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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Birthday, WFB

Today would have been Bill Buckley's 85th birthday. Though I was born after the ages of Reagan, Goldwater, and Buckley's years as editor of NR, I still owe a great debt to his thought:

God and Man at Yale was my sobering introduction to - and subsequent rejection of - liberalism.

Reading lists and speakers from YAF have helped shape my perspective by exposing me to the nuances of conservative political thought.

I expanded my vocabulary and knowledge of history by watching Firing Line (with a dictionary).

And, of course, I do not know where I would be without my fix of National Review each day.

I don't think anyone else has done as much for political activism and the conservative/libertarian movement as WFB. What do you remember most fondly about Buckley?


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  1. Though I was born after the ages of Reagan...

    Just how young are you?

  2. His clever wit. My favorite:

    "I won't insult your intelligence by suggesting that you really believe what you just said."

  3. 20, I've only lived through Bushes, Clintons, and Obamas :-(.

  4. I was born in '62, so all I remember of WFB is him on Firing Line - his voice and New England WASP accent.

    My Dad used to watch his show; I never understood why, until I had my conservative "awakening" in 2007/2008 watching the debacle that was the "anointing" and "immaculation" of Obama.

    I am thankful for the enlightening! I should now read the book you note, God and Man at Yale. I am sure it will be riveting, now! :) Happy Thanksgiving, Professor!

  5. "Now listen, you queer. Stop calling me a crypto Nazi or I'll sock you in your goddamn face and you'll stay plastered."

    WFB to Gore Vidal, 1968 debate

  6. Pasadenaphil, I love that one too--it's one of two quotes on my FB info page, just to make sure all my liberal friends know which way the wind's blowing. (My other quote is by H.L. Mencken: "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule it."

  7. 1. The Hoover Institution has many transcripts of Firing Line available; some some the programs are available for purchase at Amazon.

    2. 20, I've only lived through Bushes, Clintons, and Obamas :-(.

    For your sake and mine, I hope your future decades are no more "interesting" than the first two, but I wouldn't put money on it.

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  9. Buckley was a talented harpsichord player, and loved Bach's music.

  10. Always answered his mail. I have 6-8 replys from him about everything including 'Peanut Butter'.Favorite qoute "Cancel your own god dame subscription".