Weekly Review — May 12, 2015, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

David Cameron is reelected, a Maryland police officer is accused of biting a man in the testicles, and a school teachers allegedly burns “I [heart] Mom” into his students’ arms

A FAMOUS PLAY ILLUSTRATED - "THE LYON'S MAIL."

A FAMOUS PLAY ILLUSTRATED – “THE LYON’S MAIL.”

The Conservative Party won a parliamentary majority in the United Kingdom’s general election.[1] MP Glyn Davies retained his seat in Montgomeryshire, Wales, with 45 percent of votes, including one ballot on which a voter sketched a penis in the box next to Davies’ name. “I’m not sure the artist meant it to count,” he said, “but I am grateful.”[2] Prime minister David Cameron won reelection, and the leaders of the Labour Party, the Liberal Democrats, and the U.K. Independence Party all resigned.[3][4] Protesters in London banged pots and pans, shouted profanity, and threw bottles and smoke bombs at police.[5] “Am I allowed,” one demonstrator tweeted, “to kill David Cameron?”[6] The World Health Organization declared the end of the Ebola epidemic in Liberia; Indiana health officials confirmed that 146 people had tested positive for H.I.V., the largest outbreak of the virus in the state’s history; and Mexico suspended infant vaccines after two babies died and 29 fell ill in Chiapas upon receiving tuberculosis, rotovirus, and hepatitis B vaccinations.[7][8][9] Cuban president Raúl Castro visited the Pope at the Vatican and announced that he is considering returning to the Catholic Church. “I’m not joking,” he said.[10] A U.S. appeals court ruled that the NSA’s bulk collection of Americans’ phone records is illegal, and the lower house of parliament in France approved a bill granting the state vast new domestic-surveillance powers, including the widespread collection of metadata and the right to install audio recorders and cameras in citizens’ homes. “#UnfollowMe,” read the sign of a Parisian protester.[11][12][13]

The U.S. Department of Justice announced that it will investigate whether the Baltimore police use excessive force, and an off-duty police officer from Anne Arundel County, Maryland, was charged with assault after allegedly biting a man in the testicles during a Cinco de Mayo brawl behind Looney’s Pub in Baltimore. “The bitee actually got the better of him,” said a witness.[14][15] It was reported that the DOJ demanded reforms to the DEA’s disciplinary process after discovering that the agency gave only reprimands and short suspensions to agents who left a 23-year-old college student alone in a cell for five days without food and water; and police in Oneida, New York, defended cuffing the hands and shackling the feet of a five-year-old special-needs child in April, claiming that “he was attempting to kick and be physically combative.”[16][17] An investigation into the NFL’s New England Patriots concluded that they had violated league rules by intentionally deflating footballs during a playoff game last winter, and the WNBA announced that it would review the hiring of Isaiah Thomas as president of the New York Liberty owing to the fact that the former NBA star was found liable in an $11.6 million sexual-harassment suit in 2007.[18][19]

Residents in Tuttle, Oklahoma, were asked to remain indoors after erroneous reports surfaced that tigers had escaped a local safari park during a tornado, and it was reported that an Australian couple discovered that a 15-foot scrub python was living in their ceiling when the snake’s urine began leaking into their home. “Snake pee,” said a snake wrangler, “is worse than the smell of any public toilet.”[20][21] The agriculture minister of the Indian state of Maharashtra unveiled a plan to gather human urine from the bathrooms of multiplex cinemas to be used for organic farming.[22] A man in Indonesia was arrested for attempting to smuggle 23 endangered birds into Java in plastic water bottles, police in San Antonio announced that a woman discovered a packet of cocaine inside her Nature Valley granola bar, and a Moroccan woman was apprehended in Ceuta, Spain, after authorities found an eight-year-old Ivorian boy in her suitcase.[23][24][25] A man from Shamokin Dam, Pennsylvania, entered a Papa John’s restaurant, assaulted an employee who wouldn’t give him free pizza, and left with several stolen pies; and a woman in Florida who was being held hostage by her boyfriend used Pizza Hut’s delivery app to contact the police. “Get 911 to me,” she added to her order for a small, hand-tossed pepperoni pizza.[26][27] The avatar of a hacker who was caught cheating at the online game Guild Wars 2 was executed in front of 325,000 players, and an Oregon high-school science teacher was arrested for using a Tesla coil to burn messages into his students’ arms, including several reading “I [heart] Mom.” “This was a new one for me,” said a police lieutenant. “I had to look up Tesla coil on Wikipedia this morning.”[28][29][30]


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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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