In my last blog entry I departed from the topic of Ukraine and gave an update on how things are going with my children and me. I deeply appreciate all the kind responses. I made it through the holidays and my birthday pretty well. The kids have one more week of school. Things are still not looking good for a trip home to America. I’m starting to think about looking for a guide or someone to help with a trip to places in Russia we have not seen or where we might enjoy this summer. I think we need a change of scenery—at least I do.

In this blog entry I am going to give a general update and review on the situation in Russia as it relates to the relationship with the U.S. As usual, I think there are a lot of misrepresentations in the U.S. media about how things are here. I’ve done this in many blogs, of course, because many wanted to hear what life in Russia is really like. But now it is more serious. I fear the misinformation (to use the popular euphemism for lies) is being used by some to bring the two countries closer to war. In fact, some U.S. politicians are saying, “We are at war with Russia.” My little blog won’t stop it, but I am still determined to do what I can. “Information is power,” as Scott Ritter says.

THE GOOD. There are a number of good things happening in Russia. First, the ruble continues to gain strength. It is the strongest against the dollar that I can recall for quite some time. That amazes me. Russia is the most sanctioned country in the world by far, yet the ruble is much stronger than it was before the sanctions.

I think one reason the ruble is so strong is because no one in the Kremlin panicked when the sanctions were announced. They were not surprised. Calm decisions were made in the heat of the threats and the implementation (or attempts at implementation) of the sanctions. For example, a major threat was that the Western countries would not buy gas and oil from Russia. Russia responded by saying that was fine, but if “unfriendly countries” do buy oil from Russia they will have to pay in rubles. Unlike what I’ve heard, Putin did not raise the price of oil or gas. But the ruble started to regain strength after that, and then a few other measures were implemented that have continued the trend.

Two things happened after the sanctions were announced that I found interesting. First, there were countries not affiliated with the EU, e.g., China and India, that stated immediately they would like to buy more gas and/or oil from Russia. Second, there was a great deal of confusion and dissension among the EU countries which depend on Russian oil and gas. It seemed to me these countries wanted to please their U.S. masters and boycott Russian gas and oil, but at the same time they realized their own economies would be devastated by winter if they did so. There was hardly unity on what to do. The confusion and division led to an increase in the price of oil.

Gas prices were already rising in America long before the invasion of Ukraine, however. Watch how Senator Josh Hawley from Missouri responds to U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm’s simplistic blaming of Putin for the gas price increases. (Start at the 50 second mark.

I am quite sure the results of the sanctions were far from what the U.S. leaders had hoped. A headline article in Business Insider on May 16 stated, “Soaring oil and gas prices helped Russia more than triple its current account surplus to $96 billion, its largest in 28 years.” Business Insider is hardly a “Putin publication.” The article continues, “Russian oil export revenue is up 50% since the start of 2022, the International Energy Agency said last week.” So oddly, the sanctions resulted in more money being pumped into the Russian economy.

Another area in which things are looking good for Russia is in wheat and grain production. On May 12, President Putin announced it looks like Russia may have its largest wheat and grain production in history. Russia has led the world in wheat and grain exports for the last four years. With fears of food shortages also in the news, I do not think most countries want to risk closing their ports to grain and wheat from Russia. This week Russia’s permanent representative to the U.N., Vasily Nebanzya, said Russia will have 25 million tons of grain ready to export from August 1 till the end of this year.

THE BAD. The bad economic trends have hit my home country. Unlike in Russia, where gas prices are still the same, prices in the U.S. are now higher than ever according to Triple A. I checked their prices last week and every day the price went up a bit, setting a new record for highest gas prices ever in the U.S. Diesel is especially high.

I have not done any in-depth research into the possible impact of sanctioning Russian fertilizers. I saw a Facebook post from one of my friends in South Carolina who is a farmer showing the extremely high prices of fertilizers that farmers there are having to pay already. While anecdotal, it is consistent with what I have seen in other articles. Russia is the largest exporter of fertilizers in the world and is ready to sell. Nebanzya announced Russia will have 22 million tons ready. I personally think it is a shame that American farmers and American consumers will be hurt by these sanctions.

