by John Walters

Happy 41st, Captain Dutch. I loved those heds from earlier this week: “Jeter and Davis split….the check at lunch!”

Starting Five

Knicks fans did not shower KP with a whole Latvia love…..

1. “Kristaps (Boo!) Porzingis (Boo!)”

With the fourth pick in the NBA draft, the New York Knicks select a 7’2″ Latvian who is either the white Kevin Durant or the not-French Frederic Weis. Stay tuned. Karl-Anthony Towns goes first, to the T-Wolves, while the Lakers take a man with a very L.A. name and look, D’Angelo Russell, and the Sixers are well on their way to having the world’s premier indoor volleyball team by adding Jahlil Okafor to their stable of seven-footers.

Frank the Tank will play for MJ in Charlotte.

Duke’s Justise Winslow slides all the way down to 10th spot and Miami, which was so outrageous that it compelled Bill Simmons to break radio silence for the one and only time last night(“I take back everything I said about trying for the 8th playoff spot over getting a top-10 pick. Winslow is a stud. Miami does it again.”). As you know, this JW loves that JW.

The Irish have not one but two players drafted, which probably last happened in the Seventies. Jerian Grant to Washington (which already has arguably the league’s second-best backcourt, and they’re both very young) and Pat Connaughton to Brooklyn. I’ll now be referring to him as Park Slope (ask your NYC friends).

2. In Other News, the USA Track & Field Outdoor Championships Began Yesterday in Eugene….

And now “man spreading” means something entirely different to me….

If you haven’t seen the video…. I’m no field events coach, but if you’re going to do a running start, you don’t stop and then plant both feet. Haven’t you ever seen anyone long jump? Or dunk? To the dude’s credit, he got right up and walked away. I’m not sure how.

3. Confederacy of Dunce

I don’t know if I despise this op-ed more because it’s so replete with half-truths and disingenuous lies or because its author is so absolutely devoid of empathy.

The greatest thing that could happen here is if in the middle of the night someone kidnapped Clay Travis and placed him in chains. Maybe they’d take away his children,  never to be seen again. Perhaps things would be done to his wife that are not so pleasant. Perhaps he’d be made to watch.

He’d be stripped entirely of his property, not to mention his name. He’d be told what to do and when to do it for the rest of his life. He’d have no authority to argue his point ever again. Even if he’s on the right side of any matter, he loses. Every time. If he’s insubordinate or even defiant, he will be whipped. Or lose a limb. He may eventually be allowed to remarry, but whoever owns him makes sure Clay knows that his wife is just as much the owner’s property as it is his.

Oh, and he has absolutely no hope that any of this will ever change in his lifetime. None of it.

And the people who do this to him, well, they will have a little flag that they like to wave that symbolizes the way of life that they live, a way of life that is appreciably better because millions of Clay Travises do their hard labor for them for free, which cuts costs, which increases profit. Which is the number one reason that these halcyon days are even remotely possible.

And after all of this, if Clay Travis and his fellow kidnapped servants, if they have a problem with us waving that flag…or if they don’t like that it’s now been coopted by a lunatic fringe who’d like to kill Clay and everyone who looks like him….well, Clay and his pals better get over it. Because their centuries of fear and terror and institutional discrimination are so negligent as compared to the point that you shouldn’t let a Twitter mob dictate your actions.

After all, THAT is the real injustice.

I mean, come the fuck on!

