Whatever You Do, Don’t Go Against the Narrative

The following video from Bild talks about the adverse health effects of prolonged mask-wearing, especially as it concerns children. The report gains added significance from the fact that Bild subsequently removed it — evidently the paper had been notified by the Powers That Be that the video contradicted the Narrative on the Wuhan Coronavirus.

Many thanks to MissPiggy for the translation, and to Vlad Tepes and RAIR Foundation for the subtitling:

Video transcript:

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Eyeing the Results

I’m about to head out to the retinologist’s office to get a periodic injection in my left eye to treat my condition (wet macular degeneration).

I have a lot of good stuff in the pipeline, but I didn’t have time to put together a post before leaving. So I’ll let this be a placeholder till I get back.

I know y’all are anxious to discuss the election, which seems to be morphing into the Big Cheat, as expected. The post-election ructions have already commenced, and I assume the Antifas will be out in force to make sure everyone is OK with the ordained official result — OR ELSE.

You can use this post as an open thread to leave comments about all that, or anything else in the news. When I get back I’ll moderate what has come in, before I lie down and cover my eyes to escape the dancing bubble.

See you later.

New Directive on Wearing the Corona Hijab in the Bundestag

A recent internal message from the president of the German Bundestag may reinforce the feeling that most ordinary people have of being stifled or suffocated by the loathsome Corona muzzle.

Hellequin GB has translated two articles about the news from the Bundestag. The first piece is from FOCUS Online:

Bundestag explains its irritating mask recommendation — and rows back

With the end of the parliamentary summer recess, the Bundestag will be full again. As everywhere, the Corona risk increases here, too. Bundestag President Schäuble reacts — with a message that raises questions in places.

In view of the increasing number of Corona infections, the Bundestag is increasing its security measures after the summer break. In a house message, Bundestag President Wolfgang Schäuble (CDU) urgently recommends wearing a mask in all buildings of the Bundestag from September 1st.

“This urgent recommendation applies to all people and all traffic areas such as the corridors and stairwells, lounge areas, sanitary rooms, catering areas (with the exception of the table) and the library, but also to boardrooms and meeting rooms,” the house message says.

Mask to take a deep breath “rather push it under your chin”

The in-house notification is supplemented by some information on handling, wearing time, disposal and the cleaning of mouth and nose covers. It recommends washing reusable masks at 60°C (140°F).

However, some sentences in the recommendation raise questions.

It says:

“After just 30 minutes of wearing, depending on the type of mouth and nose covering, there can be a significant increase in the CO2 level ​​in the blood, as the exhaled air may not be able to escape as easily. Constant loosening and tightening the mouth-nose covering does not make sense, however, as this increases the risk of contamination. In between, you should push it under your chin to take a deep breath, but keep it on.”

An increase in CO2 levels in the blood? The mask should be pushed under the chin?

Bundestag administration explains communication — and rows back

A spokesman for the Bundestag administration told FOCUS Online that the recommendations came from the relevant authorities such as the Robert Koch Institute. This includes that the mouth and nose cover should not be put on and taken off all the time.

“With a realistic approach, however, there is occasionally the need to ‘breathe deeply’ for a brief moment in suitable situations,” the spokesman explained the formulation in the internal communication. “On the other hand, pushing under the chin appears to be a ‘lesser evil’, even if it should be avoided as much as possible.”

The reference to the rising CO2 values ​​in the blood, however, is not based on scientific knowledge, but is intended to explain the “pushing under the chin”:

“The reference to the CO2 value serves only as a possible explanation for this need, but includes no scientific statement and in particular no claim of a health hazard.”

The Bundestag administration now wants to adjust the recommendations retrospectively.

“In order to avoid any misunderstandings, it is intended to revise the information in the annex to the internal communication,” said the spokesman.

FDP politician Theurer: “It is not without a certain bizarreness”

The recommendations met with mixed reactions from members of the Bundestag. The Deputy FDP parliamentary group leader Michael Theurer is surprised by the content of the in-house announcement.

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Outcast From Comcast, Plus an Eyeball Update

I went to the retinologist’s office this afternoon to get a periodic injection for macular degeneration in my left eye — which I was glad to receive, because the early symptoms of a flare-up had just begun to appear last weekend.

As a result, I’m only semi-functional this evening. There will, however, be a news feed, and possibly a couple of other posts, if all goes well.

As most of you know by now, my protracted summer fundraiser was made more interesting by my being cancelled by PayPal. I was forced to switch to snail mail as an alternate route for donations, which necessitated the exchange of a lot of emails with people who needed the snail-mail address to use.

