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Letter: Village of Red Hook has lost part of its soul – The Daily Freeman

Posted: July 4, 2020 at 4:52 pm

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Dear Editor,

George Bernard Shaw once said, "You use a glass mirror to see your face and use works of art to see your soul."

The village of Red Hook lost a piece of its soul with the removal of a mural painted by artists Gloria De Pietro and Andres San Millan 24 years ago. This was a blunder by a group of people whose brains were in a malfunctioning mode.

Their clumsy efforts have destroyed a work of art that can never be replaced. It's gone.

So what's next? The burning of books? The destruction of "decadent" art? Will we hear the shattering of glass? The ghosts of Nazi Germany must be dancing on their graves: "Heil" to the new order!

I feel sorry for Red Hook. Yes you can create another mural. You can destroy the Mona Lisa and replace it with a painting of Miss America. But in Red Hook, there will always be something missing.

To my fellow artists and friends in Red Hook, I extend my heartfelt sympathy.

C. Michael Bufi

Germantown, N.Y.

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Independence Day quotes to share with your loved ones on July 4 – Republic World – Republic World

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Fourth of July is marked as Independence Day of the United States of America. The day is a historic moment asThomas Jefferson, along with other members of theContinental Congress, drafted the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.The United States of America was established on paragonsof freedom, justice, and liberty, and each year on this day the nation takes a moment to reflect on those ideals and celebrate the countrys independence. Here are some patriotic and inspiring quotes on Independence Day; check out:

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"Liberty is the breath of life to nations." -George Bernard Shaw

In recognizing the humanity of our fellow beings, we pay ourselves the highest tribute.Thurgood Marshall

"You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, andsoldierswho file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism." -Erma Bombeck

"I believe in America because we have great dreams, and because we have the opportunity to make those dreams come true." -Wendell Willkie

My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. - Desmond Tutu

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"America is much more than a geographical fact. It is a political and moral fact -- the first community in which men set out in principle to institutionalize freedom, a responsible government, and human equality." -Adlai Stevenson

"Freedom is never granted. It is earned by each generation." - Hillary Clinton

"This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave." -Elmer Davis

"Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth." -Abraham Lincoln

"Freedom has its life in the hearts, the actions, the spirit of men and so it must be daily earned and refreshed - else like a flower cut from its life-giving roots, it will wither and die." -Dwight D. Eisenhower

"America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination, and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand." -Harry S. Truman

"The American Revolution was a beginning, not a consummation." -Woodrow Wilson

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"Liberty is always dangerous, but it is the safest thing we have." -Harry Emerson Fosdick

"I love my freedom. I love my America." -Jessi Lane Adams

"Then join hand in hand, brave Americans all! By uniting we stand, by dividing we fall." -John Dickinson

"If our country is worth dying forin time of warlet us resolve that it is truly worth living forin time of peace." -Hamilton Fish

"Where liberty dwells, there is my country." -Benjamin Franklin

"Independence now and forever!" -Daniel Webster

Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones weve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek. - Barack Obama

"From every mountainside, let freedom ring." -Martin Luther King Jr.

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4th of July Quotes: Here are some inspirational quotes by renowned authors to mark the day – Republic World – Republic World

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The United States of America was established on goals and ideals of freedom, justice, and liberty, and every 4thof July, the country takes a moment to ponder those values. It is imperative to think about the manners in which various group of individuals are granted various opportunities and freedom in this nation. So, lets read some inspirational quotes to commemorate 4th of July.

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In recognizing the humanity of our fellow beings, we pay ourselves the highest tribute.

Thurgood Marshall

My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together.

Desmond Tutu

Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly.

Langston Hughes

If there is no struggle, there is no progress.

The time is always right to do what is right.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.Frederick Douglass

If we accept and acquiesce in the face of discrimination, we accept the responsibility ourselves and allow those responsible to salve their conscience by believing that they have our acceptance and concurrence. We should, therefore, protest openly everything that smacks of discrimination or slander.

Mary McLeod Bethune

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Truth is powerful and it prevails.

Sojourner Truth

Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones weve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.

Barack Obama

Diversity is not about how we differ. Diversity is about embracing one anothers uniqueness.

Ola Joseph

Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.

Maya Angelou

That is the truly beautiful and encouraging aspect of freedom; no one struggles for it just for himself.

Fanny Lewald

"With freedom, books, flowers, and the moon, who could not be happy?"

Oscar Wilde

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"America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination, and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand."

Harry S. Truman

"One flag, one land, one heart, one hand, one nation forevermore!"

Oliver Wendell Holmes

Freedom is not won on the battlefields. The chance for freedom is won there. The final battle is won or lost in our hearts and minds.

Helen Gahagan Douglas

Freedom is fragile and must be protected. To sacrifice it, even as a temporary measure, is to betray it.

Germaine Greer

"Whoever walked behind anyone to freedom? If we can't go hand in hand, I don't want to go."

Hazel Scott

We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it.

William Faulkner

For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.

Nelson Mandela

"Liberty is the breath of life to nations."

George Bernard Shaw

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4th of July Quotes: Here are some inspirational quotes by renowned authors to mark the day - Republic World - Republic World

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An entire feature on sarcasm? Oh, yeah, thats a GREAT idea – Country Life

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Well, okay, actually it is. We asked Jonathan Self to write it and to pick out his favourite examples from history.

