Paul Cronin

Hindsight is always 20-20 !

So many people saying now that they always knew so-and-so was cheating, but didn’t want to say anything. Didn’t file any reports with their NBO Recorder because “it wouldn’t do any good”. Everybody knocking the NBOs now for taking no action, or action that, in their opinion, is too slow. Reminds me of how people say that the U.N. is so ineffective. Maybe so, but when you get down to it…it’s all we have. And the other ways, like WW1 and WW2, are sure not the solution. And public “trials”, involving people’s reputations, are not the answer either. Instead, let’s pass on any information we have that relates to possible ethical infractions to the Recorder concerned, and then follow-up to find out what has been done with that information. To do otherwise in itself verges on the unethical, and that is not a good place to be coming from when questioning the ethics of others.


bobby wolffOctober 2nd, 2015 at 2:29 pm

Hi Paul,

You possess an incredible knack for accurately summing up a difficult situation. Especially at bridge when our worldwide community is facing an embarrassing darkness which focuses on being unprepared and somewhat oblivious to ongoing events which have shocked our close knit world.

Instead of random criticism, ugly and suspicious opinions, resulting in nonsensical denials, we need to accept what has been thrust in our face.

Moving on we should not try for perfection (always almost impossible to determine) and pray for someone to lead us to higher ground in our attempts to reconcile.

Be positive rather than negative, thoughtful rather than emotional, considerate rather than hateful. Our worldwide group should be more like a family than a polyglot.

Circle the wagons, but, in this special case, we might find the only real enemies in the future are ourselves and, if so, we join together, this ugly period will die quicker than expected with as few casualties from here on, as possible and above all, greater positive understanding of each other.

paul croninOctober 2nd, 2015 at 2:41 pm

Thanks Bobby,

These are indeed difficult times, and I know that we will all be better off if we handle them as you would – the right way. As flawed as its application may be, the ACBL CDR is all we here in North America have, and following its procedures is the only way to go. Time spent on public accusations and denunciations is wasted, as well as unethical, and would yield real and positive results if applied to improving the way the CDR is implemented.

Judy Kay-WolffOctober 2nd, 2015 at 4:30 pm

Hi Paul:

I’ve been in the bridge world since 1957 and I am horrified by what I am reading. However, NOTHING surprises me as I have been aware of many of the ugly issues since I married Norman Kay in 1963 and became privy to what was happening. Much of what is now coming out is old news (just with different people). Most of the offenders are deceased but as we just learned, quite a few are still loose on the streets.

One of the major problems (an obviously taboo subject) deals with the capabilities of those at the helm. In an effort to avoid law suits and bad publicity, it was swept under the carpet .. and now it has gone public erupting like a keg of dynamite. Shame on us for letting it creep along and naively hope it would all go away without a sound, capable, knowledgeable and sincere administration taking positive action. Now is the time!

paul croninOctober 3rd, 2015 at 3:31 pm

Hi Judy,

I agree that there has been an effort to avoid lawsuits, but that effort has not been without an accompanying rationale. Having a bridge disciplinary committee where the standard for conviction is “preponderance of evidence” is one thing, but going to civil court where the standard is “beyond a reasonable doubt” is quite another thing, particularly when dealing with a jury comprised of people who essentially know nothing about bridge.
Your thoughts, as always, are right on the money, and I know you’d agree that we don’t want to throw out the baby with the bathwater.

JRGOctober 4th, 2015 at 1:54 pm

I thought the courts, that is the “Law”, protected entities such as clubs — except, of course, against illegal actions such as slander, libel, etc. The latter being the reason for various decisions being taken behind closed doors, despite that being attacked as a lack of transparency.

I may be wrong — I’ve no legal training. Perhaps, someone with legal training could comment?

bobby wolffOctober 4th, 2015 at 4:37 pm


You may not have had any legal training, but your thinking is, at least IMO, decidedly fair.

Yes, behind closed door logic has much to do with preventing law suits, libel, slander and related, but just as much to do with the lack of transparency necessary to be bleeding hearts
and either helping or, at the very least, taking it easy in punishing one’s friends or countrymen.

Obviously the above should vanish from this earth, but it is so built in to human nature, that it will always infest humanity, no matter what we do.

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