Convicted of Exposing Islam?

The following article about the travesty of “justice” inflicted upon my Danish friend Steen was written by Peder Jensen, better known as Fjordman.

Earlier this month Steen was convicted in a Danish court and given a four-month prison sentence (suspended) for writing about and linking to a video of the murder of two young Scandinavian women by mujahideen in Morocco in 2018. He simply described what happened and linked to a site that had posted the murderers’ video of the atrocity, and that was enough to bring down the wrath of the Danish legal system upon himself.

Before I get to Fjordman’s account of what happened, I’d just like to say a few words about my association with Steen. I got to know him online in early 2007, and stayed with him at his flat in Copenhagen later that year when I attended the first of a series of Counterjihad conferences in Europe. He and I became good friends, and he is one of the finest people I know. (As it happens, that event in Copenhagen was the first time that Fjordman and Steen met, but that’s another story.)

Back then Steen, Fjordman, and I all wrote pseudonymously. Nowadays all three of us are public — how times have changed!

Steen took over the small blog Dansk-Svensk in 2004 and turned it into Snaphanen, retaining the combined focus on Danish and Swedish affairs. He was neither a blogger nor a writer by trade, but a professional photographer. Nevertheless, by patient work as an editor and collator, he made Snaphanen into the largest blog in Denmark.

In July of 2011, after the massacre committed by Anders Behring Breivik in Oslo and on the island of Utøya, like so many of us Steen was exposed to the glare of the media klieg lights by his site’s association with Fjordman. Under the same circumstances, numerous other Counterjihad activists fled and hid in the shadows in the face of all the vicious publicity, shutting down their sites and retiring from activism.

But not Steen. He remained defiant. He kept Snaphanen open and active, saying to those who would bring him down, in effect: “Here I am. Come and get me.”

Seven years later the Powers That Be at last managed to find a way to get him. The case against him is ludicrous. It’s buffoonery. The Danish government ought to be ashamed of itself.

Somebody should market lapel buttons featuring the slogan (in Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, and English): “We are all Steen now!”

Many thanks to LN for translating this Danish-language article from Snaphanen:

Convicted of exposing Islam?

by Fjordman
February 24, 2022

Maren Ueland and Louisa Vesterager-Jespersen met a beastly death in the Atlas Mountains. Back home in Denmark and Norway the media and authorities did not want people to know about it.

For many years the Danish writer and photographer Steen Raaschou has run the website On September 20 2022 he was sentenced by the District Court of Copenhagen to four months’ imprisonment, suspended, for writing in December of 2018 about the murders of Louisa Vesterager-Jespersen and Maren Ueland in Morocco, and for linking to a video that showed the atrocities.

The trial has taken several years. Early on the morning of May 8 2019, Raaschou had his private residence searched by at least five police officers. They confiscated his computer equipment and handcuffed him as if he had been a dangerous terrorist. Raaschou was by then a pensioner and had no criminal record.

However, the authorities wanted a harsher punishment. The prosecutor had asked for six months of unconditional imprisonment for Raaschou. But the judges decided to impose a suspended sentence, partly because of the defendant’s age and health. Steen Raaschou has been seriously ill with cancer and is still taking numerous medications on a daily basis.

I know Mr. Raaschou personally, and was present in court myself, as one of dozens of witnesses. As a non-lawyer, I immediately found the application of the law to be strange.

Raaschou was convicted by the Copenhagen District Court of violating ¶264d of the Danish Criminal Code, which prohibits the dissemination of images relating to the “private affairs” of another person and which are clearly not in the public interest.

An example of this practice is if you were to distribute or publish nude pictures of your ex-girlfriend or spouse. Such actions are intended to personally harass and humiliate another person with images that are clearly private and certainly not in the public interest.

People die every day. Some die more brutally than others. Death by murder places an extra strain on the survivors, on the family and friends of the victims. This is because serious crime is not just a private matter. The right to privacy must be balanced against the public’s right to be informed about what is happening in the world around them. People should be made aware of problems and potential threats. They have a right to demand to receive basic information about the society in which they live. Moreover, withholding truthful information may often encourage the spread of rumours, which can be both true and false.

The double murder of Louisa Vesterager-Jespersen and Maren Ueland bore the stamp of an act of terrorism. The militant Muslims who committed the murders in an extremely brutal and ritualistic manner sympathised with terrorist organisations such as the Islamic State (IS).

A deadly terrorist attack against a Danish and a Norwegian citizen is of obvious and general interest to citizens of Denmark, Norway and other countries. It is quite unreasonable to treat this in the same way as the dissemination of private nude photographs.

Steen Raaschou referred to this fact on his website in December of 2018 because he felt that the mainstream media were not reporting the whole truth about what had really happened in Morocco. The media in Denmark and Norway wrote diffusely that the two women had received “injuries to their necks”. This is such a gross paraphrase of what actually happened that it is in fact a complete lie. Raaschou himself says that he wrote to inform the public of the truth. In no way was this done to cause inconvenience to the victims’ families.

The judges at the Copenhagen District Court rejected the arguments by Raaschou and his lawyer that he had used his freedom of speech to inform the public. They considered that the victims’ interests outweighed the defendant’s freedom of expression.

It was also argued that Raaschou could have reported the double murder in a different way, rather than by showing a diffused screenshot and providing a video link to another website.

The video footage of the murders was not shown to the parties in court. However, a witness who has worked for the police was called. He described parts of the video. The judges prohibited reporting the content of the video.

Everyone present in the courtroom, including members of the audience such as myself, were thus prohibited from describing what we heard mentioned in the courtroom about the video. Violation of this prohibition could, in the worst case, lead to our own prosecution.

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Requiem for a Culture, Part 1: The Sentinel

Requiem for a Culture

Part 1: The Sentinel

The past is never dead. It’s not even past.

— William Faulkner, Requiem for a Nun, Act I, Scene III (page 80 in the Vintage paperback edition)

I first read the above quote more than four decades ago, and in the years since then I have always associated it with the Civil War. However, upon looking it up while preparing this post, I noticed that the context is the personal history of one of the main characters, and refers to events in the early to mid-20th century. Nevertheless, the Recent Unpleasantness is woven into the fabric of the novel, so that relating it to the war seems appropriate.

For a Virginian whose family was caught up in the struggle, the 157 years since the surrender at Appomattox is a short time indeed. Generations in my mother’s family were long, so that I heard family stories about 1865 from a relative who heard them from an aunt who was alive at the time and witnessed the events herself. So that’s not really far back at all.

The past is never dead. It’s not even past.

Back in the 1990s I wrote a poem entitled “Mason Dixon” that concludes with these lines:

How can one forget? Millennia hence,
when English is just the language of the scholiasts
or the key to ancient software, Gettysburg
will mean no more than Thermopylae does to us,
and Jackson’s tactics, like Hannibal’s,
will be studied by commanders
training for the galactic wars.

Then Appomattox will no longer appear on any map,
with Bull Run just a vague rumor,
a place somewhere off to the east
of the Blue Ridge Islands.

The War Between the States is something that one never quite comes to terms with. It is the wound that will not heal.

When you cross into Appomattox County, Virginia from one of the adjacent counties, you are greeted with a sign that reads: “Welcome to Appomattox County, Where Our Nation Reunited”.

To an unreconstructed Southerner, this upbeat sentiment seems inaccurate. A more apposite greeting would be: “Welcome to Appomattox County, Where Sovereignty Was Destroyed, and the Southern States Became Vassals of the Federal Behemoth”.

But I guess that’s too long and wordy to be euphonious.

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I’ve been trying to write this post for almost three months. I kept thinking of new things I wanted to say, and amassed more material than would readily fit into a single essay. I’ve decided to break it up into bite-sized chunks to make it easier to write, and easier for the reader to digest.

This introduction to the topic concerns the proximate cause of my decision to finally become an official member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans: the removal of the Confederate rifleman who had stood sentinel for almost 120 years in a little park on High Street in Farmville, Virginia. There was never a referendum on whether the town’s inhabitants wanted the statue taken down, and the city council’s decision to do so was taken behind closed doors, with no public input.

I asked one of the members of the local SCV camp what prompted the council’s action, and he said, “Some a**hole at Longwood [University] complained about it.”

The removal of the statue occurred during the height of the George Floyd craze, when monuments, Confederate and otherwise, were being taken down all over the country. Farmville’s Confederate fared better than many others, which were broken up and/or melted down (presumably so that George Floyd statues could be cast from the metal).

Last year the Sentinel was relocated to the Confederate cemetery just across the Appomattox River, where he is safely out of sight of everyone except those who choose to visit the site to pay their respects to the 300-400 Confederate fallen who are buried there in unmarked graves.

Back in May I posted about the Memorial Day observance organized by the United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Sons of Confederate Veterans in that same cemetery. Last year the Sentinel was relocated there, and stands on his reconstructed plinth behind the honor guard in the photo below:

Those who attended the ceremony came to honor the soldiers who died defending Virginia in the Civil War, and their ancestors who fought in the conflict.

I say “defending Virginia”, because Virginia was understood to be a sovereign state until 1865, when state sovereignty was overthrown, and modernity began. And also because Virginia was invaded. In 1861 a hostile foreign force invaded the Commonwealth from the north and the east, intending to capture Richmond and put an end to the nascent Confederacy. Thanks to the skill, determination, and courage of the forces commanded by Generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, inter alia, that final reckoning was put off for four years, after which the former Confederate states were reduced to poverty and vassalage under the federal government of the United States.

The photo below shows Appomattox Courthouse being guarded by Union soldiers:

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Eyeballing It

I went to the retinal specialist’s office this afternoon to get the latest in a series of periodic injections in my left eye, to treat the chronic condition of wet macular degeneration. As a result, my blogging activities will be somewhat subdued this evening. However, I expect to get at least one additional post up before I do the news feed.

As a matter of interest, my eye seems to be doing very well. It has been stable for the past eighteen months or so, and the horrible splotch that marred the center of my vision has receded. It’s still there, but I don’t notice it very much, and I experience “white-outs” less frequently. The overall acuity in the eye is still quite bad, but as long as it is fairly uniform, the right eye can do all the important work, and I don’t experience significant discomfort.

My condition has made me more aware of the fragility of vision, so that I tend to spend a lot of time just looking at things, soaking up the beauty of the colors and patterns while I still can.

For example, first thing this morning I went out to look at the morning glories growing over the side porch adjacent to the sun room:

I planted them there in honor of Dymphna, who used to grow them in the same location. She put them where they could grow over the lilac, one of the rose bushes, and the Fig Tree o’ Doom.

She always planted Heavenly Blues, but I prefer the multicolored variety.

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Blood and Horror

Daniel Greenfield on 9/11:

Before 9/11, I had a sense of a dimly understood future rushing toward us. I still have that sense now.

Islamic terrorism is not the only thing that matters. It’s not the only thing that will determine our survival. But it is one of those things. And it’s the one that we’ve forgotten. And one of these days we will once again wake up to blood and horror and mass death. Let us hope that this time we stay awake.

Lest We Forget

As most of you know, I joined the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) a while back. Given the current cultural climate here in the Nation Formerly Known as the United States of America, it’s about the most politically incorrect organization I could belong to. I suppose the Klan would be worse, but to the progressive mainstream it’s undoubtedly “Klan, Sons of Confederate Veterans — same thing.”

Many years ago I wrote a poem entitled “Mason Dixon” that began with these lines:

The central obsession of our federal estate
is the bloody conflict that divided it.
Thirteen decades later its veterans’ reunions
and widows’ pensions are no more,
but the dead still rest uneasy
in their ordered rows.

The sleep of the Civil War dead is even more disturbed these days. If the woke brigades get their way, every last Confederate soldier will be dug up from his final resting place and — What? Burned? Thrown in the swamp? Shipped to Devil’s Island?

We who are descended from Confederate veterans are expected to repudiate our ancestors. The new politically correct regime is determined to wipe their collective memory from our culture and replace it with a Snidely Whiplash version which is all about slavery and the cruel, evil slave-owners who were righteously vanquished by the virtuous Union armies.

Slavery was an abomination, but the war was about a lot more than just slavery. Here in Virginia it was about being invaded — in 1861 the Union army came down the Shenandoah Valley west of the Blue Ridge, torching farms and crops, and taking prominent citizens hostage to be held against the good behavior of the rest of the community.

There were hardly any slaves in the Shenandoah Valley. Do you really think that slavery was the most important issue on the minds of the citizens of Winchester and Front Royal and Port Republic when their young men took up arms, joined the militia, and left their homes to muster under the command of General Robert E. Lee?

We were invaded.

When I talk to my liberal friends, I sometimes mention that I’ve joined the SCV, just to see what their reaction will be. When they express consternation (as is usually the case), I point out that Virginia was invaded by a foreign aggressor in much the same way that Ukraine was invaded last February. Shouldn’t we celebrate the heroic (albeit futile) resistance of the Virginians against that aggression, just as we celebrate the heroic Ukrainians?

That’s a difficult one for the liberal mind to grapple with. It seems that sometimes invasion is a good thing — it all depends on who is invading whom.

Before 1865 Virginia was a sovereign commonwealth, part of an aggregation known as the United States, the membership in which was considered a voluntary association. But the enemy won the war, and that changed everything. Our sovereignty was destroyed, and states’ rights became increasingly a fiction. Our liberties were steadily eroded, reaching a culmination in the totalitarian dystopia under which our spirits groan today.

Before then the phrase “United States” was treated as a plural noun, but it has been understood as a singular one ever since the ink dried on the surrender in Appomattox on April 9, 1865.

This morning I attended the Memorial Day observance at the Confederate Cemetery in Farmville. It was organized by the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) in collaboration with the SCV. Several chapters of the UDC were in attendance at the ceremonies, as were several camps of the SCV.

The event was unabashedly Christian. It opened and closed with a prayer, and the various speakers made repeated references to God and Jesus Christ in their remarks about the events we were commemorating.

We pledged allegiance to the U.S. Flag, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the Confederate battle flag. Yes, I know those pledges seem contradictory. But we lost the war, and as honorable men, we must acknowledge our suzerainty under the superior power of a victorious adversary.

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Michael Mannheimer R.I.P.

Michael Stürzenberger and Michael Mannheimer

We’ve been posting translated material by or about Michael Mannheimer since at least 2010. Now it has been confirmed that Mr. Mannheimer died earlier this month at the age of 67.

Many thanks to MissPiggy for translating this article from Politically Incorrect:

Michael Mannheimer, One of the Very First Islam Critics in Germany, is Dead

The Islam- and system-critic Karl-Michael Merkle, alias Michael Mannheimer, has died of a heart attack at the age of 67.

by Michael Stürzenberger

The Islam critic Michael Mannheimer died on March 13, 2022. It was completely unexpected and unfortunately far too early, at the age of 67. He suffered from heart problems that were exacerbated by taking psychotropic drugs, which eventually caused him to die of a heart attack, according to his sister.

The rumors of “murdered by poison” or speculation about sinister actions by the Mossad, the CIA or other intelligence agencies are all from the realm of untenable mind games, fantasy tales and fake news.

Mannheimer, whose real name was Karl-Michael Merkle, lived in a secret location in Asia and moved there to be far from harassment. Now that he has died, the location can be shared: it was Cambodia.

Three years ago he had told me once by email that the medical care in Cambodia was very bad. He even had to pull a tooth himself, with help of dentist friend in Germany giving him instructions via Skype.

Michael Mannheimer was a valuable fellow campaigner in the years 2011-2015, especially in the matter of Islam criticism. Together we held many educational rallies, hitting the streets at home and abroad. During this time period, we were akin to brothers in spirit.

For example, on March 31, 2012, at the Counterjihad event in Aarhus, we were together at a highly memorable event in Denmark. That Counterjihad rally triggered the largest police operation in the history of this Danish city, which included helicopter support. More than 2,000 partly militant counter-demonstrators from Antifa and radical Muslims kept the city in suspense. At that time, Michael was still clearly in solidarity with Israel, the only real democracy in the Middle East. Together we stood alongside Jews who were in the crosshairs of political Islam.

That same year we re-founded the White Rose Resistance movement together with Susanne Zeller-Hirzel (Sophie Scholl’s best friend), PAX EUROPA (comrades-in-arms from the citizens’ movement), and the “Die Freiheit” Party. Our struggle was directed against every totalitarian ideology — national socialism, socialism, communism and political Islam.

Together with the then-managing director of BPE, Conny Axel-Meier, we followed in the footsteps of the heroic resistance fighters and visited the historic courtroom in Munich, where these fighters for democracy and freedom were defencelessly exposed to the judicial henchmen of National Socialism who brought them to the gallows.

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Michael Mannheimer’s Final Post?

Hans-Dietrich Genscher

Long-time readers will remember Michael Mannheimer, the German author and activist who was featured here a number of times beginning in 2010 (his archive is here).

A couple of days ago I received this note from a reader:

I think Michael Mannheimer (a.k.a. Karl-Michael Markle) has died. I know you have worked with him in the past.

I noticed he did not blog/comment for a week, I went looking.

His dying comments… He’d been “poisoned”, arsenic.

I don’t know where he lived (in exile), I think maybe Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam or somewhere like that. But he stated he’d never felt so bad, could not get medical assistance. And then all went silent.

It could be that he’s in hospital. But I fear the worst.

Then yesterday an obituary was posted on his website.

I have no independent verification of Mr. Mannheimer’s death. However, Hellequin GB has kindly translated what may be the author’s final post:

NATO expansion to the east: Russia was disgracefully deceived, lied to and duped. Now it is striking back in military self-defense

The reversal of what was once good into absolute evil

After the Bolshevik revolution in 1917, at the time of millions of mass shootings, at the time of the Jewish-run gulags, at the time of the three Ukrainian holodomors and later, in the time of the Cold War, the bad guys were the countries of the Soviet Union. And the countries of the West, above all the USA, were considered the good guys. But the further the Cold War recedes in history, the more information from the past decades emerges, and the more questionable the above-mentioned axiom of the good West and the bad East becomes. There is no question: for the majority of the people living there, the West as a whole was considerably freer than the East. But as far as politics is concerned, I see less and less of a difference between the two power blocs. Not the USSR, but the USA is by far the most warlike country in modern times.

USA: over 200 wars since its inception

In the 231 years since its founding, the United States of America has itself fought a total of 219 wars, intervened militarily or been involved in acts similar to war, for example through secret service involvement in terrorist attacks, attempted coups and coups on the territory of another state. The USA itself was not attacked once. The list below on the sources of this chapter makes it impressively clear that the aggressive policy currently being pursued against Russia in the Ukraine conflict is no exception, but has been a tradition for centuries. The systematic warfare of the USA and its vassals has now developed into an essential and important branch of the economy, comparable to mechanical engineering in Germany. Defense companies and the finance and investment industry earn billions from wars and armed conflicts. So we have every reason to be concerned. Because a war against Russia would be just one more item on a never-ending list of more than 200 acts of war committed. Everyone should now be able to answer their own question as to who is the number one terrorist state in the world. Since the end of World War II, from 1946 to the present, US government wars have claimed nearly seven million lives. Mind you, without the dead of both world wars.

The US has eliminated all of its opponents one by one with the help of the CIA, massive arms shipments, military and economic logistics. The US Vietnam War, which is said to have started with a ridiculous attack by a small Vietnamese boat on a US aircraft carrier in the Gulf of Tonkin, was a clear false flag action by the Americans.

Henry Kissinger launched what is believed to be the largest wave of bombings since World War II in all of world history against North Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. No country in the world, including Germany and Japan, has been as devastated by carpet bombing as tiny Southeast Asian Laos. Without these bombings there would have been no Pol Pot, no Khmer Rouge and no genocide in Cambodia. Nevertheless, Kissinger received the Nobel Peace Prize for his “peacekeeping mission”. This prize should be abolished for all time without ifs and buts. The mass murderer Arafat received it (billions of euros given to him by the EU for the construction of Palestine were found in his private accounts),Obama even received it before taking up his presidency — and as it turned out later, there was no president in US history who waged more wars during his tenure than the “Nobel Peace Prize Laureate” and Muslim-by-birth Barack Hussein Obama.

The current conflict in Ukraine also came primarily from the United States, which wants to weaken Russia and present it as an aggressor. The military media complex of the US Deep State works so perfectly that the vast majority of people fall for the lies of the media regarding alleged Russian atrocities. But it’s exactly the opposite: since Maidan 2015, the right-wing fascist government in Kyiv, which is close to National Socialism, has brutally slaughtered tens of thousands of Russians. ( I reported in detail: Ukraine: “The daily and bestial terror, including mass murder of Russians living in Ukraine, which was hushed up by the West”). All of them are citizens of Ukraine who have been living there for centuries — whereby the fascist government in Kyiv is massively supported by NATO and also by the unspeakable regime of the Federal Republic of Germany, in which the “fight against the right” and against “National Socialism” is evident in a strange way that is only limited to the FRG, while it is courted with all honors in countries like the Ukraine.

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The Nothing Tree

The following post is a personal side journey. It’s unrelated to the mission of this blog, so if you don’t want to stray from the main track, you may want to skip it.

Spending my sunset years as a Counterjihad blogger was not part of my life’s plan. I just kind of fell into it, joining Dymphna at the task after I was laid off in 2006. It seemed like a worthwhile endeavor, so I kept at it full-time for the next sixteen years (and counting).

Before that I had pursued numerous occupations since I graduated from college: taxi driver, tuxedo store manager, messenger for a legal firm, mathematician/programmer, systems analyst, sign painter, painter of ceramic cups, Kelly Girl, seller of mistletoe (seasonal only). I took all of those jobs just to keep the wolf from the door while I did the two things I was put on this earth to do: paint landscapes and write poetry.

I was fortunate enough to be able to paint for a (meager) living for more than twenty-five years. And I was especially fortunate to have married someone who understood my drive to create, and who was willing to help support me via her own employment. For that I will be eternally grateful to Dymphna; may she rest in peace.

As you all know, I ruined my eyesight by sitting outside in the bright sun day after day for decades. My intuition tells me that having my retinas bathed in so much ultraviolet light for all those years brought on macular degeneration at a relatively early age. Since I gave up painting in 2005 I have been reduced to programming digital images on the computer to satisfy my visual creative urge.

When I was eighteen years old I started writing poetry seriously — or as seriously as a callow clownish youth can do at that age. Almost everything I wrote before I was in my mid-twenties was dreadful stuff, and embarrassing to look at now, but a few things were worth saving, and have held up over the decades. By the time I was in my late thirties the quality of what I wrote was more consistent. I really hit my stride in the mid-’90s and early 2000s.

I encountered a fallow period after 2006, when the muse abandoned me for eleven years. I thought she was gone for good, and that my poetic career was over. Then in 2017 she mysteriously returned, and I started writing verse again. At that point it occurred to me that it might be a good idea to self-publish a volume of selected poems.

I gave up submitting my poems to periodicals thirty years ago. By then it had become clear that the type of poetry I write — traditional forms, often with a rigorous rhyme scheme and metrical structure — was out of step with the post-modern age. I got tired of the rejection slips, so I abandoned all attempts at publication. I haven’t published anything since a number of my poems (most of them lousy) appeared in William and Mary’s literary magazine back in the early 1970s.

Until now, that is. Thanks to the magic of self-publishing, I was able to put together a selection in a book entitled The Nothing Tree in Bloom. It contains all the poems from a fifty-year period (1970-2019) that I consider worth reading, and is listed on Amazon.

Self-publication turned out to be very easy, and it cost almost nothing, unlike vanity publishing. Actually, I suppose it is a form of vanity publishing, because I don’t really expect to sell any copies of the book. I just bought a few dozen author’s copies at a low price to give away to family and friends. It’s a satisfying way to wrap up a lifetime’s worth of work in a meaningful fashion. As Wallace Stevens said (in “The Lack of Repose”), the book provides “A few sounds of meaning, a momentary end / To the complication”.

I dedicated The Nothing Tree in Bloom to Dymphna. It makes me sad that she didn’t live to see it published, but she did read an early PDF version of it, which included the cover design. At that point the dedication page read: “For my wife”. In the published version it reads: “In memory of my wife”.

Since I’ve never published any poems since college, I’ve never had an editor. Fortunately, for forty years I had Dymphna to act in that capacity. As most of you know, she was an accomplished poet in her own right.

From 1979 until her death she read everything I wrote, including the most recent poem in the book. She was an incisive reader and critic, and never hesitated to point out infelicities and suggest changes. My oeuvre would have been far less competent without her input.

It was my habit to read every poem out loud to her as soon as I finished it. In later years, as her hearing deteriorated, I would print out a second copy so that she could follow along while I read it. After she died I found a pile of many years’ worth of those printed pages on the bottom shelf of the bookcase next to her side of the bed.

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When I was a teenager attending an English grammar school, I was required to study large quantities of poetry in depth for my O-level and A-level exams. It was like discovering a magnificent palace filled with treasure, and I took to it as if it were my natural environment. At the time I didn’t understand that most of my fellow students experienced it quite differently: it was just something they had to do, to memorize and analyze long enough to pass their exams, and then gratefully forget.

In the ensuing years I’ve learned the hard lesson that poetry is an acquired taste. Most people don’t get it, and aren’t interested in getting it. And that’s especially true of the type of poetry I prefer to write, which admittedly is intellectually abstruse.

With that in mind, I’ve chosen two examples from the book to post here that are somewhat more accessible.

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Requiem for a Sarvisberry Tree

This post is off-topic. Readers who want to stick to current political trends may safely skip it.

I needed a break from all the horrible topics I have to deal with every day, so I decided to write about something that is important to me, and is only mildly melancholic.

It snowed here at Schloss Bodissey today, the sort of late-winter wet snow that is not worrying because it doesn’t stick to the roads and won’t hang around for very long.

Looking out the back door this morning reminded me of our redcurrant tree, which would normally bloom in a couple of weeks’ time. It won’t be blooming this year, however, because there is no more redcurrant tree, thanks to the blizzard of January 3.

The photo at the top of this post shows the redcurrant tree at its best, blooming in late March of 2007. But “redcurrant” isn’t even its proper name. Dymphna and I called it that for twenty-five or thirty years, because that’s how our neighbor, an old black woman, identified it. Like all poor country black people, she was an expert on anything that grew naturally and could be eaten. She told us that the fruit ripened in June, and could be made into pie or other desserts. She would come over here during the season, and she and Dymphna would pick all the berries they could get. Dymphna would make summer pudding with them, combined with other berries in season.

But it was never a redcurrant tree. Many years later we learned that it was a juneberry, which is what the local nurseries call the tame varieties they sell. It’s also known as a sarvisberry, shadbush, or saskatoon tree.

“Sarvisberry” is my favorite. In the Appalachian Highlands of Virginia, the folk etymology for the word is that the tree got its name because it blooms just after the ground thaws in the early spring, which is when graves can be dug and all the people who died during the winter get a burial service. “Sarvis” is an archaic dialect version of the word “service”, so the association makes sense. However, the word was actually brought to the New World from Europe, where “service tree” can be traced all the way back to the Latin word sorbus, or rowan.

But I prefer the highlanders’ explanation. Besides, the assimilation of words to more familiar terms is a very common process in the English language, so it’s quite possible that those early settlers gave the local tree that name for precisely that reason.

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When I first moved here in 1978, the redcurrant tree was about half the size of what it attained before it met its demise. It was all bent over, as if it had a great weight leaning on it. I found out later why that was when I watched Dymphna and our neighbor pick the fruit: they would pull the lowest branches down so they could more easily pluck the berries from them. After years of such treatment, the tree just bent in that direction, as if offering its fruit to those who came to pick it.

Over the decades the most bent-over branch would eventually die off, and a new, vigorous sprout would appear further back, growing into a second trunk, which would also become bent in turn as its fruit was harvested. I think we saw the process repeated two or three times during the life of the tree. Eventually it got ahead of the fruit-pickers, and the highest berries could not be reached from the ground. In later years Dymphna would send me up the tree with the extension ladder to pick the fruit for her.

It often happened that the tree would fill up with cedar waxwings during berry season: the juneberries are apparently one of their favorite delicacies. Suddenly one morning the tree would be alive with dozens of them, hopping around among the branches to get every possible berry. I never saw them at any other time, just during juneberry season. Dymphna, of course, used to curse at them when they arrived.

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On the morning of January 3, 2022, a major blizzard struck Central Virginia. More than ten inches of wet snow came down in a very short period of time, dropping trees and knocking out the power.

Right after the electricity went out, I thought I ought to take a photo of the storm. I didn’t want to actually venture out into the mess, so I just opened the back storm door, stuck the camera out, and took a picture. I didn’t realize until much later that I had just taken the last photo of the redcurrant while it was still standing:

Three hours later the storm had ended and the sun came out. I went out the front door to assess the situation, and then walked around back, where I was astonished to see the following sight:

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The Golden Road to Unlimited Socialism

My good friend Concerned American at Western Rifle Shooters Association recently wrote to Vlad and me. He wanted to ask our East Bloc contacts who grew up under communism the following question:

“What lessons, if any, can be taken from the collapse of the Soviet Bloc and applied to those of us stuck in the upcoming fall of the US Bloc?”

Vlad and I forwarded his message to a number of our translators who have experienced communism. Four of them have replied so far, and more are expected. I’ve collected the first group below.

I expect WRSA and Vlad to mirror this post, and will add an update with links for the mirrors when they appear.

Update: The WRSA post is here.

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The first report is from DarLink, the only member of the team who grew up in the Soviet Union. She later moved to Israel, and translates both Russian and Hebrew for Vlad and me:

I have a nearly constant sense of déjà vu these days…it feels like my past is inescapable; I simply cannot leave the USSR.

The signs are everywhere:

A senile leader, lying media, a lawless society, corrupt institutions…

The fall is coming and I don’t think we can stop it.

  • Food shortages.
  • Medical supplies shortages.
  • Water, electricity, gas will be shut randomly and for unknown periods of time.
  • The government will run out of money and we the people will be left to fend for ourselves.

Prepare in anyway you can:

Get out of the cities — warmer areas where you can grow your own food are the best, in my opinion.

If you are alone, gather some friends/relatives in a group and do it together — you will go back in time technologically, and living off the land is easier in a group.

Learn to grow anything that can nourish you and your family.

Learn to hunt.

Prepare alternative sources of water.

If you can rig your own electro grid, do it.

Learn a craft others may need and would be willing to pay for in goods.

Money will be useless for a while — have stuff you can trade.

Get guns and ammo to defend what you have — others WILL try to rob you of anything valuable.

The situation, most likely, will be different from state to state, and some will have it harder than the others — if you are in a blue state, leave.

It may not be obvious, but Russians actually had it easier and suffered less than Americans will — they were less spoiled, had less stuff, and their fall was less destructive because there wasn’t much there anyway.

It’s up to us.

Start preparing.

The second report is from CrossWare, who grew up in Hungary under communism. She emigrated to Canada and lived there for a number of years, but returned home when political repression in Canada reached an alarming level:

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From Camelot to Babylon

Today is the fifty-eighth anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. I don’t expect much attention to be paid to the occasion; the fiftieth in 2013 was probably the last big fling of the Camelot industry. With the Boomers currently wheezing their way under the sod, the date is passing out of popular recollection and into history.

The image at the top of this post shows the cover of the album “Single Bullet Theory”, by a band of the same name. It’s actually an EP — containing only four songs — rather than a full LP. The cover was too big to put in my scanner, so I had to take a photo of it.

SBT was relatively local to me, in the Richmond area. One member was a friend of a friend, so I actually knew the band a little bit. I heard them play once or twice in the late 1970s.

The image on the album cover was created when irony was just becoming ascendant, so in 1978 it was about as cool and hip as it could get. And at the time it appeared, it would have been instantly recognizable to virtually any American adult.

The original photo — one frame of the 8mm Zapruder film taken in Dealey Plaza on November 22, 1963 — was iconic. Everyone had seen it. Fifteen years after the assassination, the context of that photo was still totally familiar. It even made its way into an Elvis Costello song from the same period, “Less Than Zero” (especially the “Dallas version”). Everyone knew what the singer meant when he said, “…her husband rides a bumper in the president’s procession” and “calling Mr. Oswald” and “…if you were taking home movies, there’s a chance you might have seen him.”

But forty-five more years have passed since then. How well-known is all that Dallas iconography now? I don’t immerse myself much in popular culture these days, but I suspect the events of 11/22/63 are not as generally familiar as they were two generations ago.

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Any kid who was old enough to pay attention to public affairs — say, ten or older — experienced November 22, 1963 as a watershed moment, dividing the continuum into Before and After what happened in Dallas that day.

