Is Donald Trump another Hillary Clinton?

After four months into Trump’s presidency, I cannot see any kind of “new beginning in the Hungary-USA relations”.

Today the State Department of the USA has issued yet another, rather brutal, press statement in defence of George Soros’ CEU university.

The United States again urges the Government of Hungary to suspend implementation of its amended higher education law, which places discriminatory, onerous requirements on U.S.-accredited institutions in Hungary and threatens academic freedom and independence.

The Government of Hungary should engage directly with affected institutions to find a resolution that allows them to continue to function freely and provide greater educational opportunity for the citizens of Hungary and the region.

The U.S. Government has no authority or intention to enter into negotiations on the operation of Central European University or other universities in Hungary.

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Well, if the U.S. Government, unlike every other government of the affected foreign universities in Hungary,  “has no authority or intention to enter into negotiations on the operation of Central European University or other universities in Hungary” then George Soros’ university will be closed. It’s simple as that.

No,  Heather Nauert , who signed the press release, is not a relic from the Obama administration. She was appointed a month ago and she used to work for Trump-friendly Fox News.

 

Update:  I’ve just seen the response from Hungary’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs:

The Hungarian government wants an agreement on CEU and we regret that there’s no support from the US administration for that.  Our negotiator, the Prime Minister’s emissary Kristóf Altusz has been waiting for an official reply from our American partner for more than three weeks. A press release is very far from being an official diplomatic response.  This is most regretful considering the fact Hungary and the USA made three agreements in education matters in the last few decades. Hungary respects academic freedom and nobody endangers the independence of universities. The Hungarian higher education law is not discriminatory and none of the affected foreign universities, or the ambassadors of the host countries, for example that of China or Malaysia, raised objections. Three of the affected USA universities also seem to be cooperative.

Darth Gattonegra

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It’s high time for a black kitty post

 

Case #401111651

Orbán’s response to the EU

As most of my readers will know, the hysteria about George Soros CEU university is still going on and PM Orbán visited Brussels this week twice.  Please listen to his Wednesday speech in the European Parliament here:

Unfortunately I don’t know about an English language video for  the press conference which Orbán gave in Brussels later on Wednesday.  I’d say that was pretty good indeed. 🙂
After EC president Jean-Claude Juncker had official talks (!) with George Soros in the building of the European Commission on Thursday, obviously to pull strings against Hungary, PM  Orbán attended the meeting  of the European People’s Party, which his Fidesz party is a member of, and the EU summit on Brexit on Saturday.  There wasn’t really much new compared to what you may gleam from the above video.
By “popular demand” (from my Twitter followers), I’ll translate the official press release which summarized his stance at the end of the day. I haven’t seen an English version yet.
Hungary’s prime minister has stated on the executive meeting of the European People’s Party that Hungary’s government is open to cooperation with the European Commission in every unresolved legal issues.
As  we did in the past, we intend to settle the infringement procedures against Hungary via agreements. Hungary’s prime minister has clarified again that the Hungarian government is not adamant about closing George Soros’ Central University in Budapest. However no university may enjoy privileges. Hungarian laws apply to everybody. Higher education institutions, which don’t provide actual education and operate as off-shore mailboxes,  will not be allowed by the Hungarian laws in the future either.
Hungary’s prime minister has clarified that the National Consultation launched by the government is not against Europe. On the contrary, its purpose is to reform the European Union which malfunctions in many respects at the moment and it needs renewal.
The prime minister asked help from the European People’s Party so that the energy union proposal of  the European Commission, which would substantially increase the energy bills of the Hungarian families, should be withdrawn.
Concerning the issue of migration,  he stressed that Hungary is unable to accept the illegal migrants’ unchecked immigration  and the Hungarian government is going to keep the border fence, which defends Hungary and Europe, under any circumstances.
Bertalan Havasi
Manager for the Prime Minister’s Press Office

Hope this helps to clarify the situation.  The global mainstream media is busy posting fake news like “Hungary’s Orbán accepts EU demands”….

