We’ve been friends for a long time, ever since he came to America to study at Stanford, which he left after the university president bestowed an award on a phony group of Soviet physicians who had been actively involved in Bukovsky’s torture.

No compromise.  He couldn’t stay at such a place.  But he was destined to leave America in any event, because of the anti-smoking laws.  He’d spent too much time in the Gulag, being told what to do and what not to do 24 hours a day, to accept another state telling him he couldn’t smoke.  Ever since, he and several highly independent cats have lived in Cambridge, England, where he writes great books and refuses to pay for the dubious privilege of watching and listening to the BBC.  He very rarely flies to America any more (they won’t let him smoke on the plane).

He’s a great man and a great friend, and I no doubt owe him the highest honor I ever received:  the official declaration that I was “an enemy of the Soviet people.”

So happy birthday, Volodya, and many more.  I’m smoking a cigar in your honor.

THANKS TO INSTAPUNDIT FOR THE GENEROUS LINK

THANKS TO ROGER KIMBALL FOR THE GENEROUS TWEET

WELCOME ALL