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Political satire cartoon of Mexican border wall, with a segment with signage indicating that that small portion was funded through the elimination of the National Endowment for the Humanities

Via Paul Barford. I love that the cartoon alludes to phrasing commonly encountered on PBS shows, which Donald Trump would likewise like to see cut.

And I lament the fact that this cartoon, and its allusions, are necessary. Just as I lament the fact that the next section of the wall could carry similar signage about the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    Awesome! Government turning from cultural pollution to genuine public goods, like national defence from foreign enemies.

    • charlesburchfield
    • charlesburchfield
    • http://timebottle.weebly.com/ Beau Quilter

      “Cultural pollution”? No, the NEA didn’t fund Trump’s appearances on Access Hollywood.

      • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

        That was locker room talk by a guy who would become the current President. What the NEA and NEH do are far more insidious.

        • http://timebottle.weebly.com/ Beau Quilter

          Sure, Harding, there’s nothing insidious about a president who brags about grabbing women by their privates and conducting beauty pageants so he can walk in on undressed teenagers.

          Sponsoring Shakespeare or symphony performances in poor communities? Pure evil.

          • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

            There was nothing insidious about Trump’s words; they are all explicit and out in the open.

            Shakespeare and symphony performances are wasteful, but not insidious; it is other stuff I’m disgusted with.

          • http://timebottle.weebly.com/ Beau Quilter

            Sure, Harding. I’m sure the Donald told all the beauty pageant parents beforehand that he’d be stalking their daughters in the dressing room. Nothing insidious about that.

        • Nick G

          Scratch a “libertarian” and find a misogynist and racist. I’ve been in quite a few locker rooms, and I’ve never heard any man boast about sexually assaulting women.

          • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

            I’m not much of a libertarian, though I am far more so than most Americans. I have long accepted that some areas of human behavior, such as reproduction and public health, are part of the vital interests of the state and cannot be resolved by mere individuals.

  • Gary

    2015 Salary from NEA website:
    https://www.federalpay.org/employees/national-endowment-for-the-arts

    173
    EMPLOYEES
    $98,312.19
    AVERAGE SALARY
    $16.91M
    TOTAL SALARY

    Grants by State from NEA website:

    https://www.arts.gov/sites/default/files/fall-2016-grant-announcement-state-listing-revised3.pdf

    New York
    Number of Grants: 282 Total Dollar Amount: $7,974,500

    California
    Number of Grants: 162 Total Dollar Amount: $4,371,500

    Illinois
    Number of Grants: 48 Total Dollar Amount: $1,432,500

    Pennsylvania
    Number of Grants: 43 Total Dollar Amount: $1,047,500

    Ohio
    Number of Grants: 28 Total Dollar Amount: $682,000

    Arizona
    Number of Grants: 12 Total Dollar Amount: $185,000

    Indiana
    Number of Grants: 10 Total Dollar Amount: $165,000

    Hawaii
    Number of Grants: 7 Total Dollar Amount: $165,000

    West Virginia
    Number of Grants: 2 Total Dollar Amount: $25,000

    It would seem that the two states that would suffer the most in an NEA budget cut are New York and California. Perhaps the other states are full of deplorables, when it comes to art. And poor West Virginia. Coal miner kids have limited futures and limited art opportunities. Bean counters with average salaries of $98K per year seem to not know how to share the wealth.

  • Brandon Roberts

    ok this actually got a chuckle out of me

  • Gary

    Since I posted this before, but it keeps disappearing, I assume I have been blocked. So much for academic free speech.

    2015 Salary from NEA website:
    https://www.federalpay.org/employees/national-endowment-for-the-arts

    173
    EMPLOYEES
    $98,312.19
    AVERAGE SALARY
    $16.91M
    TOTAL SALARY

    Grants by State from NEA website:

    https://www.arts.gov/sites/default/files/fall-2016-grant-announcement-state-listing-revised3.pdf

    New York
    Number of Grants: 282 Total Dollar Amount: $7,974,500

    California
    Number of Grants: 162 Total Dollar Amount: $4,371,500

    Illinois
    Number of Grants: 48 Total Dollar Amount: $1,432,500

    Pennsylvania
    Number of Grants: 43 Total Dollar Amount: $1,047,500

    Ohio
    Number of Grants: 28 Total Dollar Amount: $682,000

    Arizona
    Number of Grants: 12 Total Dollar Amount: $185,000

    Indiana
    Number of Grants: 10 Total Dollar Amount: $165,000

    Hawaii
    Number of Grants: 7 Total Dollar Amount: $165,000

    West Virginia
    Number of Grants: 2 Total Dollar Amount: $25,000

    It would seem that the two states that would suffer the most in an NEA budget cut are New York and California. Perhaps the other states are full of deplorables, when it comes to art. And poor West Virginia. Coal miner kids have limited futures and limited art opportunities. Bean counters with average salaries of $98K per year seem to not know how to share the wealth.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

