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Left Behind in Cambodia / McConaughey’s Mavericks

03.02.2017

STATE OF RESISTANCE Inside California’s battle against Trumpism

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FEBRUARY 03, 2017

VOL.168

NO.04

DEPARTMENTS

BIG SHOTS 4 Washington, D.C.

Charting a New Coarse 6 Washington, D.C. We Shall Overcomb 8 Banjul, Gambia Are We There Yet? 10 Islip, New York Got Shorty

PAG E O N E 12 Politics

Left-Wing Hawks

16 Football

Out of His League

NEW WORLD 46 Teeth

Tooth: Heal Thyself!

+

FEATURES

22

SOLDIER’S REQUIEM:

Marine Lance Corporal Ashton Loney lies on Koh Tang’s west beach during the Vietnam War. Loney was killed while leading a patrol through the Cambodian island’s jungle.

State of Resistance

KO H TA N G/ M AYAGU E Z V E T E RA N S O RGA N I ZAT I O N

California is preparing to lead the national revolt against Donald Trump, fighting him on climate change, trade and that ridiculous wall. Gird your loins and pass the sunscreen. by Alexander Nazaryan 36

The Things They Buried

Dubious Doses

DOWNTIME 54 Theater

On the Up

58 Cars

It Eats Mustangs

61 Cinema

So Precious

During the last battle of the Vietnam War, three U.S. Marines went missing. The military said they disobeyed orders and likely died in the firefight. But the brutal war that started with a lie may have ended with one as well. by Matthew M. Burke

62 Style

Bright Sparks

64 To-Do List

Your Week Made Better

Newsweek (ISSN2052-1081), is published weekly except one week in January, July, August and October. Newsweek (EMEA) is published by Newsweek Ltd (part of the IBT Media Group Ltd), 25 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5LQ, UK. Printed by Quad/Graphics Europe Sp z o.o., Wyszkow, PolandFor Article Reprints, Permissions and Licensing www.IBTreprints.com/Newsweek

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BIG SHOTS

USA

Charting a New Coarse

Washington, D.C.— President Barack Obama and Donald Trump sit on the Capitol’s West Front for the January 20 inauguration ceremony that installed Trump as the nation’s 45th president. In his speech, Trump slammed the capital’s political establishment and Obama’s legacy, saying, “This American carnage stops right here.” When Trump finished, Obama smiled tightly as he shook the businessman’s hand and appeared to mouth the words “good job.”

SCOTT OLSON


SCOT T O LSO N /G E T T Y


BIG SHOTS

USA

We Shall Overcomb

A D R E ES L AT I F/ R EU T E RS

Washington, D.C.— Anti-Trump protesters ride a packed Metrorail train on the way to the Women’s March on January 21. More than 500,000 people attended the D.C. rally, while over 1 million attended sister rallies across the world, including those in Los Angeles, London and even small villages like Unalakleet, Alaska, according to the Associated Press. Marchers in D.C. held signs saying “Love Trumps Hate” and chanted, “We want a leader, not a creepy tweeter.”

ADREES LATIF


BIG SHOTS

GAMBIA

Are We There Yet?

Banjul, Gambia— Hours after Yahya Jammeh, Gambia’s longtime authoritarian leader, announced he would step down, people returned to the capital by ferry on January 21. Fearing violence, tens of thousands had absconded to Senegal in December after Jammeh lost the presidential election but refused to step down. The winner, Adama Barrow, escaped across the border as well and was sworn into office in the Gambian Embassy in Dakar, the Senegalese capital. Jammeh has fled to Equatorial Guinea in an apparent effort to avoid extradition; according to Barrow’s aides, he took $11 million in public funds with him.

J E RO M E D E L AY/A P

JEROME DELAY


BIG SHOTS

USA

Islip, New York— He was the world’s most notorious narco—an escape artist who twice broke out of prison in Mexico. Now he is back behind bars—only this time in the United States. On January 19, Mexican authorities extradited Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán to New York, where he is charged with a variety of crimes related to his reign as head of the Sinaloa cartel. Over the past decade, Chapo, which means Shorty in Spanish, became a symbol of the war on drugs’ failure—both in Mexico and the U.S.

U.S. O F F I C I A LS/ H A N D OU T/ R EU T E RS

Got Shorty


P TRUMP

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POLITICS

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O ECONOMICS

N IRAQ

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LEFT-WING HAWKS

Russian hacking is spurring a revival of Cold War liberalism IN THE DAYS and weeks before Donald John Trump was sworn in as the 45th president, there was a lot of attention focused on a 55-year-old film, The Manchurian Candidate. Given Russian interference in the U.S. election, many naturally gravitated to the 1962 Frank Sinatra film about a Soviet-Chinese plot to install a puppet in the Oval Office. (Everyone ignored the muchmaligned Jonathan Demme 2004 remake.) In January, The New York Times asked if Trump was a modern Manchurian candidate. In December, Saturday Night Live spoofed a shirtless Vladimir Putin telling Trump: “We think you’re the best candidate, the smartest candidate, the Manchurian candidate.” (“I don’t know what that means, but it sounds tremendous,” Alec Baldwin replied in perfect Trump form.) The film was an exemplary example of what historians call Cold War liberalism, a post–World War II belief in liberal policies at home—equal rights for blacks, an activist, New Deal–style federal government—and aggressive challenging of Communism abroad. John F. Kennedy’s inaugural speech in 1961 encapsulated this view. As he

NEWSWEEK

put it, the U.S. would, “pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe” to promote freedom. JFK loved The Manchurian Candidate, but the film was a commercial flop, and was taken out of circulation after his assassination in 1963. (In the movie, a presidential candidate is slain by a sniper from above as part of the Communist plot, an eerie foreshadowing of Kennedy’s assassination.) The movie applauds the liberal mores of the time; one of the heroes of the film is a proud member of the American Civil Liberties Union, and there’s even a Mad Men– esque sex appeal. Janet Leigh, a single woman on a train, picks up Sinatra with a bravado you wouldn’t have seen in the Eisenhower era. Likewise, the intellectual psychiatrist helping Sinatra uncover the Commie plot is black. Today, Cold War liberalism seems to be making a comeback. When Hillary Clinton called Trump Putin’s “puppet” during the third presidential debate, some older viewers might have had a flashback to 1960, when Kennedy moved to the right of Richard Nixon by taking a super

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BY MATTHEW COOPER @mattizcoop


+ TURN-RED COATS:

M I C H A E L H E I M A N /G E T T Y

Accusations that Russia assisted Trump’s presidential campaign have liberals turning back into hawks.

NEWSWEEK

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NEWSWEEK

In 1944, FDR dumped his dovish vice president, Henry Wallace, for a hawkish Missouri senator named Harry Truman. Four years later, Wallace ran for president as an independent, favoring a softer line on the Soviets, and Truman clobbered him. Give ’Em Hell Harry built NATO and the alliances that many worry Trump might now weaken or even dismantle. But it wasn’t just politicians who championed liberal anti-Communism. Cold War liberals included union heads like Walter Reuther of the United Auto Workers, intellectuals like the historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr., theologian Reinhold Niebuhr and diplomat George Kennan. Most Cold War liberals emphasized how Jim Crow was hurting America in its efforts to persuade newly formed post-colonial nations, especially in Africa, to ally with the U.S. instead of the Soviet Union. For this hawkish, liberal group, defeating segregationist George Wallace in the 1960s, because racism was hurting U.S. foreign policy, was as important as defeating the non-interventionist Henry Wallace some two decades earlier. The breaking point for Cold War liberalism was Vietnam. After all, JFK had gotten America

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hostility toward NATO and antipathy to America’s traditional European alliances has global leaders worried.

DA DA R R KO KO VOJ VOJ II N N OV OV II C/A C/A P P

hard line on the “missile gap” with Moscow (it later proved to be a myth), and Chinese threats against two tiny islands in the Taiwan strait. Likewise, Democrats have been leading the charge to probe Russian hacking of both their party’s national committee and the private emails of Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta, as well as some very suspect phone calls between Trump campaign officials and Moscow, which an interagency task force is investigating. It’s also telling that John Lewis, the famed civil rights figure and Georgia congressman, boycotted the Trump inauguration because of Russian interference in the election—and not the billionaire’s call for a temporary ban on Muslim immigration. If a dove like Lewis is bashing Moscow, something is changing among Democrats. If you were raised in the ’70s or ’80s, it’s easy to think of the Democrats as the peace party, but throughout most of the 20th century, they were the hawks. Woodrow Wilson led the nation into World War I. Franklin Roosevelt itched to help America’s allies against Adolf Hitler at a time when the Republican Party was identified with isolationists like aviator Charles Lindbergh and religious broadcaster Father Charles Coughlin.

DEFACING YOUR FUTURE: Trump’s


into the quagmire and his successor, Lyndon B. Johnson, expanded U.S. involvement dramatically. The war led to massive liberal protests against LBJ, his defense secretary, Robert McNamara, and other liberal hawks. The transformation of Robert Kennedy, elected to the U.S. Senate from New York in 1964, from a cold warrior by his brother’s side to a leader of the anti-Vietnam war movement was a headspinning shift. By the time George McGovern was nominated as the Democratic presidential candidate in 1972, running on an anti-war platform and the slogan “Come Home, America,” the party had been profoundly changed. But as memories of Vietnam faded, the Democrats’ more hawkish impulses returned. In the 1990s, liberals—and some conservatives— pushed President Bill Clinton to intervene in the Balkans to stop Serbian aggression against Muslims. In the aftermath of 9/11, only one congressional Democrat opposed the use of force in Afghanistan. Liberals were split over the Iraq War, but then-Senators Hillary Clinton, John Kerry (both of whom would become secretary of state under Barack Obama) and Joe Biden (of veep fame) all voted to authorize the use of force. But there are big differences between the liberal cold warriors of yesterday and the anti-Putin Democrats of today. First, the Russian challenge is parochial. Communism was an ideology with appeal from Hanoi to Havana, and Moscow was the patron to self-styled revolutionaries worldwide. Putinism, if there is such a thing, has no international appeal. It is an expression of Russian nationalism, a carte blanche for oligarchs, with a dollop of anti-gay thuggery. It has similarities to nationalist, antiimmigration parties like the United Kingdom Independence Party, or the National Front in France, but it’s nothing like Communism. Putinism isn’t exactly going to spread like those Che Guevara T-shirts. Second, even the Democrats who are taking a tough line on Putin don’t tend to be more interventionist. They’re not, for example, pushing for a military response to Beijing, which is building artificial islands in the South China Sea and running afoul of Japan, Vietnam, the Philippines and the U.S. On issues like confronting Putin’s ardent backing of Syria, Democrats are divided. Some, like Hillary Clinton, favored a harder line against the brutal regime of Bashar al-Assad, while others, like Biden, were against backing the insurgents. Yet that more aggressive strain of Cold War liberalism might just be dormant, not dead. Just

PAGE ONE/POLITICS

as the Republicans have lurched back to their more isolationist days with a president who touted “America first” in his inaugural address, the hawkish impulse lies deep in the Democratic DNA. And some of the possible 2020 Democratic presidential candidates, like Senator Elizabeth Warren, have migrated to the Senate Armed Services Committee, where Clinton sat for eight years. That’s a perch you use to show your hawkish credentials. If you’re running for president just on butter and not guns, you stick to assignments like agriculture. One trait of the Cold War liberals that could be applicable in the Trump era is a deep belief in alliances with Europe, not on America going it alone, and having humility abroad—an instinct born, in part, of a belief that America needed drastic social reform. Cold War conservatives were more chauvinistic—political theorist James Burnham once declared, “The reality

PUTINISM LACKS GLOBAL APPEAL. IT ISN’T EXACTLY GOING TO SPREAD LIKE CHE GUEVARA T-SHIRTS.

NEWSWEEK

is that the only alternative to the Communist world empire is an American empire, which will be, if not worldwide in formal boundaries, capable of exercising decisive world control.” Truman struck a different tone: “We all have to recognize, no matter how great our strength, that we must deny ourselves the license to do always as we please.” That sounds like a good lesson for Trump, who thinks America should seize Iraq’s oil and ignore the global consensus on issues like climate change, which he’s vowed to do by scrapping the Paris accords. America acting like an imperious, imperialist bully isn’t part of the plot of The Manchurian Candidate, but it’s still a terrifying plot twist—both for U.S. and the world.

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PAGE ONE/SPORT

OUT OF HIS LEAGUE

Did anti-American prejudice end Bob Bradley’s dream of coaching a team in the English premiership?

NEWSWEEK

ing—or because he was an American? From the start of his career, Bradley knew as well as any American coach how dismissive the European football establishment often was toward American soccer. To many Europeans, even the term soccer is a sign of outsiderness, a confirmation that National Football League–loving Americans can’t even get the name of the world’s most popular sport right. None of that deterred Bradley. He spent most of his adulthood working toward coaching in one of Europe’s leading football leagues. A graduate of Princeton University, the cerebral coach took on some of football’s most challenging roles: Having won the Gold Cup with the U.S. Men’s National team in 2007, he managed Egypt’s national team during the 2011 revolution, led a cash-strapped Norwegian club to one of Europe’s top tournaments and came within two goals of taking Le Havre, a team in France’s second division, to the top tier of French football. When Swansea hired Bradley on October 3, he had finally achieved his dream. But the first American to manage in the Premier League is now left wondering what went wrong. “I have been fired a few times; it’s part of being a manager if you’ve been in this job as long as I have,” Bradley, 58, tells Newsweek, speaking by phone from his son’s home in Toronto. “I feel good that in most cases there was a lot of success to point to, but when you do get fired, you have to reflect.” Before Bradley joined, Swansea was already having a bad season. After selling its captain,

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SWEPT AWAY:

American football coach Bradley poses on Wales’s Swansea Beach shortly after being appointed manager of the Swansea City team in October 2016. +

BY TOM RODDY @TomRoddy_

H UW EVA N S/ R E X /A P

EARLY IN the morning on December 27, the day after his team lost 4–1 at home to West Ham, Bob Bradley went back to work at Swansea City’s Fairwood headquarters in South Wales. The American coach took a training session with the players who hadn’t competed on December 26, rewatched their defeat to West Ham and prepared for the next game against Bournemouth, before heading home at 5:45 p.m. Shortly after he got there, Bradley’s phone lit up with a text message. Swansea Chairman Huw Jenkins wanted to meet. A half-hour later, Jenkins asked Bradley to step down, offering little explanation besides noting that he had “come to Swansea at a difficult time.” Bradley told him it was the wrong decision, but they shook hands and parted ways. With a record of two wins, two draws and seven defeats, Bradley left the Liberty Stadium after just 85 days in the job. It wasn’t an impressive record—but other Premier League managers had kept their jobs in spite of having worse results during the same period of time. He was sacked just days before the January transfer period, during which he would have been able to buy and sell players, the first opportunity he would have had to build his team. Many in the football world were surprised to see a coach regarded as one of the top three in America lose his job so quickly. And the nature of the criticism from fans and the British press before his firing raised a question about national stereotyping in the elite world of European football: Did Bradley lose his job because he was fail-


FOR THE OLIGARCH OR EMIR WHO HAS EVERYTHING, A HIGH-END FOOTBALL TEAM IS A PRIZED TROPHY.

