Tennessee Too?

My family's been from Tennessee since the 1700s. So it's of some concern to me to see our civilization washing away there.
Not to play this stupid game, but I’m curious: Why does “they/them/their” turn into “xe/xem/xyr” instead of the more logical “zey/zem/zeir”? Also, why isn’t “they/them/their” proper usage for someone who’s trans, whether singular or plural? I mean, purely in terms of how it scans, “xyr” is an abomination.
The whole thing is. If anyone ever asks me what my pronouns are, my answer will be "F*** you." And I'm about as courteous a fellow as you could want to meet. You know perfectly well what 'my' pronouns are. You can see the beard and the scars. Don't bother me with your bullshit.

Not a Tenured Professor

West Point Professor William Bradford argues in favor of targeting Islamic holy sites, attacking those opposed to the war on terror as a "fifth column."
In a lengthy academic paper, the professor, William C Bradford, proposes to threaten “Islamic holy sites” as part of a war against undifferentiated Islamic radicalism. That war ought to be prosecuted vigorously, he wrote, “even if it means great destruction, innumerable enemy casualties, and civilian collateral damage”.

Other “lawful targets” for the US military in its war on terrorism, Bradford argues, include “law school facilities, scholars’ home offices and media outlets where they give interviews” – all civilian areas, but places where a “causal connection between the content disseminated and Islamist crimes incited” exist.

“Shocking and extreme as this option might seem, [dissenting] scholars, and the law schools that employ them, are – at least in theory – targetable so long as attacks are proportional, distinguish noncombatants from combatants, employ nonprohibited weapons, and contribute to the defeat of Islamism,” Bradford wrote.
West Point would like you to know that he wrote this before joining their faculty, and that his views are his own and none of theirs'. The article in question has been taken down, the journal says that publishing it was a "mistake," and they've published in its place a rebuttal explaining that the piece you can no longer read was wrong about everything.

Bradford appears to have a colorful history of being denied tenure for his unorthodox views. He's hugely productive as a scholar, but productive of things that make people's heads spin. Some might argue that this is part of a professor's job, at least if he's a law professor or a philosophy professor! But not, apparently, his past employers.

Our leaders are on the job

Protecting us from the dread dangers of dihydrogen monoxide.

 

Lady and the Trump

Jimmy Kimmel has fun with Trump's response to Jorge Ramos at a recent news conference.



The man's a clown, but I can't deny enjoying the "eeks" he draws from the commentariat. "Well, I never!"

Thieves of Liberty

A filibuster was originally a sort of pirate, raiding in Latin America for profit. What they are stealing this time is a future in which Iran doesn't become a nuclear power, and a future in which Iran doesn't immediately receive tens of billions of dollars to fund terrorism. Everyone agrees that Iran will use at least some of the money it's about to receive to fund terrorism. The President agrees. The Secretary of State agrees. The Secretary of Energy agrees. A majority of Americans wants Congress to reject the deal. And we're not even going to vote about the wisdom of doing it.
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid is threatening to filibuster the bill altogether, and unless at least four more Democrats promise to vote against the deal, Reid may succeed. Critics of the deal are outraged at the idea that Congress’s only chance at oversight of the initiative might not even get a hearing on the Senate floor. The White House is also reportedly pushing for the deal to be filibustered, so that Obama won’t have to veto a resolution disapproving the signature foreign policy accomplishment of his presidency. Such talk has prompted Congressional Republicans to consider moving the legislation first in the House, where passage is assured.
We didn't vote when Barack Obama was named the Democratic nominee for President either, remember. None of the votes in the primary elections were counted. He was named by acclamation. There had been a huge debate about that all year long, as early voting states votes were going to be discounted by the DNC. Hillary Clinton ran all year on the principle of "count everyone's vote." She herself was the one to propose setting everyone's vote aside.

The enemies of liberty and democratic self-government must be held to account. We, the people, must do this. They cannot be trusted to do it to themselves.

