A Holy Book of Violence and Indecency

When I first saw the headline on this article, I thought, “This must be a joke. The writer is setting us up with bitter irony, and will then go on to discuss the Koran.”

But no, the story is straight up. As reported in the May 18th edition of Christian Today:

Bible Under Fire in Hong Kong for Sexual, Violent Content

Hundreds of residents have flooded Hong Kong’s media decency watchdog group with complaints against the Bible for its sexual and violent contents.

Protestors call on authorities to reclassify the Bible as “indecent,” which would make it illegal for minors under 18 years of age to purchase and would cause the Bible to be wrapped with a statutory warning notice.

As of noon on Wednesday, Hong Kong’s Television and Entertainment Licensing Authority (TELA) said it had received 838 complaints about the Bible, according to Reuters.

“I can confirm that the complaints were received,” said a TELA spokeswoman to Agence France-Presse. “The thrust of the complaints was that the Bible was obscene, that different parts of the Bible were offensive to readers.”

TELA refused to give details of the complaints but local media say they refer to acts of violence, rape, incest and cannibalism.

The complaints are thought to have sparked from an anonymous website, www.truthbible.net, which said the Bible “made one tremble” from its sexual and violent content and had urged readers to press TELA to reclassify the Bible as an indecent publication.

As far as I know, Hong Kong has no problems with a Muslim minority. If and when the day comes, we’ll give TELA the benefit of the doubt and assume that the Koran will receive the same level of regulatory scrutiny.

[Nothing follows.]

The Finlandization of Carl Bildt

Carl BildtCarl Bildt is a former Prime Minister of Sweden and the current Foreign Minister in the coalition government led by the less-than-acceptably-leftist Moderate Party (Moderata samlingspartiet). All major political parties in Sweden are pretty leftist by American standards, but the bar is set much higher in Sweden, and by local standards Carl Bildt is a right-wing extremist. Add to this his outspoken views and his business associations with the corrupt Russian energy business, and Mr. Bildt can expect trouble.

In addition to everything else, he keeps a blog, and this is what has recently gotten him into hot water. According to KGS at Tundra Tabloids

It appears that Swedish politicians are not immune to the same kind of high handed investigations that Finnish bloggers have been subjected to. As of yet, I do not know what the offensive comment that appeared on Bildt’s blog might have been, I have my sources checking it out. Intimidation is one way of enforcing speech control even without the enforcement of an actual law.

Here’s KGS’ translation of an article from the online version of Helsingin Sanomat:

Police and the district attorney’s office may have to investigate Sweden’s foreign minister Carl Bildt’s blog or internet diary, which has had a complaint filed against it. According to a complainant, Bildt is guilty of incitement of a national group, when he did not remove a comment that clearly broke the law. Readers were able to read the highly anti-Palestinian comment for weeks [Oh, the Horror! — ed.].

Carl Bildt said in a new radio broadcast that he prevented readers from commenting further, but left the prior messages viewable. “I could remove them, but they would remain in the archive. That’s the problem. Getting rid of the messages would not have made a great difference”, Bildt said.

The Swedish Chancellor of Justice decided on Wednesday that Bildt’s website did not enjoy and special constitutional protection, nor does the matter belong to the attorney general’s office, but to the police and district attorney. The Stockholm police have already left the matter to the district attorney who will decide on whether to initiate an investigation.

Ah, yes, hets mot folkgrupp rears its ugly head again — “incitement against an ethnic group”, the old standby used by the European nanny state against those who commit thought crimes. It’s kind of like the “slandering the Soviet state” laws under the good ol’ USSR.

You’re a “racist”: now it’s time for you to be cast into the outer darkness.
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The opinion of KGS:

This investigation could possibly be the work of others who were already upset with his blogging as a foreign minister. On March 5 for example, he discusses the situation in the Middle East: “A Palestinian unity government will obviously not resolve all the problems or meet all the demands, but if the alternative is civil war, chaos … then it is obvious that this is what we must work for.”

He dissed the Palestinians — well, he should know that there are limits, even in Sweden.

Further details on Bildt’s travails can be found in the Turkish Daily News:

His detractors say Bildt should stick to traditional forums for communication.

“He can’t be just a private person when he talks about questions related to his field of work,” Gothenburg University journalism professor Kent Asp told Agence France-Presse. He said if Bildt wants to write a blog, he should limit his comments to those of a private nature.


On March 5 for example, he discusses the situation in the Middle East: “A Palestinian unity government will obviously not resolve all the problems or meet all the demands, but if the alternative is civil war, chaos … then it is obvious that this is what we must work for.”


A key member of the center-right government that ousted Social Democrats in September, Bildt insists “there is a thirst for information out there and I think we should use all the new information technologies to be more open and accessible than was the case in the past.”

But not all share this view.

“Members of the government have a political mandate and everything they do therefore takes on a political dimension … A member of the government is not just any ‘chatter,’“ a former newspaper editor, Bertil Torekull, wrote in a opinion piece published in Sweden’s largest morning daily, Dagens Nyheter.


“What is said in parliament is obviously of prime importance but regrettably it’s not very often reported in the media,” he told AFP, adding on his blog that the Web is part of “the new Europe of freedoms.”

Peter Wolodarski, an editorialist at Dagens Nyheter, takes Bildt’s side in the debate, defending his blog entries as “a welcome complement to the interviews and official commissions, not a substitute.” Meanwhile, Bildt’s musings remain hugely popular among the Swedish public. The blog has had almost 400,000 visitors and hundreds of comments posted by readers since its launch.

The “new Europe of freedoms” seems to me to be a lot like the old Europe of jackboots, censorship, and the secret police.

Next up: France. I’ll blog on the situation there when I have time.

All Jihad is Local

An Israeli doctor, responding to my post about Kassam rocket attacks on Sderot, recently sent us this email:

I am writing to you from Jerusalem, Israel.

I have a suggestion how to impress upon the readers of your blogs the essence of the complete insanity of the Israeli defense policy. Compare the distances from one point to another in two different reference systems.

In other words: take a map showing the distance from, for example, Gaza City or any population center in Gaza, to the City of Sderot.

Then take a map of where you live, with identical distances. Let’s say, for example, what if Brooklyn, New York was receiving twenty five Kassam missiles today from New Jersey, just across the Hudson River. How long would it take for the local police and Army to occupy and neutralize the attackers? Would the residents of Brooklyn resign themselves to receiving over three thousand missiles in the last year or two?

When the Arab terrorists in Bethlehem were shooting bullets at the Gilo section of Jerusalem two years ago or so, we could hear the small arms exchanges from our home. Only when the Army went in and “cleaned out” the terrorists, did “peace” return to Gilo.

The doctor has a good point. Israel is a small country, but it is also excruciatingly narrow. Go over to the Hatikvah site and scroll down to see the map — you can see how close the major population centers of Israel are to its borders. The Jewish state always has deadly enemies right next to its heart.

