Tag Archives: World War II

Who should the GOP draft to take down Trump? This brave five year-old girl

There’s been a lot of finger-pointing about just who is most responsible for the rise of Trump, but there is at least one point of broad consensus: for too long, the GOP was afraid of attacking him, and his adversaries spent far too long tearing down one another instead.

On some level, their strategy was understandable: Trump was a punchline until he wasn’t, and so his rivals devoted most of their energy to jockeying for second place. Moreover, it’s unclear that any of their attacks would even stick. When Marco Rubio tried his hand at insult comedy, the results fell far short of spectacular.

But those considerations did not deter all his adversaries. Back in 2010, one five year-old girl issued a challenge to Donald Trump, nearly six years before any Republican candidate managed to accomplish the same feat:

Continue reading Who should the GOP draft to take down Trump? This brave five year-old girl

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Someone get the NFL a dictionary. And a calendar.

They called it Super Bowl 50 so you’d forget the “L” stands for “lies”.

During this year’s Super Bowl pre-game ceremony, the broadcaster mentioned that the league was celebrating the “fiftieth anniversary of the Super Bowl”. As it happens, you can listen for yourself in the very first few seconds of these official NFL Super Bowl highlights:

Continue reading Someone get the NFL a dictionary. And a calendar.

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:

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

Some historical perspective, please

Via Ynet, and just in time for 17 Tammuz, an article titled Anti-Semitism hits new record in Europe:

A troubling report presented to the government on Sunday verifies what many in Europe have been feeling in recent months – anti-Semitism in the continent is on the rise, and is breaking new records.

The anti-Semitism survey was conducted on behalf of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights in nine countries in Europe.

According to its main findings, 26% of Jews have suffered from anti-Semitic harassment at least once in the past year, 34% experienced such harassment in the past five years, 5% reported that their property was intentionally vandalized because they are Jewish, about 7% were physically hurt or threatened in the past five years.

As a result, 40% to 50% of Jews in France, Belgium and Hungary said they were considering emigrating as they no longer felt safe.

I just quoted half the article — the half that actually details any findings. The rest is fluff about aliya, you can read it or not read it as you wish.

I have only one point, and if you have your head on straight, you can probably guess what it is:

Continue reading Some historical perspective, please

WWII military hero treated unjustly at the hands of Injustice

This blog has a long history of obsession with those commercials that appear repeatedly during the online viewing [it’s possible every one of those words links to a different post] of Colbert and the Daily Show.

Well, welcome to the most recent installment, in which I break down the latest offering from GameStop, featuring Russian superhero “Comrade Kielbasa” (or, I suppose, “Komrade Kielbasa”). I would really encourage you to watch the video for yourself, but if you’re for some reason too lazy, I included the complete text immediately after:

Continue reading WWII military hero treated unjustly at the hands of Injustice

Where Palestinians and Glenn Beck can find common ground

The answer to the riddle I posed in the subject of this post: Bethlehem.

Here’s a Glenn Beck compilation, with some choice excerpts from the first two years of Obama’s presidency [it makes for a nice soundtrack as you read this post, and hopefully check out the bonus links at the end]:

And here’s a recent story out of the West Bank, via Algemeiner:

Continue reading Where Palestinians and Glenn Beck can find common ground

That time an article on TSA security protocol featured me (I’m pretty sure)

When I fly home tomorrow (later today, I guess — I should really get to sleep), I have a brand new TSA security regime to look forward to. I’ll still have to take off my shoes, leave my shampoo in the shower, and extract my laptop from an overly-stuffed carry-on, but at least I won’t have any problem carrying on a knife:

Flyers reacted with shrugs but largely agreed with a new policy announced by the Transportation Security Administration that airline passengers will be able to carry small knives and previously forbidden sports equipment on planes.

“It’s common sense,” said Pat O’Brien, who stood at Los Angeles International Airport after arriving from Durango, Colo. “You can make anything into a knife so I don’t have a problem with it at all. You can sharpen a credit card to make a sharp implement.”

Aviation security consultant John L. Sullivan agreed with O’Brien, saying a pen or toothbrush can be sharpened like the “shivs” inmates sometimes make in prison.

Genius, guys — keep giving the terrorists free ideas, like Tom Clancy.

All chastisement aside — mostly because I’m sure the terrorists already thought of it in this post-9/11 world — could there be any more potent anti-Western anti-capitalist anti-consumerist anti-Christian statement than hijacking an airplane with a credit card? Just saying.

Anyway, the timing of the potential rules changes — March 5 — could not have come about as total happenstance. Indeed, that Tuesday was only the second workday after Congress handed down the sequester, which prompted the TSA to threaten mandatory furloughs and a Maginot-like frontline of defense in the war on terror as a consequence.