Travis writes:

And here’s a history lesson for you from someone who didn’t learn about the Civil War from Facebook. I actually went to Civil War sleepaway camp in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and have been fascinated by the era for my entire life. (Yes, I was really cool in high school). The north didn’t go to war with the south to end slavery, they went to war to preserve the union.*

And here’s a history lesson for you, Clay. Here’s Article IV, Section 2, of the Confederate Constitution of the United States:

 (I) The citizens of each State shall be entitled to all the privileges and immunities of citizens in the several States; and shall have the right of transit and sojourn in any State of this Confederacy, with their slaves and other property; and the right of property in said slaves shall not be thereby impaired.
(2) A person charged in any State with treason, felony, or other crime against the laws of such State, who shall flee from justice, and be found in another State, shall, on demand of the executive authority of the State from which he fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the State having jurisdiction of the crime.
(3) No slave or other person held to service or labor in any State or Territory of the Confederate States, under the laws thereof, escaping or lawfully carried into another, shall, in consequence of any law or regulation therein, be discharged from such service or labor; but shall be delivered up on claim of the party to whom such slave belongs,. or to whom such service or labor may be due.

Will we still be able to read columns on the Hottest Coaches’ Wives in the SEC? Um, no.

And here’s Alexander H. Stephens, Vice President of the Confederate States, speaking on March 21, 1861, in Savannah, Ga. This is an excerpt from what is known as the Cornerstone Speech:
“Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner- stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth. This truth has been slow in the process of its development, like all other truths in the various departments of science. It has been so even amongst us. Many who hear me, perhaps, can recollect well, that this truth was not generally admitted, even within their day. The errors of the past generation still clung to many as late as twenty years ago. Those at the North, who still cling to these errors, with a zeal above knowledge, we justly denominate fanatics. All fanaticism springs from an aberration of the mind from a defect in reasoning. It is a species of insanity. One of the most striking characteristics of insanity, in many instances, is forming correct conclusions from fancied or erroneous premises; so with the anti-slavery fanatics. Their conclusions are right if their premises were. They assume that the negro is equal, and hence conclude that he is entitled to equal privileges and rights with the white man.

Alexander Stephens’ point: the negro is subordinate to the white man

And so this is my point. Whether or not the North was fighting the Civil War to end slavery, as Travis says it was NOT, that is immaterial. The South seceded because it did want to preserve slavery. And that’s sort of the point. The war was about Southern secession, and the secession was based on the fact that the South wanted to continue the practice of slavery because it made economic sense.
And either Travis is too stupid to have understood that point — he’s not — or he was hoping that you wouldn’t see his absurd leap in logic because, you know, he went to law school and you didn’t and he’s smarter than you are.
Stephens gave that speech extemporaneously, just three weeks before Southern forces fired on Fort Sumter not too far up the coast from Savannah to launch the Civil War.  Fort Sumter is located in a harbor just off the shore from…Charleston. That’s not a coincidence, in terms of where Roof chose to target his victims.
The diatribe about social media, or people not putting things in context, or Facebook mobs…all true, but who gives a shit? That’s hardly the point here. Maybe the SEC frat boy alums who have helped make the author of Dixieland Delight so popular sop up this garbage with a biscuit, but you don’t have to.
This is intellectually dishonest crap, from a well-educated person who’d rather appeal to his fan base or dangle click bait than tell the truth.
You wanna fly the flag? Go ahead. It’s a free country (unlike the Confederacy, by the way). But if you think it’s more important to make a grand point about hypocrisy and social media overreaction at the expense of any empathy for the generations of people who lived in bondage (what a nice word for the horrors they endured) with absolutely NO HOPE of ever having control of any aspect of their lives, and if you choose to do so by making straw man arguments that you know are invalid, I have to ask: What is it you’re really advocating for?
Okay, I think we’re done here for the day.
*Thanks to good friend Sorp for the historical assist.

4. Here We Go Again

In Tallahassee, true freshman quarterback DeAndre Johnson is suspended after allegedly punching a woman in a bar. Before we get to why a minor was in a bar, we should note that Johnson was suspended for “breaking team rules.” Johnson was 8 of 11 passing with two touchdowns in the Seminoles’ spring game. He was the state’s Mr. Football last year, which in that state means a lot.
Tallahassee P.D. are yet to charge Johnson with a crime or even interview him, according to Mark Schlabach’s piece on
From Mark Schlabach’s story on ESPN: The incident report redacted the alleged suspect’s name and a witness’ name. The woman’s name was not redacted.

