Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Ed Approaches the Finish Line

It’s Wednesday night, 26 September 2012, and it has been a day.

I recently returned from Tri-State Calvary Chapel this evening. There I heard a great deal about their Senior Pastor Ed Gaines.

I had met Ed before, but only two or three times for two to three hours at a time at Calvary Chapel of Dayton. The meetings took place during a Monday mid-morning gathering of South-Western & Central Ohio Calvary Chapel pastors that lasted through lunch.

When Ed was there he always appeared physically frail. We would find out how he was doing physically only after he was pestered to give an update. You see he suffered from kidney failure and had lost one, and the remaining kidney was only partially functionally. He was regularly on dialysis to survive. He had also fought off cancer.

Now after Ed would give an update on his condition he always made it a point to go around the circle of pastors and ask how they were doing – physically, spiritually, family, and as pastors. And he would always find a way to encourage and be positive.

That was the glimpse of Ed I had been provided.

Tonight at his church – when Ed was not there – I got a much better look.

Ed is the hospital and he is dying. He went in to have some more cancer removed. When he was opened up what the doctors saw resulted in opening him further up. What they found was more cancer, inoperable cancer.

Ed made a decision after he was closed up and regained consciousness. The decision, “No more dialysis.” He put it all in God’s hands. Then Ed started to run to the finish line. When he would hear about a doctor, a nurse, a helper, a patient, anyone on staff or in the hospital did not know Christ, he wanted to witness to them.

That created an incredible picture in my mind. Imagine this reality if you will. You meet up with a man whom you know is on the hospital’s death row and he wants to talk to you about your eternal salvation. Clearly Ed, no matter his circumstance is going to finish strong.

If you want to know more about this man of God, check out his message on James 1 and learn how his kidney disease was from God to be part of his ministry and trials on the bottom of the page here.

If you find yourself taken with this man’s teaching and preaching as I am, you will find a number of his messages here.

Ed, I don’t know how long you will be with us, but I am grateful for the witness of your life.

Postscript: I had the pleasure of riding with my pastor, Dave Elkins, of Calvary Chapel of Dayton who shared stories of his 21 years of relationship with Pastor Ed that only increased my admiration of this man who is finishing the race strong.

Thanks Ed.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Value of a Typographical Error

I was studying GM Yuri Averbakh’s “Chess Tactics for Advanced Players” (1st printing paperback edition by Chess Digest 1992) Part 1: The double attack, subsection on The Mutual Tw- Fold Attack described as “This extremely tense situation in which two pieces on each side attack two hostile pieces deserves special consideration” (p50).

Working my way through the diagrams I came to the diagram below (p53) between GM George Thomas vs GM Max Euwe, 1936, Nottingham England where after 22 moves Thomas has built up a crushing attack against Euwe’s Bishop sitting on d6 triple attacked. Ouch!

Black to play

Euwe played 22. … Ne6 where GM Averbakh stated, “apparently assuming that after 23. Rxd6, Rxd6 24. Qxd6 Rd8 a mutual two-fold is created from which he extricates himself with 25. Qxc7 Rxd1+ with an advantage in material [after 26. Kf2 Nxc7].”

I have to admit I first played through this a few times in my head and then on the board and thought Euwe had found a great recovery in a very bad situation.

Then I read further.

GM Averbakh went on to say, “But White [could have] found a different way of defending himself and of protecting his position against harassment by the rook [move to d8].

The attempt to recover the piece by means of a pin after 26. … Qxd6, 27. Rxd6 Nf8 [would be] frustrated by by the discovered check 28. Nf6+” (p53) with no further comments.

Of course the variation given does not make sense because a move is missing, White’s new / different move 25.? What was it? No errata sheet was found online for the book so I went looking elsewhere.

On I found the entire game. Turns out it was an Alekhine Defense: Modern Variation. Main Line (B05). It was there in the notes below in the “Kibitzer’s Corner” I found the missing move.

There a reader (AdrainP) had noted, “The most interesting thing is that White believed Black, that the piece could not be taken, and replied 23 g3." ('Chess Middlegames: Essential Knowledge' Averbakh).” Clearly Averbakh thought this position was worth using in more than one book. I have to agree.

From AdrainP we learn, Max Euwe “… in his preliminary calculations, overlooked that White can reply 25. Nd7! and after 25. ...Qxd6 26. Rxd6 the move 26. ...Nf8 is refuted by 27. Nf6+.”

So let’s see a new diagram just prior to 25. Nd7!

White to play

Here White can play the winning 25. Nd7!! An incredible interference move which renders Black’s 24. … Rd8 useless and White is a piece ahead.

Of course Black can try the variation given, 25. Nd7 Qxd6 26.Rxe6 Nf8 with a double attack against the Knight of d7.

But the double attack on d7 avails Black nothing as it is followed by 27.Nf6+ and the win of the Rook on d8 and the game would have been over.

