Weekly Review — July 19, 2005, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: Devil Spanker]

It was hurricane season.PR NewswireIt became clear that Karl Rove had leaked information about Valerie Plame to the press. In response, President George W. Bush, who had previously announced that he would fire anyone in his administration who was found to have leaked Plame’s identity, announced that he would actually fire only proven criminals. “I don’t know all the facts,” said Bush.The New York TimesBob Woodward offered to serve some of Judith Miller’s jail time.Editor & PublisherSuicide bombers killed at least 170 Iraqis, including twenty-six children who were waiting for American soldiers to give them candy,Washington Postand Saddam Hussein was charged in the death of 150 Shiites in 1982.Washington PostEleven U.S. soldiers were charged with beating Iraqis,BBC Newsand a Florida man, worried that his three-year-old son might become a gay sissy, was accused of beating the boy to death.TBO.comBernard Ebbers was sentenced to twenty-five years in prison,MSNBCa dangerous monkey named Buddy was loose in Columbus, Ohio,WPXIand Dennis Kucinich was in love.The Plain DealerThe atomic bomb turned sixty.LA TimesFormer British Prime Minister Edward Heath died.BBC NewsA thirteen-year-old boy in Kalamazoo accidentally burned down the family meth lab.WWMT.comFour six-hundred-year-old papal seals were found in a toilet shaft in Germany, Mail & Guardian Onlineand a native Alaskan was sentenced to seven years in federal prison for killing six walruses.Seattle Post-Intelligencer

NASA postponed the launch of the Space Shuttle Discovery.APLondon began to scan the bodies of tube passengers,Times Onlineand Disney World started scanning the index and middle fingers of all visitors.Local 6People in Colombia were granting amnesty to militia groups in exchange for peace. “A few months ago,” said one man, “I would never have dared walk out here to show you this grave.”Boston.comThree Texas teens were in trouble for teabagging a fourth.The Star-TelegramAn eating-disorder and female-self-esteem expert collapsed in a Connecticut supermarket after huffing nitrous oxide from whipped cream canisters,Boston.comand in Traverse City, Michigan, a woman drowned in a vat of cherries. Detroit Free PressA Brooklyn woman was acquitted of manslaughter due to lack of evidence; she was accused of killing her husband after he mocked her for her lack of callipygian rondure.The New York Daily NewsA St. Charles, Illinois, man was accused of seducing an Akita through a chain-link fence,Daily Heraldand in Enumclaw, Washington, after a man died of internal bleeding from having sex with a horse, police were investigating a reputed bestiality farm. “We’ve got more investigating to do,” said a sergeant.Seattle Post-IntelligencerA blind man in Florida got lucky with his guide dog, a yellow lab named Lucky.Talahassee Democrat

The twelfth major U.S. investigation into Guantánamo Bay found that forcing an inmate to behave like a dog was not inhumane.Bloomberg NewsAbdul Rahim Muslim Dost, who returned to Pakistan after three years in Guantánamo Bay, said that writing poetry kept him sane while imprisoned. “They may have weapons and missiles,” he wrote, “but we can find no sign of manhood in this army.”SF GateA study found that the blood of newborn babies contained an average of two hundred industrial chemicals and pollutants including pesticides, perfluorochemicals, and waste from burning garbage.Body BurdenA Bear, Delaware, woman was charged with injecting her two-year-old son with human feces.Delaware OnlineThe United States was spending twice as much per capita on health care as was spent by twenty-nine other industrialized nations,The St. Petersburg Timesand prayer was found to be no help for heart patients.BBC NewsCalifornia Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger decided to quit his job editing muscle magazines, which paid at least $1 million a year. “I pledged to put the people of California front and center,” he said after receiving a great deal of press criticism.SF GateIt cost $75 to bleachyouranus in Los Angeles.The Village VoiceAn explosion in a Chinese coal mine killed eighty-one miners,China Viewa three-express-train crash in Pakistan killed 132 people, BBC Newsand a typhoon struck Taiwan.Bloomberg NewsThe NHL and Player’s Association came to an agreement and announced that hockey could start up again.CBCA Tennessee man was charged with desecrating a venerated object and sent to jail after he burned an American flag.APHoping to stave off the development of super-intelligent monkeys, a panel of scientists issued guidelines on the insertion of human stem cells into monkey brains.Live ScienceWilliam Rehnquist announced that he would not retire from the Supreme Court,APthe bones of a mammoth were found in Silicon Valley,SF Gateand an eight-year-old Malaysian boy caught a fish which jumped into his throat and choked him to death.Practical Fishkeeping

Share
Single Page

More from Paul Ford:

From the May 2010 issue

Just like heaven

Weekly Review March 23, 2010, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

Weekly Review November 24, 2009, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

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

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

March 2020

The Old Normal

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Out of Africa

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Waiting for the End of the World

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

In Harm’s Way

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Fifth Step

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

A View to a Krill

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Article
The Old Normal·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Addressing the graduating cadets at West Point in May 1942, General George C. Marshall, then the Army chief of staff, reduced the nation’s purpose in the global war it had recently joined to a single emphatic sentence. “We are determined,” he remarked, “that before the sun sets on this terrible struggle, our flag will be recognized throughout the world as a symbol of freedom on the one hand and of overwhelming force on the other.”