This map shows the situation in Sderot:

Kassam ranges

The primitive Kassam 1 rocket was unable to reach all the way from Beit Hanoun to Sderot, so the Palestinian entrepreneurs went to work and created the Kassam 2, which brought the town into range. Just imagine what would happen if the mujahideen in Gaza managed to obtain Katyushas from their cousins in Hizbullah.

So, taking the good doctor’s advice, I’m going to lay the same template over the landscape here in the USA.

And rather than tackle Brooklyn, Chicago, or L.A., I’m going to follow the time-honored dictum and write what I know.

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Our local jihad scenario is set in the Piedmont area of Virginia, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge in Albemarle County. Let’s imagine that an alliance of halal hippies, horsy folks, and rednecks from the hollows near Afton and Mint Springs forms a group called the Western Albemarle Resistance Movement (WARM) to protest the high-handed rule of those snotty city folks in Charlottesville. The armed wing of this alliance then launches a series of guerilla attacks from the west into the outskirts of Charlottesville. After a cease-fire brokered by the UN, a “peace process” begins, with negotiations aimed at establishing a separate, sovereign country in Western Albemarle.

Unfortunately, the talks break down after the WARM delegation stalks out of the meeting, complaining angrily about “those Charlottesville apes and pigs”, and referring to the western suburbs controlled by the city as “Occupied Albermarle”.

Repeated suicide-bomber attacks into the fringes of Charlottesville cause the city authorities to build a high fence just beyond the Boar’s Head Inn to keep the jihadis out. Frustrated by their inability to attack their hated C-ville enemies, WARM imports Hamas technical advisors from Loudon County via Skyline Drive, who are able to design two crude homemade rockets, the Jouett 1 and the Jouett 2. The Jouett 1 has a range of 3 kilometers, while the more advanced Jouett 2 can reach a limit of 9 kilometers.

The militants of WARM have set up a rocket-launching site on the railroad bridge over US 250 in downtown Ivy. The map below shows the ranges available to them (pink for the Jouett 1, orange for the Jouett 2, and yellow for Katyushas, if they had any).

Charlottesville area

As you can see, they can only take out Farmington and its environs with the Jouett 1, but more than half of the city of Charlottesville lies within range of the Jouett 2. Heck, if they could somehow make contact with their Hizbullah brothers-in-jihad and smuggle in Katyushas, they could drop the crystal chandelier into the middle of the great dining table at the Keswick Country Club!
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Charlottesville, Va.

Observatory Mountain blocks line-of-sight for most targets in town, but with enough infiltrators among the clerical and services staff at UVA, they could correct the range and hit a variety of high-value targets.

Stonewall JacksonCourt Square is at the edge of their range, so the statue of Stonewall Jackson would be difficult to topple, but they could level the Amtrak Station and stop rail traffic going northeast and southeast out of the city. Collapsing the bridge over Emmet Street at the bypass would throw the entire area into gridlock. A Jouett 2 dropped into Barracks Road Shopping Center during, say, the last Saturday before Christmas would cause numerous casualties and spread mass terror throughout the metropolitan area. Fashion Square Mall is also within reach, and hitting it at the same time would be immensely effective.

U-Hall Imagine the roof of U-Hall collapsing during a Friday night basketball game, with the huge steel girders dropping onto the screaming spectators. During football season Scott Stadium would be another tempting target, given the possibility of the collateral damage when people are trampled to death as the crowds mob the exits.

The RotundaFinally, to sow destruction and terror at the symbolic heart of Charlottesville, bringing down the Rotunda onto the tourists would be the coup de grace. The flames over the treetops would be visible from the Downtown Mall, and the Lawn would be turned into a triage area for casualties, with fire engines and ambulances parked on the brick sidewalks. Hurriedly improvised basement shelters would become the place where students, tourists and townspeople meet.

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If all this happened, do you think the City Council would heed the UN’s call for convening new talks with WARM in order to restart the “Roadmap for Peace”? Do you think the mayor would accept the former President of France as a neutral broker in the “peace” negotiations? Do you think the city would cede the Boar’s Head to the insurgents as a “gesture of good faith”?

How long do you think it would be before the City of Charlottesville dusted off its assets at the National Guard Armory and sent an armored column down 250 West, maybe with close aerial support from a Pegasus helicopter hastily outfitted with air-to-surface missiles?

How long would it be until the town of Ivy was turned into a field of smoldering rubble?

How long would it take the good folk of Charlottesville to teach those inbred, slope-browed, slack-jawed, gap-toothed, sister-marrying hillbillies a LESSON?

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If you live close enough to Charlottesville to imagine the above scenario, then you’ve got a feel for the insanity that has been imposed on the state of Israel for the last forty years, and for the criminal irresponsibility of the Israeli government in allowing the situation to continue this way, year after year.

If you live in a different part of the country, and keep a blog, I invite you to make up your own Local Jihad scenario and then send me the link to the post.

We’re bringing it all back home.

The Cult of Science and Fire-Worship

We have often referred to Multiculturalism as a modern secular relgion. One of our readers detected another one — the worship of science — and sent us his essay on the topic.

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The Cult of Science and Fire-Worship
by Dimitri K.

For those who lived under communist rule — like the author of this piece — it is obvious that science played the central role in their ideology. Starting with Marx, communists claimed that their ideology was based completely upon rational scientific calculation, as opposed to traditional faith. They claimed that science can account for not only the material world, but also the world of ideas and social behavior. That explains why communists always paid great attention to economics and sociology. The failure of those pseudo-scientific disciplines could itself be a topic for a paper. However, here I am only discussing one interesting feature of the scientific cult — its close relation to fire-worship.

Zoroastrian fire-worshippers by NargeotFire was undoubtedly the first and the most important scientific discovery in the history of the mankind. By learning to use fire, people gained a decisive advantage over all other species. Fire made it possible for people to populate territories with cold climate and use a wider range of nutrients. I cannot imagine any possible discovery which would influence the life of modern people to the same extent as fire influenced the life of our ancestors. Hence, fire-worship at that time was equivalent to the belief in the power of science.

The relation of science and fire is especially obvious from the documentary films about science. There, scientists are always shown with something related to fire. It could be a laser, a faraway star or galaxy, an atomic reactor, a starting rocket, or at least twinkling lights on the instrument board. Earlier, it used to be a blast-furnace or a steam-engine. I wonder if the current assault on smoking is driven by the desire to exterminate the competitors, namely the non-scientific fire users.
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During the medieval period of the Dark Ages people probably did not believe in science very much. However, as the instrumentation and means of production became more and more complicated and science started to play an important role in European societies, the worship of science reappeared. Not surprisingly, the name of that historical period is the Enlightenment. The means for propagandizing the science cult is education; those who do not want to educate themselves about science are usually called “dark” people.

