February 27, 2008

William F. Buckley 1924-2008

 I have just been informed that William F. Buckley has died.

   Few people have made as much difference as he did and fewer still have made it peacefully, intellectually and for the cause of liberty.

   When Buckley founded National Review, conservatives, and what would now be called libertarians were utterly in the wilderness. The notion of any meaningful restriction on the role and function of government, indeed the very concept of the US as a Republic was a minority view....almost a fringe one.

   Through sheer determination, and his considerable skills as a debater and writer, Buckley used his little intellectual magazine the way the founders of this republic used their pamphlets, to spread ideas about liberty, the threats to the nation and what role government should actually have. These were arguments that the left had effectively all but silenced for quite a while, and for some years, Buckley was a lone voice echoing in the wilderness...

He was however, a quite erudite voice and he caught peoples attention with his impressive knowledge, wit and idiosyncratic mannerisms.

Buckley helped to bring about a sea change in American politics. He helped to show  that a conservative interpretation of the US constitution, did not mean being a political ostrich.Through sheer intellectual excellence he  jump started a movement. He famously joked that  a conservative intellectual was required to 'stand athwart history, yelling stop'. This was occasionally used to malign him as an unthinking reactionary, but, in fact, was likely a reference to the "progressive" view of history inexorably leading to more and more centralization and ultimately "utopia" a very dark place which has little place for individualism.

Buckley was certainly not unthinking nor was he hide bound. He did change his views over time particularly with regards to civil rights and always on the side of greater freedom. Ultimately, he straddled the dividing lines between conservative and libertarian philosophies and tended to come down, particularly in later years more often than not on the side of liberty (he came to be convinced that drug legalization was the best course for instance) .

He will be missed.

More here.

UPDATE: Even more here, here, here, and.... here.



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February 26, 2008

Discuss...

...If possible, explain.

 

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February 22, 2008

We're Bigger!

Scientists have discovered that the Milky Way is about twice as big as initially thought. that makes it bigger than Andromenda and therefore he biggest in our galactic neighborhood.





So when Andromenda comes over here to cause trouble in a little while....we'll kick her butt!

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Steam Wars

No idea.....but they deserve a prize.


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February 18, 2008

Well, this is Awkward...

Kosovo has declared independence.

Ummm....good for them.

The US has immediately and enthusiastically recognized this development.  This seems ill considered to me.

I was against it when Clinton meddled in that powder keg and I'm against this now. There are a couple of implications here....most of them are bad.



The current government of Kosovo is not exactly an innocent party either. Although Clinton went to war ostensibly to protect Kosovar Albanians from oppression by Serbs the only mass graves in Kosovo found thus far have contained dead Serbs. (there were reportedly Serb atrocities elsewhere) The demography of the area did not shift benignly.

In the utterly lunatic scenario that we might want to take SIDES in a conflict in the Balkans...which is the border between Eastern Europe, Western Europe and Islam...we might give consideration to not taking the side of the aggressors.

We did not need to jump to recognize Kosovo so suddenly. If it maintains its independence then it is a fait acompli and  recognition will come, but to be one of the first to support this terrible humiliation of the Serbs is to rub salt in the wounds that Clinton opened with Russia.

This is, of course, only one of the reasons that Russia....which ought to be our ally right now given our common issues with Islamic extremist nutjobs has become so antiwestern over the last decade....but it is a big one.

WW1 started over less.

Then there is the little matter of precedent.
 Kosovo is breaking away from the rest of Serbia due to the fact that Albanians (muslims) have been streaming across a porous border and squatting in Serb territory. I would argue that we might not want to publicly support the right of a region that undergoes ethnic demographic shift to secede....no really.




Let's see....piss off Russia: check

Set pretty dangerous precedent regards our own challenges: check

Further insinuate into rather than extricate ourselves from one of the bloodiest most effed up strife-torn regions of Europe with no prospect whatsoever for a lessening in tensions. : check

OK Now for the good points.

...




Feel free to add any in the comments...all I got is crickets.

More thoughts here and here.


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