Posted: November 2, 2015 Filed under: Censorship, Entertainment, History, Mediasphere | Tags: 1950s, 1960s, Catholic Church, Civil rights movement, Hugh Hefner, Jonah Goldberg, Kevin D. Williamson, media, National Review, Playboy Magazine, Playboy Philosophy, Rich Lowry, Sexual Revolution, William F. Buckley, William F. Buckley Jr, YouTube
h/t , Twitter
Posted: May 20, 2015 Filed under: History, Mediasphere, Politics, The Butcher's Notebook, Think Tank | Tags: 2003 invasion of Iraq, Andrew Breitbart, Ann Coulter, Friedrich Hayek, George Nash, George Will, Gore Vidal, Jonah Goldberg, Kevin D. Williamson, Leo Strauss, Milton Friedman, Richard M. Weaver, riedrich von Hayek, Russell Kirk, satire, Thomas Sowell, Whittaker Chambers, William F. Buckley, Yale University
Bin Laden’s Right-Wing Reading List Goes Viral
The list includes an archive of radical right wing books, history books, humor texts, and conservative philosophy belonging to the former al-Qaeda chief, some of which are still being withheld by the U.S. government, but leaked online this afternoon.
Among the volumes of books on law and military strategy that were publicly released this week, are a not-yet-declassified list of books by popular conservative authors such as Ann Coulter, Jonah Goldberg, and Andrew Breitbart, as well as scholarly texts by Ludwig von Mises, Milton Friedman, and Friedrich von Hayek. The collection includes:
The End Is Near and It’s Going to Be Awesome by Kevin D. Williamson
Ideas Have Consequences by Richard M. Weaver
Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Change by Jonah Goldberg
Mugged: Racial Demagoguery from the Seventies to Obama by Ann Coulter
The Road to Serfdom by Friedrich von Hayek
Capitalism and Freedom by Milton Friedman
God and Man at Yale: The Superstitions of ‘Academic Freedom‘ by William F. Buckley, Jr.
Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World! by Andrew Breitbart
On Liberty by John Stuart Mill
Human Action, The Scholar’s Edition by Ludwig von Mises
The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America Since 1945 by George Nash
Witness by Whittaker Chambers
The Conservative Mind: From Burke to Eliot by Russell Kirk
Ethnic America: A History by Thomas Sowell
Natural Right and History by Leo Strauss
The leak comes shortly after the fourth anniversary of Bin Laden’s death at the hands of US special forces…
Posted: December 4, 2014 Filed under: History, Mediasphere, Politics, Reading Room, Think Tank | Tags: 1968 Democratic National Convention, Atlas Shrugged, Central Intelligence Agency, Democratic Party (United States), Firing Line, National Review, Reason (magazine), Republican Party (United States), Saul Alinsky, TheBlaze, William F. Buckley
I came across this delightful interview with William F. Buckley Jr. the other night when searching and browsing Firing Line video archives (see the 1990 Christopher Hitchens Firing Line episode, from earlier today, here) started reading it, and ended up reading it multiple times. What a pleasure to discover this. It’s captured from the pre-digital era, so it’s stored as a PDF of a photocopy directly from the print magazine, you can access the whole thing here. Below is just one image file, which links to Reason. The March 1983 interview reveals Buckley’s characteristic thoughtfulness, charm, rich vocabulary, humor, and well-mannered social persona, his Roman Catholicism, the founding of the National Review, decades of work on Firing Line, his friction with figures like Ayn Rand, his literary and scholarly alliances, and opponents, his spy novels, his views on libertarianism, contemporary conservatism, and much, much more. The Reason interviewer’s questions are good, too, informed, and engaging.
I was particularly interested in Buckley’s use of the word “schematic”, to describe what he doesn’t have an appetite for, favoring instead an eclectic and evolving world view. This interview barely scratches the surface. To get a sense of the fresh appeal (and timelessness) of Buckley’s thinking, refer to National Review’s “Our Mission Statement“, which Buckley wrote in 1955. As one NR reader notes, “the edits on this for 2014 would be minimal.” Though 1980s references appear in the discussion, I’d say the same could be said about this interview.
