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The Week USA - May 11, 2018

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The battle
for control
of space
with Trump
Jobs for all?
The Democrats’ proposal
to guarantee a paycheck
to every American
MAY 11, 2018 VOLUME 18 ISSUE 872
While automotive design and technology are constantly changing, the place that leads the world in
automotive manufacturing remains the same. Michigan. Home to 27 assembly plants and 63 of the country’s
top 100 automotive suppliers, we produce more vehicles than any other state in the country. Which
makes Michigan the best place for your business to manufacture success.
Editor’s letter
To woo the white working class, should Democrats move to the
left? This question is dividing a party still traumatized by 2016,
with Sen. Bernie Sanders and its rising young presidential contenders pledging support for both single-payer health care and a guaranteed government jobs program. (See Controversy.) But there’s
reason to wonder whether reviving the New Deal can reclaim the
hearts of former Democrats who switched to Donald Trump. A
new University of Pennsylvania study of these pivotal voters found
the anxiety and anger that Trump tapped was not primarily economic; it was cultural. (See Best U.S. Columns.) White Christians, especially men, felt they were becoming a scorned, increasingly powerless minority in a country that was once theirs. Trump
promised to take it back. In 2018 and 2020, the old James Carville
battle cry—“It’s the economy, stupid”—may no longer apply.
A lot has changed since 1992. For much of the electorate, politics is a ritualized display of tribal identity, not a mere choice of
policies. You are who you hate. Consider the vitriol on display
just in the past week. At the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, comedian Michelle Wolf said she hoped a tree fell on Kellyanne Conway, likened Ivanka Trump to “an empty box of tampons,” and tossed off flippant jokes about abortion. (See Talking Points.) Before a cheering MAGA crowd in Michigan, Trump
attacked the FBI and Justice Department, said journalists “hate
your guts,” and sarcastically asked, “Are there any Hispanics in
the room?” In coming months, the bone-deep rancor—the belief that it’s Us vs. Them in a zero-sum struggle for survival—
will only grow worse, as the Russia investigation reaches a climax, talk of impeachment and a “Deep State coup” grows, and
a constitutional crisis tears at the nation’s seams. A guarantee of
a $15-an-hour government job will not persuade many voters to
switch tribes. For now and the foreseeable
William Falk
future, it’s the culture war, stupid.
4 Main stories
North Korea’s diplomatic
maneuvers; the fate of the
Iran nuclear deal; Robert
Mueller’s questions for
President Trump
Editor-in-chief: William Falk
Managing editors: Theunis Bates,
Carolyn O’Hara
Deputy editor/International: Susan Caskie
Deputy editor/Arts: Chris Mitchell
Senior editors: Harry Byford, Alex
Dalenberg, Andrew Murfett, Dale Obbie,
Hallie Stiller
Art director: Dan Josephs
Photo editor: Loren Talbot
Copy editors: Jane A. Halsey, Jay Wilkins
Researchers: Christina Colizza, Joyce Chu
Contributing editors: Ryan Devlin,
Bruno Maddox
6 Controversy of the week
Would a “jobs guarantee”
be a socialist disaster or a
boon to the economy?
7 The U.S. at a glance
A migrant caravan arrives
at the southern border; did
Trump’s chief of staff call
the president an “idiot”?
8 The world at a glance
A gymnastics abuse
scandal in Brazil; Israel
hits Iranian forces in Syria
10 People
Amy Schumer embraces
married life; the man who
toppled Lance Armstrong
11 Brieing
The new cold war
unfolding in Earth’s orbit
Newscom (2)
12 Best U.S. columns
How a genealogy site
helped catch a killer;
Trump’s illuminating Fox
& Friends rant
14 Best European
A British toddler’s death
divides a nation
16 Talking points
Anger over a comedian’s
White House routine;
Kanye West’s love for
Trump; a misogynist
terrorist attack in Toronto
EVP, publisher: John Guehl
North and South Korea’s leaders talk denuclearization. (pages 4, 15)
21 Books
Can the West survive the
new age of tribalism?
22 Author of the week
A Rwandan genocide
survivor struggles to
make sense of her past
23 Art
A haunting memorial to
lynching victims
24 Film & Music
assemble for
Infinity War
26 Food & Drink
New restaurants from
Michelin star–winning chefs
27 Travel
Searching for birds of
paradise in Indonesia
30 Consumer
Chevrolet’s fast and
furious new Corvette ZR1
31 News at a glance
Sprint and T-Mobile try to
merge again; Apple’s big
stock buyback
32 Making money
How to get the most out of
travel rewards credit cards
34 Best columns
Ford says farewell to sedans
and compacts; Amazon isn’t
as unassailable as it seems
Sales development director:
Samuel Homburger
Account directors: Shelley Adler,
Lauren Peterson
Account manager: Alison Fernandez
Midwest director: Lauren Ross
Southeast director: Jana Robinson
West Coast directors: James Horan,
Rebecca Treadwell
Integrated marketing director: Jennifer Freire
Integrated marketing managers:
Kelly Dyer, Reisa Feigenbaum
Marketing design director: Joshua Moore
Marketing designer: Triona Moynihan
Research and insights manager: Joan Cheung
Sales & marketing coordinator:
Carla Pacheco-Muevecela
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Yuliya Spektorsky
Programmatic manager: George Porter
Digital planners: Jennifer Riddell, Talia Sabag
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Kevin E. Morgan
Director of financial reporting:
Arielle Starkman
EVP, consumer marketing & products:
Sara O’Connor
Consumer marketing director:
Leslie Guarnieri
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U.K. founding editor: Jolyon Connell
Company founder: Felix Dennis
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THE WEEK May 11, 2018
The main stories...
Trump to meet Kim at the DMZ
What happened
It certainly has in the past, said National Pyongyang pretended it would
President Trump expressed optimism that he
make “major concessions” during “highly
can forge a peace deal with Kim Jong Un after
touted” North-South summits in 1992, 2000,
the North Korean leader’s historic summit
and 2007, “only to renege on those promwith South Korean President Moon Jae-in last
ises after pocketing the economic benefits.”
week. Trump announced this week that he
Trump can stop history from repeating itself
wants his upcoming meeting with the North
by insisting that Kim give up his nukes within
Korean leader to take place in the Demilita“months,” walking away if he doesn’t, and
rized Zone between the two countries—where
returning to a “maximum pressure” policy.
Kim and Moon also met—so that there can
No deal is better than a bad deal.
be a “great celebration on the site” if the talks
are a success. In a carefully choreographed
What the columnists said
ceremony in the border village of PanmunDon’t be taken in by Kim’s “sucker-bornjeom, Kim and Moon signed a declaration
every-minute diplomacy,” said Nicholas
confirming their “common goal” of denucleKim and Moon reaching across the border
Eberstadt in The New York Times. North
arizing the Korean Peninsula, and pledged to
Korea’s national identity is based on juche—the doctrine that Konegotiate a peace treaty to formally end the 1950–53 Korean War.
reans should be reunited in a “socialist state” under Pyongyang’s
(See Best International Columns.) Kim promised to dismantle his
control. Making peace with Seoul “would mean abandoning the
country’s nuclear test site at Mount Mantap in front of Western
quest that has legitimized the Kim family’s rule for three generanuclear experts and journalists—though several reports suggested
tions.” Kim’s nuclear weapons have forced China’s Xi Jinping and
tests have already rendered the site unusable.
President Trump to give him personal audiences, said David French
After the summit, Trump triumphantly tweeted: “KOREAN WAR in Without nukes, North Korea would be a
“ninth-rate” nation with “zero leverage over any nations besides
TO END!” The president praised China’s role in facilitating the
South Korea.” Denuclearization “is not happening.”
talks on Twitter, but told supporters at a rally in Michigan that
he should get full credit for “everything”—a sentiment at least
The goals of Kim’s “full-on diplomatic offensive” are not hard to
partially endorsed by Moon, who said Trump deserved the Nobel
discern, said Van Jackson in With his effusive shows
Peace Prize. National security adviser John Bolton insisted the adof friendliness, the savvy Kim wants to persuade China, Rusministration wasn’t “starry-eyed” about Kim’s promises, asserting
sia, and the international community to accept North Korea as a
that the U.S. wouldn’t ease sanctions or offer any other concespeaceful nuclear state and stop participating in U.S. sanctions. So
sions until Pyongyang takes concrete steps toward dismantling its
either Trump makes major concessions in his desperation for “fanuclear program. Trump’s head-to-head with Kim is tentatively
vorable news headlines,” or Kim makes him look like the bad guy.
scheduled for late May or early June.
It wasn’t all bad
QA Texas family who rescued a
dog from an animal shelter last
fall is now thanking the animal for
rescuing them. Mom-of-two Laura
Smith was fast asleep when her
pointer-terrier Chrome woke her
up at 1 a.m. Smith first thought
that Chrome simply needed to
go outside to the bathroom. But
when she followed him out of her
bedroom, she realized that the
house was on fire. Their home was
destroyed, but Smith, her kids,
and Chrome escaped the blaze unharmed. “He’s definitely my hero,”
says Smith. “He’s a good dog.”
THE WEEK May 11, 2018
Actually, “a major diplomatic breakthrough” may be possible—if
Trump can “behave like a real world leader,” said Fred Kaplan in Moon and Kim agreed to a gradual process toward a
peace treaty that would formally end the Korean War, with what
Kim called “phased, synchronized measures.” North Korea may
be willing to dismantle some of its nuclear arsenal as the U.S. lifts
some of its sanctions in a step-by-step process of building trust.
If Trump can overcome his impatience and accept this “spirit of
gradualism,” he has a chance of success. If he demands total denuclearization right away, “then the summit will be a disaster.”
QJames Shaw Jr. keeps proving he’s a man of action. The
29-year-old was eating at a Nashville Waffle House when a
gunman opened fire in the restaurant, killing four diners and
wounding four others. Grazed by a bullet, Shaw rushed the
shooter as he was reloading, grabbed the hot rifle barrel, and
disarmed the killer, saving
many lives. Shaw’s good
deeds didn’t end there. After being released from the
hospital, he launched an
online crowdfunding campaign, with the goal of raising $15,000 for the victims’
families. So far, he’s raised
more than $215,000. “I’m
not a hero,” Shaw says.
“I think anybody could’ve
done what I did.”
Shaw: Stopped a killer
QThe day after floods and mudslides wrecked dozens of homes on
Hawaii’s Kauai Island, Gregg Fraser
arrived at his restaurant to find
some 40 desperate people lined up
outside. Some were homeless, others were tourists who’d seen their
tents washed away. Fraser made
them breakfast at his Opakapaka
Grill and Bar, and hasn’t closed
the doors since, cooking up to 700
free meals a day for residents,
first responders, and volunteers.
“I’ve got people that I’ve just met
this week that are in my restaurant
washing dishes, sweeping floors,
and cooking food,” says Fraser. “Its
an amazing thing to be a part of.”
Illustration by Howard McWilliam.
On the cover: Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Cover photos from AP, (C/NOFS)/NASA, Getty
AP, Getty
What the editorials said
Few people really believe Kim will give up his nuclear arsenal,
said the San Francisco Chronicle. Having watched the “violent
regime change” in Libya and Iraq after their leaders abandoned
their nuclear programs, the North Korean dictator won’t “make
the same mistake.” He’s probably hoping to “wiggle out of some
sanctions” by making vague and unenforceable pledges to disarm.
With Beijing and Seoul determined to lower the temperature on
the peninsula—and Trump eager to be a “historic peacemaker”—
Kim’s strategy “might just work.”
... and how they were covered
Netanyahu takes aim at Iran deal
What happened
What the columnists said
President Trump said he had been proven
Netanyahu’s show-and-tell session should
“100 percent right” about the failings of the
render the deal “null and void,” said Bret
Stephens in The New York Times. We can’t
Iran nuclear deal this week after Israeli Prime
expect the mullahs to be faithful to the deal
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed a huge
when they were “faithless to it at the begincache of stolen Iranian documents, claiming
ning.” The Europeans argue that the agreeit showed Tehran had covered up its past
ment has kept Tehran from racing toward a
nuclear weapons program. During a theatribomb. But this deeply flawed pact lets Iran
cal speech in Tel Aviv, Netanyahu pulled a
“amble toward a bomb” and use sanctions
curtain away from shelves stacked with copies
relief to fund its militancy in Syria, Yemen,
of files that he said Israeli spies had seized
and Lebanon. Trump should follow his gut,
from a government warehouse in Tehran. He
Presenting the captured Iranian files
scrap the deal, and punish Iran’s lies with
said the 55,000 pages—which date back to
punitive sanctions backed by the “threat of military force.”
the early 2000s—include “incriminating” evidence, for example
one presentation outlining plans for the production of five nuclear
warheads. A fierce opponent of the 2015 deal, Netanyahu said Iran Yes, Iran is destabilizing the neighborhood, said Max Boot in
“lied big-time” when it claimed during the agreement’s negotiation But the deal was only ever intended to “stop
that its nuclear program had always been entirely peaceful.
the actual development of nuclear weapons.” In that regard it’s
been a success. U.S. intelligence agencies say the agreement has
The presentation came 13 days before Trump was to decide whether extended the amount of time Iran would need to produce enough
fissile material for a bomb from a few months to a year. That
to stay in the Obama-era pact, which offered Iran sanctions relief in
hardly justifies Trump’s claim that it’s the “worst deal ever.”
exchange for curbs on its nuclear program. Secretary of State Mike
Pompeo said the material showed that the deal was not built “on a
foundation of good faith.” But many former U.S. officials said the
That won’t weaken Trump’s determination to “flex his dealmaking
documents were all but irrelevant, because international inspectors
prowess and outshine Obama,” said Vali Nasr in
have found no evidence Iran continued its bomb work after 2009.
But if the president tears up the agreement and orders Tehran to
The three European nations that helped negotiate the deal—France,
make a deal or else, Iran will likely restart uranium enrichment and
Germany, and the U.K.—and have lobbied Trump to keep it alive
“seek protection under its own nuclear shield.” At that point, anappeared unimpressed with the revelations. “The Iran nuclear deal
other costly war in the Middle East might be the only way to stop
is not based on trust about Iran’s intentions,” said British Foreign
Iran from getting a bomb—“the very trajectory that the candidate
Secretary Boris Johnson. “Rather, it is based on tough verification.”
Trump railed against.”
Trump fumes over Mueller’s questions
What happened
What the columnists said
President Trump denounced the investigation into Russian election
meddling as “a trap” this week, after a leaked list of the special
counsel’s potential interview questions shed new light on the scope
of the probe. The list of 49 questions obtained by The New York
Times, which were compiled by Trump’s attorneys after their
talks with special counsel Robert Mueller’s team, covered both his
campaign’s dealings with Russia—the issue of “collusion”—and
his possible obstruction of justice in trying to impede the investigation, including his firing of then–FBI Director James Comey.
In one question, Mueller’s team asks what Trump knew about
former campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s “outreach” to Russia
for help in the campaign—a previously undisclosed allegation. In
a series of tweets, Trump dismissed questions about obstruction
of justice as an attempt to set him up. “It would seem very hard to
obstruct justice for a crime that never happened!” Trump tweeted.
White House aides appear to have leaked these questions to
persuade Trump not to testify, said Jeffrey Toobin in NewYorker
.com. There are no safe answers to many of Mueller’s inquiries, including “What did you mean when you told Russian diplomats on
May 10, 2017, that firing [Comey] had taken the pressure off?”
The undisciplined Trump would almost certainly either commit
perjury or incriminate himself. “Any sane lawyer would try at all
costs to avoid putting a client in this kind of position.”
If Trump’s team thought the leaked questions would show “that
Mueller really was on a witch hunt, they blew it,” said Jennifer
Rubin in The Washington Post. His lines of inquiry aren’t nosy,
“free-ranging” questions about Trump’s business deals; they are
studiously in line with Mueller’s mandate to investigate Russian
election meddling and obstruction of justice. Trump could plead
the Fifth to dodge a subpoena, but that would create the appearance of guilt. Then “it is fair to say his presidency will be over.”
Mueller recently warned Trump’s legal team that the president
could be subpoenaed if he refuses to submit to an interview with
investigators, The Washington Post reported. The internal White
House dispute over how to handle Mueller’s interview request ultimately led to President Trump’s lead lawyer, John Dowd, resigning not long after that meeting. A second member of Trump’s legal
team, White House lawyer Ty Cobb, announced his resignation
this week. Emmett Flood, who represented President Bill Clinton
during his impeachment, will replace him, with White House
sources describing Flood as “a wartime consigliere.”
It’s time for Mueller to “stand down,” said Andrew McCarthy
in No one is above the law, but the special
counsel’s investigation is doing more harm than good by keeping
the White House under a cloud of suspicion. Mueller’s open-ended
questions indicate he has uncovered nothing that justifies hobbling
an entire branch of the U.S. government. “Absent concrete evidence that the president has committed a serious crime, the checks
on the president should be Congress and the ballot box.”
THE WEEK May 11, 2018
Controversy of the week
Employment: The Democrats’ ‘jobs guarantee’ plan
by armies of men wielding shovels.” They’re built by complex
Finally, said Jeff Spross in, the
machinery you need extensive training to operate. While the
Democrats may be “getting their progressive
government could put some people to work as home healthgroove back.” In recent weeks, three of the
care aides, painters, and clerks, “it probably cannot use
party’s likely presidential candidates—Sens.
25 million of them.” Most of the people in this proCory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Bernie
gram would be doing expensive “make-work.”
Sanders—have endorsed a federal “jobs
guarantee,” a bold idea that could make
Democrats’ “rapid embrace of a jobs guarantee is
mass unemployment a thing of the past.
understandable,” said Jonathan Chait in NYMag
Though details of each proposal vary, the
.com. The party’s invigorated left wants a major
basic concept is for the government to hire
new piece of social engineering to mark a break
every American who wants a job and pay him or
Sanders: No more unemployment
from the “neoliberal” caution of the Clintonher $15 an hour, with health-care benefits. Under
Obama years. But Democrats need to be careful. The program
this program, economic recessions would come and go without
would be enormously expensive in a time of rising deficits; a 5 peraccompanying waves of human misery. Full employment would
cent income tax hike on those earning more than $200,000 would
exert upward pressure on private-sector wages, especially at the
barely cover a fifth of the cost, according to one analysis. And
low end. And though the cost would be high—$543 billion annuguaranteeing every American a job presents a “staggering bureaually, in one estimate—that would be offset by a tax increase on
cratic challenge,” including finding useful work that millions of
the wealthy and huge savings in Medicaid, unemployment, and
unemployed people are qualified to do. Do you create jobs to
welfare programs, which would have far fewer recipients. A jobs
match skills? It “could be a huge mistake” for Democrats to risk
guarantee sounds radical, said Marie Solis in, but
it polls surprisingly well with voters—with 52 percent in favor and their electoral fortunes on “a half-baked concept.”
just 29 percent against—and is popular even in red states. As 2020
The details don’t matter, yet, said Matthew Yglesias in
looms, this could be the big idea that helps Democrats win back
those blue-collar voters “who gave up on the party two years ago.” As Democrats enter the next election cycle, a jobs guarantee sends
a distinct message about the party’s priorities and allegiances, and
like President Trump’s wall, should be taken “seriously rather
This is a recipe for “socialist disaster,” said David Harsanyi in
than literally.” There is an unmissable whiff of socialism to this Guaranteed jobs would devastate small
idea, said Jeffrey Dorfman in, but we conservatives
businesses, which would have to compete for workers with a
have been saying for years that people should have to work for
government that can offer wages and benefits “wholly untethered
their government benefits. Federal jobs programs could make that
from the real cost of labor.” More importantly, “what would all
linkage, even if the benefits are called “wages.” “If it replaces free
these people do?” said Megan McArdle in
handouts with the need to work for a living,” a jobs guarantee
Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration was effective in its era, but today, roads, bridges, and buildings “aren’t built could be that rare liberal idea that conservatives end up embracing.
QThe University of Texas
is hiring a “healthy masculinities coordinator.” The hire
will oversee a new program
designed to help young men
resist such stereotypical male
behaviors as being “fiercely
independent” and “successful,” and “tak[ing] care of
people.” Students stuck in
these “restrictive” gender
roles “should not feel guilty,”
the program advises, and can
get help to “break the cycle.”
Good week for:
Being rebjørn, with news that the Swedish pop group ABBA has
emerged from a 35-year retirement with new songs and plans for a
“digital” world tour featuring four holographic “Abbatars,” modeled on the 1979 version of the group. “We thought we looked
good that year,” said Bjørn Ulvaeus, 72.
Convoys, after 13 truck drivers positioned their 18-wheelers to
make a de facto safety net beneath a man threatening to jump off a
highway bridge near Detroit, thus saving his life.
Doing it yourself, after a Tennessee woman, relying on YouTube
how-to videos for guidance, delivered her own baby in a hotel room.
“I did a mighty fine job, if I do say so myself,” said Tia Freeman, 22.
