Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Things I Don't Understand

I really don't want to get caught up in political discussions at this site, but I find myself scratching my head about the facts in the current sex scandal in the US.  Did I mention that I am tired of sex scandals in the US?  I find them boring and, in all but the most extreme cases, irrelevant.

1.  A woman sends an harrassing e-mail to another woman.
2.  The other woman takes the mail to the FBI.
3.  The FBI gets involved.

[Stop right here.  Since when does the FBI get involved when two women have a spat, presumably over a shared [lover] male friend via e-mail?  I can understand how a woman with a certain status, having access to powerful people, might think that the FBI is there to do her bidding, but I just don't understand how the FBI felt justified in investigating such a situation.  What am I missing?  UPDATE:  "Ms. Kelley, a volunteer who organizes social events for military personnel in the Tampa area, complained in May about the emails to a friend who is an FBI agent. That agent referred it to a cyber crimes unit, which opened an investigation.  However, supervisors soon became concerned that the initial agent might have grown obsessed with the matter, and prohibited him from any role in the investigation, according to the officials.  The FBI officials found that he had sent shirtless pictures of himself to Ms. Kelley, according to the people familiar with the probe."  OK, now this is starting to make sense.]

4.  The FBI plunders the first woman's e-mail account.

[Stop right here.  Don't you need a warrant to do that?  What am I missing?]

5.  The FBI finds evidence that the first woman might have had an affair with the head of the CIA.  The FBI decides to investigate further.

[Stop right here.  ... Oh, never mind.]

6.  Someone at the FBI, a "whistleblower" goes to Congress with the information.

[I give up.]

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

On Days Like This ...

... I often turn to see what Andrew Sullivan -- a British-born, conservative, gay blogger who supports Obama -- has to say.  He rarely disappoints.

"Romney's was, I thought, one of the most graceful and gracious concession speeches I can recall. I thought for a split-second: what if this Romney had run? And then I realized that his party would never have nominated that Romney and his ambition had trumped his integrity long ago anyway. But there was still a poignancy to that moment - the gap between what a human being can be (or still is, as a father or husband or friend) and what politics and wealth and power can do to someone.

The president's oration was almost a summation of his core belief: that against the odds, human beings can actually better ourselves, morally, ethically, materially, and we can do so more powerfully together than alone, and that nowhere exemplifies that endeavor more than America. It was Lincolnian in its cadences, and in some ways, was the final, impassioned, heart-felt rebuke to all those, including his opponent, who tried to portray him as somehow un-American. How deeply that must have cut. How emphatically did he rebut the charge.
What he reminded me of was how deeply American he actually is - how this country's experiment truly is in diversity as well as democracy. And his diversity is not some cringe-worthy 1990s variety. It is about being both white and black, both mid-Westernand Hawaiian, both proudly American and yet also attuned to the opinion of mankind.
As for the next four years, there is time enough for that. But I stand by these words. And one felt something tectonic shift tonight. America crossed the Rubicon of every citizen's access to healthcare, and re-elected a black president in a truly tough economic climate. The shift toward gay equality is now irreversible. The end of prohibition of marijuana is in sight. Women, in particular, moved this nation forward - pragmatically, provisionally, sensibly. They did so alongside the young whose dedication to voting was actually greater this time than in 2008, the Latino voters who have made the current GOP irrelevant, and African-Americans, who turned up in vast numbers, as in 2008, to put a period at the end of an important sentence.
That sentence will never now be unwritten. By anyone."
Yes, you can almost hear the wheels of history grinding tonight, not because Obama won, but because large tectonic, demograhic plates are shifting in America.
The Winner by Points, not by K.O.

Quote and Pic from Andrew Sullivan's Blog, The Daily Dish.