Weekly Review — October 20, 2009, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: Babylonian lion, 1875]

President Obama appeared likely to surge 40,000 troops into Afghanistan, thus adopting the key military tactic that the Bush Administration defined as successful in Iraq.NY TimesIn Afghanistan, a country with no duly elected president, citizens were turning to Taliban “shadow courts” for justice, and, in a series of unannounced government actions, an additional 13,000 U.S. military engineers, medical personnel, military police, and intelligence officers were already deploying.VOA NewsmNY TimesWashington PostThe Pakistani military embarked on its own escalation, sending 28,000 troops into South Waziristan in a failed attempt to defeat entrenched Taliban militants.NY TimesThe White House was at war with the FOX News Channel.NY TimesRush Limbaugh, who was deemed too racist to own a professional football franchise, publicly thanked the Lord for his enemies.NY TimesCNNA Baptist Church in North Carolina was scheduling a Bible-burning for Halloween,The Telegraphand Ellen van Wolde, a noted Old Testament scholar, confirmed that the Bible had been mistranslated and that God did not create the Earth.Telegraph

Health-care lobbying efforts entered a “new, more frenzied stage” with the passage of a reform bill by the Senate Finance Committee. “This is now roller derby. It’s very fast, lots of elbows, and people are playing for keeps,” said Nancy LeaMond, an executive vice president of the AARP.LA TimesIt was reported that some people in North Carolina liked John Edwards, some didn’t, and others were indifferent, and that politicians weren’t actually cursing in public more often but media outlets have become more likely to quote them doing so.LA TimesPolitico via DrudgeConservative protestors in Burlington, New Jersey, heckled eight-year-old schoolchildren as they sang a tune in praise of President Obama,Breitbart via Drudgeand Steve Wynn, a casino and resort owner in Las Vegas, said that Obama has allowed the financial crisis to persist because he hasn’t cut taxes enough.Rush Limbaugh via DrudgeThe Dow “flirted” with 10,000 points, comforting the rich.CNNGoldman Sachs reported earnings of $3.19 billion in the third quarter of this year, donated $200 million to its educational foundation, put aside $5.35 billion for salaries, bonuses, and employee benefits, and promised a 35-cent per share dividend to holders of its common stock. NY TimesThe salaries of American workers were being cut at a rate not seen since the Great Depression.NY Times

A woman dressed as a rasher of bacon harassed Muslim food vendors in Manhattan. “Don’t you like bacon?” she asked. “Bacon is so good. Do you ever put bacon on these hot dogs? ‘Cause they’d taste really good wrapped up in delicious bacon. Maybe sprinkled with bacon. Or stuffed with bacon. Come on, don’t you love bacon?”Vanishing New York via Grub StreetFerran Adria, a molecular gastronomist in Spain, was accused of using poisonous additives to flavor the food at his restaurant El Bulli,Times Online via eater.comand sports bars were passing off deep-fried chicken-breast chunks as “boneless chicken wings.”NY TimesResearchers in Amsterdam confirmed that living near grass is good for your health.BBC NewsA program to plant 1,000,000 trees in New York City continued despite the objections of local residents. “I don’t want it,” said a woman who was forced to accept a ginkgo. “I don’t like it. It can stay there and die for all I care.”LA Times via BrownstonerBunnies culled from public parks in Stockholm were being used to fire a Swedish heating plant,The Local via Drudgeand the Hanford nuclear reservation in Washington state was found to be peppered with radioactive rabbit droppings, all of which must be scooped.The New York TimesReverend and “True Parent of all Mankind” Sun Myung Moon married 10,000 couples in Seoul, in what is believed to be his final expression of “trans-religion, trans-national, trans-racial” harmony.NY TimesA Mayan religious leader declared that the world will not end in 2012, that his religion did not claim that it would, and that he was “fed up” with being asked about it.My Way News via DrudgeTwo thousand box jellyfish swarmed Hawaii’s Waikiki Beach, stinging nearly 200 people,KITV via CNNand fishermen off the coast of Jersey netted a rare parasitic isopodal louse that attacks a fish, eats its tongue, then lives on in the fish’s mouth.TreehuggerWilliam Wayne Justice, a federal judge in Texas, known as “the law east of the Pecos,” whose rulings integrated public schools, reformed prisons, and helped educate illegal immigrants, died at age 89.NY TimesA justice of the peace in Hammond, Louisiana, refused to issue a marriage license to an inter-racial couple.Bloomberg via DrudgeChina created a small black hole,FOX Newsand a glowing halo was spotted in the skies over Moscow.The Sun via Drudge

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He made them groom and feed the half-dozen horses used to transport the raw bricks to the furnace. Like the horses, the children were beaten with whips.
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The new docudrama The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story (FX) isn’t really about Orenthal James Simpson. It’s about the trials that ran alongside his — those informal, unboundaried, court-of-public-opinion trials in which evidence was heard for and against the murder victims, the defense and the prosecution, the judge, the jury, and the Los Angeles Police Department, to say nothing of white and black America. History has freed us from suspense about Simpson’s verdict, so that the man himself (played here by Cuba Gooding Jr.) is less the tragic hero he seemed in the mid-Nineties than a curiously minor character. He comes to the center of our attention only once, in Episode 2, at the end of the lengthy Ford Bronco chase scene — which in real life was followed by a surreal cavalcade of police cars and media helicopters, as well as an estimated 95 million live viewers — when Simpson repeatedly, and with apparent sincerity, apologizes for taking up so much of so many people’s time. It is an uncannily ordinary moment of social decorum, a sort of could-you-please-pass-the-salt gesture on a sinking Titanic, in which Simpson briefly becomes more than just an archetype.

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