia-Navarro: Some wouldn’t qualify it, some would say she’s the best player in the world. Why qualify it?

McEnroe: Oh! Uh, she’s not, you mean, the best player in the world, period?

Garcia-Navarro: Yeah, the best tennis player in the world. You know, why say female player?

McEnroe: Well because if she was in, if she played the men’s circuit she’d be like 700 in the world.

Garcia-Navarro: You think so?

McEnroe: Yeah. That doesn’t mean I don’t think Serena is an incredible player. I do, but the reality of what would happen would be I think something that perhaps it’d be a little higher, perhaps it’d be a little lower. And on a given day, Serena could beat some players. I believe because she’s so incredibly strong mentally that she could overcome some situations where players would choke ’cause she’s been in it so many times, so many situations at Wimbledon, The U.S. Open, etc. But if she had to just play the circuit — the men’s circuit — that would be an entirely different story.

I stopped playing tennis when I was very young since even back then my knee was complaining, which was about the same time when McEnroe was at his prime. I’ve never been a McEnroe fan (Rafa is more my type), but McEnroe is right.

For starters, men’s four grand slam – Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, and US Open – are best-of-five sets matches, while women (and men in other tournaments) play best-of-three sets. When you consider that someone like Nadal is lasting for five sets while doing 110 mph serves consistently enough to win the French Open ten times, you can see McEnroe’s point.

We can spend all day chewing the fat over tennis, or over gender differences or whatnot, but here comes the best part: we’re the ones being played.

Brian John Thomas did some digging,

John McEnroe said something controversial about Serena Williams and women’s tennis. Oh shock.

Guess what people, it’s a stage managed outrage to sell some books. Both share the same book agent, obviously.

Sure enough,

It’s all a game after all.

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes on U. S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog.

By:  Pat Austin

MIAMI, OK:  As I mentioned last week, we are on the road this week and as of this writing find ourselves on Route 66 in Miami, OK.

One of our travel stops today was pretty fabulous and worth sharing with you. It may never have crossed your mind that a 311 foot, Balao class submarine could be found in the middle of Oklahoma, but sure enough, that’s where you can find the USS Batfish at the War Memorial Park in Muskogee.

The sub is open to the public and is lovingly tended and kept in tip-top shape through private donations; the state of Oklahoma doesn’t fund the project (and therefore there is no sign on the turnpike or highways alerting tourists to the park).

The Batfish was commissioned in 1942 and was in service for 26 years and is known primarily “for the remarkable feat of sinking three Imperial Japanese Navy submarines in a 76-hour period, in February 1945.”

The sub sits now in a depressed area of a large field at the War Memorial Park in a shallow basin of water. After touring the museum, visitors then can walk outside and go aboard the sub. The first thing that hits you is the smell of the oil and machinery of the sub, but once you descend the ladder into the Batfish, you can see the torpedo holds, banks of brass gauges, dials, and levers; you can see the bunks where the crew rotated sleep shifts, the officer and the enlisted mess, a couple of office areas, and all along the tour are either guides or video monitors with information.

If I lived closer to Muskogee, I’d take part in some of the cool events that the park offers like Bands on the Batfish, or the overnight stays that they do to raise funds to support this fascinating piece of history.

What impressed my husband almost as much as the USS Batfish was the large section of the mast of the USS Oklahoma which was destroyed at Pearl Harbor.  It was sobering to stand next to that mast and realize its role in history.

Read more about the USS Batfish here, and about the park that has given her a home here. And if you find yourself in Oklahoma, go by and see it. If you want to donate to the upkeep and maintenance of the sub, go here. The park goes beyond just preserving the submarine, but also works to educate young people and to bring history alive.

For me, it was fascinating to walk through the submarine and think about the masterful engineering involved in putting so much equipment in such a small space.  It is well worth the trip.

By John Ruberry

As this post goes live, the 48th Chicago Pride Parade is taking place on the city’s North Side. The event is still commonly called the Gay Parade, “Pride” is of course a much more generic term. On the Yahoo home page today, next to the rainbow colors, is this message, “Be proud of who you are.”

