What Happened to Brazil?

In the 2014 World Cup, Germany not only ousted Brazil from the semi-finals. It gave the legendary team a drubbing, 7 goals to 1. For most of the match, Brazil faced a shutout: Only in the last minute did Brazilian striker Oscar manage to put the ball in the net. The staggering loss was all the more painful because it took place in Brazil, which was hosting the World Cup. Brazil’s national...
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The Star Trek Fallacy

They were the “best and the brightest” but on a spaceship, not planet Earth, and they exemplified the liberal optimism of their era. The original Star Trek,whose three-year TV run began in 1966, featured a talented, multiethnic crew. The indomitable Captain Kirk had the can-do sex appeal of a Kennedy; his chief advisor, the half-human, half-Vulcan Mr. Spock, offered the cool rationality of...
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After Obama: Clinton vs. Sanders

Last week, Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton gave a major foreign policy speechthat provided a glimpse of one possible post-Obama future. In many ways, it was not a pretty picture. But let’s first look at the good points. Clinton endorsed the Iran deal that just squeaked through Congress despite unanimous Republican opposition. “Either we move forward on the path of diplomacy...
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China and the Opportunity Costs of 9/11

“The upcoming summit between China and the United States will feature a major plan for reducing the military arsenals of the two countries, an initiative to stabilize and grow the global economy, a follow-up effort to further reduce carbon emissions, and a brand new proposal to address global poverty and health pandemics.” Oops, wrong press release. Let me see, ah, here it is: “The summit...
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North Korea’s Sorry Politics

In the famous tearjerker Love Story, a young woman dying of cancer tells her boyfriend that “love means never having to say you’re sorry.” North Korea has generally adopted the same attitude toward South Korea, with a small twist: juche means never having to say you’re sorry. Indeed, Pyongyang has never been very good about apologizing for its conduct. Recently, it expressed “regret”...
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