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  1. #1
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Opportunity for Hobart players to appear on "The Insiders" [random politics thread]

    [EDIT: This is cancelled - just kept this post up as it is the start of the thread]

    I've just had a call from ABC-TV "Insiders" programme. They have, at ridiculously short notice, decided they would like to include some chess players in one of their samples of public opinion where they ask people what they think about federal politics.

    They are seeking exactly three (3) players to meet up somewhere tomorrow (Friday) lunchtime, play some chess for the camera, and be interviewed about their general views on federal politics, the upcoming election etc.

    Most likely we would do this at the big chessboard in Salamanca. (I'm willing to be one of them, or to sit out if there is an unexpected rush of interest.)

    If anyone is interested in doing this please PM me, and give me your phone numbers so I can let you know if it is on, when it is on (etc). Also feel free to pass this invite on to anyone in Hobart who plays chess.

    They wanted me to do a ring-around but I didn't feel up to it as I prefer not to individually impose on people to do things in an area unrelated to the area I know them through, but I told them I was happy to put a group notice up here and see if anyone was interested.

    This is a long shot but I thought I'd give it a try - if it doesn't go ahead I won't be fussed and it will be their problem for not contacting me sooner.
    Last edited by Kevin Bonham; 21-06-2007 at 10:45 PM.

  2. #2
    CC Grandmaster Basil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    I've just had a call from ABC-TV "Insiders" programme. They have, at ridiculously short notice, decided they would like to include some chess players in one of their samples of public opinion where they ask people what they think about federal politics.
    [feigned shock at outcome rigging] So let me get this straight. A bunch of lefties {journos} with increased lefty propensity {ABC journos} are wishing to talk to a group of leftys {chess players} for some informed {choke and laugh at the same time} and impartial discussion on politics [/feigned shock at outcome rigging]

    On a scale of 1-10, how much central or pro right-wing commentary is coming of this little session?

    OK, everybody carry on!

    (Will accept Kevin as a lefty on account his not making absurdly unworkable suggestions)
    There is no cure for leftism. Its infestation of the host mostly diminishes with age except in the most rabid of specimens.

  3. #3
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    Just so happens that I will be down Salamanca tomorrow so I might stop in at the board for a game.
    I don't follow politics enough to talk about it though.

  4. #4
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Gunner, while I have found that chessplayers in Hobart are generally left-ish in orientation (including myself to a degree, but not consistently) there is at least one glorious exception, as readers of the letters column of the Mercury would be very well aware.

    Oh yes, there do exist chessplayers (well, one at least) who venerate Ayn Rand, believe the PM should never apologise over the stolen generation, wish that Pauline Hanson lived in their electorate, and that's just the start of it!

    I pointed out to this individual once that the capitalist side of his politics and the other right-wing side were completely inconsistent and asked him how he reconciled the inconsistency.

    His answer, brilliantly delivered, was that he got around it by holding to the two views involved at different times.

  5. #5
    CC Grandmaster Basil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    Gunner, while I have found that chessplayers in Hobart are generally left-ish in orientation
    Geez, there's a shock!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    ... believe the PM should never apologise over the stolen generation...
    Of course he should apologise.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    wish that Pauline Hanson lived in their electorate, and that's just the start of it!
    Oh she's fine. Leave her alone. She doesn't create biggots, she just helps them articulate their ideals.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    I pointed out to this individual once that the capitalist side of his politics and the other right-wing side were completely inconsistent and asked him how he reconciled the inconsistency.

    His answer, brilliantly delivered, was that he got around it by holding to the two views involved at different times.
    Goose. There is no doubt that my bretheren in the centre or on the right have as much right to be completely clueless as some of those on the left - especially when Daddy's bought them a Porsche.

    I believe those geese are as arrogant and shallow as the other side's are as naive and unworldly.
    There is no cure for leftism. Its infestation of the host mostly diminishes with age except in the most rabid of specimens.

  6. #6
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Worth a try but insufficient interest so cancelled.

    Really have to wonder why the ABC left it til 11am today to contact me about this. Had they called me, say, a week out it would have been child's play to get it organised but as it was they left me in an impractical position and I'm not entirely impressed by them doing so.

  7. #7
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gunner Duggan
    [feigned shock at outcome rigging] So let me get this straight. A bunch of lefties {journos} with increased lefty propensity {ABC journos} are wishing to talk to a group of leftys {chess players} for some informed {choke and laugh at the same time} and impartial discussion on politics [/feigned shock at outcome rigging]

    On a scale of 1-10, how much central or pro right-wing commentary is coming of this little session?
    Knowing the ABC (Atheist Bolsheviks Collective), hardly any. Some of them like Venezuela's new communist despot Hugo Chavez even after he closed down the only opposition TV station. Yet Mr Howard hasn't done this to ABC, although I wish he had stopped forcing taxpayers to fund it.

    So are most chessplayers lefties? There seems to be a wide range of opinions in the chess community. Botvinnik was a sincere lifelong communist. Kasparov seems to be a libertarian. I'm a moral conservative and economic libertarian. Catholic chessplayers who are anything like B.A. Santamaria would be morally conservative and favour some socialistic policies.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunner Duggan
    OK, everybody carry on!

