Something That I Learned From Reading Blogs

Not only are there many extremely intelligent ordinary people out there, but a lot of famous, mainstream journalists and commentators get by mainly on their rhetorical skill and lack both analytical ability and common sense.

UPDATE: Mitch raised the hair issue in the comments, and I realized that I didn’t mean to restrict what I wrote to mainstream-media people. Andrew Sullivan (not to pick on him but he’s an obvious example) fits the pattern, despite not being a MSM person and not having important hair. He writes beautifully but his analysis of matters economic (deficits bad!) and geopolitical (we’re losing!) is somewhat less acute than is his rhetoric. Some people simply write better than they think. We should always examine arguments carefully, no matter who made them or how satisfying they sound.

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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