Monday, January 18, 2016


As the mostly deserved indignation directed at Ted Cruz' "New York values" comment runs its course, it's worth remembering that the primary perpetrator of the divisive rhetoric that permeates the nation's current discourse is Barack Obama. Early in 2008 Obama set the tone for his upcoming presidency with his "they cling bitterly to guns and religion" crack and it's only gotten worse since.

Victor Davis Hanson notes that Obama remains as polarizing as ever.

A few hours before delivering that State of the Union, President Obama met with rapper Kendrick Lamar. Obama announced that Lamar’s hit “How Much a Dollar Cost” was his favorite song of 2015. The song comes from the album To Pimp A Butterfly; the album cover shows a crowd of young African-American men massed in front of the White House. In celebratory fashion, all are gripping champagne bottles and hundred-dollar bills; in front of them lies the corpse of a white judge, with two Xs drawn over his closed eyes. So why wouldn't the president’s advisors at least have advised him that such a gratuitous White House sanction might be incongruous with a visual message of racial hatred? Was Obama seeking cultural authenticity, of the sort he seeks by wearing a T-shirt, with his baseball cap on backwards and thumb up?

To play the old "what if" game that is necessary in the bewildering age of Obama: what if President George W. Bush had invited to the White House a controversial country Western singer, known for using the f- and n- words liberally in his music and celebrating attacks on Bureau of Land Management officers? What if Bush had also declared that the singer’s hit song—perhaps a celebration of the Cliven Bundy protest—was the president’s favorite in 2008, from an album whose grotesque cover had a crowd of NASCAR-looking, white redneck youth bunched up with an African-American official dead at their feet? And what if the next day, Bush told the nation that he regretted not being able to bring the country together? Would there have been media calls for Bush’s impeachment?

...Obama introduced the nation (“all across the country”) to his personal pastor, the virulent racist and anti-Semite Rev. Jeremiah Wright (“my pastor, the guy who puts up with me, counsels me, listens to my wife complain about me. He’s a friend and a great leader. Not just in Chicago, but all across the country”), and an array of incendiary figures, from Father Pfleger to Bill Ayers, who still pop up in the public culture. The common theme was take-no-prisoners radicalism, consistent with Obama’s grievances earlier aired in his mythographic memoir. (“There was something about him that made me wary, a little too sure of himself, maybe. And white.” Or, “I never emulate white men and brown men whose fates didn't speak to my own. It was into my father's image, the black man, son of Africa, that I'd packed all the attributes I sought in myself, the attributes of Martin and Malcolm, DuBois and Mandela.”) All this racial angst from an upper-middle-class prep schooler of mixed heritage, for much of his life known as Barry Soetoro.

Unlike Obama and the "Black Lives Matter" movement, Roger Simon understands the significance of Martin Luther King's message.

The "Black Lives Matter" people are separatists.  They are not the sons and daughters of MLK.  They are the sons and daughters of Stokely Carmichael and, to some extent, even Huey P. Newton.

...When Barack Obama came into office, almost everyone -- myself included, although I didn't vote for him -- wanted him to succeed as the first black president.  He didn't.  Ironically, he became the principal father of the "Black Lives Matter" movement that first surfaced as a hashtag on the acquittal of  the "white Hispanic" George Zimmerman for the murder of Obama's putative son Trayvon Martin. A case that wasn't really about race was turned into nothing but race. A scab that was healing was almost deliberately picked off.

Martin Luther King's dream, which was on the verge of becoming a reality, as much of a reality as one could hope for in an imperfect world, was set immeasurably back.  On this MLK Day, we should all consider how to reverse that. 

Friday, January 15, 2016

Trump vs Hillary

...or Trump vs Bernie or Biden or the Cherokee.

A great conundrum. What to do should Donald Trump receive the Republican nomination for president? The choices for thoughtful conservatives are to 1) go third party, 2) stay home, or 3) vote for the lesser (Trump) of two great evils. Peter Wehner (choices 1 or 2) and Ian Tuttle (choice 3) weigh in.

Wehner --

Tuttle --

As for me - to borrow from Jack Benny facing a similarly distasteful choice - "I'm thinking it over."

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Thank You Sir. May I Have Another?

Writer and former Marine Corps Officer Bing West observes --

"In less than twenty-four hours, the Iranians succeeding in capturing two American boats, forcing American sailors to their knees, blindfolding them, recording copious amounts of propaganda footage, searching the boats, confiscating GPS equipment, and recording a classic POW “apology” video."

