Subject: The Value of the Elite Gap
Re: "Foreigners: The Myth of the Values Gap"
Date: Wed Jun 13 12:08 p.m. PT
It's easy to say you support the death penalty when there is no chance of having one; and if support is so high in Europe, how did it vanish? While nobody—not even the poor European—likes bureaucracy, the fact is that government has not shrunk in Europe. … No European country is close to eliminating "welfare as we know it" or universal medical care (which goes well beyond the tepid reforms put forward by Hillary). … Applebaum repeatedly plays the "elite" card: Ordinary Europeans are really like Americans. Indeed, they are really like W. But their elites are not.
Subject: Nowhere To Hide
Re: "The Gist: Ex-Con Nation"
From: P.E. Johnson, Captain (ret.), N.J. DOC
Date: Sun Jun 17 8:55 a.m. PT
I have witnessed, through many years of observation and discussions with recidivist offenders, that the primary cause of recidivism is the lack of quality employment opportunities for ex-cons. Not long ago it was the common assumption of most people that after someone had "paid their debt to society" they were entitled to a second chance. In today's society it seems the "debt" is never paid off. Once released, the ex-con is tagged for life since his/her criminal records are open to anyone requesting them. Years ago this tracking was very difficult. Now due to digital technology it is instantaneous.
I had been reading the ["Book Club"] that is going on about Bob Dylan's work and faithfully following Mr. Kinsley's musings on the side when the parallel struck me. Both exhibit quite a bit of venom and righteous indignation, but whereas Dylan is preoccupied telling us how he feels about his latest disappointing affair, Mr. Kinsley strikes at something we can all relate to: the utter rapacity of monopoly capitalism.
Subject: A Modest Proposal
Re: "Do the Math: Cigs and Figs"
Date: Fri Jun 15 11:28 a.m. PT
Looking at the hype and ads in the media, you'd think that kids who smoke are dropping dead left and right; just the reverse is the case—it's the old folks in nursing homes who suffer the consequences. If we're really interested in health care, we'd make smoking legal to anyone including children, up to age 30, since the long-term effects on healthy young people is minimal; thereafter, it's cold turkey. Make it illegal for any adult over age 30 to buy or smoke tobacco.
There was a particularly good Fray this week on the "Hey, Wait a Minute" on the Everglades, with our favorite line of the week from the estimable Dan Simon: "I shudder for a nation whose elite opinion-makers have forgotten that its own greatest 'national treasure' is not its lovely natural settings, but rather, first and foremost, its people." And the animal rights "Dialogue" between Richard A. Posner and Peter Singer brought more great discussions.
Fray stars are still a hot topic, and Keith M. Ellis wants to talk about the whole ethos and purpose of the board: He has a long but compelling post here, which is essential reading for anyone at all interested in The Fray. He is wrong about why he doesn't have a star though: It was because he said he didn't want one. So now we've given him one. A star also went to Ender—perhaps shameless lobbying does work! Or perhaps it was just the great posts: See his timeless classic on the road to Hell here. And Cato the Censor got one too—see here for a sample of his work.
The debate on names for Fray posters has now reached the "Today's Papers" Fray, with Wakefield suggesting "Frayfalters." Robespierre makes an impassioned plea for "Fraysters" here, though he is wrong about the music that charms the Fray team. Thrasymachus defended anonymity in The Fray with this post, ending up (you'd have to read the thread to understand why) with a splendid W.C. Fields quotation: "If you loan someone $20 and you never see them again, it was worth it."