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playground player
Member since Oct-01-06 · Last seen Aug-25-16
NJ--no rating. Favorites, Morphy, Marshall, Anderssen. Played a lot as a teen, then let it go for 40 years. Trying to reconstitute myself as a chess player.

Meanwhile, let this forum serve as a refuge from wild-eyed loony leftism. Here there will be no admiration for Hugo Chavez, Castro, or any of the other tin-pot dictators admired by chess players from the safety of freedom-loving Western democracies. Here will be found a premise that most of the nations of the world today are governed by Godless fools. Ours, too, unfortunately.

I was also going to say some uncomplimentary things about Queen Pawn games, the Sicilian and the French Defenses, Semi-Slav games, and a few other chess matters. But as those are purely questions of personal taste, I have chosen to leave them alone.

Since setting up this forum, I have also had several novels published: "Bell Mountain," "The Cellar Beneath the Cellar," and "The Thunder King." For more information about them (and me), visit my website,

Update, much delayed: my fourth book, "The Last Banquet," came out last year, and my fifth, "The Fugitive Prince," I expect to be published sometime this Spring. For book covers and free sample chapters, visit my blog.

Update again: "The Fugitive Prince" is out now and the next project is "The Palace." Editing is well advanced, but we're still waiting for a cover.

Update: "The Palace" is in print now along with No. 7, "The Glass Bridge," with No. 8, "The Temple," waiting in the wings. The first seven are all available via Full Member

   playground player has kibitzed 5258 times to chessgames   [more...]
   Aug-24-16 playground player chessforum (replies)
playground player: Just as a historical aside: As recorded by Livy, Hannibal, on his way across the Alps into Italy, stopped to plunder Roman gold mines. Those mines today are buried under glacial ice. Who had air conditioners running in Hannibal's time, to melt the glaciers and let the ...
   Aug-21-16 jessicafischerqueen chessforum (replies)
playground player: <jessicafischerqueen> With your permission: There once was a waitress named Perkins/ Who had such a fondness for gherkins/ That once, at the zoo,/ She ate 42/ And pickled her internal workin's.
   Aug-12-16 Menchik vs F Schubert, 1928 (replies)
playground player: Vera Menchik had a lot of fancy scalps hanging from her belt. See our esteemed colleague <jessicafischerqueen>'s video on Menchik--well worth watching!
   Aug-06-16 Milner-Barry vs D Baretic, 1962 (replies)
playground player: I wish I had a nickel for every time my mother said, "I see, said the blind man."
   Jul-24-16 Tal vs Kirjatsky, 1959 (replies)
playground player: Tal's move, Rh1, I never would've thought of, not it I had all week to ponder it. Just wonderful, and it made me laugh out loud in admiration.
   Jul-19-16 Phony Benoni chessforum (replies)
playground player: <Esteemed Baseball Mavens> Is Harry Hooper the one and only outfielder to make the Hall of Fame without ever leading his league in a single offensive category? I can't find another.
   Jul-17-16 optimal play chessforum (replies)
playground player: <Big Pawn> Ain't you never heard of rock music? A' course the rocks they sung and danced. A scientist he sayed so!
   Jul-02-16 Petrosian vs Pachman, 1961 (replies)
playground player: Something about this position just cried out, "Q x f3!" It doesn't pay to ignore that when you hear it.
   Jun-04-16 Big Pawn chessforum (replies)
playground player: <optimal play> "Don't take what I wrote the wrong way"? How else could I have taken it? Don't make Science your god.
   May-28-16 V Babula vs A Giri, 2015 (replies)
playground player: I tried so hard (and failed) to understand this arcane pun, I couldn't follow the game.
(replies) indicates a reply to the comment.

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  cormier: Gospel : "You will come from east and west and will eat in the kingdom of God"
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  optimal play: <playground player: <optimal play> You're a guy who believes in liberalism ...>

Well, yes, I am.

<Contemporary Australian liberalism>

"Classical liberalism is a political ideology and a branch of liberalism which advocates civil liberties and political freedom with representative democracy under the rule of law and emphasizes economic freedom."

What's wrong with that?

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  playground player: <optimal play> Your definition of liberalism as practiced in Australia leaves out a few of liberalism's fine features as practiced in America.

