The Greatness of Human Spirit

This is Bucha right after being liberated from the Russians and earlier today:

One in five residents of Bucha were murdered by the Russians. But the survivors still came out to clean their town and try to make it pretty again.

Battle of the Donbass

Russians forcibly conscripted the musicians of the Donetsk philharmonic and sent them to fight in Mariupol. They all died. The motivation behind the urgency of starting the battle for the Donbass is Orthodox Easter which is April 24. That’s how Russia starts the Holy Week.

“What Is Your Conservatism Conserving?”

This is the question you almost invariably get when you say that you are a conservative. It’s usually followed by some inane chirping about the 1950s in the US.

“So, you want to go back to the 1950s, is that it?”

Unsurprisingly, the more cosmopolitan, anti-cultural-appropriation and pro-respecting-all-cultures one is, the higher is the likelihood that one is utterly incapable of imagining that “the 1950s” don’t mean the same everywhere in the world. To me, the 1950s are a decade when Stalin died and political prisoners started to get released from the GULAG. Which is why the 1950s carry a completely different set of connotations for me.

Still, my conservatism has nothing to do with the 1950s either in the US or in the USSR. What it has to do with I explained in my new 10-minute video. I was actually going to write about it but I spent all night waking up in a cold sweat as I imagined my Dad curled up in a plastic chair at a Canadian emergency room, so the hope was that making the video would wake me up a bit.

Canadian Healthcare

The story of my father who had to wait 12 hours last night to be seen at the emergency room of a large new hospital in Montreal last night (and will now wait who knows how long for a doctor to come by) points to the main reason for Canada’s COVID lunacy. Their healthcare system doesn’t work. The smallest additional stress causes a complete collapse.

But instead of using COVID as a wakeup call and a move towards reform, the authorities decided to shuffle the blame onto the people. They don’t self-isolate, mask and vaccinate well enough, so it’s their fault. Let’s set them at each other because while they are busy snitching on their neighbors they don’t notice our incompetence.

There is nothing more neoliberal than this. Everything that happens is your fault because you weren’t a careful and productive manager of your own life. Both the vaccinated and the unvaccinated are screwed by this healthcare system but they hate each other instead of demanding accountability from those who made it so.

It’s impossible to know for sure until my father gets seen by a doctor but I strongly suspect that his current health issue was caused by medical negligence in the first place. Just like my friend who died of cancer in Canada at the age of 51 was killed by several instances of medical negligence in an overworked, overwhelmed, idiotically set up system. First, they didn’t bother to diagnose her until it was too late. Then they operated on a terminal patient for a condition she didn’t have and that wasn’t going to improve the inoperable cancer, created massive pain where there had been none, and sent her home with a massive supply of morphine, which she took to end the pain.

I remember showing up at a Canadian emergency room at the age of 24 with what I now know was a very obvious hypertensive episode. And nobody even bothered to take my blood pressure, which would have taken exactly 3 minutes. Instead, I was told it must be a rare virus and to take Tylenol. Which is well-known for its success in treating rare viruses and especially for stopping their transmission.

Incompetence, carelessness, and stupidity. This is why whenever people start with “we should have a healthcare system like in Canada,” I get into fits of rage.

Hello, Lenin

Russians occupied a small town near Kherson and immediately put back up the Lenin monument that Ukrainians had taken down after the 2013 revolution and the birth of Ukrainian democracy.

The monument had been broken in 2015, so the Russians had to glue it back:

Please note the two flags on the administrative building. One is Russian and another is Soviet.

The removal of Soviet-era monuments and the renaming of Soviet-era streets that Ukrainians undertook after 2013 was a huge pain point for Russia. It was far from being the only or even the main pain point but it was very much there.

Once again, you need to know the region and understand all this history to be able to speak knowledgeably about what’s going on. Neat, tidy narratives won’t work. What do Lenin and the Soviet flag mean to the generation that probably doesn’t remember the USSR? Why do they mean so much?