WATCH: House Majority Leader McCarthy Defends Republican Party Progress After John Boehner’s Dismissive Remarks

On Sunday, House Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union.” During an exchange with host Dana Bash, McCarthy defended the direction in which the Republican Party is going: BASH: Let’s move on to what your former colleague, the former Speaker of the House John Boehner, said this week. Take a listen.

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American Values Prove Stubbornly Resistant to Gun Control Opportunism

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American Values Prove Stubbornly Resistant to Gun Control Opportunism

Fairfax, VA – -(Ammoland.com)- Social justice busybodies obsessed with how other people live their lives often portray the success of their causes as a matter of destiny.

“The young people will win,” insists one youthful gun control advocate, falsely portraying his personal crusade as a generational mandate. Yet recent events have demonstrated that bedrock American values – including support for the Second Amendment – tend to outlast moments of high emotion that are increasingly relied upon by political opportunists to advance their agenda.

Given the chance to collect their thoughts, most Americans instinctively revert to freedom.

We recently commented on this point with reference to poll numbers that show a familiar pattern of gun control support spiking in the immediate aftermath of an infamous firearm-related crime, only to taper off as the punditry aims its fury in another direction or overplays its hand and is forced to regroup.

Since then, additional evidence has arisen to complicate the media’s breathless narrative that “the ground is shifting on gun control.”

First, more recent poll numbers underscore the fact that Americans, including young Americans, recognize that the country has far more pressing problems than rushing to enact unproven gun control measures.

The Associated Press and MTV, for example, teamed up this year to measure the “Youth Political Pulse,” with surveys conducted from late February to early March (when the news cycle was focused on the terrible crime at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School) and again from late April to early May. Between the survey periods, the percentage of respondents aged 15 to 34 who identified firearm-related issues as their highest concern for the country fell 15 points, from 21% to 6%. During the earlier survey period, the gun issue was the highest concern. In the latter period, it was tied for the sixth most common response, behind the economy, social inequality, and even threat of nuclear war.

Moreover, a week after a similar crime in Santa Fe, Texas on May 18, support for gun control in the Lone Star State had actually dropped 6% since April, as measured by Quinnipiac University polling. Support for stricter gun laws was also lower in the May sample among those aged 18 to 34 than among those 65 or older, another inversion of the conventional wisdom that youth are destined to change the national debate on this question.

A Quinnipiac analyst opined: “The tragedy at the Santa Fe school south of Houston changed few opinions among Texas voters about gun control. Support for gun control in general is down slightly, while support for background checks for all gun buyers is virtually unchanged.”

Adding to the gun control advocates’ woes were the release of data and studies that contradicted their claims of a rising epidemic of school shootings fueled by easy access to so-called “assault weapons.”

The website The74Million.org, which describes itself as a “non-profit, non-partisan news site covering education in America,” published a lengthy interview in May with Criminologist Nadine Connell of the University of Texas at Dallas, who’s compiling a database of every school shooting since 1990. The piece underscored Connell’s findings that “school shootings are extremely rare” and that allowing them to drive policy isn’t “always the most productive” way to keep students safe.

Connell indicated that “from the perspective of policymaking,” the media’s current reporting on school shootings can be misleading.

“[A]s of now,” she said, “we don’t think there is an increase in the number of incidents as much as there is an increase in the attention to the incidents.” She also stressed that “the number of rampage-like incidents remains extremely low, and they are a relatively small subsection of the shootings we are analyzing.” Schools, Connell said, “are the safest they’ve ever been.”

While Connell indicated in the interview that she is not a fan of arming teachers, she also declined to put gun control at the center of the debate. When asked what would be the “most effective method to stop the lion’s share of the problem,” she emphasized “whole-school-centered approaches to improve climate, clarify expectations, and support teachers and administrators in creating a community of trust and support.” She also noted that the “environmental design” of schools can play an important role in keeping kids safe without making them feel like they are under siege.

