Communists in the Afterlife: A Meditation

The song below has been running through my mind for several days. This darkly comedic treatment of the horror of the Stalin years comes from Al Stewart’s fine album Between the Wars:

During the future Baron’s young years he absorbed Al Stewart’s music. Already possessed of a love of history, especially the two world wars (the poetry of WWI; the aviation tactics of WWII) his almost eidetic memory allowed him to retain whatever he read or heard. He also had the gift of perfect pitch and was able to sing a capella whatever tune he’d listened to a few times. [I remember his obsession with the music to the film, “Requiem for a Dream”. During one of his college breaks, he played the first measures for me — I’m musically challenged — and asked, “what is this?” I replied, “Some kind of requiem, isn’t it?” He’d understood the mode perfectly.]

These two characteristics stood him in good stead when we attended an Al Stewart concert. [The Baron and I don’t get out much so our attendance at this show was a Big Deal]. As is often the case with this under-appreciated musician, the venue was small: a coffee house in Pennsylvania whose acoustics left something to be desired.

On impulse, I approached Mr. Stewart at the break and asked if he was going to do this song in the second set. He looked at me blankly and said, “That old thing? I don’t think I can even remember it…” His response left me disappointed. Again on impulse, I asked if my son could sing it to start the next session. When Stewart repeated that he didn’t remember it, I assured him the fB could sing it a cappella. At that point, he scoffed, asking me if I knew how many people had requested to be allowed to sing, only to go blank when they faced the audience. I assured him this would be different. OMG, I’d morphed into a stage mother in an instant!

To my surprise, Mr. Stewart acceded to my request. [Looking back, I think he was glad to have the extra rest — he ended up leaning against the back wall of the stage during most of the song.] It was at this point I had to cajole the fB into performing. He blanched — it had been several years since he’d sung it. Then, as accommodating as ever, he retreated to a stool at the coffee bar and closed his eyes, deeply concentrating. Not having his gift for memorization, I wondered how he went about dredging up the material, but he did it, as I’d known he would — even though the process remained a mystery to me. Just as Stewart got up on stage, the fB nodded: he had it down.

I’ll never forget that performance. The audience were die-hard Stewart fans so they remembered the song well, even if Al didn’t. By the second verse, they were stomping, Russian-dance style, in a rhythm that fit the words and tune perfectly (if anyone ever re-issues this gem, it ought to be accompanied by those mythic ‘dancers”). By the last chorus or so, Stewart chimed in with the chords.

The resounding and sustained applause at the end of the song, plus the money people gave him, convinced the fB he’d acquitted himself well. As indeed he had.

Some nice soul sent us a CD of the whole performance. The sound quality isn’t so good, but what mother would care? Since the song was haunting me I dug out the CD and played it again. I realized the fB is still a tenor but his voice is much stronger now. A few years as a tenor in an Anglican choir after college did that.

I’ll bet if I asked, he could still sing this song — and any others he’s heard more than once.

As he continues to ‘grow in wisdom and grace’, the fB remains a prodigious reader of history, moving from the theaters of war to focus on the Scots-Irish in America from their very beginnings. He believes these folk are not only the spine and sinew of America’s military but will eventually shake off the government’s heavy hand-outs and return to their old ways. For our country’s sake, may he prove to be right in his assessment.

The lyrics to “Joe the Georgian” are below the fold along with some particularly perceptive reviews of the album Between the Wars.

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I’ll Never Forget Ol’ What’s-His-Name

The poster below is a collaborative effort by Tundra Tabloids and Vlad Tepes. It’s a reference to last night’s post about Basil Hassan, the Forbidden Name That None May Utter — at least in Denmark:

If you see a man who goes by this name or resembles the fellow in these pictures, please contact the Danish Multicultural Police.

Gates of Vienna News Feed 2/26/2016

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven says that his government is bracing for chaos when the next wave of “refugees” arrive. Sweden is preparing a new backup plan, but the EU is not cooperating — making future chaos that much more likely.

In other news, Chris Christie, a former presidential candidate and current governor of New Jersey, has endorsed Donald Trump for president.

To see the headlines and the articles, click “Continue reading” below.

