Ben Stein's Diary

It’s Later Than Any Dare Think

When republics fall, it's not always slow.

By 9.17.12

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Saturday
It is smoky up here in North Idaho today. Apparently there are major fires in Washington State and they are belching smoke. The smoke is blowing our way into the Idaho Panhandle. I can feel it in my pitiful weak lungs even with the windows closed and the air conditioning on.

I slept most of the day and then Alex and I roused ourselves and made our way west and north to Hill's Resort. The ride is beautiful along the Pendoreille River, with its vast width and sunny smoky meadows.

We stopped at the little store in Laclede and a kindly man from Canada gave me a lovely Exacto knife to allow me to open CD cases. Just out of the blue. I love that.

Then, gasoline in Priest River at Mama Mac's and up to the Falls Café, a tiny little bar/restaurant with a pool table about halfway between Priest River and Luby Bay. The Falls Café just might be the most perfect-looking small restaurant in the world. It has a glass floor in a place where you can look at the falls of a swift creek running under the building. It also has a pool table.

Today, there was a three generational family having dinner. Grandparents, parents, aunt, and children. As far as I could tell, it was a birthday party for a 12-year-old, incredibly pretty daughter. She smiled at me and I told her she would be a movie star. Her brother, possibly a twin, said, "Wait! I want to be a movie star, too."

On that note, I left. I did find out that the family was from Priest River. For some reason, Priest River has an amazing number of good-looking men and women. That whole family were great looking, male and female. I think their name was "Clark."

At Hill's, there was a big wedding so we ate in the bar very quickly, but alas, I got a HORRIBLE case of heartburn from a potato chip I had on the way up from the Falls Café. Nothing would help except my mother's home remedy -- peppermint Lifesavers -- and my sister's home remedy, Tazo Refresh tea.

I got the hot water for the tea back at the Falls Café. The manager/bartender told me about his 15 years as a cowboy in Montana. He said he worked fifteen-hour days, often starting at two in the morning, for room and board and $1500 a month. But, he loved the outdoor life. Now, he's planning to grow and sell organic vegetables and stay in Idaho. His name was Chance and he was as pleasant as can be.

About ten minutes later, as we were entering Priest River, the speed limit rapidly dropped from 60 to 35. Many are the tickets I have gotten there. Sure enough, a police car pulled me over just as I approached Mama Mac's gas station and café and general store. When the policeman saw it was me, he laughed, agreed I was not driving too fast, and said he just wanted to see if I had been drinking too much.

"I haven't had a drink since 1988," I said.

"Probably a good idea," he said.

He laughed more and walked away.

We stopped for more hot water at Mama Mac's just as it was closing. A very kind man with a shaved head who was sweeping up and closing the place shouted, "Drive safe, Ben." That touched me very much. I love being known in these small towns in North Idaho.

The main thing to be grateful for is how patiently my saint wife waits for me while I buy Tums and Pepto and tea and so forth. I am married to a goddess.

Sunday
Back to current events.

Let's start with a few facts.

A man made a cheesy movie about the being that Muslims call the Prophet Mohammed. That man has a criminal record and seems to be a marginal character, at best.

But that man is an American. He is operating in America. He has the full protection of the Constitution, including freedom of expression. So he is supposed to be allowed to say whatever he likes barring libel of living persons and exposure of state secrets. The man made the movie some months ago and nothing happened about it.

Now, Muslim radicals have gotten their marching orders from al Qaeda or whomever. They are rioting all over the Muslim world. As we all know, a super well-armed group of them murdered the U.S. Ambassador to Libya a few days ago, using that old movie as an excuse.

So, here we have it in a nutshell: murdering innocent people is a crime as we view it in this country. Making a movie is not a crime. We start with that.

When the rioting and craziness overseas began, Mr. Obama said nothing about it for many hours. He went to fund-raisers with his Hollywood pals and declined an intelligence briefing on the events (so Fox News reports).

Meanwhile, the U.S. State Department apologizes for the movie via the U.S. Embassy in Cairo. Many hours later, Mr. Obama says he's sorry the diplomats and security people were murdered. (They "died in attacks," as the NY Times said, as if they had heart attacks instead of being shot.)

At the same time, the tides are moving rapidly towards war in the Middle East, between Israel and Iran. Iran is racing towards getting nuclear weapons. Iran has promised to use these horrific weapons to have a second Holocaust by "...wiping Israel off the map." Naturally, Israel does not want Iran to murder all the Israelis.

Israel is pleading with the USA to help it bomb Iran and slow down Iran's weapons program.

Mr. Obama says he's way too busy to have a meeting with Israeli PM Netanyahu about this. He has to be on TV and at fundraisers.

Then comes word from Mitt Romney that Mr. Obama is not acting Presidential. Mr. Obama should have condemned the killings right away, says Mr. Romney. We should not be apologizing to terrorists, says Mr. Romney. And Mr. Obama should be striving night and day to keep peace and security in the Middle East.

That's it. That flips the "panic" switch in the mainstream media. Now, the terrorists who shot our diplomats and security personnel are no longer the issue. It is all Mr. Romney's incompetence. If only he had the temperament of an Obama -- to apologize to terrorists instead of condemning them.… Romney is a dangerous man.

The media goes berserk, on the attack against Mr. Romney. This is what they have been waiting for. The dogs of MSM warfare are let slip. Nothing else matters except mission number one: destroy Romney.

In a way, it's just what the media did to his father when they went crazy because he said he had been brainwashed in Vietnam -- which was completely true. In a way, it's exactly like what the media did to Gerald Ford when he praised the Polish people and said they never would be slaves. It is precisely what they did to Richard Nixon when he did a series of trivial wrongs and they burned him at the stake for it, while the war maker and womanizer, JFK, was elevated to sainthood.

No candidate can beat the combination of 95 percent of the African-American vote and 99 per cent of the MSM vote. So, Obama's in.

But think of what we have lost: I am writing this on Sunday night, September 16, 2012. The Obama administration is still apologizing to the Muslims worldwide, even in Libya even as the President of Libya says the killings there were not spontaneous but were long premeditated and the nutty movie was only a smokescreen. Our government is still saying, "Sorry," to violent mobs because an American citizen exercised his first Amendment rights. Incredibly, Jay Carney, White House spokesman, is spinning a complete fairy tale that the Islamists really like America and Mr. Obama. The murderers are just upset about a movie trailer that came out months ago. How stupid do they think we Americans are? If Mr. Obama really believes, he belongs in a straitjacket. If not, his spokesman is the biggest fantasist of all time. 

Look, maybe sweet talk and apologies have a place somewhere. Maybe this should be said in private, between diplomats. But to apologize publicly to killers and arsonists over free speech in America… this isn't done… and of course the first amendment protects people outside the mainstream. Tom Paine, Samuel Adams, John Adams -- these were considered nuts by the British. The whole idea is to protect all speech.

And in Barack Obama's America, the man who made the movie is brought in for law enforcement questioning. This really happened just yesterday.

And Mr. Barack Obama will be President for four more years and then quite possibly Mrs. Clinton, arch apologist for American values, for years afterwards.

When republics fall, it's not always slow. It can be like slamming a door.

It is later than any dare think.

 

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About the Author

Ben Stein is a writer, actor, economist, and lawyer living in Beverly Hills and Malibu. He writes "Ben Stein's Diary" for every issue of The American Spectator.