Captain of Aircraft Carrier with Growing Coronavirus Outbreak Pleads for Help from Navy

My father was a Radioman for the U S Navy during Wordl War II. “Radioman (RM) was a rating for United States Navy and United States Coast Guard enlisted personnel, specializing in communications technology.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radioman) This was a time when “communications” were done using “Morse code is a method used in telecommunication to encode text characters as standardized sequences of two different signal durations, called dots and dashes or dits and dahs. Morse code is named for Samuel Morse, an inventor of the telegraph.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morse_code) After the war my father became what was called a “ham,” short for radio operator. It was his avocation allowing him to keep in touch with other former Radiomen, and other “hams.” “Amateur radio, also known as ham radio, is the use of radio frequency spectrum for purposes of non-commercial exchange of messages, wireless experimentation, self-training, private recreation, radiosport, contesting, and emergency communication. The term “amateur” is used to specify “a duly authorised person interested in radioelectric practice with a purely personal aim and without pecuniary interest;”[1] (either direct monetary or other similar reward) and to differentiate it from commercial broadcasting, public safety (such as police and fire), or professional two-way radio services (such as maritime, aviation, taxis, etc.).” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amateur_radio)

My father would take me with him to something called a “Hamfest.” What I recall from those days was how nice to me were the other “hams.” He wanted me to get into ham radio and was disappointed when I showed little interest. Nevertheless, I listened, and learned. Three decades later I brought Gary Southerland, a Viet Nam vet and a chess playing “ham” to visit my father. They went down below to the radio room while I visited with my Mother. They were there for hours, with Gary eating lunch with my folks. On the way back to Gary’s apartment we talked about ham radio. Astounded at what I knew, Gary blurted, “You could be a HAM!” I disabused him of the notion by informing him I did not do Morse code.

Gene Nix is, among other things, Treasurer of the South Carolina Chess Association. Gene was nothing less than wonderful to me during my time in Greenville some time ago. Gene is also a retired Naval Officer, and a gentleman. Dean Creech lives in Greenville and found his way to Chess late in life. Before things took a drastic change for the worse Dean was playing, and directing tournaments in Greenville after retiring. Mr. Creech is also a Naval Officer.

Decades ago I met a young man through budding Doctor Frank Blaydes when he was attending classes at Georgia Tech. Jim R. was in Naval ROTC. When learning of my passion for the poetry for Robert Service, Jim R. purchased a large book containing three volumes of Service verse. After reading it Jim inscribed the book and gave it to me as a gift. He did this because, unlike most gamblers, I freely shared my approach to playing Backgammon. I did this because I was also a Chess player, and Chess players often shared their knowledge simply for the love of the game. Gamblers have an expression, “You’ve gotta pay to play.” For sharing with the younger fellows I was called “God.” Jim R. was chosen for submarine service. Many sailors want to become a part of the Submarine corp but few are chosen. Jim R. went into another world and I never saw him again. Frank became an MD. To be more specific, he was a GP, or General practitioner. In the medical profession, a general practitioner (GP) is a medical doctor who treats acute and chronic illnesses and provides preventive care and health education to patients. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_practitioner) A GP is more commonly called a “Family Doctor.” This was at a time when most students were going into some kind of specialized care, which paid much more than a GP. Frank was from Hahira, Georgia, which is located in Southern Georgia. In order to cover more territory, because of the lack of Doctors in that part of our state, Frank learned to fly. While watching the news one evening I learned of the death of Frank Blaydes, MD, when his plane hit a tower in the fog. Needless to say, I was devastated.

These people put their lives on the line every day in service to our country. Some, like Jerry Waller, from my high school, was the battalion commander of three high school ROTC’s. Each year only one cadet is chosen to lead all three schools. He wanted to like General George Patton. Jerry died in Viet Nam and his name is the only one I know on the Viet Nam wall. I went to Central City Park when the mobile Viet Nam wall was there to view his name.

One of the boys who lived across the street from me, Tommy Twaites, joined the Army as Viet Nam was beginning. He died when loading a ship when something gave way and a couple of tons of material landed on him. Although this was during ‘Nam Tommy is not on the Viet Nam wall because he was stateside. The material was headed for Viet Nam.

I practically lived at a Boys Club while growing up. One of the adults working there was a young fellow on scholarship while attending Georgia Tech, a position I later earned. The first time we met he was reading a Model Railroad magazine. When asked if I could look at it, he replied, “You know something about model trains?” I told him about the gentleman who had lived next door to us who had a “layout” in his attic. I was the only boy in the neighborhood ever allowed in his “train room.” We bonded right then and there. I regret age has taken a tole and I can no longer recall his name, but I do know that he went to ‘Nam, and did not return.

