Warren vs Bernie

During a campaign-style tour of the West late last month, Senator Elizabeth Warren did not announce she was running for president. But in private events and public speeches, her message about 2020 was as clear as it was rousing.

God, I hope not. She’s even less charismatic than Hillary. Plus, the Native American heritage story firmly places her in the cuckoo wing of the party.

I’d vote for Bernie unless he demonstrates that he’s in thrall to the party’s excitable Twittering wing. Meaning, unless there is a replay of the humiliating scene where he was pushed around on stage during his own campaign appearance. And given his age, I’d care a lot about the VP pick. If that pick is a nod to the excitable crowd, then I’m obviously not interested. In any case, Bernie will be a lot worse than Trump on Russia.

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Mental Health Crisis

A subtitle in an NYTIMES article on the importance the reading:

Books Can Take You Places Donald Trump Doesn’t Want You to Go

People are in the grip of mass insanity.

The Sorest of Losers

The nation’s top intelligence officer said on Friday that the persistent danger of Russian cyberattacks today was akin to the warnings the United States had of stepped-up terror threats ahead of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

This has now become completely comical. People are embarrassing themselves all over the place and not even noticing.

Convincing Arguments

The analyst is trying to convince me to teach Klara Russian.

“This will help her feel more comfortable with people from other cultures!” he says.

“I don’t care about that, though,” I explain.

“She will grow up to be more tolerant!”

“I don’t care about that either.”

“Her academic achievement will be a lot higher if she speaks another language.”

“She’s a genius already, so whatever.”

“She will be able to read Russian literature in the original!”

“I think the literature is worthless and the culture is crap.”

“She’ll feel really superior to other kids if she can speak an exotic language.”

“Hah! OK, now you are talking. I’ll start teaching her today.”

Cold War Rhetoric

When Russia invaded Ukraine, killed thousands of people, and created a million of internal refugees in Ukraine, the rare person who tried to mention these events in public was sternly exhorted to abstain from promoting the Cold War rhetoric. People would positively ooze contempt and superiority for the poor fools they considered to be in the grip of Cold War mentality.

These same people are today indulging in the most outlandish feats of Cold War rhetoric over trivial, childish things that most definitely didn’t result in the deaths of thousands and a displacement of a million. Nobody seems to claim these childish things resulted in anything at all. But somehow, Cold War rhetoric is now very much ok.

Birthday Party Observations

Klara went to a birthday party today, and yet again I was stunned at how great American kids are. One 7-year-old boy played kitchen with Klara, and he was so kind and gentle and understanding with her that it was amazing. He never pushed her or tried to take toys away from her or tried hurting her in any way. I know this boy’s mom. She’s a single mother and she hasn’t had an easy life. In my country, a boy, and especially a single mother’s son, wouldn’t be like this.

And it isn’t just this one kid. All of the kids there were great. I let them take Klara to the other side of a humongous, overgrown backyard where it looked like they were admiring a neighbor’s huge dog and going on slides and swings. It was far and I couldn’t even see what they were doing but I wasn’t worried because I know these kids and I know they will take good care of a little one.

Another observation is that there was a 3-year-old girl there who reminded me of me as a kid. She was clearly very happy playing alone for several hours. She made no effort to approach other kids, didn’t even look at them. There was a piñata, a playground, water squirters, puppet theater, but the girl had no interest in any of it. She was clearly craving solitude. I’m now not discussing what had been done to make her this way but she was a copy of me in my childhood and of N still. Yet N and I didn’t create her. We created a child who was only happy if she could run around with a crowd of kids. We just can’t get over the irony of us having a sociable child.

This was the best kid birthday party I’ve ever been to. Klara’s birthday party was good but it was in February. And it’s not the same without outdoor summer activities.