2011 Winter Quarterly Fundraiser, The Wrap Up
Or should I say the “rap up”?
Really, the bleg only lasted a week. It just seemed longer to some of us, especially since no one gets any mugs and we’re not raffling off dinner for two at the Dew Drop Inn or a weekend getaway to a bed-and breakfast in the Shenandoah Valley.
Hmm… that’s an idea we’ve discussed before. We could become the NPR of the blogosphere!
Or maybe not. That’ a concept badly in need of rebranding and refurbishing — though perhaps they’ve improved in the years since I quit hitting my head against the wall of listening to their “news”. The relentless repeated tales of PoorPalis oppressed by those mean Israelis, or their moral equivalents, the poor American homeless oppressed by those heartless Republican administrations. Funny thing about the American variety: they disappear like shadows dispersed by the beneficent sun of Democrat presidents, only to reappear shivering and destitute when the Left loses power.
Of course, the perennial PoorPalis are with us always, stateless and shoeless victims of their evil neighbors. Just ask NPR.
Anyway, despite our lowered expectations for this quarter’s fundraiser (due to the economy and the coincident eruptions all over North Africa and the Middle East), we had more new donors come to the door this time than ever before. The bottom line is a bit thinner than usual, but so are many wallets. That people show up and share their resources at all continues to be a source of deep encouragement for us. We’re obviously on the right path, doing what we should be doing. Y’all are amazingly generous in helping to shoulder the burden of the Baron’s work.
This has probably been my most enjoyable fund-raiser in a long while. My health has improved so much that I no longer fret over how long it takes to respond to everyone who gave to the cause. I know I’ll write to everyone eventually because now I have the energy to do so.
And, oh my, the variety of people who read us and write to say what they like about Gates of Vienna. For one fellow, the news feed is “pure gold”. For another it’s our coverage of the EDL. For someone else, it’s the window we provide to Europe. I don’t have permission to tell the stories, but you are an incredible lot with an astonishing breadth of experiences. As I read your stories, I feel so white bread standing next to you.
But that’s no matter; it simply means that sometimes you are able to lead us into areas we’d not have been able to consider otherwise.
You have shared your hope and optimism along with your concerns. You have exhibited grace and courage in isolation from others who share your convictions. As one woman who works in a Lemming Land University environment said, “I share with a few people anyway. Perhaps it plants a few seeds.” That’s optimism. It’s also courageous in the face of a possible shunning for her efforts. Yet if one seed falls on fertile ground, who can tell where the resulting flowers will spread?
We all work in a largely hostile environment on this side of the political spectrum. Socialism and its ills have become the dominant paradigm. By its legion of names, socialism has been tunneling through our culture for a long time. When the Berlin Wall fell, we naïvely thought the war was over, but what really happened was that the cap came off the pressure well and the fires spread. The fronts of war changed and expanded to encompass far more than those simplistic tripartite worlds, the ones where we lived in the First World and worried about the rest.
“The center cannot hold”? More like the center disintegrated two generations ago and we were so distracted by all the pretty baubles of an unsustainable consumerism that we failed to notice the ground shifting, even as the wiser among us warned about the coming catastrophe. Heck, even the Baron was muttering about the real estate “bubble” when I first met him thirty years ago. And he continued to mutter until it was finally not considered insane to talk about it out loud.
We’ve all learned a lot, haven’t we? We know that freedom isn’t what we thought it was. In fact, it probably never was that simplistic. “New World Order”? More like old world disorder and chaos, spreading like a plague no one has the vaccine to stop. We have the same old cowardly leadership, their whitened knuckles gripping the sweaty wheel of fortune they think is the steering wheel of power.
We have the same old rebellions over fundamentals like food and shelter, with the leaders on both sides as hollowed out of any moral considerations for the people they lead/drive that we’ll end up with further examples of Cuba, Iran, Cambodia, North Korea — you name a place and then match it with its current
thug leader making the same treacherous promises leading to more oppression. Meanwhile, the numbers of hungry fleeing refugees will inundate countries already overwhelmed by their own fragile economies. The only “order” on the horizon bears a distinct resemblance to the schoolyard bullies of our childhood nightmares.
Leadership from the EU? Hardly. Just orders from headquarters to keep impossible laws in the face of floods of humanity. Leadership in the US? Obama dithers like Carter, speechifies like Hamlet (as long as he has his teleprompters). The OIC? They’re rubbing their hands with glee at the thought of this crisis-driven opportunity to gouge for petro money, of whatever denomination. However, with China buying up all the wheat, and Islam not known for utilitarian practices like farming, they may learn the sad lesson that you can eat neither money nor oil. Sand’s not so palatable, either.
When it comes to moral direction, we live in a vacuum. Our leaders are, at best, simply ignorant. The worst are malign opportunists. If you’ve noticed, it’s difficult to tell them apart.
I’ve wandered from the wrap up to the rap upside the head. It’s hard not to do so when the world keeps impinging on our week’s work of money-raising to keep the Gates open. Meanwhile, I’m worrying about the people in New Zealand. Someone asked today if we’d heard from the person who so nicely volunteered, out of the blue, to begin our Facebook page. We haven’t heard at all, and now the thank you notes wait a bit longer as we try to find out if they’re safe.
Meanwhile, the Baron has collected the countries and states who stepped up to the plate this time around:
California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, N. Carolina, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, W. Virginia, and Washington
Australia, British Virgin Islands, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, France, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, and the UK.
Thanks to all of you, every one. Those who haven’t gotten an acknowledgement yet, be assured I’ll get there soon.
We now return you to your regular programming.
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