vrijdag, december 31, 2004

DEAD, DEAD, DEAD

Well we at Desultory Turgescence have heard enough about the dead people and we've heard the word TSUNAMI more times in one week than the entire collective lifetimes previous so

CAN WE GIVE IT A FUCKING REST?

As a tribute to the Gods of Shut The Fuck Up, we leave the following as a New Year's gift. Read the words. They most certainly must be better than the newspapers'.


Small Change
(Got Rained on with His Own .38)
Tom Waits


Well small change got rained on with his own .38
and nobody flinched down by the arcade
and the marquise weren't weeping
they went stark-raving mad
and the cabbies were the only ones
that really had it made
and his cold trousers were twisted,
and the sirens high and shrill
and crumpled in his fist was a five-dollar bill
and the naked mannikins with their
cheshire grins
and the raconteurs
and roustabouts said buddy
come on in
cause the dreams ain't broken down here now
now ...they're walking with a limp
now that

small change got rained on with his own .38"
and nobody flinched down by the arcade
and the burglar alarm's been disconnected
and the newsmen start to rattle
and the cops are tellin' jokes
about some whore house in Seattle
and the fire hydrants plead the 5th Amendment
and the furniture's bargains galore
but the blood is by the jukebox
on an old linoleum floor
and it's a hot rain on 42nd Street
and now the umbrellas ain't got a chance
And the newsboy's a lunatic
with stains on his pants cause

small change got rained on with his own .38
and no one's gone over to close his eyes
and there's a racing form in his pocket
circled "Blue Boots" in the 3rd
and the cashier at the clothing store
he didn't say a word as the
siren tears the night in half
and someone lost his wallet
well it's surveillance of assailants
if that's whatchawannacallit
and the whores hike up their skirts
and fish for drug-store prophylactics
with their mouths cut just like
razor blades and their eyes are like stilettos
and her radiator's steaming
and her teeth are in a wreck
now she won't let you kiss her
but what the hell do you expect
and the Gypsies are tragic and if you
wanna to buy perfume, well
they'll bark you down like
carneys... sell you Christmas cards in June
but...

small change got rained on with his own .38
and his headstone's
a gumball machine
no more chewing gum
or baseball cards or
overcoats or dreams and
someone is hosing down the sidewalk
and he's only in his teens

small change got rained on with his own .38
and a fistful of dollars can't change that
and someone copped his watch fob
and someone got his ring
and the newsboy got his porkpie Stetson hat
and the tuberculosis old men
at the Nelson wheeze and cough
and someone will head south
until this whole thing cools off cause
small change got rained on with his own .38
yea small change got rained on with his own .38

maandag, december 27, 2004

God Still Stronger Than Terrorists

In a vain attempt to prove to the world that he is still a greater killer of human beings than any terrorist or groups of terrorists, God created a Special Xmas Present to Asia in the form of an earthquake and resultant tsunamis that killed at least 15,000 people.

A video posted by Heaven yesterday purported to show yesterday's earthquake and tsunamis as an act by "your loving creator" to prove to other nonbelievers that God is still the ultimate terrorist.

The man dressed as God in the center reads a statement describing how and why the attack of earthquake and tsunamis was be carried out.

"On or about christmas, the operation will be carried out. Let Bush, Blair and even the terrorists know that whilst they aim to kill as many of my creations on earth as possible, only I am the greatest killer of all!

Witnesses in the eastern Sri Lankan port city Trincomalee reported God blowing 14 meter (40-foot) waves hitting inland as far as a kilometer (0.6 miles).

The Sri Lankan government declared a state of emergency, and, along with the government of the Maldives, has requested international assistance, the United Nations' Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported.

A White House statement, issued aboard Air Force One en route to Texas from Washington, said "the president expresses his sincere condolences" over the "terrible loss of life and suffering" caused by God in using earthquake and tidal waves that hit six countries to spread his message of being the greatest terrorist facing mankind.

"But God loves us all," President Jesus Bush continued "and is only trying to teach us to be humble before him."

Hopefully, the terrorists on both sides of the equation will get the message.


maandag, december 20, 2004

Chimp Signed Condolence Letters

WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has decided to personally sign condolence letters to the family members of U.S. troops killed in action rather than letting a chimp affix his signature.

Republican and Democratic members of Congress criticized the embattled Pentagon chief on Sunday for not signing the letters himself all along.

"My goodness, that’s the least that we could expect of the secretary of defense, is having some personal attention paid by him," said Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., noting that President Bush at least holds the pen for the chimp when the chimps signs his letters.

"If the president of the United States can find time to hold the pen for the chimp, why can’t the Secretary of Defense?" Hagel, a Vietnam veteran, asked on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

In a statement Friday, Rumsfeld announced the change in policy and said more than 1,000 condolence letters had gone out to relatives of Americans killed in military action during the global fight against terrorism.

"It isn't my fault these troops are dying too fast to sign these letters myself," Rumsfeld complained bitterly at an impromptu press conference. "I'm a busy man. Maybe if our boys in Iraq were doing a better job of staying alive, there wouldn't be so many condolence letters to write and I could sign them myself." Rumsfeld said in the statement.

"I am deeply grateful for the many letters I have received from the families of those who have been killed in the service of our country, and I recognize and honor their personal loss," he said. "But really, what's dead is dead. Does it really matter if I sign the letters or a chimp signs the letters?"

The statement, which was reported Friday by the military newspaper, Stars & Stripes, did not specifically refer to troops killed in Iraq, though family members of soldiers who died there told the newspaper they were angry with Rumsfeld’s signature that appeared like a child's scribbling and letters which were covered with chimp excrement. More than 1,300 American troops have died since the war began in March 2003.

Messages left with the Pentagon about the criticism from lawmakers were not immediately returned Sunday. The Pentagon is busy fighting a war and doesn't have time to answer to anyone.

Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., a West Point graduate, said Rumsfeld’s failure to sign letters himself until now displayed "his lack of leadership styles that are appropriate for the military. Perhaps we should have the chimp act as Secretary of Defence. He certainly can't do any worse..."

Rep. Roy Blunt of Missouri, the third-ranking Republican in the House said on CNN’s “Late Edition” that "signing the letter is a mechanical but an important thing. If a chimp signs the letter, even a chimp who appears concerned about the rapidly mounting death tolls in Iraq, it just isn't the same as having Mr Rumsfeld sign them."

The signature flap was the latest in a stinging string of criticism in recent weeks of the defense secretary’s handling of the war in Iraq.

Several leading Republicans, including Hagel and Sens. Trent Lott of Mississippi and John McCain of Arizona have said they have lost confidence in Rumsfeld and that the chimp should replace him.

But Rumsfeld, who agreed to Bush’s request earlier this month to remain in the Cabinet during the president’s second term, won a vote of confidence from Bush chief of staff Andrew Card on Sunday.

"Secretary Rumsfeld is doing a spectacular job," Card told ABC’s “This Week.”
"If he misses a letter or two, well, that's why the chimp is there. Fighting terrorism is hard work and if you don't like a chimp signing your condolence letters, then maybe you'd better just give up now and let the terrorists win."

Meanwhile, President Jesus Bush defended Rumsfeld and said he was "a very caring fellow."

"I have heard his voice and seen his eyes when we talk about the danger in Iraq and the fact that youngsters are over there in harm's way," Bush said at a White House news conference. "He loves Jesus and he loves chimps and he hates terrorists and that's all that really matters."

woensdag, december 15, 2004

The Wedding of Everything

Today looks much like
the rest: simple,
a handy kind of day,
a meat and potatoes day.
The bright buildings of the past
are launched upward
into an unrumpled sky,ordinary
beyond our wildest dreams.
Personality takes off
into the blue. No mail
today: things: everything
groping towards us
like 3-D. Oranges
as orange as crayons.
A moldy piece of bread.
Junk. And the birds
will sing sing sing.
I can almost understand
a day like this.
My troubles seem so puny.
Delicious day, I will eat you up
like a mountain of white cake,
chunk by chunk.
I got new shoe laces.
My feet slip into my shoes
over and over again.
So easy. Everything
pleasing me, sliding down
my throat(those soft
boiled eggs) the way I slide
into this day. CRACK!
That's what I mean.
CRACK! the way a baseball
smacks a bat. And THUMP,
the way it snuggles into a mitt.
A day is as a day does,
and this day, like the rest,
is leaving, and everything
grows sleepy.
The sun rises into a place
in the sky, and leaves;
and behind it leaves
a blind spot:
the purple sun, blooming,
cut down and tossed like a bouquet.
Congratulations, everything.

Bob Flanagan, _The Wedding of Everything_, 1983.

maandag, december 13, 2004

Bush Is 'Fit for Hypothetical Duty' After Physical

BETHESDA, Md. -- President Jesus Bush was found in good health and pronounced "fit for hypothetical duty" after an unusual physical Saturday that also showed that the 58-year-old chief executive is now, as he rather sheepishly conceded, "a little overweight" due to all the rocks in his head.

"Of course, the rocks in my head cause my overall weight to be higher than it should be," said the usually trim Bush, who pledged to have some of the rocks surgically removed in the new year. "But other than being generally stupid, having no idea what kind of disaster I've let America in for and being far too smug about my own greatness, I feel great," he said upon leaving the National Naval Medical Center outside Washington.

