Fundraising in the Time of Corona

This was the “sticky” post for the spring fundraiser. It was first published on May 25, and was on top throughout fundraising week. Scroll down for items posted on and after that date.

Spring Fundraiser 2020, Day Seven

Sunday’s Update: A Diversity Flashback

We’re moving into the final day of what has been a very unusual fundraising week.

Tip jarThere was no way to tell in advance how this quarter’s fundraiser might turn out, given the economic devastation that is enshrouding most of the Western world. Would anybody have spare cash to donate to a minor website?

Would anyone even be paying attention?

Well… Up until now there have been a greater than average number of donations — which is astonishing. Yet the total amount that has come in is somewhat less than average, which isn’t surprising at all, since most people have been hit hard financially for the past two months or so. It’s gratifying that so many have been willing to chip in, under the circumstances.

If you haven’t got around to it yet, the tip jar is on the sidebar, or you can use this link.

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Instead of another COVID-related update, I’ll close this fundraiser with a blast from the past. The excerpt below was written by Dymphna almost exactly eight years ago, on June 4, 2012, for the final fundraising post of that year’s spring fundraiser.

The theme for that week’s bleg was “Diversity”, and she wrapped everything up with the following remarks:

The subject of Diversity is fraught. So for this Fundraiser, I’ve deliberately kept the lid on certain subjects. They can accumulate like barnacles or smart bombs on the wall of diversity, or rather on the battlements of modern, top-down “Diversity”. As is true of any other project, some stuff has to be routinely scraped off so you can see what’s underneath, yet other junk — whilst appearing to be identical — will blow up in your face. Frankly, the explosions aren’t interesting anymore.

It is the former which draws my curiosity. .The latter, full of traps like the origins or even the existence of “global” “warming” — oops, climate change…oops, methane in the atmosphere. Whatever. Any point in “discussing” those issues is long past. Those in Charge will tell you ahead of time: “It’s settled…” “Consensus Has Been Reached”… “Everyone Knows”… “Only an Idiot Would Think Such a Thing”….and so on, ad infinitum, ad nauseam.

Have you noticed that the more fervently views on such issues are clung to (bitterly), the less room there is for Reason or even the possibility of entertaining alternate ideas? Entertaining ideas? Enter that realm at your own risk.

Here’s a partial list of Don’t-Go-There-Unless-You-Want-a-Fight hot buttons. No particular order here, simply a reflection of what I’ve been reading and thinking about. These are only contentions; I have no solutions. The mysteries of life usually don’t come with quick remedies:

  • Abortion. Or not. When does life begin to have value? No, it’s not “settled”. Look up the numbers of those who believe religiously in #1 vs. those who think the prize is behind Door #2. Just don’t put these folks in the same room.
  • Gender. What could be simpler: This is a girl; see that little cleft where her penis should be? This is a boy, see his penis hanging there? Gender-bending is occurring at younger and younger ages, much to the horrified sorrow of parents caught in a five year-old’s intense identity crisis. It may well be that the crisis is real enough, but it could turn out to be just one manifestation of a larger, more complex reality than the one we can see. Human beings are quite malleable, but they are also fragile. The times in which we live, where sexual identity is up for grabs — literally — are reflected in many issues, and one of them is seen in these canary children. In different times most of them would’ve been spared this assault from the zeitgeist, an assault which begins during the dark floaty existence in utero. Were there no assaults from the residues of psychotropic drugs left in the drinking water (just to name one possible influence), or the constant low-level cultural exposure to increasingly depraved pornography, these children could have lived within the boundaries of their respective anatomy without a blip. When times simplify again — and they surely will — outlier cases will recede again. That’s not much comfort now to these kids or their parents as they stumble through the nightmare.
  • Religion is a crutch vs. Spirituality is a part of human experience. The former has become the more intellectually acceptable attitude of late, though one wonders what insecurity keeps the more aggressively devout unbelievers at their megaphones, proselytizing like hard-shell Mississippi Baptists. You begin to ask if there is some fervent need on their part to save the unwashed from arrant foolishness. Perhaps a good dose of American history about the cycles of the Great Awakenings in the 18th and 19th centuries would at least help the ardent atheists this side of the Atlantic to gain some perspective.

    My guess regarding the foundation of this popular orthodoxy among the media gatekeepers? It’s high school redux: they want to be with the cool kids and they don’t want to have to actually study anything. Aping your betters is so much easier, especially if your “educated” betters are being all edgy and you know it will irritate those boring duds in Flyover Country… As is the case for other media belief blankets, if you want to hear another side (and there is more than one) you’ll have to hunt for it on your own. What surprises me is the number of people who do — want to hear another point of view, I mean.