Thanks to AF, C. Cantoni, Caroline Glick, Dean, Insubria, JD, and all the other tipsters who sent these in.

Notice to tipsters: Please don’t submit extensive excerpts from articles that have been posted behind a subscription firewall, or are otherwise under copyright protection.

Caveat: Articles in the news feed are posted “as is”. Gates of Vienna cannot vouch for the authenticity or accuracy of the contents of any individual item posted here. We check each entry to make sure it is relatively interesting, not patently offensive, and at least superficially plausible. The link to the original is included with each item’s title. Further research and verification are left to the reader.

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The Forbidden Name Which None May Utter

Basil Hassan, the would-be murderer of Lars Hedegaard

The young man in the grainy photo above is named Basil Hassan. Three years ago Mr. Hassan allegedly dressed up in a fake postman’s uniform and attempted to assassinate the Danish Islam-critic Lars Hedegaard at the latter’s apartment building.

After the attempted murder, the alleged perp fled Denmark, and has reportedly been spending his time in Syria and Turkey. The Danish police would like to find Basil Hassan so that he can help them with their enquiries.

I can use Mr. Hassan’s name publicly because I live in the United States. If I lived in Denmark, I would be forbidden to mention it, however. Presumably I would be violating his human rights or something. But that doesn’t make sense — wouldn’t it aid the criminal investigation if ordinary Danish citizens knew the suspect’s name, and could call the police if they happened to encounter him?

But that’s too logical — that’s not how they do things in Europe.

Lars Hedegaard defied the law and published the name of Basil Hassan, and was subsequently prosecuted for it. Today was his day in court. Several of his supporters (including Tania, the leader of PEGIDA DK) wore T-shirts with the forbidden name printed on them when they came to court. They were ordered to remove the shirts or be thrown out. So they complied, and took off the shirts.

Later, when they went outside, three of them held up the shirts for a friend to take a photo. The police immediately arrested them, and charged them under the same law Lars Hedegaard was accused of violating.

Such is fate of infidels in Modern Multicultural Denmark.

Below is an interview with Tania about what happened today. Many thanks to Vlad Tepes for editing and uploading this video:

Vlad and I batted around some ideas about how Danish “Islamophobes” could have some fun while testing the limits of legal absurdity in Denmark. I suggested that they make two sets of shirts, one batch with “Basil” printed on each shirt, and the other with “Hassan”. People could put on the shirts and mill around for a while, before finally casually grouping themselves in appropriate pairs. Could they be arrested at that point?

Or: Each shirt could have just one letter on it. Those who wore them could mingle in random sequences until the moment arrived to arrange themselves in a certain order. Could they be arrested at that point?

Vlad suggested that to add to the fun, they could make anagrams with the letters until they were ready to arrange themselves to spell the forbidden name. A quick look gave me “banish a lass”, plus a couple of naughty ones. But nothing really catchy.

There’s more about this absurd and dismaying case at

June 22nd, 1593: The Austrian Army Defeats the Turks at Sisak, the Gateway to Central Europe

Christians confront the Turks at the Battle of Sisak

I’ve recently become interested in the Battle of Sisak (June 22, 1593), in which a small Austrian army repulsed a much larger Ottoman force, and thus kept the Turks from making further inroads into Central Europe. Among the Turkish troops who died during the battle (by drowning in the river) was Hassan, Pasha of Bosnia, the commander of the Ottoman expedition.

When he translates material for us, our Slovenian correspondent uses as his pseudonym the name of the Slovenian hero Andrej Turjaški (Andreas von Auersperg, Lord of Schönberg und Seisenberg). That name got me interested in the history of the battle, which occurred in what is now Croatia. It is little-known in English (and the wiki is inadequate), yet it seems to be a significant victory over the Ottomans, comparable in its own way to the sieges of Vienna.

While reading this material, it suddenly occurred to me: for all those centuries, the fractious Central Europeans fought bravely to keep the Ottoman Caliphate out of Europe. And now they are simply handing the territory over to the latter-day Ottomans — inviting them in. Anyone among the Austrian political leadership who is over the age of fifty knows very well the history of the sieges of Vienna, Sisak, the Hungarian campaigns, etc. Yet, despite their knowledge, they are surrendering their country anyway. It’s a betrayal of such magnitude that it’s difficult to comprehend.

