There are reasons to set up no fly zones above Libya and those not to. There are reasons to provide weapons to rebels and reasons not to. There are reasons to blah, blah, blah.

All options should publicly ALWAYS remain on the table lest Gaddafi think “Aha! No worries from them then!”.

What I like to think is that our government is weighing everything ever so carefully and keeping up on all events with inside people on both sides.

What I would really hate to think is that because some columnist in the NYTimtes “feels” this one is different….that we should go in. ? Seriously. Nicholas D. Kristof:

I was a strong opponent of the Iraq war, but this feels different.

Go back, read that again.

Gee Mr. Kristof…..apparently Iraq really “felt different” to George W. and so he made a decision….you know, with actual information.

Friends are Three Sources also “feel differently” than does Mr. Kirstof in this instance. Me….I would keep the solid threat in place and put it to use if we started looking at genocide vs civil war. But that’s just what I “feel”.

Cowboy Poetry Continued

The Western Folklife Center Responds to all the attention they’ve been getting. Essentially, what I said yesterday is true. They’ll be fine without Federal money.
Please continue to pick on Harry Reid, but Cowboy Poetry does not deserve your scoffing!

See yesterday’s post if you don’t believe me.

To Our Members, Friends and Supporters:

Yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said that the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering would not exist were it not for the National Endowment for the Arts. Unfortunately, some media outlets have attempted to make the case that we are entirely funded by the Federal Government, which is not true. I want you to know that the Western Folklife Center receives only a minimal amount of funding from the NEA each year, typically less than 3% of our total organizational budget. And, more often than not, the grants are not for direct support of the Gathering, but for other projects of the Western Folklife Center. Funding for the Gathering comes primarily from ticket sales, which cover about 50% of the cost of the event, and the rest comes from local business support, individual donors and private foundations.

Reid was correct, however, in saying that the Gathering would not exist were it not for the NEA. The Cowboy Poetry Gathering came into existence 27 years ago because the NEA provided two small seed grants to the Western Folklife Center to first locate and identify cowboy poets throughout the West, and then to produce the first Gathering in 1985. Without that first assistance, the Gathering would not exist today. And Reid was also correct that without the Gathering, the local community of Elko, Nevada, would not benefit from what has become a $7 million annual impact on the local economy each year in the dead of winter. That is very good leverage for the small investment the NEA has made in us over the years.

We are very appreciative of all the funding we get; however, the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering continues to exist because of the incredible support of the people who care about this art form and about preserving the cultural traditions of the American West.

Thank you for your support!

Charlie Seemann
Executive Director
Western Folklife Center