Thursday, November 15, 2007

A Platform for Protest



It seems that bridge players everywhere are clutching their pearls over this outrageous act of defiance by the US team as it accepted the Venice Cup Women's championship award in Shanghai last month.

These women may receive sanctions that will keep them from playing bridge professionally for a year.

According to the NY Times: '
The proposed sanctions would hurt the team’s playing members financially. “I earn my living from bridge, and a substantial part of that from being hired to compete in high-level competitions,” Debbie Rosenberg, a team member, said. “So being barred would directly affect much of my ability to earn a living.”'


dguzman said...

WTF! The Dixie Chicks can't knock the pres onstage, these bridge players can't make a political statement (even a gentle one) at a tourney, and people get tasered for asking honest questions at a Kerry speech. It's a good thing the terrorists hate us for our freedoms; otherwise, I'd never realize we had freedom.

Jess Wundrun said...

It's a good thing the terrorists hate us for our freedoms; otherwise, I'd never realize we had freedom.

Classic, d.

Sounds like the jew in Nazi Germany who read the papers everyday because even though he felt powerless, the papers kept repeating that the jews were controlling the world.

Ah, perception.

Matty Boy said...

This one is amazing. Bush got a minority of the votes cast in 2000, a small majority of the votes cast in 2004 and voter turnout in this country is a pathetic joke, so the VAST MAJORITY of American citizens of voting age could correctly say that they also did not vote for Bush.

My dad voted for Goldwater, but didn't vote for Bush. He also plays bridge, but he's not a professional.

It's not like these women just put this sign up on a whim. They are at an international competition, and right now being an American abroad means a lot of people expect you to answer for the things our country is doing around the world. This is their answer. It's not disrespectful. They didn't sloganeer for some candidate, which would still be within their rights as Americans. It's way less confrontational than The Dixie Chicks were. If they get nailed for this, I hope they can sue the pants off the U.S. Contract Bridge Association for restraint of trade. Losing your livelihood for this is complete crap.

The country is nuts. Or should I say the country is bridge mix?

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

It's amazing how they hate it when people use their freedom of speech.

fairlane said...

Why are we allowing this to continue?


If they can take away your livelihood for expressing your beliefs, what's next, punishing us for Thought Crime?

"We know what you were thinking buddy. Off to the Department of Love with you."

Randal Graves said...

What's truly frightening is that Fairlane isn't joking. At least I assume that you're not. A natural progression from where we're at right now.

no_slappz said...

Freedom of speech? Nonsense. Doesn't apply. Check your Bill of Rights. Then note that the US government was not within miles of this contretemps.

No contract exists between the players and the Contract Bridge Association. Thus the Association can sever its ties with any player for any whimsical reason whatsoever.

Germaine Gregarious said...

Strange how for a conservative you believe all behavior should be dictated by laws from the government.

Germaine Gregarious said...

I was talking to you, no_slappz. Not Jess.

Suzy said...

Good for them. And I wish them well.

no_slappz said...

germaine, you wrote:

"Strange how for a conservative you believe all behavior should be dictated by laws from the government."

Ah, the usual case of jumping to the wrong conclusion.

Other posters made the wild-eyed and erroneous claim that the Bridge Association infringed upon the Constitutional right of free speech of the bridge players. Your response should be aimed at the people who made this false assertion.

Since bridge players are selected by the Association to represent it, those lucky bridge players have an obligation to subordinate their personal views on anything and everything to those of the Association.

It's rather obvious the bridge players cannot win this dispute. The Association can refuse to select them for future competitions. It's that simple. Thus, they must choose to stand on their principles and forgo a future with the Association, or accept the rebuke from the Association if they want to continue their lives as professional bridge players affiliated with this organization.

Perhaps there are other venues for professional bridge players and they can practice their trade elsewhere.

As unpleasant and galling as this situation is, its resolution rests on the willingness or unwillingness of a group of individuals to apologize for some foolish behavior. Like it or not, the Association can sever ties with these players if they display an unacceptable attitude. That's just a fact.

Personally, to be sponsored to fly around the world to play competitive bridge sounds like a hell of an opportunity, and one that is not worth losing.

