Judy Kay-Wolff

Thank Heavens for Bridgeblogging.com!

About five years ago a close friend suggested that Bobby and I contact Ray Lee, of Masterpoint Press, about publishing his about-to-be completed book "The Lone Wolff."   It was not only one of our better moves, but it exposed us to the world of bridge blogging and an opportunity to meet Ray and Linda Lee who at the time were jointly at the helm  Since then, Ray has more or less ‘stepped’ down and has left the running of the site to his better half.

We spend a great deal of our personal time happily affording much effort to our individual sites. 

Bobby, as most of you know, produces a daily seven-day-a-week universally published Aces on Bridge column (through the generosity of his syndicate) which appears on the site exactly two weeks after its actual publication.  He exerts a lot of time back and forth to his readers which is a perfect instance of a true labor of love.  Many of his ‘regulars’ make suggestions and pose questions — and he replies to each and every one of them.  These individuals are from all over the world — not just from  here in the States.   I might add that Bobby believes in the pro bono creed as a way of giving back to the game all the pleasure and satisfaction he has personally derived from it.  Sometimes bids and plays are challenged — but all in a respectful, if not curious, way!  Bobby devotes a lot of time to his responses, explaining bids and plays from a different perspective that some of the readers may have overlooked. Often he agrees that there are other choices or that bids and calls may be close.   It is a true love affair and sometimes I see the light on in his study in the wee hours of the morning (long before dawn) where he is pounding away on the computer, responding to queries and comments.  Bridgeblogging.com reaches thousands and thousands of readers daily although many content themselves to read and enjoy but do not partake in exchange of information.

I, on the other hand, produce blogs based on memories of old (and that I am), stories of events about some of the magnificent real heroes of the past (even digging up pictures recently to accompany their releases), topical issues (many of them controversial) about how ‘things are done’ today, displeasure with the handling of some issues by the ACBL (especially the directing force), stories of many events with which I have been associated (especially the Omar Sharif Bridge Circus) .. and whatever else seems to be timely and appropriate.   My blogs are sincere (often not sparing the rod) and I am not intimidated by my readers disagreeing with me.

The above tales about our sites are a prelude to the purpose of this blog.  Comments and replies are made in a respectable fashion even though we may agree to disagree!   Usually, if I take the time to write on a particular issue I think worthy of publishing, I leave no stone unturned.  It is just one person’s opinion and I can well understand if someone chooses to assume a different position.  However, NEVER (except with one uncalled for erroneous refutation by a commenter) has a fiasco (or near  fiasco) ever occurred.  It became very ugly as I was an eye witness to certain long ago occurrences and my opponent was not.  It was so infuriating that Ray, normally a sweet, calm, extremely well mannered gentleman, stepped up to the plate and censored the blog as it had gotten so out of hand.   Between Bobby and me over a five year period there was only one such debacle — and I think the answer is because of mutual respect (although sometimes difference of opinion) which exists between the blogger and the responder.  

Also, I might add that in the years of our participation, we have worked with a very caring and conscientious technical staff who respond immediately to questions and are marvelous at problem solving.   The cast has changed somewhat over the years, but they have always put their best foot (feet) forward.  A special note of gratitude to all who have come to our aid in time of need.   We couldn’t do it without them.

You must have suspected there was a reason for such a detailed prologue and indeed – there is!  I have been randomly watching another site and I was in for a rude awakening.  Though I enjoy reading many sincere. intelligent and constructive viewpoints, several of the ‘users” (both those who post and also comment) have, IMHO, gravely overstepped their bounds.  When I first questioned  their ‘Support Group” (ha! ha! – more of an Unsupport Group), I was advised that the tone of some of the renderings (one individual’s in particular) wasn’t “appalling ENOUGH to require action ‘ (described and qualified as “explicitly obscene language, explicit accusations of cheating”) and heralded our Freedom of Speech standards!   Who determines just “how appalling” the offense must be????  Obviously no one is willing to make waves!  As a stone gathering moss, this character garnered some support from persons of apparently like moral fiber.   Whatever is said immediately is aped by his fellow “follow the leader” sidekicks.   Allow me to describe the overriding tone used:  sarcasm, insolence, prejudice, bias, ugliness, harassment, disrespect, contempt, scorn, disgust, hatred, et al.  However, what offends me the most is the deliberate attempt to put someone down.  You can agree to disagree without venom or trying to be meanly humorous – poking fun at your intended victim.  Is there no longer respect for your bridge peers?  Where have all the decent people gone????   Incidentally, I was disappointed by the Support Guru (who is very capable and I thought once to be a substantial contributor to the site but disappointed by his last communication) when I was advised (as countless others) that I may choose to hit some jigger or other on my keypad and this joker’s comments will not be available for me to get.   BFD!  Hardly a palatable solution.  What good does that do if they still appear and the owners and organizers continue to allow contamination and degradation of a once super site???? 

