Saturday, November 24, 2018


Tom Petty with A face in the Crowd. Album Full Moon Fever (1989).

A solo album, although a couple of Heartbreakers contributed. Ah Tom Petty, why did you have to go to Heaven, leaving us so soon, can't you trade places with, say, Madam Ciccone? Oh wait, no. Of course you can't.

Last Sunday, as I approached Baraque Michel, the radio suddenly opened up with a marvellous instrumental I hadn't heard for decades, and my daughter and I enjoyed it during the last three kloms before the parking lot and the starting point of our walk. As we drove along an N68 boarded on both sides by High Fens woods in blazing autumn colours, against the dazzling azure backdrop of a perfect November sky, it seemed like the perfect accompaniment. I could only tell OutlawDaughter it was a famous seventies tune, but that sufficed for her to Google and find it that very evening, using only the keywords 'seventies', 'instrumental', and 'pan flute'. The piece was a James Last hit from 1977, "Der Einsamer Hirte" (The Lonely Shepherd), taken from the album Russland Erinnerungen. James Last is, or rather was (the man died in 2015), the stage name of one Hans Last, post World War II a very prolific German composer and big band leader. A former Wehrmachtsangehoerige too, since as a teenager he delivered air raid messages in his home city of Bremen and entered the Bueckeburg Militaerische Musikschule where he learned to play bass, tuba and piano. In the sixties and especially the seventies he was tremendously successful, despite (or because of) the majority of his music being rather corny. I could have hit myself the moment our daughter refreshed my memory, since I suddenly recalled my parents having stacks and stacks of James Last albums, how was it possible I never noticed The Lonely Shepherd figured on one of these? But then I was a musical illiterate back then, fooling myself that listening to Earth and Fire's Weekend or The Police's Roxanne put me in another (read higher) league than people enjoying the bearded King of Corn. Anyway, here it is:

More reason to thump myself on the head. Also in the late seventies I spectacularly flunked music theory despite the able tutorship of Jan Van Caneghem, and this is why I am barely able to comprehend Der Einsamer Hirte's sheet music:

The trademark sound of the melody is the pan flute of course, which made Gheorghe Zamfir famous, but personally I like the wind instruments (making their entry at the 1:41 mark) more, and the effortless grace of the violins setting in at around 2:08 is pure heaven.

An excellent overview of what a high quality rendition of this piece requires can be found in the following performance by André Rieu and his 60-strong Johann Strauss Orchestra, live in Bucharest, Romania last year. As you can see it's heavy on string instruments, especially violins. And if I'm not mistaken de small group of ladies at the right play celloes, while the gents in the upper left use double bass.

The following line up isn't exactly the one you see in the vid - but it gives an idea of how the instruments are balanced against each other.

1st Violin: Jet Gelens, Frank Steijns, Lin Jong, Kremi Mineva, Freya Cremers, Diana Morsinkhof, Boris Goldenblank, Els Mercken, Vincenzo Viola, Lara Meuleman, Gosia Loboda.
2nd Violin: Cord Meyer, Agnes Fizzano-Walter, Jennifer Kowalski.
Viola: Klaartje Polman, Nadejda Diakoff, Linda Custers.
Cello: Tanja Derwahl, Margriet van Lexmond, Hanneke Roggen, Joëlle Tonnaer, Karin Hinze.
Double bass: Roland Lafosse, Franco Vulcano.
Flute: Teun Ramaekers, Nathalie Bolle.
Oboe: Arthur Cordewener.
Clarinet/saxophone: Manoe Konings.
Saxophone/bassoon: Sanne Mestrom.
Horn: Lars Wachelder, Noël Perdaens.
Trumpet: Roger Diederen, René Henket.
Trombone: Dennis Close.
Bass trombone/accordion: Leon van Wijk.
Tuba: Ton Maessen.
Timpani/percussion: Mireille Brepols, Marcel Falize, Glenn Falize.
Piano: Stéphanie Detry.
Synthesizer: Ward Vlasveld.
Harp: Vera Kool.
Choir: Nicolle Steins, Karin Haine, Judith Luesink, Kalki Schrijvers, Virgenie Henket, Anna Reker.




From the website of the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade:

“The goal of the UN Global Compact for Migration is to legalise illegal immigration, which is totally unacceptable and violates the sovereignty of member states, including that of Hungary”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó declared at a press conference in Budapest on Thursday.

“According to the Government, the Global Compact is an extremely and biasedly pro-immigration document, which is both harmful and dangerous”, Mr. Szijjártó said.

