Another Updated Locations List of Donors to the Fundraiser

More snail-mail donations have come in since I last posted a list of places for people who contributed to the recent fundraiser. One of those was from Wisconsin, and another from New Brunswick, and those places hadn’t appeared on the list before. Here’s the updated roster:

Stateside: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming

Far Abroad: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, Thailand, and the UK

Canada: Alberta, British Columbia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Ontario, and Saskatchewan

Australia: Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Victoria, and Western Australia

There have also been donations from Wales and Scotland (but not Ulster). I haven’t broken up the UK (yet), so those don’t show.

An Updated Locations List for Donors to the Fundraiser

Dymphna and I have been cranking out the thank-you notes to people who donated during last week’s fundraiser. A donor from WYOMING wrote back to let us know that his state didn’t appear in the list of locations. He asked us to post a revised list that includes WYOMING, so here goes:

Stateside: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Washington, and Wyoming

Far Abroad: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, Thailand, and the UK

Canada: Alberta, British Columbia, Newfoundland, Ontario, and Saskatchewan

Australia: Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Victoria, and Western Australia

It seems that our Wyoming donor — who has been kindly giving to Gates of Vienna for a number of years —previously lived in other states (also way out West), and I had inadvertently picked up one of those states from the record of an earlier donation.

ALSO: My email to another long-time donor bounced this morning. The server at the other end notified me that it would keep trying for 72 hours, and it did; then three days later the final bounce message came in.

So if you’re a long-time (12 years!) donor who lives in Alberta and didn’t get a thank-you note, that may be the reason. I’ve used the same email address every time, but for some reason it didn’t work this time.

Taking a Breather

Most of you already know that we just wrapped up our summer fundraiser. As promised, here is the final tally of places from which donations came:

Stateside: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, North Dakota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington

Far Abroad: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, Thailand, and the UK

Canada: Alberta, British Columbia, Newfoundland, Ontario, and Saskatchewan

Australia: Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Victoria, and Western Australia

The amount was a little thinner than usual, but we’ll definitely have enough to squeeze by for another three months. And the number of gifts was considerably higher than it normally is, with a lot of first-time donors in addition to the usual suspects. There were just lots of modest donations, and those add up. The turnout pleased me, because it means we have a robust, distributed funding base.

Anyway, now I can relax for a few hours, and maybe catch up on my sleep…

Dymphna and I are very grateful to you all for your generosity, both the recidivists and the first-timers.

Pennies From Heaven, For a Whole Week

This post was first posted on July 30 and was a “sticky” feature for a week. Scroll down for more recent posts, including death threats for a Dutch Muslim mayor, the latest repression of the Copts in Egypt, coverage of Tommy Robinson by the Hungarian media, “cuddly justice” in Germany, a report on Muslims in northeastern India who are being made stateless, and last night’s news feed.

Summer Fundraiser 2018, Day Seven

Dymphna’s Sunday Update: What Is Love’s Worth?

Okay, y’all. Time to step up to the plate and hit one out of the park. Inflation will be here any minute (or so they tell us), so might as well part with your denarii while they’re still meaningful, right? That’s one way of looking at twisting your arm.

[Here’s the new direct PayPal link.]

Tip jarAs we come to the final day of the Summer Fundraiser, it’s good to see a mixture of new people among the old faithfuls (and some not so old, just enduring contributors). Our golden oldies’ contributions are heartening, and the newbies encourage us to believe that despite the Baron’s decrepitude, we’re still putting subjects and predicates together in a way that’s meaningful. Me? I’m Gates of Vienna emeritus.

I am also encouraged that our reach remains global. Two people in Virginia wielding keyboards on a less-than-speedy connection can still find Aussies and Kiwis and Eastern Europeans, plus the more ‘usual’ folk who’ve always come here. When we begin seeing new donors from New York City (as we have this time) we know we’re hitting all the right notes.

Or maybe they’re saying, “All right, shut up already.”

I will make a promise to all our donors: when any given quarter meets the previous quarter’s goal (plus inflation), we’ll quit at that point. I’ve realized it doesn’t need to be a whole week if our goals have been met. And yes, the B has spreadsheets galore to show me comparisons from previous quarters any way you care to slice it. He’s the numbers guy. But successful or not (and we always have been so far), when it’s over it’s over. We close up our sideshow and get back to whatever atrocity awaits all of us.

[But before we close entirely, it is always my great pleasure to send Vlad Tepes our quarterly tithe. The subject line is “Funny Munny” and I always admonish him not to spend it all in one place. Yeah, he thinks I’m real amusing… The funniest part is that he never remembers that we’re in the process of our quarterly, so the PayPal donation always surprises him. I like dependable people, and Vlad is definitely that, in more ways than I could name.]

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The song I chose for my final Fundraiser update has a back story. Be patient; the nuances are complicated.

When I was five years old, I went to live in a girls’ “home”. St. Mary’s Orphanage was set up after the Influenza Epidemic of 1918, but by the time I arrived generations later, it had long since morphed into an institution for girls whose parents couldn’t keep them for one reason or another. It was the end of May when I got to St. Mary’s and it would be five years before I went home for good in August of the year I magically turned ten. Ten is the legal age for being a latchkey kid.

Yes, it was a long, long time, but it was the best my mother could do in the circumstances. As an immigrant, she wasn’t entitled to welfare. As a middle-class Irish woman, I don’t know if she could have borne the (self-inflicted) humiliation, but the law precluded her having to make that choice. And by the time she put me in Saint Mary’s we’d been through nightmares of temporary placements.

Back then, Florida had a small Catholic population at somewhat less than two percent. The nuns and priests were mostly from Ireland: what American would live in Florida’s climate and what Irish clergy/nuns could resist the temptation of living in America? So they came and suffered. Thus the majority of professed religious people I knew growing up sounded more or less like my mother. The few times I heard an American accent coming from one of them, I was certain they weren’t kosher.

St. Mary’s was part of the city parish which served Catholics mostly of Italian descent, and, during the week, working people who dropped in for daily Mass on their lunch hour. There was a school going all the way to 12th grade for the whole parish not just St. Mary’s, and a church with the number of priests needed for a full regimen of Masses, plus a rectory to house the priests. The teaching nuns from the school lived at St. Mary’s and took their turns raising us while they were at it. This whole plant took up a square block.

When I was six, a Dublin-born priest came to live at the rectory. I thought of Father Doyle as quite elderly, but that didn’t turn out to be the case. When you’re six, most adults look old. At any rate, he took a particular shine to me because I was so obviously Irish to the bone — to the freckle, that is, many of which dotted my face and arms. Like my mother, Father Doyle was Dublin-born-and-bred. Like my mother, he enjoyed making me laugh — I was usually searching for a reason to laugh. I was a perfect audience.

Father Doyle found out my weakness for Waldorf salad, so he’d have the rectory housekeeper fix it for me. Oh, heaven! The nuns, of course, didn’t approve of this “special” relationship, but a priest outranks a nun, so there you go: Waldorf salad on Wednesdays after school. And Saint Valentine’s Day cards with little girls with freckles on the front. [No, there wasn’t any funny stuff. Just a lonely old man homesick and longing for home but unable to afford the fare, so I was the substitute.]

The good father liked American popular music, though he was a better listener than performer, but his lack of talent wasn’t an impediment. He’d often sing along with the Big Girls (any girl over the age of ten was officially a Big Girl). Back then, genres weren’t so rigid as they are now; “country” music and “pop” were played on the same stations. One song he used to sing to me was “If I Had a Nickel”. He only ever sang the first few lines, since they were the most entertaining.

One cold, overcast morning — January 18th, to be precise — the nuns told us in chapel that Father Doyle had died in his sleep during the night. I was inconsolable for days. Not all the threats of punishments could quell my tears. No threats they could devise compared with my utterly bereft sense of loss. Children are resilient and eventually I quieted, but I never forgot Father Doyle. Every January 18th I recall our brief friendship, healing on both sides. He was only forty-seven when he died, and it would be many years before I considered that “too young”.