However as noted above, White played 23.g3 after Black’s 22…. Ne6 and the game went on another 14 moves.

GM Thomas resigned after making move 37. At first a few of us (thought it might have been time trouble that caused White’s loss. That was not it, not at all.

Black to play

It took us minutes to find what GM Thomas likely saw in single digit seconds after playing 37. Qe3 and did not wait to find out if GM Euwe saw the same. After White’s move 37 we are treated to the position on the left.

In this position we (by this time I had engaged a number of Dayton Chess Club members in my searth for truth) enjoyed finding the following variations.

37. … Qf1+ 38. Kh4 g5+ 39. Fxg5 fxg5+ 40.Kxh5 Qh3+ 41.Kg6 Qh7++

Or 37. … Qf1+ 38. Rg7 Qd1! Threatening mate on g4 and a double attack on W(ite’s Bishop on d4. So it’s either mate or the loss of a piece.

Moral of the story: typographical errors can lead to greater knowledge if you are willing to follow up on them.

By the way – I highly recommend GM Averbakh’s “Chess Tactics for Advanced Players” and it is available on


Friday, September 14, 2012

Who Is In Charge

Judge Napolitano is worried about what if nothing changes in November no matter who gets elected.

While I have some sympathy and agreement with the Judge, my position is very much different.

My position is whoever is elected this November, whatever the policies they pursue are, it matters not for God remains in Charge.

Also, whether it is team a (rep or dem) or team b (rep or dem) we are still going to go over an economic cliff. One or the other may or may not be able to slow the approach to the cliff (something I favor), but we are going to go over this cliff.

Knowing this I vote my faith and against those values I find most abhorrent and for those values I most favor when I consider the future of my grandchildren.

Above all else I am a Christian, a family man next, and so grateful to live in a country that still lets me practice my faith.


Bottom line: I am a Christian and vote my Christian values. That makes me an independent, conservative, libertarian, free-market individual who votes his faith. And I remain confident God is in Charge.

Thugs, Murderous Thugs

Why would a mob of Muslims kill a U.S. ambassador and three others over a movie trailer you can be sure none of them saw?

One thing you can be sure of, it is not because of their mature worldly outlook. Instead they have the mindset of children, murderous children which makes them thugs.

How do such people become thugs and murderers? The question needs to be answered when you consider a subset of Islam that teaches and preaches murder for any offense deemed worthy of death by some Inman.

It is as if some version of the Lord of the Flies has been written for adults with primitive tribal values based upon hate in the modern world.

As a result you have mainstream writers and news people inveighing against freedom of speech and freedom of the press rather than demanding those who murder for no real reason at all be punished and punished to the full extent of the law.

Most Muslims are grown up in their approach to life and know how to handle disappointment and make rational decisions when things do not go their way – just as most Christians do. In a post Christian USA, Christians have learned to deal with it when a changing culture, movies, and art denigrate their faith.

However Muslims are - so far – unwilling to stand up en masse to protest and stop what is happening within their faith, a faith ruled by thugs. These thugs will stop at nothing to get their way. Mob murder is only one of their tools, honor killings is another.

No film maker or writer incited Muslims to commit murder. Instead the incitement came from within Islam as it always has. Any Inman who incites these mob murders needs to be tried for murder and then his organization sued for any and all possessions by the survivors of those who were murdered until they are put completely and totally out of business.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Right Now!

Fiction - by Riley D. Driver

Right from the start I want to state my complete and total agreement with

- The Honorable Mr. Thomas Menino, Mayor of Boston, Massachusetts who wants to ban Chick-fil-A from Boston
- The Honorable Mr. Rahm Emanuel, Mayor of Chicago, Illinois, who stated clearly, “Chick-fil-A’s values are not Chicago values”
- The Honorable Ms. Christine Quinn, NYC Council Speaker who wants Chick-fil-A to leave New York University’s campus
- The Honorable Mr. Jim Kenney, Philadelphia City Councilman who introduced a resolution condemning the Chick-fil-A company and its president

They and others in various states and cities are correct in opposing such an intolerant company as Chick-fil-A and its leadership for seriously holding onto ancient invalid intolerant Christian values that would condemn various behaviors as sinful.

How awful. How ugly. How hurtful.

Let’s be clear, anyone holding such awful, ugly, hurtful beliefs should be unable to own a business, much less open them in our open tolerant beautiful accepting of all life styles cities.

How dare they?

I really do not understand why they are permitted to own businesses when they can take their profits and use those profits to support their awful, ugly, and hurtful beliefs. This must be stopped. I know it can’t be done immediately, but a way must be found to stop this as soon as possible.

Nor do I want to hear anything about how we have to be or should be accepting and tolerant of such awful, ugly, hurtful Christian beliefs. Tolerance should never be extended to those who oppose an open society that is accepting and loving towards any and all lifestyles. Never. Never. Never.

