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  1. #1
    jhp
    jhp is offline Registered User
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    Hungarian PM denounces Soros-backed college, US urges restraint

    https://sg.news.yahoo.com/hungarys-o...-business.html

    Central European University
    Central European University

    Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Friday a Budapest university founded by financier George Soros had "cheated" in awarding its diplomas and violated Hungarian laws.

    Orban, outspoken critic of liberal civil organisations funded by Soros, said the Central European University's fate depended now on talks between Hungary and the United States.

    The U.S. State Department said in a statement that CEU was a "premier academic institution" that promoted academic excellence and critical thinking.

  2. #2
    Kizmet is offline Moderator
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    I'm not clear on their complaint but I guess if Hungary wants to pass a law saying this or that then they get to pass that law. I'm guessing there's an interesting little backstory that is yet to come out.
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  3. #3
    Johann is offline Registered User
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    My take is that some of the "critical thinking" that goes on at CEU may not be in accord with Viktor Orban's thinking. He's labeled a centre-right conservative; some of those who don't like his policies have called him "authoritarian," "Putinist," "strongman" and some have gone as far as "dictator." He's been accused by his detractors of curbing civil liberties and restricting free speech. Among his other accomplishments, he "built a wall" (a fence, actually,) the Hungary-Serbia barrier against illegal immigrants. Does that particular act remind you of anyone? In the climate of Islamic terrorism and the migrant crisis, his political stance is very popular.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hungarian_border_barrier

    I don't think you cross Viktor Orban and get off lightly. This Soros-CEU situation may be an example of that - but what do I know?

    J.
    Last edited by Johann; 03-31-2017 at 01:12 PM.

  4. #4
    heirophant is offline Registered User
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    I think that this is a tempest in a teacup.

    The complaint in Hungary seems to be that CEU markets itself as both an American and a Hungarian university, offering both American and Hungarian degrees. That's supposedly more desirable to European students than a simple Hungarian degree would be, giving CEU an unfair advantage. According to its webpage, CEU boasts what it calls an "absolute charter" from the state of New York and American accreditation from Middle States.

    https://www.ceu.edu/administration/accreditation

    Apparently the new Hungarian legislation requires that foreign universities operating in Hungary have a physical campus in their country of origin.

    CEU is screeching that being forced to construct a campus in New York state would drive it out of business. Of course it could also stop advertising its largely meaningless New York charter and halt any suggestion that it awards its students American degrees.

    My feeling is that what's motivating this is the collision of two big egos, the populist Mr. Orban and the international globalist billionaire Mr. Soros (who hates populism and spends hundreds of millions to undermine and subvert any politicians that show any signs of it). Neither is likely to back down. It's conceivable that CEU is being attacked because it has become a center of opposition to the elected Hungarian government. Soros doesn't fund universities because he likes education , Soros has a political agenda and hopes to use all of his creatures to advance his causes.

    So if CEU wants to coexist peacefully with Mr. Orban, perhaps it needs to stop taking its marching orders from Mr. Soros.
    Last edited by heirophant; 03-31-2017 at 02:35 PM.

  5. #5
    Johann is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by heirophant
    So if CEU wants to coexist peacefully with Mr. Orban, perhaps it needs to stop taking its marching orders from Mr. Soros.
    But Mr. Soros is paying for all those CEU soldiers... A true clash of giants here. Could be epic.

    "We’ll just put some bleachers out in the sun
    And have it on Highway 61" - Bob Dylan


    https://bobdylan.com/songs/highway-61-revisited/

    J.
    Last edited by Johann; 03-31-2017 at 03:11 PM.

  6. #6
    Stanislav is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kizmet View Post
    I'm not clear on their complaint but I guess if Hungary wants to pass a law saying this or that then they get to pass that law. I'm guessing there's an interesting little backstory that is yet to come out.
    Of course, in US, a law that applies to precisely one entity would be unconstitutional.
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  7. #7
    Stanislav is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by heirophant View Post
    Soros doesn't fund universities because he likes education , Soros has a political agenda and hopes to use all of his creatures to advance his causes.

    So if CEU wants to coexist peacefully with Mr. Orban, perhaps it needs to stop taking its marching orders from Mr. Soros.
    Thing is, Mr. Soros' political agenda benefits from promoting education . Apparently, Mr. Orban's agenda is hostile to that.

    Disclosure: two of my Physics teachers received a monthly stipend from the Open Society Foundation. Try to find a sinister agenda in that.
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  9. #8
    Stanislav is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by heirophant View Post
    CEU is screeching that being forced to construct a campus in New York state would drive it out of business. Of course it could also stop advertising its largely meaningless New York charter and halt any suggestion that it awards its students American degrees.
    Please explain how a degree approved by NY Regents and Middle States is not "American". It appears that this school's faculty is rather distinguished: Directory of Faculty and Staff. What's not to your liking?
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  10. #9
    b4cz28 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stanislav View Post
    Thing is, Mr. Soros' political agenda benefits from promoting education . Apparently, Mr. Orban's agenda is hostile to that.

    Disclosure: two of my Physics teachers received a monthly stipend from the Open Society Foundation. Try to find a sinister agenda in that.
    So, now if we don't support Soros, we don't support education !! Think of the children!!!

