The DACA Dodge

Trump has summarily decapitated DACA, the executive program instituted by Obama that allowed children, who had been illegally transported to America by their parents, to “come out of the shadows”, get work permits, attend schools and college. To become productive citizens without punishing them. Obama issued this admittedly unconstitutional order (he even said so) when Congress failed to pass anything to address a situation that had deep ethical problems.

I do not question the legality of what Trump did, only the morality. Congress is not going to do “comprehensive immigration reform” in the next 6 months (the time provided by Trump before he starts deporting dreamers). Congress has done exactly nothing for 8 months (save approve a SCOTUS member). I think the chances of a straight up/down Dreamer Act (independent of broader reform) is also highly unlikely. They will have 6 months to let this fervor die down, undoubtedly to be replaced by MANY fresh new “burn down the house” controversies and scandals. Once out of sight, out of mind.

And if that happens (or, more correctly, if nothing happens), then what becomes of the 800,000 who voluntarily provided all their informaton (including residence location, etc) in order take advantage of the DACA offer? Who are not receiving any welfare or other government assistance, but who are in fact 91% employed and/or in school? Who contribute $2 billion in taxes? Who have never been arrested, or in trouble, or been anything but a positive force in our society?

THESE are the first targets of Trump’s immigration “policy”?

Trump had other options. Primarily, he could have actually led the legislative fight to pass a Dreamer Act, instead of playing this game of chicken with Congress, while 800,000 model citizens are thrown into terrible jeopardy in the middle of the road between them.

All he’s doing is grabbing the low-hanging fruit. Because DACA people voluntarily exposed themselves in the belief they would be free of worry, they are now in daily dread of their very future. And these are people who have known no home other than the United States. Think what that will actually mean to these young people if they are deported. Deported to where? Their homes are here. Are they just gonna dump them on some street in the middle of Mexico City. Or in the Sonoran desert?

However Trump might have dealt with this situation, the course he actually chose to take, while by the letter of the law is perhaps “correct”, by any moral or ethical measure, is unhumane and reprehensible.

Again: the DACA program has been in effect for several years; if he was pushing for immigration reform, he could easily have waited a few more months. Or he could have used the bully pulpit to oush for a stand-alone Dreamer Act. But to simply end DACA, and dare Congress to fix it, is not leadership. It is cowardice and shows a complete lack of a moral compass.

It is not the bully pulpit, it is simply a bully lashing out at those least able to defend themselves, and most easily deported.


© 2017 Chuck Puckett

Re-Entry

[Originally published as one of my Facebook Notes]

It has often occurred to me that one of the truly “out of joint” aspects of doing community theatre is the “re-entry”. We all experience it: you build the intensity around the show, from diddly-squat at early rehearsal, gradually increasing to total involvement during the run, to the point that, for a week or two, the Show is the one, true rhythm of reality, the focus of all your energy and thought, and “out there” is a mere mist, a phantom world that you wander through until it’s time to do the Show again.

But then the final curtain falls, you strike the set and haul your paraphernalia home, and go back to work the next morning. And the odds are that almost no one back in this (old) “real” world has any inkling of the fact that for several days now, you have been A Completely Different Person. It’s not that they are aliens, but nevertheless, you have inhabited, even in their midst, a totally different reality. Sure, you looked the same, and you’ve taken part in all the normal activities. But your inner monologue has always been thinking about lines and movement and expression and how to fix that or improve this and tweak everything, to find some subtlety that will keep it real, and make it better. All the while going about the daily chores that pay the bills.

And then comes the exit from that orbit of rarefied air and the Re-Entry into the thick air “down here”. It always takes a few minutes (or hours, or even days perhaps), to trade in the rhythm of the Show for the mundane rhythms of your other life. Inevitably, you’re still spending a few brain cycles on improving a performance that is now forever beyond change, and that world of the Show begins its fade into dissolve. And you turn that inner eye and ear to the next show.

Theatre people walk in two worlds, I think. And how easily we slip through that unseen, seemingly fragile, yet infinite curtain that separates them.


© 2017 Chuck Puckett

Pollyanna

On Sunday, my wife Carol got me to watch a movie I had somehow missed in my childhood. I watched almost all of the Disney canon, from Old Yeller to Darbie O’Gill & the Little People (w/ Sean Connery!), from The Shaggy Dog to The Parent Trap. Swiss Family Robinson, Treasure Island, The Love Bug… not to mention all the classic animated films.

