Pubdate: Fri, 17 Nov 2000
Source: Chess Life (US)
Copyright: 2000 Chess Life
Contact:  USCF, 3054 NYS Route 9W, New Windsor NY 12553
Fax: 914-236-4852
Author: John Gear
Author's Note: In addition to publishing my letter along with one 
other, the editor ran a survey of opinion quotes about McCaffrey's 
idea and noted that the response to McCaffrey's piece was strong and 
unanimously negative ... and that Chess Life had forwarded all of 
them to the "czar" himself!
Editor's Note: Title by editor


Words cannot express my disappointment at your decision to give Barry 
McCaffrey's drug war screed a featured position in Chess Life. 
General McCaffrey's has championed a vicious "War on Drugs" that has 
done nothing except result in higher profits for drug traders and 
increased availability of ever more potent drugs in the U.S.  Zealots 
like McCaffrey are the ultimate patzers -- once they decide on a 
strategy, no amount of defeat is sufficient to make them reconsider 
its wisdom.

McCaffrey has led the effort to make America -- once the Land of the 
Free -- the country with the greatest percentage of its people 
incarcerated.  His bizarre and totally unsupported assertion that 
drug tests are appropriate for tournament chess players would be 
laughable were it not so consistent with his vision for a militarized 
police-state society in which civil liberties are forgotten and men 
like McCaffrey are "Czars" over us.

As a longtime Life Member I have long noted with dismay USCF's sad 
rush to embrace the Drug War rhetoric and troll for dollars by 
selling chess as a way to reduce drug abuse. ("Push pawns not drugs" 
being only the lamest of the slogans invented to curry favor with the 
McCaffreys of the world.)  Since McCaffrey's office has received so 
much attention lately for taxpayer dollars to control television 
scripts, the question must be asked:  Why did Chess Life let itself 
be used by a non-chess-playing government propagandist without even 
finding an opposing point of view from a chess player?  In the 
future, let us reserve Chess Life and the game of chess as a 
sanctuary from politics, especially the politics of repression that 
McCaffrey seeks to impose on all of us.


John Gear,

East Lansing Michigan
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