The first two lines of his song stayed with me, too, but it wasn’t until the advent of YouTube that I found the song, in its earliest versions:

If you read the comments on that song, you’ll notice that many people came looking for it because they remembered its fragments the same way: a song their father or grandfather sang, one they thought had been made up especially for them. It is a child’s song, I think, because of its simplicity.

I’ll bet each of my children remember that song. I sang it to them as babies — it makes a good lullaby. Maybe that’s why some of them became musicians?

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Saturday’s denarii arrived from:

Stateside: Hawaii, Massachusetts, North Dakota, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Texas, and Virginia

Far Abroad: New Zealand, Sweden, and the UK

Canada: British Columbia and Ontario

That’s it for the Summer Fundraiser! Sometime tomorrow the Baron will include an overall summary in the wrap-up post.

Summer Fundraiser 2017, Day Five

The Baron’s Saturday Update: I shoulda learned to play them drums

This was supposed to be Dymphna’s update, but she’s feeling poorly this morning, so I’m filling in. Part of the reason for her indisposition is Tommy Robinson’s situation — since she suffers from PTSD, Tommy’s suffering resonates with her to the point that her symptoms flare up.

For today’s money-themed video, I’m using the one she would have posted herself if she were well enough. But before I get to that, I’ll recapitulate what we’re doing here for readers who had to work all week and are just checking in for the first time this weekend.

This is our quarterly effort to wheedle you into donating money to help keep this site alive for three more months. Inflation is a scourge: what began as “Pennies from Heaven” on Monday became dollars by midweek, and they’re now twenties, as can be seen from the graphic at the top of this post. What will the image be tomorrow…?

[An aside: During the reign of Hussein it was announced that Andrew Jackson’s gloomy mug was to be removed from the twenty-dollar bill and replaced with the face of some politically correct chick of color — Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Maya Angelou, somebody like that. Does anyone know what became of that innovation? Obviously Mr. Trump will not be replacing Mr. Jackson anytime soon. But maybe The Donald was able to put the brakes on the Modern Multicultural $20 Bill.]

Anyway, your job is to drop a Trump or two (or six! Live dangerously) into the tip cup on our sidebar. Or, if you prefer, you can use this new direct PayPal link.

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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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Attention Donors!

Well, two of you to be precise. Our thank-you notes have bounced:

A new donor from New Jersey, whose email address as shown on PayPal rebounded back to us.

The second is a long-time donor from New Zealand, whose email address has always worked before. But this time it boomeranged. [Do they have boomerangs in NZ or is that just an OZ phenomenon?]

Gentlemen, if you would please get in touch with us…

A Week Passes Like Nothing…

We had a Gilbert Shelton week for our quarterly fundraiser, which means we covered the “humor” topic pretty well — there are a lot of laughs in the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers and Fat Freddy’s Cat.

I wonder what we’ll do next quarter — maybe contact Robin Williams or Jonathan Winters via the Ouija board? Jeff Foxworthy videos on YouTube?

Anyway, here’s the complete list of places, as of late evening on Monday:

Stateside: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, North Carolina, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming

Near Abroad: Dominican Republic

Far Abroad: Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, Thailand, and the UK

Canada: British Columbia, Newfoundland, Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan, and Yukon

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

Many thanks to everybody who chipped in. We’ll see y’all again in the early spring — probably when the daffodils are blooming (at least here in Central Virginia).

Bracket Creep Fundraising

Early Winter Fundraiser 2017, Day Six

Today is the final day of our quarterly fundraising week. For those who have been tardy about clinking the tip cup, there are still 24 hours left! After that, your carriage will turn into a pumpkin drawn by voles.

On my good days — which come and go — cooking and gardening are my favorite activities. With December coming in, my time outside is more limited, though I’m still planting spring bulbs. The skunks don’t eat bulbs, thank Heavens, but the voles sure do. So one of the things I do is bury each one with bone meal (for the bulb) and a healthy dose of cayenne powder in the hole to discourage the voles. Doesn’t hurt the bulb, but it sure does cause the voles some pain. Liberal sprinklings of powdered coyote urine also make them feel unwelcome.

As for cooking, it is the one thing I can do with almost no effort. I’ve been the supper cook in my house since I was ten years old: my mother worked, so I cooked. It was a matter of self-defense, because otherwise she’d come home and fix poached eggs. It wasn’t long before I was doing the weekly shopping. It was a long, hot haul from the grocery store to home.

The B claims I can take a pickle and a glass of water and make a meal for six. Okay, that’s hyperbole, but it’s also the reason why I chose this cartoon: I like to celebrate unlikely food. In this episode, Fat Freddy’s Cat knows darn well his Furry Friends don’t like mouses — he’s releasing them for his own future dining entertainment.

[Remember the late B. Kliban’s cats? My favorite was the one who did the BB King imitation, here. After reading the legalese on that site, it seems one daren’t quote it directly, but that’s still one of my favorite little ditties on cats’ favorite food. It must be the juxtaposition of the lyrics with that BB King-esque blues guitar.]

Tip jarThese quarterly fundraisers are much on my mind when I make my grocery list. How well we do in a given quarter decides the menus for the coming three months. But I’m used to that: being married to a starving artist taught me to make do. In fact, one of our first arguments was in a grocery store: living on very little (I was job-hunting then) meant watching every penny. So we came to the crucial moment of deciding whether to classify parmesan cheese as a necessity or a luxury. The Baron thought it was something we could live without, while I made the case for: “What is the point of living without parmesan for flavor?” Neither of us can remember who won that ‘discussion’. Probably moi — the B is ever a pushover for women’s wantings. Smart man.

I love the things Americans often consider the nasty bits — you know… those tasty entrails. For years I didn’t cook tongue or kidneys or sweetbreads because family members would flee. Now I cook ’em when I can get em’ while still maintaining a standard diet for the Baron and assorted relatives/friends. I love braunschweiger, and I know the difference between it and liverwurst; no one else will eat either one. Oh, well — more for me. Chicken foot broth, anyone? Actually, I prefer to combine the feet with the stripped carcass of the chicken; it makes for a more deeply-flavored broth. I’ve never had prairie oysters, but I’ll bet they make good eating, too.

It was too cold today to work outside so I stayed by the stove, making oxtail soup and pondering this post, this fundraiser… Pondering is a by-product of food preparation in my experience. When the broth was done, I removed the bone and gristle, skimmed the fat for other uses, and made a beef vegetable soup, roasting the vegetables first.

As long as I remove the bones and gristle, the Baron likes it just fine. I saved half the broth to make sweet and sour cabbage later this week. That’s one dish the B really likes, and it’s always better the next day. Once a guest of ours said, with tears in his eyes, that the sweet and sour cabbage I’d served for supper was as good as his Bubbe’s. I was touched by his declaration but made him promise never to tell her that; what grandmother could forgive such a betrayal?

Of late, the flavors of Indian foods don’t appeal as they once did. I’m returning to the comfort food of my childhood, which means that oxymoron, Irish cuisine — or what passed for middle-class food in Ireland when my mother was growing up. Back then, “Irish food” was cabbage, ham, lamb stew, beef brisket. Or shepherd’s pie [these days, I cut the starch by blending mashed potatoes with pureed cauliflower]. We seldom had roasts; they were too expensive. But my mother could wax eloquent on the size of the roast in her childhood. Or her mother’s recipe for trifle.

One time her youngest brother, my Irish immigrant uncle who lived with us for a while when he first came to America (my mother was his sponsor), brought home a steak and asked me to prepare it. I cooked it the same way I did every other piece of beef: braised in a thickened broth. In other words, a flatter version of stew. Ummm…it wasn’t a culinary hit; I’d committed the sin of “ruining a nice bit of beef”. To his credit, my uncle ate it anyway and the next day he came home with another steak and showed me how to prepare it properly. My first taste of rare beef! Who knew such a bloody thing could be so good?

Though she was an indifferent cook, my mother took to American foods with gusto. We could (and did) get buckets of fresh shrimp for ten cents a pound. And she loved collard greens with fatback. Grits with eggs and bacon on Sunday mornings. The point of ketchup was lost on her, though. Since it was decidedly American she’d buy a bottle…and after a year or so in the Florida heat it would gum up and turn dark so we’d throw it away and she’d buy a fresh bottle. To this day I’ve never figured it out either; I only use ketchup to make the red seafood sauce the Baron likes. The commercial kind has way too much sugar and high fructose corn syrup.

It must be hard for families today to maintain supper routines. Often both parents work, the kids have sports activities, everyone is connected to a device of some kind. I hope (and literally pray) that children are learning the loving routines involved in breaking bread together every day. Those habits are the mortar that will cement their lives as they grow up and look back fondly at the family of their young years.

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Saturday’s generosity came in from:

Stateside: Alaska, California, Colorado, Georgia, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Tennessee, and Texas

Near Abroad: Dominican Republic

Far Abroad: The Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, Thailand, and the UK

Canada: Ontario

Australia: New South Wales

The Baron will post a wrap-up of the week (featuring a full list of the places donors came from) sometime tomorrow.

Saturday’s update from the Baron:

Continuing with the Furry Freak Brothers theme, the image at the top is the famous poster of Freewheelin’ Franklin with his big fat doobie.

In my senior year in college there was a guy in our dorm who was a dead ringer for Franklin, right down to the hair and hat. But his schnozz wasn’t quite as big as the Freaker’s.

Those were the days. Sigh…

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After long acquaintance with the New Testament, especially the Gospels, it becomes clear that some of the parables that Jesus told must have been quite humorous to an audience immersed in the language and context of first-century Judea. For example, consider the Parable of the Unjust Judge, as told in Luke 18:2-8 (New International Version):

“In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’

“For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’”

And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”

The widow and the judge were probably both recognizable character types in the context of the time. Widows had very limited rights under Jewish law in those days; that’s why the judge didn’t have to rule in her favor. So she would have been portrayed as pushy and loud-mouthed, and the judge was probably vain, pompous, and haughty.

Who knows what facial expressions and hand gestures Jesus used to mime this story? Did he put on the voices of each character in turn?

It was probably quite a hoot for those who heard it; that’s one of the reasons it was remembered and passed down. But it had to migrate from the original Aramaic into spoken and then written Greek, losing its original flavor in the process. And we English-speakers get yet another translation.

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An Old Chaos of the Sun

This is my report on the geographical distribution of donors in last week’s fundraiser. I was supposed to post it on Monday, but things kept coming up and it got delayed. Which is a good thing, because a few latecomers straggled in, allowing me to add a locale or two to this list (one of them was Indonesia, I think):

Stateside: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Washington, and Wyoming

Far Abroad: Bulgaria, Finland, Germany, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, Thailand, and the UK

Canada: British Columbia, Newfoundland, Ontario, Quebec, and Saskatchewan

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

[Thank you also to the mystery donor from Illinois. You know who you are, but I don’t.]

[By the way — there were an unusual number of donations from New Zealand this time. I don’t know why — NZ is actually less culturally enriched than most of the rest of the West outside of the Iron Curtain — but something seems to be stirring among the Kiwis.]

Many thanks to everyone who made the tip cup ring last week. There were so many of you — lots of modest donations. That’s a truly distributed source of funding, which is the best kind. I mean, it would be nice if someone dropped ten grand on us (what a dream!), but just think what would happen if we did something that annoyed that particular donor, and he declined any further donations — it would be a painful setback for us.

As it is, we see some variations in the stochastic flow of contributions — when times are tough, the gifts are smaller and/or less frequent — but overall, there is a resilient base that we can generally rely on. It’s still a little nerve-wracking, living from quarter to quarter like this, but not like it was in the early days, before we got used to the process.

We’ll see you next quarter for another week of the same. Sometime after most of the leaves have dropped in the Northern Hemisphere, and when spring is in full bloom Down Under. More jokes, more humor — that’s what Dymphna wants.

Here’s your final exam question:

What does the Arabic phrase “Allahu Akhbar” mean?

A.   “My actions have nothing to do with Islam.”
B.   “I have become alienated due to economic exclusion and the institutional racism of the West.”
C.   “The Holocaust is a myth, and Hitler should have finished the job.”
D.   “Die, infidel!”
E.   All of the above.
 

Here Comes the Sun

Note: This post was a “sticky” feature for Fundraising Week, and was at the top throughout that time. Newer items from Monday through Sunday, including Sunday night’s news feed, are posted below it.

Summer Fundraiser 2017, Day Seven

Update from Dymphna: And Then They Rested — Day Seven

Each fundraiser has its own rhythm and rhyme. This one took a while to get going but then the jokes (and donations) started coming in at a good clip. The donations are crucial to our ongoing project here, but I now realize that laughter is indeed good medicine. I’ve even gone looking for jokes this week, just for the fun of it. From now on the theme of our Quarterlies will be jokes. More than ever do we need laughter to keep going.

Tip jarThe Baron keeps a careful log/graph of donations through each and every quarter going all the way back to the first Fundraiser in 2008. There was one year — I forget which — where we simply missed a quarter entirely. We simply forgot to ask for money, and yes, that inattention on our part did indeed pinch; the consequence was a period of beans but no ammo. We didn’t make that mistake again.

Sometimes events push these fundraisers early or late: who wants to compete with a presidential election or Christmas The Winter Gala Season?? But mostly we’re on time if a little breathless. Even then, y’all inevitably come through, for which we remain most grateful. When you’re depending on the largesse of donors, nothing ever becomes routine or taken for granted.

For those of you who’ve been procrastinating, there’s the tip cup on the sidebar to the left of my words. And for our readers who not only subscribe but give extra during the Fundraisers, you are atop the pyramid for sure, up there with those genius DNA folks.

Now for my joke, especially for the Baron and serendipitously sent in by Col. Bunny. [I was considering doing one on virgins, given the Aztec image the Baron chose for this post. Maybe next time.]

A fellow consults his rabbi.

“Rabbi,” he says, “my cow is useless. She won’t show any interest in the bull.”

“Give me an example,” says the rabbi.

“Well, if the bull approaches her, she moves away to the left. And if he approaches her again, she moves away to the right. This goes on forever.”

“Hmm,” says the rabbi. “Is your cow from Minsk, by any chance?”

“Why, yes,” says the farmer. “How did you know?”

“My wife is from Minsk,” says the rabbi.

Heh. That’s my Bleg gift to the Baron. Better than a bag of cashews; jokes don’t cause weight gain.

Thanks to all you generous readers, including the ones who are bypassing PayPal to send their donations by snail mail. You have to go out of your way to do that… and, yes, you lurking IRS employee, the mail donations go down on our income, you gummint busybody.

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…And the Far-Flung Islets of Langerhans

This post was supposed to go up yesterday, but I didn’t get to it. Which is a good thing, because among the last-minute stragglers were donations that allowed me to add Belgium and Luxembourg to the list.

This is the roster of locations from which gifts originated in last week’s Spring Fundraiser:

Stateside: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Washington, and Wyoming

Near Abroad: Mexico

Far Abroad: Belgium, Finland, Germany, Israel, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, and the UK

Canada: British Columbia, Newfoundland, Ontario, and Saskatchewan

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

Once again, our gratitude to all those whose generous contributions keep this website going. There were so many of you: lots of modest donations from individual readers, the essence of crowdfunding.

