Wednesday, February 27, 2008

RIP William F. Buckley Jr.

On the day of his passing, let's remember the man through some of his memorable statements.

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

“Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.”

“Back in the thirties we were told we must collectivize the nation because the people were so poor. Now we are told we must collectivize the nation because the people are so rich.”

“It had all the earmarks of a CIA operation; the bomb killed everybody in the room except the intended target!”

“It is not a sign of arrogance for the king to rule. That is what he is there for."

“You cultivate the essential virtues: high purpose, intelligence, decency, humility, fear of the Lord, and the passion for freedom.”

"I get satisfaction of three kinds. One is creating something, one is being paid for it and one is the feeling that I haven't just been sitting on my ass all afternoon.”

“Idealism is fine, but as it approaches reality, the costs become prohibitive.”

“There is an inverse relationship between reliance on the state and self-reliance.”

“I would like to electrocute everyone who uses the word "fair" in connection with income tax policies."

“I profoundly believe it takes a lot of practice to become a moral slob.”

“Liberals, it has been said, are generous with other peoples' money, except when it comes to questions of national survival when they prefer to be generous with other people's freedom and security.”

“The best defense against usurpatory government is an assertive citizenry.”

“I mean to live my life an obedient man, but obedient to God, subservient to the wisdom of my ancestors; never to the authority of political truths arrived at yesterday at the voting booth.”

“I'd rather entrust the government of the United States to the first 400 people listed in the Boston telephone directory than to the faculty of Harvard University.”

“The academic community has in it the biggest concentration of alarmists, cranks and extremists this side of the giggle house.”

“One must bear in mind that the expansion of federal activity is a form of eating for politicians.”

“The Beatles are not merely awful. They are so unbelievably horrible, so appallingly unmusical, so dogmatically insensitive to the magic of the art, that they qualify as crowned heads of antimusic.”

“The majority of the senior class of Vassar does not desire my company and I must confess, having read specimens of their thought and sentiments, that I do not desire the company of the majority of the senior class of Vassar.”

“Truth is a demure lady, much too ladylike to knock you on your head and drag you to her cave. She is there, but people must want her, and seek her out.”

"I would like to take you seriously, but to do so would affront your intelligence.”

“The more complicated and powerful the job, the more rudimentary the preparation for it.”

“Life can't be all bad when for ten dollars you can buy all the Beethoven sonatas and listen to them for ten years.”

“It seems to me that the idea traditionally defended of endeavoring to maintain existing ethnic balances simply doesn't work any more.”

“Scientists are people who build the Brooklyn Bridge and then buy it.”

“Does baloney fear the grinder?”

“We love your adherence to democratic principles.”

"He invented the news magazine. He invested [it] with an interpretation Tell what happened, tell it well, tell it concisely, but with attention to the belletristic imperative.”

“You cannot paint the "Mona Lisa" by assigning one dab each to a thousand painters.”

“A Conservative is a fellow who is standing athwart history yelling "Stop!"”

“Relate it to what should happen; fuse it into the long morality play that began, really, in the Garden of Eden.”

“All adventure is now reactionary.”

“Some of my instincts are reprehensible.”

“To buy very good wine nowadays requires only money. To serve it to your guests is a sign of fatigue.”

“Norman Mailer decocts matters of the first philosophical magnitude from an examination of his own ordure, and I am not talking about his books.”

“Conservatives should be adamant about the need for the reappearance of Judeo-Christianity in the public square.”

And my personal favorite, the title of his latest compilation:

"Cancel Your Own Goddam Subscription."

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