To which Secretary of State Kerry responded with the following --

"I want to thank the Iranian authorities for their cooperation and quick response."

Sound familiar? --

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The Dangers Of PC Madness

The Wall Street Journal editorial pages are graced every Tuesday with the sublime thoughts of Bret Stephens and William McGurn. Today they were joined by the equally eloquent and outspoken Dorothy Rabinowitz who rails against the risible attempts by the multiculti left to deny any connection between Islam and Islamic terrorism. A case in point - reacting to the attempted murder of a police officer by an Islamist in Philadelphia, the idiot mayor of that city claimed "In no way, shape or form does anybody in this room believe that Islam or the teaching of Islam had anything to do with the attack."

The mayor’s comments, so bizarre in their determined denial of the deluge of facts delivered by top police officials standing next to him, were, nonetheless, familiar enough. Americans have learned to expect, after every Islamist terror attack, lectures instructing them that such assaults should in no way be connected to Islamic faith of any kind.
To hear the mayor of Philadelphia was to grasp, more clearly than ever, the fury that has led to Donald Trump's success in attracting voters—the fury of citizens who know official lies when they hear them, whether about border security, immigration, or the ever-expanding requirements of multiculturalist dogma.

...On no subject has there been more sermonizing than on Muslims and terrorism and on what the real Islam is and is not—no surprise in an administration which has from its outset tended to the apparent view that the American nation is essentially composed of yahoos whose barely controlled instincts to riot require regular monitoring and checks by their enlightened betters.
All this notwithstanding the history that shows that, after the slaughter of 9/11 and through all the bloody assaults since that were committed against them by rampaging soldiers of Islam—Fort Hood, the Boston Marathon, San Bernardino—Americans have conducted themselves with exemplary courage and dignity. Neither the president nor other moral instructors who hasten forth after every terror attack to bring light unto the nation appear to have noticed.
Years of effort by this administration to deny, conceal and sermonize the nation out of its awareness of facts clearly evident to them is the sort of thing that doesn’t escape Americans in this election season, shadowed by the threat of terrorism. That is a fact Hillary Clinton might consider as she goes forth to celebrate her identification with the Obama years.

Stephens addresses the same issue, focusing on the co-ordinated attacks against women in Germany and elsewhere in Europe by mobs of men of North African/Middle Eastern origin.

Among the hard lessons of our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, surely one of them is that it’s foolish to expect that backward and often barbaric societies can be transformed into functioning liberal democracies. So why do liberals seem so surprised that so many people from these societies behave in barbaric ways after they’ve shoved their way into the West?

...The World Economic Forum publishes a Global Gender Gap Report, which ranks the status of women in 142 countries. Bottom of the list: Yemen, Pakistan, Chad, Syria, Mali and Iran, all Muslim-majority countries. A 2013 Pew Survey of Muslim views on women’s rights found that only 22% of Egyptians and 14% of Iraqis thought that women should have a right to divorce their husbands, while fully 92% of Moroccans and 87% of Palestinians thought a wife must always obey her husband.
Put bluntly, there is a pronounced tendency among Middle Eastern men to view women either as chattel or as whores.

...Multiculturalism is a liberal fetish that is also the antithesis of liberalism, classical or modern—a simultaneous belief in individual autonomy and cultural equality, irrespective of whether different cultures believe in individual rights or not.
Typically liberals have elided this incoherence by pretending, as President Obama often does, that Western cultures are no better than non-Western cultures in respecting human rights, or by demanding radical liberalism inside the West while supinely accepting violent anti-liberalism outside it.
But the events in Cologne make a nonsense of this. What was outside the West is now inside. In the spirit of Christian charity, Angela Merkel and other European leaders have imported a culture of Muslim misogyny. In the name of humanity, the benefactors are asked to close their eyes to the brutishness of so many of their beneficiaries.

McGurn mocks Obama's upcoming empty chair stunt (to protest the 2nd Amendment) at his upcoming SOTU address and he lists some of Obama's policy failures, domestic and (excerpted below) foreign.

In Iraq, the president inherited a victory thanks to the surge he’d opposed as a senator. His commanders recommended he leave some American forces to cement the victory, but Mr. Obama again was after what he would call “a historic moment in the life of our country”—his December 2011 announcement at Fort Bragg that the last U.S. troops in Iraq would be coming home. We are now reaping the harvest.
As for Iran, the president will no doubt remind us that he came to office seeking a nuclear-arms deal. Once again, the nitty-gritty would be less important than the opportunity to pretend something large had been accomplished. The result? Not even a year after it was announced, American hostages still rot in Iranian jail cells and Tehran is testing ballistic missiles.

