Fjordman just sent this brief note:
Big news tonight from Sweden that the artist Lars Vilks, best known for depictions of the prophet Muhammad, has been killed in a car accident. Two police officers assigned to protect Vilks were also killed in the crash. As police were involved in the crash, it is currently being investigated carefully.
It’s too early to say whether cultural enrichment was involved in Mr. Vilks’ tragic death.
I’ll be writing more about the legacy of Lars Vilks in later posts. For now, I’ll just quote from what I said back in March of 2015:
Although he would probably not agree with the characterization, the Swedish artist Lars Vilks is a hero of the Counterjihad movement.
Like many other people who have chosen to criticize or mock Islam, Mr. Vilks’ life has been in danger for years. Last month he was the target of a failed assassination attempt in Copenhagen. Throughout the aftermath of this incident, and during all his previous tribulations, the artist has remained steadfast in his defense of free speech as an absolute. For the past eight years he has never retracted or groveled or apologized to Islam. His position in March 2015 remains the same as it was in July 2007.
In the fall of 2007, at the height of the initial controversy over “The Prophet as a Roundabout Dog”, someone asked Mr. Vilks if drawing the cartoon was worth dying for. In reply he said simply, “Yes, it is.”
That’s what makes him a hero.
I never had the privilege of meeting Mr. Vilks in person, but he was kind enough to send the following drawing to us, which he drew especially for Gates of Vienna:
Rest in peace, Lars Vilks.
For previous posts on Lars Vilks and the Roundabout Dogs, see the Modoggie Archives.
Here’s a report from The Daily Sun with news on the latest violent extremist incident in New Zealand:
New Zealand Lampman Who Attacked Eight People Before Police Shot Him Dead Can Finally be Named
The ISIS-supporting terrorist who went on a battering rampage in a lighting store in New Zealand on Friday has been named as Mohammed Mahmoud Mehmet Mohmadin.
The 32-year-old Sudanese refugee was shot dead after clubbing eight people with lamps in Light of the World, a lighting business in east Auckland. Five of the victims were seriously wounded, with two receiving life-threatening injuries. Mr. Mohmadin is alleged to have shouted “Allahu Akhbar” during his rampage.
On Saturday morning numerous stores in Auckland removed lamps, flowerpots, wine racks, picture frames, teakettles, and other heavy objects from displays in response to the attack. Anti-terrorism experts have warned that such objects may be picked up and used as weapons opportunistically by terrorists. The bedding store Lullabies went so far as to remove pillows from its showrooms after Police Commissioner Beezle McFee warned retailers that a victim may be smothered to death with a pillow in as little as 90 seconds. He said that there have thus far been no terror attacks with pillows, but he fears that it is only a matter of time before one occurs.
Commissioner McFee defended his officers, and said there was no indication an attack was imminent when Mohmadin arrived at the store, adding that long-term surveillance is ‘difficult’.
In a bid to reassure the public, he vowed to increase police presence at lighting stores, bedding stores, supermarkets, gyms, restaurants, churches, and other locations where soft or heavy objects might be accessed by known extremists.
Police have not yet been able to determine a motive for the attack.
[Yes, the above article is satirical, at least for the time being. I used this report from The Daily Mail as a model (hat tip: Seneca III).]
The following guest-essay by Brad Lena was written more than a decade ago, but seems remarkably apropos for the dystopian time we live in — especially the chapter entitled “Scientists like money, too”.
Despotism Made Easy
A Self-Help Guide for the Aspiring Tyrant
by Brad Lena
Copyright © 2010
Modern political visionaries, whether they are global healers or regional thugs, are reformers in a hurry. In their mad dash to perfect the human condition, they tend to overlook issues critical to their careers and longevity. By contrast, an ascendant visionary with a solid grounding in the fundamentals of despotism can extend his legacy for months or even years before being deposed or assassinated.
The reader will find this guide’s carefully selected recommendations equally applicable to run-of-the-mill oligarchies, utopian fantasies, or fascist dictatorships. “Despotism Made Easy” helps pave the way — from the first usurpations all the way to palatial exile. Each topic gets right to the point, enabling a busy reformer with only a few minutes of free time to browse a topic for guidance before working over the financial sector.