      I saw the notification e-mail three times thus far. I am not sure why it is not displaying, but copying and pasting text like this will tend to activate spam filters, and so communicating this information in a different way might avoid that. But as you presumably know, despite your inappropriate comment that suggests otherwise, this is not a blog that engages in censorship.

      • Gary

        “But as you presumably know”..
        Yes. But being rejected twice seemed to indicate something different. Sorry about that. But to make a point, I don’t plan on typing pertinent information, when copy and paste does the job.

    • http://timebottle.weebly.com/ Beau Quilter

      It’s not clear what you’re arguing for:

      The numbers here are from one season (the fall) and these are often driven by the applications of state arts agencies and vary widely by the voluntary level of state participation and by season.

      For example, though you quote $20,00 as the total for WV in the fall, the total amount of grants to West Virginia in the spring was $697,600.

      https://www.arts.gov/sites/default/files/Spring_2016_State_City_Grant_List_FINAL_FINAL3.pdf

      If you feel that your state is under-represented, it’s because your state arts agency isn’t sponsoring as many projects, not because of some sort of imagined bias.

      Arguments to distribute funds equally across all states (regardless of the level of actual state participation) could certainly be entertained – but that’s not an argument to cut arts funding altogether.

      • Gary

        The point is that cuts are appropriate, or, as a minimum, management should find a way to distribute funds where they are needed. If not, replace management. It is quite evident that California and New York hardly need Federal funding to support Arts. States like West Virginia, Alabama, etc, certainly need more, especially in rural areas. They current procedures favor those states that have well-trained, and I might add, well paid, grant writer’s, which seem to be centered in states that already have plenty of Art capabilities. If that is not self-evident by the NEA data, then sorry. You are missing the obvious.

        • http://timebottle.weebly.com/ Beau Quilter

          Actually, the current procedures favor states that have well-organized and motivated state level arts agencies, which is how the NEA is organized to operate.

          In other words, the application process favors those who actually take the time and effort to apply.

          I’m not missing the obvious. I know exactly how the NEA operates; I’ve applied for (and received) grants from the NEA for theatre organizations in my state. I was a volunteer; I was paid exactly 0$ for my grant writing efforts.

          It is not at all clear how “cuts are appropriate”. You could argue for a different process for distributing funds; cutting funds does nothing to aid in that process.

          • Gary

            The current process is broken. A state having a set of well organized and motivated arts agencies probably already receives mucho funding from non-federal sources. They do not need more funding from the federal government. I don’t think it requires magic to reveal what states probably need more help than others. California and New York are not in that group. The fact that the bulk of the money goes to California and New York means that the $98K per year average worker at NEA have no idea what they are doing, except rubber stamping the “golden” written grant applications, and not coming up with innovative ideas to get money into the real areas of need. I would suggest these $98K per year employees get transferred (can’t be fired) to the Defense Department, were government waste is expected, and get some young, innovative managers, to start over again, and get the funds to rural areas in poor states.

          • Gary

            And I bet the new, young, potential NEA employees would be willing to work for half the salary of the old employees, to get funds to rural America.

          • http://timebottle.weebly.com/ Beau Quilter

            Riiiight. Because cutting a few salaries to 50,000 a year is going to divert millions of dollars to rural America.

            I diverted NEA funding to rural America for free. It wasn’t money that was required to divert those funds; it was people interested in actually spending time on arts projects at the state level. In fact, the vast majority of people actually using that money at the state level are volunteers.

          • http://timebottle.weebly.com/ Beau Quilter

            The NEA has a national scope and just because a funded arts group is based in a particular state does not mean that it only benefits that state.

            The NEA does not create art projects; it funds them. And it does so under the leadership of a National Arts Council made up of presidential appointees. If you want the NEA to actually create projects for every state and run them, you’d have to increase their personnel a hundredfold. Complaining about their salaries is a complaint about a tiny fraction of their budget.

            By all means, if you’d like new organization and distribution methods, the president has the power to change the leadership. Cutting the funding helps no one.