  • Sex among adults. Interestingly, as the results from the Boomer generation become apparent, and the laws of unintended consequences begin to take their toll, their children are turning away from their parents’ youthful decisions to let it all hang out. They see the results and politely decline. Or at least the ones who catch on early enough do so. They know the health risks for both sexes of too many sexual partners. They understand the complexities of bonding better than their naïve parents did. Except for the one percent — those befuddled “Occupy” useful tools — for the most part middle-class kids have turned back the clock. Of course many of them face rigors their parents did not: huge education debt, a poor job market, and increasing balkanization by class. Their lives will be tougher in many ways, but then so will they. At least the ones who aren’t forced to move back home, much the same way their great grandparents had to do to get by.
  • Sex with children as the new norm. Nope, that’s not worth our time. The downward deviancy of our culture was seen two generations ago and I’m sure it’s not hit bottom yet. But it will. In the meantime, let’s not contribute to the pollution.
  • Death. Like the beginnings of life, its endings are becoming more fungible. The Right to Die vs. the Responsibility to Die. Our old are becoming the Ice Floe Generation. And who gets to decide whose life has meaning or value? Recently, a couple sued for Wrongful Birth when their child was born with congenital anomalies the parents believed they should have been told about ahead of time. Among the nettles were questions like financial responsibility for this life no one wants. This question lies floundering side-by-side with the reality of aborted, breathing fetuses who are killed on the operating table without a qualm. Are we confused or what?
  • Trash. There are lots more thorns and contention here, but let’s end with garbage, with refuse, with detritus. Like global warming, there are folks on both sides of the Religion of Recycling, which is a smaller denomination of the colossal Environmental Cathedral — and that place makes Vatican City look like a high-rise tenement. Again, this subject has sectarian overtones in the higher reaches (or screeches) of the True Believers. For the dissidents there is often no choice: just because you can ‘prove’ your locality saves nothing by recycling doesn’t mean you can opt out. There are handy garbage technologies in your wheelie bin that will see you fined or put in jail if you don’t conform.

    One of the dystopian uncharms of living in an urban landscape is unending trash. But city-slicker trash has become another source of revenue for cash-poor rural areas. While the downside is that the nearby urban poor often find it cheaper to skulk out here to the country and leave their bags of unidentifiable refuse because they can’t afford the trash stickers the city makes them buy, there’s an upside to this. Big cities up North will pay good money to poor rural areas if they’ll take the garbage out. Thus many county boards of supervisors do just that, and this venture keeps the real estate tax rate down for the bumpkins.

    Don’t you wonder where this will lead as consumers are unable to continue consuming? Will trash reduce itself to an endangered species? In order to continue the justification of its existence, will the EPA have to step in with emergency rulings?

Diverse contentions. They’re endless and they get more polarized all the time. As resources get thin on the ground, look for the rigidities to worsen. I don’t know about you, but I’m sick of living in interesting times. I’m ready for a good long spell of boredom — kind of like those endless amber waves of grain we don’t have anymore because they hybridized all the wheat. Modern varieties are now too short to wave at anyone.

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The photo below was taken in the late 1990s. It shows Dymphna on her 58th birthday:

It’s probably the last image of her that I’ll scan and post, unless I happen upon another trove of lost photos. She gave her permission for me to post just one, the photo of her holding a puppy that I included with my eulogy for her last June.

However, I figure that her attitude about such things is probably more relaxed now that she is incorporeal. The photos of her that I’ve posted here over the past twelve months are excellent ones, in my opinion. She is exactly herself in them, and I cherish them more than words can say. I think she’s OK with my including them here.

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Saturday’s gifts came in from:

Stateside: California, Illinois, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico, and Texas

Far Abroad: Australia and the UK

Canada: Ontario

I’ll be back in a few days to post a wrap-up with the final tally of locations.

The next fundraiser will begin sometime in the hot, hot summer. Who knows what the coronacrisis will have morphed into by then?

Many thanks to everyone for their generosity.

Saturday’s Update: Who is That Masked Man?

We’re moving into the penultimate day of Gates of Vienna’s quarterly fundraiser.

Readers who are sheltering in place at home and have nothing better to do are invited to send a modest donation by way of the tip cup on the sidebar (or by using this link).

Those small individual gifts are the way I keep this blog going. If a significant number of readers give a little bit each, it adds up to enough to pay for the site and keep me in cheese and crackers for another quarter.

Full disclosure: This website is not corona-compliant. Its proprietor is a coronadissident who refuses to wear a mask.

Since yesterday morning’s update I became aware of an article published by the The New England Journal of Medicinethat bolsters my dissident stance. It concerns the ineffectiveness of wearing a mask as a means of preventing the spread of COVID-19. One of our commenters mentioned it, but I also ran across it on Twitter.

This was actually published in April, but for some reason is only now drawing attention:

We know that wearing a mask outside health care facilities offers little, if any, protection from infection. Public health authorities define a significant exposure to Covid-19 as face-to-face contact within 6 feet with a patient with symptomatic Covid-19 that is sustained for at least a few minutes (and some say more than 10 minutes or even 30 minutes). The chance of catching Covid-19 from a passing interaction in a public space is therefore minimal. In many cases, the desire for widespread masking is a reflexive reaction to anxiety over the pandemic.

This article provides yet another knowledgeable conclusion that there is no “science” behind mandatory masking, and no indication that a wearing a mask is significantly beneficial to public health. It underscores the unconstitutional nature of Governor Coonman’s recent executive order, which exceeds his statutory authority under the declared state of emergency.

That’s my rationale for defying the governor. Unfortunately, supermarkets and other retailers may decide to station corona-goons at the front doors of their businesses to keep out the maskless and heartless coronaskeptics who don’t care if their negligence causes people to die.

