General States Rights Gist

One of the things most liked about writing a blog is the people met via the internet. There are many “followers” of the AW, and I check out all of them. An example would be the blog, Amanda Likes To Travel (http://amandalikestotravel.com/). I have lived vicariously through the written words of Amanda, because I, too, liked to travel. Amanda has not written lately and I can only hope it is because Amanda, like most of us, has hunkered down during the COVID-19 crisis. Maybe Amanda will consider temporarily changing the blog to, “Hunkering down with Amanda.”

Sometimes emails are received from readers, which means being in contact with people all over the world because of writing the AW. Recently an email was received from a young lady who lives in one of the northern states. She wrote, “Since you live and write about the south, I want to know about states rights.” She had noticed a map showing the states who had yet to impose restrictions for the people of that particular state, most being in the South.

How to answer such a question in a blog post?

From the book, The Day Dixie Died,

https://images.macmillan.com/folio-assets/macmillan_us_frontbookcovers_350W/9781429945752.jpg

by Gary Ecelbarger:

“The elation of the conquerors disintegrated, for the Ohioans had then exposed themselves to a counterpunch. That left hook came in the form of Georgia and South Carolina infantry. Those were the four regiments commanded by a man with the most unique birth name in the war-Brigadier General States Rights Gist, who was born during South Carolina’s nullification crisis of 1832. Gist’s father named him as a symbol of the state’s resolve, one that was enacted twenty-eight years later when South Carolina became the first of eleven Southern states to seceded from the United States. General Gist was an experienced, brave, and resilient commander. The day before the battle, Gist was struck in the back by an enemy bullet, a glancing shot that hit him close to his spine, but did not lodge within him. The general shrugged it off; a surgeon dressed the wound, and he was back in the saddle almost immediately.”

The United States is a collection of fifty sovereign states. The first state, Delaware, was ratified on December 7, 1787. The Great State of Georgia was the fourth state to ratify, doing so on January 2, 1788. My home state was the first Southern state. The Great State of South Carolina, the eighth state to ratify on May 23, 1788, was the second Southern state. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_by_date_of_admission_to_the_Union)

In addition, this is also found at Wikipedia:

A state of the United States is one of the 50 constituent entities that shares its sovereignty with the federal government. Americans are citizens of both the federal republic and of the state in which they reside, due to the shared sovereignty between each state and the federal government.[1] Kentucky, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Virginia use the term commonwealth rather than state in their full official names.

States are the primary subdivisions of the United States. They possess all powers not granted to the federal government, nor prohibited to them by the United States Constitution. In general, state governments have the power to regulate issues of local concern, such as: regulating intrastate commerce, running elections, creating local governments, public school policy, and non-federal road construction and maintenance. Each state has its own constitution grounded in republican principles, and government consisting of executive, legislative, and judicial branches. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_by_date_of_admission_to_the_Union)

That is pretty cut and dry, is it not? Still…The fact is that the South was much more prosperous than the north prior to the war because cotton was king.

“In 1860, 5 of the 10 wealthiest states in the US are slave states; 6 of the top 10 in per capita wealth; calculated just by white population, 8 of 10. The single wealthiest county per capita was Adams County, Mississippi. As a separate nation in 1860, the South by itself would have been the world’s 4th wealthiest, ahead of everyone in Europe but England. Italy did not enjoy an equivalent level of per capita wealth until after WWII; the South’s per capita growth rate was 1.7%, 1840-60, 1/3 higher than the North’s and among the greatest in history.

from Walter Johnson, “King Cotton’s Long Shadow,” NY Times (4/30/13):

… In his Second Inaugural Address, Lincoln said he feared God would will the war to continue “until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword.” This reckoning of the value of slaves in blood and treasure raises an important, though too frequently overlooked, question. What was the role of slavery in American economic development?

The most familiar answer to that question is: not much. By most accounts, the triumph of freedom and the birth of capitalism are seen as the same thing. The victory of the North over the South in the Civil War represents the victory of capitalism over slavery, of the future over the past, of the factory over the plantation. In actual fact, however, in the years before the Civil War, there was no capitalism without slavery. The two were, in many ways, one and the same.” (http://inside.sfuhs.org/dept/history/US_History_reader/Chapter5/southernecon.html)

The people of the northern states wanted more Southern money and enacted the Morrill Tariff (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morrill_Tariff) in order to obtain more money, which caused the South to rebel.

Charles Dickens,

https://www.dickensfellowship.org/sites/default/files/images/young-charles-dickens.jpg

from his journal, All the Year Round, observed, “The last grievance of the South was the Morrill tariff, passed as an election bribe to the State of Pennsylvania, imposing, among other things, a duty of no less than fifty per cent on the importation of pig iron, in which that State is especially interested.” (https://medium.com/@jonathanusa/everything-you-know-about-the-civil-war-is-wrong-9e94f0118269)

English author Charles Dickens said: “The Northern onslaught against Southern slavery is a specious piece of humbug designed to mask their desire for the economic control of the Southern states.” Southern states contributed approximately 70 percent of the government revenue. (https://www.delmarvanow.com/story/opinion/columnists/2017/06/17/civil-war-confederacy-monuments-history/102845176/)

