- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 5, 2006

Shrinking artist

“Long before his death in 1973, Picasso had emerged in the public imagination as perhaps the creative artistic genius of the period. For many, Picasso was to art as Einstein was to science. Of course, not everyone was susceptible. … What seems clear from our vantage point thirty-odd years after Picasso’s death is that his reputation owed as much to the public intoxication as to his achievement. …

“The two words that best describe Picasso’s activities as an artist — as a man, too — are ‘cunning’ and ‘rage.’ From an early age, Picasso knew (in Gertrude Stein’s phrase) exactly how far to go in going too far. The astonishingly protean quality of Picasso’s work … bespeaks not only an abundance of creative elan but also a fundamental vacuum at the center of his art. … It is worth noting, I think, how much smaller Picasso’s achievement seems now than it did even a decade ago. In time, I predict, he will be seen primarily as a gifted caricaturist who also happened to be a thoroughly repulsive man.”

—Roger Kimball, writing on “God’s Gift to Man,” Aug. 28 in National Review Online at www.nationalreview.com

Plan B profits

“So what if minor girls can’t buy emergency contraceptives without a prescription?

“Their rapists can. …

“Why would men buy ECs?

“Ask Thailand, where ECs have been marketed for 20 years.

“In Thailand, ECs are advertised in men’s magazines.

“The Bangkok Post reported, ‘[Men] buy the pills for their girlfriends or wives … so that they don’t have to wear condoms and feel they’re at no risk of becoming a father afterwards.’ …

“Yes, we have here a real advancement for women — increased exposure to STDs. …

“Planned Parenthood struck a deal with Barr Pharmaceuticals in 2004 to purchase Plan B for ‘special pricing at $4.50 and $4.25, respectively,’ according to a confidential memo written by Planned Parenthood’s president of medical affairs, Vanessa Cullen, which was forced public during a court case.

“Planned Parenthood has been selling Plan B for $20-$30. …

“By its Plan B decision, the FDA has certainly ensured the increased health and safety of child sex predators, rapists, and male low-lifes.”

—Jill Stanek, writing on “Babes in Thailand: rapists needn’t leave U.S.,” Aug. 30 in WorldNetDaily at www.worldnetdaily.com

A past mistake

“There was a time, long ago, when Jimmy Carter was described as the ‘best former president,’ a judgment that rested largely on his reputation for building housing for the homeless. But every day Carter seems more and more like the former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, now the volunteer lawyer of such clients as Sendero Luminoso’s Abimael Guzman, Milosevic, and most recently Saddam. Carter, for his part, has blessed Hugo Chavez’s phony reelection.

“Not that Carter considers himself a marginal figure. ‘I think I represent the vast majority of Democrats in this country,’ he has said. ‘I think there is a substantial portion of American people that completely agree with me.’ It remains to be seen, however, whether Carter has any constituency outside the Lamont wing of the Democratic Party.

“Americans corrected one mistake when they evicted Carter from office in 1980. As the midterm elections near, one can only hope that they don’t make another.”

—Michael Radu, writing on “Classic Jimmy Carter,” Thursday in Front Page at www.frontpagemag.com

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