We need to really start a full-fledged campaign to make everyone aware that these so-called loving Christians with their awful, ugly, hurtful Christian beliefs are not worthy of the rights and freedoms the rest of us enjoy when we fully accept and love those in any and all lifestyles that are not stained with such an ugly belief or faith. They are not the same as us, they are not worthy of the freedoms we enjoy, they must be flushed out and identified wherever they are and then they must be denied any position of trust and authority.

They, those bible believing Christians, are simply not like us, not at all like us. They are intolerant of the lifestyles we accept as an accepting and loving society. We must rid ourselves of these bible believing Christians – they are like vermin spreading a disease of awful, ugly, hurtful beliefs among us. This disease of intolerance cannot be permitted to continue.

We must not be swayed by their double talk of loving the sinner, but hating the sin. That is simply a fancy way of covering up the how unaccepting and unloving they are of our cherished lifestyles that they say their god condemns. How can they be truly-loving, if they spread such awful, ugly, hurtful beliefs?

They must be stopped. They must be identified. They must be separated from us. This must be done to protect our tolerant, accepting, and loving culture of any and all lifestyles.

To the same end, they must not be permitted to raise young beautiful children to have to such awful, ugly, and hurtful beliefs. The children must be removed from them to avoid the spread of these horribly intolerant beliefs to their young. Instead their children must be taught how wonderful and loving it is to accept all beliefs in our open and loving worldwide culture of tolerance.

This must be done soon, as soon as possible.


Friday, July 27, 2012

Olympic Hypocrisy Writ Large

Greece’s Olympic triple-jumper Voula Papachristou may be a racist or she may simply have very poor taste when it comes to humor. She posted a “joke” about African immigrants in Greece and West Nile virus mosquitoes on Twitter. Along with the joke Voula posted support for what passes for a far-right political party in Greece.

For the above she was expelled from Greece’s Olympic team. I am not kidding, it’s true. A woman who had earned a spot on an Olympic team was expelled for ‘saying something’ on a Twitter. It made no difference that she followed up with a tweet: "I am very sorry and ashamed for the negative responses I triggered, since I never wanted to offend anyone, or to encroach human rights.”

No one is speaking out in her defense. Maybe no one should.

However, if Voula Papachristou deserves to be removed from Greece’s Olympic team for her tweeted remarks what should be done about the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, aka North Korea? After all their citizens are malnourished/starved to the point there is a height difference of two (2) to three (3) inches between North and South Korea citizens.

Then what about Saudia Arabia and other countries which deny any real rights to women and have homosexuals put to death or in the case of Iran given the choice between death and a transsexual operation?

That’s right, these countries that commit gross violations of basic human rights and they are all permitted to compete in the Olympics.

Voula Papachristou, she is not permitted because of something she tweeted.

This is hypocrisy writ large.

Voula Papachristou should be reinstated immediately.


Saturday, March 31, 2012

the viewing

It wss 3:15 a.m. Saturday morning and I was wide awake in Chipley, Florida.

Didn't know why I was awake, so I asked my Lord, “Why am I awake?” I didn’t really expect an answer and thought I would soon be returning to bed. Instead, I was told to “Write.”

So I am writing about the one thing on my heart right now – the viewing service of Georgeanna Victoria Shores held last night in Marianna, FL about 20 miles away.

This viewing was the first one I have ever attended where no one cried. Not one person. Instead it was a celebration of 1) the life of Georgeanna Victoria Shores and 2) her relationship with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. While these two things are listed separately, they are deeply intertwined.

You may read GA’s (that’s how I knew her, as GA or Georgeanna) obituary here or here.

In her obituaries you will find out she was only 66 years 7 months and 19 days old when she died. She spent 45 years of her life with my friend Lenny Shores – more on that later.

What you won’t find in the obituaries is that as she approached death, she wished she had been less of a Martha – see Luke 10: 38-42 here - and instead had spent more time in building her relationship with Jesus Christ. That was the message at the viewing last night for all of us in attendance and for those we will touch in the future.

What GA did not know, was that the testimonies given last night about her life demonstrated her relationship with Christ. GA loved sacrificially as Jesus did.

She brought His example into the lives of all her loved ones and also into those she did not know at all. She and Lenny had three sons and one of them spoke last night on how during the many moves they made as a Navy family and as a missionary family, never once did she complain about Lenny’s many deployments at sea for six, nine, or twelve months. Not once.

I met GA’s husband Lenny at Al Asad AB, Iraq in early 2008 – February or March. One day a few weeks after meeting Lenny, he was talking with GA on the phone and he called me over to the phone and said with an odd look on his face, “Georgeanna wants to talk with you.” I replied, “Are you sure?” He went back to the phone and asked, then handed the phone to me saying “Yes.”

After confirming who I was she made the statement, “You are the man I have been praying Lenny would meet in Iraq.” How could that be, I wondered and asked. She replied, “I – and my church – have been praying Lenny would meet a Godly man in Iraq, a man who loves the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Suddenly I understood. Lenny and I had had already had a number of theological discussions with many disagreements (what do you expect when you put a Pentecostal and a Southern Baptist together), but one central area of agreement – Jesus Christ was his and my Lord and Savior.

