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Solid Gold Toilet Stolen From Winston Churchill’s Family Palace

September 16, 2019 in History

By Becky Little

Someone is out there with a golden toilet that doesn’t belong to them.

The 18-karat-gold toilet disappeared from Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Winston Churchill, on September 14—only two days after the palace installed it as part of an art exhibition by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan. The solid gold toilet has been valued at around $6 million. And because it is fully-functioning, the early morning theft caused damage and flooding to the historic palace.

The room in which the toilet sat was right next to the room where future prime minister Churchill was born on November 30, 1874. Churchill’s nanny raised him at the Oxfordshire palace in the years before he went away to boarding school, and the palace was also the home he returned to on school holidays. At age 33, he proposed to 23-year-old Clementine Hozier in the Temple of Diana summerhouse in the palace gardens.

“At Blenheim I took two very important decisions: to be born and to marry,” Churchill reportedly said of the estate. “I am content with the decision I took on both occasions.”

After hearing about the toilet theft at Blenheim Palace, Cattelan joked in a statement that the robbers are the “the real artists” for pulling off such a stealthy heist of his artwork, titled America. “From the speed the robbery was executed we can say for sure they are great performers,” he said. He also made a request: “Dear thieves, please, if you are reading this, let me know how much you like the piece and how it feels to pee on gold.”

READ MORE: 10 Famous Art Heists

“America”, a fully-working solid gold toilet, created by artist Maurizio Cattelan, is seen at Blenheim Palace on September 12, 2019 in Woodstock, England.

Churchill may not have grown up knowing how that felt, but he was nonetheless born into extreme opulence and political power. Blenheim Palace is the ancestral home of the dukes and duchesses of Marlborough, of which Churchill was a direct descendant (his paternal grandfather was the seventh duke of Marlborough). By the time Churchill was born, his family was already an established part of the ruling aristocratic class.

The palace was a gift from Queen Anne to Sarah Churchill, first duchess of Marlborough and one of the queen’s closest political advisors, after the duchess’ husband led the English to victory in the 1704 Battle of …read more

Source: HISTORY

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Groundbreaking novel "Don Quixote" is published

September 16, 2019 in History

By History.com Editors

On January 16, 1605, Miguel de CervantesEl ingenioso hidalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha, better known as Don Quixote, is published. The book is considered by many to be the first modern novel as well as one of the greatest novels of all time.

The protagonist is a minor noble, Alonso Quixano, whose obsessive reading of chivalric romances drives him mad. He adopts the name Don Quixote and, along with his squire Sancho Panza, roams around La Mancha, a central region of Spain, taking on a number of challenges which exist entirely in his mind. Quixote attacks a group of monks, a flock of sheep, and, most famously, some windmills which he believes to be giants. The episodic story is intentionally comedic, and its intentionally archaic language contributes to its satirization of older stories of knights and their deeds.

The novel was an immediate success, although Cervantes made only a modest profit off of its publication rights. It was re-published across Spain and Portugal within the year. Over the next decade, it was translated and re-published across Europe and widely read in Spain’s American colonies. Over the subsequent centuries, critics have continued to praise, analyze, and re-interpret Don Quixote. Many analyses focus on the theme of imagination and the more subversive elements of the text, which has been taken as a satire of orthodoxy, chivalry, patriotism and even the concept of objective reality. The novel gave rise to a number of now-common idioms in Spanish and other languages, including the English phrase “tilting at windmills” and the word “quixotic.” Laurence Sterne’s Tristram Shandy, another novel frequently called one of the greatest of all time, was heavily influenced by Don Quixote, as was Mark Twain’s enormously influential The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, which explicitly references Cervantes’ work. Cerebral, comedic and groundbreaking, Don Quixote has endured in a way that only a select few novels could.

READ MORE: After 400 Years, Investigators Find Remains of Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote’s Creator

…read more

Source: HISTORY

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No Enemies to the Right?

September 16, 2019 in Economics

By David Boaz

David Boaz

Conservatives have long criticized liberals for what they see as a policy of “no enemies to the left.” That is, they said, liberals might not be socialists, communists, or revolutionaries, but they forbore criticizing such people.

