Wednesday, July 27, 2011

An American Apology to Norway . . . sorry about that.

I would like to address this post to all Norwegians and the supporters of Norway. I only speak for myself and do this in the humility of a single person addressing a great nation, something that the WWW both fortunately and unfortunately provides.

Let me first say that I wish to convey my own condolences to all the families of the victims of this possibly avoidable massacre. What happened is difficult to understand, but perhaps Americans can say something at this point and perhaps create the potential for a real turnaround in world politics. Something that would give these tragically fallen and brutally removed from their families young people, these sons and daughters who were so greatly loved by their families . . . Perhaps the very spirit which brought them all together may carry on.

That spoken from a US small-town Southern conservative. I could tell ya'll how much I admire your country if only for the way you've dealt with your own mineral wealth . . . that would be enough without getting into anything else.

Instead I wish to tell a family story . . . Upon hearing the news of the terrorism in Norway, I had that old memory of having cookies and milk in Grandma Back's house. She was Norwegian, ya know and of the kindliest manner. Her smile and the way she used to extend words . . . was it an accent ya think?

She was the mother of the man who had married my mother's closest sister, my favorite uncle who had come back from WWII a war hero (had won a Silver Star). I would always sit in the same chair, as would she in hers, and the cookies were also always the same, and I liked that. There was a window overlooking the garden and I could see my uncle and aunt's house from it. Grandma Back would always smile at me and ask me basic questions. How was my week, what had I done, and such that a grandparent asks her child. Only later did I realize how she had lived through great tragedy, that noble woman, losing a husband, a son, and a grandson under terrible circumstances. Still, as a child I remember those Sunday mornings, with the milk and cookies. Above us hung the picture of another son, her youngest - the son who had fallen with the 101st at Normandy on June 6, 1944.

Then we would all go to Mass.

I guess the simple fact is that the recent act of terrorism in your country, Norway, touched upon a tragedy in my family, that I had forgotten, but had in fact "witnessed" at 18 months . . . that is I was actually there as a baby in all the chaos, and heard countless stories about afterwards over the years as I grew up, about a semi-truck hitting a tractor with two people on it as the truck left the highway, the driver having fallen asleep at the wheel . . . a senseless tragedy that left an indelible mark on my family.

You see, they were all there, they all got to see and witness the whole thing. My grandmother was never the same after that, and my mother, the medical professional who was first on the scene? My father too, although he had not been there, would comment on it.

My cousin as well, who I was also the closest to of any of my cousins . . . her brother, dead, along with our uncle, the favorite brother of both our mothers. So in effect Mrs Back's sister-in-law, my grandmother, had lost the son this time round. While they had both lost a grandson.

That was July, 1958.

So . . .

Long live Norway!

Why do I say that? Because you are a great country and people. That, and I think Norway has a lot to teach the US of A right at particularly this point in time.

As in for instance: Maybe how to deal with tragedy, how to accept loss, that is if you ever can, how to rid yourself of self-serving egoistical delusions which only allow you to avoid the really tough questions . . . you Norwegians are good at that as I've seen so maybe it comes with the territory. We miss that particular ability awfully. At the same time you Norwegians have a bit sentimental . . . to balance ya'lls rationality.

The dialog would be good for both peoples since I think we in fact as a nation owe ya'll and Norway an apology . . . Ya see I think the nut who gunned down all those kids was probably influenced to a large degree by right-wing US bloggers and political commentators acting as propagandists for a specific US policy . . . These people are intentionally and "professionally" selling a war, actually the current central US foreign policy if ya'll haven't noticed. People in the US simply accept this as fact. The notion of a global Islamic threat to the West is the sole rationale for the continuing Global War on Terror. Rumsfeld was talking about it in 2005 and the US government hasn't really stopped talking about it since.

In what passes for US politics today, the official foreign policy of the US - The Global War on Terror - precedes all else, it is after all a "war" what is by definition the single reason for the state itself (at least in right-wing US eyes). You are probably starting to see how this merges with the current budget highjinx in Washington. "Not to be taken seriously" or so the common wisdom goes, but at the same time misses the point as perhaps intended.

The truth as I see it is, that we have developed a Global War on Terror "industry" which would include "marketing". The terrorist Breivik (ABB) seems to have been critically influenced by this propaganda and into believing this war to have had something real behind it, where the US was actually the defensive side. That is there existing an actual global threat to the US and its allies and thus justifying their continuing operations in primarily but limited to the Middle East, East Africa and South Asia.

