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.”

Ouijazilla

World’s Largest Ouija Board to be Unveiled This Weekend

October 11, 2019

By Tim Binnall

An organization dedicated to preserving the history of ‘talking boards’ said to communicate with spirits on the ‘other side’ will unveil what they say is the world’s largest Ouija Board at an event on Saturday. Dubbed ‘Ouijazilla,’ the enormous piece was produced by Rick Schreck, vice president of the Talking Board Historical Society, (https://tbhs.org/) over the course of the last year as his home in New Jersey.
Although the specific dimensions of the giant board have yet to be revealed, the group says that it is “heavier than an elephant, longer than a brontosaurus” and could comfortably fit “five full-size eighteen-wheelers” atop the enormous piece. The massive wooden construction is also said to be two-and-a-half times bigger than the current record holder for the world’s largest Ouija Board, which is on the roof of an allegedly haunted hotel in Pennsylvania.

The monstrous Ouija Board will be revealed to the public on Saturday at an event in, appropriately enough, Salem, Massachusetts, where it will cover the city’s common. And, for those wondering, the huge hand-painted piece is “fully operational” as Schreck also build a corresponding planchette for the device. It’s uncertain as to whether or not the mighty Ouija Board will be used to conjure any spirits on Saturday, but one assumes that, if it is, the ghosts could wind up being pretty sizeable.

https://www.coasttocoastam.com/article/world-s-largest-ouija-board-to-be-unveiled-this-weekend

OUIJAZILLA!

Ouija Board

Chevelle

Produced by Chevelle & Joe Barresi
Album La Gárgola

[Intro]
Are you up for anything?

[Chorus]
We’re growing a fire
Self explore your egoism
Pulling out that ouija board, it’s on

[Verse 1]
Never say die unless you mean it
You’re the salt of the earth left uneasy
Right or wrong if the world explodes
Well you and I are one

[Chorus]
‘Cause we’re growing a fire
Self explore your egoism
Pulling out your Ouija board, oh no

[Verse 2]
How could you show ’em your weakness
Son of a bitch had no reason
Come along here’s a seed of truth
‘Cause you and I are one

[Outro]
‘Cause we’re growing
A fire
‘Cause we’re growing
A fire
‘Cause we’re growing
A fire

https://genius.com/Chevelle-ouija-board-lyrics

Hikaru No Chess

The title is a play on the hugely popular Japanese TV series, “Hikaru no Go” (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0426711/).
the popularity of this program is best described by this, “World Go population probably tripled because of ‘Hikaru no Go'”, said Joey Hung, USA 8 dan Go instructor. All of Joey’s Go School ( http://www.egogames.com) Go students in Fremont, CA, USA have watched the exciting Go anime. Also, at the World Amateur Go Tournament and Beijing Mental Olympics Tournament, many European, South American and Asian players reflected that they have seen a dramatic increase in Go population due to the ‘Hikaru no GO’ anime.”

“Hikaru no Go (literally The Go of Hikaru or Hikaru’s Go) is a manga (a Japanese comic) and an anime (a Japanese cartoon) about a boy (Hikaru Shindo) who discovers the ancient game when he finds an old board in the attic and meets the spirit of a past Go master (Fujiwara-no-Sai).
The Hikaru no Go manga is published by VIZ Media ([ext] http://www.viz.com) in the United States and Canada, and the Hikaru no Go anime has been licensed by VIZ Media in the United States and Canada. The manga is serialized in the United States version of Shonen Jump ( http://www.shonenjump.com), while the entire anime is viewable at Hulu.com. In North America Hikaru no Go is also available on the ImaginAsian TV Channel” (http://senseis.xmp.net/?HikaruNoGo).

“Hikaru no Go ( lit. “Hikaru’s Go”) is a manga series, a coming of age story based on the board game Go written by Yumi Hotta and illustrated by Takeshi Obata with an anime adaptation. The production of the series’ Go games was supervised by Go professional Yukari Umezawa (5-dan). The manga is largely responsible for popularizing Go among the youth of Japan since its debut, and considered by Go players everywhere to have sparked worldwide interest in Go, noticeably increasing the Go-playing population across the globe, perhaps tripling it.
Current top Japanese Go professional Iyama Yuta is considered to be part of the influx of young Go players whose generation was inspired by the series.
First released in Japan in Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump in 1998, Hikaru no Go achieved tremendous success, spawning a popular Go fad of almost unprecedented proportions” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hikaru_no_Go).