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And they have a point. The Washington Post has mentioned Angela Davis in several articles this year, always describing her as an “ activist” and not as a former longtime leader of the Communist Party. Davis has received many awards for her supposed activism for human rights and the environment – as well as the Soviet Union’s Lenin Peace Prize, called the Stalin Prize until 1957.

Senator Bernie Sanders says he advocates “democratic socialism” as found in Denmark and Sweden, but he honeymooned in the Soviet Union, defended the communist government of Nicaragua, and signed a letter of support for Venezuela’s disastrous strongman Hugo Chavez. And none of his opponents for the Democratic presidential nomination have called him out for that.

But now conservatives have a problem of their own. Call it “no enemies to the right.”

William F. Buckley Jr. the founder and editor of National Review, was known for kicking the fringe organs like the John Birch Society out of the conservative movement.

As one of his biographers wrote, Buckley “stood guard over the movement he founded and—in what he called his greatest achievement—kept it free where he could of extremists, bigots, kooks, anti-Semites and racists.”

Buckley made some missteps of his own early on. But he did show evidence of changing with the times. As his National Review colleagues put it in announcing his death, “He created modern conservatism as an intellectual and then a political movement. He kept it from drifting into the fever swamps.”

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But things have changed since Buckley’s death in 2008, as many conservatives seem to have lost …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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No Enemies to the Right?

September 16, 2019 in Economics

By David Boaz

David Boaz

Conservatives have long criticized liberals for what they see as a policy of “no enemies to the left.” That is, they said, liberals might not be socialists, communists, or revolutionaries, but they forbore criticizing such people.

,

And they have a point. The Washington Post has mentioned Angela Davis in several articles this year, always describing her as an “ activist” and not as a former longtime leader of the Communist Party. Davis has received many awards for her supposed activism for human rights and the environment – as well as the Soviet Union’s Lenin Peace Prize, called the Stalin Prize until 1957.

Senator Bernie Sanders says he advocates “democratic socialism” as found in Denmark and Sweden, but he honeymooned in the Soviet Union, defended the communist government of Nicaragua, and signed a letter of support for Venezuela’s disastrous strongman Hugo Chavez. And none of his opponents for the Democratic presidential nomination have called him out for that.

But now conservatives have a problem of their own. Call it “no enemies to the right.”

William F. Buckley Jr. the founder and editor of National Review, was known for kicking the fringe organs like the John Birch Society out of the conservative movement.

As one of his biographers wrote, Buckley “stood guard over the movement he founded and—in what he called his greatest achievement—kept it free where he could of extremists, bigots, kooks, anti-Semites and racists.”

Buckley made some missteps of his own early on. But he did show evidence of changing with the times. As his National Review colleagues put it in announcing his death, “He created modern conservatism as an intellectual and then a political movement. He kept it from drifting into the fever swamps.”

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It would be helpful if those on the left would stop suggesting that everyone on the right is a racist. But it would also be good if those on the right would admit that there are racists and banish them for the good of their cause.

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But things have changed since Buckley’s death in 2008, as many conservatives seem to have lost interest in drawing bright lines between themselves and the fever swamps. Just consider a few recent cases.

The venerable CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference, run by …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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North and South clash at the Battle of South Mountain

September 16, 2019 in History

By History.com Editors

General Robert E. Lee’s exhausted Confederate forces hold off the pursuing Yankees by closing two passes through Maryland’s South Mountain, allowing Lee time to gather his forces further west along Antietam Creek near Sharpsburg.

After the Second Battle of Bull Run, Virginia, in late August 1862, Lee decided to invade Maryland to raise supplies; he also hoped a decisive win would earn the South foreign recognition. As he moved, he split his army into five sections while the hungry Rebels searched for supplies. A copy of the Confederate plans accidentally fell into Union hands when the orders were left in an abandoned campsite outside of Frederick, Maryland. McClellan now knew that Lee’s force was in pieces, but he was slow to react.

As Lee moved into western Maryland, he left detachments to guard Crampton’s Gap and Turner’s Gap through South Mountain. If McClellan had penetrated the passes, he would have found Lee’s army scattered and vulnerable. South Mountain, a 50-mile-long ridge, contained several passes, but Crampton’s Gap and Turner’s Gap were the most important. The National Road ran through Turner’s Gap to the north, and Crampton’s Gap connected western Maryland to Harpers Ferry, Virginia.

