Remember Those “97 Per Cent of Scientists Agree” on Global Warming??

Or is it Global Cooling? Or is it Peak Oil? A coming famine?

Lord Monckton, always entertaining, lays to rest that hoary prevarication about the “consensus” among scientists. He has the source for that lie, which begins at ~minute 21.00 if you’re in a hurry.

The whole thing is entertaining, but the primary reason for this posting is to have a place to hang the source of such balderdash as was promoted in previous comment sections:

Thanks to RonaldB for his link in the comments on my previous posting about climate shenanigans. His link is a somewhat longer video on the subject, but Ivar Giaever, the 1973 Nobel Prizewinner for Physics, is equally entertaining.

Why is it that the deniers are wittier? Not a sin Al Gore will ever commit. But whatever; that Norwegian speaker is worth your time, too. The graphs (e.g., the one which illustrates where thermometers are placed globally. This was a few years ago, but I doubt poor countries have caught up yet) are illuminating.

In a side note, we have some climate here. Last weekend we got fourteen inches of snow. This weekend it is fast disappearing under an onslaught of warmish (52 degrees F) rain. The B and I are going down to watch the river flood over its banks. Hey, in the boondocks, you take your entertainment where you can find it. Things are melting so fast they’re sending up great wraiths of fog on the remaining snowpack.

Falling Into Winter

Note: This post was a “sticky” feature that was published last Monday and stayed on top all week. Scroll down for more recent material, including Jews in the AfD, clips from the Brexit demo in London, Jihad for Justice in Alabama, right-wing extremist hair braids in Germany, Dr. Turley on the Danish “Gitmo”, and many others.

Winter Fundraiser 2018, Day Seven

The Baron’s Sunday Update: A Winter’s Tale

Well, here we are at the final day of our quarterly bleg. After I finish writing this update I can catch up on my sleep, and then write some more thank-you notes tomorrow.

Tip jarAfter my worried remarks the other night, y’all really stepped up to the plate: the donations came pouring in on Friday, making it one of the busiest fundraising days we’ve had for a while. Many thanks to all of you for your generosity! The week isn’t quite back to normal, but it’s getting close. And it’s now clear that we’ll be able to make it through to the spring thaw.

It didn’t hurt that WRSA posted a link to our bleg — we really appreciate that. It’s easy to tell when donors are being referred by WRSA, because the gifts come in from Idaho, Wyoming, Arizona, and other deplorable states that we don’t otherwise see much traffic from.

All of this makes me ponder our peculiar business model. Most websites monetize by selling advertising, but we do it by soliciting modest gifts from our many readers. It’s a weird form of crowdfunding, but somehow it works — every quarter we receive just enough to keep on going.

It helps me maintain my enduring sense of gratitude…

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This morning’s weather-related story is going to be longer and less lighthearted than my usual tales. I’ve never actually written this material up before, and I expect it to be hard to type out.

So… for those who want to skip this part and go straight to yesterday’s donor locations, here they are in advance:

Stateside: Alaska, California, Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Texas, Virginia, and Wyoming

Far Abroad: New Zealand, and the UK

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The photo at the top of this update was taken in February of 2003. It shows a snow overhang outside our bedroom window here at Schloss Bodissey. The tree in the foreground is none other than the Fig Tree of Doom, which caused Dymphna so much grief two and a half years after the picture was taken.

This morning’s reminiscence was prompted not by that particular snowfall, but by my earlier account of the first fall and winter I spent here (scroll down for that story; it begins with the photo of the turtle).

That was a cold and snowy winter, and after Christmas I just hunkered down to wait it out. Since I couldn’t go outside to paint landscapes, I busied myself with what I could create indoors — mostly geometric designs and scenes from my imagination.

But late in January I got an opportunity: a major snowfall was predicted. That was before the Weather Channel, but the radio and the newspaper were in agreement that we would see about eight inches (21 cm) of dry snow.

