Another Sunday Free Fire Zone

It doesn’t look like there’s any news out there — not our kind, anyway — so we’re on our own. Your Curmudgeon therefore declares another Intellectual Free Fire Zone.

The Iowa caucuses are tomorrow. Wanna talk about that? The Republicans are trying to pick someone who is opposed to everything that’s been going on for the past seven years, and the top candidates seem to be competing over which of them is the most fanatical “social” conservative — something that appeals to a lot of Iowa voters. The Democrats are trying to choose between two socialists, one of whom proudly admits it, while the other may soon be indicted for her handling of state secrets.

Aside from that, we’re open for the discussion of pretty much anything — science, politics, economics, whatever — as long as it’s tasteful and interesting. Banter, babble, bicker, bluster, blubber, blather, blab, blurt, burble, boast — say what you will. But avoid flame-wars and beware of the profanity filters.

We now throw open the comments to you, dear reader. Have at it.

Copyright © 2016. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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12 responses to “Another Sunday Free Fire Zone

  1. michaelfugate

    Here’s something I will throw out. If we are to believe the constitution, then we, the people, are the government. If so, why are there so many things I am not allowed to know? It is as if I can’t trust myself. What are elected officials hiding? I want to know. And if they are plotting things in my name, I want to be able to say yea or nay.

  2. If you think Hillary Clinton is a socialist then you must think Ken Ham is an evolutionary biologist.

  3. Area 51. What are they hiding?

  4. docbill1351 dares to ask

    Area 51. What are they hiding?

    If we tell you, we have to kill you.

    And I can neither confirm nor deny that Area 51 is where the Zika virus was developed, in order to spread microcephaly across America in preparation for the inauguration of Donald J. Trump.

  5. Ah, me contracting the Zika-flu a couple of months ago had a purpose! And what purpose!
    I’m so proud and happy that to honour the Great Trump I offer this link.

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/tippling/2016/01/31/trump-destroyed-by-colbert/

    Watch that video!

  6. Doctor Stochastic

    Nothing. Area 51 is just a red herring for areas 1-50.

  7. Stephen Kennedy

    Before going to Medical School I was a Foreign Service Officer for 23 years and was able to retire with a pension. The State Department would only ask for an indictment if the employee were actually giving classified documents to foreign intelligence services for something in exchange like money or sex.

    Transmitting classified information in emails on an unsecured line would be considered improper handling of classified information and is punished by issuing the offender a “security violation” from the Office of Diplomatic Security. You usually get them for leaving a classified document on your desk at night or, more seriously, failing to make sure your safe containing classified documents is locked before you leave. The Office of Diplomatic Security in the State Department conducts an investigation into how egregious the employees conduct was and what is the possibility national security was harmed by the violation.

    For leaving a classified document out at night you would get a letter of warning from Diplomatic Security. Three such warnings in a two year period will result in a one day suspension without pay. Further violations incur increasingly harsh punishment which can include termination of employment for repeated serious violations. I knew some officers who were suspended and one who nearly lost his job because of security violations. They are almost always the result of carelessness. I did know one officer in a very senior position who did go to jail for accepting sexual favors from a female intelligence agent from an East Asian country for classified U.S documents.

    Since Hillary Clinton was not engaged in espionage and being a political appointee and not expected to adhere to the same standards as career Foreign Service Officers concerning handling classified documents, she certainly will not be charged with a crime. Since she is no longer employed by the State Department, I really do not see what the Office of Diplomatic Security can do.

  8. Thank you, Stephen. An excellently rational comment.

  9. Stephen Kennedy says: “I really do not see what the Office of Diplomatic Security can do.”

    She’s not being investigated by them. It’s the FBI.

  10. @SC

    According to The Guardian two days ago:

    “The FBI also is looking into Clinton’s email setup but has said nothing about the nature of its probe. Independent experts say it is highly unlikely that Clinton will be charged with wrongdoing, based on the limited details that have surfaced up to now and the lack of indications that she intended to break any laws.”

    So we don’t in fact know what the FBI is up to. The latest (properly sourced) update on Wikipedia’s page about the issue says:

    “In November 2015, the FBI expanded its inquiry to examine whether Clinton or her aides jeopardized national security secrets, and if so, who should be held responsible.”

    That is quite a long way from claiming that the FBI is investigating her with a view to indictment.

  11. About the Iowa caucuses (cauci?) — it’s hard to see why the media is making such a big deal over the Republican caucuses, seeing that the last two winners (2008 & 2012) were Huckabee & Santorum; two guys who didn’t exactly make a huge impact nationally. Granted, Trump is a big story. I wonder if Canada is prepared for the huge influx of refugees from the US if Trump wins?