The Libertarian Gap

(crossposted on Flit(TM))

The Gap, or more formally the Non-Integrating Gap, is a concept at the core of Dr. Barnett’s The Pentagon’s New Map: War and Peace in the Twenty-First Century. But what is the Gap? This question comes to me every time I read a libertarian critic of the concept.

Gap countries are, by definition disconnected from the global rulesets that manage the Core, those states where a disturbingly large proportion of the world wants to get into. I say disturbingly because, all things being equal, there is really no reason for people socially acculturated and biologically specialized to warm climes to make their way in large numbers to nordic nations, but they do. Something pretty special must be attracting them while simultaneously repelling them from their ancient homelands. That something is clear after a bit of investigation, huge waves of horrifying violence interspersed with a daily brutality of individual denigration and lack of the normal rights to live out their lives in control of their own destiny.

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Homeland Terror: What Are the Odds?

Beslan seems to have raised a lot of consciousness (as lefties might put it). Until a few weeks ago most of us didn’t seriously consider the possibility that such an attack could happen here. I think that a lot more people now realize that it could easily happen. Lex is right on all points.

What would happen if it happened? I thought we might not handle it well the first time, and I still think that’s likely to be the case. Matthew Heidt comes to a similar conclusion from a much-better-informed perspective. I agree with Lex and Dave Kopel about the value of armed teachers (and why not parents too), but the PC grip on our educational system is so strong that I suspect many deaths will occur before such common-sense protective measures become accepted. (Links via Instapundit and Hugh Hewitt.)

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Oliver Stone, Idiot

Instapundit links to an excellent interview with the great artiste. Here’s a representative sample:

[interviewer]: Did you ask him about his relationship with Juanita in Miami?

[Stone]: God, I don’t remember. There were so many women.

[interviewer]: Juanita is his sister.

[Stone]: Juanita’s his sister? … He seemed to be a very straight-shooter, very kind of shy with women.

[interviewer]: I’ve called him the movie star dictator. Did you get that sense about him?

[Stone]: Totally. I think it would be a mistake to see him as a Ceausescu. I would compare him more to Reagan and Clinton. … They were both tall and had great shoulders, and so does Fidel.

[interviewer]: For the second film, you received permission to see the dissidents [Stone]valdo Paya, Vladimiro Roca, and Elizardo Sanchez. They spoke critically of the government. Obviously, that couldn’t have happened unless permission for them to see you was granted, right? What do you make of Castro allowing that to happen?

[Stone]: I don’t think he was happy with it. I don’t think he wants to be in the same film with Paya. In his mind they are faux dissidents.

[interviewer]: He actually calls them faux dissidents? He called them the so-called dissidents?

[Stone]: Yeah, so-called, right. I was in Soviet Russia for a script in 1983, and I interviewed 20 dissidents in 12 cities. I really got an idea of dissidents that was much rougher than here. These people in Cuba were nothing compared to what I saw in Russia.

[interviewer]: Did you ever think to bring up why he doesn’t hold a presidential election?

[Stone]: I did. He said something to the effect, “We have elections.”

If you’re naive it’s easy to conclude that leftist cultural icons like Stone have some special insight. After all, they seem so confident in their views, and so many people in the press treat them deferentially. But it can take nothing more than a few pointed questions to make clear that a famous maker of politically themed movies is an ignorant fool. What’s remarkable is how seldom journalists ask such questions. But once in a while someone does, and once in a while the interviewee lets his guard down and the celebrity balloon deflates. (I give Stone credit for risking a hostile interview. Famous leftists like Barbra Streisand, who issues proclamations on her web site but otherwise shirks open debate, deserve even less respect.)