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.

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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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Geronticide in Sweden

Last week I posted an interview with a Swedish nurse named Latifa Löfvenberg by Dr. Jon Tallinger, the Swedish MD who blew the whistle on the Swedish medical authorities’ directive about the treatment of elderly COVID-19 patients at nursing homes.

The Swedish health service has ordered that elderly coronavirus patients be given morphine instead of oxygen treatment for their severe respiratory symptoms. Nursing homes are forbidden to administer oxygen to residents, and hospital ICUs will not accept them as patients. Oxygen has been shown to be effective in relieving respiratory distress in such patients, enough so that they may be able to survive the disease. However, morphine has the opposite effect: it inhibits their breathing even further, and they inevitably die of suffocation. The drug takes away any pain they might have, but it kills them.

In the last couple of weeks the latest statistics have shown that Sweden is experiencing an upsurge of deaths from COVID-19. Since most of the deaths from the disease in Western countries — more than 80%, according to the statistics — occur in long-term care facilities for the very old, the reason for the spike in Sweden’s death rate seems clear.

The Swedish government obviously sees an opportunity in the ChiCom flu: through its heartless treatment of elderly patients it can clear out space in nursing homes (making it easier to convert some of them to asylum facilities) and reduce its eldercare costs, thereby relieving the pressure on its socialized health care system.

It’s an unannounced, unacknowledged policy of covert euthanasia.

And all carried out by the world’s humanitarian superpower.

Below is a more in-depth discussion between Dr. Tallinger and Nurse Löfvenberg about the situation in Swedish nursing homes. Many thanks to Vlad Tepes for uploading this video:

For further discussion along these lines, see the Angry Foreigner (hat tip LN).

Swedish Press Conference on COVID-19

The following video contains excerpts from a press conference in Sweden about data errors in the official projections used concerning the Wuhan Coronavirus. The man answering the questions is Anders Tegnell, the state epidemiologist for Sweden.

What I found interesting in this clip is that Dr. Tegnell is refreshingly straightforward. I must be accustomed to American press conferences, where official spokescreatures usually drown the audience in doubletalk, spin, obfuscation, misdirection, and bafflegab.

Many thanks to Kronans Martell (Ullis News) for the translation, and to Vlad Tepes and RAIR Foundation for the subtitling:

Video transcript:

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Mandatory Euthanasia for Elderly Coronavirus Victims in Sweden

Last week I posted Vlad’s interview with a Swedish doctor named Jon Tallinger, who drew a lot of attention in Sweden when he blew the whistle on the health service’s policies towards elderly coronavirus victims. Instead of giving them oxygen treatment — which might actually enable them to survive the infection — nursing homes are required to administer morphine, which inhibits their breathing even further, and are forbidden to send coronavirus patients to the hospital.

This is, for all practical purposes, a program of deliberate euthanasia.

As a follow-up, in the video below Dr. Tallinger interviews a nursing-home nurse named Latifa Löfvenberg, who has personally witnessed the treatment of elderly coronavirus patients. Ms. Löfvenberg has courageously agreed to speak publicly about what she has seen, and is willing to testify in a court of law if necessary.

Many thanks to Vlad Tepes for uploading this video:

Academic Coronaskeptics in the Czech Republic

The following document was published at the website of Charles University in Prague. We owe Xanthippa a debt of gratitude for translating it from the original Czech. The translator also recommends an English-language analysis of it by a highly respected physicist and formal presidential advisor.

This is one of the most sensible things I’ve read about the coronavirus. It’s good to see something like this put out by fully credentialed academic experts (as opposed to TV talking head experts). It’s like a formal text version of the video by the two California doctors that went viral before YouTube took it down:

April 21, 2020

Challenge from 11 doctors of Charles University to the public

The Czech Republic has been on lockdown for almost six weeks under restrictive measures introduced in connection with the protection of citizens’ health during the COVID-19 epidemic. The government needs to be commended for the first swift and comprehensive measures, which have undoubtedly helped to manage the risks. At present, in light of current epidemiological data and the development of the epidemic, it is necessary to significantly accelerate the dismantling of these measures — for the sake of the health of citizens, economic and social stability and the prosperity of the country.

The common motivation for the emergence of this challenge is the protection of the health of the citizens of the Czech Republic, which is threatened by long-term restrictions, fears for our future, whether health-related or economic, as well as efforts to dispel the untruths and myths which are being spread about the epidemic. These blanket measures will not lead to the eradication of COVID-19 . Above all, it is necessary to create an immune response in the majority of the population, which will also protect vulnerable groups of the population, as defined by their diagnosis, not by their age.

