Weekly Review

Weekly Review — October 1, 2017, 6:44 pm

Weekly Review

Weeks after a Category 4 hurricane made landfall in Puerto Rico, it was reported that 95 percent of residents on the island were without power, 35 percent of grocery stores were closed, 50 percent of roads needed to be cleared of debris, 86 percent of cellphone towers were not functioning, and 25 percent of shipping ports were closed. “We will get through this TOGETHER,” tweeted U.S. president Donald Trump, who then referred to Puerto Rican officials as “politically motivated ingrates” told by “the Democrats” to say “nasty” things.[1][2][3][4] “They want everything to be done for them,” tweeted Trump, who has …

Weekly Review — September 22, 2017, 3:05 pm

Weekly Review

U.S. president Donald Trump, who has called the United Nations one of the world’s “most valuable institutions,” arrived at U.N. headquarters in New York to deliver his first speech to the General Assembly, then praised the international body for having increased the value of his nearby Trump World Tower, a 72-story residential building whose construction the United Nations had opposed. The U.N. secretary-general told Trump that “fiery talk” could lead to “fatal misunderstandings”; Trump said that Venezuela is “collapsing,” that Iran is a “murderous regime,” and that North Korea is on a “suicide mission” that might require him to “totally …

Weekly Review — September 15, 2017, 4:37 pm

Weekly Review

The Democratic leaders of Congress celebrated a verbal agreement made with U.S. president Donald Trump that would protect from deportation 800,000 undocumented U.S. residents known as Dreamers, Trump supporters burned Make America Great Again hats in protest, and an op-ed erroneously claiming that thousands of people in New Hampshire voted illegally in the 2016 presidential election was published by the vice chair of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, Kris Kobach, who argued as an undergraduate at Harvard University against efforts to divest from the apartheid government of South Africa while he was being mentored by a professor who …

Weekly Review — September 8, 2017, 4:49 pm

Weekly Review

Hours before Hurricane Irma, a Category 5 storm, destroyed 90 percent of the structures on the Caribbean island of Barbuda, Rush Limbaugh, a talk-radio host who has said that the United States needs “segregated buses” and that former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton castrates men and keeps their genitals in a “testicle lockbox,” went on the air and said that “these storms are never as strong as they’re reported.” Read more…

Weekly Review — September 5, 2017, 5:23 pm

Weekly Review

North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong-un conducted a hydrogen bomb test; his ambassador called the test a “gift package” and said that “the U.S. will receive more gift packages” if it continues making “futile” threats of sanctions; and U.S. president Donald Trump, who once said he wanted to be “unpredictable” when dealing with nuclear weapons, tweeted that he was considering “stopping all trade with any country doing business with North Korea,” including China, which accounts for 90 percent of North Korea’s trade and which manufactures Trump-branded eyeglasses, shirts, ties, suits, mirrors, ceramic vases, wall decorations, kitchen items, and light fixtures, as well as dice …

Weekly Review — August 28, 2017, 5:19 pm

Weekly Review

Days before the Mexican government offered to send aid for the victims of a Category 4 hurricane that made landfall in eastern Texas and caused catastrophic flooding in up to 50 counties and drove an estimated 30,000 people from their homes, one-time pornographic-film extra and current U.S. president Donald Trump issued a pardon for Joe Arpaio, a former sheriff of Arizona’s Maricopa County who, during his 24-year tenure, held inmates in Korean War tents that reached temperatures of 141 degrees; referred to those tents as a “concentration camp” and the place “where all the Mexicans are”; called complaints from Latinos …

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Destroyer of Worlds·

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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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Crossing Guards·

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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
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“I am Here Only for Working”·

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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.

— Karl Marx

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

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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.

“Horse 1,” by Nine Francois. Courtesy the artist and AgavePrint, Austin, Texas
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Dead Ball Situation·

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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.

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How to Make Your Own AR-15

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"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."

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