    Soros is nothing more than a thug with money. A man who makes a living hurting others and their countries. He bets against economies and profits. Without him in the political arena of America their would be no Democratic party on a national scale.
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    TomE is offline Registered User
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    This is an extension of the Fidesz push to eradicate all entities that are acting domestically with foreign monetary backing (particularly those financed by Soros). Sure, Soros is Hungarian, but he is probably hated there more than in any other place (well, other than Russia and possibly England, Thailand, and Malaysia). It looks like Orban is backing down a bit after the US weighed in on the situation.

  12. #11
    Kizmet is offline Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stanislav View Post
    Of course, in US, a law that applies to precisely one entity would be unconstitutional.
    We are talking about Hungary, right? They are not bound by our constitution.
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  13. #12
    Stanislav is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by b4cz28 View Post
    So, now if we don't support Soros, we don't support education !! Think of the children!!!
    No, you don't support education if you do not support education . Soros is the reason many of the best teachers in ex-Commie countries were able to continue teaching without starving in the 1990ies.

    Quote Originally Posted by b4cz28 View Post
    Soros is nothing more than a thug with money. A man who makes a living hurting others and their countries. He bets against economies and profits. Without him in the political arena of America their would be no Democratic party on a national scale.
    Wow. a Republican railing against market speculation and profits is a sight to behold. Are you sure you won't be more more comfortable in Berinie's Revolution? But then again, Comrade Bannon is a self-proclaimed Leninist, so...

    It is astounding how folks who lost the popular vote 7 out of 8 times in the last 20 years speak for "the American People". Republican Party would not exist on a national scale save for a gang of plutocrats it serves.
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  14. #13
    Stanislav is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kizmet View Post
    We are talking about Hungary, right? They are not bound by our constitution.
    Sure, but there's a reason behind that old Common Law principle. I personally do not support crippling democracy into the "illiberal democracy" (Orban) or "sovereign democracy" (Putin the Huilo).
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  15. #14
    heirophant is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stanislav View Post
    Please explain how a degree approved by NY Regents and Middle States is not "American".
    Because the university that awarded the degree has no presence in the United States. It doesn't exist here, except on paper in the form of a NY charter. And a NY charter is merely state approval to operate an educational institution inside the state of New York. Which CEU isn't doing.

    Outside the boundaries of the state of New York, a NY charter is meaningless.

    It appears that this school's faculty is rather distinguished.
    I suppose that it's a reasonably good university in its way.

    What's not to your liking?
    I didn't say that I didn't like CEU.

    I said that I think that the whole controversy is kind of contrived, a clash of two huge egos that's being spun in misleading directions by the press.

    Hungary has enacted (or is in the process of enacting) a law that says that any ostensibly foreign university that operates in Hungary has to have a physical campus in its home country. I approve of that law and think that European nations generally (and the the UK in particular) should copy it.

    The new Hungarian law doesn't threaten CEU's existence, unless its existence is dependent on its continuing to advertise itself as an American university on the basis of a meaningless (outside NY) New York charter. I believe that it already possesses a Hungarian charter (or whatever they call approval to operate).

    All Orban really did was challenge Soros' desires, and Soros and his media enablers don't like it when that happens.

    As far as I can see, no educational institutions are being harmed by all the posturing.
    Last edited by heirophant; 04-13-2017 at 06:51 AM.

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  17. #15
    heirophant is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stanislav View Post
    Of course, in US, a law that applies to precisely one entity would be unconstitutional.
    Why? What part of the US Constitution would it violate?

    Laws pertaining to single individuals, whether natural persons or corporations, are actually rather common in US law.

    These are termed 'private bills', as opposed to 'public bills' that pertain to everyone in the jurisdiction that meets the conditions such that the public law pertains to them. Public bills can be written in such a way that their conditions of applicability only apply in fact to a single individual, without naming that individual specificially. That's sometimes done when a particular company is being granted tax relief, subsidies or something that it doesn't want made public.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Private_bill

    I believe that the Constitutional difficulty in the United States relates to what are termed 'bills of attainder'. A bill of attainder is a law passed by the legislature that declares an individual guilty of a crime, without a trial having occurred.

    In Hungary, what Orban's government is doing to Soros and CEU appears to be (in American terms) a public law bill that is tailored to apply to one university in particular. It's a public bill since it applies to any ostensibly foreign university operating in Hungary, requiring all of them (even if in fact there's only one) to have a physical presence in their ostensible country of origin.

    Soros' defenders might try to argue (were this the US) that passing this law somehow deprives CEU of some right of due process, thus making it in effect a bill of attainder and hence unconstitutional. But states pass laws all the time that establish conditions for the legal operation of universities, without creating Constitutional difficulties because some entrepeneurs fail to satisfy them.
    Last edited by heirophant; 04-13-2017 at 07:53 AM.

  18. #16
    Stanislav is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by heirophant View Post
    Why? What part of the US Constitution would it violate?

    ...
    Soros' defenders might try to argue (were this the US) that passing this law somehow deprives CEU of some right of due process, thus making it in effect a bill of attainder and hence unconstitutional.
    Great answer to your own question, hierophant. Yep, this clumsy law clearly has punitive intent affecting one school, so "Soros" defenders would be correct. And btw, this potentially affects students, staff, and Hungarian academis community much more than it affects Soros. Perhaps, as a Canadian identifying as a Liberal, I'm concerned for our former leader's livelihood, huh?
    (I'm not, btw, and not just because of his prominent Russian background. Dr. Ignatieff is a high enough profile person not to worry too much about employment.)
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