Whatever the reason for the revised guidelines, it’s nice to see the government slowly easing travel restrictions. Next time you fly — hopefully with a small knife in your pocket — I can’t imagine you’ll find yourself nostalgic for the experience of flying circa 2009:

Liquid explosives still pose a threat, so the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is getting more specific about what types of items can’t be taken through security checkpoints in carry-ons.

“Pies are permitted through the security checkpoint,” TSA says. But other holiday food items — such as salsas, cranberry sauce, jams, jellies, vinegars — need to go in checked luggage or be shipped ahead unless they’re packed in containers of 3.4 ounces or less and fit into one quart-sized plastic bag.

Security agents have had to ask passengers to throw away tubs of gravy, even snow globes. The liquid sloshing around inside a snow globe might be less than 3.4 ounces, but TSA says it can’t be accurately measured.

OK, so at least as far as liquids go, you don’t really need nostalgia to recall what it was like back in 2009.

I once actually accompanied someone trying to get a snow globe past security and would be happy share more about that debacle upon request, but the point of this post is to share my actual first-hand experience with a different item that received honorable mention in that same 2009 article:

Government inspectors have gotten more specific on the list of what’s prohibited in checked bags as well (a complete list is at www.tsa.gov). Swords, ice picks and billy clubs are OK. Gas torches, blasting caps and fireworks are out.

“We literally see the kitchen sink,” said Baird, recalling an instance when someone tried to pack along a chain saw.

A chain saw? What kind of crazy person… oh right, that would be me.

I’ll admit — all I have is circumstantial evidence, but consider the following: The article was written just before the 2009 holiday season. It appeared in the Seattle Times. It was written by a Seattle Times travel writer. And just three months before it was published, I had walked right into the SEATAC security line with this stuffed into my carry-on:

Continue reading That time an article on TSA security protocol featured me (I’m pretty sure)

The NRA: towards a better understanding

In its January/February issue, Mother Jones covered a report on the link between lead and human behavior. Rick Nevin, a consultant at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development ran some tests on the link between lead and violent crime:

In a 2000 paper (PDF) he concluded that if you add a lag time of 23 years, lead emissions from automobiles explain 90 percent of the variation in violent crime in America. Toddlers who ingested high levels of lead in the ’40s and ’50s really were more likely to become violent criminals in the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s.

As the graph linking pirates and global warming famously shows, it’s possible to commit a correlation/causation fallacy any which way you like, so Nevin repeated his research in other countries for confirmation:

Continue reading The NRA: towards a better understanding

Beware this safety patrol cat

Typically, cats only make it online when they’re adorable and can’t spell.

The subject of this post is not particularly adorable, but he probably could spell — and that’s been enough to earn him a pile of headlines in recent days (see Yahoo, Huffington Post, and ABC News, among others). And so I feel obligated to warn the internet — indeed, all humanity — of his danger. Take it away, Tri-City Herald:

Twice a day, every weekday, a large black cat named Sable trots from the garage where he lives to a nearby street corner in West Richland.

He plops down in a patch of grass and watches as children cross the street to and from Enterprise Middle School, earning him the nickname “the crossing guard cat.”

Now, when I say Sable could probably spell, I mean this cat is a Frick-en genius. My cat is indignant every single time he gets locked up for the night, and then spends a while meowing and scratching at the door as if that has ever gotten him out. Listen, Oban, maybe if you were smart enough to eat at the next-door neighbor’s, and didn’t reliably fall for the “come downstairs for dinner” trap every. single. night. then maybe you’d manage to occasionally avoid the dungeon. But of course, you never learn. Sable, on the other hand:

Sable typically arrives at the corner about five minutes before the children — and he stays in on the weekend when children won’t be in school.

The article doesn’t address what Sable does on holidays or over the summer, but at this point I wouldn’t be surprised to learn he’s got the calendar down too (even if he doesn’t appear in any 785 cat calendars available on Amazon; for the record, that’s 250 more than there are dog calendars, probably because 99% of dogs don’t speak English). At the very least, I imagine he figured out when it’s Halloween.

But what makes Sable so intelligent? Is it that he goes to school every day? Or is it something more ominous?

I know you’re dying to see him — and, don’t worry; I know you can’t mention cats on the internet without providing a picture — so here’s what he looks like:

Continue reading Beware this safety patrol cat

Obama as Hitler? You’ve got the wrong WWII adversary

In India, a store named after Hitler ‘stirs anger’ and makes headlines; in the United States, Obama-Hitler comparisons are basically routine.

If the image above didn’t convince you, take a look at the the Google Image search results (definitely worth clicking to enlarge, or even running the search for yourself):

Continue reading Obama as Hitler? You’ve got the wrong WWII adversary