The Politics of Paper

Appropriation is a tricky issue from a legal point of view. You can’t use someone’s name or image for commercial purposes, without his or her permission, or risk a lawsuit. You can’t use someone’s words without attribution or risk charges of plagiarism. You can’t sample another person’s music without running afoul of copyright law. But what if you appropriate a lifestyle or some...
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Pushing Rewind on 2016

The two events that put 2016 in the history books — alongside other pivotal years such as 2001, 1989, and 1945 — were, of course, the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom and the election of Donald Trump in the United States. What makes 2016 different, however, is its apparent revocability. Germany and Japan, after all, didn’t try to restart World War II. Nobody attempted to rebuild the Berlin...
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Russia’s Not the Country Benefitting Most from Trump

Forget RussiaGate for the moment. Forget James Comey’s upcoming testimony before the Senate intelligence committee. Forget all the conspiratorial speculation that Donald Trump is the plaything of Russian President Vladimir Putin. In strictly foreign policy terms, Trump’s election is not really working out so well for the Kremlin. The sanctions against Russia are still in place, and...
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Can South Korea Help Prevent a U.S. Attack on North Korea?

The U.S. media has been full of dire warnings of an imminent U.S. attack on North Korea. Two aircraft carriers are now within firing distance of North Korea. They’re part of a military exercise in the Sea of Japan in which South Korea and the United States are coordinating a drill involving advanced bombers. The Pentagon recently tested a successful anti-missile interceptor, which some...
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Who Will Take America’s Place in Asia

Asia has been the future for more than a generation. When Americans try to glimpse what’s to come, images of the Pacific Rim flood the imagination. For movie audiences in 1982, the rain-soaked Los Angeles of Blade Runner looked like downtown Tokyo. By 2014, the City of Angels in the Spike Jonze film Her had more of a Shanghai vibe. This upcoming October, with the release of Blade Runner...
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When Trump’s Push Comes to Shove in Europe

It has become increasingly difficult to distinguish between the reality show of Donald Trump in the Oval Office and the Saturday Night Live parody of the president. Was it Donald Trump — or Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump — who shouldered aside the prime minister of Montenegro to gain a better position at the NATO photo shoot last week? Or maybe Donald Trump was imitating Alec Baldwin, the...
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