            But it’s up to the states to provide the leadership for such projects, and to make applications for programs designed to help their state.

      • Gary

        I know you will not appreciate the humor, but I would suggest a 90 day moratorium on NEA funding of grants, until new procedures are studied and implemented to get funds to rural America. The moratorium will only include the states of New York and California. I fully expect the states of New York and California to immediately file a law suit in the 9th Federal District Court. And guaranteed, they will find a judge to overturn the moratorium.

        From your web reference:

        For the Spring NEA budget grants,

        California
        Number of Grants: 157 Total Dollar Amount: $5,324,100

        New York
        Number of Grants: 264 Total Dollar Amount: $9,262,675

        I think the data speaks for itself.

        • http://timebottle.weebly.com/ Beau Quilter

          A little perspective:

          Population of New York – 19.75 million.
          Population of West Virginia – 1.85 million.

          Per capita NEA spending for the Spring in NY – $2.13
          Per capita NEA spending for the Spring in WV – $2.65

          Still, suggest caps or redistributions if you like (although New York and California created the models for state-level arts agencies.)

          Don’t cut the NEA.

          • Gary

            Per capita is the problem, not the solution. If not cut, redirect.

          • Gary

            But, unfortunately, both California and New York would go ballistic. Because – politics rules.

          • http://timebottle.weebly.com/ Beau Quilter

            California has 19 X the population of West Virginia; New York has 10 X the population of West Virginia. Per person, West Virginia gets more from the NEA than California and is not far behind New York.

            My guess is that the NEA worries far more about “poor West Virginia” than you do.

          • Gary

            “My guess is that the NEA worries far more about “poor West Virginia” than you do.”

            I highly doubt that.

          • http://timebottle.weebly.com/ Beau Quilter

            My bad, I shouldn’t judge your private concerns the way you did those at the NEA.

            But the NEA provided more arts funding per person in West Virginia this year than in California.

            California SHOULD “go ballistic” if the federal government cuts his funding by blindly comparing funding “per state” as you did rather than per person.

            Here are some meaningful facts about the way the NEA apportions its funding:

            https://www.arts.gov/sites/default/files/nea-quick-facts.pdf

          • http://timebottle.weebly.com/ Beau Quilter

            How is per capita a problem?

          • Gary

            Need, not per capita. Same reason we have the Electorial College. Per capita means California and New York dominates, at the expense of smaller, and poorer, states.

          • http://timebottle.weebly.com/ Beau Quilter

            No, the electoral college isn’t determined by need. It’s determined by number of representatives (roughly determined by population) and by the number of senators (two per state). Nothing to do with “need”. In the electoral college California and New York still dominate, because they have far more representatives.

            What on earth do you mean by “smaller, and poorer” states. The wealth of a state is not determined by it’s size! The state with the highest median income is Maryland!

          • Gary

            Try waving your hands more. NEA data speaks for itself. I think I am done with this subject. Have fun with status quo. However, be aware that mean, bad, crazy Trump, was elected for a reason. People are tired of status quo, business as usual, play political games. The future should be rather interesting. Assuming people can get over the whining of the politicians, both left and right. Status quo won’t make it anymore.

          • http://timebottle.weebly.com/ Beau Quilter

            Bless your heart, Gary, you seem to have this odd notion that equality means giving all fifty states exactly the same funding, whether they have 40 million people or 2 million people. Talk about hand-waving …

            Despite the fact that he lost the popular vote, the political game we call the electoral college managed to place as president a womanizing, lie-tweeting, incoherent, embarrassment of a president with the worst public approval rating of any president ever recorded.

          • Gary

            I can’t resist, though. You do know why Maryland has a high income? Not because of gentleman horse ranchers. It is a bedroom community for all the SES (Senior Executive Service) government employees, and their high paid contractor support personnel. Part of the status quo. The so-called “Swamp”, referred to by Trump. They are all living in Maryland, or up-scale Alexandria or Arlington, Va, because they don’t want to live in the ghetto of D.C.. That’s another reason that the SES management of NEA doesn’t give a hoot about West Virginia, or any of the hinterlands. Get ready for some fun. It will not be business as usual.

          • http://timebottle.weebly.com/ Beau Quilter

            Oh, this is hysterical, Gary …

            All these NEA employees making – what was it? – a bit under 100 K a year? – are soooooo rich compared to poor hard-working Americans like Donald Trump (3.7 Billion), and cabinet members like Wilbur Ross (2.5 Billion, largely from sub prime mortgages), Betsy DeVos (1.25 Billion from her Daddy-in-law), and Rex Tillerson (325 million from awarding himself hefty Exxon pay packages).