Justice in India

An unelected all-male village council in India has ordered that 23-year-old Meenakshi Kumari and her 15-year-old sister are raped. The ‘sentence’ was handed down as punishment after their brother eloped with a married woman. They also ordered for the sisters to be paraded naked with blackened faces.
So what's going on here is a collective punishment of the family for the sins of one of its members -- very similar to the kind of tribal fighting we saw in Iraq. You can't punish the brother because he's gone, so you punish someone else in the family. The brother was more important in his society than his sisters, so you punish two of them to try to 'even out' the offense done to the other clan.

If you asked them about the justice of punishing these two girls, they would say they weren't punishing them at all. They are punishing the family. If you didn't punish the family through this judicial process, they'd add, the other clan -- which is larger and stronger than the offending clan -- would exact an extrajudicial revenge that would be harsher, and which would probably lead to a cycle of violence. This will put a stop to the blood feud that would otherwise result. It is, in their minds, the least bad solution to a violation of a marriage contract by a member of a junior clan.

We should obviously try to stop this, but we should also understand the forces at work. In stopping it, we are guaranteeing the cycle of violence that the court is trying to avoid. Maybe that's OK -- maybe we are willing for all of these people to die, rather than that they should carry on living as they do. If you don't come with a solution that the clans will accept, though, you're saving the girls at the expense of someone else. Maybe more someones. Maybe a lot more.

Ignatius: Nothing To See Here!

Move along.
“It’s common” that people end up using unclassified systems to transmit classified information, said Jeffrey Smith, a former CIA general counsel who’s now a partner at Arnold & Porter, where he often represents defendants suspected of misusing classified information. “There are always these back channels,” Smith explained. “It’s inevitable, because the classified systems are often cumbersome and lots of people have access to the classified e-mails or cables." ...

"It’s common knowledge that the classified communications system is impossible and isn’t used,” said one former high-level Justice Department official. Several former prosecutors said flatly that such sloppy, unauthorized practices, although technically violations of law, wouldn’t normally lead to criminal cases.
It's true that the law isn't always enforced. General James Cartwright -- who, by the way, headed the list of signatories on that letter from 36 general officers supporting the Iran nuclear deal -- was being investigated for leaking top secret information to the press about a US-Israeli effort against the Iranian nuclear program. The investigation died, officially because it 'might confirm the existence of such a program.' It died just before the Iran deal was announced... but I'm sure it's merely a coincidence that he's now vocally leading the pack in favor of that deal.

So yes, there's incredible corruption. Hillary may yet go down, though: not because of the law, which is enforced only as a tool of the powerful, but because she's become a liability. If Biden gets in the race, look for her to be prosecuted as a way of clearing the field for him. For political reasons, that is, not legal ones.

So What?

An opinion piece by a man who describes himself as the scion of a family of hunters.
I see that NRA decal on the rear window of your car and my eyes narrow. I look at the back of your head in the driver’s seat and I wonder if you are a threat.

A threat to my children. A threat to me. A threat to society.
First of all, I don't have an NRA decal on my truck. I have a Cimarron Firearms decal that reads: "I'm Your Huckleberry."

Secondly, who cares what you think is a threat? You've disarmed. You can think all you want about how scary it all is, but your opinion is empty and meaningless if you can't do anything about it. If you want to be able to do something about it, well, you're going to need a gun. And that suggests, per the post below, that it would be wise to get some training and learn to use it safely and well.

The most prominent group you'd want to consult about that is the NRA. When you do, they may give you a decal. You can do whatever you want with it. I have a suggestion, but it isn't printable.

Ballads of the True West

A few selections from Johnny Cash's "experimental" 1965 album.







He was trying to capture the true spirit of the thing. I don't know how well he succeeded. But the second half of that last song sounds real familiar.