ABB is simply an unsuspecting stooge who fell for a propaganda theme. Grand politics in effect recruits such stooges, Lenin referred to them as "useful idiots".

Personally I see no global jihadist threat, no looming or existing Eurabia, no coming Muslim takeover, absolutely no real rationale for a Global War on Terror, rather political capitalism run amok operating in an atmosphere of the same right wing Nihilism I have spoken of before (my conclusions). Over the last ten years large numbers of non-combatants have been needlessly killed in America's wars, including hundreds of children. Yet the wars go on.

It's time for a change.

For far too long the world has been ruled by this notion of a Global War on Terror, but that can now be shown to have been dubious.

People of Norway, even in this time of great sorrow, I think that America could use some advice . . .


Abraham Foxman wrote an opinion piece in the Washington Post which addresses the issue to some degree, but fails to link the problem to the current GWOT, still worth a read. Some interesting points:

Left-wing “multiculturalist” sentiments tear down traditional European culture, they argue, allowing Muslim immigrants to replace it with “their own” culture and values. The result, they claim, will be the demographic, cultural and, eventually, political suicide of the West — unless action is taken to stop it.

These ideas are no longer geographically isolated. The Oslo perpetrator in his manifesto quoted extensively from the writings of European and American bloggers — including Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller — who promote a conspiratorial anti-Muslim agenda under the pretext of fighting radical Islam. Because of the reach of the Internet, these ideas float freely across borders and are reinforced by like-minded bigots.

This belief system goes far beyond anti-Islamic prejudice based on simple religious or racial grounds. In a sense, it parallels the creation of an ideological — and far more deadly — form of anti-Semitism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries on the backs of the previously dominant cultural and religious forms of anti-Semitism.

The presence of this new ideological form of anti-Islamism is clear in the Norway attacks. The perpetrator, though motivated by anti-Islamic sentiments, did not attack or kill Muslims. Rather, he reserved his extreme actions for those “traitors” whom he believed to be collaborating with and allowing Muslims to take over Norway (and Europe). He chose targets related to the Labour Party, the alleged “multi-cultural Marxists” who dominated his thoughts.

Breivik’s acts are so far the only major incidents like this. Perhaps they will remain unique. His thinking, however, is certainly not. Thanks to his carefully sourced manifesto, we can identify many of his intellectual influences, and they are prominent on both sides of the Atlantic. And many people hold views similar to Breivik’s. In the United States, we have seen frequent manifestations of this ideology, including the eager promotion by anti-Islamic zealots of a growing conspiracy theory about “creeping Sharia law.”

One bizarre twist to Breivik’s warped worldview was his pro-Zionism — his strongly expressed support for the state of Israel. It is a reminder that we must always be wary of those whose love for the Jewish people is born out of hatred of Muslims or Arabs . . . In America, the polarization, vitriol and fear engendered by anti-Islamic activists must be replaced by reasoned and civil debate. We must rally the voices of reason to overcome the voices of intolerance before it is too late.

(My emphasis). The comments from the Nihilists are at the same time soooo predictable.

2nd Update (10 August) Interesting post from one of Glenn Greenwald's guest bloggers . . .

Here are a few choice quotes regarding the Oslo attack:

* "I shed no tears for these HAMASnik campers with a Scandinavian dialect. Perpetrators are not victims. Sorry. HAMAS collaborators don’t get my pity. They never will."

* "Karma is a bitch . . . especially for Jew-haters who were Fatah’s bitch. You hang out with snakes, you get bitten."
* "Victims” or Perpetrators?" -- Debbie Schlussel, 7/28/11
* "There was a shooting at a political camp, which sounds a little like the Hitler youth.." -- Glenn Beck, 7/25/11
* "The more that is revealed about that youth indoctrination center, the more grotesque the whole story becomes"
* "The jihad-loving media never told us what antisemitic war games they were playing on that island. Utoya Island is a Communist/Socialist campground, and they clearly had a pro-Islamic agenda." -- Pamela Geller, 7/31/11
* "The youth camp he attacked was engaged in what was essentially a pro-terrorist program." -- Barry Rubin, 7/31/2011

Try to imagine what the reaction to comments such as these would be in the wake of an attack by Islamic extremists. Aside from the vile slander against the victims of a horrifying crime, these words are a clear attempt to justify and legitimize the actions of Breivik.

Just another example, if we needed one, of the terminal sickness of the Radical and Nihilist Right in the US.