Undoubtedly, the Global Warming Catastrophe is closely related to science. It was predicted by scientists and can be avoided only by scientific means. With Global Warming, the religion of science has obtained its Apocalypse. But what is the reason for that terrible punishment? It is the unwise burning of fuels, burning by rough uneducated people who are not entitled to use the fire. It is the desecration of fire by the mankind. Scientists aloner are entitled to burn fire and distribute the power of fire to the people, but only in the amounts they consider sufficient. Clearly, they cannot and do not want to prohibit fire, because the fire is their power, but they want to be the only ones in the control of the fire. By the way, the accusation that the Bush administration has the desire to control Mid-Eastern oil is a typical projection of one’s aggression on the enemy.

In the light of the above piece, what else could be expected from the scientific fire worshippers? Probably, the prohibition of matches, grills and fireplaces as unsafe, restrictions on fireworks, and of course the prohibition of firearms. Later one may expect limitations on the use of electric power and natural gas, as well as recommendations to avoid cooking and frying. The prohibition of all combustive liquids, including alcohol. Finally, any unauthorized use of fire will be prohibited.

And Science will prevail.

The Great Conversation

The Fjordman Report

The noted blogger Fjordman is filing this report via Gates of Vienna.
For a complete Fjordman blogography, see The Fjordman Files. There is also a multi-index listing here.

One of the things I love about the Internet is that I get instant, online feedback on everything I write, from people in the United States to Australia and India. Quite frequently, this brings me to reassess what I have initially written, either by adding new perspectives and ideas that I hadn’t thought of at first or by stating more clearly what I mean. This Great Conversation is why the most interesting debates are frequently found in the blogosphere today. I have received so many impulses through this process from so many different individuals that it is not just modesty if I say that many of my essays should be considered as group efforts, with me as editor rather than sole writer.

A Finnish academic from the University of Helsinki read my essay about 21st century Communism, and was rather critical of my ideas, which she labelled “an incredible mixture of ideological, political and scientific ignorance and misunderstanding.”

First of all: It is true that “21st century Communism” isn’t about Multiculturalism alone, nor is unlimited immigration the same as Multiculturalism. I didn’t explain that well enough, as I should have. I quoted columnist Marie Simonsen from the Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet as saying that it should be considered a universal human right for all human beings to move wherever they want to. Dagbladet also supports radical feminism and quotas for women as well as ethnic minorities in public life, mass immigration, transnational legislation from organizations such as the European Union and the United Nations, human rights fundamentalism, state-sponsored indoctrination with said policies and suppression of free speech through hate speech laws for critics. I was implicitly referring to this whole “package deal” when I talked about neo-Communism. And yes, these ideas do frequently, though not always, come in the same package.

According to this academic from Finland, “People who advocate Multiculturalism hardly think that culture is unimportant. On the contrary, they find culture so important for each and every person that it is considered a human right to be able to maintain at least some of it, regardless of where one happens to live.”

This is an interesting question: Do Multiculturalists place a lot of emphasis on culture, or very little? On the surface, they seem to believe that culture is very important. But on the other hand, they tend to view cultures as equal and interchangeable, which means that they perceive it to be of little practical importance, with the very notable exception of Western culture, which is important to destroy. Why should it be viewed as desirable that each person should be able to maintain his culture if he moves to another country? If one believes, as I do, that some cultures are superior to others, one could argue that by settling in another country, you have indirectly admitted that this country has a superior culture and should thus be required to adjust yourself to this culture, i.e. to assimilate.

My critic also claims that “The target of the author’s criticism waves back and forth and lacks a precise target. If you cannot define your ‘enemy,’ your attack is bound to be confusing. (…) There are so many ideas about Multiculturalism, and the author treats them all as if they were one, without even referring to one coherent set of such ideas.”

It is true that if you cannot define your enemy, your criticism is bound to be vague. But this is part of my point: I, and numerous others with at least average intelligence, have spent a considerable amount of time trying to analyze the doctrines of Multiculturalism. We have found this to be quite challenging, precisely because it is vague, incoherent and doesn’t have any clear philosophical foundation. Multiculturalism seems to be a curious mix of older, Enlightenment ideas such as Rousseau’s “noble savage” and later Marxist ideas, among other things. There are those who claim that it was never supposed to be logically consistent and that we shouldn’t look for any cohesive, rational arguments behind it because there are none. What little can be discerned from its ideas is sometimes quite disturbing, with elements of anti-Western hatred, totalitarian impulses and Utopian ideas involving large-scale social engineering.
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But isn’t this alarming? Multiculturalism is now official state policy in many countries, together accounting for hundreds of millions of people. Isn’t it disturbing that millions of people are subject to a radical ideology that is almost impossible to comprehend, and thus to criticize? Many of its proponents seem to know that it cannot be rationally defended, which is why they simply shut critics down with charges of racism and shame them into silence whenever they sense some opposition. In fact, it is now more or less illegal in some countries to criticize it, although it could mean the most massive transformation of our countries in modern history.

According to this Finnish lady, “What you can do is try to come up with general values which are accepted as human rights in most cultural contexts and determine that these have to be adhered to by everyone in your country. All citizens do not need to have the same culture, although they do need to share some basic values, and of course we want these to remain those which have been typical for our country throughout history.” What one must do is to “start applying exactly the same standards/demands of respect for human rights” among immigrants as among the majority host population. We should allow immigrants the right to keep their culture “provided that they adhere to the central core of our values and follow the rules in our legal system.”

OK, but Muslims don’t do that. They don’t share our “core values” of freedom of speech to rationally criticize all religious creeds, as they have demonstrated on numerous occasions, from the Salman Rushdie case via the murder of Theo van Gogh to the Muhammad Cartoon Jihad in 2006. So what do we do when we are faced with cultures which specifically reject ideas about mutual tolerance?

French philosopher and cultural critic Alain Finkielkraut thinks that Europe has made human rights its new gospel. Has human rights fundamentalism approached the status of quasi-religion? Have we acquired a new class of scribes, who claim the exclusive right to interpret their Holy Texts in order to reveal Absolute Truth, and scream “blasphemy” at the few heretics who dare question their authority? The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a great document, but it is written by humans, and may thus contain human flaws. We shouldn’t treat as if it were a revelation from God, carved into stone. Far less should we deem as infallible the veritable maze of regulations and well-meaning human rights resolutions that have rendered democratic nations virtually unable to defend themselves.

I am skeptical of basing the future of our societies on abstract principles such as “human rights” alone, partly because they can so easily be defined and redefined beyond recognition by aggressive activists and elites. I have already quoted a columnist who said that it should be considered a “human right” for all human beings to move wherever they want to. At what point does the number of immigrants become so large that it interferes with the “human right” of the native population to keep their culture?

This is not a theoretical question, it is happening in front of our eyes now in Western Europe, where native Europeans have to watch as their cultural traditions are dismantled and removed from the school curriculum under the pretext that we are now a “Multicultural society.” And, yes, this is a large-scale social experiment being conducted on hundreds of millions of people. At some point, the sheer number of immigrants will infringe on the right of the natives to retain their cultural traditions.