Please raze Soros’ university to the ground and salt its earth

The uncanny howling about Soros’ CEU university hasn’t subsided since last Wednesday.  The “whole world” protests against “Orbán’s grave attack against Hungary’s most prominent university”. Open letters, interviews, newspaper articles, a copious amount of media reports on a few thousand strong demonstration in Budapest, a long (and growing) queue of politicians, including Christian Democrat ones!, condemn Hungary because of the attack on… whatever. You know the drill.

According to this German article, “Hungary says no to science”.   Now let’s have a quick look at that what we should actually say “no” to.  I found a list of some theses which were submitted (and accepted!) at CEU last year.  All of them are written in English and they can be read in full at the provided links.  Please decide for yourself if they are scientific works or if you agree with me that they are left-liberal political pamphlets.

1. Dispossession and futurelessness : at the confluence of marxism and queer theory 

The thesis compares the work of  Lee Edelman, the eminent figure of queer theory with the work of Hungarian Communist philosopher György Lukács.

2. Playing with identity : a study on the Budapest BDSM community

The thesis analyses the narratives of Sado-Masochists, with special regard to the role of games.

3. Blasphemy as tool for institutional critique

Through a number of cases, the thesis presents how blasphemy plays a role in post-Soviet art.

4. In the name of the mother : media discourse, nationalist ideology and the politics of reproduction in post-socialist Macedonia

This thesis reveals how media spreads nationalist ideology in Macedonia with the help of traditional sex roles and “the typification of the female body”.

5. Polish exceptionalism : hate speech laws between supra-national standards and national politics

This thesis examines why Polish  hate speech laws are substandard to international ones and why Polish criminal law does not provide protection for victims of hate speech motivated by bias on grounds of gender identity and sexual orientation.

6. Becoming and being : the experiences of young feminist men in Iceland

This thesis reviews life experiences of young Icelandic feminist males.

7. Qu(e)’erying the Qur’an : how non-heterosexual Muslims in London articulate sexual citizenship narratives

“This thesis aims to situate the phenomenon of “homonationalism” into lived experience in order to lay bare the contextual specificities of queer Muslim subjectivites in London, UK and to examine the local refigurations of power that informants enact therein. Through fieldwork at an inclusive Mosque in London, and interviews with queeridentifying Muslims, this ethnographic approach is dedicated to analyzing how those considered inauthentic in homonationalist imaginaries, and who are often elided in critical discourses of homonationalism itself, articulate narratives of sexual citizenship that challenge the regulatory codes of a universalizing script of homonormative sexuality, and how they make these pleas for belonging through a parallel reconstitution of Muslim normativities. ”

8. Migration in the Mediterranean : the smuggler as scapegoat

According to the thesis, even though illegal migration has been going on for decades,  human traffickers have been made scapegoats recently.

9. Constructing identity through the Hungarian “migration” discourse

The abstract is  gibberish  like “On the other hand, the feeling of instability aided the ontological insecuritization process, which was utilized to establish a situation where everyday routines were not working and the ontological insecuritization became possible”, but I guess the thesis argues that Orbán’s government uses the threat of the illegal migrants to Hungary to strengthen racism and xenophobia among Hungarians.

10. Anti-liberalism and antisemitism in dualist Hungary

The thesis presents anti-liberalism and anti-Semitism through the case of Kárpátalja (Transcarpathia) .

11. Hope of failure : subverting disgust, shame and the abject in feminist performances with menstrual blood

Er… check out the link if you really do want to know more details about this particular piece of progressive train of thought.

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Darth Soros

I think the list speaks volumes indeed. Metaphorically speaking, Soros’ university in Budapest should be razed to the ground and sowed with salt.  Mr. Orbán, please do so!

