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Egyptian Dogs, Kenneled Men and a Normalized Albania
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The older you get, the more likely you are to ramble, or, to put it more delicately, to improvise quite freely, incoherently or repetitively, the more you’ll sound like Sun Ra on acid, in short.

Warning label out of the way, I must talk about dogs, to start with.

In Egypt, they’re everywhere, but nearly all are strays. Never petted nor allowed indoors, they find warmth on the heated metal of parked or abandoned cars. Like Egyptian sheep, goats, horses, donkeys, cats and even herons, they eat garbage, which in Egypt is quite plentiful, everywhere. From birth to death, they live a most unnatural existence, not unlike humans.

Eternally hounded, they look at you with pitiful eyes and don’t even dare to whimper. Only once did Egyptian dogs bark at me, and that was in Cairo’s City of the Dead. Among the lowest of that society, these creatures seemed less wretched.

With its quiet, uncluttered streets and often grand, dignified structures, The City of the Dead is perhaps Cairo’s most pleasant neighborhood. Incredibly, it’s also very affordable. Paying no rent, the living coexist, quite peacefully, with the long-dead, inside abandoned tombs.

Since the dead don’t drive, parking isn’t a problem, but they definitely do enjoy coffee, at least in moderation. Relaxing at a City of the Dead café, I was vaguely hoping some long departed broad would show up. Well decomposed, she had had enough time to deconstruct herself, thus come to some self-understanding, if not wisdom, after a conversation or two with God, perhaps. If in hell, she could finally see the Devil without disguise. Her conquered, done with, he could laughingly confide to her all his tricks.

Plus, to her eyes, I would be considered young, fresh meat.

Even with minimal foot traffic, the City of the Dead still has its beggars, so I gave some cheerful, white bearded guy, sitting on the ground, enough for lunch.

Speaking of which, I just had my first cheeseburger in Tirana. Most promisingly, it came with what looked like dill pickles, but, oy vey iz mir, these were merely thinly sliced cucumber!

As a bonafide Jew, as proven by this T-shirt, dearly purchased in Vientiane, Laos, there’s no way I’m going to put up with this gasly insult! It’s like being slapped six million times! And where, pray tell, is their Holocaust Memorial Museum? There’s not even a synagogue here. I don’t care that Albanians fought against both Mussolini and Hitler, these people are obviously brazen Nazis!

Italian culture is common here. Everywhere, pizza, pasta and calzoni are sold. Albanian prosciutto is not quite Italian quality, but good enough. Standing in a bakery, I’m staring at rolls called tartarughe [turtles] and rosette, just like in il bel paese, and a croissant here is also a brioche.

Every language is a collective poem, with each grunt or exhalation an inspired moment, once upon a time or just yesterday. Take the Albanian makina. Derived from the Italian macchina, it means machine or car, but car as merely machine is very childish, of course, if not ridiculous, but that’s its charm, just like the Spanish tienda means tent or store.

Call me biased, but the cutest along that line is the Vietnamese for crocodile, cá sấu, which literally means ugly fish.

Man plays with language, for it’s his most available toy, and costs nothing, except loss of employment, prison or even death, if he’s corralled inside a Satanic system. Worse off than dogs in a necropolis, he can’t even bark.

Smile, you’re not quite there yet, but watch your back.

If you consider death as the total erasure of reality, then its eclipse is always a partial death, so how dark has your noon become?

As I waver between turtles and rosettes, Fred Buscaglione is belting, “Guarda che luna! Guarda che mare!” From this night, without you, I must remain. OK, Fred.

During those suffocating decades of Enver Hoxha’s Communism, Italian radio broadcasts, heard surreptitiously, were all Albanians had of the outside world.

In return, Albania beamed its Stalinist and Maoist messages towards Italians, but such relentless hammering and sickling wasn’t too popular, so music had to be interspersed.

In December of 1972, Hoxha have had enough of this diluted nonsense, so he ordered Radio Tirana’s directors, composers and singers sent to internment camps, along with their families.

Few things are as weird as a Communist song and dance routine, for it is most awkwardly pistoned by rigid, coerced emotions. No spontaneity is allowed, not even an impromptu smile.

I witnessed this firsthand at a North Korean restaurant in Phnom Penh, where the stiffly pretty waitresses wore the most plastic faces as they gutted out shlock rock or pop numbers. Their guitar, bass and drum playing was adroit, but as anyone with a soul must know, precise muscle twitching alone doesn’t make music. It was torture, especially for them.

Granted, to be civilized is to compose and choreograph yourself constantly, but under a totalitarian regime, this imperative is pushed to an insane degree, at all time, even when you’re alone, for Big Brother has been implanted inside your skull.

Everyone is always watching everyone else, and himself, for ideological deviations. A single thought crime can finish you off. No playfulness is allowed. Hyper conscious, your mind eats itself.

Even with your children, you must always be on guard, for they have been well indoctrinated, day after day at school, to detect and denounce heretics.

In Tirana, the former headquarters of the secret police has been turned into a museum, House of Leaves. Here, thousands were taken to be interrogated, often under torture. Like its innocent name, this sinister place has been mostly scrubbed of its terror.

In one room, though, there are photographs of political prisoners on trial. Violated, humiliated and hopelessly doomed, their faces show fear or abjection, of course, but also a stubborn dignity, with more than a hint of disbelief, as in how can such savagery occur in a land they so love and think they know so well?

Across the street from the House of Leaves is the huge Resurrection Cathedral, consecrated in 2014. Albania’s archbishop is a 91-year-old Greek, Anastasios Yannoulatos. Hoxha’s decades-long war against all religions left Albania with almost no priests or imans. After being jailed for 23 years, Hafiz Sabri Koçi became its Grand Mufti in 1991.

Just down the street was the well-guarded block where the top Communist pigs, only those with three chins or more, lived grandly.

Since totalitarianism is all about conformity, its advocates and apologists are not fighting for more justice and freedom, but less, much less. They’re as radical as the worst religious extremists, and just as rigid. Hyper masculine, they have stone tits.

Just listen to them. Brainwashed, they only speak in catchphrases and slogans. Rabid, they can’t discuss anything, but only hector, attack and denounce. Humorless and deranged, they seethe.

Nearly all the self-styled Socialists I’ve met in the West are social misfits who can’t get along with three people, much less the masses. Misanthropes, they hate just about everybody, not just “Fascists.”

ORDER IT NOW

Sated by soft bread, bland beer, beamed sports and virtual sex, many also resent being spared all historical cataclysms, as in no bombing raid, Storming of the Bastille, Saigon airlift or stepping on babies to reach the last escaping ship, so why not, bring on the totalitarianism! At least it won’t be boring, so they think.

Even with the terror, nothing will be more tedious.

I’ve been away from Saigon for more than a year. On one of my last days there, I went with my buddy Giang, also a Vietnamese-American, down to the Saigon River. We had no problem locating the exact spot where he had escaped in 1975. (It’s also where Tony Lueng Ka-fai was last seen in The Lover.)

“I was so scared, I shat in my pants!” Giang cheerfully said. Always grinning, he would be chirpy even if standing on a chair, with a badly knotted noose around his neck.

“So you got onto the ship just like that!” I laughed. “How many days?”

“A few.”

When you’re about to lose everything, shit and other trivia hardly matter. Some, though, will keep on swallowing shit until the very end, for it’s become habitual. Shit in their eyes, nose and mouth, they’ll spew their share of shit also.

Today in Tirana, it’s colder than usual, with snow on the ground. Looking girlish with a pom-pom on her knit cap, a young mother pushes a stroller. With its fingers spread, a tiny arm sticks out, but the baby is warm. Trotting by its striding owner, a thickly coated dog flutters is tail rhythmically. As the sun heats up, puffs of snow flake from the dark, wet branches.

