John “Lee” Ruberry of Da Tech Guy’s Magnificent Seven.

By John Ruberry

Last week President Trump released his proposed fiscal 2018 budget. Not included in it was funding for the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The left, which dominates the arts, responded predictably, acting as if art itself was being attacked.

Sit down and breathe deeply. Close your eyes. Now relax. If the NEA and the NEH disappear–there will still be art. Even after eight years of economic dormancy under Barack Obama, the United States is still a fabulously wealthy nation with plenty of disposable income, some of which will of course be spent on the arts.

Do you feel better now? Good. I knew you would.

Art is everywhere. In fact it’s right in front of you now–my post at Da Tech Guy and all of the others here are artistic endeavors, albeit not funded by the federal government.

Yes, the NEA and the NEH, as far as I know, no longer funds exhibitions of Robert Mapplethorpe photographs showing genitalia of pre-pubescent girls or a display of Piss Christ, but this Great Society mutation of royal patronage of the arts–didn’t we fight a revolution against a king?–makes little cultural or economic sense, as George Will explains.

David Marcus, artistic director of a Brooklyn-based theater project and senior contributor to The Federalist, says the NEA produces “perverse market incentives” that explain why many arts institutions “are failing badly at reaching new audiences, and losing ground.”

“Many theater companies, even the country’s most ‘successful,’ get barely 50 percent of their revenue from ticket sales. Much of the rest comes from tax-deductible donations and direct government grants. This means that the real way to succeed as an arts organization is not to create a product that attracts new audiences, but to create a product that pleases those who dole out the free cash. The industry received more free money than it did a decade ago, and has fewer attendees.”

The arts community is incestuous, especially within its foundations and boardrooms. You scratch my Cubist back and I’ll massage your western yodeling feet. You’ve heard of crony capitalism. There is also crony arts.

As usual, I don’t have to look beyond my own grossly mismanaged state of Illinois–when we had budgets they made about as much sense as a Jackson Pollock painting–to find an example of cronyism in practice. The Illinois Arts Council Agency, which as you can tell by its name, is a state agency and it is a recipient of National Endowment for the Arts cash. It was founded in 1965, which not coincidentally, was when the NEA began. The chair of the Illinois Arts Council Agency is Shirley Madigan, the wife of state House Speaker and Illinois Democratic Party Boss Michael Madigan. Their daughter is Lisa Madigan, Illinois’ attorney general.

The Illinois Arts Council Agency boasts that nearly 100 percent of the state’s legislative districts receives some IACA funding. It’s all about spreading the wealth around. As for those legislative districts, the geographic contortion created by Michael Madigan’s gerrymandering just might be worthy enough to be put on display at the Art Institute of Chicago adjacent to those Pollock-esque state budgets, but that’s another matter.

The NEA and the NEH also operates under the same spread-the-favors-around–I mean wealth, mindset–which is why defenders of these groups cite federal funding for events such as the Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Nevada and the Hip Hop Initiative in North Carolina as justification for these agencies.

Blogger on a self-funded trip to the Vicksburg battlefield

The NEH provided funding for Ken Burns’ acclaimed 1990 Civil War documentary that was broadcast on PBS, which is another success boasted by supporters of the NEH. Oh, Trump’s budget wants to eliminate for that network as well as NPR. Have you seen Burns’ Civil War? It’s fabulous. But what of the money for sales of Ken Burns’ Civil War book, or the Civil War DVDs and CDs? Or Civil War digital downloads? How much does the federal government get from those sales?

How much does Ken Burns collect?

Sure, NEA and NEH funding is a very small piece of federal spending–$148 million is the expenditure for this year. But proper budgeting means saying “No” a lot. America is wealthy–but not infinitely so.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

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Well It’s been 20 hours since this first tweet from Ali:

Which was followed by this post by Stacy McCain

and Ace, The Daily Gator, American Power, Camp of the Saints, The Lonely Conservative, Twitchy, The Fellowship of the Perpetually Aggrieved, Instapundit, Evil Blogger Lady, The Conservative Hideout and others.

Well 20 hours is a lifetime in the 24 hour news cycle, so I decided to check ABC news to see if there were any results from the past 24 hours on the threats to Ali

Nope how about CBS News

Well what about NBC

Hey that’s not fair NBC news is under MSNBC let’s try there instead

CNN?

Surely PBS will have something

or not.

24 hour news cycle, what 24 hour news cycle?

Now I wouldn’t expect print media to have something published on this yet, but perhaps the paper of record has something on their website…

…then again maybe they won’t. Well Politico MUST have something, after all they are really known as an online paper and Ali is the head of the National Bloggers Club:

Now all of these sites are part of the MSM and “lean” left surely someone on the left must have something to say about the attempt of a Democrat Operatives to intimidate & silence a Black Political activist:

And this in a nutshell is the Modern left/Democrats, not much difference than the old Richard Russell Democrats where intimidation of a Black political activist and his family to keep him quiet was not only how things were done, but was not something the media talked about.