I. Job No. 1: Disarm the people
Nothing puts a damper on a reformer’s day like a populace that will not embrace utopia. Of course, once dissenting voices are muzzled, the objections become more like white noise — an irritant but tolerable. But — and this is an important but” — an armed citizenry can really play havoc with your agenda and legacy. Perhaps most disheartening to the reformer is the realization that armed resistance signifies that the people might not totally appreciate all that you’re trying to do for them.
History teaches us that radically altering the social, political, and economic order without first disarming the populace is untidy and risky. Most citizens, given enough incentive, will get with the program. But why chance it? An accelerating program of firearm restriction, registration, taxation, and confiscation will do much to ensure a smooth transition to a new era of social justice, equity, fraternity, and solidarity.
As you’re disarming the populace, it is important that you do not disarm your own people. Easily enough said, but in the hustle and bustle of reform, mix-ups can and do occur. Consider dressing your supporters in colorful uniforms with shiny boots and distinctive armbands. This will avoid confusion as well as foster a sense of unity among those who understand your reforms.
What if the armed forces of the government are staffed by volunteers? The short answer is to co-opt them through economic and medical enticements, which become dramatically more valuable as reform progresses. The real solution takes time. Establish youth schools and get them while they’re young— very young. To make certain that the rising generation thinks the way you do about the relationship between the citizens and the state, you must make their former frame of reference disappear. This is best achieved through indoctrination disguised as education.
Patience is key. Do not be one of those know-it-alls who bets the farm on getting everything corrected all at once. That will only raise expectations among the people. A sullen and lethargic population is the friend of reform.
II. The trains actually do have to run on time
You’d be surprised how many aspiring reformers overlook the fact that, after the soaring rhetoric has faded, the public expects some level of competence in government. Uncorrected, this easy-to-miss oversight can awaken the people from their sleepwalk to servitude. Make no mistake: If Mussolini hadn’t made the trains run on time as promised, the Italians would have shot him much sooner. Fortunately, people in the modern era are much less discerning. The mere perception of competence satisfies them almost as much as the real thing.
Reformers, as we all know, are busy people and the issue of competence may be an academic exercise rather than one derived from actual experience. This potential problem can be worsened when your prescriptions for reform include everything under the sun. Granted, a populace with an irrational sense of entitlement will encourage the chosen one to solve everything, but don’t be fooled by this pandering to omnipotence. At this stage, your job is to ensure they think things are improving — even if it’s only v i a smoke and mirrors.
For example, if the economy is going to hell in a hand basket, toss them some bones — s u c h as expanding their entitlement to the money of the producing segment of the populace. Or print some more money (but make certain you warn your friends in the financial sector before doing so).
These tried-and-true practices will mollify the nonproductive and envious segments while freeing you to bring more of the economy under your direct control.
Also, do not to throw too many of your trusted associates under the bus too early in the game. They have to be trotted out from time to time as living proof that you’re employing the best and the brightest to tackle the problems caused by others. If there are issues of compliance and legality, just rely on their arrogance and contempt for the rule of law to get you through pesky tight spots.
Don’t worry if you haven’t followed through on any of your previous promises or programs. Just keep promising new solutions to other problems or invent problems to which you can offer solutions. The general idea is to keep the improvements and social justice coming. If you do, they’ll never see it coming.
III. Subvert the language: The rest is easy
Words that have a specific meaning are not reform-friendly. A specific meaning can lead to benchmarks in which an action or concept is assessed for its connection to reality or productivity. Real reformers know that the real action resides in the process, not in the results. Words that have a universally accepted meaning enable the public to make determinations that are independent of the reformer’s vision. Worse yet, they can foreshadow the emergence of unauthorized solutions. Don’t allow your reforms to be compromised by viable alternatives.
The name of the game is to replace the national dialogue with incoherence. Once you establish conflict between the former meaning of a word and the new and improved meaning, it’s a relatively short step to subverting the rule of law. A people unable to agree on the meaning of words cannot offer unified resistance.
Replacing the existing meaning of a word with a definition subservient to your reform objectives takes time. Fortunately, there are ready, able and willing allies.
The greatest helpers are those in the education and media cartels. Their ability to shape the public mindset, as well as their willingness to be co— opted into the reform agenda, ensures a steady erosion of language as a societal bond.
It is important to provide these allies with appropriate levels of financial and regulatory support. Also, utilize their sense of moral superiority by parroting everything they say and value. This way, they will think you are one of them and cooperate fully. Eventually, you won’t need them and that will be that, but in the meantime they are useful and malleable.
