Frick and Frack at Sea

To take your mind off the Chinese virus, here’s another inimitable pastiche by JLH.

Frick and Frack at Sea

by JLH (with apologies to Edward Lear)

I

Bernie and Biden were all at sea.
Their faces as green as the kelp.
They brought some money — but it was funny,
They both still needed more help.
Biden looked up at the stars above,
And sang to his mandolin:
“Oh Bernie my friend
You’re insane without end.
What an absolute kook you are.
You are,
What a nutcase from Vermont you are!”

II

Bernie said to old Joe, “It’s too bad that your Id
Is the only thing left of your mind.
If you’d done all the things you said that you did
We wouldn’t be in this bind.”
So they sailed away, for a year and a day,
To the land where the money tree grows.
And there on a hill, a Hillary stood,
With a permanently out-of-joint nose.
A nose.
A permanently out-of-joint nose.

III

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Impeachment Meets Sennacherib

We are currently in the midst of the most insane political season that I can remember. It’s not just the USA, but the impeachment circus is the Greatest Show on Earth at this point, so that’s what JLH has spotlighted in his latest pastiche.

Impeachment Meets Sennacherib

by JLH, with apologies to the shade of Lord Byron

The Democrats came down like lemmings in heat,
And the might of their anger would brook no retreat;
And the glare of their fury was like fire in the brush,
And the heat of their hate turned their minds into mush.

Like ants in an anthill when summer is warm,
Like termites mindlessly forming a swarm;
Like hyenas circling what they think is half dead.
They carelessly created their own end instead.

For the Spirit of Truth and the obvious facts
Blew through the lies and inventions so fast,
That the troika of traitors who’d chosen this task
Stood forth in the klieg lights, unaware and unmasked.

The Fatman, the Pipe Cleaner, Cruella Deville,
Who wished no one good and everyone ill,
Intoned and squeaked and flew ‘round on a broom,
Mindlessly causing their own allies’ doom.

And the iceberg of treason to sink the ship of state
Passed through Hurricane Donald to a well-deserved fate.
Its melting portends a political tsunami
To wash away the corrupt, the banal and the commie.

The Temporal Princes

In the early days of this blog, back when I was commuting to work in Richmond and was only home on weekends, Saturday was often designated Poetry Day (and when it wasn’t, it was Ranting Day, which was also fun).

Today’s poem is actually an excerpt from a much longer work by C. Day Lewis, “The Magnetic Mountain”. I’ve never seen any of the rest of the poem, so these four stanzas must be the best part. The excerpt was included in an anthology of modern verse that I was assigned to study for O-level English in the late 1960s. I memorized it back then (we had to memorize lengthy chunks of verse to quote in the exam), but I don’t own a copy of it, so I hadn’t thought of it in decades.

As I mentioned last weekend, I’ve been sorting through a big old trunk of odds and ends. Some of the memorabilia in it are more than fifty years old, and I hadn’t laid eyes on any of the stuff in more than forty years. As a result, I’ve been running into some (mostly pleasant) surprises.

This past week I encountered the first two stanzas of the poem mentioned above in that trunk. I had scribbled them from memory on the cover of a William and Mary notebook — in class, when I was bored — in about 1971. When I saw them, they seemed VERY familiar, and gradually all four stanzas came back to me. But I couldn’t remember who the poet was, so I googled a piece of the text, and found it on someone’s blog (with minor textual errors, and possibly missing some commas).

This is a superb poem. I’m glad I recovered it after all these years. It’s somewhat gloomy, but I’ve just returned from a funeral, so gloom is appropriate:

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To Our Cloying Mistresses

For a change of pace, here’s a riff by JLH on a well-known poem by the great Metaphysical poet Andrew Marvell.

To:   Nancy forever-the-Speaker Pelosi, A I-despise-my-constituents OC, “truly Illegal” Omar, Rash and-then-some Tlaib, Alyssa my-bottom-is my-best-known-feature Milano, Jane if-I-can’t-be-a world-class-beauty-I-can-be-a-world-class-jerk Fonda, and honorary “mean girls” Adam my-pencil-neck-constricts-my-thinking Schiff and Gerald they-sucked-out-my-fat-and-some-of-my-brain Nadler
 

To Our Cloying Mistresses

by JLH, with apologies to Andrew Marvell

Had we but world enough and time,
This nonsense, ladies, were less a crime.
We could leisurely propose a bill,
That just might heal the nation’s ills.
And tarry by Potomac’s rush
To declaim the nation’s debt to us.
Non-partisan, we’d find a way
To pass the tardy USMCA.
We’d debate in principle, friendship and calm
Until the conversion of all Islam.
We’d reduce our pay and also our pension
And never again give “pork” a mention.
We’d praise our nation, which is like no other
And greet new citizens as sister and brother.
We’d praise each of us of any race or station
Who freely chooses to love this nation.

