The Canadian Red Ensign

The Canadian Red Ensign

Friday, October 30, 2020

Satan is the Author of the New Normal

As a filmmaker, M. Night Shyamalan is best known for his directorial work.   He directed The Sixth Sense (1999), Unbreakable (2000), and Signs (2002), to list a mere three of his better known films.   He also wrote these films and was one of the producers of Signs.    His oeuvre is characterized by suspense-filled storylines that incorporate supernatural themes often with a dramatic plot twist towards the end.


My favourite Shyamalan film to date, however, is one that came out ten years ago under the title Devil.  Shyamalan wrote the basic story and produced the film, but Brian Nelson wrote the screenplay and John Eric Dowdle directed.   It is on the short side being only slightly over an hour and a quarter long.  That it was generally panned by those reviewers whose opinions I respect the least merely confirmed my admiration for it.   Since the film is ten years old a spoiler alert is probably unnecessary, but just in case, be warned that in the next paragraph I am about to give the entire plot away.


The story is narrated by one of the characters, a Roman Catholic Hispanic security guard (Jacob Vargas) who works for the high rise building where the main events take place.   The narration starts at the beginning, although we don’t learn the identity of the narrator until part-way through.   He tells about a story that he had heard as a child about the “devil’s meeting”, in which the devil would come to earth, gather together a number of particularly bad sinners in one place, and torture and kill them off one by one, leaving the worst for last, before dragging them off to hell.   Knowing the story, he is the only one able to recognize what is happening all around him.  Someone hurls himself from the top of the building, signaling the arrival of the devil.   Then five people get stuck in the high rise’s elevator.   At the same time the communications system comes down with a few quirky bugs.   The people in the elevator can hear the people in the security monitoring station but not the other way around.   Meanwhile, the people in the station can see what is going on in the elevator except when it blacks out at intervals.   It is during those intervals, of course, that the people in the elevator are killed off, one by one.    The police detective (Chris Messina) who was already there to investigate the suicide, is called in to try and figure out who is committing the murders.   Needless to say, he pays little heed to the security guard who tries to tell him the devil is doing it all.   He is not himself a religious man and, indeed, when he is introduced in the film, we learn that he is bitter against the very idea of God because on an incident five years earlier when a driver in a hit-and-run had killed his wife and son.   This comes up in the context of a conversation with a Christian friend or colleague who is trying to persuade him to let go of his bitterness, forgive the killer, and turn to God.   Not being open to the security guard’s interpretation, he attempts to use his detective skills to figure out what is going on, but latches on to the wrong suspect.   The trapped people are killed off, until his suspect is the last one left, seemingly confirming his theory.   It is at this point, however, that one of the other people in the elevator, an old woman who had died earlier, comes back to life and reveals herself to be the devil.   The last of the devil’s prey, thinking that it is the end for himself, uses the communications system which suddenly comes back online to confess his having been the hit-and-run driver who had killed the detective’s family years before.  The devil, who can no longer claim the repentant sinner, vanishes.   The film’s conclusion has the detective take the survivor into custody.  As he drives him away he informs him that it was his family that had been killed in the hit-and-run.   Then, reflecting on the conclusion of the security guard’s narration – that the story is actually a reassuring one, because “if the devil is real, God must also be real”, he tells him he forgives him.  


I will point out, in passing, the rather amusing and delicious irony that in Hollywood, of which it would be very difficult to imagine an environment more hostile to Christianity, it took a Hindu storyteller  to be able to get away with making a movie that preached as overt a Christian message as this one.


That the reality of the devil is proof of the greater reality of God is precisely the message that is most needed today.   We are living in the year of the “new normal.”    While this expression was coined to describe the intolerable new rules that have been imposed upon us in the name of fighting the bat flu it is has not escaped the observation of those paying attention that conditions under the new normal bear a remarkable resemblance to those which the environuts have wanted to make permanent for decades.   The cynical among us might be forgiven for suspecting that, having failed to convince enough people to go along with their anti-freedom, anti-community, anti-family, anti-faith, anti-human agenda with the Bogeyman of anthropogenic climate change, they slapped a scary new label on the latest strain of influenza, lied through their teeth about how dangerous it is – it is more dangerous to people over 65 with multiple co-morbidities but less dangerous to people under 65 with no such conditions – and found success with their new Bogeyman.   It is also evident, for anybody willing to see what is right before their eyes, that there is a close connection between the new normal of the pandemic measures and the other major news item of the year, the “Year Zero” assault upon Western institutions, civilization, and history by Cultural Maoists.   When George Floyd became the one person infected with SARS-CoV-2 this year to have his death attributed to anything other than COVID-19, and Black Lives Matter and Antifa took this as their pretext to hold racist, anti-white, hate rallies in cities throughout the Western world, rallies which typically broke out into violent, destructive, riots, the public health officers who had imposed the new normal on us, gave their imprimatur to all of this while telling all of the rest of us that we still had to follow the social distancing, lockdown, protocols.


In the twenty-first and twenty-second chapters of the Book of Revelation, St. John records his vision of the new heavens and the new earth after the end of history, the defeat of Satan, and the Final Judgement.    In that vision, the New Jerusalem, of which an extended description is given, descends from heaven to earth.   The significance of this inspired glimpse of the eschaton, is that in eternity future, after evil has been defeated once and for all, heaven and earth will be one.


What we are seeing today can best be described as a Satanic inversion of that vision.   The new normal, in which the whole world becomes a prison, in which such good things as family gatherings, getting together with your friends, throwing parties, having large weddings and funerals, celebrating Easter and Christmas, assembling in Church, singing God’s praises, partaking of the Sacrament, and basically all normal social and physical interaction are forbidden to us, outward symbols of bondage and slavery – masks – are required of us, and every violent and criminal act on the part of “antiracist” thugs and terrorists is encouraged, is hell arising to swallow the old earth.


There are many who, recognizing the horror of the totalitarian new normal being imposed upon us, attribute it to human conspiracy.    While all of these events certainly give every appearance of fitting into some grand master plan, and unquestionably human agency is involved, the problem with this interpretation, which is, indeed, the problem with all conspiracy theories of this nature, is that are simply too many human agents with too many conflicting interests and goals, for the ultimate, overarching, agenda to have been caused by a single group of human schemers.   The intelligence which is clearly directing these human agents must be a superhuman one.  


St. Paul, in the eleventh chapter of his Second Epistle to the Church in Corinth, writes:


For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.   And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.  Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. (vv. 13-15)


The ministers of Satan in these verses are the people who have been troubling the Corinthian Christians, claiming an Apostolic authority that was not their own, and questioning that of genuine Apostles like St. Paul.   It would be most reasonable, however, to expect that what St. Paul says about them here, that they follow Satan’s example of disguising himself as being on the side of light, is also true of his other servants.  