Have you noticed how nice everyone has become? We were already suffering from a surfeit of political correctness now, we cant even be critical. Organisations, businesses and people that previously came in for a good deal of adverse comment are to be praised, forgiven or, at the very least, tolerated. Take, for example, Prime Ministers Questions.

In the past, the combatants could be relied upon for ingenious insults, irony of the heaviest kind and outright rudeness. Recently, it has become more like a church meeting.

According to an aged relative, a similar thing happened during the Second World War. The thinking seems to be that, at a time of national emergency, we must all pull together and not waste time or energy attacking each other. Good manners are, of course, to be applauded, but it is important not to throw out the linguistic baby with the impolite bathwater. In particular, there is a very real risk of losing something at which our island nation has always excelled: the sarcastic riposte.

To give you a feel for how bad things are, researchers have found that French children can recognise sarcasm from the age of five and Canadian children as young as four are capable of saying, in a withering tone, Smooth move, Mom to their mothers when they make a mistake.

To be bested by the French, a nation that revels in derision, is one thing; but by the mild-mannered Canadians? If we arent careful, the only country in the world with lower standards of sarcasm will be North Korea, where, in response to large swathes of the population saying This is all Americas fault whenever anything went wrong, it has been officially banned since 2016.

Interestingly, Kim Jong-un isnt the only world leader to worry about the pernicious effects of sarcasm. An Israeli university received government funding to develop, without particular success, software capable of detecting sarcastic reviews of the perfect for insomniacs type on Amazon, presumably because some security department thought it might have other applications.

The US Secret Service has openly spent a small fortune trying to separate sarcastic jibes from genuine threats on social media. The latter actually inspired the writers of the TV programme The Simpsons. In one episode, a Prof Frink demonstrates his latest invention: a sarcasm detector. Sarcasm detector? Thats a really useful invention, says another character, causing it to explode.

Perhaps it isnt surprising that computers cant detect sarcasm, when one considers how many humans fail at the task. Apparently, the satirical magazine The Onion was deluged by letters of complaint when it announced President Obamas 2008 victory with the headline: Black Man Given Nations Worst Job.

The problem is that sarcasm is a sort of true falsehood. Its art lies in disguising hostility under cover of friendliness and in saying the opposite of what one really means. The dictionary defines it, somewhat weakly, as a form of verbal irony that is typically bitter and directed at a particular group.

The real clue to its power, however, lies in its origins, for the word itself actually comes from the Greek sarkasmos, meaning to tear flesh, bite lip in rage, sneer. For this reason, it is best employed on people with whom one has a close and trusting relationship. Indeed, its an excellent way of toning down criticism and of expressing disappointment. It serves many other useful purposes, too, not least making people laugh. As Brandon Sanderson said: The sad, sorry, terrible thing about sarcasm it is really funny.

It also has the ability to persuade people to alter their behaviour. Men have been laughed out of faults, Francis Hutcheson pointed out 300 years ago, which a sermon could not reform. According to scientists, sarcasm exercises the brain, encourages problem-solving skills and promotes creativity. Incidentally, an inability to recognise or deliver sarcastic quips is often an early indicator of brain disease.

These isles have a long and enviable tradition of sarcasm. Chaucer employed it and so did Shakespeare. Oscar Wilde, responsible for some of the best sarcastic putdowns of the 19th century, wrote plays full of memorable one-liners. The sweetly sarcastic exchange between Cecily and Gwendolen over afternoon tea in The Importance of Being Earnest is a sublime example of the art.

Nor have more modern British writers let us down. From Yes, Minister (Sir Humphrey: Yes, but now he wants to introduce his next idea. Sir Arnold:A minister withtwoideas?) to Harry Potter (Listening to the news! Again? Well, it changes every day, you see, said Harry), we have proved we have what it takes.

Even our footballers have done their bit: both Wayne Rooney and David Beckham have been sent off the pitch for sarcastic slow clapping when they disagreed with a referees decision.

Clearly, it is our patriotic duty to make sure that Britain continues to be laughed at on the world stage. Each of us must use sarcasm whenever the opportunity presents itself. However, a word of caution. Employed incorrectly, it can make one look something of a twit.

Terry Eagleton tells the story of a friend who was driving too fast in the west of Ireland when he was stopped by a policeman. What would you do, the officer asked him, leaning ominously into the drivers window, if you were to run into Mr Fog? The friend, annoyed by the officers patronising tone, replied with heavy sarcasm: Well, I guess Id put Mr Foot on Mr Brake. Whereupon the policeman looked at him strangely and growled: I said mist or fog.

Its been many years since I had such an exemplary vegetable Jane Austen

I like your opera. I think I will set it to music Ludwig van Beethoven

I think it would be a good idea Mahatma Gandhi, when asked: What do you think of Western civilisation?

I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a friendif you have one Bernard Shaw to Winston ChurchillCannot possibly attend first night; will attend second if there is one Churchills response

About half Pope John XXIII, when asked: How many people work in the Vatican?

The thing that impresses me most about America is the way parents obey their children Edward VIII

Shes the sort of woman who lives for others you can tell the others by their hunted expression C. S. Lewis

What were you expecting to see out of a Torquay hotel bedroom window? Sydney Opera House perhaps? The Hanging Gardens of Babylon? Herds of wildebeest sweeping majestically by? Basil Fawlty (as played by John Cleese) when a difficult guest complained about the view

He inherited some good instincts from his Quaker forebearers, but by diligent hard work, he overcame them James Reston on Richard Nixon

Not good at quick repartee? Try one of the phrases below. And if words fail you, just clap slowly, of course.