But at your back you too must hear
The next election hurrying near.
Your power, as all power must,
Will shrivel up and turn to dust,
And as an hourglass’s sands,
Will trickle through your nerveless hands.
Consider, as you greatly dare:
Defeat is something no one shares.

While capable still of reasoned thought,
Compare what you “may” to what you “ought”.
And think while in the light of day,
Unlike nocturnal birds of prey,
How to squeeze yourself, if you are quick
Through the iron gate of politics.
And seek relief by setting free
Again this land of liberty.

A Cat Who Depends on Secondary Sources

This week’s edition of Dymphna’s Greatest Hits is an unusual one: not only has the poem below never been published before, but until now it had never existed except in manuscript form. It was written in pencil on a half-sheet of paper torn out of a spiral notebook. As far as I know she wrote it in the late winter of 1978-79, a few months before we met. It was the first poem by Dymphna I ever read.

Charlie was a stray cat who wandered into Dymphna’s household in Maryland and was adopted by her (probably at the behest of her kids). When she moved in here the following summer, Charlie came with her. I remember him as an amiable fellow, but he didn’t stick around very long. He hadn’t yet fully bonded with Schloss Bodissey, and it may be that the lure of the vast wilderness outside the front door was irresistible to him. In any case, a few days after he arrived he went out one morning and never returned.

Charlie was here so briefly that no photos were ever taken of him, so I used a picture of Moe instead for the header of this post. I don’t think Charlie had any black on him, but the picture will have to do.

[Moe appeared in this space a few times a quarter-century later, most notably in a heroic role in 2005 when his piteous meowing alerted his master that his mistress had fallen off a ladder picking figs and couldn’t get up.]

And now for the poem:

Conversations With Charlie

by Dymphna

Not Nietzsche…
Charlie and I discussed the weather:
Whether it would rain;
When Spring would come;
Where the mice had gone for Winter.

I sat there on the car,
Breathing the becoming air
And glad to be
With Charlie in the dark.

But Nietzsche? No…
Charlie doesn’t read him,
Except in translation,
And I have nothing
To say to a cat
Who depends on secondary sources.

Knowing Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up To Be

This week’s edition of Dymphna’s Greatest Hits requires a special explanation, because the poem featured below has never previously been published. She wrote it in the summer of 1995 as part of an extended collection that we called Therapy Poems, although its official title eventually became Intense Disclosures (which itself would require a separate essay to explain, but Wallace Stevens aficionados may recognize the reference).

Dymphna liked to say that she had been in therapy longer than Woody Allen. She had seen several therapists before I met her, but after we got together we were quite poor for almost two decades, so her opportunities for professional psychotherapeutic assistance became very infrequent.

In the mid-1990s, however, she was given the opportunity to have weekly sessions with a young psychiatrist who had just entered his residency. She was to be the central case for his thesis, or whatever it is that psychiatric residents do to achieve their final release from training and be allowed to practice. She was able to see him gratis for therapy once a week over a period of a couple of years.

She was, as she herself described it, a Difficult Patient. She knew far too much about psychology, philosophy, theology, and other esoteric subjects to be easy going for a therapist. Fortunately, her doctor was (and is) a competent, kind, considerate, and humane man, and was able to navigate the stormy seas raised by Dymphna’s psychological tempest.

Their sessions were intense, needless to say. Early in their relationship she took to writing a poem after every session, which she would then deliver to him at the start of their next meeting. At the end of his residency, when he had to terminate the therapy, she collected the poems together into a volume entitled Intense Disclosures, had it printed and bound, and gave him a copy.

To create the book, she turned all the original Word documents over to me, and I did all the formatting and indexing necessary for the print version. As a result, I have the full collection — which we always called “Therapy Poems” between ourselves until she picked out an official title — in a form that is easily accessible. “There is a Midnight” (which I posted as part of my eulogy for her), was a member of that collection, as was “Lament For My Brother”, which I posted here.

