Magnus Carlsen’s title at risk because of Russian politics?

Magnus Carlsen

Magnus Carlsen

I was hoping to use this space to talk about the win that I’d been hoping Nakamura would score against Magnus in the Sinquefield Cup, the highest rated chess tournament in history, which is going on right now. But no luck. Naka got a draw again, unfortunately while playing White. He has been unlucky stylistically against Magnus, but hopefully he’ll rack up some wins against the other people. As of right now, both he and Magnus are ranked right in the middle of the six-person round robin.

9-year-old accidentally kills shooting instructor with an Uzi

If you’re wondering why the hell a 9-year-old girl was even allowed to have an Uzi in her hand, read here. I don’t want to say that it’s stupid, but…it’s stupid. Why would you ever put a fully automatic submachine gun in the hands of a child? In Oregon, they don’t allow fully automatic guns. Even if you have a semi-automatic AR-15, ranges don’t allow you to shoot too fast.

The Billion Dollar Question

Obama has just appointed you Secretary of Racial Equity. He has given you a billion dollars to spend it however you like to cure the education gap for African Americans or to help Asian Americans. This was the question that I posed to Snoopy Jenkins in another thread.

N has attempted to answer it:

I’ll have a crack at the billion dollar question. Instead of AA (affirmative action), create a voluntuary special program that aims to create qualified people to address specific needs – eg, medicine, education but not computer programming/engineering etc.

Asian Americans–the convenient punching bags in race relations

Interesting article on fundraising in Ferguson for both Michael Brown and Darren Wilson. The protests for Michael Brown were interesting:

In Washington, hundreds of protesters marched through busy commercial streets on a damp Saturday evening to protest the killing of Mr. Brown. Organizers — including the activist groups National Black United Front and the Answer Coalition — targeted the Chinatown neighborhood, said Eugene Young, a spokesman for the Answer Coalition, because “if there’s not going to be justice for Michael Brown, then there won’t be any economic peace.”

What if affirmative action were voluntary?

I’ve been reading Ben Carson’s America the Beautiful. In one section, he recounts the story about how his mother invited a homeless man into their home and fed him chili. Carson writes about how it was his mother’s generous spirit that made her do it, but if giving chili to a homeless stranger had been forced by the government, she might not feel as happy to give. Carson is therefore against forced redistribution.


I thought I’d drop a few thoughts on Ferguson. I’ve mostly postponed comment on this until we learned more, but I’m not sure exactly how much more we’re going to learn. Some “community activists” have already jumped the gun, talking about how the police are waging a racist war, and how Michael Brown is an innocent victim. He might be. But he might not be. As someone who has dealt in the past with both asshole cops AND community activist dishonesty, I’m hesitant to take one side or the other. I just don’t think we should be jumping the gun in any direction.

The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer (Review)


If you’re looking for a good book to read, check out The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer. It’s about a group of friends who meet at a summer camp for artistic youth in high school. The story is about their lives as they deal with high school, go to college, enter the workforce, have kids, and grow older.

I thought this book was brilliant.The picture of Meg Wolitzer on the inside back cover is really small, and I thought there was a chance she was my age. I was thinking, “If someone my age can write like this, I should just stop writing, close my blog, and give up. I’m done.” The NY Times compared her to Jonathan Franzen, and I think it’s an apt comparison. (Fortunately she’s in her mid-fifties, so the blog stays open.)

Affirmative action podcast with Reappropriate Jenn

I wanted to thank Jenn from Reappropriate for the fun and lively podcast last night. You can see the podcast here (or in the video above), and you can read Jenn’s afterthoughts here. It was great being the first non-live-in guest, the first Asian guest, the first Asian male guest, and the first guest who was podcasting in the dark.

I have a few afterthoughts myself:

1. Sorry for the lack of lighting. It was literally 102 degrees yesterday in Portland. I had a halogen light in the office I was using, but there was no way I was going to turn it on!