William F. Buckley dead at 82 - Every once in a while there is some good news!

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    Feb 27, 2008 5:15 PM GMT
    After thinking about this I am sorry I started this thread. It isn't really consistent with who I want to be and I am profoundly sorry if it has offended anyone.

    PEACE
    Terry
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    Feb 27, 2008 9:19 PM GMT
    ursamajor saidFrom The National Review--Someone, 20 years ago, suggested a discreet tattoo the site of which would alert the prospective partner to the danger of proceeding as had been planned. But the author of the idea was treated as though he had been schooled in Buchenwald, and the idea was not widely considered, but maybe it is up now for reconsideration.


    Of course, the author in question was the writer himself, the now-deceased but always-coy William F. Buckley. Disgusting to the end.
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    Feb 27, 2008 10:14 PM GMT
    I bet Gore Vidal is doing a jubilant dance.
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    Feb 28, 2008 12:46 AM GMT
    Y'know, this is gonna sound weird. . . but just the other day, for some reason, I suddenly thought about Buckley and Vidal, how they hated each other. . . and I thought, how the both of them, elderly now, would simply hang on for the sake of outliving the other!
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    Feb 28, 2008 2:41 AM GMT
    LittleDudeWithMuscles saidY'know, this is gonna sound weird. . . but just the other day, for some reason, I suddenly thought about Buckley and Vidal, how they hated each other. . . and I thought, how the both of them, elderly now, would simply hang on for the sake of outliving the other!


    I'm not sure the hatred was all it was cracked up to be. Sure, they disagreed politically, but the "feud" brought them each publicity, something they both dearly loved.
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    Feb 28, 2008 3:10 AM GMT
    Here's the most dramatic exchange from the 1968 debate between Vidal and Buckley. This was part of an ongoing feud that continued well after the debate. Even as late as 2003 there were legal battles between the two.

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    Feb 28, 2008 4:28 AM GMT
    Kinda like Mary McCarthy and Lillian Hellmann, doing legal battle until Hellmann died.

    Of course, Hellmann screwed up big time. McCarthy made that very funny comment that "every word she writes is a lie, including 'and' and 'the'", so Hellmann sued her for libeling her. Whereupon people started looking more deeply into Hellmann's writings and discovered that, in fact, nearly every anecdote in her entertaining memoirs HAD been appropriated from someone else's life, including "Julia", who turned out to be a physician in New Jersey who shared the same psychiatrist as Hellmann, and whose life story the psychiatrist apparently inappropriately shared with Hellmann at a dinner party, whereupon she decided the story was way too good not to use.

    Had she written it as pure fiction, she'd have been rightly hailed, because the story was beautifully written. Of course, it had nothing to do with her life, and presented as autobiography, it was pure fraud.

    She must never have read about why Oscar Wilde went to gaol.
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    Feb 28, 2008 4:31 AM GMT
    Can't say I know a single thing about this guy, outside what I read in your post. But, with an air of ignorance, I'll take your word on it - for now icon_wink.gif
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    Feb 28, 2008 6:54 AM GMT
    jesus called... william answered... awwww.
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    Feb 28, 2008 7:16 AM GMT
    Gore Vidal on The President.........



    And then there is the Ali G. moment..........




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    Feb 28, 2008 3:54 PM GMT
    Have you run into Gore Vidal in Italy, Mr. Ursa?
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    Feb 28, 2008 4:37 PM GMT
    Unfortunately he is no longer here.

    He and his partner had a beautiful house on the Costa Amalfitana. If you know the area it is very rocky and vertiginous and the villa sort of spilled down a hillside over the ocean.

    There were hundreds of steps.

    When Mr. Vidal's partner passed away he refused to have an assistant and decided to abandon Italy.

    As I understand it he is back in Los Angeles and has been for perhaps the last three years.

    I wish I had a chance to know him, as I consider him one of the most erudite and genuinely interesting men of our epoch.

    Peace
    Terry
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    Feb 28, 2008 4:42 PM GMT
    I was always concerned Buckley would out live Vidal.

    Sometimes there is justice in this world.
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    Feb 28, 2008 4:49 PM GMT
    The same debate arose when Jerry Falwell died -- whether it was appropriate to celebrate.

    Yes, Ursa, Vidal has been in LA for at least 3 years; I wasn't sure how long you've been in Italy. I have friends in Rome who visited him pretty regularly in Ravello.

    Pertinent to the business about Buckley being so "nice" in his personal life, Vidal is pretty much a mean drunk in his own life.

    I don't see what their personal lives have to do with their work.
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    Feb 28, 2008 6:01 PM GMT
    OW,

    We have been in Italy for 6 years.

    You are right that life is full of contradictions (G-d knows mine is).

    It is also full of mean drunks.

    I am sorry I brought this whole thing up in the first place.

    My point isn't that people need to walk the talk it was that there is a responsibility that comes with being a public figure.