A terrible war was fought over control of wealth. The northern people won the war and got the wealth. They could have done anything they wanted, like building schools for the freed slaves in order to educate them and “bring them up to speed.” The victors could have rebuilt the South. Instead they left the South alone, possibly fearing the Southern people would again secede. That was not going to happen because the Southern people were completely devastated. It would be many generations before the South could even consider doing anything with the yankee boot on their necks. General Robert E. Lee

https://i0.wp.com/www.let.rug.nl/usa/images/lee.jpg

said to former Governor of Texas, Fletcher Stockdale, in 1870:  “Governor, if I had forseen the use those people designed to make use of their victory, there would have been no surrender at Appomattox; no, sir, not by me. Had I forseen these results of subjugation, I would have preferred to die at Appomattox with my brave men, my sword in my right hand.” That sword had previously belonged to George Washington, the Father of our country. The Federal gov’mint let the Southerners do its thing while turning a blind eye to segregation for a century, until one man, the outspoken Dr. Martin Luther King,

https://media1.s-nbcnews.com/j/newscms/2017_03/1866931/ss-170116-martin-luther-king-jr-22_73b4dc9496463b3c467cd2c4579bae09.fit-880w.JPG

led his people in the streets, demanding equality.

Just so you will know exactly how I feel about the past of my South a story  will related from my youth.  Members of our extended family in the house and the television was on and it showed black people marching right there in downtown Atlanta. The usual Southern things could be heard, such as, “They oughta be put in jail,” and “They oughta be sent back to where they came from.” I cringed upon hearing one family member say, “They oughta be LYNCHED!”

The room became deathly quiet when I said, “I dunno…if I had dark skin I would be right out there marching with them.”

After being told by my Mother to “Go outside,” I did just that. On the way out I heard one say, “Mary, your boy ain’t right.”

Mother responded, “Michael has a mind of his own.”

Boldly Going Where No Man Has Gone Before

About a decade ago while living in Louisville I was a gate chief at the Kentucky state fair. A much younger man informed me there was a problem with “some jerk” without a pass who was attempting to enter the main gate. As I walked over to the car, a silver Rolls Royce, I saw a lovely blood in the passenger seat before seeing William Shatner, Captain Kirk of Star Trek fame, in the drivers seat. “Do you know who I am?” he inquired. “Do I know who you are? EVERYONE knows who you are, Captain!” The response was a huge smile. “Except this fellow,” Mr. Shatner said. The problem was he had forgotten his gate pass. I had previously seen the car and knew it was the Captain’s vehicle. I turned to the young man and said, “My God man, this man is one of the most well known American icons. Where have you been?” Of course I let the Captain enter without proper credentials, because, well, you know, we are talking about The Captain of the Enterprise here, right? I was a Trekkie back in the day. One of the wags at the House of Pain was a huge fan of another space type television show. I brought the house down when saying, “The difference between us is that I boldly go where no man has gone while you, sir, are lost in space!”

Star Trek icon William Shatner, 88, plans space trip and doesn’t care if he dies

The ageing star’s most famous role is that of Captain James T Kirk, but if his new TV show gets the green light, he won’t be driving the USS Enterprise at warp speed to get there

By Dave Paul
William Shatner is 88 but claims he is mentally and physically fitter than ever (Image: Getty)

Star Trek legend William Shatner plans to go into Space for real – at the age of 88.

TV chiefs want him to be one of the world’s first space tourists aboard one of the commercial rockets which could take off as early as this year.

Shatner shot to fame 54 years ago as Captain James T Kirk on the inter-­galactic USS Enterprise with the mission “to boldly go”.

Now he has pitched the idea of a real-life space adventure to TV chiefs in the US and they are enthusiastic.

He said: “I’ve tried to sell a show and I believe I have. But an announcement I’ll make in the weeks to come about me going into space… it looks likely.

William Shatner as Captain James T. Kirk in 1969 (Image: Getty)

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/us-news/star-trek-icon-william-shatner-21214563

It was disconcerting to read the caption underneath the picture of William Shatner. When I hear a fellow Senior say something that stupid it makes me cringe because no human being aged eighty eight is “mentally and physically fitter than ever.” Those who say such things are, quite simply, out of what is left of their mind. Nevertheless, if the Captain wants to end his days boldly going out there all I can say is, keep on trucking, Captain!

Reading the New South

The following article appeared in the venerable New York Times after the last post was composed, and posted, as if by synchronicity…

After getting to know a little about me a fellow in Louisville, Kentucky, Rick Rothenberg, from Indiana, said I reminded him of another Southerner he had known earlier. Rick said, “The man was so Southern he would not even go out of the house if the wind was blowing from the north!”

Reading the New South

A group of forward-thinking, upstart journals and websites are exploding the stereotypes so many attach to this place and its people.

By Margaret Renkl

Contributing opinion writer

Sept. 17, 2018


Some of Lyndsey Gilpin’s collection of books on the South.CreditCreditAndrew Spear for The New York Times

NASHVILLE — I was a graduate student in Philadelphia when James Watt, the former Secretary of the Interior of the United States, came to campus in 1984. Mr. Watt’s brief tenure in federal office was characterized by an almost cartoonish villainy. Rolling Stone magazine called his attitude toward the environment a “rip-and-ruin view of our natural resources, land, water, parks and wilderness.” That night Watt argued for letting each state set its own air- and water-safety standards, a position that makes no sense if you’re aware that rivers and winds don’t respect state borders.

During the Q. and A., I took my turn at the microphone to make this point. “Sir,” I said, “I’m from Alabama.” Instantly that giant audience of Pennsylvanians broke into laughter. Who was this cracker daring to voice an opinion about federal environmental policy?

