New Year's Day

In the spring of 1995, Jim Clark, who had spent half his life spying on others, was sure someone was spying on him. He first noticed the person when he got off the plane in Germany. Now, at the train station in Bonn, he could see the man's reflection in the ticket counter window.

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Sex-Crazed

I love it when they talk dirty on c-span. Scanning the public service network Monday, one found mostly the usual highbrow fare. There was a segment on "Federal-Tribal Relations" and a "First Amendment Report Card." At night, c-span scheduled something called "Government Leaders." But this cagily titled segment was no Brookings forum. The sponsor: Larry Flynt. The topic: Republican adultery. Parental discretion: advised. OK, I confess.

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After the Tsunami

Until the East Asian miracle went up in a cloud of smoke, most East Asian specialists and comparative political scientists were optimistic about the prospects for democracy in the region. That's because nearly everyone subscribed to the “modernization thesis” first proposed by Stanford University Professor Seymour Martin Lipset in 1959. According to this thesis, economic development produces a new urban middle class--professionals, entrepreneurs, managers, and so on--motivated to challenge authoritarian rule.

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Uneasy Holiday

There was always a special patriotism to the speeches of Martin Luther King. No other American orator could bring audiences to their feet by reciting three full stanzas of "My Country, Tis of Thee." From there he often soared across the American landscape in perorations calling on freedom to ring "from the granite peaks of New Hampshire . . . from the mighty Alleghenies of Pennsylvania . . . from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado . . . from Lookout Mountain in Tennessee! Let it ring . . .

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