Norway

I lived four years in Norway. It is a wonderful, peaceful country inhabited by the world’s most honest people. If you have a grudge against Norway, you have a grudge against life. But Oslo was hit by a bomb and evidently dozens of young people were attacked on a nearby island. The authorities have arrested a man, but we don’t know much more. What we do know is that some groups have already claimed responsibility. Whether they did it or not, these guys are simply despicable.

Already some pundits are trying to figure out why someone might attack Norway. I'll tell you why. Evil exists in this world. The attacker and anybody who supported him are evil. Their reasons are important only to figure out how to stop such things in the future. We should "understand" them as we would a disease.

Yes, I am angry about this. Maybe it is merely one nut, but I doubt it. Let's not jump to conclusions. As I write this, we know only that it happened. But whatever the "cause" it is not justified.

Posted by Christine & John at July 22, 2011 6:55 PM
Comments
Comment #326247

Yes it is terrible. Today, I heard an Oslo spokesman say they believed Al Qaida was responsible. If it is true, we are dealing with a group or people who have only violence and death on their mind. What does a country the size of Norway do? Should they ban all Muslims from the country, considering it is impossible to know which Muslim is friend and which is foe? The one incident went after a children’s summer camp, it is just terrible.

Posted by: Phil at July 22, 2011 8:48 PM
Comment #326250

Supposedly, the act of one loon. Horrifyingly, he gunned down kids at a youth camp too. Domestic terrorist.

Police: Oslo Bomb, Camp Shootings Domestic Terror

Hard to keep track of those lone wolves. What a tragedy. Prayers for Norway.

Posted by:
Spinny Liberal at July 22, 2011 9:04 PM
Comment #326251

Actually, Norwegian authorities believe the perpetrator is a domestic terrorist and not linked to Al Qaeda. In other words, this bombing is like what happened in Oklahoma. This man seems to be linked with several conservative organizations there.

Phil, because this man appears to be Christian, should Norway ban all Christians from the country considering it is impossible to know which Christian is friend and which is foe?

Posted by: Warped Reality at July 22, 2011 9:07 PM
Comment #326252

Sorry about the HTML boo boo.

Posted by: Spinny Liberal at July 22, 2011 9:08 PM
Comment #326253

I have been reading the Norwegian paper “Aftenposten” online, since I figure it is best informed. They are saying that the suspect is an “ethnic Norwegian”, so far no ties to Islam. He evidently dressed as a policeman and asked all the youth to get together and then started shooting. “Aftenposten” reports that the suspect seems willing to talk, whatever that indicates. Norway does not have the sorts of laws we have in the U.S., so they will be able to interrogate him quickly.

It would be frightening if this is the work of one nutty guy. It would show how much damage one weirdo can do.

Posted by: C&J at July 22, 2011 9:10 PM
Comment #326256

I meant to link to this article. I guess Google Translate broke my earlier link and redirected it to the tv2.no homepage. Hopefully others who don’t speak Norwegian know how to use Google Translate or a similar service to translate my link.

Posted by: Warped Reality at July 22, 2011 9:17 PM
Comment #326259

C&J,

I heard Aftenposten’s HQ was damaged in the bombing. I think that must make them the best place to get first hand accounts of what happened.

BTW, I think it’s pretty profound that both you and I are able to read foreign media like Aftenposten & TV2. I can do pretty well despite any knowledge of Norwegian (which I presume you have). Before the Internet, we’d be forced to hear everything third or forth hand from some American Newswire service. It’s pretty amazing we can cut out a lot of middlemen and go straight to the source.

Posted by: Warped Reality at July 22, 2011 9:28 PM
Comment #326262

Warped

I used to speak Norwegian and can still read it. It is an easy language for English speakers.

But for all our access to world media, we still don’t know much of what happened.

It is profoundly sad that this would happen anywhere. I think of Norway as a place away from this sort of thing. I know that was never really true, but this kind of thing just makes it too clear.

We all have freedom to move and make choices. This is good. But the same things that empower ordinary people to get to know their world, also empower bad guys and crazy guys to do these sorts of things. They can reach out and attack “soft targets”.

Norway was a special place for us. Chrissy’s ancestors were Norwegians. Our youngest son was born there. We got to know the hills and valleys and the people. I participated in meetings on some of those island. They were such happy and innocent gatherings, now always associated with this.

I expect to be “in the fight” sometimes. But I like to think that not everybody is in it.

Posted by: C&J at July 22, 2011 9:53 PM
Comment #326263
I used to speak Norwegian and can still read it. It is an easy language for English speakers.

I was speaking about how well automated translation services (such as Google’s) have gotten better recently. And it’s not just Norway, when Japan had that Tsunami last March, I was able to read Japanese media without knowing one iota of Japanese. It makes one wonder how long those “newswires” will last if anybody can access superior content from the local media.


We all have freedom to move and make choices. This is good. But the same things that empower ordinary people to get to know their world, also empower bad guys and crazy guys to do these sorts of things. They can reach out and attack “soft targets”.

Tragedies such as today’s are the price of freedom. The only way to respond is to just keep going as before.

Posted by: Warped Reality at July 22, 2011 10:02 PM
Comment #326264

Warped

I don’t know. Maybe I am just feeling bad today, but I am beginning to suspect that the old Kris Kristofferson song is true, freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose.

In society, we give up some freedom in return for prosperity and security. We need to have some “defensible space” and we need to be able to protect ourselves from dangerous weirdos. The balance of security and freedom is hard, but we cannot pretend that it is not a tradeoff.

Norway was a country with significant social and legal pressure. People knew each other’s business, like in a small town. This brought both a feeling of community and a certain lack of freedom, if you define freedom as being able to do what you want when you want to do it.

I grew up in a society like that in Wisconsin. In some ways it was stifling, but we had almost no crime. You didn’t need to lock your door and you left your bike on the road. Chrissy’s parent used to leave their keys in the car in parking lots - in case anybody needed to move the car.

I am rambling. But my thought is that constantly expanding the capacity for everybody to do their own thing may not be in our best interests. Maybe we need to demand that people earn more of the trust and freedom they are given.

When you read about these killers, they almost always give out lots of signs of being weird. It rarely really comes as a surprise to those who know them that they would do something anti-social. Of course, few expect they will really kill people. That guy who killed all those people at Virginia Tech, for example, was somebody everybody knew was strange. Yet we had to protect his “privacy”. It looks like our shooter in Norway posted all sorts of hateful things on his Facebook page. But we have to wait until they take deadly action.

Posted by: C&J at July 22, 2011 10:21 PM
Comment #326267
In society, we give up some freedom in return for prosperity and security.

You know Benjamin Franklin had something to say about that.

Maybe we need to demand that people earn more of the trust and freedom they are given.

This goes against the ideals on which our nation was founded. Thomas Jefferson said that our Creator endows us with inalienable rights. We obtain those rights by birthright and nobody, not even government, can justify taking them away.

When you read about these killers, they almost always give out lots of signs of being weird. It rarely really comes as a surprise to those who know them that they would do something anti-social.

I actually have a personal anecdote that disproves that idea. In 2007, my High School was the scene of a homicide; I was a junior at the time. One boy stabbed another in the bathroom. The crime was completely random; the perpetrator and victim did not know each other. After the crime occurred, there were media reports about the “signs” the perpetrator had (Autistic spectrum, Stephen King fan, morbid interest in guns/knives, etc). However, from discussions I had with my peers, it seemed that a lot of this was a farce (except the fact that he had Aspergers). If you had told me or my peers in 2006 that a homicide was going to occur, we’d probably guess the perpetrator would have been at least a few dozen other people before that kid. What I now see is that the media has this narrative and they tend to force the facts in order to make them agree with the narrative. Not everyone who reads Stephen King is going to stab a random classmate.

In any case, this topic reminds me of this video.

Posted by: Warped Reality at July 23, 2011 12:14 AM
Comment #326268

My sensibility is that any strong belief, carried far enough, and enough to the exclusion of reasonable inhibitions of behavior can cause monstrosities like this.

So, I don’t think religious people are especially more monstrous in their behavior than atheists or agnostics, nor communists and capitalists anything less than equally capable of doing evil. The flaws that allowed this to happen are human flaws.

We should recognize them for what they are, not dance around it. Whether you’re rightward or leftward, you should not feel it proper to defend those who commit atrocities in the name of their beliefs.

On the subject of dealing with things like Facebook pages and things like that? We have to be delicate about the thresholds, both because people make jokes and say things in a moment of anger they don’t mean, and because such dragnets tend to vastly widen the pool of suspicious persons, rather than narrow them down.

That said, we do need to discourage the lunacy by other means, encourage a culture where reason and civility dominate over emotion and combativeness.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 23, 2011 12:19 AM
Comment #326274

Warped & Stephen

We all quote Ben Franklin. I read several of his biographies. He certainly did not mean that we have to give into all the desires of all the people. He was a man of extraordinary self-discipline and responsibility. On the contrary, I am certain that he would have despised the idea the any society can give license to the least self-disciplined to wreak the havoc of their idiosyncrasy on others.

The essence of intelligence is the ability to make reasonable distinctions. There are freedoms that all should have and privileges that should be earned and some things that nobody should get to do in a civilized society. Reasonable people might disagree on the precise boundaries, but nobody can reasonably deny their existence.

The other thing the founding father - and every generation of Americans up to our own - understood was the right of free association. I have the right to be weird (in your eyes) within the law but you have the right to avoid me and exclude me (yes discriminate against me) here are some people whose behavior I don’t like and no doubt some people who don’t like my behavior. It is perfectly fine if we voluntarily do not associate.

One reason people get pissed off is that they are forced to “accept” everybody. They feel overwhelmed. Beyond that, I feel that people need to earn my respect, as I need to merit respect from others.

I don’t think we can always stop these sorts of crime. Norway is a very law abiding place with very strong gun control laws and very liberal policies on access to health care including mental health care. It is really true that if it can happen there, it can happen anywhere. But we should look to what allowed this guy to do these evil things. How did he slip through the system?

No reasonable could have a grievance against Norway sufficient to commit violence.

I think we make a mistake when we think we can somehow persuade everybody not to commit horrible crimes. Sometimes the “root cause” is not legitimate grievance, but just evil or error. Our systems of law and social control need to stop these guys.

Posted by: C&J at July 23, 2011 7:45 AM
Comment #326275

C&J-
For me, the defining aspect of intelligence is not reasonableness or the ability to make distinctions.

I’m not a neuroscientist, but it’s been a long and lasting interest of mine, especially due to certain eccentricities of my own brain. To me, it seems, intelligence is the ability to take unreliable information from the world of your senses, and make reliable judgments based on that. We can speak of intelligence, from that perspective, on a number of different levels.

For example, I believe that many politicians are very emotionally savvy, but not all of them have good judgment on practical matters. So there are some politicians who maintain their tenure in office by constantly bull****ting people and manipulating them emotionally. Others might be opposite. They’re borderline on the ability to relate to people, but so good at the policy side of things that people like to re-elect them.

The question of how the man slipped through the system is a complex one, but let me take a try here. If he is a psychopath, he might have been very supeficially normal, and otherwise very capable of observing the rules of society, if he chose. He might break the rules some time, but he would be very careful to do it in a way that would allow him to get away with it.

Such a person might strike some people as vicious or callous when they got closer to them, but the red flags wouldn’t necessarily be severe enough for somebody to know better.

Loughner’s more a case of official neglect. He was clearly unable to discern right from wrong, or reality from unreality for that matter.

As for a system of law and social control? Name me one nation that has ever stopped all these guys. No, the purpose of government is not to prevent all bad behavior, but to discourage it, and give punishment in feedback to those who break the laws to further that discouragement. It exploits the inhibitions many of us have concerning breaking the rules when we fear we might get caught, and our emotional reaction to the prospect or experience of being punished.

What you have to be careful in government with is what you let people get away with. Very often, the sociopaths or the more ruthless and callous among us will lead the charge in engaging in illegal or unsavory activity, and if there’s little to bring such men and women down, competitive forces might encourage such behavior, counteracting the informal disapproval of society. It especially might embolden such behavior as the elevation to personal prosperity takes you out of social interaction with those your actions hurt, and those who hold you accountable in person.

Some people are born something of monsters, their brains simply unable to process the kind of emotional information that helps us to deal with others ethically and righteously, that helps us learn the difference between right and wrong. Some people become monsters as bad nurturing, corrupting influences, or the isolation that power, money, or other increases in status affords them, lets them cast off what inhibitions they learned, or never learn them in the first place.

Many of the problems of society are chronic problems, in my view, and nobody can exorcise the demons in human nature that create them. I think there will always be those, even in the most tightly controlled and virtuous of societies, who do evil, even of this magnitude.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 23, 2011 8:45 AM
Comment #326276

I’ve got to go grocery shopping right now. I’ll be back later, but before I left I wanted to share this background of conservative extremism in Norway.