The Soros university controversy

The Hungarian Education Office prepares a regular review about the higher education institutions in Hungary. The latest review has revealed problems in 27 of the 28 foreign universities operating in Hungary, regarding their operational licences and course accreditations as well as problems with their cooperation with the state.  The American McDaniel College, which defines itself as a liberal institution, was the only foreign university which was fully cleared.

Based on these findings, the Hungarian human resources ministry submitted an amendment to the higher education law this Tuesday evening. The proposal includes that  foreign universities in Hungary could operate only under an international agreement to be concluded between the university’s home country and the Hungarian state. 

On the very next day, on Wednesday, the global media (Reuters, BBC, Washington Post, etc.) was full of articles like this one in the Guardian  They were all bashing Hungary hard for “attacking academic freedom” and what have you.  All the articles were really wailing only because of CEU (Central European University), a private university founded and paid by billionaire George Soros, the mastermind behind Europe’s flooding with illegal migrants.

Incidentally this quote from The Guardian made me giggle:

The university’s departure would deal a serious blow to higher education in Hungary and the country’s reputation as a regional leader.

The left-liberals have been telling us for ages what an unimportant and side-lined country Hungary has become since 2010 (when Orbán took office)…

The liberal mayor of Vilnius (Latvia’s capital) released a much publicized public letter on Wednesday morning, stating that they’d be happy to host CEU.  (Please, do so!)

usempbceuThe USA embassy in Budapest was up in arms immediately as well and they issued this statement:

Together with some Democrat politicians in the USA, the American president of CEU issued threats regarding “the relations between the USA and Hungary”.   President Michael Ignatieff also insisted on his Wednesday press conference that “CEU complies with regulations and these issues must be discussed in talks”

Today the State Department of the USA has also issued a statement:

The United States is concerned about legislation proposed by the Government of Hungary on March 28th that imposes new, targeted, and onerous regulatory requirements on foreign universities. If adopted, these changes would negatively affect or even lead to the closure of Central European University (CEU) in Budapest.

CEU is a premier academic institution accredited in the United States and Hungary, with staff and students from over 100 countries. It has strengthened Hungary’s influence and leadership in the region through its academic excellence and many contributions to independent, critical thinking.

We urge the Government of Hungary to avoid taking any legislative action that would compromise CEU’s operations or independence.

I wonder if President Trump is concerned about Soros’ university, too?

Prime Minister Orbán has responded to the hysteria briefly this morning in his regular fortnightly radio interview: “even if you’re a billionaire, you’re not above the law”. Whether CEU could operate in Hungary in the future would depend on talks between the USA and Hungary and on a future agreement between the two countries.  Answering a question whether negotiations would be held with the CEU, he said that “all the CEU has to do is to comply with the law.  We’re not going to have talks with them because they are not the US government even if that’s what they might want to be”

ceu

The Business School of George Soros’ Central European University

Well, I certainly keep my fingers crossed that CEU will not provide courses in “gender studies” in Budapest soon.  The Soros network must be driven out of Hungary as soon as possible.

Update:  Response of the Government of Hungary to the press statement of the Department of State of the United States of America

The Government of Hungary found it with surprise that the Department of State of the United States released a press statement that is based on factual errors.

Hungary is a sovereign country which formulates its external relations in the spirit of mutual respect, goodwill and with the aspiration to reach compromise. According to our intentions, non-EU universities may operate in our country only if Hungary has entered into an inter-state agreement with the country of origin for the university. Accordingly, the Government of Hungary is ready to engage in talks with the Government of the United States with respect to György Soros’s university in Hungary.

Update on the 4th of April:   With the vote of every and each gov’t MP, Hungary’s parliament has passed the fast-tracked amendment to the education law today.

Chargé d’Affaires of the Embassy of the United States to Budapest David Kostelancik has issued the following statement:

The United States is disappointed by the accelerated passage of legislation targeting Central European University, despite the serious concerns raised by the United States, by hundreds of local and international organizations and institutions, and by thousands of Hungarians who value academic freedom and the many important contributions by Central European University to Hungary.