Since the café is underheated, each customer wears a coat and even a scarf inside, but the conversations are bright and cheerful. Laughter erupts. Again, the music is Italian. Un’altra vita mi darai, che io non conosco…

Having had my burek with ham and cheese, plus three cups of macchiato, I’ll steal out of here with an 80-cent baguette. Bread without crust is no breakfast of champions, whatever Kaitlyn Jenner may think.

It’s a normal Sunday morning, and that’s enough. Like Vietnam, Albania has emerged from its foulest days.

Wish you were here…

Linh Dinh’s latest book is Postcards from the End of America. He maintains a regularly updated photo blog.

 
• Category: Culture/Society, History • Tags: Egypt 
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  1. I see from the illustration that the secret pigs practiced bastinado among their repertoire of tortures. That was the favourite of Uday Hussein who used it on husbands who complained about him abducting their pretty wives and having his way with them – that is if you believe American war propaganda.

  2. Mr. Grey says:

    Nearly all the self-styled Socialists I’ve met in the West are social misfits who can’t get along with three people, much less the masses. Misanthropes, they hate just about everybody, not just “Fascists.”

    This is so true. I spent my teens and early 20s in the punk scene, flirting with anarchists and trotskyists and various in between. I liked to think of them as the kids that walked around the track during PE, never doing anything but sure to let you know IF they were involved how much better it would be. The Revolutionary Communist Party was the only one that was completely nuts from the start and it looks like now they have become the mainstream Left.

    • Agree: Enemy of Earth
  3. ‘…Granted, to be civilized is to compose and choreograph yourself constantly, but under a totalitarian regime, this imperative is pushed to an insane degree, at all time, even when you’re alone, for Big Brother has been implanted inside your skull.

    ‘Everyone is always watching everyone else, and himself, for ideological deviations. A single thought crime can finish you off. No playfulness is allowed. Hyper conscious, your mind eats itself…’

    Are you saying this isn’t just happening in the United States?

    • Agree: Irish Savant
    • Replies: @Johan
  4. Trinity says:

    Nice article. Yet another ugly part of the world that treats people as well as animals like shit. Put the Middle East/Egypt and Southeast Asia on my not to visit list.

    • Replies: @moi
  5. Linh Dinh says: • Website

    Hi Colin,

    People can decide for themselves to what extent my description applies to their society, or how far along it has progressed in that direction. When I taught in Leipzig five years ago, my university certainly felt very conformist, and much more so than German society at large, although the label Nazi was slapped on just about anyone guilty of a thought crime.

    It sounds like the UK has gotten very bad, so it would be enlightening to hear from someone living there.

    Linh

    • Replies: @Colin Wright
  6. Radio Tirana was beamed to England too, in the ’70s and ’80s. You could receive it on a normal medium wave radio, rather than short wave.

    The main announcer was strident woman, whom I always imagined looked like the James Bond villainess, Rosa Klebb.

    • Replies: @anon
    , @Awash
    , @restless94110
  7. karel says:

    Where did you take the picture of Švejk?

    • Replies: @Linh Dinh
  8. @Linh Dinh

    Realistically, things lately have been reminding me of the impression I have of Brezhnev’s Russia — right down to the gerontocracy.

    Not Stalin’s Russia: that would be an exaggeration. But Brezhnev’s — yeah. There’s a resemblance.

    • Replies: @EugeneGur
    , @follyofwar
  9. Cowboy says:

    Dude, I looked on the map and you are down to Cameroon and Afghanistan. Shits getting real now!

  10. Nearly all the self-styled Socialists I’ve met in the West are social misfits who can’t get along with three people, much less the masses. Misanthropes, they hate just about everybody, not just “Fascists.”

    I’ve hung with a number of Antifa types in Portland. They’re not bad people, just totally alienated from society. Most grew up in professional class families and their lack of professional success drives much of their faux-revolutionary behavior. They’re not so much anti-facist as anti-everything.

    • Replies: @TelfoedJohn
  11. The professional beggars occupying Egyptian tourist spots are like zombies. If you stand still for a moment to take a photo they’ll start their slow shuffle toward you. There are only two tactics to deal with them:

    1/ take your photo leaving enough time to start walking in the general direction of a tourist cop, because once you’re within about 15m of the cop the beggars will veer away. However, don’t get to close to the cop because some might want a little baksheesh for doing their job.

    2/ but this is the best: let them come near you unconcernedly and when they put their hand out, say in a stern voice, “Nyet, Russkiy” while making a short chopping motion with a free hand. It worked 100% of the time – and not just with beggars, but also with the vendors who prey on tourists. I assume the response is an attitude developed during the Nasser era when there were lots of Warsaw Pact military and engineers etc stationed in Egypt.

    • Replies: @TKK
  12. Talha says:

    City of the Dead – wow! That was one of the regrets I have from my visit in Cairo, missing out on seeing that section. Closest I ever got was about 3 miles away when visiting the mausoleum of Imam Shafi’i (ra) to pay my respects. You know you’re at his mosque when you look up and see the little boat at the top of the dome:
    That area also had poverty at the time of my visit, but seems to have been in better shape than how the City of the Dead is described.

    Thanks for inspiring me to visit Cairo again and see even more of it.

    By the way, you had some great one-liners in there!

    Peace.

  13. anon[712] • Disclaimer says:
    @jimmyriddle

    I occasionally used to pick them up on shortwave beamed to North America in the mid 70’s, back when you could pick up Europe with just a whip antenna due to the ideal time in the sunspot cycle.

    • Replies: @sturbain
  14. Ugetit says:

    Since totalitarianism is all about conformity, its advocates and apologists are not fighting for more justice and freedom, but less, much less. They’re as radical as the worst religious extremists, and just as rigid.

    Pretty well describes the ubiquitous moronic self appointed mask monitors here in the USSA. Nearly everyone is a formerly repressed closet cop, it seems. It’s so ridiculous, it’s hilarious.

    Just listen to them. Brainwashed, they only speak in catchphrases and slogans. Rabid, they can’t discuss anything, but only hector, attack and denounce. Humorless and deranged, they seethe.

    And that well describes gulls, especially the vaccine indoctrinated, when preaching to the unconvinced.

  15. Another wonderful glimpse of the world beyond our reach…. BUT: “ Not unlike”?? Really? I’m surprised to see a great wordsmith use such a phrase. Please break out and re-read Orwell’s Politics and the English Language. Best

    • Replies: @Mackerel Sky
  16. Emslander says:

    So, re Albania and possibly Russia, the most comfortable and orderly society may be the one that has experienced the full degradation of international socialist atheistic totalitarianism, found within itself the capacity to throw it off and then try to exist normally and quietly.

    We’ve still got a long way to go.

    • Replies: @Trinity
    , @Ray Caruso
  17. Trinity says:
    @Emslander

    There will NEVER be a perfect society because man is far from perfect. Try again.

    • Agree: Malla
  18. HalconHigh says: • Website

    1975
    Your buddy, Giang, made his escape.
    “Wish you were here” was released by Pink Floyd.
    I first had sex.

    Been downhill ever since lol

    Shared a joint with a buddy of mine outside the local bar a few days ago.
    Either we’re not worried about Covid, or we’ve gone crazy.
    Can they do that in Albania ?

    There were 2 stray dogs roaming my apt complex this morning.
    A rare sight.
    The smaller one, scared & confused, kept looking back at me.
    Beautifully groomed, he finally scampered off after his bigger buddy.
    Hope they’re ok.

    Cheers, Linh

    • Replies: @Linh Dinh
  19. Dumbo says:
    @Ugetit

    And that well describes gulls, especially the vaccine indoctrinated, when preaching to the unconvinced.

    One of the most disturbing phenomenons for me has been the rabid people calling anyone who questions the vaccines as “Anti-Science” or “Science Deniers”. I mean they really seem to know little about science or the scientific method… And they certainly know little about how these new “vaccines” work or what’s their objective (hint: it’s not to “cure Covid”, they can’t even do that). It’s like they turned “Science” into a religion where you can’t discuss anything that is taboo.

