Whatever Works

People thought I was a weirdo for dressing up to the nines to sit alone in my office, writing a boring report.

The shoes match, too

But it worked! I’m finishing the report today even though I was sure it was impossible to get it done before Friday next week, at best.

It’s a 60-page report that I’ve done in exactly two days of work. Obviously, I didn’t write every word if it. Parts are taken (as they are supposed to be) from existing documents. But I did all the calculations of how well we live up to gender and race quotas myself! That’s back-breaking words because the numbers we get come in unreadable .pdfs with tiny fonts.

Strange People

On home design TV shows, people keep saying that they need this and that space “to entertain.” It’s a constant, “yeah, but where will we entertain? Is this enough space to entertain? We really love to entertain.”

I wonder, do people really do all that entertaining and, most importantly, what possesses them to engage in such an activity?

Please don’t get me wrong, I stoically bear every opportunity for sociability that comes my way. I took Klara to a birthday party last Saturday and bravely socialized with people there. I still haven’t completely recovered from the effort but I know I will eventually. But to actually modify your house in order to facilitate people coming at you – or to you, whatever – this is beyond my comprehension.

War Update

Tonight in my native city of Kharkiv a residential building was targeted by a Russian bomb:

Six are dead. Unfortunately, as we now know, 12 people died in the attack. Sixteen wounded. Earlier yesterday Russians targeted a residential facility in Kharkiv that houses deaf and hard-of-hearing people. They don’t hear the air-raid sirens well, so didn’t seek immediate shelter.

Russians aren’t achieving anything on the battlefield, so they become a lot more brutal against civilians.

In Common

There are many differences between presidential administrations, some of them gigantic. But on one issue every president starting with Reagan was (and is) doggedly the same. That issue is, of course, an open-border policy for limitless low-skilled mass migration. Rhetoric changes but reality remains.

Before mentioning Trump, please be ready to explain how all those hundreds of thousands of migrants that crossed the border this year managed to get through that big beautiful wall he built.

Oh, he didn’t build one?

That’s my point exactly. Rhetoric changes but policy doesn’t.

Cosmetic Differences

Not only were Bush Jr and Obama identical on foreign policy (hawkish but inept, devastating the Middle East with poorly thought-out invasions, slobbering and subservient towards Russia, and pro-open borders, which destroys Central America and strengthens cartels), they were the same on the economy. Neoliberal, pro-austerity, pro-China, anti-domestic labor.

The guys could have practically been twins. The differences between them were completely cosmetic but only the people who are immune to partisanship could notice it.

Time to Learn

Makes me think of the US and Canadian colleagues who wailed “I don’t want to die!!!” in 2020-22 as an excuse to not return to the classroom in person. In Ukraine, it’s not fashionable to do that. It’s fashionable to do the opposite. And it doesn’t change if a Ukrainian moves elsewhere. This is why I was in the classroom from the day the university was unlocked on July 1, 2020.

I just honestly can’t imagine a Ukrainian seriously saying “I feel unsafe” over something somebody said or an opinion somebody expressed. Ukraine is in vogue, so let’s put that to good use, retire the word “unsafe,” get rid of performative fragility, grow a backbone, and join the world of resilient, strong people instead of weak, scared snowflakes.

Hidden Continuities

The foreign policy during Bush Jr and Obama was identical, and identically stupid.

The foreign policy during Trump and Biden is identical and quite good. Not perfect but enormously better than what we saw with W and Obama.

It’s as if there were transfers of power but they didn’t happen alongside party lines. Unfortunately, most people are so hypnotized by partisanship that they can’t notice many such continuities.

DeSantis At Work

DeSantis is working hard on his speaking skills. Look at this video:

There’s still some nasality, especially closer to the end, and he mumbled through his punch line “the state where woke goes to die,” but it’s getting better. I’m very hopeful for this guy.