Democracy and Politics

A character in Rafael Chirbes’s novel Crematorio says:

The worst was discovering that democracy puts an end to politics. That was the worst. To spend 20, 30 years under Franco, demanding democracy, only to discover that when democracy arrived, its first message to you was that it had no use for you because democracy is the best way of destroying politics.

Chirbes is one of the best writers currently writing in Spain.

Let’s Support Our Team!

So who’s with me in rooting for Argentina in the World Cup finals today? Argentina is the world’s only chance to show the Germans that they don’t own the universe. Plus, if there are both Germans and Argentinians living in your area, you know that Germans celebrate by getting sulkily and moodily drunk and trashing the neighborhood. Argentinians, in the meanwhile, celebrate by filling the neighborhood with the delicious smell of parrilladas.

It’s a no- brainer, folks. When was the last time Germans did anything for you? OK, there is the sausage. And I vaguely suspect my car must be German. And, in all fairness, they did come up with the word Bildungsroman. But that’s it!

Argentineans, in the meanwhile, have the best meat, the best movies, the best music, and the best version of Spanish anybody has been able to come up with.

Argentina totally deserves to win also because times have been tough and people need cheering up. And it isn’t like anything can cheer up a German anyway.

And if I haven’t been able to convince you by now, you must be German. In which case, with all due respect, I hope you lose.

Cuba Doesn’t Learn

After all of the grief and horrible suffering that their stupid parroting of Russia has already cost them, Cubans are committing the same mistake and crawling back to lick the Russians’ boots like diseased puppies.

Cuba has been bending over backwards, trying to please its former owner. It has refused to condemn the annexation of the Crimea (because, as we all know, Cuba is so totally anti-imperialist) and is now throwing a grand welcoming party to Russia’s dictator Putin. The 9 billion barrels of oil Cuba claims to have are needed by the Russians, so the Castros will gladly hand their only natural resource over to the country’s erstwhile abusers.

Just when there appeared a minuscule chance for Cuba to climb out of the hole it had dug for itself, the brain-dead ancient leaders of this pathetic little country decided that Cubans haven’t been screwed by Russians long and hard enough.

Putin’s Achievements in Ukraine

This is the kind of weaponry the Russian army used yesterday to shoot at Ukrainian soldiers from across the border:

Grad

25 Ukrainians were killed yesterday and about 100 were wounded so badly that the experienced medical personnel was fainting with horror when seeing the wounds. The number of the missile launchers shooting at Ukrainians was somewhere around 40.

I keep reading endless self-congratulatory articles in the Western media as to how Putin has been humiliated in Ukraine and how he has to count his losses. The people who write this crap are absolutely delusional. Putin is achieving everything he ever wanted in Ukraine. Here are his major achievements in Ukraine:

1. Russia’s ownership of the Crimea has been de facto recognized by everybody. There is no more talk about Russia returning the occupied territories to Ukraine.

2. The constant low-grade conflict maintained in the South-East of Ukraine allows Putin to get rid (by sending them to fight in Ukraine) of the bandits, nationalists, neo-Nazis, Chechens who have been committing crime and / or undermining his authority in Russia.

3. The West has demonstrated that it doesn’t in the least mind Putin’s constant (and aggressive) attempts to destabilize Ukraine.

4. As a result of this destabilization, Putin doesn’t have to fear that Ukraine will grow into a strong democratic state.

5. Putin has wiped his ass with both Merkel and Obama and has demonstrated that he is, at this moment, the strongest, most consistent, most highly supported leader on the planet.

Now compare this to the US’s “success” in Iraq. So who is it that should feel humiliated?

It’s high time we stopped feeling sorry for the “poor, humiliated Putin” and wondered why our leaders are allowing some KGB creepazoid from an illiterate, third-world banana republic to make such extreme idiots out of all of us.

6. Putin has used the events in Ukraine to quash all opposition at home and bring his approval ratings to incredible heights.

Love

N loves me so much, people. I’m watching a Spanish TV series for my research, and he sits next to me while I watch. The show is in Spanish. Which he doesn’t speak. And there are no subtitles. And he hasn’t seen the first 4 episodes. But he just likes spending time together.

