Weekly Review — March 5, 2019, 11:06 am

Weekly Review

Trump blamed the failure of the Hanoi summit on Cohen’s public testimony; a fight broke out in the West Virginia State Capitol building; a police officer accidentally shot himself in the chest while fleeing a rabid fox

Following an attack by a suicide bomber that left more than 40 Indian troops in Kashmir dead, an Indian airman, who said in a 2011 TV interview that a “bad attitude” was required to become a fighter pilot, was shot down over the disputed region, parachuted into Pakistani territory, tried to eat his documents, was beaten by a mob, and was then captured by Pakistani forces, who took him into custody, interrogated him, and filmed him drinking tea.1 2 3 After the pilot was released by Pakistan, Naxalites demonstrated for peace between the two countries in Kolkata.4 Iran’s foreign minister announced his resignation in a cryptic Instagram post but returned to the job two days later.5 In Hanoi, Vietnam, Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un held a second summit to discuss North Korean disarmament, but the US president abruptly ended negotiations without reaching an agreement; Russian officials confirmed that Kim will visit Moscow sometime in the future.6 7 8 Trump blamed the summit’s failure in part on the public testimony of Michael Cohen, his former lawyer, before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform; Cohen attested that Trump had told him, “You think I’m stupid? I wasn’t going to Vietnam.”9 10 Canada’s former justice minister and attorney general testified that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and others in his office had pressured her to halt a criminal case against the construction firm SNC-Lavalin, and Israel’s attorney general announced plans to indict Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is running for reelection, for bribery, fraud, and breach of trust, in three separate cases.11 12 “So have at it, go ahead, waste your money, waste your time, and go ahead and lose,” said Republican National Committee chair Ronna McDaniel in response to a question about potential Trump primary challengers.13 A black man became the director and president of a white-supremacist organization in the hopes of disbanding it.14 In Oakland, California, a private school discovered that donated paintings they had borrowed against for funding were fakes.15

The governor of Washington and the former governor of Colorado announced that they were running for president as Democrats.16 17 The first lady of Virginia has apologized for handing out raw cotton to black children during a tour of the governor’s mansion.18 A poster that hung in the West Virginia State Capitol as part of a “Republicans Take the Rotunda” event that juxtaposed a photograph of a plane hitting the World Trade Center accompanied by the text “never forget” – you said… with a photograph of Representative Ilhan Omar and the text i am the proof – you have forgotten caused a verbal and physical fight between Republican and Democratic lawmakers.19 A church in Springdale, Arkansas, denied that their sign, which read heaven has strict immigration laws, hell has open borders, was political.20 A Trump campaign adviser called Representative Omar “filth” and “rooted in anti-Semitism” during an interview, and it was revealed that Psy-Group, an Israeli intelligence firm, had investigated and smeared supporters of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement.21 22 In Arizona, a congressman who opposes the Green New Deal said that climate change wasn’t a problem because of photosynthesis, and the mayor of the town of Patagonia read an apology to a 12-year-old journalist who had been threatened with arrest by a police officer.23 24 The FDA has condemned the use of plasma transfusions from young people as a treatment for illness and aging.25

Walmart announced that it will replace greeters with “customer hosts,” who must be able to lift at least 25 pounds, climb ladders, and stand for long periods of time.26 An elderly tourist posing for a photograph on an iceberg floated out to sea and was rescued by a sea captain.27 A police officer in Ellenville, New York, accidentally shot himself in the chest while fleeing a rabid fox, and the police in Jordan, Minnesota, were called to check on a man standing outside in the cold and holding a pillow that was actually a cardboard cutout of MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell.28 29 The Utah House passed a bill allowing drivers to ignore red lights in “extremely low” traffic; the failure to yield accounts for approximately 12 percent of automotive fatalities in that state.30 31Violet Lucca

Share
Single Page

More from Harper’s Magazine:

Weekly Review October 22, 2019, 10:02 am

Weekly Review

Arguments over where to hold the G-7 without breaking the emoluments clause; retracting an admission of quid pro quo with Ukraine; Justin Trudeau won reelection

Weekly Review October 16, 2019, 8:30 am

Weekly Review

Trump abandoned Kurdish forces in Syria; a police officer in Fort Worth, Texas, shot Atatiana Jefferson; limited edition sneakers that have holy water from the Jordan River in their soles sold out in minutes

Podcast October 9, 2019, 12:08 pm

Conditions of Impeachment

As part of a forum on the Constitution, five lawmakers and legal scholars consider probable cause for using the Fourteenth Amendment

Get access to 169 years of
Harper’s for only $23.99

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

November 2019

Men at Work

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

To Serve Is to Rule

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Bird Angle

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The K-12 Takeover

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The $68,000 Fish

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Article
Men at Work·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“You’re being reborn,” the voice says. “Exiting the womb of your mother. Coming into the earth as a small baby. Everything is new.” It is a Saturday morning in mid-March, and right now I’m lying on a yoga mat in a lodge in Ohio, surrounded by fifty other men who’ve come to the Midwest for a weekend of manhood-confirming adventures. The voice in question belongs to Aaron Blaine, a facilitator for Evryman, the men’s group orchestrating this three-day retreat. All around me, men are shedding tears as Blaine leads us on a guided meditation, a kind of archetypal montage of Norman Rockwell boyhood. “You’re starting to figure things out,” he says, in somniferous baritone. “Snow, for the first time. Sunshine. Start to notice the smells, the tastes, the confusion. The fear. And you’re growing. You’re about ten years old. The world’s huge and scary.”