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NEWSWEEK

the owners knew that his nationality could be a problem for the fans. “We all understood from the first meetings that this was a difficult situation,” Bradley says, 13 days after being fired. “We also agreed that getting this team turned around was going to take hard work, including a January [transfer] window, and I’m disappointed that all that has now been thrown away.” This hostility, particularly on social media, reached its peak 10 days before Bradley was sacked. After a 3–0 defeat to Middlesbrough, he used American football terminology in an interview with the BBC, describing a penalty as a “PK”—a penalty kick—and the match as a “road game,” meaning it was played in the opposing team’s stadium. One Twitter user wrote: “Bob Bradley really just called a penalty a ‘PK’ in his post-match interview. He should be sacked with immediate effect for that alone.” Bradley was taken aback by the response. “I don’t think those are big things, so, yes, I certainly was surprised,” he says. Initially, Bradley tried to ignore stories in the infamously harsh British tabloids. “I never got too offended by it. And, at the end of the day, I was too focused on the work I had.” But the attention on his nationality would have been hard to ignore. Less than two weeks after Bradley was appointed, Britain’s Sky Sports’ Saturday morning comedy talk show, Soccer AM, ran a new feature on a character named

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P ROS P O RTS/ R E X /A P

Ashley Williams, and the previous season’s top scorer, André Ayew, the team won just one of the next 12 league games, averaging less than one goal scored per game. Italian manager Francesco Guidolin suffered the consequences of the record when Bradley replaced him seven games into the season. The American inherited a team low on morale and uncertain about the future. But Bradley’s biggest problems were off the pitch. Three months before he started, Swansea’s fans were shocked when the American owner of Major League Soccer (MLS) club D.C. United and an American financier completed a majority takeover of Swansea. They began to make decisions, like dismissing Guidolin and hiring Bradley, without consulting the Swansea City Supporters Trust, an organization formed in 2001 to save the team from liquidation. It was their right as majority shareholders not to consult the trust, but it didn’t endear them to the Welsh fans, who saw Swansea as a community club. The trustees didn’t know about the sale to the Americans until it was too late to stop it, says Stuart McDonald, the trust’s director. “The fans felt the local businessmen had sold them out. Because of that, there was a bit of an anti-American feeling. It was only anti-American because it was Americans buying the club; if it was Chinese, it would have been anti-Chinese.” Many European fans think that investment from foreign ownership diminishes the fans’ connection with their club. Foreign billionaires have been buying big teams for about two decades, and lucrative television deals have further encouraged investors. Profits are often modest, and many English football clubs regularly post heavy losses, but for the oligarch or emir who has everything, a football team is a prized trophy. Fans worry that unknown, sometimes unseen owners will misuse teams as a vehicle for their vanity or for commercial use—the Florida-based Glazer family loaded up Manchester United with debt when they bought the club in 2006—and the only way to appease skeptical supporters is for the team to prove successful. So when he got to Swansea, Bradley bumped up against a central point of tension in Premier League football. “I think it was inevitable that when Bob Bradley was appointed there was more pressure on him because of the feeling out there among the fans,” says McDonald. “There had never been an American manager before. He wasn’t someone with huge experience of the Premier League—not even top-class football. So there was the suspicion, the feeling that he was appointed purely because he was an American.” Before he took the job, Bradley says, he and


UNQUIET AMERICAN: Bradley

speaks to his team during the Premier League match between Stoke City and Swansea City on October 31, 2016. Swansea lost the game 3-1 at Britain’s bet365 Stadium, Stoke-on-Trent. +

PAGE ONE/SPORT

drills and watching matches, they traveled to the home of Johan Cruyff, the Dutchman who led Barcelona to four successive La Liga titles and a European Cup as manager in the early ’90s. One evening, Cruyff, Bradley and his team sipped wine, ate dinner and discussed football philosophies and tactics for three hours. Bradley has absolute respect for European football, even if that world ultimately showed him little affection. One reason for the shaky connection between Bradley and his players might have been his bluntness—a trait many Europeans might see as stereotypically American. “You need to be ready for the truth because he will tell you exactly how he feels,” says C.J. Brown, who played for Bradley at the Chicago Fire. This frankness, Bradley has admitted, may have harmed him in Wales. “Maybe I would not have been quite as open,” he told Sports Illustrated, when asked whether he would have done anything differently. This may have been a particular liability in the Premier League, where players get paid much higher salaries than MLS players and often have an inflated sense of self-worth. Bradley hesitated to speak too directly when Newsweek asked whether egos got in the way of the team’s support for him. “One of the things I’ve always felt I’ve been able to do is to go into a situation and, little by little, try to establish an environment where we are all in something together,” he says. “I was going about that the same way at Swansea…and in those moments you have many players who respond well, and...in some cases, if they sense that their status is down a little bit, then maybe they are not going to respond as well.” (Swansea declined Newsweek’s request to make players available for comment.) Bradley now lives with the fact that his own status has fallen a little—the first American in English football’s top tier flamed out, fast. But the ambition that drove him from New Jersey to coaching a team in the world’s most watched football league is unlikely to fade—he is already looking for a new job. “I don’t go around thinking of myself as an American manager,” he says. “I think of myself as a football manager.” In Europe, however, Bradley learned that it’s not necessarily what he thinks of himself that matters.

“THERE WAS THE SUSPICION THAT HE WAS APPOINTED PURELY BECAUSE HE WAS AN AMERICAN.” Brad Bobley. The foulmouthed and aggressive American coach, played by a presenter wearing a skin-colored swimming cap—Bradley keeps his thinning hair very short—makes a mess of his European terminology and even struggles to get the names of his players right. Friends of Bradley’s say he wasn’t at fault for his firing. Kevin Payne, CEO of U.S. Club Soccer, who gave Bradley his first job in MLS as assistant coach at D.C. United, attributed the criticism to snobbery. “You have a very passionate supporter base that has been trained in recent years to have very, very little patience. And then you have a media that is pretty rabid in its approach to the analysis of a team’s shortcomings,” he says. Payne, like so many of Bradley’s former colleagues, speaks of the coach’s great appetite to learn. In 2000, Bradley brought four members of his coaching staff on a seven-day trip to Spain’s East Coast to visit FC Barcelona’s famous La Masia academy. As well as studying training NEWSWEEK

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Aruba Five Star Island, Paradise of Sustainable Solutions Known as the, "happy island," Aruba works towards making Earth a happy planet Eight years into a national strategy enshrining a conversion to green energy and sustainable development, Aruba has been illuminated by a new spotlight. The Caribbean island known for pristine beaches, savoir vivre and five star hospitality has now been positioned as a hub of green initiatives with a rapidly developing knowledge society. Though a destination where holiday makers enjoy a relaxed pace, Aruba has historically been a fast developer. After the island gained its status as an autonomous member of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in 1986, the tourism sector developed from 2000 to 8000 hotel rooms in 25 years. Today, since having anchored its national vision to sustainable development, in 2009, the island is on track to run wholly on renewable energy, by 2020. While Aruba is a concerned stakeholder when it comes to preventing climate change, the small island being vulnerable to rising sea levels, the outset of Aruba’s sustainable development mission coincided with the global economic crisis and oil prices being at all-time highs. Facing a knock on effect of recession in Aruba, instead of implementing austerity measures, the government invested in converting to running the island on renewable energy; protecting the environment and guarding against future fluctuations in the global energy market while creating jobs, and new skills, on the island. The government also chose to invest in revitalising essential infrastructure to make the island five star, throughout. “Our strategy really connects economic growth with the social well-being of people,” said Aruba’s Prime Minister Mike Eman. “We do not want to only have 5 star hotels but also, 5 star schools, 5 star neighbourhoods as well as 5 star public spaces where people can walk and enjoy themselves. We have achieved that over the last few years,” he explained. The strategy is a success. Today, the island has resurged from the crisis as a more competitive destination in spite of having taken on greater debt to make its investments. Aruba’s budget deficit is decreasing steadily going from 6.3% of GDP in 2014 to 2% in 2016, on course for a historical low of 0.5% this year. Standard and Poor’s revised their outlook for Aruba to positive last June.

“Aruba is recovering steadily thanks to the choice to invest in our own people,” said Drs. Franklin Hoevertsz, Managing Director of Utilities Aruba NV. The shift from a traditional energy mix based on fossil fuels to a green energy mix comprised of renewable and alternative energy sources required not only new technologies but the support of the country’s utility companies. WEB Aruba NV, the island’s sole producer of power and water, operates alongside power distributer Elmar under holding company, Utilities Aruba NV. 100% state owned, the utility company has been implementing the multi-faceted conversion and today, 50% of Aruba’s power comes from renewable energy sources. The country’s first wind park, Vader Piet, contributed 30 megawatts in capacity to the Aruban grid and a second wind park now in the pipeline aims to double that. A solar park has been introduced at Aruba’s international airport aiding its efforts to become carbon neutral, a new solar park is being built and solar panels have been placed on existing buildings, adding 10% capacity. “We are also going to build a biofuel Algenol algae-supported refinery which will capture the CO2 of hydrogen plants,” said Mike de Meza, Aruba’s Minister of Economic Affairs, Communications, Energy and Environment. An existing refinery is also being rehabilitated to become more environmentally friendly. “The refinery will utilize natural gas over heavy fuel oil seeing emissions drop significantly, (between 98% and upwards),” de Meza explained. Aruba is also increasingly efficient in its energy use through new technologies as well as energy storage solutions to optimally manage wind and solar power. In the latter regard, Aruba has most recently signed an agreement with leading alternative energy company, Tesla, adding to the island’s already impressive roster of leading international partners such as, The Netherlands Research Organization, Carbon War Room and the Rocky Mountain Institute. Fostering local support for green endeavours and instilling a culture of sustainable development is an essential part of Aruba’s green strategy particularly when it comes to the nation’s youth who benefit from

Smart Media 360 Ltd. • Kemp House, 152 City Road, London, EC1V 2NX, United Kingdom • Phone: +44 203 815 7967 • www.smartmedia360.co.uk Project and Content Directors: Eleanor Legge-Bourke and Miguel Artacho. Writing and editing: Tatiana Bhai.

In collaboration with


Aruba

Wind Power Expertise Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino venue of the Green Aruba Conference

programs such as the Green Schools project through which WEB sponsors educational packages for students. Meanwhile, knowledge created via the process of implementing Aruba’s green vision is exportable. Aruba has been sharing knowledge of the process of getting to where it is today with the rest of the world. Since 2010, the island has hosted the Green Aruba Conference where leading international participants share information, knowledge, experiences and discuss best practices. Since 2015, Aruba has also been home to the United Nations Development Program’s Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States (SIDS). Experience gained in Aruba helps improve technologies and processes available for transfer to other SIDS while solutions tested in Aruba are easily scalable for roll out in larger countries. Furthermore, the Aruban experience serves as a confidence building example to other nations wishing to follow a similar path but facing resistance to change. Companies wishing to participate in the raft of new opportunities for partnership in Aruba’s sustainable development projects and businesses operating in the region continue to be attracted by the island’s strong legal framework, and asset protection. A new Free Zone package, coming out early this year, positions Aruba further as a Green Gateway to regional business. “Our strategic location puts us very close to huge Latin American markets, the Caribbean and Central America,” said Prime Minister Eman. “Meanwhile, our ties with Europe and The Netherlands mean we understand European culture as well as Latin American culture. Bolstered by our people speaking four languages, we can be a means of bringing diverse people together.” www.pmoaruba.com / www.utilitiesarubanv.com www.greenaruba.org / www.tedxaruba.com Want to brainstorm about the opportunities Aruba can offer you? Contact Bianca Peters at the Aruban Bureau of Innovation via: bianca@bi.aw

Leading wind energy expert Henk Hutting discusses NuCapitalÕs Aruban project In electricity generator WEB Aruba NV´s vision of realising cleaner, greener and fuel-oil free power generation, green energy company NuCapital’s Vader Piet wind park has played a significant role. With ten wind turbines producing 3 megawatts of electricity each, the project, which has capacity to comprise up to 20% of Aruba’s total electricity generation, has surpassed initial expectations and forms part of ongoing proof that commonplace estimations of the potential contribution of wind parks to national grids continues to be undervalued. In 2007, when Henk Hutting proffered the most competitive bid in the Aruban Government’s tender offer for the construction of Vader Piet, the wind power vendor was able to bring decades of expertise in wind farm design, integration of wind energy into island systems and the development of greenfield national wind park projects to the table, as well as exclusive technology to enhance the efficacy of the project. Having assisted in developing the first wind farm in the Netherlands and advised on the first wind farm in the Caribbean, in the 1980s and 1990s respectively, Hutting had also conducted feasibility studies for wind farms on Aruba in 1996 and 2003. By 2007, the same year as Hutting had commenced the design of a 365 turbine flagship wind farm project in Kenya, he was best placed to offer Aruba, through his own company, the opportunity of producing energy for a third of the price then obtained by oil. “The break-even price for Aruba was at a price per barrel of oil of something like $48,” said Hutting. “The global oil price was then in the $150 range so they paid only one third to the wind farm. Now, Aruba is also more protected against future oil price rises.

“In the economic evaluation from the five bids submitted during the tendering process, our bid was $100 million better over the lifetime of the project than the second best bid,” Hutting recounts. “Much of that has to do with unique innovations that we offered such as giving the control of the wind farm output to WEB Aruba itself and, on top of that, we provided accurate power output predictions,” said Hutting. As such, while Vader Piet is run by NuCapital, of which Hutting is CEO, with Aruba as the exclusive purchaser of the power produced, the project has also generated Vader Piet jobs and created knowledge for the Aruban workforce as the grid connection, electrical interconnection and related aspects are all done locally. Furthermore, Hutting’s expertise in advanced feasibility studies allows him to take on all the development risk. “We take on the full risk of the investment,” said Hutting. “Then the islands can save money. When we discussed the second wind farm, Prime Minister Eman commented that he loves not having the burden of risk and investment but still makes a million a month,” Hutting relayed. Enhancing efficiency further, Vader Piet also benefits from a technology, custom built for NuCapital in Australia, the Lidar system, that measures wind speeds up to 10KM away so that less diesel fuel needs to be burnt in guarding against dips in the system. “Nobody else has made wind energy a reliable source in an affordable way before,” explained Hutting. “Our knowledge on how to integrate a wind farm into the total supply and demand system is our competitive advantage.” The establishment of Aruba’s second wind park, Urirama, is now also in progress under Hutting’s leadership. www.nucapitalsvcs.com

Mix business with pleasure The Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino caters to every need from large-scale conference organisation to beautiful beach holidays. Relax in scenic tranquility at the adult exclusive H2Oasis pool and Tradewinds Club comprising ocean view rooms, a private lounge with dedicated concierge, five food and beverage

servings throughout the day and a reserved beach area while children enjoy the rest of the resort. Sumptuous dining includes Caribbean and Latin American cuisine, a sushi bar and steak house. Speaking of Aruba attracting record rates of repeat visitors to its idyllic beaches, natural parks and cultural heritage, Tom Calame, General

Manager of the Aruba Marriott Resort and Stellaris Casino said, “The friendliness of the Aruban people is a big reason why many visitors keep coming back. The island’s safety record is also a big draw, the steady sunshine is a great benefit and the island is outside the hurricane path.” www.arubamarriott.com


STAT E OF R E S I STA N C E California is preparing to lead a national revolt against Donald Trump, fighting him on climate change, trade and that ridiculous wall. Gird your loins and pass the sunscreen

B Y A L E X A N D E R N A Z A R YA N I L L U S T R AT I O N B Y W E S L E Y B E D R O S I A N

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BEGAN with a tweet, as so much does these days. The first shot in the coming war was fired in a 140-character burst by Shervin Pishevar, a venture capitalist in Silicon Valley. “If Trump wins I am announcing and funding a legitimate campaign for California to become its own nation,” said the first in a volley of tweets by the Iranian-American technology investor. “As 6th largest economy in world,” he said three tweets later, “economic engine of nation, provider of a large % of federal budget, California carries a lot of weight.” This call to arms was retweeted thousands of times in those bewildering first hours of the Age of Trump. By the next morning, the movement for California to secede from the United States had made national headlines, with Pishevar anointed the movement’s leader. It even had a name, Calexit, an echo of the Brexit movement, which will eventually cleave Great Britain from the European Union. The nativist tone of Brexit foreshadowed the xenophobia of Donald Trump. CalExit is a kind of nativism too, except it’s fundamentally sunny in disposition—a Brexit for American liberals much more closely aligned with Western Europe than West Virginia. Unrelated to Pishevar’s tweetstorm was a Sacramento rally held the day after the election (but planned long before) by Yes California, a secession group run by a young man from San Diego named Louis Marinelli. Marinelli, 29, wants to use California’s ballot measure process to have his fellow citizens vote for secession, much as they have voted to ban plastic bags and legalize recreational marijuana. Unlike Pishevar, whose secessionary tweets were plainly fired off in a fit of frustration, Marinelli has been long at work on this issue and will eagerly lay out his reasoning to anyone willing to listen.

+ NEXT EXIT, CALIFORNIA? Pishevar, a Silicon Valley VC guy, backed away

from his offer to fund a campaign for California to become its own nation, but others still champion the idea of a CalExit.

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F RO M L E F T: B EC K D I E F E N BAC H / R EU T E RS ; J UST I N SU L L I VA N /G E T T Y

IT

“America is a sinking ship, and the strongest position for California to take is one on its own lifeboat setting its own course forward,” he tells me. “A strong California holding its ground and attempting to influence the decisions of those in Washington at the helm of this sinking ship will find itself at the bottom of the ocean with them.” Even if the majority of Californians vote for Marinelli’s proposal, peaceful secession from the United States would be nearly impossible, says just about everyone with a knowledge of our federalized system. Pishevar seems to have decided as much; in the days following the election, he backed away from his call for secession. Once ringing with secessionary bravado, his Twitter feed is now protected. A press representative tells me Pishevar wasn’t going to discuss the issue. Yet there are substantive differences between California and the rest of the nation, a contrast that will only become sharper over the next four years. The Rust Belt gloom that helped elect Trump feels so distant from the Left Coast that it may as well be an abstraction. The America you see from the Sierra Nevada foothills, the endlessly fertile farmlands south of Sacramento and the coastal ranges of Santa Barbara is really a very good place to live: efficient, inclusive, optimistic—America 2.0. Back when the notion of a President Trump still seemed preposterous, the state’s Democratic governor, the gruff Jerry Brown, told a group of labor leaders in Sacramento, “If Trump were ever elected, we’d have to build a wall around California to defend ourselves from the rest of this country.” Brown quickly added that he was joking, but we all know what Freud said about the honesty that humor frequently conceals. It’s true that Californians’ love of their state can


+

“AMERICA IS A SINKING SHIP; THE STRONGEST POSITION FOR CALIFORNIA TO TAKE IS ONE ON ITS OWN LIFEBOAT.”

