Stunning views from inside Transylvania’s subterranean theme park

(CNN)Deep in the Transylvanian countryside lies an ancient salt mine dating back over two millennia.

Today Salina Turda has become an unlikely tourist attraction, with thousands of visitors descending its vertical shafts each year to play mini-golf, go bowling and row around its underground lake. This submerged wonderland even has a healing center for people with lung conditions.

    RELATED: Rescuing Angola’s stunning historical cinemas

    British photographer Richard John Seymour recently traveled to Salina Turda in his quest to document human-altered landscapes. “Photographing this space was a challenge due to its sheer scale. Humans are put into perspective and the difference between nature and man-made features is blurred.”

    Salina Turda filled the coffers of Hungarian kings and Habsburg emperors — especially during the 13th century, when salt was more valuable than gold — and sustained the local community for centuries.

    Since mining activity ceased in 1932, it has had many lives. It was used as a shelter in World War II and has even served time as a cheese storage center. Salina Turda reopened as a visitor attraction in 1992, bolstered by 6 million investment 16 years later, which cemented its adaptive reuse as a museum and theme park.

    Head to The Spaces for more on the salt mine turned playground.

    Read more:

    Standing room only at lonely WW2 soldier funeral – BBC News

    Media captionStewart Cooney’s funeral was no quiet affair

    It was standing room only at the funeral of a World War Two veteran following a social media appeal for mourners.

    Stewart Cooney, 95, served with the Royal Artillery and died in a care home in Leeds last month.

    Hundreds attended his funeral earlier, including Royal British Legion standard bearers, a piper and soldiers from his old regiment.

    One organiser, Martyn Simpson, said: “We never let a brother go alone.”

    ‘Old soldier’

    Other mourners included Army Reserve soldiers, a motorbike escort from the Royal British Legion Riders and members of the public.

    All the seats inside the crematorium were taken and mourners left outside watched the service on television screens.

    When the funeral was arranged it was believed Mr Cooney had no surviving relatives, however two women understood to be his sisters came forward after hearing of his death.

    As the mourners stood outside the chapel awaiting Mr Cooney’s final journey to Pudsey church, Barry Fretwell, president of Mirfield Royal British Legion, said: “It was incredibly heart-warming how people had responded”.

    Stacey Williams, carer at Carlton Lodge where Mr Cooney died, said he would have been overwhelmed by the turnout from strangers.

    “He was the kind of man who just didn’t expect that kind of thing.”

    At the scene: Alex Moss, BBC Online, from Rawdon crematorium

    Image caption The crematorium was full after social media appeals

    Hundreds of people rallied round to ensure soldier Stewart Cooney got the send-off he deserved.

    This tide of strangers stood together, united in effort to ensure Mr Cooney’s passing was marked by more than just a gathering of social workers, care workers and a priest.

    The hearse was escorted to the crematorium by dozens of motorbikers from the Royal British Legion – clad in leather, regimental numbers on their arms identifying them as former servicemen.

    Recalling Troop Sergeant Major Cooney’s military life, celebrant Lynda Gomersall described how he had served in many places including Egypt, Syria and Italy’s battle of Monte Cassino. She spoke of his deep love for his wife ‘Barnsley Betty’ and his adopted son Niall.

    Quiet laughter filled the chapel when she recounted his days at the nursing home, he was described as a “cheeky chappie” who “tried his luck with the ladies”.

    Read more: The man with no-one to mourn him

    Image caption Mr Cooney’s service number was displayed in flowers in the hearse
    Image copyright Alamy
    Image caption Mr Cooney’s funeral had military pomp to recognise his part in World War Two
    Image copyright Cooney family
    Image caption Stewart Cooney during his wedding and on service

    Who was Stewart Cooney?

    • Enlisted in the Royal Artillery in 1943 and fought in Egypt and Sicily, before taking part in the Battle of Monte Cassino in 1944
    • Married Betty, a telephonist in the Royal Artillery, at Dalmeny Church in Midlothian in 1944
    • Adopted a son, Niall, in 1953
    • Worked as a loom tuner (looking after weaving machines) at a mill in Farsley, near Leeds
    • Died at Colton Lodges Nursing Home in June 2016

    Mr Simpson, who served in the RAF and is a Royal British Legion standard bearer, said having seen the online appeals he also helped spread the word and had been amazed by the response.

