Top posts from our readers' forum.

Top posts from our readers' forum.

Top posts from our readers' forum.

Recent posts from our readers forum.
Dec. 5 2001 11:07 AM

Cannibalism and the Free Market

The basic issues hit the Fray this week: death, liberty, and being happy at Christmas. The economics of cutting off feetwas another thought-provoking topic and produced the best post title of the week: " Schmuconomics."

Subject: Hang On to Your Rights
Re: "
Ballot Box: Taking Liberties"
From: Neill Hamilton
Date: Thu Nov 29  9:43 a.m. PT

This is not an emergency which warrants the suspension of civil rights. There was a one-time terrorist attack which killed many civilians. In the Civil War, the Supreme Court held … that when the federal courthouse was open in a district, the Constitution was in full force, and the military could not circumvent the criminal process. There is no emergency, and the federal courthouse remains open everywhere in the United States, [so] there should be no military tribunals anywhere. … The balance between civil rights and security was struck by the founders. That balance is not ours to change without changing the Constitution. They remembered the advice Ben Franklin gave: "Those who would trade their liberty for security, get and deserve neither."

Subject: Saddam's Mistake
Re:
" Politics: Iraq Not"
From:
Yukon
Date:
Thu Nov 29 5:31 p.m. PT

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What if Saddam had tried to woo the new Clinton administration in 1992? Hey, so we made a mistake over Kuwait. Nobody's perfect. Inspectors? All you want … Say, what about sending us some Peace Corps? ... Americans so love a repentant sinner that, with good luck and Oprah's help, it might have worked. After all, he has a nice chipmunky smile. If Saddam had done that, he would have been selling all the oil he wanted by 1998 and would be a coalition partner today. And the beauty of it is—he could still have been beating people's brains out in soundproof basements!

[Find this post here.]

Subject: Feet, Don't Fail Us Now
Re:
" Everyday Economics: $10 a Foot"
From:
RWC
Date:
Mon Nov 26  1:12 p.m. PT

[Paul Morgan wants to cut off his feet for money.] So, I heard that a self-professed cannibal wanted to buy his feet. Hey! It's a fund-raiser, for a worthy reason, in a free market. Is this OK? If I were a "less government," individual-responsibility type guy, I would say yes.

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[Find this post here.]

Subject: Season-Appropriate Greetings
Re:
" Chatterbox: Have Yourself a Melancholy Christmas"
From:
Ray Suarez
Date:
Tue Nov 27 8:32 a.m. PT

I love the song "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." You only have to listen to the many singers who've covered it over the years to figure out who understands the words coming out of their own mouths, and who doesn't. Like the best standards, "Have Yourself …" is easy to sing and very difficult to sing well. Any song constructed the way it is, with the phrase you're singing undercutting the phrase you just sang, is a challenge. The song allows for a lot of range, from whispering to belting, and sounds dumb when you choose wrong.

[Find this post here.]

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Fray Notes:

A bittersweet week for Frays on music: "Chatterbox" on "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" produced a fascinating discussion on the song's meaning; see above for input from Ray Suarez of PBS's NewsHour. Then George Harrison's " Obit" was summed up by Richard E. Philpott, who saidthe article made him "feel I'm not alone in my solitary feelings of melancholy for my own aging and the loss of my youthful dreams."

A regular poster, Stringman, also died last week, and many Fraysters paid their respects. Marylb's tribute is here.

Two high-impact posts: The Ghost of a-z wrote"1.5 thoughts on time and morality," a serious philosophical post, and received an enormous number of replies. And Contempo's poem on the 9/11 attacks hit the spot for many readers.

Last week's Fray Awardsmysteriously provoked readers to discuss what's wrong with the Fray (we thought we were showing what was right…), and Marylb had particularly pertinent thoughts here. But the awards also brought out a hilarious comment on the sociology of posters from Publius: "Right-wingers who participate in the Fray tend to have less formal education, since the more educated conservatives are much too busy buying and selling oil, trading securities, defending big corporations ..." (We should point out, as we are not quoting it in full, that the post passed the Fray irony test.) Some but not all of our prize hats have been claimed: We particularly admire the gall of the poster who denies making his award-winning insult, but still wants the hat, so long as the parcel is guaranteed free of anthrax.