3 Stories You Should Read: 7/02/2019: Fake news, Yellow Stone, Justin Amash
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In the category of: Fact vs. Fiction
We think of false information as a domestic problem. It’s much more dangerous than that.
Who really bombed the oil tankers in the Persian Gulf two weeks ago? Was it Iran, as the Trump administration assured us? Or was it Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates or Israel—or some combination of the three?
Here’s a confession from two former senior government officials: For days after the attacks, we weren’t sure. Both of us believed in all sincerity there was a good chance these actions were part of a false flag operation, an effort by outsiders to trigger a war between the United States and Iran. Even the film of Iranians hauling in an unexploded limpet mine from near the side of tanker, we reasoned, might be a fabrication—deep fake footage just like the clip of Nancy Pelosi staggering around drunk.
Perhaps you felt that way too.
In the category of: Mother Earth
The world’s tallest active geyser — whose major eruptions shoot water more than 300 feet into the air — is known to be unpredictable. But if there was ever a year to witness Steamboat’s spectacular surge of water, this might be it.
We’re just over halfway through 2019 and the Steamboat Geyser has already erupted 25 times, according to the US Geological Survey. That puts it on track to surpass last year’s record of 32 eruptions — the largest number ever recorded in a year. The record before that was 29 eruptions in 1964.
The Steamboat Geyser erupted seven times just last month alone, the USGS said. June’s outbursts, which occurred on the 1st, 7th, 12th, 15th, 19th, 23rd, and 28th, also smashed the record for the shortest interval between eruptions — just over three days.
In the category of: Defector
Michigan Rep. Justin Amash was never exceptionally deferential to his party. For four years, his Twitter cover image has been the 2015 winner of an annual high school art competition in his district. It’s an unsparing indictment of partisan bickering: an illustration of two baboons absurd in 18th-century frippery, mirror images of each other except their red and blue team colors and locked in a mutual scream.
So perhaps Amash’s July 4th declaration of independence from the GOP should come as no surprise. “Preserving liberty means telling the Republican Party and the Democratic Party that we’ll no longer let them play their partisan game at our expense,” he wrote in a Washington Post op-ed announcing and explaining his decision. “No matter your circumstance, I’m asking you to join me in rejecting the partisan loyalties and rhetoric that divide and dehumanize us.”
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