So I stocked up for the occasion. I made sure I had plenty of coffee, beer, and other necessities so that I could sit it out. In those days the house was heated by a woodstove, and I had an ample supply of firewood, so it didn’t matter all that much if the electricity went out. And I didn’t have any reason to go out, so I would be able to spend a delightful few days looking out the kitchen window at all that lovely snow — and painting a picture of it.

When I woke up that morning, the snow was right on schedule — three or four inches of it on the ground. I set up my easel in the middle of the kitchen floor (this place has a large farm kitchen, and in those days I possessed virtually no furniture) and started a composition based on what I could see out the window, and the area immediately inside it.

Snow in the city gets ugly pretty quickly, what with all the salt and sand from the roads, soot, and vehicle exhaust. But out here in the middle of nowhere it stays pristine for a long time if the temperature remains low. Tracks from birds, deer, dogs, squirrels, and raccoons. And maybe my own when I walk out into the middle of a flat space to stick a yardstick in the accumulation. But nothing to make it look nasty — I knew I would be able to take my time and make that painting look just right.

When I moved out here from the city I deliberately didn’t get a phone, because I didn’t want anyone bothering me. I also used general delivery for an address that first year, to assure my isolation. The postmistress was puzzled, but she let me do it, and forwarded my mail out here to the RFD box.

I expected to have a wonderful few days, working on my painting and enjoying a snowfall in a way that I hadn’t had a chance to since I was a kid.

Ah, but the best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft agley…

When I had last been to see my parents, just after New Year’s, my father had been suffering from some sort of stomach bug. A low-grade fever and some pain in his lower tract: most likely the flu, my mother said.

Late that snowy morning, as the blizzard was tapering off to flurries with about seven inches already on the ground, I heard a rumbling on the driveway, and then a banging on the front door. It was my neighbor Jimmy Mawyer, who had driven down the driveway through the woods in his four-wheel-drive pickup.

When I opened the door Jimmy said, “Your mother called the post office. Your father has cancer. He’s in the hospital, and she says wants you to come home as soon as possible.”

So it wasn’t the flu after all.

Jimmy and I discussed the logistics of how I could get out of there. I had an old rear-wheel drive station wagon (a 1971 AMC Hornet, for the car buffs among you). I could have filled up the deck with cinderblocks or something, but still, it was going to be rough getting out of there.

I had parked facing out, so Jimmy backed up his truck to just in front of the car while I packed a bag with my necessities. He hooked a chain onto the frame behind the front bumper, and when I was ready, he had me let out the clutch while he pulled me down the driveway. I kept gunning it to try and keep from fishtailing, and we somehow made it to the road without whacking me into any trees. He stopped on a straight stretch, unhitched the chain, and wished me the best of luck. Then I set out for Maryland.

The most direct route out of here goes up and down some major hills before crossing a creek. When conditions were slick — and especially in a rear-wheel drive vehicle — I used to take what I called “the flat route”, a roundabout way that stuck to the ridgelines and avoided steep gradients and sharp curves. It added about ten miles to the trip, but it made it possible to get out. The road hadn’t been plowed yet; all I had were the tracks of the four-wheelers to help me out.

My memory of that trip is of a blurry nightmare. I remember that I came across a fellow motorist who had slid into the ditch about a mile from my driveway. It was on a slight downhill grade, so I eased off the gas and touched the brake very lightly as the car coasted to a stop. I got out and helped him push his car out of the ditch, and then got back in the station wagon and started down that hill oh so carefully, and then up the other side.

When I arrived at the main road, it had been plowed, so conditions were better. But there was still a packed sheet of glaze on the pavement, so it was nerve-wracking. You go thirty miles an hour and do your very best to keep from ever touching the brake.

The most frightening moment was when I was still on the two-lane state road, before I got to the major highway. As I rounded a bend I saw a big dog walking across the road in front of me. It took all of my willpower to leave the brake alone, accelerate to bring my center of gravity forward as I swerved, and remember the mantra: “Turn in the direction of the skid.”