MI CASA, SUE CASA: San Francisco officials say it will remain a sanctuary city, despite Trump’s call to end the practice and his threat to cut off federal dollars to municipalities that defy him.

blind them. The famously beneficent West Coast sunshine hasn’t been distributed evenly across the land; California’s most persistent problems include high unemployment in the desert along the Mexican border and in the rugged, rural northlands, as well as a growing wealth gap along the prosperous coast, especially in the Bay Area, which competes with New York City as the most expensive place to live in the nation. The opioid crisis along the Oregon border is as serious as in the Midwest; the NEWSWEEK

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state’s eternally underfunded public schools routinely rank as some of the country’s worst, along with those of the Deep South. Yet for all those genuinely pressing problems, not all that long ago, the state was a full-blown disaster, to use one of Trump’s favorite words. It was rancorous and dysfunctional, the right wing’s favorite example of liberalism gone mad, not just a state with problems but a problem state. A 1989 cover of Newsweek showed California cleaved in two, a

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social norms, “pussy grabbing” and all. Though not much went right for Democrats on November 8, they crushed it in California, which Hillary Clinton won by 4.3 million votes. California Democrats also won a supermajority in the state Legislature, making it only one of four states with a Democratic “trifecta,” meaning both chambers of the Legislature and the

“IF TRUMP WERE EVER ELECTED, WE’D HAVE TO BUILD A WALL AROUND CALIFORNIA TO DEFEND OURSELVES.” governor’s office belong to the same party (Republicans, by contrast, now have 25 trifecta states). That effectively ensures the passage of most progressive legislation. Kamala Harris, the state’s attorney general, was elected to the Senate, a victory many believe she will use to launch a presidential run in 2020 or 2024; voters approved measures reinstating bilingual education, legalizing marijuana, instituting background checks for ammunition purchases and increasing the tobacco tax, as if working off a wish list from the editors of The Nation. What frightens Californians most about the next four years is that, instead of trying to learn from their state’s successes, Trump could seek to extirpate

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+ IS IT HOT IN HERE? Gov.

Jerry Brown has made climate change the legacy issue of his fourth term, and has vowed to fight any attempts by the Trump administration to roll back progress on that front.

F RO M L E F T: LUCY N I C H O LSO N / R EU T E RS ; F R E D E R I C J. B ROW N /A F P/G E T T Y

beach on one side, a clogged highway leading to a smog-smothered city on the other. The cover line: “American Dream, American Nightmare.” Today, cracks about Golden State dysfunction would be as dated as Woody Allen’s quips from Annie Hall about the cultural vapidity of Los Angeles. Led by the proudly parsimonious yet reliably progressive Brown and bolstered by the economic hothouse that is Silicon Valley, California has become the sixth biggest economy in the world. (If Brexit hurts the British economy as much as some think, California could soon be fifth.) Californians pays $452.8 billion in federal income taxes to Washington, eclipsing second-place New York by $150 billion. It grows more food than any other state, produces most of the technologies we’ve grown reliant on and, for better or worse, dictates what we watch in the after-dinner hours. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, California has more electricity-generating solar plants than the rest of the nation combined. About 85 percent of American wine comes from California, as does 100 percent of the Kardashian clan, whose members are estimated to be worth a combined $339 million—that is, about the gross domestic product of Micronesia. Not content with all these riches, California could soon eclipse Wisconsin in the production of cheese. California’s return to greatness didn’t require border walls or trade wars. Instead of rolling back environmental regulations to curry favor with corporate interests, California has passed the toughest green laws in the nation, the first of them championed by Brown’s predecessor, Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. The state’s citizens have voted in measures to increase taxes, legalize marijuana, restrict the rights of gun owners and enact criminal justice reforms. While conservative state legislatures are debating pointless “bathroom bills,” California has passed what some say are the strongest LGBT protections in the entire world. The state hasn’t found a remedy for earthquakes, but a company in Silicon Valley has a workable solution. It involves houses that hover. What California most definitely did not vote for is a reality-TV huckster pitching grievance-fueled xenophobia and a soot-covered energy portfolio borrowed from the 1950s, not to mention that decade’s


OPEN ARMS RACE: Califor-

nia welcomed more Syrian refugees last year than any other state, people like the family of Ammar Kawkab, which now lives in San Diego. +

the federal programs that even California needs to thrive. Trump (whose transition team did not respond to several requests for comment) opened his presidential campaign at his midtown Manhattan tower by invoking the image of Mexican murderers and rapists blitzing across our southern border. California, on the other hand, has the nation’s biggest share of undocumented immigrants, 2.4 million, who are allowed to get driver’s licenses and could soon be allowed to buy health insurance (federal approval is pending). Trump called Syrian refugees “a great Trojan force”; California welcomed more Syrian refugees in fiscal year 2016 than any other state. Trump also wants coal plants churning out black smoke and has even complained that environmental regulations eroded the quality of his beloved hairspray. Not only is hairspray passé in most of California, but the state was a major participant in 2015’s climate change accord in Paris, which has most of the industrialized world working to curb greenhouse

residents benefiting from some version of the ACA. Getting rid of the health law could cost the state as many as 334,000 jobs, according to a recent report by the Commonwealth Fund. Although it’s too early to tell what Trump will do on any of the above issues, Californians aren’t waiting for him to land the first blow. In response to his victory, students at Berkeley High School walked out of class the day after the election, protesting on streets that hosted riots against Ronald Reagan when he was the governor of California 50 years ago. In Oakland, protests descended into violence, with parts of the downtown destroyed. On the Monday after the election, high school students walked out of Los Angeles schools, gathering at Mariachi Plaza, on the city’s heavily immigrant East Side. One of them carried a sign more potent than all the tweets about California’s hoped-for secession: “We are unafraid.” Speaking on his podcast a few days after the election, political journalist John Myers of the Los Angeles Times compared California to District 13, the heart of the anti-Capitol rebellion in The Hunger Games. The analogy leaves an intriguing question: Who will be California’s Katniss Everdeen?

The What’s-Left Coast

gas emissions. California expects to get half of its energy from renewable sources by 2030, with billions of public and private dollars going to wind and solar projects around the state. On the campaign trail, Trump railed against the Affordable Care Act. California is the nation’s most enthusiastic participant in the Obamacare exchanges and expanded Medicaid coverage, with an estimated 5.2 million NEWSWEEK

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GAVIN NEWSOM walked into the election night party being hosted by Senator Dianne Feinstein and looked up at a television screen. The polls had closed on the East Coast, and the former San Francisco mayor and current lieutenant governor of California watched the returns from Florida come in. Hillary Clinton had been widely predicted to win the state, but the map on the screen was mostly red. That was when Newsom knew that Trump had won. Though progressive measures supported by Newsom passed in California, he told me the results nationwide made it a “miserable evening.” An avid student of California politics, Newsom recognizes that Trump is a sui generis creature but also hardly the first Republican to hold the state in contempt. “The [George W.] Bush administration was hardly favorable towards California,” he recently told me. He also pointed to James Watt, the rabid anti-environmentalist appointed to the Department of the Interior by Reagan. Governor Reagan, of course, gained national prominence by crushing protests at the University of California at Berkeley

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“WHEN OUR FUNDAMENTAL IDEALS ARE BEING ATTACKED, I SAY WE FIGHT!”

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PAT R I C K T. FA L LO N / B LO O M B E RG/G E T T Y

+ NOT THEIR MAN:

Trump lost California by 4.3 million votes, which might explain the many protests after his victory in the general election.

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with a deployment of National Guard troops, which left one student dead. “We’ve been here before,” Newsom said in a confident rasp that carried the slightest edge of belligerence. “We’ve not only survived, we’ve thrived.” Newsom, who many believe could be the state’s next governor, is one of several mostly younger politicians expected to lead the Trump resistance. Another leader of that fight is sure to be Harris, the capable attorney general who in November won election to the U.S. Senate, becoming only the second woman of African-American descent to gain that distinction. Though she has sometimes been criticized for an overly cautious and calculated approach, Harris did not hold back when it became clear she’d won but would not be serving under a President Clinton. “Do not despair. Do not be overwhelmed,” she said, voice quivering, as she took the stage on election night at a nightclub in downtown Los Angeles. “When we have been attacked and when our ideals and fundamental ideals are being attacked, do we retreat or do we fight? I say we fight!” Her word choices—despair, overwhelmed, attacked, fight— suggested the early scene of an alien invasion flick, the bruised president rallying a terrified nation from the rubble of the White House. In the trenches with Harris and Newsom will be Governor Brown, a 78-year-old who has fought enough political battles in his career to know how an impulsive neophyte like Trump can be tweaked. Feinstein, a proudly liberal native of San Francisco who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee, is expected to frustrate Trump’s attempts to appoint a right-wing ideologue to the U.S. Supreme Court. Southern California’s Adam Schiff, who is the ranking Democratic member of the House Intelligence Committee, has been assiduously pursuing claims of Russian interference in the presidential election while criticizing Trump for his longing gazes at the Kremlin. Democrat Ro Khanna, a newly elected U.S. representative from Silicon Valley, invoked his Indian heritage and Gandhi’s nonviolent resistance movement when asked by political commentator Randy Shandobil about legislating under Trump. “California,” Khanna said, “has to be a laboratory for resistance.” There are also the state’s Latino rising stars, including state Senate leader Kevin de León, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon and incoming Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who could turn his office into a clearinghouse for anti-Trump lawsuits. At his address to the Assembly upon its return to work in early December, Rendon mocked calls for national reconciliation sounded by some since the election. “Californians do not need healing,” he said. “We need to fight.” California’s politicians sometimes squabble over

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the finer points of liberalism like medieval monks arguing over scripture, seemingly unaware that in huge swaths of the U.S., the mere suggestion of a plastic bag ban would be akin to declaring loyalty to ISIS. Their antipathy toward Trump is obviously ideological, but it is just as obviously calculated. A centrist Clinton presidency would have made it difficult for an up-and-coming liberal like Harris or Becerra to stand out; Trump practically invites incursions into enemy territory by a fearless progressive eager to defend the republic. Or for a veteran looking for one last great battle.

Let’s Play Chicken! IN THE DAYS after Trump’s victory, California’s popular and indisputably effective governor stayed quiet. Jerry Brown began his career in 1969, just as Trump, having evaded the Vietnam War draft, was starting out in his father’s real estate practice. Brown has lost three presidential nominating contests, as well as one for the Senate, while winning nine California-wide elections, including a return to the governorship 36 years after first assuming that office. If politics is blood sport, Brown is incarnadine. As his fellow legislators in Sacramento blasted away at Trump immediately after the election, the lifelong Democrat held back. That lasted, however, only a week. On December 14, Brown spoke to the annual conclave of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco. The scientific organization is not known for fiery rhetoric, but the AGU has openly stated its support for the science behind global warming. With the incoming president once dismissing climate change as a “hoax,” a clash was inevitable. Brown has made global warming the signature issue of his fourth (and final) term as governor. His predecessor, Schwarzenegger, had signed a law in 2006 mandating that the state drastically reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. It was through Schwarzenegger’s legislation that California eventually began its pioneering (if ultimately flawed) capand-trade program, which created a marketplace for trading carbon emission allowances. Brown has added necessary muscle to Schwarzenegger’s green legislation, pushing the state to get half of its energy from renewable sources by 2030. Under his tenure, wind farms have taken root on mountain passes, while large swaths of desert glisten with solar arrays. Although California is not a nation (yet), it participated in the Paris climate accords in late 2015 and played a major role in the adoption of the Under 2 Memorandum of Understanding initiative, which commits non-nation signatory entities (states, cities, et al.) to policies that will keep our planet from becoming one giant tanning salon.

Delivering what he would later say was his best speech since his presidential run (he didn’t say which of the three he meant, though there’s good reason to believe he was referencing his “Shape of Things to Come” speech from the 1980 campaign), Brown shredded Trump with glee. “We’ve got the scientists, we’ve got the lawyers, and we’re ready to fight,” he boasted of his state. “We’re ready to defend. California is no stranger to this fight.” In alluding to a potential diminution of the federal government’s role in collecting atmospheric data, Brown said, “If Trump turns off the satellites, California will launch its own damn satellite. We’re going to collect that data.” “This is one of the first speeches of the Resistance era that actually makes me feel better,” wrote James Fallows in The Atlantic. In articulating his defiance on climate change, Brown laid out a road map for California legislators who have their own disagreements with the new president: Resist by simply continuing to do what California has been doing; dare Trump to play chicken. Myers, the Los Angeles Times reporter, convincingly argues that Brown could also be trying to set a trap for the Republicans by making them articulate their positions on climate change, thus exposing the absurdity of those views. For example, the apparent belief of Princeton-educated Texas Senator Ted Cruz that global warming is a conspiracy perpetrated by power-hungry liberals. Myers describes Brown’s likely thinking as “We let it get to its most outlandish point, and then we’re able to sweep in and get what we want by convincing the people in the middle.”

Walling Off the Wall FOR MANY OF the state’s Hispanic leaders, Trump is most threatening on immigration. Like most of his fellow Republican candidates for president, Trump promised to punish so-called sanctuary cities that do not cooperate with the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency by handing over undocumented immigrants arrested for other crimes. Critics of sanctuary cities have cited the case of Kate Steinle, a San Francisco woman killed in 2015 by a stray bullet fired by Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, an undocumented immigrant with a history of drug-related crimes who’d been deported from the United States five times. After a short stay in a San Francisco jail for a drug charge, he was released from custody without any notification to immigration officials. About two months later, he stole a gun from a federal official. A bullet from that gun killed Steinle as she was walking on the San Francisco waterfront with her father. Steinle’s parents have not supported Trump’s immigration plans, yet he used their daughter’s

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+ VISIONS OF 2020: Nov.

11 was a bad night for Democrats nationally, but a great one for California pols, including Harris, who grabbed a Senate seat, and is viewed as a possible presidential candidate.


DA M I A N D OVA RGA N ES/A P

death as a lesson about liberal tolerance gone too far. “No more funding,” he said during the campaign. “We will end the sanctuary cities that have resulted in so many needless deaths. Cities that refuse to cooperate with federal authorities will not receive taxpayer dollars, and we will work with Congress to pass legislation to protect those jurisdictions that do assist federal authorities.” He may also get rid of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, a 2012 executive action by President Barack Obama that protected about 740,000 undocumented immigrants who arrived here as children from imminent deportation. Without the protection of DACA, these “Dreamers” would become what many of Trump’s supporters have called them all along: “illegals.” The killing of Steinle, tragic as it was, didn’t temper Californians’ conviction that their state should be the nation’s foremost haven for undocumented immigrants. As the Los Angeles Daily News reports, “All 58 counties in California and most of the state’s police departments...decline to honor any ICE requests to hold immigrants beyond their jail sentences.” The paper also cites a Texas Tribune finding that California is by far the state least likely to cooperate with ICE. Shortly after Trump’s win, Los Angeles announced it would create a $10 million legal-defense fund to aid undocumented immigrants in potential deportation hearings. San NEWSWEEK

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Francisco is considering doing the same. To supporters of Trump’s hard-line immigration stance, California’s defiance is not legally defensible, since all 50 constituents of the republic ultimately answer to the federal government. But according to de León, president pro tempore of the state Senate, Trump cannot expect already overworked law enforcement agencies to also act as immigration officers. “Taxpayers pay their taxes to local police to protect and serve them, not to enforce federal laws,” says de León, a San Diego native of Mexican descent who represents Los Angeles in Sacramento. In a recent conversation, de León frequently deployed the states’ rights argument used by red states when trying to resist the Obama administration: We do our thing, you do yours. California’s desire to be left alone might be difficult to ignore, since it has one of the most robust and diverse economies in the world. In a recent WalletHub study of how much each state gives to and gets from the federal government, 17 of the top 20 “taker” states all went for Trump. By contrast, California was ranked 46th. Many of its tax dollars flow to poorer red states in the Midwest and South. That makes California a major funder of Trumplandia. I asked de León where California and the Trump administration could work together. I expected he’d say infrastructure investment, the most frequent answer for dismayed Democrats wanting something to like about Trump, who has proposed an improbable $1 trillion infrastructure plan. De León did not launch into a lament for California’s roads and bridges. “There are a lot of very important issues that we can find common ground on,” he says, without naming a single one.

