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Cultural Commentary

Where was God in Norway?

A sign of love for Oslo is seen inside of a sea of flowers and lit candles placed in memory of those killed in Friday's bomb and shooting attack in front of Oslo Cathedral July 25, 2011.  (Credit: Reuters/Wolfgang Rattay)Where were the Norwegian police while Anders Breivik was shooting innocent civilians last Friday? They have only one police helicopter; its crew were on holiday at the time of the attacks. Today their chief of staff states, "You always try to be better but I don't see how we could have been faster."

God is not limited to a single helicopter. Where was he in Norway last Friday?

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Anders Breivik and the presence of God

Survivors and relatives of a shooting rampage mourn following a memorial service in the Oslo cathedral July 24, 2011. (Credit: Reuters/Wolfgang Rattay)As each day passes, we learn more about Anders Behring Breivik. As you know, last Friday he killed 76 people in the bloodiest act of terrorism Norway has seen since World War II. Before launching his attacks, he posted to his Facebook page a 1,516-page document which explains his motive.

His manifesto blames multiculturalism for the destruction of Western culture. In it he states, "I do not hate Muslims at all... This does not mean that I will accept an Islamic presence in Europe. Muslim individuals who are not assimilated 100% by 2020 will be deported as soon as we manage to seize power."

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The NFL lockout, the debt ceiling, and my drill

The electric drill my grandfather bought for meThe NFL lockout has been called "millionaires deciding how to share billions." Since the NFL makes $9 billion a year and the average player salary is $1.8 million, it's been hard to generate sympathy for either side. The collective bargaining agreement expired on March 11. The players filed a lawsuit against the owners, who locked out the players from their facilities. Owners want to limit salaries; players want more money.

Showing that life imitates sport, the debt ceiling debate has likewise risen rancor on all sides. Republicans want to cut spending, reform Medicare, and keep taxes low. Democrats want to protect Medicare and raise revenues. Neither can have what it wants; both have the votes to block the other party's agenda. And yet, according to the United States Chamber of Commerce, "defaulting on our debt is not an option—it has real, immediate, and potentially catastrophic consequences."

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