  1. Why would the Ew Ess of Ay want to hear from some lutefisk-gobblers who probably drive electric cars or somethin'?

    Nope. We've got ourselves in a headlock and are forcing the muzzle ever closer to our own ear. The next sound you hear will be the gas escaping from the national brain housing group.

    Greenwald has some good observations on this:

    It'd be laughable, if it wasn't so damn sad.

  2. I had the pleasure of knowing Norwegian families in the area where my maternal GrandFather farmed in NE Kansas. Tollefson is one name I recall in particular. There were more, and they were good neighbors, very willing to lend a helping hand if a neighboring farmer needed it.

    It is really tragic that our media propagandists' voices reach across our borders to poison the airwaves of other countries.

    We have a seeming fetish about Free Speech here, as if we do not believe that words can harm and can kill.

    IMHO Free Speech is over-rated.

    If our laws now say Corporations are persons endowed with the full rights of Free Speech and Money is Speech, then certainly it is no stretch to believe that words can poison and kill.

    And that we have assassins and murderers among us.


  3. BB,

    We have a seeming fetish about Free Speech here, as if we do not believe that words can harm and can kill.

    IMHO Free Speech is over-rated.

    Could not disagree with you more strongly here. Words, in fact, can't harm and kill. Words may stir humanity's passions into killing, but so can many other.

    IMHO free speech is too important a foundation of our democracy to mess with or try to limit. Who decides what speech is acceptable and what is not? Limiting free speech doesn't sound too bad until one considers the logical consequences of that question.

  4. With Andy on this, basil. Free speech wasn't the problem here; rather, it was a LACK of speech, or effective speech, in opposing the toxic spew of the CoulterBeckMalkinLimbaughGellarites.

    The Right has effectively ceded the public forum to the looniest of their toons, and people like this guy only hear (from outlets they "trust", that is) the sort of moronic bilge that people like Pam "Atlas Juggs" Gellar pour into his ears. IMO the solution is not to choke her off, satisfying as the act itself might be, but to get some sane conservative out there to refute her lies and expose the rest of her stuff as the nonsense it is...

  5. Chief,
    Let's be fair and balanced here- the left is not exactly any better.
    Neither are willing to move to middle ground.
    Middle ground is the basis of any functioning representative gov't.

  6. Isn't it about time we moved away from the false measures of political rhetoric labelled 'left' and 'right'? 'Radical' or 'conservative' would be more useful, as both can encompass - and isolate - so-called left and right wing posturing. Perhaps we need to have third element included - 'lunatic' would be useful word.

  7. jim; No, there is no "balance" here. The Right is indescribably worse. Criminally worse. Lunatic worse.

    There is no leftie equivalent to Limbaugh. None to Coulter, none to Beck, none to Savage, none to Malkin.

    Here, I'll give you an example. Coulter said in her spew on the 27th that the liberal media is slurring Bervik and letting the Islamofascists off easy (as always...): "Despite reports that Hasan shouted 'Allahu Akbar!' as he gunned down his fellow soldiers at a military medical facility in 2009, only one of seven [New York] Times articles on Hasan so much as mentioned that he was a Muslim. Of course, that story ran one year after Hasan's arrest."

    Did they?

    There was the November 6, 2009 article that says, flat out, that Hasan was Muslim, as in he wondered "if he could get out of the Army before his contract was up, because of the harassment he had received as a Muslim." The article also mentions the mosque he attended. There was the November 9, 2009 article that ties Hasan to Islamic extremism. That'd be four days after the attack, not a year. There was a January 16, 2010 article by Elizabeth Bumiller which repeatedly references Hasan's religious views (by name) as the reason he went off the deep end. That'd be about three months after the attacks, not a year.

    In other words, Ann Coulter wrote a complete and utter lie, but it is that lie that is the foundation of her entire column.

    And I can go out there right now, this very minute, and find the person I know will agree with everything Coulter says. I know dittoheads. I know people who think that the sun shines out of Michael Savage's ass. Look at the damn Teatards; practically their entire agenda is laid out in the books and radio shouting of the movement conservative Right. tell me; where are these liberal killbots gunning down Young Republicans because of the words of Michael Moore? Where are the Colbert dittoheads? Where are the liberals driving this country off the fiscal cliff because of their slavish obedience to the NAACP, MoveOn, and Code Pink?

    Nope. I'll be the first ones to admit that there a huge parts of the present "liberal" agenda that are fucked up. Mostly because they aren't realistic about how rapacious the Masters of the Universe are at returning us to the Gilded Age. They have allowed the "middle ground" to have moved to a place that we haven't been since 1932.