Well, that was 1984, you’re probably thinking. Today we don’t judge people by their accents any more than we judge them by their skin color. People know better now.

Except they don’t. The political polarization of our own day means that a region like the South, a red voting bloc in national elections, is a source of continual liberal ridicule, no matter the subject. In June I wrote about the transcendently beautiful Mobile-Tensaw Delta, one of the most ecologically diverse places in the country. When I posted the link on Facebook with a note about its magic, someone commented, “Except that it’s in Alabama.” As though nothing in the whole state could possibly have any value at all.

As stereotypes go, this one surely doesn’t rank among the top 10 most objectionable human prejudices, but it stings even so. Fortunately there is plenty of on-the-ground proof to counter it. Among the most important is a raft of publications, many so new they’re still on shaky financial footing, that aim to convey the genuine complexities of the modern American South. They are planted in the South and created by Southerners, people who love this place but who nevertheless see it all too truly.

Unlike lifestyle glossies like Southern Living and Garden & Gun (which is assiduously apolitical, despite what its name might suggest), these publications blast past sweet-tea-and-moonshine preconceptions to convey the nuances of a region where people are rarely as ornery and dumb as they’re held to be in the national imagination.

The oldest of them is the Oxford American, founded in Oxford, Miss., but now based in Conway, Ark., which was first launched in 1992. (A print quarterly, it has foundered a number of times over the years, ceasing publication until new funding arrived, which somehow always has.) In many ways, it set the tone for all the publications that followed, celebrating the artistic innovations of the region but refusing to gloss over its manifold shortcomings.

The latest issue includes a nonfiction report by Kelsey Norris on a Nashville oral-history project focusing on the descendants of slaves; Beth Macy’s profile of the Appalachian playwright and novelist Robert Gipe; “Bikers,” a poem by the Virginia native Kate Daniels about her brothers (“What foreign lives they lived / With their deer hunts, and their / Love of speed, and their boring jobs / In factories”) and a short story by David Wesley Williams about a hitchhiker stuck in West Memphis, Ark. The story is called “Stay Away From Places With Directions in Their Names.”

The tagline for Facing South, an online publication of the progressive Institute for Southern Studies in Durham, N.C., is “A Voice for a Changing South.” The site focuses on politics, history and human rights, with recent articles on voting rights during Reconstruction, South Carolina’s present refusal to evacuate convicts in advance of Hurricane Florence and delays in compensation for people sickened by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

Scalawag, another nonprofit publication out of Durham, also reports regional politics with a progressive eye, though it covers regional art and literature, too, and includes a section titled, simply, “Witness.” The magazine, which is published online and in print, fosters “critical conversations about the many Souths where we live, love and struggle” and aims to empower “activists, artists and writers to reckon with Southern realities as they are, rather than as they seem to be.” Recent stories confront toxic masculinity, explain how to fight racism through the auspices of craft beer, collect a range of Latinx poetry from around the American South, and report on Syrian cuisine in small-town Georgia.

The Southern Foodways Alliance, based in Oxford, Miss., publishes a print quarterly called Gravy. Despite its name, the journal does more than report on cuisine, continuing the work of the alliance itself by showcasing, through food, “a South that is constantly evolving, accommodating new immigrants, adopting new traditions and lovingly maintaining old ones.” The latest issue includes an article on “The Queer Pleasures of Tammy Wynette’s Cooking” by Mayukh Sen and a profile by Osayi Endolyn of Joe Stinchcomb, an African-American bartender who invented five new cocktails, to celebrate Black History Month. The drinks had names like “Blood on the Leaves” and “(I’m Not Your) Negroni,” and they definitely raised some hackles down there in Mississippi.

For anyone still hoping to define Southern literature, storySouth is an online literary journal based in Greensboro, N.C. It publishes “the best fiction, creative nonfiction and poetry that writers from the New South have to offer,” according to its website. Subjects that seem to play into regional stereotypes can be found there at times. The current issue features a poem called “Roadkill” by Megan Blankenship and one by William Woolfitt called “Grassy Branch Pentecostal Church, Face of Christ on Tin,” for example. But read the poems: This is not your unlamented Agrarian’s Southern literature.

Perhaps the liveliest of the whole bunch is an absolutely wonderful online publication called The Bitter Southerner, an irreverent Atlanta-based site that truly covers the cultural waterfront, celebrating the lunacy of genuine homegrown geniuses, lifting up the unsung heroes of the region, and peeking behind the veil of great cultural institutions, and all while holding power to account in a part of the world where power has too often lost its uneducated mind.

But it’s the newest of these publications that most often captures my own attention these days. Southerly began in late 2016 as a weekly newsletter of investigative journalism, plus curated links to “News Flying Under the Radar” by other journalists around the region. Until this summer, when it received a grant from Solutions Journalism Network, it was funded entirely by Patreon subscribers, who monthly contribute an average of five dollars each through an online portal. Those supporters are still crucial to its survival. Lyndsey Gilpin — the magazine’s founder, editor and publisher — is a Northwestern University-trained journalist based in her hometown, Louisville, Ky., and her weekly reports from impoverished and often oppressed corners of the South have given a microphone to people whose voices are rarely heard in conversations about climate change, environmental exploitation or economic disparity.