Bad week for:
QA man who tried to drown
Lost arts, with news that some British schools are switching
himself in a Virginia swimming pool is suing the cops
who pulled him out. Mateusz
Fijalkowski, 23, says he is
grateful to police officers who
rescued him after he tried to
kill himself but blames them
for not diving in until he swallowed a lot of water and went
into cardiac arrest. “I don’t
thank them for letting me die,
clinically, before their eyes,”
he said.
entirely to digital clocks, as fewer and fewer students know how to
tell time from analog clocks.
Harold Bornstein, President Trump’s former doctor, who
revealed that his office was “raided” last year by three burly
Trump aides who carried off 35 years of the president’s medical
records. Bornstein also revealed that Trump “dictated” the glowing
medical report provided to the public during the campaign.
Michael Cohen, President Trump’s legally embattled longtime
“fixer,” after the National Enquirer, owned by Trump ally David
Pecker, ran a cover story on Cohen’s “Secrets and Lies.” When
asked if the story was a message that the president might turn on
him, Cohen replied, “What do you think?”
THE WEEK May 11, 2018
Boring but important
New Jersey senator
‘severely admonished’
The Senate Ethics Committee
formally rebuked Sen. Robert
Menendez of New Jersey for
accepting unreported gifts
from a wealthy donor, including flights and stays at luxury
hotels. The bipartisan panel
ordered the Democrat to repay
the value of any improper gifts
he received from Salomon
Melgen, a Florida eye doctor
whose business interests
Menendez promoted on Capitol Hill. Menendez avoided
conviction on federal corruption charges stemming from
the relationship last year after
his case ended in a mistrial.
A judge dismissed all charges
after prosecutors decided not
to retry Menendez, who is running for re-election. The ethics
committee found the lawmaker violated Senate rules
and federal law, declaring him
“severely admonished.”
Only in America
The U.S. at a glance ...
AP (2), Reuters (2)
Emissions suit: A coalition of 17 states, led
by California, sued the
Trump administration
this week over its plan
to weaken Obama-era
auto emissions standards, threatening a
long legal fight over
the White House’s
aggressive effort to roll
Fight over limits
back environmental
regulations. The Environmental Protection
Agency’s plan would scrap rules requiring automakers to roughly double the
average fuel economy for new vehicles
by 2025. The states’ lawsuit argues that
such a move violates the federal Clean
Air Act and doesn’t follow the EPA’s own
regulations. California is allowed to set its
own fuel standards under the Clean Air
Act, but it agreed to match its rules to the
federal standard as part of a 2012
agreement that the Trump administration is now pulling away
from. Some automakers that
lobbied heavily against the new
rules now fear that the White
House may have gone too far,
and that the administration’s
actions threaten to split the
country into two auto markets
adhering by different rules.
San Diego
Caravan arrives: Border agents began processing asylum applications this week after
the arrival of
a “caravan”
of mostly
Rejoicing at the border
Trump has
pointed to as justification for hard-line
immigration policies. So far, about 25 of
the 150 migrants, mostly women and
children fleeing gang violence, have been
allowed to enter the U.S. to apply for
asylum. The rest remain camped outside
a border crossing in Tijuana, Mexico. The
Justice Department said it has charged 11
caravan members with trying to cross the
border illegally. The caravan had roughly
1,500 people when it set out in March.
There have been similar crossings before,
but the larger-than-normal caravan drew
the attention of conservative media as a
symbol of unchecked illegal immigration.
The U.S. is bound by domestic and international law to consider asylum applications before deporting the migrants.
Washington, D.C.
Kelly tensions? White House Chief of
Staff John Kelly pushed back against a
report this week that he has repeatedly
called President Trump “an idiot” and
portrays himself to staff as the lone bulwark against presidential incompetence,
dismissing the allegations as “total BS.”
Eight current and former White House
officials told NBC News that White
House morale is slipping under Kelly,
who has grown increasingly frustrated
with Trump. Some expect Kelly to leave
by July, his one-year anniversary in
the role. Officials said Kelly has fumed
over Trump’s ignorance of key policy
details, especially on immigration. Kelly
is said to have worked with conservative
Republicans to keep Trump from striking a bipartisan deal to protect young
immigrants from deportation. “He doesn’t
even understand what DACA is. He’s an
idiot,” Kelly reportedly said in a meeting.
“We’ve got to save him from himself.”
Phoenix and Denver
School walkouts: Teachers in Arizona and
Colorado last week became the latest to
launch statewide strikes aimed at winning
better pay and increased school funding.
Schools were shut down for two days in
Colorado as educators used personal leave
to walk out en masse, with many attending huge protests at the state capitol. In
Arizona, schools remained closed into this
week as teachers dressed in red protested
day after day outside the state capitol
building. The Republican-dominated state
legislature is now considering a funding
plan that would give teachers a 20 percent
raise by 2020 and provide $371 million
more in school funding over five years.
Organizers have said they will call off
the strike if the legislation passes, though
many say the new measures don’t go far
enough. “Our fight is not over,” said
Rebecca Garelli, a Phoenix teacher and
walkout organizer. “But it is time for us
to get back to our students and get back
into our classrooms.”
New York City
Russia intrigue: The Russian
lawyer who met with Trump
campaign officials at Trump
Tower in June 2016
admitted last week
that she was acting
as “an informant’’ to
the Kremlin. Natalia
met with Donald
Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and former Trump campaign manager Paul
Manafort and reportedly offered the
campaign damaging information about
Hillary Clinton—told NBC News that
she’s been working with the office of
the Russian prosecutor general since
2013. “I am a lawyer, and I am an informant,” she said in interview. In the past,
Veselnitskaya had insisted that she was
merely a private attorney and had no
formal relationship with the Russian government. Emails obtained by NBC
News showed that Veselnitskaya
worked closely with prosecutor general Yuri Chaika, a top
Kremlin official, to stop a U.S.
Justice Department case against
a well-connected Russian firm
accused of money laundering.
Washington, D.C.
Doctor drama: Ronny
Jackson will no longer
serve as President Trump’s
personal doctor, following
allegations about
his professional
conduct that
also led him to
Jackson: Out of a job
withdraw from
consideration for secretary of Veterans
Affairs, reported this week.
Jackson, a Navy rear admiral, is now facing a Defense Department investigation
into allegations by current and former
colleagues that he mistreated employees,
overprescribed medication, and was often
drunk on overseas trips. He has called
the accusations “completely false and
fabricated.” CNN also reported this week
that Vice President Mike Pence’s staff
went to the White House with concerns
about Jackson last fall. In internal memos,
Pence’s personal physician accused
Jackson of inappropriately intervening
in second lady Karen Pence’s care and
violating her privacy by sharing medical
information with White House staff. The
incident allegedly led an irate Jackson to
confront Pence’s doctor, making him feel
intimidated and “uncomfortable.”
THE WEEK May 11, 2018
The world at a glance ...
Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Where is cholera aid? Two years
after the United Nations pledged to
help Haiti defeat a cholera outbreak
started by U.N. peacekeepers, the
impoverished nation has received
almost none of that assistance from
the international organization.
The epidemic began in 2010 when
Cholera victims
Nepali peacekeepers—sent to maintain order after an earthquake killed more than 250,000 people—
dumped infected sewage into a river. Since then, nearly 10,000
Haitians have died from cholera and more than 800,000 have been
sickened. While the U.N. never took official responsibility for the
incident, in 2016 then–Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced
the creation of a $400 million trust to fight the outbreak. But activists said this week that the trust has raised only $8.7 million, about
2 percent of its goal, and less than half has been spent.
Tourists blocked: Venetians fed up
with the 30 million tourists who
stampede through their narrow
alleys each year have resorted to
roping off the interlopers. Mayor
Luigi Brugnaro set up turnstiles last
weekend to segregate tourists from
Separating tourists and residents
locals on the main routes into
the historic city center. Residents can pass the checkpoints, while
visitors must use other routes. A crowd of 30 locals tore down
the new barriers, complaining that they would turn Venice into
a theme park and failed to address the key reason that the city’s
population—now 55,000—keeps shrinking. “We don’t need checkpoints,” the group said, “we need effective housing policies.”
Tonalá, Mexico
Bodies dissolved: A Mexican rapper and YouTube star with tens
of thousands of followers has confessed that he had a side job
disposing of bodies for the hyperviolent Jalisco New Generation
cartel. Christian Omar Palma Gutiérrez, 24, better known as
QBA, was arrested last week for his role in the disappearance of
three film students whose vanishing riveted the nation. The students unwittingly filmed at a site used as a safe house by a rival
gang and were seized by JNG as they left the building, and then
tortured and murdered. Their bodies were passed to Gutiérrez,
a “cook” who dissolved corpses in tanks full of sulfuric acid for
about $600 a month. Prosecutors are now examining his music
videos, which feature gang tattoos and hand signals, for possible
clues to other murders.
São Paulo
Deadly inferno: At least one person was killed this week after an
abandoned 24-story building in central São Paulo collapsed during
a massive fire. A mother and her twins were also missing following the blaze. The former police facility was home to some 150
squatters—including numerous poor
families—who had built makeshift living compartments out of wood, which
sped the spread of the fire. “The building came down like a tsunami,” said a
woman who lived on the fourth floor.
Authorities said there were dozens of
similarly run-down, illegally occupied
buildings across the city. “This was
a tragedy foretold,” São Paulo state
Gov. Márcio França said of the fire.
Up in flames
THE WEEK May 11, 2018
São Paulo
Gymnastics scandal: Dozens of athletes
have accused the former coach of
Brazil’s national gymnastics team of
Barbosa: Accuser
sexual abusing them when they were
children. More than 40 current or former gymnasts told reporters
from Globo TV that Fernando de Carvalho Lopes had watched
them shower, touched their genitals, or asked them to masturbate
in front of him. One gymnast, Petrix Barbosa, said the abuse began
when he was age 10 or 11. “I woke up with him—I don’t know
how many times—with his hand down my pants,” he said. Lopes
was fired from the national team just before the 2016 Olympics,
after a 13-year-old gymnast told his parents he was being abused.
Lopes denies the allegations and says he has “a clear conscience.”
Newscom (2), Getty (2), AP
Managua, Nicaragua
Demanding Ortega’s ouster: Heeding the call of the Catholic
Church, tens of thousands of demonstrators joined a march
for “Peace and Justice” through the Nicaraguan capital last
week, following days of bloody political protests that left at
least 43 dead and hundreds more wounded. Those protests
were sparked by unpopular pension reforms, but demonProtesting for peace
strators’ goals widened and deepened after a brutal crackdown by security forces and militias allied with the ruling
Sandinista Party. Most protesters are now demanding the resignation of President Daniel Ortega, in office since 2007, and Vice
President Rosario Murillo, who is also Ortega’s wife. “The changes
in social security were just the last straw,” said one marcher. “But
they were doing so many things before—stealing elections, stealing
government money, so much corruption.”
The world at a glance ...
Kiev, Ukraine
Arms deal? The Ukrainian government has halted four
corruption investigations involving former Trump
campaign chief Paul Manafort for fear of angering the Trump administration. The decision
came soon after the U.S. approved the sale of
210 Javelin anti-tank missiles to the Ukrainian
government—weapons Kiev wants to fight
Russia-backed rebels in the country’s east. “In
every possible way, we will avoid irritating the
top American officials,” lawmaker Volodymyr
Ariev, a close ally of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, told
The New York Times. Manafort is facing prosecution in the U.S.
on charges of money laundering and financial fraud for his work
for a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine. He is a key figure
in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible
collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
Goodbye, Peppa: China’s popular Douyin streaming app has abruptly purged all videos featuring
the British preschool cartoon character Peppa
Pig. The cheerful pink piggy had become an
ironic meme used by Chinese tweens and teens,
particularly, the state-run Global Times said,
“unruly slackers” who are “the antithesis of the
young generation the Party tries to cultivate.”
The state-run People’s Daily added: “No matter
how gangster Peppa Pig is, it cannot be allowed to
destroy children’s youth and go beyond the rules.”
Following those editorials, Douyin scrubbed its site
of the pig in an apparent act of self-censorship.
Censored swine
Massacring the press: At least 25 people, including nine journalists, were killed in twin suicide bombings in central Kabul this
week. The first blast occurred
when a suicide bomber riding a
motorbike detonated his explosives
outside Afghanistan’s National
Directorate of Security. When journalists rushed to the scene, a second bomber disguised as a reporter
stood among the assembled press
and blew himself up. Those killed
included three journalists from
Burying a journalist
U.S.-based Radio Free Europe and
one from the BBC. Afghan TV reporter Lotfullah Najafizada said
the Afghan press would not be deterred. “If you killed an entire
line of journalists reporting here, in five hours time we’re back,”
he said. “The line is longer and the resolve is greater.”
Newscom (2), AP, Alamy, Newscom
Hama, Syria
Israel vs. Iran: Israeli fighter jets struck a Syrian military base this
week, killing up to two dozen troops—many of them Iranians—
and destroying hundreds of missiles recently shipped from Iran.
Israel did not confirm the strike, but U.S. officials told NBC News
that Israel was responsible. U.S. officials said the weapons, which
included surface-to-air missiles, were meant to shore up Iranian
troops fighting in support of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad and
to strike at Israel. Iranian Defense Minister Amir Khatami warned
that Israel would regret its action. A senior U.S. official told NBC
News that Israel and Iran are edging closer to open warfare, saying, “On the list of the potentials for most likely live hostility
around the world, the battle between Israel and Iran in Syria is at
the top of the list right now.”
Abuja, Nigeria
Cough syrup banned: Nigeria has banned codeinelaced cough syrup after a BBC report revealed that
widespread corruption at pharmaceutical companies was flooding the country’s black market with
the medicine, which young Nigerians use to get
high. The BBC undercover team filmed an executive for Emzor Pharmaceuticals—one of Nigeria’s
largest drugmakers—bragging that he could sell
1 million cartons a week on the black market.
Codeine addiction is endemic in mostly Muslim
northern Nigeria, where alcohol is banned and
unemployment is high. The Nigerian Senate estimates that some
3 million bottles of codeine syrup are consumed every single day
in the states of Kano and Jigawa alone.
Cardinal charged: The Vatican’s third-highest-ranking official,
Cardinal George Pell, was ordered this week by an Australian
court to stand trial on allegations of child sexual abuse. Pell, 76,
the Vatican’s de facto finance chief, has returned to Australia
to face the charges, which date from the
1970s to the ’90s when he was a priest in
the Melbourne area and later archbishop of
the city. The court dismissed the most serious allegations against the cardinal because
of concerns regarding witness credibility;
the charges that remain include allegations
that he groped two boys at a swimming
pool and assaulted two choristers. Pell has
pleaded not guilty and denied all the allegations, saying, “The whole idea of sexual
Pell: Abuse allegations
abuse is abhorrent to me.”
THE WEEK May 11, 2018
Why Farrow targeted Weinstein
Ronan Farrow played a major role in bringing
down Harvey Weinstein, said Josh Glancy in
The Sunday Times (U.K.). His Pulitzer-winning
New Yorker article last October, in which several named women accused Weinstein of sexual
abuse, helped open the floodgates to accusations
that toppled the Hollywood mogul and precipitated the launch of the #MeToo movement. The
reporter rejects claims he targeted Weinstein as a proxy attack on
his father, Woody Allen, who was accused of assault by his adopted
sister Dylan, and who has been shunned by several Hollywood
A-listers as part of the #MeToo awakening. “[That’s] an easy narrative that was weaponized by Weinstein,” says Farrow, 30. “He was
trying to discredit every reporter working on this, and that was all
he could come up with for me.” But Farrow acknowledges that his
“emotional understanding” of the story was informed by seeing his
sister speak out against their father, who used lawyers, publicists,
investigators, and friendly journalists to combat her allegations.
“That set of experiences made me realize just how deep the vein of
untold stories was,” says Farrow. “Just how powerful the ability of
the wealthy and the privileged is to distort the narrative and silence
people. And just how much the survivors who spoke in my reporting needed that platform.”
Floyd Landis has finally beaten his nemesis, said Matt Hart in The
Atlantic. The American cyclist recently won more than $1 million
as part of the settlement of a long-running lawsuit against Lance
Armstrong, his former U.S. Postal Service teammate. Landis, 42,
turned whistleblower against Armstrong in 2010, revealing the
shocking extent to which the seven-time Tour de France winner
used performance-enhancing drugs. Having been stripped of his
own 2006 Tour title for doping, Landis was at rock bottom at the
time—drinking heavily, broke, and divorced. “My whole life,” he
says, “was completely upside down.” Yet the former cyclist insists
that Armstrong’s downfall gives him no great pleasure. “It was never
about Lance. I had a choice to come clean or not, and if I did, it was
going to be me against Lance, because he was going to fight.” Landis,
who now runs a cannabis business in Colorado, says he became a
whistleblower to expose the tolerance for doping in cycling’s upper
echelons. But he fears little has changed: Today’s supposedly drug-free
competitors are nearly matching the times of Landis and Armstrong
at their peak, and doping allegations continue. “Taking me down and
taking Armstrong down,” he says, “did nothing.”
QTom Brokaw vehemently denied allega-
tions from a former colleague that he
sexually harassed and groped her
while he was an anchor at NBC Nightly
News during the 1990s. Linda
Vester, a former correspondent
at NBC News, has told Variety
that Brokaw propositioned and
tried to forcibly kiss her on at
least two occasions, including
a time when he showed up
to her hotel room uninvited.
In a leaked email sent to NBC
News Chairman Andrew Lack,
Brokaw, 78, described Vester
as a “character assassin” who
was angry because she did not
THE WEEK May 11, 2018
Schumer’s new reality
Amy Schumer’s single days are over—and boy is she relieved,
said Sophie Heawood in The comic made
her name with raw, no-holds-barred stand-up routines revolving
around dating, sex, and embarrassing drunken mishaps. But after
marrying chef Chris Fischer in February, she feels far less insecure. “I’m psyched,” says Schumer, 36. “I’m psyched that I don’t
have to be zipping up my knee boots, leaving someone’s apartment at 3 a.m. I’m done.” In her dating life, she had to plead with
boyfriends just to come and meet her parents. “I can’t believe I
dealt with any of that bulls---.” Marriage, she says, is totally different. “It feels like having a partner. It feels like not being alone. We
already are who we are and just want to support and encourage
each other.” Marriage has helped Schumer—who often mocks her
own chubbiness—grow more comfortable in her own skin. “I did
a lot of press yesterday sitting next to [model and actress] Emily
Ratajkowski, and I think that probably would have been kind of
hard for me 10 years ago,” she says. “I would have made a joke
about it before, but now it’s just—I just feel like that’s over. I kind
of feel done with the self-ranking thing.”
become a star at NBC. “I am angry, hurt, and
unmoored from what I thought would be the
final passage of my life and career,” Brokaw
said. More than 115 of Brokaw’s current and
former colleagues at NBC—including Rachel
Maddow and Andrew Mitchell—have signed
a letter in support of the famed anchor,
calling him “a man of tremendous decency
and integrity.” But two other former NBC
employees also alleged that Brokaw made
sexual advances to them decades ago.
QMSNBC host Joy Reid apologized for
“hateful” homophobic comments on her
blog in the early and mid-2000s, and admitted she can’t prove her claim that hackers meddled with some of the posts. The
archived posts from Reid’s now-defunct blog
describe gay sex as “gross” and say that
“most straight people cringe at the sight of
two men kissing.” The liberal pundit initially
said she’d been hacked when the posts were
revealed in recent weeks, but then said
cybersecurity experts couldn’t prove it. “I
genuinely do not believe I wrote those hateful things, because they are completely alien
to me,” Reid, 49, said.
QAfter years of brushing aside questions
about her sexual orientation, Janelle Monáe
has come out as pansexual. The singersongwriter and actress told Rolling Stone
that she used to identify as bisexual, but now
thinks pansexual is more accurate, since it
means that gender identity is irrelevant to
whether or not she is attracted to a person.
“Being a queer black woman in America,
someone who has been in relationships with
both men and women,” Monáe said, “I consider myself to be a free-ass motherf---er.”
Emily Shur/The New York Times/Redux, Newscom, Getty
The man who toppled Armstrong
The real ‘Star Wars’
A new cold war is unfolding above Planet Earth. Will there be battles in space?