“The UN is making the same mistake as the European Union, which wants to base its own migration policy on mandatory resettlement quotas. The UN Compact is more dangerous, however, because it is a global initiative, meaning it will have a greater effect than continental policy, and represents a risk to the whole world”, the Minister added.

“The main point of argument with relation to the Compact is whether or not it is mandatory, and in view of the fact that the document contains the word obligation on eighty occasions, the claim that it only includes recommendations is a false one”, Mr. Szijjártó declared.

As an example, he said that according to the document, countries must commit themselves to informing migrants with relation to migration routes and launch information campaigns for those who want to leave their homes. “They must also undertake to facilitate family reunification for migrants, and not punish migrants for cooperating with people smugglers, not even if they have crossed a border illegally, in addition to which they must also be obliged to provide migrants with the same services as received by the citizens of the given country”, Mr. Szijjártó listed.

“A legally not binding document would not prescribe the establishment of national action plans, and accordingly it is ‘clearer than day’ that, just like the originally voluntary mandatory quota, the Global Compact for Migration will become a point of reference, mandatory, and the basis for international judicial decisions”, the Minister said.

“This is why Hungary decided to not even take part in the adoption process, thus making it clear that it does not regard the document as binding in any way and in any form with regard to Hungary”, he stated.

“There are also major efforts in Europe to create mixed societies, and for nations to distance themselves from their own identities culturally, with relation to their heritage, and religiously”, he said. “But we, for instance, would like to keep calling Christmas Christmas, and to continue to celebrate as we have always done so”, Mr. Szijjártó said.

Eight countries have decided not to support the Compact, which according to the state of the current situation, the UN General Assembly will vote on before the end of this year, and Hungary will be voting no”, the Minister said.

Courtesy the Dutch PVV (Partij voor Vrijheid), Geert Wilders' party:

I haven't been able to find out who the man is doing the speech in the video, but it is not Péter Szijjártó, Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Regardless, the transcript rolling down is the official point of view of the Hungarian government.


Thursday, November 22, 2018


As per usual, DowneastBlog wishes all Americans who genuinely love their country a Happy Thanksgiving!!!

The following transcript of a text which originally appeared in a 1992 book by Rush Limbaugh is not per se meant for American eyes, neither those on the Right who have probably heard it ten times over or more, nor those on the Left because I am not making myself illusions about their capacity to get out of stuck on stupid.

No, this text is principally meant for people OUTSIDE the US, courtesy of

"Now, normally, ladies and gentlemen, I save the annual reading of the true story of Thanksgiving from my second book, See, I Told You So, to close the end of the third hour of the program today. I have found that I become so expansive and I begin to ad-lib and add various observations to the reading that I find myself in a hurried state trying to finish it. So I think I’m going to open this hour with the reading of the Real Story of Thanksgiving. It’s important to do it each and every year.

When I discovered what it was when writing the book, I learned that even I as a young boy had not been told the entire truth of the first Thanksgiving, and the story I was told was somewhat mild. Over the years, it got worse and worse and worse. I could probably sum it up by saying that the story of Thanksgiving as generally taught in the American public school system was that a bunch of haggard people from Britain arrived at a desolate spot at a very cold time of the year and didn’t know what the hell they were doing and didn’t know where they were and had no idea how to live.

And then they met some Indians, some Native Americans, and the Indians saved them. The Indians showed them how to farm. The Indians showed them how to make warm coats. The Indians showed them how to make pumpkins and carve them. The Indians showed them how to go out and kill turkey — and, if it weren’t for the Indians, the Pilgrims would have starved, and there never would have been an America, and then the Indians would have never been overrun, and then there wouldn’t be any Indian casinos.

Well, there might have still have been an Indian casino, but there would not have been an America. Therefore, we owe Indians everything. That’s essentially the story of Thanksgiving that people were taught. I’m exaggerating a bit. But that’s how it was taught. Even I, as I say, was taught a mild version of that, and it is nowhere near the truth. For the truth, I found the journals of William Bradford, who was the original governor of the original Plymouth plantation, and one of the primary movers and shakers of putting together the journey on the Mayflower that brought these Pilgrims to the New World.

So I wrote about it in my second book called See, I Told You So in Chapter 6: “Dead White Guys or What the History Books Never Told You, The True Story of Thanksgiving.” If I have time, I’m also gonna share with you excerpts of George Washington’s first Thanksgiving Proclamation. If you’re unfamiliar with that, it will startle you. “The story of the Pilgrims begins in the early part of the seventeenth century,” the late 1600s.

