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November 14, 2011



Bit embarrassing after you've been a huge success while others starved.

Are you saying he was a 1 percenter, Ralph L?


That Toobin story is superb. I think it was designed to refocus lib attention while Clarence and Virginia were still to be found on the plains and before any final assault starts.

I think I know where Thomas' 10th amendment case can be found. In my mind the ed policies the feds are pushing and funding and coordinating with the foundations to push, as they are actually designed to be implemented, completely shred the First Amendment protections we are supposed to have.

I think Thomas' power comes from the extent to which he had to figure out who he was, what mattered to him, and why to get from where he started to where he is now. It is not a mantle he started wearing in prep school or college nor is it a facade. Who he is and what he believes was built from the ground up and that's a powerful force. That's the kind of individual who can stand up to a herd and actually start to turn it over time.

Thomas is an Isabel Paterson Individual with a capital "I". He knows it and why it matters. Toobin knows it too and how hard the Left has worked for decades to destroy the concept of the individual and its God-given rights to autonomy and liberty.

And yes I have been thinking a lot about this all recently.

Captain Hate

More impressive than Mona Lisa imo is going to the chateaus in the Loire valley and finding out that Da Vinci stayed at most of them and just seeing the breadth of what he accomplished in his lifetime. It's hard to believe he ever slept.


I dunno, JMH, no doubt the Mona Lisa is overhyped, but if I go into a roomful of great paintings in a museum, and there's one Rembrandt, it just jumps out at me. Especially if it's from later in his life.



Technically, it's Lady with an ermine, but as the subject was only 1 when this was painted...

JM Hanes

Well, since there are new news threads: Chacun à son goût!

Girl Pearl 1


Girl Pearl 3

JM Hanes

Shoot, might as well:

Girl Pearl 2


*16* (not 1).

Yes, I, too, prefer Vermeer. Do you suppose he really used a camera obscura? Some years ago the National Gallery put together an exhibit of his work. It was utterly mobbed from the day it opened but we managed to get thru and it was fantastic.


JMH, I don't find the Mona Lisa to be all that, either. With Rembrandt, the subjects are not so attractive, but it's the paint on the canvas. Like Vermeer's, it glows. Have to see it in person, ideally in the least clinical museum setting possible.

That's why I love the Frick in NYC. Just a couple of Vermeers in the hallway. Just a couple of Holbeins on either side of the fireplace.

JM Hanes

Wouldn't surprise me a bit Clarice. Painters also used gridded viewing frames and all manner of things. My fav was the experiment in which a model was dressed up just like a figure in an El Greco painting, and was then photographed through an astigmatic lens. Et voilá, the painter's famous distorted proportions appeared.

El Greco St. Jerome

That's not the painting they used, but it had the advantage of showing up near the top of my Google results!


I'd rather suppose Modigliani was astigmatic , too.


Rick Ballard astutely mentioned "Kelo" yesterday, JMHanes and others mentioned Thomas; I'll add a third name that ties them all together -- Kennedy. Kennedy was part of the majority in the abomination in Kelo. I think all current Justices are comfortable where they came out in Bush v Gore, squishy liberals Breyer and Souter knew the Fla SC HAD to be reversed on Equal protection grounds, they would have uselessly kept voting but they voted 7-2 to reverse. No, the 21st Century decision that is regretted by Kennedy (and maybe even Breyer) is KELO!! Kelo was such an abusive big business/big government crony deal, that wound up so badly for the little gal Suzette(?) Kelo and the rest of New London taxpayers, I don't think Kennedy will go along for that big government pushing around the citizen again. Roberts and Kennedy may be even able to persuade Breyer to concur with his own platitude filled opinion.

JM Hanes


I love the Frick too. I once paced off the size of the rooms, because the spaces intrigued me, or something. The guards certainly perked up!