Lyndsey Gilpin, founder of Southerly, an online magazine, near her home in Louisville, Ky.CreditAndrew Spear for The New York Times

In July, Southerly grew into a full-fledged “independent media organization” that “covers the intersection of ecology, justice and culture in the American South,” according to its new website, and already it is taking no prisoners. The site — in partnership with The Montgomery Advertiser and Scalawag — launched with a four-part series on the breakout of tropical diseases in the rural South owing to failing sewage infrastructure. On Sept. 22, Southerly will convene a public discussion in Hayneville, Ala., about poverty-related illnesses and how communities can address the governmental crisis that spawned them.

Southerly’s mission statement sets out some uncompromising goals: “This region stands to bear the brunt and lose the most from the effects of climate change. It is experiencing massive economic shifts from a changing energy industry. The South is the fastest urbanizing area of the United States, but it is also the most economically distressed. Southerners deserve a publication that covers the nuances of their environment, history and communities without being condescending or stereotypical, without parachuting in from large metropolitan areas. The rest of the world deserves to know about the creative ways communities here are adapting to these changes, and the challenges that come with that.”

You could almost call it a mission statement for celebrating — and transforming — the South itself.

We Don’t Need No Education

We Don’t Need No Education

By Paul Krugman

April 23, 2018

Matt Bevin, the conservative Republican governor of Kentucky, lost it a few days ago. Thousands of his state’s teachers had walked off their jobs, forcing many schools to close for a day, to protest his opposition to increased education funding. And Bevin lashed out with a bizarre accusation: “I guarantee you somewhere in Kentucky today a child was sexually assaulted that was left at home because there was nobody there to watch them.”

He later apologized. But his hysterical outburst had deep roots: At the state and local levels, the conservative obsession with tax cuts has forced the G.O.P. into what amounts to a war on education, and in particular a war on schoolteachers. That war is the reason we’ve been seeing teacher strikes in multiple states. And people like Bevin are having a hard time coming to grips with the reality they’ve created.

Scott Parker Versus Allen Priest

The USCF has a Forum. In theory, members are allowed to discuss anything Chess related. In practice, the censor will not allow anything deemed controversial, as I learned, much to my chagrin, on numerous occasions.

There are six different categories at which one can post. Under the All Things Chess category one finds a “thread” entitled,
Another Boycott Hits FIDE. This thread was started by ChessSpawn on Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:58 am.

by ChessSpawn on Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:58 am #321527
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/11 … -players/#

“I hope that US Chess will publicly support Nakamura’s position. Perhaps it’s time to start working to replace FIDE?”
Brian Lafferty
“If you play the Caro-Kann when you’re young, what are you going to play when you’re older.” – Bent Larsen

ChessSpawn is Brian Lafferty. One is allowed to use a quote and the Larsen quote is the one chosen by Mr. Lafferty.

I happen to know the next post is by Thomas Magar. If one goes to the USCF forum he would not know this fact. Mr. Magar is from N. Versailles, Pa. I know this because it is stated on the side of the post. One would not know where Mr. Lafferty is located because it is not stated.

by tmagchesspgh on Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:40 am #321529

“The only way to stop this form of discrimination is if all of the top players refuse to play in this type of official mock championship event. However, since there is so much money involved, I do not expect that to happen. Money trumps principle, all pun intended. There will always be players who will cross lines for money, even if it makes them international pariahs.”

The following post is by Scott Parker, former President of the Georgia Chess Association. He is originally from Wisconsin. Scott is a former Georgia Senior Champion who is now rated class A. Although his USCF page shows he has played around 300 rated games since USCF began using a computer program to keep stats in 1991, I can attest that he has played many more unrated games in the “pits,” or skittles room, at the House of Pain. Scott is not known for playing, but directing, and he has directed an unbelievable number of tournaments, devoting countless hours to Chess. One legendary player in the Atlanta area stuck Scott with the moniker, “The Sheriff,” because of his ramrod straight walk, saying, “Scott reminds me of Gary Cooper in High Noon.” Mr. Parker has never cared for the term even though it fits. Another crusty Chess personality once said, “Scott is like E.F. Hutton…when he talks, people listen.”

Postby scottrparker on Tue Nov 14, 2017 12:38 pm #321542

“It’s been time to replace this thoroughly corrupt organization for a long time. Some half hearted efforts have been made, but none of them ever gained much traction. I’m hoping that this may be a catalyst for a real alternative to emerge, but I’m not holding my breath.”

Don’t hold back, Mr. Parker, tell us how you REALLY feel!

Several other posts follow before one arrives at a post by “Allen.” It shows that “Allen” is from Louisville, Kentucky. “Allen” weighs in on everything, and “Allen” has considerable weight with which to weigh in, having posted 6703 times since Jan. 20, 2007. “Allen” is Allen Priest, who was previously on the policy board of the USCF.

by Allen on Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:16 am #321561

“This event was not announced at the recently completed FIDE Congress, nor were there bids, nor was there any review. Just like the Iranian hosting of the women’s world championship, the event was announced late and outside the normal FIDE rules for awarding events.

Agon never paid FIDE the fee for the Rapid/Blitz world championship held in Germany. The powers that be in FIDE decided they would waive that fee and not demand it to be paid. There have been calls to void the contract with Agon – most notably from Americas President Jorge Vega. But that contract is still in effect.

However, to call for US Chess to simply withdraw from FIDE is not realistic. FIDE will have a US national federation. I believe it is far better for that to be us rather than for it to be someone who perhaps likes to curry favor with FIDE and is complicit to FIDE shenanigans. There clearly have been behind the scenes maneuvering over the years to supplant US Chess within FIDE, although those efforts do not appear to have gained much traction.”