Even though it’s only the second day of the Evryman retreat, it’s worth noting that I’ve already been the subject of light fraternal teasing. Already I’ve been the recipient of countless unsought hugs. Already I have sat in Large Groups and Small Groups, and watched dozens of middle-aged men weep with shame and contrition. I’ve had a guy in the military tell me he wants to be “a rock for his family.” I’ve heard a guy from Ohio say that his beard “means something.” Twice I’ve hiked through the woods to “reconnect with Mother Nature,” and I have been addressed by numerous men as both “dude” and “brother.” I have performed yoga and yard drills and morning calisthenics. I’ve heard seven different men play acoustic guitar. I’ve heard a man describe his father by saying, “There wasn’t a lot of ball-tossing when I was growing up.” Three times I’ve been queried about how I’m “processing everything,” and at the urinal on Friday night, two men warned me about the upcoming “Anger Ceremony,” which is rumored to be the weekend’s “pièce de résistance.”

Article
To Serve Is to Rule·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The WASP story is personal for me. I arrived at Yale in 1971 from a thoroughly mediocre suburb in New Jersey, the second-generation hybrid of Irish and Italian stock riding the postwar boom. Those sockless people in Top-Siders, whose ancestors’ names and portraits adorned the walls, were entirely new to me. I made friends with some, but I was not free of a corrosive envy of their habitus of ease and entitlement.

I used to visit one of those friends in the Hamptons, in the 1970s, when the area was about wood-paneled Ford station wagons, not Lamborghinis. There was some money in the family, but not gobs, yet they lived two blocks from the beach—prime real estate. Now, down the road from what used to be their house is the residence of Ira Rennert. It’s one of the largest private homes in the United States. The union-busting, pension-fund-looting Rennert, whose wealth comes from, among other things, chemical companies that are some of the worst polluters in the country, made his first money in the 1980s as a cog in Michael Milken’s junk-bond machine. In 2015, a court ordered him to return $215 million he had appropriated from one of his companies to pay for the house. One-hundred-car garages and twenty-one (or maybe twenty-nine) bedrooms don’t come cheap.

Article
The Bird Angle·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

I slept for a good seven hours on the overnight flight from Spain to Peru, and while I slept I dreamed that I was leading American visitors around a park in Berlin, looking for birds on a hazy, overcast day. There wasn’t much to see until we noticed a distant commotion in the sky. Large raptors were panicking, driven back and forth by something threatening them from above. The commotion moved closer. The clouds parted, an oval aperture backed with blue. In it two seraphim hovered motionless. “Those are angels,” I told the group.

They were between us and the sun, but an easy ­I.D. Size aside, no other European bird has two sets of wings. The upper wings cast their faces into shadow. Despite the glare I could make out their striking peaches-­and-­cream coloration. Ivory white predominates, hair a faint yellow, eyes blue, wings indescribably iridescent. Faces blank and expressionless, as with all birds.

Article
The K-12 Takeover·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Last May, the families of students at Cypress Academy, an independent charter school in New Orleans, received an email announcing that the school would close when classes ended the following week and that all its students would be transferred to another nearby charter for the upcoming year. Parents would have the option of entering their children in the city’s charter-enrollment lottery, but the lottery’s first round had already taken place, and the most desirable spots for the fall were filled.

Founded in 2015, a decade after New Orleans became the nation’s first city to begin replacing all its public schools with charters, Cypress was something of a rarity. Like about nine in ten of the city’s charter schools, it filled spaces by lottery rather than by selective admission. But while most of the nonselective schools in New Orleans had majority populations of low-income African-American students, Cypress mirrored the city’s demographics, drawing the children of professionals—African-American and white alike—as well as poorer students. Cypress reserved 20 percent of its seats for children with reading difficulties, and it offered a progressive education model, including “learning by doing,” rather than the strict conduct codes that dominated the city’s nonselective schools. In just three years, the school had outperformed many established charters—a particular feat given that one in four Cypress students had a disability, double the New Orleans average. Families flocked to Cypress, especially ones with children who had disabilities.

Article
Five Stories·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

how high? that high

He had his stick that was used mostly to point at your head if your head wasn’t held up proudly.

I still like that man—Holger! He had been an orphan!

He came up to me once because there was something about how I was moving my feet that wasn’t according to the regulations or his expectations.

The room was a short wide room with a short wide window with plenty of artificial light.

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

$1,500

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.

The first person awarded the title of royal consort in Thailand had her title removed for trying to “elevate herself to the same state as the queen” and “disloyalty.”

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

HARPER’S FINEST

Jesus Plus Nothing

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

By

At Ivanwald, men learn to be leaders by loving their leaders. “They’re so busy loving us,” a brother once explained to me, “but who’s loving them?” We were. The brothers each paid $400 per month for room and board, but we were also the caretakers of The Cedars, cleaning its gutters, mowing its lawns, whacking weeds and blowing leaves and sanding. And we were called to serve on Tuesday mornings, when The Cedars hosted a regular prayer breakfast typically presided over by Ed Meese, the former attorney general. Each week the breakfast brought together a rotating group of ambassadors, businessmen, and American politicians. Three of Ivanwald’s brothers also attended, wearing crisp shirts starched just for the occasion; one would sit at the table while the other two poured coffee. 

Subscribe Today