Tom Bethell

Tom Bethell is a senior editor of The American Spectator and author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Science, The Noblest Triumph: Property and Prosperity Through the Ages, and most recently Questioning Einstein: Is Relativity Necessary? (2009).

My Day at the United Nations

 

It was my first visit to the United Nations building, and no doubt my last. Many times I had seen the forty-story, Le Corbusier-designed flat slab, but never had reason to go there. As we drove by taxi through the East River tunnel to Manhattan, I was reminded that Cuban exiles once launched a bazooka […]

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The Divided States of America

 

Dan Balz of the Washington Post strikes me as one of the least biased reporters in the mainstream media. So his lengthy, page-one article at the end of 2013 attracted my attention. It addressed the growing division between the red, mostly conservative, GOP-controlled states, and their blue, mostly liberal, Democrat-controlled counterparts. We are beginning to […]

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Liberalism Versus the Middle Class

 

Ortega y Gasset’s Revolt of the Masses was published in 1930, but don’t be misled—its author was hostile to the masses. They had attained “complete social power,” and he resented that. The masses “neither should nor can direct their own personal existence.” Fred Siegel’s Revolt Against the Masses (Encounter Books) takes issue with Ortega and […]

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Ruination

 

In 1777, a correspondent told Adam Smith that the British loss at the Battle of Saratoga worried him. “If we go on at this rate, the nation must be ruined,” he said. But Smith was unconcerned. “Be assured, my young friend, that there is a great deal of ruin in a nation.” Supporting those distant […]

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D.A. University

 

I NEVER WENT to graduate school, but I did graduate studies of a kind in a D.A.’s office. The district attorney was Jim Garrison, and his main interest was the assassination of President Kennedy. I worked with Garrison for two years, from late 1966 to 1968. For six of those months I worked at the […]

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My Travels in California

 

I spent a couple of nights in Berkeley. That may bring student radicals to mind, but they are long gone. Some of the professors still at the university no doubt filled the bill, but now they hold the whip hand and obedience is what they expect. And receive. A current professor tells me that Berkeley […]

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My Travels in California

 

I spent a couple of nights in Berkeley. That may bring student radicals to mind, but they are long gone. Some of the professors still at the university no doubt filled the bill, but now they hold the whip hand and obedience is what they expect. And receive. A current professor tells me that Berkeley […]

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Darwinism and Materialism: They Sink or Swim Together

 

Darwin’s Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design By Stephen C. Meyer (HarperOne, 496 pages, $28.99) Recently the Discovery Institute’s Stephen Meyer published Darwin’s Doubt, a book that raises many questions about the theory of evolution. As his title tells us, Darwin himself shared one of these doubts. The […]

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Unrestrained

 

THE SOVIET mathematician Igor Shafarevich once spelled out the elements that have inspired socialists throughout the ages. Having won many prizes, he was freed from Soviet oversight and spent his days in the Moscow University library. Not surprisingly, it was well-stocked with books about the history of socialism. To the Soviet authorities, a renowned mathematician […]

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The False Alert of Global Warming

 

GLOBAL WARMING BECAME the environmentalists cause celebre in the late 1980s. They had turned on a dime, for only a few years earlier global cooling had been their mantra. They didn’t know what had caused that earlier “cooling trend,” but its effects were sure to be bad. “The drop in food output could begin quite […]

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