Carpe Diem

Quotations of the day from William F. Buckley, Jr.

Here’s the first one from William F. Buckley, Jr.:

A liberal is someone who is determined to reach into your shower and adjust the water temperature for you.

And here’s another great quotation from Buckley:

Even if one takes every reefer madness allegation of the prohibitionists at face value, marijuana prohibition has done far more harm to far more people than marijuana ever could.

65 thoughts on “Quotations of the day from William F. Buckley, Jr.

  1. “A conservative is someone who wants to pollute the water in your shower…and then talk about freedom government intrusion when you seek redress.”
    Are these homilies and bromides helpful?

    • that one certainly wasn’t.

      but, unlike you, buckley has a point.

      how prescient of him to forsee mandated low flow showerheads…

      • I am a libertarian, but the right-wing has always failed to understand that the price signal does not work when it comes to pollution. In an anarchic state, a guy could set up a factory, the pollution of which destroys many valuable acres of farms surrounding him. He profits, his neighbors lose. Gee tough luck. Or maybe the pollution is invisible but causes lung cancer. Gee, too bad again.

        This is a well understood failing of the price signal. It does not capture costs of production that the polluter has pushed onto others.

        If the price of excreting is free, people will excrete on their neighbors (some of the commentary on this page reflects that same price signal).

        My broader complaint is that too simply label whole groups of people as over-intrusive or dimwitted when it comes to simple economics, whether conservative or liberal. These are bumper-sticker notions.

        In many regards, the worst business president we ever had was Bush jr. Medicare Part D? Ethanol? Two hugely expensive and unwinnable wars? Bank bailouts? Auto bailouts? Our financial system collapsed on Bush jr’s watch–and he pointed fingers at everyone else. He was a little boy in short pants playing as US President.

        Does this mean all conservative believe in these incredibly foul adventures that Bush jr. embraced?

        No, there are many, many highly intelligent conservatives—that recognize the wonderful power of markets and the limitations of markets as well.

        And in right-wing literature, you will find plenty of deep thinkers asking WTF on Iraqistan.

        • when a persecution fantasy reaches the point where nearly everyone is in a plot against you, led by the evil morganovich, you may need to seek professional help.

          let’s consider 2 possible states of the world:

          1. there is a conspiracy of determined individuals seeking to besmirch and hide the greatness of eco and politico genius peak trader

          2. you’re just a fool and a liar and everyone can see it.

          you have to admit, occams razor leads one to pick #2.

          clearly, your own intense commitment to your delusions does not allow you to see this, hence, my admonition that you really do need to get some help peak.

          when you desperation to prop up your own false views starts to lead you to twist the whole world around you into plots, you are not headed for a happy place…

          • oops, this should have gone at the end, got misplaced in the thread. was aimed at peak and all this talk of minions and wacko groups.

    • You are aware, aren’t you Ben, that pollution is the unfortunate side affect to a valuable action, don’t you? And that there are costs with mitigating pollution, which often have higher costs than the pollution itself?

      • Yes…but two points.

        1. You have to know what are the costs…

        2. I have property. Does anyone else have the right to pollute my property, the water that comes onto my property, or the air I breathe?

        Why is it property rights evaporate when it comes to pollution–sort of like the Keystone pipeline has the right to seize my ranch, even if I do not want that pipeline on my ranch?

        In other words, we believe in property rights until we don’t?

        • Benji, Ronald Coase’s body of work nicely addresses your concerns. Russ Roberts just did a fine podcast with Don Boudreaux on the subject @ econtalk.org. I suggest you listen to it, but I’m sure you won’t.

          • How does opposition to same-sex marriage, a position Barack Obama and a significant # of other liberals held until about a yr ago, equate to trying to force anyone to change bed partners? It’s not the same thing.

            Even the “gay therapy” quacks are only attempting to “cure” people who first seek them out.

          • paul-

            i think you misframing this.

            many conservatives oppose (openly) gay marriage.

            many others oppose gayness altogether. some religious conservatives describe it an an abomination, say you are going to hell, and try to “deprogram” people at anti gay boot camps. note that often, it’s parents sending kids, not people “seeking it out”.

            do not confuse the fact that such people lack the political power to impose their views (at least nationally) with their not holding them.

