Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Cruising the Web

This is one of the most bizarre stories I've read in quite some time. Apparently, the CIA thought that it would be a key weapon in the Cold War for them to fund exhibits and promote American Abstract Expressionist artists.
Why did the CIA support them? Because in the propaganda war with the Soviet Union, this new artistic movement could be held up as proof of the creativity, the intellectual freedom, and the cultural power of the US. Russian art, strapped into the communist ideological straitjacket, could not compete.

The existence of this policy, rumoured and disputed for many years, has now been confirmed for the first time by former CIA officials. Unknown to the artists, the new American art was secretly promoted under a policy known as the "long leash" - arrangements similar in some ways to the indirect CIA backing of the journal Encounter, edited by Stephen Spender.
I can't even imagine the sort of thinking that thought this was a great idea and worth government funding. I like Glenn Reynolds' response"
WHAT DOES THAT SAY ABOUT HIPHOP TODAY? Modern Art Was ‘CIA Weapon.’
For those deluded people who think that Snowden is some king of civil liberties hero, James Geraghty reminds us of all that he leaked that had nothing at all to do with NSA collecting data on ordinary Americans. He was all about damaging American intelligence efforts, not just about revealing secrets about NSA interfering with Americans' privacy.

Even the New York Times is reconsidering the ways that schools across the country are practicing "zero tolerance" discipline against students for minor offenses. Add in disciplinary actions for imaginary violence, and there is no way to consider that school officials have any grasp on what to do to maintain discipline in their schools.

Ross Douthat explains why Mayor Bill de Blasio won't be able to achieve his sweeping proposals. That is because he can't fund those reforms without going beyond simply taxing the extremely rich. That won't net him enough money and so he'd have to go down to taxing the middle class and he needs their support.

Tevi Troy assesses Michael Bloomberg's mayoralty - some good policies and some bad. After four years of de Blasio, expect these 12 years to seem like the golden age.

IBD lists some depressing trends that Americans are going to have to get used to.

Peter Suderman reassures conservatives that Obamacare won't lead to a single-payer health care system.

The next big shock we can expect from Obamacare is a huge increase in everyone's health care premiums.

Looking at the "10 biggest winners of 2013" is mostly depressing.

Kimberley Strassel explains how Obama's administration has been all about picking winners and losers.
This past year will be remembered for many things, but let 2013 be hailed mainly for this: It was the year that the genius of George Orwell's "Animal Farm" became clear in America. Efforts to centralize control in the name of "fairness" have led to a society that is ever more at the mercy of a federal power—one that decides who does and does not succeed. The winners are favored special interests, political cronies and wealthy lobbyists. The losers are everyone else.

Do Democrats really want to, as they claim, fix Obamacare?

Cal Thomas recommends that it is about time that we hold the left accountable for its ideology has wrought.

Just think - this is the classy guy that New York city could have had for their Comptroller.
Sleazy Eliot Spitzer turned a resort hot tub into a steamy love cauldron over the weekend — kissing and sucking the toes of his topless mistress, Lis Smith, in front of families with children, mortified witnesses told The Post.

Congratulations and best wishes to President George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush who are celebrating their 69th wedding anniversary today. They have the longest presidential marriage in history with John and Abigail Adams coming in second place with a 54-year marriage.

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