Posted by: Warped Reality at July 23, 2011 9:00 AM
Comment #326281

Norway has extensive reserves of petroleum, natural gas, minerals, lumber, seafood, fresh water, and hydropower. On a per-capita basis, it is the world’s largest producer of oil and natural gas outside of the Middle East,[10][11] and the petroleum industry accounts for around a quarter of the country’s gross domestic product.[12] The country maintains a Nordic welfare model with universal health care, subsidized higher education, and a comprehensive social security system. From 2001 to 2007,[2] and then again in 2009 and 2010, Norway had the highest human development index ranking in the world.[13]

I can’t believe that cj or any republican would have anything nice to say about a country with such socialist communist welfare nanny state. That believes in educating there children through wealth redistribution.

Posted by: Jeff at July 23, 2011 10:44 AM
Comment #326282

Stephen

“ability to take unreliable information from the world of your senses, and make reliable judgments based on that. We can speak of intelligence, from that perspective, on a number of different levels.”

I think that is the ability to make reasonable distinctions. You are separating the reliable from the not.

“the purpose of government is not to prevent all bad behavior, but to discourage it, and give punishment in feedback to those who break the laws to further that discouragement.”

Also agree and I said that too. Again, it depends on the tradeoffs.

“Many of the problems of society are chronic problems, in my view, and nobody can exorcise the demons in human nature that create them.”

Also agree. I don’t know why we will not call the evil by its name.

Jeff

I lived in Norway. I suspect you have not. After you learn the language, know the history and live there for a couple of years, we can talk. Otherwise, while I appreciate your “wikitelligence” I prefer actual understanding.

Why do some people always have to try to reduce things to liberal and conservative stereotypes.

Posted by: C&J at July 23, 2011 11:07 AM
Comment #326284

Although I have never been there My heritage is Norwegian and I have studied it in depth. And it is the right that breaks it down to left v right I wonder how long till we have another OK. city bombing in this country given the vitriol coming from the right wig crazes.

Posted by: Jeff at July 23, 2011 11:47 AM
Comment #326286

Jeff

Chrissy is of Norwegian heritage. Her parents made the lefse and lutefisk. Their Norway was the one their ancestors left in 1850. I always find it amusing that Americans think they understand a place because their ancestors left many years ago.

My general rule is language and presence. If you have taken the time to learn the language well and have been there, you can claim ties. Otherwise “in depth” is just talk.

The good news is that almost everybody becomes American after a generation. The “heritage” is mostly sentimental.

Beyond that, I am a believer in boots on the ground. You don’t know a place unless you go there. If you really want to get to know it, go there.

The American ideas of left and right do not apply worldwide or even in different times in our history. Norwegian socialist thinking applies there, in a small country with a homogenous population. We can make distinctions in times and places. I can appreciate achievements of different people w/o embracing all aspects or wanting to import it to my own country.

I personally resent all the stereotypes many of my left leaning colleagues attribute to conservatives. I write a lot on this blog. I don’t think anybody here has expressed greater tolerance for the ideas of others. I address the comment, not the source. I have lived in several countries. Spoke four languages at high levels and I get along with all sorts of cultures. I have actually spent time in socialist and former communist places. I spent a year in Iraq during the war. This is REAL experience. Yet many of you guys want to dismiss me as “a conservative” and attribute all your stereotypes.

What I demand you do is address the ideas, not the label. I usually treat you guys with respect and when I make fun of you it is not in a nasty way. I never call liberals stupid or immoral. Why can’t you as as “liberal” as this conservative?

Posted by: C&J at July 23, 2011 12:02 PM
Comment #326289

C&J

I deeply appreciate your last entry. I agree that to know a place is to be there. You mentioned other countries and that applies to various cities within the USA also.

I have a first name relationship with 17 different individuals from other backgrounds than myself. I have never visited their countries. There are Muslims, Communists, Hindus, Bhudists, and on and on. They are tolerant of me and I of them. I am also an ammateur radio operator and have the opportunity to talk to a variety of people of other nations. In some of those countries they cannot talk of sensitive subjects for fear of retaliation against them. In other situations they can speak freely and I have received a short amount of enlightenment from them. The point I am trying to make is that they and myself included have not once referred to the other person in left/right, lib/con language.

WR

“…because this man appears to be Christian,…”

What trash. It is impossible to know of his appearance at this time. You have just reached into the abyss and pulled out a slimy mess and it is on your hands. You need to apologize to all Christians for such an unwarranted piece of filth.

Furthermore, define what a Christian “appears to be”. Don’t worry. You can’t give an honest definition.

Posted by: tom humes at July 23, 2011 2:12 PM
Comment #326291

C&J,

“Norwegian socialist thinking applies there, in a small country with a homogenous population.”

LOL

What Norway are you talking about?

“In recent years, Norway has become home to increasing numbers of immigrants, foreign workers, and asylum-seekers from various parts of the world (mostly from Europe and Asia). Norway had a steady influx of immigrants from Pakistan, East Asia (mainly the Chinese and Filipinos), Eastern Europe (i.e. Russians from Russia), Southern Europe (Greeks, Albanians from Kosovo, and former Yugoslavians), and Middle Eastern countries (Arabs, especially Iraqis and Palestinians), as well as Somalis, Turks, Moroccans, and some Latin Americans. After ten Eastern European and Baltic countries joined the EU in 2004, there has also been an influx of workers from Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.”

Posted by: Aldous at July 23, 2011 2:33 PM
Comment #326292
“…because this man appears to be Christian,…”

What trash. It is impossible to know of his appearance at this time. You have just reached into the abyss and pulled out a slimy mess and it is on your hands. You need to apologize to all Christians for such an unwarranted piece of filth.

Furthermore, define what a Christian “appears to be”. Don’t worry. You can’t give an honest definition.

I’m glad you found what I wrote to be absurd; that was my intention. I was just mimicking the typical right-wing reaction to these sorts of attacks whenever the perpetrator claims to be Muslim. Hopefully, you will find future political attacks on Muslims or other religious groups to be equally revolting. In hindsight, I probably should have said “claims to be Christian” instead of “appears to be Christian”, but I don’t think using the word “appear” is entirely wrong either.

Posted by: Warped Reality at July 23, 2011 2:38 PM
Comment #326294

C&J I never do personal attacks. That being that for the most part you are a gentleman in a condescending sort of way. Now if others…

Posted by: Jeff at July 23, 2011 2:45 PM
Comment #326297

Aldous

Maybe that is why it is not working as well anymore.

I remember in 1988 they still would sometimes send money between banks on the bus. But some of the newcomers figured out that there was no guard and that was the end of that quaint custom. As the social cohesion breaks down, so does the welfare state.

Jeff

My condescending way is part of my charm. It makes others so happy on the rare occasions when they can zap me back.

I really do like most of the people who write here and I consider them intelligent and honest. I only wish to help them overcome their error.

Seriously, lots of the disagreements are semantic among good people. The problem is that politicians exacerbate differences.

Posted by: C&J at July 23, 2011 6:04 PM
Comment #326303

The Norwegian terrorist is a rightwing Christian fundamentalist, Norwegian nationalist, anti-Muslim/pro-Zionist extremist.
It’s currently being reported in Norwegian newspapers that he has been very active on blogs with that focus, and that he had been trying to start a Norwegian tea party mirroring the tea party in the US.
Some bloggers are now also claiming that he is friends with U.S.-based teabag and anti-Muslim activists such as Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer and Daniel Pipes — most specifically it is being said that he’s been a guest blogger on Pamela Geller’s Atlas Shrugged going under the pseudonym ‘Fjordman’ for quite a while. Again, I’m not personally sure about that claim, but that is what is being floated presently.

Many crazy rightwing extremists like this guy view people on the left as “terrorist coddlers” — so for some reason they believe they can be killed. Somehow they don’t think of themselves as terrorists for doing so — even when they bomb government buildings, and go and kill young people at a summer camp.

Kind of similar to how some crazy rightwing extremists believe that abortion clinics can be bombed, and clinic workers and doctors who perform abortions can be killed, all in the name of Jesus!

Posted by: Adrienne at July 23, 2011 8:11 PM
Comment #326307

Adrienne

All those who specifically target civilians are despicable. They are Hostis humani generis and should be treated as such. Whether they commit these acts out of a sense of grievance based on religion, class, ethnicity or any other reason, they are ALWAYS wrong. We should not seek “root causes” There is nothing Norwegians did to justify this act,as there was nothing Brits did to justify IRA attacks on civilians, nothing the Spanish did to justify the ETA terror and nothing we did to justify 9/11.

On 9/11, many people said “We are all Americans today”. Well now we are all Norwegians.

Re your speculation - if you find those who attempt to defend or justify this guy’s action, we will all condemn them. Until that time, it might be better not to engage in speculation that implicates those who condemn this act of violence as much as you do. There is no need to multiply your list of enemies until you have them.

Posted by: C&J at July 23, 2011 9:10 PM
Comment #326309

Heh… if he’s been reading American Right Wing Blogs then no wonder he went nuts.

Going after liberals with a gun and “taking back government” if you don’t win elections is common rhetoric for Republicans.

That guy was just following the “Don’t Retreat. Reload” principle.

Posted by: Aldous at July 23, 2011 10:05 PM
Comment #326310

Aldous

Intelligence consists of the ability to make reasonable distinctions. We know that FARC, ETA, Shinning Path & many others who have committed horrible violence embrace left wing causes and rhetoric. Yet those of us who can make reasonable distinctions do not conflate those with Americans who lean left. Perhaps you can learn from that. Maybe not.

Right now you know pretty much nothing about this guy’s motivation. All the facts are currently unavailable. The fact that you are so eager to speculate says something very important about your motivation, however.

Re not winning elections, were you in the country in 2010?

So you have arguments based on ignorance on the one hand and error on the other. Not an auspicious start.

Posted by: C&J at July 23, 2011 10:51 PM
Comment #326311

Jack:
“Re your speculation”

Not speculation. He wrote a ranting manifesto that is 1500 pages long. This mass-murdering terrorist is a rightwing Christian fundamentalist, Norwegian nationalist, anti-Muslim/pro-Zionist extremist.

“We should not seek “root causes””

Ha ha. What a joke. Of course seeking out root causes will naturally make people on the right nervous. This guy who had carefully planned to unleash this attack for a very long time (and he might not have done so alone) was ranting endlessly about Marxism, Islam, multiculturalism, liberal betrayal, liberal immigration policies and uncompromising conservative values.
Sounds eerily (teabaggily) familiar, no? And this ideologue was busily posting to many teabaggish rightwing blogs in Europe and in the US was at the same time amassing 6 tons of fertilizer to blow up his nation’s liberal government and stockpiling lots of ammo to murder as many liberal youths as he could.

Aldous,
Yeah, absolutely. Those who lie down with hate-filled conservative dogs may want to start expecting to get up with a few mass-murdering home-grown terrorist fleas.

Posted by: Adrienne at July 24, 2011 1:48 AM
Comment #326312

C&J,

“We know that FARC, ETA, Shinning Path & many others who have committed horrible violence embrace left wing causes and rhetoric.”

What nonsense. Do you even think before you type? It might help you to read an encyclopedia instead of Fox News.

FARC or FARC-EP, is a Marxist–Leninist revolutionary guerrilla organization based in Colombia.

ETA or Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (English: Basque Homeland and Freedom; pronounced [ˈeta]) is an armed Basque nationalist and separatist organization.

Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso in Spanish) is a Maoist insurgent guerrilla organization in Peru.

FYI… Communism IS NOT liberal or even socialist. I dare you to find any American Liberal blog who purports a similar creed to these organizations.

On the other hand… I can point to HUNDREDS of American Conservative Blogs and Websites who call for the violence similar to that of Norway.

Posted by: Aldous at July 24, 2011 2:23 AM
Comment #326313

Aldous & Adrienne

Reasonable distinctions. Read what the people in FARC, ETA, Shining Path etc say. To those unable to make reasonable distinctions, it might be associated with legitimate left wing rhetoric, but its not.

On of the signs of fuzzy thinking is to draw lessons from an incident that it doesn’t have to teach.

Our liberal friends often tell us that dissent is good and that we should question authority, and they are often right. When taken to extreme, it is wrong.

I understand that you hate the Tea Party and engage in the kind of demonization of them that you accuses them of doing to others. This you cannot see. That is why, although your names appear at the top, I am not writing this for you, but for other, reasonable people.

All good people condemn the killings, as I did. Chrissy and I feel especially sad about this because of our earlier association with Norway. I know you feel free to associate people like us, who have never engaged in violence, with such events, but I know it is a confession of your characters and not ours.