Jonathan Self picks out 10 of his favourite bad school reports of all time, and laments the fact that the

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An entire feature on sarcasm? Oh, yeah, thats a GREAT idea - Country Life

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Just a Thought | Law of the Harvest – The South Pasadenan

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By Rick Kraft

Who you are today is no accident. Where you are today is no accident. You are who you are and where you are because of choices you have made. It is the Law of the Harvest. You will not find the Law of the Harvest written into our federal laws. You will not find the Law of the Harvest written into our state or city laws. Yet the Law of the Harvest governs each of us.

It is the law addressed in the Bible in Galatians 6:7 where Paul wrote, A man reaps what he sows. It is the principle that if you plant an oak seed, you get an oak tree. If you plant a dandelion seed, you get a weed. This law applies not only positively, but also negatively.

You have got to be careful what you sow because a single seed doesnt bring just a single result, it usually brings a multiple harvest. We reap what we sow. Isnt that what our lives are all about, reaping and sowing?

You see, actions bring consequences. We are each the CEO of our own life. Our lives are a series of choices. We choose what we wear. We choose what we eat. We choose whether or not we read the newspaper. We choose to be involved in our community. We choose how much time we spend with our family.

We choose what we do with our free time. We choose whether or not we even have free time. Life is lived one choice at a time. The choices we each make when compiled together make up who we are. It is the Law of the Harvest.

In our early years, our life is determined mainly by our conditions. A baby does not choose his or her family. A young child does not choose what type of home environment he or she lives in. But as age increases, so do a persons options. Uncontrolled conditions become controllable choices.

Choices become habits. Habits become character. Character becomes destiny. But it all goes back to individual choices we make and what we choose to sow. William Jennings Bryan said, Destiny is no matter of chance. It is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.

George Bernard Shaw once stated, People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I dont believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they cant find them, make them. It is the Law of the Harvest.

I often time hear people complain that their life is in a rut. There is a sign up in Canada at the entry of an open field with undeveloped roads leading off in different directions. The sign reads, Choose your rut carefully. You will be in it for the next 20 miles. Isnt life that way sometimes? You look back and say to yourself, How did I get here? Some of us chose our paths many years ago. Regardless of the past, it is not too late to make a change if we truly desire one.

If your life is monotonous, it is you, not the world, that is boring. We live in a great and exciting world! How much we choose to give or receive in this world determines what our own independent experience with life is. It is the Law of the Harvest.

What really bothers me are people who sit back and complain and gripe because something is not going their way when a simple change on their behalf would cure the problem.

Let me encourage you to do a self-assessment. Step back outside of yourself and take a global look at your life. Do you like what you see? What are you sowing? What are you reaping? If you keep doing what you are doing, you will keep getting what you are getting. It is the Law of the Harvest.

If you like what you are getting, be thankful and dont change a thing! If you dont like what you are getting, by all means make changes. Change something, change anything. But make a change in the choices that you make.

For example, if you do not get satisfaction out of going to work each day, first try to change your attitude. If that doesnt work, maybe you need to change your job or even your occupation. Life is too short for it to not be enjoyed.

We need to be proactive and not reactive. As Stephen Covey wrote, Being proactive is more than taking initiative. It is recognizing that we are responsible for our own choices and have the freedom to choose based on principles and values rather than on moods or conditions. Proactive people are agents of change and choose not to be victims, to be reactive, or to blame others.

Whatever you do, dont bring others down by your failure to make changes that are within your power. If you are unhappy in your job, it not only causes added stress in your life, it also drags down those around you and creates stress in their lives. A change results in a step up for both you and those around you.

My challenge to you is to recognize you are not where you are today by accident. You made an appointment to be where you are. Yet it is not too late to change your direction.

It is my hope that you make good choices and that you sow into each choice the actions to allow you to reap the harvest that comes from planting proper seeds.

May you make a difference and add value in the lives of others you interact with. And may you plant seeds for shade trees you may never be able to enjoy.

We each reap what we sow. It is the Law of the Harvest.

Just a thought

Rick Kraft, a South Pasadena High School graduate, is a syndicated columnist, a motivational speaker, a published author, and an attorney. To submit comments, contributions, or ideas, e-mail to

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If we’re being consistently woke about statues, Keynes must surely be the first of the Left to fall –

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The Telegraph reports that Gonville and Caius, one of Cambridges oldest colleges, intends to remove a memorial window dedicated to Sir Ronald Fisher, a former President of the college, because of his connections with eugenics.

This follows acts of vandalism around the college and a student petition.

Another right-wing racist to bite the dust, after Oxfords Oriel College council voted that Cecil Rhodes must fall? Perhaps. But just the other side of the Senate House, my old college Kings must surely be next in line. And for a much more famous figure of the last century, John Maynard Keynes.

I am not the biggest fan of Keyness economics, but theres no doubt that he is a major figure in the discipline. His promotion of government spending in recession is as influential on the left as it ever was, and we may expect to hear more of it as unemployment rises post-lockdown.