Remember, commonly shared values and understanding are not conducive to reform. A collective memory of the former relationship between the rulers and the ruled can foment questions that are better left unasked. These impediments can be overcome, but they can be a drain on coercive and financial resources that will undoubtedly be needed when push comes to shove.
IV. Funny money: Make sure you’re the one laughing
Imposing monetary policies that erode financial and societal underpinnings is a surefire way to get everybody’s attention. Initially, they simply create uncertainty, but with continued reform, it becomes full-blown public panic. Those who can add and subtract in the various industrial and financial segments soon figure out the end game and get with the program rather enthusiastically.
Earlier this year a previously unknown play by the great Elizabethan poet and dramaturge Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593) was discovered in a storeroom of the Bodleian Library in Oxford. “The Tragical History of the Life and Death of Doctor Fauci” is a remarkably prescient work that seems to look ahead to our own time with ominous insightfulness.
The full script is too long to reproduce here, so I’ll just present a few relevant excerpts from the text.
First, from the Chorus and Doctor Fauci’s first soliloquy in Act I, Scene 1:
Only this, gentlemen: we must perform
The form of Fauci’ fortunes, good or bad:
To patient judgments we appeal our plaud,
And speak for Fauci in his infancy.
Now is he born, his parents base of stock,
In New York, within a town call’d Brooklyn:
Of riper years, to Manhattan he went,
Whereas the Jesuits chiefly brought him up.
So soon he profits in quackery,
The fruitful plot of scholarism grac’d,
That shortly he was grac’d with doctor’s name,
Excelling all whose sweet delight disputes
In heavenly matters of medicaments;
Till swoln with cunning, of a self-conceit,
His waxen wings did mount above his reach,
And, melting, heavens conspir’d his overthrow;
For, falling to a devilish exercise,
And glutted now with learning’s golden gifts,
He surfeits upon cursed charlatanism;
Nothing so sweet as power is to him,
Which he prefers before his chiefest bliss:
And this the man that in his study sits.
(FAUCI discovered in his study.)
FAUCI. Settle thy studies, Fauci, and begin
To sound the depth of that thou wilt profess:
Having commenc’d, be a divine in shew,
Yet level at the end of every art,
And live and die in Machiavelli’s works…
These metaphysics of physicians,
And sycophantic books are heavenly;
Lines, circles, scenes, letters, and characters;
Ay, these are those that Fauci most desires.
O, what a world of profit and delight,
Of power, of honour, of omnipotence,
Is promis’d to the studious artizan!
All things that move between the quiet poles
Shall be at my command: emperors and kings
Are but obeyed in their several provinces,
Nor can they raise the wind, or rend the clouds;
But his dominion that exceeds in this,
Stretcheth as far as doth the mind of man;
A sound physician is a mighty god:
Here, Fauci, tire thy brains to gain a sinecure.
In Scene 3 the learned Doctor, by practicing the black arts, calls up Mephistophilis, servant to mighty Lucifer:
MEPHISTOPHILIS. Now, Fauci, what wouldst thou have me do?
FAUCI. I charge thee wait upon me whilst I live,
To do whatever Fauci shall command,
Be it to make the merchants shut their doors,
Or lockdowns to overwhelm the world.
The great Doctor pledges his soul to Lucifer, and Mephistophilis meets the renowned physician’s demands, and then some, for the next three acts.
Through practicing his physick the Doctor exploits the Great Plague of Wuhan and causes the Emperor to impose an unprecedented tyranny on his subjects throughout the realm, forcing them to lock themselves in their homes and wear ignominious garments which he insists are necessary to preserve their lives.
Through his actions the illustrious Chirurgeon proceeds to amass great power and wealth as he dazzles all the kings and princes of the world, while serfs are reduced to the mean estate of mere beasts. Full of arrogance and pride, he thinks to exceed God Himself in stature.
But the bill comes due for the erudite Doctor, as it always must for anyone so foolish as to treat with Lucifer. In Act V, Scene 2 the end arrives:
Kurt Westergaard, photo by Steen
Kurt Westergaard was a renowned Danish cartoonist who drew the world’s most iconic Mohammed cartoon, the “Turban Bomb”. Mr. Westergaard was a target for mujahideen for the last sixteen years of his life, and had to live in hiding under the protection of the PET, the Danish Security and Intelligence Service.