Can Mass Shootings be Stopped?

Perhaps more even more ironic was a May 22 report from the Rockefeller Institute that was funded by a multi-state “Regional Gun Violence Research Consortium” representing a who’s-who of Northeastern antigun jurisdictions. Entitled “Can Mass Shootings be Stopped?” the report broadly focuses on mass shootings in general, rather than on school-specific events.

Like Connell, however, the authors mentioned media distortion as an impediment to understanding the true nature of the problem.

“Mass shootings, and those that are particularly lethal, are amplified by the news cycle, making them appear more commonplace when they are, in fact, statistically rare,” they stated. They also characterized the media’s coverage of the events as “unbalanced,” potentially leading the public to “hold disproportional attitudes about the events themselves.”

The report made the points that mass shootings are not limited to the U.S. but “occur in countries worldwide,” are nearly three times more likely to be perpetrated with handguns than with “assault weapons,” and occur more frequently in workplaces than in schools. Also likely to displease its funders is the report’s observation that gun control laws, whether passed in the immediate wake of a mass shooting or kept on the books for decades “often are not enforced, leading them to be ineffective at preventing the next mass shooting.” But perhaps most damning of all was the authors’ admonition that “[k]nee-jerk reactions rooted in emotion will not solve the problem.”

Mass Shooting School Gun Laws Bans
But perhaps most damning of all was the authors’ admonition that “[k]nee-jerk reactions rooted in emotion will not solve the problem.”

Yet that is exactly how gun control advocates operate and what they offer. Whatever can be said about the youthful gun control activists who have captured so much of the media’s attention lately, they are among the prime purveyors of emotionalism and hyperbole. And far from bringing innovative new thinking to the issue, their main “solution” is the tired notion of banning guns that are underrepresented in rampage gun crimes and remain highly popular among the law-abiding. Instead of treating every word out of their mouths as some new game-changing revelation, their gun control seniors should remind them that “assault weapon” bans had until recently been de-emphasized as an embarrassment to the movement and too obvious of its prohibitory intent.

Unlike the latest gun control hashtag or self-congratulatory Hollywood vanity project, the National Rifle Association has been around since 1871. We’ve seen movements come, and we’ve seen movements go. And while we never doubt the sincerity of our opposition in their desire to eradicate the right to keep and bear arms, we’re not about to change our values or objectives just because some media talking heads or youth-obsessed celebrities begin making demands or throwing around half-baked claims.

Fortunately, the American commitment to freedom also remains strong and resilient. And freedom-loving Americans know they have an ally in the NRA.

National Rifle Association Institute For Legislative Action (NRA-ILA)

About:
Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the “lobbying” arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Visit: www.nra.org

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Video: As Soon As Their Dog Started Giving Birth, They Knew The Vet Had It Wrong

Doctors and medical professionals have the best intentions. And despite years of schooling, they cannot always predict what will happen. And this can be a good thing. Sometimes doctors predict that a person only has a few weeks left to live. But then that person, by some miracle unknown to science, defies the odds and not only survives but thrives.

The story is more common than you might think. But the same goes in the opposite direction. Sometimes doctors ignore patients’ symptoms, tell them they are “paranoid,” or that they “just have the flu.” And when these turn out to be wrong, they can put a person’s life in jeopardy.

Thankfully, this story does not have a sad ending. Although getting from Point A to Point B is a windy, roller coaster ride. You’re about to hear about a record-breaking birth in Australia.

Miley is a Dalmatian that got pregnant by her canine boyfriend, Astro. And on May 18, 2017, Miley started to go into labor and make them both first-time parents.

And while it was obvious that Miley was “very pregnant” by the size of her abdomen, vets go it all wrong as she started to give birth to her litter.

Although ultrasound scans indicated that Miley was pregnant with three pups, she proceeded to prove all the “experts” wrong as she started pushing puppy after puppy out into the world. And Miley’s owner Cecilia Langton-Bunkergot stayed with her Dalmatian for fourteen hours of labor and could not believe her eyes.