          • Morg,

            “many conservatives oppose (openly) gay marriage.”

            True, but so did pretty much everyone until about 10-15 yrs ago. Obama himself and many liberal politicians did until about a yr ago. I personally couldn’t care less about it either way. It’s a nickle and dime issue libertarians have been flogging lately as a way to demonstrate the left and right are mirror images of each other. They are not. The Left is poisonous.

            many others oppose gayness altogether. some religious conservatives describe it an an abomination, say you are going to hell, and try to “deprogram” people at anti gay boot camps. note that often, it’s parents sending kids, not people “seeking it out”.

            Who cares if somebody thinks you are going to hell for your actions? That’s where freedom of association kicks in.

            do not confuse the fact that such people lack the political power to impose their views (at least nationally) with their not holding them.

            What recent legislation have these mostly non-mainstream conservatives supported that would threaten the gay lifestyle as it exists? Now compare to the Left and their relentless agenda of control anywhere and everywhere.

          • oh come now paul.

            you are being a bit disingenuous here. it’s not just muslims. it’s been Christians too and social conservatives.

            http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-report/browse-all-issues/2010/winter/the-hard-liners

            there sure seem to be a great deal of Christians looking to force values on others.

            and again, i think you are mistaking impotence for virtue.

            just because such groups have been marginalized does not means they changed their minds. they have just had to give up on their desires because the middle will not support them and their candidates wind up losing in general elections.

            given some support, they would roll right back to the fore and would love to see the gay jim crow laws return.

            i’m not sure where you live, but spend some time in utah. i think you’ll be surprised how pervasive these views are.

            if the mormons (again, Christians) thought they could get around the constitution on this, they would ban gay marriage and sex out of wedlock.

            and let us not forget the manner in which Christians of many stripes were happy to persecute and shun “loose” women etc until maybe a generation ago.

            you seem to want to make this into a “left vs right” issue.

            i really do not care much about score keeping between team elephant and team donkey. i fully agree with you that many of the leftist policies are abhorrent and ill conceived. at this moment in time, they are also likely more dangerous as they are actually getting implemented while the religious right is getting pushed out, but these things tend to go in cycles.

            regarding prostitution, what philosophical route? the route that says “you must accept my values”? that seems to be making my case for me.

            regarding degradation, i think that if we are talking about things like respect for rights, liberties, and entitlement, then sure.

            but when we start getting into things like fashion, sexual partners, and tastes in music, it’s subjective.

            any time someone tries to get up and tell me they know the right answer for everyone on that score, i get ready for an assault on liberties.

          • also:

            you asked for some more mainstream guys.

            “Rep. W. Todd Akin (R-MO), a sixth-term Congressman who warned in 2006 that “anybody who knows something about the history of the human race knows that there is no civilization which has condoned homosexual marriage widely and openly that has long survived.”

            Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA), a fifth-term Congressman who has cited God as his reason for supporting an anti-gay constitutional amendment and who said in May “I don’t like the secularism that’s occurring in this country one bit and I think it is incumbent upon those of us [that] stand strong, to stand very strong, in regard to that and say ‘look, [my wife] and I believe that marriage is a sacrament.’”

            Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO), a first-term Congresswoman who was spokeswoman for the anti-gay constitutional amendment effort in Missouri and has compared same-sex marriage to pedophilia and letting three-year-olds drive cars.

            there are many others.

            you should hear a couple of the utah state senators get going in opposition to a proposed law that would ban discriminating against people based on the basis of sexual preference. butters is pretty out there.

            i do not think these views are nearly as rare as you seem to think.

          • morganovich

            you should hear a couple of the utah state senators get going in opposition to a proposed law that would ban discriminating against people based on the basis of sexual preference. butters is pretty out there.

            I was about to comment on the irony of an anti-gay legislator being named “Butters”, butt but I see his name is really Buttars.

        • “I disagree. That makes no sense. Which conservatives are trying to adjust who anyone is sleeping with?”