A Conservative Case for Gun Control

I think this guy has exactly one good point, so let's give it up front.
Classical republican theory restricts arms ownership to those it deems responsible enough to uphold public order. Our system of guns as a consumer good, and our democratic presumption of good citizenship, puts guns into unsteady and untrained hands.

Making sure a person is qualified to own a gun is something responsible societies do. Many families, gun clubs, and organizations like the NRA do the work of training responsible, conscientious gun owners. It's plausible that some kind of mandatory socialization in gun clubs for potential gun owners would be a good first step at preventing gun violence. It's more plausible than simply wishing for more 'good guys with guns' at every possible location for a tragedy. As things stand, this constructive, social gun culture does not encompass the totality of gun owners; gun shops certainly don't inquire about your sociability and training.

I know what conservatives are thinking: "So you think the government has the power to disqualify citizens from gun ownership?" The government will prove terrible at this task, and it defeats the purpose of an armed citizenry. And to be sure, I don't want a government that can put a gun owner in prison for having the wrong politics. And of course, this power of restricting guns — like restricting the franchise to "responsible, invested citizens" — echoes a historical tie between gun control and racist efforts to confine blacks to a lower status. And yet, we still ought to consider stronger guarantees of responsible gun ownership. Perhaps tests that aim at qualifying the character of a gun owner, rather than searching only for a criminal disqualification.
He's right about what classical theory suggests, and the wisdom of it. He's also right that the government as it stands is completely unfit to exercise this responsibility. The compromise he suggests is pushing it to the NRA. Virginia, oddly enough given that it's the site of the latest famous killing, had exactly that kind of law: a concealed carry permit is not "shall issue," but requires demonstration of being properly trained by an organization like the NRA. When I lived there, I hired an NRA instructor to come and "teach" me proper gun handling and safety so I'd have the certificate on file in order to get a license to carry.

If we had a better government, the best way to do this would be to revive common militia service. If we get back to a small, limited government on real constitutional principles including the right to bear arms, that might be the right way to proceed. For now, I wonder if it can be pushed to private organizations like he suggests, or if we're stuck with "consumers" instead of "citizens" because the government is already too untrustworthy to be allowed to determine who counts as a "good citizen." We can't trust them to prosecute clear examples of misconduct if the 'citizen' is well-connected politically, like Mrs. Clinton. We can't trust them to prosecute nobodies fairly, as in Orange County.

There's a huge national crisis in government because the government has failed almost across the board. Currently they are talking about filibustering a vote against the Iran deal, rather than debating it and voting honestly. Even though their victory is almost assured by the math, they can't allow their opponents to have a debate and a vote.

The government is sick to the core. We can talk about what a healthy government ought to do, but we can't do so while failing to take notice of the disease in our own.

Uh-oh

Judge disqualifies every single prosecutor in Orange County, California, on evidence of systemic corruption.
In recent months, we've learned, over the objections of the Orange County Sheriff's Department (OCSD), that the agency created TRED, a computerized records system in which deputies store information about in-custody defendants, including informants. Some of the data is trivial; other pieces contain vital, exculpatory evidence. But for a quarter of a century, OCSD management deemed TRED beyond the reach of any outside authority. In Dekraai, deputies Ben Garcia and Seth Tunstall committed perjury to hide the mere existence of TRED. Those lies didn't originate from blind loyalty, however. The concealed records show how prosecution teams slyly trampled the constitutional rights of defendants by employing informants—and then keeping clueless judges, juries and defense lawyers.

The Duffel Blog Strikes Again

"Pentagon Angered at Speed of French Military Awards System."
“There’s no way Airman Spencer rates an actual Legion d’Honneur,” said Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Cody. “We’ll probably just submit it as a Letter of Appreciation in his record book. It’s not like it will get him any points for promotion anyway.”

Shortly after Cody’s remarks, it was announced Airman Spencer would be nominated for the Air Force’s high non-combat award for being wounded while engaging in hand-to-hand combat with a fully armed enemy....