Perhaps as importantly, Keynes is still widely revered by many for his wider contributions to the nation: his work for the Treasury during the First World War, and his opposition to excessive demands for reparations after it; his contributions to developing the post- WWII multilateral institutions at Bretton Woods, and negotiating the American loan which saved Britain from bankruptcy in 1946; and his patronage of the arts (he was first Chairman of the Arts Council, Chairman of the Royal Opera House and founder of Cambridges Arts Theatre).

But this will count as nothing to todays iconoclasts. Keynes, like Fisher, believed in eugenics.

This late 19th/first half of the 20th century doctrine, inspired by a misreading of Darwin, insisted that some genetic groups are superior to others. To maintain the strength of the race, governments should promote a sort of selective breeding of the kind which improved dogs, cattle, sheep and other domesticated animals.

This could be done by encouraging superior genetic stock (perhaps through giving financial bounties to mothers) and discouraging inferior types from having children.

In the USA, this way of thinking led to the feeble-minded being sterilised; in Nazi Germany to their murder. It now seems to us now to be barbaric, crazy nonsense.

But not to many of our great-grandparents generation, and not to Keynes - who was no mere dabbler in eugenics. In 1914, he held that almost any measures seem to me to be justified in order to protect our standard of life from injury at the hands of more prolific races. Later in life, he served as Director of the Eugenics Society from 1937 to 1944.

So Keynes must be for the chop, then, by current standards. But he will not be alone. Many of the Lefts heroes will have to join him in the tumbrils.

William Beveridge, the architect of the Welfare State; Sidney and Beatrice Webb, the formidable advocates of trade unionism and admirers of the Soviet Union; H. G. Wells, the great science fiction writer, social critic and propagandist of the Left; George Bernard Shaw, Keir Hardie not to mention the editorial staff of the New Statesman (whose board was chaired by Keynes) and the Manchester Guardian. All were advocates of eugenics and associated racist ideas.

And dont forget pioneer feminists such as the Pankhursts and Millicent Fawcett (only recently honoured by a statue in Parliament Square which must now surely come down).

So a consistent application of wokeness to Britains past demands a cancelling not just of fusty old right-wingers such as Rhodes, Baden-Powell and Rudyard Kipling, but of virtually the entire pantheon of the British progressive left as well.

There is of course another choice: we could all grow up and college councils and other no-cost-to-them virtue-signallers could just concentrate on 21st century problems rather than trying ostentatiously to eradicate unsavoury aspects of Britains chequered history.

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Why Hungarys Viktor Orbn is the American rights favorite strongman –

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At dawn last Tuesday morning, the police took a man named Andrs from his home in northeastern Hungary. His alleged crime? Writing a Facebook post that called the countrys prime minister, Viktor Orbn, a dictator.

Andrs has a point. After winning Hungarys 2010 election, the prime minister systematically dismantled the countrys democracy undermining the basic fairness of elections, packing the courts with cronies, and taking control of more than 90 percent of the countrys media outlets. He has openly described his form of government as illiberal democracy, half of which is accurate.

Since the coronavirus, Orbns authoritarian tendencies have only grown more pronounced. His allies in parliament passed a new law giving him the power to rule by decree and creating a new crime, spreading a falsehood, punishable by up to five years in prison. The Hungarian government recently seized public funding that opposing political parties depend on; through an ally, they took financial control of one of the few remaining anti-Orbn media outlets. This month, the pro-democracy group Freedom House officially announced that it no longer considered Hungary a democracy.

Andrs was detained for hours for daring to criticize this authoritarian drift. The 64-year-old was ultimately released, but the polices official statement on the arrest noted that a malicious or ill-considered share on the internet could constitute a crime. Andrs, for one, got the message.

I told [the cops] their task had achieved its result and would probably shut me up, he told the news site 444.

Andrss arrest is an unusually naked display of what Hungary has become a cautionary tale for what a certain kind of right-wing populist will do when given unchecked political power. Yet among a certain segment of American conservatives, Orbn is not viewed as a warning.

Hes viewed as a role model.

Orbns fans in the West include notable writers at major conservative and right-leaning publications like National Review, the American Conservative, and the New York Post. Christopher Caldwell, a journalist widely respected on the right, wrote a lengthy feature praising the strongman as a leader blessed with almost every political gift.

Patrick Deneen, perhaps the most prominent conservative political theorist in America, traveled to Budapest to meet Orbn in his office, describing the Hungarian government as a model for American conservatives. Jordan Peterson, the Canadian psychologist and right-wing cultural icon, also made a pilgrimage to the prime ministers office.

Chris DeMuth, the former head of the American Enterprise Institute, interviewed Orbn onstage at a conference, praising the prime minister in opening remarks as not only a political but an intellectual leader. The event was organized by Yoram Hazony, an Israeli intellectual widely influential on the American right and another vocal Orbn fan.

The Hungarian government has actively cultivated support from such international conservatives. John OSullivan, an Anglo-American contributor to National Review, is currently based at the Danube Institute a think tank in Budapest that OSullivan admits receives funding from the Hungarian government.

Pro-Orbn Westerners tend to come from one of two overlapping camps in modern conservatism: religiously minded social conservatives (Deneen, for example) and conservative nationalists (Caldwell, Demuth).

Religious conservatives find Orbns social policies to be a breath of fresh air. Orbn has given significant state support to Hungarys churches, officially labeling his government a Christian democracy. He provided generous subsidies to families in an effort to get Hungarian women to stay at home and have more babies. He launched a legal assault on progressive social ideals, prohibiting the teaching of gender studies in Hungarian universities and banning transgender people from legally identifying as anything other than their biological sex at birth.