The only truly superb museum I've ever been in was the Kimball in Fort Worth. Louis Kahn's work has always seemed rather graceless to me, but when you walk into that building, the architecture itself is subsumed by the art. The manipulation of natural and artificial light, was pitch perfect. They must have had a first rate curator too, of course, but it was as if the paintings et al had placed themselves.


As for didactic art displays i love the Van Gogh museum--tiny as it is--because you can clearly see the evolution of his work. The most magnificent show I ever saw was the Matisse at the National Gallery for the same reason--It is something to see an entire wall of the same scene painted over and over and over until the artist has achieved perfection.

JM Hanes


Do you know if oral arguments are available in real time? I expect the audience for these cases will be as huge as the potential long term consequences.

Has Kennedy come out and actually expressed regret over Kelo? If so, I would really love to know the what/when/where details. You don't by any chance have a bookmark or two handy? I've gotten google eyes from all the searches I've been doing the last few days.

JM Hanes

My biggest disappointment was the Monet haystacks at the Boston Museum. The fact that they were so poorly lit didn't help, but the gloom was wildly exacerbated by the fact that I had just seen the series in an art history class. The light from the projector shining through the transparencies onto the screen gave them a luminescence that no paint on any canvas could ever achieve.

Sometimes it's hard to resist fiddling with the "originals," which is sooo easy these days. I almost adjusted the brightness & contrast of the Rembrandt grrl w. pearl to make her appear on a darker background for comparison with the Vermeer. I restrained myself, though, and only corrected slightly for the washed out original I downloaded. I did a lot of "correcting" on all the photographer's black and white pix of my daughter's wedding. Don't know how the pro who took them would feel about that, but I figured that there's a lot a variation in printing out digital images anyway....

I think one of the worst museums for the art it houses is I.M. Pei's gorgeous East Wing. The central space is like a re-imagined Grand Central Station, with everybody in continuous transit. It's absolutely breathtaking architecture outside and in, but you could take the Calder and the Miro away and hardly notice the difference. The rest of the museum spaces are the same suffocating bureaucratic boxes that seem like they're designed to make you forget what you've seen from one room to the next.



I had that effect on the security guards in the American wing of the Met. They were intrigued at the idea of someone alone studying the pieces. It's a shame they spend their days around pieces they have never learned to appreciate. If it's still there, one of the carved in marble donors at the entrance is Claus and Sunny Von Bulow.

Yes I would like to see that on Kelo as well. Von Mises refers to govt as agents of coercion and compulsion. SCOTUS should have more respect about allowing the abrogation of the express terms of the Constitution.


JMH, go to Amsterdam and walk through Rembrandt's house, looking at his etchings.

They sold photoetching copies for what was then 20 guilders. I have three hanging in my living room.

Beauty, economy, and grace.


Yes, Pei's wing is really a celebration of architecture, isn't it?

Another glorious exhibit was the brief Barnes exhibit display when he museum so needed money it got permission to void the will and allow the painting to be seen outside of the out of the way poorly lit tomb Barnes created for them..Many glorious impressionists never before really seen in public.

JM Hanes

Have you seem The Art of the Steal? It's a fascinating little film about all the machinations which allowed a whole host of self-serving pols and philanthropic behemoths to deep six Barnes entirely and lay claim to his legacy for Philadelphia. A lot of familiar players! You can watch it on your own tube, if you're hooked up to NetFlix.

Manuel Transmission

Catching up, I can only add to the Dutch Masters discussion that when I first made it to Amsterdam about 15 years ago, it was in late November and we immediately recognized the light from the low angle sun. We had always assumed some artistic license adding to the beauty of the light expressed in the paintings when in reality, they had the gift of nature giving them that natural light to work with. I've never seen anything quite like it anywhere else.


Back on topic for a moment, I think the AP is less sure than they were in 2009 that the SC will agree that Obamacare is obviously constitutional, judging by the article they titled, Those Grapes Were Sour Anyway.

I mean, Justices Unlikely to Have Last Word on Health Care.

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