Austria: The Coronavirus Chronicles

The essay below by Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff was originally published by the Gatestone Institute in a slightly different form.

Austria: The Coronavirus Chronicles

by Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff

Week 1 in a country in complete shutdown.

Austria has been at the forefront in forcing its citizens to “shelter in place” by enacting measures so draconian that even the country’s elderly, having survived World War II, cannot remember anything similar. In order to snuff out a virus that originated in China only a few months ago and has since made its way around the world thanks to globalism, countless other countries have followed Austria’s lead. Only a week ago — it seems like eons ago! — the Austrian government, led by Chancellor Sebastian Kurz who heeded a dire warning by acting Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, apparently deeply concerned about the critical situation (its reasons expertly explained by Guy Miliere) in its neighboring country Italy, enacted a first set of measures, followed by the previously-mentioned drastic rules. Austria’s confinement measures were recently extended until April 13.

Countries in Europe and around the world are reacting to threat of the Covid-19 in different ways. Soeren Kern has done an excellent survey here; a collection of reports from local journalists on how they are experiencing the lockdown across Europe may be found here.

And yet there are other noteworthy findings:

  • Climate change, Greta Thunberg, Fridays for Future are now mostly irrelevant. Health measures clearly take precedence over kids cutting school. Nevertheless, the political Left has always been adept at never letting a crisis go to waste and using it to do things that couldn’t be done before (Rahm Emanuel). One case in point is the Austrian minister of health, a radical member of the Greens party, who is on the record for saying (threatening?): “I am looking forward to the day we have successfully weathered the Corona crisis and when we tackle the climate crisis with similar political consequence.”
  • Borders matter! Europeans and Americans concerned about porous borders have been vindicated as borders on both sides of the Atlantic are closed. In addition to the imminent collapse of the Schengen open-borders system, which beginning in 1995 put an end to bothersome passport controls in an area of 26 European countries. And President Trump announced that, “We will be, by mutual consent, temporarily closing our Northern Border with Canada to non-essential traffic.”
  • Sovereignty and nationalism matter. Karen Siegemund, president of the American Freedom Alliance, notes:
        Notice how each country — country! — took upon itself its right to sovereign action to protect its citizens.

    Italy imposed quarantines; Austria closed its borders and implemented various restrictions on gatherings and mandated closures of entertainment venues, restaurants etc. Even Germany has now closed its borders.

    Borders in the context of Europe is an astounding thing, and it’s heartbreaking that it took a virus, and the deaths it’s left in its wake, rather than the years-long invasions for them to assert sovereignty, and to finally, finally, turn to protecting their citizens.
     

  • “Europe” in the form of the European Union has been silent. The United Nations doesn’t even seem to be speaking out although, in a rational world they’d be calling for “Crimes against humanity” charges to be brought against China; further proof of the UN’s uselessness at best, and of the EU’s utter irrelevance.

    It’s nations putting the health, safety and security of their people above all else that will stem the spread of this virus; it’s a nightmare that it took this pandemic to wake governments up to the primacy of their people as the core of their responsibility.

Continue reading

Well, the Emperor’s Naked

Many thanks to CrossWare for translating this op-ed from the Hungarian news site Vasarnap.hu:

Well, the emperor’s naked

by Francesca Rivafinoli
March 31, 2020

For the precise news consumer who hard-hacks other articles out of a flood of current infection rates, curfews, and opposition dictatorships, can find such things in the small print today:

  • The migrants who wanted to enter the EU are turning back from the Turkish-Greek border.
  • The Polish nurses illegally working abroad are going home.
  • The European Parliament is limiting its functions to those that are essential.

Some quite serious axioms are failing here, let’s face it.

Here, for example, the European Parliament, which up until now has presented the world every month with sweeping resolutions on cardinal issues such as ‘the situation of LGBTQ people in Uganda’, and threatened to frown on anyone who does not fully comply (even in faraway Oceania) or meet the expectations of the LIBE Committee [European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs] in Brussels. We look now at the agendas that focus on “fundamental” issues curtailed because of COVID-19, and what we see is that all human rights issues have been deleted without a second thought.

From a logical point of view, issues such as ‘equality for women in Vanuatu’ or even ‘intersectional disadvantages for the mesquite LGBTQ community in the Falkland Islands’ are now no longer ‘fundamental’ problems for the European Union. We understand that, too.

Then there is the home of Martin Schulz and Manfred Weber, the superlative Germany, who teach us about European values at all times, and it turns out that they have about 270,000 Polish nurses, 90% of their total guest workers doing their job totally illegally, as is fully known by the authorities. And now, as these women go home to their families, the voice of panic can be heard on the German public television channel about those evil Poles, who left hundreds of thousands of poor elderly Germans without provision. Because these Poles are “not in solidarity”, unlike us Germans, who are full of European values, in solidarity, and who allow them to for care and push our helpless elders illegally, without any registration, and for all this, we pay as little as we can to suck them away from the health systems of countries to the east.

Which arrogance has already broken the barrier with German commentators, who even raise the unorthodox question of whether they should instead stand on their own, rely on domestic, national resources, rather than on the import of shoddy cheap labor. “Guten Morgen”, one could say.

And as if that was not enough of a slap in the face, the pandemic landed another punch on European progressivism where it hurts the most: the mantra that migrants cannot be kept outside the borders of the EU, and masses would lose their lives in the Mediterranean Sea if there were no NGO ships cruising there. For wonders, a single closed border and a sufficient number of Greek border police smoothly dissuaded migrants who desired to land in Europe. And at sea, rescue is in order, although the Ocean Viking hangs around in the Marseilles harbor — the rest of the ships are not abandoning the people, but they are all being taken back to the Libyan coast.

Continue reading

Covid in a Time of Turmoil, Part Two

Below is Seneca III’s wrap-up of his two-part essay (part 1 is here) on the coronavirus crisis in the UK, with a particular focus on Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

“The rules of the world-historical game change from decade to decade, and the dogmas that we have now will probably become obsolete.”

— Freeman Dyson Mathematical Physicist, Polymath and Philosopher, 15 December 1923 — 28 February 2020, a sad loss to humanity even after such a great run.

Covid in a Time of Turmoil

Part II. Covid 19 as an inorganic socio-political enzyme.

by Seneca III

1.   A virus is made up of a core of genetic material, either RNA or DNA, surrounded by a protective coat called a capsid which is made up of protein. Sometimes the capsid is surrounded by an additional spikey coat called the envelope (see above). Viruses are capable of latching onto host cells and invading them.
2.   An enzyme is a substance that acts as a catalyst in living organisms, regulating the rate at which chemical reactions proceed without itself being altered in the process.
 

Later, for the purpose of this analysis, let us change ‘chemical reactions’ to ‘human interactions’ but first, in a very simple way, let us look at how the enzyme, furin, enables and accelerates the penetration of a living cell by a virus, followed by a short description of how mutations occur, and then a look at vectors.

First, enzymes. Enzymes have a region known as an ‘active site’ that binds to a protein or other substance during a reaction. The envelope proteins (capsids) of viruses such as HIV, influenza, dengue fever, several filoviruses including Ebola and Marburg virus, and possibly SARS-CoV 2 must be cleaved by furin or furin-like proteases to become fully functional. The human enzyme furin is encoded by our chromosome No. 15, band 15q26.1.

Some proteins are inactive when they are first synthesized and must have sections removed in order to become active. Furin cleaves these sections and activates the proteins. Furin is also known as PACE (Paired basic Amino acid Cleaving Enzyme. (Note: see mutations!)

Second, once the virus has penetrated the cell wall, aided and abetted by furin, it injects its own short-string RNA (ribonucleic acid) or DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) into the cell and supplants the cell’s own reproductive function, replacing it with its own and then reproducing itself using the resources of the original cell, thus rendering that cell dead and depriving the infected body of a part of its essential functionality.

Vector is the word used to describe the way in which infections travel (are transmitted) between living organisms. For example, the vector for Yersinia pestis, the Black Death bacterial strain, was the fleas that lived on rats and transmitted that strain to humans by biting them. The vector for malaria is the anopheles mosquito which carries and injects infected blood containing the plasmodium that causes malaria. The vectors for Covid can be personal contact, contact with surfaces with the virus still alive on them, viruses travelling in airborne aerosols from coughing and sneezing, and also from infected faeces. This is why cleanliness in all respects and social distancing reduces or precludes the chance of cross-infection.

Note: The shorter the genetic string of a micro-organism, the harder it is to kill. The converse is why we as human beings with our huge genome are so vulnerable to micro-organisms such as viruses. The human genome has over 3 billion base pairs and is organized into 22 paired chromosomes, termed autosomes, plus the 23rd pair of sex chromosomes, (XX) in the female and (XY) in the male. These large linear DNA molecules contained within the living cell nucleus are open to a variety of attack vectors and what they carry, and the latter can now be bio-engineered via the use of rRNA (recombinant RNA) techniques and other methods… none of which were invented by bats or pangolins!

Continue reading

Sir Robert Peel Must be Rolling in His Grave

Our English correspondent Seneca III weighs in on the current UK police state under the ChiCom virus regime.

“If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.”

— George Washington

Sir Robert Peel Must be Rolling in His Grave

by Seneca III

Things have come to a sorry pass in this once green and pleasant land. As I look around subsumed by dismay and morbid fascination, I have been forced to come to some appalling conclusions:

  • A society in which you are investigated for your thinking when you openly question whether men can “be” women is a Sick Society.
  • A society in which you are arrested for detaining a man who molests your daughter in public is a Dhimmi State.
  • A society in which tens of thousands of organised sexual crimes against children go knowingly unpunished to avoid the terrible charge of racism is a Conquered State.
  • A society in which it is bigoted to object to having ageing men dressed as women “twerk” to pre-school children in a public library is a Deviant Society.
  • A society in which basic observations of reality are forbidden by the use of magic words — “racism” “-phobia” — is a Silenced State.
  • A society in which you can be ruined for speaking the truth out loud is a Police State.
  • A society in which the shameful and disgusting are celebrated as virtues is a Failed State.
  • A society which has replaced the national home with the borderless market of everywhere is a Globalist State.
  • A society in which an invented grievance is a good career move is a Doomed State.
  • A society that penalises the talented and the bright in the name of “diversity” is a Suicidal State.

It is no surprise then that UK cops have been knuckling down clearing the streets and public places when there is no necessity to do so under even the latest Covid rules, and even when people were complying with them. They have actually gone to the length of poisoning scenic lakes so that people will not endanger the new status quo by travelling to look at them and enjoy the scenery and the fresh, healthy air.

This is no surprise, really, as it is axiomatic that the more power given to any police, the more they will abuse it. That is a law of nature, has ever been thus, and is one which in this particular case is exacerbated by three factors. The first is that their officer class is, on the whole, populated by graduate Common Purpose drones and ambitious box-tickers who appear to have nothing but contempt for Peelian principles. I doubt if they’re even taught anymore at Bramshill* (or whatever they’ve restructured and renamed it in the name of PC progress since 2015).

The second is that the collective IQ of the beat constabulary is now not, shall we say, particularly high for reasons iterated below, and thus thinking things through pragmatically in the light of observed reality is not really their forte. This leads them to function as a type of pre-programmed automata in accordance with the vague instructions given to them in their last briefing from the drones and box-tickers who have even less of a clue about what is happening in the real world.

The third and final — and the one with perhaps the most detrimental effect on the front line — is the introduction of ‘Affirmative Action’ over the last few decades and the consequent lowering of physical and mental entry qualifications in order to meet politically mandated quotas, many of such recruits having ideological motivations not in keeping with those of the majority population they exercise power over.

These powers are not something they or the government will willingly give up, and it is not out of the question that come the day — in approximately six months by my reckoning when they should do so by self-relinquishing these powers through the ‘Sunset Clause’ recently appended to the enabling legislation — they may not, but extend instead.

Consequently, for the time being, when being questioned or having your thoughts corrected, being fined or arrested, just smile sweetly, be polite and always use English with as many three or more syllable words as you can muster. There is little else you can or should do until the moment of truth re the Sunset Clause — and if it is extended, then…

Basic Rules for Guerrilla Warfare

Continue reading

You’re Doing it Wrong!

Our Hungarian correspondent CrossWare sends this report on the ankle-biting of the Hungarian Left in these virus-crazy times:

Here in Hungary, the opposition (Uncle George Soros’ paid team) is in a hysterical frenzy trying to find some way to block or at least criticize Viktor Orbán and his handling of the Chinese virus crisis. So far they have not been able to find anything. They tried the good old solution of calling his government “Nazi”, for asking for more power to execute emergency tasks. They simply compared his actions to Hitler’s rise to power, or called it a coup. Of course sounds a bit weak, saying the PM is preparing a coup against his own government, which holds a super-majority, to what? Replace himself and be PM with super-majority…?

This stupidity caused even some of the Leftists to start thinking, and the opposition dropped in the polls, while Fidesz (Mr. Orbán’s party) became a bit stronger.

Obviously the opposition in the USA and in Hungary (and everywhere else) are working from the same script when it comes to criticizing the (right-wing) government steps against the coronavirus outbreak. Nothing is good enough for them; everything the government is doing is wrong, blah blah blah. The “people of the Internet” of course immediately created a short meme about this, which I would like to share with you.

The “it” that they want to close down or open up refers to the borders, the economy, the schools, businesses… — you name it; everything.

Here is an image of the meme, with a translation to follow:

So the opposition suggests: (in USA those are the DemocRATs; here in Hungary the paid lackeys of Uncle George):

1.   Close it up.
2.   Close it up, but not that way.
3.   Close it up, but leave it open.
4.   Open it up, because it was closed incorrectly; screwed it up; start again.
5.   Why the heck was it closed up; open it up immediately!
6.   Open it up, but not that way.
7.   Open it up, but definitely keep it closed, because teachers are people, too.
8.   Do not waste time with teachers, but do not collapse the economy.
9.   Close it up, because he failed; it would be best if he immediately steps down, so it can be opened up.
 

So there you have the Left’s whining points, applicable everywhere in the world, wherever a right-wing government is in power.

Brother Antony Silenced on Breitbart

Regular readers are familiar with the work of our English correspondent Seneca III, who has been contributing essays to Gates of Vienna for more than twelve years. In recent years he has also been commenting on various sites under the name “Brother Antony”, and has just been banned from Breitbart News Network under that soubriquet. Below is his account of what happened.

Banned and be damned

by Seneca III

For a long time now I’ve been fighting our battle on other fronts under my other handle ‘Brother Antony’ which I suspect you are aware of.

My primary vehicle has been Breitbart London, now under the little-publicised Managing Editorship of one James Delingpole (according to Dr. Steve Turley) since Raheem Khassam left.

I’ve made many like-minded friends there, but today [26 March 2020] I’ve been summarily banned by ‘Breitbart News Network’ without even the courtesy of an explanation. Their prerogative, of course, but rather uncivil of them nonetheless. However, as there is nothing I can do about it, I would be grateful if you could just let the guys and gals from the BB comments section (those who also follow GoV, that is) and with whom I’ve had so many interesting and heart-warming conversations over the years know that I’m sorry I could not say goodbye in person, and I thank them for the memories. I will not be returning there even if given the opportunity, for I will not accept being chastised for speaking truth freely to power. Nor will I ever again offer my neck to the jackboot of those particular censors.

This is the offending post:

Continue reading

The Church of Sweden and the Muslim Brotherhood

Many thanks to FouseSquawk for translating this article from the Swedish blog Ledarsidorna:

How the Church of Sweden’s Future Path is Being Prepared

The list of participants in the Church of Sweden’s conference “A world of neighbors” gives witness to the legacy Archbishop Antje Jackelen intends to leave behind in the form of a future path for the church. Beyond the presence of the Muslim Brotherhood organizational network, the conference also rested on another undercurrent: The Cairo Document.

At the conference “A world of neighbors” earlier this year, the Church of Sweden was represented not only by Antje Jackelen, but also by Gunilla Hallosten. Hallosten was until recently the Policy Director of the Church of Sweden’s international unit, but has an increased role today. Hallosten previously showed great sympathy for and has affirmed the Cairo Document, among others.

Annika Borg, doctor of theology and pastor in the Church of Sweden, has been one who early on and since has criticized the Church of Sweden’s path, as well as examined what the Cairo Document actually contains.

At the 2002 Church meeting, the document “God’s Path” was adopted, which stresses Jewish-Christian dialogue and rejects Replacement Theology. The document signified the beginning of a theological reflection, but would be supplemented and deepened by continued studies and conversations both with the Church of Sweden and with representatives of the Jewish faith. It was also intended to be a part of a necessary process of reconciliation since, “the largest portion of Europe’s Jews were destroyed on the continent where the Christian Church exercised influence from powerful positions.”

Today the Church is developing in another direction, which became even clearer at the Church of Sweden conference “A world of neighbors”. More of the inter-religious work has come to rest on the so-called Cairo Document, which was adopted at the 2012 Church meeting. The adoption of the Cairo Document in practice repealed the earlier decision made in 2002.

The Cairo Document is a basic document for the anti-Semitic BDS movement. Germany’s federal chancellor, Angela Merkel, is one of those who declared the movement to be anti-Semitic. It legitimizes terrorism, uses modern anti-Semitic rhetoric, is essentially Replacement Theology, and urges the total boycott of Israel. The document, together with other material from the Cairo-Palestine network, has been disseminated on the Church of Sweden’s website, shows up in study circles, and designs boycott packets for those who want to influence their local stores.

Continue reading

Fascists Must Go, But Commies Are OK

The video below features the Finnish politician Ben Zyskowicz. KGS, who translated the clip for subtitling, includes these contextual notes about the video:

Ben Zyskowicz is a long-serving National Coalition politician (Kok) and member of the Finnish parliament. In this video he is addressing a recent situation in which the Finns Party youth wing’s second vice chair, Toni Jalonen, self-identified as a Fascist. The Finns immediately removed him from the party.

The Finnish Left was quick to use Jalonen’s admission to paint the rest of the Finns Party with the wide brush of “Fascists”. Finns party members and their supporters were quick to point out that the Left Alliance, which is currently a member of the newly-formed government, has a member of parliament, Anna Kontula, who has come out as a bonafide Communist.

Serious questions arose as to why she still remains in the Left Alliance, as well as a sitting member of parliament. Why the double standard? Ben Zyskowicz is Finland’s only Jewish lawmaker, and certainly no friend of Fascists or Fascism in general. Here he makes a great many salient points about why Communist and their supporters enjoy a measure of credibility in Finland, as well as why they shouldn’t.

Many thanks to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling:

For more on the sacking of Toni Jalonen, see this English-language article from the Finnish state broadcaster Yle.

Video transcript:

Continue reading

Girls Just Wanna Have Protection

The following news story from Sweden reminds me of a service called “Escort” that was introduced on campus when I was an undergraduate at the College of William and Mary in the early 1970s. A co-ed who was afraid to walk back to her dorm in the dark could call Escort and get someone to accompany her, greatly reducing her chances of being raped on the way.

Fast-forward five decades, and we have “Lift for girls” in Sweden. As usual, the report makes no mention of cultural enrichment, but since the reporter cites Malmö as being especially in need of the service, there is no doubt that immigrants are what the young ladies are afraid of. I’m certain that every Swede who watches this program knows exactly what is being referred to, even if it remains unspoken.

Many thanks to Kronans Martell (Ullis News) for the translation, and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling:

Video transcript:

Continue reading

Religion vs Religion

In his latest essay, our Israeli correspondent MC wades into the deepest swamps of the Culture Wars.

Religion vs Religion

by MC

Perhaps my love of America and all things American has its roots in the regular supply of US comics sent to my brother and me by various relatives in the ’50s and ’60s, and amongst which was the occasional edition of MAD magazine.

Much of MAD was over my young head, but Spy vs Spy was always amusing and sticks in my mind, especially their pointed snouts clamped together when investigating a box (trap) from opposite sides.

However, Religion vs (political) Religion is not so amusing, nor is it confined to ink and paper, for the successful side of Western culture is defined by its (Christian) religion, and its demise is defined by the political religions which seek to destroy Christianity and all that goes with it.

The Christian revolution (I am not a Christian but I believe in the Bible) occurred when the Bible was translated into local languages and printed for all to read, and the Church was dragged out of its roots of feudalism (slavery) into what became democracy and even republicanism.

An important part of this process was the separation of Church and State; the Church having been responsible for many abuses that had held the communities of Europe in thrall for over a thousand years.

The feudal system over which the Church held suzerainty was a typical product of tyranny: a small elite, the aristocracy, owning most of the people as serfs, to do with as they please, and a tiny middle class of tradesmen to manufacture those things consumed by their betters. This was just a slight variation on the ‘warlord’ culture that has run most of the world from time immemorial and to this day in some places.

In the UK the feudal system was broken first by the Black Death, which killed off some 30% of the workforce. The subsequent competition for labour destroyed the idea of ‘ownership’ of people. Secondly, and as a consequence of this pandemic, a growing equality of opportunity was provided by increasing access to quality education. Ex-slaves and serfs used their newfound freedom to better themselves.

Under the feudal system, the church provided education and the higher-IQ peasant children were syphoned off into the cloisters. To a great extent this provided the stability required as potential peasant leaders were ‘kidnapped’ into religion (Janissaries, anybody?). Heresy invited a death penalty and life was cheap. In feudal times the Church was very much a political religion, and the Pope reigned over all the monarchs of Europe.

All this emerging freedom from under the tyranny of political religion, however, took hundreds of years to get to the idea of individual liberty. The cultural and economic impacts were minimised by being spread over such a genteel timescale. My paternal grandfather was a boy coalminer at age 12, but his sons went to grammar schools, receiving a quality education, and his youngest son even got a bachelor’s degree in engineering.

But do not think that the ‘elites’ did not fight back. Their main ploy was to create another politicized version of the feudal system that the church had failed to sustain. This took the form of ‘socialism’ where the elite claimed to be working in the best interests of the ‘working class’ by controlling all aspects of their lives. This was yet another political religion, of which we have now seen quite a few forms. Each causes its own mayhem, because there is no separation between political religion and state, and thus there is nothing to stop the killing when it inevitably starts.

Continue reading

An Open Letter to Cindy Sheehan

This week’s edition of Dymphna’s Greatest Hits takes us back to a topic that after fifteen years has already faded into the mists of history. Cindy Sheehan had her fifteen minutes of fame, and then she moved on to… Well, to whatever people do when their fifteen minutes is up.

For those of you who are too young to remember, or weren’t paying attention at the time: Cindy Sheehan’s son Casey was killed in the Iraq War in 2004. In the summer of 2005 she made headlines as antiwar activist cum grieving mother who held a vigil outside George W. Bush’s ranch in Texas to protest the Iraq war. Later she took part in other “peace” actions, and was associated with Code Pink in some fashion.

Dymphna’s take on Cindy Sheehan was quite different from what was going around in the rest of the right-wing blogosphere in 2005. Since she had lost her own child just two years before, Dymphna had some insight into what another grieving mother might be feeling, and addressed her in that spirit.

It’s now been nine months since Dymphna died. Last summer was a time of horror and devastation for me, against which my psyche has protected me by making me unable to remember a lot of it. I just have flashes, snapshots, brief vignettes from those first awful weeks — enough to recall the utter misery of it. And it’s still here with me, but nowhere near as intense.

However… After living with Dymphna through the time of Shelagh’s death, I can tell you that the death of a child is far worse than the death of a spouse. Dymphna never really came back to her old self afterwards. I encouraged her to start this blog as a way to bring herself out of the worst of it, to mitigate her bottomless sorrow by doing something useful and important that drew on her gifts as a writer.

And here I am, fifteen years later, circling back to revisit that difficult time. Re-reading her essay brought it all back for me.

An Open Letter to Cindy Sheehan

by Dymphna
Originally published August 20, 2005

I had to look up your name since I have avoided your story as much as possible. Not out of a lack of compassion for your sorrow, but rather because of my own fragility and the sorrow I carry for my own dead daughter.

Here’s what I know about your story — and when you think about it, to have learned this much despite not having a TV and making an effort to avoid learning about your odyssey, it’s amazing I know as much as I do.

Your son Casey was a soldier and he died in Iraq. At first, you were able to maintain in the face of this catastrophic loss. I believe you even met with the President at one point? See — even I, with no access to regular media and a real wish to avoid your story, even I know these things. Or maybe what I “know” is some garbled version of what has been going on for you in your public grief.

This is a guess — an educated guess from one mother of a dead child to another — but I think things began to unravel as time went on and the reality of Casey’s complete and total and lifelong and irrevocable absence hit your consciousness like a fist sinks into a gut. And the bunched knuckles kept coming back to deliver blow after unending blow.

One picture I happened upon in the grocery store showed you on your knees. I presume it was taken in Crawford since someone who didn’t know me well wanted to discuss your story and said you’d gone to President Bush’s ranch. I remember turning away from your face as you knelt there. Yours was a sorrowful visage, a broken face like the reflection from a fractured mirror. My heart twisted for you even though I barely glanced at the picture.

Your grief has served to polarize others. Some say you’re being used, some dismiss you as “crazy” — and tell me, what mother of a dead child isn’t crazy? You’ve been cheated of your son; you walk through the valley of the shadow of death and no one comes to greet you. There will never, ever again be a laughing bear hug from this son grown tall and handsome.

When a husband or wife dies, we call the surviving partner the widow or widower. Why do you think it is that there is no one word to describe our condition, Cindy? Mother-of-a-dead-child is the best we can do? The lack of a name gives you some inkling how much our culture avoids the knowledge of this sorrow. If we named it we’d have some power over it. But the condition you and I share is unnamed because since time immemorial parents have dreaded this loss. It is the worst. There is nothing else that can be done to us. A motherless child is a pitiful creature and carries a life-long emptiness he or she tries to fill with other grown-ups. A childless mother is a crazy person and nothing can fill the hole, not if she had a baby a year for the rest of her life.

Do you have other children? I have three. And when people ask me, pleasantly, “how many children do you have?” I look at them blankly. It is all I can do to not to run screaming from the room.

Here is where I liken my experience to what is happening to you: after Shelagh’s sudden death, after the Rescue Squad carried her off and I watched them disappear down the drive, after the Medical Examiner returned her body to us, there was lots to do. The first morning I awoke I heard her say distinctly, laughing, “Mom, welcome to the first day of the rest of your life without me.” I think she was trying to make it easier in her Shelagh way.

There was so much to do. Her children needed clothing for the funeral, there were burial arrangements to make, a minister to call, family visitation to be arranged, a burial service to be created. So many, many people to notify. Elderly grandparents and a large contingent of Irish relatives to talk to and arrange for flights. As the days passed, I thought to myself “I can do this. I can just keep having this whole thing to organize and plan and I’ll be okay. As long as I never have to bury her, I’ll be fine.” Yes, this is crazy thinking. Even then, I vaguely knew that.

Continue reading

A Member of the Bundestag Calls for a Law Guaranteeing Funding for Antifa

I’ve often said that violent Antifa groups in various European countries have at least the tacit support of the governments in those countries. Well, now it’s official, at least in Germany: the support is public and out there in the open. And not only that, we now know that the German government has actually been funding these Antifa groups for years. This fact was mentioned in passing on the floor of the Bundestag by a member of the Green Party who was calling for a new law to guarantee funding for the Antifas.

The following video is a report by a German vlogger whose channel is called “Home Team”. Many thanks to MissPiggy for the translation, and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling:

Video transcript:

Continue reading