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.

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

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 ...
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 ...

Sections

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” ...
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 ...

Most Popular

Elections

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A number of pundits have recently argued that younger voters, especially those under 30, are less inclined to be bothered when they hear the word “socialism,” since they have no firsthand memory of the Cold War. To some extent, this must be true. Those who weren’t alive during socialism’s cruelest ... Read More
Elections

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A number of pundits have recently argued that younger voters, especially those under 30, are less inclined to be bothered when they hear the word “socialism,” since they have no firsthand memory of the Cold War. To some extent, this must be true. Those who weren’t alive during socialism’s cruelest ... Read More
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The Highest-Stakes Moment Brings the Worst Debate

Tonight’s debate would have been only marginally less incoherent, noisy, and grating to the ears if CBS had broadcast two hours of static. The last debate before the South Carolina primary featured so much shouting, you would think that the candidates had just been told their microphones weren’t working. ... Read More
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Tonight’s debate would have been only marginally less incoherent, noisy, and grating to the ears if CBS had broadcast two hours of static. The last debate before the South Carolina primary featured so much shouting, you would think that the candidates had just been told their microphones weren’t working. ... Read More
Media

‘Undiagnosed Sociopath’

As we abandon moral language for clinical language, we run into technical difficulties. Writing in the New York Times, Thomas Friedman describes the 2020 presidential election as one that may be a contest between “a self-proclaimed socialist and an undiagnosed sociopath.” There is no such thing as an ... Read More
Media

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As we abandon moral language for clinical language, we run into technical difficulties. Writing in the New York Times, Thomas Friedman describes the 2020 presidential election as one that may be a contest between “a self-proclaimed socialist and an undiagnosed sociopath.” There is no such thing as an ... Read More