Now it has emerged that Mr. Westergaard is being harassed by culture-enrichers even after his death. He died on July 14, but his death wasn’t announced until four days later, after the funeral. The location of his grave is a secret, because it is thought that Muslims would vandalize it if they were to find out where it is. Even the owner of the gallery where his work is displayed does not know where it is.
Kurt Westergaard’s last resting place may be a secret, but the Turban Bomb lives on in countless reproductions all over the Internet. Wherever Counterjihadists hang out, Mr. Westergaard is well-known and well-loved. May he rest in peace.
Don’t let jihad violence win: spread this story — along with the Turban Bomb — by whatever means you can.
A pair of Russian hoaxters who go by the pseudonyms Vovan and Lexus are renowned for impersonating famous public figures in order to induce other famous public figures to make fools of themselves. Their latest prank has made a fool of Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde, who thought she was taking a phone call from Julia Navalnaya, the wife of the Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny — who is currently languishing in prison — and his chief of staff, Leonid Volkov. The foreign minister had no idea that her words were being recorded, and that they would be released to the media.
Ms. Linde’s faux pas has given the Swedish tabloids plenty of fodder for sensational news stories. In the recording she indicates that she may be able send Swedish taxpayers’ money to help Mr. Navalny. She also brags about her work against Vladimir Putin, and her reluctance to support sanctions against the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, due to the involvement of Western European companies in the project.
First the video (audio only, with still photos of Leonid Volkov, Ann Linde, and Julia Navalnaya), in English with Russian subtitles:
Many thanks to LN for translating this article about the prank from Fria Tider:
Ann Linde is revealed by prank callers — promises Swedish tax money to Russian politicians
A couple of infamous Russian pranksters managed to get a call with Ann Linde. In the conversation, the Swedish Foreign Minister discusses how to use Swedish development aid money to finance Russian opposition politicians.
Behind the coup are the infamous pranksters who call themselves Vovan and Lexus, who have previously managed to deceive a number of high-ranking people in the Western world.
In May, Fria Tider reported on how the duo got the American National Endowment for Democracy, NED, to boast that they funded and organized the mass protests in Belarus last year.
In the new conversation with Ann Linde, Vovan and Lexus pretend to be Julia Navalnaya, wife of the imprisoned opposition politician Alexei Navalny, and Navalny’s chief of staff Leonid Volkov.
In the phone call, Anne Linde talks broadly about the Swedish government’s work against Putin.
At one point, she is asked directly whether she can help fund Alexei Navalny’s movement.
“It would be fantastic if Sweden could help us, for example through the development assistance authority (Sida),” the man says in the conversation.
Ann Linde replies that Sweden has already set aside €38 million to support “civil society and human rights” over the next five years.
“I’m not entirely sure of the details, but I think it is possible that… if you have a contact… with you or through the embassy. If possible, because I do not know the technical details.”
Two misguided “Swedish” youngsters have reacted to years of discrimination and racism by taking two guards hostage in a prison in the Swedish city of Eskiltuna.
The conclusion of the following account is a sardonic spoof; the original on which it is based is here (see also this Yahoo News report). The inspiration for the final paragraph is this line from the original: “Tabloid newspaper Aftonbladet reports that they have offered to release one of the hostages in exchange for having 20 kebab pizzas distributed to other inmates.”
Swedish officials say two inmates have taken a pair of prison guards hostage. The Swedish Prison and Probation Service said they were barricaded inside part of the penitentiary 75 miles west of Stockholm in what officials described as “a very dangerous situation.” The prison service said the inmates abducted the prison officers after breaking into a guards’ room soon on Wednesday and covering up the surveillance cameras. Swedish media say the prisoners have demanded a helicopter to help them escape.
Tabloid newspaper Aftonbladet reports that they have offered to release one of the hostages in exchange for an advance of 20 virgins in anticipation of the 72 they expect to receive upon martyrdom. The Swedish government is making a frenzied effort to find virgins. Officials say privately that they are unlikely to locate that many before tonight’s deadline.
My attempt at gallows humor is not meant to detract from the seriousness of the situation in Eskiltuna. This is an ongoing story, and there’s no telling what the final outcome will be, but it may not turn out well for those two unfortunate guards.