As Fjordman once said:

The European Union is the principal motor behind the Islamization of Europe. It is formally surrendering an entire continent to Islam while destroying established national cultures, and is prepared to harass those who disagree with this policy.

This is the greatest organized betrayal in Western history.

Dymphna sees this unprecedented high-level treason as a diabolical process. She says that when she was younger she didn’t believe in the diabolical, but she’s changed her mind.

I mentioned the Battle of Sisak to Rembrandt Clancy, and asked him if he knew of any German-language histories of the day’s events. Several days later, much to my surprise and delight, he sent the following translation of a 19th-century account of the battle.

The translator includes the following preliminary notes:

I did not intend a project, but a mere sampling. Having started roughly in the middle of the monograph, at the section on the arquebusiers, it gradually expanded in both directions until I was half way through the work at one end, and had completed the introduction at the other end.

As I made my way through the document, I began more and more to share your interest on this subject, not to mention the language itself.

The feel of the piece is epic, a little Homeric in flavour, with its order of battle, for example, which names the heroes, emphasising their nobility and hinting at lineage, not to mention the establishment of a connection with poetry and song of the epic type singing of ‘arms and the man’. The introduction is unmistakeable in this respect. The ending of the introduction is marked by a horizontal line, also in the original.

Radič’s preliminaries make mention of the capture by the Turks of the strategically located Bihać, which comes under the regional name of Wichitsch in the monograph.

It would be interesting to study the role of Pope Clement VIII in the Long Turkish War, for during that period he apparently sought to build a Holy League against the Turks, following Pius V.

Below is Rembrandt Clancy’s translation of the first half (reckoned without the notes and references) of P. v. Radič’s The Battle of Sissek — Sissek being the 19th-century German spelling of Sisak.

The Battle of Sisak, 1593, by Hans Rudolf Miller

Source: Radič, P. V. Die Schlacht bei Sissek: 22 June 1593. Laibach, 1861
The illustration of the battle: Wikipedia

The Battle of Sissek

22 June 1593

on the Feast Day of St. Achatius.

A Monograph
P. v. Radič

Carniolae Victoria: victory against the Turks at Sisak, June 22 1593

When a people enter the feast day into the history book to mark a period which is beginning anew, so is it understandable that they are inclined to leaf back through the pages and seek the places wherein bright colours gleam. In the chronicle of our people, it is in such places that red is the most prevalent colour; this brings to their minds the much blood which was shed on our soil, or leastwise that which had been shed by the sons of our Fatherland in the adjoining south-eastern frontier regions throughout the XV and XVI centuries. Whilst recording with delight the fact of the granting of equal status to all the peoples of our great Imperial State, we tarry with pleasure on the numerous places recounting to us of the heroic deeds of our forefathers in the battles with the Turks.

One such conspicuous deed occurred on the 22nd of June 1593 at the fortress Sissek, the battle with the besieging Turks being accepted on the notable counsel of Baron Andreas von Auersperg [Andrej Turjaški] and fought out by virtue of the courage and strength of this same counsellor to the great renown of our Fatherland.

The year 1408 brought the first Turkish bands to Carniolan soil [the Duchy of Carniola, in what is now Slovenia] and indeed into the immediately adjoining Metlika region; in 1418 almost 1,000 Carniolans, under one Lord von Auersperg, made close acquaintance with this uninvited guest in the great battle at Radkersburg. From that time on, with few interruptions throughout all the decades of the XV and XVI centuries, the Ottomans alternated between openly declared campaigns and unpredictable incursions into our country in search of booty.

It was mostly the frontier pashas of Bosnia and Herzegovina, who undertook such expeditions on their own account for the sake of booty, but often to so as to set large ransom amounts by taking prisoner important personages of the Slovenian-Croatian border defence.

In deference to these conditions — and the more so in consideration of the major importance for general history of these battles which arose from the vigorous resistance on the part of our frontier lands — it would certainly be very worth while to draw up a comprehensive portrait of the battles based on a precise examination of the sources.

But to introduce here even the most important and successful “Campaigns against the Turks” would go far beyond the scope of this work.