1. The belief that the answer to every problem is "more and bigger government."

2. Adherence to those stirring words, first floated as an Obama campaign slogan, "The government's the only thing we all belong to."

3. A view of all law, and especially the Constitution, as infinitely elastic in the hands of judges, who will thus use it as their primary tool of societal re-engineering.

4. A conviction that human beings are the property of the state, totally incapable of taking care of themselves, too stupid to be entrusted with any responsibility at all, and important, relevant, and valuable not as individuals, but only as members of this or that identity group.

5. Adherence to yet another Obama campaign slogan, "You didn't build that"--again affirming a liberal doctrine that all good things flow from government; and, more importantly, you don't have anything that has not been, in some way, bestowed on you by government.

6. A religious belief that there is a small class of extremely wise and benevolent persons--political honchos, academics, nooze bigwigs, and movie stars--who have more brains than all the rest of humanity put together and must be obeyed at all times.

I don't know how it works in Australia, but over here, when a liberal says he supports "freedom of speech," it needn't be mentioned that what he really means is "all speech except for hate speech"--"hate speech" being defined as any words the liberal doesn't want to hear. This is why they're constantly working to have "Climate Change Denial" declared a crime punishable by imprisonment.

No, American liberalism isn't very nice at all. You'll know that, when it's imported into Australia.

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  cormier: Gospel: " Woe to you , blind guides "
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  optimal play: <playground player> 'Liberalism' as you describe it bears no resemblance to classical liberalism or even contemporary liberalism as understood in Australia.

"Australia is one of the few countries in the world where one can call oneself a liberal and mean it."

"Old-style liberals claim that individual rights exist irrespective of government – are unalienable – and government must not invade them. Seeking equality at the expense of liberty realises neither."

I find it hard to believe your description of American liberalism, as listed in your six points above, even remotely bears any resemblance to the beliefs and attitudes of real American liberals.

It's just too far-fetched! I can only assume you are portraying a caricature of your political enemy!

In fact, true liberalism is the antithesis of what you portrayed in your post.

"No ideas have been more important to Australia’s political development, both in the colonial era and in the period since federation on 1 January 1901, than Liberalism and liberal values. They were the motivating force in the campaigns in the various colonies for self-government during the nineteenth century. They provided the philosophical foundations for the federation itself and, more especially, the Constitution upon which it is based."

"In Australia, Liberalism has virtually never been defined in ideological or even doctrinal terms. It has always ... embraced a range of values central to the political, social and economic life of the nation. Prominent among these values are constitutionalism, representative and responsible government, bicameralism and federalism..."

"Whether in the political, social or economic spheres of life, Australian Liberalism has supported and advocated the rights and freedoms of individuals, especially when threatened by collectivist views and organisation. Individual liberties, the right to vote and participate in political life, to hold and voice opinions, to seek and take advantage of opportunities to prosper, to make choices about life and its course, are at the heart of Liberalism..."

And so I wear the badge of "Liberalism" with honour!

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  Shams: "Australia is beautiful and its people are lovely and its laws have many things to recommend them but, with respect to protection of free speech, it is a jurisprudential @#$%hole."

Take heart; Western Europe sucks at free speech too.

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  optimal play: <Shams> Your link to an article about free speech and defamation isn't pertinent to my post about liberalism.

You're confusing two separate topics.

Australian defamation law protects the reputation of individuals. It is unlawful to publish FALSE information that causes others to think less of another person.

Australian defamation law treats truth as a defence, requiring defamation defendants to prove that their statements were (at least substantially) true, rather than requiring the plaintiff to prove that they were false. Triviality is also a defence.

These laws in no way contravene liberalism.

And in case you're not aware, we also have laws restricting firearms, prohibiting racial vilification, and compulsory voting.

Maybe you think these also violate the principles of liberalism?

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  Shams: I don't see how I'm conflating anything. You wrote of Australia's "Individual liberties, the right to vote and participate in political life, to hold and voice opinions". Free speech law falls pretty squarely within the domain of holding and voicing opinions. That's basically the definition of free speech, yes? Yes.
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  cormier: Gospel : "This is what you should have done without neglecting the others "
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  playground player: <optimal play> The classical liberalism of Locke, Mill, and Jefferson bears no resemblance to today's American "liberalism," which long, long ago parted company with it.