I did not consider myself then or now a Godly man, but instead a struggling sinner who knew (knows) Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior. Finding a real (serious) Christian brother (or sister) in Iraq was not an easy task other than the Navy Chaplin there. Then I met Lenny and he was the Godly man put into my life ... via GA's prayers.

But I digress. You see it was GA’s love for Christ and her love for her husband and her concern about his walk with Christ that led her to pray that he would find a Christian brother who would be a friend while in Iraq. Because of GA’s love for Christ and her forthright prayers, Lenny and I became friends. We remain friends, loyal friends, to this day.

During GA’s last visit to her church she was no longer able to walk and arrived in a wheelchair. I don’t know if this was her “Last Good Day” – something you may read about here, but something unusual and special happened a little later in the service.

Georgeanna got out of wheelchair and did not simply stand, but danced with the joy of knowing Jesus and asked the pastor for permission to address the congregation.

Her address was one of of the need to love and love deeply and her hope that all would come to know Jesus and join her in heaven with Him. Left me to wonder what I will be doing and saying on my Last Good Day.

She selected a number of songs to bring her love for Jesus to the forefront for everyone at her viewing – a viewing where I observed no one filing past her casket.

The songs were
Open the Eyes of My Heart Lord
I Sing Praises to Your Name
Lord Be Glorified
Change My Heart Oh God
Amazing Grace
What a Friend We Have in Jesus

However, she had also asked that all of her grandchildren and family would sing a special song to her and for her that she and everyone used to sing at Christmas to Lenny’s mother.

This song, “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer,” reflects the very real joy she experienced in this life in her faith walk. A joy that only hints at the joy she is now experiencing in eternity with Christ - a joy shes wants for everyone.

I will think often on how GA lived her life and the many testimonies of her children, mother-in-law, grandchildren, and others. And one day I expect to meet her again in Heaven.

It's now almost 6:00 a.m. in Chipley, Florida and I intend to grab another hour of sleep. Have a Good day.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

FaceBook War

“Riley - you're a ‘pathetic lying pigheaded ignorant bigot’”

The above was a most recent post to me on facebook from someone whom I do not know. The individual was someone I thought I could “converse” with via facebook postings.

It was not to be.

The original posting was a link to an article titled (in FB’s social reader) In Defense of Rush Limbaugh while the original title was “Condemnation of Rush Limbaugh Shows Our Hypocrisy” which I read. I found said article to make a number of valid points, but recommended Mark Steyn’s The Fluke Charade as a companion piece of writing that I found to be more objective.

This suggestion was not well received as the reply to my posting was one where it was stated “Rush had no business make those remarks about Ms Fluke” and then complained Rush's apology to Ms. Fluke was "sandwiched between McCarthyesque smears of her "femmernism" and "node sympathies to gays, lesbians, and -- eewwwww -- transvesterites."

I wondered (in print) what he meant when he said “Rush had no business making those remarks?” After all, if he was referring to Rush’s characterization of Ms. Fluke as a “slut” and a “prostitute” I would agree Rush used poor taste and was out of line – even boorish.

Instead he defended Ms. Fluke as a well-informed third year law student. Then the name calling began when he stated, “the smear campaign really only works for the slenderly-educated cretinous bigots Limbaugh appeals to.”

I had been found out. Rush appeals to me, and for that I was now labeled as a “slenderly-educated cretinous bigot.” Wow.

Since he was a self-identified liberal, I replied I was surprised how long it had taken for the name calling to begin. I know, I know, I shouldn’t have replied that way, but I have often heard how liberals resort to name calling instead of replying with actual facts and arguments that I did not resist plus I was surprised it had taken so long.

I also noted Ms. Fluke “enrolled with the express intent to attack Georgetown's religious views on employer provided health insurance. Among the changes she seeks is coverage of “gender reassignment” surgeries.” Stating these facts turned out to be very offensive. How offensive you ask?

Offensive enough get this reply where the liberal now “take[s] a wild guess – you have “issues” with transgender?? .. that’s a pity ..”

What was I to say? Here is what I said, “You missed the point – in its entirety.”

Have you ever been called “Sherlock” with a negative connotation? I was and then provided with the following question, “when you close your eyes at night, do all the voices in your head keep talking??” Then came an absolutely astonishing remark, “even Iranians are cool with SRS” which is sex reassignment surgery. This was an incredibly naive remark as I discovered when checking to see if he was right.

He was right. Sort of as SRS is “the Iranian government’s “solution for homosexuality.” If “solution for homosexuality” sounds a bit like the “final solution” for Jews to you, you are not far off. There are a “number of stories of Iranian gay men who feel [fear] transitioning is the only way to avoid further persecution, jail and/or execution.” (Source Wikipedia)

Then actual humor set in as he reminded me “NEWS FLASH (from the 21st century: .. the Earth is round ... the Earth revolves around the sun .. ketchup is not a vegetable .. The Pope is not our sovereign king ..” Me? I chose not to reply.

