CSotD: Celebrating Olga on Patrick’s Feast Day

St. Olga’s feast day is July 11, but given who she was and what she did, St. Patrick should yield his day to her this year.

Ukraine’s patron saint is Josaphat, a Ukrainian monk who yielded himself up to be killed by a Russian mob, but we’re not celebrating meekness at the moment. Olga is patron saint of Kyiv, and most certainly did not yield herself up, rather avenging the murder of her husband.

She’s thereby the patron saint of vengeance, and I’ll bet you didn’t know there was one, but if you click on this link about Olga, you’ll find a ghastly account of how she earned the honor.


As for swapping her day with St. Patrick’s, Lee Judge (KFS) demonstrates the parallel, which is that both nations share a loss of refugees, none of whom wanted to leave home, few of whom felt they had a choice.

To which I add this: After several years of immersion among Irish ex-patriots, I did a story on Denver’s branch of the Sons of Norway, and became immediately aware of the difference between a “refugee” and an “immigrant.” My Irish friends spoke often of going back to Ireland, but the Norwegians, while they enjoyed the native dishes at the party, could — economically and politically — go back to Norway any time they wanted.

That “refugee” status passes down: I once shared a train car with a group of Ukrainian-Canadian teenagers coming back from a summer camp on the prairies where Ukrainian is still spoken on a daily basis. They had been immersed in the language and culture, and it was plain that “going home” in their families did not mean Kingston or Toronto.


Jeremy Banx jokes about how sheltering these refugees could become a suburban status symbol in England, and the good thing is that taking in Ukrainians is apt to be more of an adventure than a commitment, given that they’ll likely want to go home as soon as the situation has been resolved favorably.

Though it’s not that simple for everyone caught in the disaster, as shown in this

Juxtaposition of the Day

(Patrick Chappatte)


(Emad Hajjaj – Cartoon Movement)

At the start of the evacuation, there were reports of students and foreign workers from Africa and Asia being prevented from boarding the trains, though this was apparently corrected fairly quickly.

However, as Chappatte and Hajjaj observe, it hasn’t solved the problem at the other end of the rails, because refugees of color still find themselves singled out for rejection or lesser treatment at the places where they seek shelter.

I would be interested to hear how refugees bearing German or Latvian passports are treated, since they may not stand out as “not Ukrainian” until they present their papers. But, however racism comes into it, it seems churlish to differentiate among those fleeing death.

I didn’t say “surprising.” But, certainly, “churlish.”


Juxtaposition of the Day #2

(Rob Rogers)


(Nick Anderson)

I hesitate to use a term like “saber-rattling,” but Rogers has been calling for more direct intervention in the war for some time, and he’s not the first to point out how the US sat out WWII until compelled to enter.

Still, it could be argued, Putin intended this as the Anschluss, not the invasion of Poland.

Putin’s problem is that, while Hitler’s army was greeted by Austrians, his has been greeted by St. Olga.

And besides, if the Anschluss should have touched off World War III, that’s on Obama, who allowed Putin to seize Crimea and portions of Eastern Ukraine.

So far, as Anderson points out, Biden has used Mutual Assured Destruction to keep a lid on the worst possible outcome, and wouldn’t you like to know just what he has said to Putin — who is a mad man but not an idiot — on that topic?

Meanwhile, the US president has managed to create a unified front including both NATO and the EU, which consortium has not only armed the Ukrainians but locked down Russia’s economy in a demonstration of how war can be fought in an interconnected world.

Von Clauswitz said that war is politics by other means, but, these days, economics is war by other means.

And, BTW, we seem on the verge of sending Ukraine those advanced anti-aircraft batteries, though, as with jets, there’s little point in giving them weaponry that they don’t already know how to maintain and operate. The crisis is now, not in a month.


I think Kal Kallaugher (Counterpoint) offers an accurate assessment of the situation, and the fact that he doesn’t propose a hard-and-fast solution shows that he understands the complexity.

Meanwhile, back at the Great Wall …

Juxtaposition of the Day #3

(Ward Sutton)


(Patrick Blower)


(Peter Broelman)

Sutton posted that first piece pre-invasion, when Putin asked Xi if he’d help him move and Xi said, “Absolutely! What are friends for?”

However, now that Putin has rented the truck and voided his lease, Xi remembered that he has a doctor’s appointment and relatives coming to visit.

Or something.

Bottom line, nobody knows you when you’re down and out, whether they respond with the glowering “Who the hell are you?” of Blower’s cartoon or the innocent “Who, me?” of Broelman.

S2BU, Pooty-poo.


Finally, Bizarro (KFS) sums up why I’m so willing to turn the day over to Olga. I absolutely despise the Steppin McFetchit abomination of green beer and drunken eejits this feast day has turned into.

But when Volodymyr Zelensky said “It will be our faces you see, not our backs,” it immediately reminded me of “Clare’s Dragoons,” an Irish rebel song about a battalion of “Wild Geese” who joined the French against England in the War of the Spanish Succession, and whose leader, Lord Clare, died on the battlefield of Ramilies, and was succeeded by his son.

Our Colonel comes from Brian’s race,
His wounds are in his breast and face,
The bearna baoghail (“gap of danger”) is still his place,
The foremost of his bold Dragoons.


Úcráin go bragh

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