Ben Stein's Diary

Beyond Hope

Have we ever had a President without an international economic policy before?

By 7.25.12

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Sandpoint -- Monday 

Feelings come and feelings go.

And feelings are not facts. 

I awakened this morning feeling suicidal, a common way for me to wake up. Then I looked out at the lake. Perfect. Gray blue water, fleecy clouds, endless mountains. Mr. Buffett's trains rolled by, shaking the building reassuringly. I got up. Made a scrambled egg and Thomas' English Muffin for my wife and me. That's a good meal. Orange juice. Yum.

I went next door to say good bye to the magnificent Visser family, parents, Mike and Nancy, children, handsome Dave, roughly 18, glorious Megan, 15, world's most well mannered human being, serious Tanner, 16, future lawyer, glittering little Payton, almost 12, a little gem of a girl. They are my pals from Calgary. They have been staying with us for a week and we love them. Their ancestors lived through the German occupation of Holland. The ancestors hid Jews and are remembered at Yad Vashem as "Righteous Gentiles." The Vissers are devout Christians and mean it. They live their lives truly believing that God is with them at every moment. I felt as if I were being cleansed just being near them.

But they have to leave. Nancy, the movie star beautiful Mom, made me a ham sandwich because she had read here that I love them. Then, they gave me a DVD about Bob Dylan and then they left. I was sad and went back to sleep with wifey reading next to me.

At about 6, wifey and I stirred ourselves and made the drive out route 200 towards Hope from Sandpoint.

I will make this simple: this is the most beautiful drive on earth. Immense wetlands leading to an endless slough leading to meadows and mountains, and then to the north point of boundless Lake Pendoreille, and then to Sam Owen state park, and then to Beyond Hope, a small resort, and Ivano's Del Lago restaurant.

The air on July 23 was too cold to eat outside. Wifey and I ate inside looking at the sunset. First the sky was purple, then red, then pink, then red again, then deep blue with a sliver of a moon. There was a roaring fire, made by Nolan, the bartender.

The only other people there were drunk, way too loud, but they left soon.

The food was astoundingly good. The service, by a redheaded witty girl named Holland, was fast and thorough. She wants to be a mushroom farmer.

But that sky. That sky. Lit up by the hand of God.

Really, this was a perfect evening after a morning feeling suicidal.

We drove home and I, as usual, once home, watched a documentary, this one about the Russian destruction of German Army Groups Central and North. It was grim stuff. Devastating savagery on all sides. What a monster Hitler was to bring this pain to the earth. What a cruel doctrine Darwinist racial superiority theory is.

But out at Hope, and in Sandpoint tonight, life is better than anyone deserves. And the Vissers are better than I deserve.

Still, I went to sleep with foreboding. Europe is falling apart. Mr. Obama is doing nothing, zero, about it. NOTHING. A cratered Europe will have immense effects on the world economy. Europe's economy, in toto, is larger than ours. Is Mr. Obama thinking of a rescue plan? Is he thinking about it at all? Does he even care if we go into another leg of recession as demand for U.S. exports to Europe corrects? What is he doing? Did he resign? Where is Mr. Geithner on this? Have we ever had a President without an international economic policy before?

No. Never mind. Just go to sleep.

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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.