In the process of all that correspondence, it emerged that most of my emails to Comcast accounts were being bounced. To the extent that I could decipher the bounce message, it seems that my mail server is listed as a spam host in their database. I experienced the same thing a few years ago with another company (Microsoft, I think), and it taught me that it can be a difficult and protracted process to get rid of a false listing as a spammer.

The problem has been further compounded by its not being 100% consistent — I think some of my emails to Comcast accounts got through.

So if you have a Comcast address and emailed me, and never heard back, that may be the reason. Please send me another message, and I’ll endeavor to reply by alternate means.

A final note on the fundraiser: there were at least five anonymous cash donations, with no name and no return address, two postmarked in Illinois, two in California, and one in Washington State (I think that’s all of them). Thank you all very much — you know who you are, but I don’t.

Dr. Bhakdi on the Dangers of Masks and the Risks of the COVID-19 Vaccine

Professor Doctor Sucharit Bhakdi is a German virologist and professor of microbiology. He is an ethnic Thai who was born in the USA and educated at schools in Switzerland, Egypt, and Thailand. He studied medicine at the University of Bonn. He is the former head of the Institute of Medical Microbiology and Hygiene in Germany.

Dr. Bhakdi is 73 years old, and says he will never allow himself to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Below are two videos featuring Dr. Bhakdi. The first is a brief clip in which the doctor examines the possible legal consequences for those German public officials who issue mandatory mask orders.

Many thanks to Hellequin GB for the translation, and to Vlad Tepes and RAIR Foundation for the subtitling:

The second video is a 20-minute interview with Dr. Bhakdi. Many thanks to MissPiggy for the translation, and to Vlad Tepes and RAIR Foundation for the subtitling:

Video transcript #1:

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Forced Corona-Testing of Schoolchildren

I reported last week on a school in Germany in which fourth-graders were forced to undergo coronavirus testing without the knowledge or permission of their parents.

The video below from Aurich TV is a follow-up to its earlier report. It includes an audio interview with the mother of one of the children who were tested.

Many thanks to MissPiggy for the translation, and to Vlad Tepes and RAIR Foundation for the subtitling:

Video transcript:

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The Corona Paper — Covid-19 is a ‘Global False Alarm’

Back in May I reported (here and here) about a scholarly German paper (pdf) by Stephan Kohn, the head of an Interior Ministry crisis management task force that issued a report on its analysis of authorities’ handling of the coronavirus crisis. It concluded that the government had badly overestimated the threat, and that the severe restrictions that had been implemented were the result of a false alarm.

The report was announced, and then the text was leaked to the media. The reaction to the report was predictable: the author was removed from his position, and his conclusions were suppressed to the extent possible.

JLH has undertaken the huge task of translating the executive summary of the scholarly paper, and Miss Piggy has kindly provided this introduction to the Stephan Kohn affair:

The Corona Paper — Covid-19 is a ‘Global False Alarm’

by Miss Piggy

Stephan Kohn was a senior civil servant (Oberregierungsrat) within the German Ministry of the Interior in Berlin under Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU). Mr. Kohn worked for Section KM4 and was in charge of the project “Renewal of the strategy for national critical infrastructure” and tasked with the protection of critical infrastructures.

On May 8, 2020, Mr. Kohn released a 192-page report of his analysis of the response to the Corona pandemic by the federal government to his counterparts in the sixteen German states (Länder) of the Federal Republic of Germany. This report had been drafted by a scientific panel appointed by the interior ministry and composed by external medical experts from several German universities. Among these experts were at least ten of Germany’s leading scientists and doctors. Interior Ministry staff and superiors had been involved in drawing up the paper. The head of the KM4 department had even praised the document before he was abruptly transferred from his post.

The analysis included a medical damage assessment of the lockdown, which came to the conclusion that the measures should have never been taken. It stated that in terms of the dimensions of a national civil protection system, the Corona infection never had the potential to trigger a national disaster with a significant threat to the general public. The report also noted the fact that all the figures, including those from the RKI (Robert Koch Institute) confirmed this. The analysis included a detailed description of how the error in the decision-making processes occurred during the reaction to Corona.

Within two hours of the release of the report, the government tried to dismiss it as, “the work of one employee”, and its contents as “his own opinion”.

Following that, the Corona paper was also leaked to at least two websites (Achgut and Tichys Einblick). The German government and taxpayer-funded media engaged in damage control, because the report challenged the established Corona narrative. Stephan Kohn was suspended (May 10th) and a ministerial statement was issued dismissing the contents of the paper as the opinion of a rogue, mentally disturbed person who did not have permission to distribute the paper. Günter Krings, the representative for Interior Minister Horst Seehofer — the whistleblower’s boss — said the following when asked if he would take the document seriously:

“If you start analyzing papers like that, then pretty soon you’ll be inviting the guys with the tinfoil hats to parliamentary hearings.”

Der Spiegel reported on May 15, 2020 the following: “Stephen Kohn (the whistleblower) has since been suspended from duty. He was advised to obtain a lawyer and his work laptop was confiscated.”

The authors of the report issued a joint press release on May 11th, berating the government for ignoring expert advice, and asking for the interior minister to officially comment upon the experts’ joint statement:

Therapeutic and preventive measures should never bring more harm than the illness itself. Their aim should be to protect the risk groups, without endangering the availability of medical care and the health of the whole population, as it is unfortunately occurring…

We in the scientific and medical practice are experiencing the secondary damages of the Corona-measures on our patients on a daily basis…

We therefore ask the Federal Ministry of the Interior, to comment upon our press release, and we hope for a pertinent discussion regarding the [Corona] measures, one that leads to the best possible solution for the whole population.

Here are some of the report’s key points:

  • The dangerousness of Covid-19 was overestimated: probably at no point did the danger posed by the new virus go beyond the normal level.
  • The people who die from Corona are essentially those who would statistically die this year, because they have reached the end of their lives and their weakened bodies can no longer cope with any random everyday stress (including the approximately 150 viruses currently in circulation).
  • Worldwide, within a quarter of a year, there have been no more than 250,000 deaths from Covid-19, compared to 1.5 million deaths [25,100 in Germany] during the influenza wave 2017/18.
  • The danger is obviously no greater than that from many other viruses. There is no evidence that this was more than a false alarm.
  • A reproach could go along these lines: During the Corona crisis the State has proved itself as one of the biggest producers of Fake News.

JLH’s translation of the executive summary:

KM4 Analysis of crisis management (summary)

Prefatory remarks: The task and goal of crisis management teams and any crisis management whatsoever is to recognize exceptional dangers and combat them until a normal situation is achieved again. Therefore, a normal situation cannot be a crisis.

Summary of results of analysis

1.   Crisis management has in the past (unfortunately counter to better judgment) established no adequate instruments for the analysis and evaluation of dangers. In the present crisis, the SITREPS in which all information relevant to decision-making should be summarized, show thus far only a small band of the spectrum of dangers. An evaluation of the danger is not possible on the basis of incomplete and unqualified information in the situation overviews. Without correctly achieved evaluation of the danger, there can be no appropriate and effective planning of measures to be taken. In every transformation, the methodological deficit moves to a higher level. The policy thus far has a severely reduced chances to make the factually correct decisions.
2.   The observable effects and impact of COVID-19 identify no sufficient evidence — in terms of health impact on the population as a whole — of more than a false alarm. At no point in time did a greater-than-normal danger to the population exist (comparison standard is the usual deaths in the EU). Statistically, the people who die this year are at the end of their lives and their weakened bodies cannot resist the random strains of everyday life (including the ca.150 currently active viruses). The danger from COVID-19 was overestimated. (Within three months worldwide, no more than 250,000 deaths from COVID-19, against 1.5 million during the 1917-18 influenza epidemic). The danger is clearly no greater than that from many other viruses.

We are most likely dealing with a long unrecognized false alarm. This analytical result has been validated, and does not substantially contradict the data and evaluations of risks presented by the Robert Koch Institute.

3.   Essentially, the suspected false alarm remained undetected for weeks, because the applicable guidelines for the actions of the crisis team and crisis management in a pandemic lack any appropriate detection instruments for automatically setting off an alarm that would cause an immediate halting of measure soon as a pandemic warning proves to be a false alarm or it can be foreseen that collateral damage — including danger to human life — threatens to become greater than the health-related deadly potential of the disease in question.
4.   The collateral damages become greater than perceptible benefit. This determination is not based on a comparison of material damage to human (personal) damage! It is based on a comparison of deaths from the virus to date with deaths from state-mandated protective measures (both without a certain base of data). An overview compilation of collateral health damage (including deaths) validated by scientists is appended below.
5.   The (completely pointless) collateral damage is now gigantic. Some of this damage will manifest in the near and more distant future. This cannot be stopped, only limited.
6.   Critical infrastructures are the arteries of modern societies. In critical infrastructures, as a consequence of protective measures, there is no security of supplies, as is customary (gradual reduction of the security of supply, which may decrease in coming times of stress on the system). The resilience of the highly complex and strongly interdependent system of critical infrastructures has lessened. From this point on, our society will be living with a heightened vulnerability and greater risk of default in critical infrastructures. The results may be fatal, should the reduced resilience level of KRITIS (1) be confronted by a truly dangerous pandemic or other threat. UN General Secretary António Guterres spoke about a fundamental risk four weeks ago. According to a report from Tagesschau on April 10, 2020, Guterres said: “The weaknesses and the faulty preparation exposed by this pandemic offer an idea of what a bio-terrorist attack could look like — and [these weaknesses] may possibly raise the risk of that.” According to our analyses, there is a serious lack of an adequate system of danger analysis and evaluation in crisis situations (see above).
7.   Largely still in force are the state-decreed protective measures, as well as the social activities and initiatives — initially protective measures which have meanwhile lost all meaning. It is imperative to rescind them completely, to prevent damage to the populace — especially unnecessary additional deaths — and, if possible, to stabilize the increasingly precarious situation in critical infrastructures.
8.   The deficiencies and errors in crisis management have led to transmission of invalid information and thus loosed disinformation on the public. (A criticism could be: In the Corona crisis, the state has proven to be one of the greatest sources of fake news.) From these findings, it follows:
 

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“I am needing to speak with Mr. Edward”

I get a lot of spam phone calls, and the first line spoken by the caller after I say “Hello” is often something like the above. I probably don’t need to tell you that the esteemed gentleman on the other end of the line invariably sounds a lot like Apu, even though he identifies himself as “Dave” or “Mike”.

It’s remarkable how non-multicultural these phone spammers are. Their cultural region lies roughly within a triangle whose vertices may be found at Lahore, Dhaka, and Bangalore.

Such calls are always about Medicare. Either my insurance company or Medicare itself has sold my phone number to the telemarketers. The dodgy entity doing the calling is usually identified as “Medicare Services” or something similar, in an attempt to fool a geezer in his dotage into thinking that he’s talking to an official Medicare representative — who just happens to have immigrated recently from Mumbai — but without being legally liable for fraud.

If I’m in the middle of something, I just hang up on the guy. But if I’m in no hurry, I might play with him a little bit. Sometimes I say, “There’s nobody on Medicare in this house,” making sure that my voice holds a tone of earnest puzzlement. To which the caller sometimes responds with: “I am so sorry; I will take your number off the list.” Which I really like to hear.

Other times I say: “Mr. May died last week. This is his stepson Herbert. Is there anything I can help you with?” After which I receive the deep condolences of the caller before he hangs up.

Today’s call came just after lunch. I responded to his opening line with: “I’m sorry; my hearing is not good. I’m having trouble understanding you. Could you please put on someone who speaks English as his native language?”

Apu:   “But sir, is this not English which I am speaking to you?”
Baron:   “Yes, but it’s not your native language. Your native language is Urdu, or Hindi, or possibly Tamil. I need someone whose native language is ENGLISH.”
Apu:   “So, you are an American, then?”
Baron:   (Patient) “I need someone whose native language is English.”
Apu:   (Sarcastic) “Ah, then, so you are from England?”
Baron:   (Still patient) “Please put on someone who speaks English as their native language.”
Apu:   (Now angry) “You, sir, are a RACIST! Goodbye!”
 

And he hung up.

It was a very satisfying phone call.

Sight Unseen

I paid a visit to the retinal specialist this afternoon (Masks on! Social distance, everybody!) and got an injection in my left eye to treat my wet macular degeneration.

This is old hat for me by now; still, it slows me down a little. Nevertheless, I hope to put up at least one more post tonight before the news feed.

After today I get to go two months before the next one, which is good.

COVID on ICE

Before we resume our regularly-scheduled programming, I’d like to pay another visit to the Farmville Detention Center.

I wrote last December about the immigrant holding facility known as the Farmville Detention Center, located not far from here in Farmville, Virginia. It’s operated by Immigration Centers of America, a contractor for Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The center’s inmates, mostly Hispanics and Haitians, enjoy cushy living conditions at taxpayers’ expense.

Since the Coronamadness set in last March, the price tag on the culture-enrichers’ lodgings must have increased drastically, based on the article below from The Farmville Herald. Each inmate is now receiving a medical checkup twice daily.

The most interesting thing about the story, however, is the incidence of symptoms of the Wuhan Coronavirus among the detainees who tested positive for the disease. The headline tells us that 74% of the culture-enrichers have tested positive, which is 268 people. Buried much deeper in the story is the fact that only three migrants — 1.1% of those tested, or 0.8% of the population of the facility — have been hospitalized with serious symptoms, and none of those has died.

The only reason ICE ordered general testing at the center was the fact that three cases of the coronavirus — possible the same three who were hospitalized — appeared among a group of newly-arrived residents who were under quarantine. That is, hundreds of the center’s inmates had already been infected with the disease without showing any symptoms.

A reminder: we’re talking about COVID-19, a disease that is more dangerous than the Spanish Flu, the bubonic plague, and the Black Death combined. A disease that is so virulent that it spread like wildfire among a group of immigrants detained in a closed facility. A disease that is so deadly that none of them knew they had it.