If that happens, I may have to put on the damned mask if I want to eat…

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That’s enough corona-gloom for this morning! Friday’s generosity came from:

Stateside: Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Massachusetts, Michigan, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia

Far Abroad: Germany, New Zealand, Portugal, and the UK

Australia: Western Australia

I’ll see you tomorrow for the final update of this spring fundraiser.

Friday’s Update: To Mask or Not to Mask?

Well, here we are at the end of the work week in Gates of Vienna’s spring fundraiser. However, thanks to the ChiCom flu, the work week doesn’t differ significantly from the weekend for the average working man. Stay at home and drink beer — that’s the drill.

A lot more donations came in yesterday, thanks in part to Western Rifle Shooters, who gave me a great shout-out first thing yesterday morning. I really appreciate that, boys.

The pattern seems to be continuing: the number of donations is actually greater than normal, but the total amount is less. In other words, people are hurting financially, yet they’re still opening their billfolds and sending in what they can.

That’s truly inspiring.

If you just got here: the goal is to keep this site going for another quarter. If you like what you see here, please make that tip cup on the sidebar clink, or use this link.

I don’t really have anything new to say on the topic of COVID-19, except that I’d like to extend the discussion about face masks.

I’ve been exchanging views about them with people, both here in the comments and by email. The main bone I have to pick with the issue of face masks is the coerced mandate for their use, either by gubernatorial ukase (which is what Virginia Governor Ralph “Coonman” Northam has done as of today, if I understand it correctly), or by extreme social pressure, commonly known as “mask-shaming”.

If the coercive aspect hadn’t been so strong, I might have been convinced that I should put on a face mask when I’m out and about. But the fact that no dissent is permitted on the topic has once again activated my Scots blood, and I am determined to resist wearing a mask. If I end up getting a citation from a sheriff’s deputy, I intend to find a dedicated pro-bono activist lawyer who will help me take my case all the way to the Supreme Court, if necessary. The governor’s face mask requirement is blatantly UNCONSTITUTIONAL. It exceeds the limits of the statutory authority granted him under the state of emergency.

However…

Let’s pretend that everyone is being civil about all of this, and discuss the pros and cons of face masks. I’ll forget about the coercive aspects of the issue and consider the arguments on their merits. I invite readers to weigh in on the topic, without invective, using fact-based, reasoned arguments.

Do face masks protect the wearer from contracting the virus?

It seems clear that they help keep the virus from spreading if the wearer is infected and is coughing or sneezing. But do they prevent him from spreading the virus if he a carrier, i.e. asymptomatic and breathing normally, without emitting droplets of sputum?

OK, boys and girls, have at it! But please remember the rules of civility.

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Thursday’s many, many gifts came in from:

Stateside: Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Washington

Far Abroad: Germany, New Zealand, Spain, and the UK

By the way: several new donors didn’t have address records with PayPal. If I’m pretty sure they’re in the USA, I assign them to Texas, California, or Illinois at random, because those states have the greatest number of donors. If I’m pretty sure they’re Brits (for example, if the donation is denominated in GBP), I put them in the UK.

I’ll be back tomorrow for the Saturday update.

Thursday’s Update: A Brief Personal Note

The gifts have continued to arrive with encouraging regularity. I know that a lot of readers are hard up at the moment, so I am deeply gratified by the response.

For late arrivals: this is the way I keep Gates of Vienna going. Rather than sell advertising space or charge a subscription, I beg from my readers for one week every quarter. Yes, I know it’s annoying, but not as annoying as a local NPR affiliate’s endless fund drive. My version has a finite, predictable end: next Sunday.

If you haven’t dropped a groat into the tip cup yet, please consider doing so! You can also use this link.

I don’t have any additional thoughts on the Wuhan Coronavirus scam this morning. There’s much that could be said, but my poor brain is too tired to cobble those sentences together.

In three weeks it will have been a year since my wife Dymphna died. The three fundraisers I have held since then were far more difficult to undertake than this one is. I had planned to skip last summer’s bleg, because that was during the period I think of as “The Horror” — it was so hard to do anything. But my car (Dymphna’s car, really) had died in the middle of July, and I had to buy a new (used) one, so I couldn’t afford to skip a quarter.

I got through that one somehow. The Horror lasted from June 17 until about the middle of September, when my condition began to slowly improve. Until then I was running on autopilot. It was fortunate that I could continue to work, because running this site provided the framework for a well-understood routine that kept me from falling into the pit.

By the time I got to November, doing the fundraiser was easier, and the one in February was easier still.

For a long time it was difficult for me write “I” and “my” instead of “we” and “our” in my posts. Last August it took a supreme effort of will — how could it be possible that we were not fundraising for our website? It was a ghastly feeling.

It still gives me a little twinge every time I type those words, but this fundraiser I’m almost back to normal.

Grieving is a long and complex process. Those among my readers who have been widowed know what I mean, but until one has to go through it, it’s hard to grasp what it’s like. My psyche was shattered into a thousand pieces last June, and the version I have reassembled from the fragments is not quite the same as the one that belonged to Dymphna’s husband.

Fortunately, my brain had built-in protective strategies to help me make it through The Horror. Based on what I learned later in my grief support group, everyone has a similar experience immediately after the death of their beloved. The brain presents a functioning personality to the world that can cope with all the practical necessities while blocking out a lot of the most devastating feelings.

Later on, when you are more able to cope with the awfulness of everything, you may actually feel worse — the full range of emotions starts to come through.