Somehow I got past that dog without wrecking or ending up sideways in a ditch. After that it was easier — I got to the main highway, and although it was in bad shape, it was better than anything I’d been on before. As I went further north the snow got deeper, and the plows had left larger snowbanks on either side. The snowfall had ceased soon after I left the house, and I remember the sky clearing at sunset as I crossed the Potomac.

A trip that should have taken three hours took almost eight. I arrived at my parents’ house after dark, parked on the street, and trudged through the drifts to embrace my distraught mother.

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I stayed at my mother’s for several days and went to see my father in the hospital a few times before returning to Virginia to keep the pipes from freezing (they did freeze once during that period, but fortunately it wasn’t serious). I kept driving back and forth to Maryland every few days as my father’s condition worsened.

He had a galloping form of abdominal cancer, and it was just over three weeks from the day he was diagnosed until the day he died. He seemed resigned to his fate — his own father had died of cancer, and it was what he had always feared. He was a few years younger than I am now, and otherwise in good health. But it was his time.

He was in terrible pain for the last couple of weeks. In those days they didn’t give cancer patients opiates, so all he got was Demerol, which barely even touched the pain of what was eating away at his bowel.

I had been a few days at my mother’s house for the death vigil when the call came in at three o’clock in the morning — doesn’t it always happen at that time? — that my father had died. The following night it snowed again, this time a foot (31 cm) of the stuff. But it warmed up afterwards, and we were able to shovel the cars out and arrange the memorial service a few days later.

That winter was a rough patch for me. I was in my late twenties, so it wasn’t as bad as it would have been in, say, my teens. But, still… I hadn’t expected to lose my daddy so soon, and it was hard.

The following spring, when the weather was warm and beautiful, we carried his ashes up to Yankeeland and interred them in the family plot. As a side effect of that trip, I met Dymphna, and you all know how that turned out. But we’ll leave that for another story in another fundraiser.

There was so much snow that winter that I had no trouble finishing the painting. It turned out fairly well. When I look at now — I never attempted to sell it — a bittersweet aura hangs over it, the memory of a time that had promised to be one thing, but turned into something else.

Many years ago a good friend of mine wrote a song that included this lyric:

Jesus said it came to pass.
He didn’t say it came to stay.

I guess I’ll leave it at that.

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That’s it for our winter fundraiser. We’ll be back in the early spring to do it all over again, except the weather will probably be nicer. A big thank-you goes out to everyone who participated.

Dymphna’s Saturday Update: Nor’easter or Plain Ol’ Blizzard?

Okay, y’all, we’re rounding the curve and headed for the end of this Quarterly Fundraiser.

If you’re reading this and haven’t yet donated, please do so. Think of it as your contribution to the pushback against Ugly and Loathsome Events. We can’t prevent them yet, but we can squish ’em some. But not without your generous help. (You can use this new link.)

As long as our donors continue their largesse, we continue to avoid ads on our pages. All the majors and many of the minors are chock-a-block with scripts and moving ads now. They make my eyes jump, and Ad Block has become of limited help. On my laptop I’ve taken to using a piece of card stock to cover the ones that are distractions.

Save us from this awful fate!

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To paraphrase the Middle English round: Winter is icumen in.

All the birds have fled, but the shortest day of the year isn’t quite here yet. You can sure enough feel its cold breath on your neck, though.

Every year people predict that this here particular winter will be the worst. There are indeed some “worst” ones, but like real estate, it’s all about location, location, location. Some years we get buried repeatedly; other years we never even need our road plowed.

When I lived in North Carolina we called those rare winter storms with a foot of snow and lots of wind a “blizzard”. But when I moved to New England the term “nor’easter” was the usual designation for the white-outs into which only a fool or someone with a life-or-death situation would venture out into with his rear-wheel-drive car. Chains helped a little.

I was a snow newbie back then, so the New England designation intrigued me. In the days before the internet, the reference sections in libraries were a good place to learn. I intuited that the frenzies of snow must have something to do with the Canadian cold weather systems endemic to the area (they made for wonderful New England summers to my southern-parched soul) but it wasn’t until I read about — and remembered again — the Gulf Stream, which hugs the eastern coast and makes its way around the world, that nor’easters finally made sense. They are born of the clash between extremes of weather systems created by those two factors: the cold jet stream pushing down from Canada meets the warm waters of the Gulf Stream hugging the eastern seaboard. It makes you wonder what god the Greeks would have assigned to such titanic clashes.

Having lived through some fearsome winters, the nor’easters seemed to me to be winter hurricanes, but of course, they weren’t, not really. Hurricanes smashed houses, ripped up thousands of trees, and disappeared small towns and barrier islands. They caused the Spanish to abandon the colonization of Western Florida. Hurricanes carry their victims out to sea; nor’easters and blizzards bury them in snow. The frozen stuff is wicked, but hurricanes are evil. The Florida panhandle will be years recovering from Michael’s devastation this year. They’ll probably retire his name. And Sandy wrecked the coast along New York, not to mention the long-term damage from Katrina in 2005. New Orleans is below sea level to begin with, so that whole area is still affected more than a decade later.

The Wikipedia entry provides the simple explanation for us non-meteorologists:

Nor’easters develop in response to the sharp contrast in the warm Gulf Stream ocean current coming up from the tropical Atlantic and the cold air masses coming down from Canada. When the very cold and dry air rushes southward and meets up with the warm Gulf stream current, which is often near 70 °F (21 °C) even in mid-winter, intense low pressure develops.

In the upper atmosphere, the strong winds of the jet stream remove and replace rising air from the Atlantic more rapidly than the Atlantic air is replaced at lower levels; this and the Coriolis force help develop a strong storm. The storm tracks northeast along the East Coast, normally from North Carolina to Long Island, then moves toward the area east of Cape Cod. Counterclockwise winds around the low-pressure system blow the moist air over land. The relatively warm, moist air meets cold air coming southward from Canada. The low increases the surrounding pressure difference, which causes the very different air masses to collide at a faster speed. When the difference in temperature of the air masses is larger, so is the storm’s instability, turbulence, and thus severity.

The nor’easters taking the East Coast track usually indicates the presence of a high-pressure area in the vicinity of Nova Scotia. Sometimes a nor’easter will move slightly inland and bring rain to the cities on the coastal plain (New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, etc.) and snow in New England (Boston northward). It can move slightly offshore, bringing a wet snow south of Boston to Richmond, Virginia, or even parts of the Carolinas. Such a storm will rapidly intensify, tracking northward and following the topography of the East Coast, sometimes continuing to grow stronger during its entire existence. A nor’easter usually reaches its peak intensity while off the Canadian coast. The storm then reaches Arctic areas, and can reach intensities equal to that of a weak hurricane. It then meanders throughout the North Atlantic and can last for several weeks.

North America is a huge continent. There is no “safe space” from weather extremes. Generally, in Virginia we get weather from the west, though hurricanes are an exception; they can come up from the Gulf inland (not usually so bad, though Camille was a mortal exception) or more commonly the Atlantic versions that barrel up the coast. Not having lived through the spring and summer tornadoes of the Midwest, I’ve no great desire to experience the real thing. We have an occasional one in the summer here, but they are more likely to be short-lived, narrow micro-bursts rather than the Kansas-sized monsters that ride over the plains. Don’t you wonder how native Indians survived them? It’s not as though they had tornado cellars.

Europe is more fortunate in its climate. Snow and rain, yes, but few disasters. I always thought that might be the case, and the wiki entry above agrees:

In Europe, similar weather systems with such severity are hardly possible; the moisture content of the clouds is usually not high enough to cause flooding or heavy snow, though NE winds can be strong.

So… is Europe a meteorological safe space?? Will our snowflakes move there?

I’d say my interest in weather phenomena was a function of getting older, but the myriad ways the winds blow has always fascinated me. However, it’s much more interesting to read about events rather than live through them. Definitely a spectator sport.

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Lots of donations blew in yesterday. The B keeps careful track of their origins:

Stateside: California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee, and Virginia

Far Abroad: Hungary, New Zealand, and the UK

Canada: Newfoundland, and Ontario

Australia: Australian Capital Territory, Queensland, and Victoria

He’ll be back for the final update tomorrow.

The Baron’s Friday Update: All the Leaves Are Brown

We’ve hit a rough patch in the fundraiser.

This has happened from time to time in the past, and we’ve always weathered them before — things eventually pick up.

It’s like the snow we had on Wednesday (or the snow that’s predicted for Sunday): for a while it’s a real blizzard, and then without warning it all fades out, with just a flake or two drifting by.

The ebb and flow of donations is a stochastic process. It’s not easy to determine what causes the sudden shifts.

Maybe we should call it “Schrödinger’s Tip Jar”…?

Continue reading

Twelve Inches and Counting

UPDATE: from the weather forecast at 11:00 p.m.

Heavy snow has ended, however, periods of light snow or
freezing drizzle will continue overnight, mixed with sleet at
times. Additional snow accumulations of an inch or two, along
with a light glaze of ice.

Hope our electricity continues…

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Snow on the driveway, December 9, 2018

No, this isn’t an anatomy lesson.

That foot of snow is the level of our current snowstorm – deceptively gentle, almost no wind at all. But it’s a heavy snow and it may snap our connection to civilization, which means we won’t be able to moderate comments. Those lines coming down the mountain are probably sagging by now.

This is one we won’t be digging out of quickly but will have to wait a few days for the warmer air to bring the depth down to plowable levels (our snow man’s plow is dependable up to about six inches).

Tragedies so far: a missing snow cap and a discarded snow broom. How was I to know that raggedy ol’ thing was what the B needed because it didn’t scratch the car?

Grateful, Too, for Sunlight on the Garden

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

The future Baron is home for the holiday, and we’re going to dig into a feast a little later on in the day. But for moment I’m catching up on some work up here in the Eyrie — there are no real holidays in the Counterjihad.

Having to deal with nasty stuff all day long — and this is increasingly true of most news that comes out of Western Europe — should have made me crabbed and embittered by now. But that hasn’t happened yet: I’m sitting here in a warm, well-lit house, looking out the window at a yard covered with fallen oak leaves. There’s a dogwood by the trunk of the big oak with just a few red leaves still hanging on, lit by watery autumnal sunlight. It all induces an inexplicable sense of calm gratitude.

Thank you, Lord, for putting me here at this time and place to do this unpleasant but necessary work.

Thank you also for the many generous donors whose modest gifts keep Gates of Vienna going. (As a matter of fact, we’re a couple of weeks overdue for our Autumn Fundraiser. It should have happened by now, but circumstances — including my visit to D.C. — intervened to delay it. It will be a LATE Autumn fundraiser by the time it gets going.)

Thank you also for sending us all the tipsters, contributors, and translators who allow us to pack this blog with a cornucopia of useful information. And especially for the translators — they’re all volunteers, and they do a difficult job with cheerful aplomb and astonishing productivity.

And thank you for our readers, who pass our stuff around the Web and leave interesting additional information in our comments section.

During my last trip to D.C. I was once again surprised by the reaction of people I was meeting for the first time. I’d introduce myself and say I was in charge of the Gates of Vienna website, and they’d look surprised, and say, “Wow, so you’re the one who does all that — good to meet you.” That’s a gratifying response.

Thank you, Lord, for giving our work the breadth and reach that it has achieved.

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I’ve posted the following poem before on Thanksgiving, but that was a number of years ago, so here it is again. It was written in the late 1930s; hence its atmosphere of grim foreboding. It seems appropriate for our own time, even though the prodromal period before the 1939 cataclysm was considerably shorter than our own: our clock has been ticking for more than ten years, and we’re still counting down.

This is about gratitude in dire circumstances:

Continue reading

What I Did on my Winter Vacation

I’m calling it “winter” because the forecast calls for snow here tomorrow.

I arrived home earlier this evening (actually, it was yesterday evening, but I’ll refer to it as today, because I haven’t been to bed yet). Before I even talked to Vlad tonight, he had already been tipped to the RT video below, which shows the interruption of an event — which I attended — by a trio of social justice warriors. You can even see me in some of the footage because I was sitting in the front row, directly in front of the guy who started shouting at the congressman:

RT got the name of the event wrong, and included almost nothing of the real discussion (just a tiny bit from Tommy Robinson), so I’ll explain what it was: It was a panel discussion entitled “De-Platforming, A New Problem”, sponsored by the Middle East Forum and hosted by Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) in the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington DC. Daniel Pipes was the moderator, and in addition to Rep. Gosar, the panelists were Tommy Robinson (by video link), Anne Marie Waters of For Britain, Raheem Kassam of Breitbart London, and Ezra Levant of Rebel Media.

In one of the bitter ironies of our time, a group of lefty activists attempted to de-platform the panel of a discussion on de-platforming. In his remarks during the event, Mr. Levant referred to that type of action as “3D de-platforming” — physical disruption, noise, threats, and even violent attacks to prevent people from speaking.

Tommy couldn’t be there in person because his visa didn’t come through in time. I must emphasize that he was not denied a visa; the process simply wasn’t completed in time. The fact that Monday was a federal holiday helped make sure of that. But he and the MEF assure everyone that he will get here eventually (if the Home Secretary allows him to leave, that is).

I’ll have a lot more to say about today’s event and its interruption as soon as I get the time to write it up.

I arrived home too late to do a news feed, so there will just have to be a really big news feed tomorrow (later today).

Going Mobile

I’m taking a little road trip. I’ll be gone overnight, and will be back sometime late tomorrow.

There will be no news feed tonight, but there will probably be one tomorrow night, if I get back early enough.

The weather is ugly — cold and rainy. But the car heater works well, and I have plenty of tunes for the road.

Beep beep… Over 50…

Getting an Eyeful…

…Of medicine for macular degeneration — that’s what I’ve been doing today. I had my bi-monthly appointment with the retinologist this afternoon, and received another injection in my left eye.

Today’s injection, unlike the previous two, brought with it the Dancing Air Bubble, which always makes recuperation take a little longer. It’s kind of like “follow the dancing ball”, only you can’t follow it — when your eye moves, the ball goes with it.

That’s why posting has been light today. There will, however, be a news feed before bedtime.

Apropos of nothing: while I was out today, I saw a bumper sticker (pink background, black foreground) with two stylized cats and this text: “The Pussy Whisperer”.

God Was Vexed, and Gave All Power to Michael*

We should have put a storm notice up yesterday afternoon, but we were too lazy — Dymphna and I scamped our duties. And then Hurricane Michael dropped by the southeastern Piedmont and laid us low.

The center of the storm passed by quite a ways to the south of us, somewhere in North Carolina. However, it sent a long writhing arm our way, and we were lashed with wind (not too much) and rain (a lot — six inches [16 cm]). We were lucky: we didn’t lose our electricity, but many thousands of others did. There are still wide swaths of Central Virginia without power tonight.

Our Internet connection gave out in the late afternoon, however, and stayed off for more than 24 hours. The torrential rain must have seeped into the equipment and shorted out the transverse hypertonic fimbrilator or something. Or maybe a family of raccoons escaped the high water, gnawed their way through the wall of the server box, and made a nice comfy dry nest inside on top of the digital switching unit.

Anyway, that’s why we disappeared for a day. Dymphna is approving your comments even as I type this. I’ll merge last night’s news feed material with tonight’s, and I prepared several posts and queued them up, waiting until the Intertubes were fixed. Maybe I’ll enlist the younger raccoons to help me put them up quickly…

*   The title is a reference to this poem by Wilfred Owen:

Soldier’s Dream

I dreamed kind Jesus fouled the big-gun gears;
And caused a permanent stoppage in all bolts;
And buckled with a smile Mausers and Colts;
And rusted every bayonet with His tears.

