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Quick, Look!


Some dude name Jonah Goldberg is on CNN

Can I Get Up Now, Please, Sir?


I am sorry, sorry, SORRY for the implicit misinformation in my previous
posting. There is OF COURSE no such thing as “the Mafia.”


Our Democrats and Britain’S Tories


A rather odd, strangely unsatisfying take on the current problems of US Democrats and British Tories by the author of that much-praised new book about the making of the King James Bible I was pleased to see,
though, that he brought up the name of the colorful Victorian atheist Charles Bradlaugh. There is a statue of this gentleman–the only one anywhere, I am willing to bet–in my home town of Northampton, England. Bradlaugh (1833-91) was elected to Parliament by the people of Northampton (who, I regret to say, have strong bolshie tendencies), but was not allowed to take his seat because he refused to swear the new Member’s oath on the Bible. A new election was held, with exactly the same result. A third election was held; Bradlaugh won yet again, and the authorities yielded, admitting him to Parliament on a non-religious “affirmation.” Bradlaugh was quite a character. On the hustings he used to begin an address by taking out his pocket watch and declaring: “God! You have thirty seconds in which to strike me dead!”

Web Briefing: December 21, 2014

Re: Sword of Justice


Jonah: Names can be misleading. One of the most ruthless and bloodstained
Mafia bosses of the generation before last rejoiced in the name “Agniello
Dellacroce,” which means “Little Lamb of the Cross.”


Attention Prime Obsession Fans


I have now had enough reader reponses to my book Prime Obsession to start
building up a list of FAQs (i.e. frequently-asked questions). This is an ongoing project & I shall
add to it as required. Many thanks to all who e-mailed in.

The Answer to Joe Biden…


…and all the others who blast Iran-regime-change talk as “biting off more than we can chew” (Biden on Today today) or some other excuse:

This is not, as so many of the administration’s critics would have it, a call for further military action. Indeed, it is a prerequisite for limiting further fighting and safeguarding the lives of our soldiers now exposed to Iranian terrorism and insurrection in Iraq. It would reinforce the president’s basic insight that the war against terrorism is fundamentally a struggle against tyranny, and that we have entered the Middle East as liberators, not conquerors.
If we fail to act decisively, we will permit the mullahs to define the near future. The war against terrorism was never limited to a single country, or to a single strategy. We have defeated Saddam, now we must spread freedom to the heartland of the terror masters in Iran.

That’s the straight-shooting truth from our Michael Ledeen. Read the whole thing, if you haven’t, here.

Berkowitz On Strauss


The latest version of the vast-right-wing-conspiracy theory features Leo Strauss and those influence by his thought. Political theorist, Peter Berkowitz has a very nice piece (as Jonah mentioned over the weekend) explaining who Strauss is and why the wild charges against him are false. For longer and more nuanced treatment of Strauss, and a refutation of the charges often leveled against him, you can turn to two other pieces by Berkowitz, “The Reason of Revelation: The Jewish Thought of Leo Strauss” and “Liberal Zealotry,” Berkowitz’s critique of Political Scientist Stephen Holmes, one of the most prominent critics of Strauss. For web access to Berkowitz’s many thoughtful articles, go here.

Gwb, “Dry Drunk”


Far, far-left Katherine van Wormer has psychoanalyzed our President.

Eurovision Song Contest


Andrew: …although, of course, having raised the name of Max Bygraves,
one is confronted yet again with the age-old mystery, still–so far as I
know–unresolved in spite of the diligent researches of generations of
scholars: Is Max Bygraves Jewish?

Political Quiz


I took the thing (2.25, 2.56) but don’t give it much credence. When they
come up with one that can distinguish a Straussian from a Rothbardian, or a
crunchy metrocon from a Bushite neocon, I’ll pay attention. Incidentally,
Jonah, the British for “left-wing anarch-moron” is “anorak.”

Conner Peterson On Texas Minds


The Texas house of representatives voted 100-1 to advance an unborn victims of violence act this morning. Helping sway the vote was a letter from Laci Peterson’s mother—Conner Peterson’s grandmother:

[I]f the same crime had occurred in Texas, only a single homicide charge would have been permitted” without the bill, Rocha wrote, adding, “This bill is necessary to ensure that in the future, no mother who loses her baby in a criminal attack is later told by state authorities, ‘We are sorry, but nobody died in that crime.’”

Currently 27 states have similar laws. Congress is currently considering a bill that would give similar protections to unborn children who are killed in federal jurisdictions.

In Fact....


Speaking of name changes, I’d forgotten I once suggested changing NRO’s name to “Mobutu Sese Seko Kuku Ngbendu waza Banga.” I floated that idea in a column in which I defended NRO against others who would deny its rightful place in the conservative pantheon.

New Names For The Suits?


I just learned from Michael Ledeen’s excellent piece on Iran that Abu Khalid Sayef al Adel means “the sword of justice.” Perhaps we should assign the suits their own Arab names. If we take too long a lunch, you’ll be hearing from the Sword of Justice. That sort of thing.

Yeah, Yeah: Hipublicans


I just finished the

Nr Techie, Cont.


I should add that when NR interns write something, we let them put their names on it. In the case of James Justin Wilson, we even let them put three names on it. Just one more reason why it’s better to work here than at the NYT.

Nr Techie


National Review’s D.C. intern James Justin Wilson has a good piece on Tech Central Station today about Internet regulation.

Re: Your Rating


Yeah, I have a theory about this test in particular. I think that because it was created by Brits — and left wing anarch-moron Brits at that — their political compass has a different North Pole than ours. Hence even the questions where I answer as a conservative should or would are scored incorrectly because the authors assume my motives are different than they really are. Maybe Derb or Stuttaford have an opinion on the British angle. Regardless, all I know is that too many Corner readers are getting results showing their ideological proximity to Gerhard Schroeder, which is absurd. By the way, I don’t really need to know every Corner reader’s test results on this thing.

My Rating


Jonah: Agree with everything you said about those tests–so of course I took the one you mentioned. A bunch of the questions were odd, and I didn’t answer many of them “strongly agree” or “strongly disagree.” My “political compass,” as they call it, had me plotted several clicks to the right of the vertical axis (making me a good bit more “libertarian” than “communist”) and touching the horizontal axis (making me pretty evenly split between “authoritarian” and “anarchist”). None of this means anything, of course, and I became especially convinced of this when I saw that the test designers place Margaret Thatcher’s views on the X-Y graph sort of close to Hitler’s.



If Rick Bragg is telling the truth (I assume he talked to Howard Kurtz and not Kurtz’s intern), why does the Times bother with bylines? The frontpage should read on the top, Howell Raines’ New York Times. Then we can all know upfront that each “news” story is likely a hodgepodge of collective staff work. Maybe, too, without other names on the pages to obscure the issue, everyone will better understand that Raines is ultimately the one accountable for the seemingly endless stream of corrections.



They’re digging silos for missile defense in Alaska. Here’s an update from the Washington Post, complete with comments from the local village idiot and news about how getting out of the ABM Treaty is making one community’s library a little bit bigger.


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