These people I have known offered, and sometimes gave, their lives for this country. I dedicate this post to each and every one mentioned, and must include my friend, former Chess Champion of California, Dennis Fritzinger, who served in ‘Nam.

I urge you to read the following article. Unfortunately, the Captain is not the only one pleading for help which has not been forthcoming. In addition, if you deem it worthy, please forward it to someone you know, keeping in mind I do not, and have never earned one cent while writing this blog.

Exclusive: Captain of aircraft carrier with growing coronavirus outbreak pleads for help from Navy

Matthias Gafni and Joe Garofoli March 31, 2020 Updated: March 31, 2020 4 p.m.

https://s.hdnux.com/photos/01/11/31/23/19240177/5/gallery_xlarge.jpg

“The captain of a nuclear aircraft carrier with more than 100 sailors infected with the coronavirus pleaded Monday with U.S. Navy officials for resources to allow isolation of his entire crew and avoid possible deaths in a situation he described as quickly deteriorating.

The unusual plea from Capt. Brett Crozier, a Santa Rosa native, came in a letter obtained exclusively by The Chronicle and confirmed by a senior officer on board the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt, which has been docked in Guam following a COVID-19 outbreak among the crew of more than 4,000 less than a week ago.

“This will require a political solution but it is the right thing to do,” Crozier wrote. “We are not at war. Sailors do not need to die. If we do not act now, we are failing to properly take care of our most trusted asset — our Sailors.”

https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/Exclusive-Captain-of-aircraft-carrier-with-15167883.php

USS Theodore Roosevelt and USS America Combat Force

IM Kassa Korley and Hairy Chess

During the second or third grade my father took me to see the neighborhood barber, who, like most of the men in the neighborhood, had fought in the “Big One,” World War II. Mr. Cole had a barbershop in his back yard and supplemented his income by cutting hair at night and on Saturday. For some reason my father decided what I needed was a “flat-top.” Upon returning home my mother took one look at me and screamed, “I’m gonna KILL HIM!” My father was not the only one frightened…Since I played all sports not having hair was a real good thing, so it stayed that way until the summer before my senior year, when I let it grow, and grow…and grow some more…The picture in the high school yearbook was of me and my buzz-cut. This would have been the summer of 1967, as I graduated in spring of 1968. The thick, wavy hair looked longer than it was in reality. Still, there were those “straight” people who did not like it. The school principal informed me that I would have to obtain a haircut immediately or would not be allowed to continue playing on the Baseball team. It is still somewhat unclear what exactly happened next, but the recollection is of Coach Jackson “having a talk” with the principal. The net result was I no longer had to get my hair cut, and could still play Baseball…After graduating high school I took a year off before attending college on a scholarship from the Boys Club, where I worked part-time while attending college. Many years later my nephew saw pictures of me during those years with the beard and long hair and said, “Uncle Mike, you looked like Jesus!” I only wish I had some of that hair now…

‘It’s a racial issue’: Mom slams ‘sexist’ school policy prohibiting boys from having long hair

Elizabeth Di Filippo Yahoo Canada Style•January 28, 2020

A U.K. mom is speaking out against school policies which she says restrict boys from having long hair.

Bonnie Miller has helped her son Farouk James

amass more than 274,000 followers on Instagram by sharing photos of eight-year-old and his long, naturally textured hair.

According to Miller, the decision to allow Farouk to grow out his hair was “cultural.” He was initially encouraged by his father’s Ghanian family to not cut his hair until he was three. As Farouk’s hair grew, the child model developed an emotional attachment to his “unique and beautiful” hair which Miller affectionately calls his “mane.”

While researching secondary schools for her son, Miller said she was surprised to learn that several maintained strict policies prohibiting boys from having long hair. The family’s top choice, Fulham Boys School in West London, currently has regulations regarding hair length which Miller believes are “out of date” and discriminatory against children of colour.

“Hairstyles should be tidy and of a conventional nature, no extreme haircuts including sculpting, shaving, dreadlocks or braiding are allowed. The maximum hair length is above the collar and the minimum hair length is a number 2 cut,” the Church of England secondary school’s policy states. “Hair must be one natural colour. Parents are strongly advised to seek advice on the acceptability of hairstyles that may be considered ‘different’ before allowing their son to adopt such a style. School reserves the right to insist on re-styling if it considers the style inappropriate.”

Although Farouk

won’t attend secondary school for another two years, Miller said her son has become “terrified” at the thought of cutting his hair in order to be admitted to the school.

