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The Best Place in the World

It’s that time of year again, the time when New York Times columnists write cloying, un-fact-checked columns repeating something some tour guide told them on their Costa Rican vacation. Last year it was Thomas Friedman (“(No) Drill Baby Drill,” yeah right) this year it’s Nicholas Kristoff, of all people.

There’s something about Costa Rica that makes otherwise intelligent, skeptical people start grinning and nodding like idiots, chanting “Pura Vida” like it actually means something. All of them parrot what are essentially Costa Rica talking points about the environment, peace, social justice, solidarity, etc.

It is, of course, a fantasy, but one that Americans absolutely adore. This is what vacations – and to a lesser extent parachute journalism as practiced by columnists – is all about. Find what you expect, and don’t poke it too hard.

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