Off-Topic Thought

Leo Schulte schulte at
Thu Apr 19 13:51:53 CEST 2007

I warn my students about the possibility that "sane people can do
terrible things" and I also warn them about "morality by body count."

The shooter in Virginia seems to have been insane, and therefore his
actions become more comprehensible: but when you look at the 3 worst
killers in human history, all in the 20th century, (Mao, Stalin, and
Hitler), there is little indication that they were clinically insane.  We
want to believe that only an insane person can kill so many millions of
people, but while we can agree that the 3 dictators were probably not
normal, they were not insane, i.e. detached from reality by

In the end killers are killers: the body count and the "reasons" for
their crimes are irrelevant.  People still make excuses for Mao and
Stalin: Mao is something of a sainted icon among people who don't know
his crimes.

At such times we see the value of escaping to the Duckburg Universe and
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