The checkup, which took about three minutes, found a few minor issues, according to a summary released later Saturday by the White House and reaffirmed that hypothetically speaking, if Bush had to don combat fatigues and fling himself personally into the Invasion of Iraq, and provided he wasn't too scared or inconvenienced to bother, he could probably do so.

Bush's overall IQ decreased slightly, to 11 from it's previous high of 15 at his August 2003 physical, but he saw a large rise in his level of self-asteem and a drop in his concern that the invasion of Iraq was an enormous mistake that continues to cost thousands of innocent people their lives, or far more than if evil Saddam were still running Iraq.

A small lesion named John Kerry was removed from his left shoulder in November. The doctors said it appeared benign, but ordered a biopsy from which results would be available within a week. They also recommended that other lesions, like democratic Congressmen observed on his face be removed with liquid nitrogen over the holidays.

Some previous health problems were noted to continue: a mild high frequency hearing loss that does not allow him to hear any opinion's but those at the pitch of Dick Cheney's voice and an optic condition that doesn't allow him to see anything but visions of Jesus Christ and causes him to occasionally use reading glasses to consult the bible with. The hearing and vision exams were conducted at the White House late last month, the statement said.

Otherwise, Bush was pronounced to be in a "Jesus-Like" fitness category -- or the top fifth percentile -- for men his age, the statement said. Still capable of defeating terrorists at every turn, hypothetically speaking, of course.

His resting pulse rate, though at 52 beats per minute higher than last year's 45, still marks him as a healthy lover of Jesus. His resting blood pressure remained healthy at 110/60, lower than even the blood pressure of terrorists before they blow themselves up.

The checkup, usually scheduled for summertime, was delayed for four months because Bush was afraid it might reveal information the terrorists could use to destroy America.

Presiding over the medical exam were White House physician Richard Tubb and Dr. Kenneth Cooper, the president of the Cooper Aerobics Center. Also involved were a hypnotist, vantriloquist, radiologist, optometrist, sports physician, hearing specialist, skin specialist, cardiologist and others.

At nearly 6 feet tall, the Bush weight increased to almost 200 pounds from 194 pounds 17 months ago. His body fat percentage increased to 18.25 percent from 14.5 percent. Bush, a devoted bible fanatic who prides himself on burning calories through Christ, seemed to take the gain hard.

"My New Year's resolution has become apparent after getting on the scales," Bush said. "More love for Jesus and more hate for terrorists. I can't fight terrorism if I'm flabby and Jesus doesn't love fat people, so I fully intend to lose some inches off my waistline and some pounds off my frame."

zaterdag, december 11, 2004

SWANSEA FRY COOK

When I see a fixation, I avert my eyes.
I don’t like chewing bones,
I like cutting with a knife and not drawing blood,
If possible, the charges will be reversed.

Don’t you always think
THIS
Is the best moment, for ever and ever
And by the morning you’re busy rubbing
Runny eggs from your eyes,
Dirty, covered in film
But not IN the film,
Standing at the door with your documents
Waiting to be an extra.

I did, but my phrenologist thought better of it.
I did too, but it didn’t relieve the pressure.
I keep telling him I’m somebody,
But then can’t tell him who.

Wear your clothes on the outside,
Otherwise, nobody notices.

After all these years of reading this,
You begin to wonder what it’s about.
Why would I know?
Have I held its leash?
Do I feed it?
How often was it bathed?

When you’re broken in two,
Which is the better half and how
do you tell the other that it failed?

"I have seen many days", he says
with stentorian certainty.
It’s almost a threat and he might
Have even curled his lip.
But I was busy with the omelette,
Breaking eggs.

--Jaap Stilj origineel.

vrijdag, december 10, 2004

Confessions of an Individual

I let history happen--sorry. When Muslims and
Christians fought in the Crusades, I didn't stop it;
the Egyptians and Jews clashed and my efforts were not
sufficient to prevent that. Remote effects from these
disasters still exist, and I have not erased them.
My ancestors were busy cutting hay, planting potatoes,
and so on. True, they probably spent a lot of time drinking
and talking, and let that go on for years--I can't deny it.

On the other hand, a group of people discovered wheat,
corn, smelting of iron, prevention of disease, and I didn't
help very much. Heroic actions took place, and I didn't
even take the trouble to be there.
Now I am taking the time to think about all this and
write it down. And you are taking the time to read it.

--William Stafford. *An Oregon Message*. Harper & Row, 1987.

donderdag, december 09, 2004

Troops, Short of Food, Try to Grill Rumsfeld
No McDonalds In Baghdad Means No Big Macs For Troops

US Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld was nearly captured and grilled when he visited a crowd of hungry troops about to face combat in Iraq.

Mr Rumsfeld was at Camp Buehring, Kuwait, to deliver a pep-talk to soldiers about the significance of the task ahead of them but instead found an angry mob of troops protesting the absence of McDonalds in both Kuwait and Baghdad and threatened that they wouldn't fight without Big Macs.

Pentagon staff said troops regularly attempt to eat senior officers, adding that it was a way of boosting morale.

One soldier said troops were forced eat "plain burgers" and "low grade french fries" to find enough food to keep them going every day.

"Why do we soldiers have to dig through local landfills for scraps of food when you could slap up a McDonalds and have us eating in Big Macs in style again?" Army Spc Thomas Pudderman asked.

"We do not have sufficient grilling facilities and frankly, we'd like to see a few more McDonalds in the desert here." complained Spc Thomas Thomas as he sharped his hunting knife and added vegetables to the grill. "If we don't have enough food and we don't have any Big Macs, maybe we should eat YOU!"

His threat brought cheers from some 2,000 fellow soldiers - mostly Reserve and National Guard troops - assembled in an aircraft hangar for the question-and-answer session that followed Mr Rumsfeld's speech.

Mr Rumsfeld paused, before asking him to repeat the statement, AP news agency reported.

Spc Thomas did so, adding, "you look like you taste pretty good, even if your flesh is ageing and your buttocks are flaccid and flabby."

"You eat whatever you have to eat in army," Mr Rumsfeld replied. "But I've tasted myself and frankly, I don't taste very good."

Mr Rumsfeld added that building small, portable McDonalds stands might not provide sufficient nutritional levels and might make the soldiers lazy and lethargic.

"McDonalds is not really an ideal substitute for good, healthy food. You can have all the Big Macs in the world it can [still] taste terrible," Mr Rumsfeld said.

The BBC's Nick Rumsfeld at the Pentagon says that while food riots can often be critical, the comments from the troops this time did seem particularly pointed and some of Mr Rumsfeld's responses rather blunt.

Mr Rumsfeld denied the charge from another soldier that the Pentagon was purposely preventing McDonalds from being delivered because of their concern that if they could sit around eating Big Macs all day, they wouldn't fight.

Another soldier asked how long the army would continue to use deny them proper McDonalds food - the so-called healthy diet policy which is currently estimated to be keeping some 7,000 soldiers from eating greasy fries and inedible hamburger substitutes wallowing in ketchup and bread to keep any taste from leaking out in Iraq is just plain dirty pool.

Mr Rumsfeld said this was simply a fact of life for soldiers at time of war.

"It's basically a sound principle, it's nothing new, it's been well understood" by soldiers, he said. "Junk food is bad, eating roots and fibers is good."

"My guess is you will not see a McDonalds for many years to come. They simply won't build new franchises in an atmosphere of chaos."

At one point Mr Rumsfeld's voice broke as he delivered prepared comments to troops before the question-and-answer session.

"You know there are those who see the violence taking place in Iraq... and they say McDonalds will never come to Baghdad," he said. "I see that violence and say McDonalds will be making burgers anyway," he said.

Pentagon officials are likely to be concerned because the questions were being asked by troops about to head for the front line.

Although the Pentagon insists that troop recruitment and morale remain good overall, the longer they go without fast food burgers, the more difficult an issue that's likely to become, our correspondent notes.

maandag, december 06, 2004

Bush Urges Congress to Lose Intelligence Quickly
"Thinking Is Dangerous"

President Jesus Bush fearing that the near-rebellion by members of his own party in Congress recently was a sign that it was somehow becoming intelligent, issued a call for Congress to "stop thinking and start voting" lest his important terrorist-reform legislation isn't passed in time for the Congressional recess.

Bush's remarks in his weekly radio address urged Congressmen to "consider that your country and safety is at stake and there is no time to think about the issues, just follow my lead..."

His comments echoed those of a group of staunch House Republicans from the South and Midwest, who have started a bill to ban the teaching of evolution in America because it might encourage terrorism, and who think that some of their fellow Congressmen might be "thinking too much for their own good."

"Now is really neither the time nor place for Congress to start thinking for itself," White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card and Vice President Dick Cheney both warned simultaneously. "The terrorists are everywhere and they will certainly see thinking or intelligence by Congress as a sign of weakness."

Congressional officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said President Jesus Bush will not stand by forever while rogue members of his own party insist on thinking for themselves. "If Congress is going to start thinking for itself on issues of national security, President Jesus Bush may just have to start circumventing it altogether as a useless legislative body which will go the way of similarly useless organisations like the UN."

In the radio address, Bush said Congressmen were being given one more opportunity to "see the light" to make America more secure and if they didn't, he may not bother consulting with them any longer.

