Bumbling Bees was dark all last week due to technical difficulties. Our apologies! Now to get back to business, and business is weird!
The one good thing about Hillary Clinton
She’s old and infirm, and, seventeen years after her humiliating electoral defeat, it is highly unlikely that she’ll still be haunting around trying to destroy human civilization for fun and profit. Sadly, the same cannot be said for Al Gore, whose pet foundation, the Energy Transitions Commission, is hard at work attempting to end energy generation for the sake of global fairness and also oh didn’t you see that picture of the polar bears on the ice floe??
In particular, the group has released a report outlining its plan to save the world from the dread existential terror of possibly being very slightly warmer than it is now, while at the same time also battling global inequality and presumably paying off your student loans too. It’s going to take a bit to build toward the punch line on this one, but it’s worth it.
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.
I was away all last week, to be honest. I’m sure we all agreed not to do anything weird while I was gone, right?
The Phantom Menace
Now that the election is over and Countess Parkinson von Dracula has been returned to her eternal slumber in the crypts of the damned, the more naïve among us probably expected that the Russian-baiting would recede juuuuuust a bit. Fortunately for America, the Washington Post is too busy seeking out the cold, hard truth to allow made-up fairy tales about evil Soviet hacking teams to die! Here’s an entirely sober story in this entirely serious, respectable paper about how absolutely everything is a Russian plot.
Russia’s increasingly sophisticated propaganda machinery — including thousands of botnets, teams of paid human "trolls," and networks of websites and social-media accounts — echoed and amplified right-wing sites across the Internet as they portrayed Clinton as a criminal hiding potentially fatal health problems and preparing to hand control of the nation to a shadowy cabal of global financiers. The effort also sought to heighten the appearance of international tensions and promote fear of looming hostilities with nuclear-armed Russia.
Is that the delicate aroma of sour grapes I detect? Could it be that the professional propagandists at the Washington Post are attempting to cover up their obvious (and hilarious!) failure by inventing imaginary dragons to pretend they weren’t equipped to slay? Is it possible, do you suppose, that this is the passive-aggressive way regime mouthpieces ask for a raise in the face of an embarrassingly bad performance? Further research: learn what a "botnet" is, and then come back and tell me if you really think the Russian government employed thousands of distinct botnets in its attempt to get Donald Trump elected president.
You’ve probably heard by now, but the next president of the United States will be Hillary Rodham Clinton. We know this because a stalwart bastion of journalistic integrity said so — specifically Newsweek, which made the decision to go ahead and print its special commemorative "Madam President" issues well in advance of the election. Newsweek defended itself by pointing out that this is a common practice; production times being what they are, generally both commemorative issues do get printed, and only the correct one sees distribution. CNN even provided intellectual cover by referencing the true correct fact that MLB produced both Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians World Series championship memorabilia, but only sold the Cubs version (the Indians gear will be offloaded in the third world as discount apparel — no, that’s true). There’s just one problem with the story.
As CNN explains to its slower readers, "this is the media version of World Series keepsakes that were on sale in Cleveland and Chicago last week. Street vendors printed "Cubs win" and "Indians win" T-shirts, then trashed the Indians shirts after the Cubs won Game 7."
There is just one very notable difference: in the case of the World Series, there were two sets of shirts created. However, in the case of the infamous Newsweek special edition, the publishing company Topix, decided to print just one.
Guess which. [Emphasis original]
Do the Bartman
Somehow — and I don’t profess to know how — the Chicago Cubs won the World Series last week. The game itself was utterly absurd, packed with virtually every insane occurrence that can occur in the game of baseball — but isn’t it always? That’s part of the wonder of baseball. Against all odds, it still manages to be full of surprises, even long after we should have seen everything there is to see. For my part, I’ve never seen a wild pitch score two runs before. I’ve also never seen a bunt call as bizarre as the one Joe Maddon put on in the ninth inning, a call so bad it makes one wonder if the game really is rigged for maximum drama. Unlike elections, however, baseball would be too difficult to gimmick, what with the unknown ball position and all.
One might ask, not unreasonably, why I’m writing about baseball on a site about libertarianism. I might respond, also not unreasonably, that this is a lesson in property rights; specifically, it’s my blog and I’ll write what I please.
Trick or treat
It’s been a rough week for the future president of the United States Penitentiary Hazelton. It began with the comically phony ABC poll showing Her Majesty up by twelve points, which is just about bang-on twice Barack Obama’s advantage over John McCain when he won in a landslide in 2008, and would require an entirely impossible pattern of votes in order to be true. ABC walked this poll back in a hurry, and we were once again reassured that only horrible conspiracy theorists could possibly think anything was funny about it.
