Weekly Review — June 19, 2007, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: All In My Eye, December 1853]

An American cattleman.

President Mahmoud Abbas dissolved the Palestinian unity government and declared a state of emergency after masked Hamas gunmen seized control of the Gaza Strip. Hamas looters broke into former Palestinian Authority chairman Yasser Arafat’s home and stole military outfits, photographs of his daughter, and his Nobel Peace Prize. “I see Iraq here,” a bystander in Gaza said. “There is no mercy. We are afraid. See how ferocious this fight was? There is no future for us.”New York TimesThe Jerusalem PostNew York TimesIsrael and the United States tacitly agreed on a policy to treat the West Bank and Gaza as separate entities.New York TimesTwo reports–one by U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the other by the Pentagon–concluded that despite the increased U.S. military presence in Iraq, and despite a drop in violence in Baghdad and Anbar province, the overall level of violence has not decreased but instead has become more evenly distributed throughout the country.Washington PostWashington PostA suicide bomber drove his truck through the gates of the unprotected police station in Alam, killing at least 12 people and injuring sixty. “This is the first bombing in Alam,” said a policeman who lost his left arm. “That’s why people did not expect an explosion.” Washington PostThe sacred Shiite mosque in Samarra was bombed again, raising concerns of a massive wave of sectarian violence like the one that occurred when it was bombed a year ago. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki called on Iraqis to “exercise self-restraint,” whereupon two Sunni mosques were razed. Washington PostNews Feed ResearcherThe Taliban fired rockets at Afghan President Hamid Karzai as he gave a speech to some elders. Karzai paused to quiet the audience after the rockets landed a few hundred yards away, then finished his speech. Washington PostJudge Robert Bork, an advocate for tort reform, was suing the Yale Club of New York City for $1 million after he slipped and fell while mounting a dais, injuring his leg and head.ACSBlog

A federal appeals court ruled that President George W. Bush cannot indefinitely imprison U.S. residents on suspicion alone, and ordered that the government either charge Ali Saleh Kahla al-Marri in a civilian court or release him. Al-Marri, a university student, was arrested in December 2001 and declared an enemy combatant. “The President,” the panel said, “cannot eliminate constitutional protections with the stroke of a pen.”Washington PostAn internal FBI audit revealed that during its domestic surveillance efforts, the bureau potentially violated the law or agency rules more than 1,000 times, with 90 percent of the FBI’s national security investigations since 2002 still remaining unaudited. Washington PostSenate Democrats pushed for a “vote of no confidence” in Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, but were blocked by Republicans who reminded them that the U.S. government does not engage in no-confidence votes. “To paraphrase Shakespeare,” Senator Orrin Hatch said, “whether this debate amounts to sound and fury, it signifies nothing.”Washington PostWashington PostPresident Bush became the first sitting president to visit Albania, where Prime Minister Sali Berisha welcomed him as “the greatest and most distinguished guest we have ever had in all times.” “Bush is eager for affection,” wrote Fidel Castro in an editorial published in the Cuban newspaper Granma entitled “The Tyrant visits Tirana.”Washington PostWashington Post“Today’s media,” British Prime Minister Tony Blair said, “hunts in packs. In these modes it is like a feral beast just tearing people and reputations to bits.” Washington PostRudolph Giuliani announced that as president he would follow a 12-step program to better the country, which will include an end to illegal immigration, a decrease in abortion, and a legal system with “strict constructionist” judges.Washington Post“The one fact I’ve learned–I can’t get out of my mind,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said to an audience at the Center for American Progress, “is that Rudy Giuliani’s been married more times than Mitt Romney’s been hunting.” Sign On San Diego

Mr. Wizard died,LA Timesand researchers revealed that Otzi the Iceman, a 5,000-year-old frozen hunter who was found in the Italian Alps in 1991, was killed by injuries suffered from an arrow to his left collarbone.Washington PostScientists speculated that the woolly mammoth, which died off more than 10,000 years ago, as well as the saber-toothed cat, the mastodon, and the giant ground sloth, were exterminated by a comet that exploded over Canada with a force equivalent to more than a million nuclear weapons.Washington PostAfter a two-day chase, astronauts aboard the space ship Atlantis finally caught up with the orbiting international space station, where they floated into the station’s Destiny laboratory and gave each resident a hug.Washington PostMedical examiners announced that a 17-year-old U.S. track star who died in April overdosed on muscle-rub; New Scientista 13-year-old British boy ended his ten-year vow of silence, which began when his mother forced him to have his tonsils removed, with the words “thank you”;Daily Mailand a 15-year-old Florida girl who has suffered for months from chronic hiccups ran away from home. Washington PostSony apologized to the Church of England after a gun-filled computer game set in a British cathedral prompted the church to accuse the company of “virtual desecration,”Washington Postand piles of human feces were found in the Senate. “There was,” said a staffer, “so much of it.”The Raw Story

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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.

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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.

Begin, as Wallace Stevens didn’t quite say, with the idea of it. I so like the idea of Simon Critchley, whose books offer philosophical takes on a variety of subjects: Stevens, David Bowie, suicide, humor, and now football — or soccer, as the US edition has it. (As a matter of principle I shall refer to this sport throughout as football.) “All of us are mysteriously affected by our names,” decides one of Milan Kundera’s characters in Immortality, and I like Critchley because his name would seem to have put him at a vocational disadvantage compared with Martin Heidegger, Søren Kierkegaard, or even, in the Anglophone world, A. J. Ayer or Richard Rorty. (How different philosophy might look today if someone called Nobby Stiles had been appointed as the Wykeham Professor of Logic.)

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:

1.85

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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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