5. Messrs. Smug and Arrogant

The world’s most outspoken activist comedian, Bill Maher, visits with Jerry Seinfeld in the latest episode of CICGC. Two favorite moments:
1) When Maher expounds on how tough it was for him starting out, and says that when people criticized his act, he could be a… and as he pauses, Jerry fills in, “a prick.” Because that much about Maher is definitely accurate.
2) Maher notes that philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre said that “Three o’clock in the afternoon is both too late and too early to do anything you really want to do.”
To which Seinfeld replies, “He should’ve done stand-up.”

Remote Patrol

Women’s World Cup: USA vs. China
Fox Sports 1   7:30 p.m.

Sailors say , Brandi, you’re a fine girl/What a good midfielder you would be….

The Americans have not allowed a goal in 333 minutes and yet if you listen to them and to soccer analysts, the sky is falling. This is a rematch of the landmark 1999 World Cup final (Brandi Chasten sports bra moment), and also the first time these two nations have met in the World Cup since that day.




3 thoughts on “IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

  1. I hesitate to comment on this but feel compelled. I would never have known about or read Travis’ piece if not for your tweets. I understand your view & agree with many of your points. However, I actually think Travis had some good points too (which appalls me to admit since I’ve long thought him an arrogant blowhard). John – you don’t think it is OUTRAGEOUS if not INSANE that the post-focus of that horrific tragedy in Charleston is NOT that ANY NUT CASE/LOSER IN AMERICA CAN BUY HANDGUNS OR ASSAULT WEAPONS? If I was the conspiracy type, I’d say the NRA was pushing this anti-flag frenzy. Yes, it is appalling that that flag was still displayed prominently near government buildings and yes, it is the one main symbol of the Confederacy, the group of states who attempted to break up the not-yet-100-year-old country because THEY (& not some far-off federal government) wanted the POWER to decide how their inhabitants would live & be governed. Unfortunately, for ALL involved, their economy was largely slave-based, although Travis is correct – less than half of Southerners could actually afford to own slaves.

    If seen as a symbol of slavery, the Confederate flag is of course, offensive. But to many Southerners, that flag is not seen as such. It represents a bonding of ‘The South’; a proud but defeated land, forever guilt ridden over parts of its history & yet proud of its ancestors, as varied in land & development, as in customs & accents, then & now.

    Since you did not grow up or live for any large amount of time in the South, I doubt you can view that flag as anything other than a symbol of oppression & tragedy, the sooner it’s put away & forgotten, the better. Part of me absolutely agrees. But since I grew up in a Southern state (a ‘slave state’ although one that did not secede, but ahem, not without trying), my thoughts & feelings are a bit mixed. My family farm is about 5-7 miles from the Antietam Battlefield. More than a hundred years after that battle, my Dad was still occasionally finding Civil War era bullets in our fields. My great-great grandmother walked north into MD with General Jackson’s Army (& later met & married my great-great grandfather). When I was very young, I would hear the “old folks” at group gatherings (those over 75 or so) talk about “The War” as if it they had actually lived through it (they had not). The Battle of Antietam is famously known as the “single bloodiest day in American history”. What you may not know is that Confederate dead were NOT allowed to be buried at the “Antietam NATIONAL Cemetery”. No, they were dug up from the makeshift plots from the battlegrounds & re-buried at Rose Hill Cemetery in Hagerstown in the designated “Confederate Cemetery”. Which I passed every single time we drove into town & would often hear the story of how the “Rebs weren’t deemed good enough” for the so-called ‘National’ cemetery. (This fact alone could get folks riled up 100 YEARS LATER! I personally witnessed a fistfight at a public barbecue over this “disrespectful travesty”). My point here is that emotions STILL run very deep, over ‘The War’ & the rest of our history.

