Americans gripped by immigration and ethnicity issues should glance for perspective at the large print on the base of the Statue of Liberty: Give me your tired, your poor ... Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me ... Canadians with similar anxieties about immigrants and refugees -- categories that were often historically identical -- should think about Samuel de Champlain, who founded our country in the early 1600s.
The most chilling phrase in the Norwegian horror was the killer's statement, through his lawyer, that it was "atrocious," or in another translation "gruesome," or even just that he was sorry -- but it was necessary. I've never seen anything that expresses the toxic potential of ideology so eloquently. It's especially in that note of regret. Rage and hate do terrible deeds but they may falter. An idea that you know with certainty is true can be put into action no matter what your state of mind or feelings. You might even have tears in your eyes as you shoot.