Stu blog: Someone finally asks George Soros the tough questions

CNN’s only-visible-when-we-mock-him host Fareed Zakaria is back at it again, and this time he’s not taking any crap from anyone.  Least of all George Soros, who received the single most brutal interview in the annals of journalistic history this weekend.  I thought he really pushed Soros to the brink with this non-leading-non-softball question:

ZAKARIA: So, George, Glenn Beck has been on this kick that you are actually the mastermind who is trying to bring down the American government. How do you react when you see this kind of thing?

Wow, what a difficult question.  Luckily , George is up to the challenge.

SOROS: Well, I would be amused if -- if people saw the joke in it, because what he is doing, he is projecting what FOX, what Rupert Murdoch is doing, because he has a -- a media empire that is telling the people some falsehoods and this -- and leading the government in the wrong direction.

But, you know, by accusing me of doing that, it kind of makes it rather hard to see that it's really, he is working for the man who is doing it, which is FOX News.

Do you get what has happened here?

1)      Zakaria introduces a concept of a puppet master as “truly bizarre” in the preceding segment.

2)      Soros says that the only reason Glenn says he is a puppet master is because Rupert Murdoch is a puppet master.

3)      Zakaria doesn’t follow up at all.

You see, Zakaria is too deep into the process of painting Glenn as having ‘wild and crazy theories’ to point out that his buddy George has the same ‘wild and crazy theory.’  Against all of his viewers wishes, Zakaria continues…

ZAKARIA: But it's very personal. I mean, he talks about you as a 14-year-old boy and he accuses you of -- of essentially helping to round Jews up -- you're Jewish yourself. You lost many, many people in the holocaust. How did you feel when you heard that?

How did you feel??? You get him Fareed!!! If I might suggest another way to phrase it next time:

“Ignoring the fact that he was only using your own words, and assuming the fact that Glenn Beck is completely evil and you are so truly angelic as to deserve my kneeling in front of you in worship---how do mean people make you feel when they say mean things?”

But the true journalism really kicks in during his answer.

SOROS: Well, look, FOX News makes a habit -- it has imported the methods of George Orwell, you know, newspeak, where you can tell the people falsehoods and deceive them. And you wouldn't believe that at an open society and a democracy these methods can succeed.

But, actually, they did succeed. They succeeded in Germany where the Weimar Republic collapsed and you had a -- a Nazi regime follow it. So this is a very, very dangerous way of deceiving people, and I would like people to be aware that they are being deceived.

Once again, realize what is happening here in Zakaria’s brain:

1)      Zakaria says Glenn is mean because he made a Nazi reference when talking about Soros.

2)      Soros responds by making a Nazi reference about Glenn.

How does Zakaria follow up?   Does he bother to mention that twice in two minutes Soros has done exactly the same terrible awful thing that Glenn has supposedly done?

ZAKARIA: What do you think of this broader movement of the Tea Party, of -- of what's going on on the right?

Is he even listening to his own interview?  ZERO follow up??  NOTHING?

Seriously, I would given a tougher interview while holding a garden hose pointed at a whipped-cream-covered Carrie Underwood lying on the hood of a Bugatti Veyron.

This was one of the first homesteads in the area in the 1880's and was just begging to be brought back to its original glory — with a touch of modern. When we first purchased the property, it was full of old stuff without any running water, central heat or AC, so needless to say, we had a huge project ahead of us. It took some vision and a whole lot of trust, but the mess we started with seven years ago is now a place we hope the original owners would be proud of.

To restore something like this is really does take a village. It doesn't take much money to make it cozy inside, if like me you are willing to take time and gather things here and there from thrift shops and little antique shops in the middle of nowhere.

But finding the right craftsman is a different story.

Matt Jensen and his assistant Rob did this entire job from sketches I made. Because he built this in his off hours it took just over a year, but so worth the wait. It wasn't easy as it was 18"out of square. He had to build around that as the entire thing we felt would collapse. Matt just reinforced the structure and we love its imperfections.

Here are a few pictures of the process and the transformation from where we started to where we are now:

​How it was

It doesn't look like much yet, but just you wait and see!

