World Beat

Gassed to Death

For the last decade, highway fatalities in the United States remained relatively constant, at 42,000 deaths a year. Every year, in other words, we lose more people on American roads than we did in the three-year-long Korean War.

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The Cost of Empire

Obama’s product — America — has taken a beating in the marketplace over the last eight years or so. The president has to do some serious rebranding.

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AfPak Blowback

Pakistan has one of the largest, most sophisticated militaries on the planet. Its army is as large as the U.S. Army. It’s among the top 25 largest military spenders in the world. On top of the billions of dollars of weapons provided to Pervez Musharraf’s authoritarian regime, Washington is promising another $3 billion a year in military assistance over the next five years. And, to top it off, Islamabad has nuclear weapons.

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Democratic Shocks

Democracy is taking a beating. The Honduran military has sent its leftist president into exile. The Iranian government is suppressing the Green Revolution. China arrested prominent dissident Liu Xiaobo. And Governor Mark Sanford decided that he could best serve the interests of his South Carolinian constituents by hightailing it after his Argentinean mistress.

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The Dancing Cure

Wars usually end with talking. With the blood still fresh on the battlefield, politicians sit down at a negotiating table for peace talks. Words, after all, are their currency.

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Nightmare on Cheney Street

The former vice president is Leatherface, Jason, and Freddie Krueger all rolled into one: lawless, methodical, and unpredictable with firearms. He’s had more sequels than Chucky: White House chief of staff, House minority whip, secretary of Defense, CEO of Halliburton, vice president, and now rogue pundit.

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Quaker Utopias

What would it look like if Quakers ruled the world? The World Bank would be renamed the International Frugality Fund. All political institutions would run on the principle of consensus. And there would be meetings. Lots and lots of meetings. It would be like living in a huge group house.

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