Provocation: Sailor seen with MANPAD on Russian warship transiting Bosporus

Peace in our time.

Shoulder-fired peace cruises in the Bosporus: Russian sailor on the deck of Russian landing ship Tsesar Kunikov, 4 Dec 2015. (Image: Emre Dagdeviren via Twitter, UK Express)
Shoulder-fired peace cruises in the Bosporus: Russian sailor on the deck of Russian landing ship Tsesar Kunikov, 4 Dec 2015. (Image: Emre Dagdeviren via Twitter, UK Express)

This incident reportedly occurred the morning of 4 December.

The Ropucha-class tank landing ship Tsesar Kunikov (BDK-158) was heading from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean, conducting a southbound transit of the Turkish Straits.  (As documented at the excellent Bosphorus Naval News blog, BDK-158 has been back and forth through the Turkish Straits several times over the last few months.  The ship was most recently off Syria in November, and returned to the Black Sea on 25 November before Friday’s southbound transit.)

Turkish media reported that a Russian sailor was photographed on the deck with a shoulder-fired missile launcher in the firing position during the transit. … Continue reading “Provocation: Sailor seen with MANPAD on Russian warship transiting Bosporus”

Time to ‘John Paul Jones’ the non-deal ‘Iran deal’

Nail the colors to the mast.

Bonhomme Richard and HMS Serapis at the Battle of Flamborough Head in 1779. Painting by Anton Otto Fischer (1882-1962). (Via crashmacduff.wordpress.com)
Bonhomme Richard and HMS Serapis at the Battle of Flamborough Head in 1779. Painting by Anton Otto Fischer (1882-1962). (Via crashmacduff.wordpress.com)

“I have not yet begun to fight!”

John Paul Jones, commanding the Continental Navy, Battle of Flamborough Head

23 September, 1779

If we went by the triumphal proclamations of the mainstream media, we would think opponents of the unsigned Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – described inaccurately as a “deal” with Iran – were out of options at this point.

Operating on the process set in motion by the Corker-Cardin bill, the House has voted against approving the JCPOA.  But the JCPOA’s opponents in the Senate have failed twice to move the JCPOA to a vote.  A 42-vote minority has prevented a Senate vote, and Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is unwilling to use the “nuclear option” of overriding the effective filibuster by the minority, and forcing a vote on the JCPOA.

If we accept that Obama met his requirements under Corker-Cardin, when he submitted the JCPOA to Congress for review, then the deadline for Congress to act was 17 September.  Since the Senate couldn’t vote by then, the theory is that all objections to the JCPOA are now dead. Continue reading “Time to ‘John Paul Jones’ the non-deal ‘Iran deal’”

Legal bombshell? Obamacare case may enable Congress to sue Obama over Iran ‘deal’

For such a time as this.

House GOP leaders Kevin McCarthy (Majority Leader), Steve Scalise (Majority Whip), and Speaker John Boehner. (Image via Politico)
House GOP leaders Kevin McCarthy (Majority Leader), Steve Scalise (Majority Whip), and Speaker John Boehner. (Image via Politico)

On Thursday, Senate Democrats blocked cloture on debate over the resolution to disapprove the non-deal Iran “deal,” or JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action).

The Senate is effectively hamstrung.  As of now, no Senate vote is foreseeable on the disapproval resolution.  The mainstream media are visibly crowing over this as a big win for Obama.

Republican leader Mitch McConnell has vowed to push for a vote again next week.  But there’s no reason at this point to think the outcome will be any different.  Obama has the votes to prevent cloture in the Senate; he needs 41 and has 42.  The vote on the disapproval resolution itself doesn’t look like it will be happening. Continue reading “Legal bombshell? Obamacare case may enable Congress to sue Obama over Iran ‘deal’”

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

The limits of law.

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: Continue reading “FBI: Background check ‘flaw’ let Dylann Roof buy a gun”

Campaign against religious freedom: Orwellian? Demonic? Both?

A “secular Inquisition” takes up arms.

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. Continue reading “Campaign against religious freedom: Orwellian? Demonic? Both?”