Posted: November 6, 2014 Filed under: History, Mediasphere, Think Tank | Tags: Buckley Prize Dinner, media, National Review Institute, New York, NRI, William F. Buckley
Courtesy Jack Fowler, at The Corner
Our friends at the National Review Institute put together this tremendous video about WFB, and happily unleashed it last week upon the 350 folks attending NRI’s first annual Buckley Prize Dinner in New York. It was a great event. Go ahead and share this with your Buckley-loving friends.
Posted: September 11, 2014 Filed under: Censorship, Education, History, Think Tank | Tags: Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Brandeis University, Hirsi ALi, Ivy League, Muslim Students Association, William F. Buckley, Yale, Yale University
From NR, The Editors: When, this spring, Brandeis University reneged on its commencement invitation to human-rights activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali, it revealed the cravenness that characterizes many of America’s leading institutions of higher education. The decision of Yale’s William F. Buckley Jr. Program to invite Hirsi Ali to New Haven as part of its speaker series has exposed the same quality in many of that school’s students.
“Even the most enthusiastic Ivy League shill should know that spending $55K a year to have one’s presuppositions obsequiously endorsed is a waste.”
In an open letter sent to Buckley Program student leaders, members of 35 campus groups say they feel “highly disrespected” by the September 15 lecture “Clash of Civilizations: Islam and the West.” The letter, drafted by the Muslim Students Association, lays out their complaints.
“But in our age of studious political correctness, where the inmates write the asylum’s curriculum, these students are happy to insulate themselves against any opinions from beyond the Old Campus Quad.”
They are concerned that “Ms. Hirsi Ali is being invited to speak as an authority on Islam despite the fact that she does not hold the credentials to do so.” They accuse Hirsi Ali of “hate speech” and express outrage that she should “have such a platform in our home.” “We cannot overlook,” they write, “how marginalizing her presence will be to the Muslim community and how uncomfortable it will be for the community’s allies.”
Their remedy, of course, is censorship. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: August 26, 2014 Filed under: Food & Drink, Science & Technology, The Butcher's Notebook, Think Tank | Tags: Antisemitism, Bastiaan Rutjens, Control theory, Environmentally friendly, Marijn Meijers, Phobia, Ronald Bailey, Scientific progress, Survivalism, University of Amsterdam, William F. Buckley
Greens engage in rituals to allay their anxieties
Ronald Bailey explores an interesting topic in a Reason article: Environmentalism and the fear of disorder. The quest for order is not exclusive to environmentalist food worriers, or obsessive recyclers. If we look for the mirror image of this, on the other end of the ideological spectrum, it would probably be found in the disorder-phobic elements of the prepper movement. A similar effort to achieve a feeling of personal control, to have “influence over their environments and the world in general that provides similar perceptions of an orderly world.”
I’ve had discussion about this with our Hong Kong Bureau Chief, a polymath with an interest in self-sustaining, grid-failure-proof home remodeling (not crazy if you live in a hurricane zone) and who predicted that there are fortunes to be made for those who can market effectively to this notion of personal control in a disorderly world.
Unlike the anti-vaxer, anti-science Left, prepper concerns aren’t necessarily irrational, or even paranoid. Our own Federal Government has web pages filled with advice encouraging citizens to take measures to be prepared for storms, earthquakes, power outages, and so forth. Things that aren’t imaginary. Things that kill, maim, and disrupt human populations worldwide every year. And that doesn’t even cover the valid concerns over a threat of an EMP attack.
On a personal note, I’ve met a hard-core, full-scale, exquisitely-armed, hyper-informed prepper. Instead of thinking he was nuts, I found him to be realistic, self-deprecating, and engaging. Light-hearted about his obsession, disciplined, trained in survivalism (from a previous career in the military) a hobbyist in gourmet food storage, an expert in lethal and non-lethal self-defense, a vintage wine collector, and an informed conversationalist. I came away thinking my own pampered, clueless urban sensibilities were irrational, and unrealistic, not the other way around.
Similarly, being mindful of food labels, or seeking organic and fresh over processed or unhealthy foods is not necessarily irrational or fear-driven behavior. But Baily’s on to something.
