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Bacon Number


Derb — Maybe this will save you 8 trillion emails, though I doubt it. A Bacon number — I’m fairly certain — is the number of degrees it takes to link you to a Kevin Bacon movie. I’m too busy to do it myself, but my guess is someone out there will figure it out for you.

Derb’s Bacon Number


A fan has somehow got me listed on a database of movie actors: Though genuinely thrilled, and
very grateful, I have no clue how he did this. Nor do I have any clue what
the following means: “In a couple of weeks the Oracle of Bacon at U
Virginia will download the latest records from IMDb and you’ll be able to
compute your Bacon Number. I have a hunch that you’ll have a Bacon Number
of 3, ’cause Chuck Norris has a Bacon Number of 2 and you’re one step away
from him. You’ll also be able to play the Star Links game, at the same
site, to see if you’re closer, graphically speaking, to Alex Baldwin or
Arnold Schwarzenegger… hopefully, it’s the latter.”


Triumph of Wills


Yes, Jonah, Will nails it. All he omits is W.’s foolish pursuit of the Great Brown Whale, the Hispanic vote.

War is the health of the state. Unlike Randolph Bourne, who said that, I believe certain wars need to be fought. But the era of big government being over is over.

BTW, NRODT (which is what you at NR Fleeting Pixels insist on callking NR) said this two weeks ago.

Web Briefing: July 13, 2014

Religious Bigotry


That reminds me, I wrote a syndicated column the other day defending John Ashcroft and expressing sincere bewilderment at the intensity of anti-Ashcroft views. I encouraged readers to send me concrete examples of what he’s done wrong as AG. I was astounded by how many people listed his in-office prayer meetings as an example. I’m open to the idea that prayer meetings in government offices might be a bad idea, though I personally don’t see anything wrong with it so long as they’re handled properly. But even if they’re terrible things, what’s the linkage to peoples’ lives? How does it affect anything? After all, when Bill Clinton was defiling an intern — and vice versa — the standard mantra from the left was “Who does it hurt?” Well, if you think consensual sex between an intern and the President doesn’t hurt anybody I need to know why you think consensual prayer hurts people.


Re: Pryor and The Fundraising Flap


Sessions said: “He did nothing wrong. The investigation proved he did nothing wrong. But the members of the committee haven’t had the grace to admit that.” Also confirmed on the call, which The Corner reported last week, on two occasions in recent weeks, Pryor was made available to staff to ask him questions about the fundraising. Republican staff did. Democrats refused to participate. Nothing like making your intentions clear.

Sessions On Pryor, Etc.


On a conference call with reporters a few minutes ago, Sen. Jeff Sessions highlighted religion as “the single greatest issue” behind opposition to Senators Pryor, Holmes, and Owens. Sessions said that “We cannot have a circumstance in the senate where people who have views which are consistent with mainstream faiths are disqualified for the bench.”

Re: Yaf V. Yaf


From a reader:

“Reminds me of the People’s Front of Judea and their hatred of being confused with the Judean People’s Front.”

Lines of The Fathers


I wonder how many people noticed Kristol’s presumably deliberate allusion to his dad in his op-ed piece. Kristol writes:

“There are plenty of legitimate grounds to criticize the Bush administration’s foreign policy. But the American people, whatever their doubts about aspects of Bush’s foreign policy, know that Bush is serious about fighting terrorists and terrorist states that mean America harm. About Bush’s Democratic critics, they know no such thing.

This tracks perhaps the most controversial thing his father ever wrote — given the time he wrote it. As a junior editor of Commentary in 1952, Irving Kristol wrote an article for that magazine, “Civil Liberties’ 1952: A Study in Confusion.” Pere Kristol made this observation — which has new relevance these days by the way — about the reigning anti-McCarthy hysteria:

“Perhaps it is a calamitous error to believe that because a vulgar demagogue lashes out at both communism and liberalism as identical, it is necessary to protect communism in order to defend liberalism. This way of putting the matter will surely shock liberals, who are convinced it is only they who truly understand communism and who thoughtfully oppose it. They are nonetheless mistaken, and it is a mistake on which McCarthyism waxes fat. For there is one thing that the American people know about Sen. McCarthy: he, like them, is unequivocally anti-Communist. About the spokesmen for American liberalism, they feel they know no such thing. And with some justification.”

Re: George Will


Agree with Jonah. George Will nails it. This administration is going to
kill conservatism stone dead. If it can.

But I called it, all of it, back in December 2000.

Conservatives in Unlikely Places


I got an e-mail praising something I wrote, from SWEDEN of all places. I
replied with the following:

“Thank you, ——. May I say, on behalf of all American conservatives, how
disappointed I am at the failure of Sweden to implode under the burden of
her welfare-state spending… as we have been predicting for 40 years….
Very best wishes, JD.”

My correspondent (who, to make things even more staggering, is a
journalist over there) responded as follows:

“Well Derb, Keep ‘hoping.’ I know that in some twisted way I do. The shock
of implosion is perhaps the only way that the nannied (is that a word?)
people of Sweden could wake up from their reliance on the welfare state.
You have no idea how difficult it can be to be a conservative in this

Well, I have some idea. But how refreshing to know that little green
shoots of conservatism are pushing up through the asphalt even in Uppsala
and Göteborg.

