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Apr 19 2012

Here be monsters

One wonders how Kevin Forts identifies a “moral conscience” and “heroic actions”. Forts is an American supporter of Anders Breivik. Apparently, he considers premeditated mass murder to be moral, and thinks a real hero gleefully hunts down and shoots unarmed teenagers.

He certainly has a hard time facing the camera. He’s one of a small minority that is so fearful, that they excuse gunning down innocents as a step in genocide. Not a nice person at all.

I see he’s also attending a Catholic university (which has quickly disavowed any support for his callous and amoral views). Aren’t Catholics supposed to follow those ten commandments?

183 comments

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  1. 1
    andreaskyriacou

    For most catholics, the first four commandments are the ones that really count. It’s what separates them from mere mortals.

  2. 2
    sqlrob

    It was self defense, so it wasn’t murder!

    Haven’t read the detailed articles, how the hell has he claimed self defense?????

  3. 3
    reasonbeing

    What a jackass…he calls the guy a hero then says his actions were atrocious. Wonder if he realizes the hypocrisy in his own statement. What a confused and messed up kid.

  4. 4
    reasonbeing

    ahh crap, I have to add this to my previous comment….I went to the same college as him…that is embarrassing…

  5. 5
    Longjocks

    Note to self: When I need to make a political statement – murder people. After that my message should be clear (and thankfully I won’t have to kill again).

  6. 6
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    What a charming young man.
    I hope many people who know him will see this and never talk to him again.
    I wouldn’t

  7. 7
    Anthony K

    He’s since taken down his FB, linked through a comment on LGF.

    So much for the little puke’s moral conscience.

  8. 8
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    With the US blowing up kids out of “necessity” all over southern Asia and parts of Africa for the entire duration of this young man’s life, I’m surprised more people in the US don’t buy the “necessity” defense. IIRC even Pam Geller said something mildly dismissive of Brevik – I can’t remember the quote but it was along the lines of identifying the right enemy but not saving the actual killing for the muslims. Ugh. I don’t have the patience – or strength of stomach – to go reading through Geller’s hateful oevre to find the words, but she also wasn’t the only one who said something like, “This is a war on a muslim invasion of Europe & North America, but we ‘real’ citizens of these countries must band together instead of imploding against each other.”

    That’s a really short step from, “We must band together and in order to effectively band together we must eliminate the traitors in our midst.”

    Anyway, allow me to throw up in the general direction of this guy.

  9. 9
    jaybee

    Forts thought of sending money, but when he found out that the money would have been directed to the victims’ families, he decided against it. Apparently, it wasn’t enough that Breivik made is point, it is also necessary to not support the victims of this “heroic atrocity” or whatever he called it.

  10. 10
    raven

    Aren’t Catholics supposed to follow those ten commandments?

    You simply don’t understand that Sophisticated Theology.

    Hypocrisy is the third major sacrament.
    The ten commandments are rules to be obeyed.

    They need to know what the rules are so they can break them, fulfill the hypocrisy sacrament, and go to heaven.

    It’s really not that complicated.

  11. 11
    Michael Brew

    Wow. This guy… I don’t even… wow.

  12. 12
    kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith

    Haven’t read the detailed articles, how the hell has he claimed self defense?????

    Apparently “multiculturalism” was stalking him.

    I don’t know what would be an appropriate treatment of this particular monster. Death is what he would want, it would make him a martyr. Ditto for simple imprisonment.

    The worse punishment for such people would be to be rendered completely and utterly insignificant, but considering what he has done, it’s very difficult to achieve.

  13. 13
    DLC

    Reminds me of the guys who in the same breath deny the holocaust and claim Hitler didn’t kill enough Jews. The ability to deny reality and substitute their own astonishes.

  14. 14
    marlorocci

    How very Old Testament of him.

  15. 15
    Zeno

    I’ll bet Kevin leaves a slime trail behind him wherever he goes.

  16. 16
    anne mariehovgaard

    kemist: Maybe we could hire people to laugh at him? I’m pretty sure being seen as ridiculous is his worst fear. Unfortunately for him, everyone who has seen him in court agrees that he comes off as pompous, pathetic and generally ridiculous. One person said, about a discussion between ABB and the judge: “It was like reasoning with a preschooler”

  17. 17
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    @Zeno #15 –

    That’s insulting to gastropods… seriously.

  18. 18
    McCthulhu, now with -25% less fat.

    I saw the screen-capture for the link and I thought it was a picture of M*b*s.

  19. 19
    robro

    kemist — Death is what Breivik is demanding, either that or hero worship. Perhaps he expects to be rescued by a revolution of fellow travelers at the last moment. Norway hasn’t had capital punishment since 1905, so it’s unlikely he’ll get his wish. However, the complete anonymity of prison seems exactly the right treatment for him. Once the trial is over, he won’t have a platform for spewing his insanity and we’ll never hear from him again.

  20. 20
    tim rowledge, Ersatz Haderach

    kemist: Maybe we could hire people to laugh at him? I’m pretty sure being seen as ridiculous is his worst fear.

    I was thinking the same thing; he’s obsessed with being taken seriously (as a ‘hero’) so laughter may be the worst possible thing that we could do to him.
    Appropriate punishment is a weird thing. I’m not sure it often correlates very well to the nature of the deed being punished, which isn’t likely to seem a good idea to most people. The deed has effects that are not always strongly connected to the intent; but the effect is what hurts other people.
    Off the cuff and probably dodgy examples-
    A is a little careless and triggers an event that kills several people.
    B is blind drunk, never pays much attention anyway and triggers something that kill several people.
    C is in a foul mood, feels like hurting whoever they blame for it, accidentally kills several people.
    D wants to kill someone specific, kills several people not including the intended victim
    E gets the intended victim as well
    F wants to kill anyone of type {gay/black/atheist/female/redhaired/etc} because of their type, and gets one or more victims
    G does the same but does it because ‘god told me to’.

    In all cases several people die. Should punishment be the same in all cases? Where does it become murder instead of a terrible accident? I’d say F is a hate-crime culprit. I’d say G is similar but even worse because of the claim for supernatural justification. What about remorse – say B is utterly shocked, gives up booze, accepts responsibility and works to make some sort of recompense. I’d prefer punishment were past of a well thought out regime rather than being something of a ‘when did the judge get lunch’ lottery.

  21. 21
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    They might have grown up and let more immigrants in!

  22. 22
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Fucking hell. He’s got Ted Haggard eyes.

    And this shitbag lives within a few hours of me. Central Mass. has some really fucked-up far-right Catholics, but this guy is special even by their lights.

  23. 23
    R Johnston

    In a church that has a pope who can condemn his nuns for wanting to feed the poor more than they want to burn homosexuals at the stake, what more can you expect of its adherents or “universities?”

  24. 24
    Roquetin

    Aside from forbidding it, The Old Testament does actually mandate killing of disobedient children and people who work on a sabbath – among countless other “criminals”. God isn’t exactly known for his consistency.

  25. 25
    sadunlap

    Sadly, I have encountered this same ability to disassociate from humanity pretty often over the years, and mostly in academia. I recall a grad student at Columbia pontificating about politics and history stating, in regards to the 9,000+ people killed in Chile when Pinochet took power “but they were our enemies anyway” so no biggee.

    More recently in a discussion with another one of these types in the months before the invasion of Iraq the man stated – one sentence after the other – that we had to invade to save the Iraqi people for the evil dictator, etc, but then answered my question about whether he supported the Reagan administration selling arms to both sides in the Iran-Iraq war with “but that was good because our enemies were killing each other” (never mind that at the time the U.S. government did not consider Iraq an enemy). Really, I could not make up shit like this: I don’t have the imagination. His position, without joking or acknowledging the contradiction was that it’s vitally important to save the Iraqi people, except, of course, when it’s vitally important to kill them.

    It’s scary out there.

  26. 26
    sadunlap

    On the flip side:

    This post led me to re-read some of the accounts of the massacre. People vacationing nearby, including several boaters, risked their lives to pick up children out of the water or from the rocks at the shore, while others swam out to exhausted swimmers to bring them to safety. One boater made 4 trips to the island until the police told him to stop. On the island two Chechen teenagers rounded up 23 children and hid them in a cave at the waterline. The one standing guard outside the cave pulled 3 more out of the water before they drowned. Ordinary people behaved in an extraordinary manner.

    Vicious, vindictive narcissistic idiots get way too much attention.

  27. 27
    kreativekaos

    That there are actually people espousing and defending the pornography of violence in defense of ideology leaves me almost speechless. I’m really surprised there isn’t more of a volcanic public response to the spewing of this sort of ludicrous bullshit.