Jess Wundrun said...

No, you made the wild-eyed assertion that posters here were discussing the constitution.

Please go back and show me where that is the case, or shut up and go home.

Oh, and you are banned here, so don't be surprised if I simply decide to delete your posts.

You have no "Bill of Rights" protection here, either.

no_slappz said...

jess, you wrote:

"No, you made the wild-eyed assertion that posters here were discussing the constitution."

They were.


"Please go back and show me where that is the case"

No problem.

"Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...
It's amazing how they hate it when people use their FREEDOM OF SPEECH."

"fairlane said...If THEY can take away your livelihood for expressing your beliefs, what's next, punishing us for Thought Crime?"

Monkerstein is referring to his Constitutionally guaranteed right of free speech. Is there any other kind of free speech? Thus, he's claiming abusive government practices are at the bottom of the Bridge Brouhaha. Did the government have any role in your bridge-player controversy? No.

fairlane rhetorically asked about the ominous and omnipotent "they". He is referring to the government and free speech by mentioning the expression of beliefs.

As for the Thought Police, well, thinking certain thoughts is already a serious crime. Pedophiles are arrested for getting no further than expressing their desires to meet children through online forums. They are arrested and prosecuted for their thoughts. What's your position on that issue?

fairlane also asked:

"Why are we allowing THIS to continue?"

What does "this" refer to? He's not pointing his finger at the Bridge Association. He's pointing it at the government, which, in this case, boils down to seeing the internal squabble at the Bridge Association as an abridgement of free speech, which it is not.

The Bridge Association leadership believes the image of the organization has been compromised. However much you disapprove, the Bridge Association leadership has the right to choose its competitors according to its own standards.

Like I said, it's worth an apology if that's all it takes to continue a career as a competitive bridge player who travels to world to participate in tournaments. But, if the women prefer to stand on their principles, they can. It's their right.

Jess, freedom of speech is a government guaranteed right. But it has nothing to do with the bridge brouhaha.

Jess Wundrun said...

You are making those implications, the posters here are not.

"they" in all cases refers to the bridge association.

Americans are raised with an expectation of being allowed to say what is on their minds, and are unaccustomed to being fired for it. Read the article: the Bridge Association has, in the past, allowed members to wear campaign buttons, etc. that promote individual political opinion.

Once again the point has missed you by a country mile.

no_slappz said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
no_slappz said...

Jess, you really ought to read up on slander and libel. When someone says something that offends a person or other legal entity, the offended party has recourse.

Why do you think all media venues have legal representation? Media outlets face the threat of lawsuits based on claims of libel. The precedent-setting case is Sullivan v. New York Times.

Jess Wundrun said...

There is no issue of slander or libel here. There is no issue of legality. There is simply a discussion of what is right and what is wrong.

Give it a rest.

I told you that I was banning you from my site. I relented and you began cross-posting very off thread comments from another site.

You are not welcome here. It seems you are only able to behave yourself for a brief time and then you step out of bounds. Therefore, I'm not allowing any future comments to stay.

no_slappz said...

jess, you wrote:

"There is no issue of slander or libel here."

In fact, that determination is made by a judge. Having been a defendant in a libel case, I can assure you, if the plaintiff wants to make a case, he will at the very least have his complaint reviewed by a judge who will rule on whether or not the events in question are legally actionable.

If the judge sees merit in a complaint, the fun begins.

You wrote:

"There is no issue of legality."

Only a judge can rule on this. Your opinion is just your emotional response to the situation.

You wrote:

"There is simply a discussion of what is right and what is wrong."

You are obviously aiming at some quality of moral right or moral wrong as such things relate to your sense of decency. Well, when it comes to reputations, the game takes on a new dimension.

You believe what you want, but legal action is undertaken every day in defense of reputations. If the Bridge Association believes its reputation is at stake, action will occur. So far, the Association has asked for an apology from the players. It might end there. Or the players might decide to refuse.

Their right to refuse, however, will be trumped by the right of the organization to sever ties with them. This is the reality. And I am certain that if you believed your reputation was impaired by actions of others in a way that measurably harmed your life, you would expect to have legal recourse.