Winds of Change

Wow, people, did you hear? WashPo fired Felicia Sonmez. This is a stunning development. Sonmez is a journalist who over the past couple of days engaged in a standard liberal moral crusade, accusing colleagues of being racistsexist white supremacists who abuse her by existing. This kind of thing has been happening at every newspaper, tech company and university for several years. Every time, people get terrified of the accusations and accept any punishment that comes their way. And the CEOs are happy to oblige.

And then suddenly, WashPo, a mega liberal newspaper, didn’t give into the emotional blackmail and actually fired the unhinged accuser.

Coming on the heels of the Boudin recall, this is very impressive. I hope WashPo doesn’t get scared into taking Sonmez back.

Sad But True

I want to disagree but he’s right. Doesn’t mean we shouldn’t vote Republican because the alternative is much worse but still, the dude is right.

The Strongest Kind of Totalitarianism

My mother and her sisters grew up in a completely Ukrainian-speaking village in the Donbas. It wasn’t only the language but the customs, the traditions (like the wedding traditions, for example), the music, and the sense of self as Ukrainians and very different, in a deeply positive sense, from Russians.

The first step towards Russification had been taken during my grandparents’ lives when they were forced to adopt Russian-sounding last names instead of their real names. In my grandfather’s case, he was forced to change his first name, too. Just so you understand the nature of the change, his first name was Trokhym. It was changed to Timofey, which is completely different. The man ended up with a completely different name when he was almost thirty.

My mother and her sisters all ended up having to learn Russian at different points in their life to get educated or employed. But they are completely pro-Ukrainian, hate Russians, very patriotic, etc.

In the younger generation, we have my sister and myself who are completely pro-Ukraine. We have a cousin fighting in the Ukrainian Territorial Defense. We have cousins who are illegal migrants in Russia and we don’t know what they think because they are too afraid to opine on anything. And we have cousins in the Donbas (daughters of a completely pro-Ukraine mother who pays the bills) who think that the worst fate that can await one is having to hear anybody speak Ukrainian.

The reason why I’m telling this story is this. My grandfather survived the Holodomor, Stalinism and WWII. None of that took away his sense of self as a Ukrainian. My Donbas cousins don’t remember the USSR. They were not coerced by a totalitarian regime. They weren’t terrorized, persecuted, or starved. But the ideological effect that wasn’t achieved on my grandparents or parents in the USSR happened in the generation of the grandchildren.

I’m not really talking about Ukraine, you know? I’m sure everybody is tired of me going on about Ukraine. But this is about ideology. Coercion is not that effective in imposing an ideology. Soft totalitarianism is a lot more effective in imposing ideological conformism.