Liberals can be terribly conflicted as when they name call, but try not to at the same time as his next comment reflected his conflict. “Riley -- the question is not whether you're an ignorant bigot .. the question is simply whether you can use that information for positive personal growth .. i'm rooting for you .. break the chains that bind and free your mind, instead ..”

Since I stuck to my guns he has quit rooting for me and I remaine in his mind an ignorant bigot.

This is what it is like to converse with many liberals – not all. But little if anything is done to restrain those like “my name caller” herein.

I decided to fight back (gently) and posted two links, both from Don Colacho’s Aphorisms. The first was number 2,962 “Unlimited gullibility is required to be able to believe that any social condition can be improved in any other way than slowly, gradually, and involuntarily.” I assume that did not set well with a liberal who wants things changed NOW. The second, number 115, went this way, “The prejudices of other ages are incomprehensible to us when our own blind us.”

I admit it. I am a Don Colacho fan and am certainly aware that I have my own blind spots and I appreciate Colacho’s aphorisms almost always coupled with his faith.

Of course the liberal fully understood (not) both aphorisms and asked, “which one of those quotes would rationalize your championing Limbaugh's contempt for women, or do you need to turn to the Pope for that level of inspiration??”

To be clear (again) Limbaugh’s remarks were not appropriate when he called Ms. Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute,” but Rush’s comments do not compare with “comments from the misogynistic left that cannot be reprinted here and non-apologies from the same. I have actually read what has been said on both sides and their is no comparison.” That was pretty much my reply – including the misspelling – in defense of Rush. Also said that “while I admire many of the Catholic faith, I am not Catholic” and wondered where he got such an idea.

I should not have asked because I got an answer - another one of those answers.

“I just assumed you were pimpin for The Pope or at least his bishops on the no contraception nonsense .. not sure whether the Pope is a bigot about LGBT (i haven't really looked into that) .. i suppose that bigotry may simply be borne of good old-fashioned medieval ignorance ..” Notice the bigotry he has assigned to me is now coupled with ignorance.

Then we had a welcome interlude (from my perspective) when an independent more reasonable liberal interjected, “Way too much name calling, and personal byplay.”

He got shut down in a hurry. There was no attempt at reasonableness, instead there was this, “bigotry is ignorant by definition .. if Rush thinks that entitles him to demonize feminism and the LGBT community and Riley thinks that entitles him to defend Rush, it doesn't make the bigotry any less ignorant and i make no apologies whatsoever for pointing that out ..”

Then, while pointing out he has not suggested I nor Limbaugh should be denied equal protection under the law goes on and on about our ignorant bigotry. (I wondered how long that will last.) Of course this is while noting our bigotry comes from “deny[ing] legitimate healthcare benefits for women (and legaliz[ing] discrimination against the LGBT community).” It just never ends.

Our independent liberal had also asked the reasonable question about women’s views on the issues at hand which I took to be about the government telling businesses and institutions what and how healthcare insurance should be delivered. After stating why, imho, I thought Sandra Fluke to be a liar, I provided a link here about Obama’s drop in popularity which also showed a poll on the birth control debate.

Surprise – the majority of women in this country do not support Obama’s mandated healthcare and this is especially so for religious hospitals and institutions.

Also replied, “once the name calling begins, it only continues as [the liberal] is now calling me an "ignorant bigot" ... while stating deliberate falsehoods” about my position and repeated my conclusion that Ms. Fluke is a liar. I also provided a link here on why I believe Ms. Fluke is a liar.

This resulted in a question with a predetermined result where I was described as a pathological liar because I believe Mr. Fluke lied. He did this by asking, “what do you suppose the probability is that either (a) Ms Fluke lied to congress or (b) you and the conservative echo chamber seeking to discredit Ms Fluke are pathological liars?” Of course he takes this position because he is “a realist (vs. delusional).” Why he felt he had to state that after posing his self-evident (in his mind) question is beyond me.

Of course he mentions at length (MUCH IN CAPS) my (not his) obsession with “gender reassignment” and concludes I am a “lying pigheaded ignorant bigot” noting “the list of descriptors is a little longer here, as i have more information to work with now.” I have to admit it. I laughed – out loud – at that last, as I found it very humorous.

Of course he also somehow equated the New York Times poll, mentioned above, to a conservative poll and stated “i could care less whether a majority supports slavery .. it would still be wrong” when it was a majority of women in the United States that rejected Obama’s contraception mandates.

I decided on one more post and to then let him have the last word. He was not listening or reading with comprehension anyway - he is a true believer (see Eric Hoffer).

In my last post I made the point Ms. Fluke had not given sworn testimony, as he had posited, to a Congressional hearing. Instead she spoke to a panel of only democrats in a setting meant to appear as if it were a Congressional hearing. It was not. I also stated I still find Ms. Flukes stories to ring false.