Allen Priest
National Tournament Director
Delegate from Kentucky

Allen Priest is rated only 701. THIS IS NOT A MISPRINT! Between 2003 and 2014 Mr. Priest played a total of forty-five (45!) games. I have previously written about Mr. Priest on this blog,and/or an earlier blog, the BaconLOG. I first met him at the ill-fated 2009 Kentucky Open. The lights were not working and I was one of the few who questioned starting the first round sans lights. I found him to be dictatorial and a bully. I was very small when young, and bullied, so because of that first-hand experience, I ought to know a bully when in close proximity to one. Another player, an FM from Tennessee, who gave himself the moniker, “The Nashville Strangler,” felt much the same. One never gets a chance to make another first impression. I lived in Louisville for a few years and while there learned that Mr. Priest was brought into Chess by the man called, “Mr. Kentucky Chess,” Steve Dillard, whom I have written about on this blog. (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2015/03/19/mr-kentucky-chess-found-beaten-and-stabbed-to-death/) Several Chess moms informed me that Allen came to Chess after being involved with the Boy Scouts and Soccer where he “Just wanted to run things.”

Scott Parker then replies:

by scottrparker on Wed Nov 15, 2017 1:11 pm #321564

“What is not realistic is believing that you can somehow reform FIDE from the inside. FIDE has been a corrupt organization as long as I can remember, and I’m well into my seventh decade. It’s governance structure is such that just getting rid of the top guy won’t change anything. Campomanes left, Ilyumzhinov took over, and what, exactly changed for the better? Ilyumzhinov will leave one day, possibly fairly soon, but don’t expect much to change with FIDE when that happens. It’s one thing to stay with FIDE for the nonce when they are the only game in town, as long as you’re also working to supplant them with a better organization. If you’re just going along with them because “somebody else would be worse”, then how do you differ from Vidkun Quisling?”

Someone else came between the two, posting this:

by bruce_leverett on Wed Nov 15, 2017 2:18 pm #321565

“Flag on the play — violation of Godwin’s law — penalty, you have to edit that message to not compare the present FIDE goings-on with World War II.”

Mr. Parker answers this:

by scottrparker on Wed Nov 15, 2017 3:21 pm #321571

“It’s not a violation of Godwin’s Law. It’s a confirmation of Godwin’s Law.

FIDE is an international criminal enterprise that has, at least so far, monopolized international chess. To help US players succeed internationally US Chess has to go along with them for the time being. I get that. But not to also work to supplant them with something better is to become complicit in their actions.”

“All that is necessary for evil to succeed is that good men do nothing.” – Edmund Burke

scottrparker

After several more posts by various members Mr. Priest weighs in again:

by Allen on Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:18 pm #321574

“FIDE will have a US national federation. Period. That body will be the one that is charged with looking out for US players interests. I would rather than be US Chess than Susan Polgar and friends.”

Allen Priest
National Tournament Director
Delegate from Kentucky

Let me see now…Susan Polgar was a women’s World Chess Champion. Alan Priest is rated seven OH one (that’s 701). Which one do you think knows more about Chess?

There is more, much more, and I hope you, the reader, will go to the USCF webpage and read all of this important thread, but for now I will conclude with this:

by ChessSpawn on Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:08 am #321586

“Replacing FIDE is the only alternative. FIDE can not, and will not, be reformed from within.”

by Allen on Thu Nov 16, 2017 10:40 am #321589

“Much easier to say than to do.”

And now for the pièce de résistance:

Postby sloan on Wed Nov 22, 2017 9:03 pm #321719

“What do you expect from someone who has made a career of saying, but not doing?”

Will this be an Edward R. Murrow vs Senator Joe McCarthy moment for the good of Chess? One can only hope.

If Alan Priest had been in the old Soviet Union he would have been an “apparatchik.” He clearly prefers to work with a criminal organization from the inside. Scott Parker uses the word “complicit.” Seems I heard that word bandied about often during the sordid Watergate and Iran-Contra affairs, and it will no doubt be used in conjunction with the current Special Prosecutor probe of the Trumpster. As for “working within” FIDE, let me pose this question. What if we exchange “Nazi” for “FIDE?” Can anyone argue that it would have been better to “work within” the Nazi party to engender change? Or would it have been better, historically speaking, to work toward replacing this thoroughly corrupt organization, the position taken by Mr. Parker?

All comments will be published providing they break no law and are within the commonly accepted bounds of decency.

The full thread can be found here: http://www.uschess.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=23689&st=0&sk=t&sd=a&sid=9b8b10af631f102135d7a14d93b0a84c

‘Mr. Kentucky Chess’ Found Beaten and Stabbed to Death

Stephen Dillard, 55, was found beaten and stabbed to death Friday in his Jeffersontown, Kentucky, home, and police charged one of his former foster kids with murder. (http://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/crime/2015/03/14/mr-kentucky-chess-found-stabbed-jtown/24771833/)

Police said around 11 a.m., Ronshai Jenefor beat and stabbed to death a man at his home on Thelma Lane. Jeffersontown investigators found Jenefor walking in the rain, not far from the scene, two hours after the body of the Carrithers Middle School teacher was discovered in the home. Police said Jenefor confessed to the killing and had lived there. (http://www.whas11.com/story/news/crime/2015/03/13/20-year-old-faces-murder-charge-after-teacher-killed-in-jeffersontown/70310244/)

Even in confirming the death of 55-year-old Dillard, police disclosed scant details about the events leading up to Dillard’s homicide and the arrest of Ronshai Jenefor, 21, a foster son who had lived with Dillard for several months. (http://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/local/2015/03/15/community-mourns-slain-chess-mentor-teacher/24820687/)

These are the basic facts as they are known at this time. Having lived in Louisville and having known the man everyone called Steve, I was obviously shocked upon learning of his death in such a brutal fashion. I cannot stop thinking about something former Georgia Chess Champion Michael Decker, a native of Louisville, used to say so frequently it became almost a mantra, “No good dead goes unpunished.”

