That happened to me back in Calculus class, too.

Zucked!

The Liberty Conservative earlier today posted an article about a bizarre Twitter rant Cato Institute vice president Brink Lindsey engaged in on Wednesday. Lindsey was outraged about that there Ron Paul; apparently it’s somehow cosmically socially unjust that Ron Paul is more widely known and respected than Brink Lindsey, and Lindsey wants us all to understand that real libertarianism consists of world wars, government-managed trade "agreements," and presumably also forcing people to bake cakes, though Lindsey himself was rather silent on that important point.

So that’s as may be. I was planning to write up a few hundred sarcastic words and throw it in Last Week in Weird. But then a funny thing happened on the way to the bookmarks: I shared the story on Facebook, which promptly earned me a 24-hour ban. And that’s not just me: apparently anybody who shares this particular story on Facebook is banned from "creating open graph actions" for twenty-four hours. What is an "open graph action?" It is a mystery!

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The Rule of Men

Don’t worry; the Trump administration is hard at work protecting America from the truth. By which I mean: they’ve apparently concocted an ambitious network of excuses to kidnap and torture dispense summary justice upon deliver a charming Uncle-Sam-o-gram to Wikileaks editor Julian Assange, who has, as of the time of this writing, been holed up in the Ecuadorean embassy in London for seven years. Of course, the Official Media Gatekeepers — by which I obviously mean: fake news — are only too happy to help sell this atrocity to the American people.

The US view of WikiLeaks and Assange began to change after investigators found what they believe was proof that WikiLeaks played an active role in helping Edward Snowden, a former NSA analyst, disclose a massive cache of classified documents.

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The First of Trump’s Wars

Making political predictions is easy. Here’s the rule of thumb: whatever is the worst possible outcome, that’s what they’ll do. The entire body of optimism I was able to muster for the Trump administration was, as I said many a time, predicated on the slim hope that maybe — maybe — he’d be less of a warmonger than his predecessor. There was some campaign rhetoric to that effect, and, while believing campaign rhetoric is a singularly silly idea, it was just enough to prop up a distant hope that the United States could indeed decide that not every event in every country is our business.

So much for that.

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The Last — and Worst — of Obama’s Wars

That can only be the war in Yemen. This is a truly disgusting and cynical war; Yemen is almost impossibly poor, and is no threat to the United States in any conceivable reality, and your United States government is aiding and abetting the butchers that are the house of Saud in what amounts to the most lopsided partisan religious persecution of all time. This is a "war" fought for no purpose, with no defined endpoint, and with no objective other than the wholesale slaughter of helpless children, all to curry political favor with oil-rich barbarian war-chiefs.

Now, just because I labeled this an Obama war, don’t think I’m leaving the new guy off the hook. I was wholeheartedly in favor of giving him a chance, but at this point he’s had it, and he’s officially blown it. If the Trump administration can’t even see through this most insincere of all wars, it clearly has never seen and will never see a war it doesn’t like. All we can hope for at this point is that maybe they won’t start quite as many new ones as the last administration did.

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There is a huge contradiction in the witness' testimony!

With Friends Like These

Contra Reason’s Nick Gillespie, the best thing that happened for the liberty movement in 2016 — indeed, arguably the only good thing in what was otherwise a catastrophic year — was the sudden explosion in popularity of the wonderful libertarian mantra "taxation is theft." In addition to being absolutely true and correct, this is also a powerful slogan that portrays libertarianism at its best, as a philosophy that does not waver and does not compromise with evil for political expediency.

So, naturally, there are libertarishes who hate it.

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Tolerance!

The Sound of Silence

"This is what tolerance looks like at UC Berkeley," Mike Wright of Berkeley College Republicans, the group that invited Yiannopoulos to the campus, said outside the student union building as smoke bombs went off around him.

As he spoke, someone threw a glass bottle of red paint at him. The bottle shattered and splattered paint on his clothing. "It’s sad," he said.

Milo Yiannopoulos was supposed to speak to a sold-out crowd at Berkeley a few days ago. His speech never occurred. Let’s be blunt: the reason for this is that Berkeley is infested with barbarians. Which may come as a surprise to the sort of person who believes the mainstream press, the barbarians don’t come clad in "Make America Great Again" hats swilling from cans of Bud Light as they drive their pickup trucks to Super Bowl parties. Quite the opposite. The barbarians wrap themselves in rainbows, carry signs about love and peace and unity, and then smash windows, spraypaint their slogans on other people’s buildings, assault innocent people, and set fire to the campus. Welcome to the modern left, where tolerance has become what it beheld.

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There is a huge contradiction in the witness' testimony!

Being Part of the Problem

It seems like the internet just can’t stop crying embarrassing crocodile tears about how 2016 was allegedly just the worst year ever. In most cases, of course, this is a thinly-veiled whinge about how St. Hillary Clinton became a martyr for the cause of universal perfect justice when the Soviet Union forcibly installed some sort of orange space Hitler as the new dictator of the United States, which bone-brained rubbish you must forgive me for not treating with the gravity it deserves. On the other hand, we also have classic libertarianishes like Reason’s Nick Gillespie, who, amidst all the me-too hand wringing, can point to one thing about 2016 that was just super.

If there was anything good that happened in 2016 — a year filled so much awfulness [sic] that even the Chicago Cubs could win the World Series after a thousand-year drought — it was [Gary Johnson’s] ramshackle campaign to bring a very different way of thinking and talking about national politics to America.

In a just world, we could just assume that Gillespie is congratulating the Cubs for being the best thing in 2016 — in which he would be correct — and then all go have pie. In this fallen world in which we live, however… suffice it to say things are about to become maudlin.

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The Old College Try

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.

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Get it Right

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.

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What Might Be Done

I’m assuming you’ve heard, but Donald John Trump was just elected to be the forty-fifth president of the United States. I remain, as I have ever been, hugely skeptical of president Trump; I steadfastly refused to sign on to Walter Block’s "Libertarians for Trump," preferring instead to claim membership in Robert Wenzel’s competing group, "Libertarians Against Trump, Clinton, Johnson, and Stein." Still and all, there is the potential for some good to come from a Trump administration, which statement I would be unable to make about Hillary Clinton. To get a sense of what I’m talking about, consider the few moments of Trump’s victory speech in which he says substantive things rather than merely thanking his staff and supporters:

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