I made the point I did not understand why he thought I was obsessed by gender reassignment issues as I had not discussed it. I thought he appeared obsessed with the issue – in some Goodwin Law version of his own making.

I ended with, “Cheers & Many Blessings.”

Recall my earlier, much earlier, comment when I noted, “Ms. Fluke “enrolled with the express intent to attack Georgetown's religious views on employer provided health insurance. Among the changes she seeks is coverage of “gender reassignment” surgeries.” He remembered. And that he considers obsessive somehow.

For not realizing that was obsessive somehow to him, he ends with the following for me, “Riley - you're a "pathetic lying pigheaded ignorant bigot."

For Rush, “i give him 3 weeks” for his show to last.

Gosh, that really hurt. Not. But it is all incredibly sad.

In reality, I should have simply spent more time in my Bible and chess studies and walking with my bride.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Fake, Flake, Fluke

Recently wrote about Ms. Sandra Fluke’s testimony before congress here, but it is worse than what I thought.

Ms. Fluke is both a fake and a flake.

First of all she is a fake victim. At a Fake Victim story we read
prior to attending Georgetown she was an active women’s right advocate. In one of her first interviews she is quoted as talking about how she reviewed Georgetown’s insurance policy prior to committing to attend, and seeing that it didn’t cover contraceptive services, she decided to attend with the express purpose of battling this policy.

Can anyone say, “Setup.” In the same article one discovers Ms. Fluke is not 23 years of age, but 30 years of age instead. Fake.

Fluke attended Georgetown to pursue a role as an agitator … she has succeeded in agitating, but she has not obtained her goal of persuading Georgetown to cover contraceptives. Instead she has succeeded in having the government force religious institutions – Georgetown University among them – to cover contraception. She may have actually exceeded her expectations, but I consider that a fluke.

At the DailyCaller we learn Ms. Fluke is a flake as well. It is there one discovers Ms. Fluke’s flakey degree in Feminist, Gender, & Sexuality Studies. If she didn’t start out as a flake she ended up as one and one with a chip on her shoulder as well.

How flakey was she? Well, at Cornell she “organized activities centered on the far-left feminist and gender equity movements.” Her organizing activities were insufficient to placate her Feminist, Gender, & Sexuality Studies angst. She was also involved with activities supporting abortion (no surprise there) while working “to recruit other women’s rights activists to campus.”

Got the picture yet – she is one serious flake, obsessed with her Feminist, Gender, & Sexuality Studies “issues.”

I am not surprised Obama has called her and encouraged her; after all she is the female version of an ACORN community organizer – a Fake, a Flake, and a Fluke.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Red Meat & Baloney

Reading the comments at a article, two in particular caught my attention.


The first was for me a red meat comment by DINORighMarie (DRM) who asked if anyone else caught the following comment by Ms. Fluke at the 2:25 mark:
….when you let university administrators or other employers, rather than women and their doctors, dictate whose medical needs are legitimate and whose are not, a woman’s health takes a back seat to a bureaucracy focused on policing her body….

DRM had exactly the same thought I had when I heard this portion of the testimony, that this is the essential objection to ObamaCare as it is exactly what will happen. The only difference is the need to replace university administrators with government employees/bureaucrats.

One other major difference, under ObamaCare you would have no choice to go to another university. This is because the final goal of ObamaCare is for the government to control all of medical care in order to control the costs which will necessitate controlling who receives what medical care and who does not.,

The second was the comment identifying the sob story about an ovarian cyst as baloney. DRM noted
Also, contrary to this sad tale of woe, most insurance *does* cover medical prescriptions of ANY kind – if the doctor follows up with justification, as a medical need. They don’t second guess a doctor who has a diagnosis and supporting paperwork. Unless the medicine is experimental or not approved for the use indicated, of course. Which, in this case, it is not. Even a Catholic insurance will cover this, if there is a proven MEDICAL need. No insurance company wants to risk the liability! (emphasis in the original)

While I have only been around for 64 years, this has been my experience as well. I know of no exceptions. DRM reaches the conclusion that, “The whole thing is made up, bull, baloney! Totally trumped up. This “student” reminds me a lot of Anita Hill, somehow.”

My conclusion is a bit different. Something happened. However, in this sad tale of woe as related by Ms. Fluke, if someone were able to dig into the actual facts I am convinced they will find the tale spun by Ms. Fluke is indeed baloney.

It would be interesting if someone in the media actually did the research and found out the true and real story. Of course it will not be the main stream media, as they have a vested interest in supporting anything remotely helping Obama.

Also with birth control available for $9 to $20 per month without copay Ms. Fluke’s arguments ring entirely false to begin with.

NOTE – Comments at are often educational and thought provoking.

School & Jada Williams

Miss Jada Williams, you may only be 13 years of age, but you deserve an introduction to Mr. Paul Graham. You and he have a lot in common via your essays.