Hokanson further pointed out that Skarlatos hadn’t re-certified on the online Level 1 Antiterrorism Awareness module so he couldn’t possibly rate a medal for actually fighting terrorism.

And Yet She's Leading the Poll

The 'Soft Bias of Low Expectations'?

UPDATE: I checked the internals, and it's a poll of 1,563 people. So the 540 responses that are some variation of "liar/untrustworthy/criminal/corrupt/crooked" represent more than a third of total responses: 34.5%. That's not a question about whether or not people think that she's honest. It's a question about the first word that comes to your mind when you think of her.

Wasn't This Dr. Carson's Point?

A new study suggests that women's sexual orientation correlates with their romantic options.
Women in the study who were rated as more attractive — and so, presumably, could attract sexier mates — were more likely to identify themselves as completely straight than the women who were less attractive, according to a comprehensive survey of health and sexual behavior among teens and young adults.

In addition, the study confirmed that women tend to be more flexible than men in their sexual orientation, with women in the study being nearly three times more likely than men to experience a change in their orientation during the study.
"More flexible," sure, but Ben Carson got in a lot of trouble a little while ago for making a similar comment about the huge increase in male homosexual behavior among prisoners. Nobody doubts that there is more homosexual behavior among male prisoners than among males 'in the wild,' and the obvious reason is that they lack other outlets for their sexuality. You put someone in a prison and tell him he's going to be there for years, even decades, and he's got to figure out how to make a life for himself in that very long time.

Now, correlation isn't causation, and the study doesn't prove that Dr. Carson was right -- it's about women and not men, for one thing, and it's about women 'in the wild,' not women in prison. Finally, "orientation" may not change in many of these males: they may not 'become gay,' but they certainly do practice homosexuality.

Still, if on further study the correlation turned out be because of a causal effect, we'd have reason to think that Carson might be right. It would certainly be worth looking into via additional studies aimed directly at the question. Indeed, perhaps this study already suggests the worthiness of such studies. It certainly makes Carson's opinion sound less than foolish.

Wormtongue

You know who's going to stab you in the back? Take a hint from Tolkien: it isn't Gandalf, and it isn't Aragorn. It's the guy who creeps but nevertheless desires Eowyn.

The Old Man knew his business.

Wise Foreign Policy

Special this week only, mid-week quiz

I claim honorary Jewish status: 10/11.

And / Or, We Can Launch Nukes

The Convention of States project is working to call an Article V constitutional convention to limit the power of the federal government. From their website:

The Jefferson Statement
 
The Constitution’s Framers foresaw a day when the federal government would exceed and abuse its enumerated powers, thus placing our liberty at risk. George Mason was instrumental in fashioning a mechanism by which "we the people" could defend our freedom—the ultimate check on federal power contained in Article V of the Constitution.

Article V provides the states with the opportunity to propose constitutional amendments through a process called a Convention of States. This process is controlled by the states from beginning to end on all substantive matters.

A Convention of States is convened when 34 state legislatures pass resolutions (applications) on an agreed topic or set of topics. The Convention is limited to considering amendments on these specified topics.

While some have expressed fears that a Convention of States might be misused or improperly controlled by Congress, it is our considered judgment that the checks and balances in the Constitution are more than sufficient to ensure the integrity of the process.

The Convention of States mechanism is safe, and it is the only constitutionally effective means available to do what is so essential for our nation—restoring robust federalism with genuine checks on the power of the federal government.

We share the Founders’ conviction that proper decision-making structures are essential to preserve liberty. We believe that the problems facing our nation require several structural limitations on the exercise of federal power. While fiscal restraints are essential, we believe the most effective course is to pursue reasonable limitations, fully in line with the vision of our Founders, on the federal government.

Accordingly, I endorse the Convention of States Project, which calls for an Article V Convention for "the sole purpose of proposing amendments that impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, and limit the terms of office for its officials and for members of Congress."
And the signatories, the project's legal advisers, follow. Some of those who signed the statement have some fame or notoriety: Randy Barnett, Mark Levin, and Andrew McCarthy. You may know others I didn't.