Aldous

Re those things you say about FARC, you are right. You have made a reasonable distinction, as I told you to do. Congratulations. Now use your new found ability and apply it more widely. BTW - I appreciate your wikitelligence, but most of us know those facts already. You may just allude to them w/o listing what you have found on Wikipedia.

Posted by: C&J at July 24, 2011 7:27 AM
Comment #326315

C&J,

I listed them because you Repuglicans always have a problem with the definitions of liberalism, communism, socialism and every other ‘ism out there including capitalism.

As for my equation of the guy from Norway with those in the US, I can point to HUNDREDS of conservative blogs and sites in the US who espouse his creed literally word for word. Fact is he got most of his ideas from US sites,not Norway sites.

I can also point to dozens of GOP politicians who winks and hints in support of this crap. Rick Perry. Sarah Palin. Bachmann.

Posted by: Aldous at July 24, 2011 8:37 AM
Comment #326318

Aldous

People can read what I write and what you write and make their own choices about who is smarter. I suppose opinions will differ. I suppose misspelling Republicans will not help your cause.

Re Communism, socialism etc. Thanks for the information that I learned in grade school, however. If you think it is new, I am happy for you. Of course, you may come to understand that those textbook definitions apply only generally in the real world.

You still need to work on that reasonable distinction thing. The ability to search sites and produce definitions is great as a first step to knowledge and wisdom and I suppose that you don’t have to see the whole stairway to take the first step.

Good work so far.

Posted by: C&J at July 24, 2011 9:38 AM
Comment #326332


And, I was thinking that the wisest man in the world had left WatchBlog for pastures less populated with morons.

It is not like we didn’t know this, but inflammatory or violent rhetoric, commonly referred to as free speech, can incite the lone wolf, a group of lone wolves, and on occasion, the mob to react in a violent manner.

Perhaps the relatives of the victims should contact the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Under Norwegian law, the maximum penalty an offender can receive is 21 years. Most are paroled in 7 to 10 years. An offender that is still regarded as a threat to society can be retained in prison for the entire 21 years, and could be imprisoned for an additional 5 years, for a total of 26 years. Liberal laws like these can easily draw the wrath of the right wing conservatives.

A new phenomenon? People like this Norwegian have to be buried in obscurity to prevent their graves from becoming a hero’s shrine.

Posted by: jlw at July 24, 2011 2:28 PM
Comment #326333

jlw

It is a problem with free speech. Remember how some people blamed video games for violence?

Speaking of stuff related to the Southern Poverty Law Center, I read that the movie “Mississippi Burning” resulted in a high profile hate crime when a group of 10 blacks, ostensibly incensed by the movie, beat up a 14-year old white kid who who they noticed on the other side of the street. “You all want to fuck somebody up? There goes a white boy; go get him,” the leader of the thugs admitted saying. People prone to violence can be incited in many ways. The makers of this film did not expect it to set of racist violence, but it did.

There are some limits to free speech, when it is a direct threat to public safety. It is a big challenge to decide when that line has been crossed.

Re burial sites, I read that they have removed the body of Rudolph Hess, cremated the body and “buried” the dust at sea in order to prevent extremists from venerating his grave. We did a similar thing with bin Laden, good idea.

Posted by: C&J at July 24, 2011 3:04 PM
Comment #326337

BTW - I heard on CNN that much of the Norwegian nut’s writing is plagiarized from Ted Kaczynski, the Unibomber, who was a radical environmentalist and enemy of the modern world in general. His activities pre-date most of our current debates, tea parties, Obama, Al Qaida and even the Reagan presidency.

So this looks a lot like the Arizona thing, where the hateful people filled the incident with their own meaning.

Posted by: C&J at July 24, 2011 3:25 PM
Comment #326340


C&J, “Mississippi Burning may have incited more than one incident of racial hatred, but I certainly wouldn’t put it in a league with “Birth Of A Nation” which helped institutionalize racial hatred.

Radicals and reactionaries alike often plagiarize others writings and or tactics. The Unibomber did. Irregardless of who or what this person plagiarized, it is a fair certainty who he regarded as his enemies.

Re burial sites, I read the story as well and concur with your opinion.

Posted by: jlw at July 24, 2011 4:52 PM
Comment #326344

jlw

I don’t think it is clear who either Kaczynski or the Norwegian considered enemies. They seem to hate the modern world they lived in and wanted to get back to some kind of golden simple age. The Norwegian was an organic farmer. Kaczynski lived in the wilderness.

The thing that is still unclear (at least to me) is why he attacked fellow Norwegians. The news describes him as an ultra-nationalist; you would expect such a person to attack immigrants or foreigners, not young people of mostly his own ethnicity. It is clear that we are dealing with a very confused man.

Re Mississippi Burning, my intention was not to imply that it was racist, rather simply that any film, news item or comment can provoke to violence those prone to it. The only reason I thought of that particular movie was your reference to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Posted by: C&J at July 24, 2011 5:12 PM
Comment #326346
you would expect such a person to attack immigrants or foreigners, not young people of mostly his own ethnicity.

Those young victims were all on that island because they were rising stars/activists in Arbeiderpartiet. Anders Behring Breivik was very vocal in his disagreement with Arbeiderpartiet’s policies, so I don’t see why it’s surprising that he went after that party’s youth.

Posted by: Warped Reality at July 24, 2011 5:48 PM
Comment #326349

Warped

The Arbeiderpartiet is very old and established. It was not a new force that he could have felt just came up on him.

Beyond that, I don’t know of many cases where these nutty guys kill like this for strictly partisan reasons. There is almost always race, ethnicity etc involved.


IMO - his attack on the PM office could fit partisan feelings. The other one, the more bloodthirsty one, not so much.

You may be right. Neither of us has any more to go on than speculation. As the facts come more to light, I expect we will find a very contradictory guy, mentally disturbed, w/o a consistent mode of thinking. Exactly the kind of unpredictable outlier we all should fear.

Posted by: C&J at July 24, 2011 6:05 PM
Comment #326352
The Arbeiderpartiet is very old and established. It was not a new force that he could have felt just came up on him.
You probably know more about Norwegian politics than I do, but from what I read I get the impression that Arbeiderpartiet’s embrace of multiculturalism in Norway is fairly recent.
his attack on the PM office could fit partisan feelings. The other one, the more bloodthirsty one, not so much.

What I find really confusing is that the bomb attack was timed so that not too many people would be hurt, yet the island attack was planned for maximum casualties. I guess that supports your prediction that Breivik will ultimately come out as “a very contradictory guy, mentally disturbed, w/o a consistent mode of thinking.”

Posted by: Warped Reality at July 24, 2011 6:18 PM
Comment #326355

This guy was a right wing extremist. Pure and simple. All this conjecture about how he was just some crazy, confused person who just snapped in some random acts of violence that just happened to target the government and liberal party youth is absurd.

Perhaps he was mentally disturbed but he acted on extreme right wing views of the world. Who did he personally kill? It was liberal party youth. What internet sites did he frequent? They were extreme conservative sites.

This act of mass murder was meticulously planned. Crazy like a fox.

Posted by: Rich at July 24, 2011 7:54 PM
Comment #326357

Warped

Hate is hard to understand.

Reports that I am reading say that Brevik was the child of divorce. His father said that he was a timid kid. Some people have a grudge against the world for being born.

The Norwegian establishment embraced multiculturalism when I as there in the 1980s. I don’t know for how long before.

But I am not really sure what people mean by multiculturalism. There seem to be as many ideas of it as there are advocates or detractors.

I would say that a small nation like Norway runs the real risk of disappearing in a multicultural sea. There just are not very many Norwegians in relation to the numbers of others that can come into their erstwhile country. Norway has a unique and valuable culture that has developed over thousands of year. Norwegians are one of the world’s most valid indigenous people, i.e. they moved in after the last ice age and were the first homo-sapiens to live there. IMO there is a valid policy discussion that should take place re multiculturalism. The idea that all those who oppose it are just troglodytes misses the point. But that is a discussion for a later time.

Posted by: C&J at July 24, 2011 8:58 PM
Comment #326358

Rich

In your simplified world, where do you place Ted Kaczynski?

How about a second question? If you found someone who disliked the free market, believed in government management of major industries for the good of the people, believed that the rich should be forced to work for the good of all and wanted to enforce justice according to scientific principles, would you call this person more of the left or more of the right?

Posted by: C&J at July 24, 2011 9:25 PM
Comment #326362
Reports that I am reading say that Brevik was the child of divorce.

My parents are also divorced, but that doesn’t tell us very much.

The Norwegian establishment embraced multiculturalism when I as there in the 1980s. I don’t know for how long before.

But I am not really sure what people mean by multiculturalism. There seem to be as many ideas of it as there are advocates or detractors.

I think Breivik was using the word multiculturalism to describe the influx of immigrants into Norway and the Norwegian response of tolerating foreign cultural practices.

I would say that a small nation like Norway runs the real risk of disappearing in a multicultural sea. There just are not very many Norwegians in relation to the numbers of others that can come into their erstwhile country. Norway has a unique and valuable culture that has developed over thousands of years.
These sentiments are very similar to what Breivik was saying. On the other hand, there are plenty of peoples who have managed to preserve a great of their culture despite much greater adversity (think of indigenous Americans, aboriginal Australians etc).
Norwegians are one of the world’s most valid indigenous people, i.e. they moved in after the last ice age and were the first homo-sapiens to live there.
What about the Sami people? It’s hard to make such a claim about any sort of people. Historically, people have always been apt to move around over the course of centuries, mostly to adjust to changes in Earth’s climate. Posted by: Warped Reality at July 24, 2011 10:06 PM
Comment #326366

Warped

The ancestors of the Norwegians moved to the south of the peninsula; the Sami moved to the north. Before that, there was ice. Actually there still is a lot of ice.

I also agree that nobody really has a superior claim on history than anybody else. All humans are immigrants from Africa, if you go far enough back. But the Norwegian culture developed over many centuries in that place in an identifiable form. This is historically fairly rare.

I don’t suppose the example of Aborigines in Australia or Americas gives Norwegians much comfort. I suppose they might get a reservation someplace in the hills.

I understand that Brevik may have seen some of the same things I describe. Hitler build really good roads and his people designed the Volkswagen. Just because a bad guy thinks or does something doesn’t mean it is universally wrong. We all condemn the killing. But those who would use the horrible deeds of a crazy individual to shut off debate about an important subject is … well doing what that crazy individual sought to do.

Re multiculturalism - I don’t think it is a valid idea as commonly expressed. During some earlier times we had areas that were multicultural. Usually, they were parts of empires with a dominant group and others living in their ghettos.

A true multiculturalism will mean different choices and substantial inequality of results. Our modern mores do not tolerate this. We don’t like to admit this. But if Japan was inhabited by Haitians, it would be miserably poor and if Haiti were inhabited by Japanese, it would be rich. Choices matter. Culture is essentially a series of choices. Different choices produce very different results. Therefore, multiculturalism will produce a variety of very unequal results.

Posted by: C&J at July 24, 2011 10:54 PM
Comment #326367

Rich

With that stretch of imagination above did you yawn also. They do go hand in hand. That is the left hand.

Posted by: tom humes at July 24, 2011 11:11 PM
Comment #326380

C&J
Looks to me like another sad thing,another sad history,and little else. Madmen are mad. We can use this to explode just about any myth one chooses politically. Gun control? Does not Norway have tight standards? Why was this monster allowed to shoot people for so long without somebody,any body,not shooting him? Poverty? Norway has the least wealth discrepancy in the world and its pretty high level. They have nearly NO poverty. Video games? Bad parenting? Poor schools?Racial pressure? Bullying?Lack of health care? etc.ad nausium.
Here is a concept. Why don’t we blame the putrid asshole that did this horrible thing.

Posted by: bills at July 25, 2011 9:00 AM
Comment #326392

“Why don’t we blame the putrid asshole that did this horrible thing”

Amen bills!

People won’t blame him though, because of their own personal fear. That is why these people will use narrowminded labels like Teabagger and Rethuglican. That is why they ignore the initial reports for this incident, but claim some kind of grand conspiracy on others like Ft. Hood and Arizona.

That is why they will jump on any ledge that supports their fear of personal responsibility.

Posted by: kctim at July 25, 2011 10:28 AM
Comment #326396

Jack:

There are some limits to free speech, when it is a direct threat to public safety. It is a big challenge to decide when that line has been crossed.

How about when people bring their guns to town hall meetings and then shout down anyone who doesn’t hold their own political viewpoints? I thought that was crossing a line.

I don’t think it is clear who either Kaczynski or the Norwegian considered enemies.