Other writers have noted an anxious purity obsession on fringes of the left–and even in the mainstream Left–that equals or exceeds the craziest paranoid right-wing John Birchers, anti-Semites, and fluoride-obsessed Dr. Strangelovean purity cultists of yesteryear. A key difference is, William F. Buckley purged the extremist elements nearly half a century ago.
Though new strains appear, in various forms (progressives seek them out and artificially elevate their perceived influence, in a political effort to make them appear emblematic). In mainstream conservatism, vigilant resistance and steady inoculation against the influence (or annoyance) of anti-democratic or apocalyptic extremist strains is an ongoing project that mostly succeeds.
A case can be made that the Left has yet to do this. Aside from some half-hearted, insincere efforts, the Left hasn’t even disavowed their radical Marxist, Maoist, neo-Stalinist elements. On the contrary, they’re free to openly celebrate them, in academia, entertainment, popular culture, and government. Modern Marxists easily get lucrative jobs in the Department of Labor, tenure at prestigious Ivy League colleges, positions of influence at HHS, HUD, and the DOJ. Our elite institutions shower them with fame, and awards. The Left hasen’t purged or effectively reigned in the anti-vaccination, anti-science, anti-Semitic, isolationist, enviro-alarmist elements in their ideological camp. On the contrary, environmentalism is now the largest and most dominant religious ideology in the western world.
Interesting article. See the full text here.
Ronald Bailey writes:
Why do people recycle and buy organic foods? According to Marijn Meijers and Bastiaan Rutjens, a couple of social scientists at the University of Amsterdam, they do it to realize a sense of personal control stemming from their fear that disorder is increasing in the world. Technological optimists, meanwhile, are more likely to eschew the comfort of such rituals.
[Bailey’s book “Global Warming and Other Eco Myths: How the Environmental Movement Uses False Science to Scare Us to Death“ is available at Amazon.com]
To be fair, that’s not exactly how the two researchers interpret their study, which was published in the August European Journal of Social Psychology. But as we shall see, it is not unreasonable to construe their results that way.
A popular new psychological model, compensatory control theory, argues that people are highly motivated to perceive the world as meaningful, orderly, and structured. When people perceive the world as being less orderly, Meijers and Rutjens explain, they strive to compensate for the anxiety and stress this produces. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: October 24, 2013 Filed under: Politics, Think Tank | Tags: Conservative Party, George Wallace, George Will, Ken Cuccinelli, Libertarian, Terry McAuliffe, Virginia, William F. Buckley
George Will writes: When William F. Buckley, running as the Conservative Party’s candidate for mayor of New York in 1965, was asked what he would do if he won, he replied: “Demand a recount.” Robert Sarvis, Libertarian Party candidate for governor of Virginia, will not need to do this.
Hours before Gallup reported record nationwide support — 60 percent — for a third party to leaven politics, Sarvis was declared ineligible for the final debate for gubernatorial candidates because he fell a tad short of a 10 percent average in recent polls. None of this disturbed his leisurely enjoyment of a tuna-burger lunch before sauntering off in search of free media, about the only kind he can afford.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: October 16, 2013 Filed under: Mediasphere, White House | Tags: Average Joe, Barack Obama, Charles Murray, Daily Caller, May Alix, National Park Service, United States, Washington Times, Wesley Pruden, William F. Buckley, World War II
The Intellectual Elite’s Doomed Romance with Barack Obama
Wesley Pruden writes: This is the question that confounds everyone; some intellectuals most of all. The late William F. Buckley Jr., a certified egghead, once said he would rather be governed by the first 50 names in the Boston telephone book than by the professors at Harvard.
Another wit observes that an intellectual is someone who so prefers theory over experience that he would sit down on a red-hot stove, twice. You can be too smart for your own good, and have the blisters on your bottom to prove it.
The intellectual romance with the clever Barack Obama continues. Having invested so much in candy and flowers, they must ignore all the evidence of being dumped.
