GM Irina Krush, Diagnosed with COVID-19

Before heading into dreamland last night, which did not come easy, I decided to concentrate on writing a few posts concerning Chess, as I have two book reviews to complete, one of which was begun, then stopped because it has been difficult focusing on Chess these daze…Checking my inbox this morning found this from the Mulfish, a very religious man whom I know will be mentioning Irina in his prayers. If you believe in that sort of thing, now is the time for prayer:

Michael Mulford <mmulfish@yahoo.com>
To:Michael Bacon
Sun, Mar 22 at 11:57 PM
Were you aware Irina Krush is positive?
An internet check found this at The Chess Mind, a blog by Dennis Monokroussos:

American GM Irina Krush

https://i.pinimg.com/236x/cc/dc/c3/ccdcc314455575aa73f8be6ee257ad6b--hall.jpg

isn’t particularly old – she turned 36 last December – but she not only contracted the novel coronavirus but started experiencing serious, atypical symptoms. From her Facebook page:

“Last Wed night, March 11th, I started to feel a little bit under the weather. On Thursday I had an unpleasant temperature, 37.6, spent some extra time sleeping, but it got better after that. My temperature never went up again as high, it actually fluctuated between 36.7 and 37. I should also mention, by Friday night, but definitely by Saturday I lost my sense of smell completely. I could not smell the cup of coffee right in front of my nose. I could not taste what I was eating. That was a depressing symptom…happy to say that my sense of smell/taste is coming back to me now! On Sunday I felt well enough to take an hour walk on the boardwalk. But on Monday evening, I felt a shortness of breath, a symptom I’ve never experienced before. I just had to take deeper breaths to get the air in. It was definitely worrying, especially given I had absolutely no other symptoms like fever or coughing. On Tuesday morning, I had an internet lesson just like I’d had on Monday morning. That was when I knew it wasn’t “anxiety” or me dreaming something up: I just couldn’t talk without taking extra pauses to breathe. I went to CityMD right after my lesson. When they saw I had no temperature, that my chest X ray was clear and there were no signs of pneumonia, the doctor visibly relaxed (since it didn’t look like I had coronavirus). She had no explanation for the shortness of breath, though, and suggested a CT scan at the ER to check for blood clots. So I went to the ER (not the most pleasant experience, there were people around with a cough so severe I was really concerned I could catch the virus there). Anyway, the CT scan showed “early coronavirus” and pneumonia in both lungs. I was also given the actual test, which only came back today (positive). I spent a couple days in the hospital, I guess mostly under observation as there wasn’t much that needed to be done for me…they did test my blood for oxygenation and found it was fine. So now I am home…taking the hydroxychloroquine tablets. I still have no other symptoms other than the shortness of breath, which I guess I can describe as “moderate”. Going up the stairs you do feel totally out of breath, but even sitting in place you can feel it. I am very happy I can breathe on my own. Anyway, I thought I’d share this as I know the trajectory of my illness was not completely typical, and it can help some of you get tested/treated/go into quarantine earlier. And it absolutely made me see the importance of staying home and doing your part to slow the spread of this. Wish you all to stay healthy!”

Thank God she is doing better, and it’s very good news that positive, if still anecdotal, results for hydroxycloroquine keep coming in. Let’s hope that if there have to be more stories about the virus in the chess world, they will be no worse than this.

http://www.thechessmind.net/blog/2020/3/21/irina-krush-diagnosed-with-covid-19.html

12-Year-Old Atlanta Girl Fighting For Her Life

12-year-old girl with coronavirus is on a ventilator and fighting for her life

CNN Expansion, Mel Alonso

By Amara Walker, Alta Spells and Melissa Alonso, CNN

Updated 11:35 AM ET, Sun March 22, 2020

(CNN ) Emma, a 12-year-old girl, is “fighting for her life” in an Atlanta hospital after testing positive for the coronavirus, according to her cousin.
Justin Anthony told CNN that Emma was diagnosed with pneumonia on March 15 and tested positive for coronavirus on Friday night. As of Saturday, she was on a ventilator and is currently in stable condition, Anthony said.
Emma had no pre-existing conditions. She has not traveled recently and it’s unknown how she contracted the virus, according to Anthony.

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta-Scottish Rite Hospital confirmed that a current patient tested positive for Covid-19, though it declined to go into details.

“The patient remains in isolation, and we have consistently used appropriate precautions. Additional details will not be released due to patient privacy laws,” said hospital spokeswoman Jessica Pope.

https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/22/us/georgia-coronavirus-girl-hospitalized/index.html

From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Children’s Healthcare confirmed the hospital has one COVID-19 patient in isolation but declined to provide any details citing federal privacy laws. The AJC is not identifying the child’s last name and limiting identifying details to protect the family’s privacy.

https://www.ajc.com/news/local-govt–politics/coronavirus-hits-young-girl-police-officer-prison-inmates/wpKuDMioCGARgyqXw6Ow4L/

Waffle House Persona Non Grata

I was born in the back seat of a 1949 Ford convertible on the way to Emory Hospital. By the time we arrived my Mother and I were “we”. I am a Southerner from the Great State of Georgia. I am from Georgia in the same way General Robert E. Lee

https://www.battlefields.org/sites/default/files/styles/scale_crop_380x370/public/thumbnails/image/Robert%20E.%20Lee.jpg?itok=E4pGZMk_

was from Virginia. When push came to shove, General Lee went with his state because at that time the states may have been “United” but the state was still paramount. This changed after the War of Northern Aggression. The states became “united.” In order for US to become united the northern people came south, devastating the Southern region, laying waste to any and everything in their path, while perpetuating war crimes against Southern civilians.

