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Spirit of America

From the Scrapbook.

Jan 4, 2010, Vol. 15, No. 16
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Lynas continues: "Sudan behaves at the talks as a puppet of China; one of a number of countries that relieve the Chinese delegation of having to fight its battles in open sessions. .  .  . China gutted the deal behind the scenes, and then left its proxies to savage it in public."

The Guardian's contributor is violating a taboo, of course, as he acknowledges: "[Climate] campaign groups never blame developing countries for failure; this is an iron rule that is never broken." Indeed, if THE SCRAPBOOK may resurrect a phrase, "they always blame America first."

'National Affairs,' Number 2

Feeling bereft when you've finished the latest issue of THE WEEKLY STANDARD? Need something else stimulating to read? THE SCRAPBOOK has just the thing for you.

The new quarterly journal National Affairs, edited by SCRAPBOOK friend and WEEKLY STANDARD contributor Yuval Levin (see his article with James C. Capretta on page 9 of this issue), debuted last September with a spectacular initial issue. That's now been followed by--dare we say--an even better second issue. Read James Q. Wilson on blame and responsibility in our criminal justice system; Nicole Gelinas on pro-market regulation of our financial industry ("Too Big Not To Fail"); Diana Schaub on baseball and the American spirit; Jim Manzi on how to balance social cohesion and economic innovation ("Keeping America's Edge"); Eric Cohen on "The Moral Realism of Irving Kristol"; and much more. To sample or to order, go to nationalaffairs.com. And enjoy.

Sentences We Didn't Finish

"There was a time, a decade ago, Patti Smith said, that she did not want to make a film about herself. 'To me the idea seems sort of conceited,' she said in an interview. 'I felt, even though I was 50 years old at the time, too young to do a documentary. I hadn't done enough work yet to merit a documentary.' It turns out that being followed around by a camera for more than a decade can help one overcome shyness. On Dec. 30, Ms. Smith's 63rd birthday, PBS will broadcast .  .  . " ("A Legend as Muse: Patti Smith Fills Role" New York Times, December 20).

Rudy Boschwitz, Art Critic

THE SCRAPBOOK was happy to hear from Rudy Boschwitz, former senator from Minnesota, and is pleased to pass on his comment on the art accompanying Michael Pakenham's review of the new book on U.S. Grant in our December 21 issue:

"As an admirer of President Grant, I think the new biography by Joan Waugh sounds wonderful. But I hope the artistic representation of Grant & Lee at Appomattox in THE WEEKLY STANDARD was not in the book. It showed Grant in polished boots and dress uniform. Actually he came in off the field in 'unpressed jacket and mud-spattered trousers' (McFeely, p. 219)--also described as 'scruffy army-blue clothing' (p. 216). Nor was it a good resemblance of Lee, a tall aristocrat who arrived in an immaculate uniform with a sword. Poor Lee. He looks kind of scrawny in your picture, with no sword in sight."