During one of my first visits to the quick-play tournament Steve directed at a big box store, called Monday at Meijer’s, Steve introduced me to a woman seeking a chess teacher for her son. I did not know then, but now know, why Steve knew so much about the boy, who had been expelled from school. Before his brutal demise all I knew about Steve was that he was a school teacher. Because I tried to teach this boy for about two years, I have a practical understanding of why Fernand Gobet & Guillermo Campitelli wrote in Educational benefits of chess instruction: A critical review (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2015/03/05/chess-offers-low-level-gains-for-society/) “…compulsory instruction is not to be recommended, as it seems to lead to motivational problems.” Steve also gave me what turned out to be prophetic advice on a personal matter which I, being the recalcitrant type, did not take, to my detriment.

Steve and I met over the board only once, with that being a quick-play game at a Barnes & Noble. I had the black pieces and played the Dutch. We reached a locked-up position and he offered a draw, which I refused. After losing, Steve asked me why I had turned down his draw offer, and laughed uproariously when I said, “Because I play to WIN!” I did not understand his laughter then, but after reading the following, I can better understand why he laughed.

“Wow. I am stunned.

A story about Steve, as remembered nearly 30 years later:

I still tell this one from time to time. Steve told it to us during my High School days (back in the 1980s) when someone directing a tournament (Geoff McAuliffe?) ejected Steve from the tournament floor because Steve simply could not stop laughing.

What triggered that laughing fit? A rated game Steve was playing against Don Ifill, where Don had checked Steve … with his own king … and punched the clock.”

Russ Billings (http://kcachess.webs.com/apps/forums/topics/show/13151200-steve-dillard-has-passed?page=2)

For the first time in years I went to the Kentucky Chess Association website to read about the death, bringing back memories of some of those writing on the forum. Nothing better exemplifies why Steve Dillard was known as ‘Mr. Kentucky Chess’ than this:

“Steve paid for my first membership and encouraged me to get involved with KCA politics. He believed that I could be a positive figure in that process. The last time I spoke to him I was worried that my chess play would suffer because of my KCA board involvement. He reassured me that I could still achieve my master rating while being president.

Without Steve I wouldn’t know anyone on this thread. I probably wouldn’t even be involved in chess if Steve hadn’t left that chess club flyer at my second job in 2002. It’s funny how things turn out sometimes.

This is truly a sad day in chess.

R.I.P Steve. You will be missed.

Randas Burns

KCA President”
(http://kcachess.webs.com/apps/forums/topics/show/13151200-steve-dillard-has-passed?page=1)

In an article on the USCF website, Chess Community Loses Great Ambassador, Steve Dillard, Frank Niro writes, “He was known for his “Steve Dillard rule” where he allowed players to deduct five minutes from their clocks and not keep score, as a way to encourage new players.” (http://www.uschess.org/content/view/12989/806/)

The rule transmogrified into any player being able to deduct five minutes from their clocks and not keep score , in contravention to USCF rules, but the chess community allowed it because of the stature held by Steve Dillard. Few reach a point when they are above the rules, but Steve Dillard had obviously reached that point in USCF. Steve had as much gravitas in the chess community as anyone has ever had in any local chess community. Steve Dillard was, first and foremost, a chess player. It is said that, “Nature abhors a vacuum.” From some of the comments on the Chess Affiliate thread concerning “threats and accusations” it is obvious the internecine war in Kentucky chess has begun, and this before Steve has been laid to rest. From what little I know about Steve Dillard it is obvious he would be appalled at some of what has been written. We can only hope the chess community in Derby City can use this tragic event to come together, not pull apart. Before they write, say, or do anything, they could ask, “What would Steve do?”

My condolences to the family, and the Kentucky chess family, of Steve Dillard. May he rest in peace.

Here is a link to Steve’s obituary: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/louisville/obituary.aspx?n=stephen-p-dillard&pid=174427909&fhid=4753

Sitting Kills, Moving Heals

The headline on the post dated March 6 of Spraggett on Chess is, “More bad news for chess players…”(https://kevinspraggettonchess.wordpress.com/2015/03/06/more-bad-news-for-chess-players/) Kevin references a new recently released study, Study shows each hour sitting increases heart disease risk by 14%. This is nothing new because it has been known for a long time that a sedentary lifestyle leads to bad health. Their are many in the chess community who are overweight and I include myself in that category. Like most older people I have gained a few pounds and know from personal experience how difficult it can be to shed them, even with concerted effort. Then there are those who have crossed the line into obesity, such as USCF Board member Alan Priest, who weighs in on almost every thread on the USCF forum. When I first met him at the Kentucky State Championship in 2009 he was huge. The next time I saw Alan was at the scholastic event held at the downtown Hyatt here in Atlanta last year. I could not believe a man that huge could be larger but he has now become gargantuan. My heart goes out to Alan because he obviously has a problem with food addiction. There were a few obese relatives in my family and it did not turn out well for them, with one dropping dead of a heart attack after eating a big mac, and another having to live on dialysis for years. What kind of example is Alan for the children with whom he is in contact at these scholastic tournaments? The best example he could set would be to lose weight, and to do that Mr. Priest needs to begin with an exercise called “push-backs,” as in pushing back away from the table.

