Weekly Review — November 7, 2006, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: The Cloaca Maxima, 1872]

The Cloaca Maxima, 1872

Iran criticized Australia, Bahrain, Britain, France, Italy, and the United States for carrying out a practice naval exercise in the Persian Gulf, then announced ten days of “Great Prophet II” war games.AP via International Herald TribuneBreitbartThe International Atomic Energy Agency said that it has been approached by at least six Arab countries interested in developing their own nuclear programs,Reuters via Yahoo! Newsand the U.S. government shut down its “Operation Iraqi Freedom Document Portal” website after the New York Times pointed out that it contained instructions for building an atomic bomb. “It’s a cookbook,” explained a senior diplomat in Europe.New York TimesIran began offering cash incentives in a program designed to bring in more foreign tourists; travel agents will receive $20 for every Western vacationer but only $10 per Asian.CNNThe White House announced that there is mounting evidence that Iran and Syria are conspiring with Hezbollah to overthrow the government of Lebanon.The AgeTwo of the suspects arrested in Britain in August for plotting to blow up U.S.-bound airplanes were released due to insufficient proof,New York TimesCNNand Saddam Hussein was sentenced to death by hanging.ABC NewsA leaked “Index of Civil Conflict” from Central Command in Iraq indicated that the country is sliding from the green zone of “Peace” towards a red zone marked “Chaos.”New York TimesU.S. Army personnel were accused of telling potential recruits that the war was over, ABC Newsand John Kerry apologized for implying that American soldiers in Iraq are stupid.New York Times

Republicans were “glum” as the party prepared to lose at least fifteen seats in the House of Representatives.New York TimesMachines used for early voting began to malfunction in Florida,.Miami HeraldTennessee G.O.P. officals claimed smart cards were missing from a Memphis polling place,WMCTVand a paper-shredding service truck was seen approaching the Cheney compound at the Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C.WonketteThe Homeland Securitywebsitetexasborderwatch.com began broadcasting live footage of the United StatesMexico border.AP via Yahoo! NewsSt. Louis was named America’s most dangerous city. “You made my day!” said Mayor Gwendolyn Faison of Camden, New Jersey, which was formerly ranked most dangerous. “There’s a new hope and a new spirit.”AP via Yahoo! NewsBangalore, the high-tech capital of India, renamed itself “Bengalooru,” to more closely resemble the city’s medieval name, “Bendakalooru,” or “town of boiled beans.”Reuters via Yahoo! NewsCornfarmers in the Midwest were resisting bids for their ethanol plants by Wall Street firms;New York Timesscientists claimed that at the current rate of consumption, global seafood supplies will be obliterated by the year 2048;Washington Postand the World Meteorological Organisation said that the level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere had hit a record high.BBC NewsChannel 4, Britain’s second largest television network, announced that Google’s U.K. advertising revenues would outstrip the broadcaster’s own by some hundred million pounds this year. “People need to wake up and realize that this is not just a cyclical issue,” said the network’s chief executive. “There is deep structural change, rather like global warming.”Times of LondonDue to the Lebanon war, Israel was facing an eight-fold increase in the cost of marijuana.Reuters via Yahoo! News

Australia announced plans to detain up to 1,200 deadbeat moms and dads at airports during the upcoming holiday season,Northern Territory Newsand the United States said it would fund millions of dollars’ worth of abstinence-only sexual education for adults.USA TodayIn Beijing, volunteers giving out free hugs were detained by police. “Embracing is a foreign tradition,” said one citizen. “Chinese are not accustomed to this.”Reuters via Yahoo! NewsJapanese law enforcement arrested a fetishist who had filled a warehouse with 5,000 pairs of stolen children’s shoes,Mianichi Daily Newsand in South Korea, where miniskirts will soon be legalized, police have begun using “cyber terror units” to curb the rise of online bullying by the mob.Reuters via Yahoo! NewsBBC NewsIn Aurora, Colorado, chubby girls robbed younger children of their trick-or-treatingcandy,ABC 7 Denver and a New Hampshireorthodontist bought back local kids’ spoils for two dollars per pound.WSBTV AtlantaGrieving Maya in Mexico exhumed the bodies of their beloved in order to clean them;Reuters via Yahoo! Newsa Frenchnewspaper declared the death of Halloween.Reuters via Yahoo! NewsRising floodwaters trapped a herd of 100 horses on a Netherlands islet,New York Timesa cache of unsent letters to God was found off the Atlantic City shore,AP via Yahoo! Newsand researchers in Japan captured a dolphin with legs.Chicago Tribune

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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.

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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.

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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

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

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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:

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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.

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