In the Woods

This cottage in the woods in Missouri is extremely reminiscent of the vacation cottages my father’s research institute owned in Soviet times. They were smaller and had no kitchens or bathrooms (they were in separate buildings, and we shared them) but the design was extremely similar.

I hated all Soviet vacation places except the one owned by my dad’s employer. It was really quite chic. I don’t know how they ended up with such a great place. It was by the river, so there was swimming and boating. And we gathered tons of mushrooms and berries in the woods. Locals brought dairy, rabbits, and homegrown vegetables. Those were great vacations.

In short, a little holiday to recover from the news of my father’s diagnosis turned to childhood memories of my father.

In case you are wondering how Ukrainian flags made their way to Missouri woods, I brought them, of course. I also brought the little human hiding in the scenery.

New from Douglas Murray

Good news, everybody! Douglas Murray released a new book. I will start reading it immediately, and in the meantime, here is a great video of Murray’s recent interview to UnHerd. Murray is appalled by the West’s self-effacement and self-sabotage, and I’m very glad his new book is now the #1 bestseller on UK’s Amazon. Murray is one of the most insightful, valuable conservative commentators in the world right now.

I will share my opinions of the book as soon as I read it. Do people prefer it in written or video form?

The New Feudalism

Waiting for an all-powerful baron to defend us, unwashed, miserable peasants, is deeply feudal in nature. The post-national state is, indeed, very feudal in many of its aspects.

Do we accept that this new feudalism is now the norm and there is no way out of it? Or do we join people like Alex Berenson (and the whole country of Ukraine) in fighting for the return to the nation-state?

As I explained in my very first video, there is no democracy as we know it without the nation-state. All we are left with are rich, powerful feudal barons whom we have to beg for protection. Is that what we really want? Do we believe that our rights are God-given and protected by the institutions we create, maintain, and hold accountable? Or do our rights only exist when some rich dude feels like noticing our existence?


People who are supposed to be against handouts are excitedly waiting for some rich dude to give them a handout in the form of freedom to say what they think. And as they wait, they ridicule those who await a handout in the form of college loan forgiveness.

The person I admire in all this is Alex Berenson who is suing Twitter instead of relying on the whims of a kindly benefactor.


Ukrainian writer Stanislav Aseyev was arrested in the occupied Donetsk and held in a concentration camp where he was brutally tortured for two years. The crime for which he was arrested and sentenced to 15 years in jail was extremism.

What was Aseyev’s extremist activity?

Quotation marks.

He put quotation marks in the wrong place. In an article he wrote, Aseyev put quotation marks around the word “DNR” (Donetsk People’s Republic, the unrecognized pseudo-state created during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2014). Even though he was in hiding, the authorities located and jailed him.

Unfortunately, this story doesn’t land as strongly today as it would back in 2014. Calling people extremists for punctuation marks pronouns and persecuting them is no longer alien to our reality.