I don’t think one has to be an economist to foresee a potential disaster. Farmers are having to pay much more for fertilizers to grow their crops; gas prices, especially for the big trucks that transport the crops, are higher than at any time in U.S. history; food shortages were already low and shelves were empty in many stores before Russia entered Ukraine. It appears that if America continues down this road an economic crash is ahead.

Do the leaders not see that or are they simply unwilling to admit they were wrong in implementing the unproductive sanctions? The West is hurting itself, not Russia, with these sanctions. Rather than seeking authentic diplomatic options to solving the crisis in Ukraine, leaders in Washington are still wanting to keep the war going. The U.S. is determined to feed the war in Ukraine in an attempt to weaken Russia and get rid of Putin. Several leaders in D.C. have stated that clearly.

As I wrote in an earlier blog, I have children, grandchildren, and other dear family members and friends in America. I take no joy whatsoever in writing what I have just written about how bad I fear it is getting in America. Russia is self-sufficient in terms of food and energy resources. Yet American politicians still talk and act as if they are sanctioning Russia from a position of strength.

THE UGLY. The ugly part of this scenario is the deception that I see coming from the West, particularly the U.S., in attempting to feed the war. When I went to the site to check the dollar to ruble rate, there were articles advertised there which were related to issues in Russia. The first one on the list was an article from CNN posing the question, “Can Russia survive its coming economic collapse?” I chose not to read the article because I do not want to spend however much time I have left on earth reading that junk. But they want Americans to believe that Russia is on the verge of economic collapse. They know most Americans do not read Market Insider and other such publications. So CNN and others know they can lie. And those lies are dangerous and ugly.

Second, I still hear it stated that Americans must endure the hardships to preserve democracy in Ukraine. Given the lack of confidence Americans now have in the integrity of their own electoral process, I’m not so sure much effort is being given to protecting democracy in America. But I am sure that Ukraine is not democratic. I’ve posted the Victoria Nuland phone call, which makes clear that furthering democracy was not what America was carrying out in Ukraine. I won’t go over all that again.

I have also pointed to evidence of how Zelensky eliminates his opposition. I realize that some will continue to believe the Western press. I only offer for your consideration other sources, e.g., The Gray Zone. I personally have found Max Blumenthal to be a trustworthy source. (

The bottom line is that the U.S. is doing all it can to fuel the war in Ukraine despite the economic hardships at home. Most of us Americans complain about how slow and confusing getting legislation passed in Congress can be. But last week Nancy Pelosi quickly pushed a bill through the House of Representatives to allocate $40 billion dollars for Ukraine in addition to the $13 billion the U.S. sent two months prior. Then Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer and Republican leader Mitch McConnell got the bill through the Senate in one day! The U.S. politicians cannot solve the baby formula problem, they can’t solve the gas price problem, they haven’t solved the immigration problem in years, but in one day they can get $40 billion for Ukraine to keep the war going. Something is really ugly about that.

I will add a caveat about the $40 billion. Alexander Mercouris of The Duran said he read the bill and it appears to him only about $6 billion is going to military equipment and training of soldiers. The bill funds salaries for government workers and many other items related to keeping the Ukrainian government afloat. Keep in mind Transparency International rates countries based on their studies of the integrity and honesty of the governments. Out of a possible 100 (for perfectly honest), Ukraine scored 32.

I watched the videos of the Ukrainian soldiers and neo-Nazis surrendering to the Russian troops outside the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol. I was not watching Russian videos or what I saw on the Russian news. I was watching videos posted by Patrick Lancaster, Vanessa Beeley and the video commentary by Scott Ritter. I saw the Ukrainians come out with hands up. I watched them checked for weapons; I saw them remove their shirts to reveal the Nazi tattoos and various other weird symbols. I saw the wounded taken away to the hospital. And then later I watched Zelensky’s interpretation of how the Ukrainian troops had accomplished their military mission and then evacuated the area. He said he had them evacuate so they would live to fight another day.