Many thanks to LN for translating this article from the Swedish alternative news site Samhällsnytt:
Muhammad cartoonist Kurt Westergaard has died
The well-known Danish artist Kurt Westergaard has died at the age of 86. Westergaard became widely known when his illustration of the Muslim prophet Muhammad was published in Jyllands-Posten in 2005.
As a cartoonist at Jyllands-Posten, Kurt Westergaard became the embodiment of freedom of expression in Denmark, Berlingske writes in a obituary of the artist. His cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad created one of Denmark’s biggest foreign policy crises ever, Ekstra Bladet recalls.
Westergaard has described himself as “a culturally radical half-hippie who advocates peace, space for all and good coexistence.”
In addition to creating a foreign policy crisis, Westergaard’s drawing made him an object of hatred for Muslims around the world. According to information, a price of several million kronor was put on his head, the newspaper writes. He was soon forced to live under the constant protection of PET, the Danish security and intelligence service.
Attacked in his home
On January 1, 2010, a man with a Somali background broke into Westergaard’s home and attacked him with an ax and a knife. Westergaard escaped by locking himself in his bathroom, which the authorities refitted as a security room.
Police were quickly on the scene and shot the attacker in one leg and arm, after he also attacked them with his weapons. The man was sentenced to ten years in prison and then deported for life. Following the assassination attempt, Westergaard’s PET bodyguard protection was further expanded.
A couple of years later, a 29-year-old man was also arrested. This after making a bomb threat against Westergaard.
Westergaard was born in Døstrup in North Jutland. Before he started as a cartoonist at Jyllands-Posten in 1983, he had worked for several years as a teacher of German and a school inspector. At Jyllands-Posten, Westergaard continued to work as a subscriber until his retirement in 2010.
“I want to be remembered as someone who fought for freedom of speech. But there is no doubt that there are those who instead remember me as a Satan who insulted the religion of a billion people.”
Westergaard fell asleep in silence after a long illness. He leaves behind a wife, five children, ten grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
Our longtime German translator JLH sends occasional pastiches and spoofs. His latest poetic effort is an inside-the-Beltway extravaganza.
Joe Gilpin’s Ride
Joe Gilpin was a politico
Of dubious renown;
A life-long lover of taxes was he,
Of storied Washingtown.
Joe Gilpin’s wife was Dr. Lill,
Who said one day to him:
“Of all the years that we’ve been married,
Not one has not been grim.
“When we meet females of any size,
Or age or other description,
Your hands perform as if they were
Decoding a Braille inscription.
“You did it as a senator,
And for many long years past,
And though your thoughts are slower now,
Your hands are just as fast.
You love the Secret Service girls
Who must guard you when you swim,
Cavorting nude so they can see
Your legendary limb.”
He fondly answered, and lightly stroked
Her piquant derrière,
“Just as I love all taxing schemes,
To take whatever’s there,
“Just so, I love all female-kind,
And that is why I dare
To stroke a lovely female rear
With kind grandfatherly care.
“They know indeed I mean no harm,
I’m old and devil-may-care.
I just love women, girls and all,
And love to smell their hair.
“So where my hands are when I sniff
Nobody needs to know,” he said,
And sauntered inattentively down
To where the Capitol subway sped.
He was going to a birthday bash
For a 12-year-old he knew,
Either a cuvée or a cru,
Stuck out his foot and made a pose,
To enter with éclat,
Departing then with such a speed
As provoked in all great awe.
For a squirrel somewhere had trod too far,
And blown a transformer out.
And this, while mortal for the beast,
Did things no one could doubt.
Joe’s foot had wedged between two seats,
And drew its writhing master
Away at speed and then perforce
Continued even faster.
And as he flew and writhed and screamed
And fiercely clutched the wine,
He disappeared with the subway car,
Around a corner down the line.
“Good heavens. Joe!” called Dr. Lill.
“Don’t lose that costly stuff,
For if you do, I promise you,
Homecoming will be rough!”
Erich Honecker was the penultimate communist leader of the DDR (German Democratic Republic, commonly known as East Germany). In the following satirical video Mr. Honecker returns from the grave to address the crowd during a celebration of the establishment of full totalitarian socialism in Germany thanks to the Wuhan Coronavirus (and with the help of Angela Merkel).
The humor in this piece derives in part from a number of puns and political references that may not be obvious to non-Germans. Check the notes that follow the transcript for explanations of some of the subtleties.