(https://www.amazon.com/War-Crimes-Against-Southern-Civilians/dp/158980466X/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3SSVK3Y3IZ3P6&keywords=war+crimes+against+southern+civilians&qid=1584900345&s=books&sprefix=war+crimes%2Caps%2C162&sr=1-1)

I am proud to hail from the South. An article years ago detailed a survey which found that out of all the regions of the United States, people from the South most identified with their region. The survey made no distinction between the skin color. Some years ago I was waiting for an order at Captain D’s. It was Senior day and the music playing was from the era of my youth. The tunes happened to be  Motown music. Before rock & roll we listened to the sounds emanating from Motown. I noticed an older gentleman with dark skin, also waiting for his order, tapping his feet. Thing is, I, too, was tapping my feet. The song was:

I said something to the man about the song just as this song, which means more than a little to me, because Otis Redding

is from Macon, Georgia, which we discussed. It was also the song playing in the car as I “made out” for the first time,with the daughter of the Band leader at our high school. Since we were about the same age there was much to discuss, so we sat together and ate our lunch while conversing. We talked about the things we had in common, such as listening to the same music and eating the same food, etc. When finished he said, “Sir, you have made my day.” The reply was, “Back at ‘cha!”

Waffle House is one of the restaurants founded in Georgia. The original Waffle House museum is within a short drive from where I sit. Another restaurant originating in Georgia is Chik-Fil-A. I came of age within a short drive from the original Dwarf House,

located in Hapeville, the home of Delta Air Lines. It would be impossible to count the number of times I ate at that particular restaurant. Favorites were the Steak Plate and the Hot Brown.

https://thechickenwire.chick-fil-a.com/inside-chick-fil-a/dwarf-house-serving-the-soul-for-70-years

At one time or another I have been seated at each and every one of those seats.

Moe’s Southwest Grill originated here, too. The original location on Peachtree Street in Buckhead

Photo of Moe's Southwest Grill - Atlanta, GA, United States

was within a very short walk from an apartment shared with the love of my life. There is a Moe’s within walking distance of the apartment in which I currently reside. At the end of Ken Burns

https://img.thedailybeast.com/image/upload/c_crop,d_placeholder_euli9k,h_2459,w_4372,x_0,y_0/dpr_1.5/c_limit,w_1600/fl_lossy,q_auto/v1584842042/200322-hitt-ken-burns-hero_pr5o6u

https://www.thedailybeast.com/ken-burns-on-how-the-coronavirus-pandemic-is-not-history-repeating-itself?ref=home

series, The Civil War, for PBS, the author Shelby Foote

https://gardenandgun.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/GG0211_Books_01-869x1100.jpg

Shelby Foote’s War Story

mentions something a young invading soldier asked a boy far too young to be fighting, holding a piece of wood cut in the shape of a rifle, a question. “Why are you fighting?” The reply was, ’cause ya’ll down he’ar.” I am writing this because I’m “down he’ar.”

The article which follows is being printed in it’s entirety, without comment, so you will understand why I will never, ever, set foot in a Waffle House. The ‘thinking’ demonstrated by Joe Rogers Jr., the 73-year-old sole board member of the nearly 2,000 restaurant chain is the reason our United States will be devastated in the days to come. I am willing to wager my life that this Fool In Power is a Republican.

Waffle House chairman criticizes coronavirus limits on businesses

https://www.ajc.com/rf/image_lowres/Pub/p11/AJC/2020/03/19/Images/newsEngin.25485256_081818-Waffle-House-introTAH_1387.jpg

The chairman of Waffle House, a chain known for getting its restaurants back up and running after natural disasters, is worried that many political leaders are headed down the wrong path as they battle the coronavirus outbreak.

Recent mandates, such as banning in-restaurant dining and closing some businesses, are “totally out of proportion,” said Joe Rogers Jr., the 73-year-old sole board member of the nearly 2,000 restaurant chain based in Norcross.

“American leaders have to lead people through ruinous times, but leaders don’t lead people to ruin,” he said later, warning that many large and small businesses might not survive.

Rogers has urged elected officials in Georgia to not adopt tough restrictions similar to those imposed on businesses in other states. His remarks came before a Thursday announcement by Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms

https://www.atlantaga.gov/Home/ShowPublishedImage/8314/636506862088230000

 Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms

60th Mayor of the City of Atlanta

that she had signed an executive order temporarily barring in-restaurant dining and closing down nightclubs, gyms, movie theaters, live music venues and bowling alleys in the city.