For this reason I am content, in the interests of the better appreciation of my subject, to be brief in the depiction of Carniola’s situation in those times.

The XV century, which was one filled with the most difficult battles for the lands unified under the sceptre of Friedrich III, had also brought to our country the collective suffering of oppression of one kind or another, disorientation in public and private relations and especially a constant pressure from the Ottomans.

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Sick as a Dog

Unlike a dog, however, I can’t just go outside and eat grass to fix the problem.

I came down with a nasty cold yesterday, and it got worse overnight. Sneezing, sneezing, sneezing. Low-grade fever, runny nose, etc.

Maybe I caught it from the tornado the day before…

I’ll try to keep to my usual schedule, but if posting ends up being light, you’ll know why.

Gates of Vienna News Feed 2/25/2016

Austria convened a summit yesterday in Vienna on migration via the “Balkan Route”. The other countries participating in the confab were Slovenia, Croatia, Bulgaria, Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo, Serbia, Macedonia and Montenegro. Austrian Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner and Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz were the principal speakers. Greece was not invited. In response to the snub, Greece withdrew its ambassador from Vienna.

In other news, German media are reporting that the government expects that 3.6 million “refugees” will have entered Germany by the year 2020.

To see the headlines and the articles, click “Continue reading” below.

Thanks to AF, C. Cantoni, Fjordman, Insubria, JD, Nick, and all the other tipsters who sent these in.

Notice to tipsters: Please don’t submit extensive excerpts from articles that have been posted behind a subscription firewall, or are otherwise under copyright protection.

Caveat: Articles in the news feed are posted “as is”. Gates of Vienna cannot vouch for the authenticity or accuracy of the contents of any individual item posted here. We check each entry to make sure it is relatively interesting, not patently offensive, and at least superficially plausible. The link to the original is included with each item’s title. Further research and verification are left to the reader.

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The Jewish Counterjihad

Earlier this month we received the following email from a representative of JewGida, a Jewish Counterjihad group in Europe:

Dear Gates of Vienna team,

We are the Jewish fraction of Pegida Germany, called JewGida. We want to thank you for supporting the one and only Jewish state in the world in this dark and sad time of Islamic Jihad against the free world.

We are addressing you with a plea to educate your readers about the Jewish contribution to the Counterjihad movement. We notice a worrying rise of anti-Semitism among the patriotic movements across the Western world. “The Jews/Zionists/Israel are behind the Islamization of Europe” is becoming the narrative of a certain minority of Western patriots.

It reminds us of the Black Death of the 14th century. Instead of improving the overall hygiene, the Jews were blamed to have poisoned the water wells. The brutal persecution of European Jewry didn’t help back then. 25 million — one-third of the European population — died a tragic death.

We understand, that the European nations are frightened in the face of a massive Muslim invasion. But rising anti-Semitism will not make the Muslim bogeyman go away.

Today it is urgent for the European nations to remove the treacherous leftist politicians, fight back against the leftist socialist ideology, close the borders, support patriotism, reclaim the media, promote the criticism of Islam and engage in Counterjihad. The Muslim plague may become even more lethal, if Europe doesn’t wake up and engage in Counterjihad.

There are of course leftist Jews who are fueling the fears of Jewish conspiracy. Examples include George Soros, an anti-Jewish Jew, who recently proclaimed Muslims to be the new Jews, and has been funding anti-Jewish and anti-Israel projects for years. Or Barbara Lerner Spectre, an American Jewish feminist, who talked in an interview about the “Jewish leading role” in multicultural Europe, as a reference to the biblical concept of “light unto the nations”.

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Will Congress Designate the Muslim Brotherhood a Foreign Terrorist Organization?

It’s taken eight years, but it looks like it might actually happen: Yesterday the House Judiciary Committee favorably reported HR 3892 out of committee and onto the floor. The bill, if passed by the full House, would declare that the Muslim Brotherhood meets all the conditions that define a foreign terrorist organization, and would require the State Department to designate it as such.

The Muslim Brotherhood has been patiently infiltrating its assets into American institutions for more than two decades. It has placed agents at high levels in the Pentagon, the State Department, and the White House. Members of Muslim Brotherhood serve as legislative advisors to congressmen and senators.