Maybe the best way to impart just how popular is “Hikaru no Go” would be to mention that in the December, 2012, issue of the second best chess publication in the world, “Chess Monthly,” the man who recently tied with GM David Howell for first place in the British chess championships, IM Jonathan Hawkins, the author of “Amateur to IM: Proven Ideas and Training Methods,” when asked the question of what is your favorite film or TV series, answered, “Hikaru no Go.” (!)

The impetus for my last post was Hikaru Nakamura. It is no secret that Hikaru has not been playing well recently. I am sure many other fans of “Naka” have “felt his pain.” After blowing a certain win against human World Champion Magnus Carlsen in the third round of the Zurich tournament, I could not help but wonder if he could ever come back from such a defeat, especially since he has never beaten Magnus in a classical game of chess. Now he has finished dead last on his home court of the St. Louis Chess Club & Scholastic Center in the latest edition of the Sinquefield Cup. If there is a next S.C. Hikaru should be left out, as was Gata Kamsky this year. It is clear there is something wrong with Hikaru. He would not be a good poker player because he is easy to read. It is obvious from his body language that he is not the same person I saw in Sturbridge, Massachusetts, at the 32nd Continental Open in 2002, when he was kicking ass and taking names. He was brimming with confidence and the world was his oyster.

After losing to Veselin Topalov, the Bulgarian, who is often referred to as a former “world champion” though I know not why, Hikaru was interviewed by GM Maurice Ashley. Maurice said, “There was a moment in the game that the computer spotted an idea and we thought you were for sure gonna play. It’s the kind of move you always play. Yasser said you would play it in a bullet game, the move Bxf2. Tell us your thoughts in this moment right now.” Hikaru responded, “Well, I mean basically I had this exact position up until move 19 up on the board, um, you know, before the game and e5 was not a computer move and I knew it had to be bad but, um, during the game I just couldn’t quite figure it out. Um, OK, obviously I looked at Bxf2 and then I rejected it, but, I mean I just simply did not see the end of the line and more or less it’s unfortunate, but even then later I was still OK and then I just completely lost the thread, so I mean, sometimes things don’t go your way.”

Maurice: “The…we hear this often from really high level players like yourself that something goes wrong in the calculation. Can you ever explain it when that happens, because it seems unnerving even to you guys.”

Hikaru: “Um…well I mean…I’m not so upset about missing this one because I mean it wasn’t clear even though it’s the most intuitive move on the board. I mean, sometimes it happens, but again what can you do, sometimes, sometimes you don’t…I mean, if you don’t calculate perfectly, I mean that’s why, that’s why computers are just much better than all of us.”

Maurice: “Well, at least it’s calculating for sure. You’re in a tough situation now.”

There is a caption underneath a picture of Nakamura on the Chessbase website in an article by Alejandro Ramirez titled “Sinquefield 08: Streak stopped, Event clinched” dated 9/5/2014, “Nakamura has had some trouble calculating this tournament, it is unclear why.”
(http://en.chessbase.com/post/sinquefield-08-streak-stopped-event-clinched)

It appears the wagons have been circled and the popular thing to say is that GM Nakamura finished last, without winning a single game, because his powers of calculation have deserted him. Nothing could be further from the truth. Hikaru has been playing badly because he has lost faith in his judgement and doubt has crept in where there once was confidence. Losing will do that to a player no matter what game is being played. Simply put, Hikaru has lost confidence in his intuition. His suspect moves show this fact.

When on his way to becoming World Chess Champion Mikhail Tal played moves that defied calculation. There were no super computer programs in those days so humans could not calculate the ramifications of some of Tal’s moves. Tal could not calculate the ramifications of some of his moves, yet he played them anyway, because his intuition told him they were the right moves to play. Nakamura played like that at one time in the past. Now he seems to be trying to play like a calculating machine. He tells us this with his answer above to the question posed by GM Ashley. “I looked at Bxf2+ and then I rejected it…I just simply did not see the end of the line…”

