Weekly Review — July 24, 2019, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

Protesters across Puerto Rico called for the resignation of their governor; the head of Iowa’s Department of Human Services was fired after at least one complaint about his expressions of love for rapper Tupac Shakur

At a rally in Greenville, North Carolina, where Donald Trump repeatedly referred to Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez simply as “Cortez” because “too much time—takes too much time,” the president’s supporters chanted “send her back!” as he discussed Representative Ilhan Omar.1 2 When asked about the audience’s behavior later, the president, who stopped speaking for 10 seconds and glanced around the arena during the chant, said that he disagreed with the sentiment and tried to stop it by “speaking very quickly.” 3 According to a new poll, Republican support for Trump has risen in the past week.4 “I want more lol,” joked a prison official in a group text about the beating of an inmate.5 In Puerto Rico, protesters across the island called for the resignation of their governor after hundreds of his instant messages were leaked that reveal that he made light about the number of dead bodies at the San Juan morgue following Hurricane Maria and homophobic jokes about Ricky Martin; the governor has said that he will not seek reelection.6 7 Former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, who at age 12 saw Babe Ruth call his shot in Game 3 of the 1932 World Series, died.8 Antonin Scalia’s son, who was legal counsel for SeaWorld after one of its killer whales killed a trainer, was nominated to replace Alexander Acosta as secretary of labor.9 10 The United States accidentally revealed the apparent sites of its nuclear weapons in Europe in a NATO report, and El Chapo wore his trademark mustache for a sentencing hearing at which he got life in prison.11 12 Scientists showed that two earthquakes that took place in California earlier this month caused some 16,000 aftershocks.13

 The man who set the Kyoto Animation studio on fire and killed 34 people reportedly said “drop dead” as he lit the blaze, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in British Columbia apologized after accidentally livestreaming a press conference about a double murder with a cat filter turned on.14 15 16 The Justice Department announced that it would not pursue charges against the officer who choked Eric Garner to death, a decision reportedly made by the attorney general; the former prime minister of Pakistan was arrested on corruption charges; and a police officer admitted that, while waiting at the London home of a family whose child had died, he had purchased four pornographic movies on their Virgin TV account.17 18 19 “These porn sites need to think more,” said the author of a paper that showed that 93 percent of pornography websites sent data to third-party domains, including Google, which had a tracker on 74 percent of porn sites.20 Elon Musk revealed a technology that could connect the human mind directly to a smartphone with thin threads, which would be installed by drilling small holes in the skull.21 Newly public emails showed that Palantir, a company founded by Peter Thiel, created an iPhone program that helps ICE track down immigrants.22 According to an internal memo, USAID will divert funds intended for humanitarian efforts in Central America to the promotion of the opposition party in Venezuela.23 The largest U.S. banks posted billions of dollars in profits in the first half of the year as a result of Trump’s tax cuts.24 In West Palm Beach, Florida, the local government continued to loudly play two annoying songs—“Baby Shark” and “Raining Tacos”—outside a pavilion to deter homeless people from sleeping there.25 26 “I still lay down in there,” said one homeless man. Berkeley, California, voted to change all instances of “manhole” to “maintenance hole” in its municipal code.27 A fire in Greenland that lasted for over 10 days ended.28 In Sydney, a man crashed a van filled with more than $20 million of methylamphetamine, also known as “ice,” into a parked police car.29

“I always try to assume the best of everybody, and I can’t imagine that [the governor] would base her decision on the Tupac incident,” said Jerry Foxhoven, who was recently fired from his job leading the Iowa Department of Human Services after at least one complaint about his expressions of love for rapper Tupac Shakur, which included quoting Tupac lyrics in work emails and celebrating his birthday with Tupac-themed baked goods.30 Between 50 and 100 hundred people joined hands off the Florida coast to rescue two swimmers who had been swept out to sea by a rip current; both swimmers, upon returning to land, were arrested for going into the water after being warned about dangerous conditions.31 In Gujarat, India, a man was unloading corn from a truck when a snake emerged from the brush, and while others ran away, he grabbed the snake; the snake bit him in the face and hands, and he bit the snake back.32 Both died.—Jacob Rosenberg

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“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.”

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how high? that high

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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. 

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