A more perfect union
Long ago, in the halcyon days of January — specifically, on the halcyon day of January second — I boldly predicted that an utterly madcap editorial run by Slate would be the worst opinion piece of the year. That article, if you recall, was advocating that the government encourage a sufficient level of traffic fatalities to maintain the supply of "free" donor organs. Surely nothing would top that!
Your humble narrator is nothing if not humble, and is thus forced to admit that the ever-faithful, true-
redblue New York Times has certainly given it the old college try. The Times has been running a regular column called "Red Century" for a few months now, in which the luminaries of the modern left wax poetical about (so help me) the Soviet Union and how wonderful life was there. So that’s already pretty stupid, but I am compelled to point out that this week’s "Red Century" column has finally vaulted into the heady stratosphere of stupidity occupied by Slate’s explicitly pro-traffic-fatalities glurge. It’s a bit of historical ignorance about how positively liberated Soviet women were compared to the stupid rubes in the Free World, but… well, just you wait. You won’t believe this one.
Vive la France!
The ongoing comedramedary that is electoral politics has entered its next season, as the French presidential elections have completed their first round of combat. As expected, right-wing hate fear fascist nazi Hitler Trump white privilege patriarch poopyhead Marine Le Pen has made it to the second round, as has "centrist" Emmanuel Macron, an international banker and former member of the Socialist Party. No points for guessing which one George Soros is paying college students to riot for. Further research: what does "antifascistes" mean in French? It is a mystery!
Macron is expected to mop the floor with Le Pen in the runoff, and this is not predicted to be anything like the way Hillary Clinton mopped the floor with Donald Trump, nor the way "remain" mopped the floor with "leave" in the British EU vote I still refuse to call "Brexit" because honestly that’s hideous. We all know that the two things that are always and everywhere honest and correct are elections and electoral polls, so I’m sure that will remain the case.
By fire be purged
There are just so many things we take for granted that we really should remember to thank the government for. After all, without the government, who would build the roads? Without the government, who would remove the snow from the government roads? Without the government, who would put out fires? Without the government, who would block the road when a government snowplow catches fire outside the fire station, and the fire department isn’t equipped to deal with it?
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.
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.
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.