    • Agree: Ugetit
    • Replies: @Theophrastus
  20. @Ugetit

    ‘…Pretty well describes the ubiquitous moronic self appointed mask monitors here in the USSA. Nearly everyone is a formerly repressed closet cop, it seems. It’s so ridiculous, it’s hilarious…’

    Chalk up another modest virtue for Oregon. None of that here — or almost none.

    Most people wear masks. I don’t. But in a year, while store employees have frequently made me put mine on, only one person has even made a gesture suggesting I should wear mine. No one has ever actually said anything.

    • Replies: @Ugetit
  21. Linh Dinh says: • Website
    @HalconHigh

    In Skopje, North Macedonia, a friendly stranger handed me a bottle of liquor, so I drank from it, then he drank from it, then his buddy drank from it, and we’re still kicking

    Third class trains in Egypt are so packed, social distancing is impossible, but you’re much more likely to get pregnant, even if you’re a man, than to catch Covid.

    Pass that joint around.

    • Replies: @HalconHigh
    , @HalconHigh
  22. I don’t care that Albanians fought against both Mussolini and Hitler, these people are obviously brazen Nazis!

    Linh should read more about Albania’s history (or stop romanticizing/falsifying it)! Albanians didn’t fought against Mussolini and Hitler, they fought with them.

    • Disagree: Colin Wright
  23. My experience with Egyptian dogs are somewhat different. About 10 years ago in Dahab in the Sinai there was a couple living on the beach with half a dozen of maybe 6 week-old puppies. They all looked healthy and well-fed. The proud father, who clearly was in control of the female and the puppies, led me to visit his puppies and the mother was not aggressively protective. They were not begging for food and looked healthy. Maybe some European hippie tourist left them behind but were well-adjusted to their circumstances. Quite a contrast to the “pets” I saw in the rest of Egypt.

  24. HalconHigh says: • Website
    @Linh Dinh

    You’re a Cool Dude brah….

    Gettin by in Glendale, AZ.

    • LOL: Trinity
  25. awry says:

    The crowd against which the Nazi party was voted into power now dominates almost the whole Western civilization, so now we’ll have two wonderful options of either them winning or the next Nazi party coming to defeat them.
    As things stand, chance of those even worse than the Nazis winning this time is 10:1, and something big like the October Revolution is coming next, only this time the white race will be the bourgeoisie that needs to be destroyed, so that the Proletariat of Color can take over, led by the rabbis.
    Okay, this may take another 10-20 years, or even 30, but that’s nothing on the historic time scale, and we’re probably get to see it. Well those of us who are under 50 most probably. Biden’s current steps are in a direction that harkens back to the degeneration of the Weimar Republic, and not just in the US, but in the entire US sphere of influence. This coming future of the West will roughly be a mix of Weimar Germany and early Boshevik Russia (before Stalinism).

    • Agree: Ugetit, Ace
    • Thanks: GMC
    • Replies: @Colin Wright
  26. HalconHigh says: • Website
    @Linh Dinh

    Passing booze around in Macedonia, home of Alexander The Great.

    Freaking incredible…

    “Till next time

  27. Awash says:
    @jimmyriddle

    I listened to Radio Tirana when I was a kid becuase my dad did. I liked it as a kid because they railed against all the big boys. I also liked the way Tirana sounded. I imagined it must be a beautiful place. I wish to visit it.

  28. TKK says:
    @Marshal Marlow

    On a beach in Koh Chang Thailand, I saw a Russian man slap a Thai boy for slow service with his beer and snacks.

    It was like encountering a grizzly bear in church.

    I kept waiting for a gang of Thai toughies to avenge their countryman but they never showed. The sun set and the Russian left the beach with a smoking hot blonde who had the most amazing set of naturals breasts that deserved their own parade.

    I went back to mildew reeking beach hut alone with a 7/11 tuna sandwich.

  29. @Dumbo

    Exactly. I call it “Scientism.”

  30. gsjackson says:
    @Ugetit

    That’s the big difference here in the Balkans, where the governments are also covid-crazy — they don’t get any help from the people, who won’t self-police the diaper-social distance regime. Virtue signaling and moral one-upmanship just aren’t part of people’s makeup here.

    Back in 1830 Tocqueville wrote a letter to his father from the U.S. and noted that Americans were always looking for some small perch of moral superiority from which they could look down on their neighbors. Seems like nothing’s changed there.

    • Replies: @Ugetit
    , @Colin Wright
  31. Albanian prosciutto is not quite Italian quality, but good enough.

    Is that prosciutto made from pork? My oh my, in hell Mahound will cry!

    • Replies: @Linh Dinh
  32. @Kerryokwan

    Most grew up in professional class families and their lack of professional success drives much of their faux-revolutionary behavior

    This is very true. Strident opinionating in their circles is just a career move. A lot of the top brass of the UK Labour Party have radical origins, but it turns out that they’re as interested in climbing the greasy pole as much as American Psycho investment bankers.

    People whose ideology is ‘no-one is better than anyone else’ think that they’re better than you for saying it.

    • Replies: @Ugetit
    , @Trinity
  33. Wild Bill says:

    It might be a bit off topic, but can anything be off topic on Linh’s column?

    I have always had the utmost respect for Satan. He is a worthy opponent in this game we play. The game is really a version of high stakes monopoly. What are the stakes? They are the highest of all, your life and your consciousness. You can quit playing any time you want, turn your seat over to another player and you lose your life, but if you refuse to lose and persist until you are bankrupt, you lose your consciousness as well. We all come into the game by taking over the seat of someone giving up theirs, either willingly or by being bankrupt. The game has many many players and Satan owns half of them. He owns the ones that own Park Place and Boardwalk. He owns the ones that own all the railroads. He controls the bank and bends the rules to suit the players he owns. If we are lucky, we have Ventnor Avenue and $100 and if we stay lucky, we choose to leave while we still have it. But of course, there are those of us who choose to stay and struggle and they find us “….dead in the desert all the time.” “Still, you’ve got to laugh!” In the midst of the “Covid pandemic” one person whined “Please wear a mask just on the off chance it will save my life.” A reply came from one of those that heard the request. “What for?”
    It appears at the outset that Satan cannot be beaten. He holds all the game in his hands and crushes those he pleases. Perhaps we will be crushed. Go to jail. Do not collect $200. Perhaps we will have some success. A player lands on Ventnor Avenue. Of course its not a player owned by Satan, but you still collect $5 rent. Can you win the game? Of course not. It is Satan’s game, he owns it, he controls it, but you can give Satan a terrible headache and spill coffee all over the board and wash some of the hotels onto the floor.

  34. Anonymous[661] • Disclaimer says:

    So was Paul Bowles shitting us about Muslim countries not having any dogs? He’d written in a passage (Sheltering Sky was it?) that the complete lack of dogs was a deliberate custom aimed at preventing anything signaling the comings-and-goings of the surreptitious Arabs.

    • Replies: @Linh Dinh
  35. @Emslander

    I think you’re onto something. Countries that really tried to implement communism (China, as well as Russia and Albania), as opposed to having a communist regime forced upon them (Hungary, Poland, Czechia, etc.) have learned a lesson: heaven on earth is impossible, and trying to create one leads to a hell. Having learned that, their focus in terms of societal well-being is simply to avoid hell. That is wise, because avoiding hell is the best humans can hope for in this world. On the other hand, some non-communist societies are avidly pursuing heaven on earth right now. The foremost among those is, of course, the United States. American “liberals” are more certain than ever that a total commitment to homosexualism, transgenderism, feminism, negrophilia, and xenophilia will bring heaven on earth as soon as the last disbeliever is “cancelled”.

