Weekly Review — October 4, 2011, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: A Christian martyr, 1855]

A Christian martyr.

Two American citizens, Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan, were killed by a CIA drone in Yemen. Awlaki, a cleric whose speeches purportedly inspired young Muslim radicals, had been added to the CIA??s list of terrorist targets in early 2010. According to the U.S. government, Awlaki, who has never been tried or convicted of a crime in the United States, directed several failed terrorist plots. Khan, who edited a jihadi magazine, was never an official U.S. target. “Make no mistake,” said President Barack Obama, “this is further proof that Al Qaeda and its affiliates will find no safe haven anywhere in the world.”The HillNew York Times“They criticized us for ??overreacting?? to the events of 9/11,” said former vice president Dick Cheney. “Now they clearly had moved in the direction of taking robust action. . . . I think the president owes everybody an apology, frankly.”The HillEarlier in the week, Calgarians chanted “Don??t harbor war criminals” outside a hotel where Cheney was scheduled to speak.CTV NewsAntigovernment protests continued in Yemen, and at least eleven protesters were killed in Syria.Washington PostIn Manchester, 20,000 marched in protest of British austerity plans; in Lisbon, tens of thousands rallied against Portuguese austerity measures; in Athens, protesters blocked the entrance to Greece??s finance ministry in an effort to stall talks on civil-service wage cuts; and in New York City, more than 700 protesters were arrested during demonstrations against Wall Street greed.The GuardianReutersReutersWall Street JournalWashington PostA survey found that 85 percent of American adults believe they can make a difference.Christian Science Monitor

Newly released documents revealed that the FBI??s terror watchlist includes people who have been acquitted of terrorist acts, and the bureau arrested Rezwan Ferdaus, a 26-year-old Northeastern University graduate, for plotting to attack the Pentagon and Capitol building with three model planes, one of which he had purchased using money given to him by an undercover agent.Sydney Morning HeraldWashington PostKing Abdullah declared that Saudi women, who require permission from a male guardian in order to travel, work, marry, be admitted to hospitals, or live independently, could be granted the right to vote and run in elections. Saudi officials set a trial date for Najalaa Harriri, who is accused of violating the country??s ban on women driving, and an Italian court overturned the murder convictions of American college student Amanda Knox and her co-defendant, Raffaele Sollecito, and ordered them freed after nearly four years in prison.BusinessweekNew York TimesRaymond Davis, a CIA contractor who shot two men in Lahore, Pakistan, and was released after the U.S. government paid the men??s families more than $2 million, was arrested south of Denver for fighting over a parking space at an Einstein Bagel.MSNBCIn Alabama, an inmate sued a correctional facility for the right to read the book “Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II,” which prison officials had deemed a “security threat,” and postal workers were stealing more mail than last year.New York TimesHouston Chronicle

A toilet exploded in a federal building in Washington, injuring at least one employee, and House Republicans introduced legislation to get rid of the dollar bill, while Senate Republicans introduced legislation to save it. “At a time when the government needs to be looking to save every dollar,” said the head of the Dollar Coin Alliance, “we can??t continue to play the same Washington game of serving narrow special interests with half-measure legislation.”Washington PostThe HillCongress voted to continue funding the federal government for the next six weeks.Christian Science MonitorD.C. police issued a press release in response to tweets by the satiric newspaper “The Onion” that claimed members of the 112th Congress had taken a class of schoolchildren hostage. “Conditions at the U.S. Capitol are currently normal,” the release said.New York TimesScientists found that Twitter users expressed the most happiness between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. on Sundays, but conceded that their analysis software wasn??t sophisticated enough to detect sarcasm.New York TimesFacebook launched a political action committee; a study found that at least 200,000 Britons have been scammed by someone they met through a dating website; and more than half of all U.S. teenagers reported having been bullied online.New York TimesBBCCNNIn England, 46-year-old Mark Bradford tracked down and choked a 13-year-old who had killed him in the video game “Call of Duty: Black Ops.” “I??d been playing the whole day and he was baiting me and baiting me and just would not shut up,” said Bradford. “I??ve seen him since and apologized. We??ve played online too. He??s actually a decent kid.”IGN

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No one would talk to me for this piece. Or rather, more than twenty women talked to me, sometimes for hours at a time, but only after I promised to leave out their names, and give them what I began to call deep anonymity. This was strange, because what they were saying did not always seem that extreme. Yet here in my living room, at coffee shops, in my inbox and on my voicemail, were otherwise outspoken female novelists, editors, writers, real estate agents, professors, and journalists of various ages so afraid of appearing politically insensitive that they wouldn’t put their names to their thoughts, and I couldn’t blame them. 

Of course, the prepublication frenzy of Twitter fantasy and fury about this essay, which exploded in early January, is Exhibit A for why nobody wants to speak openly. Before the piece was even finished, let alone published, people were calling me “pro-rape,” “human scum,” a “harridan,” a “monster out of Stephen King’s ‘IT,’?” a “ghoul,” a “bitch,” and a “garbage person”—all because of a rumor that I was planning to name the creator of the so-called Shitty Media Men list. The Twitter feminist Jessica Valenti called this prospect “profoundly shitty” and “incredibly dangerous” without having read a single word of my piece. Other tweets were more direct: “man if katie roiphe actually publishes that article she can consider her career over.” “Katie Roiphe can suck my dick.” With this level of thought policing, who in their right mind would try to say anything even mildly provocative or original? 

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In the early Eighties, Andy King, the coach of the Seawolves, a swim club in Danville, California, instructed Debra Denithorne, aged twelve, to do doubles — to practice in the morning and the afternoon. King told Denithorne’s parents that he saw in her the potential to receive a college scholarship, and even to compete in the Olympics. Tall swimmers have an advantage in the water, and by the time Denithorne turned thirteen, she was five foot eight. She dropped soccer and a religious group to spend more time at the pool.

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After losing their savings in the stock market crash of 2008, seniors Barb and Chuck find seasonal employment at Amazon fulfillment centers.

Amount one Colorado county spent in January 2016 to arm school security with assault rifles:

$12,000

A rabbit brain was frozen and thawed without destroying its memories.

The shooter discarded his AR-15 semiautomatic weapon, the model used in six of America’s ten deadliest mass shootings and referred to by the NRA as “America’s rifle,” and then fled to a nearby Walmart, where customers can buy rifles but cannot purchase music with lyrics that contain the word “fuck.”

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"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."

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