A side-effect, at least for me, was a sort of amnesia. Last summer I was almost in a fugue state, so that my memories of events back then are spotty — just some disconnected snapshots of what happened, with no real continuity connecting them with one another. When I realized what was happening, I started making notes on the calendar every day and taking a lot of photos, so that later I could look back and say, “Ah, yes, that’s what I was doing then.” The amnesiac period gradually passed, but those new habits remain. I methodically took photos all through the winter, and then even more frequently as the spring came in and Dymphna’s flowers started to bloom.

A year later, I’m still bereft, and I assume I always will be. It has become my normal, regular, familiar condition. It doesn’t preclude pleasure and enjoyment, but in the background there is always a gentle, ruminative melancholy emanating from the fact that the woman I loved so much, with whom I spent forty precious years, is GONE.

It’s a good thing I was able to attend meetings of my grief support group up until the middle of March. If the coronamadness had set in last October, I don’t know what would have become of me.

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Wednesday’s generosity flowed in from:

Stateside: California, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, and New York

Far Abroad: Hungary and the UK

Canada: Alberta and Ontario

Australia: South Australia and Victoria

See you tomorrow!

Wednesday’s Update: Conspiracies, Convergence, and the Coronavirus

Well, we’ve already arrived at the midweek point of Gates of Vienna’s spring fundraiser. Time flies when you’re having fun!

I’m out here banging on a saucepan lid to get your attention in the midst of this plague that’s raging all around us. If your pockets haven’t already been completely emptied by the COVID recession, please consider dropping a wee drachma in the tip cup on the sidebar of this site. Or, if you prefer, you can use this link.

I expected that this would be a difficult time to fundraise. I mean, who has any cash to spare under the current circumstances? I know any number of people who have been laid off or had their pay reduced, and there are millions of others like them all across the Western world, some of them undoubtedly Gates of Vienna readers.

As a weapon of mass economic destruction, the ChiCom flu is devastatingly effective.

Amazingly enough, though, people have been stepping forward and contributing in surprising numbers. The total so far is a little bit below average, but the number of donations is right in line with what I normally expect by the end of Tuesday during Fundraising Week.

In other words, roughly the same number of people are donating, but they’re giving slightly less per donation. The catastrophic economic situation has taken its toll, but these kind folks are still willing to pitch in.

That makes it even more inspiring than usual, and I thank you all for your generosity. Which, as always, is amazing.

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Now I’d like to talk a little bit about the possible conspiracies connected with the Wuhan Coronavirus. I can’t remember an event that has provided a more fertile ground for paranoid speculation than this infernal plague we’re living through.

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know that I consider the current crisis to be an epidemic of panic and hysteria. It’s full of sound and fury, but signifies nothing. Or not quite nothing — it really has killed a lot of old people, and any number of people I care about have to take extraordinary precautions to try to avoid catching it. It’s not trivial.

But as a disease it is at most only slightly more deadly than a particularly severe seasonal flu, and is even less likely than the flu to kill working-age people with no medical problems. Which means the forced inactivity and unemployment of millions of healthy young people is one of the most catastrophic public policy errors ever made.

So what caused this epidemic of mass hysteria? It’s tempting to see a grand overarching conspiracy by sinister and powerful people, who have deliberately engineered the coronavirus infection for their own nefarious ends.

However, when I take Occam’s Razor and apply it to all the data on the crisis, a unified conspiracy just doesn’t make sense. Instead, I see the convergence of multiple powerful interests. The major actors involved in promoting, hyping, and prolonging the crisis have their own separate reasons for wanting it to happen, and their interests overlap enough to produce a perfect storm of collective irrationality.

Obviously, the vaccine industry has a major stake in promoting the hysteria about the WuFlu. If various governments make a coronavirus vaccine mandatory, major pharmaceutical companies stand to make a HUGE amount of money. They’ve been preparing for this moment for years, and the package of anti-pandemic measures was poised and ready to implement as soon as this opportune virus appeared on the horizon.

The vaccine-promoters clearly overlap with the global-governance crowd, who are also seizing the opportunity to gin up hysteria and thereby shift more power to transnational groups.

However, the media would not have co-operated so eagerly with the panic-mongering if a Democrat had been president of the USA when the crisis hit. A similar situation unfolded more than ten years ago when the Swine Flu (H1N1) appeared, but Hussein was president at the time, and the media pulled their punches to protect him.

This time the crisis comes at a perfect moment for the media and its co-conspirators in the Deep State. It’s clear that they regard the pandemic as just the thing to thwart the re-election of Orange Man Bad next November. I expect a “Second Wave” to manifest itself in October, with saturated media coverage and congressional committees investigating the president’s “callous and deadly policies”. Wait and see.

Another group whose interests overlap the above consists of American governors and mayors, almost of all of them Democrats, who obviously like the taste of absolute power and want it to continue. Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot come to mind as the most egregious examples of these power-hungry totalitarians. The state of emergency has provided them with a level of control they’ve always longed for, and they’re reluctant to let go of it.

All these overlapping interests — some of which do include conspiracies to varying degrees — have converged to produce the unprecedented social and political crisis in which we find ourselves. I won’t venture a guess as to how it will all turn out. The situation is too chaotic (in a mathematical sense) to allow for meaningful predictions.