The American people — and not just Americans, but the whole world — are being massively hoaxed about the ChiCom flu. The populace has been indoctrinated to be so frightened of it that millions of people hide in their homes, or venture out in terror, screaming at anyone who isn’t wearing a mask or who gets too close. The economies of Western countries have been wrecked by the lockdowns, more of which are coming as the “second wave” sets in just time for the fall campaign season.

The virus is real, but the official reaction to it, especially as purveyed by the media, is an artificial construct created for political ends.

Below are some excerpts from the article in the Herald:

74% of Farmville ICE detainees positive for COVID

by Alexa Massey

After testing all the detainees of the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) at the Immigration Centers of America (ICA) Farmville Detention Center, 74% have tested positive for the coronavirus, with 71 test results pending.

ICE Public Affairs Specialist Kate Pote said Tuesday, July 14, ICA Farmville offered testing to all of its detainees from Wednesday, July 1, to Friday, July 3. 359 of the center’s 360 inmates were tested, with only one detainee declining testing.

Of those 359 detainees, 268 have tested positive. 20 have tested negative, and 71 test results are pending.

Officials said Tuesday three detainees were actively hospitalized due to complications with COVID-19, but in stable condition. Pote added the majority of others who tested positive are asymptomatic, but are being closely monitored and are receiving appropriate medical care.

Detainees who have tested negative will be retested and are being held separately from positive detainees.

Medical checks, according to officials, are being done twice daily, including a temperature screening and medication disbursement.

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Getting an Eyeful

Long-time readers may recall that I am afflicted with wet macular degeneration (central serous choroidopathy) in my left eye. The condition first appeared more than seven years ago, and has been kept in check by an intermittent series of injections in that eye. For which I am grateful, because until a dozen or so years ago, there was no known treatment for wet macular degeneration.

After the most recent stabilization of the eye, I had been able to go for months without any injections. Unfortunately, about a month ago I started noticing the unmistakable symptoms of a recurrence of the condition. It causes visual disruptions near the fovea of the eye, meaning that the two eyes no longer work together properly, and are always tired and irritated. Back in 2013 I fashioned a patch that could be attached to one lens of my glasses, and worked one-eyed for awhile. If this flare-up had continued much longer, I probably would have had to do the same thing again.

Under normal circumstances, I would have called the retinal specialist’s office and made a special appointment to go in. However, the Coronamadness precludes such appointments — Emergencies Only; otherwise do without. So I decided to tough it out, and waited until my regularly scheduled two-month checkup, which was this afternoon.

When he saw the results of my scan (those scanning machines are amazing), the doctor agreed that I needed to start the injections again. So I’ve had a rough few hours, and now the dancing air bubble is here, flitting around in front of the screen like one of those bouncing balls over the song lyrics in an old movie.

A needle in the eye is horrible, but I can tell you that after you have lived for a few weeks with the symptoms of macular degeneration, you actually kind of look forward to it. Based on my experiences on the two previous occasions (2013 and 2018), the worst of the visual distortions will recede within a few weeks. The downside, of course, is that I have to get an injection every month for an indefinite period.

After I came out of the doctor’s office this afternoon, when I was crossing the parking lot to my car with two sets of temporary sunglasses over my eyes, I realized that I was missing Dymphna more than I had at any point since last summer. During the previous two series of injections, after each treatment I would return home in misery, and she would be there waiting for me, ready to offer sympathy, fix me food, and generally take care of me until I recuperated.

Today I came home to an empty house with a dancing bubble in front of me. I fixed myself a drink, and then lay down with a pillow over my eyes until I was able to focus on the screen again.

So posting is somewhat light this evening. There will be a news feed, and possibly also another post, but possibly not.

Fundraising in the Time of Corona

This was the “sticky” post for the spring fundraiser. It was first published on May 25, and was on top throughout fundraising week. Scroll down for items posted on and after that date.

Spring Fundraiser 2020, Day Seven

Sunday’s Update: A Diversity Flashback

We’re moving into the final day of what has been a very unusual fundraising week.

Tip jarThere was no way to tell in advance how this quarter’s fundraiser might turn out, given the economic devastation that is enshrouding most of the Western world. Would anybody have spare cash to donate to a minor website?

Would anyone even be paying attention?

Well… Up until now there have been a greater than average number of donations — which is astonishing. Yet the total amount that has come in is somewhat less than average, which isn’t surprising at all, since most people have been hit hard financially for the past two months or so. It’s gratifying that so many have been willing to chip in, under the circumstances.

If you haven’t got around to it yet, the tip jar is on the sidebar, or you can use this link.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Instead of another COVID-related update, I’ll close this fundraiser with a blast from the past. The excerpt below was written by Dymphna almost exactly eight years ago, on June 4, 2012, for the final fundraising post of that year’s spring fundraiser.

The theme for that week’s bleg was “Diversity”, and she wrapped everything up with the following remarks:

The subject of Diversity is fraught. So for this Fundraiser, I’ve deliberately kept the lid on certain subjects. They can accumulate like barnacles or smart bombs on the wall of diversity, or rather on the battlements of modern, top-down “Diversity”. As is true of any other project, some stuff has to be routinely scraped off so you can see what’s underneath, yet other junk — whilst appearing to be identical — will blow up in your face. Frankly, the explosions aren’t interesting anymore.

It is the former which draws my curiosity. .The latter, full of traps like the origins or even the existence of “global” “warming” — oops, climate change…oops, methane in the atmosphere. Whatever. Any point in “discussing” those issues is long past. Those in Charge will tell you ahead of time: “It’s settled…” “Consensus Has Been Reached”… “Everyone Knows”… “Only an Idiot Would Think Such a Thing”….and so on, ad infinitum, ad nauseam.

Have you noticed that the more fervently views on such issues are clung to (bitterly), the less room there is for Reason or even the possibility of entertaining alternate ideas? Entertaining ideas? Enter that realm at your own risk.

Here’s a partial list of Don’t-Go-There-Unless-You-Want-a-Fight hot buttons. No particular order here, simply a reflection of what I’ve been reading and thinking about. These are only contentions; I have no solutions. The mysteries of life usually don’t come with quick remedies:

  • Abortion. Or not. When does life begin to have value? No, it’s not “settled”. Look up the numbers of those who believe religiously in #1 vs. those who think the prize is behind Door #2. Just don’t put these folks in the same room.
  • Gender. What could be simpler: This is a girl; see that little cleft where her penis should be? This is a boy, see his penis hanging there? Gender-bending is occurring at younger and younger ages, much to the horrified sorrow of parents caught in a five year-old’s intense identity crisis. It may well be that the crisis is real enough, but it could turn out to be just one manifestation of a larger, more complex reality than the one we can see. Human beings are quite malleable, but they are also fragile. The times in which we live, where sexual identity is up for grabs — literally — are reflected in many issues, and one of them is seen in these canary children. In different times most of them would’ve been spared this assault from the zeitgeist, an assault which begins during the dark floaty existence in utero. Were there no assaults from the residues of psychotropic drugs left in the drinking water (just to name one possible influence), or the constant low-level cultural exposure to increasingly depraved pornography, these children could have lived within the boundaries of their respective anatomy without a blip. When times simplify again — and they surely will — outlier cases will recede again. That’s not much comfort now to these kids or their parents as they stumble through the nightmare.
  • Religion is a crutch vs. Spirituality is a part of human experience. The former has become the more intellectually acceptable attitude of late, though one wonders what insecurity keeps the more aggressively devout unbelievers at their megaphones, proselytizing like hard-shell Mississippi Baptists. You begin to ask if there is some fervent need on their part to save the unwashed from arrant foolishness. Perhaps a good dose of American history about the cycles of the Great Awakenings in the 18th and 19th centuries would at least help the ardent atheists this side of the Atlantic to gain some perspective.

    My guess regarding the foundation of this popular orthodoxy among the media gatekeepers? It’s high school redux: they want to be with the cool kids and they don’t want to have to actually study anything. Aping your betters is so much easier, especially if your “educated” betters are being all edgy and you know it will irritate those boring duds in Flyover Country… As is the case for other media belief blankets, if you want to hear another side (and there is more than one) you’ll have to hunt for it on your own. What surprises me is the number of people who do — want to hear another point of view, I mean.

  • Sex among adults. Interestingly, as the results from the Boomer generation become apparent, and the laws of unintended consequences begin to take their toll, their children are turning away from their parents’ youthful decisions to let it all hang out. They see the results and politely decline. Or at least the ones who catch on early enough do so. They know the health risks for both sexes of too many sexual partners. They understand the complexities of bonding better than their naïve parents did. Except for the one percent — those befuddled “Occupy” useful tools — for the most part middle-class kids have turned back the clock. Of course many of them face rigors their parents did not: huge education debt, a poor job market, and increasing balkanization by class. Their lives will be tougher in many ways, but then so will they. At least the ones who aren’t forced to move back home, much the same way their great grandparents had to do to get by.
  • Sex with children as the new norm. Nope, that’s not worth our time. The downward deviancy of our culture was seen two generations ago and I’m sure it’s not hit bottom yet. But it will. In the meantime, let’s not contribute to the pollution.
  • Death. Like the beginnings of life, its endings are becoming more fungible. The Right to Die vs. the Responsibility to Die. Our old are becoming the Ice Floe Generation. And who gets to decide whose life has meaning or value? Recently, a couple sued for Wrongful Birth when their child was born with congenital anomalies the parents believed they should have been told about ahead of time. Among the nettles were questions like financial responsibility for this life no one wants. This question lies floundering side-by-side with the reality of aborted, breathing fetuses who are killed on the operating table without a qualm. Are we confused or what?
  • Trash. There are lots more thorns and contention here, but let’s end with garbage, with refuse, with detritus. Like global warming, there are folks on both sides of the Religion of Recycling, which is a smaller denomination of the colossal Environmental Cathedral — and that place makes Vatican City look like a high-rise tenement. Again, this subject has sectarian overtones in the higher reaches (or screeches) of the True Believers. For the dissidents there is often no choice: just because you can ‘prove’ your locality saves nothing by recycling doesn’t mean you can opt out. There are handy garbage technologies in your wheelie bin that will see you fined or put in jail if you don’t conform.

