Weekly Review — May 27, 2008, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

President George W. Bush gave a radio address for Memorial Day weekend, invoking the sacrifice of 4,071 U.S. soldiers in Iraq and 432 in Afghanistan. Later, for the last time in his capacity as President, he placed a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery.APBloomberg.comTen thousand Iraqi troops met little resistance as they took control of Mahdi Army-controlled Sadr City under the terms of a cease-fire agreement.Oil rose above $130 a barrel,APand Barack Obama won the Democratic primary in Oregon, while Hillary Clinton won in Kentucky.CNNPolitics.comClinton insisted that her candidacy was still viable. “My husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June, right?” she offered. “We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California.”The New York PostObama gave the commencement address at Wesleyan University in Connecticut. “You know that feeling when you’re so excited you have to pee?” asked Lola Pellegrino, ’08. “I’m feeling that. In my heart.” Obama, who spoke in place of Senator Ted Kennedy after Kennedy was diagnosed with a likely fatal malignant brain tumor, called for a “generation of volunteers to work on renewable energy projects.” Twenty-five thousand people attended. “I can’t imagine anyone that the Wesleyan student body would possibly be more excited about,” said Sarah Lonning, ’06. “Maybe Gandhi, if he weren’t dead.”The PrereqBloomberg.comIn Afghanistan, at Chaghcharan Airfield in Ghor, two civilians and a Lithuanian soldier were killed in protests over the shooting of a Koran in Iraq,.CNN.comand Lebanese factions met in Qatar and gave Hezbollah veto power in Lebanon’s new national unity cabinet. It was, said a U.S. State Department representative, “really a welcome development.”BBC News

Aftershocks in the wake of the Great Sichuan Earthquake toppled thousands of buildings. At least 80,000 people were thought to be dead from the quake, up to 11 million people were homeless, and 69 dams were at risk.The New York TimesThe International Herald TribuneCBCNews.caThe Myanmar junta, under U.N. pressure, agreed that all international aid workers could enter the country, where Cyclone Nargis had left an estimated 130,000 people dead or missing.Bloomberg.comIn parts of Chile five months of rain fell in eight hours, displacing 15,000 people and killing five,BBC Newsand a 34-year-old farmer in Kumamoto, Japan, killed himself by ingesting the agricultural chemical chloropicrin. Hospitalized before dying, he injured 54 people by vomiting toxic chlorine gas.Mainichi Daily NewsThe Phoenix spacecraft landed on Mars, where it will search for life.The Washington PostArgentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, and Venezuela formed Unasur, the Union of South American Nations; Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez declared the American empire Unasur’s “number one enemy.”BBC NewsDick Martin, co-host of Laugh In, died at 86,The New York Timesand Charles Booth, the man who invented the starting block, died at 104.The Daily TelegraphNew Hampshire banned resomation, a process that liquefies bodies,WMUR 9and the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, concerned about the risk of terrorist activity at the upcoming Twin Cities Republican National Convention, was recruiting spies to infiltrate vegan potluck dinners.City Pages

A press conference by Garry Kasparov was interrupted by a helicopter-dildo,ninemsn.comand the fourth human foot since August washed ashore in British Columbia. “All we got is,” said a corporal, “it’s a foot in a shoe.”The ProvinceU.S. colleges were unsure of what to do with students who write dark or disturbing fiction, fearing that such fiction could be a sign of impending mass murder. Steven Barber, a Navy veteran of the Iraq war and student at the University of Virginia at Wise, was scrutinized after writing a story about the murder of a man resembling his English instructor, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s son Christopher. A subsequent search of Barber’s car found three guns, two of them loaded; Barber was expelled, then reinstated, offering that he would now write about “butterflies and rainbows.” “How long would Edgar Allan Poe,” wondered a vice chancellor, “who attended the University of Virginia, have lasted?”The Wall Street JournalGough, an island in the South Pacific, was overrun by gangs of gigantic mice that attack and eat baby albatrosses; bird conservation groups planned to airdrop tons of poison onto the island.The TelegraphThe 640 percent increase in the cost of scrap metal since 2001 had led to a nationwide epidemic of manhole-cover thefts,Newsweekand the United Nations, responding to food riots in 30 countries, said that the number of chronically hungry people in the world was expected to rise 100 million to 950 million. Japan released 20,000 tons of its 1.5-million-ton rice stockpile for sale to Africa.The Washington PostThe Daily StarAFPFertilizer-company representatives, flush from last year’s 300 percent increase in the price of potash, gathered in Vienna at the orangery of a Hapsburg palace, where they were heralded by trumpeters in green robes. “For the last 35 years, nobody noticed,” said one fertilizer executive. “I’ve waited my whole career for this.”Financial Post

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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.

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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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