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All comments by Christopher Monsour
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That's my preference. :)
April 14, 2016
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I think maybe it's been missed that after responder rejects the game try with 3, if opener simply reraises to 4 he has skipped over several bids at least two of which (and, for most pairs, at least three of which) would have indicated slam interest. The partnership doesn't have an agreement that opener's 4 is a bar bid, but bridge logic dictates that responder will not try for slam. That, of course, does not make the phony trial bid risk free, as responder may later face a double-or-bid-five decision if the opponents sac.
April 14, 2016
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If the ACBL wants to act in the best personal interests of the vast majority of their members, rather than focusing on promoting bridge, they could just add their voice to every political letter that AARP (the American Association of Retired People) writes.

Deciding where to hold bridge tournaments on the basis that there are some places that would make some ACBL members uncomfortable is fine. Sending a letter to a state governor that implies that the sender is morally superior to the recipient is more likely to backfire than to accomplish anything productive.
April 14, 2016
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Alan, I think the distinction you are making is a good one. I hope things will work out in practice in a way consistent with what you are saying.
April 14, 2016
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Actually, climate change is a great example of another topic the ACBL should not write about. It's a critical challenge for the world, and there are a lot of scientists, engineers, public policy experts, and risk management experts planning for the best way for humanity to deal with climate change. Why would anyone care what a bunch of bridge players think on the subject? (I am sure a number of bridge players do have expertise that makes their opinions relevant, but it'd be awfully hard to state their credentials on a letter coming from the ACBL rather than from them as individuals.)
April 14, 2016
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You needn't worry, Amir. I think we've established that you're not my type. :)
April 14, 2016
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Amir, obviously you learned more from the intolerant regime you grew up under than you care to admit.
April 14, 2016
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New York has historically been the center of US bridge with all of its famous bridge clubs (sadly not so many now), its being where the Bridge World is published, etc. There are a lot more tournament bridge players on the East Coast than in the non-Florida South, or at least that's my perception. Also, perhaps there are other reasons but it always seemed to me like HQ was located in MS (and previously in TN) due to cost reasons.

As for mentioning New York boorishness specifically, I was trying to give an impression of what a non-bridge-playing Mississippi politician might think when reading the ACBL's letter, with its ever-so-empty threat of never holding a national tournament in a place it never would have held one anyway. In that context, the main association with New York is only its fame for rudeness (especially from the perception of Southerners). “Consider your audience” is supposed to be the first rule for a letter like that…
April 14, 2016
Christopher Monsour edited this comment April 14, 2016
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Richard, now you're just trying to obfuscate. The Steinbrenner / Martin dynamic would not have been possible or tolerated in any other city than New York. Where they grew up is irrelevant.
April 14, 2016
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Nick, we similarly do not force people to serve in the military if they have a religious objection to doing so. If the Supreme Court said that gay marriage is a higher obligation than defending the country, please cite.

Am I happy that the Mississippi law goes that far? No. Registering a legal fact or issuing a license is not the same as participating in a ceremony. But I can see how others might disagree, and evidently in Mississippi they mostly do disagree.
April 14, 2016
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Richard, don't get confused now. Cruz complained about New York values. People have been complaining about New York manners for decades, if not centuries. George Steinbrenner? Billy Martin? Only in New York.
April 14, 2016
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Nick, first of all, if you think a 5-4 decision is emphatic, you may need a dictionary. Second, if you think that the Supreme Court's decision forces people to participate in ceremonies that are against their conscience, it would be nice if you could provide the relevant citation, as I don't think that's true. Finally, the Supreme Court has been known to get things wrong. People who try really hard to change the law when it's not on their side and then pretend it's immutable the moment it's changed are guilty of hypocrisy.
April 14, 2016
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Richard, some of the ACBL's employees may feel that the law protects them from religious discrimination and that their employer is advocating *against* them. So this does not seem like a proper part of the ACBL's on-going business activities.

The ACBL made a decision to set up its administrative offices in a venue whose culture is really quite foreign to most of its membership. Under those circumstances, lecturing the locals on how to behave amounts to boorish New York manners.
April 13, 2016
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Richard, first of all, the freedom of religion and of speech are guaranteed in the same amendment. Do you think you only have freedom of speech in private, or does it apply to the public square? Is there only freedom of the press in private? We are in the US, not the USSR.

Also, consider that the US has a long tradition of religious tolerance that goes well beyond what is guaranteed in the constitution. School children from religions that object to the pledge of allegiance not only don't have to say it, but most schools stopped using the pledge at all to avoid making those students feel uncomfortable.

Consider conscientious objector status; it doesn't get more public than that.

In general people have a right not to be compelled to do things that they honestly consider to be morally reprehensible. Sensible people are likely to be happy to sell food and shelter to anyone, but are likely to object to participating in a ceremony that is a mockery of one of their sacraments. And for many people, that's what a so-called “gay wedding” is. And, no, comparisons to interracial marriage just won't cut it. There have been interracial marriages throughout history; indeed, many political alliances would have been impossible without them. “Gay marriage”, on the other hand, is seen by many as a new invention that purposefully appropriates their own terminology and ceremonies (in a way that civil unions do not). Do they need to pass a law to assert a right not to participate in mockeries of their own religion? Probably not, since they have that right anyway. But one can understand why they do.
April 13, 2016
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New technology roll outs shouldn't be handled merely by updating generic director training at some future date. They should be accompanied by easy-to-use, on-demand, on-line training rolled out simultaneously with the new technology. Perhaps providing adequate organizational support should have more of a call on the CEO's time than political letter-writing…
April 13, 2016
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Ahh, so exploiting workers by putting administrative offices in a low wage environment isn't a problem, but God forbid those low wage workers have free exercise of religion… The ACBL's letter to the Mississippi governor risks coming across rather like GM sending a letter to the President of Mexico complaining that the Mexican workforce speaks Spanish.
April 13, 2016
Christopher Monsour edited this comment April 13, 2016
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Before we go off saying that you can't psych any bar bid, that's ridiculous. Otherwise, you wouldn't be able to psych 4 after 1-2, and it's ludicrous on its face not to be able to psych that. (Of course, responder is not barred if the opponents act, but he most certainly is passing if they pass!)
April 13, 2016
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As a mathematician, I find “orientate” especially repugnant, since “orientable” is a technical term in mathematics, which clearly makes “orient” not obsolete as a verb. Meanwhile, “orientatable” would be even more of a barbarism than “orientate”.
April 13, 2016
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It would be more helpful to have competent club directors for another reason… Directors capable of understanding appendix movements can start games on time! I remember in the early 90s playing at a 7-1/2 table game that started as a 6-table 3/4 Howell, and had a 1-1/2 table appendix added to the movement for 3 pairs who showed up during the first 5 minutes of the game. (3/4 Howell was the preferred movement at that club for 6 tables because the presence of 2-3 immobile pairs made a full Howell impossible.)
April 13, 2016
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@David Probably not surprising that you find people who don't have families over-represented in time-consuming hobbies like playing bridge and volunteering their time to run websites. Let's not complain too much. BW is mostly a nice service.
April 13, 2016
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