    “It’s a marvellous thing, I feel quite emotional. He served in World War Two and I don’t know his history but anybody who served deserves this,” he said.

    Dougie Eastwood, who works for the company that runs Colton Lodges in which Mr Cooney died, started the appeal after he noticed Royal Artillery insignia in Mr Cooney’s room.

    Mr Eastwood, who also served in the Royal Artillery for 25 years, said: “He outlived his wife and son.”

    He added: ” I got in touch with 269 Royal Artillery based in Leeds and it just went viral.

    Image copyright Cooney family
    Image caption Mr Cooney’s coffin was draped in the Union flag and bear World War Two medals and a Royal Artillery cap

    “I couldn’t see his funeral only attended by a couple of care workers, a social worker and a priest.

    “I’m quite happy he’ll go the way an old soldier like him should do.”

    The Yorkshire Evening Post also appealed for mourners to attend the funeral.

    Lynda Gomersall offered her services after seeing the appeal on Facebook. She spoke to Mr Cooney’s carers and looked through old records to write the eulogy.

    “I don’t think anybody should go without recognition, especially soldiers,” she said.

    Read more:

    What I’ve Learned About Love, Life And Fashion From My 70-Year-Old BFF

    My best friend is 70 years old, and she is more stylish and fabulous than Ill ever be.

    When we walk down the streets of New York together, people stop and stare.

    And they arent staring at me.

    They are looking at her in her colorful coat and signature paper towel hat.

    People always stop us to admire her outfits and ask if they can take a picture of her.

    She thanks them and poses gracefully, and she usually invites them to the party she’s throwing at her apartment in the West Village the following week.

    My best friend is Debra Rapoport, and she is one of the stars of the Advanced Style series, which celebrates the life and style of vital older men and women.

    Last summer, Debra and I celebrated milestone birthdays together.

    She turned 70, and I turned 21.

    We drank wine, contemplated life and reflected on four fabulous years of friendship.

    I first met Debra when I first came to New York as a lost and lonely 17-year-old.

    Ever since, she has been my friend, fashion consultant and confidant.

    Here are five essential lessons on life and aging she has taught me and that will continue to inspire me as I grow older:

    1. Aging doesnt always look the way you think it does.

    I used to picture myself at 70 as an old lady with gray hair and brittle bones who sat alone in my house and played cards all day.

    But when I met Debra, her bright pink hair and outgoing personality completely shattered this image.

    Her schedule is always packed, and she is constantly on the go.

    She’s teaching workshops, meeting with photographers for photoshoots and hosting parties for her never-ending list of friends who visit the city.

    Age does not determine your ability to stay vital and outgoing.

    2. Start taking care of yourself now.

    We take our bodies and health for granted, but its important to treat our bodies with love and respect, regardless of our age.

    Debra is a pro at this.

    She listens to her body and knows what it wants to eat, how it wants to move and what it wants to wear.

    She wakes up early for 7 am yoga and cooks a pot of fresh oatmeal for breakfast each day.

    She prepares nutritious meals with ingredients from the farmers market, but she also indulges in chocolate and adds salt to her salted caramel ice cream when she wants.

    Balance is key.

    3. Black is boring.

    Being normal and blending in is too easy.

    Embracing color in your life does not mean you have to dress in bright patterns.

    Its about mixing things up and changing areas of your life that feel black and worn out.

    Debra has taught me to not only be intentional about the way I dress, but also in the way I express myself.

    None of us should have to wait 50 years to start being bold and stop caring what other people think.

    Express yourself freely, and people will be drawn to you.

    Dont be afraid to stand out.

    4. Its never too late.

    Honey, dont worry! Youre so young and have your whole life ahead of you to figure it out, Debra always says.

    When she tells me I have nothing to worry about and that it will all work out, I know I can trust her because she has years of experience under her belt.

    Sometimes I feel like I will never have another opportunity to pursue my passions and find out who I am if I dont do it now.