    But there's a reason for that, and the reason is that when the Left tries to lie, the Right bodyslams them and the media reports the slam. That's why so many people think Al Gore said he invented the internet.

    But when the Right lies - like Coulter, like the unkillable lie about how "50% of Americans pay no taxes" - it flies, and every time that happens we fly a little bit further right.

    This ain't the John Birchers versus the IWW here. This is the Birchers versus Ike...and somehow the Birchers have been successful portraying Ike as Joe Stalin. It's ridiculous, but it's driving us right into the ground...

  8. "ABB is simply an unsuspecting stooge who fell for a propaganda theme. Grand politics in effect recruits such stooges, Lenin referred to them as "useful idiots"."

    Seydlitz, you make it seem as if this guy fell for a get-rich-quick land scheme or something being peddled by a slick salesman who must therefore share the blame. Nope. The blame lies solely with this stone killer, not with anyone else.

    Frankly, this apology strikes me as being pretty jingoistic, i.e., only something from an American source is meaningful. Paternalistic, too. As with many European nations, Norway's got its own tradition of right-wing thought and one doubts this fruitcake needed any inspiration from across the Atlantic. Or is it your position that this wouldn't have happened absent Beck, et al?

    Sorry, Seydlitz, I feel great sorrow for what our friends in Norway are going through, but inasmuch as I'm not in the habit of apologizing for an entire nation, I'll not do so now. You might also consider that just because many Americans have proven to be dumb shits, others don't have to follow suit.

    T. Jefferson: "If asked to choose between government without free speech or free speech without government, I would choose the latter."

    Free speech can NEVER be overrated. It is the very foundation of all liberty.

    Cast your net elsewhere, gentlemen.

  9. Let me refine this a bit gentlemen-

    What I especially wish to bring across is the current reality of our policy having developed a bureaucracy of its own . . . the Global War on Terror bureaucracy, and as Weberian theory tells us bureaucracies inevitably develop a social structure and "interests" of their own. Right now in the US there are a lot of decent people making good bucks off the GWOT. Who on the candy end of that stick would want to see it go away?

    Politically this has also become a test of faith for the nihilist right, so we have now some serious political problems at home. Failure to deal with this propaganda meme will have long-lasting implications.

    The probability of an actual start of a war between civilizations was at one point almost non-existent but through perhaps simple but irrational will, and much more violent action, we seem to be approaching that point, from a theoretical perspective.

    The problem of course is the other end of that candied stick and all the soap that goes to "sell" the GWOT to the world let us remember, and consequently the destructive and inhuman results, which if we are to be honest and decent men and women we should try to end,imo.

    Freedom of speech? That would be freedom for everyone, every citizen at the least. . . What exactly was the point - the action or what was said by al Awlaki where he lost all rights of citizenship without trial and could be legally and patriotically killed on sight? I would like to know.

  10. Publius-

    "Frankly, this apology strikes me as being pretty jingoistic . . ."

    I thought about my response for some time, this is quite different than what I'd originally intended to post. I have not labeled it as a polemic, and if you don't want to believe my story, that's up to you.

    The people in my family I mentioned all existed, but besides my cousin and myself all are now dead. I wished to share a very personal memory which had been triggered by this incident. My reaction to it was similar to my reaction to 9/11 and I think that due to the earlier - however repressed - memory.

    One could call that a lot of things, but I wouldn't call it "jingoistic".

  11. Seydlitz, I was not referring to your heartfelt and compelling story. It was quite effective and it moved me deeply. You deserve high praise for posting it.

    What I was referring to was your apology on behalf of the United States. Jingoistic in that only what happens in America matters, only that which happens in America moves people in other parts of the world. Maybe a little arrogant, too, in thinking that we matter all that much.

    Sorry, I don't think anything any right-wing crazy in this country did or said moved this Norwegian lunatic. I think what got him going was his own festering resentment of his own government's policies. Policies of which I approve, BTW, inasmuch as I consider them enlightened, humanistic and proper. One day this fellow had had enough and he just snapped. Just as Timothy McVeigh had had enough and snapped.

    The only apology required is from the shooter.

  12. Publius-

    Thanks for the kind words.

    "Jingoistic in that only what happens in America matters, only that which happens in America moves people in other parts of the world. Maybe a little arrogant, too, in thinking that we matter all that much."