The only possible solution to this dilemma is, in my view, to say that the right of the native population in the country to maintain their culture takes precedence over that of immigrants to do the same thing. This means that immigration needs to be limited in numbers to assimilation levels and exclude individuals from totally incompatible cultures, such as the Islamic ones. If nations are not allowed to state that they want limited immigration or even no immigration at all, this amounts to what I called neo-Communism, in which you are not allowed to decide who should settle in your own home.

MulticultiMulticulturalism is primarily championed in Western nations. It is highly unlikely, to say the least, that a person from Finland, Canada or the Netherlands would want, much less be allowed to, move to Pakistan or Iran and expect to get state support for “keeping their culture,” but the reverse happens every single day. In the 21st century, many of the least economically successful cultures on earth are in the midst of the largest population boom in human history. If they should be allowed to continue to export, indefinitely, parts of their unsustainable population growth to other nations and those who move should be allowed to keep their culture, “human rights” de facto amount to the unilateral eradication of Western culture. And that’s precisely why the anti-Western Left support it. They can permanently destroy the West, and they can claim to do this in the name of “tolerance and diversity.”

When speaking about 21st century Communism, one also needs to consider what John Fonte has dubbed transnational progressivism, whose key concepts can be described as follows: Group rights over individual rights, where group proportionalism is the goal of “fairness,” where “democracy” means power sharing among ethnic groups and even non-citizens and where the values of important institutions must reflect the perspectives of “oppressed” groups.

According to Fonte, “Transnationalism is the next stage of multicultural ideology. Like multiculturalism, transnationalism is a concept that provides elites with both an empirical tool (a plausible analysis of what is) and an ideological framework (a vision of what should be). Transnational advocates argue that globalization requires some form of “global governance” because they believe that the nation-state and the idea of national citizenship are ill suited to deal with the global problems of the future. The same scholars who touted multiculturalism now herald the coming transnational age.”

The foundation for transnational progressivism is made up of a rising postnational intelligentsia (international law professors, NGO activists, UN bureaucrats, EU administrators, corporate executives, and politicians.) When social movements such as “transnationalism” and “global governance” are depicted as the result of social forces or the movement of history, a certain impersonal inevitability is implied, but Fonte warns that this is not inevitable, but “the result of the exercise of political will by elites.”

A Report From Islamberg

The Muslims of AmericaEver since last Friday people have been sending me links to Dr. Paul Williams’ story about the headquarters of the Muslims of America and Jamaat ul-Fuqra near Hancock, NY. I haven’t written about it until now for three reasons: 1) I’ve been too busy with my real job; 2) I have a mile-long backup of blog posts waiting to come out; and 3) There was no new information in the story.

Nonetheless, Dr. Williams’ story is a good summary of the available material on Islamberg. For more information on Jamaat ul-Fuqra look on our left sidebar and follow the links there, or visit The Politics of CP, which has the most exhaustive store of information on JF available on the internet.

Dr. Williams’ account is a familiar one to regular Gates of Vienna readers: the unpaved and badly-maintained roads leading back into a wooded compound dotted with rusty trailers, the presence of armed men in Islamic garb, the recruitment of new members via proselytizing the prisons, and, above all, Jamaat ul-Fuqra’s terrified neighbors:

The complex serves to scare the bejeesus out of the local residents. “If you go there, you better wear body armor,” a customer at the Circle E Diner in Hancock said. “They have armed guards and if they shoot you, nobody will find your body.”

At Cousins, a watering hole in nearby Deposit, a barfly, who didn’t wish to be identified, said: “The place is dangerous. You can hear gunfire up there. I can’t understand why the FBI won’t shut it down.”

But there are potential inaccuracies in this account that readers should be aware of. According to Dr. Williams:
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Additional hamaats have been established in Hyattsville, Maryland; Red House, Virginia; Falls Church, Virginia; Macon, Georgia; York, South Carolina; Dover, Tennessee; Buena Vista, Colorado; Talihina, Oklahoma; Tulare Country, California; Commerce, California; and Onalaska, Washington. Others are being built, including an expansive facility in Sherman, Pennsylvania.

CP, the Christian Action Network, and I have reported on a Jamaat ul-Fuqra compound near Commerce, Georgia. But a quick search of the internet reveals no reference to JF and Commerce, California, other than Dr. Williams’ own report and other posts based on it. I think this may be a error on his part.

In addition, the only reference I have ever been able to find to a Jamaat ul-Fuqra compound in Falls Church, Virginia, is on the map of JF activity US shown at the bottom of Dr. Williams’ article. A larger version of the same map can be seen here. I’ve had my copy of this map for so long now that I can’t remember where I got it — maybe one of our readers remembers.

There is information on this map which I have not been able to corroborate through any other sources, so I haven’t cited it in posts. It’s possible that Dr. Williams is basing his list on the sites shown on the map. I’m not sure that’s a good idea.

When we post on these topics, we automatically become members of the Vast Right Wing Hate-Filled Racist Theocon Conspiracy. If any of our assertions are demonstrably wrong, or even factually questionable, the entire enterprise in which we’re engaged can be discredited.

So the map is interesting as a tool and a guide for further research, but using it as an authority is not wise. It’s possible that Dr. Williams has other sources for the same information; if so, he doesn’t cite any.

But, leaving such nit-picking aside, Paul Williams has written a useful and entertaining account from the belly of the beast.

You Will Be Assimilated

I reported last week on the combined efforts of Finnish State Prosecutor Mika Illman and Ombudsman for Minorities Mikko Puumalainen to crack down on “racism” and other dangerous speech on the internet.

The Finnish blogger Vasarahammer has sent us another report on the issue:

Mika Illman’s recent statements about moderators in internet forums have caused a lot wider concern even in the liberal blogs. Most of the comments are against his views.

Blogger Kari Haakana contacted Mika Illman and asked him three questions. The translations are mine:

        1.   Mika IllmanWhen you talked about moderating discussion forums, did you mean moderating beforehand or afterwards? Is the basic idea to mandate that forum administrators check all messages before they are published or after they have been published?

The issue is about removing already published messages from the public view. When a message with clearly illegal content is posted (e.g. a statement containing serious racism), it would be removed. Some forum administrators already have this kind of moderator (according to my understanding). Hiring an adequate number of moderators would become mandatory, as it already is mandatory for a network publication to have an editor, who is responsible for controlling the journalistic work.

        2.   Would the legislation you suggest also concern discussions maintained by private individuals that can be found in blogs and other private web pages?

The Parliament has stated that the site administrator’s criminal liability may come under scrutiny, if he, for example, allows his site to become a forum for publishing messages with criminal content. In principle this applies to all, because every one of us is bound to make sure that our activities follow the law. It may be that for practical reasons it is only possible to target the legislation for commercial operators only.

