Sunday, October 9, 2016

Letter to The Blade's Ombudsman

I appreciate your lead topic in today's column.
Since returning to northwestern Ohio 8 months ago following a year and a half in Oregon, I have been continually amazed at the change in The Blade's editorial tone. It seems that the Blade goes out of its way to compliment Trump, and goes out of its way to criticize Clinton.
I could bring up numerous examples, but one that has stuck in my craw is a recent editorial entitled "Where is Hillary?". The idea that we as voters cannot decide who to vote for unless we see the candidate in person is ludicrous in this day and age. And the idea that Clinton must come to Toledo and offer solutions to all of Toledo's problems is also ludicrous. Toledo's problems are largely for state and local officials to deal with, not the president of the U.S.
The Blade's attitude is reflective of the selfish, "me-first" attitude which is so pervasive in today's culture. Every locale has its own set of problems. It is a president's job to be president of all the people, not a select few.
Another problem with the aforementioned editorial is its assumption that Ohio is still crucial to winning the election, hence candidates must concentrate on it. If you check out, you will see that Clinton currently has 334 electoral votes even without Ohio, way more that the 270 needed to win. In sum, a Republican cannot win the presidency without Ohio, but a Democrat can.
The Blade should not undertake to dictate to Clinton how she allocates her campaign's resources. Yet, it continues to do so. A headline in today's "Behind the News" section again talked about how many times the candidates have visited Ohio, something the Blade persists in harping on, the headline containing the phrase "but 1st time in Toledo was just last week" (emphasis added), referring to Clinton's campaign stop in Toledo. So, Clinton does as the Blade demands and visits Toledo, but your paper is still badmouthing her!
Yes, economic issues are important, as Mr. Block told you, but how does that translate into The Blade's pro-Trump approach? What possible reason does The Blade have for supposing that Trump would be anything but disaster for our beloved country?
Enough already.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Letter to "Chess Life"

Thank you for the excellent articles on Viktor Korchnoi, especially the great account from Yasser Seirawan about his days as a Korchnoi second.

While I commend your account as generally accurate, it still contains remnants of the Cold War. When Korchnoi defected, he abandoned his wife and son in favor of chess. He soon took up with Petra Leeuwerik, who the Western press, led by "Chess Life", insisted on calling his "dietician", even though she was obviously much more to him than a dietician. When Korchnoi's wife was allowed to leave the Soviet Union, he promptly divorced her and married Petra.

The quality of "Chess Life" is currently the highest it has been during my 50 years of reading it. However, I think your magazine still has some responsibility to correct the errors and excesses of the past, which were particularly outrageous during the period of 1984-1988, when you had an editor, Larry Parr, who was more interested in fighting the Cold War than in presenting factual information about the wonderful world of chess.