...Overseas his insistence on the grand gesture has led the president to pretend that the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq and Afghanistan means we’re no longer at war. This may be popular in the faculty lounge, but in the real world Islamic State beheads Americans, Afghanistan teeters on chaos and Iraqi cities such as Ramadi, liberated from al Qaeda in the original surge, now have to be re-liberated all over again from Islamic State.

...The gimmick Mr. Obama has now chosen for his final State of the Union, meant to highlight his end run around the Second Amendment, is fully consistent with this past. But seven years in, an empty chair in the first lady’s box only reinforces images of an empty suit at the podium.

Two other views of the SOTU --

Jim Geraghty agrees with McGurn - it's no good.

And Kevin Williamson wants to dispense with the silly speech-making ceremony altogether.

Also well worth reading is an essay documenting the left's sordid anti-American reflex written by David Horowitz of Radical Son fame.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Breaking News!

Or at least a breaking rumor.

In the wake of the bombshell revelation that Hillary Clinton instructed an aide to remove markings from classified material,


there's this nuclear bombshell revelation from R. Emmett Tyrell, Jr at the American Spectator --

The Federal Bureau of Investigation will recommend that the Justice Department bring criminal charges against Hillary Clinton and various of her aides, and soon. The evidence consists of materials that the Bureau has gathered in the course of its months-long investigation of Mrs. Clinton’s personal server. The recommendations will come very soon.

The charges will consist of some of the following:

1. Improper disclosure or retention of classified information.

2. Destruction of government records.

3. Lying to federal agents.

4. Lying under oath.

5. Obstruction of justice.

All the counts are familiar to those of us who have followed the Clintons for a quarter of a century, but, as one source familiar with the FBI’s investigation told me, the evidence has now reached a “critical mass.”

There are those who have told me that the FBI has been engaged in a ruse. And that the Bureau will report it has come across nothing criminal. Then the whole imbroglio is expected to blow over.

But such cynics are in the minority. Most sources have told me the investigation is genuine, serious, and all but completed. One told me that it was completed two months ago. The Bureau has put together a case that as one source put it “is locked up. It is solid.”

In the past, as FBI agent I.C. Smith wrote in his book Inside: A Top G-Man Exposes Spies, Lies, and Bureaucratic Bungling Inside the FBI, the Clintons have benefited from a few corrupt agents, usually in Arkansas. But that was years ago, and in Arkansas. This is the FBI in Washington, at the top where there are plenty of utterly professional law enforcement officials. They believe truth matters and so does the pursuit of justice. “They have been building a case that is unassailable,” one source told me. “It is beyond the case against Petraeus.… It is about the violation of federal statutes.”

...Whatever happens, seasoned political players have claimed Hillary will continue in the race for Democratic nomination. Joe Trippi, former campaign manager for 2004 presidential candidate Howard Dean, was overheard in the Green Room at Fox saying Hillary will run to the end*.

*Of course she will. Hillary sees the presidency as her get out of jail free card, as husband Bill gets his second go round as an AG.

An earlier article by Debra Heine (PJ Media) noted that former U.S. Attorney Joseph DiGenova concurs with Tyrell's assessment.

A former U.S. attorney predicted this week that Hillary Clinton "will not make it to the finish line" in 2016 because she will soon be facing a criminal indictment from the FBI. During an appearance on Laura Ingraham's radio show Tuesday, famed attorney Joseph DiGenova said that the FBI has "reached a critical mass in their investigation of the secretary and all of her senior staff" and predicted that it would come to a head "in the next 60 days."

DiGenova, who rose to national prominence during the Clinton scandals of the '90s, told Ingraham that if Attorney General Loretta Lynch refuses to indict Clinton, there will be a "massive revolt inside the FBI, which she will not be able to survive as an Attorney General."

FBI Director James Comey has not indicated when his agents will wrap up their months-long probe into Clinton's possibly illegal "homebrew" email server, but during a Senate hearing last month he said the FBI doesn’t “give a rip about politics” and that President Obama has not been briefed on the investigation.

DiGenova said that the FBI already "has so much information about criminal conduct by her and her staff that there is no way that they walk away from this."