  28. 28
    flapjack

    When I first saw the news of the Brevik trial I was under the impression that they didn’t want to give him a platform for his facist views and wanted a media blackout.
    What’s the point of all that if they just transcribe everything he says in minutae detail? The sole purpose of his trial is deciding whether he’s sane enough to be tried as mentally competent, not whether he’s guilty which is a foregone conclusion.
    I’m with all those who think mockery is the best punishment for these narcisistic egits…

  29. 29
    McCthulhu, now with -25% less fat.

    kreativekaos @27:

    I’m confounded by that question as well. The thought of harming others, especially causing another person’s death, is completely abhorrent to me. I can see cause for it in instances of defending one’s country (if it is genuinely in danger, not the typical cowboy diplomacy that has been on display in recent history), and in cases of defending your own or another person’s life (again, if you or the other person are genuinely in mortal peril, not the loathsome and ridiculous Florida defense in the Trayvon Martin case).

    People from religions (and causes that act like religions) that not only condone, but take glee in the murder of others just says to me that there are far too many absolute shitwits without the slightest concept of the value of a life; too many brainwashed assholes that think that an imaginary friend values death over ethical and just punishments. Psychopaths with bullshit causes that dig around for excuses for violence are anti-social misfits not deserving of any attention – outside of a visit from law-enforcement officials giving fair warning that the psychopath in question will now be under surveillance and under first consideration if anyone is harmed regarding the ’cause’ in question.

    If the people that made this video haven’t made a complaint to local authorities, they should do so.

  30. 30
    Matt Penfold

    When I first saw the news of the Brevik trial I was under the impression that they didn’t want to give him a platform for his facist views and wanted a media blackout.
    What’s the point of all that if they just transcribe everything he says in minutae detail? The sole purpose of his trial is deciding whether he’s sane enough to be tried as mentally competent, not whether he’s guilty which is a foregone conclusion.

    The problem is that denying Breivik a platform conflicts with the requirement that justice should be seen to be done, and that trial should be held in public.

    Given that conflict, preventing the broadcast of his testimony is probably the best compromise.

  31. 31
    =8)-DX

    Two things are sad about this. One that lunatics like this guy and groups like the EDL actually support a mass-murdering fuckwit.

    Even sadder is so many people who say they don’t agree with his actions, but support his ideology.

    Yes, the greatest threat to the world is all the liberal, pacifist, lefty people out there. We *definitely* need more proud nationalists with guns and no brains to “defend” the west.

    Personally I think nationalism is no longer justifiable and becoming less and less relevant (similar to racism and fascism).

  32. 32
    Loud - warm smiles do not make you welcome here

    Nationalism in general scares me. It’s just such a stupid concept, essentially the belief that you’re superior because you happen to have been born on a certain patch of land.

    As Enter Shikari say in their song …Meltdown, “countries are just lines drawn in the sand with a stick”.

  33. 33
    Nick Gotts

    Not directly relevant to the OP, but it’s worth noting that Breivik has stated in court that he is more than just a “cultural Christian”, specifically, that he believes in God and an afterlife. There were concerted attempts to deny that he was a religious believer and tag him instead as a “Darwinist” in the immediate aftermath of his murders.

  34. 34
    McCthulhu, now with -25% less fat.

    Loud @32:

    I’m not going to even attempt to explain why, but when I first read your line I thought you wrote “countries are just lines drawn in the sand with a dick.” I guess it makes sense that way too anyway.

    It did remind me that what I said earlier needed a corralary. Not every country is worth defending, especially those not striving for freedoms or attempting to maintain them. So when I say fighting to defend your country, it’s really dependent on what dick-drawn line in the sand you are defending and why.

    Instances such as Kosovo, Rwanda or Darfur fall into the category of defending others in mortal peril. There’s absolutely no shame in having to cross the line into killing when you’re trying to defend people from being victims of a genocide.

    I think this is what Hitchens main point was in his decision to back the invasion of Iraq – he had seen first hand the results of Hussein’s brutalization of his own countrymen, especially the Kurdish. The Iraq invasion certainly did wonders for the Kurds, but the result of massive sectarian warfare, power vacuum resulting in theocratic Iran gaining a regional power monopoly, hundreds of thousands dead (according to the UN)…it wasn’t well thought out. The power vacuum problem was obvious to everyone beforehand, and Vizzini the Sicilian told everyone long before the adventure to never get involved in a land war in Asia.

    People like Kevin Forts are definitely a set of the non-cognitive elite that was discussed a couple weeks back. If he was even remotely capable of critical thinking he would have shot his own statements full of holes before he even considered opening his vacuous pie hole. Coming to the defense of a fascist murderer is utterly contemptible, but writing him fan mail is an admission to having a head full of steaming horse shit.

  35. 35
    Kel

    Given that conflict, preventing the broadcast of his testimony is probably the best compromise.

    Given that his testimony is coupled with “I personally massacred 69 people, mostly teenagers”, it’s probably not the best voice of the xemophobic message out there.

  36. 36
    'Tis Himself

    KG #33

    The Liars for Jesus always try to point the finger of accusation at some direction other than themselves. “He can’t be a goddist, our religion is one of love and peace and if you don’t believe that then we’ll kill you.”

  37. 37
    Matt Penfold

    Not directly relevant to the OP, but it’s worth noting that Breivik has stated in court that he is more than just a “cultural Christian”, specifically, that he believes in God and an afterlife. There were concerted attempts to deny that he was a religious believer and tag him instead as a “Darwinist” in the immediate aftermath of his murders.

    I think at one stage he said he tried to be religious, specifically a Christian, but found believing something of a struggle.

  38. 38
    McCthulhu, now with -25% less fat.

    There’s really nothing Breivik could say that I would be remotely interested in hearing. I wouldn’t even be aware of the trial at all, other than the fact that Google’s news page thinks it should be the number one item every day.

    I have never been able to understand the desire to follow all the lurid details of murder trials, especially ones where the person is the admitted killer. When the trial ends and he hopefully gets life in prison (and given his reputation would probably be without benefit of communication with other prisoners), that is all I need to know about this case.

    Murder disgusts me. I permanently quit talking to a ‘friend’ in school because he insisted we all go see the movie ‘Se7en’. When I see shows on cable’s supposedly educational networks about mob hits or serial killers all I feel is disgust at the producers of the program thinking it was something that needed expanding on.

    I feel the same way about rape. The absolute highest prioritized reason I detest the Abrahamic religions is that it has condoned both.

  39. 39
    Loud - warm smiles do not make you welcome here

    McCthulhu #34

    Dick or stick, it does work either way!

    I see this nationalist attitude everywhere in the UK, when people talk of losing our sense of ‘British’ identity because of immigration, or the bullshit twin spectres of losing jobs to immigrants and the whole Muslim/Sharia law crap.

    Even in those sections of society that rail against gay marriage as being against British ‘traditions’.

    Fuck them all.

  40. 40
    crocodoc

    The first thing you do when you become a christian is to disobey the 1st commandment. Whatever that may be. I’ll just pick the Augustinian division and the Exodus version for simplicity’s sake.

    And God spake all these words, saying, I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me. And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

    Remember, this is JHWH himself speaking and it sounds a lot like someone who comes up and calls himself the son of god and the only way to god and introduces a holy trinity instead of one almighty god is, to put it mildly, not very concerned about this commandment. If the 1st commandment does not matter so much, why should the fifth? And indeed christianity provides a lot of useful workarounds for the fifth commandment.

  41. 41
    Matt Penfold

    I see this nationalist attitude everywhere in the UK, when people talk of losing our sense of ‘British’ identity because of immigration, or the bullshit twin spectres of losing jobs to immigrants and the whole Muslim/Sharia law crap.

    Or when right-wing Tory MPs demand the Home Secretary breaks the law to deport a terrorist suspect, whilst at the same time crapping on about how important law and order is.

    I heard one yesterday saying that the said suspect should be deported because that it was the British public wants.

  42. 42
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    It was self defense, so it wasn’t murder!

    Haven’t read the detailed articles, how the hell has he claimed self defense?????

    I think that’s what was originally reported but I believe technically he is claiming necessity, not self defense.

    Makes no more sense, but it is what it is.

  43. 43
    Moggie

    McCthulhu:

    I have never been able to understand the desire to follow all the lurid details of murder trials, especially ones where the person is the admitted killer. When the trial ends and he hopefully gets life in prison (and given his reputation would probably be without benefit of communication with other prisoners), that is all I need to know about this case.

    Your choice. But I think that attempting to understand humans is a reasonable thing for humans to do. This guy has committed terrible acts, far outside what most of us would consider reasonable, and one understandable reaction is to consider him a “monster”, from whom we can learn nothing because he’s just too other. But that’s not the only acceptable reaction.

    Loud:

    I see this nationalist attitude everywhere in the UK, when people talk of losing our sense of ‘British’ identity because of immigration, or the bullshit twin spectres of losing jobs to immigrants and the whole Muslim/Sharia law crap.

    I seem to have reached middle age as a pasty white Brit without any clear idea of what this “British identity” consists of. Can someone enlighten me, before I get deported? I rarely drink tea or eat chips, but in my defence I do whinge a lot and have fond memories of Morecambe and Wise.