In an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Rogers also bemoaned “doom and gloom” talk from the White House. “Any leader in the world that was dealt this hand might not have played it any better,” Rogers said of the president, “but we have to play it better going forward.”

Federal, state and local political leaders “are trying to do the right thing,” he said.

The Waffle House chairman said Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has shown appropriate restraint.

The governor has asked people to remain home as much as possible and avoid public gatherings. But Kemp hasn’t ordered statewide shutdowns of businesses and events, saying in an interview with radio station Q99.7, “I don’t know that our citizens would buy into that.”

Waffle House, which operates in 25 states, saw sales drop 25% last week, Rogers said. Now, as more states limit restaurants to drive through or to-go business, sales in some areas have fallen 60%. He said the chain will survive, though “we are going to lose money like crazy in this.”

The important thing, he said, is to remain open and keep pay flowing to the chain’s 40,000 workers, most of whom are hourly employees. If Waffle Houses are forced to close across broad areas, the company wouldn’t continue to pay employees who don’t work, Rogers said.

The company has increased sanitization efforts. It also is encouraging social distancing though “we haven’t taken out a tape measure,” he said. “We have let everybody eyeball their own reality.”

Waffle House doesn’t have the flexibility of some other chains, particularly fast food restaurants, such as Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A. Some of those already generate most of their sales via drive throughs. Waffle House has just one drive-through, near Stone Mountain.

https://www.ajc.com/news/national/waffle-house-chairman-criticizes-coronavirus-limits-businesses/Ze5Ee4EZOvoO2OFX8quloJ/

My father worked at the AJC before moving to the much more conservative, ill-fated Atlanta Times. I delivered the AJC before moving to the Times. Delivering the Sunday paper was a bitch.

Feedback From Mulfish

I received an email in response to the previous post from my friend Michael Mulford, a Republican, tonight. If you are wondering how I could possibly have a friend who is a Republican, the answer is that my Mother was a Republican, “God bless her heart”, as we say here down South. When we would talk politics my father would say, “Argue, argue, argue, that’s all you two do.” Mother responded with, “We’re not arguing, Ronald. We are having a heated discussion!”

Michael Mulford
To:Michael Bacon

Sat, Mar 21 at 9:22 PM

“Actually, four Senators are known to have engaged in this behavior, not just these two. One of them has called for an ethics investigation into their actions. One of the four is a Democrat.

I’ve heard that members of Congress are exempt from the insider trading legislation (I don’t know if that is true) and that the holdings are in blind trusts. But I’ve also heard that the husbands do have some measure of control over those trusts.

By any account, this smells and ought to be thoroughly investigated. And if the GOP wants to hold the GA Senate seat, they would do well to nominate someone else.”

Thought I would share the answer with you. Please read the entire article as this is only an excerpt taken from the article:

Update: Several readers have asked about the other senators who sold stock during the same period, including Dianne Feinstein (a California Democrat), James Inhofe (an Oklahoma Republican) and Ron Johnson (a Wisconsin Republican). But none of their trades look particularly suspicious.

Feinstein has said that she did not attend the Jan. 24 briefing; her stock was in a blind trust, which means she didn’t make the decision to sell; and the transaction lost her money, because the trust was selling shares of a biotechnology stock, the value of which has since risen. Inhofe’s transactions were part of a systematic selling of stocks that he started after he became chairman of the Armed Services Committee. Johnson sold stock in his family’s plastic business, as part of a process that has been occurring for months; his sale also occurred well after stock market began falling.

Jeff Blehar of National Review has a helpful summary on Twitter, in which he argues Burr’s transactions are the worst.

Loeffler, who is extremely wealthy and married to the chairman of the New York Stock Exchange, frequently sells stock and has said “multiple third-party advisors” — not her or her husband — made the decision to sell shares in January and in February.

(I must interject here to print something the Mulfish must have missed in the previous post:

“Ms. Loeffler, who also sits on the Health Committee, is in a similarly sticky situation. On the very day of the committee’s coronavirus briefing, she began her own stock sell-off, as originally reported by The Daily Beast. Over the next three weeks, she shed between $1,275,000 and $3.1 million worth of stock, much of it jointly owned with her husband, who is the chairman of the New York Stock Exchange. Of Ms. Loeffler’s 29 transactions, 27 were sales. One of her two purchases was of a technology company that provides teleworking software. That stock has appreciated in recent weeks, as so many companies have ordered employees to work from home.”

Only a Republican would believe those trading stocks for the Loeffler’s “just happened” to make trades of this nature without being tipped off. If you do believe the woman then please get in touch with me IMMEDIATELY because I have a great deal for you on some swamp land in Florida.)

 

The notion that Feinstein or Johnson did something unethical, Belhar wrote, is “flat wrong.” Don Moynihan of Georgetown University agrees.

Burr’s response on Friday morning was not strong. He said that he relied on only “public news reports” about the crisis, like CNBC’s reporting from Asia, a claim that’s impossible to verify. He also said he had asked the Senate Ethics Committee to open “a complete review.”