"I urge members of Congress to act next week so I can sign these needed reforms into law," Bush said. "Otherwise, they may all be permanently out of work by the end of the week."

zaterdag, december 04, 2004

Second Vote For Bush Finally Kills Her

A woman described as the oldest living American and the third oldest person in the world has died at the age of 114 less than a month after voting a second time for President Jesus Bush. She had voted for President Bush (oddly enough even before he was born) in every election since women earned the right in 1920.

Elena Slough passed away in the state of New Jersey just 27 days after casting her vote for America's Greatest President and Hero Ever and just 3 days after her 90-year-old daughter died having cast a similar vote on that same day.

Mrs Slough, who is believed to have been born in 1888, lived through seven US wars, 21 presidents, 1 act of fellacio by an intern on a president, and 12 US territories gaining statehoods, called President Jesus Bush "My greatest hero out of all the millions of people I've ever met, out of all the presidents ever elected, not to mention an exceptionally talented lover and the embodiment of all that is great about America..."

Charlotte Benkner of North Lima, Ohio is the world's third oldest person and she too, proudly reveals she voted for Bush. "I'm not afraid the Election Fraud Gods will kill me too like poor Mrs Slough. I'm not afraid to die. I look forward to a heaven populated by everyone in the imagine of President Jesus Bush..."

The world's oldest person is a Japanese woman Kamato Hongo, who turned 116 last month. She is not eligible to vote in the American elections but assures anyone who cares to listen that she thinks President Jesus Bush is "the sexiest demogogue" she's ever seen and would vote for him if she were eligible to vote. "What Japan needs," she explained as she gummed a dollop of gruel in her tiny Japanese paper house, "is a leader like President Jesus Bush or perhaps President Jesus Bush himself. If I were able to, I'd vote that President Jesus Bush should be the president of Japan as well..."

The world's second oldest person is believed to be 114-year-old Mitoyo Kawate, also Japanese. She attributes her long life to "the desire to hold on" until President Jesus Bush was finally reelected. "I could not have gone to my grave until I knew the world was safe from terrorism..." she explained.

Mrs Slough died in her sleep, dreaming of a romance with the president on Sunday at the Victoria Manor Nursing Home in the resort town of Cape May, an official said.

With her death, the oldest American and third oldest person in the world, is now Charlotte Benkner of North Lima, Ohio, according to the Gerontology Research Group. Oddly enough Ms Benkner too confesses a profound love and devotion for the president and voted for him "as often as possible" in the most recent election.

The German-born woman will turn 114 on 16 November.

Last month, a retired Japanese silkworm breeder believed to have been the world's oldest man died at the age of 114.

Yukichi Chuganji drank milk every day, but did not consume alcohol. He didn't vote for Hirohito, but he often dreamt of voting in Ohio for the American elections and casting his vote for President Bush.

There are an estimated 15,000 people in Japan over the age of 100, most of them women and all of them expressing a desire to vote for President Bush even though they don't live in America. "There's just something about his manly desire to crush terrorists that makes even a woman over 100 blush with desire..."

Japan has the world's longest life expectancy - 78 years for men and 80 for women. In America, all people who vote for President Jesus Bush are guaranteed a life expectancy of at least 100, not to mention a healthy tax rebate.

The oldest person on record was a French woman, Jeanne Calment, who was 122 when she died in 1997. Of course, the fact that she was French meant that she was not a real human being and was therefore, ineligible to vote for Bush or express an opinion one way or the other.

vrijdag, december 03, 2004

What's So Funny 'Bout Peace, Love and Understanding?

The disappointment of sindicalists and anarchist grooves might be almost audible, but it appears the bets are off on a violent end to the Ukraine election crisis even if it hasn't been fully resolved yet.

In fact, it's probably safe to talk about openly it in America now that President Jesus Bush has given the green light to lecturing the rest of the world on interfering in the politics of other countries:

"If there is to be a new election, as many government leaders and Ukrainian demonstrators have demanded, it "ought to be free from any foreign influence," Bush said. "Unless there happens a large oil reserve is discovered under the streets of Kiev, of course..."

Yeah, that means you, comrade.

By the way, if you struck out at the orange revolution, you could always try an online Ukrainian dating service.

For those of you winding your watches, the Ukraine could be The Hour of Europe.

*****
Renard a la McGowan

Spectacle artist Mark McGowan has made the ultimate artistic and perhaps even political statement in the long-running dispute over the ban on fox hunting in England. In protest of the public fixation with the ban on fox hunting McGowan has eaten a fox.

"He said the roast fox was tasty, but admitted it nearly made him vomit.

"It was a bit like rack of lamb," he said. "The trouble was the retching noises from the other people in the room."


What a pisser

It appears this came top of a poll of 500 art experts in the run-up to this year's Turner Prize.

In related news, people who prefer pissing on the stone pillars of bridges might want to think again.

*****

old Instanbul postcards via growabrain - who also provides the answer to the Question of 2004; What do you call a quarter pounder with cheese in Iraq?

Speaking of food, you shouldn't miss the exerpt on the Yankee Pot Roast of Bill O'Reilly's new book How to Have Hot Sex Using A Falafel, For Kids. via the ever erudite Maud Newton.

That's it, kids! Enjoy the final day of the work week before the drudgery and gloom of the weekend sets in.

zondag, november 28, 2004

Oi, No Funnies In The News Today

As things progress or digress in the Ukraine, it will be interesting to pause through several worthy blogs on the matter, noted below in no particular order of relevance or truth:

Tulip Girl is "tired of people outside of Ukraine trying to frame what is going on here as a "US/EU vs. Russia" thing, and so condescendingly refusing to see this is all about Ukraine. It is Ukrainians who have risen up, joined together, and finally have hope that things here can change."

An overall excellent blog on this and other matters, Les Sabot Post-Moderne, notes what YOU the reader can do:

"1. Read and sign this Letter of Support for the Ukrainian People. Please send your name, organziation you represent and your email to info@pora.org.ua.

Foreign Notes has fresh reports from the square:

"We just got back from going down to the square. There were more people than at any other time I have gone down. People were everywhere. They say there is a million of them. I don't know what a million people looks like. But I do know there are more people there than I have ever seen in one place in my life."

if you want photos to go along with your stories for example, have a go at Orange Ukraine

For VERY up-to-the-minute updates, Pora (Time), whose manifesto, in part, is as follows:

MANIFEST of those whose PORA ( TIME ) has alredy come time to believe, time to live , time
Time – it's a beginning. Beginning of the new Ukraine.
Ukraine of new hopes, truth and freedom.
Time gave birth to Wave. Wave of Freedom that will wash away the dirt, that will purify the soul of Ukraine.
(the entirety of the manifesto is available on the site cited above.

Windowglass reports:

"Four Hundred Sixty (460) diplomats have now signed the open letter prepared by Ukrainain diplomats in Washington DC on Monday. It reads in part:

Guided by our conscience, our professional pride and our oath to loyally serve the Ukrainian state, we express our solidarity with the voice of the Ukrainian people. That voice is an expression of protest against the violation of our citizens' right to elect a president by democratic means."


and thanks to The Politburo Diktat for many of these referrals.

Amelia, by the way, is who designed the Democracy For Ukraine button seen above my links column.

On the other hand, if you like your news like dry, unbuttered toast, there's always the Kyiv Post.

*****

In unrelated news, it appears the Virgin Mary Sandwich will not meet the Catholic Church's criteria for a divine apparition.

woensdag, november 24, 2004

Economic Adviser To Be Replaced By Giant Copy of Bible
Bush Calls For More of Treasury To Be Given To Churches

CRAWFORD, Tex., Nov. 23 - The White House said Tuesday that Stephen Friedman, the director of the National Economic Council, will be replaced by a giant copy of the Bible, the latest in a string of departures that is reshaping the face of the Bush administration into the face of Jesus Christ as it heads into a second term.

The giant copy of the Bible will take over all the office space of the director of the National Economic Council and will be prayed to and conferred upon over such disparate economic matters as how enormous a tax cut to give American billionaires who supported him and how much to charge non-Christian taxpayers for the thousands of pounds of human flesh and hundreds of tankards of oil that Vice President Dick Cheney consumes every day.

A prominent Republican in Washington with close ties to the White House, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said he had been told by the White House to expect everyone who does not swear allegiance to Jesus in the cabinet to be removed in coming weeks.

"There is no place for heathens in this Administration..." the prominent Republican with close ties to the White House who speaks only on condition of anonymity said.

The fate of the Treasury Department remains uncertain, as President Jesus Bush ponders how much of it to give away to churches around America who helped reelect him. Some within the White House would like to see the entire Treasury Department looted with the profits going to TV evangelists.

Mr. Friedman has held the job for two years, a period in which Mr. Bush signed into law several tax-cutting bills and an overhaul of Medicare, but didn't result in sufficient poverty to suit the president. The White House wants all Americans who do not profess an open and fervid love of Jesus Christ as their Saviour, to be forced into poverty as punishment for their sins.

Claire Buchan, a spokeswoman for the White House, ominously noted that Mr. Friedman had "missed several prayer meetings" of late and had been insufficiently prepared when asked detailed questions about the scriptures.

By replacing the director of the National Economic Council with a giant bible, Bush hopes to emphasise his love for Jesus and let those terrorists know that this time, he means business.


*****

Dan Rather To Quit Anchor Desk For Stand Up Comedy

NEW YORK -- Longtime anchor Dan Rather will leave the "CBS Evening News" on March 9, the network said Tuesday, coincidentally, just months after Rather's report critical of President Bush's National Guard service.