I appreciate and admire Linda and Ray more and more every day.   They have earned it in spades.


28 Comments

Paul ElsteinAugust 7th, 2013 at 10:57 pm

Judy,

I think I know who you’re talking about. Unfortunately, as in the political world, the Internet has made it harder to disagree civilly. The question of course is who censors the censor? i.e., it’s not always clear where legitimate criticism (justified or not) ends and insults begin. Still, the First Amendment only applies to the Government, not to blogs. The answer is not easy, but thanks for raising the issue.

Judy Kay-WolffAugust 7th, 2013 at 11:57 pm

Hi Paul:

I believe you are a newcomer to my site and level headed, understanding, knowledgeable readers like you are so much appreciated. Your comment was refreshing — and maybe would be too rational for you-know-where.

You have obviously experienced what I alluded to and witnessed it in living color. It goes on as we write and it appears never-ending and invades so many of the articles submitted. No favoritism is shown since everybody seems to be targeted.

I could not present my view of the happenings with tongue in cheek as it is so bad for bridge. I felt compelled to speak out as I am much indebted to the Lees for making available to us such an extraordinarily terrific venue.

Cheers,

Judy

An old-time negroAugust 8th, 2013 at 5:37 am

When you make a racism comment, at least admit it!

Shame on racists!

Ron LelAugust 8th, 2013 at 7:05 am

“However, what offends me the most is the deliberate attempt to put someone down.”
So can I assume that you were offended by the overtly mocking and racist comments made by Bobby Wolff about Israel’s neighbours?
“the sand, camels, praying to Mecca and lack of productivity which symbolize and thus infest their neighbors.”

Richard WilleyAugust 8th, 2013 at 3:31 pm

> However, what offends me the most is the deliberate attempt to
> put someone down.

You don’t get to coin expressions like “The Shanghai witches” and then complain that other people are throwing insults your way…

Judy Kay-WolffAugust 8th, 2013 at 5:19 pm

Addressiing an old time negro:

Dear Sir (or Madam) or whatever other moniker you prefer:

I hate to disappoint you, but you are way off base. Racism (or xenophobia) has nothing to do with my posts. I allude to sarcasm and ugly remarks made by wannabees who have no clue what I am attempting to say and do not have the capacity to understand.

For your information, as they say, some of my best friends are Negros (and I capitalized it as a means of respect). Most of my idols happen to be Negro — particularly Colin Powell who should have attained greater heights because he was a credit to our nation. Most of my favorite entertainers (actresses, singers, dancers, et al) were Negros.

And, I would be remiss if I did not mention Ron Smith, now a resident of Las Vegas who is as terrific, talented, bright, kind, witty, popular and lovable as they come. He is to be adored.

Please give your remarks greater thought. Thank you.

Judy Kay-WolffAugust 8th, 2013 at 5:50 pm

Ron:

Bobby was pointing out the difference in lifestyles comparing the routines of side by side neighbors who started from ground zero and identical beginnings. One prefers a passive, quiet, routine existence while the other has hoisted itself to the sky. He merely stated that it was their neighbor’s prerogative and they made their choice. Has nothing to do with racism — but alludes to what some think important as opposed to the priorities of others.

Since this Israel/Bali debacle has come to light, the comments of the prejudiced (declining to elaborate) has been off the wall. It was so offensive to me (and others who feared condemnation by publicly agreeing), that I responded — and from the heart. This is not a one way street — and if freedom of the press is the order of the day — so be it. If they dish it out, they should be able to take it!!

Judy Kay-WolffAugust 8th, 2013 at 6:07 pm

Richard:

As an American resident and U. S. citizen who enjoys the freedom of our country, I was humiliated for myself and others who saw the ugly sign proudly flaunted at a WBF Awards Presentation Ceremony which was hardly the venue to air one’s personal feelings. And, I cannot think of a more apt description for the group who produced the negative mood changing before a global audience who were in attendance to cheer and applaud the winners.

Richard WilleyAugust 8th, 2013 at 7:08 pm

So, to summarize, your issue isn’t with personal insults. Your issue is with insults directed at you and Bobby…

Judy Kay-WolffAugust 8th, 2013 at 8:02 pm

Richard:

You summarize incorrectly. It is the inhumane, surly way of presenting opinions on BW that started the trend many months ago and it seems to have accelerated to the detriment of the once wonderful site.

My objection to the Shanghai incident is as directly stated above. Wrong place, wrong time! Simple as that.

Judy Kay-WolffAugust 8th, 2013 at 10:52 pm

Richard:

Another thought comes to mind on the above subject:

Let me preface it by stating I do not have a vote for the Hall of Fame Election — nor do I desire one. However, two wonderful women players (with proven talents and records to back them — especially in women’s events) did not get elected to the Primary Hall of Fame. One was Gail Greenberg who recently was awarded the 2013 von Zedtwitz Award and another of the SW, Jill Meyers, did not get in on the last ballot either. In fact, some went on record stating publicly they would not get their vote because of the incident.

Some have bellyached that they are/were deserving, but that was not substantiated by the vote which includes many high profile and respected individuals.

SamAugust 10th, 2013 at 7:23 pm

Yes, I too figured out the site and one could not help knowing to whom you were referring. In my time, there was a famous movie censorship commission. Back then, you couldnt get away with much. Of course, we have fallen from grace and today anything (and more) shocks the viewers.

However, there is no excuse for the hateful, ugly, sarcastic remarks (and your laundry list of offenses was far from complete). I could have heightened it. After reading and re-reading the tone of adding insult to injury, it is beyond my realm to accept the raves and rants which permeate the site.

I read where they (after Atlanta) are going to try to negotiate new restraints. Good luck. It needs it .. and more.

Judy Kay-WolffAugust 10th, 2013 at 7:47 pm

Sam:

Perhaps we are living in the dark ages as far as “watching our tongues.” I suppose my reaction is because of the wonderfully respectful (and respectable) site ours is and has always been — maintained as such by the Lees — only intervening on a rare occasion where people overstep their bounds.

Of course, the subject matter on other sites is totally apart from bridgeblogging.com as most of our writers’ articles cover topics which are factual, intellectual, those dealing with numeracy, actual bridge hands and theories and other quite high-level areas (unlike mine which is random and speculates on a myriad of things — former and present, mostly serious, praising and questioning, including personal convictions, etc.). Regardless of the diversification of the chosen topics, respectability and dignity always prevail.

I guess that is why they made chocolate and vanilla. Are you old enough to remember those days and the twenty-eight different flavors? If so, you are older than I suspect.

CPAugust 12th, 2013 at 9:51 pm

Hi Judy:

You were not addressing me, but I do remember Howard Johnson’s ice cream variety. In the early days when driving to a tournament, we would stop on the road and treat ourselves to our favorites. It is hard to forget.

But, let’s get down to business. I had never gone to ‘that site” before — but saw it on my friend’s computer. The words you used to describe hardly fit the bill. After checking the referenced subject matter, I was horrified and immediately thought to myself and commented to my friend … who needs that? I cannot believe that frivolous and ill-meaning remarks are permitted. They only provoke others and is never ending.

And, yes, I agree … what determines “appalling enough.” It was humorous to interpret it as ‘degrees” of appall? I’m with you.

