Tag Archives: Germany

The right way to fact-check President Trump

During the election, media organizations were forced to create new and inventive ways to communicate Donald Trump’s new and inventive relationship with the truth. Here’s one famous example:

Such efforts went over so well that some people have clamored for the networks to deploy such correctives on a more regular basis:

Continue reading The right way to fact-check President Trump


Ready for Romney to be Ready for Hillary

As the list of Republicans who are officially With Her seems to lengthen daily, the world awaits word from Donald Trump’s immediate predecessor as Republican candidate for President.

Back when it still appeared Trump might be stopped, Mitt Romney famously dedicated an entire speech to encouraging other Republicans to oppose him. At the time he gave that speech, Romney was not willing to endorse Hillary Clinton:

Continue reading Ready for Romney to be Ready for Hillary

Who’s wiping Israel off the map now?: New York Times edition

In a recent post, I detailed how some people described the acquisition of Seamless in Kuwait (how clever) as the largest Middle Eastern exit since 2009. They forgot, of course, that Israeli startups routinely eclipse Talabat’s $170 million purchase price — or maybe excluding Israel from “the Middle East” was a conscious decision. Either way, they’re redrawing maps.

But those offenders are small potatoes (which you may presumably order on Talabat). This time, I’d like to call your attention to the pages of the New York Times. In yesterday’s column, Islam and the West at War, Roger Cohen described the current conflict between, well, Islam and the west:

Continue reading Who’s wiping Israel off the map now?: New York Times edition

Facebook’s article recommendation engine could use some serious work

If you use Facebook with any regularity, you’ve probably noticed that clicking on an article will often prompt the social media service to suggest “Related Article”s in which you might be interested.

So it happened that when I clicked on article published via The Times of Israel titled “Israelis growing hungry for vegan diet”, Facebook presented a rather curious choice of “Related Article”:

Continue reading Facebook’s article recommendation engine could use some serious work

Is Football really so very different from Futbol?

Tickets for Seahawks training camp went on sale this morning at 10AM — right in the middle of Team USA’s potentially crucial match against Team Deutschland in the World Cup. I took this as a particularly clever strategy to winnow Seattle’s infamous football fans from its similarly notorious futbol fans — an effort to ensure only the purists would show up to watch the team practice in Renton.

But are the two sports really all that different?

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The Great When-was-Jessica-Chastain-a-baby Mystery of 2013

According to the The USA Today, Jessica Chastain allegedly has a birthday — but she’s never gonna tell:

Age is a sensitive topic for actresses. Jessica Chastain has gone on the record saying that she will never reveal her age because she’s an “actress.” (It’s widely speculated she is 35 years old.)

If true, I would certainly consider this secrecy somewhat regrettable. I, for one, had been planning to play her a powerful piano (oxymorn?*) rendition of Deutschland über alles** to mark the anniversary of her birth.

*Not a typo

**In honor of my favorite (brief) scene in The Debt, in which Ms. Chastain receives star billing.

Despite the potential for personal disappointment, as a (somewhat) notorious birthday grinch*, I was also (somewhat) intrigued: Chastain wasn’t born in a third-world country and the year is 2013. It should be next-to impossible for famous people to get away with these shenanigans in this day and age.

*See, Paranoia doesn’t mean Facebook isn’t really out to get you for the story of how Mark Zuckerberg outed my birthday decoy

So I decided to take a look for myself:

Continue reading The Great When-was-Jessica-Chastain-a-baby Mystery of 2013

The Lincoln Memorial was vandalized last night — or was it?

The CBS headline is blunt — “Lincoln Memorial vandalized“:

Green paint was splattered overnight on parts of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., U.S. Park police say.

They say a patrol officer found green plant splashed on the floor near the famous statue of President Lincoln, and some on the base of the statue, at around 1:20 a.m. local time.

The memorial, on the National Mall, will be closed until the U.S. Park Service can clean it up.

NBC changes a few of the details, but still reaches the same conclusion — “Lincoln Memorial vandalized“:

The Lincoln Memorial will be closed until further notice after green paint was discovered on the monument Friday morning.