    • Agree: Alfred
    • Replies: @Emslander
  36. Ugetit says:
    @Colin Wright

    ‘…Pretty well describes the ubiquitous moronic self appointed mask monitors here in the USSA. Nearly everyone is a formerly repressed closet cop, it seems. It’s so ridiculous, it’s hilarious…’

    Chalk up another modest virtue for Oregon. None of that here — or almost none.

    You are very fortunate. Here, practically everyone apparently considers himself to be both a health authority and a member of the Cheka and they’re shockingly bold and without respect for age. I routinely bite back by asking them where they’re getting their info and it doesn’t faze them a bit; they’re happy “just doing what they’re told.” This ridiculous plandemic offers some shocking insights into human psychology and behavior, and very little of it is reassuring while most of it is pathetic and disgusting. It’s easy to see how psychopaths get away with the (bleep) they pull.

    • Replies: @Colin Wright
  37. @Bill Ziebell

    Basic rhetoric. It’s called litotes. It is not uncommon in English.

  38. Emslander says:
    @Ray Caruso

    You state it much clearer and with better detail, but that’s the lesson. It’s why I say we’ve got a long way to go, if we’re going to get to maximum reality.

    • Agree: Ray Caruso
  39. Walter says:

    Linh’s streetsign image is, I think, of the good soldier Schweik.

    A later version is, some say, Gunner Asch.

    I wonder, does the Good Laxy Hairless understand how many Schweiks and how many Aschs are “protecting” the people “elected”?

  40. Linh Dinh says: • Website
    @Ray Caruso

    It has to be made from pork, or it wouldn’t be prosciutto. Had bacon for breakfast this morning, and it was certainly not turkey.

    • Replies: @Ray Caruso
  41. Linh Dinh says: • Website
    @Anonymous

    Turkey is overrun with stray dogs, and there are lots of stray cats too. Lebanon has plenty of stray dogs. Most Muslims won’t keep dogs as pets, but this actually allows them to breed more freely, since stray dogs aren’t neutered.

    • Replies: @Talha
    , @moi
    , @Hacienda
  42. Talha says:
    @Linh Dinh

    In Istanbul, the residents decided to not kill off strays, but instead they have a veterinary program that tracks and cares for them:

    Someone came up with a recycling program tied to feeding the strays:

    They did a nice documentary on the street cats of Istanbul also and how they relate to the residents:

    Peace.

    • Replies: @Talha
    , @Biff
    , @Ray Caruso
  43. moi says:
    @Trinity

    Check into America’s animal farming industry…

    • Agree: Biff
  44. moi says:
    @Linh Dinh

    Animals are treated cruelly everywhere. Look into America’s animal food industry.

    • Agree: Trinity, TKK
    • Replies: @ben sampson
  45. I always enjoy the articles by this gentleman, he has a natural talent for writing and they always make me want to see the places he writes about,

    What a pity that the world seems to be heading toward a situation where the simple joy of being alive is to be strangled,

    Here in Ireland, myself and my sons have been refused service because we don’t wear the face nappy, and as another commenter mentioned it seems like so many of these dipshits consider themselves completely justified in this type of behaviour despite the fact that there are exemptions to the mask wearing mandate,

    I put up posters and stickers at night urging people to ditch the mask in the suburb of Dublin that I live in and they are ruthlessly scrapped off whatever surface I attach them to, it seems that the submissive and gullible cannot bear being reminded of their stupidity,

    I can’t see how this covid scam can be ended without violence,

    The word scam comes from the Irish language by the way,

    Is cam é

    which translates as

    It is crooked.

    • Thanks: Trinity
    • Replies: @Hamilcar
    , @Johan
  46. Talha says:
    @Talha

    By the way, it must be noted that they were killing dogs off with poison a couple of decades ago, but found it was not really denting their rabies rates. This also started a protest in the population to come up with a more humane process, so they evolved into what the video shows now with traveling vet vehicles, a full vet team, tagging and tracking, etc.

    But I think cats are the ones that rule the city:

    Peace.

    • Replies: @Alfred
  47. Alfred says:
    @Talha

    it must be noted that they were killing dogs off with poison a couple of decades ago

    In London, they employ marksmen with silenced rifles to kill the numerous foxes that roam around by day and night. Most Londoners have no idea that this is going on.

    Once, 20 years ago, I was with my toddler daughter in Kelsey Park, a fox started gunning for my daughter. I had to scare it away. There have been cases of foxes entering homes and attacking babies.

    Killer urban fox attacks baby in her bouncer after sneaking into family home (2018)

    Here is the same fox:

    • Replies: @Talha
  48. Hamilcar says:

    “If you consider death as the total erasure of reality, then its eclipse is always a partial death, so how dark has your noon become?”

    Brilliant writing as always Linh. These cursed times feel often feel like a kind of purgatory. Things keep getting worse and more oppressive but there is an overwhelming sensation that the nightmare has just begun.

    It’s cool you decided to say screw it and travel again despite the mass hysteria and tyranny. Most people are too afraid or are just hunkering down waiting for the deluge.

    If I may ask where do you think is the best and most welcoming place for American dissidents trying to get out of the U.S? Also, how difficult would you say it has been traveling overall during the last several months?

    • Replies: @Linh Dinh
    , @Linh Dinh
  49. Hamilcar says:
    @Da's Reich

    Good on you man. Flyers are an excellent way to throw wrenches into the system. Zman talks about that alot. Relatively low effort and risk but high reward as TPOB have to expend a lot of resources dealing with it.

    Wishing you well and a good fight from the Diaspora. Ireland for the Irish and forever free!

    • Replies: @Da's Reich
  50. Hacienda says:
    @Linh Dinh

    There are quite a number of stray dogs and cats in Los Angeles. I was walking in Koreatown and a pack of dogs were headed in my direction. Remarkably, the lead dog (a german shepard) had a dead cat hanging from his mouth. The dogs passed me like they had scored a touchdown.

    Aside from all the other dangers, disgraces, and nuisances of public spaces in L.A., this is why you don’t see free wandering children in L.A. Something, that used to exist in America.

    Cities/humans vs Jungles/animals. You have to make a choice. There’s no in-between.

    • Replies: @Trinity
  51. How about we don’t call it socialism or communism or any bad words like that, and then we all get guaranteed employment, free college, free medical care, very low-priced mass transit everywhere, guaranteed shelter, guaranteed food, freedom from pollution, guaranteed cheesesteaks and beer, freedom from want, freedom from fear, freedom of speech, freedom of worship, etc., all the rich fucks who make our lives so miserable go to the lantern-posts, and then we just call it capitalism?

    Will you be happy then?

    • Replies: @Ace
  52. Linh Dinh says: • Website
    @Hamilcar

    Hi Halmicar,

    These are the only countries without Covid test or quarantine requirements: Albania, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Tanzania.

    Albania, Montenegro and North Macedonia are in the Balkans, so I’d say head here. If one of these countries tighten up their rules, you can easily go to one of the other two. Serbia is also easy to get into. All you need is a Covid test, and there’s no quarantine or lockdown.

    I’m in Albania because I think it’s the best choice. An American can stay here for up to a year without a residency permit. Albanians are relaxed and friendly, and the streets are perfectly safe. They just changed the rule on opening hours for bars and restaurants, so they have to close at 8PM now, but citizens are complaining, so I don’t think this rule will last.

    Albania only has 3 million people, and a million of them are in Tirana. It’s a bustling and fairly sophisticated city. There are many good restaurants, including an American one, Stephen Center, run by an American couple.

    Prices are cheap. For lunch today, I had an excellent pizza for four bucks. A bottle of Elbar or Tirana Beer is just over a buck, and the better Puka Beer is around two bucks.

    Yesterday I met an American couple in their 60’s who just made the decision to retire here, and they’ve been expats for 25 years, with most of those years in Russia, and six in Vietnam. They’re missionaries.

    If and when entry rules for Schengen Zone relax, you can easily reach a bunch of countries from Albania, and Italy is just a ferry ride away.