This is the pattern we are seeing everywhere in the establishment of the new normal.     Tremendous evil is being done and passed off as good.    Locking people in their homes, criminalizing social contact, driving local retailers and restaurants into insolvency, selling future generations into slavery with the record public debt being accumulated, training people to fear human contact, snitch on their friends, family, and neighbours, and bully strangers into conformity with the most ridiculous of petty rules and restrictions, all of which is the kind of evil associated with totalitarian regimes like Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, is being done in the name of “saving lives”, even though it has driven suicide rates up and likely caused more deaths due to loneliness among the nursing home population than the actual virus, which has not itself produced any significant amount of excess mortality this year.   Those who are deliberately stirring up violent, and sometimes explicitly genocidal, rage against white people, claim to be fighting “white supremacy” and “Nazism” even though they themselves are the only real racism problem in Western civilization today.    As for the environuts, their real agenda, which is to get people to stop reproducing and start dying so that there will be far fewer people on the earth and those few far poorer, they hide behind the mask of saving the planet, which has survived millennia of climate change including Ice Ages and periods a heck of a lot warmer than the one they claim we are entering through excess carbon dioxide production.


They are disguising themselves as angels of light, just like their master, the devil.


Earlier this month Dr. Bruce Charlton had the following insight into what has been going on this year:


Currently, as of 2020, the ideological-religious Litmus Tests - i.e. the three major planks of acute, 'emergency' Leftism - are, in order: 

1. To believe in the deadliness of the birdemic and the need for societal lock-down-social-conditioning-masking-etc; which schema justified the Leftist totalitarian global coup, and the consequent near-annihilation of Church Christianity, across all denominations.

2. To assert the antiracist ('MLB') agenda. Indeed, not explicitly to repudiate this ideology is (in practice) sufficient evidence of Leftism.

3. To believe the Anthropogenic Global Warming/ Climate change ideology - which is the basis of the UN Agenda 2030 and the 'Great Reset'. These are intended to lock-into-place the New Normal.

If you support any of all of these; you are objectively on-the-side of mainstream, global, totalitarian Leftist Establishment: which is the side of Satan and against God. And obviously, therefore, you are anti-Christian - despite whatever you may believe or assert. (bold indicates italics in post)


I concur entirely.


Which brings us back to the moral of our Hindu filmmaker’s Christian horror movie.   If the devil is real, and he is, God is real too.   Not, however, in some dualistic sense, as in the Manichean heresy, where good and evil are equals which require each other.   God is more real than the devil, indeed more real than any part of Creation, for He is Eternal Being.   Everything else that is derives its being from Him.   The devil is a created being, and like all created beings, was created good.   He lessened his own being, when he corrupted his nature through sin.   To side with him, is to take the side that has been doomed to defeat from the very beginning.   Although the pressure to conform to Satan’s new normal is immense, to do so is the ultimate self-destructive act.


Don’t side with the devil.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

The Witch Doctors

Ross Bagdasarian Sr. was the most famous Armenian-American in show business prior to the Kardashians, if show business is the proper term for what the latter do.   He got his start in acting before switching to singing and song-writing in the 1950s.   Late in that decade, he thought up the gimmick of speeding up the voice track on recordings to make the singers’ voices sound high and squeaky as if they had been performing in a studio full of helium.  He began recording songs using this technique and giving the attribution to a trio of cartoon chipmunks – Alvin, Simon, and Theodore.   Needless to say, it was successful and fairly soon a television series featuring his cartoon band premiered.  Bagdasarian would interact with Alvin and the Chipmunks as a cartoon version of himself who acted as their manager and went by the name David Seville.


Immediately prior to creating Alvin and the Chipmunks, Bagdasarian, already using the stage name David Seville, released a single which soared to the top of the charts.   The song’s title was “Witch Doctor”.   In the song, Seville as narrator addresses the object of his unrequited affection, and tells how he went to a witch doctor for help with this situation.   The witch doctor offers him the following advice:


ooo eee ooo ah ah ting tang walla walla, bing bang,

ooo eee ooo ah ah ting tang, walla walla bing bang.


Who was this person with such lucid and helpful advice?


A witch doctor or shaman is an important figure in most tribal societies, and in a few that have developed well beyond the tribal stage as well.   These are the people to whom the members of the tribe traditionally turn when they need healing and for a number of other reasons.   The healing the witch doctor offers involves him performing rituals and entering into a trance to make contact with the spirit world.   In the language that has become de rigueur in our age of political correctness, this would be described as an “alternative” form of medicine.   Being a traditionalist, I prefer the language with which both testaments of the Christian Scriptures condemn this sort of thing, terms like “witchcraft” and “sorcery”.


We, in our advanced technological civilization, like to think that our medical system bears no relationship to this sort of thing.   Our medicine, we keep telling ourselves, is scientific, and therefore based upon logic, facts, and evidence.   To compare it to shamanism is like comparing apples and oranges – or rather, since apples and oranges are both fruit, like comparing apples and thumbtacks.


I think, however, that we are very much deluding ourselves about the amount of witchcraft present in our own medical system.


If you turn in your Bible to St. Paul’s epistle to the Church in Galatia, and go to the fifth chapter, you will find, starting at the nineteenth verse, a list of the manifest “works of the flesh” which the Apostle contrasts with the fruit of the Spirit listed in the twenty-second and twenty-third verses.   After “idolatry” and before “hatred” in the list of the “works of the flesh” is “witchcraft.”   The Greek word translated “witchcraft” in the Authorized Bible here is φαρμακεία.   This word is also found in the ninth chapter of the Revelation of Jesus Christ given to St. John the Divine, in the twenty-first verse where it is translated “sorceries” and listed alongside “murders” “fornications” and “thefts” as among the things which the idol worshippers did not repent of, despite all the plagues that have been sent on them so far (at this point they are up to the sixth trumpet judgement).   Later in the same book, in the twenty third verse of the eighteenth chapter, it is again rendered “sorceries” and said to be the means by which Babylon deceived the nations of the world.


If you are unable to read the Greek alphabet, φαρμακεία is transliterated into English letters as pharmakeia.   Does that look like any English word you are familiar with?


You have undoubtedly answered that it looks like “pharmacy.”   Unlike with the word ai, which in English means “a South American three-toed sloth” and is a word borrowed from Portuguese, but in Japanese and Chinese has the meaning “love”, this is not a case of two different language traditions having developed words that are identical in spelling and pronunciation but completely different in meaning.   Pharmacy in English is derived from the Greek word.  


