Thursday, June 29, 2006

One Week Left In California

I have one more week in California before I return to Paradise. I have managed to eat quite a bit of ethnic food not available in Arivaca in my month here so far. Among the cuisines I have availed myself to are Cajun, Chinese, Japanese, Lebanese, Mexican, Thai and Vietnamese. I also found a nearby hookah lounge. The prices are reasonable and the furniture, pipes and tobacco are all first class. But, evidently California law prohibits the serving of hot beverages such as mint tea and Turkish coffee in smoking lounges. What type of stupid law bans mint tea in a shisha den? California liberals are almost uniquely stupid.

I have also taken advantage of the libraries here in Orange County. I checked out five books from the University of California, Irvine. So far I have finished reading three of them. I should finish the fourth either tonight or tommorrow. Out of the five books I checked out from UCI, three deal with the Russian-Germans during the years 1917 to 1920. Two of the books are on the Volga Germans and one is on the Mennonites. So I should be able to complete Catherine's Grandchildren without any problem now. The other two books are on the Kalmyks and Chechens. It is clear that the Stalinist deportation of all of these peoples has its roots in the 19th century. The Soviets like the Tsars failed to subordinate and assimilate these people through less radical means into the limited roles it had reserved for them in the empire. Hence the Stalin regime felt that only through the physical destruction of their traditional communities and cultural institutions could it fit them into the mosaic of "Soviet Peoples." Forcibly scattering them across Siberia, Kazakhstan and Central Asia greatly diminished their numbers through excessive deaths and reduced birth rates. The survivors then experienced a greatly accelerated process of acculturation into a Russian speaking Soviet society. Thus the Soviet government deliberately decreased, dispersed and diluted these "politically incorrect" peoples.

I also checked out five books from the Mission Viejo Library. I have read about half of each of them, but have not finished any of them yet. I want to get the ones from UCI done first. Two of the books from MVL are on Pakistan, one is on Polish deportees to the USSR under Stalin, one is a general history of Russia in the 20th century and the last one is a history of the Russian Civil War. I will start plowing through them this weekend.

When I get back to Arizona I will start to get back into the swing of writing things other than blog posts. I am going to finish up Catherine's Grandchildren. I am also going to once again seriously pursue getting my Ph.D. dissertation published as a book. Finally, I am going to write a few academic journal articles just to keep my name out there. I do not think it will ever result in getting a lectureship, but I want the tenured pinkos in North American universities to know that I am still outpublishing them in refereed journals even without any research budget. I recently sent out a query to an English language journal in Italy about doing an article on the deportation of Romanian Volksdeutsche to Soviet labor camps at the end of World War II. That is enough writing projects for right now. The rest of my free time will be devoted to organizing the conference on international borders and migration I will be hosting.

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