The American Spectator

American Spectator is a monthly trade magazine published by the American Spectator Foundation. Founded in 1967, the magazine covers politics, culture and current events.

Articles from Vol. 34, No. 6, July/August

Another Dateline Please, Bartender
The St. Georges met all the qualifications of a Levantine drinking establishment: Spooks, diplomats, hacks, spongers, gossips, an attentive and garrulous staff. Paging through the worthy turgidity of the New York Times a few weeks ago, I fell into a...
A Sensible Alternative
Recent news reports suggest that America is well on its way to becoming the land of the free and the home of the whining crybaby. First, the president of the National Mental Health Association is demanding that the XFL's Memphis Maniax change their name...
Asia: World in the Balance
At the beginning of a new American administration, two schools of thought dominate the American debate over China. The view of the Clinton administration was summed up in the slogans "engagement" and "strategic partnership." Based on the Wilsonian premise...
Bakke Bites Back
Racial profiling only the Ivy League could love Back when kings were kings, few gifts were so welcome as some exotic new species of bird or bear for the palace grounds. Today's aristocrats maintain their manicured lawns on academic campuses, but they...
Capital Contempt
Washington may not tell you anything you did not already know, or at least suspect, but it was written by the late Meg Greenfield, and so you should pay attention. As editorial-page editor of the Washington Post from 1979 until her death in 1999, she...
Correspondence
CALIFORNIA DREAMING Had William Tucker interviewed me before claiming I caused the California electricity mess ("California Unplugged," TAS, April 2001), he could have avoided embarrassing himself and misleading your readers. I'm not talking about routine...
Don't Call Them Junk
A second look at high-tech high-yield bonds If you're comfortable owning a tech company's stock, you should at least be taking a closer look at its bonds. Typically the upside of a bond is limited: If you buy a bond at par at the time it's issued, usually...
Going Desktopless
David Gelernter's software will change the way you work Do you use your desktop? No, not the mahogany or synthetic surface on which your computer sits, the one that sits inside it, created by Apple and made imperial by Wintel. It seems so orderly. The...
Hayek: The Man and the Hero
ALAN EBENSTEIN'S FRIEDRICH HAYEK: A BIOGRAPHY Who would have thought that Friedrich A. Hayek had a closer friendship with John Maynard Keynes than with Milton Friedman? Or that Hayek's standing as an economist was at its lowest ebb by the time he received...
India Unbound
Years later, my grandfather admitted that he was a little sad to see the British go. He called to me as I was trying to sleep on the upper berth of the Frontier Mail, "It is certainly nice to feel the fresh breeze of freedom, but you must remember, my...
Joyful Dance
Rick Stoner was born 50 years ago in the small town of Cortez, Colorado. His decision to become a fine artist was not greeted with a great deal of enthusiasm: Drawing pretty pictures was not something one did to make a living in Cortez.Yet Stoner persevered:...
Jumpin' Jim Jehoshaphat!
He's only Margaret Carlson on the weekends Honey, your cholesterol level has bottomed out The little Gipper pring passed into summer, May into June, and someone by the name of Senator Jim (or is it James?) Jeffords levitated into that same august empyrean...
Learning to like Allen Ginsberg
To the astonishment of everyone present, Allen Ginsberg showed up at a book party for my When the Going Was Good! (1982), a celebration of the 1950s and a refutation of the claim that they were boring. Given this context, Ginsberg's sudden appearance...
Money Matters
NIALL FERGUSON'S THE CASH NEXUS: MONEY AND POWER IN THE MODERN WORLD This book tells us how money makes the world go round: Wall Street manipulating the White House, the Rothschilds dictating to the chanceries, Ouvrard squeezing Napoleon. In Soviet jargon,...
Panic in Silicon City
But is there really a capital crisis? In 1929 the high windows in Wall Street were the last exit for many a desperate broker. But the buildings in Sand Hill Road where Silicon Valley's venture capitalists hang out are only two stories tall. Watch for...
Sharpe's Trafalgar
1805 Napoleon decided to invade England. To do so he would have to crush the British navy. Uniting the French fleets at Toulon and Brest with the Spanish in Cartagena and Cadiz, Bonaparte ordered his new fleet to break the British blockade of the French...
Sneak Attack: Hollywood vs. History
When I was a boy, my parents wouldn't let me read comic books. Of course I sneaked them into the house and read them at every opportunity, at least through a two- or three-year period of my youth when I might not have been so interested in them if they...
The First Amendment Project
With the bizarre shuffling of leadership in the Senate, Senator Orrin Hatch, he of the colorful neckties, is about to be replaced as chairman of the Judiciary Committee by Senator Patrick Leahy, he of the spotless reputation for fairness. That last estimate...
The Interview: Dick Cheney
It was a balmy bright day when my colleague Richard Vigilante and I trundled through the White House's northwest gate, up the drive, past the waiting camera crews, and into the West Wing to interview Vice President Dick Cheney. Naturally I was reassured...
The Last Gentleman
MONDAY Looking back on when I was a litthe nappy-headed boy .... When my only worry was for Christmas what would be my toy.... These are words from a super Stevie Wonder song. They keep going through my head because my co-host on my pilot that I have...
The Mall of the Wild
Ken Holyoak's fish hatchery, frog farm, and wild hog preserve sits on a small gravel drive guarded by a very large fish. Eight feet long and six feet high, bristling with exotic fins and fluorescent purple-and-yellow scales, the fish looks like a cross...
The Quantum Brain
Our search to understand the brain has proceeded as has all scientific thought since the Age of Enlightenment: It presumes that there is nothing in the brain indeed, nothing in the universe that is more than machine. Neither brain nor mind is anything...
The Safety Nazis
Precautionaries shrug off the burden of proof The European Union bans certain American beef, without proof of harm. The European Parliament slaps tough new regs on genetically modified food, despite the potential for cheaper, more nutritious crops. A...
The Triumph of Conservatism
My sardonic friend, Robert H. Bork, has filed an astounding observation. On the op-ed page of the Washington Post he noted recently that the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980 represented a "seismic shift" in the "American political culture."Yes, the...
The Warrior Class
Bill Kristol and the National Greatness crowd would love to have a war Bill Kristol and Robert Kagan, the co-editors of a recent book called Present Dangers: Crisis and Opportunity in American Foreign and Defense Policy, have been among the leading agitators...
The Wealth Effect Is a Myth
Stocks react to the ecomomy, not the other way around One of the most enduring, but misleading, myths about the US. economy is that a rising stock market boosts economic activity. The so-called "wealth effect" is blamed for overheating the economy in...
Unnatural Monopolies
A broadband boom or a busted presidency? The most important piece of economic legislation pending before Congress turns on issues so obscure that even the multi-million-dollar ad campaigns from both sides avoid mentioning them. But confused voters shouldn't...
Your DNA or Your Life?
Drug science goes digital Thanks to the Human Genome Project's tsunami of data, a startling transformation in drug science is about to take place. One-drug-fits-all development strategies may soon look as outdated as one-color automobile manufacturing,...