The poem below may be the best in the collection. She wrote it when she was very unhappy and angry with her therapist (as patients in psychotherapy often are). He was such a WASPy guy, with his blond hair and blue eyes, so she tweaked his nose with “To Young Dr. O’Malley From the Bi-Polar on Ward A-2”.

The poem would still be worth reading if the story ended there. However, after he had read it, he confided to her a personal detail about his life: he had recently learned that his parents had adopted him, and that his biological parents were in fact Jewish. He looked so Aryan, and had been raised a Christian, but genetically speaking, he was a Jew.

Not an old one, though. Not yet.

The poem is below the jump. By the way: “O’Malley” is not his real surname, so there’s no point in searching the lists of accredited Virginia psychiatrists to try and find him.

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The Strangulation of Democracy

For the a change of pace, here’s a new pastiche from JLH, who has a knack for this sort of thing.

The Strangulation of Democracy

by JLH
(In memoriam Sam McGee, and thanks to Robert Service)

There are strange things done in the Silicon sun
By the men who spin the gold,
And the cyber trails hold their secret tales
That could make your blood run cold.
The city lights have seen bad sights.
But the worst they ever will see:
Is not far away from San Francisco Bay,
Where they’re strangling democracy.

Now the men gathered there are from everywhere —
But they are here, we all know why.
They all play the game and their goal is the same —
A slice of the American Pie.
Oh, the wages of sin! They are raking it in.
The billions come rolling along.
To the wealthy comes power, and now is their hour
To buy the world for a song.

But it’s not simply greed, there’s also the need
To determine what’s good and what’s bad.
If you’re not in their group, then you’re out of the loop,
You’re as old as yesterday’s fad.
Join the crowd, show your face, tell us what you embrace,
Give a glimpse of your shy little soul.
This service is free, no psychiatrist’s fee,
Since you’re telling the world as a whole.

It’s a magical realm with no one at the helm.
Your entrails exposed on the ground
Attract the trolls first, and they’re not the worst;
Carrion-eaters in this place abound.
And so you’ve been shilled, your guts have been spilled,
And the vermin crept into your life.
There’s no magic spell to conquer this hell.
Just chill out and witness the strife.

Sit back and relax, pursue some fun facts,
But be careful what questions you ask.
Algorithmically speaking, the answer you’re seeking
May incite a tortuous task.
Seek President Trump, and you may soon be jumped
To trumps in the game of Whist.
Should you next try to reach for freedom of speech,
You may find yourself on a list.

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Two Laments

Years ago I used to assign Saturday as either Ranting Day or Poetry Day, depending on my mood. Yesterday I was busy with other things, so this week Sunday will have to serve as Poetry Day.

The first of the two poems below was written by Dymphna. It is possibly her greatest poem. She wrote it in the mid-1990s, a few months after her mother died.

Some context is in order: Dymphna’s mother married a man from a wealthy Irish family when she was young. For reasons I won’t go into here, he abandoned his wife and their two children when the latter were still infants. Dymphna’s mother became destitute, and there was no welfare in Florida at that time, so she had to go off to work. For several years the children were placed with various foster families, where conditions ranged from awful to severely abusive.

The priest at Dymphna’s mother’s church eventually helped her place her son and daughter at separate orphanages, one for boys and one for girls, where they were to remain until they were ten or eleven — i.e. old enough to be latchkey kids.

Her poem describes the moment she and her brother were separated from their mother and from each other to be taken to the orphanages. At the time she wrote these verses, her brother had been estranged from his mother and sister for many years, and no one knew where he was. She assumed he was dead, probably of heart disease, since all her mother’s brothers had died that way when they were relatively young. But he wasn’t dead: her cousin was able to locate him, and Dymphna and her brother began an intermittent correspondence that continued until his death last year.

This, then, was her lament:

Lament for My Brother

It was so long ago
Those who stopped my tears
Then, who could not countenance
My guttural sorrow,
Are no doubt dead
Or disarmed by age and distance.

It was so long ago.
Yet my tears are the solvent
Melting the time between here
And then. I am five again.
The little brother being forced
From my arms is four.
We are crying, in the moment before
We learn it is not allowed.

It was so long ago.
Yet the wrench of grief
Tightens my throat now
Brings me to my knees here.
The void where my little brother
Was is hollowed out still;
I cannot fill it.

It was so long ago.
Yet the loss is as current
As the moment here before us.
The gods to whom all moments are one
Who do not understand
My linear “long ago”
Cannot hear my plea
To protect him.