    But, I forget that its never too late to discover new interests and switch paths.

    Debra has been everything from a professor to a designer, and she speaks fondly about each career she has pursued.

    She only recently began her professional modeling career after she turned 65, and she looks more confident in her skin than many young models Ive seen.

    Its OK to take a deep breath and slow down.

    There is plenty of time to figure things out.

    5. Dont be afraid of getting old.

    Growing old isnt something we should fear; it is something to look forward to.

    Debra has taught me that even though our bodies age, we can still choose to stay young at heart.

    You can stay young by seizing opportunities, embracing love and taking care of yourself.

    More important than your age is who you are, how you feel and how you choose to express yourself.

    Age truly is just a number.

    Read more:

    Lin-Manuel Miranda will give you a drunk history lesson

    New York (CNN)Former “Hamilton” star Lin-Manuel Miranda made a huge name for himself by rapping the history of America’s founding fathers on Broadway.

    Now he’ll do it drunk.
    Miranda, who left the cast of the hit musical last month, will appear on Comedy Central’s “Drunk History” this fall. He’ll narrate the rivalry between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr.
      The show features celebrities who give history lessons while completely obliterated. It sounds hilarious: Miranda as Hamilton rapping about fighting the British and defending the constitution while intoxicated.
      Series creator Derek Waters announced the news at Comic-Con on Thursday.
      Ironically, “Hamilton” was the subject of the first episode of “Drunk History,” which got its start on the “Funny Or Die” web series in 2007.
      “Drunk History” is set to return September 27. Other guests include Kat Dennings, Dave Grohl, Ed Helms and Liev Schreiber.

      Read more:

      6 Ways To Treat Yo’self When You’re Single AF On Valentine’s Day

      While most 20-somethings are preparing for Valentine’s Day with their significant others, you find yourself single and in a furious Tinder-swiping session, trying to find a valentine.

      Stop immediately.

      Valentine’s Day is the holiday revolving around love, so why not spend it with the person you love most: yourself?

      In the words of Donna and Tom from “Parks and Recreation,” “treat yo’self.”

      While throwing or attending the clichd, anti-Valentine’s Day party sounds great, at the end of the night, you will still end up with a bunch of drunk and single miserable people.

      Ditch that idea this year and spend the holiday indulging yourself.

      Hereare the six best things to do when you find yourself single AF on Valentine’s Day:

      1. Splurge on something you’ve been wanting for a long time.

      You don’t have to spend your entire savings.

      This can be anything from a pedicure or a book you’ve been wanting to some Dior shades. (It’s almost spring, isn’t it?)

      Be creative. If you don’t have the money for a full spa day, go get a Lush face mask and champagne for your own mini spa night.

      Taking the time to treat yourself to something nice is way better than spending the money on someone you probably settled for for the sake of having a valentine.

      2. Check local coffee shops and bookstores for events.

      This is my first single Valentine’s Day in years. I’m starting my day by attending a blind date with a book at a local coffee shop.

      The premise of this event is to pick a wrapped book by just a short description written on the front.

      It’s a great event to get my Valentine’s Day morning started, and a great opportunity to meet and mingle with other book lovers.

      Don’t be afraid to do something you normally wouldn’t do and get out of your comfort zone.

      3. Focus on a hobby you haven’t had time for lately.

      When life happens, we sometimes forget to set time aside to do the things we really love.

      Whether it’s baking, reading, yoga or going ona hike, take the time to do something you love.

      4. Be active.

      While our natural instinct on a single Valentine’s Day is to indulge in chocolate and Netflix, take this day to better yourself.

      Take a class at your gym that you normally wouldn’t take, go on a hike with another single friend or simply go for a run while blasting “Irreplaceable” by Queen Bey.

      To quote one of the most badass single girls, Elle Woods: “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy.”

      5. Avoid restaurants like the plague and take advantage of the greatness of food delivery apps.

      Restaurants are going to be packed with lovey-dovey couples.

      While I have nothing against them, I’d rather eat from the comfort of my home (and yoga pants), with a bottle of wine to myself.

