Ben Stein’s Diary


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Ben Stein, Ferris Beuller, Smoot Hawley

Peace Is Wonderful. A Trade War Is Not

 

Many and many a year ago, in 1985, I made myself known as an opponent of tariff wars. I did this by speaking against the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of roughly 1930 in the immortal Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. This act raised tariffs on about 2,000 items and prolonged the Great Depression. We learned from this […]

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Et Tu, #MeToo Molly Ringwald?

 

If not for John Hughes, then Molly Ringwald becomes the answer to a trivia question answered correctly only by Facts of Life fanatics. Yet, she too Me Toos the beloved, departed director. No, John Hughes did not harass her, touch her, or belittle her. He included a scene in The Breakfast Club where a bad […]

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How Persuasive Is David Brooks?

 

So, to begin, I’m on American Airlines flight 245 in seat 6 B. It’s the last aisle seat in first class. First class now is disgracefully cramped and the lavatory is basically unusably small. But it’s better than coach, which I fly to Sandpoint, and that’s REALLY a sardine can. My seat is particularly miserable […]

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Six Reactions to Stormy

 

Now for a few thoughts about Donald Trump supposedly having sex with a porn actress named “Stormy Daniels,” as discussed on CBS 60 Minutes Sunday night. 1. What a fantastically deluded and stupid person Stormy is. She said she was not bringing up the story about Mr. Trump and her for money. Instead, she was […]

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Swimming and Snow

 

Monday We’re still here in the desert. Day after day the weather is perfect. My wife is always still sleeping when I get up, breathing loudly. She breathes so loudly that she sounds like one of Warren Buffett’s BNSF trains roaring by our house in Sandpoint, Idaho. No, she’s louder. But I put on my […]

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What Makes Larry Kudlow a Star

 

Monday When I read this afternoon that President Donald J. Trump had settled on Larry Kudlow to replace Gary Cohn as his chief economic advisor, I felt light headed and I recalled a bit of Ancient History. Caligula, the supposedly mad emperor of Rome for four short years from about 37 AD to about 41 […]

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Sunny Cal, Sí Sí

 

Saturday So, I see it’s “Beat on California Days” again. USA Today had a feature about the “quality of life” of the 50 states recently. California came in dead last. What was first? North Dakota. Then I saw that my colleague, Tucker Carlson, was smearing California again. He does that often. This time he said […]

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The Time for Civilians to Own AR-15s Is Over

 

Monday Presidents’ Day. I keep thinking that when I was a lad growing up in Silver Spring, Maryland, just across the Potomac, in Virginia, they also got to celebrate January 19, or the closest Monday day to it, as Robert E. Lee’s Birthday. They got school off, which seemed like a great deal. It’s hard […]

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Now for a Few Words About the Rule of Law

 

For a number of years after my quiz show, Win Ben Stein’s Money, ended production after about 900 episodes, one of my main activities was public speaking. I spoke mostly to business people and investors, all across the country and in cities large and small, and often spoke at universities as well. One of my […]

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Watergate, Trumpgate — Time to Counterattack

 

I can’t help it. I keep reading story after story, hearing harangue after harangue on the television that the Trump/Russia “collusion” is our era’s Watergate, or maybe even worse. My conclusion, after all of this palaver, is that the news stories are right. What’s happening with Trump today is Watergate all over again. Only it’s […]

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