    One of the dystopian uncharms of living in an urban landscape is unending trash. But city-slicker trash has become another source of revenue for cash-poor rural areas. While the downside is that the nearby urban poor often find it cheaper to skulk out here to the country and leave their bags of unidentifiable refuse because they can’t afford the trash stickers the city makes them buy, there’s an upside to this. Big cities up North will pay good money to poor rural areas if they’ll take the garbage out. Thus many county boards of supervisors do just that, and this venture keeps the real estate tax rate down for the bumpkins.

    Don’t you wonder where this will lead as consumers are unable to continue consuming? Will trash reduce itself to an endangered species? In order to continue the justification of its existence, will the EPA have to step in with emergency rulings?

Diverse contentions. They’re endless and they get more polarized all the time. As resources get thin on the ground, look for the rigidities to worsen. I don’t know about you, but I’m sick of living in interesting times. I’m ready for a good long spell of boredom — kind of like those endless amber waves of grain we don’t have anymore because they hybridized all the wheat. Modern varieties are now too short to wave at anyone.

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The photo below was taken in the late 1990s. It shows Dymphna on her 58th birthday:

It’s probably the last image of her that I’ll scan and post, unless I happen upon another trove of lost photos. She gave her permission for me to post just one, the photo of her holding a puppy that I included with my eulogy for her last June.

However, I figure that her attitude about such things is probably more relaxed now that she is incorporeal. The photos of her that I’ve posted here over the past twelve months are excellent ones, in my opinion. She is exactly herself in them, and I cherish them more than words can say. I think she’s OK with my including them here.

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Saturday’s gifts came in from:

Stateside: California, Illinois, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico, and Texas

Far Abroad: Australia and the UK

Canada: Ontario

I’ll be back in a few days to post a wrap-up with the final tally of locations.

The next fundraiser will begin sometime in the hot, hot summer. Who knows what the coronacrisis will have morphed into by then?

Many thanks to everyone for their generosity.

Saturday’s Update: Who is That Masked Man?

We’re moving into the penultimate day of Gates of Vienna’s quarterly fundraiser.

Readers who are sheltering in place at home and have nothing better to do are invited to send a modest donation by way of the tip cup on the sidebar (or by using this link).

Those small individual gifts are the way I keep this blog going. If a significant number of readers give a little bit each, it adds up to enough to pay for the site and keep me in cheese and crackers for another quarter.

Full disclosure: This website is not corona-compliant. Its proprietor is a coronadissident who refuses to wear a mask.

Since yesterday morning’s update I became aware of an article published by the The New England Journal of Medicinethat bolsters my dissident stance. It concerns the ineffectiveness of wearing a mask as a means of preventing the spread of COVID-19. One of our commenters mentioned it, but I also ran across it on Twitter.

This was actually published in April, but for some reason is only now drawing attention:

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Corona Hijab

When I posted about the coronavirus scam last night, I referred to the now-ubiquitous medical face mask as a Corona Hijab. I’d like to elaborate on that concept just a little bit this afternoon.

When a Muslim woman wears hijab, it serves two functions. First of all, it covers up a female’s sexually attractive characteristics, which keeps the wearer from arousing the lust of men with whom she is not permitted to copulate. When a man’s lust is aroused, he is not responsible for his actions. The woman (or girl) is responsible for the consequences if she allows herself to become “uncovered meat”.

The second function of the veil is to signal a woman’s submission. By wearing it she shows her obedience to Allah, who commanded that women be covered. Since Allah also deemed that a woman must obey her father or her husband, the hijab is also a signal that she has submitted to one or both of them.

Similarly, the public wearing of a medical face mask is a sign of submission. Science has deemed that face masks must be worn to prevent the djinn the COVID-19 virus from invading one’s body. By wearing it, a dutiful citizen signals his submission to Science.

Since Science has also delegated authority to divers worldly powers — national and local governments, the CDC, the WHO, state health departments, etc. — the mask-wearer is also publicly declaring his submission to state authority.