But I had never seen Pollyanna.

And having missed it as a child, as young teen and adult, I had already dismissed it as, well, Pollyannish, and the notion never again crossed my mind. Which was my loss.

It is easy to dismiss so much of the Disney vault as pure syrup. And as the years went by, I think perhaps that the studio indeed fell into formula. But there can be no question that so many of those early films, crafted elegantly and masterfully, had a tremendous impact on the morals and ultimately the hopeful outlook of an entire generation (mine, the Boomers). There was ALWAYS an essence of goodness, and it was juxtaposed against self-centered meanness, with an element of danger (and fear). Good had to be more than merely “good”, it had to have the power to overcome adversity.

The movie Pollyanna was the quintessence of that combination of elements. I confess to being moved and touched. The film spoke past my adult cynicism and reached back to resonate with the child I hope we all keep safely stored away, ready to rise strong.

The Glad Game, on the face of it, does seem hopelessly “Pollyannaesque”. But in its essence it holds a great truth, one that we should all wake up to every morning: If you look for the bad in people expecting to find it, you surely will.

Pollyanna and Anne Frank both believed something that is very, very hard to see: people are good at heart.

There are of course, some beings that look like people but probably are not. But let’s not discuss politics this today.


© 2017 Chuck Puckett

Down the Trump Care Hole

The examples of outright callous meanness and utter disregard for human decency that have been exhibited by the Humpty Trumpty administration are legion. Just consider a budget that eliminates Meals On Wheels and free after school lunches for poor children. That pulls the plug on the NEA and NPR. That ignores science and the future of our children with a 32% cut to the EPA because “we don’t believe in climate change and we’re not going to waste any money on it.” That cuts the State Department budget by 30%, mainly in foreign aid, including relief to millions starving in Africa. Meanwhile, the military budget sees a very hefty increase, even though American military might already dwarfs the all nations on the planet, combined. 

But TrumpCare offers an especially cynical stab at the less fortunate, right here in the U.S.A. And since it originates from Paul Ryan and his like-minded party, it reflects the kind of disdain for anyone not rich that so completely characterizes the party of Trump. He absolutely endorses the legislation, btw, even though it flies in the face of every promise he made w.r.t health care during the campaign.

Here’s what I consider the major flaw that lies at the heart of the darkness that is TrumpCare. Rather than scaling things so that richer people take on more, TrumpCare offers a single-size tax credit, regardless of the income of the recipient. I believe it’s $4000. The person gets the tax credit, and in some sort of distorted Objectivism, then negotiates his or her own health care. No mandate, you don’t have to actually get a plan.

Understanding health plans is complicated, as any one who has negotiated for one will attest. Throwing the entire population into the deep end of this pool means that only the well-off and the well-educated will swim successfully. Maybe that’s what Paul Ryan has in mind, as he re-reads Atlas Shrugged for the umpteenth time, and sneers at those who don’t meet his expectations. A healthy pruning of the gene pool never bothered a true believer in the “philosophy” of Ayn Rand. Let the wolves have the slow and the aged.

Now, put aside for a moment the aspects that have  (rightfully so) been castigated by opponents of the GOP “plan”. Namely, that low income and the elderly are going to take it on the chin, paying as much as 2-300% more for whatever health care they can get. Medicaid (for the needy) gets slashed way back. These are awful situations, and they will most severely affect (in many cases) the very people who were fooled into voting for the Trickster.

But here’s another hidden cost, one that will devolve directly onto the taxpayer. There is no mandate to purchase insurance. The one thing that makes health insurance work is having a large pool of fairly healthy people (read “young”) paying premiums, and this off-sets the costs of the elderly and seriously ill. But with no mandate, there’s no reason to buy a plan. So, instead of having lots of insured people to average out the cost, we’ll inevitably have very many young and, shall we say, not particularly forward-looking, people opting NOT to be insured. The result? An overall decrease in health, and lots of people showing up in emergency rooms, since they have no doctor (or insurance). The hospitals can’t refuse them, so the costs ultimately come back to the taxpayers.

The only solution that will ever make sense (economic and ethical) is universal single payer health care. Medicare for every American, and if the well-to-do want more, fine. Their choice. But if we only guarantee that that the wealthy are adequately covered, we have made a moral choice that reduces us to that of scavengers.