Conservative nationalists focus on the Hungarian approach to immigration and the European Union. During the 2015 migrant crisis, Orbn was the most prominent opponent of German Chancellor Angela Merkels open borders approach; he built a wall on Hungarys southern border with Serbia to keep refugees from entering. He has repeatedly denounced the influence the EU has on its member states, describing one of his governing aims as preserving Hungarys national character in the face of a globalist onslaught led by Brussels and philanthropist George Soros.

For Western conservatives of a religious and/or nationalist bent, Orbn is the leader they wish Donald Trump could be smart, politically savvy, and genuinely devoted to their ideals. Hungary is, for them, the equivalent of what Nordic countries are for the American left: proof of concept that their ideas could make the United States a better place.

Yet while the Nordic countries are among the worlds freest democracies, Hungary has fallen into a form of autocracy. This presents a problem for Hungarys Western apostles, as they do not see themselves as advocates of American authoritarianism. Their encomia to Orbn tend to either overlook his authoritarian tendencies or deny them altogether, claiming that biased Western reporters and NGOs are unfairly demonizing Budapest for its cultural and nationalist beliefs.

Hungarys leadership ... is more democratic than most of the countries that lecture Budapest about democracy, Catholic conservative Sohrab Ahmari writes in the New York Post. Hungarys leaders have had it with Western liberal condescension and tutelage.

In reality, its not the Orbn regime thats being persecuted: Its ordinary Hungarian citizens like Andrs. The Western defenders of Orbn are so preoccupied by the culture wars over gender and immigration that theyre overlooking who, exactly, theyve gotten in bed with.

Rod Dreher, a senior editor at the American Conservative, is one of a handful of influential Western writers courted by the Hungarian government. Hes met with Orbn and even had plans to take up a fellowship in Budapest before the coronavirus scrambled everyones lives.

While Dreher has a number of views that liberals find either kooky or reprehensible, hes a talented writer whos hugely influential on the religious and nationalist right. When I asked Dreher for the strongest possible version of the conservative case for Orbn, he sent me a series of lengthy and reflective notes on the subject.

I want to be clear that I dont want to be understood as approving of everything Orbn does, he told me. My approval of Orbn is general, not specific, in the same way that there are people who dont agree with everything Trump does, but who generally endorse him.

This general endorsement is rooted in a sense that the Hungarian leader challenges the liberal elite in a way few others do. In Drehers analysis, the dominant mode of thinking in the West is secular and liberal a political style that suffocates traditional religious observance and crushes specific national identities in favor of a homogenizing, cosmopolitan ideal.

He [Orbn] knew that in 2015, to allow all the Middle Eastern immigrants to settle in Hungary would have been surrendering a Hungarian future for the Hungarian people...and all the traditions and cultural memories they carry with them, Dreher told me. Broadly speaking, the ideology of globalism presumes that those traditions and those memories are obstacles to creating an ideal world. That they are problems to be solved rather than a heritage to be cherished.

This sense of persecution at the hands of secular globalist elites is at the center of the mindset held by Dreher and much of the modern intellectual right. The contemporary fusion of religious and nationalist ideas has created a unified field theory of global cultural politics, defined by a sense that cosmopolitan liberal forces are threatening the very survival of traditional Christian communities. This line of thinking animates many prominent Trump supporters and allies who are Christian conservatives, including Attorney General Bill Barr.

For people like Dreher, who has written that my politics are driven entirely by fear [of] the woke left, Orbn is Trumps more admirable twin. The American president is, as Dreher once argued, a small, ugly, godless and graceless man though one hed rather have in office than a progressive Democrat. The Hungarian leader, by contrast, is in his view both a true believer and a much more effective head of state.

What I see in Orbn is one of the few major politicians in the West who seems to understand the importance of Christianity, and the importance of culture, and who is willing to defend these things against a very rich and powerful international establishment, he tells me. I find myself saying of Orbn what I hear conservatives say when they explain why they instinctively love Trump: because he fights. The thing about Orbn is that unlike Trump, he fights, and he wins, and his victories are substantive.

What I find fascinating about Drehers take which largely typifies the pro-Orbn arguments among both religious conservatives and conservative nationalists is that the issue of democracy plays a secondary role in the conversation.

Dreher doesnt admire Orbns more authoritarian tendencies; indeed, he admits that the man has made mistakes, including in Andrss case. I have no doubt that Viktor Orban is not the philosopher-king of my Christian conservative dreams, he tells me.

But whatever his concerns about threats to basic democratic principles like freedom of the press and fair elections, they dont play a primary role in his thinking. His evaluation of Orbn centers culture war issues like immigration and religion in public life, an ideologically driven view that obscures the damning democratic deficit in Hungary.

In our exchange, Dreher compared his admiration for Orbn to the way Hungarian conservatives hes met admired Trump. When he told his Hungarian acquaintances that he liked what Trump stood for in theory, but had serious issues with the man himself and the way he governs, they were incredulous: Whats not to like about someone whos so willing to stick it to the globalist liberal elites?

They read Trump through Hungarian ideological categories, not American reality and it showed.

Maybe Im seeing Orbn in the same way my Hungarian interlocutors see Trump. ... If I lived in Hungary, perhaps I would find a lot to dislike in his everyday governance, Dreher told me. But he and other European politicians like him are speaking to needs, desires, and beliefs about religion, tradition, and national identity, that the center-right politicians have ignored.

