Subject: The Difference Between Us and Them
Re: "International Papers: Hate of the Union"
Date: Thu Jan 31 10:32 a.m. PT
This "rogue nation" thing is a touchy subject in my mind. ... To the average citizen of most foreign countries, our military capability must seem as threatening as any developed by N. Korea or Iraq. That reasonable people can imagine a difference between them and us is a leap of faith most Americans may take for granted, but my experience is that it is not necessarily so for many outside of our great land.
Subject: Taxing Talking
Re: "Everyday Economics: Click, Clack, and Car Talk"
Date: Wed Jan 30 1:58 p.m. PT
A total ban on cell phones while driving, or a total disregard for public safety, are not the only two choices … I am advocating a Tax on Talking and Driving. [New] technology can be used to tell if the phone in use is stationary or in a moving vehicle. If it is [moving], apply a tax. There are certain situations where this won't be totally fair … but then again, innocent people being killed by inattentive drivers aren't in a fair position either.
Subject: A Copybook Case
Re: "Chatterbox: How To Curb the Plagiarism Epidemic"
From: Barbara Hudgins
Date: TueJan 29 8:40 p.m. PT
As someone who had whole sections of her book plagiarized and began preliminary action for copyright infringement, let me tell you that the first thing the other lawyer told my lawyer was that he would sue for libel if I said anything publicly. After months of haggling … I settled out-of-court (actually pre-court). I signed a paper saying I never sued, nothing ever happened, etc., etc., and cleared all of $5,000 … [You can't] expect an author to brave threats of libel by aggressive lawyers (who apparently take "Don't Give an Inch 101" at Harvard Law) and pay for the defense of such suits out of her own pocket (because no lawyer is going to take contingency on that one). ... It is easy for an offending plagiarist to yell "Fair Use,"… and the publishing houses don't give a damn about plagiarism.
Subject: So Goes the Nation
Re: "The Book Club: Uplift, The Bra in America"
Date: Mon Jan 28 10:35 a.m. PT
I can't help but imagine the parallel of the dot-com boom of the nineties and the rise in popularity of the pushup, air pump, and water padded bras. Under the bountiful exhibit of substance that meets the eye lies ... well, nothing.
The Fraywas full of interesting people this week: Bill Lax, whose mother was the first to alphabetize bra-cup sizes; someone who once appeared on The X-Files; and Pamela Paul, the author of the book on marriage discussed in this "Culturebox," who sportingly debated the issues with star-poster Rachel.
One of our Slate hats has made it to Singapore. Lilmacg (aka Commoner), the only poster to be awarded a prize hat for insulting the Fray editor, claims to be wearing it jauntily as he travels through the Far East. We hope he is recruiting new readers.
The Fray is always full of lawyers. We love the free advice (see here for a copyright lawyer's thoughts on plagiarism) and wonder why they are so many of them—does the Fray suit their argumentative ways or do they not have enough to do?
Fraysters have been discussing their meetings with one another, and the most unmissable account is Arthur Stock's summit with Claude Scales in New York (see here)—both lawyers. Locdog says he'd be "more interested in going to a get together of Fray regulars than my class reunion."
John McG was inspired by the recent landmark 50th Fray star to write 50 Ways To Get a Fraystar: including such splendid lines as "You don't have to be a flake, Wake." Meanwhile, for the moment Martin Greene, one of last week's new stars, is sharing his computer, and thus also his icon, with his wife, Chiquita Banana—a Fray first.
Stalwart poster Lilith doesn't feature much in "Best of the Fray," but we feel she deserves a special place in the annals of Fray troublemakers for her suggestion that the "Ballot Box" Fray is Chatterbox's "slutty sister school." We're trying hard not to say, Surely it's the other way round?