  44. 44
    cogito

    There is no reason to give this sad human being any attention at all. I see no need to publish this video or to link to it. Let him rot in his little world.

  45. 45
    Matt Penfold

    There is no reason to give this sad human being any attention at all. I see no need to publish this video or to link to it. Let him rot in his little world.

    Yes, because we are all so much safer when we do not know there are such people around.

  46. 46
    Catnip, Misogynist Troglodyte called Bruce

    What is the reason for punishing criminals? Is it deterrent? (so others will think twice before following suit) Is it rehabilitation? (returning them to society as a contributor). Is it revenge? Is it the protection of others in society?

    It seems on the surface that people who commit such acts should be locked up and the key thrown away. But for how long? Why?

    I’m motivated to muse about this because of the list Tim posted @#20, and other responses, as well as PZ’s original post on the Kevin Forts video.

    I suspect there is an element of all these things.

    My priority 1 is protection of people within society (lock up the evil ones who have demonstrated they are dangerous- how long for? Until they are not.)

    Priority 2. “revenge”. The view that justice needs to be seen to be done. Victims, or their close loved ones, need to see that the person who wronged them is punished. (maybe revenge is too strong a word). How long? I don’t know the answer to that. Perhaps this is dependent on Tim’s list of reasons.

    Priority 3 deterrent. I’m sure there are some out there for whom the fine line is not crossed because of the fear of the justice system.

    Priority 4 rehabilitation. Not sure much of this always happens, but I suppose if it were possible to get to the root cause of why the offender offends, it would then become the prerequisite of allowing release under point 1.

    The priorities would no doubt change depending on the crime, but this is how I see it for major crimes.

    I’ve put rehabilitation low there. Perhaps it should rank more highly than deterrent. Conversely, deterrent is part of protection of others (potential victims).

    Nothing’s ever simple, is it?

  47. 47
    cogito

    Matt Penfold: We already know that there are awful people around. This guy wants attention and feels validated when he gets it. There is no reason to indulge him.

  48. 48
    Matt Penfold

    Matt Penfold: We already know that there are awful people around. This guy wants attention and feels validated when he gets it. There is no reason to indulge him.

    So you just let such views go unchallenged. Well that has worked well in the past!

    Here in the UK we have a nasty right-wing party called the BNP. For a while the BNP made political headway, gaining local council seats and seats in the European Parliament. The attitude of the main political parties at the time was that to take on the views of the BNP was to give then publicity and it was best to just ignore them. This did not work, so what happened is that the BNP’s views were addressed, and shown to the vile machinations of the racist scum they are. The electoral support of the BNP collapsed.

    So sorry, the evidence suggests ignoring scum like this is counter-productive.

  49. 49
    Iosue

    How very Raskolnikov of him.

  50. 50
    kreativekaos

    McCthulhu@ #29:

    Totally agree with your last statement in that post. This video interview should be held up to a wider audience for scrutiny and criticism.

  51. 51
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Matt,
    It’s obviously better if we pretend that views like this don’t exist, duh! We wouldn’t want to go around offending anyone’s delicate sensibilities, rather we should just sweep all odious opinions under the rug.

    Just a thought: there’s no way to fight back against this right wing radicalism if we don’t recognize it. It will fester in the darkness.

  52. 52
    Nick Gotts

    When the trial ends and he hopefully gets life in prison (and given his reputation would probably be without benefit of communication with other prisoners) – McCthulu

    Er, no. Unlike the USA, Norway does not torture prisoners by prolonged solitary confinement.

    If convicted, the maximum term Brehvik can be sentenced to is 21 years, although he can be held after that, for as long as he is found to be a danger to other people. If he’s found to be insane, he will be committed to a psychiatric hospital for as long as he is deemed dangerous.

  53. 53
    Nick Gotts

    There is no reason to give this sad human being any attention at all. I see no need to publish this video or to link to it. Let him rot in his little world. – cogito

    Please change your nym – unless it is intended ironically. Your idiocy is confirmed by the fact that Forts has now taken down his FB page (see #7). If his motive was that he “wanted attention”, he would hardly have done that when he got it, would he?

  54. 54
    Hairy Chris, blah blah blah etc

    @Matt Penfold

    Ahh yes, the glory days of the BNP. At least they were honestly racist which is a better than their spritual successors, the EDL.

    Fucking idiots.

  55. 55
    Matt Penfold

    If convicted, the maximum term Brehvik can be sentenced to is 21 years, although he can be held after that, for as long as he is found to be a danger to other people. If he’s found to be insane, he will be committed to a psychiatric hospital for as long as he is deemed dangerous.

    Personally I think he is going to get the 21 years, but end up serving a considerably longer period than that. He is still a young man, and is likely to still be a danger in a couple of decades.

  56. 56
    jimmauch

    America seems to spawn these sad and frightening individuals. They fancy themselves paramilitary liberators bringing justice to the world. What’s even more frightening is that in today’s political climate individuals of this sort would probably be allowed to carry guns on the street.

  57. 57
    Matt Penfold

    Ahh yes, the glory days of the BNP. At least they were honestly racist which is a better than their spritual successors, the EDL.

    Well they became less openly racist when Griffin became leader, which by no coincidence is when they started to become more successful.

  58. 58
    Gvlgeologist, FCD

    I haven’t read all the comments yet, but I’ve got to say that I got to the 1:24 mark before I got so nauseated that I couldn’t listen any further. A true sociopath in the mold of his hero.

  59. 59
    Matt Penfold

    A true sociopath in the mold of his hero.

    Actually it is not clear if Breivik is mentally ill or not. One assessment found he was insane, another found he was sane.

  60. 60
    cogito

    Matt Penfold & Darkheart:
    No of course we don’t allow such views to go unchallenged. We challenge them every day by practicing democracy, freedom, openness in judicial systems and in government. I will debate any nationalist, theocrat etc but I wont go looking for the worst, most irrelevant idiots in society just to challenge their views, because engaging with them gives them unwarranted attention. It’s the same reason no one asks Charles Manson his thoughts on the US election. It adds nothing to anything.
    Oh and Darkheart, way to miss the point. Who said anything about pretending these people dont exist? I live in Scandinavia. Since Utöya, we are quite aware of what can lurk in our society.

  61. 61
    Matt Penfold

    No of course we don’t allow such views to go unchallenged. We challenge them every day by practicing democracy, freedom, openness in judicial systems and in government. I will debate any nationalist, theocrat etc but I wont go looking for the worst, most irrelevant idiots in society just to challenge their views, because engaging with them gives them unwarranted attention. It’s the same reason no one asks Charles Manson his thoughts on the US election. It adds nothing to anything.

    If challenging the far-right prevents people from taking what they say at face-value, which is what happens when they are not challenged, then it would seem a worthwhile thing to do.

    That you do not says a lot about you, and none of it is good.

  62. 62
    cogito

    A sociopath (or for example a narcissist) is not necessarily, or usually, “insane” in the conventional sense. You seem to imply that sociopathy = insanity, which is not correct. Rather, sociopathy is considered a personality disorder with, among other things, a low sense of empathy with other people.
    The second psychological assessment of Breivik found that he was not psychotic. He can still have a fundamental personality disorder.

  63. 63
    Matt Penfold

    Oh and Darkheart, way to miss the point. Who said anything about pretending these people dont exist? I live in Scandinavia. Since Utöya, we are quite aware of what can lurk in our society.

    You ask who said anything about pretending these people do not exist ? Well, it was you, remember ?

    FFS, pull yourself together!

  64. 64
    cogito

    Matt Penfold:
    Now you are just being ridiculous. Like I said, I often challenge and debate peopple on the far right. The person in this video, however, is in no way a representative of the far right. Even nazi organisations i Sweden and Norway have distanced themselves from Breivik. The guy in the video is a loser who does not represent anyone but himself. He deserves no attention.

  65. 65
    cogito

    You ask who said anything about pretending these people do not exist ? Well, it was you, remember ?

    No I did not. Scroll up and read. I said that we are all aware that kooks like this exist. And I said that they do not deserve our attention.

  66. 66
    cogito

    Oh and sorry about my blockqute fails

  67. 67
    Matt Penfold

    No I did not. Scroll up and read. I said that we are all aware that kooks like this exist. And I said that they do not deserve our attention.

    So you want to ignore them and pretend they do not exist.

    Which what we said you said, and you claim you did not.

    Now, get a grip. If you cannot remember what you said, is this really the right place for you ?

  68. 68
    Matt Penfold

    cogito.

    And you need to address KG’s point that you were simply wrong when you claimed it was an issue of publicity. As KG’s asks, why remove the facebook page if he was after publicity ? It makes no sense, so you need to explain it.

  69. 69
    Eurasian magpie

    The second assessment did diagnose Breivik with narcissistic and antisocial personality disorders. As evident, personality disorders are not reasons to regard somone non compose mentis.

    Sociopathy is neither a medical nor juridical term but, loosely defined though it is, it actually covers fairly well narcissistic and antisocial behaviours.