He wrote a very interesting essay titled “Why Nerds Are Unpopular” that in many ways parallels your essay. I think you would really enjoy it and also think you would really understand when he writes

Public school teachers are in much the same position as prison wardens. Wardens' main concern is to keep the prisoners on the premises. They also need to keep them fed, and as far as possible prevent them from killing one another. Beyond that, they want to have as little to do with the prisoners as possible, so they leave them to create whatever social organization they want. From what I've read, the society that the prisoners create is warped, savage, and pervasive, and it is no fun to be at the bottom of it.

Oddly enough, his understanding of the public school system occurred in the eighth grade for him – when he was twelve and thirteen – the latter being the age when you wrote your essay.

You observed in your essay that,

When I find myself sitting in a crowded classroom where no real instruction is taking place I can say history does repeat itself. … The reality of this is that most of my peers can not read, and therefore comprehend the materials that have been provided. So I feel like not much has changed. Just different people. Different era. The same old discrimination still resides in the hearts of the white man.

Paul Graham observed

And as for the schools, they were just holding pens … . Officially the purpose of schools is to teach kids. In fact their primary purpose is to keep kids locked up in one place for a big chunk of the day so adults can get things done. …

… Kids are sent off to spend six years memorizing meaningless facts in a world ruled by a caste of giants who run after an oblong brown ball, as if this were the most natural thing in the world. And if they [the kids] balk at this … they're called misfits.

Jada, you continued with

My advice to my peers, people of color, and my generation, start making these white teachers accountable for instructing you. They tooled this profession, they brag about their credentials, they brag about their tenure, so if you have so much experience then find a more productive way to teach the so called ‘unteachable.’

Clearly the two of you are coming at this – public schools and public education – from two different directions. Nonetheless, it is uncanny how similar your language sounds on an emotional or visceral level.

Personally, I saw the connection between public schools and prisons when I entered a medium security prison as part of an outreach program. The corridors, bells, guards (hall monitors), and doors were incredibly reminiscent of junior high school and high school for me although I loved school and learning.

I was very interested to read what you said on the Glenn Beck TV show about your ‘white teachers’ reference here was not about race, but was simply using the language of Fredrick Douglass as it could have been so easy for you to say, “Darn right it’s about race.” You didn’t and made sure everyone knew it was about education or the lack thereof. (H/T

As it is, if your essay had removed the one word describing teachers (white) it would have been spot on without any explanation necessary as it would have then applied to the educational establishment as a whole.

I wish you all the success in life that Paul Graham has had and look forward to seeing your own website up and running one day –

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Three Squares

If GM Alex Goldin were to read this, he would be pleased as he has instructed me to focus on end games to learn – really learn – calculation. Additionally, this happens to be one very interesting endgame.

White has just played 49.g5 and it is at this point Black resigned (!).

GM’s Beliavsky and Mikhalchishin use this introductory position in their book Winning Endgame Strategy as an example of Premature Resignation of a Game for GM Timman now had a draw available to him.

A short note: the position above was from a game between GM Alexy Shirov and GM Jan Timman in round 11 of a 13 round robin 58th Annual Hoogovens Chess Tournament, a category XVII event, held in Wijk aan Zee, The Netherlands from January 12th to January 29th 1996.

The authors note that for both players the draw seemed “to be in order and appropriate comments [later] appeared in ChessBase…”

But if Black should not have resigned, what should he have done? The authors give the following moves: 49. … Kd6 50.h4 Kxc6 51.f5! Kd6 52.f6, ‘when there are [now] two ways to draw.’

The two ways or two moves the authors provided that permit a draw are

Position A - after 52…. Kd7

For Postion A the three squares d7, d8, and e8 provide the ability to triangulate against the approach of the enemy King while both protecting the pawn on c7 and keeping a watchful eye on f8 (remaining ‘in the square’) should the pawn on f6 advance to f7 and f8 to Queen.

and Position B - after 52…. c6

For position B the three squares d6, d7, and e6 (along with d8) again provide the ability to triangulate against the approach of the enemy King while protecting the pawn now on c6 and keeping a watchful eye on f8 (again remaining ‘in the square’) should the pawn on f6 advance to f7 and f8 to Queen.

The following diagrams provide a great visual showing the key three square in each position and where Black must carefully place his King.

Position A’s 3 key squares

Position B’s 3 key squares

There is a great deal of enjoyment and a lot to be learned by trying to find a way for White to win either position. So far, Black always draws with best play.

For example:

From Position A, after 52…. Kd7 53.Kf3 Ke8 54.Ke4 Kc7 55.Kd5 Ke8! And Black holds! (if Ke6 then Kf8!)

From Position B, after 52…. c6 53.Kf3 Kd7 54.Ke4 and either Kd8! or Ke6 holds for Black.