The truth is they surrendered and now they are prisoners of war. The man, President Zelensky, completely fabricated a narrative for Westerners wanting to believe Ukraine is still winning the war. It was totally false! And this is the man Joe Biden, Mitch McConnell, Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi–Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate—are sending $40 billion more.

THE PUTIN FACTOR. In my opinion, the main or at least underlying reason for all this opposition, however, is the firmly held dogma that Russian President Vladimir V. Putin is the incarnation of evil. The U.S. has decided he has to go. From what I read and hear from the U.S. media, there are two main groups. First, I find in CNN and most MSM the idea that Putin invaded Ukraine to take it over and hopefully return to the days of the USSR. He wants power! He must be stopped. That is the position of the Biden administration.

Others, like Tucker Carlson, agree that Putin was immoral for invading Ukraine, but he says we can’t risk the security of the U.S. by defending the borders of Ukraine. Tucker points to the idiocy of the American sanctions, but still falls back on the belief that Putin had no business invading Ukraine. I have noticed even with some reporters outside the U.S. there is an inherent need to condemn Putin while pointing to the ridiculous nature of some decisions by U.S. leaders. Condemning Putin is apparently essential for keeping your press pass (literally or figuratively).

I have stated before that while I regard the invasion of Ukraine by Russia as unfortunate and horrible, I agree with those who say there was no other way to stop the killing and shelling of those in the Donbass. I have yet to hear another option. I have received several responses condemning me for supporting Mr. Putin’s decision. Not one of them has ever answered my basic questions: Do you support the continued shelling and killing of those in the Donbass? If not, how else was it going to be stopped? Even with the Donbass almost in Russian control, the Ukrainians are still shelling and killing residents there. They will not stop until they are defeated militarily. I would love to hear a great solution, but so far people just condemn the invasion, blame Putin and either ignore or deny the killing of innocents in Donbass.

One official government report I read this week said that over 3,000 citizens of Ukraine had been killed since the invasion. Nothing was mentioned, however, about the 14,000 that were killed in Donbass before the invasion. Donbass lives don’t matter. In my opinion, Putin followed every possible diplomatic route to avoid invading Ukraine. The U.S. refused because the war must continue until Putin is removed. In my opinion, that plan will work about as well as those sanctions have.

Both in the press and in social media it is accepted by so many that Putin is a dictator with billions of dollars stashed away. I have been told that myself—oddly enough, by people who have never been to Russia. First, I’ve never seen any of them specifically say where this money is stashed and how they know he stashed it. I have not read any details that address these two obvious questions. In philosophy, it would be called an epistemological problem: how do you know what you know? The logic seems to be just to keep saying it, and that will make it true.

Second, I would briefly add that neither I nor many of my friends here really understand what it is that makes Putin a dictator. It does not feel that way to me. I may not agree with all the decisions Putin makes or all the laws he supports. That does not make him a dictator. It means the people elected him, not me, to be president.

I have other questions on the issue of invasions. Why it is okay for America to still have troops in Syria, occupy about one third of the country and openly steal oil from Syrian wells, and it is not called an invasion? President Trump pulled U.S. troops out of Somalia, but the Biden administration sent them back in. How are events in Somalia an existential threat to the U.S.? Do the American people really want our troops in Somalia? The U.S. is still in Iraq after their government voted and told us to leave. So many Iraqis are dead because of the United States. Why are these not “invasions”?

On the other hand, Vladimir Putin tried for 8 years to stop the West from sending “lethal weapons” (as the U.S. called them) to his border with Ukraine, and he pleaded for all those years for the U.S. and NATO to make Ukraine stop killing innocent people in the Donbass. When he finally concluded the only way to stop the attacks was to send in troops, then he was condemned for invading another country. Neither Somalia, Syria, or Iraq is anywhere close to the U.S. border. There is no existential threat to the U.S. from any of those countries. There are those of us who believe this is sheer hypocrisy.