But in principle a private party has a duty to follow the law, so – if I had all the cards – I would expand the legislation to private individuals as well.

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        3.   How does your suggestion take IRC and instant messages into account?

The principle is the same. The administrator would have a duty to monitor the discussion and in due time to take action against clearly illegal material. This is no stronger obligation than the one TV or radio broadcaster has in the case of live broadcast.

Of course, I understand that it is not easy to monitor this type of media. However, this is no basis for leaving discussion completely without monitoring. The boundary between legal and illegal activity is the same both in the internet and elsewhere.

State Prosecutor Mika Illman is a government official who is clearly engaged in political activity here. He has published a Doctor’s dissertation concerning the subject of freedom of speech. It is quite evident that he and Ombudsman for Minorities Mikko Puumalainen are acting together in their crusade against free speech in the internet.

If Mika Illman is successful, everything you do or say in the net will be monitored by your internet operator. This will basically eliminate any privacy that you have when using the internet.

Update: See Fausta’s take on the issue. She reports that the problem is not restricted to Europe; internet radio here in the USA is under threat of censorship.

Holger Wakes Up

Holger Danske VågnerA reader named Marty Galyean sent us a new version of Holger Danske — he used one of my logos to make an animated .gif of the old Viking. I can’t display the image here, because the animation doesn’t loop, so you’d miss the point unless you scrolled to it immediately. Click this link to see Holger in action, and watch carefully!

Marty discovered Holger Danske at our Café Press store. We’ve been doing a brisk business there, but — strangely enough — most of our customers are Americans. Can it be true that the Danes are a little bit embarrassed by their national symbol? I met a Dane while I was in Copenhagen who acknowledged a slight distaste for the nationalism that Holger Danske represented.

For Americans, however, familiarity has not yet bred contempt, and they have eagerly picked up on the mythic symbol of Viking fortitude and vigilance.

I guess we just ain’t got no taste.

For those unfamilar with Holger Danske, his story is here.

[Nothing more.]

Our Looney Tunes Media and the Strange Things They Contort

Dear President Bush:

Not to worry. So another lunatic left-wing therapist has decided that you’re looney tunes, and of course Newsweek swallows this malarkey and spits back out at us, but what does that prove beyond another manifestation of BDS?

If their own fragile psyches insist on pinning this donkey tail on you, Mr. Bush, ’tis a fine day to be whacko, sire. Being a Methodist and all, you wouldn’t know it, but today, May 15th, is Saint Dymphna’s feast day. Being the patron saint of lunatics, she has had a full job on her hands in the United States these last six years as Bush Haters have repeatedly impaled themselves on their swords because they can’t get rid of you or that sidekick of yours, Cheney.

Saint DymphnaSt. Dymphna had a sidekick, too: Saint Gerebemus. He tried to save her from her crazy father, but the old man killed them both. Taki’s Top Drawer has a droll take on her life and mission:

On May 15, the Church marks the feast of a saint who is at once somewhat obscure and extremely significant. At first blush, St. Dymphna’s story is quite a sad one. According to her widely popular legend, this early medieval girl was the daughter of a petty, pagan Irish king. Like her mother — whom she very much resembled — she was a Christian. When the queen died unexpectedly, the king was crazed with grief, and announced that he would marry his daughter. Dymphna had the normal reaction: She went to Belgium. Her father tracked her down in the town of Gheel, where he watched as she was put to the sword. All in all, a dark family romance that sounds like a rejected first draft of a Faulkner novel.

But the story does not end here. St. Dymphna was buried in Gheel, where she was martyred, and a shrine was built in her honor. Several centuries later, a group of “madmen” who’d been driven from town to town happened upon the shrine — and were miraculously cured. Word of this cure spread quickly, in a world without Paxil or Lithium, and soon large numbers of mentally afflicted pilgrims began to descend on the town. Instead of locking them up, or burning them as “witches,” the Christian folk of the town admitted the pilgrims to their homes to await their cure. From this unlikely beginning came the West’s first humane facilities for treating the mentally ill. To this day, pilgrims and patients come to Gheel and are welcomed by the locals.

– – – – – – – – – –

To honor this saint and the heritage of her shrine, I suggest you turn your home into a little Gheel for a day, by throwing a party for your most insane friends and relatives. You know — the people you’re afraid to invite other times, because you never know what they’ll say, or onto whom they’re liable to spill the punchbowl. The old man from the parish who takes you aside after Mass to explain that the Freemasons control the weather; the Pentecostalist sister-in-law who burned the family TV on the lawn, your brother the failed seminarian, your aunt the Scientologist screenwriter. And of course, both your crackpot parents.

Ah, yes. Our crazy families. Yours is pretty normal, Mr. President. No brothers in overalls swilling beer at the gas station and telling Jimmah tales, no coke-snorting relatives you have to hide in the closet, no brothers-in-law involved in shady deals. Come to think of it, whatever did become of Hillary’s brothers? Are they going to be hot on the campaign trail next year?

Actually, Mr. Bush, your family probably considered you the bad boy. And then you cleaned up your act and got religion. It’s this last part — the evilvangelical — that the sneering classes can’t forgive in you. Religion is so… so… well, tacky, sir.

Hat tip: J.H.

“Islam is a Hoax”

Ex-MuslimsFor some months I’ve been aware of the German group of Muslim apostates called Zentralrats der Ex-Muslime (the Central Council of Ex-Muslims) and their motto “Wir haben abgeschworen!” (“We have abjured!”) . I haven’t reported on them previously because the site is entirely in German, I read very little German, and machine translation simply isn’t good enough.

But our Swedish correspondent LN has recently brought to our attention an international group called Apostates of Islam, which has a website in English. These are courageous people who are willing to go on the record with their real names and photographs.

Their writings could get them killed. Some examples:

…Islam is a hoax, it is hallucination of a sick mind and nothing but lies and deceits.


We are apostates of Islam. We denounce Islam as a false doctrine of hate and terror. However we are not against Muslims who are our own kin and relatives. We do not advocate hate and violence. Muslims are the main victims of Islam. Our goal is to educate them and let them see the truth. We are against Islam and not the Muslims. We strive to bring the Muslims into the fold of humanity. Eradicate Islam so our people can be liberated, so they can prosper and break away from the pillory of Islam.

– – – – – – – – – –


Islam is a religion that thrives on the arrogant assumption that it is the most logical, the most scientific and the most perfect religion. While the fact is that it is the stupidest doctrine — the most backward and absurd belief. Once the truth about Islam becomes common knowledge, it will be weakened and the Islamic fanaticism will lose its fangs. Hundreds of billions of dollars are being expended to combat Islamic terrorism, yet no effort is made to contain the ideology behind this terrorism. It is our belief that Islamic terrorism will not be eliminated unless and until the ideology behind it is exposed and eradicated. This is what we intend to do.

