One of the good guys is gone:
William F. Buckley Jr., a conservative icon and public intellectual, died today at the age of 82, The New York Times and Associated Press report.
I first started watching "Firing Line" when I was in high school. I really wasn't that interested in the political arguments but in improving my vocabulary. On each show, Buckley would use at least two or three words that sent me to the dictionary. Later on, of course, I learned to appreciate his reasoning ability and rhetorical skills. It was impossible to just disagree with Buckley -- he brought so much to a debate that opponents had to respond with their best. He was one of the few people called an intellectual who actually deserved the label.