At the time Marshall spoke, mere months after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, U.S. forces had sustained a string of painful setbacks and had yet to win a major battle. Eventual victory over Japan and Germany seemed anything but assured. Yet Marshall was already looking beyond the immediate challenges to define what that victory, when ultimately— and, in his view, inevitably—achieved, was going to signify.

This second world war of the twentieth century, Marshall understood, was going to be immense and immensely destructive. But if vast in scope, it would be limited in duration. The sun would set; the war would end. Today no such expectation exists. Marshall’s successors have come to view armed conflict as an open-ended proposition. The alarming turn in U.S.–Iranian relations is another reminder that war has become normal for the United States.

Article
Waiting for the End of the World·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

1.

A man is to carry himself in the presence of all opposition, as if every thing were titular and ephemeral but he.

I rose long before dawn, too thrilled to sleep, and set off to find my tribe. North from Greenville in the dark, past towns with names like Sans Souci and Travelers Rest, over the border into North Carolina, through land so choked by kudzu that the overgrown trees in the dark looked like great creatures petrified in mid-flight. The weirdness of this scene would, by the end of the weekend, show itself to be appropriate: my trip would be all about romanticism, and romanticism is a human collision with place that results, as Baudelaire put it, “neither in choice of subject nor exact truth, but in a way of feeling.” My rental car’s engine whined as it climbed the mountains. Day was just breaking when I nosed down a hill to Orchard Lake Campground, where tents were still being erected in the dimness.

Article
The Fifth Step·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Harold Jamieson, once chief engineer of New York City’s sanitation department, enjoyed retirement. He knew from his small circle of friends that some didn’t, so he considered himself lucky. He had an acre of garden in Queens that he shared with several like-minded horticulturists, he had discovered Netflix, and he was making inroads in the books he’d always meant to read. He still missed his wife—a victim of breast cancer five years previous—but aside from that persistent ache, his life was quite full. Before rising every morning, he reminded himself to enjoy the day. At sixty-eight, he liked to think he had a fair amount of road left, but there was no denying it had begun to narrow.

The best part of those days—assuming it wasn’t raining, snowing, or too cold—was the nine-block walk to Central Park after breakfast. Although he carried a cell phone and used an electronic tablet (had grown dependent on it, in fact), he still preferred the print version of the Times. In the park, he would settle on his favorite bench and spend an hour with it, reading the sections back to front, telling himself he was progressing from the sublime to the ridiculous.

Article
Out of Africa·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

1. In 2014, Deepti Gurdasani, a genetic epidemiologist at the Wellcome Sanger Institute in England, coauthored a paper in Nature on human genetic variation in Africa, from which this image is taken. A recent study had found that DNA from people of European descent made up 96 percent of genetic samples worldwide, reflecting the historical tendency among scientists and doctors to view the male, European body as a global archetype. “There wasn’t very much data available from Africa at all,” Gurdasani told me. To help rectify the imbalance, her research team collected samples from eighteen African ethnolinguistic groups across the continent—such as the Kalenjin of Uganda and the Oromo of Ethiopia—most of whom had not previously been included in genomic research. They analyzed the data using an admixture algorithm, which visualizes the statistical genetic differences among groups by representing them as color clusters. The top chart shows genetic differences among the sampled African populations, in increasing degrees of granularity from top to bottom, and the bottom chart shows how they compare with ethnic groups in the rest of the world. The areas where the colors mix and overlap imply that groups commingled. The Yoruba, for instance, show remarkable homogeneity—their column is almost entirely green and purple—while the Kalenjin seem to have associated with many populations across the continent.

Article
In Harm’s Way·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Ten yards was the nearest we could get to the river. Any closer and the smell was too much to bear. The water was a milky gray color, as if mixed with ashes, and the passage of floating trash was ceaseless. Plastic bags and bottles, coffee lids, yogurt cups, flip-flops, and sodden stuffed animals drifted past, coated in yellow scum. Amid the old tires and mattresses dumped on the riverbank, mounds of rank green weeds gave refuge to birds and grasshoppers, which didn’t seem bothered by the fecal stench.

El Río de los Remedios, or the River of Remedies, runs through the city of Ecatepec, a densely populated satellite of Mexico City. Confined mostly to concrete channels, the river serves as the main drainage line for the vast monochrome barrios that surround the capital. That day, I was standing on a stretch of the canal just north of Ecatepec, with a twenty-three-year-old photographer named Reyna Leynez. Reyna was the one who’d told me about the place and what it represents. This ruined river, this open sewer, is said to be one of the largest mass graves in Mexico.

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 commissioner of CPB admitted that “leadership just got a little overzealous” when detaining hundreds of U.S. citizens of Iranian descent in the wake of Qassem Soleimani’s assassination.

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