It was so long ago.
He’s no doubt dead by now.
The men in my family die young
Whether they stay or flee.
The women in my family don’t teach
Them how to use their hearts.
The men succumb when
Flight is no longer possible
And they are overtaken
By feeling.

It was so long ago.

The second poem was written in the early 17th century by the great metaphysical poet John Donne. Fifty years ago I had to study the metaphysical poets intensively for A-level English Literature. I don’t know how they do it nowadays, but in those days a student was expected to quote at length from the assigned poetry at the exam, working entirely from memory. Thus, in preparation for the exam I memorized reams of Donne, Herbert, Marvell, Vaughn, Crashaw, etc.

I memorized three of the five stanzas of the following poem, and they’re still here in my head, intact after half a century. However, we were also required to present them in the original 17th-century spelling, and unfortunately that aspect of the task has largely evaporated (although I do remember that “festival” was spelled “festivall”).

In this poem Donne is mourning the death of his wife, for whom he grieved deeply. The conceit is that he is writing it at midnight on St. Lucy’s Day, the shortest day of the year. Dymphna’s case is the opposite: she, too, died at about midnight, but her death was almost exactly at Midsummer’s.

A technical note: the “Goat” to which the lesser (i.e. weaker) sun has run is the constellation Capricorn, in which the winter solstice falls.

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Old Sobersides

JLH sends the saga of Miz Hillary in verse form. One can only hope that the shade of Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. (father of the Supreme Court justice) is not overly agitated tonight…

Old Sobersides
by JLH

Ay, tear her tatty logo down!
Too long has it made us sigh,
And many a face has had to frown
At what “justice” let go by.
Vince Foster, Seth Rich and others, too —
What is it they may have seen:
Travelgate, Filegate, Whitewater all true,
In the service of the Queen?

Erupting bimbos, Tammy Wynette,
The little woman wasn’t pleased.
Hillary Care was not a good bet.
Nuclear secrets for the Chinese,
And who knew pork bellies could be so swell,
If their futures were bright enough?
And who knew the Russians would pay so well
For that radioactive stuff?

Now, a former first lady has little to do,
When hubby’s not home at night,
Unless public office comes into view…
Get that carpetbag packed up tight!
So she walks the Senate like one who belongs,
And fades right into the crowd:
How to look brave while going along,
And skim off whatever’s allowed.

When Bill said “Two for the price of one”
No one could have guessed the price.
This inexorable couple is just never done.
They are back like undaunted lice.
The only way to stop this first woman’s run:
A black man’s program of hope.
As Highlander says, “There can be only one”
And Hillary runs out of rope.

But all is not lost — to the victor come the spoiled.
Run the Department of State?
So what if you’re looking a little bit soiled —
After Kerry, who needs to be great?
First, our uranium buddies of old
Need a friendly re-start.
The wording is wrong, so we are told —
Google Translate’s not worth a… damn.

Her greatest achievement was Ghadaffi’s demise.
Some minor Americans died too.
Parents, wives and children apprised:
There was nothing we could do.
We came, we saw, we made a mess.
Move on; there’s nothing to see.
“What difference now if I should confess —
I’d get off on a guilty plea.”

This time is different, there is no Barack.
We all know that now it’s my turn
No one has the guts to mount an attack…
But I think I “Feel the Bern,”
Doesn’t he know everyone has been paid?
Why is he still around?
This is not how the game is played.
I’ll pound him into the ground.

So what if I fixed some things here and there?
He can whimper all he wants.
So what if he doesn’t think it’s been fair?
Who asked him to leave Vermont?
And now I am off to the race of my life,
And I’m running against a clown!
Dirt and rumor against him are rife,
He’ll likely be run out of town.

Hey! Why am I not way ahead right now!?
Where are these polls coming from?
Who are they talking to, anyhow:
Deplorables, reactionaries, dumb!
I KNEW it — that damned electoral thing —
Now it’s gone and cost me the race!
Who cares what tune the “flyovers” sing?
They’re a colossal waste of space!

I will not be Trumped by that arrogant jerk,
But my hands are not lily-white…
Oops, I mean: Now y’all gots to git to work,
‘cause we gots us a rilly tough fight…
Ze basket of deplorable sink zey have won over us;
We’ll show zem “Si, se puede, señor”…
And we are woman, just hear us cuss!…
And we are gayer than ever before!