      GrubHub, Seamless and Eat24 are the most popular life-saving food delivery apps. With just a few taps of your finger, your favorite meal will be en route to your living room.

      Chocolates, wine and Netflix subscription not included.

      6. While treating ourselves is great, so is making someone else’s day a little brighter.

      Just because you don’t have an SO, that doesn’t mean you can’t send out a little gift to someone you love.

      This can be anything from sending your mom flowers to sending your closest single female friends a cute card.

      The “thank you” call or text you’ll get on Valentine’s Day is a sure way to make you smile.

      Valentine’s Day is a holiday about love, not couples.

      While most people associate love with couples, we must not forget that loving ourselves is just as important.

      Taking the time to do things for yourself on Valentine’s Day will hopefully remind you how amazing you are, and why you shouldn’t just settle for anybody for the sake of having a valentine.

      Read more:

      Usain Bolt: My sport needs me to win Olympic gold

      (CNN)With dark clouds hanging over the Olympic Games, Usain Bolt is ready to light up Rio 2016.

      The world’s fastest man is bidding for an unprecedented “triple triple” of gold medals in Brazil, hoping to become the first athlete to win the 100- and 200-meter as well as the 4×100-meter relay title at three consecutive Games.
        And as the Russian doping scandal threatens to overshadow the competition, the Jamaican is ready to deliver a good news story for track and field.
        “I know the sport needs me to win or it needs me to come out on top and that’s the same thing I want,” the 29-year-old told reporters. “We want the same thing, so I’m just working hard and staying focused.”


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        Bolt cut a relaxed figure as he spoke with journalists on the 12th floor of a London hotel, showing no signs of self-doubt after a frustrating year so far.
        He was forced out of the 200-meter final at this month’s Jamaican trials with a torn hamstring, although Bolt had clocked a time of 9.88 seconds over 100 meters in June.
        Insisting he’s feeling no ill effects from the injury, Bolt says he can still run faster than he’s ever ran before … over 200 meters at least.
        “No, I don’t personally think so,” he replied when asked if his record-breaking days were behind him.
        “I think the 100, for me, is always going to be harder because it’s so technical,” Bolt explained. “It’s all about me getting a good start and executing right and stuff like that.
        “But I think always, in 200, there’s room for running faster. So I really want to try to go after the 200-meter world record this year.”
        With Bolt set to turn 30 on the final day of competition at the Games, track and field is facing up to the fact that he can’t go on forever.
        He admits that his body is starting to feel the strain and that it takes longer to bounce back from injuries. One day, athletics will have to wave goodbye to his “Lightning Bolt” salute.
        Bolt has previously suggested he will retire after the 2017 World Championships and he predicts it could be a while before sport sees another athlete as quick as he.
        “For me, she’s the ultimate athlete,” says Bolt of the 29-year-old. “I’ve always respected her, we’ve come through the ranks together, through high school and everything, so I know what she’s been through.
        “She’s proven it over and over again. I remember after she doubled in Russia (winning 100- and 200-meter gold at the 2013 Moscow World Championships) she asked me, ‘How do you do it?’ and I was like, ‘Yo, if you want to be the best, you’ve got to step up and do great things.’
        “So it’s something she’s learning and she’s working to be the best.”
        And Bolt would be happy to see her beat him into the history books.
        “Of course, as a fellow Jamaican, it’s always great to see Jamaicans win,” he said.
        Something Fraser-Pryce can never take away from Bolt is the position of “fastest man in the world,” a title he’s grown fond of hearing.
        “It’s pretty cool!” he said. “At first it was like, ‘Yeah, whatever. I’m just happy to win gold medals.’ But the more you get used to it and people say it more, then I start hanging out with my friends and I see a footballer and I’m like ‘Yo, I’m the fastest man in the world.'”
        Explaining himself, Bolt concludes: “(With) footballers, you have to debate who’s the best.
        “But no one can debate who’s the fastest man in the world.”

        Read more:

        People Are Using Skateboards To Work Out And Here’s How You Can, Too

        In France, being chic is a way of life. I’m sure you’ve read no fewer than a thousand nauseating analyses of the best way to wear a boatneck t-shirt and hold a baguette without ever actually consuming gluten. But I’m just a sweaty New Yorker what do I know about it?

