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All comments by Christopher Monsour
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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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Amir,

I am the one who is open to the notion that reasonable people can have differing opinions on a given topic. I have tried to explain to you some of the nuance of this topic. You are the one who is being closed minded.
April 13, 2016
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Or use a dynamic tournament flyer that displays the wrong start time when viewed from the cheater's IP address….
April 12, 2016
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But to be clear, I was more referring to the importance of ensuring that everyone you play against frequently is aware of stories of all your psychs, so that they think you psych more often than you do. Maybe even make up some stories out of whole cloth when talking at the bar….
April 12, 2016
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True, but later in the auction there is much less restriction on conventions, and it's perfectly feasible to have two-way bids where the “joke” meaning is very infrequent.
April 12, 2016
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Amir, if you have a problem with someone's actions, please protest them. That's what personal freedom of speech is about. The ACBL, however, isn't a person, and exists for the purpose of promoting bridge competitions. To that end, it makes complete sense to avoid scheduling major tournaments in locales that would make travelers uncomfortable. What makes no sense (for the ACBL to do) is to write a letter that may make it more difficult for the people who live in those locales to play bridge at all. See the difference?

As an individual, though, may I suggest that if you are going to refuse to do business with anyone you disagree with, you may find that you isolate yourself needlessly. Not everyone you disagree with is the equivalent of the Iranian government….

In particular, I think you will find that there are very few people in the United States who have a problem with the existence of LGBT people, and I think you misunderstand laws primarily drafted to allow people to refuse to participate in rituals that they object to. Someone can reasonably hold the position that forcing a photographer who does not think that two people of the same sex should wed to participate in such a wedding is morally equivalent to forcing him to take photographs at an emperor-worshipping ceremony; Christians tend to have a very strong resistance to being forced to participate in strange rituals for much the same reason you have a strong objection to bigotry–experience. Anyhow, I am sure if it were not for that angle, none of these laws would be being passed–it's fairly clear from the timing anyway.
April 12, 2016
Christopher Monsour edited this comment April 12, 2016
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You could also get even more funding if you tied bridge to the World Health Organization, too, but so what? Neither tie makes sense.
April 12, 2016
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When I was young I was taught that the main advantage of psychs occurred on hands where you didn't psych but the opponents were worried you had. So you had to create a reputation for psyching more often than you actually did. Creatively finding a legal way to spread that reputation is certainly helpful…
April 12, 2016
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Good point, Bernard, but maybe the reason so many people react strongly when told they shouldn't psych against beginners is that they would only make the kind of psych that has a clear purpose. Making the completely random kind of psych against a beginner really makes no sense unless it's a drinking game…
April 12, 2016
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