While I’m at It…


Ben Smith, undated file photo

Sigh. I need to stop, before I spend all day immersed in teh stoopid. But one more.

Attention, Ben Smith of the Politico:When you write that:

The candidate is new, a different face on the national scene, with roots outside the continental United States

You are, as my grandmother used to say, really showing your ass.

Let me help you. Examine the following map, which I have altered to make my point.

The area inside the yellow box roughly corresponds to the continent of North America. Please note that the large landmass known as “Alaska,” in the upper-left-hand corner of the map, is attached to said continent. Hence, it is part of the continental United States. Contiguous? No. Continental? Yes.

Thank you. Carry on.

11 thoughts on “While I’m at It…

  1. I think he meant contigu…cintiginus…no…continge…continuous…uh uh …
    Damned liberals and their big uppity liberally liberal words.

  2. What a waste of a good, snarky image:
    Continental United States

    The term continental United States refers to the 48 contiguous states located on the North American continent south of the border with Canada, plus the District of Columbia, but excluding Alaska and Hawaii.

    It’s literally true that Alaska is “continental,” but almost no one reads it that way. (Also, note that the military term “CONUS” excludes Alaska, and since Ben Smith probably learned all he knows about foreign affairs from reading Tom Clancy, that’s probably his actual point of reference.) You’ve got the right target, just your choice of weapon was off. You’ll get him. There’s plenty of stupid out there.

  3. I know that, sometimes, people use “Continental US” intending to exclude Alaska.
    However, just because a lot of people do or believe something, that doesn’t mean it’s not fucking stupid. See also “Creationism.”

  4. Get ‘im Jude!
    And even if the “military” doesn’t include Alaska in their “CONUS”, doesn’t mean that their head isn’t up their ANUS. Afterall, look at the last 8 years of “Military Intelligence”…?!
    Hmmm, but, seeing as many don’t include AK in their connotation of “Continental US” may be a point for the dull wits that are pushing for an independent Alaska…
    Elspeth

  5. Smith blew it when he commented on “roots”. Since roots typically refers to parents, grandparents. etc., I’m sure Idaho will be happy to know they’re not considered part of the United States by Ben Smith.

  6. Good Point Jude.
    And may I also emphasize that the map projection commonly shown (and used in your photo) greatly exagerates the size of areas in the high latitudes.
    Alaska *IS* big. But not the behemouth in this projection.

  7. I thought the projection looked like it was some variety of equal-area.
    Alaska really is huge. Seward’s Folly indeed, more like Seward’s Steal. And with Global Warming, we may find ourselves moving there.

  8. It’s much better, area-depiction-wise, than the old Mercator projection, but still not 100% accurate.
    Yeah, Alaska is really, really big, but it’s not 1/4 the size of the contiguous US.
    Here’s a link to a Peters projection, which is about as good as flat maps get for depicting area:
    Map here.

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