Weekly Review — May 1, 2001, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

President George W. Bush said that the United States would do “whatever it took” to defend Taiwan if it were attacked by China. Missouri’s House of Representatives passed a bill making it a crime for a politician to lie in a campaign advertisement. Al Gore, angry that Bill Clinton was selected to deliver the commencement address at Columbia University, tried to organize a petition drive among his students there to protest the decision. President Bush was apparently trying to kill the government’s lawsuit against the tobacco industry by underfunding the Justice Department’s tobacco litigation team. Former senator Bob Kerry admitted that in 1969 he led a Navy Seals commando unit that slaughtered at least 13 unarmed women and children. Timothy McVeigh said that originally he had wanted to assassinate Attorney General Janet Reno but then decided to blow up the federal building in Oklahoma City instead. The Pope asked President Bush to show mercy for McVeigh; Vice President Dick Cheney said no way. The House of Representatives approved a bill criminalizing violence done to a fetus during the commission of a federal crime against a woman. Biologists persuaded embryonic stem cells from a mouse to generate insulin-producing organs; other scientists proved that therapeutic cloning, a procedure that also uses cells from an embryo, can produce tissue for any part of a mouse’s body. Jenna Bush, the 19-year-old daughter of the President, was given a ticket for the possession of alcohol in an Austin nightclub. A majority of Americans did not know the frequency with which the earth revolves around the sun.

The Food and Drug Administration warned people not to eat Autumn Monkshood, a poisonous plant that nurseries in Washington, Idaho, and British Columbia had been selling with a label reading “tasty in soup.” Three Britons were thought to be infected with foot-and-mouth disease, including a “slaughterman” who, according to a spokesman for Prime Minister Tony Blair, caught the disease while he “was moving a decomposing carcass of a cow, when that carcass exploded, and the fluid went into his mouth”; the slaughterman was later found to have a different virus. A couple was imprisoned in Vietnam for making a 10-year-old boy stitch up his own mouth with a needle and thread as punishment for stealing 200 dong, less than two cents. American policedogs were being outfitted with titanium teeth. After a construction worker at New York’s Kennedy International Airport complained about a new mural to the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, the artist voluntarily painted a loincloth over the genitals of Jesus, who originally was depicted naked and crucified. New York Citypolice commissioner Bernard B. Kerik decided not to punish the police officers who killed Amadou Diallo two years ago. The officers, who fired 41 shots at the unarmed black man but only hit him 19 times, will undergo retraining. New York’s supreme court ruled that gun makers could not be held responsible for shootings with guns that were bought and sold illegally; a Brooklyn jury had previously awarded $522,000 to a teenager, who was shot in the head, on the theory that the manufacturer was guilty of “negligent marketing.”Britain’s Ministry of Defense admitted that the British army had paid for a number of female soldiers to have breast augmentation surgery: “This is not done purely on cosmetic grounds, but as a last resort,” a spokesman said. An appellate court upheld a $1 million award for a woman whose plastic surgeon was supposed to remove some excess skin caused by weight loss but decided to enlarge her breasts as well, increasing them from 34B to 40DD.

Brigitte Bardot was extremely upset that the mayor of Bucharest, Romania, was killingstray dogs instead of putting them up for adoption as the aging actress had demanded; she accused the mayor of tyranny. Samuel Musabyimana, a former Anglican bishop in Rwanda, was charged with genocide by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. Six Red Cross members were shot and hacked to death with machetes in Congo. African leaders at an AIDS conference in Nigeria called on all African nations to spend 15 percent of their national budgets on health programs, which would double or triple what most of the countries now spend. Celera Genomics announced that it would not publish its decoded mouse genome; the information will be available for a fee. Dennis Tito, a very rich man, finally managed to buy himself a visit to space. The Stroh Brewing Company settled a lawsuit with the estate of Crazy Horse, the Ogala Sioux warrior, over the marketing of Crazy Horse Malt Liquor, which was made in 7 breweries and distributed in 32 states; the company gave the Crazy Horse estate 32 blankets, 32 braids of sweet grass, 32 twists of tobacco, and 7 horses. South Korea announced that it would send 200,000 tons of fertilizer to the North. A British man admitted to pushing an elderly woman off an express train going 88 mph because she was bothering him with her endless chitchat. She died. A live-in caretaker in Everett, Washington, was charged with murder for paying her 13-year-old daughter and four other teenagers to kill her client’s son, 64, with baseball bats; her 11- and 7-year-old children helped her clean up the house afterwards; the 89-year-old client, a mute Alzheimer’s patient, was neglected and survived by eating newspapers. A golfer in New York hit two hole-in-ones in a single round. Scientists found that whales and dolphins are unable to see the color blue. There were suspicions that Miss France was really a man.

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

Destroyer of Worlds

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Crossing Guards

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“I am Here Only for Working”

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

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.

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

Chances that a gynecologist in Italy refuses to perform abortions for religious reasons:

7 in 10

A newly discovered microsnail can easily pass through the eye of a needle.

Moore’s wife published a letter of support signed by more than 50 pastors, and four of those pastors said they either had never seen the letter or had seen it before Moore was accused of sexual assault and asked to have their names removed.

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