I’ve been sick with a really long cold. Today is the first day I feel marginally normal in 10 days. (No COVID symptoms. Seasonal colds haven’t been cancelled because of COVID, unfortunately). The extreme heat and humidity we always experience in early September didn’t help.

But today the weather is cooler and I finally feel like I can almost remember what I am really like.

For Russian-speakers

Russian-speakers, here’s a brilliant and blissfully long video of an interview of the great Russian (meaning, from Russia) dissident Borovoy conducted by journalist Gordon (the Ukrainian one, not the disgusting evil one).

It’s really good. Borovoy explains the Navalny phenomenon very well and gives some curious projections for the US elections.

What Are We Judging?

The position that one needs to watch the whole film to make a judgment only makes sense if you specify what you are planning to judge. If it’s the artistic quality of the film, then yes, absolutely. If it’s whether children were exploited to make it, you absolutely don’t.

It works exactly the same as in the case of the “mostly peaceful protests.” You don’t need to watch the 4-hour footage of the whole protest to decide if it was peaceful. A few burned buildings and assaulted passersby answer that question exhaustively.

“But it’s just one scene; the rest is good” = “but it’s just one burned block; the rest of the city is intact.”

How I Really Feel

I finished the book review I’m writing with the following quote from Horacio Castellanos Moya:

A writer should do what he or she feels is correct in their conscience. But that doesn’t mean—because you’re following your conscience—you’re going to write good books. For me, that’s very important. It’s one thing: your way of being a citizen; of fulfilling your responsibilities as a human being; resisting injustice, or repression, or killings. But that doesn’t mean, because it’s a good cause, it will make your books better.

Just in case anybody wonders how I really feel about the book I’m reviewing.

Foreign Policy

By any measure, Trump’s foreign policy achievements are immense. No new wars, withdrawal of troops, historic peace deals between OAE and Israel, Bahrein and Israel, Serbia and Kosovo. Is Kuwait next? OMG, I can’t even.

Even Obama’s admirers will agree that his foreign policy was a disaster. Of course, it looked better than the absolutely horrid actions of his predecessor but now that we have Trump’s truly amazing foreign policy team, one has got to ask what prevented Obama from finding a few advisers who wouldn’t be deranged war hawks and bumbling idiots.

What’s funny, though, is that people confuse outward appearances of individuals with policy. Obama looked cool and paid lip service to unity, so nobody pays attention to the destruction of whole countries that he’s personally responsible for. Trump sends mean tweets, so nobody notices that he’s the most peacenik, non-aggressive, “peace, love, bubble gum” president we’ve had in decades.

The Pandemic Is Over

This is a brilliant comment by Alex Berenson:

People cast votes for lots of reasons. But I will say: if you want the pandemic to go on forever, Joe Biden’s your guy.

It’s obvious now: the response to the pandemic IS the pandemic. We can be Sweden and get on with life, or Australia and pretend it’s an emergency. Your call.

Berenson must be really stunned at arriving at this point. Just like all of us, traditional, lifelong lefties who have suddenly realized that the Democratic party has turned into pure poison.

Berenson is absolutely right, of course. The pandemic is over. The choice is now between people who will maintain the illusion that it continues because that makes us easier to intimidate and control and the people who will accept that it’s over and it’s time to move on.