Subject: NARAL Replies
Re: "Politics: Fetal Mistake"
From: Kate Michelman, President of the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League
Date: Tue Feb 26 2:38 p.m. PT
[Jefferson] Morley urges women to take comfort in the assumption that the president will not actually do what he has repeatedly stated he intends to do. But his record to date … provides ample reason for believing, in contrast to Mr. Morley's theory of a cloak-and-dagger political gambit, that President Bush simply means what he openly says. Mr. Morley notes that the administration could not undo Roe v. Wade with a regulation. Well, of course not. But it can, and is attempting to, do so step by step. The last step in that process is the appointment of a single anti-choice justice to the Supreme Court, an opportunity President Bush almost certainly will have. …
[Find the rest of this post here.]
Subject: True Fame, Fake Fame
Re: "Assessment: Sean Combs"
From: The Bell
Date: MonFeb 10:07 a.m. PT
The problem with Puffy, like all the Zsa-Zsa [Gabor]s of the celebrity world before him … [is that they] view celebrity as something they can earn thorough working at it. Once achieved, they see their outward success as proof of an inner deservedness. ... In truth, of course, celebrity is never earned but is always a gift bestowed upon the recipient based on the public's admiration for either potential or actual accomplishments in a given field. … Real long-term celebrity achievers—think Sinatra, Elvis, even Muhammad Ali—never once rested on their laurels. Indeed, they seemed far more likely to view anytime they were anything less than Number One as a sure sign they were washed up and forgotten. Their biographies are always full of triumphal comebacks. That is the reality of celebrity. …
Subject: What Can't Be Proved
Re: "Frame Game: Unintelligible Redesign"
From: Roger Hipp
Date: Thu Feb 14 7:12 a.m. PT
Under Saletan's definition of a theory (a system with "predictions, scope modifiers, or experimental methods of its own"), we'd have to throw out a lot more than I[ntelligent] D[esign]. In psychology, for example, we've made precious little progress since Freud's time precisely because psychological models do not lend themselves well to predictions, experimentation, and falsifiable assertions. Ditto economics, where the cause of the Great Depression is still debated 80 years later because it is for the most part impossible to conduct controlled experiments on a national economy. … [And] evolutionary psychology is about applying logic to an incomplete universe of facts in an effort to draw sound conclusions. Sort of like psychology, economics, or ... intelligent design.
Subject: What Mammograms Show
Re: "Readme: What's the Down Side?"
Date: Thu Feb 21 4:14 p.m. PT
A reasonable argument can be made, actually, that mammograms are of no significant medical value in preventing breast cancer. This is so because tumors grow at different rates. Some of them can literally take decades to double in size, while others can do it in weeks. By the time a tumor is large enough to be picked up on a mammogram, one of two things is true. Either a) it's a slow-growing tumor, and there's no screaming need to biopsy and excise it; or b) it's a fast growing tumor and has probably already metastasized. Either way, while biopsy and excision will tell you which variety you're dealing with, it won't change the outcome.
Subject: The Case forPlagiarism
Re: "Culturebox: Wolfgang Amadeus Copycat"
From: Dilan Esper
Date: Wed Feb 13 3:15 p.m. PT
By allowing one artist to sue another for composing a derivative work, we disrupt the normal flow of the composition process in order to bow at the altar of the false god of originality. By protecting copyrights for the life of the author plus 70 years, we slow the evolution of music by restricting the immediate improvement on current and popular musical forms.
Thecontest for a Fray bumper sticker electrified "Best of the Fray." Winning entries here, and Butterscotch—the organizer—got a star for his troubles. As one of the winners said, "Fraysters give good thread." We would have voted for "My son is a star poster at Fray High," and we also liked Amber's very typical version of this (click here, No. 7.)
New Stars also went to Omnibus Reader and Captain Ron Voyager. There may appear to be more new stars, because Dilettante has changed his Frayname to David Garver (see here for his idea for a Fray currency), and Moloch has regained a star: He formerly held it under another name. He has a theory that he needs separate credit as Moloch. We don't understand this, but we're not going to risk annoying him, as he is such a splendid poster.
The Oscar nominations (and the related "Explainer") brought out some fascinating posts on movies. We particularly liked Dave J.'s suggestion that Judi Dench's nomination came about because "The works of Iris Murdoch are much beloved by Academy voters."
The Fray team often gets flack for not being sports experts (and we plead guilty), but we did enjoy David Garver's idea for a new Olympic sport: "Protesting Results … truly a sport in which all countries, large and small, rich or poor, have an equal chance of fielding a competitive team."