It also shows why, with respect to my friend Ace, his idea is for a day of silence is horrible!

The goal of the left is to silence us, to keep our voices to break through the media silence on issue after issue. It has been our success at this that has driven them to try to silence us.

So in order to protest the attempt to keep our voices silent, we are going to…do what they want?

Remember this is the same MSM that ignores the largest march in DC every year, it will be no trouble for them to pretend bloggers who challenge their narrative don’t exist. For them that’s the good old days.

I think a much better idea would be along the lines of “Every Blog About Brett Kimberlin day” where the story dominated Memeorandum to the point where it was impossible to go to Memeorandum without seeing it.

I think an even better plan idea would be 100 bloggers calling each of these media outlets, and then perhaps more local papers to see if they are going to cover it, I think calling the NAACP the congressional black caucus and seeking comment would be more effective. I think a headline at Memeorandum that says…

“NAACP silent on attempt to intimidate black political activist through family”

…just might draw a few eyeballs, then perhaps we can contact the British Press and see if THEY will cover it.

Update: Stacy McCain notes that Texas is not Maryland:

Maryland courts have been incredibly lenient with the Kimberlin/Rauhauser axis, but Ali assures me that Texas won’t take too kindly to the purposeful harassment of one of its law-abiding citizens. Ali’s mother has harmed no one, and whoever thought up this sick stunt might find themselves prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law — Texas law.

For some reason his post reminds me of this scene from Casablanca:

Update 2: I can’t stress this enough: All of these tactics are not signs of the strength of the left, it’s a sign of their weakness and desperation These are not things you do when you are winning. That means any counter to them should include this simple piece of advice:


Ride Right Through them, they’re demoralized as Hell!

Keep that in mind and we’ll be fine.

Update 3: A new target with the right response and more outrage

When I first saw the report of PBS’ selective editing of the president’s speech on Instapundit before my show I left the following comment at their site:

Is there a reason why the flub concerning Abe Lincoln is not included in this transcript?

Furthermore it has been alleged that comments concerning said omission are being deleted from this page.

Is that true and if so why?

It is a topic that I will be discussing on my radio show on WCRN this morning. I’m sure my listeners within our 50,000 watt range would be interested in the answers to both questions.

We talked about it on today’s show on WCRN and commented on the press’ relationship with the president.

Lo and behold I come home and the following is now up at the PBS site:

EDITOR’S NOTE: The original transcript provided on this page, as was noted, reflected the president’s remarks as prepared for delivery and released by the White House. This transcript has been updated to reflect the remarks as delivered and released by the White House.

Now I’m sure that other links made a bigger difference but it’s not a bad thing to have 50,000 watts of radio to back up your blog.

As I’ve written in the past the primary reason why the administration did not end the so-called “birther” controversy once and for all by the release of the President original birth certificate is because it was to their advantage to deflect and or discredit people who pursue it as not serious.

There was however an interesting side effect, it meant that this meme was underground to some degree, unchallenged and growing. So when Donald Trump, a person with sufficient celebrity that the media can’t ignore or break brought it up, it was able to feed on years of those unanswered questions that he spoke aloud and in plain language.

Trumps friends in the media at first expressed surprise, then regret then disdain, but as this clip from PBS indicates (via hot air), they now have fear.

Watch the full episode. See more Need To Know.

It is amazing, it’s the “There are no death panels but lets repeal them anyway” bit all over again. Not only does Meacham call for the repeal of the “Natural Born” clause, but he basically makes the same argument that Andrea Shea King did on the show a few weeks ago in terms of its meaning.

That he is making this argument to a PBS audience shows that this has gone beyond those who watch The View. Trump’s shots have become body blows that are lowing the president’s defenses and Public Television that has always been there to help defend the democrats who fund them are going to try to soften the blows.

Trump is not my choice for the nomination, he’s not even in my top 5, but he has done serious damage politically to President Obama and as long as he is in play he will continue to do so. As Rush Limbaugh has said, the media will tell you who they fear, right now they fear Trump.

No it isn’t the old Milton Bradley game (which was and IS excellent) but it is a PBS/MIT documentary about the Anglo Dutch Wars (well the 2nd and 3rd anyway)and some of the key battles of them.

As one of my heroes is Michael De Ruyter my accidental finding of this show was simply wonderful.

I can’t recommend it enough for anyone who enjoys history in general and the history of fighting sail in particular. This is a period of history very much ignored in the US. Check your PBS listings and don’t ignore this one.

PBS’ Broadside, catch it!