A visitor found the paint splattered on the statue and on the floor around it just before 1:30 a.m. and reported it to police. No words or symbols were written on the statue, News4’s Megan McGrath reported.

The U.S. Park Police say the monument will reopen once the National Park Service cleans the statue. There’s no estimate on when that work will be done, but maintenance crews are expected to arrive Friday morning.

Some people have predictably overreacted:

Clubbing seals is horrendous. Assassinating the President is horrendous. Enslaving another human being is horrendous. This is just paint.

But while it’s tempting to pin the crime on a marauding band of Germanic barbarians or the University of Idaho football team, I’m not so sure vandals were responsible. There’s another possibility that seems not to have been considered, and might just put Mr. Klapper’s outrage to rest — perhaps the Lincoln Memorial turning green is simply natural processes at work:

Continue reading The Lincoln Memorial was vandalized last night — or was it?

Three lawsuits in the news and why they’re really so silly

Some lawsuits are a good idea. Some are not. This post is about three that have been in the news and that are not. None seemed worth a post on its own, but now that I have a little collection going, here we go:

Continue reading Three lawsuits in the news and why they’re really so silly

WWII rages on: U.S. invaders continue to haunt its Axis adversaries

You might recognize the little guy you see above as a character from Pocahontas. In case you don’t remember him — and this will be important in a moment — his name is “Miko”. As it happens, Miko is also the Shinto term for “shrine maiden” — and what follows is an account of how Miko the cartoon raccoon is causing a lot of grief for shrine maidens all over Japan.

To fully understand this story, you have to go back to World War II. The roots of Nazi Germany are often traced back to the settlement terms of the Great War, which forced the defeated Central Powers to pay crippling reparations to the victorious Allies. When World War III breaks out, it will be tempting to trace its underlying cause to the damage and humiliation the United States continues to inflict upon the defeated Axis powers of World War II. I’m not talking about the U.S. military bases that still dot Germany and Japan, but about a different kind of invader — raccoons:

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Something good came out of that Olympic moment of silence controversy

I was recently talking to someone about this blog, and he said one thing that stuck with me – something like but not necessarily, “It’s hard to believe you write the blog. You seem like such a nice guy in real life, but online, you’re such a critic.” And I get it: it’s easier to tear things down than build them up, and — since I often choose the former route — it’s possible I don’t always come off as the nicest guy online.

But though that may be the rule, every rule has its exception (except Godwin’s), and in this post I mean to draw your attention to an instance in which Paper Treiger served to unite rather than destroy.

You may recall when, in the lead-up to the 2012 Olympic Games in London, a brief controversy erupted over whether the IOC ought to hold a moment of silence in honor of the 40th anniversary of the Munich Olympics, which saw 11 members of the Israeli delegation killed by the Palestinian terrorist organization Black September.

The controversy created a minor debate in the Jewish blogosphere. Some, like Deborah E. Lipstadt, forcefully argued that the IOC was wrong to deny this request. After all, London was permitted to honor the victims of the 7/7 subway victims, an event which had absolutely nothing to do with the Olympics (save its location), while the tragedy in Munich had occurred inside the Olympic village. Others, like noted pro-Palestinian activist and sometimes terrorist sympathizer Elisheva N. Goldberg responded that the IOC ought not to hold the moment of silence at the opening ceremony because the IOC President held a separate commemorative ceremony elsewhen.

Meanwhile on Paper Treiger, I thought that the two sides were arguing for absolutely no purpose. Whether or not the IOC decided to hold a moment of silence was irrelevant, because such a commemoration could never be enforced in practice. I’m not going to rehash the post’s entire argument – if you want to see how I imagined the moment of silence would play out, see What would happen if the IOC actually held a moment of silence for the 1972 Munich Massacre? – but I do want to draw your attention to the effect it had: it brought the two warring factions into agreement.

And I only just learned this fact.

I recently searched Twitter for “Paper Treiger” – you know, a blog vanity search. It was the first time I had ever done this, so I found myself scrolling back pretty far in time. And when I got to July 2012, I came upon something amazing:

Continue reading Something good came out of that Olympic moment of silence controversy