What’s the conflict about?
its satellites from attack. It is planning
to launch redundant satellites to act
China, Russia, and the U.S. are comas backups in case critical systems are
peting for military advantage in orbit.
destroyed, and developing smaller satU.S. intelligence agencies warned in
ellites that will be harder to target, as
February that China and Russia are
well as defensive satellites capable of
developing ballistic missiles and other
detecting or even intercepting threats.
weapons that could be used to reliably
Many of the details, of course, are
target American satellites “in the next
highly classified. In March, President
few years.” Both countries have already
Trump called for the creation of a new
successfully tested space warfare techbranch of the military dedicated to
nologies. In 2007, China used a missile
space warfare. “Space is a war-fighting
to shoot down one of its own aging
domain, just like the land, air, and
weather satellites orbiting 537 miles
sea,” Trump said. “We have the Air
above the planet. Russia successfully
Force, we’ll have the Space Force.”
conducted a test flight for an antiA U.S. communications satellite: Possible military target
satellite missile in 2015. The U.S. has
Is Trump serious?
long possessed such capabilities. In 1985, an American fighter jet
It’s hard to say, but he’s not the first to suggest it. Secretary of
successfully launched a missile into a U.S. science satellite. “Space
Defense Donald Rumsfeld called for the creation of a “Space
is no longer a peaceful domain,” said Deborah Lee James, secreCorps” in 2001, but the idea was put on the back burner after the
tary of the Air Force under President Obama. “There is a real
Sept. 11 terrorist attacks shifted the military’s focus to fighting terpossibility that a conflict on Earth could bleed into space.”
rorism on Earth. Right now, the U.S. Air Force Space Command
is responsible for roughly 90 percent of the American military
Why is that?
operations in space, employing about 36,000 people around the
Space is strategically vital. About 1,700 active satellites currently
world. But space force proponents argue that space is an afterorbit Earth—nearly half sent up by the U.S.—and they’ve become
thought within an institution built to fight battles on Earth. A new
critical to the modern world’s economy and daily activities. The
co-equal space force could legitimize space as a vital battleground,
Air Force’s 33 Global Positioning System satellites provide timing
signals used by Wall Street traders and cellphone networks, as well the thinking goes, the same way the creation of the U.S. Air Force
in 1947 recognized the importance of air power. But the Pentagon
as powering navigation-based apps like Google Maps and Uber.
Weather forecasts, video conferencing, instant credit-card authori- reportedly is opposed to the idea of adding another bureaucracy.
zation, banking connections, and cable television are all powered
What if a war breaks out?
by satellites. The U.S. military relies heavily on communications
The rules of space warfare are mostly unwritten. The Outer
and surveillance satellites for virtually all of its activities, from
monitoring North Korean weapons tests to coordinating troops in Space Treaty of 1967 bans countries from putting weapons of
mass destruction in space, but
the field. Satellites are constantly scanthere’s no comprehensive agreening Earth to detect strikes against the
The first ‘Space War’
ment governing other kinds of
U.S., looking for the distinctive plumes of In 1991, Operation Desert Storm proved the vital
space weapons or protecting civila missile launch. “Space is foundational
military importance of space. Coalition forces relied
ian satellites. In 2008, the U.S.
to our way of war,” says Gen. John W.
on the Air Force’s nascent GPS network to cross
rejected a treaty submitted to the
Raymond, commander of Air Force
virtually uncharted tracts of desert left undefended
U.N. by Russia and China that
Space Command. “And it’s foundational
by Iraqi commanders, who believed that no mechawould have banned weapons in
to our way of life.”
nized weapons or troops could cross this hostile
space. When the European Union
terrain. The use of GPS navigation enabled U.S.
floated a similar proposal in 2014,
What would space war look like? and allied troops to outflank Saddam Hussein’s milit was embraced by the U.S., but
It could take several different forms.
itary in a sweeping maneuver that became known
China and Russia refused to sign
Programmers could hack into satellites in as the “left hook,” paving the way for the swift libon. The consequences of an all-out
order to dismantle or commandeer them.
eration of Kuwait in a ground war lasting roughly
space war could be dire. In one
Lasers stationed on the ground could
100 hours. Infrared warning satellites also rendered
scenario, the debris cloud created
also be used to “dazzle,” or blind, satelthe Iraqi army’s Soviet-era Scud missiles virtually
by obliterated spacecraft could set
lite sensors, rendering them useless. In a
useless by allowing coalition troops to accurately
off a chain reaction that wipes out
more aggressive attack, countries could
predict where they would they land. Meanwhile,
all of the satellites in orbit, ringing
use brute force to take out rival satellites, coalition artillery used GPS to devastating effect
Earth with space junk and rendereither with ballistic missiles or by using
while bombarding Iraqi positions. “It really was
ing space unusable for generations.
“kamikaze” attack satellites to smash
the first time that we took strategic space informa“The challenges of war fightinto targets. The Russians launched a
tion and integrated it into a theater of operations,”
ing in this domain are not really
satellite in May 2014 that appeared to be Gen. John W. Raymond, commander of Air Force
understood,” says Todd Harrison,
capable of offensive maneuvers, alarming Space Command, told Popular Mechanics. “There’s
nothing we do today, there’s not a sailor, soldier,
director of the Aerospace Security
U.S. intelligence.
or Marine that operates in their domain that isn’t
Project at the Center for Strategic
using space capabilities to conduct their mission.”
and International Studies. “We
How is the U.S. responding?
don’t have any history to go on.”
The military is taking steps to “harden”
THE WEEK May 11, 2018
The real
reason Trump
was elected
Tom Jacobs
Pacific Standard
Your DNA
may be held
against you
Susan Scutti
Fox News
a window
Jonathan Chait
Best columns: The U.S.
It wasn’t the loss of manufacturing jobs or economic anxiety that
elected Donald Trump, said Tom Jacobs. In a new University of Pennsylvania study, political scientist Diana Mutz found that a pivotal
group of voters—people who switched parties to back Trump—“were
motivated by the vision of a frightening fall in social status.” Those
voters believed that the traditional primacy of “white, Christian males”
in the country was “under serious threat.” Indeed, Mutz found, the
Trump base was convinced that white Christians face more discrimination in a rapidly changing America than blacks or Muslims. That’s why
these voters were thrilled by Trump’s white-identity politics and his attacks on immigrants, globalization, free trade, feminists, and “political
correctness.” And why did a majority of white women vote for Trump?
A separate study, by researchers at High Point University, found these
women also feel great “trepidation” about the loss of traditional culture, and want to maintain distinct gender roles for men and women.
The 2016 election, in other words, was “largely about fear of change.”
Liberals who think they can win back Trump voters by promising better jobs or social programs are only “kidding themselves.”
If you’ve sent your DNA to a commercial genealogy site, said Susan
Scutti, it may one day be used in a criminal investigation. That’s
the obvious implication of last week’s arrest by California police of
Joseph DeAngelo, the man they believe is the infamous Golden State
Killer. Investigators used a sample of the killer’s DNA found at a
crime scene to look for family members on GEDmatch, a free online
service, and matched it to some of DeAngelo’s relatives. Further police work led to DeAngelo. No one can dispute that solving the case
would be a triumph for justice, but the landmark investigation creates real privacy concerns for the millions of people who’ve submitted DNA to services such as and These
samples “contain a treasure trove of health and ancestry information about you and your family.” Public defenders warn that if law
enforcement agencies come to rely on DNA searches like that in the
California case, it will cast a net of suspicion over hundreds of innocent people in investigations of murders, rapes, and robberies. So be
forewarned: When you submit your DNA for analysis, it could one
day lead to the arrest of an uncle or third cousin—or you.
For the past year, White House aides have leaked stories about President Trump’s unhinged tirades against his many “enemies,” said
Jonathan Chait. Last week, Fox & Friends “gave outsiders unfiltered
access to the sorts of rants he routinely imposes upon his staff.” The
interview, with openly pro-Trump talk show hosts, went off the rails
almost immediately, with Trump ranting about the “phony” Russia
investigation. He called the FBI’s leadership corrupt and “a disgrace,”
and said the Justice Department should be prosecuting Hillary Clinton
and the Democrats, “not the nonsense of collusion with Russia.” In a
blatant threat to the rule of law, Trump said he’s “trying” to stay away
from the Justice Department’s investigation for now, “but at some
point, I won’t.” Along the way, Trump admitted that lawyer Michael
Cohen represented him in “this crazy Stormy Daniels deal”—thus contradicting earlier denials he knew anything about it, and undermining
Cohen’s defense. The president was doing so much damage to himself
that the Fox & Friends hosts—whose smiles turned to frozen, anxious
chagrin—“ushered Trump off the phone, insisting he must be busy.”
Too late. We all just saw how “bonkers” Trump really is.
“One third of the electorate [is already] isolated in an information loop of its
own, where Trump becomes the major source of information about Trump,
because independent sources are rejected on principle. Journalists could do their job brilliantly, and
it won’t really matter, because Trump supporters categorically reject it, Trump opponents already
believe it, and the neither-nors aren’t paying close enough attention. When the president of the U.S.
forcefully rejects the premise of a common world of fact, and behaves like there is no such thing, any
practice resting on that premise is in political trouble.” Jay Rosen in The New York Review of Books
THE WEEK May 11, 2018
It must be true...
I read it in the tabloids
QA wanted ex-con was
arrested by Oregon police
last week while riding a
stolen motorbike with a
vanity license plate reading
“XFELON.” Brock Antonie Williams, who was wanted on a
parole violation, led police on
a 100 mph chase before he
was caught. An investigation
revealed the Ducati had been
stolen last year; the distinctive XFELON plate had been
added later. “Since these
guys make license plates
in prison,” said officer Scott
McKee, “you’d think he would
be a little more creative.”
QA Spanish potato farmer
has become a social media
star because of her likeness
to President Trump. Dolores
Leis shot to online fame after
a journalist
reporting on
farming posted
a photo on Instagram of the
in a field, and
thousands of
users noted her
remarkable resemblance to
the U.S. president. Leis says
she’s largely ignored the online buzz because, unlike the
always-tweeting Trump, she
doesn’t have a smartphone.
“It never stung my curiosity
to have one,” she says.
QA teenager with no medical
training was able to impersonate a doctor at one of
India’s top hospitals for five
months by simply walking
around in a lab coat and
stethoscope. Adnan Khurram, 19, routinely chatted
with patients at New Delhi’s
All India Institute of Medical
Sciences and impressed the
staff with his knowledge of
medicine. Real doctors eventually became suspicious of
Khurram because he rarely
seemed busy—junior doctors
typically work 20-hour shifts.
“We started wondering how
he had so much time,” said
Dr. Harjit Singh Bhatti. The impostor was arrested last week
after he was surrounded by
angry doctors.
Enjoy the Best of Both Worlds with
American Cruise Lines. Embrace your
of riverboats in the U.S.
The cross
is no neutral
Jochen Bittner
Die Zeit
the money
Klaas Broekhuizen
Het Financieele Dagblad
Best columns: Europe
Bavaria’s leader is piously playing the Christian
martyr, said Jochen Bittner. State Premier Markus
Söder has ordered that a cross be displayed at
the door of every state office, starting June 1. He
knows, of course, that the courts will eventually rule that he is unconstitutionally privileging
one religion over others, but he also knows that
a ruling probably won’t arrive before his state’s
elections in October. So until then, members of his
center-right Christian Social Union party get to
“perform for a summer as St. Sebastians, assailed
by arrows because of their commitment to Christian heritage.” The gesture is likely also meant as
a message of exclusion to Muslim migrants, but
it is off-putting not only to them. After all, while
Christianity has indeed helped shape the German
people and nation, it was not the only influence.
“What about all the Jewish poets and composers,
the atheist engineers, the agnostic painters—or
even the Muslim coal miners” in our past? Söder
says the cross is simply a symbol of Western
values, but that claim verges on blasphemous, because it “debases the central symbol of Christianity by stripping it of its religious dimension.” I’m
sure “God will forgive Söder. The Federal Constitutional Court hopefully will not.”
The Netherlands is hemorrhaging cybersecurity
experts, said Klaas Broekhuizen. The Dutch have
long been leaders in IT, particularly in counterhacking measures. It was our security services,
remember, that first alerted the U.S. to the Russian
penetration of the Democratic National Committee computers in 2015, and Dutch intelligence is
now a key plank in the investigation into Russian
meddling in the 2016 U.S. election. But we will
soon lose our reputation for excellence if we don’t
reverse “the brain drain.” Already, this country
has a “screaming shortage” of IT experts—and
it’s not for lack of training. Dutch graduates
tend to “disappear to the U.S.,” where they can
make $300,000 a year, nearly three times what
they make at home. Those who want to continue
their studies go to Germany, which offers a much
“more generous research budget.” Not enough
graduates stay here to pursue Ph.D.s in IT, which
means the Netherlands is left with too few professors. Bibi van den Berg, who is on the government’s Cyber Security Council, says she spends all
her time teaching and not enough doing research.
And in such a rapidly evolving field, failing to
innovate means falling behind. Van den Berg is
calling for both the government and private companies to invest more. “It’s time,” she says, “to
sound the emergency bell.”
a lawyer who gave the parents
Who decides when a terminally ill
incorrect advice and false hope,
child should be removed from life
and even supported “an attempt
support? asked The Daily Teleby Alfie’s father to have the docgraph in an editorial. Alfie Evans
tors prosecuted for murder.”
was only 23 months old when he
Far-right U.S. conspiracy sites
died last week, five days after being
such as Breitbart and InfoWars
taken off a respirator against the
got involved, whipping up online
wishes of his parents. Doctors at
lynch mobs that harassed doctors
Alder Hey children’s hospital in
and nurses with “a barrage of
Liverpool said the boy, who had
death threats.” Worse were the
been diagnosed with a degenerative
real-life protests at the hospital,
brain disease at 7 months old and
where young patients arriving for
hadn’t left the hospital since, was
treatment had to run a gauntlet
in a “semi-vegetative state” from
of screaming demonstrators. The
which there was no hope of recovBalloons released in memory of Alfie Evans outside Alder Hey
circus was reminiscent of the case
ery. His parents, Tom Evans, 21,
of Charlie Gard, a brain-damaged infant whose parents wanted
and Kate James, 20, wanted to take him to a hospital in Italy
to take him to the U.S. for treatment and were similarly refused.
that was willing to continue treatment, and Pope Francis even
interceded on their behalf. But after experts testified that Alfie
Americans wrongly attribute these decisions to the state-run
might suffer needlessly in transit, the courts ruled that he not be
National Health Service, said Sean O’Grady in Independent
moved. “Many people watching this tragedy unfold both here, as if uncaring bureaucrats deemed some sick children’s
and overseas are appalled” that a judge would overrule a parent in a matter of a child’s life. Yet in Britain, parental rights are care too expensive to be worthwhile. Quite the opposite: The
NHS principle “is that no one should ever have to suffer in pain
not absolute: Parents may not beat their children, for example,
because they haven’t got the money to pay,” which is certainly
or deny them blood transfusions, and the state must advocate
“not the case in America.” Thank the NHS that Alfie’s parents
for each child’s well-being. The court had to decide what was
best for Alfie, in a case that was not “black and white but full of are not now bankrupt as well as bereaved. But they will never
be at peace, said Dominic Lawson in The Sunday Times. Even
gray—and emotional pain.”
had the Italian treatment proved as pointless as the experts said,
Evans and James would have at least known they had given their
The parents suffered even more thanks to the pro-life crowd
boy every chance. Doctors can be wrong. But Britain chooses to
that exploited them, said Gaby Hinsliff in The Guardian. The
“treat the feelings and wishes of loving parents as irrelevant.”
Christian Legal Center, an obscure evangelical group, supplied
THE WEEK May 11, 2018
United Kingdom: Toddler’s death divides a nation
Best columns: International
Korean Peninsula: How China complicates a peace deal
the U.S. deployed a missile defense
The two Koreas may soon finally
system on South Korean territory.
“put their days of hostility and enmity
Yet as a party to the 1953 armistice,
behind them,” said The Hankyoreh
Beijing must be included in any
(South Korea) in an editorial. At last
peace deal. China’s “fear of being
week’s summit in Panmunjeom—a vilmarginalized may well intensify.”
lage inside the Demilitarized Zone that
separates North and South—North KoBeijing doesn’t know whether to “be
rean dictator Kim Jong Un and South
unhappy or not” at the prospect
Korean President Moon Jae-in pledged
of peace, said the Hong Kong Ecoto work toward the “complete denuclenomic Journal (China). North Korea
arization” of the Korean Peninsula and
is China’s “buffer shield” against
to turn the 1953 armistice that halted
the U.S.-allied South. If peace means
the Korean War into a permanent
peace treaty. This breakthrough is the A South Korean honor guard accompanies Kim and Moon. that the U.S. ends up withdrawing its 28,000 military personnel
work of Moon, who has consistently
from South Korea, Beijing can live with that. But if Pyongyang
spoken the language of peace, “even while North Korea and the
achieves normalized relations with the U.S. while American
U.S. were trading barbs about ‘fire and fury.’” Pyongyang has
troops and missile defenses remain in South Korea, “China will
broken promises many times in the past, and Seoul must not be
probably feel prickles down its back.”
naïve. But every Korean has reason to celebrate this historic step.
The meeting was “political theater of a high order,” said Frank
Ching in The Business Times (Singapore). With the world
watching, Kim strode across the cement blocks that mark the
two countries’ border, becoming the first North Korean leader to
set foot in the South since 1953. Holding hands, Moon and Kim
then skipped back and forth across the border “like schoolchildren playing hopscotch.” U.S. President Donald Trump will play
America’s part when he meets with Kim in the coming weeks.
But the other key actor, China, has yet to find its role. Both Koreas currently have tense relations with Beijing—Pyongyang because its main ally has supported the United Nations’ sanctions
against it and Seoul because China hit it with sanctions after
Could we
have a black
Juan Arias
When voters
just don’t
care anymore
Bob Hepburn
Toronto Star
Already, China is trying to intimidate us, said The Korea Herald
(South Korea). As Koreans celebrated the prospect of peace on
the peninsula, China “escalated its violations” of South Korean
airspace. A day after Kim and Moon’s historic meeting, Beijing
flew a military surveillance craft into our air defense identification zone without warning—the third time it has done so in as
many months. China “wants to make its hegemonic presence felt
regarding the matter of denuclearizing the North.” And that’s
exactly why our alliance with the U.S. remains so critical, even
if we secure the best possible peace deal. At that point, China
may well become “as threatening to the South as North Korea’s
nuclear weapons” ever were.
Joaquim Barbosa isn’t even officially running for
president, said Juan Arias, but he’s already third
in the polls. Brazil’s first black Supreme Court
justice, the 63-year-old Barbosa is widely respected
both for his erudition—he’s an ex-diplomat who
speaks English, French, and German as well as
Portuguese—and for his anti-corruption bona
fides. Appointed to the court by former leftist
President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in 2003, he
didn’t hesitate to jail dirty lawmakers from Lula’s
Workers’ Party. Now that Lula is himself in prison
on charges stemming from a corruption scandal,
Barbosa is being touted as his heir, “the black
Lula.” He is reportedly in talks with the centerleft Socialist Party about running as its candidate
in the October election. In a country where half
the citizens are black, indigenous, or mixed race,
Barbosa’s blackness could be a plus. And while
we “know very little about the political thinking”
of this “secretive” man, his few public statements
show him to be acutely aware of the problems
of Brazil’s poor. Barbosa is no Marxist, but he is
“aware that Brazil cannot be governed without
fighting structural poverty.” Lula lifted millions of
families above the poverty line. Could a President
Barbosa help erase “the scars of slavery”?
Doug Ford commands the same blind adoration as
U.S. President Donald Trump, said Bob Hepburn.
The leader of the Progressive Conservative Party
is challenging Liberal incumbent Kathleen Wynne
for the premiership of Ontario in June, and he
has a lot of baggage. Like his late brother, former
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, Doug Ford is “a badly
flawed candidate with a long, well-reported background of bullying, abusive behavior.” But just as
Trump claimed that his supporters would stick by
him even if he shot someone on New York’s 5th
Avenue, Ford understands that his voters “simply
don’t care what he has done or said in the past.”
They know about the allegations of drug dealing
in the 1980s. They know he has been censured by
the Toronto integrity commissioner for favoring
businesses linked to his family firm. And as for his
rants against the media—he’s referred to a Toronto
Star reporter as a “little bitch” and called journalists in general “a bunch of pricks”—well, that sort
of behavior probably earns him respect among his
working-class base. Ford has no campaign platform other than vague promises to slash spending
and cut the state’s corporate tax rate, already the
lowest in Canada. Still, his party is leading the race
by double digits. Voters “just don’t care.”
THE WEEK May 11, 2018
QSince 2012, Immigrations and Customs
Enforcement has released
more than 1,480 people
from custody after discovering that they were
U.S. citizens. In one case,
a U.S. citizen was held in
detention for 1,273 days
after being wrongfully
taken into custody by ICE.
Los Angeles Times
QThe Senate recently
confirmed President
Trump’s 15th appeals
court nominee, giving him
more appointments than
the last five presidents at
this stage. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell helped shape this
conservative realignment
by blocking dozens of
then–President Obama’s
judicial nominees.
