30 July 2011

Oslo

I've had over a week to digest this event.

From what I can tell this is the order of prejudices held by the terrorist.

1) Anti-social
2) Anti-multi-cultural liberalism
3) Anti-feminism/garden-variety misogyny.
4) Anti-Muslim
5) Anti-immigrant
6) Anti-government

Other notes. Quoting JS Mill out of context and spouting anti-government rants does not make somebody "libertarian". In the same vein, declaring that Europe should be a Christian enclave of some sort, however disturbing a notion Europeans (as well as secularists everywhere) may find it, is not the same as being a "Christian fundamentalist". If Bravik were such a creature, I would have expected to find a lot of Biblical quotations peppered in there instead of the heavy doses of Robert Spencer and a lot of other fellow screed-ers that were in there instead.

The random raving neoconservative or anti-Muslim right only somewhat learned its lesson about tarring entire groups of people as "enemy" in response to lone wolf activity (as a result of the nuances between the people writing about such things and the maniac who decided to shoot a lot of people while quoting them favorably). But I'm impressed that there are/were people in that category capable of learning anything at all.

One most interesting distinction: man who claims to be demanding some sort of conservative religious vision of life and then goes on to commit an atrocity upon any society, tends not to be a very religious individual themselves. This appears to be par for the course regardless of religious affiliations.

Other notes for people freaked out about Norway's criminal justice system: This guy, if convicted, is not getting out, at least not until he is good and old. They have a loophole for that. They just haven't used it. Norway's system also has a very low recidivism rate compared to ours. Even with these supposedly cushy prisons. The reasons have more to do with a stronger focus on rehabilitation and reintegration, immediacy of punishment rather than length, fewer people to police and less dense population centers, and stronger social welfare structures that decrease incentives for crime and criminal behaviors. Where we are distinguished from Norway is that we have huge incarceration totals and percentages, higher rates of recidivism, few incentives and programmes for reintegration (and various pointless license laws that further hinder this effort that Norway generally lacks), generally poorly designed social welfare programmes, less effective school systems, and a system preferring "throw away the key sentencing", which takes considerable effort and cost, rather than a focus on swift and immediate penalties for criminal acts.

In my opinion, if the cost of the Norway system is that a few genuine crazies like this have to be worked into a loophole in the maximum sentencing system we here in America would be so lucky to have such cushy prisons (not to mention our jails, where people are merely accused of crimes and may sit and rot for years awaiting trials and appeals).
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