Don’t Be a Stranger - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Don’t Be a Stranger

Tuesday–Sandpoint, Idaho 
Alex and I flew up here Saturday. I had been feeling ill for some days. Then I hurt my leg badly tripping on some railroad tie outdoor stairs in Malibu. That was on Friday. I went to bed Saturday assuming I would be too ill to travel. But when I awakened, I felt decent. The only really horrible parts of the trip were when Alaska had our plane dazzlingly, sickening hot on the runway in LAX, and then when Horizon did the same in Seattle.

Oh, also it was a total stunner what it cost to rent a lowly Chrysler at the Spokane airport. I think I will buy a car for up here. These rentals are cruel.

And how can the airlines be permitted to keep the planes so hot? Is there no protection at all for us passengers at this point? There is no other venue where confined persons not under criminal custody are kept so hot. It is insane. Criminal.

Anyway, we got to Sandpoint at about 9 PM, crossing over the Long Bridge, and went straight to the Edgewater Hotel’s Trinity Restaurant for dinner. We ate on the deck as the last pale blue light faded. The servers all greeted us cheerily and we felt right at home.

It was as if we had never left. We did leave last Labor Day and now almost ten months have passed, and my CD cases are in the same place and the air conditioning is way down, and I can find COPS on TV, and all’s right with the world.

I love COPS, and I love cops. They fight for us. They risk their lives for us. There is a vast army of marauding criminals out there. This thin blue line keeps them at bay, while we eat prime rib on the deck at Trinity overlooking Lake Pendoreille. They keep us safe. Yet they get taunted, screamed at, sometimes prosecuted.

I not only love them, but I envy them. I envy their courage, their self-confidence, their astonishing patience and good humor. I just wonder at how we are so lucky as to have these heroes working for us, to protect and to serve.

I went to sleep watching the BNSF trains, Mr. Buffett’s trains, heading up the tracks from the south, sweeping the walls with their headlights, then shaking, rattling, and rolling our building as they passed by.

I simply love that sound.

That small earthquake from the railroad as the cops keep me safe.

Sunday was viciously hot and humid. Breathtaking. Even in equatorial D.C., I have never encountered such humidity and heat. It was unbearable. Alex, my boatman, Tim, his lovely wife, Penny, and I headed over in the Cobalt to Bottle Bay for dinner. It was a cheerful crowd despite the heat. No one talked too loud. Everyone knows everyone else. No one is afraid exactly because there are no strangers. Something to remember. Having no strangers in your midst is a lovely way to go.

We all had burgers and shrimp on skewers and brownies. Then back to our apartment and its blessed air conditioning. Good food. Cold air. No strangers. Covers a multitude of sins. Covers even the heat and humidity.

Interesting. When we left Los Angeles, everyone was talking about transgender Ms. Jenner. No one here sees it as anything but a freak show. Back in L.A., everyone was wild about gay marriage. No one here sees anything interesting about it. People are to be left alone. It is that simple. Back in Newyorktimesland, there is fear and furor about guns. Here everyone has guns and there is no fear and no furor. Everyone has guns and no one gets shot. That’s the thing about living in a place where there are no strangers and everyone has guns.

No strangers. That is huge.

Before I left L.A., I heard Mr. Obama tell a church of black people that you can find grace by gun control and tax increases and increases in welfare. I wonder what Bible that’s in.

And since when did Mr. Obama, the best pal of Iran, immense state sponsor of terrorism, decide that Iran was in God’s grace, too. And where in the Bible did he find that God wanted men to be married to other men? I am sure he found it somewhere.

And how is he able to sound like a Harvard black man in a sentence and a black street preacher in the next sentence? This man is an astonishing actor. But I mean, really, really good. He is also a gifted thief. He stole huge chunks of his speech from Martin Luther King, Jr. No attribution. No credit to Dr. King. “Good artists borrow. Great artists steal.” Pablo Picasso. He should certainly have known.

It’s fascinating how when Presidents feel like it, they decide that what they want to have happen is God’s will. It’s fascinating to hear that Mr. Obama believes that black lives matter. Really? Is that why Mr Obama rejoices that in the major cities of this land, more black babies are aborted than are born? That roughly 15 million black baby lives have been lost to abortion since Roe v. Wade? Didn’t those lives matter?

Well, enough of that. I am here in a place where every life matters. Where there are no strangers.

Monday, my little helper, Maya, a singer, and I shopped for stuffed kitties for our granddaughter, Coco. We found a gold mine of stuffed kitties at the Hallmark Store here. Good to know about.

After that, I went out on City Beach. It had cooled down a bit. Not a lot. There were lots of little kids and retirees on the beach. The little kids yelled and screamed and played “tag.” Nice to be young in the sun where there are no strangers. When I got back, Alex was ill, fast asleep, so Tim and I went over to Bottle Bay. Peaceful. Empty. But too hot.

Back at home, I watched several environmental scientists speaking at the Heritage Foundation on CSPAN. They made great points: the earth stopped warming 23 years ago. If global warming is harming people, why is human material welfare rising so rapidly in most parts of the globe? If infinitesimal growth in parts per million of carbon in the atmosphere is bad, how does anyone know it if it’s never happened before?

All great Heritage points. But there was almost no one in the audience. Sad. The Inner Party is trying to control us by scaring us to death about “climate change.” If it’s about life and death, any state compulsion is justified. That’s why they have to scare us so much.

Today, I had a quiet day. Very quiet. Helpful people at Wells Fargo. Helpful people at the post office. A pretty little Mouseketeer at the Dairy Depot who told me that I should not put salt on my French fries. So cute. Little nutritionist Mouseketeer.

Then a perfect dinner at Ivano’s in town. Chicken with little nuts on it. Everyone is at peace here. There are no strangers here in Sandpoint. And if you are going to come here to act like a stranger, stay the hell away.

And as for the Supreme Court and all courts, we at Yale were told the truth. Judges do not rule according to statute or precedent. They do what they feel like doing and then they make up a reason to explain why they were just following the law as it always was. Judges just lie like everyone else and make up excuses like everyone else. There are no people who are not just people. And as my sister says, “Your basic human is not such a hot item.” Even if you call her Justice Kagan or call him Justice Kennedy. Just people with biases and feelings and smart clerks who can find them cases to justify anything.

The Journal calls it “Alice in Wonderland.” We law professors call it “legal realism” and it’s never going away.

Good night from Idaho.

Ben Stein
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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.
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