Several years ago Dr. Joan Vernikos, research scientist and former director of NASA’s Life Sciences Division, wrote, Sitting Kills, Moving Heals: How Everyday Movement Will Prevent Pain, Illness, and Early Death — and Exercise Alone Won’t. “In Sitting Kills, Moving Heals, Vernikos uncovers the unsuspected medical connection between the health dangers of weightlessness in space and the chronic diseases caused by sedentary lifestyles here on Earth. In her research at NASA, Vernikos discovered that movement that resists the force of gravity is essential to good health. In weightlessness, astronauts, who are far fitter than the average adult, seem to rapidly age; their muscles, bones and overall health degenerate to levels usually seen in elderly people. Vernikos found that keeping subjects resting and immobile — an extreme form of the typical American lifestyle — caused the same health problems as extended weightlessness.” (http://www.joanvernikos.com/pages/sitting-kills-moving-heals.php)

Dr. Joan advocates standing for two minutes out of every twenty minutes sitting. Most chess players do this without realizing it. Because of nervous energy most players will stand when it is the opponents move. They will also head to the head much more often because of the nervous energy, and walking is a wonderful thing, even if it is only to the lavatory. Health problems arise when a human sits without moving for hours on end, such as someone who sits in front of a computer turned to the USCF forum and weighs in on every thread.

Simply standing is good for the leg muscles. While waiting for a friend whom I had driven to retrieve a prescription he surprised me by returning to the car much earlier than expected. He caught me standing on one leg, and then the other, which he found amusing. “What are you doing,” he asked with a big grin. When I answered, “What does it look like?” he laughed. I told him that standing on one leg at a time was an isometric exercise and he howled with laughter. I thought of this man, who had trouble walking from the car to the drug store and back, later when reading an article, Simple Sitting Test Predicts How Long You’ll Live: Flexibility, balance and muscle strength are key indicators of longevity By Becky Lang (http://discovermagazine.com/2013/nov/05-sit-down). Can you pass this test?

Note on the Gettysburg Address

On this date in 1863, Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. (http://writersalmanac.publicradio.org/)

My cousin Linda taught high school English. During a discussion years ago she said, “The Gettysburg Address is the greatest speech ever delivered.” I scoffed, and ridiculed the thing, which shocked her. “You have been taught to say that, Linda,” I said. “Have you ever thought about what it says.”

In his “Note on the Gettysburg Address” H.L. Mencken wrote, “The Gettysburg speech was at once the shortest and the most famous oration in American history…the highest emotion reduced to a few poetical phrases. Lincoln himself never even remotely approached it. It is genuinely stupendous. But let us not forget that it is poetry, not logic; beauty, not sense. Think of the argument in it. Put it into the cold words of everyday. The doctrine is simply this: that the Union soldiers who died at Gettysburg sacrificed their lives to the cause of self-determination – that government of the people, by the people, for the people, should not perish from the earth. It is difficult to imagine anything more untrue. The Union soldiers in the battle actually fought against self-determination; it was the Confederates who fought for the right of their people to govern themselves.”

The Legendary Georgia Ironman recently mentioned some of the parents of the Indian children he teaches have asked him why Southern people still harbor ill feelings about a war fought 150 years ago. LM Brian McCarthy moved to south Georgia to teach high school and mentioned something about all the monuments in the small town, something one does not see in yankee land. Some years ago I was at the Highland coffee shop on Bardstown road in Lousiville, Kentucky. During a discussion of the War of Northern Aggression one fellow used the term “we” and it dawned on me that the “we” he meant were the perpetrators of the War Between the States. I mentioned that, being from Georgia, this was the first time I had heard “we” meaning yankees. “You lost. We won. Get over it,” he said. I said, “It is somewhat more difficult to “get over it, sir, when you lose.” He fired back with, “Tough shit!”

A few weeks ago I attended a lecture given by the eminent historian James M. McPherson pertaining to his new book, “Embattled Rebel: Jefferson Davis as Commander in Chief.” (http://www.booktv.org/Program/16323/After+Words+James+McPherson+quotEmbattled+Rebel+Jefferson+Davis+as+Commander+in+Chiefquot+hosted+by+James+Swanson.aspx) At the end the author, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his book, “Battle Cry of Freedom,” took questions from the audience. I was standing on the balcony, where I had been conversing with one of the owners of the Eagle Eye bookstore (http://www.eagleeyebooks.com/), so there was little, if any, chance Mr. McPherson could see my raised hand if I had been inclined to ask a question. When he said, “No state has ever had the right to secede,” I was unable to contain myself and blurted, “How can you say such a thing when the right of secession was taught at West Point until the War of Northern Aggression?!” In response to my question the audience roared with approval. The author answered by saying, “I am not aware of that. I have never read that. Can you tell me where you come by your information?” I responded, “It is historical fact, sir. I have read it in many books, including ‘The Real Lincoln,’ by Thomas J. DiLorenzo.” He said only, “That is a discredited book.” I was the first in line to have my book signed and said, “One can learn much by reading everything about a subject in lieu of only reading one version of events.” He looked at me quizzically before signing my book. I added, “You know, Mr. McPherson, I was raised near an Army base named after the yankee General James Birdseye McPherson.” He smiled while handing the signed book to me, but the smile left his face when I said, “Everyone hated the place because it was named after a yankee General, even relatives who worked there. He was killed at the Battle of Atlanta you know. He was the second highest ranking yankee officer killed in the War of Northern Aggression.” He frowned and I smiled when turning to leave. Many of the older men in line stopped me to shake my hand, wanting to talk, but Brian McCarthy was waiting to take me to the Fortress so I made apologies and headed toward the door.