If we look up φαρμακεία in the venerable and trusty Greek-English Lexicon of Henry George Liddell and Robert Scott we find that the first definition given is “use of drugs, esp. of purgatives”, which is supported by references from the Aphorisms of Hippocrates.  Specifically they cite where Hippocrates says “use purgative medicines sparingly in acute diseases, and at the commencement, and not without proper circumspection” and “Persons in good health quickly lose their strength by taking purgative medicines, or using bad foods.”    It would sound, from these references, like Hippocrates of Kos – this is the Hippocrates to whom the oath which physicians are required to swear is attributed – was not exactly a fan of φαρμακεία.   Remember that, because we will return to it and draw out its significance later.  Liddell-Scott, continue the definition by clarifying that emetics are the type of purgatives specifically meant, adding that the term also has special reference to abortifacients, i.e., drugs that induce abortions, before saying “generally, the use of any kind of drugs, potions, or spells” of which usage they give multiple examples from Plato.   The second definition offered is “poisoning or witchcraft”.  


It might seem at first glance like the translators of our Bible used the same words “witchcraft” and “sorcery” to translate words expressing different concepts in the Old and New Testaments.   In the Old Testament, witchcraft and sorcery clearly refer to trafficking with the spirit world, and if the roots of the Hebrew words are not always clear about this, the context will generally spell it out.   The most famous example of a witch in the Old Testament is the witch of Endor, who summons up the spirit of Samuel the prophet for King Saul in the twenty-eighth chapter of I Samuel.   She was what is most often called a medium today.  The New Testament, as we have just seen, uses a word that has the use of drugs as its primary meaning.   The word for witchcraft used in the verse which prescribes the death penalty for it in Exodus is כָּשַׁף and its origins are unclear.   James Strong in his concordance and Wilhelm Gesenius in his Hebrew lexicon appear to be of the opinion that it originally meant to “whisper” or “mutter”, and so referred to softly chanting an incantation.   Others see it as being derived from the word for herbs and having a meaning almost identical to the Greek φαρμακεία.   The translators of the LXX evidently were of the later opinion for that is how they consistently rendered it.


The difference in meaning is not as great as it first seems.   What brings the idea of trafficking with the spirit world together with that of using drugs is the altered state of consciousness that is common to both.   Many drugs put a person into an altered state of consciousness, opening that person up to the spirit world.   Given the Biblical prohibitions against this sort of thing, it is evident that the spirit world that people enter in this state of consciousness is the demonic rather than the angelic.    Apart from use in their own making contact with the spirit world, of course, witches traditionally had a sort of apothecary business going on the side in which they dispensed drug concoctions to those who sought their aid, whether to heal their ailments or poison their enemies.


Now my point, if you recall, in bringing all of this up, was to argue that we are deluded, in our modern, technological, civilization, in thinking that witchcraft or sorcery might have been part of the medicine of the shamanism of primitive societies, but has nothing to do with our modern, “scientific” medicine.    On the contrary, our modern medicine is thoroughly dominated by the pharmaceutical industry.  


There are those who will counter by saying “yes, but the pharmaceutical industry doesn’t practice witchcraft, it uses science to manufacture drugs that help people.”    This is similar to, although not entirely the same thing, as the idea that drugs come in two types, the good, which are legal and used for medical purposes, and the bad, which are illegal narcotics used for recreational purposes.   Both viewpoints are incredibly naïve.


Drugs are, essentially, poisons.   All drugs have side effects, and while these vary, of course, in their nature and severity, all drugs, even the popular pain killers acetaminophen, ASA, and ibuprofen, are potentially fatal.   Medical drugs work, not by doing positive good to your body, but by doing harm, albeit harm that impedes not only the ordinary functions of your bodily systems, but also the condition that you have been diagnosed with.   The physician who prescribes them, does so in the hope - a reasoned, evidence-based, hope if the physician is at all competent - that the harm done by the drugs, will be less than the harm that would otherwise have been done by the condition, if left untreated.   Or, to put it more morbidly, they hope that the poison administered will kill what is killing you, rather than killing you.   That this is the essential nature of drugs has been recognized since ancient times, and the ethics of such an approach to healing was debated as far back as Plato’s Protagoras.


Which brings us back to Hippocrates of Kos.   As the quotations from his Aphorisms given above demonstrate, this legendary physician and medical ethicist, a contemporary of Socrates and Plato, who is remembered as the “Father of Medicine” was not a fan of the medical use of drugs.   He stressed the harm that they did, and in his own practice emphasized techniques that maximize the body’s own natural healing properties.   Although the maxim often attributed to him – primum non nocere (first do no harm) – does not actually appear in those words in his extent corpus, it does represent the basic principle of his medical ethics, and his famous Oath includes a pledge to inflict no harm.


The significance of this cannot be stressed enough.   Today, those who promote healing techniques that rely upon the body’s natural healing powers, like Hippocrates, and eschew the use of drugs in most situations, also like Hippocrates, are labelled “unscientific” by the medical establishment, and lumped together with the shamans.  Yet to the extent that there is a medical tradition in Western Civilization of which it can be truly said that it is based on a scientific foundation rather than witchcraft, that tradition began with Hippocrates of Kos.   Meanwhile, the very medical establishment that regards naturalistic and holistic approaches to medicine as “unscientific”, has for a very long time existed primarily to peddle the poisons of the pharmaceutical corporations, which, other than the big tech companies, are by far the most corrupt and shady sector of corporate industry, and which make their billions in profits from the technologically updated production of the very things which traditionally defined witchcraft’s approach to healing.


In other words, within the larger tradition of medicine and healing, the modern day heirs of the witches and sorcerers, who employed drugs and trafficking with demons to provide healing, have stolen the scientific credentials of the tradition which begins with Hippocrates and have become the establishment within the medical community.   That those credentials have been stolen has been very obvious this year, as the medical establishment has constantly told everyone who applies logic in questioning the totalitarian restrictions and public health orders that have been imposed upon their recommendations to “shut up” and “listen to the science” or “listen to the evidence.”   Obviously, those who talk this way, as if “evidence” and “science” were authorities that speak with a monolithic voice, demonstrate thereby that do not have even the most basic understanding of what these terms have historically meant in the intellectual tradition that goes back to Socrates and Plato.   They also illustrate precisely what the great Oxbridge don C. S. Lewis meant when he warned that the popular attitude towards science, already ubiquitous in his day, made people incredibly susceptible to being duped, because they would believe anything coming from the experts if dressed up in the language of science, and that therefore, when the next tyranny came, it would come in the name of science.  (1)


Indeed, by its behaviour this year, the medical establishment had clearly demonstrated that it is following the tradition of witchcraft rather than that of Hippocrates.   Primum non nocere has obviously been completely defenestrated since everything the medical experts have recommended this year has done an incredible amount of harm, and only very questionable amounts of good.   Keep in mind that all of this has been done in order to prevent the spread of a coronavirus which produces mild-to-no symptoms in the vast majority of people who contract it, is a significant threat only to those who are both very old and very sick, and which has failed in every way to live up to the alarmist hype surrounding it.


