Weekly Review — December 6, 2011, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: All In My Eye, December 1853]

An American cattleman.

The first round of parliamentary elections in Egypt since president Hosni Mubarak was ousted in February brought to the polls an unprecedented 62 percent of registered voters, many of whom had never voted before. “I donâ??t know any of the parties or who Iâ??m voting for,” said a Christian woman in the southern city of Assiut. “The first names I see, I guess.” The hard-line Nour party, which seeks to impose strict Sharia law, won 24 percent of the vote, while the Muslim Brotherhood, which claims it will apply Islamic law “in a fair way,” led with 37 percent. “We are afraid of the Muslim Brotherhood,” said first-time voter Iris Nawar. “But we lived for 30 years under Mubarak; we will live with them, too.”APAPAPAPProtesters attacked the British Embassy and residential compound in Tehran after Britain imposed new sanctions on Iran, prompting Britain to expel Iranian diplomats and recall its ambassador, Dominick Chilcott. “The dog,” said Chilcott, “has been left behind.” A representative of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei congratulated the rioters, noting that they had targeted the “epicenter of sedition.”APBBCAnti-American rallies were staged throughout Pakistan after a NATO air strike killed 24 Pakistani soldiers, and demonstrators marched outside the UN climate summit in Durban, South Africa, where the United States and Canada were stalling efforts to extend the 1997 Kyoto Protocol limiting greenhouse-gas emissions. “Itâ??s a conspiracy against the poor,” said the Council of Europeâ??s rapporteur on climate change.APBBCAPIn Germany, the driest November on record caused a major drop in the Rhine, revealing a two-ton World War II “blockbuster” bomb with a badly eroded fuse; the city of Koblenz prepared evacuation plans for 45,000 people but waited until Sunday to implement them, so as not to interrupt Christmas shopping. “People in Koblenz are used to bomb findings,” said a fire-brigade spokesman.Daily MailCNN

Following multiple accusations of marital infidelity, Herman Cain dropped out of the G.O.P. presidential race, saying his reputation was under attack by a conspiracy of “elites” and political reporters. Cain closed his withdrawal speech by quoting at length the theme song from “PokĂ©mon: The First Movie”: “Life can be a challenge. Life can seem impossible. Itâ??s never easy when thereâ??s so much on the line. But you and I can make a difference. Thereâ??s a mission just for you and me.”Mother JonesRaw StoryFox News decried liberal bias in the film “The Muppets,” which features an oil-drilling villain named “Tex Richman,” and the ACLU charged that Appleâ??s virtual iPhone assistant, Siri, was promoting a conservative agenda. “Siri can point you to Viagra but not the Pill, or help you find an escort but not an abortion clinic,” said a post on the organizationâ??s blog.Washington PostABC NewsOR-7, a popular Oregon wolf wanted for cattle killing, continued his 730-mile trek in search of a mate.Daily MailThe worldâ??s first college of applied sexuality opened in Austria.Daily MailOscar Wildeâ??s tomb reopened with an anti-kissing barrier.GuardianAnn Marie Kennedy, a resident of Effin in Limerick County, Ireland, complained that Facebook was blocking her from listing her hometown on her profile. She wanted to show her pride in her parish, she said, along with “so many Effin people around the world.”BBCA woman from Bumpass, Virginia, was arrested for smashing a salt bottle over her dateâ??s head while he slept.NewsleaderAn inquest confirmed that reggae singer Smiley Culture stabbed himself through the heart.BBC

The trial of three women accused of raping men began in Zimbabwe, where police believe a syndicate of female rapists may be collecting semen for use in rituals to bring business success. “You must exercise caution,” said a man named Witness. “I wonâ??t get a lift in private cars, especially if there are women inside.”BBCSaudi academic Kamal Subhi presented a report to his countryâ??s legislative council warning that allowing women to drive would encourage prostitution, pornography, homosexuality, and divorce, and would lead to the “end of virginity” in the nation.BBCA woman filed suit against a clinic in St. Louis, alleging that she had sought help for anorexia but instead been given psychotropic drugs, hypnotized, and convinced she had 20 different personalities and had been raped while belonging to a baby-eating satanic cult.AP via Fox NewsSex crimes against illegal immigrants were found to have been ignored in El Mirage, Arizona, and Mozambique denied that it had imported flesh-eating bananas.APAFP via Courier MailNuon Chea, on trial in Phnom Penh for his role as second in command of Cambodiaâ??s Khmer Rouge, blamed Vietnam for the 1.7 million deaths attributed to the regime. “I donâ??t want the next generation to misunderstand history,” said Chea. “I donâ??t want them to believe the Khmer Rouge are bad people…. Nothing is true about that.”AP

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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.

— Karl Marx

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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.

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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

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