His cultivated demeanor and carefully applied patina of synthetic sophistication, fraudulent as it may be, is what attracted the adoration of intellectuals from across the political spectrum in 2008, says Charles Murray, the social scientist and an intellectual with impressive books, studies and learned papers. He admits that he’s a dumpee.
“It’s kind of embarrassing to admit it,” he tells an interviewer for the website Daily Caller, “but I responded in part to his rhetoric because he talks just like me.”
“It’s his whole way of presentation of self … of a little self-deprecation in the argument and picking out a nuance here, which is all the ways that we overeducated people have been socialized in the same way. It’s the way we carry on discourse. Along with [seeing] what was a very engaging personality, I kind of ignored things which … a lot of working-class people glommed onto right away.”
“It’s kind of embarrassing to admit it, but I responded in part to his rhetoric because he talks just like me.”
Working-class stiffs, the people an earlier generation of political scientists called “Joe Sixpack,” having earned their blisters and calluses by heavy lifting, are too smart to take a seat on the red-hot stove even once.
Having been to some big towns and heard some big talk, they were too smart by miles to be taken in by a smooth-talking butter and egg man from Chicago.
(Stop the presses: Butter and egg man? What? I had to look this up. “Big Butter and Egg Man” is “a free spender or wealthy investor , a naive prosperous businessman”. Okay. But the source is a 1926 jazz song written by Percy Venable. Venable was a record producer at the Sunset Cafe and wrote the song for Louis Armstrong and singer May Alix. The song is often played by Dixieland bands, and is considered a jazz standard. Why Wesley Pruden chose this obscure reference, who knows. Either I’m not as culturally hip as I’d like to think I am–and this phrase is commonly known–or Wesley Pruden is intentionally screwing with us. I am inclined to believe the latter. It prompted me to visit the song on YouTube, listen here. It swings, baby, I recommend it! “Butter and egg man“? Go figure. Okay, back to Pruden‘s rant…)
“It’s not that I think he is not a patriot,” says Mr. Murray, “but remember the line, he said, ‘You didn’t build that.’ No American is going to think you can say that, no matter what your political views are, because it’s just disastrous to say that. He is clueless about this country in some profoundly disturbing ways.”
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: November 9, 2012 Filed under: Reading Room | Tags: Civics, Congress, Harvard University, Intercollegiate Studies Institute, New York Times, Official, Republican, United State, United States, United States Constitution, US Constitution, William F. Buckley
I found this in my Evernote archive, when browsing my collection of items from last year, this is a good time to revisit it.
The people we entrust with public office, and who swear an oath to protect and defend the constitution of the United States, know less than the average American about what’s in it.
I’m reminded of this William F. Buckley quote:
“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.”
Turns out, he wasn’t speaking figuratively.
Then of course, there’s this [VIDEO]
Elected Officials Flunk Constitution Quiz
By Richard Brake
Jan 14, 2011 – 6:00 AM
When the Republican House leadership decided to start the 112th Congress with a reading of the U.S. Constitution, the decision raised complaints in some quarters that it was little more than a political stunt. The New York Times
even called it a “presumptuous and self-righteous act.”
That might be true, if you could be sure that elected officials actually know something about the Constitution. But it turns out that many don’t.
In fact, elected officials tend to know even less about key provisions of the Constitution than the general public.
For five years now, the Intercollegiate Studies Institute has been conducting a national survey to gauge the quality of civic education in the country. We’ve surveyed more than 30,000 Americans, most of them college students, but also a random sample of adults from all educational and demographic backgrounds.
Included in the adult sample was a small subset of Americans (165 in all) who, when asked, identified themselves as having been “successfully elected to government office at least once in their life” — which can include federal, state or local offices.
The survey asks 33 basic civics questions, many taken from other nationally recognized instruments like the U.S. Citizenship Exam. It also asks 10 questions related to the U.S. Constitution.
So what did we find? Well, to put it simply, the results are not pretty.
Elected officials at many levels of government, not just the federal government, swear an oath to “uphold and protect” the U.S. Constitution.
But those elected officials who took the test scored an average 5 percentage points lower than the national average (49 percent vs. 54 percent), with ordinary citizens outscoring these elected officials on each constitutional question…
via Constitution Quiz…