QA virulent E. coli outbreak involving romaine
has now
98 people from
22 states,
making it
the biggest
outbreak of the
bacteria since
2006. The Centers
for Disease Control and
Prevention advises consumers to avoid or throw
away any romaine unless
they can be certain it’s not
from the Yuma region in
The Washington Post
QHousing and Urban
Development Secretary Ben Carson has
asked Congress to raise
the rent paid by ablebodied, working-age
public-housing residents
to 35 percent of their
income, up from the current 30 percent. Minimum
rents would be tripled, to
$150. Carson said the cost
of housing assistance is
THE WEEK May 11, 2018
Talking points
Correspondents’ dinner: Did Wolf go too far?
having a symbiotic relationThe media just handed Presiship with the Trumpian circus,
dent Trump a “big, embarrassdevoting millions of words
ing win,” said Mike Allen in
to his every utterance while The White House
ignoring important stories—
Correspondents’ Association
such as the fact that Flint,
was forced to apologize because
Mich., still doesn’t have clean
its annual dinner celebrating
water. A comedian’s job is to
the press featured a cringewordeliver uncomfortable truths.
thy monologue by comedian
Wolf’s acerbic routine provided
Michelle Wolf. Using crude lan“the sort of acid honesty that
guage, Wolf mocked Trump’s
Wolf: A scorched-earth routine
America needs right now.”
porn star scandals, taunted
Trump’s defenders certainly have no grounds for
press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ makeup
complaint, said David Frum in
by joking that she uses the ashes of “burnt facts”
Candidate Trump mocked a disabled reporter and
to create the “perfect smoky eye,” and made a
said of Carly Fiorina, “Look at that face! Would
crack about abortion—including “don’t knock it
until you try it”—that left the audience in stunned anyone vote for that?” As president he calls the
silence. “But Trump had the last laugh,” said Kyle former director of the FBI a “slimeball” and his
former opponent Hillary Clinton “crooked” and
Smith in Instead of dignifying this obnoxious farce with his presence, Trump threatens to put them both in jail. The snowflakes
in Trump’s White House demand “decencies and
staged a rally in Washington, Mich., so he could
courtesies” they habitually deny to others.
“spend the evening with ordinary Americans.”
The media did the rest by exposing themselves as
True enough, but “the optics” of the dinner are
mean, hateful hacks.
becoming “suicidal for the press’s credibility,” said
Margaret Sullivan in The Washington Post. JourSpare me the “pearl-clutching,” said Erin Gloria
nalists shouldn’t play to their caricature as “outRyan in “Unlike a Sarah
of-touch elites” by hobnobbing at a ritzy gala with
Huckabee Sanders–helmed press conference,
politicians and celebrities. Reporters should be out
Wolf’s set at the correspondents’ dinner contained
reporting, “not schmoozing in the swamp.” For
no lies.” And some of her harshest barbs were
the sake of journalism, this White House Correaimed at the smug journalistic insiders sitting in
spondents’ Dinner should be the last.
the audience. Wolf rightly accused the media of
Bill Cosby: #MeToo’s first conviction
It’ll go down as the first conviction of the
#MeToo era, said Anna North in In a
verdict that caused shrieks of exultation, a jury in
Norristown, Pa., last week found Bill Cosby guilty
of drugging and sexually assaulting a woman
named Andrea Constand in 2004. Cosby, who
faces up to 30 years in prison, probably thought
he’d escaped justice after his first trial ended last
summer with a hung jury. But that was before a
string of explosive allegations against rich and
powerful men sparked a “cultural reckoning
around sexual harassment and assault.” His conviction suggests the #MeToo movement has made
it “easier for survivors to get justice.” We are truly
entering a “new era,” said Maria Panaritis in The
Philadelphia Enquirer. Harvey Weinstein and
men like him “had better be afraid. Very afraid.”
Sorry, but I doubt this conviction marks a turning point, said Christina Cauterucci in
Cosby was a “singular case”—a “shameless,
serial sexual abuser” accused of assaulting at
least 58 women. Most of those allegations were
rendered moot by statutes of limitations, but the
retrial judge took the unusual step of allowing five
women to testify—and they laid bare Cosby’s sickening modus operandi. Jurors were even shown
testimony from a 2005 deposition in which Cosby
admitted using sedatives to coax women “into
sexual submission.” Crimes of sexual violence
remain prohibitively “difficult to prosecute,” said
Angelina Chapin in Most
judges and jurors are “predisposed to believe the
defendant,” especially when the accuser doesn’t
“fight, flee, and immediately report the abuse.”
Most cases become “he said, she said” affairs,
with no witnesses. Sadly, Cosby’s conviction won’t
change “a legal culture that treats complainants as
if they were the ones on trial.”
Cosby deserves whatever sentence he gets for
what he did to Constand, said Wesley Morris in
The New York Times. But for black folks like
me, who grew up watching The Cosby Show, the
comedian’s fall from grace is deeply disorienting.
Cosby’s character, Cliff Huxtable, was “America’s
Dad”—an icon for black Americans. Wise, witty,
educated, and affluent, he “made blackness palatable to a country historically conditioned to
think the worst” of our race. Yet now we know
that Cosby used his wealth and fame to become
the very stereotype that Huxtable did so much to
dispel—the black predator. “Cosby told lots of
jokes. This was his sickest one.”
Reuters, Media Bakery
Talking points
Kanye: A love affair with Trump
movement’s “victim mentality.” If the
Like his “brother” Donald Trump, Kanye
superwealthy West thinks that racial
West sure knows how to provoke people,
injustice is a mere myth, no wonder
said Susan Matthews in
he sees nothing wrong with Trump.
The rapper professed his love for
For most black Americans,
President Trump in a “multisaid Vann Newkirk in The
day tweetstorm,” shocking, “this adminisand bewildering his 28 miltration is not just an exercise
lion followers with each
of contrarian ‘free thinknew tweet. He called the
ing.’” Trump has brazenly
president a “brother” who
encouraged the police
shares his “dragon energy,”
to knock some heads
to which Trump replied,
‘Brothers’ Trump and West: A lot in common
when arresting people,
“very cool!” When fellow
musicians and fans objected, West dismissed them denounced Black Lives Matter as un-American,
as the “thought police,” and was spotted wearing and tried to take health insurance away from millions of poor and working-class Americans. That
a “Make America Great Again” hat signed by
kind of victimhood isn’t in black people’s heads.
Trump—provoking “frustration and horror from
the Left and wild enthusiasm from the Right.”
Since West has been previously hospitalized, some It’s time for the Left to grow up, said Kyle Smith
in the New York Post. We conservatives don’t
outraged fans attributed his pro-Trump tweets to
“curl up into a fetal position” every time we
mental illness, but like Trump, he’s “always been
hear cultural icons like Bruce Springsteen, Steven
like this”—a self-proclaimed genius and provocaSpielberg, and Meryl Streep spouting views we
teur who “thrives in chaos.”
think are “asinine.” So what if Kanye is one of the
60 million Americans who like Trump? Secular
West, unfortunately, has fallen for “the worst
liberals give artists and celebrities like Kanye far
black Republican sales pitch,” said David
too much “spiritual” power, said David French in
Swerdlick in He’s become That’s why his “anguished”
a sucker for “the trope that black Americans are
slaves on the Democratic Party plantation.” Before former admirers feel such a “deep and profound”
sense of betrayal, as if “their pastor has abanpraising Trump, West tweeted out his admiration
for Candace Owens, an African-American conser- doned his flock.” West has taught his fans a valuable lesson: “Hero worship is spiritual poverty.”
vative activist who derides the Black Lives Matter
Incels: The celibate men who hate women
After every terrorist mass murder in the West,
people’s first reaction is always the same, said
Gary Younge in “It must be
a Muslim.” But the man charged with driving a
van along a Toronto sidewalk last week, killing
eight women and two men, appears to have been
inspired not by religion, but by “toxic masculinity.” Alek Minassian, 25, posted a Facebook
message before the attack hailing the “incel movement,” an online community of “involuntarily
celibate” men that sprang up in 2016. “Incels”
hate women for denying them the sex they believe
is “rightfully theirs.” They call other people
“normies”—attractive women are “Stacys,” sexually successful men are “Chads”—and revere
Elliot Rodger, the student who in 2014 killed six
people in Isla Vista, Calif., as revenge over his failure to find a girlfriend. “The Incel Rebellion has
already begun,” Minassian wrote on Facebook.
“All hail Supreme Gentleman Elliot Rodger!”
The incel movement shows where “hate speech”
can lead, said Aditi Natasha Kini in Washington The men in it believe they’re so unattractive and weird they’ll never have sex, and view
women’s disinterest in them as a form of “systemic persecution.” Believe it or not, there are tens
of thousands of these “disaffected young men”
spewing their misogyny online, said Navneet
Alang in Before the internet, these
men may have smoldered in isolation or eventually grown out of their juvenile resentments. But
sites such as Reddit and 4Chan enable them to
“amplify their feeling of legitimacy” and egg one
another on to punish women—in this case, with
tragic consequences.
Incels are just one subset of “anti-women communities” online, said Jessica Valenti in The New
York Times. The “manosphere” also includes
“men’s rights” activists, who think men are
oppressed, and “pickup artists,” who discuss
how to “manipulate women into having sex.”
What all these movements share is “an organized
hatred” of women who do not submit to men’s
needs and demands. Feminists have long warned
about the propensity of these hate groups “for
real-life violence.” But we’ve largely been ignored.
That’s because sexism and misogyny are still
considered “normal” in our society, “rather than
deviant.” And until that changes, far too many
men will assault, rape, and murder women. “Not
every attack is preventable, but the misogyny that
drives them is.”
Wit &
“The poorest way to face
life is to face it with a sneer.”
Theodore Roosevelt,
quoted in
“I think we all have
empathy. We may
not have enough courage
to display it.”
Maya Angelou, quoted in
The Wall Street Journal
“The one thing that a
nationalist loves above all
else is his grievance.”
Novelist Lionel Shriver, quoted
in the Minneapolis Star Tribune
“I do not think much of a
man who is not wiser today
than he was yesterday.” Abraham Lincoln, quoted in
“Eloquence is
logic on fire.”
Theologian Lyman Beecher,
quoted in The Washington Post
“Seldom, very seldom,
does complete truth belong
to any human disclosure;
seldom can it happen that
something is not a little disguised, or a little mistaken.”
Jane Austen, quoted in
“I’ll tell you what leadership is: It’s persuasion,
and conciliation, and education, and patience. It’s
long, slow, tough work.”
Dwight Eisenhower,
quoted in The Atlantic
Poll watch
Q63% of Americans
think it’s a good idea for
President Trump to hold
a meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
28% think it’s a bad idea.
37% say they are confident
in Trump’s ability to deal
with North Korea, while
40% are not confident.
Monmouth University
Q66% say they “personally hope that the U.S.
elects a woman president” in their lifetime.
34% do not hope to see a
woman president, including 59% of Republicans.
The Economist/YouGov
THE WEEK May 11, 2018
Earnings: Big Tech shrugs off the techlash
political backlash.” But perhaps Wall
Did someone say techlash? asked Spencer
Street should take another look, said
Soper and Dina Bass in
Felix Salmon in Amazon’s
Big Tech stocks have taken “a beating” on
stock, for instance, soared by $78 bilWall Street in recent weeks over increasing
lion in just two days last week, fueled
fears “that the industry’s growth surge was
by a now familiar narrative “about how
under threat.” Facebook was taking heat
world-beating and unstoppable it is.”
on data and privacy issues, Alphabet was
But a closer examination of its numbers
battling accusations of anti-competitive
reveals that its $814 billion market capibehavior, Intel was licking its wounds after
talization and $3.9 billion in net income
a massive security scare, and Amazon was
trades at a price-earnings ratio “somebeing targeted in a Twitter tirade by Presiwhere north of 200.” That stands in
dent Trump. But an extraordinary round
Concerns about privacy? Not on Wall Street.
stark contrast to a P/E ratio of about 24
of profit results across the industry last
for the stock market as a whole. In other words, “if Amazon
week “went a long way toward proving the naysayers wrong.”
traded on the same multiple of earnings as everybody else, its
Facebook posted record profits, Twitter grew both its revenue
stock would fall by roughly 90 percent.”
and user base, and Alphabet revealed it’s selling more ads than
ever. Microsoft’s stock hit a record high, and Intel’s jumped to its
Facebook also seems to operate on a business plane all its own,
highest level in more than 17 years.
said Nitasha Tiku in Judging by the social network’s
first-quarter results, in which its revenue grew by 49 percent,
“If political risk is a new factor complicating the outlook for
to $12 billion, and its net profit jumped 65 percent, to a record
the world’s most valuable companies, it certainly has not hit
$4.9 billion, “you’d never know it has been in the center of a
their businesses,” said Richard Waters in the Financial Times.
global maelstrom” regarding privacy, consumer safety, and elecLast week’s earnings statements “provided a stunning demonstration” of the tech industry’s “platform power,” and a timely tion meddling. Lawmakers will still make noises about trying to
rein in the industry, said Jamie Condliffe in TechnologyReview
reminder for politicians as to just how difficult it might be “to
.com. But users remain largely “undeterred” by allegations that
restrain tech companies’ headlong growth, even if they wished
tech companies have betrayed our trust. There may yet be a
to do so.” The numbers proved that from a financial perspective at least, Big Tech has so far “been untouched by a growing techlash brewing. But so far, “Silicon Valley is doing A-OK.”
A Russian
startup has created a new way
for companies
to interview job
seekers, said
Peter Holley in
The Washington
Post. “Her name
is Vera.” She can talk to 1,500 candidates each day—a task that “would
take most recruiters months”—and
send customized follow-up emails.
“Her secret? Not being human.” Vera
is a piece of AI software that refines
its conversational skills through
machine learning. Some 200 companies, including Ikea Retail Russia,
are already using the bot, which
calls applicants and conducts an
eight-minute conversation to gauge
their interest and suitability for the
job. The interview can take place on
phone or video, and candidates can
ask Vera questions; her creators say
she responds accurately 82 percent of
the time. One thing that has surprised
her inventors: “Candidates are often
more willing to offer candid criticism
about job openings with Vera than
they are with human recruiters.”
THE WEEK May 11, 2018
Bytes: What’s new in tech
Amazon delivers to cars
Amazon has a new delivery spot: the trunk
of your car, said Nick Wingfield in The New
York Times. The company announced last
week that Prime customers in 37 U.S. cities
could have packages shipped to a parked car,
so long as the vehicle has the proper technology. “With a few taps on a smartphone
screen, the courier can unlock the car and
drop the box inside.” The service is aimed at
customers who worry their packages might
be swiped from their front porch or who
can’t receive an Amazon order at work. For
in-car delivery, customers must have a 2015
or later Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, or Cadillac
vehicle with OnStar—GM’s roadside assistance and navigation service—or a 2015 or
newer Volvo with a similar service, On Call.
Amazon said the delivery service will expand
to other carmarkers over time.
Smartwatch sales tick up
Smartwatches are finally catching on with consumers, said Dan Gallagher in The Wall Street
Journal. When the Apple Watch and Samsung
Galaxy Gear launched some three years ago,
“neither was a huge seller out of the gate.”
Smartwatch sales in 2015 totaled less than
20 million units worldwide, according to IDC
research—“barely 1 percent of the number
of smartphones sold that year.” But demand
is growing. An estimated 32.7 million smartwatches were sold in 2017, up 60 percent from
the year before. Analysts say the sales gain is
driven mostly “by a greater level of acceptance
from consumers, particularly health-conscious
ones who are drawn to more advanced fitness
and health-tracking capabilities.”
Gmail’s Outlook-ish update
Watch out Outlook, Gmail is coming for
your lunch, said Tom Warren in TheVerge
.com. Google unveiled a major overhaul of
its free email service last week, adding some
smart business-focused features that are
found in rival software like Microsoft’s Outlook app. “Microsoft dominates workplace
productivity software. Google obviously
wants to change that.” The new Gmail has
a confidential mode for setting expiration
dates on emails, and users can block recipients from forwarding, downloading, or
printing certain messages. There’s also a new
sidebar that lets you look at calendar appointments side by side with emails—just like
in Outlook—and a robust offline mode so
traveling business users can access old emails
when they don’t have Wi-Fi or cell coverage.
Getty, Vera
Innovation of the week
Health & Science
Air pollution worsening in U.S. cities
Science Source
More than 40 percent of Americans are
breathing heavily polluted air, increasing
their risk for lung cancer, asthma, heart
problems, and other health issues. That’s
the worrisome conclusion of the American
Lung Association’s latest annual “State of
the Air” report, which has been tracking
air quality across the U.S. for 19 years.
The report concluded that 133.9 million
Americans lived in areas that get an F for
air pollution in 2016, up from 125 million
in 2015. Researchers focused on the two
most common outdoor air pollutants:
ozone and particles. Ozone is an odorless toxic gas that occurs naturally in the
upper atmosphere, but it can also form
at ground level when industrial pollutants react with heat and sunlight. Particle
pollution includes dust, fumes, soot,
smoke, and aerosols. The report found
that although particle pollution levels are
still falling—a long-term trend attributed
to the 1970 Clean Air Act—ozone levels
are increasing, likely thanks to rising
temperatures. In 2016, the second-hottest
year on record, there was a sharp spike
in the number of days with high ozone
levels, reports “Even with
the continued improvements [in particle
levels],” says the ALA’s Janice Nolen,
“we’re seeing the evidence of the challenge of climate change.” Ozone exposure
plant. The young man, who has
chosen to remain anonymous,
lost both his legs above the knee
as well as his genitals in a bomb
explosion in Afghanistan. He
learned to walk with prosthetic
legs, but found dating impossible; the thought of having to
tell people about his injuries
filled him with anxiety. “I felt
like it banished me from a relaThe ancient footprints of an upright ancestor
tionship,” he tells The New York
Times. “Like, that’s it, you’re done,
When hominins straightened up
you’re by yourself for the rest of your life.”
At what point did early humans switch
from ape-like shuffling to walking upright? In a pioneering 14-hour operation at Johns
Hopkins University School of Medicine,
Scientists have long puzzled over that
surgeons transplanted a penis, scrotum, and
question—and new research suggests it
partial abdominal wall from a deceased
was much earlier than previously thought.
organ donor. Doctors say the complex
Evolutionary anthropologists at the
procedure—only the third penis transplant
University of Arizona examined footprints
ever performed, and the first involving
discovered in Laetoli, Tanzania, that were
made by human ancestors about 3.6 million the scrotum—should give the man “near
normal” urinary and sexual functions. The
years ago. Analysis showed that the heel
patient says it took him a while to come to
and toe impressions of the ancient footprints closely matched those made by mod- terms with his new body part, but that he
now feels “whole again.”
ern humans walking upright, rather than
bent over. That suggests early human ancestors lost their ape-like shuffle and adopted a Concussion tied to Parkinson’s
Just one mild concussion could increase the
straight-legged gait long before big-brained
risk for Parkinson’s disease by 56 percent, a
members of the Homo genus emerged
new study suggests. Researchers examined
about 2.5 million years ago. “While there
the health records of 325,870 veterans, ages
may have been some nuanced differ31 to 65. None had Parkinson’s at the start
ences,” study author David Raichlen tells
of the study; after 12 years, only 1,462 had, “these hominins probbeen diagnosed with the incurable neuroably looked like us when they walked.”
logical disorder. But of those, 65 percent
Moving in a crouched position requires
had previously suffered a traumatic brain
more energy than walking with a vertical
injury (TBI). After accounting for age and
torso and long stride. Scientists believe our
other factors, the researchers concluded
early ancestors adjusted their gait because
that veterans who’d had a TBI had a
the changing climate forced them to cover
71 percent increased risk of Parkinson’s,
greater distances to find food.
and that those who suffered moderate to
severe injuries had an 83 percent higher
Pioneering genital transplant
risk. Those with a history of brain trauma
A U.S. military veteran has undergone the
were also diagnosed with Parkinson’s on
world’s first total penis and scrotum trans-
Los Angeles: Worst ozone levels in the U.S.
increases the risk of lung cancer, cardiovascular damage, asthma attacks, and
developmental harm. Los Angeles has the
highest ozone levels in the country; other
cities with high levels include Sacramento,
Phoenix, and New York City.
average two years earlier than those who
never had a head injury. “This is the highest
level of evidence so far to establish that this
association is a real one and something to be
taken seriously,” researcher Raquel Gardner
tells The researchers speculate that injured brain cells may trigger the
buildup of a protein called alpha-synuclein,
a hallmark of Parkinson’s.
Health scare of the week
Diet linked to arthritis
Having a bad diet may increase your
chances of developing osteoarthritis.
Scientists have long thought the condition was tied to obesity and excessive stress placed on the joints, reports But in a new study,
a team from the University of Rochester
Medical Center found that a high-fat
Western diet caused mice not only to gain
weight but also to develop systemic inflammation and an imbalance in their gut
Their colons had
high levels of
harmful bacteria
and hardly any
beneficial “probiotic” bacteria. When the
tore cartilage
in the rodents’
knees to trigger
osteoarthritis, the
disease progressed more rapidly in the obese
mice. When they then treated these mice
with a probiotic to restore their gut microbiome, the rodents had less inflammation and
their joint health improved. Study author
Eric Schott says his team’s findings “set the
stage to develop therapies that target the
microbiome and actually treat the disease.”
THE WEEK May 11, 2018
THE WEEK May 11, 2018
Pick of the week’s cartoons
For more political cartoons, visit:
Review of reviews: Books
roots the warring ideologies in 18th-century
romanticism and its faith in instinct and
individualism. At times, though, Goldberg’s
reasoning is “so slapdash as to be comical.”
