A Pretty Subway

The Moscow subway is, indeed, extremely beautiful. Many stations are real works of art.

Stalin put one of the scariest people of his regime in charge of building the subway. His name was Lazar Kaganovich, and he was one scary dude. Just a couple of years later he’ll be one of the main engineers of Stalinist purges. He’ll end up being one of the very few party bosses who would survive Stalin.

The subway was going to be a crucial resource in the world war Stalin was preparing in the early 1930s. It was supposed to be located deep enough to be out of reach to aerial bombings. In order to build this expensive project in Moscow, Stalin starved half of Ukraine to death. Kaganovich was the chief organizer of the Holodomor on Stalin’s orders.

Kaganovich was obsessed with getting the subway built fast enough to please Stalin. The workers who were building it lived in subhuman conditions, working for up to 33 hours straight with no breaks. Many of them died of infection, exhaustion, and dangerous working conditions. Many of the workers were executed for not working fast enough.

When the subway was finally built, Soviet propaganda whipped up massive enthusiasm for it that was supposed to mask the great purge Stalin was starting in preparation for the world war.

Kaganovich died in 1991. He never had to suffer any consequences for being one of the chief organizers of the Ukrainian Holodomor or for any of his genocidal services to Stalin. The USSR outlived Kaganovich only by 5 months.

It’s a really pretty subway, though. And the chandeliers are very cute.

Oligarch Buys Democracy

Bloomberg already spent almost half a billion dollars on political ads in a campaign he started 5 minutes ago.

Half a billion dollars. That’s an absolutely insane amount.

And the Democratic party that lets an oligarch buy an election is not a party I want to be part of.

Trump at least didn’t buy his election. He’s too cheap, so he spent very little. He genuinely attracted people.

If the election is between Bloomberg and Trump, I’m voting for Trump. What Bloomberg represents is absolutely horrible. Even if he had the best, most wonderful agenda in the world, the whole thing would still be horrible.

I really thought this election couldn’t get any worse but now that there’s enough useful idiots supporting this oligarchical buyout of democracy, it’s worse.

Church and Gender Roles

By the way, gender roles are dead even in the most conservative communities. In my church, for instance, we always have a large meal after service. We divide into teams, and every team is responsible for a month of cooking. There’s a large, professional-grade kitchen, so people cook right there. In a year I’ve been with this church, I have observed no gender imbalance in who cooks and who cleans up. And there’s no age imbalance either. 70-year-old men cook alongside their 40-year-old sons, and they do a really good job.

The men also do as much child-minding as women. Again, this includes older men who bring little grandkids and then run around with bottles and diaper bags. I spend a lot of time in the kid room, and there are mostly men there with me, minding the kids while the wives are either listening to the service or sometimes at work.

The Board of Trustees is evenly split by gender, and the leader is a woman.

And this is the most conservative Christian denomination. Even in academia I often see humiliating scenes when everybody shares a meal, and then the women get up to clean while men keep chatting like they are used to having servants. I was afraid that church would be intolerable to my feminist sensibilities but it’s simply not the case.