For more …

Tucker Carlson, Fox News:

[Burr] had inside information about what could happen to our country, which is now happening, but he didn’t warn the public. He didn’t give a prime-time address. He didn’t go on television to sound the alarm. He didn’t even disavow an op-ed he’d written just 10 days before claiming America was ‘better prepared than ever’ for coronavirus. He didn’t do any of those things. Instead, what did he do? He dumped his shares in hotel stocks so he wouldn’t lose money, and then he stayed silent. Now maybe there’s an honest explanation for what he did. If there is, he should share it with the rest of us immediately. Otherwise, he must resign from the Senate …

Molly Knight: “Richard Burr should not hold government office by Monday. He needs to resign today.”

David French, The Dispatch: “The potential insider trading is dreadful and possibly criminal, but what could elevate this to a historic scandal is the idea that senators may have known enough to be alarmed for themselves yet still projected rosy scenarios to the public AND failed to make sure we were ready.”

David Frum of The Atlantic wants to know who else may have sold stock: “What did the Trump family sell, and when did they sell it?”

The Times editorial board argued in December that “members of Congress should not be allowed to buy and sell stocks, or to serve on corporate boards.”

In 2012, Robert Reich notes, Burr was one of only a small number of members to vote against a law that barred them for trading on inside information.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lock Kelly Loeffler Up!

Two United States Senators, Richard Burr, from North Carolina, and Kelly Loeffler, from Georgia, both Republicans, have been caught with their hands in the proverbial cookie jar. Excerpts from an article written by The Editorial Board of the New York Times follow, with a focus on Senator Loeffler. Loeffler was appointed to the seat vacated by Johnny Isakson by the Republican Governor, Brian Kemp. Kemp obtained office by thwarting eligible voters from voting, even when called on to resign his position as Georgia’s Secretary Of State. It is the Secretary of State who controls voting, proving it’s not just who votes, but who counts the vote. (https://whowhatwhy.org/2018/11/02/its-not-just-who-votes-its-who-counts-the-votes/)
In Georgia, as in much of the South, this has just been ‘business as usual’. The woman has no background in government. Her only qualification is MONEY! I cannot help but wonder what it cost the woman to become US Senator? When the COVID-19 virus runs its course this will change because the volcano is rumbling as I write.

Kelly Loeffler should have already resigned the office of US Senator. Since she has not resigned, the woman should resign IMMEDIATELY! Read on and you will understand why…

https://www.ajc.com/rf/image_lowres/Pub/p10/AJC/2019/12/04/Images/120519%20loeffler_AP9.JPG

Kemp taps Kelly Loeffler, financial exec, to US Senate seat (https://www.ajc.com/news/state–regional-govt–politics/breaking-kemp-taps-kelly-loeffler-financial-exec-senate-seat/cKraGpntwpFivAz0kYPFkL/)

Did Richard Burr and Kelly Loeffler Profit From the Pandemic?

At least two senators engaged in suspiciously timed stock sales. All stock trades by members of Congress should be barred.

By The Editorial Board

March 20, 2020

Crisis often brings out the best in a people. As the coronavirus spreads its devastation, countless Americans are stepping up to perform acts of heroism and compassion, both great and small, to aid their neighbors and their nation.

Then there are certain not-so-inspiring members of the United States Senate.

Richard Burr, Republican of North Carolina, and Kelly Loeffler, Republican of Georgia, are in the hot seat this week, facing questions about whether they misused their positions to shield their personal finances from the economic fallout of the pandemic, even as they misled the public about the severity of the crisis. According to analyses of their disclosure reports filed with the Senate, the lawmakers each unloaded major stock holdings during the same period they were receiving closed-door briefings about the looming pandemic.

These briefings were occurring when much of the public still had a poor grasp of the virus, in part because President Trump and many Republican officials were still publicly playing down the threat. Instead of raising their voices to prepare Americans for what was to come, Mr. Burr and Ms. Loeffler prioritized their stock portfolios, in a rank betrayal of the public trust — and possibly in violation of the law.

It is unclear precisely what information about the pandemic either Mr. Burr or Ms. Loeffler received in the briefings before their stock sales. But any use of nonpublic information in guiding such dealings would have been not only unethical but almost certainly illegal. Lawmakers and their aides are explicitly barred from using nonpublic information for trades by the STOCK Act of 2012 (the acronym stands for Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge). Mr. Burr of all people should know this, since he was one of only three senators to vote against the bill.

As chairman of the Intelligence Committee, Mr. Burr is privy to classified information about threats to America’s security. In February, his committee was receiving regular briefings about the coronavirus. He is also a member of the Health Committee, which, on Jan. 24, co-sponsored a private coronavirus briefing by top administration officials for all senators.

Ms. Loeffler, who also sits on the Health Committee, is in a similarly sticky situation. On the very day of the committee’s coronavirus briefing, she began her own stock sell-off, as originally reported by The Daily Beast. Over the next three weeks, she shed between $1,275,000 and $3.1 million worth of stock, much of it jointly owned with her husband, who is the chairman of the New York Stock Exchange. Of Ms. Loeffler’s 29 transactions, 27 were sales. One of her two purchases was of a technology company that provides teleworking software. That stock has appreciated in recent weeks, as so many companies have ordered employees to work from home.