And they are apparently having some success, having started less than a year ago and issuing the following progress update today:
  • Four states have passed the Convention of States application - Florida, Georgia, Alaska, and Alabama.
  • Seven state houses have passed our application - Arizona, Arkansas, North Dakota, New Mexico, Iowa, Louisiana, and Texas.
  • Three state senates have pass our application - Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Missouri.
  • Multiple state committees have passed our application.
  • Thirty-seven state legislatures began considering our specific application this year -- a record in the history of our country.

Mad Max in Go-Karts and Paintball


How the Empire Started

General Mattis Crosses Potomac With 100,000 Troops; President, Senate Flee City
Suddenly it makes sense.

A Persuasive Alternative Theory

[US Department of] State considered this information classified at that time — as well it should, since it disclosed embassy security gaps and vulnerabilities. Only an idiot would send something like that in the open, and yet that’s exactly what happened.
Is "I'm an idiot" a useful legal defense? It's not usually considered a quality one advertises when running for office, but that may be water under the bridge at this point.

The Bible as Explained by Facebook

People have shorter attention spans brought on by social media. Some redaction is necessary to cope with this. Hopefully nothing too important got left out.

Slippery Slope

A school district in Tennessee slides down.

They aren't banning all flags from the property -- they'll presumably still fly an American flag on the flagpole -- but they are banning flag displays by students on their personal vehicles. That strikes me as the strangest assertion of authority: the school would seem to be on much stronger grounds in banning flag displays elsewhere than the parking lot used to enter and leave the school, on personal property of students who are entering or leaving.

I have often wondered, since I was a teenager in high school myself, how we think we can raise American citizens devoted to upholding their basic rights at any cost while educating them in an environment in which they are regularly asked to surrender those rights to the state.

Guerrilla Warfare, the Left, and Getting Paid

I'm short of time, so this will be rough.

I posted the basic point of this post over at neo-neocon's blog where she is calling for a march on Washington to oppose the Iran deal, and the conversation turned to the reasons why the right doesn't do activism very well.

One reason the right isn't good at activism is because we're amateurs, and amateurs pay for what they do. Professionals get paid.

The left understood long ago that they were insurgents. As I'm sure all of you know, one of the problems of waging an insurgency is logistics. The insurgent's answer is to steal the enemy's provisions and use them. So, if insurgents need guns, food, ammo, or just about any materiel, the best place to get it from is the enemy's supply lines. It's a double-win -- you deny the enemy materiel he has paid for, and you get to use it against him.

The American left took this to heart and went after the professions where they would get paid for their activism by the very system they intended to overthrow. They became professors and teachers, researchers with government grants, social activists and community organizers (also with government grants), government employees with powerful unions, judges, Hollywood movie makers and news reporters. The members of these groups get paid for their activism, and then they go out for a good time or home to enjoy the weekend.

The right is in the opposite position. If they want to take action, they lose money. They have to take time off from work, or close the shop for the day, or spend their day off on it. They have to pay their own transportation, and buy their own signs, and in the end it saps their resources and makes them tired and hard to get along with.

The left is paid and energized from their activism, the right is drained of money and energy in theirs.

50 years ago, the left was the insurgency. Today the positions are reversed, but many on the right still look to conventional forces for salvation: maybe the GOP will turn it around, maybe the Koch brothers will buy up some major media outlets, maybe Jesus will return and we won't have to mess with any of it anymore.

Conventional forces still have a role to play, but conservative politicians and other public figures can't fight nearly as effectively as they should because they have tremendous strategic disadvantages. The left controls the strategically essential ground of the universities and educational system in general, they have tremendous air superiority in the mainstream media, and they have a direct line to the hearts and minds of the citizenry through the entertainment media. If the conservative tanks roll out, they are immediately hit with artillery from universities full of enemy experts, enemy airwave assets degrade their credibility and reputation, and then the ground troops, high on the false promises of Hollywood moral crusades, move in and finish the job. Conservatives have seen this play out over and over, but for some reason many of them are still waiting for the cavalry to come over that hill.