After the convictions handed down in the Holy Land Foundation trial in 2008, the Muslim Brotherhood in America should have been rolled up and shut down. That same year, however, the American people elected a friend of the Muslim Brotherhood as their president, and U.S. government policy concerning the Ikhwan subsequently did a 180-degree turn. The new administration not only formed a positive relationship with the Brotherhood, it actively promoted the “Arab Spring” revolutions that thrust Ikhwan members into power.

It took until 2016, the final year of the Obama administration, for a Republican-controlled Congress to push back against the forces that are relentlessly Islamizing the United States.

This is the summary of HR 3892 from Congress’ website:

Introduced in House (11/03/2015)

Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Designation Act of 2015

Expresses the sense of Congress that: (1) the Muslim Brotherhood has met the criteria for designation as a foreign terrorist organization, and (2) the Department of State should so designate it.

Requires the State Department to report to Congress within 60 days whether the Muslim Brotherhood meets the criteria for foreign terrorist designation, and if not, which criteria have not been met.

In the video below you can hear Chairman Robert Goodlatte (R-VA — from the 6th District, next door to ours) read out the infamous quote from the Explanatory Memorandum:

The process of settlement is a “Civilization-Jihadist Process” with all the word means. The Ikhwan must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and “sabotaging” its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.

After Mr. Goodlatte’s opening statement, you’ll hear John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) declare his opposition to the bill. His statement sounds like it was crafted by CAIR, and it probably was. After all, he represents Michigan’s 13th District, which includes portions of Detroit, Dearborn, and Hamtramck — some of the most culturally enriched real estate in the United States.

Mr. Conyers’ arguments may be summarized thus:

1.   This bill is procedurally flawed.
2.   Five years ago (when the Democrats controlled the House) Congress didn’t think this was such a good idea.
3.   Not all members of the Muslim Brotherhood are terrorists.
4.   The Muslim Brotherhood does important charitable work.
5.   This bill would be provocative and Islamophobic, and would increase the likelihood of hate speech and physical attacks against Muslim-Americans.

In his objection to Chairman Goodlatte’s amendment to the bill, Mr. Conyers cites Professor John Esposito of Georgetown University. If you aren’t familiar with Prof. Esposito’s sympathies, see the entry for him in Discover the Networks. Rep. Conyers might as well have cited Hassan al-Banna or Sayyid Qutb to support his arguments.

By arguing that the amendment “plays into ISIS’ hands and makes us less safe”, Mr. Conyers is inadvertently admitting that the Muslim Brotherhood is associated with terrorists. He is telling us, in effect: “If we say bad things about the Ikhwan and ostracize it, then Islamic terrorists will become angry at us and try to kill us.”

What more do we need to know?

Many thanks to Vlad Tepes for editing and uploading this video:

The full text of HR 3892 is available here.

Gates of Vienna News Feed 2/24/2016

Husein Kavazovic, the Grand Mufti of Bosnia, has called on the authorities to do something about radical Islamic terrorism. Mr. Kavazovic issued the call after he was threatened with death by the Islamic State for opposing Islamic extremism.

In other news, Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission, acknowledged that he has a dispute with Austria over the latter’s new policy of capping the number of migrants that enter the country. Meanwhile Matteo Salvini, the leader of the Lega Nord, says that neither the European Commission nor Mr. Juncker are welcome in Italy.

To see the headlines and the articles, click “Continue reading” below.

Thanks to AF, C. Cantoni, Fjordman, Insubria, JD, Jerry Gordon, and all the other tipsters who sent these in.

Notice to tipsters: Please don’t submit extensive excerpts from articles that have been posted behind a subscription firewall, or are otherwise under copyright protection.

Caveat: Articles in the news feed are posted “as is”. Gates of Vienna cannot vouch for the authenticity or accuracy of the contents of any individual item posted here. We check each entry to make sure it is relatively interesting, not patently offensive, and at least superficially plausible. The link to the original is included with each item’s title. Further research and verification are left to the reader.

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So What and the Seven Geeks

This latest literary endeavor by JLH is a judicious mixture of allegory and satire.