But wait… that happened when they decided to cut Meals On Wheels.

© 2017 Chuck Puckett

Ignoring the Vengeful God

Many Christians insist that the teachings of Jesus require accepting the entirety of the Older Testament (ie, the Torah, Wisdom literature, the prophets, etc) in order to properly appreciate his new wisdom. Now, it is impossible to understand what Jesus taught without an awareness of the world (and religious underpinning) in which he lived. But it seems to me that in order to derive the available benefits, one need only read what Jesus said and ignore any supposed prior context.

Yes, I am of course aware of his “jot & tittle” comment, but basically every substantial commandment or suggestion that originated directly from Jesus flies in the face of the vengeful maniac who presided over the Older Testament. Buddhism is not Hinduism, though it has its roots there. Christianity is not Orthodox Judaism, though it grew out of it. Jesus, like Gautama Buddha, was an ethical and religious genius who was able to formulate a radically new morality while living in the midst of a millenia-old world view. Love thy neighbor. Turn the cheek. As ye care for the prisoners, so ye care for me.

I don’t need to reconcile Jehovah and Jesus. I’ve read most of the Older Testament. Taking that dark and vengeful “god” literally would be to willfully partake in the insanity his words and actions imply. The main takeaway, the truly positive idea, that came from Abraham and Moses (mainly the latter) is monotheism, and even that concept may have originated with the heretic Egyptian Akhenaten, a sort of “one-termer” pharaoh who, during his reign, forced the Egyptians to solely worship Aten, the sun. Oh, and I guess the codification of the Ten Pretty Obvious Commandments was another sort of breakthrough, though even those had their origins in previous Mesopotamian cultures. But then you have to also deal the 100 or so “minor” commandments in Exodus, not to mention the endless city ordinances in Leviticus.

No, I don’t care to reconcile YHWH with the red text in the New Testament. I have no problem whatsoever in reconciling Jesus and God, since there is no ontological reconciliation necessary: they are two completely separate entities. The latter, under the rubric of “I AM”, and depicted in the first several books of the Bible, is of course an embarrassing myth, but perhaps the best an unsophisticated tribe of nomads in 1000 BC (or so) could come up with. Like I said, their major theological leap was monotheism.

And what I mean about “YHWH as myth” is strictly the Older Testament depiction; I do not want to suggest that I deny a Creator, only that YHWH is a very flawed example. Every ancient description of The Creator/ Sustainer suffers from the mythological trappings of the specific cultures in which they occur. And all of those descriptions therefore obscure whatever transcendence must obtain to such an entity (if “entity” can be used to imply what is meant, which is problematic).

The genius moment that happened in the far mists of the past was when some human mind(s) made the leap to conclude that there was a beginning, and that something caused it. To anthropomorphize that cause, and imbue it with the powers of storm and lightning and fire and earthquakes, the most powerful forces imaginable, was the most natural next step. And certainly these attributes accrued to the chief god of the pantheons of all ancient religions.

And then someone (Moses?) made the reductionist conclusion that, given that power, a pantheon isn’t required: just make YHWH the sole mover, responsible for everything. Unfortunately, they maintained the anthropomorphism. And also unfortunately, that concept of monotheism never leapt from within the confines of the Hebrew tribes (I AM a god for your people; don’t pray to other peoples’ gods). Even Jesus  mainly constrained his teachings to Judah and Israel. It took Paul to combine Jesus’ message with various aspects of Greek philosophy and Mediterranean “god-men”, and thus liberate Chrsitianity unto the Gentiles. But Jesus and Paul were men, which is one up the reality ladder from myth.

I maintain my conviction that Jesus was in many ways a theological genius, meaning that he was able to create Brand New Ideas. Most creative people just sort of reorganize whatever exists. It’s the Newtons and the Einsteins and the Buddhas and the Jesuses who make the gigantic leaps ahead, conceptual leaps so huge they almost seem like they came out of nowhere.


© 2017 Chuck Puckett

Teacher

I wrote this in honor of my high school mathematics teacher, Virginia Guthery, who celebrates 80 years of a most influential life this month. Not everyone is so blessed, but many of us in fact owe a tremendous debt to one or two extraordinary teachers, people who were instrumental in leading us to a never-ending search for illumination. Ms. Guthery was that kind of special teacher.

