Weekly Review — June 18, 2012, 5:40 pm

Weekly Review

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President Barack Obama announced that his administration would stop deporting illegal immigrants who entered the country before age 16 and are now under 30, have been continuous residents for at least five years, are military veterans or high school students or graduates, and do not pose a criminal or national-security risk. Obama cast the move as a response to the failure of Congress to pass the DREAM Act, which had been intended to create a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants. “This is a temporary, stopgap measure that lets us focus our resources wisely,” said the president. “This short-term policy will make it harder to find a balanced and responsible long-term one,” said Senator Marco Rubio (R., Fla.).[1][2][3] A Republican National Committee website designed to court Latino voters displayed a banner featuring stock photography of Asian children; Senator John McCain (R., Ariz.) called the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision “uninformed, arrogant, naïve”; and it was reported that casino mogul Sheldon Adelson had donated or pledged more than $71 million to Republican Super PACs and nonprofits.[4][5][6] Five weeks after JPMorgan Chase announced trading losses of at least $2 billion, CEO Jamie Dimon appeared before the Senate banking committee, where he criticized the Dodd–Frank Act and warned against the further tightening of financial regulations.[7] Former Goldman Sachs director Rajat Gupta was convicted of conspiracy and securities fraud. “He didn’t turn into a criminal in the seventh decade of an otherwise praiseworthy life,” said one of Gupta’s lawyers.[8] Rodney King, whose videotaped beating by Los Angeles police precipitated the 1992 L.A. riots, was found dead in a swimming pool at age 47.[9] An Arkansas veterinarian sought a home for 50 Cent, a goose who had been shot seven times with a pellet gun, and the entourages of musicians Drake and Chris Brown reportedly engaged in a bottle-throwing fight over Rihanna at a New York City club.[10][11] Male Cardiocondyla obscurior ants were observed chemically tagging newly pupated rivals for future attacks.[12] Male Nephilengys malabarensis spiders who castrated themselves while mating were found to become better fighters.[13][14]

The conservative New Democracy party won a plurality in a revote of parliamentary elections in Greece, earning enough seats to form a government with other pro-bailout parties and likely keep the country in the Eurozone.[15] Three days after an Egyptian high-court ruling invalidated parliamentary elections won by the Muslim Brotherhood in January, the party claimed that its candidate had been elected president of Egypt, and the country’s ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces declared that new parliamentary elections couldn’t be held until a new constitution had been drafted.[16][17][18] Saudi crown prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz Al Saud died at 78, and at least 125 people were killed in bombings targeting Shiites in Iraq.[19][20][21] The United Nations issued a report claiming that the Syrian government had used children as human shields and tortured the children of suspected dissidents, and suspended its monitoring activities in Syria. “There has been an intensification of armed violence across Syria over the past 10 days,” explained General Robert Mood.[22][23] Burmese opposition leader and former political prisoner Aung San Suu Kyi accepted the Nobel Peace Prize awarded her in absentia in 1991. “Wherever suffering is ignored,” she said, “there will be the seeds of conflict, for suffering degrades and embitters and enrages.”[24][25] A woman selected to run the @sweden Twitter feed tweeted jokes about how one recognizes Jews, posted a photo of strawberries “dripping with milk an urine,” and called her children “Monglorious.” “Marie Curie had vaginal fungus,” she wrote. “That was what the radium originally was for.”[26][27]

A British parliamentarian introduced a bill to help identify Internet trolls, and an English vicar apologized for allowing a band to sing and dance on graves during a celebration of Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee. “In their enthusiasm to entertain,” said Reverend Jolyon Trickey, “the music group strayed.”[28][29] Two American border-patrol agents were suspended after attending a Cirque du Soleil performance at which they allegedly engaged in fellatio, during which the male agent high-fived a young child and after which the female agent assaulted a woman who complained.[30][31] In Austria, wildlife cameras captured a politician having sex in a forest, and in Australia, a deputy coroner ruled that a dingo likely took the baby of Lindy Chamberlain from a bassinet and devoured her in 1980.[32][33][34] James Joyce fans read freely from Ulysses on the first Bloomsday since the novel’s copyright elapsed, while scholars fought lawsuits over the rights to certain Joyce works. “We are in the same position as a nation state that has long been ruled by a tsar or a shah or any dictator,” said one biographer. “Once the repression has been lifted, the factionalism that has been repressed is free to give expression to itself.”[35] HBO apologized for an episode of the show Game of Thrones that depicted George W. Bush’s severed head on a pike.[36] In Montana, where an outhouse labeled “Obama Presidential Library” and painted with trompe-l’oeil bullet holes was displayed outside the state G.O.P. convention, a writer reportedly shot himself to promote his memoir, Kindness in America.[37][38] A man in Oregon contracted plague while saving a mouse from a cat.[39][40]

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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.

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