Weekly Review — October 16, 2007, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: A grasshopper driving a chariot, 1875]

Turkey shelled the village of Dashta Takh in Iraqi Kurdistan and declared plans to send its ground troops to attack outposts of the Kurdish separatist PKK in the north of Iraq; criticized for the announcement, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan pointed out that the United States invaded Iraq without anyone??s permission. Al JazeeraHürriyetAfter the House Foreign Affairs Committee voted for a resolution affirming that a genocide was committed by Ottoman Turks against Armenians during World War I, General Yasar Buyukanit, commander of the Turkish armed forces, said that, should Congress pass the resolution, his country??s military alliance with the United States would never be the same. “We could not,” he said, “explain this to our public. The U.S., in that respect, has shot itself in the foot.”New York TimesThe Marine Corps was seeking to withdraw its 25,000 troops in Iraq and redeploy them to Afghanistan,.New York Timesand CIA Director General Michael V. Hayden ordered an internal investigation of the agency??s inspector general, John L. Helgerson, whose own investigations have harshly criticized the CIA??s methods of interrogation and its failure to prevent the attacks of September 11, 2001. New York TimesHugo Chavez broadcast his weekly television program, “Aló Presidente,” from Che Guevara??s mausoleum in Santa Clara, Cuba, to honor the fortieth anniversary of the guerilla leader??s death. “We are the Axis of Evil,” said Fidel Castro to Chavez via phone. “You will never die,” said Chavez to Castro. “You remain forever on this continent, and with these nations, and this revolution is more alive today than ever, and Fidel, you know it.”CBS NewsRamzi Yousef, the jailed mastermind of the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, converted to Christianity, New York Daily Newsand guru Sri Chinmoy, author of 1,500 books and organizer of the Self-Transcendence 3,100, the world??s longest footrace, died of a heart attack.New York Times

Six million dollars in Nobel Prizes were awarded to: a pair of physicists who discovered giant magnetoresistance; a chemist who created a method for studying surface chemical reactions such as rust; three doctors who used stem cells to deactivate mouse genes; three economists who study malfunctioning markets; novelist Doris Lessing; and documentary film star Al Gore, who, along with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, was cited for efforts “to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract [climate] change.” Nobelprize.orgFormer aides to Gore told the press that he was unlikely to join the presidential race because he thinks Hillary Clinton is unstoppable. Telegraph“Nothing is inevitable,” said Barack Obama’s wife, Michelle, of a Clinton victory. “Sometimes we wear the same suit even if it??s got holes in it. We need a new suit, not just a new tie or new pants.”TimesThe Republican candidates for president gathered in Dearborn, Michigan, for a debate on the economy. Mitt Romney, who was born in Detroit, bemoaned the “one-state recession” gripping Michigan; Duncan Hunter repeatedly blamed the loss of American manufacturing jobs on free-trade policies with “communist China”; Ron Paul attributed the large profits of hedge-fund managers to a conspiracy among politicians, banks, Wall Street, the Federal Reserve, and the military-industrial complex to inflate or destroy currencies and swindle the middle class; and John McCain advised Paul to read “The Wealth of Nations.” The candidates generally agreed that taxes are too high. “We??re taxed to the max,” said Sam Brownback. Mike Huckabee touted his Fair Tax proposal to abolish the IRS and to tax consumption as a way to shift the tax burden onto drug dealers, pimps, prostitutes, and illegal immigrants. Paul and Tom Tancredo refused to pledge to support the Republican nominee in the general election.New York TimesTwo thirds of American CEOs, a study found, think that American CEOs are overpaid. Financial Times

Investigating the disappearance of a 30-year-old female pharmacist, police in Mexico arrested her boyfriend, Jose Luis Calva, after finding the woman??s torso in his closet, one of her legs in his refrigerator, bones in a cereal box, chunks of an unidentified fried meat in a pan, and the draft manuscript of a novel entitled “Cannibalistic Instincts.”BBCGermans were reading “Interview with a Cannibal,” the story of Armin Meiwes. In the book, Meiwes urges other would-be cannibals to seek psychiatric help, expresses disappointment that the experience was not as “romantic” as he dreamed it would be, and cites the fairy tale of Hansel and Gretel as inspiration for his 2001 slaughter and ingestion of Bernd Brandes, who volunteered over the Internet to be eaten. “For him,” said Meiwes “it was a sexual thing. But he also thought like me he would live on in me.”The ScotsmanThe Colombian game show “Nothing but the Truth” was canceled after a woman won $25,000 for admitting to have hired a hit man to kill her husband, APand a Kremlin spokeswoman said assassins are plotting to kill Vladimir Putin this week during his visit to Tehran.BreitbartBo Ward, the proprietor of a barbershop near the Army??s Fort Campbell, committed suicide at a town meeting in Clarksville, Tennessee. Ward had requested that his home be rezoned as a commercial property to increase its value and to offset the losses he suffered when most of his regular patrons, among them General David Petraeus, were deployed to Iraq; the City Council refused. “Y??all have put me under,” said the barber before inserting a pistol into his mouth. “I??m out of here.”San Jose Mercury News

Share
Single Page

More from Christian Lorentzen:

Weekly Review November 4, 2008, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

Weekly Review July 29, 2008, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

Weekly Review June 17, 2008, 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

A Goose in a Dress

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Genealogy of Orals

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Neoliberal Arts

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Gangs of Karachi

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Article
New Television·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“In Season 5 of Louie (FX), Louie is a new kind of superhero. Like Wonder Woman, the canonical superhero he most resembles, Louie’s distinctive superpower is love.”
Illustration by Demetrios Psillos
Article
Romancing Kano·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

On a Friday evening in January, a thousand people at the annual California Native Plant Society conference in San Jose settled down to a banquet and a keynote speech delivered by an environmental historian named Jared Farmer. His chosen topic was the eucalyptus tree and its role in California’s ecology and history. The address did not go well. Eucalyptus is not a native plant but a Victorian import from Australia. In the eyes of those gathered at the San Jose DoubleTree, it qualified as “invasive,” “exotic,” “alien” — all dirty words to this crowd, who were therefore convinced that the tree was dangerously combustible, unfriendly to birds, and excessively greedy in competing for water with honest native species.

In his speech, Farmer dutifully highlighted these ugly attributes, but also quoted a few more positive remarks made by others over the years. This was a reckless move. A reference to the tree as “indigenously Californian” elicited an abusive roar, as did an observation that without the aromatic import, the state would be like a “home without its mother.” Thereafter, the mild-mannered speaker was continually interrupted by boos, groans, and exasperated gasps. Only when he mentioned the longhorn beetle, a species imported (illegally) from Australia during the 1990s with the specific aim of killing the eucalyptus, did he earn a resounding cheer.

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

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 tourism company in Australia announced a service that will allow users to take the “world’s biggest selfies,” and a Texas man accidentally killed himself while trying to pose for a selfie with a handgun.

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