Early Friday, Ms. Loeffler issued a statement asserting that neither she nor her husband is involved in managing her portfolio.

Even as she was shedding shares, Ms. Loeffler was talking down the threat of the coronavirus. “Democrats have dangerously and intentionally misled the American people on Coronavirus readiness,” she tweeted on Feb. 28, assuring the public that the president and his team “are doing a great job working to keep Americans healthy & safe.”

As anxiety spread, she talked up the economy. “Concerned about the #coronavirus?” she tweeted on March 10. “Remember this: The consumer is strong, the economy is strong & jobs are growing, which puts us in the best economic position to tackle #COVID19 & keep Americans safe.”

Faced with calls for his resignation from across the political spectrum, Mr. Burr on Friday issued a statement insisting that his stock sales had been based solely on public information and that he had asked the Senate Ethics Committee to “open a complete review of the matter with full transparency.”

There is pressure for Ms. Loeffler to step down as well, and the recent stock dealings of other senators are now being dissected — as well they should be.

One might have expected lawmakers to be more circumspect about even the appearance of self-dealing after what happened to the Republican Chris Collins, the former congressman from New York, who was sentenced to 26 months in prison earlier this year after pleading guilty to insider trading charges. While at a White House picnic in June 2017, Mr. Collins repeatedly called to alert his son that a small pharmaceutical company in which the family was deeply invested had failed a critical drug trial. Based on the not-yet-public information, Mr. Collins’s son unloaded his holdings in the company, avoiding hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses.

“What I’ve done has marked me for life,” Mr. Collins said tearfully at his sentencing hearing in January.

Apparently, more needs to be done to protect lawmakers from themselves. Last May, two Democratic senators, Jeff Merkley of Oregon and Sherrod Brown of Ohio, introduced legislation requiring members to place personal investments in a blind trust, or hold off on making any trades, during their time in office. They would also be prohibited from serving on corporate boards.

There may, of course, be perfectly reasonable explanations for what, initially, appears to be illegal — and morally reprehensible — behavior. Mr. Burr and Ms. Loeffler deserve the opportunity to provide those explanations. The Senate should initiate an ethics investigation of all accusations, and, if warranted, refer relevant findings for criminal prosecution

That said, explicit criminality aside, the real scandal here is the way in which these public servants misled an already anxious and confused public. In times of crisis, the American people need leaders who will rise to the occasion, not sink to their own mercenary interests.

Jimmy Carter Calls For Georgia Secretary Of State’s Resignation In Personal Plea

https://www.npr.org/2018/10/29/661727605/jimmy-carter-calls-for-georgia-secretary-of-states-resignation-in-personal-plea

Sen. Kelly Loeffler denies allegations of insider trading

https://www.fox5atlanta.com/news/sen-kelly-loeffler-denies-allegations-of-insider-trading

Potential conflicts of interest pose test for Kelly Loeffler, new Georgia senator

https://www.ajc.com/news/national-govt–politics/super-swampy-kelly-loeffler-faces-tricky-ethical-dilemma-senator/kigrORhkXTkRNkNmESAIKL/

Sen. Kelly Loeffler Dumped Millions in Stock After Coronavirus Briefing

https://www.thedailybeast.com/sen-kelly-loeffler-dumped-millions-in-stock-after-coronavirus-briefing

 

We Need Time to Absorb All This

Everyone is thinking through the reality of the coronavirus pandemic and how to rise to the occasion.

By Peggy Noonan
March 19, 2020 7:41 pm ET

https://images.wsj.net/im-166903?width=1260&size=1.5

 

Times Square in New York, March 19.

Photo: lucas jackson/Reuters

 

This is a quick piece that touches on where we are, where we may be going, and an attitude for the journey.

The screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan once said the films of Akira Kurosawa were distinguished by this dynamic: The villain has arrived while the hero is evolving. That’s what made his films great, the sense of an implacable bad guy encountering a good guy who is alive, capable of changing, who is in fact changing because of and in order to beat back the bad guy and make things safe again.

The villain is here in the form of an illness. A lot of the heroes of this story are evolving every day into something we’ll look back on months and years hence and say, “Wow, LOOK what she did.” “What guts that guy showed.” People are going to pull from themselves things they didn’t know were there.

But now, at this stage in the drama, most of the heroes are also busy absorbing. We are all of us every day trying to absorb the new reality, give it time to settle into us.

It’s all so big. We are discovering the illness as we experience it. We don’t know its secrets, how long it lasts, how long its incubation, whether you can be reinfected.

As for the economics: As the month began we had functional full employment. By the time it ends we will not, not at all. In the past week layoffs and let-gos have left state unemployment claim websites crashing. This is not “normal job disruption”; it is a cascade. The Treasury secretary reportedly said unemployment could hit 20%.

The market gains of the Trump era have been all but wiped out. Investors are selling gold. From this paper’s editorial Thursday: “American commerce is shutting down right before our eyes with no end in sight.” Flights are empty, hotel occupancy plummeting.

