Weekly Review — April 17, 2001, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

President George W. Bush asked Congress to impose a moratorium on lawsuits aimed at forcing the federal government to extend endangered-species protection to unlisted plants and animals. Japan’s whaling fleet returned to port with 440 minke whales. Police in Cincinnati, Ohio, shot dead an unarmed black youth who had a number of outstanding traffic tickets; enraged residents ran amok. The League of the South, an organization devoted to Confederate nostalgia, began circulating a petition at gun shows and convenience stores demanding reparations for Southerners whose ancestors’ way of life was destroyed by Yankees in the Civil War. A new poll found that most Mississippians would prefer to keep their current state flag, which contains an image of the Confederate battle flag. The United StatesCivil Rights Commission said that it was time to stop using American Indian names and images for sports teams. Rwanda issued an international arrest warrant for Pierre-Célestin Rwigema, the former prime minister, for his role in the 1994 genocide; Rwigema was said to be living in the United States. Slobodan Milosevic wasn’t feeling well. Israeli troops bulldozed at least 15 homes at a Palestinian refugee camp in Gaza. The Dutch legalized euthanasia; Germany’sRoman Catholic Church denounced the decision and warned against adopting a “culture of death.” China executed 89 people in one day.

Maryland failed to pass a moratorium on executions, but did ban the release of genetically modified fish. The Texas legislature approved a resolution that could lead to a referendum on the death penalty. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that gun deaths dropped by 26 percent during the 1990s. Police near Savannah, Georgia, raided the homes of 11 middle-schoolchildren and discovered firearms, satanic and Nazi posters, and bomb recipes, but no bombs. There was speculation in the press that crime rates may have dropped in recent years as a result of legalized abortion. Alabama’ssenate approved a constitutional amendment allowing the display of the Ten Commandments in public schools and state offices. Sudan flogged 53 Christians, including four women and two children, for rioting. Another Nigerian state decided to adopt Shariah, the Islamic code. A Charlotte, North Carolina, federal judge told a man that if he wanted to be released on bail he would have to stop living in sin, because doing so violates an 1805 anti-fornication law, which reads: “If any man and woman, not being married to each other, shall lewdly and lasciviously associate, bed and cohabit together, they shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.” Israeli officials raided restaurants in search of leavened bread, which is banned during Passover; violators were fined $25. Aum Shinrikyo, the cult that carried out the sarin gas attack in the Tokyosubway in 1995, grew by 10 percent last year. Seven retired Italians were arrested for smuggling ten pounds of cocaine inside bags of sausage and mozzarella.

Fourteen and a half million pounds of ready-to-eat meat were recalled by Bar-S Foods because of possible contamination with listeria monocytogenes. Farmers in the Dutch town Kootwijkerbroek protested the slaughter of their cattle by authorities worried about foot-and-mouth disease; police used water cannons and bulldozers to clear roadblocks set up by the protesters. The United States and Europe finally ended their nine-year banana war. Attorney General John Ashcroft said he would allow the families of Timothy McVeigh’s victims to watch McVeigh die on closed-circuit television. A new report claimed that older fathers are more likely to sire schizophrenic children. Joey Ramone died, as did H. R. Ball, who designed the smiley face. The Big Bang was caused by a parallel universe, a team of physicists speculated. Archaeologists found evidence of ancient dentistry in Baluchistan: tiny holes that were drilled in 8,000-year-old teeth. Researchers, writing in the journal Tissue Engineering, announced that human fat contains stem cells, which can be used to grow replacement tissue, perhaps even organs. Doctors in Singapore successfully separated a pair of Siamese twins who were joined at the head; the operation, which took five days, was particularly difficult because the girls’ brains were partially fused. An Arizona woman was recovering from an operation to remove a parasitic worm from her brain. She got the parasite from a pork taco in Mexico. Two Utah men were sentenced to three years’ probation for drilling a hole in a woman’s head in an attempt to restore her “childhood buoyancy.” The Rio Grande once again failed to reach the Gulf of Mexico.

Share
Single Page

More from Roger D. Hodge:

From the October 2010 issue

Speak, Money

Get access to 167 years of
Harper’s for only $45.99

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

December 2017

Dear Rose

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Year of The Frog

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Dead Ball Situation

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Document of Barbarism

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Destroyer of Worlds

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Crossing Guards

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Article
Destroyer of Worlds·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