Teacher

In Honor of Virginia Guthery

How far beyond measure
Is the worth of the true teacher.
That rare soul who
Can lead your soul
To follow the endless search
Into what lies below
And what soars above,
And what connects it all.

Mentor, yogi, rabbi, shaman,
Teacher. The one who
Will not accept less
Than the best you have
And then demands that
Which is beyond your best.

The one who won’t reveal
The answer, but instead
Points to a path that leads there.
Who imparts knowledge,
But especially that knowledge
Which, when unwrapped,
Unfolds into a map.
The secret places do exist,
But only for those who seek.
They are not merely given.

We all sojourn alone.
The barrier between souls
Is infinite, but not
Impassable.
Students trudge in rows,
Endless empty faces,
And the chance is small
That any will encounter
A jewel in the classroom,
Will look up and see
A bright flare that ignites
Their fire to learn,
The zeal to discover.

There is no metric
That measures the worth
Of the ones who make
The universe your doorstep.


February 2017
© 2017 Chuck Puckett

Burn Down the Mission

The student riots in Tuscaloosa at the University of Alabama. May, 1970. I remember those few days vividly, wrapping up my freshman year. That year had started innocently enough. Buckling down to the books as I made the transition from the high school educational experience to the newfound freedom of college. Classes every other day, and stretched out over the day, rather than closely sequential. And more intense, or so it seemed at first. High school had always been fun, and comparatively easy for me, and of course I knew everyone, including all the teachers and their reputations. But college brought with it the apprehension of uncertainty, and my response was to focus on the courses and the assignments.

Second semester, I had a better grip on things, and started looking around and noticing the rest of the college experience. New ideas, wider perspectives. I even began to pay close attention to the national political scene. The Vietnam War was raging. and the protests reached a fever pitch that spring, mainly on campuses across the country, although Tuscaloosa had managed to remain largely unaffected.

And then Kent State happened.

Kent State was so horrific, and in some way, so personal, that even the sleepy Capstone was stirred into action. Students gathered in groups, then into crowds, chanting and singing. It was hard to tell how real it all was, but it was really happening.

I remember Jerry Pruett and I going out to protest, with my bed sheet sign hung between us, “Gestapo Go Home” printed in large letters across the linen (we weren’t very creative). We stood on the corner of University Boulevard right at the edge of campus, across the street from The Dickery, holding our sign and waving our fists at the police cruisers that paraded endlessly up and down the road. This was the day after the Tuscaloosa cops had raided the frat houses on University Boulevard, in particular the Deke house. (Those houses are all gone now; the Bryant-Denny stadium expansion razed all of them to the ground). The police stormed into the frat houses, their name tags taped over, billy-clubbing and arresting the frat guys. As a result of this excessive use of force, the governor (or somebody) had called in the (believe it or not) much more responsible and well-trained State Troopers to control the situation.

Jerry and I got thru with our “protesting”, feeling pretty good about our radical selves. We walked back to my house, which was a couple blocks away. As we crossed an empty parking lot, a Jeep holding 4-5 Crimson Tide football players (they looked like linemen), zoomed up, screeched to a halt in front of us, and the jocks jumped out, surrounding us. They took our makeshift sign, unrolled it and started threatening us, yelling “Commie Fascist faggots!”, etc. I tried to calmly explain that you can’t be a Commie and a Fascist at the same time, but, to my utter surprise, this logic failed to impress them. Then I tried the tactic of letting them know that a year ago, I had been a fellow football player myself, in Cullman. This attempt at comradery also had no mollifying effect.

We were pretty sure we were on the verge of having the shit beat out us, when a State Trooper wheeled in beside the Jeep. The officer got out, and the whole thing broke up very quickly. Of course, the jocks were just told to move on, but Jerry and I were more than happy to withdraw from the battlefield, skulls and other body parts intact.

It was a grand moment in my personal history. No, there was no massive change in the overall face of the Capstone. In fact, there were only two concrete results of the “Riots of 1970”: An old abandoned building down near the river was burned down, but no arrests were made, and (suspiciously) that was where construction began on the new Ferguson Center almost immediately. The other thing that happened was the University cancelled all final exams that semester. Yes! I guess we showed the Man!

