Refreshing Shame

I rarely get a chance to be ashamed of being a Spanish speaker but this is one of those occasions

It’s refreshing since usually I’m ashamed of being a Russian speaker.


I’m feeling very Christmasy, people. I’ve got a new little nephew, my colleagues are all great people and even the HR is coming through for me in a very helpful way, I just received a 800-page book that I really want to read, and I finally came up with an idea for the conclusion of the last chapter of my book. 

I did some really good work today, so I can now lie in front of the fireplace and wait for my pheasants to defrost. (This last phrase sounds very funny to me, especially given my origins.) 

Get Your Own Chestnuts

Once again, Assad used chemical weapons against civilians. At the same time, Amnesty International is accusing Russia of crimes against humanity in Syria because the only thing Russians bomb are civilian living quarters, mosques, markets and hospitals.

The idea that somebody else is going to snatch chestnuts out of an open fire for you needs to be abandoned forthwith. Everybody has their own goals and is pursuing them. 

There is nothing more transformative and intellectually enriching than the realization that every person on the planet is just as human as you are. In a rapidly globalizing world, the price for not understanding this will be steep. Both the Republican and the Democratic debates on foreign policy made it very clear that very few of our aspiring leaders are capable of understanding that other people are just as bad, just as good and just as dedicated to their own interests as we are.

Is Merkel Trying to Destroy the EU?

Germany approved the scandalous Nord Stream pipeline, hugely strengthening Putin and locking the EU in another unbreakable cycle of dependence on Russia.

I have absolutely no other explanation for what Merkel has been doing than that she hates the EU, hates Europe and wants to wreak some sort of vengeance on it. The way Germany behaved throughout the global economic crisis, ensuring that as many countries as possible soured on the EU, the way Merkel trampled on the sovereignty of her neighbors in what concerns the refugees, and now the pipeline decision that will make many European countries very angry – Southern, Central, and now Northern Europe are being angered one after another with a truly German meticulousness.

I’m not a Merkel hater. I always wanted to give Merkel the benefit of the doubt. But after all this, I can’t think of any reason for all these actions that doesn’t include dumb, possibly unconscious malice.

I don’t know what can happen to let the EU survive right now. And that’s something that will enormously strengthen Putin (or the successor his criminal organization will appoint.) Plus, this will produce more unhinged far-right parties in power and an even more rapidly fraying social safety net.