Archive for May, 2012

Kindred’s Special: The Word, The Promise, The Love of the Son–A True Spiritual Blessing!

May 23, 2012

The Holy Bible has always been my benchmark for Faith. I studied the parts that pertained to my thoughts and belief in the truth of The Word given us and historical record passed to us in each generation.  Many times I heard it from people who never took the time to think.  Thankfully the Lord gave me insight to believe; the depth of passing down the names of family with such run ons as “begot” again and again was often pointed out to me as wasteful and time-consuming boredom by social friends.  But to think it squarely, one putting himself in the days of old–it was the importance of life-giving as God touched man and woman’s soul.  It was family and then families.  The Word passed down the value of family and historical union of human experience.  It is one of the few things that breathing beings have in common.

Life has never been kind to Christians, Jews, Muslims or other religious members.  Each has throughout history been tormented, beaten, murdered, or turned into slaves.  The human race saw such misery as witchcraft and demons during the middle ages where people were burned at the stake or hung for social crimes that bore little or no semblance to facts– all in the name of religion.  Even though territories and lands were separated by oceans or great distances in travel among populated areas, many of the people of the Earth were hospitable to strangers.  It was a way for having social awareness among people.  It was the news of travel that brought joy and effective communication in human language and thought.

It was the Christians who founded settlements and cities through most of North and South America due to discoveries by the Spanish, French and English explorers.  Christian missionaries were largely responsible for bringing both the message and various diseases to the Atlantic shores. The cry has always gone out for conversion of people to Christianity in the Americas; it is too bad that the Europeans lacked the moral fiber of enriching the populations with Christian righteousness. In those early days of exploration and development of settlements from the 1500s through the 1800s, the inhumanity of man reached ever new levels of torment, brute force and thievery mixed with a good portion of murder and bringing about slavery.  Still, despite this wave of evil that swept the land, the goodness of people of Christian faith eventually won out.  That was the history of Christians the world over–persecution to triumph.  And that was entirely due to the character and integrity of the Christian family.

Well, folks.  That is the way I see it.  I am sure it was formed from my upbringing and slowly developed belief in God’s word. Perhaps it will give you some food for thought.  Amen, and Amen.

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KIndred’s Special: Take a Bow, Jimmy! A Comedy Genius

May 17, 2012

It may be that most viewing this article and today’s column will not find the name Jimmy Durante on anyone’s lips.  I grew up with him, his radio and TV shows were a part of my life.  Full of compassion, a true clownish comedian who could devise simple and yet effect audience appeal that made you love the man!  You sensed a close brotherhood because he spoke with that loveable slang that everybody knew even if they never heard it before.  He was Jimmy Durante but even better known as ‘Schnozzola’.

He came out of the depression years and he made people laugh in many settings.  One time he had to take a flight on an airplane, said to be his first ever.  He did what he always did–made people laugh and have a good time.  I can picture him with his felt hat and big schnooze, his distinctive trademark of a Punchinello nose.  When the passengers laughed, they all forgot their worries for a little while.  People came on board as strangers and departed as friends–that was the Schnozzola!

One of his favorite sayings was probably coined when he was just a kid.  He’d go down the  street and he would hear, “Look at da big nosed kid!” Years later when I would come out on stage, laughing and kidding about my big beak, at no time was I ever happy about it.  He grew up to accept his looks which became one of his trademarks in the act.  He would chirp up with, “Dem’s da conditions dat prevail.”  One of his decidedly remembrances from those nasty comments about his appearance as a child found a bounty within his act on stage. He often told the story that he could remember when he was born and held by a distraught midwife on February 10th 1893 when she protested, “Dis ain’t da baby–it’s da stork!”  Jimmy always joked about it but it was a secret sorrow to him all his life.

His rink-a-dink piano playing led to a spot with the Club Alamo in Harlem; he got a chance to do some act hiring. He hired Eddie Jackson who sang and danced. Jimmy picked his songs and dance numbers he joined Jimmy’s act. Jackson said, “When you go on stage with that man, you’re in.”  Then happy time came when a young singer by the name of Jeanne Olson came to the Alamo. Three years later they were married. On top of this, a friend suggested they start their own place the Club Durant that opened in January 1923.  Jimmy made Eddie a partner.  He loved and was always helping the down on luck vaudeville stars and he picked up his friend Lou Clayton, thus came the comedy team of Clayton, Jackson and Durante.  They were full of gags.  One of the best and often spoke was a skit about a blind date. “I walked over to the telephone–pickin’ up the receiver, I said ‘Hello’ and she sez, ‘Hello, come right over.’ When I got dere, she took one look at my nose and said,’You sure musta hurried. You forgot to hang up da phone!'” When Jimmy got a longterm Hollywood  contract the team broke up.  Jimmy hired Clayton as his manager. Success came in 20 films in 10 years, and several Broadway musicals.  Around Christmas 1942 Jimmy was not doing well because Jeanne had cancer and very ill.  He was taking care of her and she said he should take a job and the following morning he got a call that Jeanne died.  Then Jimmy got the old act together again.  This is pretty much where I came in the picture.

