William F. Buckley Jr., my hero, dead at 82

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In summary, Bill Buckley, a conservative icon and public intellectual, died today at the age of 82. He was known for his work in conservatism, libertarianism, and writing. He will be missed.
  • #1
Ivan Seeking
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William F. Buckley Jr., a conservative icon and public intellectual, died today at the age of 82, The New York Times and Associated Press report. [continued]
http://blogs.usatoday.com/ondeadline/2008/02/conservative-wi.html

:cry::cry::cry::cry::cry::cry:
 
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  • #2
RIP Bill, and my condolensces to his family and friends.

I enjoyed listening to Bill Buckley, even if I didn't agree with him.
 
  • #3
He will be missed. Though I would disagree with him on many issues, I always enjoyed hearing the rationale behind his views. Much more refreshing than listening to some faux "conservatives" who define their views as "patriotic" and "American" while denigrating people who disagree with them. Buckley had some refreshingly Libertarian views on some subjects that self-proclaimed conservatives would hate.
 
  • #4
Yeah, he was a great first baseman for the Dodgers.
 
  • #5
turbo-1 said:
He will be missed. Though I would disagree with him on many issues, I always enjoyed hearing the rationale behind his views. Much more refreshing than listening to some faux "conservatives" who define their views as "patriotic" and "American" while denigrating people who disagree with them. Buckley had some refreshingly Libertarian views on some subjects that self-proclaimed conservatives would hate.

He is often referred to as the father of Conservatism...and he was brilliant! We didn't agree on everything but we did agree on most issues. And he certainly changed my mind many times. The man's logic was impeccable. He also had the most extensive vocabulary of anyone that I've seen. When he died, 10% of the English language may have died with him.

In recent years it was sad to hear him talk about his life. He was pretty much just waiting to die.
 
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  • #6
Buckley was smart, logical, and very persuasive. He was a part of my life for about the last 45 years, when my parents started subscribing to the regional newspaper that carried his columns. Like I said, I often found fault with his positions over the years, but I greatly appreciated his willingness to lay out the details of his reasoning and the motivations that underlaid his positions. Nowadays, the "conservative" movement seems to be dominated by didactic, knee-jerk idiots who wouldn't be fit to polish Buckley's shoes.

Disclaimer: The Democratic/"Progressive" side of US politics is dominated by hacks that are not that far removed from the self-proclaimed "conservatives" that Buckley derided. Do you want Pepsi or Coke? Would you like to read Time or Newsweek? Our 2-party system is a stinking joke.
 
  • #7
turbo-1 said:
Like I said, I often found fault with his positions over the years, but I greatly appreciated his willingness to lay out the details of his reasoning and the motivations that underlaid his positions.

Funny because you and I seem to agree on most political issues, and AFAIK Buckley and I agreed far more than not.
 
  • #8
Well, I came out of a very poor family of French-Canadian immigrants that ended up in Maine because work was available during the Depression. Being Catholic, my family ended up with large families (that did not fit well with the non-agrarian tradition vs the heavily agrarian tradition that they came from back in Canada) and it was a definite liability when a father took on mill-work and tried to sustain an entire family on hourly wages. I tried to help out as much as I could by fishing, hunting, gathering berries, etc, and my dad and I spent weeks of evenings every spring picking pecks of fiddleheads (immature ostrich ferns) so that we would have a reliable source of vegetables over the winter. We'd pick them and sit together with my mother cleaning them every night, and the next day she'd blanch them and pack 'em in bags and stack them in our chest freezer. We ate fiddleheads several times a week all winter long - they kept us going.

I'm a conservative by my upbringing. The neocons who claim to be conservatives are radicals who want to confer the rights of citizens onto companies and businesses who have no standing in constitutional law. They are corrupt and they are thieves.
 
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  • #9
WFB said:
The individual is supreme

...
 
  • #10
turbo-1 said:
Well, I came out of a very poor family of French-Canadian immigrants that ended up in Maine because work was available during the Depression. Being Catholic, my family ended up with large families (that did not fit well with the non-agrarian tradition back in Canada) and was a definite liability when a father took on mill-work and tried to sustain an entire family on hourly wages. I tried to help out as much as I could by fishing, hunting, gathering berries, etc, and my dad and I spent weeks of evenings every spring picking pecks of fiddleheads (immature ostrich ferns) so that we would have a reliable source of vegetables over the winter. We'd pick them and sit together with my mother cleaning them every night, and the next day she's blanch them and pack 'em in bags and stack them in our chest freezer. We ate fiddleheads several times a week all winter long - they kept us going.

How does this relate to our political views? I am a German, Swedish, Finnish, English, native American X Catholic who grew up in S California.

oh yes, a little Swiss I think... as a child Grandpa spoke suissedeutch.
 
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  • #11
Ivan Seeking said:
How does this relate to our political views? I am a German, Swedish, Finnish, English, native American X Catholic who grew up in S California.
I don't know, Ivan, but you and I and Astronuc seemed to have converged on some common ground on energy, politics, and foreign relations without planning a bit of it.
 
