Weekly Review — September 8, 2009, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: All In My Eye, December 1853]

An American cattleman.

Polls showed that the level of public support for health-care reform was plummeting, a result of both Democratic capitulation–as when Senate Finance Committee Chair Max Baucus (D., Mont.), after a year of preparation, released a proposal that lacked a public option–and a Republican campaign of lies regarding “death panels,” the cost of medical care, cuts in Medicare benefits, and “rationing.” President Barack Obama indicated that the White House may give up on Congress and draft its own bill; he also telephoned representatives who support the public option, including Raul Grijalva (D., Ariz.), to talk about the bill. “I didn’t come away from this discussion feeling that we were dead,” said Grijalva. The president scheduled a health-care speech before a joint session of Congress, and FOX News announced that it would not air it. A fight at a pro-health-care rally near Los Angeles ended when a pro-reform protester bit off the finger of an anti-reform protester.Who Runs Gov.PoliticoWashington PostNew York TimesKTLABlack Star NewsCNNFOX News host Glenn Beck wrote that he had deciphered the secret code of the Obama Administration: “OLIGARHY,” he wrote on a chalkboard, pronouncing it “oligarchy.”Political HumorEncouraged by Beck and fearful of socialist indoctrination, conservative parents planned to keep their children at home on Tuesday, when President Obama will encourage the nation’s students to do their homework.PoliticoThe U.S. unemployment rate rose to 9.7 percent,New York Timesand David Wahl, a 52-year-old employee at the New Flyer bus factory in St. Cloud, Minnesota, who sat behind Vice President Joe Biden when Biden insisted during a town-hall meeting that the company would benefit from the stimulus plan, was let go.New York TimesDozens of alpine cows threw themselves off a Swiss cliff.Daily Mail

More than 90 Afghans, including 40 civilians, were killed when NATO launched an air strike on two fuel tankers that had been hijacked by the Taliban.TelegraphOfficials in Afghanistan found that hundreds of thousands of votes were cast for Afghan President Hamid Karzai at 800 fake polling sites. “If Karzai is re-elected,” said one tribal elder, “people will leave the country or join the Taliban.”New York TimesA new species of giant rat was discovered in a Papua New Guinea volcano,BBCand scientists were working on making single-cell slime molds into robots.New ScientistColombian President Alvaro Uribe returned from Argentina, where he met with other South American presidents and caught swine flu, and the United States, facing a swine-flu-vaccine shortage, released videos that feature Elmo from Sesame Street encouraging people to wash their hands.Washington PostWashington PostPolice in Australia were investigating an adolescent girl and two boys for child pornography because one of the boys used his mobile phone to film the girl losing her virginity because she wanted to have sex before the Large Hadron Collider was turned on and the world ended.Courier MailThe Catholic church recommended that before sex married couples recite the Prayer Before Making Love, which asks God to “clothe us in true dignity”;Daily Mailand, to celebrate the legalization of same-sex marriage in Vermont, Ben and Jerry’s changed the name of Chubby Hubby to Hubby Hubby. TelegraphArt conservators restoring a seventeenth-century painting by Poussin uncovered an erect penis,Carnal Nationand at a Dutch museum a moon rock from the first manned lunar landing was discovered to be petrified wood.BBC

Argentina legalized the personal possession of marijuana,Yahoo Newsand Zambian President Rupiah Banda evicted two hundred primates from the State House after a monkey peed on him during a press conference.BBCThe wife of Japan’s next prime minister said that her soul once rode to Venus on a triangular UFO.MSNBCAfter sixty years Ikea switched its typeface to Verdana from a customized version of Futura, provoking global outrage. “Look, I know this isn’t world hunger,” said a Romanian design consultant. “But if a company like Ikea can make this mistake, you have to wonder who is going to lead when it comes to design.”TimeA Detroit man admitted to chopping up the body of a homeless man and stuffing the parts in his freezer, saying that he had stumbled upon the corpse and didn’t know what to do with it;Click on Detroittwo Florida men were convicted of gang raping a woman and forcing her to perform oral sex on her 12-year-old son;APand a court hearing in Cincinnati was halted when the defendant, a 66-year-old man charged with robbery and kidnapping, squeezed out his colostomy bag onto a table and ate the contents.Cincinnati EnquirerThe Andromeda galaxy was expanding by cannibalizing other galaxies.BBC

Share
Single Page

More from Claire Gutierrez:

Weekly Review May 31, 2011, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

Weekly Review May 30, 2011, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

Weekly Review March 22, 2011, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

Get access to 167 years of
Harper’s for only $45.99

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

December 2017

The Year of The Frog

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Dead Ball Situation

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Document of Barbarism

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Destroyer of Worlds

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Crossing Guards

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“I am Here Only for Working”

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Article
Destroyer of Worlds·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

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.

Illustration by Darrel Rees. Source photographs: Kim Jong-un © ITAR-TASS Photo Agency/Alamy Stock Photo; Donald Trump © Yuri Gripas/Reuters/Newscom
Article
Crossing Guards·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

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.

Illustration by Richard Mia
Article
“I am Here Only for Working”·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

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

Photograph from the United Arab Emirates by the author. This page: Ruwais Mall
Article
The Year of The Frog·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

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
Article
Dead Ball Situation·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

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

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.

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