Garry Moore had a radio show and I remember a college sketch that went: “Ya know, Junior, dis college is a serious ting wid me. I get to the classroom every morning at four o’clock.  Moore played the straight man setting up the punch line. ‘Four o’clock in the morning! What do you take?’ Jimmy came back with the quip, “Oh, the usual tings–a pail and a mop!” On both radio and TV shows, he always closed with a serious and tender, “Goodnight, Mrs. Calabash–wherever you are.”  Mom, Dad, Grandma, and I along with millions of folks across the country and maybe the world never was told by Jimmy Durante just who was this lady.  As far as I know, no one ever knew.  He took this secret with him to the grave.

Those who were down on their luck as Jimmy called it, Clayton was forced to put him on an allowance and he is said to give most of that away. Sometimes he was teased about it but came back with a statement you could not find fault with, “Maybe we ain’t born equal, but it’s a cinch we all die equal.”

1950 was a major change in Jimmy’s life.  His long time manager and partner Lou Clayton died of cancer.  Jimmy spent millions to the Damon  Runyon Foundation for Cancer Research; his move to TV made him a sensation because people could see him; he wrote many songs for the piano and his comedy made him a household word in humor.

Jimmy eventually married 17-years after Jeanne’s death.  Marjorie Little was 39 and Jimmy was 67.  They adopted a little girl they named Margie and called her CeCe. Jimmy died in January 1980 when she was 18;  on his casket was a worn and battered fedora–his long time trademark.  As I write this I still can see him singing “Young at Heart” and his final curtain call, GOOD-NIGHT, MRS. CALABASH-WHEREVER YOU ARE.

KindredSpirit’s Kaleidoscope: The Natural Superiority of Male Chessplayers ?!

May 14, 2012

I was once asked by a female visitor to our chess club just why do men chess players think they are superior to women–period? Gosh! What a loaded question!!  This was before we in America probably ever heard about obstacles faced by the family Polgar who came along– three girls taught by their father to play chess– exhibiting a terrible talent by each child who, each in turn during similar ages, mowed down just about all adversaries in national and international play among women while representing Hungary.  Being homeschooled and pressing upon each by their parents to excel in chess was a parental experiment to prove that with proper training and education, youngsters could prove superior at earlier ages than what was commonly thought up to that time.  Another fallacy was broken: Kids love to play chess for fun. A number of great chess teachers thought previously that a child should not start to study chess seriously until the age of about thirteen. (Nimsowitsch in My System).  By that age, the Polgar sisters achieved national and international fame and the chessworld sat in awe at the play coming from the sisters.  There can be no doubt that their successes spurred many more boys and girls to take up chess with parents and schools discovering  a new occupation called “the chess coach”.  Chess was covered in news magazines and other literature which brought into the ranks of adherents with the expectation that if the Polgar family could achieve like they did, then “my Johnnie or my Sally could, too, with proper instruction.  TV programs began to take notice. Thus, boys and girls alike were often seen in major tournaments sitting across from each other ready for combat, many representing school teams while hordes of parents screened off from the playing area due to the noise some generated to the chagrin of their children.  One tournament organizer said the kids were better behaved than the parents!

Had I at the time been aware of these events, my answer would be readily backed up by fact, even if the Polgar experiment proved a rare oddity at the moment.

My explanation therefore followed the evidence that was voiced by scholars of high learning that men in general were superior to women in chess.  No woman had reached the Grandmaster title, let alone enormously skillful chessplay often seen at the critical moments of a chess battle.

She gave me a wry look: “But!” ( I confess to never remember meeting a woman who came up with more “buts.”). How to continue to give a decent and near as correct assessment to answer her question which, by now, I recognized as simply seeking an expert opinion; I held no wisdom other than from brief reads or in conversation with those who possessed such wisdom that I could relate.

It is my opinion in playing through thousands of chess games by a host of Grandmasters across the world, that there is a large assortment of replies to moves that vary among them as to choosing a correct plan.  Maybe there is no correct plan but only the assessment of various positions on the board that allude to the Grandmasters’ disposition at the time.  Maybe such a dilemma confuses the female player into wrong decisions where men see the illogical thought processes by women that reflects the inability to concentrate on different types of intellectual problems.  This, in turn, might lead to making fun of a woman’s skill.  Hey! Don’t quote me on that comment.