In Chicago there are many people who should be ashamed of who they are and what they’ve done. Which got me thinking. America’s third largest city–for now–really needs a Shame Parade, something along the lines what Queen Cersei suffered, in the buff, in Game of Thrones two years ago at the hands of the Sparrows sect.

But please, shameful ones, keep your clothes on.

Participation is limited only to brigands who live in Chicago.

Attendees are encouraged to chant “Shame…shame….shame.”

Chicagoans, now let me present to you the 2017 Shame Parade participants!

Former Mayor Richard M. Daley: The son of Mayor Richard J. Daley, the younger Daley inherited his father’s talent in creating a powerful political organization. But while the first “Hizzoner” was a whiz at public finance, Number 2 was clueless about about it–clearly Richie is bad at math. Chicago has the worst-funded municipal worker pension plans in the nation. The city prospered in the 1990s, it’s easy to see why. The pension obligations were shorted to create an illusion of prosperity, a Potemkin Chicago.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel: The Tiny Dancer inherited a mess from Daley, and he’s responding as any liberal Democrat would to any problem–raise taxes. But Chicagoans are responding with their feet–Chicago is the only major city losing population. Most of the West Side and much of the South Side is a killing zone. More people are murdered in Chicago than New York City and Los Angeles–combined.

The leaders of every street gang: “Chicago is the gang capital of the United States,” CBS News reported a few years ago. There are roughly 600 gangs in Chicago and about 70,000 members in these criminal enterprises.

Shame…shame…shame.

Cook County Assessor and Cook County Democratic Party Boss Joseph Berrios: The assessor’s office has long been a campaign fund cash cow for the Chicago Machine. But in a fantastic series from the Chicago Tribune, Berrios’ reign has been shown to favor the wealthy residents of Cook County while cheating poor ones. Boss Berrios has also been accused of rampant nepotism. Do you mean the Democrats aren’t for “the little guy?”

Edward Vrdolyak: A onetime boss of the Cook County Democratic Party, “Fast Eddie” is one of the many former members of the Chicago City Council who is a convicted felon. Roughly once every 18 months a member or former member of that shameful legislative body takes up residence in a federal prison. Vrdolyak became a Republican in the late 1980s. Seven years ago he served a ten-month prison sentence for participating in a kickback scheme with cronies of disgraced governor Rod Blagojevich. Last fall Vrdolyak was indicted again on tax evasion charges.

Karen Lewis: The longtime president of the Chicago Teachers Union, a hardened leftist, was a pretty good high school chemistry teacher, a former co-worker who was one of her pupils told me once. But she’s not that good at math. Or perhaps she is? For years members of her union have had taxpayers, in the name of Chicago Public Schools, pay what is supposed to be the teachers’ contribution into their still woefully undercapitalized pension funds.

Barbara Byrd-Bennett: While the aforementioned Chicago Public Schools was headed into the financial sewer, its CEO, “BBB,” participated in a kickback scam. Byrd-Bennett will report to prison later this year.

Ayers and Dohrn’s Chicago home

Shame…shame…shame.

Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn: Barack Obama began his political career in the living room of these unrepentant Weather Underground terrorists. After their terror career ended they moved on to academia, where they learned that it’s easier to destroy America by indoctrinating youngsters with leftism than by bombing buildings.

Rod Blagojevich: Can President Donald Trump arrange a furlough for the onetime “Celebrity Apprentice” contestant? While Colorado is the jailbird’s home for now, the rest of his family still lives in Chicago. The hair-brained former governor inherited a fiscal mess, as did Rahm Emanuel, but he made it worse, particularly with his 2005 pension payment “holiday.”

Former Gov. Jim Thompson: Look! Another Republican! In 1989 Thompson signed into law the compounded interest pension raises which of course were never properly funded. An astute pol, yes, but like the younger Mayor Daley and perhaps Karen Lewis, math is not the strong suit of “Big Jim.”

Chicago’s Power Corruption Couple, former Chicago alderman Sandi Jackson and former US Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr: They’re undergoing a nasty divorce right now, but in happier times they looted Junior’s campaign fund. Both are ex-cons. The couple that steals together doesn’t necessarily stay together.