    We hold certain people to this standard when it is obvious that what they say has consequences (i.e. Ben Bernanke). I cannot see how George Clooney is any less responsible for his words when he gets up in front of the UN and says whatever he says.

    Cheers,
    Terry




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    Feb 28, 2008 9:19 PM GMT
    Oh, I'm not disputing your assessment of Buckley. I don't care if he was "nice" in person. I hear William Kristol is "nice" in person. But they are both ideological assholes.

    Buckley, by the way, was not happy with the neocons. He thought the Iraq war was a huge mistake and alienated many of the people working at the magazine he founded, the National Review.

    But this was also a man who opposed the civil rights act and recommended the "branding" of people with HIV. I'm sure his patrician background taught him to conduct himself with civility most of the time. But good manners have nothing to do with ideology.

    I grew up watching his program on PBS -- every Sunday, I think -- with my Republican parents. It was great aversion therapy.
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    Mar 01, 2008 1:57 AM GMT
    ursamajor saidAfter thinking about this I am sorry I started this thread.


    You have nothing to apologize for. Buckley was responsible for much of what has gone terribly wrong in the United States.
  • EricLA

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    Mar 01, 2008 1:58 AM GMT
    Ding dong the bastard is dead.
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    Mar 01, 2008 6:01 AM GMT
    Wow,
    I'm surprised there hasn't been a more vocal Buckley defense! icon_surprised.gif I remember reading the NR as a young gay conservative, wondering why federalist principles and libertarian economics had to be married to social conservatismicon_idea.gif! I still do.
    While I agree that Buckley brought the "modern" conservative movement about, I don't think he is responsible for all it's excesses and there have been MANY conservative ideas he spoke out against -- see marijuana, "legalization of."


    BUT, as for the aforementioned regrettable statement about Aids and tattoos... I well rememeber that in Manhattan, the story was all about how he had put his foot in his mouth while his (absolutley lovely) socialite wife was sitting on numerous fund raising committees for HIV/AIDS research -- that man was in the dog house for 6 months and if you understood her, the public outcry was nothing compared to the hell he caught at home. REALLY! icon_twisted.gif

    SO, when I die, I hope the internet refrains from quoting/repeating my worst and I get the pass that WJB didn't quite get here on RJ>

    Did I mention he had numerous lifelong gay friends? He was a NEW YORKER through and through -- in the best possible sense!

    My 2 cents...
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    Mar 01, 2008 6:09 AM GMT
    Libertarianism is just selfishness which has adopted a name that allows its adherents to pretend there's a consistent and respectable philosophy behind it.
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    Mar 01, 2008 6:42 AM GMT
    I agree and disagree with almost everyone on some points. I don't agree that anyone, with obvious exceptions, is completely wrong or evil. I have been shocked by Buckley, but I have to say that I agree with the seed of the ideas on government that he had. The excesses of a powerful centralized government are obvious. Our founding fathers recognized it and thus we have the checks and balances to ensure that individual states can do what works best for them. Buckley supported Vietnam, but who got us there except Kennedy and Johnson? Nixon got us out. Go figure.

    Rebublicans are pushing for a constitutional ammendment against gay marriage. Clinton passed ENDA. Is that a good argument for Big Government over state's rights? But then again, should one state be able to opt out of Civil Rights?

    I don't claim to know the answere, but I do know life is so much more than black and white.
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    Mar 01, 2008 7:03 AM GMT
    It seems to me that both the right and the left (and the middle, for that matter) deserve and profit from articulate spokespeople, no matter how abhorrent some may find their positions.

    If a war of words and ideas can prevent a war of guns and missiles, I'm all for it.

    Did I agree with Buckley? Very rarely. Am I glad he was there to put forward his thoughts? Absolutely. When you are confronted with a coherent, thoughtful opposing opinion, it forces you to examine your own constructions and helps you solidify your own arguments.

    Joey
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    Mar 01, 2008 7:10 AM GMT
    PSBIGJOEY
    I agree exactly. A good debate against an articulate opponent should sharpen your own skills and force you to develop your own philosphy more deeply. We all run into haters everyday. It is incumbant upon us to be ready with well thought out and cohesive responses.
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    Mar 01, 2008 4:31 PM GMT
    jprichva:

    this thread isn't really about libertarianism (which Buckley wasn't much of in the first place) but since you brought it up, i don't think it's "selfish" to favor a society in which people are encouraged to provide for themselves, instead of relying on government.

    Back to WJB, I didn't agree with everything he said either, but I DO want to stick up for a man who doesn't deserve to be remembered as an ultra-conservative bigot.

    Thanks for letting me have my say. Off to yoga.icon_smile.gif
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    Mar 01, 2008 5:10 PM GMT
    Actually, to be accurate,I don't think Buckley opposed the invasion. He opposed Bush's management of the ongoing war there.