Where we are is a hard, bad place, stupid to deny it. Where we’re going looks to be difficult.

It’s a cliché to say we haven’t ever had a moment like this (a plague, a crash), but it’s true. As for New York, twice in 20 years we’ve been ground zero, epicenter of a national tragedy. Will we get through it? Of course. But it will change things, and change us, as 9/11 did.

The governmental instinct is right: stabilize things while everyone’s absorbing. Whatever is done will probably be an unholy mess. Do it anyway and see where we are. In the long term the best plan—the only plan—is one that attempts to keep people in their jobs. Meaning look to European models on how to help businesses hold on to their people.

There are a million warnings out there on a million serious things. We add one: Everything works—and will continue to work—as long as we have electricity. It’s what keeps the lights on, the oxygen flowing, the information going. Everything is the grid, the grid, the grid.

A general attitude for difficult times? Trust in God first and always. Talk to him.

Every time America’s in trouble I remember Adam Smith’s words. He wrote there’s “a great deal of ruin in a nation.” Especially a very great and prosperous one with a brilliant system and a creative citizenry.

And see this: We are surrounded by nobility.

Mike Luckovich

had a cartoon this week of the Marines raising the flag on Iwo Jima. Only it wasn’t Marines—it was a doctor, a scientist, a nurse and a first responder anchoring Old Glory in this rocky soil.

https://www.ajc.com/rf/image_large/Pub/p11/AJC/2020/03/18/Images/mike0319_20200318182719.jpg

It was hokey and beautiful and true. In the next few weeks and months they’ll get us through and we should thank them every way possible. That includes everyone who can’t work at home, the cops and firefighters, the garbagemen and truckers, the people who stock the shelves and man the counters. A nurse told me Thursday that hospital workers all see themselves as sitting ducks for infection, but no one’s calling in sick. A journalist friend said maybe this will reorder things and we’ll start to pay people according to their real importance to society.

A personal note. As this is written I have been sick for two weeks. It started when I was finishing a column on Rep. Jim Clyburn—I got a chill and noticed the notepad on my knee was warm. The next night more chills, took my temperature: 101.

It may be a poorly timed ordinary virus, one of the dozen floating out there in America on any given day, or it may be the more interesting one.

But everything you’ve heard about the difficulty of getting a test is true. “There are none,” said my doctor. If he sent me to the emergency room, I wouldn’t meet their criteria. You can have every symptom, but if you answer no to two questions, you won’t be tested. The questions are: Have you traveled internationally? Have you recently been in contact with someone who tested positive?

My doctor instructed me to go home, self-quarantine, rest, report back. A week in, the fever spiked up, the headaches were joined by a cough and sore throat, and I called the local government number, where they couldn’t connect me to anyone who could help.

Everyone I dealt with was compassionate and overwhelmed. On day 12 my doctor got word of testing available at an urgent-care storefront on First Avenue. When I called I was connected to a woman in Long Island. She asked for my symptoms. Then: Have you traveled internationally? Have you had recent contact with anyone who’s infected? No and no. She said, “It’s OK, I’m sure they’ll accept you.” I could hear her click “send.” She paused and said, “I’m so sorry, you don’t meet the criteria.” By now we had made friends, and she was disappointed for me.

I said, “Let’s think together. Twelve days sick, almost all the symptoms, part of an endangered demographic.” Silence. Then a brainstorm. At this point I have known a person who’s tested positive; I saw him a while back; no one has defined “recently” because no one knows the incubation period.

I said: Can we do the interview again? She said, “Let’s go.”

She went down the list of questions, and when she said, “Have you recently had contact . . .,” I said, “I believe I can say yes.”

She said, “All right.” Silence as I listened to her tap the keys. “You meet the criteria,” she said, with the sweetest excitement.

And so Tuesday night I made my way (mask, gloves) to the urgent-care storefront, where I was tested by a garrulous physician’s assistant who said his office, or New York health authorities, or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will get back to me with results in three to seven days. (Yikes.)

At this point I suppose it’s academic. If it’s positive, they’ll tell me to continue what I’m doing. But if hospitalized it would save time—presumably I wouldn’t have to be tested again. Also it would be nice to think I wasn’t just home sick, I was home developing fighting Irish antibodies spoiling for a fight.

I just want to get out and help in some way. Isn’t that what you feel? We all just want to pitch in.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/we-need-time-to-absorb-all-this-11584661302

 

Rudy
Supertramp
Produced by Supertramp & Ken Scott
Album Crime of the Century

[Verse 1: Rick Davies]
Rudy’s on a train to nowhere;
Halfway down the line
He don’t wanna get there
But he needs time

He ain’t sophisticated
Or well-educated
After all the hours he wasted-
Still he needs time

He needs time
He needs time for livin’
He needs time-
For someone just to see him

He ain’t had no lovin’
For no reason or rhyme
And the whole world’s above him

Well, it’s not as though he’s fat
Nah, there’s more to it than that
See he tried to play it cool;
Wouldn’t be nobody’s fool

Rudy thought
That all good things
Comes to those that wait
But recently
He could see
That it may come but too late