Lifetime Lack-of-Achievement Award, Jesse Jackson Sr: Decades of race-based shakedowns enriched himself and his family. Jackson’s Rainbow/PUSH organization placed his son and daughter-in-law into positions of power. But what tangible achievements can he show other Chicagoans?

Who will the grand marshal of Chicago’s Shame Parade?

State House Speaker and Illinois Democratic Party Boss: Michael Madigan: Since becoming speaker in 1983, Madigan has nominally served with–or over?–six governors. But you can find the 13th Ward Democratic committeeman’s fingerprints on every piece of pension and fiscal legislation enacted into law since then. Illinois’ public pension plans are among the worst-funded among the 50 states. Illinois’ bond ratings are just one step above junk–the lowest ever for a state. And if a budget isn’t passed by the end of this week S&P and Moody’s warns that junk status will be declared.

Blogger in downtown Chicago

Shame.

Oh, why isn’t Barack Obama in the Shame Parade? Chicago is so bad even Obama has bailed on it. The former president lives in Washington now. Obama served in the Illinois Senate, from 1997-2004, while the state’s pension disaster festered. Obama is so smart, right? But why were there no warnings from him about Illinois pensions?

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Millenials seem to leak like a cheap diaper. Manning, Winner, Snowden are only the latest in  a line of people that think it’s OK to send whatever information they want to the press. I recently received a personal-for message (sometimes called a P4) expressing dismay at people who were leaking information about the investigation into the USS FITZGERALD collision. While looking for answers as to why someone would do this, I stumbled on this quote:

“In 2016, Gallup found adults under 29 least likely to say they were “extremely proud” to be American, with just over a third agreeing. If managers in the national security industry think they can count on patriotism to dissuade potential leakers, they are mistaken.”
Continue reading “Stopping the leakers with mandatory service?”

So I turn on the TV this morning to find Maria Bartiromo talking about upscale toy kitchens for little kids. How upscale?

This upscale:

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If you go to the Pottery Barn page, they have stuff that will make the dweller of a tiny house or a Manhattan apartment (but I repeat myself) weep with envy.

I love it.

As a pro-Western values, cisgender, capitalist, anti-abortion Christian woman, I find it exhilarating.

What this tells me is that “you, dear girl or boy growing up in America today, can, through hard work and purpose, grow up to buy yourself, from your own earnings, the best appliances and modern conveniences for preparing your family delicious meals in the comfort of your own home.”

Add to that, “and when your kids are little you can get them beautiful toys if you have the room and can afford to.” (As you may remember, I consider living within your means one of the twelve adulting steps.)

It warms my capitalist heart.

If you can afford it, buying your children an upscale miniature kitchen is a better option, and I speak as a mother, than buying them a tablet. My experience is that kids will pick up computer skills in no time at all, but they will need time to learn social and everyday management skills as they grow up. Getting mini appliances is “a good thing,” as Martha Stewart says.

We didn’t have the room in our house when my son was growing up for a Pottery Barn mini-kitchen, but he did have one drawer for his toy pans and plates and a Queasy Bake Oven,

He asked for a children’s cookbook when he was five, and has been cooking ever since. Most of his friends cook, too.

Now, if you will excuse me, I’ll be looking at the grown-up kitchen toys at Williams Sonoma.

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes in U. S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog. She still has the Queasy Bake oven.

The CNN crew was morose last night when they realized that the Dem lost the most expensive House campaign ever:

Some of their talking heads claim “moral victories,” but the LA Times notices that “moral victories” mean losing:

Democrats are claiming “moral victories” after losing two special congressional elections in heavily Republican districts. Those results from votes in Georgia and South Carolina on Tuesday follow two other moral victories — also known as losses — in battles for House seats in Montana in May and Kansas in April. Many more results like these and the Democratic Party will be out of business.

The debate is on as to what this means for either party in next year’s congressional elections, since Georgia’s Karen Handel won by “only” 5 points over Jon Ossoff (even when she got a clear majority).

Paul Kane at the WaPo claims that Ossoff lost because he chose civility. I say that Ossoff lost because he did not care to be in his district and the voters noticed.

Charles Glasser points out that

Ossoff raised $23.6 million to make a symbolic run against President Trump, most of it from Marin County, California and Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts.

Georgia voters were bombarded with Ossoff media ads and junk mail.