    Linh

    • Replies: @gsjackson
  53. Linh Dinh says: • Website
    @Hamilcar

    If you don’t want to go too far from the US, then just head to Mexico. There are already many Americans there, so it won’t be hard to meet some to help you get settled.

    The biggest travel related stress right now is that entry rules can abruptly change. Before, you could book your flight and lodging a month or two in advance, but now, it’s wiser to do it, say, just a week beforehand.

    If you’re seriously thinking about getting out, then just do it. Wait too long and you won’t be able to do so.

    • Replies: @Hamilcar
  54. Talha says:
    @Alfred

    Most Londoners have no idea that this is going on.

    This is basically what happened in Turkey; once the pictures of piles of poisoned dead dogs started getting spread over the Internet, the people were horrified at what was happening so they started to call for change.

    foxes entering homes and attacking babies.

    Damn – straight up thug life! Had no clue foxes were that gangster!

    I’ve seen one or two around our area. Absolutely beautiful creatures, but you have to call in the cats until they leave the neighborhood.

    Peace.

  55. Trinity says:
    @Hacienda

    You mean a “global city” like Los Angeles doesn’t have animal control? Priceless. I live in Stickville, Georgia and you hardly ever see a dog running around and IF you do it is a lone dog, maybe two at the most and they generally are small to medium size critters who don’t pose a threat. American bulldogs, pit bulls, rotties and shepherds are common here but you NEVER see them running loose unless a Mexican owns them. Not being racist just stating facts. I had a Puerto Rican couple live across the street from me in Tampa and this guy’s pit bull aka land shark was always “getting loose.” IF you have a breed like that you definitely need to be a responsible person. I am the owner of an American bulldog and you can believe I am careful to make sure he isn’t roaming the streets attacking cats, small dogs or worse, people. He’s a big lug but he is definitely capable of putting a hurting on some other animal or person. Like people, you really can’t predict what a dog will do no matter how well behaved or trained that dog is.

    • Replies: @Hacienda
  56. namulith says:

    “I will fight for my Kaiser until his last breath.” 🙂

  57. “It’s a normal Sunday morning, and that’s enough. Like Vietnam, Albania has emerged from its foulest days.”

    Are you sure about it? Vietnam didn’t have Islam in its baggage but Albania does… you can take a Turk to Europe but you can’t get him to give up the ways of the desert… an Albanian isn’t too far from a Turk.

  58. Ugetit says:
    @gsjackson

    Seems like nothing’s changed there.

    During my lifetime it seems that things have steadily worsened in that respect. I’m convinced that the majority of people here are not only infantile but also clinically nuts.

    Thanks for your comment.

  59. Ugetit says:
    @TelfoedJohn

    People whose ideology is ‘no-one is better than anyone else’ think that they’re better than you for saying it.

    That’s the truth!

  60. Johan says:
    @Colin Wright

    Hush, you fool, Sir Dinh doesn’t engage in vulgar journalistics or other such unimaginative expressions. If you don’t work on your manners, you have to eat with the dogs.

  61. Johan says:
    @Da's Reich

    Agreed on the enjoyment, though I never want to see these places, imagination is always better than the real thing.

    • Replies: @Da's Reich
  62. Trinity says:
    @TelfoedJohn

    I TRULY believe no one is any better than anyone else and I truly believe that Blacks and Browns ( including white Jews, white Arabs, etc.) are not meant to live and function in White society and vice versa. I TRULY treat everyone the same way from a homeless person to a General to a cardiothoracic surgeon whom I would always address by his first name just to piss him off. hehe. Oops, I must confess, I truly have no love in my heart for Washington Wimptards, forgive me Lord for I have sinned. I am very confused, please hep me, lawd, please, I am a REAL LIBERAL trapped in a White Nationalist body. hehe. Like the great Muhammad Ali once said, redbirds fly with redbirds, bluebirds fly with bluebirds and eagles fly with eagles. God and nature intended it that way.

  63. EugeneGur says:
    @Colin Wright

    Realistically, things lately have been reminding me of the impression I have of Brezhnev’s Russia — right down to the gerontocracy.

    The impression – particularly that of a person with preconceived ideas – is not necessarily the reality. I grew up in the Brezhnev’s Russia, and there was certainly no fear, parents afraid of their indoctrinated children, or equal nonsense.
    And as we know now, gerontocracy is not limited to Brezhnev’s Russia.

  64. gsjackson says:
    @Linh Dinh

    Just to add:

    The 8 p.m. curfew in Albania is supposed to be for two weeks, so should expire February 25.

    A couple other good American-style restaurants — Tony’s and Spaghetti Western. It’s not easy to find a decent burger in Tirana, but Tony’s will definitely fill the bill.

    You can enter Serbia from Albania and North Macedonia without a PCR test.

    The cost of most food is indeed low, but can be quite high for some things, like nuts and blueberries — unfortunately two staples of my diet.

    This is a country fueled by coffee. It’s supposed to have by far the largest number of cafes per capita in the world, and that will immediately become obvious when you arrive. Sitting at cafe is what people do in Albania, and I don’t think government is going to be able to change that ever again after the initial draconian reaction at the beginning of Crazy Time.

  65. Hamilcar says:
    @Linh Dinh

    Very useful information, much appreciated and thank you for all you do.

    Wishing you good health and safe travels.

    If I ever make it out and to the Balkans maybe we can meet up for a beer!

  66. @Hamilcar

    I get my posters and stickers from a Lithuanian guy as it happens, he just drops them in my front porch, I’ve yet even to meet him would you believe although when I need my next supply I expect him to ring the doorbell and come in for a beer or a coffee,

    I’m just back from cycling around the area to see which of the posters need replacing, and I will keep this up for as long as it takes,

    Oh how I wish we Irish were free but the reality is that we have partition with 6 of the 32 counties of Ireland still under British rule, a small majority in that undemocratically set up state are the descendants of the English and Scottish settlers of the early 1600’s and with the backing of the British refuse to accept the wishes of the majority on the Island for complete separation from the UK,

    At this stage we are not much more than slaves to American pharmaceutical companies whose produce make up 60% plus of our exports, that is why we are being put through the most stringent of lockdowns and to our shame most of the populace are accepting this draconian nonsense,

    I appreciate your encouragement, it’s a lonely battle at the moment and I hope for better days,

    Our political class are a dreadful bunch of inept charlatans and are selling us down the river in such a treasonous manner that I am concerned that only violence will sort this,

    I’m pro immigration, kind of, however the plan for us is some multicultural shithole where us Irish are demonised as racist etc,

    I have an immigrant son in law and he is a fantastic addition to the family and indeed a few really good eastern European friends who are adding some backbone to the nation,

    We could sure do with that.

  67. @Johan

    Maybe you are right Johan ;-), I can’t see myself travelling abroad anytime soon,

    Here in Ireland it is now an offense to travel abroad basically, and people who travel to Ireland are to be subject to a mandatory quarantine of 14 days,

    Our economy dies without tourism and the political leaders know this but don’t care because they feed off the corporation tax take of 1 billion annually from the pharma industry, the rest of our economy they are throwing under the bus, at the behest of their pharma bosses,

    Only shooting these traitors will bring about change I’m afraid.

  68. Ace says:
    @obwandiyag

    Just add in “freedom is slavery” there and you’re good.

  69. @moi

    that will soon be cleaned up! the cows at least will be at peace. Bill Gates is about to replace all real beef with synthetic steaks!
    look out!

  70. Linh Dinh, I wish I were there with you. Your prose always perk me up. The only time I saw a grown man shit his pants was also in Viet Nam, 1968. The helicopter landed and two men in tropical suits jumped out with a blind folded man secured between them. VC, that was my assumption. His pants were wet in that most sacred spot, front and back. He must have been relieved, no pun, when his feet hit solid ground. More than a few were tossed out at a 3 thousand feet. I asked no questions, I couldn’t anyhow. It is now one of those rare memories which when it comes up, so does the video.

