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?


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Report From the Dead Letter Office

Ever since the fundraiser started last week I’ve been beavering away on my thank-you notes. Two of those emails have been returned, unfortunately. The first was sent to a new donor in California, and the second went off to someone in Illinois who has given previously, but whose address has never bounced emails in the past.

If either of those descriptions fits you, please know how much we appreciate your gift, even if we were unable to get a message through. Also: be aware that the address that PayPal uses for you is no longer functional (at least not for me).

And then there’s the Mystery Donor, who always sends a little something to the P.O. Box in an envelope with no return address. Thank you once again — you know who you are, but I sure don’t!

A Crisis of the Intertubes

The Winter Fundraiser is over, so I had big plans for today. I was going to catch up on some of the things that were delayed last week because of the bleg. But then Murphy intervened, big time: Our phone and Internet service went down, and stayed down for hours, thwarting my good intentions.

At the very least I’ll post a summary of the places where all our donors came from during the fundraising week. Among the last-minute arrivals was a gift from Hawaii, which Dymphna and I think may be the first one ever from Obamaland. There was also one from Yukon Territory, which is kind of cool. How many people are there in Yukon, anyway? Maybe half a million?

The List:

Stateside: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming

Far Abroad: Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, India, Indonesia, Israel, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Thailand, and the UK

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

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

I’ll post a news feed tonight, but probably not much else.

Give No Quarter?? Nope. More Like “Give Every Quarter, This One Included” [UPDATE 5]

Note: This post was originally published on February 13, and was “sticky” all week. Scroll down for more recent posts.

The recent speech by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is particularly recommended. It is one of the finest speeches of our time.

Also: See Emmet Scott’s latest essay discussing anti-Trump hysteria.

Winter Fundraiser 2017, Day Seven

February 19: Update from Dymphna

Since the Baron has to play most of the innings here it’s always a relief (to me) when I feel well enough to pick up the bat and take my turn.

Oops…an unfortunate phrase, that. Probably due to reading about what playing with bats means now in rural Germany.

Sometimes it hurts simply to read our blog.

Tip jarWe’ve been around more than ten years now, and often the Baron is so busy just keeping on keeping on, we fail to take note of the passing anniversary of our advent here. Or perhaps we have simply decided we’re here for the duration and that’s that.

Which ‘duration’? Heaven knows; we sure don’t. I thought we’d be locking the Gates when old Hildebeest rumbled toward the Oval Office but my fear was misplaced. It feels as though we’ve been granted a reprieve since Trump was elected, but again we grow concerned as the deep state seems to be working in concert to ruin him. Like the rest of the country, we can only watch and wait. And in our case, pray. [I don’t want to argue about whether or not prayer “works”; it gives me something to do whilst waiting to see what happens].

The Baron promised I’d relate our tale of The Skunk Parade, so here goes.

…As ‘problems’ go, it’s relatively mild considering the creature under discussion. And we both think it’s occurring right now (i.e., this past fortnight or so) because of our too-mild winter. Only one snow and that one not very deep. No ice, and only one period of deep freezing — surely not enough to kill off most of the Japanese beetle grubs, darn it.

One reason we let the skunks be is that they clean out grubs when the ground is soft (as it is now) and they especially enjoy going after the underground nests of yellow jackets.

So skunks have their uses, especially when it comes to their enjoyment of yellow jackets. If only skunks weren’t so fragrant, they’d be ideal companion animals for removing the things gardeners don’t like. During this winter I’ve caught several glimpses of them near the side porch at twilight. I wondered if there was a family of them, though it seemed an odd time to be nesting, and they don’t usually come so close to the house. Since the few I’ve seen didn’t see me, all was well. Or so I thought.

All “was” well, that is, until ten days or so just past. Due to the warm weather, we think “our” skunks are in their mating season a month early and the males are obviously doing battle. Perhaps there aren’t enough females? Perhaps they’re polygamous, and only one male to a particular territory, and for some reason their population has enlarged to include two rivals? Could the females have dropped a litter already and are scaring off the possums, dogs, and bears in order to protect their young?

