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. 7, September/October

Apocalypse Not
For the myth-makers of Beverly Hills, the last thirty years have also included plenty of myth-unmaking.There's some of both in Francis Ford Coppola's Vietnam soap opera Apocalypse Now, back in theaters this fall-- including 55 minutes of additional footage-as...
AYN-Randed: You Got a Problem with Objectivists?
The new economy awaits a novelist who does not cherish the deathful prose of the late Mickey Spillane. Capitalists may own the press -but without necessarily getting a good one. At least in fiction and in motion pictures, the businessman is most commonly...
Baby Bell Basher
Ever since "Fritz" Hollings took over the Senate Commerce Committee earlier this year, there has been intense speculation about where he will lead that panel, especially on critical issues concerning the Internet and telecommunications. Part of the answer...
Be as Wrong as You like, Just Do It in a Good Cause
-WASHINGTONIt is very difficult to speak ill of those who supposedly do nothing but good. Christopher Hitchens, the left-wing controversialist (and regular contributor to these pages) manages it with flair. Not long ago he wrote a book depicting as a...
Ben Stein's Diary
SUNDAY Beverly Hills Success," said John F. Kennedy-or whoever wrote it for him, maybe Richard Goodwin- "has a hundred fathers. Failure is an orphan." I think he said it about the failed invasion of Cuba at the Bay of Pigs. But it certainly applies to...
Carver Mead: The Spectator Interview
Carver Mead never has. Once upon a time, Caltech's Richard Feynman, Nobel Laureate leader of the last great generation of physicists, threw down the gauntlet to anyone rash enough to doubt the fundamental weirdness, the quark-boson-- muon-strewn amusement...
Correspondence
Artificial Intelligence Jeffrey Satinover's piece on the Quantum Brain (TAS, July/ August 2001) was one of the best articles I've ever read.The metaphysical paradoxes he brings to light are astounding.Whether it's government, law, commerce, religion,...
Crowding out Common Sense
Federal deficits did not hinder the 1990s' technology explosion. Quite to the contrary, it was Reagan-era tax cutting that created the incentives for taking risks and investing. I recently debated former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers, now the president...
Dead Ends: Don't Leave Biotech to the Politicians
If anyone seriously wants to promote research, they can start by putting their weight behind legislation that supports the biotechnology industry. Three decades ago, scientists got the idea that cancer might be caused by viruses, triggering changes in...
Deflation Monster
People labored under the delusion that the evils caused by inflation could be cured by a subsequent deflation.. But the statesmen who were responsible for the deflationary policy were not aware of the import of their action. They failed to see the consequences...
Endangered Species: The Coming Crisis of Underpopulation
Ben Wattenberg is an optimist by nature. For years he corrected gloomy conservatives who thought they were losing the war of ideas. Capitalism was winning, he said, and the Cold War would soon be won. The title of a book he published in 1984 gives the...
George W. Gore
George Bush may be in the White House, but Al Gore's insipid spirit is still nicely in the balance over at the Environmental Protection Agency. With the quintessential upper class East Coast noblesse obliger Christie Whitman forging ahead, the Bush administration...
Give Me a Pacemaker or Give Me Death
-WASHINGTONGive Me A Pacemaker Or Give Me Death What were you thinking during this summer's prodigal coverage of Vice President Richard Cheney's heart retooling? Call me unpatriotic, but I was thinking of Cuba's President Fidel Castro. Of all the forward-lookers...
It Only Looks like Decline
TOKYO-Herbert Giersch, the Friedmanesque free-- marketeer now retired as head of the Kiel Institute for World Economics, once postulated the emergence of a group of nations called NDCs-newly declining countries. It was the mid-1990s and Giersch, being...
Jersey Guy: On the Stump with Bret Schundler
Our good friend Bill Buckley says: "Look for him in 2008." Bret Schundler isn't looking that far ahead. He's busy wrestling Democrat Jim McGreevey for New Jersey's governorship. The Garden State is liberal heartland; then again, Schundler, 42, has already...
Luddites over Broadway
THE AMERICAN SPECTATOR Tragedy purges the mind of trivia. Perhaps the horror of a new Black September can rescue our culture from its thrall of humorless TV Conditry. From gossip about the moral codes of mayors and actors. From the search for the combination...
Perfect Spills
It doesn't get any better than that," says Don Striker, former comptroller of Yellowstone National Park. He's not talking about the majestic Rocky Mountain vistas or the successful reintroduction of wolves to the park considered the crown jewel of the...
Reckless Nexus: Tax Harmonization Threatens the Net
On October 21, a widely supported three-year moratorium on Internet taxes, signed by Big Bubba himself, draws ominously to an end. Contrary to widespread belief in places like Silicon Valley, the ban prohibits only Internet access taxes, along with "discriminatory"...
Rescue Welfare Reform from the Welfare Reformers
The Welfare Reform Bill of 1996 is now widely recognized to be a tremendous success. Thus allow me to render a prophesy.Throughout this fall, we shall hear ululation throughout the Republic: poor children at risk, unwed mothers in grim straits, people...
Search Me: Eric Schmidt Goes Googly
Eric Schmidt-Dr. Eric Schmidt, Ph.D. Computer Science, UC. Berkeley-is both a lord of the geeks and one of our favorite all-around observers of the high-tech scene. Silicon Valley pedigrees don't get any bluer-chip: Bell Labs, Xerox's legendary PARC...
Special Address by the President: Capitol Hill, September 1st, 2001
CAPITOL HILL, SEPTEMBER 1 ST, 2001 Members of Congress and My Fellow Americans: I have decided to speak to you this evening because we have important decisions to make about our national defense.These decisions may very well affect the security of our...
Telechasm
As John E Kennedy once observed, life is unfair. Bill Clinton's presidency profited hugely from proximity to the last successful Republican regime, the Reagan administration. Mired in the wake of Clinton's late-term errors, George W Bush is making a...
The Band Plays On: Good News on AIDS-Why the Silence?
If I ever decide I need to get blood from a turnip, I'm calling on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and their friends in the media. Why? For almost fifteen years now they have performed the incredible feat of exaggerating the AIDS epidemic...
The Continuing Crisis
SUMMER ELIDES INTO FALL, and economic indices in the United States remained languid, but the Euro levitated to a modest five-month high against the dollar. The little tumescence came just days after the European Commission released a report that set...
The Deathbed of Television
August 4,1997, was the beginning of the end of one of the remaining socialistic aspects of modern life: the mass market. Forty years from now, when you have your grandson on your knee and he asks you, "Grandma, how did one hundred million people ever...
The Rights of Digital Man
I just got in a terrific argument with your assistant, Max, said the teenage baby-sitter, "about getting free music on the Internet. He says MP3 file-swapping helps protect First Amendment rights, while I say it helps expand market freedoms." Young lady,...
The Un-Great North
Picture two rocky, northern outcrops on the far edges of prosperous regions. Despite great natural beauty, neither of these remote places seemed able to overcome poverty.Their history was rich, their people were resourceful, their potatoes were famous....
Vision Deficit: Social Security Isn't about the Numbers
You don't have to be a supply-sider-- though it certainly helps-to see that a pay-as-you-go system transforms potentially useful investment capital into brain-dead transfer payments. The battle to permit taxpayers to direct some shred of their payroll...
Why Go Green? Environmentalism Is a Red Herring
Why would George Bush stand firm on Kyoto, then turn around and sock GOP bulwark Jack Welch's GE with a half a billion dollar bill for dredging specious PCBs from the Hudson River? Why push for new oil drilling in Alaska, then ratify Bill Clinton's deliberately...
!Yahoo O Muerte! Dot-Commies Keeps Cubans Offline
HAVANA-Picking my way through the jungle of handicrafts, oil paintings, and silkscreened "Che" shirts, I emerge from the overgrown flea market into the afternoon sun. Entering the cobbled sixteenth century Plaza de Armas, I stop beneath the archway of...