The Kids at the Border

Let me preface this by saying that, for me, there is no such thing as too many Hispanic immigrants. I’m hopelessly biased in favor of Hispanic cultures and it’s useless to try to convince me to change my mind. Hispanic immigrants are one of 3 immigrant communities that make the best neighbors (in the wider sense of the word) and who integrate extremely well into new socities.

However – and it breaks my heart even to write this – the immigrant children from Central America at the US border should be sent home.

I know that anybody who hears this feels an instinctive rejection of these words, which is only a sign that she or he is a good, normal person. And it would be great if an American passport were the cure for all ills. It isn’t, though. These children have experienced the worst trauma and betrayal a human psyche can encounter. Their own parents threw them out to be raped or killed. You can’t cure this with all the passports in the world. 

Bill Ayers tells, in his recent book, the story of a boy he and his wife adopted. The boy’s parents decided that murdering people was so much fun that it was worth abandoning their infant boy to engage in that lofty pursuit. Obviously, the boy started exhibiting symptoms of a range of severe psychiatric disorders from early childhood. He was lucky in that both his adoptive parents and his grandparents were extremely rich. They could afford to hire an army of psychoanalysts and pay for every expensive treatment under the sun. And only after 20 years of these efforts undertaken by a team of multimillionaires did the boy get better and became socialized.

It is still unclear why the parents of these immigrant kids throw them out so easily. Silly, overfed Westerners keep chirping about poverty or gang violence, which is an obvious sign they never experienced either. Poor people are not any less capable of loving their children than the rich folks. The very idea is offensive.

A single hint at what might be going on appeared in the newscast that said that many – if not most – of these kids don’t speak Spanish. I’m guessing they come from the pre-modern indigenous cultures where the concept of childhood has not developed. In the Western civilization, the concept is historically very new as well. The Spanish literary classic Lazarillo de Tormes illustrates this very clearly.

Giving these immigrant children American passports would turn them into de facto parents of the very parents who betrayed them so brutally. Their lives will be about doing slave-like labor or engaging in crime with the sole goal of supporting the abusive parents at home or even trying to bring them here. They will serve as sacrificial goats to the needs of some Westerners to wallow in pleasantly warm puddles of muddy guilt.

Unless we can find a family of billionaires willing to adopt each such child and organize its life around the child’s needs, there is absolutely no other help that will make a difference. Chest-thumping and screeching is of no actual assistance to anybody.

It would be great if we could discuss this issue without fits of pseudo-Liberal hysteria whose only purpose is to aggrandize the vociferating hysteric in his or her own eyes.

Old Post Rescue #4

This was a really fun post on how identity politics prevented biologists from studying wasps.

Nations come and go but we, the guardians and creators of knowledge, have existed long before the concept of a nation was invented. I need a passport because it makes traveling easy and not as an object of sappy worship. Participating in the game of “My nation is more moral than your nation” is an embarrassing activity I have no use for.” And I still agree with myself completely.

A post from 2011 on the weirdest conference I’ve ever attended.

One of the posts where I ridiculed a whiny creature for dumping on the concept of graduate studies.

Can you imagine a patriarch telling his teenage daughter, “You have refused to engage in acts of coprophilia that your boyfriend suggested? How could you? Didn’t I spend my entire life teaching you to just say yes? You are no daughter of mine!”” This one was fun to write.

N and I read the book I reviewed in this post a long time ago. But it had such a strong impact on both of us that we are still discussing it on a regular basis.

My encounter with a descendant of the White Russians.

Here are the results of my investigation into mail-order bride websites.

And on a related note, who is the victim in the mail-order bride business?

Only posts such as the linked one can truly remind one how much technology changes our lives every day. It is unbelievable that the post was only written 3 years ago. The way I do this now is completely different and my own description sounds outdated and frumpy to me.

I still feel bad for how horribly this candidate bombed at his job interview.

Nobody agreed when I said that the #Occupy protests were useless. I guess now we can see who was right. And I still believe that #Occupy’s biggest problem was its extreme dishonesty.

The subject of the post may be outdated but I wrote it while having a really great time at the best conference ever and it still makes me feel good to remember that time.

And this story about the University of Manitoba made me realize that Canadian higher ed was doomed.