Anti-Bush Sign Scores Fans For Bridge Team
Good (shot with iPhone camera app with normal settings) (Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET)
Who knew so many people cared about bridge? A nearly record-breaking number of comments piled beneath on Wednesday's column about the U.S. women's bridge team's anti-Bush protest, most of them supporting the ladies.
"We did not vote for Bush," read the sign they held up during the team's victory ceremony at the world bridge championships in Shanghai last month.
The genteel world of bridge was not amused. The New York Times reports that the women are facing sanctions, including a yearlong ban from competition, for their spur-of-the-moment protest.
"This isn't a free-speech issue," said Jan Martel, president of the United States Bridge Federation. "There isn't any question that private organizations can control the speech of people who represent them."
Very few Skinny readers agreed. "I was deeply saddened to read that the US Bridge Federation is considering sanctions against its members for expressing the same views that I myself state whenever I travel internationally," wrote commenter qaggaz. "While one could certainly argue that political statements have no place in bridge competition, the animosity that the rest of the world (rightly or wrongly) feels towards Mr. Bush necessitates this action in any international setting."
Commenter ontheleft felt the same way when traveling abroad. "I was traveling in Europe a few years ago and I was confronted constantly about George Bush and what our government was doing. I had to defend myself saying that not all Americans support what is going on in the U.S. and that I did not vote for Bush. I had to make that point over and over that I was not a Bush supporter and I did not agree with what my country was doing in Iraq."
A small minority of commenters stuck up for the president. "I know several Bridge players, all are intelligent," wrote wm7ka. "What were these women thinking? We fought for our freedom and we will continue stand up and be counted. I feel the president of the United States is doing the best he can considering the politicians he's dealing with."
Mitt Romney's Role As Missionary Raises Questions About Religion And Politics
Should so much attention really be paid to the fact that Mitt Romney is a Mormon? That was a common question in the debate surrounding Thursday's column about Romney's years as a Mormon missionary in France.
While his peers back in the States were tuning in and dropping out, a young Mitt Romney was tuning out (newspapers and television) and dropping in (on unsuspecting French people), the New York Times reported. But David Kirkpatrick's piece is most powerful in showing what Romney didn't do - namely, voice any strong conviction about the two defining issues of his generation, the Vietnam War and civil rights. That is, until the authority figures in his life took a position. Then, he followed that position.
Some readers thought they smelled draft-dodging in this religious service, but the full article explained that Romney avoided Vietnam by being lucky enough to draw a high draft number. Others thought the saw discrimination with the attention paid to his Mormon religion.
"What part of separation of church and state don''t you understand?" wrote denn034. "Why no mention of the other candidate's religion or religious views?"
There was also much debate about the Mormon religion in general. While some readers were unimpressed with the way Romney apparently followed whatever his father or the church said - only taking a stand on the Vietnam War or civil rights when the authority figures in his life did - others appreciated this deference to authority.
"Your article has convinced me to vote for Mitt Romney," wrote zenzen1. "He sounds like the sort of grounded person we need. What we don't need to some trendy, ex-hippy, idiot running our country."
A Chilly Reception For Global Warming Advocates
Apparently the leaders of the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, discussed in Friday's column, aren't the only ones not entirely sold on the idea that humans are causing global warming. Many Skinny readers think so too.
"Before we go off half-cocked and start passing knee jerkish laws that only complicate matters, lets find out what 'really' is causing global warming," wrote slim1h2o. "We may find that we can't do anything about it."
"I don't know whether or not global warming is true," wrote random_radar. "But I do know that it is career suicide to question it.
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