          While I sympathize with that opinion, I think morganovich is correct. Too many conservatives, unlike libertarians, would like to legislate what consenting adults do with their bodies. They just have been fighting a losing battle as of late.

          • paul-

            i think you are still misframing this.

            you are looking at ability as opposed to intent.

            there are lots of conservatives that would love to legislate who you can sleep with. they just lack the ability to do it.

            if i were to point to a white supremacist and say “oh, it’s ok, who cares what he thinks, he’s not going to get political power” would that change your opinion of him?

            would it make him any less desirous of being able to wield such power?

            you are conflating impotence with virtue.

            further, it tend to be conservatives that also seek to ban prostitution, another form of deciding who you can have in your bed.

            if 2 consenting adults are fine with it, i fail to see how that is any of the state’s business.

          • Morg,

            there are lots of conservatives that would love to legislate who you can sleep with. they just lack the ability to do it.

            I can think of scores of well-known conservatives, none who want to legislate who anyone can sleep with. Maybe I just tune it out because I don’t care about the issue. Perhaps you can help me out with some names and we can see how representative they are of conservatism?

            if i were to point to a white supremacist and say “oh, it’s ok, who cares what he thinks, he’s not going to get political power” would that change your opinion of him?

            Not the same thing. Eternal damnation occurs in the theoretical after-life, not the current one. I know lots of kindly religious people, my mother included, who pray for the souls of people they think are on a wayward path. They don’t try to harm anyone.

            further, it tend to be conservatives that also seek to ban prostitution, another form of deciding who you can have in your bed.

            That’s another nickel and dime issue hardly anyone really cares about. And the motivation is not about control, but the degradation of society and exploitation of women.

            if 2 consenting adults are fine with it, i fail to see how that is any of the state’s business.

            And I would agree with that.

          • paul-

            not one is claiming that EVERY conservative feels this way, just that many do.

            there are folks protesting gay soldiers even at their own funerals and loads of religious folks that do not take the live and let live pray for sinners but rather seek to force values upon others.

            hell, up until recently, sodomy was illegal in much of the us.

            it think you are ignoring a lot of history here and assuming that simply because they lost political power, that many of these leopards have changed their spots.

            prostitution may not be an issue that makes the top of most people’s lists, but it is a fundamental liberty issue nonetheless.

            notions of limiting “exploitation” by forcing people into a black market seem awfully fraught to me.

            places where prostitution is legal see far less exploitation and violence in the system.

            it is precisely phrases like “degradation of society” that conservatives often like to use to justify values imperialism.

            inherent in such a statement is that there is a “right” set of social mores (beyond respect for rights) and that the speaker knows what they are and is entitled to force them upon you even if you disagree.

            the hypocrisy of demanding to have one’s property left alone and not to be taxed to pay for welfare but then being happy to take away social liberties is quite strong.

            one cannot make a case for rights on the one hand, then popular will on the other. it’s internally inconsistent.

          • Morg,

            not one is claiming that EVERY conservative feels this way, just that many do.

            Well then it should be easy to give me some names and we can see what statements they have actually made on the subject.

            there are folks protesting gay soldiers even at their own funerals

            And that particular fringe group is led by a Democrat: http://dailycaller.com/2013/04/08/reminder-fred-phelps-is-a-democrat/

            and loads of religious folks that do not take the live and let live pray for sinners but rather seek to force values upon others.

            Yes, we generally call these people “Muslims.” Open borders libertarians apparently have no problems with allowing them to just wander in and set up Sharia shop in the US. It’s working out swell in Europe.

            hell, up until recently, sodomy was illegal in much of the us.

            That’s a valid point. But who on the right-wing is talking about bringing back those laws?

            prostitution may not be an issue that makes the top of most people’s lists, but it is a fundamental liberty issue nonetheless.

            Ok, but it’s a minor one of many fundamental liberty issues. Libertarians always point to the same 2 or 3 issues when castigating the right as the mirror image of the left. It’s nonsense. The left is all up in everyone’s grill, and all for using the State to force their views on many social issues like birth control, smoking bans, speech codes, racial quotas, abortion, religion,education, and on and on.

            notions of limiting “exploitation” by forcing people into a black market seem awfully fraught to me.