I think it’s very clear that Breivik the rightwing terrorist hated liberals (who he labels “cultural marxists”) in his country and elsewhere. He calls himself a “Knight Templar” and this atrocity is meant to start a crusade. His manifesto is all about first killing liberals in order to usher in a permanent conservative rule, and then killing and driving all Muslims out of his country.

They seem to hate the modern world they lived in and wanted to get back to some kind of golden simple age. The Norwegian was an organic farmer. Kaczynski lived in the wilderness.

No, Breivik was not an organic farmer. He rented a farm and claimed that he was an organic farmer — so that he could buy large quantities of the fertilizer he needed to make explosives. In his manifesto he is encouraging others who agree with him to do the same thing.

The thing that is still unclear (at least to me) is why he attacked fellow Norwegians. The news describes him as an ultra-nationalist; you would expect such a person to attack immigrants or foreigners, not young people of mostly his own ethnicity.

He made it his mission to kill off what would have been the next generation of liberal leaders.

It is clear that we are dealing with a very confused man.

No, Breivik is clearly an incredibly disturbed individual, but his attack was extremely calculated and carefully thought out. It was not at all confused.

Hate is hard to understand. Reports that I am reading say that Brevik was the child of divorce. His father said that he was a timid kid. Some people have a grudge against the world for being born.

This guy was also a steroid user. We all know that this makes people intensely aggressive — but when paired with intense ideological extremism and hatred, it can turn deadly.

Warped Reality:

What I find really confusing is that the bomb attack was timed so that not too many people would be hurt, yet the island attack was planned for maximum casualties.

His main goal was the camp massacre. He wanted plenty of time to kill enormous numbers of the youth on that island. So he used the bomb(s?) to act as a decoy, knowing that law enforcement would immediately swarm to that area. His plan worked.

Rich:

Perhaps he was mentally disturbed but he acted on extreme right wing views of the world. Who did he personally kill? It was liberal party youth. What internet sites did he frequent? They were extreme conservative sites.

This act of mass murder was meticulously planned. Crazy like a fox.

Spot on, Rich.

BillS:

Looks to me like another sad thing,another sad history,and little else. Madmen are mad.

It is indeed horrible and sad, but we shouldn’t act like something like this couldn’t happen again. In some of the tea party and extreme right wing blogs in the US and in Europe there are already some commenters that share Breivik’s outlook, and a few are even calling this terrorist a hero.

Why don’t we blame the putrid asshole that did this horrible thing.

Of course we should — but at the same time we shouldn’t fool ourselves thinking that political and religious extremism can’t drive people to extreme acts of violence, nor should we expect that this could never happen again.

Posted by: Adrienne at July 25, 2011 12:10 PM
Comment #326397

kctm
Pretty unlikely he will be a Tea bagger or a Republican,being from Norway and all.They apparently have their own lunatics to contend with.

Posted by: bills at July 25, 2011 12:14 PM
Comment #326400

Yes bills, but I am getting at the fact that people will intentionally try to associate him with the Tea Party and Republicans just to score political points that they hope will result in more votes.

There are already 2 or 3 such posts in this thread. More with the same fearful rhetoric will follow.

Posted by: kctim at July 25, 2011 12:32 PM
Comment #326401

In psych 101 we had a study of the Texas clocktower killer. It was long ago so forgive details. The killer was clever,chaining doors,getting ammo etc. He had been angry for some time.An autopsy showed he had a growth on the hipocampus of the brain that could have been treated if diagnosed.The question posed to us regarded capital punishment.Beside the point,but who knows.There is little to be gained by speculation or blame.

Posted by: bills at July 25, 2011 12:38 PM
Comment #326404

kctim,
Sorry, but he CAN be associated with the tea party and extreme right wing views in both the US and in Europe. As far as the US is concerned, his online postings linked to the websites and articles of well known tea party anti-Muslim activist bloggers such as Pamela Geller (Atlas Shrugs), Robert Spencer (jihadwatch) and Daniel Pipes. His manifesto directly cites Geller’s blog and he was an advocate for starting a Tea Party in Norway.
Within Europe, he was posting to anti-Muslim blogs like the Gates of Vienna and The Brussels Journal and Document.no, and he claimed in blog posts that he was having discussions with the English Defense League (which Geller and Spencer both support). He was in direct contact with ‘Fjordman’ who is a regular guest blogger at Pamela Geller’s Atlas Shrugs blog — and Breivik’s manifesto directly quotes Fjordman.

All of these people may now be want to distance themselves as far as they can from all this, but whether they like it or not, the connection is there.

Here’s an article that outlines much more about this right wing terrorists online activity:

Blogging Hate
Anders Breivik’s Roots in Right-Wing Populism

Quote from the article:

There are almost no arguments to disprove this claim, thanks to Breivik’s activities. Already in 2009 Breivik, whose email address was year2083@gmail.com, directly contacted Fjordman in hopes of interesting him in what was then a 1,100-page document outlining his ideology. But Fjordman was reportedly unmoved because it offered nothing to differentiate itself “from all the others,” and contained nothing that Fjordman hadn’t already heard “at the pub.”

But the top blogger has missed something. Though it may have been without his consent, as Breivik’s most-quoted source, Fjordman is the most important co-author of the polemic.

Posted by: Adrienne at July 25, 2011 1:16 PM
Comment #326405

Adrienne
Sorry, but in order to jump to that conclusion, one must also be willing to say the murderous actions of some Islamic terrorists applies to all muslims, and I am not willing to do that. Is the iman who preaches of the Islamic control of the world just as much to blame as the individual actions of muslims who kill innocents?

Funny how the one’s who say we cannot treat all muslims as terrorists have no problem with treating their fellow countrymen as such.

Posted by: kctim at July 25, 2011 1:41 PM
Comment #326407

It’s now being reported all over the European press that Breivik may belong to an international network of right wing extremists that might have helped him to plan or carry out the terrorist attack.

He himself is saying:

Anders Behring Breivik claims two more terror cells remain at large
Norway gunman pleads not guilty to mass killing and tells Oslo hearing he acted to ‘save Europe’ from Islam

Posted by: Adrienne at July 25, 2011 1:56 PM
Comment #326411

kctim:

Funny how the one’s who say we cannot treat all muslims as terrorists have no problem with treating their fellow countrymen as such.

The Tea Party’s Glenn Beck: Youth Camp Attacked In Norway “Sounds A Little Like The Hitler Youth”

Quoting Beck:

…as the thing started to unfold and there was a shooting a political camp, which sounds a little like the Hitler Youth or you know whatever. Who does a camp for kids that’s all about politics? Disturbing. But, anyway, so there’s this political camp and so crazy man goes and starts shooting kids.”

Meanwhile, Beck’s 9/12 Project held a tea party political camp for kids this summer.

Posted by: Adrienne at July 25, 2011 4:15 PM
Comment #326414

“Sorry, but in order to jump to that conclusion, one must also be willing to say the murderous actions of some Islamic terrorists applies to all muslims.”

Hardly. It would be like saying that the murderous actions of some Islamic terrorists are associated with extreme radical Islamic sects and teachings.

Posted by: Rich at July 25, 2011 4:56 PM
Comment #326415

Thanks for the link, Adrienne.

It seems that Breivik’s attack on the youth camp may have been more calculated than at first appearance. According to the judge who summarized the arraignment hearing, Breivik told police that his main target was Gro Harlem Brundtland, a former Norwegian prime minister and Labour party leader who has been called “the mother of the nation.” Breivik said that he had been delayed in reaching the island and that she had left before he arrived.

Posted by: Rich at July 25, 2011 5:34 PM
Comment #326418

Adrienne

“How about when people bring their guns to town hall meetings and then shout down anyone who doesn’t hold their own political viewpoints? I thought that was crossing a line.”

You are right about this. Conservative speakers are regularly shouted down on most college campuses. They sometimes even get death threats and pies thrown in their faces (an assault). Is this the kind of thing you were talking about?

Or is it the union activists shouting down opposition in Wisconsin a couple months ago. Or are you referring to the anti-globalists who riot during meetings of international bankers?

There are just too many examples of this kind of aggressive behavior, and you are right that we should oppose all of them.

Rich

See above - we should oppose all who advocate or perpetrate civil violence against a democratically elected government. Tea party rallies have been remarkably free of violence. Demonstrations by their opponents, not always so good. Remember those union protesters?

Posted by: C&J at July 25, 2011 6:09 PM
Comment #326433

C&J,

I am not talking about tea party rallies nor union protests. You understand that. I am talking about extremist right wing philosophies and organizations that have proliferated over the past three decades.

Posted by: Rich at July 25, 2011 8:18 PM
Comment #326434

Jack those are some pretty pathetic examples, but I’d be more than happy to agree that when people shout others down while they are heavily armed and using extremely violent rhetoric, or whenever death threats are being issued, everyone who is interested in a civil society would be wise to oppose such actions.

Tea party rallies have been remarkably free of violence. Demonstrations by their opponents, not always so good.

This is such a total crock — and what’s more, I’m certain you know it’s a total crock. The tea party’s entire MO has been the threat of unleashing violence on people of the political left who oppose their extremist views. Indeed, their adopted use of the Gadsden flag with the rattlesnake coiled and ready to strike states what they’re all about very plainly: ‘Don’t Tread On Me’

Latest news: Norway killer Anders Behring Breivik had extensive links to English Defence League
Anders Behring Breivik had extensive links to the far-Right English Defence League, senior members of the group have admitted.

The EDL is considered a hate group in England, but US Tea Party darlings Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer have fully supported them and have gone on the record with this stating:
Geller: “I share the EDL’s goals.”
Spencer: “The EDL is standing up to violent thugs from both the Left and the increasingly assertive Islamic communities in Britain, and they deserve the support of all free people.”

Posted by: Adrienne at July 25, 2011 8:19 PM
Comment #326435

Adrienne

In the interest of being fair would you please explain Breivik’s like for violent video games, that he is a follower of Charles Darwin, his favorite TV show being “Dexter” glorifying a serial killer, lack of anything in his writings about following Jesus Christ, his statement of “I’m not going to pretend I’m a very religious person”, and much more. None of this is condoned by Tea Party people nor Christians.

The point I’m am making is that you are in error for considering him a Tea Partier, Christian, or even anything close to being on the right.

He is a loner, just like other serial killers.

The left always begs and use fast strong language to not jump to conclusions involving Muslims who attack.

Now the time is clear for you to not jump to conclusion about Breivik.

Also right-wing in Europe is not the same as right-wing in the US

Posted by: tom humes at July 25, 2011 8:22 PM
Comment #326438

tom humes,

He’s a loner who had help with at least two organizations.

Entire sections of his Manifesto are direct quotations from leading US Conservatives like Pamela Gellar, etc…

FYI… the majority of Anders Behring Breivik’s online activities were done on US Blogs and US Websites, ALL of them Tea Party affiliated.

Posted by: Aldous at July 25, 2011 8:49 PM
Comment #326439

Rich

If you are not trying to liken these guys to tea party or other legitimate groups, we have no conflict. I apologize and emphasize that all of us oppose extremist violence.

Adrienne

As far as I know, the only violence committed at the vast tea party rallies has been when the union thugs attacked that black tea party activist in the wheel chair. Do you know of any verified cases that I missed?

I attended two tea party rallies, including the big one in Washington. They were both peaceful with a kind of picnic atmosphere.

I have also attended and/or observed various others. The anti-globalists are very threatening. Even the code pink people were full of hateful rhetoric. And the union rallies in Wisconsin were very threatening.

So when you have a real case of violence from a real tea party rally, let’s talk. Your certainty is not based on any objective reality.

Otherwise, I will again point to the ability of making reasonable distinctions as a hallmark of true intelligence.

Everybody here has condemned extremist violence. Your attempt to link vigorous dissent with this violence is an old communist/fascist trick, which we can dismiss once we have identified it.

Posted by: C&J at July 25, 2011 9:14 PM
Comment #326441

Also… here he is writing about how IMPORTANT US Blogs were to him.


“I feel it is important to create a pan-European platform for rhetoric / objectives / policy analysis / research of historical factors relevant to so and transfer this knowledge to every nation. It pan-Europeiske/US environment Robert Spencer, Fjordman, Atlas [Pamela Geller], Analekta + 50 other EU / U.S. bloggers (and Facebook groups) is the epicenteret for policy analysis and has been for some years.”


Before and during the Rwanda Genocide, a radio station regularly spewed hate speech against the “cockroaches” of society. Do you think they were innocent of what happened?

Posted by: Aldous at July 25, 2011 9:20 PM
Comment #326443

Aldous

All of us condemn extremist violence and specific calls for extremist violence. We agree on this. It is the attempts to extrapolate this to other forms of free speech and the desire to shut off debate using guilt by association that reasonable and intelligent people reject.