Well, they can't get here. They're bottled up. They'd probably be destroyed if they genuinely tried to break through, as we saw with the government shutdown. We need to take out a good part of the enemy's air assets and take a bunch of those hills and mountains. We need movies and novels and songs and poems to build up the courage of our fellow fighters. We need to create the situation on the ground where our conventional forces are free to maneuver and bring their big guns to bear on the fight. The only way to win this is to embrace the reversal and throw ourselves into our role as infiltrators and insurgents.

And that means we need to get paid for our activism, preferably by the same system we hope to overthrow.

Threshold

I think we've identified it: it's the point at which these two things become more likely than not.

1) Facts emerge that make it likely a court could rule that Hillary Clinton is disqualified from ever holding any further public office.

2) The party gets some comfort with the emerging Biden ticket.

Get comfy, killers. You may be about to watch the destruction of one of the great powers of our age pour encourager les autres. Whatever comes after, it's going to be a tremendous spectacle.

Ending Discrimination Against Military Men

Scott Faith at the Havok Journal has a solid point buried several paragraphs below some ranting about how women aren't forced to register for the draft.
Men and women are held to two different physical fitness standards–VASTLY different standards— yet we all compete against each other for assignments and promotions. I don’t compete against just the other men in my career field for promotions and career-enhancing jobs, I compete against EVERYONE in my career field. With the doors to combat arms branches and units being flung wide open to admit women, those women have institutionalized, gender-based bias in their favor when it comes to physical fitness standards as they join units that highly value physical fitness. They aren’t any more fit, mind you; they just enjoy a much better score on their physical fitness evaluations.

Because of their gender, and all other things held equal, female troops have an unfair advantage over men because a number on their evaluation will be significantly higher in physical fitness tests for the exact same quantifiable performance. And because the Army is an institution that values easily-quantifiable numbers over substance when it comes to promotions, women have a distinct and unfair advantage.

As just one example, in the 17-21 year old age group, the minimum passing score for men is 42 pushups. What is the maximum score for women in that exact same age group? You guessed it, 42 pushups. So in this age bracket, 60 points for men = 100 points for women. The bare minimum score for a male Soldier is literally the max possible score for a female. This would be the academic equivalent of giving a D-minus to a male student while giving an A+ to a female for getting the exact same answers right on a test.
Promotion points are a big deal, and physical fitness tests definitely influence promotions. You could easily see the opening of the combat arms to women meaning that women are promoted ahead of much more physically fit men, which sets up a dangerous situation in the field. It's already the case that your platoon sergeants, being E-7s, are going to be much older than the young men (and, I suppose, soon women) they are commanding. They're the ones with the experience to know what to do and how to do it, and to bring these young guys back. If we set up those privates with NCOs who are physically fragile by comparison, we are setting them up for failure. Failure means death. It could mean the collapse of the unit, too, which means that the whole infantry structure will be weaker on the "for want of a nail" principle.

Now, the counterargument -- which has heretofore held the day -- is that equality means making sure that women aren't excluded from promotion. If you really held them to the male physical fitness standards, only the women who could max the female PFT would even pass the non-gendered PFT. While being able to do well on the PFT is important for promotion, not being able to pass it on multiple attempts is grounds for dismissal. Accepting genuine equality of standards thus means accepting a lot fewer women in the military.

I don't particularly care about "fairness" standards -- I think men and women are too different for any talk of "same standards" to be sensible in any case. The other examples he gives -- women can have longer hair! Can wear earrings! Are sometimes excused from uniform standards! -- don't strike me as important, and I'm completely opposed to the idea of registering women for the draft. We don't use the draft anyway, and if we ever have a big enough war that we need to, our civilization will need those young women to recover in terms of population. Men are far more disposable on that score. That's not fair either. Life isn't.