            Calling out a few NEA employees for their 98K salaries is a joke …

          • Gary

            You’ve got a long 4 years ahead of you. I hope your hate for Trump doesn’t get worse, or your head is going to explode. NEA funding is not exactly the premier issue on anyone’s docket.

          • http://timebottle.weebly.com/ Beau Quilter

            Four years or not, I doubt I’ll find any reason to dredge up admiration for men who abuse women and brag about it.

            As far as the NEA goes, I think I’m seeing your true colors now. You don’t really give a turd whether rural West Virginia communities get arts funding, do you?

          • Gary

            I don’t admire Trump. I want change. I would have been just as happy with Sanders (probably more, since he would be more of an isolationist regarding constant wars in the Middle East). However, I don’t hate any of them, including Clinton.

            Regarding my feelings on art for rural communities, I don’t quite understand how you can come to your conclusion about my feelings. But that’s OK. You are obviously over the edge on anything Trump related. I would say I am more upset by Federal funding going to states like California and New York, when other states seem to be receiving the “turd”. As if Santa Monica Museum of Art, USC, UCLA, La Jolla Music Society, Lincoln Center in NY, etc, can’t raise their own funds. I graduated from UCLA, and I am constantly bombarded by alumni funding requests. And I can guarantee you that these organizations have professional grant writers, at a high salary. The Federal Gravy Train should go to those that need the funds, not Lincoln Center, USC, or UCLA. I happened to notice a grant to Madison Square Garden in New York. There are too many stupid examples of tax payer money going to mega rich organizations. Their hands out, asking for money like they are poor, miserable beggars, but with the excuse they are doing something for “Art”. I think status quo needs to change.

          • Gary

            And along the lines of change, the rather stupid Democrats snatched defeat from the jaws of victory, by going with the status quo of Clinton, instead of trying change with Sanders. So maybe people should blame the Democrats for Trump, and quit complaining about their situation. Btw, I am registered independent, neither Democrat or Republican. And the independents actually elected Trump.

          • http://timebottle.weebly.com/ Beau Quilter

            What unfathomable logic. The democrats are not responsible for Trump. How idiotic! The people who voted for Trump are responsible for Trump!

            I’ve heard this weird line from a few Trump voters now, basically saying, “Yeah, I know I voted for an embarrassing candidate; see what you made me do!”

          • Gary

            If it was Sanders versus Trump, Sanders would have won.

          • http://timebottle.weebly.com/ Beau Quilter

            Doubtful (though I supported Sanders in the primary). But the Republican disfunction that lead to a Trump candidacy is stupefying. This takes “wining at all costs” to it most absurd logical extreme.

          • http://timebottle.weebly.com/ Beau Quilter

            Your last comment didn’t seem to indicate that you find NEA funding important at all; you don’t seem concerned that Trump is threatening to take it away.

            And you are still under this bizarre notion that California gets far more NEA funding than other states, when the reality is that – per capita (the measure that matters) – they get far less. At first I thought it was your bad math skills; now it can only be willful ignorance.

            When you see entities like Madison Square Garden and Lincoln Center cited – these are the locations (sometimes rented, sometimes dontated) where NEA projects take place, not the organizations, artists, and target audiences receiving the funding.

            University professors are often the individuals taking unpaid time to sponsor and develop NEA projects, sometimes with donated facilities on their campuses. That’s why universities are cited. It takes people like teachers and community organizers who have a vested interest in creating arts projects. They aren’t allowed to use your tuition dollars or alumni donations for such projects.

            I know how this works; I’ve volunteered the hours to do it.

          • Gary

            Sorry, but it doesn’t work that way. I knew a person that wrote grant applications as a profession, and it wasn’t a volunteer position. And, as I said before, need should be a requirement to receive Federal money. Per capita is a bogus measure, which is irrelevant, unless you are NEA trying to justify your procedures.

          • http://timebottle.weebly.com/ Beau Quilter

            Sorry, but it DOES work that way. I’ve done it myself. I volunteered for a Shakespeare festival in Texas and did all the grant-writing on my own. I’m aware that people write grants for a profession – and for those people, the real grant money is in the sciences, not the arts.

            Again, what on earth do you mean by “need”?! Because mindlessly comparing dollars “per state” doesn’t even remotely address need. If you ever took the time to read NEA grant requirements, however, you would see need addressed far more articulately than you have.