Whatever the problem, it’s nocturnal in nature. We’re beginning to learn that if we don’t have to get out the candles by ten p.m., that whatever the source of the problem, it’s not going to materialize on that particular evening. Fortunately (or not), due to the sometimes uncertain nature of our electric connections, we lose power, usually due to some outage in those big lines coming down the mountains. That means I have quite a candle collection. Thank heavens.

But this isn’t an easy problem to solve. Although they’re obviously not near the house when the battles royal begin, you’d think they were under the windows when the smell permeates the rooms downstairs. The B has looked in all the possible places and there is not a sign of them near our foundation. Nor has he found any other signs out in the various thickets of forsythia and mock orange and lilacs and mountain laurel that mark the edges of what he considers our mowable yard.

The further reaches, past our property line, have been clear-cut by companies that specialize in buying forested land whose taxes have become delinquent, and then harvesting the wood. That clear-cutting has changed the habitat out past our property line. We can barely see those changes, and then only in the winter when the light is stronger through our own trees to the south than it used to be.

That may be the solution to our mystery of “why now?” I plan to call the County Extension Agent and ask him this week. If it’s going to be an unseasonable Winter or an early Spring ritual from now on until the pines grow back, I’ll make sure we have enough candles to see us through.

And those skunks? They’re going to eat those grubs and yellow jackets, or explain why.

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Our donors on Saturday came in from:

Stateside: Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia

Far Abroad: New Zealand and the UK

Canada: Ontario

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

Today is the final day! The Baron will write a wrap-up tomorrow, but otherwise we’ll be giving it a rest… until spring.

February 18: Update from the Baron

Well, folks, here we are going into the sixth day of our quarterly fundathon, in which we use all the techniques of hip persuasion to induce our readers to hit the tip cup on our sidebar.

Or, to use the shorter version: we beg.

Y’all have been very kind to us this time, and I thank you for your generosity. And the thank-you notes are going out faster than usual; I’ve kept my New Year’s resolution on that so far.

The photo at the top of this post is from the winter of 2009 here at Schloss Bodissey — late winter, actually; it was in March. I include it here because it’s seasonal, but the weather is NOT like that so far this winter. Just one snow, and it didn’t last long. It’s been fairly mild most of the time.

I have a suspicion that the nasty cold isn’t done with us just yet, but I’ll enjoy this while it lasts. And the daffodils have started blooming, those optimists.

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Thanks for Mercies Past Received

This post is a confluence between Thanksgiving Day and the wrap-up of our Autumn Fundraiser.

The red bench in the photo above has now been dusted with snow — an adumbration of things to come, since our next fundraiser will be Winter 2017, sometime in the frigid days after the beginning of the new year.

We have a lot to be thankful for at the moment. Perhaps the single biggest cause for gratitude is that we won’t have eight years of President Hillary (or more likely, a year or so of the Empress, followed by ten years of Kommie Kaine) to look forward to. I also thank the Lord for the soon-to-be-realized opportunity to use the phrase “former President Obama”. What a pleasure that will be! It was a long eight years, but we made it.

And our just-completed bleg gives us ample additional reason to be thankful: despite the fact that Dymphna’s travails kept us from doing a fresh post every day, donors showed up with heartening regularity. It seems that the compact format of this fundraiser didn’t inhibit donations all that much, if at all.

So thank you all for showing up. And thank you also for contributing to the comments — that was another unexpected side effect of the unitary fundraiser: a far larger response than usual in the comments.

Below is the final list of places from which donations came (giving me the opportunity to show off my new software for breaking out Australian states and Canadian provinces).

Update Nov. 25 1:30pm: Alaska just sent in a gift, thereby adding another state to the list:

Stateside: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Washington, and Wyoming

Near Abroad: Mexico

Far Abroad: Croatia, Germany, India, Israel, Lithuania, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, Slovenia, Sweden, Thailand, and the UK

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

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

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The most apt description of the kind of fundraising we do here came up in the comments on a different post, a translated op-ed from Switzerland about the recent American presidential election. The comment in question was a response to another commenter named scherado, who had been addressing the author of the op-ed, Markus Somm:

Mr Somm, I appreciate your perspective.

I, the non-journalist, perceive that government by the people — parliamentary, constitutional, representative republic, and so on— can NOT function properly WITHOUT a proper press. You have stated very well the illness.

Will someone suggest the remedy, any remedy?

Our Israeli correspondent MC weighed in with a reply:

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