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.



You talkin' to me?
Zwichenzug culture watch, NCAA Tournament edition
They made me the keeper of the vineyards
Transit strike blogs
An indirect citation
Holding Zone

The roads must roll
Notes from the peanut gallery


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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

Tuesday, March 23, 2004


Cursed be the deceiver

This evening I bought a USA Today for the first time in a few weeks. Now, I'm not one of those people who thinks that USA Today is an intolerably lousy newspaper. In fact, I think the Sports section is pretty darn good. Their news coverage, while not great, has been getting better and better. They did an outstanding job fact checking Bush's State of the Union, and their coverage of the National Guard semi-scandal was as good or better than anybody else's.

Anyhow, today's paper had what seemed to me to be a very slanted article about the Administration's response to Richard Clarke. It was basically a series of attacks on Clarke's credibility peppered with an occasional mention of the charges Clarke is making. What the article lacked was any attempt to evaluate the substance of either Clarke's charges or of the attacks against him.

I mention all of this by way of explaining how I came to be searching the web for Monday's USA Today, to see how Clarke's charges were handled there. That article isn't all I might have hoped for either, but it does a better job of presenting Clarke's case. So on the initial charge of craptastic reporting, USA Today gets a provisional acquittal.

But buried near the bottom of Monday's article was this paragraph:

Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., said Sunday on ABC's This Week that while he has been critical of Bush policies on Iraq, 'I think it's unfair to blame the president for the spread of terror and the diffuseness of it.'

As it happens, I watched Biden's appearance on This Week. He went on to make the point that the Bush team could and should be blamed for failing to recognize that the United States faced more serious threats from diffuse terrorist organizations like al Quaeda than from rogue states like Iraq. In other words, Biden was making one of the same charges as Clarke.

Biden wasn't defending Bush. By reducing what he was saying to a soundbite, USA Today totally misrepresented his point. I don't know whether this was the result of bias, negligence, incompetence, or what. But its annoying.

Before you decide never to buy a USA Today again (except when you need to see the Sports section) consider that they're not the only ones who got it wrong. The Guardian's article on Clarke's allegations has Biden saying, "Even if he had followed the advice of me and many other people, I still think the same thing would have happened."

So what happened? Well, Biden made a very sharp and moderately complex criticism that he softened with the addition of a few conciliatory words. The press, for some reason, ignored the criticism and ran with the absolution.

There's probably a lesson here, but I don't think I want to learn it.

ps - At least one person agrees with my understanding of Biden's point.

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