          • Gary

            As an example of need, I would be in favor of any art money that directly impacted school children. Money for artists to present directly in a classroom to children about art. Maybe in West Virginia…good place to start, not an elementary school in Santa Monica.

            As an example of what I would not support… Madison Square Park. I made a mistake previously, saying Madison Square Garden. To provide art statues in a Manhattan 5th Ave park, that has a conservancy CEO, board of directors consisting of major companies, who can ask their rich friends to volunteer to support their art, not beg the Federal government for money. Then their rich donors can take the tax rightoff. Just look at the number of grants to New York City proper, versus 2 or 3 within many other states, let alone cities. It doesn’t take a genius to identify need. And lack of need. If a city, or a park conservancy, wants a work of art, let them get private funding, or seek local tax money. At least with local tax money, the local officials are held accountable for the results through the ballot box. The NEA is untouchable, in terms of their decisions. And you can’t even fire them. And they must have a lot of support contractors, because you can’t have secretarial and administrative support (low salaried employees), and still maintain an AVERAGE salary base of $98K per year.

          • http://timebottle.weebly.com/ Beau Quilter

            Wow, Gary, how unique. You would be in favor of serving at risk school children, what the NEA has already been doing for years with far more expertise all over the U.S.

            And so sorry that you don’t like the statue in a New York City park, but what you don’t seem to get is that the NEA has, actually, spread funding to every state in the U.S., and if NYC seems to be getting a few more than some states, it might have something to do with the fact that the city has a population of 8.5 million, more than 4 times the populations of the 16 lowest-population U.S. states.

            You still don’t understand numbers.

            Of course, whatever weak musings you would “be in favor of” is rather moot, when our current president has plans to cut off arts programs entirely.

          • Gary

            ” a few more”… :-)
            “our current president has plans to cut off arts”… local is better than Federal tax funds – unless the state is poor.

            You’re acting like art will disappear if Federal funds are cut. Amusing.

          • http://timebottle.weebly.com/ Beau Quilter

            Yes, a few more … because some states didn’t even bother submitting applications for grants. But even if they didn’t apply for grants, they still got money for arts education, which you failed to include in your link. And that money was given to state-level arts agencies which exist in every single state, thanks to the efforts of the NEA.

            Though in your clueless imaginings of local funding, you seem not to realize that prior to the NEA there were virtually no state agencies or state support for the arts. The NEA is what made them possible, dedicating 40% of it’s budget to state arts agencies.

            If Federal funds for the Arts are cut, then the only funding that many individual states have for the arts will be cut. NOT Amusing.

          • Gary

            “But even if they didn’t apply for grants, they still got money for arts education”…

            One of your references had this,

            • “40 percent of the NEA’s grantmaking budget is awarded directly to the states through their state and regional arts agencies.”

            Actually, in my cluelessness, and in your infinite wisdom, I have not seen the breakdown of this 40% on any of the NEA pages. I will let you have the last word on this, since I think that is a piece of information that would indeed be useful to know. So, please provide what the breakdown is for the individual state agencies receiving the money. I await your infinite wisdom, so I may be enlightened. When I get that, I am done. It better not be based upon per capita, or your argument fails again.

          • http://timebottle.weebly.com/ Beau Quilter

            Why are you quoting the percentage of state support I already told you about?

            The demographics used by both the NEA and the state arts agencies it serves are based on need and a broad geographical reach. The number of people served in each project comes into play as well, despite your bizarre “better not be based upon per capita” nonsense.

            If you want more information, do your own homework.

        • jh

          Considering that NY and CA are blue states and receive less in federal funding than they send in via taxes, don’t you think they deserve to get more? Shouldn’t productive states get the benefit of keeping their earnings rather than wasting it on non-productive states?

          Why should they have to subsidize red welfare states that are too lazy to work and earn money?

          Conservatives always whine about how taxes are so mean to rich people. Maybe we should extend that analogy to states as well. Rich productive hard working states (mostly blue) shouldn’t have to be over-taxed just because they happen to be better at making money. This is discrimination against rich productive states. Why should they be punished for being successful and productive?

          (oh – and considering that the blue states are regularly demonized at not part of the real america, wouldn’t it be better if conservatives stop stealing blue state money? You can’t have it both ways. We can’t be family when you want money but then be treated like lepers because you don’t like our way of life.)

  • Brian Evans

    Next section made possible by eliminating Meals on Wheels.