There is a whole lot of difference in attitudes and socially motivated concerns of women of different ages that range from desire for education, dating, having a desire for romance during highschool and later college. Such social interplay between the sexes lead to maturity and choosing wise choices once leaving the nest.  Single women usually find 26 to mid 30s as a time to view marriage and seeking a husband to form a family and have children.  Of course there is no set pattern as emotional love can enter the picture at any adult age.  A woman’s thoughts are deeper and more realistic sometimes.

Going back to the Polgar experiment, all three young ladies eventually married.  Sofia, who both Susan and Judit considered the strongest of the three in Susan’s book, Breaking Through, decided to marry and raise a family devoting limited time for competitive play as a member of the Hungarian Olympic team.  Susan was former world woman champion and runs a school for girls in chess. Judit is married and a mother as well and continues to play in male tournaments with considerable success.

The last decade saw a huge influx of female players in world tournaments and a recent entry by women from China who are dedicated to representing China with superior results in both men and women events.  The top young ladies in the chessworld today have sharpened their skill level and have made many contributions to theory and literature.

FIDE has made strides in bringing chess to third world countries. The western countries of Canada, Great Britain, France, United States and most of South America have fallen behind in the female category for top women players and quality women tournaments.

Kindred’s Special: Strategy and Tactics– Dynamism for Chessboard Magic

May 13, 2012

The great German master Richard Teichmann [1868-1925] exaggerated chess to be 99% tactics that conveys a short-term plan.  Hey! What about strategy where you would be left with 1%? This often published announcement likely represented sparkling games published in books or magazines where the emphasis was aimed illustrating the most enjoyment for amateurs showing brilliant tactics and thus encourage sales.  In those days, positional strategy was less attractive for carrying out the kill by mate or by material gain.  It just illustrates the sometimes over zealous joy of experiencing magical dynamism. Part of this would be the play earmarked by my square count theory as part of the evolving strategic principles that connect the two.

Chess literature emphasizing these give us good description of tactics that excite the spirit of instant gratification–discovered attacks, forks, pins, skewers, and undermining an overworked piece defending squares or a piece.  For the chess enthusiasts, these reflect the competitive nature of chess and whenever two players or teams meet in competition, chess does, to me, represent a sport.  This again is denied by certain circles in America whose sport representatives and media refuse to honor chess as a recognized sport. Chess history and writers all look upon chess as physical endurance, sport, art, and science.  Few games can turn on gratification joys like chess does.

Kindred’s Special: Old and New Meet, or; Is Anything Really New or Just Rediscovered-Part 2

May 8, 2012

Many of you have requested that I expand on this theme for which I used chess as a means to reflect the above title. To continue in that same vein would be boring to you and me. Hence, I shall endeavor to elaborate a bit more from the financial studies of the Controllers of the Federal Reserve as best I can.

Like today’s unemployment figures that in reality jump from 10-30 percent in pockets across the country, the 1921 recession billed as 11+ percent had seen a sharp decline in salary income.  Both President Harding and VP Calvin Coolidge were constitutionalists as called and President Harding’s death brought to the White House the very capable Coolidge who was a brilliant constitutionalist and that wing of political influence continued until 1929 with a record less than 4 percent unemployment with no noticeable inflation. During his six-year presidency he did have to put up with Herbert Hoover who represented the relative new brand of political thought–the interventionist.  The federal spending shortly overreached what was considered a safety net; it soon became apparent that such spending policies did not work–it had not brought the freedom to see a strong economic recovery. FDR was in the White House following Hoover and he continued the Keynesian economic model pushed by the interventionist and for the next 50 years pursued this fallacy of governance.

One of the biggest scandals of all time was the Social Security System imposed upon workers. It was a typical Ponzi Scheme which Democrats pulled off because the death of citizens in those days was relatively short and they knew many who paid in to the coffers would never see a dime. It was assumed that the well would never run dry but probably overflow.  With this in mind the Social Security System was raided for years and red IOUs by the Congress really meant nothing.  A family smart enough to have saved $10,000 could have invested in a high yield dividend stock(s) and just leave it roll over with all dividends reinvested. It is estimated that over the course of a working life, that balance would exceed four million dollars and that money would belong to the worker and his family.  Because of mismanagement and what one might even call a fraud, the elected Congress that was controlled most of those years were Democrats and bamboozled the American public.

As I said, Calvin Coolidge may have been one of the greatest presidents ever for the very reason that he was a constitutionalist.  Many projects found it going down a deep dark well by big spending liberals. This was true of 1929 on and covered more than 50 years being dominated by the liberal elite.

We often hear and read praise heaped upon Ronald Reagan for his great leadership. But in a sense he was following the path started by Calvin Coolidge and a man to emulate in the White House.