Vets predicted that Miley would birth three puppies. Cecilia watched as her Dalmatian give birth to six males and twelve females. 18 puppies in total broke a record for the largest litter ever born in the country of Australia.

People have naturally started to compare Miley’s massive litter to the iconic story of 101 Dalmatians. But in the movie, mama dog Perdita, only had a litter of 15 puppies at once.

Because Miley gave birth to so many puppies at once, she is exhausted and recovering from the process. Now she is at the Ballarat Veterinary Practice. The puppies will be vaccinated and given a microchip to help Cecilia keep track of them all. It is going to be a lot of work raising this large family of puppies. But Miley is going to continue to show them all the love she can.

The vets might have only thought that she was going to give birth to three puppies, Miley probably knew better. She could probably feel all the beating hearts inside her and was prepared to show them all the love that she could. Each of these puppies will get the best care that Miley and Cecilia and provide for it. Although the family has just grown significantly, they are ready to give these puppies all the love they can as they grow into gorgeous white and black spotted dogs.

What do you think about this record-breaking birth? How could the vets get the number of puppies so wrong during the ultrasound scan?

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Will the Supreme Court’s gambling ruling help or hurt sports and budgets? – AEI – American Enterprise Institute: Freedom, Opportunity, Enterprise

“A true Englishman,” Jules Verne once quipped, “doesn’t joke when he is talking about so serious a thing as a wager.”

After the Supreme Court’s ruling two weeks ago effectively legalizing sports wagering, Americans, too, are starting to take gambling seriously, both inside and outside the world of sports.

Alex Ovechkin controls the puck against Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Nate Schmidt in the first period in game one of the 2018 Stanley Cup Final. Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports via REUTERS

In Murphy v. NCAA, the Supremes held by a 7-2 margin (more or less) that a congressional act forbidding state legislatures from authorizing sports gambling violated the “anti-commandeering” doctrine of the Tenth Amendment and therefore was unconstitutional.

Under the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1991 (PASPA), instead of prohibiting sports gambling outright, Congress declared it “unlawful” for a state to “advertise, promote, license, or authorize by law or compact . . . a lottery, sweepstakes, or other betting, gambling, or wagering scheme” based on competitive sporting events.

In 2011, voters in New Jersey approved a state constitutional amendment authorizing just that, and the following year, the state legislature formally authorized sports betting. Shortly thereafter, the major sports leagues and the NCAA challenged the legislation in court, arguing it was barred by PASPA. New Jersey countered that PASPA itself was unconstitutional because the Tenth Amendment prohibits the federal government from “order[ing] the State to regulate in accordance with federal standards” — a principle known as the anti-commandeering doctrine.

After further judicial and legislative maneuverings, the case found its way to the Supreme Court, where Justice Alito, writing for the majority, explained that the anti-commandeering doctrine derives fundamentally from the Framers’ “decision to withhold from Congress the power to issue orders directly to the States.” This “structural protection of liberty” helps “promote political accountability” and “prevents Congress from shifting the costs of regulation to the States.”

And in the case of PASPA, the high court held that by purporting to tell legislatures not what they must affirmatively do but what they must not do, Congress overstepped its bounds and violated the doctrine.

Thus, New Jersey and the 49 other states found themselves suddenly liberated to enable sports betting within their borders. Anticipating the ruling, several states, including New York, West Virginia, Connecticut, Mississippi, and Pennsylvania, did exactly that. Another 15 states have taken steps in this direction.

But the Supremes’ Murphy decision nevertheless left sports fans and others alike wondering whether sports will benefit or suffer from the ruling.

Predictably, libertarians celebrated, and with good reason. Americans are already betting enormous sums of money on sports, they reckoned, so why not legalize it outright and at least capture some tax revenue?