There is a battle raging inside the head of Hikaru Nakamura. It is a battle between the emotional Captain Kirk and the logical Mr. Spock. Hikaru is an intuitive player, not a calculating machine. He is a poet of the chess board, not a philosopher. I say that with a line from Kevin L. Stoehr, professor of Humanities at Boston University, in mind. He wrote, “Philosophy typically strives for the clarity of definition and proposition. Poetry, in most cases, revels in ambiguity and mystery.” (From the essay, “You Who Philosophize Dylan: The Quarrel between Philosophy and Poetry in the Songs of Bob Dylan” in the book, “Bob Dylan and Philosophy: It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Thinking).” Later on in the same essay he writes, “Like the true poet that he is, Dylan believes that when it comes to the construction of his lyrics (and certainly the creation of the music itself, we might assume), the power of immediate intuition counts far more than the categorizing and ordering power of the intellect.” Hikaru Nakamura must somehow come to terms with the fact that he is an intuitive player and know that ” the power of immediate intuition counts far more than the categorizing and ordering power of the intellect.”

In an alternate universe Nakamura, at Zurich, after disposing of the former Human World Chess Champion, Vishy Anand, in round two, then beat the new Human World Champion, Magnus Carlsen, in lieu of losing the “won game” as he did in this universe. In that universe Hikaru played 21…Bxf6+ in lieu of the insipid 21…g6, bringing the sinister Topalov to his knees, making him 0-3, and having the black pieces against the Human World Champion the next round. Hikaru would have been in clear second place, only a half point behind Fab Car. Things would have turned out differently. After the tournament in which Nakamura and Caruana tied for first place, bizillionaire Rex Sinquefield put up one million dollars for a match between Naka and Fab Car, with the winner going on to play a match with Human World Champion Magnus Carlsen, with ten million dollars going to the winner. I regret it is impossible for me to give you any more details, as I am certain you would like to know who won the matches in the other universe, but Dr. Walter Bishop’s machine providing a window into the other universe destructed when Rootin’ Tootin’ Putin invaded Ukraine, which caused the other Magnus to decline the match with the other Vishy Anand. This caused World War III in which nuclear weapons were used, which destroyed the window on the other side.

In this universe the best thing our Hikaru Nakamura could do would be to take a page out of Bobby Fischer’s book and take a year or so off from chess to, as Human World Champion Magnus Carlsen said to GM Maurice Ashley after beating Naka for the ELEVENTH time, “Figure it out.”

Hikaru No Go can be watched free at these sites:

http://www.hulu.com/hikaru-no-go

http://www.animehere.com/anime/hikaru-no-go.html

The Beatles – Across The Universe

Across The Universe Soundtrack

Death On The Chess Board

It filled me with sadness when first reading the report of the death at the board of fellow Senior Kurt Meier during his last round game at the 2014 Olympiad. Reports have been slow in coming even in this age of instant access. I was mortified this morning to read about the death of another player after the conclusion of the tournament. Reports are that he was found dead in his hotel room.

I have spent the morning reading all the reports that could be found. I have a personal interest in this not only because I am a Senior, but because I collapsed at the board during a chess tournament, with paramedics having to be called. This was at the 32nd Continental Open in Sturbridge, Massachusetts in 2002. Upon regaining consciousness I saw FM Miles Ardaman hovering over me. Knowing Miles to be a psychiatrist, I feared the worst. I refused to be transported to a hospital, but did see a doctor a few days later. After checking me out and talking with me about what may have possibly caused the collapse, he surmised I had become dehydrated. I traveled to the Continental directly from the US Open in New Jersey where after playing in the normal schedule, with games each evening. The first two games at the C.O. were also at night, but the third, and my last, was a morning round. I had coffee, but hardly any water because I feared spending too much time going to the restroom. It was a mistake I have not repeated. For quite some time I had been sitting with a full bladder trying to make time control. When I stood up quickly and took a few steps, my heart could not make the adjustment, which happens as one ages. I also learned of a heart murmur. Often I wonder why I am still alive…

Most Seniors have some kind of health problem, and I am not an exception, as there is a problem with my heart. My father lived many years with a machine in his body, a pacemaker. I have chosen to not be a member of the Borg, part man and machine. During the two decade run of the Atlanta Chess and What Other Game Center more than one player had to be taken away in an ambulance, none of whom were young.