Yet when it comes to modern Hungary, the authoritarian devil is truly in the everyday details.

Orbns effort to cultivate Western intellectuals funding their work, inviting them to meet with him as honored guests in Budapest, speaking at their glitzy conferences is part of a much more ambitious ideological campaign. He describes himself as the avatar of a new political model spreading across the West, which he terms illiberal democracy or Christian democracy.

Advocates of illiberal democracy, like Trump and European far-right parties, aim to protect and deepen the specificity of each European countrys religious and ethnic makeup Hungary for the Hungarians, France for the French, and Germany for the Germans. Orbn frames this goal in precisely the culture war terms people like Dreher find so appealing.

Liberal democracy is in favor of multiculturalism, while Christian democracy gives priority to Christian culture, he said in a 2018 speech. Liberal democracy is pro-immigration, while Christian democracy is anti-immigration.

This language is at once incendiary and misleading. The rejection of liberalism infuriates mainstream European and Western intellectuals, thus further convincing the right that Orbn is the enemy of their primary enemy. But by framing his struggle as a conflict between two subspecies of democracy between liberal and Christian democracy Orbn obscures the fact that his regime is not any kind of democracy at all.

This insistence on falsely referring to his authoritarian regime as a democracy is vital to both its domestic and international project.

Orbn and much of his inner circle are lawyers by training; they have used this expertise to set up a political system that looks very much like a democracy, with elections and a theoretically free press, but isnt one. This gives intellectually sympathetic Westerners some room for self-delusion. They can examine Hungary, a country whose cultural politics they admire, and see a place that looks on the surface like a functioning democracy.

When such observers travel to Budapest and see what looks like a democracy in action, it becomes easier to dismiss concerns about authoritarian drift from journalists, pro-democracy NGOs, and academic experts as mere cultural prejudice: the liberal elite smearing a right-leaning elected leader as an authoritarian because they dont like his cultural politics. Orbn isnt an authoritarian, in this view, but the avatar of what the silent majority of Americans and Europeans really want.

A staple of these arguments is to make the point that Orbns Fidesz party has won three consecutive elections.

One of the strange things about modern political rhetoric is that Viktor Orbn should so often be described as a threat to democracy, although his power had been won in free elections, Caldwell, the eminent conservative Europe reporter, writes in the Claremont Review of Books.

But after coming to power in 2010, Orbn rewrote Hungarys constitution and electoral rules to make it nigh impossible for the opposition to win power through elections. Tactics including extreme gerrymandering, rewriting campaign finance rules to give Fidesz a major leg up, appointing cronies to the countrys constitutional court and election bureaucracy, and seizing control of nearly all media outlets have combined to render elections functionally non-competitive.

The mechanisms of control here are so subtle (who outside of Hungary cares about staffing choices at its electoral administration?) that its easy for an intellectually sympathetic observer to dismiss them as overblown. In Caldwells Claremont piece, for example, he challenges concerns about press freedom by pointing to Lajos Simicska a media magnate and former Orbn right-hand man who turned on him in 2015 and campaigned against him in the 2018 election.

When Orbns friend Simicska broke with him, he used his newspaper Magyar Nemzet to attack Orbn in the most vulgar terms, comparing him to an ejaculation, Caldwell writes. Orbns powerful mandate, his two-thirds majority, gave him power to amend the countrys constitution at will. This was not the same thing as authoritarianism there arent a lot of reporters in Beijing likening Xi Jinping to an ejaculation.

There arent that many left in Hungary, either. After 2015, Orbn used his unfettered powers to demolish Simicskas business empire, cutting off government contracts not only for his old friends media holdings but also for his construction and advertising firms. Simicskas businesses shrank and his personal fortune declined; the 2018 electioneering was a last-ditch effort to challenge a system that he himself described as a dictatorship.

After Orbns unfairly won 2018 victory, Simicska told allies that it is clear that they [Fidesz] cannot be defeated through democratic elections. He shut down Magyar Nemzet; a government mouthpiece currently publishes under its name. Simicska eventually sold his entire media empire to a Fidesz ally, including the popular television station Hr TV which, after the sale, openly proclaimed it would adopting a pro-government line.

Today, Simicska lives in an isolated village in western Hungary. His only remaining business interest is an agricultural firm owned by his wife.

This is obviously not a story about democratic resilience in Hungary: Its an instructive tale in the precise and subtle ways Orbn uses political patronage and the powers of the state to maintain political control. The Hungarian government is a species of authoritarianism just a less coercive and more elusive version of its Chinese cousin.

Clearly, Hungary is not a democracy. But understanding why requires a nuanced understanding of the line between democracy and autocracy, Lucan Ahmad Way and Steven Levitsky, two leading academic experts on democracy, write in the Washington Post.

This subtlety is what allows his conservative fan club in the West to operate with a clean conscience. Its also what makes it so disturbing.

There are examples throughout history of people on both left and right blinding themselves to the faults of their ideological allies. The great British playwright George Bernard Shaw saw Josef Stalin as a shining example of Shaws own egalitarian values. Friedrich von Hayek, arguably the defining libertarian economist, defended Augusto Pinochets murderous dictatorship in Chile on grounds that the dictator was friendly to the free market.