After warning against tribalism, nationalism, and populism, he winds up endorsing
mild forms of each. He even reveals that he
supports every aspect of President Trump’s
policy agenda; apparently, he simply prefers
that defense of the elite and disregard for
the poor be wrapped in less boorishness.
Book of the week
Suicide of the West: How
the Rebirth of Tribalism,
Populism, Nationalism, and
Identity Politics Is Destroying
American Democracy
by Jonah Goldberg (Crown Forum, $28)
Jonah Goldberg has written the book of
the year, said John Podhoretz in the New
York Post. Odd as it is to say this of a
work with such a title, Suicide of the West
is “an exhilarating call to arms in defense
of what is highest and best in our civilization.” Goldberg, a veteran National Review
editor, has taken it upon himself to call out
members of both the Right and Left whose
descent into tribalism threatens to destroy
democratic capitalism—and the unprecedented bounty the system has generated
since arising out of Enlightenment thinking
some 300 years ago. Goldberg’s proposed
remedy for tribalism’s rise is at once simple
and “so difficult it seems unachievable”:
He wants to resuscitate gratitude for our
peculiar political economic inheritance, an
inheritance so special he calls it the Miracle.
Novel of the week
The Mars Room
by Rachel Kushner (Scribner, $27)
Rachel Kushner’s latest work “prowls
rather than races,” said Dwight Garner
in The New York Times. A major novel
that spends most of its 300-plus pages
inside a women’s prison, The Mars Room
is “all about constriction”—about people
whose destinies were largely foretold
by their radically limited options and
whose stories are now constrained by
the alternative-universe setting. “It’s all
here: the lice treatments, the smuggling
of contraband in rectums and vaginas,
the knifings, the cliques, the boredom.”
And, despite “bent moments of comic
grace,” Kushner, author of 2013’s The
Flamethrowers, shows how such constriction is a form of evil. The narrator, an
ex-stripper convicted of murder for killing
a stalker, is smart and tough, said Madeleine Schwartz in The New York Review
of Books. But as happens in protest novels, too many characters “come across
more strongly as circumstances than as
real people.” Until the final flashback,
though, the novel is “a gorgeous, contemplative slow ride,” said Sasha FrereJones in Bookforum. “The last 30 pages
are pure energy,” and they hit hard.
Trump supporters marching in Berkeley, Calif.
Mere preaching actually could make a
big difference, said Adam Keiper in The
Weekly Standard. As Goldberg’s “big,
baggy,” but “often brilliant” treatise makes
clear, it was talk and debate that gave birth
to capitalism and the liberal democratic
order. If John Locke and other 17th-century
thinkers could erect the system with words,
we can talk our way to preserving it now.
But exactly which counterimpulses Goldberg would like to see defeated never
becomes clear, said Nathan Robinson in
The Washington Monthly. In a bid to present this book as a work of serious political
philosophy, Goldberg decries both identity
politics and Trump-style populism, and
The Art of the Wasted Day
by Patricia Hampl (Viking, $26)
Patricia Hampl wants
you to spend more
time doing nothing,
said Maureen Corrigan in “A
writer who’s at her
best when she’s simply sitting still,” the
Minnesota native and
award-winning memoirist has written a
winningly meandering
book that champions
aimless daydreaming—not for the sake of
payoffs in productivity but because the activity is essential in itself. “The job of being
human is not figuring things out, but getting
lost in thought,” she writes, and she inspires
you to trust following where her mind wanders as she mixes memoir, travelogue, and
literary history. Indeed, “it’s impossible to do
justice to the cumulative power of Hampl’s
dream-weaver writing style by just quoting a
few lines. You have to go on the whole voyage with her.”
She finds some fascinating role models, said
Charlotte Salley in The American Scholar.
Early on, she journeys to Wales to visit the
Policy matters aside, Goldberg’s “epic,
debate-shifting” book slightly misdiagnoses just what ails America, said David
Brooks in The New York Times. Excessive
individualism is our problem, not romanticism, and history lessons alone won’t be the
cure. Edmund Burke understood something
Goldberg’s conservatism misses—that individuals in a democratic society need to feel
bonded to one another through networks
of association that begin at the level of family and community. Today, excessive individualism has weakened those social units,
leaving people feeling distrustful and alone.
We must, therefore, rebuild families and
communities first; “gratitude is too weak a
glue to hold a diverse nation together.”
home of the so-called Ladies of Llangollen,
two friends who in 1778 fled everyday life
and its burdens to establish a secluded existence built around reading, drawing, and
other contemplative pursuits—thus attracting visits from Wordsworth, Byron, and several other curiosity seekers. But Hampl’s true
muse is philosopher Michel de Montaigne,
who insisted that the great responsibility of
us all is “to compose our character” and
“win order and tranquility in our conduct.”
You may wish Hampl would say more
about how lucky Montaigne was that he
could afford to choose the life of the mind,
but when you’re arguing for the value of
contemplation, “perhaps it’s fitting to dwell
on things more important than money.”
Mortality, for one, said Emily Bobrow in
The Wall Street Journal. Hampl, 72, lost
her husband of three decades while writing
this book, and her renewed sense of time’s
preciousness “makes [her] more inclined
to waste it properly.” She ends the book
by recalling a long journey by boat that
she and her husband once made down the
Mississippi. They were “letting time have its
way with us—living Montaigne’s dream,”
she writes. Before this book is anything else,
said Kathleen Stone in Ploughshares, it is “a
reminder that wasting time with loved ones
is not wasting time at all.”
THE WEEK May 11, 2018
Author of the week
Clemantine Wamariya
Longtime viewers of Oprah
might remember Clemantine
Wamariya, said Nora Krug
in The Washington Post. In
2006, she was the teenage
refugee who gasped and cried
when she and her older sister
were unexpectedly reunited
with their parents, who’d
been lost to
and Claire
since the
family was
during the
1994 Rwandan genocide. The
moment was sheer magic for
the audience, but Clemantine
remembers more beyond
immense joy. “I felt guilty,” she
says. Among other reasons,
the guilt stemmed from her
unfathomable luck. “I was the
clever child who induced the
fairy godmother to bring her
parents back to life,” she says
in her new memoir, The Girl
Who Smiled Beads. She had
become “a genocide princess,” she adds. “So strong,
so brave…even the kindest
individuals with the best intentions rarely made room for the
particular person I was.”
That person, it turns out, has
had a life of ups and downs,
said Eve MacSweeney in Her earliest years
in Kigali were spent in comfort,
before machete-toting gangs
rose up and Clemantine and
Claire fled together. The girls
joined a mass exodus, traveling thousands of miles, moving from one refugee camp
to another over the next six
years—until the U.S. offered
them asylum. Clemantine
found a home with a wealthy
Chicago family, attended Yale,
and has remained an activist,
now serving on the board of
the U.S. Holocaust Memorial
Museum. But she admits she
still struggles to make sense
of all she’s experienced, and to
keep that story from erasing
the particularity of the woman
who’s lived it. “I’m telling this
story,” she says through tears,
“to save myself.”
THE WEEK May 11, 2018
The Book List
Best books…chosen by Tao Lin
In his new memoir, Trip, novelist Tao Lin explores how using psychedelic drugs
reawakened his capacity to be enchanted by life. Below, the author of Taipei and
Eeeee Eee Eeee names six books that also rearranged his understanding of the world.
When God Was a Woman by Merlin Stone
(Mariner, $15). Drawing on various evidence,
including that until 12,000 years ago humans
made only female figurines, Stone argues that civilization began with Goddess-worshipping societies. Per Stone, male-deitied, conquering societies
emerged only about 7,000 years ago, eventually
spawning the sexist Yahweh-based religions that
now dominate global culture.
The Garden of Fertility by Katie Singer (Avery,
$22). Singer argues that women, by charting temperature, cervical fluid, and cervix changes, can
prevent pregnancy as effectively as the (toxic) pill
does. But millennia of sexism has achieved the
opposite of honoring the female cycle: “On the
Pill,” she writes, “a woman’s reproductive system
essentially shuts down, and she becomes available
for sex all the time without the consequence of
pregnancy. This is male fertility rhythm.”
Surviving Evil by Karen Wetmore (Manitou,
$19). The sickening details of Project MKUltra,
a secret CIA program in which LSD, Metrazol,
and other drugs were tested on unwitting nonvolunteers, have never been covered by mainstream
media. Wetmore, a victim, has dug up evidence
implicating a Vermont mental hospital where,
from 1952 to 1973, nearly 3,000 patients died.
Tending the Wild by M. Kat Anderson (Univ.
of Calif., $35). For 12,000 years, the indigenous
tribes of today’s California managed and tended
their environment, living in increasingly refined
symbiosis with countless life-forms. When
European explorers arrived, they encountered a
giant park-like flower-dominated garden.
Sisters of the Extreme edited by Cynthia
Palmer and Michael Horowitz (Park Street, $20).
An anthology subtitled Women Writing on the
Drug Experience, with about 80 contributions,
including Kathleen Harrison on Salvia divinorum, Ann Shulgin on MDMA-assisted psychotherapy, and Maya Angelou on cannabis.
Çatal Hüyük by James Mellaart (out of print).
Çatal Hüyük was the largest settlement of the
Neolithic era, and when Mellaart’s team excavated the site, they found that the inhabitants
had been egalitarian and worshipped a female
deity. Terence McKenna, a prominent advocate
of psychedelics, theorized that Çatal Hüyükans
used psilocybin-containing mushrooms.
Also of interest...dreaming of the stars
The Space Barons
Space Opera
by Christian Davenport (PublicAffairs, $28)
by Catherynne M. Valente (Saga, $20)
The Washington Post’s Christian
Davenport isn’t the only author who’s
been attracted to Elon Musk and Jeff
Bezos’ compelling race to rule future
space travel, said Walter Isaacson in
The New York Times. But “because of
Davenport’s access to the main players and his talent for crisp storytelling,” his account “sparkles.”
Taking a cue from Bezos, owner of the Post and
founder of Amazon, Davenport frames the competition as a tortoise-vs.-hare situation. What’s different here, though: “They both can triumph.”
There’s no denying the ridiculousness of this novel’s premise, said
Jason Sheehan in A race
of flamingo-like aliens has invited
humanity to prove its sentience—and
thus avoid destruction—by participating in an interstellar song contest. But in
between the story’s silly setup and silly climax,
Space Opera is “all big ideas written in glitter,”
an exercise in advanced riffing that reads like “a
nonstop amusement-park ride made of clever
things done with the English language.”
Space Odyssey
Spaceman of Bohemia
by Michael Benson (Simon & Schuster, $30)
by Jaroslav Kalfar (Back Bay, $16)
Michael Benson has written “a tremendous explication of a tremendous
film,” said Sibbie O’Sullivan in The
Washington Post. Stanley Kubrick’s
2001: A Space Odyssey, now 50
years old, was born from Kubrick’s
encounter with sci-fi author Arthur C. Clarke,
and Benson’s “often thrilling” narrative closely
chronicles the four-year team effort required to
realize the director’s vision. The trippy Star Gate
sequence? That was ink and paint thinner, and
learning such tidbits only heightens the wonder.
Jaroslav Kalfar is “most definitely” a
novelist to watch, said Michael Tate
in the Los Angeles Review of Books.
His debut, now in paperback and a
“shrewd exercise in what might be
called intergalactic Gothic,” concerns the first Czech citizen to enter zero gravity.
Obstacles abound for the brave astrophysicist: a
failing marriage, memories of a secret-policeman
father, and a hairy alien prone to psychoanalyzing. The book, though imperfect, is “simultaneously shocking, terrifying, wondrous, and funny.”
Noah Kalina, Julia Zave
Review of reviews: Art
Exhibit of the week
ambitious” work than many
others, as effective as any in this
country since Maya Lin’s 1982
Vietnam Veterans Memorial. As
you walk among the columns,
a sense of serenity mutates into
uneasiness, said Alexis Okeowo
in The New Yorker. “By the
time the ground gave way, so
that the monuments hovered
over my head, the experience
was devastating.”
The National Memorial for
Peace and Justice
Montgomery, Ala.
A long-neglected chapter in
U.S. history has just been made
“breathtakingly visible,” said
Brent Staples in The New York
Times. A national lynching
memorial, funded by a nonprofit organization, opened
last week on a hill overlooking
Montgomery, Ala., and amazingly, it “represents America’s
first major effort to confront the
vast scope of the racial-terror
lynchings” that, for several decades following Reconstruction, “ravaged the AfricanAmerican community in the South.”
Between 1877 and 1950, white mobs
lynched roughly 4,400 African-Americans,
usually in ghoulish public spectacles, and
often for no offense graver than walking
behind a white woman, asserting the right
to vote, or competing with whites in business. White spectators would gather by
the hundreds, dressed in their Sunday best
and with children in tow, to witness the
dismembering, burning, and hanging of the
accused. Across the South, these bloody
carnivals “terrified black communities into
submission,” and their legacy “haunts the
country still.”
Where to buy
AP, Scott Rudd, Richard Schmidt
A select exhibition in a private gallery
At 80, David Hockney has found a new
way to
see. The
artist’s current show,
arriving on
the heels
of a major
Hockney’s Still Life (2017)
retrospective, caps a years-long personal bid to break free of a visual convention that has anchored figurative representation since the Renaissance. In the
17 paintings on display, many hexagonal
in shape, the master of candy-colored
California poolside idylls employs
“reverse perspective,” meaning instead
of choosing a single vanishing point in
the distance, he has simulated the experience of a viewer scanning the entire
scene. The effect can be disorienting, but
amusing too. Especially when Hockney
applies his method to reinterpreting
such quattrocento masterpieces as Fra
Angelico’s The Annunciation. At Pace
Gallery, 508-510 W. 25th St., New York
City, (212) 421-3292. Prices upon request.
The experience doesn’t end
there, said Angela Helm in Duplicates of
the steel plinths lie like coffins
Inside the memorial: A blood-chilling reckoning
in the surrounding 6-acre park,
From a distance, the new memorial
challenging each named county to eventu“resembles the colonnade of the Lincoln
ally own up to its part in the violence and
Memorial,” said Philip Kennicott in The
carry the marker home for local display.
Washington Post. But what at first appear
Visitors who make a 15-minute walk can
to be supporting columns turn out to be
learn more at the Legacy Museum, also
human-scaled pillars hanging from the
created by the nonprofit, Equal Justice
structure’s ceiling, each made of oxidized
Initiative, where photographs, documents,
steel and bearing the name of one of
and videos make the argument that the
805 counties where at least one lynching
lynchings belong to a larger campaign of
occurred. The names of the victims are
oppression that extends from slavery to
listed, too, and as you walk among them,
today’s era of mass incarceration. Down
the ground slopes gradually downward
one dark corridor, you encounter blackuntil the columns dangle overhead like
and-white holograms of slaves penned in
bodies. The concept, by Boston-based
small cells, and each figure shares a story
MASS Design Group, borrows from other
when you approach—except for two female
major memorials around the world, but
slaves, who sing a mournful spiritual. “It
this is a “smarter and more intellectually
will haunt you,” as it should.
The Senses: Design Beyond Vision
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum,
New York City, through Oct. 28
brain monitors are expected to provide better patient care.
A bigger theme is at play, too, said Michael
Kimmelman in The New York Times. Going
Entering the home or workplace of the
back to caveman days, we humans have
future could be magical—“like walking
been a highly sight-dependent species, allowinto Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory,”
ing our other senses to wither. That’s a real
said Shaye Weaver and Cory Oldweiler in
loss. Sight allows us to gather information That’s the dream invoked by
the Cooper Hewitt museum’s current show at a remove; “by contrast, sounds vibrate
inside us; smells inhabit
on design that addresses
us,” and touch “teththe four senses we usuers us to the world.” So
ally take for granted.
you don’t have to have
Scratch the cherry-print
a disability to benefit
wallpaper and you smell
from design that engages
fresh cherries. Rub a
those senses. Even an
patch of synthetic fur
air freshener that emits
and you hear music.
fragrances named
Recline in the right chair
“Surfside” and “Central
and you’ll swear you’ve
Park” can enhance the
toppled into a tub of
Visitors paw a wall of musical fur.
experience of living.
Jell-O. It’s all fun stuff,
So enjoy the musical fur and giggle at the
but the exhibition also offers “a wealth of
vibrating chairs in the Seated Catalogue of
important, real-world ideas.” The visually
Feelings. And when you leave, don’t let your
impaired could surely use the 3-D map of
Washington, D.C.’s Smithsonian Institution world collapse back into sight dependency.
As this show reminds us, “we have taken
that talks when you touch it. Doctors
leave of our nonvisual senses—and need to
and nurses working amid the harmonious
get back in touch, literally.”
sounds of Man Made Music’s heart and
THE WEEK May 11, 2018
Review of reviews: Film & Music
Infinity War
Directed by Joe and
Anthony Russo
Marvel’s many
superheroes join forces.
Directed by
Jason Reitman
Help arrives for
an overwhelmed mother.
said A.O. Scott in The New
“As an exercise of studio
York Times. That makes the last
might,” the new Avengers
moments of the film “by far”
movie “has no peer,” said
the most interesting. “The bad
David Edelstein in
guy not only wins but triumphs
The penultimate chapter in a
in a way that brings despair,”
story that’s been 10 years and
a despair tempered only by
18 films in the making, it pulls
our knowledge that the closing
together dozens of superstars
Avengers episode awaits, and that
in superhero costumes and last
in the Marvel Universe are
week racked up $630 million
Brolin’s brooding bad guy
seldom truly final. I’ll be back,
to score the largest opening
if only to find out what becomes of this movie’s vilweekend in cinema history. Even more impreslain, said Ty Burr in The Boston Globe. Josh Brolin
sively, “it plays its audience like a hundred million
“gives a real performance” as Thanos, who hopes to
fiddles,” winning laughs, gasps, and—something
save the universe from overpopulation by killing half
new for the franchise—stunned tears. By now, true
its inhabitants. He’s not Spider-Man or Iron Man,
fans all know, even if they read past spoiler alerts,
that several beloved superheroes die in Infinity War, but here he has a slight edge: “He’s interesting.”
has delivered merely an “acerbi“It would be hard to think of
cally fizzy” comedy, said Chris
another movie that dug into the
Nashawaty in Entertainment
messy, overwhelming aspects of
Weekly. This movie’s “somemotherhood the way this one
thing far richer and weirder, and
does,” said Owen Gleiberman in
ultimately more interesting.”
Variety. Charlize Theron delivTully is such a perfect helper—
ers a “heroically unglamorous”
cleaning the house, restoring
performance as Marlo, a mother
Marlo’s sense of self, and even
of two who’s initially exhausted,
resparking Marlo’s sex life with
angry, and very pregnant, then
Davis and Theron: Too good to be true?
her aloof husband—that “it isn’t
starts losing her mind when
long before we realize that the film might actually be
the newborn arrives. That’s the moment Mackenzie
flirting with the supernatural,” said David Ehrlich in
Davis steps in as Tully, a 26-year-old night nurse
hired by Marlo’s wealthy brother, and the young ray The third act’s big twist “lands far
of sunshine briefly makes everything better. But don’t too softly.” That said, “it’s a small price to pay for
expect that the writer-director team who made Juno the pleasure of getting there.”
J. Cole
Janelle Monáe
Old Crow Medicine Show
Dirty Computer
“Listening to a J. Cole
album can feel like listening to a very intense
young lawyer attempt
to win a difficult case,”
said Jonah Bromwich
in On
his stripped-down fifth
studio album (whose title stands for, among
other things, Kids on Drugs), the popular
33-year-old North Carolina rapper cautions
against temptations of all kinds: smoking,
drinking, sex, money, social media. Because
his aims can make him sound self-righteous, he’s most effective when he’s most
personal, as when he confesses to a dependence on weed in “Friends” or recalls his
mother’s alcoholism in “Once an Addict.” He
is, as ever, technically talented, and “he can
rip up a song with his flow alone.” K.O.D.
“has neither the grim purpose nor intense
emotional acuity of his 2016 LP, 4 Your Eyez
Only,” said Jon Caramanica in The New
York Times. And 2014 Forest Hills Drive was
even better. Though K.O.D. is a Billboardtopping album, “it has the feel of a casual
placeholder between bigger ideas.”
“What did we do
to deserve Janelle
Monáe?” asked Roisin
O’Connor in The
Independent (U.K.).
Though she’s never
scored a major hit, the
32-year-old musician,
actress, and CoverGirl model has earned
such widespread admiration that Stevie
Wonder, Prince, and the Beach Boys’ Brian
Wilson all contributed to her third album.
Monáe, who declared herself pansexual as
Dirty Computer was released, has shed the
cyborg persona she adopted for her first
two LPs. Here, she’s her true self, creating an
album that will “go down as a milestone not
just as a work of art but as the perfect celebration of queerness, female power, and selfworth.” The record “will probably not spawn
huge radio hits, but that hardly makes it
feel like a failure,” said Lindsay Zoladz in “If anything,” that causes
this assemblage of bright soul and funky art
pop to evoke “an underground haven where
radical ideas can be explored freely without
worrying how they will land or sell.”