    • Replies: @Trinity
  71. @Ugetit

    ‘…Here, practically everyone apparently considers himself to be both a health authority and a member of the Cheka…’

    Where’s ‘here’? Approximately, of course.

  72. @awry

    ‘The crowd against which the Nazi party was voted into power now dominates almost the whole Western civilization, so now we’ll have two wonderful options of either them winning or the next Nazi party coming to defeat them…’

    That’s the real problem.

    Whoever wins, it’s all downhill from here. Humpty-Dumpty is not going back up on that wall.

  73. @gsjackson

    ‘…Back in 1830 Tocqueville wrote a letter to his father from the U.S. and noted that Americans were always looking for some small perch of moral superiority from which they could look down on their neighbors. Seems like nothing’s changed there.’

    There is one change.

    We no longer have the perch.

    It’s one of the mildly comic aspects of the present. Foreigners still being jealous of America — when there’s finally no longer anything to be jealous of.

  74. Tony says:

    Wish you were here…

    I’m sure the Albanians dont wish youre there for too much longer. I say better you being there than in my country, thats for sure.

  75. Biff says:
    @Talha

    Never feed the wildlife.

    A fed bear is a dead bear.

    A few years back(about fifteen) Bangkok organized a soi dog sterilization plan, than in essence, never completely worked, but made a noticeable difference.

  76. Trinity says:
    @the grand wazoo

    You must have missed Jerry Nadler shitting his pants in front of Nervous Nancy. Admittedly after riding off an embankment and flipping my car I actually watched myself piss my pants once I came to a stop. Still remember having a lady in the emergency room after my pants were removed saying looks like he had an accident. Didn’t drop mud but that flip literally scared the piss out of me.

    • Replies: @Alfred
    , @the grand wazoo
  77. Hacienda says:
    @Trinity

    American bulldogs, pit bulls, rotties and shepherds are common here but you NEVER see them running loose unless a Mexican owns them.

    LA has a lot traffic, so yeah, it’s surprising to come across a pack of dogs. But LA is not being overrun by wildlife, yet. As far as which race keeps the best pets, I’d say whites win. Easy. Sometimes I get teary-eyed when I see the love whites have for dogs and vice versa. Like Lassie. I wouldn’t trust a Chinaman with a dog. Any more than I’d give one a plate a Peking Duck and expect it back. Blacks seem to only like attack dogs, if they can even manage to split some of their welfare payments for them. And the Mexicans haven’t even evolved to domesticating dogs. They have no concept. They are still in the human sacrifice stage of their societal development.

    • Replies: @Trinity
  78. Oh .. steady on sir. Hang to.
    Company .. fix!
    .. bayonets!

    t

    here’s no way I’m going to put up with this gasly insult! It’s like being slapped six million times!

    Always steady. It’s what we’re “for”.
    Now-then, my little lad, stand ready..
    never mind the german gas-shells
    Stand ready

  79. Trinity says:
    @Hacienda

    Well there are exceptions with Mexicans, just look at Cesar Milan. haha. I own my American bulldog for companionship as well as a guard dog, he is indeed a man stopper, but I also own 3 small lap dogs as well. There is definitely some kind of weird thing with Mexicans and their pit bulls, at least where I live. Seems like every other Mexican owns a pit bull. haha. Blacks for the most part treat their dogs like shit and it seems like Mexicans, at least a great deal of them go the pit bull route as some sort of status symbol. Blacks seem to favor the pit bulls but I have seen them with rotties as well, either way they treat their dogs like shit for the most part. IF I were to breed dogs there is no way that I would sell my dogs to Blacks and would be very skeptical about selling them to any nonwhite to be honest.

    • Replies: @Hacienda
  80. Alfred says:
    @Trinity

    after riding off an embankment and flipping my car I actually watched myself piss my pants once I came to a stop

    I once had on a head-on high speed collision on the road between Amman and Aqaba. A truck came over to my side of the road as he was overtaking.

    Luckily, I managed to move partly off the road and only hit his rear axle. I broke my knee and foot. For the next few days, I was unable to piss. I was begging the male nurse to put a catheter in my thing when the pain was too great. Not much fun. Especially when they were trying to persuade me to let them take off my left leg. Every morning, I woke up dreading that my leg had gone in the night. I could not see it as there was a sort of tent over that area. Urgh.:(

    The road was one lane each way at the time – with no barrier. A wall of rock was only 1 meter from the asphalt.

    • Replies: @Trinity
  81. Trinity says:
    @Alfred

    Yeah, I am scared to death of car wrecks and here in northern Georgia, especially in and around Atlanta they drive like maniacs. Worst place on earth for maniacs riding your bumper, I think half of them are wannabe NASCAR drivers. Southerners may talk slow, but they drive fast. I drive maybe 5-8 miles above the speed limit here and people run me off the road, I don’t know why they even bother putting up speed limit signs because it seems no one obeys them. My crash was a one car accident. I was driving along at 5 or 6 AM on some curvy roads in the foothills, took my eye off the road to reach for a McDonald’s steak, egg, and cheese bagel ( this was 2012, Mickey D’s in my area doesn’t even sell this sandwich any more) and boom I was heading off the road. I barely missed being speared by a tree from what I have been told and I was told my car looked horrible, I was not about to go back and look at it. They had to pry my car door open to get me out of the mangled mess. This particular road has had more than a few deaths on it, a very curvy road, so I guess the good Lord looked after me on this one. Only wound up with a broken ankle, (probably from slamming the brake with my foot, and a badly bruised chest and back from the seat belt.) I was very, very, lucky on that day.

  82. sturbain says:
    @anon

    Geez I miss shortwave. And dxing (google it). Is shortwave still a thing?

  83. @Linh Dinh

    I’m with you brother, but some go for weird substitutes. I once witnessed a Jew (I confidently assume from his behavior and facial features) make a scene at a Florida supermarket because they didn’t carry “beef bacon”. He actually mentioned “compensation” for being deprived of his smoky, meaty kosher goodness.

  84. @Talha

    Awesome! Too bad Turks don’t treat Christians as well as stray animals. When it comes to Armenians, Greeks, and Assyrian, it’s “Into the waterless desert you march, infidels!”

    • Troll: Colin Wright
  85. Scooter says:

    Hey Linh,

    Can a foreigner cheaply rent a place in Tirana for a few months to a year?

    If someone wanted to leave the West and do the digital nomad thing, would it be possible from there?

    • Replies: @Linh Dinh
    , @Linh Dinh
  86. Linh Dinh says: • Website
    @Scooter

    Hi Scooter,

    Yes, definitely. I paid 357 Euros for the first four weeks, and keep in mind this was done without a long-term contract or deposit. I have no kitchen but eating out is very cheap here.

    I wanted to get here to make sure that the place was OK, and it certainly was. On my second day, I told my landlady I wanted to stay for two more months, and since this was done without an intermediary, she only charged me 650 Euros for the next 60 days.

    I’m right in downtown Tirana, with cafes, bars and markets all nearby. My morning coffee costs 80 cents a cup, and a ham a cheese burek costs just 50 cents. An excellent personal pizza is $4 or even less.

    Go look on airbnb.com or even booking.com, then rent a room for just a week, if you’re uncertain, then go from there once you’re here.

    Rules can change abruptly, so just do it if you want to get out.

    Like I’ve said, Albanians are very mellow and friendly, and they are particularly friendly towards Americans (though I don’t enjoy that perk, since I don’t look American, but it really doesn’t matter). Bush I, Clinton and Bush II all supported them with the Kosovo situation, and without getting into the right and wrong of that, Americans reap its benefits. There’s even a George W. Bush Street right in downtown Tirana.

    An American couple I met here a few days ago recommended this website, expatsinalbania.com, for practical information.