The Apprentice Apprentice SOME WORRY that California’s leaders are overly combative. Joel Kotkin, a public policy scholar at Chapman University in the city of Orange, finds the notion of a California resistance ridiculous. “What, you’re gonna wear a beret and carry a carbine around?” he says, his strong New York accent compounding his derision. “California has become a crazy echo chamber,” he complains, describing its Democratic leaders as “Stalinist.” Kotkin lives in Orange County, the Republican stronghold south of Los Angeles that went for Clinton. So did much of the coast, where most Californians live. But Trump did garner 4.5 million votes in the state, a fact easily obscured by all the Bernie Sanders signs in Berkeley and Oakland. Trump’s support came from inland and northern counties like Lassen (72.7 percent) and Modoc (71.8 percent), where the population is older, poorer and

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whiter than on the coasts. Some of the Central Valley went for Trump too, in part because he told its farmers that there wasn’t really a drought (false) and that the region’s hardworking growers were being denied water by environmentalists “trying to protect a certain kind of 3-inch fish.” This was a criminal oversimplification of complex water-rights issues that must take into account both agriculture and the environment, but it handed Trump counties like Madera, Mariposa and Tulare. “People don’t really know how insane the regulatory environment is,” Kotkin complains, calling Sacramento’s liberal legislators acolytes of Josef Stalin. The notion that California is a laboratory for unfettered liberalism ignores the fact that Republicans, until recently, had plenty of influence there. They lost it, in good part, by promulgating some of the policies Trump now wants to foist on the entire nation. Newsom notes that Trump’s nativism has a precedent in Governor Pete Wilson’s Proposition 187, passed in 1994. That law, writes Narda Zacchino in her new book, California Comeback, “was designed to cause as much misery as possible for undocumented immigrants and their families” by essentially shutting them out of all social services. “It was a disaster for Republicans,” she writes, ”who rode a self-righteous, nativist wave right into irrelevance.” Wilson also signed California’s notorious Three Strikes tough-on-crime law, rolled back affirmative action and deregulated energy markets, which in part caused the energy crisis of 2000. All of his right-leaning “reforms” are now regarded as “disasters,” and Wilson as an unfortunate speed bump on the road of progress. Despite that, after the recall of Democratic Governor Gray Davis in 2003, Californians elected a bombastic celebrity running on the Republican ticket: Arnold Schwarzenegger. Schwarzenegger started off in true Trump style, calling his Democratic peers in Sacramento “girlie men.” He then picked an immensely costly, and losing, battle with public sector unions and statehouse liberals, before softening some of his positions. The Great Recession of 2008 proved an unfortunate capstone to his two terms. Kevin Starr, the famed California historian who died earlier this month, declared that “California is on the verge of becoming the first failed state in America.” It took regulation-loving, plastic bag-hating Democrats to rescue it. In all this, Newsom sees a microcosm of the kind of overreach he says Republicans in Washington, D.C., are about to commit, on many of the same issues. “I’m beyond convinced that in the next 10, 15 years the Republican Party is in serious, serious, serious trouble,” Newsom says. “I have no trepidation about the future of the Democratic Party.” He notes that while Trump has followed Schwarzenegger into government, Schwarzenegger

has taken over Trump’s hosting duties on The Celebrity Apprentice. In fact, Arnold and the Donald are already feuding on Twitter over both governing and ratings. “Cautionary tale,” Newsom says of a once red California that seems destined for a blue future. “They should pay a lot of attention.”

If the Lawsuit Fits CALIFORNIA’S BEST weapon if war does come might be one beloved by Trump: the lawsuit. The man who would likely do the suing is a relatively unknown Los Angeles congressman: Xavier Becerra. He was not among those who won an election on November 8, but with Harris leaving for the Senate, the state attorney general’s seat was open. Brown chose Becerra, effectively making him the top law enforcement officer in the nation’s largest state. Becerra, who is of Mexican heritage, wasted no time in letting his constituents know where he stood on the results of the presidential election. “If you want to take on a forward-leading state that is prepared to defend its rights and interests, then come at us,” Becerra said. “I believe with this nomination I have a chance to let California know I got their back.” That kind of confrontational rhetoric quickly led to suggestions that Becerra would become the national leader of the movement against Trump, with The Nation calling him “the most important appointment since the election.” As many have noted, Becerra could simply take the playbook of conservative attorneys general and use it for liberal causes like environmental regulation and immigration. The Nation found that Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott sued the Obama administration on 46 occasions, and while these suits only infrequently succeeded, “they have swallowed up significant time and energy and effectively provided an alternative governing philosophy.” Abbott is proud that his work on the behalf of Texans consists of nothing more than ideological warfare: “I go into the office, I sue the federal government, and then I go home,” he has declared. Oklahoma, meanwhile, launched many anti-Obama suits concerning environmental regulations. That state’s attorney general, the oil- and coal-loving Scott Pruitt, is Trump’s nominee to head the Environmental Protection Agency. But though Becerra’s new position might make him Trump’s chief tormenter, when we spoke in early January, just days before the first of his confirmation hearings in Sacramento, he had somewhat softened his position on Trump. “I am not picking a fight with anybody unless they try to get in our way,” he told me as he prepared to depart Washington, D.C. Becerra also told me he’d been in frequent conversations with Democratic attorneys general

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across the nation, including New York’s progressive (and ambitious) Eric Schneiderman, suggesting a potential alignment of anti-Trump forces. Becerra’s confirmation hearing in Sacramento on January 10 was a crowded affair. Brown made an appearance to voice support for the “outstanding candidate,” in a clear sign that he means to anoint Becerra one of the state’s new leaders. The hearing that followed was conducted with a gravity demanded by the task of staring down Trump. Reggie JonesSawyer, one of the state assemblymen chairing the hearing, alluded in his opening statement to potential “bloodshed” in the battle against Trump. The nominee positioned himself as a principled defender of California law. “If we’ve got rights, let’s protect them,” he said. When one of the committee members asked about protections for LGBT individuals, he assured her he would be “a pit bull” against federal encroachments. Becerra won’t be going it alone in the courts. Just days before, the state Legislature announced it was hiring former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder as a legal adviser. Holder, now at the powerful Washington law firm Covington & Burling, is expected to help lawmakers defend California against federal encroachments, at a cost of $25,000 per month (the initial contract is for three months). Some have decried the hire as unnecessary; others wonder if Becerra is being needlessly overshadowed by a more prominent peer in Washington. Holder was not made available for an on the record

“THE REPUBLICANS [IN CALIFORNIA] RODE A SELF-RIGHTEOUS, NATIVIST WAVE RIGHT INTO IRRELEVANCE.” conversation. But in a statement provided by Covington & Burling and attributed to him, the former attorney general cited “expertise across a wide array of federal legal and regulatory issues.” The statement downplayed the unique, combative nature of the arrangement, stressing that Holder’s would be a “convention role” that “the firm has played for many clients over many years.” Maybe so, but it’s unlikely he would have been hired by Sacramento if a President Clinton were preparing to take office.

The Price Ain’t Right FOR ALL THE forces arrayed against Trump in California, the federal government has several relatively

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easy ways to punish a rogue state. “We’re screwed,” glumly concludes University of Southern California political scientist Sherry Bebitch Jeffe when I ask how she reacted to Trump’s win. All the “California resistance” rhetoric aside, she argues convincingly that the state needs the federal government much more than many will acknowledge. It doesn’t help, she says, that California did nothing for Trump, who carefully files way all instances of insult and injury. “We don’t have much leverage right now,” she says. Political columnist Dan Walters of The Sacramento Bee has a more harsh assessment, accusing the state’s Democratic leadership of “trolling for attention, even in the national media, with risk-free, vainglorious denunciations of Trump.” Perhaps a belligerent stance is not the wisest, especially given Trump’s love of dealmaking. “The key question is, Who is Trump?” says Bruce Cain, a political scientist at Stanford University. He favors a cautious approach, as with a mole that may be a cancer but may also just be a mole. “If he really is a dealer, then maybe there will be deals that allow to California to go its own way. But if Trump is really a wannabe authoritarian, then California should lead the resistance movement. In that case, I am pretty sure most Californians would think resistance is worth the cost.” But while Trump may be a paper tiger, his Cabinet is rife with hard-liners who’ve long nursed extremist visions they finally have the chance to achieve. In a cruel irony, some of them are Californians, including political adviser Steve Bannon, who helped found the white nationalist website Breitbart in a Los Angeles basement and who has complained about the supposed preponderance of Asians in Silicon Valley; Peter Navarro, a professor at the University of California at Irvine who yearns to start a trade war with China; and Andy Puzder, the Orange County fast-food executive who opposes the kind of minimum-wage increase that has been approved in California. Very likely, the policymaking practiced by this cast will require not the art of the deal but the art of war. Liberals are especially worried about Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions’s nomination for attorney general. Sessions shares the new president’s desire to deport undocumented immigrants, having proved himself an unwavering warrior for nativism. He helped kill the 2013 immigration reform bill, Capitol Hill’s most earnest attempt at reform in recent memory. As attorney general, he almost certainly will install tougher immigration judges and try to cut off federal funding to sanctuary cities. “He’s been very up front in saying he wants to see the law enforced,” a former Department of Justice official told Politico. Sessions is also an opponent of legalized marijuana, a major cash crop in Northern California. The November election brought the passage of Proposition 64, which paves the way for the

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legalization of recreational marijuana in California (medical marijuana has been a boom industry here for several years). Estimates suggest that tax revenues from sales of legal weed could be as high as $1 billion. “Billion” is Trump’s favorite number, but Sessions is chasing something other than revenue. Last spring, he said the nation was desperate for “grownups in charge in Washington to say marijuana is not the kind of thing that ought to be legalized.” He once said he liked the Ku Klux Klan, until he learned some of its members smoked marijuana. The Obama administration has operated under the 2013 Cole Memo, which instructs the Department of Justice to leave alone states that have legalized marijuana. Sessions could have his Department of Justice draft a new memorandum. “With little more than the stroke of his own pen, the new attorney general will be able to arrest growers, retailers and users, defying the will of more than half the nation’s voters,” Politico reports. Another unknown is where, exactly, Trump stands on the Affordable Care Act. On the campaign trail, Obamacare was a favorite target of derision and rage, yet since his improbable victory, Trump has indicated he might want to keep parts of the law, which has provided health care to 20 million more Americans. At the same time, repealing Obamacare has been the foremost—the only, critics might say— legislative goal of congressional Republicans, and they can do so relatively easily, now that they control both chambers of Congress. Trump’s nominee to head the Department of Health and Human Services, Tom Price, is a congressman from Georgia who has called the law “stifling and oppressive.” An orthopedic surgeon, Price has proposed a detailed plan predicated on beloved Republican ideas like tax credits and health savings accounts. The repeal of Obamacare would be disastrous for California, which has implemented the law as enthusiastically as any state in the nation. The state’s version of the national health care exchanges, Covered California, has 1.2 million members, while its expanded Medicaid program, Medi-Cal, benefits 4 million residents. It receives $20 billion in federal subsidies for health care, and while it could try to keep its version of Obamacare in place without the federal law, that would be “out of the realm of possibility” because of its price, public health scholar Walter Zelman told the Los Angeles Times.

Punching Up CALIFORNIA and Washington, D.C., are like two ancient oaks standing on opposites sides of a field, their roots intertwined deep beneath the ground. As Jim Miller of The Sacramento Bee recently noted,

one-third of California’s budget is $96 billion in federal funds for education, transportation and health. Moreover, the state has benefited from $47.5 billion in federal contracts. It is also home to 344,919 federal employees and 132,008 members of the military. So while it is true that California gives more than it gets, it doesn’t exactly get nothing. Scott Graves, the research director of the California Budget & Policy Center, a nonpartisan think tank in Sacramento, says Trump is a “credible threat” to California and outlines three federal programs it needs to survive: the Affordable Care Act, the CalFresh food program and Supplemental Security Income. Combined, these programs have roughly 15 million enrollees in California, drawing federal funding of close to $70 billion. Graves says D.C. could punish California by making such federal programs “block grants”—that is, rigid funding streams that don’t swell with enrollment numbers or worsening economic conditions. The remaining obligations would have to be met by the state itself. “As long as the economy is humming along, and Silicon Valley and the stock market are doing well, California’s state budget will be in pretty good shape, assuming that federal funding remains intact,” Graves says by way of reassurance. The health of the state’s economy in good part depends on Silicon Valley, which needs skilled immigrants. The Central Valley, meanwhile, needs farm laborers to do the jobs most Americans won’t. California also needs China, which is a close economic partner: A trade war could cost the state an estimated $20 billion in exports alone. On a recent rainy Tuesday afternoon in Sacramento, Brown unveiled the proposed 2017-18 budget for the state. The nearly 200-page document

“CALIFORNIANS DO NOT NEED HEALING. WE NEED TO FIGHT.” was dedicated to Sutter Brown, the governor’s corgi, who had recently died. Above a drawing of a paw print, there was a quote, presumably from the first canine himself: “Save some small biscuit for a rainy day.” This is an allusion to Brown’s enduring determination to avoid being another tax-andspend liberal. So while a budget of $122.5 billion is enormous, it is the product of cuts in several areas, including housing and education. The room was full of reporters, and most of their questions were about Trump. “We are not going to get hysterical, but we are going to get prepared,” Brown said of his readiness to meet potential federal cuts. He

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+ GOLDEN SHOWER:

S P E N C E R P L AT T/G E T T Y S P E N C E R P L AT T/G E T T Y

Some economists believe Trump could be very good for California, raining down massive fiscal stimulus on the state.

seems to think that much of the bluster of the Trump campaign will dissipate once the realities of governing set in. “There are already cracks in the Republican Congress,” he said, in apparent reference to the Obamacare repeal, or the GOP’s badly bungled move to end ethics oversight of Congress. He also called the incoming administration’s denial of climate change a mere “pause” that won’t change the growing consensus about what human activity is doing to the planet. The day after Brown’s announcement, I spoke to Graves, who called the budget “really restrained.” Sacramento’s progressive wing wanted Brown to spend more, as it usually does. And, as usual, Brown resisted their pleas. Graves thought this a wise position, citing “huge uncertainty about major cuts that could be coming at the federal level.” Californians who dread what Trump might do to their state can take small solace in the fact that he has shown he has few core values, and his position on almost any issue can fluctuate as wildly as San Francisco’s weather. He might do all of the above, or none at all. Love him or despise him, Trump could be good for California. Economists at the University of California at Los Angeles suggest he could bring a “massive fiscal stimulus” to a state whose coffers are already full. David Shulman, the UCLA economist responsible for that forecast, predicts “Trumponomics” could result in $20 billion more in federal spending on California’s infrastructure, and another $20 billion in defense, likely going to Southern California’s aerospace indusNEWSWEEK

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try and to cybersecurity firms in Silicon Valley. At a Manhattan press conference in January, Trump said he would have the “greatest computer minds anywhere in the world” working to “form a defense” against foreign hackers of the sort who broke into the email of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta. That could signal a major investment in California companies like FireEye and Palo Alto Networks. That’s why I suggested to Newsom that he invite Trump to tour Silicon Valley. Perhaps he could visit Twitter’s headquarters on Market Street and personally thank its founders for helping him win the election without having to rely on the allegedly dishonest mainstream media. The very impressionable Trump could leave San Francisco enthralled by the California way. Newsom did not appear thrilled by this premise. “He’s welcome to come out,” he said drily. Newsom, who is frequently discussed as a potential presidential contender, became famous for issuing same-sex marriage licenses in contravention of California law. Though eventually ordered to stop by the courts, he gained a reputation as a fearless liberal willing to put moral principle above the rule of law. I asked him what he learned from that experience. “You can play in the margins,” he said, “or you can punch above your weight.” Marinelli, the impressively industrious Yes California secessionist, is certainly following that advice. In December, he opened an embassy of the Independent Republic of California in Moscow.