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Tuesday’s gifts came in from:

Stateside: California, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Oregon, Texas, Utah, and Virginia

Far Abroad: Hungary, the Netherlands, Thailand, and the UK

Canada: British Columbia, Newfoundland, and Ontario

I’ll be back tomorrow morning for the Thursday corona-update.

Tuesday’s Update: Gratitude and Optimism in a Time of Widespread Madness

This is the second day of Gates of Vienna’s quarterly fundraising week. For those of you who are new to this space: this is how I keep the site going and put food on the table without having to sell advertising space or be funded by some think tank or foundation.

Or the Russians!

Crowdfunding this blog gives me total editorial freedom. I have to answer to no one but my readers, who are invited every quarter to make a modest donation if they like what they see here, and want it to continue. Or not, if they don’t.

But nobody has to pay a subscription fee — whether you donate or not, the content is free for everyone to read or watch.

If you approve of what I’m doing please visit the tip cup on the sidebar (or use this link) and make a donation, as the spirit moves you.

I realize that in this time of COVID-uncertainty you may not be able to give much, but I still thoroughly appreciate it.

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Tuesday is traditionally the day when I thank everyone who contributes content to Gates of Vienna. However, before I get to that, I’d like to address the controversy that arose yesterday over what I wrote about face masks in my opening remarks on this fundraiser.

The issue is not whether facemasks are effective in combating or preventing COVID-19. I have my opinion (which is that they are only marginally useful, at best), but that’s not what this is about.

The issue is whether one is permitted to dissent about the utility of face masks, as well as any other measures that allegedly help keep the coronavirus in check. The mainstream media are uniformly against any contrary opinions, and social media — which is where most people get their information if they don’t rely on the MSM — routinely ban, suppress, cancel, and otherwise restrict anyone who dares to question the conventional wisdom on the WHO-approved measures to deal with the coronavirus.

If Virginia Governor Ralph “Coonman” Northam follows through on his proposal to make face masks mandatory, I will have to decide whether I want to remain a dissident, and thereby risk being arrested and fined.

There is no definite, confirmed “science” that justifies the governor’s position on this issue. If he implements his proposal, he will be exceeding the limits of his statutory authority under the state of emergency he declared back in March. He will be in violation of both the federal and the Virginia State Constitution, and any sheriff or other officer of state authority who attempts to enforce the governor’s order will be violating his oath to uphold those Constitutions.

This is my position on face masks, and it has nothing to do with how effective they might be at slowing the spread of the Wuhan Coronavirus.

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Now I can focus on thanking some of the people who help keep this site going. First and foremost is Vlad Tepes, whose video work is crucial to what we do. In recognition of that, I send him 10% of donations received here. If you think he deserves more, please visit his site and click his donate button.

Vlad and I make a great effort to provide as much translated material as possible from Europe and elsewhere. In order to do that, we rely on a number of people who translate videos for subtitling, or put articles into English. In recent months the real workhorses have been C, CrossWare, MissPiggy, and FouseSquawk. The latter two do multiple languages, and we owe them an extraordinary debt of gratitude.

Among our contributors, H. Numan, Seneca III, Michael Copeland, Thomas Bertonneau, and Fjordman deserve special mention.

Without an extensive corps of dedicated volunteers, the production of distributed news and opinion simply wouldn’t be possible. I send heartfelt thanks to everyone who lends a hand, including the tipsters who provide material for the daily news feed.

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Monday’s donors came from the following diverse coronaplaces:

Stateside: Alaska, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Dakota, New Jersey, New York, and West Virginia

Far Abroad: Germany, Israel, and the UK

Canada: Ontario and Saskatchewan

Australia: Australian Capital Territory

I’ll post another update tomorrow morning.

Monday’s Opening Post
Once again it’s time for Gates of Vienna’s week-long quarterly fundraiser.

And this is no ordinary quarter: it’s the Quarter of Corona. The Endless Lockdown.

The Quarter of Subservience to Absolute Governmental Authority.

This is the quarter that has generated in me a gut-wrenching aversion to the sight of face masks — much the same reaction I experience when I see hijab-wearing Muslimas in Walmart.

I debated whether or not I should go ahead and hold a spring fundraiser this year. Given the horrendous ordeal that most of my readers are going through, is this really the right time to shake them down for cash? Especially since so many people have been thrown out of work, handed a pay cut, or shifted to part-time hours for the duration of the crisis. I suspect that if many of you were to open your pocketbooks right now, nothing but moths would fly out.

But this is how I get by, so I might as well try it and see what happens. Those of you who are not on short rations are asked to please reach into your purse and drop a few coronavirus-infected coins into the tip cup on the sidebar (or, if you prefer, you can use this link) to help defray the operating costs for Gates of Vienna and keep the lights on here at Schloss Bodissey for another quarter.

The translators and contributors to this site are all volunteers, and will continue their efforts while the plague runs its course — so long as the Jameson’s holds out, that is.

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Last quarter’s fundraiser began on February 17, and even back then I debated whether or not I should hold a bleg. The coronamadness had not yet set in fully; it was still in its prodromal phase. The lockdowns were a couple of weeks in the future, but it was obvious that they were coming. It made me wonder if people would be too preoccupied with the looming crisis to be able to pay attention to my supplications.