By request a photo tour of the restored cabin. I start doing the interior design in earnest tomorrow after the show, but all of the construction guys are now done. So I mopped the floors, washed the sheets, some friends helped by washing the windows. And now the unofficial / official tour.

The Property

The views are absolutely stunning and completely peaceful.

The Hong Kong protesters flocking to the streets in opposition to the Chinese government have a new symbol to display their defiance: the Stars and Stripes. Upset over the looming threat to their freedom, the American flag symbolizes everything they cherish and are fighting to preserve.

But it seems our president isn't returning the love.

Trump recently doubled down on the United States' indifference to the conflict, after initially commenting that whatever happens is between Hong Kong and China alone. But he's wrong — what happens is crucial in spreading the liberal values that America wants to accompany us on the world stage. After all, "America First" doesn't mean merely focusing on our own domestic problems. It means supporting liberal democracy everywhere.

The protests have been raging on the streets since April, when the government of Hong Kong proposed an extradition bill that would have allowed them to send accused criminals to be tried in mainland China. Of course, when dealing with a communist regime, that's a terrifying prospect — and one that threatens the judicial independence of the city. Thankfully, the protesters succeeded in getting Hong Kong's leaders to suspend the bill from consideration. But everyone knew that the bill was a blatant attempt by the Chinese government to encroach on Hong Kong's autonomy. And now Hong Kong's people are demanding full-on democratic reforms to halt any similar moves in the future.

After a generation under the "one country, two systems" policy, the people of Hong Kong are accustomed to much greater political and economic freedom relative to the rest of China. For the protesters, it's about more than a single bill. Resisting Xi Jinping and the Communist Party means the survival of a liberal democracy within distance of China's totalitarian grasp — a goal that should be shared by the United States. Instead, President Trump has retreated to his administration's flawed "America First" mindset.

This is an ideal opportunity for the United States to assert our strength by supporting democratic values abroad. In his inaugural address, Trump said he wanted "friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world" while "understanding that it is the right of all nations to put their interests first." But at what point is respecting sovereignty enabling dictatorships? American interests are shaped by the principles of our founding: political freedom, free markets, and human rights. Conversely, the interests of China's Communist Party are the exact opposite. When these values come into conflict, as they have in Hong Kong, it's our responsibility to take a stand for freedom — even if those who need it aren't within our country's borders.

Of course, that's not a call for military action. Putting pressure on Hong Kong is a matter of rhetoric and positioning — vital tenets of effective diplomacy. When it comes to heavy-handed world powers, it's an approach that can really work. When the Solidarity movement began organizing against communism in Poland, President Reagan openly condemned the Soviet military's imposition of martial law. His administration's support for the pro-democracy movement helped the Polish people gain liberal reforms from the Soviet regime. Similarly, President Trump doesn't need to be overly cautious about retribution from Xi Jinping and the Chinese government. Open, strong support for democracy in Hong Kong not only advances America's governing principles, but also weakens China's brand of authoritarianism.

After creating a commission to study the role of human rights in U.S. foreign policy, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wrote last month that the principles of our Constitution are central "not only to Americans," but to the rest of the world. He was right — putting "America First" means being the first advocate for freedom across the globe. Nothing shows the strength of our country more than when, in crucial moments of their own history, other nations find inspiration in our flag.

Let's join the people of Hong Kong in their defiance of tyranny.

Matt Liles is a writer and Young Voices contributor from Austin, Texas.

Summer is ending and fall is in the air. Before you know it, Christmas will be here, a time when much of the world unites to celebrate the love of family, the generosity of the human spirit, and the birth of the Christ-child in Bethlehem.

For one night only at the Kingsbury Hall in Salt Lake City, on December 7th, join internationally-acclaimed radio host and storyteller Glenn Beck as he walks you through tales of Christmas in the way that only he can. There will be laughs, and there might be a few tears. But at the end of the night, you'll leave with a warm feeling in your heart and a smile on your face.

Reconnect to the true spirit of Christmas with Glenn Beck, in a storytelling tour de force that you won't soon forget.

Get tickets and learn more about the event here.

The general sale period will be Friday, August 16 at 10:00 AM MDT. Stay tuned to for updates. We look forward to sharing in the Christmas spirit with you!