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.



Gonna eat me a plate of biscuits and beans
The folly of fools is deceit
Slimy cheapish deafening toadeater
I want to move to Vermont
Use Your Mind Constructively
Social Hygene Posters
167 is a bigger number than 159
We ought to codify that
The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog
Zwichenzug Culture Watch


error log

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$zwichenzug$ sell-out zone





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Union Label

Direct Action
Gets the Goods!


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

Wednesday, February 25, 2004


The Department of Education is a propaganda ministry

Here's hoping that the controversy surrounding Education Secretary Rod Paige's "The NEA is a terrorist organization" remark leads to his resignation. I'm not holding my breath.

By the way, I believe him when he says it was a joke. And I don't think that this constitutes a new administration policy to treat unions as threats to national security. Maybe you can make the argument but this isn't evidence for it.

I just want to get rid of Rod Paige and the rest of the No Child Left Behind idiots.

Back when Rod Paige was superintendent of the Houston Independent School District I was a VISTA volunteer with an organization called Communities in Schools. CIS had programs in about 20 schools in the Houston area, mostly in HISD. I was assigned to a school in the Alief school district on the southwest side of the city, but I frequently had occasion to visit campuses in HISD and they were as bad or worse than mine.

At CIS we provided programs for 'at-risk' kids. The idea was to keep them from dropping out so that they could one day aspire to be worker bees.

Texas state laws says that a kid is considered to be at-risk if they meet any one of the following conditions: was not advanced from one grade level to the next for two or more school years; has mathematics or reading skills that are two or more years below grade level; did not maintain an average equivalent to 70 on a scale of 100 in two or more courses during a semester, or is not maintaining such an average in two or more courses in the present semester, is not expected to graduate within four years of the date the student begins ninth grade; did not perform satisfactorily on an assessment instrument; is pregnant or a parent; has limited English proficiency; is sexually, physically or psychologically abused; or, engages in delinquent behavior.

School districts are allowed to include other criteria at their discretion. The district I worked in, Alief, added the following conditions: broken home; primary care-giver is not a parent; and, any member of the household has been convicted of a felony. I think that these additions were also made in HISD.

In my school, and in all the Houston schools I had acquaintance with, a solid majority of students met these criteria. And yet, somehow, every school managed to post good TASS results. (TASS is the Texas Assessment of Scholastic Skills, the test that inspired the No Child Left Behind Act)

How? Fraud.

Teachers and administrators systematically excluded the scores of students who could be predicted to do badly. They had to, because otherwise their schools would be denied funding.

And let there be no doubt that they needed funding. Class sizes in Houston are routinely above 30, there aren't nearly enough tutors, and experienced teachers are fleeing en masse for higher paying jobs in suburban districts.

Not to mention the deplorable physical condition of public schools in Houston. Many of the building's are, to put it bluntly, falling apart. Even where the main buildings are in good shape there are temporary classroom shantytowns filling the playgrounds. Once I was out in a temporary classroom - a structure most of us would describe as a trailer - during a terrific thunderstorm. I looked out the window and noticed that the rain was falling sideways. Drawing on my Oklahoma heritage I thought "Tornado!" and got everyone the hell out of there and into the main building. As far as I know, ours was the only temporary classroom that was evacuated. A mile away a tornado tore the roof off of the gymnasium of a junior high school.

Houston's public schools are in a sorry state. White flight has pulled the money into the suburbs, and the Supreme Court has ruled super-districts to be illegal. The only solution, there as elsewhere, is a new funding model for public education.

Or: you could implement a testing regime that produces misleadingly positive results.

That's Rod Paige's legacy. Kick the bums out.

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