As some may have seen, the award for Freudian slip of the century goes to former President George W. Bush. In attempting to condemn Putin, he got his invasions confused. Please watch the 41 second video.

A couple of observations. Before the slip he stated the Russian elections are rigged. I remind you, Russia allows international teams of observers to all its national elections. I wrote earlier about the experience of Dr. Gilbert Doctorow as one member of such a team. He was quite impressed with the integrity of the system. Since he is fluent in Russian (and quite a Russian scholar) he was able to go beyond just looking at how the integrity of the votes are preserved. He went out and spoke with citizens in Crimea. The U.S. allows no such observers. Joe Biden received more votes than anyone in the history of U.S. presidential elections. Just accept that.

Further, I have also mentioned the invasion of Iraq to which Bush accidentally referred. I have stated before that the late Colin Powell and his assistant Col. Lawrence Wilkerson admitted the so-called proof that Iraq had Weapons of Mass Destruction was fraudulent. We killed close to a million Iraqis based on fraud. But George W. Bush, who was so proud when the murderous mission in Iraq was accomplished, tells us that Putin is the one who is evil.

I think I have mentioned before that my university degree was in psychology. Now, I never thought that having a B.A. degree in psychology qualified me to hang my diploma on the wall and start guiding people through life’s problems. But I did learn interesting things that I still think about. In studying the most influential minds that impacted psychology I usually could understand them and found them interesting, e.g., Skinner or Freud. But Carl Jung was tougher. Of course, you don’t have to be a psych major to know the name Carl Jung. He was hard for me to understand.

Jung apparently was aware that some people had trouble grasping his concepts. So he authored a picture book to illustrate aspects of his teaching on psychology. One well-known picture was of a young Adolf Hitler. Below the pic was the caption, “This man is going to set all Europe ablaze with his incendiary dreams of world domination.” Most Westerners saw the picture and thought, “Well, of course, you don’t need to be a psychologist to know that was what Hitler aspired to!” But then below the caption you learn the quote was not about Hitler. It was a quote from Hitler. The quote was what Adolf Hitler had said about Winston Churchill.

Jung used that picture and that quote to explain his understanding of psychological projection. We all, but particularly world leaders, tend to project onto others the evils of which we ourselves are guilty. Many called Bush’s statement a “Freudian” slip. I tend to see it as perhaps a “Jungian” slip. Is Putin really that evil dictator? Or has he become a convenient and acceptable target on the international wall for the projections of many Western politicians and pundits?


The last few blogs I have written have dealt mostly with the conflict in Ukraine. The number of readers of my blog rose during that time. It is a subject of great interest. Nevertheless, I decided it was time to turn the focus back to life here for this entry. I’ll still make a few remarks about Ukraine, but this blog will be more about daily life and how our family is doing—the personal stuff. The reasons are 1)the situation in Ukraine is moving slowly. I don’t have much to add to what I have already written at this point. 2)I have several readers who continue to ask how my family and I are doing. I appreciate their concerns, and want to use this blog entry to respond.

I had several good friends and family write me to see if there was any way they could send me money since I mentioned that I can’t get my pay transferred here the way I used to. Obviously, it was nice to hear of their concerns, but what surprised me most was there were three people, whom I have never met in person, who also wrote and wanted to know how they could get me some financial help. They only knew me through following my blog. I declined any help because, as I have mentioned, we are doing fine living on the money I had been setting aside in case something like this did happen. Nevertheless, it was very moving to have even people who have never met me in person to offer. There is so much division and arguing going on, and they reminded me there are still generous and caring people who often go unnoticed.

So I’m going to write more about my family and our situation here in this blog. For those more interested in politics and war, you may want to skip this one.