DiGenova --

"And if Jim Comey, the FBI director, is doing his job, which I expect him to do as an honorable man, she cannot be the nominee of the Democratic Party. She’s going to have to be charged with the crime. It’s going to be a very complex matter for the Department of Justice, but they’re not going to be able to walk away from it. She and her staff have committed numerous federal crimes involving the negligent and improper handling of classified information. They are now at over 1,200 classified emails. And, that’s just for the ones we know about from the State Department. That does not include the ones that the FBI is, in fact, recovering from her hard drives."

Justice Delayed

...but not necessarily denied.

After more than a decade of silence, Juanita Broaddrick has come forward again with her allegation that she was raped by Bill Clinton while he was Arkansas Attorney General. Prompted by Hillary Clinton's hypocritical contention that all alleged claims of sexual assault are to be uncritically believed, Broaddrick is also reiterating that she was pressured by Clinton to keep quiet about it. You can bet the main stream media will do everything it can to avoid/ignore/suppress this story, but that's going to be hard to do if Broaddrick continues to press her case.

Broaddrick's tweet --

I was 35 years old when Bill Clinton, Ark. Attorney General raped me and Hillary tried to silence me. I am now never goes away.
There are two parts to Broaddrick's account. First is the violent attack on the low level employee by the depraved misogynist wielding his stature as a high level government official to gain her trust. (Bill) Clinton's despicable act was a classic example of rape as an act of power and control. One he's repeated numerous times (though not always with the same level of brutality). Then there are the sinister cover-up actions of his wife. More than Bill's enabler, Hillary was his co-conspirator, seeking to silence his victim with a not-so-subtle threat of retribution. (For details see the links below).

Just as Barack Obama's qualification for the presidency extended no further than his skin color, Hillary's sole qualification is her gender. Broaddrick's narrative undercuts Clinton's phony "empowerment of women" meme. It also obliterates the Democrats' fiction of a GOP "War On Women". No two people are waging that war more forcefully than the Clintons.

What a marvelous thing it would be if the perpetrators of this decades old outrage finally received their comeuppance: a denial of their desperately yearned for return to the White House. Not sufficient punishment for their crimes of course, but not bad either.

Brietbart has the story --

She slammed Hillary as “disgusting” for allegedly attempting to silence Broaddrick years ago while the Democratic frontrunner insisted in a recent campaign ad that women have a right to be believed if they accuse men of sexual assault.

“I thought, that’s the most disgusting thing,” Broaddrick told Breitbart of Hillary’s ad. “She tried to silence me.”
“I’m 73 years old, Aaron. Why would I want to bring this on myself other than to do right?

And for those distrustful of conservative reporting, the left wing outfit has a surprisingly honest and complete accounting of the Broaddrick affair.

Added 1/9 -- Jonah Goldberg's take on Hillary's Bill problem --

Whereas Bill was supposed to be Hillary’s “not-so secret weapon,” he’s now a liability. It’s schadenfreudetastic to watch liberals forced to choose between the Scylla of the Hillary campaign and the Charybdis of the feminist project.

Of course, liberals are mad at . . . conservatives (and Donald Trump) for pointing it out. I particularly love the subhead on this Slate piece. “The right hopes to turn the feminist consensus on rape against the Clintons.” Ah yes, those terrible conservatives, how dare they take feminists seriously!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Unaccountable Democrats

Kevin Williamson again --

"Being a Democrat means never paying the price.
...consider the curious case of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s ongoing e-mail problem. It has been amusing to watch the evolution of her lies on the issue: She was going to turn over all the evidence, until she unilaterally destroyed (crime) and withheld (probably a crime) a great deal of it. She insisted that the communication that passed through her off-site toilet (her secret e-mail server was located in the bathroom of a loft apartment in Denver, because that does not seem sketchy at all) was not classified, until it was shown that some of it was; she then said that what she personally sent or received was not secret or sensitive, until it was shown that it was; she then said that none of it was marked as such, until . . .

Strike three.

If you are a Democrat, the safest place in the world to be is under the authority of other Democrats. Lois Lerner, the criminal who used the Internal Revenue Service as a political weapon on behalf of the Democratic party, was never going to be charged, or even disciplined, by her overseers in the IRS or at the Department of Justice. After pulling one of the worst Gestapo stunts in modern American history, she’s receiving a nice, comfortable pension, and those who enabled her crimes were given fat bonuses. There was no way that Eric Holder or Loretta Lynch was going to charge Lerner — what do you imagine the odds are that they’ll discover their integrity in the matter of Hillary Rodham Clinton, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee? Unless President Barack Obama should decide to take this opportunity to rid his party of the Clintons forever (a slim but non-zero possibility), nothing is going to happen.

