Weekly Review — September 7, 2004, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: Martyrs, 1860]

Chechen militants took more than 1,000 children and adults hostage at a school in southern Russia, though the Russian government lied at first and claimed that there were only 354 hostages; at least 338 died, half of whom were children, when security forces stormed the school.Washington Post, ReutersA suicide bomber blew herself up in a Moscow subway station, killing at least 10 people.Associated PressPalestinian suicide bombers blew up two buses in Beersheba, killing 16 and wounding at least 80.Associated PressIraqi insurgents blew up another oil pipeline, and aAssociated Presscar bomb killed seven American marines and three Iraqi soldiers near Falluja.ReutersTwelve Nepalese hostages were apparently videotaped as they were killed by Iraqi militants.Associated PressColin Powell admitted that the Bush Administration misjudged the potential for armed resistance in Iraq.Associated PressThree people were trampled to death at an Ikea grand opening in Saudi Arabia.New York TimesArchaeologists found that a chimp-like hominid called the “Millennium Ancestor” was walking upright 6 million years ago.Sydney Morning HeraldPresident Bush said that the “war on terror” is unwinnable but then quickly changed his mind;Associated PressDick Cheney attacked John Kerry for having a “habit of indecision” and a “message of confusion”; and thepresident formally accepted his party’s nomination and promised to make the world a safer place.Washington Post

Millions of people in Florida were evacuated because of Hurricane Frances; thereAgence France-Pressewere floods and landslides in southwest China; earthquakesReutersin western Japan caused tsunamis, and a typhoon hit the country’s southern islands.Associated PressMalaysia announced another outbreak of bird flu.Associated PressThe World Health Organization said that hepatitis E cases have tripled in the last month in Darfur.New ScientistIt was discovered that full-body CT scans expose patients to the same level of radiation that people a few miles from Hiroshima received in World War II, and that the scans increase one’s risk of developing cancer.New ScientistNew research revealed that pollution affects the behavior of many animals such as egrets, gulls, snails, quail, rats, macaques, minnows, mosquito fish, falcons, and frogs. Endosulfan, for example, weakens newts’ sense of smell, lead disrupts the balance of gulls, and goldfish become hyperactive when exposed to atrazine.New ScientistThe United States was planning to develop portable nuclearpower plants, and aNew ScientistNew Jersey man died of Lassa fever.Associated PressThe Food and Drug Administration was trying to decide whether it’s ethical to give childrenamphetamines as part of a study.Associated PressTwo new AIDS vaccines failed to work.AllAfrica.comResearchers concluded that the Atkins diet doesn’t work in the long term, andReutersBill Clinton underwent quadruple heart bypass surgery.MTVArgentine researchers discovered that smoking and drinking are bad for men’s semen.Reuters

About half a million people protested the Republican National Convention in New York City; the protests were said to be the largest ever at a U.S. political convention.USA TodayPresident Bush again called for the privatization of Social Security, and theUSA TodayWhite House announced that monthly Medicare premiums will rise by a record 17 percent next year.Associated PressDick Cheney said that John Kerry is unfit to be president, and itWashington Postwas reported that Cheney’s presence on the Republican ticket will either help or hinder President Bush.Associated PressThe FBI was still investigating a possible Israeli mole in the Pentagon.TelegraphA Jewish man was arrested in France for setting fire to a Jewish community center and painting swastikas on the walls.BBCInvestigators reported that Osama bin Laden apparently does not fund Al Qaeda operations with his personal fortune, as was previously believed.Associated PressSeveral swift boat veterans were angry that their names were included without their permission on letters attackingJohn Kerry.Billings GazetteAlan Keyes, the Illinois Republican Senate candidate, declared that Dick Cheney’slesbian daughter is “a selfish hedonist.”Associated PressA man was arrested in West Monroe, Louisiana, for committing a crime against nature with his sister’s 125-pound Vietnamese potbelly pig.The News StarA scientist in Kentucky claimed to have created viable embryos using cells from dead people and cow eggs; Panayiotis Zavos claimed that his work, which used tissue from an 11-year-old girl who died in a car crash, a dead 18-month-old baby, and a 33-year-old dead man, proved that clones could be made of people after they have died.New ScientistIt was reported that Al Gore was given a speeding ticket in Oregon.ReutersChinese zookeepers were showing videos to a giant panda in an attempt to teach her how to take care of her two cubs.Agence France-PresseConsumer confidence was down.Associated PressA Kansas City company said that its synthetic urine was proving popular with researchers, and demandAssociated Pressfor buttock augmentation surgery was on the rise.TelegraphBrown bears were terrorizing a village in Transylvania.Reuters

Share
Single Page

More from Roger D. Hodge:

From the October 2010 issue

Speak, Money

Get access to 169 years of
Harper’s for only $23.99

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

November 2019

The Bird Angle

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The K-12 Takeover

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The $68,000 Fish

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Men at Work

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

To Serve Is to Rule

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Article
Men at Work·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“You’re being reborn,” the voice says. “Exiting the womb of your mother. Coming into the earth as a small baby. Everything is new.” It is a Saturday morning in mid-March, and right now I’m lying on a yoga mat in a lodge in Ohio, surrounded by fifty other men who’ve come to the Midwest for a weekend of manhood-confirming adventures. The voice in question belongs to Aaron Blaine, a facilitator for Evryman, the men’s group orchestrating this three-day retreat. All around me, men are shedding tears as Blaine leads us on a guided meditation, a kind of archetypal montage of Norman Rockwell boyhood. “You’re starting to figure things out,” he says, in somniferous baritone. “Snow, for the first time. Sunshine. Start to notice the smells, the tastes, the confusion. The fear. And you’re growing. You’re about ten years old. The world’s huge and scary.”