A full 20 years after Old
Crow Medicine Show
was born, the band
finally feels fully realized, said Tom Erlewine
in On
the Nashville-based
sextet’s first album
of original music for a major label, Ketch
Secor and the boys “broaden their sonic
palette without abandoning their devotion
to old-timey string music,” and their songs
feel “finely etched” and the performances
vivid. Best known for the instantly eternal
“Wagon Wheel,” the band “has always been
a high-energy live act” that until now has
sounded less spirited in the studio, said
Chris Conaton in Working
here with Dave Cobb, Nashville’s hottest
producer, Old Crow “mostly goes loud and
fast,” opening with fiery bluegrass fiddle on
“Flicker and Shine.” Even in such company,
though, the slower tracks leave a lasting
impression. “Whirlwind,” about a couple in
love, closes the album with pedal steel guitar, a wistful, easygoing air, and an “oh-sosweet” vocal performance from Secor.
THE WEEK May 11, 2018
Marvel Studios, Kimberly French/Focus Features
Movies on TV
Monday, May 7
The Royal Tenenbaums
A precociously talented
family has stalled out by
the time the ne’er-do-well
patriarch returns seeking
help. Gene Hackman stars.
(2001) 8 p.m., Cinemax
Tuesday, May 8
Children of Men
Humanity is collapsing due
to an unexplained infertility
epidemic when a jaded civil
servant agrees to protect a
woman who might be carrying the planet’s last baby.
With Clive Owen. (2006)
6 p.m., Showtime
Wednesday, May 9
Miss Potter
Renée Zellweger plays
Peter Rabbit creator Beatrix
Potter as a plucky Victorian
whose talent and love of
nature won’t be denied.
(2006) 4:45 p.m., Movieplex
Thursday, May 10
The Blue Angel
Marlene Dietrich became
an international star playing a cabaret singer who
destroys a professor’s life
when he falls for her. (1930)
8 p.m., TCM
Friday, May 11
Thelma & Louise
Geena Davis and Susan
Sarandon co-star as friends
on a weekend getaway
who become bandits on
the run after murdering a
stranger in self-defense.
(1991) 9 p.m., Starz Encore
PBS, Ollie Upton
Saturday, May 12
La La Land
Emma Stone and Ryan
Gosling stage a modern
paean to old-fashioned
Hollywood musicals and
love stories in a film that
very nearly won Best
Picture honors. (2016)
10 p.m., Cinemax
Sunday, May 13
Christopher Nolan’s grand,
visceral World War II
drama re-creates the 1940
mass evacuation that
saved Allied troops from
annihilation on the coast
of northern France. (2017)
7:05 p.m., HBO
• All listings are Eastern Time.
The Week’s guide to what’s worth watching
A Dangerous Son
The troubled young man who turns violent is
now a familiar figure of American culture. This
eye-opening documentary spotlights three families
who are raising mentally ill sons and living daily
with the challenges. Finding effective treatment is
difficult, even when parents are motivated by fear
that the boys may one day cause harm to themselves or others. Monday, May 7, at 8 p.m., HBO
Independent Lens: No Man’s Land
In early January 2016, armed militants occupied
the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon
to protest the sentencing of two ranchers accused
of setting fires on the protected land. Filmmaker
David Byars won access to both sides during the
standoff, which focused national attention on occupation leader Ammon Bundy, resulted in dozens
of arrests and the fatal police shooting of one protester, and ended after 41 days with the surrender
of the final four holdouts. Byars’ account explores
what pushes people to violent rebellion. Monday,
May 7, at 10 p.m., PBS; check local listings
Little Women: The latest March girls
and Maria Bamford. Available for streaming
Friday, May 11, Netflix
Masterpiece: Little Women
Every generation deserves its own Little Women.
A new two-part adaptation of Louisa May
Alcott’s 1868 novel about the coming-of-age of
the four March sisters gets its wings from a winning cast featuring Maya Hawke—daughter of
Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke—as the strongIf you love the witty, acerbic dialogue of Cataswilled Jo. Three other spirited young actresses
trophe, you’ll probably appreciate the material
play Meg, Beth, and Amy, while Emily Watson,
that a co-star of the series is writing for a frazzled Michael Gambon, and Angela Lansbury add balworking mother played by Anna Maxwell Martin. last as senior members of the clan. Begins Sunday,
Catastrophe’s Sharon Horgan and veteran comedy May 13, at 8 p.m., PBS; check local listings
writer Graham Linehan teamed up to create this
Other highlights
latest British import, which feasts on those parenting moments so often excised from family TV All Night
A 10-episode comedy series tracks the high jinks
fare: the kicking, screaming, and cursing that so
that unfold when members of a high school’s
many overscheduled adults resort to when forced
graduating class check into the gym for a lockto wrestle with impudent kids or play nice with
down all-night party. Available for streaming
stay-at-home alpha moms. Available for streaming
Friday, May 11, Hulu
Thursday, May 10, Sundance Now
The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle
Bill Nye Saves the World
A DreamWorks animated series revives the Cold
Everybody’s favorite Science Guy is ready for
War conflict that pitted a flying squirrel and a
a third season of his science talk show engimoose against two Slavic spies. Available for
neered to burst the cloud of alternative facts that
streaming Friday, May 11, Amazon
benights so many Americans. New episodes will
cover evolution, the quest to conquer mortalHomemade robots face off in new cage-match
ity, future water shortages, and more. Guests
combat as the reality series finds a new cable
will include former California Gov. Arnold
home. Friday, May 11, at 8 p.m., Discovery
Schwarzenegger and comedians Margaret Cho
Show of the week
Patrick Melrose
Cumberbatch: New frontiers in pickling
Benedict Cumberbatch may have just delivered
his career performance. The celebrated screen
star is deliciously at home in this five-parter as
Patrick Melrose, the upper-class English wreck
created by Edward St. Aubyn for a string of biting, moving, autobiographical novels. Raped
by his father as a child, Patrick is told to let it go
but instead wigs out and plummets into heroin
addiction. Though you may never want to take
your eyes off Cumberbatch as he feels his way
back to equipoise, co-stars Jennifer Jason Leigh,
Allison Williams, and Blythe Danner may tempt
you. Saturday, May 12, at 9 p.m., Showtime
THE WEEK May 11, 2018
Food & Drink
Critics’ choice: New ventures from star-winning chefs
Bullion Dallas
“Sorry, Ducasse, you’ve been bested,” said
Nancy Nichols in Dallas’ D magazine.
Bruno Davaillon, who earned a Michelin
star cooking for Alain Ducasse’s Mix
Wine: True Chablis
If you aren’t a fan of Chablis, chances are
you’ve never tasted it, said Michael Austin in the Chicago Tribune. The name still
appears on jugs of sweet white California wine, but the real thing is produced
only in Burgundy, France, and it’s “one
of the great wine styles of the world”—
a particularly clean, crisp, and dry expression of 100 percent chardonnay.
2015 Bernard Defaix Petite Chablis
($15). “Chalky and full of minerality,”
this entry-level Chablis is aged in steel
tanks and “offers lively acidity plus a
whiff of fennel and citrus.”
2015 Domaine Servin Vielles Vignes
‘Selection Massale’ ($25). Unusually
lush, this Chablis offers stone fruit
and tropical notes but is still light
and refreshing.
2014 Domaine Denis Race Montmains Premier Cru ($28). “Bracing
acidity gives way to a loral essence,” but you’ll also detect notes
of lime, gooseberry, and anise.
THE WEEK May 11, 2018
tional culinary map.” 400 S. Record St.,
Suite 150, (972) 698-4250
Charter Oak St. Helena, Calif.
It’s taken some time, but Charter
Oak is at last “a destination worth
experiencing,” said Michael Bauer
in the San Francisco Chronicle.
Apparently even Nathaniel Dorn and
Christopher Kostow, whose Restaurant
at Meadowood wears three Michelin
stars, can stumble out of the gate. After
years spent restoring and stripping a
villa-style mansion back to bare brick
Davaillon at Bullion: The world turns to Dallas.
interior walls, the Charter Oak team
restaurant in Las Vegas, finally has the
was hobbled upon opening by a distinct
restaurant in Dallas that his talents were
disconnect between an overpriced tasting
made for. From the outside, Bullion looks
menu and the kitchen’s focus on “elemenlike a gold spaceship docked in the shade of tal” open-fire cooking. A year in, the tasta skyscraper, but the contemporary dining
ing menu is gone, allowing diners to focus
room is gorgeous, and “elegant without pre- on daily specials and such signature dishes
tension.” Highlights of Davaillon’s tasting
as beef rib grilled over cabernet barrels or
menu include a marvelous pâté of foie gras
chicken brined in buttermilk, then grilled
and duck leg confit, the finest steak tartare
with grapes and grape leaves. “What really
in the city, and a delicate salad made from
demonstrates the talent in the kitchen,”
greens grown in the kitchen’s vertical hydro- though, is the treatment of the vegetables,
ponic garden. “Remember duck à l’orange? especially the asparagus or kohlrabi cooked
Davaillon gives us new motivation to crave
in embers. Charter Oak still has weak desthis classic dish”—cooking the bird long
sert offerings and an overpriced wine list.
and low and bathing the sliced breast meat
But warmer weather brings into play “one
in duck stock scented with orange, anise,
of the best outdoor dining rooms in Napa
cardamom, and peppercorns. I’m betting on Valley,” and all the other pieces are beginBullion; it could be “the restaurant to put
ning to come together. 1050 Charter Oak
our city, finally, at the top of the internaAve., (707) 302-6996
Recipe of the week
I’ve discovered a great way to cut the cooking time on a classic tortilla Española, said
Bonnie Benwick in The Washington Post. You need extra oil to precook the onions and
potatoes, but there’s no waste if you save the used oil for vinaigrettes or sautéing. The
tortilla is done in 35 minutes and goes nicely with sautéed sugar snap peas.
Spanish eggs and potatoes
¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil • 1 lb Yukon gold potatoes • 1 small yellow onion • 8 large
eggs • coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper • a handful of fresh herbs,
preferably a blend, such as mint, basil, and thyme • ¼ cup mayonnaise • ¼ lemon
• Heat oil in a 9-inch ovenproof skillet
over medium heat. Rinse potatoes and
cut into ¼-inch rounds, placing them lat
in the skillet as you work. Peel onion and
cut into thin slices, adding them to skillet
too. Cook 10 minutes, stirring
occasionally so potatoes brown
on both sides. Strain into heatproof colander with heatproof
bowl beneath to catch oil. Position an oven rack 6 inches from
broiler; preheat to broil.
• Whisk eggs in a large liquid
measuring cup. Season with salt
and pepper. Add potato-onion
mixture. Stir to coat. Heat 1 tbsp reserved
oil in skillet over medium heat. Pour
in egg-potato mixture. Reduce heat to
medium-low; cook 5 minutes, until edges
set. Transfer to oven; broil 3 minutes, until puffed and golden brown.
• Mince herbs and place in
bowl with mayo. Squeeze in
lemon juice, stirring until incorporated. Use a thin spatula
to slide eggs out of pan onto
a cutting board. Sprinkle with
more salt. Cut into wedges
and top with dollops of herby
mayo. Serves 6.
Eighty Three Creative, Stacy Zarin Goldberg/The Washington Post
Majordomo Los Angeles
David Chang’s first West Coast venture
has turned out to be America’s most
exciting restaurant opening of early
2018, said Bill Addison in The
hugely influential chef behind New York’s
Momofuku Noodle Bar is too ubiquitous to need a comeback. Still, after a
few minor misfires, Majordomo qualifies as “his first triumphant opening in
years.” In a tall, “upscale-ish” space with
craggy concrete walls and polished-wood
accents, he’s devised a menu that “taps
into the West Coast dreamscape.” Santa
Monica rock crab is served three ways,
and Chang’s love of L.A.’s Koreatown
comes through in pan-fried stuffed peppers
and chuck short rib braised with Asian pear
and daikon. Large plates such as skate fried
rice “electrify the senses,” but my mind
keeps going back to “a subtler chicken
masterpiece”—a brined bird steamed with
Shaoxing wine, ginger, and shallots. Forever
crowded, Majordomo is “still evolving at a
steady clip.” But “to understand where the
thrilling melting pot of modern American
cuisine has brought us, this is the place to
be.” 1725 Naud St., (323) 545-4880
This week’s dream: Searching for paradise on an Indonesian archipelago
“When I enter the rain forest of Indonesia’s Waigeo Island, the first thing I
notice is the equatorial air,” said Mark
Johanson in the Chicago Tribune. “It’s
so thick, I feel as if I’m walking through
a cloud.” Then there’s the deafening
hum of cicadas, which drown out the
sound of my footsteps as I crunch
through the brush on my way toward a
thatched hut. In 1860, British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace lived for two
months in this very spot while studying
the elaborate courtship dances of birds
of paradise. Though his friend Charles
Darwin is today widely regarded as the
father of evolution, Wallace independently
developed the theory that species evolve
through natural selection. My fascination
with this often overlooked genius led me to
join a sailboat cruise to Waigeo, an island
west of New Guinea in the Raja Ampat
archipelago. I hope to retrace Wallace’s
steps and find his beloved birds of paradise,
an “aptly named” group of about 40 lavishly plumaged species.
Hotel of the week
Sleeping with the fishes
Conrad Maldives
Rangali Island
Forget overwater bungalows,
said Nikki Ekstein in Later this
year, Hilton will open the
world’s first underwater
bungalow at its Conrad
resort in the Maldives. Called
the Muraka (which means
“coral” in the local language), the three-bedroom
villa has one floor above
water and another 16.4 feet
below sea level. Down there,
nothing but a see-through
acrylic dome separates the
king-size bedroom and living area from the reef just
beyond. “Privacy isn’t an
issue, unless the fish make
you shy: The villa is far from
the rest of the resort.”;
$50,000 a night
spot for hornbills, which whoosh overhead and fill the air with their moans.
A male bird of paradise struts his stuff.
My first stop is Misool, a Rajat Ampat
island that sits at the heart of a 300,000acre marine reserve rich with manta rays
and corals. From the water, the island itself
is stunning: “Foliage clings, improbably, to
dramatic karst formations that rise out of
the sea like shards of green glass.” Behind
some of those rock towers lie turquoise
lagoons so clear you can see blue sea
anemones swaying in the water as you glide
above. The lagoons are a favorite hangout
After sailing to the Fam Islands,
where pincushions of tree-covered
rock jut from the sea, we head to
Waigeo—home to Wallace’s brilliant
birds. To see them, I have to wake at
4 a.m. and hike through the jungle to
a hilltop viewing blind 650 feet above
the sea. We reach the blind at sunrise,
and soon a creature emerges from the
leaves. The bird of paradise wears
a costume “even a peacock would
envy”—crimson wings, emerald cheeks, yellow shoulder tufts, and curling purple tail
feathers. Soon more appear, lining up along
a branch to perform for female spectators.
Each male seems to have its own signature
move. When the sun crests the horizon, the
bejeweled birds scatter into the forest, vanishing as quickly as they came.
A 10-day Jewels of Raja Ampat cruise with
SeaTrek Sailing Adventures (
starts at $5,350 a person, double occupancy.
Getting the flavor of...
Free-spirited Provincetown
‘Forest bathing’ in California
Provincetown, Mass., is the gayest place in
America—in all senses of the phrase, said Amelia
Rayno in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. On a
recent visit, I was overcome by the sheer joyfulness of this Cape Cod beach town, which has
been an arts colony and a haven for the LGBTQ
community since the 1920s. That history is
celebrated by what feels like a never-ending
party. Every day, performers in gaudy costumes
parade down streets lined with brightly painted
storefronts flying rainbow flags. Soon after arriving, I was handed a flier for a show—Electra!
Bathhouse to Broadway—by a cross-dresser in a
bathtub on wheels. But Provincetown is an idyllic escape for everyone, “a Kennedys’ paradise”
of wooden boats, white picket fences, and brick
sidewalks—a place where you can eat lobster
rolls on your way to a sail, or lounge on some of
the nation’s most beautiful beaches. “All types
are welcome—and all types come.”
“There’s a revolutionary new way to walk
through the forest,” said Steve Rubenstein in
the San Francisco Chronicle. Forest bathing, as
New Age types call it, has become “a full-blown
movement” in Northern California’s Sonoma
County. This new pastime doesn’t involve water;
you simply amble among the trees very, very
slowly and soak up nature’s wonders with all
your senses. I paid $50 to join a dozen other
forest bathers at Quarryhill Botanical Garden,
where our guide, Amos Clifford, encouraged
zen-like mindfulness. “Examine all twigs. Inspect
all leaves. If you see an ant, stop and take it in.”
At one point, Clifford asked us to each converse
with a tree. After 20 minutes of such dialogue—
“much of it one-sided”—we sat down together
to share what we’d learned. Everyone offered an
insight. “Then we walked back to our parked
cars, actually covering a little ground this time,
now that it no longer counted.”
Last-minute travel deals
A Wild West adventure
Save $300 per couple on select
North American tours with
Globus Journeys. The 10-day
National Parks package, for
example, includes stops at
Yellowstone, Mount Rushmore,
and a Wild West show for $2,519
a person. Book by June 5.
Beachside in Mexico
Check in at the all-inclusive
Occidental Nuevo Vallarta on
Mexico’s Pacific coast in May
and get $500 in resort credit
and a hefty room discount. A
midweek stay in a double room
in May starts at $172 a night.
Prices jump to $266 in late June.
Boston luxury
To celebrate its 15th anniversary, the Hotel Commonwealth
in Boston is offering second
nights for $15—but only if
you book between 11 a.m.
and 5:15 p.m. on May 15. First
nights start at $225; available for
select dates through Dec. 30.
THE WEEK May 11, 2018
Best properties on the market
This week: Brownstone homes
1 X Philadelphia This five-
bedroom, single-family
restored Victorian was built
in 1860. Original features
include 14-foot coffered,
beamed, and carved-plaster
ceilings; a skylight over the
stairs; carved-wood molding,
railings, and fireplace surround; parquet and straightlay wood floors; and ornate
leaded glass. The kitchen is
equipped with a Wolf stove
and Viking refrigerator.
Outside, there’s a landscaped
brick patio. $3,490,000.
Andrew Callaghan, Kurfiss/
Sotheby’s International Realty,
(215) 431-3384
2 W Boston This duplex
condo occupies the top
level of an 1890 brickand-brownstone Beacon
Hill townhouse. The
three-bedroom, two-story
apartment features restored
parquet flooring, arched
doorways, living and dining
space, and a newly updated, Italian-style kitchen
with custom cabinetry
and stainless appliances. A
private wooden roof deck
offers extensive city views.
$1,899,000. Cheri Meckley,
Compass, (617) 869-0970
3 X Chicago A 1905 Lincoln
Park brownstone houses
this modern three-bedroom
condo. The updated classic
space features wide-plank
hardwood floors, custom
cabinets and shelving, a
private balcony, a chef’s
kitchen with a Carrara
marble peninsula, and a
master suite bath with a
rain shower and radiantheated floors. The apartment comes with a parking space and access to a
rooftop deck. $715,000.
Naseem El-Barbarawi,
Jameson Sotheby’s International Realty, 773-859-8686
THE WEEK May 11, 2018
Best properties on the market
4 X Brooklyn A recent restora-
tion preserved prewar details while
modernizing this 1931 five-bedroom
Bedford-Stuyvesant townhouse with
a new roof, mechanicals, HVAC, and
a high-end kitchen. The parlor floor
features 12-foot ceilings with plaster
moldings, wide-plank washed-oak
floors, and a marble fireplace; upstairs
rooms have exposed brick and
decorative fireplaces. There is also a
630-square-foot lower suite. Outside
are a back deck and private garden.
$3,380,000. Nadine Adamson, Brown
Harris Stevens, (212) 452-4503
4, 6
Steal of the week
5 S Jersey City Built in 1852, this two-family Queen
Anne Victorian stands opposite Van Vorst Park, four
blocks from a PATH station. The original stained
glass, carved staircase, plaster molding, marble and
slate fireplaces, pocket doors, and inlaid hardwood
floors have all been preserved. The upper unit has
three bedrooms, a formal parlor, and a chef’s kitchen.
At the garden level is a one-bedroom unit and a
converted carriage-house garage. $2,500,000. Brian
Henry, Boyne Realty, (201) 451-0950
6 S Brooklyn Set on the top story of a 1901 Cobble Hill brownstone,
this co-op studio is brightened by corner windows and an oversize skylight. It has exposed brick, high ceilings, a wood-burning fireplace, and
an alcove kitchen, and includes access to extra storage, bike storage, and
laundry facilities. The tree-lined street is close to shops and restaurants.