Orbns crimes, of course, pale in comparison to Stalins or Pinochets. If such great thinkers in history can trick themselves into forgiving much more egregious assaults on human rights and democracy, its understandable that modern conservatives might fall prey to the same tendency to see the best in ideologically simpatico authoritarians.

But the fact that this tendency is understandable doesnt mean its excusable or without its own set of dangers.

In the United States, the Republican Party has shown a disturbing willingness to engage in Fidesz-like tactics to undermine the fairness of the political process. The two parties evolved independently, for their own domestic reasons, but seem to have converged on a similar willingness to undermine the fairness of elections behind the scenes.

Extreme gerrymandering, voter ID laws, purging nonvoters from the voting rolls, seizing power from duly elected Democratic governors, packing courts with partisan judges, creating a media propaganda network that its partisans consume to the exclusion of other sources all Republican approaches that, with some nouns changed, could easily describe Fideszs techniques for hollowing out from democracy from within.

In this respect, Hungary really is a model for America. Its not a blueprint anyone is consciously aping, but proof that a ruthless party with less-than-majority support in the public can take durable control of political institutions while still successfully maintaining a democratic veneer.

Conservative intellectuals bear a special obligation to call attention to this dangerous process. Its always easier for writers and intellectuals to criticize the opposing side precisely because its less effectual: Your targets already dont pay attention to you, and your audience already agrees with your critique. When your team is crossing lines, criticizing it is much more likely to ruffle feathers but also more likely to change minds.

The Hungary situation has been a trial in this regard, a way of assessing conservative intellectuals ability to perform this vital form of self-policing.

I find Orbans attack on trans rights and treatment of migrants reprehensible, but I dont expect those on the broader right to agree with me. I do, however, believe they ought to have a baseline commitment to democratic norms: a sense that disagreement itself is not illegitimate, and that governments that use their powers to crush their opponents can never be fundamentally admirable.

Yet thats not what has happened. Much of the conservative leadership cannot break out of their sense of victimhood; the world is a struggle between righteous conservatives and oppressive secular progressives. It does not compute, to them, that a traditionalist regime might actually be the one mistreating its opponents and attacking democracy; they come up with excuses for whatever Orbn is doing, offering misleading half-truths that at times literally echo government propaganda.

If these thinkers continue to insist that Hungary is just another democracy despite copious evidence to the contrary how can we expect them to call out the same, more embryonic process of authoritarianization happening at home? If American conservatives wont turn on a foreign countrys leadership after it crosses the line, what reason would we have to believe that theyd be capable of doing the same thing when the stakes for them are higher and the enemies more deeply hated?

The admiration for Orbn has convinced me that, no matter how far down the Fidesz path the GOP goes, many conservative intellectuals will use the same culture war uber alles logic to justify its trampling over American democracy.

Hungary is a test for these American thinkers. And they flunked it.

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May 21st, 2020 at 2:46 pm

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3 Quirky nights out in Dublin that you won’t forget – Meanwhile in Ireland

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Whether you are meeting up with a group of friends or looking forward to a night out with your significant other, the question of where to go and what to do can be a tricky one.

These days, the entertainment and leisure industry is a huge one, and there is no shortage of choice. Yet the pubs, clubs and restaurants can all start to look a little similar and formulaic.

Dublin is a city that is famed for its nightlife and Irish hospitality. But there is also nowhere better to be if you crave a night out that is truly out of the ordinary and will provide memories to last a lifetime.

Here are three quirky venues in the city that are like nowhere else on earth.

If you thought a night at the bingo was reserved for old ladies with blue rinses, prepare to have your preconceptions blown away.

The online age has brought new life to bingo Ireland and introduced it to a vibrant, younger audience. But if you want to play the game in the real world, there can be no better venue than Dublins most famous gay bar on a Sunday night.

Hosted by the most famous drag queen of them all, Bingo with Shirley Temple Bar has become a weekend institution that has been running since the late 90s.

Its a unique mix of bingo and cabaret, and the fact that its still standing room only after more than 1,000 shows should tell you all you need to know. The George is on South Great Georges Street at the Dame Street end, and the show starts at 9:30PM every Sunday night.

Address:South Great Georges Street South Great Georges Street, Dublin 2, D02 R220, Ireland

Looking for something a little more sedate? The Vintage Cocktail Club is a speakeasy-style bar hidden away on Crown Alley in Templebar.

Finding the place is all part of the adventure look for the black door with the VCC sticker above it.

Once inside, you are transported back in time, and the bizarre names of the house cocktails only add to the otherworldly experience of the place.

Its the perfect spot for an intimate table for two but if you are planning on visiting on a Friday or Saturday evening, book in advance to avoid disappointment.

Address:15 Crown Alley, Temple Bar, Dublin, D02 E229, Ireland

Dublin has plenty of excellent bars to choose from. But only one of them boasts movie nights, great homemade pizza and a big blue double-decker bus. The Bernard Shaw is quirkiness personified, and the perfect antidote to the chain bars that are taking over so many cities.

It might be a case of catching the bus while you can, however, as its future has been thrown into doubt by the local planning authority.

Residents have sought to have the beer garden, including the bus, permanently closed, while operator Bodytonic has vowed to resubmit plans in a bid to keep this unique venue in operation.

