Weekly Review — March 7, 2017, 6:20 pm

Weekly Review

Donald Trump accuses Barack Obama of wiretapping Trump Tower, Chicago records its first January and February without snow in 146 years, and veterinarians in Bangkok remove 915 coins from the stomach of a turtle named Piggy Bank.

HarpersMagazine-1853-12-bootsU.S. president Donald Trump tweeted that former president Barack Obama was a “bad (or sick) guy” who tapped his phone during the election.[1] House Oversight Committee chairman Jason Chaffetz said he had “not seen anything” that would support Trump’s accusation, Republican congressman Trey Gowdy said he had no evidence of a wiretap, and FBI director James Comey called on the Justice Department to publicly reject Trump’s claim, which the department did not do.[2][3][4] Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the department’s head, recused himself from any investigations of Russia’s involvement in the 2016 presidential election after it was reported that he had twice met with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the campaign, despite swearing under oath to the Senate Judiciary Committee that he “did not have communications with the Russians.”[5][6] Vice President Mike Pence, who during the election implied that Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton broke the law when she used a private email server as secretary of state, confirmed that he conducted official business as governor of Indiana using a private AOL email account, which had been hacked.[7] Trump suggested that a series of recent bomb threats against Jewish community centers and acts of vandalism against Jewish cemeteries could have been an effort by his opponents to make his supporters “look bad,” gave a speech before a joint session of Congress in which he condemned hate crimes, and rejected the notion that his senior staff should take an ethics-training course.[8][9][10] “This is,” Trump tweeted of his wiretap allegations, “Watergate.”[11]

Snap, Inc., the parent company of Snapchat, went public at $17 a share, making it the largest offering since Alibaba in 2014; Lyft reportedly sought $500 million from investors; and Travis Kalanick, the 40-year-old CEO of Uber, who is worth an estimated $6.3 billion, said he needed to “grow up” after a video surfaced of him telling a driver who complained that he had lost almost $100,000 working for the company that “some people don’t like to take responsibility for their own shit.”[12][13][14] Millions of viewers spent what equates to more than a thousand years watching a live stream of a pregnant giraffe, which has not yet given birth, and the Belvedere Zoo in Tunisia announced it would close temporarily after visitors stoned a crocodile to death.[15][16] A blizzard struck Hawaii, Chicago recorded its first January and February without snow in 146 years, and landslides and rainstorms contaminated the drinking water of at least 4 million people in Santiago, Chile.[17][18][19] The World Health Organization reported that pollution kills 1.7 million children annually.[20] In Canada’s Nuvvuagittuq Greenstone Belt, scientists found fossils that may be as much as 3.77 billion years old, and in New Mexico a 99-year-old man beat a 92-year-old man in a 60-meter dash.[21][22]

An intoxicated man in Austin, Texas, was arrested for allegedly “having sex with a fence” while a woman filmed him, three men at a bazaar in Pakistan were caught masturbating to the rhythm of a beating drum, and the body of a Japanese man was discovered on top of his six-ton porn-magazine collection, which he had fallen on after suffering a heart attack.[23][24][25] A woman in Fort Pierce, Florida, found marijuana inside a couch set she bought online, the owner of a charity store in Wales discovered plans for a British nuclear sub in the briefcase of an anonymous donor, and veterinarians in Bangkok removed 915 coins from the stomach of a turtle named Piggy Bank.[26][27][28] In the Chinese province of Jiangsu, villagers divorced en masse after discovering that they could claim more money from a government buyout of their homes if they were single.[29]

Share
Single Page

More from Jacob Rosenberg:

Weekly Review April 19, 2017, 5:28 am

Weekly Review

The United States drops the Mother of All Bombs in Afghanistan, an Arkansas judge temporarily halts eight executions, and a new study finds that people choose fair inequality over unfair equality.

Get access to 167 years of
Harper’s for only $45.99

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

December 2017

The Year of The Frog

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Dead Ball Situation

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Document of Barbarism

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Destroyer of Worlds

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Crossing Guards

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“I am Here Only for Working”

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Article
Destroyer of Worlds·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

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
Article
Crossing Guards·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

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.

Illustration by Richard Mia
Article
“I am Here Only for Working”·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

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

Photograph from the United Arab Emirates by the author. This page: Ruwais Mall
Article
The Year of The Frog·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

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
Article
Dead Ball Situation·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

What We Think About When We Think About Soccer, by Simon Critchley. Penguin Books. 224 pages. $20.

Begin, as Wallace Stevens didn’t quite say, with the idea of it. I so like the idea of Simon Critchley, whose books offer philosophical takes on a variety of subjects: Stevens, David Bowie, suicide, humor, and now football — or soccer, as the US edition has it. (As a matter of principle I shall refer to this sport throughout as football.) “All of us are mysteriously affected by our names,” decides one of Milan Kundera’s characters in Immortality, and I like Critchley because his name would seem to have put him at a vocational disadvantage compared with Martin Heidegger, Søren Kierkegaard, or even, in the Anglophone world, A. J. Ayer or Richard Rorty. (How different philosophy might look today if someone called Nobby Stiles had been appointed as the Wykeham Professor of Logic.)

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

Factor by which single Americans who use emoji are more likely than other single Americans to be sexually active:

1.85

Brontosaurus was restored as a genus, and cannibalism was reported in tyrannosaurine dinosaurs.

Moore said he did not “generally” date teenage girls, and it was reported that in the 1970s Moore had been banned from his local mall and YMCA for bothering teenage girls.

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

HARPER’S FINEST

Report — From the June 2013 issue

How to Make Your Own AR-15

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

By

"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."

Subscribe Today