            Ok, but I think the philosophical route some conservatives use to arrive at the position should be acknowledged honestly by libertarians. It’s not about “control”.

            it is precisely phrases like “degradation of society” that conservatives often like to use to justify values imperialism.

            And that’s where I get off the libertarian train. Laissez-faire will not yield much in a society of criminals, imbeciles, and layabouts. The culture matters.

            inherent in such a statement is that there is a “right” set of social mores (beyond respect for rights) and that the speaker knows what they are and is entitled to force them upon you even if you disagree.

            Wait, so you don’t think a society can degrade? You’re way too smart to believe that. There are certain traditional social mores that stand the test of time and help explain the success rates among various cultures.

          • also:

            i agree that culture matters. in fact, i think it matters so much that i would never let someone try to dictate it from the top down.

            that is how one stops evolution dead.

          • Morg,

            http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-report/browse-all-issues/2010/winter/the-hard-liners

            And so your evidence is a link from the Grievance Incorporated subsidiary at the Southern Poverty Law Center. I didn’t recognize any names from the list I skimmed over there, and that group loves to demonize anyone they can on the right.

            just because such groups have been marginalized does not means they changed their minds. they have just had to give up on their desires because the middle will not support them and their candidates wind up losing in general elections.

            And who are they again? Name some prominent ones, so I know who to keep away from.

            if the mormons (again, Christians) thought they could get around the constitution on this, they would ban gay marriage and sex out of wedlock.

            Perhaps. I live in Az with a prominent Mormon pop. I don’t know any who would ban sex out of wedlock, though I’m sure there are some. So you have an anonymous x% of a small segment of generally conservative(and overwhelmingly law abiding, and productive)people and they are somehow representative of the right-wing?

            i really do not care much about score keeping between team elephant and team donkey.

            But you often say they are mirror images of each other. How can you say that if you aren’t keeping score?

            i fully agree with you that many of the leftist policies are abhorrent and ill conceived. at this moment in time, they are also likely more dangerous as they are actually getting implemented while the religious right is getting pushed out, but these things tend to go in cycles.

            Well, here’s hoping we can cycle back to all the plusses, and some minuses, of those dark days of the 1950′s.

            regarding prostitution, what philosophical route? the route that says “you must accept my values”? that seems to be making my case for me.

            No, the route that isn’t about controlling women’s bodies. It’s a similiar route taken on the abortion position.

            regarding degradation, i think that if we are talking about things like respect for rights, liberties, and entitlement, then sure.

            Ok, so then we can actually talk about social degradation. Good to know. :)

            but when we start getting into things like fashion, sexual partners, and tastes in music, it’s subjective.

            So I’m not allowed to say torture porn, like the “Saw” movies, are bad for society, and that anyone who makes a movie like that is an asshole? Secretly, I want to burn down all of Hollywood and herd all of SAG into concentration camps?

            How about Gangsta’ rap? Must remain silent about any theoretical pernicious influences on the Black community?

            I would agree with you if you said such sentiment can be taken too far(force of law), but I see nothing wrong with using social pressure to shame such cretins into cleaning up their act.

          • paul-

            it was just the first thing i googled.

            so let’s be clear here:

            are you trying to claim that opposition to gay marriage is NOT a common conservative view and than many conservatives would not take it further still if they thought they could get support for it?

            your argument seem to be that because not many liberal politicians are currently pushing to make the us a single payer healthcare system that single payer health care is not a liberal position that many would support but are too politically astute to do so for fear of the electoral repercussions.

            the majority of conservatives oppose gay marriage and many also oppose homosexuals altogether, especially among the more religious.

            spend some time in the south.

            do you not remember the “moral majority”?

            team donkey and team elephant are mirror images.

            one argues for social rights but will of the majority for economics and property, the other the opposite.

            why do i need to keep score to see that?

            i find both parties abhorrent, irresponsible, and untrustworthy.

