By Douglas Kent 911 Irene Drive, Mesquite, TX 75149
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Welcome to the latest issue of Eternal Sunshine, where I have nothing very interesting to say and all the space in the world to say it. But I won’t waste your time; unless something comes up during the day this section will be short and sweet.
Jack McHugh, Larry Peery, Paul Milewski and (I hope) Jim Burgess all appear this issue with their columns and subzines. Check them out.
We have two new game openings. I am offering game of Balkan Wars VI (rules and map in this issue) and Roger Cox has officially offered a game of Dune. You can sign up for either directly with me.
Due to lack of interest the game opening for Modern Diplomacy has finally been cancelled.
If there is a variant you’d like to see, please let me know. One individual suggested Colonial Diplomacy (not Colonia VII but the game Avalon Hill sold themselves) but I never liked that variant so its one of the ones I don’t have an interest in running.
Don’t forget Father’s Day is just around the corner…encourage everyone to check out my eBay store…the link is listed above. Over 1500 items included rare signed and numbered books, First Edition volumes, and other stuff. Tell your friends and relatives! I need more people promoting it…please???
Oh, and I’ve become more active on Twitter lately. Some of my tweets get automatically posted to my Facebook page, but other’s don’t. My main ID is @EternalSunshDip and then my “author page” is @itstheirhouse. So feel free to follow me there if you need more of my wit and wisdom. Bwahahaha.
See you in July! Stay cool!
Last month we gave you two questions:
#1 – You have a struggling young company. You have to choose between two equal candidates for a job: a man and a woman. The woman will work for $5,000 per year less than the man. Do you hire her for that reason?
Andy York - I would choose the most qualified candidate without regard to the pay (as I would not have talked specifics with any of them). I would, in the interview, discuss any limitations on the pay scale (especially the maximum that I'd spend). Once the candidate was chosen, maybe through a second interview or skills demonstration/test, then the specifics of pay would be discussed with the selectee. I wouldn't play one candidate against the other, trying to get the "cheapest." If the first person turned me down, then I'd discuss pay specifics with the second candidate.
John David Galt - It depends on what my company does and needs. Economists know that the "wage gap" in the real world simply reflects the fact that women, more often than men, will take time off to have families. If I thought that possibility likely to cost my company more than $5,000/year, I'd hire the man. If less, I'd hire the woman.
Kevin Wilson - Yes, I hire the woman but not because she’s a woman but because she willing to work for less. Why she’s willing to work for less isn’t my concern provided the candidates truly are equal in all other respects.
Don Del Grande - It depends on how you discovered that she would work for less. If they both put in "minimum salary requests" separately, and hers was $5000 lower, and everything else is equal, then I probably would - and had the man put in the $5000 lower bid, then I would hire him for the same reason. On the other hand, if she comes right out and says, "I'll work for $5000 less than what the men want," then no, I wouldn't - at least, not for that reason.
Steve Cooley - No. I’m going to hire whomever I think will help me the most, which is entirely subjective. The objective part has been declared a tie.
Andy Lischett - If the candidates for the job are really equal, yes, I hire the woman for less money, just as I would hire the man for less. Of course, I would wonder why the woman was willing to take less.
Roger Cox - No, wouldn't hire the woman on that basis.
Melinda Holley - No. I hire based on (1) experience (2) qualifications (3) references.
Jack McHugh - Not sure i'd be doing anyone a favor by hiring them to a failing company.
Dick Martin - sure, i'd hire the cheaper of equals in any case.
Tom Howell - Equal? If one is willing to work for $5k less a year, they ain't equal! Even with the same training and same life experiences - that last is impossible, anyway - a man and a woman are going to approach problems from different directions. However, in this instance, the bottom line, so to speak, is your first condition: a young, struggling company. I would hire either of them at the pay level the position was advertised
at. If, for some other factor, the man appeared preferable, but declined the job offer because of the pay, I'd give the woman the offer; at the advertised pay level. [[Pay levels are rarely advertised any longer or even hinted at until you’re in an interview. They almost always ask you to submit your salary requirements.]]
Mark Firth - Fairly sure our (neither small nor struggling) company would take the cheaper of two otherwise equal candidates for one post. Gender wouldn't be considered. If they were of sufficient merit, we'd probably look to create two posts.
#2 – You dislike all the Presidential political candidates in the general election, and their parties. Do you vote?
Andy York - Absolutely (and I have, though not in a presidential race). I always vote for the "best" candidate, in my opinion, even if I didn't agree with their position on a specific point (I'm not a one-issue voter). If I couldn't choose a "best" candidate (or, I suppose, least worst), you always have the write-in option. As a side note, I do look at all candidates - even those that aren't in a major party.
John David Galt - I would (and often do) vote for the least bad minor-party candidate. If there aren't any, then I don't vote.
Kevin Wilson - Yes, I vote. While it may be a lesser of two (or more) evils choice, one will still likely be less likely to piss me off than the rest. If people choose not to vote because they don’t like any, the chances of the absolute worst winning increases and that should be avoided. Now, if there was ever a test of this theory, this cycle may provide the opportunity.
Don Del Grande - Yes - just as I have voted in every election, presidential or not, since I turned 18. This includes elections where (a) the only thing on the ballot was a community college board race with three openings and three names on the ballot, and (b) a special election in March where the only thing on the ballot was an elementary school tax increase (and the only reason it was there was because the same issue lost by one vote in the previous regular election - and yes, the tax increase was higher the second time to pay for the special election).
Steve Cooley - That’s impossible! It could never happen!
Yes, I *will* vote. In that “unlikely” event, I would vote for a minor party candidate, or write-in a friend. Isn’t Edi Birsan eligible, even though he’s originally from New York?
Andy Lischett - 1972 was the first election in which I could vote and while I voted in congressional and state races, I did not vote for Nixon or McGovern. This time around I feel that Hillary Clinton would just build on the leftist, big-government, incompetent and imperial presidency of Obama, so I MIGHT vote for Trump, even though he is a pig. I don't know yet.
