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Anyway, it’s all very discouraging.
However, although I have been greatly impoverished relatively speaking this year, I am still living in a cozy little bubble of faith in the Lord God Jehovah, Lord of Hosts and God of the High Places. It is sort of like my swimming pool. Very warm even when the outside air is cold.
I wake up and worry about money, worry about how old I have gotten (64) and think about how much longer I might have, and I feel scared.
So, I pray. Thanks to God for my beautiful, saintly wifey, Alex. For my dogs, Brigid and Cleo and Mopsy. For my son, Tommy, and his beautiful fiancée, Kitty.
For my fingers, toes, arms, legs, kidneys. I am grateful all of the time.
If I stop feeling grateful, I go to sleep or eat something until I do feel grateful.
As I think I have said, quoting Joseph Heller, I have something that Bernie Madoff and Marc Dreier could never imagine having: enough. I am so happy with what God has allowed me to have I can hardly describe it or speak. Just so happy I had my fabulous Mom and Pop, my great sister, grew up in America, never had to be in terrible battles in World War I or II or in a gas chamber. I am sooo grateful.
I read last night about Dreier’s yacht and Madoff’s yacht and I thought, I hope those men, who will probably die in prison, were as happy with their yachts as I am lying in bed looking into my Brigid’s eyes.
Tonight I am in Indianapolis giving a speech. I gave my speech at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, a fantastically good museum, and then went back to my hotel. It was snowing but I wanted Starbucks tea, so I bundled up and went off into the snow. Before I had gone two blocks, the streets were deserted. It was 10:30 at night. An African American man approached me, reeking of booze. “Oh,” he said, “you’re Ben Stein. You’re my hero. I love you. You’re the smartest man on the planet.” And on and on.
I said I wasn’t smart but just played a smart guy on TV. He said, “No, you are the smartest guy in the world.”
Then, with many apologies, he said he wanted to ask me a favor. His wife had just gone into birth labor. He needed to get to her side BUT he had locked his keys in his car. The police would not help. He needed $35 to call a locksmith to get into his car. (The exact sum of 35 dollars was what told me in flashing neon that it was a scam, by the way.) He really, really, really hated to ask, but what could he do.…
I gave him 40 dollars, wished him well, and went on my way. That man was a fantastic actor. He really acted out pain, embarrassment, pride, exasperation. Like Olivier. Or, I thought, like a master politician. Just tell any flattering lie, then get the money—or the votes—and run. Promise change. Promise hope. Promise lower taxes. Promise the moon. But get the vote. Close the deal. What a politician that man would make.
Now, the year is drawing to a close. It has really been a terrible year. I lost immensely more than I could afford in the stock market. Way, way, way more. My retirement will probably never happen.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online