Thursday, January 17, 2008

Remembrance of embarrassments past

Just for fun, let’s recall some other embarrassing primary moments. Two obvious ones involved sitting presidents. In 1992, President Bush suffered the indignity of defeating commentator Pat Buchanan in New Hampshire by only a 52-37 margin. The fact that the early returns tended to favor Buchanan made the contest particularly disquieting for the president. And in 1968, President Johnson defeated Sen. Eugene McCarthy in New Hampshire by a margin of only 50-42, an experience that may have caused Johnson not to seek re-election. It should remembered, however, that Johnson’s name didn’t appear on the ballot – voters had to write him in.

After the Art Wars

To be sure, the NEA no longer provides direct grants to contemporary artists, and now supports them only indirectly, insulated by several layers of bureaucracy. But this further increases administrative costs and diminishes the percentage of the NEA budget that actually reaches performers and artists. A better solution would be a blanket decision to support no contemporary work whatsoever. Something like that was behind William F. Buckley, Jr.’s proposal in 1989 that no NEA funds go toward subsidizing “any putative work of art under 50 years old.” This, Buckley explained, “would distinguish the Rodins from the Mapplethorpes.”

Perhaps in 50 years we will come to recognize Mapplethorpe as a Rodin; perhaps not. In either case, the 50-year rule would permit the dust and clutter of current events to settle, and in the meantime enable the NEA better to steward America’s artistic patrimony by supporting museums, exhibitions, and performances of works validated by the cumulative consensus of time. This alone could help mend the breach between the American public and its arts community, not to mention the tragic and unnecessary division of Right and Left over what should properly be the legacy of us all.

Columbus 'gave Europe syphilis'

I think it's fascinating that if Native Americans get smallpox, they got it from Europeans, but if if Europeans get syphilis...well they got it from that evil exploiter of the New World Christopher Columbus.

By the way, it should be remembered that before the discovery of penicillin, syphilis was a very nasty disease-the AIDS of it's day.

The Case Against Hillary Clinton

One of my favorite writers, Christopher Hitchens weighs in.

What would it take to break this cheap little spell and make us wake up and inquire what on earth we are doing when we make the Clinton family drama—yet again—a central part of our own politics?

Photographic Deceptions.

Eddie Adams, the AP photographer who took it, later made this statement about it:

I won a Pulitzer Prize in 1969 for a photograph of one man shooting another…The general killed the Viet Cong; I killed the general with my camera. Still photographs are the most powerful weapon in the world. People believe them, but photographs do lie, even without manipulation. They are only half-truths. What the photograph didn’t say was, “What would you do if you were the general at that time and place on that hot day, and you caught the so-called bad guy after he blew away one, two or three American soldiers?” General Loan was what you would call a real warrior, admired by his troops. I’m not saying what he did was right, but you have to put yourself in his position.

The Ethical Treatment of Animals

With an extreme emphasis on Ethical…

That is supposed to be the core of Ingrid Newkirk's PETA organization isn't it?

The how come, in 2006 at their adoption facilities in Virginia, they murdered 97% of the animals given up for adoption and only found homes for twelve of them. That's right: PETA took in 3,061 animals, took the time to find homes for 12 of them and murdered 2,981 (no word on where the remaining animals went).

The truth is that it's an ugly, nasty organization.

Clinton Plays Flight Attendant

Every once and while...she's funny.

"Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen, and welcome aboard the maiden flight of Hil Force One," Clinton said over the plane's intercom as it taxied down the runway en route from Las Vegas to Reno, Nev.

"My name is Hillary and I am so pleased to have most of you on board," she said. "FAA regulations prohibit the use of any cell phones, Blackberries or wireless devices that may be used to transmit a negative story about me.

"In a few minutes, I am going to switch off the 'Fasten Your Seat Belt' sign. However, I've learned lately that things can get awfully bumpy when you least expect it—so you might want to keep those seat belts fastened.

"And in the event of an unexpected drop in poll numbers, this plane will be diverted to New Hampshire.

Bad Plates Fingered in Bridge Collapse.

I could have sworn it was the fault of the Bush-Hitler Regime. Oh well, I'm sure that the media will correct the story with as much vigor as they once pursued it.

via instapundit.

Advice for Mike Huckabee-Read your Bible.

The Huckster:
"And the same thing would be true of marriage. Marriage has historically, as long as there’s been human history, meant a man and a woman in a relationship for life. Once we change that definition, then where does it go from there?"

Christians and modern Jews do not approve of polygamy, but surely anyone who believes in the Bible has to acknowledge that it attests to the widespread existence of marriage between a man and multiple women. (Nor is Huckabee just saying "a man and a woman" as a slip for "heterosexual"; immediately after this, he goes on to distinguish "a man and three women.")