Roger Cox - Yes, I would simply not vote if I disliked EVERY party and candidate.
Melinda Holley - Yes. If nothing else, I write in a candidate.
Jack McHugh - I'd vote third party....done it in the past...
Dick Martin - always. since the 1980 election (the first i was eligible for) i've voted in every one...and only voted for the winner once!
Tom Howell - Yes, for the least of the evils.
Mark Firth - I would and indeed have, including two spoiled ballot papers.
For Next Month (For the time being, I am often selecting questions from the game “A Question of Scruples” which was published in 1984 by High Games Enterprises). Remember you can make your answers as detailed as you wish..but “this could never happen” is a cop out answer: #1 – The person you have been living with hints at suicide if you carry out your intention to leave. Do you leave as intended? #2 – You and your mate expect loyalty and honesty from one another. One night, out of town, you have a fling. Do you tell?
For the time being I am reserving this section for exceptional films, or films we see in theaters. I will also mention films that I backed on Kickstarter or other places, once I get to see them, and films made by some of my friends or acquaintances. So some months there will be no Dining Dead section.
Film Review – A Dog Named Gucci: If you are familiar with the work of Writer and Director Gorman Bechard, it may be from his early dark comedies like Psychos in Love and Friends (with Benefits). Or perhaps the moody You Are Alone (which was based in part on his novel Ninth Square). More recently Bechard has made a name for himself in music-focused documentaries, notably Color Me Obsessed: A Film About the Replacements and the upcoming Who is Lydia Loveless?
With that kind of track record, A Dog Named Gucci may seem to be quite a departure. But it only takes a few minutes of the film to realize this is a subject he understands and cares deeply about. And it takes a special craftsman to tackle the topic of animal cruelty, and more specifically the struggle to enact tougher laws against it, without simply going the easy route of tear-jerking horrors and melodramatic soundtrack music.
I’m not trying to say you won’t cry when you watch this film. If you have any kind of heart, you will. But you will also be inspired to stand up and be counted, to speak out for those who have no voice. And you will have a much better understanding of just how difficult it was to get many of today’s laws in place, and just as importantly you’ll see that laws serve no purpose when time and again prosecutors choose not to pursue cases, or judges let the guilty off with a slap on the wrist because…well, because, after all, it’s just a dog.
Most of the film tells the story of Gucci, who became the face of animal cruelty in 1990’s Alabama (and beyond). As a ten-week old puppy, Gucci was owned by a 15-year old runaway. As “punishment” for refusing to date a local teenager, a group of males took Gucci from this girl, hung him by his neck, doused him with lighter fluid, and set him on fire. Doug James, an Adjunct Professor who was in the process of selling his home up the street, had been standing on his porch awaiting a prospective buyer. Hearing the dog’s cries, he and another neighbor rescued Gucci – still aflame – from under a house, doused him with water to extinguish the fire, and returned him to the girl. But she knew there was nobody she could turn to who could help this poor suffering creature, so she begged Doug to take him and help him, which he did. Gucci was eerily quiet all night, and Doug didn’t expect him to survive to the next morning. But Gucci was a fighter, and he did survive.
With this nightmare begins a multi-year fight to change the laws against animal abuse in Alabama. The prosecutor found he had to charge the thugs with destruction of property (pets being considered nothing more at the time) because the laws were written in such a way that setting fire to a couch carried a heavier punishment than strictly being charged with animal cruelty. Building a large following through the state and the south, Gucci became the face of the movement to change those laws and make animal cruelty a felony in Alabama.
Bechard’s direction style puts all the horrors Gucci and the other dogs he features suffered through right on the table, but is careful to keep the story moving in a forward direction. Instead of 90 minutes of happy endings, focus is constantly redirected at how difficult it is to get laws to change. The “Gucci Bill” as it became known took 6 years before it was finally passed and signed. Along the way exclusions had to be inserted about the right of a landowner to shoot a dog with a BB gun if it is going to the bathroom on his property. The details of how the debates are shaped, and how asinine some of the arguments against it become, will motivate and energize you to be more involved in strengthening the laws of your own state. Other cases are looked at that were used as rallying cries to change laws in North Carolina and Ohio; South Dakota became the 50th – and last – state to make animal cruelty a felony only a few years ago.
And, of course, the fight doesn’t stop there. Bechard never hits the audience over the head with anything, never browbeats. He just spells out the facts, and displays the human emotion and the faces of those who have suffered. Animal abuse is a major problem in this country; it isn’t just kids throwing rocks at stray dogs. Public pressure is the only way to make sure cases are actually prosecuted, and that punishments are handed down by the judges in a serious fashion. One poor dog who gets just a moment on the screen had been blown up by explosives; punishment in that case was a joke. The interviews with prosecutors and animal control officers are bright lights focused on what people need to do if this problem will be treated more seriously. The public must keep the pressure on local and state politicians, and need to show support for prosecutors when they are trying cases against animal abusers. As one woman says, in a courtroom there is often a group of people sitting behind the defendant…but for the victim, nobody. And these victims cannot speak for themselves.
The credits include the song “One Voice” – featuring stars like Niko Case, Lydia Loveless, Norah Jones, Aimee Mann, Susanna Hoffs, and Queen’s Brian May - which can be purchased through ITunes (the proceeds from the song go entirely to support the cause of animal rights and the fight against animal abuse). And, if you could do me a personal favor, watch the film all the way to the end of the credits, until the screen goes dark.
A Dog Named Gucci is available on DVD from Amazon and can be viewed on demand from multiple sources. There have also been local screenings, sponsored by various animal organizations and rescue groups, so keep your eye out for one of those. I urge you to watch this film, and then tell five other people about it. Buy the DVD as a gift for others if necessary…I did. Spread the word. One person, one voice, CAN make a difference. Doug James proved that, and so did Gucci.