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Humility in the Face of the Stochasm


In my introduction to a news feed early last month I confounded some of our readers by using the word “stochastic”. In its context it meant “indeterminate”. The most commonly used synonym for it would be “random”, but that’s not exactly what it means. More on that later.

I first encountered the word in about 1970, when I was looking at the course catalog for the Math Department of the College of William and Mary. Back then Computer Science was a subdivision of the Math Department (a few years later it was elevated to the status of a separate department), so while I was browsing through the advanced math courses I came across an entry for “Discrete Stochastic Systems”, probably a 400-level course. I understood “discrete”, but I had to look up “stochastic”. In its computer context it referred to the fact that some events within a complex electronic computer are indeterminate, since they are affected by quantum fluctuations at the lowest level. One of the major tasks in the development of modern digital computers was to control for stochastic events as much as possible — via parity checks and so on.

The “discrete” in the course title referred, of course, to the fact that digital computers were under discussion. Analog computers had been fairly widespread in the early days (late ’40s and ’50s), but for reasons that are too complicated for this discussion, digital computation eventually won out and became the preferred method used in modern computers.

I duly incorporated the useful word “stochastic” in my vocabulary. A few years later I even wrote a poem entitled “The Intelligence of Discrete Stochastic Systems” (it wasn’t any good). In the decades that followed I forgot how specialized the word was; that’s how I ended up confusing the readers of the news feed.

Interestingly enough, in both of my major dictionaries (which are very old), the specialized meaning for the word is not listed. The definition given is “pertaining to conjecture”. The 1921 Webster’s lists it as “rare”, while the Oxford (more precisely: The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary on Historical Principles) says it is “obsolete or rare”.

But not anymore. Now it’s simply a geek word.

It comes from the Ancient Greek word στοχαστικός (stokhastikós), which is formed from στοχάζομαι (stokházomai, “to take aim, as at a target, or to guess”), from στόχος (stókhos, “an aim, a guess”). I don’t know how it eventually acquired its current mathematical meaning; perhaps indeterminate events were things that geeks had to guess at. The Wikipedia entry has a lot more information on stochastic processes, for those who are interested.

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The most common synonym for “stochastic” (as you can see from the Wiki) is “random”, but that’s not really accurate, and I wouldn’t use it myself. I prefer “indeterminate”, or more fully: “a stochastic event is one whose cause cannot be determined.”

In my computer science courses it was drummed into us that there is no such thing as a random number in digital computing. What are commonly called “random number generators” are actually algorithms that output pseudo-random numbers. Every number produced by them is generated by a process that is totally determined, and not at all random. A programmer finds them useful to employ when it is necessary to simulate a series of random numbers.

In mathematical terms, randomness doesn’t exist. It has no meaning. Try to define it yourself — you’ll end up in a circular chain of references, without an external phenomenon to peg the word to. It’s not like “light”, or “vacuum”, or “hydrogen”. It has no meaning in a scientific or mathematical sense. It’s just a quaint linguistic relic, and is no more real than phlogiston or the aether.

What is commonly called a random event is simply one for which a cause has not been determined. Believing in “randomness” is therefore a form of religious faith, like believing in God, or Satan, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster. We are continuously bathed in events that seem random, but accepting their randomness is a leap of faith on our part.

The discipline of Statistics was devised to help understand the patterns and mathematical structures behind large quantities of “random” data. Events that may be indeterminate on an individual basis are totally predictable when a large enough quantity of data is aggregated. But data on totally determined events can also be analyzed — the behavior of thousands of vehicles on a freeway, for example, can be statistically evaluated, even though the causes of individual drivers’ choices are unknown to the statisticians. That doesn’t mean that those decisions are random, but rather that they are indeterminate from the statistician’s point of view.

Darwinian evolution is a statistical model that relies on indeterminate events at the micro level to explain the process of natural selection. However, to call the underlying genetic changes “random” is to take a leap of faith that is no different, scientifically speaking, from believing in Intelligent Design or the Garden of Eden. All three are forms of religious faith. A scientific observer doesn’t observe randomness, but only events whose causes have not been determined.

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Two and a half centuries ago the paradigm of the Clockwork Universe had its day. Newtonian physics provided the tantalizing possibility that the mechanism of the universe could eventually be understood in its entirety. Given enough data, and enough careful calculation, there would be no indeterminacy left. The causes of all phenomena would be known and understood.