[Verse 2: Rick Davies & Roger Hodgson]
All through your life
All through the years
Nobody loved
Nobody cared
So dim the light
Dark are your fears
Try as I might
I can’t hold back the tears
How can you live?
Without love, it’s not fair
Someone said give
But I just didn’t dare
What good advice
Are you waiting to hear?
Hearing’s alright
For them that’s all there
Hearing’s alright

[Verse 3: Rick Davies & Roger Hodgson]
You’d better-
You’d better gain control now
You’d better show’em all now
You’d better make or break now
You’d better give and take now
You’ll have to push and shove now
You’ll have to find some love now
You’d better gain control now

[Outro: Roger Hodgson]

Now he’s just come out the movie-
Numb of all the pain
Sad, but in a while he’ll soon be
Back on his train
https://genius.com/Supertramp-rudy-lyrics

 

Dutch Treat

Years ago one of the Chess websites to which I would regularly surf was the Chess Cafe. (https://chesscafe.com/)

One of the main reasons to visit was the column Dutch Treat, by Hans Ree, a wonderful Chess writer.

Ree in 2018

Ree with White in 2018 has just forked a pair of rooks | Photo: Frans Peeters (https://en.chessbase.com/post/hans-ree-75-years)

Chess Cafe changed format and I stopped visiting. Imagine my surprise upon discovering GM Ree was still writing the column! I began reading and did not stop until unable to access the archives. This prompted an email to Russell Enterprises.

Michael Bacon <xpertchesslessons@yahoo.com>
To:INFO@RUSSELL-ENTERPRISES.Com
Sun, Mar 15 at 4:31 PM

To whom it may concern,

I have been unable to access the archives of Dutch Treat before 2019, Why?

Regards,

Michael Bacon

The reply came in promptly:

info@russell-enterprises.com
To:’Michael Bacon’
Sun, Mar 15 at 5:06 PM

Hi Michael:

Thanks for your message. There indeed seems to be a problem with the Dutch Treat Archives.

We will look into it and see what needs to be done to correct it.

Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

Regards,

Hanon Russell

Michael Bacon <xpertchesslessons@yahoo.com>
To:info@russell-enterprises.com
Sun, Mar 15 at 7:21 PM
Thanks Hanon!

It was only recently I learned the DT was at your website. If I had known I would have been reading every month these last few years. I will probably mention it on the blog.

All the best to you and yours during these arduous daze…

Armchair Warrior

info@russell-enterprises.com
To:’Michael Bacon’
Tue, Mar 17 at 12:17 PM

Hi Michael:

The links have been corrected. There may be one or two that do not work, but I am told that is because the underlying page cannot be found. We are working to find it (talk about a needle in a haystack!).

Perhaps you might mention to your blog readers that our facebook page is about to become more interesting. We should be releasing the 2021 International Chess Calendar in a few weeks. Beginning April 1, we will feature a brief blurb based on the calendar entry for the day. Perhaps you could ask them to “like” the Russell Enterprises facebook page.

BTW, wou can see a sample of the calendar at: https://www.russell-enterprises.com/upcoming-publications

Regards, Hanon

With the following email I informed Hanon I did not do the book of faces, but would inform readers, many of whom do utilize Facebook.

Dutch Treat can be located at: https://www.russell-enterprises.com/ 

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71tM-vfaFxL.jpg

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/517ECGVKECL.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FIDE Out Of Step With Rest Of World

The 2020 Candidates tournament began today in total disregard for what is happening in the world. This screams

how out of touch is the leadership of FIDE.

This can be seen at the FIDE website:

FIDE as the locomotive of the international chess
— Аркадий Дворкович, Президент Международной шахматной федерации

(Arkady Dvorkovich, President of the International Chess Federation)
https://en.candidates-2020.com/fide

FIDE is currently a runaway train.

Arkady Dvorkovich,

FIDE President, is only a titular figurehead. The real power behind FIDE, and therefore, International Chess, is Vladimir Putin, leader of the Russian ship of state. No decision by anyone in Russia is made without the approval of Vlad the Impaler. This is made clear in the excellent book, Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia, and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth by Rachel Maddow.

As former MSNBC host Chris Matthews

Chris Matthews

so eloquently put it, “Russia is a filling station with nukes.” Putin cannot stand being only a small “regional power,” as former POTUS Barack Obama

https://thehill.com/sites/default/files/styles/thumb_small_article/public/blogs/obama2_0.jpg?itok=5Lhux56-

so eloquently stated. Vlad longs to become the Impaler by resurrecting the old Soviet Union.

Vladimir Putin has wreaked havoc in the USA by illegally assisting the whacko, Donald John Trump, in subverting the election process in order to become POTUS. Putin has had a hand in Brexit. Vlad has impaled the rest of the world by fomenting dissension all over the globe. Where ever Putin puts his hands there is death.

It is time for the USCF to part ways with the Putin led FIDE. I call on the movers and shakers at USCF to immediately withdraw from FIDE. The United states of America, and the rest of the world, will be better for it. This is something those in power at USCF should have done a long time ago, but, frankly, there has been no one in a leadership position with the cojones to pull US out of Putin’s FIDE. It is long past time for those in charge of the USCF to “grow a pair.”

