World Beat

Rebounding With Obama

After suffering through an abusive relationship, many people will fall in love “on the rebound.” They finally escape the clutches of an ogre only to jump, often without looking, into the embrace of another person, any other person. This leap of love is sometimes a lucky one, sometimes not.

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Bombers Without Borders

The United States, so obsessed with policing its own borders, shows precious little concern for those of other countries. When it comes to waging war, the Pentagon is like a little kid with crayons and a coloring book. It has great difficulty staying within the lines.

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The Religion of Guns

Americans worship guns. We stockpile nuclear weapons, we spend hundreds of billions of dollars on conventional weapons, and we keep handguns under our pillows. Not me, you might say: never touched a gun, never will. But you can still be part of the religion without visiting the church.

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Bittersweet Economy

Devouring sugar is a dubious way to jumpstart the day. It’s also a dubious way to jumpstart our faltering global economy. Yet our leading scientists, policymakers, and energy mavens are pinning their hopes on sugar.

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What’s So Funny?

It used to be that prospective politicians chose law school as the first step in their career path. Future politicians may skip law school altogether and try out for the Saturday Night Live team instead.

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Scorched-Earth Presidency

The Bush administration has been putting fuses in place for some time now. The Iraq War is the biggest booby trap. The next administration will be saddled with the bulk of the costs — up to $3 trillion, according to estimates by Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes. It will also have to figure out how to pull the knife out of the bleeding country of Iraq without letting the victim die.

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Of Coffee and Capitalism

The rise of Starbucks also seems to correspond with the expansion of the go-go economy. We used to pay spare change for a cup of coffee. At some point in the 1980s, we decided to go into credit card debt to buy essentially the same thing. Okay, the coffee was better, but those lattes were some seriously leveraged beverages. The profit margins were killer, and Starbucks expanded accordingly.

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Stealth Crisis

When pundits talk about the U.S. elections and foreign policy, they focus on Iraq and Iran. But the third member of the infamous “axis of evil” may prove to be just as influential.

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Asia’s Olympic Debs

Nearly 70 years after the Games began again in the modern era, the Olympics finally took place somewhere outside the West. It was 1964, and the host country was Japan. The Tokyo Olympics were an opportunity for Japan to erase the stain of history. It had been tapped to host the 1940 Olympics, but its invasion of China scotched that deal. The 1964 Olympics would solidify its new reputation as a peaceful country.

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