The point about a sharply increased fragility in the NCO corps on the field of war, however, is really strong. That's a serious danger: to the soldiers, to the units, to the successful execution of tactics, of strategy, of national security. It's a change with the potential to be genuinely disastrous. At least for the combat arms, maintaining standards can't be done if existing lower standards for women are employed.

UPDATE: OAF Nation weighs in. An excerpt of the argument that I think strongest:
For some odd reason, the anatomical argument receives the least traction (maybe because it’s irrefutable statistics, therefore a buzzkill to the debate). So, I will play the game and abide, and get the anatomical stuff out of the way. It is truly the tip of an ice burg called the Musculoskeletal Injuries in Military Women , but consider these stats: the astronomical difference in reported pelvic stress fractures in male and female recruits (1 per 367 females, compared to 1 per 40,000 males), ACL ruptures in athletes (females range from 2.4 to 9.7 times higher), or trainees discharged from Basic Combat Training for medical reasons (12.7% females, compared with only 5.2% for males). These are only a few of the many findings that should obviously be considered.

Unfortunate choice of words

I hope they mean they captured the whole guy, still breathing:
The head of a Chinese exchange that trades minor metals was captured by angry investors in a dawn raid and turned over to Shanghai police, as the investors attempted to force the authorities to investigate why their funds have been frozen.
The Dow has already bounced back up 500 points, by the way, but things are still looking a bit hectic here and there around the world.  West Texas Intermediate oil slipped below $38/barrel.

Crash!

Dow is down around another 1,000 this morning, a few minutes after opening.

You don't need permission

You don't even need a band.

The Media Begin To Notice The Air Gap

For now, it's just a writer at PJ Media, but this is of course the real story that people do not understand. Most people have never dealt with classified information systems, and don't realize that the air gap exists. If they understood about the air gap, they would realize that there is no chance that these various Hillary defenses could possibly hold water.

I've been reflecting on it more since we last talked about it, and I think maybe the most likely case is that the Hillary State Department -- or at least her clique of advisers and aides, as well as non-DOS personnel from her faction like Sidney Blumenthal -- were just completely careless about classification. It's less likely that they downloaded or wrote down information from the TS system to transfer onto the private email server than that they summarized what they'd read on the TS systems in unclassified emails. Quite possibly she and they believed this was perfectly safe to do, as they controlled the server and were only talking to other members of the trusted in-group. The danger of hackers? We have a top-flight (at least very well-connected) IT firm to prevent that from being an issue. Classification rules? I slept through that briefing -- who cares about rules, rules, rules? We're the powerful.

In that case you wouldn't need a firewalled tie-in, nor a band of flunkies whose job it was to strip classification markings. There were none to strip, since the information was transferred across the air gap in your brain. This seems like the simplest explanation, provided that we discover no examples of actual classified documents in the email. We should expect, if this is right, only to see summaries of classified information in these private, unclassified emails.

From the perspective of the law, this makes no difference. The rule is that a document that contains classified information is classified, and if it was built out of another document or set of documents, the new document inherits the highest level of classification of any of the summarized documents. Thus, if I write an email to you about yoga and your daughter's wedding, and at the very end say: "PS: Did you see the column of tanks moving up on Benghazi this morning?" based on a satellite photo from the high side, the email I have just written now needs to be marked "TS // SI / TK // NOFORN" and cannot be sent on the unclassified system. Indeed, just because the computer will automatically save a draft of that information on the unclassified system while I am typing it up, just by typing it up and not sending it I have already committed the crime that Petraeus went down for (i.e., storing classified information in an unapproved location).

She's in real trouble, and sooner or later the reasons why will seep out into the public debate. Wiping the server will look more and more like destruction of evidence and obstruction of justice, as there's already enough to convict her of several felony counts in what they've found.

Girls and Cigar Box Guitars for Saturday Night