With this in mind I have written extensively on my blogs, the BaconLOG and now the Armchair Warrior, concerning the dangers faced by Senior chess players. I have also spoken out about the problems faced by Senior players. Unfortunately, my words have fallen on dear ears.

I have written about several measures that could be instituted in order to lessen the chances of a death at the board during a Senior tournament. One of the major problems has been that organizers schedule a Senior chess tournament as if it were a tournament for younger players. Most weekend tournaments have five rounds with the first beginning Friday night. Since the last round is over sometime Sunday evening, that means five games of chess are played in about forty eight hours. That is a lot of chess for even younger players. It is simply too much for a Senior. Even when I was in my twenties a five round tournament would leave me what the Legendary Georgia Ironman calls a, “wiped out Waldo.” I began taking a half-point bye in the third round Saturday night in order to continue playing. I will no longer play a serious, long game at night.

For a Senior tournament I have suggested having no more than four rounds, with two each day. I have also suggested a break of at least two hours between the games. Bob Mahan, the man behind the Chess For Seniors Association (http://www.chessforseniors.org/index.php) had the audacity to tell me that would mean a delay in the time the organizers and TD’s would get home from an event, which shows the thinking by even some Seniors when it comes to the safety of the players.

There are many stories in the press concerning the deaths at the Olympiad, including one on Chessbase, where one finds this:
“There was momentary chaos in the hall when Meier collapsed, which was explained by Morgan Lillegård, head of communication for the Chess Olympics, in The Local: “People in the hall thought the defibrillator was a weapon. Panic spread because the thought there was an armed person. I can definitely confirm there was no weapons. This is a misunderstanding. It is in itself dramatic enough that someone had a heart attack.”

The Guardian comments that Meier is not the first player to die in the middle of a match: in 2000 Vladimir Bagirov, a Latvian grandmaster, had a fatal heart attack during a tournament in Finland, while in the same year another Latvian, Aivars Gipslis, suffered a stroke while playing in Berlin, from which he later died. To this we add that Johann Zukertort died from a cerebral hemorrhage suffered during a game in Simpson’s Divan, in a tournament which he was leading at the time. José Raúl Capablanca died of a stroke in March 1942 while watching a skittles game at the Manhattan Chess Club.

Other players who died during a chess tournament or game: Gideon Stahlberg (1908-1967), Vladimir Simagin 1919-1968), Cecil Purdy (1906-1979), Ed Edmundson (1920-1982). The following players died very shortly after a game or event: Frank Marshall (1877-1944), Efim Bogoljubov (1889-1952), Herman Steiner (1905-1955), Paul Keres (1916-1975), Alexei Suetin (1926-2001).”
http://en.chessbase.com/post/deaths-at-the-chess-olympiad

The most interesting is, “Why chess is really an extreme sport,” by Stephen Moss, online at theguardian.com. The tag line reads, “The deaths of two players at the Chess Olympiad in Norway shows that it’s time tournaments came with a health warning.” In the article he writes, ” Chess, though the non-player might not believe this, is in many ways an extreme sport.”

“At the Olympiad, participants were playing a game a day over a fortnight – 11 rounds with just a couple of rest days on which to recuperate. For up to seven hours a day, they would be sitting at the board trying to kill – metaphorically speaking – their opponent, because this is the ultimate game of kill or be killed. In some positions, you can reach a point where both sides are simultaneously within a single move of checkmating the other. One false step and you will have lost. This imposes enormous pressure on players.”

Stephen is a player, as can be learned from this, ” I spend a day at work, rush home, bolt down a meal, then go to my chess club and play a three-hour game which often makes me feel ill, especially if I lose. After that, usually around 10.30pm, I go home, go to bed, and frequently fail to sleep as my moves and mistakes revolve around my head.”

The author concludes with this paragraph, “So next time someone suggests a nice, quiet game of chess, or paints it as an intellectual pursuit played by wimps, tell them they’ve got it all wrong: this is a fight to the finish played in the tensest of circumstances by two players who are physically and mentally living on the edge. We all need to get fitter to play this demanding game, and society should recognise it for what it is – a sport as challenging, dramatic and exciting as any other. Such recognition would be a tribute of sorts to the two players who sadly played their final games in Tromso.”
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/aug/16/chess-extreme-sport

It is a shame this may be what it takes for those in power to take notice and institute changes, especially in the way Senior chess tournaments are implemented.