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THE THINGS THEY BURIED

★

DURING THE LAST BATTLE OF THE VIETNAM WAR, THREE U.S. MARINES WENT MISSING. THE MILITARY SAID THEY DISOBEYED ORDERS AND LIKELY DIED IN THE FIREFIGHT. BUT THE BRUTAL WAR THAT STARTED WITH A LIE MAY HAVE ENDED WITH ONE AS WELL BY MATTHEW M. BURKE


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TAP, TAP TAP. Scott Standfast knocked on the door again. He’d been at it for several minutes, standing in front of a one-story brick house in Niceville, Florida, on a warm, dry day in November 2015. The then-59-year-old former Marine and his wife had driven more than 11 hours to get here, hoping to answer a question that’s haunted him for 40 years. He knocked again. This time, harder. Boom, boom, boom! Still no answer. About four decades ago, Standfast fought in the last battle of the Vietnam War, and his memory of it is sharp—from the location of enemy positions to the smothering jungle foliage. But it’s not what he remembers that troubles him; it’s what he can’t recall about that traumatic day. He’s tried everything. In 2015, he even joined a group of veterans for a trip back to the battlefield where they met their former enemies. Some shook hands, trying to forgive and move on. The experience helped but not enough. “It’s blocked out,” he tells me on the phone, choking up. “I’m sorry.” On May 15, 1975, Standfast, then a lance corporal and squad leader with an infantry battalion for the U.S. Marine Corps, fought in what’s known as the Mayaguez Incident, a bloody, mostly forgotten battle on a Cambodian island commonly referred to as Koh Tang. It began when Khmer Rouge soldiers captured a U.S. container ship and its crew off the coast of Cambodia. The American military came to their rescue, but dozens of service members died during the operation. President Gerald Ford hailed the mission as a resounding success, but in the chaos of their exit, three Marines went missing: Joseph Hargrove, Gary Hall and Danny Marshall. The Marines later investigated and said the three had disobeyed orders by not making it to the helicopters in time and that they were likely killed before the last U.S. chopper lifted off. After the incident, Ford enjoyed one of the largest spikes in presidential approval ratings, but the trauma of the battle and the disappearance of their fellow servicemen gnawed at Marines like Standfast. The three lost men were members of a machine gun team assigned to his squad. They were supposed to be sitting next to him in that final helicopter out. Instead, they had vanished. Standfast doesn’t remember being told they were missing that night. He doesn’t remember anyone lobbying to go back for them. He knows he went to the memorial service for his fallen comrades, but he can’t remember that either. The last thing he NEWSWEEK

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THE POW PAWNS

in America have been more contentious or painful than the fate of the thousands of U.S. servicemen who were imprisoned or went missing FEW ISSUES

MISSING IN ACTION: As the Americans left Koh Tang, three U.S. Marines didn’t make it onto the last chopper off the island: (from left) Gary Hall, Joseph Hargrove and Danny Marshall. +

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FF RO RO M M LL E E FF T: T: US US M MA AR R II N N ES ES (( 3 3 )) ;; H H ECTO ECTO R R RO RO B BE E RT RT II N N // D D PA PA /CO /CO R RB B II S/G S/G E ET TT T Y; Y; P PR R EV EV II OUS OUS S SP PR RE EA AD D :: B BE ET TT TM MA AN NN N /CO /CO R RB B II S/G S/G E ET TT TY Y

recalls is his chopper touching down in darkness on an aircraft carrier. Everything after that is blank. Perhaps it’s a way to protect himself from the pain. He manages to mostly keep that pain hidden, but there are signs of it beneath his hardened, jarhead façade. Sometimes he’s friendly and easygoing; the next moment he’s rigid and withdrawn. He had come to Niceville because Cary Turner, a cousin of Hargrove’s, had called weeks earlier with surprising news: A former Air Force controller claimed he knew what had happened to his cousin and to the other two Marines. Standfast immediately began to plan his trip. Now, as he stood in front of that closed door, knocking and waiting, he wondered if the call had been a hoax. Standfast spotted a neighbor, who told him that it was the right house and that the man was home. So he knocked again, waited some more. And then, after several minutes, the curtain over the window by the door moved, and a gray-haired man with dark-rimmed glasses cautiously peered out. Standfast showed him his veteran ID card and explained who he was, and why he was there. He pleaded for the truth that had escaped him all these years. The curtain closed. The knob turned. The door opened, and Standfast and his wife walked into the house. Once inside, former Air Force Staff Sergeant Robert Velie told them everything he knew about the three men who had disappeared on the bloodstained shores of Koh Tang; the three men whose remains have officially never been found but whose names are among the last put on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C., and whose tragic disappearance remains one of the last enduring mysteries of one of America’s most disastrous wars.


+ BRIGHT SHINING LIE: President Nixon’s administration inflated the number of Americans possibly in captivity to undercut those arguing for a speedy withdrawal from Vietnam.

during the Vietnam War. In his book, Until the Last Man Comes Home, Michael Allen, associate professor of history at Northwestern University, points out that President Richard Nixon—a man who campaigned in 1968 on his “secret plan” to end the conflict—was among the first to politicize the issue, parading the wives of prisoners on television in 1969 to justify his expansion of the war. “We’ve got those liberal bastards on the run now!” he reportedly crowed. The Nixon administration vowed the U.S. would never leave Vietnam until every last service member came home, and, Allen writes, it inflated the number of Americans possibly in captivity to undercut those arguing for a speedy withdrawal. This was a winning strategy until it suddenly turned on Nixon. As the war dragged on—and the Vietnamese continued to use American prisoners for their own propaganda—these families began speaking out against the conflict, demanding that Washington bring their men home. “[The prisoners] became poster boys of American sacrifice in the Vietnam War,” Allen tells Newsweek. In January 1973, the U.S. ended its direct military combat operations in Vietnam, but the war over American POWs continued. Shortly after the peace NEWSWEEK

accord was signed in Paris, less than half the number of U.S. servicemen the White House had said were missing or in captivity had been returned by the North Vietnamese, according to Allen. The Nixon administration maintained that every prisoner had been returned. But its earlier inflated claims left many families bitter and incredulous at a time when the gate scandal was already eroding trust in government. “That’s when the myth of the left-behind POW starts to take off,” says Allen. Over the next two decades, these families continued to demand answers (and assign blame), which led to investigations

IT’S NOT WHAT HE REMEMBERS THAT TROUBLES HIM; IT’S WHAT HE CAN’T RECALL. and even congressional hearings. During the 1980s, these efforts were often exploited by lawmakers—mostly on the far right—to accuse their opponents of weakness, Allen says, and as POWs became a staple of popular culture through films such as Rambo and Missing in Action, the public became even more cynical about a government that had repeatedly lied about the Vietnam War, from the Gulf of Tonkin Incident to the fall of Saigon. Meanwhile, researchers like Lynn O’Shea were trying to

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mation down to the Marines who’d been ordered to attack the island. They were told to expect between 20 and 40 old men and farmers. Early in the morning of May 15, four American helicopters swooped toward the northern tip of Koh Tang, and the Khmer Rouge quickly shot two out of the sky. Both crashed on the beach or in the shallows, and a few survivors made it to the tree line. Others, some severely wounded, were forced to swim under withering fire out to sea, where they were rescued by U.S. servicemen on a small boat sent from a nearby destroyer. The other two choppers fared only slightly better—Khmer Rouge gunners damaged both of them as they tried to drop off Marines. One returned to the Thai coast for an emergency landing; the other limped out to sea where it crashed, killing one airman. Eventually, however, 131 Marines, Navy corpsmen and airmen made it onto the island, and for 14 hours they battled Khmer Rouge soldiers in close quarters. Shortly after noon, Standfast arrived with 100 reinforcements, including his machine gun team— Hargrove, Hall and Marshall. The fresh troops informed the Marines on the ground that an American destroyer had recovered the Mayaguez crew that morning, adrift in a fishing boat, and that Marines had seized the ship. Translation: They’d been sent into a raw firefight for no reason. Officials in Washington ordered a withdrawal, but planning and executing that would take time, so the Marines had to wait until the damaged fleet of helicopters could come to their rescue. As a torrent of bullets flew through the air, Standfast set his machine gun team on the extreme righthand side of the Marine position. Sergeant Carl Anderson set trip-flares in front of the team and checked the lines to make sure his fellow servicemen

DAVIS TOOK TO THE AIRWAVES TO SAY THEY WERE MINUTES AWAY FROM BEING OVERRUN. were OK, he says. American bombers then started pounding the jungle, and the shooting subsided as the Khmer Rouge retreated. Yet as darkness fell and the rescue choppers approached, the Communists crawled back to their spider holes and launched another assault on the Americans. Air Force pilots braved heavy fire in barely functioning helicopters, coming in one at a time to rescue the Marines, who were trying to beat back the Communists. With fewer U.S. servicemen on the ground, however, the Khmer Rouge advanced. On the west beach, as more and more NEWSWEEK

+ SHIP STORM: U.S. Marines board the S.S. Mayaguez. By the

time they arrived, Khmer Rouge gunmen had already taken the crew toward the mainland.

Americans climbed into helicopters, Captain James Davis took charge of the remaining soldiers. Some, like Hargrove, Hall and Marshall, he had never met before. At one point, Davis took to the airwaves to say they were minutes away from being overrun. Before that could happen, he climbed into the last chopper. Some of the Marines on board that helicopter told the crew there were still men on the beach. The air crew asked Davis, the most senior officer on board, to weigh in, but he was relatively certain everyone had been picked up, according to Air Force radio transcripts. For the next few hours, military officials repeated Davis’s claims over and over—until they realized he was wrong. GHOSTS IN THE RADIO

Staff Sergeant Robert Velie was behind his radio console aboard the EC-130E Airborne Battlefield Command and Control Center, a military transport aircraft with sophisticated communications gear. Velie and his team had coordinated the battle, communicating with the commanders, air support and men on the ground. As the last helicopter was leaving, Velie and company heard over the radio that all of the Marines had been picked up. They were directing the last few airstrikes on the island before heading home. Just after 8:20 p.m., Velie’s radio hissed, and he heard an American voice asking when the next chopper was coming back to get them. Velie was puzzled; he knew there were no more helicopters heading back to the island. In fact, there were gunships headed in, ready to hose it down. Velie asked the caller if he was at the last pickup site and why he hadn’t boarded the chopper. “We were told to lay cover fire [for the choppers] and they’d come back for us,” Velie recalls the man saying. Velie immediately thought it was a Khmer Rouge trick to lure in more helicopters, so he asked the caller for the authentication code. The Marine didn’t hesitate; he answered correctly with the proper response. Velie says his superior then told Navy commanders there were still Marines on the island. A short time later, the commanders responded: Davis, they AIR FORCE

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mation down to the Marines who’d been ordered to attack the island. They were told to expect between 20 and 40 old men and farmers. Early in the morning of May 15, four American helicopters swooped toward the northern tip of Koh Tang, and the Khmer Rouge quickly shot two out of the sky. Both crashed on the beach or in the shallows, and a few survivors made it to the tree line. Others, some severely wounded, were forced to swim under withering fire out to sea, where they were rescued by U.S. servicemen on a small boat sent from a nearby destroyer. The other two choppers fared only slightly better—Khmer Rouge gunners damaged both of them as they tried to drop off Marines. One returned to the Thai coast for an emergency landing; the other limped out to sea where it crashed, killing one airman. Eventually, however, 131 Marines, Navy corpsmen and airmen made it onto the island, and for 14 hours they battled Khmer Rouge soldiers in close quarters. Shortly after noon, Standfast arrived with 100 reinforcements, including his machine gun team— Hargrove, Hall and Marshall. The fresh troops informed the Marines on the ground that an American destroyer had recovered the Mayaguez crew that morning, adrift in a fishing boat, and that Marines had seized the ship. Translation: They’d been sent into a raw firefight for no reason. Officials in Washington ordered a withdrawal, but planning and executing that would take time, so the Marines had to wait until the damaged fleet of helicopters could come to their rescue. As a torrent of bullets flew through the air, Standfast set his machine gun team on the extreme righthand side of the Marine position. Sergeant Carl Anderson set trip-flares in front of the team and checked the lines to make sure his fellow servicemen

DAVIS TOOK TO THE AIRWAVES TO SAY THEY WERE MINUTES AWAY FROM BEING OVERRUN. were OK, he says. American bombers then started pounding the jungle, and the shooting subsided as the Khmer Rouge retreated. Yet as darkness fell and the rescue choppers approached, the Communists crawled back to their spider holes and launched another assault on the Americans. Air Force pilots braved heavy fire in barely functioning helicopters, coming in one at a time to rescue the Marines, who were trying to beat back the Communists. With fewer U.S. servicemen on the ground, however, the Khmer Rouge advanced. On the west beach, as more and more NEWSWEEK

+ SHIP STORM: U.S. Marines board the S.S. Mayaguez. By the

time they arrived, Khmer Rouge gunmen had already taken the crew toward the mainland.

Americans climbed into helicopters, Captain James Davis took charge of the remaining soldiers. Some, like Hargrove, Hall and Marshall, he had never met before. At one point, Davis took to the airwaves to say they were minutes away from being overrun. Before that could happen, he climbed into the last chopper. Some of the Marines on board that helicopter told the crew there were still men on the beach. The air crew asked Davis, the most senior officer on board, to weigh in, but he was relatively certain everyone had been picked up, according to Air Force radio transcripts. For the next few hours, military officials repeated Davis’s claims over and over—until they realized he was wrong. GHOSTS IN THE RADIO

Staff Sergeant Robert Velie was behind his radio console aboard the EC-130E Airborne Battlefield Command and Control Center, a military transport aircraft with sophisticated communications gear. Velie and his team had coordinated the battle, communicating with the commanders, air support and men on the ground. As the last helicopter was leaving, Velie and company heard over the radio that all of the Marines had been picked up. They were directing the last few airstrikes on the island before heading home. Just after 8:20 p.m., Velie’s radio hissed, and he heard an American voice asking when the next chopper was coming back to get them. Velie was puzzled; he knew there were no more helicopters heading back to the island. In fact, there were gunships headed in, ready to hose it down. Velie asked the caller if he was at the last pickup site and why he hadn’t boarded the chopper. “We were told to lay cover fire [for the choppers] and they’d come back for us,” Velie recalls the man saying. Velie immediately thought it was a Khmer Rouge trick to lure in more helicopters, so he asked the caller for the authentication code. The Marine didn’t hesitate; he answered correctly with the proper response. Velie says his superior then told Navy commanders there were still Marines on the island. A short time later, the commanders responded: Davis, they AIR FORCE

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+ HELL IN A VERY SMALL PLACE: American servicemen

carry a fallen comrade to a helicopter. Even after the guns went silent, the war over prisoners and missing soldiers continued for decades.

said, had told them everyone was accounted for. Velie’s commander radioed a destroyer in the area, the U.S.S. Harold E. Holt. Someone on the Holt instructed him to have the abandoned Marines make their way out to sea, where they would attempt to pick them up. But the men, Velie says, didn’t like that plan; they still believed a helicopter would come to their rescue. The Marine Corps report on the disappearance of the three men states that one was a poor swimmer and the other two couldn’t swim at all, so heading far out to sea in the dark would have been dangerous. Velie told the Marine on the radio that he and the others should immediately take cover, because the gunships were about to arrive. The Marine said, “Roger,” and soon two gunships pummeled the island with cannon fire. After the barrage, Velie called the Marine back. There was no answer. ‘I THOUGHT I WAS AT FAULT’

VELIE ISN’T the

only one who disputes the Marine Corps version of what happened to those three servicemen. Private First Class David Wagner, among other Marines, told investigators the three gunners covered him as he loaded wounded men onto the helicopters—and said he even gave Hall ammunition. Air Force Staff Sergeant Ray Buran Jr. remembers the Marines’ call for help bolstering Velie’s claim. “[A Marine] did talk to someone [on board Velie’s aircraft],” he says. Buran was manning a different console on Velie’s aircraft, so he was not privy to the conversation, but he recalls hearing that the Marines were being chased and taking heavy ground fire, which differs slightly from Velie’s account. Anderson, the last American to see the three alive, according to military reports, doesn’t recall seeing them at the landing zone, but he does remember their call after the last chopper lifted off. He says he heard a recording of it in Okinawa, several days after the battle, while he was under investigation for leaving the Marines behind (he was cleared of responsibility). “There was a tape of [the Marines] that I thought the enemy had made,” he says. (According to Velie, the Americans recorded all radio communications with Marines on the ground.) “It was definitely Hall, Marshall and Hargrove,” Anderson adds. He can’t remember what they said, but he didn’t hear Cambodian voices on the tape, he says, and there was no evidence of coercion. “[The tape] got to me. I thought I was at fault.” With the three Marines possibly still alive but no longer responding, the U.S. military had a difficult decision to make. Velie says there were many possible reasons the Marines on the beach didn’t get back on the radio. His aircraft could have moved out of their range. Or they had been wounded or forced to hide because Khmer Rouge fighters were nearby. Because of their poor swimming ability, he doubts they tried going out to sea. His aircraft stayed in the area until after midnight, hoping to make contact again, but the radio remained silent. NEWSWEEK

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Davis died in 2012. Years earlier, he told CBS News he had volunteered to go back to the island, but his request was denied. Velie, Anderson and Buran agree that returning to Koh Tang would have been extremely dangerous. “There were no resources [to go back for them],” Buran says, referring to the damaged helicopters. “Everything was shot down or shot up.” There really was only one hope left for the missing machine gun team: the Navy SEALs. ADVOCATING SUICIDE

night of May 15, Tom Coulter, then a lieutenant and leader of Navy SEAL Team 1’s Delta Platoon, arrived on the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Coral Sea while the smoke still hung above the Koh Tang battlefield. Coulter hadn’t heard about that mysterious last radio call, but sailors on the Holt said there was “a problem with the head count.” Coulter met with Navy Vice Admiral Robert Coogan, the Navy’s on-scene commander, and their meeting quickly turned heated. Coogan wanted to drop fliers over Koh Tang announcing that the SEALs were coming, Coulter says, then send the men ashore, unarmed, during the day to retrieve “Marine bodies” that “may or may not be on the beach.” Coulter thought Coogan was advocating suicide. “I told him we would not be taking that mission.” Coulter eventually persuaded the brass that the SEALs should plan their own mission. He suggested they go in armed and at night, to avoid being detected. He and his 13 men then ON THE

VELIE HEARD AN AMERICAN VOICE, ASKING WHEN THE NEXT CHOPPER WAS COMING BACK TO GET THEM.

