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February 22, 2017


Peter G

Why pick on the arts? It's an easy target. Not many conservatives in the arts community. Maybe if they'd done a staged production of Hee Haw highlights. It's not as if they are against art per se. It's that they think this is art:

Anne J

It seems that ever since the beginning of Queen Donald of Drama's reign of terror began, every government agency, every federally funded program that Republicans have been vowing to eliminate for years is being fiercely defended now that Republicans are in full control and making their grabs. Public education, the EPA, ACA, have all gained new appreciation now that people realize what they have when they're about to lose it. How much the Republicans actually will be able to take and what price they will end up paying for it, still remains to be seen, and I am not at all comfortable with making predictions. I can only express that Queen Donald's royal court will be done in by scandal, infighting and incompetence before they can do too much damage to the country, and cowardly self serving Republicans will be too concerned with saving their own asses to vote away all the good things their constituents are just now realizing they have. Only time will tell.

Anne J

They are so insistent on keeping"under God" in the pledge of allegiance, they completely ignore the "with liberty and justice for all" part.

Peter G

By the way I used this annotated version of McNaughton's work because if you hover your mouse over the figures in the picture you find some pretty funny comments.

Marc McKenzie

Of course they want to go after the arts.

As Al Giordano pointed out, artists--and the arts--are the first to step up and stand against authoritarians. And since the GOP has crossed that fucking Rubicon into the territory of authoritarianism, they must target anyone or anything that they think will pose a threat--the arts, minorities, women, the LGBT community.

But they will face pushback, and people will stand against them.


No, it's that they have a different definition of "all."

Patty S.

This discussion makes me think of my late father-in-law, who was an amazing man and a survivor of Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria. After his camp was liberated and he finally returned to Budapest, he was forced to live under communist control. In later years he said, and wrote in his memoirs, that he had more respect for the Nazis then for the communists. His reason for this was that at least the Nazis made no attempt to hide their contempt for the Jews and,to whatever extent they dared, the Jews were free to hate them back. The communists on the other hand, made you swallow their bullshit and you had to take it --with a smile on your face. The current defunding of the arts is perhaps akin to that communist approach; a proactive squelching of what PM calls "expanded consciousness." In my father-in-law's experience with the Nazis, there was no such back door approach; they hated you and you knew it.

David & Son of Duff

Why, in these modern times, does it take tax-payers' money (or MY money, as I fondly think of it) to fund the arts? That used to be the prerogative of rich men, and artists competed for their patronage. That way, the artists earned a living (or not!), the rich man basked in the reflected glory and the rest of us enjoyed (or not) the result. Now, we have much the same system except that the rich men use *our* money instead of theirs but, alas, the standard of the 'art' has sunk to new, abysmal levels.


Why is tax payer money squandered on protecting the Donald's adult spawn???

Anne J

I didn't realize the worthless limey piece of shit paid taxes to the U. S. Government. Of course it still doesn't get it, and I don't expect it to. Defending arts and humanities is about trying to stifle intellectual curiosity. It's about discouraging independent thought. Since the limey lap dog to the rich is so good at parroting right wing talking points, it's not hard to understand why it would say stupid shit all the time. I'm not mad at or offended by the worthless limey piece of shit for acting exactly like what I already think it is. But that doesn't mean I have to respect it. I will continue to treat it with every bit of contempt it deserves.


PMC is back with a vengeance! So satisfying.

Peter G

Maybe you should ask why you are paying for the art collections of rich men. This patronage system you describe is one of the oldest scams in existence. Reflected glory my ass. They promote artists to be sure. And buy their works. And inflate the value of these works. Then they donate the lesser pieces to museums and such while claiming large tax deductions. Which pay for the pieces they keep in their personal collections. But you know where the government gets the money they didn't get from the rich art "collector". Why that would be you.


It's not just the Arts that are in jeopardy. The NEH funds a lot of basic science, as well as many programs designed to build critical library and information storage capacity in many disciplines. I'm not an artist by any definition, but I have been the recipient of an NEH funded grant to develop a national-scale, GIS-enabled, bilingual (Arabic and English) database of archaeological sites in Iraq. The project benefited the State Board of Antiquities and Heritage of Iraq and the Baghdad Museum, greatly enhancing their ability to track damage to sites from looting and conflict. The grant was a cost-sharing arrangement between the NEH and the World Monuments Fund, along with the Getty Conservation Institute. So you see, many NGOs are involved in these efforts, but they greatly expand their effectiveness by partnerships with the NEH. This was an early (circa 2003) grant which has led, in a number of ways, to my current TerraWatchers mission with the American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR) to identify looting and other impacts to thousands of sites in the conflict zones of Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq. And that information is being relayed through ASOR to the FBI's Art Recovery Team, the U.S. Department of State, and Interpol because it will assist in the efforts to halt trafficking in illegal antiquities that help fund ISIS. See for more information about the current effort. See for something more general on the topic. And it all started with a small $100,000 NEH grant.

Peter G

You know what would be nice? If one could track the sale of these antiquities to the rich "art collectors" who are funding ISIS. It would probably not lead back to The Donald but I bet it would lead back to a few of his rich friends. Donald seems like more of a Sad Clown on black velvet kind of guy.

Anne J

I thought all of his paintings were of himself?


Supporting the arts is a true conservative - note the small "c" - belief system, because it IS about culture.

Of course, the modern Conservative / large C / right-wing, it's only about what they can destroy; it's only about power. "Country first" is long obsolete with this group.

Peter G

Yes. And they were on black velvet.


Educative ideas on corruption thanks for sharing.

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