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Onischuk's Second-Coolest T-Shirt

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From the entertainingly deranged chesspro.ru photo report on the Russian Team Championship in Dagomys comes this pic of former US champion Alexander Onischuk, who is playing on board one for his Moscow-based team. According to the report he's an avid Obama supporter, helping out even though he can't vote in the US yet. (Of course we know what his coolest shirt is.) Earlier in the report you'll see Alexander Grischuk, formerly with rocker curls and even dreadlocks, with a new Michael Stipe look. Grischuk's team, Ural Ekaterinburg, is still leading. With a former Russian champion on board eight, that's not exactly surprising. Three teams are a point behind.


Wonder if he'll still want to wear that now? That was one of the worst things a politician has ever said in the history of the US. What a jerk!

what did he say?


What did Obama say that wasn't true?

I'm not a fan of Obama particularly, but the furor that's arisen over this particular comment (he said a lot of white working-class voters "turn to guns and religion" out of frustration with their economic situation) strikes me as typical political campaign garbage.

By that I mean that the media are so stupid, so easily manipulated by sound-bites, that campaigns inevitably focus on nothing but sound-bites. This forces candidates to focus more on always sounding politically correct (read: never saying anything that an opponent could twist into something that would offend anyone) than on the substance of their message.

A long-ago example, which actually decided a presidential race, was when Gerald Ford in a 1976 debate with Jimmy Carter said, "There is no Soviet domination of Poland." Ford wasn't the most articulate chap around, and he basically stumbled over his words here: but viewed in context, his meaning was pretty obvious - my administration won't acquiesce to the Soviet domination of Poland. But Carter relentlessly spotlighted the literal interpretation of Ford's words, implying that the president was closing his eyes to the Soviet empire - when Ford's intended meaning was just the opposite! That tactic won the election for Carter.

Then again, in that same campaign, Carter himself made a gaffe that was more serious: he said something like, we have to respect people's desire to preserve the "ethnic purity" of their neighborhoods (I think he used that exact phrase). In that particular case I'd view the phrase as expressing genuine racism, rather than simply a verbal mouse-slip.

If it sounds like I'm pissed at Carter, well, yeah: He just said he's been meeting with Hamas for years.

Oh, I thought that Obama said a lot of white working-class voters "turn to the Gruenfeld and the Schliemann." And I'm like, Barack, if you're so dismissive, show us some good lines against them, because in my experience, those are pretty valid defenses. And he's like, No man, I'm saving my theoretical novelties for Svidler and Radjabov. And I'm like, man!

Oddly, my second coolest t-shirt is a McCain one. My best has a provocative Japanese phrase written on it.

I do like a McCain vs. Obama race in November. I think it's a good contrast and that they're two smart guys with at least a modicum of integrity. That being said, I hope McCain wins for mostly economic reasons -- unselfish ones of course.


My second coolest t-shirt says, "I voted for Ron Paul but the Diebold machine counted it for John McCain."

r--you've got it all wrong. Obama would never criticize a defense for Black, only opening choices for White.

J.A. Topfke

Cool T-shirts I wish I'd bought, but didn't:

1. Seen on a teenage boy leaving Disney World: "Platypus...The Other White Meat." (Asked where he got it, he replied, "San Francisco." Of course...where else?)

2. Seen in a store in the Penn Station shopping mall: Black background, silhouette of New York skyline high up, and maybe the words "New York." Center of the shirt shows a fish swimming toward the edge. Behind him, pointed in the same direction, is a bigger fish with his mouth open. And behind him is a still bigger fish with his mouth open.

I had a great T-shirt from a Philadelphia Museum of Art exhibition on Duchamp and chess. It had a sort of dispersed, broken-up chessboard with Duchamp-designed pieces.

That was back in the day. The T-shirt is long gone, but the art and the chess remain. Booyah!

I agree about soundbites, and I don't happen to support Obama.

That said, I think Carter has been the best Ex-President we've had - maybe ever. I don't understand the furor over meeting with Hamas. He's a private citizen; and besides, actual sitting Presidents "meet with" worse people every year.