“The Church of England under King James I was persecuting anyone and everyone who did not recognize its absolute civil and spiritual authority. Those who challenged ecclesiastical authority [of the Church of England] and those who believed strongly in freedom of worship were … imprisoned, and sometimes executed for their [heresy]. A group of separatists” people who wanted no part of that in England “first fled to Holland and established a community.

“After eleven years,” in Holland, “about forty of them agreed to make a perilous journey to” what was then called “the New World, where they would certainly face hardships,” and experiences that none of them could foresee. But to them it was worth the try because for them the objective was to “live and worship God according to the dictates of their own consciences,” their beliefs and their desires. “On August 1, 1620, the Mayflower set sail.

“It carried a total of 102 passengers,” not all of them Pilgrims, “including forty Pilgrims led by William Bradford. On the journey, Bradford set up an agreement, a contract,” for all the Pilgrims to agree to and sign, “that established just and equal laws for all [forty Pilgrims] of the new community…” It didn’t matter what their religious beliefs were. None of that mattered. They just set up a contractual agreement that dictated behavior and a number of other things. Now, where did the ideas…? This is the Mayflower Compact, by the way, is what it was called.

“Where did the revolutionary ideas expressed in the Mayflower Compact come from? From the Bible. The Pilgrims were a people completely steeped in the lessons of the” Bible, both “Old and New Testaments.” It was the reason they lived: To read it, to study it, to practice it. “They looked to the ancient Israelites for their example. And, because of the biblical precedents set forth in Scripture,” this is all according to Bradford’s journal, “they never doubted that their experiment would work.” They were supremely confident that their objective would occur.

But everybody knows “this was no pleasure cruise.” It was long. It was arduous. There were the usual bad relationships and problems on board this tiny ship with 102 people. But they made it. They made it in ways that people would not travel today. They had no other choice. Think of the primitive forms of navigation, lack of knowledge of any upcoming weather or condition of the seas. Yet they did it, “[a]nd when the Pilgrims landed in New England in November, they found, according to Bradford’s detailed journal,” nothing “a cold, barren, desolate,” unsettled, “wilderness.

“There were no friends to greet them, he wrote.” There was nobody to greet them. “There were no houses…” There was no shelter whatsoever, other than the trees. There was nothing that could be considered creature comforts whatsoever. There were no friends. There were no hotels. There were no bathrooms. There was no place “they could refresh themselves. And the sacrifice they had made for freedom was just beginning.” They arrived at the onset of winter. Half of them, half of the first 40, “including Bradford’s own wife — died of either starvation, sickness or exposure.”

No houses, no hotels, no Safeway, no American Express. Nothing. They endured the winter as best they could. “When spring finally came, Indians,” the Native American, did welcome them, and “taught the settlers how to plant corn, fish for cod and skin beavers for coats. Life improved for the Pilgrims, but they” were nowhere near prosperity. “This is important to understand because this is where modern American history lessons often end.”

This is what the traditional Thanksgiving story is. The Pilgrims arrived, barely made it through the winter. Indians befriended them and saved them — and today, to this day, we give thanks to the Indians for having saved the Pilgrims. This could not be further from the truth. This is not to diminish the assistance, but this is not what Thanksgiving is about. “Thanksgiving is actually explained in some textbooks as a holiday for which the Pilgrims gave thanks to the Indians for saving their lives,” but that’s not what it was.

“Thanksgiving, in truth, my friends, is “a devout expression of gratitude” to God for their survival, which depending on a whole lot of things after they arrived — a whole lot of things besides assistance by the Indians. “Here is the part that has been omitted: The original contract the Pilgrims had entered into,” the Mayflower Compact, “with their merchant-sponsors in London…” They had no money. They had to have people help them here.

“The original contract … called for everything they produced to go into a common store,” a common account, “and each member of the community was entitled to one common share.” In other words, everybody got the same as everyone else. That’s the way it was set up. It was fairness, and it was equality. “All of the land they cleared and the houses they built belong to the community,” not to the people personally. “They were going to distribute it equally. All of the land they cleared… Nobody owned anything.

“They just had a share in it. It was a commune,” pure and simple. “It was the forerunner to the communes we saw in the ’60s and ’70s out in California — and it was complete with organic vegetables, by the way. Bradford, who had become the new governor of the colony, recognized that this” wasn’t working. This was collectivism. Nobody had any more than anybody else, nobody had any less, but that did not lead to prosperity. It never does.