In general the situation remains pretty much the same. We’re safe here. There is no conflict anywhere near us. This is a military town, however. Gabriel came home from school Friday and told me it was announced that two male teachers in his school were teaching their last day. They are in the military reserves and are being sent to Ukraine. I have heard of others from Luga going and some have been killed in action. So people here are following events in Ukraine very carefully.

The economy here is still essentially unchanged. Gas, both regular and diesel, are at those same prices they were before the Ukrainian conflict. I think I figured regular at $2.55/gallon and diesel at $3.05/gallon. Groceries are still plentiful and about the same price. I was chatting on-line with an American friend in St. Petersburg, who also gets paid in dollars, about the problem of getting money transferred. He said his situation is like mine. With the cost of living in Russia being so much lower than in the States, it’s just a lot easier to get by during times like these if you have saved up a bit. I sure could not have done without pay in America even for a brief time! But here I still have savings to tide me over until I get the money transfer worked out.

My children are doing well in school. As I mentioned, Marina Grace had some emotional struggles after Oksana died, which was one week before school started. Marina was not able to handle starting first grade without mom. So I hired a private teacher for the first semester. The second semester in the public school got off to a difficult start as well. She would wake up with fear—deep fear that she couldn’t explain. I never forced her to go. The days when she was not able to go, Oksana’s mom would get the assignments from her teacher and teach her at home. All the people at the school were more than willing to work with us through this time.

For well over a month now Marina Grace has gotten up and gone to school with no problems. She comes home happy and has obviously adjusted. Her teacher said last week that Marina is one of the three top readers in her class and the most animated when it comes to reciting poems or stories. She puts a lot of emotion into her recitations. Yes, daddy is quite proud.

Gabriel is also doing well. At the first of the year he needed his grandmother to help with homework, but now he is able to get it done by himself. His grades are good. Like all students in the school, he has to take English. He told me last week that he explained to his English teacher after class that most Americans do not actually say, “I am going to…” (a phrase they had been studying). We say, “I’m gonna…” and leave off the word “to,” as in, “I’m gonna do my homework now.” He said his teacher wants him to come up with more of those kinds of sayings to explain to the class so maybe it would be easier for them to understand a native speaker. He felt pretty good about that.

Both Marina Grace and Gabriel have formed good friendships with fellow students. Gabe often has a friend or may two over to spend Friday night with us. Of course, they are teenage boys so there are “speedbumps.” After they left a big mess in the kitchen about three weeks ago, I had to step in and explain to Gabe that I was not going to clean up after them anymore. He could not have overnight guests until he showed improvement in helping keep the kitchen clean. He took the discipline well, and his friends are welcome again. I think that is just normal stuff for boys in their early teens. Marina Grace still has a wonderful friendship with the girl who lives next door. They spend quite a bit of time together on weekends and are looking forward to summer. Despite speaking Russian all day, Gabriel and Marina Grace still speak English well. They can speak both Russian and English without any accent in either language.

Now that Marina Grace and Gabriel are both in school, I have more time to return to my walking and reading. I also am getting back to taking Russian lessons. I used an experienced tutor on Skype that I mentioned before. But when Marina Grace was going through her emotional problems it was just too much for me to try and keep up my lessons and be available whenever Marina needed me. Now I have started taking lessons again, only this time I opted to go with a lady here in Luga who could teach me in person. I think I learn better that way than with Skype or Zoom. My teacher is someone I briefly took lessons from before. She says she enjoys learning English from me while teaching me Russian, so it works out well.

I really want to work on my Russian language skills over the summer. As I’ve said before, I can shop in the stores and take care of most things with my “survival Russian.” Gabe said a cab driver brought him home the other night and when he saw our house he said, “Hey, I know your dad. He is that American who chatted with me in Russian the other day when I gave him a ride.” He told Gabe he’d like to talk to me again and even added, “Your dad is a cool guy. I heard he writes a blog.” It was good to hear, but I still know I have a long way to go before I get to the level I want to be at speaking Russian.