And there were no more bombs, of ours or theirs,
Not even an old flint-lock, nor even a pikel.
But God was vexed, and gave all power to Michael;
And when I woke he’d seen to our repairs.

 

Having and Not Having

Under heaven all can see beauty as beauty only because there is ugliness.
All can know good as good only because there is evil. *

This is a meditation on the vagaries of time as instanced on this, the 14th anniversary of Gates of Vienna. It is also a contemplation of the tensions that surround any notion of goodness, beauty or truth. At least these are my beginning intentions, but bear in mind that essays are ornery critters. They are often heedless of their author’s aims, developing their own signification.

We’ll see what transpires, eh?

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What began as an intellectual distraction from the deep grief due to my daughter’s sudden death has changed gradually into a pilgrimage of sorts; we’re marching to the end, wherever that is. Picking up fellow-travelers along the way, we’ll journey on until Fate intervenes. Some may stay for the entire trip while others drop out as their interests shift. Not everyone can abide the effluvial current that underlies our reality. I certainly can’t.

The often sad and tragic stories we’ve collected over the last fourteen years may be a reflection of a downward spiral of Western civilization as we understand it. How could it be otherwise with the twined efforts of Islam and its fellow-travelling radical socialists? That the former will devour the latter while the mindless sing “Kumbaya” is one possible fate to be contemplated. The coda to that song is probably “Imagine” as sung by China’s National Choir.

But wait! What is that we hear whispering in the wings, waiting to appear? Could it be the muffled voices of a new conservative-populist alliance rising in tentative unison throughout the post-globalist post-empire? They comprise a new chorus rightfully beginning to take themselves seriously as they enter stage right.

Much like the Christian Reformation (credited to Luther, but not possible without the simultaneous populist religious uprisings across Europe), should widespread changes occur, there will be counterattacks, but eventually… if history is any example…

There are severe limits built into the present socialist ethos, where no greater sin than “racism” is possible, nor any greater virtue than “tolerance”. No doubt there will be similar transgressions in the post-secular age. Pray they do not become mirror images of the old sins. Otherwise we will move from chaotic socialism to rigid authoritarianism in our restless search for ontological certainty.

Here’s the thing: Our knowledge of reality has outpaced our ability to digest and comprehend that reality. The human mind flees from ambiguity, is often unwilling or unable to stand in the face of doubt, even if that stance leads eventually to understanding and wisdom. Thus did science and religion draw swords against one another. Yet working together they could inform a far greater comprehension than presently exists.

Will we have the courage to say “who knows?” and wait to see what happens? It takes great patience to wait to see what floats up from the abyss.

The psychiatrist Eric Berne came of age in a time when all American men served in the military. During his stint, Berne created a questionnaire for soldiers he encountered, and from that survey of a cross-section of young American men he created two perceptual categories, two temperaments. He called them Farmers and Mechanics.**

Farmers are those who know they cannot control the greater forces of weather events or pestilence that ultimately affect their crops. While they weed and cultivate, they wait to see what happens. Mechanics are fixers. Things can always be improved or invented out of whole cloth. Though Berne never said so, Farmers are dependent on Mechanics for the inventions that have made their livelihood far easier. But then, Mechanics need to eat, so there you go — another necessary interdependence.

To judge by the comment threads, most of our readers are Mechanics, methinks, though there is an admixture of folk who are content to observe what is, without demanding that anything be “fixed”. Sometimes there simply is no fixing for lies, evil or ugliness. Not in this world; but in the next, who knows?

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Trouble With the Intertubes

We’re having trouble with our home network — specifically, the wireless router. The problem is intermittent for the moment, but we may have outages from time to time until I get a long enough Ethernet cable to reach the desktop. Then I can maybe replace the modem…

Anyway, if you find nothing is happening here for a while, and your comments aren’t getting approved, that’s probably why.

Sturm Und Drang

The long drought is over!*

We’re having thunder and lightning and wind and heavy rain right now, and you all know what that means: our Internet connectivity could be flushed away without warning at any moment. So if we disappear from view for a while, you’ll know why.

It could also be full of sound and fury, but signifying nothing — you just never know.

*   Residents of the Piedmont and coastal areas in these parts understand the irony in that statement. We haven’t gone more than 36 hours without rain in the past two months. The rivers are swollen and the ground is sodden. We’ve had at least fifteen inches (40 cm) of rain since the beginning of September, which is probably four times the average for the whole month.

I can’t imagine what those folks in coastal South Carolina are going through right now.
 

Gremlin Attack

Late last night, when I was just starting to put together the news feed, our Internet connection was suddenly attacked by gremlins. Or it may have been djinns, or even kobolds — I get all those species of imps confused.

Anyway, our Internet connection mysteriously disappeared. There was no wind, no lightning, no rain, no ice storm — nothing that you would expect to affect the connection. Maybe a skunk sprayed the phone company’s server box. Who knows?

We waited awhile to see if it would come back, and then gave up and went to bed.

That’s why there was no news feed last night. Rather than try to compile it this morning, I decided to collect any material left over from yesterday and put it into one big news feed, which will be posted tonight.

If the gremlins don’t come back.

Eyeballing It

I went to the retinologist today to have my eyes scanned and get an injection in my left eye to prevent further damage from wet macular degeneration. The doctor said the scan looked good, with no indication of any further vascular eruptions, so I can go seven weeks this time before I get the next one.

It’s somewhat difficult to work at the screen right now, so posting will be light this evening. To tide you over until I get back up to speed, here’s a recording of a lovely young lady named Elisabet Wimark playing the “Little Fugue” in G minor (BWV 578) by Johann Sebastian Bach on the organ in Sollentuna Church in the suburbs of Stockholm (recorded and edited by Anders Söderlund).

This is possibly the most exquisite piece ever composed by Bach. It’s short, and densely packed with the fully-developed counterpoint at which the composer was so adept. This isn’t the best rendition of the Little Fugue that I’ve ever heard, but it’s fully competent, especially for an organist so young:

I chose this performance for a couple of reasons:

1.   You can see the organist’s hands and feet clearly and thus get a feeling for how the piece she is playing is structured; and
2.   Sweden is facing an important historical moment in the parliamentary election coming up next Sunday.
 

This is to remind our readers that there is another Swedish culture — a civilization, if you will — besides the lunatic asylum that we see in the news reports featuring metastasized feminism, rampaging political correctness, and an absolute surrender to aggressive immigrant invaders.

That other Sweden exists. It trained and mentored this young woman (in a church, of all places). It appreciates her work and comes to listen to her performances. She’s far from alone; just do a YouTube search on J.S. Bach’s organ works and you’ll find dozens of Swedish organists right there alongside the Germans, the Dutch, the French, and the Hungarians.

That other Swedish civilization may well be in its death throes. Its citizens may be largely unaware of what is about to happen to their country, which makes their plight even more poignant. So we should do all we can to celebrate and promote the existence of that other Sweden.

For the next few days — before, during, and after the election — I’ll ask readers to refrain from nasty, spiteful comments about Sweden and Swedes, as if they could all be lumped together as simulacra of Mona Sahlin and Fredrik Reinfeldt. They aren’t all like that, obviously. And we do them an injustice when we talk about them that way.

If we are witnessing the death of a civilization, we should pause to remember Sweden-That-Was, because that is what is in the process of being destroyed.

And don’t forget: Sweden isn’t fundamentally different from the rest of the West. It’s just a little further down the primrose path that leads to the Multicultural Utopia. We’re all on that same shining path, not far behind all those Swedes skipping gaily towards a doom they can’t even recognize.