Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Redistricting Mini Golf

To show the absurdity of congressional district shapes, Dylan Moriarty and the Washington Post have designed this wonderful miniature golf game you can play online

Above is the Ohio 1st District. Republicans split Cincinnati into three districts to dilute that city's voting power. While not nearly the trickiest hole to play you have to squeeze the ball through the narrow gaps of Cincy.

The game begins in Wyoming, a state with only one district, therefore not one that can be manipulated. You can see from the layout that each district, or hole has an info box describing its demographics and voting patterns. 

The Illinois 4th District is famous for its "earmuff" shape, packing the Hispanic vote into the Midwest's only Hispanic-majority seat.

Indiana 7 is a trick hole. While the district looks very regular in shape, it is still designed in a highly political way by packing all of Indianapolis into it.

The toughest to play, by far is Maryland's terrible third. The water traps are completely unforgiving. 

You can see how I struggled with it by looking at my score sheet. Even with a generous par of 26, I was up to about my 50th stroke when I got caught in an impossible water situation and had to bail out.

Here is my final score sheet. I accidentally skipped the bonus hole-the original Gerry-mander in Massachusetts. This was my second go around so my scores on the other holes were pretty good. You have to play it at least once to get the hang of it. Have fun!

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Routes to the Riot

A year ago "patriots" traveled across the country to stage a terrorist attack on the US Capitol to stop a democratically elected President from taking power, because that's what patriots do. Here are some maps of the routes taken. These are from the Colorado Times Recorder, a news organization that I know very little about so this is not meant as an endorsement of them.

The routes are the "cowboy route" for people from the west, the "rebel route" for southerners and the "minuteman route" for the northeast. Once there they had this map, featuring white supremacist hero Pepe the Frog, to orient them and keep them away from the "unsafe" zones, ie. places where non-white people live.
Looking forward to a new year where half the members of Congress continue to pretend that none of this ever happened.