        While Big Apple-dwellers are punching each other’s lights out in sexy, basement-level boxing clubs and rowing in the dark, Parisians are exploring an altogether less explored fitness area: the skate park. At the fashion-girl favorite store Colette’s Skate Gym, movers and shakers had the opportunity to learn the best way to use a deck without ever actually going anywhere.

        The classes (so fancy even Vogue wrote about them) were taught by trainer Raphael Doub, who uses the skateboard because the wobbly deck makes for an intense core workout. Plus, he believes in keeping your fitness routine exciting.

        Over a dubious Skype connection, at 9 pm in the City of Light, Doub and I connected for a digital workout. He broke down a few of his favorite moves while I tried not to fall on my face. I’m not a skater by any means, and if I can do it, so can you.

        Grab a skateboard (I’m using a 22-inch Penny board in a colorway I wish I could dye into my hair), yoga mat and towel. We’re ready to ride well, mostly stand. But we’ll get to that. Be ready to work hard and sweat a weird amount. I’d recommend 10-15 reps per set.

        Lay down your mat, set the board flat and begin by getting your balance.

        When you’ve got it, try touching your toes and staying balanced.

        Now, we’re going into a lungein whichour knee should touch the floor. Then, place weight on the board to come back up.

        It’ll look a little something like this. Try not to fall over and/or perish as you keep your core tight.

        Now, place your towel on the board and get into an elbow plank. From there, use your abs to pull up into a downward dog and push back out.

        If you do this right, it should burn with the fire of a thousand suns. As a modification, try the move on your knees.

        Switch to a straight arm plank with the board underneath your palms. Use small movements to rock it back and forth.

        If you fear concussing yourself, keep your fingers directly over the wheels in case of emergency.

        Turn the board, and move it back and forth in the small motions. Are you purple-faced yet?

        Moving to your side, balance on your glute and crunch with a straight leg. Your hand and toe should nearly touch. My face indicates the amount of effort this move requires.

        Now, we’re on to balance. Sit on the board and extend you arms, raising toes off the floor. For an extra challenge, move your arms in tiny circles.

        Last one! Standing on the board with one foot, raise the other and balance. Once you’re comfortable, lower down to touch your toes and come back up. Switch legs after a full set.

        Now, we stretch. Standing on the board as pictured, reach down to loosen your calves.

        With one knee on the board, slide back into a stretch while keeping your tailbonetucked. Repeat legs, and you’re all finished.

        Read more:

        8 Unusual Exercises To Help You Tone Your Abs For Summer

        Did you just wake up and realize you’re smack dab in the middle of swimsuit season? Yeah. Me too.

        Time to pull yourself out of the winter food coma, wipe the pizza grease off your face and get your butt to the gym.

        We all want those toned abs to show off at the beach. Butcrunches. Le sigh. Crunches are the worst exercise in the whole world. They are so boring, so tedious, so not a delicious, sugary dessert that I want to consume instead of doing crunches.

        Lucky for you, crunches are not the only way to tone your abs. And we really have no time to lose, my friends. It’s summer, so we need to tone our abs FAST.Besideslooking good, exercising is an amazing stress relief and mood booster that helps keep your life balanced. Happy summer fun and a healthybod is the way to go. Isn’t that what summer is all about?

        Here are eight unusual, not-at-all-miserable exercises to help you get those rock-hard, sculpted-from-marble abs in time for summer (even though it’s kind of already summer). Tick tock!

        1. Two-minute plank

        Planking is the ultimate exercise to tone your whole body. Youre engaging your arms, butt and legs. It really works those oblique muscles and the lower abdomen by squeezing them in (much like a corset, only without all the organ crushing). Planking is super simple, but also challenging.

        Balance on your toes and forearms, while creating a straight line with your body. Hold steady for a solid two minutes. Make sure your form is strong by not putting too much stress on your shoulders. Anddont forget to pull in yourabs and to squeeze those butt cheeks like you’re making diamonds!

        2. Stir the pot

        This exercise is fun because you feel the burn in your obliques and your upper abs without becoming a sweaty mess.

