Weekly Review — September 29, 2009, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: All In My Eye, December 1853]

An American cattleman.

President Barack Obama, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, and French President Nicolas Sarkozy revealed that Iran had a secret uranium-enrichment facility. The announcement, based on previously classified intelligence, came soon after the U.N. Security Council passed a resolution to limit the proliferation of nuclear weapons. “What business is it of yours,” countered Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, “to tell us what to do or not?” Ahmadinejad previously said that he wanted nuclear materials only for “medicinal purposes.”New York TimesWashingtpon PostCNNWorld leaders converged in Pittsburgh for the G-20 summit, as did protesters. City officials freed 300 prisoners so that they would have 1,000 cells available, but ended up arresting only 149 people in two days. The protesters held demonstrations against pollution, global warming, automobiles, homophobia, African debt exploitation, corporate subsidies, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, child labor, the Israeli occupation of Palestine and the Chinese occupation of Tibet, the Burmese junta, and Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi’s presence at the summit. Anarchists in black sang, to the tune of the Beatles’ “Yellow Submarine,” “We all live in a fascist bully state.” “I feel like it’s real exclusive,” said 15-year-old Rosi Lowe of the summit, “and doesn’t represent the entire world.”New York TimesPost-GazetteMSNBCA $1,000 reward was on offer in Philadelphia for information leading to the conviction of the person who wrapped a cat’s entire body in duct tape.Philadelphia Enquirer

With 15 minutes allotted to him, Libyan leader Colonel Muammar el-Qaddafi spoke to the General Assembly of the United Nations for more than an hour. During his address he tore up a copy of the U.N. founding charter, proposed resolving the Israeli-{Palestine|Palestinian} conflict by creating a single state called “Isratine,” and stressed that Arabs do not hate the Jews. “You are the ones who burned them,” he said to the Assembly, “not us.” He also suggested that the swine flu virus was a military weapon that escaped from a lab.New York TimesMarilyn Manson announced that he had swine flu but insisted he never had sex with a pig.NMETwo Asian men stole Rene Magritte’s painting “Olympia” from a Brussels museum during business hours,The Timesand Terry Herbert, a 55-year-old British man living on welfare, uncovered with his metal detector a treasure trove of 1,500 gold and silver Anglo-Saxon artifacts worth 1.6 million dollars.New York TimesCalifornia scientists made paralyzed rats walk again.New York TimesA New Zealand aircraft company auctioned off a chance to test its new jetpack,Telegraphand a 310-mile-wide dust storm swept through Sydney, Australia, shrouding the city in orange powder, which one tourist described as “a nuclear winter morning.”BloombergThe last Ottoman, Ertugrul Osman, died, as did Milton Meltzer, the author of nearly 100 non-fiction books for children. “You may ask, what is the relevance of all this history to the young?” Meltzer wrote. “Ours is not a past of sweetness and light, no matter what the textbook tells us.”BBCNew York Times

Roman Polanski was arrested in Zurich for having sex with a thirteen-year-old American girl in 1977.BBCA 26-year-old Filipino man cut off and boiled his father’s head with seasoning,Absand scientists concluded that 128,000 of Europe’s new cancers were brought on by fatness.Science DailyAn Indonesian woman gave birth to a nineteen-pound baby boy. BabbleCalifornia firefighters sawed through a dumbbell fastener after a man got his penis stuck in the fastener, where, over several days, it turned black and swelled to five times its original size.Daily PilotA New Jersey judge ruled that a police officer who orally violated five calves was not guilty of animal cruelty, pointing out that it was impossible to know whether the young cows were “tormented” or “puzzled,” or even irritated that the policeman’s penis was not actually food. “If the cow had the cognitive ability to form thought and speak,” reflected Judge James Morely, “Would it say, ‘Where’s the milk? I’m not getting any milk.'”Philadelphia Daily NewsGermany’s first nudist hiking trail, which will not officially open until May, had its soft opening,Der Spiegaland NASA revealed that the mysterious streak of light spotted by onlookers in the night sky above North America was a fortnight’s worth of astronaut urine.Telegraph

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 169 years of
Harper’s for only $23.99

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

October 2019

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Article
Constitution in Crisis·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

America’s Constitution was once celebrated as a radical and successful blueprint for democratic governance, a model for fledgling republics across the world. But decades of political gridlock, electoral corruption, and dysfunction in our system of government have forced scholars, activists, and citizens to question the document’s ability to address the thorniest issues of modern ­political life.