No, I don’t think any lasting changes occurred in Tuscaloosa. But there has always existed a liberal undercurrent at the University of Alabama, sometimes very well hidden. Nevertheless, it is a strong and persistent force for the same reason that Blue Dots in Red States are strong: we know how isolated we are, and therefore always seek out like-minded spirits.


© 2017 Chuck Puckett

 

In Memory Of My Mother

We buried my mother, Martha Evelyn Black Puckett, four years ago today. I wrote this at the time. It bears repeating and remembering.

This day is done, and we pass into a future already permanently altered, folding the day’s events into our hearts and minds. We have bade our last farewell, given a nod to the past, while simultaneously, though tentatively, accepting the future. We bow our heads in the acknowledgement that we are now unequivocally a generation on our own, a generation that must either either offer wisdom or else pretend we know it. Too much depends on this eternal fiction that must now transform into an ever-recurring truth.

I say a last farewell: Mother, Father, frail humans who did the best they could with the adventures Aslan sent them. If we do better, it is only because we carefully watched your footsteps and saw where and how you strove against the pitiless winds of existence, dealt with every success and triumph, how you were forged and tempered on the anvil of God.

If we do not, is only because we closed our eyes and ignored the lessons we were taught.

Thanks be to God.

Never the New Normal

Is it just me, or does anyone else find themselves looking at “normal” life these days (and “normal” FB posts, and normal tweets and normal conversations) and think to themselves, “HOW CAN PEOPLE CARRY ON AS IF THINGS WERE NORMAL??! Don’t they realize WHAT’S AT STAKE HERE? Don’t they see WHAT’S GOING ON??!”

Look. I know I’m obsessed with this national catastrophe. And I realize that life goes on, oblah-di, oblah-dah. Hell, I’m in the middle of writing a musical, fer Chrissake, a Christmas musical, though I confess I wonder if there’s gonna be a place to stage it by then. And yes, being retired, maybe I have too many spare cycles to fixate on all of this. And yes, it does get wearying just trying to keep up with the Crazy Train to Trumpville.

But damn it, none of this is NORMAL! If I come across as a madman, please forgive me. If I seem irrationally perturbed, I understand the perception. But things are ricocheting out of control, and I feel like a ball on a billiard table in an earthquake, tossed from one outrageous event to the next, with no time to process it all.

I have always considered the abstract notion of “evil” as extremely problematic. Greed, yes. Hunger for power, of course. There’s no doubt may bad people are motivated by these bad motivations. But evil, as some abstract, other-worldly force…? That takes a leap into a metaphysical quagmire. I often contemplated whether Cheney might represent a possible real example of evil. But ultimately, I believe that was simply a naked attempt at power and money, combined with a stupid ideology.

But this? What is this, if it’s not real evil at work? In every “textbook” description of evil (and I think of C.S. Lewis and Tolkien as prime examples), the goal of evil is simply destruction. Dissolution. Chaos. It’s easy to recognize that kind of force at work in the Trump administration. Particularly given Steve Bannon’s public statements to that effect. And to hear Kelly Ann Conway distort perceptions so skillfully, and willfully, is to imagine the serpent whispering to Eve.

And if it’s not the evil goal of utter chaos, what is the end game? What do these people truly want? It seems to me that Trump is a mere tool, a pathetic megalomaniac, whose only agenda seems to be enrichment, aggrandizement and adulation. A man pitifully easy to manipulate in order to accomplish whatever goals are hidden behind the curtain. But wherefore the chaos? Wherefore the inward-directed destruction? Who benefits?

The only clear thing in this roiling shitstorm is the fact that the sheer volume of chaos will undoubtedly conceal the real goals very effectively. And it therefore behooves all those who resist and oppose to never falter from closer observation. Because eventually, the end game will be revealed.

Until then, we can never accept even an iota of this new world as even remotely “the new normal”.


© 2017 Chuck Puckett

Guessing (The End) Game

“What has happened down here is the wind done changed”
– Randy Newman, Louisiana 1927

The United States of America in January 2017 appears to be a madhouse. All the clichés being bandied about seem completely inadequate: unchartered territory. Terra incognita. Off the map. Never seen this before. The Twilight Zone.

Indeed. The sheer numbers of conflicting and absurd actions spewing out of the White House is enough to keep our collective heads spinning. Each new day brings a new craziness, and it seems impossible to discern any pattern. What in holy hell do Trump and Company have in mind? Where are they trying to take us?

What’s the end game?