Their website is designed to attract Muslims and guide them towards the renunciation of their faith. Take a look around — it’s got a lot of interesting features. A random selection from the Koran. A random selection from the Hadith. And at the “meet the apostates” page there are three links with these teasers:

  • If you are a Muslim and are hurt by seeing this page, please click here for the Alternate soft version
  • If you think this site is offensive, click here
  • I want to stop Terrorism

You’ll have to go over there and click the links to discover what their suggestions are.

No Extra Credit for Telling the Truth?

We just received this email from a Dutch reader:

Dear Baron and Dymphna,

My son came home from school today. I asked him how he had done.

“Well,” he said, “I have had four tests today. I got 10 for German, 8 for French, 8 for History, and 6 for Religion.”

I asked him why he had done so badly in Religion.

“Well, the teacher asked us to name four things that made Islam different from other religions, and I wrote down:

1.   They hate pigs.
2.   They hate dogs.
3.   They refer to anybody who is not a Muslim as an infidel.
4.   They blow themselves up for virgins.

– – – – – – – – – –

“The teacher called me out, and said that he was going to give me a 2. I told him that he couldn’t do that, as I was right; it was in the Koran.”

They compromised on a 6.

It took me a while to stop laughing.

The Rockets’ Red Glare in Sderot

One Jerusalem has some exclusive video footage of the damage caused by Kassam rocket attacks on the Israeli town of Sderot, which lies just across the border from the Gaza Strip.

In one of the videos you can see the inadequate protective measures taken at local public buildings, in particular the schools:

As my guide, Noam Bedein from Sderot Media pointed out, the funding tends to run out after only part of the secure barrier is built. Keep in mind, the children in thee schools have only fifteen seconds to run into a protected part of the building when the siren goes off.

Make sure you scroll all the way down, because the last video shows a Kassam rocket attack in progress.

Kassam attack in SderotAs Noam was explaining where the rockets were coming from we heard a loud whoosh an watched a rocket launch from directly in front of us! Immediately after the rocket was launched you could hear the loud chants of Allah Akbar. It was an eerie experience to say the least.

This is an example of what Israelis have had to endure since peace descended on the region after they vacated the Gaza Strip. And it’s a reminder of the treatment the Little Satan receives, year in and year out, at the hands of the Religion of Peace.

[Nothing follows.]

On Bureaucracy, Liberty and the Rule of Law

The Fjordman Report

The noted blogger Fjordman is filing this report via Gates of Vienna.
For a complete Fjordman blogography, see The Fjordman Files. There is also a multi-index listing here.

“With law shall the land be built, nor with lawlessness destroyed.”

— from Håvamål, an ancient Norse poem with guidelines for the proper way of living. From the Viking Age, 8th or 9th century.

Dr. Daniel Pipes read one of my essays about the situation in Sweden, and asked my to explain exactly why Swedish authorities are behaving the way they are doing. First of all, maybe I’m demonizing Sweden too much. I write so much about Sweden mainly because I’m emotionally attached to the country since I’m Scandinavian myself. Still, although the Islamic situation is arguably worse in some other countries such as France, Britain and the Netherlands, I think it is accurate to say that there is less real debate in Sweden than in any other country I know of. I suspect that Multiculturalism for segments of the political Left all over the Western world is an anti-Western hate ideology and a continuation of Marxism by other means, but I will also look at some local factors shaping Sweden.

Swedish stampSwedes became respected for their undeniable talent for business organization and for their strong work ethic, traits which have ensured that Sweden has left a mark vastly disproportionate to its small size. The botanist Carolus Linnaeus was praised by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe on a par with Shakespeare and Spinoza. This dynamism was not in any way caused by the welfare state, rather it is these cultural traits that have kept the Swedish welfare state alive to this day. The Swedish Achilles’ heel is probably their ideological rigidity. It must be allowed to point out that Sweden appeased Fascism during WW2, Communism during the cold War and Islam today.

I can see three reasons why political debate Sweden is so censored. The historical explanation is the absence of war for almost two centuries, which makes Sweden unique by European standards, also compared to its Scandinavian neighbors. Maybe the prolonged period of peace and prosperity has created an environment in which layers of ideological nonsense have been allowed to pile up for generations without any reality check.

The second, and perhaps most important reason, is ideological. Sweden is viewed by many outsiders as a model nation. Swedes are keenly aware of this and want to keep up appearances. Since suicidal Multiculturalism is all the rage in the West, Swedes want to prove that they can be more suicidal than anybody else. It’s an ideological beauty contest, which serves Swedes fine, since they like to excel at everything they do.

TenstaIt has long been claimed by the founders of the Swedish welfare state that their model would be more just in dealing with ethnic minorities than the capitalist model of the United States. Of course, since Sweden was almost 100% white they could never prove this, so the elites decided to import some ethnic minorities in order to prove the superiority of their model. This didn’t quite work out the way they imagined, though. From the Swedish point of view, this is thus an ideological contest between two model states: Sweden and the United States. Being a model state can be a great boost for your ego, but sometimes a heavy burden for your health and sanity.

I am critical of aspects of the welfare state model, but it is true that it has probably worked better in the Scandinavian countries than anywhere else. The welfare state can work to some extent in ethnically homogeneous nation states with a strong cultural work ethic and a a talent for organization, which Sweden used to be. It is totally inapplicable in less homogeneous countries with mass immigration, such as the United States. The most lethal combination of all comes from mixing the American and the Swedish models, with high taxation and high levels of immigration. This will, in effect, turn your country into the welfare office of not just your own citizens, but of the peoples of other nations as well.

Vi kommer tillbaks!

Sweden is also a nation with a strong emphasis on consensus, which means that if the elites make the wrong decisions, the country has weak intellectual defenses and will receive few corrections once it embarks on the wrong course. If the state is intimately identified with a particular ideology, in this case Multiculturalism, those disagreeing with this ideology will quite literally be viewed as enemies of the state. This is a basic structural flaw of an ideological state.
– – – – – – – – – –
Researchers Gert Tinggaard Svendsen and Gunnar Lind Haase Svendsen have written the book Social Kapital. When general levels of trust were measured in 86 countries, the Nordic nations Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland came out on top. According to the authors, the trust among citizens and the trust between citizens and the state is very high in these countries, and this “social capital” is highly profitable and accounts for up a to a quarter of these countries’ wealth. The Danes have emerged as the happiest people in Europe. Dr. Luisa Corrado, who led the research, said: “The survey shows that trust in society is very, very important. The countries that scored highest for happiness also reported the highest levels of trust in their governments, laws and each other.” However, Svendsen and Svendsen also warn that such trust is vulnerable. A society can lose its social capital rather quickly, but it can take centuries to rebuild it.

This social capital is now being squandered as a matter of official state policy all over Western Europe, accompanied by wild cheers from the media and the intelligentsia. Although high levels of trust are in many ways attractive and desirable, they also contain some potential pitfalls. People’s trusting nature makes them easy targets for outsiders from more cynical cultures, who view them as gullible fools, and it also makes them potentially vulnerable to betrayal from within.

