Alexei Navalny was safe. He did not have to go back to Russia. It was certain they would jail him and worse. But still he went. And he has indeed been subjected to jail and worse.
Zelensky fights for Navalny.
One man suffers so his country might not have to suffer indefinitely. Navalny chose to go. He was safe abroad.
But the thing about the moral fiber of someone like Alexei Navalny is it is a rope. It ties him to you, and it ties him to me. There is no escape route. You don't have the option to be quiet. You don't have the luxury of inaction. This is the spiritual reality. Just like your soul is a spiritual reality. It is true. It exists. It is indestructible. It is not the pancreas that a surgeon might dig out. But it is much more real. Your soul is more real than heaven and earth.
By choosing to go to jail and suffer Alexei Navalny communicates with the rest of us at the level that souls talk to each other. You can not look the other way. This man speaks for a nation.
Russians are not a different species. Or they might not have been able to produce the world class literature they have. Russians are long accustomed to the life of the mind. They are one of the best suited for this knowledge economy.
I am a friend of Russia. I want the best for Russia. I want a Russia that is richer, more secure, and yes, I want a Russia that is a power. Major powers like the United States and even China need other power centers. The global system needs a strong Russia to provide a counterbalance. How can there be freedom of thought and freedom of speech and freedom of conscience if truth can not be told to power? Be that to powerful America or to a powerful China?
The fight is inside Russia. The fight is in Moscow. All it will take is for one million Russians to take over the streets and not leave until Putin resigns.
I am not liking the war in Ukraine. I want peace. The path to peace is not this talk or that talk. The path to peace is a mass movement for democracy inside Russia that installs Navalny as the country's interim president who steers the country to elections to a constituent assembly. A democratic, federal Russia will make NATO irrelevant, keep Russia one, and shift the center of gravity in Europe to Kyiv.
Putin is a blight on the Russian conscience. Navalny is Russia's Mandela.
The Kremlin throws cold water on China mediating peace in Ukraine as Macron urges Xi to 'bring Russia to its senses' "So far there are no prospects for a political settlement," the Kremlin said. ....... The Kremlin on Thursday said there were "no prospects" for China to play the role of mediator in Moscow's unprovoked war against Ukraine at present, as French President Emmanuel Macron met with Chinese leader Xi Jinping and urged him to "bring Russia to its senses." .......... Peskov said there were "no other ways" forward for Russia aside from continuing its offensive in Ukraine, signaling that Moscow has no interest in negotiations in the foreseeable future. ....... This came after Macron in Beijing said that Russia had dealt a blow to international stability by invading Ukraine, and called on Xi to push Russia to see reason and "bring everyone back to the negotiating table." ......... Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has invited Xi to visit Ukraine and repeatedly expressed a desire to speak with him. The two leaders have not spoken since Russia invaded over a year ago. ........ China has claimed that it's neutral in the Ukraine war and unveiled a peace plan in February on the one-year anniversary of Russia's invasion. ........ The war in Ukraine has made Putin a global pariah and isolated Russia economically and politically, but the Russian leader on Wednesday insisted that his country remains a "respected center of world politics." .
China’s Ambassador to the E.U. Tries to Distance Beijing From Moscow The ambassador, Fu Cong, said China was not on Russia’s side in the war in Ukraine. “‘No limit’ is nothing but rhetoric,” he said, referring to a statement from last year about the countries’ relationship......... China tries to present itself as a mediator, insisting that it respects the territorial integrity of Ukraine while endorsing some of Moscow’s narrative about the war. ...... China had not provided military assistance to Russia, nor recognized its efforts to annex Ukrainian territories, including Crimea and the Donbas. ........... Beijing has not condemned the invasion, he said, because it understood Russia’s claims about a defensive war against NATO encroachment, and because his government believes “the root causes are more complicated” than Western leaders say. ......... In her speech, Ms. von der Leyen described the E.U.-China relationship as having become “more distant and more difficult,” and endorsed the view of China as an assertive global player seeking to become “the world’s most powerful nation.” ............. the bloc should “de-risk” its relationship with China by setting new ground rules rather than “decoupling” or withdrawing. ........... China was the third-largest destination of E.U. exported goods in 2022, and the largest exporter of goods to the bloc ......... He said Europe should carve out its own policies and develop more “strategic autonomy,” instead of following Washington’s lead. ......... the backdrop to Mr. Macron’s visit, as it was to the visit of Germany’s chancellor, Olaf Scholz, in November, with both accompanied by businessmen eager to continue to do deals with China. ...... “E.U. claims to be a big center, a power center in the world, an independent power center in the world, as much as the United States, as much as China,” Mr. Fu said. “So why does it have to listen to the United States all the time?” .