  70. 70
    cogito

    Matt Penfold:
    Wow, quite the schoolyard bully, arent you?
    Here is the point: We know that awful views like this exist among fringe elements in society, but we do not need to give every despicable idea a platform.

  71. 71
    Matt Penfold

    The second assessment did diagnose Breivik with narcissistic and antisocial personality disorders. As evident, personality disorders are not reasons to regard somone non compose mentis.

    Yes, I should have been clearer that the first assessment found he was not fit to stand trial, whereas the second one found that whilst he had mental disorders they were such that he was mentally competent to stand trial.

  72. 72
    WharGarbl

    @jimmauch
    #56

    America seems to spawn these sad and frightening individuals. They fancy themselves paramilitary liberators bringing justice to the world. What’s even more frightening is that in today’s political climate individuals of this sort would probably be allowed to carry guns on the street.

    Anders Breivik is an American?

  73. 73
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Cogito,
    One: that’s a hell of an assumption to make– no, we don’t all know that this kind of shit exists. I don’t know how much you follow American news, but we recently had a racially motivated killing hit the news and many people’s first reaction was disbelief. We need to be reminded just how awful people are, no matter how distasteful assholes like you will find it.

    Two, you can’t fight against this rhetoric if you want to take it out of the public eye. At that point it’s an invisible enemy that people will forget about (see point one). That’s just one reason why freedom of speech is so important. Not keeping up with this shit will make people complacent.

  74. 74
    Matt Penfold

    Wow, quite the schoolyard bully, arent you?

    Nope, that would be you getting confused. YOu seem to get confused I have noticed.

    Here is the point: We know that awful views like this exist among fringe elements in society, but we do not need to give every despicable idea a platform.

    And that was not what you said originally is it ?

    I note you still not do address KG’s point, so it is assumed you cannot. It would be more honest of you to admit as much.

    Why the lack of honesty ? Why pretend you have not said things your clearly did say ? You are not making a good impression here.

  75. 75
    cogito

    Matt Penfold: As KG’s asks, why remove the facebook page if he was after publicity ?

    And why would he speak to a television reporter if he wanted to hide his views? I am not surprised that he removed his facebook page, he presumably got more attention than he bargained for.

  76. 76
    Matt Penfold

    And why would he speak to a television reporter if he wanted to hide his views? I am not surprised that he removed his facebook page, he presumably got more attention than he bargained for.

    Ah, so you concede you were wrong.

    Thank you, but why the reluctance to admit as much ?

  77. 77
    McCthulhu, now with -25% less fat.

    Moggie @43:

    It isn’t even remotely close to my job to have to learn directly from Breivik. If legal experts, sociologists, psychiatrists and psychologists want to research and ruminate and publish results I may look into some generic article based on what they have found out. Despite Penfold’s snark, it is exactly because I am aware there are such people about that I don’t need any further examples of them. And let me also make it clear that there is an obvious difference between standing up to right-wing extremists (whether in person or on the net), and paying attention to them after committing a mass murder. There are experts who have chosen to do whatever layers of investigation into the murder they require. As others have pointed out, me paying any attention to the murderer himself doesn’t do any justice to the dozens of people, mostly teens, he killed.

    If your psyche allows and makes you want to get into details, feel free. There’s still no necessity or desire on my part to get anything more than conviction info. Life is too short, as the saying goes, and I don’t need to make it short AND bleak by filling up my limited empty time with accounts of an atrocity that is essentially a replay of things that have gone on, ad nauseum, throughout history. It doesn’t mean I won’t or don’t stand up to people sympathetic to his cause or keen on similar intentions.

  78. 78
    Matt Penfold

    Despite Penfold’s snark, it is exactly because I am aware there are such people about that I don’t need any further examples of them.

    I am so sorry you have been forced against your will to be here.

    I would tell you to fuck off, but obviously you do not have that option. Have you tried closing your eyes ?

  79. 79
    cogito

    Matt Penfold:
    Ha you really are itching for a fight, aren’t you? If you like you can allways reread what i posted. My point stands.
    Darkheart:
    Yes I am aware of the Trayvon Martin case, but that is not what we are discussing.
    Here in Scandinavia (as in the rest of the world) we are constantly reminded that people do awful things. In fact I am being reminded of this as i write, with audio from the Breivik trial streamed through my speakers. It is a pretty good reminder of just how much attention we should give to insignificant little shits like the guy in the video.

  80. 80
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    So I can’t draw comparisons? Why the hell not?

  81. 81
    Matt Penfold

    Ha you really are itching for a fight, aren’t you? If you like you can allways reread what i posted. My point stands.

    I cannot make you be honest. All I can do is point that you keep contradicting yourself and keep lying about what you have said.

    If being dishonest makes you happy, I guess you are now happy.

    Still, wiser heads tend to prevail when it comes to challenging the far-right, so we are not reliant on lazy fuckwits like you.

  82. 82
    McCthulhu, now with -25% less fat.

    …obvious asshole is obvious…

  83. 83
    cogito

    You can draw anything you want. Knock yourself out!

  84. 84
    Inaji

    cogito:

    It is a pretty good reminder of just how much attention we should give to insignificant little shits like the guy in the video.

    Actually, it’s just the opposite. “Insignificant little shits” tend to stock weaponry and hurt people at some point. Amazin’ how that works.

    Just because you want to stick your fingers in your ears and chant Lalalalalalalalalalalala doesn’t meant the rest of us are required to do so.

  85. 85
    Matt Penfold

    …obvious asshole is obvious…

    Glad to see to you have not totally lost insight into yourself whilst being forced to be here.

    If you do not like what PZ posts about, why stay to read it ? You can fuck off you know, and quite honestly I think that is the best thing you can do.

    You have been here long enough to know that complains about what PZ blogs about do not go down well, so are you stupid or trolling ?

  86. 86
    Matt Penfold

    Actually, it’s just the opposite. “Insignificant little shits” tend to stock weaponry and hurt people at some point. Amazin’ how that works.

    I suspect I will be accused of Godwinning, but I seem to recall the Nazi were considered “insignificant little shits” and ignored. Some us it seems can learn from history, and others seem to want to repeat it.

  87. 87
    cogito

    Caine:
    Thats where you are wrong! You are REQUIRED to act like a strawman version of what i said earlier. You MUST miss my point and then put that into practice. It’s mandatory!

  88. 88
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Caine,
    But Cogito isn’t ignoring it, they’re just advocating that we ignore this shit!

    Funny how that works.

  89. 89
    raven

    Here is the point: We know that awful views like this exist among fringe elements in society, but we do not need to give every despicable idea a platform.

    Who says anti-Moslem bigotry is fringe. It isn’t in the USA.

    To cite just one recent example. The state of Oklahoma passed a law prohibiting Sharia law in Oklahoma. It was voted on in a referendum and passed by a large majority.

    1. It was unnecessary. There is no movement to install Sharia law in Oklahoma, a state with a negligible population of Moslems.

    2. It was already prohibited as a matter of law. The US constitution mandates separation of church and state. Sharia is a religion based law system.

    Might as well have made tigers eating people illegal in Oklahoma.

    Or to cite another example. There have been almost 1,000 attacks on Moslems including several murders since 9/11. There was a terrorist incident near my house. Somebody firebombed the local Mosque.

  90. 90
    Inaji

    Audley:

    But Cogito isn’t ignoring it, they’re just advocating that we ignore this shit!

    Pity I’m just not into being willfully ignorant. Poor non-Cogito will just have to deal.

  91. 91
    raven

    dumb troll:

    Despite Penfold’s snark, it is exactly because I am aware there are such people about that I don’t need any further examples of them.

    MP: I am so sorry you have been forced against your will to be here.

    Oh this again. If dumb troll is being forced to read Pharyngula with a gun pointed at his head, there is a simple solution.

    Just post your name, address, city, and state. We will call 911 and the police will be there in a few minutes and rescue you. It is illegal under US law to force people to read blogs at gunpoint.

  92. 92
    doktorzoom

    I’d just like to applaud sadunlap @25:

    Ordinary people behaved in an extraordinary manner.

    Vicious, vindictive narcissistic idiots get way too much attention.

    I’m reminded of Philip Zimbardo’s discussion of heroism in The Lucifer Effect, where he points out that if social conditions can sometimes create monsters (as in the Stanford Prison Experiment), then perhaps we can also find and promote the conditions that encourage heroism and decency. Sad that we always remember the Breiviks, but not the names of the folks who went back to Utoya to rescue people.

    I’d like to live in a world where Hugh Thompson Jr. is as recognizable a name as William Calley.

  93. 93
    cogito

    Here in Scandinavia there has been a lot of discussion about how much of a platform should be given to Breivik. Was it right to allow him to speak to the world for a full hour about the disgusting motivations for his killings? Many feel that this gave his views an air of legitimacy that they simply do not deserve.
    The thing is, losing more than 70 lives, many of them children, tends to refocus priorities in a community. Funny how that works.