What follows is taken from Grandmaster Kevin Spraggett’s excellent website:

Vladimir Kramnik, former World Champion, has saved the reputation of the chess community proving that not all elite chess players are motherless whores only interested in easy money and online celebrity status.

Kramnik was supposed to be part of the Chess24 commentary team catering to the online chess community’s interest in the Candidates Tournament that started today.

Demonstrating utter lack of solidarity with the world community’s struggle against the lethal coronavirus that has already taken thousands of lives, Dvorkovich and some 2000 other brave (?) souls showed up for the opening ceremony last night! None of the participants appeared, apparently afraid of catching the damn virus!

Below is former World Champion Garry Kasparov’s take on things…

 

Kramnik distances himself from Dvorkovich/Covid-19

 

 

 

 

Every Picture Tells A Story, Don’t It?

Candidates Tournament opens as Kramnik says it should have been postponed

The 2020 Candidates Tournament was officially opened today in Yekaterinburg, though all 8 players exercised their right not to attend the ceremony to avoid any coronavirus risk. 14th World Chess Champion Vladimir Kramnik pulled out of commentary on chess24, telling us tonight, “I strongly believe the Candidates Tournament should have been postponed considering the nowadays disastrous humanitarian situation in the world.” The event will go on for now, however, and we have Magnus Carlsen and Peter Svidler joining for Round 1.

Is this the new normal? Ian Nepomniachtchi in a mask as the players inspect the venue | photo: Lennart Ootes, official website

https://chess24.com/en/read/news/candidates-tournament-opens-as-kramnik-calls-playing-now-humanly-wrong

Cheating Is A Dangerous Game

Think Cheating in Baseball Is Bad? Try Chess

Smartphones, buzzers, even yogurt — chess has nearly seen it all in both live and online tournaments. And just as in baseball, technology only makes it harder to root out.

By

March 15, 2020

Until the sports world ground to a halt last week over the coronavirus outbreak, perhaps the biggest issue looming over professional sports in the United States was the Houston Astros’ cheating scandal. The revelations of their scheme led Major League Baseball’s commissioner, Rob Manfred, to deliver a stern warning to all 30 club owners that there was a “culture of cheating” in the game.

But baseball’s malfeasance — sign-stealing or otherwise — has nothing on chess. At prestigious live tournaments and among thousands of others playing daily online, cheating is a scourge.

Whether it’s a secret buzzer planted in a shoe, a smartphone smuggled into the bathroom, a particular flavor of yogurt delivered at a key moment — or just online players using computerized chess programs — chess has perhaps more cheating than any other game in the world.

“Of course it is a problem,” said Leinier Domínguez, the Cuban-born player currently ranked No. 1 in the United States. “Because with all the advances in technology, it’s always a possibility. People have more chances and opportunities to do this sort of thing.”

112 (pronounced “one-twelve”) are an American R&B quartet from Atlanta, Georgia. Formerly artists on Bad Boy Records, the group signed to the Def Soul roster in 2002. They had great success in the late 1990s and early 2000s (decade) with hits such as “Only You”, “Anywhere” and the Grammy nominated single, “Peaches and Cream”. The group most notably won a Grammy in 1997 for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group, for featuring in the song “I’ll Be Missing You” with Sean Combs and Faith Evans.
https://www.lyrics.com/artist/112/182756

Dangerous Games
112

Your hands full of cards parallel to mine
With your poker face on
Forcing me to draw four (oh ah)
I took, I took, three smarter steps
Seems as if I won this round
So I scream it connect four
But, you say I’m swinging along

I don’t wanna play this game of chess anymore
‘Cause everyone knows when your queen is gone you don’t last long (yeah)
So I keep myself in checkmate love

This is a dangerous game of love
Accusing you of cheating on us baby
Cheating on love baby
And I know that is so dangerous just because I do the same baby
Cheating on love baby
Dangerous games, ah baby
Dangerous games

Ooh love
Every night you and I live a lie lying in bed baby
Take a lie to the head playing Russian roulette baby (roulette baby)
How can I guarantee we’ll survive playing with fire, huh
Used to being dangerous, dangerous

I don’t wanna play this game of chess anymore
‘Cause everyone knows when your queen is gone you don’t last long
So I keep myself in checkmate love

This is a dangerous game of love
Accusing you of cheating on us baby
Cheating on love baby
And I know that is so dangerous just because I do the same baby
Cheating on love baby
Dangerous games, ah baby
Dangerous games

Ooh love
And they say that all is fair
When it comes to love and war
I don’t wanna play the game no more
Tell me what you are fighting for
We have too much to lose
If we continue keeping score

This is a dangerous game of love (is a dangerous game)
Accusing you of cheating on us baby (cheating on us baby)
Cheating on love baby (cheating on love baby)
And I know that is so dangerous just because I do the same baby
Cheating on love baby
Dangerous games
https://www.lyrics.com/lyric/34521740/112/Dangerous+Games