It was a heady time. Newtonian ideas gave rise to Deism, which posited a Creator who created the universe the way a clockmaker builds a clock. Once the clock was completed and wound, all observed processes would follow from it without any further intervention by the Creator.

Later the Creator was abandoned, and the clock just kind of came into being, with the Big Bang serving as the ultimate “explanation” for how everything eventually happened.

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A Moment of Clarity

You’re driving down a winding country road late at night. Up ahead, just barely within range of your headlights, you catch a glimpse of a moving shape. Uh-oh — could it be another one of those #@%&?!# deer? After a split second your guess is confirmed: you see the twin red pinpoints of its eyes. And then another pair, and another — the little red winking lights of four or five deer, looking like a row of error codes on a modem. The creatures leap into the road, eager to throw themselves in front of your car and send it to the body shop, and possibly you to the hospital. You brake hard and swerve… Phew! Your luck holds — you miss them by a couple of yards.

Yes, we denizens of the Virginia Outback are all too familiar with the awful moment when the view ahead becomes well-lit and clear enough to see that another close encounter with a deer is on the way. It’s a moment of ghastly clarity.

That’s what the last four years at Gates of Vienna have been like for me. Beginning with the Great Migration Crisis in the summer of 2015, some of the previously obscure underpinnings of currently unfolding events have sprung clearly into view, as if a row of light switches by the door to reality were being flipped on, one by one.

I could list any number of processes that make up this ongoing moment of clarity, but for simplicity of exposition, I’ll condense them into three major categories:

1.   The coordinated, planned invasion of Europe by masses of third-world migrants.
2.   The election of Donald Trump, and the consequent events that followed it.
3.   The global de-platforming of Tommy Robinson.
 

What these events have in common is that they reveal the otherwise occluded machinations of the international elite who strive to manage global affairs to suit their plans. The interference and manipulation have become so obvious that even non-paranoid people can’t help but notice them.

In the following analysis I’ll draw on vast quantities of data that I’ve absorbed over the past few years, without including any links. However, anything that is speculation will be clearly marked as such.

1. The Great Migration Crisis

When the columns of (mostly young male) migrants marched into Europe through the Balkans in the summer and fall of 2015, it quickly became clear that the whole operation had been planned in advance. Yes, Angela Merkel took advantage of the Dead Baby Moment when the corpse of little Ayan was carefully arranged and then “found” on a beach in Anatolia. No good socialist lets a crisis go to waste. Yet the logistical process that followed was far too large, complex, and expensive not to have been arranged ahead of time. Endless caravans of buses were lined up at various national borders to carry the migrants from one photo-op to the next, when they took those brief walks across the frontier that created such good visuals for the media.

And the culture-enrichers were carrying €500 notes to spend at their first stops in the European Union. Where did they get that kind of cash? Almost nobody uses that denomination of banknote in the EU.

A couple of years later it became clear that the EU itself was the cash cow for the migrants, when a credit card company acknowledged that it had partnered with the EU — which had guaranteed repayment of the debt — to hand out prepaid cards to migrants when they arrived in Europe.

Early in the game it became clear that George Soros was heavily involved in the process of migration. His NGOs ferried the “refugees” across the Med, handed out maps and instruction booklets, and chartered the buses that carried them onward towards Germany. But Mr. Soros wasn’t playing the philanthropist — he made that explicit when he told an interviewer that he expected to turn a profit on all his dealings.

Governments across Europe fell into line with the plan. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán stood alone against the migration, and has become the sworn enemy of Brussels as a result. Until Matteo Salvini became Italian interior minister last year, Mr. Orbán was the sole governmental leader on the continent to actively resist what was happening.

Mass migration into Europe is not intrinsically profitable for anyone except the culture-enrichers themselves. Yet lots of people — people-smugglers, businesses, NGOs, and local governments — have been making money off the process. So who is paying for the population transfer?

Somebody wanted those migrants to get to Europe, and was willing to pay billions of dollars to make it happen.

Three years later, an exactly analogue of the process could be observed in the migrant “caravans” traveling from Central America through Mexico to the southern border of the USA. That was also a complex logistical process costing a lot of money. The trek overland through several countries had to be organized and supplied. Local officials had to be paid off to allow it through.

Who bankrolled all of that?

I don’t have any definitive answers to these questions, just speculations. I’ll get into those later.