    Linh

  87. Linh Dinh says: • Website
    @Scooter

    P.S. My room comes with a fridge and electric kettle, so I don’t have to run out just to eat. I’ve walked all over Tirana and have not seen a bad neighborhood. The further from downtown, the cheaper it gets, obviously, but, for now, I prefer to be near the center.

    I’ve been posting photos of Tirana at my blog, so just go there to get a better idea of this place.

    • Replies: @Scooter
  88. Hacienda says:
    @Trinity

    California has a high ratio of numinous blacks compared to angry blacks. I’m surrounded by kindly Mexicans on one side, a clammy, distant Viet woman/Mexican man couple on the other and a numinous black family to the back. If the Super Bowl or some event sporting broadcast with black athletes is on, they are loudly cheering it. My neighborhood has a nice/bad (depending on your POV) mix of Mexicans, Asians, whites, and couple of black homes. Couple of rental properties that are not maintained well. And many dogs of all kinds. It’s almost as if, dogs have become this companion replacement creature. Or maybe not. The dogs also create a noise problem. I used a electronic high frequency noise device that’s supposed to “calm” neighboring dogs down. Can’t say if it’s the cause, but there’s definitely less dog barking since I’ve had it.

    I’d definitely say California’s blacks are the most fun-loving and outgoing blacks in the US (which is not much of a bar). In rough approximation to how California’s whites were once the most fun-loving and outgoing whites in the 50s, 60s and 70s.

    • Thanks: Trinity
  89. David F says:
    @Ugetit

    “Pretty well describes the ubiquitous moronic self appointed mask monitors here in the USSA. Nearly everyone is a formerly repressed closet cop, it seems. It’s so ridiculous, it’s hilarious.”

    Why is someone who doesn’t want to get sick “moronic” or a “closet cop?” Do you feel like a real rebel, sticking it to the man? Nobody gonna tell you what to do! I bet you even condescendingly refer to a mask as a “face diaper.” You are tool cool for school. Is it too much of a burden for you to be considerate of others? It is really not that big a deal to wear one, a little uncomfortable, but not that much.

    Fuck, man. Grow up. There are 500,000 dead people in the US. I don’t want to get sick, possibly end up in the hospital, and very remote possibility of dying. Why don’t you tell my co-worker and his wife that they didn’t spend two weeks in the hospital, that it is all a hoax. Fucking idiot.

    Maybe if you acted like a fucking adult, instead of a petulant child, no one would have to tell you to do the responsible thing and wear a mask.

    I wish wearing a mask protected me from you, but unfortunately it is the other way around, at least this way you could be really cool and not be a threat to anyone but yourself. You are a selfish prick.

    No I do not plan on getting vaccinated, nor do I think anyone should have to. I am just being a mature adult, being considerate of others around me, and realizing that not that much is being asked of me.

    • Replies: @Druid
  90. Tsigantes says:

    Oh no! Did you come to Greece and I missed you?! I am one of your greatest fans .Of both your articles and poems….
    You are welcome any time, to stay in my flat in Ahtens or come stay at our farm on the SE corner of Lesvos facing Turkey where I am now. Lesvos, home of Sappho and Elytis…..plenty of privacy in both places.

    • Replies: @Linh Dinh
  91. Druid says:
    @David F

    Mask is of no use, moron!

    • Replies: @Sparkon
  92. Linh Dinh says: • Website
    @Tsigantes

    Hi Tsigantes,

    Many thanks for the offer! Since no Americans were allowed into Greece, I couldn’t leave the airport, unfortunately. Much of Europe is closed to Americans right now.

    It’s very nice to hear my poems still have readers. So I haven’t been totally canceled as a poet! It takes tremendous innocence to write poems, I think, and I was way beyond that. I was so retarded for so long, it’s embarrassing.

    Linh

  93. Sparkon says:
    @Druid

    Tell that to the customers and patrons of the Springfield, Missouri, USA Great Clips salon, where several hundred people visiting the salon were exposed to the virus by two infected stylists, but everyone in the salon was wearing a mask, and no additional infections have been reported.

    Masks worked for those folks.

    There is plenty of evidence, both from real-world situations and from lab simulations, that multi-layer cotton masks are effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19, which is why every major medical authority recommends their use, your ignorant protest and gratuitous name-calling notwithstanding.

    • Replies: @Colin Wright
    , @Alfred
  94. @Trinity

    that was funny. I’ve never heard “dropped mud”. It is now in my lexicon. Thank you.

  95. @Colin Wright

    One difference is that the US sclerotic Gerontocracy is much older than the late Soviet leadership. Breshnev died at 76 but was only in his late 50’s when he became Head of State. Then came Andropov who died at 70 after serving 15 months. Chernenko, who came next, was 74 when he died after only 13 months. By the time the much younger Gorbachez took over, it was too late to save the USSR.

    Contrast that with the US leadership. Biden – 78, Pelosi – 81 next month, McConnell – 79, and Schumer – a mere pup at 70. On top of that there are 7 Senators over 80 and another 24 over 70. Lately Pelosi seems every bit as senile as Biden. Term limits for Congress, anyone? Or is it too late here also?

    Perhaps the Soviet gerontocracy died younger than ours due to too much vodka.

    Loved the essay, Linh, although you jumped around so much from country to country that it was sometimes hard to keep up with which one you were talking about.

    • Agree: Colin Wright
  96. @Sparkon

    ‘…There is plenty of evidence, both from real-world situations and from lab simulations, that multi-layer cotton masks are effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19…’

    The only actual study I’m aware of showed masks made little difference. Back when masks were voluntary in Denmark, 2.1% of those not wearing masks tested positive, 1.8% of those wearing masks tested positive.

    • Replies: @Sparkon
  97. Sparkon says:
    @Colin Wright

    It would be helpful if you would provide a link to this study so we know exactly what you’re talking about, but the commonly cited DANMASK-19 study from Denmark is worthless for evaluating cotton masks because the participants in the Danish DANMASK-19 study did not wear cotton masks, but rather wore 3-layer disposable masks made of synthetic materials, and did not wear masks at all while at home.

    Participants in the mask group were instructed to wear a mask when outside the home during the next month. They received 50 three-layer, disposable, surgical face masks with ear loops (TYPE II EN 14683 [Abena]; filtration rate, 98%; made in China).

    https://www.acpjournals.org/doi/10.7326/M20-6817

    Because of the stitching and the way they are fabricated, it is very difficult to get a snug fit with these 3-layer disposable masks, resulting in large gaps on both sides.

    Based on my tests, two 3-layer cotton masks did the best job of reducing leakage around the edges of the masks as reflected in the amount of condensation on my sunglasses while wearing two masks as opposed to just one.

    The Springfield Great Clips case is slam dunk proof masks work. One stylist there infected the other when they interacted socially without masks, but neither infected anyone else at the salon where there were 100s of visitors and customers, and everyone was wearing a mask.

    • Replies: @Colin Wright
  98. @Sparkon

    ‘…but rather wore 3-layer disposable masks made of synthetic materials, and did not wear masks at all while at home.’

    Who on earth would wear a mask while at home? That would be truly demented.

    • Replies: @Sparkon
  99. Sparkon says:
    @Colin Wright

    Who on Earth would wear a mask at home? Maybe someone with a family member or roommate sick with COVID-19, not to burden you with complicated or difficult ideas, but it was you who brought up the Danish study in the first place, and it is the Danish study that stipulates masks were not worn at home.

    But go ahead on and keep dancing around trying to avoid the points that participants in DANMASK-19 did not wear cloth masks, and that universal mask wearing at the Great Clips salon in Missouri did prevent the spread of COVID-19.

  100. Alfred says:
    @Sparkon

    Masks worked for those folks

    Kindly repeat the “experiment” without anyone wearing any masks and then let us know the outcome.

    BTW, if these “infected stylists” were not sick and only had a positive test result that proves absolutely nothing,. The tests are useless.