In order to maintain the health and prosperity of our country, it is essential to:

  • end the state of emergency by 30 April 2020;
  • restore full access to healthcare for all citizens;
  • resume classes at primary, secondary and higher learning institutions during May 2020;
  • remove obstacles to the functioning of the economy, prevent the collapse that threatens significant parts of small and medium-sized enterprises and sole proprietors;
  • gradually loosen state borders in coordination with neighboring countries, and especially with our neighbors and those with a similar epidemiological situation, such as Germany or Austria;
  • adopt well-thought-out solutions instead of chaotic and contradictory measures.

Our conclusion is drawn from current epidemiological data, knowledge, facts, expertise and also from our professional and practical experience and knowledge.

1. IT IS NECESSARY TO RESUME FULL MEDICAL CARE FOR ALL CITIZENS

Since the beginning of March, there has been a service outage in healthcare facilities for seriously ill patients who are not COVID-19 positive. Preventive programs in cardiovascular care and oncology have been stopped. For example, the removal of transplant organs and a number of surgical procedures have been reduced.

Other casualties are caused both by postponing planned interventions and by patients’ fear of going to hospital in time. There are increasing cases of neglected abdominal pain (ruptured appendix and other sudden abdominal events), minor movement or speaking disorders (stroke) or shoulder or back pain (acute myocardial infarction), all due to patients’ fear of infection during treatment or hospitalization.

The reduction in the choice of health insurance — even with the proposed increase in payments for state insured persons — will lead to a deepening of underfunding of the entire health care system, and thus, in its consequences, to worsened care for patients with other, often more serious diseases than COVID-19. Unfortunately, victims of this lack of care will have been caused by anti-epidemic measures against the coronavirus.

2. THE HEALTHCARE SYSTEM DID NOT AND SHALL NOT COLLAPSE UNDER THE PRESSURE OF SUPPORTING COVID-19 PATIENTS

From Italy, we know that 80% of the population infected with COVID-19 present with mild symptoms that do not require hospitalization. Of the 20% experiencing more severe symptoms, 5% required intensive care. Here, proponents of a full quarantine of the nation and the closure of the world are basing their calculations on 50% mortality rate and three weeks’ hospitalization in intensive care units [per patient]. These figures only apply to the most severe forms of pneumonia and respiratory distress. However, we find these in only 25%-30% of intensive care patients, while overall, the most common length of stay of a patient with COVID-19 is between 8-10 days. This more than doubles the estimated capacity of the availability of intensive care units. In addition, up until today (April 21, 2020) we have not filled more than 45% of the capacity of intensive care units in the Czech Republic, so we have more than half of them in reserve!

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Sweden’s Elderly Get the Kiss of Death From Socialized Health Care

Jon Tallinger MD is a Swedish family practice physician in a suburb of Stockholm. In recent days he has gained fame as a whistleblower who made public the official guidelines of the Swedish public health service: Very old COVID-19 patients, or those with COVID and additional severe health conditions, are not to be sent to the hospital to receive oxygen therapy, which might in fact help them survive the disease and recover. Nursing homes and family practice doctors are not permitted to administer oxygen, so there is then no possibility for a very old coronavirus-infected patient to receive oxygen therapy.

The recommended alternative is that such patients be given morphine as a palliative measure. This will kill their pain, help shut down their breathing, and send them off to the glorious Folkhemmet in the sky with a smile on their face.

Below is an interview with Dr. Tallinger about the state directive on oxygen therapy. I’ll make explicit what is only implied in Dr. Tallinger’s remarks: the Swedish establishment apparently views the current crisis as an opportunity to administer euthanasia to the very old behind the scrim of COVID-19, thus reducing costs over the next decade or two and allowing the socialized health care system to survive on life support for that much longer.

Many thanks to Vlad Tepes and RAIR Foundation for conducting the interview and uploading the video:

Stocks of Anti-WuFlu Drug Looted From French Hospital

Hydroxychloroquine (also called Plaquenil) is a drug that is used to treat malaria, and also to relieve rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. I know it’s been around for a long time, because it was prescribed for me almost fifty years ago to treat my juvenile rheumatoid arthritis of the tendons.

Recent trials have tentatively shown that hydroxychloroquine is effective against the Wuhan Coronavirus. Since it is a long-established drug, it can be immediately prescribed for “off-label” use against the disease.

A few days ago a major hospital in France had its stocks of hydroxychloroquine pilfered by persons unknown. Many thanks to MissPiggy for translating this news report, and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling:

Video transcript:

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The Vision Thing

I had my appointment with the retinologist this afternoon to assess the condition of my left eye (which has wet macular degeneration). It has remained stable for three months now, so he is going to switch from a scheduled injection every two months to a situation where he monitors my condition every two months with scans, etc., with no injections unless the situation changes.

That’s all I had to do today — have my eyes scanned, and then a look-see by the doctor. No injection! It’s a good day.

My pupils were still dilated when I got home, which is why I haven’t gotten down to posting until now.

