Update: A guy named Joe (see below): Joe isjoe. Different computers, same poster. Thanks for letting me know, Joe. Beverly Mann thinks he deserves a star. I think she's right! He should bring both computers to the Best of the Fray Fray for adornment.
Gridlock Update: No Hedges in Culturebox today. Still, it will be confusing in The Fray this weekend. 4:22 p.m.
Gridlock Alert: Culturebox is a general department and it will be quite busy over the weekend. Expect to see posters discussing at least three different articles in The Fray, in addition to their own topics. We have The Complete Idiot's Guide to Iraq, 9/11 poetry and Chris Hedges' War is a Force that Gives Us Meaning.
Nice Threads—Pinstripes? With Steve Chapman's free-market prescription for baseball on MSN.com, it may become harder to find good sports Fray for a while (as happened yesterday with Prudie). But there are excellent posts to be read and answered (look for my picks). Joe started a great discussion of Yankee greed vs. Yankee ingenuity with this:
[T]his is a national pastime, right? Bunching all the teams around a few major hubs isn't exactly an ideal solution … How fun is a game in which a few locations always win and don't have challenging opponents? The current solution, though flawed (money is after all not guaranteed to be spent on players, etc.), helps ... [T]eams like the Yanks are encouraged not to be greedy and smaller market teams get that little bit of money that some need to get over the hump.
Five teams in NYC doesn't seem to be a great alternative in my eyes.
This article is a cry for the bad old future where teams blackmail communities for stadium welfare. "Build us a stadium with a retractable roof, short-term lease and control of all revenue streams or we will move to Newark. No one can stop us!" 12:15 p.m.
Liberty vs. Security: Dahlia Lithwick's effort to find a new calculus to solve the problem of civil liberties in the war on terror brought out the usual Jurisprudence Fray suspects and their usually fine responses. joe (not to be confused with Joe above) took issue with "Lithwick’s solution": "Civil liberties may not be suspended unless some principled government objective is articulated and the proposed measure is carefully tailed to meet that objective."
What does this mean exactly? Let's say Ashcroft says the gov't objective is to stop another attack on U.S. soil, and that they have evidence of a "dirty bomber." This is a "principled gov't objective, no?" Carefully tailored? …
We might hate Ashcroft's principles, but he has them ... it is the principles, not just narrowly tailoring (whatever that means in this case) that is at the heart of the matter.
While I am not a big fan of posting articles in The Fray, Beverly Mann has shown a real touch for following up Lithwick's Jurisprudence articles with subsequent news pieces (e.g., the FISA courts). Here she asks a constitutionality question that turns into a terrific thread (but gets no answer), and here she is being trenchant:
Neither Lincoln nor Franklin Roosevelt, the two presidents whose names are invoked in defense of Ashcroft's (and by rubber-stamp, Bush's) designs, was an anti-libertarian opportunistically seizing upon a national security threat to impose his skewed personal vision of an ordered society. Ashcroft and Bush both are … 10:50 a.m.
TODAY IN SLATE
Forget Oculus Rift
This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.
The Congressional Republican Digging Through Scientists’ Grant Proposals
Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real
Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band
Can it be again?
Whole Foods Is Desperate for Customers to Feel Warm and Fuzzy Again
I’m 25. I Have $250.03.
My doctors want me to freeze my eggs.
Smash and Grab
Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?