House of Cards

So who’s with me on watching the third season of House of Cards?

The season is great and the efforts to portray the insanity of Russians are almost kind of decent. The character playing Putin (Petrov in the series) is way too refined and intellectual to be a good portrayal of the original. But it’s a decent effort. I wish Russians didn’t have to mar the experience of watching the series but it’s no escaping them.

The character I’m identifying the most with is the hacker because of how desperately he’s trying to emigrate.

We’re on episode six of the new season, so if you’re done already, please no spoilers.

A Package from Ukraine

So I decided to support not only the families of Ukrainian POWs but also Ukrainian artists. It is very hard for an artist to survive in times of war and in a crumbling economy. Of course, I don’t try to exploit the difficult situation and would never haggle for a piece that I like. 

Today, a really beautiful oil painting of the 2014 Revolution of Dignity arrived. I will post the picture of it after I have it framed but for now I want to share what I found on the back of the painting.

The artist had attached a post-it note that said, in broken English, “UKRAINE NOT WANT WWIII!” This is simply heart-breaking.

Spaniards in Ukraine

Are things so bad in Spain that Spanish men have to whore themselves out like this?

Police have arrested eight Spaniards accused of fighting alongside pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine.

The suspects were detained in raids in six regions across Spain, the interior ministry said, describing the operation as the first of its kind in Europe.

They face charges of complicity in murder, possession of weapons and violating Spain’s neutrality in the conflict.

This is from the BBC, and please note the completely insane attachment of this channel to the crazy “pro-Russian rebels” verbiage. They are such freaks.

Yesterday, by the way, a leader of the “pro-Russian rebels and separatists”, a citizen of Russia who had fought in Chechnya and bears a proud nickname of Motorolla, issued yet another passionate statement berating the people of the occupied territories for not joining him and other “separatists” with Russian passports in fighting against Ukraine. The Russian leaders of the “separatists” have been ranting and raving on social media and in the press against the vile Ukrainians of the occupied Donbass Region for showing so little interest in the efforts of these Russian citizens to liberate them. 

Yet the BBC still refers to these people as “Ukrainian separatists” and “Russian rebels.” 

Please, please just remember this the next time you trust the BBC reporting on anything.


When I told N about the murder of the dissident in Russia, his first response was, “Are they blaming Muslims yet?”

It took a few hours, but N knows his former compatriots well and now they are blaming Muslims. Nemtsov was Jewish, so it will not be hard to create some weird narrative around this.

Another official version is that Nemtsov was killed because of an abortion he forced someone to have.

I’m still waiting for Jen Psaki, the object of absolutely irrational hatred in Russia, to get worked into the story of Muslims and abortions conspiring to kill Nemtsov.

Nemtsov’s Murder

Boris Nemtsov was murdered right in front of the Kremlin on a very busy bridge and in full view of a great number of people. It was past 11 pm, but as you can see in the photos, the area is extremely well lit with patriotic lighting. 

Putin has made a statement to the effect that Nemtsov has been murdered by provocateurs. Putin’s media are reporting that during the murder, Nemtsov was taking a stroll with a woman from Ukraine. A car stopped next to the pair, murderers got out of the car and shot Nemtsov four (some sources say seven) times in the chest. Putin will now suggest that Nemtsov was murdered by Ukrainians to discredit Putin.

Nemtsov was about to publish a report on the Russian invasion of Ukraine with a lot of documentary evidence, interviews with soldiers, etc. Two weeks ago, Nemtsov said in an interview that he feared that Putin would have him killed.

Right after the murder, Putin’s media started spreading the false information that the Ukrainian fighter pilot Nadiya Savchenko died in a Russian jail. This was soon disproved by Nadiya’s lawyer but half of Ukraine already started having heart attacks and spikes in blood pressure.

The most popular reaction to the news of the murder among regular Russians is “it’s good that Nemtsov was killed, because he is an ‘American project’.”

There is something really bad going on in Russia but nobody will pay attention until it will be too late.

There are photos of the location under the fold, don’t look if you are too sensitive. There are no close-ups of the body but still.

Continue reading “Nemtsov’s Murder”

Boris Nemtsov Has Been Murdered in Moscow

Russian news agencies inform that Boris Nemtsov, an opposition politician, a dissident and the former deputy prime minister of Russia under Yeltsin, has been murdered in Moscow.

Nemtsov has been extremely critical of Putin’s regime and of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. He is reported to have been shot dead with 4 shots to the chest while taking a stroll in downtown Moscow. Nemtsov was killed the day before he was scheduled to participate in an opposition march in Moscow.

P.S. Exactly one month ago today, Nemtsov said, “Putin should step down or Russia’s future will be limited to war and crisis.” Words cannot express how absolutely shocked I’m feeling. I’m very sorry for the people of Russia who have to be living in this mess of a country.

Scott Walker on Sexual Assault Reporting

Scott Walker is trying to remove the investigation and adjudication of rape cases from the hands of deanlings, deanlets and deanoids of all stripes. He is also suggesting measures that will weaken the association of college and rape.

We all know how much I detest Walker but, people, this is long overdue. Every year, I have to sign long and humiliating statements swearing to heaven and earth that I will report any instances of pedophilia that I might observe (in a university where half of the students are older than me and nobody underage is even allowed to appear on campus). Nobody ever asked me to sign similar letters about witnessing murder, battery, robbery, theft, mugging, etc. In my opinion, this really trivializes sexual assault because it is being singled out as something that a highly educated and alert person like myself would not even identify as a crime without mile-long documents to the effect.

And the whole “colleges are rape nests” propaganda is also really stupid. It has nothing to do with reality. Rape exists everywhere and singling out colleges is ridiculous. As if the young people who are denied education for whatever reason experienced less sexual assault than the people who do get educated. 

I believe it will be great if we all just stopped fear-mongering about the horrible danger that awaits women if they try to get an education. There is crime on campus. There is crime outside of campus. Let’s battle crime instead of reinforcing a worldview where women who venture into the spaces of knowledge put themselves at an enormous risk of rape that they would avoid if they chose to lock themselves at home and never peek outside.

I also believe that Walker’s plan to overturn

the requirement that the Board direct each institution and college campus to incorporate oral and written or electronic information on sexual assault in its orientation program for newly entering students and to supply all students enrolled in the institution or college campus with the same information in either printed or electronic form

is a great idea. (And believe me, I feel extraordinarily weird mentioning the words “Scott Walker” and “great idea” in the same sentence.) I do not think that any useful purpose is served by mentioning sexual assault as part of the activities for incoming students. To the contrary, this creates an intolerable environment for the students who will, from the start, begin to associate the acquisition of knowledge specifically with sexual violation. Conduct a little experiment to see if I’m right. Ask an older colleague who holds a superior position to yours to come by your office or cubicle several times a day and say “There is danger of rape. Rape. Rape statistics. There is rape in this space.” And compare your productivity before and after that. 

I will never understand why we can’t all just accept the idea that rape is a crime just like any other crime and that it has to be investigated by police and prosecuted in the court of law irrespective of where it happens and to whom. OK, I’m being coy, I do understand. Rape is too convenient a tool to terrorize young women into compliance and justify helicoptering around college-age people to protect them from growing up.