The rhetoric of choice

by Henry Farrell on October 9, 2007

I don’t have much more to add to what people like “Jim Henley”: and “Hilzoy”: have already said about the quite disgusting attacks on Graeme Frost and his family. But I will note that this “comment”: by Washington Examiner editorial page editor Mark Tapscott is damning and revealing.

it’s clear the Frosts have made choice to invest in property and a business, but not in private health insurance. The Maryland-administered version of the federal SCHIP program, by the way, does not impose an asset test on applicants.

Entirely apart from the apparently bogus factual claims on which Tapscott bases this argument, he doesn’t seem to get the fact that the ‘choice’ between a chance at economic security and your kids’ health isn’t one that anyone wants to make. I suspect (perhaps I’m wrong) that it’s not the kind of choice that Mark Tapscott has ever had to make, or thinks himself likely ever to have to make. Let them eat cake, how are ya.

Starry Wisdom

by Henry Farrell on October 9, 2007

I’m sure this is fundamentally immature of me, but the new Republican National Convention logo set off a train of associations in my head (and prompted me to spend half an hour doing some basic Photoshop work to bring these associations to the foreground). More artistically talented readers than myself are invited to submit their own interpretations (Michael Froomkin has a copy of the original image at “this post”:


Hasta la victoria siempre

by Chris Bertram on October 9, 2007

“Richard Williams in the Guardian”:,,2186554,00.html

bq. Had things turned out differently, one of the seats in the press box in the Stade de France last Sunday night might have been occupied by a 79-year-old Argentinian newspaperman whose own rugby career was blighted by asthma. He would have been recording the success of his fellow countrymen in reaching the last four of the 2007 Rugby World Cup for the first time.

André Gorz

by Chris Bertram on October 9, 2007

“A report in last Sunday’s Observer”:,,2185461,00.html carries the news of the death of André Gorz and his wife Dorine in a suicide pact. Gorz was a kind of Cassandra of the left: in the 1968 _Socialist Register_ he published a piece telling us that the great era of revolutions was over. Just a few months later he was ridiculed as May 68 unfolded. But he was right. In the early eighties he published _Farewell to the Working Class_. Absurd! we all thought, as the striking British miners seemed to reaffirm the transformative power of the industrial proletariat. He was righter than we were. And he started thinking about green issues when the rest of the left thought of all that as a petty-bourgeois indulgence. Again, he saw more clearly than most of us did.