So after a while, realizing that there was nothing but stagnation going on, “Bradford assigned a plot of land to each family to work and manage,” and whatever they produced was theirs — and, in an early fashion, this unleashed “the power of the marketplace. Long before Karl Marx was even born, the Pilgrims had discovered and experimented with what could only be described as socialism. And what happened? It didn’t work!” You know why it didn’t work?

When everybody was entitled to the same, you have slackers. Slackers didn’t do their share, they didn’t contribute their share, but they got the same amount as everybody else. It led to recriminations and jealousies and anger. Bradford had to change it, and he did. “What Bradford…” It’s all in his journal. “What Bradford and his community found was that the most creative and industrious people had no incentive to work any harder than anyone else, unless they could utilize the power of personal motivation,” i.e., keep a majority of what they produced or earned.

“But while most of the rest of the world has been experimenting with socialism for well over a hundred years — trying to refine it, perfect it, and re-invent it — the Pilgrims” learned in less than a year that it was a failure. “What Bradford wrote about this social experiment should be in every schoolchild’s history lesson. If it were, we might prevent much needless suffering in the future.” He wrote, “‘The experience that we had in this common course and condition, tried sundry years…that by taking away property, and bringing community into a common wealth, would make them happy and flourishing — as if they were wiser than God. …

“‘For this community was found to breed much confusion and discontent, and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort. For young men that were most able and fit for labor and service” didn’t. They waited. They didn’t want to produce for other men’s wives and children what other men should have been providing, and eventually this “was thought injustice.” Why should you work for other people when you can’t work for yourself?

What’s the point? “The Pilgrims found that people could not be expected to do their best work without incentive. So what did [they] try next? They unharnessed the power of good old free enterprise by invoking the … principle of private property. Every family was assigned its own plot of land to work and permitted to market” whatever they produced, able to sell — for whatever price they could get — their crops and their products. What do you think the result was?

“‘This had very good success,’ wrote Bradford, ‘for it made all hands industrious,” which means everybody got off their duffs and started working. “‘[M]uch more corn was planted than otherwise would have been.’” This is when they first began to experience prosperity, and it is for this discovery… By the way, it was at this point that they welcomed the Indians in, because there was so much production after that first barren winter of arrival — not knowing anything, not having anything.

Trying everybody getting fair treatment didn’t work. When they unleashed the incentives (stated simply as you get to keep what you produce), it turned everybody into — compared to the past — mass producers. They had so much more than they needed that they actually had a gratitude winter with the Indians where all of this bounty was shared, and the original Thanksgiving was to give thanks to God for the enlightenment and the courage and the fortitude to withstand all of the hardship and to endure all of the hassles and the problems to finally see through it and prosper.

“So they set up trading posts and exchanged goods with the Indians. The profits allowed them to pay off their debts to the merchants in London” and Holland who had sponsored their trip. “[T]he success and prosperity of the Plymouth settlement attracted more Europeans and began what came to be known as the ‘Great Puritan Migration.’” It was the word of success and prosperity among the original Pilgrim arrivals that spread to the New World and spawned to massive additional trips to the New World.

You could reduce it to say it was capitalism versus socialism, which it was. But that would be to undersell — underemphasize what really has happened. A people who had undying faith in God survived circumstances that they never knew they were going to face and ultimately prospered — and, at the end of it all, were still able to practice their religion as they chose who was the original reason for their trip in the first place. And for all of that, they were eternally thankful. That is the story of Thanksgiving."

Lesson to be learned: Reject Socialism. Anytime. Anywhere.

OK, if I have gotten you this far you certainly are entitled to:



Wednesday, November 21, 2018


Finally, resistance against this sham of a "Pact" is growing, as Switzerland and Bulgaria have now also indicated they will not sign it. Stefan Molyneux weighs off:

And while we are at it, don't miss Tucker Carlson on Prager University who explains that the Left wasn't always for open borders...

.... and why it is now.


Tuesday, November 20, 2018


Via Breitbart:

"HOUSTON (AP) — A federal judge barred the Trump administration on Monday from refusing asylum to immigrants who cross the southern border illegally.

U.S. District Judge Jon S. Tigar issued a temporary restraining order after hearing arguments in San Francisco. The request was made by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Constitutional Rights, which quickly sued after President Donald Trump issued the ban this month in response to the caravans of migrants that have started to arrive at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Trump issued a proclamation on Nov. 9 that said anyone who crossed the southern border would be ineligible for asylum. The regulations, which will remain in place for three months absent a court order, could potentially make it harder for thousands of people who enter the U.S. to avoid deportation.