Today's American "liberalism" is statist, controlling, and power-mad.

It's nice that Australia still recognizes truth as a defense against a libel charge. Canada doesn't. And if it were left up to American liberals, we wouldn't, either.

I'm glad Australia's liberals (I take your word for it) still support individual liberties against collectivism.

Ours sure don't.

Australia and America--two countries divided by a common language?

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  heuristic: <optimalplay: Gawker link which totally busts the silly feminist glacier> instead of relying on mass media:

the 5 year grant is titled:
"How nature, field research, and societal forces shape the earth sciences"

selected titles of his papers:

"The History of Ice: How Glaciers Became an Endangered Species"

"Beyond Weather: The Culture and Politics of Climate History"

thus, the 500K did NOT pay for the infamous paper; it pays for the entire suite.

from my perspective; the gawker article is misleading.

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  playground player: Oh, well, as long as we got several ridiculous papers for our half a million bucks...
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  optimal play: <Shams> You obviously don't understand the concept of classical liberalism!

As <playground player> alluded to, classical liberalism derives from the likes of John Locke, John Stuart Mill, and Thomas Jefferson, among others.

Your link to the article about defamation laws is irrelevant to this topic.

<playground player> Australia has its share of statist, controlling, power-mad cretins, just like any country, but they are the antithesis of true liberalism.

<heuristic> Your post is incoherent and I don't have a clue what point you're trying to make?!

The simple fact which the Gawker article clarified was that the grant funded professor Mark Carey’s entire body of research on glaciers. It was awarded in 2013, three years before the publication of the gender paper. Since then, his research has also focused on “the formation of glaciology and theories of ice dynamics,” “the establishment of theories about catastrophic glacial lake megafloods,” “glacier retreat and hydrology,” among other things.

Now whether or not you agree with this funding, the point is that it reveals the deliberate misrepresentation by the far-right bloggers who pretended this to be some kind of 'feminist political ecological postcolonial analysis of glaciers' claptrap.

Anyway, I suggest that you and <Shams> learn some reading comprehension to avoid any further pies in the face.

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  heuristic: <optimal play>
my comment was a terse presentation of correlated facts about the history professor; his grant (both title and duration) and sample paper titles (indicative of and pertaining to the grant). This involved two web searches; one at NSF and one at UofO.

Your prolix narrative consisted of diffuse facts not related to the central tenet: what published research is Mark Carey doing with the NSF grant?

curiously, your descriptive phrases of Carey's work are lifted from the gawker article! this indicates that no further investigation was undertaken by you.

his UoO homepage states the thrust of his research:
"to understand dynamic interactions among people, knowledge systems, environmental perceptions, and natural processes". Contrast that with the hagiographic awe from the gawker article, including "he seems like a pretty smart guy!"

in short, i found that the "far right bloggers" misrepresented the cost of this one paper. in addition, i found the gawker article to misrepresent the actual work that mark carey is doing.

finally, insinuations about "comprehension" are not appropriate.

Aug-24-16  saffuna: I had just glanced at this and thought, "sounds a little weird, but that's academia."

Now I see the name of Mark Carey and it looks very different. Mark is a pretty good friend of mine and wrote a book on the impact of the melting glaciers in the Cordillera Blanca in Peru: the natural disasters, the policies to prevent future disasters, how to mitigate disasters in the future, how the water supply is being affected, etc. Important work in today's world as glaciers are receding around the world.

The book is "In the Shadow of Melting Glaciers":

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  playground player: Just as a historical aside:

As recorded by Livy, Hannibal, on his way across the Alps into Italy, stopped to plunder Roman gold mines.

Those mines today are buried under glacial ice.

Who had air conditioners running in Hannibal's time, to melt the glaciers and let the Romans get at the gold?

Aug-24-16  saffuna: <Who had air conditioners running in Hannibal's time, to melt the glaciers and let the Romans get at the gold?>

Glaciers advanced during the LIttle Ice Age.

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  cormier: Gospel: " Behold an Israelite ; there is no guile in him. "
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