  94. 94
    Matt Penfold

    Who says anti-Moslem bigotry is fringe. It isn’t in the USA.

    Nor in the UK, where violence against Muslims, against Jews and against gays is a problem. I cannot see how ignoring hate groups who rail against Jews, Muslims and Gays helps(*)

  95. 95
    Inaji

    doktorzoom:

    I’d like to live in a world where Hugh Thompson Jr. is as recognizable a name as William Calley.

    I don’t think many people remember Calley or know who he is to begin with these days. You have to be at least my age or older to remember My Lai.

  96. 96
    cogito

    Raven:
    NO ONE says ant moslem bigotry is fringe. Pro Breivik bigotry, on the other hand, IS fringe.

  97. 97
    Matt Penfold

    Here in Scandinavia there has been a lot of discussion about how much of a platform should be given to Breivik. Was it right to allow him to speak to the world for a full hour about the disgusting motivations for his killings? Many feel that this gave his views an air of legitimacy that they simply do not deserve.

    You cannot see how conducting his trial in camera would probably exacerbate the problem ?

  98. 98
    cogito

    Matt Penfold: Looks like you are missing the point again.

  99. 99
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Pro Breivik bigotry, on the other hand, IS fringe.

    Maybe in Scandinavia, but in the US, that shit is on the rise.

    Hell, the American Nazi Party just applied to lobby Congress. Neonazis. Let that sink in for a minute.

  100. 100
    Matt Penfold

    Matt Penfold: Looks like you are missing the point again.

    You are the one who seems to think keeping what Breivik has been saying during his trial secret is a good idea, regardless of the strong possibility that will give ammunition to those who share his views. Far-right (and far-left) groups like being able scream there is a conspiracy to keep them silenced, and you seem to want to prove to them there is.

  101. 101
    Matt Penfold

    Maybe in Scandinavia, but in the US, that shit is on the rise.

    And one we know from Breivik’s activities, and from the activities of others, is that far-right groups like to forge international links with similar groups in other countries.

    I guess we are not supposed to know about that either, since it would only encourage them or something.

  102. 102
    interrobang

    David Neiwert, a journalist who has written several books on the American protofascist movement, has an interesting anecdote about these types in The Eliminationists. He says that when he was working for a small local paper in the Pacific Northwest, a rash of right-wing hate-related violence broke out, and the paper made an editorial decision to ignore it, on the grounds that the perpetrators were obviously “looking for attention,” and if the community at large ignored them, they would go away on their own.

    As it turned out, the people committing the acts read the community’s silence as tacit approval, and the violence escalated. When the community and the paper committed itself to speaking out against the violence, it stopped.

    Sunlight is a powerful disinfectant.

  103. 103
    Matt Penfold

    For example, Breivik met with leaders of the English Defence League, a far-right neo-nazi anti-Muslim, anti-Immigration group in the UK.

    I want to know such meetings have happened. That the EDL is meeting with people who willing commit mass murder is something I think I should know, and I think everyone in the UK should know as well.

  104. 104
    Matt Penfold

    As it turned out, the people committing the acts read the community’s silence as tacit approval, and the violence escalated. When the community and the paper committed itself to speaking out against the violence, it stopped.

    It is the same in the UK with animal-rights groups who used violence and intimidation to stop animal research. It is only since attention has been paid to the harm these animal-rights groups were doing that there activities have been curtailed. We are not there yet, but the tide is turning.

  105. 105
    cogito

    Some of you guys are straw manning like crazy. Just so you know.
    Matt Penfold:
    Does anyone here want Breiviks testimony to be secret? Or maybe you are just making stuff up?
    Interrobang:
    The video we were discussing is not about a rash of right wing violence. It is about a lone insignificant kook who has been shunned by his community. Kind of an important difference.

  106. 106
    Rasmus

    KG:

    Er, no. Unlike the USA, Norway does not torture prisoners by prolonged solitary confinement.

    Well, Breivik has actually been in solitary confinement, not as a punishment but for his own health and safety. It’s likely that his contact with other prisoners will be very limited throughout his sentence.

    It’s true that Norway does not practice solitary confinement as a punishment, but it’s also true that criminals and prisoners have an informal code of honor that says that it’s forbidden to target innocent women and children. There’s a kind of “honor”-based pecking order in prisons. Snitches and criminals who victimize children are at the very bottom of the pecking order. Being at the bottom of a pecking order is, as you might imagine, a very bad thing when you’re in the company of violent and impulsive criminals…

    Given his crimes it’s clear that Breivik will have to be kept out of reach of other violent prisoners for his own safety. Putting him among other murderers would certainly be equivalent to a torture sentence, possibly even a death sentence.

    I think that is what McCthulhu was alluding to when he mentioned Breivik’s “reputation”.

  107. 107
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Cogito,
    Are you stupid or are you trolling? I’ll say it again: the type of rightwing hate that is portrayed in the video is on the rise. You may think this douche is insignificant, but that kind of thinking is scary prevalent in the US.

    He is s symptom of a much larger problem.

  108. 108
    Matt Penfold

    Does anyone here want Breiviks testimony to be secret? Or maybe you are just making stuff up?

    You mentioned there was a discussion about just that going in Scandinavia. Again, it seems you have trouble remembering what you have said previously. It is rather tiresome to keep having to remind you what you have chosen to “forget” you said. The forget is in inverted commas since it is a quite deliberate dishonest ploy on your part to avoid having to admit you said something stupid.

    You might be used to getting away with doing this elsewhere, but not here.

  109. 109
    cogito

    Darkheart:
    Neonazis are a fringe element in the US. To claim otherwise is ridiculous. They are organizations that need to be monitored (and I certainly have never claimed otherwise) but they wont be voted into congress anytime soon.
    And the guy in the video is on the fringe even compared to nazis. And there are risks in focusing on insignificant fools like him. It can exaggerate the real risks, spread unwarranted fear, and take the focus away from the actual victims at Utöya.

  110. 110
    cogito

    Matt Penfold:
    Go back and read what I wrote. The discussion has been around how much of a platform to give a mass murderer. I the court would allow him, he would speak for days about his motivations, his manifesto, his claimed organization etc. No one would want that. In the end the court gave him a full hour on the stand. That is a full hour of propaganda delivered by the man who murdered 77 people. Can you imagine Osama bin laden being given that kind of platform had he been put on trial? It would never have happened. So where do we draw the line? Many seem to think that 20 or 30 minutes from him would have been plenty. I agree with them.
    It is not a question of either letting this monster speak as long as he would like directly to the world, or completely censoring his testimony.

  111. 111
    cogito

    To clarify, Breivik spoke uninterrupted for one full hour. This is not counting the questioning from his counsel and from the prosecutors.

  112. 112
    Matt Penfold

    Go back and read what I wrote.

    I have. You still lied.

    He made an initial statement, which could be reported but no video of was made available. He has since been on stand being questioned by the prosecution. This has been going on for several days, so your claim he was only on the stand for an hour is not true. Normally I might suspect simple ignorance, but you lie and I think you are lying about this as well.

    You clearly have a problem with being honest. You will not find yourself welcome here if you keep lying.

  113. 113
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Cogito,
    Well, that answers my question: you’re stupid.

    Neonazis are not fringe. They are legally lobbying Congress now, which I have already pointed out. That’s pretty fucking bold, moron.

    If you want to read up on the prevalence of American hate groups, start with splcenter.org. Educate yourself and maybe next time you won’t look so fucking foolish. It helps to have some idea of what you’re talking about before you decide to open your mouth.

  114. 114
    'Tis Himself

    It is illegal under US law to force people to read blogs at gunpoint.

    I tried to tell the jailer this but he wouldn’t listen.

  115. 115
    cogito

    Matt Penfold:
    You like to throw around accusations of lying, but you should really focus more on reading comprehension and avoiding logical fallacies. Good luck to you.

  116. 116
    Matt Penfold

    You like to throw around accusations of lying, but you should really focus more on reading comprehension and avoiding logical fallacies. Good luck to you.

    And you need to stop lying and start apologising. I doubt you have the moral courage to do it though.

    It was noticed, by both Audley and myself, that you took her mention that neo-nazis were being allowed to lobby congress and twisted it into them getting elected. Not honest to do that, and since it was deliberate it makes you a liar.

  117. 117
    cogito

    Darkheart:
    Yes, neo nazis are a fringe movement in the US. They are disgusting and awful, and may also be on the rise in some parts, but they are very far from mainstream. Your insults don’t make you any more convincing.

  118. 118
    cogito

    Matt Penfold:
    Nope, I didn’t claim that she said they were elected into congress. Go back and read it. I said they wont be elected into congress any time soon. It was not a reference to their lobbying, I was pointing out that they are very far from the mainstream.

