Breivik’s Warped Worldview | Stephen M. Walt

Breivik’s Warped Worldview | Stephen M. Walt

More on Breivik’s worldview, and the romanticized notion of a ‘Christian West':

.. such paranoia also rests on a wholly romanticized vision of what the “Christian West” really is, and it ignores the fact that what we now think of as “Western civilization” has changed dramatically over time, partly in response to influences from abroad. For starters, Christianity itself is an import to Europe — it was invented by dissident Jews in Roman Palestine and eventually spread to the rest of Europe and beyond. I’ll bet there were Norse pagans who were just as upset when the Christians showed up as Breivik is today.

via Who’s to Blame for Breivik’s Ideas? | Stephen M. Walt.

Norwegian PM refuses to let terrorist attacks drive his country to intolerance and paranoid “security” – Boing Boing

Norwegian PM refuses to let terrorist attacks drive his country to intolerance and paranoid “security” – Boing Boing

I guess I was right.

Norwegian PM refuses to let terrorist attacks drive his country to intolerance and paranoid “security” – Boing Boing.

Norwegian PM Jens Stoltenberg has vowed not to let the terrorist attacks on his country be used as an excuse for taking away fundamental freedoms. He’s treating the attacks as a policing matter (a crime), not as a military matter (that is, something requiring a “war on terror” with concomitant war-footing).

On innocence lost in Norway

On innocence lost in Norway

Nice piece in the NYT by author Jo Nesbo who notes:

Yesterday, on the train, I heard a man shouting in fury. Before Friday, my automatic response would have been to turn around, maybe even move a little closer. After all, this could be an interesting disagreement that might entice me to take one side or the other. But now my automatic reaction was to look at my 11-year-old daughter to see whether she was safe, to look for an escape route in case the man was dangerous. I would like to believe that this new response will become tempered over time. But I already know that it will never disappear entirely.

Lots of differences between this tragedy and 9-11. Most important of which is that Norwegian political leaders likely won’t use this as an excuse to instill fear.

Americans Respond to Norway Attacks by Shooting Each Other


If you spent yesterday huddled in a corner with a bottle of vodka, crying and depressed about all of the massacre and death news that this weekend has brought us so far, well … you might want to get a refill on that drink.


Please, nobody give me any reason to update this list! Go hug somebody, plant a flower, bake a pie, draw a cat picture, play some badminton, anything. Just stop shooting each other.

Non Violence, originally uploaded by pirano.


Crappy connection back from Oslo today. I managed the 28 minute transit in Munich with a few minutes to spare, but my luggage didn’t.

Annual visit to Oslo means an annual visit to this sculpture, Utkast, by Kåre Groven at Oslo Gardermoen Airport. The playfulness of the massive piece always puts a smile on my face.

Below are a few snaps of the piece from previous visits. More pics from Oslo are here.

Oslo 065, originally uploaded by pirano.

Oslo City Hall

If you’ve already watched Barack Obama’s Nobel acceptance speech today (if you haven’t, at least give it a read), you probably caught at least a glimpse or two of Oslo’s stunning City Hall. I attend an event there each summer, and can’t ever get enough. At first glance, it’s not an inspired piece of architecture from the outside, but it grows on you. Inside is a visual feast.

Everywhere you walk you’ll face fabulously massive murals. The first one below, in a reception room, is one you won’t find in any city hall in the USA. At bottom are two of several reliefs on the exterior near the main entrance.

More pics of Oslo City Hall here, and more pics from Oslo here. A little more about visiting Oslo (last updated in 2007) here.

Oslo City Hall, originally uploaded by pirano.

Oslo (and other) city bikes

I see quite a few offerings like this for municipally-run bicycle rentals. Pick up the bike at a typical station, like this one in Oslo, and drop it off at another. Any idea that really needs to spread. Everywhere.

Rates in the Norwegian capital – NOK 80 (EUR 8.85/USD 12.37) per day, with a three hour limit per bike. For Oslo residents, same rate for a full year.

More Oslo info here. For elsewhere, try here.