Even though it’s only the second day of the Evryman retreat, it’s worth noting that I’ve already been the subject of light fraternal teasing. Already I’ve been the recipient of countless unsought hugs. Already I have sat in Large Groups and Small Groups, and watched dozens of middle-aged men weep with shame and contrition. I’ve had a guy in the military tell me he wants to be “a rock for his family.” I’ve heard a guy from Ohio say that his beard “means something.” Twice I’ve hiked through the woods to “reconnect with Mother Nature,” and I have been addressed by numerous men as both “dude” and “brother.” I have performed yoga and yard drills and morning calisthenics. I’ve heard seven different men play acoustic guitar. I’ve heard a man describe his father by saying, “There wasn’t a lot of ball-tossing when I was growing up.” Three times I’ve been queried about how I’m “processing everything,” and at the urinal on Friday night, two men warned me about the upcoming “Anger Ceremony,” which is rumored to be the weekend’s “pièce de résistance.”

Article
To Serve Is to Rule·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The WASP story is personal for me. I arrived at Yale in 1971 from a thoroughly mediocre suburb in New Jersey, the second-generation hybrid of Irish and Italian stock riding the postwar boom. Those sockless people in Top-Siders, whose ancestors’ names and portraits adorned the walls, were entirely new to me. I made friends with some, but I was not free of a corrosive envy of their habitus of ease and entitlement.

I used to visit one of those friends in the Hamptons, in the 1970s, when the area was about wood-paneled Ford station wagons, not Lamborghinis. There was some money in the family, but not gobs, yet they lived two blocks from the beach—prime real estate. Now, down the road from what used to be their house is the residence of Ira Rennert. It’s one of the largest private homes in the United States. The union-busting, pension-fund-looting Rennert, whose wealth comes from, among other things, chemical companies that are some of the worst polluters in the country, made his first money in the 1980s as a cog in Michael Milken’s junk-bond machine. In 2015, a court ordered him to return $215 million he had appropriated from one of his companies to pay for the house. One-hundred-car garages and twenty-one (or maybe twenty-nine) bedrooms don’t come cheap.

Article
The Bird Angle·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

I slept for a good seven hours on the overnight flight from Spain to Peru, and while I slept I dreamed that I was leading American visitors around a park in Berlin, looking for birds on a hazy, overcast day. There wasn’t much to see until we noticed a distant commotion in the sky. Large raptors were panicking, driven back and forth by something threatening them from above. The commotion moved closer. The clouds parted, an oval aperture backed with blue. In it two seraphim hovered motionless. “Those are angels,” I told the group.

They were between us and the sun, but an easy ­I.D. Size aside, no other European bird has two sets of wings. The upper wings cast their faces into shadow. Despite the glare I could make out their striking peaches-­and-­cream coloration. Ivory white predominates, hair a faint yellow, eyes blue, wings indescribably iridescent. Faces blank and expressionless, as with all birds.

Article
The K-12 Takeover·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Last May, the families of students at Cypress Academy, an independent charter school in New Orleans, received an email announcing that the school would close when classes ended the following week and that all its students would be transferred to another nearby charter for the upcoming year. Parents would have the option of entering their children in the city’s charter-enrollment lottery, but the lottery’s first round had already taken place, and the most desirable spots for the fall were filled.

Founded in 2015, a decade after New Orleans became the nation’s first city to begin replacing all its public schools with charters, Cypress was something of a rarity. Like about nine in ten of the city’s charter schools, it filled spaces by lottery rather than by selective admission. But while most of the nonselective schools in New Orleans had majority populations of low-income African-American students, Cypress mirrored the city’s demographics, drawing the children of professionals—African-American and white alike—as well as poorer students. Cypress reserved 20 percent of its seats for children with reading difficulties, and it offered a progressive education model, including “learning by doing,” rather than the strict conduct codes that dominated the city’s nonselective schools. In just three years, the school had outperformed many established charters—a particular feat given that one in four Cypress students had a disability, double the New Orleans average. Families flocked to Cypress, especially ones with children who had disabilities.

Article
Five Stories·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

how high? that high

He had his stick that was used mostly to point at your head if your head wasn’t held up proudly.

I still like that man—Holger! He had been an orphan!

He came up to me once because there was something about how I was moving my feet that wasn’t according to the regulations or his expectations.

The room was a short wide room with a short wide window with plenty of artificial light.

Cost of renting a giant panda from the Chinese government, per day:

$1,500

A recent earthquake in Chile was found to have shifted the city of Concepción ten feet to the west, shortened Earth’s days by 1.26 microseconds, and shifted the planet’s axis by nearly three inches.

The limited edition Nike Air Max 97s, white sneakers that have holy water from the Jordan River in their soles and have frankincense-scented insoles, sold out in minutes.

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

HARPER’S FINEST

Jesus Plus Nothing

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

By

At Ivanwald, men learn to be leaders by loving their leaders. “They’re so busy loving us,” a brother once explained to me, “but who’s loving them?” We were. The brothers each paid $400 per month for room and board, but we were also the caretakers of The Cedars, cleaning its gutters, mowing its lawns, whacking weeds and blowing leaves and sanding. And we were called to serve on Tuesday mornings, when The Cedars hosted a regular prayer breakfast typically presided over by Ed Meese, the former attorney general. Each week the breakfast brought together a rotating group of ambassadors, businessmen, and American politicians. Three of Ivanwald’s brothers also attended, wearing crisp shirts starched just for the occasion; one would sit at the table while the other two poured coffee. 

Subscribe Today