“It’s a racial issue,” Miller told Good Morning America (GMA). “We all know what kind of boys would have dreadlocks and braids. Generally, it’s black boys or mixed boys. We’re not talking about Caucasian children here… it’s very unlikely.”

https://www.yahoo.com/news/mom-slams-sexist-school-policy-for-long-hair-214238479.html

While researching this article I found a plethora of other articles concerning the “problem” of a male child with long hair. Why is it that so-called “conventional” type people care so much about how a child, any child, boy or girl of any color, styles their hair? Why is it that so-called “establishment” type people demand conformity?

Bullying Story Spurs Apology From Romney

By ASHLEY PARKER  and JODI KANTOR

May 10, 2012

The day after President Obama endorsed gay marriage, Mitt Romney

found himself responding to allegations that as a teenager he harassed a prep school classmate who later came out as gay.

The account put Mr. Romney, who has struggled on the campaign trail to cast off his rivals’ image of him as privileged and insensitive, on the defensive about events nearly 50 years ago.

The episode, reported by The Washington Post, occurred at Cranbrook, a private school that Mr. Romney, the son of an automobile executive-turned-governor, attended in Michigan. Mr. Romney returned from spring break in his senior year to find that John Lauber, a quiet, offbeat type, had bleached his hair blond.

Mr. Romney, brandishing a pair of scissors, led other boys on a hunt for Mr. Lauber, teasing him and holding him down while Mr. Romney snipped off his long locks.

Since the election was close this story could possibly have contributed to Mitt not becoming POTUS. Unfortunately, being a bully did not stop Donald John Trump from becoming POTUS to the detriment of all of US.

One of the great things about working at the Atlanta Chess & Game Center ‘back in the day’ was that one encountered all kinds of people form all over the world. When I think of the people who came to the House of Pain I think of the vibrantly colorful characters and all the different styles of EVERYTHING, but with one thing in common. CHESS!

Looks like he could be a chessplayer.

IM Kassa Korley
Photo by CCC

Kassa Korley IS a Chessplayer!

Kassa Korley earns first GM norm!

 

https://players.chessbase.com/en/player/Korley_Kassa/133904

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVtZgeH7mk5rKpIFjHkI9oA

https://podbay.fm/podcast/1185023674/e/1525172400

Back Channel: A Review

One of the essays contained in the book, “Fools Rush Inn: More Detours on the Way to Conventional Wisdom,” by Bill James is titled, “Jumping the Fictional Shark.” It begins, “It is within human nature, I think, to become less interested in fiction as we age.” Bill is not a polished writer, a fact many have pointed out, as can be seen by his use of “I think” above. It is unnecessary for Bill to use “I think” because since he is writing, one assumes he thinks. Bill does this kind of thing often. Since I am writing, it is not necessary that I write, “in my opinion.” Hopefully, a reader will know it is my opinion without my having to inform him of that fact. I, and many others, read Bill for his ideas.
What he thinks about reading less fiction as we age is applicable to me, and, I assume, many other aging readers. The love of my life said to me thirty years ago, “You don’t read fiction.” Gail had a point. I read made up stories when younger and had little interest in them as an adult. I read mostly non-fiction because it was interesting. Even the fiction I read was of the historical fiction variety.

Having read extensively on the subject of the JFK assassination not only have I read about the crime itself, but I have read about the surrounding climate during the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. As POTUS, JFK read a book, “The Guns of August,” by Barbara Tuchman, and was so impressed that he ordered many copies and distributed it to those in his administration. The book is about what led to what is now called the “First World War,” and it won a Pulitzer Prize. Immersing oneself in the milieu of that time naturally means reading extensively about what is now called the “Cuban Missile Crisis.” I had just turned eleven during that time and although I, like every other grammar school child in the country, was made to practice a “duck and cover” maneuver, which now seems preposterous, in which we got down on our knees underneath the desk and covered our little noggin’ with our hands. This we would do to “protect” ourselves in the event of a nuclear war. I was not into the “nightly news blues” at that age, but can still recall the gravity of the situation by how the adults reacted. My questions were invariably met with, You are too young” for the answers and to “go out and play.” I loathed being treated in this fashion. Fortunately for me, I lived near a Boys Club, and the adults there would answer the questions left unanswered by the adults in my neighborhood. JFK was reviled by most, if not all, of the adults with whom I had contact and this only worsened the longer he held office. One rarely reads of the depth of how much the POTUS was loathed and detested in the South. I have often wondered if that was the reason so many mediocre Republican’s were installed, or maybe I should say, “selected” to be POTUS. It has also made me wonder how it came about that a fellow Georgian, Jimmy Carter, ever obtained the position of POTUS.