I was just starting junior high school at the time. Since I was born after World War Two and was too young to remember the Korean War, I had experienced nothing similar in my lifetime. And I experienced nothing like it afterwards until 9-11 came along thirty-eight years later. I was seasoned and jaded by then, however, so it didn’t make as much of an impact, but it was a similar cultural moment.

As far as I could tell, adults were similarly affected by the assassination. I was in band practice that day when the news came in, and I remember the stricken face of our band teacher as he relayed the news to his students.

That was late on a Friday afternoon. The shock and horror on TV continued throughout the weekend, augmented by the murder of Lee Harvey Oswald on Sunday, which meant that the principal suspect would never face a public trial. The solemn, elaborate funeral for JFK took place on Monday, and we watched it live on TV. Kids got out of school for the occasion, if I remember correctly.

In retrospect the Kennedy assassination seems to mark the end of one era — which might be called the Post-WW2 Period — and the beginning of another one, for which a succinct name does not come readily to mind. The attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan in 1981 did not have the same effect, partly because he survived the attempt, and partly because times had changed by then. The next divide might have been 9-11, but that’s still too recent for me to decide.

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We Are All Rwanda Now

Our German translator Hellequin GB was in Rwanda at the time of the genocide in 1994. In the following essay he points out the disturbing parallels between the Hutu propaganda of that time — which demonized and dehumanized the Tutsis prior to the slaughter — and what we read in the left-wing media (is there any other kind?) in 2021.

About Rwanda and the Genocide Propaganda

by Hellequin GB

Two major radio stations transmitted hate propaganda to the illiterate masses: Radio Rwanda, and Radio Télévision des Milles Collines (RTLM). Radio Rwanda was the official government owned radio station.
Under the second(?) Arusha Accord it was banned from continuing to disseminate hate propaganda. This led the Hutu Power circle around President Habyarimana and his wife to found RTLM as a private radio station.

RTLM became immensely popular as a young, hip alternative to the official voice of the government. They did the usual — played popular music and encouraged the public to phone in and participate in radio broadcasts. Amongst its listeners, RTLM attracted the unemployed youth and the Interhamwe militia, a Hutu paramilitary organization.

RTLM and Radio Rwanda, before and during the genocide, continued to encourage and direct the killing of Tutsis and moderate Hutus until they were forced off the air by the Rwanda Patriotic Front’s military victories.

Here are a few transcripts in English from the Radio/TV-shows in Rwanda 1993/94. The rest is in French and Kinyawranda, but that should give you enough insight into what was going on.

I’m starting with one that’s from October 21 1990 for you to connect some dots: RR_21Oct90_eng_K036-2134-K036-2138.pdf

The next ones are those that come from the nitty-gritty, although there are some serious time-lapses in between.

Also, when you read the word Inyenzi, that means cockroach (Tutsi). There was an article in one of the papers; I cannot remember its name now, but the headline stuck with me throughout the years:

“A cockroach cannot bring forth a butterfly.”

The editorial argued that the Tutsi, like a cockroach, use the cover of darkness to infiltrate: “the Tutsi camouflages himself to commit crimes.”

Another word you’ll read is Inkotanyi, which means “invincible”, and is the nickname given to the Tutsi rebel army, but it was also used in the connection with “Cutting down Tall Trees”, meaning killing Tutsi.

Like the Nazis did to the Jews of Germany and later in the occupied Territories, and what we’re seeing now, was and is a build-up to genocide, in my humble opinion.

This time it’s just on a monstrous scale never seen before in recorded human history.

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Hi-Yo Silver!

For his entire career after leaving the army, my father was employed by the NSA as a cryptographer. His work sometimes required him to travel. In the early days, when I was a small child, he often traveled to Germany, the North of England, and Alaska. Many years later, long after he retired, I realized that those locations must have been listening stations where the agency was picking up the SIGINT that he was tasked with decrypting. I also realized that that was the reason why he had a Russian-English dictionary and a Russian grammar on his bookshelf (he also had a Swedish-English dictionary, but I’m not sure why he needed that).

Later in his career, as his work became largely administrative, his travels were generally more mundane. In 1964 he paid a visit to St. Paul, Minnesota (maybe there was an NSA field office up there) and stayed at the Twins Motor Hotel. For some reason he brought back a menu from the motel’s coffee shop, and I’m glad he did, because it gives me a little window into restaurant prices back then. I was still too young to pay much attention to prices and inflation, so I wouldn’t have otherwise remembered.

Just as a thought experiment, imagine that my father bought the “Burger Steak Supreme” with a cup of coffee. Salisbury steak, fries, cole slaw, and rolls for $1.25. Coffee was a dime. My father was decent tipper, so he probably handed the waitress a dollar bill, two quarters, and a dime, and told her to keep the change.

The dollar bill would have been a Silver Certificate, and not the Monopoly money — Federal Reserve Notes — that circulates nowadays.

You could take a $1 Silver Certificate down to the bank and exchange it for a silver dollar. I remember doing just that, and getting one of those beautiful Morgan dollars. I was still little, so it felt huge and heavy in the palm of my hand.

My dad wouldn’t have used a silver dollar, though. They still circulated, and you would occasionally see people spending them (usually the later Peace Dollars, which were much less attractive), but quarters and half dollars were used most of the time.

To continue this thought experiment, let’s imagine that he paid for his meal with two Franklin halves, two Washington quarters, and a Mercury dime. Roosevelt dimes were more common by 1964, but Mercuries (strictly speaking, Winged Liberty dimes) were still in circulation, and were more pleasing to the eye, so I prefer to imagine one of those.

Now let’s imagine that he decided to spare his waistline, forgo his lunch, and use his $1.60 in silver to open a savings account for the benefit of his young son. In those days banks were statutorily required to pay 4% annual interest on savings accounts. I remember my passbook, with occasional small deposits noted inside, and the line where a little bit of interest was added each quarter.

At some point between those halcyon days and 1980 the rules changed, and banks no longer had to pay 4% on savings accounts. Interest rates became paltry, and anyone who wanted their savings to accrue significant interest found other vehicles for their money.

But let’s pretend that somehow that little savings account kept chugging along at 4%. When I reached my majority I eschewed withdrawing the money, and left it in the account. As of today it has managed to increase in value to $14.96.

“Big woo, Baron,” I hear you say. “That doesn’t even beat inflation.”

No, it doesn’t. But the funny thing is, neither does the current value of the silver. More on that later.

If my father had hung onto those five silver coins, and I had inherited them, as of today they would be worth approximately $33.60. If I took them down to the local silver dealer, that’s about what he would give me in Federal Reserve play money for their “melt value”. A savings account would have had to pay roughly 5.5% annual interest in order for the deposit to have accrued that much value since 1964.

Now let’s think about what the same meal would cost you today. As it happens, I ate almost the same lunch a couple of days ago at a diner in the little town in the hinterlands where I went to visit relatives. I had a more upscale vegetable than cole slaw (greens), but I had to order it à la carte. Since the diner wasn’t as swank as the Twins Motor Hotel, we’ll just assume they more or less even out. With the coffee (which costs a LOT more these days) and tip, my meal came in at just over $19 in pretend money. That’s more than the 4% savings rate would have given me on the original $1.60, but less than the current value of those silver coins.

However… Restaurant prices haven’t inflated to the extent that other commodities have. Consider what a car or a new house cost you in 1964. Back in the late 1950s my parents paid $22,000 for a custom-built three-bedroom, two-bath brick ranch on a large lot. If I still owned it, that property would be worth about a million in today’s market. In comparison, 22,000 silver dollars are now worth about $460,000 — less than half as much.

So what gives? Why didn’t silver keep up?

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I bring all this up because one of Francis W. Porretto’s recent posts discussed Silver Certificates, the Federal Reserve, legal tender, and currency in general. It got me to thinking about changes in the currency since 1964.

As it happens, 1964 was the last year that the Treasury minted silver coins. At that point no silver dollars had been minted since 1935. From 1965 on dimes, quarters, and half dollars were made of a copper-nickel “sandwich”. People called the ugly new coins “Johnson slugs” because they were introduced during the Johnson administration.

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On the Eve of Destruction

A gloomy message sent by Seneca III from the multicultural dominion formerly known as England.

On the Eve of Destruction

by Seneca III

CHANGE is both a constant and a variable; a constant because it is always with us, a variable because its flavour and intensity changes over time. In itself this is not a bad thing, but when change takes a wrong turning in the road and descends into an age of national decay and suicidal lunacy such as that which is now upon us, we must either return to the start line and begin again or accept that we will have to sacrifice our integrity, honour, way of life and independence… and our country as well.

Barry McGuire got it spot on. This song is old, but it doesn’t age:

“Better days will return, we will be with our friends again, we will be with our families again, we will meet again.”
— Her Majesty the Queen, 5th April 2020.

Over half a century ago I swore an oath, the same oath that all persons enlisting or commissioned into the British Armed Forces, except Royal Navy Officers, are required to attest to or equivalently affirm:

I _____ swear by Almighty God (or do solemnly, and truly declare and affirm) that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Her Heirs and Successors, and that I will, as in duty bound, honestly and faithfully defend Her Majesty, Her Heirs and Successors, in Person, Crown and Dignity against all enemies, and will observe and obey all orders of Her Majesty, Her Heirs and Successors, and of the (admirals / generals/ air officers depending on the particular Service) and officers set over me. (So help me God.)

[Until recently no oath of allegiance was sworn by members of the Royal Navy, which is not maintained under an Act of Parliament but by the royal prerogative. This is still the case for officers as, by nature of the Navy’s authority deriving from the Crown and not Parliament, the loyalty of naval officers to the Sovereign is taken for granted.]

However, Her Majesty is no more an immortal than you or I. Her time will come as it will for all of us, as evolution has designed us to eventually shuffle of this mortal coil in order to make room for the next lot. The sad thing is that her immediate successor does not inspire confidence in me, to put it mildly, and this causes me to have to seriously reconsider that part of my oath that refers so repetitively to ‘Heirs and Successors’.

Yet there may be hope for the second in line and his charming, duty-conscious family if they have not been too badly afflicted by the verbal ramblings, divided loyalties and ideological circumlocutions of the current Crown Prince. I do hope so. Our Constitutional Monarchy is a wonderful thing, and serves as a safe harbour for all of our hopes and custodian of much of our physical and historic heritage that the Wokists are doing everything in their power to rub from the pages of history. I also have nightmare visions of a Republic led perhaps by a President Blair or Johnson or Starmer or their ilk.

Anyway, enough of me. So where, now, do we find ourselves?

Not necessarily, I suspect, looking out across bloodstained foreign fields and barricades again, but inward, to our homelands, to the cities, the occupied territories where several generations of feral incomers go about their daily business of crime, drug peddling, benefit scrounging, mugging and gratuitous violence mostly beyond the control of an overstretched Woke and Common-Purposed constabulary carrying out selective law enforcement and led by serial incompetents who are supported by a Judiciary fully on board with the same agenda, none of whom our spineless government will or can do anything about, as more reinforcements for these ferals come piling ashore on a daily basis aided and abetted by France.

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