    (Will accept Kevin as a lefty on account his not making absurdly unworkable suggestions)
    Kevin is a fairly articulate lefty who doesn't support unworkable ideas like communism. But think back only two decades, and the Soviet Union was the favorite country of many journos and academics. P.J. O'Rourke exposed their blindness by noting how many leftists gushed about touring the USSR, but they made sure they brought plenty of loopaper with them. :LOL:

    It's easy to document that many thought that Reagan was naive in claiming that Soviet Communism was a sad and bizarre experiment, and that its last chapters were now being written. During his presidency, supposed intellectuals were praising the USSR's economy, and saying that it was here to stay, and that Reagan should be "realistic".

  8. #8
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gunner Duggan
    I believe those geese are as arrogant and shallow as the other side's are as naive and unworldly.
    It's notable that the left are more likely to denounce the other side as "evil", and not caring about the people that the leftist policies ostensibly help. In reality, the conservatives often do care, but disagree that the leftist policies are as truly helpful as the left claim. But the left just sounds oh-so-compassionate, because their intentions seem so kind, while conservatives care more about the incentives and results of the policies.

    E.g. how kind it sounds to put price caps on petrol, to make it "affordable". In reality, making petrol cheaper than what the free market would pay means there is less incentive to supply and more incentive to buy more than you need. The results of price caps in the past have always been shortages, e.g. mile-long lines at petrol stations (if they were even open) under Pres. Carter. When Pres. Reagan who lifted price controls, there were no more huge lines at petrol stations, and because it became economic to re-open capped oil-wells, the price soon dropped below the capped price.

    Alas, our state governments are treating water as Carter treated petrol, which is why we have shortages and the Geheime Staatswasserspolizei looking out for home gardens that are still green.

    The myth of the caring left v heartless conservatives is blown away by a recent book, Who Really Cares, by Prof. Arthur Brooks. Strangely enough, Brooks himself had been raised in a socially liberal environment and was so surprised by the outcome that he had to recheck his data before he would accept it. But the data showed;

    ‘Religious Americans are more likely to give to every kind of cause and charity, including explicitly nonreligious charities. Religious people give more blood; religious people give more to homeless people on the street.’

    One reviewer summarized:

    ‘The further to the left you are — particularly to the secular left ’ the less likely you are to donate your time or money to charity. Imagine two demographically identical people, except that Joe goes to church regularly and rejects the idea that the government should redistribute wealth to lessen inequality, while Sam never goes to church and favors state-driven income redistribution. Brooks says the data indicate that not only is Joe Churchgoer nearly twice as likely as Sam Secularist to give money to charities in a given year, he will also give 100 times more money per year to charities (and 50 times more to non-religious ones).’

    It shouldn't be so surprising though. The Left is mainly "generous" with other people's money, coerced by punitive taxation.

  9. #9
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Actually as some of the tests on this thread show, I'm not consistently leftist, and only vaguely so on average. Many of my adversaries in the Tassie green movement would scoff at any suggestion that I was a leftist in any way at all. The one that breaks it up quite nicely is the Oz Politics test which puts me dead centre on economics and what it calls social issues but as far from centre as possible on "traditional issues".

    Quote Originally Posted by Jono
    It's notable that the left are more likely to denounce the other side as "evil", and not caring about the people that the leftist policies ostensibly help. In reality, the conservatives often do care, but disagree that the leftist policies are as truly helpful as the left claim. But the left just sounds oh-so-compassionate, because their intentions seem so kind, while conservatives care more about the incentives and results of the policies.
    I think this is true of real conservatives (as defined by Michael Oakeshott for example) but not true of the ideological right-wing reactionaries who are at times mis-labelled "conservatives" and who form a fair slice of the Coalition's support base.

    So are most chessplayers lefties? There seems to be a wide range of opinions in the chess community. Botvinnik was a sincere lifelong communist. Kasparov seems to be a libertarian.
    And Fischer is an extremist nutter - so yes, there is quite a range!

  10. #10
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    Actually as some of the tests on this thread show, I'm not consistently leftist, and only vaguely so on average.
    My apologies for typecasting you as a leftist.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    Many of my adversaries in the Tassie green movement would scoff at any suggestion that I was a leftist in any way at all.
    So you are opposed to the green movement? If so, they might label you as a right-wing fascist destroyer of the environment (although Communist countries treated the environment far worse than capitalist ones).

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    The one that breaks it up quite nicely is the Oz Politics test which puts me dead centre on economics and what it calls social issues but as far from centre as possible on "traditional issues".
    Would you please explain "social issues" then?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    I think this is true of real conservatives (as defined by Michael Oakeshott for example) but not true of the ideological right-wing reactionaries who are at times mis-labelled "conservatives" and who form a fair slice of the Coalition's support base.
    Who would these be defined by? Ayn Rand, who treated selfishness as a virtue? I.e. as a contrast to conservatives who merely recognize that many people act in their own self-interest, so conservatives consider incentives of policies over intentions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    And Fischer is an extremist nutter - so yes, there is quite a range!
    Yeah! Just a shame that non-chess-players think of him as typical of chessplayers, when in reality most world champs were not nutters at all.