To ll of those who wrote in about how I should have ended Kendo Nagasaki last issue after Turn 10…yeah, I know. I forgot. But it was worth it since someone guessed the right answer this turn anyway. A new game starts this issue, so send in your guess!
Andy Lischett – (regarding Kendo Nagasaki) I give up. I can't find an airport within 500 miles of Vele that hasn't been picked already, either because I'm stupid or I'm dumb. Maybe it's an island too small to show up on a Google map of the South Pacific. I don't know. Then I tried nations within 500 miles of Vele that issue stamps and found none not already picked. What am I missing? If I am inspired before 7 tomorrow morning I'll send in a new guess, but for now my Round 11 pick is...Jeanne Claude Van Damme in Boston. [[Andy later changed his pick]]
The Eternal Sunshine
Richard Weiss won this hands down just with one correct prediction: Jihadi John. I’ll be in touch about a prize.
The 1960’s or 1970’s or 1980’s – Any Leftovers
Howard Bishop - In a vain attempt to catch up a bit, here are my 80's picks.
Top 10 from the 80's [[these are the 10 that count]]
Stan Ridgway - The Big Heat
The Waterboys - This Is The Sea
REM - Document
The Fall - Hex Enduction Hour
The Smiths - Hatful Of Hollow
Echo & The Bunnymen - Porcupine
Beastie Boys - Paul's Boutique
Wall Of Voodoo - Call Of The West
Billy Bragg - Life's A Riot
The Cure - Boys Don't Cry
80's bubbling under ....
The Pixies - Doolittle
Husker Du - Zen Arcade
Kate Bush - Hounds Of Love
Icicle Works - If You Want To Defeat Your Enemy Sing His Song
The Housemartins - London 0 Hull 4
Despite the list above I was still leading a double life as a consumer of hair metal and so I claim an extra bonus top 5 ....
Def Leppard - High'n'Dry
Motorhead - No Sleep 'til Hammersmith
Queensryche - Rage For Order
Ratt - Out Of The Cellar
Van Halen - Women & Children First
Geoff Kemp - Re Albums - Just been into the loft and pulled out my boxes of albums and checked dates, if they are in my collection I liked them.
For the 80s.
Pretenders - Pretenders
Michael Jackson - Thriller
Pete Townsend - Empty Glass
John Fogerty - Centerfield
David Bowie - Lets Dance
The 1990’s – Second Set of Five
Steve Cooley - Into the Great Wide Open, TP and the Heartbreakers
Gone, Dwight Yoakam
This Time, Dwight Yoakam
Del Rio, TX 1959, Radney Foster
Achtung Baby, U2
Joshua Danker-Dake - Blind Guardian, “Nightfall in Middle-Earth” – From a band that sings about fantasy novels more than any other subject comes a concept album about Tolkien’s The Silmarillion.
Therion, “Vovin” – The “metal” takes something of a backseat to the “symphonic” on this more leisurely paced album, but it all works phenomenally well.
Saviour Machine, “Legend Part II” – The second album in a never-finished concept quadrilogy about the book of Revelation; their eschatology may be rather suspect, but they’re in full mastery of their dark and brooding sound.
Symphony X, “The Divine Wings of Tragedy” – Prog metal greatness.
Leaderdogs for the Blind, “Lemonade” – A wonderful hard rock album nobody’s ever heard of from a band that was never heard from again.
Andrew Goff - Ah the nineties. I can remember some of them.
10. Ultra by Depeche Mode
9. Nevermind by Nirvana
8. The Boy With The Arab Strap by Belle And Sebastian
7. Chorus by Erasure
6. OK Computer by Radiohead
5. Different Class by Pulp
4. Ray Of Light by Madonna
3. Automatic For The People by REM
2. Homework by Daft Punk
1. (What’s The Story) Morning Glory by Oasis
Geoff Kemp - For the 90s.
Pulp - Different Class
Enya - Paint the Sky with Stars
REM - Out of Time
Bryan Adams - Waking Up the Neighbors
Oasis - What’s the Story, Morning Glory
Fugee’s - The Score
Alanis Morrisette - Jagged Little Pill
Neil Young - Harvest Moon
Eminem - The Slim Shady LP
Nirvana - Nevermind
Martin Burgdorf - 1995 elastica
A strange case of one LP wonder. "elastica" was the fastest-selling debut album in the UK since "Definitely Maybe" by Oasis. Their second LP, which was released five years later, did not even make it into the top 20 of the charts. Then the band split up. Singer Justine Frischmann is now married to a micrometeorologist at University of California Davis.
1996 Laibach: Jesus Christ Superstars
„Pop music is for sheep and we are shepherds disguised as wolves.“ "Rammstein is Laibach for children, Laibach is Rammstein for adults." The first time I heard from this band was in California in 1987, when they played "Geburt einer Nation" (Birth of a Nation) on the radio.
1997 SUPER FURRY ANIMALS: RADIATOR
This record contains songs in very different styles. The New Musical Express called SFA the most important band of the last 15 years. That was in the year 2005.
1998 thejesusandmarychain: munki
This is the last album of JAMC. JAMC was the last really great band that came out of the New Wave explosion of the late 70s / early 80s.
1999 The Pale Orchestra conducted by David Thomas: Mirror Man
Mirror Man was performed at the Queen Elizabeth Hall as part of the 4-day festival, "David Thomas: Disastodrome!". The album was recorded primarily live at the debut performance. In the description of the rules of "Best Albums of all Time" it was not clear whether live albums were allowed or not. I shall name another record if this is not the case.
Doug Kent - Tori Amos - From the Choirgirl Motel
Tori Amos - Little Earthquakes
Toad the Wet Sprocket – Fear
Toad the Wet Sprocket - Dulcinea
Genesis - We Can't Dance
Robert Lesco - I am finding this one pretty difficult. I will repeat my offer to sell spots on my list (sort of like I wish someone had done for me where the 70s and 80s were concerned).
