Yearly Archives: 2000

Weekly Review — December 26, 2000, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

Bethlehem was empty this Christmas, devoid of lights or trees or public celebrations, having been sealed off by the Israeli army.Jerusalem’sChristian churches endorsed Palestinian demands for sovereignty in East Jerusalem; they condemned Israeli violence against demonstrators and noted that an oppressed people living under a military occupation has the moral right to resist its overlords.The United Nations Security Council rejected Palestine’s request for U.N. peacekeepers; United States Ambassador Richard Holbrooke commented that “this is a resolution that will never be adopted.” The Supreme Court of Zimbabwe ordered President Robert Mugabe to come up with a viable land-reform program, declaring his …

Weekly Review — December 19, 2000, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

An international team of scientists announced that they had finished the first complete genetic sequence of a plant; Arabidopsis thaliana, or thale-cress, is related to cauliflowers and brussels sprouts and previously was a worthless weed.A new study found that marijuana slows the swimming of sperm in a test tube.The United StatesArmy was funding research aimed at allowing humans to hibernate.Experts on a National Toxicology Program panel said that estrogen should be listed as a carcinogen.Switzerland banned the sale of beef on the bone because of mad-cow concerns.Cargill Turkey Products recalled 16.7 million pounds of turkey products after it was linked …

Weekly Review — December 12, 2000, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

Pentagon investigators acknowledged that American troops had massacred unarmed Korean civilians near No Gun Ri at the beginning of the Korean War, but claimed there was no evidence of direct orders from superiors to kill the Koreans, which would constitute a war crime.Former Congressman Pete McCloskey, a member of the civilian advisory panel to the investigation, pointed out that in fact one officer and nine enlisted men said they had received such orders.Many countries were trying unsuccessfully to get the United States to join the International Criminal Court; Henry Kissinger and other former U.S. government officials, who perhaps had good …

Weekly Review — December 5, 2000, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

Chile’s former dictator General Augusto Pinochet was arrested, in Chile.The terms of the amnesty he negotiated upon his abdication included murder but not kidnapping, and the bodies of nineteen people who were abducted by the “Caravan of death,” a helicopter-borne death squad led by one of Pinochet’s close aides, were never found, world-historical ruthlessness giving rise to world-historical ironyâ??which then devolved into farce when an appeals court suspended the arrest order.Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak, his government about to fall, called for an early election.Mary Robinson, the United Nations high commissioner for human rights, recommended sending international monitors to the …

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Romancing Kano·

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I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:

The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.

leadership
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Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.

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The Prisoner of Sex·

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“It is disappointing that parts of Purity read as though Franzen urgently wanted to telegraph a message to anyone who would defend his fiction from charges of chauvinism: ‘No, you’ve got me wrong. I really am sexist.’”
Illustration by Shonagh Rae
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Gangs of Karachi·

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“In Karachi, sometimes only the thinnest of polite fictions separates the politicians from the men who kill and extort on their behalf.”
Photograph © Asim Rafiqui/NOOR Images
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Weed Whackers·

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“Defining 'native' and 'invasive' in an ever-shifting natural world poses some problems. The camel, after all, is native to North America, though it went extinct here 8,000 years ago, while the sacrosanct redwood tree is invasive, having snuck in at some point in the past 65 million years.”
Photograph by Chad Ress
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The Neoliberal Arts·

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“College is seldom about thinking or learning anymore. Everyone is running around trying to figure out what it is about. So far, they have come up with buzzwords, mainly those three.”
Artwork by Julie Cockburn

Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:

65

An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.

A naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.

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