As expected, I got pushback on last week’s article defending the electoral college by demolishing the convenient lies the pro-electoral college people are spreading, which is just the type of absolutely backwards way of going about things that you all read Bumbling Bees to get. What I didn’t necessarily expect — though I certainly should have — was the utter incoherence of some of the pushback I got. In particular, I was informed that counties don’t matter because counties don’t "defend the country" by fighting wars, so they shouldn’t get any say.
Now that’s just all manner of confused. Had this exchange taken place anywhere but Facebook, I would give my interlocutor the benefit of the doubt and assume he understands what we mean when we say that 83% of all counties voted for Trump; as things are, however, I’m honestly not sure. When we say that a given country voted for Trump, you see, we don’t mean that a wizard magically incarnated the counties and sent them to the polling places, where the proud civil servants allowed them to vote as often as they wanted and using any names they wanted. No, see, what we mean is that the people who live in those counties, in the aggregate, voted for Trump. Do you see? The claim that "counties don’t fight wars" is completely silly. One may as well retort that the popular vote doesn’t fight in the wars either.
Letter of the law
Breach of contract, n.: failing to perform any term of a contract, written or oral, without a legitimate legal excuse.
The contract is the cornerstone of civilization, and I would argue that the civil suit for breach of contract is the thing that separates free men from barbarians; in a free society, failure to live up to the terms of a contract is brought before an independent tribunal that judges the merits of the case and determines what punishment, if any, is appropriate. In a barbarous society, failure to live up to the terms of a contract is punished directly by the aggrieved party, who takes the law into his own hands.
Admit it. You’re expecting me to say that the modern United States is barbaric because of the government court monopoly. That’s where you think this is going. Well, your Christmas present is that I saved a spooky Holiday reverse from Halloween and I’m bringing it out now.
There’s a meme going around social media that you’ve probably seen mocking the ninnies who can’t stop crying about the electoral college. Of course it’s the case that this is just a bunch of sore losers complaining that their team only lost because the rules weren’t fair, and mocking them is fine, but that’s not the point. This meme, in attempting to explain the purpose of the electoral college, states that "there are 3141 counties in the United States. Trump won 3084 of them. Clinton won 57." This is an absolutely shocking piece of information, and it very well should be, since it’s completely false. While I’m certainly no fan of the horrors of unbridled democracy, and I certainly believe that the people promoting it need to be refuted at every turn, it’s at least as important to make sure that we’re refuting them with the truth and not with our own comfortable lies.
There are 3112 counties or "county equivalents" in the United States that reported voter data for the 2016 presidential election. Of those counties, 2622 of them went for Trump, and 490 for Clinton. This is a massive majority in favor of Trump, of course, but it’s nowhere near the absurd figure of only 57 counties for Clinton. For pity’s sake, Clinton won 33 counties in California alone. She won enough counties to generate the famous Clinton Archipelago, after all, not the Clinton Invisible Dot Coalition.
Ho Ho Ho
Hey, I’m a pretty laid-back guy, right? Other than everything I’ve ever written on this site, everything I’ve ever written for several other web sites, everything I’ve ever written for a print publication, and about two thirds of what comes out of my mouth when I’m speaking, I’m scarcely ever critical of others. In particular, I tend to give a pass to soggy leftists complaining that Christmas is offensive; that’s more of a mating cry than an actual argument, and I’ve always sort of considered it to be beneath refutation. I reserve the right, however, to alter or abolish that policy when the sog in question is especially clueless about theology while, at the same time, being of the cloth. So it is that I turn my baleful gaze to the Rt. Rev. Ruth Everhart, who is of a mind that the Blessed Virgin Mary is offensive to sluts.
Church culture tends to be fixated on sexual purity year-round, but during Advent, I’m tempted to blame it on the Virgin Mary. After all, she set an impossibly high bar. Now the rest of us are stuck trying to be both a virgin and a mother at the same time. It does not seem to matter that this is biologically impossible. Can you at least try?
No, you cannot. We’re done here, right?
Olha, que coisa mais linda, mais cheia de graça
Rio de Janeiro has a bit of an image problem lately. Tourists getting murdered on the beach will do that to you, to say nothing of this year’s Plague That Will Destroy Civilization, the dreaded zika virus. Still and all, Rio’s newly-elected mayor has a bold plan that will restore the city to its well-deserved place as the crown jewel of Latin tourism. No, he does. Listen:
"Rio de Janeiro cannot continue treating its tourists as if they were an afterthought," Mr. Crivella, 59, told the audience, emphasizing the need to "shatter" Rio’s "negative image."
"This is something we need to discuss," he said.
You’re on to me, aren’t you. You’ve already guessed that this is going to be something absurd. Still and all, your humble narrator is willing to bet you aren’t guessing anything quite as absurd as the mayor’s actual plan, which is to pay reparations to tourists who are mugged while in Rio. Now, understand this: I don’t mean to say the mayor is setting aside a block of money to pay people who’ve been mugged recently, along with maybe some plan to reduce the muggings going forward. No, the plan is evidently to tell everybody "come to Rio! Sure, you’ll get mugged, but we’ll pay you back!" which I’m not a hundred percent sure is a good sales pitch.
You better watch out. You better not cry.
Ah, Christmas. That joyous time when all mankind comes together as one in love and merriment. Families put aside their squabbling, factions their differences, nations their wars, progressives their thought control, and we all link arm in arm and, in one voice, sing the worst song from How the Grinch Stole Christmas. The only negative thing even your humble narrator can come up with about all this — aside from that song, anyhow — is that it’s all a sack of rubbish. If anything, here in the year two thousand and whatever, people use Christmas as an excuse to kick their misanthropic crusades up another level.
In case you can’t quite see where I’m going with this artless lede, we’ll get right to it. Harvard University has given its inmates an early Christmas present: social justice placemats to bring home on break, so they’ll have easy access to disingenuous leftist twaddle when their less-enlightened family members need their idiotic ideas corrected. I promise I’m not making any of this up; the things even have the words "HOLIDAY PLACEMAT FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE" stamped on them in hideous block print. Here’s my favorite bit: