Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Bridge Too Far











I always thought that people who play Bridge, a needlessly complicated card game, were harmless enough, though they certainly could be making better use of their time. But I had no idea that that the world of competitive Bridge was a hotbed of anti-American feeling. Last month at the world Bridge championships in Shanghai a team of women representing the United States did something shocking when they went up to the dais to receive the Venice Cup, the award for the best women's team. One of their members held up a hand-lettered sign that said "We Did Not Vote for Bush." This act, which has led some bridge players to accuse the women of "treason" and "sedition," has brought back memories of other Americans who have dared to criticize this country abroad, such as Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks in 2003 and Tommie Smith and John Carlos, who gave a black power salute after winning medals in the 200 meter race at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. The team's nonplaying captain Gail Greenberg claims, "There was a lot of anti-Bush feeling, questioning of our Iraq policy and about torture," at the tournament and calls her team's action "a moment of levity," but there is nothing funny about treason.

"This isn't a free-speech issue," explains Jan Martel, president of the United States Bridge Federation, commenting on what the organization refers to as the "Shanghai Incident." "There isn't any question that private organizations can control the speech of people who represent them." A statement released by the USBF reiterates, "This situation is not about free speech; it is about determining whether the USBF has a responsibility to its membership to impose sanctions on those who have acted contrary to the best interests of the organization and its members."

The United States Bridge Federation has an excellent opportunity to show the world what America stands for by punishing these women. Some people have the wrong idea about what the Bill of Rights really means. In America you have freedom of expression as long as a private organization doesn't own your expression. Peaceful protests are fine as long as they don't embarrass organizations that depend on corporate sponsorship and take place on American soil behind police barricades where they can be videotaped for future use in any trials that might arise.

In Pakistan we can already see the tragic results that can occur when some people misunderstand what America stands for. Americans don't think that just anyone deserves the right to free speech and democracy. These are rights that have to be earned after years of being under the thumbs of U.S.-supported dictators. Once the people of these countries have demonstrated that they are not going to vote for Communists or Jihadists, then we allow them to have democracy on a trial basis, with the understanding that the CIA might have to start a coup and put another dictator in place if things get out of hand.

The United States Bridge Federation has threatened to suspend these women for a year, which would send a powerful message to places like Pakistan that freedom of speech is not a recipe for anarchy. Not surprisingly, the French also seem to have the wrong idea of what freedom means to Americans. The French team sent an email in support of the women, which said, "By trying to address these issues in a nonviolent, nonthreatening and lighthearted manner, you were doing only what women of the world have always tried to do when opposing the folly of men who have lost their perspective of reality." Leave it to the French to turn it into a sex thing. Of course, this is not the first time the French have misunderstood American ideals. When they gave us the Statue of Liberty with that terrible poem that begins "Give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…," a lot of people took those words much too literally, leading to the immigration problem that still haunts us today.

Thank goodness the USBF does know something about American values. Drawing on the best of American tradition, they have had their lawyer, Allan Falk, send the women a questionnaire trying to get them to snitch on the team member who first broached the idea of holding up the sign and he has threatened them with worse punishment if they don't cooperate. Already three players, Hansa Narasimhan, JoAnna Stansby and Jill Meyers, have started to crack, expressing regret that the action offended some people. But Debbie Rosenberg, Jill Levin, and Irina Levitina--the Huey Newton, Eldridge Cleaver and Stokely Carmichael of the Bridge team--remain defiant. How weak will the United States look to the rest of the world if we can't even scare a few lady Bridge players into backing away from criticizing the President?

"Freedom to express dissent against our leaders has traditionally been a core American value," Ms. Rosenberg, who held up the sign, wrote in an email that should be turned over to the FBI for investigation. "Unfortunately, the Bush brand of patriotism, where criticizing Bush means you are a traitor, seems to have penetrated a significant minority of U.S. bridge players." It is almost as if she is daring the President to have her executed for treason.

Champion Bridge player Robert S. Wolff disagrees with what the team did. "While I believe in the right to free speech, to me that doesn't give anyone the right to criticize one's leader at a foreign venue in a totally nonpolitical event," he said. Apparently, Ms. Rosenberg and her teammates are completely unaware of the criticize-one's-leader-at-a-foreign-venue-in-a-totally-nonpolitical-event exception to the First Amendment.

The First Amendment does not give people the right to yell anti-Bush slogans in a crowded theater, or even to talk during the movie at all. If we let a few lady Bridge players criticize the President, it could spread. The next thing you know Democrats in Congress will start opposing the President's appointments, passing laws against torture or defying him on funding for the Iraq War.

The future of this country may well depend on the action the United States Bridge Federation takes. Ms. Rosenberg claims that she earns a living from Bridge and suspending her for a year would be a financial hardship. The USBF maintains, however, that it "has no obligation to coddle, foster, or protect any person’s ability to earn professional fees." But is refraining from "coddling" their professional fees really punishment enough? Although I'm much too lazy to do it, I'm sure my friends in the conservative blogosphere are already digging up negative personal information about these players and trying to learn their email addresses and telephone numbers and where their children go to school so that they can spur their readers to attack and harass these women and ruin their lives. Soon small towns around America will be aglow with bonfires as members of local Bridge clubs toss their playing cards into the flames in protest. And Congress will take some time away from less important business to sponsor a resolution condemning these women, which even Democrats will vote for because they don't want to seem un-American. These lady bridge players will learn soon enough what freedom of expression really means in America.

Update: I receive an email from Allan Falk, attorney for the United States Bridge Federation: "This blogs sounds like it was written by a Ted Kaczynski or some other complete nut job. Allan Falk. Attorney at Law."

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59 comments:

a said...

Oh, will they ever. Thanks again, Jon

Matt Robison said...

We'll all be watching this with baited breath...

Anonymous said...

you blog however light hearted , totally misses the point.
the usbf is funded in part by public funds and in part by funds donated privately, as such the players have a responsibility to comport themselves in a manner which is within the guidelines set out by their sposoring organisation as well as the guideleines of the sponsoring organisation, in thiscase the wbf.
Bridge is in general a non political event , an ideal which allows Israel to compete against teams from countries that in any other instance would not dare to be in the same room.
The very non political nature of the Bridge world championships is what allows it to be a guiding light in preenting inclusive values to the world, it matters not if you ar rich or poor, at a bridge event world champions mix with beginners and those from oppressed countries mix freely with those from those of us blessed to live in freedom.
Using this stage to air what are personal political views undermines the whole concept of an organisation free from political shackles.
Along with rights come responsibilities , and one of those responsibilities is to use those rights juduciously and within the correct context. You may have the right to bare arms but it would be irresponsible to bare them in a public school. similarly the right to free speech does not negate ones resposibility to act judiciously when representing not onlyyour country but a group of financial sponsors who may not share your views.

Carl said...

Does this make this bridge team The Dixie Cups?

MX said...

Anonymous has a good point. Just because people come from all over the world in a celebration of diversity doesn't mean that people should actually display diversity.

The USBF needs to send a strong message that everyone should feel included. How better to do that than to exclude someone?

Lex said...

I think it'd be keen if we could all of us have our own constitutions, ones that comported to our own political preferences. Yours for example, might include a first amendment that governed the conduct of private companies: An employee of Microsoft could go to a trade show, take the podium and admit that Apple really had the superior product without fear of negative job consequences. Because he'd be protected by his own personal constitution!

Sadly, we appear now to be destined to all share the same one.

Kevin Hayden said...

Funny that we both recall that Mexico City protest in responding to this.

But I'd add that protest has always come with risks, as long as I've been around. So the ladies could lose their income. That happens when one gets political on the job sometimes.

I hope some will stick to their guns. If Malkin starts stalkin' I hope they remember there's a Second Amendment, too, just so they can fire a warning shot or three.

Sure, some corporate sponsor can get their knickers twisted and the ladies will get bounced. Fortunately, a majority in this country will still employ them precisely because they displayed the better side of our country.

I hold out hope that our croquet teams and other overpaid superstars (rugby, field hockey and darts) start holding up signs, too.

Robert Green said...

kevin is right--losing your job or your privileges is part and parcel of free expression. it's never really free, is it?

it would have been nice if any of the military men who are spending so much time criticizing the war now that they are retired had had the gumption to do so while they were still in the service in 2002 or 2003. sure, they would have been vilified, lost their jobs and pension and so on, but they also wouldn't look like abject pussy losers now. how many people took a stand (a stand that cost them, a stand that took REAL sacrifice) when they needed to?

not too many. and don't get me started on the worst one of all--colin powell.

ps anonymous your use of "bare arms" is brilliantly funny.

oh, you didn't mean it that way?

UgottaGo said...

You gotta be kidding. This freak says he is biased with news who runs this blog and then says he gets his brainwashed constantly from the likes of Faux News and Rush Limpballs and other freaks of evil. Murdoch, who owns this world's minds through his media monopolies, sold his soul to the devil in the 80's in order to buy a company because RayGun wouldn't allow a foreigner to own a network. He gave up his Australian birthright to buy a company. Amazing. And since then has taken over the minds and souls of most idiots of this world who belong to the evil side of humanity. Please God, come get rid of these idiots of this world and their evil leaders. The mindless rule. Bush is the son of perdition who has led our nation to its final demise as foretold by God about the Harlot upon many waters which is now the US. We are ruled by evil beings who think people who voice their opinions against their human god leader Bush should be taken outside and shot. Sadly, I would laugh at this phrase if it was not true. You evil beings gotta go. You have ruined mankind with your idiocy and one minded senselessness and it is now time for God to rid this world of your stupidity. Shame on you stupid beings for being of evil and following idiocy!

fish said...

You may have the right to bare arms but it would be irresponsible to bare them in a public school.

I too think bare arms in school is atrocious. Long sleeves for all!!

Kevin Hayden said...

I updated their sign a little.

Anyone got other PhotoShop ideas?

moneymonk said...

I blame the lunatics who passed the 19th Amendment. Seriously, who couldn't foresee this chaos?

Anonymous said...

Bush does not equal America. There's nothing wrong with criticizing a politician. Especially, one that has brought America in such a negative light in the eyes of the world. The bridge players were probably meaning something like "Don't kill or kidnap us because of what Bush has done - we didn't vote for him"

Autumn Harvest said...

Yes, a private organization has the right to punish its members for exercising their freedom of speech---and since they have the legal right to do this, it immediately follows that it's morally right for them to do this. Since this is not a governmental organization, there is nothing the least bit troubling about this. For example, I think we would all agree that I did nothing wrong last week, when I fired an insolent employee who was so brash as to claim that Marmaduke was funnier than The Family Circus.

Anonymous is, as usual, quite correct---the best way to ensure that the USBF is seen as apolitical is to punish members who criticize Bush. I would also urge the USBF to make sure to sanction the other U.S. bridge players who were seen wearing buttons saying "Support our troops." The situtations are different, of course, in that criticizing Bush is illegal, while supporting the U.S. military is an inoffensive message that even a foreigner could not possibly take exception to. But the principle is the same: we cannot allow individuals to express their views at random times and places, not designated by employers, government officials, or large organizations. That way lies madness.

Autumn Harvest said...

Dear Mr. Swift,

I am very sorry for the comment that I just left on your blog several minutes ago. After posting it, I realized that it would appear on your privately-run blog, but that I had not obtained approval from you in advance. After posting it, it occured to me that an extremely stupid person might think that since my comment appeared on your site, you must approve of my comment. I fear I may have tarnished your reputation as a reasonable conservative, just as these bridge players have tarnished the reputation of the USBF as apolitical. You have my sincerest apologies, and if you feel that monetary restitution is appropriate, please contact me at fake_email@yousuck.com, and we can work out an appropriate payment schedule.

Autumn Harvest

P.S. I also apologize for this second, also unauthorized comment.

Terry Hull said...

Jon: Another good post. Gotta hand it to you for managing to squeeze in references to the Dixie Chicks, Jon Carlos, the French and their liberal-leaning statue, Stokely Carmichael and Ted Kaczynski in the same post. What -- you didn't see the need to mention Susan B. Anthony, John Reed, Zero Mostel and Major Major Major Major? You're slipping.

Say, Jon, are you stoking the fire by commenting on your own posts in the comments section? "Anonymous's" comment above has the same well-reasoned conservative logic that we love in all of your posts, making we wonder if you aren't really the commenter behind the curtain.

Anonymous said...

It should be mentioned that saying "We did not vote for Bush" is not actually the same as criticizing Bush. If I say, "I do not agree with Jay Leno", I haven't called out any faults of Jay Leno, i.e., have not truly been critical of him.

With this in mind, it's even more mind-boggling that these people should be accused of treason. If its treasonous to even say that you failed to vote for Bush, then the act of voting for any non-Bush candidate must require immediate and summary execution.

Carl said...

MX said...
Anonymous has a good point. Just because people come from all over the world in a celebration of diversity doesn't mean that people should actually display diversity.


Perhaps a uniform would suffice? We could insist on brown shirts...

Lex said...

Well, since you made it a moral issue then no one is free to disagree. In fact, the only moral thing to do is require companies to sponsor the public political speech of their employees. Even if that does cost them the financial support of folks who are morally free to disagree with such things.

Me? No moralist. I'm just digging on the irony of a bunch of US citizins riffin' on their democratically elected president in a country where the locals get run over by tanks for even talking about such things. You guys like irony, right?

Kate R said...

HEY! YO! I bet those words aren't among the twenty or so allowed for bidding. They're clearly sending messages to their brothers in Chicago.

What a demure lil sign. I'd boot their butts for holding something like that up.

PhysioProf said...

As soon as I got wind of the bridge treason imbroglio, I thought, "Jon Swift is so totally on this!"

Mr Heppelwhite said...

There was a time not so long ago where I would have agreed that these women should be lashed to a barrel of a cannon and fired across Tiannanmen (pronounced "Chinamen") Square. But something happened to me personally last summer that made me change my viewpoint.

It happened during our annual Focus on the Family Church Picnic. Our extended family went this year as always, but this year my nephew Ziggy decided to bring his dog Segundo. Segundo is one of those dogs that was advertised as an attack dog in the shop but whom, when we brought him home, turned out to be just a big dopey clumsy oaf of a mutt.

When Ziggy brought Segundo to the picnic, everyone liked him enough. But after we spread out our blankets under the larch trees (we had by far the most blankets because we were the largest family), Segundo started running around to the other family's blankets, eating their food, biting their kids, pissing on their tennis rackets, etc. At one point, he even pinned the minister against a tree and humped his leg so hard that the minister's knee was dislocated and his trousers were ruined. (I should add that Segundo weighs about 160 pounds.) Everyone was very angry and it was only because our family by itself outnumbered all the other families put together that we were even allowed to finish our lunch.

The next Sunday, when I went up to join the choir, I found myself obliged to hold up a sign during the service that said "The dog was not my idea".

I know that we should just get rid of the dog, but Ziggy bought him on an installment plan and we have about two years of payments left to go. But I am truly looking forward to the day when (after he is paid for) I can lead him out to the woods, tie him to a tree, and take out my hacksaw.

Man enough to admit he's afraid of morons like you said...

Jon, You are truly terrifyingly stupid. I'm more fearful of idiots like you than anything overseas. How long before you just start burning books and smashing windows? Try thinking in depth about what you so shallowly spew out. We'll all be the better for it.
How long before it's against your corporate-neofacist sense of "freedom" to express disagreement when it is felt? Oh wait,in your mind it already is. You believe that people have freedom to express only those ideas that you agree with? They're words for god's sake! I wish you hadn't been beat so much as a helpless child as to warrant such a base set of responses to something as immaterial as words.Your insecure little child's brain is in need of some serious development. Tell me where the damage is done by somebody having the temerity to disagree by holding up a sign. You're the kind of mindset that I have my guns for because you can't be reasoned with. Your thoughts have ossified around a set of fear based reactions that preclude any real freedom. You decry this kind of repression in others but are so knee-jerk in your willingness to shut others down in the worst kind of rhetorical rationalizing fashion. You are afraid to look beyond the straight-jacket you were wrapped up in by you're parents who, I'm guessing didn't let you have your own thoughts that might have contradicted theirs. You feared for your life and, by god, so will others.

Den Valdron said...

You know, one of the defining characteristics of fascism is its utter pettiness, its childish overreaction, its total lack of proportion.

The fascist makes no distinction between a mountain and a molehill. The most trivial matter calls for insane, psychopathic overreaction, unhinged fury and wild hysteria.

I cannot express my contempt for the USBF. In particular, their legal counsel has embarrassed himself and his entire profession with an unprinciples and offensive stand. A lawyer should talk sense to his clients, not cater to their worst impulses.

kathleenmaher said...

So, anonymous, are you truly no one? Usually, I don't care, but when someone or no one is tossing such inconsistent arguments around I worry if one's mental health might be as shaky as a Ted Kaczynskis.

J. said...

Nice fishing today Jon, you reeled in a couple of good sized crimson-eyed dimbulbs.

Dusty said...

Perhaps, just perhaps..the ladies were apologizing for NOT voting for the Shrub?

Just a thought..

Dusty said...

Sweet Jeebus in a speedo..I do have to agree with the comment by J..you did reel in some big un's today Dear Jon ;)

ZenYenta said...

Would it have been equally seditious to have a sign that said, "We voted for Gore (and/or) Kerry"? Would it make a difference, treason-wise if you do or don't use the usual, "Don't blame us..." prepending the statement? Just wondering.

moondancer said...

A few factors to consider:
While the ACBL is an amateur league, many players (these included) make a living from tournament play. So the penalties proposed are the equivalent of a years pay.

This incident was not unprovoked. The players were made uncomfortable by incessant questioning about Bush policy and why the US citizens are so complacent.

The ACBL is a political entity. It's hierarchy is self-serving and bloated.

Susie Bright said...

YOU got a crank letter from the USBF lawyer?

! I AM DROOLING WITH ENVY.

I don't believe he's sent pejorative emails to anyone else who's been blogging about his pathetic clowning on behalf of his organization.

Carl said...

Allan should Falk off, sir.

purvis ames said...

Anonymous said...
"you blog however light hearted , totally misses the point."
Listen, you yorp, anyone who doesn't know how to spell "your" or "bear" should not necessisarily be giving advice on First Amendment rights. You can take your corporatized nonsense and shove it where the sun don't shine.

commiebat said...

How is this incident consistent with the known fact that one out of every four bridge players is a dummy?

It would appear to support the opposite conclusion.

liquiddaddy said...

Jon,

I don't think it's widely known that Marx and Bakunin would have drunken farkle sessions so intense that Madam Marx would make them go outside.

LD

Gypsy Scholar said...

If you want a really good laugh, go to the United States Bridge Federation's website and read their "Statement of Damage." Amid the statement’s numerous non sequiturs, lapses of logic, and general tone of hysteria, one passage in particular stands out: “Certain members of VCW have complained that the USBF apology to the WBF and the Chinese Contract Bridge Association for the VCW’s conduct was unwarranted. This reflects a complete disregard for the fact that the Chinese government, which does not exactly have a history of sympathetic views toward political dissent, provided the bulk of financial support for both the 2007 World Championship and the 2008 World Bridge Olympiad.”

So let's be clear about what they're saying: Because the totalitarians who rule China don’t have “sympathetic views toward political dissent,” the Federatin thinks that the players who held up the sign and the USBF should adopt the same attitude. Especially since China provided some of the funding. In other words, the USBF is perfectly willing to sell out bedrock American values to totalitarians in exchange for a little funding. Sorry folks, but freedom is messy -- the USBF will just have to explain that to their Chinese friends.

Let's not forget, also, the punishment the USBF is trying to impose: a one-year suspension, a signed apology drafted by the USBF lawyer, and 200 hours of community service for the cause of bridge(doing what, teaching bridge to inner city kids?). As Keith Olbermann suggested on MSNBC last night, the USBF should change its name to the Soviet Bridge Federation. They're a bunch of petty tyrants and they are the real embarrassment to our country.

Slaughter said...

Wait a minute. Everyone's talking about these women "criticizing" President Bush. As far as I can see, all they're doing is stating a fact: They didn't vote for him. Where's the criticism?

umlando said...

What saddens me about the episode is that these women felt freer, apparently, to express political dissent while visiting the People's Republic of China than when at home...

or alternatively, that they would be more assured of coverage when outside the US than when in.

What's our First Amendment for, these days, anyway?

Anonymous said...

How does "I did not vote for Bush" become Anti-American?

Mig said...

Israel does NOT play in bridge events against countries such as Lebanon - the Lebanese team conveniently doesn't show up and no, nobody in the World Bridge Federation thinks it should be right to punish them for involving politics into bridge.If those players would go around with a sign saying "i want to play against Israel"- should they be condemned for expressing a political opinion? I'm sure they would be severely punished at home and the "civilised" rest of the world (including the USBF) would be "shocked". Just as I am when I read about sanctions against a team who won a world championship and instead of making their organisation proud is crucified for expressing a very mild and personal political view/

Anonymous said...

Kevin runs people off his blog who disagree with him.
Whether speech is free or not depends on the venue.

Anonymous said...

Is a one year suspension from bridge competition the best the USBF could come up with? Can't they have these traitors deported to China? Let's see if their "We didn't vote for Bush," sign scares away the tanks in Tiananmen Square.

Bernoldus Niemandt said...

Does not voting for Bush constitute treason? I certainly think it does.

If we examine the nascent 'unitary executive' principle, whereby it is acknowledged that the USA is founded on the recognition that the true will of the people cannot be disclosed through parliamentary votes and plebiscites but that the will of the people in its pure and uncorrupted form can only be expressed through George W. Bush.

Thus a distinction must be drawn between the supposed will of the people in a parliamentary democracy, which merely reflects the conflict of the various social interests, and the true will of the people (liberals included), in which the collective will of the real political unit is manifested.

To defy Bush by not voting for him is to defy the will of the nation - clearly treasonous behavior. And what is the penalty for treason? Death!

Lettuce said...

I love it...

You got a letter from The Man.

Woot!

Anonymous said...

anonymous said: "the usbf is funded in part by public funds."

I'd like to know what public funds the USBF receives?

The Sanity Inspector said...

...and then the Chinese, North Korean, Cuban, and Vietnamese teams held up signs, saying "We Did Not Vote."

The Sanity Inspector said...

They cocked a snoot at the President on foreign soil, in a time of war, so that America-hating foreigners would think well of them. Nice to see the Dixie Chicks have found a new career.

Tom said...

Allan Falk is right. The First Amendment restricts the power of the government to squelch speech, not a bridge association. You are a complete doofus.

Anonymous said...

I can hardly wait until the day when Protein Wisdom's traffic will be reduced to JD and happyfeet repeatedly hitting the refresh button so it's just like an AIM chat w/out buddy icons.

More Dan Collins!

Tim said...

Please, please bring more Protein Wisdom people here. We have a man who calls himself the Sanity Inspector who believes telling people for whom you voted is taking a shot at the President!

We have this Tom guy, lecturing us on the limits of free speech, when no one said the brdge folks can't police their own; what they said was that they should not police THIS.

Ah, going beyond the bumber sticker...too difficult for the intentioanlism crowd.

MORE PW FANS. I demand more mental midgets to make fun of. MORE. Someone get JD over here.

Tom said...

Timdoofus says "no one said the brdge [sic] folks can't police their own; what they said was that they should not police THIS."

Oh, I see. They can police their own unless you don't like it. Genius. So the ladies want their right to dissent. They have it. They dissented. What they don't have is a right to demand that a private organization put up with it. I think Timdoofus and I are agreed.

gregorya57 said...

Well, they can type, after a fashion, so they apparently can read, sort of. I suggest that the actually read the constitution, as soon as they finish their courses at Sylvan.

BTW, WTF is "intentioanlism?" Is that something known only by mental midgets?

sanity sanitizer said...

"They cocked a snoot at the President on foreign soil, in a time of war, so that America-hating foreigners would think well of them."

Nice. I like this.

America is not at war. Its army is at war. The rest of the country is sitting back home on its collective fat ass suffering and sacrificing not at all (except for the military families themselves.)

Anonymous said...

"BTW, WTF is 'intentioanlism'? Is that something known only by mental midgets?"

If it was, you wouldn't be asking that question, now would you?

Anonymous said...

These women were representing their country not George W. Bush. I believe their gesture was to make certain that they as individual American citizens (and as a collective) were not associated with the policies and actions of this administration. It would have been one thing if their team was not identified as American -- then perhaps this gesture could be seen as completely unnecessary. But they did have flag next to their team's name so perhaps they felt the need to distance themselves from the policies of this presidency. What's wrong with that?

The Mistress said...

Perhaps I'm obtuse. Perhaps I'm not understanding the complicated implications of a hand-written sign. Maybe I was absent the day they taught Amendment One in my constitutional law class. But even though partisan separations should end at the shore, stating who you didn't vote for doesn't seem to me like treason.

Unwarranted wire taps, however, feel especially treasonous.

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