A couple of militia nuts squat in a vacant visitor center at an obscure park in Oregon and the Left, with one voice, bays for blood. Black Lives Matter rioters torch Baltimore and Ferguson, assault police and innocent bystanders, and attempt to burn human beings alive with Molotov cocktails, and — nothing.

This is a recurring motif in U.S. history. Thousands of Americans over the course of a generation participated in a criminal conspiracy that resulted in, among other things, the murder of some 100 million people, and the bad guy in that story is . . . Senator Joe McCarthy, who tried to stop them. In the 1930s, as the Soviets were intentionally starving millions of people to death, our so-called progressives were busy denying that any such thing was taking place. In the 1960s, our so-called progressives were posing with murderous tyrants in Vietnam and making excuses for Pol Pot’s genocide. The same people still celebrate Che Guevara, a murdering racist and Jew-hater. When the Sandinistas brought the Soviet murder campaign to the Americans, Bill de Blasio and his ilk cheered the Sandinistas. When Hugo Chávez installed himself as an autocrat in Venezuela, all the usual progressives cheered him, too, not just Hollywood jackasses like Sean Penn but elected Democrats such as Chaka Fattah. There never has been, and probably never will be, a reckoning for the American Left’s role in the Communist massacres and repression of the 20th century."

Here's a concise summation of the illegality and impropriety of Hillary Clinton's e-mail shenanigans  presented by Paul David Miller at the Federalist website.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

This And That

The negative ramifications from Barack Obama's failed presidency will take years, (if ever), to correct. Charles C. W. Cooke warns leftists that they should think twice about cheering the precedents set by their dear leader. Obama's use of executive fiat and bureaucratic overreach to fulfill their ideological wishlist will eventually come back to haunt them.

William Voegeli explains why, even as he is cognizant of Donald Trump's unsuitability for the presidency, he's anti-anti Trump. 

That such a flawed contender could be a front-runner tells us more about what’s wrong with the country than about what’s wrong with his followers.

...Demagoguery flourishes when democracy falters. A disreputable, irresponsible figure like Donald Trump gets a hearing when the reputable, responsible people in charge of things turn out to be self-satisfied and self-deluded. The best way to fortify Trump’s presidential campaign is to insist his followers’ grievances are simply illegitimate, bigoted, and ignorant. The best way to defeat it is to argue that their justified demands for competent, serious governance deserve a statesman, not a showman.

Why is Donald Trump polling as well as he is? A major reason is that there are many Trump supporting Democrats identifying as Republicans. And why is this? One - Many Democrats really do support him because he reflects their ideology and/or, they like his endearing style. Two - Many Democrats are trying to sabotage the Republican primary process.

Jay Nordlinger --

Donald Trump likes to brag about his Ivy League education — in part because he likes to brag about everything (and bragging, as we all know, is a classic conservative trait). Recently, he said, “I went to an Ivy League school. I’m very highly educated. I know words, I have the best words.”

...Trump first attended Fordham, then transferred to the Wharton School at Penn. The old joke is that, if someone says he went to an Ivy League college, he went to Penn — because Harvard people say, “I went to Harvard,” Yale people say, “I went to Yale,” etc.

Andrew McCarthy writing about and quoting Mohammed parodist Bosch Fawstin --

"Mohammed cartoons don’t inspire Islamic violence. Islamic violence inspires Mohammed cartoons."

..."I draw Mohammed,” he says, “because the enemy tells me I can’t."

..."The way I see it, if drawing Mohammad can get you killed, then he should be drawn again and again and again and again, until drawing him loses all power. And, within reason, doing something that an enemy doesn’t want you to do is reason enough to do it, on sheer principle."

...Growing up, Fawstin increasingly sensed incongruity: His family was “moderate” in their adherence to Islam, rarely going to mosque and selectively following sharia strictures; yet the Jew-hatred and misogyny that are hallmarks of Islamic supremacism ran rampant among his “moderate” relatives.

...The enemy is no match for America on the military battlefield. Nor can they compete in the battle of ideas, where their tactic is suppression precisely because their repugnant ideas cannot bear examination. As terrorists, their only power lies in paralyzing us, instilling in us a fear to defend our principles, like free speech. Obama and Clinton loudly signal a readiness to surrender those principles, theorizing that the enemy will be appeased. Bosch Fawstin defiantly lives those principles, reckoning that if we all did, the enemy would not stand a chance. I like his plan better.