Shutting down every economy on the planet, threatening the global food supply and potentially starving millions if not billions of people, destroying people’s businesses, livelihoods, and savings, taking away everyone’s most basic rights and freedoms and placing them all in what amounts to a universal house arrest, without arrest, charge, trial, conviction, or even a crime having been committed, all constitutes harm on a colossal scale.   They shut down all the Churches – the ancient foes of witchcraft – all around the world, weeks prior to Holy Week, and left them closed for months.    The Jews, Muslims, and adherents of other ancient religions were similarly persecuted.  They left the abortion clinics open, of course, declaring the horrific procedure to be an “essential service.”   The resemblance between this physician-performed procedure and the ritual sacrifice of infants to devils is so obvious that further comment seems unnecessary.    Most recently, they have been telling everyone to wear face masks everywhere they go.   These masks are dangerous for some people (such as those with asthma or COPD) all the time, and for all people some of the time (such as when engaged in strenuous exercise), always have the effect of lowering the amount of oxygen and increasing the amount of carbon dioxide in the air you breathe in and so are not safe for anybody when worn everywhere and all the time, and, furthermore, breed and spread infectious microorganisms when protocols such as washing your hands before and after putting them on, not touching them while wearing them, and discarding them as hazardous material after each use, are not followed.    The medical experts are now claiming that they significantly reduce the spread of the coronavirus, based upon what they call “new evidence” but which is merely a selective cherry-picking and re-interpretation of old studies in order to fit them into a new narrative.  Actual new evidence which conflicts with that narrative, such as that which the Danish study from this summer presumably contains, is being suppressed.   Even if we accept these claims, however, the good done is far outweighed by all the harm they do.  The masks are intended as symbols, symbols of acceptance of and submission to, the totalitarian “new normal”, and ultimately to the author of the “new normal” who is Satan.   All of this is witchcraft. 


Furthermore, the direction in which all of this is heading, seems rather obvious.  At some point, probably in the next few months to a year, the medical establishment will announce that their puppetmasters in the pharmaceutical industry have concocted a witches’ brew that will save us all from the Big Bad Coronavirus if we allow them to inoculate us with it.   The ingredients of that witches’ brew will probably make Shakespeare’s “eye of newt, and toe of frog, wool of bat, and tongue of dog, adder’s fork, and blind-worm’s sting, lizard’s leg, and owlet’s wing” recipe seem positively wholesome in comparison.   Adjuvants and preservatives in previous vaccines have included aluminum salts, which are suspected of contributing to Alzheimer’s, MSG, formaldehyde and thermerisol, which contains mercury, all toxic, none of which any sane person wants injected into his bloodstream.   Will the bat flu vaccine contain aborted foetus cells, like the vaccine commonly used for measles, mumps, and rubella?   Will it contain some sort of nanotechnology brewed up in Bill Gates’ cauldron?   Whatever it contains, judging from the immense pressure being placed on people to conform to the mask requirements, there will be a push to make it mandatory.    Whether they make it mandatory outright by passing a law requiring everyone to get the needle, or sneakily by getting every public service outlet and business to require proof of vaccination, it will constitute forcing people to receive the injection of foreign substances into their bodies against their will.   Such a universal rape would be the ultimate culmination of the long list of evils done in the name of protecting us from the coronavirus.   It would be a lot easier to fight against that evil, if more people were firmly opposing the tyrannical measures that are already in effect.


If there is any good that has come out of this scam it is that it has divided the sheep from the goats, so to speak, in the medical community.   The true heirs of Hippocrates are the dissident physicians, speaking out against the lockdowns, the masks, and all the other tyrannical measures.   The others are the heirs of the ancient witches, taking their orders, through the intermediary of the pharmaceutical industry, ultimately from the devil himself.


If, of course, you prefer to follow the advice of a witch doctor, that is your choice.   I recommend, however, if that is your choice, that you consider the advice of David Seville’s witch doctor.   “Ooo eee ooo ah ah ting tang walla walla bing bang” makes a heck of a lot more sense than forcing people to practice social distancing, stay at home, and wear masks.

(1)   Lewis addressed this attitude towards science, usually called “scientism”, in many places.    The third of the King’s College, Newcastle lectures, that were published together as his The Abolition of Man in 1943 is particularly worth mentioning here.   In this lecture, which bears the same title as the published work as a whole, Lewis discussed modern applied science as “man’s conquest of nature.”   He drew out the totalitarian implications of this, noting that the exchange man make’s in return for this conquest of nature is a “magician’s bargain.”   From here he launched into a discussion of how science and magic sprang out of the same impulse.   “The fact that the scientist has succeeded where the magician failed has put such a wide contrast between them in popular thought that the real story of the birth of Science is misunderstood. You will even find people who write about the sixteenth century as if Magic were a medieval survival and Science the new thing that came in to sweep it away. Those who have studied the period know better. There was very little magic in the Middle Ages: the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries are the high noon of magic. The serious magical endeavour and the serious scientific endeavour are twins: one was sickly and died, the other strong and throve. But they were twins.”   He pointed out the similarities between Sir Francis Bacon and Faustus as the latter appears in Marlowe’s play, noting that neither man valued knowledge as an end in itself, contrary to much misrepresentation.   Bacon “rejects magic because it does not work; but his goal is that of the magician” he wrote, and, especially relevant to my topic here “In Paracelsus the characters of magician and scientist are combined.”   The man to which he refers was a sixteenth century Swiss physician who is known as the “father of toxicology.”   He practiced both medical science and various forms of occultism, including alchemy and divination, being an important transition figure between alchemy and modern chemistry.   He was also one of the earliest of modern pill pushers among Western physicians, liberally prescribing laudanum long before the use and abuse of opioids became common.    For a fuller discussion of C. S. Lewis’ insights into both science and scientism, see John G. West, ed., The Magician’s Twin: C. S. Lewis on Science, Scientism, and Society, published by the Discovery Institute in 2012.

Friday, October 23, 2020

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Ford

Nineteenth century Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson is remembered mostly for his novels Treasure Island, featuring the pirate Long John Silver, and Kidnapped.   Almost as well-known as these, and probably far more influential in terms of the number of imitations it has inspired and adaptations that have been made, is a shorter work, published in 1886, the same year as Kidnapped, entitled Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1).  


