Weekly Review — June 26, 2018, 12:05 pm

Weekly Review

Sarah Huckabee Sanders is asked to leave a farm-to-table restaurant in Virginia, North Carolina’s bathroom bill returns, and Rodrigo Duterte calls god “stupid”

A 15-year-old walked out of Casa Padre, a detention facility for migrant children in Brownsville, Texas that was formerly a Walmart, and has not been seen since.[1] A French teenager visiting her mother in British Columbia was arrested and detained by U.S. Customs and Border Protection for two weeks at the Tacoma Northwest Detention Center after jogging across the unmarked border into Washington State; U.S. congressman Derek Kilmer attempted to visit the facility but was denied entry because of an outbreak of chicken pox.[2][3] Melania Trump wore a $39 Zara jacket with the phrase i really don’t care. do u? on the back while boarding a plane to visit New Hope Children’s Shelter, a McAllen, Texas facility that currently houses 55 immigrant minors.[4][5] “What’s going on in the United States is wrong. . . This is not how we do things in Canada,” said Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau, whose country closed its last indigenous residential school in 1996 and has not amended its “safe third country” policy of sending asylum seekers crossing the border back to the United States.[6][7][8] EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has spent $2,749.62 of taxpayer money on “tactical pants” and “tactical polos.”[9]

Protesters from the Metro D.C. chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America interrupted Department of Homeland Security secretary Kirstjen Nielsen’s dinner at MXDC Cocina Mexicana in Washington D.C. with chants of “no borders, no walls, sanctuaries for all,” and White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked to leave the Red Hen, a 26-seat farm-to-table restaurant in Virginia, by its owner.[10][11] Burger King employees in St. Francisville, Louisiana, allegedly told uniformed police attempting to order via a drive-through window that they were “out of burgers.”[12] On VK, the Russian equivalent of Facebook, Burger King Russia offered any woman impregnated by any World Cup player 3 million rubles and a lifetime of Whoppers; they later deleted the post and apologized.[13] A 64-year-old civil servant in Kobe, Japan had half a day’s worth of pay docked for leaving three minutes early for lunch 26 times over a seven-month period.[14]

The Grand Bazaar in Tehran, Iran, was shut down amid protests against the falling value of the rial, the largest protests in the country since 2012.[15] The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that states can collect sales tax from online retailers even if they have no shops, offices, or warehouses in that state; it has refused to hear a case about redistricting in North Carolina.[16][17] North Carolina’s House Bill 2, the so-called bathroom bill, has been replaced by House Bill 142, which prevents local governments from passing any new nondiscrimination laws until the end of 2020 and ensures that the state General Assembly is the only public institution permitted to regulate “access to multiple occupancy restrooms, showers, or changing facilities.”[18][19] An explosion during a rally for Ethiopian prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, in Addis Ababa killed at least two people; Zimbabwean president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, was unwounded while other ZANU-PF party members were harmed by a blast at a campaign rally in Bulawayo; Suraj Patel, who is running for Congress in New York’s Twelfth District, had volunteers create fake profiles on dating apps to help canvass for his campaign; and incumbent Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan won national elections.[20][21][22][23] A black felt bicorn hat dropped by Napoleon Bonaparte at the Battle of Waterloo was sold at auction for more than $400,000 to an anonymous bidder.[24] While speaking in his hometown of Davao, Filipino president Rodrigo Duterte called god “stupid” and a “son of a bitch” while criticizing the story of Adam and Eve.[25] “You created something perfect and then you think of an event that would tempt and destroy the quality of your work.”

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October 2019


Secrets and Lies·

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In 1973, when Barry Singer was a fifteen-year-old student at New York’s Yeshiva University High School for Boys, the vice principal, Rabbi George Finkelstein, stopped him in a stairwell. Claiming he wanted to check his tzitzit—the strings attached to Singer’s prayer shawl—Finkelstein, Singer says, pushed the boy over the third-floor banister, in full view of his classmates, and reached down his pants. “If he’s not wearing tzitzit,” Finkelstein told the surrounding children, “he’s going over the stairs!”

“He played it as a joke, but I was completely at his mercy,” Singer recalled. For the rest of his time at Yeshiva, Singer would often wear his tzitzit on the outside of his shirt—though this was regarded as rebellious—for fear that Finkelstein might find an excuse to assault him again.

Seeking Asylum·

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Out of sight on Leros, the island of the damned

Poem for Harm·

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Reflections on harm in language and the trouble with Whitman

Good Bad Bad Good·

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About fifteen years ago, my roommate and I developed a classification system for TV and movies. Each title was slotted into one of four categories: Good-Good; Bad-Good; Good-Bad; Bad-Bad. The first qualifier was qualitative, while the second represented a high-low binary, the title’s aspiration toward capital-A Art or lack thereof.

Some taxonomies were inarguable. The O.C., a Fox series about California rich kids and their beautiful swimming pools, was delightfully Good-Bad. Paul Haggis’s heavy-handed morality play, Crash, which won the Oscar for Best Picture, was gallingly Bad-Good. The films of Francois Truffaut, Good-Good; the CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men, Bad-Bad.

Life after Life·

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For time ylost, this know ye,
By no way may recovered be.

I spent thirty-eight years in prison and have been a free man for just under two. After killing a man named Thomas Allen Fellowes in a drunken, drugged-up fistfight in 1980, when I was nineteen years old, I was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. Former California governor Jerry Brown commuted my sentence and I was released in 2017, five days before Christmas. The law in California, like in most states, grants the governor the right to alter sentences. After many years of advocating for the reformation of the prison system into one that encourages rehabilitation, I had my life restored to me.

Cost of renting a giant panda from the Chinese government, per day:


A recent earthquake in Chile was found to have shifted the city of Concepción ten feet to the west, shortened Earth’s days by 1.26 microseconds, and shifted the planet’s axis by nearly three inches.

A solid-gold toilet named “America” was stolen from Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Winston Churchill, in Oxfordshire, England.

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Happiness Is a Worn Gun


“Nowadays, most states let just about anybody who wants a concealed-handgun permit have one; in seventeen states, you don’t even have to be a resident. Nobody knows exactly how many Americans carry guns, because not all states release their numbers, and even if they did, not all permit holders carry all the time. But it’s safe to assume that as many as 6 million Americans are walking around with firearms under their clothes.”

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