Look, everyone knows by now that Steve Bannon is an avowed Leninist, bordering on anarchist. As recently as 2013, he said as much in an interview with the Daily Beast. He claimed he wanted to see the Establishment come crashing down, all of it. The chaos that has so rapidly become the norm, less than two weeks into this Presidency, certainly seems to bear out that strategy.

The Muslim Ban, in all its ineptitude, lack of prior dissemination to the very people required to implement it (Justice, State and ICE), and internal contradictions (eg, including green card holders and permanent residents), is a perfect example of orchestrated chaos. Trump issued the thing without prior discussion or even announcement, and ICE and Justice were suddenly faced with implementing a drastic action, while having absolutely no forewarning or direction. Of course, all hell broke loose. Meanwhile, the entire top echelon of the State Department had been fired only a few days before. So any possible nuanced international response was spayed from the gitgo.

Bannon must certainly be happy. Bannon almost certainly orchestrated the whole thing. God knows Trump doesn’t have the mental wherewithal to conceive, much less implement, such a long-term (ie, 2-3 days) tactic. Anything beyond 140 Tweet characters is quite beyond his ability to focus.

But even postulating Bannon as the mastermind (and, just to be totally Ian Fleming about it, we should include Vladimir Putin’s “invisible hand”), surely to God we can’t expect the entire entourage to buy in to such a “plan”. Pence, for all his abhorrent ideology, is the furthest thing from an anarchist. He requires an operational government in order to further his personal religious agenda against abortion and LGBT. Kelly Ann Conway is an attack dog with no detectable ethics, willing to lash out at anything that moves in the Opposition, but probably not interested in destroying the government. Priebus? Come on, he’s about as Establishment as you can get.

The cabinet nominations are also not noted for their anarchical tendencies. Jeff Sessions is a lap dog (and, please God, find some way to derail his confirmation; the Monday Night Massacre at Justice and ICE have revealed exactly how much regard the Trump administration has for an independent Justice Department. Answer: Zero). Besides, Sessions is incapable of even imagining the country under attack from within.

DeVos, Pruitt, Price all have ideologies, but they seem mainly constrained to dismantling the specific department for which they are targeted. Oddly enough, the one silver lining is perhaps Rick Perry, who, while obviously not the sharpest tool in the shed, seemed genuinely surprised to learn what useful things the Energy Department does, and even eager to do them. Not that he’d be given any leeway to act.

Because then we have Tillerson. It seems blatantly obvious that one critical move in the end game (or perhaps this is more in the opening gambit), is to reverse the sanctions on Russia due to their Crimean invasion, and thus open the way for Exxon to finally take advantage of its half a trillion-dollar investment in Artic drilling in Russia. Cleaning out the upper management at State, while putting the nation at a severe disadvantage in normal avenues of diplomacy, is nevertheless a perfect first step towards that goal. With no one to gainsay anything, no expertise left in house, getting the sanctions cancelled will be much easier. As for other potential barriers, one must at least wonder how many Congresspeople own Exxon stock. I’ll bet it’s popular. In fact, CNN Money reports that Exxon is among the Top Ten stocks owned by members of Congress.

The point is, it is almost impossible to detect a cohesive and structured end game for all the insane machinations being instigated by Trumpville. Is it a coup to gain autocratic control? Seems like the military would have to be involved down to the last battalion, and that seems absurdly unlikely. Even with Mattis as DoD. Is it just a blatant grab at self-enrichment on a colossal scale, via Russia and Exxon? Is it somehow possible that Bannon is orchestrating a way to destroy the Establishment, and by some trick, no one in the inner circle has noticed? I can imagine Mike Pence playing a waiting game, thinking that impeachment is inevitable (a good bet), and standing ready to step up and take the reins. Maybe Priebus and other minor players are simply intoxicated by being on “the inside”. The allure of proximity to power has corrupted many with far more integrity than this bunch has exhibited.

And maybe there simply is no end game. Maybe this Hieronymus Bosch landscape is simply the natural result when the “man in charge” has no policy nor agenda whatsoever, while the various factions that do have agendas are all playing their own games, and the result is a chess board that obeys no rules.

Whatever the case, rest assured that when checkmate does occur, the end result will not advance national harmony or prestige. In fact, the end game may simply be the board and all its players summarily thrown off the table.

Game over.


© 2017 Chuck Puckett