Having been lied to about the causes of the war has not helped Southerner’s “get over it.” The yankee version of history is that they had the “moral” right because slavery, brought to America by these same yankees, was morally wrong. They are correct in this, because slavery is wrong, but it was the law. Should a war which devastated the country have been fought to end slavery, or was there much more to the war than the simplistic reason given?

“Growing up in the US, I too was “educated” (through government-purchased school-books and popular media) to revere Mr. Lincoln as a wise and marvelous president. Later, I ran across quotations of his that seemed to cast suspicion on his real views regarding the institution of slavery. I dismissed these as simply a reflection of the times. Lincoln, I reasoned, as a politician needed to keep peace with constituents in order to pursue a praiseworthy agenda. I was wrong about the agenda.”

“Reading below you will understand that the US Civil War finally resolved a century-old debate between Federalists and Anti-Federalists. It was resolved violently by Lincoln and accompanied by the death of more than 600,000 countrymen.”

“Slavery was ended in 1866 with the Thirteenth Amendment, but at the cost of 620,000 lives; hundreds of thousands more that were crippled for life; and the near destruction of almost half the nation’s economy. By contrast, dozens of other countries (including Argentina, Colombia, Chile, all of Central America, Mexico, Bolivia, Uruguay, the French and Danish colonies, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela) ended slavery peacefully during the first 60 years of the nineteenth century. Why not the U.S.?” *
* Thomas J. DiLorenzo
(http://www.bigeye.com/abraham_lincoln.htm)

In “honor” of the date I would like to present a Southern response to the address Dishonest Abe gave 150 years ago today:

Ode to the Confederate Dead
Allen Tate, 1899 – 1979

Row after row with strict impunity
The headstones yield their names to the element,
The wind whirrs without recollection;
In the riven troughs the splayed leaves
Pile up, of nature the casual sacrament
To the seasonal eternity of death;
Then driven by the fierce scrutiny
Of heaven to their election in the vast breath,
They sough the rumour of mortality.

Autumn is desolation in the plot
Of a thousand acres where these memories grow
From the inexhaustible bodies that are not
Dead, but feed the grass row after rich row.
Think of the autumns that have come and gone!–
Ambitious November with the humors of the year,
With a particular zeal for every slab,
Staining the uncomfortable angels that rot
On the slabs, a wing chipped here, an arm there:
The brute curiosity of an angel’s stare
Turns you, like them, to stone,
Transforms the heaving air
Till plunged to a heavier world below
You shift your sea-space blindly
Heaving, turning like the blind crab.

Dazed by the wind, only the wind
The leaves flying, plunge

You know who have waited by the wall
The twilight certainty of an animal,
Those midnight restitutions of the blood
You know–the immitigable pines, the smoky frieze
Of the sky, the sudden call: you know the rage,
The cold pool left by the mounting flood,
Of muted Zeno and Parmenides.
You who have waited for the angry resolution
Of those desires that should be yours tomorrow,
You know the unimportant shrift of death
And praise the vision
And praise the arrogant circumstance
Of those who fall
Rank upon rank, hurried beyond decision–
Here by the sagging gate, stopped by the wall.

Seeing, seeing only the leaves
Flying, plunge and expire

Turn your eyes to the immoderate past,
Turn to the inscrutable infantry rising
Demons out of the earth they will not last.
Stonewall, Stonewall, and the sunken fields of hemp,
Shiloh, Antietam, Malvern Hill, Bull Run.
Lost in that orient of the thick and fast
You will curse the setting sun.

Cursing only the leaves crying
Like an old man in a storm

You hear the shout, the crazy hemlocks point
With troubled fingers to the silence which
Smothers you, a mummy, in time.

The hound bitch
Toothless and dying, in a musty cellar
Hears the wind only.

Now that the salt of their blood
Stiffens the saltier oblivion of the sea,
Seals the malignant purity of the flood,
What shall we who count our days and bow
Our heads with a commemorial woe
In the ribboned coats of grim felicity,
What shall we say of the bones, unclean,
Whose verdurous anonymity will grow?
The ragged arms, the ragged heads and eyes
Lost in these acres of the insane green?
The gray lean spiders come, they come and go;
In a tangle of willows without light
The singular screech-owl’s tight
Invisible lyric seeds the mind
With the furious murmur of their chivalry.

We shall say only the leaves
Flying, plunge and expire

We shall say only the leaves whispering
In the improbable mist of nightfall
That flies on multiple wing:
Night is the beginning and the end
And in between the ends of distraction
Waits mute speculation, the patient curse
That stones the eyes, or like the jaguar leaps
For his own image in a jungle pool, his victim.

What shall we say who have knowledge
Carried to the heart? Shall we take the act
To the grave? Shall we, more hopeful, set up the grave
In the house? The ravenous grave?

Leave now
The shut gate and the decomposing wall:
The gentle serpent, green in the mulberry bush,
Riots with his tongue through the hush–
Sentinel of the grave who counts us all!
http://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/ode-confederate-dead