SIGN IN to access Harper’s Magazine
1. Sign in to Customer Care using your account number or postal address.
2. Select Email/Password Information.
3. Enter your new information and click on Save My Changes.
Subscribers can find additional help here. Not a subscriber? Subscribe today!
Email from Cheryl Cage, Democratic candidate for the Arizona State Senate, running against Al Melvin, in Legislative District 26, near Tucson:
Your piece in the July Harper’s was, unfortunately, spot-on.
There is another story to tell about Arizona. There are SO many of us working to take Arizona’s reins out of the hands of these ideologues.
LD-26, where I am running and that is currently ‘represented’ by Melvin, is one of the most targeted races in Arizona. I was recruited to run against Mr. Melvin very late in the 2008 election. I had only about five months to get my campaign up and going. Sadly, I lost by 2% (about 1900 votes…even tho he had a 10,000 vote advantage, McCain at the top of the ticket and the marriage amendment on the ballot).
2010 is a situation where failure is not an option. As I said, many of us are working diligently to put our legislature in the hands of more moderate people…be they Democrats, Republicans or independents.
Thank you for drawing attention to the sad state of affairs that progressives (of all parties) are facing here in Arizona. Hopefully, this November we will begin to pull ourselves back from the abyss.
Too many emails received complaining about my World Cup items, some not fit to publish in a family publication. (I did like one that had a subject line that said simply, “BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.”) Excerpts from a few letters below.
From Craig Morris:
Over at Harper’s, Ken Silverstein seems to be having a frustrating life. Rather than writing informative articles like his colleague Scott Horton, he merely posts asinine personal attacks that fail to rise above the level of the people he criticizes.
Perhaps he is having a good time with his completely unfounded attacks on the U.S. soccer team, and on Landon Donovan specifically, but I can assure him that, if he could read foreign languages like his colleague Scott Horton, he would realize that everyone who saw the video knows that two goals have now been taken from the U.S. in three games by bad referee calls—or, as Die Zeit recently put it:
Die US-Amerikaner trauerten vor dem Spiel dem aus unerfindlichen Gründen nicht gegebenen Siegtreffer gegen Slowenien nach.
Ken, you should ask Scott what that means. He’ll probably tell you that it means that everyone who views the matter objectively would agree that the US did not just squeak by in winning its group, but actually won the group by quite a large margin.
I read Portuguese, Spanish, and can even make out a bit of French.
The goals were bad calls. unfortunately, bad calls are part of soccer and every other sport. Bad calls are rarely the difference between defeat and victory. There have been a ton of other bad calls in this cup, only the bad call against the U.S. vs Slovenia (preceded by a terrible call against Slovenia) generated the outrage typically associated with the discovery of war crimes and mass graves.
I acknowledged that the initial piece on Donovan was unfair, but that said I still find it wrong that he tells the media afterward that the game was “stolen” by the ref. My son plays Little League, I have to tell him all the time that his first reaction after a game should not be to blame the umps.
Here’s an article in today’s Washington Post, written for the “Kids Post” section. You should read it, explains the matter quite clearly.
The U.S. won the group by “quite a large margin”????? It came within two minutes of being eliminated and ended up with five points, the same as England (in what turned out to be one of the weakest groups of the Cup). The U.S. and England had the same goal differential, but the U.S. won the tiebreaker because it scored more goals. Please explain how this is winning the group by a comfortable margin.
From Peter Beattie:
Hey Ken, I enjoy your writing on politics and soccer – although I do find myself pulling for Team Vanilla, mostly because of their underdog status and inability to play very well.
But the gratuitous slight against South Korea… erm, yeah, I’m going to have to go ahead and disagree with you there. The ROK certainly lack the flair of teams like Argentina or Brazil, but at least they aren’t boring, primadonna fucks like Italy. They play hard, indefatigably, and their fans are the closest thing fans can be to a 12th player on the pitch. And in 2002, they certainly got their share of bad calls (particularly against Spain), but here’s what you are missing: in the game’s rules, it is a card-imposing offense to fake contact with another player so as to draw a foul call. The ROK is singularly inept at this cheater’s art of diving, while European teams like Italy and Spain can come close to Oscar-worthy performances. However, such teams engage in so much diving because they know it will give them an unfair advantage, as referees have never caught even a tenth of that which instant replays unequivocally reveal to be dives.
I agree with 90 percent here, especially the Italians being “primadonna fucks.” Yeah, bad calls are part of game—hence, the huge uproar about the bad calls in the U.S.-Slovenia game struck me as over the top—but South Korea got a ton of them in 2002. Too many tolerate.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
For the past three years my dosimeter had sat silently on a narrow shelf just inside the door of a house in Tokyo, upticking its final digit every twenty-four hours by one or two, the increase never failing — for radiation is the ruthless companion of time. Wherever we are, radiation finds and damages us, at best imperceptibly. During those three years, my American neighbors had lost sight of the accident at Fukushima. In March 2011, a tsunami had killed hundreds, or thousands; yes, they remembered that. Several also recollected the earthquake that caused it, but as for the hydrogen explosion and containment breach at Nuclear Plant No. 1, that must have been fixed by now — for its effluents no longer shone forth from our national news. Meanwhile, my dosimeter increased its figure, one or two digits per day, more or less as it would have in San Francisco — well, a trifle more, actually. And in Tokyo, as in San Francisco, people went about their business, except on Friday nights, when the stretch between the Kasumigaseki and Kokkai-Gijido-mae subway stations — half a dozen blocks of sidewalk, which commenced at an antinuclear tent that had already been on this spot for more than 900 days and ended at the prime minister’s lair — became a dim and feeble carnival of pamphleteers and Fukushima refugees peddling handicrafts.
One Friday evening, the refugees’ half of the sidewalk was demarcated by police barriers, and a line of officers slouched at ease in the street, some with yellow bullhorns hanging from their necks. At the very end of the street, where the National Diet glowed white and strange behind other buildings, a policeman set up a microphone, then deployed a small video camera in the direction of the muscular young people in drums against fascists jackets who now, at six-thirty sharp, began chanting: “We don’t need nuclear energy! Stop nuclear power plants! Stop them, stop them, stop them! No restart! No restart!” The police assumed a stiffer stance; the drumming and chanting were almost uncomfortably loud. Commuters hurried past along the open space between the police and the protesters, staring straight ahead, covering their ears. Finally, a fellow in a shabby sweater appeared, and murmured along with the chants as he rounded the corner. He was the only one who seemed to sympathize; few others reacted at all.
Number of U.S. congressional districts in which trade with China has produced more jobs than it has cost:
Young bilingual children who learned one language first are likelier than monolingual children and bilingual children who learned languages simultaneously to say that a dog adopted by owls will hoot.
An Oklahoma legislative committee voted to defund Advanced Placement U.S. History courses, accusing the curriculum of portraying the United States as “a nation of oppressors and exploiters.”
Subscribe to the Weekly Review newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t sell your email address!
“He could be one of a million beach-bound, black-socked Florida retirees, not the man who, by some odd happenstance of life, possesses the brain of Albert Einstein — literally cut it out of the dead scientist's head.”