With the election of  George Bush followed by Clinton and then again George W. Bush, the period of international concern grew through the often dictatorial policies and needs of the United Nations who grew more anti-American by chastising American policies.  This brought in 2008, the election of B. Obama who wielded a new strategy for dealing with the world politic. It often ran contrary to long-standing relationships among world leaders and countries. He is the biggest opportunist to ever sit in the White House, save perhaps FDR.  He may even hold the record for being the biggest liar and boaster of all presidents. Whether true or not, the media catering to his every wish and the elite rallying to his call, continues to leave a sour taste in my mouth and a pain in the butt.

Currently he is being hard pressed for returning for another 4-year term and his efforts keep going back to trying old tricks and old propaganda with a new twist which is just being rediscovered.

KindredSpirit Special: Inconvenient Admission by Consensus Believers

May 7, 2012

We all heard about the ‘Tricky Dick’ label put on Richard Nixon by the socialist/communist leaning Mrs. Davis. That was years ago but the dirty little secrets continue to be whitewashed in the name of the ultra-modern falsehood cast on Science by fools who purport to be men and women of integrity and honest reflection.  Frankly, I never heard of any scientific truth being termed legitimate by consensus.  That is bunk. Pure and simple!  Yet, we are guided once again from the days of Mrs. Davis to the environmental gura who thankfully never made it to the White House.  The British decided to strip him of his nobel peace prize for falsely clouding the truism of responsible scientific achievement by introducing the term CONSENSUS.  The real point of such decision was based upon a community of scholars who were drawn into inaccurate reporting and having little evidence to substantiate their collective beliefs and then forcing upon the science community by consensus of their fellow scholastic geniuses at the exclusion of a body of scientific evidence to the contrary. In all this, the news media’s job was to fill the public world-wide for blind acceptance.  Fake things enough and eventually it becomes reality.  But fakers are found out……eventually.

One argument by Al Gore to suggest that warmer oceans are causing evaporation and thus more storms is untrue as out of space exploration points to moisture in clouds are actually formed from meteors breaking up in our atmosphere which are made up mostly of ice.  The truth of this can be seen in science from highschool where students learn that what goes up, comes down.  So, finding the scientific breakthrough of more moisture in our own atmosphere being introduced from a foreign source obviously will increase records of probable rain and snow storms worldwide.  Another dispute of challenging Gore’s assertion on this one claim is that oceans are actually cooling as is the Earth itself.  It is also known that our Sun has a lot to do with regulating temperature of Earth and combined with other suns in the solar system, likely has a great deal to do with effects throughout the universe on temperature changes.

I got to take my hat off to the Democrats for the universal joy of comedy they continually broadcast.  Case in point. Remember when Senator Brown was denied Ted Kennedy’s desk by good senator Kerry who fumed over the thought that the wonderous legacy of Camelot Kennedy clan would be forever marred should this Republican ever seat himself behind such a coveted piece of wood.  Well, the humor never ceases, because Kerry laid claim to it and Kerry’s old desk once belonged to Robert Kennedy so Brown was denied that desk also. Democrat Senator of New York State, one Chuck Schumer occupies that desk today.

Think that one is comical?  Well, Pelosi declared on a TV interview that Democrats share the Tea Party views. Ha. Ha. She wants to make the Tea Party tent big enough for liberal views. Nothing wrong with that but it reminds me of the old saying: You can lead a liberal to the table, but you cannot make a liberal break bread with a conservative.  As I see it, the moderate will break bread with anyone and therein, lies a wishywashy danger.

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My readers often ask me to update my writings.  For those new to my website, I suggest you review my articles from July 2007 to December 2009.

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I no longer participate in helping with volunteer instruction in middle schools. I wrote the following letter to Mr. Bruce Gorman, Principal of Laurelton-Pardee School, re: The Raging Rooks.

“Enclosed are some pictures taken at the awards luncheon on June 9, 1993.”

“Thank you for the opportunity to participate in the chess program at your school. I really enjoyed that experience and reading the many student essays adorning the hall walls. You can be proud of your staff and the kids certainly appeared happily engaged in a quality learning program. In the library I perceived children working independently but also in groups which permit exchange of ideas, building cooperation and communicative skills so much-needed in business, education, science and trades.

“As to the chess program, I strongly believe that it has inherent benefits. It is built upon principles that coincide with those of life itself. Perseverance is required by many in the aforementioned occupation fields where results can prove to be painfully slow. Progress can, at times, appear to be snail-like extending over many years.  In addition to this quality, chess study and practice enables those who embrace it to develop skills in making decisions, forming judgments, preparing plans, seeing patterns and stimulating thought processes. One who acquires knowledge, skill, and practice with peers will find chessplay a reward of pleasure derived from a good effort–win, lose or draw and similar to painting or other artistic craft. Joy and good spirit comes from both effort and the end product. Besides schooling, there are few things in life that offer a greater benefit and challenge to the human mind and spirit…For like those precious qualities of love, music, values and beliefs, chess has the power to add happiness to people’s lives.”