The story is about a physician, Dr. Henry Jekyll, who like everybody else, struggles with the inner conflict between his base instincts and urges on the one hand and his ethical standards on the other.   Unlike everybody else, he, being a scientist, tries to find a scientific solution to the problem, which he sees more in terms of the need to protect his reputation than to suppress his vicious desires.   He invents a serum that transforms him into Mr. Edward Hyde so that he can indulge the latter without damaging his reputation.   The potion, however, also produces a division in his moral character, basically separating all the wickedness into the persona of Mr. Hyde and all of the goodness into the persona of Dr. Jekyll.   The consequence of all of this, is that Mr. Hyde is left with no inner constraints on his wickedness, and becomes a thoroughly depraved, sadistic, sociopathic, murderer.   Dr. Jekyll, who by contrast becomes more upright, humane and saintly, eventually loses control over the transformation process and starts to transform into Mr. Hyde involuntarily, at first in his sleep, later when he is awake.   Then, running out of the serum that reverses the transformation, and being unable to produce another batch that will work, he realizes that he is about to become his evil alter-ego permanently, and commits suicide.


After the story was published and became widely known, the names of the character became more or less synonymous with the kind of dual personality in which a person can be sweet, gentile, and charming one minute and the exact opposite of that the next.


I have been reminded of this story every time that Doug Ford, the current premier of Upper Canada, or Ontario as those who like to keep up with the times prefer to call it, has appeared in the news in the last eight months and especially the last two.


Two summers ago, when the Progressive Conservatives led by Doug Ford, won a majority of 76 out of the 124 seats in the provincial legislature, I breathed a sigh of relief for our neighbours to the east.   They had suffered under Grit misrule for fifteen years, first under Dalton McGuinty and then under Kathleen Wynne, who were in my opinion the two worst provincial-level Liberal leaders in the entire history of the Dominion.   The election that put Doug Ford in the premier’s chair, also reduced the Grits to seven seats, the worst defeat they have ever suffered in that province, which was itself even greater cause to rejoice than the Conservative victory.


When Doug Ford became leader of Upper Canada’s Progressive Conservatives in the lead-up to the provincial election of 2018, I knew little about him other than that he was the brother of the late Rob Ford, who from 2010 to 2014 had been mayor of the city which had been known as York before political correctness prompted its being rechristened with the Indian name of Toronto in 1834.  During the years in which Rob Ford was mayor, he was constantly under attack by the CBC and the rest of the mainstream progressive media, which only strengthened me in my conviction that, as I said at the time, Rob Ford, drunk and on crack, ran his city better than any other sober mayor in Canada, including and especially our own here in Winnipeg.   That would have been Sam Katz back then, and Mayor Duckie (2) who has since replaced him is even worse.    


The same corrupt left-wing media that had relentlessly pursued the destruction of his brother, went after Doug Ford during the 2018 election.   They shamelessly dug poor old Rob up from his grave – he had passed away from cancer two years previously – and began whipping and crucifying his corpse.   Since Ford was using populist rhetoric in his campaign, they naturally compared him to Donald the Orange who through populism and nationalism had become president of the American republic in 2016.    Now, just to be clear, since my politics happens to be the royal-monarch-as-defender-of-the-Church kind of Toryism from which the Conservative Party has been lamentably drifting for decades – or rather centuries – populism and nationalism are actually lower in my own estimation than they are in that of the progressive media.   Forced to choose between the former and the latter, however, I would gladly chose the populists any day.   So it was that this progressive assault on “Ontario’s Trump” raised his stock considerably in my books.


Despite the media’s amusing attempt to use his populist rhetoric to hang the “far right” label on him – neither populism nor what the media considers to be “far right” is right wing at all, let alone extremely right wing -  Doug Ford was basically a mainstream, centre-right, Progressive Conservative.   His platform consisted mostly of tax reductions, infrastructure improvement, de-regulation, and cleaning up the mess that McGuinty and Wynne had made of the province’s school system.   While there was much that was lacking in this platform, it was a major improvement over what the former governing party had been offering.   After Ford won the election, the first year and a half of his premiership were fairly impressive.   He stuck it to the provincial bureaucrats with a salary-and-hiring freeze, and went to war with the environazis who were determined to make life more miserable and unaffordable for everybody because of their superstitious belief in a climate apocalypse extrapolated through a computer simulation from the pseudoscientific theory of anthropogenic global warming.   This included standing up to Captain Airhead, whom we are unfortunate enough to have as the Prime Minister of Her Majesty’s government in Ottawa, and who was threatening to impose a federal carbon tax on all provinces that did not voluntarily adopt one of their own.   Shortly after the election, the new Minister of Education announced that the province would repeal everything the outgoing government had done to turn the schools into indoctrination camps for brainwashing young children with sexual perversion and gender identity politics although there have been reports that the follow-through on this was less than spectacular and that all they really did was make a few minor adjustments.   (3)


The qualifying remarks in my last sentence aside, Ford had gotten off to a fairly good start for a contemporary, mainstream, Progressive Conservative premier.


Then the Chinese bat flu arrived in Upper Canada.    When that happened, Doug Ford underwent an almost-overnight metamorphosis into a despotic, bullying, COVID-monster, and became the darling of the media that had been demonizing him for the last two years.


Of course, something similar could be said about every premier in the Dominion.   Our own Progressive Conservative Premier here in the south-east corner of Prince Rupert’s Land, Brian Pallister, declared a state of emergency and put our province into a most draconian lockdown before there was any significant outbreak, gave that – in my opinion - power mad goon Dr. Brent Roussin a blank cheque for imposing restrictions, no matter how stupid, self-contradictory, and outright harmful they were, and only the other day doubled the fines for people who violate these arbitrary regulations.   Pallister, however, has long been known to be a jerk.   The only reason I welcomed his re-election the other year is that the other option was the truly odious Wab Kinew.   Doug Ford, on the other hand, had given us every reason to expect much better of him, before he turned around and started acting like a squirt bottle used for cleaning the orifices of the nether regions of the body.


Now, some might come to Doug Ford’s defence by saying that his province was hit particularly hard by the bat flu.   Granted, out of all the provinces its number of deaths was exceeded only by those of Lower Canada.   This hardly constitutes justification of his actions, however.   It is only to be expected that in a country-wide outbreak, the two provinces of Central Canada would have the most deaths.   They have the most people, after all.   There is more to it, however, than just that.   The bulk of the deaths in those provinces took place in long-term care facilities, which, again, is predictable from the fact that the only people who are at any sort of  statistically significant risk from the  Chinese bat flu are those who are really old, with two or more complicating health conditions.   In Upper and Lower Canada, the situation in the nursing homes got so bad that the Armed Forces had to be sent in to take the place of the staff who had either contracted the virus themselves or deserted in fear of doing so.    They sent back to their superiors reports of the horrendous conditions they found there – conditions such as cockroaches, rotting food, bedding left soiled for days on end, and worse – caused not by the bat flu but by neglect and abuse on the part of the administration and staff.   While Ford is hardly to blame for such conditions, for in many of these places this sort of thing had been going on for years prior to his premiership, the fact of the matter is that had he done the common sense thing at the beginning of the “pandemic” and taken measures to provide extra protection for the people most at risk, rather than listening uncritically to the imbecilic advice of medical experts who, themselves regurgitating nonsense cooked up by the World Health Organization to serve the nefarious ends of the Chinese Communists and the pharmaceutical conglomerates, recommended a universal quarantine on the young and healthy instead, this sort of thing could have been dealt with much earlier, and steps could have been taken which might have prevented the outbreaks in the nursing homes from getting so bad.  Jumping on board the lockdown bandwagon, prevented him from pursuing other, sounder, options, and made the situation even worse.