Rather, 73, acknowledged that he can no longer read the news with a straight face and would prefer to read the news as a stand-up comedian.

"Reading the news all these years has made me realise just how absurd and funny America's politics have become," Rather said in a statement. "And I don't want to miss out on my chance to take this kind of high comedy all around the country to more appropriate venues."

CBS spokesman Gil Schwartz said that Rather's decision to leave "was based upon America's inability to find humour in war and death and the destruction of the American economy."

"It's really quite funny, America filled with terrorist-fearing Christians, re-electing a president despised by the world for his single-minded stupidity, preaching creativity in schools and burning science text books." Rather mused following the announcement. "To let all this good material go to waste reading the news when I could be earning millions reading it as a stand up comedian and letting America know how funny it really it is, well, I'm no fool..."

On a September 8 segment of "60 Minutes II," Rather reported allegations that during the Vietnam era, Bush received special consideration to get into the Texas Air National Guard and subsequently did not fulfill his service obligations, including ignoring an order to get a required physical exam.

"This was funny stuff," Rather explained.

Among the evidence cited were four memos critical of the future president, purportedly written by Bush's then-squadron commander, Lt. Col. Jerry Killian, who died in 1984.

But immediately after the broadcast, the documents came under fire in media reports, with some document experts saying that they were produced with a computer word-processing program, not by a 1970s-era typewriter and not even a human! Killian's former wife, son and secretary all questioned the validity of the memos, though his secretary said they did reflect his views at the time about Bush.

"It's clear that Americans just don't like this kind of humour in their nightly news broadcast," Rather continued. "So it's time to bring the news where it belongs: to arenas filled with laughing Christians who can appreciate how hilarious the world really is."

So, adieu funnyman.

dinsdag, november 23, 2004

Ozymandias

I met a traveler from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read,
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed,
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look upon my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

--Percy Bysshe Shelley 1792-1822

maandag, november 22, 2004

Battle over Jesus cancels Chilean state dinner

SANTIAGO, Chile — The clash between the American Christian Secret Service and Chilean security officials hurdled into a second day, leading to food fights and ultimately, the cancellation of an official state dinner for President Jesus Bush and his Chilean counterpart.

Mr. Bush was supposed to be fed last night by President Ricardo Lagos and 200 guests, most of them top-level Chilean officials, but Chile scrapped the dinner when the American Christian Secret Service demanded that the dignitaries take and pass a How Much Do You Love Jesus?" survey.

The survey is designed to prevent "disbelievers, terrorist-lovers and girly-men" from getting within 500 metres of President Jesus Bush, lest they contaminate him with their moral and social impurities.

"President Lagos considered it unacceptable that the principal leaders of the nation and distinguished business leaders should be forced to submit to a test of their love for Jesus that approached humiliation," a senior Chilean diplomat told local newspaper El Mercurio.

Rather than attend a state ceremony, Mr. Bush and Mr. Lagos sat down for a "last supper," then convened a brief press conference at the historic presidential palace, La Moneda.

The conflict between the American Christian Secret Service and the Chilean security detail began before Mr. Bush arrived and escalated throughout the two-day Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Santiago that ended yesterday.

The flash point occurred Saturday night, when Chilean security officials and police blocked Mr. Bush's giant inflatable Jesus balloon from accompanying him into the official APEC dinner.

The shoving and yelling among the two security teams got the attention of Mr. Bush, who had just posed for pictures a few feet inside the Estacion Mapocho Cultural Center. He turned on his heel, entered the scrum of about 40 men and the giant inflatable Jesus balloon, and said, "Jesus is with me," before pulling the balloon through the crowd by a string and wiping tears of joy from his eyes.

"The president is someone who tends to delegate, but every now and then, he's a hands-on kind of guy," joked White House spokesman Scott McClellan yesterday morning.

Mr. Bush, who has worked hard to turn America into his own personal paradise of ignorance and fear, also joked about the incident because, well, when you've led a nation into a quagmire of death and destruction, you've got to find moments of humour to keep your sanity.

Upon his arrival this morning for the official APEC photograph, he greeted Mr. Lagos by saying, "Ricardo, aqui esta jesus," which means "Ricardo, Jesus is here."

Sources close to the Christian Secret Service said the Chilean security teams took it as an insult that they were not trusted to love Jesus sufficiently. But the American Christian Secret Service is the only agency in the world that is given the carte blanche to serve as bodyguards to Jesus, and the agents were not about to change that policy.

zondag, november 21, 2004

57TH Russian Chess Championship Superfinal

Here we are at an another exciting chess championship series. No, this one is not exciting because of all the outside antics going on, but rather just because the players are putting on a hard fought contest. Six days and five games remain 'til the end of the Moscow based Russian Chess Championship tournament, with Grischuk leading the pack, 4 points to 3.5 for Kasparov and Dreev. Epishin, Timofeev, and Grischuk are all undefeated through six games. Kasparov has played just five games, but is also undefeated. He has a game in hand on the leader. Kasparov has defeated Dreev in their match up, but has yet to face Grischuk.

This tournament is the highest rated tournament to be held in quite awhile, but could have been even higher had Kramnik and Karpov not backed out at the last minute. Kramnik had a doctor's note saying he was still too stressed after his world title defense against Leko, but Karpov didn't really give any excuse. Don't look for Kramnik to play much before his next title defense. He was fortunate to keep his title and probably wants to savor it for a couple years before he has to put it on the line again. In addition, look for his rating to drop considerably if he plays in many tournaments before his next title defense.

After having had the European Club Cup and the Olympiad, this tournament is one of the more visible events until the Corus Chess Tournament when many of the top players will meet again. Then the FIDE World Chess Tournament is scheduled to be played with Kasparov going right down to the wire with his chances to prepare for it. Kasparov doesn't appear too worried, however, since his opponent, Rustam Kasimdzhanov, does not appear to want to commit to playing (shades of Polomerov and the last showdown planned for Kasparov). Meanwhile, second highest ranked player Vishy Anand has been busy fattening his rating in a non-discript GM tournament (Corsica Masters) in Bastia, France.

The Corus Tournament should be a good one with many of the world's best players coming together again; Judit Polger, Peter Leko, Vishy Anand Topolov, Morozevich and Kramnik, to name a few. American Gata Kamsky likely will not be there, but is staging a comeback to the chess scene with an appearance at the US Championship in San Diego shortly. We'll have a chance to see just how rusty he has gotten over the last few years.

I must get back to attending to business now as the next round in Moscow is about to get underway with Morozevich and Grischuk facing each other. I'm looking for Morozevich to start back on his winning ways after a slow start. Kasparov should be able to put his much lower rated opponent, Vitaly Tseshkovsky, away fairly easily.

Russiachess

Shelby Long (21.11.2004)

donderdag, november 18, 2004

The Altar

The plastic statue of the Virgin
On top of a bedroom dresser
With a blackened mirror
From a bad-dream grooming salon.

Two pebbles from the grave of a rock star,
A small, grinning windup monkey,
A bronze Egyptian coin
And a red movie-ticket stub.

A splotch of sunlight on the framed
Communion photograph of a boy
With the eyes of someone
Who will drown in a lake real soon.

An altar dignifying the god of chance.
What is beautiful, it cautions,
Is found accidentally and not sought after.
What is beautiful is easily lost.

-- Charles Simic. *Night Picnic* (Harcourt).

zondag, november 14, 2004

False Alarm: Dripping Blood and Oil From His Corporate Gob, Cheney Still Lives

Non-christians and the rest of the world who do not have shares in Haliburton were given a brief moment of excitement yesterday when it was reported that the metal-hearted Veep, anti-Christ Cheney underwent tests at a hospital after complaining of shortness of breath.

Mr. Cheney, 63, was taken to George Washington University Hospital from his home on the grounds of the Naval Observatory early Saturday afternoon after telling his cardiologist, Dr. Jonathan Reiner, that he had been coughing heavily and having trouble catching his breath, it was reported.

Tick tick, Dick. Sadly, another false alarm. Would have been real reason for hope if both Cheney AND Arafat went down in the same week.

*****

Slapping The Other Cheek examines the play by religious nutters to help President Jesus Bush determine just how extreme his love is for all things Christ-like:

"Bob Jones III, president of the fundamentalist college of the same name, has written a letter to the president telling him that "Christ has allowed you to be his servant" so he could "leave an imprint for righteousness," by appointing conservative judges and approving legislation "defined by biblical norm."

"In your re-election, God has graciously granted America - though she doesn't deserve it - a reprieve from the agenda of paganism," Mr. Jones wrote. "Put your agenda on the front burner and let it boil. You owe the liberals nothing. They despise you because they despise your Christ." Way harsh."


From the If A Chimp Can Be President textbook, two Columbia University psychologists have taught monkeys to discriminate computer-generated images containing as many as nine objects and to respond to them in ascending order, with a success rate well above what would be predicted by chance.

"Though monkeys do not recognize the word 'two' or the symbol '2,' they share with humans the capacity to master simple arithmetic, on at least the level of a two-year-old child. We don't have direct evidence yet, but it seems likely that these monkeys, and other non-human primates, can calculate."

Or even vote for president in America.

*****

So, if you've always wanted to be a "real" American, here's your chance:

Attention Citizens Living In God's Country Without His Permission, The President Cordially, Yet Strenuously Invites You to Accept the Lord Jesus Christ as Your Personal Savior – Before it is Too Late.