The Central European University is a successful and prestigious American-Hungarian institution and has been an important component of the U.S.-Hungarian relationship for 26 years. The United States will continue to advocate for its independence and unhindered operation in Hungary.

Deputy Secretary State Kristóf Altusz of Hungary’s Foreign Affairs Ministry has summoned Mr. Kostelancik (and  Germany’s Chargé d’Affaires) tomorrow morning in response.

March 15

It’s the 15th of March today which is the most patriotic Hungarian national holiday. Hungarians wear a cockade on this day of the year to commemorate the 1848 anti-feudalism revolution and the ensuing freedom fight against the Austrian empire.  Eventually the Hapsburg ruler called for help from the Russian tzar, within the framework of the post-Napoleonic  Holy Alliance, and the preponderance of  Russian army defeated the Hungarian one in August, 1849.

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I’ve just returned from the city where I was listening to Prime Minister Orbán’s speech. Here is my cockade and here is some food for thought from his speech:

“March 15 is proof that we lived, we live and we’re going to live. That’s our triumph.  We have always won the wars for the survival of our country and nation here at the crossroads of cultures, empires and civilizations…

On this day, an assassination shook ancient Rome 2061 years ago. Revolutions broke out in Europe in 1848 and Europe is approaching a state of revolution now, too.  Nations rebelled against the Unholy Alliance of Brussels bureaucrats, the liberal global media and  international bankers always craving for more profit. First the Brits rebelled then the Americans did and this year the rebellion will continue… Brussels and the international financial capital may not care about the safety of European peoples. But we do.  They may not care about our staying Hungarian. But we do. We must defend our borders, we must prevent crowds with alien cultures from settling here, we must make the foreign financed lobby networks transparent and we must keep the right of deciding on our taxes, minimal wages or our regulations for utilities.”

mar15crowd

Since our Polish friends took their own good part in these historic events,

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traditionally Polish people come to Budapest on March the 15th to celebrate, too.

That’s why Orbán’s speech could be read in Polish on a nearby screen.

mar15history

As always on this day, there will be family programmes as well.

DSC_0021However not only Hungarian and Polish patriots attended the speech.  This man, surrounded by a gang of similarly looking men, started a very loud siren close to the place where I was standing.  Surprise, surprise: Three or four busy photojournalists were shooting their expensive cameras right there…  “Something should be done” was the helpless word in the crowd which did want to listen to  Orbán’s speech.  Tensions were rising.  I took this picture of the siren man and I quickly made my way back through the crowd where I had seen some heavily built, bouncer looking security guys.  I guided them to the yellow trousers.  His siren was still on. There was no justling or fighting. After a few minutes of talking and muscle flexing, the security guards made the siren stop and they escorted yellow trousers and his cohort out of the crowd. Hopefully I ruined the day for the photo reporters. 😮

All right, now back to the family programmes. 🙂

Update:  Read, or listen to, the full speech in English here.

A new beginning in Hungary-USA relations

Réka Szemerkényi, an economist, political scientist and politician, has been Hungary’s Ambassador to the United States since 2015. She served as State Secretary for Foreign Policy.  She worked as a Senior National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister Viktor Orbán from 1998 to 2002.

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Mrs. Szemerkényi gave an interview a few days ago (see a  summary here). Let me summarize the most interesting points:

  1.  President Donald J. Trump has a “very positive” opinion of Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and negotiations about a possible meeting of the two leaders are under way.
  2. She has already met with almost half of the U.S. government and the relationships have been so good that other embassies in the United States have asked her for advice and contacts.
  3. She has met and has spoken  with President Trump three times since he was inaugurated less a month ago. Out of more than a hundred ambassadors to the USA , only six were invited to that round table talk where she met President Trump last time.
  4. She has met Vice President Mike Pence.
  5. She has had talks with Attorney General Jeff Sessions three times. She has also met  Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Hungary has been “at the back of the queue” in Washington DC since 2001 when PM Orbán’s first government decided to buy new Swedish Grippen JAS-39 fighter jets instead of second-hand F-16’s under the presidency of George W. Bush.  The relations became particularly bad during the last few years of  the Obama administration, especially when the US embassy to Hungary was run by Charge d’Affairs Andre Goodfriend who directly meddled in Hungarian domestic politics.