As it turned out, the winter fundraiser ran its normal course, despite the growing WuFlu hysteria. The customary generosity of my readers kicked in, and brought in enough to allow me to easily pay the (relatively massive) hosting fee that came due a few weeks ago.

Since then everything has gone sideways, of course, so who knows how it will turn out this time?

My life under lockdown isn’t all that different from my unlocked life. As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I decided to quit wearing the Corona Hijab, so I no longer have to be annoyed about that when I go out. I’m required to stand an absurd distance from the person in front of me in the checkout line, and follow the ridiculous one-way patterns in Walmart aisles. And my business at the post office has to be conducted through a tiny slot in a Plexiglas shield, like a checkout counter in a Korean convenience store in the ghetto. Irritating and exasperating, but still minor inconveniences.

I’m an introvert, and I spend most of my time at home alone anyway. But I’m a gregarious introvert — that is, I like to interact occasionally with groups of people I know fairly well. My two most important social occasions were church and my weekly grief-support group, both of which were deep-sixed by the diktats of Virginia Governor Ralph “Coonman” Northam.

Church just recently resumed, fortunately. But I don’t know how long it will be until the support group reconvenes.

If Dymphna were still alive, my lockdown experience would probably have been quite different. She would have been in the high-risk group, due to her age, her asthma, and her heart condition. I would have had to be very careful in my activities outside the home, and would probably have had to disinfect myself and the groceries every time I returned from shopping before entering the house.

Even if she never contracted the ChiCom flu, this quarter would have been difficult, stressful, and anxiety-inducing for her, which would have been dangerous to her health regardless of any infection. I hate to say it, but it was probably better for both of us that she didn’t live to see this ghastly time of unparalleled insanity. As it was, until a couple of days before the end she was able to follow her comforting routines here at home without having to worry about any external madness.

On that gloomy note, I’ll leave off until tomorrow’s update.

One final reminder: please make that tip cup clink!

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38 thoughts on “Fundraising in the Time of Corona

  1. Was a time your’s truly did well, now just being here is doing well. I love your site and wish you well.

  2. Good grief! (as Charlie Brown- and my late Dad- would say); I’m actually not late this quarter, and paid in virtual, guaranteed non-infected coinage.

    It was good that your dear Dymphna was herself almost to the end. One of my terrors about dying from the virus (to which I’m similarly vulnerable) is that I’d be semi-conscious under a ventilator; I had my tonsils and adenoids removed when around four, and still recall the rubbery smell of the mask being clamped on my face (no premed anaesthetic in those days, and parents weren’t allowed to stay). I daresay it was a form of PTSD, and I still find the masks claustrophobic.

      • My god, you lucky ones! I had tonsils removed in the mid fifties and anaesthetic then was done with a cloth drowned with ether, and now count to ten….
        If you enjoy old men boasting about what hardships they survived in their youth, hence they are tougher than thou, you should try to find in the net the 40 th family reunion of the Monty Python heroes. They gather in a posh atmosphere in tuxedoes, smoking cigars and drinking upscale Bordeaux wines. A good laugh.

  3. Watch your mail, dear Baron. I will be donating as before. I sincerely understand your feeling on all this corona hooey. Fortunately, I’m in a position such that I don’t have to go out since my grand-daughter lives with me and does all the shopping and running around.

    In the meantime, stay healthy!

  4. Darn. I lost my email to you. I’ll try again.
    I feel for you being in lock down and lonely to boot. Not being able to go out is the worst of it. My grand daughter and her fiance live with me, so they do all the running around for me.

    Stay healthy, dear Baron! I don’t know what we’d do without you.

  5. Thanks for all you do! GoV is fantastic.
    Yes…Lori and band of tyrants rant and rave…and yet…and yet…
    From the land of o

  6. God Bless you Sir for your work & life. I lost my wife of 30 years to a slow cancer, and it took about 3 years before I began feeling normal. Every day gets a little better, but I’ll never be the same. Take comfort, I see my wife every night in my dreams. She’s almost always with me, healthy, happy, riding in the car beside me. I’ve come to look forward to these evening escapades. She’ll always be alive if you are. Keep up the good work & take heart you’re not alone on this world, and will never truly be without her. True marriage is a bond sanctified by God & is never truly broken. You’ll see her again soon enough, maybe tonight! 🙂

      • I had a friend who said about her grief in retrospect is that “you never get over it, you just get used to it”. Here’s to you Baron and your memories of Dymphna. Just be sure to make your grief be fruitful.

        • Thank you. Yes, that’s exactly right — you get used to it. I’m not quite there yet, but I’m a lot closer than I was a few months ago.

  7. I gave the same as last quarter. Mine and my wife’s future looks pretty unsure right now, she is our main source of income, and she works for American Airlines. Hoo boy! Regardless, I am flush enow to contribute, as I find your blog still very good. One observation: Our dusky moslem brethren can’t help but notice the chaos that has ensued from this hoax/pandemic/hoax/insane response to the hoax. While I have doubts about their technical prowess, they do have lots of money and idiots, and I see them making inroads against the Great Satan in the near future, with a biological attack. We have any number of enemies willing to do the same, but the moslems just lost a lot of face in Syria and Iraq and elsewhere. Even while I type this, I fear some cave in Afghanistan, or Pakistan is housing a laboratory and monkeys operating it, striving to produce a real killer. Just a little thing for readers to ponder before dropping off to sleep. I’ve always thought we should have taken the sea of glass approach after 9/11, and that we’d be sorry if we didn’t . A little extreme to be sure, but the loyal opposition has no such qualms. And the Constitution in this country is dead.