  • #12
Very ironic - he was also my boss's hero and my boss is to the right of Rush Limbaugh! To see him also being the hero of people so far left makes him a real enigma to me.
 
  • #13
I've been telling you from day one that I'm a conservative. The problem is that neocons are not conservatives. The entire face of conservatism changed with this notion and WFB would be the first to agree. He despised the Bush admin and I'm quite sure that he thought even less of Rush.

A true conservative would never support someone like Bush. And contempt for a criminal does not equate to liberalism or the "far left".
 
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  • #14
I was watching a clip of him and Noam Chomsky on google a while back, but Noam seemed to be more to the point while Buckley came off as arrogant and not wanting to listen to Noam. All in all, it was fun to watch though.

 
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  • #15
Ivan Seeking said:
I've been telling you from day one that I'm a conservative. The problem is that neocons are not conservatives. The entire face of conservatism changed with this notion and WFB would be the first to agree. He despised the Bush admin and I'm quite sure that he thought even less of Rush.

A true conservative would never support someone like Bush. And contempt for a criminal does not equate to liberalism or the "far left".
It's very difficult to get this concept across to some people. I am far more conservative than most Republicans on issues like foreign affairs, economics, etc. The neo-cons are not conservative - they are radicals that are out to loot our treasury and push the agendas of their corporate handlers. We could use some real conservatives in high public office. Certainly a real conservative would not have started an unnecessary war based on lies and made-up intelligence, and stretched our military capabilities to the breaking point. Any president of either party would be wise to include a conservative of Buckley's ilk in their top tier of advisers.
 
  • #16
Cyrus said:
Buckley came off as arrogant and not wanting to listen to Noam. All in all, it was fun to watch though.

Buckley arrogant? Never! :rofl:
 
  • #17
turbo-1 said:
It's very difficult to get this concept across to some people.

Some people are not interested in the facts, which is why we got Bush.
 
  • #18
An http://cumulus.hillsdale.edu:8080/buckley/Standard/index.html" and Firing Line. Buckley was very friendly with Rush and characterized Rush-bashing and attacks on O'Reilly as a 'polemical device'.
They want to argue with you by simply outlawing your voice on the grounds that it is eccentric and extreme.

To whom did Buckley turn when asked to help arrange a tribute in Washington's RFK stadium to honor Ronald Reagan? T'was Rush... of course. http://cumulus.hillsdale.edu:8080/b...f_1153700157_buckley/ReaganLittleMemories.pdf
 
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  • #19
Well, don't know about that, but Rush helped bring us Bush, and Buckley despised Bush and neocons. Of course Rush has finally realized that he supported a liar and idiot.

From The News Hour tonight.
Buckley's legacy
JIM LEHRER: Finally, David, William F. Buckley, Jr., he was a big -- in fact, played a big part in your early life as a pundit, as you are now. Tell us the story.

DAVID BROOKS: When I was a baby pundit.

JIM LEHRER: Tell us about your relationship with him and what it meant to you and...

DAVID BROOKS: Well, he wrote a book in 1982 or '83 called "Overdrive," which was a little bit of name-dropping about his lifestyle, which was this grand lifestyle of skiing and...

JIM LEHRER: It was a terrific book. Came out first in the New Yorker. It was a great, great...

DAVID BROOKS: Right, riding in long limousines. So I was a smart-alecky college student, so I wrote a parody of his life, making fun of him. And I said, you know, he wrote three memoirs while he was in infancy, he founded two magazines, one called the National Buckley and one called the Buckley Review, which he merged to form the Buckley Buckley.

And so I made fun of him. And he came to campus at the University of Chicago where I was then a student. And he said, "David Brooks, if you're in the audience, I want to give you a job."

And that's how I became a journalist. And I went to work for him and when he...

JIM LEHRER: What did you do for him?

DAVID BROOKS: I was an editorial associate, writing small editorials and things like that. And when you work for him, even if you were 22, 23, 24, he welcomes you into his home. He takes you sailing; he asks your opinion; he really edits you hard, so he teaches you how to write.

And he brings you into this incredible lifestyle, which was overwhelming for any young person. And it was the big break of my life. I wouldn't be sitting here today if he hadn't done that.

And how many people of that stature take somebody who's made fun of them and said, "I want to give you a job"? We know a lot of people who aren't quite that secure who would never have done that.

But Buckley did that because, a, he was secure, but also because he had the capacity for friendship and bringing people in. And even if it wasn't the politics, he didn't care about it. He saw someone who might make a living as a journalist, and he wanted to hire me for that reason.

JIM LEHRER: What did you -- is there a simple legacy statement to be made about him?

DAVID BROOKS: Well, he redefined conservatism, the personality of conservativism. Conservatism was somewhat cranky, somewhat sour, somewhat anti-intellectual. He made it intellectual and fun.