Off to Old Europe


This afternoon, I am off to teach students from both
old and new Europe at a “Europe and Liberty” summer seminar being held
at the THEODOR-HEUSS-AKADEMIE in Gummersbach, Germany by the Paris-based
Institute for Economic Studies. For the next week, I expect to be
posting from there. I am most curious about the reactions of these
liberal (in the European sense) students from throughout Europe to
recent international events. We usually have as many students from
eastern as from western Europe, though it varies a lot. Drinking
sessions at the pub should be even more interesting than usual this

Willful Disregard


Jonah, all in all Will’s piece is quite good, except for one distortion. He writes:

Today a conservative administration is close to asserting that whatever the facts turn out to be regarding Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, the enforcement of U.N. resolutions was a sufficient reason for war. If so, war was waged to strengthen the United Nations as author and enforcer of international norms of behavior.

This isn’t exactly true. He intimates there were two reasons for going to war: threat of WMDs and/or enforcement of U.N. resolutions. But Will knows that there were several compelling reasons “war was waged.” If weapons are not found, the war was not just an exercise in strengthening the U.N. as author and enforcer of international norms. The Bush team is quite obviously attempting to reshape the Middle East. Will could argue this is not a conservative thing to do, and he’d be able to make a good argument. But this suggestion that the war was either for weapons or for the U.N. isn’t right, and Will surely knows that.

More On Group Marriage


Yesterday I linked to an amazing new article by Judith Levine in The Village Voice. Levine’s piece argues for legal group marriage, and more. Now Tom Sylvester has posted a detailed critique of the Levine article.



Nina Totenberg had a snippy Pryor piece this morning with a typically liberal tilt, although it gave Hatch and Sessions some time to speak. It underlined the “quiet rage” of Leahy and Durbin as Catholics who are offended by Boyden Gray’s ad campaign suggesting the Senate Dems want faithful pro-life Catholics off the bench. Durbin, in particular, didn’t want Jeff Sessions the Methodist lecturing him on Catholic teaching. As if he lives by it.

BTW, I found no sign of Clinton’s CNN remarks on the morning shows yesterday.

The Photos


Are out (according to cNN). Released by the Coalition Provisional Authority, not the Pentagon. CNN seems very upset that they are “graphic.”

George Will


He manages to cram a lot of stuff into a small space, so there’s room to quibble at the omissions. But all and all I think he nails it. Republicans are doing great, conservatives are taking a terrible beating. I’d be curious to now what some of the other Cornerites think.

Re: Total Recall


John, I used to have misgivings about the recall Davis effort. After all, a recall effort isn’t prompted by any particularly conservative impulse. But in talking to more Californians about it, the extent to which Davis lied (there is no other word) in the run up to the last election is astonishing. Even for cynical California voters, his distortions about the budget were so clearly premeditated and calculated, so brazen and insulting to voters, that the recall effort begins to make sense.

Besides, the longer this recall fight goes on, the more we’ll be treated to asinine quotes from Davis like this:

“I wasn’t thrilled about serving my country in Vietnam in ‘68 and ‘69 but I did it, it was my duty and I am proud I did. I am not thrilled about this (recall), it is not a lot of fun but I do not shirk from the fight.”

I Scream


Kevin, relax. That report comes from the Center for Science in the Public Interest and can thus be ignored. The Center is not centrist, it’s not about science and it works against the public interest. Apart from that, their name is entirely accurate.

Yaf V. Yaf


Ribbing aside, I am a fan of both organizations, particularly the Foundation folks. But when folks at the Young Americans Foundation get peeved at being called YAF, I really have no sympathy. The two groups have similar missions, similar philosophies, similar fans etc. I know there are plenty of inside baseball differences between the two groups which are very significant to people close to them. But if you were inclined to be upset at being mis-identified as YAF why in the world would you choose the same initials for your group? It’s like someone starting a communications company called American Telephone and Text and being furious whenever someone calls it AT&T. Just my two cents.

Dead or Alive (Cont)


I see a little debate starting up among the nitpicking contingents about
whether or not it wouldn’t have been better to take the Hussein boys alive.
Here’s my two cents’ worth: we did absolutely the right thing.

There were just too many downsides to having them alive–not least the
nonzero probability of their escaping and thereby making us (a) start over
with them, and (b) look like moon-booted doofuses (doofi?).

Even from the intelligence point of view, it might have been better to off
them quickly, before they had the chance to destroy or hand away important

Worst of all though, the problem with keeping them alive is: WHAT DO YOU DO
WITH THEM? Given modern sensibilities, they’re going to end up with comfy
cells, celebrity lawyers, and megabuck book deals. No, no, no, no, no.

(There might, of course, be the prospect of Nuremberg-type trials, in Iraq
itself. This “victors’ justice” always smells bad to me, though. It would
smell bad to a lot of Iraqis, too, given that the _actual_ victor in the
recent war was the US of A, and any Iraqis conducting or participating in
such trials would be doing so on the backs of our war effort. There’s a lot
to be said for summary execution. I would have applied it to Goering, Tojo
& Co., too.)


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