  119. 119
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Matt,
    Well, neonazis themselves may have not been elected, but Ron Paul has some ties to the so-called “sovereign citizens” movement (he’s at least spoken at their conventions), so we do know that people with extremist ties can and do hold public office.

    So, yeah. Cogito? Moron with no clue about what he’s talking about.

  120. 120
    cogito

    Darkheart:
    You are making a point that noone has disputed (that people with extremist ties can hold office), therefore I am a moron? Not much to say to that really.

  121. 121
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    You know, since I’ve actually been reading about rightwing hate groups for years now (and helpfully provided a link just for you!), I’d love to know where your assertion that neonazis are “fringe” is coming from, cogito. Put up or shut up, asshole.

  122. 122
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    They are disgusting and awful, and may also be on the rise in some parts, but they are very far from mainstream.

    Dead wrong.

    Though self-described neo-nazis are definitely towards the rightest right of the right, this does not mean that their ideology is fringe. The GOP, which is the party of the wealthiest and least tolerant Americans, has been stumbling towards outright fascistic ideology for the past 30 years. The Tea Party goes even further in embracing fascist ideology and moving the ‘centre’ of American politics further right, further towards the insanity of fascism.

    They are disgusting to liberals, progressives, and centrists. They are awful to liberals, progressives and centrists. To the modern GOP, they represent the ideology for which they should aim and too bad about the negative connotations because they were anti-communist, anti-free thought, anti-education, and anti-woman.

  123. 123
    Matt Penfold

    Nope, I didn’t claim that she said they were elected into congress. Go back and read it. I said they wont be elected into congress any time soon. It was not a reference to their lobbying, I was pointing out that they are very far from the mainstream.

    Yeah, and you were being dishonest in doing so since it clear they are far closer to the mainstream than many of like.

    It may suit you to pretend neo-nazis are not a problem, but they are, and no amount of your lying about it will change that. Have you not heard of the tea-party ? It can be hard, make that impossible, to tell the difference between many of those active in the tea-party movement and neo-nazis. Quite often because they are the same people.

  124. 124
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Cogito,
    Which is it, can they or can’t they get elected? I can read what you wrote upthread, asshole.

    Jesus Christ, it’d be more productive to have this argument witth my turtle and she doesn’t even speak English.

  125. 125
    cogito

    Ok so you have been reading about neo nazis for years and have concluded among other things that they are not a fringe movement. That wonderful. But at this point this argument seems to be mostly about the definiton of the word “fringe” ie not very interesting. But feel free to give us your definition.

  126. 126
    cogito

    I said that neo nazis are not going to be elected into congress any time soon, and exactly how have you disproven that? Man this is getting boring

  127. 127
    consciousness razor

    The video we were discussing is not about a rash of right wing violence. It is about a lone insignificant kook who has been shunned by his community. Kind of an important difference.

    Yep, I have certainly never heard of a “lone insignificant kook” going on a killing spree. Besides, compared to a large social movement of many such kooks, one killing spree is insignificant in the big scheme of things. No harm in just ignoring the kook.

  128. 128
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    But at this point this argument seems to be mostly about the definiton of the word “fringe” ie not very interesting.

    The definition of fringe is very much a part of this discussion. My useless opinion is that if the ideology espoused by a group is being internalized by one of the major political parties as actual policy proposals and/or policy goals, the group is not fringe. While their numbers may qualify for fringe, the influence of theocratic and secular fascist and neofascist groups means that they are far more than fringe.

  129. 129
    cogito

    consciousness razor:
    No you are right, we need to find all lone insignificant kooks and interview them for the news. That will stop them. Or maybe we should be focusing on more relevant threats?

  130. 130
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    The opposite of fringe would be mainstream– for example, having their views on (let’s say) immigration adopted by one of the major political parties. Or to have their most defining feature (racism) adopted by a major political movement (the tea baggers). Or, I don’t know lobbying Congress.

    Put up or shut up, asshole. I’ve shown that someone with rightwing extremist ties can be elected– how stupid do you have to be not to see the writing on the wall?

    The willfully ignorant are so fucking tedious.

  131. 131
    Matt Penfold

    I am sure that before he went on his murderous rampage, Breivik would have been considered a lone insignificant kook. In fact he has admitted he was aiming to be considered just that.

  132. 132
    A. R

    No you are right, we need to find all lone insignificant kooks and interview them for the news. That will stop them. Or maybe we should be focusing on more relevant threats?

    I seem to remember a “lone insignificant Kook” who killed a bunch of people in Norway last year, what about you?

  133. 133
    consciousness razor

    No you are right, we need to find all lone insignificant kooks and interview them for the news. That will stop them. Or maybe we should be focusing on more relevant threats?

    All threats are relevant. Which did you have in mind?

  134. 134
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    As for neofascists who have held public office recently, well, there was David Duke who served in the Louisiana state house. His monomania about racism (he is the Grand Wizard of one of the KKKs) made him impossible to work with. The only law I remember him presenting was on requiring drug tests for all receiving welfare payments. This was so extreme that the GOP wouldn’t even consider it. This is now a mainstream drive in the GOP.

    Fringe to mainstream. Where is the dividing line?

  135. 135
    cogito

    Darkheart:
    If you want to imply that neo nazi views are now mainstream, then the burden of proof is yours. Lobbying congress does not make an organization mainstream.
    A.R.:
    The point is that giving a platform to kooks so they can spread their propaganda can be highly problematic. Among other things it can make them feel validated in their views. There is a reason that serious journalists dont let anyone get on the air. A lone kook does not deserve that kind of legitimacy. Organized groups need to be minotred and reported on by journalists. A guy who just wants to spread his hateful bile? Not so much.

  136. 136
    Matt Penfold

    If you want to imply that neo nazi views are now mainstream, then the burden of proof is yours. Lobbying congress does not make an organization mainstream.

    Take a look at what is happening in US politics. We have, and it is ugly. You can refuse, and keep pretending nothing is wrong if you like.

  137. 137
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    *headdesk headdesk headdesk*

    First of all, you can’t just walk into Congress and start lobbying. You have to apply for that shit. It a bold move of the ANP to do that.

    Have you read nothing else that I’ve (or anyone else has) written? Their views are mainstream in American political discourse.

    I really wish you’d stop pretending that you know a damn thing about American politics, since it’s clear that you don’t. I’ll make a deal with you, coggie, I’ll refrain from talking about the poitical situatiom in the Scandinavian countries (not that I was, anyway) and you can shut the fuck up about the US.

  138. 138
    consciousness razor

    The point is that giving a platform to kooks so they can spread their propaganda can be highly problematic. Among other things it can make them feel validated in their views. There is a reason that serious journalists dont let anyone get on the air. A lone kook does not deserve that kind of legitimacy. Organized groups need to be minotred and reported on by journalists. A guy who just wants to spread his hateful bile? Not so much.

    So if they’re big and organized, then serious journalists (not an oxymoron) may report on them, despite the risk of spreading their propaganda, because not enough people know about them even though they’re organized and not so fringey.

  139. 139
    cogito

    Darkheart:
    Seriously, you need to provide better arguments if you really are claiming that neo nazi views are part of the political mainstream in the US. Right now all I hear is bluster from you.
    consciousness razor:
    Yes, large and organized hate groups are certainly much more of a threat than a lone kook.

  140. 140
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    you need to provide better arguments if you really are claiming that neo nazi views are part of the political mainstream in the US.

    Racism, extreme nationalism, militarization of the civilian police, anti-immigration, corporatism, denial of human rights to specific members of society, demonization of opponents, xenophobia, willingness to use torture for political reasons are just a sampling of ideas that are currently approved of in the GOP and Tea Party.

    Yes, large and organized hate groups are certainly much more of a threat than a lone kook.

    You do know that these groups consist of individuals, right?

  141. 141
    Rasmus

    The word nazi is kind of a red herring, but fascism is a word that is frequently used to describe modern far-right conservatives who think that their country is under attack by moderate leftism, immigration, non-nuclear families, sex, drugs and other “decadence”. The solution is to return to certain far-right mythical ideals of a mythical golden age that never existed.

    If that does not remind you of 21:st century US politics then you’ve probably been living under rock, even if you live in Scandinavia.

    It’s also interesting that Breivik’s fear of the labour movement almost exactly echos Hitler’s. Read chapter two (or three, i can’t remember) of Mein Kampf. It’s available on the internet.

  142. 142
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Coggie,
    I gave you a link of a respected not for profit that catalogs hate groups/hate crimes so you could read up on the phenomenon of righwing extremism in the US. Because you choose to ignore it is neither my fault nor my problem.

    I (and others) have given you plenty of examples of how they are going mainstream- from sympathetic members of Congress, to the Tea Party movement, the anti-immigration movement (which has ties to the far-right sovereign citizen movement and the “Minutemen”). For fuck’s sake, these people have an entire 24 hour “news” channel that panders to their racist, xenophobic, right wing views. What more proof do you need? Shall I spell it out in cake frosting for you?

    Like I said, you know fuck all about the American political climate right now. Continuing to proudly show your ignorance isn’t becoming.