According to statistics cited by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, while Americans legally wagered nearly $5 billion in 2017, they bet $123 billion per year on sports, almost all illegally. At the same time, the overwhelming majority of states conduct lotteries and permit some form of casino gambling, generally on Indian reservations.

But doesn’t widespread, legalized sports gambling run the risk of interfering with the integrity of games? Worse, wouldn’t the prospect of, say, in-seat touchscreens in sports arenas, on which spectators could place bets on all aspects of the game they’re watching, ruin the stadium experience?

The four major sports leagues, which had joined the NCAA in the original suit against New Jersey, wasted little time in calling for uniform national standards, with the National Basketball Association emphasizing that “the integrity of our game remains our highest priority” and the National Football League reportedly “focusing on getting paid for selling rights to its own data and video footage — intellectual property that legal betting operators will want to pay for in order to help them set lines and prop bets.”

What also remains uncertain is whether sports wagering will benefit local and state coffers.

Interestingly, misery and ecstasy have blended on the Strip: Las Vegas sports bookmakers stand to lose big as the city’s juggernaut National Hockey League expansion team, the Golden Knights, has overcome tremendous odds to reach the Stanley Cup Finals.

In addition, a 2016 report from the State University of New York’s Rockefeller Institute found that “state authorizations and promotions of gambling offer little long-run relief to state revenue problems” because while “new gambling activities may generate short-run increases in public revenues . . . these increases are getting smaller and their duration shorter, perhaps as more and more states compete for a limited pool of gambling dollars.”

Thus, many questions remain as we enter the brave new world of sports gambling. Jules Verne wasn’t joking around.

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The college dropout problem most education advocates don’t talk about – AEI – American Enterprise Institute: Freedom, Opportunity, Enterprise

Talk of higher education reform tends to focus, understandably enough, on the cost of college. After all, steady tuition increases, rising student debt, and eye-popping sticker prices at well-known colleges and universities leave too many students and parents wondering if college is out of reach.

For all this healthy attention as to whether students can afford to go to college, however, we’ve too often lost sight of an equally crucial question — whether they’ll actually earn a degree once they’re there. The disheartening reality is that far too many students invest scarce time and money in attending a college from which they never graduate, and frequently wind up worse off than if they’d simply foregone college altogether.

In 2016, more than 40 percent of all students who started at a four-year college six years earlier had not yet earned a degree. Odds are that most of those students never will. In real terms, this means that nearly two million students who begin college each year will drop out before earning a diploma.

Indeed, according to our research, there are more than 600 four-year colleges where less than a third of students will graduate within six years of arriving on campus. When we look at public two-year colleges, most of which are community colleges, the graduation rate for full-time, first-time students is even lower. Only about 26 percent of students at those schools will have completed their degree within three years.

These dismal completion rates create significant private and societal costs. For individual students, the costs come in the form of student debt, lost time, and lower expected earnings (median annual earnings for students who complete a bachelor’s degree are $15,000 higher than for those who attended college but didn’t earn a degree). For society, the costs show up in forgone tax revenue and wasted public subsidies. In aggregate, some estimate that the total private and public costs of non-completion impose a half a trillion dollar drag on the economy.

In seeking to respond to these challenges, education scholars at the American Enterprise Institute and Third Way have joined together to commission a series of studies by five experts laying out the challenges of non-completion and the urgency for families, educators, and policymakers to take action to address it. (You can find those papers here.)

Now, we do well to heed the risks that a narrow focus on college completion can invite — especially when such an emphasis starts to shapes the incentives and strictures of public policy.

As we have seen in K–12, it is all too possible for simple metrics to yield gamesmanship, corner cutting, or manipulation. We are all-too-familiar with colleges that are content to churn out watered-down degrees with little labor market value, or that take care to only admit the most academically prepared students — leaving someone else to serve others for whom the path to completion will be more difficult. Obviously, measures that encourage colleges to “game the system” are a step in the wrong direction.