The Democrats ran a pajama boy-looking candidate who apparently could not decide whether he was liberal or conservative, and who does not live in that district.

That is, Ossoff could not even vote for himself.

Adding to the ridiculousness, when asked, Ossoff replied that he lives just “down the street” from the district. Brent Scherr braved the Georgia heat and found that “down the street” meant 3.2 miles on foot.

Republicans can not afford to be complacent. The Democrats are hell-bent on winning.

But Andrew Klavan summarizes in one tweet what the Dems don’t get from yesterday’s Georgia vote:

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Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes in U. S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog.

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT —  It’s officially summertime and many of us are looking toward to vacations and hitting the great open road to discover America, or other parts of the world.

For us, we head to the Midwest. There’s some truth in the old adage about the grass being greener, and all that; the living is always better where you aren’t.

Every summer we travel to Iowa. Now I know there are some people in Iowa wondering why in the devil dog would anyone want to come to Iowa, but we love it. My husband’s family is there but it’s not just that. It’s the road trip along the way. We take the backroads whenever we can and avoid interstates.

One year we left for the Midwest from the Dallas area after attending my grandson’s birthday and we ended up on Route 66 in Oklahoma which we rode out as far as we could, stopping to see all the cool Americana, road stops, signage, that we could. It was one of our more memorable trips.

To me, it’s the things you discover by accident as you roam, it’s not having a fixed plan or a rigid time schedule. When I was a child my father would throw us in the car and we’d head for the beach, but there would be only one stop along the entire fourteen hour trip. Maybe two. And they were fast. Get it and go.  Now I prefer to take things slower.

We love the Midwest, especially around the Fourth of July holiday because truly that’s where the heart of America can be found. The small town parades are the best.  In Shreveport, where we live, the Fourth is celebrated with a huge fireworks extravaganza and massive crowds, traffic jams, in the hot, humid Louisiana night. Give me the small town tractor parades any day.

Maybe it doesn’t matter where you go, just that you go. Sometimes we all need to get away and recharge our batteries, have some real down time.  What I’ll be doing next week is sitting in my sister-in-law’s backyard in the evenings while kids roast hotdogs over a fire pit, watching fireflies light up the dark corners of the yard…in the morning the tornado siren will go off at 7 a.m. for it’s daily test (and again at noon). The Amish buggies will clap down the streets and at the Sale Barn down the road the farmers that fill up America’s bread baskets will meet to solve the world’s problems over eggs and coffee. We will drive up to my husband’s family’s generational farm, breathing in gravel dust from the road as we traverse some of the prettiest rolling hills I’ve ever seen.

The biggest decision I will have to make all day is if we want to drive to the WalMart in the next county to pick up a few things.

The people are nice, friendly, and as down to earth as you’ll find anywhere. They want to know where you’re from, who your people are, and they’ll wish you a nice stay.

“Iowa?  You’re going to Iowa?”

Yes, I am, and I can’t wait.

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.

USS FITZGERALD after collision, as shown in Japanese media

A forward deployed, global Navy is going to have problems. Ships are expensive, and occasionally they will go “bump” in the night, like the USS FITZGERALD did recently. While we can hold ship CO’s responsible and fire them when they screw up (and we do), the Navy’s dangerous business means that we’re going to occasionally take damage.

We take more damage during war. Looking back to World War 2, CDR Salamander (another blogger) wrote a great article at USNI about carrier losses during the war. Japan obviously lost 100% of their carriers, with 2/3rds of those in the first year. But the US and Britain suffered as well, losing over half of their carriers by the end of the war. That means that with our current inventory of carriers, we could expect to lose 5 carriers in a war with China or Russia, with 3 in the first year of the conflict.

Each carrier has about 5,000 people on it, so just carrier losses account for 25,000 Sailors. To put that in perspective, that is about half of our Vietnam era casualties, and 5 time the number of people we’ve lost in Iraq and Afghanistan combined. And this reality is not an “if,” but a “when,” if we go to war with China or Russia (both of which seem eager to do so).

