Saturday, January 26, 2008

Saturday Reading

Hajji sent me this pic from Obamas' SC rally, looks like he got pretty close up to snap it.
I'm surprised he could get that close to the guy with security and all. Looks like a big crowd too.


W.H.D. Koerner, “A Charge to Keep” (1916)

BY Scott Horton
PUBLISHED January 24, 2008


George W. Bush is famous for his attachment to a painting which he acquired after becoming a “born again Christian.” It’s by W.H.D. Koerner and is entitled “A Charge to Keep.” Bush was so taken by it, that he took the painting’s name for his own official autobiography. And here’s what he says about it:

I thought I would share with you a recent bit of Texas history which epitomizes our mission. When you come into my office, please take a look at the beautiful painting of a horseman determinedly charging up what appears to be a steep and rough trail. This is us. What adds complete life to the painting for me is the message of Charles Wesley that we serve One greater than ourselves.

So in Bush’s view (or perhaps I should say, faith) the key figure, with whom he personally identifies, is a missionary spreading the word of the Methodist Christianity in the American West in the late nineteenth century.

Wilhelm Heinrich Dethlef K├Ârner (you see why he used initials, though he later Anglicized this as William Henry Dethlef Koerner) was born in Germany and immigrated to a small town in Iowa as a young tot. He made his way over time to Chicago and worked as an illustrator for the Chicago Tribune. He married Lillian Lusk, a well-know graphic artist in her own right, and moved to Battle Creek, Michigan, where he worked for Pilgrim Magazine. He and his wife scrimped and saved to finance a move to New York City. They were after more formal art training and to establish a position as artists in the heart of the publishing industry. They made it to New York in 1907, and they were very successful.

In fact, Koerner’s principal employer through the core of his career was Harper’s Magazine. Koerner published 55 feature illustrations in Harper’s, the first in 1910 and the last in 1925. You can view them here. Koerner was not exclusive to Harper’s, however, he also did important works for the Saturday Evening Post, McCall’s and Collier’s among other publications, and he did a brisk business for the book trade, again very heavily for Harpers Brothers, and he pioneered commercial illustration (Koerner did the first box artwork for C.W. Post’s Grapenuts, for instance). His serious work after 1907 focused heavily on the American West, and he clearly was one of the key “Golden Age” illustrators. His work is famous for dramatic images which for me are consonant with the age of Teddy Roosevelt—they suggest ruggedness, love for the outdoors, a strong sense of adventure and risk-taking. His paintings are packed with motion, and at times rather dramatic motion. I was not able to find much about Koerner and his sense of religion, through it is very clear that he did not engage in public displays of religious fervor and religious themes are absent entirely from his work.

So Bush’s description of “A Charge to Keep” struck me as very strange. In fact, I’d say highly improbable. Now, however, Jacob Weisberg has solved the mystery. He invested the time to track down the commission behind the art work and he gives us the full story in his forthcoming book on Bush, The Bush Tragedy:

[Bush] came to believe that the picture depicted the circuit-riders who spread Methodism across the Alleghenies in the nineteenth century. In other words, the cowboy who looked like Bush was a missionary of his own denomination.

Only that is not the title, message, or meaning of the painting. The artist, W.H.D. Koerner, executed it to illustrate a Western short story entitled “The Slipper Tongue,” published in The Saturday Evening Post in 1916. The story is about a smooth-talking horse thief who is caught, and then escapes a lynch mob in the Sand Hills of Nebraska. The illustration depicts the thief fleeing his captors. In the magazine, the illustration bears the caption: “Had His Start Been Fifteen Minutes Longer He Would Not Have Been Caught.”

Continue reading



micki said...


Now, make a wish!!!!!!!

DEN said...

Stupid chimp! Of course we knew that.

DEN said...

I'll second that!!

micki said...

William Henry Dethlef Koerner, titled "A Charge to Keep," (by Bush) depicts a hatless cowboy followed by two other riders galloping up a hill.

Their faces are intent as they pursue some quarry in the distance that cannot be seen by others. Or are they being chased?

"I love it," Bush said, further explaining his intimate feeling for the painting to reporters and editors of the Washington Times, a conservative newspaper.

He offered his interpretation: "He's a determined horseman, a very difficult trail. And you know at least two people are following him, and maybe a thousand." Bush added that the painting is "based" on an old hymn. "And the hymn talks about serving the Almighty. So it speaks to me personally." When he was governor of Texas and the painting hung in his office, Bush wrote a note of explanation to his staff: "This is us."

Another fairy tale.

micki said...

Climate change 'significantly worse' than feared: Al Gore

Published: Thursday January 24, 2008, AFN

Climate change is occurring far more rapidly than even the worst predictions of the UN's Nobel Prize-winning scientific panel on climate change, Al Gore said on Thursday.

Recent evidence shows "the climate crisis is significantly worse and unfolding more rapidly than those on the pessimistic side of the IPCC projections had warned us," climate campaigner and former US vice-president Gore said.

There are now forecasts that the North Pole ice caps may disappear entirely during summer months within five years, he told a gathering at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

In 2007, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a massive report the size of three phone books on the reality and risks of climate change, its 4th assessment in 18 years.

micki said...

When Obama wins big in South Carolina today, I hope he gets as many votes from whites as he does from blacks. At least that way, the chattering class won't be yammering ad nauseum about a racial divide, thereby making things worse.