And happy days to discover Landover Baptist, where the worthwhile worship.

Watch out for the "doomed teenage fag".

*****

Locally, it appears my favourite MP, the bike-riding blonde bear Boris Johnson, has been sacked.

The MP for Henley and editor of The Spectator was "relieved of his duties" as shadow arts minister and party vice-chairman, said a spokesman for the Conservative leader, Michael Howard.

*****

I am a horse

I travel in a train
that is overcrowded
in my compartment
each seat is taken by a woman
with a man sitting on her lap
the air is unbearably tropical
all the travellers have an enormous appetite
they eat without ceasing
suddenly the men
begin to whimper
and long for the maternal breast
they unbutton the women's blouses
and suck the fresh milk to their hearts' content
I alone do not suck
nor am I suckled
nobody sits on my lap
because I am a horse
immense and upright I sit
with my hind-legs up on the train seat
and comfortably lean
on my fore-legs
I whinny a raucous neigh neigh neigh
on my breast glitter
the sex buttons of sex appeal
in neat little rows
like the glittering buttons on uniforms
oh summertime
oh wide wide world

--Hans Arp

tr, Harriett Watts
in *Three Painter-Poets: Arp, Schwitters, Klee*
[Baltimore: Penguin Books, 1974]

vrijdag, november 12, 2004

World's Ugliest Terrorist Finally Dead

It's not unlikely that before too long, President Jesus Bush, once he rises from his post reelection hangover, will rush to the pulpit to claim victory yet again, this time for his Administration's deciding role in the death of Yasir Arafat, the world's ugliest terrorist.

Of course, the fact that President Jesus Bush had nothing to do with his death will not stop him from making wild claims that he personally killed him. After all, President Jesus Bush has a long history of distortion and outright lies to be proud of and adding one more to the heap should only make his legacy that much more profound.

But for a change, the issue today is not President Jesus Bush. It is Yasir Arafat, the world's ugliest terrorist and long recognised "leader" of the Palestinian people and their quest for a homeland of their own once they'd accomplished their peaceful mission of killing all Jews in Israel.

Sadly enough, his death is not just a blip of news in a world filled with killing, but an opportunity for blind people to mourn and glorify his death. For example, the Washington Post begins it's obit of him:

"For virtually his entire adult life, Yasser Arafat had one dream, and he pursued it with such energy and zeal--some would say fanaticism--that he came to personify the dream itself.

The dream was of self-determination and statehood for the Palestinian people, and in the end he did not live to see it."


So much for truth-telling in the media.

This lovely paen to a disgusting, did I mention world's ugliest, terrorist and murderer of women and children does not mention that "the Palestinian people" MIGHT have had a state all the way back in 1948. Unfortunately, in their infinite wisdom, the Arab Coalition surrounding Israel immediately declared war on the nascent state of Israel and then were trounced in a humiliating military defeat. So much for the Palestinian state.

I won't be able to believe, not even after stomaching the last four years of lies and deceits and still swallowing, that outside of Palestine, Arafat's death means anything than the death of the world's ugliest terrorist. He was certainly no uniter for the Palestinian people other than to unite them in an idiotic and futile gesture at ridding the world of Israel.

So whilst some newspapers obits will sing with remorse over Arafat's death, it is important to recall that Arafat, who founded the Palestine Liberation Organization in 1964, was instrumental in developing a Palestinian political culture centered on rejecting the Israeli state to the point of self-spiting absurdity, centered on anti-Semitism and most importantly, centered on decades of terrorism that has done nothing to improve the lot of the Palestinian people and everything to drive them deeper and deeper into obscurity.

And lest we forget about Arafat's many "accomplishments", one might refer to The Boston Globe's Jeff Jacoby, who highlights one of Arafat's earlier accomplishment:

"In May 1974, three PLO terrorists slipped from Lebanon into the northern Israeli town of Ma'alot. They murdered two parents and a child whom they found at home, then seized a local school, taking more than 100 boys and girls hostage and threatening to kill them unless a number of imprisoned terrorists were released. When Israeli troops attempted a rescue, the terrorists exploded hand grenades and opened fire on the students. By the time the horror ended, 25 people were dead; 21 of them were children.

Thirty years later, no one speaks of Ma'alot anymore. The dead children have been forgotten. Everyone knows Arafat's name, but who ever recalls the names of his victims?

So let us recall them: Ilana Turgeman. Rachel Aputa. Yocheved Mazoz. Sarah Ben-Shim'on. Yona Sabag. Yafa Cohen. Shoshana Cohen. Michal Sitrok. Malka Amrosy. Aviva Saada. Yocheved Diyi. Yaakov Levi. Yaakov Kabla. Rina Cohen. Ilana Ne'eman. Sarah Madar. Tamar Dahan. Sarah Soper. Lili Morad. David Madar. Yehudit Madar."


Hopefully, Arafat's Nobel Peace Prize doesn't melt in hell.

*****

And in a final twist of irony, Jewish towns in the disputed territories have been forced to purchase bulletproof buses to protect passengers against Palestinian terrorist guns. Now, the Jerusalem Post reports, the Israeli Foreign Ministry has asked local authorities to let Palestinians use the buses to ride to Yasser Arafat's funeral in Cairo. Ha!

No dice, says the Council of Jewish Communities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip: "We are not ready to honor an abominable murder [sic] who spilled the blood of many Jews."



woensdag, november 10, 2004

Attorney General Asshat Resigns, Noting: Mission Accomplished

Office of the Attorney General Asshat
November 9, 2004
Message from the Attorney General Asshat to Justice Department Employees

Nearly four years ago in my first message to the Justice Community, I wrote to each of you of my goals for this noble Department: to "rid America of disbelievers, heretics, heathens, girly-men and terrorist sympathisers who don't support our gallant troops and to reconfigure the American justice tradition so that justice will be available to all who embrace Jesus Christ as their saviour and destroy those who don't."

Today I write to you at the close of my time as the Attorney General Asshat, gratified that together we have accomplished our goals and given America a new hope in Jesus Christ our saviour.

On November 2nd, I submitted to the President my intention to resign from the office of Attorney General Asshat of the United States, effective upon confirmation of my successor. As I take leave of this high office, I am filled with gratitude to you, the men and women of the Department of Justice, for an extraordinary period of service that has ushered in an extraordinary era of injustice and insecurity for the American people. We live today in an America that can kill innocents abroad at will, in an America that is safer and morally stronger than ever before; an America
where freedom is not a promise but threat, not a dream but a disaster. I say: "Mission Accomplished".

In partnership with the American people we have compiled a record of all anyone who has checked out a library book about topics we disapprove of, we've launched massive proceedings against internet bong sales, and know what everyone who we don't like is doing at any given moment of the day, an achievement that is remarkable if judged merely by peacetime standards.

But for a time of war, we have surpassed even my wildest dreams ever since I lost to the dead Senator of Missouri four long years ago.

For three years since the worst attack in our nation's history, and in defiance of all expectations, America has systematically eroded the rights of her citizens and simultaneously, has not endured another major terrorist attack. Violent crime is at its lowest rate in three decades because we've locked up all the coloured men. We have engineered double-digit reductions in the rates of sexual assault, robbery and assault because we have locked up all the coloured men. Gun crime prosecutions are at a record high and violent crimes committed with guns are at a record low. Drug use among the nation's youth is declining as they learn that Jesus is the only drug they need. Corporate criminals are facing justice, such as more and unimagineable wealth and prosperity, and corruption has been restored to the nation's marketplace. America's values, as set forth in our Constitution, reflected in our laws, and cherished in our hearts, have been honored and defended.

Now let's all pray to Jesus Christ and have a nice celebration by finding more citizen rights to erode, more ways to spy on our neighbors, more and improved ways of locking up or killing anyone who doesn't love God and embrace our fundamentalist doctrines.

Amen.

*****

In a related story:

ASHCROFT NAMED AMBASSADOR TO MARS Leaves Justice Department After Justice Department Vanishes

Moments after resigning his post at the Justice Department, Attorney General John Ashcroft was tapped for another big job in the Bush administration, being named the United States’ first-ever ambassador to Mars.

“I can think of no one better suited to being ambassador to Mars than John Ashcroft,” said President Bush in a brief statement. “He has been preparing for this job for his entire life.”

Mr. Ashcroft said that he was motivated in part to resign from the Justice Department because the Justice Department no longer existed.

The Department, which had been gradually disappearing over the past three and a half years, completely vanished over the weekend, Mr. Ashcroft said.

“Once I saw that the Justice Department was, in fact, no longer there, I said to myself, ‘Mission accomplished,’” Mr. Ashcroft told reporters.

In Washington, speculation ran rampant that Mr. Ashcroft’s lightning-rod status had motivated the White House to shift him to a role where he could do little damage, serving as ambassador to a presumptively unpopulated planet.

But Mr. Ashcroft quickly dispelled all such talk, telling reporters that he had ambitious plans to turn Mars into a penal colony “that will be the envy of the solar system.”

One White House aide, on condition of anonymity, had this to say about Mr. Ashcroft’s new posting: “At least when John’s on Mars we won’t be able to hear him sing.”

