It’s a true fact: this week’s column was meant to begin with my snotty Memorial Day entry, which you’ll find below. Then I was going to segue into Mr. Trump’s Wild Ride and go from there. It really just ate away at me, though, that I had the weirdest authentic Trump moment of all time and I was going to bury it halfway down the article. And with that image! That amazing, iconic, unedited, un-DC-Funk-Parade-foam-fingered image. So we’re doing things a little bit out of order, because, my friends, on this roller coaster that is life, the weird is in the driver’s seat, and all the rest of us are being pulled along remorselessly, with our hands and feet firmly secured inside the carriage at all times.
So what we see above is — and I swear I’m not making any of this up — president Trump, king Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud of Saudi Arabia, and president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt in a darkened room surrounded by fascinated onlookers, placing their hands on, um, a magical glowing devil orb as part of a ritual to end all terrorism forever.
(Last Week in Weird is slightly late this week due to ongoing turmoil here at Bumbling Bees world headquarters and discount undergarments shop. All apologies, and we hope to have things sorted out soon!)
We’ve spent some months here at Bumbling Bees laughing at the sheer stupidity of the rhetoric from the anti-Trump partisans, and sometimes I get a bit uneasy about that. I get worried that you fine people will conclude that I’m some type of Trump supporter, which is not at all the case; I’d spend far more time criticizing the president himself in these pages if only I could see a reason. Everyone in the mainstream press blows him up for absolutely every tiny fault, whether real or imagined — as a result, it seems to your humble narrator as though it would be far more fun to make fun of the media hacks instead.
And this is exactly the sort of thing I’m talking about.
How the man finds the time to do all these things is beyond me, but, prior to his rather eventful evening in Berkeley, right-wing troublemaker and official Donald Trump #1 Fan Milo Yiannopoulos (whose name I can finally spell under my own power) headed to the southern border with a crew of shirtless musclemen to get started building that wall we’ve heard so much about.
You knew it was coming, friends: Doctor President Barack H. Obama, PhD is no more. We’ll talk about that loud new gentleman in a bit; for now, I’d like to focus on the accomplishments of our last Dear Leader. Specifically, I’d like to focus on the lovely way he refused to go gentle into that good night without blessing us with another science article in a peer-reviewed journal, this time the esteemed, eponymous Science.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: hey, his last peer-reviewed science article was a huge scam, but that couldn’t possibly happen twice, could it? I’ll leave that as an exercise for the reader, but if you’d like a hint, your ever-so-humble narrator is only too happy to oblige: it’s about climate change. Do you detect the fine aroma of intellectual dishonesty wafting from the pages? It is a mystery!
There is nothing so bizarre that the mainstream press won’t report it — so long as they think it’ll make Donald Trump look bad, anyhow. To wit, Buzzfeed simply couldn’t help itself; in a move that it desperately wants the American people to believe is just normal, everyday journalistic practice, Buzzfeed’s highly-paid staff of journalismic integrisaurs published this report — without verifying it at all — which is riddled with typographical and factual errors, reads like something written by a less-than-especially-bright teenager, and, above all, makes the following startling claim:
According to Source D, where s/he had been present, TRUMP’s (perverted) conduct in Moscow included hiring the presidential suite of the Ritz Carlton Hotel, where he knew President and Mrs OBAMA (whom he hated) had stayed on one of their official trips to Russia, and defiling the bed where they had slept by employing a number of prostitutes to perform a ‘golden showers’ (urination) show in front of him. The hotel was known to be under FSB control with microphones and concealed cameras in all the main rooms to record anything they wanted to.[everything sic]
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.
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:
One of the most enduring symbols of the American liberty movement is the Gadsden Flag. Designed by Colonel Christopher Gadsden in 1775, it consists of a bold yellow field emblazoned with a coiled rattlesnake — which had been used as a symbol of the American colonies since the 1750s — and the legend "don’t tread on me." Though it was originally designed as the standard to be flown by Commodore Hopkins’ flagship in the brand-new continental navy, its striking design and powerful message made it popular with liberty-minded sorts, and it was frequently used in the revolutionary government, and has remained in use to this day among the people opposed to what that government has become.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is reportedly investigating the issue surrounding the ‘Don’t Tread On Me’ snake logo after an African American employee of a federal agency complained they [sic] were racially harassed when a co-worker wore a cap showing the symbol.
The complainant said he found the cap racially offensive to African Americans because the flag was designed by Christopher Gadsden, who [sic] he described as a ‘slave trader & owner of slaves’.
Somebody must have told Gary Johnson that I actually wrote faintly nice things about the Libertarian Party, because he wasted absolutely no time making me regret them. Here he goes making disjointed, rambling remarks to the Washington Examiner’s Tim Carney, in which he states that the federal government should have unlimited power to force people to associate with one another, with, evidently, the single exception that he personally shouldn’t be forced to be a social conservative. You think I’m just trying to make him sound like a fool, but, no, that is pretty much exactly what he says. When Carney asked if the government of New Mexico — Gary’s own home state — should have the power to punish photographers for refusing to cover gay weddings, Gary sputtered out this crazy thing:
Look. Here’s the issue. You’ve narrowly defined this. But if we allow for discrimination — if we pass a law that allows for discrimination on the basis of religion — literally, we’re gonna open up a can of worms when it come stop discrimination of all forms, starting with Muslims… who knows. You’re narrowly looking at a situation where if you broaden that, I just tell you — on the basis of religious freedom, being able to discriminate — something that is currently not allowed — discrimination will exist in places we never dreamed of…
It’s the right message, and I’m sideways with the Libertarian Party on this. My crystal ball is that you are going to get discriminated against by somebody because it’s against their religion. Somehow you have offended their religion because you’ve walked in and you’re denied service. You. (Emphasis original)
When it comes to trolling, alt-right wunderkind Milo Yiannopoulos — whose name I had to check four times to make sure I spelled correctly — is the very best, like no one ever was. You may recall some months back, when he was mysteriously "unverified" on Twitter, as though suddenly it had become unclear if he was the real deal or perhaps a pod creature or some type of replicant. Well now he’s upped the ante a bit: Yiannopoulos has been officially permanently banned from Twitter. His crime? He irritated Leslie Jones, who is apparently famous, but who I had honestly never heard of until this story broke. Jones was indeed so flustered by Yiannopoulos’ horrible racist harassment campaign that she abandoned Twitter entirely.
The ironic masterstroke, of course, is that Yiannopoulos did not send the tweets that so infuriated Jones. He was, indeed, one of the targets of the tweets, which were sent by an account impersonating Jones. None of this appears to matter to the social justice crowd, who apparently view Jones’ blackness as being higher on the victimhood hierarchy than is Yiannopoulos’ homosexuality. It’s also cute to observe that, just last week, I was pointing out that it’s no longer important for hate crimes to contain any hate or any crime, and now just one short week later it’s not even important if the hate criminal actually did what he’s accused of. But what about Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s constant quacking about how Twitter "doesn’t censor?" As Buzzfeed’s bizarrely gleeful summary explains it:
According to the company, Yiannopoulos’s permanent suspension isn’t a matter of speech as much as a matter of behavior — specifically, a violation of Twitter’s rules regarding the targeted abuse of specific users.