This brings up a point I have made before that I think needs repeating. Despite all the political problems and awful things American leaders and the press have said about Russia, no one here has ever treated any of us in a bad way upon learning we’re Americans. It was so sad to read some posts from Russians living in America who have been really hurt by how they were treated in America during this time. One priest’s wife in the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia posted that her husband was told by the FBI that their church was under surveillance. I thought that cannot be true, but then another priest’s wife posted that it had happened to them as well. Nothing like that has happened to any of my family or any of my American friends living here in Russia. However bad our governmental leaders or our press talk about Russia, the Russians do not hold it against us Americans.

My biggest problem remains my grief. I have discovered “recovery” from grief (for lack of a better term) does not happen on a straight line. That is, I think I’m doing better and really adjusting, and then something happens and down I go. For example, Sunday was Mother’s Day in America. I could not keep my mind off the Mothers Day dinners we had for my mom and Oksana when we lived in South Carolina. And now they are both gone.

This past Monday was “Victory Day” in Russia, celebrating the defeat of the Nazis. It is a huge holiday in Russia and in Luga especially since Luga was occupied by the Nazis for almost 3 years. I was glad that Oksana’s dad had to work his security job so we didn’t join in the Immortal Regiment march here in town. I loved walking with Oksana in that march, and our kids would carry the pictures of both Oksana’s grandfathers who fought in that war. I had already decided I would not march. I just could not go without her. After Oksana died several people who had lost a spouse or a child wrote to me and told me that, especially for the first year, holidays and special days will be very painful. They were right.

Monday, May 16 is my birthday. I have never dreaded a birthday before, but I do now. Last year I had a wonderful birthday party. Marina Grace drew a beautiful picture for me. Oksana was feeling really good. Her parents came over and everyone said nice things about me. After that great start, it turned out to be the worst year of my life. I am told that one day I will get to the point where I will be genuinely thankful for those good memories, and the pain will be minimal. I try to be thankful, but for now it is still mostly pain.

I regret what is happening in Ukraine for several reasons. My regret is intensified by the fact it could have been avoided if America would have pressured Zelensky to implement the Minsk Peace Accords as he had promised. But fearing the public threats of the Nazis in the Azov Battalion, he backed down and so did America. America’s politicians saw a chance for war, and the people in power just can’t seem to resist that temptation. There’s a lot of money in war, and diplomacy is often difficult and slow.

Of course, this is an international crisis. I do not wish to minimize that fact or trivialize it with my own petty concerns. But for me it is personal in the sense that it appears I cannot go home to America this summer. I have not seen my sons or their families in America since Oksana and my mom died. I have been dreaming of having a long summer visit surrounded by Freemans. People here have been very kind to me, but there is nothing like having all your children and grandchildren around you in such a time as this. It is the worst downside of living between two worlds when those worlds are so deeply divided.

On Friday, May 13, 2016 I worked my last day in America. My birthday, as I mentioned, is May 16, and it was on a Monday that year too. We had three weeks to complete our preparations for leaving America and flying to Russia. Since we had been preparing for the move for quite some time it was not as hectic as one might think. Plus, my brother and his wife volunteered to come in and clean up our house after we left. Oksana and I had talked, read, researched and prayed about this move for 15 months. We had no doubts that this was the right decision. I still believe it was.

Obviously, however, I had no idea that I would end up being a single father in Russia. Neither did I have any way of knowing how intense the division between the two countries would become. My biggest worry was how our children would adjust and how they would be treated. That turned out to be the least of my concerns.

My children are growing up in a traditional culture that still values the kind of principles and traditions that I think are important—and ones with which I grew up in America long ago. Russian society is not “woke.” Teachers in schools here don’t try to encourage talk about gender identity and how to know if you are really a boy or a girl. That kind of talk from teachers is forbidden in Russia. The traditional life here was one of the major factors that brought us to Russia.

