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Up Next: Cuba.

by Dear Jon
May 27, 2003

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Sort 219_Dear Jon-Up Next: Cuba. ACTUAL LETTER TO DEAR JON:

Dear Jon,

If I were planning to become a dictator of a country (pro-American, of course), which country do you suggest I take over? What country do I have the best chance of establishing a regime in?

Power Hungry

Dear Hungry,

It goes without saying that if you are a dictator today, you had better be pro-American. The problem is, the country probably will not be pro-American, precisely because it is the American Empire that is propping you up.

The leading candidates in the Pentagon are Syria and Iran. (Motto: Since our boys are already over there, they might as well attack in both directions!) In the White House they are Iran and North Korea. (Motto: How would a war on the Korean peninsula be all that different from a war in the middle of the Arabian deserts?) In the State Department the leading candidates are Cuba and the Palestinian Authority. (Motto: Just wait until Castro and Arafat die, then everything will be fine.) For the American public the leading candidate is France. (Motto: Get your Freedom Fries here!)

At least with Syria and Iran there is some remote connection to the War on Terror. I am not saying this because Syria and Iran are Islamic countries. After all, Iraq was Islamic, and its overthrow had NOTHING TO DO with the War on Terror. With Syria and Iran you actually have state-sponsored terrorist activity, as you do with the Palestinian Authority and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Knocking over the Palestinian Authority, however, will not secure you any kind of legitimate government. Besides, the Israelis might come after you. (Motto: We are the only ones who get to rip up Palestine’s government! You leave them alone!)

My suggestion, however, is Cuba. You have thousands of willing volunteers in Florida who are ready and eager to make an amphibious landing. All you need is the absolute rock-solid guarantee that the Pentagon will provide air power and off-shore navy artillery, and you can sweep into power as a liberator.


Dear Jon,

With Annika Sorenstam now playing in the "men's league" (the PGA), does this make it possible for men to play in the women's league (the LPGA)? Would a man trying to break into the LPGA get the same support/media coverage, or would he be seen as just plain silly?

Teeing off

Dear Off,

Ms. Sorenstam was eliminated from play after Friday’s round. She finished ahead of eleven male golfers, but only in the 85th percentile.

It does not surprise me at all that the best woman golfer is better than some male tour pros. The fastest woman in a marathon is faster than a lot of men. Still, where does she actually finish in the race?

This has nothing to do with a woman’s leadership capacity or intellectual abilities. Male and Female are equal in all respects, and there are some tasks best achieved by a female and some best achieved by a male.

In an earlier sort I do not have time to look up, I made a point about female fire-fighters. I am hip with the idea that females can fight fires and be on rescue teams. However, please do NOT change the hiring criteria just to include a woman at an engine house. If I am trapped with broken limbs in a burning building, I want to know that the fire-fighter coming to me can lift two hundred pounds.

Double standards do exist, however. Twenty years or so ago a woman reporter sued for the right to conduct interviews in male locker rooms. I think she won, which is totally gross. A male journalist who sues to conduct interviews in female locker rooms will lose the case. This is a double-standard.

However, it points out what everyone knows is true. The reason the “guy” teams in football, baseball and basketball make all the money is that they are playing the game at the highest possible level. A female sports reporter desiring a shot at the big-time has to be able to go to all the places that male reporters go. There just is not as much interest in interviewing the players of the WNBA. These women are excellent athletes, but the NBA is what to watch. Gross as it is for female sports reporters to invade male locker rooms, it is a reflection of what is true about sports.

Twice, women have competed in the PGA. Neither of them made the cut. And Ms. Sorenstam has dominated the LPGA. I am sorry that those eleven men she defeated now carry that memory around: (I finished behind a GIRL at the Colonial!) They need to get over it. The best in the LPGA will do better than some, but she did not do better than most.

In pairs figure skating, who is the one to be tossed into the air, and who is the one doing the tossing and the catching? On the trapeze, is the catcher male or female? Is it the male or female cheerleaders doing push-ups after every touchdown?

This only means what it says. Just because a man can run faster and jump higher and carry more weight does not mean that a man must be the President, or the Pastor, or the CEO, or a despotic pro-American dictator. Just because the best women can beat a lot of men at running and jumping and lifting, does not mean that they are able to compete with the best men.

Were men to break the barriers and compete in women’s leagues, they would prove nothing. It would be the height of silliness. Let women aspire to the highest levels of athletic competition. They know that means the Men’s Leagues. No one is stupid enough to think otherwise.

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