When the World Health Organization screamed “pandemic”, Ford traded in his tired old populism and common sense for a shiny new superstitious belief in the infallibility of international health organizations and other medical experts, and imposed their recommendations with a particularly heavy hand.   When people with legitimate concerns about the erosion of their rights, freedoms, livelihoods and businesses under public health orders and who likely largely overlapped the people who had voted Ford into the premier’s office two years ago, began to protest against social distancing, lockdowns, and the like, he dismissed them all as yahoos.   In July, he rammed Bill 195 through the legislature, a bill which gave him two years’ worth of emergency powers which he could exercise without consulting the legislature.    This was a province-level equivalent of what Captain Airhead and his Liberals had tried to sneak into an emergency spending bill in Parliament in March, but which Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition had mercifully thwarted.   Ford punished the members of his own party who voted against this bill, such as Belinda Karahalios, the MPP representing Cambridge, by expelling them from the caucus.


On Monday, September 28th, Ford held a press conference in which he announced that his province was officially in the “second wave” of the bat flu, and that it “will be worse than the first wave we faced earlier this year.”    As with all the other claptrap about this so-called “second wave” this was a cunning form of sleight-of-hand.   That day, Upper Canada had seen the highest number of new cases recorded in a single day since the beginning of the pandemic.  It had not seen a commensurate spike in the number of people gravely sick, being hospitalized, put in intensive care, and dying.   Indeed, the new cases were mostly among age groups which were not at any significant risk from the disease.   This has been more or less the case everywhere throughout this so-called “second wave”.   My province, which seen the number of deaths multiply since the beginning of September – we were at fourteen at the beginning of September and are now at forty-seven, is not an exception.   These deaths are, like those which more populated provinces experienced in the spring, almost entirely among those who are both extremely old and extremely sick, because this is Manitoba’s first wave, the entire misguided and totalitarian “flatten the curve” strategy having merely delayed it, while causing a whole lot of unnecessary other harm in the process.  


Even before Ford made this announcement, he had lowered the number of people allowed to meet socially in Toronto, Peel Region, and Ottawa to ten, slapped a $10 000 fine on anyone who organized an event that broke this rule, and a $750 fine on anyone who attended.   It is difficult to decide which is more ridiculous, the limit of social gatherings to ten in a country where assembly and association are two of the officially recognized fundamental freedoms, or the insanely high amounts of those fines.  (4)  Certainly, the late Rob Ford, who was well known for his love of large social gatherings, must be spinning in his grave over all this party-pooping, and the whole general way in which his brother has turned into a piece of rotting Communist excrement.


My unsolicited advice to Ford is to find the serum that will turn him back to his original self and to do so quickly.   Nobody, except the media progressives, who want everybody to spend the rest of their lives, hiding under their beds in their basements, curled up in the fetal position, sucking their thumbs, afraid to go out lest the SARS-Cov-2 Bogeyman get them, likes this new version.

(1)   Stevenson deliberately left out both the definite article and the periods after the abbreviations for doctor and mister from his title.   His original publisher followed his whims.   Most subsequent publishers have not.  

(2) Brian Bowman looks like Jon Cryer, who, prior to his role as Alan on Three and a Half Men, was best known as “Duckie” in John Hughes’ 1986 “Brat Pack” teen rom-com, Pretty in Pink.   An interesting bit of trivia, although as completely irrelevant as this entire footnote, is that Charlie Sheen, Cryer’s co-star in Three and a Half Men (and earlier in Hotshots), was the original choice for the role of Blane, “Duckie”’s ultimately successful rival for the affections of Andie (Molly Ringwald) in this film, a role that ended up going to Andrew McCarthy.

(3)   See this article from The Interim.  It is worth noting that a serious effort to clean up the schools would have to involve more than just repealing Kathleen Wynne’s curriculum.   I was in Toronto for a wedding almost ten years ago, while Dalton McGuinty was still premier.   On the ride back to Pearson International, my driver, a recent immigrant from somewhere in the Middle East, struck up a conversation.   When he found out I was from Manitoba, he told me how lucky I was to be living in a rural, conservative, province, where I did not have to put up with the likes of Dalton McGuinty, who was making the schools teach sexual perversions to young children.   I didn’t have the heart to break the news to him, that the NDP which was governing Manitoba at the time was just about as bad, although they had not taken the schools quite that far.   My point, however, is that this conversation could not have taken place when it did, had McGuinty not already started the schools along the path down which Wynne would take them much further.

(4)  Of course there are those who have gone even further than Ford in this absurdity.    Dr. Brent Roussin has limited social gatherings to five in Winnipeg and the surrounding region.  Back in Ford’s own province, Patrick Brown, his predecessor as PC leader and currently the mayor of Brampton, imposed fines of up to $100 000 on those not practicing “physical distancing” as far back as April.   An orchard owner in neighbouring Caledon was threatened with a fine that large by the Ontario Provincial Police in late September for letting people pick their own apples on his farm.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

The Dracula Solution

In 1453, the forces of Mehmed II, the seventh sultan (1) of the Ottoman Empire, besieged the city of Constantinople, capital of the Byzantine Empire.   The siege started on the sixth of April, and ended a little under two months later on the twenty-ninth of May.   It ended in total victory for Mehmed II and the fall of the Byzantine Empire, whose last emperor, Constantine XI Palaiologos died in the field of battle defending Eastern Christianity and his city, throne, and empire.   This was the culmination of centuries worth of assault by Islamic forces on Eastern Christendom that had started before the Turks had become the dominant power in the Islamic world and before Eastern and Western Christianity had undergone a formal ecclesiastical separation to match the earlier civil separation of the Roman Empire, an assault which had provoked the response of the Crusades only decades after the aforementioned ecclesiastical separation.   After the walls that had long protected the Byzantine capital fell to Mehmed’s artillery, the triumphant sultan renamed the city, which had been Constantinople since Constantine the Great had relocated the capital of the Roman Empire to Byzantium over a millennium earlier, Istanbul, made it the capital of his own empire, and declared himself the new Caesar.   The Ottomans then set their sights on the conquest of Western Christendom, launching a campaign that would eventually bring them to the gates of the capital of the Holy Roman Empire in 1683, where they would be decisively defeated by the allied forces of Emperor Leopold I and Polish King Jan III Sobieski.  