Does the path out of our current era of stalemate, minority rule, and executive abuse require amending the Constitution? Do we need a new constitutional convention to rewrite the document and update it for the twenty-­first century? Should we abolish it entirely?

This spring, Harper’s Magazine invited five lawmakers and scholars to New York University’s law school to consider the constitutional crisis of the twenty-­first century. The event was moderated by Rosa Brooks, a law professor at Georgetown and the author of How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything: Tales from the Pentagon.

Article
Good Bad Bad Good·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

About fifteen years ago, my roommate and I developed a classification system for TV and movies. Each title was slotted into one of four categories: Good-Good; Bad-Good; Good-Bad; Bad-Bad. The first qualifier was qualitative, while the second represented a high-low binary, the title’s aspiration toward capital-A Art or lack thereof.

Some taxonomies were inarguable. The O.C., a Fox series about California rich kids and their beautiful swimming pools, was delightfully Good-Bad. Paul Haggis’s heavy-handed morality play, Crash, which won the Oscar for Best Picture, was gallingly Bad-Good. The films of Francois Truffaut, Good-Good; the CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men, Bad-Bad.

Article
Power of Attorney·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

In a Walmart parking lot in Portsmouth, Virginia, in 2015, a white police officer named Stephen Rankin shot and killed an unarmed, eighteen-­year-­old black man named William Chapman. “This is my second one,” he told a bystander seconds after firing the fatal shots, seemingly in reference to an incident four years earlier, when he had shot and killed another unarmed man, an immigrant from Kazakhstan. Rankin, a Navy veteran, had been arresting Chapman for shoplifting when, he claimed, Chapman charged him in a manner so threatening that he feared for his life, leaving him no option but to shoot to kill—­the standard and almost invariably successful defense for officers when called to account for shooting civilians. Rankin had faced no charges for his earlier killing, but this time, something unexpected happened: Rankin was indicted on a charge of first-­degree murder by Portsmouth’s newly elected chief prosecutor, thirty-­one-year-­old Stephanie Morales. Furthermore, she announced that she would try the case herself, the first time she had ever prosecuted a homicide. “No one could remember us having an actual prosecution for the killing of an unarmed person by the police,” Morales told me. “I got a lot of feedback, a lot of people saying, ‘You shouldn’t try this case. If you don’t win, it may affect your reelection. Let someone else do it.’ ”

Article
Carlitos in Charge·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

I was in Midtown, sitting by a dry fountain, making a list of all the men I’d slept with since my last checkup—doctor’s orders. Afterward, I would head downtown and wait for Quimby at the bar, where there were only alcoholics and the graveyard shift this early. I’d just left the United Nations after a Friday morning session—likely my last. The agenda had included resolutions about a worldwide ban on plastic bags, condemnation of a Slobodan Miloơevic statue, sanctions on Israel, and a truth and reconciliation commission in El Salvador. Except for the proclamation opposing the war criminal’s marble replica, everything was thwarted by the United States and a small contingent of its allies. None of this should have surprised me. Some version of these outcomes had been repeating weekly since World War II.

Article
Life after Life·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

For time ylost, this know ye,
By no way may recovered be.
—Chaucer

I spent thirty-eight years in prison and have been a free man for just under two. After killing a man named Thomas Allen Fellowes in a drunken, drugged-up fistfight in 1980, when I was nineteen years old, I was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. Former California governor Jerry Brown commuted my sentence and I was released in 2017, five days before Christmas. The law in California, like in most states, grants the governor the right to alter sentences. After many years of advocating for the reformation of the prison system into one that encourages rehabilitation, I had my life restored to me.

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.

A group of researchers studying the Loch Ness Monster did not rule out the possibility of its existence, but speculated that it is possibly a giant eel.

Subscribe to the Weekly Review newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t sell your email address!

HARPER’S FINEST

Happiness Is a Worn Gun

By

“Nowadays, most states let just about anybody who wants a concealed-handgun permit have one; in seventeen states, you don’t even have to be a resident. Nobody knows exactly how many Americans carry guns, because not all states release their numbers, and even if they did, not all permit holders carry all the time. But it’s safe to assume that as many as 6 million Americans are walking around with firearms under their clothes.”

Subscribe Today