So What and the Seven Geeks

A Progressive Tale of the Future of Personkind

by JLH

Once upon a time, there was an evil one-per-center who — like most celebrities — lived where it was almost never cold and often sunny. She believed (correctly, according to her cosmetic surgeon, her trainer and her dietitian) that she was the most beautiful celebrity in all the world. Among her many retainers was a pretty teenager who had been trained since childhood to be the perfect servant. She had faultless, alabaster skin, and, in some other time and climate, she might have been called Snow White, but in this semi-tropical paradise devoted to the care and service of VERY IMPORTANT PEOPLE, her name was So What.

On the evil one-per-center’s sitting room wall was a 120-inch HD screen controlled by a remote keyboard, on which she could Skype, live-stream PBS specials on the destruction of the planet by the Koch brothers, keep up with her hundreds of thousands of fans and “buddies” by chirping with them on CHIPPER, take and send selfies to a favored few, while sipping a vanilla mocha frappucino latté from Muchbucks, and following the news of the world on ET and John Stewart. She faithfully followed her attractivity ratings on FACESPACE and MODBOD, and at least once a day typed in the query,

Tablet, tablet, on the wall,
Who is the attractivest of them all?”

And awaited the standard reply: “You are, oh Babe!”

One day, however, the tablet hummed for a second, before saying, “Well, some people think it might be So What.”

The evil celebrity was so outraged that she checked who had expressed that opinion on FACESPACE and immediately “unbuddied” them.

Clearly, it was time to act. You don’t stay on top of the heap, if just anyone can walk up and stand beside you. So she summoned the head gardener of her vast “herbal” gardens , and ordered that the unfortunately attractive young person be taken to some empty lot in the surrounding urban jungle and killed, and the heart brought to her as proof.

Now the gardener — like everyone else — was very fond of the young servant, and knew he would not be able to carry out his orders. It should have been simple — kill a deer, harvest the heart and take it back to the evil celebrity, still dripping fresh blood. Well, since this was the city, he might have had to make do with a large dog or a strayed coyote. However, the gardener was a devoted member of PETA, and could not bring himself to do that. And he was not only not a speciesist, but also not a sexist or a racist and not even much of an ageist (although some of the very old tended to be pretty reactionary, even in this land of sunshine), so his options were limited. Fortunately, he knew of an establishment where he could procure a heart for a reasonable fee, no questions asked. (Well, almost none.)

So he betook himself to this establishment and gave the secret knock. As he had hoped, his old friend was on duty and answered the door.

When he explained his need, she said, “All of our hearts, like all of our harvested organs, are quite small, you know. If your boss wants the life of this teenager, she will expect to be given the correct heart. Any reasonably intelligent person will see that the heart is the wrong size.”

“Oh, please!” he smiled, “This is a celebrity. Her brain is smaller than any heart.”

The gardener told So What that she was being discharged, and was never to return or communicate with anyone at the evil celebrity’s residence. With no further explanation, he released So What into the trackless urban jungle, then took the heart back to the evil one-per-center, who was delighted to receive it, and immediately fed it to her cat. Afterward, some people would say that this made the cat an accessory-after-the-fact, but others countered that this was carrying anthropomorphism too far. PETA and NOW later co-sponsored an ad which argued that no human biological by-products should be wasted.

The evil one-per-center celebrated by allowing a Thai masseuse to walk barefoot on her back, and followed up with a steaming hot bat-guano bath and face mask.

The gardener had a quiet talk with the keeper of the celebrity’s data center, who was also very fond of So What, and they agreed that the tablet would no longer have any knowledge of anyone called So What, and if anyone should wish to investigate, they would say that the hard drive and DVDs had self-destructed, or been lost, or suffered flood damage, or…

Meanwhile, So What — on her own in the vastness of civilization for the first time — was helpless and clueless. Like anyone else in this situation, she turned for help to the first governmental entity she encountered. She wandered into the downtown office of the IRS, where she was received by a clerk, who noticed that she was well-dressed, attractive and intelligent, and must therefore owe taxes. However, the clerk could not find “So What” anywhere in the database (except as an internal comment on complaints received from certain organizations that they were being targeted by the IRS). So the clerk asked “Are you an undocumented alien?” So What — who felt quite alien in the trackless urban jungle, and had never before needed ID — said, “Yes,” and after that, everything went well. She received an instant refund for taxes she hadn’t paid, coupons with which she could purchase food — alternatively alcohol and tobacco — and an official ID that entitled her to work for governmental agencies and to drive any vehicle with up to 18 wheels.

