Weekly Review — May 8, 2007, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: Storks, 1864]

The Republican candidates for the presidency debated at the Ronald Reagan Library in California. Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas said that the day Roe v. Wade was repealed would be “a glorious day of human liberty and freedom” and that the current tax system “ought to be taken behind a barn and killed with a dull ax”; Senator John McCain of Arizona claimed that he would “follow [Osama bin Laden] to the gates of hell”; TexasCongressman Ron Paul said that not going to war in Iraq would have been “conservative,” because “itâ??s a Republican, itâ??s a pro-American, it follows the Founding Fathers. And besides, it follows the Constitution.” CaliforniaCongressman Duncan Hunter took responsibility for the border fence in San Diego. “Itâ??s a double fence,” he said. “Itâ??s not that little straggly fence you see on CNN with everybody getting over it.” “No one on this stage,” said former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, “probably knows Hillary Clinton better than I do,” to which former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani replied: “Oh my!” Collectively, the candidates invoked Reagan’s name nearly 20 times.NY TimesIt was announced that Reagan’sdiaries would be published. “Getting shot,” he wrote in 1981, “hurts.”BBCnews.comHillary Clinton said at a fund-raiser that her campaign would be similar to Harriet Tubman going back to free more slaves,NY Daily Newsand Congressman John Shimkus (R., Ill.) said that pulling out of Iraq would be like the Cardinals leaving the field in the 15th inning to let the Cubs win.Chicago TribuneFormer Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, who is a Mormon, declared that his favorite books were Battlefield Earth and the Bible.New York TimesIsraelis were demanding that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert resign due to his handling of the 2006 war with Hezbollah;ReutersBritish Prime Minister Tony Blair announced that he will announce his resignation next week;BBCnews.comand Nicolas Sarkozy, the conservative son of a Hungarian immigrant, was elected president of France.BBCnews.com

Iran’stelecommunications ministry proclaimed that it will begin filtering immoral messages sent by cell phones,Reuters via eweek.comand police in Tehran forbade barbers from giving men Western style haircuts or plucking their eyebrows.ReutersThe U.N. Refugee Agency reported that more than 36,000 Afghans had been deported from Iran since late April.BBCnews.comThe U.S. Army tightened its rules concerning blogging by soldiers,Reuters via CNN.comand Senator Patrick Leahy (D., Vt.) issued a subpoena to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales for emails from Karl Rove regarding the U.S. attorney firings.CNN.comPresident Bush vetoed an Iraq spending bill that included a timetable for troop withdrawal and threatened to use his third veto on a bill that would expand the legal definition of hate crime to include violence based on gender or sexuality.BBCnews.comAP via MSNBC.comOfficials from more than 50 countries gathered in Egypt and issued a five-year “International Compact” aimed at stabilizing Iraq.The Daily Star EgyptThe Iraqi interior ministry claimed that the head of Al Qaeda in Iraq had been killed,BBCnews.comand Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr called on Iraqis to paint “magnificent tableaux” on barrier walls that “depict the ugliness and terrorist nature of the occupier, and the sedition, car bombings, blood and the like he has brought upon Iraqis.”NYTimes.comThe U.S. State Department announced that 40 percent more people died from terror attacks in 2006 than in the year before,BBCnews.comand American officials denied reports of a plan to require entry visas for British citizens of Pakistani origin.Guardian UnlimitedTwenty thousand Pakistanis rallied in Islamabad to protest the suspension of Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry by President Gen. Pervez Musharraf. “The dictatorial system of government and the concept of concentration of power is now ended,” Chaudhry said. “All these are bitter lessons of history.”AP via SignonSanDiego.com

Sony apologized and admitted that it might have been “inappropriate” to promote a new videogame based on Greek mythology by holding a launch party in London featuring topless serving girls and guests eating offal from the stomach of a decapitated goat.thisislondon.co.ukTommy Lee was reportedly buying the manmade island of “Greece” in Dubai’s “The World” project for his ex-wife Pamela Anderson, who has accused him in the past of domestic abuse and giving her hepatitis C. Mirror.co.ukBritons were enjoying a new reality television series called “Fat Teens Can’t Hunt” in which ten overweight teenagers were sent to Australia’s outback to live and eat with Aboriginal communities.ReutersAn Irish teenager, who has been told by doctors that her baby will not survive more than a few days after birth, appeared in the High Court in Dublin to apply for the right to travel to Britain for an abortion.BBCnews.comScottish scientists were developing a pill that will simultaneously boost women’s sex drive and decrease their weight. When the pill was given to monkeys, said the scientists, females displayed their feelings via “rump presentation and tail wagging” and males through tongue-flicking and eyebrow-raising.BBCnews.comA 68-year-old grandmother in England was the runner-up for “txt laureate” for writing a love poem to her husband. “O hart tht sorz,” she wrote, “My luv adorz, He mAks me liv, He mAks me giv, Myslf 2 him, As my luv porz.”The RegisterGuests at a wedding in Patna, India, decided that the groom had arrived too drunk and had the bride marry his brother instead,Reutersand a farmer in eastern India beheaded one of his workers with a sword for failing to milk his cows.ReutersFour thousand Filipina mothers in Manila tried to break the world record for simultaneous breastfeeding.BBCnews.com

Share
Single Page

More from Chantal Clarke:

Weekly Review August 12, 2008, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

Weekly Review July 8, 2008, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

Weekly Review May 20, 2008, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

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

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

November 2019

Men at Work

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

To Serve Is to Rule

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

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.

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