But the sheer volume of losses isn’t the point of this article. We won World War 2 in the Pacific because we could replace those losses quickly. Carl Vinson, a Georgia Representative, saw our aging fleet and built it up inside the limits of existing naval treaties, at a time when the nation could have cared less about the Navy. His efforts ensured that the Navy had warships on par with the Japanese, and when they lost these ships, they could be replaced, something that Japan was never able to do. Carl Vinson created a “tough” Navy, one that could take a punch.

Secretary Mattis called out Congress recently for not doing their job of passing budgets. We can design the best ships, but the reality is that a major war is going to deplete them. We’re becoming increasingly vulnerable at sea, and we don’t have a good plan to get healthy soon.

We need a new Carl Vinson in Congress, now more than ever.


This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency. Please take a moment to keep the Sailors of the USS FITZGERALD in your prayers.

Check out my blog, and donate to Da Tip Jar.

Showtime carried Oliver Stone’s interviews of Vladimir Putin this week. I watched parts of the Wednesday and Thursday sections. (I didn’t see the judo or hockey sessions.) Showtime subscribers can watch on line. No, I did not watch the Megyn Kelly interview.

The interviews aired on the same week of anti-corruption protest rallies staged in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and other Russian cities and towns.

Stone spoke English, Putin spoke Russian. An interpreter, who at times looked like a younger Costa Ronin of The Americans, translated for Stone, who seems to be fluent in Russian. Putin’s words were subtitled throughout even when he spoke English.

In case you wonder, Stone did not catch Putin breaking a little girl’s bicycle, unlike his friend Hugo Chávez,

On the one hand, Oliver is a big fan of Chávez, the Castros, and, of course, of Putin, and it shows: Rolling Stone reports that the series is set to air on Russia’s state-run Channel One in its entirety later this month,

In an appearance on The Late Show on Monday night, Stone sang the praises of Putin, to the point where a taken-aback Stephen Colbert asked, “Anything negative that you found? Anything? Or does he have your dog in a cage someplace?”

On the other hand, Putin never reveals anything accidentally or under pressure; never has, never will.

It was entirely predictable, so why did I watch?

For starters, I wanted to see what and how much was shown. There were three of Putin’s offices, a staged situation room (as in war command room with live calls from the military – think of it as Skype calls from the jet bombers), a patio with Pottery-Barn-style outdoor furniture, innumerable mile-long hallways, and a very large, traditional ballroom with elaborate carpet.

Through it all, Putin was completely in charge, poised, wearing a business suit and necktie, self-assured, and at-ease-while-fully-alert yet not quite relaxed. As Leonid Bershidsky puts it, in his interviews, “Putin has never once relaxed or relinquished control,” and he’s not about to start. This bears repeating because it is the underlying aspect of the persona I was watching on TV.

Bershidsky explains that Putin has one invariable message (emphasis added):

The message he has for foreign leaders hasn’t changed in 17 years: “Russia is a sovereign power with a set of historic interests that it will pursue no matter what; Western powers can’t tell Russia what to do.”

Putin makes it clear at every moment that he will do what is necessary to bring about what he sees as being in Russia’s best interest.

That, and that alone, is the most important takeaway from the interviews. Everything else is theater.

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes in U. S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog.

The day was off  to a slow start.

First my laptop was clamoring for updates and would not let me postpone them. After those were done, we had a brief power outage during an even briefer thunderstorm.

I turned on the TV and Drudge Report to find this:

The shooter carried out his attack with a long gun.

Reps. Ron DeSantis and Mo Brooks were there,

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As of the writing of this post, the shooter is reportedly alive and in police custody. [UPDATE: He is  now reported dead.]

All year long the Left has been fostering a climate of hate, from college professors asking that Republicans be “lined up and shot,” antifa rioters, BLM demonstrators chanting “pigs in a blanket, fry them like bacon,” to Kathy Griffin jihadist photo-ops, while fake blood pours as Shakespeare in the Park stabs Donald Trump.

[UPDATE: Doug Ross graphically illustrates the mainstreaming of political violence by Democrat extremists]

Predictably, the Democrats will ignore all of this “eliminationist” rhetoric as a possible motive the same way they ignore Islamism as a motive in other terror attacks. They will instead focus on the gun.

Sure enough,

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As Pete says, if you are a conservative, you should arm yourself sooner rather than later.

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes in U. S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog.