Tommy’s Family Authorizes Fund-Raising

Rebel Media has been authorized by Tommy’s family (including his mum and wife) to raise funds for his new lawyers.

Here is the brief video, including the website for contributions. There is also a snail mail address for those who prefer not to use online payments.

The last part – what to do with any monies left if he is killed – is sad but clear.

This initiative will probably be on-going until they know he’s out of danger.

By the way, what is being done to Tommy has already been described by the EU Constitution. For a country that supposedly wants to leave the EU, that is creepy.

“Brexit”, my gluteus maximus.

A Safe Return, Hail-Dented But Intact

I arrived home late last night after attending a family event, a relaxed but very hot outdoor gathering in a Deep Southern state. I was able to talk to some relatives I haven’t seen in many years — which was nice, but also disconcerting. For instance, a young lady I last saw when she was about fourteen is now forty, married with a couple of half-grown kids. How strange!

The trip down there and the return trip home were both long and unpleasant. I noticed that Dymphna mentioned in the comments my predilection for “shun-piking”, but that’s only practicable for journeys of 250 miles or less. This trip was much too long for that. I hate interstate driving, but the interstate was unavoidable for last weekend’s journey. Theoretically, it should have taken seven to eight hours each way using a combination of major highways and interstates, but it took much longer than that, both coming and going.

Going down there I hit major construction during rush hour, and did one of those horrible bumper-to-bumper creeps for about thirty miles — the kind of thing that makes travel on the interstate so much fun. It added about an hour and a half to the trip.

So I decided to take an alternate route home, through the mountains. Yes, it’s longer, but it surely can’t take any more time than the other route, can it?

Wrong!

The home stretch of the return trip was up Interstate 81, crossing into Virginia at Bristol. After I passed Marion, signs started flashing that said both lanes were closed due to an accident at mile marker 93. So I started watching the mile markers, and at about MM89 traffic slowed down and then stopped. As it happened, my car became motionless right next to an exit ramp, so I peeled off there and turned right at the stop sign, intending to go east and then north and eventually make my way past the blockage and get back on I81.

Even though I was still a long way from home, I was in an area of Virginia that I know pretty well, so I didn’t have to worry about getting lost. However, I didn’t reckon on the weather. I had watched the storm ahead of us get closer as I came up 81, but I didn’t know the accident that closed the road had had something to do with the weather.

A few minutes into the back country the nature of the storm suddenly became clear. With almost no warning — just a few splats of big drops beforehand — a torrential downpour began. It was like driving under a waterfall. And immediately the hail hit with equal ferocity. I didn’t stop, so I couldn’t really assess the size of the hailstones, but when they broke up on the windshield they looked like they must have been about the size of ice cubes. The sound of them was like gravel being poured out of a dump truck onto the roof of the car.

I was on a winding mountain road with no visible shoulder to stop on, so I kept creeping along, slowing down to 15mph in the worst of it, with visibility of maybe fifty feet or so. The people behind me did the same, except for one impatient fool who passed us doing about forty. I hope he got home OK.

The hail quit after about ten minutes, but the waterfall continued for a while afterwards, so it was slow going. When I came to a main road, I turned left, and not long after that the rain let up. I eventually arrived back at the interstate at Christiansburg. By then the sun had come out. I noticed the flashing signs at the southbound ramp said both lanes were closed at MM93. So for all I know, despite my massive detour through the deluge, I may have still been in front of those poor folks who had been stuck in the backup ahead of me when I left at that exit ramp.

For anyone who’s interested, there are brief articles about what closed I81 here and here. Apparently a tractor trailer jackknifed, and I’ll bet anything it was during the same horrific hailstorm that I was driving through just a little later.

So that’s why I was a couple of hours late getting home last night, and also why I didn’t try to throw together a news feed post before I went to bed.

P.S. The car doesn’t really have any dents from hailstones; the title is mere literary license on my part. This wasn’t real hail like they have out in the Midwest or the Rockies. It was wussy stuff in comparison. But it’s still the worst hailstorm I’ve ever personally experienced.

In the Wind

I’m heading out for a couple of days. While I’m away, there will be no news feed.

It’s not a funeral this time, but rather a pleasant family event. I’ll be driving a long way to see some people I haven’t seen in a number of years.

Dymphna will be holding the fort. Y’all behave yourselves while I’m gone.

We’re Not Dead, Just Doing the Backstroke…

Our internet connection failed sometime Saturday night. It was the culmination of a week-long community event, with lashings of rain turning this plateau into a swamp.

All that water eventually moved down toward the river, leaving behind drowned server boxes (or whatever they’re called, those boxes dotting the landscape here and there, some of which can be seen from the road). Whatever genius designed this beta model of internet via phone lines planted those boxes smack dab on the ground, thus ensuring heavy rain would drown them. At least that’s what we suspect.

So we can keep our phone service during heavy rains… but the internet goes down in the deluge.

“How much water?” you ask. About five inches in the course of two days or so. But before that, it had been raining steadily for a week so; by Friday the runoff was impeded by the previous soaking. That box just drowned for a while.

[Due to some other glitch, we were without phone service for five days last week…yes, we’re a captive audience out here, ain’t no competition to improve this system. Satellite internet is too unreliable and expensive. The electric cooperative is working on a version that would come through their wires, but what with lines failing due to snow accumulation or trees falling on them, they go out of service right much during the winter, so probably not.]

We did try to have someone log on here and leave a notice, but our proxy firewall prevented their access. And also prevented the bad guys from using us for target practice while we were outside in our wellies, measuring the rainfall.

Anyway, we’re baaack! The sun is shining as though that grey wet week never happened.

Thanks for your patience, dear readers.

Ocular, Not Jocular

I went to the retinologist’s today to get a shot in my left eye, the latest in a series of treatments for last month’s flare-up of wet macular degeneration.

It’s not fun, granted. But the symptoms receded a few days after the first shot, and haven’t recurred. So all I have to do is endure one more in a series of monthly injections, and then the doctor will assess whether I need any more, or can have a break for a while.

My eye is sore, but I feel pretty good, all things considered.

Rain, Rain…

It’s been beastly hot here for the last few days and now we’re facing several days of severe thunderstorms…this current system starts in Washington D.C. and goes all the way down to south central Virginia. Lots of warnings about trees and wind and flooding.

Which means we may lose our power more permanently (it’s been flickering off and on) when the brunt of it hits here…

…so y’all know the drill: if it looks as if the lights are on and no one is home, the situation will be exactly opposite: we’ll be home sans electricity.

So leave your comments, they will see the light as soon as we do.

A Special Request

For those of you who enjoyed El Inglés’ recent essays, I have a special request: that you make a contribution to him for his work.

The easiest way would be PayPal but many of you don’t use PP. Thus, I propose a work-around for those donors, also.

 

For any who can’t (or won’t) use PayPal, we’ll take on the challenge of making sure your donations sent via snail mail reach him. This will be roundabout, since you’ll have to contact us for our address and we, in turn, will have to forward any donations that come in this way. That means we’ll be collecting them, letting you know your gift arrived and then making a PayPal donation directly to El Ingles in a lump sum… or several lumpish amounts.

Given the level of comments on his posts, I am sure many of you are willing to contribute a modest sum to permit him to continue his modest mode of living.

From the man himself:

I would like to express my thanks to all those who have participated in the discussion prompted by the threepart essay I recently posted. I have read most of the many comments, spread across various threads, that people have been kind enough to contribute. The discussion they constitute is too long and complex for me to respond to coherently here and now. Nonetheless, I would like to express my gratitude to those who have engaged intellectually with what I wrote.

If you feel that the essay in question, or, indeed, any of my other essays, has been of value to you, I would ask you again to consider making a small donation to my social welfare fund via the PayPal link on this page. All donations are appreciated and will make it more likely that El Inglés will produce further writings in the future. Again, my thanks to those who contributed to the discussion of my essay, whether they agreed with it, disagreed with it, or, as is more probable, were somewhere in the middle…

Alfie Evans and the Lethal Sympathy of Bioethics

This is a mirror of an essay from the website Studio Matters. Her questions concern the so-called “vegetative state” and at what point we may deem that any human being’s life is “unworthy of life”.

Maureen Mullarkey interweaves her writing with works of art which strikingly embellish and underline her points. Except for the first piece, the art she chose has been omitted to encourage readers to visit her page. As with all her essays, her choices of illustration reveal a thoroughgoing knowledge of art and its power to illuminate moral questions.

Alfie Evans is dead. Deemed unfit, the child was sentenced to death by dehydration and suffocation. We shun the term life unworthy of life but embrace its content. We mask the odor of it with smiling phrases like “end of life care,” cruel details dismissed in the “best interest” of the patient sacrificed to force of law. The act of killing is rephrased in the argot of compassion.

Language loosens constraint from the annihilation of life judged undeserving of the means to sustain it. With that language comes a sea-change in moral discernment. Our experts — lawyers, policy makers, opinion shapers, hospital administrators, doctors as well — have learned their phrases from the relatively new discipline of bioethics. It is the mental and moral vocabulary of bioethicists that provided the rationalizations at work in the sorrowful odyssey of Alfie Evans.

The lethal sympathy of bioethical theorizing has insinuated itself even into the conscience of clergy. British bishops, as a body, assented to those rationalizations. They wrung their hands but did not question the law’s refusal to permit Alfie’s parents to take their son out of the country. Not a single bishop demurred. While the child defied his sentence by breathing without life support, the bishops stayed safe and silent in their cathedrals. Worse, they challenged Bambino Gesu hospital to justify its offer to care for Alfie on medical grounds — as if clinical opinion trumped the morality their priesthood was pledged to protect:

It is for that hospital to present to the British Courts, where crucial decisions in conflicts of opinion have to be taken, the medical reasons for an exception to made in this case.

Required reading on the steady diminution of the ancient ideals embedded in the Hippocratic oath is “Annihilating Terri Schiavo,” a 2006 essay in Commentary by Paul McHugh, M.D., former director of psychiatry at John Hopkins. His early warning has gone unheeded:

“Contemporary bioethics has become a natural ally of the culture of death, but the culture of death itself is a perennial human temptation; for onlookers in particular, it offers a reassuring answer… to otherwise excruciating dilemmas, and it can be rationalized every which way till Sunday… The more this culture continues to influence our thinking, the deeper are likely to become the divisions within our society and within our families, the more hardened our hatreds, and the more manifold our fears.”

Looking ahead, he concluded: “More of us will die prematurely; some of us will even be persuaded that we want to.”

[McHugh’s essay is one of others on the limits of psychiatry collected in The Mind Has Mountains. The book is as pertinent today as when it was written.]

Simon Lancaster, writing in The Spectator, UK, spotlighted the term vegetative state. This was the wording at the core of Alfie Evans’ state-mandated extinction:

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The Migration to BitChute

As most of you know, Vlad’s entire YouTube channel was recently sent to YouTube jail with a two-week sentence. And he’s not the only “extreme right” channel owner to be hit with Google’s latest repressive measures. As a result, a number of people are making the move to BitChute, which (so far) does not pull videos for political reasons, or copyright violations, or any other reason that I know of

Below is Vlad’s account of how BitChute works, and how users can help it work more smoothly and efficiently. I’m one of the low-bandwidth users that Vlad talks about — I have to use a tin can and a piece of string to connect to the Internet — so I can’t take part in the torrenting project that he describes. But it’s an interesting and useful way to get around the increasing level of Internet censorship by the Big Guys.

BitChute Videos

From Vlad Tepes

As some of you have noticed, YouTube have disallowed us from uploading to our channel on that company’s servers for a couple of weeks, and under questionable grounds, as the same video that caused the objection was copied by many MSM sources and uploaded to theirs without consequence.

So we have turned to where the last 8 months worth of our videos are archived already, Bitchute.com

BitChute is much more than a different server; it is a different technology altogether.

It uses the old, but excellent, concept of ‘bit torrenting’. Many of you here understand this better than I do, so please feel free to offer links or your own explanations in the comments. I would like to know more myself actually. Also please correct any errors I may make in my own form of explanation by analogy.

The idea is, 10 people want to have a copy of the NYC phone book. Each person gets a cover, and one person has the book. That person copies page 1, and sends it to one person, who copies it and sends it to a few others, and the whole thing is done so that each person does the least possible amount of copying and sending as is mathematically possible given the number of people who want it and the number of people who have it.

People who want it and do not send out parts themselves, I believe are called, “leachers” and those who are sharing it and have a substantial portion of it are called “peers”.

This can end up being VERY fast and often is better than streaming to people with poor connections. But this depends on the number of people sending.

How can individuals help?

BitChute appears to work like YouTube, but it doesn’t, really. It depends on us to share the videos ourselves. The consequence is, people who live in rural areas and have poor internet find that they can sometimes have a difficult experience with BitChute videos.

Someone I work closely with on a lot of projects all the time is in this situation. He has found that recently it works better than it used to because more people are watching the videos at once.

This is of course the opposite of YouTube, where the more people who watch a video the more demand on their resources. With BitChute, the more who are watching it, the more sources there are.

So all of us can help in a few ways. Some browsers are more friendly with BitChute than others. At the moment I am liking Brave. And the reason is that you can click the little magnet at the bottom right of any video, if you are watching it at the BitChute page, and it will open a tab asking if you want to torrent it. This makes you part of the solution, and makes it easier for others to see it. The cost to you if you have a broadband connection with high or unlimited internet, is zero.

Many people have written me to ask how to send a link out for the video to others directly.

This turns out to be easier than I thought. If you click on the top left of the video where it says “BitChute” it will actually take you through to the video page where that video is and will continue streaming from that point exactly like clicking on the words, “YouTube” on an embedded video and it brings you to that video on YT. You can then grab the video URL from the browser address bar as you would any other link.

Please let me know if there are other issues or questions and I will try and address them. I will also edit or change this document for accuracy as information becomes available to me. At some point I may add it to the sidebar so its always available to people to understand how this works.

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The Eyes of the World

Well, I went almost four years without having to get a needle in my eye. That’s a pretty good run.

As most of you know, five years ago I developed a case of wet macular degeneration in my left eye. For more than a year after that I had to undergo the treatments for it, which consisted of periodic injections in my eyeball. That regimen worked very well, so that the condition improved and eventually stabilized.

But I always knew it was likely to flare up again someday, and last week it did. I noticed the telltale signs — expanding concentric areas of discoloration that resemble a visual afterimage — in the scar left by the earlier damage. So on Friday I made an appointment for this afternoon to see the retinologist.

The good news is that I caught it early, and in all likelihood I’ll only have to endure a few repetitions of the injections before it stabilizes again. I go back in a month to get another scan and a shot, and the doctor will see how things look then.

The bad news is that my vision is still pretty messed up from the dilation, the scanner with the horribly bright flashing lights, and the shot. I’m having a hard time seeing the screen clearly, so posting will be light this evening.

I’ll probably post at least one subtitled video before bedtime. And I heard about the vehicular jihad in Toronto, which happened just before I left for the doctor.

A Report From the Dead Letter Office

We’ve only had one additional thank-you note bounce since our recent fundraiser. This one was sent to a repeat (recidivist?) donor in Alberta.

I know that Alberta is in the heart of the Frozen North, but I don’t think emails are delivered by dogsled, even up there. So who knows what went wrong?

Anyway, if you’re in Alberta, and didn’t get a bread-and-butter note this time, it’s because something is amiss in the Intertubes.

Everywhere But Antarctica

…Well, that’s what it feels like when I see all those diverse geographical locales in the PayPal notices as they come in.

During the recent fundraiser, donors came from the following places*:

Stateside: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington

Near Abroad: Canada and the Dominican Republic

Far Abroad: Austria, Croatia, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Kuwait, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, Thailand, and the UK

Canada: Alberta, Newfoundland, Ontario, and Saskatchewan

Australia: Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Queensland, Tasmania, and Victoria

Many thanks to all who donated. We’ll be back sometime in the long, hot summer.

* Note: I haven’t collected all the snail-mail yet, so some places may be missing from the list.

Did I Miss the Fundraiser?

This post was a “sticky” feature that was first published on April 2 and was on top for a week. Scroll down for more recent posts, including the first part of an essay on the AfD by Hans-Peter Raddatz, a fake ID scam at the Nigerian embassy in Rome, Viktor Orbán’s election victory in Hungary, a thwarted terror attack in Berlin, a Russian report on Malmö, and Algerians busted for gang-rape in Prague.

Spring Fundraiser 2018, Day Seven

Update from the Baron: Gratitude

This is the final update for this week-long fundraiser. Tomorrow morning I’ll take this post off “sticky”, and it will gradually scroll down the page and into the archives of oblivion.

Tip jarAt the end of this quarterly bleg, I feel a profound sense of gratitude. Gratitude that it’s over at last — Fundraising Week is a grueling, sleep-deprived time — but more than that, I’m profoundly grateful that so many readers have shown up to indicate their generosity by hitting the tip cup on our sidebar.

[If you haven’t yet made that cup clink yet, there’s still time! It’s just to the left of me here; you can’t miss it.]

Our theme this week has been Virtue, and since last Monday we have discussed various virtues, in our own idiosyncratic meandering fashion.

Gratitude is a virtue, to my mind. Or more fully: maintaining a sense of gratitude as one’s basic approach to this veil of tears we were born into. Remembering that every moment is a gift from the Lord, in all its glory and fullness.

It’s difficult to maintain a sense of gratitude on a routine, quotidian basis. I know I struggled with it for decades, but mostly failed. What changed my attitude fully and finally, however, was the onset of wet macular degeneration in my left eye, which happened just over five years ago.

Those first few weeks were horrible. I had to fashion a makeshift patch to put over the left lens of my glasses, to keep the ugly, animated blob in the middle of my vision from interfering with my work and my daily routine. Reading anything, but especially the printed page, became a nightmare if my left eye remained uncovered.

It’s my habit to make coffee using our espresso machine when I first wake up in the morning. Normally I’m by myself when I do it, which is good, because I love mornings, and being able to enjoy the quiet smell of coffee and the light through the kitchen window gets my day off to a good start.

During that grim time in March and April of 2013, I noticed that my eye wasn’t bothering me much during the coffee-making ritual. I didn’t wear the patch then, because I didn’t have to read anything. And I could just kind of drink in the colors of things, and the reflections from the window, and the pleasure of executing the small tasks involved with making coffee happen.

And I was content.

A calm settled over me, and I was grateful for what I had, what was in front of me. Not angry that my field of vision would go SPROING! whenever I turned to look at something complex or patterned. Not resentful that ill-fortune had sabotaged my eyes.

Just glad that I could still see the early green of spring peeping through the window, and watch the reflections dance on the water in the pitcher in front of me.

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