J O H N E R /A P

headed to the Holt with two inflatable boats, and the destroyer turned back toward Koh Tang. The hour was late, Coulter recalls, when he was called into Holt Commander Robert Peterson’s quarters for a conference call with the White House. He doesn’t think President Ford was on the call, and he can’t be 100 percent certain, but he believes Coogan was on it, as was Secretary of Defense James Schlesinger and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. “Someone on the call had an accent,” he says, referring to the German-born Kissinger. They were canceling the SEAL rescue operation, Coulter recalls, because “the risk was too high.” Kissinger did not respond to Newsweek requests seeking comment. Coogan; his superior at the Pacific Command, Admiral Noel Gayler; and Schlesinger are dead. Acting Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral James Holloway III tells Newsweek through a spokesman that he was not aware of any reports about Marines being left behind and that he does not recall any follow-up discussions about them. The following day, the destroyer U.S.S. Henry B. Wilson patrolled the coast of Koh Tang, looking for signs of survivors, while aircraft overhead scanned the thick jungle canopy, but there was no sign of Hargrove, Hall or Marshall. The U.S. decided not to launch a rescue mission. NEWSWEEK

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Two weeks later, Velie says, his superiors ordered him to never discuss the radio call again, but to this day, he can’t shake it. “I was the last one to talk to them,” he says. “I had to tell them that no one was coming back for them.” BODIES DUMPED ON THE BEACH

of 2012, I traveled to Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where I met the former garrison commander of Koh Tang in an empty café. Em Son is a thin, one-legged man with sun-leathered skin. At first glance, he looked too feeble to be the seasoned special forces commander and close associate of Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot he claimed to be. But his eyes told a different story—they were dark, empty, fearsome. In the days following the Mayaguez battle, Son claimed he and his comrades noticed food was missing from a hut near the east beach. They accused each other, then set a trap to nab the thief. Later that evening, they caught Hargrove and held him overnight in a makeshift cell, where he told them about the two other surviving Marines. (Son said Hargrove gave up that information without being tortured.) The next day, as Son and several Khmer Rouge soldiers marched Hargrove to another holding area, the Marine tried to escape. Son said he shot him in the leg, and Hargrove fell. Then Son said he walked over to him and fired IN THE FALL

“THERE WERE NO RESOURCES [TO GO BACK FOR THEM]. EVERYTHING WAS SHOT DOWN OR SHOT UP.” again, killing him on the spot. (He said killing him was humane, because there was no medical treatment for miles.) The Khmer Rouge, Son says, buried Hargrove by a mango tree nearby. Later that day, they caught Hall and Marshall, Son says, and took them to the mainland, where they handed them over to Khmer Rouge navy chief Meas Muth. The Communists held the Marines at a temple converted into a prison, but eventually, Son says, the guards marched the two Marines out to the beach, where they beat them to death. (Muth declined a Newsweek interview request through his lawyers.) The U.S. government has disputed Son’s claims, which have changed slightly over time, perhaps to avoid charges at the ongoing United Nations war crimes tribunal at Phnom Penh. In 2015, I returned to Cambodia, this time with Hargrove’s cousin Cary Turner, Standfast and other veterans of the Koh Tang firefight, to meet with Son again. We saw him speak at a ceremony commemorating the 40th anniversary of the battle. There, he told the same story he had given me, only this time he said he had fired a warning shot as Hargrove ran and accidentally killed him. Turner was frustrated. He had met Son before and heard a similar story. He had been to the island twice and even led excavations. Now, as he and translator Noma Sarvong huddled with the man who had killed his cousin, Turner pleaded with him for the truth about what happened that day, vowing there NEWSWEEK

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would be no repercussions. Son told him a similar war story about Hall and Marshall, but this time his account of Hargrove’s death was different. The morning after the battle, he said, five of Son’s men went down to a pool near Koh Tang’s east beach to get some water to cook rice. The fighters heard a noise on the other side of the water. When they went to investigate, a Marine fitting Hargrove’s description opened up on them, killing a Khmer Rouge captain who was Son’s friend. Hargrove fought until he ran out of ammunition, and then he was captured. Son said Hargrove had been wounded above the right knee and was hobbled, but the wound was dry, as if he had been shot the previous day. The fighters helped Hargrove into a nearby meadow, where they met up with Son. Hearing that the Marine had just killed his friend, Son shot Hargrove on the spot, by that mango tree, and ordered his men to bury him nearby. It was a disturbing story, but Turner was confident he finally had the truth—or at least something close enough to it. Son never denied pulling the trigger, and he stood behind previous statements about how the other two men died. He also said American officials had interviewed him, and he seemed genuinely perplexed that the U.S. government still claimed the men were unaccounted for. Since the late 1990s, American investigators have aggressively taken to Koh Tang with picks and spades, and they have recovered the remains of 13 men who died in the battle. But they say they failed to find those of Hargrove, Hall or Marshall. In 2008, investigators dug where Son claimed he had ordered Hargrove buried. Until recently, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) wouldn’t comment on exactly what they recovered there, but in a recent interview with Newsweek, they

+ RETURN TO KOH TANG: Decades after the battle,

Standfast went back to the island looking for answers—and to try to move on.

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+ LEFT BEHIND? A POW-MIA flag at Arlington National

A L E X B RA N D O N /A P A L E X B RA N D O N /A P

Cemetery in Virginia. Few issues in America have been more painful than the fate of those who went missing during the Vietnam War.

said they found only Cambodian bodies near the mango tree and fragments of animal bones where Hall and Marshall were allegedly beaten to death. Turner, however, is skeptical about the agency’s findings—and he isn’t the only one. In recent years, DPAA has been embroiled in a series of scandals involving the remains of U.S. servicemen. One involved internal complaints that the agency had not properly recorded its work on Koh Tang in the search for Hall, Marshall and Hargrove. In fact, a Cambodian source—whose identity Newsweek is protecting because this individual is not authorized to speak to the press—strongly believes the body U.S. POW/ MIA investigators removed near the mango tree in 2008 was an American. The remains were too tall to be Southeast Asian; the bones were long, according to the Cambodian source, and the Americans on the scene agreed. Charles Ray, the former U.S. ambassador to Cambodia and deputy assistant secretary of defense for POW/Missing Personnel Affairs, says U.S. government investigators told him as much. DPAA disputes this, saying its lab results proved otherwise, but the agency declined to provide proof of what it found to Newsweek or the Hargrove family. In 2016, DPAA announced it had found Hall’s ID card and personal items in an empty burial pit on NEWSWEEK

Koh Tang. What it didn’t publicly disclose, according to Newsweek’s Cambodian source, is that DPAA also found an American radio and a Marine flak jacket not far from where the last American chopper took off. The jacket had a name and a number in it. In an interview with Newsweek, DPAA officials acknowledged finding those items but declined to say to whom they belonged. They also told me they had thrown away both the radio and the flak jacket. QUESTIONS AND REMAINS

Florida, Standfast leaned forward on the edge of his chair, listening intently as the aging airman transported him back to that harrowing battle with the Khmer Rouge and explained why he had finally come forward with his story. Now in his 70s, Velie felt the need to unburden himself. Standfast told me later that as he listened to Velie, he was mesmerized as one event spilled into the next. Velie spoke with authority, he said, without hesitation. He knew all the right acronyms and buzzwords and seemed of very sound mind. The former Marine had driven to Niceville a skeptic. Now, as Velie finished telling his story, he became a believer. “There’s no way this was rehearsed,” he said. “It was confirmation that they had been left on the island.” On their long drive home, Standfast and his wife discussed all that Velie had told them. He was happy to have finally learned the truth about that final, cryptic radio call. He isn’t sure if it’s enough to exorcise his ghosts, but it made him more determined than ever to help Hargrove’s cousin find the remains of the Marines who got left behind. BACK IN

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NEW WORLD

TECHNOLOGY

TEETH

SCIENCE

INNOVATION

BRAIN

ENVIRONMENT

GOOD SCIENCE

TOOTH: HEAL THYSELF!

Drug developed for Alzheimer’s disease helps mice’s teeth fix cavities

+ TOOTHACHE:

W I L L I A M C. S H ROU T/ T H E L I F E P I CT U R E CO L L ECT I O N /G E T T Y

Wear and tear and hard candies can test and ultimately loosen conventional dental fillings.

BY JESSICA FIRGER @jessfirger

MORE THAN 86 percent of adults aged 20 to 39 are affected by tooth decay. This means most people have had at least one or two cavities filled in their lifetime, and probably more. A silicone-based cement is used by dentists worldwide to fill holes that remain in teeth when a dentist clears out the infected, decayed part with a drill. These dental fillings for cavities do the job, but wear and tear, as well as hard or chewy foods, can loosen them, increasing the risk of infection and decay. Teeth are composed of two different types of minerals. The outer covering is a thin layer known as enamel, which protects the tooth. It’s dead. Underneath the enamel is a thicker layer, similar to bone, called dentine. This forms the inner core of the tooth and protects the soft tissue or pulp underneath. Dentine is alive with nerves and gives the tooth its sensation. It has the potential for regrowth but needs some help. An emerging field in dentistry known as regenerative endodontics is on the hunt for a natural solution that could do away with fillings. Researchers in the U.K. might have found

NEWSWEEK

one—they have used a drug to stimulate the regrowth of teeth in mice. The work was done by Paul Sharpe, a professor of craniofacial biology at King’s College London, and his colleagues. Sharpe’s team drilled tiny holes in the mice’s teeth and applied a drug called Tideglusib to the teeth with a sponge made of collagen that they left in the hole. Tideglusib has already passed safety testing as a treatment for symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. They found that by as early as the fourth week, the dentine had filled out and the sponge had effectively disappeared. “It greatly enhanced what the tooth tries to do naturally,” says Sharpe, whose findings appear in the January issue of Scientific Reports. Rena D’Souza, associate vice provost for research and professor of dentistry at the University of Utah, says the next step “would be to create an infected tooth to see if the therapy works when you have inflammation present, and then you could go to larger animal models,” she says. For some mice, that might mean a lot of treats— and some very painful consequences.

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DUBIOUS DOSES

Marketers exploit the aged with unproven brain-health claims A FEW YEARS ago, motivated by a family history of dementia, Bea Pena-Reames began using a dietary supplement that promised improved memory and brain health. It was advertised as safe and effective—but that was not her experience. “I’m typically a joyful person, but I couldn’t shake this depression and intense sense

NEWSWEEK

of sadness,” says Pena-Reames, a former high school biology teacher who lives in north Texas. “I was getting angry at the drop of a hat.” Loosely regulated dietary supplements of the sort Pena-Reames took have found a rich vein of acceptance among middle-age and older Americans increasingly worried about losing their

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BY RICK SCHMITT @FairWarningNews


+ SHRINK WRAP:

Lacking any scientific proof, a vast number of supplements claim they can reverse the cerebral atrophy that comes with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

mental acuity. Thanks to healthier lifestyles and advances in treatment for some cancers, heart disease, stroke and diabetes, people are living longer. But some also are living long enough to face the scourge of brain-wasting diseases such as Alzheimer’s, and they’re looking for help. That often-desperate pursuit of remedies has created a lucrative marketing opportunity. Products aimed at consumers worried about brain health and memory have contributed to a more than tenfold increase in the number of supplements marketed in the U.S. over the past two decades. It’s not known exactly how much of that increase is due to health and memory supplements, but retailers on the internet and at the mall are brimming with supposed brain-boosting options. Much of that growth has been fueled by marketing that may be exploiting the fears of some of society’s most vulnerable people. The Government Accountability Office is investigating the marketing of brain and memory supplements and the problems regulators face in reining in misleading claims. The GAO examination was requested by Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), formerly the ranking minority member on the U.S. Senate Committee on Aging. She has called out retailers for deceptive promotions of memory and brain supplements, and sees regulatory oversight of the supplement industry as “alarmingly inadequate.” On January 9, U.S. and New York state authorities sued one of the nation’s largest sellers of brain supplements, Quincy Bioscience of Madison, Wisconsin, alleging that the company made false and unsubstantiated claims about its flagship product, Prevagen. “The marketers of Prevagen preyed on the fears of older consumers experiencing age-related memory loss,” Jessica Rich, director of the Federal Trade Commission’s consumer protection bureau, said in a prepared statement. “Yet despite the defendants’ claims, there is no scientific proof that use of the product will improve memory or provide any other cognitive benefit.” In September, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration proposed to ban the supplement that Pena-Reames took, vinpocetine (pronounced vinPOE-suh-teen). The FDA said the product was synthesized in a laboratory and thus failed to meet the legal definition of a dietary supplement—that it consists only of natural ingredients. But the production method should have been known to the agency nearly two decades earlier, when several companies made regulatory filings saying they

NEW WORLD/BRAIN

were going to market the supplement. The proposed ban comes after tens of millions of dollars of the product have been sold to the public. Under the law, manufacturers and distributors also are barred from saying their supplements can cure diseases like dementia. But the display and context of the messages coming from many retailers at least insinuates as much. A Lexington, Virginia, company, Green Valley Natural Solutions, has been promoting a 12-part video series, “Awakening From Alzheimer’s,” with tips for “what you can do today to halt and reverse Alzheimer’s and dementia.” Among the suggestions: Purchase the video series for $319 along

S II M MO ON N FF RAS RAS E ER R /SC /SC II E EN NC CE E P PH H OTO OTO LL II B B RA RA RY RY S

GREEN VALLEY NATURAL SOLUTIONS HAS TIPS FOR “WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HALT AND REVERSE ALZHEIMER’S AND DEMENTIA.”

NEWSWEEK

with supplements the company sells, products with names like “Advanced Brain Power” and “Maximum Memory Support.” A New Zealand company, Xtend-Life, markets a supplement called Neuro-Natural Recall, and it has an article on its website about treatments for Alzheimer’s and dementia and how a “powerhouse” ingredient in Neuro-Natural Recall can help. A spokeswoman for Xtend-Life says the company was revising the article to make it clear that “while we believe that this product can be effective at supporting memory function, we do not claim to mitigate, treat or cure dementia or Alzheimer’s, which is very different.” Green Valley did not respond to requests for comment. ‘DON’T ASSUME SOMETHING WORKS’

Experts say that there is no simple solution for treating dementia and that sellers do a grave disservice to the public by suggesting otherwise.

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Responsive Politics. Among industry champions: Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), an original sponsor of the 1994 supplement bill, who has received $413,237 in campaign contributions from the industry since the law was enacted. With such influence, the industry has had its way inside the Beltway, thwarting periodic calls for regulation to put more information about risks and side effects on supplement labels. In the courts, the industry has defeated efforts by regulators to require more scientific proof before supplements can be marketed to the public. It is further aided by some well-connected leadership. Daniel Fabricant, a former head of the FDA’s supplement division, is now CEO of the industry’s leading trade group, the Natural Products Association. Agencies that are supposed to exercise oversight often find themselves overmatched. The Federal Trade Commission, which monitors the industry for false advertising, has but 20 people tracking all of the dietary supplements sold in the U.S. “I am the first one to say, ‘Don’t assume something works just because it is on the mar-

NEW WORLD/BRAIN

Some of these experts say that while supplements may not cause widespread physical harm or injury, they can end up being a huge waste of money. “You have people who are making some pretty spectacular claims, and you also have a large cohort of people who want to find an answer,” says Ruth Drew, director of family and information services for the Alzheimer’s Association. “I think we would all love to have that silver bullet. We just don’t see that.… The science is just not that far along.” The industry has enjoyed explosive growth since 1994, when Congress enacted the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act. It allowed supplements to be sold to the public without the extensive testing and FDA approval required for drugs. At the time, the FDA was cracking down on sales of unapproved drugs, conducting well-publicized raids. Among the targets: the Life Extension Foundation, a Fort Lauderdale, Florida, company that bankrolls anti-aging research and a human cryonics facility. The raids became a touchstone in the debate that led to the adoption of the supplement law. In signing the bill into law, President Bill Clinton called the legislation a “common sense” solution to the regulation of supplements. Today, sales of dietary supplements in the U.S. total an estimated $37 billion a year, and the number of supplements on the market has shot up from 4,000 to more than 55,000, according to the FDA. Many hundreds of supplements promise brain and memory enhancement. GNC, the giant retailer of health and nutrition aids, lists more than 350 products on its website with the word brain and some 130 with the word memory. Since the mid-1990s, the industry has also become a political power, spending $44.1 million to lobby lawmakers and federal agencies. An additional $24.5 million went to federal candidates, party committees and outside spending groups, including $9.2 million in the 2016 election cycle, according to the nonprofit Center for NEWSWEEK

ket,’” says Rich Cleland, the assistant director in charge of the FTC advertising bureau. “There are just so many [dietary supplements], it is impossible under this type of regulatory scheme to look at everything.” The few cases regulators bring don’t do much to protect consumers. In 2015, as part of a settlement in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, the FTC won a $1.4 million civil penalty from the marketers of Procera AVH, which once claimed the supplement could restore up to 15 years of lost memory in 30 days. By the time regulators got on the case, however, Procera had racked up nearly $100 million in sales, the FTC alleged. Procera is still sold, although the current owner, KeyView Laboratories of Tampa, Florida, says it has revamped its marketing practices and executive team. According to the federal lawsuit filed by the

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C H A R L ES K L E I N /GA L L E RY STO C K

EXPERTS SAY THAT WHILE SUPPLEMENTS MAY NOT CAUSE WIDESPREAD PHYSICAL HARM OR INJURY, THEY CAN END UP BEING A HUGE WASTE OF MONEY.


shown Prevagen improves human memory. It also says the company’s claims ignored the fact that the main ingredient is digested before it could affect the brain. “It is biologically inconceivable that taking a protein [like Prevagen] by mouth would have any effect on memory,” says David Seres, director of medical nutrition and associate professor at Columbia University Medical Center. Seres evaluated Quincy’s claims for Truth in Advertising Inc., a Madison, Connecticut, nonprofit advocacy firm that filed a complaint with the FTC about Prevagen in September 2015. In a statement, company officials said they “vehemently disagree” with the allegations in the lawsuit, which they said was “another example of government overreach and regulators extinguishing innovation by imposing arbitrary new rules on small businesses.” The FDA has been in a battle with Quincy, which has touted the fact that the key ingredient in Prevagen was discovered in a rare jellyfish. In fact, the company makes the ingredient in a lab, because harvesting enough jellyfish would be uneconomical and might lead to toxic side effects, the company says in a patent application describing the process. In a 2012 warning letter, the FDA alleged that the company was in effect selling an unapproved drug rather than a supplement, which under the law is required to be all-natural or found in the human diet. The FDA also challenged testimonials on a company website claiming Prevagen cured Alzheimer’s and identified more than 1,000 adverse events like seizures and strokes that Quincy had failed to report to regulators. The company took down the offending claims from its website and overhauled its regulatory reporting, but it has declined to comment on the FDA inquiries. The FDA also declined to comment, saying Quincy was involved in “an open compliance matter.” The 1994 supplement law’s main justification was that supplements, found in nature, are more like food than drugs and should require less regulatory oversight. The hope was that the public would benefit from the availability of cheaper

+ SNAKE OIL: The

FTC won a $1.4 million penalty against the marketers of Procera AVH, which claimed it could restore 15 years of lost memory and had $100 million in sales before the FTC stepped in.