$300,000. Kane Manera, Corcoran, (432) 559-7213
THE WEEK May 11, 2018
The 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1: What the critics say
Road & Track
“Without question,” the new ZR1 is “the
fastest, loudest, craziest, most capable
Corvette ever made.” The first Vette built to
supercar standards since 2013, this fourth
iteration of the ZR1 also instantly enters
the running to be crowned the fastest road
car in history, thanks to its “nuclear reactor
of an engine”—a hand-built supercharged
6.2-liter V-8 that generates 755 hp. On a
track, the ZR1 is a hoot—“so ridiculous
you can’t help but cackle every single time
you get out of it.”
On a racetrack, the ZR1 “teleports you
from one corner to the next,” while
enormous disc brakes and pads yank the
coupe from 212 mph to a dead stop in a
“gut-punching” 8.17 seconds. A six-point
harness would be a smart addition, and
maybe you’ll be able to afford one. Though
$121,000 sounds high for a Chevrolet, this
one’s a performance bargain—“maybe the
best in the world.”
The Detroit News
In Tour mode, the ZR1 can even be “a
tame daily driver,” albeit with “comic-book
looks.” The V-8 and its supercharger are
so tall, they poke out through a hole cut
“It’s not even a car, it’s a time machine.”
America’s new track king, from $121,000
in the hood. This Vette is the Hulk on four
wheels: “Its muscles are literally bursting
through its skin.”
The best fashion
Columbia OutDry
Ex Eco Jacket
Slim Fit Jeans
Allbirds Tree
Proof Payette
Skate Sunglasses
Persimmon Dress
Twenty-one plastic bottles’ worth of
recycled polyester is
all Columbia needs to
make this breathable
waterproof jacket. The
use of dye-free fabric,
available in white or
charcoal, also saves 13
gallons of water.
Everlane leads the
way in cleaning up
denim manufacturing—
traditionally a wasteful,
dirty process. For men
or women seeking a
“simple, stylish, go-to”
jean, the company’s sustainable denim is now
hard to beat.
Designed to be worn
without socks, these
casual unisex shoes
employ a moisturewicking textile made
from eucalyptus tree
fibers. They’re so “sinfully
comfortable” that “you’d
never guess you’re
wearing koala food.”
Idaho-based Proof
Eyewear specializes in
specs and shades made
with sustainable materials. These stylish sunglasses have polarized
lenses, and the frame is
crafted from repurposed
skateboard decks made
of Canadian maple.
Reformation is so proud
of its water, CO2, and
waste savings that the
results are listed for
every product. Given its
numbers, this loral midi
is arguably “the perfect
sustainable fashion
choice for spring.”
Source: Outside
Source: TownAndCountry
Tip of the week...
How to dispose of old meds
And for those who have
Best apps...
For serious cyclists
QReturn them to the pros. Maybe you
missed April 28’s National Prescription Take
Back Day, but there are other ways to empty
a medicine cabinet of expired pills. Consult Many pharmacies,
hospitals, and clinics collect and destroy
unused drugs.
QDrop them in a kiosk. Walgreens pharmacies have kiosks for anonymous disposal of
meds, including opioids. Remove personal
information, then drop containers in the slot.
QMail them in. CVS, Costco, and Rite Aid
pharmacies sell postage-paid envelopes for
use in mailing drugs to a disposal facility.
QThrow them out. Be careful if you put pills
in the trash: First mix them with sawdust, cat
litter, or coffee grounds in a sealed plastic
bag. The DEA recommends the toilet for
dangerous drugs if no disposal resource
is available—but flushing does leave trace
amounts of the drug in the water supply.
In an era
with digital
the Jaquet
Droz Signing
Machine is a
mechanical miracle. Inspired by the automatons built by the Swiss watchmaker’s 18thcentury founder, the pocket-size machine is
designed to instantly learn and lawlessly reproduce a signature using only moving parts
to perform both tricks. “A wind-up toy for
billionaires” on one level, it also deserves
wider awe. Not all of its 585 hand-assembled
parts can be seen through the top glass
panel, but the designers’ mechanical mastery is evident every time its retractable arm
and polished innards whirl into motion.
QMapMyRide outperforms dozens of other
GPS-based route-planning apps. You can plot
custom routes, track new paths as you go,
peruse other users’ favorite rides, and shuffle
through those you’ve already cycled.
QEndomondo provides a little voice of encouragement when, say, you’re struggling to
reach the top of a steep hill. The app can use
a friend’s voice messages for personalized
motivators. Endomondo also lets you set
goals and devise training programs.
QStrava is hard to beat in its ability to track
fitness data. The intuitive app tracks a full
suite of metrics, including time, speed, distance, average pace, and power output.
QRelive pairs with Strava to create an impressively realistic simulation of the ride you
just completed. Relive’s high-res videos look
like 3-D satellite maps, and unless you own a
GoPro, there’s no better way to capture your
cycling memories.
Source: Consumer Reports
THE WEEK May 11, 2018
The news at a glance
The bottom line
QThe U.S. Treasury’s net borrowing hit $488 billion from
January through March this
year, a record for the quarter.
The figure is about $47 billion
more than the Treasury had
previously estimated.
QAlden Global Capital, the
hedge fund that has a majority ownership stake in Digital
First Media, which publishes
the San Jose Mercury News
and The Denver Post, has
made deep cuts to the more
than 60 daily papers it owns
nationally, but made $159 million in profit from its papers
during the 2017 fiscal year.
Telecom: Sprint and T-Mobile propose merger
“It’s too soon to tell” if this new
Sprint and T-Mobile
deal will raise prices for conannounced this week they have
sumers, said Brian Fung in The
agreed to a merger, in a deal
Washington Post. Before regulathat would shrink the U.S.
tors bless the merger, they will
wireless market to “just three
once again examine whether connational players,” said Michael
sumers might be harmed if there
de la Merced and Cecilia Kang
is one fewer carrier competing in
in The New York Times. The
the market. T-Mobile and Sprint
combined company, which
will no doubt argue that consumwould keep the T-Mobile
ers will benefit with their investname, would have more than
Creating a new telecom behemoth
ments in 5G technology, which
100 million subscribers, makenables smartphones “to surf the internet at speeds
ing it the nation’s second-biggest carrier, able to
comparable to some of the fastest in-home internet
compete with longtime market leaders AT&T
connections today.” The companies say that “only
and Verizon. Sprint and T-Mobile attempted
together can they pour enough resources into the
a merger four years ago but were blocked by
project to have a world-class 5G network that’s
regulators concerned that the deal would lower
competitive with AT&T and Verizon.”
consumer choice and hike costs.
QMarvel’s Avengers:
Infinity War set a
box-office record
for the highest
North American
opening of all
time, collecting
a $257,698,183
haul last weekend
in the U.S. and
Canada. The film
also had the highest global box office
opening of all time, landing
$630 million in worldwide
receipts, even without yet
opening in China.
Los Angeles Times
QSubway Restaurants is
planning to close 500 more
U.S. outlets this year after
closing more than 800 last
year. With more than 40,000
locations globally, Subway
ranks as the largest restaurant
chain in the world, outpacing
McDonald’s and Starbucks.
AP (2), EPK
QHotel chains are dispensing
with little bottles of shampoo,
conditioner, and body wash—
and replacing them with bulk
dispensers in a bid to save
money and plastic. Marriott
is making the switch this year
in 450 hotels, where 10.3 million small bottles, or 113,000
pounds of plastic, are currently used a year. Intercontinental, which owns Holiday
Inn Express and Staybridge
Suites, is also making the
switch; Kimpton already uses
large bottles in its hotels.
The Wall Street Journal
Trade: Trump delays steel, aluminum tariffs
President Trump this week delayed for another 30 days a decision to
impose steel and aluminum tariffs on the European Union, Canada,
and Mexico, said Jim Brunsden in the Financial Times. The “11th-hour
decision,” made just hours before the tariffs were due to take effect on
Tuesday, “failed to defuse” trade tensions with these U.S. allies, which
have so far refused to bow to U.S. demands for new concessions in
exchange for permanent exemption from the threatened tariffs: 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum.
Tech: Apple announces $100 billion stock buyback
Apple this week announced solid iPhone sales and promised $100 billion in additional stock buybacks, said Stephen Nellis in,
“reassuring investors that its decade-old smartphone invention had
life in it yet.” The company said that sales of the $1,000 iPhone X
drove a revenue of $61.1 billion—a record for the second quarter.
Apple sold 52.2 million iPhones overall, up from 50.7 million in the
same period last year, and reported a 25 percent increase in profit,
to $13.8 billion. Thanks to those results and the corporate tax cut, it
will buy back an additional $100 billion in stock, but announced no
timetable for the purchases.
GDP: U.S. economic growth cools in 1st quarter
The U.S. economy slowed to an annual rate of 2.3 percent in the first
quarter, despite large tax cuts taking effect, said Jim Puzzanghera in the
Los Angeles Times, “raising new questions about whether the U.S. can
reach the growth levels President Trump has promised.” The “solid”
showing for the period from January through March was “higher than
analysts had expected,” but still down from the 2.9 percent growth pace
in the fourth quarter of last year. “Consumer spending dropped to its
lowest level in nearly five years after an unusually strong end of 2017.”
Companies: Gibson files for bankruptcy
“Storied guitar maker” Gibson filed for bankruptcy protection this
week, said Becky Yerak in The Wall Street Journal. The Nashville company, “whose customers have included B.B. King, Chuck Berry, and
Jimmy Page,” ceded control to bondholders led by private-equity giant
KKR as part of the filing. Founded in 1894, Gibson sells more than a
fifth of all electric guitars purchased globally. But it has been hobbled
by debt in recent years, thanks to a “series of soured acquisitions,”
including its 2014 purchase of Philips’ consumer-electronics business,
which sells headphones and speakers.
Lounges lose
their exclusivity
Airport lounges were
once “a haven from
the chaos of modern
travel,” said AnnaMaria
Andriotis in The Wall
Street Journal. But with
increasing numbers of
credit card holders gaining access, what was
once an oasis for business travelers and high
spenders “now is more
like a mall food court,”
with picked-over buffets,
dirty bathrooms, and
lines for sodas instead
of leisurely cocktails.
Lounge aficionados
say the turning point
was the 2016 launch
of Chase’s Sapphire
Reserve card, which
comes with Priority
Pass access, permitting
entry to roughly 60 U.S.
airport lounges—“with
as many guests as
desired.” Lounges have
become so packed as a
result that some have
wait lists at peak times.
“You think, ‘I have this
lounge access, I can
chill and there will be a
bunch of business people on their laptops,’”
said Dustin Scott, who
works for a bike-share
company. “And you go
in and it’s like Disney
THE WEEK May 11, 2018
Making money
Travel: How to get the most out of rewards cards
They give points you can use to pay for
If you have a travel rewards credit card,
travel through an Expedia-like booking
chances are you’re confused about how
service, or that can be transferred to a
best to use it, said Lorie Konish in CNBC
range of hotel and airline partner-loyalty
.com. “That means you’re probably leavprograms. The most efficient way “to
ing real money on the table.” More than
get points quickly is through sign-up
half of Americans say they’re “befuddled”
bonuses,” said Lucas Peterson in The
by frequent-flyer programs, 47 percent
New York Times. The Chase Sapphire
find hotel loyalty programs confusing,
Reserve, for example, offers a 50,000and 45 percent are puzzled by credit card
point bonus when you spend $4,000 in
rewards in general, according to a poll by
the first three months after opening the
consumer safety site NextAdvisor. There
account. But keep in mind that some
are some simple steps you can take to
Points can help cut the cost of a dream vacation.
cards have high annual fees—$450 for
avoid this confusion. Always read the fine
print when signing up for a new card so you know exactly what Sapphire Reserve, $550 for American Express Platinum. And always pay the balance of the card in full each month. “The point
rewards are being offered and how you’d redeem them. Then
is to make money, not give it back to the banks.”
make sure those rewards fit your lifestyle. “Don’t sign on for a
frequent-flyer rewards program for an airline you never fly.” And
Accumulating frequent-flyer miles with a card is easy; what’s
if you fly only a couple of times a year, a travel rewards card
hard is “learning how to use them wisely,” said Jen Ruiz in
might not be right for you. Instead, get a “cash-back rewards
card, which lets you redeem those rewards for almost anything.” The Washington Post. To maximize your return, book a trip
in one-way stages; a recent NerdWallet study found that nearly
two-thirds of one-way flights offer better point values than
Travel rewards cards fall into two broad categories, said Scott
McCartney in The Wall Street Journal—those that are affiliated round-trip flights. Avoid using miles during peak travel times: I
saw prices from Honolulu to Miami range from 25,000 miles to
with a particular airline or hotel and those that aren’t. Many
credit card watchers say cobranded airline cards, which typically 90,000 miles in the same week depending on whether I left on a
Tuesday or Sunday. And never redeem your miles on “anything
pay one frequent-flyer mile for each dollar spent, “are losing
not powered by jet fuel.” So ignore airlines’ offers of discounted
their luster.” With reward seats getting “more expensive and
harder to find,” the payback is getting weaker. Unaffiliated cards magazine subscriptions or apparel—your points will go much
further when spent on flights.
from Chase and American Express often offer a better deal.
What the experts say
“Should I take out a loan to pay my debts?”
It’s one of the most common questions asked
of financial planners, said Anna Bahney in The ads from personal loan firms
can certainly be compelling: “Would you
rather pay 16 percent on your credit card or
6 percent on a loan?” And if you have multiple
credit cards, the idea of paying a single bill
each month can be tempting. Yet there’s plenty
to be wary of when considering a personal
loan. If you have a low credit score, the interest rate you’re offered might be no better than
that of your credit cards. “You’ll also want
to compare the life of the loan.” Lenders may
offer a 3-, 5-, or 7-year loan with rates that
increase over time. To make sure your cost of
carrying debt goes down, “calculate how much
interest you’ll pay on the life of a loan.”
A postdivorce financial education
For many women, divorce can lead to a “financial reckoning,” said Suzanne Woolley in More than half of married
women—56 percent—let their spouses handle
the majority of financial decisions, according
to UBS Global Wealth Management. This division of responsibilities leaves them vulnerable
“when separation or death strikes.” Some
THE WEEK May 11, 2018
Charity of the week
56 percent of divorcées and widows said they
discovered financial surprises, including outdated wills, and hidden spending and hidden
debt. But not all discoveries were negative:
Some unearthed previously unknown 401(k)
plans. In hindsight, 94 percent of widows and
divorcées say they would “insist on complete
financial transparency with their spouse.”
A trade war’s cost to consumers
If President Trump makes good on his threat
to slap tariffs on certain imports, it “could
have a major effect on the wallet of every
American consumer,” said Matthew Frankel in Take the effect of a 25 percent
tariff on imported steel. If an automaker uses
$600 worth of foreign steel to make a car, the
tariff would add $150 in costs, which “would
most likely be passed on to the consumer.”
And if U.S. tariffs and retaliatory measures
drive prices up across the economy, the Federal
Reserve might rapidly hike interest rates to
slow inflation. Rates for credit cards are linked
to the federal funds rate, so if the Fed hikes it
by 2 percent, a 16.49 percent credit card APR
would rise to 18.49 percent. Mortgages and
auto loans aren’t directly tied to the Fed rate,
but tend to rise in line. Any trade war will definitely be felt on the home front.
Since 2001, Childspring International
( has helped arrange
lifesaving and lifechanging surgeries for children in
developing nations,
where medical care
is often limited or too
expensive to obtain.
The Atlanta-based
organization has aided nearly 3,000 children in more than 50 countries—from
Afghanistan to Honduras to Zambia—
suffering from a wide range of conditions, including congenital heart defects,
severe burns, cleft palates, and bone
disorders. Children who can’t be treated
in their own countries are often brought
to America for surgery, with Childspring
facilitating passports, visas, and airfare,
and providing trained host families who
welcome the children into their homes
while they receive care. Childspring also
offers scholarships for children who have
returned home following treatment and
have no other means to attend school.
Each charity we feature has earned a
four-star overall rating from Charity
Navigator, which rates not-for-profit
organizations on the strength of their
finances, their governance practices,
and the transparency of their operations.
Four stars is the group’s highest rating.
Consolidating debt with a loan
Capitalism vs. Socialism:
Comparing Economic Systems
Taught by Professor Edward F. Stuart
Gorbachev’s Hello and the Soviet Goodbye
Adam Smith, Karl Marx, Keynes, and Friedman
How to Argue GDP, Inflation, and Other Data
British Revolution: Industry and Labor
American Capitalism: Hamilton and Jeferson
Utopian Socialism to Amana Microwave Ovens
The Bolsheviks: Lenin, Trotsky, and Stalin
Soviet Planning and 1,000 Left-Foot Shoes
Economic Consequences of European Peace
10. How FDR and Keynes Tried to Save Capitalism
11. Social Democracy in Europe
12. Sweden’s Mixed Economy Model
13. French Indicative Planning and Jean Monnet
14. British Labour Party and National Health
15. Social Welfare in Germany: Bismarck to Kohl
16. Soviet Bloc: Conformity and Resistance
17. Two Germanies: A Laboratory in Economics
18. The Soviet Union’s Fatal Failure to Reform
19. “Blinkered and Bankrupt” in Eastern Europe
Where Does Capitalism
Begin and Socialism End?
Economics is really about people and their lives, and societies
have pursued the ideal system for centuries, one that can balance
competing desires for freedom and security. No one has found perfect
equilibrium—but some major contenders have emerged, all of which
are variations of capitalism and socialism. Determining which, if any,
is the best possible option in a definitive way, however, is a Sisyphean
task and one riddled with complications.
The illuminating 24 lectures of Capitalism vs. Socialism: Comparing
Economic Systems will show you the many ways the most influential
modern economic theories were developed, how they function
(or don’t), and how they manage to operate both together and in
opposition to each other. Guiding you through this complex web
of values and theories is Edward F. Stuart, Professor Emeritus of
Economics at Northeastern Illinois University. As you compare
and contrast the many ways societies tackle economic issues, you’ll
discover that even the most controversial economic decisions boil
down to a deceptively simple question: What makes a good society?
Ofer expires 05/25/18
20. From Chairman Mao to the Capitalist Roaders
21. After Deng, China Privatizes and Globalizes
22. Asian Tigers: Wealth and State Control
23. European Union: Success or Failure?
24. Both Sides Now: Experiment in Slovenia
Capitalism vs. Socialism:
Comparing Economic Systems
Course no. 5006 | 24 lectures (30 minutes/lecture)
For over 25 years, The Great Courses has brought
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Best columns: Business
Autos: The death of the American sedan
Why news
can’t be
Megan McArdle
The Washington Post
is vulnerable
Michael Hiltzik
Los Angeles Times
THE WEEK May 11, 2018
When I recently moved from to
The Washington Post, putting my writing behind a
subscriber paywall, “many longtime readers gently reproached me,” said Megan McArdle. How arrogant
was I to imagine people should pay to read my work?
they asked. I understand the frustration. But I’ve recently concluded that “the battle for the open internet
is lost.” Sooner rather than later, most journalism
will sit “behind a subscription wall.” Last week,
both and Vanity Fair announced
they were making the move, and you can expect
many more to do so soon. Publishers never really
figured out how to make a free model work, which is
why so many newspapers and magazines have gone
bust. Google and Facebook have won the online
advertising battle, and it’s hard to foresee any media
company—new or old—breaking their stranglehold
on the market. There are a few other ways to subsidize good journalism outside of subscriptions—getting
money from major donors, hosting paid conferences,
and publishing sponsored content—but there are
big downsides to each strategy. I know that modern
readers will resent paying for writing they’re used to
getting for free. But good journalism is expensive to
create, and “there’s a limit to how long one can keep
handing out gifts without some reciprocity.”
“Is Amazon heading for world domination, or cruising for a bruising?” asked Michael Hiltzik. After
“blowout” first-quarter results—$1.6 billion in profit,
more than double the haul Amazon reported a year
ago—market pundits are predicting the $763 billion e-commerce giant could soon be “the world’s
first trillion-dollar company.” It’s not a stretch. For
Amazon to get there, its share price would need to
rise another 30 percent, and it’s already notched a
33 percent gain this year. But while there’s plenty
of evidence to support the “prevailing narrative”
that Amazon is unstoppable, there’s also overlooked
data indicating major vulnerabilities. The company
only pockets 1.7 cents from each $1 of sales, which
doesn’t leave much margin for error. Then there’s
global Prime membership: Amazon’s recent revelation
that it has 100 million members was widely regarded
as “astonishing.” But market estimates had pegged
U.S. membership alone at 90 million, so in that light,
the total could be “interpreted as a disappointment,
not an achievement.” Finally, Amazon Web Services,
which has been a profit powerhouse, is also facing
sustained competition. The business landscape “is
littered with the bones of companies whose positions
once seemed unassailable.” We’d do well to look for
signs that “Amazon euphoria is feeding on itself.”
that give drivers a commanding view
“After more than a century-long run,
of the open road” has been an industry
automakers like Ford can no longer esconstant, said Edward Niedermeyer
cape the obvious,” said Peter Holley in
in The last time that
The Washington Post. “Demand for trapassion wavered was in 2008, when
ditional cars is beginning to dry up.” As
economic headwinds and a spike in gas
part of a massive cost-cutting initiative,
prices exposed Detroit’s overreliance on
Ford announced last week that it plans
trucks and SUVs. But the difference in
to walk away from its U.S. passenger
power and fuel efficiency “between the
sedan business after “years of declining
slow-selling cars that American autosales,” eliminating the Fiesta, Fusion,
makers are abandoning and the trucks
Taurus, and C-Max models. Aside from
and SUVs that earn them record profits
Mustang sports cars, a new Focus crossis shrinking.” That’s why “a repeat of
over, and a battery-electric line due in
For American drivers, bigger is better.