2. The election of Donald Trump

Twenty-five years or so before the 2016 election I noticed how unpopular mass immigration was with American voters. Polls routinely showed that somewhere between 60% and 80% of the population said they opposed immigration, and some considered it an important issue. It seemed that an aspiring presidential candidate could do well if he included a prominent anti-immigration plank in his platform. Yet no one ever did, and that seemed peculiar. How could a pragmatic politician resist such an electoral advantage? Yes, it was considered a “populist” position, and everyone knew that populism was bad. Still… the issue could have helped a candidate win an election because it was, well, popular.

Fast-forward to 2016. As the campaign progressed, and Donald Trump deftly picked off all his opponents during the primaries, it became clear that the reason no one ever took up opposition to mass immigration was because they were not allowed to. The intense vitriol aimed at Mr. Trump from both parties — what we now refer to as the Uniparty — made it clear that primaries were designed to weed out any opponents of immigration. And that was OK with the Republican establishment — they didn’t really want to win elections that much anyway, as their rush to join #NeverTrump proved.

The events since January 20, 2017 have provided more evidence that the political establishment (a.k.a. the Swamp) in Washington D.C. is prepared to use all its wealth and power and influence to push Donald Trump out of the Oval Office. And the major issue that makes Mr. Trump so popular is his staunch opposition to mass immigration.

Why do all those wealthy, powerful members of the entrenched elite want so badly to bring millions of illiterate immigrants into the United States?

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A Greater Wreck Than the Hesperus

JLH has torqued a well-known poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow to produce this synecdoche for current events in the squalid politics of Washington D.C.

Update: JLH’s stanza on typhus has been added.

A Greater Wreck Than the Hesperus

by JLH
(with apologies to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)

It was the Speaker, Nancy,
Who cruised the House’s aisles,
With lies upon her lips,
All covered up with smiles.

She’d gone from strength to strength,
Buoyed up by voter fraud.
Her funny little ways
Becoming downright odd.

Her city awash in culture,
And feces in its streets,
The rich and poor estranged,
And ne’er the twain should meet.

Yet meet they may, and very soon,
In ERs everywhere
For governing rats bring typhus rats,
Just to keep things fair.

The massive camps of homeless
Lined up on heating grates
Were, by themselves, not quite enough
To expand the electorate.

So though she’d already voted yea,
Had had no objection at all,
She prepared now to leave her body behind
To block the hated Wall.

It wasn’t only the votes, my dears,
But the principle of the thing.
And the principle in this case
Was giving The Donald a ding.

“What’s good for Chuck and Nancy
Is good for the country too.
Forget what you think we told you once;
Just believe what we tell you to.”

Then up spoke an old representative,
With the experience of many years.
The Wall was perhaps not so much to hate
As other things were to fear.

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TRUMP — or, I’m a better man than you are, Gunga Din

TRUMP
or
I’m a better man than you are, Gunga Din

by JLH, with apologies to Rudyard Kipling

You may talk of love and truth
When you woo the voting booth
And primary in your little, local race,
But bigger races need the dollar
And you are glad to wear the collar
Of anyone who helps you keep the pace.
Thus it happens in the U.S.,
In that political noisomeness,
Where the voters’ hopes have often flared and died.
Of all the Machiavellian crew
Who have swum that fiscal brew,
Just one has kept his head above the tide.

And it’s Trump! Trump! Trump!
How the hell did you make that jump?
Now stop this awful farce.
Don’t say things that we can’t parse
And go back to being the old, familiar Trump.

Tie is red, shirt white,
Suit blue both day and night,
Unless he’s going golfing with some friends.
So he’s red and white and blue,
And what he wants to do
Is help this ailing country try to mend.
The economy was failing,
And the middle class was flailing,
From eight socialist years of derring-do-do.
“Oh is there even one
Who’ll do more than simply run,
And, if elected, find something good to do?”

So it’s Trump! Trump! Trump!
Now that you’ve made the jump,
Make it pay, once more, to work,
Never mind the greedy jerks,
Who earn their obscene wages from the Sump.

He won and started work,
Unmindful of what lurks
And slithers in the corridors of power.
His thoughts are on the job.
Disdainful of the mob,
He focuses on using every hour.
He has both wealth and fame
And will spend them in the name
Of raising up the “deplorable” working class.
He takes no pay except for thanks
Moves lightly as a Patton tank,
And leaves his mark wherever he may pass.

So it’s Trump! Trump! Trump!
Pay no mind to Nancy Frump
Or her comrade, Cheesy Chuck,
Who are roiling in the muck.
Sail over them and you’ll hardly feel a bump.

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