  143. 143
    consciousness razor

    Yes, large and organized hate groups are certainly much more of a threat than a lone kook.

    Does that mean reporters shouldn’t cover them, if they are bigger threats? Why do you insist on downplaying this guy’s ability to be a threat? It can be just as counterproductive (if not more) to report on large hate groups, so please stop using such a ridiculous argument.

    Since you at least acknowledge that he is a threat, here’s the shit you started with in this thread:

    There is no reason to give this sad human being any attention at all. I see no need to publish this video or to link to it. Let him rot in his little world.

    Is there really no reason, or do you retract everything in this statement? Because there’s a decent chance he’s not just going to rot, no matter how insignificant you want him to be, and he doesn’t live in a different world than I do, however little it is.

  144. 144
    consciousness razor

    Does that mean reporters shouldn’t cover them, if they there are bigger threats?

  145. 145
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Also, coggie, how do you know that the “lone kook” is in fact “lone”? Why in the hell would you ever assume that someone wouldn’t seek out other like-minded individuals, since you know, pretty much everyone else does it?

    The lone gunman is a fucking myth. A dangerous myth.

  146. 146
    ibyea

    @cogito
    Have you seen what the modern GOP is like? Heck, the Tea Party group is outright facism in its ideology.

  147. 147
    Inaji

    Audley:

    Also, coggie, how do you know that the “lone kook” is in fact “lone”?

    Even when you do get the rare lone gunman, a la McVeigh, there were people who knew about his thoughts, his ideas, his feelings, his manifesto, ffs. McVeigh did a shitload of damage, to say the least.

    Most people, no matter how “fringe” one might consider their beliefs, will seek out others of like mind and generally have no problem whatsoever finding them.

  148. 148
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Caine,
    But McVeigh wasn’t alone– he had help and for the ever lovin’ life of me, I can’t remember the other dude’s name.

    BRB, Googling.

  149. 149
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Caine,
    You’re right, McVeigh did not belong to an organized terrorist group, but he did have help. From the Pfffft!:

    Terry Nichols and Michael Fortier were also convicted as conspirators in the plot.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Timothy_mcveigh

  150. 150
    Inaji

    Well, lots of people were aware of McVeigh’s thoughts and feelings about things; knew about what he wanted to do. The attitude which prevailed was “Oh, that Timmy, so wacky, but he wouldn’t actually hurt anyone…”

    Yeah, that worked out so well. That’s the problem with fuckwits like Cogito – they’ll ignore, ignore, ignore until you have someone shooting all over the place, or bombing or what have you.

  151. 151
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Caine,
    Damn straight. Ignore this shit at your peril.

  152. 152
    consciousness razor

    Yeah, that worked out so well. That’s the problem with fuckwits like Cogito – they’ll ignore, ignore, ignore until you have someone shooting all over the place, or bombing or what have you.

    Not a good plan if you ask me. The thing is, I don’t have much of a problem if cogito wanted to bury his or her head in the sand. But no, cogito thinks we all have to do it too or we’re making it worse. I just don’t fucking grok that.

  153. 153
    Inaji

    CR:

    I just don’t fucking grok that.

    Neither do I. When people like Kevin Forts pop up on the radar, they need to be dragged into the light, repeatedly and have it pointed out that their thinking is broken and it requires fixing, now.

    Ignorance just doesn’t get you anywhere, except possibly standing in the middle of a bunch of dead bodies. Or being one yourself.

  154. 154
    nooneinparticular

    Hmmm…another Pharyngula poop flinging fest*. How fun! I’ve some extra poo to fling, so thought I’d join the fun.

    Cogito is right; the stupid little shit doesn’t deserve attention. He’s a zit on the ass of humanity (regrets if the visual offends..just trying to keep to this thread’s eloquence).

    But everyone flinging poo back at cogito is right too; sunshine IS the best disinfectant. We cannot defend against -or eradicate- threats we don’t know about.

    Acknowledging the presence of dangerous assholes in our midst does give them attention -and credibility- they don’t deserve but maybe by making them recognizable we can, if the views are abhorrent enough, push them back into the sewer. The trick is figuring out which threats are real, are a priority in a constantly changing landscape of assholery and are worth the time.

    This guy isn’t.

    IMO, of course.

    *I’m wearing my poo-proof suit, so fling away! Tata.

  155. 155
    Mattir, Another One With Boltcutters

    @Audley –

    First of all, you can’t just walk into Congress and start lobbying. You have to apply for that shit. It a bold move of the ANP to do that.

    Well, actually you CAN just walk in to Congressional office buildings and start trying to drum up support for your ideas, no matter how loony. In fact, you have a consititional right to do so – the right to petition is part of the First Amendment. In addition, the rules on when and how you have to register as a lobbyist are complex and arcane, so not everyone who “lobbies” is officially required to register as a “lobbyist.” (Yes, you can call me an inside-the-Beltway-wonk.)

    The more interesting question is whether Congressional staff, let alone the elected officials themselves, will SCHEDULE MEETINGS with neo-nazi groups. You have the right to walk in the door, deliver letters, etc. They do not have an obligation to give their time and attention to you.

    I’m off to google, to see if there’s a list somewhere of elected officials who have met with the odious trolls.

  156. 156
    Ingdigo Jump

    @nooneinparticular

    Booo! You’re not funny! Booo! Get off the stage!

  157. 157
    rickschauer

    Fort rationalizing genocide is truly – Holy-Shit!

  158. 158
    Inaji

    Ing:

    You’re not funny!

    Oh, that particular moron of a Cupcake isn’t going for funny, rather a sort of hipster blasé, totes above Pharyngula, you know, just not above it enough to, like, actually leave.

  159. 159
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Mattir,
    Well, yeah, you can petition the government all you want, but you’re not an official Lobbyist™ at that point. (And I’m willing to bet the dinner of your choice that neonazis and the like are epic letter writers to their Congress critters.)

    I doubt anyone’s met with the ANP rep yet– they just filled out the paperwork earlier this week (IIRC). I would really love to see someone like Chuck Schumer tear that douche a new asshole, though. ;)

  160. 160
    Ingdigo Jump

    @Caine

    Web “And remind me, how do those ironic “non-idiots” show up?”
    Mitchell “Why just the same as idiots.”

  161. 161
    nooneinparticular

    oooo! Good one, caine. You really got me there, dint ya?

    BTW, you think Fort deserves his fifteen minutes? Or not?

  162. 162
    'Tis Himself

    Comment by nooneinparticular blocked. [unkill]​[show comment]

    Go away. You’re boring.

  163. 163
    nooneinparticular

    Nope. Not gonna.

    Any of you been around long enough to remember that loon Ted Holden? Him of the feral flying chickens? He used to accuse some folks of being “howler monkeys”. Even deranged idjits get things right now and then.

    BTW, ‘Tis, you think Fort should be given a soapbox? Or not?

  164. 164
    Dabu

    He’s a zit on the ass of humanity (regrets if the visual offends..just trying to keep to this thread’s eloquence).

    Yeah, that’s sockin’ it to me … with a sock.

    Forts never utters the cliche about omelets and broken eggs, but it’s spraypainted large between the lines. A policy of ignorance towards moral invertebrates like him only sends the message that their views are immune from criticism. That only provides a safe haven for such views to thrive and grow more malignant. Forts needs to learn, and learn hard, just how fucking ridiculous his rationalizations are. Breaking eggs to make omelets only works in kitchens, not as a metaphor in the wider world.

  165. 165
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    My bad, the ANP registered early last week.

    http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/robert-schlesinger/2012/04/13/nazis-get-their-own-lobbyist

    Here’s what they plan on lobbying for:

    What could the Nazis want to lobby the Congress about? “Political Rights and ballot access laws,” according to the registration form, which also lists lists accounting, agriculture, clean air and water, civil rights, health issues, the Constitution, immigration, manufacturing, and retirement as “general lobbying issue areas.” Who knew the Nazis had strong views on agriculture?

    Kind of vague, but who knows? Maybe that’s how these registrations generally work.

    But my point is the ANP feels mainstream enough to fill out this application, which is a scary thought in and of itself.

  166. 166
    nooneinparticular

    “A policy of ignorance towards moral invertebrates like him only sends the message that their views are immune from criticism.”

    hmmm

    “immune from criticism”? There is certainly a danger of that, I suppose. But you’d have to be lacking a similar moral spine to think those views, aired on blogs and tv stations or not, would be immune from criticism.

    I think cogito’s point is (was?) that this wacko’s views are so far off the charts that his ideas don’t merit the attention as the threat derived therefrom is not credible. Or something.

    Anyway, a policy of distributing images or ideas about Bad Things to a wider audience has all sorts of problems. Witness the foo-fa-rah about the American Heroes(tm) whose photo-ops with dead Afghan body parts caused even the defense secretary to call into question the propriety of their publication.