Have you heard? Hillary Clinton is a woman, a fact she rarely fails to bring up on the campaign trail. What she doesn't mention is that she is ideologically anti-woman and anti-feminist.
Katherine Timpf (NRO) --

Hillary Clinton claims to be pro-women, yet has actively worked to ruin lives of so many of them. She’s running on a “feminist platform” — she’s even dared to say that sexual-assault survivors have a “right to be believed” — despite the fact that what she did to the women who accused Bill went far beyond not believing them. She attacked them.

When allegations of sexual misconduct emerged during Bill’s 1992 presidential run, she’s reported to have said “Who is going to find out? These women are trash. Nobody’s going to believe them.” Multiple people also report that she called the women “sluts” and “whores” — you know, for daring to be raped. A private investigator named Ivan Duda claims that, after Bill lost his second governor’s race, Hillary told him: “I want you to get rid of all these b****** he’s seeing . . . I want you to give me the names and addresses and phone numbers, and we can get them under control.”

Matthew Continetti enjoys some schadenfreude at Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel's expense --

A liberal who jumps at the chance to vacation in a slave state — and thinks it’s somehow adventurous or even brave to take your children to a place romanticized by left-wing utopians since it went Communist in 1959 — is not only morally blinkered. He’s banal. He’s the sort of liberal for whom there is no difference between self-interest and the public interest — a trait Emanuel picked up from the Clintons.

...The situation in Chicago is so dire Emanuel cut short his vacation — the poor dear. The other day a small group of protesters gathered outside his home. He held a press conference where he announced changes in police tactics. But he is really just a worm on a hook at this point. He’s lost his mandate, his reputation, his press. And as he viciously chews out whichever naïf underling has wandered, doe-like, into his midst, you just know he pities himself and lamenting: I wouldn’t have this sort of problem in Cuba.

The Wall Street Journal published the following excerpts last Tuesday (12/29)

From “ Dave Barry’s 2015 Year in Review” in the Miami Herald, Dec. 23:


. . . In Paris, two million people march in a solidarity rally following the horrific terrorist attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.
Eyebrows are raised when not a single top U.S. official attends, but several days later, Secretary of State John Kerry arrives in France with James Taylor, who—this really happened—performs the song You’ve Got a Friend. This bold action strikes fear into the hearts of terrorists, who realize that Secretary Kerry is fully capable, if necessary, of unleashing Barry Manilow.


. . . NBC suspends Nightly News anchor Brian Williams after an investigation reveals inaccuracies in his account of being in a military helicopter under fire in Iraq. “Mr. Williams did not actually come under fire,” states the network. “Also technically he wasn’t in a helicopter in Iraq; it was a Volvo station wagon on the New Jersey Turnpike. But there was a lot of traffic.” A contrite Williams blames the lapse on post-traumatic stress disorder resulting from killing Osama Bin Laden. . . .

In the War on Terror, the White House, having struck a powerful blow with the James Taylor Tactical Assault Ballad, boldly follows up by—again, this really happened—hosting a three-day “Summit on Countering Violent Extremism,” featuring both workshops AND symposiums.

Last and certainly not least is Kevin Williamson, lambasting as only he can, the Department of Homeland Security's inability to track foreigners overstaying their visas.

Some years ago I had a medical procedure that required visiting a few different doctors, and, dysgraphic as I am, I was intensely annoyed by the fact that at every doctor’s office, I was given pencil and paper to fill out what was essentially the same questionnaire, over and over. There being nothing much more pressing at issue than whether I am allergic to penicillin or had been feeling dizzy lately, this seemed to me like the sort of thing that ought to be done electronically and shared among practices. I pointed out to one not-at-all-interested physician that when I received bills, they were produced electronically rather than with pencil and paper.

“What’s your point?” he asked. “The point is that when it comes to my interests — the timely and efficient transmission of my medical records — you are content to use 17th-century technology, the first mass-produced pencil having been developed in Nuremberg in 1662. When it comes to your interests — getting paid — you use 21st-century technology. It strikes me as odd that we have a very sophisticated electronic system for monitoring credit scores but no such thing for medical data.”

...We are perfectly capable of keeping track of these things: Miss the January payment on your Macy’s card by two days, and financial firms around the world will know instantly, but flout federal immigration law, and the mighty, mighty Department of Homeland Security can’t find its own ass with both hands, much less locate yours.