FTC and the New York state attorney general, Quincy has sold more than $165 million of Prevagen since 2007. According to the complaint, bottles of 30 regular-strength tablets of Prevagen have retailed for up to $58.53. The suit follows more than a year of complaints from consumer groups that the company has falsely stated that clinical studies have NEWSWEEK

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NEWSWEEK

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POWDER BURN:

Ginkgo biloba, touted as an Alzheimer’s drug, is classified as a supplement because it is naturally derived and thus barely regulated. +

D O RA N N W E B E R /G E T T Y

to comment on the study, but GNC issued a statement saying it believes vinpocetine is a legal dietary ingredient. “The FDA acknowledged the safety of vinpocetine nearly 20 years ago, and the ingredient has been safely sold in dietary supplements since then,” the company stated. The study was forwarded to the FDA by McCaskill—and in September the agency proposed that the supplement be banned. “The idea that companies can just put vinpocetine into supplements and sell it to anyone always was crazy,” says David Schardt, senior scientist at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a Washington, D.C.–based advocacy and information organization. “But this also shows how lax FDA’s enforcement has been,” says Schardt, who calls vinpocetine “Viagra for the profit margin.” Pieter Cohen, a professor at Harvard Medical School and an author of the labeling study, says it is important that the FDA uphold the ban. “If vinpocetine can be sold as a supplement,” he wrote in an email, “then a backdoor exists to introduce new drugs directly to consumers as supplements.” Of the delayed reaction, he says FDA was “asleep at the wheel.” FDA officials have been hard-pressed to

alternatives to traditional drugs. But consumer organizations say that the industry has harmed consumers by aggressively stretching federal rules for dietary supplements and that the FDA has done little to stand in its way. Under the law, for example, companies must notify the FDA if they plan to use new ingredients in their products. But the FDA says there may be vast numbers of ingredients that have not been properly disclosed. The FDA’s handling of vinpocetine, the supplement Pena-Reames took and a popular treatment for stroke victims in Europe and Asia, also raises questions about oversight. Vinpocetine gained notice in the U.S. in the 1980s as a possible treatment for Alzheimer’s and dementia. Clinical trials were inconclusive, and vinpocetine was never cleared for sale as a drug. In the late 1990s, however, it found new life under the dietary supplement law. An industry magazine dubbed it “Viagra for the brain” because of its supposed ability to increase blood flow. Today, vinpocetine is found in nearly 400 products, as a stand-alone supplement and in blends, including Procera and Neuro-Natural Recall. Today, $20 million to $40 million of vinpocetine is sold every year, industry officials estimate. But there was a fundamental problem. The supplement has long been marketed as a botanical extract, derived from the lesser periwinkle plant, a flowering shrub. Yet it is actually a synthetic derivative of an alkaloid found in the plant. Translation: It is made in a lab, which disqualifies it as a supplement under federal law. That fact should have been discovered nearly 20 years ago, when several supplement makers notified the FDA they were planning to start selling vinpocetine. But for reasons that are still unclear, the agency did not take action. In an October 2015 article published in the journal Drug Testing and Analysis, researchers at Harvard Medical School and the University of Mississippi reported widespread labeling errors in a sample of 23 brands of vinpocetine purchased at GNC and Vitamin Shoppe retail stores. The problems included the fact that labels did not distinguish between synthetic vinpocetine and its natural cousin. GNC and Vitamin Shoppe declined


explain why they did not reach these conclusions earlier. “Because nearly 20 years have passed, we are not aware of the specific circumstances surrounding the evaluation of the NDI [new dietary ingredient] notifications FDA received for vinpocetine in the late 1990s,” an agency spokeswoman says. The proposed ban has mobilized the industry and its allies. The Life Extension Foundation, the company the FDA raided years ago, is fighting back again. It has created a special page where customers and others can download a letter to the FDA and members of Congress calling the proposed ban “unscientific and illegal” and urging the agency to withdraw it. The agency mailbag also includes testimonials from children of Alzheimer’s patients and a letter from a California veterinarian who said he has used vinpocetine in geriatric canine patients with “observable success.” Other writers accuse the FDA of doing the bidding of drug companies so they can eventually take over marketing of vinpocetine and raise prices. The Natural Products Association calls the proposed ban “unprecedented” and questions the legality of banning a product that was tacitly approved by regulators years ago. The trade group says that many studies show that vinpocetine is safe and effective, and that for the FDA to ban it now hurts satisfied customers, not to mention the industry bottom line. Hatch, the longtime industry champion, also has written the agency, declaring the proposed ban “a precedential step that could shake the confidence that manufacturers maintain in the FDA process.” “To wipe out a whole ingredient…that tells me they are not spending their resources on what they should be,” says Fabricant, the head of the Natural Products Association. According to Fabricant, the agency is being unduly influenced by McCaskill, an industry nemesis. “This means one senator can upset the apple cart.” Yet one expert, John Morley, an internationally recognized geriatrician at Saint Louis University medical school, counters, “I do not believe that there is nearly enough evidence to get people to waste their money” on vinpocetine. Consumers like Hank Auwerda, 80, of Tampa, Florida, also are skeptical. Auwerda purchased a bottle of vinpocetine online in 2015. He had recently suffered a head injury and had brain surgery, and he thought it might help his memory. Instead, after two days, he began having what he describes as “hallucinations.” He suspects the

NEW WORLD/BRAIN

supplement interacted with anti-seizure medicine he was taking. But he was irked that there was no warning on the label. He was angered further when he called the seller, Source Naturals, and was simply encouraged to contact Amazon for a refund. “This was a very strange reaction,” says Auwerda, who expressed surprise that the company wasn’t more concerned with the reaction he suffered. Under FDA rules, supplement manufacturers are required to review and investigate product complaints and inform the agency of all serious

A SUPPLEMENTS INDUSTRY MAGAZINE DUBBED VINPOCETINE “VIAGRA FOR THE BRAIN.”

NEWSWEEK

adverse effects that come to light. “A responsible firm will properly train all their call center employees to recognize if someone is reporting an adverse event and be able to direct them appropriately,” the FDA spokeswoman says. Source Naturals, based in Scotts Valley, California, did not respond to requests for comment. For Pena-Reames, the side effects disappeared, and her emotional health returned, when she stopped taking vinpocetine. (While others also have reported depression after taking vinpocetine, more common complaints include flushing, headaches and low blood pressure.) She has found other supplements that give her some peace of mind. Generally skeptical of the FDA’s ability to protect the public, she questions whether an outright ban of vinpocetine is wise, but says consumers need to do their homework. “There are a number of dementia snake oil salesmen out there. Beware.” This story was reported by FairWarning (FairWarning.org), a nonprofit news organization based in Pasadena, California, that focuses on public health, safety and environmental news.

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DOWNTIME

CARS

THEATER

CINEMA

STYLE

RESTAURANTS

ON THE UP

Novels, plays, clambering about on roofs—is there anything Katherine Rundell can’t do?

NEWSWEEK

Rundell (which rhymes with bundle) is 29, a gamine figure. When we meet for tea at a hotel next to the British Library in London, she’s dressed all in black apart from her Chelsea boots, which are the color of mint sauce. The subject of her play, Saki, was an Edwardian reporter—real name H.H. Munro—whose short stories were witty, macabre and highly influential. “He wrote in the vernacular of the drawing room,” Rundell wrote in the London Review of Books in 2015, “but with the ruthlessness of an avenging prophet.” His fans have included A.A. Milne, P.G. Wodehouse and Roald Dahl, who said the best of Saki was “better than the best of just about every other writer around.” But while Dahl, Milne and Wodehouse never faded away, Munro is half-forgotten. “The thing about Saki,” Rundell tells me, “is that almost nobody has heard of him, but almost everyone who has is obsessed with him.”

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+ HIGH STANDARDS:

Rundell, an awardwinning children’s writer whose debut play is on its way to New York, climbs buildings to relax—and for the views.

BY TIM DE LISLE @TimdeLisle

DAV I D A Z I A FO R N EWSW E E K

EVERY SUMMER, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Sctoland stages thousands of productions, most of which are never heard of again, however good they are. It took an American portrait painter with a passion for theater to do something about this. The Carol Tambor Best of Edinburgh Award, established in 2004, is not so much a drama prize as a young writer’s dream—the winning show lands a New York transfer off-Broadway, all expenses paid. The latest beneficiary, which begins previews February 8 at 4th Street Theatre, is Life According to Saki, the first play by a young Englishwoman, Katherine Rundell. The Tambor judges have chosen well. To those who know her, it’s been obvious for years that Rundell was going to be a star. The only question was in what field, as she is also an acclaimed children’s novelist, a fellow of Oxford’s smartest college and a tight-rope walker.


“I WANTED TO BE A WRITER FROM THE MOMENT I KNEW THAT WRITING WAS A PROFESSION.”

NEWSWEEK

all her books, and her play, contain a joke at Belgium’s expense. “It’s a kind of ongoing, lifelong revenge.” When she went to St. Catherine’s College, Oxford, to read English, the girl who missed climbing trees began to climb buildings. It started with a book that she came across, The Night Climbers of Cambridge, written in 1937 by an undergraduate who liked to shin up the city’s spires with his friends and, in a modern touch, take pictures of each other. They were proper climbers, Rundell says, and she is not. “But there are lots of rooftops you can get onto in Oxford, and the views are so beautiful. Oxford can feel a bit claustrophobic, a bit pressured, unknowable, and then suddenly you get that carnival spirit of childhood. You do it with friends, and it’s a very happy thing to do.” She now climbs buildings

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C LO C KW I S E F RO M TO P : DAV I D A Z I A FO R N EWSW E E K ; A L E X B R E N N E R ; FA B E R & FA B E R ( 2 ) ; B LO O M S BU RY

Her passion was shared by Jessica Lazar, a friend and fellow doctoral student with some directing experience, who said to her one day, “Shall we do a play about Saki?” They spotted a peg approaching: the centenary of his death, at age 45, in World War I. “It’s such a Saki-ish story, the way he died,” Rundell says. “Going through no man’s land in the dark and someone lit a cigarette, and a German sniper saw it, and his last words were ‘Put that bloody cigarette out.’” She read up about him, seeking out the few of his letters that survived. “Ethel, his sister, burnt a lot of them. She was quite wary because he was gay”— this at a time when homosexuality was still an imprisonable offense—“and she seems to have known it. She called it ‘chumming.’” Rundell set the action in the trenches, where her Saki tells stories to divert the younger soldiers, who act them out. “[Writing] it was a fascinating learning curve about the theater. With books you can be a little bit more nuanced. I’m sure this isn’t the case with Tom Stoppard, but I found I had to be more punchy.” She has made further adjustments for America. “I’ve winnowed back the talking. I’m never happy with anything I’ve made, and in Edinburgh it was a bit too intellectual. Now it’s just about Saki’s love for the men, and the men’s love for Saki, and the bitterness of war and what stories might do for them.” Stories are the fabric that holds her own incarnations together. “I wanted to be a writer,” she says, “from the moment I knew that writing was a profession.” Rundell grew up in a large family of British expats in Zimbabwe, where her mother taught French and her father was an aid worker for the British government. “I have no memory of not knowing, with a kind of fierce certainty, that I wanted to be a writer. My parents said to me, ‘It’s a difficult profession, but of course you can do it.’ And I found out when I was about 20 that they didn’t believe that at all.” By then the Rundells had moved to Brussels, a culture shock for Kate, who was 14. “In Zimbabwe, school ended every day at 1 o’clock. I didn’t wear shoes, and there was none of the teenage culture that exists in Europe. My friends and I were still climbing trees and having swimming competitions.” She gives Belgium some credit for broadening her mind: “The useful thing that moving around gives you is a sense that there can’t be one correct way of doing things.” But she resented it too, to the point where


in London, where the sight she treasures is Piccadilly at night, lit up “like a tsar’s palace.” The climbing led to tightrope walking: She has a dream to walk a wire across the Thames. Aiming high seems to be a habit. She applied for one of the two annual fellowships awarded by All Souls, the Oxford college open only to graduates, who have to sit for a notoriously daunting set of exams. Rundell spent three hours scribbling away about a single word: novelty. “I wrote about Derridean deconstructionist theory and Christmas crackers,” she later told The Bookseller. “I feel like they let me in despite rather than because of it.” A fellow of All Souls at 21, she was free to study anything she choose—as well as teach people barely younger than she was—and embarked on a doctoral thesis about John Donne, which she recently finished. Rundell longs to write a popular book about him. “The thing I’m working on is how do you entice people to read an entire book about a poet and his poetry, against their will, because I think he is the greatest writer, ever, maybe. I mean, Shakespeare is tougher, bolder, but for a kind of intricate, bone-deep knowledge of the human heart, I think it’s Donne.” Bonedeep is a favorite epithet for Rundell, a writer with

LIFE LESSONS:

Rundell found that the script for Life According to Saki, first perfomed in Edinburgh in 2016 (above), had to be “punchier” than her three children’s novels (left). +

DOWNTIME/THEATER

second, Rooftoppers, about an abandoned girl in Paris who becomes a tightrope walker, won the 2014 Children’s Book Prize from the British bookshop chain Waterstones. She likes to give each story “some proper peril in the middle, and at least one strong female character, because not all books have them. And a lot of food, always.” The formula reaches its apogee with her third novel, The Wolf Wilder, which focuses on a fabulously spirited child called Feodora. “Once upon a time,” it begins, “about a hundred years ago, there was a dark and stormy girl.” You know instantly that you are reading a fairy tale with a modern twist. Slowly, deliciously, it turns into a thriller set against the backdrop of the Russian Revolution. Racing through Rundell’s brisk, bright sentences, you see why her idol, Philip Pullman, called her “a writer with an utterly distinctive voice and a wild imagination.” For Rundell, this seems to have been the ultimate trophy: “It was like getting a nod from Shakespeare. I think he’s the best living.” The French film director JeanLuc Godard famously declared that all you need to make a movie is a gun and a girl. Rundell, whose book demands to be filmed, has written a scene involving a gun, a girl and a wolf giving birth. Because wolves loom large in her story, she thought she’d better go and meet some, so a friend took her to a wolf sanctuary in the Brecon Beacons, on the English-Welsh border. “Just one thing,” her friend said as they drew near. “You can’t handle the wolves if you’ve had any cuts recently. When they smell blood, they bite.” This gave Rundell a sudden quandary: She chews her nails. “Then I thought, I’ve come this far, and all I do with my hands is type. I only need five fingers.” She emerged unscathed; maybe wolves can’t smell sangfroid.

a brain who can see that brains are not enough. She wants to get into the marrow. She found some of the dons at All Souls were sniffy about children’s authors, as if their job too didn’t involve enlightening young minds. Undaunted, she started writing books for older children that can also be relished by adults. Her first, The Girl Savage, is about a girl from Zimbabwe who is sent to an English boarding school. Her NEWSWEEK

Life According to Saki: 4th Street Theater, New York, February 8 to March 5.