So far all I could come up with was Sir John Eliot Gardiner's Beethoven Symphonies cycle. Much as von Karajan's cycle became the gold standard, this occupies the same status for period instrument performances.
Rossini Recital by Cecilia Bartoli was my introduction to perhaps the finest voice of the digital era, though the voice dominating the group at the interval crush bar may disagree. I only visit said bar to scoff at the pretentious toff I hear, I would never actually order a drink even if I did ever reach the front of the line.
Yo-Yo Ma: Inspired by Bach. Perhaps not the final word in Bach's suites for solo cello but I have received a lot of enjoyment from this one.
I will ponder things and hope I can come up with three more before your deadline, otherwise I guess everything save for eight records was a thundering flop.
Larry Peery - Leonard Bernstein and the NY Philharmonic, Ives: Symphony No. 2; Gong on the Hook and Ladder; Central Park in the Dark; The Unanswered Question At his best Bernstein, the conductor, was as good as any Europe ever produced. At his best Bernstein, the composer, on occasion could be almost as good as any Europe ever produced. It was when he conducted Ives that he managed to excel himself conducting himself. I could and would say that “Bernstein was born with a mission --- to conduct Ives!” except that Jim Bob would throw a tizzy fit if I did.
Michael Tilson Thomas. Stravinsky: Firebird, The Rite of Spring, Persephone. Those of you of a certain age may remember when Michael Tilson Thomas was one of those wunderkind I am thinking of. He still is. It’s just that he’s 72 years old! In the last 25 years he’s done more than 120 albums, mostly of consistently high quality. Whenever I hear the early ballet music of Stravinsky (e.g. Firebird, Petrushka, Rite of Spring --- 3 masterpieces in 3 years) it always brings an “unanswered question” to my mind: what would have happened had Stravinsky stayed in Russia instead of moving to The West? Sigh…
Peter Schickele: Hornsmoke (Piano Concerto No. 2 in F Major “Ole”, Brass Calendar: Hornsmoke – A Horse Opera). If it’s by Schickele you have to love it!
Rene Fleming: The Beautiful Voice: Works of Charpentier, Gounod, Massent and Flotow. It’s good to see Fleming among the great divas of her time as she begins to fade from center stage, although you’d never know it from her performance fees. She has the voice and looks to excel at the French repertoire and she does in this recording of works by French composers. Charpentier is an often over-looked and under-appreciated composer even in France. He’s always been in the shadow of Lully, who was an Italian after all, at the Court of Louis XIV, but if you look at the catalogue of his religious music and operas and watch some of them on You Tube you will begin to appreciate what a huge talent he was and a noisy one at that!
Janos Starker: Bach Suites for Cello Nos. 1-6. These solo suites are, I think, Bach’s finest solo works, even more so than his keyboard compositions. Starker, who only passed on three years ago, was one of the truly great cello players of the last century. He wasn’t showy, like some, but he had a refined elegance combined with a fiery inner soul, that few could match, let alone surpass.
[[and a bonus that won’t be in the final listings]] Carlisle Floyd: Susannah with Cheryl Studier, Jerry Hadley, Samuel Ramey. Floyd did answer America’s “unanswered question,” --- can an American compose a real opera? For years the tentative answer was “Yes, maybe,” and examples like the works of Joplin, Gershwin and Bernstein were offered as examples. But Floyd’s opera showed one could not only be composed in America it could be performed, to world standards, by Americans like Studier, Hadley and Ramey. You may not ever fall in love with Susannah and you certainly won’t be whistling its tunes in the streets of Manhattan, but you will respect it.
FYI – The only people who are up-to-date with all their selections from the 60’s through the 90’s are myself, Martin Burgdorf, Robert Rodday, Jr., Steve Cooley, Geoff Kemp, Andrew Goff, and Joshua Danker-Dake.
Deadline for the first set of 5 Albums from the 2000’s (2000 through 2009) is June 28th at 7:00am my time! Feel free to include comments in your own choices, or on anyone else’s! Or just get your ass in gear and catch up if you are behind.
Who doesn’t know who I am? You’re just slightly closer than the closest guess last month, and just slightly closer than the second-place guess THIS month. And now I’m not at the airport, I’m parked right outside of it…I was just trying to help you figure out the city; it’s a city with an airport.
You know who I am. Your island location and my island location are within 500 miles of each other. We both seem to issue a lot of topical stamps. I think topical stamps are our best export, since they couldn’t be used for much mail delivery around here. We don’t issue as many as Sierra Leone, but then again nobody does, do they?
The basic of the object is to discover the whereabouts and identity of a mystery personality, who is lost and alone somewhere in the world with "the dark forces" closing in. You must find him (or her) before "they" do. Each turn you must set up your high-powered transmitter in a new location and try to find get a reply from "the wrestler who out from the warm".
1.1 It is very very unlikely (although not impossible) that the mystery person will be the masked wrestling genius Kendo Nagasaki, since this would be too easy to guess. In fact it probably be won't be a wrestler at all. Don't rule out a masked genius competing in other pantomime sports. The person is probably still alive, but I make no apologies if the person I choose has secretly popped his clogs while out of the public eye.
1.2 The hiding place for Kendo (or his proxy) is a large town or a city. It's quite likely that you've heard of it, even if you've never travelled further than 50 miles from the place you were born. It's probably fair to say that it won't be Hebden Bridge or Stowmarket, even if Kendo was born in one of those fine towns.
2.4 Now comes the clever bit. Actually not that clever, and pretty contrived too, but you'll just have to live with it OK? The player whose transmitter is closest to "the person who isn't Kendo" will be informed of the fact and the mystery man will respond to the name suggested by that player.
2.5 Everyone gets to hear the response, but only the closest player will know that the answer refers to his suggested name. This may help you to work out who was closest, or it may just cause you to be even more confused than you are now.