That, however, was two hundred and thirty years after Mehmed’s victory.    Immediately after the Fall of Constantinople, the conquering sultan went on to attack other Christian territories, winning a number of significant victories in the Balkans.   Then, less than a decade after the defeat of the Byzantine Empire, he turned his attention to Wallachia, in what is now Romania.   Wallachia was situated between the Ottoman Empire and the Kingdom of Hungary and both had long laid claim to it as a vassal state.   In the fifteenth century, these larger powers were constantly struggling against each other to put one of their own puppets on the Wallachian throne, and against a growing determination on the part of the Wallachian royalty to resist submission to either.   It was this sort of resistance on the part of the Wallachian voivode (prince/warlord) that drew Mehmed’s attention.   He had sent emissaries to Wallachia to receive tribute from the Romanian prince, but they were killed and the sultan received instead an invasion of his own territory, in which villages were laid waste and thousands killed.   Raising a tremendous army, in 1462 he marched into Wallachia, convinced that victory was assured him.   After crossing the Danube, his camp was attacked but the Romanians failed to capture him.    Shortly thereafter he made it to the Wallachian capital of Târgoviște, where he met with a bone-chilling, blood-curdling spectacle.    The city was deserted, but surrounding it, was a gigantic field containing large wooden stakes or pikes.   Impaled upon those stakes were about twenty thousand Turks, men, women and children, whom the Wallachian prince had captured.   Both impressed and horrified, Mehmed retreated.

The name of the voivode who struck such awe in the heart of the Turkish sultan is one that I am sure you are all familiar with.   His name was Dracula.  


The image that that name has probably summoned up is one of a clean-shaven, pale man in a tuxedo with a big cape, his black hair slicked back from his widow’s peak and plastered to his head with what looks to be an entire jar of pomade, who sleeps in a coffin all day, waking at night to speak in a bad imitation of an Eastern European accent while he bites beautiful young ladies in the neck and drinks their blood.


The above image comes, of course, from the Hollywood versions of Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel Dracula.   Bram Stoker, who was born and raised in Dublin, lived most of his life in London, where he managed the Lyceum Theatre, owned by his friend, the actor Sir Henry Irving, and wrote novels on the side.  Dracula was his fifth published novel.   Like Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, which had appeared eight decades earlier, it is written in epistolary format, that is to say, as a collection of letters, journal entries, and diary clippings, rather than from the point of view of a single narrator.   In the novel, Dracula is a Transylvanian Count who moves to London, where he stalks a young lady named Lucy, the best friend of the fiancée of an English lawyer he had employed, draining her of most of her blood and putting her under a kind of mind control.   Her friends, concerned about what is happening to her, put her in the hands of Dr. Abraham Van Helsing, a physician who, conveniently enough, has the hobby of vampirology.   When Lucy dies and becomes a vampire, Van Helsing and the others put an end to her undead existence and then go in hunt of Count Dracula.   They track him down as he is nearing his castle in Transylvania in his last remaining coffin – he had brought a lot of backups which the vampire hunters had destroyed – and kill him.


Stoker’s having given his vampire the name of the fifteenth century historical figure was presumably a result of his having relied heavily upon Romanian folklore for his research into the vampire legend prior to writing his novel (vampire legends occur in folklore around the world, but, due mostly to Stoker’s book, the vampires that appear in twentieth century film and literature, most closely resemble those of Eastern European folklore).   Within the novel, the historical figure is alluded to on a couple of occasions.   Count Dracula himself, when he is trying to pass himself off as a human aristocrat, speaks of the historical Dracula as an ancestor.   Dr. Van Helsing, however, later expresses the opinion that the count is none other than the undead corpse of the voivode himself.


Vlad III of Wallachia, of course, had a reputation for bloodthirstiness long before Stoker wrote his novel.   One can hardly do such things as he did at Târgoviște, as described a few paragraphs back, without gaining such a reputation.   Among his Hungarian and Saxon enemies, this reputation even took on aspects more closely resembling the kind of bloodthirstiness that appears in Stoker’s novel.    They spread the report that Vlad would set up his table in the midst of his impaled enemies, dipping his bread in their blood.    Since this comes from his enemies, it is probably wisest to take it with a grain of salt.   In his own Romania, however, where he is celebrated as a national hero, he is commonly referred to as Vlad Tepes (pronounced ze-pesh).   Although this designation draws attention to the rather sadistic way in which he dealt with his foes – Tepes translates into English as “The Impaler” – it does not detract from his domestic heroic image but rather enhances it.   He was the man who did what had to be done to prevent the barbarian hordes that had sacked the capital of Eastern Christianity from overrunning his country too.


Vlad III inherited his fight against the Ottoman Turks.   His father, Vlad II, was given the name Dracul when he joined the Order of the Dragon in 1431, which is why his descendants bore the patronym Dracula, a diminutive form meaning “son of Dracul.”   The Order of the Dragon was a knightly fraternity, founded by Sigismund of Luxemburg, King of Hungary in 1408, and modelled on the Order of St. George of the previous century.   Its members were sworn to protect Christianity and Christendom, against the Ottoman Turks.   Vlad Dracul was an illegitimate son of Mircea the Elder, who was raised in Sigismund’s court.   Upon Mircea’s death, Sigismund had backed Dracul’s claim to his father’s throne, whereas the Ottomans had supported the claim of his half-brother Alexander.   It was only after Alexander died that Dracul was able to assume the throne.   In the meantime he had moved to Transylvania, where Vlad III, his second son, was born.


When Vlad Dracul assumed the throne of Wallachia he had a strong backer in Sigismund, who had become the emperor of the Holy Roman Empire three years previously.   Sigismund died the following year, however, and the throne of Hungary was filled by Albert the Magnificent, who, not being emperor, was much weaker than this predecessor, causing Dracul to seek terms of peace with the Ottomans.   When, a couple of years later, Albert himself died, the much stronger Wladyslaw III, King of Poland took his place.   Wladyslaw, along with John Hunyadi, the Transylvanian voivode, pressed Dracul back into the fight against the Turks.   This led to his capture by the Turks, however, who released him, only upon his agreeing to a long list of conditions, the security of which they ensured by taking Dracul’s younger sons, Vlad III and Radu, as hostages.   The result of this period of captivity in the sultan’s court was that Vlad became a more zealous foe of the Turks than his father had ever been, while Radu became their loyal supporter, fighting under Mehmed at Constantinople.   The consequence of this was that when Vlad Dracula claimed his father’s throne – his elder brother Mircea II had been captured and tortured to death by the boyars (patricians) of his capital city shortly before their father was killed - and turned against the Turkish sultan, Mehmed had a replacement at hand in Radu.   Indeed, when the sultan retreated from Târgovișt, Radu remained to fight his brother and, garnering support among the Wallachian aristocracy and middle class, replaced Vlad III when the latter turned to the Hungarians for assistance and was imprisoned.    Fourteen years later, Vlad, with the support of the same Hungarians, briefly returned to the throne before dying fighting the Turks. (2)