We are Orthodox Christians. I don’t brag about that, but I’m not ashamed of it either. While not all Russians are religious to be sure, Christian leaders in general are respected here, as are the teachings of the Church. I realize that is not what a lot of people in the West like about Russia. That is why I would never encourage them to move here. I also know some Russians don’t like these values either. I don’t argue with them. I try to keep my focus on my own responsibilities. Disagreements and discussions can be helpful. But my own hunch is that social media has made it easier and actually more enjoyable for some to engage in the disagreements and arguments with no ultimate goal of coming to a deeper understanding of the truth.

Despite the sad and frustrating way things turned out in reference to Oksana’s cancer, I still think we made the right decision to move here. We have been able to live on my Social Security with no financial problems. Had we stayed in America I would have had to continue to work, but as a result of COVID I would have lost my job at the small company where I worked. Given the cost of living in America, we would have experienced financial disaster. Living in Russia has meant that for these six years I have been able to be at home with my family. I was not driving off to work while my children were growing up. Of course, when we moved I did not know that the next five years would be the last years of Oksana’s life. I got to spend almost every day with her. While painful to think about in some ways, I am so glad we spent these last years together.

Finally, I still get questions from my American friends concerning will I ever move back there. Mom’s house and the inheritance her and dad left would take off some of the financial pressure. As I indicated, I’d love to be near my family there and spend the rest of my life with all of them close by. But I can’t say for certain what our plans are. To state the obvious, I have been made much more aware of the fact that I have no idea what the future holds. We started making big plans for travel after we moved into our home in the summer of 2019. Then came COVID and all the hassle with travel. Even a trip to the grocery store could be complicated. At about the same time Oksana found out she had cancer and was in chemo for extended periods and then surgery. Now we have the U.S. and Russia involved in what appears to have become a proxy war.

Further, it looks like from this side of the pond that America is a political and cultural disaster zone and Putin and Russia seem to be the main reasons for all of it according to the politicians and press. Earlier this week I listened to Lindsey Graham, the Republican Senator from S.C., in an interview with Brett Baier of FoxNews. I have never heard such a stream of lies from a politician. And I always thought Baier was pretty good at interviews, but he went right along with the lies and never challenged anything Graham said. Graham’s basic point was this war is the way America can bring down President Putin. A U.S. Senator openly advocated that America use this proxy war to get rid of the Russian president. In his words, “There is no off ramp,” that is, there is no room for diplomacy.

Really? That is America’s role? After America get so hot and bothered when they thought Putin interfered in the U.S. 2016 election? There was so much anger in America over just the accusation that Vladimir Putin had somehow miraculously invaded our election system. John Durham is showing that the accusations were false, but there was almost a civil war mentality between MAGA people and the Clintonites. Hypocrisy is holding others to a standard you yourself do not meet. America demands no country or leader interfere in any way in its own elections, but U.S. politicians can send billions of tax dollars to feed a war half way round the world in which a lot of people will be killed, but maybe it will get rid of a duly elected leader they don’t like. That is saturated in hypocrisy.

Only somewhat related, Congressman Thomas Massie of Kentucky posted on Facebook that America has given more money to Ukraine in the last six months than it has spent on all the roads and bridges in America in the last year. If there is the possibility of taking down Russia, then the U.S. will gladly spend more on that project than its own people. Could I take my children back to that country when all three of us are Russian citizens? Would we be safe?

Life has confronted me with how circumstances can change quickly in ways I never dreamed. My prayer is that there are future changes of a positive nature ahead. For now, however, I’m afraid that all I can do is “do the next thing.” I need to be the best father I can possibly be and hopefully become a better person of faith. One Orthodox elder said, “Humility is the mother of all virtues.” I can assure you that the events of the last couple of years have taught me much about humility.

ADDENDUM: On the Ukrainian crisis, Scott Ritter just published an extremely helpful 48 minute video on how he came to specialize in Russian issues and the background to the war going on in Ukraine now. Excellent video.