Western Europeans were used to laws being passed with their consent and with their best interests in mind, because by and large they had been. Within a few years, all of this has changed. Laws are now passed by EU bureaucrats who don’t give a damn about their interests, and by elites who don’t care about their own people, who in fact view them as potential stumbling blocks for the new Multicultural society. Yet Europeans, by and large, still adhere to the laws and regulations that are passed by the state because they are culturally accustomed to doing so. Ordinary Europeans are thus held hostage by their own law-abiding nature while the state is turning increasingly hostile.

Tax graph

The third reason behind the totalitarian nature of Sweden is high tax rates. Neighboring Denmark and Finland are also welfare states, yet have proved somewhat more resistant to Multiculturalism. Cultural and historical factors thus play a significant role in this. However, I do believe there is a connection between lack of individual liberty and high tax rates, although not an automatic one. Sweden is a great example of why we need limited government, a state that only upholds law and order and does not concern itself with pushing a particular ideology on its people.

Why does the government dispense with the social contract and attack its own people? Well, for starters, because it can. The state has become so large and powerful that is has become an autonomous organism with a will of its own. The people are there to serve the state, not vice versa. And because state power penetrates every single corner of society, there are no places left to mount a defense if the state decides to attack you. Its representatives are no longer leaders of a specific people, but caretakers preoccupied only with advancing their own careers through oiling and upholding, and if possible expanding, the bureaucratic machinery.

As Alexander Boot writes in his book How the West Was Lost, “a freely voting French citizen or British subject of today has every aspect of his life controlled, or at least monitored, by a central government in whose actions he has little say. He meekly hands over half his income knowing the only result of this transfer will be an increase in the state’s power to extort even more. […] He opens his paper to find yet again that the ‘democratic’ state has dealt him a blow, be that of destroying his children’s education, raising his taxes, devastating the army that protects him, closing his local hospital or letting murderers go free. In short, if one defines liberty as a condition that best enables the individual to exercise his freedom of choice, then democracy of universal suffrage is remiss on that score.”

F. A. HayekFriedrich A. Hayek warned in The Road to Serfdom against all collectivist ideologies, and feared that the social democratic welfare state would eventually propel society in a totalitarian direction. He has been dismissed as wrong, but was he? In Western Europe, it is difficult to imagine that we would have accepted the massively bureaucratic European Union if we hadn’t already been conditioned to accept state intrusion on all levels of our lives in our nation states. The EU became just another layer of bureaucracy. We now have a situation where a massive, inflated national and transnational bureaucracy runs our lives, and even writes our laws. We have become serfs, just as Hayek warned against.

It is possible to argue that this is a built-in flaw in the democratic system. As blogger Ohmyrus has shown, democracies will tend to expand into high-taxation welfare states because, simply put, there are more low-income people than rich people, and it is possible for politicians to stay in power by giving people access to other people’s money. But if individual liberty diminishes with high taxation and intrusive bureaucracy, and if democracies have a built-in tendency to gradually increase taxes and create more state jobs, does that mean that democracy will, over time, diminish individual liberty? Is democracy bound to go through cycles of bureaucratic inflation and collapse? This could well be a basic flaw in democracy, but I still believe we need a system where the majority population have a genuine say in politics.

When the Titanic hit an iceberg and sank in 1912, the Third Class passengers, who were closest to the water level, could quickly see the water pouring in. They also suffered the highest casualty rates since they were closest to the problem and had the least amount of resources at their disposal when shipwreck occurred. Meanwhile, the First Class passengers were drinking brandy. They still suffered the lowest mortality rates because they had privileged access to the lifeboats. For this reason, we need to have a political system that takes into account the people at the grassroots level, or it will lead to needless human suffering.

A characteristic of the situation in Western Europe is that we have more and more laws, yet at the same time more and more lawlessness. The German journalist Jens Jessen claims that his country has been gripped by a “prohibition orgy” regarding tobacco, cars, cheap holidays and computer games, television and fast food. The process is “disconcerting and almost grotesque in its systematization.” He believes there is some level of compensation going on for the powerlessness of politicians.

Parallel with an explosion in street crime, the state turns on its law-abiding citizens with a proliferation of regulations and an inflation of laws. The less control the state has over the the most important tasks of society, the stronger its desire to assert its power over the tiniest details becomes. Or is it a subtle show of force, a constant reminder to the average citizen of who’s boss, a sign that resistance to state policies is feared?

As Jessen points out, the dangerous thing about this spirit of prohibition is that “once it’s out of the bottle, it spreads like an infection” whose first casualty is tolerance: “The fettered citizens are going to loll in security; the more unbearable the state regulations, the more relaxed they will feel. But such a society, one that makes the individual citizen and he alone responsible for all possible environmental sins, can easily become the blind accomplice to the worst catastrophes on the international stage.”

As Alexander Boot writes: “Parliaments all over the world are churning out laws by the bucketful. Yet, they fail to protect citizens so spectacularly that one is tempted to think that this is not their real purpose. […] Governments are no longer there to protect society and the individuals within it. […] For that reason a crime committed by one individual against another is of little consequence to them.”

Theodore DalrympleTheodore Dalrymple has noticed the same trend in the United Kingdom, where Tony Blair’s Labour government “has created 3,000 new criminal offences in ten years, that is to say more than one per working day, when all along the problem in Britain was not a insufficiency of laws, but a lack of will to enforce those that we had. The law is now so needlessly complex, and so many laws and regulations are promulgated weekly, daily, hourly, without any parliamentary oversight, that is to say by administrative decree appropriate to a dictatorship, that lawyers themselves are overwhelmed by them and do not understand them. There could be no better recipe for the development of a police state.”

The state interferes in all aspects of life, and contributes to breaking down the nuclear family. Later, it creates expensive social programs to try and remedy the problems it has itself partly created. Whether this dynamic is part of an intentional policy or the result of a dysfunctional ideology is debatable, but the result is disastrous either way. And it becomes even worse when you add an additional layer of transnational regulations. As the British reader Archonix comments on the Gates of Vienna blog:

“In order to install an electrical socket in my kitchen I must comply with at least eleven separate regulations. Some are sensible, governing the type of wire to use and the general direction that wire should go in. Others are nonsense; in order to comply I have to place my sockets a certain distance from the floor no matter what their purpose. EU regulations now mandate by law the kind of taps I’m allowed to use in my bathroom. They mandate the height of my door, the height of the gap between the door and the ceiling and the angle of my stairs, to millimetre precisions. Every day I break about 30 laws whilst engaged in what were previously lawful activities. Most of these laws are EU-inspired regulations prescribing the details of how activities are to be carried out. My computer does not comply with regulations on lead content, electrical output or anything else, despite being perfectly safe. The lights in my house will soon be made illegal. None of this was done with the consent of Parliament. None was done with the consent of the people of this nation.”