So come on people! Send in your Round 1 guesses. I won’t use those annoying “the number of miles your guess is away from me is about 9 times the differences in our ages” clues…I’ll use my normal awesome ones.
The book centers around an extramarital affair between Warren G. Harding, who would become the 29th President of the United States, and a woman in his home town who was, at the very least, a German sympathizer, if not a German spy, during WWI, when Harding was in the US Senate. (Both were married.) More interesting than that, the book is a look back at how the US got into WWI to begin with. For me, the affair between Harding and the woman was a distraction from the more interesting parts of the book. I also couldn’t help but wonder what Harding would have thought of the presidential primaries of 2016.
In his first address to Congress he asked for the passage of an antilynching law. Six months after taking office, he was the first sitting president to travel into the deep South to make a bold civil rights speech. Democracy was a lie if blacks were denied political equality, he told an enormous crowd separated by color and a chain-link fence in Birmingham, Alabama. A few months later, on his first Christmas in the White House, he pardoned Socialist leader Eugene Debs, who was rotting away in an Atlanta prison. Deb’s crime? He spoke out against the draft and the war after America entered the conflict. “I have heard so damn much about you, Mr. Debs,” Harding said when Debs arrived in the Oval Office to personally receive his pardon without conditions attached.
As a young man, Warren often looked to Adventist health institutions when he was will, choosing as his refuge the most famous of the Seventh-day Adventist institutions, the Battle Creek Sanitarium in Battle Creek, Michigan.
The founder of the Battle Creek Sanitarium, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, was a pioneer in introducing cereals into the Western diet as one of the original health foods. He prescribed a low-fat, low-protein diet with an emphasis on nuts, whole grains, and fiber-rich foods. The Postum Cereal Co., with its Grape-Nuts and Post Toasties, all came out of the Battle Creek Sanitarium. “It makes Red Blood” was the original slogan of Postum Cereals.
In the special brew that has always boiled in Ohio’s cauldron of politics, Harding made the ill-considered decision to run for governor. He would regret it. In Ohio, he was considered the friend of the party conservatives and a devotee of the disfavored President Taft. True Progress Republicans were still drawn to Theodore Roosevelt and did not like the uncharismatic Taft. Harding carried additional baggage: his previous support of Joseph Foraker, a past governor of Ohio and US Senator who left the senate under a cloud of scandal in 1909.
Taft used the occasion to attack Theodore Roosevelt’s radical demands for the recall of unpopular judges by a vote of the people and for the reversal of judicial decisions by plebiscites if the electorate disagreed with a decision. Roosevelt’s proposal was anathema to a conservative like Taft, who had aspired his whole life to be a judge (he had been a state court judge and a judge on the US Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, and President Harding would appoint Taft as chief justice of the Supreme Court of the United States in 1922, making him the only person in American history to serve both as president and chief justice.)
As his biographer Randolph Downes wrote: “Harding engaged in high praise of party loyalty. Party organization and discipline were great virtues, not symptoms of corruption.” He believed a candidate should emerge from a party convention, not a primary election. “A man, before he submitted his claims and his ambitions to the electors at a general election, had to pass through with the winnowing process of party caucus or convention,” Harding wrote in an editorial in the Marion Star [his own newspaper] about how American government had always worked before the invention of primaries.
Roosevelt would all but sweep the primaries in Ohio on May 21, resulting in thirty-four delegates to the Chicago convention or Roosevelt against eight pledged for Taft. The state convention would select the six additional delegates-at-large, and Harding would be among them. As the consequence of some questionable deals at the convention in which Harding took a role, all six delegates-at-large were given to Taft.
Despite all his opposition to direct democracy, Warren Harding would reach the US Senate, ironically, as the first popularly elected senator in the history of Ohio. Since the country’s beginning, senators had always been chosen by state legislatures, but the Seventeenth Amendment provided that senators would be chosen “by the people” of the state. Ratified in 1913, the election of a senator in Ohio would happen for the first time in 1914.
I want especially to say, Mr. President, that I am not voting for war in the name of democracy. I want to emphasize that fact for a moment, because much has been said upon that subject on the floor. It is my deliberate judgment that it is none of our business what type of government any nation on this earth may choose to have; and one cannot be entirely just unless he makes the admission in this trying hour that the German people evidently are pretty well satisfied with their Government, because I could not ask a better thing for this popular Government of the United States of America than the same loyal devotion on the part of every American that the German gives his Government.
But Russia was exhausted after three years of war, and mutinies, sparked by extremist agitators, were breaking out among military units at the front. Eventually the coalition government—the vaunted democracy championed by the Wilson administration—would collapse and Vladimir Lenin and his Bolsheviks would gain power. Russia would be out of the war before the end of the year, allowing Germany to concentrate on the Western Front. Wilson’s war to make the world safe for democracy was about to meet its greatest foe in revolutionary Russia, the country that [Wilson] pointed to as the promising model.
“What the United States needs and what it must have if it is to win the war is a supreme dictator with the sole control of and sole responsibility for every phase of war activity, and this today means practically every phase of Government.” Thus began an astounding article from an interview of Senator Warren G. Harding conducted by Richard Barry of the New York Times, which splashed in the newspaper’s Sunday magazine on August 12, 1917.
Diplopedia is, as you may have guessed, a knock-off of its ancestor, Wikipedia, only with a twist. The catch is that Diplopedia was designed for and in part by the US Department of State. It exists to increase the quality and quantity of information exchanged between State’s headquarters in “Foggy Bottom” and the thousands of State Department employees overseas. Another hoped for by-product was the speeding up of those communications by by-passing the old cables and reports system in favor of a stream-lined intranet-based system. There were other pluses and minuses (the biggest plus being that all articles must be signed and are monitored for objectivity of content and the biggest minus was that use of Diplopedia is restricted to State Department and certain intelligence agencies employees), of course, but if rapid growth in the number of articles and the number of “hits” is any indication Diplopedia has been a run-away success. Interestingly, the two top subjects for searches have been “Pay Issues” and “Per Diem Allowances for Foreign Assignments.” Erdogan would be surprised and upset, given his vanity, to learn that he didn’t make the Top Ten in the list although Putin and Kim did. The Sykes-Picot Agreement was in the Top Thousand. And the Battle of Kut didn’t even make the Top Ten Thousand list.