Just as Allah’s commands may not be altered or overruled, so the commands of Science must not be questioned. Science has determined that the mask is necessary; therefore it must be worn, and no ordinary mortal may presume to argue with that decree.

Now, I’ve read a lot of data about face masks, both pro and con. On balance, it seems they are largely pointless. As I understand it, the virus particles are so small that they pass through the filter of even an N95 mask, which provides less than 10% protection against the ChiCom flu.

On the other hand, they prevent droplets of saliva or sputum from escaping when the wearer coughs, sneezes, talks, or sings, which means that anyone who is already infected is less likely to spread the disease via his mouth or nostrils. So they’re not entirely useless.

We’re not allowed to have such discussions in public, however, for fear of arousing the wrath of Science, as explained by His prophets, such as Anthony Fauci (pbuh) and Neil Ferguson (no pbuh for him, however, since he has recently sinned).

A faithful believer in Science does not question the face mask; he simply wears it, thereby displaying his submission to Science. When an obedient citizen ventures out onto the street, he makes sure to wear his mask. That tells the muttawa the police that he is a compliant servant of Science, so that they leave him unmolested.

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Life in Corona-Isolation

Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff has chronicled her experience of coronavirus lockdown in a remote rural location in Austria.

Life in Corona-Isolation

by Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff

My husband, a surgeon and commanding officer of a military hospital, saw it coming: “As soon as schools shut down, you and Erica are leaving the city.” This was a few days before March 13, when the Austrian government instructed the population to shelter in place, closed all schools and the entire economy in order to restrict personal interactions and break the exponential rise of Covid-19 infections. I believed him, yet on a subconscious level hoped this was just a bad dream, while I mechanically packed a few bags and waited for Erica to return from school one last time.

I was transported back in time, some thirty years ago, when one morning I woke up to the sound of helicopters hovering over Kuwait City, forcing me to head to the nearest supermarket for essentials, just as I did on that day the government shut down Austria. There were rumors about government plans to impose a curfew and to limit the number of shoppers in a store. (All that was to follow in the coming days.) I remember the insecurity of the resulting panic-buyers on March 14, when I also shopped for essentials, though not for toilet paper (!), before Erica and I packed up our two cats and headed to our country house in southern Austria. My husband had planned to help us settle in, but was called to the barracks due to an alarm notice sent out during the night hours. In all his years in the army this had never happened before. My stomach felt very queasy.

The drive to our new home was eerie. In normal times, the main highway to the south is commonly used by cars and countless heavy-laden trucks likely heading to Austria’s neighbors Italy and Slovenia. But not on this Saturday: not only was the highway empty, but so were the winding roads through the mountainous areas. There were no tractors or other farm equipment slowing us down, no one on a sightseeing tour, just a mother, her daughter and their cats fleeing the city for safety in the countryside while listening to breaking news on the radio. After all, the mayor of Vienna had recently announced that he and his experts expected hundreds or thousands of Covid-19 infected people in Vienna, and had therefore begun erecting a makeshift hospital in a spacious exhibition hall to assist the regular hospitals, which were expected to overflow with patients.

Erica and I have settled in to our new rural life thirty miles away from the nearest major city. Due to the de facto curfew which permits only shopping for essentials, a visit to the doctor’s office or outdoor exercise, I venture out only very rarely, fascinated once again by how little one requires and how much we still have access to. The grocery stores have always been fully stocked. Yet, as much as I would want to take advantage of the gradual opening of stores, my aversion to the forced use of face masks when entering a store denies me the pleasure.

Let me explain the reasons: First, research and discussions with my doctor husband and others in the medical field make me conclude that face masks are at best useless and at worst even dangerous; the masks literally mask a feeling of security. If they make one feel more secure, then by all means wear them. But mandating a face mask by law is wrong. Secondly — and this is the real reason for my rejection of wearing the face mask — I have been a staunch advocate of banning the veiling of women, especially in the West. I cannot support the mandatory face mask and simultaneous fight against mandatory veiling of women. I want to look people in the eyes, read their lips (which we all do subconsciously), enjoy their facial expressions and judge whether they are friendly or not. All of this is made impossible by facial masks. I am betraying myself if I wear an ugly face mask, so instead I wrap a very light shawl around my nose and mouth for now until the arrival of my recently ordered summer hat with a light sunscreen shawl.

Nevertheless, I am fascinated by the creativity stimulated by the compulsory face masks. Newspapers offer sewing instructions; famous and not-yet-famous designers provide their interpretation of a “designer face mask” including a corresponding price tag; but I am so partial to masks personally sewn by Brigitte Huber, whose great-grandfather was Gustav Klimt, I even ordered one for posterity.

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