an in-between move

Cool kids read The Bellman.


Don't read this blog!

I mean, thanks for dropping by my little corner of the blogospheric backwaters, but the blog you should be reading is The Bellman. The stuff I post there is much, much less likely to be imbued with dormitive powers.


[German, from zwischen, intermediate + zug, move

Literally an "in-between move". A move in a tactical sequence is called a zwischenzug* when it does not relate directly to the tactical motif in operation. |source|

image copyright TWIC

From this position, black played a zwischenzug: 19…d5
(Linares 2002, 1-0)


about your blogger

David Rowland studies philosophy at the University of Illinois - Urbana / Champaign, where he's an active member of the Graduate Employees Organization. He used to play a lot of chess, but wasn't all that good. He has a blog. And email.



Halliburton on Mars?
With his finger he wrote on the ground
Foul men, foul deeds
Me and Sleepy had been playing clubs for a couple ...
The best scientific minds of my generation destroy...
I wish I owned USA Today
A General says what?
Attention Wal-Mart shoppers
In case you're still planning this evening's night...
Immigration Reform: a dialogue


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$zwichenzug$ sell-out zone





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some folks I know

Mark Dilley
a daily dose of architecture
Safety Neal
January Girl
mimi jingcha
Hop, Skip, Jump
ambivalent imbroglio
Brooke & Lian


some blogs I read

strip mining for whimsy
It's Matt's World
School of Blog
Fall of the State
Dru Blood
Echidne of the Snakes
Colossal Waste of Bandwidth
Running from the Thought Police
Bionic Octopus


some philosoblogs

Fake Barn Country
Freiheit und Wissen


some labor blogs

Confined Space
Working Life
Dispatches From the Trenches
Labor Blog
Eric Lee


some A-list blogs

This Modern World
Matthew Yglesias
Andrew Sullivan
Political Animal
The Volokh Conspiracy


some other links

Rule 33
This Week in Chess
War Nerd
National Priorities Project
Bible Gateway
Internet Archive
A Weekly Dose of Architecture
Orsinal: Morning Sunshine
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Safety Sign Builder
Get Your War On


some philosoblogging

Six views about reasons
Seidman on reflection and rationality
And another thing
Tiffany's argument for strong internalism
Internalism v. Externalism
What do internalists believe anyway?
Rationalism and internalism
The experimental method in philosophy
Advertising to children
On moral skepticism
A linguistic argument
More on Williams
Williams on reasons
General and particular
Normativity and morality
Political intuitions
What it is, what it was, and what it shall be
Objectivity and morality
Thinking revolution
Abortion and coercion
Moore on torture
On the phenomenology of deliberation
Even more Deliberation Day
more Deliberation Day
Deliberation Day run-down
He made a porch for the throne where he might judge, cont.
He made a porch for the throne where he might judge
Every shepherd is an abomination
Droppin' H-bombs
ad hominem

Tuesday, January 13, 2004


If you don't want to go to fist city, you better detour around my town

The Zwichenzug Wal-Mart Media Watch continues.

On last night's 10 o'clock local news (WAND ABC), Wal-Mart ran a sweet ad about a sales associate whose infant child had contracted some horrible disease. The child, we are told, got the best of care, including a trip to the Mayo Clinic. The ad ends with the father saying, "Wal-Mart has better benefits than people give them credit for."

It's becoming clear that Wal-Mart has developed an ad campaign designed to limit blow back from the California grocery strike.

But how do Wal-Mart's benefits stand up?

Walmart.com has a page of information for potential employees, but it doesn't give any specifics. We learn only that the plan, "covers most major medical expenses. The company contributes to the cost of health benefits and we offer affordable Associate plans. There is no limit for most health coverage." link

Let me highlight a few features of this description. First off, by saying that the plan 'covers most major medical expenses' Wal-Mart is telling us that it doesn't cover all major medical expenses. They're also hinting that it doesn't cover minor medical expenses--things like annual check-ups or flu shots. Keep this in mind and consider what 'no limit for most health coverage' might mean. Lastly, notice that though they tell us that the company 'contributes to the cost' they don't tell us the size of that contribution. From this we might infer that their contribution isn't much to brag about.

Something else bears mentioning. They don't say anything at all about eligibility for the health plan. But unless Wal-Mart is more generous than most companies, employees will have to put in six months to a year of full-time work before becoming eligible for health insurance coverage. Since many of Wal-Mart's sales associates are part timers, and Wal-Mart has a well documented history of culling senior employees from the work force, there's reason to suspect that enrollment in the health plan is not particularly high.

It's difficult to reconcile Wal-Mart's advertising copy with this analysis of Wal-Mart's health insurance plan. According to the analysis, Wal-Mart offers what's called a 'limited-benefit' plan, capped at $1000 per year. These plans are cheap and do cover things like routine doctor visits. But they don't pay the bills at the Mayo Clinic. The analysis looks to be about a year old, so it may be that Wal-Mart has changed plans.

An article in the Christian Science Monitor last October analyzes changes in employer sponsored health insurance and says that, "Some, like Wal-Mart, only offer catastrophic plans to cover primarily life-threatening situations." link This fits more closely with the advertising copy.

But whichever is right, whether Wal-Mart has a catastrophic plan or a limited-benefit plan, this much is clear: Their health insurance sucks.

Some additional bullshit: On their health insurance benefits page, Wal-Mart claims that, "60% of our Associates tell us they joined Wal-Mart because of our benefits." But in the Christian Science Monitor article a Wal-Mart spokesperson is quoted as saying that, "roughly 50 percent" of Wal-Mart's workers are enrolled in the health plan. So did 10% 'join' Wal-Mart for the benefits and then become disgusted with the health plan?

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