In Diplomacy England and Turkey don’t usually come into one-on-one conflict until relatively late in the Mid Game. That usually happens when either their armies but heads over Moscow with England either having a fleet in St. Petersburg n.c. and therefore stymied from advancing south or having gotten an army into St.Petersburg opposing a Turkish Army in Sevastopol seeking to more north. Deadlock follows until either England gets into Livonia, Turkey gets into the Ukraine, or one of them gets into Warsaw.
The other possibility also usually happens in the Mid Game only this time it’s a naval battle fought out in the Ionian, Tyrrhenian and, perhaps, Tunis. For that to happen it usually means England has taken out France, Turkey has taken out Austria, and Italy is being divided up between the two of them.
First, just as the Battle of Kut has many names it also has many interpretations. I discovered this as I quickly skimmed through the first few entries in Wiki on the battle. Here’s a sampling of them:
Second, after reading the Wiki account of the Battle I compared it with the British National Archives account and I was amazed at the difference. Every one from Winston Churchill to Walter Benjamin to Dan Brown has been credited with writing “History is written by the victors” and the British certainly proved that in their National Archives piece. Far closer to the truth, I think, is the quotation in Wiki by, “James Morris, a British historian, described the loss of Kut as "the most abject capitulation in Britain’s military history." (I would have thought it was Singapore in 1942).
Have you heard of “The Sultan,” (used by Erdogan’s fans) “The Authoritarian Sultan,” “The Dictator,” ‘ Follower of Sharia,” or “The Modern Yazid” ( refers to Ottoman Sultan Abdulhamid II and used by those who really hate Recep)? Well, neither had I until I started following the career of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s President and a man more commonly compared with Vladimir Putin or Kin Jung-un.
Yazid I was the second caliph of the Umayyad Caliphate. He was regarded as a tyrannical dictator who committed major crimes, including the murder of Hussein ibn Ali, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad, the massacre of Hussein's soldiers and the sieging of Mecca and Medina, which are regarded as the holy lands of Islam. He is one of the most controversial figures in Islamic history and is unpopular among both Shia and Sunni Muslims.
In DIP name-calling goes way back. In the United States it hit its nadir during The Great Feud that bitterly split the hobby in two. In Europe it hit its low point during WDC IV in 1994 in Birmingham, England, when three Frenchmen took first, second and third place in the individuals Diplomacy title event and then, to rub salt in the wounds, trashed the British Diplomacy (at least those still awake and sober enough to be on the ground) at the event’s general meeting. Oh, and did I mention their swarming onto the stage en masse to sign an excellent a cappella version of La Marseilles?
Why do they always show a picture of Sykes but not Picot in British sources? And why do they always show a picture of Picot but not Sykes in French sources? Only Wiki came close to getting it right by including pictures of: Sykes, Picot, Cambon, Grey, Samuel, McMahon, Hussein bin Ali, Balfour, George, one newspaper article and, to cover all the bases, two maps!
Whenever I think of the Sykes-Picot Agreement and its line I recall a different line my cultural geography professor used in the late 1960s. It went something like this, “Beware of maps that have straight lines for boundaries between nations. They cause nothing but trouble. Boundaries should flow naturally; along mountain crests or down the middle of rivers.”
Anyone who has read, in Diplowiki, Wiki, etc. and familiarized themselves with the story of the Battle of Kut and the Mesopotamian War in general, the secret history behind the Sykes-Picot Agreement, and Erdogan’s attempts to rewrite Ottoman history can only come to one conclusion: the roots of the current Near Eastern conflicts are firmly planted in British soil and the crown of the tree sits on the shoulders of Mr. Erdogan.
Zones of French (blue), British (red) and Russian (green) influence and control established by the Sykes–Picot Agreement. At a Downing Street meeting of 16 December 1915 Sykes had declared "I should like to draw a line from the e in Acre to the last k in Kirkuk."
Having written this much I can’t help but think back to how fortunate I was in my high school and college days to have been exposed to both sides of the Near East story as it was unfolding in the 1960s – 1970s. My home, high school and college were located in an area of San Diego where Catholics vastly outnumbered Jews and Jews outnumbered Protestants. In college I was fortunate to have a superb professor of history named David K. Smith who taught a class on Middle Eastern History. His classes were excellent both for the quality of the material and his teaching skills. Even more valuable were the informal weekly discussions he hosted in the school cafeteria where he and students, including both Jews and some Arabs, discussed, debated and passionately argued over the events of the day. Smith was superb for being able to bridge the gap between objective “facts” and fiery rhetoric --- all the time while puffing on his pipe.
At the same time and for years to follow I was lucky to have the insights provided by knowing one of the best ever Diplomacy players of all time --- a player who makes Edi Birsan look like a newbie --- John J. Beshara. John was not only an extraordinary Diplomacy player but also a fascinating personality. Part of that came from his Palestian background (his family was from Ramallah) and his devotion to Palestinian rights. We had many an argument by letter, by phone and in person on the merits and demerits of the Israeli and Palestinian positions during those days of constant quarreling and fighting. I got the impression, especially as he got older, that John wasn’t so much anti-Israeli as he was pro-Palestine, both as a concept and as a nation-state to be. John had two major tactics in his arguments about Palestine: 1) he would attempt to persuade you with logic of the rightness of his position and 2) failing that, he would attempt to over-whelm you with the sheer volume of his verbal onslaught. He also used both tactics in his Diplomacy playing which made him: admired, disliked, feared and envied; often all at the same time. He was confident he was right. He was confident he would win. And, just as important, he was confident you were wrong and you would lose.