Howard Bigot-JohnsonAugust 13th, 2013 at 11:51 am

HBJ : Blogging is a personal thing and in a world which welcomes and accepts free speech, it is great to read other people’s views on sensitive and controversial matters.
We all have different value sets , attitudes and opinions so often shaped by our upbringing , peers , education and life experience. No one has that divine right to claim he/she is in the right. We can all look at the same thing and arrive at correct albeit conflicting conclusions.
As an individual who admires those prepared to put their necks on the chopping block to increase public awareness of some shocking truth or injustice, I have real sympathy and respect for the Shanghai Ladies. No doubt they all paid a heavy price for abusing their position as sporting representatives of the USA, but the abuse they were concerned about warranted much needed publicity. To call them witches is wrong. Marlon Brando used the Oscars to make a point about injustice of a persecuted minority, and I believe he chose the perfect platform.
As humans we are all flawed. Prejudices lurk within our psyches and from time to time they all surface when we start to rant and rave. Being a blogger I have to take risks with regards to overstepping the boundaries of political correctness, and allowing naive attempts at satire to transgress into
insult and sarcasm. Staying within boundaries is never easy when words can so easily be miscontrued and misunderstood.
Blogging for me is a journey , partly of self-discovery and partly an adventure into the unknown. And this particular blog of Judy’s demonstrates how useful it is to have a debate and to support and challenge other people’s views.

Judy Kay-WolffAugust 13th, 2013 at 2:47 pm

Hi HBJ:

I have always believed that when you are on U. S. soil, you are entitled to express yourself as to issues you oppose, as long as they are presented without violence. However, when you leave your land of choice, you must restrain yourself and not insult your government — especially in the face of a multitude of foreign onlookers who thrive on such outbursts.

Let’s agree to disagree.

DPAugust 18th, 2013 at 2:49 am

Hi Judy:

I haven’t had ice cream at a HoJo’s, but I sure do know what you’re talking about!

I’ve been to “that site” before, but rather than address whether or not I find it appalling, I’m more interested in how “CP” above responded to himself. Maybe it’s a flaw in the Bridgeblogging software, who knows LOLOLOLOL

Maybe you can respond to me using my own name too. That would be spiffy!

I’d definitely see if you can write a strongly worded letter to the authors of the Bridge Blogging Software ™, though, because to someone who didn’t know you well it sure does look like you’re cooking up replies to your own bridge blog to make it look like people agree with you.

I know you’d never do something that low, so I hope they can get the software sorted out.

Toodles!

Richard WilleyAugust 18th, 2013 at 6:06 pm

Nice catch on the sock puppet!

Jonathan FergusonAugust 18th, 2013 at 10:01 pm

My dearest Judy,

From what I’ve heard and read about Norman, he was a classy, kind, brilliant, humble, lovely man.

Guess it’s true what they say about opposites attracting, eh?

And I don’t think the sock puppet is real. I’d guess (and this is purely a guess) it’s DP trying to make it look like she’s engaged in sock-puppetry. The response was too swift and I doubt she’d use ‘Hey’ as a greeting.

Judy Kay-WolffAugust 18th, 2013 at 10:39 pm

Hello Jonathan:

What you say about Norman is absolutely true — and then some. However, into every life, some rain must fall — so here I am (and believe me, I didn’t take your intro as insulting — but rather funny).

Seriously, I have no idea who DP is. Couldn’t distinguish the individual’s sex from the tiny picture I thought it looked like a guy but Bobby did not agree. The picture is very iffy ,.,.,. but whatever!! If you say “she” — I take your word for it.

I have never heard the term “sock puppet.” I have no clue who this person is but her (?) pretense of admiration was a no brainer to me. Forgive my ignorance, but what is your definition of “sock puppetry? I need an education. Thanks.

Judy.

Jonathan FergusonAugust 18th, 2013 at 11:15 pm

Judy,

Here are a few definitions:

“A sockpuppet is an online identity used for purposes of deception.”
“An account made on an internet message board, by a person who already has an account, for the purpose of posting more-or-less anonymously.”
“A false identity adopted by trolls and other malcontents to support their own postings.”

