The Jackdaw Journal
A Publication of M2 Communications

jack-daw [JAK-dah], n. 1. a glossy, black, European bird, corvus monedula, of the crow family, that nests in towers, ruins, etc.; has a proclivity to collect bright objects that attract its attention; can include bits of ice, things round or square, twigs, filaments of light bulbs; specialist on the lookout of what fits the construction of its nest.

jackdaw journal [JAK-dah JERN-al], n. 1. a repository of bright objects — wit, wisdom and whimsey — collected and/or created by Michael McKinney.   2. a web log or blog


People Archives
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William F. Buckley Jr (1825-2008)

February 29, 2008

Witty and thoughtful journalist, critic, editor and conservative, William Francis Buckley Jr. died yesterday at the age of 82. At age 29 he founded the National Review.

In Up From Liberalism, on the Opinion page of the Wall Street Journal, they reported:
In his last years, Buckley grew discouraged about what he considered the drifts of the American right. In an interview with this page in 2005, he noted that "I think conservatism has become a little bit slothful." In private, his contempt was more acute. Part of it, he believed, was that what used to be living ideas had become mummified doctrines to many in the conservative political class. At the Yale Political Union in November 2006—Buckley's last public audience—he called for a "sacred release from the old rigidities" and "a repristinated vision." It was a bracing reminder that American conservatives must adapt eternal principles to new realities.

Buckley himself never lost his faith—in God, his country, the obligation to engage in the controversies of the age, and the wonders of the mind. His half-century at the center of the American scene was a model of thoughtfulness and political creativity that remains as relevant today, perhaps more so. Ave atque vale.
William F. Buckley wit and wisdom:

I believe that the duel between Christianity and atheism is the most important in the world. I further believe that the struggle between individualism and collectivism is the same struggle reproduced on another level.
God and Man at Yale, 1951

At a press conference during his campaign for mayor of New York City: Do you have any chance of winning?
Buckley: No.
Q: Do you really want to be mayor?
Buckley: I've never considered it.
Q: Well, conservatively speaking, how many votes do you expect to get?
Buckley: One.
Q: And who would cast that vote?
Buckley: My secretary.
—1965 (When later asked what he would do if elected,
he replied, "Demand a recount.")

Henry Gibson: Mr. Buckley, I have noticed that whenever you appear on television, you're always seated. Is that because you can't think on your feet?
Buckley: It's very hard to stand up carrying the weight of what I know.
—Appearance on Laugh-In, 1970

I am lapidary but not eristic when I use big words.
—Column, 1986

Reagan: "Well, Bill, my first question is why haven't you already rushed across the room here to tell me that you've seen the light?"
Buckley: "I'm afraid that if I came any closer to you the force of my illumination would blind you."
—Debate in 1978 with Ronald Regan on the Panama Canal

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Journalist David Halberstam Killed In Car Crash

April 24, 2007

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Halberstam was killed Monday in a car crash south of San Francisco. He was 73 and lived in Manhattan. He was the author of 21 books including "The Best and the Brightest," "The Breaks of the Game," "The Reckoning" and "October 1964."

Halberstam was a passenger in a car making a turn in Menlo Park, California, when it was hit broadside by another car and knocked into a third vehicle, said the San Mateo County coroner. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The man who was driving Halberstam, a journalism student at the University of California, Berkeley, was injured, as were the drivers of the other two vehicles. None of those injuries were called serious.

Halberstam was killed doing what he had done his entire adult life: reporting. He was on his way to interview Y.A. Tittle, the former New York Giants quarterback, for a book about the 1958 championship game between the Giants and the Baltimore Colts, considered by many to be the greatest football game ever played.

Halberstam came into his own as a journalist in the early 1960s covering the nascent American war in South Vietnam for The New York Times. His reporting, along with that of several colleagues, left little doubt that a corrupt South Vietnamese government supported by the United States was no match for Communist guerrillas and their North Vietnamese allies. His dispatches infuriated American military commanders and policy makers in Washington, but they accurately reflected the realities on the ground. For that work, Halberstam shared a Pulitzer Prize in 1964.

Below is a picture of Mr. Halberstam in his office. (1993)

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