You mentioned McCarthy in another thread. Wasn’t the core of McCarthy’s tactic his way of taking an actual threat (Stalinism) and then extrapolating it to include those who had at some time embraced similar ideas and/or were associated with those who had? You can imagine a McCarthy of latter days claiming that if a subject on his list read someone’s blog that the blog writer was complicit.

We don’t need to imagine, since we can see the tactic deployed right here.

The measure of intelligence is the ability to make reasonable distinctions. It might also be a measure of honesty in debate.

Posted by: C&J at July 25, 2011 9:39 PM
Comment #326446

Some writings of Fjordman, a US Conservative referenced by Anders Behring Breivik in his Manifesto.


• I would rank Britain as the Western European country most likely to first get a civil war caused by mass immigration and Multiculturalism.

• There will be a pan-Western and perhaps international economic and social collapse in the not-too-distant future.

• We need to learn from our enemies, both internal and external…They must be squashed, otherwise we cannot deal rationally and adequately with our external enemies.

• We must get rid of Feminism, which is destructive and merely an extension of Marxism, anyway.

• We must document what is being done to us by treasonous elites for future references, for instance by making a video dedicated to anti-white verbal and physical violence around the world. We must take steps to ensure our physical safety and regain pride in our heritage.

• The current US President Obama has publicly pledged himself to combat opposition to Islam rather than Islam itself, which means that it is official US policy to spread Islamic law.

• If the Soviet Union was the Evil Empire then the USA is the Diversity Empire, committed to spreading Multiculturalism and genetic Communism around the world, especially to white majority countries.

• The United States will not survive this century. It will be split into several countries according to ethnic, racial and perhaps even ideological lines. There is no such thing as a universal nation. People want to live with their own kind. The only ones who are not allowed to do so are whites, and they are starting to get tired of this double standard.

• Anti-white ideologies are now taught in every Western university and were arguably elevated to national ideology in the USA with the election of Obama.

Posted by: Aldous at July 25, 2011 9:52 PM
Comment #326451

Aldous

Many of the things you quote are odious; others are silly. In all candor, they sound a lot like some of the things you and others say about the tea party. I expect if there were overt calls for violence, you would have quoted them.

However, all that said, I would be happy not to have “Fjordman” say those things. Your point is what, however? Did someone here support this website? Is that webpage run by a prominent American, or is it just one of the many thousands of voices heard every day on Internet?

BTW - my Internet search says that Fjordman is an anonymous Norwegian blogger, not an American conservative. Perhaps you have additional information not found in the public domain, or perhaps you want to extend the guilt by association a few more degrees of separation.

So you have proven that an anonymous Norwegian blogger has said some silly things. Congratulations. But what does that mean to you? I know it doesn’t mean much to reasonable people.

Posted by: C&J at July 25, 2011 10:24 PM
Comment #326460
So when you have a real case of violence from a real tea party rally, let’s talk. Your certainty is not based on any objective reality.

My certainty is based on a glaring and totally obvious objective reality: TEABAGGERS WEAR GUNS AT THEIR RALLIES.

Otherwise, I will again point to the ability of making reasonable distinctions as a hallmark of true intelligence.

Right back at you. Clearly you aren’t capable of making any kind of a reasonable distinction as to what constitutes blatant threats toward potential violence.

Your attempt to link vigorous dissent with this violence is an old communist/fascist trick, which we can dismiss once we have identified it.

Bullsh*t. Your attempt to claim that tea baggers who pack heat for all of their political confrontations and rallies as “vigorous dissent” is both laughable and ABSURD. As is the way you keep telling us how unintelligent we are, and labeling people on the left as “communists/fascists” whenever we call out teabagger tactics for exactly what they are: intentional intimidation and a menacing threat towards bloody violence.
And you know what? Your complete illogic and transparently partisan dishonesty on behalf of the tea party can be easily identified, and because of it, you too can be easily dismissed.

Posted by: Adrienne at July 25, 2011 11:41 PM
Comment #326468

Adrienne

We have many meetings among union activists anti-global, anti-war and even “peace” activities that feature real violence. In the case of the tea party, the only acts of violence have been among opponents of the tea party.

You really cannot call someone violent who never commits violence. Tea party rally are among the least violent large gatherings there are. The fact that among the millions who have attended tea party rallies that a handful have come carrying legal weapons, which they have not employed, doesn’t change that.

Your colleagues are more reasonable and have backed down from the bogus comparison. But if you think that peaceful protests against government policy are the same as mass murder, perhaps that explain much about your ideology.

Re packing heat at all the rallies - I attended two tea party rallies, including the big one in Washington attended by many thousands. I saw nobody “packing heat.” The well-publicized cases you are talking about were anomalies. In a very large and not well organized gathering, you can always find some weirdos.

Bottom line is that tea party gatherings have been nearly unique in terms of large protests in that they have been free of violence. The tea party members are well behaved to the point of not even leaving much litter at the sites. There is no comparison of them with the people you are talking about. Only a hater could do this. Examine your motivation and you will come up with the right answer.

Aldous

Once is enough with the comments of Norwegian blogger “fjordman.” I usually don’t apply discipline, but this time I had to zap your excess. I left the one to let the world see your error, but took care of the extras.

Posted by: C&J at July 26, 2011 6:18 AM
Comment #326469

Adrienne

BTW - I didn’t call anybody unintelligent. I just point out the obvious error of the comments and remind the writers about simple facts. I also never called anybody fascist/communist. I simply identify the tactic and by identifying it render it less harmful.

Posted by: C&J at July 26, 2011 6:21 AM
Comment #326479

Aldous

“He’s a loner who had help with at least two organizations.”

Document that. Name the groups and how they helped him. I consider that as just pure crap. Reading something from an organization does not constitute helping someone.

You listed some things from his Manifesto, I guess. Now out of those 1500 pages be honest and list some of those items that were 180 degrees from your listed claims.

See, if you are going to be critical, you must give both sides and weigh them in the balances. You will then find the wanting side of the scales.

Posted by: tom humes at July 26, 2011 9:57 AM
Comment #326483

“I am not talking about tea party rallies nor union protests. You understand that. I am talking about extremist right wing philosophies and organizations that have proliferated over the past three decades.

Rich, it is contantly implied that “teabaggers” and “Rethuglicans” represent extremist views and encourage actual violence. It is done out of fear and for political gain.

If we look at the facts, we see a lone nutjob, not some grand conspiracy led by someone like Bachman.

Posted by: kctim at July 26, 2011 11:52 AM
Comment #326486

Kctim,

I wouldn’t accuse the vast majority of tea party adherents of violent or extremist views. Likewise, I wouldn’t accuse the vast majority of liberals of being communists, socialists or violent extremists.

However, both ideologies are subject to extremist positions. In this instance, the extremist right wing, anti-Muslim perspective drove this man to acts of unimaginable violence. He may be insane as his lawyer contends, but he was acting out an extremist view of the world. In his mind, he is a national hero.


Posted by: Rich at July 26, 2011 12:19 PM
Comment #326489

Rich

You are stating a reasonable position, but one that nobody is against.

Can I sum up?

1. Most people on the right are not violent, nor do they tolerate it.
2. Most people on the left are not violent, nor do they tolerate it.
3. Extremists on the right and extremists on the left are or may be violent. Reasonable people reject those things.

If this is your position, we have no disagreement. Some of your more hateful colleagues were implying or saying outright that this act was somehow related to peaceful dissent by people like the tea party. We both agree that they were misguided.

So we all agree, except for the unhappy few who want to project their hatred onto their legitimate political opponents. I suppose one or another of them will soon pipe up with some kind of list or manifesto.

Posted by: C&J at July 26, 2011 1:19 PM
Comment #326490


Instigators are usually not the actual perpetrators. It wasn’t Bin Laden or Al Zawahiri that were strapping bombs on themselves or flying Jets into World Trade Centers. Old people start wars, young people fight them.

When extremist views begin to permeate a society, those who would perpetrate violence often feel empowered and sometimes are. During the Jim Crow era, members of the Klan were often respected members of the communities, Mayors, Sheriffs, successful businessmen, deacons of churches, etc.

The National Socialist Party of Germany had about 37% of the voters, not enough to gain complete control of the government, but enough to pull off a coup and take complete control of the government.

Jim Crow wasn’t empowered enough to get away with being as reactionary as Adolph, but it was a terrorist organization. A Christian terrorist organization. And yes, it is hard to define Christianity. It covers a wide range from the totally nonviolent to the dying to be violent.

Glen Beck defines Christianity as an anti social justice organization. Many Christians disagree with Beck’s definition, some don’t disagree.

“In his mind, he is a national hero.” There are some who consider him a national hero. There are some Americans who consider him a national hero.

It can’t happen in America, but it has.

Posted by: jlw at July 26, 2011 1:25 PM
Comment #326494

jlw

If you identify those who consider this guy a national hero, I am sure we will all of here condemn that, whether they are leftist or rightists. I have no patience with those who justify terror by saying that “one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter”. But you have made no reasonable connections between the violence in Norway and any of the legitimate dissenters in the U.S.

Reaching back to the era of Jim Crow brings you also to something all of us here reject. There was a time when much of the south was solidly Democratic and strongly Jim Crow. Those times have passed. In fact, they were passed before most of us were born.

I also fail to understand how you can hate Christianity so much and constantly slander it. Human being are violent sometimes. Some have used region as an excuse, but in our lifetimes Christianity has not been used very often as the major excuse and the biggest killers of the 20th century (Mao, Stalin, Hitler and Pol Pot) said that they were atheists (Mao & Stalin), a kind of Aryan pagan and a disciple of Rousseau, respectively.

Posted by: C&J at July 26, 2011 2:06 PM
Comment #326503

Jack
All of your comments (and those of many others who are fond of swinging the tea bag) remind me of that quote from H.L. Mencken:

The men the American people admire most extravagantly are the most daring liars; the men they detest most violently are those who try to tell them the truth.

You are being quite a daring liar if you’re actually trying to claim that there has been no harassment, intimidation or acts of violence against Americans, including Members of Congress, coming from the Tea Party. I mean, if tea baggers are so unfailingly placid then why do they have to worry about their fringe? If they are so perfectly well behaved then why did they need to condemn these things?
I need to give you one more link, so I’ll continue this in a follow up post…

Posted by: Adrienne at July 26, 2011 4:06 PM
Comment #326506

To continue…
Why is the tea party getting funding from truly insane extremist groups like the Oath Keepers and The John Birch Society?

The fact is, the tea party definitely has problems with extremists, but so many of their supporters often don’t like to admit to this.

Posted by: Adrienne at July 26, 2011 4:16 PM
Comment #326508

Jack, have you ever heard any rhetoric at those tea bag rallies you’ve attended that sounded like this?:

“Nothing better than a dead liberal”

I ask because there are many in your number who say things like this daily, unfortunately.
As jlw said:

It can’t happen in America, but it has.

Posted by: Adrienne at July 26, 2011 4:40 PM
Comment #326517

Adrienne

The tea party threatens politicians with losses at the polls. That is what we do in a democracy. As for violence, the tea party has been active since early in 2009. Millions of people identify with the tea party and the rallies have included hundreds of thousands of party activists. In all that time and with all those people, there has been no violence committed by tea party activists.

The only violence at tea party rallies has been by opponents, like those union thugs in Missouri.

If you feel threaten by violence by people who have no history of violence you have problems I cannot address.

Your article is SUPPORTIVE of the tea party. According to your article “The letter calls the tea parties “a peaceful movement” and says its leaders denounce “all forms of violence” and “support all efforts to bring [any perpetrators] to justice and have encouraged full cooperation within our movement and have asked for the same from the members of Congress who have laid such claims.”

This sounds like reasonable people. They oppose all forms of violence and are trying to be sure that others don’t do it. If only leftist groups were that responsible.


Your YouTube was interesting. The guy tried really hard to get responses from these ordinary people. I know that you think he succeeded in making them look stupid or dangerous.

Fortunately, most of us are made of sterner stuff than to be terrorized by a middle aged woman brandishing a Lipton tea bag. Now if she came at you with a bunch of bananas or maybe a grapefruit …

So you think a guy with a gun who actually kills people is the same as a middle aged woman with a bag of Lipton tea who doesn’t even try to hit anybody with it. You know how that might sting, but I don’t think you could actually kill anybody with a loaded tea bag.

I don’t really need to bring up the reasonable distinction thing again, do I? I ask readers just to read that paragraph above out loud three times and tell me if you agree.

If you want to see what real threats look like, take a look at these union thugs. They threaten and as you can see by the tape, they lie. These are the kinds of people who are violent. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPQjnPhIvDo.

Posted by: C&J at July 26, 2011 6:32 PM
Comment #326527

Adrienne

The John Birch Society in your opinion and view is an extremist group. To many other people they are not.

Where is the documentation that they are an extremist group?