        Before you grab that beach ball, grab a big ol exercise ball, my friends. Use the ball as your foundationand move into a raised plank(that means elbows on the ball, people!).

        Wait! The fun isnt over.

        Now, use your almost-six-pack abs to move the ball in measured circles, like youre stirring a big pot of soup. Do 12 rounds on each side and repeat.

        If being on your toes for this long is too much stress on your lower back (because thats the way life goes), dont be embarrassed to lower to your knees. You’ve got this!

        3. Mountain climbers

        Mountain climbers will chisel your entire body, but they especially help to tone your lower abs. And as anyone who has ever done an abs exercise knows, toning your lower abs is the hardest part of working out your core. The pouch is real.

        Start in an elevated plank. Pull each knee in toward your chest, one at a time. Do this for a full minute. The more familiar you become with the technique, the faster and more efficient youll get at it.

        It literally looks like youre climbing a mountain, only on the floor.

        4. The leg swoop

        This exercise is definitely challenging, but its so worth it because it really tones your abs, FAST. And on the plus side its not boring: It keeps you engaged because you have to focus on moving your legs while simultaneously keeping your arms still.

        Start by grabbinga 5- or 10-pound standard weight plate. While lyingon your back with the plate held stationary above your chest, lift your legs to form a 90-degree angle. Swoopyour legs outwards, in opposite directions, untilyour ankles eventually hovertwo inches abovethe ground. Then bring your legs back to the starting position. Repeat 12 to 15 times before resting.

        5. Boat pose

        Calling all yogis! This yoga pose is actually a killer abs workout. It pulls in and tones your obliques and upper and lower abs to tighten and strengthen them.

        Sit on your butt and balance on your tailbone. Glueyour legs together and lift them as high as you (comfortably) can. Raise your arms straight in front of you, creating a V with your body. Balance in this position for as long as possible. Remember to steady your breath and avoid tensing up in your shoulders.

        6. Dragon walk

        Dragon walking is a fun exercise because it just looks really cool. Like mountain climbers, it tones your entire body. The difference is you move across the floor while doing it. (Thats why its called dragon walking because you look like a dragon. Duh.)

        Start in your plank and then pull your knee toward the elbow on the same side. At the same time, walk your opposite arm forward, like youre climbing a ladder. Its challenging, but it shows results.

        7. Bridge

        A classic bridge is amazing for your glutes, but it also does quite a number on your abdominals. You might not know this, but its important to strengthen your inner core before building those defined abs that reside above it. Bridge pose doesjust that.

        Lie on your back and hoist your lower body into the air, placing your weight onto your heels and the tops of your shoulders. Focus on your breathing and hold for 20 seconds. Slowly bring your rear down to the floor and repeat for five reps before resting.

        8. Superman

        In order to really tighten up that belly, you need tofocus on your lower back muscles and thats exactly where the superman helps you out. FYI:It’s called asuperman becauseyou look like youre flying through the air like the Man of Steel when you execute it correctly.

        Lie on your stomach with your arms and legs stretched out so youre as long as you can be. Simultaneously lift your arms and legs as high as you can manage. Again, squeeze those cheeks! (When you do the move correctly, your body will resemble a semicircle.) Perform 10 to 15 reps before resting.

        Read more:

        How can we end the cycle of racial violence?

        (CNN)In his memorial speech for the five Dallas police officers slain by a deranged shooter, President Barack Obama reminded the audience of the ways in which our nation’s past has shaped the current crisis. “Centuries of racial discrimination — of slavery and subjugation and Jim Crow — they didn’t simply vanish with the end of lawful segregation. They didn’t just stop when Dr. King made a speech, or the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act were signed.”

        By linking the current racial conflict to the civil rights past, Obama reminded the nation that the hard choices we face now are ones that we have faced before.


          When militarized policing combined with such intrusive, but routine, hyperpolicing policies as “stop and frisk,” it made urban black communities feel as if they were occupied territories and that any typical encounter with police could be fraught with the threat of harassment and arrest.
          The final match to this tinderbox was the proliferation of guns in America. In the 21st century, the nation has steadily advanced “open carry” gun laws and allowed the assault weapons ban to cease — and the result is predictable: more violence.

