Magazine | July 15, 2013, Issue

Letters

Bad Artists Steal, Too

In mentioning the works George Lucas “borrowed and repurposed” in the making of Star Wars, Ross Douthat omits the films of Japan’s Akira Kurosawa — but I forgive him, because he is so spot-on in his criticism of Star Trek: Into Darkness and its director, J. J. Abrams (“To Boldly Flunk,” June 17).

Today’s filmmakers destroy planets and kill off leading characters as a means of getting from Point A to Point B. We used to call such ham-fisted plot devices “not having a better idea.”

I was also flabbergasted by how shamelessly the film stole from The Wrath of Khan without offering more to justify the larceny. Similarly, Abrams’s film Super 8 is interesting only until we realize we are watching ET in a different wrapper.

Mike Brown

Tulsa, Okla.

Nuclear Power Up Close

William Tucker’s “Wasted” (June 17) was right on.

Years ago there was a saying attributed to Peter Fonda: “The worst thing that could happen to America is to find a clean, cheap source of power.” I started working at my first nuclear facility, a Navy training site, in December 1965, and I retired from the industry in 2012. I saw support for nuclear energy wax and wane during that time.

We have enough uranium available to supply all our electricity needs, using breeder reactors, for 2,000 years. If we had unfettered access to nuclear power, we could be virtually energy independent. But as Tucker notes, that option has disappeared for political reasons.

The article also notes the benefits of recycling nuclear waste. When Yucca Mountain was in its early stages, anti-nuclear activists traveled to cities along potential shipping routes and scared people by exaggerating the possibility of an accident.

In all of my 40-plus years of working around reactors, I have received a small fraction of the radiation dose that an airline pilot receives over the same period.

Frank Brush

New Strawn, Kan.

NR Staff — Members of the National Review editorial and operational teams are included under the umbrella “NR Staff.”

In This Issue

Articles

Politics & Policy

FISA Fiasco

‘The FISA court is a rubber stamp.” The ongoing NSA controversy has revived that shopworn talking point, relentlessly repeated by progressive and libertarian opponents of national-security surveillance. The notion is ...

Features

Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

Let Burke Be Burke

General readers in search of a reliable and readable single-volume biography of Edmund Burke have had few options in recent decades. Although some significant new material (including especially Burke’s complete ...
Politics & Policy

Hinges of History

Heraclitus called war “the father of all things”; James Lacey and Williamson Murray see war as the father of civilization and, more  specifically, of major global shifts of power. That’s a ...
Politics & Policy

The Siege of Men

Something fundamental has changed about American society, and it’s weakening our nation, both economically and culturally. Analysts have worked to identify potential causes, and have come up with many suspects: the ...

Sections

Politics & Policy

Letters

Bad Artists Steal, Too In mentioning the works George Lucas “borrowed and repurposed” in the making of Star Wars, Ross Douthat omits the films of Japan’s Akira Kurosawa — but I ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ Harry Reid, looking up to the sky from the Senate floor, said that Ted Kennedy would “smile at all of us” when the immigration bill passed. Smile, sure, Mr. ...
Athwart

Borderline Crazy

From an early draft of the immigration bill:  1.223 (b) The government shall construct a fence across the entirety of the border. Upon completion of the fence the government may, at ...
The Long View

Passed But Not Read

PASSED BUT NOT READ: Senate Bill 744: Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act. With Amendments and Revisions FULL TEXT EXCERPTS: From Title I: 9 SEC. 4. SOUTHERN BORDER SECURITY COMMISSION. 10 (a) ESTABLISHMENT. ...
Politics & Policy

Poetry

THE TEDDY BEAR That is a human curiosity – endear what might destroy you in the wild. Give children emblems of ferocity to cuddle when they’re frightened, sad, or riled. Take what is fierce and ...
Happy Warrior

The Graffiti on the Wall

Timing is everything, even in apocalyptic doom-mongering. When my book America Alone came out in 2006, the conventional wisdom was that its argument about Europe’s demographic death spiral was “alarmist” ...

Most Popular

Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
PC Culture

Kill Chic

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom. We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping ... Read More
Elections

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More
U.S.

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More