Fred Thompson, R. I. P.

Fred Thompson had died of a recurrence of lymphoma. He was 73.

He was quite a character. I remember him from when he was a law school student at Vanderbilt while I was an undergraduate.

He delivered many memorable lines in his varied careers, but the most import was probably, “Mr. Butterfield, are you aware of the installation of any listening devices in the Oval Office of the President?”

Robert Conquest, R. I. P.

Robert Conquest, the historian whose insistent telling of the true story of the Soviet Union helped lead to the West’s stiffened resistance, has died at age 98. Not only was he a formidable historian and polemicist, he was a poet and master of the limerick.

There once was a Bolshie named Lenin
Who did two or three million men in.
That’s a lot to have done in,
But where he did one in,
A Bolshie named Stalin did ten in.

Jerry Barnes, R. I. P.

Carroll County States Attorney Jerry Barnes has died. The cause of death was a gunshot wound that appears to have been self-inflicted. He was 66 years old.

Barnes served with distinction with the Army Special Forces in Viet Nam. He was awarded two Bronze Stars.

UPDATE—Local coverage here.