Ambassador to the Mountain

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The day I went to pick up the ambassador at his residence, I saw he was smarter than most: he understood he’d have to wear jeans and a T-shirt if he were to get anything out of the meeting on the mountain. I was impressed that he caught onto this without needing to be told.

We got in back of his armored SUV and headed up the mountain at sunset. He would have asked me how to make the most of this, but he already got it: Listen, don’t talk. Just this once.

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Restless

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Madrid puts together immodesty and grace as few other capitals do. Everywhere are reminders that this was once an empire that vied with all others. These blend with the charm of a thousand little eateries and places to while away a spring or summer afternoon, some of them still sparkling with decorative tiles from the nineteenth century.

America does have culture and a great number of graceful architectural achievements in its Homeland. It saves its horrors for export, like tobacco and DDT. We shouldn’t do this to friends.

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Will the Rolling English Drunkard Decide Brexit?

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He’s not registered to vote. He’s not even a real person. But on June 23, the deciding vote on “Brexit”—the referendum on whether Britain will remain within or exit the EC—may well be cast by an anonymous chap known only as the Rolling English Drunkard.

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Turns Out Trump Was Just Kidding

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“I figured the best way to generate interest in my CRAP project was to show the network brass that it wasn’t far-fetched; that with the right celebrity under the right circumstances, anyone who is universally known, respected and willing to say absolutely anything could generate enough support to be elected President of the United States.”

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How to Tragedy

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You hear a gay bar called a “soft target,” and you are forced to confront the inconceivability of hardening the soft targets where you live your life, like the mall you were planning to shop at this afternoon, or the café where you ate last night, which in hindsight could be the twin of the Tel Aviv café where terrorists killed four people a few days before.

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