What do they advocate that qualifies a label of extremist?

Have you ever attended a John Birch Society meeting?

Have you read any John Birch Society literature?

Enlighten me.

Posted by: tom humes at July 26, 2011 7:35 PM
Comment #326536

Jack, those articles were from Politico — and I chose articles from them specifically because they lean to the right. Those articles are acknowledging the problem posed by nutjobs within the tea party segment. So your denials that this element doesn’t exist are ridiculous.
Ten Democratic Members of Congress experienced death threats or incidents of harassment or vandalism at their district offices after they supported the health care overhaul legislation — even a coffin was placed on a Democratic Congressman’s lawn. The FBI had to be called in when a propane gas line was cut at Democratic Rep. Thomas Perriello’s brother house — whose address was targeted by tea party activists angry at the congressman’s vote for the health care bill.
That’s harrasment, intimidation and violence. Period.

Your YouTube was interesting. The guy tried really hard to get responses from these ordinary people. I know that you think he succeeded in making them look stupid or dangerous.

Fortunately, most of us are made of sterner stuff than to be terrorized by a middle aged woman brandishing a Lipton tea bag. Now if she came at you with a bunch of bananas or maybe a grapefruit …

I could literally give you hundreds of videos disturbingly, disgracefully similar to that one. Women, Men, Old and Young. Tea partiers have got hatred pouring out of their mouths on a daily basis. I chose that particular video for a reason. That woman was standing there with her child when she said that there was nothing better than a dead liberal. That’s how you breed extremism. That’s how you breed hate deeply into American culture.

I notice you didn’t bother to comment on the Oath Keeper militia and John Birch Society funding of the tea party. Maybe it’s because you know they’re extremists and that bothers you, so you’ll ignore it? Or maybe because you know they’re extremists but you simply don’t care.

Posted by: Adrienne at July 26, 2011 8:32 PM
Comment #326537

tom humes, I don’t feed trolls.

Posted by: Adrienne at July 26, 2011 8:35 PM
Comment #326538


C&J, if facts are demeaning then so be it. The fact that many of those good southern conservative Christians associated themselves with the Democrats doesn’t does not deter from the truth. IMO, if you think I am demeaning all Christians by attacking some Christians, you are the one that is wrong headed on this issue.

The holocaust happened long before most of the people in the world were born. Should we just forget about it?

It does not matter if the majority of southern Christians or the majority of the Germans were good people, their inaction and acceptance was the enabling factor. It was good Christians, predominantly black ones that found a voice, and with it the courage to challenge Jim Crow and his KKK allies.

Some of your comments remind me of comments made by the German people when our troops forced them to visit the concentration camps and participate in the burial of the innocent.

Just because some member of the Knights Templar acts on our inflammatory rhetoric doesn’t mean it conveys any guilt on us. Our inflammatory rhetoric is designed to get the crazies to vote for us, not make them react violently. Here is the address, of that socialist liberal Muslim sympathizer.

Posted by: jlw at July 26, 2011 8:37 PM
Comment #326541

Btw Jack,
While I’m speaking of the hatred that is being bred into American culture, take a good look at the first response to your article in this thread. That’s hatred and bigotry right there too — the way this incident was automatically assumed to be Islamic terrorism before anyone knew anything about what had happened. Whether he is clinically insane or not, Breivik had steeped himself for a long time in exactly that brand of ‘tea’ before becoming a mass murderer of liberal youths and various other innocent victims.

Posted by: Adrienne at July 26, 2011 8:54 PM
Comment #326543

jlw,

When a Muslim commits a terrorist act they’re labeled a “Muslim Terrorist” or a “Muslim Jihadist” Why? Well, because they are Muslim, and because they are also terrorists.

So why are Christians so up in arms over the idea that Breivik is a “Christian Terrorist” or a “Christian Jihadist”? After all, he is a self-described Christian who ruthlessly and heartlessly killed a hell of a lot of people. And whether he is personally religious or not, he put a cross on his manifesto, called himself a ‘Knight Templar’ and went on a killing spree in the name of Christianity against Islam.

Yet for some reason bizarre reason people on the political right who just don’t want to allow the term terrorist or jihadist to work both ways. It doesn’t make any sense at all.

Posted by: Adrienne at July 26, 2011 9:09 PM
Comment #326545

Adrienne

Watch your video with the fierce woman brandishing a tea bag. Then watch the one I linked with the union thugs yelling specific threats and actually physically assaulting people and then threatening to come back.

Which do you really think is more dangerous.

Are there bad guys among the millions of people who identify with the tea party. Certainly. Just fewer than among most similar sized groups. If you want to find violence, look to your left.

Re funding the tea party - the tea party is very diverse. It gets funding from many sources and many of the participants are self funded. If we want to play the funding game, follow the Soros money.

jlw

we should no forget the past, but you have to speak about its current relevance. You are attempting to predict future events based on past events that are no longer applicable. The structures that supported those things (one-party Democratic control, isolated communities etc) no longer exist and the issue has not existed for many years.

You are really dealing in tautologies. All human societies have produced violent individuals. If you want to reject all human society and be a misanthrope, that is your business.

But I think it is wrong to blame the current Democratic party for the what some of them did in the south generations ago. It doesn’t make sense to blame current Christians, most of whose ancestors were not even involved, for those things either. It is intellectually defensible in a sophomoric sort of way, but it is sophomoric.

But you display a lack of perspective when you bring up concentration camps. I visited Auschwitz five times. I used to live not too far away and got to visit whenever visitors came to town. It is not comparable to many other things. More than three million people died terrible deaths literally within a short walk from where I stood. You just don’t get that kind of density of death anywhere else.

Somehow I doubt you have ever experienced anything similar and you have never seen violent death close up. I apologize if I am wrong about your experience, but if you have, you should know better.

If you want really bad guys, look to Mao, Stalin, Hitler and Pol Pot. The thing about all of them is that they openly disparaged Christianity, as you do. Now if I employed your sort of logic, I could make a connection. You understand why that is wrong?

Posted by: C&J at July 26, 2011 9:39 PM
Comment #326546

Adrienne

“When a Muslim commits a terrorist act they’re labeled a “Muslim Terrorist” or a “Muslim Jihadist” Why? Well, because they are Muslim, and because they are also terrorists.”

This is incorrect. We go through great effort to avoid this. The label comes from the specific invocation of the religion in the act of terror, but it doesn’t apply to the whole group. After the 9/11 attacks, President Bush went to Mosques and specifically said, over and over, that Islam was a religion of peace and that those responsible for terror attacks were misusing religion. Check the record.

I respect it when Muslims condemn terrorism and say that those evil guys do not act in their name. I respect it even more when they cooperate with authorities to catch the bad guys or prevent terrorist acts. You would paint such good people as terrorists merely because some bad guys claimed to act in their name.

It is always amazing how illiberal liberals can be when their hate is working overtime.

Posted by: C&J at July 26, 2011 9:52 PM
Comment #326547

Adrienne

Call it what you want. I was asking a serious question that I wanted a serious response.

The JBS is not an extremist organization. They are an educational organization. They probably don’t have anything in common with your belief structure, so you call them an extremist group. That is what I have gotten used to hearing from you and it is not surprising that you responded the way you did.

Posted by: tom humes at July 26, 2011 10:06 PM
Comment #326553


This post is not about liberal hate, it is about right wing conservative Christian hate and how far some of them are willing to go.

I have heard conservative Christians say there is no such thing as moderate Muslims. I have heard Christian conservatives say that all Muslims are terrorists because none have spoken out against the extremists. I have heard conservative Christians say that Islam is a cult, that is an enemy of America. I have heard Christian conservatives demanding that Mosques not be built in their communities. I have heard Christian conservatives ranting that Obama is going to enforce Sharia Law on America.

I have heard them say some of these things on WatchBlog.

I have heard conservative Christians say that Blacks would be better off as slaves under their Christian conservative masters than as free men under Obama.

I have heard conservative Christians say that you are not a Christian if you haven’t been reborn.

I have heard conservative Christians say that gay marriage is a violation of the Christian conservatives Constitutional rights. Who is more deserving of Constitutional rights?

The list is long in this fantasy land where Christian conservatives love everyone and hate no one.

Posted by: jlw at July 26, 2011 11:16 PM
Comment #326556

Jack:

Which do you really think is more dangerous.

Definitely the Tea bag right. Because large numbers of them like to carry guns. Bullets tend to be more dangerous and deadly, and by the way, so is the institutionalized hatred and bigotry that tea bag woman was teaching her daughter. Put guns and institutionalized hate together and it is far worse than people yelling and pushing when they’re angry that politicians and wealthy people are taking away people’s jobs, robbing them of the chance to live decent lives, and trying to take away their right to collectively bargain for their wages.

We go through great effort to avoid this.

No, you don’t. The right, especially the tea bag right doesn’t go to any effort to avoid this one bit. A lot of people on the left usually try to avoid doing that though — and then we end up getting verbally abused by absolutely everybody on the right for being “terrorist sympathizers.”

Let’s look at what the right wing tea bagger types were saying immediately after the terrorist attack in Norway occurred, shall we?

Laura Ingraham on Fox:

“In the ‘Back of the Book’ segment tonight, two deadly terror attacks in Norway, in what appears to be the work, once again, of Muslim extremists.”

John Bolton on Fox:

Well, this is a very un-Norwegian act, so the odds of it coming from someone other than a native Norwegian, I think, are extremely high. And it is a classic terrorist effort. And it’s gonna have a dramatic impact on Norway. There have been speculations because the famous Mohammed cartoons were published there, because of this cleric who’s under deportation proceedings. So without anyone taking responsibility for it or any definitive evidence, we can’t say for sure, but it sure looks like Islamic terrorism.
Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal:
At our first deadline reports indicated that the attacks were the work of a jihadist group. Later in the evening evidence emerged that a suspect in the shooting attack on a youth camp was an ethnic Norwegian with no previously known ties to Islamist groups. Coordinated terrorist attacks are an al Qaeda signature. But copycats with different agendas are surely capable of duplicating its methods.

Whatever the case, the attacks demonstrate that Norway is no more immune than any other country to such atrocities, no matter what its foreign or domestic policies may be. If this does prove to be the work of Islamists, it will be noted that neither Norway’s opposition to the war in Iraq nor its considerable financial and political support for the Palestinians spared it from attack.

Bill O’Reilly on Fox:

People are calling Breivik a Christian only to “diminish And marginalize the Christian philosophy.”

Andrew Breitbart’s blog, which is ironically enough called Big Peace, posted this right after the attack:

Norway has a big Muslim problem. Before long we should know if Norway’s problem has just blown up in its face.

Breitbart’s blog, the following day:

This Norwegian terrorist was not a Christian or a conservative. He acted contrary to the teachings of the Bible and conservatives from Burke to Madison. He was instead a jihadist, blinded by an ideology who resorted to violence rather than engaging in a public debate of ideas. He was a coward who planted bombs and killed innocent people. For him, violence was the only answer. He claimed to be fighting jihadists…but he actually became one. He didn’t kill one islamist [sic] terrorist with his actions-only innocent Norwegians. Change the location, and he acted like so many jihadists in the Middle East. He became one of them.

Eric Erickson on Twitter:

“Terrorist bombing in Oslo. I bet you it was not Lutherans who did it.”

After the fact he wrote this on his blog:

First, those of us on the right who point out the now fairly common ties between terrorists and Islam do so largely because the secular left has become willfully naive. The fact of the matter is violence and Islam may not be very common among American muslims [sic], but internationally it is extremely common and can fairly well be considered mainstream within much of Islam. Read Andy McCarthy if you suffer on the delusion that it is not mainstream.

With Christians, it is rather rare to see a self-described Christian engage in heinous terrorist acts. In fact, in as much as there is an Arab Street filled with muslims [sic] more often than not cheering on the latest terrorist act of radical Islamists, you will be very hard pressed to find a Christian who does not condemn the act regardless of the faith of the person doing the killing.

More from Erickson:

Over the next week, assuming the budget fight in Washington doesn’t over shadow it, you can expect lots more gloating that the guy in Norway described himself as a conservative Christian. Never mind that a conservative Christian would not do what the guy did. The left, however, will not be persuaded otherwise. They are of this world and this world is all that matters until the last day.

Now there is some hate is working overtime.

Posted by: Adrienne at July 27, 2011 12:57 AM
Comment #326560

jlw

Actually, this post is about feeling sympathy and solitary with Norwegians. You guys made it about hate. I decided that we should talk about hate in general, if you wanted to talk about hate and that is the way its is going to be.

Liberals and conservatives both have haters in their ranks. We can exchange stories about what we have heard.

You are demonstrating the kind of bigotry you say you see in others. Very often a person’s view of others is a confession of his own character.