Now it seems we’re getting to the “front of the queue”. 🙂

 

 

On conservatism

English philosopher and political thinker Sir Roger Scruton, who is held in especially high esteem in Central Europe and Hungary, gave a lecture on conservatism in the Danube Institute a few months ago. I’ve just noticed a video recording is now available.

 

 

 

 

The wonders of the Hungarian language

Happy New Year, folks!

This post will not be about Hungarian politics or international politics related to Hungary. I  thought I would write my very first blog entry about 2016 this year, the year which may well enter history books as the year when the worldwide rebellion against globalist, politically correct liberalism started (apart from pioneer Hungary or Poland). But I’ve changed my mind.  I’m going to write about our wonderful language instead.

Let’s give a thought about the language rhythm first.  This is a  very common sign which every customer may read in Hungarian shops every day:

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Please tell us in advance if you need a VAT invoice!

Listen here! This is a hexameter.  Yes, Hungarian is very well suited to metrical poems and Hungarian speakers may enjoy the language music perfectly in, say, an Iliad  translation just like the ancient Greeks could.  So is Hungarian a mora-timed language like Greek or Latin?  Hungarian words are always stressed on the first syllable, so Hungarian cannot be mora-timed. So is Hungarian a stress-timed language like English is?  The lengths of Hungarian vowels always stay constant, so this statement is debatable at least.  Or is Hungarian a syllable-based language like French? There are short and long vowels in Hungarian so that cannot be true either.   Perhaps Hungarian doesn’t fit in either linguistic category.

Now let’s take a random expression from a news site: adóhatósági eljárás  Er… literally this means “tax authority procedure”, that is what people (hopefully!) end up with if they evade tax.  (You see I just couldn’t resist bringing some politics in! 🙂 )

  • ad – give, yield
  • adó – giving, the one who gives =>  transmitter or…  tribute, duty or tax  !
  • hat (verb) – affect, influence, cause
  • ható – the one who affects/enforces something
  • hatóság  –  -ság (or -ség in other cases) is a noun-making suffix which often creates abstract concepts, e.g.:  boldog (happy)  -> boldogság (happiness), rendőr  (order+guard=policeman) -> rendőrség (police)
    hatóság
    means ‘authority

-ság or -ség?  Oh, well, vowel harmony makes Hungarian sound nice.

  • el  – away
  • jár  –  walk, travel, move (back and forth), frequent, etc.
  • járás –  a noun, moving around, the act of walking… Járás  is also an administrative unit in Hungary, below megye (county), which corresponds to a ‘shire’ in the UK.
  • eljárás – procedure … er, that may be unexpected but there’s logic to it:  eljár = 1. proceed 2. attend

Yes, Hungarian is a very analytical language. We create words and phrases from small building blocks. Let’s see another fun example

  • köz – public, common
  • társ – companion, mate, partner, peer
  • ság (see above)
  • i : This suffix turns a noun into an adjective.  (It often denotes location like Budapest -> budapesti ,  that is a person living in Budapest or coming from there.)
  • el–  short for “elöl“, that is “front”, also as in “first in rank”
  • nök : a person in some position, for example:  ügynök  (ügy=matter, cause), that is an agent or spy or door-to-door salesman or írnok (ír=write), that is a scribe or a clerk

Can you guess, without consulting a dictionary, of course, what  köztársasági elnök  means?   Yes, it’s a political term. Please comment below.

Merry Christmas!

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