DEN said...

HucKKKabee won't like it! HA!

Actually the real smear campaign will start if Obama gets the majority.

The stupids will rear their ugly heads agin.


Alan said...

Happy Birfday Carey !@#$%^&*

David B. Benson said...

Carey --- What Micki first said.

micki said...

Attention! Carey and Dr. B!

I was at the Farmers' Almanac website and saw a link to this:


Okay, one of you'd rather drink it. But the other one has the toenail problem. So I thought of both of you.

This might be a waste of good beer.

David B. Benson said...

This was enlightening reading:

The Moral Instinct

Mr. Commissioner said...

FCC Fines ABC for Indecency

WASHINGTON -- After a brief lull, the Federal Communications Commission recommenced its battle against provocative television shows late Friday, proposing a $1.43 million fine against the ABC and its affiliates for a February 2003 episode of "NYPD Blue."

The agency proposed the highest fine possible for the broadcast, which briefly showed the side and back of a naked woman getting into a shower.

"Although ABC argues, without citing any authority, that the buttocks are not a sexual organ, we reject this argument, which runs counter to both case law and common sense," the FCC said in its complaint.

David B. Benson said...

An immoral document:

A criminal idea

Pre-emptive nuclear war?

DEN said...

I wonder what the FCC would say if it was 'man butt' instead?

Pre-emptive Nuclear war proves there are still plenty of idiots out there with really stupid ideas, Lord save us from the morons!

DEN said...

Well Obama ran off with the SC primary with 50%.

GoBama! Edwards 20%? why so poorly?

micki said...

More about that nuclear criminal idea

micki said...

Edwards did poorly in S.C. because his campaign runs too far left for the tastes of the South.

C♥rol said...

I want someone so far to the left they're standing behind me. :)

DEN said...

Got in a ride today, saw Ron Paul yard signs and Rudy stickers, YIPES!

Odd combinations and listening to people talk, they really don't know shyt about any of them.

Edwards needs CA delegates or else.

I'm voting Edwards, maybe a lost cause the way things are going tho.

DEN said...

Bill's image, speaking live at an event in Missouri, came up on the screen at Obama's packed victory party in Columbia, and was met by loud, sustained boos.

Hot off Huffpo.

STFU Bill, and that won't happen.

micki said...

STFU Bill, and that won't happen.

Den -- whether Bill STFU or not, many of Obama's supporters hate, revile, despise, loathe, would spit on the Clintons, and his dead mother. Of course, there were boos. They've always hated the Clintons. There'd be boos if Bill Clinton hadn't uttered a word. (I'm not including blacks in that category of, it's the whites.)

Keep in mind that many of Obama's supporters will not support ANY Dem except him -- some of those Ron Paul yard signs you saw would be just as likely to support Obama, because they think both guys are all about change and ending the Iraq War.


micki said...

I want someone so far to the left they're standing behind me. :)

I *heart* Carol. Only I can't make that *heart* thingie. Wait....

I ♥ Carol.

I just realized I could copy and paste yours!

micki said...

Den -- don't give up on Edwards -- it's all about delegates. The *WINS* don't always amount to that much in the real world -- only in the world of the media hype.

Out of roughly 530,000 votes cast, Barack Obama took the majority, 55 percent. Hillary Clinton garnered 27 percent of the vote. John Edwards came away with in third place, with 18 percent.

These results mean that Obama will come away with 25 of S.C.'s delegates, while Clinton will have 12 and Edwards eight.

Nationally, the delegate count stands at Clinton 249, Obama 167, Edwards 58. 2,025 delegates are needed for victory.

All three are a long way away from 2,025!

Gerald said...

The South Carolina vote is self-evident that Obama will get the Black vote. Plain and simple!That should never come as a surprise.

Let me share with you a fact! A Black U. S. Congressman was convicted and sent to prison. He still ran for re-election and he won. Why he did not lose his seat in Congress, I do not know.

He was re-elected when the times were that to criticize a Black politician was politically incorrect.

So a double standard was present and it was present for many years and it may still be present.

Obama looks like he will get the nod for his party's nomination.

Gerald said...

Did Bill Clinton hurt his wife? Maybe! But I give him credit for taking his wife's side. Hillary did not start the swiftboating but she will be blamed.

The presidency, if we have an election, will be retained by the Nazi Party.

Obama may be elected if the powers that be want a fall guy to be in office when the depression takes hold. A depression would clear the books of our deficits and entitlement programs. This depression will be a very long one. I also see Nazi Americans begging the federal government to start continuous wars to put people back to work on weapons of mass destruction so that the depression can be shortened. Wars do shorten a depression. A perfect example is WW II. But this war will be started by Nazi America. It's going to get very ugly out there.

As my spiritual advisor said, the American people are in pain and suffering because they will not repent.

Nazi Americans will never repent because the cardinal sin of pride is rampant in Nazi America.

Gerald said...

Resistance to Violence Is the Only Human Way to Live

True! But, Nazi America is a culture of violence from day one, some 500 years ago.

Hajji said...

Y'know, I was gonna post something...but after this excremental drivel I'll try and hold it until a clean bowl presents itself..

Tomorrow's another day, if it is a day like today, it'll make the history books.