Turkish tank patrols the border near Suruc.  (Image: AP via EKurd)

Turkish tank patrols the border near Suruc. (Image: AP via EKurd)

What lies beyond surreal?  Whatever it is, America is about to probe its depths, unless something intervenes to prevent the implementation of a U.S.-Turkish accord that would allow American forces to use Turkish air bases for strikes in Syria.

The U.S. has for months been seeking permission to use Turkey’s Incirlik air base in the campaign against Islamic State.  Incirlik is a Cold War-era base from which U.S. air forces have operated for years.  But Turkey has been selective about its use in the post-1991 period (prohibiting American use, notoriously, for the 2003 invasion of Iraq).

After the terrorist attack on the border town of Suruc, Turkey on 20 July – linked to Islamic State – Obama and Erdogan reportedly agreed in a phone call to bring Turkey into the campaign against ISIS, and begin operating American military aircraft in that fight from Turkish bases. Read More…

Posted by: theoptimisticconservative | July 19, 2015

After Chattanooga: Another armed man shows up outside a recruiting center

Authorities were investigating an "active shooter incident" late Thursday morning at the Naval Reserve Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Fire Chief Randy Jackson said.  (Image via Liberty Unyielding)

Authorities were investigating an “active shooter incident” late Thursday morning at the Naval Reserve Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Fire Chief Randy Jackson said. (Image via Liberty Unyielding)

Liberty Unyielding’s Julie reported on Saturday that the death toll had gotten worse in the terror attack by Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez on Navy facilities in Chattanooga.  In addition to the four Marines who died on Thursday, Navy Petty Officer Second Class Randall Smith succumbed to his injuries from the attack in the pre-dawn hours on Saturday morning.

They’re pretty jittery around the military recruiting center where Abdulazeez perpetrated so much carnage.  They’re jittery at military facilities across the country, especially recruiting centers that are located in easily accessible places like strip malls.  A handful of governors have already authorized their National Guard forces to arm those on active duty, which will affect some recruiting offices, although not the recruiters for the federal military departments. Read More…

Posted by: theoptimisticconservative | July 19, 2015

Trump jumps shark with insane comment about McCain’s military service

(Image via outsidethebeltway.com)

(Image via outsidethebeltway.com)

Gaahhhh.  Feh.  OMG.  No he didn’t.

But…yes, unfortunately — inevitably? — he did.

Trump managed to implode faster than, well, something that implodes really fast.  Come up with your own analogies.  (Post them in the comments section and we’ll have a contest.)

After riding the crest of a wave for three weeks, speaking for Mr. and Mrs. Joe America on the subject of out-of-hand illegal immigration, Trump crashed and burned in Iowa, lobbing a few seconds’ worth of campaign-ending trash talk at John McCain. Read More…

Posted by: theoptimisticconservative | July 15, 2015

Complete unraveling: Top 5 reasons why the non-deal agreement with Iran is bad

Obama MunichThese are the top five other than the fact that it’s not a deal; it’s a surrender.  The West has agreed to lift the sanctions on Iran.  Iran has not agreed to give up anything she needs to acquire a bomb, or cease any of her aggressive behavior (e.g., arming and training Hezbollah and Hamas, fighting wars in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen).  Not one of these things – not one – is a measure of performance Iran will actually have to demonstrate to get the sanctions lifted.

1. The agreement paves Iran’s path to the bomb. The only question about Iran and the bomb now is when Iran will get it. If Iran adheres to the terms of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) agreement (link to full text here), she will retain the means, and improve the expertise, to build nuclear weapons throughout the next 10 years.  She would wait for that 10 years to pass, however, before enriching enough uranium to test a warhead and stockpile weapons. Read More…

Posted by: theoptimisticconservative | July 11, 2015

FBI: Background check ‘flaw’ let Dylann Roof buy a gun

Roof 3Perhaps it’s technically the New York Times that’s saying a “flaw” is what allowed Roof, the Charleston church killer, to buy a gun.  “Flaw” is the word used in the NYT headline.  The actual communication from the FBI is summarized this way in the text:

A loophole in the system and an error by the F.B.I. allowed the man, Dylann Roof, to buy the .45-caliber handgun despite having previously admitted to drug possession, officials said.