    Not my intention or view at all, but we do have to deal with the reality of the Global War on Terror and the industry including the propaganda effort behind it. Without the GWOT would there have been a massacre? What would have been the motivation then, which is impossible to say, but that the question could even be seriously raised and I think it obviously can, or do you disagree?

    If you wish to see arrogance, consider the responses of Beck, Bill O'Reilly and Andrew Sullivan to the tragedy. I commented on a opinion piece by a Norwegian Muslim on the WashPost today and the right-wing responses to the author were not only nasty and personal, but even rabid. We, or rather, seemingly a large number of us, have a thing, even an irrational hatred of Muslims.

    We've been fighting and selling this stupid war to the world for almost ten years, could this not have been in part one of the consequences?

  13. Seydlitz, I'm following your argument, but I'm not sure I find much merit in it as it applies to this particular instance. We've agreed for years now about the uniquely American brand of stupidity that's gone into the war on terror and I don't see any cessation in the near future.

    However, I think we also have to be honest enough to look at how European nations in general have dealt with the issue of assimilating Muslim immigrants into their greater societies. In a word, they've failed. Angela Merkel said it this week: "multiculturalism has failed." The deep-seated prejudices and Muslim intractability have combined to make a volatile mix. The Euros have a very serious problem on their hands and it's one that predates the U.S. war on terror.

    Paradoxically, even in the midst of the war on terror, the U.S. does a far better job of assimilating Muslim immigrants. We do better than the Euros and that's a fact. Not perfect, but better. Interestingly, it seems we're able to fold Muslim immigrants into our society more readily specifically because of a lack of bias in the employment arena. We do not have third-generation Muslims living in ghettos on the dole.

    The Euro history with Muslim immigration is why I don't accept the U.S. as the source of this nutcase's anger. I'm pretty well convinced he got it right there at home. As I noted before, there is a long history of right wing extremism in European and the U.S. is not to blame for that.

  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

  15. (dammit, edited)

    Andy said...

    IMHO free speech is too important a foundation of our democracy to mess with or try to limit. Who decides what speech is acceptable and what is not? Limiting free speech doesn't sound too bad until one considers the logical consequences of that question.

    Then why can't I run a 24/7 Porn Cable show on Tee Vee, 365/year with no restriction?

    We control "free" speech every single day in this country.

    Typical American control, just like the movies.

    Sex and Love gets XXX, violent death, hate and "action" gets PG 13.


    With Andy on this, basil. Free speech wasn't the problem here; rather, it was a LACK of speech, or effective speech, in opposing the toxic spew of the CoulterBeckMalkinLimbaughGellarites.

    You know, we usta have a "fairness" doctrine relating to our public airwaves.

    What happened to that?

    Let's pick on Coulter. I see her regularly on Cable Tee Vee, occasionally on network. She does radio, writes a blog and columns for newspapers.

    She has a following, large enough that she doesn't wither away and dissolve into anonymity. I can argue, and prove, as you did above that she utters and writes lies, hate speech.

    She has by a huge margin more influence out in this nation and the world than I do. I try not to lie and incite hatred, it's not the Christian thing to do.

    Bill O'Reilly says that Christians do not commit mass murder. Technically, he's correct and I agree with him, but I also know what he's doing. He's trying to scrub the stain of murder by a self-proclaimed Christian from the faith.

    But I'd also go further to say to Billy Boy that Christians do not lie, do not promote violence ( Tiller the Baby Killer ), and do not slander.

    My viewpoint is that with greater power to put your speech before millions and more comes greater responsibility to use our right to Free Speech in a moral, honest way.

    In my perfect world, hell yeah, I'd follow due process legally and yank Coulter's and O'Reilly's right to put their speech in such a powerful platform.


  16. Publius-

    I think you're talking about two different things here. First off there is the history of Muslim immigrants in Europe, which receives much attention in the US, but not much understanding. The Muslim population in Norway is around 1.5% and in Germany as a comparison is around 3.7%. Southern and Eastern Europe have no significant Muslim populations at all. The only country that has a real problem with assimilation is France with a Muslim population of 7.5% and many of these are "ghettoized" and jobless.

    I lived in Germany for some time and have family there so let me talk about that country. In the 1980s there was more of a problem with assimilating/acceptance of the Turkish minority than there is today. You have a significant Turkish German middle class that has developed who consider themselves German first and then Turkish. You have Turkish-German actors, poets, writers, politicians, footballers who are accepted as part of the community and culture, so where's the rub?