Thus, reforms intended to incentivize or improve completion rates need to be designed with scrupulous attention to potential consequences and due regard for the full range of outcomes that matter to taxpayers and students.

That said, there are examples of intriguing programs at the state and college-level that merit careful attention. Thirty-two states currently use performance-based funding policies that award a larger share of public subsidies to colleges that deliver impressive performance metrics. While the overall success of these policies is still up for debate, what’s clear is that states like Indiana, Ohio, and Tennessee are using these policies to gently prod colleges to focus on their students’ outcomes. In such states, some higher education institutions have modified their advising, counseling, and academic services to prioritize retention and completion.

Approached with care and appropriate attention to possible perverse incentives, performance-based funding is one way to encourage colleges to put more emphasis on supporting the students they enroll.

At the campus level, it’s vital to note that low-cost, quick-fix programs are predictably hard to come by. While there are no silver bullets, we know that higher education providers are already making hundreds of decisions that impact students’ experience and motivation in a way that makes it more or less likely they will succeed.

For example, Georgia State University issues automatic completion grants to college-level juniors and seniors with unmet financial need. On average, these grants are about $900 each, and they help students overcome the stumbling blocks that can be posed by expenses like heating bills and textbook costs. In 2016, nearly 2,000 students received completion grants, with GSU reporting that 61 percent of seniors who received one graduated within two semesters. Programs like these illustrate what colleges can do to help students graduate, without compromising standards or lowering the bar for college completion.

Even in these polarized times, we can agree that college students should complete their degrees and that taxpayers should get repaid for the funds they make available through student loans. We have the opportunity to seek solutions that focus not only on whether students can afford to arrive on campus, but on whether those students willing to do the work will leave with the education and the credential they came for. Left or right, that’s a cause we can all embrace.

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Latest Plan To Counter NRA? Tax Dollars Funding Elections

The NRA is the biggest boogeyman of the anti-gun zealot, hands down.

It’s not that the NRA is a radical group because it’s not. It’s willing to play a little ball with the ideological opponents if it thinks it can compromise and come out ahead. It’s not calling for the repeal of most existing federal gun laws either. It’s simply not wanting to take steps backward, as a general rule.

But the anti-gun crusader sees that as a form of radicalism. Adam Eichen, writing at NBC News, thinks he’s got the answer. That answer? Use your tax dollars to counter the NRA’s influence on elections.

Cynics are correct to doubt, despite the epidemic of school shootings around the country, that meaningful gun control policy will be forthcoming, even though over two-thirds of Americans want stricter gun laws. And everyone knows that there are two groups to blame: The NRA, and the politicians caught in its thrall.

To break the NRA’s stranglehold on politics, we have to directly address the attributes that make them so effective. This means democratizing political fundraising to limit the NRA’s financial firepower, and expanding the number of active voters to normalize the impact of NRA members in many districts where candidates are held hostage by the organization.

The NRA has given $40 million directly to both federal and state candidates, parties, and committees over the past 30 years, and spends millions more (at least $54 million in 2016 alone) in independent expenditures to turn the debate around gun control measures so toxic that even the smallest reform becomes politically dangerous.

I’m going to break in here to point out that $40 million over 30 years is a meager $1.3 million per year. When you consider how many candidates there are in this nation, that’s a drop in the bucket. Especially when compared to the nearly $44 million donated by labor unions (among the top 50 of all donators) to their allies in 2018 alone.

In other words, the amount of money spent by the NRA on politicians is outright meager compared to what some people spend.

Anyway, back to Eichen’s nonsense.

By comparison, gun control groups have only contributed $4.3 million to federal elections since 1989 and spend far less on independent expenditures (a meager $3 million in 2016).

Another interjection, maybe the reason gun control groups spend so little is because so little is donated to them? That may be a sign of support simply not being there for gun control. Those who truly care about an issue are far more likely to donate over that issue, and gun control just isn’t a subject that garners that much in the way of passion for most voters.