The thank-you notes are already going out, but it will take a while longer before they’re done — a happy task if ever there was one.

A Late Spring Quarterly: The Heart at Home

Note: This post was a “sticky” feature for all of Fundraising Week. Scroll down for more items posted since this time a week ago.

If you missed fundraising week — well, the Tip Cup is still in business…

Click here to read Geert Wilders’ op-ed on the jihad terror attack in Manchester.

Spring Fundraiser 2017, Day Seven

A note to readers who are confused about how to donate: At the main page (gatesofvienna.net) scroll down until you see the tip cup on the left sidebar. Just above it is the “Subscribe” button, and below it is a “Donate” button. Choose one of these buttons, or the cup itself. The “subscribe” button sets up a recurring monthly amount of $15, and the other two are for one-time gifts.

Sunday’s update from Dymphna: Won’t You Come Home, Bill Bailey?

Last day of this Spring Quarterly Fundraiser, y’all. Last call for donations!

Tip jarIf you’ve been meaning to do so all week, now is your chance to tick that box on your to-do list — the one that says “donate to Gates of Vienna soonest”… What? It’s not there?? Find a pen, write it down and then hit the “Donate” button. Or send yourself a message on your iPhone: “donate to GoV”. You’ll feel so virtuous and we’ll feel so appreciated. It’s a sure Win-Win, right?

[The Baron says I often forget to remind everyone that this is a fundraiser post. Instead I jump into the theme, sans the commercial. But since these commercials are in place of daily adverts, I have to remind everyone what this post is doing up here…

…At one time, I considered doing the Amazon thing that other places use. But Bezos bought The Washington Post and has some cozy deal with the CIA, so we’ll pass on that one…]

As anyone knows who’s followed this long winding trail of breadcrumbs back to the beginning, our theme is home. For some time now, the estrangement from a common cultural home has been growing. As Lincoln echoed back during the Civil War, a house divided against itself cannot stand. You could look at his reminder on several levels: a divided West, a divided EU, a divided U.K. And because America is so large, “divided” can’t even begin to cover our fractional fussing and fuming. Sometimes my native home reminds me of a distressed, abandoned baby that can’t stop crying and can’t be comforted. It latches frantically onto one leader after another only to find out the fantasy of no more problems was just that: fantasy.

That’s where we are right now: divided, distressed, and many of us in denial. That third group are the ones who walk away: they refuse to vote or to participate because they figure that by the time anyone has managed to claw their way to the top, they’re not worth voting for anyway.

I’m not there… yet. But if Donald Trump doesn’t come back here and start tending to the home fires, we have a problem. Several venues, including The New York Times have covered the latest immigrant (slave) story. No, no one calls them slaves but those “losers” — to use Donald Trump’s own term — are being hauled into the country while he’s out there pressing the flesh and posing for pictures that the Left immediately picks apart — e.g., he doesn’t shake hands correctly. Sheesh.

Come home, Bill Bailey. And bring Rex Tillerson with you. We need you both to rein in the State Department before the shooting starts. As Ann Corcoran reported, US State Department continues its pattern of secrecy regarding refugee resettlement:

The leading non-profit watchdog on government transparency, Judicial Watch, has been digging into records relating to the resettlement of tens of thousands of refugees and other migrants and the money we spend on them.

JW reported that while the Dept of Health and Human Services was forthcoming about the cost of care for the tens of thousands of ‘Unaccompanied Alien Children’ (they are NOT refugees) spread throughout America, the State Department continues to withhold information about what you pay for the resettlement of refugees from around the world.

Incidentally, I like the use of the words “foreign nationals” in this article to describe the disparate people we are paying to care for.

Again, the ‘children’ from Central America are not “refugees” and that distinction must continue to be made because the Open Borders Left is working every day to make you think that the mostly male teens are refugees escaping persecution.

Read the ways they’ve worked out to keep us in the dark, here.