Sensible people have two choices about Hamas: 1. Kill them all. 2. Talk to them.

Being pissy and appalled by people who talk to jerks doesn't actually make an impression on jerks, as anyone who's ever been a jerk and had an ex-girlfriend knows.

If you want to solve a problem, you have the above choices, more stiltedly portrayed as 1. Force and 2. Diplomacy.

I'm willing to consider either one with respect to Hamas (or anyone else for that matter) but I'm not willing to take seriously people who argue for none of the above.

most politically incorrect t-shirt of all time: photo of black people in wheel chairs.

caption: these colors won't run.

Most politically incorrect internal company magazine (i.e. for employees, to build cohesion and morale) of all time:

Global company with roots in publishing and TV, had bought a new subsidiary involved in Louisiana oil exploration. In-house magazine carried a gushy article about the romantic/macho aspect of this new line of business - including a phrase about digging for oil while standing waist-deep in trenches "with water moccasins" (poisonous snakes, for you non-North Americans out there).

The accompanying color photo showed a bunch of workers, indeed, working in a trench waist-deep in water. There were no snakes visible, but I have no trouble believing they were there in that water.

Meanwhile, about as many workers were lounging up on the riverbank, eating lunch.

All of the latter group were white. All the guys digging in the trench with the water moccasins were black.

I've always wondered whether anyone at the company (which I worked for at the time) lost their job over that photo and article. (I never heard any controversy about it; the above was simply my own reaction when I read the in-house magazine.)

The digging guys weren't just covered in oil?

gmc: "the best Ex-President"

Carter has been a TERRIBLE ex-President. Absolutely vile. No ex-President has done anywhere near as much to damage his country than Jimmy Carter. Just a couple quick examples: in 1990-1991 the first President Bush was assembling a coalition to push back against Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait. Carter worked his hardest to undermine the efforts of the President and state department, including lobbying foreign heads of state (France, England, USSR, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria, etc.) to refuse to cooperate with the US, that if these states were to band together under the leadership of France and the Soviet Union, then US aims could be effectively thwarted. For example, in a letter to King Fahd (Saudi Arabia), Hosni Mubarak, and Hafez Assad in January 1991, he wrote: "I urge you to call publicly for a delay in the use of force while Arab leaders seek a peaceful solution to the crisis. You have to forgo approval from the White House, but you will find the French, Soviets, and others fully supportive." No other ex-President in history has demonstrated that level of contempt for his country, his President, and the voters.

But Carter has often tried to undermine the efforts of US Presidents' foreign policies. In 1992 he stood aside the architect of "ethnic cleansing" in Bosnia and declared his sympathy: "I cannot dispute your statement that the American public has had primarily one side of the story." This type of vain, amoral grandstanding offers great encouragement to folks like Radovan Karadzic in the 1990s and Hamas today.

But he's done even worse. In the mid-1990s, it was clear that North Korea was intent on building nuclear weapons and was making great progress in doing so. The Clinton administration was alarmed and taking steps (e.g., sabre rattling, UN sanctions) to pressure the PDRK government to abandon the program. Carter decided to meet with Kim Il Song with or without approval of the Clinton administration. Clinton told him that he'd be travelling as a private citizen and asked him to respect the official US policy. Carter instead torpedoed what Clinton was trying to do and inserted his own policy: North Korea would freeze its nuclear program in return for US agreeing to further talks. He dropped the demand the UN inspections resume and that North Korea give up its spent nuclear fuels rods (used for extracting weapons-grade fissile material and bomb-making). He announced his agreement on CNN without first informing the administration. This put Clinton in a terrible bind, and he was livid. He was forced to accept the agreement or make himself and his country look foolish for allowing Carter to go in the first place. Foolishly, he did accept, and now North Korea has nukes and Carter did all he could to ensure that the world community could not hinder their march to become a nuclear power.

There are many, many other examples of Carter's sympathy for horrific thugs and encouraging and enabling of their behavior while actively tearing down his own country on a world stage and sabotaging the policies of its elected leaders.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on April 10, 2008 11:47 PM.

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