2008 seems unlikely.”
2022, the Detroit automaker’s lineup will
soon be composed entirely of SUVs and trucks. By abandoning
Only if you believe gas prices will never spike again, said Patrick
sedans, Ford will prune $11.5 billion in costs by 2022, on top
George in If filling up at the pump does get draof another $14 billion in previously announced cuts. This “is a
matically more expensive, Ford may regret “not having a fleet
momentous shift,” said Neal Boudette in The New York Times.
of small and efficient cars in its stable.” The company seems to
Just a decade ago, with gas prices surging, the compact Focus
be betting that its hybrids and electrics will soon be purchased
and midsize Fusion “spearheaded a push to provide stylish and
in big enough numbers that changes in gas prices won’t really
fuel-efficient cars.” But Americans are “abandoning sedans and
matter. But that’s a “bold gambit,” premised on the notion that
choosing trucks and SUVs,” showing a preference for rides that
the price of electric batteries will drop significantly—hardly a
are higher off the ground and roomy enough to accommodate
given. Ford’s shift also means that its lineup is getting “a lot
families. Last year, Ford’s Fusion sales skidded 21 percent.
more expensive,” with its cheapest new car going from $14,205
to $19,995. U.S. automakers are “basically dumping the idea of
“Ford’s sedan-killing move is a bet on the future of driving,”
a good, affordable new car—the kind you buy your teenage kid
said Claudia Assis in Of the 17.2 million
or get on a budget with a solid warranty”—ceding that segment
vehicles sold in 2017, roughly 70 percent were crossovers, SUVs,
to the used-car market or to Asian automakers who still make
and pickup trucks. But those vehicles aren’t the gas-guzzling besmall vehicles. I understand why it’s happening, “but it is kind
hemoths of earlier generations. The average compact SUV now
of sad and dismaying to see the cheap new car market start to
achieves 26 miles per gallon—about the same as a compact car
evaporate, leaving those buyers in the lurch.”
a decade ago. Americans’ taste for “powerful, spacious vehicles
The freethinker who co-founded Burning Man
For more than three
decades, Larry Harvey
was the guiding force
behind Burning Man.
What began in the mid-1980s with
Harvey and friends setting fire to an
oversize effigy on a San Francisco
beach has since expanded into a
weeklong countercultural phenomenon with an annual budget of
$30 million. Each summer, some
70,000 “burners” descend on the
northern Nevada desert and create an entire
frontier town, with lighting, art installations,
live music, and spiritual—and hallucinogenic—
happenings. The Stetson-wearing Harvey served
as the anarchic festival’s chief philosophical officer. He dreamed up the event’s so-called gift economy—which mandates that everything served
be free and bans the display of corporate logos
even on T-shirts—and devised the 10 principals
(“radical inclusion,” “decommodification”) that
guide the festival. “Burning Man is Disneyland in
reverse, Woodstock turned inside out,” he said.
“It is anything you want it to be.”
Born in Portland, Ore., and adopted as an
infant, Harvey was raised in a nearby farming
community where he struggled to fit in, said
The Washington Post. After briefly serving in
the Army and then dropping out of Portland
State University, he moved to San
Francisco in 1974 and became a
“hippie vagabond.” Harvey took
jobs as a bike messenger, a taxi
driver, a cook, and a landscape
gardener, “and made friends with
artists who were making a living
as blue-collar workers,” said The
New York Times. In 1986, Harvey
called a friend and said, “Let’s
burn a man.” They built an 8-foot
effigy from recycled lumber and
set it ablaze on Baker Beach as a dozen friends
and family looked on. It was a summer solstice
celebration, but Harvey sometimes “said it also
commemorated a romantic breakup.”
The beach event grew year by year, as did the
sculpture, which hit 40 feet in 1990, said the
San Francisco Chronicle. When a park ranger
refused to let that effigy go up in flames, “the
sculpture was loaded back onto a truck and
driven out to the Black Rock Desert,” which
became Burning Man’s new home. Some attendees have bemoaned that the festival has become a
playground for tech millionaires and billionaires,
who turn up in luxury air-conditioned RVs, but
Harvey believed that everyone could learn from
some time in his desert community. “When [critics] say we’re a cult,” he said, “we reply that it’s
a self-service cult. You wash your own brain.”
The jazzman who created Schoolhouse Rock!
Bob Dorough was
struggling to eke
out a living as a jazz
musician in the early
1970s when an ad executive came
to him with an unusual request:
Could the singer and pianist
write some songs to help children
memorize multiplication tables? The
original idea was to make a record
and workbook, but when Dorough
pumped out snappy numbers like “Three Is a
Magic Number” and “My Hero, Zero,” the project grew into a series of animated shorts that ABC
inserted between Saturday-morning cartoons.
The Schoolhouse Rock! series moved on from
math to civics, science, and parts of speech, and
helped educate a whole generation of kids. While
Dorough had jammed with jazz greats, including
Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, and Charlie Parker,
he knew he’d be remembered for Schoolhouse
Rock! “I’m cool with it being the first thing people see in my obituary,” he said.
Newscom, Getty
The son of a salesman and a homemaker,
Dorough “grew up in rural Arkansas and Texas,”
said The Washington Post. He showed musical
talent early and by his teens he was playing piano,
clarinet, and saxophone. His jazz career would
be “anything but conventional,”
said the Los Angeles Times. After
serving as a composer in the
Army band during World War II,
he went on to work as a music
director for Sugar Ray Robinson
during the boxer’s short-lived
show business career, and as an
accompanist to beat poet Allen
Ginsburg and acerbic comedian
Lenny Bruce. Dorough was also
one of the few vocalists to record with Davis—he
co-wrote and sang on Davis’ wry 1962 ditty “Blue
Xmas (To Whom It May Concern).”
Well-connected in the music world, Dorough
recruited “a high-end assortment of talent” for
Schoolhouse Rock! said The New York Times.
Respected jazz artists like Blossom Dearie, Dave
Frishberg, and Jack Sheldon all contributed, the
last singing Frishberg’s “I’m Just a Bill,” about the
workings of Congress. For the rest of his career
“it was not uncommon for him to be playing a
jazz set and have someone call for a Schoolhouse
Rock! tune,” a request he always gladly indulged.
“What you’ll notice is, each one of them is musically brilliant,” said Steve Berger, Dorough’s longtime guitarist. “He never wrote down to the kids.
He always brought them up.”
The blind runner
who dominated
the Paralympics
Rob Matthews was one
of the most accomplished
Paralympians of his generation. Blind by age 20
because of a degenerative
eye condition
that he had
Matthews inherited from
his father, the
British runner won eight Paralympic
gold medals and broke
22 world records. In 1986,
he became the first blind
athlete to run 800 meters in
under two minutes, finishing
in 1 minute 59.9 seconds.
“I feel alive when I run,”
said Matthews, who was 56
when he died, from brain
cancer. “When I was growing up, failing sight made
me clumsy and awkward.
When I run I feel tall and
graceful and confident.”
Born in the London commuter town of Strood,
Matthews “was conscious
of his fading sight from an
early stage,” said The Times
(U.K.). He recalled describing the action for his father
at soccer matches, even
though he could barely
see what was going on
himself—a case, Matthews
admitted, of “the blind leading the blind.” The final clear
image he held of himself, he
said, was of “a frightened
15-year-old staring back at
me in the mirror.”
Matthews took to sport at
England’s Royal National
College for the Blind,
said The New York Times.
Tethered by a short rope
to a guide runner, he won
golds in the 800, 1,500, and
5,000 meters at the 1984
New York Paralympics, and
repeated the feat in Seoul
four years later. He won
further Paralympic medals
in Barcelona (1992), Atlanta
(1996), and Sydney (2000),
and later became a triathlete. Being underestimated
by others because of his
blindness was a constant
source of inspiration for
Matthews. “Whenever anyone tells me I won’t be able
to do something,” he said, “I
think, ‘You just watch me.’”
THE WEEK May 11, 2018
The last word
A changing of the border guard
Latinos now make up more than half of the U.S. Border Patrol, said journalist Brittny Mejia. For some agents
of Mexican descent, balancing duty and culture in the age of Trump can be complicated.
white van driving along
the U.S.-Mexico border, the young
men and one woman beheld the wall
and weighed just how easily it could be
Isaac Antonio did not seem impressed.
“That’s easily climbable,” the 20-year-old
Their chaperone, a Border Patrol agent,
called out from behind the wheel: “Good
luck, bro! I’m sure you can, but good luck.”
As debate swirled, Antonio described
ways that the 30-foot-high wall could be
defeated, which prompted the lone woman
to finally ask in faux suspicion: “Are you
from Mexico?”
Most of the nearly dozen participants in
the El Centro Sector Border Patrol citizens’
academy were, in fact, of Mexican descent.
And the mood was light as they learned
about an agency they one day hope to join.
Patrol was
established in 1924, Latinos were
a tiny minority. By 1989, they
made up almost 36 percent of the agency.
Now Latinos make up a little more than
50 percent of the Border Patrol, according
to 2016 data.
This year, 10 out of the 11 people taking
part in the Border Patrol citizens’ academy
are Latino.
Being a Border Patrol agent and Latino
has always been potentially fraught, with
immigrants from Latin America, especially
Mexico, long the focus of often vitriolic
debates over illegal immigration. But with
Trump reserving his most heated rhetoric
for immigrants coming from Mexico and
Central America—and promising massive walls to keep them out—it has rarely
seemed as delicate a tightrope.
Jonathan Pacheco, a nearly 10-year veteran, said being a Border Patrol agent and
Latino has always guaranteed some complicated moments.
“I got it initially when I first came in, the
‘Don’t you feel bad, you’re catching your
THE WEEK May 11, 2018
Border Patrol trainee Jose Avalos, whose Mexican-born mother crossed into the U.S. illegally
own people. They’re just coming over here
to work,’” he said. “A lot of the people, and
I try to use good verbiage because I know
that anytime anyone hears anything about,
‘Well some of the people coming across have
done illegal things,’ they always go back to
what Trump said during his campaign.”
Pacheco, whose parents came from Mexico
on legal visas before eventually becoming
U.S. citizens, added: “I don’t want to say
everything he said is true or not true. But at
a Border Patrol level...a lot of these people
who come here are usually apprehended
for the second or third time. A lot of these
guys already have previous records.”
Salvador Zamora, acting chief patrol agent
for the El Centro sector, said it’s something
Latino job candidates have to wrestle with.
“This is something I know burns inside a
lot of the Hispanic candidates—is what
do I say, what does this mean, to arrest
somebody from my own, maybe my parents’ hometown,” Zamora said. “It’s real
simple: It’s the law. It is right and wrong.
It is not against any one race or any one
ethnic group or any one particular group
of people.”
With so many of the immigrants crossing
the border illegally from Mexico and Latin
America—and many border towns being
majority Latino—recruiting people who are
more likely to speak Spanish has always
made sense, experts said.
“There have been Latino agents, namely
Mexican-Americans, since the very beginning of Border Patrol,” said Kelly Lytle
Hernandez, a UCLA professor and author
of Migra! A History of the U.S. Border
Patrol. “Of course, through the ’70s really
they were a minority, but they were actively
recruited as early as the 1920s for their language abilities in particular.”
The majority of trainees in the El Centro
Border Patrol academy this year grew
up near the border. Unlike many young
Latinos in urban and often more liberal
areas, they refer to those in the country illegally simply as “illegals.”
Some trainees have family members who
work for the Border Patrol. Manuel Trujillo
has a stepfather in the Border Patrol.
Eighteen-year-old Eduardo Segura’s parents
pushed him to follow in the footsteps of his
older sister, who is an agent. One of Isaac
Antonio’s aunts is in the Border Patrol.
Antonio’s maternal grandparents are from
Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times (3)
President Trump has called for hiring 5,000
more Border Patrol agents as part of his
war on illegal immigration. If that happens,
the academy in this Imperial Valley, Calif.,
town last month offered a snapshot of
many of those likely to apply: Latinos.
The last word
physically do it. I would have another
agent do it.”
of the trainees,
would not have been born in
the U.S. had his mother, Fanny
Posada, not crossed the border illegally in 1987. She left Mexico to provide for her young family. Posada left
Avalos’ older brother with her mother
and hopped a bus from Mexico City
to Tijuana.
After that, she trekked through the
desert for hours with 40 other people,
led by a guide who would get paid
by an aunt if he got Posada into
California. When he saw car lights
approaching, the guide panicked and
ran down a hill, leaving Posada and
others to fend for themselves.
Posada said she has vivid recollections of a helicopter flying overhead
and a Border Patrol agent with a gun
out of his holster in the distance.
In training at the El Centro academy
Mexico. On his father’s side, his grandfather is from the Philippines and his grandmother from Mexico.
At times, Antonio has found himself arguing with friends over his desire to join the
Border Patrol. Those debates have become
more common and intense since Trump’s
Antonio, who hails from El Centro, said
friends have told him they can’t believe he
wants to arrest his “own people.” He said
that he responds by saying: “I’m protecting
my people. My people are here.” But he
said it can be complicated.
Last year, he spotted two immigrants jumping over a border fence. When a Border
Patrol agent headed in their direction,
Antonio said one of his friends shouted
a warning in Spanish. In that moment,
Antonio said he remembered thinking:
Brawley, where she has been for 17 years.
In September, Avalos, 28, applied to
become an agent. He said he wanted a
job that could provide a good life for his
wife and himself. Like his mother, he said
that he was inspired by their neighbor, the
Border Patrol agent.
He has taken the polygraph test and hopes
that Trump’s pledge to hire more agents
means he’ll be able to start his career soon.
“People might say, ‘Oh, you don’t care
about your culture,’” Avalos said. “I love
everything about my culture, but I was
born here and I consider myself American.”
On a Saturday last month, trainees stood
on a drag road in Calexico under a gloomy
sky. The traffic in the much larger Mexican
city of Mexicali was visible through an
18-foot bollard-style fence.
They formed a semicircle around Agent
Juan Gonzalez as he pointed out their
footprint patterns in the dirt, identifying
them as honeycomb or waffle iron. Those
Posada hid in a bush until everything footprints can help agents locate people
went quiet. Eventually, she made it to who jumped the fence by calling in the pata store in California, and the owner
tern over the radio to the agent on the next
called the number written on Posada’s drag road.
arm for her aunt to come get her.
Michael Araujo, one of the trainees, has
She obtained a work permit her first year in uncles who crossed illegally and later fixed
the U.S., after laboring in a Lodi vineyard.
their papers. The father of a close friend
was deported and lives on the Mexican side
Fourteen years later, in 2001, Posada
of the border, where the family visits him
applied to join the Border Patrol. She had
every other weekend.
been encouraged by her next-door neighbor, who was an agent.
“I know how much that’s a struggle, and
Her neighbor pushed her to get her GED
and her residency. When Posada didn’t
have the money to get her citizenship, the
agent wrote her a check.
“You deserve this, your kids deserve
this,” he told her. The agent, now retired,
declined to be interviewed.
Posada said the fact that she had been born
in Mexico influenced a question she was
asked during her interview with the Border
Patrol. The agents asked how they could
be sure that she wouldn’t let immigrants
go free.
But Antonio said he dreams of being a
Border Patrol agent, and there’s no doubt
that he would do his job.
“You’re paying me and I have to do my
job,” Posada said she responded. “But I’m
not going to be mean to them, and I’m
going to try and tell them how they can
try legally. That I will try to share with
them—because I know they’re nice people,
they’re just looking for employment. Now
if I found someone with drugs, I probably
won’t be that nice.”
“You do arrest people who are like—
‘What if that was my uncle?’ If it was my
uncle,” he said before pausing, “I would
arrest him. But I wouldn’t be able to, like,
In the end, Posada did not join the Border
Patrol because she had no one to watch her
children while she attended the academy.
Instead, she began working for the city of
“I know sometimes most of them just want
to come over here for a better future,” he
I feel bad for those situations where the
family is separated,” 19-year-old Araujo
said. “For most people, when you sign up
for this you realize you’re most likely not
allowing someone to maybe visit their family, maybe they already have family here.
It’s a major conflict internally, but it has to
be done.”
Like many other trainees, Araujo said
a major reason for wanting to join the
Border Patrol is a simple one: It’s a job in a
county with the second-highest unemployment rate statewide at 17 percent. The
Border Patrol is one of the top employers
in Imperial County.
On an agent’s salary, “here in Imperial
Valley, you’ll be upper-middle class,”
Gonzalez told the group.
“Everyone’s kind of interested if you’re
from around here,” Araujo said. “They
know it’s one of the few places you can get
a good job.”
Excerpted from an article that originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times.
Reprinted with permission.
THE WEEK May 11, 2018
The Puzzle Page
Crossword No. 455: What’s in a Name? by Matt Gaffney
THE WEEK May 11, 2018
1 Stop eating for a set
5 Panhandles
9 The Hollies’ “Bus
Stop,” e.g.
14 Concerning
15 Enveloping glow
16 “That’s super-cool!”
17 Drops in Seattle, say
18 Small amount, as of
19 Playwright Chekhov
20 Six-time MLB All-Star
with 319 career home
runs, the exact same
number his father hit
23 Table material, maybe
24 Ott or Brooks
25 Haunted Mesa and
Rider of Lost Creek
31 The third degree?
34 Gal Gadot’s country
35 From both sides
37 M.D.’s ASAP
38 “Where ___ you?”
39 Cartoon clownfish
40 Travel, in sci-fi books
43 Caved
45 Soon-to-be alums
46 Creator of the world’s
first crossword puzzle,
in 1913
48 Beach volleyball
49 Problem for a princess
50 Author of The Voyage
of the Beagle, 1839
57 Largest city in the
Middle East
58 Numbskull
The Week Contest
Laudatory poetry
Summertime lament
Opinion on a situation
Hired muscle
They might take you
for a ride
66 The Royal ___ (you
can read his title and
name out from the
first words of theme
1 Way out there
2 Immediately
3 Commotion
4 Beloved novelist
5 Referee’s error
6 State motto of
7 Tennis champ Steffi
who won the U.S.
Open in 1988, 1989,
1993, 1995, and 1996
8 ___-Am (Dr. Seuss
9 Ready for trouble
10 Tennis champ Ivan
who won the U.S.
Open in 1985, 1986,
and 1987
11 Go out with
12 Like ___ not
13 A billion years
21 Septum’s place
22 Large runners of
25 To-do and
for two
26 Kitchen appliance
27 Eurasian range
28 “...___ the whole
29 Amusement
30 ___ day (at some point
in the distant future)
31 Monopolize the mirror
32 Strategically confine
33 Lorna ___ (cookie
36 One of the seven
deadly sins
38 Museum pieces
41 Makes the exact same
points as
42 Like some history
43 Superior
44 Fight ___ of attrition
47 Rabbit at Rest novelist
48 Tycoon
50 G.I.’s pattern
51 Cracker like a Ritz
52 Words to a traitor
53 Cotton ___ (Q-tip)
54 Fetal position?
55 Result of a
brainstorming session
56 Rookie
57 Smoke
60 Like a fox
This week’s question: Penn State has banned the college’s 98-year-old Outing Club from going on hiking,
canoeing, or camping trips, after deciding that outdoors
activities are too dangerous and could lead to lawsuits.
Please come up with the name of a new student club that
would satisfy the college’s safety-first agenda.
Last week’s contest: A Colorado man who previously
had been mauled by a bear and bitten by a rattlesnake
has survived his third wildlife encounter—a shark attack
in Hawaii. If Dylan McWilliams were to write a memoir
about his wildlife experiences, what title could he give
the book?
THE WINNER: “You Want a Piece of Me?”
Barbara Berryman, Brookhaven, Ga.
SECOND PLACE: “Thrice Bitten, Won’t Die”
Jennifer Keifer, Danvers, Mass.
THIRD PLACE: “Prey Tell”
Dean M. Kilgore, Austin
For runners-up and complete contest rules, please go to
How to enter: Submissions should be emailed to Please include your name,
address, and daytime telephone number for verification;
this week, type “Safety first” in the subject line. Entries
are due by noon, Eastern Time, Tuesday, May 8. Winners
will appear on the Puzzle Page next
issue and at on
Friday, May 11. In the case of identical
or similar entries, the first one received
gets credit.
The winner gets a one-year
subscription to The Week.
Fill in all the
boxes so that
each row, column,
and outlined
square includes
all the numbers
from 1 through 9.
Find the solutions to all The Week’s puzzles online:
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