Friday, October 06, 2006

We can only hope...
...that this kind of rational thinking catches on.

It wouldn't have helped in the Pennsylvania incident last week, as the Amish are pacifists and would not agree to arm their schools—but it could help just about everywhere else.

After we had that spate of school shootings following Columbine, I remember joking with my friends about how you never see shootings in urban schools. The punchline was: that's because if someone pulls out a gun, he knows that three other guys are going to take him down before he gets a shot off.

Okay, so it's not a good joke, but it may be an apt one. Let's hope people figure this one out.

UPDATE [10/10/2007 - 22:33]: There's been a lot more talk on this topic in the past few days, and I wanted to call your attention to one story in particular. This piece looks at the benefits of arming teachers in schools, and makes some pretty strong arguments based on regions in which it has been tried. I was amazed, for example, to learn that Thailand, a primarily Budhist country, has seen a very successful program grow along these lines. Maybe my comment about the pacifist Amish wasn't as accurate as I may have thought.

The key point is simply this:

One confirmation of the strength of the case for allowing teachers the choice to be armed is the weakness of the arguments against it. Significantly, we have real-world tests of the policy — not only in Israel and Thailand, but also in the United States.
Read the whole thing.

Yikes
James Lileks has some thoughts on Islamism, "the other" and various other elements of our current global conflict. His thoughts are fairly straightforward as I see them, and generally represent the most rational way of approaching the situation that I can see.

But then he concludes with a metaphor that's really pretty terrifying:

Ever watched a fight on TV? Before the bout everyone's milling around in the ring; there's hard looks and grins and hangers-on and photographers, and a general air of excitement and anticipation, but everyone's enjoying the moment. Then the bell clangs. Everyone heads to their [sic] corners. They know exactly which corner is theirs.

We may think that bell's already rung, but it hasn't. Believe me, you'll know it when it does.
I mean, I've thought about this possibility before—generally that we could start seeing escalation upon escalation, leading to all-out global conflict between Muslim and not—but never in quite such stark terms.

I'm going to have to do some thinking about this one.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Very interesting
Catherine Seipp comments on South Park 10 seasons out, and has a lot to say.

I still need to read South Park Conservatives, though.

Monday, October 02, 2006

What a bunch of jerks
The AP really must not like new media. Look at this little tongue-in-cheek section of an article about Google's purchase of the garage where the company was founded:

The busloads of people that show up to take pictures of the house and garage have become such an annoyance that Google asked The Associated Press not to publish the property's address, although it can easily be found on the Internet using the company's search engine.
I mean, it's true. But what's the point of complying with Google's request if you're just going to tell your readers how to circumvent it?

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Consider This

With all of the inane, overly-emotional discussion about torture that we see on a daily basis, it's worth taking the time to read Dean Barnett's thoughts on the subject.

One of the key bits for me:

It's inevitable that innocent people will be subjected to this kind of treatment. But this is war, and in war we make moral compromises. For example, normally we don't like to kill people. In war, we try to kill people by the thousands. That Amnesty International guy that I was on TV with last night kept whining that we wouldn't be having any of this if it weren't for 9/11. Duh. If we weren't at war, we could comfortably remain in the moral sphere that we aspire to. But right now, that's not an option.
But read the whole thing.

Tom Maguire has thoughts on the subject as well—equally worth reading.