Ben Stein’s Diary


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Happy Father’s Day, Pop

 

One day in early 1974 I was a speechwriter for President Richard M. Nixon. I needed data about the economy for my work. I walked up 3 flights of stairs to my father’s office. He was Chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers. He was reading tables of statistics and smoking Kents. “Pop,” I […]

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Who Made Mueller President?

 

“Mueller? Mueller?” “Anyone? Anyone?” Okay, now that’s out of the way, let’s try this. We are facing a grave Constitutional challenge. It has to do with Special Prosecutor Mueller seeking to question President Donald Trump under oath on anything he damned well wants to, then punish him if, in Mr. Mueller’s opinion, President Trump has […]

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What Drugs Was Samantha Bee Taking?

 

Of course we don’t want Rosanne Barr calling Valerie Jarrett an ape. That’s as clear as can be. It was a horrible comment. But maybe we should listen for just a moment to what Ms. Barr says in her defense: She was taking Ambien all through the day when she spoke. Now, Ambien is a […]

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Spicy Weekend

 

Friday A great day. I used to go to Mr Chow constantly, but then I stopped because it was too loud. I didn’t go for years. Then I happened to be slouching by on Thursday and went into the bar for a Diet Coke. The bartender was friendly. The captains were super-friendly. Theo, the dean […]

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God Bless Judge Ellis

 

Rancho Mirage So… it’s late on Saturday night. I’ve had my friend Judah drive me down to our home at Morningside. It’s been hot all day and I’ve been thinking. Thursday and Friday nights I saw a high school production of the famous Book of Matthew musical, Godspell. It was hypnotically great. Lively and magnetic from […]

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Growing Up Jewish in D.C.

 

A few days ago, I spoke at B’nai Israel, a synagogue in Rockville, Maryland. “B’nai” means “brotherhood” and I am sure that today that’s understood to mean sisterhood, too. This is most of the speech I gave. It’s long but some might consider it important. I sent it to Warren Buffett. He’s not at all […]

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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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