The Well of Memory

This post was a “sticky” feature and was on top throughout fundraising week. Scroll down for the whole week’s worth of more recent items.

Autumn Fundraiser 2019, Day Seven

Sunday’s Update: Madonna and Child

At last! We’ve arrived at the final day of Gates of Vienna’s quarterly fundraising week. After today I’ll stop bugging you for three more months.

Tip jarBut this morning I’ll take this final opportunity to remind everyone what this week is all about: Modest donations from lots and lots of readers provide enough wherewithal to keep this website going. The generosity of our donors has enabled us — and now it’s only me — to get by every quarter. Just barely, but I get by.

I’ll have to postpone indulging my taste for champagne and caviar until one of my relatives gets elected to high office and arranges a place for me on the board of a Ukrainian energy company, with a nice seven-figure annual stipend…

If you’ve only just discovered this fall’s bleg, or if you haven’t already hit the tip cup, please go over to the sidebar and make it clink. Alternatively, you can use this handy link.

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My final installment concerning Memory for this fundraising week will be a few more reminiscences of my time with Dymphna.

The photo at the top of this update shows Dymphna and the future Baron. It was taken in the late 1980s, in the late summer or early fall. That summer had been hot and dry — there was a devastating drought early on, in May and June. In some of the photos from June the grass is utterly withered and brown. But by the time this photo was taken there had obviously been some rain, because plenty of green is visible in the background.

When I came across this photo recently, I looked at Dymphna’s face, and it seemed so recent — there she was! And then I looked at the fB — he obviously wasn’t yet two years old. That means that more than thirty years have passed since that early autumn afternoon.

I can remember a lot about what happened between then and now. A few years after the photo was taken I taught the future Baron to read and write, and made him do his sums. Then Dymphna’s mother came to live with us, and I took care of her for a year until she died.

All through the ’90s we were quite poor. I was painting pictures, and not making any significant money doing it. Dymphna was a social worker, and then later had her own housecleaning business. She kept us afloat, but all those years were pretty lean.

Yet we never lacked for anything. My son had no idea we were poor. He had a VCR and lots of videos. I made sure to take him to the beach at least once every summer. We didn’t get to stay at any high-toned beach accommodations, mind you, but that didn’t matter to him — he was just a kid. Staying in a little cabin and eating at Burger King was fine with him.

Just before Y2K I had to stop home-schooling him, because my skills in chemistry and physics were minimal. We sent him to private school, and I found well-paying work as a programmer so that we could afford it. The Lord provided. It worked out.

Just before he graduated from high school, his sister Shelagh, Dymphna’s daughter, died of a methadone overdose. The fB went off to college, and Dymphna went into a tailspin that she never really recovered from.

The foundation of this blog was my idea: I thought it might help her work through the pain of grieving. And it did. Most of you have seen her early work on this site, either when she originally wrote it twelve or fifteen years ago, or in the reposts I’ve been doing since she died. She was a powerhouse of a writer, and putting her heart into her essays help bring her back to the land of the living. Even as her condition worsened (she suffered from fibromyalgia), she kept at it as much as she could, right up until the end.

And now here I am, maintaining the site by myself and dealing with my own pain of grieving. My wife is gone, but she lives on in her writings, and is ever-present with me in this empty house that we shared for forty years.

I will always remember her, as long as memory remains.

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Keeping an Eye

I returned a little while ago from the retinologist’s office, where he gave me the latest periodic injection in my left eye, which is being treated for wet macular degeneration.

The good news is that my eyes are doing so well that I don’t have to go in again for three months. Even better: if the condition of my left eye remains stable till then, I may be allowed another hiatus in the ejections. I went almost four years without one in the past (2014-2018), so I remain hopeful.

I’m not back to full functioning yet, so posting will be somewhat light for the rest of the evening. However, I may post a couple of items, and there will be a news feed.

A Return to Normalcy

This post was a “sticky” feature, first posted last Monday, and was on top throughout fundraising week. Scroll down for more recent items, including the killing of Osama bin Laden’s son Hamza, a Swedish municipal bus used as a mosque, an essay on Björn Höcke and the AfD, Onan driving a Swedish bus, two reports on the sword murder in Stuttgart, the latest on Matteo Salvini, and last night’s news feed.

Summer Fundraiser 2019, Day Six

Saturday’s update

OK, folks we’ve arrived at the weekend. The Summer fundraiser is almost over, and normal programming will soon resume.

Tip jarThe theme of this week’s bleg is the return to normalcy, that is, to routine. During any given fundraising week, donations from Texas, California, Michigan, Illinois, and Australia are routine. But three of yesterday’s locations definitely are not part of the routine: Israel, New Zealand, and Newfoundland. We get a few donors here and there from the first two — just a few — but as far as I know, we only get one from up there by the Grand Banks.

So here’s to the outliers! Thank you for making the donation statistics that much more variegated and entertaining.