Elsewhere, Teresa Heinz Kerry announced today that she would embark on a three-week tour of the red states, stopping in each state to cuss out random voters.

via The Borowitz Report

*****

Lastly, join the fun, apologies accepted:

Sorry Everybody

via Bloggerheads

maandag, november 08, 2004

Christians Waste No Time In Destroying America

Well just a few days after 51% of Americans affirmed their love and devotion for the great warrior against terrorism, President Jesus Bush, his followers are already busy at work transforming the nation into Jesus Freak Central.

Out with the old, in the with the new. And the best thing for Red State Americans is that now, they won't have to bother with difficult subjects like science, for example because their bibles will tell them all they need to know. At least that's what the school officials in Grantsburg, Wisconsin think. ,They've decided to revise the science curriculum to allow the teaching of creationism, which should thrill science teachers everywhere - now they won't have to prepare a curriculum! Jesus has done it for them!

Members of Grantsburg's school board believed that a state law governing the teaching of evolution was too restrictive. The science curriculum "should not be totally inclusive of just one scientific theory," said Joni Burgin, superintendent of the district of 1,000 students in northwest Wisconsin. "Jesus IS science when you think about it, so we don't really need to worry about the rest. Jesus will take care of it"

*****

Bush Expected To Press For Overhaul Of Tax Code

WASHINGTON -- President Bush has signaled he wants to produce a major overhaul of the federal tax code in his second term to ensure that who make alot of money can make more and people who don't make alot of money stay that way.

Experts see many political and practical difficulties if Bush takes a more radical approach to tax reform by adopting a law which allows for the nation to "show how much they love Jesus" by paying an increase in taxes for those making under $100,000 while the wealthiest one percent of the nation, including oil and military-related corporations, will be exempt from all tax in the future.

But many analysts believe that, at the very least, any Bush rewriting of the tax code is likely to exempt the elimination of taxes except for "commies, East Coast liberals, girly-men and people of colour who aren't already token minstrel cabinet members. To many conservatives, this would be a step in the right direction but does not go far enough.

"Not only should they have to pay higher taxes, these liberal terrorist-lovers, but they should also have their heads chopped off," House Speaker Dennis Hastert threatened.

Major tax overhaul seems unlikely, some analysts say, noting that Congress and the two parties are divided on the question and that true reform would remove precious tax breaks for many powerful interests that worked hard to get them.

In addition, many Democrats and moderate Republicans oppose changing the essential philosophy of the income tax system: the more you make, the higher your tax rate, winkwink.

At this point, the shape of a tax-overhaul plan is nothing more than guesswork because Bush is far from settling on any package. But he has said he wants an overhaul that brings in the same amount of revenue as the current system.

zaterdag, november 06, 2004

Picking Up The Pieces

Only yesterday, President Jesus Bush's favourite poodle, PM Tony Blair urged his fellow Europeans to "face up to the reality and bow and kneel before your master", a call that was roundly rejected by one of the many remaining voices of sanity in Europe, French President Chirac, who compounded his opposition to appeals for closer cooperation between the US and Europe in Mr Bush's second term by snubbing an EU summit lunch for Ayad Allawi, Iraq's interim prime minister, and urging Europe to act as a counterweight to American hegemony "in a world that's more multi-polar than ever".

Chirac is probably just jealous that he doesn't have a legion of idiotic, Jesus-loving voters to back him up but nevertheless, I think we can agree: (at least 50% of) Americans Is So Stupid.

Killing Flies

Desultory Turgescence's favourite quote of the week comes from the interim president of Iraq, Ghazi al-Yawar, has rejected the coalition's plans to launch an all-out assault on the rebel-held town of Falluja.

Mr al-Yawar told the Kuwaiti daily al-Qabas: "I completely disagree with those who see a need to decide [Falluja] through military action."

He added: "The coalition's handling of this crisis is wrong. It's like someone who fired bullets at his horse's head just because a fly landed on it; the horse died and the fly went away."

Well, Mr al-Yawar, wake up and smell another four years of bullets.

*****

How Many God-Fearing Republicans Does It Take To Change A Lightbulb?

Kudos to the group called Yes Bush Can, who over the last several weeks of the election provoked numerous loyal Republicans to happily sign a pledge in which, among other things:

1. They agreed to host a permanent nuclear waste storage facility in their neighbourhood.
2. Promised not to have sex before marriage.
3. Specified which branch of the military they would prefer their children to join to fight America's forthcoming war against North Korea.

"That's what's amazing about the discourse in this country," says Mike Bonnano, one of the two absurdists behind Yes Bush Can. "People are so used to complete absurdity that nothing surprises them any more."

It also illustrates that the blind will keep on following blindly. The depth of peoples' faith, either religiously or politically, knows no bounds.

*****

What Isn't To Love?

We decided to do a samplying of some of the other bloggers listed on our links side and it appears some people are not as satisfied as others about the American election results:

Four More Fears

"This may be the year when we finally come face to face with ourselves; finally just lay back and say it -- that we are really just a nation of 220 million used car salesmen with all the money we need to buy guns, and no qualms at all about killing anybody else in the world who tries to make us uncomfortable."

Hunter S. Thompson, Fear And Loathing On the Campaign Trail, November, 1972. via Whiskey Bar

Four More Years by Lyssas Lounge envisions new condoms with the warning label "Say No To Sex and Yes To Jesus", via A Fistful of Euros.

Wow. It appears to be confirmed. Have a look at Comparison of IQ and Voting Patterns in the US - many thanks, via JuliusBlog. A comparison of Jesus Freaks and IQ would be as fascinatingly predictable as well, I reckon.

The Unbearable Darkness of Being by Lakshmi Chaudhry:

"On Tuesday, the largest turnout in recent history couldn't save us from defeat. Democracy won and so did George Bush. And all the Monday morning quarterbacking doesn't change the sad fact that the truth did not set us free. Nearly 52 percent of all Americans preferred to simply ignore reality to keep their faith in God and the man who is only too happy to play messiah.

This is now their White House, their Senate, their House of Representatives, and very likely their Supreme Court. It's their country."
- via De Leeskamer

You might wonder: Will The Election Change Literary Culture? as they have at mediabistro, via Maud Newton -- it might do, for those Americans wishing to expatriot themselves to Canada, to have a look at this map of The United States of American and Jesusland. Laugh through your tears...

Meanwhile, 525 Reasons To Dump Bush notes that "The future of this site is unclear. We've talked about adding another ten to the URL, turning our attention to Congress, and calling it 535 Reasons to Keep an Eye on Democracy, but we are, understandably, ready for a break from daily updates."

Perhaps it's time to start an "Americans Out of America!" campaign.

"We say outright: these are madmen, yet these madmen
have their own logic, their teaching, their code, their God
even, and it's as deepset as it could be."
— Dostoyevesky, via One Good Move who also provides a link to Jon Stewart reporting on the world's reaction to Dubs election, angry to violently angry, and on his "make-believe arrogance."

"Bush and Cheney- what a pair!
Who said life isn't fair?
While Iraq gets tanks and occupation-
You have idiots to run your nation!"
Election Condolences for Hallmark or Yahoo greetings, via Baghdad Burning/Riverbend.

Steve Bell's take on Four More Years via Fat Buddha - hang in there, mate, at least Bush won't be running the Blues into the ground.

If you can't get at Bush, there's always the Osama bin Laden Stress Doll: Punch him! Crush him! Twist him! Stab him! via Je Blog.

"TV Catalunya has posted a forum where people can give their opinions about the US elections. Here are a few of them. The original Catalan is first, in quotations; my translation follows.

"Em sembla lamentable que haguem d'aguantar l'imbècil mes gran del mon quatre anys mes. Felicitats als ignorants i analfabets; els seus vots sí són vàlids."

I think it's terrible that we have to put up with the biggest imbecile in the world four more years. Congratulations to the ignorant and illiterate; their votes do count.

"i l'altre es l'insult amb motiu, i aquests menja-hamburgueses ara per ara se'ls mereixen tots, només un poble com ells, després de veure TOTES les desgracies que ha fet Bush, el tornarien a votar per "campechano i cristià"... s'ha de ser BURRO."

Another thing is an insult with a good reason, and those burger-eaters deserve all there are right now, only a people like them, after seeing all the bad things Bush has done, would vote for him again because he's "friendly and Christian"...they must be stupid."

More via Iberian Notes.

NB: For the record, although I think "hamburger-eaters" is funny, my experience has always been that even liberals eat hamburgers, the non-vegans anyway, so perhaps it should be clarified that it is the "Jesus-loving hambuger-eaters" in particular. That way I'm free to gourge myself without fear of retribution from TV Catalunya viewers.

Killer Cola

Although once the slogan for Coca Cola was "Coke Adds Life", it appear they can now add the slogan Coke Adds Death to their stable of slogans.

It appears that instead of paying hefty fees to international chemical companies for patented pesticides, farmers in India are reportedly spraying their cotton and chilli fields with Coca-Cola.

In the past month there have been reports of hundreds of farmers turning to Coke in Andhra Pradesh and Chattisgarh states.

Gotu Laxmaiah, a farmer from Ramakrishnapuram in Andra Pradesh, said he was delighted with his new cola spray, which he applied this year to several hectares of cotton. "I observed that the pests began to die after the soft drink was sprayed on my cotton," he told the Deccan Herald newspaper.

*****

Lastly, quite an evening here in Inkberrow last night for Guy Fawkes Night. The new horse was quite dazzled by fireworks display and equally jittery confounded by the enormous bonfire in the acreage out behind us but survived the night. As did we and our homemade mulled wine.

woensdag, november 03, 2004

PRAISE JESUS AND DROP THE BOMBS!