            worse, they are coming to resemble one another more and more. republicans run bailouts and subsidy programs. democrats push for domestic spying and the patriot act.

            both parties have a fundamentally hypocritical approach to liberty.

            we can argue over whose is more egregious and even likely agree on it, but that does nothing to diminish the tyrannies of the other guys.

            if i steal from you, that does not give you ethical cover to steal from mark.

            personally, i’d rather live now that the 50′s.

            i would find that culture and enforced conformity stifling.

            i do not understand your prostitution comment.

            so what exactly is this route?

            abortion is always going to be tricky as an unprovable dissertation must be made about when a fetus becomes a person and possesses the right not to be killed.

            but prostitution is simple and only involves people who have agency. so what’s the argument for banning it?

            you are absolutely entitled to your own views on movies and rap. hell, i mostly agree with them.

            so long as you do not try to force others to adhere to your views, then well and good.

            but when one goes from opinion to proscription, then liberty suffers and society likely loses.

            no one, not you, not me, gets to decide these things for others.

            you ave a right to free speech, and they have a right to ignore you.

          • i stumbled on this little gem from the heritage foundation as well:

            ““In redefining marriage to include same-sex couples, what you’re doing is you’re excluding the norm of sexual complementarity,” said Mr. Anderson, the Heritage Foundation fellow. “Once you exclude that norm, the three other norms — which are monogamy, sexual exclusivity and permanency — become optional as well.”

            and this is any of the state’s business why?

            and come on. permanency? how many marriages break up? half?

            these are the kinds of guys that care way too much about what goes on in other people’s bedrooms.

          • oh, sorry, left off the best part:

            “One does not even have to believe in God to see that there is a natural design in the bodies of man and woman. The male and female reproductive systems are fully complementary. This is so recognized in our culture that even certain pipe fittings are called male and female, because of the way they are designed to fit together. Male and female body parts are naturally designed for the continuation of the human race. Without getting into all the gory details a man’s body is not designed by nature for the reception of another man. Certain body parts were designed not for sex, but for the elimination of waste. Unnatural acts result in trauma and a variety of sexually transmitted diseases.”

            so, this is not anti gay?

            this is a prominent conservative think tank, not some penny ante small town church.

          • Morg,

            “are you trying to claim that opposition to gay marriage is NOT a common conservative view

            Not at all. But so what? Gay marriage was on nobody’s radar a decade ago. What great historical figures spent any time arguing over gay marriage? Jefferson? Locke? Burke? Again, dimestore stuff.

            and than many conservatives would not take it further still if they thought they could get support for it?

            Correct. That’s exactly what I’m arguing.

            your argument seem to be that because not many liberal politicians are currently pushing to make the us a single payer healthcare system that single payer health care is not a liberal position that many would support but are too politically astute to do so for fear of the electoral repercussions.

            So you’re a mind reader? You know the dark impulses that drive conservative thought?

            spend some time in the south.

            I lived in San Antonio for 6 years.

            team donkey and team elephant are mirror images.

            Ok, so back to keeping score.

            one argues for social rights but will of the majority for economics and property, the other the opposite.

            Wrong. The left argues for State intervention in every aspect of life. I already gave you several examples: education, racial quotas, smoking bans, speech codes, taxpayer funded abortion, religion in the public square, etc.

            The Left and Right are not mirror images.

            i do not understand your prostitution comment.

            so what exactly is this route?

            I am short on time. I believe I already discussed this.

            abortion is always going to be tricky as an unprovable dissertation must be made about when a fetus becomes a person and possesses the right not to be killed.

            So there are possible valid reasons to be against abortion that have nothing to do with “controlling someone’s body.” That’s the gist of my argument on some of the other issues. It’s possible to arrive at the same conclusion for different reasons.

            you are absolutely entitled to your own views on movies and rap. hell, i mostly agree with them.
            so long as you do not try to force others to adhere to your views, then well and good.

            Yeah, but you told me “inherent in such a statement is that there is a “right” set of social mores (beyond respect for rights) and that the speaker knows what they are and is entitled to force them upon you even if you disagree.”

