Norway mourns, but she shows us what being civilized is all about …

Hi, friends and readers:

You know I try to keep things upbeat on this blog, but sometimes an event happens that is so horrific, I feel I should comment on it.

The mass slayings in Norway Friday really hit home for me. I visited Oslo in summer of 2005 and it was, truly, a remarkable place. So peaceful and green. Everyone was polite and helpful, and no one seemed in too much of a hurry.

Now, a self-described right-wing Christian has killed about 90 people, most of them young people at a summer retreat. I’m sure in many countries, people would call for the assailant’s execution without trial, but here’s what Norway’s prime minister said yesterday, about the killings:

“In the safest, most boring country, the worst lone gunman shooting happens. The worst in the world, in history. But it will not make our country worse. The safe, boring democracy will supply him with a defense lawyer as is his right. He will not get more than 21 years in prison as is the maximum extent of the law. Our democracy does not allow for enough punishment to satisfy my need for revenge, as is its intention.

“We will not become worse, we will be better. We lived in a land where this is possible, even easy. And we will keep living in a land where this is possible, even easy. We are open, we are free and we are together. We are vulnerable by choice. And we will keep on like that, that’s how we want to live. We will not be worse because of the worst. We must be good because of the best. ”

How about that?

My sympathies to all the people of Norway. Please keep your country the beautiful place it is. Don’t let the actions of one crazed individual make your country a paranoid, security-crazed nation like the U. S. has become since 9/11. Part of life involves risk. We have no life at all, if we don’t have our freedom. And we shouldn’t become suspicious of one another, just because there are a few crazy people walking about. That’s what Martin thinks, anyway.

Have a peaceful Sunday evening, all.

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