There is little that can be done to limit NRA spending in elections; the Supreme Court has all but forbidden any regulations. We have another option, however: We can raise the financial influence of ordinary Americans to counteract NRA spending through public financing of elections — a Supreme Court-approved policy.

Cities and states across the country have experimented with public financing. New York City developed one of the gold standards in 1988. Now, modest constituent contributions are matched at a rate of 6 to 1. That means a $10 contribution turns into $70, allowing small donors to propel a campaign.

And there we are.

The way to counter the NRA’s paltry influence in American politics? Make people donate to the opposition whether they want to or not by funneling tax dollars that direction.

Sure.

The truth is, Eichen knows they can’t beat the NRA when it comes to fundraising. It’s like he knows that the people won’t fork out their cash to support people taking away their rights, so he wants to make people do it.

Well, stuff like that is why so many of us have guns in the first place. We don’t want to be made to hand over our wallets, or wives, our husbands, our children, or our lives. We damn sure don’t want to see our tax dollars funding people who want to take away our sacred rights in the name of Adam Eichen not getting the vapors of people disagreeing with him.

The post Latest Plan To Counter NRA? Tax Dollars Funding Elections appeared first on Bearing Arms.

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Professional Gun Cleaning? It’s A Thing, Apparently

Maybe I’m weird, but while I hate sweeping and mopping the floor or washing the dishes, I enjoy cleaning my guns. It’s almost a zen experience for me in a weird way. It’s why one of my all-time favorite Christmas presents was a gun cleaning kit in a nice wooden case my father bought me several years ago.

Again, maybe I’m weird.

But the last thing in the world I’d have thought about was cleaning other people’s guns, except as an occasional favor for someone. Apparently, I missed out on a business opportunity, but someone else didn’t.

When I first heard about the concept of having somebody come to my home to clean my guns, I thought, “Well, that’s a nice idea for rich folks with more guns than time.” But when High Caliber Weapons Detailing showed up to my apartment, I realized there’s a lot more to it than that.

I’m not necessarily a man who hates cleaning his guns. I absolutely love the smell of Hoppe’s 9. My BoreSnakes and Rem Cloth keep my guns in good shape with a nice sheen between deep cleans.

Like any honest gun owner, however, I can admit that I don’t do a deep clean of all my guns as often as I would like. If I’m being completely honest, I’ve never stiped my Ruger 10/22 or my Remington 870 Express to do a deep clean. And, like most gun owners, I’ve had my guns get dirty enough to affect their function.

So, when High Caliber agreed to come out and show me how they work for this review, I figured why not? It might not be something I’d pay for on my own but at the very least I’ll get my guns cleaned, and I won’t even have to leave my apartment. After going through their process, I realized it’s actually a service I can recommend not just for the wealthy or lazy gun owner but also for people like me who fall somewhere in the middle of those two scales.

They had every cleaning implement you can imagine, from Swab-its to star chamber scrubbers to bolt scrapers. And, best of all, they had a seven-gallon Crest Ultrasonic machine. They knew how to strip every one of my guns down to their base components. They knew which firearms finishes should be cleaned with which solvents. They knew how to reassemble everything back into perfect working order.

I’ll admit, I don’t do the deep cleaning either. Not like I probably should. In part because I’m notorious for taking things apart and them never getting back together right.

So, maybe I didn’t miss out on an opportunity, but it also sounds like someone figured out a way to take their love of firearms and make a living out of it in a whole new direction.

And that’s good.

Frankly, I wish this service was in my town. I think they’d be doing some deep cleanings on a couple of my guns that probably could use it.

The post Professional Gun Cleaning? It’s A Thing, Apparently appeared first on Bearing Arms.

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The Open Era

You see where the line is between a good tennis player and an Immortal in the first round match between former No. 1 Novak Djokovic and Rogerio Dutra-Silva on the Philippe-Chatrier Stade at Paris’s Roland Garros the other day.