Having read something about a new book by Stephen L. Carter, the author of “The Emperor of Ocean Park,” a novel written about in Chess Life magazine years ago, I was familiar with him, so I decided to check out the book after reading he had used chess as a backdrop. I mean, what could be better than a novel on two of my favorite subjects? When first looking over the book I read this on the back cover, thinking it about the book I was holding in my hands, “There’s a lot going on in this big, smart book…Lofty legal arguments coincide with a grittier plot…What makes this novel so vastly entertaining is the author’s sharp skewering of politicians, lawyers, and the monied social class that runs Washington.” -Kate Tuttle, The Boston Globe. That sounded interesting! Unfortunately, Kate was writing about Mr. Carter’s earlier book, “The Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln. “ABRAHAM LINCOLN?! OH NO, MR. BILL. NOT ANOTHER BOOK ON THE DEVIL HIMSELF!” I thought.

Even though I purchased a used copy of “The Emperor of Ocean Park,” I never got around to reading it. It is rather humorous that I would look at the book and think, “All those pages,” but when looking at a book like, for example, “Legacy of Secrecy: The Long Shadow of the JFK Assassination,” by Lamar Waldron and Thom Hartmann, which is even larger and contains even more pages, I would think, “Look at all that meat!”

It being my birthday, I decided to read something different, and “Back Channel” fit the bill. Did it ever…I do not have words to tell you how much I enjoyed the book, so I will use some old cliches. I was “riveted” because it was a “page turner” that I “could not put down.” This after being put off by the use of a 19 year virgin black girl as the protagonist, which I found preposterous in the same way I found Will Smith playing the part of Jim West in the movie “The Wild Wild West.” I mean, come on, Negros were not members of the Secret Service until JFK became POTUS. I usually like my fiction to have some basis in reality. Then I thought, “OK, it is, after all, fiction, and if I had been born a Negro maybe I would write fiction using a Negro character.” Reading on, I came to understand what genius it was for this writer to have used the characters he chose.
I have always detested a reviewer who gives away too much of a book, and for that reason have preferred to read the book before the review. I have chosen only a little of the book to give you an idea of what this wonderful book contains.

“Viktor frowned. Definitely nyekulturny. Uncultured. To speak so casually about violence. Typical of the sort of man who rose to authority in a country that had never faced extermination, as the Motherland had.”

This made me think of Oliver Stone’s TV Series documentary, “The Untold History of the United States,” and how little, most of it wrong, we Americans understand of what is happening in Ukraine today. Often it is better to see things from another perspective, as in the case of a game of chess. Players must try and understand what an opponent wants, and what he is willing to do to obtain what he wants.

“In Russia, we have a proverb,” he said. “If you’re afraid of the wolves, you shouldn’t go into the woods.”

This reminded me of IM Boris Kogan, who was always sharing “Russian proverbs.”
“Few Americans probably realized the extent to which the military had become a law unto itself, in effect a separate branch of government. The Congress controlled its budget but gave the generals whatever they wanted, and the President was the commander in chief when he had time and they had the inclination. the system worked because the American military was run by men of unparalleled integrity.
Most of the time.”

You are probably asking yourself, “This is a novel, right?”

“Because your reporters are like the birds who eat carrion. They produce little of value, and feed off the remains of what others have left. They will destroy the reputation of your President for profit. the First Amendment is the tragedy of your system. In my country, we protect the reputations of our leaders, because in that way we protect the reputation and integrity of the Party, and therefore of the country and the people.”

Bill Clinton would say, “Amen, brother! Right on. Right on. Right on!”

“Bundy recognized the frustration in Bobby’s voice, and knew he had to avoid sounding too professional. The Kennedy’s were an impetuous clan, not thin-skinned, precisely, but quick to detect condescension. He addressed himself to the older brother.”

Sounds like Mr. Carter goes way back with the Kennedy clan, does it not?

“The way your mind works is fascinating,” he said, not turning. When you put the facts together that way, yes, you can reach the conclusion you suggest. But in the analysis of intelligence information, we have a word for people who make up their minds too quickly and then try to make the evidence fit. We call the amateurs.”

Here in America, we call them Bushwhackers, for that is EXACTLY the description of how we got BUSHWHACKED into going to war in Iraq
.
This is a magnificent book written by a brilliant writer. I do not read enough fiction to judge, but it is possible that Stephen Carter could be the best author, or at least one of the best authors currently writing fiction. Read this book and you can leave a comment and thank me later. Send this review to anyone you know who enjoys good fiction. Because every one has heard of the parlor game of “Six Degrees of Bacon,” based on the “six degrees of separation” concept, which posits that any two people on Earth are six or fewer acquaintance links apart, I know some reader either knows Bill James, or knows someone who knows him, so at least send Bill the URL and maybe he will decide to make an exception and read a book of fiction!

Forty seconds into this video you will see these words by the Devil Abraham Lincoln:
“I destroy my enemies when I make them my friends.”
The man made an awful lot of “friends” in the South before John Wilkes Booth made the Devil a friend.

Abraham * Martin and John *** Dion