Subject: What It Takes To Be Conservative
Re: "Politics: One Down, Three To Go"
From: F. Toro
Date: Thu May 24 9:03 p.m. PT
If the U.S. political system was anywhere near normal, if sanity was considered a necessary prerequisite for holding political office, then Jim Jeffords would hit the definition of conservative pretty much on the nose. Jeffords cares about the environment, but wishes it to be protected in a way that doesn't impose unreasonable costs on business. He's worried about education and health, but wants to address those problems without making people's tax bills become too oppressive. He's worried about the public interest, but mistrusts big government. Through most of the democratic world this is a standard conservative agenda. It's only in the U.S. that you're not considered … a conservative unless you actively advocate environmental degradation, widening inequality, underinvestment in public services and pigheaded chauvinistic nationalism.
Subject: The View From Europe
Re: "Foreigners: Yankee, Come Back—The New Interventionism"
Date: Tue May 22 12:38 p.m. PT
What the Europeans would like, I suspect, is for America to be on land what it is at sea: a benevolent but distant overlord whose activities are largely confined to stamping out piracy, providing a treaty framework for working out disputes, and ensuring (insofar as possible) the unimpeded exercise of industry and trade … American cultural conservatism and the Christian Right are viewed by most Europeans as the quaint but harmless byproducts of sharp class divisions coupled with a deeply flawed education system; but they are scarcely the issue; what bothers Europeans is not America's culture, but its goals.
Subject: Truth and TV
Re: "Culturebox: Anne Frank, Version 20.01"
From: Alexander Niedlich
Date: Mon May 21 2:37 a.m. PT
If you want to understand the humanity of an event, seek out those who have survived it and visit with them while they still live. It is unrealistic to think that an entertainment form will relay anything but entertainment. This is not bad, nor does it mean that the work done is anything less than superb; but it is not reality. Not even the History Channel. Remember, always, that "truth" is to history as religion is to God.
Subject: Everyone Watches for the Same Reason
Re: "Culturebox: Who Watches the Baywatchers?"
From: Marshall Rubin
Date: Tue May 22 6:25 a.m. PT
Aside from the impeccable acting and taut storylines, I found [Baywatch] most educational. Without having to listen to monotone narrators on the Nature or Discovery channels, I learned so much about oceanography, anatomy, and more.
We put a couple of star posts from Arthur Stock and WillV at the end of "Readme" on right-wing dorks, and while not equaling last week's record breaker, they were magnets for more replies—and a small amount of healthy competition.
Ender put a good word in for the Fray; and Dan Simon had our line of the week: "the years of campaigning to lift sanctions still haven't persuaded Iraq to send a contestant to the Eurovision song contest, have they?"
Fray posters calledeach other names: We were wondering if there was a better word than Fraygrants (see last week's "Best of the Fray") and there were plenty of suggestions: Frayters ("only downside … we might be mistaken for a cargo cult"), Frayternity, Fraymakers, Fraytilizers, Fraylings (James Grimmelmann's idea; Claude Scales—who started the discussion last week—added that it would mean that Fray posts on one Slate column could be called "Frayling to Earthling"). More comments welcome here: Join an existing thread or start a new one.
Advice always welcome: Keen regular poster Kit says "never read a post with the word whiny in it."