Do you see the 2 back-to-back posts by ‘CP’? What you’re being accused of is posting as ‘CP’, and then replying to your own post, in order to make it look like someone named CP agrees with you. The ‘tip-off’ is that you forgot to change your posting identity when you replied to CP, and so you have two posts by CP, one of which agrees with Judy and one of which sounds awfully a great deal like something you might say.

I don’t think you’d do that, the ‘she’ I mentioned is you. I think it’s far more likely that someone is just messing with you and while I enjoy an animated discussion, I don’t like disruptive anonymous trollish tactics like that if that’s what is being done.

(To give a slightly less complicated example: Pretend that you could create as many accounts on Bridge Winners as you wanted. Somebody might create 8 accounts (using different names/identities or whatever,) make a comment on their 1 true-identity account, and then ‘like’ that post with their other 7 accounts, to make it look like their comment was favorably received. Those 7 accounts would be ‘sock puppets’.)

Anyway, I’m glad you weren’t too offended by my joke. Cheers.

Judy Kay-WolffAugust 18th, 2013 at 11:51 pm

Jonathan:

Your commentary and suspicions about my site were unbelievably timely (and chilling, I might add).

Undoubtedly it is not the first time it happened (as in what you alluded to with CP). I received a letter from an unknown emailer today advising if I did not type in my email address and password, my AOL account would be cancelled within twenty-four hours and there appeared an official AOL logo. I suspected some foul play so I telephoned them. An hour and a half later (and $299.00 poorer) it was confirmed my hacked site had been tampered with many, many, many times times in the last couple of years but is now protected (I hope). So, anything is possible.

As far as your reference to having more than one BW account, that would never occur to me but I suppose your suspicion of that happening is more realistic than not — but would be the farthest thing from my mind. I guess I am just a naive old lady.

In closing, I might add your intro to your first post was cute (and clever) and I hope I rose to the occasion with my countering.

Cheers,

Judy

Jonathan FergusonAugust 19th, 2013 at 12:10 am

Judy,

My BW example was just that, a hypothetical example. I get the impression that they do a fairly decent (and perhaps much better) job of ‘verifying’ accounts there and I’m not even a little suspicious of that practice occurring there. I was just trying to give you a simple example of how/why one might engage in sockpuppetry.

I wouldn’t really compare it to identity theft or phishing or other kinds of criminal fraudulent activity that occurs on the Internet (like your unfortunate fiasco with the criminals impersonating AOL.) It’s used to help win arguments, not to steal money. But yes, it is similar in the sense that someone pretends to be something they’re not.

Judy Kay-WolffAugust 19th, 2013 at 12:42 am

Jonathan:

I finally had a chance to check out the question and answer by the same person. I did not reply but the term ( the beat goes on) I have used, even recently. I hope my latest AOL update and cleansing will prevent stuff like this in the future. I can’t remember it ever happening before but I can’t swear to it as I have so many blogs and responses, it is hard to track. Thanks for calling it to my attention,

Jonathan FergusonAugust 19th, 2013 at 1:36 am

Judy,

Now that I think about it, though, I WAS once tempted to create a 2nd BW account. I was going to create an account for ‘Carlos Danger, Secretary of the Indoraelian Bridge Federation’ who would make a series of posts taking responsibility for the whole ‘lack of communication’ and ‘missing/unpublished emails’ issue in the Bali threads.

That would be more of a parody account, though, when you’re clearly goofing around (it would be like making an account for Mickey Mouse,) not really a sockpuppet per se. I figured I’d get in trouble, though, so I decided against it and made a single joke about the legendary Mr. Danger instead.

Anyway, I’ve traipsed through your blog with muddy feet quite enough for one evening. Good luck with your campaign against that sarcastic, insolent, prejudiced, biased, ugly, harassing, disrespectful, contemptuous, scornful, disgusting, hate-filled putz on Bridge Winners. TTFN

(And for those just joining us, CP’s 2nd post has been deleted, so that’s why you can’t see it.)

Judy Kay-WolffAugust 19th, 2013 at 5:01 am

I think I am seeing an alter ego …. but I never used the ‘P” word! I have other choice descriptions. That’s not on my list. I prefer more melodious sounding words!

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