    Sure, my ancestors & most of white Southerners’ ancestors were NOT kidnapped, shackled & thrown onto a ship for a death-inviting jaunt across the ocean, & then forced to labor for the wealth of others. But, they died too. NOT to “defend slavery” but to defend their land & that of their kin, neighbors, & friends. (Although in MD, families & communities were split, some fought for the Rebs & some for the Yankees. Made get-togethers SO much more ‘fun’….).

    I’ve actually never understood why the Confederate flag was allowed to be displayed on any public property – state or local govt, schools, etc. since the South actually DID, ahem, lose the war. It’s possible if not probable that during Reconstruction, it was “illegal” to display the flag in many southern states & thus may have prompted the ‘TAKE THAT!’ determination to display it once the dreaded (damn) Yankees finally departed.

    Finally, one thing that has always made me laugh (at least since I 1st started studying Civil War history as a kid & later as a college graduate student) is when it is haughtily stated “The South” seceded because of “X” or the South “fought” because of “Y”. A few white MALE politicians pulled their very diverse states out of the USA (on paper). The people who actually fought & died (male/female, white, brown & black) were mostly just defending their families & land & trying to STAY ALIVE. Which sums up almost all wars since the world began.

  2. There wouldn’t have been a fight, Susie, if they weren’t defending the concept of slavery. The homes and kin were just the final move in the chess match.

    • I understand your point but the overwhelming majority of those who actually fought on the “Confederate” side did NOT do so to “defend slavery”. It’s like saying every German fought in WWII to facilitate the extermination of all the Jews. Were the majority of Germans (AND rest of Europeans for that matter) anti-Semite at that time? Yes, but that was not why they fought & died. They had little choice; they were German, their country was at war, they fought. Just like most regular-folk in the South. As mentioned, at least half of Southerners at that time could not afford to partake in the “institution”. Yes, the politicians & the “1%” who made up the rules as they went along bellowed this as their reason for seceding but the regular folk had little to no choice to fight along with their family, friends & neighbors. ESPECIALLY, if the battle, y’know, BROKE OUT ON THEIR FRONT YARD, or in their village streets. You can’t go a mile in my home county without some sign or plaque about some C.W. battle or skirmish having taken place there. Or a building or church (my childhood church for example) used as a post-battle hospital. Same for almost all of the northern half of VA. The WAR was all around them.

      Also, as I’m sure you’re aware, the Civil War was REALLY about money & power. (Like all wars). Slavery was just the then-means for the South. If not for the invention of the cotton gin, slavery would probably have died out there during the 1800s as it had earlier in the North. And if the South had embraced industrialization & railroads as the North (which due to their pathetic agricultural land & weather as compared to the South was not exactly a hardship), one of two things would have probably happened – 1) slavery would have been discontinued in all but maybe the cotton-states fairly quickly & thus the CW would not have happened OR 2) the South would have WON the war. They certainly were the most successful on the battlefields during the 1st 2-3 years & only the sheer numbers of Union soldiers & especially their access to factory-produced goods to keep their troops going is what finally “won” the war.

      Basically, I think our “disagreement” is akin to the “theory vs practice” debate. You are correct when you state that the southern (male) politicians presented the defense of slavery as the reason for seceding & then for fighting the war (“theory”). I’m more concerned with the actual combatants (“practice”) who largely didn’t give a damn about slavery as it had little to do with THEIR daily lives.

      Also, while I’m still no fan of Travis, I can understand his frustration that the Confederate flag is now being touted as a symbol of modern day racism. When, AT THE TIME, racism was just as virulent in the North as in the South. (see NYC “race riots”). The most galling thing to a true Southerner is that 150 years after that war, the North is INACURATELY portrayed as almost saintly & virtuous while the South, thanks solely to their lengthier use of slavery, is the “last bastion of disgusting racism” & thus, must have been at the time & is still, morally bankrupt. And I have to agree with Travis once more, thanks to the social-media driven anti-flag frenzy, if that flag was not a symbol before, it is now.

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