            So you just made a statement that you agree with me on rap and torture porn. I guess it’s inherent then that you feel entitled to force those views upon people who disagree?

            Also, in the other examples you provided from Heritage and the Congressmen: I didn’t see any of them say they wanted to outlaw homosexuality itself(reaching into their beds to adjust who they were sleeping with.”) It was all against gay marriage. Even the “best part” of the Heritage bit was technically accurate.

    • “In the hands of a skillful indoctrinator, the average student not only thinks what the indoctrinator wants him to think . . . but is altogether positive that he has arrived at his position by independent intellectual exertion. This man is outraged by the suggestion that he is the flesh-and-blood tribute to the success of his indoctrinators.” – William F. Buckley Jr., Up From Liberalism (1959)

      For generations now, the Left has been indoctrinating morons, like Steve, to accept depravity as virtue. He believes that those values are his own, independently arrived at, and he views himself as truly open-minded and the a victim of conservative moral aggression.

  2. A “libertarian” is someone who is determined to let you sleep with, whoever consents, in your shower with all the water you can afford to heat.

  3. A liberal will yell at someone high on marijuana to get out of the road before getting run over, while a libertarian will say nothing and if he gets run over, that’s a personal choice.

  4. Everyone’s been doing their political quips, so here’s mine:

    I’m a puritanical libertarian. I may have a rod shoved up my ass, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to shove it up yours.

  5. By the way, can I just say how impressed I am with baseball players and Lance Armstrong who perform so well when on drugs? When I’m on drugs, I can’t even find my bike.

  6. Most U.S. libertarians do not identify with Tea Party: survey
    Oct 29, 2013

    “Most American libertarians do not consider themselves part of the conservative Tea Party movement despite a public perception that the two political groups are linked.

    Libertarians, who generally support maximizing individual rights and minimizing the role of government, differ sharply with the Tea Party and religious conservatives.

    65 percent of libertarians were opposed to increasing the minimum wage, while 57 percent of Republicans overall supported it, the survey found.

    More than 70 percent of libertarians favored legalizing marijuana, while about 60 percent of Republicans and Tea Party members opposed such a move, the survey found.

    Ninety-six percent of libertarians oppose President Barack Obama’s landmark healthcare restructuring compared to 89 percent of Republicans.

    Libertarians..most are under 50, more than two-thirds are men and nearly all are non-Hispanic whites.”

      • I wouldn’t want to read your resume:

        Experience

        2010 to Present: Working with cousin Jethro…nom…nom…nom…at the filling station…nom…nom…nom.

        2007 – 2010: Was Morganovich’s personal sidekick…nom…nom…nom…he kicked…nom…nom…nom…and I kicked…nom…nom…nom…my side…nom…nom…nom…his side.

        Education:

        Took one class…nom…nom…nom. I think, it was called supply and demand…nom…nom…nom…now I’m what you call an economist…nom…nom…nom.

          • Sweet, I got two people who see me as a boogieman.

            Morganovich has his minions, but I have my status as a boogieman.

            I’ll take it.

          • Harold,

            Peak has been known to be a troll for years, along with LarryG, Zachariel, Vic Volpe, and Ben Cole. If you’d like to take credit for what is apparent to everyone else, fine.

          • Ken deserves a lot of credit for being in Morganovich’s wacko group.

            And, “everyone else” isn’t Morganovich’s minions.

          • Ken: “Peak has been known to be a troll for years, along with LarryG, Zachariel, Vic Volpe, and Ben Cole.”

            Is it fair to put Zachariel in the same group with PeakTrader, Larry Gross, and Benjamin Cole? I almost always disagree with Zachariel, but I remember most of his arguments being rational. I think Zachariel is misinformed sometimes, and usually very selective about the facts he uses to support those arguments. But I don’t find him to be the waste of time that the others seem to be. Do you feel that Zachariel’s comments are as wasteful as those by the others you listed?

          • John Dewey

            I wouldn’t describe Zachriel as a troll. He makes good arguments, and is rational. I just believe, as you do, that he is mostly wrong.

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