The “error” by the FBI stands up to scrutiny as an actual error.  The “loophole” in the background check system is another story.  Here’s the extended summary from NYT: Read More…

Posted by: theoptimisticconservative | July 10, 2015

Memphis and the inconvenient dead: We’re all snarling jihadis now

Graves of WWII soldiers in Libya, desecrated by jihadis. (Image via euronews)

Graves of WWII soldiers in Libya, desecrated by jihadis. (Image via euronews)

Congratulations to the Memphis City Council.  As Howard Portnoy reported, Memphis’s finest voted this week to dig up the remains of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest – and his wife – from their resting place beneath Forrest’s statue in a Memphis park.

It’s politically incorrect, according to the council, for the Forrests’ bones to repose there any longer.

“It is no longer politically correct to glorify someone who was a slave trader, someone who was a racist on public property,” said City Council member Myron Lowery.

So now our own, all-American Memphis, Tennessee is just like the jihadi animals who’ve been attacking graves around the Middle East, as they slash and burn their way through the post-Arab Spring landscape. Read More…

Posted by: theoptimisticconservative | July 10, 2015

Campaign against religious freedom: Orwellian? Demonic? Both?

Mocking freedom of religion, to weaken your commitment to it. (Image: 21alive Indianapolis)

Mocking freedom of religion, to weaken your commitment to it. (Image: 21alive Indianapolis)

A campaign against religious freedom – the central purpose for which America came into being – had been underway for some time before the Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, the same-sex marriage case, on 26 June.  But the campaign went into overdrive with the news of that ruling, and it’s becoming increasingly furious and determined.

The principal method of the anti-freedom campaign is owning the terms in which it is discussed.  The anti-freedom contingent insists, in essence, that what traditionalist Christians want is not legitimate freedom, but a license to hurt people.

Fascist collectivism always makes its arguments in these terms, and the campaign against religious freedom is no different.  It picks a specific demographic target and vilifies the members of it, based on a garbled and inverted premise about social harm. Read More…

Posted by: theoptimisticconservative | July 8, 2015

Nuke talks: Why Iran doesn’t need or want an actual deal

Obama MunichThere have been some excellent editorial pieces written in the past week on the nuclear negotiations in Vienna.  As is to be expected, given that the “deal” gets worse by the day, they are uniformly pessimistic; see Melanie Phillips, for example (apologies for the paywall), along with Charles Krauthammer and Joseph Klein.

Informative articles raise troubling questions about any potential “deal,” like “The Secret Side of the Iran Nuclear Deal” (Eli Lake and Josh Rogin).  Clauses in the “deal” that will never be made public are not a reassuring feature.

That’s especially the case when Obama and Kerry are claiming that they are ready to walk away from a bad deal, while at the same time the Obama administration is preparing to put intense political pressure on Democrats – calling up a Soros-funded dark money group, in fact, as an arm-twister – to back Obama’s play.  Administrations don’t usually anticipate having to put political guns to people’s heads for good deals. Read More…

Posted by: theoptimisticconservative | July 4, 2015

Why the pro-illegal lobby owns Wednesday’s murder in San Francisco

Masters of non-compliance.  (Image: AP via deadline.info)

Masters of non-compliance. (Image: AP via deadline.info)

Assuming that 45-year-old Francisco Sanchez is the right suspect, in the apparently random murder of Kathryn Steinle on Wednesday, 1 July, in San Francisco – and Sanchez is, of course, innocent until proven guilty – the case against lawless pro-illegal policies will be clear-cut.

The failure of Democrats and Republicans in Washington to cut off illegal entry across America’s southern border is why Sanchez was here in the first place.  He’s here illegally, and he has already been deported five times.

He also has seven felony convictions in three different states (Arizona, Oregon, and Texas).  According to the Daily Mail and NBC San Jose, he has “a slew of phony birth dates and aliases.” This all no doubt has something to do with why he’s been deported five times.

Yet he keeps getting back in.  And here’s where the tale gets extra disgusting. Read More…

Posted by: theoptimisticconservative | July 4, 2015

Independence Day, 2015

Detail, Patrick Henry before the Virginia House of Burgesses; Peter F. Rothermel (1817-1895)

Detail, Patrick Henry before the Virginia House of Burgesses; Peter F. Rothermel (1817-1895)

Another national holiday rolls around, and Americans ponder where we have been, and where we are going.  For those who are deeply troubled by recent events, taking time to celebrate a spirit of liberty and a national declaration that remain unequaled in human history may be a welcome break.  But it can’t instill a sense of complacency.

Now is not the time for the emptiness of false cheer.  But it is a time for taking courage from the remarkable deeds and thoughts of our political ancestors.  What they did was as impossible as what we may need to do.

So please give serious consideration to two selections from LU for Independence Day.

The spirit of liberty Read More…

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