Adrienne

What you have shown is people trying to reject violence. You are insisting that the person is them. They are saying that they reject this person. Your hatred doesn’t allow for compromise.

When this incident first happened, we knew nothing much. As I wrote up top, we should not speculate, but journalists and public figures speculate. We saw attacks that looked like this in New York, London, Madrid, Bali … it is not silly to think this might be part of the same.

On the other time, never before has a Norwegian done anything like this. So that is how speculation works.

You feel free to speculate about tea party people, even AFTER you are proven wrong. SO who is the bigger hater?

BTW you quote - “you will be very hard pressed to find a Christian who does not condemn the act regardless of the faith of the person doing the killing.” Have you found anybody who is supporting this? If so, he is a bad guy. But your accusations of others is a very virulent form of hate. You should think it through. Imagine someone on the other side did that to you. Would you call it hate?

All that I can tell you is that after all the new information, my original post is still okay. Your speculations are getting shrill.

I am impressed with your ability to research all this stuff. I have a job that keeps me a little too busy for that. Of course, your links don’t always indicate what you think they do.

Posted by: C&J at July 27, 2011 9:28 AM
Comment #326568

C&J

I was going to respond to the aura of Adrienne and her apparent own form of hate or discomfort or dislike or whatever it is to be called.

You said it about the same way, maybe with different words, but the message being the same.

People who disagree with an opposite view quite often try to paint the person as being wrong and in so doing hate is spilled over and the message becomes a hateful diatribe rather than an opposite view. Those same people try to say tolerance should be used and then they lack tolerance in the writing.

I choose where to be tolerant and where not to be tolerant. There is a time and place for both. When the writing is of such to call names and offer no rebuttal then that lack of tolerance is showing they have nothing to offer other than the hate they so despise.

In the above post by Adrienne she quoted several notable people. She tried to give the impression they were hateful. I did not get the memo on being hateful. When the left says things that are certainly hateful, then we on the right are supposed to believe it or just cave to the speaker and say well it may be okay for the speaker to say that. For the left it is a one sided coin.

I was not offended by the claims that the Norwegian terrorist was called or claimed to be a Christian. I have compassion for those who take that route. As a Christian I must follow the teachings of Jesus. He said, as he was dying on the cross, “Father, forgive them. For they know knot what they do.” I attempt to be forgiving.

Adrienne, I forgive you, for you don’t know what you are doing.

Posted by: tom humes at July 27, 2011 1:04 PM
Comment #326575


C&J, Glen Beck showed his sympathy and solidarity with the Norwegian people by comparing the slain youth to Hitler youth.

To say that people who say these hateful things, or do terrible acts aren’t really Christians may actually be true, but that would mean that it is true about so called Muslims like Bin Laden.

Bin Laden may have claimed to be a conservative Muslim, but he wasn’t. How well do you think that will fly in conservative talk land?

I know many Christians, my family, friends, and others. With nine out of ten of them, I never here the kind of hateful talk than some, ok, supposed conservative Christians engage in.

All three of the related religions are filled with different factions and often those factions don’t always see eye to eye on what God expects of us. Some of those factions are or have the capacity to be very destructive.

Throughout much of human history, terrible things have been done in the name of God.

When it comes to the hard core right wing self-proclaimed Christians, David Koresh is a martyr.

So, you tell me, what is it with the right wing talking heads, many of whom claim to be Christian, and their often hate filled messages? Who is sponsoring the messages? Who is paying for them with their hard earned cash? Who among us believes their message?

What I am saying is that hate messages have an audience and some in the audience are crazy enough to take the message to heart and act on it. IMO, that is in part, a cause of what happened in Norway.

Some people believe the message without any action on their part other than making sure they vote for the right people. Others just change the channel.

Posted by: jlw at July 27, 2011 1:42 PM
Comment #326578


Tom, I think Adrienne should return your complement in kind.

It also says judge not least ye be judged. We are all sinners. Without the intervention of the advocate we all end up in the wrong place. It is left to each individual to choose between his advocate or his adversary.

Perhaps this is the time to be less tolerant of those who preach hate.

Send Glen Beck a check for revealing the truth, or better yet, buy some gold off of him.

Of course, why did I not see that, the attacks on Obama and the liberals aren’t hateful, just the truth.

Posted by: jlw at July 27, 2011 2:20 PM
Comment #326593

jlw

You can say that your definition of a Christian includes the killer. That is your business.

What you cannot do is lump together others who specifically reject this guys actions.

It may seem a subtle point, but it is an important one to avoid guilt by association. If a person who lives in the same city as I do is a killer, it doesn’t make me one.

The Christian religion and the vast majority of Christians completely reject this kind of violence and have said so in no uncertain terms. They are innocent of it. Just because some claims to be part of your group doesn’t mean you have to be responsible for him.

Extreme collectivists, such as communists and Nazis killed millions. That does not mean that everybody who believes in collective action (almost everybody in some cases) is part.

“Perhaps this is the time to be less tolerant of those who preach hate.” We all agree on this. One man’s terrorist is NOT another man’s freedom fighter. But if we define “hate” to include anybody who disagrees with you, it is too big a category. Attacks on Bush were sometimes hateful as are some attacks on Obama, but those are political ideas. Obama has messed up many things, IMO. Some people thought that about Bush too. Are we supposed to not complain? Leftists said Bush went to war for personal profit. There is really no more hateful statement that can be made than that one, yet it was within the political debate.

Let’s keep it to anybody who advocates specific violence.

I think you need to work on your reasonable distinction thinking. Your inability to do that is getting tiresome. I will keep on responding out of sense of duty to other readers - if error is left unchallenged it becomes stronger - but I don’t think we are getting anywhere.

I understand that you have made intelligent responses in the past. But this one is just wrong.

Posted by: C&J at July 27, 2011 5:49 PM
Comment #326617

“Let’s keep it to anybody who advocates specific violence.”

C&J,

Lets not be too naive about this. Those that promote unsubstantiated conspiracy theories, attribute evil motives to those that they oppose, traffic in hate, etc., share some responsibility when a loose canon acts upon their theories. Organizations that tolerate such extremist views share some responsibility for the violence resulting from the toleration of such extremist views within their organization. The tolerance sanctions the views as legitimate. It isn’t sufficient after the fact to say, oh well, I didn’t mean that you should actually kill those who I have argued are your mortal enemy and are plotting to destroy you.


Posted by: Rich at July 27, 2011 10:01 PM
Comment #326618

Rich

We had on the pages of this blog all sorts of weird and hateful conspiracy theories about George Bush and the motives of Republicans. I take particular pride in a series of comments discussing whether I (personally based on my writing) was evil or just stupid.

Howard Dean said, and I quote “I hate Republicans and everything they stand for.” How much worse can you get than that, yet do we blame him if some nut does something stupid? He was DNC chairman at that time. He did not lose his job, so his organization (the Democratic Party)tolerated is extremist views. We called it politics.

You have seen people on this very thread demononize conservatives in ways that could make them seem like a dangerous enemy.

Some of the things they said about Bush could lead a weak minded individual already prone to violence to act out. But I don’t think we can blame liberal commentators for violence perpetrated against American interests during the Bush time.

So I disagree about general criticism and I disagree that people like Howard Dean should be held responsible for violence.

Posted by: C&J at July 27, 2011 10:45 PM
Comment #326629

You know, I could comment here, but why bother when the video on this webpage says it all so much better?

Posted by: Adrienne at July 28, 2011 2:37 PM
Comment #326632

Adrienne,

Seems to me that there are an awful lot of victims out there, especially amongst the right wing commentators.


Jack,

“I hate Republicans and everything they stand for.” How much worse can you get than that, yet do we blame him if some nut does something stupid?”

Do you really believe Howard Dean truly hates Republicans, or could these statements be dismissed as hyperbole, or political theater?

But let me get back to the “Christian” thing for just a moment.
There are a majority of people in this country that identify themselves as Christians, however, there is a minority, with some of that minority posting on this site, that have set themselves up as the arbiter of just who is, and who is not a “true” Christian. These people are the folks that bitch the loudest about being victims, and about taking the brunt of the persecution from the “Christian haters”, yet are also the first to judge whether someone is a Muslim terrorist.

This is only my opinion, but in reading some of the other opinions posted here, it seems to me that it makes some sense.
Perhaps we all need to cut each other a little bit of slack.

tom humes,

Wow, John Bitch Society huh, that explains a lot.

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at July 28, 2011 3:43 PM
Comment #326635


C&J, did you read my comment about 9 out of 10 Christians?

It is easy to condemn the individual evil dooer and proclaim him an island unto himself, but one evil sayer can become the leader of a vast army of goose stepping evil doers (fighting against the evil that was unjustly persecuting them) in a very short period of time when the conditions are right, when there is and enemy to destroy, when there is honor to be preserved.

Did evil get it’s hooks into Christianity when the Roman Empire became the Holy Roman Empire?

There are some who believed that God knew that his attempt to reclaim mankind, in the 1st century C.E., would end in failure. That the mission of Jesus would end in rejection and failure. That God’s defeat and exile would come at the hands of the Roman X Fretensis in 73 C.E. It is said that there is yet another battle to come.

As a result, a vail has been cast over the eyes of mankind and since then great deeds of evil have been perpetrated in the name of Christianity, Jesus, and God. The evil one is not particular, he will use any and all human organization, Christianity, Islam, the occult, socialism, communism, capitalism, secularism, in the name of good, etc.

With Iraq, we see ourselves as the good and them as the bad so let the bombs rain down, let the destruction begin. Then we will incorporate them into the good.

Today, we see Christianity in it’s present form, a religion that has been incorporated into secularism.

God’s creation, the universe, is a tiny archipelago of light, where life can exist, surrounded by an infinitly vast ocean of dark, devoid of life.

If a long haired hippie looking type knocked on your front door and told you to give away all your worldly possessions and follow him, become one of his deciples, what would you do?

Would a couple of miracles, performed on your front lawn, make a difference?

Is that asking to much? Is it unacceptable? Would a few coins in the beggers bowl be more appropriate?

Posted by: jlw at July 28, 2011 4:43 PM
Comment #326638

Rocky Marks

“Wow, John Bitch Society huh, that explains a lot.”

Tell me more. Is that hatred, comedy, or what?

What do you really know about the JBS?

I don’t mean some drivel from a writer trying to get his byline in front of his own nose and ego.

What do you really know?

Posted by: tom humes at July 28, 2011 5:20 PM
Comment #326640

tom humes,

“Tell me more. Is that hatred, comedy, or what?”

What, another “you show me yours, I’ll show you mine” gambit? I don’t think so.

Define hatred.

“What do you really know about the JBS?”

I grew up in Southern California in the late ’50s and early ’60s. JBS was all over Riverside and Orange counties.

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at July 28, 2011 5:41 PM
Comment #326654

Rocky Marks

So it was all over Riverside and Orange counties. Is that all you know? Do you know what their mission is? Do you know what their values are? Do you know what they support?

Posted by: tom humes at July 28, 2011 9:12 PM
Comment #326658

tom humes,

“Do you know what they support?”

I know what they didn’t support in the ’50s.

I know that they thought that water fluoridation was a communist plot.

I know that Robert Welch thought that President Eisenhower was “either a stooge, or a direct communist plant” (from Welch’s book “The Politician).

I know that Welch thought that communism was merely a lead up to the take over by the “Illuminati”.

I was young then but I wasn’t deaf or blind.

My stepfather was a staunch anti-communist.

Oh, and BTW, I do know for a fact that any group that paranoid is far crazier than anything I ever wanted to be involved with.

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at July 28, 2011 10:28 PM
Comment #326660

jlw

Point of history. The Roman Empire never became the Holy Roman Empire. Those are two separate entities. As Voltaire famously said, it was neither holy, nor Roman nor an empire.

Re Christianity - I just don’t understand the hatred. Christianity is the worlds largest religion. It has billions of adherents worldwide. Of course, some are going to be bad. The killer in Norway did not claim Christianity itself as his main motivation and most of the people he killed were at least nominally Christian. I repeat that the biggest killers of all time,Mao Stalin, Hitler and Pol Pot, rejected Christianity and in the case of Mao, Stalin and Pol Pot proclaimed themselves atheists heading atheist states.

You have a real problem with making reasonable distinctions.

I also fail to understand why so many liberals need to feel self-righteous. Is it because you actually feel that you are not on the right path?

Rocky

I think Dean may actually hate Republicans. I met him twice in New Hampshire. He is a nasty little guy. But whether or not he does, he said it. And we are talking about statements. Adrienne manages to twist any statement anybody she can characterize as conservative. We have actual statements by official leaders of the Democratic party.