In February 1947, Harper’s Magazine published Henry L. Stimson’s “The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb.” As secretary of war, Stimson had served as the chief military adviser to President Truman, and recommended the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The terms of his unrepentant apologia, an excerpt of which appears on page 35, are now familiar to us: the risk of a dud made a demonstration too risky; the human cost of a land invasion would be too high; nothing short of the bomb’s awesome lethality would compel Japan to surrender. The bomb was the only option. Seventy years later, we find his reasoning unconvincing. Entirely aside from the destruction of the blasts themselves, the decision thrust the world irrevocably into a high-stakes arms race — in which, as Stimson took care to warn, the technology would proliferate, evolve, and quite possibly lead to the end of modern civilization. The first half of that forecast has long since come to pass, and the second feels as plausible as ever. Increasingly, the atmosphere seems to reflect the anxious days of the Cold War, albeit with more juvenile insults and more colorful threats. Terms once consigned to the history books — “madman theory,” “brinkmanship” — have returned to the news cycle with frightening regularity. In the pages that follow, seven writers and experts survey the current nuclear landscape. Our hope is to call attention to the bomb’s ever-present menace and point our way toward a world in which it finally ceases to exist.

Illustration by Darrel Rees. Source photographs: Kim Jong-un © ITAR-TASS Photo Agency/Alamy Stock Photo; Donald Trump © Yuri Gripas/Reuters/Newscom
Article
Crossing Guards·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Ambassador Bridge arcs over the Detroit River, connecting Detroit to Windsor, Ontario, the southernmost city in Canada. Driving in from the Canadian side, where I grew up, is like viewing a panorama of the Motor City’s rise and fall, visible on either side of the bridge’s turquoise steel stanchions. On the right are the tubular glass towers of the Renaissance Center, headquarters of General Motors, and Michigan Central Station, the rail terminal that closed in 1988. On the left is a rusted industrial corridor — fuel tanks, docks, abandoned warehouses. I have taken this route all my life, but one morning this spring, I crossed for the first time in a truck.

Illustration by Richard Mia
Article
“I am Here Only for Working”·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

But the exercise of labor is the worker’s own life-activity, the manifestation of his own life. . . . He works in order to live. He does not even reckon labor as part of his life, it is rather a sacrifice of his life.

— Karl Marx

Photograph from the United Arab Emirates by the author. This page: Ruwais Mall
Article
The Year of The Frog·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

To look at him, Sweet Macho was a beautiful horse, lean and strong with muscles that twitched beneath his shining black coat. A former racehorse, he carried himself with ceremony, prancing the field behind our house as though it were the winner’s circle. When he approached us that day at the edge of the yard, his eyes shone with what might’ve looked like intelligence but was actually a form of insanity. Not that there was any telling our mother’s boyfriend this — he fancied himself a cowboy.

“Horse 1,” by Nine Francois. Courtesy the artist and AgavePrint, Austin, Texas
Article
Dead Ball Situation·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

What We Think About When We Think About Soccer, by Simon Critchley. Penguin Books. 224 pages. $20.

Begin, as Wallace Stevens didn’t quite say, with the idea of it. I so like the idea of Simon Critchley, whose books offer philosophical takes on a variety of subjects: Stevens, David Bowie, suicide, humor, and now football — or soccer, as the US edition has it. (As a matter of principle I shall refer to this sport throughout as football.) “All of us are mysteriously affected by our names,” decides one of Milan Kundera’s characters in Immortality, and I like Critchley because his name would seem to have put him at a vocational disadvantage compared with Martin Heidegger, Søren Kierkegaard, or even, in the Anglophone world, A. J. Ayer or Richard Rorty. (How different philosophy might look today if someone called Nobby Stiles had been appointed as the Wykeham Professor of Logic.)

Tostão, No. 9, and Pelé, No. 10, celebrate Carlos Alberto’s final goal for Brazil in the World Cup final against Italy on June 21, 1970, Mexico City © Heidtmann/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

Factor by which single Americans who use emoji are more likely than other single Americans to be sexually active:

1.85

Brontosaurus was restored as a genus, and cannibalism was reported in tyrannosaurine dinosaurs.

Moore said he did not “generally” date teenage girls, and it was reported that in the 1970s Moore had been banned from his local mall and YMCA for bothering teenage girls.

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

HARPER’S FINEST

Report — From the June 2013 issue

How to Make Your Own AR-15

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

By

"Gun owners have long been the hypochondriacs of American politics. Over the past twenty years, the gun-rights movement has won just about every battle it has fought; states have passed at least a hundred laws loosening gun restrictions since President Obama took office. Yet the National Rifle Association has continued to insist that government confiscation of privately owned firearms is nigh. The NRA’s alarmism helped maintain an active membership, but the strategy was risky: sooner or later, gun guys might have realized that they’d been had. Then came the shootings at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, and at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, followed swiftly by the nightmare the NRA had been promising for decades: a dedicated push at every level of government for new gun laws. The gun-rights movement was now that most insufferable of species: a hypochondriac taken suddenly, seriously ill."

Subscribe Today