The Brazilian, a veteran player ranked in the top 100 won some excellent points and broke the 2016 champion to even the score at 4-4 in the third set, his last chance to make a serious stand in the first round of this year’s Internationaux de France, aka French Open. Djokovic broke right back, then held serve at 15 and that was that, three sets to nought.

It was a fine match, even as seen on TV, but nothing to write home about. Anyway we would not be writing home because due to certain circumstances involving the law firm of Jauvert & Jauvert, TAS can only provide some long-distance analysis this year, but never mind the details. The question here is: is the great Serb ace back?

The question is pertinent because every tennis commentator queried by Tennis, the voice of the American tennis establishment, says defending champion Rafael Nadal will repeat, on the rational theory no one can beat him. A non-scientific survey of the international sporting press offers the same consensus. Djokovic, one of the few able to beat Nadal, has been in a prolonged slump worsened by an elbow injury requiring surgery as the season began.

With the loss in five sets by 2015 champion Stan Wawrinka to a stubborn and solid Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, Nadal has last year’s finalist out of the way. He is leading a tough and able Simone Bolelli by two sets when play is adjourned on Chatrier due to rain. The Italian is up 3-0 in the third, but these rain delays usually favor the champ, who uses them to recharge is fierce competitive drive.

And with the defection due to injury of Australia’s bad boy tennis genius Nick Kyrgios, he has one less of the up-and-coming young men to worry over. He has been in fantastic form, taking titles in Monte Carlo, Barcelona, and Rome to prepare his title defense. Like LeBron James on the basketball court, like Mike Trout (Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, you know what I mean) on the mound, Rafa Nadal is the King. At least on clay. In tennis, surfaces matter; the maestro, Roger Federer, has only one Coupe des Mousquetaires among his 20 Slam trophies.

Moreover, Federer, the Stan-da-Man of tennis in our era, is following last year’s strategy of sitting out the clay season the fresher to be on grass and during the North American summer hard-courts. (He won at Wimbledon, not at Flushing Meadows.) And Andy Murray is out, recovering from injuries that he hopes will be gone in time for the All-England in early July.

Injuries, age; recovery, youth. The beauty of this sport derives from the way it brings out the basics of life in stark simplicity. An individual sport, in which you are upfront and alone: you step up or you do not and there is no team to back you up — or a single star like LeBron James to bail out the team. It is, pace Andre Agassi’s famous quip, not like boxing; you do have to run and you cannot hide.

It is Nadal’s to lose this year, making it likely he will get an unprecedented 11th trophy in a single major tournament. His lean and hungry challengers have fallen short in the endurance tests that are unique to the Slam circuit, or succumbed under Nadal’s clay power game, designed, and perfected for the conditions produced by this surface (limestone and crushed brick, if you ever wondered).

So, not too much suspense here, though y’never know. American men have not done very well on clay in recent years, but Jared Donaldson won his first round match in five sets, showing good form, while Frances Tiafoe and Sam Querrey both have shots at reaching the second week; unfortunately they square off in the first round so only one will (maybe) do it. (Update: it goes to Querrey in three sets; Isner, before the rain, was up two against Tiafoe’s contemporary, Noah Rubin.)

On the women’s side, Venus Williams went down in the first round and her sister goes into action on Tuesday. They have two doubles titles here, Venus has never won the Coupe Lenglen, but Serena has done it three times. The defending champ, Jelena Ostapenko, lost her first round match on an injured foot. Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys easily got through to round two. They are best friends, there was a touching scene when Miss S. beat Miss K. at the final of the U.S. Open last September, real friendship. But still it is a lonely sport.

Ken Rosewall and Rod Laver returned to Roland-Garros 50 years ago, in the inaugural major of the Open era; “Muscles” prevailed over “Rocket” in the finals. He also took the doubles with his compatriot Fred Stolle. Outside the tournament, France was in some turmoil as the cultural revolt known as the May Events continued.