Re communists and hatred - I hate the ideology of communism, as in Marxism, which I think is evil and stupid as a whole. But I don’t hate most individual communists, nor do I think most of them are bad people (although they are wrong). And some parts of communism are good and even Marx had a couple of good ideas. Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

I don’t understand why so many of our colleagues who write here have such a visceral hatred of Christians. If I write anything about any religion or action, I can be sure the Christian bashers will appear within a few minutes.

Posted by: C&J at July 29, 2011 6:26 AM
Comment #326665

Jack,

“I don’t understand why so many of our colleagues who write here have such a visceral hatred of Christians. If I write anything about any religion or action, I can be sure the Christian bashers will appear within a few minutes.”

Personally I don’t hate anybody, especially any adherent of any religion. I think it is a tremndous waste of time and energy. However I do have a problem with ideologues, and the hypocrisy they knowingly spread.

I will assume that you have watched the Stewart video that Adrienne provided. It appears that hate knows no boundaries, and the victim-hood claimed by those commentators in the video is dwarfed by the hypocrisy they get paid to spread daily.

re: Christians;
Anders Behring Breivi claims to be a Christian, though his actions were hardly “Christlike”, and Christian leaders world wide are falling all over each other to distance themselves from this guy.
However, even here on these pages we see daily criticism of people that aren’t Christian enough. The hatred you don’t understand runs both ways here, and very often it is practiced most by those that are screaming the loudest about the “Christian haters”. Perhaps they are merely reaping what they sow, so to speak.

I have read some of Breivi’s screed about his issues with multiculturalism, and curiously it doesn’t seem to be about Norway in particular, but about European multiculturalism in general.
Clearly this guy is nuts, but somebody taught this guy to hate, and unfortunately that means that he is not alone in his quest for cultural, and racial purity.

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at July 29, 2011 9:31 AM
Comment #326671

Rocky Marks

Thank you for the answers to my questions. Values play a part in how we feel about sometings. Your answers are correct. Some people feel the JBS is alright and some don’t. You apparently don’t and that is your right.

Second item. You mentioned Christians bashing others on WB. I have been very careful not to do that and I feel I have succeeded. I am a Christian and could have easily gone that route. I don’t think it would be responsible for me to bash others. Question: In your analysis have I lived up to what I just said. Do you see a hole in my dike. You have been honest with me in the past and I expect that to continue.

Posted by: tom humes at July 29, 2011 12:37 PM
Comment #326678

Hi Rocky!

I will assume that you have watched the Stewart video that Adrienne provided. It appears that hate knows no boundaries, and the victim-hood claimed by those commentators in the video is dwarfed by the hypocrisy they get paid to spread daily.

I never expected Jack to respond to that video. I mean, he really can’t respond to that mountain of hypocrisy, you know? Because then he might have to admit I have a valid point.

“I do know for a fact that any group that paranoid is far crazier than anything I ever wanted to be involved with.”

Indeed. The John Birchers are as lunatic as they ever were — but with the tea party, they’re ba-aaak! The reason they are has a lot to do with Glenn Beck.

Everything old (and crazy) is new again (and still crazy)

Posted by: Adrienne at July 29, 2011 2:51 PM
Comment #326679

Latest development:

Norway Killer Bought Ammunition Clips From U.S.

Posted by: Adrienne at July 29, 2011 2:55 PM
Comment #326685


They’re ba-aak! That is so appropriate, a return to the fifties. Back then, they didn’t hate individuals who claimed to be Communists or whoever might be keeping company with communists, but they hunted them down like WITCHES before they could cast a spell on us all. They were champions of freedom, free speech, and the Constitution, except for the free speech they did not like and the rights they disagreed with. They were big on CENSORSHIP back then. And of course, the churches took a completely neutral stance from their pulpits.

C&J, is it your contention that anyone who commits acts of violence or uses free speech to encourage acts of violence in the name of Christ or on behalf of Christianity are not really Christians. Or, is it that the atrocities committed in the name of Christ were minor compared to some of the really bad people.

Jews, Pagans, witches, indigenous peoples around the globe, mayhem, persecution, murder, the destruction of knowledge, and there was no Christian involvement in any of that.

Pat Robertson publicly calls on the U.S. government to assassinate a foreign leader.

David Koresh, a self-proclaimed return of the Christ with his 10 year old wives and his little band of branch davidians, stockpiling weapons with plans to kick start armageddon. If left unchecked, they may have created a situation that could make Norway seem trivial to Americans.

To say they weren’t Christians is a total cop out.

Christianity is the largest religion in the world? According to many conservative Christians, only about 10 percent of the Christians are truly Christians. Can you guess which ten percent are the true Christians?

I am not anti-Christian, but I am definitely anti-Christian denial and anti-conservative Christian B.S. They aren’t interested in helping to create a better human society, they have the rapture.

It wasn’t the poor and the weak, it was the wealthy and powerful ones that did the act. And, they would do it again if they considered it a necessity to do so. If they get the opportunity the second time around.

Posted by: jlw at July 29, 2011 4:29 PM
Comment #326699

Adrienne

“The John Birchers are as lunatic as they ever were…”

I disagree with you on the lunatic label.
How in your thinking are they lunatic? I am asking that with total honesty to how you think, and not with labels.
I want to understand someone who disagrees with me so strongly. I am going to some lengths to explain myself because before when I asked a serious question you pulled out that old troll thing. That is not what I am pursuing. I love to listen to someone when they vehemently disagree with me to see why they feel and think the way they do. When I was in my 20’s and early 30’s I was right all the time and everybody was wrong. I had the answers because I studied the topic. Later in my thirties I had this revelation that I should listen and even if I disagree with the talker 99%, they may say one word or phrase that would cause me to re-examine my own way of thinking. I grew with that and became better at it. In a few days I will turn 70. I am at peace with myself on how I approach my dealing with every body I have contact with. Sometime I am ascerbic, sometimes I am serious and sometimes I try to throw a little levity into the conversation.

So please understand my position in pursuing this topic.

Last point. Before the JBS was founded I held many of the beliefs that they have put forth. So the JBS has bought into me and not me into them.

Posted by: tom humes at July 29, 2011 6:54 PM
Comment #326735

Re Christianity (and any other religion/ideology)

We have to look to both what people say they want to do and what they actually do. And we also need to ascertain if their is a causal relationship between some of their actions and beliefs.

For those unfamiliar with the Gospel, it preaches mostly love and forgiveness. IMO, it is difficult to fashion most of those words into hate. The Old Testament is full of violence and revenge. There has long been a debate among theologians about how to reconcile these two things. Some deny there is a conflict. Others say that the teachings of Jesus supersedes the older writings. I am not qualified as a theologian. I believe that if you lived life as “an imitation of Christ” you would almost have to be a generous and loving person. If you chose to copy the ideas of Leviticus, maybe not so much.

Christianity has produced lots of good. Most of our hospitals, universities and charity organizations are built around models developed in direct response to Christian ideals.

Christianity can be, with some difficulty, fashioned into a justification for violence.

In any case, it clearly is not the major cause of violence. There was plenty of violence before Christ and as a student of ancient history, who read the sources in Greek and Latin, I can say with conviction that these guys were more unabashedly violent than we are. Read in the Iliad how warriors gloried in killing, burning and enslaving. Or take a fast look at Thucydides. We also know that atheism can be horribly violent. Mao and Stalin were atheists and given their level of industrial killing, we can see that one does not need to believe in a god-based religion to be a ruthless killer.

The difference that Christianity and Islam brought - for all their faults - is the idea the all humans can belong to the same God. The other world religion that produced this was/is Buddhism, which is also clearly a region of peace. But we notice that it also did not stop the imperial Japanese or Chinese from committing horrible atrocities. Warriors in particular have always appreciated Zen. I am not saying it is a causal relationship, but it clearly does not have the power to stop violence. You could argue that it was not widespread enough or accepted by enough people in its true form, but that is the same argument you can make for Christianity. Pagan religions do not have this, since by definition they include multiple and often antagonistic gods. If you really read and understand pre-Christian religions, you will understand how that works in all its violent splendor. IMO, the main reason ancient pagans get so much modern respect is because there is not much of a historical record. This allows modern adherents to fill in the lacuna with modern PC ideas that never occurred to their blood dripping antecedents.

As a modern American, I reject the idea of guilt by association. I am not responsible for things I did not do. It is possible for killers to use a mix of various ideologies to justify their action. People who hold some of those similar beliefs are not responsible. It is the deadly combination.

Consider a simple physical analogy. Food we eat or medicines we take often contain a mix that includes things that in other combinations or in higher doses would be deadly. But I would not blame my spaghetti dinner if I learned that some of the same ingredients had been used to create a poison.

In the end, we are responsible for things we do, things we allow to happen by negligence and for the results of our innocent actions. Of course, there is a different level for each and the boundaries are unclear. All good things can and usually do produce some bad results and most bad things produce some good ones. Beyond that, most characteristics can be employed in the service of both good and evil. Think of virtues such as courage, persistence, compassion or tolerance and imagine their use by or in evil ways.

What I object to here is the childish idea that if we can identify a bad guy in the other group, we get to reject the whole group. On these blog pages, I have defended peaceful Muslims. All I ask is that they reject violence. I have defended liberals against being called communists. All they need do is reject Marxism.

Clearly almost ALL Christians reject the kind of violence in Norway. That is why the charge is so hurtful. If they did not consider this so odious, it would not be opposed. This approaches a tautology.

Take an opposite case. If you “accuse” me of being a free market person and encouraging others to do the same, I just say “thank you.”

The supreme irony in this thread is that those attacking Christians are usually using Christian morality. For the pre-Christian ancient Greeks, being rich and being happy and good were all the same thing. The poor and the weak were considered as objects to be abused and enslaved. It was a point of pride to be called a sacker of cities, which meant what we would call murder, torture, rape and slavery. And the Greeks were more philosophical than most others. The cruelty of some others bothered even them. Christians might share these attitudes, but at least they are supposed to feel guilty.

I would also like to return to my original motive in writing this post. I was trying to show my support, sympathy and solidarity with the people of Norway. I lived there and actually participated in some of those youth camps, so I felt especially involved. I regret that we quickly lost sight of that and moved to our own personal attacks. We (and I mean some of you) made object of the Norwegian victims. They became mere placeholders, pawns in an American based hatred-blame game. Looking back, I am ashamed that I let myself be drawn in and those who initially brought it up should feel even more shame.

We really should make an end of it here and save our vitriol for a more appropriate post.

Posted by: C&J at July 30, 2011 4:30 PM
Comment #326742


None of us like to be labeled guilty by association. I don’t like being called a socialist, a comrade of Stalin and Castro. It is a constant theme of the right.

Talking heads, people who are heard by the many, are another matter. Some of them have become rather good at insinuating violence without actually calling for violence, giving themselves an escape clause. That is what my objections are about.

My argument is not about declaring guilt by association for the vast majority of Christians for what happened in Norway or for any of the past digressions of Christianity. My objections are aimed at the few rather than the many; if some choose to think otherwise, that is their right.

Glen Beck associated those kids with Hitler youth. What is he insinuating? Few people listen to Beck, about 1% of the population, but of those that do, many consider his pronouncements truth.

Posted by: jlw at July 30, 2011 6:56 PM
Comment #326744

jlw

Beck’s statement was ignorant. All Norwegian parties have this sort of thing. I attended many of them. It is like the Boy Scouts and anybody comparing these sorts of organizations to Hitler Youth is just wrong.


But our debate here has degenerated to trading stupid comments. I got to quote then DNC chairman Howard Dean, with one of the dumbest hate comments. You get to quote Glenn Beck. It proves … what? That people say dumb things and the more they talk the more likely they are to say something that is dumb or can be interpreted as dumb.

Neither of these things implied the violence was okay.

We cannot imply that dislike or even hate is the same as violence. I used to tell people in Iraq that there were some people there who hated us but didn’t try to kill us and there were some people who tried to kill us who didn’t hate us. I preferred being hated to being shot at.

My mother’s family was German-American. During WWII, several of my uncles fought and killed Germans and used their knowledge of German habits to do a better job. They didn’t hate Germans. In fact, they loved most things about them. Violence doesn’t require hate and hate doesn’t always or even most of the time lead to violence.

We also need to be careful about our definition of hate. Policy differences don’t imply hate. Neither does the desire not to associate. In our PC environment, we like to equate the two.

Re aiming at the few - that makes sense, but it is hardly worth saying. Most of the victims of the crime in Norway were almost certainly at least nominal Christians. The shooter didn’t seem to have a problem with their faith.

So we are back to the start. Everybody who has written here has opposed the violence. Almost everybody in the world has opposed it and I didn’t see any reports of serious people trying to justify it (as shamefully we saw a few times after 9/11).

So should we simply agree that violence like this is wrong and that almost everybody agrees?

Posted by: C&J at July 30, 2011 8:21 PM
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