Brooke Shields and the Curse of Great Beauty “Pretty Baby,” a new documentary on Hulu, explores the toll that sexual and commercial objectification takes on women....... Ms. Shields was a generational touchstone of the 1970s and ’80s, an omnipresent vision — in magazines, television ads and films — of astonishing natural beauty. Luminous deep-blue eyes under those famous dark brows, delicate features, dimpled smile and a glossy brunette mane. By the time she was a preteen, her look had developed — or rather, been groomed into — an improbable blend of Renaissance angel and vamp. ....... We use beautiful young women’s sexuality to sell products (including films); we conflate the women with the products; we imagine women need to be ever newer, younger and shinier — like products. As a result, we grow inured to seeing barely pubescent girls presented as “things,” as erotic commodities. (Driving the point home, the film features an old television ad for toys made in Ms. Shields’s likeness, with the tagline “Brooke Shields: She’s a real living doll.”) ....... The film offers many examples of the exploitation and abuse (including one outright sexual assault) suffered by Ms. Shields ........ a loving but troubled (and alcoholic) single mother, Teri Shields, who also served as her manager, and Ms. Shields understood early that her career provided the family’s sole income. ........ Ms. Shields’s uncannily adult persona remained as impeccable and serene as her appearance. But there is a static quality to her in these clips, a blankness suggesting the practiced deflection of disturbing emotion, as if being treated constantly as an object had nearly turned her into one. ......... Recounting the director Franco Zeffirelli’s attempts to extract from her, 16 and a virgin, a scene of erotic “ecstasy” in the film “Endless Love,” Ms. Shields recalls: “I just dissociated.” (Off camera, to try to simulate passion, Mr. Zeffirelli repeatedly twisted Ms. Shields’s toe, causing her to cry out and contort her face in pain.) In such moments, she says she was “zooming out, seeing a situation but you are not connected to it. You instantly become a vapor of yourself.” ......... Eventually Ms. Shields overcame this vaporous existence, largely through the saving grace of a college education. Encouraged by her professors at Princeton to voice her own opinions, Ms. Shields says she “learned I could think for myself,” which “morphed into this big rebellion.” ........... She set boundaries with her controlling mother, discovered her untapped talents for comedy and dance (with which she could break free of those beautiful blank-slate roles) and, for the first time, found a boyfriend. .........
the story of the terrible toll that sexual and commercial objectification takes on women....... When Ms. Shields’s image is on the screen, it’s almost impossible to look away. It’s that magnetism that everyone wants to bottle and sell. It’s what launched her career. .
‘It Was Not Love at First Sight’ It took Samantha Weinstein and Philip Della Noce a few years to form a friendship, and another few more to become romantic......... “I got to Toronto, and the first person I called was Samantha,” Mr. Della Noce said. “We FaceTimed every single day.” .
U.S. Economy May Be Heading to a Place That Must Not Be Named A hard landing? A banana? Euphemisms for recession have a long history in Washington. Whatever the Fed is stating, it seems to be expecting something ugly, our columnist says. .
With ChatGPT it is 80% https://t.co/oezc0Sg0JH— Paramendra Kumar Bhagat (@paramendra) April 8, 2023
I've spent over 450 hours researching creators who have built their audience to 50k+ subscribers.— Chenell Basilio (@chenellco) April 8, 2023
These are the things they have in common. pic.twitter.com/K3YMw2YXNk
@dasha_navalnaya Пошли на аквадискотеку (?) #дашанавальная #навальный #navalny #dashanavalnaya #навальная #partygirl #parents ♬ how would they know bad girls club - Chris Gleason
Apparently, the colony authorities couldn't stand me getting an Oscar, deciding that two books in the cell AND an Oscar was too much.— Alexey Navalny (@navalny) March 24, 2023
But, of course, that doesn't eliminate the question of why some people get an Oscar while I get put the SHIZO 😉
The Hammer Of Peaceful Activism https://t.co/RQxYFp1lq8 #russia #ukraine #peace #democracy #zelensky #navalny #putin @navalny @Dasha_Navalnaya @vp @WhiteHouse @Stanford @StanfordGSB @StanfordMed @StanfordFball @KamalaHarris @aoc @JeniferRajkumar— Paramendra Kumar Bhagat (@paramendra) April 8, 2023
The Hammer Of Peaceful Activism https://t.co/RQxYFp1lq8 @FareedZakaria @cnn @apmassaro3 @paulkrugman @Billbrowder @nytimes @washingtonpost @republic @bdutt @AnupKaphle @_ali_taylor @alexfmac @aloktayi @albertwenger— Paramendra Kumar Bhagat (@paramendra) April 8, 2023