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.



The Department of Education is a propaganda minist...
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


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

Thursday, February 26, 2004


Will it ever end?

Update: The Associated Press is reporting that an agreement has been reached. No details yet on the terms. A vote to ratify may begin as soon as tomorrow. [source]

For about a week now I've been googling 'California Grocery Strike' every few hours thinking that I could announce the end of the strike in a post. But it keeps not ending. The latest news, which I've got over in the Holding Zone and which Calpundit also has, is that the agreement on the horizon seems to contain serious concessions by the strikers. The LA Times is reporting that, "the deal on the table would trim supermarket employees' health benefits and create a second tier of new workers who would earn less than those hired before the dispute began, according to sources who know the rough details of the proposed contract."

Until we know how much health benefits are cut we won't be able to identify any winners. This much seems clear: there are lots of losers.

The strikers, even if their health benefits aren't cut substantially, have lost five months of income. While it's true that some earned strike pay by walking the picket lines, that money didn't match their normal income. Assuming that a two-tier wage system is installed, don't be surprised if the strikers find themselves slowly pushed out the door by managers eager to reduce labor costs.

Any new employees are going to be on the bottom tier of the pay scale, so they will be consigned to the working poor. Count them among the losers.

Nor is it clear that the three grocery chains are going to benefit much. To begin with, they've significantly eroded their customer base. They've also lost so much money that when you crunch the numbers it's hard to see how picking this fight could make any economic sense at all. Worse, for all their talk about the need to reduce payroll expenses, they haven't addressed any of the inefficient business practices that lie at the root of their inability to match the low prices of discount retailers.

Critics have lambasted the UFCW for their failure to bring the supermarkets to their knees. But as far as I can see the real problem is that the chains aren't acting in their own rational self interest. How do you influence someone who's immune to reason?

I know it goes against the conventional wisdom to suggest that it's in management's interest to pay their employees a living wage. But consider:

While Ralphs, Vons and Albertsons spent a 14th consecutive day Tuesday at the bargaining table with their workers' union, one of the grocers' biggest rivals, Costco, smoothly agreed to a new contract with 12,000 California employees.

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters ratified Costco's contract proposal on a 94 percent vote and Teamsters officials contrasted their bargaining process to the bitter stalemate that has kept 59,000 Southern California grocery clerks out of work for 137 days.

"This contract makes sure that Costco employees remain the highest paid workers in the grocery industry," said Teamsters President Jimmy Hoffa. [source]

Not only did Costco avoid a dispute that would have alienated their workforce, they also saved tens of millions of dollars that they could have spent fighting the union. And by keeping the peace while others went to war, Costco gained significant marketshare.

They look pretty smart to me.

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