Muslim Council of Britain

Also in Britain, polygamous husbands settling with multiple wives can claim extra welfare benefits. A spokesman for the Muslim Council of Britain said it was quite common for men to undergo more than one Nikah (Islamic marriage contract) with different wives. This does not count as bigamy since only the first marriage is legally recognized. Islamic law is gaining a foothold in Britain, with sharia courts now operating in most larger cities.

Meanwhile, real criminals who actually do get caught receive lenient punishment. Dutch Justice Minister Hirsch Ballin is to introduce house arrest, monitored by an electronic bracelet, as a main punishment for the majority of criminals. Those convicted will be able to leave their homes for two hours every day for shopping, sports activities or a visit to a mosque. They will also receive welfare payments.

When does the rule of law break down? It breaks down when laws are no longer passed with the consent of free people, when citizens no longer feel that the law is just, when regulations become so numerous that it is virtually impossible even for decent individuals not to break the law on a regular basis and when the authorities are incapable of protecting their country’s borders while criminals rule the streets. It breaks down when the law appears increasingly arbitrary, when it invades the most intimate details of the life of law-abiding citizens while it allows great freedom to criminals. In short, it breaks down when it no longer corresponds to reality and to the sense of justice experienced by ordinary people.

Unless current trends are changed, I fear parts of Western Europe could reach critical mass soon.

Cognitive Dissonance

When I was a youth back in the early 1970s, there was an unusual restaurant just off the exit ramp from the Baltimore-Washington Parkway on Rt. 197 outside of Laurel, Maryland. It was a little bar and grill called Delaney’s Irish Pizza Pub, and its sign featured a leprechaun holding out a pizza.

Now that’s cognitive dissonance.

It’s a benign cognitive dissonance, the sort that makes you laugh out loud when you drive past, and exclaim, “Is this a great country, or what?”

Strait jacketBut there are other more sinister and dangerous types of cognitive dissonance at work in the land.

Take, for example, the case of the Finnish blogger Mikko Ellilä. We have been writing a lot about him recently, and also about the general climate of repression that is emerging in Finland. The Finnish government, like other governments within the EU, is intent on exerting ever more control of its citizens’ thoughts by cracking down on free speech in the blogosphere. The modus operandi is the usual one: applying the nebulous principles of Multiculturalism to hunt down “hate speech” and “racism”.

Finland’s Ombudsman for minorities, Mikko Puumalainen, believes that even facts can be “hate speech”:

[H]e repeatedly refused to specify his allegations and to email me the relevant material that he had sent to the police. I was able to obtain the material from him only after I notified him that I could sue him for failing to send me the relevant material because the police had explicitly asked me to comment on his allegations in written form, which I obviously could not do as long as I had not even seen the allegations in the first place. Puumalainen undoubtedly committed a crime by acting like this.

In other words, a criminal bureaucrat is harassing me. Puumalainen is also seriously wasting taxpayer money by forcing the police to spend time reading my blog posts and discussing them with me, instead of trying to catch criminals.

In a similar vein, the EU created an internal regulation for bureaucrats, forbidding them to refer to “jihad”:

The European Union has drawn up guidelines advising government spokesmen to refrain from linking Islam and terrorism in their statements.

Brussels officials have confirmed the existence of a classified handbook which offers “non-offensive” phrases to use when announcing anti-terrorist operations or dealing with terrorist attacks.

Banned terms are said to include “jihad”, “Islamic” or “fundamentalist”.

The word “jihad” is to be avoided altogether, according to some sources, because for Muslims the word can mean a personal struggle to live a moral life.

One alternative, suggested publicly last year, is for the term “Islamic terrorism” to be replaced by “terrorists who abusively invoke Islam”.

An EU official said that the secret guidebook, or, “common lexicon”, is aimed at preventing the distortion of the Muslim faith and the alienation of Muslims in Europe.

According to the article, “Details on the contents of the lexicon remain secret.”

Look what’s happening here: certain types of speech are proscribed or limited, but the exact rules aren’t revealed. So we know generally that many things are forbidden, but not exactly what they are.

I’ll bet I’m not the only one who is reminded of this quote:
– – – – – – – – – –

“Catch-22,” the old woman repeated, rocking her head up and down. “Catch-22. Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can’t stop them from doing.”


“Didn’t they show it to you?” Yossarian demanded, stamping about in anger and distress. “Didn’t you even make them read it?”

“They don’t have to show us Catch-22,” the old woman answered. “The law says they don’t have to.”

“What law says they don’t have to?”


Forty-five years ago the famous exchange in Joseph Heller’s novel was a prescient description of the paradigm now being realized by the self-destructive governments of the West.

All these speech codes remain non-specific, so that everyone will learn to self-censor broadly, hoping to comply somehow with the Catch-22 that no one is allowed to see. Rather than create the expensive and inefficient apparatus of the totalitarian state — secret police, a network of informers, brainwashing, torture, and a gulag — the soft totalitarian state simply applies a method designed to induce its citizens to perform the repression on themselves.

It’s a very effective technique, and is probably farthest advanced in the UK. An article in the Daily Mail tells the story of Codie Stott, a teenager who was arrested for “racism” because she didn’t want to sit with fellow students who spoke only in Urdu. Robert Whelan, deputy director of the Civitas think-tank, said this:

A lot of these arrests don’t result in prosecutions — their aim is to frighten us into self-censorship until we watch everything we say.

Similarly, the authorities did not give Mikko Ellilä the charges — meaning that he could not know what specific speech code he had violated — and therefore, if he were to be charged, the message to other bloggers would be to self-censor in hope of remaining within the law. But — and this is important — there only has to be an occasional charge filed in order to make this stratagem successful.

Random violence — random negative reinforcement, like shooting people in the head, but for no discernible reason — is the most efficient way to get the citizenry to behave with absolute compliance. The condition thus produced is cognitive dissonance — the shattered self, the disjointed mind, a psychological no-man’s land.

Dymphna spent many years working with victims of domestic abuse at a battered women’s shelter. One of the things she learned from her experience was that the most effective tool of control for an abuser was the capricious, intermittent, and unpredictable application of violence. If the abuser were to use a rational and consistent system, the victim could figure out the rules and simply comply. An irrational pattern of violence destroys the victim’s self-integration and creates an absolutely supple partner, a passive vessel waiting to be filled by her abusive master.

The same principle applies to political systems. Soft totalitarianism requires rules that are so general and unspecific that citizens comply with anything and everything, no matter how irrational, because people always try to find a rule, even where there is none. It’s human nature.

Simultaneously, by forcing people to hear and mouth nonsense over and over again, and to pretend to believe it, the system destroys their self-worth.

And then, in a ludicrous attempt to fix the dysfunctional products of this noxious regimen, the same people have to be given classes in “self-esteem”.

Do you think I have just described the United States public school system?

That’s some catch, that Catch-22.