Weekly Review — August 15, 2006, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: a very upset, poisoned cat.]

Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman lost the DemocraticSenate primary election to anti-Iraq-war candidate Ned Lamont. Lieberman then announced that he would run as an independent candidate, and that “Team Connecticut” would “surge forward to victory.” Vice President Dick Cheney said that Lamont’s victory was encouraging to “Al Qaeda types.”Chicago Sun-TimesUnder pressure from U.S. officials, authorities in the United Kingdom announced the discovery of a terrorist plot to blow up as many as ten passenger planes in the air, possibly by using explosive liquids hidden inside sports-drink bottles. Twenty-one suspects were arrested. Britain raised its threat level to “critical”; the United States raised its threat level “for all commercial flights flying from the United Kingdom to the United States” to “red.” Carry-on luggage was banned on flights in and out of Heathrow airport, and classical and traditional musicians, who normally keep their fragile instruments with them while traveling, were forced to check them as baggage and risk damage. “These restrictions,” said a cellist, “are a disaster for me.” Bagpipers planning to attend the World Pipe Band Championships were particularly worried about the effects of the ban. Prime Minister Tony Blair, on vacation in the Caribbean, thanked U.K. security services for their “hard work,” and President George W. Bush, who had been monitoring the progress of the investigation while on vacation in Crawford, Texas (where he was reading The Stranger, by Albert Camus), flew to Wisconsin and called the arrests “a stark reminder that this nation is at war with Islamic fascists.”The New York TimesBBC NewsBush’s approval rating once again fell to 33 percent,MSNBCReady.govABC NewsBBC NewsBreitbart.comAMNBC News via MSNBCABC 7 Newsand light, sweet crude was trading at $76.98 per barrel.BBC NewsThe Federal Reserve allowed the U.S. interest rate to remain at 5.25 percent.Bloomberg.comCoke and Pepsi were banned in the state of Kerala, India, because of their high levels of pesticide residue,MSN.co.inand Scotland banned the sale of swords, with religious swords exempted.BBC News

Astronomers were trying to decide whether Pluto was or was not a planet. “So far,” said an astronomer, “it looks like a stalemate.”CNN.comHezbollah accepted a U.N. ceasefire resolution, and agreed to allow Lebanese and U.N. troops to serve as peacekeepers in southern Lebanon.CNN.comAriel Sharon’s cerebral condition was reportedly growing worse.CNN.comIn Queens, New York, a cat named Fred Wheezy, a recipient of the New York City Police Department’s Law Enforcement Achievement Award, was struck and killed by a car.The New York TimesCuban leader Fidel Castro, it was reported, looked good after surgery, and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez visited his bedside. “I ask you all to be optimistic,” said Castro in a statement, “and at the same time to be ready to face any adverse news.” BBC NewsIranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was writing a blog.Times OnlineReuters via Yahoo! NewsGnter Grass announced that he had once been a member of the Nazi SS.Telegraph.co.ukA Hiroshima man was arrested for making 37,760 silent phone calls to directory assistance because he wanted “to hear these women’s voices.”The AustralianIt was pointed out that the United States has been fighting in Iraq for as long as it fought Germany during World War II.The Chicago Tribune

Spain,Sicily, and North Africa were on jellyfish alert, with over 30,000 people stung so far this summer. The jellyfish explosion, a researcher explained, is due to overfishing and global warming.BBC NewsAmerica Online released the search query data of 658,000 people to the Web, then pulled the information because it could be used to violate user privacy. User 88112, for instance, searched for “christian beliefs and sex outside of marrigae” and “penis abnormalities in children,” while user 843043 searched for “fungal meningitis and coma” and “eastercookie recipe for jesus’ suffering.” “This,” said an AOL representative, “was a screw up.”eWeekIt was reported that NASA had lost the original high-resolution tapes of the July 1969 moon landing.AOL Log SearchThe IndependentIn Texas a truck carrying zoo animals overturned, immediately killing one penguin; three more penguins were killed by oncoming traffic. The octopus was not harmed.The GuardianMarine biologists discovered a huge hypoxic “dead zone” off the Oregon coast. “We can’t be sure what happened to all the fish,” said a researcher, “but it’s clear they are gone.”Science DailyIn Florida a man was missing after a large turtle pulled him into the sea,Local6.comand, for the first time in over 60 years, a corpse flower bloomed in New York City.Chron.com