Lucky Americans Confirm Another Dollop Of Bush Is In The Cards

By a majority, Americans confirmed yesterday their love of guns, morality, bible thumping and most of all, President Dubya, as the hundreds of millions of Americans chose another four years of their heady and marvelous successes in the war on terror.

I for one, am happy to see America finally coming out of the closet.

Finally we are free to see America, happily, as it is: filled by a majority with the kind of small-minded oblivion we've all come to love so much here on earth in the last few years. We can be proud that there is a nation of people over there who openly embrace the baser aspects of human kind and more importantly, the lowest common denominators:

Fear and Jesus.

It is Fear and Jesus who won the day. The votes may tally up for Bush and for Kerry but that's all Americans seem to be able to digest these days. Fear of terrorism and faith that President Jesus Bush, the general of the Jesus Army of Democracy will grind the heathen Muslims into the earth like grinding out a filterless Camel into a stone ashtray.

The trailor parks of America are rejoicing!

The Evangelical places of worship will heave with excitement!

Lovers of guns, country music, being born again, moralistic venom, the gouging out of thinking, the sweet embrace of ignorance, all signs pointing in the direction:

Hell, sweet hell for the non-believers.

maandag, november 01, 2004

HAPPY ELECTION DAY, YEA CRAZY BASTIDS



I would like to draw your attention to an article I wrote back in auld days when a pretty little cross-eyed and buck-toothed bird called Ms Rice was urging us to support the invasion of Iraq and at the same time urging Saddam to realise the jig was up, urged us simultaneously realise that Time Is Running Out.

And time is running out.

You Americans have the fate of the world on your shoulders.

The papers in England are filled with your election, afraid no doubt, that England's chippy twerp might have to switch laps from Bush to Kerry, might have to take his poodle act somewhere else where people still believe in 45 minute myths and the dimensions of the word "evil".

I am listening to a Belgian radio station as I type this. Radio Brussels. Once an hour, they have the news and the news, even in Brussels, is the election in America.

So time is running out on our faith.

*****

Not even the great minds of Desultory Turgescence can come up with a winner in this one. But we bet that the winner will not be the American people.

We've read many articles over the last three and a half years about Bush and his Administration. The question for Americans to ask themselves is whether they prefer to be conservative as a nation or open as a nation.

We hope against logic that the election's results won't in more litigation, more abortions of the electoral process, more lack of sense.

*****

Many Happy Returns

Many thanks to the very capable Shelby Long for his insights on the World Chess Championship and for filling in for the Desultory Turgescence staff whilst the Home Offices were in the process of moving from Location A to Location B. Suffice it to say that Inberrow is sating the palate quite nicely.

In our absence, America has inched closer daily to the final countdown of the election which will likely have no forseeable end and though true that much bile has crept up with the round-the-clock advertising assaults and the insults of lies and distortions of both candidates, we're saving the usual political sarcasm and assaults for tomorrow, or as you Earthlings like to call it, Election Day.

In the interim, whilst sweeping up and setting up, enjoy this Keats poem which fills in nicely around the edges for this time of year:

TO AUTUMN

1.
SEASON of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.

2.
Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep,
Drows'd with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.

3.
Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,--
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

--John Keats



vrijdag, oktober 22, 2004

Desultory Turgescence

Calling all Jaap Stijl Fans

Good News! Jaap's column will resume it's regularly scheduled programming the final weekend of October.

I may even chime in once in awhile with important chess news.

Shelby Long (22.10.04)

maandag, oktober 18, 2004

Desultory Turgescence
Desultory Turgescence

WCC Final Game: The Champion Retains his Crown

In a brilliant game, the champion was finally able to win the full point to draw even in the match and retain his crown by virtue of a tie score. The players played a Caro Kann opening, Leko probably figuring that he would have the best chance at pulling off a draw. (Personnally I would have chosen another Russian Defence, but then that's fodder for another story).

Leko had a prepared novelty for the opening played, at move 6 when he played 6.Nd2. After 15.Bd4 it begins to look like white has the advantage after ...Nxd4 16.cxd4 Qxd2+ 17.Kxd2. Leko starts to feel the pinch after 21...a6 22.a4! Now it is very difficult for him. At 34.f4! White is clearly winning with a deadly threat of f4-f5. At the end after 41.Nf7+ it's mate in three. (41...Ke8 42.Rc8+ Kd7 43.Rd8 mate).

Congratulations to the winner and still champion!

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.h4 h6 5.g4 Bd7 6.Nd2 c5 7.dxc5 e6 8.Nb3 Bxc5 9.Nxc5 Qa5+ 10.c3 Qxc5 11.Nf3 Ne7 12.Bd3 Nbc6 13.Be3 Qa5 14.Qd2 Ng6 15.Bd4 Nxd4 16.cxd4 Qxd2+ 17.Kxd2 Nf4 18.Rac1 h5 19.Rhg1 Bc6 20.gxh5 Nxh5 21.b4 a6 22.a4 Kd8 23.Ng5 Be8 24.b5 Nf4 25.b6 Nxd3 26.Kxd3 Rc8 27.Rxc8+ Kxc8 28.Rc1+ Bc6 29.Nxf7 Rxh4 30.Nd6+ Kd8 31.Rg1 Rh3+ 32.Ke2 Ra3 33.Rxg7 Rxa4 34.f4 Ra2+ 35.Kf3 Ra3+ 36.Kg4 Rd3 37.f5 Rxd4+ 38.Kg5 exf5 39.Kf6 Rg4 40.Rc7 Rh4 41.Nf7+ 1-0

Shelby Long (18.10.04)

zondag, oktober 17, 2004

Desultory tragicomic

WCC Game 13: A Drawn See-Saw Battle

Game 13 may have ended in a draw, but it was a real dog fight all the way down to move 52. After that, the players, under heavy pressure from the rest of the chess playing public, played out the moves necessary to demonstrate the draw.

This game saw an attacking Kramnik for the first time in the match. He definitely came to play for the full point. Leko, sticking to his plan to thwart Kramnik's preparation against Leko's normal 1.e4 opening habit, played 1.d4 and we were off to another Indian Defence System. After move 3...c5 by Kramnik, the game appeared to be turning into a Blumenfeld Counter Gambit line, which lasted until move 5...exd5, when it developed into a Modern Benoni. At move 10, the game broke away from the book with 10...Ne8 and limited Kramnik's options for an eventual Re8.

At 12.a4 Leko was clearly playing to make it difficult for black to play ...b5. Kramnik's answer 12...f5, challenged white on the king side and showed that Kramnik had prepared this line before the match. He proved that when he followed up with 13...Rxf5, a surprise move which left his king position exposed, but threatened ...Rxd5. When white answered with 14.Bg4 Kramnik took his rook back to f8. Many of the analysts covering the game thought Kramnik should have played 14...Rf7 instead, leaving his options open for a future doubling of rooks on the f file and saving a tempo. Analyst were temporarily stymied again when Leko played 15.Bxc8 instead of 15.Bf3. They felt that black now would have an easier time since the issue of where he could develop his black squared bishop was resolved. They quickly changed their minds though when when Kramnik began spending a lot of time coming up with how to answer the move. Clearly 15.Bxc8 was a meant to be a pschological ploy by Leko, and it worked.

Leko increased his slight edge after 18.axb5 weakening black's white squares on the queen side. After 21 moves both players had run their cloks down to the extent that only approximately 2 minutes per move was left for them to play the next 19 moves and reach the first time control. After 26.Bxd4, the game appeared to be very complicated and spectators began to think the players were headed toward another draw. At 28...Rxf5, we can see that the game has become a double rook end game which is extremely difficult to calculate. After 30...Rdxd5 black's play appeared to be very dangerous for white. Leko appeared now to be in danger of losing the game. At 33.g4 Leko appeared to have lost his way when a better move was 33.Rh7. After that, Leko's defensive play was magnificent. At move 48. Rb8, the game appeared to be back to drawing chances. It didn't help Kramnik's case when he gave up a tempo after 48...Rb3. At 49...Ke4 he let Leko enter a possible drawn position. After 52.Kf3 the draw looked to be extremely likely unless either player blundered. At 56.b7 Leko picked up another tempo, assuring the draw. They both played on however, to demonstrate just why the position was a draw.

