Here are just a few of my father’s books and also his medals, certificates, and awards. This is all from the last 20 years of his life, so from after the big life change I described in the previous post.

This is to say, it’s never too late to remake your life. You are never defeated until you decide you are defeated.

P.S. The shot of vodka with a piece of black bread across it is a cultural tradition. My father didn’t drink vodka.

When Your Profession Dies

My father’s entire profession was wiped out by the digital revolution. He was in machine translation. An authority in his field everywhere in the world where machine translation was done. Over 300 publications. And nice earnings. We were never wealthy but we experienced no financial hardship in the late-Soviet years and in the 1990s because my father started his own business developing and selling machine translation systems in 1988.

And then you know what happened. Google Translate made the entire profession irrelevant within a few months. This is not the unusual part of the story, though. Automation wiped out a lot of jobs and even professions and will wipe out a lot more. What’s unusual is that my father had no bitterness over it, no regret. He liked Google Translate, and thought it was a great tool for translators. He was already in his fifties when it happened but he switched to another career path with greater ease than I switch hairdressers. The new career path lacked the aspect of being well-known and having admirers, so he became a writer and developed a whole new circle of admirers. Again, this is all in his fifties and soon after emigration.

Curiously, he was a lifelong passionate political conservative. He was very conservative in all of his tastes and preferences. But he was also capable of this kind of monumental change, and he embraced it with elegance and good cheer.

Mind you, I’m not saying that automation that wipes out professions and expects people to be endlessly malleable is good. I hate that bastard. What I’m saying is that being against something doesn’t mean it’s OK to become a victim and feed other people to the rabid dogs of your resentment. Bad shit happens to people. We are all against bad shit. But whether the bad shit that will inevitably happen (because that’s the nature of human existence) will turn you into a piece of garbage, that’s completely up to you.

Military Aid to Ukraine

Folks, please don’t listen to idiots saying idiotic things. The $40 billion in aid to Ukraine doesn’t mean anybody is going to send $40 billion in cash to Ukraine. That would be insane and very unhelpful. The money will go into manufacturing weapons here in the US (jobs, got it?) and then sending them to Ukraine and replenishing the US stocks of weaponry. The US is off-loading a lot of its previous-generation weaponry to Ukraine and making space for next-generation weapons here in this country. Technology, manufacturing, innovation, jobs. US jobs. Got it?

A wartime economy is a booming economy when the war isn’t taking place on your territory. This is what this package aims to do. It’s an effort to rev up the US economy through a sector that has a history of doing just that. It’s a tried and true economic rescue measure. And no, I’m not saying this because it helps Ukraine. I’m saying it because this is very well-known and worked since WWI.

“Instead of doing something about the inflation, they are sending money to Ukraine” is not a smart thing to say. How do you think they are sending it? In bricks of cash that Ukrainians will throw at the enemy? These aid packages are an investment into the US economy, and that Biden is incapable of articulating it – well, the fellow can barely articulate his own name anymore. These aid packages are “them doing something about the economy.”

What makes more sense, that the US legislators really love Ukraine or that they really love the Pentagon and the kickbacks from military contractors? What does the Biden administration care about more, not losing the House in November or Ukraine not losing the war?

If we fail to understand what’s happening and why, the military infusion of cash into US industry will start working and the Dems will sell it to everybody as their nutso Green Deal working. We are opening ourselves up to an easy manipulation for the same reason as always: cheap, gratifying sense of self-righteousness.