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 167 years of
Harper’s for only $45.99

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

February 2018

The Bodies in The Forest

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Minds of Others

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Modern Despots

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Before the Deluge

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Notes to Self

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Within Reach

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Article
The Minds of Others·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Progress is impossible without change,” George Bernard Shaw wrote in 1944, “and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” But progress through persuasion has never seemed harder to achieve. Political segregation has made many Americans inaccessible, even unimaginable, to those on the other side of the partisan divide. On the rare occasions when we do come face-to-face, it is not clear what we could say to change each other’s minds or reach a worthwhile compromise. Psychological research has shown that humans often fail to process facts that conflict with our preexisting worldviews. The stakes are simply too high: our self-worth and identity are entangled with our beliefs — and with those who share them. The weakness of logic as a tool of persuasion, combined with the urgency of the political moment, can be paralyzing.

Yet we know that people do change their minds. We are constantly molded by our environment and our culture, by the events of the world, by the gossip we hear and the books we read. In the essays that follow, seven writers explore the ways that persuasion operates in our lives, from the intimate to the far-reaching. Some consider the ethics and mechanics of persuasion itself — in religion, politics, and foreign policy — and others turn their attention to the channels through which it acts, such as music, protest, and technology. How, they ask, can we persuade others to join our cause or see things the way we do? And when it comes to our own openness to change, how do we decide when to compromise and when to resist?

Illustration (detail) by Lincoln Agnew
Article
Within Reach·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

On a balmy day last spring, Connor Chase sat on a red couch in the waiting room of a medical clinic in Columbus, Ohio, and watched the traffic on the street. His bleached-blond hair fell into his eyes as he scrolled through his phone to distract himself. Waiting to see Mimi Rivard, a nurse practitioner, was making Chase nervous: it would be the first time he would tell a medical professional that he was transgender.

By the time he arrived at the Equitas Health clinic, Chase was eighteen, and had long since come to dread doctors and hospitals. As a child, he’d had asthma, migraines, two surgeries for a tumor that had caused deafness in one ear, and gangrene from an infected bug bite. Doctors had always assumed he was a girl. After puberty, Chase said, he avoided looking in the mirror because his chest and hips “didn’t feel like my body.” He liked it when strangers saw him as male, but his voice was high-pitched, so he rarely spoke in public. Then, when Chase was fourteen, he watched a video on YouTube in which a twentysomething trans man described taking testosterone to lower his voice and appear more masculine. Suddenly, Chase had an explanation for how he felt — and what he wanted.

Illustration by Taylor Callery
Article
Before the Deluge·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

In the summer of 2016, when Congress installed a financial control board to address Puerto Rico’s crippling debt, I traveled to San Juan, the capital. The island owed some $120 billion, and Wall Street was demanding action. On the news, President Obama announced his appointments to the Junta de Supervisión y Administración Financiera. “The task ahead for Puerto Rico is not an easy one,” he said. “But I am confident Puerto Rico is up to the challenge of stabilizing the fiscal situation, restoring growth, and building a better future for all Puerto Ricans.” Among locals, however, the control board was widely viewed as a transparent effort to satisfy mainland creditors — just the latest tool of colonialist plundering that went back generations.

Photograph from Puerto Rico by Christopher Gregory
Article
Monumental Error·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

In 1899, the art critic Layton Crippen complained in the New York Times that private donors and committees had been permitted to run amok, erecting all across the city a large number of “painfully ugly monuments.” The very worst statues had been dumped in Central Park. “The sculptures go as far toward spoiling the Park as it is possible to spoil it,” he wrote. Even worse, he lamented, no organization had “power of removal” to correct the damage that was being done.

Illustration by Steve Brodner
Post
CamperForce·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

After losing their savings in the stock market crash of 2008, seniors Barb and Chuck find seasonal employment at Amazon fulfillment centers.

Cost of a baby-stroller cleaning, with wheel detailing, at Tot Squad in New York City:

$119.99

Australian biologists trained monitor lizards not to eat cane toads.

Trump tweeted that he had created “jobs, jobs, jobs” since becoming president, and it was reported that Trump plans to bolster job creation by loosening regulations on the global sale of US-made artillery, warships, fighter jets, and drones.

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