  11. #11
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jono
    My apologies for typecasting you as a leftist.
    No problems! Yes, although more of my positions fall on the left of the spectrum than the right, making me a centre-leftist on average (with a rather high standard deviation), I do not really consider myself to be left-wing and will often talk about "the intellectual left" in a way (usually critical) that excludes me from it. But at the same time if others want to classify me on one side or the other I'm not bothered by that.

    (My general experience is that each wing classifies me as the opposite.)

    So you are opposed to the green movement? If so, they might label you as a right-wing fascist destroyer of the environment
    I've had pretty much those exact words used at times, but it's probably more accurate to say that they (at least many of them) are opposed to me. As I wrote on another thread, "I'm a contra-green rather than an anti-green. I tend to stir them for fun and get myself a reputation that is probably a little at odds with my actual views in the process. I don't always disagree with the basic ideas, but I strongly object to the poor manner in which they prioritise issues, and the politically immature way they tend to behave when, as usual, the facts aren't on their side or they are exaggerating. I've had a fair few public stoushes with them from time to time, the most significant being a two-year battle including a six-month court case (which I won) to get a snail booted off the state threatened species list on the grounds that it was not actually threatened."

    Would you please explain "social issues" then?
    I am actually a bit puzzled by what Palmer's test means by "social issues" in that context too. If you go to the page (linked off the tests thread linked to above) you may get some idea from the questions.

    Who would these be defined by?
    In this particular case, by me.

    I'm not at all convinced about the result/intention dichotomy. There certainly are pragmatic lefties, even if their idea of a good result doesn't match yours. And there are plenty of impractical right-wingers too. Law and order is an example of this - plenty of right-wingers will support harsh punishments as a matter of principle even when these punishments strongly appear not to actually work.

    (For what it's worth I don't agree with Rand's classification of all non-violent "selfishness" as a virtue, but I hardly think it's a major-league vice either.)
    Last edited by Kevin Bonham; 08-06-2007 at 04:17 AM.

  12. #12
    CC Grandmaster Basil's Avatar
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    I'm too excited to speak. What a tremendous dialogue. Perhaps when I have stopped hyperventilating (and lost a couple of kids, and ... and ... ) I will sit down to contribute in an appropriate manner.

    Suffice to say - what a breath of fresh air. Just when I thought I was going barmy in a sea of simplistic naivety. Thanks Gents!
    Last edited by Basil; 08-06-2007 at 01:42 PM.
    There is no cure for leftism. Its infestation of the host mostly diminishes with age except in the most rabid of specimens.

  13. #13
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    No problems! Yes, although more of my positions fall on the left of the spectrum than the right, making me a centre-leftist on average (with a rather high standard deviation), I do not really consider myself to be left-wing and will often talk about "the intellectual left" in a way (usually critical) that excludes me from it.
    Would be interesting to read.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    I've had pretty much those exact words used at times, but it's probably more accurate to say that they (at least many of them) are opposed to me. As I wrote on another thread, "I'm a contra-green rather than an anti-green. I tend to stir them for fun and get myself a reputation that is probably a little at odds with my actual views in the process. I don't always disagree with the basic ideas, but I strongly object to the poor manner in which they prioritise issues, and the politically immature way they tend to behave when, as usual, the facts aren't on their side or they are exaggerating. I've had a fair few public stoushes with them from time to time, the most significant being a two-year battle including a six-month court case (which I won) to get a snail booted off the state threatened species list on the grounds that it was not actually threatened."
    That's interesting, and that's right in your area of expertise. What about the forestry issue, since I understand that the pristine forests used to illustrate green postcards are actually new-growth post-logging forests?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    I'm not at all convinced about the result/intention dichotomy. There certainly are pragmatic lefties, even if their idea of a good result doesn't match yours.
    Here's one: consider a genie magically doubling the real wealth and prosperity of everyone in Australia. A rightie would think this is a good result, but a leftie would think it's a bad thing because the inequality doubled. :LOL:

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    And there are plenty of impractical right-wingers too. Law and order is an example of this - plenty of right-wingers will support harsh punishments as a matter of principle even when these punishments strongly appear not to actually work.
    Hmm, yeah, probably crims are more deterred by the probability of being caught in the first place. If they don't think they'll be caught, the harshness of punishment would be less of an issue. All the same, locking crims away helps protect the rest of us. There is another issue: the probability of convicting crims in the first place would drop sharply if witnesses were fearful that the crim will be released in few months and take revenge.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jono
    The Left is mainly "generous" with other people's money, coerced by punitive taxation.
    That's the key point!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    I think this is true of real conservatives (as defined by Michael Oakeshott for example) but not true of the ideological right-wing reactionaries who are at times mis-labelled "conservatives" and who form a fair slice of the Coalition's support base.
    Don't forget that many lefties would happily put a label "right-wing" to anything they don't like. For example, Hitler and Pauline Hanson were labelled as a right wing while they were socialist (of extreme kind) with nationalistic streak.
    Indeed, close comparison between Nazi Germany and USSR failed to find significant differences.
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