--Courtesy of Baseball Mogul 2004, I hereby present your 2006 World Series Champions, the St. Louis Cardinals! In less good news, I have serious issues with their depiction of the dead-ball era. Weird, weird stuff...I don't think they took the time to put in the unique physics of the dead ball, and they didn't give any of the pitchers curveballs, so it's a high-octane kind of offense going on here. If they weren't going to do the dead-ball era right, why do it at all? I'd have been impressed with a 192X-present game.
--The Go Scandal rumbles on. One of the Ruling Junta members has circulated a vaguely snippy email justifying the actions of the board. I'm willing to believe that the ex-president had major issues and USGO would have been better off without his leadership (assuming that the present president is, in fact, significantly better), but I think the major problem here isn't that the board acted contrary to the bylaws, or contrary to the ideal of a good presidency, but the whole process of governing USGO seems to be so opaque to the general membership that anything they do comes as a bolt from the clear blue sky.
One response that this email drew was a suggestion to start a new Association...now, I suggested this earlier but it was entirely in jest. I can't imagine the difficulties involved in trying to start up a new Ass'n, which would certainly just be a competitor to the current one (I'd imagine most people would not leave over this), and I don't think there's enough money for Go in the US to support this kind of endeavor. Especially since they'd both be hitting up many of the same sponsors, who might reasonably conclude that the US Go community doesn't have its shit together. Which, of course, may be the case now--but if there is some attempt to A: Make the inner workings of USGO more transparent, thus avoiding these kinds of shocks (at least) and B: To establish an active, effective executive for the Association I think the aftershocks would be quite minimal.
--I've started reading Anne Applebaum's Gulag, which (two chapters in...) I feel secure in recommending to the general reading public. (You're welcome!) The preface mentions that the book is "general" rather than "scholarly," which--yet again--set me to wondering what separates the two. Gulag is abundantly footnoted, and deeply researched (which separates this book from many "scholarly" books I've tripped over in recent years), but (it's true) doesn't cover the subject in quite the same depth that a scholarly treatment would. It glosses over some aspects of the Gulag system--notably (as Applebaum mentions) the internal-exile program--and, generally, a scholarly book of this length would probably center on just a couple of camps, or just a few years, or just a few aspects of the problem. Still, this is a good book for giving an idea of the Whole Elephant that the "real scholars" are trying to get a handle on. Futher bulletins as events warrant.