“Individuals are entitled to asylum if they cross between ports of entry,” said Baher Azmy, a lawyer for the Center for Constitutional Rights. “It couldn’t be clearer.”"

Judge Jon S. Tigar huh? As Prof Williams would say, "Let's investigate!"

"Rodney James Quine was convicted of first-degree murder, kidnapping, and robbery. He is serving a life sentence for the murder in the California prison system. He sued the federal government to pay for transgender surgery, and the state of California has agreed to use tax dollars to do so.

After Quine’s surgery, he will be moved to a women’s prison.

This gives California another first: the first state to pay for a prison inmate’s gender “reassignment” operation, which costs up to $25,000.


Quine’s case was personally helped by a San Francisco federal judge, Jon Tigar, an Obama appointee. Tigar assigned himself to Quine’s lawsuit and appointed a team of San Francisco lawyers and the Transgender Law Center to represent him. Tigar mused how denying a prisoner’s sex change operation may constitute “deliberate indifference” to a serious medical need and, if so, would be unconstitutionally “cruel and unusual punishment.” Mr. Quine has repeatedly attempted suicide."

An Obummer appointee! I'm gobsmacked! Who would have thunk it???

These are bleak, bleak times.


Sunday, November 18, 2018


Excellent weather today and the weather charts predicted the East of Belgium completely cloudfree so it was off to the Ardennes one last time this year. Took our daughter with me, she loves the Hautes Fagnes (High Fens), Belgium's "roof", so it was quickly decided where to.

Some atmospheric shots.

And here are two pics our daughter took, with a Samsung Galaxy J5:

If you ever wanted to know what Outlaw Mike looks like, here it is:

With his trusted walking stick AD1985 or thereabouts, courtesy some Swiss forest near the Aletsch Glacier.

All photos taken on the southern leg of the walk Noir Flohay - Geitzbusch - Hill, a 15.7 kilometer circular walk with an appendix to Baraque Michel, where you can park your car. Baraque Michel is along the N68, about halfway between Eupen and Malmédy.

Since we walked counterclockwise and time did not permit doing the full walk (we started out hopelessly too late), we missed the northern leg which passes Noir Flohay, which reportedly offers the best panoramas. Don't matter. We'll do it next year, hopefully with the whole family. To get an idea of the walk, check out the following video. Double click for full screen and removing DowneastBlog's annoying banners and stuff, of course.

Video talks about the "High Fences". That's a lapsus of course, should be High Fens.



Reader timactual asked about the length of the wooden boardwalks and whether there were any restrictions as to where one could walk in these lands.

The High Fens are a National Park. The Department Nature and Woods imposes restrictions with regards to walking depending on the season, so as not to disturb several avian species, in particular grouse. This year e.g.:

A.) From 17 March to 15 June of this year walking on:

1) walkways 33 en 35 (B-zone) between Baraque Michel en Bouquet Bastin wasn't allowed
2) neither was walking in the C Zone of the Fagne Wallonne and the Fagne des Deux Séries
3) neither in the C zone and alongside the border of the Fagne de Cléfaye

B.) Additonally, from 15 June to 27 July:

Walking not allowed on walkways 4 and 5 (C zone) in the Fagne Wallonne (Drello) and on ways 19 en 21 (C zone) in the Fagne des Deux Séries (Brochepierre)

The boardwalks in the photos were the longest I ever encountered, some 6 kilometers before we turned back, with a couple of short interruptions where the land was dry. Because after all, the boardwalks are there for a reason. It's practically not doable to go cross country, since the bog is very wet. Yesterday, we made it as far as the northeastern tip of Grand Bongard. But it was almost 4.30 pm and I wanted to check out whether it was possible to make a shortcut across Grand Bongard instead of following the solid green line all around. The shortcut would have brought us to the point marked by the white on black flag to the right of no. 53. In this way, I thought, we could make it back in time AND still pas along Geitzbusch and Noir Flohay. However, after only thirty or forty meters I gave up. Required too much energy (you have to lift your feet to about knee level most of the time) and you're constantly treading in what the Germans would call 'Sumpf'. It's only normal that several streams have their source on this plateau (Helle, Statte, Hoëgne etc).

Anyway, we got back tail between legs along the same route (GR573). By the time we were back at Baraque Michel it was pitch dark.