Weekly Review — August 29, 2006, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: Runaway Raft on the Tigris, March 1875]
Runaway Raft on the Tigris.

Thousands of U.S. Marine reserves were involuntarily recalled to active duty to offset a lack of volunteers for the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.CNNPresident George W. Bush admitted that the Iraq war was “straining the psyche of our country,”Washington Postand Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice refused to categorize the fighting in Iraq as a civil war, citing instead “sectarian differences.”Washington PostThree Kurdish women testified against Saddam Hussein in his chemical-weapons genocide trial, describing a “sweet, mysterious smell” that blinded them, killed their relatives, and forced them to hide in caves.New York TimesA senior U.S. general said it was a “policy of the central government in Iran” to destabilize Iraq.San Jose Mercury NewsPresident Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, speaking at the opening ceremony for a power plant that could be used to manufacture nuclear weapons, said his country was “not a threat to anybody, even the Zionist regime which is a definite enemy.”BBCA poll found that Americans were becoming increasingly effective at distinguishing between the war in Iraq and the war on terror.New York TimesSenator Joseph Lieberman compared the Iraq and the Spanish civil wars, saying both were a “harbinger” of worse conflict,New York Timesand the Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence said banks that handle money for Iran and North Korea were the same as those that accepted Nazi assets.Associated Press via Yahoo NewsThe Israeli Foreign Ministry rejected the idea that its conduct in the war with Lebanon was “outside international norms or international legality concerning the rules of war,”New York Timesand Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez said “Israel is doing the same thing as Hitler.”CNNThe Holy Jihad Brigades, a Palestinian militant group, justified the kidnapping of two Fox News journalists by saying that “the powers of evil are united in waging wars against Islam and their people.”New York TimesSyrian President Bashar Assad called the deployment of international troops along the Syria-Lebanon border a “hostile” act.Los Angeles TimesFrench president Jacques Chirac said that sending 15,000 United Nations troops to Lebanon was “excessive,”International Herald Tribune.and Israel said it would gladly welcome peacekeepers from Muslim nations.New York TimesEighteen prisoners used “fiery chili peppers” to escape from the Pematang Siantar Penitentiary in North Sumatra, Indonesia,.Reutersand in East Timor, gangs armed with machetes and stones fought in the streets of Dili, the capital, killing thirteen people. Washington PostThe International Rescue Committee announced that more than 200 women were sexually assaulted in refugee camps last month in Darfur.ReutersIn Kenya, U.S. SenatorBarack Obama agreed to be tested for HIV,ABC Newsand President Bushcautioned against placing too much importance on the upcoming one-year anniversary of the Hurricane Katrina disaster.San Jose Mercury News

A Northwest Airlines flight out of Amsterdam landed twenty minutes after takeoff when several passengers were observed exchanging cell phones and unbuckling their seat belts.New York TimesA college student from Connecticut was found with a stick of dynamite in his luggage at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston,KNX1070 Radio via Google Newsand at Chicago’s O’Hare airport, Mardin Amin, 29, of Skokie, Illinois, was arrested after telling security agents that the penis pump in his backpack was a bomb.ForbesFlight attendants on Sichuan Airlines will now be required to learn kung fu.China DailyThe mayor of Hazleton, Pennsylvania, announced his intention to make his city the “toughest place on illegal immigrants in America.” Washington PostF.D.A. representative Dr. Janet Woodcock said that selling the Plan B contraceptive over the counter would transform it into an “urban legend” that would tempt adolescents to create “sex-based cults.”New York TimesKatherine Harris, a candidate for the U.S. Senate in Florida, told a Baptist newspaper that “if you’re not electing Christians, then in essence you are going to legislate sin.”Washington PostA new survey concluded that half of all evangelical Christian men are addicted to pornography.ChristiaNetPaul Weisman, a researcher at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said that scientists were “anally pursuing” a new designation for Pluto,Universe ‘too fascinating’and Advanced Cell Technology, an American biotech company, successfully created embryonic stem cells without destroying embryos.Financial TimesAustralian scientists announced plans to issue oral contraceptives to kangaroos.BBCExisting home sales hit a two-year low,Forbesand Microsoft filed suit against two “typosquatter” companies under the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, which prevents companies from exploiting suggestively similar domain names.The RegisterVenezuelan customs officials confiscated twenty U.S. diplomatic mail bags containing airplane ejector seats, explosive charges, and 180 pounds of chicken.New York Times

Chinese law enforcement officials cracked down on striptease performances at funerals in Jiangsu province, arresting five and setting up a hotline where people could report “funeral misdeeds.”Reuters via Yahoo NewsIn Diss, England, Gwen Dorling, 102, enjoyed the services of a stripper for her birthday,BBCand Edward Rondthaler, 100, of Croton-on-Hudson, New York, attributed his longevity to cold showers.CNN“Super-sized” yellowjacket nests were infesting southern states,Montgomery Adviserand in Coushatta, Louisiana, nine black students were sent to the back of a school bus to make room for white children.The Shrevport Times via Drudge ReportIn Sorrento, Florida, a sixty-year-old man was accused of biting a six-year-old boy’s genitals after the child refused to stop touching himself,Local6.comand an English woman capable of climaxing forty times per day was convicted of benefit fraud.The Times of LondonYoung people were loitering in the nude in parking lots in Brattleboro, Vermont.Boston.com

Share
Single Page

More from Theodore Ross:

Weekly Review June 22, 2010, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

Weekly Review May 4, 2010, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

Weekly Review February 9, 2010, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

Get access to 165 years of
Harper’s for only $45.99

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

September 2015

Weed Whackers

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Tremendous Machine

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

A Goose in a Dress

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Genealogy of Orals

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Article
Romancing Kano·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

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
service
integrity
creativity

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.

Article
The Prisoner of Sex·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“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
Article
Gangs of Karachi·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“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
Article
Weed Whackers·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“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
Article
The Neoliberal Arts·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“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.

Subscribe to the Weekly Review newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t sell your email address!

HARPER’S FINEST

Subways Are for Sleeping

By

“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”

Subscribe Today