A little background on the game: up to the point of Black’s resignation he had moved his king a total of 15 times (including castling), traveling from c8 to b3 and back to g8. In a 15 move span (from move 21 through move 35) GM Timman moved his King 12 times. An amazing tour de force which as the authors have noted, should have resulted in a draw.

You may find the game here or here. Enjoy.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Why We Study Tactics

One the reasons, no, the main reason chess players study tactics is to enable them to use the tactics against their opponents at the board. Just as important, but seldom talked about, is that we study tactics to avoid having our opponent use them against us.

Sometimes it is to no avail, due to time trouble or just trying to find something, anything to stay in the fight.

The following two positions are from a game I won – barely – and as will be shown I should have lost. The game was played in round 3 of Dayton Chess Club’s #44 Next To Last 2011 Quick , game in 25 minutes, time delay of 5 seconds.

I was in dire straits through much of the game so I did something I seldom do afterwards. I went over the game and critiqued my moves and those of my opponent, Andre Jaworowski.

I chose a poor plan and Andre properly punished me for such a poor plan. The following position is after white played 31: Bd3

Black to move.

The following week, I wanted to show Andre the position because he should have won the game directly here with 31. … Qxg3 and if 32. hxg3, then 32. Rh6 mate. Pretty neat and something I wanted to make sure I didn’t give Andre an opportunity to do again.

Imagine my chagrin when Andre set up an earlier position after the moves 25. Bxf8 Bxf2+ 26. Nxf2 Qxf2+ 27. Kh1 with black to move. Andre already in time trouble, played 27. … Rxf8. Instead he had an absolutely killer move. Do you see it?

Black to move.

Do you see it yet? Andre set it up at the Dayton Chess Club and told me a killer move was there, but I didn’t see it.

Okay, the move is 27. … Qxd4!! where not only is white’s Rook on a1 threatened, but if the Rook moves a mate in three (3) ensues. 28. R moves, Nf2+ 29. Kg1 Nh3 dble+ 30. Kh1 Qg1 mate.

So I tip my imaginary hat to Andre while telling myself I will never (NEVER) let him have this opportunity to do this again.

Yeah, Right!

Interesting Quotes

Last year while reading the executive summary of a 60 page report on
“Working Towards Rules For Governing Cyber Conflict” published January 2011 by the EastWest Institute I came across three interesting quotes.

They were made all the more interesting because of the unusual range of the writers. One a Russian expatriate and American citizen, one a famous American writer of the 19th century noted for his cynicism, and the other a famous Russian playwright and writer.

“The hardest thing to explain is the glaringly evident which everybody had decided not to see.” Ayn Rand.

“Education consists mainly of what we have unlearned.” Mark Twain.

“Knowledge is of no value unless you put it into practice.” Anton Chekhov.

Confession, I was once a great fan of Ayn Rand and read much of Mark Twain, but have read little of Anton Chekov's writing.

I should also mention these quotes, which were interesting in and of themselves, helped keep me interested in a very dry (to me) document.

Finally, Anto Chekhov's quote reminded me of a line from the movie The Grace Card delivered by Louis Gossett Jr about the Christian faith and church, "Sundays are the classroom, Monday through Saturday are the application."


Look up the definition for decadence online and you will find three definitions
- the act or process of falling into an inferior condition or state; deterioration; decay
- moral degeneration or decay; turpitude
- unrestrained or excessive self-indulgence.

To me the third definition given above is the core of decadence, for moral degeneration or decay cannot take place without some form of excessive self-indulgence. Likewise excessive self-indulgence would also lead to deterioration and decay.

Today we see evidence of this all around us and especially in the world of entertainment. Michael Medved wrote about this in Hollywood vs. America almost 20 years ago. To read his book today is to see it as a place marker as the self-indulgence of Hollywood has become more and more unrestrained and excessive.

Another marker came up today, it is a movie The Children’s Hour from 1961. Gary North in an article to his subscribers described a conversation he had with an actress (whom he did not name) who was offered a role in said movie at the tender age of ten (10). Without explanation her agent warned her against it. He could not explain why to a ten-year-old, but she took his advice. [Gary North] remarked, “He was looking out for you.” She agreed.

Sadly today two major things would be different. The ten-year-old would know what lesbianism is and most agents (and parents) in their unrestrained and excessive desire for money (greed) would now encourage the ten-year-old to take such a role.

She would know because of the incredible level of sexualization in today’s post Christian culture in the United States that includes a constant barrage of lesbianism/homosexuality in the entertainment world – movies and television and now entering comic books.

At one time parents would have fought to avoid the process of sexualizing their children letting them be children. Today, many parents would not object at all and in many liberal homes would actually encourage their ten-year-old or younger to explore “their sexuality” always assuming it is a good thing.

Why? To justify the parents’ self-indulgence in their own activities. Truly unrestrained self-indulgence leading to moral degeneration, putting the adults’ feelings and values above the protection of their own children.

Decadence indeed. Jesus had something to say about this as well, "If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come!" (Matthew 18:6-7)