These have been the subject of rather dull retrospectives and remembrances for the past months; for all their charm, you have to admit the French have a predilection for editing their own history rather in the direction of fashion, which is annoying. The fashion is that in the grand scheme of things, the May Events were a Good Thing. As far as I can tell, their main effect was that the French stopped saying “vous” and also gave up on wearing ties and hats. For the past few years, they have been destroying their own grammar, abolishing the gender declensions that charmed (and tortured) students of their language.

The remembrance that came to my mind, perhaps by unconscious association with our Memorial Day weekend when we honor those who gave all for our freedom, was one that no one, to my knowledge, mentions in all the yak-yak. I had in mind a man named Maurice Grimaud. He was the police prefect of Paris, in effect the man responsible for security, and he was heavily handicapped by the fact that his forces were overwhelmingly outnumbered by the thousands of kids who had nothing better to do than skip class, block the entrances to the university so those who wanted to learn could not get in, and instead tear up the cobble stones of the old streets of the Latin Quarter and throw them at the cops, who exercised admirable restraint.

Grimaud, who died ten years ago after a long and distinguished career as a high civil servant, had put out the word that there was to be as little rough stuff as possible, which is why the “revolutionaries” had a field day and for the next half century have been able to compare themselves to the men women and children whom you see in Les Misérables, and who were mowed down by cannon and musket when protesting for actual real reasons, such as having nought to eat. In 1968, the enactors were bourgeois kids, playing at historical drama.

Detachments of CRS and gendarmes (police under military discipline but in this case under Grimaud’s authority) reinforced the Paris uniforms. These were for the most part working class and farm-region boys, young men who had served their country in the last years of the colonial wars and were not exactly impressed with tweed-wearing students who had avoided those bitter wars and had not grown up in the poverty that was still common in those years, yet had the gall to claim they spoke for the wretched of the earth. The young men working overtime to keep the city safe while others spouted verses from Mao and Trotsky must have wondered what future elites the country was going to have, but they kept their cool and, no doubt, had a sense of humor sorely lacking in the feverish brains of bourgeois Stalinists.

In one of the “iconic” photos of the time, the student leader Dany Cohn-Bendit is seen offering a mischievous grin to a stern looking gendarme (who on closer inspection is repressing a sly smile); this has gone down in history as a symbol of the “whole” “liberation” “movement” of the ’60s.

Cohn-Bendit was, in fact, one of the less ridiculous soixante-huitards (in English: hippies, or San Francisco Democrats). He was ferociously anti-communist; the Stalinists and Trotskyists hated him. They piggy-backed the protests he and his anarchist pals started against dorm restrictions on the university campus. But he himself knew he was using sex stuff to kick start the reverse potty training he gleefully wanted to spread all over society. This is why Charles de Gaulle, who was president at the time, referred to the events aschien-lit, dog s….

Dany said they were in it to oppose “imperialism” as well as dorm restrictions, meaning the Vietnam war. What did he know about the Vietnam war? He knew enough to admit, 50 years later, that even then he knew that in Vietnam, he would have ended before a firing squad. Instead, he has a seat in the European Parliament at Strasbourg. It is not clear what they do there, but they get nice perks.

As we know, the year 1968 began with a communist rampage in Vietnam. Known as the Tet offensive, it had as its objectives to shock public opinion in the U.S. and convince our “elites” the war was unwinnable; to hold territory long enough, in such provincial capitals as Hue, to mass-murder civic and intellectual leaders, as well as policemen, who might form the backbone of resistance to their imperialism; and to destroy the Viet Cong cadres in the South, whom the Northern Stalinists did not trust. Although American and South Vietnamese forces, despite taking terrible casualties, threw back the onslaught, these objectives were achieved.

Some commemoration. Better to remember that first Open tournament on the far west side of Paris, on a street named for Gordon Bennett, an American newspaper tycoon and, no doubt, a Yankee imperialist!

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