          Where do we go from here?

          After bearing witness to so many police shootings and now two recent shootings of police, we can no longer claim that these shootings are the errant result of an abhorrent police department or that violence ever advances social justice. Nor can we say that this carceral state was built solely by conservatives or liberals.
          More importantly, we can’t continue with business as usual, embracing law and order rhetoric that replaces poverty programs with expensive punitive measures. If we are to heal the racial divide, we need a new presidential-level commission that considers these overlapping problems of poverty, inequality, gun violence, public mental health, mass incarceration, hyperpolicing and militarization. But this time, we need more than a report.
          No matter who wins the 2016 presidential race, Americans must demand from their politicians a renewed national political commitment, at both the state and federal level, to roll back the carceral state. Given the scale of the choice ahead, it is worth returning to the Kerner Commission‘s call for national truth and reconciliation: “This deepening racial division is not inevitable. The movement apart can be reversed. Choice is still possible. … From every American it will require new attitudes, new understanding and, above all, new will.”

          Read more:

          Donald Trump’s dreadful night

          (CNN)Wednesday night was dreadful for Donald Trump. Simply awful. The whole message of this convention is “unity.” The reason he has invited his former opponents to speak is to stress that he, too, is a conservative. Well, Ted Cruz stripped away the veneer of unity. And his beautiful speech about the true meaning of conservatism left us in no doubt that Trump ain’t a conservative.

          There was a funny prophecy of things to come earlier in the day. Cruz was trying to address his followers down by the waterside — and Trump flew past in his giant plane. Cruz laughed in that slightly wicked way of his, and suggested it might have been timed. Later, when Cruz was delivering his speech to the convention, Trump walked in, in an obvious attempt to once again disrupt him. On this occasion, his timing was off.


            What a speech. Technically, Cruz did say that Republicans were free to vote their conscience. Technically, he did endorse the wall. Technically, he did make a plea for philosophical unity. But what he never said was: “I endorse Trump.” The convention heard what he wasn’t saying. The New York delegates got to their feet and demanded that he back Trump. Again, he gave that evil grin. “I appreciate the enthusiasm of the New York delegation,” he said — and then plowed on.
            It was reminiscent of Nelson Rockefeller’s turn at the 1964 Republican convention, when he denounced the extremists backing the candidacy of Barry Goldwater and was drowned out with boos. The irony is that this year, it’s the conservatives — not the Rockefeller moderates — who are the outsiders challenging the newfound authority of the Trumpites. It’s something they have to do just to survive.
            A liberal might have listened to Cruz’s speech and struggled to understand what all the fuss was about. Didn’t he also talk about Obama “importing terrorists” (which he most definitely is not doing, by the way) and wax lyrical about the wall? Yes. But Cruz also talked about the importance of the Constitution. About each state being free to have different policies from the other. About the importance of civil liberties. Even about gay rights. This was an intelligent, step-by-step articulation of the conservative philosophy of government by a legal scholar. Trump would not only not talk in such language himself but, one suspects, he doesn’t even understand it. In fact, it’s antithetical to the entire Trump pitch.
            Later came Mike Pence, whose speech was supposed to be the centerpiece of the Wednesday session, to tell us that Trump deserves to win because America needs “strong leaders.” Actually no, it does not. America needs a leader who understands the limits of his position and who does not try to operate beyond the legal bounds of his office. It does not need a leader who is theatrical or charismatic. It just needs someone of moral quality.
            Maybe a future convention will elevate Cruz as that person. It probably won’t do the same for Marco Rubio, whose sad infomercial-type video endorsement made him look small. Newt Gingrich — introduced, inexplicably, by his wife as though he’d won the nomination himself — looked old and pretty out of touch. Pence is there to obey. And Chris Christie, who denounced Cruz’s speech as soon as he heard it, is a hit man. The only man who looked like he might have a real career after this convention is Ted Cruz.
            Millions of conservatives who were thinking about casting aside their doubts and backing Trump just to beat Hillary Clinton will now be thinking again. Cruz has given their consciences a second life.

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