Which leaves me wondering why I can’t find any mention, but one, of John online using Ask or Goggle? The one mention I did find showed John’s address as being what it was in the late 1960s (e.g. 155 W. 68th St., #1021, New York, NY) and his age at 85+; which sounds about right but that means he’s lived in the same unit for over forty-five years. I know its NYC and they do love their rent-controlled apartments but…! Some years back I read John’s obit in the NY Times and, as I recall, even wrote a memorial to him in DW or somewhere. Well, perhaps Dippers do live longer than most.
Look you stupid morons, I have been a Philly fan for a long time. Longer than some of you have been out of diapers (and I’m not referring to those of you with baby fetishes like they show on My Strange Addiction). As I write this, the Phils are only 2 ½ games out of first place, with a record of 26 and 21.
But being a Phillies fan, I know it doesn’t matter. We are going to suck. Something bad will happen, or half the team will be injured in a tragic farting accident. It will all fall apart before the season is over. Phillies fans like me expect it and we are used to it.
Choice Tirana, Choice Montenegro, Choice Valona
BULGARIA: A Sofia, F Varna, A Plovdiv, Choice Thrace
GREECE: Choice Athens*, A Solonika, F Sparta
RUMANIA: A Bucharest, A Galati, F Constanta
SERBIA: A Belgrade, A Nish, A Skopje
TURKEY: A Constantinople, F Izmit, F Smyrna
to the Corinth canal, is a single-coast province
3. There are 28 supply centers (19 home, 9 neutral). Victory criteria is 14 Supply Centers.
4. A Power can build new units in ANY unoccupied Supply Center she owns. Serbia may build fleets in Croatia when she owns that space.
5. There will be no "separation of seasons". Winter build/tear orders will be submitted with the Spring orders. This holds even for the "choice" starting units so that the first set of orders will cover Winter 1909/10 and Spring 1910.
6. Fleets in Bessarabia or Constanta may move and support, via the Danube River, into Galati, and vice-versa. Fleets can be built in Galati. Danube is NOT a space. Fleets remain in the regular provinces.
7. Direct passages: There are several Direct Passages across narrow bodies of water which may be used by both armies and fleets without interfering with the passage of fleets between adjacent sea spaces.
8. The usual convention of abbreviating a province's name by using either its initials or its first three letters may be used with the exception of Constantinople (Cone) and Constanta (Cona).
Dateline Paris: The French Premier issued an update, “We have been slow to recognize that our formerly dear friend, the German Kaiser, is just another land-hungry, machine-gun-wielding, no-good, backstabbing Kraut. We can only trust that someone will take advantage of his exposed backside.”
It is my pleasure, young man. You know that I value the lives of the citizens of Germany, and of my earnest desire for peace in Europe. I feel it is incumbent upon me to share with everyone my assessment of where we are today, and how peace may be achieved in Europe to once again stimulate trade and commerce for benefit of all.
As you know, two of the great powers of Europe have disappeared. My cousin, the Czar of Russia, fell some time ago. While it is not generally accepted to speak ill of the dead, it must be said in truth that his dissolute lifestyle and poor leadership of his people brought him to a swift end. It is tragic the pain he inflicted upon our fellow citizens in Silesia, but what wrongs he had committed have been put right and we have invested vast sums to upgrade the infrastructure, hospitals and schools for the benefit of our citizens in this territory. Today, their economic standing has never been higher and peace has been restored to this territory.
Second, the invasion of Russia and the Balkans by Turkey has been stopped by our good friend, the Archduke of Austria. The territories in Russia that were ravaged by the Turkish forces have been recaptured by Austria and he stands at the pinnacle of success in terms of eliminating the Turk as a force in European affairs. From reports we have received, the Archduke has personally seen to it that individual plots of land have been distributed to the peasants of this tortured land, and roads have been rebuilt to stimulate the production of foodstuffs to ease the conditions of starvation present in many cities in Russia. This is leading to an agricultural boon which should hopefully lead to vibrant economy in the country as a whole.
Unfortunately, no, all is not perfect for Austria. His erstwhile ally, Pope Pompous I, attacked and destroyed an Austria fleet anchored in Bulgaria, even while this fleet was supporting Italian positions in Turkey! Nor is this the first time that Italy has subjected Austria to this form of humiliation. Early in the conflict, Italy stole Trieste from Austria, and used its resources to build up its own imperial power for an attack on Turkey. Now, the Pope has declared he wants “peace with Austria” so that he can attack France! Imagine, he openly boasts of this as his intention! And if that is not enough, he is encouraging Austria to attack Germany!
Looking at the situation dispassionately, the Pope is trying to deflect Austria’s attention from the weak position in which the Pope finds himself. In Turkey and the Balkans, Italy is trying to hold on to five territories with only three military units. If Austria moves quickly, these territories can be swiftly surrounded and returned to Austrian suzerainty where they rightfully belong. Germany has never attacked Austria, yet the Pope wants Austria to attack us! Incredible!
It is good of you to ask. In the west, our forces are advancing against the homeland of England whose pirates have invaded both France and Russia, and whose King is an opportunist of the highest order. Our recent conquest of Edinburgh and the tumultuous reception we received from the population clearly demonstrated the need for peace for the people of this island kingdom.
But our aim with regard for England is part of a larger plan to protect France from the proclaimed and long-planned incursion by the Pope. One of the bedrocks of our foreign policy has been peace with and support for France. We wish to be able to place three fleets around England to support a French fleet in the Mid-Atlantic Ocean. We anticipate that within one year, the Pope will place fleets in North Africa, the Western Mediterranean and in the Gulf of Lyon. We also anticipate that the Pope will move his army in Venice to Piedmont. Once placed, these forces will launch a coordinated attack on Marseilles and Spain, with the ultimate goal being the destruction of France itself.