The score in the match now is 7:6 in the challanger's favor. Kramnik is faced with a must win situation entering the final game on Monday. He will have the white pieces, but anything other than a draw and the world will see a 15th World Chess Champion crowned. One can only wonder that if that happens will Leko allow Kramnik a re-match? That's more than we can say for Kramnik and his refusal to offer a re-match to Kasparov. The game moves were as follows:

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 c5 4.d5 d6 5.Nc3 exd5 6.cxd5 g6 7.Nd2 Bg7 8.e4 0-0 9.Be2 Na6 10.0-0 Ne8 11.Nc4 Nac7 12.a4 f5 13.exf5 Rxf5 14.Bg4 Rf8 15.Bxc8 Rxc8 16.Qb3 b6 17.Nb5 Nxb5 18.axb5 Rc7 19.Bd2 Rcf7 20.Bc3 Qd7 21.f3 g5 22.Ne3 Rf4 23.Rfe1 h5 24.Qc2 Qf7 25.h3 Bd4 26.Bxd4 Rxd4 27.Nf5 Qxf5 28.Qxf5 Rxf5 29.Rxe8+ Kf7 30.Rb8 Rdxd5 31.Rxa7+ Ke6 32.Re8+ Kf6 33.g4 hxg4 34.hxg4 Rd1+ 35.Kf2 Re5 36.Rh8 Rd2+ 37.Kg3 Ree2 38.Rf8+ Kg6 39.Rg8+ Kf6 40.Rf8+ Ke6 41.Re8+ Kd5 42.Rxe2 Rxe2 43.Rg7 Re5 44.Rb7 c4 45.Rxb6 Re2 46.f4 Re3+ 47.Kf2 gxf4 48.Rb8 Rb3 49.b6 Ke4 50.Re8+ Kd3 51.Re2 d5 52.Kf3 d4 53.g5 c3 54.bxc3 dxc3 55.Rg2 Rb2 56.b7 Rxb7 57.Kxf4 Rb2 58.Rg1 c2 59.Rc1 Rb1 60.Rxc2 Kxc2 61.g6 Kd3 62.Kf5 Rb5+ 63.Kf6 Rb6+ 64.Kf7 Rxg6 65.Kxg6 draw (1/2 - 1/2)

Shelby Long (17.10.04)

vrijdag, oktober 15, 2004

Desultory Turgescence

WCC Game 12: Different Game, Same Result

Draw no. 9! That's today's result. Black (Leko) was ahead two extra pawns in a Caro Kann Opening, but he offered a draw.

The big news was that a different opening was featured in this game, The Caro Kann. It is the first time in this match that it has been played. Today's game was actually a very hard fought contest with Kramnik getting a great position after 18.Qh7. He looked to be winning. After 24...gxf6 Black was slightly improved and appeared to be holding on. Kramnik looked quite surprised after Leko played 31...Bc7. Did he miss something here? With 33...Qxh5 Leko went ahead by two pawns and even looked to be winning. He offered an exchange of queens after 34...Qg6, and a draw, which Kramnik felt obliged to take to keep his chances alive. Make no mistake, the pressure is really starting to show with just two games left and Leko needing just 1 point in the next two games, to take the championship away from Kramnik. Each player has one more opportunity with the white pieces, Leko on Saturday and Kramnik on Monday. Leko still needs a win or two draws to win the match and Kramnik will undoubtedly be playing for a win to draw even. Two draws won't do it for Kramnik. Pressure, pressure, pressure!

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Bf5 5.Ng3 Bg6 6.h4 h6 7.Nf3 Nd7 8.h5 Bh7 9.Bd3 Bxd3 10.Qxd3 e6 11.Bf4 Qa5+ 12.Bd2 Qc7 13.0-0-0 Ngf6 14.Ne4 0-0-0 15.g3 Nxe4 16.Qxe4 Bd6 17.Kb1 Rhe8 18.Qh7 Rg8 19.c4 c5 20.d5 Nf6 21.Qc2 exd5 22.cxd5 Qd7 23.Bc3 Rde8 24.Bxf6 gxf6 25.Qd3 f5 26.Nd2 b5 27.Rhe1 Kb8 28.Qc3 Rxe1 29.Rxe1 c4 30.Nf3 f4 31.g4 Bc7 32.Qd4 Qxg4 33.Qe4 Qxh5 34.Nd4 Qg6 1/2 - 1/2

Be sure and tune in on Saturday. You won't want to miss it.

Shelby Long (14.10.04)

woensdag, oktober 13, 2004

Desultory Turgescence

WCC Game 11: Leko's Turn to Draw

With just three games left, Leko (white) squanders another chance to take a commanding lead by winning with the white pieces. Now he has white just one more time in the match.

Game 11 saw the Queen's Indian Defence again, but this time, with white varying from his 5.b3 of game 9, to 5.Qa4. At move 14, Kramnik played 14...Nh5. Now don't run to your opening manual to find the move because it's not there. Yes, Kramnik's home analysis found this move, but Leko could not find an answer over the board. He ran his clock down trying, but in the end decided to go for a short draw by repetion. So, all of you Queen's Indian buffs, you have until Thursday's game 12 to find the answer. A betting man might start an office pool to see how long before some GM finds the answer and plays it in his/her game.

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Ba6 5.Qa4 Bb7 6.Bg2 c5 7.dxc5 Bxc5 8.0-0 0-0 9.Nc3 Be7 10.Bf4 a6 11.Rfd1 d6 12.Qc2 Qc7 13.Rac1 Rd8 14.Qd2 Nh5 15.Bg5 Nf6 16.Bf4 Nh5 17.Bg5 Nf6 Draw agreed

Kramnik has the white pieces in next Thursday's game 12. He feels he has all the chances left to pull off another win before the end of the match on 18 October, and keep his title. Leko likes his chances with the black pieces where he seems to be playing his best. What do you think?

Shelby Long (12.10.04)

maandag, oktober 11, 2004

Desultory Turgescence

WCC Game 10: B of Opps Draw

With pressure building, Kramnik agrees to another draw. Only 4 games left now, for Kramnik to win one, draw even in the match, and keep his crown. Leko says he wants to make more of the White pieces, which he will have two more times in this match, next game included. At least, this game got out of the theory phase, ending in what is commonly known to be a drawing situation, Bishops of opposite colors (B of Opps). Kramnik, being the champion, is starting to "get heat" for agreeing to a draws in the match before the game is out of the theory phase.

This game started as another Spanish Opening (Ruy Lopez) game with Kramnik on the white side of the play. Leko varied his normal play and surprised Kramnik with 5...Bc5 leading to the Moeller - Archangel variation. Kramnik got off a novelty move at 9.a4 and we were of to the races.

After a lot of time expired from Leko's clock, he got off a good counter, 9...b4. After 12...Be7, Kramnik has a comfortable game and a nice position even though black is a pawn up. After Kramnik's 15.cxd4 we find ourselves at that familiar position in just about all of Kramnik's games, where the queens are off the board.

At this point in the match Kramnik has used just 15 minutes to make 15 moves. Leko, on the other hand, has used almost 1 hour of his allotted time after his 15th move. He is trying to solve the problem of castling (king side) and protecting his bishop at e7. One nice consequence of the Queen's being off the board is that he probably doesn't need to castle, however, he must find some way to activate his king's rook.

Kramnik gets a surprise from Leko when black plays 16...h6, and he has to take a few minutes to sort it all out. A few moves later, after 20...Rd7 Leko finally gets his queen's rook to d7 attacking white's weak d pawn and protecting his king bishop on e7. (At this point I think he realizes that his isolated f pawns are bad, but he can see how ton achieve a B of Opps draw) Kreamnik's position is full of good moves to pick from, but he seems to have a hard time finding the right one. He tries 24.d5. There are possibilities here for Kramnik to play for the win of black's h pawn or f6 pawn or even winning the exchange. He continues to look for the right combination to bring home the point, but after 30.Rxd1 he is down to 30 minutes to play his last 20 moves. there appears to be no way to get to a won end game. Even the exchange doesn't seem to work because black's two bishops get stronger and should be enough to hold the draw. At move 35.Bc6 he still hasn't found a winning line and is now down to less than 15 minutes to play his last 15 moves. Leko is even worse on the clock with just 5 1/2 minutes left on his clock. They agreed to a draw.

The pressure cooker is starting to get a little warmer now with just four games left. Kramnik must win one to keep his title and Leko needs to get an insurance win to relieve some of the pressure he is under to keep finding ways to draw and keep Kramnik at bay. Tune in Tuesday for another chapter in the Classical World Chess Championship match.

Shelby Long (10.10.04)

zaterdag, oktober 09, 2004

Desultory Turgescence

WCC Game 9: Nobody Wins!

Game 9 ended in a short draw, where nobody came out a winner; not Kramnik, not Leko, not the spectators at the game site, and not the chess world as a whole. Nobody! Why? Because we have seen it all before.

The game started out as a Queen's Indian Defense and followed normal moves all the way to the end. Instead of seeing where championship play could take the position, Leko chose to play it safe and preserve his single point lead for another day. He left with a slight advantage due to his better central position and a very slight initiative after 14.Ne5. Kramnik's position was very solid, however. Kramnik played pretty much on auto pilot, with less than 15 minutes off his clock. He wanted to respond with 14...Rc8, but instead chose 14...h6 preventing white from gaining an improved position with 15.Bh3. Leko followed with 15.a3, transposing to a familiar drawing line which had been played by others over the years. After 15.a3 by Leko, Kramnik saw that he would not be able to play his knight to b4 to cramp white's play on the queen side, and there was no advantage to be gained by leaving his queen knight on the side of the board, so he embarked on a plan to bring it to e6 via c7 with 15...Nc7. Leko's obvious response was to play 16.e4, but not before he had examined every possibility he could think of and running his clock down to less than one hour for his last 25 moves. When Kramnik quickly played 16...Ne6, Leko ran his clock down some more, but left us all hanging when the two players agreed to a draw without playing another move.

So... We are left to ponder if there is a winning line in the position. The game was so abruptly brought to a close that Kramnik never even got a chance to offer the queen trade we have all come to know as a staple in his games. Nobody won! We can only wonder; "what would Bobby Fischer do? What would Alekhine do? What would Tal do?" But alas, all we have is "What will tomorrow bring. Maybe it will be a better game and no split point".

Shelby Long (9.10.04)