Subject: Appalled in Nepal
Re: "Chatterbox: Great Moments in Credentialism"
From: Will Allen
Date: Mon Jun 4 11:25 a.m. PT
It is at moments like these that it becomes apparent that democracy cannot hold a candle to good, old-fashioned monarchy in some respects: in this case, the wacky family member. Donald Nixon, Billy Carter, or Roger Clinton are pale imitations of what a real royal family (hopefully boosted by some in-breeding) can hatch.
Subject: Pay-Off for Russia
Re: "Foreigners: How Europe Stopped Complaining and Learned To Love Missile Defense"
Date: Wed May 30 6:59 a.m. PT
Is the overture to Moscow on NMD cooperation merely a way to neutralize Russian opposition to the shield (which, not incidentally, may never be built, a fact the Russians know as well as anyone)? Not likely. What is happening is that the Bush Administration has decided that it must respond to the possibility of a Russia-China combination by wooing the Russians again. Putin is more than willing to be wooed; the issue is, what will he want? You can bet he'll want a lot more than a few bribes to produce hard currency or the dubious benefit of being shielded at some unknown point in time from "rogue attacks."
Subject: Gay Is Good
Re: "Hey, Wait a Minute: Gay for Good"
From: Keith M. Ellis
Date: Wed May 30 11:48 a.m. PT
As a supporter of gay rights, I'm totally exasperated with the gay rights community for its reliance on the supposed biologically deterministic nature of sexual orientation. Elevating this to something that acts as a fundamental justification for a moral position is a critical error. … In fighting these battles, gay rights activists are ceding a great deal of moral ground to the enemy. Pushing for tolerance on the basis of biological determinism, fighting against the reactionary conversion movement on the basis of biological determinism—both are rather weak attacks on the periphery. Let's go to the heart of the matter: There's nothing wrong with gay sex.
Subject: The First Fraygrant
Re: "Best of the Fray"
From: Don S.
Date: Thu May 31 3:31 p.m. PT
I used to post on the old Fray, ca. Nov. 1996 through July 1999. Back around December of '96, posting as "Graybeard," I coined the term "Fraygrant." Just recently I learned that this term had somehow survived the demolition of the old board and was being discussed here. I don't care if you pick a new term; I just wanted to make sure everyone knew that the old term was created by ME, ME, ME!
The "Book Club" on Pragmatism brought on a fabulous Fray with very high-level discussions. Don't trust all the names of the posters, though: We don't believe that's Nietzsche, and some of the other names are equally suspect … Good posts, though.
Marriage counseling from "Chatterbox" really works or at the very least gets you good invitations. When the column discussed divorce and Rudy Giuliani and mentioned the important role of the Sally Jessy Raphael show in achieving victimhood, the media director of the show, Jim Kelly, wrote in the Fray: "If Rudy and Donna and Judi want to come and sit on the big chairs with Sally Jessy Raphael, we will certainly try to accommodate them."
Fray posters are still arguing over what they should be called—and see the letter above from a Founding Father of the Fray. Zeitguy has ideas and assignments for others here. W.F. Thomas came up with the excellent Fraynatics. Ender liked Fraygonauts, and then defended his choice in a hilarious exchange with Tom R. in the same thread. There were also votes for Fraymeister and Frayndits. We're still looking …
Meanwhile, Cher is under a shocking misapprehension: She says, "I was under the impression that star posters were/are paid/contracted individuals that occasionally place a post." To clarify (mostly for the benefit of star posters who have started submitting requests for money): No, they are not paid; they are Fray posters just like the rest of you, and they do it for love. We think. Tony Adragna, for example, has real pride in his work: "We … definitely do a better job of beating up on Slate writers than the readers of other journals do on their writers (with the exception of the Economist)." We're proud of you, Tony.