We have had many opportunities to attack France, and have never availed ourselves of them. I will tell you honestly that representatives of the Pope have encouraged us to do this. But France has been our steadfast ally, and our support for France remains unbroken regardless of the false promise of support from Pope Pompous I.
In addition, Austria can forestall the movement of an Army in Rome into Venice if they act quickly. We hope that the Archduke will take advantage of this opportunity to prevent a new army from being placed in Venice, which will ultimately be used to threaten Austria.
Absolutely! It is well known that the Pope has promised to conduct the same type of campaign against the French as he did in Turkey. His genocide, and yes that is not too harsh a term to use, of the population of Turkey came about because they were “non-believers” of the faith. What he has planned for the French, who he views a “heretics of the faith”, is even worse. We have indications from our friends in France that the Pope has infiltrated spies into some of the armed forces of France, and that these spies “played their hand” this past season by ordering French military units to launch an attack on Belgium and move the French fleet into the English Channel. These efforts were designed to weaken French defensive positions in the Mid-Atlantic Ocean and possibly ignite a war with Germany.
We also know that it was an Italian spy that fabricated an order for a non-existent English Fleet in the North Atlantic to attack the French in the Mid-Atlantic Ocean. Fortunately, we captured and executed this spy in Edinburgh after he confessed to us what he had done. He proclaimed his loyalty to the Pope right up to his end on the gallows. It appears that the English Admiralty is riddled with Italian supporters who wished to see a restoration of Papal authority in England. The English King, a dissolute monarch more concerned with his pleasures than in protecting his kingdom, is oblivious to the dangers his country faces from their internal Papists. He instead continues to spend his time enjoying a lavish lifestyle at the expense of his citizens.
As I have said, the bedrock of our foreign policy is peace with both France and Austria. We have never attacked either one of these two great powers, and have instead focused our attention on supporting peace with our neighbors and eliminating the threat to our neighbors posed by England. We noticed with great attention that Austria has built armies away from our territories, and moved to position himself in such a way as to recover the territories lost to Italy. We believe that Austria fully understands our good intentions and we will continue reciprocate in kind.
Austria can, if they plan well for it, build a new set of fleets which will help them to defend themselves from the Italian privateers hired by the Pope to protect his interests and keep Austria from enjoying the rightful fruits of their labors denied them in the Balkans and Turkey. Pope Pompous I knows this, and is trying to deflect attention away from his weakened position.
The Pope has place himself in a dangerous position. His forces are split, and a coordinated effort by France and Austria can bring him down. Far from being a “man of God”, this Pope is focused on the violent acquisition of territory and spilling of blood in the most horrific manner. It there is a focus of evil and danger in Europe, it is the so-called “Holy Father” in Rome. Germany sees our role as one of support of the action of removing this Pope from power, as we believe that peace can best be achieved by coordinated action on the part of the remaining powers.
Yes. I want our citizens to know that Germany has reached out in a variety of “unofficial” means to the rulers of France and Austria in an attempt to create the type of coordinated movement that We believe will bring about peace in Europe. We recognize that the Pope, through the use of spies and infiltrators, is trying to do the same thing but in a much more devious pattern. We remain hopeful that through our demonstrated actions, and those demonstrated actions of Pope Pompous I, that our arguments will hold the day. It is my sincere hope that when next we meet, I will be able to proclaim that a coalition of powers have put an end to the reign of Pope Pompous I and that peace and stability have once again returned to Europe.
Pope Pluvius - Emperor: Salvation awaits, if you have indeed seen the light. My ships were going to deliver the word at your ports. Now, they can perhaps sail on to where they are truly needed - the heathen North. Please allow me unhindered passage for there are souls to save.
Ita - Aus: Looks like we are getting things right now, thanks. I'll shuffle my Middle East units as soon as you occupy Sevastopol. I think if you're quick you might just catch Germany on the hop both on his border and in St Petersburg. Let's proceed with armies for you and fleets for me.
The goal is to pick something that fits the category and will be the "second most popular" answer. You score points based on the number of entries that match yours. For example, if the category is "Cats" and the responses were 7 for Persian, 3 for Calico and 1 for Siamese, everyone who said Persian would get 7 points, Calico 3 and the lone Siamese would score 1 point. However, the most popular answer in each category scores zero points! The cumulative total over 10 rounds will determine the overall winner. Anyone may enter at any point, starting with an equivalent point total of the lowest cumulative score from the previous round. If a person misses a round, they'll receive the minimum score from the round added to their cumulative total. In each round you may specify one of your answers as your Joker answer. Your score for this answer will be doubled. In other words, if you apply your Joker to category 3 on a given turn, and 4 other people give the same answer as you, you get 10 points instead of 5. Players who fail to submit a Joker for any specific turn will have their Joker automatically applied to the first category. And, if you want to submit some commentary with your answers, feel free to. The game will consist of 10 rounds, with the 10th round being worth double points. A prize will be awarded to the winner. Research is permitted, but cooperation or collusion between players is not!
Hero – Kevin Wilson “My assumption is Superman or Batman will be #1 so avoid those 2.” Andy Lischett “I figure that most people will equally try to avoid Batman and Superman, so The Flash may be some people's second choice.” Jim Burgess “Batman seems this is a great choice to finish second, but if everyone goes Marvel it will be horrible.”
Spice – Kevin Wilson “Who knows, shot in the dark.” Brendan Whyte “The girl or the herb? Ginger and cinnamon respectively.” Jim Burgess “I don't know... let's try it, IS it a spice? Remember, that technically doesn't matter, though if I ever run it, I'm going to do rules that disqualify your answer if it doesn't fit the category; It actually technically is a vegetable... since you don't use that rule, that's my choice”
Kevin Wilson gets the high score of 15 (remember that in general scored are lower in BAPD because of the eliminated categories), with Mark Firth just one point behind. Jim Burgess brings up the rear, avoiding the schneid with his “Garlic” answer for Spice.