    Lastly, if you think that masks prevent viruses from traveling a great distance, you are deluding yourself.

    The evidence supports the transmission of smallpox through aerial convection at distances ranging from 0.5 to 1 mile, and one instance of 15 km related to bioweapons testing.

    Evidence of Long-Distance Aerial Convection of Variola Virus and Implications for Disease Control

    • Replies: @Sparkon
  101. Sparkon says:
    @Alfred

    I think you should better familiarize yourself with the facts of the Springfield Great Clips case because your understanding of it is flawed.

    The two stylists had symptoms. They were sick, but both went into work for about a week anyway, and both subsequently tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. However, everyone at the salon wore masks and nobody got sick, despite being in relatively close quarters with the two infected stylists during the week they worked before testing positive.

    To help you, I have annotated in [brackets] and split in two the first paragraph of the CDC’s report about the case, and put the salient points in bold.

    On May 12, 2020 (day 0), a hair stylist at salon A in Springfield, Missouri (stylist A), developed respiratory symptoms [she got sick] and continued working with clients until day 8, when the stylist received a positive test result for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

    A second hair stylist (stylist B), who had been exposed to stylist A [no masks], developed respiratory symptoms [she too got sick] on May 15, 2020 (day 3), and worked with clients at salon A until day 8 before seeking testing for SARS-CoV-2, which returned a positive result on day 10. A total of 139 clients were directly serviced by stylists A and B from the time they developed symptoms until they took leave from work.

    I have not made any comments under this article about any distances viruses travel, great or not. All the action last year in Springfield relevant to masks and COVID-19 took place within the relatively small and enclosed space of the Great Clips hair salon.

    Smallpox and COVID-19 are distinct diseases with different etiologies and different symptoms caused by different viruses of different sizes and shapes, so it’s just another apples to oranges comparison.

    I took a look at that paper you cited and pulled out this plum:

    The evidence supports the transmission of smallpox through aerial convection at distances ranging from 0.5 to 1 mile, and one instance of 15 km related to bioweapons testing. Other explanations are also possible, such as missed chains of transmission, fomites or secondary aerosolization from contaminated material such as bedding. The window of observation of aerial convection was within the 100 years prior to eradication. Aerial convection appears unique to the variola virus...

    So the bioweapons guy claimed his weaponized variola virus traveled 15 km. Better give that boy another grant.

    Finally, the CDC leads off the linked article about the Springfield salon with this statement:

    Consistent and correct use of cloth face coverings is recommended to reduce the spread of SARS-CoV-2

    Sorry Alfred, I think I’ll listen to the CDC.

    • Replies: @Alfred
  102. @Sparkon

    ‘But go ahead on and keep dancing around trying to avoid…’

    You could as easily — and with about as much evidence — argue that giving plump virgins to the volcano god is the only thing keeping us all from death.

    The lack of intelligence about all this is absurd.

    Something is driving the psychosis. I’m just not sure what.

    • Replies: @Sparkon
  103. Alfred says:
    @Sparkon

    Sorry Alfred, I think I’ll listen to the CDC.

    Good. I strongly recommend that you get the fake vaccine ASAP. Bill Gates wants fewer people like you around. He has made it clear on video.

    Your faith in masks is touching. More religion than science. But then this whole charade is largely a religious experience for so many. Not much science there. I guess masks have a way of knowing whether a particular viral particle is Smallpox or SARS-CoV-2. Such smart masks! 🙂

    As regards the CDC, do you realise that it is a privately run fake charity that is financed by people like Bill Gates?

    Established by Congress, the CDC Foundation helps the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention do more, faster, by forging effective partnerships between CDC and corporations, foundations, organizations and individuals to fight threats to health and safety. The CDC Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity.

    CDC Foundation – Frequently Asked Questions

    • Replies: @Sparkon
  104. Sparkon says:
    @Colin Wright

    You could as easily — and with about as much evidence…”

    The lack of intelligence about all this is absurd

    .

    You speak only for yourself.

    You were wrong about DANMASK and Great Clips, so now you bring up plump virgins.

    Keep on dancing, dude.

  105. Sparkon says:
    @Alfred

    If you can use the bold feature, and italics, why can’t you use the blockquote feature or quotation marks? I gather you are one of those obstinate types who refuses to get with the program, irrespective of what that program is, because in your view, everything is worthless.

    I have been talking here about masks not vaccines. I have made one comment about vaccines in another discussion. At this point, I don’t want to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Between the two options, it’s an easy choice.

    Personally, I see no risk in wearing a mask. Neither my masculinity nor my independence nor anything else is jeopardized by wearing a mask. It’s a PITA, but that’s it. I don’t know about you, but I’ve dealt with many minor annoyances in my life, but I try to take these petty aggravations in stride.

    You’re mixed up about the CDC and the CDC foundations, which are two different and distinct organizations:

    Although the CDC Foundation was chartered by Congress, it is not a government agency nor is it a division of CDC. It is a private, nonprofit organization classified as a 501(c)(3) public charity.

    Tests and simulations show that multi-layer cotton masks are effective in blocking the droplets carrying the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and in my opinion, even the 120 nm virus itself cannot easily penetrate the dense stockinette stitch or knit of a cotton mask.

    The variola virus is about 3-5x larger than the novel coronavirus, but I haven’t studied the etiology of smallpox like I have COVID-19, so my comments are about COVID-19 and the responsible virus SARS-CoV-2, and not about smallpox.

  106. @Sparkon

    ‘Who on Earth would wear a mask at home? Maybe someone with a family member or roommate sick with COVID-19, not to burden you with complicated or difficult ideas…’

    And if no one’s sick at home? You implied everyone should wear a mask at home regardless.

    …which, on behalf of a disease that is highly unlikely to seriously affect anyone able to walk around the block, is utterly insane.

  107. Sparkon says:

    You implied everyone should wear a mask at home regardless.

    No I didn’t. You’re lying.

    In the future, when you claim I said something, put my exact words within quotation marks or use the blockquote feature.

    Better yet, shut up.

    • Troll: Colin Wright
    • Replies: @Colin Wright
  108. @Sparkon

    ‘You implied everyone should wear a mask at home regardless.’

    No I didn’t. You’re lying.’

    You said:

    ‘… the commonly cited DANMASK-19 study from Denmark is worthless for evaluating cotton masks because the participants in the Danish DANMASK-19 study did not wear cotton masks, but rather wore 3-layer disposable masks made of synthetic materials, and did not wear masks at all while at home…’

    You’re an idiot. You can’t even be competently dishonest.

    • Agree: Wielgus
    • Replies: @Sparkon
    , @karel
  109. Sparkon says:
    @Colin Wright

    You’re still lying. You wrote:

    “You implied everyone should wear a mask at home regardless”

    I never made any such statement and you’ll look long and hard to find any suggestion of that in the segment you quoted. I merely repeated the parameters of the DANMASK study, where the participants did not wear masks at home.

    I said mask wearing at home might be appropriate if your roommate or family member is sick with COVID-19.

    IF Period. There was no “regardless,” liar.

  110. karel says:
    @Colin Wright

    Great to hear again from our “coming out” Covid expert, the magnificent Colin. What a metamorphosis from a Nazistrolch to whatever he is today or will be tomorrow.

    • Replies: @Colin Wright
  111. @karel

    ‘Great to hear again from our “coming out” Covid expert, the magnificent Colin. What a metamorphosis from a Nazistrolch to whatever he is today or will be tomorrow.’

    And I’d say that with ‘Sparkon,’ you’ve found an intellectual soul mate.

  112. @jimmyriddle

    No need to pine for the olden days. Radio Tirana is available to anyone now from radio garden, the new, fantastic web-based resource.

    https://radio.garden/listen/radio-tirana-international/3pa98Zcx

    • Thanks: jimmyriddle
  113. Everywhere, pizza, pasta and calzoni are sold.

    That would be calzone instead.

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