She also departed the IRS office with a certificate entitling her to attend any university of her choice for less than in-state tuition.

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A Near Miss

But not for the people who live in this house:

That was the scene late this afternoon just outside the tiny hamlet of Evergreen, Virginia.

Update: From the Washington Post, 4:22-8:30am Feb 25:

Tornadoes killed four people and left a path of destruction in Virginia, the hardest-hit state. Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller says a 2-year-old child and two men, ages 50 and 26, were killed in the town of Waverly during the storm.

Police say a funnel cloud left an 8- to 10-mile path of destruction in Appomattox County, Virginia, where one man was killed.


A Virginia County is declaring a state of emergency after a storm passed through, damaging scores of buildings, injuring several people and killing one man.

Appomattox County Administrator Susan Adams said by phone Thursday morning that about 100 structures were damaged. She says about 20 of those were severely damaged, including some that were flattened. She says those numbers may go up as damage is assessed around the county.

Adams says the governor has been informed of the extent of the damage and may visit the area Thursday.

The following video shows the tornado damage; you can see the same house at the opening of the clip. I drove past at about the same time this video was taken. This was the hardest-hit zone, but there was significant damage in the surrounding area, with huge oak trees down across the highway. You can hear the chainsaws at work in this footage:

The first hint of what happened came at about 3:45 this afternoon, although I didn’t realize it at the time. A line of intense thunderstorms was passing over us then — a narrow band, but very heavy rain for a brief time. I looked at the radar image, and could see that Appomattox was getting hit harder than we were.

We didn’t have any significant wind here at Schloss Bodissey, although there must have been at least an inch of rain. While that was going on, the lights dimmed and flickered several times over the space of about thirty seconds. I realized later that that must have been the moment when the trunk lines went down along US 460 in Evergreen — a sudden drain on the grid until the big breakers kicked in and sealed off the damaged region.

When the rain stopped and the sun came out, I got in the car and headed for Appomattox to go shopping at Walmart. There was no indication of anything but heavy rain in our area. The first sign of something worse showed up along the highway about fifteen to twenty miles from Appomattox: a piece of bent sheet-metal roofing in a field by the road. And then another one a little further down the road. And another. A few pieces of what looked like sheetrock. Then, a few miles later, some articles of clothing in the road. And a broken piece of plywood.

There were only two possible explanations: there had been a tornado, or a truck carrying construction waste had gone by driving too fast. I looked around, and there were none of the telltale signs of wind damage; no broken-off trees, no big branches in the road, no shingles off the roofs of houses. Everything was just very, very wet. And there were construction materials lying around here and there, at random locations.

When I got to Appomattox I went to the CVS drugstore first. I didn’t notice until a woman met me at the door that the power was out in the building. She told me there were 30,000 people without power in the area. I asked her, “Did y’all have a tornado?” She replied, “Yes, we did. Down 460” — waving in an easterly direction — “near Evergreen.”

As I pulled back onto the highway, I saw a state police car with flashing lights go by, heading east, accompanying an ambulance and an “Urban Search and Rescue” vehicle. There were also several Asplundh tree-cutting vehicles traveling in the same direction. Since shopping had just been crossed off my to-do list, I thought I might as well follow them down the road and see what it looked like.

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Gates of Vienna News Feed 2/23/2016

A 14-year-old girl carrying two knives went on a stabbing rampage in a Toronto high school, wounding eight people. The alleged suspected perpetrator is now in custody. Victims were apparently selected at random, and no motive has been established, but the attacker reportedly wore a long black coat, and was known to change her first name frequently.

In other news, the Slovenian parliament has approved the use of army troops to supplement the border police and help protect the country’s borders.

To see the headlines and the articles, click “Continue reading” below.

Thanks to AF, C. Cantoni, Dean, Insubria, JD, LP, Vlad Tepes, and all the other tipsters who sent these in.

Notice to tipsters: Please don’t submit extensive excerpts from articles that have been posted behind a subscription firewall, or are otherwise under copyright protection.

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