Vlad Dracula was a severe and cruel man even by the standards of his own day.   It was not the incident at Târgoviște alone that earned him the cognomen Tepes.   He was, however, in one sense, a fairly just ruler.   That is to say, if the quick and efficient dispensation of punishment to the guilty is all that you are looking for by way of justice.   By Singapore’s present standards, he might even be considered an exemplary ruler.  For those of us in the Commonwealth realms, (3) whose traditional Common Law understanding of justice places a premium on such concepts as the presumption of innocence, trial by jury, letting the punishment fit the crime, etc., he is much further removed from our idea of a model governor.     We ought, however, to refrain from judging him by the standards of our own tradition, especially without considering the historical context in which he committed his famous/infamous deeds.   A good understanding of the history of the attempted Islamic conquest of Christendom, the fifteenth century collapse of the Byzantine Empire under the weight of that onslaught, and the inroads the Turks were making into the Balkans in the immediate aftermath of that collapse is essential to viewing Dracula in his proper context, and goes a long way towards helping us understand why he is considered a hero in his own national tradition.


Dracula and his era hardly held a monopoly on cruelty.   Progressives of our own day, who are seemingly incapable of thinking outside of the box of liberalism, universal human rights and democracy, condemn the inhumanity of the kind of cruelty that involves physical torture except when it is a voluntary alternative lifestyle choice such as in the erotic novels of E. L. James.   They are blind, however, to the cruelty they themselves often support in the name of their humanitarian, do-gooder, causes.


Consider the example of the measures taken in response to the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus this year.   After initially pooh-poohing the virus, and calling anybody who suggested a temporary ban on travel in and out of China to attempt to contain the outbreak within that country a “racist”, once it was clearly too late do any such thing and the virus was already speeding around the world, they did a complete turnabout and began supporting the most oppressive of measures aimed at stopping the virus.   When the WHO first declared a pandemic it was still winter in this part of this world, but that did not prevent our governments from closing all public facilities and restaurant dining rooms and telling everybody to “stay home”, leaving the thousands of people with no home to stay at, literally out in the cold.   That was an act of cruelty.   Then, because very elderly people with multiple health problems are the most at risk from the virus, their loved ones were prohibited from visiting them in long-term care facilities, condemning them, in the name of keeping them “safe”, to months of loneliness and despair, which in the end, probably contributed more to the death toll in such facilities this year than the virus itself.  Another act of insanely inhumane cruelty.   If being very cruel to the destitute and homeless on the one hand and the elderly on the other were not bad enough, our governments, to pay for the insane and unprecedented universal quarantine they imposed upon us all, have saddled future generations for centuries to come with the burden of paying off the debt they have racked up.    Christians, Jews, Muslims, and, indeed, people of all religions, have been denied the spiritual solace and comfort of their faith traditions in a time when they have an especially great need for it, this having been what has gotten people through pandemics in the past.  Then, of course, there is the cruelty of the restrictions placed upon small business owners, that have been driving them into bankruptcy, even while the despicable, vile, low-life, scum who run the big technology and pharmaceutical companies have been raking in the billions off of this scam of a pandemic.   Finally, there is the cruelty of telling people that they are not allowed to work, buy food and other necessities, or, basically, live, unless they wear a stupid, ugly, totem, over their noses and mouths, that has no real protective value whatsoever despite all the horse manure being spread about “the science” behind them, which makes breathing and communicating both more difficult and more uncomfortable, and which, since these things collect and breed germs the way they are being used, which is not in conformity with the safety guidelines for the use of higher grade masks in hospitals, will have the necessary effect of making people more sick rather than less.


All of the bleeding heart, world-and-humanity-loving, liberal, progressive types, who are the first to condemn the cruelty of torture and the death penalty, do not seem to have any problem with the kind of cruelty outlined in the previous paragraph, for they have been cheering all of these measures, and, indeed, crawling to their governments, like Oliver Twist, saying “please sir, I want some more”, seemingly oblivious to the fact that it is not just their own rights and freedoms that they are sacrificing and surrendering for protection from the Bogeyman of SARS-CoV-2, but those of their family, friends, neighbours, and everybody else as well.   As with most other matters, they have got everything backwards.  The cruelty of stakes and iron maidens and other medieval tortures was at least an honest cruelty, one which made no pretense of being anything else.   The cruelty which the progressives support, wears the mask of benevolence.   It is the worst of the two.


If there were any human justice worth speaking of left on this planet, an extremely dubious protasis indeed, all those responsible for thinking up and imposing these measures on us all would be put on trial and charged with crimes against humanity.   The precedent established at Nuremberg for dealing with such crimes, was capital punishment, at least for those who bear the greatest responsibility.   In the event that this hypothetical and highly unlikely scenario were to materialize,  and the court finds the culprits guilty and pronounces sentence after the Nuremberg precedent, should the judges truly wish to send a definitive message that there are to be no more universal lockdowns ever again, then when it comes time to determining the mode of execution, perhaps they should not peremptorily rule out the method preferred by Dracula.   Brutal though it be, it seems somewhat appropriate for the ghoulish spiritual vampires who have spent most of this year sucking the joy out of life and making this world a living hell for everyone else.

(1)  The numbering of the sultans does not include several individuals whose claim to the title was on more dubious grounds than that of those recognized by the historians.

(2)   In between Dracula’s imprisonment and his brief return to power, the voivodeship of Wallachia had passed between his brother Radu the Fair and Basarab Laiotă multiple times.    Basarab Laiotă was a cousin of theirs – the Draculas or Draculesti are a branch of the Basarab family, and indeed, Dracula’s full legal name, included Basarab along with Vlad and Dracula (Tepes was only added after his death, although his enemies called him by the equivalent in their tongues during his lifetime).   Basarab Laiotă held the voivodeship last before Dracula’s return and would resume it again after Dracula’s death.    The competing claims of the different branches of the dynasty – and it was far more complicated than when the House of Plantagenet divided into the Houses of Lancaster and York in England during the period of the War of the Roses,  as can be seen in the fact that Vlad and Radu were rivals but both from the Dracula line of the divided Basarab House - were, of course, the primary means through which the larger Ottoman and Hungarian powers contended for control of the region. 

(3) Singapore is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations but not a Commonwealth realm.   The latter are parliamentary monarchies with Queen Elizabeth II as head of state.   Singapore is a republic.