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DOWNTIME/CARS

IT EATS MUSTANGS

America’s other favorite muscle car recently turned 50. Go get a speeding ticket THE CAMARO was born out of a volcano. We know this because 50 years ago, in the muscle car’s very first TV commercial, it rose from a caldera amid fountains of fire and a molten lake of lava. Fans of the sporty Chevy still debate how many martinis Don Draper harmed while writing copy for that ad. In the half-century since the American public first blew its stack over the Camaro, the love affair has gone from hot to cold to hashtag-friendly. There are no TV commercials for Camaros anymore. The Chevy marketing team finds its trucks do better in TV spots. Instead, the brand focuses marketing for Camaro on the car’s social media presence. In 2013, Camaro’s image-heavy Facebook page had the highest user- engagement stats of any automotive brand. By 2015, scammers were taking full advantage of its likability, and sites like Hoax-Slayer and Snopes were debunking fake Camaro giveaway posts. A Google search for “Camaro reddit” yields more than 633,000 results for the vehicle’s popular online forums. Camaros have even varoomed into a Venn diagram with the Kardashians—a year ago, supermodel Kendall Jenner was filmed handing an alleged sandwich to an alleged homeless man from the driver’s seat of a 1969 Camaro SS convertible. A YouTube video of the exchange has been viewed nearly 900,000 times. No wonder the 2017 Camaro comes with its own Wi-Fi.

NEWSWEEK

Without the Mustang, the Camaro might never have emerged from that volcano. At the 1964 New York World’s Fair, Ford introduced the public to the “pony car,” a new class of affordable sporty coupes. Named for a World War II fighter jet, Ford’s maiden Mustang was a modified Falcon, with shrunken back seats and a less visible trunk. Later that year, its coolness factor was enhanced by a cameo in the James Bond film Goldfinger. Sales went through the (often retractable) roof—nearly 420,000 were bought in the first year, a new record for the brand. The Mustang begged imitation. General Motors executive Pete Estes, a small-town Michigander, spearheaded the secret development of its response at the Chevrolet Design Studios in Detroit. In the summer of 1966, amid rumors of the launch of a model called the Panther, a company publicist wired 200 mysterious invitations to a press conference: “Hope you can be on hand to help scratch a cat. Details will follow.” Soon, a second telegram: “Society for the Eradication of Panthers from the Automotive World will hold first and last meeting on June 28.” On that day, “Panther Society” chapter meetings were held in 14 cities. Estes presided onstage at the since demolished Statler-Hilton Hotel in Detroit. Microphones and amplifiers broadcast his remarks over the phone to the out-oftowners—the first interactive conference call. On

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BY GOGO LIDZ @gogolidz

G E N E RA L M OTO RS

PARTY IN THE BACK


THE CAMARO WAS THE MOST STOLEN “SPORTY” CAR FROM 2009 TO 2012. the horn, Estes complained about the Panther speculation and talked up the Chevrolet tradition of cars with a “C” name: Corvette, Corvair, Chevelle, Caprice. Five female models in short-shorts and high heels—each holding an outsized letter aloft—shimmied next to him. After a little reordering, they lined up to spell out “CAMARO.” Estes cited a 1955 French-English dictionary definition of camaro as meaning “comrade” or “playmate.” Not long afterward, Ford reps insisted that a camaro was actually a “shrimplike creature.” Then an alternate Spanish definition surfaced: “loose bowels.” Estes retaliated, saying a Camaro was “a small, vicious animal that eats Mustangs.”

The feud rages still. Car and Driver magazine has pitted Mustangs against Camaros in its comparison reports since 1968. Camaro-Mustang memes have incorporated Donald Trump saying, “I’m going to build a wall, to keep everyone at car meets safe from Mustangs.” In 1967, its first model year, 220,906 Camaros were sold— less than half of the business Mustangs did. But the Camaro won a more prestigious race: It was chosen to pace the 1967 Indianapolis 500. From the beginning, the Camaro has been marketed to both sexes. Like the Mustang of that unprogressive era, the ’67 V6 Camaro was sometimes called a “secretary’s car” because it was stylish yet modestly priced. One 1967 ad featured a blonde in shades driving a convertible dubbed the “Hugger” because it “hugs a road closer.” The ad copy recommends that women “ask any Camaro owner, he’ll tell you.” Chevy’s first pony car may have reached the height of its countercultural cachet in 1969—the year of Woodstock and Charles Manson—when gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson surfaced at the Chicago Auto Show to take notes for Scanlan’s Monthly on a panel of celebrities: 1968 NEWSWEEK

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RIDE OR DIE: A 1967 Camaro. Chevy execs say that of all their models’ fans, Camaro enthusiasts are the most zealous. +


wrestle and punch each other and, yes, turn into cars. Director Michael Bay worked with the design team at Chevrolet to create the Camaro-cum-alien robot Bumblebee. In the movie, hero Bumblebee’s nemesis is a “bad cop” robot that can change into a modified Mustang. Even the previously bargain-basement 1974 Camaro suddenly exploded in value after Shia LaBeouf drove a vintage yellow in the film. Generation Five Camaros went into production in the fourth quarter of 2008.

DOWNTIME/CARS

Heisman Trophy winner O.J. Simpson, Chevrolet executive John DeLorean and triple Olympic gold medalist skier Jean-Claude Killy of France. Though this might seem like the convoluted setup to a particularly moth-eaten joke, it’s actually the punch line. The trio had blown into the Windy City to tout the Camaro’s virtues. The Frenchman even had a special edition Camaro named after him—the Killy Z28. In 1977, Camaro sales surpassed Mustang’s for the first time. Remember the crushed muscle car spray-painted “Die Ridgemont” and “Lincoln Rules” after Spicoli borrows it in Fast Times at Ridgemont High? That was a 1978 Camaro Z28. The ’84 Berlinetta featured Starship Enterprise-like additions: a digital readout for speed and a very graphic electronic tachometer. In the year of the ’85 IROC-Z, Philadelphia punk rockers Dead Milkmen released “Bitchin Camaro,” a talkheavy tune. The phrase stuck. Debbie Harry’s backing vocals on the 1987 Ramones track “Go Lil’ Camaro Go” weren’t quite as catchy. Around that time, the “party in the back, business in the front” mullet fad became known as the “Camaro cut.” In 1992, Chevrolet’s Van Nuys Assembly factory in California was shuttered, and production was moved to Canada. In 2002, with sales lagging, the car was decommissioned. Its comeback was sparked by the film Transformers in 2007, in which giant talking robots

Those new Camaros beat Mustangs in their comeback sales year. Around the same time, indie rock group Weezer sang “Yellow Camaro,” and Atlanta rapper Young Jeezy did “Stop Playin Wit Me/My Camaro.” A report from the National Insurance Crime Bureau named the fifth-gen Camaro as the most stolen “sporty” car from 2009 to 2012. Coincidence? In 2012, toy-maker Hot Wheels partnered with Chevrolet to create a limited run of special edition Camaros (actual Hot Wheels–inspired cars, not toys). In 2013, the United Arab Emirates became the first country in the Middle East to use Camaros in their law enforcement fleet. The Dubai police still patrol streets in the souped-up SS models. Today’s Camaros are assembled in Michigan, at GM’s Grand River plant, which just laid off 800 workers due to what execs call a seasonal sales slump. Camaro’s lead engineer, Al Oppenheiser, also blames the election: “People tend to hold back on buying a new toy like a performance car when they’re worried about the economy.” The new Camaro is equipped with enough 007 spying technology to make Q envious. The “Teen Driver Mode” allows parents to control their teenagers’ speeds and their Bose audio system volume. They can also get wireless updates on pretty much everything except elapsed time on Lovers’ Lane. The 2017 ZL 1LE Camaro PDR can even record your driving experience and play it back. “If you go to a nice restaurant and hand off your keys,” says Oppenheiser, “you can make sure the valet doesn’t use it to go for a Ferris Bueller spin.” The Krypton, a space slime-hued variant of the 1LE, is slated to hit showrooms in February. Asked why the car was named Krypton, Oppenheiser takes a page from Estes’s old playbook and deadpans: “It makes Mustangs weak.”

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A N DY WO N G/A P

NO FERRIS BUELLER SPINS

For more information, visit CHEVROLET.COM

NEWSWEEK

HOT WHEELS: In 2002, with sales lagging, Chevy decommissioned the Camaro. The muscle car’s comeback five years later was sparked by the sci-fi movie Transformers. +


+ ON HIS METAL:

McConaughey “whoops and canters” through Gold, with a little help from Bryce Dallas Howard (top left and bottom right) and Édgar Ramírez (bottom left).

So Precious But Matthew McConaughey can’t make Gold glitter

ST U D I O CA N A L

ANYONE WHO THOUGHT

BY TOM SHONE @Tom_Shone

Matthew McConaughey stole Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street with his high-wired stockbroker act—strutting and whistling and telling Leonardo DiCaprio’s novice to “fuck the clients”—will get a kick or two from Gold. The plot, which writer-director Stephen Gaghan partly bases on a 1997 Canadian mining scandal, centers on Kenny (McConaughey), a gonzo prospector who gambles everything on striking gold in Indonesia. Chain-smoking, potbellied, with a receding comb-over, Kenny is fighting to pull out of a dive after the recession of the early ’80s. Operating from a dimly lit local bar where his girlfriend, Kay (Bryce Dallas Howard), waits tables, he’s not far removed from the sketchy lawyer McConaughey played in The Lincoln Lawyer in 2011, prepping cases from the back of his car. McConaughey clearly relishes playing flimflam visionaries; he’s negotiated the ups and downs of his Hollywood career with similar back-against-the-wall

brinkmanship. Such crackpot wheeler-dealers and bum dreamers are, after a fashion, actors themselves—spielers pulling their inspirational hokum from thin air, hoping for a comeback. Kenny is another one of these “make-it-happen motherfuckers,” as his geologist business partner Michael Acosta (Édgar Ramírez) puts it. Pawning Kay’s watch to pay for a flight to Indonesia, Kenny is soon digging in the jungle, fighting off malaria and, before you can utter the words “mining-production montage,” striking gold. The film is conceived as one of those late-capitalism caper movies—like Scorsese’s Wolf or David O. Russell’s American Hustle—in which a pop-eyed comedy of excess jostles with hubris, high finance and cheap suits to give us a gaudy spectacle of American greed. Striking it rich, Kenny is soon swimming with some of Wall Street’s most powerful players, strolling around his hotel suite in tightywhities and quarreling with Kay, who has upgraded her wardrobe with a series of glitzy metallic

NEWSWEEK

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dresses that would bring a blush to the cheek of Melania Trump: This is a vision of high finance as the ultimate hustle. If a single performance could make a film, Gold would be, well, solid. McConaughey whoops and hollers and canters, delivering gimlet-eyed eulogies to the precious metal that has long bewitched him; but the film doesn’t hold half the heat of his obsession. Gaghan, whose first feature was Syriana, the nebulously confusing CIA thriller from 2005, crowds his rags-to-riches-to-rags plot with voice-overs, flash-forwards, hot tubs and champagne, all set to nifty 1980s tracks from the Pixies, New Order and Joy Division. But a couple of final-reel twists stop the roller coaster dead in its tracks, and his direction never achieves the caffeinated rush or giddiness of a Scorsese, say, or even a David O. Russell. Gold needed a great showman behind the camera, as well as in front of it. Worldwide releases continue to April 20; GOLD-FILM.COM


DOWNTIME/STYLE

THE CURATED LIFE

BRIGHT SPARKS

M. Dupont would be delighted: After 75 years, his lighters are getting some nifty new technology ness on to his sons, who, in addition to the Paris workshops, opened a site back in Savoie. Dupont sold its goods to Al Capone, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor and Audrey Hepburn, among many others. In the 1950s, the French state began using the company to make official gifts for dignitaries and their spouses: Both Queen Elizabeth and first lady Bess Truman were lucky recipients of a Dupont necessaire de voyage, a dressing table set in its own valise: exquisite, if not something for those who travel light. By then the company was already becoming known for its lighters. During World War II’s strict rationing, the Dupont brothers wanted to manufacture a labor-intensive product that kept their workers employed but did not use too much in the way of raw materials. They settled on lighters, and, on January 6, 1941, they applied for a patent for a new model; the design enabled the owner to change the flint without needing to unscrew anything, an innovation that gave birth to the now

A DUPONT LIGHTER SYMBOLIZED WHAT IT MEANT TO BE ELEGANT, STYLISH AND FRENCH. NEWSWEEK

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BY NICHOLAS FOULKES

S.T. DU P O N T

I WAS RECENTLY invited to a 75th birthday party: an evening celebrating the French accessories brand S.T. Dupont—in particular, the Dupont lighter, which was first produced in 1941, during the German occupation of France. Among the artifacts on show were the first le briquet Dupont, a discrete little ingot of white metal, the lightness of which testified to its manufacture during a time of acute shortages. Yet like many French luxury marques, Dupont has its roots in the glorious period of consumption that defined the Second Republic under Napoleon III. In 1865, Simon Tissot Dupont left his native Savoie to work for his uncle, a photographer in Paris. He became official court photographer to Napoleon III, but his job ended when the Prussians captured the French emperor in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 and France once more became a republic. Dupont returned to Savoie but missed the excitement of Paris. A couple of years later, he returned, investing first in a coach builder, whose premises burned down, then a champagne house that fizzled out. Having tried photography, transport and sparkling wine, he eventually succeeded as a maker of leather goods, pens and luggage. In due course, he passed the busi-


famous spring-loaded flint mechanism. In 1952, business took off with the launch of the gas lighter with the miraculous adjustable flame. France was then well into Les Trente Glorieuses, the sustained period of economic growth that lasted from the end of the war until the oil shock of the 1970s. It was the golden age of smoking. Dupont lighters were guillochéengraved, plated in silver or gold, covered in lacquer or otherwise decorated to suit the tastes of affluent smokers. Advertising promoted their elegance—calling the lighters “the best-dressed flame in the world”—and their precision, boasting that they were “built like a chronometer, designed like a jewel.” Like a Cartier Tank watch or a piece of Yves Saint Laurent clothing, a Dupont lighter symbolized what it meant to be elegant, stylish and French. In 1976, Dupont lighters acquired an aural signature: the “cling.” A new shape of lid introduced that year made a ringing sound when you flicked it open, and customers so loved what Dupont saw as an error that the manufacturers left it in. I have been in a store in London and watched as a customer lined up a dozen or so Duponts, then played the lids like a peal of bells, selecting the one he wanted to buy on the basis of its timbre. Since the decline of cigarette-smoking that began in the 1980s, Dupont has coped by developing in some remarkable directions. It improved its lighters’ technical sophistication, creating, at the beginning of this century, a blowtorch-hot blue flame favored by a new generation of cigar smokers, who want to enjoy cigars in high winds at the top of mountains, on board sailing yachts and in other inhospitable environments. In February, Dupont will launch its new Complication lighter, with some nifty flame technology that allows the user to switch between yellow and blue flame on the same lighter. The more elaborate models of lighter have become collectors’ items. Aesthetically, these limited editions have become ever more ambitious, culminating in last year’s Arc de Triomphe Jeroboam table lighter, a mighty chunk of silver-patinated white bronze shaped like the Parisian landmark. At $27,650, only eight were made—partly because they were built with a vintage mechanism of limited availability. Seventy-five years after the first Dupont, the launch of the Arc de Triomphe was an excellent way to celebrate a birthday. As well as being handy for lighting the candles on the birthday cake.

FIRE STARTER:

Simon Tissot Dupont initially made luggage, until his company invented an aluminum lighter in 1941. Today’s iterations include (left, from top) the multi-flame Complication and the retro Initial. +

The Complication lighter will be available at Harrods, William & Son, J.J. Fox and Davidoff stores; for more information, visit ST-DUPONT.COM

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To-Do List the

5

VISIT

1 WATCH Branch out with “Tree of Codes,” as Wayne McGregor’s multifaceted ballet from 2016—with music by Jamie xx and sets by artist Olafur Eliasson—gets its French premiere at the Palais Garnier. 3

2

EAT

6

SEE

STAY

Glenn Close gets ready for her close-up one more time: 22 years after winning a Tony in Sunset Boulevard, she’s bringing her heartbreaking version of Norma Desmond back to Broadway.

Stay at Venice’s Bauer Palazzo, and try an experience that’s, um, to be sniffed at. In a 17th-century museum, renowned parfumiers the Vidal family will guide guests through their craft.

4

BUY

Young chef Tracy Chang, who has worked at the three-Michelin starred Martín Berasatêgui in Spain, brings French, Spanish and Japanese flavors to her new Boston restaurant, Pagu.

If you look and act like a Stone Age person in the mornings, the AnZa coffee machine is for you. Encased in concrete and delivering powerful espresso, it’s available for preorder now. NEWSWEEK

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1 . J O E L C H EST E R F I L D ES ; 2 . M AT T L I ; 3. N I C K WA L L ; 4. M O N TA AG ; 5. GA L E R I E DU M O N D E ; 6. BAU E R PA L A Z ZO

Galerie du Monde presents Hong Kong’s first solo exhibition of Taiwanese artist Wu Chi-Tsung. Featuring 10 years of work, it includes pieces from Wu’s new Drapery Studies series.


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Newsweek europe 6 february 2017