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Gary Younge
Gary Younge's ethical World Cup

The orgy of flag-waving patriotism spawned by Germany's success is creepy. True, Germany has done a better job of reckoning with its recent history than the Italians - who had Mussolini's heirs in government until recently - or most other European nations, including Britain. But brandishing your flag when your nation is winning is opportunism; keeping it hoisted when they lose is patriotism. Frankly, both 'isms suck. Meanwhile Germany's centre-right chancellor, Angela Merkel, is trying to exploit the euphoria, claiming the victories created a "new opportunity" for the country. If Germany wins we won't see the end of her. If Italy wins we may never see Berlusconi again.

Verdict: Forza Azzuri!

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Stranger in a Strange Land – Encounters in the Disunited States
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'It often takes an outsider to look inside. This is especially true of the United States.'
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