My Refugees

I just talked with a family of Ukrainian refugees that I met in Spain. Wonderful people, a couple with 4 kids, very religious. They are disturbed by the same things in the Spanish public education system that we are here. There’s only one break, rarely any outside time. Everybody respects an 8-year-old’s “gender identity” but not his right to use the bathroom or have a drink of water during class time.

The mom caught the 10-year-old son making detailed drawings of a vulva and started having conversations with him about the evils of pornography. Turns out, the boy is doing it as a school assignment. Nobody mentioned Cervantes so far but who cares as long as no opportunity is missed to discuss sex?

Also, they are stunned by how pathetic the healthcare system is compared to what they are used to in Ukraine. This is interesting because the Ukraine I left 25 years ago had a horrid healthcare system.

Of course, their dream is to go back home. They are doing everything so that the kids can continue to take classes in their Ukrainian school, even though it has to be online.

We had a great time mocking COVIDiocy and masks. In short, good times. My spoken Ukrainian is getting better by leaps and bounds because I almost didn’t struggle during today’s conversation.

Reason for Joy

Now it’s become clear what was behind the Russian manifestations of joy over the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria:

Colonel Trump

Russians are going all out to promote the idea that Trump is a Russian spy. Yesterday, former president of Russia Medvedev published a statement encouraging Americans to take to the streets in an uprising. Medvedev concluded the statement saying that it was published by request from “Colonel Trump “.

It’s now very clear where the Steele dossier had come from. Yesterday’s lie is as clumsy and ridiculous as the one from 2016, which didn’t prevent half of Americans from eagerly swallowing it.

Trump Indictment

The “impending Trump arrest” storyline is complete ridiculousness on both sides. People who will invest any emotion or interest into the story from either side (e.g. “Finally!” or “We need to protest!”) have learned absolutely nothing and clearly enjoy being manipulated.

I have absolutely no idea why, instead of emoting about Trump for the better half of a decade, people can’t find the strength to ask themselves what is it in their relationship with their father that hurts so much. And I mean both people who love him and hate him. Because of their laziness, we are condemned to have a public space that is permanently poisoned by this inane drama. Nobody is even talking about the border wall anymore because all attention has been sucked up by manufactured scandals around the guy who promised to build it and never did.

Also, please note how the same people who have been arguing that helping Ukraine detracts from the efforts to solve the opioid crisis and control the border will now happily forget all about fentanyl and cartels and plunge into the Trump drama.

These people – again, on both sides – are sucking your life energy because that’s how they feed themselves. I’m not say don’t follow the news. News are great. But, for God’s sake, don’t get emotionally invested. The moment you feel an emotion starting to wriggle inside you, know that you’ve been had and start stepping away.

Fashionable Color

The color of the season is beige. I don’t know why but I’m not questioning this excellent development. I look great in beige. And in fire-engine red. This makes absolutely no sense but it’s true. I look best in extremely bright red or beige.

On the negative side, I look hideous in yellow or green. And brown. But then, brown suits almost nobody.

From Freedom to Rage

Great freedom that comes to people who lack a strict moral or religious code or do not have strong societal structures to keep them boxed in always ends up filling those people with great rage.

The Weimar Republic culminated in Hitler. The Russian 1990s led to Putin. That kind of freedom rarely makes people soar. Mostly, it makes them crash. And then they become angry because crawling in the mud is degrading. They start wishing for a strong hand to reign them in and a powerful fist to beat out of others the memory of their recent debasement.

Freedom is fantastic when you can exercise self-restraint and know why you should. Most people do neither.


I have to say, my university administrators at every level have battled ferociously on my side to preserve in-person teaching. Administrators have really gone all out about this. Even the wokest of the woke supported me.

All the administrators in question are older and male, so I feel like a spoiled, beloved granddaughter. No, they are not that much older but I have spent my whole life recreating the dynamic I had with my great-grandfather who brought me up.

My psychological quirks aside, I feel like COVID lockdowns really scared people, and now most colleagues and all administrators are terrified of “remote teaching.” And thank goodness for that.


As Professor Elena Ponomareva of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations explained on Solovyov’s show in March: “Never let morality prevent you from doing the right thing. I understand the importance of a humanitarian component . . . but morality shouldn’t get in the way.”

Yes, morality is very upsetting, especially when it starts getting in the way.

The Girl Who Loved Lenin

Yesterday at a meeting with Russian businessmen, Putin recited a poem: “I’m a little girl. I sing and dance. I don’t know who Lenin is but I love him.”

That’s the only response he had for entrepreneurs worried about the state of the Russian economy.

Say what you will about Biden, but at least he doesn’t identify as a little girl.