Ann has lots more, but she also keeps a score sheet on her right sidebar. The latest entry says, May 24, 2017: 45,172 [foreign nationals] admitted (this is 6,966 refugees since the supposed moratorium began and 15,050 since Trump was inaugurated). He’s on track to let in more than Obama.

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All right, Donald. I get that you had to make some of those foreign visits and you might as well do it in one fell swoop since you had to do the G7 Circus. But we need your riding herd on your promises back here. I know if Hillary were in charge, there would be 50,000 more “immigrants” than you’ve let in. But that’s cold comfort at this point. We need you to demand that the evil losers (to coin a phrase) at Foggy Bottom start running a more transparent State Department. We need to see you and Tillerson, shoulder-to-shoulder, and bolder and bolder, bringing down those Augean stables. If not you, who? If not now, when?

It will always be important to the history of this country that you kept the kleptomaniac Clinton out of the Oval Office. We all remember how many historical artifacts she stole during her last tenure and her sticky fingers are even dirtier than they were then. You deserve our praise for that.

But if you don’t protect us against a continuing onslaught of foreign nationals, then we’re doomed, and you are, too, along with the rest of us. There is some number beyond which foreign people make one a stranger in his own land. It has happened to England, for sure. I hear less about the rest of the United Kingdom, but the Commonwealth is struggling. We elected you to struggle for us. Ignore the freak-leaks. They’re intended to distract you. For that matter, quit with daily press briefings. They cause far too much sausage-making and those jornolists are fat enough. Let them did for their own news. Never did a group more need the exercise.

Come home, Bill Bailey. We already know you’re not like your lazy predecessor, so show us some shrinkage on the numbers of foreign devils entering the country via your State Department.(You bought it, sir. You own it.)

The wall? Enh. Save it for later, when you need it to make points. The very odor of a wall has driven back many of those who were here. Things are quieter (it’s relative) on the southwestern front. But stop the State Department’s slave trafficking. It’s sickening. And get busy on those supercilious Sanctuary Cities. Rein in our imperial judiciary which thinks it can override your orders.

And now for my favorite rendition of this song, which has been going through my head ever since I began pondering today on the not-Clinton’s absence:

Saturday’s generous people hailed from:

Stateside: California, Colorado, Idaho, Michigan, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Virginia

Near Abroad: Mexico

Far Abroad: Israel and the UK

Canada: British Columbia

Australia: Victoria

Saturday’s update from the Baron

Dymphna found this excellent quote from Robert Heinlein to head this morning’s update:

All societies are based on rules to protect pregnant women and young children. All else is surplusage, excrescence, adornment, luxury, or folly, which can — and must — be dumped in emergency to preserve this prime function. As racial survival is the only universal morality, no other basic is possible. Attempts to formulate a “perfect society” on any foundation other than “Women and children first!” is not only witless, it is automatically genocidal. Nevertheless, starry-eyed idealists (all of them male) have tried endlessly — and no doubt will keep on trying.

Intermission: Excerpts from the Notebooks of Lazarus Long, pp. 242-243

So how well is the degenerate post-modern society of Great Britain performing this prime function? The answer is abundantly clear: not at all.

The news from Manchester came in on Monday not long after the start of this fundraiser. Needless to say, the tragedy atrocity has dominated the conversation since then. As of the time of this writing, nothing significant has changed in the official response to the incident. The usual blather, the declarations of determination and solidarity, and above all, the assurance that “hate” — i.e., any criticism of Islam — will not be tolerated in Modern Multicultural Britain.

It remains to be seen whether any awakening will occur among the general public in the UK. I’m not optimistic. After watching the reactions to previous jihad attacks — not just in Britain, but in France, Germany, Sweden, Belgium, Australia, and the USA — there’s no sign of any growing public awareness of the significance of what is happening. Government propaganda and the Lügenpresse have seen to that. The hermetic seal on popular discourse is largely unbroken.

All of the above would seem to mitigate against this blog and the purpose of Fundraising Week. Why continue fighting for a futile cause?

Well…

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