    Among some, and I can understand where they are coming from, the country seems to be losing its "Germanness". There was a popular book written by an SPD politician along these lines which received wide-spread attention a couple of years back. The feeling is that "multi-culturalism" has allowed for alien cultures which will never be truly assimilated to exercise an undo influence on the native culture. Ok, but was not the same thing said about US cultural influences from the 1920s-1950s? Well, yes . . .

    So this feeling has been used in political campaigns by the right to drum up support, as was done in Norway a couple of years ago. But this is where the distinction comes in, what some European countries are dealing with is a cultural question, not a political, military or let alone existential one.

    These last three elements are more or less American notions and have been brought in to support the keystone of US foreign policy since 2002. The terrorist ABB's manifesto thus has a distinctly American post-9/11 feel to it and in fact much of his discussion of the "Muslim threat" was lifted directly from US GWOT propagandists Frank Gaffney and other "anti-jihadists".

    This influence goes into the details of ABB's view as well. Such as the whole "liberals = traitors" spiel which is ever soooo corn-fed, not to mention the "hunting license" for "Marxists". The hopeless conflation of "Marxism/Nazism/Islamism" is classic Glenn Beck, and come across from a European perspective as absurd. His selected uniform for his gang of "knights" was a USMC enlisted dress blue jacket with new insignia, and he appropriated US award ribbons as well to signify his various "campaigns".

    The decisive influence of the US "anti-jihadis" is difficult to miss imo once its pointed out which is why they are hastily attempting to distance themselves from their "creature", but make no mistake, "intellectually" and "ideologically" ABB was one of theirs . . .

  17. FDChief-

    "This ain't the John Birchers versus the IWW here. This is the Birchers versus Ike...and somehow the Birchers have been successful portraying Ike as Joe Stalin. It's ridiculous, but it's driving us right into the ground... "

    Amen brother! And how dishonestly these same nihilists are always labeled as "conservative"! Part of the whole cancerous mindset is the "Islamofabulous threat" which far too many Americans take as fact, since to question it would require them to consider what has been going on in their name for the last 10 years . . .

  18. BB,

    So you want to make illegal for pundits to lie? Or just right-wing pundits? Who is going to determine what is a "lie" and what isn't? Who is going to determine what is "hate" speech and what isn't?

    There's a word for people who want to use the power of government to silence political opponents....just sayin'

  19. Been thinking about all this in regards to Rauschning and his analysis of where Germany went wrong in the 1930s and how that might indicate what has happened in our own country . . . that was the link I provided in the original post (conclusions).

    For Rauschning it was when the conservatives who should have been interested primarily in the future of the nation state and the virtues/values associated with it changed their focus to simply attaining and maintaining power by whatever, especially violent, means. That and the assumption that their own narrow interests were the same as the nation as a whole . . . violence of course includes most of all coercion and the threat of violence, more than actually busting heads in reality. You can get soooo much more by simply having a reputation as one willing to use violence.

    The German conservatives in the early 1930s decided to take a bet on the National Socialists who were both reactionary and dynamic, but failed to realize as R points out that the two are essentially "twin sisters of the same mother" . . . The Radical Right would preach the conservative values of the past but at the same time actively undermine them . . .

    The combination of reactionary and dynamic required an idea to make it work. The idea for the National Socialists was the organizing concept of "race" in all political relations . . .

    Assuming that Rauschning has something to tell us today, what would that particular idea be for the radical right in the US today?

  20. .


  21. Zenpundit has posted something on some comments of mine made in a discussion of the nature of the terrorist actions in Norway . . .

    I've been kindly invited to make a guest post on his blog and have accepted his generous offer.

    This is very much related to the topic of this thread . . . relates in fact to the "general idea" I mentioned above . . . and is intimately connected with the current political crisis in Washington . . . the source of much confusion imo.

    We seem to be passing through one of those watershed moments in history . . .

  22. BB,

    Another great Stewart piece. Is the irony intentional?


    I saw Zen's post this morning and really liked it. I'm looking forward to your reply.

  23. Claims of cultural superiority are extended to technology, as Ranger points out in his wonderful post about the Single Action Shooting Society. Germans, many of them anyway, felt the same reverence for diesel engines that SASS members feel for ersatz Colt pistols. In 1923 Adolf Nagel, a distinguished professor of combustion engineering, warned that foreign influences were compromising the design of the diesel engine, destroying its Germanic character. One of the Nazi projects was a "unitary" diesel (Einheitsdiesel"), constructed with along pure German lines, without recourse to foreign influences or patents.

    Podunk Paul

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