  8. I can’t even afford a panty mask for the good of the collective.
    Karen loves you and will send you some sheckels…oh wait.
    Forward! Yes we can.

  9. Re.: Occam’s Razor (OR). Occam was a 13th century monk.

    I’m not writing to make a ‘correction’ of your usage rather to make observations about the reference in general. The use of OR has, I believe, a dismissive effect on what may be in our modern world valid pertinent facts. Some use OR ethically after a solid acquisition and review of valid (and in-valid) facts. I have seen others use it to end arguement, stifle debate and move their position forward. The later being more of the cheap trick of the pedant.

    I’m not accusing GoV of a cheap trick. Quite the contrary as other places I have seen it used I would not waste my time posting this to. Just a heads up to GoV readers to be discriminating (oh my) when seeing/hearing it used elsewhere.

    • When I cite Occam’s Razor, it’s for a very specific reason. The short version of the rule is: “Never multiply entities needlessly.”

      Another version is: “The simplest explanation is most likely to be true,” but that doesn’t quite catch it, in my opinion.

      • but Plato’s beard fully develops the Subject with all of its fine points and complexities. Occam must have been “bearded” to have found the need to resort to a razor.

  10. Flu also can be spread by the asymptomatic, but I wouldn’t sweat it. We’re exposed to pathogens all the time due to the ubiquity of microorganisms, but it takes a bunch of them to get sick. If I inhale a few SARS-Cov2 I’m probably not going to get sick, but if I inhale a thousand I just might. I stay away from anyone who’s coughing, since they may be expelling many thousands, or more, of the bugs. Also, if you get a thousand of them on your hand, and touch your mask, then you’re gonna inhale a bunch of them, which you wouldn’t have inhaled if you didn’t have a mask on. Masks used well work well, but they’re rarely used correctly.

  11. Flu also can be spread by the asymptomatic, but I wouldn’t sweat it. We’re exposed to pathogens all the time due to the ubiquity of microorganisms, but it takes a bunch of them to get sick. If I inhale a few SARS-Cov2 I’m probably not going to get sick, but if I inhale a thousand I just might. I stay away from anyone who’s coughing (this is a respiratory virus), since they may be expelling many thousands, or more, of the bugs. Also, if you get a thousand of them on your hand, and touch your mask, then you’re gonna inhale a bunch of them, which you wouldn’t have inhaled if you didn’t have a mask on. Masks used well work well, but they’re rarely used correctly.

  12. My two cents on the mask issue. It does do one useful thing, it helps stop the aerosol of droplets from infected people, so while they are at public spaces, it helps stop them from contaminating surfaces. As far as keeping anyone healthy, I would say that it has minimal or even negative impact in a lot of cases. What is negative about masks is that it gives the wearer a false sense of protection. The virus is microns in size, the pore size of most of the masks you see are 100’s of microns in size. Think of it as a women wearing a mesh bikini, yes, it does cover something, but a lot is exposed.

  13. The mask is largely for show. The New England Journal of Medicine said as much, outside a medical setting. The mask gives people a psychological feeling of safety when they submit to conformity. I think people become more conformist when they are anxious or fearful so this makes sense. I refuse to wear one because I look at my fearful fellow citizens, and I don’t want to be them. I don’t want to even look at someone wearing a mask, it’s dehumanizing, a muzzle. Facebook has become a propaganda platform for the “Karens” of society to shame those of us who choose not to wear a mask. I’m not having it. If you want to wear a mask, for whatever reason, that’s ok, do it. Just stop, stop, stop, “full stop” telling us who don’t want to, that we are selfish, that we do not care about our fellow citizens, or about our elders. We are making a choice, while we still have a (semi) free society. I understand the concern of those who are most vulnerable. I’m sorry, but YOU need to take extra precautions, not the rest of society. If I were in the risk group, I would probably wear one. Truly, if I thought wearing a mask would literally protect others, I would wear one. There is no scientific evidence to support this.

    • @Kathleen, I fully agree with you. I, too disagree with wearing masks if it does not in any way protect us from a virus. It is sad that people are being forced to wear masks and made to feel even more vulnerable just because they want oppress is with mask for no proven benefits. Healthy people like us who does not have a phobia for a virus, should not be forced to wear face masks with no proven benefit.
      It is sad that the world let a third world Asia to make use of the spread of the virus pandemic to oppress us, to profit from us and to make us feel even more insecure.
      If those people like wearing face masks so much, then they should wear them without forcing us to wear them. It is just like those face covering Moslems who expect everyone to be covered up like them, regardless of how how irrational and illogical it is. Perhaps, it is quite rational to wear them to protect from dust or any highly polluted environment.
      But we should not be forced to wear them just because some uncivilized thugs in this chaotic world is trying to dumb us down and increased our fear for a virus. Indeed, seeing all those people (who voluntarily wore masks or being forced to be burdened with one) with masks does increased our anxieties and making us feel even more vulnerable and fearful for our future.
      I am not surprised this pressure to wear face masks is another draconian attempt from many irrational, obsessive, opprossive Asians with third world totalitarian mentality who seek to dominate us with another one of their endless nonsense. It seems like they are more interested to pressure and to force us to wear masks than in our well-being.
      Hopefully, we will continue to stay and remain safe and sane amidst all the madness that is being pushed to us.