Then Wikileaks delivered this delightful gem from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s e-mails, in which the chairman and his associates discuss exactly how they intend to rig the polls. Turns out I was right all along!
The naked truth
(Alternative headlines: "the naked city," "the empress’ new clothes," "Bare Stearns")
You gotta hand it to the New York Daily News; loony-left though it may be, the commie rag nonetheless manages to run some quintessentially New York stories, such as this charming missive about a naked statue of Hillary Clinton put up in Manhattan, and the spasms of violence that ensued almost immediately. The Daily News also has a talent for giving stories humongously unappetizing headlines; this one opens with "SEE IT: Naked statue of Hillary Clinton," which: no thank you.
An artist erected an obscene statue of Hillary Clinton in downtown Manhattan Tuesday morning causing a heated fight between defenders of the profane piece of protest art and women trying to tear it down.
The grotesque caricature of the Democratic candidate appeared outside the Bowling Green station during morning rush hour on Tuesday and shows Clinton with hoofed feet and a Wall Street banker resting his head on her bare breasts.
Man, those Trump supporters and their violent behavior, you know? I fully expect to hear that the attacker — a government employee called Nancy who works for the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian (a federal agency) — is a big Trump backer. That sounds like the right profile, doesn’t it? I expect her backup — an unidentified woman in a hijab — is also a Trumpista.
Interesting world we find ourselves in, this, what with both major-party presidential candidates claiming that the election is rigged. On the one hand, we have Hillary von Parkinson, Duchess of Slime, beating the war drums by reassuring her supporters that the Soviet Union still exists, and this time it’s hacked into all the elections! Much though I appreciate the incoherent idea that Donald Trump is at once a Nazi and a Soviet, I am still compelled to note that, contra what you may be led to believe, World War II ended a while ago.
On the other hand, Donald Trump has just scandalized the mainstream media — which is to say: the Hillary 4 Eva Super PAC — by refusing to accept the results of an election that hasn’t happened yet. According to the paid Democratic Party interns that pretend to journalism for Politico, this is an unreasonable statement that could destroy democracy and the office of the president, whatever that means. Don’t get me wrong, now: I’m 100% in favor of that outcome, but it’s not going to occur. But just think for a minute: what exactly is Politico so worked up about? Imagine you and I are in a big connect-the-dots tournament, and, three weeks before the tournament is held, I come to you and ask “hey, will you promise to accept that I’m not cheating no matter what happens?” What’s your answer going to be? Are you sufficiently credulous to say yes to that? What if, instead of a plastic "Best Try 2016" trophy, the prize were billions of dollars and world domination? Obviously nobody’s going to agree in advance that the contest necessarily will be fair. Per usual, this is a bunch of nonsensical manufactured outrage.
All year long, something’s been troubling me. Every time I see Hillary Clinton’s odd, empty expressions, listen to her scripted patter and mad cackling… it’s something I’ve seen before somewhere. In the 2008 presidential campaign, and during her tenure as secretary of state, Hillary Clinton was there, but now the lights have gone out, and she appears more of an empty shell, like there’s just enough of her to fill a pantsuit and no more. Something of a grim echo, but of what? Now I comprehend just exactly what it was.
She said, trying to speak steadily: ‘If you proclaim yourself king, they will come from France to fight you. Then we shall have a double war instead of a single one, and it will be fought in England. The whole fellowship will be blotted out.’
He smiled in pure delight.
‘It seems unforgivable,’ she said, pinching the embroidery.
There was nothing she could do. For a moment it crossed her mind that if she humiliated herself to him, knelt down on her stiff old knees to plead for mercy, he might be soothed. But it was evidently hopeless. He was fixed in a course, like a ball in a groove. Even his conversation was, as it were, a spoken part. It would end according to the script.
‘Mordred,’ she said helplessly, ‘have pity on the country people, if you will have none on Arthur or on me.’
He pushed the pug off his lap and stood up, smiling at her with crazy satisfaction. He stretched himself, looking down on her, but not seeing her at all.
It can’t happen there
Let’s begin at the end, with the interesting tweet Wikileaks put out Sunday evening:
Julian Assange, the controversial editor of Wikileaks, has been unlawfully confined within the Ecuadorian embassy in London for almost six years now. Throughout all that time, he’s maintained his presence on the internet, continued operating Wikileaks, and assisted whistleblowers (such as Edward Snowden) in escaping the clutches of angry governments. Suddenly, six years into his internment, his internet connection has been "intentionally severed by a state actor." Why now? I’m sure I have no idea.