And you go back to those early "Firing Lines," the level of debate on those shows is really astounding. And that's because he took ideas seriously, and he asked the audience to do so, and they did
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/white_house/jan-june08/sbtxoh_02-29.html
 
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  • #20
You know, I would rather be governed by the first 2,000 people in the Boston telephone directory than by the 2,000 people on the faculty of Harvard University.
- WFB

This statement is somewhat paradoxical given that Buckley is credited with bringing intellectualism to conservatism. But he truly believed that there is greater wisdom in the average voter than in the average politician, so perhaps he viewed the faculty at Harvard as a political body rather than an academic one. :biggrin:
 
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  • #21
Cyrus said:
I was watching a clip of him and Noam Chomsky on google a while back, but Noam seemed to be more to the point while Buckley came off as arrogant and not wanting to listen to Noam. All in all, it was fun to watch though.



That entire video puts Buckley's "intelligence" into question. He's proven wrong several times and does nothing other than continue to interrupt Chomsky.

He also gets his facts clearly confused, as in the "Nazi Communist insurgency" in Greece -- his dates are clearly way off -- and his facts are also more than confused in Vietnam (Chomsky's points are pretty much modern scholarship now).

Near the end of the video he makes a totally pointless point about Czechoslovakia being neutral, merely to try and sound intelligent to throwout another "big word" out there that he knows.

There's also a video between Buckley and Vidal where Buckley looses it and calls Gore Vidal a "queer" and threatens to hit him if Vidal calls Buckley a Nazi one more time.

This is odd, considering that Buckley was calling for the REMOVAL of certain people from society, namely, those who had the audacity to question the Vietnam war, and he even published an article in the NY Times suggesting that communities have the right to remove people from society at their whim.

If you watch the COMPLETE interview with Chomsky, Buckley also threatens to hit Chomsky. He may have threatened Howard Zinn as well.

Buckley was all rhetoric and no substance, and repeatedly threatened people who defeated him in debate.
 
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  • #22
How much have you watched and read his work? How many hours?
 
  • #23
Ivan Seeking said:
This statement is somewhat paradoxical given that Buckley is credited with bringing intellectualism to conservatism. But he truly believed that there is greater wisdom in the average voter than in the average politician, so perhaps he viewed the faculty at Harvard as a political body rather than an academic one. :biggrin:


Ridiculous. There have been far more intelligent contributors to Conservatism than Buckley, such as Burke himself.

I also think some other intelligent Conservatives might be the founding fathers of the United States. They actually started making conservative arguments for things, such as Federalists, and often referred to as conservatives in PoliSci tests.
 
  • #24
OrbitalPower said:
Ridiculous. There have been far more intelligent contributors to Conservatism than Buckley, such as Burke himself.

I also think some other intelligent Conservatives might be the founding fathers of the United States. They actually started making conservative arguments for things, such as Federalists, and often referred to as conservatives in PoliSci tests.


This is about modern conservatism - the last half of the 20th century. You are off by about two centuries.
 
  • #25
Given that you have absolutely no concept of the context here, you might try learning a little about the man first.
 
  • #26
No concept of the context? Buckley's work is useless to modern scholarship, or any scholarship.

If you want a Conservative intellectual in the twentieth century -- who's actually an intellectual scholar -- there are plenty of them.

Hans Morgenthau for one, as well as about a dozen other "realists" in America, not to mention numerous conservative philosophers and historians. They have probably been far more influential than Buckley ever has been, even in the implementation of policy, and of the rhetoric used to defend it.

But they're certainly more important to overall academic scholarship.

Buckley was a 'public intellectual.' To indicate what that means, David Horowitz is also considered a 'public intellectual,' as is Ann Coulter. Buckley was yesteryear's David Horowitz. That's it.

That kind of "politics" is to political science what a self-help guide is to medicine or a "Dummy" book is to modern physics.

Some of us look to peer-reviewed journals, and research projects, to learn from. But if you want to look to the "Buckleys" of the world, who can't even make a point without threatening someone - go ahead.

Buckley would lose an eighth-grade debate with his "intellectual" arguments of threatening people.
 
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What were William F. Buckley Jr.'s contributions to science?

William F. Buckley Jr. was primarily known as a political commentator, author, and founder of the conservative magazine National Review. He did not have any significant contributions to the field of science.

Was William F. Buckley Jr. involved in any scientific controversies?

As a political commentator, William F. Buckley Jr. often expressed his opinions on scientific topics such as evolution and climate change. However, he did not have any direct involvement in scientific controversies.

Did William F. Buckley Jr. have any scientific background or education?

No, William F. Buckley Jr. did not have a background in science. He received his education in political science and economics.

What made William F. Buckley Jr. a hero to you?

As a scientist, my definition of a hero may be different from others. William F. Buckley Jr. was a highly influential figure in American conservatism and played a significant role in shaping conservative political thought. He was also known for his eloquent and witty writing style, which I admire.

How did William F. Buckley Jr. die and at what age?

William F. Buckley Jr. passed away on February 27, 2008, at the age of 82 from complications of emphysema. He had been battling the disease for several years prior.

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