For those of you who are just joining us: this is how I keep this blog alive. When Dymphna was still with us, she would share posting chores with me, regaling potential donors on alternate mornings with her wit and whimsy to persuade them to hit the tip cup on the sidebar (or this link) and contribute to the upkeep of the site — and to keep its proprietors from going hungry for another quarter.

Now there’s just one proprietor, but I still need your help to stay out of the bread line.

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Gates of Vienna has its own weekly rhythm, its own pattern of routine. Or, rather, it used to.

In the early years of this website I was working in Richmond. I would drive down there during the week and come home on weekends. During those few days I spent at home I had the luxury of writing posts and participating in the blog to an extent that I couldn’t match during the week.

Back in those days, I designated Saturday as either Ranting Day or Poetry Day, depending on my mood. If it was time to rant, I could include a graphic of the Ranting Man, as seen here on the left. I love the Ranting Man, and I reserve him for special occasions, not wanting to squander him gratuitously (as I have just now done).

But this Saturday is Poetry Day. And, in honor of the first fundraiser without Dymphna, I’ll feature one of her poems.

Dymphna was an accomplished poet. She only had a few published, in local newspapers and college magazines, but she left behind a rich legacy of unpublished work.

The poem below tells a true story. She wrote it almost a quarter-century ago, shortly after the events it describes. We had somehow acquired a rooster, as a favor to a friend. His harem of hens had been attritted to nothing, and we agreed to give the sorrowful fellow a home. For a while.

He turned out to be an annoyingly violent #$&#!?%! as a guest. Those spurs on his legs were vicious — one time he cut a long slash in my pants leg. So we only kept him for a while; we passed him on to an elderly country woman who had lengthy experience with roosters, and knew how to keep them in line.

I’ll let Dymphna tell the rest of the story:

Rooster Lessons

by Dymphna

He was quintessential pride:
Quick, iridescent and verbose.
His auburn head cocked to look
At me, his comb trembling,
The rumble of his song,
The macho tilt of his tail feathers—
I was enchanted.

Never trust a rooster
Who’s been deposed.
He has problems with attachment,
And the angry edginess
Gives way to bilious melancholy,
As befits a man bereft
Of his women and position.
There is no cure.

How much his chicken brain
Retained of his former life
Is hard to say.
To be unchosen is lonely enough;
To be deposed is a worse fate:
The shame of losing face, place,
With no one to crow for…
An autarch cannot live so.

Our rooster didn’t even try.
He crowed despairingly at odd hours.
He left the cat alone,
But the rest of us were targets
For his rage and loneliness.
Going outside, however stealthily,
Brought him running sideways,
Wings spread, spurs ready.
He gouged a neighbor’s dog.

Held hostage by a rooster.
We eyed each other:
Him on the porch,
Me behind the storm door.
He in rage,
Me in speculation.
How to douse this feathered fire?

Ah, modern medicine:
I waited for him to wander off
And mixed a batch of wheat germ —
His favorite grain —
With a healthy dose of Klonopin
And quickly spread it on the porch floor

Dumb bird ate it all,
Brown and pink fragments
Disappearing down his greedy beak.
Becalmed, he let himself be led
To start another life,
Penned in with guinea fowl.
I hope he finds some solace there.

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Friday’s gifts came in from:

Stateside: Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Nebraska, and New Hampshire

Far Abroad: Israel, New Zealand, and the UK

Canada: Newfoundland

Australia: New South Wales

Friday’s update

The action in the tip cup (or at this link) really livened up yesterday after Western Rifle Shooters posted a link to this week’s bleg.

Tip jarA WRSA link often causes a sudden, distinct surge of donations. I can sometimes deduce what’s happening even before I see the post over there — I can tell by the fact that most of the new gifts come in from Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, Texas, North Dakota, and other locations out there on the Wild Frontier.

So thank you, WRSA. And a special thank-you to WRSA readers who came over here.

The issue of the right to keep and bear arms is looming large in American culture and politics right now, due to the recent mass shootings. Such events always induce a mad rush towards gun control, even among Republicans. When that happens, devotees of the Second Amendment hurry out to buy more guns and ammo before the next anti-gun law is passed.

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The theme of this week’s fundraiser is the return to normalcy. I’ve talked about personal normalcy — that is, my finding a new routine in the midst of grieving — and I’ve talked about the lunacy that passes as the new “normal” in 21st-century politics.

This morning I’ll cover normalcy as it applies to Gates of Vienna. Long-time readers have already heard about the routine workflow at this website, so they can skip this overview if they wish. But newcomers may be interested.

Besides the news feed, there are three principal functions that I strive to perform here: (1) Posting original articles and essays on Counterjihad matters and other topics of interest; (2) Posting translated articles and essays that might otherwise not be available in English; and (3) Creating translated and subtitled videos.

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