Address:11-12 Richmond St South, Saint Kevins, Dublin 2, Ireland

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3 Quirky nights out in Dublin that you won't forget - Meanwhile in Ireland

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May 21st, 2020 at 2:46 pm

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Bernard Shaw (journalist) – Wikipedia

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Bernard Shaw (born May 22, 1940) is a retired American journalist and former lead news anchor for CNN from 1980 until his retirement in March 2001.

Shaw was born in Chicago, Illinois and attended the University of Illinois at Chicago from 1963 to 1968. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps, including stints in Hawaii and at Marine Corps Air Station, Cherry Point, North Carolina, where in 1962 he was a "Message Center" specialist, achieving the rank of Corporal, E-4. He exhibited a passionate interest in the print media, clipping articles from newspapers, and often traveled on weekends to Washington, D.C. He cultivated an acquaintance with Walter Cronkite and had an interest in baseball.[1][2]

Shaw began his broadcasting career as an anchor and reporter for WNUS in Chicago. He then worked as a reporter for the Westinghouse Broadcasting Company in Chicago, moving later to Washington as the White House correspondent. He worked as a correspondent in the Washington Bureau of CBS News from 1971 to 1977. In 1977, he moved to ABC News as Latin American correspondent and bureau chief before becoming the Capitol Hill Senior Correspondent. He left ABC in 1980 to move to CNN as co-anchor of its PrimeNews broadcast, anchoring from Washington, D.C..

Shaw is widely known for the question he posed to Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Michael Dukakis at his second Presidential debate with George H. W. Bush during the 1988 election, which Shaw was moderating. Knowing that Dukakis opposed the death penalty, Shaw asked him if he would support an irrevocable death penalty for a man who hypothetically raped and murdered Dukakis's wife. Dukakis responded that he would not; critics felt he framed his response too legalistically and logically, and did not address it sufficiently on a personal level. Kitty Dukakis, among other public figures, found the question inflammatory and unwarranted at a presidential debate. Several journalists also on the panel with Shaw, including Ann Compton, Andrea Mitchell, and Margaret Garrard Warner, expressed an interest in leaving Dukakis's name out of the question.[3]

He is also remembered for his reporting on the 1991 Gulf War.[4] Reporting with CNN correspondents John Holliman and Peter Arnett from the Al-Rashid Hotel in Baghdad, he found shelter under a desk as he reported cruise missiles flying past his window. He also made frequent trips back and forth from the hotel's bomb shelter. While describing the situation in Baghdad, he famously stated "Clearly I've never been there, but this feels like we're in the center of hell."

He moderated the October 2000 vice-presidential debate between Dick Cheney and Joe Lieberman.

Shaw co-anchored CNN's Inside Politics from 1992 until he retired from CNN in 2001. He has still occasionally appeared on CNN, including in May 2005 when a plane flew into restricted air space in Washington, D.C. He also co-anchored Judy Woodruff's last broadcast on CNN in June 2005. Shaw noted that after 41 years in the business, given what he missed in his personal life, the cost was not worth it.[5]

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May 20th, 2020 at 4:45 am

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Bernard Shaw, Husband and Bodyguard of Patty Hearst, Dies …

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Bernard L. Shaw, a former San Francisco police officer who became the bodyguard and husband of Patricia Hearst, the heiress who was abducted in 1974 by a leftist guerrilla organization and then imprisoned for crimes she was accused of committing on its behalf, died on Dec. 17 at his home in Garrison, N.Y. He was 68.

The Hearst Corporation said he died after a long illness but did not specify the cause.

Mr. Shaw gained a kind of reflected celebrity through his association with Ms. Hearst, which the news media saw as an unlikely union of the upper and working classes.

They met in 1976 after she was released on bail pending an appeal of her conviction in a bank robbery, which was carried out with her help, prosecutors said by a radical group that called itself the Symbionese Liberation Army. Mr. Shaw was one of about 20 bodyguards hired by the Hearst family.

Ms. Hearst was 19 when she was kidnapped from her apartment in Berkeley, Calif., on Feb. 4, 1974. She said in a tape recording that April that she had willingly adopted their cause, but her lawyers later said her captors had physically and sexually abused her and brainwashed her into joining them.

Ms. Hearst was also accused of spraying a Los Angeles street with gunfire to help one of her kidnappers escape after he had robbed a sporting goods store. She was taken into custody more than a year after six Symbionese Liberation Army members were killed in a shootout with the Los Angeles police.

After the United States Supreme Court refused to hear her appeal, she was returned to prison, where Mr. Shaw visited her four times a week. His first marriage was dissolved in 1977. President Jimmy Carter commuted Ms. Hearsts sentence in 1979, and she and Mr. Shaw married in a brief but well-publicized Episcopal ceremony at a naval base in San Francisco Bay.

Bernard Lee Shaw was born in San Francisco on Sept. 3, 1945. He attended the University of San Francisco and served in the Army. He began working for the Hearst Corporation in 1983 and was Hearsts vice president for corporate security at his death.

Ms. Hearst, now Patricia Hearst Shaw, survives him, as do their two daughters, Gillian Hearst Simonds and Lydia Hearst-Shaw; two children from his previous marriage, Thomas and Heather Shaw; a sister, Joan Carmignani; and a granddaughter.

Ms. Hearst Shaw said her family had been pessimistic about her long-term chances of staying with Mr. Shaw. My parents gave us a Sears vacuum cleaner as a wedding present, she told Conan OBrien in 1996. They thought it wouldnt last.

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