  14. One way of regarding the mask fiasco is that we are being conned into wearing the niqab !

    On the porousness of the mask, best analogy I’ve seen is that it’s like putting up a chain-link fence around your back yard to keep the mosquitos out …

    • but if our masks wear out and we are to poor to afford to purchase new ones can the old masks be repaired using ‘masking’ tape?
      BTW, the same was said about condoms keeping out the HIV virus, the latex pores and the size of the virus was equivalent to keeping out a marble with a chain-link fence.

  15. Here in Holland no one wears masks though from the first of next month it will be obligatory to do so on public transport , nowhere else .
    The funny thing is that the famous red light district is dead and the red curtains behind which the prostitutes sit are drawn closed . Basically, with all the tourists gone nobody gives an eff anymore. No drug pushers and rubbish on the streets anymore . Everything normal . Great .

  16. “This article provides yet another knowledgeable conclusion that there is no “science” behind mandatory masking, and no indication that a wearing a mask is significantly beneficial to public health….”

    I think that is wishful thinking. The article appears to be a fairly subjective perspective on the authors’ clinical experiences, along with some of their thinking and suggestions, from perhaps February and March. It is not a research article. For a start, its many informal fallacies would not survive scientific review, as they would distract from seeking the truth.

    This old beaker still found it fun to read. I learned much more about the authors and their practices than I did about using masks against the virus. I am amused that they argue for masks as professional pacifiers: to calm the nerves and give their colleagues “… the confidence to absorb and implement the more foundational infection-prevention practices….”

    Have you read about the recent, University of Hong Kong hamster experiment?

  17. An interesting thought occurred to me yesterday afternoon. If the body develops immunity to a pathogen as the result of a managed low-risk exposure to the contagion, why not allow people to congregate without protective face coverings unless they are not well? Isn’t that the principle behind vaccines? You train the body to respond to a contagious threat by using a version of that threat that has been ‘neutered’ as it were and is not dangerous. If you are coughing or sneezing or have living with you persons whose health is impaired, then by all means protect yourself from exposure so that you don’t infect those at home with you through your carelessness or thoughtlessness. The Second Commandment (there are only two) that states, “Love your neighbor as you love yourself,” would apply here. If we controlled our behavior out of care and courtesy for others then we wouldn’t need a Coonman or a Newbie (California) to tell us what to do, (respectfully said of course).

  18. Nice woman. Something about her was from the Great Mother.
    It can be seen that one could approach, talk about something, ask for advice.

    In our city on May 30, the ads “We don’t service without masks” were posted on the doors of stores. I had to go and buy. That’s disgusting! It was a few hot days and I just choked on it. But some zombies walk in them through the streets. Although in our suburbs not crowded.

  19. Copy pasted that diversity thought forum for further reference. A sharp mind is a wonderful thing.
    You honor her spirit every day and she smiles in Valhalla.
    The corona religious cult is going limp as the social distancing flatulence got stopped by the Bolshevik revolution 2.0 practice AKA “spontaneous riots” in the fading banana republic USSA.
    Stolen from the internet-Take off the mask and grow a pair. Weeks ago before clamping down das browser there were pics of Chinese youth wearing panties as masks and it made me laugh hysterically. I thank them for that.

  20. I haven’t really altered my behaviour during the virus panic (apart from not being able to visit my favourite pub or end one of my daily walks with a hand-pulled pint or two) and I’m still here. I don’t know anyone who knows anyone who’s had it/got it and from a purely personal point of view in general things seem to have improved because of this virus. I see more young families out walking than I’ve ever seen before, more cyclists, more joggers. If nothing else the virus seems to have convinced people to adopt a more healthy lifestyle… Every cloud has a silver lining.

    Best wishes Baron, long may G of V continue serving us some of the best writing on the ‘net.

    • Yes, I did. Thank you! You’ll be getting a thank you note by email in due course. I do them in the order that donations come in, and they take a while.

  21. Here’s a thought: if the one good thing we know about (non-medical standard) masks, however imperfect, is that they help protect uninfected people from the coughs and sneezes of the infected (who may not know they are yet: it takes 7-14 days to show symptoms), wouldn’t it be a courtesy, to put it mildly, if the general population wore them indoors, especially in shops and on public transport?

    I do have a vested interest; according to the NHS, I’m considered high risk, ie unlikely to survive the virus, and was supposed to remain at home for ten weeks, just ended (of course I have been out, with precautions, or I’d be bouncing off the walls by now). Yes, the reinfection rate here in London is declining, but not so everywhere.

    • so why don’t the governments that mandated the wearing of facial coverings provide them? The governments could then put the monies spent in the category of public assistance as the expenditure was for the masker aid.

      • Good question, though I suspect they’re still having trouble meeting the demand for proper ones for medics and care workers.

        • It is more appropriate to wear mask in a hospital or healthcare facilities but it is over the top when those thugs tried to force us healthy people to waste money on overpriced, useless masks in a normal outdoor area, where social distancing is already in place.

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