Links: Sobriety on the war in Ukraine; union hotels; beautiful cathedrals

Hope everyone had a great 4th of July celebration. Having grown up in New England, the party will always be associated with the Boston Pops Orchestra, under the direction of Arthur Fiedler, giving a concert on the Esplanade in Boston. They always played Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture” which never made much sense, since the music is organized around French and Tsarist national anthems. But it’s still glorious music. Here is a video of the concert of July 4, 1976, day of the bicentenary. There’s a weird confusion with the video in the middle, but the exuberance of the music stands out.

At Foreign Affairs, Ivo Daalder, who was ambassador to NATO during President Barack Obama’s first term, and James Lindsay of the Council on Foreign Relations, argue that the response to the war in Ukraine is the “last best hope”. for the Western powers are trying to unite to create a rules-based international order. The authors rightly argue that Western nations must first learn why they failed to do so after the collapse of communism. They comment on the 1990s, “American hubris and European wishful thinking dominated the day, and leaders in Western capitals ignored signs that great-power competition was far from dead.” A wise call to sobriety and hope.

De Unite Here, the union that represents many hospitality workers, has released a new website listing which hotels they are asking customers to boycott due to poor labor policies, and which ones they are encouraging customers to book because their workforce is unionized. Here’s something we can all do to show solidarity with workers: Only frequent hotels that respect their workers.

At The Hill, Catholic University politics professor John White examines some of the similarities between George Wallace and Donald Trump, but argues that Trump and his supporters are driven by conspiratorial thinking in a way that would have made segregationist Wallace blush .

Appreciate Opera ranks the top 10 opera houses in the world. I’ve only been to two of the houses listed, but it would be a fun “bucket list” excursion to visit the others on the list. It’s surprising that so few modern houses are on the list: Copenhagen and Oslo both have quite nice modern houses.

At Architecture Daily, a look at some mid-20th century Modernist Catholic churches, some of which are quite beautiful. I was surprised that St. Mary’s Cathedral wasn’t on the list: I was willing to dislike it based on photos, but found it beautiful in person and a wonderful place of worship. Of those featured in this article, the Easter Church in Oberwart, Austria, appears to be the most beautiful.

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