The Union troops drove the Confederates away at Crampton’s Gap, but were initially unable to expel the Confederates from Turner’s Gap. However, the Rebels did retreat the next morning. Union losses for the day amounted to 2,300 dead and wounded, including the death of Major General Jesse Reno. The Confederates lost 2,700.

These engagements were a mere prelude to the Battle of Antietam. Although costly, they allowed Lee time to assemble his scattered bands at Sharpsburg.

…read more

Source: HISTORY

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The Obama Administration Destroyed Libya. Could Trump Make It Worse?

September 16, 2019 in Economics

By Ted Galen Carpenter

Ted Galen Carpenter

The Western-created disaster in Libya continues to grow worse. Fighting between Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar’s so-called Libyan National Army (LNA) and the even more misnamed Government of National Accord (GNA) has intensified in and around Tripoli. The LNA boasted on September 11 that its forces had routed troops of the Sarraj militia, a GNA ally, killing about two hundred of them. That total may be exaggerated, but there is no doubt that the situation has become increasingly violent and chaotic in Tripoli and other portions of Libya, with innocent civilians bearing the brunt of the suffering.

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An article in Bloomberg News provides a succinct account of the poisonous fruits of the U.S.-led “humanitarian” military intervention in 2011. “Libya is enduring its worst violence since the 2011 NATO-backed ouster of Muammar el-Qaddafi, which ushered in years of instability that allowed Islamist radicals to thrive and turned the country into a hub for migrants destined to Europe. Haftar had launched the war as the United Nations was laying the ground for a political conference to unite the country. It is now more divided than ever.” The country has become the plaything not only of rival domestic factions but major Middle East powers, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. Those regimes are waging a ruthless geopolitical competition, providing arms and in some cases even launching airstrikes on behalf of their preferred clients.

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The United States also cannot resist the urge to meddle. Worse, U.S. officials seemingly can’t even decide which faction it wants to back. Washington’s official policy continues to support the GNA, which the United Nations recognizes as the country’s legitimate government—even though its writ extends to little territory beyond the Tripoli metropolitan area. President Donald Trump, however, had an extremely cordial, lengthy telephone conversation in April with Haftar and appeared impressed with Haftar’s professed determination to combat terrorist groups and bring order and unity to Libya. …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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The Obama Administration Destroyed Libya. Could Trump Make It Worse?

September 16, 2019 in Economics

By Ted Galen Carpenter

Ted Galen Carpenter

The Western-created disaster in Libya continues to grow worse. Fighting between Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar’s so-called Libyan National Army (LNA) and the even more misnamed Government of National Accord (GNA) has intensified in and around Tripoli. The LNA boasted on September 11 that its forces had routed troops of the Sarraj militia, a GNA ally, killing about two hundred of them. That total may be exaggerated, but there is no doubt that the situation has become increasingly violent and chaotic in Tripoli and other portions of Libya, with innocent civilians bearing the brunt of the suffering.

,

An article in Bloomberg News provides a succinct account of the poisonous fruits of the U.S.-led “humanitarian” military intervention in 2011. “Libya is enduring its worst violence since the 2011 NATO-backed ouster of Muammar el-Qaddafi, which ushered in years of instability that allowed Islamist radicals to thrive and turned the country into a hub for migrants destined to Europe. Haftar had launched the war as the United Nations was laying the ground for a political conference to unite the country. It is now more divided than ever.” The country has become the plaything not only of rival domestic factions but major Middle East powers, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. Those regimes are waging a ruthless geopolitical competition, providing arms and in some cases even launching airstrikes on behalf of their preferred clients.

,

,

The United States also cannot resist the urge to meddle. Worse, U.S. officials seemingly can’t even decide which faction it wants to back. Washington’s official policy continues to support the GNA, which the United Nations recognizes as the country’s legitimate government—even though its writ extends to little territory beyond the Tripoli metropolitan area. President Donald Trump, however, had an extremely cordial, lengthy telephone conversation in April with Haftar and appeared impressed with Haftar’s professed determination to combat terrorist groups and bring order and unity to Libya. Neither Libyan faction now seems certain about Washington’s stance.

Given the appalling aftermath of the …read more

Source: OP-EDS