    Nevertheless even though I think cogito and ol’ Leon have a point, sunshine is good. You and the poo-chuckers here are basically right.

  167. 167
    Ingdigo Jump

    Yawn borring troll is zzzzzzzzzzz

  168. 168
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Yawn borring troll is zzzzzzzzzzz

    We have a troll? Must be boring, I didn’t notice the abject stupidity for Ing make such a statement. My mind is on other things, so I’ll take Ing at their word.

  169. 169
    Inaji

    It’s not worth bothering with, Nerd. Best to let it soak in its own manufactured ennui.

  170. 170
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Best to let it soak in its own manufactured ennui.

    I can do that.

  171. 171
    Matt Penfold

    Anyway, a policy of distributing images or ideas about Bad Things to a wider audience has all sorts of problems. Witness the foo-fa-rah about the American Heroes(tm) whose photo-ops with dead Afghan body parts caused even the defense secretary to call into question the propriety of their publication.

    Ah yes, the let’s hide the bad things that happened because then we can pretend they did not happen defence.

    It is a piss poor defence only used by the morally bankrupt. It seems you willing admit to being such.

    The people who fuck up when such photos are published are not those who publish them, but those who took them and those who posed for them. Like many US Secretaries of Defence your intellect seems unable to understand that. True, Rumsfeld was probably even stupider than you, but being a bit brighter than Rumsfeld is not saying much.

  172. 172
    nooneinparticular

    Ah yes, the ever present Penfold intellect and reading skills (really need to work on that, brotha).

    Soon you’ll be accusing me of lying…in…3…2…1…

    BTW, it wasn’t, of course, Rumsfeld who complained about our fine American Heroes(tm) posing with body parts.

  173. 173
    McCthulhu, now with -25% less fat.

    Matt Penfold: I have no idea where you got the idea I was complaining about PZ’s post. I have the impression you think I was taking the same tack as cogito, however I was making a different point altogether.

    I am trying to make the point that listening to a sensationalized trial where the whole thing becomes an exhibition for a madman’s screed on lunacy is pointless and doing him a favor. Looking in later on scholarly reports on why the thing happened is infinitely more useful and at least marginally less horrifying. If you’re not understanding that distinction I was trying to make about which source of information I find more valuable, that is your embarassment, not mine.

    Regarding the idiot in PZ’s OP, I already made comment about what I thought of him and what I thought was the most effective way of dealing with him. My comments about just reasons for killing were in response to someone else’s comment. I responded to Moggie regarding why it isn’t my duty to learn the more disgusting aspects of a mass murder, there are people that have chosen as their role investigation into those things. If I mistook your intent on your comment I apologize for that, but if I choose to learn from these kinds of occurrences in a way that doesn’t give a murderer a soapbox I think that is hardly putting one’s head in the sand.

  174. 174
    McCthulhu, now with -25% less fat.

    Rasmus@106: Thanks for making the clarification for me at the end of your comment. The party continued here long after I had gone to bed, but you did an excellent job of reading my mind, so kudos to you.

  175. 175
    nooneinparticular

    McCthulhu @173; It’s not really much of a mystery about Penfold’s misreading of your post. He got cogito wrong numerous times in this thread too and had the cajones to call him a liar. I don’t mean to single out Penfold, mind you; the kindest thing one can say about Darkheart’s reading of cogito’s post about electing Nazis to Congress would be maybe ing-gah-lish is not his (her?) first language.

  176. 176
    What a Maroon, el papa ateo

    He got cogito wrong numerous times in this thread too and had the cajones to call him a liar.

    It takes drawers to call someone a liar?

  177. 177
    Nick Gotts

    Given his crimes it’s clear that Breivik will have to be kept out of reach of other violent prisoners for his own safety. Putting him among other murderers would certainly be equivalent to a torture sentence, possibly even a death sentence.

    I think that is what McCthulhu was alluding to when he mentioned Breivik’s “reputation”. – Rasmus

    Ah, possibly so. But more likely than being in solitary, Breivik will be associating with other child-killers. Which is entirely appropriate.

    My point stands. – cogito

    No, it doesn’t. Your point was that we shouldn’t give Forts attention because that’s what he wants. On its being pointed out that he’s taken down his Facebook page, you say he got more attention than he wanted. So clearly your point does not stand at all, because by your own account we have not been giving him what he wanted. This is quite separate, of course, from the question of how Breivik’s trial should be handled.

    The point is that giving a platform to kooks so they can spread their propaganda can be highly problematic. Among other things it can make them feel validated in their views. There is a reason that serious journalists dont let anyone get on the air. A lone kook does not deserve that kind of legitimacy.

    Nor is it true, as you have claimed, that Breivik’s views mark him out as a “lone kook”. His “manifesto” was largely copy-pasta from various far-right authors such as William S. Lind. His actions were the logical outcome of a strain of far-right “thinking” (actually quite distinct from neo-Nazism), which we have seen quite a bit of here on Pharyngula, as many will remember, which demonises Muslims, multiculturalism, “political correctness” and the left.

  178. 178
    unclefrogy

    I like the idea that “sunshine is the best disinfectant”. It seems true but there is a problem with it as it intersects with people. Humans have an amazing ability of not seeing all the “facts” and only seeing what we want to see commonly called denial, along with that people have a way of modifying how they say things of self editing what they say so as to not sound so “nuts”. So the difficult thing is to get the “wackos” to bluntly say what it is they really think out in public where everyone will see what it is they are all about.
    In this case with these kinds of bigoted fascists what they really want to do kill and or enslave all “the others” for all the same kinds of irrational tinfoil-hat reasons which usually have their roots in very psychologically disturbed individuals who may be in need of counseling.
    They need to be identified at the least as dangerous.

    I do not intend to follow very closely this story it is just too disturbing but I think it is being handled pretty well so far.

    uncle frogy

  179. 179
    ianm

    It sounds to me like you guys are blaming this guy’s pro-Breivikism on his Roman Catholic or Christian upbringing and mindset. If you are going to argue like that you might as well be a Creationist.

  180. 180
    cogito

    On its being pointed out that he’s taken down his Facebook page, you say he got more attention than he wanted.

    Of course the guy in the video wanted attention, that is why he agreed to be interviewed. And of course he had to close his facebook page afterwards. Few people realize what it means to get that kind of attention. This does not mean that he has changed his mind or learned a lesson. And there are millions of fools like him, people who would be willing to get in front of a camera to spout some awful crap. Do they all deserve a minute in the spotlight?

    Nor is it true, as you have claimed, that Breivik’s views mark him out as a “lone kook”

    I have not referred to Breivik as a lone kook. I used that term to describe the man in the video. However, Breivik does in fact seem to have acted alone. According to the prosecutors, there is no evidence that anyone else was involved in the planning or execution of his crimes.

  181. 181
    Inaji

    ianm:

    It sounds to me like you guys are blaming this guy’s pro-Breivikism on his Roman Catholic or Christian upbringing and mindset.

    You need to sharpen up your reading comprehension skills, they’re abysmal.

  182. 182
    frodo

    VG, the norwegian newspaper making the interview with mr. Forts now report, that Forts has been asked to leave Assumption College, and not come back in any “foreseeable future”.

  183. 183
    Nick Gotts

    cogito,

    Of course the guy in the video wanted attention, that is why he agreed to be interviewed. And of course he had to close his facebook page afterwards.

    I’m looking for where you predicted that he would find the attention he gained too much for him, in advance of being informed that he’d closed his Facebook page. I’m not seeing it. Of course if he had instead exalted in the attention, boasting about it on his Facebook page, you would (with justification) have considered yourself vindicated, wouldn’t you? Very much a “Heads I win, tails you lose” sort of person, aren’t you, cogito?

    Few people realize what it means to get that kind of attention. This does not mean that he has changed his mind or learned a lesson. And there are millions of fools like him, people who would be willing to get in front of a camera to spout some awful crap. Do they all deserve a minute in the spotlight?

    How do you know he hasn’t learned a lesson? How do you know others have not been deterred from expressing the same hatreds? It’s abundantly clear that your main motive is to convince yourself, and others if possible, that you are right.

    I have not referred to Breivik as a lone kook. I used that term to describe the man in the video.

    Here’s what you said:

    The video we were discussing is not about a rash of right wing violence. It is about a lone insignificant kook who has been shunned by his community.

    The video is about Breivik, as well as Forts. How was I supposed to know which you meant?

    I’ve already explained how stupid it is to call Breivik a “lone kook”, because his ideas are far from unique – indeed, as I have noted, his manifesto was mostly plagiarised. The ludicrous paranoias and poisonous hatreds of such as William S.Lind, Mark Steyn, Pamela Geller, Bat Ye’or, Pat Condell, Terry Jones, Geert Wilders, the EDL, the Norwegian Progress Party and Kevin Forts have their logical culmination in the actions of scum like Breivik. You are giving those who spread this poisonous hatred absolution, an excuse to pretend these murders were nothing to do with them. I wonder why.

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